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Ithaca Tag

Due to the alarming outbreak of measles across the country, so-called “anti-vaxxers” are coming under extreme criticism. As well they should be. I won’t delve into the particulars of the measles outbreak--Legal Insurrection’s Leslie Eastman offers more analysis and some solutions. I’m more interested in the narrative surrounding “VaccineGate.” Of course, the mainstream media has been fervently trying to frame the anti-vaccination crowd as a collection of screw-balled libertarian Tea Partiers. It’s a slam-dunk narrative, so they think, because conservatives and libertarians are naturally opposed to big government and, for the most part, are skeptical of government actions, programs, and mandates in general. As the mainstream media tries to make out anti-vaxxers as Ted Kaczynski disciples who so-happen to vote Republican, it is gradually coming to light that the anti-vaccination crowd is actually quite bipartisan, and that the whole movement was started by liberal-progressives in southern California. Comedian, actress, and Playboy model Jenny McCarthy is perhaps the most notable anti-vaxxer. In Ithaca, New York, a bastion of liberalism which some call “ten square miles surrounded by reality,” vaccination rates at elementary schools are well below state averages. Some local schools, both public and private, have measles vaccination rates below 90%, whereas the state average is 95%.

On Monday I wrote how the Village of Cayuga Heights, bordering the Cornell University campus and the City of Ithaca, has spent $2,984 per deer in  a sterilization program which had no hope of reducing the deer population to an environmentally safe level. A reader just emailed me with a press release issued this morning by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation declaring war on deer in the central Tompkins County area in and around Ithaca:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent this bulletin on 01/15/2014 12:59 PM EST DEC Press Release Hello, The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has issued the following press release:

Special Deer Hunting Season in Central Tompkins County to Help Control Local Deer Population

Deer Management Focus Area Open Until January 31, 2014

A special deer hunting season to help control the deer population in and around the city of Ithaca, Tompkins County, will be open until January 31, 2014, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Ken Lynch announced today. The Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) program was initiated in 2012 in the Ithaca area to expand the use of hunting to assist local communities burdened with overabundant deer populations. The DMFA encompasses 60,000 acres of land in and around the city of Ithaca, including the city and town of Ithaca, the villages of Cayuga Heights and Lansing, and parts of the towns of Danby, Caroline, Dryden, Lansing, Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses.

We have written before about the deer sterilization program in Cayuga Heights, which borders the Cornell campus (most people think of it as Ithaca, but it's actually a separate municipality). Because Reproductive Health Care Is A Cervine Right:
I have written before about the moral angst sweeping the upscale Village of Cayuga Heights, bordering the Cornell campus and home to a large number of professors and staff, over how to control the out-of-control deer population. After years of debate, which tore the community apart, Cayuga Heights has come up with a solution:
The board of trustees passed a resolution Monday night to begin implementation of the phased options approach to deer management. The village will begin with the surgical sterilization of 20-60 does within a two-year period, followed by the culling of the remainder of the herd.
The cost per sterilization? Don’t ask:
The first phase of sterilization is estimated to take two years at an average cost of $1,200 per doe, according to the statement.
If they do for our health care system what they’ve done for the deer of Cayuga Heights, we’re sunk.
How did it work out? The Ithaca Journal reports, Cayuga Heights spends $35K to sterilize 12 does:

Cascadilla Creek, not far from my home in Ithaca, carries water from one of the main gorges that cuts through campus high above to Cayuga Lake. But to get there, it travels through my neighborhood. Normally flooding is not a problem. Except when the creek freezes over and...

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