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Pigeons Break Up North Bend Council
Why are animals so funny? It never fails, that after
a long agenda on such engrossing topics as water
system improvements and block grants, a discussion about
some kind of animal will bring out the best in our city
Last week in North Bend, it was pigeons, a
"flighty subject," said the mayor. There is a problem in
town with the messy birds, and the merchants have
wanted something done for several years now. There are
solutions, but they're either difficult or illegal.
City Administrator Jim Neher reported receiving
a letter from a Paramount Pest Control and told the
council the proposal "looks expensive." It would
involve cleaning and sanitizing all the birds' roosting areas
on the city's buildings, then putting out some kind of
marginally effective repellent.
"It sounds like a bunch of pigeon bull to me,"
said Councilor Danny Bennett.
Neher, who usually has a fine command of the
language, was explaining that the birds would just
move around to different places in town if their roosts
were pigeon-proofed, and added that these were
"habit-forming birds, real habitual birds." (These aren't just
weekend or part-time birds North Bend has.)
Apparently, the only sure way to get the
sidewalk-painters to leave town is to locate their feeding
ground and attack them there, with a chemical that knocks
them out for an hour, allowing them to be picked up and
taken somewhere else, such as Seattle. Bennett pointed out
that the owner of a pig farm where they were believed
to feed did not want the birds tampered with, especially
on his property.
A surefire way, Neher said, would be to employ
the old .410 shotgun or the .22 loaded with short-range
bird shot. That brought an idea to Councilwoman Susan
Vieg, of a downtown sporting event, say on a "Saturday
morning, when the skiers are buying donuts at George's."
This provoked laughter in the staid council chambers.
Administrator Neher noted that this was basically
a pest problem for the building owners, who would
have to foot the cost of pigeon-proofing at the roosts.
Councilman Fritz Ribary said, "No pun intended,
but I'd hate to let this drop," and suggested that, whether
for health or tourism reasons, the city should share some
of the cost.