The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Seabirds 1, America 0


The post-Independence Day Jolt is off to the editors. . . .

Seabirds 1, America 0

So, here’s your federal regulators run amok, what-country-are-we-living-in story for the holiday:

The coastal town of Depoe Bay is about to experience its quietest July 3 in 19 years. Town officials this year reluctantly announced they were cancelling the annual pre-Independence Day fireworks show, following pressure from federal wildlife managers who said the noise disrupts protected sea birds.

Business owners, dependent on the popular show for foot traffic, are not happy. “It’s a great loss to our community,” said Peggy Leoni, co-owner of Trollers Lodge, a small motel in Depoe Bay.

But Rebecca Chuck, deputy project leader with the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, said the move was necessary to protect species such as the Brandt’s cormorant that nest at Pirates Cove. The cove is less than a mile south of Boiler Bay, where the fireworks show is held, and seabird colonies on the north coast face intensifying pressure from bald eagles and other predators.

Then the story has this curious detail: “The event at Boiler Bay has been a tradition since 1993.”

How did they celebrate the Fourth of July in 1992 and earlier years?

The RedEye crew sees the natural sequel to “the War on Christmas,” which is, naturally, the War on Independence Day.

What constitutes said “War on the Fourth of July”? Well, according to host Greg Gutfeld: the small town of Depoe Bay, Oregon, announced that they will cancel their annual fireworks display out of concern that the pyrotechnics would frighten sea birds roosting nearby; and the state of Massachusetts bans the use of sparklers, those tamer handheld versions of fireworks, because of safety concerns over hand burns. One State Representative denounced the ban as “anti-American.”

Panelist and Fox News reporter Juliet Huddy suggested the Oregonian town “should bring these little birdies to New York and let them roam with our pigeons. And then these little birdies can go back and deal with the fireworks. And everything will be copesthetic.”

“There are scarier things than fireworks,” Gutfeld added. “Should we outlaw thunder? Because dogs hate that.”

“I think it’s good to have fireworks displays every now and then,” said panelist Joe Devito, “just to show nature we’re not kidding around. I was reading that these [particular Oregonian sea] birds compete with bald eagles — so the more that these birds are happy, the more bald eagles suffer. And how horrible is that on Fourth of July?”

The gang at Scared Monkeys laments the new policy aimed at avoiding scared seabirds: “once again we have an over-intrusive federal government and crazed envirowackos taking away people’s liberties in lieu of birds.The federal agency stepped in and affected local commerce by their decision. Brilliant move in the midst of the Obama recession.”

Why do the lame holidays never get any cultural wars upon them? Where’s the “War on Arbor Day”? I see “United Nations Day” is Wednesday, October 24, could we get a good cultural backlash against all of its festivities?

Tags: Environmentalism


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