Under the bill approved yesterday by the County Council, KHS now has the authority to take your unlicensed dog from your yard, even if you are standing right there, impound it and kill it after 48 hours if you don't come up with the $35 to $80 for a license and associated penalties. If the dog is in jail longer than two days, a $12-per-day boarding fee will be tacked on.
Though many people, including Councilman Ross Kagawa, get a lot of love and comfort from their dogs, others are more ambivalent. While they wouldn't necessarily turn their pets in to the shelter, they will use cost as an excuse for not bailing them out.
It's unclear how KHS will use its new powers, which have the potential to greatly alienate the public. KHS Director Penny Cistaro told The Garden Island that they're expecting to raise $100,000 to $120,000 in the next nine months from licensing, board and impound fees:
“We will be more proactive,” she said. “We will be sending out renewal notices when licenses expire and we will be more active with how we are getting people to license their animals.”
Let's hope they start with a convenient licensing process, an education campaign and a light touch. Because as a dog-loving friend said recently, what value do I get from a dog license? If it's to support KHS, haven't I done my part already by adopting a stray?
Since we're talking about nonprofits, MidWeek columnist Bob Jones reports that the state Attorney General's office has ordered Kauai Independent Food Bank to repay the state $50,000 for improper use of SNAP (food stamp) funds. This is in addition to the $779,000 that KIFB had to repay the federal government. Though former executive director Judy Lenthall resigned in the wake of the scandal, the same Board of Directors still reigns.
Fortunately, the Hawaii Food Bank opened a Kauai Branch, which now provides virtually all of the food that is distributed to the hungry on this island. Just something to keep in mind during September, which is Hunger Awareness Month. Food donations can be taken to the HFB-Kauai warehouse, which is located in the Puhi Industrial Park, just down the road from Mark's Place. (482-2224) A major need is rice.
Speaking of food, a new study finds the practice of feeding bees high fructose corn syrup could be contributing to colony collapse. Commercial beekeepers typically take all the high-value honey produced by their bees, which are trucked around to pollinate crops, and feed them low-cost corn syrup instead.
Honey is packed with all sorts of good stuff, so corn syrup is obviously not a nutritional equivalent — even though research from the 1970s indicated the practice was safe. Now, however, entomologists are finding the syrup-fed bees appear to have compromised immune systems that inhibit their ability to ward off the toxic effects of pesticides and pathogens:
Specifically, they found that when bees are exposed to the enzyme p-coumaric, their immune system appears stronger—it turns on detoxification genes. P-coumaric is found in pollen walls, not nectar, and makes its way into honey inadvertently via sticking to the legs of bees as they visit flowers.
As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses.
The study is careful to say corn syrup itself isn't toxic to bees. But most of it is made from Roundup resistant corn and contains glyphosate residue, which is now being implicated in disrupting critical gut bacteria and suppressing detoxification enzymes. So that certainly warrants some looking into.
While we're on the topic of Roundup, House Republications have slipped an extension of the Monsanto Protection Act into the spending bill designed to avert a government shutdown. As the Huffington Post reports:
Since its quiet passage, the Monsanto Protection Act has become a target of intense opposition. The law effectively prevents judges from placing injunctions on genetically modified seeds even if they are deemed unsafe.
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has vowed to oppose it:
"I will fight the House's efforts to extend this special interest loophole that nullifies court orders that are protecting farmers, the environment, and public health."
But Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, said the panel doesn't expect the Senate to balk at the inclusion of the Monsanto provision. "We have received no indication that this is a concern," she said.
Really? None at all?