August 13, 2001 12:00 PM

Vanished

My sister Leanne Green vanished on April 15, 1987 and has never been found. How it changed my life! Although it has been 14 years, the unknown is the part you can never let go. I still get chills when I read about other families who are dealing with the mysterious disappearance of a loved one. My heart goes out to all of them, along with my prayers for closure.

Laurie Daughtery, White Bluff, Tenn.

Thank you for your story about missing adults. I was disappointed, though, that you did not include the case of Kristen Modafferi, a young woman from Charlotte who disappeared in San Francisco in 1997. Kristen was the inspiration behind a bill that I introduced in Congress, which was signed into law and authorizes a national center for missing adults. Since she was over 18, Kristen’s family discovered that the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children couldn’t help them. A clearing-house where families of missing adults can turn for support is desperately needed, and Kristen’s act will make it a reality.

U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, Charlotte, N.C.

Susan Levy, the mother of missing intern Chandra Levy, states that if Gary Condit were any other guy, he would have had to take a police polygraph test by now. Well, at the risk of sounding callous, if he were any other guy, this case would not have received the media attention it has. As horrible as the Levys’ situation is, it could be worse. A U.S. representative could not be involved, and their child’s disappearance would have been nothing more than a blip on the national media’s radar.

Jennifer Krzys, Southfield, Mich.

Why does our society place more value on a missing person because she slept with a congressman? I hope that Chandra is reunited with her family, but I also wish that the other families of missing people could get the coverage that Chandra’s case has gotten. These families are suffering equally, and we should be equally concerned for the return of their loved ones.

Jennifer Mullen, East Taunton, Mass.

There is something terribly wrong with our culture when individuals victimize females who are young, naive and innocent.

Niles F. Bell, Minoa, N.Y.

Ritalin

It is not the answer for every behavior problem, but when Ritalin works well, it can make an enormous difference for a child. Unfortunately, alternative solutions are expensive for parents and school districts. We can’t continue to stack kids in classrooms and expect everyone to do well and teachers to remain sane.

Torree Abrams, Bend, Ore.

I grew up with my youngest brother on Ritalin. I don’t think that he would have made it this far in life (he’s now 19) without it. Ritalin wasn’t the only answer to his attention-deficit disorder (ADD); it was a piece of the puzzle. He still had problems, but with the combination treatment of medicine, therapy and love, the doctor gave us hope of one day throwing the medication out. I think that doctors today are too quick to write a prescription, and parents are too quick to accept it. Still, the right dose with the right care can make a world of difference for a child who struggles to sit through a 30-minute cartoon.

Natalie A. Felix, San Bernardino, Calif.

My son was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 10. From that point Ritalin became the drug that nightmares are made of for me. After a myriad of dosage adjustments, counseling and heart-wrenching mood swings, I decided to discontinue the drug without the knowledge of his teachers or counselor. I was later told by his teacher, “Oh, he is doing so much better since the Ritalin.” He hadn’t been on Ritalin for about two months. It made me wonder if her attitude toward him was changing just because she thought he was being medicated.

S. Adair, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Declaration of Independence

Living in a nation where kids don’t really care much for their nation’s history and take their freedom for granted (myself included), I found the article inspiring. The celebrity-backing certainly helps remind the public to pay attention to an important part of who we are. I know I’m feeling the need to refresh my mind with a history lesson.

Jessica Hill, Davie, Fla.

Mailbag

In response to Chelsea Bullard’s letter, I can’t help but wonder if she would feel differently if Boy Scouts were trying to keep out members of racial minorities rather than gay children and adults. It wasn’t too long ago that people were saying they weren’t racist, but they just didn’t want their children going to school with “those people.” Fear and misunderstanding of people with a different sexual orientation pretty much defines homophobia in my book.

Elizabeth Cornwall, Concord, Mass.

You May Like

EDIT POST