Letter to the Editor

Your View: two from 4/7

Monday, April 7, 2003

This letter is to inform the voters of New Madrid County to please wake up to what is occurring in the county. Did you know that an educational program for the children is going to be eliminated in May 2003? Do you know why it is being eliminated?

I recently contacted one of the New Madrid County commissioners concerning a rumor that the Drug Abuse Resistance Educational Program (DARE) is to be eliminated in May. He informed me that it is not a rumor.

Below is a list of reasons I was given during our conversation:

1. The State of Missouri will no longer provide the funding for books and literature to teach the program;

2. Several other counties are also eliminating the program.

My responses to the above reasons are:

1. The amount of money funded for material by the state was approximately $500. Last year, businessmen of New Madrid County donated approximately $1,500 to purchase material from the National Safety Council to be used in the DARE program. I am almost certain they would gladly donate again to purchase the material for DARE.

A grant was offered to pay half of the officer's salary to help maintain the program. The commissioners denied this offer.

2. One of the counties is eliminating the program due to personnel shortage. We have an officer.

I feel that if the parents are using drugs in the household, the children need the information taught in DARE even more than the other children. DARE teaches them the true effects of drugs on their body and on their lives. Approximately 1,500 children are educated by this program. If only 100 of these children are made more aware of the dangerous situations, DARE has made a great accomplishment. If we discontinue this program we are giving up on the children and we are not setting a good example for them.

People of New Madrid County, please ask yourselves the following questions:

1. Do you want the children educated against drugs or do you want them using drugs?

2. Should our children receive every opportunity we can offer?

3. Does your opinion make a difference in what happens in this county?

4. Do you care enough to do something?

Below are a few of the things you can do to help show your support for the DARE program:

1. Start a petition. At the top of the page, put "We Care About D.A.R.E. - Keep It In Our Schools." Take it to the people in your area and obtain as many signatures as possible. If you do not wish to take it to the commissioners, contact me and I will try to make arrangements to pick it up and present it to the commissioners.

2. Write letters to the commissioners. Send the letters to: The Commissioners in care of the New Madrid County Clerk's office, Courthouse Square, New Madrid, MO 63869

3. Call the commissioners Voice your opinion to the commissioners.

I am a concerned mother and grandmother.

Cathy McCoy

Mr. Jensen, you never fail to amaze me on how far you will go, trying to provide a political edge for the Republican Party. The editorial on March 23 really takes the cake.

Only a short time ago (2000 elections), Republicans claimed the U.S. military was in shambles and considered "not ready." How could, all of a sudden, it be the most powerful and amazing military on the face of the Earth? I guess in a matter of overnight, it was fixed.

Could it be there was really nothing wrong with our military and the Republicans used this as a scare tactic to get votes? You mention how Democrats are not supportive of a strong military, and you seem to imply they are weak on national defense. I think that's just a bunch of hogwash trying to run off support for Democrats.

I'm sure a Democrat is just as much concerned about a strong national defense as a Republican. Attempting to drum up support for Republicans from a situation where our nation is losing young soldiers on a daily basis is stooping awful low. You are just another example of a typical Republican. There are no limits on what you will publish to promote the Republican agenda.

Ted Kennedy's having a say in the operations of this nation is not as bad as you try to make it sound. Don't forget, the Ted Kennedys still represent around 50 percent of this country. Republicans don't have the mandate they think they have. Please, Mr. Jensen. In a time of war, could you refrain yourself from these political games?

Erwin Porter, New Madrid