Durham News: Opinion

Your letters, Aug. 24

What happened to the promise?

What happened to that pride of North Carolina, its historic and farsighted constitutional promise to educate all its people? The UNC Board of Governors, dominated by Republicans, is following its friends in the General Assembly by further betraying that promise.

While the board has capped tuition increases, it actually prevents the university system from setting aside adequate financial aid for low-income students. The board claims it does not want to favor lower-income families over the middle income – when in fact middle-income students need and use large amounts of financial aid.

My response to them is: if they are concerned with not favoring one group over another, why haven’t they tried to persuade their colleagues in the General Assembly who have been relentlessly cutting state funds to the university system (and K-12), raising taxes on the middle class, and favoring the wealthy? The board and its GA friends are seriously widening the yawning gap between our Haves and Have Nots both for today and tomorrow.

Everyone knows, as surely the board must, that good businesses want to invest in states with well-educated people and with a welcoming and accepting environment of all groups.

When will we as a state see that “justice for all” means just that?

I hope the board will find its way to re-think the wisdom of its move as well as support the interests of all students before the General Assembly and governor.

Nancy Milio

Chapel Hill

Register for Peer Learning

For more than 30 years, Peer Learning has offered informal educational courses for seniors and retirees. Located at Binkley Memorial Baptist Church, next to University Mall in Chapel Hill, the classes are taught by peers, often retired professors or professionals in their fields.

Courses range from “Underworldly-Bloody Operas,” “The Roosevelts” and “Ancient World Daily Life,” which use the lecture-video method of teaching, to the more interactive “Talking about Computers,” “Around the Kitchen Table” and “Reading Shakespeare.”

In addition, a monthly social-speaker meeting, a Book Club, and a Stepping-Out Luncheon provide the opportunity to meet new people.

The fall semester begins with speaker Meg McGurk, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 12 in the Binkley Church Lounge. Classes start Sept. 15. Free and ample parking is available.

The cost of $25 per semester includes all classes. To learn about them and registration, go to peerlearningofchapelhill.com or call George Baroff at 919-929-3044.

Yvonne Schmidt

Chapel Hill

Help for families with mental illness

Do you have a close family member with mental illness?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a free 12-week Family-to-Family Education Program that provides information in a confidential, supportive setting for family members of persons living with major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, panic disorder, OCD, or borderline personality disorder.

NAMI Orange will hold a class at the Robert and Pearl Seymour Senior Center in Chapel Hill on Thursdays, beginning Sept. 4, from 6 to 8:30 pm. For more information or to register contact me at dana.greenwood412@gmail.com or 919-622-3795.

Dana Greenwood

MAMI Orange