Letters to the editor

Why be taxed by two local governments?

I want to commend state representatives Larry Flowers and Larry Wolpert for having the political courage to embark on a needed study to modernize our state and local governmental organization. I hope the entire Ohio General Assembly approaches this issue with an open mind and not shut it out before it gets any traction or presents any real facts.

With the modern highways, electricity, and the telecommunications that we have in 2008, in most ways these townships have outgrown their usefulness.

The general attitude of recent Ohio General Assemblies has been to preserve this antiquated form of local government only to make the problems of overlapping local government representation and double taxation to many of our local residents. Clearly those cities formed and established early in the 19th century were able to remove the townships from under them when they annexed. Today we find local citizens trying to support two governments with only one of those two governments being responsive to the tax dollars being levied.

Township government in this modern age are nothing more than parasite governments depending on the municipalities around them to provide for the growth and the services many of the citizens want. Limited by their authority and tax base, most Ohio townships must depend on what little authority they can get from their host county and wait patiently on needed infrastructure.

About 42 percent of Violet Township Trustees’ constituency lives within the city of Pickerington, and Violet Township trustee Mr. Terry Dunlap’s only concern is for that 58 percent of the constituency that lives within the unincorporated areas of Violet Township.

The question is why in these cities that have not had the opportunity to remove the township from under their borders must this portion of the state’s population support and elect officers from two local governments and to be also taxed by both? When only one has the authority to act on local issues?

Ted Hackworth


If a dog has teeth it will bite

I read Andrea Cordle’s recent article on pit bulls in the Southeast Messenger and I am compelled to comment.


I am a physician assistant working in emergency medicine. I have worked around trauma medicine for 21 years in four states and the District of Columbia. I have seen first hand the complete, unnecessary devastation of human life and limb that these animals are capable of. 

I was faced with the dilemma of having new neighbors with a pit bull in 2001. My neighborhood is in Canal Winchester and it doesn’t allow for a fence any larger than four feet. At the time, my children were ages four and six years old.  I researched pit bull attacks daily for four months. I found that pit bulls are prone to pack instinct no matter who their owner is. The most famous last words from pit bull owners whose dogs were responsible for unprovoked attacks are almost always this; "He has always been a good dog, I never thought he would hurt anybody." 

I was able to pass a containment law regarding these dogs in 2001 in Canal Winchester which was covered by the Southeast Messenger. Unfortunately, this was the end of any potential friendship with my new neighbors. Being as informed as I am about pit bulls, I couldn’t get past the fact that that if something happened to anyone in my neighborhood it would be my burden for not acting to do what I could.

It is not enough for pit bull owners to say that these dogs are nice, or that pit bulls are good with children, or even that there was a pit bull in the "Little Rascals" TV show.  These statements just don’t have any weight to their testimony. The most complete data that I’ve ever read concerning the maiming and killing of human beings categorized by dog breed is the 2006 article by the editor of "Animal People," Merritt Clifton.  In this article the human deaths and maimings are recorded in the U.S. and Canada from September 1982 to November 2006.

Understand that when paramedics, police or dog wardens are contacted to respond to an attack, the attack becomes public record. In those 24 years pit bulls were responsible for 1,110 attacks, 104 human deaths and 608 maimings. The next highest dog on the list is the Rottweiler causing 409 attacks, 58 human deaths and 203 maimings. Out of the 100 breeds listed, no other breeds were remotely close to the documented bad behavior of the pit bull.  This article can be read at www.dogbitelaw.com.   According to the Endangered Dog Breeds Association of Australia, a pit bull can exert up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch with their jaw. No other dog in the world is even close to this; reference at http://www.edba.org.au/courier.html.

While I understand that not all pit bulls attack humans, the bottom line is this- there is absolutely no way to know which pit bull will attack and which one won’t. It takes a huge ego on the part of a pit bull owner to think that obedience training or handler experience will vaccinate their dog from ever attacking a human. There is an old saying regarding dogs – "If a dog has teeth it will bite." But the evidence is overwhelming that pit bulls are capable of great harm and many have lived up to their media billing.  Harboring or owning a pit bull is a huge liability.

In Cordle’s article, Robin Laux said that we should, "Ban stupid people – not the dogs."  It is impossible to legislate intelligence. Those wanting to do so for the sake of the pit bull are in danger of falling under the jurisdiction of their own law.

Brian Buck
Canal Winchester

Privy memories

It was with much interest we read Rick Palsgrove’s article on Groveport during the Great Depression in a recent Southeast Messenger.

While not in use today, the outhouse built by the WPA workers still stands at the family farm today. It is a wood structure with a cement floor and cement vault. My grandparents and mother moved to the farm in 1929. We do not know the date the "privy" was built.

The high school in Lithopolis closed. Not sure of the closing year. My father, mother, and several uncles attended Groveport High School in the early 1930s. My mother will have her 90th birthday this summer. She enjoyed reading the article Rick Palsgrove wrote earlier this year on Lucinda Doersam.

William Shultz
Canal Winchester

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