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Letters to the Editor

A serious look at bird flu

Editor: As a frequent reader of Tom Clyde s column, More Dogs on Main Street, I was somewhat appalled at his comments regarding the looming bird flu crisis in his article, Much ado about the bird flu, (The Park Record, Oct. 29). Frankly, I find his complacency regarding the issue quite disconcerting. Tom Clyde stated, So far 60 people have died from it [bird flu] — those seem to be odds I can live with. Nevertheless, I have always avoided the precedent that ignorance is the best policy; moreover, the fact the Avian (H5N1) — aka bird flu — could affect 30 percent of the world s population (according to the WHO) is definitely something I ll take notice of! The author is correct in stating the virus currently poses a threat to those who enjoy dwelling and handling chickens and birds alike. Sixty-two people have contracted the virus in Asia. The fear is the H5N1 (bird flu) will mutate, subsequently gaining the ability to readily spread from human to human or bird to human. Rest assured I ll be keeping my eyes on the migratory bird patterns from Asia to North America, especially considering one of the major flyways takes these potential hosts rights over our homes — the Great Salt Lake is a major stop on the way to the southern latitudes. If the virus mutates, as many suspect it will, we are all in deep bird s***. There have been three influenza viruses, which have mutated in the last century causing global pandemics. The 1917-18 Spanish flu (H1N1) killed 500,000 Americans and an estimated 50 million worldwide. The 1957 Asian flu (H2N2) killed 70,000 Americans — by the way, this virus was found in China in February of 1957 and made it to our soil by June. Lastly, the Hong Kong flu (H3N2) in 1968 killed 34,000 Americans, and this virus is still hangin around today. My intention is not to alarm anyone, just simply an attempt to encourage you to follow the news and don t turn a blind eye to this potential devastating pandemic. I would say there is much ado about the bird flu Coincidentally, Much Ado About Nothing was a play written by William Shakespeare, who is rumored to have died from the flu. Cordially, Mike Farrell Silver Creek Halloween on Main Street Editor: Thank you, Main Street merchants, for a very positive and fun-filled memory of Halloween 2005. I accompanied my vampire granddaughter up and down the street with a huge smile on my masked face! What a treat to see so many children and adults having a great Halloween evening and enjoying the whole experience without any thoughts of danger or tricks! With Main Street closed to cars, the babies/children/adults and dogs were free to socialize and run from merchant to merchant. Hurray for Park City Main Street merchants, providing the candy treats to all, and the Park City Police for supervising the safety for all. We are so lucky to live in Park City! Thank you! Pat Horyna Park City Gifts from Rotarians Dear Park City Rotary, Thank you so much for the dictionaries. Now I will never mess up on my words at home. I did not have my own dictionary before, but now I do. Chris Fedor and all the McPolin Elementary School third graders Veterans legislation Editor, Military retirees now have 227 cosponsors for HR 602, the "Keep Our Promise" Bill. There are enough Congressional votes to pass it. What we need now is someone to pull it out of committee and place it before the full House for a vote. Unfortunately, it appears that isn’t going to happen without some kind of a miracle. Does anyone out there know a member of Congress well enough to convince him/her to do this for us? Personally, I believe that most of those 227 cosponsors only did so to prevent losing our future vote. What we need to do is get everyone on board — military retirees, spouses, family members, sympathizers, etc., and show a profound disgust with all of them by not voting for any incumbent in 2006, and we need to let them know we are going to do this now. With the apathy American voters have been showing in recent years, our banding together could force this issue. As the Google Web site has shown, military retirees are constantly being shown as the primary drain on the congressional budget. The more people view this diatribe, the more we lose valuable support from them. Therefore, we need to take immediate action. We need to make our intentions public, state by state, in every accessible forum. Captain Ronald J. Shaw, USAF, Ret. Orem


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