Letters to the editor

March 10, 2005

Bartlett came through

To the editor:

I hope you will be able to print this letter of thanks to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Maryland, and his staff person, Myra Kidd, for their unflagging efforts to solve my issue of back pay from the U.S. Army.

After serving 11 years in the Army Reserve Nurse Corps, I was discharged in December 2001. There were three pay periods that never were paid in that year. I tried to work through the channels with the 2290th at Walter Reed, to no avail. Finally, in October 2004, I sought the help of Bartlett. After many months and much effort on the part of Myra Kidd - pushing the right buttons - she was successful in getting the back pay for me.

My thanks for all her efforts; I know it was not easy. Without the help from Bartlett's office, I doubt this issue would be settled. I wonder too, are our soldiers serving now having similar problems? Many of them with families to support should not have to worry about pay issues while fighting for their country. I hope that is not the case.


Victoria E. Hastings

Teen pregnancy rates are too high

To the editor:

The teenage pregnancy rates reported in The Morning Herald's front page on Feb. 5 should be of concern to all citizens of Washington County. While the chart on the front page gave percentages per 1,000 females, the actual numbers are more disturbing. When the chart is broken down, there are approximately 46 girls between age 15 and 17 becoming pregnant every year. Additionally, approximately 139 girls age 18 to 19 are becoming pregnant countywide.

It should be clear our family life curriculum in our schools which focuses on abstinence is not working. The belief that birth-control education should be taught by parents is fine in homes where parents are educated enough and comfortable enough to talk to their children.

However, we have to recognize that there is a segment of parents who, for a variety of reasons, are not willing and/or capable of educating their children. If we believed all parents were capable, there would be no need for the current family life curriculum now in our schools.

When a program is not working, as indicated by the fact that Washington County's teenage pregnancy rates are well above the State of Maryland and U.S. rates, it is time to consider change. When some school systems nationwide distribute condoms free, and we do not even teach of their existence, it is time to study if our curriculum is serving our children.

I realize this is one of the most emotional issues and also has been and will be for a long time. However, I feel we must consider changes to attempt to lower these pregnancy rates, which are substantially above state and national rates.

County Commissioner William Wivell is quoted as saying by teaching about sexually transmitted disease, this will deter youth from having sex. Wrong. The mindset of many youth is that it will not happen to them, so they feel there is no consequences to having sex, either in regard to disease or pregnancy.

Meredith Fouche

Redmen are the best

To the editor:

I would like to thank the Williamsport Redmen for all of the help they have given to the Williamsport food bank. Whenever they helped someone, I have never believed that they were given the recognition that they deserve. They helped us so much for the Christmas holidays. We were able to purchase many gift cards for our families, along with food baskets.

The last week before Christmas, they contacted us and asked if we needed any additional help. We had eight more families that needed help. They took the additional families and provided food baskets and gifts for the children. I just wanted them to know how much we appreciated the extra help.

We also have several churches, the Williamsport Lions Club and many individuals who help us, but we always seem to need the extra help. The Redmen were able to do that for us.

We thank them so much and appreciate their continued support. They really came through for us again this year. Thanks to all their members. They have a great organization.

Mary Anna Kline
Williamsport Food Bank Coordinator

Crises handled with professionalism

To the editor:

We would like to commend Mike Swarner and the staff of the CVS Pharmacy at North Pointe Village Shopping Center for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty for our clients, staff and ourselves in regards to always being there for us.

No matter what the crisis at our assisted living home - new client placements without having medications, no refills remaining on prescriptions, corresponding with a host of doctors for a multitude of diagnoses and the medical-insurance nightmare, Mike and his staff are able to resolve the situation. What amazes us about Mike is that no matter what the work- load or stress level at the time we approach him with our "crisis," he remains calm and systematic in his approach until the concern is taken care of.

All this, and he is most pleasant at the same time. We are all very fortunate to have such professionals in our community. Thank you, Mike and staff.

H&R Wolters
Paradise Church Haven

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