Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins backs David Faulkner in House District 46 runoff; Justin Barkley undecided

"Tell Steve French to 'mustard' up all he can and to 'ketchup,'" Blackmore-Jenkins said.

Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins & Justin Barkley.jpeg.jpgAlabama House District 46 Republican candidate Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, at left, has thrown her support behind David Faulkner in his runoff with Steve French for the District 46 seat, while Justin Barkley, at right, has not yet decided if he will endorse a candidate in the runoff. 

HOOVER, Alabama - Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, one of four candidates in Tuesday's Republican primary for Alabama House District 46, today threw her support behind front-runner David Faulkner in his July 15 runoff with Steve French.

Blackmore-Jenkins of Hoover came in last of the four Republicans in the race Tuesday, garnering 5 percent of the vote in the district, which covers parts of Homewood, Hoover and Mountain Brook and is now represented by Congressional candidate Paul DeMarco.

Homewood's Justin Barkley, who narrowly missed out on the runoff with 23 percent of the vote and only 228 votes shy of second-place finisher French, said he has not yet decided whether he will make an endorsement in the runoff. He plans to meet with both candidates soon before deciding, he said.

David Faulkner Steve French runoff.jpgDavid Faulkner and Steve French, two Republicans from Mountain Brook, Ala., are headed for a July 15, 2014 runoff for Alabama House District 46. 

Faulkner, an attorney from Mountain Brook, led the four-way race with 45 percent of the vote, while French, also from Mountain Brook, captured 26 percent.

Blackmore-Jenkins said she chose to support Faulkner because she knows him and supported him when he ran unsuccessfully for a Jefferson County judgeship two years ago. "I think he'll do OK with the seat with the right support," she said.

"Tell Steve French to 'mustard' up all he can and to 'ketchup,'" she said, referring to French's campaign signs that closely resemble the French mustard logo.

Blackmore-Jenkins said she has no regrets about her campaign.

"I know that I ran a clean race. I woke up this morning with a pure heart and a corrupt-free mind, knowing I ran a strong race," she said. "This race was not about me winning. This race was about me learning, and I learned a lot ... I think I have the tools, the experience and knowledge and a greater network now to be a little bit more ready for the next time."

She probably will run for elected office again, but right now, "I'm going to do what I've got to do to help David," she said.

Barkley said he's very thankful for all the people who helped his campaign finish as strong as it did. He believes he did very well for a first-time candidate running against two people from Mountain Brook whom he said raised probably close to $150,000 each, compared to the $35,000 or so that he spent on the race.

Both Faulkner and French also had high name recognition -- French from his prior service as a state senator and executive director of the Alabama Republican Party, and Faulkner from his run for the judgeship two years ago, Barkley said.

"We were there til the end," Barkley said. "I'm incredibly proud of what we did."

Both Faulkner and French said they are looking forward to the runoff. Whoever wins the Republican primary will face Libertarian Steven Tucker in the November general election.

See more about the race for Alabama House District 46 here.

David Faulkner, Steve French in Republican runoff for Alabama House District 46

Justin Barkley came in a close third in the race but did not make the runoff, according to incomplete results.

David Faulkner Steve French runoff.jpgDavid Faulkner and Steve French, two Republicans from Mountain Brook, Ala., are headed for a July 15, 2014 runoff for Alabama House District 46. 

MOUNTAIN BROOK, Alabama - David Faulkner and former state Sen. Steve French, two Republicans from Mountain Brook, find themselves in a July 15 runoff to replace Paul DeMarco in Alabama House District 46, according to unofficial election returns.

With all precincts counted, Faulkner has a commanding lead going into the runoff with 45 percent of the vote, while French picked up 26 percent.

Justin Barkley, an attorney from Homewood, barely missed out on making the runoff, capturing 23 percent of the vote - only 228 votes behind French.

David Faulkner primary election night 2014.jpeg (3).jpgDavid Faulkner, a Republican candidate for Alabama House District 46, talks with supporters at the Avo restaurant in Mountain Brook, Ala., as primary election return come in on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (Jon Anderson/janderson@al.com) 

Faulkner, who met with supporters at the Avo restaurant in Mountain Brook tonight, said he is very grateful for all the people that supported his campaign.

"While we would have liked to avoid a runoff, we were happy and very pleased at the people who supported us and where we are, and look forward to hopefully pulling this thing off on July 15."

