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Speakout 2/26

Thursday, February 26, 2004

There was a report the other day about a study following women over 15-20 years that showed that taking antibiotics for extended times could lead to higher incidents of breast cancer. What about the multi-layers of antibiotics that the American public is being fed on a daily basis through the antibiotics given to factory farm animals and dairy cattle?

I am calling about the National Guard members who were sent to Kansas City and are going to Iraq. I had sent a letter and would like to see it in the paper. The letter reads: We have a son-in-law in the Army National Guard, Charlie Company 1140th Engineer Battalion. During the departure ceremony in Sikeston on Jan. 3, it was indicated that if anyone had any questions or concerns, they could contact their representatives. I have some issues I would like to address. First, my daughter has two small children, ages 3 years and 6 months, made a trip to Kansas when they gave the unit a one-day pass, which was unknown that they were going to get. The family was charged $35 for one night to stay on base. Our family was lucky. Some families had to rent a hotel room, which I am sure was considerably more expensive. Also, he was allowed to come home on a three-day pass in February and she was charged $100 for a bus ride home. According to him, there were three buses with approximately 50-60 soldiers on each bus. I would like to know why these soldiers had to pay to come home. They were not charged to ride to Kansas for training. Are these private buses or military buses and why were they charged a fee to come home? I feel that our tax dollars have covered these charges if they were government vehicles; and if not, why government vehicles were not used for this purpose. Surely we have ways to transport our soldiers without charging them. I also feel that the charge for the overnight stay on the post was inappropriate because it was apparently built with tax dollars. I'd like to know who's making all the money from this. There were several thousand dollars collected on each bus. Some were unfortunate enough to have the $100 and weren't able to go home to see their loved ones before going to Iraq. We all hope they all come home safely, but we also know that in reality, that may not happen. Some were denied this opportunity and I feel that was inappropriate. The government should be taking care of our people with our tax dollars and then worry about other people later. I feel like both of these instances were inappropriate.

I see where the City of Charleston is getting a new daycare center that will house up to 170 children with 30 employees. This sounds like a good deal for Charleston, but it is kind of hard for me to believe that there are that many people who work in Charleston that can provide the daycare center with that many children. I will quote a couple of remarks that were in the Feb. 16 Standard Democrat, titled "Charleston grapples with drugs." The only real business we have here is drugs, according to the local NAACP chapter vice president. From the county prosecutor, the economy here has languished for years. Most people work on farms and the second employer is Gates Rubber Company, which has scaled back in recent years. Wal-Mart closed in 2000, a new maximum security prison on the outskirts of town hasn't been the boon the civic leaders had hoped for. Could this daycare center possibly be another government project that will provide daycare for the children of Charleston's unwed mothers who do not work? It seems this is one of Charleston's leading problems, young girls keep having babies and the taxpayers keep supporting them. It is time to stop this.

To the resident on Harrison Street in Miner, would you please tell your visitors to turn their music down when they come to visit you? I know your mother works nights and doesn't know this is happening, but please, please turn the music down.

Why couldn't a wedding anniversary not be put in the paper because it was three months old, but a wedding from last May can be put in the paper?

The anniversary was announced in the Feb. 19 Standard Democrat. Wedding announcements that are published six months or later after the wedding date are paid announcements.