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Tucker Park

Project delay hard on seniors, dogs

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I ask that a Herald reporter investigate the delay in the Willis Tucker Park construction project which essentially denies access to the off-leash facility for many of us who are retirees and senior citizens.
For four years I was able to walk my dogs in the Tucker off-leash areas daily until a notice was posted that indicated access would be restricted to a half-mile path on the park's perimeter. Normal access to the off-leash areas meant walking a few hundred yards through the athletic fields adjacent to Puget Park Drive that was a realistic endeavor for a high percentage of dog walkers who are older owners with age-related issues. Now, park usage for our population is radically reduced because the access trail is beyond our daily exercise limits. We are limited to on-leash walks which deny our animals the opportunity to run free outside the construction area.
The projected completion date for the park project was months ago and, for weeks at a time, we walkers would observe no site activity all summer when in a dry season with no adverse weather.
Commensurately, hordes of other dog owners lapsed into the habit of walking their animals without leashes in areas where posted notices warn of fines for such and for neglecting to pick up animal feces. My friends and I have quit using the park altogether because we were spending all of our time picking up other people's dog droppings. We would never see any ranger personnel at work doing anything other than custodial work -- emptying garbage cans and posting bulletin board information -- and patrolling and enforcing regulatory codes. I suspect park administrators are the problem because the ranger personnel can only perform the tasks they're required to do.
Does anyone at the Herald see a need to tell the community what is happening?
Bruce R. Anderson

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