2017-09-09 / Viewpoints

Correspondence

Helping Wildlife

Dear editor:

We are fed so much misinformation about wildlife and its habitat.

First of all, old-growth forests, of which Pennsylvania has so little left, provide incredibly valuable habitat for a host of wildlife species and allows free passage for larger animals, such as deer and bears.

Some species, such as barred owls and flying squirrels, cannot survive without these forests.

Destroying this valuable habitat only weakens the forest ecosystems, and makes these woodlands more susceptible to disease and fires.

We’re also misinformed when it comes to the number of deer in Pennsylvania. The figure is frequently exaggerated.

If you truly have concern for Pennsylvania’s wildlife, there are things you can do to help. Resist the urge to hunt or trap scarce wildlife (such as bobcats and bears); stop using lawn chemicals; plant butterfly bushes, milkweed, and other wildflowers; allow more native vegetation to grow as an alternative to a huge yard; resist the urge to apply pesticides.

Please encourage others to do the same.

Ian Adrian
Sunbury

Restore Sheriff Powers

Dear editor:

What would it cost to restore full police powers in Pennsylvania?

This might relieve the workload on the Pennsylvania State Police and eliminate the need for a “trooper tax” the legislature keeps talking about from boroughs and townships that have no police departments.

Sheriffs used to be the highest law enforcement officer in every county.

Now that they have no police authority, we rely on the graduates of the State Police Academy to handle everything from I-80 patrol, governor’s protection, crime scene investigation and traffic accidents, to investigation of all corruption cases in the state, a highway patrol, arson investigations, drugs, and the list goes on.

George E. Donajue Jr.
DuBois

Ignore the misery?

Dear editor:

Defeat of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal was a win in Pennsylvania’s fledgling fight against the opioid epidemic.

At the neighborhood clinic where I serve, my patients rely on their health insurance to cover the tens of thousands of dollars in costs for opioid addiction treatment, including prescriber visits, counseling and medication.

Because of the Medicaid expansion and services included under the ACA, about 3 million more Americans with substance abuse issues now have insurance coverage. If the ACA is repealed, these folks would lose their coverage and $5.5 billion annually would be cut from opioid addiction services.

Washington politicians such as Sen. Pat Toomey should be fighting to help prevent the misery and death of opiod addiction, instead of trying to give their health care funding away to millionaires and pharmaceutical and health insurance companies.

Tarik S. Khan
Philadelphia

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