Our thoughts Take pos­i­tive ac­tion

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Of the 17,850 peo­ple the ar­ti­cle (or at least the head­line) reached on Face­book, 111 voiced their opin­ions — some very strongly.

What was the hot topic? Ash­ton Hills Golf Course re­ceiv­ing per­mis­sion from Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources to re­move geese from its prop­erty by shoot­ing them and re­ceiv­ing per­mis­sion to dis­charge those firearms within the city lim­its.

Most of those com­ments were as such: “this is dis­gust­ing;” “hor­ri­ble;” “dis­ap­pointed in Cov­ing­ton;” “ashamed”.

The geese be­came a nui­sance —a costly one — to the golf course, not be­cause they fly in and out as the mi­gra­tion sea­son passes, but be­cause they took up res­i­dence. Peo­ple fed the geese, mak­ing the birds de­pen­dent on food in the area. When peo­ple stopped feed­ing the geese, the geese didn’t stop be­ing hun­gry. So they dug up the grass on Ash­ton Hills’ greens.

The only choice left for the golf course af­ter ex­haust­ing many other mea­sures, ac­cord­ing to co-owner Bryan Raines, was to per­ma­nently re­move the geese. This ruf­fled a lot of feath­ers on so­cial me­dia. We are glad that as a com­mu­nity, we get pas­sion­ate about things. But one thing we see so of­ten is that pas­sion flies in and then out. We want those peo­ple who voiced their opinion on so­cial me­dia to not just post some­thing and mi­grate on.

We are firm believ­ers in the free­dom of speech. We aim to use that free­dom to in­form, ed­u­cate and hold peo­ple ac­count­able. The com­ments on be­half of the dozen geese of Ash­ton Hills were im­pas­sioned. Peo­ple were fo­cused on change.

That change may be com­ing. The out­cry on our Face­book page con­cern­ing the ter­mi­na­tion of the geese was loud and clear.

It reached the ears of the USDA, who reached out to Ash­ton Hills, and an­other op­tion — one other than the dozen al­ready tried by the golf course — has been pre­sented.

We join whole­heart­edly with the move­ment that formed a Go Fund Me ac­count to pay the cost for the USDA’s pro­gram: trim the birds’ flight feath­ers and then move them more than 100 miles away for re­lo­ca­tion.

Now we chal­lenge the scores of peo­ple who took a stance on the birds via their key­boards to do the same via their wal­lets.

We hear time and time again how hor­ri­ble some­thing is. How a de­ci­sion isn’t right. We hear over and over from peo­ple on so­cial me­dia how they would do it dif­fer­ently. Well, here’s their chance.

If the 100-or-so peo­ple who said that Ash­ton Hills was do­ing the wrong thing put up just $10 each, then the geese are half­way to a longer life. The same can be said for sim­i­lar is­sues.

Why not take ac­tion. So­cial me­dia has been a use­ful ad­di­tion to our lives. But the re­place­ment of hard ac­tion — ac­tivism, vol­un­teerism, char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions — by a key­board has not. We can say all we want and noth­ing will come of it.

The Go Fund Me ac­count for the Ash­ton Hills geese, ini­ti­ated by a res­i­dent of Cov­ing­ton Place, a neigh­bor­hood near Ash­ton Hills, pro­vides a chance for ac­tion.

It also means that we, as a com­mu­nity, are ca­pa­ble of lead­ing with our hearts and our minds to find a com­pro­mise to any prob­lem. It means our voices can be heard and ac­tion can be taken to solve a prob­lem, if we are will­ing to stand be­hind what we say and type. It means that we don’t have to just com­plain about things, that we can ac­tu­ally solve prob­lems if we work to­gether.

Now that’s an idea we can flock to.

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