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Hosterman hawk permit denied by Planning Commission

Original post made on Dec 13, 2007

In a sharply divisive move, the Planning Commission decided in a 3-2 vote to deny Mayor Jennifer Hosterman's application for a permit to house her hawk in a backyard enclosure.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 13, 2007, 1:33 PM

Comments (95)

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 13, 2007 at 8:22 pm

This is a bum rap. Moreover, it is pure politics in my opinion - it appears to me that the applicant's opponents who sit on the Planning Commission have said let's punish this woman because "she's our political enemy".

I live a few hundred feet from the property in question and have absolutely no issue with this hawk. After all, they are pervasive in the valley and I watch them all of the time circling above, looking for prey.

I'm unsure where the description "exotic" bird originates in these considerations and who promotes this description.

The definition I found for "exotic" is:

1. From another part of the world
2. Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange

Well, these hawks are all over the valley, so how are they exotic?

I suggest that the mayor appeal to the council since they appear to me as a group to be less biased and more prone to vote the right thing.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 13, 2007 at 8:35 pm

What kind of person would want to keep a wild bird captive? Does the bird have any say in this matter? A jailbird is one thing but a wild bird held captive? NOT!

If a wild animal is injured, then providing the necessary medical care makes sense. Once healed, let it fly off and enjoy the company of other birds and tasty treats!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 13, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Well I agree that a wild hawk can't really be classified as a "fowl", but was "exotic bird" the actual term used by the Planning Commission? If so, then apparently none of the commissioners know what the term "exotic bird" is generally reserved for. I keep domesticated exotic birds in my house and sure don't need no permit for them.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 13, 2007 at 10:10 pm

I am not sure how you can say there are political opponents on the Planning Commission. The mayor voted for all of those who denied the application when she was mayor or a council member. The 3 who voted to deny the application each vote pretty independently and it took a lot of guts to vote against their "boss".

I am sure the Planning Commission used the term "wild animal" and not "exotic bird". The key difference is wild vs. domesticated. If you allow some wild animals, do you let them all in residential neighborhoods? Pleasanton does not have a permit or process for a wild animal. Even the mayor, in an email that was placed into the record, said that her hawk is not a fowl. The permit being applied for was a fowl so how could the planning commission approve it? If she applied for a wild animal permit, which the city does not have, this could be a different story. I think the mayor believes that the laws in the city apply to others but not her. No wonder there is such a low trust of elected officials.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 13, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Is the PW article reporting this correctly?

"Fox, Blank and Pearce said they couldn't vote in favor of the permit for fear it could set a precedent for others looking for a permit for an exotic bird."

Do Fox, Blank and Pearce believe this is an "exotic" bird? Maybe they should spend time with a dictionary rather than consuming valuable Planning Commission time debating nonsense. Valley hawks are NOT "exotic" birds. My now-dead parakeet, though, was.... Did I need a permit?

My apology to the named commissioners if they did not actually agonize over this and the PW reporting is instead erroneous. However, I suspect the Commission did consider the hawk "exotic". That would be the basis for a denial of the petition. Since the hawk is really common to the valley and if so recognized, these Commission members would have to come up with another excuse for denial, which they did not have handy, so the concept of "exotic" was presented. No one stood up and said "hey, the hawk is not exotic", and the meeting is now history.

Back to the point: it's all politics, not the best interest of Pleasanton and the rights of its citizens, in my opinion.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 13, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Mr. Bill's point is well taken, except "wild animal" and "exotic bird" are NOT terms that are INTERCHANGEABLE. They describe completely different concepts. In legal proceedings such as a Planning Commission meeting where resolutions with the force of law are voted upon it is necessary that everyone have a complete and clear understanding of terms, conditions, and meanings. Since the PW reports the term "exotic birds", I suspect the discussion proceeded along the lines of using this term rather than using the term "wild animals". If they instead meant "wild animals" throughout the discussion but were using the term "exotic birds", then their vote could well be considered invalid on the basis of being significantly ambiguous and confusing to the participants.

The record of the meeting will stand on its own and writing in this post what the Commission meant to say has no real standing. So, is the PW reporting accurate? What does the record show?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 8:04 am

I didn't vote for Hosterman (nor did I vote for Brozosky), but I think this whole fiasco is ridiculous and a complete waste of time. If anyone recalls, this whole issue was started by Brozosky's campaign so to say it isn't politically tinged is being done so out of ignorance. If it were anyone else, no one would be complaining. It is obvious the Mayor is trying to please her detractors by applying for a fowl permit that obviously doesn't apply to her bird in the first place. Of course the Planning Commission will turn it down.

I think it is time to move on. Nothing productive is being done. The Mayor isn't doing anything illegal as Pleasanton has no laws regarding the keeping of wild birds. She is legally licensed by the State in this matter.


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Posted by IWasThere
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 14, 2007 at 10:50 am

I was at the Zoning meeting to get more information because I read in the Weekly that the person is hunting with the hawk near my residential neighborhood that is located near the entrance gate of Lawrence Livermore. The Weekly two months ago had an article about the hawk escaping into the lab. I am extremely disturbed by this and plan to contact my own elected officials.

I recall that they used the terms 'wild animals' because some cities have ordinances pertaining to prohibiting or allowing with some conditions wild animals to be kept in some areas. I don't remember the word 'exotic bird' even being used. The board asked if Pleasanton planners considered a wolf a 'dog' or a mountain lion a 'cat.' Pleasanton does not allow wild animals to be kept as household pets. And the State definitions of what a wild animal is are defined by the state, not an individual city like Pleasanton.

The discussion of the meeting ignored in the Weekly article is that Hosterman is hunting or trapping bunnies and quail, that she then in her backyard tosses to the hawk live, for the hawk to kill in her backyard. From what I heard, she is apparently hunting and or trapping these in the area either with or without the hawk (it was unclear to me), and though the zoning board asked questions about the exact location, the planner with the city did not know. The city planner (Donna is her name) also after a question from the board, said that Hosterman is buying live quails and perhaps live bunnies locally or from outside the area that she also keeps at her house to feed 'live' to the hawk. She also did not know how many animals are kept there at a time.

I am glad my mayor is Mayor Kamena, by the way.


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Posted by Iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:01 am

I would suggest you all wait until you read the public record. The emails that were introduced into the record are shameless. BTW, one of the Commissioners who voted to deny was actually appointed by Jennifer. According to staff...only San Ramon has a Wild and Exotic (staff's term) Ordinance...according to the paper this morning...so do Livermore and Dublin. Sitting in the audience, it seemed very clear that staff was on a mission to get this through no matter what.

I wish my Mayor was Kamena, by the way...


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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:10 am

People who own snakes as pets feed them live mice. Lizards get live crickets. So what's the beef with feeding a hawk live rabbits and quails? Also, are snakes considered "wild animals?" I didn't know one would need a permit to keep snakes.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:55 am

I believe the State has specific laws regarding hawking and falconry which is why Hosterman needs (and has) a license issued by the State regarding this. The State also has specific laws regarding the keeping of wild and native animals and as far as I've been able to research, Hosterman is well within the laws. Pleasanton does not have laws regarding the keeping of wild animals so the State laws only are applicable. The City needs to decide whether to let this matter drop or research and write new code regarding the keeping of native and wild animals.

Regarding hunting or purchasing then feeding live animals to the hawk, I really don't understand how that is an issue in this matter. It seems like some folks want to make it into one. Maybe we should disallow the keeping of fowl and livestock because they are live animals being used to feed humans! (*shock*)


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Posted by Chelsea
a resident of Nolan Farms
on Dec 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm

I just have one thing to say to the planning commission...... can you puleez focus your energy on something a bit more worthwhile to the community? Like lobbying or voting on bringing a decent grocery store or pizza restaurant to Pleasanton?

Love the Birkenstock comment, btw......


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Posted by Nicole
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 6:38 pm

As I understand it, the mayor's hawk is not a pet. She is trying to help a species that is in trouble in the wild and will eventually introduce the hawk back into the wild once she/he can hunt on its own. This is unbelievable that people would stoop to this. She is licensed by the state and have gone through extensive training to do this right. If she wasn't the mayor chances are this would not even have come up. I agree that we should focus on other things and leave petty politics out of it.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 14, 2007 at 6:50 pm

To set the record straight: Jennifer does not feed anthing live to Ariel. The quail and rabbits are kept frozen in the freezer. They are thawed out before they are feed to Ariel. BTW - Dan Carl is an idot. Falconry is legal and licensed by the State of California and the U.S. government. Dogfighting and cockfighting are not. BTW - the hawk needs to hunt in the wild - as Jennifer is teaching it to do - so that it will survive when released. BTW the mortality of a juvenile hawk in California is 80%. They become mature, mate and have offspring in their 3rd year. Right now, Ariel is in her 2nd year. Check the internet if you want the facts on red tailed hawks. Otherwise, just make it up.


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Posted by MIke
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 14, 2007 at 7:01 pm

I, too, am glad that "IWasThere" is a resident of Livermore and that Kamena is your Mayor.


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 7:21 pm


Here is an excerpt of a public record e-mail Ms. Hosterman sent to Steve Leeper in August of 2006 from her mayoral e-mail account. It was read aloud by one of the Planning Commissioners in the meeting on Wednesday night. You can get a copy of this e-mail and more like it from Karen Diaz, City Clerk. These e-mails were circulating around Pleasanton last year.

8-30-06 1:20am

"That's right. A large hawk house in which she can either fly free, or be tethered.

I tossed her big, fat live quail, which instantly rekindled hunting instincts, and she came down on it hard, almost killed it on impact. I let her feed on it for just a short time, then gave her my glove with a previously killed quail with guts exposed, and she immediately left the one she killed for my glove, to sit and feed. Meanwhile, I covered the fresh kill with a towel and removed it from her sight. That's how you hunt with a hawk, and bag game. So, conceivably, I could bag several rabbits in one outing, with this method, if I keep her from getting too full of food. Of course, at the end of the day, she eats a full meal."

