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Re: Carl Czaplicki's other job

Carl Czaplicki's lame defense strategy is

Governor Christie shouldn't fire me from Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission because I hired my wife and brother before nepotism was banned.

Jan 23, 2011 Star Ledger Editorial Calls on Gov to make PSVC commissioners a remnant of the past ... ommissioners_is_only.html

Posted on: 2011/1/24 4:36

Re: Reasons why I"m starting to lose confidance in JC.
Newbie ... ip%20info%20%207.2.10.pdf


Change Posted On: 11/2/2010 23:55

Change Posts
"My two dogs registration has expired. ONe has died so I sent in the renewal for just the other one."

Change Posts
? A gentleman knocks on my door a week later stating that he is here to issue me a summons due to the license expiration?

Change Posts
?I explained to him my situation and surely the check was lost.?

Change Posts
"and said that the new check is in the mail."

Change Posts
?One is a summons to appear incourt in 9 days but I have to notify the court within 7 days on my appearance that I will be fighting it and another letter with my dogs renewed license?

License expired 01/31/10

Change mails a check for a renewal license on or about the time he posted on 11/2/10

Change did not have a dog license for 9 to10 months

Change- ?I explained to him my situation and surely the check was lost.?

Judge- ?GUILTY?

Court Bailiff- ?Next Case Docket #........?

My original post stands
"What a bunch of internet cry babies. Let me help you.
You broke the law
You got caught
You don't like the law?
You go to the State Capital and ask for the law to be changed.
You come back and tell us how it all worked out for you."

Posted on: 2010/11/4 6:29

Re: Reasons why I"m starting to lose confidance in JC.

Resized Image

What a bunch of internet cry babies. Let me help you.
You broke the law
You got caught
You don't like the law?
You go to the State Capital and ask for the law to be changed.
You come back and tell us how it all worked out for you.

Posted on: 2010/11/4 3:14

Re: Fulop wants to stop lifetime health benefits for select group of city employees

Chuck Carol, head of Local 246 of the Municipal Employees Union, which represents over 640 full-time administrative employees, and a 33-year city employee. Carol said he believes the ?tacking? policy should be stopped.

?It is patently unfair to people like myself and others,? Carol said. ?Why should we pay Mr. Kelly?s pension after he has been here for only a few years??

Ironic the person quoted in the paper is one of the biggest loads in the city, Mr. Harry ?Chuck? Carol is the prime example for what is wrong with government. Has no real job and gets paid with our tax dollars to represent a union?

Resized Image

Mr. Fulop, get rid of all these no show jobholders as well.

Posted on: 2010/10/24 15:13

Re: Atomic Wings owners suing JC over delays in opening


07310 wrote:

srg1 wrote:
I think a lawsuit is the only way to deal with this problem. The Building Department just wants payoffs. If they don't get them, they delay things. One would think that City Hall would try to improve the process to get businesses into Jersey City to increase the tax base. But City Hall probably gets a piece of the action.

Not just the building dept. most of the agencies in JC are looking for a payoff, I remember a few years ago the fire inspectors tried to shake down our condo by scheduling fire alarm testing for our building at 6 am Sunday morning then not showing up and threatening to impose fines because the test didn't take place.

This is ironic since the person doing your inspection is the same person mentioned in this lawsuit. Yes, he works in both departments.

Posted on: 2010/10/21 1:36

Re: Just got my latest PROPERTY TAX BILL


MDM wrote:
The reason for the sewer increase: Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. Jersey City never expanded its sewerage treatment facilities to treat all the waste it generates. We also have combined storm water / sewer which puts a lot of stress on the system during heavy rains.

Jersey City sends a portion of its sewage across the river to a PVSC via a pipeline. They charge us up the wazoo for the privilege. ... ries_and_vows_change.html

Governor Christie ripped into the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners on Wednesday, attacking the executive director?s salary ? $138,000 more than his own ? and promising changes in the way the agency is run.

?I think the taxpayers of New Jersey are going to be appalled to learn that somebody who runs a commission that gets its money predominantly from disadvantaged ratepayers has an executive director who?s making $313,000 a year,? the governor said during a Wednesday press conference. ?It?s completely outrageous. We will figure out a way to try to fix it.?

The PVSC, which serves 1.3 million people in a large swath of North Jersey, including the state?s three largest urban areas, last week adopted a $164 million budget. In 2008, the agency?s $46 million payroll included Executive Director Bryan Christiansen?s $290,730 salary. He is the highest-paid employee in the state?s pension system.

