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Published March 15th, 2023
Letters to the editor

Keeping wild animals wild

We see the coyotes in Lamorinda. Often, we see them not only in the early morning and late evenings, but mid-day. We see them wandering in neighborhoods distant from open space.
Seeing a coyote particularly scares me. About two years ago, my mom and sister were taking a walk mid-morning when a coyote viciously ran from behind and attacked my sister. My mom scared it off her, but then it kept on coming back over and over again. I will never forget my little sister or mother's screams when they came back to the house after the attack or the sirens of the ambulance and fire trucks. I will never forget her leaving for the hospital. My little sister is still traumatized.
And since that incident, I often think about what it means to live in this area. An amazing intersection of natural beauty with our mountains and hills, and human development. A place where wildlife and humans coexist. And since we coexist, what is our responsibility to keep wild animals wild.
The months before my sister's attack, local news stories showed a person feeding a coyote near a Starbucks. Was that the coyote that attacked my sister I will never know. But feeding wild animals will absolutely not keep them wild. Feeding wild animals makes animals accustomed to people, causing them to no longer fear people and in turn act aggressively. It could also lead to public health problems from disease transmission.
There are also other crucial but easy steps we must all take to keep wild animals wild. Make sure garbage containers are fully closed. Bring inside at night pet food and water containers. Pick up fallen fruit from trees. All help keep wild animals wild.
And, if someone does encounter a coyote, yell, scream, act big and scare that animal away. Wild animals should be made scared of humans.
We live in a special place. And with this privilege comes responsibility. The responsibility to act thoughtfully in a way that keeps wild animals wild. Repercussions of not doing so are too dangerous, making wildlife conflicts more common.

Callen Bronson

Support for Orinda Workers

As a resident and teacher in Orinda, I am grateful and humbled for the support that the Orinda community showed in passing Measure Z. I hope we consider extending this support to other Orinda workers. How far would a similar parcel tax go towards jump-starting housing for low and moderate income workers I keep thinking of the recent article that mentioned how the manager of our hardware store lives in his van because there is no affordable housing. Many of our workers have long commutes meaning they lose out time with their families to make our community function. They deserve better. Wouldn't we all benefit from well-designed and sustainable multi-use housing over having dilapidated buildings like Phair's

Tandra Ericson

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