More available upon request....


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Dec 14, 2007 at 7:31 pm

The question is whether or not the activity is to be carried out within the law, not how individuals with the authority to grant or deny a permit feel personally about the activity.

If people feel the activity is inappropriate, then they need to move toward changing the laws to reflect such.

Those involved in the voting who denied the application because they felt the existing laws needed to be revised to better cover the specifics of the application or desired more information have my respect. Those who denied the application because they object to the activity have lost my respect because such grounds for rejection are much closer to whim than they are issues of legal compliance.

If the law says I can own a gun, then my application for a permit should not be denied because the issuing clerk is against private gun ownership.


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 7:57 pm

The Commissioners who voted "no" on the permit did so on a point of law - not a technicality nor on emotion. Our current municipal code is very clear - you can't have caged wild animals in a residential R1 neighborhood. You can have pets like dogs, cats, bunnies - and recently "fowl" under certain restrictions. The applicant and the City tried to make the stretch claim that a hawk is a fowl and tried to grandfather the hawk under the "Chicken Ordinance" code. Four of the five Commissioners agreed the a Hawk (raptor, carnivore, trained to hunt and kill animal) is not a Fowl or chicken (poulty, domesticated bird for human consumption) - and thus the die was cast.

The City Attorney present explained it very clearly to the Planning Commissioners - If you think a hawk is a fowl - you can approve the permit. If you don't agree that a hawk is a fowl, then don't vote for this conditional use. Thus the die was cast.

The Commissioners did the right thing. It would have been much easier for them personally to ignore our current laws and allow this permit. It was also very hard for them to do as the Applicant is also the Mayor who appointed or re-appointed two of the three that voted it down. Unfortunately - those three may have some difficulty getting re-appointed now and (sadly) we'll probably lose their objectivity and service to our community in the future.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Free Ariel,

Could you please cite the specific title and chapter in the municipal code which you say is "very clear" on this matter?

Pleasanton Municipal Code: Web Link

If you search the municipal code for the word "wild", the only result is 13.08.060, which is from "Title 13 STREETS, SIDEWALKS AND PUBLIC PLACES". "Title 7 ANIMALS" doesn't say anything about wild animals or the keeping of them. And "Title 18 ZONING, Chapter 18.32 R-1 ONE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS" doesn't ever use the word "animal".

So I'm either missing something here (like maybe you're referring to State law) or the copy of the municipal code I'm looking at is outdated (the website says it is current as of Sept. 2007).


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Posted by Free Ariel
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 9:24 pm

Section 7.36.010 7.36.040 18.32.040 K are the sections in question.

And - no you aren't missing something. I am not a lawyer, but I had a lawyer friend who passed the bar explain this to me. Apparently our municipal code is such that the animal type needs to be listed, or it is exluded. So - you can have a household pet or bunnies and certain types/quantities of "fowl" in an R1 zoned neighborhood - providing there are not other rules (PUDs, development agreements, etc) banning animals.

Both the City and the Applicant agreed Ariel was not a pet. You've read that in the newsprint stories. So they took the "fowl" route as that is allowed in R1 residential neighborhoods under our current code.

The Applicant indicated Ariel would be shocked to be called a fowl (also an e-mail read in the meeting), but filed a conditional use permit using the "fowl" = "hawk" path in October of 2006.

By the way - the City checked with the State and the Federal Government - even if those entities give a license- the local City zoning laws must still be obeyed. Think about it - if you got a State and Federal license for a mountain lion or a wolf - you would still have to obey the local zoning laws to keep it on your property. This is documented in City Records.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 9:36 pm

I'm no lawyer either and you're right that 7.36.010 probably applies since it says "any other animal or animals". But it is also where I get lost trying to understand why it would be illegal for Hosterman.

"The keeping or maintenance of any household pet or pets or any other animal or animals in such manner, number or kind as to cause damage or hazard to persons or property in the vicinity or to generate offensive noise, dust or odor, shall not be permitted."

As far as I can tell, the manner in which the hawk is kept nor the fact that its a hawk is causing damage or hazard to persons or property in the vicinity nor is it generating offensive noise, dust or order. If it were, people "in the vicinity" (aka neighbors) would have complained. It says a lot that no neighbors have complained and even Hosterman's backyard neighbor is supporting her.


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Posted by Free Ariel
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2007 at 9:54 pm

Actually, Stacey - one neighbor did complain in an e-mail to the City. It is in the staff report for this meeting. Get a copy and read the mail on file with the city. They had many concerns.

Also - if you look at State Fish and Game Code - Section 670 b) - Take of Game or Non-Game Birds or Mammals (Exhibit C page 1 of the Staff Report) - "Any person using raptors to take game or nongame birds or mammals shall abide by all laws and regulations related to huning, including but not limited to licenses, seasons, bag limits, and hunting hours" - So - killing a game bird like a quail out of season within city limits might be frowned upon by the City (can't hunt within city limits) and the State via this section of code.

It is not the same as feeding a snake a rat or a lizzard a cricket. There is state code involved. And there are more on the public e-mails about live quail feedings. If you check with solid organizations like the Lindsey Wildlife Museum, they NEVER use live game (as they believe it is against state law) - they use thawed frozen game from speciality meat supply companies. Even all the Hawking sites I checked out on the internet talk about tidbits - never live game. I think they know it is a no no.


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Posted by another resident
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 14, 2007 at 10:35 pm

I think "free Ariel" is Dan Carl.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:18 pm

I am delighted to learn that Ariel will eventually be set free! Some folks need to shut up and let the Mayor go about the business of teaching the bird how to survive. Once Ariel is set free, she will fly away and all this fuss will be OVER.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 14, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Good idea... Staff report. Here's the link to the staff report for anyone interested: Web Link The City's website's navigation and search is somewhat pathetic. I used Google to find this.

Cholo, the irony being that by the time the City gets around to creating some sort of code amendment regarding the keeping of wild animals, Ariel will be set free to go and breed.

Real lesson here, folks. If you plan to get into a public office, try not to practice any unusual hobbies. Live as boring a life as possible.


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 8:51 am

Hey - I think Cholo and Stacey are on to something!

Free Ariel today!

Ariel has been hunting well for over a year. Don't put another wild raptor in your backyard, Stacey, until you work with the City and get the law changed first to make it legal in Pleasanton like any other citizen would have to do. You'll save yourself the fee for appeal and City Staff another round of meetings.

For those who want to help a class organization that cares for injured raptors - and houses imprinted or habituated raptors who cannot be released back to the wild due to what humans did to them, consider donating time or money to the Lindsey Wildlife Museum this Holiday season. Maybe Stacey could take her passion for raptors and put it to good use in Walnut Creek - much more socially productive than "blasting" "big fat live" quail in the backyard.

Web Link


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 8:52 am

Yeah - you need to have as boring a life as Dan Carl has. Let's see -what can I do today that is totally useless and negative and tears apart the community. (portion of comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly staff)


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 9:03 am

Here's a good one. This Spring (2007) Jennifer's neighbor had 7 baby mallard ducks in her swimming pool. They had been abandoned by their mother. The neighbor didn't know what to do. Left alone they would have surely died. Roy Ficken (Pleasanton Animal Control) was called to the scene. He said that they were considered "pests" and that there was nothing he could do. Lindsay Wildlide was called, and they concurred. As a result, Jennifer took the 2 day old ducks and nursed them for the next 6 weeks until they were old enough to release in the wild. Long story short - Lindsay doesn't and can't take every injured/abandoned bird. It would be nice if they could. Maybe we need a Lindsey on the Bernal property.


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Posted by IWasThere
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 15, 2007 at 10:49 am

I'm glad that elected officials in Livermore have been focusing on the improvement of Livermore's downtown area, including the new fountains and public plazas, and voting to not put sprawl developments outside our urban growth boundary, as well helping to improve the traffic light situation, rather than stuffing dead rabbits and quail in their freezers (what else? shrunken heads??), and feeding live animals to a wild animal caged 24 hours a day in a backyard.

And the wild animal has been there 2 years. In two years, doesn't it by now know how to do household chores, to tap dance and do complex, synchronized aerobatic moves on command?

No disrespect to the citizens of Pleasanton (because it is after all not their fault that some of city leaders have absurd behavior, can't show up to regional meetings on traffic congestion and miss their own city meetings), but Pleasanton is looking silly. Doesn't it bother you?

First there was the situation with the Oakland Diocese appointing as head pastor of the Pleasanton church a person with an arrest record for a lewd act, the city council can't make up its mind on anything (first they approve Home Depot, then they say they change their mind), people are gathering signatures to put a long overdue ridgeline preservation ordinance on the ballot that leaders have neglected to enact for over 10 years, and with the teen suicides and threats/lockdowns at the schools, if I lived in Pleasanton, I would want to know what is going on. What's next? A recall election?

And whoever was looking up the municipal code in an earlier post --- I'm looking on-line in the Pleasanton web site for public records and the reference to "wild animals" was stricken from the Pleasanton municipal code by ordinance 1919 in the summer of 2005. A line is through the definition in that ordinance.

I can see where fowl is allowed as a conditional use in the R1 district and as a permitted use in the A district as long as the enclosure is 100 feet away from other zoning districts. I had no trouble finding this on the website.

Also, the California Fish and Game Department has a list of what they consider "wild animals." A red-tailed hawk is clearly on their list.

So do Tri-Valley residents really want "wild animals" to be a permitted use in all residential districts and live next door to whatever creature is on the California Fish and Game Wild Animal list, including gorillas, cougars, coyotes, wolves, pit vipers, bobcats, hawks, etc. What if you move into a house and your neighbor decides to put a mountain lion in their toolshed? Or put a wolf in the doghouse next door? What happens if it escapes?


