Carefully reading O'Sullivan's description, I noted this woman (1) had a dog, and (2) was not harming anyone or violent. So why exactly shouldn't she be allowed in the dog park, and what is so funny about making fun at her expense?
Bad taste turns obscene when O'Sullivan implies that this woman is "a raving lunatic" for claiming her scars were from a violent assault and her dogs had been nearly beaten to death. As a licensed clinical social worker in a community mental-health center, I'll vouch that there is a terrible amount of assault and rape against the homeless, and mentally ill homeless women in particular. Mental illness or not, this woman could very well be telling the truth--in fact, her behavior matches typical post-traumatic stress. People with "hospital bracelets" get assaulted too, Ms. O'Sullivan!
Finally, editors: Would this mockery have been allowed in the Weekly if it had been about any other minority ("If you're a raving gay queen, you're not allowed in the dog park")? Why the double standard?
1. Maybe there should be a human personality test in order to gain admittance into our dog parks. No "imperfect" need apply.
2. Stereotypes are dangerous, unfair and frequently inaccurate, regardless of the species involved. There are dogs and people who don't play well with others. Unfortunately, the dogs (pit bulls or otherwise) don't have the power to decide where they are allowed to go or not to go and have to depend on their humans to make that decision for them.
3. Victims (Great Danes, in this case) shouldn't be the ones penalized because the so-called "brain-dead" herding dogs are relying upon their perhaps less-than-conscientious humans to monitor/supervise their behavior.
4. Do you know how many dogs at shelters or "the pound" are needlessly euthanized every day? The act of adopting and providing a loving, caring home to these dogs does fit the definition of the word rescue in all of the dictionaries I've looked it up in. (Does the adoption fee give you a problem?) To add to that, I've never heard a person who has adopted one of these wonderful animals call themselves a hero--though maybe they should.
5. It doesn't sound like you enjoy yourself very much at our dog parks. How unfortunate for you and your dog.
Deborah A. Smoot
When Connelly states that the Arizona Department of Education's revision of dietary standards is too costly, too much of a burden on staff and too restrictive, she apparently is not aware of the latest research regarding treatment approaches for childhood obesity. Research indicates that school-based prevention programs that focus on modifying activity, dietary and behavioral habits are essential in the effective treatment of childhood obesity. I do not think that anyone would disagree with Connelly's point that education needs to start in the home, but as with so many other issues that apply to our youth--teenage pregnancy, drugs, alcohol and suicide prevention--the adage, "It takes a village to raise a child," could not be more apt.
Schools are the base for educating children on sexual health, mental health and drug and alcohol prevention, simply because children are not being educated on these topics at home. Obesity is no exception.
As a health-care clinician who works with children daily, unfortunately, I see the most emotionally scarring result of obesity: chronic low self-worth and social ostracism. For many children, this will lead to a cycle of poor choices later in life, including promiscuity, substance abuse and other risk-taking behaviors. I also am aware of the latest medical research: 60 percent of obese 5- to 10-year olds will manifest one symptom of cardiovascular disease, and one-third will develop type II diabetes.
Pediatric obesity is a primary predisposing factor in one of the most serious health crises facing our country today: adult obesity. Annually, adult obesity costs our economy more than $100 billion per year. When Ms. Connelly refers to how much money the schools are losing from loss of pizza sales, she is not taking into account the larger issues at hand.
Ms. Connelly also fails to take into account socioeconomic issues, when she states that the responsibility of education and provisions of healthful food should be that of parents, not schools. For families that fall on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum, school may be the only place where children have the opportunity to experience healthy food. Lean meats, vegetables, fruits and other low-fat, nutrient-dense foods are among the most expensive to purchase. Processed white flour and low-nutrient carbohydrates are the cheapest items to purchase and unfortunately, the fastest to convert to glucose in the body.
We must work as a community to teach our youth healthy eating habits, instead of using the old argument which contends that it is an issue that needs only to be dealt with at home. This polemic has been weakly employed numerous times when parents and politicians become defensive about any subject that threatens to expose truths which encourage youth self-empowerment and autonomy.
As with all issues affecting our future generations of Americans, we can either make a community effort toward education and prevention, or bury our heads in the sand, pretending that all is being taken care of within the proverbial "family.": How much longer can we continue to tax our overburdened health-care system with yet another unnecessary disease, and let our nation pay the price?
Clinton was a disastrous failure. He failed to go after the terrorists after several terrorist attacks against us during his presidency, including our embassies, the U.S.S. Cole and also the first basement bombing of the World Trade Center. What a wimp. What a failure!
His lack of retaliation gave further encouragement to our enemy and led to the murdering of 3,000 innocent people on Sept. 11, 2001. History will record his eight-year presidency as one of the worst periods ever. After all, he was (accused) of perjury, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. He was impeached!
R. W. Boyle