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June 16, 2013
Salem News

Someone steals shopping bags

To the editor:

I was shopping at a local store on Monday (June 3). In my shopping cart I had my grocery cloth recycle bags. I had to run into the restroom so I left my shopping bags in my cart along with items in the cart, came out, finished my shopping.

When I got to the line to check out I realized someone had stolen my shopping bags! Needless to say I was quite appalled that someone would be so desperate and in such need.




How about some good news?

To the editor:

Lately, it seems, so much of the news that we read or hear about is negative. This tends to make us unfairly skeptical of the integrity of society as a whole.

Recently, when I went to pay for some purchases at a local store, I could not find my wallet. After checking with the store, where I had been previously, and checking the parking lot, I went to the customer service department.

My wallet had been found and turned in, complete with cash, credit cards, and other I.D. items intact.

Thank you, not only for returning my valuables, but for returning a stronger faith in my fellow man.




The environment and autism

To the editor:

Scientists have found patterns of change in gene activity involved in autism in a study that shed light on how environmental factors can work to turn certain genes on or off and contribute to the development of the brain disorder.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers analyzed data from 50 sets of twins to try to find out what might have caused some of them to develop autism while their genetically identical siblings did not. Chloe Wong, of the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King's College London, who worked on the study, explained that epigenetic changes affected levels or activity of genes without changing the underlying DNA sequence.

Scientists think they are one way in which the environment interacts with the genome. Importantly, she said in a telephone interview, epigenetic changes are also potentially reversible, so finding out more about them may point researchers towards the development of new medicines or treatments. People with autism have varying levels of impairment across three common areas, social interaction and understanding, repetitive behavior and interests, and language and communication.

As many as one in 50 school age children in the United States are diagnosed with autism, although some of these will be milder cases that have been diagnosed partly because of better recognition of autism symptoms by doctors. In Europe experts say the rate is around one in 100 children.

Genetic Code previous studies have shown there is a strong genetic component to autism. In identical twins, in around 70 percent of cases where one twin has autism, so does the other. But in 30 percent of cases, one twin has autism while the other does not. Because identical twins share the same genetic code, this suggests non-genetic, or epigenetic, factors may be important. Wong's team studied a particular epigenetic mechanism called DNA methylation, which acts to block the genetic sequences and can turn gene activity on or off.

They looked at DNA methylation at over 27,000 sites across the genome using samples taken from 50 identical twin pairs. Of the 50 pairs, 34 had one twin with autism and one without, five had both twins with autism, and 11 pairs were healthy controls with no autism traits or diagnoses. The researchers found that DNA methylation at some genetic sites was consistently altered for all the children with autism, while differences at other sites were specific to certain groups of symptoms or traits of autism.

The number of DNA methylation sites across the genome was also linked to the severity of autism symptoms suggesting a quantitative relationship, said Wong, whose study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry on Tuesday. "We identified distinctive patterns of DNA methylation associated with both autism diagnosis and related behavior traits, and increasing severity of symptoms," she said. Jonathan Mill, of the IoP and the University of Exeter, who led the study, said research into the intersection between genetic and environmental influences was crucial "because risky environmental conditions can sometimes be avoided or changed."

He said the next step was to conduct larger studies to see whether researchers can identify key epigenetic changes that are common to the majority of people with autism and use them to help develop ways of preventing or treating the disorder. It was too early in the process to identify which environmental factors may have had an impact.




Misuse of the Constitution

To the editor:

Historically, tyrants by dynasty, warfare or quasi democratic elections seized power in countries like Russia, Iran, Egypt, Syria and Germany. Electing regimes with such demonstrable ideological antithesis to freedom and liberty is baffling? Is the human psyche easily subjected to dictatorial suppression? Are we predisposed to embrace propagated illusions shrouded in delusions of grandeur that implode leaving us to live in denial?

Fear is a paralyzing venom. Tyrants suffocate opposing cultures by supplanting their historical heritage, language of word meanings, customs, traditions and faith values. Fear of the strong arm of government is a formidable controlling means used by those intoxicated with power securing totalitarianism progressively eradicating freedom and liberty. From the Bible's "that they shall neither buy nor sell" to Orwell's 1984 mankind is captivatingly anticipating a powerful centralized government that seizes every aspect of our lives.

Is America in a battle of ideological world views? Religious beliefs are undeniably intrinsic to the rule of law and ideological world views. Christian and Judaism ideologies anticipate a reigning Messiah. Islam, a Mahdi, ruling a Caliphate Islamic government along with a political leader governing according to Sharia Law.

Deluging scandals with ensuing ramifications are unveiling Obama Democrat's ideological world view. Consider the following. Who gave the "stand down" order leaving Americans to die in Benghazi including heroic Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Tyron Woods? The high profile federal incursion of the Gibson guitar factory, whose CEO is a conservative contributor in contrast to a significant competitor and Democratic fundraiser is suspicious.

Is HHS Secretary Sebelius's "someone lives and someone dies" previewing ObamaCare? The administration selects to not enforce laws according to their political interests. They profusely speak against profiling to identify terrorists, but excoriatingly defamate patriots. There is the unprecedented intrusive administration probe into the "free press" and appearance of manipulating the courts. The "Fast and Furious" fiasco remains unanswered. Secret email accounts. Alleged government agency political prejudice in business grant approvals to liberals while opposing conservatives. The IRS's oppressive targeting of religious, conservative and pro-Israel individuals. Is this acceptable profiling? Is Israel abandoned? Obama Democrat's best defense mantra is that they don't know anything about anything! Remember Clint Eastwood's famous "Empty Chair."

