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Talkback: What online readers say about …

… Empire Hotel project faces one more hurdle

Today, Downtown Salisbury Inc., which is funded primarily through taxes, pays almost $100,000 annually to service the debt on the Empire. When the sale goes through and work begins, servicing that debt ends and the city will not be on the hook for the lease until construction completes, and then only if a tenant is not found. If we end up having to lease the space, that lease will cost less than the current debt service.

… I anticipate the approval being quick and easy and look forward to this important project beginning. I expect it to be transformative for our downtown, our city and our county.

— Gregory Shields

There is currently lots of interest in downtown, particularly in downtown living. I look for this to be a catalyst for greater economic development news, and I wish it success.

— Jeff Morris

Would really be nice if they could turn the ground floor into a Trader Joe’s. That would really bring much more activity to Main Street.

— James Bostwick

… Letter: Not a general

I agree that Fame is a memorial to the men who died and not to a slave-holding general. The statement, “Rich man’s war, poor man’s fight” identifies those who made real sacrifices. It was primarily the poor draftee who died for the rich and sacrificed his well-being for the Lost Cause.

— Reginald Brown

… Salisbury Indivisible: City is not powerless over ‘Fame’

Put a camera on it; arrest anyone attempting to damage it. Felony charge

— Dennis Kepley

The angel taking a soldier home should only remind us that once you are dead, it does not matter what color your uniform was.

— Vicki H. Sanders

They said that if someone were to walk across the field just after the Battle of Gettysburg, the chance of their stepping on the green grass was very slim. There was a much greater chance of stepping on “blue” or “gray.” And later on, in 1958, Confederate veterans were deemed to just be “American veterans.”

— Jay Williams

A person’s voice can be stifled, but what is in their heart can not be changed by criticism, shaming or attacking.

I constantly hear of having those uncomfortable conversations and how important they are. But that only works when both sides are willing to accept another person’s ignorance and allow that ignorance until we can provide the knowledge for change.

— Theo Fleming

… A conversation
we must have

…“(C)onversation” means you have to listen as much as (if not more) than you are heard. By its simple nature it means “compromise.” So many who throw this phrase around, however, simply think it means that everyone will listen to you. And while we’re on that topic, being “listened” to does not mean do what you say. Someone can listen to you and still choose a different path.

— Eric Shock

… Letter: Blessed and determined, yes, but not privileged

Ms. Gurley-Robins, you are to be commended for your hard work and determination to achieve your goals. It appears that you also were subject to discrimination because you are a woman. Reflecting on that, please consider that white privilege doesn’t mean that your life hasn’t been hard; it means that the color of your skin didn’t make it harder.

— Carol Pomeroy

It is not by accident that the word “privilege” is used instead of “advantage.” Because of actual definitions as well as connotation, allowing the word “privilege” is like giving one’s opponent 35 points before the opening kickoff. It is a calculated move, intended to gain and maintain, well, the advantage.

For one thing, advantages can be overcome; privileges are more firmly entrenched, typically taken away as punishment. I would love to have a meaningful and constructive dialogue on this subject, but only if the terminology is relatively neutral and innocuous.

Is beauty a privilege or an advantage? How about athletic prowess? An IQ of 180? The misuse of the word “privilege” is designed to tilt the playing field, by some who claim to want a level one.

— Bruce LaRue

No one is denying your hard work, commitment, drive or right to strive. We simply ask that you consider that the playing field has not been level — for many there has been no playing field on which to gain experience and understanding, or even to have a voice in the systems that undergird white privilege. I invite you to a broader conversation.

— Whitney Peckman

You are “privileged” because you are living in the USA. Don’t ever forget that.

— Steve Doss

…Where does it stop?

Where does it begin? When do we admit that these monuments do not simply memorialize history, but rewrite, even erase it? At best, they tell only one side of a complex story. …

I would argue that the inscriptions dishonor the “honored dead” by making them pawns and symbols for a political statement. All wars are foolish and sinful, most who fight are caught up in the tempest of their times. It is possible to honor those who sacrifice to our failings without judgment, neither condemning nor praising the rationale for their conflict.

Imagine a new base, with words that truly honor those who pay the price of war, without getting into so much politics. We could have something magnificent, but some folks are going to have to give a little.

— Luke Hamaty

… School board wrestles with funding elementary school resource officers

Don’t let fear decide policy. There are 90,000 schools in the United States and there have been four shootings at elementary schools in the last 10 years. There has never been an elementary school shooting in North Carolina.

Horrific and tragic, absolutely, but putting an armed officer at every elementary school moves resources we need in the classroom to outside the building. Where does it end, pre-K? Nurseries? Hospital delivery wards? Wrapping our children in Kevlar? 

— Dan Morrow

This bothers me. What do you budget for a loss of life from not doing all we can to protect our children and schools

— Bobby Sykes

…’A vision come true:’ East Spencer charter school opens

I remember when I first heard about the dream from some of the organizers of the Essie Mae Kiser-Foxx Charter School in East Spencer. I thought to myself, this is a moon shot.

These folks pulled it off. They have an excellent team of folks in their administration and a lot of community support. Many of us look forward to seeing the deep transformation and impact this school will make and is already making in East Spencer and surrounding area.


— Anthony Smith



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High School

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East Spencer

Developers aim to transform former Dunbar School site into multi-purpose community development


Knox student organizing event to get community cycling


Decision on Essie Mae charter appeal expected Thursday


House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition


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States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper receives COVID-19 vaccine


North Carolina health officials urge schools to reopen


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Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported