Here's the resident male hummingbird on the tip of a twig, with the treetops in the western valley of the sanctuary in the background. Note that all these videos are in 1080 P hi-definition so remember to set Youtube appropriately. Here at the sanctuary I only have rather slow DSL ( typically 2 Mbps download, upload much less) so the video stutters a bit at full resolution. Since I'm still partially deaf, I cannot hear anything on the soundtrack, but I believe there is one, probably the merry sound of kids playing over at the 4H camp to my east.
I already wrote a bit about the lawsuit in my Jan 30 post. As required by law it was filed with the County Clerk, on december 23, just after the issuance of the related (see para 33) Notice of Violation At first it seems a random hodge podge of allegations and claims, but in fact most of the pieces hang together. The crucial, foundational paragraph is 10:
However, this para is not an allegation of fact, but a fanciful legal theory. The NoV does not establish that a bird sanctuary is prohibited under the zoning, it is merely the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer Richard Downs. Code Enforcement Officers do not create laws, they merely interpret them, based in part (in this case at least) on inspection of the premises.
In order to establish that a code violation has occurred, the Town would have to take me to court, as the NoV itself makes clear. However, the Town Attorney has assured me by email, and has been quoted in the Riverhead News Review, that his office will take no action. The inevitable conclusion is that the Town has revised its opinion of this matter, largely in response to public pressure (e.g. the News Review article and associated comments).
All of the Plaintiffs' complaints require that there has been an underlying violation of law. The suggestions in para 10 that such a violation has occurred is not an (alleged) fact, but a fanciful and untested legal theory. One must therefore conclude that the Complaint has no basis in law, and the lawsuit completely crumbles because it is founded on legal sand.
Obviously this line of argument is itself a theory, and has to be, and probably will be, assessed by the judge/justice. And clearly everything hinges on the NoV, including everything it says, or does not say. I'll write more about the NoV in my next post, before returning to my dissection of the lawsuit itself.
What can you, my dear reader, do? If you have not already done so please sign the petition asking the Town of Riverhead to formally rescind the NoV.