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Your Views for June 19

We need the cats

A big mahalo to Frannie Pueo and the other volunteers with Hui Pono Holoholona who care for many of the area’s feral cats.

Volunteers sacrifice their own time, resources and money to provide a service from which we all benefit. The cats are humanely trapped, neutered/spayed, given health check-ups, then released to do their jobs of helping to keep the county’s rodent and vermin populations in check. The cats’ diets are also supplemented with healthy food.

Management of feral felines is a particularly sensitive subject to me because my husband and I have a small macadamia farm. We lose a fourth of our crop yearly to rodents. At night you can hear them running through the trees.

If history teaches us anything it is that nature must have its checks and balances. Rounding up feral cats simply to “put them down,” as some bureaucrats suggest, is irresponsible. It is not “management” of a feline or rodent or vermin population, it is turning a blind eye to responsible population control of the critters with which we share this beautiful island.

Take away the traps from the Keaau Recycling and Transfer Station, and what to you have? You have a dump full of rats breeding faster than anyone can control. Controlling and facilitating a healthy feline population is a sensible way to help balance nature, which already favors the invasive rodent. And it doesn’t cost taxpayers anything.

Let’s encourage and assist these volunteers in their loving work.

Joan Oviatt

Hawaiian Paradise Park

Thanks, lawmakers

I thank state Rep. Richard Onishi for hosting last Saturday’s “Lawmakers Listen.”

It was a breath of fresh air. Those attending were afforded face-to-face dialogue not only with Big Island representatives, but also with House leaders such as the majority leader and the vice speaker, who flew in from Oahu.

The discussions were frank, illuminating, comprehensive and respectful. We felt connected with those who pass our laws and came away with a better appreciation of all the work they do.

In sharp contrast is the disquieting article in Monday’s (June 17) Tribune-Herald, “A tale of two governments.” Mr. Calvin Woodward highlights the duplicity of the federal government for offering us the smokescreen of detailed trivia as “transparency,” while actually following policies that prompt Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers — a 24-term member of the House and a member of Nixon’s original enemy list — to lament, “It ‘s my fear that we are on the verge of becoming a surveillance state.”

Someone once said, “All politics is local.” If only that were true!

Again, thank you, Rep. Onishi and your fellow legislators for coming to Hilo to listen!

A. Stephen Woo Jr.



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