Email letters, Jan, 2, 2013

Reducing feral cat numbers can be accomplished humanely

Throughout history when cats have fallen out of favor, humans have suffered. The glaring example is the Dark Ages. Cats were exterminated. Rats thrived, hosting the fleas that carried bubonic plague.

Thanks for giving coverage to a situation that many in this community are working to change. It is not a feral cat problem; it is an irresponsible human problem. A cat would rather be in a warm home with good food, providing entertainment, comfort and companionship, than on the streets. They are there because at some point a human abandoned them. So, they learn to fear humans, if they manage to survive. Their offspring, if not trapped and socialized young, follow the same fate. They deserve our help and compassion.

I’ve been involved with animal rescue over many years, both with non-profits and groups of friends. All my cats, current and past, came to live with me after being abandoned. People need to be realistic when taking pets into their homes. They are not disposable commodities; it must be a commitment for life. 

In late October 2012 a jogger on the Audubon Trail witnessed the dumping of a young mother cat and four tiny kittens. Had it not been for his actions, the little family faced slow starvation or death by predator. They were dropped near a Great Horned Owl site, and some birds eat cats.  The jogger got the word to people who care, and a friend trapped the family. Others chipped in for spaying, neutering and shots. The foster parent was able to find homes for all.

Though he recorded their license number, the jogger chose not to report those who broke the law by dumping these cats. They could have faced serious consequences for their cruel act.

When adopting a pet, do not put off spaying or neutering. This should be done by four months. Kittens can start reproducing at that age, and puppies at six months. Fifty percent of pets born are “accidents.” Feral kittens can be sterilized as young as eight weeks if body weight is at least two pounds. This was done with the 16 born-wild kittens I have fostered the past two years. All found homes through the CLAWS program. 

Trap Neuter Release is the way to reduce the explosion of cats with no homes. Many people feed colonies of feral cats on their private property. They often just need a hand with TNR to stop the reproduction cycle. Kittens trapped young can be fostered, socialized and adopted out. Thanks to Connie Pinkerton and many others who are working to reduce the suffering of feral colonies.

Please consider helping the organizations that are working for the day when no pets will be unwanted and the killing will end.  They need volunteers and financial support. For more information, go to these websites:

CLAWS (clawsgj.org), Grand Valley Humane (freewebs.com/grandrivers/), Community Cat Care (gjcommunitycatcare.org).

CAROLE CHOWEN

Grand Junction

Racism, profit, class warfare are behind MJ disinformation

Allow me to pull no punches with my opinion regarding the perpetual regurgitation of disinformation in regard to the topic of marijuana. The campaign against what would be considered a “miracle drug” if it were discovered today has been run in earnest for the past 75 years in the U.S. Why? Simply put, racism, class warfare and profit.


The pharmacy industry alone (among many industries) stands to lose billions of dollars if more states continue to legalize the accessibility of medical marijuana to those over 21 (as Washington and Colorado have done). Disseminating documented medical research readily available today would lead people to the realization that marijuana truly is a miracle drug.

Racism via marijuana has been waged since Harry Anslinger, America’s first drug “czar,” associated black jazz musicians with this drug and the comingling of blacks and whites in the early 1920s. He was in concert with Randolf Hearst (owner of the two largest newspapers on the West Coast in the same era, the San Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Examiner), who associated marijuana with the “Mexican problem,” as he and many other influential business owners and officials referred to it at the time.

The problem, however, had nothing to do with the drug itself, but rather it provided an expedient remedy via incarceration of mass numbers of migrant workers and blacks who were picketing for better working conditions at the same time the U.S. Supreme Court was outlawing picketing, overturning child labor laws (Hammer v. Dagenhart 1918) and fighting to prevent union organization.
Why did such a large number of migrants and economically disadvantaged people use marijuana? The same reason they, along with people of ALL socioeconomic ranges, used it since at least 2,000 B.C. and continue to use it today — to alleviate stress and muscular aches and pains and to treat myriad human ailments, as well as to more easily tolerate long work hours spent in harsh physical environs.

Class warfare has reached a new high (no pun intended) in the modern era with between 500,000 and 750,000 people incarcerated each year in America, most of whom are at or below the poverty level, that committed no other crime save for simple marijuana possession and/or personal consumption.

