Nov 01 2008

Whitney Dotson – Good for Dogs

Published by at 1:02 pm under East Bay Parks,off leash

Photo by Jill Posener –

Update: I sent an email to Whitney Dotson asking him his position on off-leash areas.

The response from Robin Freeman, Whitney Dotson Campaign Committee:

I asked Whitney Dotson for his response to your question.  Here is what he said:
“When it is appropriate for the habitat, the Park District should develop more controlled facilities for off leash dogs.  Dogs need space to exercise, even if sometimes in relatively small areas.  There is a large amount of space within the parks lands.”

Whitney Dotson is Good for Dogs! Norman La Force is Bad for Dogs.

On the November ballot, residents of Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, Richmond, San Pablo, parts of Oakland and a small part of Pinole will be asked to choose between Whitney Dotson and Norman La Force to serve on the Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Park Districk (EBRPD, Ward 1)

Dotson is well-qualified, and is receptive of off-leash recreation in the EBRPD.

La Force has a very well-established and readily verifiable track record in RABID OPPOSITON to off-leash recreation in the East Bay and elsewhere.

East Bay Regional Parks District Board Race- Reader Commentary, Berkeley Daily Planet

If LaForce is elected, he will threaten the park access of every person who walks a dog, rides a horse, seeks accessible trails, and bikes on the lands of the East Bay Regional Parks. His scientific background is nothing, as he has demonstrated in public hearings many times. He has worked harder to keep humans out of parks than any other “park proponent” I know. He definitely will try to crush any “opponent,” including the disabled, the young and the elderly. Not because they are right or wrong, but because they oppose him. I urge everyone to watch their back if he’s elected.

He has already hounded the park users group off the Albany Landfill, gleefully destroying one of very few accessible areas for dog walkers with limited mobility in the entire East Bay. He forced creating a breeding burrowing owl habitat on the landfill, at cost of tens of thousands of dollars per year, even though scientific literature quickly reveals likely failure. An hour’s research in the UC Berkeley scientific journal collection showed immediate evidence of the scientific fallacy of this proposal—but he still forced it down everyone’s throat through his usual bullying and threats. When I did research, I found that California Fish & Game had actually recommended a “watch and see” mitigation with no winter time construction for the wintering middle-aged burrowing owl (non-breeding) that might be displaced by building the Gilman Fields, so this entire action was provoked by LaForce, who saw an opportunity to further crush the community of users at the Albany Landfill. Think: just a portion of that money invested in expanding two or three breeding burrowing owl habitats in the Central Valley, their chief breeding ground, would have actually produced young owls. And still have left money in the Gilman Fields JPA’s pocket for our young sports players. The Albany Landfill park users could have continued to clean up the park, remove the star thistle, build art, and start plans for a supportive insectary environment to protect pollinators in our changing climate.- Read More Marilyn Saarni was co-founder of Albany Let It Be; former president and editor of the Regional Parks Foundation


More Articles:
Two Environmentalists Vie For Parks District Vacancy


3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Whitney Dotson – Good for Dogs”

  1. davidon 02 Nov 2008 at 11:25 am

    If LaForce keeps your goddam dogs out of the parks, we’ll be sure to vote for him.

  2. adminon 02 Nov 2008 at 8:51 pm

    David, yup I’m all for off-leash dog parks and letting the them run free, but I believe the issue here isn’t keeping the “goddam dogs” out of the parks, but opposition to off-leash recreation in the East Bay.

  3. Jillon 06 Nov 2008 at 8:39 am

    Interesting response from Dave. Not just in his vehemence, but in his assumption that LaForce can ‘keep’ dogs out of parks.

    There’s a schizophrenia in our society – one which can get completely ga ga and misty eyed about dogs and puppies (just think of Obama’s loving gesture in front of millions to his kids the other night about bringing a pup to the White House) – yet the reality of what dogs are and what they and their owners need is lost on most people. The pet industry is one of the fastest growing in America, dog ownership is busting through the roof as many people choose dogs before having children while they are struggling with careers, or empty nesters add a pup.

    Dog breeding is unregulated, puppy mills are rarely prosecuted for horrific abuses, animals are pouring onto the ‘market’. At a local pet store in Emeryville, backyard breeders are offering pitbulls, chihuahuas and dachshunds on notice boards. One of the dachshunds was born blind (a direct result of the type of breeding these people are doing) and they are giving that one away for free. Nice. Insurance companies are adding more and more breeds to the lists of unacceptable dogs, renters with dogs can’t find anywhere to live. And in a new movie ‘Just What Happened’ a major part of the plot revolves around whether or not a filmmaker should let the dog be shot at the end of the movie or whether that act alone would doom the movie to the public opinion trash can.

    We are not solving the real problems of pet animal (re)production and the resulting destruction of millions every year – but those of us who run our dogs off leash in OUR public parks are trying our very best to be the ‘responsible’ dog owners we feel we have an obligation to be, and to have to face the open hostility of people who simply hate dogs (whether for ‘good’ or ‘bad’ reasons) is just….well, it just increases the kind of polarity we could do without.

    I always get a fair amount of hate mail when I write ‘dog positive’ stuff. I get accused of hating birds, of despoiling the environment. Obama’s loving gift to his family will be echoed around the country as kids ask from their dads what the two new White House kids are getting for Christmas.

    Kids growing up with a dog or cat or any pet to cherish and to learn from is a beautiful thing. In the case of the Obama’s dog, there will be plenty of space to run around. Most others will have to make do with the public parks system, which we pay for and care for every bit as much as anyone else.

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