Letters to the editor July 27, 2019

(In response to, “Flying dinosaurs are walking our streets,” a column by Don Rush, The Citizen, July 20, page 7)
Dear Editor,
Your “Flying dinosaurs” column was very sensible. It made the reasonable point that you don’t have to be a bird-watcher or a fan of dinosaur descendants to admire and enjoy our Michigan sandhill cranes or to appreciate their recovery from near extinction.
The ongoing restoration of these stately birds is a true comeback story. They were all but extinct in this state just a few decades ago. But the farsighted and cooperative efforts of naturalists, farmers, true sportsman-like hunters, and others have helped restore the species to a safe level.
To some it would seem ironic that true hunters have been among the most determined protectors of sandhill cranes. That’s because thoughtful hunters know how fragile this ancient bird species is. They also know there is really nothing sporting about slaughtering a standing sandhill crane—that takes no more skill than shooting a hole in STOP sign. Killing a slow-flying crane is as easy as blasting a kid’s floating balloon.
Real hunters know that there has to be a hunt in hunting, not just shooting and killing birds that are often about as tame these days as robins. As for crop damage, any farmer mindful of proven facts and unassailable scientific data knows that any such claims are grossly exaggerated, usually by by those pushing a game season on not only cranes, but also on mourning doves.
Best for Michigan is to have its non-game birds preserved, not added to the list of extinct species.
Bill Haney
Body snatchers
Dear Editor,
Is there an organic connection between a Syfy movie and Trump’s ascendency to the Presidency? Does the linking of a prominent Republican’s name to a movie help us understand how some of our friends and relatives have been transformed into Trump supporters, transformed into people we do not recognize?
In Body Snatchers, the 1956 classic, Kevin McCarthy plays a small-town California doctor whose office is swamped with people who insist their relatives are imposters. Even though they look like and have all the memories of their family members, they are emotionless shells. Soon the doctor realizes the people have been replaced by alien beings. Seeds floated from outer space, took root on Earth and grew giant pods that take over our identities and bodies as we sleep. After seeing this scary flick, my sister & I would check for pods under our beds every night.
People I have known for 50 years have become unrecognizable. People I once respected now wear MAGA hats, recite ignorant verses from Fox News, post memes of a noble and high-minded Trump. Where did the sensible, moderate cousin I loved go? What in Heaven happened to the smart friend I had to block from fb?
Pods. The only answer is pods. Normal, reasonable Americans have been replaced. Our friends, our families have changed, morphed into something from which we recoil. Yet these Trump supporters are not the serene and impassive veggies from the movie: they are frothy with resentment, spittle soaked with anger.
The connection between Trump and the pod people? The most high-profile Republican in the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader and a Trump lackey, is Rep. Kevin McCarthy, from California. Coincidence? Clue? Better check under your bed tonight.
Bonnie Beltramo
Thank you
Dear Editor,
O.A.T.S. would like to thank Chris Wilson and his staff at Forster’s Auto Wash for another successful fundraising event. On July 20 Chris and his employees donated their tips for the 3rd Annual “Clean Up” for O.A.T.S. We would also like to thank the people who got their cars washed and generously donated $743.35 to support our therapeutic horseback riding programs. O.A.T.S. stands for Offering Alternative Therapy with Smiles and we rely on our volunteers and the generosity of the community to continue to provide services to special needs children and adults. If you would like to volunteer or for more information about O.A.T.S. please call (248) 245-1020.
Elizabeth Pellerito
Executive Director