Letters-June 8, 2006

Guinea hens

‘engaging’ to watch
To the editor:
   It is with great interest that I have been following the "guinea hen letters" over the past few weeks.
   As a resident of Cottage Hill for the past 16 years in a property adjacent to Mt. Hope Cemetery, I have had what might be called an intimate relationship with this beautiful cemetery and its "living" inhabitants.
   I must admit when the guinea fowl first made their appearance a few years ago, I, too, was taken aback and concerned about having them roam my yard. They are quite peculiar looking large birds with unusual — to say the least — vocalizations.
   I worried my cats would be in danger. Unlike your usual, everyday sorts of birds, these animals seemed to have no fear of cats and, in fact, were considerably bigger than my cats!
   I discovered my neighbor, John Holly, was their "keeper," and I called him to express my concerns. John listened carefully to these concerns and assured me these birds are gentle creatures, not known to attack anything other than the ticks and like insects that are their main food supply.
   I did not take Mr. Holly’s assurances at face value, but went on to research the topic on my own and found what he said was, indeed, factual. I can also attest to the fact that since these birds have been roaming my yard, neither I nor any of my family or friends who have visited have seen hide nor hair of a tick on their persons or crawling about!
   They are also, I have found, highly engaging to watch. They seem to take no notice of humans whatsoever, but are very communicative with each other and carry on intense conversations. I suppose about where the tastiest tick congregations are located.
   Anyway, Mr. Anthes seemed to be particularly miffed by the fact the hideous fence around the cemetery has been removed, insinuating this had only been done because "a high-placed friend at the State of NJ" supplied the funds for the removal.
   I know nothing about this, but I do know many of us on Cottage Hill applauded the taking down of the fence — and if this was funded by a "high placed friend," whom I suspect may be a neighbor as well, I take my hat off to them!
   Mr. Anthes seems to believe this fence was what made the guinea fowl more "manageable." In fact, the cemetery fence never closed off the area entirely, and it is only through Mr. Holly’s management of the flock that fewer of the hens are roaming the area now.
   I believe this community has much to thank John Holly and the Mt. Hope Cemetery Association for, in addition to the guinea fowl. Under their leadership, those of us who live on Cottage Hill have witnessed the cemetery being transformed once again to the beautiful, welcoming, well-tended, park-like area it once was, and that has been no small achievement!
   In closing, I would like to offer Mr. Anthes a proposition. If, after due consideration and research on the subject, you continue to object to the presence of the guinea fowl on your property, I will be happy to initiate a neighborhood collection to help you towards building a fence around your property to keep them out, so long as they are free to roam and clear out the ticks on mine!

