April 22: Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Lights Out Texas is a state-wide initiative that asks Texans to turn out or dim nonessential lights to support fall and spring birds during their peak migration, April 19-May 7, when hundreds of millions of birds will be passing through the state. Because most migratory birds fly at night, bright lights of commercial and residential buildings attract and disorient birds, causing collisions and leaving birds vulnerable to threats on the ground. Dimming your lights will help prevent birds from getting confused and colliding with windows.

There’s another way to help that’s specific to the Big Bend. As so many of us know, we’ve been experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions and this means birds will have fewer food sources along their path; providing birds with bird seed and water can help sustain them on their journey. You can stop by public libraries in Alpine, Fort Davis, Marathon, Marfa, Presidio and ISDs in Valentine and Terlingua to pick up a Far West Texas Bird Care Package; each care pack has seed for birds and informational materials for humans, so you can help support migratory birds in the Big Bend.

This initiative has been supported by so many.

Thank you for your guidance, partnership, and donations to our Far West Texas Bird Care Packages: Philip Boyd, Louis Haverson, Jim Martinez, Cecilia Riley, Aimee Roberson, Billy Tarrant, Ellen Weinacht and Tractor Supply in Alpine, which provided bird seed for each care pack.

Thank you to all our volunteers — Valerie Arbor, Rachel Binx, Chantella Brimhall, Emily Card, Anne Clark, LéAna Clifton, Jon Coleman, Suzanne Dungan, Samuel Espinoza-Serdar, Pamela Franzheim, Jill Goodwin, Kathryn Hinojos, Annette Mendoza, Ester Partegàs & Djuna, Simone Rubi and David & Kathleen Walstrom — who are helping with bird collision work in the region and helped make the bird care packages — 300 care packs are going to be distributed throughout the region through libraries and schools.

This project couldn’t have been done without our superstar partners at Marfa Public Library — JD DiFabbio and Audrey Herrera — who put in so much time to make this really meaningful; and all the librarians, teachers and school administrators — Dara Cavness, Carmen Elguezabal, Debbie Engle, Gwin Grimes, Jill Miller, Jen Peña, and Don Wetterauer — who are helping to distribute bird care packages to residents of the region. We are lucky to have all of you in our communities and grateful to be working with you!

Shelley Bernstein
Executive Director
Big Bend Conservation Alliance

Dear Editor,

Having read the Friday car chase story in last week’s issue of The Big Bend Sentinel, I have to applaud our local police departments for dealing with this spate of criminal acts in a measured way. Responding rather than reacting. True, property was damaged, but no lives were lost. Hooray! A miracle by today’s standards.

Your story continued, when on Saturday morning Mr. David Hinojos had his car stolen near The Capri in broad daylight. The key left in the ignition. His dog seat-belted in the passenger seat. The theft went unreported for several hours because Mr. Hinojos thought a friend might have taken the vehicle to clean it. Fortunately, both car and dog were safely recovered, but the story left me wondering . . . Was I disappointed that I lack friends who would unexpectedly take my car and clean it? Or own a dog cool enough to sit patiently and await rescue? 

Oh well, the pandemic at least gives me time aplenty to consider these possible shortcomings.


Zena Zeller
Fort Davis