Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New York City. No Fur Allowed in Certain Bars. Fur is Ugly.

Reading through the Care2 petition site on the web, I found a most welcome bit of news concerning that most hideous of fashion trends --- fur coats. It seems that there is at least a couple of bars in New York City that will reject any one who tries to enter with a fur coat on. The bouncers at the door have been instructed to inspect patrons' clothing for fur, to determine if fake or not, and to reject those that are guilty of fur. Although the name of the owner of these establishments was not mentioned, the bars were specifically mentioned as being the Revision Lounge & Gallery and the The Back Room . Both bars are located in the lower east side of Manhattan. It was reported that the owner's motivation for the ban is to support the movement against the fur industry.

It's one more nail to the coffin. This innovation, this sort of trailblazing, can catch fire and spread throughout the city. Thank you for this great example and I appreciate your chutzpah and forward thinking.

I have been an animal rights proponent long enough to feel a repulsive reflex in me whenever I come across a person wearing fur. In many cases, I have been intentionally unfriendly to those people, even coming out and saying at their faces that they are dripping in cruelty by wearing fur. People should be made uncomfortable in fur products. The people need to be told; the message need to be conveyed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 New Jersey Bear Trophy Hunt. Massacre of 464 Bears. Public Getting More Unhappy.

It has been five days since the 2011 New Jersey black bear massacre ended, and the official count of the dead amounted to 464. A more detailed accounting will be published later in the next year by the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), a report that will list the different weights, gender, area of the kill, and information like such. Just like the report for the 2010 massacre, I expect that more than half the kill will be young bears weighing less than 100 pounds.

I stood across the gates of the Franklin weigh station on the first day, Dec. 5th, and watched cub after cub trucked in to be measured and weighed and for the killers to have their proverbial trophy photo taken. Yes, the one that virtually says, " Look, I killed a bear and proud of it. " The fact that most of the kills were mere cubs didn't mean less pride. And, quite frankly, I am not sure if DFW will be honest about their figures concerning the number of cubs killed. It has been argued that DFW is nothing but a private hunting club masquerading as a government body.

I am truly amazed at how 1% of the state's population is catered to by the governor with, so far, two consecutive annual trophy hunts. You'd think that a politician would go for the 99% to get himself elected and re-elected. The difference is better organization---the 1% is a well-organized and well-funded voting bloc made up of gun and hunting enthusiasts while the 99% are scattered, individual voters who do not act in concert. Animal rights people need to be better organized, and be constantly in touch with their government reps. We're working on it. If you are not yet a member of the New Jersey League of Humane Voters (http://lohvnj.org/chapters.html), please get on board. We also need to you join the Animal Protection League of New Jersey (http://www.aplnj.org/).

Readers comments are still coming in at the different newspapers, and some of them are very compelling. It's a good sign, and I believe that this second bear trophy hunt increased the ire of the people and the number of people who are willing to speak out against it.

Here is a couple worthy of note:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Take action to protect black bear population

Watching the second bear hunt under the Christie regime unfold, I must ask, "Is this New Jersey or communist China?"

From what I've read, the dictators of China, much like New Jersey's current political leadership, have little regard for animals or people. How can 1 percent of the population (hunters), dictate how we manage our black bears? Why is the Department of Environmental Protection not enforcing the ban on feeding the bears?

Why is no one in the Legislature introducing a bill to protect black bears? Why is the DEP trying to deny the bear defenders' constitutional right to assemble in a public place to protest the killing? Why is the press and media not giving the animal rights activists equal time?

There have been long articles in the Herald News about hunters who find perverse pleasure in killing the bears, yet less coverage about the many activists who oppose the slaughter. Wake up my fellow New Jerseyans. Contact your legislators and remind them that we are their boss and we want our black bears protected, not massacred.

We gave these feckless politicians the privilege of representing us, and we can take it away. This is one thing that we can still do that China can't.

Richard Jaretsky

Clifton

===================================


Bear hunt was barbaric, unnecessary

Dec. 13, 2011

Gov. Chris Christie, the Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife should be ashamed of themselves for killing the black bears of New Jersey. This bear hunt for “safety reasons” and “population control” is nothing more than a blood-thirsty slaughter in disguise. They have purposely villainized bears in order to justify their hunt.We are not fools. We know the real reason for this bear hunt. Revenues are declining in the coffers of Fish and Wildlife with fewer and fewer people choosing to hunt our wildlife. They need to sell licenses. They need to get more people interested in killing wildlife. Otherwise they will be out of business and will perhaps not be able to hunt themselves. They are nothing more than a self-interest group trying to justify themselves each year. Its like the fox guarding the hen house.

I live in the woods of Sussex County, and we do not have a problem with bears. Most bears are timid creatures who shy away from human contact. We see a bear once every few months as it passes through. It is an amazing and beautiful animal to watch. It may take a quick drink out of our birdbath and then off it goes. If we step outside to get a closer look they scamper away. We keep our garbage in a bear proof can and we don't leave pet food outside. My neighbors do the same. We have learned how to live with bears and we feel privileged to see them occasionally.

We do not feed the bears but hunters are allowed to do so. They create bait piles of doughnuts, cookies, etc. in the woods prior to this hunt to acclimate the bears to human food. Then they get up in their tree stand over the bait pile and kill the hungry bear. Its like shooting fish in a barrel. They call themselves sportsmen and nothing could be further from the truth. Is it any wonder that 250-plus bears are killed the first day and then the numbers go down each day thereafter? A cub must be terrified after seeing its mother slaughtered on the doughnut pile. And yet if we put some food out for a bear we can be fined. What a double-standard state we live in.