The Jersey Journal?s interview with Becht went on to indicate
that the driving force behind the rate hike is fixed costs
including how much the MUA pays the Passaic Valley Sewerage
Commission (PVSC) to process and treat waste water.
Passaic Valley has increased its rates 66 percent since 2000
from $11.58 million to $19.17 million. That cost amounts to
44 percent of the MUA?s budget. In addition, 26 percent of the
budget goes to pay off debt, 24 percent pays to provide services
and 6 percent is administrative costs.
It should be noted that Passaic Valley rates


chanj wrote:
Oh Yeah, I noticed the sewer increase too - a whopping $450+ on my last bill.

WHAT IS GOING ON IN JERSEY??? Why are we all ripped off like this??? ... id=217273#forumpost217273

Read post 10 and 11. This should answer some questions.

Posted on: 2010/10/15 23:45

Re: Liberty Humane Society offering DOUBLE DUTY DISCOUNT ADOPTIONS this weekend


CatsnDogs wrote:
The annual budget is now about $1 million.

This is the income breakdown based on the Oct Annual Report

Single Foundation: 22% ?

Donations/Grants: 33% ?

City Contract(s): 44% ?

Other Services: < 2% -

Salaries account for half of the budget. There are about 19 people on staff but now without the Dev Director. The ED had been paid by a grant separate from the budget.

The City of JErsey City has to start paying more into the pot. The $1.50 per capitia it currently pays will keep the shelter at poverty level. THe contract is up for renewal this Nov.

CatsnDogs is speaking with forked tongue. These percentages are just smoke and mirrors. After a few calls to the city clerks? office and the city council office, this is what I found out. Jersey City paid roughly 310,000 to Liberty Shelter for ?contractor services? and another 195,000 for "EMERGENCY ONE TIME PAYMENTS" to help cover expenses so they can stay in business. This was on top of a 400,000-capital improvement payment Jersey City gave them at the end of 2008. Oh and before I forget, the property the shelter is on belongs to Jersey City and the shelter pays 1.00 a year on a 45 year lease.

Now this is the time for the taxpayers to say ?SHOW ME THE MONEY?
Time for full disclosure on how this money is used. That includes names, payroll, expenses and petty cash.


CatsnDogs wrote:
The City of JErsey City has to start paying more into the pot. The $1.50 per capitia it currently pays will keep the shelter at poverty level. THe contract is up for renewal this Nov.
Time to put down the catnip, lady.

Posted on: 2010/8/17 21:09

Re: Lies Lies Lies @ Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City

State orders Liberty Humane Society to fix inhumane condition

Published: Monday, August 16, 2010, 5:30 PM

Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

Resized Image Milkbone, a 2½ year old pitbull, is one of many dogs up for adoption at Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City. The state has given the Board of Directors until Friday to improve conditions at the shelter.

Volunteers at a Jersey City animal shelter are unhappy the new management has euthanized 12 animals in the past week, but that's the least of the board's problems.

Volunteers at a Jersey City animal shelter are unhappy the new management has euthanized 12 animals in the past week, but that's the least of the board's problems.

The state Department of Health and Human Services sent the interim Board of Directors a letter last week saying the shelter has failed three inspections and the inhumane conditions must be fixed by Friday.
A state inspector along with two representatives from the Jersey City Division of Health visited Liberty Humane Society Aug. 4 and cited the shelter for keeping dogs in cages that are too small and not having a disease control program or supervising veterinarian for the program.
The shelter has had a tumultuous month. Its entire Board of Directors quit in late July after differences with the former Executive Director Joanna Hopkinson who wanted to make Liberty Humane a "no kill" shelter.
Three past board presidents formed an interim board and fired Hopkinson shortly after taking over.

Diana Jeffrey, a member of the interim Board of Directors, said the board was aware of the inhumane conditions and began addressing them three weeks ago.

The board however was unaware until the state sent a letter last week that the shelter had failed inspections in April and November.

If the shelter fails to comply by Friday, Jeffrey said the state could shut the shelter down, impose fines or remove all of the animals.

In addition to working to address the state issues, the interim board is meeting tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the city Law Department?s conference room in City Hall in hopes of appointing three new board members to begin transitioning to a permanent board.
Two volunteers, who declined to give their names, called The Jersey Journal today complaining that the shelter was euthanizing adoptable dogs.

Jeffrey said eight dogs were put down last week and five more today because they were too dangerous to put up for adoption.

?The only dogs we?re not releasing to rescue groups are dogs that are dangerous and we?re not going to apologize for that,? she said.

