Ask SAM

Q: I walk daily and like to stay on sidewalks. I find that more and more bushes and low lying tree limbs are blocking the sidewalks. Are there any city ordinances that call for homeowners to keep their vegetation from overtaking the sidewalks? Does the city not own the sidewalks themselves?

S.H.

Answer: “Any pedestrian using one of the city’s sidewalks, should notify CityLink if they find vegetation impeding the sidewalk and/or hampering safe passage,” said Keith Finch, director of vegetation management for the city.

According to city ordinance 74-19, it is a resident’s responsibility to keep vegetative material on their property from interfering with pedestrian traffic on a city sidewalk.

“The city will inspect each violation,” Finch said, “and will send the landowner a notice if the vegetation originates off of private property or will take care of the issue themselves if the problem originates from vegetation the city planted.”

CityLink can be reached by dialing 311 or 336-727-8000, or using smartphone apps that are available for the iPhone or Android.

Elder Law Clinic

SAM often hears from readers needing legal advice, and in many cases, Wake Forest School of Law’s Elder Law Clinic can be of help.

The clinic is now accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester. The clinic helps law students get practical experience under the supervision of an attorney, providing free legal services to the community.

Potential clients must be at least 60 years old and have an income of less than $2,200 a month for a household of one or $2,900 for a household of two.

The clinic typically handles cases such as wills (if a person owns real estate), powers of attorney, Medicaid planning, guardianship, nursing home questions, abuse, fraud and consumer problems.

They do not handle criminal cases, traffic violations or accidents, medical malpractice, probate (estates), slips and falls, or divorce cases.

Potential clients should fill out an application form online at elder-clinic.law.wfu.edu/services/ or call 336-758-5061 to have an application mailed to them.

“After the application is reviewed, you will be notified if your name has been added to the waiting list,” according to the clinic. “Getting accepted to the waiting list is not a guarantee they will be able to meet with you.”

The clinic also has legal resources available on its website, elder-clinic.law.wfu.edu/resources/, including basic information on elder law resources, long term care insurance, state laws, LGBT health care rights, and nursing home and adult care issues.

They also have links on the Services page to contact the NC State Bar to locate a board-certified attorney.

Note that they do not answer legal questions by email or telephone.

Q: When will you run a list of shredding events?

J.M.

Answer: We run the list on the first Saturday of each month. The next list will run on Sept. 7. The most recent list, from Aug. 2, can be found online at www.journalnow.com/asksam.

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Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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