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Letters to the Editor Feb. 2, 2012

Dental van making impressive difference in kids’ self-worth

I have been working with families and children in our community for almost 30 years and have witnessed some phenomenal transformations of self-worth, when our children receive services from the various agencies committed to improving children’s lives, but nothing like the transformations I have witnessed in the past two weeks.

These transformations are made possible by the mobile Dental Van (aka “Tooth Fairy”). My school has been the recipient of  Tooth Fairy services and the smiles are making a difference. I have students who are literally smiling for the first time in a long while.

In just two weeks, self-confidence and self-esteem have exploded on my campus. The attendance has also improved, due to the desire to see the dentist. This incredible service is not only serving my school, but will visit every school in the county and stay until the transformations are complete for each participating child.

Parents, be on alert for a bright pink packet. The packet does seem a bit daunting, but it is well worth your time to complete it and return it as soon as possible. The next school to receive a Tooth Fairy visit is Bess Maxwell.

It has been said the world always looks brighter from behind a smile, and every day our children are proof there is power in a smile.

My smile goes out the California Endowment, Building Healthy Families Initiative, The Del Norte Community Health Center and Del Norte County Unified School for making these smiles happen.

I also want to thank the Transformation Dental Team of Dr. Robert Chiang, Lynda Bourne, Laura Johnson and Barbara Davis for their genial and understanding care. A special thank you smile also, goes out to the Student Support Program coordinator, Martha Scott, and Jessica Turner, family liaison for student support.

This commitment to our children and community makes me smile knowing that I live in such wonderful place.

Martha McClure

Crescent City

 

Troubling, dangerous to say liberals oppose Constitution

Marlowe Thompson’s Jan. 21 letter, “Liberals oppose Constitution, Declaration of Independence,”β€ˆis troubling

First, it’s dangerous to say liberals oppose the U.S. Constitution. I’m an ultra-liberal, yet when I was 20 years old I consented to potentially forfeit my life when I swore to uphold and defend the greatest legal document in world history, against all enemies foreign and domestic.

When I attended college my concentration of study was history, political science, and pre-law. I chose these topics because I was fascinated with the document that provides me freedoms not known in some places I visited while in the Army.

These areas of study allowed me to better understand our great document in many regards: how it is interpreted; the historical context/climate giving rise to its ratification; and, how it guarantees freedoms to all of us.

In law school my favorite courses are Constitutional law and Criminal Procedure. This is because I am fascinated with how the document grants and restrains the power of the federal government; how it provides liberties, leading to individual self-determination; and, it creates a brilliant balance between how much power law enforcement is given to effectively keep us safe, while guaranteeing that these state actors always play by the rules in accordance with the 4th–6th and 14th amendments!

For clarification, no politician is bound by the Declaration of Independence. It’s not a legal document. The Constitution is a legal document.

Also, abortion first became illegal in the U.S. in Connecticut in 1823 and not because of the “quickening” theory. Connecticut wasn’t interested in protecting fetuses but was interested in protecting the mother. The mortality rate associated with abortion was substantially higher to the mother than live birth.

Last, read the Constitution: there are only post-natal references to “life.” The Constitution, read textually, owes the fetus nothing.

The phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is a war cry. It has never had any legal significance and people should refrain from citing it as if it does. However, “life, liberty, and property” appears within the 5th and 14th amendments in regards to due process. Both procedural and substantive due process should be what we are concerned with. And though I am liberal I want to fight to ensure the Constitution is used in a proper way to maximize our freedoms, enrich our lives, and curtail an unfair legislature.

Mike Rhodes

Omaha, Neb.

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