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It is a time of year when we pay extra close attention to the road, to avoid the tragedy of running them over. Imagine the horror! My wife covers her eyes and cringes when a gopher or squirrel darts out in front of our car and it just about makes her sick if we feel and hear that tell tale thump She looks at me like I the devil when I don slam on the brakes or swerve. Imagine her reaction if any of those cute, fuzzy little ducklings ended up under one of our tires!

Emma is in trial this week, hoping that a jury will not convict her of two counts of criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing the deaths of a father, Roy, and his 16 year old daughter, Jessie.

Jessie was on the back of Roy motorcycle. They were following a car in the fast lane, when the car they were following swerved at the last minute to avoid smashing into the back of Emma stopped car. Roy and Jessie didn have a chance.

Paul became a weekly newspaper columnist in January of 2007, when his first column entitled not about screwing the Insurance Company was published.

But no, our sprawling communities have taken up more and more duck habitat. During springtime, those cute little creatures can find themselves in very serious danger, particularly when their waddling path takes them across a street or a highway.

In 2007, Paul opened Hergott Law, a boutique personal injury law firm in the Central Interior, serving personal injury clients from all over British Columbia. Paul practice is restricted to acting only for the injured victim, never for ICBC or for other insurance companies.

Achieving Justice

This is, of course, in sharp contrast to an adult goose with a fully functional food processing system that chooses to hang out at a place where my children like to run around bare foot. I done a little research on the goose thing. It illegal to even think about causing harm to a Canada Goose. Okay, that a slight exaggeration and one that if true would have me behind bars for a very long time.

They not the most spatially aware creatures. They won immediately disperse if you get close with your vehicle. You have to sit there and wait for them to finish their casual Men Canada Goose Expedition Blue Australia waddling across the road before continuing on. At least with your vehicle sitting there a less concerned motorist won come along and mow them down.

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Sometimes they waddle their cuteness into harm way. Its our fault, of course. If we would have left their ponds alone the ducks could safely waddle their way through their uncluttered little duck lives.

I found two British Columbia court judgments that are on point. Chief Justice Wilson in a case decided in 1969 had this to say: desire to save an animal life is natural and admirable but, of course, it cannot excuse all acts done in pursuance of it. If the choice is between an animal and human safety then, I should think, there is no real choice and the animal must suffer. a later decision of our Court of Appeal, the highest court in this province, a three justice panel approved the following statement of Justice Hinds: he did not want to hurt the dog was both decent and understandable but, as a matter of law, he did not owe a duty to the dog he owed a duty to his passengers. In the circumstances, his instinctive reaction of veering off the roadway to avoid striking the dog was negligent. Of the various areas of litigation, he became most drawn to, and passionate about, pursuing fair compensation for injured victims. This gradually became his exclusive area of practice.

These would have been Emma thoughts on a nice, relaxed Sunday in the Summer, 2010. Emma, a young driver, stopped her vehicle on Highway 30, south of Montreal, to tend to a family of ducks.

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The location was too dangerous to leave them there, so the ducklings were taken to the shelter and put in an Canada Goose Cheap Resolute Parka Australia incubator.

The 2 week old goslings were stranded Sunday at Baker Beach in San Francisco when a Labradoodle got too close and scared away the mother, Delucchi said. Someone at the beach brought the goslings to the center.

Twenty baby birds abandoned by their mothers over the weekend have found a temporary home at the Peninsula Humane Society's wildlife center.

Ten Mallard ducklings and 10 Canada goslings are recovering at the center and will stay there for at least a month before they are released into the wild, said spokesman Scott Delucchi, a spokesman for the shelter.

The humane society opened its wildlife center last fall and has cared for a few baby birds and baby squirrels, but the two orphaned broods are the center's first big addition of the spring.

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Abandoned ducklings and goslings recovering on Peninsula

The week old ducklings were rescued Saturday after they fell into a storm drain near the Bank of America on El Camino Real in San Mateo, Delucchi said. The ducklings and their mother were out for a walk when the little ones fell in and became stuck.

When a animal rescue officer arrived, the mother got spooked and left, Delucchi said. The officer rescued the ducklings by taking off the drain and lifting them out gently. The officer waited with the ducklings for an hour to see if the mother would return, but she didn't.

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A street full of memories

Bray wrote in her essay, that "not only was I born and raised here, I also worked here, met my husband here, had my wedding reception here, rented an apartment here, had my son here, attend my dentist and doctor appointments here, bought a house here in 1979, raised my kids here, watch my grandkids being raised here now, and have already purchased a condo here for later years because I'm staying here."

