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Letters to the Editor 2/7

February 08, 2002

Letters to the Editor 2/7



We can't turn our backs on environment



To the editor:

As our nation copes with the disastrous events of Sept. 11, it is vital that our politicians do not scuttle progress on the environment that is itself a long-term security issue. Millions of citizens concerned with degradation of our environment have demanded that our government take the painless step of improving the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. We all must continue to realize what an important step this would be.

In 1975 the CAFE standards were created as a means to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Now more than ever, we realize the great threat that is posed to the U.S. as a result of our dependence on foreign oil. No significant increase to the CAFE standards has taken place in more than 15 years because automobile manufacturers have used their power in Congress to see that the status quo remains. We can no longer accept the status quo.

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Raising the CAFE Standards to 40 mpg from their current levels would save more oil than what we receive from Persian Gulf imports, offshore drilling in California and potential deposits in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge combined. Raising this standard incrementally over the next 10 years we would save on average 3 million barrels of oil per day, and 50 billion barrels of oil of the next 50 years.

Now is the time to address the issue of CAFE standards. It has been put off too long. We must begin to realize our long-term security depends on it.

Keith Scott
Frederick, Md.




Show the real faces



To the editor:

I am writing this in response to the letters I have seen recently, discussing the picture and the article written in about the first three babies born in the Tri-State area this year.

To begin I would like to congratulate these parents on their new additions to families - the birth of a new child is a great gift. I would also like to ask the question, is it not a tradition for The Herald Mail to print the stories of the fist children born in a new year, and usually these stories are printed with pictures of the parents and the babies?

This year being no different, what was different this year was that these parents were young, some may be unmarried, and having older children let everyone see that teen pregnancy is not an uncommon existence. No one could have chosen which children were going to be born first and as it seems these were the babies born.

I am not condoning teen pregnancy, I am not saying that it is not a problem that we all must face in this era. However, the parents and children discussed in this story may not be, nor have a problem. I myself was an unwed mother at 18, and had my second child by 21. I did eventually marry my children's father and we live productive lives within this community.

We both graduated high school and I myself am attending college to obtain my bachelor's degree, as well as working a full time job. I don't see myself as a problem, but rather an example. I am only one though, not all stories have endings such as mine. It is not easy being a young mother, however, I do not love my children any less, and I think in the battle against teenage pregnancy it may be better to show these examples, rather than just pushing these kids aside and writing them off as a "problem."

Let's not keep showing our children that young mothers are a problem - let's show them they are real people and not a just statistics in an article. That yes, some of these mothers are able to succeed in life. Others do not, and it is not an easy road to travel. By doing this maybe we can begin to slow the teen pregnancy rates - showing these kids what "real" people face in their lives as young parents.

Shauna Kolb
Hagerstown

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