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Citizen Forum (Letters to the editor), July 26 edition

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wildlife and drought

Dear Editor:

Driving through town, all the flowers and landscaping look so beautiful it is easy to forget what an extreme drought we are in. The surrounding area where it's not being irrigated paints a more accurate picture, but it's what you can't see and may not realize that I want to bring to everyone's attention. Water sources for wildlife are getting harder and harder for them to find at a time when they need more to withstand the extreme temperatures. Food sources such as berries, insects and worms that also provide moisture have disappeared. I have heard reports of seeing animals in places they would not be typically seen, as they are under more stress. Many creeks, ponds and springs are dry or shrinking. Those that can travel have to go further and further in the heat, and some smaller animals can only go so far. When more animals are condensed at the few sources of water, this spreads disease. Chipmunks, squirrels, birds, rabbits and deer amongst many others could benefit from a helping hand from humans right now. Rain typically collects in leaves, rock concaves, cavities of trees, etc., so you can think creatively (this is Eureka after all) and try to replace these sources for smaller animals. Shallow pans and bowls of water for smaller animals, tubs in areas away from the house for larger or more timid animals. Two cautions: if you put out pans or bowls on the ground, it becomes easy hunting ground for cats, and small critters can get in, not get out, and drown if you don't put a rock or such for a ramp out.

Thank you so much for helping out -- you really can make a difference.
-- Kathy Barnes


Opera says Thank You

Dear Editor:

Opera in the Ozarks has just completed its 62nd fabulous season and the hills are still ringing with the finale sounds and Bravos!

Over 35 performances, featuring "La Boheme," "A Little Night Music," "The Magic Flute," and "When Toys Talk," brought visitors to Eureka Springs from 24 states and the United Kingdom.

Over 7,000 customers are excited with their trip to Eureka Springs and the ambiance and hospitality from restaurants, hotels and shopkeepers as well as the incredible stage productions that brought them here will be a fond memory to each.

Our performances from Harrison to Fayetteville, special outreach to area churches and the summer youth programs of Northwest Arkansas enriched the lives of all who attended.

Our special event "A Taste of Opera" at the 1886 Crescent Hotel continues to be a highlight evening for all who can attend and draws customers from as far away as Tulsa.

The last performance of "La Boheme" was capped off with standing ovations, Bravos and our classic finale, featuring the cast and alumni joining our orchestra in "Climb Every Mountain."

Now we welcome our junior and senior high music camps which will feature the vocal camp production of "Children of Eden" on Saturday, July 28 at 8 p.m.

Our staff, singers and Board of Directors from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Kansas appreciate the outstanding support of Eureka Springs and the surrounding area. Bravo to each of you.

-- Jim Swiggart

General Director

Opera In the Ozarks