Why do I still need a test?
I am currently off-island, finally able to see my children and grandchildren since I have been fully vaccinated.
I recently read that Governor Ige is “considering” a vaccination passport which could take effect on May 15; I return on May 5. Apparently, despite the vaccination and the certificate I have to prove it, I am required to spend $150 (in addition to my other travel expenses which have strained my set income) for a test in order to return home.
I find this unacceptable. The Safe Travels program has been repeatedly shown to be unreliable. Yet I, who have been vaccinated, cannot return home without going through this useless and expensive exercise.
It makes me wonder exactly who is profiting from the Safe Travels program.
Donna Carsten, Kapa‘a
Dismayed over humane society’s feral cat response
I was dismayed to read Kaua‘i Humane Society Executive Director Nicole Schafer Crane advocating trap, neuter, release (TNR) for managing feral cats on Kaua‘i.
The shelter’s priority appears to be its statistics rather than positive outcomes for all of Kaua‘i’s communities.
Why else would the shelter refuse to accept feral cats as part of their animal-control duties? This refusal leaves Kaua‘i’s birds dead and residents without options for unwanted feral cats on their property.
TNR keeps these cats roaming the landscape. Sterilized or not, feral cats continue to kill Kaua‘i’s native birds — species like moli (Laysan albatross), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian gallinule), ‘a‘o (Newell’s shearwater) and Koloa (Hawaiian duck), to name a few — helping to drive these species further toward extinction.
But as Council Chair Kaneshiro noted, managing Kaua‘i’s feral cats is about more than protecting birds. It’s about protecting residents.
Not only does TNR burden communities with these unwanted cats, it puts people’s health at risk. For example, studies in Hawai‘i have found that feral cats, including those in TNR programs, excrete the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in their feces. This parasite can then infect birds and mammals — including people — causing the disease toxoplasmosis, which can lead to miscarriages, blindness and death in people, and has emerged as a major threat to Hawaiian monk seals.
Because of cats — and only cats — this parasite now contaminates Kaua‘i’s environment, including beach parks and harbors, putting people at risk.
TNR is irresponsible, and Kaua‘i’s residents and endangered birds deserve better — an animal-control provider that will remove feral cats rather than support their re-abandonment.
Grant Sizemore, director of invasive-species programs for the American Bird Conservancy