Concession Street, As I Recall. Each Friday for the first years of my life, my mother pushed my older brother and me down the street, often through mud but eventually along a bumpy wooden sidewalk, in a buggy large enough to hold $12 worth of groceries that she bought at the A on Concession Street. The street was a hub for shopping: I recall Bain's 5 to $1.00 Store with its broad wooden floors and bin like tables to display the wares (ladies underwear, all white, mens socks, all dark, and baby clothes); Edwards Shoes with patent leather pumps all but prancing in the window; the Brewer's Retail, where customers and staff were exclusively men; the shoe repair shop with a scent of polish and small machines; the jewelry store and its show of sparkling diamonds and big colourful snap on earrings (everyone simply window shopped here no one I knew ever bought jewelry); the coffee shop that was always busy; the gas station where the man who pumped gas wore matching shirt and pants and a dark brown tie, his name embroidered on the shirt pocket and he always waved as we walked by; the meat shop where my tongue stuck to the frost as I licked the window in an attempt to see inside (the butcher applied a teacup of warm water to my firmly attached tongue which released me, but still, there was a lot of blood); the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce where, as a child, I opened my first account and where my kids did the same; and the Concession Street Library my mother took me there often and I delighted in browsing even before I could read she borrowed books for me until I was old enough to get my own card, and many years later, I did the same for my kids.

Librarian Naomi Brun says the local BIA wanted to record memories of the street at a community event last year using an iPad, and from there it was decided a better approach would be to have a writing challenge. That would give people a chance to properly think about their responses.

It's a street full of memories, she says, recalling the broad wooden floors and "bin like tables" of Bain's 5 cent to $1.00 Store and Steve's Soda Bar where she would go after skating at the Mountain Park open ice rink.

In 1895 the Wentworth Street Incline Railway was started that made the community more accessible. This led to an increase in residents, businesses, schools and churches. As road accesses were improved that encouraged even more growth.

Recollections, in no particular order, abound: skating at the Mountain Park open rink, but wanting to skate in the boarded hockey rink on the west side of the pavilion; and Steve's Soda Bar across from the park, a place where we could spend our allowance on sweets and later, enjoy a cigarette when we were too young to be doing so; lining up at Inch Park for one short session in the pool; and later, swimming every day, all summer at the War Amps Club; buying a jelly donut at Tim Horton's; assembling in the Inverness School auditorium with every other kid on the Mountain to get vaccinated they did it in winter when kids were in a snow suits and wet boots wailing and runny noses filled the room; the Mountain Theatre where Ben Hur, Geronimo, and Goldfinger connected us to the world beyond Concession Street; and Noah's Ark, with its corner marquee that advertised singers we had heard on the radio. Most of those places are gone now, but the Concession Street community remains.

In 2009, our house burned badly. We had to relocate to a wonderful old place in the village of Dundas, and despite the chaos we were feeling, we had a good year there. The beauty of the valley was sustaining. We considered making it our permanent home. But that was a fleeting thought. Concession Street was in our bones, and in the end, we could hardly wait to get home, home to old comfort, home to the people whose kindness and generosity helped us through a difficult time. Home to the familiar.

The other winner is Rene Neuner, who grew up in the area but now lives in California.

Familiarity is all around us. The names on the buildings might change, some have had a face lift, while others have been demolished. But a Discount Women Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber Summit Pink Australia black and white photo of the street, taken in 1930, is still recognizable as the Concession Street I know today. I also recall many familiar faces. I recognize one older woman by her distinct gait, another man by his cap, and many a person by the dog he or she walks. We don't know each other's names, but we say hello as we pass one of the church yards, or meet at the deli counter in Longo's, or pick up falafels at the Almazan Grill. I am one of those older women now, one of the familiar faces that creates community. People nod and smile every time I walk down the street and I am content to be their familiar, to belong to the oldest community on the Mountain, Concession Street.

A total of 20 entries were received and quotes from the stories are being used with historical photos in an electronic slide show exhibit as well as in a scrapbook that can be seen at the library branch.

She was born in 1950 at Henderson Hospital, which is on the street. She grew up on East 19th a short walk to Concession, and today lives behind the Concession Street branch of the Hamilton Public Library on Cliff Avenue.

That's because of the people.

And I know a bit about the people of this community because, not only was I born and raised here, I also worked here, met my husband here, had my wedding reception here, rented an apartment here, had my son here, attend my dentist and doctor appointments here, bought a house here in 1979, raised my kids here, watch my grandkids being raised here now, and have already purchased a condo here for later years because I'm staying here.

"We just wanted to give people a chance to share their stories about Concession Street and help build community spirit," said Brun.

Bray is a co winner in the Hamilton Public Library Concession Branch's writing challenge to submit a 750 word essay about experiences on the street.

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I am not troubled by Canada geese, but I rarely go on picnics, I play only miniature golf, and I don go to beaches to sunbathe or swim. When a skein of geese flies over my neighborhood, I celebrate that these symbols of wildness still grace my city, although I have stepped in my fair share of goose poop and have not been happy about it.

