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Letters to the Editor

Message to the Silent Majority

It appears to me that the upcoming Clean Indoor Air Regulation Act hearing is one that is important to the health and well-being of the majority of Harrison County residents. As an example, one must only look to the smoking and non-smoking sections of a restaurant.

Most usually, those standing in line for a seat are waiting for the non-smoking section. There are usually seats in the smoking section. Since the non-smoking section is already larger than the smoking section, by deduction, one must surmise that the greater business, as well as numbers of people who go out to eat, is in the non-smoking section.

It was not too long ago that we did not know much about second-hand smoke and how it would affect us, particularly our children. However, in recent years we have been slowly learning how second-hand smoke affects those who breathe it and sit in a room with it, and the significant problems that can be caused to those exposed to it.

For this reason, it's important to encourage the silent majority to become vocal and to encourage their presence at the clean indoor air hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the 4-H barn on U.S. 19 South. This is our community, these are our neighbors and children, and we want to promote their well-being.

Tobacco is a large industry interested in making money, which is what most businesses want to do. However, this industry promotes a product that, if used as marketed, causes serious health problems and death. Of course, this industry will fight clean indoor air and other policies limiting use of their product because it is a dollars-and-cents issue -- theirs -- and our health and well-being is secondary.

For example, tobacco advocacy groups, such as the Tobacco Institute and the National Smoker's Alliance, were the brainchildren of the Burson-Marsteller public relations giant in conjunction with Philip Morris. For more information on this, several Web sites are available.

Since Philip Morris continues to reorganize its Web site, some of the URLs may not function. You may go to the main search page at http://www.pmdocs.com and enter the first Bates number of any document.

Mary Jean Cyphers

Co-chair Harrison-Marion

Bi-County Tobacco Coalition

In favor of the smoking policy

The Harrison County Family Resource Network strongly endorses the Clean Indoor Air Regulation Act for Harrison County.

The Family Resource Network seeks to promote outcomes such as safe communities and healthy people; to improve services for children and families by increasing public awareness and mobilizing the community around issues affecting children and families and working on issues identified as priorities for our community.

Since the issue of second-hand smoke is one of health concern and not a rights issue, we have chosen to support the Clean Indoor Air Regulation Act as a means of promoting a safe and healthy environment for children and families of Harrison County.

Ron Watson

Harrison County

Family Resource Network

Clarksburg

'Non-residents beware'

Last week, my wife and I were returning home (Brushy Fork) from a visit with our daughter and her family. While stopped for a red light at the corner of West Main and South Chestnut streets in Clarksburg, we were rammed from behind by a vehicle driven by a young Clarksburg resident. Luckily, there weren't any serious injuries, but our car was totalled.

Two days later, we received a bill from the City of Clarksburg in the amount of $75 for police and fire personnel being called to the scene of our accident. The young driver who was responsible for the accident was not billed because she was a resident of Clarksburg.

I would like to suggest to the City Council of Clarksburg that they should consider adding an amendment to the "Welcome to Clarksburg" signs which should read "Non-residents beware."

Maybe the city should ban non-residents altogether. They wouldn't do that. They want our money.

Am I happy to say I'm from Clarksburg? Yes, I am -- far from it, and the farther the better!

Jack Teter

Brushy Fork community

Thanks you for

the donations

Thanks to the many individuals' help and kindness, we have raised the $7,000 needed to help Ed Loar of Sardis get a stem cell transplant to fight leukemia. Ed will be leaving today for Houston, Texas, to have healthy blood cells from his sister transplanted into his body.

Specifically, we would like to thank those who contributed: all the local radio stations, WBOY, WDTV, Time Warner Cable, the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram, Bank One and all the local merchants who displayed collection cans.

Our love and prayers go with him to Houston.

Pam Spencer and

Sherry Athey

Bridgeport

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