Excuse me sir, is that goat wearing a seat belt?


A Connecticut man is in custody after a video of him shoving a goat in his car trunk was shown to police.  Ernesto Rodriguez, 36, of East Hartford, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and breach of peace.  Rodriguez purchased the goat from the Middlesex Livestock auction. He then shoved the goat in his trunk and drove to his home, 30-minutes away, according to authorities.  The witness who took the video alarmed state police, who then tracked him to his home and arrested him.  While investigating, the Department of Agriculture found more than a goat.  “We learned there were also five chickens in the trunk of the car,” said George Krivda Jr. who works for the department.


See what happens when you outlaw chickens?  Only outlaws will then stuff them in their trunk with a newly purchased goat.  Bad form Ernesto.  Bad form.  Read the rest of Ernesto’s half ass misguided foray into urban farming here.  I have to wonder if those chickens were some the ones unceremoniously rounded up after the backyard chicken people lost the good fight a couple of weeks ago at city hall.  Damn shame.


Back Yard Chicken Ordinance TKO’d

Lowell Sun

LOWELL — Proponents of the city allowing residents to keep chickens in their yards passionately made their case to city councilors Tuesday night, including one of the movement’s leaders telling councilors they could lose political supporters if they did not support letting residents own hens.

However, the City Council’s neighborhoods subcommittee — on which Councilors John Leahy, Marty Lorrey, and Rita Mercier sit — voted 3-0 to recommend that the full council end the pursuit and discussion of an ordinance change to allow the keeping of chickens, as well as other farm animals.

Mercifully, this annoying chicken issue finally ends. Now we can all get back to raising our back yard chickens in peace without having to worry about what the City Council or a few hens in Centraville think about all the fun.

Lorrey said one reason for his opposition was that as he has knocked on more than 2,000 doors as part of his re-election campaign, residents have been opposed to the city allowing the keeping of chickens by a wide margin.

Marty Lorrey had to knock on over 2,000 doors to reach this conclusion? I won’t call bullshit on that one, I’m just going to imagine what it would be like if he did that for every big council decision?


I leave for one weekend….

and the whole city goes nuts.  Multiple stabbings, it rained cats and dogs, some asshat flees a home after his Pitbull mauls a Rat Terrier to death, and the Lowell Sun outs Rachel Chandler as an illegal chicken keeper.  That fact was known to many for a couple of weeks or longer depending on who you are and when your editor asked you to publish the story. (right Lyle?)  Messaged received loud and clear Lowell.  I’m not allowed to take any more long holiday weekends away, the residents sense a disruption in the force and everything goes to hell in a handbag made at one of the local art studios.  I get it.

Oh, the horror!

Lowell Sun

LOWELL — The city’s chicken lady is all cooped up.

Rachel Chandler, one of the leaders of the push for the city to allow backyard chickens, has been illegally keeping hens on her property.

The city’s Animal Control department recently issued a notice of violation to Chandler’s husband, Richard Stec, for the keeping of chickens at their home on Lawrence Street in the city’s Back Central neighborhood.

According to a Lowell police-incident report, animal-control-compliance officer Darleen Wood visited the property Aug. 14.

“All cooped up?” What a doozie. Make no mistake about it, our friends down at the Sun wanted to make sure you got your 75 cents worth this week. Just in case you weren’t floored by the STUNNING scenario that someone championing backyard chickens at City Hall might actually have few chickaroos roaming their property, the Sun staff goes for the kill with “All Cooped up.” “Running a fowl” had to be a finalist, no?

More importantly, Rachel Chandler and her husband are obviously fans of the Cabot, and enjoyed Mark and Tobes’ emails regarding Lowell Chickens. Practically copied the entire play book. And if you’re keeping track at home, that puts our blog readership at about 6, if you count Mark’s wife. Don’t tell our friend over at LiL but Revolutions have started with less.

Pic ganked from Rick Holland via My Lost Bardo

SOFC apology to the Taliban

20130801-083545.jpgLowell Sun Column

Jack Mitchell, a member of the Centralville Neighborhood Action Group Board of Directors, has some explaining to do — at least to fellow board members. In a recent on-line comment, Mitchell mentioned the city’s neighborhood groups and the Taliban in the same sentence, as if they’re synonymous. His choice of words have left some neighborhood activists, including two prominent women from Centralville, searching for an explanation. – See more at: http://blogs.lowellsun.com/thecolumn/2013/07/29/angst-in-centralville/#sthash.9cb1A3EW.dpuf

It is a sad day. All these people lining up to declare how offended they are by droning blog commentary referring to hood’group leaders as “Lowell’s Taliban.” Folks that I didn’t even know existed, popping up demanding apologies. Well, I for one am disgusted. I haven’t heard anyone apologize to the Taliban yet.