When news of Manuwal report became public, activists gathered signatures, wrote letters to the editor and protested at public forums. think the geese have just as much a right to be here as the people who use the beach, Dr. Wayne Johnson of the Northwest Animal Rights Network told the media. do not think Canada geese should have to pay with their life because of fecal matter. Johnson added that park officials had not stressed options such as discouraging people from feeding the geese.

It not that people do not like Canada geese; it that people do not like what the birds produce. Geese are walking digestive tracts disguised as birds, defecating 28 times a day, or up to 92 times per day in winter. A single bird can produce 3 pounds of droppings per day. (Geese, like all birds, combine urine and excrement in one tidy package, which ornithologists call droppings.)

The population has grown, in part, because the creation of goose heaven led to a significant change in the lifestyle of urban geese. That familiar flight of honkers crossing the sky is probably a flock of wild geese during the annual fall or spring migration. Unlike their feral relatives, urban geese do not migrate. Why should they? Animals migrate because they need a better place to eat, breed or live, and no goose is going to find a better spot than Seattle. And urban geese also have a significantly higher survival rate than their wild relatives. Around 90 percent of the birds in a city survive their first year compared with 60 percent for wild populations. Those that make it to their first year also live longer than wild birds, because the main cause of mortality for wild adults is hunting.

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Rarely has any species undergone such a complete reversal of opinion, particularly an animal that is neither a predator nor a threat to our safety. The simple solution of killing the geese reinforces an unrealistic cause and effect relationship between humans, animals and the environment. If we are going to solve this perceived problem of too many geese, then we need to take a look at why the geese are in Seattle, why they thrive here, and what realistic, biologically appropriate actions can limit their numbers?

When biologist Harold Hansen a wild flock of giant Canada geese in 1962, he started a frenzy among biologists to breed the birds to try to reintroduce them to their former habitats and place them in new habitats. In the Northwest, this rush to save grandest waterfowl manifested itself in a project called Operation Mother Goose. Its goal: Save Canada goose eggs from inundation by water rising behind the John Day Dam on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington. Biologists would release the Mother Goose hatchlings back along the Columbia and introduce them to previously goose free areas. Dam construction had cut in half the number of geese along the Columbia and Snake rivers, the state most important nesting areas. The wildlife managers did not trust the population to rebound without intervention.

By June 12, more than 900 geese had been distributed, mostly to refuges and game farms near the Columbia. While most regional newspapers covered the event, none answered a niggling question: Did biologists release goslings from the John Day eggs in Seattle? Had Canada geese begun to colonize Seattle before 1968 and no one noticed, or did the Mother Goose youngsters lead to the present 25,000 geese? This is a key point. People pressing for protection of a species often use the argument that the animals were here first, and therefore we ought to learn to live with them or at least make it possible for that species to survive.

Whether fecal output causes diseases, however, is less clear. Dr. Milton Friend, past director of the National Wildlife Health Center, a biomedical laboratory that assesses the impact of disease on wildlife, says geese pose few, if any, problems as a disease vector to humans.

idea was to take the young ones and hope that adults who had been there for years would take them under their wing, so to speak, Hedstrom said. Goslings could learn from and join wild flocks and soon graduate to the twice yearly migration. Hedstrom titled the project Operation Mother Goose because of the imprinting raises them, they think that their mother. The first releases of 100 birds into the wild took place at McNary Refuge and McNary Game Farm at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers.

SEATTLE CANADA goose story begins in 1968. Before then, geese did not nest west of the Cascade Mountains. Lack of habitat had historically prevented the birds from making homes on the wet side of the mountains, although they migrated through. By the early 1960s, however, Seattleites had replaced the primary barriers to geese big trees and dense understory along shorelines with lush parks, yards and golf courses. Paradoxically, while Seattleites were creating ideal habitat for the birds, Canada geese populations across the United States had steadily dropped because of over hunting, unrestricted egg harvesting and habitat loss.

Once an egg was collected, it was placed in a cardboard box insulated with goose down from the nests. When enough eggs accumulated, the boxes were lashed onto a rack on a helicopter and whisked 50 miles northeast to the Kennewick Game Farm, one of several facilities across the state that raised game birds for hunting. Biologists shined a light into each egg to determine the stage of development and placed it into incubators. The entire process took about two hours.

Yet, the perceived threat of disease drives many of the calls for eliminating the birds. Geese droppings have been blamed for closing beaches across the region, although recent reports show that house pets contribute a significant fecal coliform load and it is hard to pinpoint a single source considering how much material, such as spilled oil, sewage overflow and road runoff, drains into our lakes and streams.

picked up about 1,200 eggs, recalled Curt Hedstrom, who managed Kennewick in 1968. started to hatch immediately and continued for 32 days. I was lucky enough to raise 1,000 of them. Within four weeks, each rapidly growing gosling was eating more than a pound of feed a day.

