Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - April 6, 2008

Extension would benefit county

Congratulations to the York County Council for approving a resolution of support for extending Dave Lyle Boulevard so that an application for state funds can now be made to the State Infrastructure Bank.

It is a prudent decision for the council to secure an independent assessment of all the economic and land-use issues involved. Those of us who operate businesses and employ York County residents are confident that our entire county's economy will benefit greatly from the extension of this central traffic artery.

This is a progressive step for York County and our leadership should be commended for their wise and timely action.

Jeff Kirby

General Manager

Rock Hill Galleria

State not ready for pandemic

I'm writing in response to your April 3 article, "York County pandemic preparation includes partnership."

In the article, it says that public health officials "questioned" a recent report our organization, Trust for America's Health, issued in December 2007 that found that South Carolina was one of 13 states not adequately prepared to distribute vaccines and medical supplies during a massive disaster.

In fact, the criteria used to determine if a state is adequately prepared were based on official standards set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Unfortunately, South Carolina did not meet these standards. In fact, the state received a score of 58 out of a possible 100 for its capabilities in distributing vaccines and other medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile.

We understand that the public health officials in York County and elsewhere in South Carolina are working hard on preparing the state for a possible pandemic and are doing so, often, with limited resources.

But, we also believe that citizens should know how their tax dollars are being used to protect them against health threats. Overall, South Carolina achieved eight out of 10 key indicators to assess health emergency preparedness capabilities in our report.

Jeff Levi

Executive Director

Trust for America's Health

Washington, D.C.

Cockfighters treat their fowl well

You know, everyone has an opinion, but some people should just not open their mouths about cockfighting. Most people have never seen a cockfight and can't honestly say what it's like or not like. Those who oppose the sport believe that cockfighters give their roosters steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to make them fight. This is a lie! Roosters are given vitamins and natural stimulants to help them fight longer and harder, much like the ones taken by pro athletes. Boxers, gymnasts, marathon runners and our very own police officers take these same "drugs" everyday and are not frowned upon for it.

People say we are being cruel to the roosters and making them fight, yet another lie. Inge Smith says "... but I have yet to hear a rooster say, 'Let me fight till death, because if I win, I will have much money, so I can live a life of luxury.'" No, roosters can't speak, but have you ever sat one down on the line, clawing and digging, trying to get to the other rooster? This is not forced, if they don't want to be there they squawk and/or run. This disqualifies the rooster and the fight is stopped. We don't take pleasure in seeing our roosters hurt. We may not be able to speak to our roosters but we can interpret their actions.

The metal gaffs we attach to their legs are put there to keep them from injuring themselves during the fight. When the gaffs aren't on the rooster's spurs and they fight, the spurs usually break, causing infection, among other things. Any of which could possibly be fatal if not cared for properly. We take excellent care of our game fowl. Please don't discriminate against something you know nothing about.

Jeremy Gibson


A few ideas for stopping littering

Have you ever sat down and thought about litterbugs? What kind of a person just throws out his garbage along the streets and roads of the place he lives?

Is it mostly poor upbringing? You should see the litter left by people who fish from the bank on Lake Wylie and other fishing holes, or the hunters who leave trash at the Draper tract after a dove hunt -- where almost every offender could easily be identified and ticketed.

I think there are basically three kinds of litterbugs:

1. The unintentional litterer: The person who accidentally has trash blow out of his or her vehicle. The person may well be on his way to a trash disposal center.

2. The trapped litterer: The teenager who is drinking beer illegally and has to dispose of the container before he gets caught with it or it is found in dad's car the next morning.

3. The low-life person who knows better and just doesn't care: The person who is too stupid or too lazy to put his garbage in the many refuse containers that are available everywhere. This is by far the worst kind. Unfortunately they vastly outnumber the others.

If you are interested you can see the littering laws and fines on this Web site: www.palmettopride.org/litterlaws.htm, but the bottom line is that the maximum you can get fined for throwing the trash we see along all of our roadways is about $1,000.

I don't see the current laws doing anything whatsoever to inhibit these people who just don't care. Why not have a fine of say $5,000 for anyone who falls into that category? Those of us who bring our trash home and dispose of it properly don't care if the fine is $10,000.

I think the law should cut the accidental litterer a break because accidents happen. But the others should be paying for their crime in a way that will seriously curtail littering and completely stop a second offense. Publishing the offenders' names along with the fine should be a big deterrent.

Many of the worst litterers will use the same area or blind curves so that they can't be seen from behind. These areas are easy to find because bottles and cans pile up in these spots. The state should take some of the money collected from litterbugs to buy and install cameras in these areas and get some of the most elusive practitioners on film. Just the fact that cameras are out there will inhibit a portion of these offenders.

Bill Vannordstrand

Rock Hill