1. Letters to the Editor

Saturday's letters: Working to coexist with wildlife

Published Apr. 8, 2016

Terror from above | April 5

Coexisting with wildlife

Clearly, there is a problem in the Timber Pines neighborhood in Hernando County with nesting red-shouldered hawks that requires a brains-before-brawn solution involving multiple people with expertise and permits. It is important for people to know that since 2001 the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey has admitted 189 shot birds into its clinic. Ninety-one were red-shouldered hawks. So most of the terror is coming from below.

Red-shouldered hawks, like most birds, are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and by Florida statute. Red-shouldered hawks are among the most protective of their mates, their nests and their young. I've answered many calls regarding red-shouldered hawks with broken wings, only to arrive and find that the bird is sitting with wing extended to shield a dead or dying mate or dead or dying juvenile. They are extremely loyal to their families and are very good parents.

In Timber Pines there is a human-wildlife conflict, but it is also important to remember that habitats are pressured and multiple species often compete for the same piece of real estate. Typically, red-shouldered hawks can be found in neighborhoods perching on mailboxes, chimneys, power poles and rooflines looking for small prey. They can often be observed "dancing" in the grass as they try to catch small lizards or bugs. People should not confuse this proximity with intent on the hawks' part to attack anything other than the next meal. They also should not take matters into their own hands. The first agency to call is the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which can work through questions and issues with residents.

I would also encourage people to reach out to their local Audubon Society chapter to learn more about the natural world around them. People like to live in the same places that eagles, ospreys, hawks, sandhill cranes and many other species like to live. It's important to find effective strategies for living together in harmony.

Barbara Walker, Palm Harbor

Teaching parenting skills is key April 5, letter

Try a day as a teacher

Thanks to the letter writer for outlining what every teacher in the state knows: We do the best we can with what we are given. But there is only so much teachers can do.

Beyond the writer's excellent suggestions, every school board member, administrator and legislator should serve as a substitute teacher for an entire week. Only then will you understand what we have been telling you.

Scott Hopkins, Brandon

Frontier still fixing outages April 7

Service falls far short

Frontier may think they have had no significant problems; I guess that depends on your point of view. But Frontier's response is a problem. I spent more than an hour with three representatives, none of whom had a clue how to handle a caller ID problem or a problem with the interactive TV guide. They dropped my call twice, told me I should right-click on my TV remote, and could not bring up their troubleshooting screens — they basically had no idea how telecommunications or FiOS works and could not even tell what equipment I had.

Not one of the three people I talked with tried to perform any troubleshooting and they left me with the answer that they were in transition and it could take weeks to fix the problem.

Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach

Carbon tax: a market answer to climate change | April 4, commentary

GOP must change

Assuming that a climate-change denier receives the GOP presidential nomination and loses the general election in a landslide, it will be interesting to see if a Republican candidate in 2020 will be bold enough to embrace a revenue-neutral carbon tax or a carbon fee and dividend policy as the optimum solution to carbon pollution. Considering the extreme weather events we are likely to face over the next four years, it will be virtually impossible for the GOP to credibly compete for the White House as a climate-denying entity.

Who knows? Maybe Bob Inglis himself should run for the White House. After all, as former President George H.W. Bush once observed, "Those who think we are powerless to do anything about the 'greenhouse effect' are forgetting about the 'White House effect.' "

Devone R. Tucker, Brockton, Mass.

Three ways prolife men can help women | April 6, commentary

Financial factors

If the pregnant women and the men involved have made a decision for abortion, why should anyone else tell them how to run the rest of their lives? Will the prolife people be around to help these women for the next 20 years? Not likely.

The columnist did state that "up to three-fourths of women who seek abortion do so because they lack the financial means to support a baby." So perhaps people with a prolife agenda can support these mothers by giving each mother the money needed to support the baby.

Don Johnson, Clearwater


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