Scout funding cut is deeply disappointing
For nearly 100 years, our local Boy Scouts of America has been a partner with the United Way of Greensboro. Scouting was one of the original United Way partners.
For decades, annual funding received from United Way has been exclusively invested by BSA to deliver Scouting programs to youth in the greatest need in our community. In late May, United Way defunded BSA. The council staff and board leadership were informed local Scouting was no longer a strategic partner. This was a loss of $75,000 annually for local Scouting’s community outreach efforts. It became effective on July 1.
This was done in a one-sided way with no input from BSA executives or board members. That is not the way a caring, community-focused organization should be run. We want and expect a full board meeting to reverse this.
BSA helps break the cycle of poverty as much as any other organization in Greensboro.
Don and Mary Gay Brady
The writers are grandparents to a combined seven Eagle Scouts.
Once upon a time we did save the world
In the 1980s and 1990s we became like Camelot, where “knights” all over the world got together to fight and conquer our greatest adversary of all times.
I heard about the thinning of the ozone layer and worried because I knew it absorbed much of the sun’s harmful UV rays. But unless you lived somewhere like Chile — which was located within the growing hole in the ozone — you really didn’t feel any effects. For most people it was obscure and unreal. We had pumped chlorofluorocarbons, or CFC’s, into the atmosphere through chemicals used in dry cleaning, old refrigerators and aerosol sprays.
On an economic basis alone this seemed to be an insurmountable situation. Yet, in 1987 most of the countries in the world signed a global treaty that phased out these destructive chemicals. The ozone hole is healing and scientists feel it will be fully healed by the turn of the century.
Now here we are in 2019 and the world has been warming. Since the Industrial Revolution we have released so much CO² into the atmosphere that the results are becoming cataclysmic. This time we are all experiencing rising oceans, super storms, fires, burning temperatures or droughts.
Where are the knights now?
Calls from jails are much too expensive
A 15-minute phone call from jail in North Carolina costs the person or family $12.
Jails have contracts with telecommunication companies for which costs are negotiated by sheriff’s offices and jail administrations. Families are charged many fees for phone contact with a loved one in jail. Many states have set forth laws to lower cost of phone calls in prisons, but not in jails.
The cost of phone calls in jail forces families to make distressing decisions of whether to stay connected or pay for food and rent. Isolation during the jail period has health impacts as well as affecting post-release success. Families become distressed and overwhelmed when a loved one is in jail; the burden is immense.
When in jail, it is critical to have phone contact to maintain relationships and set oneself up for life after release. Phone charges are crushing and hurt the most vulnerable, especially the poor, feeding into a cycle of poverty, isolation, family separation, unemployment, substance use, mental illness and poor success after release.
To improve the health and success of our communities change must be implemented in jails for low-cost or free phone calls.
Upkeep of cemetery at museum neglected
On July 26, my wife and I went to the cemetery behind the Greensboro History Museum on Summit Avenue.
It used to be well-kept. Now it is a disgrace, with overgrown bushes, weeds covering tombstones, walkways practically impassable, and homeless people staying there and leaving their cardboard signs, tarps and coolers behind.
The gates were locked, so I suppose the homeless climbed over the brick walls to get in.
This City Council spends so much taxpayer money on frivolous ideas or endeavors but ignores such meaningful things of substance.
Border wall just isn’t a practical concept
President Trump just got approval to fund a wall on the border with Mexico with Department of Defense money.
This is false security for a couple of reasons:
1) Advances in technology before the wall is built.
2) Rivers — the Rio Grande — have a habit of changing course.