Executive orders

can make history

There was a previous Presidential Executive Order that bypassed the Congress and affected millions of people. Unlike its political opponents, that order did not pander to the voter’s fears and insecurity, but was intended as an act of basic humanity which made our country a better place for all of us. That order was the Emancipation Proclamation.

Scott Gatzke

Ocean Park

Local bears victims

of a culture of hate?

To say its my fault that bears get killed is a lot like saying to the battered wife, its your fault your husband beats you up.

You hear over and over again how dangerous bears are, but they are in realty the ones who’s lives are in danger! They are dying at our hand. We have not lost a single one of our species on the Long Beach Peninsula at their paws. Who is the dangerous animal?

It’s time to cast away our ignorant, blatantly false misconceptions about who the dangerous creature is. We need to wake up and take a look at the real picture. Who is killing who?

Hunters kill an estimated 30,000 black bears per year. Worse yet, thousands are shot to obtain glands and toikens which find their way illegally to the far East. When people build houses in the forests where bears live, the bears lose their natural homes and many die! Deforestation will eventually lead to the disappearance of bears. Our fate is connected to the fate of the natural world and creatures like bears. All life should be treated with respect, honor and love.

As a Christian, I believe God cares profoundly about his creations. I believe that those of us who love animals have a greater awareness of what the animals we encounter are trying to communicate. Encounters with black bears are a gift of the wild!

Bears walk flatfooted like people do, with all five toes on the ground. That’s different than most animals which walk on their toes.

I leave you with a John Muir writing: “Bears are made of the same dust as we and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear’s days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart pulsings like ours and was poured from the same fountain.” Onward Christian Soldiers!

Doris Parks


Hoping for a fast

end to duck season

I used to think there was nothing dumber than a teenage girl because you can talk them into anything — for example, “If you let me take a picture of you naked, I can get you into the modeling business.” But I’ve changed my mind. Now, I’m certain that there is nothing dumber in the world than a retired old man. They have enough money to be dangerous, and no time constraints.

For instance, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at 6:30 a.m., one of these old men exploded a double-barreled canon (at least 12 gauge) close enough to my house to shake the windows. The noise must have startled even him, because the following sorties were lower caliber and lower noise level. I could hear him walk past my house, closer to the airstrip, closer to the wild ducks on the pond, banging all the way! You have to ask yourself questions about the alcohol content of an old man stalking wild ducks in a housing development.

Have you ever eaten a wild duck? It tastes like mud and it’s full of buckshot!

(One of my favorite duck-hunting stories is the one about the man, hunting during the mild rain, who shot at a victim seen through his water-spotted glasses in the heat of the kill as a wild duck, but which turned out to be a mosquito.)

One of the visiting dignitaries who was sleeping in at my house prior to preparing the Thanksgiving Feast for our family was awakened, of course, and ran out to the deck over the pond to view the source of the inappropriate banging and crashing. She reported that the hunter was accompanied by a happy, large dog who danced onto the airstrip — against the instruction mailed to all the residents of Vandalia this summer, forbidding the access of any dogs into that public land.

So now we know two things: Retired, old men don’t care about the rules, and retired, old men don’t care much about their neighbors.

Presently I have six mallards and a heron huddled against the side of the pond closest to the house, hoping that the season will be over soon. Me, too.



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