Cocka Doodle Trifecta

For the perfect trifecta this week, let's have another post on the impending crisis coming our way because Eric, Rick, Nathan, and David aka, uber-smart Wylie City Councilmen all support the hair-brained idea that we should be allowed to have chickens in our backyards.  Yippie.  

Oh, I'm sure Kathy will be on board as well, after all she has sold her house and can't wait to finish out her stint on Council, so she can move to where the Nieman Marcus shoppers are.  Hells, what does she care how she votes? 

As for Bennie, well he's a crap shoot.  I would hope he would vote on the side of being a realist, with an understanding that this ordinance will end up costing the city money and bringing the police, code-enforcement, and animal control more trouble than it's worth. No telling.

I keep hearing people, both liberal and conservative, tossing the beloved term, "Property Rights" out there.  Let's visit with this for a bit, shall we?

Some properties do not allow you to have full property rights.  You may not have rights to any diamonds, minerals or oil, for example.  You may not have the right to the airspace over your house as well.  Nobody seems to crab about this. 

You are not allowed to have a horse, or llama, or Siberian tiger in your backyard but you don't see anyone bemoaning this ordinance, either.  

You are only allowed so many cars parked in front of your house.  You are not allowed to keep signs on your property for any length of time.  You would not be allowed to install a massive, flashing neon sign over your front door that says, "Witamy", or "No Soliciting", or "I shoot first and ask questions later", for example.  

You are not allowed to erect a shed or storage unit whenever or wherever you please, without asking for a permit.  You are required to keep your grass mowed below butt level as well. 

You are no longer allowed to smoke where you please.  I don't see people picketing over that.  The truth is, though some don't care for the law because they don't like people telling us what to do, we are a lot happier for not having to breath in massive clouds of smoke everywhere we go so, we simply ignore it.  

You are required to keep your dogs from barking incessantly, and by the way you are not allowed to have more than 3 dogs. 

You are required to keep the noise down.  Are you really going abolish this ordinance because you think you have the right to party on and make all the ruckus you feel like, any time, day or night? 

If you feel not allowing chickens is harming your ability to feed your family, grow you some lettuce instead.  In fact, grow you some up as well.  Go buy you some ag land, there is still some for sale in Wylie.  Oh, and if you buy some, you would not be allowed to build a car wash just cuz you feel like it.  You have rules to follow and would have to seek a change.  We live a life of rules, you see.

You have to stop at the stop light, pay your taxes, the list is on and on.  You know, sometimes you just need to suck it up at home and realize that your neighbors deserve quiet enjoyment and a quality of life too.   After all, we need to get along.  Hence, rules for those too stupid or too selfish to figure that out are completely acceptable to society as a whole.  

Societal norms dictate a certain amount of rules be in place.  Without them, we have anarchy.  I doubt running your chickens off because they will be noisy, dirty, and smelly, and because they will surely bring rodents and snakes, and because they are going to cost the taxpayers money for code enforcement 
is going to make a big deal in the end for a handful of rebels improperly pulling the property rights card, is it?  Are there really so many people that just gotta have their chicken in the backyard to ease the grocery bill?  Honestly.  If this is the case, I may have completely outgrown Wylie and the socioeconomic level.

The bible also implements rules, they are called the 10 Commandments.  So tell me again why some rules are good and some aren't?  Cuz I would really like to see you apply that to the bible.  Now there's a show I would pay money to see when you meet your maker. 

As long as the rule, Commandment, ordinance, or whatever you want to call it is easily achieved, generally accepted by the masses, and doesn't harm others in the process, there is nothing wrong with it.  So all you bible folks on Council, go pray on that for a little while and see what you come up with when running your chickens around that obstacle course.  You will have to prove to yourself that allowing something that absolutely has the potential to cause trouble between the citizens is okie dokie according to your bible.  I find it completely confounding why anyone would consider the most trivial of property rights trumping the massive right of all citizens to quiet enjoyment of their property. 

How many people does anyone believe will move to Wylie because they can build that coop out back?  How many people may skip past Wylie, because there are a bunch of hoo hays, with slap dab coops, stuffed with chickens, that don't clean up the poop with any regularity?  

Once again, Wylie City Council is headed down the wrong path and making decisions that make the City look like we are nothing but a bunch of low-class, white-trash farm folk. Yee haw.   

