Benefit for Caleb Watson :: Saturday, January 31 at South Macon Elementary School :: Click here for more details

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion Letters

Almost everyone has an opinion about how to combat violent, mass killing. My hope is that we will not be distracted by all the static and go for quick solutions that may make us feel safer but will, most likely, be ineffective. We need to keep our eye on the cause here: Mental Illness. Would that we could pass a law against mental illness.

In the last 10-20 years we have made great progress in our understanding and approach to brain disorders and now recognize that these are treatable illnesses. We are now on the verge of some significant breakthroughs. I hope we will put our money and our minds where it will have the most benefit: Early identification and adequate treatment of mental illness, and hopefully, at some point, prevention. Look what we have done with cancer, heart disease, and polio.

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Just in case anyone missed it, our new U.S. Congressional Representative, Mark Meadows, voted against funding the Federal Flood Insurance program to pay for hurricane Sandy claims on his first day. This is a program that requires certain homeowners to pay for and carry flood insurance. We learned that lesson after hurricane Ivan caused flood damage in Peeks Creek area in Macon County.

I hope everyone who voted for him remembers how much compassion he shows toward those who deserve to get what they paid for. Make him a one term representative.

Jim Hartje — Otto, N.C.

Since the mid-1990s, Mexican criminals have been growing marijuana in our national forests. In recent years these operations have spread to at least 20 states and 67 national forests as well as private land. We are still a sovereign nation, are we not? If that's correct it begs the question, why have our national parks been surrendered by our government to Mexican drug traffickers?

An area of 3,500 acres in southern Arizona has been closed to U.S. citizens because of the dangers posed by drug smugglers. We can conclude from this that it is no longer safe for Americans to visit any national park lest they inadvertently wander into a pot-growing operation guarded by well-armed drug traffickers who won't hesitate to kill to protect their merchandise.

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Angels are among us. Ask any of the clients who received help from Macon Program for Progress Holiday Angels Christmas 2012. Three hundred twenty-eight children, and 41 elderly and disabled adults received some type of assistance. Eighty-five sponsors teamed up with MPP to sponsor families, donate new toys, give monetary donations and help wrap, deliver, and distribute gifts. Monetary donations went toward purchasing food gift cards and shopping for 25 children who were not matched with a sponsor. These children received a variety of gifts including shoes, socks, coats, pajamas, warm clothing, and several age-appropriate toys, books and puzzles. The overwhelming expression of everyone’s kindness and support is deeply appreciated.

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