Jeffrey said when the new board came in, 80 of the 100 dogs at the shelter had not been evaluated, meaning they could not be adopted or sent to rescue groups.

?The dogs that were just sitting there huddled in these horrible cages that could go into homes were being overlooked and bypassed because there were so many animals there,? she said.

The two volunteers were critical of the evaluations, saying adoptable dogs were being set up to fail. But Jeffrey said the evaluators are among the top in their field.

While the shelter has the capacity to house 74 dogs in emergency situations, it only has the staff to accommodate 50 on a regular basis, she said.

Today 10 dogs were cleared for adoption, she said adding six rescue groups are coming in this week to save other dogs.

?I feel very optimistic that we?re not going to have to euthanize any adoptable animals,? she said.

Anyone interested in fostering or adopting a pet can contact the shelter at (201) 547-4147.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE AUGUST 13th LETTER FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY TO THE SHELTER...HOLY SHIT!!! ... rs_liberty_humane_so.html ... 20dated%20August%2013.doc

Posted on: 2010/8/16 23:27

Re: Lies Lies Lies @ Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City
Newbie ... a6a9cb9789b5be3_large.jpg ... hes-explosive-attack.html ... lter_manager_70-year.html

I don't a shit if you don't like the test standards. I wonder which irresponsible person allowed the above dogs to be adopted. If I were the above owners and I could prove where these dogs came from, I would sue the shelter.

More like the animal nuts have their heads in the sand.

Posted on: 2010/8/16 21:19

Re: Fulop/McCann and On a Document That Disappeared, Then Reappeared

The fascinating aspect of this thread is that some posters are having a difficult time imagining or believing that Fulop?s campaign is or could have been associated with voting irregularities or fraud.

I bet that the same posters would be writing a different narrative if the story were to change, and the name Fulop was transposed with the name of just about any other local politician associated with the HCDO. Imagine the immediate outrage and call for resignation and investigations if the name were changed to Healy/Stack or Cunnigham. These same posters would be having a field day condemning them because it?s become apparent Fulop can do no wrong in their eyes. That?s too bad for them but especially for him because his feet should be held to the same fire or scrutiny given to all other politicians.

His initial response was not what one would expect from such a ?pure? exponent of transparency when it comes to calling others out for their shortcomings. Fulop opened up something very telling and unflattering about himself. I will hope that he takes this as a wake up call to the reality of playing with the likes of Tom and Charlie. Charlie Torres may still be in jail on some fraud charges but Tommy Bertoli is alive and well in the Fulop camp. He can be seen in the JJ picture at his headquarters on election eve 2010. ... y_school_board_honor.html

While many already have his number there are still others who have placed their complete trust and faith in just another flawed politician even if his guilt is by association, he is the one who hired these people to run his campaign. Although it?s very difficult to prove it now the talk about the voter fraud by the Fulop campaign in a 2005 election has been around for a long time. The Independent has performed a terrific service to journalism and the residents of Jersey City in how they handled this story. Now, if they would only dig a little deeper? It?s not that hard? just use OPRA.

You can support and defend the Fulop all you want. That?s your choice. Just know that this may just be a wake up call not to place 100% faith and trust in any one politician. This is not about how smart or how many good ideas he has or that he?s articulate. Sure, he has many redeeming qualities. I mean my 10 year old is more articulate than almost any council member. Like all politicians Fulop has the required ego necessary to pursue public office. Unfortunately, like many other politicians he has ultimately sold out and his obvious narcissism can be his ruin. Instead of threatening to sue he should have welcomed an open discussion and investigation of the contents of the police report? but he didn?t. That?s the reality.

Posted on: 2010/4/26 21:11

Fulop/McCann and On a Document That Disappeared, Then Reappeared

Jersey City Independent

Editor?s Note: On a Document That Disappeared, Then Reappeared

By Jon Whiten ? Apr 21st, 2010 ?

Pardon the interruption here, folks. In the interest of transparency and reader accountability, we want to make you aware of a major editorial decision that has unfolded over the past few days.

On Friday afternoon, we published our usual detailed Council Report; it included Shane Smith?s reportage on a heated exchange between former mayor Gerald McCann and Ward E councilman Steven Fulop that happened during the meeting.

McCann brandished a 2008 police report that included an allegation that the Fulop campaign, during the 2005 council race against Junior Maldonado, had paid several people money to vote multiple times at different polling places.

Webmaster Edit:
At the request of the publishers of the Jersey City Independent we redacted this article.

