Recent letters to the editor from Gazette readers:
Again, greed trumps science
A banner headline above the fold May 1 proclaims the resurrection of Sedgwick. Hooray! What about the future destruction of children's brains locally (if they still produce youngsters there) and in nearby Nebraska? Go back to cultivating and selling wheat and beets or try even cultivating hemp. As far as I know, multiple studies do not confirm adverse effects from, ingestion or growing of those products on the development of the adolescent brain. Actually, according to studies, beet juice popularity is booming and is a potentially beneficial anti-oxidant.
Again, greed trumps science, common sense and federal law. How sad. Unfortunately, the author of the article tries to snatch a human interest story from the jaws of an addictive, entry level, neurologically devastating and chemically based drug, whose primary substance, THC, is capable of not only altering reality, but retarding brain development.
Let's give three cheers to CBD instead - the part of pot that is actually beneficial in many ways. Why not produce "Charolotte's web" type products that we grow in Colorado. Create a beneficial partnership with those guys.
What I find really ironic is the quote from town mechanic Charles Toyne stating, "A lot of older people complained about it" (the marijuana sales). Those same old folks were probably around in the 1960s and are well aware of the peace, love, rock and roll and Woodstock generation, first hand. What could they possibly know anyway. They're just old.
'Parents' should stop feuding
In the May 2 paper, I read a caption stating that a certain political party said "budget battles favor them". What about favoring the people they are supposed to represent?
It caused me to think about how often feuding parents tend to forget about what is best for the children. The two major political parties are not parents of the people, yet their decisions affect our lives just as much as parents' decisions affect the lives of the children. When parents fail to prioritize the needs of the children, both parents are at fault. One parent blaming the other does nothing for the children. The same is true of two political parties, regardless of which one you or I favor.
I find it interesting that if you ask 50 people their opinions on health care, immigration or any number of topics, you would get lots of opinions. However, if you ask for opinions on such matters from 50 members of Congress, the vast majority, if not all, will express what their party promotes. Wouldn't it be great if members of Congress supported what they believe is best for the people without regard to their party! Will our "parents" stop feuding and tend to our needs?
Cyclists need to pay to use roads
I see the bicyclists want more bike lanes. That's fine, but when are they going to start paying their way to use the streets? A small license fee each year would certainly help. When I was a child 80 some years ago in Evanston, Ill., we had licenses, even for children. I remember when I was proud to attach my new license to my bike. Motorists pay to use the roads, why not bicycles?
Impact of repealing the ACA
Republicans have shown that they hate sick and poor people. By their action in repealing the Affordable Care Act, Republican congressmen (they're practically all men) will cause 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance. Without the ACA mandate to buy health insurance, fewer younger and healthier people will get coverage. With older and sicker people to insure, insurers will raise premiums, which will become unaffordable. The action of the Republican House, unless the Senate does the right thing and upholds Obamacare, will result in a huge increase in the nation's bankruptcies, illnesses and early deaths.
Trumpcare includes a large tax cut for the rich, paid by substantial cuts to Medicaid and other health programs. Why should Congress care? They have a Cadillac health plan, paid by taxpayers.
David J. Baker
Include all in new health care plan
As Congress debates the repeal and replacement legislation for the "Affordable Care Act," John Q. Public, (that's us), needs to insist that whatever measure Congress passes, and is signed into law by the president, must include coverage for everyone, even the Congress.
Indeed the West Wing personnel from the President on down all need to participate in this program, too. That way it will be truly "universal" and should bring down overall operating costs.
Addressing Alzheimer's disease
This year, the annual cost of caring for individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementias will reach $259 billion, $175 billion of which comes in direct costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Yet in 2016, for every $100 the U.S. government spent on Alzheimer's research, $16,000 was spent by Medicare and Medicaid to care for those living with the disease. Thankfully, Congress is taking action. Just recently, a $400 million increase in Alzheimer's research funding was approved.
I am proud that Rep. Doug Lamborn voted for this historic increase. The human toll of Alzheimer's is obvious, especially to someone like me who is (living with/caring for someone with) this disease. Today, there are more than 5 million Americans living with this disease - the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
Barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure Alzheimer's, the number of Americans with the disease is set to triple over the next 35 years, and the cost of care will increase to $1.1 trillion in 2050.
It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025.