Letters to the Editor week of 11-20-08


Animal cruelty

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to the individual who shot and killed my mother’s (Leah Jones) dog last week in the Meade’s Ridge vicinity of Patriot. I do not understand the mindset that goes into killing an innocent animal like my mother’s dog.

I wanted to write and tell you a little bit about her dog so you can see he was much more than a black dog who wandered into your sights that day. His name was Pudgy and he was a Black Lab and as far as I know, never as much as growled at another person or dog. Pudgy had a rough early life after he was dropped as a puppy; but luck would have him wander into my parents’ driveway.

My mother and father took him in and saw that he was well taken care of. My father was ill by then and he and my mother grew very close to him. He would meet her every time she came back from her chemotherapy treatments. My mother fell and broke her hip one day while feeding him and Pudgy stayed near and protected her until help could come. After my father died, Pudgy became my mother’s constant companion. She would make him biscuits and he became close friends with my brother’s beagle. He slept next to her back door every night.

We found Pudgy on Monday, November 10th, behind the barn, where he had died from a gunshot wound. I figured he made it back so my mother would not worry and look for him. We buried him in the barnyard close to my mother’s house. He died way too young, only three years old. It must take a lot of hate and callousness to kill an innocent animal like this. I hope that the killer will find peace and forgiveness in life because that is what Pudgy would have wanted. He harbored no hatred or ill-feelings for anyone.

My mother is very sad and misses her special friend. We are hopeful that we will be able to find her another Labrador, but know we will never replace Pudgy. I hope this letter reaches Pudgy’s killer so he or she can reflect on this senseless act, and disregard for innocent life.

Mike Jones


Downed bridge

To the Editor:

I received a call, Sunday, November 16th, that the Markland bridge had been pushed into the creek. To those who supported saving the bridge, a part of you must have gone down with it. Due to passiveness of the county residents in general, I knew this travesty was inevitable. The people who supported the bridge most certainly deserve a heart felt “Thank You.” To those who brushed the issue aside, you have thrown away a piece of history that can never be brought back.

I am very disappointed at the attitudes of the commissioners, who were elected to serve the people, but have instead bit the hand that has been feeding them. I say they have not served the people because, I have not been told to back off of this issue because there are more people who want this bridge taken down than there are of those who wish to save it. A petition was circulated and there were more than 200 names of people in favor of the bridge, whereas just a minute few voices in favor of seeing it go down. Does a majority not rule in Switzerland County?

Have I made mention of attitudes? I believe I have but I’ll give you an example in the event that I haven’t. I talked to Commissioner Brian Morton who told me that they were the commissioners and they think the bridge should be taken down and that was their intent. Sounds like not only an attitude there, but some signs of an inflated ego. The only reason the bridge went down was because of attitudes of the commissioners. Joe Deck had a good working solution as to how the bridge could be saved and went public with the plan, but from what I hear, no county official ever talked with him concerning his proposal. Again, that sounds very much like an attitude.

I have been wondering if the old bridge had been in closer proximity to Vevay, would there have been more support for saving it?  If the county commissioners had done their duties and kept the area of the bridge more eye appealing, would there have been more support? You may not agree with some things I’ve written, but you cannot dispute the fact that it has been totally abandoned by county officials for more than 30 years and Commissioner Banta had the audacity to call it, “a treasure out in the weeds.” More attitude.

I suppose the biggest disappointment during this fiasco is the passiveness of the Switzerland County Historical Society, Martha Bladen excluded. I cannot imagine, and I have really tried to understand how they, as an historical group, can stand back and watch this happen, but so far I haven’t come up with a logical explanation. The old bridge with its type of truss (Whipple), the year it was built (1882 ) with a wrought iron superstructure (no longer manufactured), the only through metal bridge left in the county, has taken a hit because of politics, attitudes and people who are afraid to step forward and be identified.

And to the Editor, while I offer my thanks for allowing others as well as myself the opportunity to express our concerns, I am also quite disappointed that we heard very little from you. You are somewhat different from other small town newspaper editors in that most will offer an opinion whether it be for, against or indifferent.

In closing, I will add that the people of Switzerland County have lost far more than they will probably ever know. An historic old bridge that has done nothing to anyone except befriend you. As for the people who questioned why I, as a resident of Michigan, would have an interest in an old bridge in Switzerland County, let me assure you that most likely I have more of a conviction and passion for Switzerland County than many of you who live there.

Harold Scudder

Homer, Michigan

(formerly of Patriot)