News

Dogged persistence

Four years ago, when Palo Alto resident Howard Hoffman went to City Hall to speak in favor of building a new dog park, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission gave him a suggestion: Get organized.

Hoffman, a proud owner of two chocolate labradoodles, did just that. In May 2013, he founded a grassroots group called Palo Alto Dog Owners, which today has about 400 members. They attend occasional meetings, exchange emails and lobby the City Council to build more play spaces for canines.

From Hoffman's perspective, the city's dog facilities fail miserably both in quantity and quality. All three of the city's dog parks are in south Palo Alto and only the 0.5-acre one at Mitchell Park is larger than the industry standard of 0.25 acres. The other two, at Hoover and Greer parks, are 0.14 and 0.12 acres, respectively.

"You can say there are three parks, but the one at Greer Park is a joke," Hoffman told the Weekly. "No one goes there. ... It's just a narrow run -- there's no way dogs can play and exercise there. It's not much better than my backyard."

Hoffman's view that the city is neglecting its dog owners has plenty of adherents. In 2013, City Council members tried to include a dog park in the overhaul of El Camino Park, near the Menlo Park border, only to be rebuffed because of the site's proximity to San Francisquito Creek (under state law, dogs and the creek-inhabiting steelhead trout don't make for a healthy mix).

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Since then, the city's leading champion of the cause has been the Parks and Recreation Commission, which over the past two years briefly considered a shared-use dog park (which didn't fly; most people apparently don't want to share their fields with Fido) and evaluated other sites for new dog runs.

Hoffman acknowledged that he would have liked a park to have been built by now.

"But things don't happen quickly in Palo Alto," said Hoffman, an observation that should hit home with proponents of citywide broadband networks, fancy bike bridges and a new public-safety building.

Not surprisingly, dog parks have emerged as a key policy of the city's new Parks, Trails, Natural Space and Recreation Facilities Master Plan. The policy specifies that parks for canines will not be placed in open-space preserves and identifies a list of potential locations: Bowden Park, Eleanor Pardee Park, Heritage Park, Juana Briones Park, Kingsley Island Park, Peers Park, Robles Park and Werry Park. (View a map of potential and current dog parks here. The policy also calls for improvements and expansions at the three existing dog parks. Last August, as the parks commission prepared to unanimously support a policy to build more dog parks, Commissioner Ed Lauing -- who is now serving on the Planning and Transportation Commission -- voiced a prevailing sentiment when he said that there is now "a sense of urgency" on the topic.

Former Commissioner Jennifer Hetterly agreed and noted that the city has been talking about dog parks for at least a decade but hasn't made progress.

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When it comes to the City Council, dog parks straddle the ideological divide. Karen Holman, a Havanese dog owner and the council's residentialist-in-chief, has long championed new amenities for canines. And Cory Wolbach, the council's most aggressive housing advocate, said last September that he fully supports going forward with new dog spaces.

Residents also tend to favor improved amenities for dogs and their owners, even if there isn't a strong consensus on a specific solution. A recent community survey showed 59 percent of respondents supporting making improvement to dog areas, while 43 percent said it would be inappropriate not to add dog parks.

Opinions vary when it comes to solutions, though. Dog owners who answered the survey naturally showed a much higher preference for additional dedicated off-leash dog areas, with 66 percent saying these facilities are "appropriate or very appropriate." For those without dogs, the number was only 30 percent, the survey found.

Neither group showed too much enthusiasm for having off-leash dogs share spaces with humans at play.

Since last fall, more proposals have come and gone. A dog run at Bowden Park along Alma Street now seems unlikely because a public art piece would have to be relocated. And two separate proposals for Pardee Park in the Crescent Park neighborhood were shelved at the behest of tree advocates (apparently dog pee and oaks also don't mix) and neighbors who protested having a dog run next to their fences.

There will no doubt be more setbacks as the city moves ahead in implementing its ambitious new dog-recreation policy. But given the new political support, Hoffman is far from disheartened.

"We have now a situation where even the new commissioners understand that dog parks are a priority; we have a planning document that says it's one of the biggest needs in Parks and Recreation; and we have staff really committed to doing something," he said.

