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Black Jack's Chicken Saga Continues

Black Jack chicken saga continues

The town council meeting in Black Jack on Tuesday night regarding the chickens was extraordinarily well attended.  In case you have not been following, my friend Guy Niere received a letter a little less than a week ago without warning, demanding that he get rid of his rare breed of endangered chickens by July 2nd.

There had never been any complaints lodged against his chickens.  In fact, his neighbor who lives nearest to his coops spoke in his defense saying that if there were anyone who had a reason to complain, it should be her, but she had not even known that he had chickens! 

It appears that the mayor saw an article from the Post Dispatch dated April 25, 2012 and did not realize that people in Black Jack had chickens.  The comments on the Post article do not speak highly of the city's actions and the mayor's attention to this matter.  The Post Dispatch sent a reporter who submitted this article just after midnight.

All four co-organizers from our area's 405 member local backyard chicken meetup group were in attendance, and speakers from Clayton and residents from Black Jack and myself all spoke on behalf of the locavore/local grown/green food movement, and a person's right to own chickens.  There are no ordinances banning chickens in Black Jack.  There are ordinances against poultry farms, and that is what Guy was cited against.  If one has ever been to a massive factory farm warehousing chickens and compared it to a backyard chicken coop, where chickens get out all day and eat bugs  and till and fertilize the gardens, anyone can tell the difference. 

The mayor does not even seem to be aware that one of his neighbors has chickens.  Why?  Because the chickens are NOT A PROBLEM!

Yesterday, following the meeting of Tuesday night, the press went wild, and Channel 4 News/KMOV, Channel 11/KPLR and Fox2 all showed up at Neire's residence with cameras in tow.  Andy Banker, co-anchor of Fox 2/11, and Russell Kinsaul, anchor/reporter of Channel 4 very positively presented Guy's case, and I watched it with interest.

Friday, from 4-5 p.m. I will be a guest speaker on WGNU radio and yes - you can bet this will be brought up!

Chickens are legal in Clayton, Kirwood, Webster, Ladue, Creve Coeur, Maplewood, Richmond Heights - in fact, Guy even spoke at their city council in advisement of setting up chicken guidelines.  He lives next to a vacant four-acre field and his nearest neighbors live on 3 and 20 acres beside and behind him.  C'mon now, aren't there more important things to do in city hall than fuss about a few chickens?

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Jerry Pipes June 08, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Wow, you mean Norman McCourt is still mayor? I would have figured that after <a href="http://snewpy.com/2006/08/norman-mccourt-where-are-you/">his last controversy</a> voters would have sent him packing. If this gets enough media attention, he'll back down. He did last time.
Dorene Olson June 09, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Jerry, thank you for your insight. I am not a St. Louis native but now I do remember this case. I will pass your comment onto Guy - he is sure appreciating all the support. He walked into his bank today and they all yelled: "LOOK! It's the Chicken Man!" I am so heartened to hear that you think that you think that the mayor might back down. Many people are VERY adamant that the mayor is on a witch hunt and is power hungry and is very unpopular in very many ways right now. Interestingly, horses are not banned in Black Jack ... why??? ... because? ... maybe because the McCourts have horses???? Gee, must be a selective banning on hobbies. A horse was running down Old Halls Ferry just last week in traffic, but I guess little fuzzy chickens are more dangerous. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it, I will pass it on to Guy - Dorene

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