Comments from readers at

Conversations get lively at, where commenters are encouraged to weigh in on stories via Facebook. Here are some recent comments:

Cases climbing

“With testing and more openings, Increases will occur. This is not a bad thing. Goal would be to treat more effectively and keep positive tested people from dying. Texas has done a good job. California and NY have not!”

— Marla Pickett

“Respecting the virus and being respectful of people’s liberties and freedoms do not go hand in hand.”

— Dionne Morrison McCauley

“You need Real statistics. This is just a flu. A level 1 virus that is the lowest form of virus. Don’t try denying others liberties due to fear.”

— David Griffin

“ ‘Just a level 1 flu?’ From CDC, ‘Specimens collected from people suspected to have COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) must be handled in a BSL-3 (bio-safety level 3) laboratory. Providers collecting specimens or within 6 feet of patients, must maintain proper infection control and use recommended personal protective equipment, which includes an N95 or higher-level respirator (or facemask), eye protection, gloves, and a gown, when collecting specimens.’ “

— Diane Mosley

“There seems to be three kinds of people in East Texas: Those that are going to hunker down. Those that are going to jump in the water. And those that are going to watch what happens to the bait fish that jumped in the water.”

— Jo Black

Taxing decision

“I can’t say I would enjoy a tax hike. However, I certainly would NOT support a rollback on city employee raises. To suggest otherwise is just as irresponsible as discussing a tax increase.”

— S Nathaniel Burgess

“We all must share in this burden, the city as a whole and that includes the employees of the City of Longview. The salary increase should definitely be rescinded.”

— Keene Guidry

“Tell that to the police and fire families who are also struggling. You know the ones who come anytime you call 911 with an emergency.”

— Tammy Denfeld

“The city doesn’t need to raise taxes. The appraisal district does it for them every year. Residential selling prices go down yet appraisals go up. This is the biggest racket in the state of Texas.”

— Leeland Bogs

“This would have been beyond just an appraisal increase to potentially tack on a rate increase on top of it.”

— Matthew Nehrling

“Gov. Abbott noted that cities and counties shouldn’t use that loophole to raise taxes during this time:

— Michelle Norris

“I personally do not want a tax increase. However, my husband along with many others in the workforce have been given a ‘cut in pay’ to help prevent huge layoffs. The city should consider doing a rollback on salaries. We are all suffering here in this pandemic and I would rather have a temporary cut in pay than be unemployed and lose my insurance and benefits. I appreciate the fact that the mayor and City Council have chosen not to raise taxes during this time.”

— Becky Clark

“Pathetic that they even brought something like this up at this time. Voters need to pay very close attention, and find out exactly where this talk is originating.”

— Ronnie Van Humphries

“Just wrong!”

— Shannon Wingfield

“At whose request was it placed on the agenda?”

— Karen Harris Jackson

“That’s a great question.”

— Sarah Fox

“They may need more walking trails. You can’t drive down our streets for the potholes.”

— Jerry Ramo

Pier 1 shutters

”Meh, overpriced crap for years. Going the way that some other retailers need to start heading (looking at you JC Penney).”

— Scott Backus

“They already filed for bankruptcy, 240 stores are closing.”

— Kevin Chavarria

“Pier1 announced closings before COVID 19.”

— Jerry Bagley Jr

“So sad.”

— Tammy Murray White

“They closed in Longview early January. We already knew it was closing everywhere. Sad, but hard to compete with online sources.”

— Tonya Morton Jones

“I thought it was still open.”

— Kelly Danielle Ramon

“Tonya Morton Jones, exactly!”

— Kim Taylor

“I have found exact items sold at Pier 1 at places like Kirkland’s for one-third of the price. Perhaps they’d still be competitive if they hadn’t tried to charge so much.”

— Stephanie Holmes

Allow me to fix that for you: ‘Pier 1, the seller of crap you don’t need such as overpriced wicker chairs and stupid-expensive canisters of scented wax ... ‘ “

— Tommy Gober

“Candle cost $83 in there. How have they not saved money to stay open?”

— Kelly Humphrey

“I’m gonna miss the way it smelled.”

— Carrie Hodges

J.C. Penney bankrupt

“Here go all of the ‘Oh, I loved J.C. Penney’ comments but when did you spend money there last? Bet it wasn’t more recent than that Amazon delivery. More importantly, support local and small business. Not with likes and comments, with business. Thanks. Rant over.”

— Brian Wright

“I go there all the time, in fact have gone to the mall two times lately trying to find them open. And no, I do not shop online. I like to see what I’m getting.”

— Charlene Hanks

”Maybe replace J.C. Penney with a hospital, apartment complex, or fast food. You know, the three things that’s left in Longview.”

— Bryan Wolfbane

Plaguing prisons

“A very eye opening and disturbing article. I hope to learn more from both sides in this series Plaguing Prisons. If not for the media, we would not know what happens within these walls. I wonder, with most of our hospitals empty and medical personnel being furloughed, why can’t the COVID-19-positive prisoners, especially those with underlying health conditions, be placed in our hospitals where they can get the treatment they need without infecting the rest of the prison population? I pray for Bradley Ferguson’s release & peace for his father during this time.”

— Karen Harris Jackson

On to next phase

“Primary Greg ‘The Tyrant’!”

— Russell Gary

“How are bars going to limit their capacity when we cannot enforce restaurants to do the 25%?”

— Ken Han

“I haven’t seen a restaurant past 25% yet, so ... “

— James Smith

“I have: Bubba’s 33, Leon’s Steakhouse, Jalapeno Tree and Chili’s all in Longview. I am sure you drove up to a city to inspect is the reason you came to a conclusion or was it just your hunch?”

— Ken Han

“OK, but what about tattoo shops? They should have been the first ones open from the very beginning!”

— Karlie Mckenzie Money

“Open everything! People need to make a living wage.”

— Erica McCauley-Lusk

“Yay! Cannot wait to get back to normal the old way.”

— Shanna Spence

“Good! Let’s keep going!”

— Sandy Reeves

“RIP kids of Texas.”

— Danielle Kirkpatrick

Today's Bible verse

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

— Colossians 3:13

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