Hunters also bait the deer in a similar fashion and yet Fish and Wildlife is trying to take away our right to feed deer. This is a very corrupt agency with the National Rifle Association behind them, and they need to be either abolished or completely overhauled. But I'm sure Christie won't do it. He's in bed right alongside them.

Someday the people of New Jersey will say “enough” en masse and we will move forward into the 21st century and have a more humane state. Five-hundred plus bears were not born to die. They were an important part of our ecosystem. Shame on our state for killing them.

Barbara J. Haley, ANDOVER

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

New Jersey 2011 Black Bear Massacre.





Well, I am thoroughly upset by this year's bear trophy hunt. It's the second year we've had this mass killing in New Jersey. Last year, the hunters killed 589 bears in five days of hunting(?). Of that total, 378 were under one year old, cubs basically, with the smallest one weighing only thirty pounds. I am sorry to say that these trophy hunts are part of a 5-year bear management program, fostered by the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) and under the behest of our bully governor, Chris Christie. This only means three more years of indiscriminate killings of our black bears.

The DFW argues that the hunts are only one part of the program, that public education and proper garbage disposal alternatives plus some vague reference to humane methods are also part of their plan. But Jeff Tittel, Director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey, referred to this 5-yr program as a document filled with beautiful words but lacks the funding and staffing to implement all its provisos. And so, shooting up our black bears becomes the solution of choice which quite remarkably, serendipitously, I might say, also pleases the gun and hunting cabal in the state.

Yesterday was the first day of the 5-day 2011 trophy hunt, and the kills were estimated at 200.

Today, I posted a comment on the Los Angeles Times website as well as the NJ.Com site in response to fallacious comments posted at those sites, those that perpetuate the myth of bear overpopulation in New Jersey, some furthering the even greater myth of black bear attacks. Here it is:

"
Well, I was at the Franklin weigh station yesterday, the first day of the hunt, and it looked to me like a kindergarten school was massacred out there and they were bringing in the dead children. Mere cubs killed by grown men in camo clothing, driving into the weigh station with utmost pride, exchanging war stories over a cup of java. About what? Killing the children of animals? The simile isn't far-fetched. To make things worse, the hunters are allowed to bait the bears with food and then shoot them at the moment of inattentiveness. Don't kid yourselves. It hasn't been a cat and mouse game. It's been like giving an unsuspecting child a lollipop. Hunters are allowed to kill any bear, or deer, of any age. No restriction. Even out of state hunters are allowed to come and shoot up our black bears in New Jersey. This is not a hunt nor a culling. It's a c'mon boys and enjoy yourselves, very much like a gang rape. The bears being killed are not nuisance bears, but bears that live in the deep woods. You didn't think that the tree stands were set up in gated communities, did you? Nuisance bears, that's a lame excuse to shift the blame on them and away from people who have not taken responsibility for their trash. Control the people, not the bears. Animals respect the land, and make good use of it."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Jersey. Bill S2649. Senator Bob Smith. Assembly Agricultural Committee.Urgent Action Needed. A Message from the APLNJ. November 2011.

Dear Members, Supporters and Friends,

After meeting with key legislators in the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, we effectively halted movement on S2649, a ghastly and deadly bill for deer. . . In a underhanded maneuver, Senator Bob Smith (D-17), the sponsor, moved the bill to the Assembly Agriculture Committee, where he knows there is support for his pro-hunt agenda.

In behalf of the deer, who are victimized and maligned, we urge you to take action. (see TAKE 5 MINUTES AND DO THREE WONDERFUL THINGS FOR DEER! below).

Please save these and other deer from becoming dead bodies in the backs of trucks, heads in buckets, and heads on the walls of hunters.



TAKE 5 MINUTES AND DO THREE WONDERFUL THINGS FOR DEER!

Please start calling on Monday. Talking points are available here: http://aplnj.org/Legislation.php

To read a report on S2649, please go here: http://aplnj.org/assets/pdf/S2649Report.pdf

1. EVERYONE: Call the Speaker of the Assembly: Sheila Oliver: (973) 395-1166. Ask her to NOT POST S2649 for a vote. Make sure her office takes down the number of the bill and understands what you are calling about. If you live in her district, let them know you are a constituent.

2. Call your TWO (note: some districts have 1 seat vacant) state Assembly members now and throughout next week. If you do not know what Legislative District you live in, please visit: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/municipalities.asp If you have any questions about your district, please call our office at 732-446-6808.

3. Please follow-up your calls with an e-mail. Find the entire e-mail and phone list below for your convenience.

Ask your state Assembly member to OPPOSE S2649 on humanitarian, ethical, ecological and practical grounds. This bill will extend and legalize heinous poaching methods and ban all deer feeding unless you want to bait to kill them. Demand a NO vote if S2649 comes up for a vote in the Assembly. Make sure your Assembly member knows you are a constituent and have been watching this legislation carefully. Tell them we keep voting records.

Please help us defeat this ghastly bill. A vote could be held as early as December 1, 2011. We are counting on everyone who receives this e-mail to take action.

Thank you,

Angi Metler
State Chair
LOHV-NJ
www.lohvnj.org

==================================

UPDATE from Keep Life in the Park (KLIP) 11/29/11

We firmly believe that due to YOUR phone calls and emails to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and to local representatives, S2649 was NOT posted for session on Monday, Nov. 28th. Here is a link to those bills posted. YOUR voices were heard throughout the New Jersey State Assembly!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Jersey Bear Hunt 2011. NJ DFW. The Killing Continues. It's a Business, not Science.