Biologists argued that the number of people who actually feed the birds is insignificant. Many of the people who blame the problem on handouts are park and golf course managers, whose manicured lawns feed more geese than anybody.

A Little Goose Poop

About a week after I spoke to Hedstrom, an envelope from him arrived at our house. The half dozen newspaper articles inside contained details on Operation Mother Goose, photos of officials collecting eggs, men in hunting caps boxing the eggs, and several shots of cute goslings.

Contrary to Price statement, officials did produce a paper trail a series of annual analyses called the Game Reports, but none mentions bird releases around Seattle.

In any case, we should not blame Operation Mother Goose for our problem. The biologists thought they were preserving a cherished species. Moreover, they were not alone; at least 40 states tried to acquire goslings from Operation Mother Goose. The same agency that ran Mother Goose, Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, also encouraged individuals to get involved. In 1971 they published a guide titled Grown Honkers. will probably never be able to state definitively the number of Mother Goose goslings released around Puget Sound, but they would not have stayed if we hadn done such a fine job of altering the landscape. As one wildlife manager said, Goose merely sped up the process of the population boom.

The closest locale was the South Tacoma Game Farm. Bud Angerman, former head at Tacoma, was the first person to say that Mother Goose birds crossed the Cascades. wanted to start a captive program because we had good habitat. We received 10 to 15 goslings from Kennewick . . . and soon we had too many, so we sent some to Yakima and to Capital Lake in Olympia. did not, however, release any in Seattle. remember that geese were already there, Angerman said. Most likely they were migratory birds. Angerman suggested I contact Curt Hedstrom to see if he had sent any west.

Price used the bird introduction as a justification for his findings. He also alluded to Operation Mother Goose without citing specific documentation. The Department of Fish and Wildlife all their records when it became obvious that they had probably caused this problem, Price told me.

Maybe we should let the sportsmen back into the picture. If hunters could hunt Seattle geese, we might have fewer complaints, or at least fewer birds. Obviously this won happen in an urban landscape, but it does point out one of the reasons geese prosper here. No one eats them, and urban dwellers don allow goose predators to live in our midst.

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BY THE END of the 1990s, the urban goose population had reached critical proportions. Beaches were closed because of too much goose poop, and complaints flowed in to park officials. This led to a 1999 environmental assessment on resident Canada geese in the Puget Sound area.

But what if people arrived first? In urban landscapes we have heavily manipulated the environment and have often brought, purposefully or inadvertently, alien species with us. People seem to find it easier to justify eliminating species if the offender isn native.

were some planted near Lake Washington. In fact they are a nuisance there right now. I don know how many of them were my geese, Hedstrom said.

In 1991, biologists turned the versus wild point on its head by arguing that removing the geese from the city would be a huge benefit to the birds. Bill Rybarczyk of Idaho Fish and Game told one local paper at the time, trying to put them back in the wild where they can breed, bring up young and establish a new free flying population of Canada geese. Public officials agreed with biologists, and goose collection began in the summer of 1991. Federal biologists gathered 2,524 birds and shipped them east. A year later they transported 1,731 more, followed by 519 in 1993. The number dropped not because this action succeeded but because Idaho didn want any more birds. Our problem had become Idaho did lead to a downturn in numbers, but not for long. An August 1993 aerial census found only 2,315 geese in Seattle, although biologists predicted that if no further action was taken, the population would double in five years. Urban Canada geese produce up to 15 eggs per nest and can quickly build their numbers.

Whatever my sentiments, the birds have lost out. In 2000, federal agents captured 3,500 geese from around Puget Sound, put them in specially designed trucks and gassed them to death. The first killing took place in summer, when neither adults nor their offspring can fly and when the birds are most noticeable, hanging around and pooping in parks. Department of Agriculture, killed 4,200 more birds in 2001 and had a permit to kill 4,200 again in 2002.

Operation Mother Goose began on April 11, 1968, 17 miles up the Columbia from the nearly complete dam. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife gathered at a small island, then spread out in powerboats to collect eggs from nests on 25 to 30 islands in the 70 miles of river that would be flooded less than a week later.

One of the arguments used during Seattle first war on geese was that they are non native. In 1987 the Seattle Waterfowl Management Committee formed to try to alleviate health and safety problems and damage caused by geese. Two years later they hired UW biologist David Manuwal to complete a 12 month study. Manuwal and his group examined 25 parks in the Seattle area, finding between 3,000 and 4,000 Canada geese. He traced the origin of these birds to the John Day eggs, although he neither named Operation Mother Goose nor cited any written documentation for it. Manuwal concluded that the best way to stem the population Men Canada Goose Borden Bomber Coffee Outlet Australia was to capture and ship back across the mountains up to 90 percent of the birds over five years.

