Sunday, April 2, was World Autism Awareness Day. We are all hearing something about autism and what it is. As a parent I can tell you one thing that autism is not.
Autism is not easy. It is not easy on anyone. It is difficult for our community and schools to handle, as we have seen from a recent article on the boy suspended from the school bus (CHN, March 16, http://bit.ly/GKSG2s
). It is a crushing burden on families, bringing with it incredible emotional, social, and financial burdens. It is also extremely difficult for the children who are on the autism spectrum. They suffer more than we can imagine living in a world where it is difficult for them to fit in.
Because Autism Spectrum Disorder is not easy many people jump to the conclusion that letter writer Laura Bell made (CHN, March 25, http://bit.ly/Hc1XkE
). Maybe kids like John, who was suspended from the bus, just belong on a special-needs bus where they can handle them. Maybe ASD kids who act out need to be in different classrooms, away from other students. Unfortunately reactive solutions like that are not going to work anymore. The CDC just released numbers that 1 in 88 children now have some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder. That is a 78 percent increase in the last decade. Our schools are going to have to become more proactive in dealing with ASD. Our teachers and staff need training and resources. Most of all we need to plan for these kids and get programs into place to educate them so that they do not become lifelong burdens on our community.
I dont know exactly what happened on the bus the other day when John was suspended. I do know that two of my friends recently pulled their ASD kids out of our schools and are moving away from Chapel Hill to seek a real education for their children. I know that ASD is not easy, but I also know that our schools can do better. I am hopeful that under the leadership of our new superintendent, Dr. Forcella, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district will address the issues of ASD students proactively rather than reactively. We dont really have another choice.Lisa Kaylie Chapel Hill Nail on the head
Town Council member Matt Czajkowski hit the nail on the head at the March 26 Town Council meeting.
How much growth does our town want? We need data and analysis in hand first, he said, before we discuss the trade offs of where and how much we grow our retail and commercial tax base. Well said! Merely citing the town's population projections needed to support federal transit funding will not help us make informed decisions about our future.Julie McClintock Chapel Hill Fracking pieties
Until the proponents of fracking sign legally binding contracts to raise their grandchildren and great-grandchildren near to and downstream from the fracking operations, I'm not accepting the idea it can be done safely, whatever pieties they spout about jobs and science.Patricia Carstensen DurhamThank you, YMCA
I would like to publicly thank the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA Board of Directors, and particularly chairwoman Jennifer Trapani, for its decision announced last Friday that the board would not pursue a formal relationship with the Greater YMCA of the Triangle (CHN, April 1, http://bit.ly/HlptaN
In recent months, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA has been involved in these preliminary talks with YOTA, and many of us in the community were concerned that if these conversations led to a merger, that gay and lesbian members and employees would not continue to have the same recognitions and legal protections currently in place at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA. Although I recognize that this issue was not the sole reason these talks have been discontinued, I still felt that during these past few months, board members and staff actively listened and were receptive to hearing our concerns about this subject.
Thank you, Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA, for showing that you value all of us in the YMCA community.Lydia Lavelle CarrboroDisappointing headline
I'm disappointed that The Chapel Hill News would use such a controversial headline (Police harassment?, CHN, March 25, http://bit.ly/H9BULA
) in its coverage of the CVS protest.
The window above my office desk has a good view of the CVS building and the intersection, and from what I saw the police officers stayed to the side all day that Saturday. For David Maliken to say the force was "hostile to us the whole time" is an outright lie. I went outside my office a few times and observed that the police were doing nothing, with most of them standing quietly away. I was glad the police were there, who knows what might have happened without them. I don't think the Town of Carrboro should spend any time listening to the unfounded complaints of those who preach civil disobedience and lie to get their voice heard.Michael Freeman Chapel HillChalking it up
Chalking in the traffic lane could have been even more dangerous for Mr. Gonzales, if Alderman Coleman had been driving on West Weaver Street at the time of the anti-CVS protest.George McCall Chapel HillAppropriate law
The Democrat claim that Voter ID laws would suppress Democrat vote is well founded.
To get a voter ID and exercise the right to vote, the voter must be a citizen of the United States, vote once only and be alive
The most notorious example of voter fraud in this country was the election of 1960 where the Chicago graveyards came to life and busloads of voters were shuttled from polling place to polling place to vote for Kennedy. Lyndon Johnsons Texas also did well in vote corruption, giving the eventual win to Kennedy.
This did not eventually end well for either Kennedy. Or Cuba.
And If people dont have the time to get an appropriate ID, how can they have time to get to the polls?Donald A. Holloway Chapel Hill Small-town values
In a small town in Maine, where I lived some years ago, the owner of the only cinema in town busted his hand and needed medical care. He didn't have health insurance like most of the folks in the area who work for themselves, and the debt quickly mounted.
The local hospital was in a bind, as were the physicians. Most of their patients did not have good health insurance anyway and because of the slow government payment of state care, they had taken out loans to stay open. Would the local bank foreclose on the town's only entertainment?
The town rallied and we collected donations and held an auction. It was exhausting. Two weeks later the town did it again for a local part-teacher with cancer. We were tired of constantly raising money for our neighbors.
In effect we taxed ourselves and worked hard to raise the money. We did this for people we knew. What about the shy widow around the corner, equally needy, who wasn't as popular?
As we think about national health care, let us consider that we live in a small town and the patients the doctors and the hospital administrators are own neighbors. We must either help pay for insurance as a country or pay a tax for a national system. I vote for the former.Janice Pinchot Woychik Chapel Hill
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