Letters: Community Futures lacks; Cats pose no danger

Community Futures lacks

I read the recent opinion article on Community Futures Powell River with interest [“Counterpoint: Community Futures has room for improvement,” August 2].

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Based on my experience, I agree that the organization could play a significantly larger role in growing and attracting new business to Powell River. I have founded several BC-based technology companies and worked with Accelerate Okanagan, a provincially funded technology incubator that has been described as the province's leading technology incubator.

There is most certainly economic development potential not being realized for Powell River, where the $2.7 million Community Futures has sitting idle in its bank account could make a real difference.

The Community Futures BC website states that local branches should play an active role in the business community, working in tandem with other economic drivers, such as the chamber of commerce and the city's economic development office.

Community Futures is also supposed to be linking new businesses with established business leaders to foster collaboration and guide new initiatives. It is not simply a matter of waiting by the phone for someone to call and ask for a loan.
Yet the local office makes little effort to build these connections and acts mostly in isolation from those it is supposed to be working with.

I hesitated to write this letter as it might appear to be the complaints of a disgruntled former employee. I was hired by Community Futures Powell River last November as their loans officer and dismissed after only one month. But the much larger issue is too important to let slide.

Community Futures has tremendous potential to serve Powell River, as it does other towns and cities in BC, and that is what residents have a right to expect.

Dan Tatham
Powell River

 

Cats pose no danger

The assertion that domestic cats pose a threat to the wild bird population is, at its core, an urban myth that has been largely debunked by research [“Counterpoint: Keep your cats indoors,” July 19].

In his 2013 New York Times best seller list book Cat Sense, author and anthrozoologist John Bradshaw dedicates an entire chapter to this very issue and concludes that there is no measurable threat to wild bird populations by domestic or feral cats.

Cats and humans have cohabited for centuries. In many cases, the presence of cats has actually benefited humans through the reduction of rats and other disease-bearing pests. Likewise, in certain areas, they have also benefited bird populations by preying on pests that attack bird nests and baby birds.

Studies in the United Kingdom and Australia have concluded that controlling and restricting domestic cats had no effect on local bird populations. In the United Kingdom in particular, it was found that another type of bird, magpies, posed a greater threat to local birds than domestic cats did.

Cats will almost always demonstrate hunting behaviour. This does not always, however, translate into actual hunting.

Domestic cats may frequently stalk birds and small mammals, but they do not necessarily follow through to the final attack phase. If they are well-fed cats, there is no reason for them to hunt for food.
That is not to say cats never kill, but there is currently no reliable science to support the proposition that the wild bird population is in any danger from cats.

Patricia Martinuk
Michigan Avenue

Copyright © 2017 Powell River Peak

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