The Police Investigation Report

Link to the article on JCI

Posted on: 2010/4/24 4:06

Edited by Webmaster on 2010/4/27 19:01:08

Family of man who died after argument at Astor Bar in Jersey City still searching for answers

Family of man who died after argument at Astor Bar in Jersey City still searching for answers

By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
March 01, 2010, 9:09PM

Resized Image
The family of John Reilly, who died following an argument at the Astor Bar in Jersey City on Feb. 15 last year, is still searching for answers about the death

A year after a Jersey City political figure died after being rushed to the hospital following a "verbal altercation" at a city bar, his family still doesn't believe the truth about that night has come out.

The final autopsy report on John Reilly, a former commissioner of the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, completed in July 2009 says the cause of Reilly's death on Feb. 15 last year at the Astor Bar was "severe heart disease...a collapse following a verbal altercation and damage to the brain caused by a lack of oxygen."

Judy Reilly, a daughter of John Reilly, told The Jersey Journal today that doctors told the family that her father had not suffered a heart attack that night.

"We are very saddened that a year later we still don't have answers to what really happened to my father that evening," Judy Reilly said.

A paid memorial the family ran in The Jersey Journal on Feb. 27 stated: "Although you (John Reilly) were a good friend to many, sadly one year has passed and no one has come forward with the truth."

Reilly, who worked as a liaison between the Jersey City City Hall and several autonomous agencies, was rushed to the Jersey City Medical Center from the Montgomery Street bar at 1:04 a.m.

Reilly was a longtime friend and aide to Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

Posted on: 2010/3/2 4:37



Charon wrote:

If you want to target unions target Police and Fire. They are the worst offenders bankrupting this City.

Joseph Krajnik is the President of the Firefighters Union and collects two paychecks. He is assigned to the Union Hall while be paid as a firefighter. His salary is over 95, 000 a year and also collects another check from the Union. Why the hell should tax payers pay his firefighter salary when he only does union business?

Someone should ask the council way this is allowed to continue. Business as usual.

And if the above doesn't make your skin crawl: The Firefighters Union pay a total of 1.00 a year rent to the city for use of the entire building as a Union Hall.
Gotta love them ratable's JC style!

Posted on: 2010/2/18 3:56

Re: LHS asks JC to maintain funding level /City Council just voted to raise it from $283,506 to $494


phDog wrote:
you mean they would answer questions about why nearly the entire board of directors was turned over twice in the past year as well as why the entire management staff was replaced by people who have never managed a shelter before?

would they provide a detailed plan to go no kill that included securing resources before they started stockpiling animals?

just wondering..

The city leases the land to Liberty Shelter for 1.00 a year for 45 years. Seems like the shelter is jumping on the rape the tax-payer bandwagon. There needs to be full disclosure before the city increases any monies. Didn't they just bail out the shelter a few months ago giving them an additional 100k when they cried to city council threatening to shut their doors cause they couldn't make payroll? How many new people have they recently hired and at what salaries? Where is the money match from the private donor? If the money match is dollar for dollar this would bring income in for over a million dollars and that's without paying rent.

just wondering too..

Posted on: 2009/12/18 2:26

Re: Furloughs coming for Jersey City workers; Mayor Healy to take pay cut


ianmac47 wrote:
Economic downturns are the not the time for the government to straighten out its bloated staffs and staff salaries; that is only further contributing to the pull back in consumer spending as more people are sent to unemployment rolls, or in the case of furloughs, balancing household budgets with less income.

Bloated staff salaries???? The average worker makes 25k to 30k a year.

O'Reilly's budget and mandatory furloughs.

In April 2008 Jersey City Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly explains the financial aspects of running Jersey City. As Business Administrator he oversees the budget and the hiring of municipal personnel. Watch as he reads his job description. Salary - $153,171

December 2008 article in Hudson Reporter.

Brian O'Reilly explains why there is no budget ready for the City Council. O'Reilly quoted the City's debt to be $18 million. O'Reilly said 'we might be able to have no tax increase.' O'Reilly supported giving a $2.5 million no interest loan to the Liberty Science Center. O'Reilly said there is a hiring freeze except for police and fire personnel. Read it here. ... et%20%20December%2021.pdf

Today, September 30, 2009 the City's debt is $74 million. This represents $56 million more debt within 9 months. Today, O'Reilly introduced mandatory furloughs and a 9.2 pay cut for City employees. O'Reilly says the decision to mandate furloughs came after City employees did not respond to the voluntary furloughs like he hoped they would.

