“Did you know, and I swear this is true, that a goose poops a pound a day? That means that every week, with just five geese, we will have 35 pounds of goose poop in the park. You do the math and calculate how much poop that is before the snow melts.” I make it a point never to do math in public, but point taken: geese are a health hazard. For Green Island [New York] Village Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan, it’s more than that. It’s personal . . .
“The mayor said she’s been on a crusade against the geese since she became mayor 12 years ago,” timesunion.com reports. “Her efforts intensified in the last decade after she suffered a serious intestinal illness from ingesting dust from sweeping up dried goose droppings.”
And so, Mayor McNulty-Ryan regularly takes a gun of some sort – an unnamed firearm that “discharges a pyrotechnic cartridge that explodes in the air and makes a noise” – and shoots it near the geese. The ballistic FOAD seems to have done the trick for over a decade.
Only now the local school is miffed as hell and not going to take it any more.
The gun blasts alarmed staff members and students at the Heatly School, its small public school for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The most recent incident prompted Principal Erin Peteani to send the mayor an email asking her to stop shooting the gun during school hours . . .
Green Island Union Free School District Superintendent Michael Mugits said Ryan shot the gun near school grounds. Ryan said she was shooting from the street. Many times in the past, Ryan has said she shoots the gun in River Park that is next to the school near the Hudson River.
The parties involved describe this as a misunderstanding. Both the Mayor and the school see pooping geese as a problem. The educators just deal with it in a kindler gentler way; using cutouts of dogs and fluttering reflective tape on the property. Which doesn’t work, apparently.
Call me crazy, but how about doing something that would result in dead geese (shotgun hunting away from the school?), and inviting the entire village to an annual goosefest? Who doesn’t love confit? Meanwhile, is the Mayor’s long gun approach even legal?
It’s unclear if the gun is considered a firearm under state or federal laws, which prohibit carrying a weapon, including a starter pistol, in a school zone. State law prohibits the discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
So I guess a “gun free zone” around a school is also a “free goose” zone. Free as in free to wander. Not free to take and eat. More’s the pity . . .