"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

A big squawk

So often it’s this way.

One of the biggest civic controversies this year in Oregon’s second-largest city and a largish metro center – Salem – has been chickens. Specifically, whether people living in city limits could keep them.

Yeah, I know – if that’s all they’ve got to worry about … but there’s another point to be had.

Traditionally, keeping chickens in Salem generally was illegal under city code, not that it was completely unknown. A fairly modest loosening of the code was proposed last fall, and the hearings and headline writers both have been well-occupied since.

So. Since the turn of the year, it’s OK top keep a few chickens in your back yard in Salem. And how many chicken permits in this city of 140,000 or so have gone out?

According to the Statesman-Journal: Five.

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