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Opinion

Mailbag: Adopting pets better than buying them

Lynn McCluney (“Animals need our help,” Sounding Off, July 29) is right on the mark, especially with her suggestion to adopt pets from various animal shelters instead of buying them from pet stores, and having mandatory neutering and spaying.

The manner in which we treat animals is a reflection on our society. It is a shame that thousands of pet animals are either abandoned or sent to shelters by owners who did not have a commitment to take care of them, or education on what responsibilities to expect.

San Francisco is considering a ban on sale of pets from pet stores. Horror stories of animal cruelty at pet breeding places for dogs, cats, horses, etc. are often in the news. A status quo on this “life and death” matter is unacceptable.

Maneck Bhujwala

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Huntington Beach

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Keep an eye on mobile homes issue

Ideologues often do not understand or even care about the human costs and impacts of doctrinaire positions based upon their ideologies. On the national level, for example, many “gun nuts” don’t care about firearms abuses under their warped interpretation of the Second Amendment. They put ideology over practicality and reason.

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Want to own machine guns or buy “cop killer bullets”? Go right ahead, they would say. Your right is sacrosanct in our view. Forget protecting the public. No government intervention allowed.

There is an issue brewing in Huntington Beach that has the ideologues rattling their sabers. It is the ideology of “private property rights” and its application to the subdivision of mobile home parks (“Council approves park subdivision,” May 20).

It holds that park owners should have the unfettered right to do anything they want with their property regardless of how it affects those owning residences on it. Under this subdivision ploy to get around current city ordinances protecting this vulnerable population (largely seniors on fixed incomes, many of whom have been in their homes for decades), manufactured housing owners would be forced to purchase the land their homes are on for hundreds of thousands of dollars per space. This would naturally bankrupt most homeowners and force them to either move or stay at the mercy of the park owners. This would kill resale value and make the manufactured homes themselves virtually worthless.

The ideologues are lining up behind this “sacrosanct” right of park owners to do whatever they choose, regardless of the human costs and impacts this doctrinaire position would cause. We can see this in the positions of various City Council candidates. In 2004, the Huntington Beach City Council enacted an ordinance protecting the residential rights of manufactured housing homeowners in the event that park owners converted their property to other uses.

Local government should consider similar protections against this subdivision scheme that victimizes an important and vulnerable segment of our society. The alternative (doing nothing and allowing any abuses to take place) would ruin the lives of thousands of our citizens and enrich only a few, some of whom don’t even live in the city.

The choice is clear. Do we put profits over people, or the other way around? Will the ideologues win, or will we emphasize practicality and reason in coming up with solutions to this property rights issue? We will need to listen carefully to City Council candidates in this campaign and hold them accountable for their views on this subject.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

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