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June 20, 2008



Wow, I really disagree with this child. Dog Parks are an important amenity in a city where children comprise less than 15% of the population. (Compare that with Medford's 23% or Newton's 21%) There are few places in Somerville where dogs can roam safely and legally off leash and they tend not to be as nice as some of the areas in neighboring towns. We need to be adding more off leash areas for dogs to play, not taking them away. The currently proposed dog parks aren't in the heart of our community, where dog owners live and work. Dog parks build community. Dog owners gather each evening just off Morrison Avenue at Highland Road on the bike path. I've met (and had quality conversations with) more of my neighbors there than anywhere else in town. The societal benefit is huge. I imagine it's similar for playgrounds and parents, but as so few people have children here, dogs need a home, too.

Ron Newman

Rego claims that the Vinal Avenue dog park took space away from football at Nunziato Field. I don't think that's really true. Is it?

somerville for youth

"Dogs need a home too." You sound like a complete idiot! There youth only make 15% of the city? what percent of dogs are there? There is probably no statistic for that because DOGS ARE NOT HUMANS! Get your priorities straight!

There are going to be three dog parks in the city, not including the ILLEGAL off leash dog parks on the bike path.

As for Vynal ave, the dog park wasn't soley responsible for displacing the football team, but it speaks volumes for the priorities of the city that there is a dog park down from SHS while the football team has to migrate from park to park when there is a perfectly good one down the street for them.

Steve Roix

The kids still play soccer at Nunziato
Field(Vinal Ave.), I don't know about football. I know there was never a regulation field there for any sport - it's not even level. I can say for sure that the Mayor is correct about the 2 new dog parks planned. I am intimately familiar with both sites and I can say (especially so for the New Washington Street site) that I will love taking my dog there but I don't think it's a place I'd want my young son seeing as a destination. The New Washington Street site is across Washington Street from any residential neighborhood (save for Cobble Hill apartments) and on the edge of the industrial park. It's a long and skinny scrub of land completely incompatible with athletic fields or even skate parks.

I say this as a dog owner AND a parent - why can't we all just get along?!? More open space for all!

Ron Newman

A month or two ago, someone here mentioned that the new Kemp-Nuts (Edward L. Leathers) park on Walnut Avenue was originally supposed to be a skatepark. This didn't happen because the neighbors opposed it. Can someone elaborate on what happened there?

somerville for youth

The same thing that is happening all over the city: People don't want teens in their backyard. They would rather have them shooting up heroine in an alley, so long as it doesn't affect them.

Steve Roix

@Somerville for Youth:
Remember, dogs are not humans but dog owners are. We don't build basketball courts for basketballs or community gardens for eggplants.

@Ron Newman - I don't know the whole story but I went to some of the community meetings for planning this park and 90% of the people in attendance were elderly residents for Pearl Street Park (which is where the meetings were held). I don't imagine a skate park was high on their list. I heard, 2nd hand, it was essentially the same group that opposed the skate park a couple of years earlier. For what it's worth, I think it would've been a great spot for a skate park.


Somerville Reader - you DON'T sound like an idiot.


Has the idea of putting a skate park in Foss Park ever been explored?


You know, when I grew up no one made a big deal if a dog was off their leash. I used to let my dog out the back yard to wander around. She was known throughout the neighborhood and accepted.

Then the yuppies moved in and couldn't help but push for a number of laws to complicate life. Wether it be leash laws, no smoking in bars (or outdoors for that matter), or any number of trivial laws, yuppies are to blame. Now that yuppies have dogs they want their own designated place in the city. Not only that, but they want at least four of them! Well tough luck, yuppies. You made your bed, now lie in it.

Sit Ubo, sit. Good dog.


I think dog owners in Somerville are horrible people. If you really cared about your dogs, you would go back to the suburbs where there is plenty of land for your dogs to roam free. It is cruel and unusual to have your dogs pent up in the densest populated city in NE.

Leave Somerville for the humans, yuppies. Go Westward, my friends!

To: Somervillereader

You are one sick puppy. (pun intended)

So basically what you are saying is that dogs are more important than our youth!

What a whacko!!!!!!


The post at 2:17 wasn't by me.

Though, who are the lamebrains who thinks that dogs are humans? I like dogs, but there is no place in a city for dogs. Dog parks?!!! Who ever heard of sunch wasteful nonesense. These moonbats just love to piss away our tax money.


