Bill would endanger children's health by fettering health boards
The Ohio Public Health Association is concerned about Ohio Senate Bill 128 and its potential impact on child health in Ohio. This legislation would make it difficult for community boards of health to enact clean indoor air regulations in their health districts. Many of the health districts that have enacted clean indoor air regulations have done so at the urging of child health advocates concerned about children's exposure to environment tobacco smoke.
Children are especially vulnerable; they are unable to remove themselves from exposure to this cancer-causing agent in day care, schools, restaurants and other public places. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke has been implicated in the alarming increase in child deaths and disability from asthma in recent years.
Adolescents employed as food service workers in restaurants also face exposure to this toxin in their workplaces.
We applaud the many volunteer child health advocates serving on boards of health who have exercised their local authority to enact clean indoor air regulations in defense of our children.
We urge our legislators not to unreasonably abridge these community boards' authority by passing Senate Bill 128. As health professionals, we are deeply concerned about any action the General Assembly would take that might endanger the health and well-being of Ohio's children. Senate Bill 128, by limiting the ability of local health authorities to protect children from environmental tobacco smoke, threatens to cause public harm.
MATTHEW A. STEFANAK, M.P.H.
X The writer is president of the Ohio Public Health Association and Mahoning County Public Health Commissioner.
Youngstown police need attitude adjustment
Almost everyone has heard the old question, "If a tree falls in the woods when no one is there to hear it fall, does it make a noise?" While the debate on this continues, a better question might be, if a crime happens in a Youngstown neighborhood and only one person is willing to call the police and get involved, did the crime happen?
Unlike the first question for which no one has a true answer, the second question does have an answer. If asked of certain patrol officers and unit commanders, the answer is a resounding "no."
These people are mistaken in their answer because they live in the past when more citizens were concerned about their neighborhoods and willing to get involved. Today, most people are afraid to tell a neighbor their radio is too loud for fear of being shot.
The officers who got their beliefs and attitudes from those who trained them to be police officers are now passing them along to those whom they train.
Since no one in city hall or the police department wishes to discuss this question, one might ask if this is how it all started in the Los Angeles police department's Rampart Division. Because if it is, the Youngstown Police Department is heading for one big mess.
JAMES D. VAUGHN, II
Given an inch, some inclined to take miles
I totally agree with your assessment about mixing the affairs of church and state made in the July 7 How We See It: "Faith, hope and charity don't need government support."
History shows the folly in this practice. The crusades were government-run campaigns at the behest of the church, and the consequences were horrific.
In our own time we have seen priceless antiquities, Buddhist statues, used as target practice by a religiously controlled government.
As a Christian I would agree that these are different situations,yet I do not trust human nature. If a little is good more must be better is a dangerous mindset.
Also, I don't trust a government that will bend rules that have served us well for over 200 years. I would cite the National Rifle Association's constant fight against gun controls as supporting of my theory. They battle the government on every front this issue is fought because they know once this principle is compromised there will be no stopping it.
I believe funding of faith based programs would work the same way, there would be no controlling it once that door is opened.
Let's think long and hard on this, and not let today's good intentions cause us to make a mistake we may never be able to recover from.
Worth celebrating all kinds of accomplishment
Responding to a letter of July 6: The Vindicator is a published newspaper, whose job is providing information and news to its readers. Having never bought a Playboy issue, if The Vindicator hadn't covered the story I would have been unaware a local woman was a playmate.
On the question of too much news exposure, maybe considering a similar scenario, there are millions of rock bands in America, but they often only become "newsworthy" after that one big hit.
So whenever a Youngstown native can give our Valley positive national attention, let it be printed so readers can embrace their success and be proud.
Fully clothed, bikini wearing or in a birthday suit, remembering your hometown in your moment of fame reinforces Valley pride.
In reality, all Valley-born residents have their first chance to be "print worthy" in the daily birth announcements. And for continued coverage, I guess just take what God has given you, work hard, and be proud of your own accomplishments.
Society owes much to organized labor
A recent letter-writer from Columbiana ridiculed the labor movement for spending money on a candidate who will be on the minority side in Columbiana until his seat is taken by the Republicans through redistricting. A reply from North Jackson listed Mr. Boccieri's qualifications for the office but did not address the labor movement.
Right-wingers continue to harangue organized labor over their attempts to make a living wage, they say, at the expense of their Big Business friends. I have stated my views on America's working people openly and proudly in the past. Attorney Clarence S. Darrow made our point quite succinctly: "With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men."