Editor’s note: Stephanie Lamm’s story on the death of UNC graduate Prita Balagopal remained the top story on our website for several days. Here is what some you said:
Jerry Salak: So sorry for her illness and the loss for her and her family. But so glad to see this shared. Severe depression is just as debilitating as a serious physical illness or injury, but so misunderstood and harder to acknowledge and treat. I hope this will help others who are suffering to seek help.
Molly Williams: Oh what a sad story and life. I know she will be missed by everyone. These illnesses are so cruel and relentless. I pray that everyone with it survives and is able to move on and be strong when people mistreat you, Maybe one day the person and their illnesses will not be judged or ostracized.
Never miss a local story.
Kittye Cagle: Priya’s story is very sad but what many people don’t understand is that depression doesn't have anything to do with how well a person’s life is going. A person with depression can be successful, well loved and well treated. It is often genetic but can be treated, often with a combination of prescription drugs and counseling. Treatment can take time and depression can recur intermittently. Of course, it always helps to have support and to be treated well, but it doesn’t keep depression at bay. Acceptance and the ability to be open about mental illness is better now than in the past, but we still need greater acceptance and openness.
Cynthia Combs O’Hara: A suicide hotline is fine, but what so many people need is accessible, immediate, ongoing mental health support. UNC is sorely lacking counselors and even outside therapists for referrals; accessing mental health support outside a university structure is even more difficult. With PTSD, survivors of rape and assault, gun violence, substance abuse, and people suffering from depression because of family issues, health issues, side effects from medical treatments, loss, stress, psychiatric illness, to name a few, you should expect a mental health clinic in every single community, just as you would expect a medical clinic or urgent care clinic. Suggest that to our legislators and they would say that is is someone else's problem. But we “pay” for it one way or another, like we all pay for uninsured who get medical care (we pay less if they have subsidized insurance). I can’t think of a more beautiful soul or poignant spokesperson than Priya, whose loss should make us wake up to an urgent need, but one that sits in the shadows!
The article “NCDOT calls for new curbs on bicyclists” (http://nando.com/3d7) generates several comments including:
Henry Silver: Common sense dictates that, traffic ordinances notwithstanding, the primary responsibility for a cyclist’s safety lies with the cyclist. Riding a bike on a road designed for vehicular traffic is inherently risky. Traffic volumes, width of lanes, visibility conditions, skill levels, etc. all factor into that degree of risk.
Eric Phillips: I think most of these are fair except for permitting for large informal rides and restricting cyclists to the right half of the lane. The idea that cyclists are keeping people from being able to get out of their homes and to work is absurd. Auto traffic is a much bigger offender. Most cyclists already choose to ride in the right edge of the lane, and they do so at their own risk. Giving the cyclist the option of doing what they feel is safest is what should be allowed.
Andrew Geller: As a driver and cyclist, it’s great to see this discussion and movement toward making the roads safer for motorized and active transportation. Before we move to restrict use of the roads through additional permits or limiting the travel lane, it is important to remember is that roads, other than limited access highways, are for transportation, not just for cars, trucks, and motorcycles. North Carolina’s rural roads have nearly non-existent shoulders (not clear how the “3 feet graded width” is measured or enforced); surely some discussion of road design to support active transportation in urban and rural settings should be included. This includes rideable shoulders or intermittent passing zones, bike lanes that do allow for cars to turn right safely, bike boxes at the front of the traffic line to allow high visibility and allows bikes to trigger traffic light changes, and the potential of more bicycle/pedestrian-dedicated thoroughfares to separate motorized from non-motorized traffic.
The column by Chris Fitzsimon “The very least we can go about gun violence,” (CHN, http://nando.com/3c3), also generated much response, including
Rob Morse: Ah, the fantasy that violence is in our tools rather than our hearts. 80 percent of U.S. homicides are from drug gangs. Let’s climb back up the ladder of civilization to stop those murders. Restore families. Rebuild industry so people have jobs.
John Carleton Nix: This media-driven false narrative is nothing new and is backed by the liberal minions who believe what they are told because it’s easier than thinking for themselves.
“If people are getting killed by guns,” they say, “we should limit or outlaw guns” ... as if an inanimate object is doing the killing. That’s akin to saying we should limit auto sales because people die in car accidents. A lot of people die in car accidents, more than 10 times the rate of death by firearm. Or, what about abortion? 1.3 million are murdered each year by abortion in the US. We should outlaw abortion, right? Liberals will avoid this comparision at all costs.
The real reason for the “gun control” hype has nothing to do with liberal progressive politicians caring about people dying by gunfire. It is about getting reelected by the ignorant fear-driven, low-information voters who have never thought about or even read the Constitution of the United States of America. They believe government’s job is to provide for them. And it’s working, by the way...
The Second Amendment is our only protection against a rogue government trampling on and taking our First Amendment rights: freedom to worship, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
So when the police and military are the only ones who have guns you are controled, not the guns..
Write to us
... at email@example.com. All letters and online comments may be edited for space and clarity. Thanks.