Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, May 12, 2019: Vote centers, feral cats and Trump

Feral cats at Tuolumne River Regional Park in Modesto, Calif. in 2015
Feral cats at Tuolumne River Regional Park in Modesto, Calif. in 2015 jlee@modbee.com

Vote centers have my vote

I believe our democracy benefits when more people are able to use their voices in elections. Unfortunately, in Stanislaus County’s last election 11,000 people were given provisional ballots because there was some difficulty accessing their ballots in Election Day precinct polling places. Many of those did not receive a ballot matching the races in which they were eligible to vote. We’ll never know the effect this had on our 2018 election, especially local races.

California’s Voter’s Choice Act is a system of voting that would change, for the better, the experience of almost all of those 11,000 of our families, friends and neighbors in Stanislaus County. It provides mail-in ballots being sent to every registered voter, early voting prior to election day, and the ability to print ballots at voting centers to eliminate being shut out of voting in races distinctive to our neighborhoods and special districts.

Stanislaus County can still indicate its willingness to participate in this powerful change toward participatory democracy, but it will soon be too late to do so for the 2020 elections. Urge your county supervisor and our registrar of voters to embrace the Voter’s Choice Act, which will save money and empower voters.

Denise C. Hunt, Turlock

Killing cats isn’t the answer

Re “Whiskered assassins taking a heavy toll on riverfront wildlife in Stanislaus County” (Page 6A, May 6): Steve Taylor, you are a hateful hypocrite who, according to your Facebook page, likes to kill birds. You are inciting violence against cats .

I have been a feral cat advocate since 2000 and a part of Stanislaus County shelter community cat program since its conception. We are working with the county and cities to get control of the cat population and we are making progress. Dumping is a big problem and must be addressed in a civil manner, not by killing cats .

The biggest threats to birds are habitat destruction, logging, hunting and trapping, climate change, industrial farming and invasive species; the cat is very low on this list. Other threats to birds are windows, communication towers, electric lines, vehicles, land-based wind turbines, solar towers, poison and oil pits.

Isn’t there enough violence in America today? Why, Mr. Taylor, would you promote more violence? You are a behavior analyst with bad behavior.

Karen Mosser, Ceres

People do what they read

Re “Whiskered assassins taking a heavy toll on riverfront wildlife in Stanislaus County” (Page 6A, May 6): When did it become acceptable to print a column where the writer jokes about committing crimes with a gun? It is a crime to shoot any cat in our civilized country. Would you stimulate debate on immigration by printing jokes about shooting people at the border? You know that could incite someone to try , just as you know Mr. Taylor’s column could incite some to try shooting cats.

Also omitted was exposing the fact that the writer was happy about ducks hatching in his boxes because he wants to shoot them too! He’s a duck hunter. It is appalling and frightening that some people have this psychopathic interest in killing living creatures. Thankfully, most of us have evolved past this primitive impulse.

Susan Robinson, Modesto

Irresponsible pet owners are to blame

Re “Whiskered assassins taking a heavy toll on riverfront wildlife in Stanislaus County” (Page 6A, May 6): I agree with Steve Taylor 110 percent. I am a cat owner and lover. People who leave food at feeding stations justify their activities by saying they love animals. They are responsible for the decimation of so many other types of wildlife. Feeding cats only lets the less successful hunters survive.

Cats by their nature will hunt even when they are not hungry. They are serial killers who like to see how many victims can be had each and every day. On one of the news magazine TV programs a few years back, a cat was fitted with a camera to record 24 hours of mayhem. It shed a new light on cuddly little Fluffy.

If you are a responsible cat owner, keep them inside at all times, and spay and neuter.

Robert Oerline, Modesto

Trap-neuter-return is helping

Re “Whiskered assassins taking a heavy toll on riverfront wildlife in Stanislaus County” (Page 6A, May 6): Steve Taylor’s recent column only adds to the misinformation and scaremongering on the subject of outdoor cats, undermining any chance for reasonable discussions and fact-based reporting. Worse, he fails to acknowledge the heroic efforts that have been undertaken to minimize the number of cats in county parks. Over the past six years or so, hundreds of cats have been removed and adopted into loving homes, while cats unsuitable for adoption have been sterilized and vaccinated.

Were it not for these ongoing trap-neuter-return (TNR) efforts, the number of cats found in these parks would almost certainly be much greater. Recognizing the value of this proven approach, the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency recently partnered with Best Friends Animal Society to implement a large-scale, targeted TNR program across much of the county.

None of us wants to see cats dumped in public parks. Until this illegal behavior can be stopped, TNR is the best option for managing these cats — and protecting wildlife. No wonder such programs are becoming increasingly popular across the country, in communities large and small, urban and rural.

Peter Wolf, Research and Policy Analyst, Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, UT

Trump thinks he’s above the law

For months, media have been warning us of a constitutional crisis in our government. Well, folks, it’s here.

By defying legal demands of the House of Representatives, the president is ignoring the Constitution. If the executive branch can get away with telling the legislative branch to go jump in a lake, it will be game over; the precedent will be set. Any president going forward will act as a dictator, above the law.

Current and former federal prosecutors have warned us. Former leaders from both parties are warning us. Pay attention, folks. Nothing less than our republic is at risk.

Gary W. Kinard, Gustine