Is Liberal Progressive Democratic Socialism on display? Numerous congressional leaders are Democratic Socialists of America members with others holding strategic positions of power. Are we electing America's demise?

Using government's power to intimidate, punish, suppress or eliminate opposing political speech and religious beliefs is diabolical. Who is being defined as enemies? Obama Democrat's list of friends seems foreign and troubling.

Quoting Patrick Henry, "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." "Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country and of an act of disloyalty towards the Majesty of Heaven which I revere above all things."


East Palestine


"Prove us wrong -let us in"

To the editor:

After reading Alchemy Acre's letter to the editor it became clear to me that the majority of the public may not be aware of what the standards should be in reference to animal care at a sanctuary/rescue. If you have never worked or volunteered in a venue such as this then all of the points that were made in their letter would make sense. However, if you have been a part of animal welfare and seen how it should be done you know the truth.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to read the "reasons" that Alchemy Acres gave for not allowing public entrance into their facility. As far as "hurting the people who work there and questioning ethics of others?" I would question why an animal sanctuary is more concerned with human feelings as opposed to the welfare of the animals! Is it not our responsibility as the public that supports you (through donations and otherwise) to question whether or not the living conditions of these animals is acceptable? We as animal lovers have the ominous task of making certain that every rescue, sanctuary, etc. is operating as they profess.

Alchemy Acres is hiding behind ridiculous excuses. If it is a fact that your insurance policy will not allow the public to walk through in the hopes of adopting then perhaps you should consider a different policy? Maybe speak to other sanctuaries or rescues that have insurance policies that allow viewing? I am aware that you have posted open hours, why not designate just one of those hours for viewing allowing for more exposure and possibility of more adoptions?

Comparing your facility to a foster-based program is moot. Of course a foster home would not consider having five to 10 potential adopters daily wandering through their home. Why? Because they would only have one animal looking for a home not the over 100 your facility has. I would also have to disagree with your statement that "there is obviously a need for all rescues or we would not be here." I would hope that you meant that there is a need for all responsible rescues because both you and I know there are irresponsible ones as well.

I certainly understand the local noise ordinances. And there is truly no need for "strangers from the public to stroll through randomly." However, I would hope that your surrounding neighbors would make an exception if the noise were kept to one to three hours per week total?

Addressing the "cross contamination protection" issue ... seriously? I myself have seen pictures of the inside of your facility and this issue is simply another excuse.

I understand that you call yourself a sanctuary but you also claim to have animals up for adoption. I take offense to you stating that your facility is "home to these animals, not just a menagerie to be gawked at." It may be true that it's "home" for some, but you are being completely unfair to the ones that have a chance at a real home with a real family free from kennel life. I find it difficult to believe that they would be "cringing in the corners" from stress if the public were permitted to visit them only one to three hours a week.

I challenge your statement that "we know our animals here from hours of working with them daily" and that "each animal at the sanctuary receives individual attention multiple times each day ... animals in need of behavioral training, physical/psychological therapies receive the proper care they need for the length of their natural lives." In addition to the above mentioned claims you would also have to factor in everything else that it takes to keep the facility running properly i.e.; feeding, watering, medications, walks, event coordinating, fundraising, vet appointments, cleaning kennels, bathing, animal intake, adoption site postings, application checks, adoption interviews, reference checks, etc. Due to the number of animals you house (over 100) you would have to have over 50 staff/volunteers working a minimum of roughly 12 hours a day for this to be accomplished to par. I (and many others) see no such activity going on reflecting any such claim. Perhaps you can understand why so many are questioning what goes on inside those buildings that no one can see?

I absolutely agree that this "is not a situation to be dealt with lightly" and I too take this very personally as I have to drive by your facility day after day knowing that there are over 100 animals behind those closed doors on days when the temperature is well over 85 degrees outside and way higher inside. You continue to refuse to allow the public to enter and you still have to question our motives?

I too would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have finally decided to speak up and make their voices heard on this issue. These doors have been closed for way too long. I encourage all of you who have been silent in fear of backlash to speak out. This is not a private business run by private funds, this facility is funded by (us) the public and it is our right to demand assurance regarding the welfare of the animals!

I will end with what I believe had been stated in the initial letter to the editor "Prove us wrong -let us in."




Give us back our country

To the editor:

As I write this we find Eric Holder our attorney general, the highest law enforcer officer in the country, meeting with a group of newsmen trying to justify his action regarding his part in signing the warrant allowing the government to pry into the personal life of the newsman James Rosen.

Because this action took place without the knowledge of Mr. Rosen it was a direct violation of the Second Amendment. A few days ago, Mr. Holder stood before Congress and under oath stated he had no knowledge or recollection of being involved in such a transaction. However the records tell a different story. His statement before Congress, while under oath, has cast serious doubt on the man's integrity. The activities of our journalists cannot be invaded by the government in order to seek out sources of information. This is a direct infringement on the constitution.

Mr. Holder has demonstrated in the past his lack of willingness to pursue and prosecute other cases still pending. Congress is still waiting for the actual facts regarding the transfer of guns to Mexico known as Fast and Furious. These weapons were used to murder people in Mexico and took the lives of two Americans killed on our soil.

I would like to quote a lady who spoke before Congress. She is a member of the Tea Party and because of her conservative values has been continuously harassed by the IRS. With tears in her eyes she pleaded with the congress, "Give me back my country."

For the sake of our survival as a free nation I strongly agree with this fine lady. Gives us back our country before the damage is beyond repair.





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