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Monday, June 13, 2011

Chicken fight is heating up......

LEE COUNTY - A chicken fight in Lee County is heating up tonight as some residents speak out against having chickens in their backyard. Some people claim they need them to put food on the table but Bob Marino says, "they're dirty and disgusting". Marino is the President of Country Club Estates, a deed restricted community. He says the chickens need to go away, "why do we have to have this sort of a problem it's a ridiculous problem so why should we have it. They're dirty animals".

Dianne Muth is a chicken farmer and lives in Country Club Estates, she wants to protect her way of life, "when you finally get a place of your own and you get told what you can't do in your own yard it's pretty sad really."
But Country Club Estates is a *deed restricted community* and it clearly states in the by-laws that Muth, or any other resident there, can't have chickens. Marino wants Muth to "be reasonable, get rid of the chickens there are other people in here not just one. We can't bend the rules for just one person. It's not fair."
But plenty of other folks throughout Lee County say they need chickens to make ends meet. They rely on them for eggs, meat and fertilizer for their gardens.

Dawn Kopp also supports chicken farming, "We want to be able to provide for our family." Kopp can't work right now because taking care of her elderly father has become a full time job. Kopp's father is currently at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers because he apparently had a stroke. Kopp says she found out one of the nurses at the hospital also raises chickens in her backyard and that nurse shares those eggs with other nurses on staff. Medical professionals believe those eggs are healthier, they're organic and at least they know exactly where they're coming from." Kopp believes, "A lot of people are getting Government food stamps but there is going to be a day when that piggy bank is going to fall over and there's not going to be any more pennies falling out for them, we need to be able to be self sufficient, that's what America's all about."
Dianna Caminos is the one who launched a campaign and petition supporting chicken farmers in Lee County and it her efforts have become an overnight success., "Oh yes, absolutely, thank you very much Fox 4." Caminos tells Four in your Corner's Mike Mason, "We're getting people emailing us saying, ' I'm so glad that I met you because we wanted to have chickens but we didn't know how to go about doing it' so we're getting people all the time."

Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow promises to push to have the chicken issue on the agenda for next Tuesday's commission meeting. We really wanted to hear from Commissioner Frank Mann because he represents Lehigh Acres but for two days Mann has not responded to our calls. We'll stay on top of the story and bring you any updates.

Here's a link to the WFTX Fox4 TV Report by Mike Mason:

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