Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - March 5, 2008

Support effort to raise cigarette tax

This is the first time in my life I've been moved to write this kind of letter. I have been employed in the health-care business for 35 years, 15 of which have been focused on the development and management of cancer services. I have watched from the sidelines for most of those 15 years and have seen the devastating effects of tobacco on patients, those with lung cancer, head and neck cancers (some of the most debilitating cancers), esophageal cancer, bladder, stomach, pancreas ... the list goes on. And I've been directly involved only with cancer. There's also emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease, stroke and, again, the list goes on.

I have always been a staunch supporter of tobacco reform and have written letters to my congressmen. However, I am embarrassed and ashamed of the lack of action in the state of South Carolina. One year ago, my beloved husband succumbed to small cell lung cancer after being diagnosed less than six weeks earlier. He had not smoked for more than 15 years. He had started smoking at a time when we really didn't know the true impact of nicotine and all the carcinogens that accompany it. Today, we know all too well what the effects of tobacco can be. We can no longer use ignorance as an excuse. To continue to delay action because of disagreement over how the funds will be used is irresponsible.

Many, like my husband, fall victim to this silent killer that often has no early symptoms. My husband's first symptoms were at Christmas, 2006. His disease had already consumed his lungs and spread to his liver, bones, and brain. He was made comfortable while he took his last breaths at home ... but I will never forget the agony of those last weeks. Not just physical agony but emotional agony!

How many more families need to be ravaged by the effects of tobacco before we take any action in South Carolina? The evidence is irrefutable. And we should be ashamed to do anything less than a 93 cent per pack increase in cigarette taxes.

Please voice your support for this significant increase in cigarette tax by calling or e-mailing your legislator immediately.

Jeanne Musgrove

Rock Hill

Recycling center battle not over

Yes, the "recycling center" for Porter Road is off the table for now, but this battle is far from over. The plan will be resubmitted and could be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals in April.

Yes, the 10-plus acres already are zoned so that this type facility could go in, but not without the zoning board's approval for a special exemption. This property is owned by Bowers Industry in Lancaster. Bob Weeks wants to lease/buy the property in association with his Charlotte-based business, Russo Dumpster Service. He has been taking his trash to a landfill but now wants to park large roll-off containers on the site so that he can make a profit on recyclable materials mixed in the trash. The trash containers would be sorted into more roll-off containers that would remain on the site until filled. The remainder of the trash would then be taken to a landfill. I fear that as the trash sits there, rainwater will run through the containers onto a proposed concrete pad, but then onto the ground and soak into the groundwater.

Folks, this is far from over, as some would believe. We are just getting started! Mark April 10 on your calendars because this is the regular monthly meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. They meet the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. in Suite 103 behind the highway department in the York County Complex on Heckle Boulevard in Rock Hill. Watch for the yellow hearing sign to go back up on Porter Road and one on Yorkshire Road between the Shell Inn and the concrete company. Stay alert!

Carrie L. Reeves

Rock Hill

We have no right to exploit animals

Mr. Huff, in my opinion, just did not get the point of Inge Smith's letter.

I agree with Ms. Smith. We have no right to use and abuse anything or anyone. Not for money nor just for pleasure. Not animals or people. This comes from plain common sense.

Kathie J. Wallace