Today, September 30, 2008, City employees presumably hope that O'Reilly stuck to his statements in December 2008, that there is a hiring freeze except for police and fire personnel.

They probably hope that O'Reilly isn't sticking them with a pay cut after signing off on unnecessary new hires during this period.

They most likely hope that O'Reilly can get back the no interest loan given to the already state funded Liberty Science Center.

They reasonably hope they will be able to afford their property taxes and monthly bills after this mandatory furlough while O'Reilly drives home to South Jersey in a car paid for by them.

They feasibly hope that in the future O'Reilly's predicitions of City tax debt include better math.

They plausibly hope to hear how many voluntary furlough days were taken by him.

They doubtlessly hope to know how he oversaw a deficit rise from $18 million to $74 million while he gambles with their pensions.

They conceivably hope that he might consider a pay cut from his own $151,171 salary before he lays off a blue collar employee who makes one fifth ($30,000) of his personal income. All in theory, of course.

Posted on: 2009/9/30 10:20

Re: Furloughs coming for Jersey City workers; Mayor Healy to take pay cut

Brian O'reilly goes ahead and a hires the 20 year old daughter of a city employee Sabrina Harrold at 35,000 a year to work in his office when the city is under a hiring freeze and is forcing mandated furloughs.

Posted on: 2009/9/30 2:38

Re: "JC Official 3" up for re-appointment as city director

Republican bloggers deny Czaplicki although he is one of 'them.' ... -tells-a-lie-long-enough/

Czaplicki is a Commissioner at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission.

Czaplicki is the Executive Director of the Hudson County Republican Party.

Czaplicki is a RepubliCRAT for Obama.

Czaplicki is the Jersey City HEDC Director appointed by Hudson County Democratic Organization Mayor Healy.

WHAT???????? Do I smell a 'deal'??????????
Naaaah, the Republicans would never support a Democrat. Or would they?

Posted on: 2009/9/30 2:35

Re: "JC Official 3" up for re-appointment as city director

Czaplicki former Jersey City Chief of Staff and current HEDC Director uses official influence to get housing approvals for private home. Cashed in a whopping $785,000. See link.

In 2007, Jersey Journal reports that Czaplicki approved the use of Jersey City taxpayer funds to pay the Urban Times News for the tax list it photocopied from the Jersey Journal and ran on own. The Urban Times News publisher was Bobby Jackson, since deceased. The new publisher is federal defendant Joe Cardwell, Jackson's business partner. ... =&topic_id=10755&forum=11

In 2005, Czaplicki, while serving as Chief of Staff to Healy short changes Jersey City and its taxpayer a cool $1 million. Using his position on the Passaic Valley Sewerage Committion, he voted to divert $1 million of Jersey City's water to North Bergen to help his political godfather, Mayor Nick Sacco.

In 2008, one blogger Thurman Hart's take on Czaplicki to head HEDC --UNQUALIFIED ... rth-jersey-political.html

Posted on: 2009/9/30 1:43

Re: "JC Official 3" up for re-appointment as city director

Here's an interesting service provided by the Asbury Park Press. It is a way for regular citizens to look up public employees.

Look up the Czaplicki family.

Here's what you'll find:

Carl Czaplicki has 3 taxpayer funded jobs - HEDC Director $112,000, Hudson County Vo Tech $4,000 and the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority $10,000. Here's a novel idea....Go on a treasure hunt, see if you can find him AT any of these jobs.

When he got the Republican appointment at Passaic Valley, he used that to get some more tax dollars for the Czaplicki family. For example, his wife Vanessa Dominguez-Czaplicki makes $61,184 and his brother John Czaplicki racks up a nice $83,228.

That's a total of $270,412 of taxpayer funded jobs for one family & these are just the jobs we know about. This, of course, does not take into account the cost to taxpayers for Carl Czaplicki's City Car, Gasoline for that car, City Cell phones, taxpayer funded jaunts to Passaic Valley Sewerage "Conventions" and Hudson County Vo Tech "Student Trips" on taxpayer time. Don't take my word for it, check out the Asbury Park Press public salaries link below.

Czaplicki greed does not end there. When Nidia Lopez was cited by the courts about her tax and residency issues, Carl Czaplicki had another bright idea. If Nidia is forced to step down, we'll run my wife, Vanessa Dominguez-Czaplicki. Because, the five taxpayer funded jobs we have are not enough. We would like one more. Thank you very much. Vanessa's name was reported as a possible replacement not long ago in the Hudson Reporter.

