Your March 18 editorial on the dope problem is a good one. I read your editorials regularly.
I agree that the dope problem is out of control. The program we are using is not working. Making more and more cages (jails) to house more and more people who could be assets in our workforce instead of a drain of our assets in courts, police, jails and prisons is killing us financially. What to do about it is the question.
We are doing many things to make some attempt to deal with it, but it seems that little of it is working. Our financial burden is rapidly growing. It should injure our intelligence when our leaders boast of our success in getting a new multimillion-dollar prison in our area. Prisoners are non-productive, a dead expense.
One way we could attempt to deal with our drug problem (like meth or marijuana) is to take the profit out of it. That is to say, legalize it. I know this sounds like a rash idea, but so many people are willing to take a chance for big and easy money. Therefore, make it legal, like restricted drugs at our drug store. Alcohol may be more of a problem than drugs, and we find a way to handle that. (Maybe the ones who write our laws like alcohol.)
I know the resistance to legalizing drugs would be great, but what we are doing now is not working. Our state is having financial trouble, which could get even worse and taxpayers have a load already. Must we go bankrupt to make changes we need?
Talking about it doesn't seem to make much difference, but I am in favor of continuing to talk about it and perhaps something will demand that something be done about it.
Harold Sloas, New Madrid
I am sure that you are aware of the uncertainty of the state family planning program Several articles have been published recently stating that some state legislators have introduced legislation to cut monies that Governor Holden had budgeted for state family planning.
I feel that it is critical that the people of our communities become aware of some of the facts regarding family planning.
The State Family Planing program provides important preventive health care services for women in Missouri; 27,233 individuals from all counties in Missouri received services through state family planning programs in funding year 2002. These women were served through local health departments and through programs like the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation (DAEOC) Women's Health Care, working together to serve the women of our state.
Family planning results in healthier mothers, babies and healthier families by enabling women to plan the number and spacing of their pregnancies.
Family planning is a good investment of taxpayer money. For every $1 spent on family planning, the government saves $3 in costs associated with unintended pregnancy.
Family planning reduces the need for abortions. An estimated 8,600 unintended pregnancies may result from the elimination of state funds for family planning. An estimated 3,700 of these unintended pregnancies may result in induced abortions.
It's important to let people know what they are getting for their investment in family planning.
DAEOC's Women's Health Care Program is funded through Title X which is channeled to DAEOC through Missouri Family Health Council in Jefferson City. The state money that subsidizes DAEOC WHC is channeled through the Missouri Department of Health in Jefferson City. DAEOC WHC and several of the health departments throughout the six-county area of the Bootheel (including Stoddard, Scott and Mississippi) have been working together to see that all of these funds are spent to provide services to the women of our counties.
Many women throughout the state face the same problems of not having insurance, having a high deductible that they cannot pay, not being eligible for welfare or not having the money to pay for expensive birth control methods. These are the women that will suffer most from the cuts made in state family planning money.
Marilyn Brown, DAEOC Women's Health Care Director
Thanks from a Bluejay Lifer!
Thanks for the nice story on Charleston's basketball team returning to the Final Four.
I'm a 1976 grad of CHS and even though I've relocated across the country since then, I've continued to enthusiastically follow the Bluejays' amazing run of state championships (with much help from the Standard and Southeast Missourian websites).
I've always wondered what happened to the man who pioneered the team to these stratospheric heights, coach Mitch Haskins. I'll never forget being summoned into his office one day in 1975 after a particularly grueling practice. Somehow I knew what was coming. You see, I was a tall, lanky kid blessed with a very minimal amount of basketball skills. Geez, I was 6'3" and couldn't even dunk. I could later relate with "White Men Can't Jump" in a very painful and embarrassing way.
Coach said, "You just don't have what it takes to make this team." Man, what a reality check! I wanted to play with Ricky Frazier and go to state like Coach assured that we would. Coach Haskins really convinced us all that we would be champions! But it looked like my chance was shot.
Turns out, we were champions and still are, plus, Coach Haskins needed a real "numbers man" to complete the puzzle. He appointed me as the team statistician! No sweat - literally!
Center Court at Hearnes Center raising the State Champ trophy back in the day was sweet! I'm sure it still is! Go Jays! The Hall of Fame ain't big enough for coach Mitch Haskins!
Paul Rollins, Houston, Texas