Sunday letters to the editor

universal free meals

Dear Publisher:

I was both sad and angry when I read Sunday’s (July 24) front page story: Universal Free Meals No Longer; students must qualify.

Every school administrator, every teacher, and every parent struggling to put food on the table should feel discouraged and disappointed.

The Keep Kids Fed bill, co-sponsored by Senator Bozeman, only funded summer feeding programs through July and August. Universal Free Meals for the school year was defeated in Congress.

The article states that school meals are now no longer automatically free for everyone in most districts. Students and families are strongly encouraged to apply to qualify for the 2022-2023 school year.

Lake Hamilton School Superintendent Shawn Higginbotham says, “This could have been a huge relief for many families who are struggling financially and facing the extraordinary rise in costs of living.”

To put that in perspective, 19% of Arkansas children live in poverty. To receive free or reduced-price meals, your household income must be 130% of the federal poverty level or 185%.

I agree with Senator Sanders, who believes that “in the richest country in the world, it is an outrage that millions of children fight hunger every day.” All children deserve a quality education free from hunger. What we have seen during this pandemic is that a universal approach to school meals works. We can’t go back.”

The Heritage Foundation, in opposition, feels that universal free meals gave “welfare to the wealthy and middle class.” To that argument, I would say that they show a lack of knowledge of the current level of poverty in the county. We should be ashamed that we as a county allow any child in school to go hungry because they don’t qualify or don’t have money to pay for their food.

kenya luke

Thermal waters

the story of a woman

Dear Publisher:

This is a true story that happened in Hot Springs 26 years ago. A young woman was pregnant. Her doctor informed her that she was having twins. One was healthy, the other could die after birth. The young expectant mother was offered to abort the unhealthy. She said that she wanted to give birth to both babies. She did. The healthy girl was fine. Her sister had spina bifida. She was rushed to surgery. The baby lived. Past years. The Shriners learned of her condition and arranged for her to have surgery at no cost. After the surgery, she was able to walk with braces and crutches. She got married and gave birth to two healthy children, a boy and a girl.

He has been living in Virginia with his sister. She returned to Hot Springs in April with her children. She applied for food stamps but was denied because Virginia had not closed her account. They told him that he should get a letter from Virginia informing him that her account was closed. He contacted Virginia and was told that they would send him a letter. He was never mailed.

The local DHS office has not issued food stamps to this brave young mother. This is approaching the end of July. Personally, I think someone from DHS should be fired.

Howard Lee Kilby

Thermal waters

school safety message

Dear Publisher:

Seeing the coverage of the plan to make schools safer in the news today seems to fall a little short of what will actually protect children and teachers, unless they don’t cover everything they’re actually doing. Educating and training police is good, but it should have been done years ago because mass shootings in schools did not start in this country in 2022.

I think it would be very helpful to put in place a system to alert the police, like the one that banks and probably others have, as well as cameras monitored by security. Exterior doors can be locked from the outside, but will open from the inside in case of fire, etc., to allow people to exit. Most department stores have doors for other businesses. If teachers are alerted by a camera observer, they could secure students and lock doors to prevent mass shootings. Then order the police or fire department to get the children out the windows. If it is a two-story building, there are fire escape stairs that would be placed inside and pulled down to get students out. Think people, think. There are simple, easy, and inexpensive ways to add protection without arming teachers.

Over 300 mass shootings so far in 2022. It’s time to stop it, if you refuse to control guns, get control of the situation and protect those “babies” that everyone loves.

Judith Zitzko

hot spring town

‘Stellar Recommendation’

Dear Publisher:

Although it may be apocryphal, it is still good: the Gestapo asked Freud, when he applied to leave Austria, to write a memorandum praising his good deeds. The memorandum consisted of a sentence and a signature, which read: “I can recommend the Gestapo to anyone, yours sincerely Sigmund Freud.” Hitler reportedly shot the agent who accepted the letter.

Similarly, I recommend the good works of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as reported starting on page 19 of the current Arkansas Times.

Thomas Heckman

Thermal waters

added to list

Dear Publisher:

I used to believe that organized religions, worldwide without tolerance, would eventually spell the end of safe and sane government. Now I must add Internet to the list.

phil marriage

Thermal waters

It’s not a simple problem

Dear Publisher:

For those readers who see the issue of abortion as simple, as many state governments do, including Arkansas, I recommend that you read the article on page 1 in the Sunday, July 17 edition of the main newspaper Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The article notes that (1) the laws are so vague from state to state that doctors have difficulty understanding them. Dr. Jack Redneck, president of the American Medical Association, is quoted: “This is a scary time for both doctor and patient with new concerns about data privacy, access to contraception, and even when to start care for Save lives”.

Ectopic pregnancies pose a special problem. Those involve embryos that grow outside the womb and cannot be saved. Because abortion has now become a criminal act, many doctors will not help a woman in this situation. The issue is unclear as to saving the woman’s life now; the question now is: “Is she sick enough to be treated?”

In Texas, if the fetus’s heart is still beating, abortion is illegal, even if the woman’s life is at stake. Doctors at two Texas hospitals cited 28 women with pregnancies less than 23 weeks. They all had to wait nine days, increasing the risk of death for the woman, due to a fetal heartbeat.

Fourth, in the case of rape, some women are now being sterilized by choice. Some state laws do not allow abortion for rape and incest. Sterilization at a young age can be a problem later when the woman marries and wishes to have a child. Unlike a vasectomy, it cannot be reversed.

Fifth, 200,000 women are incarcerated in prisons across the United States. Few prisons have facilities for antenatal care or childbirth. But now there is no abortion, whatever the reason would be. legal, with the possibility of more deaths than usual.

Abortion is not a simple issue. Like most controversial issues, it is much more complex than many want to make it out to be. I suspect that the sale of abortion pills will grow in those states that allow it. What the future holds is now at stake.

John W. “Doc” Crawford

Thermal waters

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