Monday, January 24, 2011
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|San Francisco's Happy Meal Ban|
Sunday, January 23, 2011
One that should be decided by the people.
Has that ever been figured out? Has anyone actually asked the citizens of San Francisco how they feel about their natural spaces and how they envision those spaces being used? Do tell.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The shit storm has erupted, put on your Wellies!! This week the Golden Gate National Recreation Area issued a proposal to ban dogs from Muir Beach, Ocean Beach, Fort Funston and parts of Crissy Field, and to force them onto leashes in other areas where they're currently running free. This is just the latest volley in the GGNRA's decades-long effort to eliminate dogs from all GGNRA land, including parts of the Presidio.
Backing up a little: Congress created the GGNRA specifically to preserve "the natural and cultural resources, and scenic and recreational values" of the parks in the Bay Area. Didn't think it would be so tricky, did ya?
In a GGNRA study (presented in a nice Power Point way) conducted in 2002, the organization came up with reasons they thought off-leash dogs were a problem: they harm wildlife, they have a negative environmental impact, they are dangerous, they make parks unsafe for visitors, and finally "dog owners are selfish." As you can see, there are two big arguments here: one is environmental, which I'll deal with later, and the second is that dogs and people don't always get along. In fact, GGNRA superintendent, Frank Dean, tried to justify this week's proposal by saying: "some people are just not comfortable with dogs."
Last I checked, "some" was not a majority.
This is quickly becoming a discussion of dog haters vs. dog lovers. Kinda dumb. But a valid point has been raised: there are people complaining that big dogs rush up to them when they’re trying to take a walk in the park, and it’s scary, and sometimes dangerous, and the dog owners act like it’s perfectly fine to have absolutely no voice control over their dogs. In fact, half the time the owners are not anywhere in sight. My dog was recently…well, raped at Crissy Field by a dog who apparently had no owner. The owner took ten minutes to notice what was going on, and when he finally came over – not running, mind you, but walking at a leisurely stroll – he actually laughed and said “hey, boy, good boy!” Meanwhile, I spent a desperate ten minutes trying to remove a fifty-pound boxer from my dog’s back, and the thing tore up the bottom of my pants so badly I had to get rid of them. When he wasn’t screwing my dog, he was chomping at my leg. I was terrified. The dog was in the throes of a violent natural impulse and his mouth could have fit around my head.
But that still does not make it right to ban off-leash dogs. It does make it right to punish individual, selfish people for their cluelessness. It would be great to see the NPS stepping in once in a while to issue a fine. However, I hate to see everyone suffer because of the idiocy of the few. And frankly, the areas where dogs are allowed is already less than 1 percent of the land that it's ridiculous to narrow it down even more just because a minority complains that they can't go to the beach because they don't like dogs. That would be the tyranny of the temper tantrum.
You know, GGNRA, there's an alternative to banning dogs, it's called education. My good friend Mike Wombacher is utterly tireless in his years-long work teaching owners to control their dogs. His site is Dog Gone Good and here's an excellent news clip of Mike doing what he does every day, dealing with this very issue: