Ashland needs to be smoke free

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, I have been hearing about, and reading of, the surgeon general's report on secondhand smoke. The report is available at

It leaves absolutely no doubt that our mayor and city commissioners, in passing a smoke-free ordinance for the city of Ashland, will be doing the right thing. The timing of this report could not possibly have been better. Those who would attempt to argue against the ordinance don’t have a leg to stand on.

The surgeon general’s report reinforced everything that we have been saying for so long. It covered the instantaneous effects of secondhand smoke, as well as the long-term damage, to adults, and also to our children, and our grandchildren.

There’s no doubt about, nor argument against, the preponderance of evidence. King’s Daughters Medical Center and the Ashland Public School System have made the move to a smoke-free environment, and Tuesday’s paper announced that Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital is joining the smoke-free community. The new McDonald's restaurant on Winchester Avenue has opened as a smoke-free establishment, and I applaud the courage of every one of these entities. They have done the right and proper thing.

As much as I would prefer to stay at home with my feet propped up, I fully intend, good Lord willing, to be present at the next several city commission meetings because I want to be able to say that I had a small part in all this, for the sake and betterment of my hometown.

I look forward to seeing Ashland’s smoke-free ordinance introduced and passed unanimously by our municipal government. I know each of our city fathers understands how momentous this really is for our fair city.

John B. McClanahan Jr., Ashland

Burning the flag is not free speech

How is it that Sen. Mitch McConnell and others can say we need to leave our troops in Iraq and complete the job, then turn around and say its OK for immigrants, terrorists and liberal Americans to burn the American flag — the same flag that our young men and women are protecting; the same flag that has represented our country and freedom for years; the same flag that our troops are taught to salute and never to let her touch the ground; the same flag that is flown in front of the building where they serve?

Senator McConnell says that the burning of the American flag is freedom of speech. I disagree. Freedom of speech is when you voice your opinion over something you disagree with, but when you destroy or deface a national icon then it becomes a terrorist act.

Take a look back at 9/11. Was it feedom of speech or a terrorist act? Tell our men and women of the armed forces that the American flag in which they fly in foreign countries don't matter and it’s OK if someone destroys her.

Greg Perry , USMC (Ret.), Wurtland

Oil depletion is our greatest crisis

Oil depletion is the greatest crisis ever faced by civilization. Modern industrial societies are almost totally dependent on oil, which is running out. Nothing can totally replace it in quantity and quality.

Oil is too valuable for medicine, chemicals, agriculture fertilizer, plastics and fabrics to wastefully burn in vehicles. Every country would like to have a car society. It will never happen. Demand for oil from Earth’s growing population of 6.5 billion is increasing while oil is running out.

The whole world needs to start immediately to reduce — and very soon eliminate — the burning of oil.

Wake up! Oil is running out!

Barbara A Lund, Lynx, Ohio

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