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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — April 20, 2011 at 7:30 am 2,634 90 Comments

HOT Lanes Lawsuit Bill Reaches $2 Million — The county emerged victorious in February when VDOT abandoned its plan to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395. But the legal battle has proven costly. The lawsuit Arlington filed against the project has cost county taxpayers nearly $2 million. [Sun Gazette]

East Falls Church Dissent Goes Both Ways — Sometimes it can be hard to please everybody in Arlington. Charlie Clark reports that there were three different camps at Saturday’s County Board meeting with respect to the board’s vote on the East Falls Church development plan. One group wanted more development than was called for, another vocal group wanted less development, and the people who drafted the plan thought it struck a good balance. [Falls Church News-Press]

Spout Run Bald Eagle Killed –Remember the nesting bald eagles we reported on two months ago? Some jerk shot and ultimately killed the mother eagle with an arrow, according to Patch. (Scroll to the end of the article)

Editor’s Note: Patch has retracted part of the above article. (See comments)

  • PCity

    “Some jerk shot and ultimately killed the mother eagle with an arrow”

    Jerk? More like felon. Screw that guy. Now I’m in a bad mood.

    • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

      I’m in a bad mood too now. If I saw it happen, I’d have shot him with an arrow right afterwards and claim “I slipped”.

    • BoredHouseWife

      The huntard (not to be confused with regular hunters)that killed the Eagle better keep their mouths shut. If they are not prosecuted they will certainly be a pariah. But if they are stupid enough to kill a mother eagle then they are stupid enough to run their yap.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    The Bald Eagle was doing no harm to anything or anyone. What type of jackass would kill a mother eagle? Some no-count low-life putz with a major malfunction!

    • OX4

      I think they call themselves “hunters.”

      • Bluemontsince1961

        The hunters I’ve known in my life would have total contempt for that type of jerk and wouldn’t even term such a person a hunter. I have no problem with genuine hunters, like a manager I had a few years ago that would go deer hunting then use the meat of the deer to make venison sausages, etc. He despised so-called “hunters” that would shoot a mother Bald Eagle like this character.

      • KalashniKEV

        What a stupid comment. A number of hunters I know would probably shoot and kill a man on the spot for wounding a Bald Eagle.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Exactly my point, KEV! The hunters I’ve known would string up such a putz!

        • t-cough

          So? That doesn’t mean that the person who shot the eagle doesn’t consider himself or herself a hunter. That’s what I took as the gist of the comment. I don’t think the comment was meant to say that any and all hunters are “no-count low-life putz with a major malfunction”.

          • KalashniKEV

            There is also no evidence to support that he is a hunter, so let’s cut the nonsense. Bald Eagles aren’t considered game.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            “Bald Eagles aren’t considered game.”

            Exactly. The Bald Eagle was on the endangered species list for years, it was taken off the list in 2007 – see the following link: http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/
            They are still protected by Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

          • Tabby

            It’s just some sh&thead loser.

          • mehoo

            Sh&thead loser FELON, who will hopefully be caught.

          • Jeff

            Mehoo – not saying you’re wrong but I’m not getting how you’re so sure it’s a felony? Bald Eagle is no longer listed under the ESA except for some populations in AZ. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act carries some very stiff penalties but states that a second violation is what counts as a felony (so could be if this person did it before). Aside from that, not sure what makes it a felony unless firing a bow in that area carries that level of penalty.

          • mehoo

            I’m no expert on the law on shooting bald eagles, so maybe it wouldn’t be a felony. It’s a crime though.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            @Mehoo,

            Scroll on down to find more information about the laws and penalties involved; I posted it a while ago in case anyone wanted further information. Hope this information is helpful.

      • t-cough

        I think you are correct. Most people who do not consider themselves “hunters” probably don’t have a bow and arrows laying around.

        • Maria

          I disagree. Non-hunters with bows and arrows laying around are called mentally ill people who kill animals for fun.

          • http://arlingtondirt.blogspot.com TGEoA

            Ever hear of something called “archery”?

          • t-cough

            Why, yes, I have. They don’t usually kill live things though…

          • JJ

            That wasn’t the point of the comment t-cough. Maria said anyone that’s not a hunter and has bows and arrows laying around are mentally ill. That’s simply not true – there are many many people that are into archery that don’t hunt and that aren’t mentally ill.

          • Maria

            Oh Jesus Christmas, I didn’t mean it like that. I apologize because I can see looking at it again that my wording was unclear, but I was referring specifically to *this* story.

          • Maria

            …though please see Tommy’s post at 1:37pm for another example of what I was referring to.

      • TGEoA

        Poachers.

