Quiet-List 1997

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My Big Meeting



Hello Gentle people,

Today we met with the County Manager and president of the Friends of
Animals, the local equivalent of the SPCA. They listened to our story of
noise attacks every night and were appropriately shocked and incredulous
at the right times, asked for names, and took notes (on the backs of
envelopes so they could be easily thrown away). The county has just
recently re-written its noise ordinance last winter and did not have any
copies to give us yet, which also strikes me as being rather suspicious.
But the good news is that the Sheriff's department finally got a decibel
meter, only one. They didn't have one before. 65 db during the day and
60 db at night is the legal noise limit now, far too high to be
considered safe.

As it turns out, the County manager and the Friends of Animals had a
meeting with the DA lobbying for the state to convict people who violate
the animal noise ordinance, and also animal cruelty ordinances just
three days before our trial. The state has been routinely refusing to
prosecute cases just like ours and, apparently, is still reticent to do
so. The County Manager was rather dismayed that the assistant DA blew us
off.

To give you some idea of the mentality here, this summer, the state just
prosecuted an animal cruelty case having to do with a woman who
habitually beat her dog and tore off its tail to spite Animal control
officers. This was the first animal cruelty case ever tried in Buncombe
county, NC! The first EVER! "Hit's my dog. I kin do whut I like!" The
Friends of Animals people are full of stories of starving horses (two of
the relevant judges are horse-lovers), caged coon hounds used only two
months out of the year, dog fights, cock fights.... Some indication of
what it's like: a full 22% of the population of Western North Carolina
is functionally illiterate. No wonder they like Jessie Helms. The only
time Helms gets in the news is when he's giving somebody a hard time. 

The good news is that the Friends of Animals is at a stage where they
want to disseminate some sorely needed information and have no
resources. Apparently they don't like the SPCA too much and are
interested in decreasing their operating cost of $45 for each dog, from
pick-up to termination. The ones that bark are too much trouble to
bother with from an administrative point of view: at least most of them
get fed and are not running loose. This fellow seemed genuinely happy to
let me look at any case files I want and promised me any statistics they
have! Hopefully, they actually have some that I can slip in around the
tall tales of woe for the papers.

Any idea what I should charge these yokels for a series of pamphlets?

Bob.
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