Your Views for July 21


We are to blame

This is in response to Spike Werner’s letter of July 16 regarding the impact of cats on birds (Your Views, Tribune-Herald).

Discussions of feral and free-roaming cats seem to inevitably bring up the accusation that cats damage bird populations. It is true that cats will kill at least some birds. This is all the more reason to control and reduce cat populations, rather than get locked in a cycle of breeding and killing them.

Cats and most of our current bird species were introduced to these islands and have both bred without ecological balance. Managing cats through spaying and neutering, and responsible pet ownership, is the best hope of creating a situation that will allow both cats and birds to coexist.

Shipman’s director of development, Kimo Lee, was quoted in the Tribune-Herald (June 15) as citing concern for nenes as a reason to banish the Keaau dump cats and their caregivers. The nene is a notoriously shy bird and is unlikely to be nesting close to such a high activity area as a dump site. Even if there are nenes nearby, simply removing an existing population of cats only to allow a new population to breed and move in is not the best method of nene protection.

Contrary to the quote Mr. Werner offered from the state of Tennessee’s wildlife department, it is well documented that the true “greatest enemy” of birds is not free-roaming cats, but habitat destruction from humans. Whatever damage cats may cause to birds, it pales in comparison to that of the bulldozer.

It is unjust, and pointless, to target feral cats as a primary destroyer of bird life. The responsibility for both the decimation of birds and the over-population of cats lies at our own feet.

Linda Moore

Pahoa

Race played a role

I understand why the editorial cartoon about the Trayvon Martin killing was offensive to some, but look at the facts.

George Zimmerman left his car and followed Trayvon Martin, against police advice, for one reason: Trayvon Martin was a black kid near a place where black kids had committed burglaries. Nobody disputes that plain truth.

Had Trayvon Martin been white, Zimmerman would not have followed him. An altercation followed, and Zimmerman shot Martin to death. And a jury of six white people said that was legal.

I do not understand how anyone can rationally argue that the case was not about race.

Dan Lindsay

Hilo

HPP speed limits

How gracious, and inclusive, that the County Council can tell us how fast we may drive on our own roads. Now, if they could just see to helping us pay for them.

Rob Banashek

Hawaiian Paradise Park

Martin murdered

It seems the basis of the trial in Florida about the murder of Trayvon Martin was completely backwards. Trayvon Martin was walking back from an errand to a relative’s home where he was staying. He had the right to walk in that neighborhood and to “stand his ground.”

The unarmed black teenager was murdered, while defending himself, 200 feet from the home to which he was returning. He had the right to live.

Bunny Smith

Hilo

No shared pain

Appalled scarcely describes my reaction to the news that six County Council members decided not to match the involuntary sacrifices of the vast majority of county workers in being subjected to furlough days.

Way to set an example of shared sacrifice, people!

And Zendo (Kern): Suggesting that your position is acceptable because you feel others are underpaid — well, it’s the height of irony that they probably would have taken home more if not for those darn furloughs.

It’s a little tiring, too, to read the excuses of the politicians: that there was so much paperwork that this issue slipped past them, and that they had filled out someone else’s paperwork previously (!) and confused it with their own. Come on. You’re in office to see to the details.

This issue is a boondoggle that mocks public confidence in the system. What’s next?

Patrick Donovan

Keaau

 

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