Staten Island Chuck

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Staten Island Chuck's 2010 house.

Staten Island Chuck, also referred to more formally as Charles G. Hogg, is a groundhog who resided in the Staten Island Zoo in Staten Island, New York City. He serves as the official groundhog meteorologist of New York City, who predicts the duration of winter each February 2 on Groundhog Day. The tradition dates back to 1981.[1] He makes the prediction based on whether or not he sees his shadow during the ceremony between 7:00 A.M. and 7:30 A.M. on Groundhog Day. The ceremony at the zoo is sometimes attended and officiated by the Mayor of New York City. Chuck's prediction for 2020 was early spring; his prediction was in agreement with the prediction made by Punxsutawney Phil.[2]

Staten Island Chuck bit New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009.[3][4] In 2013, the mayor did not attend the ceremony for the fifth time during his 12 years in office. No reason for his absence was provided[citation needed].

Because of the Bloomberg incident, Chuck was secretly replaced by his granddaughter, Charlotte, for the first Groundhog Day ceremony held during the mayoralty of Bill de Blasio. During that ceremony (held February 2, 2014), de Blasio dropped Charlotte onto the ground in front of "shocked schoolchildren".[5][6][7] Charlotte died February 9, 2014, although the Staten Island Zoo did not make this fact public until several months later. According to the New York Post, a necropsy attributed Charlotte's death to "acute internal injuries" consistent with a fall.[8] Despite the Post's accusation of a coverup and reports that De Blasio had killed the groundhog, the zoo initially claimed that the animal died of natural causes, and later took the position that it was "unlikely" that Charlotte's death was caused by the fall.[9][10]

Chuck's daughter, Charlotte Jr., served as a stand-in for him at Groundhog Day 2015.[8] On February 2, 2015, this female "Staten Island Chuck" walked out of a hutch that an elevator had lifted onto the stage of a portable Plexiglas habitat, while de Blasio watched from six feet (1.8 m) away.[11][12] De Blasio did not attend the 2016 ceremonies, as he was in Iowa campaigning for Hillary Clinton's Presidential bid; Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul officiated the groundhog ceremony in de Blasio's stead.[13][14] He likewise did not attend the ceremony in 2017,[15] 2018,[16] or 2019.[17] In 2020, Mayor de Blasio confirmed that he has no plans to ever return to the Groundhog Day Ceremony at the Staten Island Zoo: "I tried it, it didn't end well, I won't be back," de Blasio said.[18]

In 2017, Staten Island Chuck made his publication debut in the children's book "Groundhog Chuck Builds a Weather Station."[19] Authored by known animal lover and supporter of the outdoors, Staten Island's Deputy Borough President Ed Burke,[20] the book follows Chuck and his zoo friends on an adventure to ensure the right weather forecast is always made.

An early spring is defined as a spring in which a majority of days between Groundhog Day and the March equinox have a high temperature of over 40 °F (4 °C).[21]

Past predictions[edit]

The Staten Island Zoo has claimed that Chuck correctly predicted the duration of winter 26 out of 32 years as of 2013, an 82% success rate.[22]

Year Prediction Agreed with Punxsutawney Phil
2021 Early spring[23] No
2020 Early spring Yes
2019 Early spring Yes
2017 Early spring[24] No
2016 Early spring[2] Yes
2015 Early spring[25] No
2014 6 more weeks of winter[6] Yes
2013 Early spring[26] Yes
2012 Early spring[27] No
2011 Early spring[28] Yes
2010 Early spring[29] No
2009 Early spring[30] No
2008 Early spring[31] No

