'Amber Alert' needed for senior citizens

One of the greatest fears is child abduction. Children are taken during the day as well as in the cloak of darkness.

Many are found dead, some are never heard of again and many children are returned to their families unharmed other than the mental scars.

Recently we have read about a child that lived 18 years in a backyard shack, a little girl found in a Georgia landfill and Makenzie, reported missing from her home in Independence, Missouri, then found in St. Joseph, Missouri.

More details are needed to make a judgement in this case if Makenzie was taken or simply ran away.

The problem crosses state lines on occasion, so it was proper to pass federal legislation to get the word out as quickly as possible and literally put out a notice nationwide of all situations where children are kidnaped.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) used the system to recover three week old Rae Leigh in 1998, but the America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert Act was not signed into law until 2003.

A mber A ler t is under t he Department of Justice and is still activated through the NCMEC.

The Amber Alert system works.

The number of children saved and returned safely is 492. This is wonderful news, but it gets even better.

You can sign up for Amber Alert notices in your area to be posted on your cell phones.

Signing up for this ser vice is free. However, you will be charged for the text messaging placed on your cell phone.

Those interested in signing up can choose www. wirelessamberalerts. org online or www.

Could be a program designed to find missing elderly be as effective?

Would you be willing to support a like program for senior citizens? This is not a plea for your money, but such a program is in committee in Washington D.C. now.

Senator Charles Schumer (DN Y) is sponsoring The Silver Alert Act (S 557) which creates a nationwide system for finding missing adults with Alzheimer's, dementia and other mental impairments.

There is no better time than now to write the Texas legislators and urge the passage of this Act.

Start by writing to Charles E. Schumer, 313 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510, (202)224-6542.

Give reasons why you strongly support this legislation. It will save lives, and these vulnerable adults may suffer greatly if not found as quickly as possible.

Also ask if you could do something to help push this effort along.

Your personal letter takes time if mailed because all letters are carefully screened.

You can understand why the FAX is quicker. Electronic mail is unable to carr y chemicals and other dangerous agents that would threaten government offi- cials.

Texas U.S. Senators are John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Add ress for Senator John Cornyn, is 517 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510, FAX (202)228-2856.

Address for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is 248 Russell Senate Building, Washington D.C. 20510 Fax (202)224-0776.

The legislation spillover benefi ts the missing senior, the victim's children, grandchildren and friends.

You may learn more about the Silver Alert by going to: http://

This article states that 60 percent of the people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease will wander away and get lost.

As the baby boomers increase the number of Alzheimer patients, the greater the need for the passage of this bill. Here's a label we haven't heard of in quite a while: Y2K.

Remember? I wouldn't have except I went through The Reporter's 1999 bound file earlier today and there were all kinds of stories with Y2K in the headline.

How quickly we forget.

Fast refresher. It was widely feared when 1999 faded into 2000 many of our computers would think it was 1900 and terrible things would happen.

We were never really told what. I was always in fear that at 12 a.m. Jan. 1, 2000, "IMPEACH PRESIDENT McKINLEY" messages would roll across our screens.

W hen t he ma g ic moment arrived virtually nothing happened except, as a I recall, some slot machines at a casino in Delaware stopped working.

The republic survived, somehow.

But that got me to thinking. What if—horror of horrors—Y2K had done something monstrously huge? What if it had, gulp, wiped out The Internet?

Wiped it out for good, never to return. Is it possible, 10 years later, to imagine what our lives would be like after a decade without the Internet.

Oh, I think so. If we had no Internet because Y2K wiped it out:

• I wouldn't get six e-mails a day from some bozo pretending to be a lawyer in the Ivory Coast, who can't spell his own name, let alone mine, telling me I've got six million dollars he's keeping for me in a bank in Hong Kong.

• I might actually know what my kids look like.

• I would probably feel less stupid when sitting around the coffee break at work listening to fellow employees talk about their "Facebook walls," whatever the heck they are.

One employee was being harassed on-line by mean people saying mean things and, boo-hoo, didn't know what to do.

I proposed a brilliant idea for anyone being harassed over their computer.


• I wouldn't get e-mails from my friends (!) telling me the Supreme Court had outlawed Sundays and President Obama was born on Neptune.

• I would have more money.

• I would not have three antenna poles, six brackets, four receivers and a thing that looks like the Milleneum Falcon from "Star Wars" sitting around my house where they were left by Internet provider companies that have long since gone out of business.

• I would not have embarrassed myself when I burst into laughter after being told over the phone: "Oh well, just have your IP guy call my IP guy and ping my router."

• I would not have had to be physically restrained from committing a felony the day the lady in my office said "But I read it on the Internet, it must be true."

• My blood pressure would be lower if only because I would have been spared the all-night session fixing my step-daughter's computer sound card only to then observe she turns off the speakers every time it boots up!

• I would not have had the idea to write this column.

See, if Y2K had only worked as advertised you wouldn't have wasted your last three minutes reading this.

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