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Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Dogged persistence

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Mar 31, 2017, 6:58 am

Four years ago, when Palo Alto resident Howard Hoffman went to City Hall to speak in favor of building a new dog park, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission gave him a suggestion: Get organized.

Hoffman, a proud owner of two chocolate labradoodles, did just that. In May 2013, he founded a grassroots group called Palo Alto Dog Owners, which today has about 400 members. They attend occasional meetings, exchange emails and lobby the City Council to build more play spaces for canines.

From Hoffman's perspective, the city's dog facilities fail miserably both in quantity and quality. All three of the city's dog parks are in south Palo Alto and only the 0.5-acre one at Mitchell Park is larger than the industry standard of 0.25 acres. The other two, at Hoover and Greer parks, are 0.14 and 0.12 acres, respectively.

"You can say there are three parks, but the one at Greer Park is a joke," Hoffman told the Weekly. "No one goes there. ... It's just a narrow run -- there's no way dogs can play and exercise there. It's not much better than my backyard."

Hoffman's view that the city is neglecting its dog owners has plenty of adherents. In 2013, City Council members tried to include a dog park in the overhaul of El Camino Park, near the Menlo Park border, only to be rebuffed because of the site's proximity to San Francisquito Creek (under state law, dogs and the creek-inhabiting steelhead trout don't make for a healthy mix).

Since then, the city's leading champion of the cause has been the Parks and Recreation Commission, which over the past two years briefly considered a shared-use dog park (which didn't fly; most people apparently don't want to share their fields with Fido) and evaluated other sites for new dog runs.

Hoffman acknowledged that he would have liked a park to have been built by now.

"But things don't happen quickly in Palo Alto," said Hoffman, an observation that should hit home with proponents of citywide broadband networks, fancy bike bridges and a new public-safety building.

Not surprisingly, dog parks have emerged as a key policy of the city's new Parks, Trails, Natural Space and Recreation Facilities Master Plan. The policy specifies that parks for canines will not be placed in open-space preserves and identifies a list of potential locations: Bowden Park, Eleanor Pardee Park, Heritage Park, Juana Briones Park, Kingsley Island Park, Peers Park, Robles Park and Werry Park. (View a map of potential and current dog parks here. The policy also calls for improvements and expansions at the three existing dog parks. Last August, as the parks commission prepared to unanimously support a policy to build more dog parks, Commissioner Ed Lauing -- who is now serving on the Planning and Transportation Commission -- voiced a prevailing sentiment when he said that there is now "a sense of urgency" on the topic.

Former Commissioner Jennifer Hetterly agreed and noted that the city has been talking about dog parks for at least a decade but hasn't made progress.

When it comes to the City Council, dog parks straddle the ideological divide. Karen Holman, a Havanese dog owner and the council's residentialist-in-chief, has long championed new amenities for canines. And Cory Wolbach, the council's most aggressive housing advocate, said last September that he fully supports going forward with new dog spaces.

Residents also tend to favor improved amenities for dogs and their owners, even if there isn't a strong consensus on a specific solution. A recent community survey showed 59 percent of respondents supporting making improvement to dog areas, while 43 percent said it would be inappropriate not to add dog parks.

Opinions vary when it comes to solutions, though. Dog owners who answered the survey naturally showed a much higher preference for additional dedicated off-leash dog areas, with 66 percent saying these facilities are "appropriate or very appropriate." For those without dogs, the number was only 30 percent, the survey found.

Neither group showed too much enthusiasm for having off-leash dogs share spaces with humans at play.

Since last fall, more proposals have come and gone. A dog run at Bowden Park along Alma Street now seems unlikely because a public art piece would have to be relocated. And two separate proposals for Pardee Park in the Crescent Park neighborhood were shelved at the behest of tree advocates (apparently dog pee and oaks also don't mix) and neighbors who protested having a dog run next to their fences.

There will no doubt be more setbacks as the city moves ahead in implementing its ambitious new dog-recreation policy. But given the new political support, Hoffman is far from disheartened.

"We have now a situation where even the new commissioners understand that dog parks are a priority; we have a planning document that says it's one of the biggest needs in Parks and Recreation; and we have staff really committed to doing something," he said.

