Letters to the editor 7/9

Celebration success to those who heard it
The “Kept Cannon” celebration held July 1 was a complete success.
Here are some brief comments:

Clovis Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ernie Kos’ extensive decorating and preparations of the Civic Center was highly commendable.

Mayor David Lansford’s leadership and persistence to build a Clovis
Civic Center provided an ideal facility to celebrate the continued use of Cannon Air Force Base.

Randy Harris and several dignitaries who spoke on the program also reflected dynamic support of Cannon.

The Clovis community came out in full force to show its appreciation for the new Air Force Special Operations mission that was assigned to Cannon.

Only one improvement is suggested for the future: The microphones were not properly used by some speakers. Therefore, much of the deliveries were not heard. We may need more microphones at the podium or to provide individual microphones attached closer to the person speaking.

Len Santi

New mission brings new responsibilities for troops

I have been assigned and involved with Cannon Air Force Base and Clovis for the past 14 years. It seems lately there is great rejoice in Clovis that Cannon now has a mainstay. This is a great day for the economy in Clovis and the surrounding areas.

The city now has a huge responsibility of taking care of the incoming troops and their families. We can’t have attitudes some have had in the past where Air Force family members were denied Clovis jobs because “they are involved with the base and cannot be trusted to be around long.”

“We” as a team need to take care of one another. Can you imagine being assigned to a beautiful base in sunny Hurlburt Field in Florida?
Then being diverted to an assignment at Cannon?

No offense, but the assignments differentiate in a big way for the troops and the families involved.

In the next few years, I’m sure Clovis officials will fight as hard to make the Clovis employment situations, accommodations and the surrounding area “ready” for the Air Force families and troops as they did to “keep Cannon.”

Michael M. Richards

Legality of burning flags sign of freedom

Regarding flag burning: If a foreigner burned our flag on U.S. soil, I would be enraged. However, if an American burns our flag here, I am amused.

For his freedom of speech, and yours, I fought Germans across France and Japanese across the Philippines. Part of what I fought for was every American’s right to a little stupidity, including you, without fear of being jailed.

As long as citizens are free to burn our flag, I know I live in America and not Hitler’s Germany, or Tojo’s Japan, or Stalin’s Russia, or Castro’s Cuba, or Saddam’s Iraq, etc.

Freedom to burn our flag proves my World War II “experiences” against tyrants were not in vain and we truly do live in the land of the free.
God bless America.

Dan True

Overpass overdue for south Curry

I never thought the sight of orange construction signs would be welcome, but boy was I wrong. It seems construction has finally begun on the 467 overpass. Finally, a way out of the railroad Bermuda triangle.

My husband and I attended the groundbreaking ceremony on June 29. It took long enough to begin the project considering that Wheaton Road was closed so long ago. Sure, it’s going to take approximately one year to complete the project, but it will be wonderful to have access out of the triangle without waiting for slow and/or non-moving trains to clear the way.

I applaud City Commissioner Isidro Garcia for working on an overpass for the Martin Luther King Jr. railroad crossing. It would be a closer access point to the other side of the world for the residents of southern Curry County.

For now, I am thankful to the powers that be that the 467 overpass will become a reality.

Rhonda Griego Roberts

Secondhand smoke grave health threat

Evidence continues to mount showing secondhand smoke a threat to all. The surgeon general warned recently there are “no safe levels of secondhand smoke exposure.”

Consider the following:

Researchers have found infants as young as 3 months old accumulate several byproducts of secondhand smoke in their bodies. Nicotine and carcinogens were found in the urine of 144 children ages 3 months to one year who lived with family members who smoke. The study found 93 percent had cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, and 98 percent had nicotine in their urine. Additionally, 47 percent of the infants had detectable levels of NNAL, a carcinogenic metabolite of cigarette smoke.

Author Stephen Hecht of the University of Minnesota, the first to study smoking exposure on children so young, said parents who smoke around infants could raise the children’s risk of addiction, cancer, and other health problems later in life.

“The take-home message is that parents should not smoke around their children because they will suffer from the exposure. Persistent exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in childhood could be related to cancer later in life,” Hecht said.

Curry Citizens Concerned About Tobacco has long urged parents to refrain from smoking around infants and small children. They are so much more vulnerable to secondhand smoke as their lungs are smaller and their immune systems are less developed.

Because they are smaller and breathe faster than adults, they breathe in more pollutants per pound of body weight than an adult would in the same time.

Finally, infants and children simply have less choice than adults. They are less likely to be able to leave a smoke-filled room if they want. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide clean air space for their children and infants.

For information, contact Curry Citizens Concerned About Tobacco: 693-6156.

Linda Teakell