Letters to the Editor - Jan. 5

Published: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 4:53 p.m.

Dogs are still man's best friend

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The Associated Press

On Christmas day I attended a screening of the new motion picture "Marley & Me." I knew this was the story of a family who owned a dog for many years and the many triumphs and travails they experienced with each other throughout this period.

I knew this movie would be sad, since it covered the complete odyssey of the dog's life with the family. The thing that made this film unique to me was the in-theater experience that all of the attendees shared.

At one point near the end of the movie there is a quiet spot which enables the fact to be revealed that everyone in the theater has succumbed to their emotions. I personally have never witnessed the entirety of an audience in a full theater express such spontaneous and unashamed grief after seeing something on the screen that truly touched a common chord in all of them.

This phenomenon exemplifies the fact that a family dog is truly a member of the family in every sense. As the movie states "A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, give him your heart, and he'll give you his."

The other infinite truth is that a dog will never want to break this bond with its owner. I use the term "owner" loosely, since after a while the dog usually owns you.

They are always faithful, protective and glad to see you when you get home. It is an unconditional love that some of us are lucky enough to find in a human counterpart.

I know this movie would be too painful for some people to see if they have recently lost a dog to old age that was a vital part of their life. Some are also hesitant to own another dog after suffering such a loss feeling that they would be trying to replace the original with an imitator.

My only advice to them would be to realize that your beloved pet that has passed has broken the surly bonds of earth and no longer feels any pain.

One thing that makes me feel younger than 53 is my beagle waking me from a nap by licking my face. It feels just as good as it did when I was eight.

Hayward Simpson,

Lake City

There's no excuse for Israel's actions

As usual the mainstream media reports Israel's atrocious bombings in Gaza as a justified reaction to Hamas firing missiles into Israel.

Of course this is a manifestation of willing ignorance of how Israel violated the cease fire with Hamas last November and imposed a sanction on food and health supplies to Gaza that were declared inhumanitarian by the U.N.

Again, we get detailed reports of the four casualties caused by Palestinian missiles in Israel, but the nearly 400 men, women and children killed by Israeli rockets are just so many statistics.

Once again we are spoon-fed the story of poor little Israel surrounded by enemies that want to destroy them, when, thanks to U.S. military aide to its proxy in the Middle East, they are the proud possessors of nuclear missiles and have state of the art weaponry. This thanks to the tireless efforts of AIPAC and the U.S. congressmen they hold in thrall.

Arnie Harris,


Thanks from St. Francis House

St. Francis House, Inc. would like to extend our deep appreciation to the citizens of our community for supporting our mission in serving the homeless and hungry in Alachua County in 2008.

During Thanksgiving, we served more than 300 meals to people who otherwise may not have enjoyed a traditional holiday meal.

For Christmas, we served more than 400 meals, distributed over 350 Christmas stockings and put smiles on children's faces with the toys that were donated.

During each holiday, more than 200 dedicated volunteers helped prepare, serve and spread hope and love for the 2008 holiday season.

As we now look ahead to the upcoming new year of 2009, St. Francis House asks for your continued support in helping our neighbors in need.

Kent Vann,

Executive director

St. Francis House


Cretul cares about children

The Alachua County Childrens Alliance would like recognize the special attention given by Rep. Larry Cretul to the critical needs of at-risk children in our area.

Rep. Cretul devoted many hours this fall meeting with the agencies that serve children to learn more about childrens' issues and the financial crisis we face.

This is especially significant in light of the important leadership position he will hold during this coming special legislative session.

We are very grateful to Larry Cretul and ask the community to share in our appreciation for his efforts in support of our children.

Sol Hirsch,

Pegeen Hanrahan,

Tom Barnes,

Pam Pearce,

Joyce Leblanc,

Karen Bricklemyer,

Nancy Wilkov,

Shawn Salamida,

Don Pemberton,

Jim Stringfellow,

Ester Tibbs,

Leslie Bram,

Sadie Darnell,

Maggie Lebarta,

Gordon Tremaine,

Bill Goodman,

Alachua County

Childrens Alliance


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