I believe your readership would agree that intelligent discussions can no longer tolerate terms such as “pot” or “pot head,” “lazy,” “uneducated,” “ignorant” and the like. The education of your readership via facts currently KNOWN about the medicinal properties of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica would lead said discussions away from the current state of slanderous speech, outright lies and dismissal of the evidence, and toward productive medical legislation and public acceptance. (Note: The term “marijuana” is actually a pejorative among those that are familiar with the medicine.)

It’s time to direct the conversation toward fact-based public discussions, unlike what the FDA, DEA and their media co-conspirators typically provide. Numerous scientific studies reveal the beneficial effects of this miracle drug in the fight against everything from arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chemotherapy side effects, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder to severe pain, nausea, attention deficit disorder, autism, gastrointestinal disorders and sleeplessness.

A great starting point in the struggle against the disinformation so rampant in our society can be found by your readers in two eye-opening books: “Smoke Signals” by Martin A. Lee, and “The Pot Book” by Julie Holland M.D., which are available online or through Mesa County Public Library. Both have substantial documentation, bibliographies and indexes of data from world-renowned medical research institutions as well as information not widely or often offered by our own federal government.

I hope The Daily Sentinel will be a leader in this fight for the public and its right to truthful cannabis education.

PAUL STREFF
 
Grand Junction

Clifton child’s shooting did not merit front-page coverage

The Daily Sentinel’s reporting of the accidental shooting of a Clifton seven-year-old was disturbingly over the top. According to the Sentinel, the young lad was injured by the accidental discharge of a single shot .22 and then treated and released the same day, making the event more appropriate for the blotter instead of a front-page headline.

More disturbing is the manner in which the facts were obtained. From the article it was evident the reporter acquired information from the evidence report hanging on the front door of the residence at which the accident occurred.

I question the judgment of the sheriff’s department in making this report so easily accessible (it probably contained significant personal information) and the ethics of the Sentinel reporter in accessing it.

Understandably, gun stories have taken the spotlight across the nation; however, this one was over-sensationalized.

It is unfortunate the Sentinel chose not to report on the Dec. 17 incident in San Antonio, Texas. There a 19-year-old began shooting in the Mayan 14 Movie Theater but was shot and wounded by an armed female security guard. No one died, a possible massacre was averted and the suspect is in custody. Now that’s a front-page story.

DAN CRABTREE
Grand Junction

Leaders corrupted by power should leave DC more quickly

Imagine you have a mansion fully attended and ready to fulfill your every wish. You have a contingent of loyal bodyguards who would gladly sacrifice themselves to protect you. You have a housekeeping staff and chefs second to none. You have command of the greatest military the Earth has ever seen. You have private transport capabilities to take you anywhere in the world at any time you command. And you’ve got it all figured out.

You share just enough of the kingdom’s wealth with the poor, keeping them oppressed, while telling them what great things you are doing for them so they will keep you in power. When your kingdom’s resources have drained, you look around and see that there are an awful lot of wealthy people whom the fools before you have allowed to prosper. The answer is simple; just raise taxes on all the successful people in the kingdom. This, of course, accomplishes a couple of things. First, it gives you more wealth to spread among the poor to assure your place in power. Secondly, since wealth is a major contributor to power it shows them who really has the power. Yes, it’s good to be king!

Thank God our Congress saw the implications (so many golf courses, so little time!) and in 1947 passed the 22nd Amendment (ratified in 1951) to allow our kings to reign for a maximum of eight years. Now, if they could only admit that it would be best for the country if their terms were limited, as well.
I want to believe that the newly elected, junior members of Congress go there with the best of intentions for the country as a whole, but after a few terms they either decide to become “players” or just “go with the flow” to stay alive in politics. Either way, it becomes not what is best for our country, but what is best for their political careers (i.e., personal gain).

I believe there are very few politicians of either party past the 12-year point that put the country’s best interest before their own.  Term limits, now!

