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Missiles and Wildlife on San Nicolas Island

January 23, 2003

Re "Island Test Site Now in High Gear," Jan. 20: My favorite childhood book was "Island of the Blue Dolphins," by Scott O'Dell. I once made my mother take me to the Santa Barbara Mission to try to find the grave of Karana, the fictional name given to the young woman who lived alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island. As a girl, I admired her tenacity in surviving in such a tough environment.

It saddens me that Navy missiles with acronyms like SLAM are being fired in this wildlife haven. The article states that the testing facility has brought no harm and may have even brought good. However, these animals coexisted with the Nicoleno Indians for more than 7,000 years. I wonder whether they long for the days before whizzing missiles.

Kristine Haenschke

North Hills

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