A TV society will bear TV toddlers

In response to your Oct. 30 editorial "Toddlers with TV remotes": I am a 16-year-old high school junior, and I found this editorial very interesting. I grew up watching an average of two to five hours of TV a day (more on weekends). But I find it shocking that so many 5- to 9-year-olds have TVs in their bedrooms.

I have to wonder what is going through parents' minds when they allow their children to have a TV in their room and then become upset that their children have a tendency to be violent or rude. We wonder why there is an increase in school shootings and profanity, and we blame TV and the children around them. Parents are just as much at fault as their children, and can do their part by better monitoring or restricting TV altogether.

This society is becoming lazy and too easily entertained; we will watch any show that comes on regardless of its effects. I am not perfect, but I still feel that we can do better as a country to help the children of today not become the destroyers of tomorrow.
Molly King
(town name withheld)

Parents should try to keep negative media out of the home, but undoubtedly its influences will still reach children.

Personality formation begins in the home; if the leading influence is television, children can easily develop negative values. But the media cannot be removed from a child's life completely. The growing problem will be solved when people actually step up and do something. I challenge the parents of America to get involved in this battle and not surrender until victory is achieved.
Hillary Swanson
Rexburg, Idaho

Alaska is quietly slipping away

Regarding your Oct. 29 article "After 13 years, Valdez's oil damage lingers": We may be in for more messes in Alaska, with the Bush administration pushing to give away millions of acres of Alaska to the oil and gas industry before Americans know what they have lost. The proposed development adds up to five times the acreage leased for drilling in Alaska over the past 50 years.

Oil and gas drilling is a dirty business, and accidents will happen. Aside from the actual spills, there are the risks of transporting the oil, illustrated by the Exxon Valdez calamity. We should pursue cleaner, cheaper renewable energy sources instead of courting oily disaster in this stunning state.
Eleanor Huffines
Anchorage, Alaska

Extinction is forever

In response to your Oct. 31 article "Off the California coast, it's alien rats versus native birds": You identify opponents of the effort to protect Xantus Murrelets on Anacapa Island as environmentalists and animal rights activists. Those who would seek to protect an opportunistic colony of alien, invasive rats and thereby imperil a unique and threatened endemic species should not be called environmentalists. Rats may have rights, but extinction is forever.
David M. Sherman
Newton, Mass.

Regarding "Off the California coast, it's alien rats versus native birds": On Anacapa Island, the National Park Service is in the process of causing the greatest environmental disaster in decades because of its fervor to exterminate nonnative species.

In its haste to kill black rats, the poison – brodifacoum – showered over the island by helicopter has killed thousands of native animals. Brodifacoum is highly toxic and indiscriminate. The National Park Service may succeed in wiping out the black rats, but how many other species will be wiped out as well?
Michael Markarian
Silver Spring, Md.
President, The Fund for Animals

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