Be careful in extreme heat
I am writing to ask the public to please be careful with this extreme heat — protect your animals. They have fur coats and need shade, a house if outdoors, cool water and food. Please don’t leave them in a hot car; this is deadly so quickly. If you see a bad situation, like a dog chained in the heat with no shade or water, call Animal Control; they want to help, and they are an important part of the police department.
Of course, the same applies to people — be careful in this extreme heat. Drink cool fluids, watch your caffeine, try not to get angry in the heat — it only makes things worse. I also wish shopping centers would plant more trees; they are wonderful for shade.
Could you also add: Please spay and neuter your pets — there is a great low-cost program through the Spay Neuter League at 14th and Chestnut streets. They want to help you.
— Jan Skipo
Public workers serve us well
The letter titled “What are we paying for?” in the June 18 Tribune-Star requires response.
I am also retired and have worked since the age of 16 for private businesses. I have worked in the Midwest, West Coast, Southwest and South, and it has been my privilege to associate with Americans from all parts of the country that work in various levels of government from those that maintained infrastructure, to those that designed it, to those that assured and enforced public safety. Over nearly four decades of such associations, I have never found that government employees, whether working for city, state or federal government, were unworthy of the compensation they received, despite the fact government employees generally received less compensation than those in the private sector.
Perhaps the letter writer is incapable of comprehending some of the services that government employees provide. For example, government employees are directed by law to assure public safety, to assure that public roadways are designed and constructed and maintained to safely transport you and me, that trucks and trains meet safety standards for safe operation, that the water, gas and power you require for your lifestyle are safe and are safely delivered to your homes, businesses, schools and churches.
Government employees educate our children and grandchildren. Government employees protect our constitutional freedoms by putting their lives and country first for us. None of this happens by accident. It requires the coordinated effort of American government employees. When that 911 responder helps you when you are threatened, or are ill, or your home is on fire, remember that your taxes pay for the 911 system, for the government employee that responds, for training to help you, and for the equipment the 911 government employee uses to help you.
Unlike the letter writer, I do not find cause to disrespect or denigrate American government employees, or impugn their character because they work for my government. I do not begrudge that these federal, state and local workers earn the right to be recognized for their work, or to retire from public service with dignity and financial security the same as private business employees. Under our constitution, elected representatives authorize the spending of your taxes and create laws that establish government employee compensation and benefits.
The issue is not government employees, but ungracious citizens expressing ungrateful drivel and electing political imbeciles such as those from the tea party that practice self-serving partisan politics rather than governance for the benefit of Americans.
— William Adams