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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
August 28, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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August 28, 1997

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10 Thursday, August 28, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Some people should be on a leash What in the world is this big brouhaha over the county's proposed animal control ordinance? This ordinance has been kicked around for the past two years. Advocates claim the county needs this law to require pet owners to have their animals properly given shots for rabies and general licensing require- ments. I agree. However, opponents have tackled the proposed ordinance as if all their "rights" are being taken away from them. Or, the "rights" of the animals. They have read between the lines of every revision that has been placed before the commissioners and attempted to make it sound as if the ordinance will either take away the right of a chicken farm to kill a chicken, to not being allowed to kill an animal that's about to die from pain and agony. The county already has a licensing law and some- thing of a leash law. That's fine and dandy, but the bottom line is the responsibility of a pet owner. Laws are proposed and passed when there is a problem. Unfortunately, they usually affect the law-abiding citizen, seldom do they affect the irresponsible. Thus, I have some mixed emotions myself, although I gener- ally support the county in its efforts to legislate laws regarding animal control. The most recent arguments seem to pertain to cats. Let's be realistic here. The county can certainly require cats to be licensed but it's impossible to impose a "leash law" on cats. Cats, by their very nature, don't cotton much to leashes. They'll kick and scratch and roll around but not walk with a leash attached. Cats are I I II NORTHWRN EXPOSURE by Dave Downing free-roaming animals. They'll disap- pear for hours at a time and there's not a darn thing you can do about it. I don't know of any county anywhere that re- quires cats to be confined. Dogs, on the other hand, take very well to the leash. They may run off on occasion but will generally stick close to their owner. Depending on how the owner treats the dog is how the dog's personality develops. Here is where owner responsibility enters the picture and why the county needs to have the necessary laws on the books to protect others. On a Wednesday evening, June 19, 1991, two full- grown pit bulls attacked and very nearly killed Phyllis Crouch of Goldfield. The dogs tore skin and muscle from Crouch, age 71. There was practically nothing left of parts of her body but skeleton. The owners, it turned out, had often let these dogs -- not animals run loose and there had been complaints against them in the past. It was further alleged that the owners of these dogs had frequently abused the animals. They were ultimately arrested and charged with a felony charge of setting a deadly weapon. Setting a deadly weapon ? The charge didn't stick and they were subsequently free from all charges. The reason? Esmeralda County did not have an animal control ordinance. There was nothing that then District Attorney Victor Schultze could do. He tried to twist the law with the "setting a deadly weapon" charge, but it simply didn't hold up. Schultze eventually managed to get a control ordinance and a state law to help cover such a situation. There are probably more people than animals who should be licensedand placed on a leash law. But this A,I is the only way that, should something happen, the  legal machine can step in and allow justice to be served. Contrary to what opponents try to read between the lines, the county ordinance is a good one. No court in the county is going to say that the law requires an owner to kill its pet or not kill a chicken. There are two things in every law; the letter of the law and the intent of the law. If necessary, the court will interpret these anomalies that may pop up. Let's stop "fooling around with radical interpreta- tions and get this on the books. Drunk Driving...How much is too lnuch? Nevada has a limit of .100 Blood Alcohol Content (BEC) for legal driving. Fifteen states have lowered their thresholds to .080 BAC. In the last Nevada legis- lature session, a similar bill was proposed but failed to pass. The. 100 limit is a reasonable value. It permits a fair amount of social drinking in restaurants and taverns without significant impairment of driving ability. (Not everyone belongs to a group that can have a designated, non-drinking driver.) Research has shown that the BAC of drunken drivers involved in accidents aver- aged around. 180. Such drivers repeatedly ignore-legal limits and drive anyway. Reducing the legal threshold to .080 BAC would uselessly criminalize a large number of social drinkers while having absolutely no effect on the dangerous drunken driver. A 120 pound woman could be consid- ered legally drunk if she drinks two six-ounce glasses of wine on an empty stomach during a two-hour period. If apprehended, this woman would face arrest, jail, fines, higher insurance rates and license revocation, for behavior that is not part of the drunk driving problem. There is absolutely no persuasive evidence that reduc- ing the BAC level from .100 to .080 has any effect on drunk driving deaths or injuries. The restaurant and bar industry recognizes its mainly responsible customers who enjoy a few drinks over conversation or food, get up from the table and drive safely home. It also sees a few problem drinkers who, if Changing Patterns by Richard Reul NNNNNN permitted, would drink too much, stagger out to their cars and become a menace on the same highways traveled by friends, families and loyal customers. In 44 states, busi- nesses who push drinks at inebriated customers can be held liable for millions of dollars in damages when these customers cause traffic injuries or deaths. In their self- interest, they do everything possible to discourage such problem drinkers from driving. Much of the impetus for the .080 BAC limit comes from Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD). This organization did yeoman service in reducing the drunk driving toll. But, like many organizations, it has devel- oped vintage self-preservation tactics by overstating the threat and providing misleading data. More than half of the alcohol-related fatalities are the drunk drivers them- selves and another eleven percent are drunken pedestri- ans who walk in front of cars. MADD insists that drunk driving is on the rise again, neglecting the fact that alcohol-related accidents have stayed constant as a percentage of miles driven. MADD also tells us that alcohol standards for intoxication and arrest in many other industrialized nations are lower than in the United States. It fails to mention that alcohol-related fatalities there, as a percentage, are higher than in our country. In summary, MADD is targeting the wrong group. Once a crusader against the drunken driver, they have become a quasi-prohibitionist organization determined to curtail social drinking. In a state like Nevada, where tourists come to relax and have fun, it just won't fly ! Author's Note: This column was based on a debate in Insight Magazine. seating I kinda put my art projects aside for a few minutes as I got sidetracked onto another project. Something I had been meaning to do for many years. A lot of my projects sit around for years. Then all of a sudden everything comes together and away I go on them. Sometimes I even Finish them. This particular project really doesn't fit in with the warm weather we finally experienced. It's more geared for cold weather. But then again it could come in handy in hot weather now that I think about it. I can't take credit for this concept as Iheard it mentioned by Archie Bunker on the "All in the Family" show which was one of my favorites. I wonder how come Archie never got into politics. He would have fit right in today. On this show segment Archie was complaining about sitting on a cold toilet seat and trying to figure out ways of warming it up. He as I recall never did come up with a solution. But it apparently left an impression with me. How would a person go about wanning up a toilet seat? This probably wouldn't be a problem if you were next in line. I toyed with hooking the seat up to an Slim Sez by Slim Sirnes electric circuit and the elements out of an old toaster. Had some diffi- culties with this. Mostly tempera- ture control and I never was into wearing them skimpy revealing mens bathing suits even before this. Another problem was I could never get the timer set. It always shook me up to be sitting there and all at once have a piece of toast go whizzing by before I was done with the sports page. Then this morning another idea occurred. What if I made the seat hollow? Hooked up a water line from the ' sink and then I could adjust the temperature. Hot in the winter and cool in the summer or visa-versa. And if a person didn't have running water in their restroom, they could just warm up some water to take out there with them. Remembering to drain it afterwards so if it froze it could crack the seat, which also could be painful, almost as bad as sitting on a heated toaster element. Well I better close this and do some more work on this project. How'to design a filler setup that would come in handy for filling the hollow toilet seat with warm liquid and that wouldn't clash with the overall decor of the restroom. Have a good one.