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January 2014 Posts

Is Florida Going to the Birds?

Is Florida Going to the Birds?

Amelia Island has a lot in common with a number of other Florida communities when it comes to fowl places to live as towns from Coconut Grove to Longboat Key and Plant City to Cape Canaveral have grappled with how to deal with the noisy, nonnative, invasive peafowl while Key West is fighting a chicken conflict.

Residents of all these locations have had their feathers ruffled over their respective birds with the Conch Republic’s dispute heading into its 30th year. Once just a quaint part of Key West culture, the chickens have multiplied and become a nuisance with residents fed up with crowing at 3 a.m., manure-fouled streets and beaches and aggressive bird behavior.

Many Key West residents want to sentence some of the more than 2,000 birds to the

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‘You’re Fired!’ ‘Really? When was I hired?’

In early January, while flipping through its newspaper, management at the Fernandina Beach News-Leader was alarmed to discover that I had been writing a weekly column (Dave’s World) for it the past two years and promptly told me to knock it off. But not because I deserved a break after devoting 15 minutes and a six-pack a week providing its readers with analytical, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism free of charge.

Nope. They claimed my musings were “too heated” telling me that some “30 subscribers (people who apparently misunderstood that their subscription didn’t actually require them to read the column) had cancelled their subscriptions” because of my comments, apparently putting a serious dent in the paper’s circulation numbers.

In other words they chucked it because they got the impression from their readers that my commentary was about as interesting as a bucket of hair despite my crack research

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