More thoughts on island’s feral cats

I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to the Islesboro Feral Cat Association for the incredible amount of time and energy all of the individuals involved have put into the program.

Being a native islander and being one who loves cats and in general cares about animals, this group has done something that was needed and has created a means to help — yes, help — a population on our island that in no way can help themselves and which was created by guess who? Us — humans.

These cats did not create the situation that is currently under scrutiny. It was individuals who through lack of caring abandoned the cute kitten or older cat. It was created by those with a lack of responsibility to their community and to their pet, who refused to see the problem of allowing their cat to have kittens by not spaying or neutering it, as well as the ‘Oh, aren’t kittens so cute, one litter won’t hurt anything’ types of attitudes.

We do not have some exotic population of cats running around and creating havoc. What we do have is an incredible group of individuals who are trying to make a difference. Through IFCA, not only do we now have a spay/neuter/release program that is working, we have a program that has actually caught abandoned cats and been able to find homes for them. The program has also identified feral cats which are a health risk to the island’s house cats, which is a benefit to cat owners like myself in helping to prevent the spread of disease.

For years, people have abandoned the unwanted cats, tried to drown them, have shot them, suffocated them and even driven to the other end of the island and “dropped them off.” Many years ago, two of my friends knocked at my door with three tiny kittens asking if I could take them. The boys had been hunting on Hutchins Island and found them in the marsh, cold and crying. After investigating, I learned that an individual had taken the mother and kittens to the marsh and left them as he didn’t want to deal with them. I found homes for two and kept one.

Last year I drove into my driveway to find a strange cat wandering and looking lost. Very loving, hungry little fellow, who in the short few hours with us was named Gus and because no one would claim ever even seeing him throughout the entire Pripet area, we took him to IFCA. Through this organization this very neat cat, within days, was neutered and found a great home.

There is a graveyard at the house where I grew up which holds two unknown cats. They were each found, lying dead in the road, no one claiming either, we buried them. At my current home there is what we all call the Pet Cemetery — holding much-loved family pets as well as three unknowns. Two hit by a car and unclaimed by anyone, and perhaps saddest of all was the small kitten, about three months old, that I found dead, curled up just above high water the day after a bitterly cold, stormy December night.

I have found two skeletons of cats in the woods and have been told of someone coming across what they referred to as a “ceremonial cat killing” several years ago.

Not only has the IFCA made a big difference in the feral cat problem, but there is a huge amount of caring, commitment and patience that has taken place in rehabilitating and placing a few lucky cats. There is a commitment to educating the community, which is oftentimes where big differences can be made.

I will continue to look upon the work that IFCA is doing on Islesboro as a benefit to our entire human community as well as a benefit to a population that can not speak for itself — our feral cat population.

I would remind some that at one time our human population cast out its own for many misunderstood ailments, and that it took a caring group of individuals to begin to make a difference then, as well.

Julie Reidy



Wrong time, wrong place for new Sheriff’s office

I am writing in regard to the plan proposed by the Waldo County Commission to build a 10,500-square-foot Sheriff’s complex in an historic residential neighborhood.

While the preliminary plans are now public, initially there was very little transparency from the County Commission as to what the project would entail. Despite the fact that the commissioners seem to keep referring to their plans to build as a “community project,” there has been no opportunity or consideration given for alternative ideas and solutions from the neighborhood. In addition, there has been much disrespect shown by one county commissioner in particular to the residents in the immediate area. As a resident of Waldo County, I am deeply concerned and offended.

In the midst of a recession, and with monetary shortages everywhere, including in our schools and for social services, the commissioners have elected to drain [six] county accounts [and take additional funds from a seventh] in the [total] amount of $1 million. There are more than a few existing buildings that sit vacant which could be used for this project with fewer costs involved and much less impact. Given that, why has the decision been made to erect a new building?

In addition, the proposed Sheriff’s complex off Congress and Miller streets is not necessarily a permanent solution. There is talk to make the [Maine Coastal] Regional Reentry Center a more robust program, which would require more space. What about looking at the 100-acre parcel of land beyond the Belfast Business Park bought specifically for the development of the Sheriff and related law enforcement and judicial buildings? To be clear, Waldo County residents continue to pay yearly taxes on this unused land, which cost $356,000 when purchased in 2004.

What happens to the historic 1851 two-story brick jail and the 1887 clapboard jail-keeper’s home?

How about the green space that becomes unearthed and restructured, thus compromising the animals that live in that area? What about the water flow in the very wet area where they plan to build? Furthermore, the tranquility of the neighborhood will most certainly change with the addition of lighting, increased traffic and noise.

