Letters for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

• Fiduciary obligations • Can’t we

coexist? • Research exists for 

reasons

Fiduciary obligations

With collective bargaining units accepting pay cuts it comes as no surprise that the mayor did not include in his annual budget proposal the twice-deferred seven per cent pay increase that, according to the current salary resolution, he is scheduled to receive on July 1.

Only the Salary Commission can change the figures or the due date for this increase in the mayor’s salary that the commission established last November.

The commission has not been heard from since November, nor apparently has it been asked to provide a new resolution that would spare the mayor the embarrassment of receiving a pay increase he doesn’t want.

At this point the buck stops with the Council, which is obligated by Charter Section 3.11, Charter Article 29, County Code 3-2.1, and Salary Resolution 2010-1 to appropriate by ordinance the mayor’s salary increase effective July 1 whether he wants it or not.

Following the mayor’s lead, the Council did not appropriate the salary increase during the annual budget process.

I believe the public deserves a thorough airing on the Council floor of the Council’s fiduciary obligation in this matter and the best way to discharge the obligation.

 

Horace Stoessel, Kapa‘a

Can’t we coexist?

What’s up with the latest cat/chicken bashing? Have you forgotten how to coexist? We are not biologist, but a point of clarity, cats are not the worst predator of endangered water birds, that distinction would probably go to the dog, we love dogs, it’s just their nature. A dog can wipe out an entire colony of chicks within an hour or so just for the fun of it. Next in line would be the rat, who eats eggs and babies, they don’t even stand a chance. In the food chain, the cat is above the rat. An example, due to the demands of store owners, a local shopping center trapped and removed all feral cats. Not thirty days after the last cat was removed the shopping center was overrun by rats — hundreds of them. Don’t mess with the food chain. We doubt seriously that the Trap Neuter Return program is actually placing cats in wildlife refuges, although they are removing them from these areas.

We have the privilege of living on a wetland and get to see first hand the interaction of endangered birds with local animals. On several occasions we have witnessed cattle egrets land and completely surround a newly hatched family of alae ‘ula ducks. Without intervention they would have desecrated the entire family. Never seen cats or chickens do that.

Chickens are actual descendants of the dinosaur, they’ve been around a long, long time. They are intelligent, social, family oriented birds. They eat bugs, centipedes, scorpions and all manner of debris. Try watching a mother hen interact with her chicks and that proud rooster protecting his brood. Anyone that is actually bothered by the crowing of a rooster, by all means, go spend a day or two on Oahu. Not in pristine Waikiki, but out in the Nimitz/Kalihi areas, where 24/7, cars and buses roar up and down streets belching out smoke and the streets are lined with homeless living in tents and shopping carts. What a blessing to live on our island where chickens can actually live and thrive as they did thousands of years ago. It’s all in your perspective.

Ever wonder how the word, Endangered, got in front of some of those species names? Perhaps because the top of the food chain, homo sapiens, decided to destroy their habitat along with the species itself, in the name of food, fun and profit. Mostly profit.

Take the time to appreciate your environment and learn to coexist.

Mika and Kupono Hollinger, Kilauea

Research exists for  reasons

Let me start off by saying I have a PhD in Zoology — I know a thing or two about wildlife biology.

The argument being made that trapping, neutering, and releasing feral cats is a good solution for controlling the feral cat population — and ultimately is a good method of protecting the endangered or near-extinct species of birds that live on Kaua‘i.

However, the peer-reviewed research has shown that TNR is not effective — and our declining rare bird population supports this notion. The group Kaua‘i Ferals uses their own personal, biased observations to substitute for hard facts and data — that’s why research exists.

I don’t doubt that other predators and factors kill our rare birds, but I see the feral cats in my area eating birds all the time. Can they tell a Newell’s shearwater from a white-eye? Is this group suggesting they feed every single feral cat on Kaua‘i so that none hunt birds?

When I studied population biology, the first thing you learn is that feeding any population causes it to grow. Until over 80 percent of the cat population is sterilized, research shows the population will keep growing. Is Kaua‘i Ferals suggesting that 80 percent of these cats have been neutered? I highly doubt it is even 10 percent.

But it’s a simple thing for the Humane Society to check — they kill thousands of stray cats already each year — by simply autopsying the dead cats we can determine exactly how many cats get spayed.

John Patterson, Kapa‘a

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