Barren Riparian

When you hear the City Between Two Lakes, doesn’t it bring to mind endless biking and hiking trails surrounding a complex consisting of beautiful marina, statues, restaurants with outdoor seating, bars, and quaint shops?  Don’t you see a station for renting canoes and bikes? Don’t you envision some real vitalization?  Don’t you see a commons area perhaps with a water feature?  Or do you see an ailing downtown with a rotating cast of businesses, not much to speak of with regard to trails, a couple basketball hoops, some swings, soccer nets, and exhausted and overweight soccer parents traipsing their kids to and fro by car rather than walking or riding bikes.

Over Thanksgiving break, the famdamily took a drive to Oklahoma City to spend some time with my niece who is attending college there on scholarship.  Now I realize it is somewhat unfair to compare a city the size of Oklahoma City to little Podunk Wylie, Texas, however I must point out that there sits a city that got it right.

Bricktown is absolutely amazing with water taxis, restaurants and bars.  There is so much to do and see there, you can even rent bicycles on the street corner by swiping your credit card.  The paths around the Bricktown waterway are very enjoyable, with an array of bridges to take you from one side to the other of the manmade river along the way.  There are hundreds of bronze sculptures that celebrate their heritage, rather than act as some fanciful modern art piece just to beat themselves on the back with.

If Oklahoma City can dig down to basement level and fill some city streets with water, why can’t Wylie make good use of the two lakes we are settled between?  Nobody has spent any reasonable amount of time contacting the Corps of Army Engineers and assessing what exactly is necessary to rent back the land and erect and promote some sort of entertainment center complete with nightlife and also activities for those with an active lifestyle.  Rather, we have a handful of run of the mill parks with nothing particularly spectacular about them and a City Council that busies themselves with crap that defies logic such as providing daycare, fixing parks that were supposed to be done right the first time, considering whether to regulate your home businesses, dinking around with the Humane Society in residential areas, bringing a Code of Conduct forth that never gets put in place even though some people ran on that platform and finally, they waste time considering backyard chicken coops.  Oh sure, some of these things are brought to them and have to be dealt with, but you would swear they are parting the Red Sea with the massive effort they apply to some of this nonsensical fluff stuff.  They continually dangle the carrot but never take any action.

Wouldn’t it make sense for your City Council to actually do something that has the potential to really benefit all citizens and offer the possibility of an active lifestyle? We’ve all heard about this master trail plan for years, but it has all been nothing but lip service paid to citizens year after year as nothing comes to fruition.  Even an outside entity had to come in gratis to build the trails around City Hall and work to reestablish the native prairie grasses, all by volunteer. Though the city paid for the woodchips, it appears to be only a labor of love on the part of a grasslands preservation group, but where is your City Council in all of this?  Do they not have some skin in the game?  Rather, your Wylie City Council would rather spend time bringing forth completely retarded proposals such as backyard chicken coops which ultimately benefit nobody, least of all the ailing birds that will be living out their lives in their own filth and in tiny cages. 

Does anyone realize that the council members need to ask to put something on the agenda?  When they receive a dumbfounding letter from a citizen, they can choose to ignore the message or they can ask to have it added to the agenda.  It begs to be asked then, why do our Councilmembers continually allow the minutiae of mindless requests by less than a handful of people to cloud any real vision? In fact, one should ask themselves why they kowtow to the request of a past councilmember, Red Byboth and one of his friends.  Wylie is chock full of past and present councilmembers who have most certainly not left much of a legacy behind them in their wake.  Aside from a few activities, mostly they have left a trail of controversy behind them.   If the City of Wylie isn’t going to do anything with the lakes, I don’t know why the leaders continue to tout us as the City Between Two Lakes.

Dispatch Fail

There is nothing quite like being jolted awake at 3am, along with 3 other sets of neighbors, to a drunk 18 yr old flying up the curb in his black BMW, mowing down the neighbor's brick mailbox, flying down the curb and taking out the neighbor's car, hitting the car so hard it slid against the curb, bending the tire over the curb, and breaking the axle, then squealing tires off to complete the hit and run.  A few sheets the wind is clearly an understatement.