Here we are again, at death's door, with the 2011 New Jersey Black Bear Massacre only three weeks away. The killing will begin on December 5th and will last five days. Last year's bear massacre resulted in 589 dead, most of them one-year and less in age, weighing less than 75 pounds. The smallest kill weighed only 30 pounds. Three hundred and seventy-eight (378) were just cubs. That's more than half of all the dead.

These facts were gleaned from the published report of the NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife, a government body that portrays itself as some kind of overseer of the environment, the protector of animals in that environment, and the provider recreational possibilities offered by the environment.

But, make no mistake. The New Jersey DFW is not the Sierra Club, and it does not have any affinity with John Muir's grand design, with his love of nature and respect for animals.

In fact, the NJ DFW has stooped so low as to encourage young adults to take up hunting (it's on their website) which inevitably will lead to killing animals. Larry
Herrighty is the big man at the New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife. And at the behest of the NJ DFW and the Department of Environmental Protection under David Chanda, Governor Christie is able to reward his political supporters with an annual bear hunt.

Listen to Stuart Chaifetz of SHARK explain the buddy-buddy system that is at work in Trenton, after which I implore you to send the NJ DFW a piece of your mind at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/contactform.htm.

Don't miss this:


Saturday, November 05, 2011

New Jersey. November 2001 Elections. Who to Love and Who to Reject. KLIP.

Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife and ALL Animals,
Please feel free to cross post and forward!
Following up our previous email on Voting Humanely on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8th, we are providing you with the list of the BEST and WORST New Jersey Legislators on animal issues, wildlife as well as companion animal. Also included (see below is the list of NJ legislators belonging to the NJ Angling & Hunting Conservation Caucus aka Sportsmen's Caucus. Obviously, we DO NOT SUPPORT any member of the Sportsmen's Caucus.
The fact is that the ONLY way we will create change in NJ Div. of Fish & Wildlife policies, as well as increasing protection of companion animals is through the VOTE. Do we vote FOR animal protection, or AGAINST it. YOU hold the power with your VOTE.
The League of Humane Voters of NJ 2011 endorsement list was compiled based strictly on the following criteria:
- Voting records on companion and wildlife issues
- Memberships in hunting or trapping caucuses
- Sponsorship of animal protection legislation
- Overall interest in companion and wildlife issues
Compiled by the League of Humane Voters of New Jersey

In alpha order:

BEST SENATORS FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION IN NEW JERSEY

Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R)
Senator Barbara Buono (D)
Senator Sandra B. Cunningham (D)
Senator Nia H. Gil (D)
Senator Robert M. Gordon (D)
Senator Raymond J. Lesniak (D)
Senator Shirley K. Turner (D)
Senator Joseph Vitale (D)
Senator Loretta Weinberg (D)

BEST ASSEMBLY MEMBERS FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION IN NEW JERSEY

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D)
Assemblywoman Nia H. Gill (D)
Assemblyman Mila M. Jasey (D)
Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D)
Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D)
Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D)***
Assemblyman Robert Schroeder (R)
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle D
Assemblywoman Connie T. Wagner D

WORST SENATORS FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION IN NEW JERSEY

Senator Dawn Marie Addiego (R)
Senator Jennifer Beck (R)
Senator Michael J. Doherty (R)
Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr. (R)
Senator Donald Norcross (R)
Senator Steven V. Oroho (R)
Senator Robert W. Singer (R)
Senator Bob Smith (D)
Senator Stephen M. Sweeney (D)
Senator Jim Whelan (D)

WORST ASSEMBLY MEMBERS FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION IN NEW JERSEY

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R)
Assemblyman John Amodeo (R)
Assemblyman Peter Biondi (R)
Assemblyman John Burzichelli (R)
Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R)
Assemblyman Gary Chiusano (D)
Assemblyman Alex DeCroce (R)
Assemblywoman Allison Littell McHose (R)
Assemblyman Dave Rible (R)
Assemblyman Scott Rudder (R)

***Running for Senate.
Sportsmen's Caucus

The New Jersey Angling & Hunting Conservation Caucus: Supports all hunting and a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt: (To look up the legislative districts, visit: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/districtnumbers.asp#1)

If they are running in different legislative districts, see note next to name.

Senator Donald Norcross (Co Chair) (D-5)

Senator Steven Oroho (Co Chair) (R-24)

Senator Steve Sweeney (D-3)

Senator James Beach (D-6)

Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25)

Senator Sean Kean (R-11) Running for Assembly in District 30.

Senator Bob Smith (D-17)

Senator Robert Singer (R-30)

Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-13)

Senator Jennifer Beck R-12 Running for Senate in District 11

Senator Michael Doherty (R-23)

Senator Dawn Marie Addiego (R-8)

Assemblyman John Burzichelli (Co Chair) (D-3)

Assemblyman Gary Chiusano (Co Chair) (R-24)

Assemblyman Matt Milam (D-1)

Assemblyman Scott Rudder (R-8)

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-12) Running for Assembly in District 13.

Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-11)

Assemblyman Dave Rible (R-11) Running for Assembly in District 30.

Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14)

Assemblyman Peter Biondi (R-16)

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-12) Running for Assembly in District 11.

Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R-40)

Assemblyman Anthony Bucco (R-25)

Assemblyman Nelson Albano (D-1)

Your vote is precious, and your choice is your own. But we NEED humane legislators on the state, county, AND municipal levels, willing to stand up to the NJ Div. of Fish & Wildlife and all pro-hunt groups and agendas. We NEED increased companion animal protection legislation. We cannot urge you strongly enough to VOTE HUMANELY on Tuesday, Nov. 8th.

