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Letters: Bison Hunt, Young Singers

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Letters: Bison Hunt, Young Singers

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Letters: Bison Hunt, Young Singers

Letters: Bison Hunt, Young Singers

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Host Scott Simon reads listeners' e-mails and online comments about last week's reports on a bison hunt on the Umatilla reservation in northeast Oregon; Rachel Martin's "Women in Combat" series; and our interview with the director of the fifth grade glee club that performed at Sunday's Oscars.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters.

Last Saturday, reporter Amelia Templeton brought us a story about a bison hunt on the Umatilla Reservation in northeast Oregon. The tribes of the reservation are hunting bison for the first time in more than a century, all in the name of reviving traditions.

Lauren Palmateer writes: This is another example of NPR presenting tradition as an excuse for inhumane behavior. Bison are protected while they are on Yellowstone land because there are too few of them left to risk allowing the hunting community to police itself.

She continues: One might think that the traditional Umatilla hunters would have realized that they were having trouble locating anything to shoot because there are too few of the bison left as it is. There was nothing traditional about this hunt from the weapons they used to the digitally entertained kids in the background. Their actions cannot be defended in the name of tradition, religion, or sustainable resource management.

Last week, we spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about her "Women in Combat" series. Her reporting focused on a Pentagon policy which bars women soldiers from being assigned to units which engage in direct ground combat. She shared this response from a listener.

Mr. KEVIN WILSON: Men should do their best to be the protectors in society, more than women. People end up hurt physically, mentally, emotionally - and bear those scars throughout their lives. And I just would hate to think of anyone in that situation, especially women.

SIMON: Carole Garrison of Ona, West Virginia, writes: I was on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services back in the early '90s, when we passed the first repeal of Women in Combat legislation. I have struggled with the question ever since. I wont repeat the legitimate and non-legitimate arguments on both sides, as you have already covered them quite adequately. It is a tough call.

Ms. Garrison continues: I do want to take issue with the respondent who feared for women to be harmed in combat. If you talked with any wife who has lived through the separation while holding family and home together, or either lost a husband or felt the emotional or physical abuse of a spouse who returned emotionally or physically damaged, you know she, too, has been severely harmed by combat.

Finally, reaction to our conversation last week with Gregg Breinberg. He's the director of the fifth grade glee club from Staten Island that performed at the Oscars this week.

Paul Weimer writes on our Facebook page: My alma mater, many years ago. We had to sing for the principal at the end of fifth grade. I see that tradition has grown into something truly special.

(Soundbite of song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow")

PS 22 CHORUS: Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true...

SIMON: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook @Facebook.com/NPRweekend. And I'm on Twitter @nprscottsimon, all one word.

This is NPR News.

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