We are most fortunate to have the insightful and articulate Mary Sonis in our community and submitting articles to the Chapel Hill News. I enjoy reading them and learning more about our native wildlife. “Awestruck By A Fawn” (CHH, July 24, bit.ly/18FEGn3) is no exception, though I would differ with one statement she makes regarding deer: “…sadly we are seen as predators.”
I am upset at how “domesticated” our deer population has become and would rather see them fleetingly, spritely through woods and fields.
Over the last decade or so deer have become so habituated to our suburban environments that they stroll docilely down streets and through yards.
Due to their rapidly growing populations, roughly five times what these environments can healthily support, they are decimating natural areas and suburban landscapes of shrubs, herbs and tree saplings; destroying food and habitat for other important wildlife – birds, bees, butterflies, reptiles and small mammals.
Deer need predators to fear and flee from, to burn off calories and produce fewer offspring. Sadly we have nearly eliminated their natural predators and created more favorable habitat (forest edge and suburban sprawl) so that their populations have grown too great and their sightings too familiar for awe and appreciation, though I am still awestruck by the sight of a baby fawn.
Libraries and STEM
As the 2010-11 president of the Association for Library Service to Children, I concur with Morehead Science Director Todd Boyette’s comment on the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education as a means to stop summer learning loss (CHN, July 24).
His description of the new “Time Warner Cable Minds On!” summer science program is particularly relevant since low-income children are more greatly effected by summer slide due to fewer learning opportunities than higher-income children.
However, I would like to address Mr. Boyette’s implication that summer reading programs, the hallmark of public libraries across the country, only impact reading. While the positive effect of library summer reading programs on closing achievement gaps is no small feat (Dominican Study, 2010), public libraries are also leading the charge with STEM.
An impressive example is the NSF funded model collaborative, hands-on science literacy program, LEAP into Science, between the Franklin Institute Science Museum and the Free Library of Philadelphia, which has expanded to sites across the country, most of which include a library.
Another focus of public library programs nationwide is providing young children and their parents and caregivers with everyday literacy experiences, including science and math activities like constructive block play, which prepare kids for school. In keeping with the importance of STEM, all advocates need to work together to create the next generation of readers, learners and scientists.
Way off base
Mr Schofield (of the radical left wing organization) N.C. Policy Watch is way off base if he thinks that anyone cares about the sour grapes protests of a few like-minded leftists (CHN, July 24, bit.ly/15U8YAn).
Gov. Pat McCrory is trying mightily to clear the swamp left behind by 100-plus years of Democrat mismanagement and reckless spending, and the vast majority of North Carolinians support his efforts.
Mr. Schofield can save his invective for his N.C. Policy watch meetings. I don’t want to hear it. Talk about being blinded by his own propaganda.
Vincent M. DiSandro Sr.