New threats, old
history for eagles
So how does the ecstatic article about the sighting of bald eagles in Nassau ["Eagles have landed on LI," News, Dec. 27] fit with an earlier report that eagles can be killed with impunity by wind turbines in the name of "clean" energy ["New rule for eagles, energy," News, Dec. 7]?
Yes, we need to find alternate energy sources to fight climate change, but the slaughter of eagles and other birds of prey, free from threat of prosecution, should not be part of that equation. Allowing the wind industry to evade responsibility for the deaths of these birds does not provide an incentive to develop less lethal ways for this technology to proceed.
As is rightly pointed out, eagles have only recently come back from the brink of extinction after exposure to the pesticide DDT. How long before eagle numbers once again plummet? This time there may not be a readily available fix. We should all advocate for the continued success and protection of this iconic species, our national symbol, as it faces a new deadly threat.
Marilyn England, Center Moriches
Thank you for the uplifting story on the return of the eagle to Hempstead Lake State Park, specifically, and from extinction, in general.
However, omitting author Rachel Carson's name from the story is a disservice to the woman who put her personal happiness aside to fight big farm and chemical interests, and to push to outlaw DDT. Please give Carson her due so that present and future heroes will be inspired to follow in her footsteps to fight for what's right, for all of us who are unable or unaware, or who are just plain trying to keep themselves from extinction.
Michael Uhl, West Hempstead
I was very active with the Environmental Defense Fund, was a secretary for the fund, and wrote a book, "Acorn Days," documenting its five-year battle against DDT and the organizations that manufactured, sold and supported it.
Charles Wurster, a founding trustee of EDF, was a leading science witness against DDT. Bob Smolker, another scientist at Stony Brook University, and Art Cooley, a biology teacher from Bellport High School, whose home was called "EDF's living room," were also instrumental. Dennis Puleston and Victor Yannacone, a local lawyer, also fought DDT on Long Island.
When EDF opened its first office in a room of Stony Brook's post office in 1970, Rod Cameron was the executive director, and EDF continued joining science and law in the protection of the environment. All this happened here on Long Island, leading to the national prohibition of DDT and the slow rejuvenation of the raptor population and those magnificent bald eagles sighted here this season.
Marion Lane Rogers, St. James
Newtown shooting reverberates still
Why is the shooter and the Newtown, Conn., school still in the news ["A troubled mind," News, Dec. 29]?
How will the families and the rest of us recover from this sadistic act when we are constantly reminded? Let the souls rest in peace, and the shooter be forgotten to rot in hell.
Paul Dezio, Levittown
The article gave insight into Adam Lanza's mental disintegration into a bizarre and violent fantasy world. Unfortunately, what was not included was the fact that the disaster of Newtown might have been prevented had Connecticut Senate Bill 452 been passed instead of defeated in March 2012.
This bill would have given the state the right to perform an involuntary psychiatric evaluation and potentially institutionalize a person deemed a possible danger to himself or the community.
The American Civil Liberties Union opposed the bill, saying it would infringe on patients' privacy rights by expanding who can medicate individuals without their consent. The bill was called "outrageously discriminatory" and was defeated.
Too bad; 27 people are dead, and Connecticut has not seen fit to bring the bill up again.
Richard H. Staudt, Mount Sinai
Why not highlight American heroines?
As part of the Common Core curriculum, the Sachem school district has acquired a third-grade reading book, "The Librarian of Basra" ["Fear of agendas in the Common Core," Opinion, Dec. 19]. The book begins with a quote from the Quran about God encouraging Muhammad to read.
This children's book makes reference to the Quran, to Muhammad, to warfare and a brave, real-life female librarian in Iraq. Just asking: Would the Common Core allow a quote from the Bible?
Also, why not a little something about an American female hero? Say Frances Cabrini or Clara Barton? Cabrini was an Italian immigrant who founded roughly 70 orphanages, schools and hospitals. Barton, a teacher and nurse, was known as the "Angel of the Battlefield" as the founder of the American Red Cross. She drove wagon loads of medical supplies directly into the line of fire in the American Civil War. She provided loving care and comfort to an untold number of wounded servicemen during that terrible conflict. Why not a story book about her?
Peter Kelly, Medford