Q: What are the number of Winston-Salem city employees with positive COVID-19 results?

V.T.

Answer: “Since March of this year, 16 city employees have received confirmed positive COVID-19 test results,” said Damon Dequenne, assistant city manager. The city currently has approximately 2,400 active employees, he said.

Q: How could the home addresses on my street be so out of sync? On my right the house number is 825; my house is 839, but to my left is 835 and to their left is 841. Delivery people who are new to the neighborhood can never find my house.

G.M.

Answer: Matthew Hamby, MapForsyth address coordinator for the county, said that since your address was assigned pre-1995, he’s not sure what method was being used to assign address numbers. “What I think happened in that case is someone misread a number,” he said. “The house number was 839, when I think the house number should have been 829.

“These show up mostly because people can’t get their Amazon deliveries,” he said. “But when I explain that the way to fix the problem is to change their address, they aren’t as interested in fixing the problem.”

When MapForsyth is assigning home addresses, he said, they will skip numbers to allow for changes in lot design or utility that may need addressing. “If someone owns a large parcel we will increase the gap between address numbers,” he said, which may result in large jumps in the numbers from one house to the next.

Note also that MapForsyth does not handle the addressing in Kernersville, which is taken care of by the town itself.

Q: I have worked or lived in the Griffith area of south Winston-Salem for 36 years. This used to be Crow Metropolis, crows in big numbers. This year there are crows, but not near the numbers in years before. Where did they go?

S.T.

Answer: “I often get questions from readers who perceive that crow populations have increased dramatically,” said Ron Morris, who writes the Birds-Eye View column in the Journal. “But while there have been significant increases, the perceptions of dramatic increases are often fueled by changes in crow behavior.”

Crows, he said, are very intelligent birds and “have been quick to recognize that cities are sources of abundant, easy food, whether bugs on lawns, road-kills, or fast-food litter. So, much of the perception of population increases result from shifts in crow distribution from rural areas to cities where they are more likely to be noticed.

“On the other hand, an apparent decrease in numbers might be caused simply by very local movements of resident crows. As one small example, the crow family that foraged on my lawn every day through late winter and spring seem to have gone elsewhere. I’m not complaining.”

Big changes in crow populations can be seasonal, too, Morris said. “In winter, crows, along with grackles, cowbirds, and blackbirds congregate in large number at night-time roosts. In late winter, they begin to disperse for the breeding season. Perhaps this is what you’re observing in the Griffith neighborhood.”

Email: AskSAM@wsjournal.com

Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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