Faulkner, an attorney, said he will be a fresh new voice for Jefferson County. "I've never held public office before and just really look forward to having that opportunity to represent the people in this district," he said.

Steve French primary election night 2014.jpeg.jpgSteve French, a Republican candidate for Alabama House District 46, waits on primary election returns with his wife and other supporters at Saw's Juke Joint in Mountain Brook, Ala., on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (Jon Anderson/janderson@al.com) 

French, who followed election returns from Saw's Juke Joint in Mountain Brook, said he has expected for several weeks there would be a runoff for DeMarco's seat.

"The main thing was to get in the runoff, and we've done that," he said. "We'll fight on and move on to July."

French said he looks forward to a runoff battle focused on the issues. Each candidate can talk about what they bring to the table and give voters a healthy dose of information to digest, he said.

Justin Barkley primary election day 2014.jpegJustin Barkley, a Republican candidate for Alabama House District 46, campaigns with his wife and infant son at the Homewood Public Library in Homewood, Ala., on election day, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (Jon Anderson/janderson@al.com) 

Barkley said he was proud of what he and his campaign supporters were able to accomplish. With the one box from Hunter Street still uncounted late Tuesday night, Barkley said "we're going to sleep tonight, and we're going to see what tomorrow shows us."

Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, the fourth Republican in the race, garnered 5 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Whoever wins the Republican primary for House District 46 will face Libertarian Steven Tucker in the November general election.

This post was updated several times Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning with updated vote totals and additional information.

Homewood Library receives Gold Level Standard Award

Homewood Library is the first library in the State of Alabama to receive the new Gold Level Standard Award and the only Library in the State of Alabama to receive it this year.

Adjusted.jpg(Courtesy)

HOMEWOOD, Alabama -- The Alabama Library Association awarded the Homewood Library with the 2014 Gold Level Standard Award for Public Libraries earlier this year.

Homewood Library is the first library in the State of Alabama to receive the new Gold Level Standard Award and the only Library in the State of Alabama to receive it this year.

According to a news release, the award "reflects the dedicated effort of Homewood Library's Board, Director, and staff to meet and surpass the core standards for public libraries in the State of Alabama." The Alabama Standards Achievement Awards recognize superior planning and levels of excellence attained by exceptional public libraries in Alabama. Gold Level Standard is the highest level of achievement attainable by a public library in the State of Alabama.

The Homewood Library received the Blue Ribbon Award in 2004, which at the time was the highest Standard level attainable in the State of Alabama. There were only seven libraries in the State of Alabama with the Blue Ribbon Award.

Over the past few years the Alabama Library Association has worked to revamp and update the Standards, changing them from the Blue Ribbon Award to Bronze, Silver and Gold Level Awards.

The Standards measured include pages of requirements related to the Facility, Administration and Governance, Planning, Budget, Hours of Operation, Staffing, Staff Training, Promotion and Partnering, Collection, Services, and Technology. 

Homewood Library received the Award at the 2014 Alabama Library Association Annual Convention in Huntsville on April 24.

Homewood City Councilman to host Ward 1 community meeting

Homewood City Councilman Britt Thames, who serves Ward 1, Place 2, will be holding a community meeting on Sunday, June 8 from 3-4 p.m.

better thames.jpgBritt Thames. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Thames) 

HOMEWOOD, Alabama -- Homewood City Councilman Britt Thames, who serves Ward 1, Place 2, will be holding a community meeting on Sunday, June 8 from 3-4 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Event Room at the new Community Center.

"At the meeting I will be updating everyone on City happenings in general and specific to our Ward," Thames said in an email to AL.com.

Thames said he would also like to hear comments and concerns residents have about Ward 1.

"This will be a great opportunity to discuss ideas and future projects," he said, "as well as get to know your neighbors."

The new Homewood Community Center is located at 1632 Oxmoor Road.

For more on the Community Center, including a look at the early stages of development through completion, click here.

For all news Homewood, click here.

Alabama House District 46 candidate Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins hopes to add diversity to GOP

Blackmore-Jenkins is among 11 black candidates seeking elected office as Republicans this year.

Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins 2.jpgPamela Blackmore-Jenkins is one of four Republican candidates seeking to represent Alabama House District 46.  

HOOVER, Alabama - When you think of the Republican Party, chances are you might not automatically picture Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins.

But the 43-year-old black woman from Hoover with six children and four grandchildren is hoping to change that.

She's the only black candidate and only woman running for Alabama House District 46, which includes parts of Homewood, Hoover and Mountain Brook. It's the seat being given up by state Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, as he runs for Congress.

Others seeking the seat in Tuesday's Republican primary are Justin Barkley, David Faulkner and Steve French.

Blackmore-Jenkins is one of 11 black candidates running for elected offices in Alabama this year as Republicans. Republicans have been trying to recruit more black people from within their party to run for office, but Blackmore-Jenkins said she wasn't recruited.

She chose the Republican Party on her own because she believes in many of the same principles of the party, such as limited government and strong nuclear families, she said.

She has been an active volunteer with the party for some time, she said. In 2012, she served as an alternate delegate for Newt Gingrich for the Republican National Convention and coordinated a fundraiser for Jefferson County Republican candidates with former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis as guest speaker.

She was recognized in 2014 by the National Federation of Republican Women and Alabama Federation of Republican Women for having the most volunteer hours, has served as the minority chairwoman for the Greater Birmingham Republican Women and participated with the Alabama Minority GOP and Mid-Alabama Republican Club.

"I do bring a fresh perspective. Diversity is very significant," Blackmore-Jenkins told MSNBC earlier this month. As a woman and minority who has been a part of the lower class, middle class and upper class, she has a variety of life experiences that bring valuable perspective, she said.

"I believe I am capable of balancing conservativeness, compassion," Blackmore-Jenkins said in answer to questions from the Alabama Media Group. "I think people want results. They are seeking someone who is not afraid of challenges. They want someone who will take action. I am running because I know people want someone who will stand their ground."

Blackmore-Jenkins said she is nice, loving and kind-hearted, but "I'm not a push over."

She believes she has a calling to serve the people of House District 46, she said. She's not looking for a job that supplies income and helps boost her retirement, she said. She also is not trying to ride somebody else's coattails into office by name dropping and doesn't think she has all the answers, she said.

She has been working hard, going door to door, listening to the needs and concerns of people in her district, she said.

If elected, she would like to be a catalyst for ending corrupt behavior in the government, ensure there are no new taxes and be active in economic development, she said.

"I want to be the legislator that brings not only diversity to the party but also unity throughout the state," Blackmore-Jenkins said. "I want us to come together as the model for other states."

Blackmore-Jenkins, who is divorced, was born in New York City but has lived in Hoover for 10 years. She obtained a bachelor's degree in English from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina in 1997 and a law degree from Miles College in 2013.

She attends both Hunter Street Baptist Church and Metropolitan Church of God, and sings in the choir at both churches, she said.

Read more about Blackmore-Jenkins on her campaign website.

See bios of all four Republican candidates seeking House District 46 here. Also, read more news on the race for Alabama House District 46 here.

Homewood’s ‘Brookwood Live’ set to turn up the tunes for final time tonight

According to their website, The Bicho Brothers band is a group of "music veterans who share a passion and desire for creating great music and moving audiences."

Layout 1(Colonial Brookwood Village) 

HOMEWOOD, Alabama -- Brookwood Village will host the final installation of its 'Brookwood Live' series tonight, May 29 from 5-9 p.m. featuring the sounds of "The Bicho Brothers."

According to their website, The Bicho Brothers band is a group of "music veterans who share a passion and desire for creating great music and moving audiences."

They blend Classic Rock with a flavor of Latin Percussion with covers of the Eagles and Rolling Stones to Santana, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Dire Straits, BTO, Neil Young, War, Joe Cocker, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton and Loggins & Messina.

Attendees are invited to "embark on a journey that will take you to familiar places and fond memories, new experiences and fresh sounds, but most importantly - a night of excitement, enjoyment and fun."

Enjoy a sampling of what The Bicho Brothers have to offer below:


The Brookwood Live series has been rocking Homewood all month long featuring other bands like Top Secret, Street Kar, Groove Daddy, and Rock Candy.

Tonight, roads will be blocked off from traffic, allowing restaurants in the area to serve food to patrons while they enjoy the night's music.

For more information about Brookwood Live, click here.

For more on The Bicho Bothers, click here.

For more on all things Homewood, click here.

