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Managing Outdoor Cats PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grant Sizemore   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:25

A newly released study by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has attracted media attention for its estimate of cat-caused wildlife mortality. In particular, birds and mammals are among the two hardest hit groups. The median estimate of deaths for birds and mammals combined each year in the United States as a result of outdoor cat predation is 14.7 billion individuals. This new estimate settles any argument as to whether or not outdoor cats impact native wildlife and demands from the public a serious look at how we can protect biodiversity from this introduced predator.

Please consider writing in support of responsibly managing outdoor cats, and urge cat owners to keep their cats indoors.

Key Points:

Outdoor cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually in the United States

Outdoor cats have been implicated in the extinction of 33 species

Outdoor cats are the #1 source of direct, human-caused bird mortality in the United States

Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs have been shown to be ineffective in reducing outdoor cat populations and do nothing to reduce predation pressure on local wildlife

Feral and free-ranging cats pose a health risk to humans and wildlife for their ability to transmit rabies, toxoplasmosis, and other diseases

Outdoor cats live traumatic and dangerous lives that average 3-5 times less than those of indoor cats; risks include being struck by cars, eaten by predators, and disease.


The only sure way to protect wildlife, cats, and people is for domestic cats to be permanently removed from the environment. TNR is a failed strategy being implemented across the United States without any consideration for environmental, human health, or animal welfare impacts and can no longer be tolerated. Local governments need to act swiftly and decisively to gather the 30-80 million un-owned cats, aggressively seek adoptions, and euthanize those cats that are not adoptable. Furthermore, pet cats should be spayed/neutered and kept indoors. For their own safety, owned cats need to be licensed and microchipped. Only through proper identification can lost cats be consistently returned to their homes, and no owners need worry about accidental adoption or euthanasia of their beloved companion. It is also time to treat cat owners like we treat dog owners by enforcing anti-abandonment laws and requiring leashes or enclosures for cats outdoors. Lastly, society needs to recognize that excellent pets in need of good homes may be found at local animal shelters and rescue organizations.

American Bird Conservancy Press Release:

Governor Pat Quinn Signs House Bill 190 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:22

CHICAGO – February 7, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today signed House Bill 190. The governor called for passage of this legislation in yesterday’s State of the State address, and has pushed to restore funding to the Department of Children and Family Services for months. Sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), the bill passed the General Assembly earlier today.

“I applaud the General Assembly for taking action to pass and send a bill to my desk that will put people to work and protect the most vulnerable among us,” Governor Quinn said.

“This important measure will allow us to begin construction projects this spring, putting Illinois workers back on the job repairing bridges and improving roads. The bill is part of my agenda to strengthen our economy while rebuilding transportation networks across the state.

“As a result of today’s action, hard-working employees at the Department of Children and Family Services will continue their critical work of protecting vulnerable children who have been abused and neglected.

“Thank you Speaker Madigan and Senator Kotowski for your work to pass this important bill.”


Statement from Governor Pat Quinn Regarding the Passage of House Bill 190 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:13

CHICAGO – February 7, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement on the passage of House Bill 190. The governor called for passage of this legislation in yesterday’s State of the State address, and has pushed to restore funding to Department of Children and Family Services for months. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

“I applaud Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and all the members of the General Assembly who today voted to put people to work, and protect the most vulnerable among us. They did the right thing.

“This legislation will allow us to begin construction projects this spring which will put Illinois workers back on the job. As part of our Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, these women and men will be busy repairing bridges, improving roads and strengthening our infrastructure across the state.

“In addition, this bill will enable the Department of Children and Family Services to continue its critical mission of protecting vulnerable children who have been abused and neglected.

“I look forward to signing this legislation.”


Black History Month Tribute: Strength, Persistence, Talent PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD   
Friday, 08 February 2013 15:56

Author/contributor:  Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D.

Black history in American has certainly had its ups and downs. It’s troubling when, for political theater, those who should know better fail to emphasize the inspirational stories that highlight the strengths of blacks and the humanity of whites. While it is undeniable that cruelty and suffering are part of this country’s history, at some point it is counterproductive to paint blacks as weak victims of the white man’s callousness.

There were always free blacks in America (including my family). Indeed, in 1641, Mathias De Sousa, an African indentured servant who came from England with Lord Baltimore, was elected to Maryland’s General Assembly. The first census of 1790 counted 19 per cent black Americans, 10 per cent of whom were free.

