Letters: At length

Tobacco smoke violates civil rights

Tobacco products are medication delivery systems intended for adults. Therefore, adults that desire nicotine have a right to use their medication.

Minors are not permitted tobacco products. Therefore, tobacco smoke, by its ubiquitous nature is an illegal substance.

Smoke, by its nature, cannot be restricted with regard to its parameters of influence. Therefore, tobacco smoke infringes upon the rights of non-smokers to be nicotine free. Tobacco smoke affects everyone without consideration as to age or health status. Tobacco smoke medicates the air in all public places, indoors or out of doors. Discarded smoking products medicate the air as long as they burn, affecting any that pass.

No medication can be forced upon a person except through due process &

as with mental patients. Therefore, tobacco smoke-creating products force non-smokers to breathe nicotine, and thus deny the non-smoker due process of law. There is no connection in law of tobacco smoke to alcohol, firearms, or motor vehicles.

The tea drinker cannot get drunk sitting at the same table with the alcohol drinker. Firearms have a history of protecting lives, preventing violent confrontations by their mere presence, and allowing the oppressed to obtain and preserve their God-given freedoms. Automobiles facilitate the transportation of goods and services, and benefit the Public. Tobacco Smoke can make no claims as to the protection of life or property, easing the burden of travel or the transportation of goods and services for the benefit of the General Welfare.

Nicotine delivery systems that do not infringe on non-smokers' rights exist and are available. They are: Nicotine patches, gum, smokeless cigarettes and non-smoke-creating forms of tobacco. Smokeless forms of tobacco do not offer nicotine addicts control over others.

Conclusions: No firearm owner can force others to own firearms. No alcohol drinker can demand others to drink alcohol. No automobile owner can compel others to drive automobiles. No nicotine patch user can place a nicotine patch upon another person.

Tobacco smokers, however, do force non-smokers to breathe nicotine. The removal of tobacco smoke from the environment will guarantee equality for all under the law.

John K. Fox Ph.D.

Fourth and inches transcends the game

When your life comes down to fourth and inches, you have no choice but to fight. When you are part of something that truly matters, you have no choice but to give every ounce of what you believe in to achieve the ultimate goal.

In essence, this is what coach Dave Kitchell taught me. Not only was he one of my middle school Outdoor Residence School counselors, he was my mentor and football coach.

I had the opportunity to speak with Coach K after the thrilling 13 to 12 victory over Marshfield on Sept. 28. I had just recently recovered from the last of what is hopefully the final surgery after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

We had a brief, yet memorable, conversation that night on the sidelines. What I'll remember most is that he said he was thankful to be there at that moment after a multi-year bout with colon cancer. I told him I was thankful for having him as a coach.

I read a newspaper article in Eugene in early September by a University of Oregon literature professor that essentially said football is detrimental to education. I read that article at a time when my life metaphorically came down to fourth and inches, with only a matter of hours before a life altering surgery.

That article made me think about the foundation that football provides for thousands of young men every year. The football players under coach Kitchell's watch know that being an Ashland Grizzly means more than just putting points on the scoreboard or making a great play. Being part of the program is an honor that comes with great responsibility.

I remember coach Kitchell's pre-game Kamikaze meetings. They brought us together. They helped us believe. They taught us how to be men when we were just boys. He taught us how to live when life came down to fourth and inches.

Like many people, I was surprised and devastated when I heard coach Kitchell had passed away. To think that a sentinel of his stature could succumb to illness felt improbable. To think a man so passionate and fierce could fall so young felt unfair.

But we should all be grateful that there are men out there similar to coach Kitchell willing to spend the time and commitment to help us all be better people. Without a doubt, he and the rest of the AHS football coaches taught me to believe in the ultimate goal when life comes down to fourth and inches.

I believe that on his final day coach Kitchell broke the plane of the end zone and won the championship of life. He was a player's coach and will truly be missed and forever respected.

Eric Morrison

Juneau, Alaska

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