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September 17, 2013 at 6:59 AM
My heart is aching for those people who don’t have diapers for their little ones. [“Lack of diapers creates problems for families,” News, Sept. 16.]
I know it is problematic to not be able to change babies’ diapers. But tell me this. Has anyone ever heard of cloth diapers that you use, wash and reuse continually?
Some cloth diapers could be distributed to these people with instructions on how to fold and wash the diapers, if anyone can still remember the procedure.
My husband and I raised three boys, and never used disposable diapers.
Isn’t it so much better for the environment to use the old-fashioned, regular cloth diapers?
Mary Hickey, Oak Harbor
September 5, 2013 at 7:01 AM
Living in fear
I work in a clinic, and frequently answer phone calls from frightened and panicked mothers. [“Editorial: The heavy cost of vaccination free-riders,” Opinion, Sept. 1.]
These mothers are beside themselves, because their unvaccinated child just was cut deeply while on vacation yet they never got a tetanus shot, or they’ve been exposed to pertussis in school and they hadn’t received the DTaP vaccine, or there is a threat of measles going around and they opted out of the MMR immunization for their child.
I just listen patiently, but I want to say, “You chose not to vaccinate out of fear that something bad might happen and now you are living in fear because something bad is actually happening.”
You can’t have it both ways. Either trust that vaccines will protect your child as they are designed to do, or live in fear, but be prepared when your unvaccinated children are exposed to things out of your control.
It’s your choice.
Sapphire Sun Hort, Seattle
August 29, 2013 at 6:32 PM
More education funding needed
So now Seattle is moving to provide more preschool education for all its 3- and 4-year-old residents. [“Editorial: Preschool investment,” Opinion, Aug. 26.]
Bravo! Apparently, older kids will arrive at school with backpacks filled. Bravo again!
Will great programs will greet them? Perhaps not so much. When will we accept the need for a dependable source of revenue so all children in this great, wealthy state have a fair chance?
Anyone out there for a progressive state income tax? Or are we satisfied with educational Balkanization?
Rachael Levine, Burien
August 29, 2013 at 7:04 AM
Family court dropped the ball
How in the world did the sadistic Brandon and Viviana Gunn of Kitsap County get guardianship of his 13-year-old brother? [“Around the Northwest: Couple charged with child assault,” NW Wednesday, Aug. 28.]
Their arrest for brutally torturing the boy sickens me. I just recently jumped through numerous legal hoops here to be given guardianship of my disabled younger brother after our mother died, even though I had lovingly overseen his care for most of his life. I had a criminal-background check and had to be vetted by a court-appointed family attorney, at Thurston County’s expense. This was after decades of working with my brother’s case manager.
With such scrutiny and expense made over a dependent individual in my family’s situation, where did Kitsap County’s family court drop the ball? Surely there must have been warning signs of this couple’s outrageously cruel behavior.
They should never have been awarded guardianship of this child, and need to go to prison for a long, long time.
Carolyn LaFond, Olympia
August 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM
Where’s the science?
Teens are used to adults making statements about marijuana that are not true. This leads them to reject any advice from adults that might be true. [“Guest: What to tell your child about marijuana,” Health & Fitness, Aug. 25.]
The Times should require a guest writer like Dan Labriola to provide a source for his dubious assertions of “facts” about marijuana.
I don’t believe he can provide a single scientific, random, controlled, double-blind study that backs up his assertions. Put this stuff on the Opinion page, where it belongs.
Kurt Johnson, Kirkland
August 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM
King County is taking action
With one in five students in King County overweight or obese, we agree with Marilyn McKenna’s concern that having healthy foods in schools is a critical component to addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. [“Guest column: Curbing childhood obesity starts with school lunches,” Opinion, Aug. 14.]
Six school districts with high obesity rates (Seattle, Highline, Tukwila, Renton, Kent and Auburn) are working together to change the school nutrition landscape, thanks to a federal grant focused on community health.
Seattle Public Schools facilitates the group working to update and strengthen school nutrition and physical activity wellness policies and implement new regulations for foods sold outside of the cafeteria. These districts are offering more fresh fruits and vegetables. More than 400 cafeteria staff from 12 school districts in the county have completed the culinary and nutrition training known as “discover. cook. nourish.”
The Harvest of the Month program teaches elementary students about Washington-grown foods on the menu. Kent, Renton and Auburn are working on a Farm-to-School program to purchase and promote locally-grown produce from farmers.
Parents and community members can help by getting involved in shaping school wellness policies.
Wendy Weyer, Seattle Public Schools, and Donna Oberg, Public Health Seattle & King County
July 24, 2013 at 7:27 AM
Early-learning programs benefit everyone
King County Sheriff John Urquhart and Seattle’s Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel got it right when they noted how high-quality early-learning programs build a solid foundation for success in school and life. [“Guest column: Early learning is a crime-fighter,” Opinion, July 17.]
Not only is it one of the best ways to lower future crime, but it is also the way to address the “opportunity gap” in our state and nation. Research and compelling evidence show that children who participate in quality learning programs achieve better academic results in their K-12 studies and also have practiced good habits of goal-setting, self-discipline, problem-solving, and effective collaboration with others.
According to a recent report by the business leaders group, America’s Edge, children with positive early-learning experiences are far more likely to graduate on-time from high schools and subsequently enter the workforce with higher level skills and earn more as adults.
All of our kids deserve the best start possible. Federal and state efforts to strengthen and expand early-learning programs are smart investments for our kids and for our economic competitiveness.
Anita Lammert, Seattle
July 24, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Parents play a part
In her guest column, Liv Finne concludes by saying that “reforms that give most Washington parents a greater voice in their children’s education will have to wait for another day.” [“WEA blocked education reforms,” Opinion, July 16.]
Do parents realize the great voice they already have in their children’s education … at home?
Going to the library, daily reading, conversation, taking “field trips” around the city, participating in PTA activities, playing games or sports as a family, limiting TV, and using technology appropriately all promote learning.
Attitudes are learned at home, and motivated students will learn anywhere and anytime. Involved parents are key!
Theresa Anderson, Edmonds
July 16, 2013 at 7:29 AM
Is The Seattle Times kidding us with this article? [“Newcomers want to know areas with fewest little ones,” NW Friday, July 12.]
I understand there are people who don’t want to be around kids. They have a right to their biases. But for The Seattle Times to present this uncritically, with maps showing which neighborhoods have the fewest children, is crazy.
What’s next, “How to avoid those pesky elderly people,” complete with maps of where they live so we can steer clear of them?
Sally Brady, Seattle
Children enliven the neighborhood
My wife and I have lived on the same block in Montlake for 50 years and have seen several waves of children enliven our neighborhood. We are grateful for their presence.
They are a cheerful reminder of continuity in our city and society. Diversity is the leaven in a community, and we would not choose to live in a place where everybody is like us.
David Lamb, Seattle
June 25, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Children should learn to respect identities of self, others
Cheers for the parents and Colorado’s civil-rights division for putting a child’s rights above our right to discriminate. [“Transgender first-grader wins discrimination case,” News, June 24.]
As a past director of an early childhood learning center, I realize the potential challenges of working with the rights of a transgender child and the school community.
Our children are growing up in a different world than we did. It is bigger and more inclusive of differences. One thing I am sure of is that no one can decide for another person the truth of who we are and how we feel about ourselves. That is our inherent right that must be protected, fostered and honored.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful message for children to learn at a young age that it really is what’s inside of us that counts?
Mary Dispenza, Bellevue
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