Trump and women’s health
“I love women” said Mr. Trump. His daughter, Ivanka, promoted day care for children so mothers could continue education and jobs. His wife is living in New York so their son can finish his schooling. So Mr. Trump should understand how the well-being of women impacts families and the next generation, even if he does not know the research that shows this.
But Mr. Trump is taking steps that will deny to millions of women what he wants for his family:
▪ He decreed health clinics that serve poor and rural women and children in underdeveloped countries shall no longer receive U.S. global health funds if they even talk about abortion as an option for women who are ill or have many children. This will mean many small sites will close – ending prevention services, family planning, health education, maternity care – because they do not otherwise have enough funding to stay open.
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▪ His promised replacement of Obamacare is on track to reduce subsidies for health insurance, and no longer require such crucial basic services as maternity care, family planning, disease screening, prenatal diabetes treatment, well-child care, including vaccines. This will result in sicker mothers, low birth-weight babies (with the costly care they need), and more pressure for abortions.
▪ He is allowing his Republican majority to move on gutting Medicaid, which affects not only women and children’s health with its low-cost prevention package, but also the elderly in long-term care, often parents of the struggling middle class whose wives care for frail elders at home 24/7, while they try to work outside the home or care for school children.
▪ He and his partners in the House want to end all Planned Parenthood funding, which could result in closures of their women’s clinics, serving women’s health needs, especially for low-income, underserved women and communities – the very areas where rural and working class people voted for Donald Trump at high levels.
Women need the opportunity to plan their children, to complete their education, to move forward in their jobs, and do so in ways that do not risk their health. Healthy mothers mean healthy children. Healthy children mean kids ready and able to learn, with long-term consequences for their lives and communities.
Mr. Trump needs to think through the impacts of his decrees and what will happen to the struggling people that he says he wants to help. Our Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis need to do the same. They will have many opportunities to vote for women or not. Their votes will not be forgotten.
Light rail vs. Bus Rapid Transit
I want to thank the Orange County commissioners for their patience and continued due-diligence in reassessing our transit needs.
I am very excited and supportive of the proposed Chapel Hill Bus Rapid Transit project. I would ask that Chapel Hill Transit proactively reach out to neighborhoods within 1/2 mile of the proposed North-South BRT line, rather than rely on vocal advocates who live/work far away from the corridor.
I was amazed to learn, however, of the half-century Durham Orange Light Rail Transit financing plan that will stretch debt repayments into 2062. I am very concerned that this will severely limit our ability to pursue any of our other transit needs, as the huge size of this project will suffocate all other possible public transit projects. In the interest of public disclosure and transparency, I ask GoTriangle share the complete DOLRT payment schedule (2011 to 2062) with associated annual operating costs and annual ridership estimates (2029 to 2062).
Regarding GoTriangle’s continued assertion that “LRT is less expensive to build and operate,” we can easily benchmark DOLRT with the Chapel Hill BRT (or Wake BRT).
The DOLRT will cost $2.5 billion or 17.7 miles at $141 million per mile, with 40 percent or $1 billion to come from local funding and take 46 minutes end-to-end travel with service in 2029 with $28.7 million operating cost. And GoTriangle has yet to break ground!
Meanwhile, Chapel Hill is building NS-BRT for $125 million or 8.2 miles at $15 million per mile, with service in 2022 and $3.4 million operating cost (http://nscstudy.org/)
Chapel Hill BRT will deliver mass public transit seven years sooner at a fraction of the cost. In fact, free BRT service would be cheaper for riders (and taxpayers), while providing better service, sooner than DOLRT!
For the cost of a single DOLRT mile, you could build an entire BRT system like Chapel Hill.
For $2.5 billion, you could build 166 miles of BRT (vs 17 miles of DOLRT). Now that would be mass public transit!
Chapel Hill (Durham County)
Local news coverage
Times are difficult in a myriad of ways. From the global, to the national, to the state, and the local, many of us feel that we are experiencing challenges that dwarf those we have ever known.
Now, literally more than ever, we need all the news that we can get. An informed public is a powerful public. For many of us, the first step toward activism has been local.
Readers of The Chapel Hill News understand and appreciate the challenges facing our print media. But, cutting local news coverage on Wednesdays by replacing a significant amount of the reporting space with reprints of N & O food columns and recipes is not a solution. I have spoken to many people who are upset and angry, but they have given up because they think complaining is futile.
You have the resource of an intelligent and resourceful readership at your hand. Ask us for ideas. I still want to believe that you will acknowledge that your journalistic purpose is NOT served by eliminating local news. The N & O and its affiliated local papers cannot claim to be “The Old Reliable” if they are falling down on the job.
Note: Thanks for your letter. The food section – recipes, restaurants, farmers and food production – is unique content created for The News & Observer’s 10 community newspapers. We are encouraging readers to find more local news and information, as it happens, throughout the week at www.chapelhillnews.com and www.newsobserver.com.
In light of persistent concerns about the academic standing of some college football players it was heartening to read in the Sports college notebook that “The Tar Heels welcomed eight new student-athletes to campus on Wednesday (N&O Jan. 13).
All eight graduated early from high school and enrolled for the 2017 spring semester.”
Considering that I don’t think it’s common even for high school valedictorians to graduate and enroll in college halfway through the academic year, I marvel at the prowess of these scholar-athletes who managed to beat their classmates to the finish line despite football-related demands on their time during the just-concluded fall semester. Or, just perhaps, is something else going on here? Something worth reporting on?
The mainstream media and their Democratic party allies are trying to make a big deal out of the “Russian hacking” and the influence it had on our election.
I have not heard any of them say that the hacked emails were altered in any way. If they were put out exactly as they were found, then the hackers did the American public a favor by exposing the lies of the party and their hand-picked candidate, and their collusion with the mainstream media.
The media is most upset over the exposure of their close association with the Clinton campaign and the Democratic party, something I had personally been able to see for years.
The media and the Democrats are up in arms about what we are going to do about the Russians. The American people should be up in arms about what is going to be done about the corruption of the media and the Democratic party.
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