COVER STORY, FEB. 26: “LAST EXIT”
Thank you, Laura Paskus, for your in-depth look at the distressing number of animals killed on our roadways.
I commute daily from Rowe to Santa Fe and see my share of the carnage on I-25; the DOT is on my speed dial. I agree that increased speed limits are a big factor. Animals can't get out of the way, and vehicles can't be stopped quickly at 75 mph. Most people go a lot faster than that. I find I can save fuel and lives (human and non) by going 65 mph.
MAIDA HENDERSON ROWE
I admire Laura Paskus' writings because she cares about this planet and what is happening to the nonhumans as result of destructive human activities—and she isn't afraid to discuss it.
The journal Science recently reported that "loss of habitat and killing by humans are ravaging the populations of almost three-quarters of the world's largest carnivores" and cautioned that the loss of lions, tigers, bears and wolves could have "far-reaching consequences for ecosystems around the world." This includes New Mexico as well. Without some much needed rain or snow, our severe drought will continue, with grim forecasts of more terrible forest fires, which destroy dwindling wildlife habitat, causing native wildlife to suffer and die.
And then, we have a Game and Fish Department that still operates in the 1800s mentality that the "only good coyote is a dead coyote" (or add any other wild animal that hunters/ranchers/trappers hate). Cougar killing is an especially fun "game" for the game department's "good old boys club," who are only upset because they got caught. Now, at least, this barbaric agency has been exposed.
Paskus is right: Roads are slaughterhouses for animals. I often wonder how a human would feel lying on the side of these killer highways with no one paying any attention to whether he/she is alive or dead.
Wild animals are under siege from all sides because of human thoughtlessness and arrogance. Do we have the insight to change from arrogance to humbleness, finally accepting the reality that we are not the only species on this planet? Can we humans rein ourselves in, stop the killing and cherish what is left of nature before it is too late?
This won't solve the entire problem of wildlife being killed by vehicles on streets and highways, but it can certainly help. One of the important things we tell to adults and children when we do educational workshops at The Wildlife Center is to not throw food out the window of their cars.
I know we all say, "It's an apple core.
It will grow a new tree or something." Problem is, small animals come to the road edge to eat what we throw out, then predators like coyotes, owls, hawks, etc., go after the small animals. This leads to a lot of road kills and injuries. Many of the animals we take in at The Wildlife Center have been hit by cars. This small act that can do a lot of good in wildlife protection.
SEXED, MARCH 5: “SEX, ART AND HIGHER ED”
I was always taught by mother that the body is beautiful and that there is nothing of which a person, male or female, should be ashamed. It is because we as a society have labelled things as taboo and/or placed them in such a negative light that people are ashamed to own their own sexuality. This is a tragedy that impacts the selfconfidence and self-esteem of many in our society. It is regrettable that we stoop to such levels of ignorance that can affect the success or failure of a person in life.
LEE M SANDERS
NEWS, MARCH 5: “FLOURIDE WARS”
MATTER NOT SETTLED
The matter of safety in the drinking of fluoridated water to prevent cavities was not settled when silicofluorides were added to community drinking water in the 1950s. Despite over a half century of water fluoridation, the EPA has no chronic health studies on silicofluorides—studies by the EPA use pharmaceutical-grade sodium fluoride, not industrial-grade silicofluorides. Silicofluorides are unprocessed, hazardous by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry, and approximately 200,000 tons are sold to US communities each year for use as a water fluoridation agent (Coplan & Masters 2001).
We are now in 2014 and have decades more epidemiological and other studies by researchers on the efficacy and safety of adding this fluoride to water. The Lancet is one of the world's oldest and best-known medical journals. New research published online in February (2014) has reclassified fluoride as a developmental neurotoxicant and links the cumulative effect of neurotoxins on developing brains: neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and other cognitive impairments.
The basic premise of preventing dental decay through water fluoridation has also been discredited.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of recent studies from the last two decades alone dispute this claim. Check out the science: http://fluoridealert.org/ studies/caries04/.
FLOURIDE HELPS ALL
Rudy Blea is a bit misinformed.
Fluoridation helps everyone. It's unique protection that allows the teeth to be continually remineralized with fluoride ions via the saliva. It is important for developing tooth buds in the very young, and it helps protect the exposed roots of the elderly.
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