Letters to the editor on elderly drivers, fluoridation, contraception mandate

06/20/2012 12:00 AM

06/19/2012 5:46 PM

Seniors need cars for independence

Regarding “Elderly drivers” (June 16 Letters to the Editor): I am 70-plus years old, and I am not ready to give up my independence by being unable to drive.

I have never had an accident and have had only two tickets since I started driving at 16. I drive the speed limit, use my turn signals to turn and change lanes, and come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights before turning right.

I don’t think any of us really realize what a privilege and responsibility driving is. At whatever age, we need to cherish this freedom by using the best judgment in the speed we drive, by not drinking and driving, by not using cellphones or texting while driving, and by observing all traffic laws.

Many senior citizens do volunteer work, visit shut-ins, attend church, have social activities, shop, visit friends, etc. They still lead active, useful lives. This would pretty much end if they had to depend on someone else to drive them everywhere. I, for one, am not ready to drive a rocking chair.

I doubt the letter writer and others of like mind will be ready to give up their freedom and independence when they reach 70-plus years.

S. FERREL

Wichita

Promote oral health

Reducing poverty and helping people get jobs are key elements of the programs provided by Episcopal Social Services/Venture House and Breakthrough Club. A huge barrier to getting a job is poor oral health.

People come into our programs with no teeth, missing teeth and all kinds of oral health problems. Going to a job interview with poor oral hygiene shuts the door to a job opportunity very quickly. Finding affordable dental care for low-income job seekers can be very challenging. There are many ways to prevent tooth decay and loss; adding fluoride to the Wichita water system is a great preventive solution.

Providing fluoridated drinking water will help people in poverty to improve their oral health. It is a passive solution that provides a huge benefit to the people of Wichita by reducing gum disease, tooth decay and tooth extraction.

It makes sense to have a healthy and controlled level of fluoride in our drinking water. It is time to make the decision to add fluoride to the Wichita water system and promote better oral health for people with limited access to dental care.

BARBARA ANDRES

Executive director

Episcopal Social Services

Wichita

Few will benefit

Adding fluoride to the water supply would have made more sense in the 1950s. Back then children drank water or Kool-Aid made with tap water if they weren’t drinking milk. Mothers cooked food and used water from the tap for that. Bottled water was unheard of.

The children of today drink more processed beverages, and many families buy bottled water to drink if they drink water at all. Rarely do families cook unprocessed foods that need water for preparation. There is more junk food available, and the childhood obesity epidemic points to more children having poor dietary habits. Many children ingest more sugars than in 1950. No wonder there are more dental problems now.

Adding fluoride will help very few children but will fluoridate my shower water, the water in my toilet, and my lawn and garden. I happen to be one of the minority who does drink tap water. But I would have to start buying bottled water to give to my pets, because I don’t want them to get the fluoride.

Don’t poison my water. The majority will not see a benefit.

SUE SCHAMP

Wichita

Freedom for all

The movie “For Greater Glory,” now showing in Wichita, relates a true story that took place in Mexico in the 1920s. We are experiencing a parallel situation today with the mandate from the Obama administration to require religious-affiliated organizations and other entities that provide health insurance to include coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and contraceptive drugs that act as abortifacients.

If the government is allowed to mandate this, what will it next mandate? Gun ownership, type of car you buy, where you live, when or where you may worship, whom you may vote for? We are talking about freedom for all.

FRANK SCHNEWEIS

Wichita

Ignored history

Columnist Cal Thomas pontificated that a European Union was from the beginning doomed to failure “because, unlike American states, European countries lack a common bond” (“Thatcher warned about European currency,” June 13 Opinion). Apparently he is unaware that under the Emperor Hadrian, Roman rule stretched from the Thames to the Euphrates: same laws, same administration, same currency, same language (and, it follows, same history). One also remembers the more recent overlay of “Western Christendom” under the popes and the church and the long years when Latin was the continentwide language of the universities and of learning.

Thomas also disqualified Europe from a possible unity similar to our own republic because of different histories (“Colorado, for example, never invaded Nebraska”). That is probably small solace to the citizens of Georgia who still are bitter about Gen. William Sherman’s march to the sea. Thomas seems to have no recollection of the war between the states or, indeed, of the fact that Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California spoke a different language, embraced a different religion, and gave allegiance to a foreign power for centuries.

KEN KING

Andover

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