Gee, why don't we take funding away from the school system and fund Dog Schools or Doggy Daycare instead? Why do the children need education or playgrounds? After all they don't make up that much of the percentage of our population. These poor dogs need a place to go and get an education while their owners are at work. It is a disgrace that this city forces people to leave these poor dogs home alone all day locked up in their tiny apartments when they could take one of the elementary schools away from the kids and turned it to a Doggy Daycare school. Surely they can fit the kids from one of these schools into the classrooms at all the other schools. How many public schools are there here anyway? All those public schools and not one single Doggy Daycare School in this city. Its just not fair!

young upwardly mobile professional

Anyone want to take bets on whether Nunzio has the MOST use out of any park in the city? Anyone that has driven by Vinal St. knows that there people are using the park all the time.

Parks are for the people who live in the city. Some of these people are the dog owners who want a place to enjoy with their pets. They should have a place or places for this.

I’m a resident, a property owner and dog owner in Ward 5. I do not have children of my own but have several nieces and nephews who do in the city. Their parents and I both pay taxes here and should be able to determine where that money is spent. If there is enough of a want for people to have dog parks there will be dog parks in Somerville.

Screaming about yuppies doesn’t change a thing. Somerville has and will continue to evolve. It is not the blue collar town it was 30 years ago. It is a progressive, liberal, diverse community. Yuppies and “moonbats” pay taxes and have an equal say in the direction as some of our smaller minded neighbors (thank you Imux). And if you don’t like that… I guess you can move.

Re: Plenty

Plenty... you must be one of those moonbats that Imux speaks so kindly about. That has to be one of the most absurd comments I have seen on the Somerville news.

No one suggested any of the things you have mentioned. You should probably research how the Nunzio field was paid for, because you will find that the people who wanted it helped to fund it above and beyond their taxes.

No one is mistaking animals for children. What is going on is people to use the parks they have, which for the most part go unused. I have yet to see kids standing around the edges of Nunzio (non-off leash area), Trum, and Foss Park because there is no room for them to do what they want there.

You do see people doing this at Nunzio. Sounds like there may be a demand, which will be met, one way or the other as people speak with their votes.

Imux... that sounds good old fashioned capitalism.. now doesn’t it?

Dale Grible

"Somerville is progressive, liberal, diverse community."

That it is. Now what does that have to do with dog parks? Progressive and liberal used to mean you were FOR the diverse community. You most certainly are not part of that diversity, so you must be part of a plague of lunacy that has destroyed what being "liberal and progressive" used to mean.

The fact that you associate dog parks, or any other self-centered lifestyle obsession with "forward thinking" is the reason we have this nut in the White House. Get behind a real progressive cause and stop using MY space for your dogs to shit on!


Liberals are not necessarily progressive. They are just as much out for themselves as anyone.

Eugene Debs was a working-class progressive. And he
sure as hell was NO LIBERAL!


I said this a few months back, and it needs to be said again. The city is no place for a dog. It's not fair to the animal.
I realize these people may think that they're really good pet owners, but the fact is they are not. Dog Park or not, there is nothing the animal can do or anywhere it can go to get the proper exercise, training and recreation it needs.

Outside of basic obedience, owners can't legally train their dogs properly- retrieval, tracking, real exercise etc. Throwing them inside of a fence with a bunch of other dogs accomplishes very little besides a bit of socialization which in that environment is overkill(chaos leading to bad habits). So the dog's life is walking the city streets on a leash. Good dog owners? I think not.

Hank Hill

Dale, the young upwardly mobile professional is right. Somerville is a place for diverse, open minded individuals. So if you have a dissenting opinion, you should leave. That is the liberal way, after all.

news flash

to the first comment that kicked this all off - if you're looking for 'quality conversation', you can find them when you get involved in ArtBeat, the track meet, Special Olympics, Memorial Day Parade, Senior Picnic, or any number of committees and charitable groups in the city. but that would be with people, not mutts.
I agree completely, dogs don't belong in the city. it's mean to wait in an apt. all day for someone to walk you. This is an extension of today's lifestyle where you do what you want, not what's good for the dog/child, etc.
i would love the city to come pick up my childs dirty diapers and cart them off like they do with those giant barrels full of dog crap every day. AND I PAY FOR IT ALL!


There's going to be a skate park in East Cambridge, that is close enough. While Som & Cam are separate cities, in most parts of the country, they'd be one city.

greatest generation

I can't stand the selfishness of this yuppie generation. You want four dog parks, but when it comes to a skate park, Cambridge is good enough. What a sorry state we are in.

