Reporter 2.6.13

October 8, 2014  |  By  | 

Page 2 | Lyon County Reporter Some people — the young in particular — are not convinced that America is still number one. They seem to know a lot about this county’s strengths and even more about our weaknesses. For instance, when I go back to Archie Bunker’s War (WWII) I re- member Pearl Harbor. The young more often than not remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In addi- tion, they are convinced that that global warming is an absolute and cigarettes should be banned while marijuana should be legal- ized. I do not blame the young. We are — all of us — what we eat and what is eating us. In addition, we are also what our textbooks and teachers teach us. The fact is, when I was in school, the good about America was strongly em- phasized and the negative was in very short supply. Only in recent years did many of us ever learn about the “other side of the coin” so to speak. There was another side there, alright, but it was sub- stantially minimized. Sex was not taught in the classroom that I can remember. Sex education was left primarily to parents, church- es and an occasional movie that was designed to make us pain- fully aware of the dangers of pro- miscuity. No more. Easy access to violence and sexuality is within almost every child’s reach. Yes, the times they have changed. Communism was tol- erated but few actually attempt- ed to promote it in the United States. The left-wing was accept- ed but rarely promoted any- where within the United States of America. We learned the hard way just how easy it would be to take away the freedoms we had. Those who thought that what happened in Germany and else- where could not happen here, might be in for a big surprise. All is not lost. We are, in my mind anyway, still number one, and we can remain that way if we build upon the basic beliefs that forged us up to the top in the rst place. We are still number one in most of the ways that are really important. Read the Bill of rights and you will begin to fathom why we were great so many years before. We were blessed — en- dowed from the very beginning — with certain Inalienable rights (that is God-given rights), that among those rights are life, liber- ty and the pursuit of happiness. If we are going downhill, fel- low Americans, I believe it is be- cause our moral core has been greatly eroded. We have forgot- ten from whom all our blessings have come. In the beginning, we were great because we were basically good. Inch by inch, our inner discipline has been dimin- ished substantially. With its de- mise, so goes our basic strengths. God used to be our shepherd. No more. The government has taken God’s place here and in so many nations abroad. Check their records, if you will, and see where we might be headed. Let us once again become “One nation, under God, with lib- erty and justice for all.” February 6, 2013 On Record Jim Hensley ...................Chief Operating Officer Lisa Miller ...................................General Manager Kristin Snell ..........................................News Editor Jodie Hoogendoorn .................Associate Editor Jeff Benson ........................................Sports Editor Lois Kuehl .............................Adv. Representative Kari Jurrens ........................Advertising Assistant Daniel Wendland ...............Business Office Mgr. Marilyn Ahrendt .....................Business Assistant Shaun Kats ........................................Graphic Artist Melissa deBoer ................................Graphic Artist Megan Punt ......................................Graphic Artist Mary Clausen .......................Circ./Office Services Published weekly at 310 First Avenue, Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246. 712-472-2525 (USPS 323-300) Copyright 2011 Lyon County Reporter, a New Century Press Newspaper Periodicals postage paid at Rock Rapids. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Lyon County Reporter, P.O. Box 28, Rock Rapids, IA 51246 Member: Iowa Newspaper Association and National Newspaper Association Letter to the Editor We The People... In the Public Interest Marijuana: Too risky a choice Grins And Glares Grins to people who turn on their headlights when it is foggy and rain- ing. Grins to the road workers who work so diligently to clean up the roads right away with salt and snowplows when a storm hits. Glares to people who litter and throw their garbage on people’s lawns, especially in town. It is illegal, disgusting, disrespectful and unnec- essary. Clean up your own mess and throw it in the garbage! Glares to the thieves who have been breaking into garages and taking items that don’t belong to them. The road back to #1... The over regulation of school lunches LYON COUNTY In November the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana became legal in Colorado and Wash- ington, although federal law still bans both the sale and possession of marijuana. Over a dozen other states have decriminalized possession of said small amounts and Massachu- setts recently became the 18th state to allow its use for medicinal pur- poses. Is there any wonder why our youth’s “perception” of harm for this drug is low and perceived risk has been shown to have a strong corre- lation to drug use. Proponents of the legalization of the drug feel that its hazards are over- blown and that the prohibition of the drug has failed. Opponents say that the three-pronged approach of Pre- vention, Treatment and Law Enforce- ment has worked and fewer people use it than back in the 1960’s and 70’s. Marijuana use, especially regu- lar use, can impair problem solving, concentration, motivation, memory and can cause birth defects. Some say that alcohol and tobacco while legal, are far more dangerous and costly to society. No one disagrees that high-risk use of alcohol and to- bacco can be deadly and still abused even while legal, but the tax revenue from them is far outweighed by the costly damage they cause. Why would the legalization of marijuana be any dierent? The adverse impact on our social and economic well- being cannot be over looked. Prag- matic regulatory framework (like for tobacco) may even reduce underage adolescent use the proponents say. Marijuana should not be sold on the open market. Research tells us that access and availability lead to great- er use. There is no assurance, under legalization, that the underground market would disappear because that market could very easily adapt to and undercut a legal, taxed prod- uct like marijuana. The most disturb- ing new studies about early teenage use of marijuana showed that young adults who started smoking pot before they were 16 performed sig- nicantly worse on cognitive tests of brain functions. They also performed particularly poorly on tests assess- ing executive function, which is re- sponsible for planning and abstract thinking, as well as understanding rules and inhibiting inappropriate responses. This