To the editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Lazarou for his articles and to Diane Hatzenbuhler for her great articles for telling it like it is. Mike's and Diane's articles were so overwhelmingly heartwarming for me.
I am so sorry for my man, who tried and worked so hard. Ron was fair and went above and beyond. He loved this city and the residents.
Christmas Day when he went to the hospital and had two IVs and oxygen, sat on the edge of the bed and told me, "Jean, you and my health are the most important to my life. I'm tired of the fighting, harassment and battling every day. I'm going to retire at the end of the year." He looked so sad, my heart broke for him.
Ron knew what was going on, he told them it was illegal. The retort was "We've always done it." He reiterated, "It's illegal. You have a new sheriff in town and I'm telling you you can't do it."
Ron is gone. Not from my heart or the many hearts in Amsterdam. Ron Wierzbicki was a brilliant man, he was a Mensa person, he didn't have to wear any kind of t-shirt to depict who he was. He knew who he was.
Thank you again, Diane and Mike, for your wonderful articles. The tears still come when I read them over and over.
Setting a thoughtful example
To the editor:
Through my work I am privileged to interact with many families in our area and, of course, that includes some smokers. Most adults who smoke are genuinely concerned for the well-being of children, at least according to what I see. As we know, small amounts of secondhand smoke can trigger allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems, especially in children. Many smokers and non-smokers wish to set an example and communicate a message that encourages youth not to start smoking. Many are also willing to support and cooperate with efforts to promote the health of all non-smokers, such as by observing designated smoking areas, both indoors and out.
A lot of tobacco users have successfully quit and a lot more hope to quit in the future. Any former smoker will tell you what a great help it is to know that certain locations, even outdoors, will be smoke-free. This makes it much easier to pass through, whether out for a walk or entering a public building, without smelling the smoke that would trigger a craving.
Over and over, I am impressed by people's willingness to adjust their own actions to benefit others. I appreciate the consideration shown when someone waits to light up, moves to a designated area, or carefully contains any potential litter and disposes of it in a proper fashion. Please join me in thanking those people.
Project Action is currently working together with Tobacco Free New York State on behalf of the people in our area. See http://tobaccofreenys.org/Tobacco-Free-Outdoors-Campaign-2011.html to find key messages and facts, frequently asked questions, and lots of ideas on how you can join the effort too. For more information on tobacco-free outdoors, please visit www.prjectactionhfm.org or www.tobaccofreenys.org.