June 10, 1988 |
On the Horse-Shoe Trail, on a beautiful spring day, two friends and I were hiking several miles west of Valley Forge. Through stands of oaks, through tulip-poplar trees. Into the rolling farmlands of Chester County. Past lovely stone farmhouses, big stone barns. Then we came across the sign. "BEWARE OF THE DONKEY. " We laughed at it, wondered who would put up such a sign. Must be some sort of joke. We continued on the Horse-Shoe Trail - an underused gem of a hiking trail, starting in our back yard in Valley Forge National Park, well-marked, full of lovely views, free of charge, a nature secret of modern-day Philly.
February 23, 1988 |
A handful of animal-rights activists huddled in the cold outside the Pennsauken High School gym last night to protest what they said was the exploitation of animals at a donkey basketball game to raise money for the town's veterans memorial. "There are two sides to donkey basketball. It's not all fun and games," Tina Sowicz, director of Trans-Species Unlimited of Philadelphia, told spectators as they streamed into the building. But most appeared to be less interested in the condition of the animals than in the game itself, a contest between town and school district employees.
January 28, 1988 |
The donkey basketball game at Hatboro-Horsham High School Saturday night raised more than money for the Hatboro-Horsham Athletic Boosters Association. It also raised the ire of animal-rights activists who picketed the game. Nineteen protesters - men, women, teenagers and a dog named Cinder - braved the cold in a peaceful 1 1/2-hour demonstration outside the school's gymnasium. While school officials looked on, television cameras rolled, people attending the fund-raiser passed by and the protesters walked in a circle, carrying signs that read, "Please respect animals" and "Donkey basketball means cruelty to animals.
January 14, 1988 |
Sue Schmitt of Horsham was upset when she learned the details of the Hatboro-Horsham High School fund-raising event. Teams of students and teachers riding donkeys in a gymnasium while playing a basketball game sounded cruel, Schmitt said, but no one else seemed to care, and the game went on as scheduled last year. "I heard about the games last year about this time," said Schmitt, a former Hatboro-Horsham High School substitute teacher. "The posters were up in the high school for the games, but it was too late to do anything.
March 12, 1987 |
It is difficult to say whether the recent headline-grabbing tale of Blackie the donkey stems more from the British obsession with animals in distress or from Fleet Street's obsession with itself. There's ample historical evidence for both. This is, after all, a nation that will rally to even the faintest signal of a bird or mammal in need. A nation that invented the term "animal welfare" and now has refined it to an art. A nation that generously supports such charities as the Mule Society, the National Fancy Rat Society, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, and the Tortoise Trust.
January 7, 1986
It's supposed to be the carrot OR the stick. Isn't it? Hold the carrot in front of the donkey, and the donkey pulls the wagon as it chases the carrot. If the donkey finally wises up and stops chasing, then use the stick to adjust the donkey's attitude. But White House staff and their sub-geniuses at the United States Department of Transportation have come up with a new twist to that old game. It's called carrot AND stick. The difference is important. After five years of unsuccessful attempts to end federal subsidies to urban mass transit, the Reagan administration has come up with a "concept paper" for fiscal year 1987 that would give large urban areas the carrot of fiscal flexibility and then smack them upside the head with significantly reduced money.