THORNS & ROSES: Movie tunes, dogs and cats, feet on the street
Updated Thorns & Roses (since last week's print edition) with commissioners reversing a burdensome contract for the agency that neuters dogs and cats.
To conductor Richard Kaufman, who will lead the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, attend a fundraiser for the organization and lead an educational presentation for the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County. A highly respected director of music for television and movies, the Grammy-award winning Kaufman has a long list of national achievements and guest conducting appearances around the world. A friend of Jim Toms of Hendersonville and symphony conductor Tom Joiner, Kaufman says he hopes the Hendersonville performance will be fun for all. It's a great compliment to the local musicians that a director of Kaufman's caliber will conduct a concert in Hendersonville. His appearance here is a good reason for arts patrons and music lovers to buy tickets and support the HSO.Thorn
— To the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, whose goal-line fumble nearly meant that hundreds of pets won't get neutered.Rose
— To the commissioners for recognizing their burdensome paperwork and backing ff. The board had at first zeroed out the Community Partnership for Pets, then voted to give the organization $50,000 to neuter animals. Yet it so overburdened the grant that it would have been useless, CPPI president Mary Cervini said. The all-volunteer CPPI has raised and spent almost $900,000 to spay and neuter dogs and cats. That keeps the population of unwanted animals down, saving the taxpayers' money in answering calls, catching strays, kenneling animals and putting animals down. Instead of letting this non-profit agency with a proven record spend $50,000 to do what it does best, the commissioners had overwhelmed CPPI with a 1,000-word contract that will require hundreds of hours of paperwork. Half the money was to be used for low-income families, meaning the CPPI volunteers would have had to check tax records, obtain Social Security numbers, EBI cards or "other approved documentation." The contract had piled on paperwork and erected hurdles. The government had made something simple complicated, frustrating the goal. Commissioners recognized that, and loosened the requirements. Good for them.Rose —
To Hendersonville police chief Herbert Blake, for creating a downtown beat covering Main Street and Seventh Avenue East. Chief Blake said the goal is to have a "highly visible" presence on the street who residents and merchants will get to know personally. He chose Robert Merz, an Iraq War veteran and new father whom Blake recently promoted to sergeant. Merz "is a smart, highly affable, loyal and consistently complimented staff member with unlimited potential," Blake said. Merz says his first priority is to make face-to-face contact with shopkeepers, listen to their concerns and get to know them. All should welcome the officer on the old-fashioned street beat.