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Homeowner's Eradication of Skunks Raises a Stink

June 27, 1993

* Upon reading the article ("Nose Pollution" June 17), I was appalled at the actions of Yorba Linda resident Jan Bowers. Ms. Bowers, you show no remorse for your inhumane actions. To rationalize your actions exemplifies your ignorance. You paid a large sum of money for a house that is near wildlife. Now, you are inconvenienced by that same wildlife. So you believe you have the right to harm the skunks for just living their lives?

Well, you don't. You want me to feel sorry for you because you paid a large sum of money for this house, well I don't. I think you should either move or deal with the problem in an orderly fashion. This is not a city problem. Let's stop wasting taxpayers' money on issues like this. Local cities are strapped for money as it is. Let us try to spend the money on things we need, not on issues that are caused from the laziness of certain homeowners who refuse to handle their problems humanely and correctly. Ms. Bowers, a piece of advice--if you don't like wildlife, don't move to a suburb where wildlife lives.

HUGO EVANS

Irvine

* Jan Bowers pays "almost a million dollars" for a lovely home in a rural area of Yorba Linda--away from the city, close to nature--but then feels justified in disposing of inconvenient nature, i.e. skunks, in the most inhumane methods imaginable. The ability of the human animal to rationalize its inhumanity never ceases to amaze me.

ELIZABETH MURRAY

La Habra

* Terry Spencer's article on Jan Bowers' skunk problem pretty clearly demonstrates the infuriating frustration one can expect when turning to a government agency for help with a problem. Telling someone to learn to live with the smell of a skunk as the solution to the problem is the epitome of absurd bureaucratic logic ranking right up there with "let them eat cake."

The Department of Animal Control has confirmed that anyone in need of assistance with anything more involved than a cat in a tree or a barking dog can be assured of receiving a barrage of do-it-yourself tips and prohibitions that are sure to keep you mired in frustration for years to come. Have these folks failed to note that the taxpayer-supported department they work for is in part titled Animal Control? The answer to that seems to lie in the amount of effort involved in dealing with a given situation. For as was pointed out to me, if they had to respond to all the skunk problems, they'd be busy all the time. A harrowing thought to be sure.

The point that is painfully lost on these servants of the people is that instead of dispensing criticism and inaction to Bowers' call for help, they should be actively involved in helping her or anyone else for that matter. Stop with the can't do this and can't do that. The only thing you can't do is what you won't do.

FRANK R. MESSINA

Yorba Linda

* Even if skunks were an endangered species, it behooves our government to assist the homeowner to relocate these animals once a building permit has been issued. As I understand it, in this instance, Jan Bowers decided to act on her own only after she was told by various government agencies that she would have to learn to live with her skunk problem.

Even if one does not object to the nauseating perfume from these animals, one must remember that they may carry diseases such as rabies. In this era of overwhelming public distrust of our public agencies, it behooves these supposedly "public servants" to build up some goodwill by offering the public more assistance and less harassment.

JOHN T. CHIU

Corona Del Mar

* We as a society are very odd in our thought process. Concerning ("Woman Faces Criminal Probe Over Skunk Deaths," June 18):

Our government sanctions the killing of one million babies per year. There are much greater eternal issues at hand that our immature, stubborn and self-centered hearts don't allow us to see.

SCOTT GORDIN

Buena Park

* Jan Bowers demonstrates the kind of elitist attitude that is driving everything but people toward extinction ("Nose Pollution" June 17). Surely the hideously torturous methods she has adopted to eradicate skunks--gentle, albeit stinky creatures--in her yard is illegal. It's way past immoral. Perhaps she'd be more comfortable in a major downtown urban environment. Oh, wait a minute. Then there would be the problem with pigeons.

MARILYN MOORE SHULTZ

San Clemente

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