Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Letters to the Editor

April 26, 2007

To the editor:

We would like to thank Cameron Scruggs, the Boy Scout who raised all the money, bought and put up the new fence at the cemetery. It really made the cemetery even more beautiful. It was a lot of work for him and we do thank him for it.

Joe and Betty Simunac
Baldwin City

To the editor:

What a shame. Because vandals cut the cable Baldwin City no longer has its Kissing Bridge. Because of vandals, Lighthouse Baptist Church no longer has its lighthouses.

Marvin Cornelius
Baldwin City

To the editor:

Are you aware that as of Jan. 1, many new regulations and codes affecting current and future land use in rural Douglas County became law? For many years rural residential development was guided by the five-acre exemption. If you had a minimum of five acres you could build a residential property. The five-acre exemption is a thing of the past.

The new rules and regulations approach rural development with a whole different approach. If you now own land that you may want to sell for residential development in the future or if you want to buy land to build, I encourage you to attend an informational meeting. Douglas County representatives will be hosting a meeting today at the American Legion in Baldwin City. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Those attending the meeting will learn about how ground can be split for development. Those of you that may have already created tracts to be sold in the future should attend to learn how the new road classification system might relate to those tracts.

I encourage anyone interested in residential rural development in Douglas County to attend this meeting. The new regulations are a result of two years of meeting with our Douglas County Commissioners, Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission and the City of Lawrence. Please attend and learn about the regulations that will be guiding rural development of Douglas County in the future.

Ron Skaggs
Baldwin City

To the editor:

Doug Ruzicka told Marion Springs Elementary School students that he might race in the Iditarod one day. Animal lovers hope that never happens.

What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, pneumonia, ruptured discs, lung damage, viral diseases, torn muscles and tendons, vomiting, hypothermia, torn footpads and sprains.

On the average, 53 percent of the dogs who start the Iditarod do not make it across the finish line. According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do finish, 81 percent have lung damage. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine reported that 61 percent of the dogs who finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

Iditarod veterinarians do not give the dogs physical exams at every checkpoint. Mushers often breeze through the checkpoints in under five minutes, so that the dogs get brief visual checks, if that. Veterinarians, who are part of the Iditarod culture of cruelty, give the dogs massive doses of antibiotics to keep them running. In 2007, the veterinary staff gave its Humanitarian Award to a musher who raced his dogs for four days even though all of them had diarrhea.

The dogs are sometimes sick or injured before the Iditarod begins, but the veterinarians allow them to run anyway. Dogs with diarrhea, viruses, coughs and open sores on foot pads have been allowed to start the race.

Sick and injured dogs who are dropped from the race are sent to the Hiland Mountain/Meadow Creek Correctional Center where they are cared for by inmates. In 2005, the Alaska SPCA reported that the dogs were tied out there with no shelter in awful weather.

Iditarod mushers routinely force their dogs to live at the end of five foot chains. The American Veterinary Medical Association stated, "Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior." And in 1997 the United States Department of Agriculture determined that the chaining of dogs was inhumane and not in the animals' best interests. Tethering is a cheap way for mushers to keep their dogs, but it's cruel. That's why jurisdictions across the United States are banning this practice.

For the dogs, the Iditarod is torture.

Margery Glickman
Sled Dog Action Coalition,
PO Box 562061
Miami, FL 33256

To the Editor:

The glowing piece about dog sledding ignored the very real cruelties associated with forcing dogs to pull oversized loads ("Alaskan musher mesmerizes Marion Springs audience," April 19). Dogs can suffer pulled muscles, tendon tears and other "unseen" injuries. Their feet become bruised, bloodied, cut by ice and worn out because of the vast distances they cover.

It's a shame this cruel "sport" was presented to school children as admirable.

Jennifer O'Connor
Animals in Entertainment Campaign Writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

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