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Letters: Your butts hurt (the environment)

Johnson City Press • Aug 24, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected]

Your butts hurt (the environment)

I pulled up to a traffic signal the other day near my office and watched a person casually toss their cigarette filter (butt) out their window. The interesting thing is on the back of this car were bumper stickers stating such things as “Save the Planet,” “Buy Local” and even one that actually stated “Litter Hurts Everyone.” Seriously? It was mind boggling. Did this person not think they were littering with tossing their butt out the window?

Here is a news flash: Cigarette filters are not biodegradable. The filters are made from primarily a plastic called plasticized cellulose acetate which does not biodegrade. It is estimated that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts become litter annually. This means that roughly 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts wind up as toxic trash every year. They poison our water supply and cause huge problems in storm drains. Look around the next time you stop at a traffic light at the enormous number of cigarette butts.

Now it would be wonderful if our good friends producing them in places like nearby Kingsport made a biodegradable cigarette filter. I don’t think that is realistic but I think education of those that smoke is possible. Cigarette butts are litter, so the next time you see someone casually toss a butt out the window or extinguish one on the street try saying something. They may not like it but it is the right thing to do if nothing else to “Save the Planet.”

CLEM WILKES, JR.
Jonesborough

We need healthy debate

Marty Olsen and Phil Roe need to get the debates going!

After missing a debate in July, Phil Roe stated “there will be a debate.” It is now mid-August and there has been no announcement — another politician’s broken promise? I hope not.

Here are some thoughts about the debates:

Three debates (two hours each) are needed. Marty Olsen shows good availability on his website while Phil Roe shows no campaign events on his website, so he must be free (except for the 19 days Congress is in session for August, September and October.)

The first debate should be on health care, the second debate covering jobs, wages and the debt and the third debate can be on other subjects.

The debates needed to be available to all constituents of the First District and saved for later viewing.

The debate audience (if there is one) should not be allowed to interfere with the debate proceedings. The content of the debate is the important output; this is not a rally.

Gentlemen, let's get the debate ball rolling. The district wants to hear your ideas for the future.

DENNIS GOLOB
Kingsport

Blackburn’s record is bad for Tennessee

Most of her TV ads makes you think she is all in for us regular folks, “I’m a problem-solver” she declares, yet she helped pass the tax reform bill that robbed our treasury of billions of dollars only to fund the billionaires, we got a crumb that’s already been erased through inflation, tariffs, and rising gas prices. The middle class will be paying for this for a very long time, and watch carefully, they are planning, probably after the midterm elections, another big tax cut for the select few, and sweet little Marsha Blackburn will help pass this.

“I will always fight those that prey on our most vulnerable,” she states. Where was she when big pharma was flooding our country with addictive opioids? She and her partner in crime, Rep. Tom Marino were busy creating a “get out of jail free” bill as the DEA was about to shut big pharma down, and it worked, no one went to trial, the distribution continued, leading to thousands of deaths nationwide. Tennessee suffered greatly.

“The bill had unintended consequences.” That was her response to critics. She still took the $120,000 from big pharma in campaign contributions, so in her mind all is well. New information has revealed the opioid crisis is getting worse not better, with 2017 deaths related to opioids totaling 1,268 in Tennessee alone. She is not fit to represent the great state of Tennessee.

DON WILLIAMS
Piney Flats

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