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November 13, 1998

Elderly are being squeezed

To the editor:

We older America people next year will get the smallest annual cost-of-living raise in 12 years. It amounts to $10 a month. It seems to me that nothing is coming down but that. My sewage and water bill went up. I still use the same amount of water each month.

My Medicare supplement insurance went up this year. Every time Medicare goes up, it does too. I've heard people say when they get a raise in Social Security their rent goes up on their apartment. The Social Security commissioner said that next year's average monthly check for retirees will rise to a total of $780. A great number of us people don't receive that amount. We have higher health costs because now the government noted that monthly Medicare premiums deducted from the elderly and disabled Social Security checks for insurance coverage of doctor's office visits will rise by 3.9 percent, up to $45.50.

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Many of the elderly depend heavily on Social Security raises.

Millions are struggling to stay out of poverty and inflation hits them harder. While inflation is low, the price of our prescription drugs is growing at 5.4 percent this year. Prescriptions are not covered by Medicare. Many seniors are not taking their medicine regularly, because they cannot afford it.

Let's not brag about that little $10 raise because Medicare and the price of medicine will eat that up in a hurry. We widows really have to budget our checks to keep our heads above the water.

Anna Lee Burker

Sharpsburg

Country is fine; leave Clinton alone

To the editor:

As everyone knows, the president of the United States had a sexual relationship with a White House intern. If you haven't heard, well you may want to get out more. This long drawn-out story has been going on entirely too long. The American people are ready to move on.

It is unfortunate when every time someone opens the newspaper or turns on the news, the "scandal" involving the president is what you hear first. Sure it is important to the future of the country, but as far as I am concerned, the nation is doing fine so let the issue drop.

I personally do not believe adultery is morally right, but it is a personal issue. The president has his right to his privacy. Discovering that he has lied is a very important matter. The jury needs to focus on that issue and not the fact that he is sleeping around on his wife. Hillary has the right to say what is right and wrong in their relationship.

The bottom line here is yes, the president has had a sexual relationship, but that is his business. If he lied and it will affect the country, then impeach him. I as well as many other people are tired of hearing about it so let's focus on the good things that are being accomplished in our nation and not this horrible "scandal."

Sarah E. Lanosz

Boonsboro

To the editor:

Today I found out that one of my friends is pregnant. I was shocked. How can someone who is 16 take care of a baby? I know that I couldn't deal with everything that is needed to raise a child.

Therefore, to help reduce the number of teen pregnancies, child development should become a required course in all high schools.

According to Dr. Marianne E. Felice, every 26 seconds a U.S. teen-ager becomes pregnant. Every hour, 56 children are born to teen-agers. Fifty percent of adolescents who have a baby become pregnant again within two years of the baby's birth. The children of adolescent mothers are at an increased risk of becoming a teen-age parent themselves. The children of teen-age mothers are more likely to drop out of school. I think these statistics are difficult to accept, and I would never want my child to be included in this data.

As part of the child development course, my friend was required to carry around one of the dolls that cries and acts like a baby. During our first class the baby cried numerous times. When it finished crying, she looked at me and said, "I am never having kids." Teen-agers my age know all about birth control. They even teach us the different types of birth control and how to use them in health class, which is also a required course.

I believe we need to add child development to the required curriculum so every teen-ager has to take the class to graduate.

The benefits of having child development as a required class will result in less teen pregnancy. More teens would remain abstinent and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases would decrease. I wonder if my friend who is going to have the baby would have been more careful if she had been forced to carry a baby around for one day.

But it is too late.

Now she has to carry it around for the rest of her life.

Danielle Perini

11th Grade

Williamsport High School

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