Home and Garden Improvements That Will Benefit Local Wildlife

(c) Sharon Day / stock.Adobe.com

(StatePoint) When it comes to changing the world, your own backyard is a great place to start. As you make home improvements, consider their potential to benefit local wildlife that travel in and around your property.

Here are a few important steps you can take.

Plant Native Species

By planning native species exclusively in your garden and yard, you will be promoting a healthy local ecosystem while providing proper nourishment and a natural habitat for visiting wildlife, whether that be insects, birds or furry creatures. Because native plant species are meant to thrive in your local climate, they will require less maintenance, which means a beautiful yard with less stress.

Prevent Bird Strikes

You may not realize it, but your home poses a risk to birds. Window strikes are common among many species of migrating birds, and millions of wild birds are killed annually flying into windows.

However, a simple home improvement project can make your home safer for birds. Birds can see certain light frequencies that humans can’t, so by applying UV decals and UV liquid to your home’s windows and sliding glass doors, you can make windows visible to birds in a way that won’t obstruct your own view.

“Protecting birds adds beauty to your garden, is good for the environment and most importantly, saves lives,” says Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert, a company that offers UV decals and UV Liquid.

The UV decals and liquid from WindowAlert have been proven to effectively alter the flight path of birds to prevent window strikes. The coating will look like etched glass to the human eye, but be very visible to a bird. As UV reflectivity may fade over time, it’s important to replace the decals and liquid every four months. Application techniques can be found by visiting WindowAlert.com.

Build a Bird house

Add beauty to your yard with a wooden bird house. Find a design you love or get creative and craft your own, using your own home’s architecture for inspiration. A strategically placed bird house — either within three feet of a window or over 30 feet away — will help avoid bird strikes.

Be a good neighbor — not just to the other humans. Make improvements to your home that will help protect both local and migratory wildlife.

Ask Dr Crime

Dr. Crime is a pseudonym for a social scientist holding a Ph.D. degree in sociology and in criminology. He has worked in all major parts of the criminal justice system. Drop him a note at the website www.keepkidshome.net if you or your child is in trouble. If you have custody issues he may be able to help. Give him a call (252-339-0000).

Dear Dr. Crime: Is the recent widespread attention to assaults on women an indication we should be concerned about our daughters’ mental health. Both girls have times they are so sad it makes me fearful? Lucy

Dear Lucy. If assault happens at all you should take precautions. Research suggests there is reason to worry. In January I wrote a response to a young girl about how to respond to assault. I encourage you to read that just in case. Your concerns are more about the depressed feelings of girls, and you have touched an important area. The Carolina Journal and the Psychological Bulletin reported frightening statistics. Broad and scientifically strong research has found that approaching half of teen age girls are depressed. Boys have less than half of that number. Social images of perfection expected of girls is evident in many forms of media. Let your girls know you love them, and that no one is perfect. For information on the disproportionate rapes by gender, and how most sexual assaults are unreported, see the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. For ways to respond see the Fear 2 Freedom project in Virginia.

Dear Dr. Crime: Are we seeing more hate in the world that was previously true? Alarmed.

Dear Alarmed. YES ! The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported research showing that hate groups have hit a 20 year high. The media was all over that and you can find many references to it. We now have over a thousand different hate groups, involving not just the KKK but Neo-Nazi groups, Black Nationalist groups and others. The FBI reports they found 7,775 hate related criminal events in 2017 and 6,121 in 2016. Hate must be better understood. Seen the USA Today article of 2/20/2019 on this topic.

Dear Dr. Crime: My son is a student at __________ University. His girlfriend tells him if she reports his “sexual behavior” to the Dean they will have a formal trial on campus. He will be publically questioned by the Dean for all to hear. What is going on? That sounds like a criminal trial, not an education process. Broke Parent

Dear Parent. I get your point, and yes, you pay a lot for college. What the girlfriend described is covered by the U.S. Department regulation Title IX, the gender equality law. Under President Obama handling of sex allegations was believed to be biased in favor of the accused. The current Secretary of Education has proposed new rules so it will be some time before we know the final rules. The proposed rules would involve a live hearing with cross examinations and a reduction in the types of cases school would have to investigate.

Dear Dr. Crime: How do I get a copy of my criminal record? Unnamed.

Dear Unnamed. For your federal record, which can be secured electronically, go to https://efoia.fbi.gov/#home and see what the FBI has on you. For local records go to your sheriff or police department.

Dear Dr. Crime: What is Interpol? Crook

Dear Crook: It is the intergovernmental agency providing transnational policing. Many issues arise when dealing with multiple governments and crime.