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Posted by Meg
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 11:03 am

You have to remember that Jennifer is getting her licenses for being a falconer. While it is possible at times a falconer will rescue a hawk instead of just trapping one, the idea of falconry is hunting. It is not rehabilitation of an animal. If her current bird was really a rescue, she would have released it by now as she has already stated that the bird is hunting great now. In fact, when Jennifer first got the bird she told me and others that she had trapped it and there was no mention of any injury. It was not until the newspapers got involved did she change her story to "rescuing an injured bird". She must be feeling guilty about the sport of falconry and does not want people to think she traps, keeps the bird caged in captivity, and then hunts with it as the real purpose. This is all for pleasure for Jennifer and her hobby of hunting; it has nothing to do with animal rescue.

I agree with the comment above, the Lindsey Wildlife Museum is a great organization to get involved with as well as the local animal rescue. I bet if you talk with either of them about falconry, they would not feel that falconry is "animal rescue".

Here is the definition of falconry from the Falcon Academy:

"Falconry...

The art of flying trained birds of prey after wild quarry is alive and well in the United States. Imagine the thrill of walking through a field with a falcon "waiting on" flying above your head at 1,000 feet or higher--waiting for you to flush a pheasant you know is there because your well trained pointers have indicated so. The falcon is in the proper position, you flush the game, the falcon turns and begins its head first dive or stoop, your adrenaline is rushing, The next thing you know the falcon hits the pheasant in the air, binds to it, then carries it to the ground where she will patiently await her reward. Picture yourself walking through a field hitting every piece of brush, trying to flush out rabbits. Your Harris Hawk is following you from tree to tree, waiting and anticipating the flushing of game. Suddenly a rabbit breaks from the brush, the hawk quickly takes off, and turns to chase the rabbit in aggressive pursuit. Eventually the rabbit out maneuvers the hawk, he turns in mid-air and returns to your glove for a small reward.

This is Falconry..."

Here is the definition of falconry from wikipedia:

"Falconry or hawking is an art or sport which involves the use of trained raptors (birds of prey) to hunt or pursue game for humans. There are two traditional terms used to describe a person involved in falconry: a falconer flies a falcon; an austringer flies a hawk (accipiter). In modern falconry, buteos are now commonly used, and the words "hawking" and "hawker" have become so much used to mean petty travelling traders, so "falconer" and "falconry" now apply to all use of trained birds of prey to catch game."

As you can see, the sport of falconry is for the human, it is not for the bird. The bird is being used as live ammunition for the pleasure of the hunter. That is why it is outlawed in some more progressive societies.


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 15, 2007 at 11:37 am

I had no idea that this was going on. I voted for Hosterman three times I think. When is she up for re-election? Do mayors have two or four year terms? Needless to say, I won't vote for her again.

Why doesn't the Weekly report on what is really going on with the hawk and cover all the aspects of this story---about feeding it live animals as well as the duration that this has gone on? Is Hosterman a part owner of the Weekly or something?

With I-580 noise and the airport noise, I've just about had it with Pleasanton. The quality of life is not what it was ten years ago. About the only good thing in my part of Pleasanton is that the school district remodeled and modernized Fairlands Elementary School and I am grateful for that.

So no thank you, I don't want my next door neighbor to have a great white shark or stingray or a family of sea otters swimming around their pool. Steve Irwin was killed by supposedly a 'harmless' stingray, remember. And remember the controversy with his just- born, infant son and the crocodile feeding exhibition? And he had years and years of experience. Look what happened to him.

I don't want wild animals in Pleasanton kept as pets in residential neighborhoods. Period.



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Posted by Francis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Please. . .Wikepedia is about the worse source one could use for definitions! It is not accepted as a source because people can go online and alter the information based on their perceptions not necessarily based on fact. It may or not be a correct definition.IT may be an archaic definition. It certainly does not describe what is happening here. Many licensed falconers are people like Jennifer who are trying to ensure a species. I don't get this. What does this have to do with anything? It is pretty clear, at least to me, that the law was written without thinking of a hawk. I don't know why this is even an issue except that it was brought during the last campaign. Couldn't we see a campaign based on REAL issues, please????? When did we, as a community, become so mean spirited? This is just MEAN.


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Posted by Megan
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm

Falconry is a widely practiced past time. It is about the bond, for a short time, between a wild bird and a human. The bird is cared for and kept safe and healthy-things that will allow it to live a longer life, and thus, pro-create more effectivley once it is set free. A bird is taught to fly and catch its prey, as it would in the wild, and to return to the human. At any time, it is possible for the bird to fly away from the human. It is then up to the human to either find the bird and lure it back with meat, or to let it go. The reason that falconry is so exciting, is because the animal stays wild, but tolerates and eventually bonds with a human--which ultimatley makes it a healthier animal and subsequently creates a stronger and healthier ecosystem once it flies away. Falconry is not a blood sport, as some have called it. Omnivorous/Carnivorous animals must kill prey in order to survive. The bird is never taught to be excessivley violent nor aggressive. The bird may also serve as a wonderful learning tool for the community in which the falconer lives, that may help teach the community about the wildlife in the region. Falconers are people with patience, compassion, and who enjoy challenges. Our mayor is certainly such a person.


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 3:08 pm

Francis - I agree with you - Pleasanton has become very mean spirited during Mayor Hosterman's tenure. It is sad. Maybe the following e-mail can explain where some of that mean spiritedness comes from. It also has another live "quail blast" reference.

Yet another one of those public record e-mails. Please contact City Clerk Karen Diaz if you want an official copy from the City.
-----------------------------------------------
August 30, 2006 From Mayor Jennifer Hosterman to Steve Leeper

"Today, in between the craziness of a general plan update, a late workshop tonight, and running for re-election against an absolute idiot who I have to debate tomorrow night, I learned how to cope my bird's beak - and I helped my MF cope all of his falcons' beaks.
It was pretty cool! When I got Ariel home, I free lofted her again, and tossed another live quail for her - she blasted this one! She was so excited, I had a difficult time getting her to take the one on my glove, but eventually, I succeeded.

My MF wants her to fully moult out before I start cutting down her weight. So, it could be some weeks, yet, before we're hunting. In the meantime, she's doing great!"
------------------------------------------------------------
By the way - "cutting down her weight" means witholding food from poor, captive Ariel during hunting season so she'll be a lighter, faster, leaner, more aggressive hunter. That might explain her attempted escape a few years ago when Ariel broke a bone - she probably was just trying to get out and get some food.

If you withhold food from a human in captivity, you violate a bunch of laws and end up on the news if you are caught - it gets called torture. Gitmo detainees at least get fed. But, I guess it is OK to withhold food from a raptor if you are a Hawker. It is one of the fundamental problems many ornithologists and raptor lovers have with this "hobby."

Also - "coping" means using a dremel tool to sharpen the beak. The poor captive animals can't get to the natural rocks they use to stay healthly and keep their beaks in shape in the wild, so a human has to use a dremel tool on them. Plus - it keeps her beak extra sharp for hunting.

I wish Ariel was flying free with other raptors on this beautiful day - not held in captivity and probably being "cut down" or "coped" for another hunt....


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 15, 2007 at 3:49 pm

I'm starting to feel sorry for the poor, captive humans on the Planning Commission who have had to deal with all this nonsense related to the Mayor's unique hobby. I wonder if "Free Ariel" puts as much time and effort into campaigning against falconry and falconers in general if it is as bad as they claim it to be. I mean, why stop at the Mayor?


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Posted by Curious
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 3:49 pm

I don't get it. A hawk is a fowl? Does it taste like chicken????


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 15, 2007 at 3:50 pm

It's a "chickenhawk"!


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Posted by Meg
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Francis,

I just posted the first two items that came up on google when searching for falconry. I invite you to find a definition of falconry that does not include hunting. I also put up the definition from the Falcon Academy. That is an advocacy group for falconry and they say it is all about hunting. If you want more definitions, google has a link to the definition of falconry which ends up at the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Here is how Britannica describes fanconry:

"falconry
Sport of employing falcons or other hawks in hunting game. Falconry has been practiced in the Middle East at least since the 8th century BC. It flourished among the privileged classes in Europe in the Middle Ages. It began to die out after the advent of the shotgun and the enclosure of open lands in the 17th century, but there was a renewed interest in the sport beginning in the 1970s; there are many hawking clubs and falconry associations. The bird most commonly used is the peregrine falcon, though the goshawk and sparrow hawk have also been used. Birds are caught wild or raised from birth. Training involves selective use of a leather hood (called a rufter) and leg thongs (jesses) to keep the animal under control while familiarizing it with its new environment. During the hunt the trained bird is released to bring down its prey; it then returns to the hawker or is collected at the kill site."

I am sure you can search all day and there is no definition of falconry that states this is an animal rescue. It is all about the sport of hunting. Instead of a gun, the hunter uses a captive bird.

Also Francis, I did not realize that Pleasanton has a campaign going on right now. There is a Presidential election going on soon, however. I wonder if Jennifer's hunting buddy is Dick Cheney? That is the only link I can think of between a campaign now and falconry/hunting.


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Posted by Francis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2007 at 4:26 pm

This is an issue that is left over from a campaign! And the mayor is called a falconer but her bird is a hawk. There are people out there trying to rescue Hawks. This is not about definitions however. I think it is just mean spirited. What's the point?


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Posted by Meg
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 5:44 pm

I believe this is all about definitions. That is what the law is about. Ask any lawyer who passed the bar. Without law we have anarchy. Yes there are those who rescue hawks. Jennifer is not one of them. She is a hunter (falconer) using the bird as her gun. Once this bird is let free, she will get another one and her goal is to become a master falconer so she can have two hawks to hunt with. But this does not matter. Jennifer applied for a permit to allow a fowl in her backyard and said her hawk is a fowl. Even a 5th grader would know to not allow this.