  • Tabby

    *&*^&@!!

    Name and shame!

  • Tabby

    Link doesn’t work, arlnow.

  • Lacey Forest

    Hopefully the Fish and Wildlife Service or someone is keeping an eye on the chicks that were thought to be in the nest.

    • neu

      If the mother died while eggs were in the nest, the father can’t possibly incubate them alone and will abandon them to be poached by raccoons or other predators. Unless they immediately removed the eggs to be incubated artificially, they are a lost cause.

  • Arlwhenever

    Can’t wait to see what the “just right” camp says when four stories and 2,000 parking spaces are added to the EFC plan to accomodate Fairfax and Loudoun County interests, as voiced through VDOT and WMATA.

  • TGEoA

    [This post has been deleted]

    • borf

      Wow, not really that funny.

    • Jeff

      Unfunny and mean-spirited.

    • Max

      This isn’t the first time you’ve joked about killing people on this blog.

      • Max

        I also can’t figure out how Steve was banned for joking about smoking, but this TGEoA can get off clean by making a joke about killing an elected official.

        Pathetic.

    • PikeHoo

      Nobody thinks your threat on a public official is funny

    • Max

      It’s time for these posts to be reported to the police.

  • KalashniKEV

    As my blood pressure started to rise, I wondered- “Why is the Patch story about his presentation and not the wounding?” It doesn’t make any sense. Is there any record of the eagle being euthanized? I don’t trust this guy. This could be a ploy to get more conservation dollars set aside for his personal hobby.

    • mehoo

      It makes sense because it’s in time order. It may not be the best way to write the story, but it’s hardly a reason not to trust the writer.

      • KalashniKEV

        I tried to Google the roaming distance of the Bald Eagle with no luck. I just can’t picture a guy going off G-dub Pkwy and firing arrow after arrow across the Potomac until he makes a hit. I think he might be an eco-terrorist using his pic and presentation to spread propaganda. How many Eagles were supposed to be in the nest? Are they still there? Is there a record of the euthanization?

        • mehoo

          Yes, Kev, it’s an ecoterrorist shooting an eagle. Just like global warming is a hoax for liberals to take over the world, and Obama’s birth certificate is fake.

          Seriously, Kev, the article says there was an arrow in the wing – not that the arrow hit the eagle while it was in its nest. So it could have been shot from anywhere.

          Sure, ask for confirmation of the story, but drop the whacky conspiracy theories.

        • Jeff

          From NatureServe Explorer – Mobility and Migration Comments: Most eagles that breed in Canada and the northern U.S. move south for winter. Migrates widely over most of North America (AOU 1983); moves generally E-SE across Canada and the Great Lakes region to the northeast coast of the U.S. In the northern Chesapeake Bay region, radio-tagged northern migrants arrived in late fall (mean date 21 December) and departed in early spring (mean date 27 March); radio-tagged southern migrants arrived throughout April-August and departed June-October (Buehler et al. 1991). See Palmer (1988) for fairly detailed review of seasonal movements in various regions.

          Defended territories are relatively small; fourteen in Alaska varied from 11-45 hectares and averaged 23 ha (Hensel and Troyer 1964), and territory radius around active nests averaged 0.6 km in Minnesota (Mahaffy and Frenzel 1987). Feeding home ranges surrounding active nests are undoubtedly much larger, depending on proximity to food sources and abundance of food. Minimum home range of breeding birds in Saskatchewan was 7 square kilometers (Gerrard et al. 1992); on the Columbia River, Oregon, breeding home ranges averaged 21.6 square kilometers (Garrett et al. 1993).

          Winter home ranges can be very large, especially for nonbreeding birds. An immature wintered in Arizona over an area of >40,000 square kilometers and spent the summer in the Northwest Territories over a summer range of >55,000 square kilometers (Grubb et al. 1994). Maximum distance between feeding area and night roost site was less than 16 km in winter in Missouri (Griffin et al. 1982). In north-central Arizona, February-April home range of immatures averaged 400 square kilometers; birds moved frequently and roosted singly or in small groups (Grubb et al. 1989).

          • mehoo

            Thanks, Jeff.

            I think everyone but Kev already had a pretty good idea that the range was more than a few hundred feet from its nest.

          • KalashniKEV

            Your attack is not necessary. Assuming the wounding lead that lead to the death occurred nearby, and that he didn’t fly too far with a fatal injury, there still aren’t a whole lot of places around to get your bow and arrow on around here…

          • mehoo

            I wouldn’t call that an “attack.”

            Yes, assuming those things – which aren’t necessarily true, just assumed. The eagle wouldn’t need to fly more than a few hundred yards to be somewhere an archer could shoot from.

