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Letters to the editor for March 23

Photo caption was misleading

To the editor,

I am writing in reference to a picture published in the Feb. 23 edition of your newspaper, on page 7A. A caption below the photo read: "a live ultrasound was done at the banquet, showing a baby in the first trimester" of pregnancy.

Although I certainly understand the motivation of those who want to describe a less than 14-week-old fetus as a "baby," I believe some clarification is necessary. The length of a fetus at 14 weeks (first trimester) is 85 mm, which is 3 1/3 inches long and, and as one can imagine, this fetus would not survive outside of the uterus — one cannot even tell if the heart has formed normally, even if one can see the heart beating. One can tell, at this stage, that it has arms, legs and a heart and that the top of the cranium is present (in other words, that it does not suffer from "anencephaly").

But, to call this image a "baby" is misleading at best.

Christina Pieper-Bigelow, MD


Student thanks teachers

To the editor,

I am a sixth-grade student at Hastings Middle School. On the morning of Wednesday, March 8, I was going to my locker and the fire alarms went off. Everybody evacuated the building and we were outside for not that long when we found out we could go back in the building. I went back to my locker and then got to my first hour class and then the fire alarms went off again. I heard Mr. Zuzek on the announcement system and he said we needed to evacuate the building and go to Pinecrest. There were teachers on the sides making sure we knew where we were going. I looked around to see where two of my friends were and then I found them before I got to Pinecrest.

We stayed in Pinecrest for a long time and then Mr. Black came in the cafeteria and dismissed everyone by groups to go back to the middle school. Mr. Black explained that the smoke was gone and that the firefighters had cleared the smoke and that it was cleared for us to go back into the middle school.

I want to thank all my teachers who have practiced fire drills during school. I also want to thank the teachers who helped us when we were leaving the building. I am grateful for the firefighters and police officers who made sure our building was safe.

With respect and thanks,

Martin Onnen

Sixth-grader at HMS

Thanks to Hastings school district

On behalf of myself and family, I would like to thank Hastings School District #200 for the honor of being inducted into the “Wall of Honor.” It was greatly appreciated.

Having taught and coached for 30 years before retiring, I truly believe you do not receive awards by yourself.

I would especially like to thank Mr. Lou Plevell, one of my assistants for all those years. Also a special thanks to all my coaches, game workers and athletes and students — you all deserve a piece of this award.

Gay Johnson