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Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,This is in response to the person from the long line of smokers, printed Jan. 8. I am thankful we have as many rights as we do in the country, and yes, people do have the right to breathe as much cigarette smoke as they want to. What I find amazing is that many of the people who are the most vocal and insistent on their right to smoke are often blind to the fact that by smoking in public or in a car or home with children, they are intruding upon the rights of others who do not want to breathe smoke. I have never heard of anybody who needs to smoke, but whether at home, work or in public, we do all need to breathe.Clearly the person who wrote that letter is unwilling to accept that science has proven a link between cigarette smoke and many forms of cancer, as well as emphysema, heart disease and other health problems. I think while most people do know about the long-term health risks, what a lot of people may not know is the immediate effect it has on some of us. What smokers need to be aware of is that for people with allergies or sensitivities to smoke, even a brief secondhand exposure can cause us nausea, pain and discomfort for days after.I can’t thank my mother enough for having the courage to speak up for me when I was a child. She always politely explained to strangers and friends alike that smoke made me ill, and asked them to refrain from smoking near me. To their credit, most of these people were courteous and complied. I have no doubt that I would not be alive today had my mother not shielded me as she did from second-hand smoke.Camille VigilNew Castle

Dear Editor,There are certain events that when reported on by the local papers, makes us feel that we live in one valley-wide community. The coverage of the grand opening of Thunder River Theatre Company’s new building and our production of “Lysistrata” was such an event. Thank you for the outstanding press and pictures, it truly raised the magnitude of the event.Your reporters know how we gushed about the support of all our contributors, especially our building founders. Each writer focused on different aspects of the same story – one on the beautiful “Lysistrata” masks, another on the building founders’ challenge grant, another on Carbondale coming of age, and yet another on the artistic director’s enthusiasm. The most important message we wish to communicate is how much we appreciate the generosity of all our donors. The support of our community means so much to us. We cannot thank people enough. Each night of the play we told the story of a Mbari ritual in Nigeria. It is a uniquely complex way of tapping into the powers of a beloved location. An entire community reaches the decision to produce a Mbari building, which involves financial contributions from every member, and the training of a specialized team of artisans. The structures created during this process are intended as symbols, as full-blown cultural signs, of the richness and potency of a sacred place. It brings the village together in an act of creativity and exuberance which is intended to unify and bless all participants. We certainly feel blessed, and we will strive to meet the expectations of our patrons when it comes to presenting innovative and provocative theatre and programming. And just as important to us is that we help make our facility available to other organizations who wish to bring in events that will complement and enhance our theatre offerings. Your continued support will help us achieve these important goals.We look forward to the future. The press plays an important part. On behalf of all of us in TRTC, thank you again for a truly memorable time. Lon WinstonFounding Executive,Artistic DirectorThunder River Theatre Company

Dear Editor,The front page article on Sunday, Jan 15 featuring the popular game of Texas Hold ’em was disappointing to me.The fact that there was no money involved does not absolve the harm of glorifying the gambling instinct in most of us.Let’s face it, many a life has been ruined by the gambling habit and other vices. Look at the scandal going on now in Washington, D.C., involving gambling.It is my understanding that the gambling craze has reached the young people already from so much publicity and programming of it on television.If the sports bar wishes to continue to promote the game, that is their right, and I have no problem with that. My point is that making three pages, of such subject matter was in very poor taste, and borders on very unethical journalism.Pat TonozziParachute


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