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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 12, 2012 5 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Check your facts
Dear Editor:

This is in response to the June 28 editorial by Rod Thomson regarding the proposed “dog-hog hunt” in Sarasota County. I have a number of issues with his article.

Labeling those who do not agree as having “skewed principals and utter lack of commonsense” is absurd. My principles include fairness to helpless beings and teaching our children that torturing animals is not a good trait. To me, “commonsense” is getting the facts straight.

No one who opposes this hunt argues that the hogs must be killed. It is the manner of the killing that we oppose. As far as the hogs not being “native,” the hogs were brought here in 1539 — I think that makes them a bit more native than you or me.

Let’s talk about what Thomson considers “serious thinking,” which, according to him, we who oppose this hunt lack.

The University of Florida IFAS Extension research shows that “trapping is usually a better method of controlling hog numbers than hunting, especially when the animals are active at night.”

Trapping is more humane and effective in the long run.

And another correction to Thomson: One can crate pregnant sows; this has nothing to do with the “pregnant sow” law that was passed. Again, Thomson called people who simply wanted factory farm sows to have the ability to turn around in their crate “crazy environmentalists.”

The last hunt of this kind was in 2009 on the same property and was deemed “not effective,” according to SFWMD, yet cost the taxpayers about $15,000. This next hunt admittedly by SFWMD will cost us even more. Plus, were you aware that the NO ONE keeps records of where or when traps are set? How would anyone know if maybe consistent, monitored and recorded trapping might just do a better job than this barbaric hunt? “Serious thinking” to me is doing research before you scribble out an opinion about it.

And, about my “overheated hyperbole,” as Thomson described my address to the commissioners June 5: Apparently, he was not present, because I spoke in a calm, informed manner with facts, not exaggerations. I mentioned that Sarasota was voted the meanest city toward the homeless by The National Coalition for the Homeless in 2006. Thomson calls that group “pro-homeless.” I guess I should label Thomson “pro-animal abuse,” then. I mentioned the issue because of the ramification this barbaric hunt will have on Sarasota’s reputation.
Another adjective he used was “loud extremists,” which is simply not accurate. No one was loud; no one was extreme. We were simply advocating a more humane way to control the hog population.

Often, the dogs used in such a hunt are maimed or killed. They round up the hog and virtually start to eat it alive, and then the hunter comes to stab it to death. The tortured hog is terrified and fighting for its life. I guess that’s more of a sport than simply shooting them. Many times the dead dogs are thrown on the back of the truck with the dead hogs. It is very bloody and very loud, with both hogs and often dogs screaming in pain. And is something to bring your kid to? Yes, children are allowed.

And, finally, another bit of misinformation that was printed: The hogs are not “usually shipped overseas, where they are slaughtered for dinner.” They are slaughtered right here. And Thomson insults one more group, sarcastically adding, “I’m sure the Chinese do it very humanely, though.” If, in fact, the hogs did go to China, why does he assume the Chinese are crueler than anyone else?

So next editorial — let’s get the facts straight before spewing out insults.
Karen Ankerstar

+ Shame on Sarasota
Dear Editor:

What a shame that the people who purchased condos at the Dolphin Towers cannot live in their homes. One has to wonder how this building passed the city of Sarasota inspections, and why aren’t the condo owners going after the builder/developer as well as the city of Sarasota?

Granted, Sarasota invested more than $1 million in the defunct parking-meter program and has made a big issue out of maintaining the “Surrender” statue, so it is doubtful that they can assist these people with financial help. By the way, did you know that this is the third time that Sarasota has spent taxpayer money for parking meters?

It is surprising to many residents that Sarasota thinks of the city as full of “arts and culture,” but the Planning Committee seems to continue making “bad choices.”

I agree with Sarasota City Commissioner Shannon Snyder in that we ought to have the meters taken to the skeet club and let everyone who hated them shoot ’em up with slugs.

And, that Duncan Solutions of Milwaukee charged $10,000 apiece for the meters and will only reimburse $1,000: Shame on them. And shame on Sarasota for making such a big mistake, not once, but three times.
Kareen Miller
Siesta Key

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