Wednesday April 10, 2013

Editor of the Reformer:

As a concerned citizen, I think that people should know how many families are in poverty from the past 10 years. Poverty can affect families because minimum wage is too low and there are not enough jobs in the U.S.A. People should know what poverty can do to people and how it can harm people. People should be curious about how many people die from each year due to poverty.

It affects people that aren’t in poverty because they can do food fundraisers to help people in poverty. This should concern you because it can lead to death, as a matter of fact over one-and-a-half million people die each year due to poverty. This could lead to death by not being able to eat enough food to be healthy.

People should know the poverty rate in the U.S.A. My friend and his family are in poverty, and he said the longest it’s been since he’s had dinner was eight days; he said the only food he eats is school food. On the morning of March 23 I had a karate food fundraising tournament to give to Bridget’s Kitchen and we got 52 food boxes and 20 boxes of rolls.

According to the U.S census "52 million people are in poverty." According to the World Food Programme, "807 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. This number has fallen by 130 million since 1990, but progress slowed after 2008." That is 12 percent of people in the world who don’t have food to eat every night.

Apparently, United Nations Children’s Fund, formerly United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, said "child poverty rate in U.S.A is 28.8 percent." That is 3.2 percent of kids who are in poverty. According to pitt.edu, "Poverty means lacks of basic capacity to participate effectively in society."

If you think that poverty cannot harm anyone you are wrong because if they don’t eat that could end up leading to death. I am also concerned because eight million people don’t have enough food each year.

All these facts make me concerned about poverty. I hope you feel for the people in poverty. If you’re concerned, you can tell friends how to help stop poverty, and they can do the same. We could write a note to Congress to raise the minimum wage. I hope we can help lower poverty rate in the U.S.

Phillip A. Gilbert, Jr.

Editor of the Reformer:

I believe that drug abuse by teens is an old epidemic that needs some attention that’s constantly denied. We need to give the teens something to keep them occupied so they don’t get bored and start doing drugs. That’s why things like the skate park need to be built to keep teens away from the influences of drugs. Imagine if your kid was doing drugs that could mentally harm them. What would you think or do? Drug abuse is a problem and it needs to change. I believe that we all need to work together to end drug abuse.

Drugs are also very harmful. Drugs kill seven times as many people as alcohol even though less people use drugs than alcohol according to the Coalition Against Drug Abuse. Also there are 6.5 percent of 8th graders who use drugs. For middle schools, this means that 65 out of 1,000 students do drugs in the 8th grade, alone. In 10th grade, 170 out of 1,000 students do drugs; that’s a lot. In 12th grade, 22.9 percent of the students do drugs -- that’s more than 229 out of 1,000 students.

Here are some of the ways that drugs are dangerous.

If a person who is on drugs is on the street driving they must be trying to get to a place. More than 10,000 people were reported driving under the influence of drugs in 2010. That’s 10,000 people who don’t even have drivers’ licenses anymore. This is a danger to both the kids and people on the street. And that’s 10,000 people doing drugs. This needs to change and is very evil.

Some people think that drugs aren’t a problem, but think again. According to Drug free.org, 200,000 people die each year from drug abuse. That’s more people than alcohol kills annually, even though less people use drugs. If more people use alcohol than drugs, this proves that drugs are more deadly simply because they kill more people. People need to realize that drugs are very common and people even get addicted to prescription medications, too, even though it sounds impossible. As people, we need to change this.

These are some of the issues that need to be solved.

As people I think that we need to be better about this. If we solve these problems people can live much easier lives. Please help. I think that drug abuse is a huge problem and it needs to change. I think that if you suspect someone of drug abuse you should report them. I think that if any teen druggies are reading this they should try getting help for themselves and tell others. Therapy is a reliable option. There are places where they take people and they help them get better, try these. They may help you with your problem. In our town we have the Brattleboro Retreat. These are some of the ways that we can help please try.