I tried Hedstrom again, wanting more specifics. regard to Lake Washington, I don think they were planted right on the lake. I can tell you for sure, but I see no reason that they would . . . They wouldn plant an area where people didn want the geese. They didn just nonchalantly plant them. They must have had a reason. may not have realized it, but he did offer the first reason why Canada geese might have been released near Seattle. Game Department works for the sportsmen. They the ones that paid our wages, he said. The geese would help establish a flyway where hunters might have a chance to shoot the birds.

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Each holiday season, you can bet you'll be hearing the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams. And just as Andy is a holiday favorite, so is Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee for me in fact, some coffee hounds can hardly wait to get a cupful of that seasonal brew of choice.

Either way, I think it's an interesting sales tactic: Offering a special version of your product for a limited time, and then tweak the formula each year. Consumers who love a particular item will stockpile the product out of fear it won't be exactly the same next year. On the other hand, you may lose customers who prefer a consistent, high quality product.

Avid fans of Starbucks' Buy Men Canada Goose Langford Parka Grey Australia Christmas Blend (also called Holiday Blend) from previous years have even logged onto eBay in hopes of buying their favorite coffee blend online. Interestingly, many Starbucks fans believe that the company modifies its Christmas Blend just a little each year. Personally, I can't tell the difference in the taste from one year to the next. Since coffee is a crop, I wouldn't be surprised if the flavor is affected by weather, soil conditions, or other variables beyond Starbucks control.

Is your company offering a special holiday version of a product or service to lure business? What are you doing to drum up holiday sales?

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In cities you just dont stay outside, you walk in the supermarket, the school, the campus, the house, the office, the subway rarely will you remain in the bitter cold outside. The Burnett is simply too hot for indoors, but will keep you nice and comfy out there where it matters.

For now we make the Men Canada Goose Expedition Cream Outlet Australia call on Canada Goose, "Please, please include a drawstring in the Burnett Parkas hood".

No need for extra layers like sweaters or coats, a simple T shirt will do.

What is the biggest downside of the Burnett Parka?The hood.

The Burnett Jacket has been catalogued as one of the best cold winter jackets, even surpassing the highly popular Chilliwack Bomber, Expedition and Chateau Parkas, all of which are preferred in New York. The Burnett is still not as popular as the previously mentioned, but those that have used it and the others prefer the Burnett hands down. It may not be as fashionable as the Banff Parka, but it still has its stylish look and is far more comfortable and practical.

If you like style but are not willing to comprise comfort and practicality for it, then the Burnett is the winter jacket for you.

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Another issue also related to the drawstring is the hood will block your vision whenever you make sudden movements.

The Burnett Jackets hood doesnt come with a drawstring or shapeable cable like some other models and whenever the wind blows strong the hood will come off forcing to hold it down with one hand. Just because of this minor detail the entire purpose of the hood is lost. Might want to ask your local tailor if he can do something about it, I have never tried that.

For some reason Canada Goose only includes an adjustable hood on some of its parkas and jackets, like the Chilliwack Bomber, where the hood can be manipulated for better visibility or further protection from strong winds.

By the way, you can remove the hood if you want to.

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Other users have suggested wearing a toque or a wrapping scarf around your neck and face before pulling up the hood. These additional layers will help keep the hood in place. It works fine for me.

What is the right temperature for the Burnett Jacket?That would be between 10 and 20 according to Canada Goose standards. But users have reported feeling warm in 30 all the way up to 40. It is a very warm jacket.

I have not come to know one single Canada Goose jacket or parka that isnt warm enough for the user. Actually one of the few complaints users have about the Burnett Jacket, and that goes to most of the urban parkas by Canada Goose, is that it is too warm to wear inside. It would be nice if future models include a better ventilation system, like the new modern Hybridge Jacket does with its Thermal Mapping Technology.

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"He went to the hospital, but he made the front page. Of course, he had an art opening across town. Free, front page publicity," explained Granny, "Crazy like a fox. Crazy like a fox."

A wrinkled hag finds redemption in a miserable naif

Granny tried to calm me, feeding me steamed broccoli so soggy it was like eating hot, wet, toilet paper, and patting me on the head saying, "There, there." I screamed and screamed. Granny never lost her cool.

Granny had been an interior designer at Bloomingdale's in New York, decorating houses for Paul Newman, Ginger Rogers and Betty Davis. We knew this. However, Granny would occasionally stun us with revelations. One day, after buying a book of Salvador Dali's paintings, Andrew asked Granny what she thought of Dali's work.

"You worked with Salvador Dali!?" Andrew and I were incredulous.

