New York

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, April 16

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Prepare properties to help pollinators

It appears that we can begin preparing our perennial gardens for another season. Now is the time to lend Mother Nature a hand by selecting native plants that attract pollinators such as honeybees, bumble bees, butterflies, birds, flower beetles, pollen wasps, flies and bats.
Pollinators play a major role in supporting the biological diversity in natural ecosystems that helps sustain our quality of life, and they need help.
The activity of healthy populations of pollinators assist in growing raspberries, apples, pears, tomatoes and pumpkins, to name a few. Filling your garden with a variety of native plants will provide years of support to pollinators.
Some common perennial flowers that provide nectar and pollen include phlox, black-eyed Susan, bee-balm, red columbine, aster, etc. For more ideas, check with your local nursery or Google pollinators to find numerous informative sites.
There are other things we can do to support pollinators. Perfectly manicured lawns offer little aid to pollinators. So dedicate a section that is intentionally untended and lightly covered with last year’s leaves to invite bees to nest. Simply provide a source of clean water.
And finally, be cautious when using fertilizers and pesticides. Avoid them if you can. Use natural pesticides if you must. Make sure the product is non-toxic to animals and humans (non-toxic products may use pyrethrum or neem).
Pollinators are threatened by development, farming practices, pesticides, non-native species and climate change. We can each do something to help to reverse this trend.
Cynde Schwartz
Niskayuna

Use isolation time to improve lives

Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic takes knowledge and courage combined with risk and work.
We live in uncertain times and no one branch of knowledge has all the answers about what to do and how to proceed. We are learning as we go. We are at war with a virus. This war must be fought with respect not only to our physical safety, but with respect to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We need to find a way to manage our biosocial needs while stemming our anxiety. We should listen to the voices of reason in order to thread that fine line between our biological health and safety and our social and economic needs.
Right now, we need social contact while practicing physical distancing.
We must use the knowledge we have acquired about viral infections and COVID-19 and, while adhering to the well-advertised safety and health precaution to protect our elderly and most vulnerable citizens, cautiously and responsibly begin to resume vital functions such as work. We have to weigh the risk to both our lives and our livelihoods. We must have both to win the war.
Wilhelm Reich said: “Love, work and knowledge are the wellsprings of our life. They should also govern it.”
Everything we do in these uncertain times should be directed at putting our energy into contact with loved ones, productive work and gaining genuine knowledge about ourselves and our social world.
George Hughes
Burnt Hills

One good deed makes a difference

At the Wilton Mall Market 32 on March 7, as I was checking out my 10 bags of frozen vegetables (on sale) plus one brown paper bag, a couple (husband and wife I presume) approached me and handed me a credit card. The cashier and customer in back of me told me to run it through, which I did and my whole receipt was paid.
I was astounded to say the least and as I thanked the smiling couple. I happened to glance about me and noticed that the other customers that witnessed this kind act were also smiling, proving that one good deed can affect not only the person receiving the act, but also his neighbors as well.
Thank you to whoever you good people are. Hopefully, we all can remember this, especially at this crucial time. Thanks again.
Louis Okoniewski
Saratoga Springs

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