Dear Editor:

Way to go Midcoast Community Council! Thanks for proving how closed-minded you are.

Your decision to oppose a pilot program at Pillar Point Bluff shows you’re not even open to a fact-finding mission to determine whether off-leash dog walking is workable. Your vote runs counter to the overwhelming support expressed by your Coastside constituents in numerous study sessions. In one swift move (well, in a four-hour meeting), you just removed all doubt about your lack of interest in any new or factual information, and returned the MCC to the days when San Mateo County Supervisors could ignore MCC recommendations because the Committee was such a joke. In fact, the MCC's most recent letter advocates for services to be not placed on the Midcoast. Yet again, the MCC has shown itself to be a small, unrepresentative group of activist NIMBYs who are beholden to over-the-hill lobbyists.

I hope in the future MCC members will listen to their Midcoast neighbors and get facts before they form their opinions, especially when so many Coastsiders are overwhelmingly in support of the pilot program for off-leash dog walking.

Joel Farbstein


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(8) comments

Joel Mark Farbstein

JCU: Why are you so afraid of a study?

John Charles Ullom

JMF: Why are you reckless with the life of your dog?

See how easy it is to ask a dumb question vs responding to what was actually written?

I know you are careful with the life of your dog and you know I contend there is no study. You already know what the so called study will prove. And you know it won't matter if any other seals are killed, or people frightened. You don't need a fake pilot program.

And I am pretty sure you know the SMC planning commission voted against this sham. You all just had to have the bluffs, So you manufactured the notion of a pilot study and hitched the off leash park at Quarry park to your all or nothing plan.

Result? Not good for off leash dog walkers. The ploy imploded. Your group managed to get the obviously smart plan to allow off-leash dogs at Quarry Park tied to the hopelessly flawed plan to build a wildlife friendly barbed wire fence on the edge of the bluffs.

Try to learn from your mistakes. I am totally with you on the Quarry Park plan. So was every single person who spoke against the pretend pilot study. But you all just had to have it all. Now you have exactly what you always had. Unregulated off-leash walking on the bluffs just like there has always been. The laws are only enforced after a tragedy and then only if the owner can't affrod a really good lawyer.

I mean come on JMF. Everybody knows they have a don't ask don't tell policy when it comes to enforcing leash laws on the Coastside. Why would anybody expect compliance with the rules of your pilot study when folks flout the existing laws?

This is a none issue until another dog is caught on camera shredding a seal or some little kid gets chewed up or some senior citizen lands in a nursing home with a broken hip. Until that happens, at least a half dozen or so more times, ain't nothing going to change.

Both of us know that neither of us is half the person our dogs think we are. We should all strive to be better.

John Charles Ullom

"Please stop using this tragedy and video to emotionally manipulate people into opposing the pilot." -- Tezza

There is no pilot. People have been doing as they please as far as off leash dogs on those bluffs since Adam and Eve. The tragedy was not the first nor will it be the last. I have already seen other video of a different dog harassing a beach goer at the exact same location as the "tragedy". None of that matters to off leash dog fundamentalists. I could show you hundred. Wouldn't matter.

The pilot study is a joke. Off leash dog ranging has been going on for decades. All that is going to happen is the formalizing of what is already going on. Next comes the spreading of the word amongst of folks who believe dogs have the right to range free. Then the off leash dog walkers. Have no doubt.

Your little slice of paradise will soon be listed. Ask local surfers what happened when Mavericks became listed. Now every yahoo and his buddy shows up and 60 or 70 vie for the same wave. while hundreds crawl all over the cliffs just to get a gander.

"Unfortunately their dogs will pay a penalty as well." -- Tezza

Which was the whole point of my post, Amy. I have always owned dogs. I get the joy of watching them run freely. And every dog I have owned or ever gotten to know, has had two things in common. They do things that surprise and they are....dogs.

Luna was and is not a viscous dog. She did nothing that I haven't seen my dogs, and cats, do to gophers , chickens, and snakes. Luna was playing. But that didn't matter at the hearing. Did you listen to it Amy? Luna was a dead dog walking the minute she bit that seal. It did not matter to the hearing officer at the death panel hearing. Luna's fate was all but sealed. Her owner had the money to hire an attorney who saved Luna's life. And that is the only reason Luna is not dead. The county concluded it would cost too much to fight the case. Do you have that kind of money?