Thank you ALL!!!

Keep Life In the Park

Keep Life In the Park (K.L.I.P.)

Be a voice for ALL animals with the League of Humane Voters of NJ.
Visit the NEW www.LOHVNJ.ORG and join today!

Friday, November 04, 2011

November 2011 Elections. District 40. New Jersey. Cassandra Lazzarra for the Assembly. A Message from KLIP.

Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife and ALL Animals,

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th. Many registered voters only turn out for 'major' - presidential or gubernatorial elections. This Election Day is MAJOR. You will be able to vote OUT members of the NJ State Senate and Assembly who have sponsored and voted some of the most inhumane animal legislation in history. Who have compromised public safety for the sake of 'sport' by reducing the bow hunt perimeter from 450 feet to 150 from occupied buildings, as in private homes. You have the opportunity to send a clear message to our state legislators, including our governor, that we DEMAND non-lethal solutions to wildlife conflicts in New Jersey. Think of Election Day as the day of CHANGE for NJ animals.

Local elections empower us. Protesting deer and bear hunts goes only so far. If we keep electing the same state legislators who are deeply imbedded in the 'Sportsmen's Caucus', we defeat our own efforts. I urge you to review the following message and link below from the League of Humane Voters of NJ, and feel free to cross post or forward to friends, family, etc. We need to spread the word of voting humanely.

A message for District 40 voters - (Allendale Boro Cedar Grove Twp Franklin Lakes Boro Ho-Ho-Kus Boro Little Falls Twp Midland Park Boro Pequannock Twp Pompton Lakes Boro Ridgewood Vil Riverdale Boro Totowa Boro Waldwick Boro Wayne Twp Woodland Park Boro Wyckoff Twp)

Senator Kevin O'Toole (R) and Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R) are running for re-election. BOTH are members of the 'Sportsmen's Caucus' who actively promote ALL hunting, bow-hunting, trapping, etc. activities statewide. K.L.I.P. strongly endorses Candidate Cassandra Lazzara (D) for District 40 Assembly seat.

K.L.I.P. is NOT a non-profit organization. We are non-partisan and we are proud to support candidates for office who are open to non-lethal alternatives and who support all humane legislation.
PLEASE - VOTE HUMANELY ON TUESDAY, NOV. 8TH
Thank YOU!!!!!
K.L.I.P.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bergen County, New Jersey. Elections. 2011. District 38. Bob Gordon. Connie Wagner. Message from the League of Humane Voters of New Jersey.

Hello Fellow Animal Lovers,

I met many of you during our successful fight to help save the future of Bergen County geese and/or our battle to save the deer of Garret Mountain. It is a pleasure to know you all, who take the time out of your busy lives to help animals. Now, I'd like to ask you to do something important. I know it's easy to be cynical about politics, but, in this case, you CAN make a difference! There is less than 1 1/2 weeks until election day and it could mean something BIG for our animals!

Because of re-districting, the most competitive race in the state is right here! - District 38 - our LOCAL district....

District 38 includes Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Hawthorne (Passaic County), Lodi, Maywood, New Milford, Oradell, Paramus, River Edge, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook.

League of Humane Voters of NJ (LOHVNJ) has endorsed State Senator Bob Gordon and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner because of their ON-RECORD VOTES to help NJ animals, including deer. (Details on bills they supported & opposed can be supplied.) At times, they went against their own party-leadership to help animals.
They need our help now. This year will be a low turn out election (which benefits their rivals) and EVERY VOTE will matter. Get your friends & family out to the polls & PLEASE, give a little volunteer time before Nov. 8th. (You don't have to live in district to volunteer.) The campaign office for the District 38 team is located at 338 President Street, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663. The campaign office phone number is 973-928-3545 website: http://noapebble.com/ld38/site.asp Please speak to Adam, the volunteer coordinator. They need help in everything from dropping campaign literature in doors to making phone calls. Please give some time. ***Don't forget: When you volunteer, say you are voting in favor of animals and you are a proud member of the League of Humane Voters of NJ! Let them know that we helped :)

Don't forget to support Bergen County Freeholder David Ganz who wrote the Bergen County anti-bear hunt resolution, as well as the prohibition of geese gassing resolution, as well as fellow-Freeholder Candidate Joan Voss who, as an Assemblywoman, was a strident animal supporter.

We can start to turn the tide for NJ animals by keeping their friends in office. LOHVNJ is NON-PARTISAN. We are only supporting people who have a record of helping animals. Please act on this email. Animals can't vote, but we can - be their voice!
Sincerely,

Julie O'Connor
Legislative District Director
League of Humane Voters of NJ

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spot the Cat in the Photo. Accidental Invisiblity. Look Hard and Be Rewarded.


I suspect that this photo has been circulating on the web for a while when it finally made it to my inbox. The challenge before us is to spot the cat in the photo. Yes, this is meant to develop a little frustration in you, but it isn't a fool's errand. There really is a cat in this photo. You need to find it.

I recall a documentary on television on how the American army was working hard on invisibility. If the enemy can't see you, then you have a definite, if not decisive, advantage. But the American army's concept of invisibility doesn't entail an actual disappearance from the scene. Their concept involved blending into the background so well that invisibility is achieved. They do this by electronically mapping the background against which a sniper is positioned and then projecting the same patterns on the front of the sniper's gear---rendering him indistinguishable from the background. Invisibility!

Good luck spotting the cat. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

France and Germany. A Wonderful Trip Concluded. October 2011.