It is a shame that Jennifer took up this sport while she is mayor. After she took the bar exam (the first time) she went to the Caledonian games at the fairgrounds and saw how they were hunting with a hawk and she wanted to take up that sport.

She knew that Pleasanton did not have a wild animal ordinance but thought she could sneak it through. She was caught. So now instead of admitting to her mistake she is wasting the city employee's time as well as the planning commission's time. She has asked for hearings 3 or 4 times and then says she is too busy to appear to her own hearing. You would think that if she really cared about her bird, and the law, that she would focus her attention on this and not to keep delaying it. Each time she delayed it, she took the time of a city employee or two as well as the whole planning commission. I hope she does not appeal this item to the city council, take more employee time and the council time, trying to get a wild animal ordinance passed. I would much rather see the General Plan finished and other planning items in the city. City employees cannot finish the General Plan update because they are spending time on this hawk; how selfish of the mayor. Any considerate person would drop the issue and wait till out of office before pursuing it again. Let the bird go free now, it is ready for the wild, and take the sport up again after leaving office. I guess the alternative is for her to raise the bird outside of the city limits.

It would seem unethical of her to ask for an ordinance where the only beneficiary would be her; the mayor. Sounds like abuse of power to me but from what I have read this would not be the first time she has abused her power of office. I am sure if I had this problem that the city council would not move this item to the top of their priority list.

From a neighbor friend, I hear that Jennifer has recently put up a tent in her backyard to make an even larger area for her bird. She did not mention this to the city employees or at least they did not put it into their report of her permit application. Sounds like she will continue to ignore the laws of the city.


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 15, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Hey Mike -

You might want to find out what happened to those ducklings given what is going on with live quail in the Mayor's backyard. Take a look at the following two "duck" e-mails on the public record (available from Karen Diaz, Pleasanton City Clerk):

--------------------------------
On 11-22-05 Mayor Hosterman wrote to Steve Leeper:

"Yeah, I'm a falconer. I'm teaching my new hawk, a passage tiercel red-tail, to go after rabbits and ducks. He is damn fast. But, he's giving me some trouble. Nonetheless, he is gorgeous!"

--------------------------------

And on 11-30-2005 to Steve Leeper, Mayor Hosterman wrote:

"This guy turned out to be one of those birds that just was untractable - he refused to eat, and was unlike any first year male (tiercel passage) hawk I've ever encountered.
So, I force fed him the best of quail breast for two days, and cut him loose - don't even try to guess, he never looked back!

Anyway, this is not the standard story, and I'll go trap another bird this Saturday.

Glamorous - no, but its rather bloody. You have to be on the ready to "dispatch"
your bird's quarry. I don't have an issue with that - never have. I am anxious to start training a bird that I can really hunt with - I have two bunny fields, and I can take my bird pheasant hunting, but I also have ducks nearby. We shall see."
---------------------------------------------------------
Hmmm... I thought Ariel was a "rescue" bird at the Oakland Airport not taken in a planned trapping event. There was another raptor captured and returned to the wild because it wouldn't submit? Darn males! That changes the story a bit, doesn't it?

I think there might be an e-mail on that trapping plan somewhere in the public record. Seems to me the consistent theme is hunting, kiling and blood in all these e-mails, not "hawk rescue." If one raptor doesn't work out - toss it back and go trap another. What is the real story?

Again - I ask the simple question - why can't Ariel be set free like the male? Or is she too good a hunter to let go?


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 15, 2007 at 8:27 pm

The recent posts about freeing Ariel and others are actually laughable. The one poster has fallen into the trap of implicitly supporting the use of the Planning Commission and its powers to promote his/her own personal views on falconry (or maybe choices made within based upon the sex of the bird!) The implicit support results because that's what this thread is all about, the denial of a permit, not personal views on falconry.

Hey, this story is really about punishing the political opponent of Steve Brozosky, in my opinion, because that's how it all came about, no? And it worked! Because now the discussion is about why can't Ariel be set free like a male!!! Along with all sorts of evil mis-deeds about "sneaking" and being "caught". Shame on Jennifer.

There are people out there laughing as hard as I am about how little it takes to be able to punish political opponents in this city.


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Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 15, 2007 at 10:42 pm

So.. the mayor is training a falcon/hawk/flying chicken with sharpened beak and claws to swoop down on an innocent rabbit/duck/bird and kill it and bleed it dry.

(portion of comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly staff)


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 7:55 am

The only things being "punished" or "torn apart" here are a beautiful wild raptor being held captive and starved down during hunting season and the live animals being "blasted" and killed for the Mayor's viewing pleasure in her backyard - appartently for stress relief after tough days being a politician (read above). It looks like one fat, juicy live (out of season) bird blast a day is all the Mayor asks.

It is really hard to find the truth in this "story" - as the story keeps changing whenever the Mayor/Stacey/... is confronted with on the record proof she is, shall we say, streching or shredding the truth a bit when she talks to the local medai or gives a narrative to City Staff about what is going on in her backyard or the local parks.

For example, we've all read in the papers and in the thread above how this is all about protecting Ariel and Ariel's health. Read the following on-the-public record e-mail and think about it:

--------------------------------------

In an e-mail dated 5-7-2006 to another City Council Member, the Mayor wrote:

"My bird - I think she may be sick. You know, I'm not taking her back to the doc - I'm going to work with her, try to keep her as low stress as possible, feed her well, and if she makes it, she makes it - and if she doesn't, she doesn't. I suspicion she has Aspirgillosis - a lung infection that I'm not willing to spend thousands to attempt to cure. But, I could be wrong."

-----------------------------------------

So - Ariel, you'd better stay healthy without that pesky, expensive modern medicine or doctors or your escape/release from captivity will be "talons first" as it were. The Mayor can always go out and trap another wild raptor if you don't make it or you cost too much to keep healthy.

Nobody in this thread will answer my question about why Ariel can't be set free today. The male was released at tne end of Novemeber when he wasn't going to be a good shotgun with wings for the Mayor's "unique hobby" (or maybe because he refused to blast live quail in the backyard for the Mayor's viewing pleasure).

I am going out to blast golfballs today - and I hope I see (as I usually do on such a fine day) several red tail hawks or a kite or two flying free in the vineyard hils of Livermore. I bet Ariel would rather be interacting with them vs. being held captive and forced to perform for a human as a "hobby."

Why can't Ariel be released today?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 16, 2007 at 9:36 am

Oh, now I'm the Mayor am I? LOL!


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Posted by MARY
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Dec 16, 2007 at 12:27 pm

MY GRANDSON TOLD ME ABOUT THIS HOME PAGE.
I DON'T KNOW HOW THIS PERSON COULD GET THE EMAILS OF THE MAYOR BUT
IF IT IS TRUE I AM QUITE DISAPPOINTED. I THOUGHT MRS. HOSTERMAN
WAS AN ENVIRONMENTALIST AND WAS ALWAYS PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
AND ALL THE ANIMALS. IF THESE EMAILS ARE TRUE, I MUST HAVE BEEN MISLEAD
INTO THINKING SHE WAS LOOKING OUT FOR AND PROTECTING OUR ANIMALS. I DO
NOT THINK I CAN LOOK AT HER ANY MORE AND NOT THINK ABOUT HER WRITING
GRUESOME THINGS ABOUT HURTING OUR ANIMALS.

POSTED BY MARY FROM RIDGE VIEW COMMONS.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO FIX THE SPELLING ON THIS HOME PAGE BECAUSE THE SELECTION FOR MY NEIGHBORHOOD LISTED RIDE VIEW COMMONS AND NOT RIDGE VIEW COMMONS.


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Posted by LOL
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 1:09 pm

This is more entertaining than daytime TV. I cannot wait until this is at the city council which is televised just to hear somebody read the emails that are listed here. This is like the Jerry Springer show coming to Pleasanton. Does anybody know when this will be at the city council? This might be one of the few city council meetings I watch. Those meetings are usually real boring. This meeting might even make it to the San Francisco news shows.


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 16, 2007 at 2:41 pm

If he had educational purposes intended for this bird, why not let her keep it? There are many camps in the bay area (including the one that many 5th graders of Pleasanton go to, and the other one's in the surrounding areas) that keep birds like this in large houses. The birds at these camps have been injured though, badly enough that they can't be released back into the wild, and they are used to educated children on wildlife. Even if her bird isn't injured, she still could have found some use out of it other than keeping it in a large bird house. And how is a hawk exotic? I had a teacher in middle school- back in the mid 90's and I don't think he has worked there for some time- but he had exotic animals in his room; a very large boa, exotic snakes, some species of a croc (the small ones that I can't think of the name. To me, those animals are exotic. I remember a snake getting loose in the room once and it took a few days to find it hiding in behind a bookcase. Out of all the students this teacher had, why hadn't a parent complained then and contacted the school and city to see if those were exotic?

Kinda sad to that the city focused on this little issue. Pathetic


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 16, 2007 at 5:50 pm

So, as I posted earlier this is all about pulling down your political opponent. Poor Mary has fallen hook-line-and-sinker for the postings by Free Ariel. She accepts everything he/she posted, stating these are excerpts from real emails, from which he/she may have taken excerpts out of context. See, it works! He/she states "You can get a copy of this e-mail and more like it from Karen Diaz, City Clerk." But who does before they arrive at the conclusions he/she wants you to?

Furthermore, he/she states "These e-mails were circulating around Pleasanton last year." How does he/she know this? Circulating around between what parties? Hosterman's enemies? Now combine this information with Free Ariel's various debates in this thread regarding interpretation of city code, etc. and it is easy to come to the conclusion that Free Ariel is a political enemy of Hosterman who has studied the issue. Don't for a minute think that Ariel's freedom is his/her's real concern! That's my opinionated advice.

