'While some of these abandoned pit bulls do end up at the Humane Society, many others simply run the streets. They attack as a group, kill and leave.'

- Seale Patterson


To the Editor:

We take great issue with some statements in your Aug. 7 Commentary ("Morial Kicks Off") concerning the establishment of the Office of Inspector General and the Ethics Review Board. Specifically, with regard to these two matters, you state, "Both the Mayor and council have not acted on either initiative." You further comment that "The Public should demand that Morial and the two potential mayoral candidates from the council -- Jim Singleton and Troy Carter -- fulfill their voter-approved obligations. Give us an ethics board and an inspector general."

We cannot speak for the Mayor, but with regard to Council action, these statements are false. In accordance with requirements set forth in the Home Rule Charter of the City of New Orleans, on June 20, 1996, the City Council adopted Ordinance Numbers: 17612. M.C.S. which created the Ethics Review Board and adopted 17613 M.C.S. which amended the City Code of Ethics to among other items provide for governance by the Ethics Review Board. Both ordinances were signed by the Mayor. However, he has yet to act on his appointments to the Board.

As for the Office of Inspector General the Charter does provide for, but does not require, its creation. While the Council supports its creation, there are personnel and other costs associated with the office which the council should receive from the administration before creating this or any other office in city government which could have a fiscal impact on strained resources.

Troy A. Carter

Councilmember, District C

James M. Singleton

Councilmember At-Large

Editor's note: The Council adopted the ordinance creating the ethics board. Gambit Weekly regrets the error.

cloning: a criminal concept

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the story on animal cloning ("Send in the Clones," July 24). The people mentioned in your article who are trying to clone their pets are misguided. As the owner of a cat and a dog, I can attest to the power and endearment of pets. I also understand, however, that my bond with my pets has little to do with their genetic makeup. Nature versus nurture rears its head again.

Besides the fact that personalities cannot be reproduced, I find it disheartening that these caring pet owners wish to "resurrect" animals which suffered from ailments such as hip dysplasia only to have it suffer again?

In addition, cloning pets is a criminal concept due to the fact that so many animals are euthanized every day in animal shelters across the country. Why would people go so out of their way to recreate their pets when most people are trying so hard to prevent the overpopulation of cats and dogs? If these pet owners are so dedicated to their furry family members, they will find loving companionship with any animal already in need of a home.

Aside from cloning domestic animals, the article cites that because of cloning technology "extinction could become a thing of the past." Extinction will not become a thing of the past until its causes are eliminated. Reproducing animals such as pandas and gorillas is a noble endeavor when there are viable habitats to sustain these species. The problem of extinction is not corrected simply because we have created caged examples of these animals.

Katie Cordes

dogfighting citywide

To the Editor:

Unfortunately, with as many victims of dogfighting as you have indentified in your article ("Fight Clubs," July 10), there are still more. Four months ago, my cat was killed in front of my house by a pack of six dogs, four of which were pit bulls. This was the third cat in the last year on my block alone killed by stray dogs that run the streets of the Irish Channel. He was the 13th cat killed from my veterinarian's office in just one year. And of course, no one is around to count the stray cats, or the cats who aren't ever found by owners who hope they've just run off. While some of these abandoned pit bulls, let loose for not being vicious or tough enough to fight and win, do end up at the same Humane Society, many others simply run the streets. They pack together, and attack other animals not for food, but because it's what they've been trained to do. They attack as a group, kill, and leave.

I do not blame these dogs whatsoever for killing my pet or others. I blame the people who train them to attack each other, who abuse them to the point where they don't know any different, and then let them go with no regard to how it may affect the world around them.

This problem should be a concern to all people of New Orleans, as it is certainly not limited to just one neighborhood, but widespread throughout the city. Nor is it an issue limited only to cat owners. A friend was attacked by a pack of dogs while out for a walk. He got away unharmed, but he's a grown man. Someone's child may not be as quick, or lucky.

Seale Paterson