Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chicago's "bird-friendly" mayor declares: Let's hire dogs to chase birds off of our beaches!!!

This is just fan-tastic. Here is an excerpt from an article in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

Park District hopes dogs can keep lake clean
May 25, 2006
BY LORI RACKL Health Reporter

Barking border collies are just one of the new weapons the Chicago Park District will use to reduce the number of swim bans during this year's beach season, which starts Friday.
The idea is to decrease the amount of Lake Michigan's bacteria, which makes swimming off-limits when levels climb too high. A fair share of the bacteria is thought to come from bird droppings deposited in the water or washed off the beach into the lake.

Fewer gulls, cleaner water

That's where the collies come in: For four weeks at one of the city's 31 public beaches, the dogs will give an early morning wake-up call to the many gulls that spend the night on the sand, hopefully scaring the birds into finding a new home.

Another novel approach being tested this season calls for stringing a grid of wires about 12 feet above Dumpsters to keep birds from garbage picking. The grids are supposed to go up at three lakefront sites, most likely including Foster and 63rd Street beaches. These beaches are among those that log the most swim bans, which happened 78 times last year in Chicago.

"The wires keep the birds from diving down," said Joyce Coffee of the Chicago Department of Environment. "We'll see if the water is getting cleaner and if there are fewer gulls in the area."
The dogs and wires probably won't be used until mid-June because the city doesn't want to disrupt the migration pattern of piping plovers and other birds as they make their annual trek north.

1 comment:

sparsegreyhackle said...

ofgytiActually this shows very creative thinking on the part of someone on the Mayor's staff.

This is a wonderful diversion from the fact that the city periodically dumps billions of gallons of raw sewage into Lake Michigan and hence onto Chicago's pristine beaches.

The real source of the problem is not the gulls on the beaches but rather the rear ends of the millions of Chicago's voters. Politicians are loathe to infringe on the voters right to his daily dump so they have wisely diverted their attention to the rear ends of the gulls, most of which are not entitled to vote. (except in the case of a very close election)

The idea to use border collies is an excellent one, excepting that it is offensive to a growing block of highly vocal voters-Birdwatchers. Thus the Mayor needs to find a new way to solve this dilemma.

May I suggest an improvisation that would afford a politcally correct solution which would offend no one. The idea would be to hire the homeless to tie little baggies to the rear ends of the gulls. This would provide needed jobs and would have the added effect of adding new voters to the roles. Because the bags would need to be emptied every day the work would be steady. Everyone would be happy. The goal of every successfull politician.