Villains from Gotham City to Frostbite Falls were rejoicing with the news that, as of April 1, all dogs must be leashed on Scarborough beaches. Among those falling under the new restrictions is Underdog, the mild-manner caped canine crusader who is the scourge of villains everywhere. Reached just after emerging from a telephone booth, Underdog said:
“Righting wrong while on an 8-foot leash —
It simply cannot be done, capeesh?”
Simon Bar Sinister, noted villain, announced his plans to move to the Pine Point area “right around April 1.” Snidely Whiplash is also rumored to be interested in setting up shop here.
Prominent dogs from around the country bemoaned the new restrictions requiring 8-foot leashes on all dogs. Said Deputy Dawg from his rural Tennessee office: “It’s very sad that a great crime fighter like Underdog will not be able to bring villains to justice on Scarborough’s beaches because of the leash restrictions.” Lassie, who maintains a close personal relationship with Underdog, said that the caped crusader is devastated by the new leash requirements. “I’ve never seen him like this. He’s crushed that the Town of Scarborough would do this to him,” said Lassie. Other dogs who have spoken out strongly against the new restrictions include Toto, Rin Tin Tin, Clifford, Astro, Snoopy, Gromit, Scooby Doo and Pluto.
Mercifully, the Ad Hoc Committee charade is coming to an end. It’s all over except for the discussion of the “findings” by the Town Council at a workshop session on February 19. It is amazing to think that it took all that time to reach foregone conclusions. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the Committee members were getting paid by the hour.
But the most painful part of the process is yet to come… it will take place at the workshop. The thought of sitting there in the audience – in enforced silence – while Councilor Donovan waxes lyrical about how hard the group worked, and how they really got into the issues, and how they reviewed dozens of “scientific studies” (that concluded that the only way to protect piping plovers is to have dogs on 8-foot leashes), and how there were honest differences of opinion, and how everybody gave a little, and how this proposal was the least restrictive on dog owners that would still protect piping plovers IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW, and so on, and on, and on. Expect lots of choking noises coming from the peanut gallery as the charade comes to a glorious and fully-expected end. Pax vobiscum.
So, just for the fun of it, let’s review what the Ad Hoc Animal Control Advisory Committee did – and didn’t do – during its excruciating existence:
Meanwhile, Back at the Dredge…
Hats off to the crew from North America Landscaping, Construction & Dredge Co., Inc. that’s doing the Scarborough Harbor dredge project. They’re out there seven days a week in one of the ugliest winters we’ve had in quite a while. Windchills well below zero have been a common occurrence on Western and Ferry Beaches the past few weeks. And the intrepid crew carries on! Our best wishes to them all! (Certainly they are warmed by the knowledge that the project has to occur in the dead of winter so as not to inconvenience “the little guys.” Sure, make the humans work in unhealthy conditions, but don’t you dare put out the sacred species.)
Looks like last week’s storm set things back a bit. After a couple of days of pumping sand out of the channel and on to Western Beach, the storm came along and appears to have breached the pipeline. That’s apparently corrected now, but the wind is making for less than ideal dredging conditions. Hopefully the pumping can resume again soon.
A Tale of Two Headlines
News reporting is a funny business. It’s amazing how differently the same story can be portrayed in two local news sources. Just consider these headlines of the story on the release of the AHACAC report to the Town Council for their February 19 workshop:
Portland Press Herald (Edward Murphy article): Scarborough plan eases dog restrictions [article link]
Forecaster (David Harry article): Animal-control panel suggests wide-ranging beach restrictions [article link]
So, if you’re a cursory reader of the Press Herald, you are left with the impression that the AHACAC’s recommendation “eases dog restrictions.” Could anything be further from reality?
Thanks to David Harry for his continued informative and balanced portrayal of the AHACAC proceedings.
“The little guys”– they’re everywhere!
A business trip took me to Miami for a few days a couple weeks ago – a welcome respite from the blustery weather here. Not to mention a chance to escape the agony of the Ad Hoc Committee’s determination to further elevate the rights of piping plovers over Scarborough beach goers. But how wrong I was about that escape. As I read the Miami Herald over breakfast one morning, wasn’t there a feature article on Florida’s “original snowbirds.” That’s right, turns out that some of the “little guys” take up winter quarters at Key Biscayne, near Miami. Article link here. There’s just no escaping. (You have to admit… while these birds may not be the brightest bulbs in the avian kingdom, they did make a superb choice in their public relations firm.)
Next blog update…
- The realities of the irony business
- The fat lady’s song
- The Western Beach seawall