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Letters: Sharia Law, Honda, Snowy Owl

Jan 11, 2012
Originally published on January 11, 2012 4:59 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's time for your letters and a correction. Yesterday, we reported that 70 percent of Oklahomans passed an amendment to their state constitution barring courts from the recognizing Sharia Law. What we meant to say was 70 percent of voters in Oklahoma passed that amendment. Our mistake.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Last week, we brought you news of a California woman who's suing the automaker Honda in small claims court. Heather Peters, of Los Angeles, says her 2006 Civic Hybrid falls far short of the 50 miles per gallon promised by the car dealer. So she's asking for $10,000. Our story also mentioned that the automaker faces a class-action suit brought by other similarly disgruntled Civic Hybrid owners.

CORNISH: Well, listener Robert Godley(ph) of Lothian, Maryland, also owns the 2006 Civic Hybrid and he felt compelled to write in. After logging 147,000 miles, he says, he's pleased to report that his hybrid has consistently averaged the promised 50 miles per gallon, and at times even better.

BLOCK: He writes this: I once drove from Lynchburg, Virginia to Oswego, New York on a single 12 gallon tank of gas - a rate better than 56 miles per gallon, over mountains and at interstate speeds. Like those suing Honda, Godley did notice a drop in performance after a system upgrade. But he still calls the car one of the best investments he's ever made.

CORNISH: On Monday's program, we spoke about the snowy owl. Typically at home in the Arctic tundra, it has been increasingly spotted in the Lower 48. Jim McCormac, a biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, told us the reason is believed to be a superabundance of lemmings in the Arctic, a staple of the snowy owl's diet.

JIM MCCORMAC: There are so many lemmings that the owls in a response will lay more eggs, so there's a lot more young owls. And so, there's not enough food to get through the winter, so a lot of them come south.

CORNISH: And with a wing span up to five feet, a snowy owl can be a pretty impressive sight.

MCCORMAC: I mean, just imagine if you're a kid and you're into "Harry Potter," now you get to see Hedwig in the flesh, sitting out in the field. People who really don't even have that much interest in birds are going ape over these things.

(SOUNDBITE OF "HARRY POTTER" THEME)

BLOCK: Well, Lizabeth Ewing(ph) of Bloomington, Indiana, heard that interview on her commute home. And about 30 minutes later, she writes: The coolest thing happened as I was exiting the highway to head home. A large snowy owl swooped in front of my car within a couple of feet of my windshield. Talk about perfect timing.

CORNISH: Thanks for sharing and keep the letters coming. Just go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.