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Vineyard Silences Air Cannon

Move comes day after Avon Lake city hall announces an injunction is possible.

Less than 24 hours after Greg Zilka said his city’s residents could file anusing an air cannon, the farm owner said he will stop using it.

Barbara Schober confirmed the cannon, used to keep away animals threatening the grape crop, will be permanently silenced.

“It will never be fired again,” Barbara Schober said. She is the husband of grape grower Edward Schober Sr., of Schober Vineyards in Avon.

Schober also posted a comment on Patch following the article that said Schober’s permit affording the farm protection had expired, allowing the injunction.

“As of this time (2 p.m. on 09/11), the air cannon has been retired and will NEVER be fired again,” she wrote. “I would just like you to know that we lost 90 percent of our crop due to frost in the spring and we were only trying to save the remaining 10 percent.”

She added that her husband was not trying to make enemies, but “only to save the remaining crop that he works all year long to harvest.”

Although pick-your-own seasin is over, the farm will still provide to the fresh markets as long as grapes area available and hold up to nature's influences.

Jim Smith called Zilka on Sept. 11 to notify him Schober had discontinued the cannon.

Zilka sent an email to council members on Sept. 11 regarding the vineyard's action.

“I expressed concern that Mr. Schober might be doing this to avoid legal action that would take place before he could renew his agricultural district status and, thus, use the cannon again this year and he said that was not his intent,” Zilka wrote to council members. “Taking Mr. Schober on his word, we should not expect to hear the cannon the rest of this year and next year.”

Zilka credited Law Director Abe Lieberman, who discovered the lapsed permit, for “his work on this vexing issue.”

Posters on the Avon-Avon Lake Facebook page, including several from Avon Lake, expressed support for the Schobers. 

"So people are complaining about something that has been going on for how long? way before they even lived there?," Nick Perry posted. "(S)hould've considered that before moving to a more rural area...Last time i checked those farms/vineyards where there much longer then those high dollar housing developments."

Residents in southeast Avon Lake, near Schober’s farm had called Avon Lake City Hall as well the complaining of the cannon, which went off every 50 seconds during the night.

