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Blogzerpts / Opinions from

Excerpts from reader commentary on News stories and staffers' online blog postings last week. Online comments come from registered users, but comments to the blogs can be posted under pen names.

Miss Manners: In a response to a June 23 Judith Martin column on the appropriateness, or inappropriateness, of bringing babies to adult gatherings, Euphrosyne Gardner of Silver Spring, Md., wrote:

Back in the day, little ones had more-or-less set bedtimes. Babies went to bed at around 7 or 7:30 p.m., the sitter or grandma or auntie stayed in the house in case baby woke up and needed anything, and mom and dad could go out and enjoy their adult entertainments.

When I see babies and really young children out with their parents until all hours, I really feel bad for the little ones. Especially if they are becoming cranky or fussy. Well, hello! It's no wonder -- they are worn out from their busy day and want only to snuggle down in their cozy little bed and get some shut-eye.

It may be that such parents want to show off their offspring, which is fine by me, but keeping little ones up until all hours, especially when they are clearly showing they are tired by being fussy, is in my book, a species of mistreatment, if not downright abuse!

Michael Ladenson of Philadelphia, N.Y., countered:

I don't see what the big deal is here. If the babies are really infants, they won't be aware of what anyone is drinking or doing anyway; the biggest danger there is that they'll cry and irritate everyone. If they're toddlers or older then, certainly, you can't bring them to a raucous adult party.


Dog days: News business reporter Maryellen Tighe's June 21 piece, "Taking dogs to work Friday," elicited howls of protest from a few readers, including Dorian Kunkel of Buffalo:

So what about those of us who don't like dogs for whatever reason? I'm not comfortable around them and would have a hard time being in an office where they were welcome.

Mike Raven of Williamsville pointed out:

Another factor that should be borne in mind is that many people are allergic to pet hair or dander. This would need to be managed very carefully before allowing dogs into the workplace -- for example, by ensuring that those workers can work remotely, or are given leave of absence. It might also be necessary to ensure that workplaces are suitably cleaned to prevent reactions subsequently.

But Karla Crowley of Buffalo contested:

I love having my dog at work with me every day! Unfortunately you can't please everyone all the time. I know some people are uncomfortable around dogs, but they have to remember that there are some people that are uncomfortable around children, or elderly people, or disabled people, or cats or ANYTHING else you can think of! So for everyone who is participating in "Take your dog to work day" enjoy and have a fabulous day!


Ride for Roswell: A June 21 article by News sports reporter Amy Moritz on cyclist Bob Gang's 400-mile bicycle trek for a worthy cause drew praise from Hap Klein of Tonawanda:

This is especially inspiring since Bob Gang tackled some of the toughest bicycle terrain in the United States.

A couple of decades ago, I trained for the Cross America rides with the League of American Bicyclists. We did several 100-mile rides locally with bicyclists who already did the ride. They picked the Appalachians as the toughest ride in America. The rippling series of 45 minutes up steep slopes and 10 minutes speeding down several times daily, I was assured, would wear out anyone.

Anyone, that is, without the determination he [Gang] shows. But I know of more than one bicyclist who skirted the mountains and added a few flatter miles and eliminated many steep climbs. Great effort though!

Elizabeth K. Waller of Buffalo added:

KUDOS to you, Bob Gang! Thank you, too, for all the attention you have brought to the Ride for Roswell. You are an inspiration to those of us who participate in the ride locally.