A recent bird study, which showed 30% of numbers of birds declining since 1970, has local implications. Not too long ago, several area scientists tried to stop a bicycle club from taking over the Lick Creek Nature Preserve. This preserve had been designated as such by CWLP’s water division manager. However, the city council and the mayor decided that helping nature was not important and allowed a series of bike trails be put in the preserve.

Today when bird populations have declined 30% – some species much more – one can easily see the consequences when the wrong choices are made. Birds require habitat in which to live and nest to maintain their populations. Further wrong choices were made when the last forests were cut down in Center Park (and condominiums were built in the park) and at Riverside Park when a bottomland forest was turned into a dog park (dogs are an invasive species).

Habit loss is the main reason for declines in bird populations, but there are at least five other major problems: 1) Window kills ( this needs to be addressed by architects and home and business owners; 2) Pet kills (keep cats inside and dogs leashed and out of nature areas; 3) Road kills (the faster one drives the more birds are killed, especially on winding roads like those around Lake Springfield; 4) TV towers and wind turbines (stationary lights on towers need to be changed to intermittent strobe lights and solar power is probably safer than wind power; 5) Pesticide poisoning (insecticides containing neonicotinoids, outlawed in the EU, should be outlawed in the USA also).

If we want to help birds survive the Anthropocene, we better start making the right decisions about nature and listen to those who have dedicated their professional lives to understanding the workings and importance of the natural world.
H.David Bohlen


Republicans continue to spread the lie that the impeachment hearings are secret. They are not. They are closed-door sessions, but Republican members of all three committees are welcome to attend and participate. They can ask questions just as the Democrats can. The complaints about these and previous hearings are equally wrong and hypocritical. Republicans frequently hold closed-door hearings when they conduct nonsense investigations, such as the redundant hearings on Benghazi.

As for previous impeachment hearings, public hearings followed special counsel investigations, which were not held in this case. Public impeachment hearings are promised soon.

Republicans go on and on about the scandal of the Bidens’ involvement in Ukraine, but not a word about the Trump children and son-in-law making tens of millions in foreign business dealings simply because of who is in the White House.

And no complaint about Donald Trump himself making hundreds of thousands of dollars by way of federal funds going to his resorts, along with bribes from foreign countries. These payments are forbidden by the Constitution, but Republicans continue to turn a blind eye.
Richard Leary


Scott Saunders makes an excellent point regarding locals pointing to the Chicago area when it comes to dysfunction in Sangamon County (“Gerrymandering prevents compromise,” Letters to the editor, Oct. 17). Many here cry out about “King Madigan” while ignoring dysfunction and corrupt practices within the City of Springfield, CWLP and Sangamon County.
Qui Tam

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