Letters To The Editor


November 02, 2008

Two teenagers want voting age dropped to 14

We believe the voting should be lowered to 14.

All students have been learning Social Studies since fifth grade, and from eighth grade on we have been learning U.S. history.

It is important to be educated about our country's history, and although we know plenty of things about the current and past government systems, we cannot vote. This seems very unfair and odd.

When a president is elected and makes decisions, not only are adults affected, teenagers are too.

One example is the tanking of the economy.

This has affected many adults because of loss of jobs, but it also can affect their children. If an adult loses his or her job and has to sell the house and move to a less desirable neighborhood with schools that aren't high-quality, a teenager could not receive as good an education as he or she wanted, affecting the teen's future career and ultimately his or her life's outcome.

Teens could be required to take a test to prove their knowledge of the government. Students would sign up to vote, and, at random times during the school day, they could be called from class, take the test, vote and then return to class. This would reduce the chances of parents persuading their children to vote for their preferred candidate. This would work because, since it would be in school, their parents would not be there to tell them who to vote for.

Teenagers have new, untainted and exciting ideas, views and insights. Most have a good view of current events and always have their minds racing about new ideas and systems the government could use.

Scott Szybist and Niels Drury

The writers are 14-year-old Ellicott City residents who attend Wilde Lake High School

Her husband lost his breast cancer battle

I read your article regarding Bob Smith's breast cancer ["Male breast cancer survivor is on a mission," Oct. 23].

My husband also was a victim of male breast cancer and his story is much like Bob's. He also had a lump which the doctor told him it was nothing to worry about - but when it became sore he was referred to a surgeon, who immediately did a biopsy.

After undergoing a mastectomy, he did radiation but opted against chemo. I wish I could go back to 2002, to persuade him otherwise. Maybe the cancer would not have come back as soon as it did. He was cancer-free for 31/2 years. He did hormone therapy, radiation and chemo, but the cancer won. He lost his battle in January, 51/2 years after his original diagnosis.

Every chance I get, I remind everyone that breast cancer is not just a woman's disease.

May God bless Bob and his family.

Ellen Dana, Ellicott City

A survival story from Vermont

I'm writing in response to the article about Bob Smith and his battle with breast cancer.

My husband, David, 65, is a four-year survivor and, knock on wood, doing really well. Though he is 20 years older than Smith, he survived another cancer, Hodgkin's disease, at Smith's age along with many other problems, including heart bypass surgery in the middle of his chemo treatments. He has a great attitude and it sounds like you do, too.

We live in a small town in Vermont, but it happens to be where the Komen Race for the Cure is held each year. So he and I have both been involved with it for years. So, good luck and keep raising awareness. Your story will help other people detect their cancer earlier than they would otherwise.

Marlene Skulnik, Manchester, Vt.

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