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Letters to the Editor

Smoking harmful to others

In Tony Rivera's letter to the editor ("Thumbs down to Post," May 25) he tries to discredit the Post's credibility for poor reasons. He does not take into consideration that the American Cancer Society is the only organization with pockets deep enough to properly carry out studies on the effects of second-hand smoke.

This is why other studies by other organizations are inconclusive instead of agreeing or disagreeing with the American Cancer Society.

Additionally, I do not believe someone needs a study to prove that a nonsmoker breathes in smoke fumes when someone in the same establishment is smoking. When I am in a building and I smell the smoke constantly and leave with my clothes smelling like smoke, common sense tells me I am breathing in some of the smoke.

The Environmental Protection Agency considers second-hand smoke to be a Group A carcinogen, showing there is enough evidence it can be a cause of cancer.

The American Cancer Society has also done studies that show high levels of nicotine, which is produced when the body breaks down tobacco smoke, in nonsmokers.

I admit I do not know how much that increases my likelihood of getting cancer, but common sense tells me that I am breathing in chemicals known to be harmful and cause cancer without my consent in public places.

Personally, I welcome the ban. But the real debate is whether the government has the right to tell a private business owner not to allow smoking in his or her establishment.

-Clay Kimbro

Lilburn

What would we do with identification on races?

Just when I think we've made some social progress in this country, someone comes along who wants to drag us back a hundred years or so. I reference Susan Bradley's letter in the GDP ("Races should be ID'd," May 19).

She wrote, "It's high time that the citizens of this county and country are provided with all the necessary information they need to decide for themselves just who makes up the majority of the criminal element in this country." Just what do you wish to do with all of this "valuable" information?

If all you want to do is to condemn and punish a given race or creed as the cause of all our problems, you are most certainly entering dangerous waters. We have only to look to our world history over the past two centuries to find examples of the horrific pain, suffering and human devastation caused by this type of thinking. Native Americans were nearly annihilated by white intruders because they were thought to be non-Christian savages. A singular race of people was enslaved in early Southern America because they were felt to be racially inferior. Also, the KKK tortured and killed innumerable innocents to perpetuate their idea of dominant, racial supremacy. Hitler annihilated millions of Jews because he thought they were controlling the German economy and were inferior to the Aryan race. Look at our own Japanese-American concentration camps during World War II.

If the knowledge of which nationality is responsible for the highest crime rate in our country is not also used to implement constructive programs that will improve the situation for the benefit of all, then all you have is useless information that identifies a problem area but offers no solution to the underlying cause of the problem.

-Mike Bence

Sugar Hill

No reason to fear red-light cameras in Snellville

Denise Dutton's letter to the editor ("Seeing red in Snellville," May 25) points out that sometimes cars cannot stop in time before a light turns red as well as not be able to clear the intersection before a light turns red.

You have nothing to fear. You are only ticketed through a red-light camera if you enter the intersection after a light turns red, not before. As for others that might say they still do not have time to stop, I say stop speeding. The lights are timed with respect to the speed limits of the road and with the idea that it is the driver's responsibility to drive slower if conditions such as bad weather make it harder to stop in time.

Additionally, there are plenty of accidents and red-light runners at Ga. Highway 124 and U.S. Highway 78, which is easily the busiest intersection in the area. It is also the best place for a camera to promote awareness of enforcing red-light runners.

-Clay Kimbro

Lilburn

Too many people park in handicapped spaces

Have you noticed how many perfectly healthy people are abusing handicapped parking spaces? Maybe we should change the definition of handicapped to include those who are simply over 50, overweight and lazy. That would include almost everybody I know, including myself.

Handicapped spaces should be left for those unfortunate folk who have real physical disabilities. Just because your doctor authorized a tag doesn't mean you have a lifetime membership to park on the front row. And if you have a family member who is handicapped and that person isn't in the car with you, then you don't have to use the handicapped spot. It is not a requirement. Stubbed toes, new shoes, mosquito bites and hemorrhoids do not qualify as handicapped afflictions.

Chances are if you drove to the store on your own and don't require a wheelchair, crutches or other aides to walk across the parking lot, then you are not handicapped, at least physically.

Walking is good for us. I try to park as far away as possible to keep the dings off my doors and the pounds off my hind end. I'm sure it won't be long before one of these opportunistic deadbeats tries to sue somebody because they got fat and out of shape parking in a handicapped space they weren't supposed to be using in the first place.

-Deryl Duncan

Lawrenceville

Effort in Wilbanks search was expended before lie

Thank you to Andrea Simmons for her concise, well-written article regarding Jennifer Wilbanks' situation. I must say as an outside observer it seems the community is intent on punishing this poor woman for not getting abducted or murdered. The "lie" she told to the police chief was ex post facto. The effort of searching for her had already been expended, and (the one fact missing from the article) if I'm not mistaken, didn't she set it straight shortly after talking to the police chief?

The community had already lathered itself into a frenzy over her disappearance. Her short-lived lie to the police chief made no appreciable difference to the effort expended, did it? And I wonder - did he even say something like, "You know, you could get into trouble if you lie to me now about how you disappeared?"

Frankly, the community should be embarrassed for taking such offense at this. It's time for everybody down there to get a life and let Jennifer live hers!

-Andreas Lord

Lexington, Mass.