Letters for March 26, 2008
A letter to the mayor
Dear Mayor Johnson,
Having researched the decision to freeze hiring all positions in city government, which you and the city board came to several months ago, I have continued to take interest. Choosing to support the police force while they do their job and prevent crime is the right thing to do now, especially while the morale of the police, in general, is low. However, I have come to the realization your decision, made with the city council, to take funds used to hire government employees and to use the money for other purposes, has failed to be effective.
Let me give you an example: In my neighborhood, drug trafficking and related crime is becoming more common. I have seen drug deals made within a mile of my home. This past week, when Boyd McKinney was murdered in a drug-related conflict in the condominium complex across the street from me, I finally came to issue with the city’s crime problem. The police force has not gotten their job done, despite being paid money that could employ others. As a disabled Greensboro resident collecting Social Security and hoping, also, to supplement that income with a job, I was disappointed to learn that I could not get a paid position at my local library. I have a college degree and think working for a wage commensurate with my education would make me a more productive citizen.
Do you really support the decision to take jobs away from deserving people in the workforce, simply to prop up civic pride in our employees in the police department? I think we all need a better return on the sacrifice we have made on their behalf.
Boyd McKinney should not be dead. And police, if they are being paid more, should be encouraged to prevent drug-related crime. I cannot further support denying the hopes and dreams of potential city employees on a civic project that has not worked. Please think carefully when you and the city manager meet again to discuss your decision whether to continue to meet the police department’s needs at the expense of ours.
Ian C. Hammon
The Kernel and Five Guys
I have some news, but first let me gush about how much my husband and I enjoy reading your columns. You make us laugh and we so relate to your adventures with your children, although ours are now grown. But my favorite article in the paper, and the reason I have to stop every Tuesday to pick it up, is so I can read your restaurant review. You talk about the restaurants we all eat in each week. Honestly, how often can we afford to eat at Muse (if ever)? Anyway, yesterday we were in Winston-Salem for the Finnegan’s Wake St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Sometime after lunch we’d had all the corned beef and “Danny Boy” we could stand for a while and headed over towards Hanes Mall Boulevard. Why? Well, to scope out where Kernel Kustard is because we had read your review and wanted to see what we were missing [“Kernel Kustard opens in Winston”; Oct. 17, 2007; by Brian Clarey]. Well, it looked great and we will be back, although we were too full to partake yesterday. But as we were driving, what did we see but a sign that announced that they are building a Five Guys restaurant right down the street from Kernel Kustard. That may not be news to you, you are a “news” guy after all, but when I saw the sign I immediately said, “Oh, I have to tell Brian Clarey that we are finally getting a Five Guys here.” I hope to see you there some day!
Late to the party
It should not be a matter of “the Bible says,” but basic human rights of Americans [“Broad support for gay equal rights in NC, study finds” July 25, 2006; by Amy Kingsley]. It is unfair to be discriminatory to a group of people just because of their sexual preferences. Regardless, they are still humans and deserve the rights that every citizen is entitled to have. If there really is a separation of church and state (and the religious reasons are the only ones really presented against gay rights), then the decisions the state makes regarding the rights should be made on the basic principles of human decency and freedom for which this country is supposed to be known for. Those that are opposed are endangering the welfare of those who are gay/lesbian and their children because they have a problem with it. Too bad. Get over it. The world is changing, and we need to change and shift our views to accept these changes, or be stuck in a primitive, archaic way of thinking.