Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The sound you hear is the other shoe dropping...

Well, we've been holding our fire a bit on the City of Chicago's gull extermination plans, waiting to see what the City's real motives were, but our unilateral cease-fire ends today. Because today, the City -- sneaky liars that they are -- gave us poor citizens an insight into why they're so intent on destroying the existing gull colonies: They want to build new harbors and piers for cruise ships. Check out the Tribune story at,1,4845074.story?coll=chi-news-hed (registration may be required). Make sure you check out the drawings of the new harbors.

Apparently the current "Dime Pier," located just south of Navy Pier, which hosts a decent-sized colony of Ring-billed Gulls, will be the site of a new harbor for "larger boats and transient boaters." The wheels were set into motion in May when the City swapped land with the Park District.

So let's see here, the Park District announces in late April that because the bad stinky gulls are polluting Chicago's pristine beaches, they are implementing an extensive plan to destroy those colonies to "improve water quality". Then a week or two later, they quietly acquire the land where the gull colony is located, and a few weeks after that, they announce that they will be building a fancy new harbor there. Clever bastards! You see how the City operates? Blah blah blah we want to protect the environment blah blah blah make our water cleaner blah blah blah how do you like our fancy new harbor for out-of-towners? And many of the suckers in the press and in the "birding community" fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

But we didn't.


Anonymous said...

So you didn't fall for it. So what? You are smarter than everyone else? You didn't exactly investigate and break the story before it was a done deal did you? Congrats for giving yourself a solid pat on the back for doing absolutely nothing. The gulls will surely be happy to hear that you knew better.

Birding is NOT a crime!!!! said...

The answer to your question is yes, we are, quite obviously, much smarter than everyone else. Every single post on this site just oozes intelligence, class, and pure charm.

But back to the point: If you check out prior posts, we stated that 1) The City was lying, and 2) The City was trying to get rid of the gulls, not study them.

But you're right, we didn't have confirmation on what their specific goal/plan was -- that's because, as we predicted, they were LYING.

Birding is NOT a crime!!!! said...

We just had a little birdie tell us that the specifics of the "Dime Pier" plan were disclosed to some people back in March 2007, and that the general idea goes back to at least 2005, but today's story is the first time that anyone has confirmed that the gull colony will have to be destroyed. Very interesting.

Randi said...

Dear Mr. Binac – There’s no big secret here to be exposed. The City personnel have been very clear for many years that their concern is the relationship between gulls and the swim bans. Don’t you remember the Whitman report?

The feds are interested in the current project because they, too, are concerned about the (uncertain to them) relationship between gulls and swim bans all over the Great Lakes area. Additionally, reports are coming in from government biologists in the Midwest with concerns that the large populations of gulls are negatively impacting other species that they are actively working to protect, which is probably the more important part of the story.

The Dime Pier story was public info so long ago people forgot about it (and so boring it probably didn’t get press coverage). The owners of Dime Pier –or any other property—would have no trouble getting the proper permits to clear the structure of nests in off-season.

In addition, I have an email from a park district attorney telling me that the federal law related to birds doesn’t apply to them. [As best I could determine, he expects the federal regulations to specify ‘and this applies specifically to the Chicago Park District’ otherwise they are exempt.] So WIH do you think they would care to be so convoluted to do any research at all as a cover to get the gulls off the pier.

Please go back to complaining Northerly Island – the hot new recreation center for the lakefront!

Birding is NOT a crime!!!! said...

Hook line and sinker!!!

Mike M said...

Randi wrote:
"In addition, I have an email from a park district attorney telling me that the federal law related to birds doesn’t apply to them." which Federal Prison was this park district attorney emailing you from?