I have just concluded a two-week trip to France and Germany, spending seven days outside Paris and six days in Berlin. The last time I was in Paris was 20 years ago. I went to see the same sights and I was struck at how places do not change as much as people do. Sacre Couer looked pretty much the same, but I certainly have lost a considerable amount of my energy and retentive powers since 1992. I do not know if I have another twenty years to live, quite frankly, but cities will live on.

Staying outside Paris, I had the chance to hit the roads. The French drive like crazy, and motorcyclists were even crazier with the way they weaved like daredevils through traffic. Many times, they cut you off with only a foot or two between your hood and their tail lights. But, everyone seemed to anticipate the other's bad driving quite well, resulting in no accidents. One can't see this sort of driving when touring Paris, but it becomes quite obvious once you go on and beyond the Peripherique (beltway) that surrounds Paris.

This time, I was able to visit Rheims, Fontainebleu, Mont St. Michel, and Chartres. These cities are all worth the effort. The drive to the Brittany coast took four hours from the Bailly-Romainvillers area, thirty minutes East of Paris. The last seven kilometers offered dramatic views of Mont St. Michel, jutting up from the horizon like a staircase to Heaven. I passed hamlets with clustered, stone houses; all seemed void of any inhabitants. It wasn't hard to imagine hoards of English invaders in the middle ages fanning out into the countryside, and ultimately making a beeline towards Mont St. Michel.

Berlin, because it has two overlapping train systems, is very easy to navigate. The Ubahn operates on schedule and so with the suburban S lines and the public buses. The Germans are efficient. Their main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, is a masterpiece of glass and stainless steel, an awesome multi-level train station that I believe is an impossibility in the United States. I pity the Berliner who happens to find himself at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The PABT, in all honesty, is a pigsty compared to the Hauptbahnhof.

If you're not impressed by the smart trains and the swishing sounds they make, you might be glad to know that dogs are allowed on the trains. And they don't have to be seeing-eye dogs. In fact, dogs are allowed all over the city. About a third of the people walking their dogs in Berlin didn't have a leash on their dogs. Those dogs just faithfully followed in the footsteps of their guardians. No problem. In the outer fringes of Berlin, I saw a man command his unleashed dog to sit at the supermarket's entrance while he shopped, and the dog stayed put.

I took the 30-minute train ride to Potsdam to see Frederick the Great's Summer palace called, Sans Soucci. It is surround by cascading grounds that used to be orchards. Frederick the Great loved fruits and nature altogether. And what did I encounter on those hallowed grounds--- Potsdamers with their dogs in tow.

I was on the S-7 line when I snapped this photo of a dog. The dogs all seemed well-behaved, and their owners do their utmost to minimize the amount of space their dogs take up. It was an exemplary combination of good behaviour and responsible pet ownership.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Montana. Grizzly Bear Killed. Hunter Killed. September 2011.

The killing of a hunter by a grizzly bear in Montana has been in the news for the last two weeks. I am glad to say that readers' comments have been overwhelmingly sympathetic to the bear. People argued that anyone who ventures into wild territory is putting his life on the line. If he loses it, then it's all fair and just. I agree, but I must stress that the hunters go in with a huge, if not decisive, advantage with their high power guns, camouflaged gear, scents, and the element of surprise or ambush. The animal only has its natural instincts to rely on; it isn't even out to kill a human but to look for sustenance. Essentially, it all boils down to limped-dick, small-minded ignorami out to refill their macho dreams at the expense of an animal.

Unfortunately, my schadenfreude was short-lived with today's news that the hunter, 39-yr old Steve Stevenson from
Winnemucca, Nevada, was actually killed by his partner's errant shots and not by the bear. Nevertheless, it sounded like the bear made one last heroic struggle to survive by getting at the people who shot it and stalked it.

In one of the earlier reports, a relative praised the deceased as a hero who tried to distract the bear from his partner. Please, let's not add to the dumbing of America. "Hero" is one of those words whose true meaning have been blurred and degraded to mean anyone who committed an act of desperation. Stop the dumbing of America. If you want heroism, think Iraq, Afghanistan, or 9/11.

As an animal rights proponent, I'll take what I can get. One dead hunter is better than none.

If you don't like what you're reading, you can go on, surf the web, and land on one of those hunting forums that talk about the latest in gun technology and where they glorify the killing of animals for sport. You'd be happy there, but I am glad that I am not you.

And finally, no one is allowed to kill a grizzly bear in the lower 48 states. For these reportedly seasoned hunters to mistake a grizzly bear for a black bear, that's all baloney. You cannot mistake a grizzly bear for a black bear. That's what the authorities should be investigating with a fine-toothed comb. Why did they shoot the grizzly bear in the first place?

Here's the report:
http://news.yahoo.com/victim-mont-grizzly-attack-shot-friend-232212127.html


Friday, September 09, 2011

The Homeless and their Dogs. NYC. Animal Stoics.

How come the dogs of homeless people are so well-behaved? I saw one on 42nd street and it just sat there with the imperturbability of a statue, receptive to its owner but not to the maddening crowd that trudges endlessly by them. The stoics from ancient Greece would be proud, and the renaissance painters who include dogs in their paintings to signify loyalty to the crown would have them as the perfect models. Maybe the dogs sense their precarious lives, make no trouble, and conform with the mendicant ways of their masters.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Deer Sighting. Bloomingdale. New Jersey. Sept., 2011.

