Opinion

11/05 Your letters: Brenda Buie Burnette, Gayane Chambless, Bobby Lancaster, Kim McCahan Batson and Bob Marotto

A committed public servant

For Pete’s sake, give Cora Cole-McFadden a break!

Those questionnaires do not require the IQ of a rocket scientist. However, they do require a lot of time. If you have a knack for writing and strong opinions, you are good to go. If you are a good liar, too ... you may have an advantage.

Cole-McFadden is a committed public servant of Durham. We know her work! We have her record! How many years has she served Durham as a city staffer and advocated for all? COUNTLESS. And then as an elected official, protege no less, as mayor pro tem under the “Phenominal Public Servant” – Mayor Bill Bell.

Durham needs Cora Cole-McFadden, period!

Brenda Buie Burnette

Durham

Fighting opioid epidemic

The Orange Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth will be implementing the NC Lock Your Meds Campaign in the coming months in response to the current opioid epidemic.

Since 1999, there has been a more than 300 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths across North Carolina. And in Orange County, the average number of deaths due to opiate overdose has risen to an average of 10 per year, up from six a decade ago. Of those deaths (2009-13), 26 percent were from Hillsborough, even though the town only makes up 5 percent of the county’s total population.

This campaign’s objective is to raise awareness about the importance of assessing, disposing and/or securing your prescribed medications properly to reduce access to them in the home.

Orange Partnership will spread this campaign message through various methods, including displaying printed posters in many local physical locations, as well as rack cards and magnets as take-home reminders. In addition, we, along with our partners, and support from local media, will share digital versions of these materials through our websites and social media, along with radio and TV commercial versions of the message. OP also received a number of lock boxes that we’ll be providing to community members and families, through our partners and at local events.

Some of the many local organizations that have agreed to collaborate on this campaign include the Orange County Health Department and Social Services, Orange County Schools, the Orange County Public Library, Freedom House Recovery Center, Juvenile Justice, Volunteers for Youth, Morse Clinics, Hillsborough Pharmacy and Safe Kids. We will also be approaching various local doctors’ offices, realtors and faith communities.

This Campaign is brought to our community through the generous support of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Gayane Chambless

Orange Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth

Ring them bells

The Salvation Army of Durham is looking for volunteers – individual and groups – to ring the bells at the Red Kettles this Christmas season.

The Red Kettle Campaign is a critical fundraiser for the organization’s Christmas assistance and year-round programs that address social concerns in the community.

Volunteer opportunities are Nov. 11-Dec. 23 with two time shifts from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4 to 8 p.m. To volunteer please contact Katherine Bellamy at katherine.bellamy@uss.salvationarmy.org or 919-313-3309, or visit our website at: bit.ly/2iSVl60

Last year The Salvation Army raised over $140,000 in the Red Kettle Campaign.

The campaign is a valued tradition in our community. A little change from someone’s pocket keeps the lights on for struggling families, provides nutritious food for the hungry, and pays the rent when personal disaster strikes. A season of change can truly create a year of hope.

Maj. Bobby Lancaster

The Salvation Army of Durham

People deserve the facts

Monday’s indictments of former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates underscore the importance of an independent, uninterrupted investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election and alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian entities.

The Special Counsel investigation, as well as separate Congressional investigations already underway, should continue unimpeded by the Trump administration or the president’s allies in Congress.

The American people deserve all of the facts about what may have happened, and Congress should take immediate steps to prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions.

U.S. Rep. David Price

D-Fourth District

Immigration and trauma

Moving into a new house can be exciting and starting a new job exhilarating. Imagine leaving your homeland with dim prospects of returning, saying goodbye to loved ones you may never see again, and journeying to a strange new land where the sights and sounds, language and customs are bafflingly different than anything you have ever seen before.

Compounding that trauma, many refugees and immigrants are forced to leave their country due to circumstances beyond their control, such as natural disaster, war, or oppression. As they try to find jobs, housing, and assimilate into American culture, refugees and immigrants experience higher levels of mental health challenges such as PTSD, depression and anxiety than the U.S.–born population.

On Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. a panel discussion titled “Immigration and Trauma” will be held at the Chapel Hill Public Library. Event co-sponsors are Faith Connections on Mental Illness, NAMI Orange County, Stand By Me NC, and Mental Health Community Connections

Three experts headline the panel: Laura Jo Garlock, program coordinator at UNC Refugee Mental Health and Wellness Initiative; Barbara Garayua-Tudryn, school counselor at Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe and founder of Mariposas; and Flicka Bateman, director of the Refugee Support Center in Carrboro.

Please join us in learning more about this important topic and how to get involved.

Kim McCahan Batson

Faith Connections on Mental Illness

Chapel Hill

Apply for animal welfare grant

Orange County Animal Services is offering The Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant, thanks to a generous donation from Friends of Orange County Animal Shelter for that purpose. This is the second year the award has been offered, and it will be awarded for initiatives up to $500. Applications must be received by Friday, Dec. 1.

The grant can be used for a wide range of pilot or seed projects or to supplement other programs, projects, and grants which support companion animals, including those animals used in recreation or therapy. It is available to individuals, groups, and organizations and although the recipients do not have to live in Orange County, the funds must be used to aid animal welfare efforts in Orange County.

The program honors Pat Sanford, former executive director of the Animal Protection Society of Orange County (APS). Sanford served there for 17 years, where she pushed for spay/neuter to combat the county’s pet overpopulation problem, helped expand the APS twice, and created a wildlife rehabilitation component that would carry on beyond her retirement. After her retirement in 2002, Sanford continued her work for Orange County animals and served on the county’s Animal Services Advisory Board for several years.

Ms. Sanford’s accomplishments are vast and her contributions helped Orange County become one of the leading counties in the state and country for animal placement, recovery, and overall well-being. The grants awarded in her honor will support efforts that exemplify the same dedication and commitment to animal welfare in Orange County. The initial donation will sustain the program for a 10-year period. Additional donations are welcomed and they will increase the annual award amount and to extend the period in which the grant is awarded.

For more information on the grant, to find the application, and to find out more about giving opportunities for this program, visit http://bit.ly/2cuSJZi

Bob Marotto

Director

Orange County Animal Services

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