Welcome decision regarding Windsor

I am praising God for the decision not to use the Windsor Hotel for senior apartments. I am thankful for those community members who voted against the ill-advised proposal in The Telegram poll, who signed petitions and who wrote letters.

These are some quotes from the application for the National Register of Historic Places: "The Windsor Hotel in Garden City, sometimes referred to as the 'Waldorf of the Prairies,' was built in 1887-88 by former buffalo hunter John A. Stevens on property he homesteaded in 1879."

"Constructed of native stone and of brick made from a local kiln, the Windsor Hotel cost approximately $100,000. The hotel's most unusual feature is an inside court located in the center of the building on the second floor with a full-length skylight three stories above."

"The Windsor Hotel was one of the largest and most elegant hotels in western Kansas at the turn of the century. Serving as headquarters for many land and cattle transactions and also a community center, it has had an important part in development of the Garden City area. The Windsor Hotel is an excellent example of Renaissance architecture in Kansas and is one of the few outstanding early western Kansas hotel buildings."

For 40 years the beautiful Windsor Hotel has been on the National Register of Historic places. Forty years ago it still operated as a hotel with Gamand Furniture on the first floor. All the historic charm of the Windsor still exists in those upper floors little has changed since 1972.

In 1997 the Finney County Preservation Alliance was incorporated with the goal of making "committed efforts in the area of Finney County, Kansas toward preservation of historical, architectural, visual and environmental heritage through advocacy, education and alliance building." I have to assume that is still the goal.

Currently there are nine Alliance board members. Their bylaws allow as many as 15. Now would be a good time to increase the number of board members and get a working board with viable ideas to preserve the historic treasure known as the Windsor Hotel.

I would urge everyone to view the Windsor on one of the tours during Beef Empire Days on June 9.

JOAN LOBMEYER,

Garden City

Maintain efforts to curb tobacco

Back in January, Teens Taking Action Inc. was awarded a grant from the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition in the amount of $1,500. Our organization has decided in honor of that grant we will be joining the thousands of other organizations worldwide who are raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke.

The World No Tobacco Day is May 31. The goal is to educate policymakers and the public about the tobacco industry's harmful tactics. The World Health Organization is leading the fight for this epidemic.

The tobacco epidemic is one of the largest public health threats the world has ever faced. Nearly 6 million people a year die because of it, and an additional 80,000 to 100,000 youths around the world become addicted to tobacco every day. However, they are not the only ones affected. An additional 600,000 people are killed each year because of secondhand smoke, and 165,000 of them are children.

Teens Taking Action's mission statement is "Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Leaders. Through our values we build better communities." Speaking on behalf of the other youths in our community, we want to take a stand against tobacco and not allow it to target us and the youth around the world.

In Kansas, we are lucky to have a public smoke-free environment. However, we are asking our community leaders to re-think policies and asking those using tobacco to think about World No Tobacco Day as a great time to help end this public health threat. When we improve the health of our community, we create a more positive place to live.

ZACHARY HANEY,

Topeka