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Staten Island Advance, October 4th, 2017

FULL TEXT:

CITY HALL — State and federal authorities supported killing Staten Island deer in order to control the borough herd, officials confirmed.

The feds even undertook an environmental assessment of such a deer "cull" in 2015, but the NYPD "blanched" and the city refused, Borough President James Oddo wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

The Parks Department confirmed Oddo’s account, but said the NYPD didn’t "blanch." A cull was considered unrealistic because Staten Island is still an urban environment and even a controlled slaughter would require large swaths of borough green space to be cordoned off by the NYPD.

Police supervising the hunt would only add to the cost and complexity of the endeavor. Hunting is illegal across the five boroughs, so the city would have to get special state approvals for the kind of massive deer cull demanded by Staten Island’s large herd. And because hunting is illegal, any city slaughter would likely be delayed by potential lawsuits.

Ultimately the city decided to sterilize hundreds of Staten Island bucks. More than 875 vasectomies have been performed on them since the program began last year.

Oddo wrote about officials discussing the deer cull in a Facebook post that linked to an Advance story about an injured deer barging into a clothing shop on New Dorp Lane Monday afternoon. The deer was euthanized.

The borough president said that situations like this "might become more prevalent" during the mating season.

The number of collisions with vehicles tends to increase during the mating season or "rut" for white-tailed deer because bucks and doe are less cautious and are primarily focused on mating. The rut in New York is typically between October and January.

"I have long warned that one day we will see the tragic loss of human life occur," Oddo wrote on Facebook. "It has not yet happened, but it feels inevitable."

Oddo wrote he’s "tried to raise the alarm with literally every level of government."

"We even got the federal, state, and city officials together to discuss a solution that could have included a cull of the population, and the federal government undertook an environmental assessment throughout 2015," Oddo wrote. "In fact, the USDA and State DEC were ready and willing to undertake a cull, similar to what has been done in other jurisdictions similar to Staten Island. This was stopped because the NYPD blanched, the City of New York refused, and activists were waiting on standby to bring lawsuits that some believe would have delayed any action for many years."

Oddo’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional comment. The NYPD, U.S. Department of Agriculture and state Department of Environmental Conservation didn’t immediately comment.

"Under the current integrated deer management plan, the City has been able to act as rapidly and humanely as possible to limit the future impacts of deer on Staten Island," Parks Department spokesman Sam Biederman said. "We have sterilized an estimated 90% of the male deer on Staten Island, enhanced driver safety measures and educational efforts, and taken aggressive action to protect Staten Island’s natural resources. And as Borough President Oddo says, awareness is key: Drivers in Staten Island must stay vigilant for deer during rutting season."

VASECTOMY EFFORT CONTINUES

An unrestrained deer herd can harm parks and private property, spread tick-borne illness like Lyme disease and wander into roads more often, increasing the risk for deadly vehicle collisions.

Manipulating deer fertility is only permitted by the state as part of scientific research. The state Department of Environmental Conservation, which regulates wildlife, approved the city’s vasectomy program last year.

Parks Department contractor White Buffalo will be paid up to $3.3 million by the city to perform vasectomies over the course of a three-year research program. The second year will be divided into two phases — from Aug. 15 and Oct. 20 and then in winter 2018.

The vasectomy effort is expected to eventually reduce the herd 10 to 30 percent annually, though some wildlife experts thought the plan won’t work because the city is ignoring basic deer biology and conventional herd management practices.

The Parks Department believes the herd is now growing mostly through reproduction, not migration, and sterilizing males instead of females is meant to be faster, cheaper and more humane.

There are between 1,918 and 2,188 deer across Staten Island, according to a estimate from White Buffalo using data from the vasectomy program.

That’s about four times the city’s last count and a 9,000 percent increase in the herd since 2008.

CITY REVIEWED MULTIPLE CONTROL METHODS

Before deciding on sterilization, city officials reviewed a variety of methods that could be used to manage New York state deer. They were outlined in a federal draft assessment prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Wildlife Services and released in November 2015.

Lethal solutions included shooting, hunting and euthanizing deer. Non-lethal methods included physically barricading or fencing deer, altering habitats, supplemental feeding to reduce crop damage, relocation, behavior modification with noise or visual stimuli, chemical pesticides or birth control.

