April 4, 2008

WHAT THE??


The Center of Controversy


Just when you think you've lived long enough to think that the old saw " there's nothing new under the sun " is true you wake to find something that's not only new but outrageous.

This morning's Chicago Tribune covered a local story of an elderly Polish couple who had emigrated to America from Russia and settled in the northwest suburbs because of its countrylike setting . They set up a wildlife sanctuary for the birds and kept five feeders going .

There's a creek that runs near their property and brings all sorts of critters such as racoons, geese, etc. Sometimes they left a bowl of bread crumbs out for them to eat.

Much to their surprise they received a $100 fine for " feeding the birds " and were ordered by the local court to cease their activities or there would be a $500 a day fine. Seems a neighbor reported their bird feeding activites as a nuisance and possible health threat.

They came from Russia where freedoms are curtailed only to be dealt a blow to the most basic of rights, which, they declared was allowed in their native land. I can imagine how puzzled and frustrated they must be over this ridiculous heavy handed ruling by a local judge.

Knowing the many numbers of bird lovers and naturalists in the Chicago area I somehow have the feeling that we've not heard the last of this story. We Americans love fairy tale endings and I'm hoping to pick up the paper and read a happy conclusion to this disturbing news.



41 comments:

  1. How terrible! But then I believe anything is possible with politics anymore. Let's hope the community raises a protest over this.

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  2. perhaps the neighbors need something to do?

    I have a whole list they could peruse:

    - weeds
    - fertilzing
    - trimming
    - blowing leaves
    - mulching

    Need a sous chef @ dinner time too, washing, trimming & chopping veggies....& cleaning my juicer! Dishwasher anyone?

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  3. This is appalling. I hope it can be worked out. We all feed birds, don't we? At the zoo, when you toss some crumbs from your lunch, are you endangering someone's health? Ridiculous. What's the world coming to?

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  4. Indeed, there's always something new to make us scratch our heads, Carolyn. Did you see Oprah yesterday? Fabulous bird photo ...

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  5. That's horrible to do this old couple that way. I agree with rose, people should protest this unjust judgment.

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  6. There was a story on the news last year like the one you wrote about. Neighbors or probably a nasty neighbor complained about attracting nuisance wildlife to the birdfeeders and the owners had to take down the feeders. Something about an ordinance relating to attracting vermin. I wonder when the neighbors will complain about our 5 large and three small sunflower feeders, several bag feeders of nyjer seeds and a regular large birdseed feeder. ;( It is amazing how insidiously regulated our lives have become.

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  7. that is the most bizarre thing i've ver heard. over here in ireland we were all asked to feed the birds because they were in trouble after a long winter. i can't believe there are people who wouldn't appreciate a bit of wildlife on their doorstep, after all they don't mind us on theirs!

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  8. I'm so fortunate that my neighbors don't complain about me. I have five different feeding stations also. Lots and lots of birds in my yard. I love them but can understand if my neighbors saw them as a nuisance.

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  9. Outrageous. The superintendent of our apartment building once put up a sign that everyone must stop feeding the birds because "the feeders were attracting crows and gulls" -- who are carrion feeders -- and they were apparently interrupting the sleep of some tenants! Turned out that "some tenants" was one, crabby neighbor who worked shift work and didn't appreciate birdsong, I guess. :) After discovering that, my feeders were full to the top again. :-p I hope your story does have a happy ending.

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  10. You know, some people just have no love in thier heart for nature of any kind... I hope there is a happy ending too.
    jen R

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  11. That is horrible!
    I wish for a happy ending too. Please keep us updated. I'll cross my fingers for the old couple.

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  12. Hi Rose,

    Absolutely. Thanks for visiting.

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  13. Hi Ingar,

    Great idea. If folks kept busy with a long list like yours there wouldn't be time to complain about such worthwhile things as feeding the birds.

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  14. Just what I said, jane marie, what is the world coming to when we have to take the least little pleasure away from old folks ?

