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Opinion Letters

Last Tuesday, President Obama directed federal agencies to serve antibiotic-free meat and poultry in government cafeterias. The FDA will require animal producers to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use drugs to treat a specific disease, rather than just to promote rapid growth, as is current practice. As much as 80 percent of all U.S. antibiotics are used in animal agriculture.

The moves come amid growing concern about the link between routine antibiotic use in animal agriculture and human infections by bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics because of their excessive use. The CDC estimates that antibiotic resistance causes two million illnesses per year in the U.S. and 23,000 deaths. It also adds $20 billion per year in health care costs and $35 billion in lost productivity. And we thought that animal products were just linked to heart disease, cancer, and stroke.


I find it unbelievable that as a new resident (since April 25, 2015) I have found it totally impossible to find a primary doctor in Macon County. I moved here to be near my elderly mother who has moved in with my brother who is a resident. I have insurance and have called every doctor whose name I have found in the phone book, been given by family, hospital, etc. and all have said no - we are not taking new patients. I have called every city in the county even though I don't drive and it would be difficult for me to get there.

My brother got angry and went by a local doctor’s office. They gave him a bunch of paperwork for me to fill out to see if maybe they would take me. I filled it out and he took it back. They called me back the next day and said that they couldn't take me on because I was "on too many medications." Now, I am on four - count them, four medications. One, my blood pressure medication I am already out of, and will be out of my seizure medication in a week. The other two I will be out of in one month. None are controlled substances. All I wanted for the seizure medication is a referral to a neurologist in Asheville who will not take me without one. What am I supposed to do when the seizures really start rolling in? Isn't this false advertising? We're here for you! What a joke.


Monday, June 8, is the 48th anniversary of the unconscionable attack on the USS Liberty (GTR-5), in international waters approximately 17 miles off the Gaza Strip, killing 34 and wounding 171 of the 295-man crew, including the late captain (CDR William McGonagle) who, although severely wounded, refused to leave his bridge.

Every administration since Lyndon Johnson has downplayed the incident with the full acquiescence of the national media so it's likely you've never heard of the USS Liberty. Why? Well, as Defense Secretary, Robert McNamara, stated at the time (reported by the Chicago Tribune - Web Edition - 10-02-07), "President Johnson is not going to go to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors."

You see, Liberty was not attacked by an adversary (past or present) but by our devoted friend and ally, Israel.


This past Saturday, my husband and I threw our son a birthday party at the Franklin Memorial Park. It was our son’s second birthday and we wanted to make sure that his Mickey Mouse themed extravaganza was perfect, and it certainly was.

I just want to thank the town of Franklin for providing such an excellent venue for things such as birthday parties. The memorial park is a beautiful property and couldn’t have been a better option for our family and friends to celebrate a very special birthday. From the newly renovated bathrooms, which were fully stocked and impressively clean, to the fresh cut grass, plenty of tables and chairs, the plentiful garbage cans, and even grills around the picnic shelter, the park had everything we needed to make memories we will cherish forever.

I hope in the future we can see more use and improvements put into this property, because it truly is an asset to our perfect little town.

Brittney Raby — Franklin, N.C.

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