The Opinion Shop

August 21, 2014

Letters to the Editor: Autism, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Roy Cooper, same-sex marriage, Darryl Gless, Gov. Pat McCrory, Bizarro World, bicyclist safety

These letters were not published in the print edition but deserve a look.

These letters were not published in the print edition but deserve a look.


Blue Cross Blue Shield recently ran ads claiming Applied Behavior Analysis therapy (intense behavioral intervention provided to persons with autism) is administered in educational settings by nonmedical providers and therefore shouldn’t be covered by medical insurance.

Clarifying what BCBS did not, ABA is endorsed by the surgeon general, the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Occupational Therapy Association, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and many others.

Speech and occupational therapists have a minimum of a master’s degree, and so does a board-certified behavior analyst who provides ABA therapy. Speech and occupational therapists are employed in school systems providing supplemental services to meet certain children’s needs, just as BCBAs. As qualified as teachers are, they are unable to perform the duties of speech or occupational therapists just as teachers cannot perform intense behavioral interventions that BCBAs can.

Speech and occupational therapists and BCBAs work within hospitals, private practices, etc. A doctor must write a referral for ABA therapy just as speech or occupational. To deny coverage of ABA therapy would be the same as denying speech and occupational therapy. Don’t be fooled by BCBS. Support autism insurance reform.

Doemiko Flores


The writer has a brother on the autism spectrum.


The July 29 news article “ Cooper: Defending marriage ban is futile” discussed recent events that may affect North Carolina’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

There are various moral ambiguities surrounding the debate over gay marriage, but the core of the issue is that people opposed to gay marriage don’t want to condone or legally approve behavior they find immoral, and those supportive of gay marriage want freedom for themselves or others. But there are also legal dimensions to the current situation.

Our state constitution is permanent and valuable. Striking an amendment so soon after it was passed could weaken the power of future amendments and make North Carolina seem kind of flighty and transient, especially toward important matters like its constitution. Perhaps we’ve already weakened the constitution.

Constitutions are supposed to be permanent. They determine how the central government is run, limit its power and guarantee basic rights to the people. Should modern, controversial and changeable issues like gay marriage be in it?

Valerie Lucas



Regarding the July 14 Life Stories article “ Professor leaves legacy of caring”: What a lovely article about Darryl Gless. I never met him but exchanged a few emails as my daughter was approaching graduation. He was one of her favorite professors and made a positive impact on her learning. He took the time to write her an encouraging note for a graduation scrapbook that I was making for her. He did this as he was about to enter the hospital for his bone marrow procedure. He embodied the essence of a caring teacher.

With all of the negative rhetoric surrounding teachers and universities, it is nice to hear about one of the “good guys.”

Maureen McAnarney



In the July 30 People’s Forum there was a letter, “ President McCrory,” which supported Gov. Pat McCrory as a fabulous future president. I can see some problems with that.

First would be how to get three desks in the Oval Office. The first would be for President McCrory while the other two would be for Phil Berger and Thom Tillis. After all, without these two gentlemen, how would McCrory know what he could do or how many campaign promises he must break?

On the other hand, perhaps his solutions to the unemployment problem would work for the Social Security problem. Cut the rate and throw some of the old people off. Problem solved.

When I was young, I read Superman comics. Part of that story included a world of inverted expectations where yes was no, up was down and right was left. They called it Bizarro World. That is what I would expect of a McCrory presidency – Bizarro World.

Robert L. Mitten



Reading Rob Christensen’s July 20 column “ Too soon to talk of president” made me laugh loudly.

Over the last 18 months, Gov. Pat McCrory has shown his weak and ineffective managing style. The state legislature doesn’t listen to him, and he’s quite the comedian to the public (“don’t wear your stupid hat”).

While the state’s economy might have improved (or at least given the illusion) and unemployment numbers keep dropping, we rarely hear or read of new employers hiring or coming to the state.

McCrory reminds me of President Obama. In essence, North Carolina has its own version of the president. At least McCrory’s party controls the legislature, which is another matter.

Phil Quinones



Imagine my surprise when I read the following statement in the 2014 North Carolina Driver’s Handbook: “Bicyclists usually ride on the right side of the lane but are entitled to use the full lane.”

All along, we vehicle drivers have been thinking we were doing all the road-sharing, when in reality, the bicyclists have been sharing their lanes with us every time we passed them!

After reading about drivers’ bad behaviors in your July 16 news article “ Cyclist-motorist friction mounts on rural roads,” I think North Carolina drivers would be wise to keep this published traffic rule in mind and utter a “thank you” instead of a nasty comment.

Becky Schneider


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