Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Urban Turkey Attack & Radar Moms

Astute readers may have noticed that the Laurel Connections Blog has been on hiatus since August. Astute readers with good taste have been quietly applauding.

While we had hoped to remain in hiding at an undisclosed location until after the upcoming special "bleed us dry" session of the Maryland General Assembly. More on the tax, tax, slot, slot, fizz, fizz session later, two news stories today simply begged for a Connections post.

Red Dawn with a Gobble

The Boston Globe reported today that flocks of wild turkeys are terrorizing Brookline, Mass.
"The turkey eyed Jean-Felix. Jean-Felix eyed the turkey. It gobbled. She gasped. Then the turkey proceeded to follow the Dorchester woman over the Green Line train tracks, across the street, through traffic, and all the way down the block, pecking at her backside as she went."

Wild turkey's are not strangers to Laurel. (No, not the 80 proof kind.) The Laurel Leader reported last April on an incident that city officials then considered a fluke ... but now we know it was a clever poultry reconnaissance mission. Before we are gobbled and pecked into submission we must prepare.

I recommend that our police officers and firefighters be issued shotguns. Billy Miles' freezers at the Meat Market should be readied as cold storage. (Thanksgiving is only 4 weeks away!) And because I'm sure that all our officials will want to help, we should issue turkey calls to all city, county and state elected representatives. N.B. Citizens are advised to avoid locations where shotgun toting fire fighters and turkey calling elected officials are known to congregate.

Smile, You Are on My Radar Sucker - Revenge of the Moms

Speeding was my most common complaint as city council member. Neighbors want the police to strictly enforce the 25 mph speed limit. Small police agencies can't be everywhere. A story reported in USA Today described a win-win solution to the problem.

Police departments across the country are loaning residents radar guns and turning them into neighborhood speed watchers. The volunteers radar gunslingers can't ticket the drivers but their reports can result in warning letters.
Laurel has used the "Drive 25" signs for quite awhile. Traffic calming experiments are now underway on a couple of streets. But talk to most mothers in Oldtown and you will get an earful about speeding on Fourth, Fifth and Montgomery Streets.

I say let's arm them with the technology they need. Give them a radar gun, a digital camera and a lawn chair and we'll have the speeding problem cleaned up before the ice melts at the corner lemonade stand . "Do you feel lucky, speeder?"


Laurin Morrison said...

The Thanksgiving turkeys may be in Massachusetts ... but the geese available for roasting are all in Aspen Hill (part of greater Silver Spring).

Residents using the Glenmont Metro stop are frequently stalked by itinerant ... and possibly illegal alien geese ... as they make their way from the parking garage to the Metro. Perhaps the Montgomery County Police could borrow Laurel's shotguns to handle the problem. Certainly, no elected official in Montgomery County would ever take action against a poor, defenseless goose! Note that a prerequisite for membership on the Montgomery County Council is PETA membership. Additionally, Montgomery County is proud of its status as a Sanctuary County, welcoming all illegal geese.

Anonymous said...

It's no coincidence combining those two stories, right, Rick? Because I see turkeys speeding down Montrose Ave. all the time. And I'm sure some folks would prefer your shotgun solution (over the radar gun) for those turkeys as well...for the tires, only the tires, of course.

Mike McLaughlin

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more with your sentiments about speeding!!!!

Kara Weinstein

Rick Wilson said...

Deputy Chief Rich McLaughlin told me this evening that the Laurel Police Auxiliary have been trained and they are authorized to use the radar gun. Here is a copy of the warning letter that gets sent.

For more information about becoming a radar operator please contact and ask about the next Academy class.

Keith said...

As long as we don't have any cases of radar users targeting unfriendly neighbors, I love the wording of the warning letter. Can't think of many better uses for a sheet of paper and a stamp.

And welcome back from "hiatus".

Anonymous said...

You can add the Compton Avenue corridor to the list of streets in Oldtown where speeding turkeys are rampant! In order to avoid the lights on both Route 198s they "fly" down our street, ignoring the stop sign at my corner on a regular basis. As a stay-at-home mom for twenty years, I have been the local resident who calls much of the time to report overturned vehicles, people ejected from their vehicles and cars on my neighbors lawns. Personally, I think aggressive poultry should be banned from Old Laurel!

Heidi Hess-Webber