<b><center>Letters to the Editor</b></center>

People miss key point on issue of pet cloning

EDITOR:

I read Mr. Wiederaender's column and watched news stories on cloning. Yes, cloning will result in more animals, but people missed one thing.

Cloning is costly, and not just anyone will or can clone his or her pet(s). And do they realize that when they clone their aged, or ailing pet, that their cloned pet will have the same ailments? A clone mirrors the original, and it will have pretty close to the same problems as the previous one – unless they pay more to go into their DNA and change a few things not to have those problems.

If I had an animal I loved that had a lot of problems, and it died, I know I would miss it very much, but wouldn't have it cloned, because I would have to go through the same problems again. I would be grateful that I had the chance with that animal and had a good life with it.

I have a cat that I like a lot. She warns me of an upcoming MS attack and lets me know by her actions. It would be great to have another one like her, but I am grateful to know her. Would I have another cat that would be like her? Who knows? Only God would give me another one like her.

Lynn Schwartz

Prescott

We should fight obesity by cutting out meat

EDITOR:

Experts at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting on Feb. 16 warned that obesity is now joining and even surpassing malnutrition as a dietary concern in some of the farthest reaches of the planet.

A number of extensive, reputable studies by the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association have shown that obesity is a precursor of diseases that account for more than a million premature deaths each year. Among these are heart disease, stroke, cancer, and adult-onset diabetes. Overweight children are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease in later years.

The leading causes of obesity are consumption of fat-laden meat and dairy products and inadequate exercise, particularly during formative childhood years.

Clearly, we can prevent health hazards associated with being overweight. Consumers must learn to replace animal-derived foods with wholesome grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits and to undertake a regular exercise program at the earliest age. Parents must insist that their children's schools introduce wholesome food choices, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture must stop using the National School Lunch program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities.

James Eichberg

Prescott

Parents should read to children regularly

EDITOR:

This year marks the fifth annual celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday with the National Education Association's "Read Across America Day." An estimated 35 million children and adults celebrated the joy of reading in Read Across America activities last year. Here in our own community, local schools will be celebrating this special day this Friday with such events as guest readers, Read-A-Thons, book talks, and book exchanges.

Ways parents and guardians can encourage strong reading skills in the children of the Prescott area include:

• Reading aloud to your child as often as possible.

* Visiting younger children (like at a pre-school) and having your child share a favorite story with them.

• Bringing your child to the public library … often!

• Talking to your child about what he/she is reading and about what you are currently reading.

• Donating books to local schools, hospitals, or shelters.

• Being a role model – letting your child see you enjoying a quality piece of literature.

Supporting children's reading activities will reap great rewards. Research shows that children whose parents read to them at home maintain a higher success rate in school and develop stronger skills in other academia.

Readers, please join the educators of the area in celebrating Read-Across America Day, and make the celebration of reading a daily habit!

Volunteer to read at a local day care center, donate "just-gathering-dust-on-the-shelf" encyclopedias set to a classroom, write children's books reviews for the local paper, or mail a loved one the newest "Captain Underpants" volume!

Let's work together to ensure that our children are consistently exposed to rich reading experiences and develop a life-long love for reading.

The Language Arts/Reading teachers of Bradshaw

Mountain Middle School