These people hypothetically read Karl Rove's manual on How To Beat Down Your Opponent In the Eyes of The Public, and they practice it with effect. The first master of this practice was Joseph Goebbels. Hopefully, readers of this thread know who that was.



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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Wow - now we have politics, the horrible Fascist Goebbels who was responsible for millions of human deaths in WWII and a national political figure in Karl Rove being twisted into this thread about a poor, captive wild raptor blasting quail to death for the Mayor's "unique hobby" in a Pleasanton back yard. Next we'll be debating global warming and the Iraq war and how that relates to Ariel.

If it weren't for the legal, ethical and animal rights issues here, I could LOL.

So - why can't two simple questions be answered by the Mayor/Frank/Stacey or anybody out there engaged in this thread?

Why can't Ariel be set free now?

and

Why does the Mayor use one animal to kill another animal and excitedly write about it on the public record?

Oh - and here are several more of those pesky on the public record e-mails - please ask the City Clerk Karen Diaz, the Weekly or the CC times for a copy if you would like to verify (they all have the originals or copies since last year):

---------------------------------------------------

On August 28th, 2006 8:44pm Mayor Hosterman wrote to Steve Leeper:

"Today, I tossed her a live bird - she went crazy! She's almost ready to fly"

----------------------------------------------------

and on September 5th, 2006 Mayor Hosterman wrote regarding Ariel:

"Yes. She will learn to fly overhead at about 300 feet (if I do it right) and my dog and I will flush rabbits for her. When we are successful, I'll blow a whistle which will alert her to quarry and she'll fly down and hit it hard, killing it. That is the idea."

-----------------------------------------------------

Doesn't seem to be about raptor rescue. It seems to be all about the killing again.


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Posted by Another Falconer
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 16, 2007 at 9:10 pm

As a long time falconer, I can attest that one never releases a bird of prey during the winter months. To do so would cause undue hardship, and we want our birds to have the best opportunity for success in the wild.

Also, it is not unusual for falconers to bring down raptors that are in less than the best of health. Think about it - why would a hawk or falcon come down to a falconer, if it wasn't in trouble, to begin with? We are all rahabilitators of wildlife - that's part and parcel of what we do. We love raptors, and we love getting them to the point where we can see them soar, and eventually release them. And, we spend on average thousands of our own dollars to insure that our birds are in good health, and ready to go back to the wild.

If the Mayor released her red tail before early March, she'd be seriously in breach of her duty as a falconer. It's all about timing - weather and breeding season. You don't just cut a hawk or a falcon go. Every falconer knows this.

There's more than one falconer in the City of Pleasanton. This discussion is not about whether falconry should or should not be allowed - rather, this is about a conditional use permit, and whether the Mayor's neighbors have had issues with untoward noise or odor. Obviously, from the record, that isn't the case.

And, if you really want the whole story, why don't you ask the Mayor, directly?

Another Pleasanton Falconer


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 16, 2007 at 9:33 pm

Ah, so glad to see another Pleasanton falconer. So, has Dan Carl been harassing you too? No? I wonder why...

It is plain for all to see that the issue here always has been about politics, not falconry. Free Ariel doesn't really care about the welfare of Ariel.

This discussion gets more humorous as time goes on. I keep checking back for the good laugh it provides.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 16, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Just to throw some more fuel on the fire for kicks...

The word "fowl" comes from an old English word which originally meant "bird". It is related to German Vogel and similar cognates in several other Germanic languages. Only later did it come to mean a specific class of birds. Perhaps the word "poultry" could have been used in the municipal code instead of "fowl" because wild ducks, turkey, quail, etc. are also technically fowl.


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Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 17, 2007 at 6:54 am

It is amazing to me how many people are reacting to what other people are saying...neither of which (or whom) were at the meeting. Rather than beat each other up, why not go to the meetings? Have any of you actually read the staff reports or the public record? If not, then how can you possibly be credible in your posts.

Stop wasting electrons...do your research, go to the meetings and post something credible or go back to facebook...


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 17, 2007 at 7:20 am

Interesting - so - "Another Falconer" I have a question for you:

Why did the Mayor release the male raptor who wouldn't eat at the end of the 2005 year then - same time of year as we are in now?

Is that "responsible" falconry? Or swapping out a "bum" shotgun with wings for a good one?

Since he wouldn't hunt or eat (had to be force fed) maybe he was sick, too. Why did he get "tossed back" instead of nursed back to health? If this is a rescue "hobby," we'd be reading about "Burt" blasting and killing quail in the Mayor's back yard, not Ariel. Isn't this a violation of the California Hawking Club's Code of Ethics?

I don't think wild raptors (or any wild animal) should be caged in someone's back yard. Certainly not in residential neighborhoods in Pleasanton. I think wild animals should be free.

So - it looks like the hawker has a choice - and Ms. Hosterman wants to keep Ariel captive for another hunting season versus releasing her like she did her "troublesome" male in 2005.


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Posted by Bird Lover
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2007 at 1:21 pm

(comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly staff)


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Posted by huh
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2007 at 4:37 pm

How do you "toss a live bird" at a hawk?? Wouldn't the bird fly the hell away?!


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 17, 2007 at 6:30 pm

Hey Huh - That is a great question!

I am sure the Mayor can explain that to the City Council as she probably already has appealed this denial by the Planning Commision and is on task to waste more City time on her "unique hobby."

If she honored and obeyed our munipal code, Ariel would have been free a long time ago. The lesson our Mayor wants us to learn from her actions - if you don't like the Municipal Code - just go violate it. You'll get a 15 month free pass from the City while you fight it. (What would happen in Pleasanton if the rest of us did that? Anarchy as one poster stated previously).

I see the Weekly Staff is moderating this thread now - great! As the Weekly has copies of all these public record e-mails, they know the record is accurately being quoted. I wonder why they won't run any of these e-mails in the paper and not just for the few who read this thread?

Here is an educational link on the web:

Web Link

Here is the text from the link:
----------------------------------------------------
The following is a code of ethics that the California Hawking Club has adopted. It's voluntary and we can't force anyone to follow it, but we feel that it's a good basic set of ethics to follow.

FALCONER'S CODE OF ETHICS

Adopted by the CHC's Board of Directors on August 22, 1999

1. First and foremost, I follow the laws regarding falconry.

2. I do not keep raptors unless I fly them free during the hunting season.

3. If I no longer intend to fly a bird I will transfer my bird to another code-following falconer, or I will release the bird only if it is actively proving itself in the field.

4. I do not draw undue attention to my birds.

5. I keep my birds, mews, and equipment in top condition.

6. I do everything in my power to recover a lost bird, and to bring a sick raptor back to health.

7. If I am training an "apprentice" falconer, I will only advance them to "general" falconer if they follow the code.

----------------------------------------------------
Question - How many California Hawking Club Code of Ethics violations can you count in this situation and in the public record e-mails above? It looks like Mayor honors her own club's ethics laws about as well as our municipal law or state laws - laws she swore to uphold when she took her oaths of office.

PS - can't find another Federally licensed hawker in p-town zip codes. Is someone practicing without a license out there? How does that jive with CHC Code of Ethics Item #1?

"Burt" got let free by the Mayor in the 2005 Holiday season? Why can't Ariel be set free? If it was OK then, why not now?


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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 17, 2007 at 6:51 pm

Actually Free Ariel!, Goebbels was not responsible for the deaths in WWII, it was Heydenreich's Endlosung discussed at the Wannsee conference that was the plan for the people in the work/death camps in Europe. For someone who likes to use facts in their posts, like the various emails from Hosterman, at least you could get this one fact straight too!


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 17, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Our buddy who keeps pumping the free-the-bird theme does have a limited understanding of historical figures and their role in shaping history. Goebbels was the propaganda minister who refined the art of the "big lie" and its repetitive use using modern media to manipulate the minds of the public. He understood that the bigger the lie, the more likely it is believed. The more it is repeated, the more it becomes accepted as a truth by the public (remember SH has WMDs?). Rove is, of course, a very recent figure who clearly has taken political manipulation of people's thinking to a new level (a low, for that matter).

Now a lot of people in Pleasanton are reading this thread because it has become so entertaining, and laughing with each new posting, because as I wrote earlier, the subject and the free-the-bird thing is so laughable. Of all of the substantive issues going on in Pleasanton, everyone knows this subject doesn't make the cut.

It does, however, shine a light on the political nastiness that has arisen in this town. Especially when the former political controversy over the mayor's emails now plays such a prominent role in this free-the-bird nonsense. Who but the mayor's enemies are so familiar with their content and who have the package to shop over for quotation in these posts?

The only open question is who is this free-the-bird operative that has consumed hundreds of lines of postings in this thread but continues to hide behind the anonymity the PW has set up for their posts. Of course, nearly universally we only use our first names in these postings because we see how easily things can become personal. And no one wants the grief simply because they write their opinion.

However, there is no traceability, so anyone can say anything and not be responsible. The PW staff seems to want to keep it this way, perhaps because it leads to greater entertainment and therefore more readers. However, many sites have always required registration with true identities before you can post, even though the posters may use aliases so their true identity is masked when posting. But since there is traceability, the complete fakes stay away because they know they can be outed. This keeps a higher level of honest behavior, which I believe is not being practiced in this particular thread.

If there were traceability in these posts, perhaps more of us would be willing to use our full names and not fear attack from anonymous political operatives.


