Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

MilesTones • Exclusive Release! Text of Hens Defense at The Great Chicken Trial of Brentwood

This Tuesday, February 9th, two famous hens will face the final vote before The Brentwood City Council which will determine their future. The hearing will take place in the Council Chambers beginning at 7. Henny and Penny, the defendants, found themselves caught in a web of bureaucracy over a housing issue which brought them before the council January 26th. A passionate defense was given for the hens. The council dead-locked with two votes for the hens and two against. One councilman who was absent will cast the deciding vote at the February 9th meeting.  Henny and Penny will again be present. Area TV news broadcast portions of the trial and defense. An avalanche of requests poured in…well…actually one…to release the text of the entire defense of the hens to the public at large.  You will see the unabridged, unedited text as given below….

Text of Chicken Defense Presented by MilesTones Before The Brentwood City Council on January 26, 2010

Honorable Mayor Bob Taylor, distinguished members of the Brentwood City Council, Citizens of The Great City of Brentwood. On behalf of Henny and Penny, who are watching these proceedings with interest, we thank you for putting the issue of the chickens on the rooster…ROSTER!  They are chickens of upstanding character who get up early and go to work, producing pure organic eggs.

They work for their support..they are not a drain upon the taxpayers….they do not squawk about working conditions, and they pose no political threat to anyone…they are not right wingers!...or left wingers….they are neutral. They are clean, prim and proper (as you can see). And they smell good which you can verify by sniffing their cage.
To deny them dwelling rights in residential neighborhoods presents a serious legal dilemma. Since Parrots are allowed to live in residential neighborhoods, along with parakeets, cockatiels and finches, and since even wild birds with no roots or jobs have been given full freedom to enjoy every backyard in Brentwood, this…dear friends, hints of discrimination against chickens.
Other feathered creatures living in custom homes have exotic names which is seen as chic, while chickens have always been looked down upon as….well…common. And they suffer stereotyping constantly.
The city of Oakland recently passed a law declaring their city a Chicken Friendly City where chickens can reside in any backyard in that city. Despite whatever problems they have had, Oakland is now seen as a good-hearted compassionate and friendly city. Can we let Brentwood be seen as anything less than that? That, my friends, would be tragic.
I urge Mayor Bob Taylor and The Brentwood City Council to not evict these good hens from their roost.. Henny and Penny should have the civil right to live in the neighborhood they choose and [to] no longer be questioned as to their motives for crossing the road. I respectfullly submit that Henny and Penny should be welcomed into this community, not evicted. Thank you.

The council responded with a hefty round of applause while Henny and Penny flapped their wings.






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