letters to the editor
What is a garden?

A garden might be a food source for yummy tomatoes, lettuce and other summer foodstuffs. It might be a delight to the eyes, filled with color, texture and dreams of new flowers to come. And sometime, a garden might be a place of solace for a heavy heart.

Gardens mean so much to so many. We pour our backs into keeping them weeded, wet and wonderful. We fret over them and we love them. We work so hard, but we know it’s worth it for the joy our gardens bring to us.

And all that joy, wonder, and food source can be destroyed in a single night – by deer. In Mt. Lebanon, deer are a real problem, as they are in many areas. Something must be done to stop the destruction. I am tired of hearing that nothing can be done, as I’m sure you are. I am tired of being left with sticks where there used to be flowers and vegetables. I am tired of feeling desolate after seeing my garden ravaged. And I’m tired of throwing money out the window.

Perhaps as a group we can get officials in our areas to listen to us – to hear us. We deserve to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

And for those who would say that deer have a right to be here – I say that you must NOT be a gardener. And that is your loss.

Darl McMahon

Mt. Lebanon

Who runs the country?

File this one under just plain baffling.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate approved House Bill 1750, sponsored by Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny/Washington). HB 1750 would close a loophole in the law that does not protect domesticated animals – dogs and cats – from being slaughtered and eaten. By humans. The bill would make processing, selling and serving the meat illegal.

“As repulsive and unfathomable as it is to imagine that anyone would subject family pets to such a horrific end, we know it is happening and there are no laws to prevent it,” Maher said in a statement. “House Bill 1750 would effectively shut down back alley slaughterhouses and keep Fido and Frisky off the dinner menu. This law would make clear to anyone who would prey on our beloved pets, that they will pay a heavy price for doing so.”

Perhaps more repulsive and unfathomable is that the bill didn’t go through – on Oct. 20, the House of Representatives refused to vote on HB 1750, which also bans pigeon shoots.

This fight has been going on for decades, and yet, the House and Senate were able to fast track Rocco’s Law, following the fatal stabbing of Pittsburgh Police K-9 officer Rocco in January of this year. In just six months, the penalty for killing a K-9 officer increased to a second-degree felony, and rightfully so.

One possibility as to why the House refused to vote is pressure from the National Rifle Association. Those opposed to the bill felt that it was one step closer to banning hunting in Pennsylvania. According to the Humane Society of the United States – a huge supporter of the bill – that’s not the case.

“It’s very disappointing that it’s still legal in Pennsylvania to use live animals as targets for entertainment and kill and sell our beloved companion animals for food,” HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle said in a statement. “But the fight is not over. The HSUS, along with the lawmakers who have tirelessly fought to ban live pigeon shoots and the sale of dog and cat meat will continue to stand strong for what’s right.”

What did pass on Oct. 20 was House Bill 80 – now, outside groups, such as the NRA, have the ability to sue municipalities that try and make their own gun laws.

Who runs the country – the United States government or the NRA? We are baffled, because the answer isn’t clear.