I arrived early at the shelter this morning, and the none of the people entrusted with a key weren't there yet. So, I walked back to the parking lot to finish my coffee in the comfort of my car when I came face to face with a doe right where my car was. We spent two minutes studying each other, standing still, each very curious of the other, with approximately one hundred feet between us. I felt the urge to approach her, but I suspected she'd bolt and that would be the end of it. I, certainly, wouldn't entice her with some food. That could result in her death; she'd trust someone like me in the future, and wham!

Finally, she turned and leisurely walked up the hill behind the bushes, into the woods. I followed and only with some effort did I spot her again, this time with a buck. There was no hurry. They walked with ease, like they were camels, with one eye on me, until they were gone from sight. That was certainly the highlight of my Sunday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Jersey .S2923. Bill Conditionally Vetoed by Governor Christie. Some Sanity Still Remains. Stephen Sweeney Eats Crow.

To be frank, yesterday, I was flat-on-my-ass surprised that Governor Christie conditionally vetoed S2923. Evidently, the Governor realized its harmful and inconsiderate proviso that sought to end the 7-day grace period afforded stray animals before they are euthanized at the shelter. That was one big bullet we all dodged regardless of your persuasion. You don't have to be an animal rights proponent to be against S2923. Any sensible person will be alarmed by its overarching condemnation of stray animals. I can only imagine the volume of calls and emails that went the Governor's way in the week before his deadline to veto the bill or not.

S2923 was the brainchild of Senator STEPHEN M. SWEENEY, District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester), Senator JEFF VAN DREW, District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland), and
Assemblyman JOHN J. BURZICHELLI, District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester).

How could these people propose, even conceive of, a bill like S2923 (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/S3000/2923_I1.PDF)? This is an irresponsible, anti-animal bill sugarcoated with spay and neutering provisions. You have to imagine these elected officials, in all seriousness, consulting each other about ending the 7-day grace period for stray animals. For Governor Christie to veto an anti-animal bill you championed and shepherded through both legislative houses, you must be incredibly depraved individuals.

I wrote to many of our representatives in Trenton, and here's a letter I received from State Senator Tom Mckean:

Thank you for your recent correspondence sharing your concerns regarding S-2923. I thought you might like an update on the status of this legislation.

Yesterday, Governor Christie conditionally vetoed S-2923, citing the need to maintain a seven-day holding period before animal shelters can transfer, euthanize, or offer animals for adoption. Later in the day, the Senate voted to accept the Governor’s recommendations. The amendments now await consideration by the General Assembly.

As you may know, I was one of only two Senators who originally voted against S-2923 because I shared the concerns raised by animal rights groups as to the potential impact of this legislation. I was pleased that Governor Christie listened to our shared concerns and made the appropriate changes to improve this legislation. As such, I was happy to vote to approve this amended measure.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this matter of interest. If I can be of assistance on any state issue, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Tom Kean

Senator Tom Kean, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz

District 21

908-232-3673 (phone)

908-232-3345 (fax)

425 North Avenue East

Westfield, NJ 07090

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Jersey Bear Hunt of 2010. The 600 Bears, Not Forgotten.

It hasn't been a year yet, and I am already thinking about it. What horror awaits our black bears we will soon get a whiff of. Governor Christie, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, and Fish & Wildlife's Lawrence Herrighty, I imagine, are champing at the bit. In fact, the recent cases of roaming black bears (shot dead, of course, as in Clifton) are rumored to be contrived. Bears captured at a remote place are transported and deliberately let loose in populated areas, making the case for bear over population easier. It's all so devious and diabolic. This may seem far-fetched, but rumor often turns out to be premature fact.

You've got to wonder about the mindset of people who look forward to another bear hunt. It must be, for them, something like what we feel when the time to procreate with our chosen partner is imminent. Well, for these hunters, it will not be about caressing. The only squeezing they have in mind involves the trigger, ejaculatory for them nevertheless.

Here's a video montage I put together from last year's demo:


Friday, August 12, 2011

S2923. New Jersey. End of 7-Day Holding Period for Homeless Animals.

Is it just me, or is New Jersey really going to pot on animal welfare? We're hitting all the stops on the animal cruelty line. New Jersey has become the Kill State with kill the bears, kill the deer, kill the geese, and now kill the strays. That's quite a fall from grace since we were once the Garden State. We still are? Don't insist. It's no longer true. Killing is our forte now.

Well, where does this malaise come from? This bill S2923 isn't just an afterthought. At this point, It has passed both houses of legislature and it is ready to be made into a law by a stroke of the Governor's pen. Quite frankly, I don't see Gov. Christie having a pang of conscience and vetoing this bill. He has no conscience. He's not a friend of the animals unless they are on his plate. If you too feel that everything is starting to stink in New Jersey, remember that the fish rots from the head.


With this bill becoming law, pray for those pets who happen to lose their way and end up in a shelter. They won't be given a 7-day grace period anymore; their owners will have absolutely no time to save them. Some shelter blockhead can play God over your dog or cat, and this bill will give them the opportunity to do just that.

========================================

Animal Protection League of NJ

S2923: CONDITIONAL VETOED NEEDED

Senate Bill 2923, a bill that deals with spay/neuter and assorted animal control issues, passed the Senate and the Assembly and is now on the Governor's desk. Christie NEEDS TO VETO THIS by August 25 or it automatically becomes law.

A provision in S2923 is TERRIBLE as it supersedes the current, mandatory seven day holding requirement for animals brought into a NJ shelter.

S2923 allows for an animal to be euthanized before the end of the seven day holding period "if the age, health, or behavior of the animal warrants euthanizing it before seven days has elapsed."

