Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nazareth Follows Bethlehem With Dog Park: Is Allentown Next?

PhotobucketBethlehem may be the only LV municipality with its very own dog park, but that's about to change. During a brief meeting last night, Nazareth Borough Council decided to go to the dogs, too, unanimously approving $5,385 to erect a fence for a dog park in the borough park. It did so without discussion. It even approved another $19,000 for a "mini pipe," whatever that is, at the skate park.

The funds for both dog and skate parks come from impact fees assessed to developers, not taxes. This must be spent on recreation or returned to the developer. None of it may be spent to maintain existing recreation, even a sports league.

At last night's soiree, only council member Bill Matz was absent. Fourteen residents were in the peanut gallery, a larger attendance than at many county council meetings. Express Times veteran reporter Tony Nauroth chronicled the event, but The Morning Call sent no one to cover the meeting, providing proof of its continuing decline.

I sat in the back with the babes.

Allentown is considering a "bark park" too, but residents are foaming at the mouth at the notion. The ever so gentle MC reader forum includes sensitive comments like this: "Provide for your own dog AND provide for your own poor children. The taxpayer has run out of money."

Just about every municipality in the entire world already has cat houses, so what's wrong with a dog park? Is it decadent? Can't we just walk our damn dogs with this invention called the "leash?" That's what I used to think until I visited Bethlehem's dog park. It was a great experience for me, my grandson and a little dog.

A park socializes dogs. In fact, it socializes the people who accompany those dogs. It's a meeting place, something any town can use. It's also a great learning experience for kids. My grandson was actually afraid of dogs. But now, he's met greyhounds and whippets, and sees firsthand why they are rated the fastest dogs in the world. He's watched lumbering English mastiffs, the world's largest dogs, and chihuahuas, the world's smallest. He can tell you about an intelligent German Shepherd named Max, who can leap the fence at will. He's watched a gigantic Bernese Mountain Dog playing gently with a three pound jack-a-poo pup. The real police dogs? Basset hounds , who perpetually patrol and bark at dogs who step out of line.

Nazareth people are cheap and would never agree to use tax money to fund a dog park. I have no idea whether Allentown has identified a funding source, but that seems to be the most important question.

Nazareth's dog park will be operational by Fall.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Bethlehem Township do this. Is it possible they have no funds from impact fees available? Otherwise they wouldn't want to raise taxes to pay for new soccer field, I guess.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I called Bethlehem Tp Manager Jon Hammer. The sec'y tried to steer me to zoning, but I think he is the person who should answer your question. I got a recording and left a message. When he responds, I'll publish what he tells me.

Sebrink said...

Dog parks are fantastic places to meet women.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:06,

Jon Hammer called me. Although only supervisors decide policy, a dog park is cerainly a possibility in Bethlehem Tp. I'll post a blog about what he told me tomorrow.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dog parks are fantastic places to meet women.

Huh? Guess I'm getting old.

Bill Villa said...

Dogs, or even better, puppies, are always a crowd pleaser. Especially when things are slow. The Morning Call covers dogs and puppies quite a bit too ...

Bernie O'Hare said...

The topic is not the MC, but dog parks, which are actually quite controversial. The unanimous vote in Nazareth follows a lot of acrimony and an initial defeat. In Allentown, it seems to be very controversial as well. If it were such a "crowd pleaser," I'd expect to see more than one in the LV.

Anonymous said...

I do not think the dog park was an issue in Bethlehem. I am not even sure if it came before council. I think the Administration just did it with the parks and recreation dept. Maybe they used some golf course money.

Bill Villa- we get it, you do not like the Morning Call, but do you need to reference the Morning Call in every post?

Anonymous said...

"Nazareth people are cheap and would never agree to use tax money to fund a dog park."

Bullseye! And to hell with those rotten Nazareth bastards who figured a way to do it without rifling taxpayers pockets. I wish we had creative, get-the-job-done, bastards like these running the county. Cheapskates.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll have more about those cheap Nazareth bastards tomorrow or Thursday. They just sent Taggart Associates packing. Thge Taggarts thought they were going to make an easy $30k for "grant writing."

Chris Miller said...

Bernie
Let's see. Do we spend public funds on dog parks and half pipes or clearing snow from the streets, fixing the streets and making sure we have good tires and brakes on emergency equipment.

Bill Villa said...

"Bill Villa ... do you need to reference the Morning Call in every post?"

Not every post, but Bernie's dog/puppy post just reminded me of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Award won by Morning Call Investigations Editor Tim Darragh recently for his series of exposé articles on Puppy Mills in Pennsylvania. It was Top-Notch, Award-Winning Investigative Journalism. And I'm really glad TMC retained Tim Darragh because he's Top-Notch. It was Tim Darragh who told me the questions I'm raising about a suspiciously resolved DUI Homicide case in September 2007 (where the criminal defendant's grandfather and DA Jim Martin are longtime pals) were "excellent questions that deserve to be answered." Bernie's dog post just made me think of Tim Darragh ...

Anonymous said...

Dog parks are wonderful! Consider yourself very lucky, Nazareth. Dog parks, for one reason or another, bring people angst. Obviously, they're not dog owners! My wife and I are residents of Bethlehem and have been going to the dog park since its inception. Though I strongly feel this way, I do find some of the people bringing dogs there to be a problem. On numerous occasions, I've had negative interactions with people. More than a rare occurrence...believe me. I'm a laid back dog owner who realizes that our dogs are dogs...not children. There are dog owners who refuse to let their dogs be dogs. Dogs like to play like dogs. They don't sit down on the ground and play board games. They don't organize and the clearly hate puzzles. They're animals who like to run, play, wrestle, and have dog fun. I've witnessed "touchy" owners freak out when dogs wrestle and growl with one another. These owners seek out the other owners and usually speak (from their very high and mighty platform I might add) rudely and offensively at people. My point...dogs are dogs. They're not people! Let them play!

Anonymous said...

Have you heard any updates on an Allentown Dog Park??