Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Question: Why Did the Mayor Cross the Road?

Mr. Buck Bacaw
We all have many things to be thankful for, and today is when we tally up our blessings. Much of what is unfortunate in this world takes precedence in our daily lives, mostly because that is the price of daily survival. We deal with such things because we have to. So much so that it takes a special day just to bring all of the good things to the forefront where we can examine them closely and appreciate their significance in our lives. And give thanks.

But here is a thought. If you were to take all of the many blessings you have received throughout this entire year of 2012, which among them would be the best? What one thing stands above and beyond all of the rest? Can you identify it?

For me it is the many friends I have made doing this blog. There are lots of people you get to know in life, and we all have our many acquaintances. People you know at work, and those you have met along the way. But friends? That is an entirely different category. I have made some very good ones here, and that is my greatest blessing.

I wouldn't have come to know a single one of you had I not decided five years ago to start The Tattler. You give, and you receive in kind. It took me a long time to learn that. It has taken me a long time to learn a lot of things.

And for the City of Sierra Madre? I would venture to guess that this year the premier blessing would have to be the miracle of chickens. Or at least it is based on what follows below. And at next week's City Council meeting, this blessing will be considered in its fullest. Here is the good news from the Agenda Report as posted on the City of Sierra Madre website:

Subject: Consideration of Modification to Sierra Madre Municipal Code 6.08.010 Regarding Poultry and Rabbits

Summary: Mayor Moran previously requested that this item be placed on the City Council's agenda for discussion. 

Section 6.08.010 pertains to the keeping of specified animals. In particular, Mayor Moran referred to the keeping of poultry when this item was placed on the agenda.

Analysis: Below is a copy of Municipal Code section regarding the keeping of poultry and rabbits.

Section 6.08.010 Poultry and Rabbits

A. It is declared to be a nuisance and it is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to suffer or permit any:
1. Chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, pigeons, doves, squabs or similar fowl; or
2. Hares, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters; or
3. Other small animals raised for food, scientific or fur bearing purposes; within fifty feet of any dwelling house or structure used as a dwelling house, unless such dwelling house or structure be occupied him/her or it, or to keep the fowl or hares or rabbits or other small animals within one hundred feet of any street.

B. It is declared to be a nuisance and it is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to keep on any premises owned or controlled by him/her or it more than twenty-four in number of any kind or combination of:
1. Chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, pigeons, doves, squabs or similar fowl; or 
2. Hares, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters; or
3. Other small animals raised for food, scientific or fur bearing purposes.

Basically, the Municipal Code permits the keeping of poultry, as long as the structure (chicken coup [sic] or henhouse) is at least 50 feet away from a neighbor's dwelling and at least 100 feet from any street.

Should the Council want to revise any of these code provisions, it would be appropriate to provide general direction and to direct that the matter be sent to the Planning Commission for a recommendation.

I myself am not certain why this matter suddenly showed up on the City Council Agenda like it did. I cannot remember having seen it listed among the future items in the City Manager's Report, nor can I recall hearing this topic discussed by anyone I know. Of course, I don't travel in those Sierra Madre circles where chickens are discussed much, or at least the living ones.

You'd think that in a time when there is a distinct possibility this community could find itself without water, or that an impending financial crisis downtown could send our municipal government into receivership, chickens wouldn't be at the top of anyone's list. Much less the Mayor's. But I have been wrong before, so I will take a non-judgemental and open-minded position on this.

And there really could be some very good reasons for taking another look at our City's legal stance on chickens. Here are a few that we here at The Tattler have been able to come up with:

A) Chicken coops can be designated as low income housing. Chickens are, by their nature, poor. The only thing they have of value is their person, and after that is sold they have nothing. Seriously, once you have been beheaded, plucked and fried, of what value would anything this old world has to offer be to you? Therefore anything that a chicken would live in truly would be low, or even the lowest, income housing. Perhaps Mayor Moran wishes to reconsider the "chicken thing" in order to satisfy our RHNA situation.

B) The One Carter debacle. The financial entities holding the bag on the biggest development fiasco in Sierra Madre history are looking for a way out of their very expensive bind. They cannot sell the lots they so carefully prepared for market, and even those few they have been able to move still don't have houses on them. So they are now moving behind the scenes to turn Stonecrest Upside Carter (or whatever idiotic Realty speak name they have given that mess) into a very large chicken ranch. Rancho Cluckery Carter Estates is the name I've heard.

