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Don't let pharmacists prescribe moral values



Published: Sat, July 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Don't let pharmacistsprescribe moral values

EDITOR:

Some time ago I wrote this paper, in disgust, at the decision of Wal-Mart to make the morning-after pill unavailable at its invasive and powerful pharmacies. It seemed a blatant case of the powerful trying to force its peculiar moral or religious views on the rest of us. I suggested we take our business elsewhere, and have personally done so since.

I have read recently, from sources that seem reliable (including Ladies Home Journal. July 2005), of a pharmacist's refusing to fill a legitimate prescription for the morning-after pill; there have even been cases reported where the pharmacist has "confiscated" such a prescription. Since pharmacists are licensed by the state, one feels that such actions should endanger the license. No one should be allowed to try to impose his moral or religious values, be they sacred or silly, on the rest of us.

Any victim of such discrimination should report it to friends, acquaintances, the Better Business Bureau, and possibly to the proper state bureau. Such pharmacists, with self-righteous moral indulgences, should be avoided like the plague, and be allowed to enjoy deserved bankruptcy.

ROBERT B. McCONNELL, M.D.

Youngstown

Director clarifies statusof three county libraries

EDITOR:

It is not the library's preference to use letters to the editor as a means of communicating with the residents of Mahoning County. However, a recent letter conveyed information that is incorrect concerning both the North Jackson and Lake Milton libraries and the Yellow Creek flooding situation at Poland Library.

The letter incorrectly indicated that the library is planning on closing both North Jackson and Lake Milton libraries. Quite the opposite. The library has been working with a citizens committee representing the North Jackson/Lake Milton area for over a year to develop plans to provide improved service with better collections for adults, students and children and greater access to computers. No recommendation was made to close both Lake Milton and North Jackson without replacing them with something better.

We also feel it might be worthwhile to try to set the record straight in regard to the placement of the Poland Library. A public library has been on that site for 40 years. Population growth in that area made a larger library necessary. Many citizens of the area served by that library, which is not just Poland, expressed a strong desire that the library remain at the same location. Before the project ever started and knowing that it was close to Yellow Creek, the library asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine the 100-year flood plain level at which it would be safe to build. The library decided to be even safer by raising its flood level recommendation even higher. After getting this advice, construction of the new library began in June 2000. It was completed in December 2001. The only time that water actually came into the building was in the fall of 2004, when many businesses and homes were damaged, and the area was designated a federal disaster area.

Taking the time to listen to the people of the community, consulting with experts in advance of a major project, and being even more conservative than the experts recommended all seem to be reasonable actions. The community apparently feels so, too. Nearly all of the extras that people see at Poland were paid by donations from people of the community who are proud of their library. It is now one of the busiest libraries in the county. It is also one of the only libraries in the United States that actually generates income for the library while also creating private sector jobs.

The library has been shocked as anyone at the height to which Yellow Creek has risen since the building was constructed, especially given the depth of research and advice that went into the project before it was ever started. Our focus now is on taking steps to protect this community investment that is actively used by literally thousands of people every month.

CARLTON SEARS

Director

Public Library of Youngstownand Mahoning CountyYoungstown

Tax increase, help hotlinecan spark smokers to quit

EDITOR:

Your readers probably know quitting smoking is one of the best things to do for their health. But if they need another reason to make another quit attempt, here it is: as of July 1, Ohio's state cigarette tax increased by 70 cents, bringing the average cost of a pack of cigarettes to over $4.50. That means buying one pack per day for a year will cost over $1,600.

Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. In fact, inhaling lighted tobacco products exposes a smoker to more than 4,000 chemicals and at least 69 carcinogens.

However, there is good news: Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health benefits, regardless of your age, or how long and how much you've been smoking.

Making the decision to quit is hard. Some people may be afraid of weight gain or consider a slip a failure. Fortunately, smokers today don't have to rely on willpower alone. Research shows that seeking support can help smokers significantly increase their chance of quitting successfully. This help may come from family and friends, health care providers, counseling programs or through medication such as the nicotine gum, patch or lozenge. The medication can even help control weight during a quit attempt.

Ohioans who want to stop smoking can get immediate help by calling the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-784-8669 where they can get free advice and counseling on how to stop or by visiting www.smokefree.gov.

Remember, most people make several tries before they quit successfully. Smokers shouldn't give up. A slip isn't a failure, and they should try again.

DANNY McGOLDRICK

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Washington

Dogs need special attentionduring hot days of summer

EDITOR:

I am making a public plea to neighbors, letter carriers, meter readers and newspaper carriers to please watch out and report to the authorities dogs that are chained out in the summer heat we have been having. Dogs tied out may have morning shade, but the shade disappears as the day goes on.

Also, food and water are absolutely essential, and the water should be checked more than once daily. It will spill, evaporate or, if it lasts that long, will be too hot to drink. A dog house in this weather is not the answer for shade. Please keep all eyes for our canine friends and help to keep them safe.

Help will only be a phone call away, and could possibly prevent a death.

BEATRICE GRIFFITH

Hubbard

Beware of dangerousintersection at I-680

EDITOR:

Recently, you printed a letter about the intersection of Shirley Road and Midlothian Boulevard at I-680. The writer said there is an arrow on one side and not the other to make a turn. Due to the negligence or the lack of common sense of the people who set that up in the first place, my good friend who is elderly is in the hospital as I write this.

She received a bad head injury that bled profusely; she is covered with black and blue marks from head to toe, and naturally has been shaken up due to the car accident she had at this intersection.

She hasn't even had that car a year, yet now it is totaled out by the other motorist, and she almost was, too. Please correct that situation.

MYRTLE BANKS

Youngstown




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