"When I worked with him," she explained, "he was crazy like a fox."

"Nothing much, you miserable little naif," Granny'd reply without missing a beat.

It wasn't long before Granny and I, the youngest and the oldest, became partners in crime. I loved how she called the cops, "the fuzz" and how she said I was "on a roll," when things were going well. Mostly, I loved to make Granny laugh, a honking noise that sounded like a pissed off Canada goose. When I made a joke at the dinner table like, "What did the deaf, dumb, and blind kid get for Christmas? Give up? Meningitis!" my family would chew their food quietly. Someone might mutter the word cruel. But sure enough, there was old Granny across the table with a napkin over her mouth, trying to hold in her honks without losing her dentures.

Granny had worked with Dali while he designed a window for Bloomingdale's. When he finally unveiled his exhibit (a group of naked female manikins in bathtubs filled with hair, being groped by plastic hands glued to the tub sides) a woman spectator fainted. Bloomingdale's immediately shut down the window. Upon hearing this news, Dali took off through the store with Granny chasing after him. She stopped, however, when he flung himself through the plate glass of his exhibit onto the street, slashing up his arms in the process.

In high school, I used to amaze my buddies with my relationship to Granny. "What's up, you wrinkled old hag?" I'd ask her on speakerphone so all my friends could hear.

In 1984 when I was 3, Granny moved in. Her apartment was being converted into a Chinese restaurant, and she couldn't stay. Mom and Dad agreed because Granny had been sober for years, and her presence meant extra money for groceries and never needing a sitter. In my oldest memory I'm 4, sitting at the kitchen table, crying uncontrollably. Mom, Dad and my older brother Andrew had gone to a movie, and I had refused. "Fine," they said, "stay home with Granny."

"Dude, can we hang out with Granny?"

Granny made a terrible mother. She was a childish person and an alcoholic. Because of her, my mom and uncle always felt they'd been left in the lurch. But while my body sprouted in awkward ways and my moods swung like executioners' blades, as I endured my parents' divorce and I grew into a man, Granny was my staunchest ally and my closest friend. Thanks to her, I will never know what it is to feel alone. And I never will be.

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Granny made a terrible mother. For starters she was a drunk. As with most drunks, she also avoided other problems, feigning contentment even as her marriage disintegrated, her son sank into a heroin bog and her daughter, my mom, grew a resentment so strong it will never heal. Granny had her reasons: her parents had also been drunks, her youngest brother's plane crashed (with him in it) in WWII, and her husband, "Smith," my grandpa, was a rigid WASP who treated women with a coldness that bordered on hatred. Of course, Granny's unreliability took its toll on her kids. Mom's earliest memory is when she was 8, walking her collie on the Post Road at night. A car came speeding through the darkness, and she had to pull her dog off to the shoulder to avoid being hit. "As its taillights disappeared around the curve," Mom says, "I felt completely alone."

Last November, the week before Thanksgiving, Granny collapsed in her bedroom. "This Women Canada Goose Kensington Parka Grey Melbourne is scary," she said to Mom, and then she died. Just the week before, her last words to me were, "Frankly, Ben, I don't give a s anymore." She was joking around, but I understood.

In eighth grade Granny and I bonded in our own special way, flattening road kill and attacking city property. Driving me home from school, she'd swerve all over the road in order to run over every dead squirrel or raccoon in our path. "Bah dump!" we'd say in unison as we squished out another rancid pancake. When we passed street signs, Granny would slow down. I'd lean out the window and whip apple cores at the signs, eliciting a sometimes spectacular explosion. "Got one!" Granny would yell triumphantly as bits of chewed apple and seeds rained down. Sometimes, she'd bring me four apples for a single ride home. "Ammunition," she called it.

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Depending on which group of ornithologists one uses, there are at least seven subdivisions of Canada goose species. The one most of us are familiar with is the greater Canada goose.

Many blue morph snow geese are dark with a white head and neck. There also is a white morph juvenile that is all white on the bottom and grayish on the top. It is rare to find a summering or wintering bird in our area.

A gaggle of goose varieties

The species is common in spring migration and fairly common in fall migration. It is rare to find a summering bird and it is accidental to find one in winter.

Six species of geese have been reported in the Bismarck Mandan area. The most common one is the Canada goose, a resident that nests in our area.

In 2005, the cackling goose was split from the Canada goose and became a new species. It is the smallest of the geese with a stubby bill and a short neck.

A small number of the birds were located in Minnesota and were used to bring the population back. They were sent to various locations to be raised and monitored. One of the locations selected was the Amoco Oil Refinery in Mandan, now known as the Tesoro Oil Refinery.

The written history of that species goes back to at least the Lewis and Clark expedition. Capt. William Clark wrote that he shot a Canada goose on a nest on May 13, 1805, and Capt. Meriwether Lewis wrote that he saw many geese feeding on the prairie and several were in trees on May 14, 1805.

