Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - July 6, 2007

U.S. Embassy suggests longer stay in Iraq

An online article entitled "Bush's Baghdad Palace" by Nicholas von Hoffman found at www.thenation.com reports that the U.S. government is putting the finishing touches on a 114-acre, $592 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Reportedly, this facility will almost rival the Vatican in size and scope. The walls surrounding this high-tech, state-of-the-art, compound are to be 15-feet thick and designed to serve as a fortress for the 8,000 people who are to eventually arrive.

The construction work has been outsourced to a Kuwaiti company which employs approximately 900 workers, many of them from Asia.

It seems odd that our government would put that kind of money and effort into building such a permanent complex for what we are told will be only a temporary military occupation of Iraq.

Gosh, maybe this is supposed to be more of a permanent, temporary stay for our military forces in the region.

Kurt Lemhouse


Hispanic businesses should check worker IDs

I sure hope that the owners of the new Hispanic-oriented businesses will do their duty, comply with the law, and verify that prospective employees are here legally.

Stuart Moskovitz

Fort Mill

Thanks to Newport firefighters

In searching for a word to describe the event that took place during the lightning storms of late June, many came to mind. Bizarre seems to be the best fit, though.

There was a faint smell of something burning in our home but no fire could be found either inside the house or the attic. After persistently looking and finding nothing, we decided to check our circuit panel to see if there were any breakers tripped. Upon opening the door to the utility room where the panel is located, we discovered that the polyethylene vapor barrier under our house was on fire and spreading.

Luckily, there were no flammable materials in contact with the polyethylene, so we were able to extinguish the fire; however a very important question remained to be answered. How did this start? We called 911 and ask for assistance to help determine the cause and check for further damage.

We came to realize a renewed appreciation for our volunteer fire department. The Newport Fire Department was dispatched. The firefighters, led by Chief Carl Faulk, arrived at our home in less than 5 minutes. Even in a non-emergency situation the volunteers were there to assess the situation at the blink of an eye. While the exact path of the lightning is still a mystery, the investigative team determined that a lightning strike caused the heating and air ductwork to ignite thereby releasing a flame that began spreading in our crawl space via the vapor barrier on the ground.

Much has been said about the courage and dedication of firefighters in this country, but not enough. We therefore would like to extend our gratitude to the fine men and women of this department as well as all of the departments throughout our county. It is comforting to know that they will be there in an instant when we need them.

It is also very comforting to know that God is still looking out for the Smith family. We sometimes seem to take things for granted, but had this bizarre event happened during the storms of late June, this writing would not have occurred.

As a result of this incident, we are installing a smoke detector under our house that will tie into our existing system. While this is not a conventional place for a smoke detector, we will surely sleep better at night knowing it's there. It is said that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place. The Smiths certainly hope not.

Bud and Kim Smith

Rock Hill