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Don't feed the Humans

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
March 19, 1999


As most of you know, this columnist has absolutely no problem speaking for himself. Due to this, I have very little patience with people who try to put words in my mouth. For some reason this seems to me as trespassing. Even more irritating is when someone completely lacking integrity decides he needs to speak on my behalf. Please.

As I'm sure everybody now knows, I was passed over for the Encinitas Parks and Recreation commission. Bummer. After my initial temper tantrum, I was over it. Processing the fact that certain Encinitas City Council members are frightened by my type of commitment didn't take that long. I was then able to see that now is not my time. No hard feelings, just renewed effort.

Imagine my surprise when someone who has proven himself to be contrary to everything I believe, decides to ride to my rescue. To be honest I felt sort of violated, co-opted, and just a little dirty. After all, I do have a reputation to worry about. The last thing I want is validation from the patriarchal paradigm's poster child.

Gratefully, Mike, "The Gremlin" Andreen, had the sense to show his true colors last week when he called my commentary on Sports Shinko "gossip and a complete flight of fantasy." I wish. As I wrote my column warning the residents of coastal North County, that this oversized temple to the gods of profit, was rearing it's ugly head once again, I had in front of me the Sports Shinko Extension request. This document was dated February 17, 1999 at it was prepared By California Coastal Commission Staff. No flights of fancy here, just cold hard facts.

Personally, Mike Andreen reminds me of one of those emotionally challenged kids on the playground that is always picking fights to get attention. But once they are cornered, they close there eyes and start flailing wildly, hoping something hits. I used to kick the crap out of those kids just for sport. Flash forward, and now I have an adult version of spaz boy trying to get my attention by nipping at my heels.

Mike, if you are reading this, please take note. This is not a game, and unlike you, I do not write as part as some twisted ego trip. I am out to save the planet from a white patriarchal paradigm that is very comfortable destroying the natural environment. Gossip seems to be your forte. When your not writing about stuffing your face, you seem to be slinging mud. I want no part of it. So please refrain from including me in your weekly ramblings. It is not asked for, nor welcomed.

Speaking of unwanted mammals, what is up with the poisoning of the ground squirrels at state beaches. In the March 4th edition of the Coast News, I was dismayed to see an article on `Squirrel control'. The point of the story was to let people know that the State Park and Recreation had began a "population management" program. Government officials find the nicest ways to say exterminate.

Quoting the article, "John Quirk, Chief Ranger at the State Department of Parks and Recreation San Diego Coast District Office, says that although the squirrels appear harmless, their over-population can present various health and safety concerns." Last time I looked, most humans appear harmless too, and I know that their overpopulation can present considerable health and safety concerns.

My favorite part however was this gem of a quote from Ranger Quick; "Ground squirrels are known to carry diseases associated with humans. Over 50 percent of all reported human plague cases are attributed to ground squirrels and their fleas. In addition, their burrowing can lead to erosion, weakened slopes, and even slope failure." The question here is, exactly just how many plague cases have been attributed to North San Diego County beaches?

I should also point out coastal bluff top development by humans can also lead to erosion, and slope failures. In fact I would even go so far and say that human activity has much more impact on our crumbling coast, than the squirrels do. I am sure that the squirrels would much rather be living in a field, or a riparian wetland. Not begging handouts from tourists.

These mammals have been pushed to the edge of the continent, since all thier habitats have been covered with asphalt in the name of human progress. To say that these animals are over-populated is absurd. The only species that is over populated in Southern California are humans, and their domestic dogs and cats.

My vote is more squirrels and less humans. Let's start with Mikey. He'll eat anything.

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