De Blasio wouldn’t rule out killing the deer in March 2016, telling the Advance, "I don’t want to presume how we handle it yet until we finish the work of assessing the situation." That was two months before the city unveiled the sterilization plan.

Oddo has previously said lethal methods should be used to control Staten Island deer.

"Any deer management plan that does not take an integrated approach that includes lethal and non-lethal means is tantamount to kicking the can down the road and putting off the tough decisions. It is deciding by not deciding," Oddo said in a statement in March 2016. "Staten Island and Staten Islanders will pay a heavy price for that delay."

Oddo wrote Tuesday, "It seems no one is happy with the current deer situation."

"On the one hand, some want us to do nothing and leave them alone. Those folks cringe when they see bucks that have been tagged as part of the current male sterilization plan," Oddo wrote. "On the other end of the spectrum are those who want more aggressive action by government. Even those who favor the current male sterilization don’t really know what its impact will be."

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Posted with comment: So you would rather have your daughter traumatized, also shouldn’t feed birds breed dumbass.

CBS TV, September 13th, 2017

FULL TEXT:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new plan to reduce the mute swan population on Long Island.

Some say the non-lethal plan is a kinder solution, while others continue to mount a strong public opposition.

The quacking of ducks and swans in the ponds of Massapequa Preserve helps draw thousands of people daily, yet the state Department of Environmental Conservation considers the growing population of mute swans to be a destructive, invasive species imported centuries ago from Europe.

For years, the agency has proposed killing them off, arguing they eat up all the vegetation needed by other native species.

Without exception, though, everyone CBS2 spoke with was horrified at doing anything to harm the mute swans.

“I think they’re beautiful,” Massapequa resident Jean Stigliano said. “I think we should leave them alone, if there is any kind of problem then we should relocate them.”

The intense public opposition now has the state agency reversing course, saying it will instead pursue “non-lethal means,” such as coating swan eggs with corn oil so they don’t hatch, or destroying their nests.

Some locals say that’s equally cruel.

“The poor swans are still there, sitting on their eggs every day and then one day they’re all dead! How horrible, how horrible, you can’t do that,” Massapequa resident Joan Locascio said.

The state environmental department says it must also protect public safety, warning the elegant birds can become aggressive toward anyone feeding them.

That’s exactly what happened to Sean Hogan’s younger daughter.

“My daughter was feeding the swan, it came up and she had a little too much bread and it took a bite and grabbed her by her finger,” Hogan tells CBS2.

He says his daughter was not seriously harmed, arguing the same thing could happen with a family pet, and adds his family will keep feeding the swans and will oppose any attempt to remove them no matter which means are pursued.

The public will get a chance to have their say about the mute swans. A hearing on the agency’s latest plan is set for next Tuesday night in Hauppauge.

Just viewed my blog online. Instead of my pictures there is a notification “Please update your account to enable 3rd party hosting”. Oh all right says I, so I type the link into my browser and go to Photobucket – $399. Yes, $400 to use my photos on my blog. What the actual fuck? When I can just download my pictures and post them on my blog. I really don’t think so. 

My best friend has been encouraging me to go to college. Full disclosure here, it won’t be ‘going back to college’, since I never went. She went to college and has her bachelor’s degree and is now looking at law school. She graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. None of which is encouraging me to actually apply for college since I know I won’t do as well. I”m about half as intelligent as she is. However tonight I applied. New York State is offering free tuition.

It isn’t as easy as I hoped it would be.

As I was filling out the application it said I needed to submit my FAFSA ID, which I don’t have and I was routed to the website to apply for FAFSA. So I started the application process, including questions I had no clue so I guessed, I hope I’m right, if not I’ll either owe NYS a billion dollars or go to jail. I can handle jail. I couldn’t handle debt. Anyway, somewhere in this process, in the middle of my soul crushing confusion I tweeted:

Someone replied with a gif of Woody saying “You’ll be fine, Partner”. This is someone that I am pretty sure I have never met in person, just on social media. As I looked at the tweet and thought, “She doesn’t know me”, I then thought of the 80 people who formed a human chain to save 9 people caught in a rip tide and saved their lives. To those 80 people, it may not have seemed like a big deal, but it was a huge deal to the people they saved.