GLENN MENARD
Grand Junction
 
Bangs Canyon well suited for motorized trail use

I want to clarify something after reading Timothy Brass’ letter on Jan. 1 concerning how new motorized routes will affect big-game hunting in Area 5 of Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Management Area.  I, for one, was encouraged to see the BLM considering the construction on new motorized routes in Mesa County. After all, new motorized routes have not been constructed in decades, as we are generally busy protecting the access we have and often give thanks for things such as Revised Statute 2477. 

Brass is with Backcountry Hunter and Anglers in Boulder, and, based on his misinformation in the article, he has never actually hunted in Area 5 of Bangs Canyon and probably has never ridden the Tabeguache Trail in the area. If he had, he would realize it’s a perfect area for motorized trail use, as there are no elk and very few deer.

The area is too low and dry and does not hold the proper food/water sources during the summer/fall hunting seasons. You will find a few elk and deer in Area 6, which holds more oak brush and few springs, but even there you have to largely depend on the animals being pushed off private lands on top to see much. It’s just not a quality area to hunt in Unit 40, but it is a good place for rough and challenging ATV or bike rides.

The new trails being considered by the BLM are strictly for recreational purposes and provide no access for big-game hunters. The Tabeguache Trail provides the hunting access in the area. Area 5 is east of the Tabeguache Trail and Area 6 is west of the trail. The limited winter range will not be affected much since you can’t drive an ATV back there until the snow melts in April. I know. We tried last March and did not make it to Area 5.


Brass should focus more on his horse trails on the Front Range and leave the Western Slope issues to those more informed. After all, when an area is managed for multi-use, does that not mean that we are all treated equally? I’ve seen plenty of big game spooked by foot, horse, bike and motorized traffic; it should not mean that we close down all access. If we take Brass’ stance the only new motorized routes to be constructed will be in the sand dunes and deserts — oh wait, we can’t do that either because of the threatened hookless cactus.


BRANDON SIEGFRIED
Grand Junction

Amend the Constitution to fix Second Amendment

While I understand Greg Corles’ concern (in his letter of Jan. 1) about adhering to the letter of the Second Amendment, the original wording is out of technological date.

His interpretation would allow for private citizens to own weapons used by today’s “ordinary soldier.” Our efficient and highly trained soldiers are skilled in the deployment and use of everything from handguns, rocket-propelled grenades, bazookas, artillery pieces and armed drones, to name but a few.

Unless the U.S. government wants to encourage the general populace to set up an armed revolution, it seems sensible to prevent untrained citizens from legally acquiring war weapons of enormous destructive power.

The Second Amendment needs to be rewritten, or at least reinterpreted by an amendment to the amendment that makes it clear 21st century “ordinary soldier” armaments are not what was intended by the original wording.

DAVID COOK
Grand Junction

President now must demonstrate acceptance of a great responsibility

I am generally not one to share my private feelings on such a public level; however, as a public citizen I must say something. The Dec. 29 issue of USA Today had an article in which the president called the House to meet its deadline on the fiscal cliff crisis.

As a leader, I am appalled when men whom are charged with much do little. As president of the United States, Barack Obama has been charged with a great responsibility to lead us. He accepted that responsibility through the oath of the president, in front of the American people.

Our great nation elects great men, not to political parties but to represent people. We elect men who are supposed to be greater than the problems we face and or political systems we use.

If we cower to the financial problems we face, ignoring them until the last minute, delaying action while pointing fingers, what will we do in the face of real crisis? What will we do to those who threaten us from the outside?

If we do not know how to take care of our own house or our own finances, what will become of us? Who will take care of our elderly or our children? Who will offer relief and support to our working-class families?

While this government is not empowered to steal the rights of free men and women, it is also not empowered to create a burdensome weight on its citizens. The inability to act on behalf of the great citizens of the United States has and is becoming a great burden.

I implore the president to act as a great man, charged by a great people, under a great oath sworn unto God. Stop with the politics and get on with the representation.

PAUL B. WATSON

Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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There have, in fact, been new motorized trails and routes developed and designated in Mesa County in the last decade.  While elk may still be in higher country in the fall, the winter range provided by lower elevation lands (such as in the Bangs Canyon area) are critical to the herds’ survival.  BLM acknoledges that “Elk use is significant across much of the western half of the area.” There are significant portions of critical winter habitat for elk and deer throughout the foothills, mesas, and canyons of the Uncompahgre, including in Bangs.

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