We all know that this project was very successful, so much that there may be too many Canada geese now.

Another goose well known to hunters is the greater white fronted goose. Its name comes from the distinctive white band at the base of the bill. Other distinctive markings are the pink bill and orange feet.

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That has caused some confusion in identification because the cackling goose looks very much like some of the smaller types of Canada goose.

The snow geese average 20 years of age and know all the ways of hunters when migrating. They have more food than they can eat when they migrate, because farmers leave much grain in stubble fields all along their route to the south.

Prior to 1900, the greater Canada goose nested over most of the state. But as recently as the mid '80s, the species was thought to be extinct.

The last member of the goose family to be found in our area is a species called the Brant. It is a resident of costal shores and prefers saltwater. There have been only four sightings of Brant in Cheap Women Canada Goose Freestyle Vest Red Australia our area, usually during weather that moves birds from their regular routes in the United States.

The cackling goose is an abundant species that winters in the southern states and nests in northern Alaska and northern Canada. In early winter, the cackling goose is fairly common in our area.

1 million snow geese were coming back from Canada because they were not able to find open water or food.

The Canada geese winter in Bismarck and Mandan up to 10,000 or more in most recent winters.

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Midge takes a quick dip in the lake to cool off, then hops in the back of Rapsys' truck for a brief nap before their next stop.

"For properties that just have migratory geese, we can just go in the fall," explains Rapsys. "But if there are resident geese there, we go year round."

The latter was especially troublesome because the male goose was defending the nest of five eggs by attacking the homeowner and his family when they went in and out of their front door. And, the male was damaging the glass front door by pecking at his reflection, which he considered another male goose. Not to mention the goose poop that covered the front stoop and brick driveway.

A case for the Geese Police

"I can't promise you you'll never see another goose on your property," Rapsys tells clients. "But I can reduce the number from 500 to just a few."

Steamers, scarecrows, helium balloons and firecrackers are temporary fixes, says Rapsys. The only way to get them to move permanently is to employ dogs that are trained to crouch down and stalk the geese, as do Rapsys' border collies, and threaten the geese enough for them to move.

"If a goose has a successful nest, she will imprint, or return to that same, exact spot to nest next year. If the eggs don't hatch, she'll nest somewhere else next time."

The goose's natural predators are coyotes, which attack the adult geese, and raccoons and owls, which eat goslings and eggs. "But, they're outnumbered," says Rapsys of the predators.

The same amenities that sell homes attract geese. Problem is, most suburbanites don't want to live with the geese. They eat plantings, especially along pond shores, which causes erosion. They attack people who come too close to their nests. In June, they litter areas with feathers when they molt.

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Nearly extinct by the 1950s, the Canada goose's revival is one of the greatest success stories of wildlife management, notes Domazlicyk. Federal and state laws ban the killing of Canada geese, except during hunting season, by license, where permitted. This doesn't include suburban lawns, which the Men Canada Goose Ontario Parka Brown Australia Sale geese seem to have figured out.

The Chicago area's geese population includes several subspecies of the Canada goose, explains Roy Domazlicyk of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. True Canada geese migrate here in the fall, and if it's warm enough, stay for the winter. In addition, Illinois is home to about 84,000 resident geese that live here year round.

Rapsys' clients also include dozens of corporate campuses, all with the requisite water landscaping.

Depending on the size of the property and the danger to the dogs (such as nearby busy highways), Rapsys charges from $500 to $3,500 a month. Most clients sign seasonal or annual contracts.

Rapsys says he's amazed at the places he finds nests. A quick tour through the western suburbs on an April morning revealed nests on a parking garage roof, in a parking lot divider, on an awning, on a pond shoreline and in a planter in the middle of an Oak Brook resident's driveway.

When the geese nest in the spring, Rapsys searches for their nests, often buried in grass. He has permits from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to remove the eggs or render them unable to hatch.

When he visits large lakes or works when it's dark, Rapsys often brings a kayak so he can paddle into the lake and keep an eye on the dogs.

"Today, new home developments have aerated ponds that don't freeze, sometimes with islands, and grassy areas or golf courses perfect for geese," says Rapsys (rhymes with "lapses").

It was Rapsys' wife's cousin who suggested he take up this profession. He was working for his father's freight forwarding company, while entering Frisbee competitions with his first border collie, Mickey, on weekends.

"Usually, I'll leave them in the nest and coat them with oil or shake them so they won't hatch," he says. "If they pose an immediate threat to people because the adult geese are attacking to protect the nest, I can remove the eggs. But, then, the mother may lay more.

But what bugs Rapsys' clients the most is the goose droppings. The average adult goose produces 1 1/2 pounds of poop a day, he says.

