Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Letters on church shooting fallout, needed burn bans, hearing loss

Nov. 12, 2017 at 12:10 a.m.

Heads should roll

So we want our government to have more and stricter guns laws to protect us. The U.S. Air Force is a government entity, and it failed the citizens in Sutherland Springs. Like the command staffs of the two U.S. Navy vessels involved in inexcusable collisions (news story, Sept. 19), some heads in the USAF need to roll for their failure to prevent one of their own, Devin Kelley, from executing all those faithful souls (news stories, Sunday-Saturday).

May all the souls lost walk in God's light and those injured recover fully.

We don't need more laws, we need stricter enforcement of the current laws, from sellers to judicial.

John A. Thompson, Longview

Approves of burn ban

In an Oct. 16 news story about a policy change about outdoor burning due to drought and increasing risk of wildfires in Gregg County, Fire Marshal Mark Moore stated a burn ban was enacted to prevent a repeat of the devastating wildfires we saw in 2010 and 2011. I could not approve of it more.

In 2011, I packed my most precious belongings in preparation of fleeing those wildfires. I spent a Sunday outside watching helicopters fly by with buckets of water. From my driveway on Country Club Road, I could see them pour hundreds of gallons just beyond my neighbor's yard. The fire changed direction and missed my neighborhood.

However, I later learned dozens of houses less than a half mile from mine were burnt to the ground. A nearby church had been damaged, its bell had fallen and cracked the concrete beneath it, and gravestones were seared and covered with ash. Once-green forests are now grassy plains populated by dead, vertical logs.

It is vital that this not happen again, and I must reiterate Moore's point that citizens need to be sensible with their flammable surroundings.

I also suggest sending residents within applicable counties a letter detailing possible safeguards, how to stay better informed on the issue, when to prepare to evacuate and how to plan escape routes.

I know from experience how damaging these wildfires are to families, the environment, and the surrounding community. I think a burn ban is a reasonable precaution and it will help mitigate the risk of another disaster.

Cullen Edwards, Gladewater

Words worth hearing

Regarding the Forum column of Gayle Raif regarding hearing loss (Forum, Oct. 28), I just want to thank her for her comments. I wish every family member or friend of someone with hearing loss could read her words to understand how they could accommodate their loved ones.

Most people merely hear automatically. Those of us with hearing loss have to concentrate in order to hear. We need to see your lips when you're speaking. Large crowds and loud noise are a cacophony to us, and further deteriorate our ears.

Thank you, Gayle, for sharing a much-needed lesson.

Karen Wilson, Longview



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