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Weather heifer
I have often wondered, like Vicki Wentz [Front Porch, April 24], how I could get a job like the weather forecasters: Accuracy, reliability, facts, and the like are only optional parts of the job description.

It reminded me of a contest held in Houston a few years back. Unimpressed by a local TV weather forecaster, a local farmer challenged the forecaster. He claimed his cow could do a better job. Or, actually the farmer could do a better job of forecasting the weather based upon "input" from one of his cows. After extensive negotiations, the rules were agreed upon for a month-long contest.

The human forecaster had to make a ninth inning come from behind rally--aided by the arrival of an unexpected front--to defeat the cow. For most of the month, and up to the last couple of days, the cow led the contest.
--JOHN RAWLINGS, APEX

An extraordinary life
Thank you for your well-written and insightful article "Mr. December" [April 17]. I appreciate the intimate look into William Nealy's life that celebrated the amazing things he accomplished in his life and his work. His books were and are an inspiration for me and many other boaters and outdoor enthusiasts. His death was a shock, but a look into the man behind Mr. December helped provide perspective. It is a terrible loss, but thanks to The Independent I gained an even greater respect for William through a look at his extraordinary life.
--HAWEY WELLS, SEATTLE, WASH.

Questioning comparisons
How dare Byron Woods equate the Nazi treatment of the Jews with the present treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis, on the basis of unfounded allegations ["In the News," May 1]? Don't Jews have the right to defend themselves? Is it an atrocity to kill so-called civilians who are known to be organizers of murders of Israeli teenagers who go out for a pizza?

If the Israelis truly wanted to destroy all Palestinians, they would have bombed Jenin from the air as did the U.S. in Afghanistan, and not risk the lives of their soldiers. Instead they went from door to booby-trapped door, trying to capture known instigators of terror.

If you read the news carefully you'll find at first the Palestinians said that thousands were killed in Jenin, then it was revised to hundreds, now maybe it's dozens, most of whom were militants. What does this do to Mr. Woods' allegations?
--MIRIAM K. SLIFKIN, CHAPEL HILL

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