Last updated: April 20. 2013 11:44PM - 1233 Views

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Rescue elephants offer new perspective

First of all I would like to congratulate Patricia Marks for her outstanding letter to the editor in the paper on April 14. We need more people like her to write letters to educate the public.

I would also like to add a suggestion of my own. If the public would only go to www.elephants.com they can read about the Elephant Sanctuary based in Tennessee. It’s the home of many elephants who were rescued from abuse while living decades in the horror of the circuses. When you read about all their ‘girls’ (they only have female elephants), you’ll see that sometimes it takes years for them to trust human hands, hands that don’t have whips, electric prods or bull hooks. There’s even a story about, I believe her name is Billie, who was afraid of her caretakers to remove the chain from her front foot. It took about three years and she finally was able to trust them to cut off the chain. When they did, she just looked at it on the ground, then picked it up and threw it.

These elephants spend their days and nights doing what elephants are supposed to do. They bond with each other, take walks on the hundreds of acres at the Sanctuary, play in the pools of water.

If you remember there was an elephant named Tarra who had a little friend, Bella, a mutt dog who became the inseparable companion of Tarra. Bella was attacked by wolves one night and, long story short, Tarra found her little friend and carried her back to the barn where they used to sleep. Tarra is finally coming to accept the loss of her friend. You can even watch the elephants on the site’s Ele-Cams posted throughout the Sanctuary.

If you’re lucky you can watch them in real time doing what they do best—-be free elephants. All I ask is that you visit the site, and educate yourselves and then make an informed decision as to whether elephants and animals in general belong in a circus.

I firmly believe you will say ‘‘no more animals in circuses.”

Fran Berdy


Haunted house story followed him home

All houses are haunted houses, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow maintained. “The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,”he wrote in his poem “Haunted Houses.” I thought of the poem when I read your recent article “Is House a Scary Good Deal?” concerning a haunted house that is for sale in Wilkes-Barre.

I can attest to the fact that it is haunted, having paid it a visit one late-spring evening many years ago. Some friends and I had read about it, and we went to have a look. Three mysterious wet spots graced the front sidewalk, even though there hadn’t been rain for days. A darkness seemed to radiate from within that surpassed even what might have been expected with the appoach of nightfall. We kept our distance, and did not go into the house, but sensed that a haunting was likely.

When I returned home, I went to bed, only to be inexplicably awakened at one minute to midnight. As the clock struck midnight, my keys, which I left on a window sill by the bed, lifted up and flew across the room, smashing against my bedroom door! I guess that one of the “harmless phantoms” was repaying my visit! Since that time I have paid particular interest to the house, and the experiences of those who have lived there.

It seems that the events which have occurred there point to the possibility that a murder (or murders) may have taken place there which were successfully covered up, and hidden from the authorities, most likely back in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Apparitions of items from earlier times within the house, and the appearance of blood on the walls clearly suggest that it is a crime scene; a crime that is yet to be unearthed (literally and figuratively) at that location. No cosmetic overhaul of the property will suffice to quell the underlying restlessness of the place. I hope for the sake of all involved, that their time of justice will come soon.

Robert Shortz


Reader finds fault with Sports section

I have noticed a slow decline in the quality of your Sports Section over the last couple of years. Almost on a daily basis, your readers are subjected to wrong scores, misspelled or missing words, articles continuing on a different page than specified (if they continue at all), results from a prior edition being listed again, the same identical baseball box score appearing twice on the same page, and a glaring lack of sports knowledge exhibited by the people responsible for headline and story content.

The following are just a few examples from the past month. First, a photo caption on your Major League Baseball page referred to a “past” ball by a catcher, when anybody who has ever watched a baseball game knows it’s a “passed” ball. Second, your Masters Golf Tournament headline on Saturday, April 13 was “Unknown Leading.” There were many unknown players in the tournament, but Jason Day, the 36th ranked golfer in the world, was not one of them. Any person responsible for developing a headline for the Masters should be aware of who Jason Day is. Last, but not least, on Page 1 (yes, Page 1) of the Sports Section on April 16, we were treated to an important article concerning Faith Hill not performing the Sunday Night Football theme anymore. If this article belongs in the Sports Section at all, it should be buried in the back pages, not Page 1.

Regardless of whether these mistakes are caused by laziness, ignorance, or incompetence, I blame Times Leader management for all of these issues.

Your readers deserve better.

Dale Clouse


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