Gorillas on Film

Letters published October 5, 2000

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Experts agree that hitchhiker was Bigfoot: I read with some interest Laura Putre's article on Don Keating and his bigfoot investigations of the last 15 years ["Wild About Hairy," September 28]. Having known Don and Marc [Dewerth] for a couple of years now, I was a bit embarrassed for them at the insinuations of impropriety and wishful thinking in their research. The video Don shot, which shows a light-colored upright creature walking down the road, can hardly be confused with a "hair on the lens." In fact, it has been analyzed by experts in the field of video and others, who have determined that an animal in the neighborhood of eight feet tall did indeed create the image on the film. And to quip that Marc's camera "mysteriously wouldn't focus" when trained on the creature in question is simply not true. It focused quite well and shows at least one living creature watching the photographer from a dense clump of foliage. Indeed, even an expert on primates, upon viewing the film, asked Marc if it was filmed in Africa. He thought the film subjects were gorillas.

I realize the article was penned with a lighthearted attitude, but to belittle anyone in pursuit of the truth is hardly a journalistic achievement to be lauded.
Name withheld upon request
via the Internet

A Jim-Dan-dy mistake: I know you guys can't be perfect, but the award for Best Coach in your best-of issue [September 28] is incorrect. His name is not Jim Hughes, it's Dan Hughes.
Jason Verderber
via the Internet

Editor's note: Our apologies to Dan Hughes, a fine coach who, in only one season, has influenced the Rockers in much the same way as the Cavaliers were aided by the able coaching of Lonny Wilkens and Mack Fratello.

In response to "Bouncing Back at Bouncers," in the September 21 Letters section: I totally agree with Sarah. It's bullshit that, when I go to a concert and get into the pit, I crowd-surf, and out of nowhere, I get pulled down forcefully and some asshole that works for the club throws me around. Because I paid 20 bucks to come there and listen to a band I like. I have had a lot of incidents like this at the Odeon and CSU. Probably the coolest place to see a band is the Euclid Tavern. Those guys are cool about everything, and they rarely have problems with the general public.
Jimmy Jenkins

Be nice to bouncers: I understand that some people do not like bouncers/security. Why I do not know. But looking at it from my point of view, the security men are working for the people. They have to deal with some drunk and drugged-up kids. It gets really annoying when you ask someone to stop doing something, and they are unable to comprehend you and simply don't listen. I've worked many public events, and it is amazing that the vast majority of people are extremely rude, display no manners whatsoever, and always have something to complain about. I think people need to start appreciating others and showing a little bit more respect.
Vera Durejko

Spanking unruly children is not the answer: "One-Man Swat Team" [Putre, September 21] describes the child-rearing philosophy of Robert Surgenor. He advises parents that they can hit children with paddles as long as they don't put them in a sling, and that a slap on the face of a child works in a pinch. I find it amazing that The Plain Dealer [?! -- Ed.] would provide space to a man who publishes his own book on how and why to hit children, based on personal experience and selected readings of the Old Testament, and who pooh-poohs all scientific research about the harmfulness of hitting children. Did reporters actually read the book? The cover shows a policeman with a gun pointed at the back of a teen -- surely a clue as to the power issues the author has with youth.

Hitting misbehaving children is quick. It often ensures compliance (until the youth is big enough to hit back). It also teaches children that it is OK to hit others who are smaller and weaker. It is an at-risk behavior. Angry parents can easily step over the line to abuse children. Better alternatives exist. We need to spend time teaching our children appropriate behavior, providing limits that are appropriate for their ages, correcting them quickly and respectfully when they err, and praising their appropriate behavior. Hitting is not the answer to achieving good behavior in children.
Nadine Block

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