Letters to the Editor, Aug. 3, 2011

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Ethington a good man


A lot to do about nothing and the rest of the story regarding Donnie Ethington.

I first want to say I respect our hometown paper and the great service it provides this community. As a 40-plus-year subscriber, I look forward to reading it three times a week. Recent articles inspire me to write and stand up for Donnie Ethington.

Donnie has sold cars in this community for 50 years, and most have done business with Donnie. Yes he has made rare mistakes, like losing keys, papers and even cars, but none of his mistakes were done with malice or intention to deceive. In the bustle of his business, errors occur, but he is good-hearted and honest.

Not only does he serve so-called important customers, but he serves all creeds and races that need a car to get to work. This service is not always available to those without money or good credit.

The disadvantaged who are down on their luck even when deserted by family have found a job with Donnie, a vehicle, and with his help, they have been restored as productive citizens.

Donnie Ethington does not alter cars. He is not mechanical. One friend described Donnie as not knowing which end of the screwdriver to hold. Donnie is honest when describing vehicles, for example, “I don’t know a lot about this car, but the mechanic says it is okay.”

Donnie has been known to fix autos, replace motors and provide another vehicle to customers without charge. I challenge you to find another auto dealer that has done that for 50 years.

The last few years have been very difficult, with the disappearance and ultimate death of his beloved mother. Financial hardships have faced him from all sides, but Donnie has remained faithful to his wife, family, community and church. Donnie is a faithful church attendee, serving as an usher at the First Baptist Church.

Donnie Ethington is a good man, though not perfect, has run an honest, honorable business. Our paper has printed things about Donnie through the years, but he has addressed every problem, honestly and has not been found guilty of any of these charges.

Donnie remains a friend of this community and has a multitude of satisfied customers throughout his years of service.

Enough said, thank you.

Ronald E. Waldridge MD



Souder’s special treatment


I am hereby requesting space in The Sentinel-Newsfor a column on model railroading, or baking cookies, or space travel. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter, because I have no intention of discussing any of those topics. What I really want to do is use my half page to regurgitate talking points from talk radio and far-right Web sites.
An absurd request? I agree.

Yet this is precisely what we often get from Chuck Souder in his column in the Faith & Family section. Over the past few years, we’ve been subjected to Mr. Souder’s opinions on global warming, gay rights, fiscal policy and a host of things that have little or nothing to do with religion. Oh sure, he’ll toss in an obligatory Bible passage here and there, although in his latest column concerning the debt ceiling he barely even manages that.

I’m all for people expressing their opinion, and The Sentinel-Newsoffers ways for its readers to do so. There’s a “letters to the editor” section each Wednesday, and you’re very generous in providing extra space in the “My Word” column on the op-ed page. My suggestion is that if Mr. Souder has political opinions to convey then he should do so through these forums, just as everyone else in the community must do. Why does he get special treatment?

Rip Rinehart



Watch heat with animals


What a summer! With the extreme heat we are facing, I wanted to remind folks throughout the community that pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburn. Here are some tips from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help the pets we care for beat the heat:

§       Give pets plenty of fresh clean water and shade from the sun. A dog house in the sun is a sauna, not shade.

§       Dogs tied or chained in the yard are the most vulnerable to overheating.

§       Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.

§       Not all pets can swim so don't leave animals unsupervised by the pool.

§       Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and secured as pets, mostly cats, can fall through them causing serious injury or death.

§       Give your dog a lightweight summer haircut to prevent overheating and brush cats more often.

§       Don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt as it burns their pads and don't over-exercise them.

§       Common insecticides can be harmful to dogs and cats, so don't let animals on lawns that have been sprayed for a safe period of time.

§       Your idea of a party and the animals' ideas are different. Human food can cause digestive ailments to dogs and cats. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and the sweetener xylitol in particular.

§       Fireworks aren't very pet-riotic. Fireworks can burn or traumatize animals, so keep your pets inside while you explode outside.

I encourage all readers to follow these tips and share them with neighbors and friends who may not yet be aware or understand how to care for and enjoy their pets all summer long.

Teresa Bottom, Lifebridge for Animals, Inc.