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Posted by Jeff
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 17, 2007 at 8:02 pm

It has become clear that "free Ariel" is none other than Dan Carl - Steve Brozosky's Campaign Manager, who is independently wealthy, hates our Mayor, and will do anything to discredit her. Our Mayor has done a wonderful job of serving us. If she's a falconer, that's okay with me, so long as her neighbors aren't bothered by her hawks/falcons. I wonder - is this all because Steve Brozosky is going to run against the Mayor, again? Hmmmm, he can't run against her on the issues - Pleasanton must be the focus of yet another nasty campaign season. How unfortunate for the Mayor, and for the rest of us.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 17, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Iwastheretoo,

Yea the staff report. I posted the link earlier. It was funny to read. Allow me to take a page from Free Ariel's playbook (or is that Karl Rove's?) and post quotes from the staff report here out of context:
==============================
Many raptors are found around us in our Pleasanton neighborhoods, perched in trees or soaring above. Staff researched to determine if there have been hawk attacks locally towards domestic animals. None were found.

Oppose:
Dan Carl contacted the commissioners via e-mail to voice his concerns regarding the applicant's request. Mr. Carl stated that he hoped that the Commissioners would not "entertain" modifying the Municipal Code to classify "trained to kill raptors" or other wild animals as pets like dogs, cats, or chickens. He continued by saying that there is an element of "hunting within City limits" as the training and feeding of the hawk requires a diet of quail, doves, bunnies, ducks, and the like, which he feels raises additional Municipal Code questions. Mr. Carl hopes that the use permit would not be approved because residents in the area should be able to presume that their small pets and children are safe from any potential harm that a "wild animal" poses. He continued by saying that this could open "Pandora's Box" by allowing exotic or dangerous wild animals in all residential neighborhoods in Pleasanton. Mr. Carl stated that it would like preferential treatment is being given to a local official if the application was approved given that it is located in a residential area.

Support:
... contacted staff via e-mail stating that he was irritated at the
amount of time and energy that the City employees are having to spend on an issue that, he felt, was generated by someone with a political grudge. He feels that the applicant did not violate any existing code or statute because none exist that apply to her situation.... feels that the applicant was forced to apply for a permit just to placate a critic with a personal compliant. He continued by saying that phrasing "trained to kill" and "vivisection of" business is incorrect and exaggerated for effect. ... feels that raptors are trained to respond to commands, kill naturally, and eat their prey to survive. He believes that the applicants efforts to help an injured bird and release the bird back into the wild is more of a public service than a threat to society.

Staff comment:
Staff believes that the keeping of the hawk, as conditioned, would not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare, or materially injurious to properties or improvements in the vicinity. The applicant has received all applicable permits from State and/or Federal agencies and would be required to receive all appropriate City permits.

===========================


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 17, 2007 at 8:08 pm

Hey Dan Carl,

Speak for yourself. I keep exotic animals without needing a permit and my toddler's welfare is in no danger from them. He's more in danger from the neighborhood dogs that the owners feel they can let off the leash.


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Posted by Jenny
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 17, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Yikes! Quite a bit of activity on this topic.

I wanted to reply to Chelsea who posted many, many posts ago. She had a good comment,
"I just have one thing to say to the planning commission...... can you puleez focus your energy on something a bit more worthwhile to the community?"

Chelsea, what you might not know is the planning commission by law has to hear things presented to them. The planning commission I am sure would love to focus their attention on something a bit more worthwhile to the community but the applicant, the mayor in this case, filed an application for a "fowl". She then was too busy to attend any of the hearings and "asked" the city to change the dates of the hearings multiple times. The planning department has had to plan for this item several times and the planning commissioners have had to read the report several times only to find out that the applicant, the mayor, could not make the hearing.

So I think the comment you had should be "I just have one thing to say to the mayor...... can you puleez focus your energy on something a bit more worthwhile to the community and not waste all the time of your staff and planning commission for your 'fowl'." Maybe have them spend their time on traffic congestion! That would be a better use of their time.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 17, 2007 at 8:31 pm

I think the appeal should be made to City Council so they can send it back to staff for a code amendment such as our neighboring Cities have done. There may be other falconers around Pleasanton who could benefit from this.


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Posted by This is Ridiculous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Animals kill and eat eachother naturally. There is NOTHING unnatural about a hawk eating "bunnies, ducklings, or quail." These animals may be cute, and cuddly, but they are animals! LET THEM LIVE AND DIE NATURALLY. Hawks eat all of these things in the wild, it is no different that snakes being fed mice!!! GET OVER IT!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 17, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Free Ariel,

I found that the following states and US Territories do not permit falconry: Connecticut, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or any other United States Territory. You might be happier if you moved to one of these locations.


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2007 at 7:09 am

Wow - touched a nerve with the California Hawking Club ethics list. Looks like that Justice Brandeis sunshine is not welcome when our local Mayor has so many things to explain and hide from the public on this "bloody" issue.

Believe me, if the City's Legal and Planning Staff could have figured out a way to say what the Mayor was doing in her residential neighborhood back yard was legal, this never would have been an issue and it would have died of its own weight 15 months ago.

And "Stacey" - that is wonderful data - if you are correct! Not only have the progressive nations of Northern Europe - including all of Scandinavia - banned this bloody "unique hobby" - the more enlightened and liberal US States and Territories have apparently as well. I guess they can't tell the difference between cockfighting, dogfighting and hawking, either! And they are legitimate US government entities. There is hope yet for California - a state that usually leads the nation in progressive thought and law.

I need to get that trapping e-mail posted - funny that e-mail doesn't mention anything about the Oakland Airport...have to dig that one out of the stack after work today.

This thread is giving me another good idea. Maybe we can get some progressive Hollywood heroes and animal rights activists engaged in this cause celeb. If some of these on the public record e-mails of an elected official "blasting fat juicy live quail in the backyard for stress relief" got some buzz - the California Assembly might take another look at allowing one captive wild animal killing another animal for a human's bloody "hobby."

This is why the CHC has ethics codes #1 #4 (see above) - obey all laws to the "t" and fly under the radar (pardon the pun). Don't draw attention to what we do behind the doors in this hawker sausage factory, or public opinion and the local/state government may shut all hawkers down in California. The CHC doesn't want one irresponsible hawker to ruin it for the rest of them.

By the way - to the dozen our so people engaged in this thread, and to those reading for better entertainment value that you can get on You Tube - have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the bottom of my animal-loving heart!

Can Ariel can get her freedom for a Christmas present this year!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 18, 2007 at 7:53 am

Norway is sooooo progressive they still hunt whales. So does Iceland, but that country generally isn't defined as part of Scandinavia.

This issue would have died 15 months ago if someone with the initials "D.C." didn't dig it up as a dirty campaign tactic. Hosterman and Brozosky were pretty similar on "the issues" (which is why I didn't vote for either of them) so Brozosky's campaign team needed to employ such character attacks to get votes. Pretty sad to think that Brozosky's campaign team still won't let the issue go. Even Karl Rove knows better than to keep claiming that Saddam Hussein had WMD.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 18, 2007 at 8:01 am

I got the information regarding falconry permitting here but it appears out of date: Web Link

"Can I practice falconry where I reside? If you live in Connecticut, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or any other United States Territory, you may not practice falconry because your state or territory has not met the federal falconry standards or does not allow the practice of falconry. Falconry is legal in all other states."

Hawaii and Connecticut were the only "progressive" states, but Connecticut seems to now allow falconry as of 2005: Web Link

The US Territories do not follow Fed falconry standards.


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 18, 2007 at 8:19 am

I predicted it was only a matter of time that the Iraq War would be woven into this thread (see above posts).

Looks like there are law makers, law breakers, and law makers who break the local/state laws and don't want the public to know about it. They use that age old political tactic - shoot the messenger and blame the whistle blower for pointing out the situation - don't address the violation or the policy issue in play.

That Brandeis sunshine is painful, isn't it, Stacey.


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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 18, 2007 at 10:39 am

Free Ariel!,
People on this thread aren't shooting the messenger. They are just trying to understand the basis of your argument, that being it is illegal for the mayor to keep a hawk caged in her backyard. I've reviewed all the code pertaining to animals and zoning, and there is nothing in there that specifically states it is against Pleasanton Municipal Code to keep a hawk, or similar fowl (in the bird sense of the word) in one's backyard, unless it is a nuisance to others (7.36.040: It is declared to be a nuisance and no person shall suffer or permit any chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, doves, pigeons, squabs, or similar fowl or rabbits, owned or controlled by the person, to run or fly at large or go upon the premises of any other person in the city. (Ord. 1919 8, 2005)). Also, if you notice, pigeons are specifically listed as "fowl" and if people are defining fowl as a bird you'd eat, I would never eat a pigeon. It appears that fowl is being used in the broad sense, which would basically include anything with feathers, in my opinion.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 18, 2007 at 10:48 am

The basis for Free Ariel's argument is quite easy to understand. It is called "politics". If Free Ariel keeps repeating the idea that it is illegal and presents "evidence" in the form of animal rights abuses, others begin to believe it must be illegal. "Truthiness" I think is how Colbert puts it. Just remember, Ariel has no rights in the wild.