Patricia Vinch September 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Poor farmer should receive community help,. Lets all go and buy all his grapes or get Heiinens to buy them before all those aminal get a free lunch!!
AvonLaker1234 September 12, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I hope everyone stops by the farm and buys some produce or proactively offers to. Let's not have Avon/Avon Lake end-up like Strongsville where all the charm is gone and all we have are strip malls and big box retailers with no local merchants (or aren't we already there?).
Beth Gee September 12, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I live close to the area where the cannon is being fired. While you could hear the cannon, it was hardly a big deal. He had already adjusted the cannon to minimize the noise which made a difference. Maybe we should support the few farmers that are left in this area. Afterall, without farmers, what will we eat, chemically produced food in from a mass production lab? If you put this little annoyance in perspective, was it really that big of an inconvenience???
Dave D September 12, 2012 at 01:03 PM
We are there, and once the new interchange is complete, it will complete the transformation. I'm a local merchant, and I like others, agree this new interchange, while it will make commuting easier, it will further ad to the demise of the Avon lake Town Center.
Candace Ashton September 12, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I suppose the people who complained are very proud of themselves for helping to destroy one of the few farms left in the area. Shame on all of you!
Candace Ashton September 12, 2012 at 02:04 PM
AND ... Mr. Zilka, I am very disappointed in your leadership. This is the "vexing" issue you spend your time on??
MomX4 September 12, 2012 at 05:44 PM
they don't get once the farms 'go away' they don't come back....and the 'country charm' they all moved there for...well it will be gone, replaced with more shopping centers that get deserted. really, such a shame....I hope Schober will be able to find another cost effective way to keep his crop safe next year. He'll get my support for sure!!!
Wmt September 12, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Totally agree with the Schober being there before those home-owners complaining. Bet none of them ever checked out their intended neighborhood at different times during the day and night. We went to the lot we were considering at different times of the day and night. At night the Geon plant produces a hum that we decided we couldnt live with, so we went and built somewhere else. Didn't complain to the city, threaten to sue or anything else. We went somewhere quieter. If you are responsible enough to make a purchase as big as a home, be responsible enough to investigate more than just the house and the school district. Don't move in and decide to complain about things later. That's irresponsible and selfish
Lisa September 12, 2012 at 08:03 PM
You apparently do not live in my neighborhood. There isn't a neighbor I have spoken with that this wasn't a HUGE nuisance. There are tons of vineyards in the area and they do not use the means of a cannon to keep pests out of their crops.
Lisa September 12, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Actually, we did check out our neighborhood at varying days and times to make sure it was a "fit" for our family. Again, there are vineyards all over Avon Lake that do NOT use these means to keep out pests and they are still surviving and thriving. Maybe you should worry more about yourself before you accuse people of being irresponsible and selfish. I am sure if you were had to live with the sound every 50 seconds you would feel differently. It was like a gunshot in our house EVERY 50 SECONDS. Not every so often. EVERY 50 SECONDS. We moved from the city to not here gunshots and disruptive sounds such as that.
Hans September 12, 2012 at 09:02 PM
We did check out the neighborhood. He just started using this a couple of years ago after I bought my house. Bottom line, it is illegal and it has stopped. Everyone is complaining about the farmers yet how many of you actually support them. We win you lose. Enjoy the peace and quiet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
French Swede September 12, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Right on, Lisa. I agree with you 100%
Wmt September 12, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Again, I ask, why did you buy there? All of you? And why is your first matter of handling this issue a law suit? Can't you talk to your neighboring vineyard and work together toward a solution? Why hide behind a law suit? Did any of you who are so upset ever go and talk to the Schobers? Please, people, treating each other with respect and kindness goes a long way toward keeping neighbors happy. If they sell you can end up with a lot worse near your neighborhoods. And then will your property values fall. No Hans, I have no connection with this business, and I do raise my children to take responsibility for there actions, look into all consequences of their actions before they make decisions and to work hard. I am sure that my children would treat you with the respect you deserve and you would be thankful they were raised so. Enjoy your beer!
Beth Gee September 13, 2012 at 01:21 AM
I love how you all can comment but can't share your names! FYI Lisa, I live south of Walker between Jaycox and Lear. I am not sure how much closer you can get and still be living in a house.
Hans September 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Beth Gee- My name is Hans. I live on the border, which is several streets from where you live. Using my full name will validate what? This illegal issue is in the books. Please start using your energy to combat those "mass production labs using chemicals", I think they are called FARMS! I think I smell a lib.
Hans September 13, 2012 at 01:18 PM
wmt, There was never any lawsuit. Read the article before making your opinion. Avon Lake resident's were made aware that we could file a civil injunction. Mr. Schober started using the cannon after we moved in. Let me clarify that since you keep referring to it: there were NOT any air cannons being used to protect his crop when we moved in. Mr. Schober has been very adamant about his protecting his crop without regards to the noise pollution that affects people's lives. There are many other alternatives to protecting your crop without the noise pollution. Stop wasting your time here and help a farmer out!
Beth Gee September 14, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Okay Hans, All I can say is that if those cannon shots bothered you so much, I can only imagine how you feel when the train rumbles by:)
Patch reader September 25, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Residents in southeast Avon Lake, near Schober’s farm had called Avon Lake City Hall as well the Avon Police Department complaining of the cannon, which went off every 50 seconds during the night." OMG! Every 50 seconds? No way I could sleep through that. How do the farmers do it? There needs to be another option for protecting crops. Electric fence? Tall fence with a pack of great pyrenees to keep out the raccoons, deer, etc? What do growers elsewhere do?
Patch reader September 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Would someone please post a list of the farms in the area that offer pick-your-own produce, or just local produce in general for sale? I would like to visit them before the season is completely over. Thanks!

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