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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, April 19, 2018

An osprey lands on a nesting platform installed

An osprey lands on a nesting platform installed by PSEG Long Island in Riverside on Wednesday. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Sifting meaning of U.S. missiles in Syria

President Donald Trump’s missile attack against Syria was done not just to put the Syrian regime in its place [“Warning on gas attacks,” News, April 15].

The airstrikes sent a very strong signal to Russia, Iran and especially North Korea that we will not be intimidated by them anymore. Consider that Trump plans to meet with North Korean leaders, and they now know Trump’s administration is not a pushover, unlike previous ones.

Brian Keane, Patchogue

OK, President Donald Trump, now that we bombed Syria and gave it a black eye, what about the injured children? Does the bombing help them? Why aren’t we taking these children and other victims into our country for proper medical care? Do we need a long process to find out whether they are terrorists?

Trump used the horror on these children’s faces for his own political gain, deflecting attention from his embattled presidency.

Lest we forget, in 2013, President Barack Obama wanted the authority to act against Syria, but his request was rejected by a Republican-controlled Congress.

Gene Reynolds, Ridge

Gun control won’t stop mental illness

The April 16 news story “Guns seized on LI after phone threat” should send a message to the schoolchildren who have been marching to limit gun ownership.

Prohibiting weapons won’t protect the children from harm. Authorities said they found nine illegal assault weapons in a search of Robert Csak’s home in Lindenhurst.

The children’s parents have tried enforcing various laws restricting alcohol, drugs, gambling and tobacco, but abuses still occur.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to control sick minds that would harm defenseless people. School safety will have to be ensured by alternative methods.

William Adams Littell, Moriches

Plastic litter is a hazard for wildlife

It was with joy and great sadness that I looked at the picture in Newsday of an osprey nest on Shelter Island showing the birds of prey had indeed come home to roost [“For rent: One nest with ocean view,” News, April 10].

At first look, you see these majestic raptors high atop a huge, newly refurbished nest ready for a season of fishing and raising their new chicks — and then you look closer and see plastic bags and what looks like fishing line and balloon ribbons woven throughout the nest.

This has been an ongoing, disturbing trend for osprey nests all around Long Island. Many of osprey homes have harmful plastic items embedded in the twigs and branches.

With Earth Day approaching, I hope people will be more careful in disposing of plastic trash. We almost wiped out these amazing creatures with the pesticide DDT in the 1960s. Let’s not put them in danger again.

Rob Weltner, Freeport

Editor’s note: The writer is the president of Operation SPLASH, a volunteer organization that cleans debris from Long Island waterways.

Look for nests before landscaping, yard work

It’s wonderful that after a public outcry, PSEG Long Island replaced a utility pole and put a dish on top for a displaced osprey nest in Riverside [“Ospreys get new nest from PSEG,” News, April 12]. However, please remember that countless species of songbirds with the same protected status suffer similar fates each spring and summer.

Removal of trees during nesting season, even dead ones, can disturb the nests, eggs and young of a variety of protected species. Purchasing trees and shrubs from nurseries that contain nests also separates young birds, eggs and nests from their parents. Destroying nests while painting, power washing and other renovations can cause distress to birds trying to nest.

Observe before you start landscaping and yard work. While the ospreys’ distress in Riverside was very visible to the public, the same distress occurs for songbirds that are not as visible, but whose species are declining more rapidly than ospreys.

Virginia Frati, Riverside

Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays.

Don’t bet on Nassau OTB paying on time

Given the history of the Nassau Off-Track Betting Corp., is anyone really surprised that it missed the March 31 payment due to Nassau County [“OTB payout late,” News, April 16]?

Is there anyone who wouldn’t bet against Nassau receiving a timely $20 million check next March 31?

The biggest surprise of all is that the OTB corporations still exist. Then again, being a political patronage organization might have something to do with it.

Philip Morvillo, Huntington Station

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