If you read my post, (did you?), I did not take a position on the so called pilot data acquisition whatever you want to spin it as project. I tried to get people who love their dogs, which I assume you are one of, to understand the risks they take when they let their dogs run off leash next to a sanctuary. But my post doesn't support your narrative, so you see it as an attack on a truth you already KNOW, sans the phony pilot data propaganda , to be so.

And you know, I know, everybody who walks those bluffs knows, off-leash dogs fundamentalists flout the existing rules. There is nothing about the pilot project that is going to change their attitude. Not ripped up baby seals. Not euthanized dogs, not even frightened children or fragile seniors. No amount of pilot study data is going to change the equation. Not even the wildlife friendly barbed wire fence that is supposed to be strung up along sections of the bluff. You all must be proud of that detail. Not sure why you don't brag on it.

What I figure, Amy, is that people really do love their dogs. I think they need to know the risk they are taking when they let their dog range free anywhere on those bluffs. I think if they watch the video, and listen to the death panel hearing, they will at least, momentarily, empathize with the seal, the owners, the witnesses, and above all, Luna.

How that changes the equation is up to the owner of the dog. The dog counts on its human to to make the right call. If you have 100% confidence in your voice control go for it. Ain't no rule, law, horrific video, or pilot study going change anything that goes on out there or what you do.

Just know the risk to your dog. Watch and listen to the tragic video. Then do what you can live with:--

here ya' go

“It’s OK, he’s friendly!”

John Charles Ullom

For those of us who insist on risking the lives of our dogs by allowing them to run off leash next to a marine sanctuary, here is one minute and forty nine seconds of horror: --

As gut wrenching as the video is, the sound track of Luna's death panel hearing is heart breaking. Luna spent her whole summer in a cage, under the threat of execution, and if not for thousands upon thousand of dollars in lawyers, fines, and fees, Luna would be a dead dog. If she were your dog, how would that affect you?

Every time you allow your dog to run off leash on those bluffs you risk the life of your dog. Now that you know, if you are still willing to bet your dog's life that you are in 100% complete control, well, that says something about you.

Amy Tezza

Please stop using this tragedy and video to emotionally manipulate people into opposing the pilot. The nearest proposed off leash trail is over half a mile from access to Ross Cove. Dog owners who allow their dogs to access the beach (despite signage) should pay the penalty. Unfortunately their dogs will pay a penalty as well.

Joel Mark Farbstein

Amy, why do you expect John Charles Ullom to pay attention to facts (about how far the location is from the precious seals) or the concept that the pilot program is a STUDY to determine whether off-leash walking is workable and sustainable. He's just in his full histrionic glory here. Best to wait until the study results are reported, then we can all discuss it rationally.

John Charles Ullom

Folks, this is he kind rhetoric you can expect from off leash dog fundamentalists or for that matter, fundamentalists of all stripes. They attack anybody that presents any facts that are contrary to what they "KNOW" to be true.

I really don't care about off-leash dogs on the bluffs. The fundamentalist's have been flouting the law for decades. No study is going to change anything.

I do love my dogs. I know Amy and Joel love their dogs too. I understand that both Amy and Joel have absolute 100% voice control over their dogs. It's a remarkable achievement on their part. But most people, in my experience, overestimate their ability to control their dog. Especially by voice. So, the lesson that can be learned by viewing the video and listening to the death panel hearing, will of course be lost on folks who "KNOW" they have 100% control over their dogs.

I am not sure why Amy and Joel do not want the community to know about the risk they impose on their dogs when they allow them to run off leash on bluff next to a Marine Sanctuary. As they both know, the pilot study will include a wild life friendly barbed wire fence that is meant to protect dogs from the consequences of their overly self confident humans, I don't get why they are afraid of this video. Maybe the barbed wire fence will work.

For the rest of us dog owners, who love our dogs but don't "KNOW" we have 100% voice control over them, check out the video. Evaluate the risk to your dog. Then do what you can live with. For dog owners who "KNOW", the video will just make them irate. If that is you, don't bother. You already "KNOW" everything you you need to.

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