Also, another interesting tid-bid. Carl Czaplicki employs Joe Cardwell's wife, Debra Cardwell and today with the announcement of the layoffs and about to fire others....Brian O'reilly goes ahead and a hires the 20 year old daughter of a city employee Sabrina Harrold at 35,000 a year to work in his office when the city is under a hiring freeze.

Things that make you go hmmmmm....

Posted on: 2009/9/30 1:14

Re: Announcing The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative

Fighting like cats and dogs over feral felines

The Star-Ledger
by Paul Mulshine September 03, 2009

I was running on the beach the other evening with my dog Betty when I came upon a guy who had a dog's leash in one hand and a big stick in the other hand.

As our dogs got acquainted, the guy told me what the stick was for: To keep away rabid cats. It seems that the nearby town of Point Pleasant Beach had just had an outbreak of rabies among the feral cat colonies there. If any rabid cats showed up on the beach, this guy wanted to keep them far enough away so that he wouldn't end up needing rabies shots

This was news to me. I have long been aware of the big debate between cat-lovers and bird-lovers over the existence of feral cat colonies. But I had never before heard of feral cats catching rabies.

When I got home I checked the news on my computer. Sure enough, there were reports that rabid cats had attacked children in two incidents in recent weeks.

Any story involving animals is a good story, so on Tuesday evening I attended the meeting of the Point Pleasant Beach Borough Council, during which the council approved a $26,000 emergency appropriation for a so-called "TNR" program for the cats.

"TNR" stands for "trap, neuter and release," I learned from Councilwoman Kristine Tooker after the meeting when I sat down with her and Kristin Hennessy, who is the co-chair of the town's Animal Welfare Committee. But the most important letter was missing from that designation, Tooker said: "V" for "vaccinate."

Hennessy told me how volunteers trap the feral cats and then neuter and vaccinate them against rabies before returning them to the wild. This was the cheapest and most efficient way of controlling the cat population and fighting rabies, both said.

"Two cats in two years can make 50 cats," said Tooker. "Once all the cats are fixed and vaccinated, the population drops year by year."

That system seemed to be working until those cats came down with rabies, she said. That revelation set off a local version of a debate that's been going on nationally for more than a decade. The ongoing argument is between the trap-and-neuter crowd and the trap-and-euthanize crowd.

One thing both sides agree on is that the rabies problem began with raccoons. Tooker said that more than 400 rabid raccoons have been removed from Point Pleasant Beach and its neighboring boroughs since the spring. Cats rarely catch the disease, but with so many rabid raccoons in the neighborhood, Tooker said, it may have been inevitable that rabies would cross over to cats.

But what are raccoons doing in a town that during the summer is almost as densely populated as Manhattan? That's the real question.

Washing his paws in a mountain stream, a raccoon is a wonderful thing to behold. But in suburbia, he's just a rat in a tuxedo. The real question is why we're letting what should be wild animals move into our neighborhoods - and our garbage cans.

So I called someone on the other side of the debate, Greg Butcher. Butcher is the director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society. Butcher told me the real issue here is the role of "meso-predators" in our ecology. "Meso" means "middle-sized," and it's a category that includes cats, raccoons and possums, all of which prey on birds.

We humans tend to think meso-predators are cute, he said. But cats catch about a hundred million birds a year, he said.

"They just don't belong in nature in the United States," he said. "They're not a natural species in this country."

That's particularly true of the Jersey Shore, he said, which is among the most important bird-breeding areas in the east.

"The dunes are a great place for birds to roost, sleep and save energy and the cats are out there catching them and eating them," said Butcher.

Butcher suggests that instead of killing feral cats, the cat-lovers could relocate them to "exclosures," fenced-off areas in the woods where they could live out their lives on a bird-free diet.

As for the raccoons and possums who have moved into neighborhoods, Butcher said people need to quit pretending there's anything natural about having woodland animals living in the back yard.

"If I were in charge of human health or the health of pets, I'd take all of those animals that aren't owned and get them out of the system," he said.

Me, too. Domestic animals belong in our houses. Woodland animals belong in the woods.

And we belong at the top of the food chain. As Butcher points out, we humans have altered the ecology by removing foxes and wolves from the food chain.

Someone has to be the big dog. And it's not Betty.

ALSO NOTE this article about a rabid kitten showing up in Monroe Township. ... en_found_in_monroe_b.html

I posted this is a wrong thread before.
My apologies.

Posted on: 2009/9/5 17:10




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