C) A bold move to improve Sierra Madre's tax base. Large agricultural concerns have come to the conclusion that for reasons of climate, ambiance and elevation above sea level, Sierra Madre is an ideal location for raising chickens. And in a move similar to that of the corporation who brought us the ALF, we are now on the verge of seeing much of our downtown "Measure V" zone turned into high density chicken coops. Teaming up with the Downtown Investors Club (who are not getting any younger I'll have you know), these agri-businesses are now seeking the zoning considerations to make this happen. Some are calling it the kind of "quality development" that makes good financial sense for Sierra Madre. Others are calling it manure and demanding this go to a vote.

Everyone have a nice Thanksgiving. Don't eat too much. Unless that is what you want to do. In which case you should just do it.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

58 comments:

  1. Outlaw Colonel SaundersNovember 22, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    i support black market chicken farming. the scourge of sierra madre will return with a drive-thru and two buckets for the price of one!

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  2. What is the Mayor's stance on ostrich?

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    Replies
    1. ostriches are ok if they are free range and speak french

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    2. municipal code 6.007

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  3. today we give thanks for the twililight zone marathon, and other distractions. amen. please pass the bottle.

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  4. One Carter would make a good emu ranch. They can make great cowboy boots out of emu.

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    Replies
    1. municipal code bans emu cowboy boot sales above orange grove blvd. it's commonly known as the "sandals only" law. that law allows sandals, but only if they are organic and made from corn fed alligators. sorry.

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  5. Maybe the mayor is going into another line of business! He plans to bring a. Neveda style "chicken ranch" to town. Lord knows he has screwed with enough people in town

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  6. Having a stocked chicken coop is all the rage with the hipster and foodie crowd. I have quite a few friends who now have chickens for fresh no hormone/no antibiotic eggs. It's cool but I also roll my eyes when the fun wears off and you realize chickens can be arseholes. That would be my guess for the chicken topic ... the hipsters.

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    Replies
    1. Wouldn't this then be a matter for the Green Committee?

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    2. Q) Why did the chicken cross the road?
      A) She wanted to show off her Birkenstocks.

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    3. stack up the chicken coops like they wanna stack us up. if we build the coops next to the train line we will be able to metro the eggs to our friends. i think there is something here, john. let's pitch it.

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    4. The species alignment between fowl and green human would be apt in an Agenda 21 world. Stack 'em and pack 'em. Bird and bird brain.

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    5. Chicken 'hipsters'. Square.

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    6. oh dear. i think i am going to laugh myself to death long before i drag my carcass to the table

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  7. Do you think Mayor Moran will take is discussion to a granular level? I also want to know if chickens lay golden eggs?

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    Replies
    1. I suspect that most of what we will hear is manure.

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    2. No, 7:28 am. Not golden. But if you've ever cracked a fertilized yard egg and tried to scramble an embryo you'll not be craving them for breakfast anytime soon.

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    3. Pin feathers make for a fine omelette.

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  8. Q) Why did the organically raised chicken cross the road?

    A) Target practice for SUVs.

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  9. well, i guess mr. food won't have to worry about cooking today. apparently he's flown the coop.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/art-ginsburg-delightfully-dorky-television-chef-mr-food-died-home-weston-fla-wednesday-struggle-pancreatic-cancer-81-article-1.1205710

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    Replies
    1. gallow's humor. it seems chickens aren't the only ones to lose their heads.

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  10. It is nice to see that our neighborhood coyotes will now have an organic option on their menu.

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    Replies
    1. apparently they aren't aware of the municipal code banning coyptes and squirrels in sierra madre. i see them all the time, openly flaunting the ban. the nerve.

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  11. Q) Why did Mayor Moran cross the road?
    A) Bart Doyle told him to.

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  12. I have it on good authority that a Green member of the Committee wants to add chickens to her pickup bed organic non GMO demonstration garden. At a recent Silverlake farmer's market organic free range raised local eggs were selling for $1 each. Tidy.

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    Replies
    1. I would hope a schedule of fees would be established for the growing of organic Sierra Madre eggs.

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  13. Hamsters? Ban hamsters? Is there a kid in Sierra Madre that's never had a hamster or a gerbil or a guinea pig? They're all food on some table somewhere. Look folks, we're running out of bona fide issues when we invade the backyards of foodies and poor people just trying to manufacture cheap protein.

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    Replies
    1. I am personally going into the fox raising business.

