About 1:30 on Friday I walked through the Long Meadow along the east side accompanied all the way by this unleashed dog and its scofflaw owner.
This police van
was parked on the east side but its occupants did nothing as dog and owner passed by. On the way, the dog dug a hole by the side of a tree. The dog and owner continued, unleashed, into the Ravine past a sign indicating that dogs must be leashed at all times.
Newspaper reports say that while the Bloomberg administration will lay off 10,000 workers, including over 5,000 teachers, no cops will lose their jobs. Why not? Also, the Parks Department's budget is being cut, but apparently unleashed dogs hours are being retained. Why? Why is the city agreeing to continue to pay to fix the damage these animals cause when it can't afford teachers and social workers?
Earlier on Friday I overheard a conversation in an elevator in Manhattan. A young mother was describing accompanying her daughter to Central Park on a class trip to experience autumn. The mother held her daughter back as the teacher and the other students waded through the leaves. The mother described in a horrified voice the students and teachers emerging with their shoes covered with dog crap.
One of the joys, the pleasures, of being a child in the Northeast is getting to play in autumn leaves. But if you're a child in New York City and don't have your own backyard, and particularly if you live in Manhattan, you can't do that. Before 9 A.M. each day, Central Park is one big dog run. And dogs also love piles of leaves. Evidently, according to Mayor Bloomberg it is more important that dogs get to play in the leaves than that children get to do so. So it's official: according to Mayor Bloomberg, the city's dogs are more important than its children. And that's why teachers lose their jobs while dogs still get to destroy the city's parks.