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Opinion Letters

There he goes again. I mean, of course, Sen. James Davis, with his proclivity for bogus and unsubstantiated "facts." He tells us most recently, in a meeting with county commissioners, that a proposed Republican- sponsored voter ID law is supported by 70 percent of the state's citizens and should be the legislature's top priority. How does he know it's 70 percent? ESP, I suppose, since he offers no verifiable statistics from a surveyor poll. Curiously, he remains mum on the fact that voter fraud is now virtually non-existent in the United States, (ref. Jane Mayer, "The Voter Fraud Myth," The New Yorker, Oct. 29, 2012). He is also silent on the fact that the proposed Republican voter ID and proof of citizenship requirements will disenfranchise thousands of previously valid voters in North Carolina who typically vote — you guessed it — Democratic: Minorities, women, the elderly. The proposed law would also place restrictions on absentee balloting and early voting.

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An advocate, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal.” Without the support of this community and the admirable time spent by each and every volunteer, staff and board member of CareNet, we would not be able to maintain our cause in the mission to provide for our neighbors that are less fortunate.

In 2012, CareNet, with the help of over 125,734 lbs. of food donated by members of the Macon County community distributed 292,420 lbs. of food to families in need through our food pantry, our soup café, TEFAP and our backpack program. In addition to the assistance provided through our food pantry, we were able to serve 13,011 meals through our soup café and delivered over 15,425 backpacks to school children in need, through our backpack program. While the numbers may be alarming now, we certainly realize we’re just scratching the surface of the real issue at hand. With the ongoing discussion in Washington over our nation’s rising debt, poverty rates and unemployment it would seem that the end may never be in sight?

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Dear county commissioners, today I want to thank you,

For your service, your sacrifice, and all that you do.

Providing direction for the people, of this great Macon county of ours.

A noble task, for any and all, living on this beautiful land, under the stars.

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One of the most alarming statistics of the current decade is the number of deaths from prescription drug overdose. In North Carolina, overdose rates have tripled since 2000 and continue to rank above the national average. Last year we lost over 1,000 lives to preventable death from overdose. It’s insane that no legislator has come forward to propose simple, cost-effective solutions to the epidemic. Overdose rates could easily be slashed through comprehensive overdose prevention legislation at no cost to the state.

With today’s budget crises throughout the nation, it’s important to consider the cost-effectiveness and the regulatory burden of new legislation. But in the case of drug overdose, simple proposals exist that are free and impose no new governmental intrusion. In fact, they take the government out. Access to Narcan is a good example. Narcan, or naloxone, is a safe, effective antidote to opiate drug overdose. Long used by paramedics, it blocks opiate receptors to the brain and can reverse a potentially fatal drug overdose within minutes. Narcan cannot be abused or used to get high, and it is safe to administer even by people with no medical background. But barriers to its access remain.

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