Violence vivid even after abuser gone

CNJ Readers

I would like to commend Debbie Vinson for her bravery to publicly talk about her experiences as a victim of domestic violence. (“Panelists encourage victims of violence to step forward,” Friday’s CNJ)

Her statement about the pop and smell of fireworks reminding her of a specific incident paints a vivid picture of what life is like for the victims even after the abuser is gone.

By getting help she not only helped herself but her two young children as well. Anyone who works with abusers knows there is often abuse in their past as well and I can only hope she got her children out of that situation before it negatively influenced their future behavior.

For anyone who is being abused or wants to talk about the issue, the domestic violence hotline is 769-0305. There is also a national hotline for the Department of Justice: 1-800-799-7233.

Jonathan La Vine

Pastor: Thanks for helping to weather hate storm

I and the faith community I serve want to thank all those who expressed the love of Christ toward us during these last few months when we experienced such hate-filled violence.

Thank you with love and appreciation.

Rev. Christopher George
Senior pastor, Llano Estacado MCC

Smokers should continue quitting to point of success

The information you published in your feature article, “Clearing the Air” (Oct. 2 CNJ), was both timely and accurate. Smoking is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancers in the United States, and exposure to secondhand smoke is a risk factor for nonsmokers, especially for children.

The best thing any smoker can do, for themselves and their loved ones around them, is to keep on quitting until they have kicked the habit for good.

As I have become more educated on this issue I have become more concerned about the effects of secondhand smoke on children. The Environmental Protection Agency reports secondhand smoke in the workplace causes more deaths and disease than all other occupational substance exposures combined.

A Yale University study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine) on the effects of secondhand smoke on children and adolescents found that if a child or adolescent was exposed to 25 or more “smoker years” his/her risk of lung cancer later in life doubled. Researchers also found that approximately 17 percent of lung cancers among nonsmokers can be attributed to high levels of exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke during childhood and adolescence.

(Smoker years is calculated by multiplying the number of years lived in a residence by the number of smokers in that household.)

We all want the best for our children and grandchildren. I ask smokers to please consider quitting.

For those who absolutely cannot stop yet, I ask they never smoke in any enclosed area near children.

For information about Curry Citizens Concerned About Tobacco, call 791-5031.

Kevin Mitchell
Curry Citizens Concerned About Tobacco

Workers ‘gift from heaven’ following Hurricane Rita

I am writing to thank the eastern New Mexico families who have so graciously been without family members in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita.

My parents and sister live in a small town in deep east Texas that was hit hard by the hurricane. They live in Buna, Texas, in Jasper County north of Beaumont. Your area light company trucks and crews worked near my parent’s home for days. The power came back on after 27 days.

The folks have waved and hollered “thank you” to the crews every time they go to town to pick up the daily supply of ice and water.

I know it must be a hardship on families to have to be apart — but we think they are a gift from heaven.

Sandra Bertram Meier
Spring, Texas