LETTERS: Neighbors: City officials too slow to address house full of cats

To the editor:

Regarding Jane Ann Morrison’s excellent article on the house overrun by cats (“House deemed ‘health risk,’” Aug. 23 Review-Journal), we are the unnamed neighbors to the south. Eight years ago, we began complaining to Las Vegas Animal Control about feral cats in our yard and about the accompanying stench. Over the years, we made many calls to animal control after we trapped cats and asked for help with the issue.

We were told that there was nothing they could do; they suggested that we continue to trap the cats for pickup by their workers. We were not given any other contact options. We’ve spent hours on the phone on hold, being transferred, calling various government agencies, to no avail. Andy Chaney, the Southern Nevada Health District’s environmental health supervisor, stated that even though the cats used the yards on either side of Diane Dejongh’s home as litter boxes, they didn’t pose a health risk to neighbors, and that the health risk was only to Ms. Dejongh and her daughter.

Do city officials really believe the contamination stops at Ms. Dejongh’s door? At the end of her yard? The health district required the removal of all porous surfaces in the house. The workers have worn masks and haz-mat suits. The cat feces, urine and spray deposited in our yard over a period of eight years is as much a health risk to our family as it is to the Dejonghs and the workers who have been in and out of the house since June.

The fecal matter, urine and spray have seeped into all areas of our yard and are there to stay barring extreme remediation. The smell is so foul that we can’t enjoy our front courtyard, our back patio or our pool. We are frustrated that not only has the city taken so long to act despite our ongoing complaints, but also that its secrecy and failure to contact us with any information has harmed public health. We were told the city couldn’t tell us anything due to privacy issues.

We learned more from Ms. Morrison’s article than we ever heard from the city. We didn’t even know about the three previous cases until we read the article, even though we must have been on record for our years of complaints. On July 29, we emailed a summary of the conditions we’ve endured for the past eight years to one of the code enforcement officers. We haven’t received a response or even an acknowledgment of receipt.

We have lived in our home for 25 years. It has been the major investment in our future. We would like to retire and downsize, but selling this house at fair market value will be difficult if not impossible.



Far-right intransigents

To the editor:

Regarding Barbara Hacker-Mazur’s letter, I tire of reading opinions of readers on the intransigent far right (“Obama takes U.S. in wrong direction,” Aug. 24 Review-Journal). I am neither a liberal nor a conservative, and I enjoy reading the opinions of experts on both sides of an issue before formulating an opinion of my own.

What people like Ms. Hacker-Mazur lack is an opinion of their own. She quotes the tired and ignorant “facts” of the celebrity right-wing spokespeople. “Please, someone enlighten me as to what sound decisions and judgments the president has made during the last six years,” she writes. How about giving the order in a highly physically and politically risky operation that rid us of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of 9/11? How about bringing our troops home from an unjust and unpopular war, as he promised he’d do?

Yes, that did result in less money needed in the military budget. But he “decimated” our military, she writes.

According to Ms. Hacker-Mazur, President Barack Obama gave us Obamacare, “which the majority of the people did not want.” Since when are the majority of people always right? I’ll bet Ms. Hacker-Mazur has either a nice group health care policy or Medicare and a supplement. She babbles on: “Add to that his inability to put two coherent sentences together without the use of a teleprompter.” Has she ever heard him respond extemporaneously to questions at news conferences?

One sign of intelligence is the ability to modify your opinions based on reason, thought and facts. Ideologues are so blinded by their opinions that they refuse to let facts get in the way. There is nothing that President Obama could do that would satisfy people on the far, far right. It reminds me of the quote by President Lyndon Johnson: “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read, ‘President can’t swim.’”



R-J lacks credibility

To the editor:

I had to laugh at the Aug. 21 editorial/joke column (“Haute Hillary”). It criticizes Hillary Clinton’s “travel tastes and requirements.” I assume your resident, far-right-wing nut Sherman Frederick must still be on the Review-Journal’s editorial board, since I recall him writing something similar regarding Mrs. Clinton not too long ago.

But here’s the problem the Review-Journal editorial board and most certainly Mr. Frederick have: You are so blatantly biased in your opinions that it’s impossible for a reasonable-thinking person not to see it.

How is it that the far-right female nut job and “woman of the people” Sarah Palin gets a pass for her well-known demands regarding “big bucks, royal treatment for speeches” persona, but the editorial board and Mr. Frederick have no problem throwing a brick at Mrs. Clinton. You have no credibility, and the joke is on you. But you don’t get it.



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