The city of Belfast is in the process of putting forth a new rezoning for this residential area that it claims would preferably be for housing. Why build a large office space right before the zoning changes take effect in July?

Mr. Story and his colleagues do a wonderful job for Waldo County, and I agree that the sheriff deserves an updated office with all of the modern-day conveniences. However, I strongly believe that the time and place of this project is ill-advised.

Brenda Bonneville



County set for ‘spending spree’

In the middle of this recession, the county of Waldo is getting ready to go on a spending spree. They will drain [six] accounts [and take additional funds from a seventh] to the [total] tune of $1 million. Their intention is to build a 10,500-square-foot complex in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

The commissioners refer to their plan as a “community project”; however, the neighbors were notified after the decision to build was made. When neighborhood representatives presented alternatives to the commissioners, they were summarily dismissed.

Your county tax dollars are at stake!

Come protest this project on Wednesday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Belfast City Hall.

Karen Rak



Discrimination: A great need

To discriminate means to distinguish, to differentiate, to discern, or to use good judgment. When used in this sense, who can say it is wrong to discriminate?

When I was looking for a wife, I exercised much discrimination. I discerned that she was not a man but a woman and that she was a faithful Christian. I discriminated on the basis of her character, gender and “sexual orientation.” Who can find fault with this?

Everyone discriminates to some extent. EqualityMaine, a group that claims to be against discrimination, discriminates a whole lot — and mostly in a bad sense.

They will not allow a true Christian, an honest person or a pro-American patriot to govern their organization. This group discriminates (differentiates) as to who its leaders will be and that is why morally upright people need not apply.

To discriminate in a bad sense means to make “a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.” To discriminate in this sense means to prejudge or to form an opinion prior to an honest and rational examination of the facts.

EqualityMaine discriminates in this sense every day, because it is prejudiced against those who believe homosexuality is destructive to society. This group is very intolerant of fair debates and bigoted toward people who adhere to the biblical/rational view of sex.

Discrimination, the kind that treats people on the basis of character, is morally right and indispensable for the good of society. If we don’t distinguish between right and wrong, we’ll end up hurting many in the process, including ourselves.

Does God discriminate on the basis of character? He surely does! Psalms 9:17 and I Corinthians 6:9-10 illustrate this.

Does God show favor to or give “protected-class status” to any who engage in immoral acts and persist therein? He surely does not! Ephesians. 5:5 illustrates this.

God also discriminates (distinguishes) on the basis of gender. He does not want women to dress like men (Deuteronomy 22:5). He commands wives to obey their husbands in everything lawful (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; Titus 2:3-5). He made the woman for the man and not the man for the woman (Genesis 2:18; I Corinthians 11:9). He forbids women from speaking in church. (I Corinthians 14:33-35). He forbids women from assuming positions of authority over men in the home, workplace and civil government (I Corinthians 11:3; I Timothy 2:11-14).

Hence, all who support female preachers or vote for female politicians are opposing God and ruining society.

Churches must discriminate between the godly and the ungodly. They are morally bound to disapprove of those who persist in wrongdoing. That cannot be true love which overlooks destructive behavior. No church can maintain its purity, be a force for good or remain true to God if its leaders fail to put away from their groups those who persist in sin after having been admonished (Matthew 18:15-17; I Corinthians 5).

Businesses and civil governments must discriminate in order to serve good purposes. Immoral or disorderly people must be excluded from positions of management and influence, or else their businesses will fail or their constituents will suffer. For a woman to be employed as a soldier, police officer or manager over men is wrong, foolish and bad for society, according to God’s word (Isaiah 3:12; I Timothy 2:12; I Peter 3:7).

If we don’t start discriminating, or making a difference between good and bad people and between males and females, then our society will never recover from its path to destruction.

God is benevolent and all-wise. This means He is good and knows best about how to promote our well-being. Shouldn’t we turn to His written words for answers instead of turning to the deceivers who control the major media, public education and talk radio?

What kind of nation do you want? A nation under God and God-fearing men (as were most of our founding fathers), or a nation under lying Marxists and criminals (as are most of our present rulers)?

I urge all Mainers to discriminate (use good judgment) and do all they rightly can to promote biblical Christianity and overthrow the conspirators who are controlling both major political parties.

Donald Violette



Pink Glove Dance

Congratulations to Ann Hooper and to all who participated in the great pink glove videos from Waldo County General hospital.

What a wonderful idea and what rewarding fun it must have been for all who were a part of it.

It made me proud to have grown up in such a great town.

I also recognize a lot of faces from my past, and I’m glad to see you can all still “boogie,” ladies!

Alana Estey Patrick

North Fort Myers, Fla.