Steve French, Justin Barkley talk about issues facing Alabama, House District 46

Barkley presents himself as an outsider with a fresh perspective, while French presents himself as an experienced legislator who can lead from Day 1. Watch video

Steve French Justin Barkley.jpeg.jpgSteve French, at left, and Justin Barkley are two of the four Republican candidates seeking Alabama House District 46 in the June 3, 2014 Republican primary. (Frank Couch/fcouch@al.com) 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Two of the four Republicans seeking to replace Paul DeMarco in Alabama House District 46 squared off today in a forum-style meeting with the Alabama Media Group's editorial board.

Former state Sen. Steve French of Mountain Brook and Homewood lawyer Justin Barkley met for about an hour with the editorial board, outlining their answers on the issues facing Alabama and their district, which includes parts of Homewood, Hoover and Mountain Brook.

The two other candidates, Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins of Hoover and David Faulkner of Mountain Brook were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

French and Barkley have similar stances on many issues and say the big question is what kind of person the people of their district want representing them.

Barkley said voters have to decide whether they want someone such as French, whom he described as "steeped in Montgomery ways" and supported by special interests and Montgomery insiders, or someone like himself, whom he said will bring a fresh outside perspective.

French said House District 46 and this region needs someone who can step into the job, leading from Day 1. He has the experience to make substantial changes to state government, he said.

When he served in the state Senate from 1998 to 2010, Republicans were in the minority and had a difficult time implementing changes that would mean less government, French said. Now that Republicans have a majority in the Legislature, he wants to be a part of continuing the job of reducing the role of government, he said.

"I know that I can do that job," he said. "I can have an effect for our district. I don't need on-the-job training."

Barkley said legislators need to be limited to serving no more than three terms and said he would sponsor legislation to that effect. "Steve's already served in Montgomery for 12 years," he said.

French said term limits are not the panacea that some people portray them to be. However, he said a 12-year term limit seems like a reasonable option. While he has served 12 years in the Senate, he has never served in the House of Representatives. He doesn't plan to spend 12 years in Montgomery the second time around, he said.

The two candidates also sparred over French's previous vote to pass a Jefferson County occupational tax in 2009.

Both candidates say that the county doesn't need an occupational tax and that they believe that issue is dead. However, Barkley takes issue with French saying he fought against the occupational tax when he was one of only two Republicans in the Senate who voted for it.

French said he supported the .45 percent occupational tax in 2009 only because then-Gov. Bob Riley called a special session of the Legislature to address it and find a solution for Jefferson County's financial crisis. There was going to be a solution passed, and French's vote was one of compromise to provide a Republican, conservative solution, he said.

The bill they passed required that the tax be reduced over five years and eventually eliminated. The idea was to give Jefferson County some time to figure out how to reduce its expenses, French said.

"I will not be in favor of the county ever having an occupational tax again," he said.

Both candidates were asked to identify their three biggest concerns with state government.

Barkley said he's concerned about the economy and wants to lessen the impact of governmental regulations on businesses. Second, he wants to make sure that local school districts are allowed to control their own destiny and have flexibility to solve their own problems. Third, he wants to make sure their district has someone in Montgomery who is there for the right reasons, not someone looking for a career or because of cronyism.

French said his biggest concern is corruption. He has zero tolerance for it and will be outspoken against it, he said. Second, he understands there need to be educational standards set at the state level but also local control and flexibility, as well as utilization of technology for education. Third, he has a plan to create jobs for residents of District 46 without raising taxes, he said. He wants to create a matching fund for grants that will allow innovative employers such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham to attract more federal grant money and create jobs in this region.

See bios on all four of the Republican candidates running for Alabama House District 46, as well as coverage of an Alabama Policy Institute forum in which they participated.

What questions would you ask candidates for Alabama House District 46?

The district includes parts of Homewood, Hoover and Mountain Brook.

Alabama House District 46 candidates 2.jpeg.jpgRepublican candidates for Alabama House District 46 include, clockwise, from top left, Steve French, Justin Barkley, Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins and David Faulkner. 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- In 11 days, Republican voters in Alabama House District 46 have a chance to select who they want to replace state Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, in the state Legislature.

DeMarco gave up his legislative seat to run for the Sixth Congressional District, and four Republicans are seeking to take his place. The candidates are: Justin Barkley, a lawyer from Homewood; Republican activist Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins of Hoover; lawyer David Faulkner of Mountain Brook and former state Sen. Steve French of Mountain Brook.

If you could get all or some of the candidates together in a room, what would you ask them about? What issues are important to you and the people of House District 46?

The editorial board for the Alabama Media Group (AL.com and The Birmingham News) plans to meet with as many of the candidates who can make it today and wants you to share what you think the board should ask about.

