Court should give Onion second chance

To the editor:

Regarding the July 4 Review-Journal article on Onion the dog (“High court hears arguments over Onion”), I really feel sorry for the family of the 1-year-old boy who was killed by Onion, but Onion did this due to being startled. It was dark in the area in the house when this occurred. It wasn’t because Onion is a mean animal. If it were possible, my wife and I would adopt him.

In the article, Colleen Lynn, founder of a national dog bite group, questioned why the Lexus Project is seeking to save a dog that killed a child. Perhaps the reason is because the dog isn’t really as vicious she and others have claimed. Anybody who knows animals knows this wasn’t an intentional act by Onion. I might ask what Ms. Lynn’s motive is for wanting to put Onion to death, for a nonintentional act by a pet that was startled. Any animal could react that way and not be vicious. Onion is a dog, and one has to realize that dogs don’t think like humans.

Ms. Lynn said that if the dog goes to a “so-called animal sanctuary,” he could be adopted without Ms. Lynn and her group knowing about it. I would like to ask Ms. Lynn, why not put more effort into keeping bad people behind bars or executed, instead of killing animals? How many people kill people each day, compared with dogs killing people? People go to prison and get released because they committed murder. Why wouldn’t we give this dog a chance?

I just hope and pray that the high court will do what’s humane and not put down Onion. I know others feel the way I do.



Health care mandates

To the editor:

What about the rule of law? President Barack Obama has, without the approval of Congress, decided to postpone the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act until after midterm elections (“Nevada businesses welcome delay,” July 4 Review-Journal). Doesn’t this cheat citizens of their right to be represented? Why even have the midterm elections if we no longer need congressional approval to change laws?

How is it that the Affordable Care Act can be changed by the president without congressional approval? Does this mean the next president can simply postpone the entire bill indefinitely or repeal it altogether, without it passing through Congress?



Effective teaching

To the editor:

As a veteran educator, I support Teddy Osantowski’s thoughts in his July 5 letter (“Effective education”) that the key to effective education is the teacher. However, he further states that success with classroom strategies is founded in a particular, unnamed reading-language program and blames school administrators for not validating it. This is where I part ways with Mr. Osantowski.

While some publishers’ program materials might be helpful, the expectation of a professional K-12 classroom teacher is to be thoroughly knowledgeable of content, age characteristics of those being taught and most effective methods to realize instructional goals, without reliance on a scripted program that might take away from attention to individual students. A professional K-12 teacher gathers and uses data to monitor progress and knows how to relate and collaborate with colleagues, administrators, community members and parents. A professional teacher knows how to plan curriculum and utilize appropriate resources to benefit and support students in becoming self-directed learners.

A packaged “program” is not an end-all. Mentoring effective teachers begins at the college level, where ineffective candidates need to be recognized and guided to other majors. Since that’s not always the reality, school-level administrators, at times, must look to creative hiring pools such as Teach For America to fill positions at hard-to-staff schools when other licensed candidates are unavailable.

Yes, Mr. Osantowski, we need effective teaching professionals in the classroom who are passionate about the students they teach, no matter what barriers to learning the students bring to the table. This cannot be found in a packaged program. This is why teaching can be complex and isn’t for the weak of spirit.



Desai verdict

To the editor:

Obviously, Scott Johnson doesn’t know anyone affected by the endoscopy investigation (“Desai verdict,” Saturday letters). Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been so quick to judge Dipak Desai’s innocence. I knew several people who were his patients and had to be tested for hepatitis C, and the wait for the results was excruciating.

My sister was a prospective patient there and walked out before her procedure because she had an uncomfortable feeling about the rush to get the exam done. There are many doctors in Las Vegas who really care for and about their patients. I hope Mr. Johnson is lucky enough to have one care for him and his family.



Let fire run course

To the editor:

Why are they trying to extinguish the fire in the Spring Mountains? It’s a natural fire caused by lightning and should be allowed to run its natural course. It’s nature’s way of creating and keeping a healthy forest by burning dead and downed trees and keeping fuel supplies suppressed.

One hundred years of aggressive forest fire management in the West has created unhealthy forests loaded with too many trees, too much tinder and fuel, and weak trees fighting for too little water during extended periods of drought. Firefighting efforts should be concentrated on protecting structures, and on allowing Mother Nature to do her thing naturally.



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