Letter to the Editor

Your View: three from 6/2

Monday, June 2, 2003

Congratulations are certainly in order for the Sikeston High School Class of 2003. Their accomplishments and achievements are not to go unnoticed. However, attending the recent graduation ceremonies, I could not help but feel a bit of disappointment for the graduating class.

During this time, many graduates surrender to the realization they will never enter those doors again as students. Others relish the memories and experiences they will carry with them throughout their lives. And most importantly, during this time, they are singled out and recognized as individuals before family and friends. This is their time.

While the school and school officials make every effort to ensure a sense of dignity and formality, the pomp and circumstance of the occasion is often overshadowed by the conduct of onlookers. The behavior of some in attendance could only be rivaled by a circus sideshow. As a parent, I regard the Sikeston School System second to none, but I'm embarrassed to think of the degrading impression this ceremony left on out-of-town visitors. As citizens, community leaders and concerned parents, we should demand better. Admittedly, there should be enthusiasm and celebrations, but not here, not now.

To the Class of 2003, on behalf of the ill-mannered and disrespectful, please accept our apologize for stealing your last memorable moments of innocence. May this experience prove to make you and your classmates more considerate toward each individual you meet throughout your life's journey. I regret it had to be learned at your expense.

Sincerest apologies,


I'm writing in regards to the comment in SpeakOut about the local Sikeston Kmart to Mr. Jensen and the other person who made a comment about Kmart.

I never had a problem with Kmart. I am sorry the employees lost their jobs because I am one of them. I had been with Kmart for 12 years. There were some employees who had attitude problems, but all of us did not. Who would not have a problem if you were losing your job? Also, did you ever complain to customer service about the employee or problem you were having? Kmart also had a toll-free number you could call and complain or give comments.

Regarding the Target store coming to town, it would not make it if it is not a bank or if the store is not owned by one person who owns every other store in town or the big, low price leader (we all know who that is).

Kmart has been closed for about a year now. Why keep bringing it up? It is gone. I am glad that Mr. Morlan bought the store so the building will not stay empty like so many other local stores that have gone out of business.

Candy Harper

In our community there are a number of people who feel intimidated and lost when seeking out medical advice and health care. They become frustrated and give up trying to get the care they need. To many of us, it feels like being wounded and lost in the woods, with no map or compass to find your way home. But it doesn't have to be this way. A little known, yet highly effective program called Patient Navigation will provide the map, the compass and even a personal trail guide to help direct patients to the right treatment and care.

Important legislation that would enable these programs to be set up around the country has been introduced in the U.S. Congress. The "Patient Navigator, Outreach and Chronic Disease Prevention Act of 2003: will help people who face financial, cultural and/or linguistic barriers in obtaining health care get the treatment they need when they are diagnosed with a serious, potentially fatal illness like cancer.

Patient Navigator programs are like a "buddy system." The program pairs patients in need with a "buddy," often known as a "patient navigator." They schedule appointments, act as interpreters, translate culture and find funds to pay for treatment, and arrange transportation to get patients to their doctors. Couldn't we all use someone like that?

In Missouri, 29,500 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 12,300 will die. The Patient Navigator Act will help more people get the treatment they need to beat this disease. I urge Representative Emerson to support this important life-saving legislation.

Christy Ferrell, community ambassador American Cancer Society, Caruthersville