Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for July, 2009

Bay to Barkers Dog Walk & Festival is Aug. 2


Dear Friend of Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society:
There are only 15 days left to pre-register for Bay to Barkers! It’s not too late to start collecting pledges from friends and family. The participant who collects the most pledges wins a 7-night stay in San Diego with an oceanfront view and round-trip airfare!
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Posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009
Under: Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society | No Comments »

Birdwatchers no featherweights when contributing to the economy

Birdwatching: Who’s watching who?
me & acorn

A new report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows one of every five Americans watches birds, and in doing so, birdwatchers contributed $36 billion to the U.S. economy in 2006, the most recent year for which economic data are available.

“This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study further reinforces the importance of bird conservation,” said Darin Schroeder, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President for Conservation Advocacy. “The State of the Birds report released earlier this year found that one-third of all bird species in the U.S. are in decline or facing serious threats. This report confirms that losing these species could have significant economic consequences.”
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Posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2009
Under: Bird Watching | No Comments »

Visit the Beaver Festival on Aug. 1 — it’s Worth A Dam!

Beaver Festival 2

Visit the Beaver Festival, 12:30-6:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Martinez “Beaver Park,” Marina Vista and Alhambra, in Martinez, CA.

Horse wearing a beaver tail at 2008 Beaver Festival. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds
festival 3

Find out more at

Kids wearing beaver tails at 2008 Beaver Festival. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Go hug a beaver and have fun! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
Under: Martinez Beavers | No Comments »

2009 California Animal legislation: How will these laws affect you?

Wild pig by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
wild pig1

2009 California Animal legislation as of July 10, 2009, compiled by Paw Pac, California’s Political Action Committee for Animals.

** For copies of bills: You can subscribe for updates.
** All legislators’ and Governor’s address: State Capitol Bldg., Sacramento 95814. Directory: 916-322-9900.
** To find the names of your Assembly Member and Senator:
** E-mail addresses follow a formula. Examples: or, Letters, including hand written, by regular mail are always preferable to e-mail.
** Paw PAC 2008 California Voting Chart:
** Compiled by: Virginia Handley
** Paw Pac: P.O. Box 475012, San Francisco, CA 94147; 415-646-0622

If you like or dislike any of these laws, write your legislators and the governor and tell them how you feel about it.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
Under: Animal protection legislation | No Comments »

Police Dogs: Raising money for K-9 bulletproof vests on July 18

k-9 cops

When: July 18, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Where: All 34 Bay Area Pet Food Express stores (from Petaluma to Carmel)

California’s budget crisis is impacting every city and county in the San Francisco Bay Area, and K-9 officers are feeling the brunt as well. They need bulletproof vests to do their jobs of protecting your community, but those vests are expensive ($1,200/each). As many as 100 working police dogs in the Bay Area do NOT have protecting vests.
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Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009
Under: Police Dogs | 2 Comments »

Drunk badger disrupts traffic


BERLIN — A German badger got so drunk on over-ripe cherries it had eaten from a nearby tree, it staggered into the middle of a road and refused to budge, police said on Wednesday.

A motorist called police near the central town of Goslar to report a dead badger on a road — only for officers to turn up and discover the animal alive and well, but drunk.

Officers eventually chased it from the road with a broom.

Well-equipped police cars should always carry brooms in case they run into any drunk badgers. /Gary

Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2009
Under: Badger | No Comments »

Rattlesnake vs. Gopher Snake: Can you & your kids tell the difference?

Western Rattlesnake by Brian Murphy

If you can get a close look at a rattlesnake or a gopher snake, they’re pretty easy to tell apart. But you don’t always get a close look when you find one crawling in your yard … and at a time like that they can look pretty similar and you may be fooled.

If you find a rattlesnake in your yard, make sure your children stay away from it and put your dog in the house so it can’t go sniff the snake and get bitten. If you need help … call your local animal services department or the police. Then keep an eye on the snake (from a safe distance) so you can show the authorities where it is when they arrive.
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Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Under: Snakes | 18 Comments »

Taking a walk on the wild side with Brian

To bee, or not to bee, by Brian Murphy

My good friend Brian Murphy of Walnut Creek spends a lot of time doing things with the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation, Mt. Diablo Audubon Society, and anyone else who wants to improve the environment in our local open space areas.

The best part of what Brian does is that he usually takes his camera along with him wherever he goes and then e-mails me pictures he has taken, along with some of his interesting comments.

What follows is the first of what I hope will become a periodic series of tiny photo exhibits here in my blog called, “Taking a walk on the wild side with Brian.”

Enjoy …
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Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
Under: Brian Murphy, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Woodpecker Guantanamo: Interesting take on acorn woodpecker problems at Rossmoor

Acorn woodpecker, by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA

Heidi Perryman, Martinez beaver mother and president of Worth A Dam, the wonderful folks fighting to protect the Martinez, CA, Beavers at, has some interesting things to say on her blog about the situation with the acorn woodpeckers at Rossmoor, CA.

It’s a quick and shocking, but interesting, read. Check it out … and then be very, very angry:

Smiling beaver by Worth A Dam
smile again

Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
Under: Acorn woodpeckers | No Comments »

Losing a pet is losing one of your best friends

Pet Cat

“A final note” in my Sunday column was from Lisa Hoffmann of cyberspace, about losing her best friend:

A final note
June 29, 2009: Today I lost my best friend. His name was Leon.
I loved Leon more than I ever thought was possible. Leon was my orange tabby. He was the sweetest cat I have ever known. Even though some might say, “he was just a cat” he was so much more than that to me.
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Posted on Monday, July 6th, 2009
Under: Pet loss | 3 Comments »