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Every year or so, the City of Santa Monica poisons hundreds, maybe thousands, of ground squirrels at Palisades Park, being forced to do so by County Vector Control, as part off – get this – a need to prevent Bubonic Plague.

This last time the City of SM did this was during this past February, with poison gas pumped into their burrows and then the entrances covered with dirt.

Over the years opposition has grown dramatically. On my blog I outline the past eight years of attempts to stop the poisoning and the unreasonableness of the County to entertain alternatives. Santa Monica has offered alternatives only to be rejected by the County.

Even now a Santa Monica Councilmember – Kevin McKeown – as well as Zev Yaroslavsky, are trying to find alternatives. The alternatives almost always involve different ways of killing them.

Santa Monica just gave a $30,000 contract to a guy who will build several huge live traps (20 ft X 20 ft X 6 ft.). Squirrels caught will be transported elsewhere and killed in homemade gas chambers using carbon monoxide.

On my blog (www.laanimalwatch. blogspot.com) I post opposing letters from academics and wildlife groups as well as several newspaper articles. Opposition now is so fierce that the City and County will be forced into a dramatic turn-around into non-lethal management.

If this happens, it will set a precedent for wildlife management all over the County and will saves tens of thousands of lives over the next few years – maybe more.

Non-lethal methods are being used all over the country, especially in California. Why does LA County lag?


Edward Muzika

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Santa Monica has named a novice to fill its top communications post. Most organizations would require 10 or more years of experience to head up a department that handles publications, media relations, cable TV, community outreach and crisis communications. Mona Miyasoto has zero years of experience in the field. She wrote for her college newspaper and had two media internships (read supplying coffee to reporters). This might get her an entry level position anywhere else, but in Santa Monica she is named HEAD of the department.

Out of 200 applicants for the job, how can she be the most qualified person the screening panel could find? Perhaps it had something to do with Ms. Miyasoto previously working for the City, but in an entirely different area. So the City is willing to pay her what will probably be a six-figure salary for on-the-job training. You can bet that taxpayers will have to shell out for more staffers to do the actual work.

Please print the names of the panelists who selected Ms. Miyasoto so we know who is responsible for a choice that whiffs of nepotism.

HP Epstein

Santa Monica

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The entertainment industry is up on its moral high horse over Mel Gibson’s recent poor behavior. This industry as a whole is itself, at all levels, infamous for discriminatory attitudes with respect to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, etc. From a business that contributes little or nothing of substance to society it is a joke to hear it chastising, lecturing and calling for boycotts of Gibson and his movies. Interestingly, people eat up this type of stuff, and the very industry that condemns Gibson will benefit financially as they market the incident as entertainment itself.

Tim Opper

Langley, BC, Canada

in Uncategorized
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