The Public Square

Jenny Hill on Urbana’s recent at-large ballot referendum and Kelsey Kellner on the Allerton Park dee

Jenny Hill on Urbana's recent at-large ballot referendum and Kelsey Kellner on the Allerton Park deer hunt. Both are students from the Urbana Middle school enrichment program

Hi. My name is Jenny Hill. I am 11 years old and a member of the Urbana Middle School enrichment program.

By now the subject of whether or not to add 2 at-large seats in the city council has already been settled. But was it necessary to vote on it?

This is an issue that turns people of the same political party against each other. Some people feel strongly about different sides of this subject, and they have their own reasons to support them. One example is my parents. They are both democrats, but my dad was in favor of the addition of 2 at-large seats, and my mom was against it. All around my neighborhood (mostly democrats) the signs about this issue were not all alike.

After hearing my parents' opinions, I figured out that the "+2 group" believed that adding 2 at-large seats could help our mayor's position in the city council get stronger. The "no at large group" felt that the mayor didn't give good enough reasons to add these seats because he brought up the subject too quickly.

My own conclusion is that the issue of the 2 at-large seats should not have deserved a place on the 2004 ballot because there are much more urgent issues that our country has to face right now.

Hi, my name is Kelsey Kellner. I am a sixth grade student at Urbana Middle School. Anupama Pilbrow is the author of this commentary.

There are an estimated 383 deer at Allerton Park. Exactly 162 permits are given out to the hunters per season. 24 hunters are allowed in Allerton Park per week. The population of deer doubles about every five years. Let's say that there was a limit (even though there actually is a limit on the number of hunters, but none for the amount of deer that they can take) and that each hunter took three deer, there would be 127 deer left. Should this happen? NO WAY! That is a tremendous decrease in deer.

A few good ideas for decreasing the population of deer without bow hunting, and possibly mutilating, deer would be creating a "force-out", or tranquilizing and then moving the deer to a better location, such as an abandoned forest. With archery you must shoot in curtain places such as the neck; if you neglect to do this then the deer will become mutilated, and could die months later because of infection. Managing deer populations is a necessity, but surely we can do it in a more civilized manner.

Deer do not deserve to suffer, and mutilation is not a humane solution. As Mark Straka stated in a letter to the News-Gazette, "Kids do not need to see a gut shot deer bleed out in the 4-H Camp!