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Opinion Letters

I was saddened to hear of the death of Dipakkumar “David” Patel former owner of Relax Inn on Christmas Day. Over the past thirty years of working in the Environmental Health Section for the Macon County Public Health Center, I have worked with numerous individuals especially in the food and lodging industry. In my encounters, David Patel could easily be considered the most compliant new owner. From my initial visit to his business in May 2012, he impressed upon me that he was a man of his word (even though I didn’t know him) to just trust him. Over the last one year and seven months he held true to his word.

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Although I must admit to being a skeptic of the ACA [Affordable Care Act], otherwise known as Obamacare, I was hopeful that it somehow could resolve some of the problems we have in delivering medical care to those in need.

My skepticism came through the loss of two friends, one a close business associate and the other an acquaintance.

My business friend lived in London and was under the care of the National Health Service system in England. Derek needed open heart surgery to unclog his arteries and was scheduled for the surgery in nine months. That was too long a wait for him and he died at work.

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Especially during this season of thankfulness and gratitude, I want to offer a sincere thank-you for the support that the Franklin/Macon County community gave our recent Thanksgiving Day meal at the First Presbyterian Church. We church members and friends, through the generosity of donors and with the help of volunteers, served more than 360 meals, including Tartan Hall diners and take-out dinners.

Thanksgiving was a very cold and windy day, but you would never have guessed that it was cold outside based on the warmth of the fellowship inside the church. An undertaking of this size starts with the food, which was prepared by the dedicated kitchen staff at Angel Medical Center. Their talent and labor are appreciated by all.

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Jim Davis wrote that his environmental record should be judged on "public service record or public statements." I agree. Two respected environmental advocacy groups, N.C. League of Conservation Voters and Environment N.C., looked at a wide range of important environmental legislation voted on this year and graded legislators if they voted for positive environmental regulations that would protect both our environment and N.C. citizens. Among the bills considered were those to move the state toward fracking, limit control over air and water protections, and dissolve or restructure important environmental regulation boards. Davis scored a perfect negative score of zero by both organizations.

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