Volume 14, Issue 14 ~ April 6 - April 12, 2006

Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on line, click here

Wrong on Tobacco

Dear Bay Weekly:

Your article in the March 23 issue [Vol. xiv; No. 12] refers to the age-old practice of tobacco farming in Southern Maryland, and states that farmers started new plants in “warm greenhouses,” and transplanted in May to “warm seedbeds.” It is unfortunate that your writer, your proofreader and editor didn’t catch this error. We know how many century-old barns there are still standing. However, there are no century-old “warm greenhouses” or even 40-year-old “warm greenhouses” used to germinate tobacco plants.

In reality, tobacco plants are grown from seed in seedbeds, covered with a cheesecloth-like sheet and pulled up and planted in the field in May or June. Too bad you could not ask even one farmer how it is done.

—Alan L. Skinner, Owings

The Right Place to Adopt Dogs is Shelters

Dear Bay Weekly:

On February 2 you ran a piece about the new puppy that you have there in the office [Editorial: Welcome the Year of the Dog; Vol. xiv, No.5]. I was so disappointed to read that you not only got the dog from a breeder, but you also promoted the breeder, calling her “wonderful” and “caring.”

Last year alone, millions of dogs were euthanized at shelters all across the country. Why? Why are there so many dogs that are unable to be placed in good homes? There is no single reason for this but undeniably, a major problem is dog breeders. While puppy mills may be more guilty of neglect and abuse, small breeders are just as culpable when it comes to contributing to overpopulation. It is selfish to breed dogs, no matter how “pure” or “smart” or “good with children” the particular breed may be considered. Every puppy born to a breeder is one less shelter dog that has a chance of being adopted. Also, almost every breed has its own Rescue Society to match up needy dogs with good homes. And, ironically, there are plenty of purebreds in shelters. If someone insists on a purebred dog, a breeder is not the only option.

I’m sure that the breeder you mentioned cares about her dogs. She may even believe that her dogs are better than other dogs. But look at the big picture. In a country where so many canines are abused and neglected and in need of good homes, the only responsible option is to spay and neuter. It’s just the right thing to do.

I hope that your office dog (I think his name is Moe) has a long and healthy life. And I also hope that when it comes time to get another dog, you go to the local shelters, find the right dog and save a life.

— Sally Morris, Shadyside

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