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Controlling L.A.'s feral cat population; a leadership change at the Sierra Club; presidential candidates and faith

November 23, 2011
  • A stray cat waits to be adopted at the Stray Cat Alliance in Los Angeles. The Alliance has stepped in to alleviate the stray cat population by trapping and spaying the animals. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A stray cat waits to be adopted at the Stray Cat Alliance in Los Angeles. The…

Life in the wild

Re "Reaching out over feral cats," Nov. 19

These feral cats in South L.A. are not actually stray cats. They flourish and thrive because of the seemingly well-meaning humans who feed them. Without that food, many would die.

Responsible pet owners keep their cats in their homes, where they are safe from other predators.

Trapping, spaying and then releasing these feral cats won't do any good. These cats are not vaccinated against disease. They are often sick and bring these diseases to everyone's yards. They urinate on the doors of responsible cat owners and defecate in flower beds and children's sandboxes, thus spreading disease to everyone's homes. They are as wild as bobcats.

The responsible way to approach this is to trap the cats but not release them.

Jeanne Klauk

Norwalk

Change at the Sierra Club

Re "Leader of Sierra Club steps down," Nov. 19

This article mischaracterizes Carl Pope's continuing transition from deep involvement in the Sierra Club to a more limited role as advisor and fundraiser.

Contrary to the story's premise of abrupt change amid tumult, this years-long transition has been remarkably graceful, and as a result, the Sierra Club is bigger, stronger and more effective than ever.

Michael Brune succeeded Pope as executive director in March 2010. Pope graciously agreed to remain in a senior advisory post.

Pope now leaves the club's full-time employ as planned but will consult and raise money for us.

With Brune building on Pope's remarkable legacy, the Sierra Club's 1.4 million members and supporters continue to make history with our unprecedented success in confronting the coal, oil and gas industries' domination of our nation's politics and economy while helping to move the country toward green energy prosperity.

Robin Mann

Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Larry Fahn

San Francisco

Mann is president of the Sierra Club's board of directors. Fahn, the group's past president, is a board member.

As a longtime member, activist and a former staff member, it has been with dismay that I have watched the Sierra Club descend the slippery slope from conservation to corporate pandering.

Pope is quoted as saying: "The biggest source of legitimate unhappiness has been that after 9/11 the Sierra Club and all other membership organizations started getting less and less individual donations — so we became more reliant on money that came with strings. That's the reality of the world."

I belong to the Sierra Club not because I want to accept "the reality of the world" but because I want to change it.

Pat Veesart

Santa Margarita

Who God wants as president

Re "What oppression?," Opinion, Nov. 18

With at least four of the Republican presidential candidates disclosing that they were summoned by God to run for office, what can we lowly voters surmise? Multiple choice:

God only communicates directly with those seeking the presidency.

God is playing games, particularly with Rick Perry, because God turned away Perry's summons for prayer to stop the Texas drought.

God is promoting democracy by encouraging people to run.

God makes mistakes.

God is a Democrat.

God is seeking fools to show us how stupid bringing him into politics really is.

God is setting the stage to mess up the world as a prerequisite for his return per prophesy.

None of the above; the candidates are nuts.

Mike Miller

Los Angeles

Michael Kinsley doesn't "even know which, if any, of the presidential candidates is Catholic"? Did he miss the news that Newt Gingrich converted to Roman Catholicism in March 2009? Also, having two-thirds of the Supreme Court be Catholic does not ensure that "Catholics' rights are going to be protected."

In either situation, religious affiliation should not matter.

William Salvini

Redondo Beach

Split over the DREAM Act

Re "DREAM Act has state's voters divided," USC Dornsife/Times Poll, Nov. 19

College tuition will continue to increase. Many legal students are unable to afford it. We should not spend taxpayer money on aid to undocumented students in the hope that someday it may "encourage these people to become contributing members of society."

They and their parents are here illegally. They didn't come here for the weather; they came to find better jobs. They may find them difficult to come by and, if the laws are enforced, end up back home.

Your poll shows great support for the DREAM Act among Latino voters. That seems natural, as the vast majority of the undocumented population is Latino. But it bothers me that your story shows only white and Latino views. The state is made up of many people with views that count.

Ron Nelson

Venice

It's the darkest side of human nature to raise oneself up by pushing others down, but politicians have used this for centuries to gain the favor of a majority by encouraging suppression of a vulnerable minority. The attack on California's DREAM Act is the latest use of this political tactic.

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