Opinion

Letters to the editor

Americans in a bubble

I am writing in response to the recent story about MIHS exchange students, in which the comment was made that Americans function in a “bubble.” Having traveled with my husband to India, South America, Europe and elsewhere, I must say that this comment is only too true. I can’t begin to describe our frustrations in traveling abroad, reading the most humble papers, yet learning more about our country in their papers than we do in our Seattle papers. The foreigners know more about our history than we do!

I think this is one of our problems, politically, in that Americans have lived in their own little world (up until 9/11) never thinking/being interested in other countries. We experienced a little of this ourselves in our recent trip to South America. Both of us thought it would be more Third World: WRONG! We were in four countries, and I could live in any one of them and enjoy a very high standard of living. Actually, their economies are much more healthy than America’s.

In my humble opinion, this being in a “bubble” is a huge problem. We would love to see our citizens getting more international news. Understanding the world players and their countries would contribute so much to peace efforts and living in harmony.

KC animal shelters

Last week’s article in Island Forum offered quite a bit of information regarding the pathetic state of King County’s animal shelters, and the current attempt being made to improve those conditions. A group of people are hard at work doing all they can to revamp KC’s shelters for the benefit of the animals who somehow find themselves in such a place. While any improvement is a good thing, it is not enough. Pet owners need to take an active role and ensure their animals have been spayed or neutered to prevent the unwanted birth of more animals. People need to fence their yards and supervise their animals to prevent lost and stolen dogs. Parents have the opportunity to teach their children an appreciation for life by adopting a shelter pet who would otherwise be euthanized for lack of a home. And while it may be hard to believe, it is most important that people stop purchasing puppies from pet stores. Often such purchases are an impulse because the puppies look too adorable to pass up.

What people don’t realize is that they are supporting the horrible industry of puppy mills who pump out litter after litter of puppies as a cash crop. Thousands of dogs are living in filthy cages, being bred multiple times per year, for their entire lives because of human greed. Many of the “designer” dogs sold for ridiculous prices at pet stores will end up in a shelter one day labeled as a mixed breed that no one wants. We must recognize the need to stop the cycle perpetuated by puppy mills/pet stores. Along with the mixed breeds found in shelters, it is estimated nationally that up to 40 percent of the dogs found in shelters are pure bred. Overhauling the current system is a must. As mentioned in the article, many lives are depending on us for change.

Library supporters

Thanks for supporting the Mercer Island Friends of the Library’s book sale this past weekend. Thanks to Islanders’ continued donations of quality books, DVDs and CDs, we are able to raise enough money through our various sales to fund about 75 percent of the Mercer Island Library’s programming, in whole or in part, from toddlers to seniors.

Hope to see you at our booth at the Summer Celebration (permit pending — check KCLS.org closer to July). We’ll have lots of great books there!

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