          • KalashniKEV

            “The eagle wouldn’t need to fly more than a few hundred yards to be somewhere an archer could shoot from.”
            OK, well since I have to spoon feed it to you- a person with a quiver of arrows launching them at DC would be hard to miss *within a few hundred yards* of where that nest was located.

          • mehoo

            Sure, Kev, there is absolutely no cover within a few hundred yards of that nest. It’s all open country, no place for an archer to shoot from. Whatever you say.

      • KalashniKEV

        I just want to see a verification of the euthanization, or a confirmation by someone here that there is one less Eagle in the nest.

    • Arlwhenever

      It’s not like you pick up an injured bald eagle, put it in a shoe box and cart it down to the animal shelter. These raptors are huge, unapproachable, violent creatures who would just as soon peck your eyes out or claw away your flesh. Something smells rotten here.

      • mehoo

        If an eagle is injured and weakening due to blood loss or lack of eating, it probably would be easy to capture.

        • KalashniKEV

          Wrong. He would probably be pissed off and amp-ed up, and thus more likely to shred you up. I really believe this is untrue.

          • mehoo

            Um, no, Kev, at some point after a deadly injury, any animal can be so weak that it won’t fight back. You can’t simply declare that it didn’t happen.

        • neu

          I’m not sure “easy” is the word, but raptor recovery places often pick up injured eagles and try to save them. I wouldn’t attempt it without knowing what you’re doing; you could get badly hurt and could actually injure the eagle further if you did no.

  • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

    $2 million to piss off Richmond.

  • CW

    ARLnow: Will you be looking into this with the Fish and Wildlife Service, trying to contact Mr. Nugent himself for more details, or otherwise investigating this? I think it’s clear that I and many others would be curious to see if more details could be dug up. It’s an egregious violation if it indeed happened and in this manner, but I’m hesitant to plunge headlong into militant outrage based on one anecdotal line in a patch article.

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      I’ll add it to today’s agenda and see if there’s a way to track it down.

      • mehoo

        It would be interesting. No other media outlets have picked up on it apparently, if it’s true.

      • CW

        Much appreciated!

    • Arlwhenever

      It defies belief that a press release would not have been issued by an organization that dubs itself a “local wild animal hospital” seeking publicity for its courageous actions trying to save a specimen of an endangered/threated species. This may be one for the birds.

      • mehoo

        Sure, the lack of evidence is evidence.

        Not everyone is a publicity whore, AW.

        • Arlwhenever

          True, not everyone seeks the publicity, but the organizations that do this kind of work are typically dependent on external funds and seldolm miss an opportunity to garner publicity. It’s a huge boost to fundraising and/or a way of getting support for their agenda. A lack of evidence is suggestive, in this case strongly suggestive, but by no means proof positive.

        • Arlwhenever

          And by the way, Mr. Nugent just posted and said the Patch reporter screwed it up. Now arrow, euthanasia, no nothing.

          • mehoo

            Well, not quite, there was an eagle euthanized. It was Martha, the mate of George, the pair that was nesting in DC a few years back.

            http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15130127/ns/us_news-environment/

            Apparently, no arrow involved though.

            So now you can go find the news release about this incident if you like.

          • Arlwhenever

            Martha died in 2006, while nesting down near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge — nowhere near Arlington. The euthanizing Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Center press release archive (listing dozens of items) is maintained only back through 2008, so all we have for now in cyberspace is the AP article that quotes from the press release. So it goes.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Migratory Bird Treaty Act: http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html

    “The 1960 statute (P.L. 86-732) amended the MBTA by altering earlier penalty provisions. The new provisions stipulated that violations of this Act would constitute a misdemeanor and conviction would result in a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than six months. ”

    Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Eagle/guidelines/bgepa.html

    “The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c), enacted in 1940, and amended several times since then, prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from “taking” bald eagles, including their parts, nests, or eggs. The Act provides criminal penalties for persons who “take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald eagle … [or any golden eagle], alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof.” The Act defines “take” as “pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb.”

    For purposes of these guidelines, “disturb” means: “to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, 1) injury to an eagle, 2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or 3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.”

    In addition to immediate impacts, this definition also covers impacts that result from human-induced alterations initiated around a previously used nest site during a time when eagles are not present, if, upon the eagle’s return, such alterations agitate or bother an eagle to a degree that interferes with or interrupts normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering habits, and causes injury, death or nest abandonment.

    A violation of the Act can result in a fine of $100,000 ($200,000 for organizations), imprisonment for one year, or both, for a first offense. Penalties increase substantially for additional offenses, and a second violation of this Act is a felony.”

