19 February 2009

Homegrown Evolution

I've just found a blog that I'm really excited about:


You probably already know it.

The authors are living out urban homesteading in Los Angeles. I've already been reminded that some of the solutions for problems on the homestead are the same solutions used by backpackers for years.

Their "pirate" garden in the parkway, the narrow green strip between the sidewalk and the road, is inspiring!

09 February 2009

Dog Walking Prohibited at Nantucket Elementary?

I was out walking Sadie, and suddenly was confronted with a sign: Dog Walking Prohibited On School Grounds, or something similar. I'm on the warpath!

"To whom it may concern,

I am writing to inquire as to the justification for the complete prohibition of dogs on the public grounds of Nantucket Elementary in Crofton. Before there was a school, I walked my dog through the woods and wetlands the school has eliminated. The construction of the school made some of our favorite walks impossible. And after the school was completed, and even since it has opened, the school provided at least one benefit to me, even though I have no children who will ever attend it: it completed a walking route that I could follow from MD-450 to St. Stephen's Church Road, without ever having to walk ALONG any road with a speed limit that exceeds 25MPH.

I began using this path long before there was a Nantucket Elementary; now, suddenly, I am PROHIBITED. My only walking choices are along MD-3, which I consider extremely dangerous, or along Riedel Rd., where the sidewalk is not separated from the roadway by any barrier. And once I reach an endpoint, my only choice is to go back the way I came, or follow the other hazardous roadway back.

What is the county's justification for this prohibition? Is it to prevent the accumulation of dog waste? I can assure you that will never be a problem with me! I take my responsibilities as a dog owner very seriously--I even clean up after OTHER dogs. Aren't the existing "pooper-scooper" regulations strict enough?

Is it distraction to the students? Then prohibit access during school hours! But aren't there already regulations restricting access to the grounds of a school while school is in session?

Are there concerns about safety? Aren't the leash laws adequate?

If the existing regulations aren't enforceable, how do you expect to enforce THIS one? And if it is NOT enforceable, how do you expect it to help? It will only encourage the general contempt for arbitrary regulations that already clearly exists on the highways of Maryland.

Please enlighten me. Do those of us who own dogs have no rights of passage across _public_ property? I think that the common law which forms the foundation of our system of jurisprudence would argue otherwise!

Further, the prohibition is extended solely to dogs. What if I wished to walk my cat, or my pot-bellied pig, or my minature pony? What if I wished to ride my horse through? (I own none of these animals.) Why is the restriction _solely_ aimed at dogs?

The prohibition of access to the grounds of Nantucket Elementary to those of us, citizens, voters, and taxpayers, who wish to continue walking our dogs in a place we have frequented for many years, is unfair, unjust, and unsafe.

Please explain your reasoning.


I'll post their reply!

UPDATE: I've sent a "letter to the editor" at the Annapolis Capital-Gazette, which also publishes the Crofton News-Crier. If you see it, you'll recognize this entry, with its lyric prose butchered for space requirements ;-)