Just like, to the person that responded to my tweet, it might not have seemed like a big deal, just a quick search and post, but it encouraged me. It made me think, that maybe I can do this. Maybe I can start a new chapter in my life. Not life saving maybe, but certainly life changing.
 

In a conversation with someone that doesn’t know me very well.

Her: Do you talk to your mother much?

Me: I call her every year on her anniversary.

Her: Oh that’s nice.

Me: At 4 a.m.

Her: …. Why?

Me: Because revenge is a dish best served cold and unexpectedly.

Her: … …

Me: ** smiles ** 

Woot woot

Sometime back I tweeted about not posting to my blog with my phone. WordPress tweeted back with a link to a tutorial on how to. My reply was, “oh I know how, I don’t like to because tags don’t populate in the field.” Their response lead me to believe it was something they were working on.

Fast forward to today when I came on to post on my knitting blog and while checking out my blogs I follow saw a post about ‘searchable tags’. Color me a happy girl. 😊

NYC Hawk Killed By Rat Poison

Patch.com, April 21st, 2017

FULL TEXT:

LOWER EAST SIDE, NY — A red-tailed hawk died earlier this year after eating a rat that had ingested rat poison, according to the New York Daily News.

The hawk is believed to have eaten a rat poisoned in a New York City park. Bird advocates have repeatedly condemned the city’s use of rodenticide, which can be toxic for hawks and other animals. Birds of prey in urban areas, like the substantial red-tailed hawk population in New York City, often hunt rats for food. Rats that have ingested rodenticide can then poison hawks second-hand.

The Daily News reported on Thursday that a sick hawk was found in January in the Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side. The hawk was treated by Dr. Katherine Quesenberry, a staff doctor at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan.

"This particular bird was extremely anemic, as they usually are when they’ve ingested toxins," Quesenberry said. "That’s why it was so easy to catch; they’re so weak they can’t fly."

The hawk was given a blood-transfusion but was too anemic for the transfusion to work, Quesenberry, an exotic bird and animal specialist, told Patch. The bird’s necropsy — an autopsy for animals — showed that it died after it ingested an anti-coagulant rodenticide, according to the New York Daily News. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation was not immediately able to provide a copy of the necropsy to Patch on Thursday.

The hawk that died in January is one of dozens of known cases of New York City in which rodenticide has been linked to a bird’s death. Lima, the former partner of the beloved Central Park hawk Pale Male, was found dead in 2012. A necropsy found small amounts of the chemical components of rat poison in the bird’s liver.

Quesenberry, who has worked as a vet in New York City for more than 30 years, said each year she typically treats between two and three hawks who have ingested rat poison. Just one poisoned rat can be enough to cause a hawk to fall ill or even die, depending on how much poison the rat has ingested, she said.

"From a veterinary standpoint, you have to think about the type of rodenticides because they can be toxic to other species," she said. "In New York City it’s hard to say ‘don’t use them,’ but unfortunately it’s a toxicity that can happen. It doesn’t just affect the one species."

The city’s parks department doesn’t use rodenticide in city parks during the hawks’ breeding season, between March and August.

"It’s good that they’re not using it during the breeding season, but any time they’re in use it happen," Quesenberry said of inadvertent hawk poisoning.

A spokesman for NYC Audubon told Patch that the group wasn’t aware of a hawk nest at Sara D. Roosevelt park and learned about the bird’s death after the fact. Audubon tracks raptor nesting locations that are reported to it.

"It is very unfortunate and sad," the spokesman said in an email to Patch. "It is true that rodenticide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death among urban raptors such as red-tailed hawks. We advocate against the use of rodenticides in all places in the City, especially parks."

City parks department officials say they know of about 20 pairs of nesting hawks throughout New York City.

PROTECT STATE WATERBODIES

DEC ENCOURAGES HOMEOWNERS TO PRACTICE SUSTAINABLE LAWN CARE TO PROTECT STATE WATERBODIES

DEC launches “Look for the Zero” campaign to urge homeowners to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer

To protect water quality this spring, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today is urging New Yorkers to practice sustainable lawn care by going phosphorus free, using native plants and grasses, and reducing fertilizer use. DEC has launched the “Look for the Zero” campaign to encourage New Yorkers to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer, as more than 100 water bodies in New York State cannot be used or enjoyed as a result of too much phosphorus.