An Alabama Media Group reporter and photographer will be there to capture the interviews and share the results. So share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below. The editorial board is listening.

Read bios on the four Republican candidates here, and see more coverage on the race for Alabama House District 46 here.

Alabama primary election 2014: House District 46 Republican candidates

Four Republicans are vying to replace Paul DeMarco in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Alabama House District 46 candidates 1.jpeg.jpgThe 2014 Republican candidates for Alabama House District 46 are, clockwise from top left, Justin Barkley, Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins, David Faulkner and Steve French. 

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Alabama -- Four Republicans are seeking the party's nomination in the June 3 primary for Alabama House District 46, which includes parts of Homewood, Hoover and Mountain Brook.

Seats in the state House each have four-year terms. The seat's compensation is based on the state's median annual household income, which was $41,574 in 2012. Legislators can also be reimbursed for documented expenses.

Here are the candidates:

Justin Barkley

Justin Barkley House District 46 Campaign Headshot.jpgJustin Barkley

Age: 34

Residence: Has lived in Homewood for nine years

Hometown: Hoover

Occupation: Attorney

Employer: Spain & Gillon; previously worked eight years with Johnston Barton Proctor & Rose

Education: Law degree from University of Alabama, 2005; bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University, 2002

Political experience: Member of Jefferson County Republican Party Executive Committee and Greater Birmingham Young Republicans, where he previously served as an officer and a delegate to the Young Republican National Convention

Spouse's name: Melissa Ausman Barkley

Number of children: Four

Place of worship: Riverchase United Methodist Church in Hoover

Campaign website: www.justinbarkley.com

Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins

Pamela Blackmore-Jenkins 2.jpgPamela Blackmore-Jenkins 

Age: 43

Residence: Has lived in Hoover for 10 years

Hometown: Born in New York City

Occupation: Volunteer Republican activist

Education: Law degree from Miles College, 2013; bachelor's degree in English from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, 1997

Political experience: Recognized in 2014 by National Federation of Republican Women and Alabama Federation of Republican Women for having most volunteer hours; minority chair for Greater Birmingham Republican Women; participant with Alabama Minority GOP and Mid-Alabama Republican Club; coordinated 2012 fundraiser for Jefferson County Republican candidates with Artur Davis as guest speaker; Served as an Alabama delegate for Newt Gingrich and alternate delegate for Republican National Convention in 2012

Spouse's name: Divorced

Number of children: Six children and four grandchildren

Place of worship: Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover and Metropolitan Church of God

Campaign website: www.electblackmorejenkins.org

David Faulkner

David Faulkner head shot.jpgDavid Faulkner 

Age: 45

Residence: Has lived in Mountain Brook for most of his life

Hometown: Mountain Brook

Occupation: Attorney

Employer: Partner at Christian & Small since 2000

Education: Law degree from University of Alabama, 1994; bachelor's degree in political science from University of Alabama, 1990

Political experience: Attended Republican National Convention in 1988, 1992 and 1996; served as volunteer for the convention in 1988; worked for Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C., in 1990-91; worked in operations and then as assistant director for convention podium in Houston in 1992; worked for U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin in Washington, D.C., one summer during college

Spouse's name: Nancy Faulkner

Number of children: Three

Place of worship: St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Mountain Brook

Campaign website: www.electdavidfaulkner.com

Steve French

Steve French.jpgSteve French 

Age: 51

Residence: Has lived in Mountain Brook for 23 years

Hometown: Born in Lynchburg, Va.; raised in Jackson, Ala.

Occupation: Investment banking; formerly worked in insurance business

Employer: Senior vice president of business development and governmental relations at Sterne Agee

Education: Bachelor's degree in personnel and industrial relations from Auburn University, 1985

Political experience: Served 12 years representing Alabama Senate District 15 until losing the seat to Slade Blackwell in 2010; was Republican Senate Caucus chairman; served on both budget committees and was member of Legislative Oversight Committee for the State Insurance Board; was executive director for Alabama Republican Party, 1988-91 until taking job as regional political director for the Republican National Committee; was Alabama campaign manager for Bush-Quayle ticket in 1992; now serves on Alabama Athletics Commission, which regulates mixed martial arts, professional boxing, wrestling and tough man competitions throughout the state

Spouse's name: Betsy French

Number of children: Four

Place of worship: Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook

Campaign website: www.votestevefrench.com

See more about the Alabama House District 46 race here.

