Rise and shine, all Ye who share Views on the News. . .It’s Monday, the 17th day of April, significant because it means we have until tomorrow to get taxes in. This is Free Range, our Monday Free Chat here on NV, where topics range all over the map, and “off topic” is actually “on topic” on free chat threads. Anything goes within reason and within the bounds of civility, and the simple rule is the “don’t be an asshole” rule.
Free Range has an environmental bent; in keeping with that focus, I see an announcement was made in the New York Times re: the appointing of New York City’s Czar of Rats or Rat Czar.…
Kathleen Corraldi was appointed by Mayor Eric Adams to the tune of $155,000 a year conquer a longstanding problem, the rat problem. She will be, in other words, a rodentologist practicing rodentology to get rid of the excess rodents.
“She has a daunting task ahead of her: The initial job description called for someone with “the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy: New York City’s relentless rat population… . .The ideal candidate for the position — officially titled director of rodent mitigation — needed to have the “stamina and stagecraft” to defeat the city’s legions of rats, described as “cunning, voracious and prolific.”
Rattus norvegicus, the brown rat, has been in America for about 250 years.
Rats are randy, having sex as many as 20 times a day. They have about six litters a year, and each litter includes an average of eight to 10 but sometimes as many as 20 rat babies, which will live for about two years.
“Rats are gross, but they can also be dangerous. In New York City, cases of leptospirosis—a bacterial infection that can lead to kidney and liver failure and that is predominantly transmitted in rat urine—are on the rise. In November, researchers discovered several COVID-19 variants in sewer rats, opening up a whole new range of concerns. Studies have found that people living near infestations are more likely to report feeling anxious or depressed.” (The Atlantic)
Ms. Corradi comes to the position at a particularly precarious time: The number of rat sightings documented by city inspectors doubled last year, according to city data. The increase was blamed on the cutback in sanitation services related to budget cuts during the pandemic, which Mr. Adams has reversed, as well as on a rise in rat inspections.
Over the past half century, changes in climate and the way New Yorkers dispose of their trash have given the rat population an unprecedented opportunity to boom, an increase unabated by man and undeterred by politics.
Said one researcher, “If we hate rats, we will make rats the enemy because we are afraid to look in the mirror at the real rats that are creating this problem.” 🐀🐀🐀🐀🐀
SO many rats, not all of them are the four legged kind. Let’s talk about rats, the human kind as well as the animal kind, and while we’re at it, let’s talk about everything else. Whst’s happening out there?