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hanes, Elizabeth (February 1, 2013). "Beyond Punxsutawney: Meet the Other Groundhogs". History.com.
  2. ^ a b Rosenberg, Eli (February 2, 2016). "Staten Island Groundhog Makes Star Turn, This Year Without de Blasio". N.Y./Region. New York, New York: The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  3. ^ Santos, Fernanda (February 2, 2009). "Reclusive Staten Island Groundhog Bites Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  4. ^ McWeeney, Michael (February 2, 2009). "Mayor Bloomberg bitten by groundhog" (video). Staten Island Advance. YouTube. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  5. ^ DeFalco, Beth; Tacopino, Joe (February 2, 2014). "De Blasio drops NYC's Punxsutawney Phil'". New York Post. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Wrobleski, Tom (2 February 2014). "Fumbled Chuck joins 'forkgate' among de Blasio's Staten Island flubs (photos, video)". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  7. ^ Gay, Mara (September 25, 2014). "Staten Island Groundhog Dies Days After Mayor de Blasio Drops It" (video). Blogs: Metropolis. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Tacopino, Joe; Campanile, Carl; O'Neil, Natalie (September 25, 2014). "Zoo in coverup after groundhog dropped by de Blasio dies". New York Post. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  9. ^ Gay, Mara (September 25, 2014). "Staten Island Groundhog Dies Days After Mayor de Blasio Drops It" (video). Blogs: Metropolis. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Sanders, Anna. "'It didn't end well': De Blasio won't celebrate Groundhog Day after killing Staten Island Chuck". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  11. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (February 2, 2015). "New Rule for Mayor de Blasio and Staten Island Chuck: Hands Off On Groundhog Day, a New Script and a Sign of Spring in New York City". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  12. ^ Washington Free Beacon Staff (January 8, 2015). "De Blasio banned from holding groundhog after last year's cold-blooded murder". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  13. ^ "Sources: Hochul will replace de Blasio for Groundhog Day duties". Politico New York. January 29, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  14. ^ Barone, Vincent (2 February 2016). "Groundhog Day 2016 decision: Staten Island Chuck says ..." Staten Island Advance.
  15. ^ Goodman, J. David (1 February 2017). "Staten Island Groundhog Didn't See Mayor's Shadow". New York Times.
  16. ^ Herbert, Geoff (2 February 2018). "Groundhog Day 2018: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring; who to believe?". syracuse.com.
  17. ^ Nichols, Adam (2 February 2019). "Staten Island Chuck Makes Groundhog Day Prediction For 2019". Patch NY.
  18. ^ Sanders, Anna. "'It didn't end well': De Blasio won't celebrate Groundhog Day after killing Staten Island Chuck". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  19. ^ "Staten Island Chuck Featured in New Book". www.ny1.com. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  20. ^ Isl, Pearl Minsky | For the Staten; Advance (2018-04-30). "Memoirs: Ed Burke, deputy borough president". silive. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  21. ^ "Groundhog Day 2017: Staten Island Chuck calls for an early spring".
  22. ^ Lavis, Ryan (February 1, 2014). "Groundhog Day 2014: Staten Island Chuck versus Punxsutawney Phil". Staten Island Advance.
  23. ^ Lapin, Tamar (2 February 2021). "Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring". New York Post.
  24. ^ Sheehan, Kevin; Steinbuch, Yaron (2 February 2017). "Groundhogs deliver different verdicts". New York Post.
  25. ^ Steussy, Lauren (February 2, 2015). "Groundhog Day 2015: Staten Island Chuck calls for an early spring". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  26. ^ Lemire, Jonathan (February 2, 2013). "Groundhog Day 2013: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring for New York City: Chuck did not see his shadow when he came out of his burrow at the Staten Island Zoo this morning". Daily News. New York, New York. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  27. ^ Silverstein, Irving (February 2, 2012). "Groundhog Day 2012: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY.
  28. ^ "Groundhog Day 2011: It's an early spring! Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY. February 2, 2011.
  29. ^ McWeeney, Michael (February 2, 2010). "Staten Island's famous Groundhog Chuck calls for an early spring". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY.
  30. ^ Silverstein, Irving (February 2, 2009). "Staten Island Chuck predicts spring is near". Staten Island Advance. Staten Island, NY.
  31. ^ "NYC area's furry forecasters weighing in on winter". Newsday. Associated Press. 2008-02-02. Archived from the original on February 6, 2008.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

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