Posted By: Francis Koster Published: August 26, 2020
When most people think of K-12 schools, they think of things like reputation, quality of education, statewide rankings, school taxes, and so forth. What is often not recognized is the fact that public school systems are the major way many poor children get fed in our country. There are two public school systems in Cabarrus County. During the booming economy, last school year seven out of every ten of the students enrolled in the Kannapolis Public School System qualified for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch on school days. If this program did not exist, 3,780 school kids would not have had enough food to eat during the school week. 
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: August 24, 2020
If I asked you where you would invest if you inherited some unexpected money this week, I bet your first thought would be into the stock market. You may not know that there are other better local opportunities. The current COVID-19 epidemic has created two major wounds – on the bodies of those infected, and the health of the economy. One out of five people that become infected have lifelong health damage, so staying at home is encouraged,  but we know that this has impacts: the economy will suffer, people will lose their jobs, homes, not have food, and may suffer mental stress.
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: August 18, 2020
During the last two “pre-covid” school years, Rowan County was the only county in America where both the K-12 school system and the community college both scored in the top ten in the nation for their on-line teaching capability. Rowan/Salisbury schools and its 20,000 students is one of the most advanced on-line public school systems in the country, ranked in the digital top 10 large K-12 school systems in America over several years for its digital technical infrastructure and teachers trained in electronic teaching, and because of the school systems success in ensuring that the students have access to the Internet through widespread installation of electronic equipment that allow all students throughout the district to connect to the school system. (1)
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: August 6, 2020
A fierce disorganized debate is raging as our country approaches the time schools traditionally open. Millions of citizens afraid of suffering lifelong damage to their health from the virus are trying to stay home, wearing face masks if they go out, and otherwise avoid being in large groups. There is tension between this group and the folks who desperately want life to go back to something resembling normal with schools in session. Other millions find themselves in the middle, unsure what to do. For many, it feels like the ship is in danger of sinking, and people are looking around for life rafts should they be needed.
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: August 6, 2020
We are at war with COVID-19. What is surprising is that the casualty reports are leaving an entire group out. When we talk about the war on COVID-19, the casualty reports talk about “infected”, “deaths” and “recovered” – but no “wounded”. Think back to how the casualties of war are stated. In the Vietnam War, there were 3.4 million United States military in Southeast Asia. 47,434 died in combat, and 303,644 were wounded (1). In many cases those that were wounded lost arms or legs, or suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and endured lifelong health issues. To this day the publicly available websites all show them as having been wounded. The same is not true when recording casualties in our war with COVID-19. As crazy as it sounds, once a patient who was infected with COVID-19 and is added to the state and national data bases, they are automatically moved to the “recovered” column within a month (2). This is terribly misleading to the American public as they try to plan ahead.
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: July 19, 2020
The next year or so is going to test our individual souls, and the soul of our country. For all the public discussion and tension produced by the COVID epidemic, what we have seen thus far is only a hint of what is yet to come. Look at this history of infection in North Carolina and note how the rate of infection is increasing rapidly. This trend will continue because we will have no vaccination until Spring of 2021 at the earliest . Until then, the only tools we have are face masks, hand washing, social distancing, and vitamin D3. The infections will continue to spread.
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: July 14, 2020
Scientists have discovered you can cut the risk of harm from COVID-19 to you and your loved ones almost in half by increasing your vitamin D3 levels. On March 1 in the entire United States there were 30 reported cases of the COVID-19 virus  and no deaths. That was only about 4 months ago. You can see this on-line at the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map . According to that dashboard America now has over 3.3 million people infected, and the number infected has been doubling about every 23 days since early April! Take a moment and digest that.
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: April 7, 2020
Response to threats to our economy like the coronavirus usually come in at least two waves. We are headed for a real mess - but we could give it a silver lining. To see the size of the mess, look at this chart, which shows the number of unemployment insurance claims filed last week compared to the history of claims filed going back to 1967. Federal and state economic rescue efforts can fix two problems at once if we act quickly.
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: March 31, 2020
All eyes are watching for the impact of one invisible threat to America. There are actually two threats coming. Some food will become hard to get. America imports one third of its fresh vegetables and more than half of its fresh fruit from from countries that already have the coronavirus epidemic. Importing food is not limited to acquiring food from other countries - the majority of America's heavily populated east coast states import fruits and veggys from west coast states. 
Posted By: Francis Koster Published: March 29, 2020
Today, using cell phones, apps and the internet, there is a proven, innovative, locally implementable solution that we can use while working from home or elsewhere (using ‘physical distance’, of course).
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