Must be nice to have a bulging grand list. I’m wondering if Mayor Bill Finch would like to switch places with Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (minus Lauretti’s legal problems, of course).
Lauretti has submitted, even in this kooky economy, another budget without a tax increase. That’s because Shelton enjoys a $5.1 billion grand list of taxable property. Lots of construction in Shelton the past 30 years with Lauretti there for more than half of it.
The differences between Shelton, a small city, and Bridgeport, the state’s largest, are dramatic. Bridgeport provides a boat load of services for the entire region, featuring a bumper crop of tax-exempt properties. Maybe someday when the state’s not so broke, and we slip suburban lawmakers a mickey on a long journey’s night into sanity they’ll actually vote to fully fund tax-exempt buildings that serve their constituents.
I’d call that regional cooperation. So maybe opening up Monroe’s sludge to the city’s sewage spout isn’t such a bad thing after all? That prehistoric noise you just heard came from OIB friend, developer Phil Kuchma who thinks doing so is just another way for the ‘burbs to crap on the city. We’ve heard little news lately about Shelton-based developer Bob Scinto’s proposal to pay the city several million dollars for allowing Monroe into the Trumbull pipeline connected to the sewage-treatment mothership in Bridgeport.
That’s because there’s movement afoot to create a regional sludge authority designed to accommodate Gov. Jodi Rell’s financial incentive. Regional cooperation, she says, equals more state support. The governor’s budget address has given pols a lot of cover. Finch can say look, this regional cooperation is good in many ways. Institutionalizing a regional authority is a groundbreaking move that meets the governor’s call to cooperate with our neighbors. I’d thank Jodi for her openness and insight.
Now, how the dollars for the city shake out is still being tweaked, but the governor has made Finch’s job to sell this thing a little easier to a City Council that isn’t so sure about what it all means.
Thank you, governor.
Dodd Oh God
Will someone stick a rag in Chris Dodd’s mouth? Tell him to just shut up and go away. Here’s an idea: buy an island financed by one of the banks he wants to nationalize and stay there. Don’t come back … ever. Our esteemed U.S. senator’s now talking about nationalizing banks. Talk about trying to get the stink off of him by tossing out that turd. He’s got everyone freaking out. Go away, please go away. Better yet, Jodi please reopen Fairfield Hills and put him there.
The Wild Kingdom
Gregg Dancho, director of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, has been busy this week answering questions about pet etiquette. Dancho and the zoo’s accrediting organization share views below:
Why Wild Animals Don’t Make Good Pets
Exotic creatures like chimpanzees, pythons, kinkajous and scarlet macaws have captured the hearts of animal-lovers looking for companions; but keeping exotic animals as pets can come with hidden costs – both for people and animals. Wild animals have lived for thousands of years without the direct influence of humans. They are adapted for survival in complex, wild environments. They are not well adapted to living with humans or in a house.
What’s wrong with having a wild animal as a pet?
> You can’t provide the right home for them.
Wild animals have complex behavioral, social, nutritional and psychological needs. Most people cannot meet the needs of wild animals kept as pets. Wild animals need to be with members of their own species.
> Apes are a special concern.
Apes, including chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and gibbons, are intelligent, sensitive, and highly social animals. As our closest living relatives, they are fascinating, and ape infants are appealing. These attributes make apes popular as performers in commercial entertainment, advertising programs and, sometimes, pets. But this popularity and attractiveness masks the often cruel and dangerous practices commonly required for making apes compliant in such appearances. When kept as pets, apes can unexpectedly cause severe injury when natural instincts trigger fear, aggression, or other powerful responses. (see: www.aza.org/AboutAZA/presentanimalspolicy/)
> Taking them from the wild can endanger the species.
Parrots are the world’s most endangered family of birds due to devastation from the international pet trade. The enormous global demand for these and other exotic pets is fueling the illegal capture and trade of millions of birds, mammals and reptiles annually, most of which die while being captured or transported.
> You could get hurt.
Keeping wild animals as pets can be dangerous. Many can bite, scratch, and attack an owner, children, or guests. Animal owners can be legally responsible for any damage, injuries or illnesses caused by animals they maintain. Finding new homes for large, hard-to-handle animals can be difficult, if not impossible, particularly since most zoos are unable to accept them.
> You could get sick.
Wild animals can carry diseases dangerous or fatal to humans. Diseases include rabies, distemper, herpes viruses, salmonella, polio, tuberculosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and bubonic plague. Wild animals also harbor parasites, such as intestinal worms and protozoa.
> It would probably be illegal.
Many state, county and city ordinances prohibit the ownership of wild animals as pets.
What types of animals do make good pets?
> Dogs, domestic cats, guinea pigs, domestic rats and mice, domestic gerbils, common hamsters, domestic rabbits, domestic chinchillas.
> Interesting insects like African millipedes or Hissing cockroaches.
> Responsibly captive-bred parakeets, canaries, cockatiels, doves, and pigeons.
> Responsibly captive-bred reptiles and amphibians such as red-footed tortoises, lizards (bearded dragons, leopard geckos), snakes (corn snakes, king snakes, ball pythons) and frogs (White’s tree frog, ornate horned frog, fire-bellied toad, red-eyed tree frog).
> Tropical fish that are captive-raised or collected from sustainable wild populations make good pets. Look for certification of sustainability from the Marine Aquarium Council when you buy tropical fish for your home aquarium.
Visit an animal shelter
> Millions of dogs and cats are destroyed each year because they don’t have homes. Shelter directories such as PetFinder are excellent places to find adoptable animals near you.
This information generously provided by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, of which Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a proud member.
About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo: Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers, Andean condor, ocelots, red & maned wolves, Andean (spectacled) bears, and golden lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit www.beardsleyzoo.org