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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of March 17, 2000

Comments on toxic mine disasters, New York's community garden battles and killing rabbits.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Time to look into the mailbag.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: Hilton Evans of Randolph, Massachusetts, heard our diary of the fight over a city-owned vacant lot in New York on Boston's WBUR, and was not impressed. "Your story, hitting the big, bad developer and nasty Mayor Rudolph Giuliani against the little people in their community garden, made for cute drama but was uninformed," he wrote. "For the record, I don't like Mr. Giuliani," Mr. Evans continued, "and I'm no fan of developers. But even rich people need a place to live. Having these folks in town and not in suburbia betters the odds they'll use public transit or even walk instead of drive. Isn't this better for the environment? Would you prefer they built 70 houses on undeveloped land along the Hudson River?"

Tom Hawley, the transportation reporter for KVBC-TV in Las Vegas, says he listened with great interest to our story about the backlash against public transportation funding in Washington state. "One person said the buses in Seattle are too crowded," Mr. Hawley writes, "while another complained about wasting money on empty buses running around all hours of the day and night. If both statements are accurate," he says, "it seems like the sensible thing to do is study the ridership patterns for a more effective use of the existing system."

Helen Zipperlen , who listens on WHYY in Philadelphia, called to say she appreciated our coverage of the recent cyanide spill in eastern Europe, but had one problem with the story.

ZIPPERLEN: Please, could you tell us more about these cyanide lakes when there is no disaster, when the dam does not break. I know of a number of problems of, for instance, wild birds landing on the lake and getting burnt up by the cyanide. It seems to be an utterly immoral piece of non-technology to leave these lakes all over the place. Please give us a follow-up, and tell us more about the lakes themselves, where they are, how they are, and what the alternative might be. Except to stop gold mining, of course.

CURWOOD: And our recent conversation with author Linda Tatelbaum brought this response from Suzanne Rubin , who listens on WBUR in Boston. "It's highly unfortunate that the person you interviewed on homesteading and the simple life has not excluded cruelty to animals from her lifestyle. Her description of killing the rabbits she raised was horrifying. My three foster rabbits were watching me patiently, waiting for their breakfast, when the description of killing rabbits was broadcast. It was a remarkably disturbing experience. I do not protest you broadcasting this feature, but strongly urge that you balance it by interviewing an expert on humane practices and a plant-based diet."

 

 

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