Foxes, coyotes and hawks, oh my! Here’s a look at the top misconceptions about wildlife

We asked wildlife expert David Dionne to provide us with a list of the "top misconceptions" regarding wildlife. Here's what he had to say:

TRAVEL YELLOWSTONE 5 KRTA coyote looks on at Yellowstone National Park in August, 2005. (Steve Deslich/KRT)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- We've got it all wrong, experts say.

When news first broke that a Vestavia Hills family was grieving the loss of their pet Bichon Frise after it had been attacked and killed in the backyard of their Shades Crest Road home by either a coyote or fox, AL.com readers flooded the site with a frenzy of opinions and questions.

What's the best way to keep my pet safe? Why are these wild creatures invading our property? What can we do about it? Readers wondered.

Due to the large amount of interest from our readers, we reached out to wildlife experts for their advice.

"This time of the year coyote-dog incidents spike because of one thing -- puppies," said Frank Vincenti, who runs Wild Dog Foundation, a wild canine conservation and education group in the New York tri-state area. "Coyotes are great parents and will protect their young from rival canines."

Vincenti said that encounters with coyotes in particular, are preventable.

"People forget that coyotes are basically dogs, and can be trained to avoid conflicts," he said. "But it needs consistency and the community has to be on board, lethal removal does not  allow for learning."

Coyote.jpgView full size(Homewood Police Foundation) 

David G. Dionne, who will be the featured speaker at the "Learning to Live with Wild Neighbors" lecture on May 20 hosted by Homewood Animal Control, reminds readers that people and animals each have their own unique perspective on things.

"We need to be rational and use common sense as we deal with animals," said Dionne in an email to AL.com. "They can only use instinct and behavioral patterns that are learned from birth."

We asked Dionne to provide us with a list of the "top misconceptions" regarding wildlife. Here's what he had to say:

Misconception #1
These animals have no business in "my yard."
People often wonder why animals are coming into "their" yards. It's because the animal sees the yard as part of "their" territory. Animals have no concept or understanding of human zoning codes.  (As a matter of fact, neither do most of us!!) Why? Birds and all types of mammals establish territories for mating, denning and for access to food. Depending on the animal that territory may include your yard and your neighbor's yard, or the territory may be larger than your neighborhood. Hummingbirds will fight other hummingbirds to the death if one invades another's territory. That same hummingbird will ignore every songbird in the yard because the song bird is no threat to the hummingbird's food or mating possibilities. We need to understand them if we want to attract or discourage our wild neighbors. Their need for territory is something we need to understand.

Misconception #2
I need a good fence to keep the wild beasts away.
Fences are trivial inconveniences to most wild animals. A fence does more to pin in potential prey, like your small dog, than it does to keep predators out. A small dog patrolling a fenced back yard is very attractive to a Red Shouldered Hawk hunting three houses away. The hawk only has to bide his time and wait for the dog to wander into an open area to swoop in and fly off with his meal. Coyotes and bobcats only need to jump the fence for an easy meal. Your dog will quickly fall prey as he is now pinned in a confined space with a hungry animal that only needs to chase him down and pin him in a corner to earn a meal.
Dogs that are leashed or tied up in yards or campsites are even more vulnerable. A human who leaves an animal chained to a post thinks he has a guardian watching the back yard or his campsite. To a passing bear or predatory cat the view is much different. They see a snack on a chain. Their perception is much different than ours.
Misconception #3
The answer involves traps, poison and/or firearms.
Traps, snares, poisons and firearms are all more of a threat to children, pets and neighbors than they are to wildlife. We need to understand these animals are here to stay.  Leg hold traps and snares are a real threat to children and pets in your neighborhood, as are poisoned baits. Firearms are even more dangerous around homes. A pet owner firing in defense of his cat may hit the predator but then find himself explaining why his round passed through the coyote and into his neighbors kitchen. We can all see how that scenario can easily become much, much worse.


Dionne will speak on these tips and more at the Homewood Public Library, Tuesday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m.

According to the event flyer, Dionne will also speak about fox, squirrels, rabbits, feral mammals, reptiles and birds. He will discuss why such animals are present in our neighborhoods, how to identify who's dropping by, how to ward off unwanted visitors and how to attract visitors you do want.

For more information, check out the Homewood Police Department's Facebook page or www.homewoodpd.org.