Letters to the Editor: Dog Park Benefits Residents



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I find Carol Denney's argument against the Cesar Chavez dog park to be misinformed and dangerously ignorant ("Off-Leash Area is a 'Disaster,'" July 18).

Yes, there are the irresponsible people who let their dogs off-leash in restricted zones. Perhaps a few $200 tickets would help them learn the leash law. I'd call on Animal Control to get down there and enforce the city's laws about off-leash dogs.

But as for wildlife, Denney is woefully misinformed. The flyway area for migratory birds is not endangered due to dogs romping in their off-leash area.

Rather, the flyway is being disrupted by the non-stop building and human activity which seems to be booming down by Interstate 80, between Emeryville and the race track. As this is area is where I live, I see many more car-flattened animals than casualties of dog attacks.

I also find the idea of dogs catching birds ridiculous. Point your finger at the feral cat population if you wish to find the culprits.

As for snakes, I suggest, Carol Denney, that you kill off all the egrets and herons in the area, along with the occasional raptor. These birds are the true snake killers of the area.

Want the true reason for the decline in wildlife as a whole? Take a look in the mirror, and at your fellow humans.

Dogs and wildlife do mix. We need responsible ownership, keeping the dog on-leash, sticking to marked trails, and not allowing any harassment of other creatures.

Don't take it out on the dogs - take it out on the stupid humans who let their dogs run wild.

Jean Smith

Berkeley resident

School's Expansion Obstructs View

The proposed expansion of the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, located at the corner of Hearst and LeRoy Avenues, will have a substantial adverse effect on the scenic vista and visual character of the neighborhood. A public hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement will be held at the Goldman School on July 26 at 7 p.m.

Repeated affronts to the neighborhood cannot be accepted as a precedent, nor may the residents be said to willingly bear them simply because they have yet to be driven from their homes.

The existing sight lines of both Cloyne Court and the former Beta Theta Pi house will be impeded by the proposed expansion of the Goldman School of Public Policy.

The argument goes that there is no difference between looking out your window into the branches of a tree, and looking out your window into someone's office or at a blank wall.

The Goldman gift earmarks specific funding for Goldman Visiting International Scholars, Goldman Visiting Distinguished Practitioners, and Goldman Public Policy Fellows. Would any of them want to live in the Cloyne Court suites most directly effected by such "insignificant" impacts?

The earlier expansion of the school dwarfed the former residential space for dozens of unruly young men, which was the fraternity. In terms of architectural style, the former Beta Theta Pi House has become a pastiche.

It's not enough to say that "it's in the East Bay idiom." The style of the Tudor revival was meant to evoke Sherwood Forest, not megalopolis.

Richard Thompson

Berkeley resident

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