Letters to the editor: 01-03-18

They could stop illegal fireworks if they wanted to

How many of us are spending our first day in this new year bleary eyed and too tired to function properly from lack of sleep? How many of us are feeling this way not from spending a night in celebration but instead from a night of terror? Yes, our neighborhoods have been turned into war zones with the full acquiescence of our elected officials and law enforcement.

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I think a majority of our residents feel the same way I do about the illegal fireworks. Certainly most of our pet owners dread New Year’s and the 4th of July because they know the evening of sheer terror our pets go through with every explosion that the illegal fireworks produce. Pets think it’s the end of the world! We have laws against cruelty to animals; is this not condoned cruelty to animals on a wholesale level?

At some point as a society we must balance the scales as to allowing freedom to act in a certain way verses the harm such freedom causes. I think the use of fireworks is part of a cultural practice for some people and for others just a fun activity. The use of legal fireworks is a good thing for those reasons. But the use of illegal fireworks is not a good thing, as they are dangerous. This is largely due to the excessive amount of explosive material used to make them loud. Also, illegal fireworks are dangerous fire hazards when used as rockets with no way to reliably control their trajectory. Almost every neighborhood has at least one demented sadist that enjoys inflicting pain throughout the night and will set off explosions several hours after the allowed time. Apparently these sadists have graduated from pulling wings off of flies to terrorizing their neighborhoods. Too many now engage in this activity.

So, law enforcement and our elected representatives, when is enough, enough? Please don’t tell me you can’t do anything about the illegal fireworks. All of this island’s residents spent New Year’s listening to the sound of money illegally changing hands! Law enforcement, please, we are talking about the importation of tons of illegal fireworks. This happens twice a year during a narrow time period. Your network of intelligence gathering will lead you to the importer and wholesalers if you choose to crack down on them. Really not a priority? O.K. how about our elected representatives, not a priority to enact laws that HPD and the state can enforce, with severe penalties against the importers and wholesalers?

Please, those of you out there who feel like I do about this out of control problem, make some phone calls or email your concerns, make your voice heard. Cracking down on those who profit from transporting and wholesaling of the illegal fireworks will put a stop to this madness!

Taky Tzimeas

Kailua-Kona

More barking at HIHS column

The board of HIHS has continued to state that one of its main objectives is to reduce the pet overpopulation on this island. There seems to be no proactive plan and the practice is to kill most of the animals brought in.

We have not seen any progress of reduced animal population growth on this island. Particularly at the Keaau Transfer Station right next door to the Keaau Humane Society Shelter, there continues to be a huge issue of animals being dumped there, even more so now because of the lava disaster.

I have been told that people would rather dump their animals at the transfer station because at least they will have a chance to live. The reputation of the Keaau Shelter is that it has one of the highest kill rates in the USA. How does that fit in with the HIHS goals for animal welfare?

Additionally, I have been told that animals put in the drop boxes escape easily and go to the transfer station next door. This is a known fact yet nothing is being done about that. The night drop boxes encourage the irresponsible behavior of animal owners.

For the past six or more years, the cats at the transfer station were trapped and removed. The first time, many years ago, the person trapping was assured that the cats would be sheltered but all were killed, about 60 cats.

Then a local animal welfare organization trapped and removed all of the cats to a sanctuary.

Most recently, a small group has been trapping, sterilizing, and returning the cats to the transfer station. Kittens were fostered out for adoption.

Sick or injured cats were medically treated and returned or adopted out. This small group has been managing this colony for a few years without financial help at all.

HIHS should be leading the way for animal welfare and humane population management. Ms. Whitaker states that all of the HIHS staff is trained in euthanasia. “Killing is not kindness” to put a twist on Ms. Whitaker’s motto of “killing is kindness.” It is not kindness to the staff having to kill animals. It is not kindness to a frightened animal being taking into a back room and injected with lethal drugs to die slowly with all of its organs shutting down. Animals can sense their own impending death. How is this kindness?

I call upon the board of HIHS to make changes in the policies and procedures to save more lives and research and implement many of the successful models that are being utilized today. Those models work to reduce overpopulation humanely.

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Tina Bounds

Keaau