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Opinion Letters

In an effort to decrease stigma associated with mental illness, the U. S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). This is an opportunity to learn about serious mental illness such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and PTSD. The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it. That’s why MIAW is so important. We want people to understand mental illness. The more people know, the better they can help themselves or help their loved one get the treatment and support they need.

Our Macon County public libraries will have a display of books and videos relating to many aspects of mental illness, along with brochures and information provided by NAMI Appalachian South, our local affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Books Unlimited on Main St., Franklin will have a selection of books for purchase.


Jim Davis is apparently living in a world in where up is down, less is more, and the truth in our world is the opposite in his. In a recent “Senate Update” (Aug. 17, 2012), he is talking about his accomplishments since he took office and wrote the legislature “cut the gas tax.” The month before he took office December 2010, the N.C. gas tax was 31.9 cents/gallon. The gasoline tax today is 37.5 cents/gallon.

Maybe in Jim Davis’s world 37.5 cents is less than 31.9 cents. This increase represents approximately $300 million more per year or almost $600 million since Davis took office. The vast majority of this increase is paid by average, middle class citizens like you and me. I’m sure Davis will probably say he actually did cut the gas tax after he raised it.


Re the straight-line, dogmatic, partisan voting record of Senator James Davis, our man in Raleigh, I was reminded of a character in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore”:

“I grew so rich that I was sent

By a pocket borough into Parliament.

I always voted at my party’s call

And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.”

Robert Michael Jones — Sylva, N.C.

I found rare agreement with Sen. Jim Davis in his statement implying that stay-at-home moms benefit their children. Personally as a mother who stayed home when my children were young and as a professional who worked with children and families for 30 years, I believe that ideally the best setting for a child to develop is a nurturing home environment with mature, caring parents.

But Sen. Davis is incorrect in saying that the greatest gift a father can give his kids is their mother at home. The greatest gift a father can give his kids is first and foremost to acknowledge they are his children. From that essential step, fathers could become responsible for their children, be a part of their daily lives, participate in their care and guidance, and support mothers in the demanding and toilsome task of raising children.


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