Just hours before picking up your issue featuring the article on feral cats ["I Can Haz Bird?" WW, July 10, 2013], my wife witnessed a cat kill a fledgling Northern Flicker (a woodpecker) in our backyard. It was a traumatic experience for us, as we'd followed the brief life of this young bird as it achieved independence from its parents.

We love and monitor and care for the birds that inhabit our yard and neighborhood as much as any pet owner cares for his or her pet, and it is deeply upsetting to witness one of "our" birds be killed by someone else's cat.

Trap-neuter-return is much better than not neutering feral cats. But maintaining cat colonies facilitates the death of countless wild birds that otherwise would grace our neighborhoods.

I admire the kind hearts of the folks who maintain these colonies, but they need to realize that their kindness has consequences: Feeding a feral cat will not stop it from killing birds. All it does is keep the cat alive longer so that it kills more of them.

Cats kill out of instinct, not for sustenance. A person who subsidizes feral cats is making a choice to value the lives of a few non-native, domesticated animals over the lives of many native, wild animals.

In my view, we instead should be working together to find solutions to limit the number of cats let loose outdoors in the first place.

Jay Withgott
Southwest Portland


Your story on radio station KBOO ["KBOO Coup," WW, July 10, 2013] misses the importance of KBOO. It is the only listener-supported, nonprofit, volunteer, on-air progressive radio station in the region. For 45 years, KBOO has been broadcasting news, opinion and music; local, national and international.

KBOO delivers an amazing variety of music, spanning tastes from bluegrass and the Grateful Dead...to cutting-edge hip-hop. In doing so, it informs and entertains on a level not approached elsewhere on the dial.

KBOO has successfully challenged the assumption that only corporate donors and/or advertisers can pay for meaningful broadcast service. KBOO manages to influence local politics and shape opinion. In the last year, KBOO programmers opposed the sneaky fluoridation effort, the enormously expensive plan to cover the city's reservoirs, and the effort to send filthy coal from Montana and Wyoming down the Columbia Gorge and through Portland to Asia. It is a community station that covers the arts, health, women's and gay issues, and all manner of contemporary concerns.

KBOO carried live the Occupy actions in Portland, as well as the [Waterfront] Blues Festival. The station does need more publicity and more paying members. If more of the 50,000 estimated listeners became dues-paying members, the station's solvency would be secured. KBOO can always improve. But at age 45, it is hardly "a corpse."

Joe Uris
Northeast Portland

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