Letters to the editor

Jun. 28, 2013 @ 01:47 PM

Why the negatives?
Again justified anger is rising in me at the negative, thoughtless manner in which a group of majority African-American high school students are being categorized. The article about Hillside High School’s graduation (June 7) describes the teenage celebratory enthusiasm of shooting silly-string into the air as “one last moment of tomfoolery.”
Stereotypical language like this toward a group of mostly African-American students must not be tolerated. These students were celebrating a great achievement. Why was “tomfoolery” chosen for them?
I’ve seen much worse behavior at majority white college graduations and reporters almost fall over themselves celebrating with these students. (These students are no longer teenagers.)
Reporters/writers should understand the negative/positive power of words. This comment would not be tolerated by the white community toward their children.
P.S. – I do speak out very strongly when negatives are committed in my community by those in my community.
Wilma Elaine Liverpool
Durham


Support Obama on climate change
I am writing in response to President Barack Obama’s comments on climate change this past Tuesday. There is an urgent need to address the problem of climate change in the United States. The most sensible solution is for Congress to finalize the Carbon Pollution Standard for U.S. power plants. Every year, U.S. power plants emit more than 2 billion tons of carbon pollution; these plants are the number one source of carbon pollution.
The president and Congress have continually talked about the topic of climate change but have not lived up to their promise of taking action. As a result, people in the United States have experienced more extreme weather, such as powerful storms that have created billions of dollars’ worth of damage.
We must support the president's new initiative to safeguard our environment, and become better stewards of our environment if we expect to leave a healthy planet to future generations.
Tu Tran
Durham

Mental health unfairly targeted
This note of encouragement is for our leadership engaged in budget negotiations likely to impact the 20 percent of the state’s population living with mental illness and their families.  Mental Health America of the Triangle, an advocacy group helping people to recover from mental illness and substance abuse through support, education and advocacy, encourages you to consider the downstream consequences of your decisions. We ask that you not sacrifice lives for the illusion of saving a few dollars.
The Senate proposal to close three ADATC facilities limits treatment options and places further burden on already over-crowded hospitals,  likely costing more than the savings.   
Closing the Wright School will remove a necessary level of residential care for children with difficult behavioral problems.  This would be a tremendous loss to the many children that require it.  Sending these children out of state for services will likely erode any expected savings.    
The Senate proposal demanding prior authorization from Medicaid for all mental health drugs hampers providers and patients.  Once a proper medication regimen is identified, many individuals stay stable and functional without hospitalization.  Putting people at risk for relapse is dangerous and not economic.       
These Senate budget provisions unfairly target a population already undertreated and underfunded.   As you negotiate, we urge you to consider promoting health in all of our citizens.
Benjamin Staples
Durham
Executive director,   Mental Health America of the Triangle