We woke to find bricks sprawled across our front yard, strewn at and under our car, and strewn all over the street for about 20-25 feet of rubble. Thank God for Good Samaritan Oscar who saw it all happen as the kid nearly took him out on another street when he failed to stop at a stop sign and skidded around the corner.  In my sleep deprived haze, I believe the story went like this: Oscar, whose daughter was hit by a drunk driver, feels so vehemently about this that he follows and reports anyone he suspects is driving drunk.  Oscar was on his way to work but stopped to notify us, and then followed the path the car took and called the police.  Seems it wasn’t terribly difficult to find the person who displayed this amazing feat of stupefying driving prowess.

While we waited, we surveyed the wreckage and found the front bumper intact with license plate in the road.  The neighbor with the damaged car offered coffee or tea to all of us as we waited in the cold weather, not wanting anyone to come up the road and get hurt or cause further damage should they hurry up the road and come upon the Afghanistan style bricks and rubble in the street.  God bless Oscar, he came back to update us on what he found.  He said he followed the radiator fluid trail right up to a house and gave us the street name and a description.

When the police didn't show up, the neighbors then followed the radiator fluid all the way to the house in question and found a bare tired vehicle with missing bumper and headlights, with the police already investigating it.  I honestly don't know what happened to dispatch, but the police were called by 3 different people about 3:05a and they didn't arrive until 4:10a after yet another call to 911 by the woman whose car was severely damaged. Geez, glad nobody was hurt in the ordeal.

Here we all were, worried about whether the kid was hurt or not.  When someone queried the police about his state, he said, “He wasn’t hurt; he was drunk.”  It seems the police were under the impression that the only thing awry was a downed mailbox so they spent their time looking for the damaged car.  They came down the street and picked up the radiator trail and followed it.  Meanwhile, dispatch didn’t seem to alert them that there was much more damage than just a mailbox.  I don’t know what the hell went on with dispatch last night but when the neighbor called for the second time, a stuttering dispatch said the police had already come and gone from the scene to which she was informed that they never showed up and we were all still waiting.

Police arrested the kid in front of his highly indifferent parents first and then came to our street to give 3 police reports to three of us.  Apparently the parents relinquished their parental responsibilities long before this kid ever turned 18 as the kid was well known to the police from many prior events. 

Out of camaraderie, or some sort of dazed and sleepless stupor, every neighbor there gathered the bricks and swept the road together at 4:20am.  Decided I really like my neighbors on our street.  It's the dispatch last night and the neighbors that live behind us that leave a lot to be desired. 

As the sun dawned, an 18 year old kid is in jail, his parents don’t seem too choked up about it, a lot of damage was done, a bunch of people lost sleep and have been inconvenienced, and a dispatcher has some ‘splainin to do.

Clucking Clueless

I am a committed, dyed in the wool conservative; there is no doubt about that.  However when it comes to animals, particularly birds, I turn into a mushy, peace, love, and ‘far out’ liberal.  I don’t know about you but my gut tells me this backyard chicken coop thing is just a bad idea that will go terribly wrong.  Now before you dismiss this blog post as more vitriol against those city boobs, better known as Wylie City Council, hear me out.

We have predators nearby thanks to a beautifully rustic Trinity Trail and lake within four paw walking distance.  6 foot fences are nothing for bobcats to scale, and wobbly fences will not hold back coyotes when there is a food source to be had. 

By the way, we also have fox here because I’ve seen the dead carcasses rotting on some my hikes.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “Cunning like a fox?”  Yes, it means something.

Oh, and let’s not even mention snakes, which will surely come looking for a free meal, and you are kidding yourselves if you think we don’t have snakes here because my husband and I see them routinely as we walk the dogs at night. 

Snakes are also evident by the 6 foot skins I’ve found in the flowerbeds around my home.

Oh and let’s not forget all of the birds of prey we have around here.  I routinely photograph hawks and harriers around my home.

Not only are there wild predators, but we have hundreds of house cats roaming the streets as well.  Even our pet dogs will enjoy the chase. Putting chickens out back could be a recipe for disaster.  Well, perhaps a recipe for an ingenious cat anyway.  The proverbial alley cat is one of the shrewdest domestic creatures alive, do you not agree? I've watched them stealthily scale a birdhouse pole with one paw on pole and one on a nearby tree with great success.  I've watched them dangle perilously from eaves of rooftops to peer into nests.  Do we really want to place a make-shift chicken coop out in our backyard and ring the ‘come and get it’ dinner bell? 

