Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 21, 2014

Letters to the Editor: March 21, 2014

Support effort to stop youth smoking

More than 9,800 people in the state of Indiana will die this year from a tobacco-related disease. On Kick Butts Week, 45 students from the Mayor’s Youth Council on Substance Abuse/VOICE are taking a stand to stop youth from getting hooked on deadly tobacco products.

We know that 90 percent of smokers start using tobacco regularly by the time they are 18. Isn’t this fact astounding?

In order to give youth a fighting chance, we plan to join thousands of students across the country who are taking part in Kick Butts Week, a nationwide initiative that lets students become leaders in the effort to stop youth tobacco use.

As part of the Kick Butts Week celebration, our group will make educational announcements at each school and present 27 body outlines that reference the 27 Hoosiers that die each day from smoke related diseases. Presentations include handouts, pamphlets, posters and educational information.

There are many effective ways the state of Indiana and local officials can protect young people from tobacco. They can use funds from the state’s 1998 legal settlement with the tobacco companies to pay for tobacco prevention programs, increase tobacco taxes and pass smoke-free laws to protect us from secondhand smoke.

Consider this fact: each day, more than 1,000 kids become new regular smokers, and roughly one-third of them will die prematurely from a tobacco-related disease.

Today’s youth are not just part of the problem, they are part of the solution. And the students from the Mayor’s Youth Council on Substance Abuse/VOICE want tobacco companies to know that on Kick Butts Week, and every day throughout the year, we’re going to challenge them to stop marketing new products to our youth.

Sierra Coon, Russiaville


Is it Tipton County or E.ON county?

After attending a Tipton County Council meeting, I’m not sure integrity, fairness, compassion, or willingness to stand up for our county citizens are traits needed in our local government. I’m not even sure we live in Tipton County.

I think somewhere along the line “Tipton” became “E.ON”. It is quite apparent E.ON runs our local representatives and for sure have control of the money. If this weren’t true, a county resident wouldn’t have to attend so many meetings and beg for help. These people have been to planning committee meetings, commissioners meetings, and county council meetings asking for help to no avail.

I’m not sure why we subject ourselves to these meetings, hoping there may be a slight chance that any of them care, but we keep hoping.

Our county attorney apparently is a good representative for E.ON, as he and E.ON wrote the agreement for the county and failed to represent our citizens, if for some reason wind turbines would cause us problems. That’s a good representative, don’t you think?

So now, for those of you who care about who represents you, there is a choice in May. I hope and pray each of us dig down deep and chooses someone who will look out for the well being of the citizens of this county, and our county becomes Tipton County again. I myself don’t care too much for the County of E.ON.

Ann Smith, Sharpsville


Some want to end support at birth

There are more children in poverty in America (22 percent) than in any other major industrialized country. While we are the richest country in the world, countries like Denmark and Great Britian have single diget childhood poverty rates and Canada has a rate of 14 percent.

Some of our political leaders, the Tea Party in particular, tell us they are anti-abortion in order to land votes, while at the same time convincing us that cutting food stamps, other food programs, and health care is in the best interest of these newborns. As if taking away food and health care will somehow magically improve their lives by forcing their parents to work at a non-existent slave-wage job or starve.

I tend to believe that what the Tea Party wants is to lessen the deficit and build the U.S. Treasury so they and their wealthy benefactors will have a larger supply of bucks to plunder. In case you haven’t noticed, the wealth is pooling at the top like never before while children are going hungry like never before.

I wonder what Jesus would have to say about being anti-abortion and then knowingly allowing those in power to let newborns go hungry while the wealthiest among us line their pockets.

Larry Brooks, Kokomo