Sure, it’s been a rebuilding season for the regime, but that doesn’t mean they’d appreciate being compared to the leaders of the Centralville Neighborhood Group. Aside from lower Bridge Street looking a bit like Kabul, there’s really nothing else in common.
I imagine the Taliban is largely indifferent about what you keep in your back yard…from fowl to mortars. And they would never let a couple of hens speak for the entire neighborhood (pun absolutely intended).

Since it seems nobody else is going to get around to it, I’d like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Greater Lowell blogging community, to apologize to the Taliban for this ignorant, undeserving assault on their reputation. I can assure you, that as long as this Sheriff is on watch, it will never happen again.

Sincerely Yours,


Mark ‘n Dan Email Showdown: Backyard Chickens > Lena Dunham

20130725-102734.jpgSubject: Chickens
Date: Tues, 23 Jul 2013 10:01:24 -0400
To: Mark

Are you seriously telling me that this backyard chicken issue is that big of a deal? All the local sites that I troll for stuff to make fun of are littered with backyard chicken hysterics. I don’t get it? How is this a big deal?
Best Regards,

On Jul 23, 2013, at 10:51 AM, Mark wrote:
I agree that it isn’t a big deal. However there are those that live in this city that for whatever reason- hobby, sport, personality (too much time on their hands), get off on telling other residents what they can and can’t do on their properties or in their homes. It’s why I’d never belong to a HOA. My house. My rules. GFYS. Once these people who coincidentally hold sway in neighborhood groups (some of which actually charge dues to be a “member” of) and that means they have some weight at city hall with some of our elected officials. This could be a good thing. In this case I think it is a very bad thing.
I should be able to (so long as I don’t have a postage stamp backyard) keep chickens for the fresh eggs they provide. They also eat pests like the c**k sucking Japanese beetles (that decimated my heirloom purple basil over the weekend), and ticks that as you know, give our dogs problems. Here’s the dirty little secret too- people are already keeping “illegal” chickens in Lowell. I don’t know about you but my dog’s head hasn’t fallen off yet as a consequence.

Subject: Re: Chickens
From: Tobes
Date: Tues, 23 Jul 2013 11:31:44 -0400
To: Mark

I hear what you’re saying, but this issue seems less about chickens, coops, or regulations, and more about fear of your neighbor being an a-hole. As a staunch Belvideresman, we tend to honor a “don’t walk on the lawn” mentality when it comes to neighborly relations.
I also share space with a neighbor who illegally keeps chickens and it’s not a problem because the guy is a world class neighbor. Chickens are no different than chiminea’s, and horseshoe pits…nobody cares until you start acting like an a-hole. I don’t see any need for change.
Best Regards,

On Jul 23, 2013, at 11:40 AM, Mark wrote:

Totally agree there. But the problem there is people already act like a-holes. Look at all points west of Bridge Street; garbage for next week makes it to the curb the day after this week’s pickup. People freak out. Are we going to punish a whole city for fear of what a group of said a-holes are going to maybe do?
I think the mountain out of a mole hill rule applies here. If community activists didn’t get their knickers in a twist over it, no one would have noticed. We’ve seen time and time again what can happen when a small group of vocal people with sway starts opening their mouths. Take for instance the rhetoric that “Lena Dunham is the voice of a generation” conversation that people started to believe instead of the more appropriate conversation of “Lena Dunham needs to get on a diet, stop doing nude scenes, and get a better tattoo artist.”

Subject: Re: Chickens
From: Tobes
Date: Tues, 23 Jul 2013 12:18:40 -0400
To: Mark

Lena Dunham upsets my stomach whether there’s a chicken in the backyard or not. I’m glad we got that cleared up.
Also, I don’t think any section of Bridge Street can qualify as a true model for human behavior…at least until we confirm that those folks are actually human. That’s the problem with this, and every ordinance…they apply to everyone. Ordinances should work on the same system as Karate belts…once you’ve achieved black-belt citizen status, you can do whatever you want. (We should have to wear our belts at all times too…or at least on Friday’s.)

And on that note…
I think it’s hysterical that an argument against this is the lack of resources applied to “animal control.” As far as I’m concerned, what the entire LPD squad does 24/7 is animal control. At least until we put a dent in the sword play in Centralville. In conclusion, I support status quo until Centralville separates from the union.
Best Regards,

On Jul 23, 2013, at 12:50 PM, Mark wrote:

I would rather date a backyard chicken then Lena Dunham.
It’s a good thing I don’t live in Centralville then. I breathe the air of Christian Hill: Home of trees, a rez, a state rep, and honest to goodness working folk. But I think as long as residents want to keep hens, they should keep hens. For those providing the thoughtful “move to the country” proclamations …your simple, made for a bumper sticker argument could be more irrelevant to the issue. Yes neighborhood “leaders” I’m looking at you.

Subject: Re: Chickens
From: Tobes
Date: Tues, 23 Jul 2013 1:18:40 -0400
To: Mark

I would totally date Lena Dunham…but only on the internet. I bet she would always have clever little things to say about the people who annoy me in my facebook stream.
Best Regards,