Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Sept. 29, 2007

Thank you for helping a horse in need

I have noticed many letters to the editor are complaints regarding something.

I’d like to change the tone and give thanks to total strangers. Taking a moment to thank all of the people for their patience and help the morning of Sept. 26 with trying to catch our horse near Lake Dolloff.

Hey, we’re in our 70s, and a runaway horse just isn’t something we look forward to in the mornings. My husband was moving our two horses from one pasture to the other when “Baby Ruth” decided she’d like a little adventure and bolted out of the gate before he got the lead rope on her.

We appreciated all those who blocked the road with their vehicles and those that got out of their cars and helped us successfully herd her back into the pasture.

I’m sure people were late getting to where they were going, but still kind enough to stop and give us the help that we needed. Thank you so much.

Vern and Delores Warner, Auburn

Safety for city’s bikers

Today, I spent some time shopping, first at the mall, then crossing 320th Street to have lunch at the Old Country Buffet. After eating lunch, and knowing from past experience that at this time of the day (mid-afternoon) traffic would be bumper to bumper in every direction, I started for home.

About halfway to my home in Twin Lakes, there was a potential problem. A lone bicyle rider, hugging the curb, had just enough room to avoid getting run over by the cars racing past him with just inches to spare.

I thought to myself, if we want to encourage people to get out of their cars and start riding bikes or walking, we need to provide a separate right of way. Maybe create a 5- or 6-foot strip of cement along both sides of the right of way from one end of town to the other.

But wait a minute! There already is such a walkway. It is called a “sidewalk.” Miles and miles of cement, with just a handful of walkers. And almost no bike riders (as I understand it, bikes are not allowed on these “sidewalks” — I will check with the police department, and if bikes are in fact not allowed on these “sidewalks,” we need to change something.

If you are a walker or a bike rider, call City Hall, ask for one of the City Council members and voice your opinion.

Arthur Hagberg, Federal Way

Protect our kids’ health

The Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine on Sept. 23 produced a lead article about the University of Washington’s Laura Koutsky.

I think this story should be read by: 1) all parents of early adolescent girls and boys; 2) all young women considering a career in science; 3) anyone considering becoming sexually active whether 16, 18, 30 and HPV negative.

The recently licensed HPV vaccine is highly effective against the virus that is responsible for virtually all cervical cancer. After breast cancer, cervical is the most common cancer in women. Whether a woman begins sexual activity at 16, 20 or 30, the risks of acquiring this virus are enormous. That is 30 percent in one year and 60 percent in three years.

Acquiring the virus by no means dictates a woman will get cervical cancer. Only a fraction will. But preventing the virus by vaccine will virtually eliminate the risk of cervical cancer. It can eliminate thousands of abnormal Pap smears and the subsequent expensive, uncomfortable and embarrassing, treatment and follow-up.

My interest in this article was catalyzed by my background. I practiced OB/GYN in this community for over 20 years. As their physician, I helped hundreds of women with the diagnosis, work-up and treatment of the abnormal Pap smear. During my first clinical rotation in my third year of medical school at UW, my first attending professor was the King Holmes mentioned in this article. I currently am involved in the Federal Way Rotary’s mentoring program. Because of my background in medicine, I have worked with several high school young men and women considering a carrier in the health sciences.

All parents of young girls (and boys) should read this article to help make informed decisions about their children’s health and their own. Too often important health decisions are made on the basis of myth and poor information. This is particularly true if the subject of sexual activity is involved.

Personally, I don’t believe we are ready to accept a mandated vaccine, though this has been proposed. However, before deciding yes or no, become informed. In Washington, the vaccine is covered for people under 18.

Please read the article. It is a wonderful story about three women collaborating to tackle a significant health problem.

Kurt Weis, Federal Way

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