Black Americans served on both sides during the Revolutionary War. The British promised freedom to slaves belonging to Patriot masters who served. Because of his manpower shortages, George Washington lifted the ban on black enlistment in the Continental Army in January 1776, creating his so-called “mixed multitude,” which was 15 per cent black. Economist Walter Williams is so correct that necessity can overcome prejudice.

Nestled in the back of some folks’ minds was (is?) the notion that blacks were not as intelligent as whites. They certainly couldn’t have had the smarts to be doctors. James Derham (c. 1757-1802?), born a slave in Philadelphia, proved the naysayers wrong. He was the first known black American physician, although not professionally trained in medical school. As was common at the time, physicians were trained in apprenticeships. Young Derham was fortunate that his three early masters were physicians who taught him to read and write.

Derham’s third owner taught the young teen how to mix and administer medicines. After this owner, who had been arrested during the war for being a Tory, died in prison, Derham was sold to a British officer, and he served as a doctor to soldiers. After the war, he became the property of a Scottish physician (appropriately named Dr. Love) from New Orleans, who hired him to work as a medical assistant and apothecary.

By 1783, Derham quickly saved enough money to buy his freedom, and he set up his own medical practice in New Orleans. Derham, who spoke English, French, and Spanish, was a popular and highly regarded doctor, who treated both black and white patients. By age 30, Derham earned more than $3,000 annually.

Derham’s medical paper on his success in treating diphtheria caught the attention of Benjamin Rush, a physician who signed the Declaration of Independence, served as surgeon general of the Continental Army, and has been called “the father of American medicine.” Rush invited Derham to Philadelphia in 1788 and was so impressed that he encouraged him to stay. There, Derham became an expert in throat diseases and in the relationship between weather and disease.

In 1789, Derham returned to New Orleans, where he saved many yellow fever victims. He stopped practicing medicine in 1801, when the new city regulations required a formal medical degree to be considered a doctor. Nothing is known of his whereabouts after 1802.

The first university-trained black American physician was James McCune Smith, born in 1813 to slave parents who were emancipated by New York law. Despite his scholastic achievements at the Free African School of New York, he was denied admission to American medical schools. When he was 19 years old, the Glasgow Emancipation Society helped Smith enroll in Scotland’s University of Glasgow. He received his B.A. degree in 1835 and his M.D. degree in 1837. A skilled debater and lecturer, Smith was a founding member of the New York Statistics Society in 1852, and was elected as an early member of the American Geographic Society.

The first American medical degree was conferred on David J. Peck, born circa 1826 into a free black family in Pittsburgh, Pa. In 1846, after studying two years with a private physician, he enrolled in Rush Medical College and graduated in 1847. Peck practiced medicine in Philadelphia for 2 years before moving to Central America to start a homeland for free blacks in Nicaragua.

Thank you, doctors, for paving the way for my grandfather, my father, and me.

Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD is a board-certified anesthesiologist and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) member. Despite being told, “they don’t take Negroes at Stanford”, she graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School. Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. She was an instructor, then Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland before returning to California for private practice. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law. She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law. She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. Dr. Singleton recently returned from El Salvador where she conducted make-shift medical clinics in two rural villages. Her latest presentation to physicians was at the AAPS annual meeting about challenging the political elite.

Additional op-ed  by Dr. Singleton: ObamaCare and the Twilight Zone: To Serve Man

AAPS Lawsuit Covered on national TV News with Rand Paul on Andrew Napolitano:

Loebsack: Congress Must Act to Provide Relief for USPS PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 15:26

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the announcement by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that they will discontinue Saturday delivery.

“Once again, inaction by Congress has real life consequences for Iowans.  By requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund retirement health benefits to the tune of over $50 billion over 10 years, which no other agency or business has to do, Congress is tying their hands. The USPS would not be in the dire situation it is today if it had not been required to pre-pay these funds.

“Legislation to address this problem was introduced last Congress but like so many other issues, House leadership refused to bring this up. I can’t think of a less partisan issue than the postal service.  It is past time Congress works to find a solution to this problem.”

Loebsack has previously cosponsored legislation, which would address the USPS’s financial needs without the upheaval and job loss.  He has urged leadership on multiple occasions to address postal reform as soon as possible and is currently a cosponsor of H. Res. 30, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the UPSP should continue with its 6-day mail delivery service.


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