No poop problem at Lincoln School

Unfortunately, the caption that accompanied the photo on Page 1A of the March 1 Daily Tidings would lead readers to believe that complaints about dogs at Lincoln School were the reason dogs were banned there last week. In fact, the complaints were regarding other elementary schools, especially Bellview.

At Lincoln School, the preschool children do not use the field. At any given moment, however, on a nice day, one could see families playing catch with their dogs, rugby or soccer players having a scrimmage or sunbathers taking advantage of the (clean) green grass, and dog owners and their dogs socializing.

For the record, I've never seen anyone playing golf there, but I'd love to catch the person who takes a joyride in his car across the field on a muddy night. Litter should also have been mentioned on the sign, targeting the late-night drinkers who leave their bottles, trash and clothing for the neighbors to collect in the morning. And of course there's plenty of deer poop.

Dog owners all agree that dog poop should be picked up, no matter where it is, and that it has the potential to carry diseases. However the dog owners who have been using the Lincoln School field for years have been meticulous about cleaning up after their dogs, knowing that a complaint could terminate their tenuous presence there. Instead, it was a simple bureaucratic process that led to the erection of the warning signs every few yards along Beach and Henry streets and has now eliminated every place in Ashland where dogs can be off leash except the dog park.

Superintendent Juli Di Chiro noted that the reason dogs are prohibited from school property is their feces, a health and custodial problem. Ashland School Board Chairwoman Carol Davis stated that without a feces problem, dogs would not be an issue.

I contend that feces have not been a problem at Lincoln School. I respectfully request the school district revert to its earlier policy of not enforcing a dog ban, on a provisional basis if necessary, and let's develop a respectful relationship between the city, the school district and neighbors in the Lincoln School neighborhood.

M.L. Moore


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