Mailbag: People control, not animal control

I have lived in Laguna Beach in the same house bordering the Wood Canyon watershed for the past 49 years. Wildlife by the dozen pass through our backyard including raccoons, possums, rabbits, squirrels, deer, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, owls, hawks, snakes, lizards, roadrunners and the occasional litter of kittens dumped in our neighborhood by some irresponsible owner.

The majority of these animals are gone now, cut off from food and habitat due to land development.

After many years absent, a small baby skunk was scurrying around our backyard recently looking for grubs and left-over bird food. I named him Alexi. Today Alexi no longer visits me, Alexi is no more.

I discovered my neighbor is trapping skunks to have them removed because "something is digging in his garden." Imagine my horror to watch a contractor setting traps for wild animals, the criminal offense for crossing a private property boundary under state law is trespass.

What right do people have to move here and trap/euthanize wild animals already in decline? I recommend if you cannot out-smart wild animals or you dislike them then don't live here. You should consider living in a penthouse with a roof-top garden and a caretaker.

Those of you using baited traps to control mice or rodents need a reminder. Bait poison also enters the food supply for wild animals. Poisoning rodents may kill owls and any natural predator that feeds on the poisoned rodent, that goes for domestic animals too.

My strong healthy pet cat lived with me for 10 years but died suddenly. I suspect poison from a baited trap and the veterinarian did not rule that out. A smarter solution for rodent control is sealing your garbage in indoor containers so rodents will not be attracted to the odor. Remove the food source and you remove the rodents.

In our neighborhood the decline in predators like snakes caused an explosion in gophers. Cut-up garlic dropped into the runs of gophers works well for keeping gophers out of our garden, maybe yours too. We have taken the land away from wildlife, so learn to live with those left, they are a joy to watch.

Anneliese Miklosy

Laguna Beach

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Let residents vote on Village Entrance

Following decades of input and debate spanning many Laguna City Councils, it seems questionable not to allow taxpayers and residents the chance to vote upon the huge expenditure of public funds on the Village Entrance.

I am puzzled as to the restriction on our citizens' right to vote on an issue with big economic costs and environmental consequences to Lagunans.

Council members, please reconsider the restriction on our vote in regard to the Village Entrance.

Paul Merritt

Laguna Beach

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Village Entrance decision seems careless

I am flabbergasted. Barbara Diamond's very good article on the city's subcommittees lists the various plans and studies currently going on in Laguna: revisions to the Downtown Specific Plan, analyses of the city's transit system and Laguna Canyon Road, how to best manage parking, making streets less congested and parking more accessible, etc.

There is so much activity going on that the city is considering hiring an urban planner to coordinate it all.

Given that, one wonders why the council majority rushed ahead to approve the Village Entrance project without waiting for the results of these analyses, which might impact the current project design. For example, the project includes raising parking fees and meter fees but without considering the demand-price option in the Downtown Plan. What if they raise them too high and nobody wants to pay to park? One would think that the council majority would at least put a hold on the project to wait for the results of these studies which they, themselves, ordered. But, they don't even want to wait and let the town vote on their project.

It appears as if there is an escalating commitment to fast-track this project without good due process, as if it might be a legacy of some kind. Or perhaps someone does not want the vision of the project modified in any way by this pending information.

Isn't this hasty decision unwise or ill advised at best? I would like the council majority to explain why the project should not wait for the conclusions reached by these committees and why they don't want input from the community by having a vote? Maybe a referendum would put this project in proper order.

John Selecky

Laguna Beach

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