2010-07-03 / Editorials & Letters

Neighbor believes it is more than a fear of swans


At first I thought Jeff Gerling and Christine Hemeirich’s just made a bad decision in seeking to have Sam, Samantha and Samantha’s eggs destroyed.

Now I believe there are larger issues. Lake area residents want to know what is their problem.

Is it because they can’t continue to put concrete blocks in our street’s culdesac by their house or yell at an elderly driver who is trying to turn around on public property? Are they still upset that a township snow plow moved their blocks when plowing our public street? I want to thank the township road crew for a great job this past winter and for coming out and marking our culdesac so Mr. Gerling now knows what is public property.

Is it because a neighbor’s security light is too bright or the light in the decorative lighthouse is too bright? Is it because their neighbors don’t invite them to cookouts, parties etc.? Or is it because we know them?

As a retired, disabled veteran who served our country for 20 years, I’m embarrassed and disappointed to say that Jeff Gerding and Christine Heimrich are my neighbors. I am stunned about Jeff’s latest request to ODNR, asking them to exterminate all the swans. He needs to explain himself.

His email to ODNR said the swans have caused considerable hardship for him and his family. What about the hardship his family caused his neighbors on Memorial Day weekend that lead to the sheriff’s office being called to their home?

Jeff also told ODNR that the swans are running off the Great Blue Herons. That’s odd, since I recently saw a blue heron and three swans co-habitating in front of their home. I even have photo evidence. The swans and herons get along much better than they do with their neighbors.

He also wrote that the swans continuing presence will negate their use of the water adjacent to their property. I’m no bird expert, but just maybe the swans are gliding by to remind them of what they did to Samantha and her unborn offspring. As for their niece bringing a three-year-old and fiveyear old to swim off their property, some neighbor’s grandchildren have been swimming for over a month and the swans just watch or glide away. For such young children, I would recommend a child’s plastic pool or maybe going to the beach a few blocks away.

His email ended by asking why his family is “being denied the full use of our facility.” Well, Buckeye Lake isn’t their “facility;” it is public property and how much of Buckeye Lake do they need at one time.

Clearly Jeff and his sister have problems living with wildlife and other people. I suggest they look at some other options.

In the past month or so I’ve had some conversations with ODNR Wildlife supervisor Gary Ludwig about the swans and wildlife in general. I told him Ohio laws need to be changed and we need to stop trying to destroy everything that doesn’t fit somebody’s plan. It’s bad enough to see wildlife dying in the Gulf every night on TV and to see the abuse of cattle on a farm. We need to show everyone that we care about wildlife, native or not and work to get the law changed.

I also want to thank Gary Ludwig and the Buckeye Lake State Park for turning down Jeff’s proposal to have all the swans killed. Call or email your state representative to get this law changed.

Richard Hill Shell Beach

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