Wind turbines kill eagles

If I killed a bald or golden eagle, both of which are considered “protected,” I would be subject to fines of up to $100,000 and jail time of 10 or more years. Yet, the misguided White House has given wind farms a 30-year window to kill them without penalty. “This is not a program to kill eagles,” John Anderson, the director of siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association, said after that announcement in 2013. “This permit program is about conservation.”

How exactly is this conservation? When we are willing to sacrifice our environment and wildlife for something that doesn’t work and a Pollyanna belief that wind turbines are going to solve a problem that does not exist, something is wrong.

This industry is built on fear and lies for a few elite people to make enormous amounts of money on the backs of taxpayers and ratepayers. Besides spoiling our mountain tops and viewshed, they are doing serious damage to the wildlife we have waited for years to come back.

I finally had four pairs of bald eagles return to my small lake over the last 10 years, and in the last three years I am down to two. There are 27 wind turbines that were built on the ridge that adjoins my lake. I think this is an outrage, and the only hope is that the first 100 days of the new administration will be solved with a “pen and a phone.”

James J. Lutz


Media needs to do better

With President Barack Obama roughly a month from leaving office, his long and final news conference of 2016 could have been a chance for more assessment about the precarious state of our democratic institutions.

I was waiting for a journalist to ask about the 10-month Senate refusal to hold hearings for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. I hoped someone would ask about the way Republicans have treated Obama as “not my president,” not only for the final year of his term but in the sense of the extremist partisanship and disrespect — such as the “birther” movement — that plagued Obama’s entire time in office.

Unfortunately, not a single reporter asked about the eight years of the Republican chorus of “not my president” throughout the leadership of our first black president. Every question posed to Obama was framed to elicit sound bites about news from the last 72 hours. Obama seemed to be the only person in the room who took a long-term view of anything.

No wonder we’ve ended up with a glittery carnival barker as president-elect, with such an incompetent fourth estate shaping the national conversation. (What a heartbreak, for instance, that Bernie Sanders was iced out of that conversation for the first two-thirds of his campaign.) It’s frustrating that even the most respected news sources have such a short-term, superficial approach to “content.” The media needs to do better.

Gretchen Gordon


Give a gift, not a lawsuit

I agree with Stephen Carter when he wrote in his Dec. 20 column about Christmas-related lawsuits that “Our current struggles over the holiday should not be viewed as the inevitable waning of the sacred and the triumph of the secular.” The holiday season should be about imparting kindness and joy into the world. One way to accomplish this is to help a neighbor in need whether it be through giving them a gift during the holidays season or cooking them a meal to enjoy. Spreading goodwill should be a central concern each holiday season.

For those who are so quick to pursue legal actions against their neighbors for problems that could be solved with a conversation, they should re-examine their options. Going through a legal process is quite expensive where a conversation can be an easy and cost free way to resolve differences. Lawsuits should not be an annual part of the holiday season, especially where there are so many people in need. There are a lot of opportunities that a person could become a part of to help those who are less fortunate during the holiday season. This includes but is not limited to volunteering at a soup kitchen or taking part in a random act of kindness.

Whether it is through a kind gesture or a gift around the holiday season, as a society we must overcome this need to pursue litigation to solve our problems.

Benjamin Bucklin