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Chickens? We Don't Need No Stinking Chickens!

Aldermen are bad enough. Do we really want to compound them with backyard fowl?

Lord, please save us from bloggers of any kind.

As for me, I can't tell you how grateful I am for editors like Rick Nagel, John Russell, Paul Harth, Tim West, Mike Cetera, Dave Parro and the others who took the time to bestow their wisdom and vast expertise upon me, for I have seen what can happen when some of you are left to your own devices.

Just because you happen to have a random thought, that doesn’t mean you really need to write it down, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should share it with the rest of us. What’s that old adage about opening your mouth and removing all doubt?

That said, does have some talent, but he’s the rare exception that proves the rule. (Jeff: Email me for some suggestions on how to make it even better.)

But back to the issue at hand.

In what can only be described as a “whatever I’ve been thinking for the last five minutes has to be the truth” and “I want what I want when I want it” kind of piece, chastised the city of Geneva for their steadfast refusal to bless backyard chickens.

As you may recall, that very issue recently came up for a , which ended up in a 5-5 tie. Truth be told, had you predicted it would’ve been that close, I would’ve told your significant other to lock up the liquor cabinet.

Apparently, Geneva’s gone straight from Republican to Democratic with no stops in between. Thankfully, declaring he wouldn’t want chickens for neighbors, Mayor Kevin Burns sent the non-binding City Council referendum down to the ignominious defeat it deserved.

Though I did like it much better when, during the previous debate on city fowl, the mayor quipped, “Any time a project benefits the community, it will receive all consideration and support. But chickens? Really? ... I spent the last eight years with chickens. They’re called aldermen. They’re annoying, and they smell.”

Come to think of it, if we can ban chickens, could we also ban … ? But then what would I write about?

So while egg-laying fowl are certainly a bit more bearable than aldermen (you can always eat a chicken if it gets on your nerves), that doesn’t mean they belong within the city limits. They’re noisy, they constantly go at each other, and they stink.

Now, I will admit that description sounds a lot like the rest of my neighbors, but that doesn’t mean I want to be exposed to more of it. And don’t give me that “” stuff, because no one wants to live in Batavia anyway.

Of course, our intrepid blogger summarily dismissed those similar City Council concerns with some simple platitudes like, “Keep your coop clean, and it (vermin) won’t be an issue,” “an ordinance that specifies completely enclosed coops would prevent predation,” and, in her presentation to the council, that hens top out at 63 decibels tops, about the level of a average human conversation.

Really? And some of you accuse me of being overly simplistic. C’mon! We can’t even get folks to so now they’ll magically turn into responsible chicken owners?

While my neighbors, on rare occasion, are prone to bouts of silence, chickens will proceed to make noise as long as there’s sunlight. And having to listen to a gaggle of chickens all day long would rank right up there with passing a kidney stone or having to listen to Alderman Craig Maladra ramble on about water rate hikes.

So while the rest of us are screaming at the city to keep costs down, now code enforcers are supposed to deal with rogue chicken coops? Yes! The city could always implement some sort of chicken husbandry charge, but considering that Batavia’s had all of seven applications, it would have to be one heck of a fee to make it worth their while.

Our blogger/resident also implied that the City Council deferred to the obvious “white trash factor” of having backyard Geneva chickens. While I’d like nothing more than to see herds of feral hens roaming the fields of Eagle Brook, chickens don’t belong within the city limits.

I’ve said it before: When we stepped out of that primordial forest to band together in settlements, we chose to give up certain facets of our solitary life in exchange for the benefits of a shared existence. And if I recall correctly, one of those things was chickens.

Ah! But there is an option!

If you wanna keep livestock in your back yard, set fire pit bonfires, and do your best Dances With Wolves impersonation, then move west of Peck Road, where the plots of land are enormous and they don’t frown on that kind thing. You should see Mill Creek on a Saturday night. It’s like something right out of The Lord of the Flies.

Not only that, but if you want farm fresh eggs, they’re also easily available west of Peck Road for a mere pittance. Thus, you get reap benefit of backyard chickens without all the fuss and muss.

Though we’ve been at odds at times, this time the mayor was dead on. Now if I can only get him to ban bloggers.

Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Jeff, I am allowed to think you are a troll and to say it. I think you stir up trouble and say ridiculous things to get more readers. You even admitted it. Additionally, I originally asked for a topic to discuss with you and was told to pick one. I picked chickens because I care about the issue, not because the original plan was to use you to get my chicken thing passed. The original plan was to address the council, which I did. If you being a complete idiot about the chickens had the added benefit of making people realize that chickens aren't a bad thing, since the total idiot on the Patch makes it obvious there is no good reason to ban them, then that was gravy. Don't think so highly of yourself. I never targetted you specifically to advance the chicken issue. I targeted you because you are a misogynist, and a loud mouth.
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Oh, and I had no idea you were so against chickens historically, btw. If you really did write two columns on the issue, I sure never saw them. So you can think all you want that I picked chickens because you hated them, but I picked chickens because I don't. But, like I said, if you are going to make completely factless ignorant statements, in your utterly offputting and loud-mouthed way, I can't help but think that maybe people will realize the anti-chicken crowd doesn't have a leg to stand on. (pun)
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 07:47 PM
You seriously think that I have some kind of secret plan, based around you, to help get chickens in Geneva? We can add giant inflated ego to misogynist. Seriously, that's just sad. I have a super-public, non-secret plan, that is not based on you, to get chickens allowed in Geneva.
Paul Bryant August 27, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Anyone else creeped out by Jeff Ward stalking Patch commenters on Facebook? Eww! I'm going to go wash off now.
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 07:54 PM
And Kate, you are exposed for who you really are. A person willing to do anything or say anything to get their way. Someone who, even when caught red handed, flings the "idiots" and other epithets around as easily as breathing. Despite my many columns defending young women, you attacked that previous piece by calling me a misogynist for no other reason than to raise your profile. Then, even after you clearly knew that Rick asked me to rebutt your piece, you "secretly" rallied your Facebook friends to try to generate even more support for your "cause." How about this Facebook quote, "if i can use this guys dooshbaggery to drum up chicken support, ill let him get his jollies pissing me off." The difference between you and me is, I do everything above board and put my name on it. You don't. But the thing that bothers me more than anything is this. After your city council appearance, I actually thought you had potential, but if you can't handle something this piddly with a minimum poise... Have a good life. Jeff
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 07:55 PM
And it's never going to happen.
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Jeff, I in no way secretly rallied my facebook friends. Not even a little. That is like...hysterical conspiracy theory nonsense. I mentionned, flippantly, that you being so ignorant might garner supporters. I don't see how that's secret rallying of Facebook friends. I also have a facebook page for the chicken issue, where I shared this blog, my blog and the original Patch piece about that Chickens. How is posting something on Facebook trying to keep it secret? I AM trying to raise awareness about chickens. And not secretly, and not using you as a tool.
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Paul, Nice try, but when the masterminds posted a link to my column, Facebook alerted me! Should we go back to CTL? Jeff
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Like I said, it was gravy. Not like some original master plan. Do you sleep with one eye open or something
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Kate, What about "Shhh (name deleted), we are having a flame war/feeding the troll!" am I not understanding? And as for my style, if you, or anyone, doesn't like my columns, there's always the obvious option. We're done! Jeff
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 08:21 PM
How exactly does: "Shhh (name deleted), we are having a flame war/feeding the troll!" mean I have a secret master plan? I must admit, I do consider you a troll, but honestly it was a sarcastic remark about the fact that what was meant to be a point/counterpoint sort of thing degraded, rather quickly, into a total flame war between you and my husband, somehow. And btw, he posted your piece because he felt you were ripping on his wife and didn't appreciate it, which I think any husband would do. I posted your piece on my chicken-related facebook page because it was anti-chickens. I posted it with the comment "Chicken-likers, we have a chicken-hater!" Also, not exactly a secret rallying cry. If anyone has behaved unprofessionally here, I must say I think it is you. You went and stalked down your commenters on Facebook, and then applied wild-eyed conspiracy theories to every comment made. When really commenting on FB is no secret, and everyone knows it. I am completely confused by your reaction to this, to be perfectly honest.
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I can't believe I have to explain it. Chickens aren't your secret plan, attacking me to generate support for your cause was - you outright said it. And I'm not saying it wa a bad idea - I actually think it could've worked. But you got caught. And if you want to know the truth, one of your Facebook "friends" ratted you out! They sent me the entire dialog. You even used a fictitious name in that conversation Ms. McGinnerson. How many Facebook accounts do you really fricken' have? My reaction!? I'm sitting here laughing my butt off because you got caught starting a flame war for your own benefit and you're still trying to pin it all on me. And what really kills me is, your comportment here on Patch is not going to help your cause in Geneva in the least. All the aldermen read my columns. They already think I'm nuts, but now they know you are too. So keep on posting because it's my best defense - and it gets me clicks! Since you started on this thing, my blog www.thefirstward.net is averaging more than 100 unique hits per day and this column is now in the top 5! Thank you! Jeff
Mike Bruno August 27, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Boy, you sure knew how to take the fun out of that game Jeff!
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Mike, We could always start a fake argument. Apparently it's the game du jour! Jeff
