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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

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We dip into the Living on Earth mailbag to hear what our listeners have to say.


CURWOOD: You're listening to NPR's Living on Earth. Coming up, how a fierce winter ice storm warmed up one northern New York community. But first, time for comments from our listeners.

Our holiday program "Celebrations in Latino Landscapes" drew appreciation from a number of you. John Victery from Houston, Texas was moved by the story of Antonio Sacre finally hearing his father's stories about his Cuban homeland.

VICTERY: I found the interview to be really resilient and impressive in every way. It was almost tear-jerking, it was so well done. Congratulations, and thank you.

CURWOOD: The memories of Elida Guardia Bonet, of growing up under the mango trees in Panama, whetted the appetites of other fans of this sweet fruit. KLCC listener Alain Gelbman from Summit, Oregon wrote in with this mango eater's tip to prevent mango strings from lodging between teeth, "Cut bite-sized chunks of the fruit completely off the seed to eat it," he advises. "And do not try to bite any flesh directly off the seed."

Also in the holiday show, we said that it's just a myth that poinsettias are poisonous. Listener Charles Bier from Sarver, Pennsylvania points out that the toxicity of poinsettias is often exaggerated, but he writes, "Many members of the genus Euphorbia do indeed contain poisonous properties for humans in the milky sap, and poinsettia is no different. Depending on your sensitivity to this sap, it can irritate your skin. But there are no documented cases of people or animals dying from ingesting this holiday plant."

And speaking of plants that could get you into trouble, WHYY listener Gerald Strahs called to say that our story last month about the renaissance of kava in Hawaii neglected to mention some problems associated with this herbal supplement:

STRAHS: I am a physician, and there have been negative statements about kava and liver damage. And the diagnoses have included liver failure, hepatitis and cirrhosis.

CURWOOD: And finally, Linda Listing of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, heard our story about longwall coal mining on our website. "Mine damage is a common occurrence around here," she writes, "even causing the I-70 highway to sink several feet last year. But the technology behind the problem is not something the public at large is aware of. Perhaps awareness will lead to a solution. Thank you for covering the story."

We welcome your comments. Call our Listener Line any time at (800) 218-9988. That's (800) 218-9988. Or write to 8 Story Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138. Our e-mail address is: letters@loe.org. Once again: letters@loe.org. And visit our webpage at: www.loe.org. That's: www.loe.org, where you can hear this program any time. CD's, tapes, and transcripts are $15.00.



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