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Originally published Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Letters to the Editor

A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

Dog debate, cont.

Buddy's euthanasia based on faulty temperament tests

Editor, The Times:

I was disappointed by "Review finds shelter right to put dog down," Times, Local News, Aug. 13]. Although I spoke to reporter Keith Ervin extensively, his story ignored my comments and contributed to King County's whitewash of the death of Buddy the dog ["Dog debate: The euthanasia of Buddy not an easy call for shelter's workers," Northwest Voices, Aug. 15].

Among many disturbing findings not in the article: Buddy scored extremely well on the test for his reactions to people, and was eligible for adoption with restrictions. Yet King County Animal Care and Control ignored my repeated phone calls and offers to take Buddy, preferring instead to kill him.

It took the King County shelter 11 days to evaluate Buddy, even though a recent report found that because of inhumane shelter conditions that force dogs to fight for their food, they must be evaluated "on intake" to have a fair chance.

The main reason the shelter killed Buddy was for failing a "cat-aggression" test, which the report said was both completely unreliable and so inhumane that it should be "immediately discontinued."

While King County says it was justified, its own report shows that it has disregarded the advice given to it by experts — its staff is so lazy, that given the choice, they would rather kill a dog than give it a chance.

— Jim and Kim Giuntoli, Auburn

Endorsement clarification

Snohomish Labor Council supports Roberts

In your 21st District endorsement ["The Times recommends ... ," Aug. 14], you mentioned that one candidate had been an executive board member of the Snohomish County Labor Council. In case there may be any misunderstanding, we wanted to note that the Snohomish County Labor Council actually endorsed the other candidate for re-election, Democratic Rep. Mary Helen Roberts.

She has been an effective leader in the Washington state House of Representatives on children's issues, early-learning support and social-service needs. We appreciate her support for the issues facing working people in her district.

— Mike Sells, Snohomish County Labor Council, Everett

Tree trouble

Our "green" city failed to protect grove

With all the talk about how "green" Seattle is, city government sure is doing a lousy job of protecting trees on its own property ["Order spares trees — for now," Local News, Aug. 15].

Case in point: An upcoming expansion project at Ingraham High School in North Seattle is sited on a grove of large evergreens, requiring the removal of more than 60 trees. Neighbors responded to the environmental "determination of non-significance" with questions about the standards used to evaluate the grove, and requested that the project be re-sited on an adjacent space.

In a stunning repudiation of public process, Seattle Public Schools withdrew the project permits, scheduled the logging and threw up a fence around the area, planning to reapply for building permits after the logging is a done deal. This end run around a set regulatory process is shameful behavior for a public agency. Even more shameful is the failure of anyone on the School Board, the building committee or the district to publicly advocate for the environment when selecting a site.

Without stronger regulations to protect trees, we will soon have a city devoid of the natural beauty that so attracts visitors and new residents. I call upon the Seattle City Council and the mayor to take immediate action to protect our trees, particularly those on public property.

Otherwise, don't come to us in five years asking for public funds to "regreen Seattle."

— Julia Ricketts, Seattle

Obituary observation

Ad mars tasteful tribute

I was moved and inspired by the obituary of Sandy Allen, the world's tallest woman ["She took inspiration to whole new height," News, Aug. 14]. I was disturbed and a little angry, however, by the quarter-page advertisement on the same page for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, an entity that has an appalling history of exploiting and humiliating people such as Ms. Allen. Couldn't you have taken a little less money and placed this ad elsewhere?

Your judgment in the placement of this ad lacked the sensitivity that was reflected in Allen's obituary, and did a great disservice to her memory.

— Kit Lewis, Seattle

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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