Letters for Wednesday, July 6, 2011

• Bird and cat lovers unite • Soldier

homecoming • Can I enjoy my holiday?

Bird and cat lovers unite

I would like to respond to some of the letters that have appeared lately regarding Trap, Neuter, 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 next to the endangered bird species. Thus, 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, New Jersey has found a way to balance the needs of its endangered Piping Plovers with its homeless cats, and how Foster City, California 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.” Albert Einstein

Margareth Sueoka, Lihu‘e

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 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 heart, 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 to 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 Morel, Kapa‘a

Can I enjoy my holiday?

At Burns Field the Salt Ponds were filled with families working at 4th of July campouts on the beach. I was having my early walk.

Before long I noticed an aircraft was circling the area at a 1,000 yard diameter at 500 feet elevation. It was doing touch and goes, and there were two on board.

As I walked around the point, I was continually aware of the plane because it was still doing the same maneuver again and again, 7 since I had started my walk. The flock of pigeons had relocated several times because of the plane and I was unable to hear the meadowlarks, myna birds, finches, sparrows or seabirds that I usually hear on my walk.

My annoyance was growing, so I made my decision. Birds in Paradise Inc. was my destination. Someone should tell these folks that at 7 a.m., families like to sleep in a little when they go to the beach on a holiday.

When I arrived they would hear nothing about it. Their customer needed to do this particular maneuver on this particular day at this particular time. I told them that local people enjoy their peace and quiet on a holiday, and they replied that they had the right to do what they were doing and that the federal government gives a lot of money to the state to maintain an airport here.

Fifteen circuits and counting. Auwe!

Not much I could say to that, I left at 17 passes of the plane.

Mark Jeffers, Hanapepe

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