Dear Dr. Crime: What is the Bill of Rights? Student

Dear Student: Our American Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. When the founding fathers wrote our Constitution, there was a lot of argument about the personal freedoms and rights involved. I encourage you to discuss this in detail in your class.

Dear Dr. Crime: Who are the most wanted criminals in America? Wife

Dear Wife. Probably not your husband. But the FBI keeps a public list of the 10 most wanted and those at the top, as of February 1, 2019, are Robert William Fisher, Alexis Flores, Jason Derek Brown, Yaser Abdel Said, and Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel.

Also, if your child is a “youthful offender” and- or having problems with drugs, Dr. Crime can offer confidential suggestions on how to work with the criminal justice system. Or, a formal criminological report for a court or other authority may help. For more information see www.keepkidshome.net or email drcrime@keepkidshome.net

Running of the Shad

By Jimmy Fleming

We in this area are incredibly fortunate to have close proximity to one of the region’s biological wonders, the shad spawning migration. The spawning movement, also known more locally as a “run”, is one of the first animal indicators of spring.

The shad, both American and hickory varieties, spawn in our rivers and migrate as fry to the Atlantic Ocean where they attain reproductive age. In early spring, typically around the middle of February in this area, the mature shad return to their home waters to lay their eggs. This mass movement of fish brings out all ilk of fishers. Birds, predatory fish and humans stock up on this oily, nutrient-dense fish. Local areas known to draw human anglers are the Cashie River in Windsor, NC and up and down the Roanoke River. The spring shad run is well documented as a Revolutionary War-era major dietary spring event that even made troop movements possible, or impossible, as an army travels on its stomach. Barrels of the salted fish were staged along marching routes to sustain the soldiers.

An added bonus to the tasty fish flesh is the roe, or egg sacs, of the pre-spawn females. The roe is regarded as the poor man’s caviar and is a tasty as any treat you have ever eaten.

If you have an interest in the ways of the shad, I strongly recommend the comprehensive account of this fish’s natural history and close association with human diet and survival in the book, The Founding Fish, by author John McPhee.

What’s in your diet?

Health and Nutrition Strategies for Cancer Survivors and Everybody Else

Warren is a 30 year member of the Institute of Food Technology, A HAACP (hazard analysis critical control point) Instructor with a Batchelors degree in Nutrition Science.

As my readers are aware, my mission is to upgrade food choices to mitigate the cancer disparity in this region. In order for food to work as medicine, it has to be clean, and supply the essential nutrients for optimum health. I’ve focused on food to address the disparity, because cancer researchers are looking at food, and food is the most obvious environmental culprit in this region that can be controlled. The problem is, the United State’s current food policy is risk-based and not zero tolerant, and that includes imports. There are numerous additives and manufacturing practices that are permitted in commerce, that are based on decades old regulations such as the “Generally Regarded As Safe” (GRAS) list, and policies that permit sub-therapeutic antibiotics and hormones in meat and poultry products without identification. However, government labeling policy permits a manufacturer to identify what isn’t in a meat or poultry food product, such as“no antibiotics or no added hormones”.

So, let’s go a little deeper into processed foods, particularly cured products such as ham, cold cuts and sausage. Most cured products are processed with sodium nitrite, an additive that is required to be identified on the labeling. Meats naturally contain amines, and readily combines with nitrite to form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Government regulations require that meats manufactured in the U.S. must contain erythorbic acid or ascorbic acid ( antioxidants that mitigate the formation of nitrosamines). As a cancer survivor, I’d be reluctant about imported, because “Country of Origin” laws were rescinded.

Further, livestock, including poultry are exposed to many of the maladies that humans are subject to, and some. Their living conditions include unsanitary mutual water sources, feed made from GM O’s, overcrowding, parasites, poor sanitation, and exposure to the elements. Consequently, livestock probably receive as many medications as the average human. Those medications don’t stop at slaughter and many can withstand heat treatment. Human consumers may receive unnecessary arthritis medication, sub-therapeutic antibiotics, hormones, arsenic, and many more unlisted substances.

I think we need to take long hard look at organic meat and poultry enterprises, as our major meat producers are going to foreign interest.

Finally, the bottom line is, our region must rethink it’s diet, and transition toward organic food. Northeast North Carolina’s organic produce are known cancer fighters. Our organic produce while mitigating our health disparities, can supply high end organic produce to millions of customers around the world. Agriculture and agriculture related industries contributed 835 billion dollars to the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which accounts for 13% of the average household budget. Organics are the fastest growing segment in the industry.