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Posted by Jim Tigan
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2007 at 11:53 am

I am not a politician, however it seems to me the reason for a conditional use permit would be for the planning commission to look at each situation differently and to use their best judgment on a case by case basis. Mabey they could issue a permit with some conditions for instance. If there are noise complaints or smell complaints from the Mayors neighbors. What a novel idea!!!! It is my understanding that the purpose of a hearing is to look at each case and its individual merits or demerits. Common sense would dictate that is the mayor is operating with in the bounds of the law with regard to her falconry and there is no negative impact upon her neighbors then the planning commission should do what is right for the people that they represent. In the case of falconry, the contributions of falconers would take more time than anybody cares to hear but I'll attempt to list a few. The peregrine fund, founded and managed by falconers, was instrumental in bringing the peregrine falcon back from the brink of extinction. Every wild peregrine in the lower 48 states is a descendant of a falconer's bird that was kept in captivity. When D.D.T. was being widely used in America the only Peregrines that were not affected we falconer's bird because they were isolated for the environmental pollution. In 1980 a California falconer started the Alaska raptor rehab center in Sitka, Alaska (myself). Prior to that time there was no one in Alaska caring for injure eagles, hawks and falcons, they were being euthanised. The father of the scientific methods was a falconer. The contributions that falconers have made through the centuries are considerable.
The art of falconry is obviously beyond Dan Carl's capacity to understand, so I won't try and explain it to him in this forum. However, if he or any other residents of Pleasanton are truly concerned about the welfare of birds of prey, there are allot better places to put your energy. Here are a few facts. United States Fish and Wildlife Service states that 80% of All birds of prey die before they reach a year of age. Of the 20% that survive, 2% may live as long as 8 years in the wild. The mayor's throwing a live quail to her bird in it's enclosure is ensuring that the bird has an understanding of what she has to do in the wild to survive. This is a technique that is often used by the parent birds. They will catch a live prey and release it in order for the young bird to hone it's survival skills. Falconer's don't normally feed live quail to their birds but we have a moral imperative to insure that our falconry birds will survive when released. The quail in question was a domestic quail that are raised for the gourmet food market. The mayor's hawk cannot choose to be a vegetarian, what the hawk eats is determined by a higher power.
Recently Bobby Kennedy appeared on the Oprah show with his trained hawk; I wonder is Dan Carl contacted Mr. Kennedy or Oprah to express his displeasure with falconry. I wonder how the Kennedys would feel to be equated to cock and dog fighters. Regardless of one's feelings about falconry it seems obvious to me that Jennifer Hosterman's political rivals have lost touch with what their duty is. I will be forwarding this discussion to Bobby Kennedy as soon as I return from hunting with my hawk.


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Posted by Is Ariel Free Yet?
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Dec 18, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Jim - Thanks. It would be appreciated if you or others can articulately answer other these previously asked open questions:

California State Code Title 14 Section 670 Practice of Falconry (b) Take of Game or Nongame Bird or Mammals states: "Any person using raptors to take game or nongame birds or mammals shall abide by all laws and regulations related to hunting, including but no limited to licenses, seasons, bag limits, and hunting hours." So – how is it legal to be "blasting a fat, juicy live quail" a day, out of season, at nighttime, within city limits in your back yard? (The California State Fish and game staff in Sacramento I talked to indicated that the location of the kill (mew), the reason for the kill or where the live game or nongame bird came from (restaurant supply) didn't matter. The Lindsey Wildlife Museum will not use live prey – at all – because of this State Falconry Code section.)

In 2005, a male raptor was captured by our Mayor– determined to be "uncooperative," was force fed quail breast and returned to the wild within a couple of weeks. (November 30th, 2005). If that first year young male raptor could be returned to the wild immediately – why can't Ariel (who is obviously hunting well after almost two years) be returned to the wild in the same time of year? Where was that moral imperative to train and keep that male alive? How does this jive with the 80%/20%/2% mortality stats listed by many hawkers? Was it just too bad for that first year male? This rescue rationale seems inconsistently and arbitrarily applied.

How is it healthy for these captive raptors to be "cut down" or starved down during hunting season to make them leaner, more aggressive hunters? The raptor rescue centers I checked with do NOT do this and uniformly call this practice a form of animal cruelty for the raptor.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I just read the Bobby Kennedy quote from the famous magazine article - "A golden eagle can take an adult pronghorn antelope, sinking its talons into the animal's neck with 500 pounds per square inch of force. " It looks like the thrill of the kill is as important to Mr. Kennedy as it is to our Mayor.

I wonder if Oprah's handlers had given Oprah the "blasted the fat, juicy live quail" e-mails from Ms. Hosterman if she would have read them on the air with Mr. Kennedy? Somehow I doubt it.

We all understand the cycle of life and death and enjoy seeing wild raptors flying free. Holding beautiful wild raptors in captivity, starving them down during hunting season and "blasting" a live quail a day for what looks like excitement/stress relief of the human is a "unique hobby" that is disturbing to most who have read the details posted above.

And – just because a Kennedy does it, that makes it right? Mary Joe might have something to say about that!

Bottom line – it still looks like Ariel could be free today like "Burt" was set free. Or something very wrong was done to "Burt" at the end of 2005. And it still looks like the Mayor shouldn't be "blasting big fat juicy live quail" in her residential neighborhood backyard unless someone comes up with some concrete answers to the legal and animal abuse (as Stacey calls them in her last post) questions above - in addition to the basic municipal code violation in play for 15 months that was the start of this thread.


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Posted by Jim Tigan
a resident of another community
on Dec 18, 2007 at 11:34 pm



I am not a politician, however it seems to me the reason for a conditional use permit would be for the planning commission to look at each situation differently and to use their best judgment on a case by case basis. Mabey they could issue a permit with some conditions for instance. If there are noise complaints or smell complaints from the Mayors neighbors. What a novel idea!!!! It is my understanding that the purpose of a hearing is to look at each case and its individual merits or demerits. Common sense would dictate that is the mayor is operating with in the bounds of the law with regard to her falconry and there is no negative impact upon her neighbors then the planning commission should do what is right for the people that they represent. In the case of falconry, the contributions of falconers would take more time than anybody cares to hear but I'll attempt to list a few. The peregrine fund, founded and managed by falconers, was instrumental in bringing the peregrine falcon back from the brink of extinction. Every wild peregrine in the lower 48 states is a descendant of a falconer's bird that was kept in captivity. When D.D.T. was being widely used in America the only Peregrines that were not affected we falconer's bird because they were isolated for the environmental pollution. In 1980 a California falconer started the Alaska raptor rehab center in Sitka, Alaska (myself). Prior to that time there was no one in Alaska caring for injure eagles, hawks and falcons, they were being euthanised. The father of the scientific methods was a falconer. The contributions that falconers have made through the centuries are considerable.


The art of falconry is obviously beyond Dan Carl's capacity to understand, so I won't try and explain it to him in this forum. However, if he or any other residents of Pleasanton are truly concerned about the welfare of birds of prey, there are allot better places to put your energy. Here are a few facts. United States Fish and Wildlife Service states that 80% of All birds of prey die before they reach a year of age. Of the 20% that survive, 2% may live as long as 8 years in the wild. The mayor's throwing a live quail to her bird in it's enclosure is ensuring that the bird has an understanding of what she has to do in the wild to survive. This is a technique that is often used by the parent birds. They will catch a live prey and release it in order for the young bird to hone it's survival skills. Falconer's don't normally feed live quail to their birds but we have a moral imperative to insure that our falconry birds will survive when released. The quail in question was a domestic quail that are raised for the gourmet food market. The mayor's hawk cannot choose to be a vegetarian, what the hawk eats is determined by a higher power.


Recently Bobby Kennedy appeared on the Oprah show with his trained hawk; I wonder is Dan Carl contacted Mr. Kennedy or Oprah to express his displeasure with falconry. I wonder how the Kennedys would feel to be equated to cock and dog fighters. Regardless of one's feelings about falconry it seems obvious to me that Jennifer Hosterman's political rivals have lost touch with what their duty is. I will be forwarding this discussion to Bobby Kennedy as soon as I return from hunting with my hawk.



Posted by Jim Tigan, a resident of another community, 11 hours ago


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2007 at 12:32 am

Dan Carl (Free Ariel):

I am wondering why you have so much time to devote to this? All of your "research" and calls to so many different entities. Are you really that upset about Brozosky losing to Hosterman by some 188 votes? Tough loss, huh? I am thinking you need to get a hobby, one other than attacking Hosterman, that is. She is your Mayor, whether you like it or not, for most of 2008. I guess you better find someone else to run against her...that may be more productive for you.

It would seem that this thread has mostly become Dan Carl (Free Ariel) vs. Stacey (not the Mayor). Why is the Pleasanton Weekly allowing Dan Carl to have such a forum to continue his vendetta? Please take up your hobby on your own time and dime and stop pestering us about this issue. I am certain that no one cares about this as much as you do!

I think I will vote for Hosterman in 2008, just because one person should not have to endure this much hate and nastiness for trying to serve her community. Happy Holidays?!


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Posted by Free Ariel for Christmas!
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Dec 19, 2007 at 8:13 am

If Ariel were a human, there would be screaming like there was about Abu Grahib and Gitmo.

Ariel has no voice, she gets starved down during hunting season, and she is used by the Mayor to blast "fat, juicy live" birds in the Mayor's back yard for the obvious viewing pleasure of the Mayor. Disturbing. Couldn't the Mayor find something better to do with all that free time and money she dedicates to this "unique hobby?" They always need help and money at Lindsey! And they don't "blast live prey" in the process.

Sometimes politicians release captive humans during the holidays as a gesture of good will. Will the Mayor free Ariel? Or will she keep acting like her fellow politicians Dick Cheney (blasting birds for a hobby) and George Bush (the whole captivity/abuse thing)?

Wonder how "Burt" is doing? He got freed this time of year in 2005.

I REALLY have to get that long trapping e-mail posted. It will have to wait until after work. I am sure it will give all the 6 people who must spend too much of their free time in this thread something to "blast" this evening! And the sad thing – there are more than a dozen more from the public record that could get posted.

PS – Weekly Staff – can you enable PDF file posting so we can put the full text of City Documents, Staff Reports, On the Record E-mails, Official Letters from Code Enforcement Officer, etc here? That would eliminate the chatter of "cherry picking" or taking things out of context and would let people read and decide for themselves what twisted things are going on.


