News notes of dis dat

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Here’s a smorgasbord of thoughts crammed into one column.

For starters, let me clear-up any misconceptions pertaining to last week’s column about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the trial involving two of their employees.

I clearly stated in that column that I’m well aware of overpopulation problems at animal shelters all across the nation. That wasn’t a revelation gained from my coverage of the two-week PETA trial in Winton; it’s an ongoing problem well-documented by PETA and other organizations over the years.

The reason I’m bringing this back up is due to several e-mails I received last week in regards to my column. The main message was if I questioned the practices employed by PETA, who else would step forward to address the overpopulation problem at animal shelters?

Perhaps as you read my column your computer screen was in need of Windex. My underlying message was that PETA, or any other animal rights organization, needed to be direct and upfront of their actions. Don’t leave the impression that some of the animals being collected will wind-up in adopted homes when you’re euthanizing them right on the spot.

I agree that the majority of pets found in animal or rescue shelters are not suitable for adoption and are in need of a humane way to end their lives. I agree that the old way of performing this grim task – i.e. gas chambers or shooting the animals – is not humane.

What I fail to agree with is who gives PETA, or other animal groups, the right to be judge, jury and executioner? If there was just one pet in the bunch worth saving, wouldn’t it be better to try to find it an adoptive home rather than rushing to judgment that all need to be euthanized?

My suggestion was merely for PETA to explore its policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that they are properly worded in order not to possibly be interpreted as deceiving. And, as I learned during the trial, PETA is, under Virginia state guidelines, considered an animal shelter. That in itself is deceiving unless its interpretation of a shelter is one to house dead animals.

I spoke with several people attending the trial who are anti-PETA. One lady said PETA was pushing for state legislation to make it a crime to breed pit bull terriers. She said she rescued such an animal from a shelter. Additionally she told me that two other pit bull terriers, also shelter rescues, were now the highest decorated law enforcement canines in California history.

And what about our local animal rescue group n PAWS of Hertford County. To date they have adopted out nearly 100 previously unwanted and unclaimed pets. If PETA had their way, those pets would all be dead by now, but instead they are bringing joy into someone’s home.

What’s the deal with local restaurants?

Perhaps the owners/managers of which failed to heed my advice penned in this exact space last year.

I’m growing tired of visiting local eateries and spending my hard-earned cash and have that transaction repaid by not offering an item I need to complete my order.

Three recent cases involved a Chinese restaurant that had let their soy sauce supply run out; a seafood eatery without tarter sauce; and an Italian caf\u00E9 that amazingly had hamburger, but no meatballs. What’s the deal there…is there a separate delivery truck just for meatballs?

None of those aforementioned cases will prevent me from returning to these establishments for the simple reason that I enjoy their food. But please, make sure your shelves remained stocked. I know there are isolated cases where a promised delivery runs behind schedule, but all of the items I mentioned are readily available at retail/wholesale outlets throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area.

If this newspaper ever misses an edition because we’re out of paper or ink, please feel free to let us know of your anger. By the way, years ago we did encounter a scenario where our paper supplier ran late with a promised delivery. But guess what….we simply contacted a nearby newspaper and borrowed a few rolls from them.

One final point: I can’t quite figure out exactly what Bertie County educational leaders are looking for.

I had heard some rumblings prior to the Bertie School Board’s Jan. 23 decision to terminate the contract of Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. But nothing led me to believe, even upon speaking with a few teachers and others inside the Bertie system, that anything was amiss to the point which warranted her dismissal.

From my professional view, Dr. Collins-Hart came in at a time where the Bertie system was limping down a rocky road with a federal court order demanding desegregation compliance hanging over their heads, a less-than-favorable report concerning the condition of their facilities, below average test scores and an audit revealing financial improprieties.

That’s a lot on one person’s plate to deal with, but she was addressing those issues and the school board at that time was putting in place much-needed policies that were long overdue.

In one man’s opinion, I think those policies undermined the status quo in Bertie County and her dismissal was eminent.

Here’s hoping the new Bertie superintendent is thick-skinned.