I’ll bet there were many “woo-hoos” shouted in lots of homes when the story of Kaden the Cumberland cat became a happy ending (Sept. 16).

As someone who works in animal welfare, I found this story powerful in the way it underscores the intensity of the human-animal bond.

Kaden’s family quickly got the word out about his disappearance, and they provided accurate and meaningful photos and descriptions about his looks and likely behavior. They contacted the recommended people and places to report their lost pet.

Countless Good Samaritans answered the call and kept watch for him, even cutting out his photo from the newspaper. Kaden defied the odds — nationwide the return-to-owner rate for lost cats is a mere 2 percent to 4 percent.

Cats are certainly lost to predators, cars and accidents, yet often cats are hiding in plain sight, especially the ones that don’t venture outdoors and those who are fearful by nature. The Missing Pet Partnership has invaluable tips on the behavior of displaced cats and dogs, why and where they tend to hide, and the importance of frequently visiting animal shelters to look cage by cage for your pet.

These tips, combined with a collar and current ID and microchip, can be their ticket home. There is newly published and myth-busting research by the ASPCA and other experts about cats successfully wearing collars, which may help more of them get home and stay home.

Most pets have the opportunity to slip out an open door hundreds of times in the course of a month, making visible and traceable identification a priceless investment. It’s a happy day in Kaden’s household. Sometimes it takes a village to help notice and find a missing pet.

Susan Britt

North Yarmouth 

Biddeford far too quick to close historic street 

How can we close Bradbury Hill, a street that’s been around since the early days of Biddeford?

If we are concerned about hills in Biddeford, we should be closing down hills like Pike, Clifford, Green, George and May streets. These are all hills that are hard to maintain in the winter.

The City Council talks about safety. How can they be concerned about safety if a ladder fire truck cannot get to service the homes at the end of Bradbury St. Extension? Do we want another Hooper Street situation?

The Capital Project Committee shut this street down with no notice to anyone. How can a handful of people shut a street down?

This street needs to stay the way it was: traffic both ways!

Gerard Raymond

Biddeford

Falmouth Library board chief didn’t comment on repair cost 

In the article “New wrinkle in Falmouth Library plans” (Sept. 9), I was misquoted as saying “the deficiencies in the current library building would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to correct.”

Although I did discuss the hundreds of thousands of dollars that has been spent maintaining and upgrading the building, I did not mention how much it would cost to complete the repairs identified in the building inspection report.

Those defects named in the building report could amount to thousands of dollars in repairs, but the Falmouth Memorial Library Board of Trustees is working to rectify those flaws in as cost-effective a manner as possible.

Parking is also a huge issue that the article did not address. A parking space is required for every 200 square feet of additional space. The building inspection report suggested creating new parking spaces on the already very busy Lunt Road, which would involve zoning changes.

The Library Board of Trustees feels very strongly that although the library is in desperate need of new space, it cannot acquire that space in any other than a fiscally prudent and cautious manner. To add less than half the space to the library than required to adequately serve the community of Falmouth would be irresponsible and a waste of money.

Chantal Walker

President, Falmouth Memorial Library Board of Trustees

Falmouth 

Group supporting BPA has pro-industry record 

I was quite surprised to read Jeff Stiers’ commentary suggesting BPA used in plastic bottles and can liners is safer than soy products, which prompted me to research the American Council of Science and Health to figure out just who it represents.

Although it likes to sell itself as a consumer-friendly group based on its mission statement, it is in fact industry-friendly, receiving more than 75 percent of its funding from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Some of what the public needs to know about BPA is that it is an endocrine disrupter, which mimics the body’s own hormones and may lead to negative health effects. In March of this year, the federal EPA declared BPA a chemical of concern due to potential effects on the brain, behavior and the prostate gland in fetuses, infants and young children.

A 2007 consensus among 38 experts on BPA concluded that average levels in people are above the level that causes harm to many animals in lab experiments. In 2009, Sunoco, a supplier of BPA, decided not to sell BPA to companies for use in food or water containers for children younger than 3, saying it couldn’t be certain of the compound’s safety.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that receives 95 percent of its revenue from a nutrition and health newsletter that does not accept corporate advertising, has an interesting take on the American Council of Science and Health. The center describes it as “a consumer fraud … (that) seems to arrive at conclusions before conducting studies. Through voodoo or alchemy, bodies of scientific knowledge are transmogrified into industry-oriented position statements.”

It makes one wonder if the council’s next move will be to convince soy producers to package their goods in BPA-lined containers.

Jeff Madore

Chemical Engineer

Cumberland Foreside 

City’s sex ranking too low? Cheer up, help is on the way 

On the front page on Sept. 15 was a headline bemoaning the last-place ranking of Portland in terms of 100 cities that are “hotbeds for sex.”

Right next to this was another headline announcing that former President Bill Clinton will visit Maine Sept. 26, including a stop in Portland.

If Clinton spends more than a couple of days here, that should be enough to move Portland into first place in terms of how much sexual activity is going on by practically any criteria they are using.

 

Dave Johnson

Kennebunk