Chatham County Line - Where all voices are heard

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December 2018



It's Miller Mueller Time: November 8 @ 5 p.m.

It was going on 5 p.m., two days after the mid-term elections, when I settled in and leaned back against the sign post in the pedestrian triangle in front of the historic Chatham County Courthouse. I was checking the white balance and ISO on my camera, preparing to capture a digital documentation of this unfolding historic moment, when from the base of the Confederate Soldier monument I heard a familiar voice shouting my name. It was my across-the-street neighbor, Candace, holding a large sign and sporting a T shirt that read: "It's Mueller Time."

I'm not sure everyone caught the significance of the shirt as I did. As a native Wisconsinite, I got the message immediately. Wisconsin, "America's Dairy Land," is known for milk and cheese. But with its large German heritage, it is also known for brats and BEER! Just like that newsworthy newly appointed Supreme Court magistrate, Wisconsinites also like their beer. The Milwaukee Brewers play baseball in Miller Park where Miller High Life is the beer of choice. I grew up learning the marketing motto of the Miller Brewing Company: "It's Miller Time. If you've got the time, we've got the beer, Miller beer." I also learned early on that in Wisconsin the name Mueller is more often than not pronounced like Miller. So Candace's T shirt spoke volumes to me.

As folks streamed into the courthouse circle to add their signs and voices to the quickly burgeoning rally, vehicular traffic slowed to a crawl. A grid-locked driver near me shouted out, "What's going on here." How does one answer a simple question to a complex matter in 10-15 seconds? "Well, it's Mueller Time across America," I said with a smile. "Yesterday the President had the Attorney General fired and replaced him with a less than competent crony who has publicly declared his opposition to the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in our elections. So here today, and in communities around the country, folks concerned about the investigation being circumvented are showing up and speaking out."

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Support the Veterans Administration
by Barry L. Reece

During the 2016 presidential campaign one bumper sticker grabbed my attention: "If you can't afford to take care of our veterans, don't go to war." Bernie Sanders gets credit for these words of wisdom.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs is a full-service healthcare system that provides all types of care to selected groups of veterans. It delivers clinical care (medical, mental health and rehabilitation) to 230,000 people every day. As America's largest healthcare system it has become a tempting target to corporate medicine and insurance industry personnel who see all those dollar signs and want to get their share.

The move to privatize the VA has the backing of some very wealthy and conservative crusaders. For example: Charles and David Koch have worked hard to dismantle some VA programs. The Koch brothers see the VA as a successful example of socialized medicine which could be a threat to the for-profit corporate healthcare industry. Also, three members of President Trump's West Palm Beach golf club, Mar-a-Largo, have exerted considerable influence over the Department of Veterans Affairs. This shadowy threesome has been exerting their influence in ways that have a negative influence on VA policies and programs. They frequently meet with President Trump to suggest ways to move VA services to the private sector. So far they have had limited success because groups such as Veterans For Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Iraq Veterans Against the War and other peace forward groups strongly oppose privatizing the VA.

If you are looking for a current, well documented study of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, be sure to read "Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing and Hope to the Nation’s Veterans" by Suzanne Gordon. This is a terrific reference book that should silence those who want to privatize the VA.

Dr. Reece is a US Army veteran and active member of Veterans For Peace

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Page 1 - Finding our way with the Chatham Beverage District * Love and Nature, going through life hand-in-hand * The Monument, Part 3: The Event - Page 2 - MONUMENT (cont. from page 1) * BEVERAGE (cont. from page 1) - Page 3 - Patient empowerment means knowledge, power — and responsibility - Page 4 - Holiday planning tips for stress-free, relaxed pets - Page 5 - Lillie Langtry — darling of Britain and America * LOVE (cont. from page 1) - Page 6 - In a manner of speaking . . . * Dancing BY LOU L IPSITZ - Page 7 - Naturally Chatham - Page 8 - Mysterious mistletoe shines in mid-winter - Page 9 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 10 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 11 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 12 - Chatham Comunidad - Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe cruza la frontera sin papeles
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CORA breaks ground for new building

Chatham Outreach Alliance hosted its groundbreaking ceremony for their new building on November 27. This event brought together community leaders, organizational partners, and valued supporters to celebrate this important milestone in their organization's history. Speakers included Melissa Driver Beard, CORA's Executive Director, Linda Todd, CORA's Board President, and Chatham County Commissioner, Diana Hales.

In 2015, CORA's Board of Directors presented the County with the need for CORA's expansion due to the increase in demand for services. In 2007, CORA served 216,867 meals. Compare this to 2018, more than 500,000 meals were provided to families across Chatham County. And research indicates that there are at least 7,000 more people facing food insecurity in Chatham County who have not yet received assistance. Thanks to the County’s support and vision for a healthy and vibrant community, they committed to helping CORA meet the need through a new building. In 2019, CORA will be opening the doors to a 2,800 square foot facility that will serve as the Food Pantry and as much needed warehouse space for their operations.

"We at CORA are overjoyed that our partnership with Chatham County will support this growth so that we – together – can continue to address food insecurity in Chatham County. We continue to see an increase in demand and this new facility will help us meet that demand," said Melissa Driver Beard, CORA's Executive Director. The existing building will undergo upgrades and serve as the family reception area, administrative offices, and community space.

CORA serves any Chatham County resident who needs emergency food. They are open five days a week, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (excluding state holidays). Clients can receive a week’s worth of groceries up to six times in a 12-month period. These weekly food allotments are selected to provide 21 nutritious meals for each family member. However, when additional assistance is needed beyond six visits, CORA makes sure each client gets the help they need. The pantry is a place of hope and comfort for many in our community, a respite from their struggles where there is always an empathetic ear, supportive smile, and shelves of food to help meet their needs.

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