Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 3-14-2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

A big thank you...Spencer varsity girls basketball team praises community support

To the editor:

The 2008-2009 Spencer varsity girls basketball season has ended. Many exciting and memorable moments have also come and gone. However, the great community support and involvement will never be forgotten. The support for our team during the 2008-2009 season was tremendous. Who will ever forget the crowd at Estherville in the Regional Final Game against No. 2 rated and then-undefeated Algona? The crowd that night was unbelievable.

Likewise, the crowd that traveled to Des Moines on Tuesday, March 3, for the state tournament game against Pella was awesome. To see the north side of Wells Fargo Arena filled with purple and gold Tiger fans was so inspiring and we were deeply appreciative. Because of our impressive crowd and team play, Spencer caught media attention statewide. The players and coaches will never forget the tremendous backing and involvement from our community.

Thanks to all members of the community that contributed to this exciting year. All of the congratulatory cards, letters, e-mails, bags of goodies, sports drink, banners from Spencer Elementary Schools, complimentary dinners, T-shirts, items for travel and fan support throughout the season and during the state tournament series are greatly appreciated.

Thank you for another great year and a great example of tiger pride. You truly are our sixth man.

Coach Don Martindale

Coach Marc Bruning

Coach Tara Davis

Coach Jared Davis

Kevin Brown, Statistician

Tori Rausch, Statistician

Courtney Kramer, Statistician

Ryann DeYoung, Statistician

Kevin Carlson, Athletic Trainer

VARSITY PLAYERS:

Ally Mahrt

Steph Carlson

Kelsey Salton

Carolyn Gerdeman

Kelly Gerdeman

Clare Goeken

Megan Anderson

Brittany Peterson

Nicole Kramer

Katelyn McDermott

Suzanne Rettey

Amanda Edwards

Ashley Williamson


You can stop the inhumane treatment of dogs

To the editor:

Photos of dogs in Iowa breeding kennels were presented by Rep. Mark Kuhn to the Public Safety Committee last week. The cruelty and inhumane conditions suffered by the dogs was outrageous.

Puppy mills, distinguished from responsible breeders, abuse dogs routinely and breed as many dogs as possible with no regard for the animals' welfare. There are currently 460 USDA licensed puppy mills in Iowa, ranking third in the nation for number of mills.

The breeding dogs spend their entire lives penned up in small cages without any exercise, often in deplorable filthy conditions that promote disease and suffering. There is nothing to occupy their mind except their suffering and longing for human companionship. All they ever want is to be loved and belong to a family.

Iowans have the opportunity this week to stop the inhumane treatment.

We have a pending legislative bill, House File 486 that would allow state inspection of a puppy mills by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) upon receipt of a written complaint. Currently dog breeders who sell wholesale to puppy stores, brokers or auctions are only required to get a federal USDA license and are not subject to further regulation or inspection by the state of Iowa. The USDA does not have adequate staff to inspect all of Iowa's puppy mills with the closest office that handles complaints for Iowa in Colorado. Most states have state oversight of puppy mills. Iowa is one of the few that does not.

Due to the inhumane conditions of many puppy mills, 34 other states have enacted state restrictions and humane standards for puppy mills in the last four years.

In inspection reports from the USDA of Iowa's puppy mills from Jan. 2007-Aug. 2008, 48 percent of the 1,000 pages of documents had violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

HF 486 is now in the Agricultural Committee. Rep. Dolores Mertz is the committee chair. Please send a letter/ e-mail to each member of the House Agriculture Committee and ask them to visit at least two dog breeding kennels that have been inspected by the USDA in the last year before voting on this bill and call Mertz at (515) 281-6988 or (515) 887-2952 and ask her to support HB 486 as it is written and not allow amendments or changes occur. Google Iowa Legislature for e-mail and phone numbers of your Representatives and Senators.

The dogs are waiting for your call.

Stephanie O'Brien

Spencer