Letters for Monday, July 4, 2011

• Soldier homecoming •  Bird, cat

lovers unite • Last rights •

Shhh!

Soldier homecoming

Welcome home soldiers from Schofield Barracks, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, “Tropical Thunder.” These soldiers have arrived home after a one-year assignment in Iraq.

How does one properly thank you for your many sacrifices that are on our behalf? It is difficult to find the words that, with all due respect, do justice to the magnitude of your sacrifices.

We keep in our heart the safe return of one Schofield unit that still remains in Iraq. This unit is the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters Battalion. We hold them dear in our hearts and will keep alive the memory of the loss of five soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division, soldiers who fell in the line of duty. We keep these soldiers’ families in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

Finally, I would like to thank the service men and women with Hickman Air Force Base and Schofield Barracks, as you assisted me in my many questions of you in several phone calls from Kaua‘i, where my family resides — important questions to the return of our soldiers. You were brilliant.

Again, welcome home soldiers. Thank you for your courageous service.

Deborah A. Morel, Kapa’a

Bird, cat lovers unite

I would like to respond to some of the letters regarding the trap, neuter and release of homeless cats. When I wrote my guest opinion last month, I thought I had made it clear that we do not support maintaining colonies of cats near endangered bird species. If we are managing a colony where there are no endangered species; no matter how many birds those cats catch, they won’t be catching endangered species.    

We manage colonies of cats. That means that we have targeted discrete groups of cats. We do not feed all the cats of Kaua‘i, as one writer seemed to believe. Additionally, the county does not pay for the costs to feed, trap, microchip or hold the cats during their recuperation period. We pay for that. So it costs the taxpayer less for us to engage in TNR than it would to have an agency trap and kill these same cats.    

And to clarify, none of our colonies have had any births since early 2010. I do have to agree with one comment by a writer: If you feed a species, its numbers will grow. Look at our own species. Absent other variables, such as birth control or high disease rates, a species’ numbers will expand to match available resources.    

Abundant research does demonstrate that TNR can work — if the caregivers devote their resources to preventing births. If you can prevent births, numbers will diminish. They will diminish even faster if the citizens of Kaua‘i can come together to stop the practice of abandoning pets and their offspring, and encourage spaying and neutering of pets.    

Skeptics may wish to investigate how Stone Harbor, N.J., has found a way to balance the needs of its endangered Piping Plovers with its homeless cats; and how Foster City, Calif., found a way to accommodate both its homeless cat population and its bird population.    

Bird lovers and cat lovers (and the two groups do overlap) should come together to solve the homeless cat problem. We know trap and kill doesn’t work. If it did, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, because the state and federal agencies would have caught all the cats they felt were a threat long ago. Let’s try something else.      

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results,” said Albert Einstein.

Margaret Sueoka, Wailua

Last rights

The government is not, and should not be, in the business of religion. It is not the place of the government to impose a sectarian religious ceremony upon the family of a dead service member.

I, myself, am a retired army officer and an atheist. I have told my wife to make sure there is no religious aspect whatsoever at my funeral. I would hope that my wishes are shown the same respect that others expect to be shown to theirs.

Brian Christensen, Lihu‘e

Shhh!

Noise pollution is a fact of life, I know. But up here in Princeville, we are forced to endure more than our fair share. Heavy-duty lawnmowers, weedeaters, leaf blowers, bush and tree trimming … It borderlines on insanity, actually.

Then, on the one day (Sunday) that the work crews are quiet, inconsiderate neighbors rev up their own engines. Can’t we have peace and quiet at least one day a week?

This letter is a plea to all of you, where ever you live, to stop and consider how your actions affect other people. Not just on Sundays either, but everyday.

All I ask is that you have an open mind, loving heart and pure intention. Oh, and one more thing: Please stop tailgating.   

Lois Benson, Princeville

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