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Human-coyote conflicts can exist

Readers' Letters
by: TRIBUNE PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: L.E. BASKOW, Wildlife experts say coyotes are everywhere in the urban environment. One expert maintains that coyotes will persist on our landscape regardless of what we do, so the best strategy is to learn how to co-exist.

Eric Bartels' article on urban coyotes provides a service to Tribune readers by raising awareness of this increasingly common urban wildlife species (Have you seen this animal?, Sept. 10). However, the article inaccurately attributes several statements to me that I would like to correct. The article states that there has never been an unprovoked coyote attack on an adult in the United States. In fact, what I said was that there has never been an unprovoked coyote attack on a human in Oregon.

The article also states that the airport accidentally killed several dogs attempting to trap coyotes during the mid-1990s. In fact, the airport did abandon a trapping program in the 1990s after determining that trapping was not an effective strategy. However, while that program did kill 10 coyotes, it only caught one non-target dog, which was released unharmed.

The writer confused this situation with another coyote trapping program in Estacada during the same time period, which did in fact capture and kill several non-target dogs. The airport has since developed a coyote-management program that has drawn extensive praise from conservationists.

Finally, the article suggests that coyotes do not 'pose any real threat to humans.' While it is true that attacks on humans are exceedingly rare given how prevalent coyotes are on urban and suburban landscapes, certain types of human behavior can significantly increase the risk of conflicts. At Audubon, we work to teach people how to minimize the risk of conflicts, but we certainly do not pretend that conflicts do not exist. On the most fundamental issue, the article got it exactly right - coyotes will persist on our landscape regardless of what we do, so the best strategy is to learn how to coexist.

Bob Sallinger

conservation director, Audubon Society of Portland

Northwest Portland

Editor's note: The article in question did contain two factual errors. Please see correction on Page 2A.

Could vitamin D help with the flu?

As a naturopathic doctor with a particular interest in the subject of vitamin D and its effects on health, I find it interesting that no mention has been made publicly about the potential connection between Portland's (and Seattle's) high rate of Spanish Influenza deaths and our lack of sunshine/vitamin D levels (Spanish flu epidemic hit Portland hard, Aug. 27). This is a crucial topic to consider! I would go so far as to say that if we were somehow able to get mass info out to Oregonians to help them optimize their vitamin D levels before winter hits, we could literally save lives.

Daniel Chong, MD

Milwaukie

Vaccine not tested for safety

There is one dynamic you are missing in this article (Are we morally ready for another great pandemic?, Aug. 27). The swine flu vaccine has not been tested for safety. In fact, time constraints prevent adequate testing. There is genuine concern about the adjuvants being used in the preparations, because they have ties to the Gulf War Syndrome, with devastating health implications. You cannot compel people, especially health workers, to take those kinds of risks in the name of safety.

Kristi B. Weber

Vancouver, Wash.

Sound of jets represents freedom

The sound of an F-15 is the sound of freedom (Roar of F-15s has Cully neighbors wary of more, Aug. 27). Move if you don't like it. God bless America and the men and women who choose to defend it. They can fly over my house anytime!

Doug Stanley

Northwest Portland

Jets overhead bring back memories

I can't believe it! I love the sound of an airliner or fighter jet overhead (Roar of F-15s has Cully neighbors wary of more, Aug. 27). I grew up in Klamath Falls and from the backyard could see the airport in the basin below. Talk about a fun summer day - sitting on the woodpile watching the F-4's and F-16's practice landing. Being able to see the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fly low and right over the house. I miss that sound every day that I live up here.

To all that complain: You don't know when these guys will be called to save your bacon.

Kevin Greenleaf

Milwaukie

Don't bash F-15s; salute them instead

Regarding the story 'Roar of F-15s has Cully neighbors wary of more' (Aug. 27), I served in the United States Navy Reserve 1955-1962. The U.S.S. McGINTY (DE-365) was Portland's Navy 1958-1962. We were recalled to active duty for the Berlin Crisis under President John F. Kennedy Jr. on Sept. 1, 1961.

We didn't go to Berlin, but instead to Pearl Harbor, Guam, Subic Bay, the Philippines. We were out for four weeks from Subic to Da Nang, Vietnam, to patrol the coastal waters from Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand, then back to Portland on Aug. 1, 1962.

I was proud to serve then and am proud to serve today. I e-mail pals around the globe in uniform (and tell them): 'Thank you for everything you are doing out there for all of us here at home.' I recall from my days as a sailor how much mail from home is cherished.

I walk dogs to Delta Park every day and I salute those F-15 pilots one by one as they take off. God bless America!

Don Murdoch

North Portland

It doesn't look as if green jobs are here

Wait - this report can't be right (Survey shows the loss of 3,000 jobs downtown, Aug. 27). We were told that everyone is flocking to this state and specifically to this city because we are so 'green.'

We were told to not sign the petitions that are circulating regarding commercial income tax and personal income tax because our rates are so low, which automatically translates to more companies and more jobs. And again, they've been blowing smoke where they shouldn't have.

It's telling that governmental agencies are the biggest employers downtown - and this city isn't even the capital of the state. But go ahead, keep wasting the money on light rail, keep enforcing 'green ideas,' keep championing 'mixed use' and jobs, and people will continue to avoid downtown like the plague that it's become.

Michael C. Wagoner

Hillsboro