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Letters to the Editor 12/13/18

Save the sage-grouse

Sage-grouse are beautiful birds. The adults are known for their long pointed tails and feathers that reach their “toes.” The male has a white breast and black belly, grey feathers on his back and a yellow patch above each eye. His throat is dark brown and two yellowish sacs on his neck inflate during courtship. The female is dappled grey-brown on top, with a light brown throat and dark belly.

The bird lives in a sagebrush ecosystem in the western U.S., because its main source of food is sagebrush. It cannot digest seeds. Its mating courtship involves formation of a lek by the males. The lek consists of individual male territories within visual and auditory distance from other males. There, they engage in competitive displays—called lekking—to entice watching female grouse. The birds nest on the ground under sagebrush or  on grass patches.

Sage-grouse are already considered threatened by several national organizations because of habitat loss. But this [previously defended] bird will soon find itself in peril of extinction. The Trump administration, that is Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, moved to amend current protection of the birds’ habitat to open up land for oil and grass drilling. “Christmas came a few weeks early this year,” Zinke said in a statement. But not for the sage-grouse, Mr. Zinke.

Instead of millions of acres of a beautiful sagebrush ecosystem, oil and gas drills will cover this formerly pristine environment forever, and the magnificent sage-grouse, like us residents of the earth, will have disappeared.

Mary Lynn Kalogeras

North East, NY


In defense of Trump’s immigration policy

Editor’s note: Some of the words used to describe immigrants who do not have legal status in the U.S. were changed with the writer’s permission.

When I started reading the letter by Jane Creteau [in last week’s newspaper], I thought she was writing about how President Obama dealt with immigrants coming into our country illegally. Just about everything you claim President Trump is doing has already been done by Obama and presidents before him. You can actually watch loads of videos on YouTube of all the speeches against people coming here illegally, children separated from parents and put in what look like cages and military and tear gas being used by past presidents.

The only real difference is that President Trump wants to put an end to all this by securing our border with a real wall, one that will stop people from coming into our country illegally. He wants to stop the incentives for immigrants to put themselves and their children at risk coming here illegally.

We have immigration laws and thankfully, many people come here the right way: they file an application, pay a fee, wait to be accepted, then they arrive, they work, they learn English, they study for the citizenship test and then become proud naturalized citizens of the United States of America. What a slap in the face to all those who do it the right way by the millions of people doing it the wrong way.

The majority of people are using the term “asylum” to try and gain entry, but asylum is to be used for people escaping threats of violence and death from their homeland government, not for economic reasons. They are required to seek asylum in the first country they cross into. Mexico has actually offered asylum to many [through the “Make yourself at home,” plan offering asylum in southern Mexico] but oh no, they want to go on and get into America any way they can because “Everything is Free in America.”

How many immigrants who came here illegally are you willing to house, feed, etc.? I am not willing to pay for any of them, but as an American tax payer, I am forced to. How about we take care of American citizens—our veterans, our elderly, our children—first? Why does there seem to be a lack of money and resources for them, but not for millions of immigrants here illegally in our country?

Denise Connolly

Smallwood, NY


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