Speak Up! - 04/20/06

Letters to the Editor

Lay off us smokers. We pay your taxes

Again we are starting to rally people against smokers and their rights to smoke. When is it going to stop? Maybe smoking does offend people, but have you ever thought about drinkers who offend people too?

When I smoke, I do not become a slobbering person hanging on people, I do not get into fights for no reason, I do not go down the road weaving back and forth, run into things and other cars, or kill people with my car because I’m so drunk I can’t see where I’m going!

My 35-year-old son was killed last August by driving drunk, but he is just another statistic in the police files. I don’t come home and beat up my wife because I have had one too many cigarettes, nor do I stagger around until I fall down because I had one too many smokes. They say hospital costs are soaring because of people who have cancer that is supposed to be caused by cigarettes, but what about the soaring costs because of alcohol-related injuries, broken arms, head cuts, falling through windows and other drunk-related injuries caused by alcohol?

How about the rising cost to the taxpayer because of the skid row bums who turn to alcohol and have liver and kidney problems that we as taxpayers have to foot.

We have to endure high taxes on cigarettes, but the price of beer and alcohol did not seem to go up five years ago. I paid $2.50 for a beer and I am still paying the same today in the bars. You had better start checking the records to see which is causing more problems.

I would love to see everybody give up cigarettes for just one month, because when the taxes are not collected on cigarette sales, where do you think the billions of dollars of taxes on cigarettes is going to come from? By raising taxes on everything else to make up for not getting the revenue on the cigarettes not sold anymore. Is that what you want?

We are teaching our children not to smoke, but we are brain-washing them into drinking every day; every sports function – baseball, hockey, football, soccer – is all sponsored by beer companies, and every child growing up sees this and thinks this is the norm. “Why you can’t have a party without the Coors or the Bud Light. It just wouldn’t be right!”

So please give us smokers the same consideration as you do all the drunks of this world.

John Weston


Joining shopping centers makes sense

Kudos to Celia Caskey!

Great idea, and other communities go one step further with adjoining ramps or drives from one shopping center to another. There is no need to go back on roadways in these communities; shoppers just go from one shopping center to the next.

This would work on Stockton Hill, at probably minimal expense. Most of us shop at all three shopping centers. Can we get the attention of Smith`s, Wal-Mart and owners of Albertson`s shopping center to take note.

Virginia Hunter