Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 31, 2013

Exempt veterans posts from smoking ban

This is in regard to your proposed Mineral County Clean Air Regulation of 2013.

We support (health department administrator) A.J. Root, and (Mineral County) Commissioner Richard Lechliter’s attempt to protect the youth and those who wish to eat in a smoke free environment!

It should be noted that the American Legion Post 136 has a Class A License, which forbids children! But we also support the freedom to choose, and we veterans gave you that right.

Be it a veterans club or a private establishment, shouldn’t a simple smoking or non-smoking sign at the entrance be enough for an average intelligent person to choose whether to enter the establishment or not?

Mr. Root and Mr. Lechliter feel they know what’s best for all citizens, veterans included. This law, while well-intended but misguided, should not apply to veteran organizations.

We fought for your freedoms. Don’t take those freedoms from the very veterans who gave them to you!

As members of the Ridgeley American Legion Post 136, we strongly oppose the smoking ban for veterans organizations in Mineral County.

Charities will suffer greatly due to lost revenue to the veteran organizations. These include, but are not limited to, those that will be affected:

1. The town of Ridgeley, its Senior Center and Police Department

2. Local churches

3. Local schools

a. Youth activities and sports teams

b. Scholarship programs

c. School supplies for local children

4. Ridgeley and other local Volunteer Fire Departments

5. Mineral County Deputy Phil Program

6. Organizations that support veterans who suffer from PTSD

7. The Wounded Warrior Program

8. Both Boy and Girl Scout Groups

9. Allegany County Animal Shelter

8. Mineral County Food Banks

9. Veteran’s Outpatient Clinic, Cumberland — $8.000 for a van to transport Veterans to the Martinsburg VA.

10. Town of Carpendale, Rails to Trails Project- $10,000

11. Camp Bright Star, for children

Mr. Lechliter failed to mention in the Cumberland Times-News article (“Mineral County to become smoke-free,” July 2, Page 1A), that he is the only county commissioner on the Mineral County Board of Health, which leads to the question:

Will this vote be in the best interest of the community and its citizens, or is it his personal agenda?

American Legion Post 136

Membership  and officers

Paul S. Dornsife, trustee

Ridgeley, W.Va.

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