The U.S. Census is coming!
In March, the Census notices will be mailed to each household. Internet self-response will be available online from mid-March to the end of July. From May to July, Census enumerators will visit you to help if needed.
When more of us Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are being counted, we will have more federal funding for our community. Please participate. You are needed.
I’m Hawaiian and I count. Do you?
Feral cats spread disease to endangered species
I wish to express my deep gratitude to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for taking such good care of Pohaku, the monk seal (“Sick monk seal at Ko Olina diagnosed with infection spread by cats,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 3).
My husband and I have had very little success calling the various government agencies’ attention to the diseases spread by feral cat feces. Neighborhoods on every island are being overrun by feral cats and chickens — in Hawaii Kai, the shoreline and the marina are teeming with them. We have taken several kittens from the shoreline to the Hawaiian Humane Society, and we have had success humanely trapping several mature cats and bringing them in as well.
We have asked the City Council and the state Health Department for assistance but have received only short-term help with few results.
Unfortunately, Pohaku’s troubling infection is probably not an isolated case. Toxoplasmosis and other diseases and parasites from the feral cats are endangering marine life throughout our state and may cause harm to humans as well.
TNR programs can help control cat populations
It is terribly sad that the monk seal R028 has been infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (“Sick monk seal at Ko Olina diagnosed with infection spread by cats,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 3). Her condition is serious and guarded, and I hope she makes a full recovery.
Unfortunately, this report will spawn another round of rhetoric against feral cat trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs, where feral cats are spayed or neutered and returned to their capture site, even though the number of surgically sterilized feral cats in these programs is but a small fraction of the total number of feral cats on Oahu.
I hope people interested in protecting monk seals from toxoplasmosis avoid releasing unwanted cats into the wild, don’t let their domestic cats roam outside, and support programs to spay and neuter cats, including organized TNR programs.
Legislature must act to support telescope
As noted in David Shapiro’s column, our governor’s “leadership failure in the Mauna Kea Telescope standoff becomes more confounding by the week” (“Ige offers tall tales on Thirty Meter Telescope conflict,” Star-Advertiser, Volcanic Ash, Feb. 2).
His State of the State address offered no path forward, just more “meaningless babble.” Shapiro concluded, “If history is a guide, the governor will do nothing and hope the issue just goes away.”
It is time for the Legislature to uphold the law. The leaders of the Senate and House at the recent opening session stated their support for the Thirty Meter Telescope. My letters to individual legislators months ago were supportive of TMT but said it was the governor who had to act. Since Ige will not act, our Legislature needs to stand up and act.
GOP senators legitimize presidential abuse
As expected, Senate Republicans have acquitted President Donald Trump, despite the mountain of convincing evidence to prove that he is guilty.
The Framers of the Constitution anticipated the emergence of a corrupt demagogue and one so dangerous that they needed to take desperate measures. So, the impeachment provision was included in the Constitution. But what they did not anticipate was complicit Senate Republicans who would be willing to pave the path to an authoritarian regime.
The U. S. Senate was once widely seen as the most deliberative body of bipartisan cooperation. But that enviable reputation was tarnished when Senate Republicans acquitted Trump.
By acquitting Trump without a fair trial, Senate Republicans have legitimized presidential abuse of power, dismantled the system of checks and balances, undermined national security and severely damaged American democracy. But democracy-loving Americans have one last line of defense — defeat Trump and his congressional allies in this next election by voting for Democrats.
Rod B. Catiggay
Stormwater fee would lead to higher rents
The city could charge Oahu property owners a separate stormwater fee, depending on how much of the property is paved over, because they contribute to rain runoff into the storm drains and ocean instead of soaking into the ground and replenishing the aquifer (“Honolulu weighing possibility of forming stormwater utility,” Star-Advertiser, Jan. 28).
This extra tax will cause a property owner who rents a property to raise the rent a like amount. An article by Andrew Gomes said that a state study on supply and demand of local housing shows that Hawaii needs 50,156 new homes over the next five years (“Hawaii housing demand high, supply still low,” Star-Advertiser, Jan. 30). That means more pavement and less ground to replenish the aquifer.
Postal Service praised for honoring Gwen Ifill
I was delighted that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) issued a forever postage stamp on Jan. 30 honoring Gwen Ifill.
Ifill was truly a trailblazing journalist and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) TV news anchor. She paved the way for others, especially journalists of African- American descent and women. I have enjoyed watching the “News Hour” on PBS for years. I enjoyed watching her before her passing in 2016. She was a standout. Her news presentation were clear and factual — no “fake news.”
Kudos to the USPS and those who advocated for the lovely forever stamp honoring a great news reporter. May she be an inspirational role model for others to follow.
Lawrence M.O. Chun