Letters to the Editor

Hospital's troubles will pass

As I have read about Columbus hospitals in the news lately, I've felt compelled to share a different perspective.

I was born at St. Francis and have been an orthopaedist here since 1992. My brother, George, and I practice at St. Francis because it's our community's hospital, staffed by neighbors and friends. Three years ago, St. Francis cared for my father when he needed heart bypass surgery, and St. Francis saved his life. This fall, my son, Leland Jr., a medical student at Mercer, will perform rotations here. I am proud he is learning to provide compassionate, high quality care from my colleagues and friends.

Our community created St. Francis 65 years ago, and many of us have shared special moments here, surrounded and comforted by kindness.

I'm not naive --I know our Board and new leadership have discovered challenging administrative issues. And yet, I thank our Board each time I see them in the halls or in the pew at church. I know they are working to address these issues appropriately. Our board members, who are volunteers from the community, have taken on demanding roles to keep St. Francis open. They take time away from their "day jobs" to round the facility, talk to associates, and make sure everyone is confident in care St. Francis delivers. I trust them to do what's right for our hospital.

I am confident in our future. The more I am exposed to LifePoint, the more I am convinced they are the right partner for St. Francis.

I urge you to join me in supporting St. Francis and the exceptional people who work here. Together with LifePoint, I know we will stay true to our mission as a healing ministry as we work to elevate the quality of care we provide to our community.

Lee McCluskey

Columbus

Shamelessly selfish

I would like to know why the handicap parking signs and placards are not checked by the Columbus Police Department. As a handicapped veteran I often have a hard time finding a handicapped parking spot as some other person has taken it who is not physically disabled. You should see them as they jump out of their vehicles, and run into the store. They have no shame.

Numerous people do this, and you never see the Police Department checking to see if they are eligible to use these parking spaces. Why do the police never do random checks to see if these people are eligible, or are using someone else's placard or vehicle with a handicap license tag?

How shameful and selfish these people are. Remember, God is watching you. So do the right thing. Don't park in the handicap parking spot unless you really are disabled.

David Fulton

Columbus

Lawbreakers by any name

I read Wilkinson's column in the paper and I agree that our immigration policy is flawed. However, he described the Mexican bad guy as "an undocumented immigrant," and I disagree with that. Such a description of Mexican citizens unlawfully present in our country may now be politically correct, but in my opinion it is incorrect.

Thousands of Mexicans willfully break our laws every day and surreptitiously cross our southern border, and they should only be referred to as "illegal aliens." Regardless of why Mexicans sneak into our country, their sneaking should not be tolerated by our governments (local, state and national), and when someone is found to be here illegally, they should be considered a criminal and treated accordingly. I know that many illegals come here to become American citizens, but I believe most want to keep their allegiance to Mexico and only desire the economic benefits of our rich country. It doesn't matter if they're behaving themselves while they're here. They're here illegally.

We can't immediately fine and deport all the illegal aliens, but if we withhold from them all of our social benefits, including educational and medical (except in special cases), they'll soon deport themselves.

We should also jail every businessman who profits from the low wages he pays to an illegal. My grandfather legally came from Germany to have a better life here, and he found it for himself and his posterity. All Mexicans should be required to do the same. If our present politicians won't fix our immigration problems, then we need to cast our votes in the next election for the folks who will.

Carl "Bud" Paepcke

Columbus

Kinder and healthier

McDonald's pledge last week to start using cage-free eggs is only a small step in preventing staggering suffering endured by millions of birds.

Hatcheries that annually supply 200 million female hens for U.S. egg production, including cage-free, also kill the same number of male chicks at birth by grinding them up alive in industrial macerators or suffocating them slowly in plastic garbage bags. The female laying hens endure a lifetime of misery, crammed with 5-6 others, in small wire-mesh cages that cut into their feet and tear out their feathers.

Eggs are common carriers of food-borne bacteria, including salmonella, campylobacter. listeria, and staphylococcus. USDA estimates that salmonella alone accounts for 1.3 million U.S. illnesses and 500 deaths annually.

Eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol, key factors in incidence of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. They are a common cause of allergies in children.

Waste from millions of egg-laying hens ends up in waterways, rendering vast areas unsuited for recreation or water supply.

The good news for compassionate, health-conscious, eco-friendly consumers is that our local supermarket offers a number of delicious egg substitutes and egg-free food products. Entering "egg-free" in a search engine returns tons of recipes.

Jeffery Bauman

Columbus

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