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Spend money on retaining, not deterring Auburn’s swallows

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Why not welcome the swallows who come back to the county courthouse every year to build their nests? As Linda Lareau of Courthouse Coffee suggests, the swallows make a charming tourist attraction like that of swallows returning to Capistrano. Publicizing their return could attract bird lovers and other visitors to Auburn to witness their annual flurry of nest building. It’s fun to watch! And consider this: They fly back to the “Endurance Capital of the World” every year. They could be promoted as part of the endurance group — and they will endure if the town welcomes them. Couldn’t, and shouldn’t, that $36,000 spent on courthouse netting to deter them have been spent to promote their return and to clean up or repair any droppings or damage? And spending any more on such devices as a “Skunkerator” (Journal, May 6) that deters the birds with sound and lights, or “psychological warfare,” as the inventor says, seems ludicrous and cruel, not to mention fruitless. The birds want to come back. They seem hard-wired to return to the most visible, beautiful and historic landmark in our town. Let’s celebrate their return, their beauty and make them a positive part of our history. Sandra Reeves, Auburn