Hawaii’s Feral Cats

The world’s most deadly species (April 6, 2018)

Kudos to Hawaii lawmakers for voting to protect cats and wildlife by rejecting a misguided and shortsighted bill that would have authorized trapping, neutering and re-abandoning cats to fend for themselves on the streets (“Feral Cat-Friendly Measure Dies In The Senate”).

Legislators were right to express concerns about the impact that outdoor cats have on native wildlife. The leading cause of human-related bird deaths, cats maim and kill billions of birds and small animals every year. Unlike wild predators, cats can far surpass a habitat’s “carrying capacity” because they are getting food from humans. In fact, cats are considered the most deadly invasive species in the world, responsible or partly responsible for the extinctions of over 60 species. 

A feral cat hiding in the brush next to the Hawaii Kai park-and-ride. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Cats themselves are also at risk, routinely incurring ghastly injuries and infections, contracting contagious diseases, getting poisoned and shot, being attacked by wildlife and dogs, and more. The average lifespan of an outdoor cat is just two to five years, compared to 12-15 years for an indoor cat.

Instead of sanctioning cat abandonment, legislation that can humanely and effectively address the homeless cat crisis should include requiring everyone to have their cats spayed and neutered, licensed, microchipped and kept indoors.

— Teresa Chagrin, Animal Care and Control Specialist, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk, Virginia

A Mother’s Struggle

Homeless sons on city streets (April 6, 2018)

My heart goes out to Colleen Peppers Moorefield in the loss of her son Bryan (“A Family Struggles To Understand The Death Of Their Homeless Son”).

I too had a homeless son and he lived on the mean streets of Oakland for over 10 years. I lived in Oakland also, where I had my beauty salon and a small apartment near Lake Merritt.

My son was the reason I moved to Hawaii — I had to get away from him. His alcohol addiction overwhelmed him and though he went through several treatments, he could never conquer it. I never knew when there would be a knock on my door and he would need a place to sleep. How does a mother deny her son shelter and warm meals? You don’t.

When he was drinking he was not the sweet, funny man I knew for 54 years. He became threatening and ugly. I was scared, feeling cornered with no escape and I began to fight back. I knew if I stayed in Oakland one of us would surely die and I did not want it to be me. I wish I could give comforting words, but sometimes there are none.

— Daci L. Armstrong, Honolulu

Remembering Daniel Inouye

Exalted status of a powerful figure (April 7, 2018)

As I read Megan Bailiff’s story of harassment when she worked as an aide to Sen. Dan Inouye (“#MeToo: One Woman’s Story Of Sexual Harassment By Hawaii Sen. Dan Inouye”), I was reminded of words written by Edmund Burke:

All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men/women to do nothing.

All those who turn a blind eye because of the exalted status of a powerful figure, perpetrate that evil.

— Mollie Foti, Kailua

Enemies of Hawaii?

Rest in peace, Daniel Akaka (April 6, 2018)

Many Aloha Aina (Hawaiian patriots) consider U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka (“Former US Sen. Daniel Akaka Dead At 93”), his colleague Daniel Inouye and other Hawaiian nationals that serve the U.S. anti-Hawaii agenda to be traitors and collaborators with the U.S., the nation we consider to be our enemy, occupier and oppressor.

At one time I too considered these individuals to be traitors and collaborators. But I now realize that, even though Akaka and the others are Hawaiian nationals by birth, they are not Hawaiian subjects so they cannot be held accountable for the crimes of treason and collaboration.

They swore no oath of loyalty and allegiance to the crown and nation of Hawaii. Though they can certainly be considered to be enemies of Hawaii they are not traitors or collaborators since their oaths of loyalty and allegiance were made to the U.S. and not to Hawaii.

RIP, Daniel Akaka

— Ponokeali‘i, Ali‘i Aloha Aina, Haleiwa

City’s Climate Change Office

Voting for Bill 15 will benefit Oahu (April 8, 2010)

Two years ago the voters of Oahu said that addressing climate change is a priority for city government. Voters approved creating an agency to find ways for our island to become more resilient to rising sea levels that endanger our coasts, a warming ocean that threatens our tourism economy, and more destructive hurricanes.

To its credit, the city Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency has gone after these issues with the passion and creativity of a startup company. Now the agency needs funding to keep moving forward.

I urge the City Council to pass Bill 15, which will provide the funding the agency needs to continue its good work. The bill will be heard on Wednesday at City Hall.

Voting yes on Bill 15 will benefit every community on Oahu and help prepare our island for the continuing threat of climate change. 

— Patrick Williams, Honolulu

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