all puts teenagers at a higher risk for addiction. Yes, mari- juana can be addictive. There is a lot to be learned from our experience with trying to keep alcohol and tobacco out of kids’ hands. Establishing a minimum age is not enough. Nationwide, some 60% of new smokers and some 80% of new drinkers each year are un- derage. Some blame the parents while others the school or the alco- hol industry. Holding young people solely responsible is like holding sh responsible for dying in a polluted stream. Some people believe that legal- izing recreational use would create revenues that would make it pos- sible to use proven approaches to youth substance-abuse prevention strategies. Creating funded pro- grams that can help young people negotiate their way around detours due to alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. These may also help to estab- lish funding for help with the cost of treatment for those who need it. Still, legalization takes health con- sumers into murky territory. Today’s marijuana is much more potent and this increased potency is having un- foreseen consequences. Like more admissions to emergency rooms and treatment programs for marijuana dependency. The legalization of this drug does not make it “safe.” In the meantime, conversations between parents and children about marijuana are key. Yes, kids do listen to there parents, although at times they may not seem to. A child might say, “but everyone is getting high and it’s no big deal.” There is a lot of misinformation about pot in the media and on the Internet. Some erroneously insist that marijuana is harmless, safer than aspirin. That is not true. For the facts go to the Drug Policy Alliance website and look for the booklet for parents written by Dr. Marsha Rosenbaum titled “Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs.” Teen pot users put themselves at risk including spi- raling down hill at school and get- ting trapped on an emotional roller coaster much hairier than what’s al- ready pretty hairy for teens. Our kids need to know how important it is that they learn problem-solving and coping skills during their teen years that they will need for the rest of their lives. That do not involve substances like alcohol or marijuana. Teens’ brains are still developing, which is why they may be more vulnerable to the eects of these drugs. A number of studies have linked chronic mari- juana use to increased rates of anxi- ety, depression and schizophrenia, according to Even with all its supposed potential bene- ts, marijuana should not be viewed as a “harmless substance.” Marijuana use is a bad choice. We are about to go down the wrong road, in the opposite direction of sound mental health policy. Legaliz- ing marijuana sends the wrong mes- sage. There are many excellent rea- sons to avoid marijuana. Marijuana use damages brain development in young people. Heavy users can be- come socially isolated and perform worse in school and at work. Mari- juana smoke harms the lungs. Be aware that about one-sixth of users will become chronically dependent on marijuana, and as a result will lose or harm something that is of value to them. Ron Vincelli – Prevention Con- sultant (Compass-Pointe Behavioral Health Services) Ken Barker C OLUMNIST If you haven’t taken the time recently to search on You Tube about the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, then you may have missed a video that was posted a couple of months ago called “We Are Hungry.” This satirical look at the Healthy Hunger- Free Kids Act gives all of us a laugh or two, but when you take a closer look at the legislation, the provisions placed upon the schools, child-care providers, and adult-care providers are over reaching and intrusive and at some levels discrimi- nating towards all kids not obese. While I think most of us support healthier meals at school for our children, we also need to take into con- sideration many dierent facts and this idea that “one size” of calorie intake ts all does not work. Currently the calorie intake is broken down into three categories: grades K-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. When schools are preparing lunch for our students grades K-5 are al- lowed to have a maximum amount of 650 calories, grades 6-8 the maximum is 700 calories, and grades 9-12 is 850 calories. Now our children are only al- lowed to have 2 oz of meat a day and only fat-free and low-fat milk are allowed to be served with this meal. Last time I checked these are growing children. When you check the Website HealthyChildren. org which is run by the American Academy of Pe- diatrics, they list the follow- ing calorie intake for chil- dren for the day as: Children’s Age Catego- ries Total Calorie Intake for the Day* School Lunch Pro- gram % of Total 4 - 8 years old 1,200 – 1,400 46.4 percent (on 1,400) 9 - 13 (female) years old 1,600 40.6 percent if in K-5, 43.7 percent if in 6-8 9 - 13 (male) years old 1,800 36.1 percent if in K-5, 38.8 percent if in 6-8 14 - 18 (female) years old 1,800 38.8 percent if in 6-8, 47.2 percent if in 9-12 14 - 18 (male) years old 2,200 31.8 percent if in 6-8, 38.6 percent if in 9-12 *For active children, calorie re- quirements may be greater This Website also points out that by the time a child reaches adolescence “as many as 20 to 30 percent of them have completely giv- en up the morning meal.” So 20 to 30 percent of them are not eating breakfast and now for boys lunch can dip to 31.8 percent of their total calorie intake. I am not sure what the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accomplished other than decreasing our children’s energy levels. This is considering a nor- mal child who will most likely have a meal for sup- per when they are home, but what about the chil- dren that don’t have that hot meal waiting for them at home? Also what about the children that are active in sports, who have prac- tice after school and whose needs are even higher than those shared above? These students are also going to be distracted during the day from their hunger. Luckily many children have parents that will x lunches and send them to school with enough to eat, but what about the parents that can’t aord to send a lunch every day with their child? While it may seem minor the regulations that have been put into eect here ignore children that have medical conditions that require a certain calo- rie intake or the hungry child. The real problem is that it is time for the gov- ernment to stop being in- trusive and regulating our personal lives. If Michelle Obama would have just gone with her “Let’s Move” campaign I don’t think peo- ple would have been up in arms about what she was doing, but now telling my child what and how much they are allowed to eat is wrong. Last time I checked that was my job as a parent. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute. They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry. Jennifer Crull, IT Specialist, Public Interest Institute