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This guy was fined $350 for having a birdbath that had water in it

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A year-old regulation in New York essentially outlaws birdbaths. A man named Robert Marterson, 76, was fined $350 for having one last summer.

The law says that during warmer months when mosquitoes typically breed, residents aren't allowed to have "standing" pools of water. It was enacted to crack down on the spread of West Nile virus.

In a city where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has all but banned smoking and waged war on soda and trans fats, some New Yorkers may complain that the crackdown on birdbaths is yet another intrusion by the nanny state or a ruse to raise more money for municipal coffers.

Marterson took issue with the fine (duh) at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, saying that he regularly changes the water. An examiner ruled against him, stating Materson wasn't present at the time an inspector issued the fine and "therefore, he could not have observed what the inspector claims to have observed."

Materson is appealing the fine.

Meanwhile, another guy, who also received a fine last year for having a birdbath with water in it, was fined $2,000. He has successfully had it reduced to $300.

[New York Times]

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