An essential life skill
Many thanks to Love’ Lemon for her thoughtful guest column suggesting positive changes we can make in our community (“Tackle gun violence with literacy resources,” Oct. 3).
Involving local groups and the agencies she listed is necessary, as is exploring how established organizations have developed programs to encourage reading among their young clients. Check out Reach Out & Read (online at https://reachoutandread.org), which involves pediatricians, and Barbershop Books (online at https://barbershopbooks.org), which obviously involves barbershops.
If instead you want to head outdoors on a beautiful fall day, visit the Salem Lake Story Walk erected in conjunction with Forsyth Creek Week, just a short walk up the trail from the parking lot and playground area at Salem Lake (learn more at www.forsythcreekweek.org/sale-lake-story-walknature-mobile). It looked a bit worn when I last visited, but just imagine a well-kept story walk with a new book every month or two in parks and playgrounds and along greenways and strollways in our city and county. Who could resist?
Surely helping the youth of our community gain an essential life skill is something we can all work for and celebrate together? Let’s try!
During the decades that I led what was then the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, there was one elected official we could count on to support economic development, education and small businesses. That was Ted Kaplan, currently a Forsyth County commissioner.
When he served in the N.C. General Assembly, Ted secured the first funding for what is now Innovation Quarter, working with Winston-Salem State University and Wake Forest Baptist Health. He championed creation of the School of Filmmaking at UNC School of the Arts, seeing it both as an education and economic development initiative. And he funded the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, dedicated to North Carolina farmers and growers and recognizing the role of agriculture in our region.
As a county commissioner, Ted worked to pass the K-12 school bonds in 2006 and 2016; helped expand Forsyth Technical Community College’s aviation, transportation and fire training programs; and supported Tanglewood Park improvements from the campgrounds to the golf course and clubhouse to renovation of the shelters and walking trails. He’s been instrumental in expanding Triad Park and supporting the new Belews Lake park.
Having served on the Smith Reynolds Airport board with Ted, I’ve seen his work to ensure funding to renovate the terminal, create more corporate hangars, expand enterprise activities and add more than 400 jobs.
Ted is a visionary with a practical approach to government, serving the people without raising taxes. It’s unfortunate that he will have a primary opponent when he has done an exemplary job serving our community.
Doing what’s possible
Our infrastructure is crumbling, childhood poverty and hunger rank well above international averages, yet we spend more on national defense than the next 10 countries combined. Priorities determine spending, and ours are perverted by special interests. While Democrats work on solutions, conservatives say Democrats are imploding … nope!
Good solutions to problems require much thought and hard work and it can get messy. But solutions must begin with an objective recognition that there is a problem.
Do Republican leaders not see that former President Trump lost in a fair election? Vaccines can stop the virus? Climate change is real and serious? All our children need early education? Tax cuts to the wealthy never trickle down? Until they speak reality to us, I’m not sold.
Kennedy said at a 1962 Yale commencement: “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie … but the myth. … Too often … we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” He also said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Meanwhile, on May 5, House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “One-hundred percent of our (Republicans’) focus is on stopping this new administration.” All their energy is devoted to being obstructionist and none to advancing our interests.
Attention to voting rights, elections financing, gun proliferation, immigration and national debt is also needed, all seeming impossible pending a party supermajority or more collaboration. Democrats are doing what is possible for us; support them!