Your letters, July 7

July 5, 2013 

Don’t be the cynic

In 1993, the town of Carrboro was the first governmental body in Dixie to sanction domestic partnership registration. It literally made us the laughing-stock of North Carolina.

People said it was silly. People said it was a waste of time. People said that no one would ever care. People said that it would never make any difference.

But the Carrboro Board of Aldermen (and later the Chapel Hill Town Council) joined with first dozens, then hundreds and now thousands of governments across our country to call upon America to recognize the validity of same-sex relationships.

And while the Supreme Court decision is by-no-means the end of this struggle, it nevertheless shows that when it comes to justice, we can start at Town Hall and wind up at the Supreme Court.

When Carrboro speaks out on immigration reform, the Patriot Act, gay rights, etc, don’t be the cynic who says that no one cares what our little town thinks. Be the person who remembers Margaret Mead’s beautiful words: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has."

Mark Chilton

Mayor

Carrboro

The poor animal

No person in his right mind leaves a dog in a closed car in June in North Carolina (CHN, June 30, bit.ly/12tDotD). Not, at least, if you’re not Michael Vick or some other sadist. I guess this woman was just too busy selling $20,000 dogs to bother to check on the poor animal.

It is also completely untrue that a dog who is re-homed won’t bond with the new people unless he believes that he has been abandoned by his original family. That just shows how little Cunningham knows about dogs. She should certainly never be allowed to either own, or work with, dogs again.

Judith Ortiz

Chapel Hill

Dog suffered

It was with great sadness I read about the death of Worthy, the service dog who died recently after being left in a car for two hours with the windows rolled up.

His death would be a tragedy no matter what the circumstances, but these particular circumstances are especially perplexing.

A woman who works with service dogs leaves him in a car with the windows rolled up for two hours on a sunny June day.

There is no excuse that would make sense given her position. Every summer, children and dogs die after being left in hot cars.

Worthy suffered terribly, both in the car and in the remaining hours of his life.

If someone who directs a program training service dogs doesn’t know any better, how can she educate the people who obtain a dog from Eyes Ears Nose and Paws?

I am a dog owner, lover and rescuer. There is no way I would ever leave a dog in a car on a hot day for any length of time. What a beautiful sweet boy, such a tragic waste of his life.

Pat Nichols

N.C. Sporting Dog Rescue

Durham

Horrific death

The horrific death of a dog named Worthy after he was allegedly left inside a parked car on a 77-degree day is a reminder that, even on a moderately warm day, leaving an animal in a vehicle can be fatal.

It only takes minutes for a parked car to cook an animal alive: On a warm day, even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a parked car can reach more than 160 degrees. Parking in the shade and/or leaving water in the vehicle won’t help. Dogs can’t cool themselves as efficiently as humans can, and they can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes, resulting in brain damage or death. Symptoms include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite and coordination, dark tongue, and vomiting.

Please, when it’s even a little warm outside, never leave any living being in a parked car, even for “just a minute.” If you see a dog left in a car, have the owner paged or call 911 immediately – the dog’s life depends on it. Visit www.PETA.org to learn more.

Martin Mersereau

Director

Emergency Response Team

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Leaderless party

Although raised in Mississippi, I chose to become a Democrat because I believed in the North Carolina Democratic Party values and leadership.

Daily, I see rank and file Democrats writing and speaking a good game but playing a poor one since we are leaderless.

Our party needs a strong, capable leader who can inspire the party membership top defeat the no heart, no brain Republicans in the House and Senate.

Eunice Brock

Chapel Hill

Go meatless

What ever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on the Fourth of July were traffic jams and wayward fireworks?

According to the Department of Agriculture’s Meat & Poultry Hotline, this year’s top threat is food poisoning by nasty E. coli and Salmonella bugs lurking in hamburgers and hot dogs at millions of backyard barbecues. The Hotline’s advice is to grill them longer and hotter. Of course, they don’t bother to mention that the high-temperature grilling that kills the bugs also forms lots of cancer-causing compounds.

Luckily, a bunch of enterprising U.S. food manufacturers and processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious, and convenient, veggie burgers and soy dogs. These delicious plant-based foods don’t harbor nasty pathogens or cancer-causing compounds. They don’t even carry cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs, or pesticides. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our supermarket.

This July Fourth weekend offers a great opportunity to declare our independence from the meat industry and to share wholesome veggie burgers and soy dogs with our family and friends.

Colin Barnett

Chapel Hill

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