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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Apr 23, 2008

It’s 2008! Do you know what your children are doing?

It’s time for society to do a reality check.

Our youth are getting high by huffing substances and they are doing this right under our noses.

That is, they are inhaling chemical vapors from all sorts of “innocent” substances, of which many are found at home, at school, at the office and in the garage. This is not a good thing for the abuser or society as a whole.

These harmless-looking but potent substances include air fresheners, butane, spray paint, computer cleaner, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, markers, correction fluid, cooking spray, paint and glue

The most alarming part of this crazy trend is that some of this dangerous activity is done at home, in cars, and other common place areas as they inhale what really is a “legal” substance to get an unnatural high.

The high may come at a price because it wreaks havoc on the brain and vital organs (heart, lungs, kidneys and liver). The habit could ultimately cause an untimely death due to sudden cardiac arrest. It is possible to die with the first experience.

Huffing can also be attributed to vehicle accidents, falls, suffocation, burns. The act can cause to choking and bouts of depression leading to suicide.

Parents and teachers need to become acquainted with the symptoms and clues of someone who is sniffing inhalants. The person becomes moody, excitable, disoriented, has a new set of friends, loses interest in school work, slurs words and may have glassy or glazed-over eyes.

Used containers of glue, spray paint, air fresheners can quickly accumulate and points to the addiction.

Aside from the health dangers, persons abusing inhalants could be in trouble with the law. While the possession of the substance being inhaled is legal, the condition of being publicly intoxicated is not. Persons would face either a $100 fine plus court costs or up to 30 days in jail.

If you are fortunate to have a young one to love, please learn all you can about this atrocious activity. Positive communication with your child is the best defense.

For more information, talk to your family doctor or visit www.inhalant.org.

Don’t put this off. Tomorrow may be too late.

Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Apr 23, 2008

The Daily News has received some interesting feedback on a story and related editorial on hog confinements we published last week. We thought we’d share some of that feedback with you.

One writer said, “I too am a member of ICC and do not like the name calling by others.” This person was writing in reference to criticism of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement which ran a series of ads in The Spirit calling public attention to the number of hog confinements in Emmet County (67 in 2007).

“I was disappointed at the negative slant of the article, and the misconception of the mission of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement,” said another writer. However, the same writer said of Alan Madden, chair of the Emmet County Board of Supervisors, “He’s absolutely right. There is a problem, and the hog industry created it. They’re the ones that should fix it. It’s called the cost of doing business.” Did that editorial writer manage to find grist for her own argument within the “slanted” article?

A representative of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers found “disingenuous” the editorial indicating that the pork industry should police itself and that if enough people became surrounded by the “smell of money” that they might hire an attorney and get some of that money for themselves. When asked about the Coalition’s stand on the issue, he said the relative concentration of hog confinements in any given area was not their responsibility and that new housing subdivisions were in fact being built around hog confinements. (What do you suppose they would call those subdivisions. Hog Hollow? Hog Hills? Maybe Hog Heaven?)

Another writer asked to know the total tax dollars generated annually by the 67 hog confinements in the county.

That number is $329,190. The assessed value of those confinements is $13,314,000. Emmet County school districts receive $225,000 from those confinements.

Anyway, we thought you might be interested.