Letters August 19-25, 2004

Six Feet Over

Stratton digs up the goods:I just read "D.O.A. Delivery" by Jeff Stratton (July 29) and had to write. When I picked up this issue of New Times, the cover bothered me, and I seriously doubted I'd read the story. I was too busy thinking that, as a fellow writer and an editor, I had jobs to look for, yadda, yadda. And after leaving a weekly for the dark unknown, the last thing I needed was to read, most especially, a story that appeared to be dark, unknown, and, well, more morbid than I'd like on a good day.

Enough background. I read the story. In fact, I read every word. Read the last two graphs three times. I wanted to stand up and cheer. Yes! You so nailed that story -- all the way around. You answered my questions, and you totally brought it all home in the end. Fantastic writing, Jeff. (I feel like an editor, now.) Your editors are lucky to have you.

Beth Underwood

Lake Worth

That Giant Sucking Sound

At least it's good for laughs:What a great article on the sewer mess ("Telltale Hearts," Bob Norman, July 15). I especially like the way Norman described the mayor's reaction to Commissioner Beam Furr. Seems Mr. Furr was a burr in her saddle. Van Cott's antics were so hilarious that I could not stop laughing.

Robert L. Bowman

Via the Internet

Good Doggy

Myths and realities about pit bulls:With all the letters you are receiving about the negative aspects of pit bulls, don't you think it's time you printed something educational ("'Burb Dogs," Sam Eifling, July 8)? The Humane Society of Broward County firmly believes that every animal deserves a good, loving, lifetime home. Animals are not born "bad"; unfortunately, they fall victim to people who train or teach them to be bad, mean, aggressive, or destructive.

A pit bull can make a great family pet; however, they are not the dog for everyone. If you think this dog may be for you, ask yourself if you are willing to learn all you can about this breed so you can educate people and handle the negative image and scrutiny when out in public.

Myth 1: Don't pit bulls have locking jaws? No, the jaws of a pit bull are constructed the same as any other dog's except for the size difference. What they do have is strength and tenacity when they grasp onto something.

Myth 2: Do pit bulls turn on you? No dog "turns on you." Some dogs after they mature might try to challenge their place. Spaying and neutering can help with that, as can obedience training.

Myth 3: Will a pit bull that shows aggression toward other animals go after people next? People aggression is a totally different behavior from animal aggression. Although these dogs can have a high prey drive and they were bred to fight each other, they were originally bred to not be aggressive toward humans.

Myth 4: Are red nose pit bulls more aggressive? Absolutely not. The color of the nose or hair is no indication of temperament.

The pit bull is energetic, playful, comical, loyal, eager to please, intelligent, easy to train, tenacious, strong, and athletic and bonds well with people and is very loving. It can, however, exhibit aggression with other animals, especially other dogs. Do not have your pit bull off-leash, especially in a dog park. Tolerance for other animals varies from dog to dog and can change as the dog reaches maturity, between 2 and 3 years of age. Even if your pit bull is friendly with other dogs, do not leave it unattended when it is playing with another dog. Additionally, avoid having food or toys out that may lead to competing for them with the other dog.

Marni Bellavia Humane Society of Broward County

Sunrise

People's Brass

We don't need no cop's cop:I was in law enforcement for more than 26 years in Palm Beach County, and in my early years, I was naive enough to think that all police officers were concerned about human rights and treating all people with respect and dignity, no matter what their social or economic status. Slowly, I learned that this was not the case, not because the majority of the officers are bad but because of the philosophy of "go along to get along." This philosophy is perpetuated by a good-ol'-boy system in law enforcement that has been tolerated by the public out of fear of law enforcement itself.

Sheriff's candidate Ric Bradshaw ("West Palm Heat," Wyatt Olson, July 1) claims to have the support of the FOP and the PBA, two police unions whose primary goal is to protect police officers. There is a saying in law enforcement that probably applies to Ric Bradshaw: He is a "cop's cop." That may be a good thing for the cops but not for the citizens. What Palm Beach County citizens deserve is a "citizen's cop," which is what's needed to change the good-ol'-boy system. That may be an impossible task, but if it is to be done, Ken Eggleston is the only sheriff's candidate with the character and stamina to make it happen.

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