THELSALINA JOURNAL LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL SATURDAY, MAY 3, 1997 B3 March of Dimes is there to help babies, not kill them If you believe Kathy CoHmer, you would think after reading her May 1 column "Amniocentesis destroys precious souls" that the purpose of the March of Dirties is to force pregnant women to have the amniocentesis test and then cart any "positives" to the nearest abortion clinic. If-you believe Kathy, you, too, will be making comparisons between the March of Dimes and Adolph Hitler. But don't believe Kathy, because she is wrong. The March of Dimes does not exist to prevent birth. It exists to prevent birth defects and to help babies born with problems survive. A couple of examples, as there are too many to list: March of Dimes research led to the discovery of surfactant, a drug that literally breathes life into the underdeveloped lungs of many premature babies. Because of surfactant, newborn deaths from Respiratory Distress Syndrome are ddwn to 8,000 per year from 40,000 per year prior to 1985. At Salina Regional Health Center alone, about 75 newborns each year receive surfactant therapy. It keeps them alive. March of Dimes research has shown that if all women of childbearing age would consume 0.04 milligrams of folic acid each day, neural tube defects (such as 1 spina bifida) could be decreased by 80 percent. Because of the March of Dimes, my generation, and all others hereafter, will not know the horrors of polio. Don't believe Kathy, because the March of Dimes needs your support, now more than ever. Researchers at the Salk Institute are close to many more break- throughs to help the unborn and the newly born. Regarding amniocentesis, the object of Kathy's ire: Amnio is not used to encourage parents to abort their baby. Amnio can detect many birth defects. It isn't just for Down's Syndrome. In some cases, the fetus can undergo surgery to have a defect corrected. In any case, knowing there is a possibility of a problem can help parents and medical professionals be better prepared for the baby's delivery and increase the chances for that baby's survival. Parenting magazine this month listed the March of Dimes as number two (after St. Jude's Children's Hospital) on a list of top 10 charities that make a difference in the lives of children and families. I proudly support my charity of choice, the March of Dimes, and have for the last two years volunteered to chair the Salina Walk-America. Last year our walkers raised $48,000, and by Sunday we hope to raise the $50,000 goal this year. Nationally, WalkAmerica raises $67 million for the research and prevention of birth defects. At the Salina walk on Sunday, 600 or so people will "Walk for Someone You Love." I am sure that, as a group, we are pro-choice, pro-life and somewhere in between. But we are not walking to "destroy precious souls." We will be out there hoofing it so that the March of Dimes can continue to give all babies a fighting chance. — JILL GIELE Salina • Jill Giele is the chair of Salina Walk America. Will Kansas become Asia's new pig pen? It appears the "Corporate Hog Regime," following yet another defeat by the citizens' defenders of peoples rights of property, community, safe water and breathable air, has rolled in another big gun. This latest big gun is a long-time Washington bureaucrat, Gary Mitchell. He was recently appointed as the new secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Prior to Mr. Mitchell's short stint as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee staff, he served as ag economic aide to then congressman Pat Roberts. My memorable introduction to Mr. Mitchell was in January, 1995, when I and six other farmers and ranchers had an appointment with Roberts and Mitchell. Following our offer to work with Mr. Roberts and Mr. Mitchell in any way we could to put together a new farm bill, Mr. Mitchell's hostile response was that we farmers and ranchers just as well go home and tend to our business, because there would be little producer input allowed and there would be no farm bill that didn't pass acceptance by the big agribusiness corporations. The "Freedom to Farm Bill" claimed by Roberts and Mitchell was originally introduced by Sen. Rudy Boschwitz from Minnesota, home of the Cargill Corporation. In the next election, Sen. Boschwitz was retired by the voters of Minnesota. With this in mind, it would appear the proponents of multi-national corporate hog domination in Kansas have rolled in their biggest agribusiness hired gun for a counterattack against the citizens who are fighting to protect their homes, communities and property values. This rings true when you study the experience of property owners in southwest Kansas and North Carolina's plight at the hands of Murphy Farms. Does this signal a greater attempt to make Kansas Asia's new pig pen? During a visit to Asia several years ago, we were told, "We want to see Kansas raise more hogs for us so we can preserve our environment for our people." With all the foreign investments in the United States and Kansas, can one help but speculate how much Asian money may have already been invested or is ready to be invested in these Kansas corporate hog operations? With this change, will the Kansas economic development crowd succeed in turning Kansas into hog pens for Asia? — IVAN W. WYATT McPherson • Ivan W. Wyatt is president of the Kansas Farmers Union. Dual-credit courses work for Southeast students I am a senior at Southeast of Saline High School. I would like to give thanks to Southeast, because I will be graduating with 15 college credit hours under my belt. I acquired these credit hours through our school's dual-credit classes. For those who do not know, a dual-credit class is a class that counts for high school credit and college credit. These types of classes are not offered at all schools, and I find this to be disappoint- ing. The dual-credit class does not seem to hinder the QPA curriculum in any way. So the student is still receiving the high school education that he has always received, but now it is at a higher level. A college level, to be exact. For example: My expositary writing class required us to write several extensive papers, all of which were graded on the college level. However, the class still taught all of the high school senior English concepts. One argument may be that these kinds of classes force the student to change to the college attitude too quickly. It could be like forcing a baby to run before he can walk. Maybe we should let the student decide his own pace. I can only see advantages to these classes, and have not heard of or seen any disadvantages. So, my question is, why isn't the dual-credit program offered in more schools? — BRIAN L. ROGERS Salina A breath of spring I do not approve of the Salina Journal's type of news reporting and George Pyle's editorials often offend my sensibilities. So when something pleasant and simple is published on the front page it deserves mentioning. I am referring to the plump little robin bathing in the pool of rain water in Oklahoma City in the April 29 edition. I just wish our Kansas robins had a rain water pool in which to bathe. — VIOLET GREEVER Salina TO PLACE YOUR FREE AD, CA11 823-6363 or 8OO-827-6363 Place your free, 25-word ad in Connection Line today! Just call 823-6363 today! It's easy. It's fun and you never know who you might meet! TO RESPOND 1-9OO-737-116O TO RESPOND TO A CONNECTION LINE AD Choose the ad that appeals to you. Using a rotary or TouchTone® phone, call 1-900-737-1160. 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MAIL OR FAX YOUR 1 REE PKRSONAL AD TODAY! | The following Information is kept strictly confidential and is necessary to send out your personal mail box number and instructions: NAME: Are you the shy type? Now you can mail or fox your CninectionLineadto the Salina Journal! Just mail it to the Salina Journal Classified Advertising Depfc, 333 South 4th, Salina, KS 67401 or FAX ft to (913) 823-3207! Now that everything has been filled out and your ad has been mailed or foxed, it's our turn! We'll mail you your OMinectkm Line Mail Box Number and your Security Code with instrucljonsonhowtousethe Connection Line System. LINE Write your ad at your convenience! No need to talk to a Journal representative. ADDRESS: CITY/STATE/ZIP CODE: TELEPHONE: WRITE YOUR FREE HEADLINE (up to IB letters): WRITE YOUR FREE 25 WORD AD:- Mail to: The Salina Journal, 333 South Fourth St., Salina, KS 67401 (Attn: Classified), Fax (913) 823-3207 .
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