The Dogs of War
Barking mad: So much for objective reporting. I find this article ["Unleashed," Peter Jamison, Feature, 1/20] very slanted and offensive. The reporter painted dog owners as uncompromising, yet failed to mention the numerous attempts we have made to seek compromise or the virulent rejection we've encountered, particularly by the Nob Hill Association.
Jamison doesn't even mention that we were seeking compromise and offered several resolutions, including timed use, at the July meeting with Supervisor David Chiu — all rejected. And we did not ask for the rangers to stop doing their jobs. We simply asked that they behave professionally and within their purview, rather then subjecting us to harassment such as name-calling, running me and my dog (on-leash) out of a crosswalk, or following neighbors home and trying to muscle their way inside. The antidog constituents should be open to discussion and compromise rather than simply adding fuel to the fire, but I don't believe they are interested in working things out. I'm disappointed and disgusted.
Parks going to the dogs: It's refreshing to see someone who's not cowed by the self-entitled bullies, liars, and shitbags who have proved a worse infestation to this city than their barking, biting, and walking piss-and-poop dispensers. And we won't even mention the other virtues of living in Dog Central — the feces and urine in shared areas and on other people's (not the dog owners') property, as well as the musical sound of aggressive dogs barking in frustration because they can't rip out the throat of everyone who passes by their residence.
Such dog owners are perfectly summed up by the stupid woman in the park whose dog ignores her when she issues a command ("voice command"), and the dog turd in the last section, who exhibits your typical off-leash dog owner courtesy as he illegally walks his canine girlfriend or boyfriend.
Reading this confirms my own experience, which has chased me out of the parks I used and loved for decades, and validates my own wishes. Here they are: no off-leash areas at all; we gave them a part of our parks, and the dog owners took all of all the parks. Strict penalties for violations to ensure strict protection for the rest of us non-doggers; if not, we'll start carrying guns to defend ourselves and, like these doggers, start disobeying laws we don't like, such as stopping at stop signs when off-leash dogs are trotting across the path of our cars. We're special, too. Doggers who don't like it can buy a piece of their own land; build high fences, noise barriers, and a toilet; and play with their animals there. I don't have a dog, and I vote.
Soccer Field Not Scoring Points with Park Lovers
Different goals: I have been extremely disappointed to see how irresponsibly much of the press has treated the Beach Chalet Soccer Field Project, which aims to replace grass in the west end of Golden Gate Park with artificial turf ["Balls in the Wild," Alastair Bland, Sucka Free City, 1/6].
This is no laughing matter. Potential effects include more traffic through our neighborhoods and less parking at Ocean Beach; bright light pollution; pollution from lead, zinc, and chromium; toxic runoff onto Ocean Beach; degraded wildlife habitat; and destruction of trees and meadowland. Yet the Recreation and Park Department refused, perhaps illegally, to conduct an Environmental Impact Report.
While collecting, along with other petitioners, more than 1,000 signatures requesting a delay for further study, I was stunned to find that approximately 90 percent of my neighbors knew nothing about this project, even though we live four blocks from the site. The project's proponents have been mobilizing the soccer community and other supporters since last March, while keeping the general community in the dark. That's what they mean when they say they did "public outreach."
Golden Gate Park is a treasure that belongs to all San Franciscans. Before we drastically alter the park's nature, all San Franciscans deserve to be fully informed. Readers who want serious discussion on this topic should start with www.sfoceanedge.org.
Because of a typo, David Troup was misquoted in last week's cover story ["Unleashed," Peter Jamison, 1/20]. He told a dog owner to keep his pets away from an on-leash area of Duboce Park, not an off-leash area. SF Weekly regrets the error.