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Opinion Letters

For approximately 20 of the past 30 years I have worked in mental health and education (sometimes concurrently) in four states. I can confirm, without a moments hesitation, that John Whitehead's column, "The Psycho-Therapeutic School System: Pathologizing Childhood" (MCN April 11) was precisely correct.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or, as I have come to believe, Adult Dysfunction - Handed Down, is increasingly over-diagnosed resulting in doctors over-prescribing powerful drugs for children and teens. John Whitehead accurately interprets what is occurring. Doctors are examining behaviors once accepted as normal demeanor for youth and labeling them symptoms of a disorder. Some believe teachers and parents are behind the upsurge in mental health services. Having labored for several agencies in four states, I am convinced that profit is the primary motivation.

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I want to share with my sister county a speech I [made] before the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. It is self-explanatory on ignorance of political matters, the real danger, whether on the local, state or national level.

Commissioners and fellow citizens:

Please observe the pictures on the board that your tax money of $700,000 is being invested in by Debnam, Cody, and Elders, who vote as one, and control and spend the county tax money. I refer to them as the Trio. The rusted old steam train chassis, engine, running gear, etc., that GSMR abandoned by the railroad tracks in 2006 (to rust out in the weather) was obviously so unprofitable the corporation wouldn’t even borrow money to repair it. The Trio had one agenda: A train deal to bring in Bryson City tourists to spend money in Dillsboro.

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On behalf of the students and teachers of Macon County, I would like to thank all of the businesses who donated goods to the Academic Foundation's annual fundraiser and all those who came out to the Cartoogechaye Elementary gym on April 6 to bid, eat, and have a good time with us. I am pleased to announce this year's auction raised over $8,000 for classroom projects and field trips for all students in Macon County.

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One of the first pieces of legislation that state senator Jim Davis sponsored was Senate Bill 480 titled “Let Those Who Ride Decide.” As a physician I was particularly aware of the totally needless deaths and injuries caused by motorcycle riders who do not use helmets.

One of my first experiences in the medical profession was seeing an autopsy being performed on a young man killed because of a head injury while riding a motorcycle without a helmet. (It turned out this person was the first person my future wife ever dated).

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, 4,502 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle crashes. Head injury is a leading cause of death.

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