News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2006


Card editorial left out one big mistake

I appreciated the editorial about the resignation of Andrew Card. Letting him go will not change a thing. I agree with your list of mistakes and examples of incompetence by the Bush administration, but you left out one big one.

How many decades will it take for the United States to be seen once again as a positive force for good in the world?

Christopher Woods

Houston, Texas

Captive exotic cats mistreated, need protection

Big cats deserve more than being exploited in cages. The caging and displaying of large cats must be stopped. Often the facts are not as represented. The cats are displayed in cramped, barren cages. They suffer from exposure to the elements with minimal protection. They are dejected, and in substandard health.

These "educators" will not allow you to see where the animals live off the road. If the public was aware of the miserable conditions, it would not support these people. They won't tell you that every six months cubs outgrow their usefulness and are discarded. They are sold to ill-prepared private owners, shot in "canned hunts" or destroyed for parts in Asian medicine. The United States is the top supplier of tiger parts to this market.

If you have a heart at all, you will help to stop this practice. This has to stop. We need laws that ban breeding, selling, and exploiting of exotic cats. It is cruel for the cats, and dangerous to the community. Do not support roadside exhibitors of wild cats, or the businesses that hire them for publicity. Write your legislators and tell them you want to protect the cats and the public.

Patricia Orton


Falkville students lent hand; more help needed

I recently returned from disaster relief work in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and saw firsthand the extent of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. I also met some of those who made the trip with the Falkville High School students to sponsor a prom for the Bay High School students.

Their trip was like a breath of fresh air for the community. For any who doubt the quality of our current crop of young people, they need only to look at this outstanding group of high school students who found a unique way to show their caring and concern for their peers struggling to cope with the storm's effects on their lives. They showed that you don't have to attend a "big" high school to make a positive impact on the world around you.

I would add that, while at Bay St. Louis, I saw many college groups come to the Gulf Coast to add their efforts to the long and difficult task of rebuilding the Mississippi Gulf Coast communities. These young people took on the dirtiest, smelliest and most onerous tasks we could find for them and then came back for more. They could have been partying with their classmates on another beach, but they chose instead to come and show their love and concern for those who needed their help.

With the quality of these students and those at Falkville, our future looks very promising. Well done, Falkville High School.

By the way, there is still a great need for help down there — especially for skilled trades like roofers, electricians and sheetrock finishers. Central United Methodist Church can provide information to anyone interested in participating on a work crew.

Curt Hughes


Report suspected animal abuse to authorities

The story of Lucky the dog shows there are more good people out there than there are bad people. But, other than the happy ending of a horrific journey for one dog, the focus for the public should be the sad fact that Lucky was a rarity in that he was found.

We must think of the many animals like Lucky that never get rescued. For that reason alone, we should all step forward when we suspect or see animal abuse/neglect. The average citizen can save a neglected and/or abused pet or stray by simply calling the local animal control and reporting the abuse/neglect. All calls remain anonymous and the caller is safe from being identified.

This simple, free act of kindness can save many more Luckys and other animals in trouble. We need more people like the person who saw and rescued Lucky from the trash bin. This is what I believe most of society is: good, caring and responsible.

Joan Harlin

Silver Spring, Md.

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