The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on health care, religion, voters, education, State Fair, Social Security

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:

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HBCUs and health care

Regarding the Oct. 6 letter “ Investing in HBCUs”: Along with approaching more potential donors, I would add increasing the availability of federal grants is essential.

Here is an idea that came to me during a panel discussion on HBCUs at the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus last year and that I briefly shared with U.S. Rep. Alma Adams.

Owing to millions of Americans obtaining health care coverage, many for the first time, we need to focus on expanding the supply of health professionals of all types, especially practitioners in primary care. This need coincides with a stronger focus on increasing diversity in the health professions in order to better serve a more diverse population.

It seems to me that the Health Resources and Services Administration, the federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that promotes access to care, would have an interest in preparing more providers of color in order to improve population health.

And the good news is that jobs in the service sector aren’t as likely to go away or be outsourced.

This preliminary vision would definitely need some “meat on its bones,” but it is well worth considering.

Brenda Cleary

Healthcare consultant

Cary

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Don’t vilify Christians

Regarding the Sept. 11 letter “ Forcing beliefs on others”: The writer said that “it’s all fine and well not to ‘believe’ in marriage between people of the same sex; people who believe that are free not to do that.”

Yes, Christians are free to avoid marrying others of the same sex, but there are other ways a Christian can endanger his or her soul. Participating in a gay marriage is also a sin for Christians.

One needs to understand that Christians place God’s law above civil law, for the fate of their eternal soul is at stake. We don’t see Muslims being forced to eat pork, do we? Why are only Christians forced to sin?

Justice Samuel Alito foresaw the discrimination of Christians when he stated that the Obergefell v. Hodges decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

No one should be vilified for following the Bible. John Jay, our first chief justice of the Supreme Court, would agree: “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next.”

Adam Galetti

Wake Forest

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Politicians, voters need to prioritize

There’s been a lot of complaining about Republicans running the state. Democratic leaders before them made deals behind closed doors and fixed the voting districts in their favor. They also hired and appointed people for political reasons. Big deal.

If the majority of the people in North Carolina believe the current course is the best thing for the state then fine. I disagree, but fine.

All I ask is that they please educate themselves on the issues and prioritize them accordingly. Don’t let their knowledge be skewed by the rhetoric.

There’s been a shift in the tax burden from business and the rich to the middle and lower classes. We’ve not increased our investment in education, and our students are falling further behind.

Is it more important that magistrates be allowed to refuse to marry gay couples?

Mark Kinlaw

Holly Springs

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Treat me right to earn vote

I do not choose to be poor. I did not decide to be sick. I do not wish to be homeless. I did not want to breathe dirty air or drink poisoned water.

I do not ask for sickening food. I do not wish to worship as others demand. I do not want to be unjustly taxed. I do not prefer unsafe bridges and roads.

I do not desire prejudice or inequality. I do not seek injustice. I do not ask to be wronged or treated unfairly. I did not invite unreasonable rules or to be disrespected.

I do not ask to fear for my safety. I do ask for a government that will protect me from the lowest standards of human behavior.

I do want to have a say in how I live, where I live and with whom I live.

I do plan to vote, and how I’m treated determines for whom I vote.

Bill Krupp

Raleigh

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Invest in after-school programs

The Sept. 14 news article “ Wake County runs fewer school buses” beckons a deeper questioning of the direction of our public education system.

The administration’s focus on getting students “safely to school and on time” is admirable, but the ultimate goal of our public schools is not efficient transportation; it is the education of our young people. A component of this academic success is what occurs after the bell rings at the end of the school day.

Study after study shows that quality after-school programs operated in safe environments with healthy snacks, homework assistance and positive role models can make a profound difference in the academic performance of students. The ability to participate in these programs is even more critical to children from lower socio-economic communities who have a higher probability of finding themselves part of the widening “achievement gap.”

Wake County public schools should consider the cost of transporting children to quality after-school programs a wise investment in the greater goal of educating its students.

Timothy O’Connell

Raleigh

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Unfair at State Fair

Every child has a gift. It may be artistic, athletic, academic. It may be kindness, good manners or compassion. But whatever the gift, it needs to be nurtured, supported and celebrated because a passionate child will be a successful child.

My daughter’s passion is baking. She spends her limited Internet time watching decorating techniques . She handwrites recipes not realizing I can print them. She practices and practices until it’s right and, if not, starts over.

This year she entered the “cake decorating” category. She spent a month working on her creation. I warned her not to be disappointed if a ribbon was not won. It’s a tough category.

But it was worse. Her cake was disqualified. They said a 9-year-old could not have made it. It didn’t matter that I signed an affidavit saying it was all her. The judges didn’t bother to call me. It just got discarded, pushed to the back with no recognition at all for her hard work.

What kind of message does that send to our youth? Welcome to America, where we aim for mediocrity?

Leah Welsh

Raleigh

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Social Security no entitlement

Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money!

What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t.

The politicians are now calling Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money.

Entitlement my foot; My employer and I paid cash for my Social Security insurance! Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout! Just plain government mismanagement.

William Wilkins

Goldsboro

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