Related content:

When nature calls

By the people, for the people

Survival of the fittest

The spreading empire

Comments

Anti-Dog Owners
Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm
Anti-Dog Owners, Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Please, just get the dogs off the school campuses. The superintendent needs to create a new rule in PAUSD. My children have stepped on dog feces at both Duveneck and Jordan during recess and P.E. and their shoes were ruined. It's an outrage that dogs are allowed on our school campuses. If feces is so clean, then why don't the owners pick it up with their bare hands? It's not good enough that they pick up the feces, there is still residue on the grass. It's a serious health danger. Why does the health of dogs override the health of children?


Mom
Greene Middle School
on Mar 31, 2017 at 12:22 pm
Mom, Greene Middle School
on Mar 31, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Stratford locks their gates after hours. The city should do this for our children, as it's city property after hours. If there are dog parks available, there is no need for dogs to be on our school lawns.


parent
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 31, 2017 at 12:43 pm
parent, Old Palo Alto
on Mar 31, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Self-entitled dog owners think they can leave their poop anywhere they want, including sidewalks and schoolyards frequented by young children. If you witness scofflaw dog owners, please report them to the police. This is a public health issue.


Someone
Evergreen Park

on Apr 1, 2017 at 9:52 am
Name hidden, Evergreen Park

on Apr 1, 2017 at 9:52 am

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


Cynical
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2017 at 4:38 pm
Cynical, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Will that mean that those who blatantly let their dogs run unleashed, right outside of the dog parks at Hoover and Mitchell right where kids are at play or where teams play soccer/baseball, will suddenly become law abiding? I have called animal control so many times now to report unleashed dogs. All it takes is one unexpected jump by a 'friendly' dog to traumatize a toddler for a long time. You can have as many dog parks you want, but if folks still decide to let their animals run unleashed all over the city and poop away, then it is wasted public resources. I would rather the city and dog friendly organizations use that money to cite/ educate other dog owners than set up parks that most will not use.


parent
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2017 at 6:11 pm
parent, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2017 at 6:11 pm

If calling animal control does not immediately resolve a dangerous animal situation, you should call call 911 and have the police take care of it. If you do nothing and a tragedy happens, how will you feel then?


Online Name
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm

@Cynical, how do you know that "most" dog-owners won't use the dog parks? The survey disputes your claim.

And anecdotally, we see the same folks at the park every day, sometimes multiple times a day. When Darren Anderson of the City's Parks & Recreation Dept. at Mitchell Park a months ago, about 300 people -- maybe more -- showed up on a rainy mid-week evening to show their support for MORE dog parks closer to their /our neighborhoods where we wouldn't have to brave evening / rush hour traffic to drive our dogs to Mitchell or Greer parks.

Darren Anderson, by the way, runs an excellent cordial meeting. His dept. (unlike other city departments) always informs the community well in advance so we can plan to attend.

So a shout-out to our Parks & Rec. folks.


Anti-Dog Owners
Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2017 at 7:54 pm
Anti-Dog Owners, Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2017 at 7:54 pm

@Online Name: Are you serious? Look at Jordan Middle School in the evenings. Tons of off-leash dogs, tons of defecating. I tried to practice softball with my daughter and the dogs run away with the balls, only to have the owners laugh it off, as they return my slobbered-on balls as if no harm. Addison, Rinconada Library, Duveneck Elementary all have dog feces. There is no lawn untouched in this city. People are not going to put the dog in the car and do the right thing, by going to dog parks. In addition, I've seen people complain that dog parks are full of diseases and feces so they refuse to take their precious dog. Duveneck has had dog feces smeared on their sidewalks at morning drop-off.

Dog owners have lost their minds!


Online Name
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm

@Anti-Dog Owners, I am serious. And as a point of info, dogs will defecate whether or not they're on a leash.

Rinconada has lots of handy dandy waste bins and we use them when walking our dog to the library. I suspect Jordan, does, also. FYI, there were lots of dogs at the Rinconada Women's ERA Rally last Sunday and dogs and humans were having fun together. Mothers and toddlers routinely approach us and ask if they can pet our dog. Too bad your experiences are different.

