LETTERS to the EDITOR | TheUnion.com

LETTERS to the EDITOR

Extremely Upsetting

I wanted to express how extremely upsetting the article Allowing Dogs in Vista, Meadow Parks was to my husband and I.
In our opinion it was so filled with disgust, hatred and just flat-out lies that it had to have been written by people who abhor dogs.
It was completely over-the-top with more than worse case scenarios that were more like Armageddon, Debbie Downer and Dooms Day all at once of leashed dogs in those two parks.
Incredibly disturbing and wrong for you to have allowed that false and slanderous article to not just be in the TWI, but worse to give it front page status.
Only excuse for it is that it had to be HATEFUL people who wrote it and I feel sorry for them that they have such a sorry and sad life that they felt this was ok to do.
Would like to know why you chose to print it and give it the placement that you did?

Sally and Mike Ramsey
Lake Wildwood

 

Six Month Trial

I think that a six-month trial is in order.
Dog owners can take their dogs for a walk at Vista Park and Meadow Park. It makes sense to see if it helps control the geese problem and to give owners a chance to give our dogs a walk on grass rather than street tar.
Then they can prove that dogs are our friends and need to be given a chance to prove how good they can be.

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Sue Olander
Lake Wildwood

Should be Ashamed

I think this committee should be ashamed and embarrassed to have submitted such a pathetic attack just before the ballots go out for the upcoming election issue. The article was full of misinformation (since when are our parks "pristine"? Really!) And the blatant attack on the Dog Club was ridiculous. It's not only Dog Club members who want to take their dogs to the park. In fact, one member of the committee is seen taking her dog swimming in Vista Park. Good for her! We all would like to be able to do that.
Our Board of Directors has stated that they knew nothing about the upcoming article. One of them is married to the president of the committee and another is liaison to the committee, so at least two of them knew.
The purpose of any Lake Wildwood committee is to serve at the pleasure of the Board, which means that they have to submit in writing to the Board any action they would like to take, and the Board must have knowledge and give them full approval to do it. This very same thing happened just before the last vote on allowing dogs in the park and nothing was done about it. It remains to be seen what action, if any, will be taken this time.
The issue at hand is simple: Should community members be allowed to take their dogs (family members) to the parks with them? The rest of the world seems to think it's a good idea. Only Lake Wildwood, which put that silly rule in many, many years ago, says we can't.
We will take care of them as we do all our family members. The parks will not be destroyed, as Parks and Rec seem to think. Let's become a dog-friendly community.

Cathy Rado
Fair Oaks Drive

Happy Chinese New Year 2018…the Year of the Dog!

A couple weeks ago I was in the Bay Area and stopped at Stanford Mall to run a few errands. It was great to be able to walk my dog in all of the stores and to later sit outside with him and my friends at a restaurant.
I started thinking about how easy, convenient and pleasurable to be able to take my dog and not worry about him being in a car and rushing back.
Then I thought about other places around the world that are pet friendly — Monterey, Carmel, Paris, London, Barcelona, Palm Springs, New York…and a number of communities where I visit friends.
I can walk my dog in Sun City parks, Alta Sierra, Truckee, etc. In fact, the last time I was in the airport in San Francisco I noticed they now have "Doggie Relief" rooms in the airport!
But, I live in Lake Wildwood, where I own a home, pay my HOA assessments, fees and taxes, yet cannot take my dog to any of our five parks!
What makes us unable to accept that dogs are actually accepted in polite society today? What horrible thing happened that has kept this restriction for years? Why are geese, turkeys, deer, etc., more important and have more rights in our parks than my pet?
All I want to do is to hop in my golf cart, take my leashed dog with me on a warm, beautiful summer evening go to the park and meet friends to watch the sun go down.
He may even chase some geese off the beach. I'm not a kid; I'm a responsible adult that understands proper pet management, yet I feel I am being punished for the sins of a few pet owners that may not be as considerate.
I just want to enjoy some of the amenities of Lake Wildwood (like a park) with my pet by my side.

Faye van Boxtel
Lake Wildwood

 

Voting 'NO'

Thank you to the Parks and Recreation Department for checking every box of concern, for hopefully, most of the Lake Wildwood residents.
I used to love walking the streets around my home. However since numerous homes around us are now rentals, the walks are no longer pleasurable. Twice I have been chased by pit bulls; once bitten on the hand.
Both dogs were off a leash, no owner in sight. When I tried to confront the owner of one of these lovely kind animals, I was talked down to and ridiculed as though I did something to provoke them.
That is why I am voting NO on this "waste of money" ballot. In addition, if one of my grandchildren is in one of these dog parks and are threatened or even more terrifying, bitten, I will hold every LWW board member responsible through whatever means available for failure to do the job they were voted into office to do. Keep LWW beautiful, uphold the rules and protect the residents.

Debra Voss
Warbler Way

More to think about!

