Letters Angels in autos

To the editor:

"Angels in autos" may be seen stopping at homes, bouncing out of their vehicles and carrying something to peopless house doors. These "angels" are delivering "meals on wheels" from the Senior Nutrition Program to shut-ins five days a week, except for legal holidays.

This program would not be possible except for volunteers from approximately 25 groups from churches and other organizations. I know first hand, because I am one of the shut-ins benefitted by this program. What cheerful, happy people you are!

The organizations are churches: St. Agnes, Cornerstone, United Methodist, St. Paul's Episcopal, Newman Center, Trinity Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Concordia Lutheran, Faith Fellowship, St.

Agnes Catholic Church and Hillside First Baptist.

Other organizations are: Lions, Rotary, Eagles Auxiliary, SESDAC, CorTrust Bank, First Dakota Bank, Catholic Daughters, Lions, Rotary, 4-H, VFW Auxiliary, and 4-H clubs.

The number of home-bound recipients varies. Most of the time there are two routes: east and west. The people who deliver meals � men and women are peppy and cheerful, a bright spot in the day for me and other "customers." I trust I have not omitted anyone.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Bertha O. Johnson


Find a new word

To the editor:

Insisting on using the accepted word for uniting a man and a woman to describe the uniting of man to man or woman to woman can only be seen as an invitation to conflict and animosity without end.

The next step in language aggression or mongrelization would be the rewriting of all the laws on inheritance, adoption, joint required legal obligations, etc. The U.S. does not need this! Gays and lesbians, adopt your own individual word to describe your unions and future rights and obligations and let marriage alone. It has enough problems already!

The English or American language has 26 letters and endless combinations have proliferated through time to invent any word for which there was a perceived need. There is no God-given right to take a universally accepted word and change it at your pleasure to mean something else.

Along with getting a new life, gays, get a new word! Gay couples deserve, and should develop, a new word for future legal writing of future legal uniting and laws pertaining thereto. Demanding the use of the word of "marriage" will only lead to endless legal battles and wasted energy and resources, which are in short supply all the time but especially right now.

Unites? Obligated? Paired? Bound? Combined? Aligned? Entwined? Amalgamated? Partnered? Joined? Empowered? Lesbianed? Gayed? Language is more flexible than most marriages.

Get a life. Call it something new. Move on!

Kathleen Block


No option with HB 1191

To the editor:

In 1975 experimental infection of pregnant mice with St. Louis encephalitis virus, a virus related to West Nile virus (and also known to occur in South Dakota on rare occasions) resulted in still births, death shortly after birth, and severe brain damage, including cysts or "holes" in the brains in some mice.

Last year over 6000 people were infected with West Nile virus in the United States. One thousand forty one South Dakotans were infected with this virus and 14 of those cases were fatal. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus.

In 2002 a pregnant woman infected with West Nile virus gave birth to an infant with inflammation of the eyes and an MRI revealed severe cystic destruction of the brain. This case led the American Journal of Ophthalmology to report that "intrauterine transmission of WNV may result in significant ocular and neurologic morbidity." The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded "obstetricians and health care providers need to be mindful of West Nile virus infection in pregnant women presenting with fever and neurological signs, particularly in endemic areas."

Although the 2002 case is the only report to date of neurologic defects in an infant born to a mother with an active West Nile virus infection during pregnancy, CDC was so concerned about the potential problems pregnant women may face that a group of specialists were asked to developed a list of guidelines for doctors to evaluate infants born to West Nile virus infected mothers.

It appears that if Gov. Rounds signs HB 1191 into law, a pregnant woman, even if she knows the fetus has severe birth defects, will not be able to terminate the pregnancy. What do the lawmakers of South Dakota know that medical specialists in this country do not know?

Why are they in a position to prevent a mother from ending her suffering and the suffering of her unborn child? Why are we letting them?

Tanya D. Graham


Hoping for right choice

To the editor:

Our primary for elected officials should be moved up to Feb. 24, or the fourth Tuesday in February beginning in 2008 for both the state and presidential elections.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and this year, after looking at how the Congressional and presidential races have stacked up, with our state being without a Congressman from Jan. 20 to June 1 due to Bill Janklow's sudden forced resignation and the Democratic primaries deciding by March 2 on their respective candidates, I believe South Dakota issues would be addressed more directly on a national level if we moved the date up.

This year, however, we will have a national focus anyway in both the U.S. Senate race where former Congressman Thune is running against Senate Minority (49 percent) Leader Daschle in November and Stephanie Herseth is running against Larry Diedrich in the U.S. House race, both in the special election and the general election.

I believe that we should elect public officials who hold themselves accountable, for the way they spend the "people's money" and whether they level with the American people. President Bush, defending his actions by pointing at 9/11, has gotten us into a two-pronged war while continuing to rely on tax cuts to pull us out of our economic woes. It's not working, President Bush. "It's the Economy" that drives voters to the polls, and at least for now the Democratic candidates are focused on the right issues.

The next eight months will drag on and we will elect a new president and vice president in November. As South Dakotans, we will elect a senator and a Congressman/woman.

I just hope, for the sake of our country, that we make the right choice!

John Skilbred


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