No To Dog Parks

"Dog owners gather each evening just off Morrison Avenue at Highland Road on the bike path."
So you're one of the people who are making the bike path inaccessible to all others from approximately 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm each night? Let me be the first to thank you for helping to create a situation that makes it impossible for anyone else to use the bike path (unless you enjoy having to dodge all of the dogs who are ILLEGALLY off-leash,who will jump all over you, or chase you, and your children or dogs, if you have them, with no reprimand from their owners.). Perhaps when people no longer see dog owners through sights such as this, they would support dog parks. But this type of behavior is exactly what we are NOT looking for!

The Real Story

The park at Kemp's Nuts was approved to be a skate park. Then a vocal group of new-comers started to clamor for a 'passive park'. So of course the city acquiesced. Let me give you fair warning....these dog groups have stated very clearly that their goal is to have a dog park within walking distance of everyone in the city. Just think about that for a minute. And by the way, talk to the neighbors of the Nunziato Field Dog Park......they are disgusted by the noise, smell, and parking problems being created by this park, and were given NO chance to discuss it before the park was approved. Tom Taylor shoved it down their throats, pushing it through before they ever knew what hit them! And now they want to cut up Foss Park, a beautiful piece of open land with an ugly dog park! Thank God Sciortino will no longer be around, as he was helping to make this happen!

one more thing

one addition to a comment above about dogs jumping on you with no reprimand. while they're jumping on you or your child, the owner is usually saying "don't worry, he's very friendly,". they don't care that maybe you don't like this, it's up to you to put up with it. sheer arrogance. it's all i can do not to kick the mutt when it jumps on me.
here's a survey i'd like to see - how many of these people have a yard, no matter what size. why can't the mutt poop in their yard, and THEN go to the dog park or bike path? No, never, poop on us and have the city workers get paid to pick it up. truly a disgrace.

Dog Parks are filled with gays and lesbians that can't have kids

The dog parks are filled with gay and lesbian people that treat their dogs like children. Due to the fact that most gay and lesbian people don't have children, they turn to FIDO! Gay and lesbians treat their pooches as if they were children. Its the truth, ask fido. We need to conserve our open space for the youth so they have a place to congregate.


"Dog Parks are filled with gays and lesbians that can't have kids". So, what's your point, you no-class, poor excuse for a human being?


FYI people. Getting back to the matter at hand, if children are approximately 15% of the population, then that means we have roughly 11,621 kids in Somerville (as of the 2000 census anyway, could be more now) and that, my friends, is a lot of children!! Bring on the skate parks!!


Percentages don't mean anything. for instance, I am just one man, or am I? Imux has now multiplied into many split personalities, each one furious at the other. One is a mild mannered man about town, the other a crass, vulgar beast who fantasizes about adultery with people's spouses. Yet another is a small town yokel. Who knows what Imux will appear next?

By the way, fake Imux, I'm cheating on my wife, so I thank you for keeping her company. She told me you could use some tips, however. Why don't you email me and I'll tell you all about it?

Imux: blogging anonymously since the invention of cowardice

Ville Lifer

The children-less yuppies that have swarmed into the city have dogs instead of kids. I have a dog AND kids. My small dog is often harassed by oversized un-trained dogs, at these dog parks ,and their owners dont seem to really care. It's probably just as well that they DON'T have kids.Sorry, but the kids MUST be the main priority here.There are lots of places very close to the city that you can bring your dog.It is vital that more open spaces be dedicated to the Kids and not the Canines.

Ville Newbie

Lifer, all of us well educated, high earning, childless people who are investing in their homes and making their neighborhoods nicer and more valuable are paying for your kids’ education through taxes. This is allowing the city to give your kids a better education and giving them tools for them to be more successful in their lives.

The Dog Parks are for people, the people just happen to have a dog with them and like someone said earlier in the thread I would agree that usage of that park is far higher then any other in the city. It’s probably overused and that would be a good reason to put in another... If a skate park goes in and it is loved so much that it too becomes over used I would agree to replace an underused facility with one that will be used by the people of the city.

RE: people letting their dog off leash on the community path, they should be fined, but the city should also consider trying to address their needs as residents.

Re: Parking noise etc at Nunzio... Build a new dog park and put a limit on the number of animals inside and enforce it.

RE: There are plenty of places out side of the city... sounds a lot like the skate park conversation.

RE: people cannot control their animals, and then they should not be able to use the facility. When I lived nearer to the park I had seen people asked to not bring their dogs back. If the self policing has gone down, that is a shame.

This is simple stuff.


So I guess the people who decided to not have children are not contributing to the city like you are ville.

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