"The actions New Yorkers take in their backyards can have a big impact on the environment. By choosing sustainable lawn care, homeowners are helping protect water quality and public health,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Excess phosphorous is causing problems in many New York waterbodies, making them unusable for swimming, fishing, or as a source of drinking water. I urge residents to ‘look for the zero’ and buy phosphorous-free fertilizer this spring. By eliminating phosphorus and reducing pesticide use on lawns, New Yorkers can play an important role in addressing water quality impairments across the state."

New York’s nutrient runoff law prohibits the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus.

Generally, only newly established lawns or those with poor soil need phosphorus. Phosphorus applied to lawns that don’t need it will not be used and can cause water pollution. Regardless of the location, excess phosphorus from lawns can wash off and pollute lakes and streams, harming fish and ruining boating and swimming.

Consumers should review bag labels for phosphorus content when shopping for fertilizer. Fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, such as: 22-0-15. The state’s law requires retailers to display phosphorus fertilizer separately from phosphorus-free fertilizer and post signs notifying customers of the terms of the law.

Homeowners have several options to practice more sustainable lawn care. DEC encourages homeowners to choose native plants and grasses, which are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. These plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals.

Organic lawn care can easily be implemented on any lawn. Safe and effective alternatives exist for most chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic lawn care treatments promote deep root systems, natural photosynthesis, and longer grass growth. Visit the DEC sustainable landscaping page to learn more LINKY.

Additional recommendations for sustainable lawn care include spreading a quarter inch of compost on the lawn to improve moisture retention and soil texture and add beneficial microorganisms and nutrients. Another suggestion is to allow grass to grow to three inches and then cut no more than one inch off the top. This is the "one-third" rule and helps to develop a deeper root system, which is a natural defense against weeds, disease and drought. Visit DEC’s Lawn Care web page for more information.

DEC also encourages homeowners to leave lawn clippings on the yard in order to improve the health of the lawn. Grass clippings are 80 percent water and contain 2- 4 percent nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients. Leaving clippings also saves homeowners time while mowing and reduces the amount of garbage thrown out. Grass clippings can account for as much as 10 percent of garbage.

DEC has posted a new video (WATCH HERE) to its YouTube channel that shows how phosphorus and other chemicals can run off lawns and enter our waterways. For more information, visit DEC’s Lawn Fertilizer webpage at LINKY.

The nutrient runoff law does not affect agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens.

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Connect with DEC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Before anyone jumps all over my shit, I know my definition of a bad day is nowhere near as bad as some people’s bad day. Some people have cancer, some people are abused, some people are homeless, have no healthcare, have no friends, voted for Trump and now realize he lied to them. OK that last group I have lost all sympathy for. If you are stupid enough to believe his lies, you deserve all the pain you get.

Whew. Today started good, no work, so no getting up early, in fact I didn’t get up to lunchtime. That’s when the shit hit the fan. It look like I had spilled coffee on my kitchen counter, but to the left of my sink and my coffee maker is to the right of my sink. Then I smelled the liquid and it smelled like vinegar, but I don’t have vinegar in my apartment because I am allergic to it. Then I thought, maybe I spilled beer, you know, maybe I poured a glass of beer, didn’t drink it and when I poured it out I missed the sink (could happen right?), so I started to clean it up, picking up the things on my counter and rinsing them and mopping up the spill, then I noticed it was all over the wall, and on the underside of my cabinets! What the actual FUCK happened here?

I had been boiling water to cook pasta for my lunch. I turned off the water, I cleared off my table, moved everything from my counters to the table and washed the counters and my wall. The liquid seemed to be coming from behind my kitchen cabinets. I looked above them and there were no stains so it wasn’t coming from the apartment above. That leaves only one explanation. Demons. My apartment is possessed by demons. I briefly considered calling my landlord, but decided against it.

Then I got diarrhea, while doing my laundry.

Getting off at 86th Street a young Japanese girl playing the violin. She stands by the stairs with her tiny violin and the case is open on the ground. Today it was filled with dollar bills. The last time I saw her it was empty. She plays fast, always the same music, or type of music and over by the wall an adult is watching over her. She never smiles, in fact her facial expression is rather unpleasant, like she doesn’t want to be there.