    Whoever did this, to use an old saying, is in a “heap of trouble” if caught.

    • neu

      Okay, so first offense is a misdemeanor punishable up to a year in prison and $100,000 fine. Second offense is a felony with more severe penalties. Note that the act applies to anyone even possessing an eagle feather without a permit. Actually killing an eagle most definitely would tilt the penalty toward the more severe end of the scale. I’d say that’s a heap of trouble.

  • BoredHouseWife

    Haven’t the hot lanes been resurrected with the MARK center issue?

    • BigSpender

      Hot lanes on 395 will be built, just not in Arlington. So no highway improvements for us AND we have to foot $2 million in legal fees. Way to go Arlington. Score!

  • SoCo Resident

    Life has a way of taking care of people such as eagle-slaughtering hunters, maybe not immediately but sooner or later. It also takes care of those who in ANY way defend them or seek to justify and excuse theme. ARLNOW’s advertising the location of a bald eagle nest just fosters this sociopathic behavior.

    • Aaron

      “ARLNOW’s advertising the location of a bald eagle nest just fosters this sociopathic behavior.”

      You’re a lunatic. Without any evidence, you cannot rationally draw a linkage between an online article about a bald eagle nest to someone allegedly shooting a bald eagle two weeks later.

      The tragedy is that life used to have a way of taking care of such nut jobs. Now thanks to the internet, they are able to find like-minded friends, perpetuate these conspiracies, and even breed. Gah.

  • Michael Nugent

    There was a significant error in the article. I would not give the location of the nest for the safety of the eagles. My reason was a PREVIOUS occupant, Martha, was the eagle that was shot a few years ago. The reporter seemed confused and I said that to the best of my knowledge, the present occupants are fine. Michael Nugent, photographer.

    • CW

      Oh, patch…silly, silly patch.

      • Aaron

        Details, shmeetails.

        Thank you for the clarification Michael!

      • mehoo

        I’m shocked that a Patch article got facts wrong. Just shocked.

  • Hank

    Original story has ben updated with an Editor’s note at the bottom.

    “Editor’s Note: The story has been corrected to reflect the following: The female eagle that Nugent photographed is unharmed. She was not shot in the wing by an arrow, as we reported on Tuesday. The wounded eagle was a previous occupant of the nest.”

    Hard to believe that someone could walk anywhere in Arlington county with a bow and arrow and not have the police called on them.

    • Southeast Jerome

      I saw someone carrying what looked like a bow and arrow on wilson but I just assumed it was an umbrella

    • bb

      I used to quite frequently when unloading my car after a hunting trip or practice at the archery range for years at my Rosslyn apartment and never once got the cops called on me. Of course, that’s not to say that some bedwetter didn’t call the cops and they told them to do pound sand, since it’s not illegal to simply carry one. Discharge is a completely different story.

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      Thanks to all. I’ve updated the article to reflect this.

  • Tommy

    I was 10 years old when I saw a massive turtle in Silver Lake of Rehoboth Beach. I was fishing off the bridge pier and this big guy would stick his head up here and there, it was so cool. But, along came a drunk guy wearing no shirt and cut-off jeans(AKA: Hillbilly Jim). He busted out a bow and shot the turtle right in the neck in front of us all. A adult called him out and said he’d call the cops. The shooter replied, “it’s people like you who killed the American Indian” I’ve never forgotten that day and it really messed me up. It still haunts me. Wish I had done something. I recently caught two boys shooting arrows at Ducks in Bluemont Park behind my house. Let’s say they won’t do it again.

    • Lou

      Are you married to Morgan Fairchild by any chance?

  • othersideoftheriver

    “The wounded eagle was a previous occupant of the nest.” Still sounds like there’s a dead eagle.

  • KalashniKEV

    I knew someone was lying. Mehoo, you should feel appropriately foolish right now.

    • Aaron

      I don’t think “lying” is the right word at all. I think the Patch author honestly completely misconstrued what the photographer was trying to convey (i.e., that he didn’t want to reveal the nest’s location because a mother bird was killed FIVE years ago) and ran with his/her misunderstanding.

      • KalashniKEV

        Patch wanted something sensational that would make it bigger than “The scamster-in-chief received a photo of our most famous animal resident.” Also, if you followed the link the eagle 5 years ago was “injured in the aftermath of a midair battle with a rival bald eagle.”

        Unless rival eagles are surfing local news sites on the net, looking to potentially expand their turf, then disclosing the location of the nest is a non-issue.

        • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

          This post has been edited.

        • KalashniKEV

          ooooooooooooo- who was it from? :)

  • Homey D. Clown

    She was killed by a deranged Redskins fan.

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