Leanne Parks

Reader says

‘deport them all’
To the editor:
   As I read more and more from those who are proponents of the illegal aliens in this country, I simply shrug and wonder how anyone can take their positions seriously.
   They seem to have two main arguments, neither of which makes any sense whatsoever.
   Their primary point seems to be this country is made up of immigrants, therefore, if "our" families weren’t on the Mayflower, this somehow invalidates a legal citizen’s opinion. Well, I happen to be a direct descendent of John Hart, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and, still, it gives my opinion no more weight than those of my countrymen who swore the oath of allegiance just yesterday.
   Most citizens come from immigrants who came to the United States legally or were brought here against their will when this country had less then 40 million people living in it. So this, apparently their best position, is merely a ruse.
   Their second point is all of these illegals are somehow helping our economy. Well, they seem to be deliberately ignoring a ton of facts in order to get to this point, to name just a few:
   Health care — Uninsured illegals flooding the emergency rooms cause closures and drive up both prices and premiums to those paying for both.
   Diseases are coming across the border, which are infecting the population at an alarming rate, some, which haven’t been seen in this country since the 19th century.
   Taxes — The only tax being paid by illegals most of the time is sales tax.
   Considering this and that most of what they earn is being sent back to their real country, I would like to know exactly how this helps our economy.
   Car insurance — Some illegals tend to purchase fake identification, steal someone’s identification or simply drive without insurance, registration and without a license.
   Don’t believe me? Simply sit in at one of your municipal court hearings on any random night.
   Crime — Some of the most ruthless gangs in the world are being imported to our country by way of illegal immigration — MS-13, Border Brothers, Aztecas, etc., etc.
   Approximately 300,000 illegals have committed felonies clogging our nations’ prisons. At last count, the cost averages $150 a day to house an inmate.
   Children — Illegals are having children at an alarming rate and outpace the average child per household among legal Americans. Exactly who is paying for them?
   Wages — Illegals are driving down wages by taking jobs at a substantially lower rate from those American tax paying citizens looking for work.
   Steps to correcting this situation:
   Deport all illegal aliens.
   Secure the borders. If the National Guard is needed, then use them. Build a high-tech with motion sensors and directional microphones.
   Make it a felony to invade our country with the penalty for anyone who does to know they will never be allowed to immigrate or visit this country.
   Expand the power to enforce immigration laws to local, county and state authorities.
   Force Mexico to enforce its northern border just like they do with their southern one. If not, repeal all favorable trade agreements and ban U.S. travel there.
   Fine anyone hiring illegals $20,000 for the first offense and hand out jail sentences for subsequent offenses.
   Fine anyone harboring, selling and/or renting homes $10,000 for the first offense leading up to jail sentences for subsequent offenses.
   Add incentives to those legally going through the process to immigrate. By last check, we have our own domestic problems and riddles we have — as a nation — yet to solve.
   They include the issues I have listed above. If so, why on earth would we want to further the problem by adding other nations’ issues to our already overwhelming and complex issues?
   Should any legal, law abiding, taxpaying citizen shoulder any of the above burdens placed upon them by those illegally entering our great nation?
   Instead of allowing these people to drain our resources and drive up our costs, shouldn’t we enforce the law and use the resources as they were intended? Shouldn’t we solve our own domestic problems before inviting other nations to dump theirs into our country?

Michael Melsky
New Hope

Ruffhouse provides

love and care
To the editor:
   I would like to express my appreciation for your article about Annie Trinkle and the organization she helped found, Animal Alliance.
   Ms. Trinkle most certainly deserves the Hero to Animals Award given by the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey. Her efforts have saved countless animals, and her selfless commitment to these animals is inspirational.
   I would also like to commend a local woman whose involvement with Animal Alliance has provided a temporary home for many dogs awaiting adoption through the Animal Alliance network.
   Cindy Cook, owner of Ruffhouse Doggy Daycare in West Amwell, fosters dogs at her facility while they wait for a permanent home. Her love and commitment to these animals is amazing.
   They often arrive immediately after being removed from neglectful or abusive situations. They come as broken and terrified animals.
   In the time she has them, Cindy’s love and patience rehabilitates these dogs. They leave for their new homes happier, healthier and much better adjusted than they came.
   Cindy and the entire staff at Ruffhouse show these animals the caring and love they need to heal and become normal happy dogs.
   I would like to thank Annie Trinkle, Cindy Cook and all those whose life commitment is the rescue, rehabilitation and care of unwanted animals.
   They better the lives of these animals and truly better the world we all live in.

Elizabeth Park

Comcast neglects

city customers
To the editor:
   Comcast having a monopoly should not allow Comcast to neglect its customers in Lambertville.
   Service often goes down, and then one has to wait a week until a service person comes to fix the problem.
   Then, in some cases, the person who is making the repair has poor communication skills and appears to lack technical knowledge and his solution to the problem, "the box," is only temporary.
   When a second repair man comes, he asks, "Where does your cable come in?" In five minutes, he says, "All fixed. The problem was with the cable and had nothing to do with the box."
   Comcast is in the winning circle. Lambertville is in the loser circle. Be a Comcaster! You have no choice.
   In the meantime, when you are not happy with Comcast, contact your elected officials and tell them to talk to Comcast and tell them Lambertville needs an upgrade in technology and service.
   Also contact Brian L. Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer, Comcast Corporation and Stephen B. Burke, president, Comcast Cable, Comcast Corporation, 1500 Market St., Philadelphia, 19102. The phone is (215) 981-8582 or (215) 320-7408.
   Now in all fairness, after yet another disruption of service for a whole week. the technician who turned up was very courteous; seemed to know his stuff. He replaced the "box" and installed a booster, which he said would give me a stronger signal. Let’s wait and see.

Roger Aspeling