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Postman refuses mask

Our mother is a resident at Grace Ridge. We applaud the facility’s management for instituting strict policies aimed at protecting their highly vulnerable population.

It has come to our attention that the postman assigned to that route refused to wear a mask. He was not allowed into the facility and consequently the residents (already feeling so very isolated from friends and loved ones) did not receive mail for over a week.

I say “SHAME ON YOU” to that postman for his selfish actions and “WHAT THE HECK” to the local post office for not assigning someone else. Sixty-one percent of the deaths from COVID-19 in North Carolina were residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

Mail is now being delivered in bulk to the front door and staff is placing it into open boxes as they cannot access the official boxes. Wearing or not wearing a mask has turned into a political statement but how is it right that personal preference can override the safety of our older population?

Pamela Karr

Winston-Salem

Town virus excuse

The June 10 News Herald article about eliminating funding for the library Valdese co-owns with the county, illustrates how Covid-19 is being used as an excuse for too many shortfalls.

As previously announced, due to Covid-19 concerns, Valdese cancelled the Friday night concerts for the entire year, along with the annual Waldensian Festival and numerous other events. Nonetheless, the proposed 2020-21 budget still includes over a half million dollars for “Community Affairs.”

Valdese has greatly curtailed the use of its parks, swimming pool, and other recreation facilities due to Covid-19 concerns, yet the proposed “recreation” budget is being increased to $832,000. Together, that’s over $1.3 million for two “curtailed” activities, vs. zero dollars for the library.

The “grounds and maintenance” budget, while relatively modest, is of particular note. Its proposed increase of $44,000 would more than cover the library “defunding” from $40,000 to zero, yet the discriminate application of these funds is grating to many Valdese taxpayers.

On the morning the article appeared, two Valdese employees were mowing and trimming about 1½ miles of the high-visibility Laurel Street (a county road) and Gardiol Avenue to an appearance level comparable to the entrance to a country club. While these two streets look great, the streets and avenues where most of the town’s taxpayers live are only minimally maintained. Too many residential streets within a few blocks of Main Street have crumbling pavement and berms overgrown with grass, weeds, brush and overhanging trees. This continuous neglect not only reduces quality of life and property value, but also dangerously inhibits visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

It’s regrettable that, as bad as Covid-19 is in the deaths, sickness and other hardships it causes, it also is being misused by too many managers in both government and industry as an excuse for bad decision-making and poor customer service. The proposed Valdese budget, which is available on the town’s website, is a case in point.

While the proposed taxation rate is unchanged, our property taxes will increase due to the 2019 reassessment. Valdese taxpayers deserve the enlightened management and planning required in developing a zero-based, responsive budget, instead of being handed the same old budget, simply touched up using the “Covid-19” brush-off excuse.

Glenn Harvey

Valdese taxpayer

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The Mayor and City Council of the City of Morganton submit this letter in response to the letter published in the News-Herald on July 9, 2020,…

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