Letters to the Editor

August 15, 2014

Letters on helping kids learn, Harry Reid, shameful GOP, eternal energy, tanning beds for kids

Ways at home to help kids learn

With the start of school, it is also time to orientate learners. One way to do this at home is by reading aloud and enthusiastically a library book of personal interest to young children. Pupils may also read orally a chosen library book to parents. The contents should be discussed and related to what exists in the environment. Thinking critically about the subject matter read is salient.

In mathematics, pupils may assist in developing a shopping list for grocery items to be purchased. A pocket calculator should accompany the pupil and parent to the supermarket to help ascertain costs of total items as well as cost per unit where applicable. This activity should be made as practical as possible.

In science, current events provide many excellent experiences, including earthquakes in Oklahoma and weather extremes.

In the area of social studies, the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza presents much subject matter for discussion. When I served two years as a teacher and relief worker in Ramallah and in Jericho, I saw refugees who had lost everything and poverty among the Gazans, whereas Israel has received considerable foreign aid and is a modern nation.


North Newton

Reid obstructs

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is denying senators the right to cast an up-or-down vote on bills sent over from the House. The voters throughout this entire nation are, thereby, also denied the right to get a good sense of how their elected senators would vote on those bills.

The true obstructionist is Reid. I have lost count on whether the number of bills he has obstructed is greater or fewer than the number of times he has accused the Koch brothers of being “un-American.” The true un-American is clearly the obstructionist who denies our right to know our senators’ voting record by not letting them cast up-or-down votes. What is Reid afraid of?

We, the people of this nation, deserve much better than a bill-blocking Senate leader. Nevada, please wake up.



Shame on GOP

It is time that we dispel the Republican myth that President Obama is a weak president. The truth is that from day one the goal of the GOP has been to destroy this president. Republicans learned only one word, which is “no.”

Other countries in this world are not blind. They can see what has happened. GOP efforts to weaken the presidency are causing the problems and unrest in this world, not Obama.

Instead of giving Obama credit for all the good things that he has done – and there are many – Republicans continue to try to bring him down.

How about the American people insisting that GOP lawmakers give this president all of the cooperation that they have denied him for six years, to see how much more good he can do? But, of course, the lawmakers will not do this, because they do not want him to succeed.

Shame, shame, shame. How can they sleep at night and face their children during the day?



Eternal energy

Energy is defined as the capacity for performing work. All matter and space possess energy. Matter as small as an atom contains a vast amount of energy.

There is within the universe a capacity for performing work that is well beyond human calculation. There is energy all around and within us.

The capacity for performing work is not the same thing as the work itself. Work occurs when something happens. If nothing happens, then energy still exists as the capacity for performing work.

The very existence of matter and space (the universe) is a work in progress. Something is happening. But this particular work had a starting point. The capacity for performing the work preceded the work. This capacity had no starting point. It was not created. It cannot be destroyed. It is synonymous with existence. It is eternal.

Perhaps one day science will agree with faith on what else it is.



Ban tanning for kids

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and the incidence is rising at an alarming rate, especially among young women. Some of this rise is due to an increased use of tanning beds.

The pressures to tan start as early as middle school – long before these kids understand the true risks that come along with it. I know this because I was one of those teens. I started using tanning beds at age 16, and continued to use them in my 20s.

At age 34, I was diagnosed with early-stage malignant melanoma. Though I cannot go back and change my decision to use tanning beds, our Kansas lawmakers can pass legislation that would prohibit adolescents from using these devices. A comprehensive law prohibiting kids from using tanning beds under the age of 18 would protect Kansas youths from the potentially deadly damage caused by ultraviolet rays.

Eight other states have already banned indoor tanning for minors. It’s time for Kansas to join that list.



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