Along with college basketball and its natural beauty, North Carolina can also be known as one of 10 states that have the highest rate of new HIV infections and AIDS diagnosis, according to a study by Duke University’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research ("Hagan looks at AIDS in the South, " N&O, June 19).
When I talk about the state’s HIV prevalence, it is always met with surprise. Most think that HIV has died out, or is easily treatable so therefore is not an issue. Is there any wonder that the disease is on the rise? Lack of knowledge produces a lack of protection.
Ultimately the onus is on the individual to act responsibly in order to eradicate HIV/AIDS. However, it takes the collective work of the community to inform and educate its citizens. Many organizations doing HIV work have had their prevention programs cut.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s participation in the roundtable is a step in the right direction. However, to move the disease trend downward, the state, foundations and the media need to put muscle and commitment toward targeted messaging. We’ve seen this work before; we must do it again.Dana Mangum Durham The writer is the program director of the N.C. Community AIDS Fund.Innocent under law
Re: “Mangum defense strains credibility,” by Bob Wilson (DN, May 6, bit.ly/M0RY0v
Noticeably absent from this article is any refutation of the facts that Dr. Harr has put before the public in his blog/flog about Ms. Mangum. When someone can’t counter the evidence put before them they resort to distraction. Mr. Wilson has a right to own opinion but he doesn’t have a right to his own facts. “Still, Harr’s credibility pales beside that of the medical examiner’s office. Its pathologists examined the body; Harr examined the reports.”
This line, taken from the article, should be considered in light of the fact that Mike Deaver who falsified data in what may be hundreds of cases as forensics expert – including possibly in the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. Hundreds of prisoners have recently (last 10 years?) been released from prison due to prosecutorial misconduct. Furthermore, in maligning Dr. Harr’s credibility the author offers neither a refutation of the evidence Dr. Harr presents nor any attack on his credibility such as past problems with the truth.
Mr. Wilson offers nothing to contradict Dr. Harr’s assertions and appears uninterested in seeking the truth.
Finally, let me remind you, that a citizen is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, no matter what Ms. Mangum may have been accused or convicted of in the past she is – as a matter of law – innocent as of this moment.Steven Matherly Via the Bull’s Eye blog The writer is an active member of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong. Pentagon moolah
Wall Street earned $7.3 billion in the first quarter of this year as reported widely by the major media. Among the various reason for the huge profits is the fact war dollars are making Wall Street rich at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.
For example, military contractor Lockheed Martin's own reports in 2010 show it took home $3.9 billion in profits from the portion of its business that is paid directly by taxpayers. Northrop-Grumman, Halliburton, Bechtel Group, DynCorp, Boeing and JP Morgan Chase are only a few of the many who have similar multibillion-dollar contracts with the Pentagon.
This isn't about national security, but a system that funnels enormously profitable contracts to thousands of corporations and is run by the Pentagon, with its hideously obese and ever-fattening budget that outspends the rest of the world's military combined while the social programs are shredded to pieces.
In the last 10 years, U.S. military spending has doubled. Our country's economic and political institutions have been taken over by rich men who believe in war, guns and bombs at the expense of education, housing, health care, jobs and the environment. We need to take our country back.Tim McGloin DurhamVolunteer site live
One way that the Volunteer Center of Durham helps individuals find meaningful volunteer opportunities is through its online website. In June, handsontriangle.org
The website lists the volunteer opportunities of more than 700 partnering organizations. The site also features a calendar and ways to search by organization or topic.
Register on the website and then “Express Interest” to receive more information about an opportunity. This is a free service and allows nonprofits to connect with volunteers. Those who register will receive a monthly e-newsletter about upcoming volunteer opportunities from the Volunteer Center.
The website enables nonprofits to track their volunteer hours. Any nonprofit – organization, civic club, church, government agency, school, etc. -- in the Triangle can register with the Volunteer Center by becoming a partner on handsontriangle.org
For more information, please contact me at 919-613-5105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Lynn Odom Volunteer Center of Durham HOA headaches
When I was looking for a house in Durham, I went out of my way to look at ones that didn't involve a homeowners' association. I'd heard too many stories from friends about the headaches they can cause. I also had heard of the good, but I knew I never wanted to deal with one.
I found an old house for sale in East Durham with a true porch and no HOA. I bought it.
On my porch now are a porch swing, a rocking chair, some tomatoes and, yes, an upholstered sofa. Now the city seems to think that it should function as an HOA and take away my sofa. If I had wanted an HOA to limit my design choices, I would have bought a different house. Maybe in a different city.
Cary, anyone?Margaret Campbell DurhamTransit’s an asset
Good governance? Fail. Faith in voters? Fail. Enhanced mobility? Fail.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners' decision not to convene a public hearing on the transit plan demonstrates a failure of political leadership and forward thinking. Without the public hearing, voters cannot set the transportation agenda via the referendum process – even though a recent poll shows 78 percent of voters want the opportunity to vote on the tax measure.
Voters want to weigh in on this measure because transportation policy is essential to keeping Wake County on a path to long-term prosperity. Wake may lose its competitive edge if it falls further behind Durham and Orange counties, which are already planning for expanded transit options. The lack of transit options affects the quality of life of all residents, especially low-income workers.
Research shows the average low-income resident in the Raleigh-Cary metro area can access only 39 percent of the region's jobs by transit. The transit plan would quickly double bus service and increase job access considerably.
It is time for Wake County commissioners to demonstrate their faith in the voters by putting the transit referendum on the ballot this November.Tazra Mitchell The writer is a Public Policy Fellow at the N.C. Budget & Tax Center.
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