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    2. I want to build a still.

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    3. i want to be your neighbor

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    4. I had a chinchilla. It was the boniest thing in the world. I wonder if it's ok to have a frog farm

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    5. In some Asian countries, dog is a delicacy.
      Bugs are a protein staple in some parts of the African continent.
      Poodle is good eat-in.

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  14. Why not ask before going off the roosting ledge on this one: I happen to know that there is a family in town with children that are allergic to all sorts of animals and they found out that raising chickens as pets (and you get eggs) would be good for them--no allergic reactions. They ran afoul (!) of a neighbor that did not like the clucking over the back fence who then pitched a fit with the city. Looks like the city and the mayor wanted to created a better opportunity for such opportunites so an ordinance review was necessary. This has been going on for several years and did not just "all of a sudden" show up as a concern for this family or the city who recieved many complaints from ONE annoyed neighbor. Urban chicken raising is coming back--pets, eggs--and for those of you who never lived on the farm, your turkey was "prepared" for you by someone else very neatly so you didn't have to. (Bye the way, the chickens were in a coupe over the back fence within X number of feet of the garage, not the house.)

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    Replies
    1. I used to rehearse with my band in a wooden chicken coop in what was once called old Anaheim, now just Anaheim. Great acoustics. I'm sure the guy who tore it down believed the 7-11 was a great improvement.

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    2. How ungreen for the city to prohibit chickens and rabbits. I thought we were supposed to be sustainable. How can one be sustainable if they can't grow their own food? Ask the Green Committee about that one!!!!

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    3. Indeed! How can one be sustainable if one has no water? Many questions to ask the committee of pretenders.

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    4. The UN has given them a pamphlet on how to make water. They are working on that now.

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  15. coop, coupe, coup, don't cha just luv the Engrish language!

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    Replies
    1. A chicken coup would not be a pretty thing.

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    2. I don't think it is the message, 8:33. It is more the sense of moral superiority those who deliver it seem to be claiming for themselves.

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    3. The chickens were in a chicken coop. The neighbors served chicken bisque in a porcelain coupe shaped bowl. The dictator assumed power in a palace coup.

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    4. The green Councilmember drove his V8 sports coupe.

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    5. i bet alice cooper never had problems with his name

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  16. Can't we all just be grateful that we have 3 turkeys on the city council instead of 5? The drunk, the lunk, and the punk.

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    Replies
    1. The lunk can take you out, the drunk can black you out, and the punk can POA you out.

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  17. I think the Health code states, 35 ft from any door or window. But I would have moved up to Sierra Madre had it been chicken friendly. Chickens are wonderful pets, they love hugs, are very smart. Better people keep chickens, but smaller and smaller yards, and poorer and poorer people who cannot afford animals have made CA an animal unfriendly place. The green folks have kids wanting to get rid of dairies, because of the methane. Having animals teach kids to love, and many code officers in my case have come very close to being as Vonnegut said "chopped up, fried and put in a box" or KFCed.

    Today my Tattler Turdsey, is very happy outside, running around, showing off, it is warm and sunny. I miss you all very much, wish you would all get out of that god forsaken place. I have an extra bedroom, you can stay and look around, if you want to relocate. Ms Brown, Ms Shear, all the beautiful strong women of Sierra Madre, you go girls..

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    Replies
    1. Happy Thanksgiving, Okie girl!
      Always great to see you post!

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  18. Well I don't know about each of you, but I am thankful for the Tattler and the efforts of Mr. Crawford. It is refreshing to see an average citizen trying to get the word out on how absurd the operations of our local agencies can often be.

    Thanks to the Tattler!

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    Replies
    1. Dittos to that!

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    2. How did telling the truth become so controversial?

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  19. Sounds like to me there is a FOX in the HEN house?

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  20. Why did the mayor cross the road?

    To kill the chicken!

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  21. Our neighbor had a chicken and while I didn't mind the clucking the additional flies it generated were not so wonderful.

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  22. Running a fowel of the law?November 22, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Well, me thinks the City Council is worried about making sure they are legally allowed to live in Sierra Madre... Those turkeys may need to make sure they are legally allowed to stay in town............................................

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  23. I noticed the Municipal Code does not specifically mention a Chicken Hawk on Liliano Drive. Oh wait, isn't that a pet of the Mayor?

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    Replies
    1. The Liliano Lothario has some information certain parties would prefer not get out.

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