Having closer neighborhood parks equipped with the same big waste bins should alleviate your concerns. And it would help all of us because we wouldn't have to fight the ever-worsening rush-hour traffic to drive our dogs to Mitchell and Greer. Our dog would miss his human and canine buddies at Mitchell so we continue to brave the traffic but I can understand why others have given up in disgust.

To their credit, Parks & Recreation is considering letting dogs ride the City Shuttle.


Anti-Dog Owners
Crescent Park
on Apr 2, 2017 at 2:01 am
Anti-Dog Owners, Crescent Park
on Apr 2, 2017 at 2:01 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment.]


Cynical
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:06 am
Cynical, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:06 am

@Online Name

Please walk around Hoover, Mitchell and Cubberley , Ramos (any time of day), Preschool family, adult school campus (Greendell), Palo Verde elementary campus or any campus after hours. You will see my point. Folks who violate leash laws and do not clean up after their dogs are not going to admit on surveys (if they even take the survey) that they find dog parks useless.


Sleeping Giant sits up
Gunn High School
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:17 am
Sleeping Giant sits up, Gunn High School
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:17 am

I'm concerned that the tack of the City is once again to pit residents against residents, squeezing them into conflicts over smaller spaces while they prioritize taking over the town for the day population that doesn't contribute. They should not be planning to carve out spaces from existing parks, many of which are already inadequate for the uses and heavily used. I can see another huge citizen revolt from if they try to take away part of Juana Briones Park in a segment ogpf the City increasingly hit by development and isokated by the traffic from City amenities, especially since the previous City Council could have saved the orchard basically for free.

Why is the proposal to carve away parts of existing parks? I am sick of this mentality of always taking away from residents to serve a de facto takeover for large companies that really should be moving out the way Facebook kindly did when they needed to grow. San Jose, Concord - they want the companies and welcome the new development. Palo Alto City code requires the City to provide open space to compensate for development, but they've conveniently forgotten. Given their past behaviormp, I would look for the ulterior overdevelopment motives in Kniss and Wolbach's interest in dig parks. The perspective seems poised to pit neighbir against neighbor again while the development interests have their way with us. I for one would be happy to support the dog owners if they demanded some of that owed open space for dog parks. Open space owed us residents and provided finally, not carved out of increasingly overtaxed existing amenities.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:56 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:56 am

I am always saddened when I read the comments on these threads about dog owners. I am not a dog owner at present but have lived with dogs for some of my life. I know that there are many very well behaved dog owners who always keep their dogs on leash and always pick up. Yet they are still tarred with the same brush as those that don't.

One of the reasons I don't keep a dog nowadays is because I genuinely feel that it is almost impossible to exercise a dog properly in Palo Alto. The dog parks are mainly dirt rather than grass and often overcrowded. A crowd of dogs behave very differently to a single dog being exercised in large space. I would not want to take a dog to one of these where the dog would become extremely dusty from the dirt which mixed with sweat would necessitate a complete bath before being allowed back in the house, let alone the car. The idea also of putting a dog in a car to exercise at a remote dog park is just as ludicrous as driving to the gym for exercise.

Aside from that, I believe that dog owners are just as important residents as any other resident in Palo Alto and their needs are not being met. I don't call a couple of crowded, dirt based, dog runs, as being sufficient facilities for the many dog owners in town. It isn't rights for the dog I'm talking about but the rights of the owners who need to have their voices heard.

I would prefer a rule that would allow dog owners to unleash their pets in several parks for an hour at sunrise and an hour at sunset. Why isn't there a time of day solution rather than a complete ban? Foothill Park bans dogs at weekends, but allow them during the week. That compromise, why not ideal, is an attempt to treat all residents with some respect for their needs.

As for defecating, all dogs need to do this whether they are leashed or unleashed. Just because a dog is unleashed it does not automatically follow that the owner will not clean up afterwards. A responsible dog owner will behave responsibly whether or not the dog is leashed or unleashed.

As for dogs in playgrounds, I really wish the playground areas in parks were fenced off completely. Not only does it keep the children inside safe from running off, into traffic or some other area of the park, but it will keep unleashed animals out. This is true of wild animals also, in particular skunks and raccoons who like to forage through the litter left at the trash cans - so keep the trash cans outside the fenced areas.

