Sneaking in your snacks will hurt theater business

Sneaking in your snackswill hurt theater business
I feel I must respond to the recent letter chastising a local theater manager for preventing two women from sneaking in water and candy. And may I first state that I do not work in the theater business nor have I ever worked in a theater. I am, however, a manager with a local business.
It would have served this individual well to have talked to the manager about the reasons for the policy of not bringing in food items into the theater. Hers was an uninformed opinion. Let me explain.
The cost of your theater ticket is for bringing quality films to a theater near you. Some 70 to 90 percent of what you pay for admission goes to the distributor and companies that produce these films -- not the theaters that show them.
It is the concessions that pay the wages and benefits of the employees along with the utilities and maintenance that are used to make us comfortable as we watch our movies. To allow customers to bring in their own food and drink cuts into the money that is needed to keep the theater running for our enjoyment.
If the woman who claimed a medical condition for her water would have shown proof of her medical condition, I am quite sure there would have been no further questions. However, water is provided at the concession stand in the same bottled form that I assume she was sneaking into the theater.
Now let's examine the manager's role in this situation. The manager is an employee. He or she does not create the policies for the business. It is the manager's job to enforce the policies set forth by their employers. If they fail to enforce these policies, the owners will most likely dismiss them and hire someone who will enforce these policies.
Now I think I'll go to the movies and get a soda and some popcorn .... with extra butter.
Farmers can be trusted to protect the land they love
Ohio farmers pride themselves on being stewards of the land. They have a good reason to take care of Ohio's environment -- not doing so could not only ruin their livelihood, but negatively impact the entire agricultural industry.
Ohio has very stringent livestock regulations in place, which is why we find the letter in last Sunday's Vindicator troubling. It implies the state does not go far enough in regulating its livestock and poultry industry, which supports more than 47,000 jobs and accounts for about $8 billion in annual economic activity.
When it comes to livestock regulation, other states look to Ohio for guidance. Ohio has long been recognized as a national leader in livestock regulation and was one of the first states to enact into law changes to confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) regulations made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As a matter of fact, Ohio's livestock regulations are more stringent than those at the federal level.
The regulation of manure is particularly strict. Farmers have many requirements, including tracking the amount of manure they produce, where and when it is applied and how it is used. Using sound science, they apply only the amount the crops can utilize.
Ohio already has sufficient and effective livestock regulations in place. Adding more regulations based on emotion and perception and not sound science is not the way to go. Doing so would place an unreasonable economic hardship on livestock producers. What the letter referred to as being factory farms are actually family farms, trying to compete in an increasingly global marketplace to provide consumers with safe, abundant and an affordable food supply.
X The writer is organization director of the Mahoning County Farm Bureau.
Ohio lags other statesin laws to protect pets
In a March 1 article, Denise Dick wrote on how cruelty to animals is all too common in the Mahoning Valley, with 104 cases of animal abuse already this year and only one humane investigator working for our county. To make a bad situation even worse, the Youngstown woman who is suspected of neglecting and causing the deaths of her two dogs has been charged with only a misdemeanor.
Unfortunately, Ohio is one of the 14 states where violations against animals are only punishable as misdemeanors, even though our neighboring states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia treat such offenses as felonies.
In another article in the Feb. 26 edition, Elise McKeown Skolnick reported on a new class offered by the Mahoning Chapter of the American Red Cross, which teaches pet owners the skills to save their animal in the event of an emergency. This gives me the impression that Ohio legislatures, which have rejected a half dozen bills on animal abuse laws in the past 20 years, care only about those animals that have owners that will pay for their needs and support. They simply fail to protect the most defenseless among us.
"It will never happen in Ohio," said former state Rep. June Lucas in 2002, when discussing the efforts made to toughen animal-cruelty laws. The same is still true today, unfortunately.
If owners were to torture, beat, neglect or abandon their own pet, it's almost expected that they will get nothing but a slap on the wrist if caught, or worse, if their pet ended up dead.
When I saw a dog last year walking along a busy highway, I immediately pulled over to go out and pick him up. Not only was he dirty, tired and severely dehydrated, but he was also blind and about 14 years old. It's horrifying to think of such acts of abuse happening regularly in our county.
Additional information on getting animal-cruetly laws changed in Ohio can be found at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Humane Society web sites.
Press shouldn't 'spin' Iraq
I certainly hope the press doesn't again get trapped into buying the administration's newest PR initiative regarding Iraq -- as it did in the lead up to the war and for several years thereafter. Positive spin will make matters worse.
Was it the duty of the national press on Sept. 11, 2001, to report the opening of a new hospital in Springfield, the gritty work of miners in West Virginia, the beginning of a new school year in Salem? On that day there were good things to report from all over America, because good things did happen that day. But that was not what dominated the news on Sept. 11, 2001, nor any day since. Nor should it. We'd all think the press has lost its collective mind if it took that tack. Only in a "Brave New World" of "1984" would the press be expected to ignore consequential events in order to put a vital patina on reality. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth ain't easy -- particularly the whole truth. But unless I'm to lose more confidence in our free press, it should not knuckle under to an administration that has, at every turn, had serious problems with the whole truth.
Can anyone imagine the press reporting on charitable work done by the National Guard in New Orleans if, at that very instant (and daily!), it was ignoring dozens of terrorist events taking the lives of hundreds of people in the Washington -New York -- Pittsburgh & quot;triangle & quot;? (And remember, the United States has 11 times the Iraqi population, so a half dozen deaths there translates to more than 60 here.)
Our nation is harmed when the fourth estate succumbs to administration spin. It could be fatal if it succumbs to pressure to spin for the administration. And by all appearances, the pressure is on.