Saturday, October 20, 2018
Health

Tampa council hears mixed messages on free-roaming roosters in Ybor City

TAMPA — Ybor City roosters and chickens can peck away in peace. For now.

The Tampa City Council asked city attorneys and code enforcement officials Thursday to continue studying how to reduce the growing flock in the city’s historic heart, but no action was taken to remove the popular fowl.

Roosters are the target of sleep-deprived Ybor City residents and council Chairman Frank Reddick, who sought a way to reduce the nighttime cacophony and the chicken population in one fell swoop.

But first things first: How do you catch them?

They’re elusive, noted Tampa Neighborhood Enhancement manager Sal Ruggiero.

Reddick said he knew of farmers who can attract them with a special call.

"Those who raise roosters, know how to attract roosters to make rooster come to them. I don’t want to make that sound here."

"Oh, why not," replied council member Harry Cohen, who is running for mayor. "You’ve done everything else."

Most of the seven council members, in fact, weighed in on the issue. Charlie Miranda offered to show people how to catch roosters by hand. Cohen pondered rooster birth control.

And more than a dozen speakers implored the council at its Thursday meeting either to leave the chickens alone or to do something about them.

Some people said they’ve fallen in love with the chickens who roam Ybor City’s historic streets, calling them a historic treasure and tourist draw.

Others complained they can’t sleep with roosters crowing all night. They said the flock is growing out of control, describing them as an infestation like rodents or bugs and seeking help in getting them out.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE Chicken dumpers throw off balance of Ybor City’s roaming fowl

The discussion arose from a request last month by Reddick and Cohen for a report on how to curb the chicken population.

Reddick said May 17 that the chickens, especially roosters, are becoming a nuisance. Cohen, who is running for mayor, had suggested reconsidering the roosters’ protected status.

City attorneys said an ordinance protecting birds could be amended to exempt roosters, but council members should be wary of unintended consequences. Code enforcement officials said trappers want $15,000 to trap some birds and remove them to farms.

A recent survey counted 89 roosters in the vicinity of Ybor City’s Centennial Park.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE Meet the fixer for Ybor City’s prized chickens

"If it were an infestation of any other type of animal, the city would be out there immediately," said Tony LaCrolla, who has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years.

Tom George, who owns the Crow Bar, 1812 N. 17th St, said the chickens are the first thing out-of-town patrons ask about. They are good for Ybor’s tourism, he said.

"I don’t think we’re in the midst of any chicken or rooster revolution," George said.

The chickens are part of the historic neighborhood’s fabric, some speakers said. Reducing the population would be a blow to that history.

"It’s a tremendous asset for our Tampa Bay region as a whole," said Roberto Torres, who owns the Blind Tiger Cafe, 1901 E. 7th St.

Yvonne Yolie Capin, who grew up in Ybor City, offered her own historical perspective.

"My grandfather had chicken and geese in his backyard. They were for food. That’s how chickens came into Ybor. When you talk about Ybor’s history, that’s how it started.

"We don’t eat them now. We eat them from Publix but we don’t eat them from the street."

Council member Luis Viera suggested a workshop, but Capin disagreed.

"To have a workshop on this? There are a lot of issues in this city that need a workshop. This is not one of them."

Once pestered by a chicken that dug up his flower beds, soiled his yard, and perched on his roof, Reddick remained undeterred.

"We have to do something," he said.

Contact Charlie Frago at [email protected] or (727)893-8459. [email protected]

Comments
Three things you need to know before you go to Canada for some legal weed

Three things you need to know before you go to Canada for some legal weed

Before you go to Canada to smoke weed, there are some things you need to know.
Published: 10/17/18
Canada now world's largest legal marijuana marketplace

Canada now world's largest legal marijuana marketplace

Canada became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland. Power was first in line at a store in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Published: 10/17/18
As drug prices soar, drugmakers keep setting records for campaign donations

As drug prices soar, drugmakers keep setting records for campaign donations

Before the midterm elections heated up, dozens of drugmakers had already poured about $12 million into the war chests of hundreds of members of Congress.Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmac...
Published: 10/17/18
To understand homeless people, Tampa photographer spent 18 months meeting with them

To understand homeless people, Tampa photographer spent 18 months meeting with them

TAMPA — On Jim’s arm was a tattoo of a hinge with screw holes indicating where the recovering addict used to inject heroin.Fernando liked to belt out songs he wrote about a love he lost when he fled from Cuba.Timothy had a dog he refuse...
Published: 10/16/18
Little Alexa, who lost her legs and won hearts in Miami, will learn to walk through Shriners in Tampa

Little Alexa, who lost her legs and won hearts in Miami, will learn to walk through Shriners in Tampa

TAMPA — A 3-year-old girl whose legs were amputated because of an infection made it to Miami for treatment earlier this year thanks to reporting by a television journalist in Miami.But it was Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa that steppe...
Published: 10/16/18
Study: Without Medicaid expansion, poor forgo medical care

Study: Without Medicaid expansion, poor forgo medical care

WASHINGTON — Low-income people in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid are much more likely to forgo needed medical care than the poor in other states, according to a government report released Monday amid election debates from Georgia to Utah over ...
Published: 10/16/18
The Times 2019 Medicare Guide

The Times 2019 Medicare Guide

It has four main parts, labeled A, B, C and D. But after that, the rules can be wickedly complex. Nearly 60 million people are using it right now. And with an estimated 10,000 people reaching age 65 each day in the U.S., that number is growing fast.S...
Published: 10/15/18
Updated: 10/16/18
Drugmakers to disclose prices for medicines advertised on TV

Drugmakers to disclose prices for medicines advertised on TV

TRENTON, N.J. — Dozens of drugmakers will start disclosing the prices for U.S. prescription drugs advertised on TV. The prices won’t actually be shown in the TV commercials but the advertisement will include a website where the list price will be pos...
Published: 10/15/18
Medicare opens enrollment for 2019 with insurers focused on keeping you out of the hospital

Medicare opens enrollment for 2019 with insurers focused on keeping you out of the hospital

The annual Medicare open enrollment period kicks off today, and the news is generally good for nearly 4.4 million Floridians who rely on the program. Premiums are expected to stay roughly the same in 2019, and many plans are offering expanded perks a...
Published: 10/15/18
Nurses at HCA hospitals reach contract agreement

Nurses at HCA hospitals reach contract agreement

Registered nurses from 15 hospitals in Florida owned by the national chain, Hospital Corporation of America, have reached tentative agreements on union contract negotiations. Nurses across Florida and several other states have been picketing, and rec...
Published: 10/12/18