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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2007 at 12:05 pm

If I were a bird of prey, I'd love blasting fat juicy live quails! I'd say: "Thank you Master Falconer for my fat juicy live quails. You're so good to me."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WIld Hawker
a resident of Civic Square
on Dec 19, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Hey D.C., I hope in your next life you come back as a bunny. 'nuff said.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Warren
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2007 at 8:20 pm

I find nothing new about the Mayor, but I did learn something about falconry, and I find it fascinating! I love the idea that a guy can learn to teach a raptor to allow that person into its life, to watch up close and be a small part of what the raptor does in nature. I think I want to check into this. And, you can become a licensed falconer at the age of 14 - way cool. I'm a little older, but still. Also, I saw that blog about Robert Kennedy Jr. and I looked him up - he has been working with red tails since his Dad got him one when he was 12, and he just took on a young boy apprentice, and they trapped his first red tail. That bird, according to the statistics, wouldn't have made it past its first year, which is why the regulations are stated as they are. I wonder if the Mayor would be a sponsor of apprentice falconers, some day. I'm proud to have a Mayor who is involved in such a wonderful hobby. Maybe some day I can do this to.

J. Warren


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Posted by No Christmas Freedom for Ariel...
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Dec 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm

Ah - nothing like a "big old cup of tea" to turn a phrase, and an hour in the blogosphere - Daily Kos, and of course the Weekly!

I think this on-line hobby that we share in this thread is more socially responsible than having one animal "blast" and kill another animal in your backyard for stress relief, don't you?

For those who still believe the spin that hawking is a "rescue" activity for our Mayor (even after reading what the Mayor did with good old Burt above), take a gander at the following on-the-public record e-mail from our Mayor.

You can get a copy from Karen Diaz, Pleasanton City Clerk if you type an e-mail to her. Just have the City search on the keywords: blood bloody guts talons hawk falconry bird Ariel rabbits ducks quail kill blast quarry hunting hunt trapping trap dispatch and, the famous "she makes it or she doesn't" line.

Another glimpse into what is really going on behind the doors in the hawking sausage factory. Only a politician could twist trapping, kidnapping or rather "hawknapping" into "rescue."
----------------------------------------------------

On 12-30-2005 the Mayor wrote to Steve Leeper:

It sounds like you really want to know! Well, as an apprentice falconer, I can only work with one of two species in California, a Kestrel or a red-tail. I prefer a red-tail. They're all over. Drive down any straight road with telephone poles and you'll find one sitting on a pole about every 1/4 mile, or so. Saturday morning, early, (when the birds haven't had a chance to hunt and eat, and they're hungry) I'll drive out over the hill into the Central Valley, find a country road, check out a few birds, find a first year (by law I can only take a first year bird, because my taking the bird insures that it will live beyond its first year, and the mortality rate in the wild is very high - 5 out of 50 birds will make it past two years, because when they come down on quarry they are vulnerable to other birds coming down on them) - and females are larger, which means they are slower but can take larger quarry, although a male would be fine, too. With binoculars I can tell if its a first year bird. I'll drive by the bird at about 25 mph, throw out a BC trap (with a very lively rat in it) the bird will, if its hungry, come down on the trap, become ensnared in snares surrounding the trap - half-hitches made of 18 pound test - if the bird does become ensnared, I'll hit the gas and drive back as fast as I can, throw a towel around bird, carefully take its talons out of the trap, wrap talons with blue paint tape (the stuff that's not very sticky) and secure its legs so it can't hurt itself, hood its head, and wrap a stocking over its body to keep its wings snug and safe. Throw it on the floor in the back of the car and decide whether or not to trap another bird or keep this one. Take it home, fit jesses on its tarsus', and take all the stuff off, and start training. I should be home by noon. That's how you trap a bird!
-------------------------------

See - in her own words. "trap a bird." Hard to take THAT out of context. Remember from the post near the beginning of this thread- the Mayor told her buddies she trapped Ariel in the Central Valley - not rescued Ariel from Oaktown.

The "rescue" line seems to be another one of those political, sound bite, media "feel good" stretched fabrications to hide what is really going on. Gee - haven't we seen THAT before from our Mayor?

And Shelley - you still interested in the text from the Code Enforcement officer? Or have you bought the Mayor's "stories" hook line and sinker, too? If so - time to start a new thread - this one is getting too long!


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Posted by Karen
a resident of The Knolls
on Dec 19, 2007 at 8:57 pm

I found this link on Bob Kennedy and Falconry.

Web Link


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Posted by Bob Crowson
a resident of Ironwood
on Dec 19, 2007 at 8:59 pm

I am mystified at this string of comments. Who is this Dan Carl guy and what is his issue? I am new to this community, but I and my family want to be a part of it. I am intrigued by having our own community newspaper, but I am concerned that people are taking advantage of this blogsite. This constant beration of our Mayor is not becoming to my new town, and not becoming to the newspaper. In New Haven, people write letters to their newspapers - I suppose a blog site would be a good idea, but not if it becomes devisive and devoid of factual material. Hopefully, our new hometown newspaper will consider this perspective.


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Dear Karen,

Your "link" to Bob Kennedy and Falconry is rediculous - its a page by somebody called "I'm nobody" and the following is her page:

I am a nobody. If the different classes of America were color-coded, I would be in your yucky brown, one rink up from the bottom.

I grew up in Naples, Florida and live near the Mississippi River now with my husband and two dogs. I am part of the slowly disappearing middle-class. I was a musician most of my life; drummer/singer/keyboards---but I retired before the plastic surgery flu hit.

I have no degrees, which could be a good thing...depending on how you view our educational system. I do have three patents...but that really doesn't make me a somebody.

The one thing that is constant in my life is my OPINIONS...which I have more of than perhaps even Carl Sagan could have imagined, mostly political. Hopefully other nobodys will put their opinions on my site.

But if you are a sombody...you're more than welcomed to help out. I will try to prove that sometimes nobody knows the answers, sometimes nobody cares, sometimes nobody wins, and most importantly..

.NOBODY is perfect. Please bear this in mind when you read my thoughts. I don't mean to offend nobody, it's all in good fun.

..............................

Like this "nobody" - too bad she has such low self esteem, and knows nothing about Robert Kennedy, Jr., or Falconry. Maybe this is you?


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Posted by wildhawker
a resident of Civic Square
on Dec 19, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Hey D.C., I hope in your next life you come back as a bunny. 'nuff said.


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Posted by Tom
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Dec 19, 2007 at 9:35 pm

I too am seeing that this is all about politics. Since there is nothing credible, or of substance, to attack the Mayor for, let's make an issue out of a non-issue. BTW - Dan Carl, good luck trying to find someone that will run against Jennifer in 2008. And good luck trying to find someone that will let you be involved in their campaign.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 19, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Here's a little something I wrote to help increase the infotainment value of this thread. Seems like it will be a timely post too for Bob Crowson of the Ironwood neighborhood. The first verse is formatted correctly and the rest of the verses I formatted differently because I'm not sure how it will look posted through PW's web software.
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Ballad of Ariel the Hawk

'Twas once upon a time
when a Mayor thought it fun
To train a bird to hunt
And forego the use of gun

That noble art had sprung, From Europe to Japan
It even could be found, On the steppes of Kazakhstan

Upon her word and honor, The Mayor built a mew
Put me inside that house, It was shiny, clean and new

I do declare, that Mayor dear, Good meat she fed me well
Now listen close, one and all, For I've a tale to tell

The Mayor's job was up for grabs, She'd try her best to win
Very close was the race, Brozosky 'gainst Hosterman

A grave mistake was made, Out of ignorance of this
City email was not for use, For private business bliss

Brozosky's treasurer Dan Carl, Decided now with glee
Called the City for answers, The Mayor's email for all see

As election day came close, The game soon came to pass
Dan Carl, he cried, "Foul!", The intent was to harass

Perhaps the Mayor could, Through tactics not quite nice
Be defeated in the polls, With email, he rolled the dice

Now you know how this poor bird, Became nothing but a pawn
For Hosterman's local rivals, In politics gone wrong

Despite the plot, the Mayor won, But even to this day
Dan Carl still cries, "Foul!", Until he gets his way

Some folks may think it's cruel, Some folks may say it's unkind
But tasty quail upon my plate, Always suits me just fine.


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Oh, I just can't help myself - does Dan Carl cry "foul" or "fowl."

In any case, I think its a real hoot.

Nancy


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Posted by Free Ariel!
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Dec 20, 2007 at 6:19 am

ROFL!

Looks like there were some busy beavers, er quail out late last night.

Stacey - that was great!

Maybe I could add a few more stanzas:

Breaking laws, here or there, doesn't really matter.
I'm the Mayor, by God, and quail blood I will splatter.

I love trapping raptors in the Wild - I but tossed young Burt back
Had to find a better hawk so rabbits I could smack!

Laws are for the little people, not for the elected few
I'll break the law, and muni code and keep blasting quail in my mew!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2007 at 8:02 am

Hrm, needs a little work. The iambs in your verse are all over the place.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Tommy "T"'s is down the street, Stacey the headliner-Ariel the meat. I would buy a ticket to see you guys. The theme: Get a Life


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm

Seriously now- I just read the article where the mayor talks about her love for the birds. What is wrong with Pleasanton denying her the permit? All of our others towns allow this. She clearly stated too that is going to release it in March/spring time basically. I think what our mayor is doing is a humane thing and no one is in danger of getting hurt. For some reason I believe this is all political between our mayor and the commission people- who has the most power over someone else and it's kind of silly. She knows what she is doing so why not giver her the permit and move on with our lives?

And btw- there is A LOT of bad mouthing on here. I know people disagree, which is normal, but get off the name calling. We're not 10.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Glypebype
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:29 am

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RoyArtelo
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Nov 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Do you think that Obama is going to win because the Republicans have such a bad candidate?
Why did John McCain make his final argument against Obama... coal?
That's his closing argument? William Ayers, Rev. Wright, spreading the wealth, Born Alive, meeting dictators without preconditions, etc. all have to take a back seat so that McCain can go to Colorado and New Mexico to talk about coal? Does this more or less explain why he's going to get his clock cleaned Tuesday?


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