As for school playing fields, I agree that dogs should never be unleashed at any time of day on those. However, particularly near Jordan MS, there are just no other parks in walking distance. I do feel for those dog owners in that part of town as there is nowhere other than concrete and ashphelt that is suitable for exercising a dog.


Irony
Green Acres
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm
Irony, Green Acres
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm

We have dogs that bark at passers by. All our neighbors have been robbed. we never have. Hmmm.

The neighbor behind us (who has been robbed several times) complained to animal control about our dogs twice, but our dogs don't bark enough for animal control to take action. Even so, we have implimented training, bark collars, and indoor hours (only outside after 8 AM and back inside by 9PM) to limit the barking our neighbors are exposed to.

Ironically, that same neighbor got a burglar alarm to counter the thefts they've had. It goes of when it rains (mostly) including in the middle of the night waking everyone up. If they aren't home, it will go on and on for hours. We've commented to them, complained to them, and called the police on them. The neighbor is unresponsive and apparently, according to the responding police officers, it is not against the law to have a burglar alarm go off for hours in the middle of the night.

We need more Dogs, and fewer people in this town.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm

It isn't optimum to have neighbor dogs barking. One wonders how the owners (who are sometimes absent when this happens, sometimes not) would react if the so were on the other foot. Meantime, it is indulging to have people walking their dogs down the street let them puss and poo in one's garden foliage, that one (in my case at least) has personally tended. It's disrespectful. Please do not take Park space from Eleanor Pardee Park to make a dog park. Please reduce dogs on school grounds. Thanks.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:59 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 2, 2017 at 8:59 pm

- if the shoe were on the other foot
- it is insulting
Wow, spell correct ain't great when one's eyesight isn't great


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 3, 2017 at 11:45 am
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 3, 2017 at 11:45 am

I used to take a dog to a local school for the sunset dog social since the only public park in my area, the lawns outside the Lawn Bowling club, are too far for my small dog to walk to. Stopped doing that when too many dogs were off leash and one owner thought it "fun" to have his large dog repeatedly tackle and pin my small dog saying, "The dogs can work it out themselves!" I also saw way too many "nice" people regularly not pick up their dogs' poop.

Park & Recreation will be swayed by the hundreds of dog lovers who are organized until the school kids and their parents turn out in equal numbers.

The only solution I see to allow dogs off or on leash on school grounds is lock the school grounds after school hours and give key codes just to dog owners who've passed a canine good citizen test, have a valid Palo Alto dog license, and have animal control do weekly random checks and pull everyone's keycodes to a particular school yard if a single dog owner violates health and safety rules there. A dog on school grounds without a valid Palo Alto dog license: everyone's key code is voided. Yes, Army barrack rules to get the "group" to follow the health and safety rules. Ideally, we'd have self-policing accountability instead of the childish "Not me!" mess we have now.

Or we continue as we are: kids with dog poop on their feet and hands anytime they set foot on school grounds.


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm

And... heard on the radio last night a water authority had trained dogs to sniff out human poop in their water system to reduce E. Coli outbreaks. If a dog can be trained to sniff out human poop, they can be trained to sniff out dog poop. Why not have dog lovers with keycodes to school grounds pay a fee for the codes, enough to cover not just animal control spot check fees but also the costs of dog poop sniffer dogs to patrol school grounds every morning before school.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 2:32 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Editor.

Where are the comments for recent news articles? Is there a problem on the site that the recent articles cannot display comments made? I have made comments over the weekend and today on "today's news" and when I hit submit the comments disappear and the same message about no comments yet are all that appear under the article.


Town Square Moderator
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm
Town Square Moderator, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm

@Resident

There was one topic (about the 'vigil' in East Palo Alto Web Link ) that was inadvertently closed to comments due to a technical glitch, but it is now available again for posting. Sorry for the inconvenience.


frankie
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm
frankie, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm

A lot of dog owners in our community are behaving disrespectfully. Not all, not most, but certainly too many. Too many think the rules don't apply to them, whether it be keeping their pets on leash, cleaning up after them, or respecting rules on where they are not permitted to be. I heard one bragging how easy it was to get a fake "permit" as a certified anxiety dog... then you can take any dog you want anywhere.

