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Comments from readers at

Dec. 7, 2017 at 11:57 p.m.

Conversations about the news get lively at, where commenters are encouraged to weigh in on stories via Facebook. Here's a sampling of some recent comments:

Brains over brawn

Regarding "Pool: Goodbye to all that," Tuesday:

"The exact reason I didn't want my boys to play football. It is a 'contact' sport. I figured their brains were more important than their brawn. Good article."

"I'm sending this to my son for my grandson who is playing at 11 and wants to continue."

"You said: 'I believe that a sport involving deliberate and permanent injury to others is immoral.' I've long thought that I might hold that belief but I've had doubts. However, it really helps to know that there are others out there who see things this way. I believe I agree with you. Thanks for saying that. My one hang-up, though, is the fact that all parties in such sports are not only aware of the risks, but implicitly agree to them. What is your take on that?"

"The first step to improving player safety in football was in admitting that the risk was reality. The science has proven it so, and now the sport must adjust accordingly. Proper tackling techniques, improved helmet design, more strictly applied concussion protocols; all of these things are improving player safety. It will never be a 'safe' game but it can certainly be safer. Research has in fact shown (Google it, I'm not making it up) that most brain damage occurs from an accumulation of hits rather than the big 'ooooh aaaaah' highlight reel shots. In fact, most high school and college players incur far more 'hits' during a week of practice than they do during a game. Having that knowledge and adjusting practice patterns, modifying hitting/tackling drills, and limiting above the shoulder contact CAN make this game safer and much more sustainable. It's an amazing, thrilling, and sometimes violent game that needs science and common sense applied to it just like everything else in the world. That makes way more sense than vilifying it."

#metoo in East Texas

Regarding "Sexual harassment complaints rare in East Texas," Sunday:

"It may be rare that women in this area do not file complaints, but believe me it happens more often than people realize. One reason they don't report it is fear of losing their jobs, especially if they have a good paying one and they are a single parent. Just take a survey."

"It is rarely reported because of the 'don't rock the boat' culture around here along with the deeply entrenched attitude that women should submit. It is bad, worse than many realize. Sadly, many women empower this as well, standing up for the harassers and abusers. The attitude is; 'If it doesn't happen to me then it must not be happening,' or 'Old Larry is always nice to me so he couldn't be that way,' or worse,, 'Old Larry is a deacon in our church so I know he wouldn't do that.' I suggest LNJ digs a bit deeper. The impression HR groups want you to have (protecting the company or school image) and reality is far removed."

"About 25 years ago, as I was conducting new employee orientation on the subject of sexual harassment, a young lady shared that she had a pending lawsuit against her most recent previous employer. Ironically, she had been my successor when I had walked away from that job, for the same reason. I offered my collaborating testimony. They settled and he continued his ways, as a 'respected' area businessman. Because I had a vested interest, I watched him for several years. His behavior never changed. It is a pervasive culture. That said, there has become a heightened perception of offense, in my opinion. Touching is one thing, but an off-color remark or joke, walk away. Of course, that changes if job security is at stake."

"This happens all the time. We will hear about current stories in 20 or 30 years."

"Mr. Hedler, your article is naive. The few HR reps interviewed doesn't begin to give the facts and truth that sexual harassment here in East Texas exists. It is happening daily, the reports just aren't being made. Unfortunately it is 'the good 'ol boy' attitude and lifestyles of the area. Jobs aren't easy to come by around here, and especially good-paying jobs, so mouths are kept shut and the instances swept under the table. More women should be reporting and filing complaints but they aren't. As for your and anyone else's belief that it is rare in this area, keep dreaming."

Questionable justice

Regarding "Gilmer woman gets 20 years in meth case," Tuesday:

"What kind of deal is that? Twenty years and waived her right to appeal. In comparison, that coach from Hallsville walks away and doesn't even register as a sex offender. No, this isn't right."

"Yeah, that is kind of weird. I don't see how she could get 20 years unless she has a lot and lots of priors."

"She has NO priors. Please pray for this situation to be made right."

"OK, I'll try a little prayer but it sounds like she needs a good lawyer to help void that ridiculous so-called plea 'deal.' Seriously, reading this made me want to throw up. Even if there is more to the story, (and there usually is), she still deserves a life/at least as much of a chance as these freaks who mess with kids."

"Justice? Same sentence South Carolina police officer just got for murder. Shot suspect five times in the back."

Good Shepherd rebound

Regarding "After hard choices, Good Shepherd profitable again," Saturday:

"Good reading. Glad to hear that the turnaround has developed even faster than anticipated. Very glad to hear that the situation allowed for improved wages for dedicated staff."

"Yes, doctors are not paid near enough around here."

"Dissoi Logoi, I know nothing about physician wages, because they generally don't talk about it to lay public. I was referring to the rest of the staff: housekeepers, maintenance workers, non-professional direct care staff and the numerous variety of techs as well as office workers."

"So glad my friends and family that are still with GSMC will have a brighter future ahead."

"Their new billing department is the worst I've ever encountered. After four calls to clear up their mistakes, I had to contact my previous insurance company to file a fraud complaint. Check your statements carefully."

City Council race

Regarding "Longview businessman seeks election to City Council," Nov. 30:

"Sounds like a family thing."

"Great decision! District 3 needs someone that knows the residents in the community as well as those in the city that make decisions regarding District 3."

"The district needs someone that will see to it that improvements for District 3 are implemented and represent the people in the community! Not someone that is going to be buddy-buddy with city officials! That's not what the community needs. We don't need anyone that serving to build themselves up. We don't need that."



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