CENTER LINE - Stadium solutions have gone to the birds

Remember the good old days when all that big-city mayors had to worry about were race riots, busing, murders and corruption? Now, the mayor of Cincinnati has bigger things on his mind ... or is that in his beer?
bigjoe
Jul 25, 2010

Remember the good old days when all that big-city mayors had to worry about were race riots, busing, murders and corruption?

Now, the mayor of Cincinnati has bigger things on his mind ... or is that in his beer?

The owners of Paul Brown Stadium have withdrawn a request seeking city approval to shoot pigeons that have been pooping on Bengals fans during games, the Associated Press has reported.

Eric Brown, the stadium's managing director, said in a letter to the Cincinnati city manager that officials are going to "continue to explore various alternatives to dealing with this patron issue."

On Friday, City Manager Milton Dohoney granted permission to shoot the birds if other methods to discourage the pigeons didn't succeed.

Brown initially asked the city to allow stadium employees to use an air-powered rifle to kill pigeons roosting in the beams and pipes above the stands, raining down poop onto fans and their food and drinks.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) spoke out against the plan Friday, encouraging Mayor Mark Mallory to reject the stadium's request. PETA offered to help develop other solutions such as netting, noise makers and porcupine wire that discourage birds from roosting.

Mallory's office said the mayor also was opposed to shooting the birds.

Team officials have said they're looking into other ideas, such as strobe lights, netting or noise makers, to get rid of the birds.

Waa, waa, waa.

Sports fans in Cleveland have been crapped on for years and nobody ever felt sorry for us.

* * *

My wife, Jody, and I have been burning up the pavement lately, hoping to get a walk in every day. We've split time between the reservoir, Whitney Field and around town.

Here's a warning to anybody out there who likes to walk or run around town be careful. The condition of many sidewalks despite the sidewalk replacement plan is bad in many areas. And to make it worse, many streetlights around town are shaky, at best.

We were walking one night on Oakwood Avenue. It was dark and I stepped in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thinking back to the 1966 movie "The Fortune Cookie," starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, an idea popped into my head what's in this for me?

In the movie, a cameraman gets injured by a football player during a game and goes to the hospital. There, his cunning brother-in-law (who happens to be a lawyer) convinces him to pretend his legs have been paralyzed. This way, they can receive a huge indemnity from the insurance company. Of course, the insurance company's men suspect the paralysis is a fake one, and so a big "game" begins.

Quoting Harry Hinkle about his shyster lawyer brother-in-law, "He's so full of twists. He starts to describe a doughnut and it comes out a pretzel ... of course he's upset he's paid to be upset."

The homeowner should be responsible for his sidewalks, I figured, so who can I pin this on? Too bad, Jody responded, Judge Jim Conway lives there. Lots of luck suing a judge.

What next?

Maybe I could crawl in front of Dr. Dave Heidelberg's house. He's received some of my money over the years. Or better yet, crawl in front of Jim Seitz's house and get the whole neighborhood.

Never mind. I ended up at plan C and just limped home.

The moral of the story? Just watch where you're walking.