CALDWELL — Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas was on “FOX & Friends” early Tuesday to talk about animal rights activist group PETA — and its request to change the name of Chicken Dinner Road.
In the segment, Nancolas was asked how many people in the area want to change the name of the road.
“Zero,” he said.
He said at first he didn’t want to dignify PETA’s “ridiculous request” by giving an answer. But he said he decided to respond, and it went viral.
“In 22 years of being mayor, there’s been lots of issues come to this city, not one has been like this,” he said. “I mean we are getting letters, emails, text messages, and all kinds of suggestions for new names, such as Drumstick Drive or Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Dinner Boulevard, or Baked Chicken. It’s amazing. We’ve gotten pictures of people standing under this road sign with their bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
“It’s amazing what this has done for our community,” he concluded. “It has just unified our community, saying: ‘Don’t give in. Don’t change the name. This is who we are.’ ”
The show reached out to the mayor on July 5, Miller said, after news of PETA’s request for him to change the name went viral. Nancolas rejected the idea of the name change in a message he posted on his personal Facebook page.
PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent the letter to Nancolas on July 3. It also notified Idaho media via email that day. The city of Caldwell and its mayor don’t have any jurisdiction over Chicken Dinner Road because it’s not in city limits or its growth area, so it’s unclear why PETA sent its letter to Nancolas.
The group asked for the name to be changed to the “kinder, simpler” Chicken Road because, they said, chickens feel pain and “value their own lives.”
“PETA is asking Mayor Nancolas to change this road’s name to one that celebrates chickens as individuals, not as beings to kill, chop up, and label as ‘dinner,’” they wrote in their July 3 press release.
The show “FOX & Friends” is based in New York, but Nancolas joined the show from a TV studio in Downtown Boise, Miller told the Statesman. He’s arrived at the CoverEDGE Boise studio at 5 a.m., and appeared on air at 5:20 a.m.