On top of placing a fresh food source in the backyard, how do you think the chickens will fare?  What sort of quality of life are the birds going to have on a postage-stamp size backyard lot?  Do you think it’s fair or even humane to cram 6-8 chickens in a small wire cage to live out the rest of their lives?  Oh I can see it now, “Bubba Joe, come on out here and pet yer cock, he’s getting lonely.” 

Let’s not forget that putting the feed out there will surely bring additional rats and mice to be sure.  Oh how smart are we to send the cherub-faced kiddos out there on a cool evening to refresh the water while God knows what is scurrying and lurking about.

We can hardly trust citizens to mow their lawn or fix their fences without Code Enforcement telling them to do so; can we really trust anyone to care for their chickens properly?  Especially after the novelty of it all wears off?  Chickens will end up living in squalor and dying or worse yet, being let loose to fend for themselves, all because they were oh so cute as chicks but little Katy or Carly didn't take care of them like they were supposed to.

Does anyone give a thought as to the care that is required?  It’s not as if you just put a little food and water out there and they do their thing.  In tight quarters, chickens can get all sorts of diseases and ailments if not properly cared for.


Can you imagine what that coop will do to our property values?  Can you imagine how difficult it will be to sell your house when the stench emanating from your neighbor’s yards wafts up to the noses of prospective buyers on a hot summer day?  I've read article after article on how even the most scrupulously clean coops still stink.  A quick Google search on how to keep chicken coops from smelling brings up a plethora of articles and posts from backyard coopers wanting to know how to fix the stink. We've got to be absolutely out of our clucking minds. 

What about the incessant need of Wylie's alpha-males to try to prove something to themselves?  Does anyone think the next step won't be cock fighting?

How many readers have sheds in their backyards that did not get a permit to put there?  Um, yes I thought so.  Quite a few readers.  Does anyone truly believe people won’t be erecting makeshift coops without the knowledge of the City all over Wylie?  With a 1/3 of our students on the food program, we need not be complacent and think everyone will follow the rules and that only a few people will be building these things. 

Oh sure, it’s all cute and cuddly and this is what everyone has in mind:
However applying some common sense and a dose of reality, this is what we’ll ultimately end up with:

Your Mayor Eric Hogue stands at the helm of this ridiculous coop d'etat along with his playmate, Councilman Nathan Scott panting behind like a dog in heat.  Please write to your Wylie City Council and tell them you don't want this in your neighborhoods.  Let's not allow the fanaticism of a few to trump good judgment.  

Inference Difference

Let your fingers do the walking and mosey on over to the following City of Wylie website:

Does anyone notice anything awry?  Ah yes, either someone doesn’t know how to count or Councilman Nathan Scott’s photo for Seat 2 was very well place in front of Councilman David Goss’ Seat 1 photo.  Coincidence?  

On top of this 'mis-count' do you see that his 'Place 2" is bolder than the others place number fonts? Oh, and do you notice he is the only one facing to the left?  I realize his photo was taken at a different time, but at least flip him.   Ah yes, the musings of suspicious minds, however considering how the last election went down it's not difficult to assign the inference.  

More than likely, it's just the slip-up of a not too careful web master because the font color for Diane Culver is slightly different as well, but that could also just be a browser issue.  Whether these mistakes were made at a subconscious level or not, they do affect viewers at a subconscious level to be sure.  The placement is just plain wrong on so many levels and it needs to be corrected.

Does the disgustingly ingratiating tongue probe among Wylie’s good old boys and their new playmates never end?

I copied the details below directly from the website however the code doesn't copy over right, but at least you can see the misnumbering of seats 1 & 2:

Mail for the Mayor and City Council can be addressed to:
300 Country Club Road, Building 100
Wylie, TX  75098
 Email City Council

   Mayor Hogue small
Eric Hogue

 term expires 5/2014 

  Scott small 
Nathan Scott
 Place 2
term expires 5/2015

David Goss smallDavid Goss
Place 1

term expires 5/2013
Mayor Pro Tem
Place 3

 term expires 5/2013
Bennie Jones small  
Bennie Jones  
Place 4
term expires 5/2015
Rick White smallRick White
Place 5

term expires 5/2014
Diane Culver small 
Diane Culver
Place 6 
term expires 5/2014