When you don't clean up after your dog in my front yard or my kids school yard, it makes me feel very disrespected and resentful. Those of you respectful dog owners (I'm assuming you're the majority)... please take the lead in kindly coaching your fellow dog-lovers into civility. Do it for the sake of community harmony, but also for the sake of your own dog. There's a lot of growing backlash sentiment.

Finally, do I think more dog parks are ideal. YES. Do I think they alone will fix the surge in disrespectful dog owners... NO WAY. I do think Pardee Park, Peers Park, and Baylands could spare a SLICE (NOT one quarter of their space) for dedicated dog space. If I could make that trade to return to some common decency, I would. I doubt those new parks will fix it though.


Crescent Park Dog Owner
Crescent Park
on Apr 4, 2017 at 6:54 am
Crescent Park Dog Owner, Crescent Park
on Apr 4, 2017 at 6:54 am

I used to bring my dog to Addison Elementary School a few evenings a week, and occasionally early on a weekend morning. It was great to give her room to run in a large enclosed space, much bigger than my backyard at the time. It was also great for both dogs and dog owners to socialize during those evenings, but it quickly turned into a social hour for dog owners, and so many didn't pay close enough attention to what their dogs were doing. This is mainly what led to kids and school staff running into dog feces on the playground all the time, as well as to the occasional conflict between dogs as inattentive owners let their dogs run wild. After one too many conflicts with aggressive dogs, we stopped going. Eventually the school started locking the gates and calling the police whenever dog owners turned up, so it turns out that was a good decision.

I've seen many dogs off-leash but not under voice control, and it's exasperating, especially when I'm with my dog who is on-leash. I've also picked up after a lot of dogs whose owners didn't bother to. I understand this is frustrating--I hate seeing it too!. We need to continue enforcing the PAMC against dog owners who don't pay attention to the rules, but we also need to provide some alternatives for rule-abiding dog owners to use to exercise their dogs. I don't understand why those who don't own dogs refuse to make any kind of accommodation at all for those of us who do. We pay taxes here too, and have a right to to advocate for municipal services that suit our needs just as much as cyclists, drivers of electric cars, etc., etc., etc.

Can't we all just get along?


Build your own dog run
Midtown
on Apr 4, 2017 at 10:49 am
Build your own dog run, Midtown
on Apr 4, 2017 at 10:49 am

I agree: "I would look for the ulterior overdevelopment motives in Kniss and Wolbach's interest in dog parks. The perspective seems poised to pit neighbor against neighbor again while the development interests have their way"

Dog ownership is optional. And expensive. So dog owners can afford to pay for their own dog parks. Can't see why we all should pay for the people who did not think ahead when they acquired these defacating creatures.


Irony
Green Acres
on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:09 am
Irony, Green Acres
on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

@Build your own dog run : " Dog ownership is optional. And expensive. So dog owners can afford to pay for their own dog parks. Can't see why we all should pay for the people who did not think ahead when they acquired these defacating creatures."

Having children is optional. And expensive. So parents with children can afford to pay for their own schools. Can't see why we all should pay for the people who did not think ahead when they chose to create these defacating creatures.

Having cars is optional. And expensive. So people with cars can afford to pay for their own roads and infrastructure. Can't see why we all should pay for the people who did not think ahead when they chose to by these pollution spewing creations.

Limited use parks and open space are optional. And expensive. So people who want limited use parks and open space can afford to pay for their own limited use parks and open space. Can't see why we all should pay for the people who did not think ahead when they chose to live in a town with public parks and open spaces but now want their use restricted to serve their own limited interests.


The mic has been dropped
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 4, 2017 at 3:01 pm
The mic has been dropped, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 4, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Irony wins...doesn't it always


ndn
Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:15 am
ndn, Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:15 am


Irony silly comment deserves an answer:
Irony says ( I don't know what defacating means):

"Having children is optional. And expensive. So parents with children can afford to pay for their own schools. Can't see why we all should pay for the people who did not think ahead when they chose to create these defacating creatures."