There is an issue regarding the upcoming “allowing dogs in parks” ballot issue that is NOT being brought to the attention of this community.
Allowing leashed dogs in any of the parks has costs that ALL of the LWW membership will have to pay through our assessments.
It is not limited to just having someone going around to pick up irresponsible owners dog poop. There will be costs to maintain the poop bag dispensers and to empty the receptacles. There are the costs of enforcement should there be dogs off leash or in the park on the “wrong” days. There would be costs for security should there be a conflict between dogs or between dogs and humans that are not part of the current budgeted manpower needs.
The biggest potental cost is the liability for LWW if a dog in a park were to attack and seriously injure someone or another dog.
These are just a few of the potental additional costs, I’m sure there are many more. While some of these might seem trivial, they are all costs that LWW would incur. At a time when there is a concern with the probability that our assessments will rise, is this the best use of the LWW’s limited funds?
If dog owners want to bring their dogs to the parks, should there be a fee associated with that privilege similar to the current fees for use of the pool or tennis/pickle ball courts?
Would it not be in the best interest for the safety of the community that all dogs using the parks be registered with LWW and have a permit to verify that they are currently licensed and are current in their immunizations?
What about “guest” dogs? There would be additional LWW administration costs associated with these questions. Is it fair for people that do not own a dog to have to pay new and additional costs just to benefit a special interest group? Is it fair that the use of a member’s closest park would be restricted for members that do not want to be around dogs or if they have an allergy to dogs?
As some have said before, this is not an new situation. It was here when you bought your home. Things to seriously consider when you receive your ballot.
It is not as simple as just wanting to “allow dogs in parks”!

Randy Smith
Lake Wildwood

Where's the common sense?

Ok let's get serious. Why do we need to allow dogs in the parks? I get it, people love their dogs. That's great, but dogs are just dogs, not people. They will get no euphoric feelings from being allowed in our parks. However, as the parks and recreation committee so aptly pointed out, we will get lots of crap… literally and figuratively.
So anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the downside to dogs in our parks…except the dog club. They will never get it. No, they will continue to push their agenda; how they will monitor and clean up the parks and that it will be so wonderful and all hearts and flowers. Not for those of us who will have to put up with annoying dogs and those owners will show no consideration to anyone who is not thrilled by their best friend running around and doing its thing on your stuff. Hey, you'll just have to put up with it. After all, they are entitled.
Wake up LWW this is another ploy by a few individuals who honestly believe they should be able to do whatever they want and the rest of us will have to be tolerant of it. This is the second time to deal with this issue just like the motorcycle issue. Forget the truth; they just want to have their own way on this topic.
It is a shame that our board that claims to be impartial is now trying to get the dog club extra time to promote their agenda. By the way how did that special ballot get arranged? Thousands of dollars spent on a special ballot because someone isn't getting their way again. Are you getting it yet? Entitled, arrogant, self-serving and self-centered attitudes will prevail unless you …
Vote No on dogs in the park.

Jim Voss
Warbler Way

Dogs In Our Parks

It is understandable that dog owners want to enjoy our parks with their pets since there is no dog park, other than Gateway Park 5 miles away, or areas other than the roads on which to walk their dogs. They are requesting an amendment to the Declaration of Restrictions that would allow owners to walk with their dogs in two of our parks on leash. They claim that doggie deposits will be picked up by owners and that leashed dogs with the bells on their collars would cause geese to leave the parks, thus reducing the goose poop problem.

So why the opposition to leashed dogs in our parks? If many of the estimated 200 dogs in LWW are walked daily in our parks, their impact would be noticeable. Opponents contend that not all dog owners are responsible, as evidenced by the occasional loose dogs and dog poop currently in parks, and the current problem would become worse without funds allocated specifically for enforcement.
They are also concerned that some dogs might become a nuisance to picnickers, become aggressive, or bark annoyingly. They believe that dog urine and residual dog poop is unhealthy for children playing in the sand or grass and that urine burn spots would mar the grassy areas. Opponents also question whether leashed dogs would have much effect on geese, as there is no evidence to support that contention.
Regardless of the outcome of the pending referendum on whether dogs will be permitted in parks and on beaches, some dog owners may not be aware that dogs on leash are permitted on Lake Wildwood greenbelts and trails according to Rule R-10.40.10 of the bylaws.
Of course, dog owners are responsible for picking up after their dogs. There are a fourteen greenbelts, some with access to the lake, some wooded and some grassy.
For example, a greenbelt with lake access that seems particularly suitable for dog walking is on Chaparral Drive, between Chaparral Circle and Skipper Court. An easy 1.2 mile wooded trail is the Lake Wildwood Hiking and Nature Trail on Huckleberry Drive at Lake Wildwood Drive.
There are also fire roads such as the one off Lake Wildwood Drive at Strawberry Circle. A Lake Wildwood map is available at the Administration Office which shows the locations of greenbelts, some worthy of exploration for dog walking.
While allowing dogs in our parks and constructing a dog park might be future possibilities, greenbelts, trails and fire roads offer good options for dog walking in Lake Wildwood.

Gary Kahn
Roadrunner Drive

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