Medical Pot Goes Up in Smoke
Obama is holding his cards until 2012: Barack is a politician first, so let us not forget that ["Obama Is Blowing Smoke," Chris Roberts, Feature, 4/6]! Second, the person he put in charge [of the DEA] is the same person [George W.] Bush had in charge. But I think that in 2012, his trump card might be legalizing marijuana to get young people to vote for him. It wouldn't hurt him to do it then, because it will be his last term if he gets elected. I see the method of his madness; it's not a pretty one, but I have hope.
Going Beyond the Plate
A review that encompasses more than the meal: Great review [of Plate Shop: "Back to the Garden," Jonathan Kauffman, Eat, 4/6]. I love it when a reader can really learn something other than just the reviewer's take on the dishes. Connecting the food and feeling to Kauffman's childhood and to Edna Lewis (who I had not heard of, but will look up now) added so much more context to the piece. Thanks!
Reproducing Feral Cat Comments
Together for a common goal: Thanks to Matt Smith for bringing to light the important issues our community is facing regarding feral/stray cat and songbird populations ["Live and Let Kill," Feature, 3/30]. One key element we must first all recognize is that free-roaming cats are the result of our own community's actions. We, as cat owners, have failed to spay or neuter them and, even worse, have abandoned them to hard lives as ferals. The good news is we also have the opportunity to help both cats and birds through responsible pet guardianship.
It is our common goal to get to zero feral cat colonies in San Francisco. Our organizations may disagree on the strategies, but we strongly concur that a feral-free city is not possible unless all cat owners responsibly ensure that their pets are spayed or neutered and never abandoned. With education and services such as the SF SPCA's Spay Neuter Clinic, we can work cooperatively to treat cats and birds humanely in San Francisco.
For more information on tips for responsible guardianship of cats, please visit the Golden Gate Audubon Society and SF SPCA websites. If someone has an unaltered cat, call the SF SPCA Spay Neuter Clinic at 554-3084 for an appointment today, and please remember that it is always preferable to surrender an unwanted cat or dog at the SF SPCA or the Department of Animal Care and Control rather than to abandon them.
Co-president, San Francisco SPCA
Conservation director, Golden Gate Audubon Society
TNR is the solution: I was interviewed for the feral cat article, and want to correct some of the untruths/misleading statements. Glaring omission: No explanation of how feral cats get there in the first place: (1) People who don't spay/neuter their cats but do let them go outside; when females get pregnant, people abandon them. The cats "go feral," and kittens are born feral. (2) People who decide they don't want their cats anymore and dump them. I have found countless tame cats at my feeding sites; they all get fixed and adopted to good indoor homes.
Most "feral people" do not feed wildlife, intentionally or unintentionally. Critics say that after TNR [trap neuter release], feral cats are "abandoned." Nothing could be further from the truth; I know many people who have been feeding their colonies, every day, for 10 to 15 years.
[J.R.] Yeager thinks that "feral people" would regard as "heresy" his decision to euthanize a suffering feral cat — the opposite is true! Neither ACC nor SPCA would knowingly release a sick or suffering animal, and it's absurd to think that those who are dedicated to alleviating the suffering of feral cats would ever allow an animal to die in agony.
Smith writes that [feral cat feeder] Paula [Kotakis] "seems the epitome of normal." In fact, the "feral people" I know include an airline pilot; nurses; teachers; librarians; bank managers; secretaries; bartenders; seniors, and police officers — "the epitome of normal."
I suggested that Smith research Project Bay Cat, an example of a successful collaboration between "cat people" and "bird people." He didn't — because he wasn't interested in a solution that works!
The article implies that TNR is the problem. On the contrary, it's the solution. It's win-win: We do the work, and S.F. residents get stable colonies of fixed, healthy cats; zero population growth; few or no resident rodents; and quieter neighborhoods.
Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about whether security was adequate at Dodgers Stadium, where a Giants fan was beaten: City municipalities need to step up to the plate and protect their residents ["Brian Stow, Beaten Giants Fan, in Coma; L.A. County Lawmakers Questions Dodgers Security," Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 4/4]. Going to the ballpark used to be the all-American pastime. Someone could bring his entire family to the game and enjoy the entire experience. He didn't have to worry about getting stabbed or robbed; people used to respect the fact that children were around.
City legislators need to designate their city ballparks as double-fine zones and implement a zero-tolerance policy for violence, [and] increase police presence (reserves) and designate plainclothes officers in the stands. That should send the message to all the thugs to stay home. The ballpark should be a family park.