Seven days a week, Rapsys and his staff of three full time and three part time people, each with trained dogs, visit his clients' properties. They visit each site several times a day until the geese get the message.

Midge is one of Rapsys' assistants, without whom he says he couldn't run his Naperville based company, Geese Police. Homeowner associations and condominium and apartment complex owners hire him and his K 9 crew to rid their properties of geese.

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Last year, America's corporate captains spent $750 billion of their $2 trillion in accumulated profits in buying back company stock not on expanding production or hiring more workers. Why? Because that delivers higher stock prices to shareholders and fattens CEO pay packages.

But that is not what you hear from the National Restaurant Association, in which members employ many minimum wage workers. Increasing pay, restaurant owners say, would force them to fire waiters, raise food prices or both.

If American CEOs had shared more corporate profits with their workforce, average Americans would be better off today and we would all be enjoying a stronger economic recovery.

32 convictions in his administration during 8 year term.

The economic picture was quite different three decades ago. America's middle class was prosperous. Chief executive officers shared corporate profits. In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Charlie Wilson of General Motors, Reginald Jones of General Electric and Frank Abrams of Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon Mobil) practiced "stakeholder capitalism" sharing profits among all stakeholders in the corporation, with workers as well as bosses and owners. To those CEOs, strong wages and generous employee benefits were good business and smart economics.

The same logic applies to extending unemployment insurance. Not only does it give a lifeline to families drowning financially, it pumps purchasing power into the national economy a formula for growth.

That is economist lingo for a long term economic slump hardly what any of us wants.

In mid December, The Wall Street Journal ran a chart that explained why. It showed that 90 percent of American households suffered a 10 percent fall in income from 2002 to 2012, while the top one percent enjoyed sharp increases.

S scandal, over $1 trillion in cost to taxpayers.

It's important to understand that what may happen in individual restaurants is not what happens in the economy. Raising the minimum wage may crimp the profit margins of some restaurants, but applied nationwide, a higher minimum wage lifts the whole economy. It puts tens of billions of dollars of increased buying power into the hands of average Americans.

What the restaurant lobbyists don't tell you is that the minimum wage for waiters who get tips is $2.13 an hour. What also goes unsaid is that in places like Washington state, where the minimum wage is now $9.32 an hour (before tips), national chains like McDonalds and Burger King, as well as local restaurants, are doing just fine.

Many economists, including former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, warn that unless we take action to break our current cycle of low wages and high economic inequality, we are in for a long period of "secular stagnation."

James Watt. (The beginning of the end for sound environmental policy.) Say no more, nod nod, wink wink.

Not today. The mantra of most modern CEOs is to deliver maximum return to shareholders "shareholder capitalism." Most gains go to the financial elite, while average Americans face frozen wages, cuts in benefits or jobs shipped overseas.

Iran Contra scandal, 14 indictments, 11 convictions, but Ronny is senile at this point, so he's not responsible.

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PHOTO (TOP):Demonstrators gather during a nationwide strike and protest at fast food restaurants to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 in New York, December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

As President Barack Obama barnstorms the country, he should be making the argument that it is not only fair, but smart growth economics to raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment benefits and reduce income inequality. These steps will help accelerate economic recovery this year above its anemic 1.9 percent growth rate in 2013. economic growth for the past three decades, especially the last 10 years, according to a new study by two economists at Washington University in St. Louis.

Now, Congressional Republicans are again digging in their heels against measures that would ramp up the economy and generate jobs. growth.

Common sense as well as Macroeconomics 101 tells you that if 270 million Americans earned less in 2012 than in 2002, they had less to spend. They had to cut back on consumption. That caused weaker consumer demand a bad trend, because what economists call "aggregate consumer demand" is the engine of economic growth.

PHOTO (INSERT): The Chevrolet Corvette assembly line in 1953.

The same goes for the minimum wage, which at $7.25 an hour is now about 25 percent lower than in 1968, adjusted for inflation.

Congressional Republicans like to talk about creating jobs and growing the economy. With the government shutdown and rigid spending cuts, however, Congress created a fiscal drag that cost the economy a full percentage point of economic growth in 2013.

So the declining incomes of 90 percent of Americans over 10 years spell slow recovery, even as corporate profits soar and the stock market hits new highs. We are indeed Two Americas the elite 1 percent riding high and the rest of us mired in the stagnation.

If that puzzles you, imagine what would happen if Men Canada Goose Freestyle Vest Graphite Australia Sale restaurant owners pushed the minimum wage to zero. All those working families would have no money to spend and the economy would shrink from lost buying power. Raising the minimum wage, on the other hand, boosts purchasing power nationwide. Eventually even minimum wage employers would begin to profit from having more customers with more money to spend.

A crash course in growth economics