Most children will grow up into useful human beings capable of helping others and contributing to the general welfare. That is why we pay (forward) for their expenses. Dogs on the other hand by and large consume without doing much good to society at all. The few who do we all pay for-police dogs, service dogs, etc. I grew up with three dogs and love the animals but animals are not children no matter how much their owners love them.

Irony also says:
"Having cars is optional. And expensive." I won't even comment on this as I am about to go to work and couldn't do so without a car, like most people, who have cars because they must.

Irony also says:
"Limited use parks and open space are optional. And expensive. So people who want limited use parks and open space can afford to pay for their own limited use parks and open space."

Obviously, this happens to some degree. That's why there is the cricket club, baseball arenas, jazz clubs, etc. But for children, after all our future, we must do it to the level that it is required for taking them into a good childhood and path. We pay for that promise of common good. Your dog is never going to be my future. We should invest in dog parks to some extent because some adults want to have them, but we must never make them a priority. They are not children and they are not our future.

The point is not to be irrational and attribute to dogs human characteristics. They are not children, they are not human and they are by and large parasitical.
Once you recognize the difference between children and pets we all will get along much better.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 9:01 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 9:01 am

Methinks ndn doesn't understand satire!


Menlo Park dog owndef
Menlo Park
on Apr 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm
Menlo Park dog owndef, Menlo Park
on Apr 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

Like it or not, dogs are here to stay. And let's consider all the positive things they provide: joy, love, companionship, and stress relief. If everyone uses common sense, they do not pose a threat to our safety or health, I take my dog off leash at a park in front of my house. The playground there is fenced in and I do not take her off the leash when soccer practices/games or other organIzed events are taking place. I always check with families with small kids to make sure they are not afraid of dogs, and I ALWAYS clean up throughly after my dog. Almost everyone in the neighborhood knows my dog by name and loves petting her and playing with her. There are many things that people do that are also dangerous and disrespectful: turning left at large intersections after the turn signal has turned red, speeding near schools and parks, acting rude in public, cutting in line, and on and on and on. I, like others, am bothered by dogs that are aggressive towards people and other dogs, and owners who don't clean up after their dogs, but let's not generalize that everyone, dogs and people, are the same.


ndn
Downtown North
on Apr 6, 2017 at 8:03 am
ndn, Downtown North
on Apr 6, 2017 at 8:03 am

We, the people, pay for those things that promote the general welfare and dogs by and large don't. Sure,they provide joy, love, companionship, and stress relief for their owners or those, like me, who love them. But the question is: should the people provide welfare for particular tastes (having a pet) by paying for a particular item which does not promote general welfare? It's not that we shouldn't provide a couple of dog parks. It's the absurd demand and entitlement of those screaming the importance (for whom?) of their pets. You have a pet that gives you satisfaction? Great! Ask e to pay for your satisfaction? NO!


New Resident
Barron Park
on Apr 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm
New Resident, Barron Park
on Apr 6, 2017 at 12:21 pm

ndn : The only one I see shouting here is you. Why are you so angry ?
I think everyone's already paying for your kids. According to Web Link it's over $10k per child. Since everyone's paying for your kids, how much are you actually paying for their dogs ? It's probably zero, but you sure seem mad about it anyway. Perhaps your mind is making up alternative facts?

"Strange that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed, and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago - No. And I will stand to say no and no again, for they remain a living truth within my mind. There is no fence nor hedge round Time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember."... Richard Llewellyn


Tom from Midtown
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:43 pm
Tom from Midtown, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:43 pm

On a lighter note... The article mentions consideration being given to "...Heritage Park, Juana Briones Park, Kingsley Island Park...." Heritage isn't large, but a dog run could be fit in, and the same is true of Briones. On the other hand, if Kingsley Island Park is what I think it is -- that small landscaped triangle bounded by Kingsley, Emerson and the Embarcadero -- any dog park would have to be restricted to Teacup and Toy Chihuahuas‎!

I'm much in favor of dog parks and, if there were more of them, wouldn't have a problem with schools restricting their grounds much more than they do now. I would hope that the dog park designers try very hard to include lots of trees, as you find at the Hoover Park dog run. It is really the only one in Palo Alto that is sufferable when the weather is very hot, and both dogs and their owners very much appreciate having it.


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