Letters: How about autos on rail flat cars?

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webmaster | 06/08/12

Do you suppose JP Morgan et al might consider investing in the ill-conceived High-Speed Rail? Now there’s another winner for their portfolio!

What’s a few billion more? Of course they will need to set aside more billions to subsidize its operation and maintenance.

With Californians already in financial hock, and their governor promoting the High-Speed Rail and an increase in taxes, it seems like we’re all aboard the proverbial sinking ship, rearranging the deck chairs just to get a better view as we go down.

In any event, I can’t understand why anyone would be in a hurry to go to Bakersfield or LA.

As an alternate option, I would like to drive my car onto a railroad flat car (piggy-back), nobody needs to drive me to my point of departure nor point of arrival. Save on gas and air pollution.

Yes, I know the kids will need the rest stop and I will have to forgo the In-N-Out.

An absurd idea? Well, I suppose so — yet we can spend billions to put a man on the moon and operate and staff a space station.

Let’s start putting our tax dollars into projects that meet everybody’s needs: streets, highways, bridges, and water resources.

Well, that’s “30” for tonight.

John P. Whittemore,
Madera

Sentence in dog case too lenient

I think the sentence given to the woman who neglected and tortured her defenseless dog Clover is outrageous. I understand the three-year probation, but to have a twice convicted abuser of animals serve 400 hours of community service with animals is absurd.

Would you put a person convicted of torturing and abusing children in a daycare center to serve community service? Who will protect the animals at the shelter when she is present? Her actions lack any real remorse, other than she got caught.

This person either is mentally ill or is very sadistic. She allowed her dog Clover’s collar to become embedded in its neck, where a massive infection ensued, leading to the eventual death of the dog. How long did she sit back and watch the suffering of this poor animal? A month, six months? Any person with an ounce of compassion would have cared about the obvious excruciating pain Clover was in.

What type of person watches the inhumane torture of an animal and does nothing to intercede. That is the type of person I do not want serving 400 hours of court-mandated community service at my local animal shelter.

Marie Juarez,
Madera

Going swimming? Read this first

Swimmers admit more and more people are urinating in the swimming pool. Yuck! Use the bathroom.

There are two parasites, cryptosporidium and giardia, plus E. coli, which are prevalent in U.S. swimming pools. E. coli bacteria respond well to chlorination, as does giardia after one hour. There may be areas of the pool which are harder to chlorinate, but after an hour, the pool may be safe. Cryptosporidium is much more chlorine-resistant and even in healthy people will cause GI illness — diarrhea and vomiting — for two weeks. In immune-compromised persons, the illness may even cause death.

Cryptosporidium may be found in diarrheal stools, so if you have diarrhea, please stay out of the pool. Fecal matter, formed or diarrheal, is often introduced into the pool as residual matter on the body. Swallowing pool water is the main way of ingesting these pathogens. Luckily, parasitic contamination is very low and chlorine is effective. But as the pool gets crowded, more precautions are needed.

Now, at the beginning of swim season, is a good time to mention pool hygiene needed to keep the community healthy. Shower before getting in the pool to remove fecal debris. Wash your hands often to keep the pool water out of your mouth. Use the restroom and take regular restroom breaks followed by hand washing — especially young children. Use footwear in the bathroom to avoid transferring debris on the bathroom floor into the pool. Remember, if you have diarrhea, stay out of the pool. Babies need special swimming diapers and regular appropriate diaper changing. Remove and change or wash the baby as soon as the baby appears to have dirtied the diaper. If you feel you developed a waterrelated illness, please notify the Department of Public Health.

Naegleria is an amoeba that can be found rarely in fresh water, pools and warm tap water. It enters the body through the nose and enters the brain to destroy brain tissue. Symptoms of headache, fever, stiff neck may occur after seven days and will progress. Naegleria will enter the body when contaminated water gets into the nose. Infection is not by drinking contaminated water. There is no known cure for Naegleria. Luckily it is very rare, 32 reported infections in the past 10 years. Nose clips or holding the nose when jumping in may help prevent infection along with chlorination.

If you use a nettie pot, only use distilled or sterilized water to irrigate the sinuses — not warm tap water.

Many of us have friends or family members in extra hot areas of the world like the Middle East, China, Africa, Brazil, Asia and other locales.. We need to remember the parasites found in these areas, like schistosomiasis, are much more dangerous and extra precaution and awareness are needed to decrease risk of illness.

Loraine Goodwin, M.D., J.D.,
Madera

 

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