Letters to the Editor: Gay Marriage Cons and Foraging

Written by West Side Spirit on . Posted in Opinion West Side Spirit, West Side Spirit.


Gay Marriage Con
Vice President Joe Biden “outed” President Barack Obama by coming out for gay marriage first (“My Marriage and My President,” May 17). It was one of Biden’s many outspoken comments, although this time he knew the mike was on.
This announcement could have been made earlier, during the Obama/Biden administration, but was delayed to be politically timed. The effort was to solidify the gay, lesbian and transgender base for political contributions and votes to re-elect Obama/Biden in 2012.
It was also a clever way of avoiding discussion of more important issues, such as our 15 percent unemployment rate (8 percent out of work, plus 7 percent who have just given up looking), increase in national debt by $5.6 trillion, increase in yearly spending from $3 trillion to $3.7 trillion and continued yearly waste, fraud and abuse of tens of billions in taxpayer dollars. Intelligent voters will not fall for this con game.
-Larry Penner

No Impact of Foraging
Excellent article (“Central Park Forager,” May 17).
To answer the Parks Department’s claims one more time: if foraging is so destructive and dangerous, why did the Parks Department pay me to teach foraging for four years in the late 1980s? Why did they set up foraging tours, where I taught Conservancy volunteers, and others, where I taught Park Rangers? Why did the Parks Commissioner, Henry Stern, attend my first tour every year?
Is there a single weed we’ve been collecting week after week in the same spot for over 30 years that has declined due to foraging? If so, which species and where? Which of the tens of thousands of adults and kids I‚Äôve been teaching for over three decades has been harmed by foraging?
In reality, foraging has no impact on the environment whatsoever. It puts adults and children in touch with nature, helps them learn the science behind the plants they’re collecting and the ecosystems where they’re growing, and through enjoying our renewable resources, inspires people to protect and preserve our nonrenewable resources. This is especially important for children‚ many of the kids I’ve taught and inspired have grown up to become conservationists or scientists, while others have become school teachers who bring their classes on foraging tours with me.
-Steve Brill

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