Allowing this type of broad discretion is a death sentence for:

  • animals the shelter thinks are too old to be adopted;
  • animals with medical issues the shelter does not want to handle financially or otherwise;
  • companion animals who may have slipped their leash and are deemed too old, sickly, etc:
  • feral cats.

The negative impact for feral cats is two-fold in that not only will it allow for their immediate killing, but the change eliminates any incentive for shelters to address feral cat populations through highly successful non-lethal TNR programs.

Impounded animals may be frightened; in fact, such "behavior" upon sudden impoundment may be the norm and is usually temporary.

It's our understanding that the bill started out as something good and morphed into what it is now. Read the bill in its entirety here.

Contact us for further info at info@aplnj.org or 732-446-6808.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

1. Contact the governor and ask him to conditionally veto S2923, which changes the current impoundment language. Remember, he must act by 8/25/11, so contact him today.

Governor Chris Christie
Phone: 609-292-6000
Fax: 609-292-3454, 609-292-5181, 609-777-4082, 609-777-0357

Webmail

Email

2. Please use the following block of e-mails to ask these legislators to use their influence with Christie and request the conditional veto.

AsmAmodeo@njleg.org, AsmPolistina@njleg.org, AsmDiCicco@njleg.org, SenAllen@njleg.org, SenAddiego@njleg.org, AsmDelany@njleg.org, AsmRudder@njleg.org, SenConnors@njleg.org, AswGove@njleg.org, AsmRumpf@njleg.org, SenCiesla@njleg.org, AsmHolzapfel@njleg.org, AsmWolfe@njleg.org, SenSKean@njleg.org, AswAngelini@njleg.org, AsmRible@njleg.org, SenBeck@njleg.org, AswCasagrande@njleg.org, AsmOscanlon@njleg.org, SenKyrillos@njleg.org, AswHandlin@njleg.org, AsmThompson@njleg.org, SenBateman@njleg.org, AsmBiondi@njleg.org, AswCoyle@njleg.org, SenKean@njleg.org, AsmBramnick@njleg.org, AswMunoz@njleg.org, SenDoherty@njleg.org, AsmPeterson@njleg.org, AsmDiMaio@njleg.org, SenOroho@njleg.org, AsmChiusano@njleg.org, AswMcHose@njleg.org, SenBucco@njleg.org, AsmBucco@njleg.org, AsmCarroll@njleg.org, SenPennacchio@njleg.org, AsmDecroce@njleg.org, AsmWebber@njleg.org, SenSinger@njleg.org, AsmDancer@njleg.org, AsmMalone@njleg.org, SenCardinale@njleg.org, AsmSchroeder@njleg.org, AswVandervalk@njleg.org, SenOToole@njleg.org, AsmRumana@njleg.org, AsmRusso@njleg.org

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Animal Protection League of NJ
PO Box 174
Englishtown, New Jersey 07726-0174

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Morristown National Historical Park. Deer Hunt. Vegetation / Deer Management Plan.

The deer of Morristown, New Jersey need your help. They have had relative safety in the woods of Morristown National Historical Park, but that may end soon. The National Park Service (NPS) may decide that it is time to cull their population in order to preserve mixed hardwood species that don't get a chance to grow (the white-tailed deer eat up the saplings, according to them) and consequently nonnative invasive species would overrun the place. With an eye on aesthetics, the NPS prefers that the national historical park look like it did when our revolutionary army was encamped there.

I don't get the point here. Obviously, with the creation of park centers, parking lots, roads, and trails, the NPS had become a greater, guilty party than the deer in changing the landscape of the area. Further, if the NPS is so concerned about authenticity, then why have they not enlarged the present day continental army parade ground to its original dimensions? Along the same lines, why have they not fully and accurately delineated the perimeter of the area known to have contained thousands of soldiers' huts? So much for authenticity!

The NPS' two-part plan (Vegetation & White-tailed deer), if adopted, will allow for the hunting of the white-tailed deer in two areas of the park. The section that pertains to deer "management" provides for fencing, reproductive control, lethal reduction w/o firearms, and of course the very nicely put, "lethal reduction with firearms." This last item, if truth be told without the sugarcoating, means letting the hunters go in and shoot them up.

Of course, for those of us who are for animal rights, reproductive control is good enough for the NPS' purposes. Although effective and humane, reproductive control, I suspect, is not all there is in this matter. It is very likely that the hunting groups have sidled up to the NPS people in order to open up more hunting grounds for them, and the NPS have begun to bow to their wishes.

The scoping period is almost over, on the 14th, and we need everyone to send in their comments here:

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?documentID=41815

Tell the NPS that hunting has no place at the Morristown National Historical Park. Tell them that deer-sightings actually enhances the visitors' experience in the park. Tell them that deer existed in the area before and during the encampment periods at Morristown, and so what is this talk about the deer changing the vegetation in the park.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Clifton, New Jersey. Protest. Harmless Bear Shot to Death by Police. APLNJ.

The Animal Protection League of New Jersey is joining the Bear Group's protest. See details below. We hope to see you on Sunday.

The BEAR Group will hold a protest THIS Sunday, July 24 (10am - 12 noon) to condemn the senseless killing of an orphan bear cub by the Clifton Police Department...
and we need your support.

Police claim the cub was creating a hazardous situation because it had crossed back and forth Rt 46. But the media has reported that the cub was shot in a wooded area OFF of the highway. Another source tells us that this cub was shot WHILE the police were waiting for the Division of Fish & Wildlife to arrive.

Please join us...show them that such extreme acts of cruelty will NOT be tolerated.

