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Services for King today; flags at half-staff

Flags will fly at half-staff today in honor of former Lt. Gov. Jean King, whose services will be held this morning at Kawaiaha‘o Church.

Visitation will be at 10 a.m., followed by services at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Hawaii Public Radio. For more information, call 522-1333.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaii National Guard from sunrise to sunset.

A private inurnment will be held at a later date. Ultimate Cremation Services is handling the arrangements.

King died Nov. 24 at the age of 87. She served in the state House and Senate before running for lieutenant governor in 1978. King held a single term as the state’s first female lieutenant governor before unsuccessfully challenging Gov. George Ariyoshi.

Kauai measure seeks to rein in cat population

LIHUE » Kauai is considering requiring cat owners to license their pets as part of an attempt to control problems with feral felines.

The Garden Island newspaper reported Friday that a county bill would also require owners who allow their cats to roam free to spay or neuter the animals.

Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura said that if the county doesn’t address its issues with pets, the community will have many problems. Yukimura introduced the bill last week.

"Cat licensing is a way to control the population of cats, because it’s tied to neutering — an uncontrolled population of cats is a public health, environmental and community concern," Yukimura said.

A draft of the bill sets license fees at $10 for spayed or neutered cats and $30 for unsterilized cats.

The bill sets fines for cat owners who allow cats over 4 months old to roam free without being sterilized. Officials say owners who keep their cats confined would not be required to have their pet sterilized.

Executive Director Penny Cistaro of the Kauai Humane Society said 900 more stray cats than dogs were brought in during the last fiscal year. She said only 10 percent of cats, compared with 56 percent of dogs, were retrieved by owners.

The Council will consider the bill Jan. 15.

Annette Oda of Lihue criticized the proposal, saying it is a waste of time and money.

"Whoever started or initiated the bill apparently doesn’t understand the nature of a cat," Oda said. "You can’t treat a cat like a dog, so basically I am really frustrated and disappointed that the County Council would dare to spend valuable time and money, which is a scarcity in this day and age, on cats and dogs."

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