Pubdate: Sat, 11 Nov 2006
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2006 The Huntsville Times
Author: John Ehinger


Too Many Kids Are On The Streets Doing Things They Shouldn't Be

The recent arrests by the Huntsville Police Department of 46 people on
drug charges is good news for families and neighborhoods most directly
affected by this scourge.

The connection between the drug trade and violent crime is
indisputable. Drug addictions destroy lives, robbing people of hope
and opportunity.

Those who deal drugs are doing a disservice to themselves, their
families and their communities.

Law enforcement officials are to be commended for their efforts.

Having said all of this, though, it was disheartening to see that
there were a number of juveniles among those arrested.

At least 13 youths were among the 46 people arrested. These young
people allegedly were selling drugs out of residences and on street
corners. Four of them were charged with two adults of operating a
crack house. Some also face weapons charges.

All the logical questions come to mind: Where were their parents or
guardians? Why weren't they at home or in school or even working a
legal after-school job? Why would they want to do something so crazy
and dangerous?

One more question comes to mind. It's more rhetorical than logical:
What can we do to stem the tide of juveniles seeking money and "street
cred" by entering the dangerous world of drug dealing?

Perhaps nothing more than is being done already by parents, extended
family, schools, police, churches, community centers and other support
systems. Nevertheless, we must keep asking what more can be done.

Young people know little of the ways of the world, despite how
sophisticated some might think themselves to be. Signing up to deal
drugs may seem like easy money, but the price is one they'll be paying
the rest of their lives. - David More election notes

Another state election shows once again that Alabama is no longer a
state dominated by the Democratic Party. But that doesn't mean it's
now a strictly Republican state, either.

State voters on Tuesday elected Republicans governor, attorney general
and most constitutional officers. Democrats in these categories got
scattered but impressive wins for lieutenant governor, agriculture
commissioner and two seats on the Public Service Commission.

On the appellate courts, Alabama went into Tuesday with only one
Democrat on those courts and the rest of the seats held by
Republicans. It came out of Tuesday the same way - one Democrat, the
rest Republicans. But there was a major difference: The lone Democrat,
Sue Bell Cobb, will now be the state's chief justice.

In the Legislature, the GOP appeared to gain two seats in the Senate
but still lacks a majority. In the House, the Democrats still hold the
same majority as before.

Most Alabamians are no longer likely to vote the straight Democratic
ticket. But neither are they, at least in years with no presidential
election, going to choose the straight Republican ticket, either.
They're going to vote for people they know and like, even for people
whose names are only somewhat familiar.

Both parties need to understand they can't take the voters for
granted, and that has to be good for government.
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MAP posted-by: Derek