Letters to the editor: Park should remain open to vehicles

The city of Clovis would be making a big mistake if it closed Ned Houk Park to all-terrain vehicles and off-road motorcycles.

As an ATV and motorcycle rider, there really is no other place around here to ride trails. Riders would have to travel out of the area, causing some discouragement among them because of the higher cost of transportation involved.

Local businesses would also take a hit to their sales. People would be less likely to purchase the ATVs for recreational purposes if they had no place in the area to ride.

Not only would the sales of ATVs and motorcycles decline, but also the sales of products that the machines use — oils, gas, and filters, just to name a few.

I know the concerns from other people who use the trails of Ned Houk. Just as the park provides a great place to ride ATVs, it’s also great for walking, running, and bicycling. The ATV riders pose a big problem to runners, walkers, and bicyclists of the same trails.

This problem could be avoided, if the trails were sectioned off or divided so that only half could be used for ATV and the other for walkers, runners, and bicyclists.

The fact of the matter is Cannon Air Force Base has 251 riders alone. Add in the others in the area and that’s quite a few people that use Ned Houk Park for recreational riding. That’s a lot of business lost to the local shops.

With a little problem-solving, Ned Houk Park could remain open for riders with no harm done to local businesses.

Robert Stielow

Hispanics need college education
In our Hispanic culture, it is really hard to attend college. Raising babies, working two jobs, not having enough money or parents demanding time from their children are all factors.

Throughout the years, Hispanics have changed their minds about college; now there are more Hispanics wanting to further their education. On the other hand, there are still some Hispanic families refusing to let their children attend college.

In our Hispanic society, furthering our education is not an important priority when it should be.

There are parents who care less about college and seeing their children graduate. That is why there are many dropouts among our race. Parents discourage, abuse and refuse to teach their children the best way for their future. Some have to figure out the way of life, to work and raise their family, the hard way. Hispanics, in society’s eyes, are the least of the people who do not accomplish anything and have given up hope.

There are Hispanic girls/boys standing up for what they believe in, like having a better future for themselves and their families. Some women, who are married and have children, are rising up. They may have to work twice as hard as single women, but at least they are trying to accomplish their goals.

Every family wants the best for their children; getting to that point in reality is difficult. College is an opportunity for everyone of every color, race, and gender. The more we get out the word about college being important, the more people of every race with or without a family will perceive college and make it their No. 1 priority and not their last.

Cynthia Escobedo

Smoking huge health concern for workers
Many experts believe secondhand smoke is the third-leading cause of preventable death in our society.

Employees, most of whom are not in a position to change their work environment, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace. Employees working in environments where smoking is permitted are known to miss a greater number of workdays from illnesses that include upper-respiratory infections than workers who work in smoke-free workplaces.

Asthma sufferers exposed to secondhand smoke report symptoms ranging from discomfort to acute respiratory distress. Studies show that an eight-hour shift in an environment such as a restaurant that allows smoking is the equivalent of smoking up to two packs of cigarettes. This exposure to secondhand smoke thus places food service employees at twice the risk of developing cancer as the general population.

Smoke from a smoldering cigarette (side-stream smoke) has not been filtered, burns at lower temperature and contains more tar than the filtered smoke. These unfiltered fumes contain a concentrated mix of thousands of chemicals, including 40 known carcinogens, in addition to the complex mix of chemicals from the filtered smoke. They also contain large quantities of carbon monoxide, which inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to body tissues, including vital organs such as the heart and brain. This action alone is known to trigger a heart attack or stroke.

These and other health dangers related to secondhand and side-stream smoke inhalation have been tested repeatedly and substantiated by the Center for Disease Control.

Curry Citizens Concerned About Tobacco is working hard to encourage informed decisions that will protect workers, a large percentage being low income, uninsured or youth, from suffering the affects of secondhand smoke.

Linda Teakell
Curry Citizens Concerned About Tobacco