Thursday, May 25, 2017

Talk of the Town: Are amplified sounds killing our birds? Is McCabe’s Coming Back?

florida beach

“naplesQ. We are quite annoyed for a number of reasons to hear all the high frequency screeching sounds coming from rooftops of restaurants, (some very close to the beach) and shopping centers used to ‘scare the daylights out of birds.’  We think they are some type of solar-powered, high fidelity, digitally recorded bird screeches that go off at random times.  On one of the websites, it states often at 120 decibels! Are they legal?  Is anyone at Florida Fish and Wildlife aware of this? Aren’t these killing our birds? And lastly, to those local businesses that use them, we won’t be back. We moved here to enjoy and appreciate all the wildlife that lives among us, seagulls and all.   Paul & Linda, Naples

A. I reached out to Diane Hirth, in communications for habitat and species conservation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in Tallahassee who responded: “Our biologists have not received reports of these devices being used near breeding colonies of shorebirds or seabirds, and we are not aware of their use near roosting/resting areas of State or Federally listed shorebirds or seabirds. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act does not prevent owners of beachfront restaurants from using these devices or other non-injurious deterrents to scare off non-listed species that exhibit nuisance behavior.”

If you are as shocked as I am, Paul & Linda, let me say that I did respond back with my own questions asking for further investigation:

“Our biologists have not received reports of these devices being used.”

But I sent her a question from concerned citizens stating where they have been spotted.  I also shared with her various locations where I have heard them, and some during the evening hours and said I’d be happy to meet with FWC to show them the locations.

According to various websites some of these sounds can be as loud as a jet engine.  Isn’t anyone going to investigate to see how far-reaching they are?

“And we are not aware of their use near roosting/resting areas.”

What? To not be aware means you are assuming something. How could they possibly know if they won’t get out of their offices and on the ground to start seeking answers to where they actually are located.

“Non-injurious?”

With labels, such as “Scare the daylights out of birds” don’t they want to know if birds might be flying into walls? windows?

“Exhibit nuisance behavior.”  Shouldn’t our government agency in place be to protect all species?

I suppose they didn’t read the dismal report from South Florida Water Management District’s annual wading bird report in January 2017, where wading birds nests last year were at their lowest number since 2008.

I suggested that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is outdated and needs to be brought into the 21st century.  “Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918, 1936, 1972, 1978) In 1918, a treaty for the protection of migratory birds was established between Canada and the United States. In 1936, 1972, and 1978, the treaty was expanded to include Mexico, Japan, and the USSR (now Russia). The treaty states that it is unlawful to pursue, hunt, capture, kill, possess for sale, purchase, deliver for shipment, or cause to be exported any migratory birds including their eggs, nests, and body parts unless allowed by rule or appropriate federal and state permits.”

I asked if they would at least say they will do further studies.

I suggested that in addition to the over development and now birds being scared to death due to over-amplified recorded screeching sounds might give them some cause for concern over this new threat. Wouldn’t they want to know?

No response.

I need your help.  Will you let me know where you’ve heard these and the location? Are they near the beach, near roosting birds, a protected area?  You can remain anonymous.  I’m appalled.  This is not over.

Our own Collier County code enforcement says that this type of device would fall under noise violations that do not require use of testing equipment.  If you have a complaint, call at 239-252-2440.

Sec. 54-93. – Noise violations that do not require use of testing equipment.

(1) Unreasonably loud, raucous or jarring: (is clearly annoying or clearly disturbing to any individual of normal sensibilities at such site); or

(2) A nuisance: (without reasonable justification is unreasonably interfering with the peace and quiet of any individual of normal sensibilities at such site).

(3) Sound Producing Device. These devices include every device designed to produce, reproduce or amplify sound, whether or not related to a vehicle, such as horn, siren, whistle, bell, musical instrument, radio, TV, phonograph, speaker, loudspeaker, microphone, or other substantially similar device, including when a horn, siren, whistle, bell or similar device is sounded longer than necessary. These noises are enforceable by the Sheriff’s Office, but shall not be enforceable by Code Enforcement officers unless the sound producing device is off road.

You can reach me at talkofthetown@naplesherald.com.

Q. Whatever happened to all the original Irish interior and fixtures of McCabe’s Pub and will it ever open again somewhere else?

Natalie O’Brien, Ft. Myers, Ohio

A. Over the Labor Day weekend in 2013, the last piece of McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill was forever history. The doors officially closed on September 1, 2013

I spoke with Naples Developer and owner of the Inn on Fifth, Phil McCabe who opened his namesake in 1997.

“We hosted a 3-day event over the Labor Day weekend in 2013 for friends, pub patrons, and the public and gave away everything! From bar stools and chairs to tables and light fixtures. It’s true every piece of the interior including the wood floor was one hundred percent from Ireland.  I had it shipped over in containers.  The eight carpenters were from Dublin and stayed for 2 months to install.

“I do miss it,” McCabe said, “especially this time of year.”  When I asked if he’d open another McCabe’s he replied, “I might open another ‘Irish themed’ restaurant. I wouldn’t dismiss it.  It’s just a matter of energy on my end!”

I’d say he has plenty of that!

McCabe’s Irish Pub website is still there with the following statement:

“Erin Go Bragh!

McCabe’s Irish Pub is closed for an extended Irish Vacation. A grand Irish wake was held on Sunday, September 1st to celebrate the departure of McCabe’s from the 5th Avenue scene. The last day was filled with merriment, camaraderie, festivities and entertainment featuring some of the musicians you have seen at McCabe’s over the years. All remaining McCabe’s memorabilia was given away to patrons in attendance from the stage. Some lucky revelers made off with tee shirts, hats, and even some furniture. BUT TAKE HEART… McCabe’s will be back. Watch this spot for updates. A spiffed up, rejuvenated, rested and more-Irish than-ever McCabe’s will re-open in about two years, downtown Naples in a surprise location. In the meantime, SLAINTE!! May the blessings of the Irish be with you until we meet again.”

Perhaps the extended vacation will end soon…. stay tuned!

Tidbit ~ After McCabe’s closed and was gutted, Avenue5 restaurant then opened in early February 2014.  Over Labor Day weekend in 2016 Avenue5 closed and in December 2016, Ocean Prime opened. 

For those of you who are new to Naples and never had the opportunity to visit McCabe’s or those still missing it, enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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