I've modified this post somewhat. I should not have attacked Bob as I did. Council and staff are equally guilty for Sqirrelgate, but not nearly so guilty as the County's Vangordon--who we will look at later.
But staff and Council show an amazing lack of knowledge of all aspects of the issue, especially the medical and legal aspects. I just can't image why everyone is so thick here. What is behind the ignorance? Is there a plot by Republicans to save the City from wildlfe? Is it laziness? Is it timidity? I certainly do not know.
According to a record of the June 15, 2004 Council meeting (http://marla.cagreens.org/pipermail/dmr-annc-freq/2004-June/000453.html), City Councilman Bob Holbrook recalled how the debate over squirrels came up in the 1998 election, dubbed by some the "squirrel campaign."
"Everyone was upset about euthanizing squirrels, you know, they're kind of fun little animals. It got kind of heated," Holbrook said, adding the issue is more serious than it may appear. "It's the kind of thing that sounds crazy, but they had the, whatever it is, the organism that causes, or virus that causes plague."
Mayor Richard Bloom expressed concerns. "I don't think that there are other practical methods (of controlling the squirrel population), based on my understanding, but there's certainly no harm in asking the County to reconsider," Bloom said. "I do believe this is a serious issue, and let me be clear on that. I think that the control of rodent populations and furtherance of controlling the spread of disease is a very real and serious issue.
It is a real and serious issue, why didn’t you look into it Richard or demand staff look more deeply. They roll out the same report everytime the squirrel issue comes up.
You, like Holbrook, had absolutely no understanding at all—and still don’t--and based all of your opinions on what staff told you, and they based all their opinions on what the County told them, even about them invading Santa Monica and spreading poison bait all over the Park in violation of the Federal Rodenticide Act (FIFRA, 1996).
The fleas may not be the only problem. "There's another huge issue here," Holbrook said. "It's the bluffs. And one of the reasons they're falling is they're full of holes.
"They're like Swiss cheese out there."
The plight of local ground squirrels was discussed earlier this year as part of a $10 million plan to help shore up the eroding bluffs. Part of the problem, officials said, were thousands of tiny tunnels burrowed through the bluffs, weakening them and helping contribute to future slides.
Ground squirrels were the culprit.
Well, well, well. Is this the real reason Mayor Holbrook went along with the lie that the squirrels were a health hazard—save the bluffs, screw the squirrels?
It has nothing to do with health for you, does it Bob? It has nothing to do with liability, does it Marsha? It is all about property. Disease is the excuse to kill, the excuse staff waves in the face of all animal activists and Councilmembers and Commissioners who oppose the killing.
Long live the public health emergency!
Well, the emergency is exposed as a fraud, and Marsha creates a new reason to OBEY--liability. (I hear this second hand, she never communicated this theory to me.) Of course, liability is a scam because she does not explain the liability in any rational terms. Is there any real examination of liability, or does she just announce it? Plague? Come on. Look at the stats.
Lamont Ewell, exposed as a timid, little old lady who jumped the gun and pulled the trigger in February and again in August, told Phil Broch "several times" that Marsha Moutrie was going to respond to my charge that Santa Monica was home free legally with respect to the County. Broch was told Marsha would be responding to me by email or letter. That was over a week ago. Still nothing. Guess Marsha is still doing research to support the credibility of her new "liability" theory.
The staff brings out a report every year or two about the Palisades squirrels, whenever the County the City to kill them, or whatever internal entity wants them killed to protect the bluffs. It is the same report each time. Sometimes it is four pages, sometimes five. It makes staff look as if they examined the issue for Council freshly, when they did not. They recycled the same report. Go through the staff reports on the squirrels on the Internet. Don't make me do all the work.
From that same Council meeting:
Though City Hall hopes the county will cooperate in finding a way to deal with the squirrels, staffers said health authorities in a recent warning said if City doesn't act fast, they will spread poison themselves. (Council never heard this before or questioned the County could or would do it? Yes one did, Kevin. He said the City ought to be willing to go toe-to-toe.)
That possibility has many concerned, because the county doesn't employ the special "bait tunnels" that City Hall has used in the past. That method attracts squirrels, who then pick up the poison and carry it back to their resting spots. County officials, staffers said, use what's called a "broadcast" method where poison is essentially scattered about, putting other small, bluff-dwelling animals at risk.
Are we all stupid here? The County is going to come in and spread poison on the ground around all the cats, dogs, tree squirrels, and children, and the City is going to accept that liability? Is this Marsha's idea too? No one checked on the legality of what the County threatened, or that City staffers said the County was threatening to do?
It’s been eight years since the City said the County would use broadcast poison baiting if the City did not kill the squirrels. Yet, no one checked to see if the threat was real or the threat of lawsuit was real. Why?
Why were not the scientific and medical aspects of the County order not investigated? There is a modicum of questioning by Polachek of Vangordon on this issue, but instant acceptance of Vangordon's theorized science and analysis of legal issues.I am sure when it comes to a property issue, Marsha could cite case after case regarding City liability down to a dime.
Am I missing something?