Odd news for Wednesday
October 17, 2007
SAN CARLOS, Calif. ” Some people might think Mary Nacey’s devotion to her foster pets is a little nutty, but the Northern California woman says that mothering abandoned baby squirrels is a privilege that comes naturally.
As a volunteer with the Peninsula Humane Society’s Wildlife Care Center, Nacey has cared for nearly 150 squirrels, bottle-feeding them in her home, naming them, and undoing the damage they exert on her flowerpots.
“They’re God’s creatures,” Nacey said. “They were put here for a purpose. They’re so much like us with different personalities.”
Most of the squirrels she and her husband, Jim, help raise are rescued after falling from nests. The couple usually get the wee rodents when they are two weeks old and keep them until they are weaned six weeks later.
The squirrels return briefly to the Humane Society’s aviary and are then released to the wild.
Mary Nacey said that even though the job is time-consuming, she would rather stay home and watch the squirrels grow than go out for dinner or a movie. When the babies go, she misses them.
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“They’re just like little Walt Disney characters,” she said. “They’re each so unique.”
Scott Delucchi, a spokesman for the Peninsula Humane Society, said Nacey has the right set of skills for being a foster parent.
“Mary’s very caring and is good about giving the animals TLC, but she is also good about setting boundaries and understanding when and how to let go.”
Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) ” A lobsterman in a four-way race for a City Council spot was ordered to take down campaign signs attached to lobster traps.
Officials told Bill Linnell his signs placed along streets ahead of the Nov. 6 election posed a public safety and maintenance problem.
“What we don’t want to get into is a case of one-upmanship, where somebody puts signs on lobster traps, so somebody else puts theirs on an inflatable cow,” said Steve Landry, a state Transportation Department public safety engineer. “There’s a safety factor out there.”
Linnell said the traps meet state guidelines. He said he may sue the city but not until after the election.
For now, he’s using different signs, some adorned with buoys.
EMEK HEFER, Israel (AP) ” With eight wives and 67 children, Shahadeh Abu Arrar has given new meaning to the term “family man.”
Abu Arrar, 58, is a member of Israel’s impoverished Bedouin Arab community. But even in a traditional nomadic society where men commonly have several wives and many children, Abu Arrar is exceptional.
“I’m thinking about a new wife, No. 9,” he told the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot in a recent interview. “There are many women who wish to marry me and there is no lack of women. I never had a problem with such things.”
Abu Arrar, whose oldest child is 37, was photographed by the newspaper in a long Bedouin robe and head cover, surrounded by a dozen of so of his kids.
During a visit to his multistory home in central Israel, The Associated Press spotted 17 of the children milling about, dressed in bright red, blue and green-embroidered Palestinian dresses and headscarves. Four veiled women, including two who said they were his wives, sat on the porch peeling vegetables.
Abu Arrar refused to talk to an AP reporter.
While Islam allows Muslim men to have four co-wives, it is a custom in Bedouin society to flout the already-generous ruling ” and an Israeli ban on polygamy ” by marrying women one at a time, divorcing them and marrying others, experts on Bedouin culture said.
Culturally, it’s understood that the renounced wives are still married to Abu Arrar, the experts said.
It’s unclear how Abu Arrar supports his massive family. Camels, goats and a cow were grazing on his property. Yediot said he also receives about $1,700 in government handouts each month.
According to the Israeli Interior Ministry, Abu Arrar has 53 children registered as Israeli citizens. He has 14 other children born to Palestinian wives in the West Bank and who are not eligible for Israeli citizenship, his other wives said.
Either way, his family size pales in comparison to the size of the average Israeli family: 2.3, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.
Abu Arrar claims to remember all his children’s names, and says they are split almost evenly between boys and girls. And he’s still going strong.
“My first wife is my age, and today I hardly spend any time with her. Her children are big, and I leave her alone. I have younger wives to spend time with. Every night I decide which wife to be with,” Abu Arrar told the newspaper.
Activists said Abu Arrar’s story showed the urgency of raising literacy and education among Bedouin women. Many are pressured into marriage or feel they have no other options beside raising children, said Khadra al-Sani, director of Sidra, a Bedouin women’s rights group.