From Our Readers: Farm Photos and Carolina Kudos
June's letters to the editor
Fields of Gold
An old barn on the side of Highway 311 in between Highpoint and Highway 220.
ACCESS NC Program Important
Thank you for the Access NC article featured in the April issue [“Accessible attractions: Awareness, resources make travel easier for people who are disabled,” April 2016].
When sensitivity to handicap accessibility was first aroused, requirements were proscriptive (“there shall be no impediment to access…,” etc.). Then a North Carolina architect came along who was himself wheelchair-bound. He began to quantify (“for a door opening to be passible by a person in a wheelchair, it must have a clear opening of 32 inches,” etc., with drinking fountains, pay telephones, ramp slopes, handrail requirements, rest room accommodations, and so on). What Ron Mace, his colleagues, and the people to follow created was not only incorporated into NC State Building Code, it became an International Standard for handicap accessibility, embraced worldwide.
Sometime in the early 1980s, our state leaders legislated that 17 percent of the revenue collected from personalized license plates was to be given to Dept. of Health & Human Services for the Access North Carolina Program. The program worked with the travel and tourism industry to make facilities accessible to people with physical handicaps. They then wrote and periodically updated Access North Carolina, published by Corrections Enterprises, which described many attractions and accommodations, and rated the accessibility of parking, site approach, rest facilities, etc. The guide was available at NC Welcome Centers and distributed to retirement communities and other groups to aide in planning travel.
Again by legislation, the funding not spent in this effort did not go back into General Fund, but was transferred to Dept. of Administration for the purpose of “removing architectural barriers to… from state-owned tourist attractions…” such as historic sites, parks, educational state forests, etc. It was my honor and privilege to administer that portion of Access North Carolina for 20-plus years while working at the State Construction Office. Although not as high-profile as the more glamorous, historic, big-budget projects with which I was also involved, I very much appreciated the fulfilling work. Three of our projects are mentioned in your article.
Mr. Philip Woodward, mentioned in your article, was the third person in that position. I had the pleasure of working with him, and his two predecessors — all very fine and very dedicated people.
Winds do shift and change. As you can imagine, I was quite saddened to learn from your article that our current leadership has decided to eliminate this much-needed effort, hence my interest in your April issue.
Carolina Country Kudos
When I go to my mailbox it is full of junk mail — along with a few important items. I haul it in and start to sort it out. As I go through it I may come across Carolina Country. When I do, I set it off to the side. Once I’ve got the mail sorted and important stuff handled, I pick up that Carolina Country. After a long day, it is so nice to go through the pages and read the interesting articles. Thanks for a really, really good publication!
4-H Touches All Communities
Thank you for the information about 4-H Summer Camps in the April issue on page 44. Carolina Country [and the NC Electric Cooperatives] have always supported 4-H, and I appreciate it very much. Those facilities are often used by church, community and family groups often not directly connected to 4-H. Readers, check it out.
Editor’s note: For more coverage related to 4-H summer camps, check out last month’s article on Millstone 4-H Camp near Ellerbe [“Amish craftsmen raise a building for the 4-H at Millstone Camp,” May 2016], one of those highlighted in the April advertisement that Victor mentions.