In response to the Saco feral cat situation (“Feral cats run wild in Saco, but not for long,” Aug. 30), I offer the following: Camp Ellis is a perfect example of a successful trap-neuter-release operation.

A population of feral cats that numbered in the 60s is now down to 15 or below, thanks to the efforts of year-round residents and a nonprofit organization.

All are healthy, cared for and fed, and their veterinary expenses are covered. All cats tested negative for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, received rabies vaccines and were spayed or neutered.

When these cats are removed, it creates what is called a “vacuum effect.” That is, other cats will move in to the now-vacated area — cats that would most likely not be vaccinated or spayed/neutered — and the cycle of breeding would begin anew (and cats are very prolific breeders).

In addition, these cats perform a valuable service to the community — rodent control.

The neighbor whose lawn is littered with cat feces has a number of proven natural remedies at his disposal to discourage such behavior.

People who are not educated about methods that are proven time and again to be successful should not be so quick to offer opinions on topics about which they know little.

Alley Cat Allies (a national organization, and Friends of Feral Felines (a local organization, would be happy to share materials and educate anyone who cares to learn more.

Sharon Martel


Caron shrugs off injustice to Democratic candidate

In a recent column (“National campaign pollution drifting into Maine,” Aug. 30), Alan Caron expressed his disgust at the prospect of Republican operatives in Washington putting out ads urging people to vote for the Democratic candidate, thereby splitting the vote with Angus King and giving the Republican candidate the election.

Where is his outrage at the entire Democratic machine in Maine lying down for King, doing nothing for their own candidate, thereby ensuring a King victory?

King is no more a Democrat than Charlie Summers; among other things, he vetoed a bill (while governor) that would have raised the minimum wage!

Mr. Caron’s hypocrisy is breathtaking.

John Nichols


Name of event embodies courage, faith and humor

My heart and condolences go out to Elizabeth Callan, who knows very acutely the effects of cancer on both the living and those who die as a result of the disease (Voice of the People, “Benefit organizers should choose words more carefully,” Aug. 28).

I am a proud, though speed-challenged, participant in the Not Dead Yet ride to benefit the Cancer Community Center. 

I love the title of the event because it so beautifully embodies the characteristics needed to cope with cancer, whether as a patient or a caregiver and supporter: fight, determination, a sense of humor and faith in the future. 

The Cancer Community Center encourages all those attributes, provides support to everyone living with cancer and does it all at no charge.

I can’t think of a better investment than 25 miles on my bike to keep the programs coming. 

My husband is now a 16-year survivor of brain cancer, thanks to amazing medical personnel and the grace of God. 

He’s found friends, encouragement, understanding and a lot of fun at the Cancer Community Center. I’m so glad I can support an organization that is such a gift in his life. 

And, by the way, if you’d like to help me raise funds for the Cancer Community Center, please visit my fundraising page at:

Paula Broydrick


Nonprofit offers resources on countering cyberbullying

The Aug. 28 article “Local cyberbully forum to focus on solutions” is a good reminder of the constant dangers children and teens face online.

Bullying is no longer contained to the school playground, but permeates home life through harassment via cellphone and computer, particularly with the popularity of social media sites. Parents can often feel just as lost as their children in the face of this new type of bullying. But help is available.

KidsPeace, a nonprofit serving youth and families throughout Maine, supports two award-winning websites aimed at combating the negativity that runs rampant on the Internet.

TeenCentral.Net and Parent Central.Net are free, anonymous sites where teens and parents can find answers to common problems such as bullying, peer pressure, alcohol and drug abuse and eating disorders.

With segments on “7 Skills for Teaching your Child to Stand Up to Bullying” (ParentCentral) and “Cyberbullying — Ignore the Stupid, Delete the Mean and Tell someone when you are very upset” (TeenCentral), these sites offer practical advice for teens and parents alike.

Trained counselors answer all questions within 24 hours, and visitors have the opportunity to share their stories, get advice from their peers and access resource information. We may not be able to completely stop cyberbullying, but bringing attention to this problem is a step in the right direction.

Ken Olson, LCPC

executive director, KPNE | KidsPeace

South Portland