Date: Sunday, July 24, 2011
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Place: Van Houten Ave & Clifton Ave, Clifton, NJ 07013

http://tinyurl.com/3f72k9y

PARKING
: Please park in the public municipal lot behind the municpal building.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Please if you can, bring a sign...as well as umbrellas, water, and sunscreen.

Thank you. We realize this is short notice, but this cub's death cannot be ignored.

Eleanor Hoffman and Cathy McCartney
BEAR Group Chair and Co-Chair

http://www.northjersey.com/news/072011_Bear_spotted_Valley_Road_in_Clifton.html

Morristown, NJ. Jockey Hollow. No Hunting at Morristown National Park. Public Hearings.

Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife,
Many of you may be in the midst of vacation plans, but if your schedule permits. won't you come out to join us in Jockey Hollow for the public meetings on July 27 and/or 28th? Directors and members of the League of Humane Voters, the Animal Protection League of NJ, and members of the press will be in attendance. It is critical that we have a large turnout for these meetings. PLEASE come out and lend your voice to 'science, not slaughter.' Also, please be sure to submit comments via the link below.
We hope to see you in Jockey Hollow on July 27th and 28th.
Thank you on behalf of NJ Wildlife!
Merrilee Cichy


for
K.L.I.P.




Animal Protection League of NJ

Morristown National Park to Lift Hunting Ban

The National Park Service has for decades resisted managing park lands to maximize deer and permit sport hunting. As a result, and with natural fluctuations, the Morristown National Historical Park deer population remained stable - until the Morris County Parks Commission initiated hunts in surrounding areas.

Sadly, the Service has yielded to years of pressure from a commercial- conservation "partnership" to do both. The Steering Committee of "Teaming with Wildlife" is dominated by gun, ammunition, and archery manufacturers whose stated goal is increased hunter access, especially in populated areas. Access is key to hunter retention and recruitment aimed at reversing a precipitously declining client base. National and state Audubon societies are the chief 'conservation' component of the coalition. See the list of local area hunts below under Background Information.


Please Attend Public Hearings
Mark the dates, and attend public meetings to demand scientifically coherent and humane deer policy on public and private lands.

The dates and times of the public meetings:


Wednesday, July 27, 2011, from 7-9 p.m.
Thursday, July 28, 2011, from 2-4 p.m.

The location for both meetings is:

Morristown NHP
Washington's Headquarters Museum
30 Washington Place
Morristown, New Jersey 07960

http://tinyurl.com/3ootaxv

Please Submit Comments

Please submit your written comments by August 14, 2011 at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/3paessd


Background Information

Mendham Township

Shiff Nature Preserve

Bernardsville

Thirdly, Black River Wildlife Management Area manages habitat for deer, serving as a reservoir for deer killed as pests in surrounding locales. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge enhances habitat for deer. Schiff Nature Preserve, while killing deer, conducts in some cases annual controlled burns, which provide food and habitat for deer, in over a dozen locations. The Park plan permits business as usual, adding a National Park to the pervasively hunted tracts within the county. With few refuges left, deer will seek out residential properties. Hunts will ensue.

The key to fewer deer is a lower fertility rate. Both the proposed killing and habitat enhancement obtains the opposite effects.

  • White-tailed deer respond to hunting pressure with higher productivity. By removing competitors for food, hunting either raises productivity, or, in areas where food is plentiful, arrests deer in the rapid growth phase of the reproductive cycle.
  • Among other management goals, the National Park Service proposes opening forest canopies so that sunlight reaches the floor. This is classic enhancement of deer range. White-tails browse and forage on warm weather grasses and woody stems.

Predictably, hunted deer sought refuge within Morristown National Park. Moreover, surrounding hunts are preventing deer from dispersing from park lands. The issue is not the number of deer - clearly, the species is within biological carrying capacity. Rather, it is where the white-tail is pushed and pulled, by hunting, and habitat enhancement.

Stating that hunting in adjacent parks and suburbs has forced deer to seek refuge in Jockey Hollow in Morristown National Historic Park (emphasis ours), Morris County and New Jersey Audubon staffers admonish the Park Service to be "a responsible neighbor" and install an annual hunt. Jockey Hollow, alleges the Morris official responsible for adjacent hunts, is a "textbook" example of what the deer - not the hunt managers - have wrought.

That hunting would drive deer into Jockey Hollow was a foregone conclusion. In response to killing programs, does increase their home range by an average of 30% (Henderson, Warren et al 2000). Hunting increases birth rates, or keeps rates high. In 2000, wildlife advocates notes:

On the fly, local managers are conducting random, patchwork kills that not only stimulate birth rates, but drive panicked animals into neighboring areas or towns. The pattern is circular. Baited kills at Baltusrol Gulf Club are causing 'a heavy influx of deer into the Watchung Reservation.' (Watchung Report, 1999). Deer fleeing heavy gunning during the Watchung annual kill seek refuge in adjacent neighborhoods (Watchung Report. 1999.) After the Reservation hunt began, surrounding boroughs initiated hunts. The refuge-seeking justifies more reservation killing. On the heels of Millburn Township 2001 deer kill, the Township began receiving complaints from 'neighborhoods where deer hadn't been seen before.' Kills ensued (Russell 2000).

Managing both habitat and hunting for deer will inarguably result in annual sport hunts and driving deer into the few unhunted areas left: residential properties.

Susan E. Russell

Wildlife Policy Specialist

Animal Protection League of New Jersey

Keep Life In the Park (K.L.I.P.)
KLIPNJ@aol.com

Be a voice for New Jersey animals. Join the League of Humane Voters of NJ!