Ryan Tyler Editor of the Reformer:

As a concerned citizen I feel that domestic violence is a big issue in the U.S.A. I want to tell Brattleboro how important it is. This is a major problem that needs to be dealt with. I also want to address how it affects the adults and kids who experience the horror.

I feel domestic violence is a huge issue in Brattleboro. I think that women usually get beaten more than men. I feel that domestic violence is more physical than emotional abuse. According to Domestic Violence Statistics.org, "Every nine seconds a woman is beaten, raped, killed or assaulted." This means that it’s a big issue and that it is a hidden fact that numerous people do not know about.

According to HelpGuide.org, "Result of domestic violence: Anxiety, depression, eating disorders, possible suicide." This means these are the results of domestic violence that could cause emotional problems as well as suicide. According to Helpguide.org, " Emotional abuse is undermining an the individual’s sense of worth and/or self-esteem is abused. This may include but is not limited to constant criticism and diminishing abilities." This means emotional abuse may not hurt physically but it can hurt your brain or heart, and that could hurt you terribly.

According to HelpGuide.org, "Domestic abuse also known as (spousal abuse) occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control other people in relationships. Domestic abuse that includes physical contact is called domestic violence."

I know you might say, domestic violence is not a big problem but, it is. Domestic violence can happen anywhere. Why should we care? You should care because imagine that you and your wife or your husband were in the middle of domestic violence. One solution is to seek help if you’re being abused. You always have a choice. There are many support groups and shelters that can help during crisis times. Domestic violence is a serious issue and I hope that this helps you.

Brandon Barnard

Editor of the Reformer:

I would like to bring attention to the issue of smoking. This issue is important to me because it causes a lot of health problems, like different kinds of cancer, birth defects, tooth decay and many more problems. I feel very strongly about this because my sister smokes and all I smell is the disgusting cigarette smoke burning my nose.

I have seen lung cancer in action killing the innocents in my family. My grandmother died because she had cancer and my aunt also died of cancer. I think that people should do something that would stop these people from smoking tobacco products.

If we don’t fix this problem soon, there are going to be more people smoking everyday. If your 18-year-old daughter smoked, and just a couple of years later she had cancer and died how would you feel?

I think that tobacco products are really expensive. Have you ever noticed someone you know who smokes? One day they have a full paycheck, then the next they’re broke because they spent all their money on tobacco.

According to CDC, "If a man smokes it increases his chance getting lung cancer by 23 times." This means that if you are male and smoke, your chances of getting lung cancer will go up 23 more times than a male who doesn’t smoke. Also according to DoSomething, "396,000 smokers who started smoking as teens die each year from smoking related diseases." This means that smokers who started smoking as a teen might be one of the 396,000 smokers who die each year. Would you like to be in those chances of being one of the 396,000 teens that die from smoking each year?

According to the American Lung Association, " Every day almost 3,000 children under the age of 18 try their first cigarette and more than 950 of them will become daily smokers. Half of them will die from the habit." This means that a lot of teens or children under the age of 18 can become addicted and half of them might die from it. Also according to the American Lung Association, "Among adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking regularly at the age of 18 or younger, and 85 percent started when they were 21 or younger." This means that if you smoke you are always at risk.

You might say that is your own right to smoke but if you smoke around children or other adults they could get second-hand smoke and cancer, even if they are not the one who is smoking. So if you are ever smoking around anyone else, remember that you have their lives in your hands also. Even if they don’t smoke they still can get cancer and die from it. You also might say "I’m not unhealthy and I smoke!" But just because you’re healthy now doesn’t mean you will be healthy forever, because you won’t.

All right, here’s my master plan: Store owners should raise the price to make it expensive so people have to buy less packs of cigarettes and put more important things first. Store owners can also limit the public places so anyone else there can’t get second-hand smoke. Another way to get people to stop smoking you could put the ingredients on the box of cigarettes or any tobacco products.

Now you know why I think smoking is bad but the main thing is what you think about smoking. Remember the facts and the risks you are taking and the risk you are putting other people through just because you are smoking around them.

Traelor N. Fisher

Editor’s Note: More letters coming soon