Ad Spot

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2002

By Staff
Gas tax for education
To the editor:
What kind of a signal does it send out to industry when a state significantly cuts into its education budget? If I were a CEO of a particular company, I don't think I would move a division of my company into a state that can't seem to support its educational system.
Even if you don't have any children in the schools, remember that educated children tend to commit less crime and generally are better citizens. I propose that the Mississippi Legislature add an additional 4 cent tax to each gallon of gas sold in Mississippi to be used solely for education. Using the figures from July 1999 through June 2000, there were roughly 1.6 billion gallons of "taxable" gas sold. That would translate to around $64 million additional educational dollars. Paying an additional 50 cents or so to fill up one's car shouldn't cause too much difficulty and should significantly help our children.
Mark Eubanks
via e-mail
Respect me'
To the editor:
With the usual superb quality, Hallmark Hall of Fame produced both an insightful and quite accurate portrayal of the effect of mental illness on a family. "My Sister's Keeper" aired on CBS Jan. 27.
The older sister(brilliantly acted by Kathy Bates) was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder at the age of 16. Bouts with her illness resulted in her being in and our of hospitals. Finally with therapy and medication she was able to understand her disorder and become a productive citizen. This can usually be achieved with proper treatment and patient support, according to Surgeon General David Satcher.
The long-suffering mother (Lynne Redgrave) tried on the one hand to support the elder daughter, while at the same time tried to shield the younger daughter from her sister's illness. The younger sister genuinely loved her older sister, but was embarrassed by her lack of inhibition, non-conformity to etiquette, and was overwhelmed by her dire emotional need in crisis.
Finally, following their mother's death, there was a resolute sharing of love, memories and emotion.
The ill sister succinctly and eloquently stated, "Respect me," and so we should.
Brenda Pennington
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill