OHMYGODDESS, can't believe people are actually bitching about someone feeding squirrels. Get a fricking life, will ya? Geez! I've been feeding all of the wildlife in this neighborhood (a few miles away from the neighborhood mentioned in this news article) for more than 21 years and I've yet to see a rat - except for the two-legged kind. Seems they're all over the place these days. Tsk tsk.
Maybe you people on South 72nd Street need to be visited by a few SKUNKS. I feed them, too. Two of my doggies even got sprayed a few times. Such is life in the city. Get over it, you SCROOGES, bitching about animals eating. May Artemis put a Pox on you and your households!
From The Journal/Sentinel Online
Oct. 15, 2011 9:19 p.m.
If you live on a peaceful street and get along well with your neighbors, consider yourself lucky. Because they're going nuts over nuts on this block, and the police are on guard.
"It's one of those neighborhoods that we have to watch closely. We don't want anything worse happening down there," said Mike Jungbluth, West Allis police chief. [Oh please! Go investigate some REAL crimes, and leave the squirrel-feeder alone.]
At the center of this story is William McCarver. He tells me he's 56 years old and a disabled Vietnam vet who used to work in construction. When he was about 18 he rescued a baby squirrel in a shoe box and ever since looks out for animals, he said. Every day, he feeds seeds to the birds and peanuts to the squirrels that come around. He has feeders on raised platforms in his front yard, plus he also enjoys tossing extra peanuts to the squirrels.
"We've been feeding for 21 years here, and it's never been a problem," he said.
His neighbors beg to differ. They say the street and lawns are littered with peanut shells. [These people are bitching about peanut shells? Like there's tons of peanut shells left behind? Oh please!] The squirrels are digging up their yards to bury nuts. [Gasp!] And they worry about rats, though there are no confirmed rat sightings out there.
The neighbors have complained many times to police about all this. [Did they call 911, wasting taxpayer money?] They've turned over videotapes of McCarver throwing peanuts and kept detailed logs of the times and dates this occurred. [I'd say it's official, these people ARE nut cases. Har!] Meanwhile, McCarver has security cameras running continuously to monitor activity around his property. Block watch has a whole different meaning here.
The police cited him last year for creating an environment that can attract rats. Sharon Knedle, who lives with McCarver and owns the home, was ticketed for the same offense. Both lost their trials in West Allis Municipal Court this year and each were fined about $500 including court costs. Both are appealing their cases to Circuit Court. [Obviously West Allis Police have nothing better to do than hound a man for feeding squirrels. Geez Louise! Maybe the West Allis Police Department needs to have its budget cut big time. Let's start with the position of Chief of Police and work down from there...]
McCarver is scheduled for a jury trial starting Monday in Circuit Judge Bonnie Gordon's courtroom. He announced the trial to local media in a news release last week. A well-known agitator and activist, Bob Braun, also from West Allis, has been giving McCarver advice, and publicity usually figures in the mix for Braun.
Three of McCarver's neighbors testified against him in Municipal Court. None of them wanted to go on the record with me for fear of making matters worse. [Yeah, right. You know you're in the wrong, that's why you're trying to keep your names out of it - but anyone can look you up on C-Cap...] They see McCarver as a bully who antagonizes the people living around him, yells at neighborhood kids and litters the block in peanut shells. [Really? Is Mr. McCarver actually going around with tons of peanut shells littering his neighbors' lawsn? Give me a break! Have the West Allis Police tried to ticket the offending squirrels? Just asking...]
Chief Jungbluth said he sides with the neighbors in this feud, calling McCarver the "flash point individual" on the street who knows how to get under people's skin. He said police at first issued warnings about the animal feeding but ultimately had to resort to tickets. [Chief Jungbluth needs to get a grip and start solving crimes such as grafitti and break-ins in West Allis, not to mention the other vandalism that has been occurring for years, with no resolution. Hey Chief, how about putting cameras where they might do some good, instead of answering calls from bitchy people who have nothing better to do than complain about a man feeding some squirrels. By the way, Chief, where in the Statutes of the State of Wisconsin or the City of West Allis does it say it's ILLEGAL for a person to feed squirrels?]
McCarver, in turn, says neighbors have thrown rocks and pine cones at his property, tried to steal from him, complained about the fence he put in the backyard and called the police on him for every little thing.
McCarver's own yard is immaculate. The lawn looks like a putting green. He says he's out there daily vacuuming up shells, seeds and other debris. He has saved some of it as evidence.
It's unclear whether the trial will actually start Monday. Assistant City Attorney Jenna Merten, the prosecutor, said she would move to have the cases of McCarver and Knedle joined in one appeal.
McCarver, who is proceeding without a lawyer, says he's ready. He's been reading books on squirrels and on rats and their habitat. He has researched peanut shells and he swears that animals, including rats, aren't interested in them as food. He has plenty of surveillance video if the court will allow it. He has photographed his neighbors' uncovered trash containers, unkempt yards, dead trees, fallen fruit and vegetables and other things he sees as worse than peanut shells.
The neighbors say they're prepared to testify again. They say they don't relish this battle, but they don't want to back down.
A six-person jury will return a verdict.
Returning peace to this neighborhood won't be so easy. [You bet your butt it won't. Think about all the taxpayer money being wasted because the busy-body neighbors have nothing better to do than sit around all day looking out their windows and bitching about a man who feeds squirrels. THEY - the neighbors, not the squirrels - AFRE PATHETIC.]