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 08:49 PM
"I can't believe I have to explain it. Chickens aren't your secret plan, attacking me to generate support for your cause was - you outright said it. And I'm not saying it wa a bad idea - I actually think it could've worked. But you got caught." I already refuted that, and I will again. I reached out and asked to do a point counterpoint with you because I think you are a misogynist. I asked for an issue. I was told to pick one. I did. I picked chickens because I care about the issue. I had no idea what your stance on them was. I in fact asked what your stance was, and was not answered. In no way, shape or form is your lunatic conspiracy theory accurate. Again, the fact that you were so outlandishly over the top anti-chicken was something I thought might garner support. AFTER you wrote it. It was not why I wanted to do a counterpoint to you. How was I to know what you were going to write, before you wrote it, and assume I could use it to get awarded chickens? That is utterly ludicrous. Lastly (and again), I didn't attack you to garner support for my plan. I "attacked" you because you made wildly sexist remarks about teenaged girls. I am assuming the "attack" you are referencing is me asking to do a point/counterpoint with you? Or is my husband posting your blog, about my blog, the attack? I didn't start a flame war with you about chickens. That's sort of the giant flaw in your whole theory.
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
OR you could accuse someone of trying to start a fake argument without actually applying logic. Just saying, it's also a valid option.
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I will defer to your Facebook quotes. Those are facts!
Terry Flanagan August 27, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Jeff, Once again you've ruffled a few feathers. I must say, though, that the reactions to your columns still amaze me. If the aldermen are reading this trying to get some idea of what the public thinks about chickens in Geneva, they will be greatly disappointed. Outside of a comment or two, there's really not much to go on. However, it has been another interesting ride Somehow you always manage to bring out the best in people.
Mr. Peters August 27, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Are you taking notes here, Jeff Hersheway? If you really aspire to be a big-time journalist like Jeff Ward - this is how you conduct yourself. Lots of insults, facebook stalking, etc. (research and facts are so 20th century)
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Defer away. Please include the quote where I talked about how I objected to your original sexist comments and asked to do a counterpoint so you could write against chickens so I could garner support, because of how I am psychic.
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Terry, I gotta tell ya, I'm as stunned by the responses as anybody. The purse thing? If you had told me it would go this far I would've told Dorothy to lock up the liquor cabinet. And you're absolutely correct, there's really not much about chickens here, but now they know what they're dealing with when it comes to chicken lovin' folk. I've long been a known commodity. I harbor absolutely no ill will towards Kate or Jon (perhaps there's a reality show there). Was it fair to continue to the conversation knowing what Kate and her cohorts were up to all along? Probably not, but I haven't had this much in a long time. Sometimes the journey in and of itself is so much more fun Terry. As for your last sentence, that too has baffled me. I've come to the conclusion that, in ways I could not even begin to plan or imagine, I seem to be some folk's version of karma. The story of how I got into column writing is too bizarre. I suppose some times ya just gotta go with it.
Arthur Dietrich August 27, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Right you are Scott. If I wanted to live near chickens, I'd move to a farm. I made sure when I bought my house in suburban Geneva I would not move in next to any animals besides cats or dogs. No cows, donkeys, chickens, horses, goats, llamas etc. Chickens and other livestock don't belong in suburban or city settings.
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 09:37 PM
We weren't "up to" anything other than disagreeing with you. Really...you seem to truly believe that I wanted to latch on to your supposed "fame" to further chickens. Just FYI, I had never heard of you until the purse article. You aren't famous. You have no coattails for someone to ride on. "I'm kind of a big deal." -Ron Burgandy
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Kate, I'm not the one who said "there are a lot of jeff ward haters out there. maybe this will turn them into chicken likers!," you did! Jeff
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Arthur and Scott! Chicken haters of Geneva unite! Having 10 foul aldermen is bad enough - we shouldn't have to put up with chickens. Repeat after me: No chickens in Geneva No chickens in Geneva No chickens in Geneva No chickens in Geneva Jeff
Floyd Meyer August 27, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Folks what was Geneva 50 years ago, farm land? It should be treated as such even though City folks moved out here. People have changed the environment in the rural areas. We complain about coyotes even though again they were here before us. They're fault not ours. Stop and appreciate the nature that we have diminished. Get with the program white winners.
Kate Bennett August 27, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I sure did. You wrote an "article" ripping on bloggers and chickens. People responded. I noted that you have a lot of detractors, and thought it might help raise awareness about chickens. AFTER your wrote your "article." That does not mean I planned in advance. It's not like I was like "Oh Em Gee Jeff ward is famous, maybe I can trick him into writing about chickens!!" Who plans something like that? There is no vast chicken-wing conspiracy, contrary to Jeff Ward belief. Tell me, Jeff, do you also believe that the UN will invade the US at the invitation of our government, or that we never landed on the moon?
Jeff Ward August 27, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Kate, Please keep talking. The hole just gets deeper. Maybe even you'll start believing yourself.
Hal August 28, 2012 at 12:50 AM
So you start off the article condemning bloggers, and close with a link to your blog. Uh huh.
Jeff Ward August 28, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Hal, I was wondering when someone would pick up on that. And thus the joke! Jeff

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