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  15. Hey, Joey. No I didn't see Oprah. Was something interesting on ? She's usually stirring up the pot isn't she?

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  16. chriss, I agree with you completely and hope to see some good news soon.

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  17. Ki,

    It is indeed amazing how regulated our lives have become when one can't feed birds because its against the city ordinance. We're not talking pigeons here.

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  18. Muaile,

    Welcome! I just got back from visiting your lovely blog and reading your wonderful poetry.

    My dear son-in-law is from Cork and I've visited your lovely country. Hope to do so more frequently in the future since I now have Irish relatives :)

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  19. Hi Old Roses,

    Perhaps your neighbors love birds as much as you do.

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  20. Hi Nancy J. There's always one rotten apple in the barrel isn't there ?

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  21. Thanks, Eva. I will of course keep you posted if anything further happens.

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  22. Well, lets hope this one ends happily. I think a previous poster hit the nail on the head - some people have nothing better to do with their time (meaning their neighours)!

    I agree!

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  23. Thanks, John. I agree. Hope it ends happily.

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  24. That is so outrageous! And once again confirms my opinion that I need to live at least 40 miles from my nearest neighbor....!!!

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  25. Thanks wolies for visiting and commenting.

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  26. Im just visiting your blog, oh my gosh... do the people of this world have nothing better to complain about other than the birds. I'm from Canada I hope we don't have any laws like that , I have 3 feeding stations and plan to add more!
    Your blog is wonderful.

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  27. WOW! I feed the birds here all the time. The cats in the neighborhood love this....they think that I am helping them with distraction. Thank goodness the birds are fast and I am now on to the cats game :)

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  28. I missed that story as I was in Austin this weekend. In which suburb did this happen? Maybe the "where" will explain the "why" but I really doubt it. Was the weekend Springlike enough for JoJo?

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  29. Hi scrappin' and thanks for your nice comments.

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  30. Thanks, irish cottage dreams for your visit . I am as fond of all things Irish as you are , especially my Son-in-law from County Cork and his wonderful family.

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  31. Hi MMD,

    It happened in Mount Prospect. The weekend was marvelous and I worked both days at the Spring Open House at the garden center. We had thousands of people for the Hellebores festival. Jojo enjoyed the weather as well.

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  32. Ki said it: insidiously regulated

    There are too many regulations and laws. The solution to everything is an ordinance.

    Crazy.

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  33. This just is the sort of story that is on my blog .The league of common sense. I would like to include this on my blog if I may.
    Where has common sense gone when the beaurocrats are the voice of the people, What people and where? It seems there are more common sense activists than beaurocrats.
    Keep up the good work Carolyn The LCS says go girl go!

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  34. Thanks, kerry. Sure you can include it on your blog. I am waiting to see if this matter will be resolved for the elderly couple so that they can continue feeding the birds.

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  35. Outrageous! Could there not be someone somewhere that would purchase a bird feeder (if the problem is that people are afraid of attracting other critters)??

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  36. Ridiculous! How absurd! But then again an HOA, or any neighborhood organization, have C&R's that may preclude all common sense. That's the way of America and all the U.S, so it seems. In my neighborhood, which is on a river bank, we try to dissuade people from feeding raccoons because they can be destructive if given one single bit of freedom. 'Tiz a puzzlement, and a challenge. xo - Debi

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  37. Beautiful blog and flowers :)

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  38. My dad's last days were happier because of the feeders and wildlife in our backyard. Does anyone know how the government got the authority to prosecute this couple for feeding birds? Is this an issue that was voted upon? Maybe it could be reversed.

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  39. Not only do these people not have love in their heart for the birds, they surely are showing they don't have any for their neighbor as well. Sad thing and not the first time I have heard of such a story.

    Lovely blog.

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  40. Carolyn, I read this too in the Trib and I read it to my hubbie because I just couldn't believe it! Feeding animals a nuisance? I can't believe the city actually fined this couple and that they have such cold hearted neighbors. Yes there are animals all over chicagoland. Move to NYC if you don't want to see a squirrel.

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