August 28, 2008 · Updated 5:42 PM
Children are precious
We all agree that children are precious, so why do so many adults supply them with alcohol? Underage drinking costs this country a staggering $62 billion every year.
With that same money we could pay for every college student's tuition for one year. Did you know that over $13 billion of that $62 billion results from teen drinking and driving and other crashes? Another $35 billion of the cost is the result of violence, such as homicides, fights and domestic violence.
Eight percent of the costs come from risky sex, including pregnancy; property crimes and other injuries are 4 percent each. Alcohol poisoning, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, is another 2 percent and treatment for alcoholism is the last 2 percent.
These costs are too high and are an unfair burden. (Statistics taken from Beverly Falik, PhD, CSAP and Ted Miller, Phd, PIRE, 2007 NPN Conference Presentation.)
Recently the North Youth Council, part of the Snohomish County Health and Safety Network, has been distributing stickers stating "Purchasers of alcohol for minors are liable in the case of injury or death." We are asking you to keep this in mind and help us spread the word to help the youth.
If kids are really precious, we should try to minimize access to alcohol and set a better example of responsible behavior.
Jes La Plante, Gaganpreed Manhas, Andre Smith, David Rayburn
North Youth Council, Arlington
My thanks to The Arlington Times for running the Guest Opinion "Can The Ten Commandments Protect Your Kids From the Culture War?" by Cindy Bond in the Arlington Times of March 5.
The intimate connection between morality and political liberty is easily overlooked. Destructive behavior cannot be corrected merely by enacting laws. Behavior is more affected by the dominant moral culture than by legislation.
John Adams famously warned that "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
What did he mean by that? He was warning that government will not tolerate disorder and if the people refuse to impose discipline upon themselves from within, then government will impose discipline upon them from without. The society that ignores morality invites the heavy hand of government.
Snohomish County Council
Ask the Woolly Mammoth
It was amusing, but not surprising, to see all the fanfare surrounding the recent Earth Hour activities. Since the beginning of time man has been arrogant enough to believe that our activities have a major impact on the planet. Kings have tried to command the tides and men have danced to end droughts.
As long as these efforts remain symbolic and don't influence policies that have unintended consequences on those of us who inhabit the real world I will continue to be merely amused. What perturbed me, however, was to see that, as suggested in a letter to the editor last week, the man-made global warming theory is now being taught as scientific fact in our schools.
Contrary to what certain politicians believe, the science is far from settled on this issue. When I read of a class project to slow global warming I know that hard science has been replaced by political indoctrination of the young impressionable minds in schools. Do those who wholeheartedly embrace the theory not recognize that we live in close proximity to a giant fusion nuclear reactor with variable, i.e. changing over time, energy output? There are more than a few scientists who believe that this is the overwhelming driving force for any climate change.
A better use of class time would be to study solar activity or if you really want to emphasize environmental science, a clean-up project for a local stream or forest. Our schools need to stop frightening children by embracing this Chicken Little power grab by environmental extremists.
We live on a dynamic planet over which we have such a miniscule influence. Climate has been in flux forever. Just ask the woolly mammoth how much stopping their automobile travel slowed the global warming that melted the glaciers of the last great ice age.
For those people who are against the small amount of "torture" (i.e. water boarding) committed by those dedicated Americans who are trying to keep us alive, we would do well to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: measures, however unconstitutional, might become lawful by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation." He also said "I conceive that I may, in an emergency, do things on military grounds which cannot be done constitutionally by congress." In the age of nuclear weapons, this policy is even more germane think about it.
We need more books
When I walk toward the library, my pace quickens and my grin widens. I rush to the doors and push them open, my mind already among the stories of mystery, love and adventure that await me. My feet have memorized the path, for I always go first to the Teen Section and then the Children's. There is probably a worn section of the carpet where I have walked because I have trod there so very many times.
As I kneel among the shelves, a sense of tranquility envelops me and I caress the spines of my favorite books. I look at every book individually, so many familiar titles and pictures starting back at me, unknown stories of passion and adventure waiting for me and others to pick them up and once more know the feeling of fingers thumbing lovingly through their pages.
There are millions of books out there waiting to experience this sensation and millions of people out here just waiting to find the perfect book. If the new library bond is passed, as it should be, those dreams will be realized and not only will the books be satisfied, but people's thirst for new information and stories will be quenched also.
When I go to the library, I see shelves of books waiting for me. However, there are empty spots, too. There are dusty corners and spaces between tomes waiting to be filled, the thick novels beside waiting expectantly for companions. If when the library bond is passed, those spaces will be filled in the form of new shelves and books, those gaps in our knowledge and our desire for more imagination and other worlds to immerse ourselves in fulfilled.
We need more books and anyone who denies it is clearly lacking in knowledge of our community. The new library will give us those books and the space that is a necessity. Our library could not possibly contain all the books in the world, all the books that people wish to obtain and read, but when the library bond is passed a fraction of the books we need will be available to us, for there are, in my opinion, so many that even the hundreds of books the new library will have will indeed be a fraction.
And so, with all my heart, I urge you, your friends, your family, anyone and everyone, to vote Yes on the library bond.
Sara Deeter, Haller Middle School student, Arlington
We urge you to vote Yes for the Arlington Library Bond on May 20.
The Arlington Library is a wonderful community asset and demand for its services continues to grow. A new library is needed. The old library would become a community center, available for community organizations to use for meetings and events.
For cost of 14 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value we get a new library and a community center as well. Annual cost would be $42 on a house valued at $300,000. Please vote Yes.
Steve and Kathy Peterson