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Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

In response to “Mental Health Breakdown” (March 10):

Coffino’s story all too familiar to families of mentally ill

I relate all too well to Mickey Coffino’s story. It is an overwhelmingly desperate, helpless feeling to have someone you love so dearly in the ICU recovering from a suicide attempt while the hospital psychiatrist shrugs his shoulders and says he has no idea what to do next. Resources are so few and family members are often left floundering trying to find help for their loved one.

Jennifer Sidden

Davidson

Mental health front-pager was commentary, unfair to providers

It is disappointing that you ran your editorial, “Mental Health Breakdown,” as a front page news story. Your one-sided piece effectively vilified local mental healthcare providers, most of whom have no influence over the limited resources they must deal with on a daily basis, and ignored the effort they expend in their under-appreciated role.

Care at CMC-Randolph would be less of a “crapshoot,” as Assistant Police Chief Eddie Levins opined, if he directed his fellow officers to use the hospital only for the care of individuals with mental health issues, rather than to serve their convenience as an overflow drunk tank.

Rush Simmons

Denver

Physician assistants could ease mental health system woes

I appreciate Michael Gordon’s piece on mental health. One solution was not mentioned. Physician assistants are willing and able to see those who suffer from mental health issues but the legislature and N.C. Medicaid have put barriers in their way. A physician assistant is currently unable to bill N.C. Medicaid for evaluating and treating a patient unless that patient is first seen by their supervising physician. Another type of midlevel provider, nurse practitioners, can bill Medicaid directly for seeing mental health patients. There are currently discussions to remove this unnecessary restriction but it moves at a snail’s pace.

Bill Thomas

Lumberton


Guns already killing Americans – want to filibuster about that?

Rand Paul recently directed our nation’s attention to the possibility that a drone might be used to kill an American sometime in the future. Might he have spent just a few minutes to do the same for the actuality that a Bushmaster [gun] might be used to kill an American (26) as was done at Sandy Hook school ?

I’d rather face the drone.

Lloyd Weichinger

Waxhaw


In response to “Use lottery proceeds to help Panthers stadium upgrades” (March 10 Forum):

Lottery to help Panthers? Yes! Minnesota Vikings doing it

I’m a lifelong football fan who has attended a few NFL and NCAA games in Charlotte. I don’t have Panthers PSLs, I don’t play the lottery, and the Panthers aren’t my favorite team. I could, however, support a statewide lottery to help fund renovations at Panthers stadium.

The Minnesota Vikings have also partnered with their state’s lottery to raise revenue toward a new stadium. Why not allow Panthers fans (and other football fans) to demonstrate support to help finance stadium upgrades? It probably wouldn’t pay off the entire tab, but it’s the next best thing to a referendum.

Jay Ahuja

Mint Hill

Taxing Sunday liquor sales also could pay for stadium upgrades

There are three ways to provide money for improvements at Bank of America without raising taxes. First the city can increase the annual business license fee. Second, shift money from the Charlotte Convention Center. Third, the state legislature should approve Sunday ABC liquor sales with the profits/taxes designated for statewide business incentives for which the stadium would qualify.

Oneal R. Wallace

Charlotte


Lawmakers do agree – others should pay for their spending

There is a very dangerous misconception that our leadership in D.C. is incapable of compromising and balancing the budget because they have different ideas how to solve the problem. There is a stalemate because they have the identical vision of how to eliminate our national debt: Both sides want somebody else to sacrifice and pay for the lavish spending that happened under their watch.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte


In response to “Act on climate, conservatives” (March 10 Viewpoint):

Energy costs will depend on what study you’re looking at

Price Atkinson notes that six new EPA regulations would result in more than $110 billion in compliance for our nation’s power sector, and that is damaging to our economy. However a study in 2011 by Harvard University says that reliance on coal generation costs the economy between $175 billion and $523 billion a year in hidden expenses of health costs and pollution.

Remarkable that we see just the first half of the picture when we insist on looking only at our electricity bills, unaware those medical bills keep climbing because of this shortsightedness. Politicians are failing to connect the dots to our great expense.

Alan Burns

Charlotte

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This affects comments on all stories.

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

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