Monday, November 19, 2007

Pitbull Park

pretty blue eyes
Originally uploaded by Penelope_CA
The park has been taken over on recent mornings by suspected drug dealers and a suspected pit bull (white and tan and muscular). Please call dispatch if you see them, especially when the dog is running around loose, since the owner is usually running around looser. It literally made the park unavailable to children this morning.

A quote from today's Daily Bulletin Article marking the one year anniversary of the death of Ethan Esparza, finally contains some acknolwedgement by the Chief of something I've been blogged about for months now (and was the subject of a letter I wrote him in the weeks after the Smoke House closed that he never acknowledged):

"After the city recently closed a Holt Avenue smoke shop that was a magnet for drugs and prostitution, Romero said some of the crowd moved north to Lincoln Park. "

And guess what people? They're still there. Could we please make closing the bathrooms during the week at the park the next item on the agenda? Or are we going to wait until a 3 year old gets killed over here?



LinknPark said...

I thought they did close the bathrooms at the park. After our first neighborhood watch meeting the Police Captain that was there along with the neighborhood watch coordinator said that thats what they were going to do; people who wanted to use the park bathroom would need to get a permit from the city. They said locking the bathrooms and obtaining a permit are both coordinated with the Parks department. As far as pitbulls at the park with shady looking people, there are leash laws in Pomona especially regarding certain breeds of dog. The Pomona SPCA is more than happy to make a run out to pick up a dog that is off its leash and hand the owner a hefty little $200 fine.

Goddess of Pomona said...

That is what's so bang-your-head-against-the-wall ridiculous about this whole thing. The bathrooms were never closed as many of us requested. There are some people that are under the incorrect notion that there are families who use the restroom. The restrooms are not safe for families to use, since they often have syringes and drug users in them. The bathrooms are almost always closed at night, but that was not the issue. The issue was closing them during the day during the week (and leaving them open on the weekends for when people have parties and are legitimately there long enough to need them. But, I'm telling, you, they are still not SAFE to use.) It was never done.

AS for the SPCA, we've had pitbull and other strays roaming around the neighborhood, with lots of people calling the SPCA, and never had them come out promptly. Now, don't get me wrong, it's better than L.A., where you have bands of aggressive dogs and have an agency that just does not have the wherewithall to come out at all.

Ed said...

I'll be happy to report that @ 4PM Tuesday there were no drug users or syringes in the LP bathrooms. The police even made a quick stop.

In our opinion, parks of this size should contain public bathroom facilities. If issues of cleanliness or safety arise, then we should address them specifically, but the solution is not to close the bathrooms.

We'll take a similar position regarding the Inland Valley Humane Society. If they are not fulfilling the obligations of their city contract then we should ask our public officials to address the problem.

Perhaps in future posts including the emails of city officials and elected representatives would achieve the long term goal. The city administration is remarkably adept at ignoring sporadic little squeaks.

me said...

Ed, I know our hearts are both in the same place with regard to this City, but on behalf of all the young mothers I have met over the past 4.5 years who would love to use the park more if it was made safer during the morning hours in particular, I have to continue to disagree with you about the bathrooms. Of course it's a great idea to fire these people and organizations that do not serve us, but moms are looking for where they can take their child safely right now, or they go elsewhere. Which is what has been happening for a long time now. yes, some local moms do ocassionally use the park, but too many stop using the park because of all the b.s. they see happening there. It may be stop gap to close the bathrooms, or not address the core issues, but it makes no sense to leave crumbs out and then be upset that the mice come to eat them. The crumbs you have control over, the mice you do not.

Ed said...

The value of dialogue is that two people can agree on a goal but disagree on the path to get there.

I love your crumb/rodent analogy, so I'll use it for my argument. The real crumbs are the presence of drugs and the cheap housing. The bathrooms function more as a centralized location to exchange or consume the drug crumb. If we close the bathrooms the exchange becomes decentralized (moves to alleys, cars, etc.). Once decentralized the problem becomes even harder to address. Using the rodent analogy, the bathrooms are essentially a mouse trap, we just haven't demanded the city tend to its trap. It could be that with regular police stops, the problem becomes decentralized anyway, but at least the police will be in a position to track the change in activity and with some resident pressure, address it.

If people need to use a restroom, they will use an alley or an isolated part of a yard. Unfortunately, I have witnessed this act of bladder and bowel desperation.

Some families with kids don't live close enough to the park to make a bathroom run. Should we really preclude them from using the park? I'm guessing the mothers who are driving to parks in Claremont aren't picking ones that don't have bathroom facilities.

Since I introduced Claremont, we should also keep in mind that Claremont is considering adding bathrooms to some of their parks. June Vail Park has recently added a bathroom. Chaparral Park may soon have a bathroom. And Mt. View Elementary, which doesn't give soccer teams bathroom access during the week is realizing that part of their playground is being used as a urinal. Are we one-step and tens of thousands of dollars ahead of Claremont by having a bathroom, or is Claremont going to realize in the future that they shouldn't have spent the money for bathrooms?

I still think the best short and long term solution is holding city employees accountable. Let's make sure the new City Manager understands that public restrooms whether in LP or southern Pomona are assets that should be protected and maintained. We need to unify our voice so the wheels make big squeaks and ensure the grease is spread to every part of the city.

me said...

Or perhaps local residents can provide a one way shuttle service from Pomona's public bathrooms to the new bathrooms in Claremont?

G of P

p.s. so is the City Manager where we start? I think it is just an interim person in there right now according to FoothillCity Blog.

Ed said...

Shuttle service....LOL.

By new City Manager, I meant the yet to be found, hopefully to be found, new City Manager.

I think we really need to start everywhere we can think of. I have a distinct impression that the city staff will be more responsive with a new boss. I'm optimistic... :-)

me said...

I hope you are right and I think that we should absolutely expect that, as we should. I've always said that the LIncoln Park District, in particular, is absolutely lucky that things are so very nice here, given the way the City pretty much ignores us. I'm sure other areas of Pomona are ignored as well. There's a lot of streets other than Karesh in Pomona.

G of P

Ann said...

As someone who lives near the park and caught an individual using my garden as a public toilet, I prefer to have the restrooms open during the day.

Anonymous said...

Pomona don't care about public safety in the parks after all they did away with park enforcement