GRANOLAPARK: Dog park in a small world

IMAGE: Dog park advocate Joe Edgell at the site early Thursday morning, Oct. 20. Photo by Bill Brown.


Dear Readers,

Just as Takom Park city manager Suzanne Ludlow announced at the Wednesday Oct. 19 city council, work started on the long awaited dog-park early the next day.

And guess who was there? A grinning former city arborist Todd Bolton strolled the cleared property, a large sheaf of construction plans tucked under his arm. Bolton, who abruptly resigned and left his city arborist position Sept. 30, is now working as an arborist for a contractor – the contractor building the dog park.

Also on the scene was dog park advocate Joe Edgell, smiling through the pain of several broken bones. Edgell has been pushing the council for years to approve a dog park and, once that was done, to begin construction. The site is at the end of Darwin Avenue.


Former city arborist, now consultant, Todd Bolton on the right, talks over park plans with Ian Chamberlain, city construction manager. Photo by Bill Brown.

Not the wrong kind, please

Let there be LED! The council voted to hold its nose and work with PEPCO to convert the city’s streetlights to cheaper, smaller-carbon-footprinted LED streetlights. Given the alternatives, this was the best option, the council decided earlier this fall. This vote formalized the the decision.

The city’s Safe Roadways Committee is worried that the city will get the Wrong Kind of LED. They say some have bad health effects on humans and nocturnal animals. Committee member Mark Sherman told the council that the committee is kinda cheesed off that they keep bringing this up, but it doesn’t get mentioned in the draft resolution.

No fears, said the council. Councilmember Tim Male addressed Sherman directly, “we can definitely continue working on these issues.”

The council also voted unanimously to install two new Bike Share stations, one at the Takoma Park Recreation Center on New Hampshire Avenue, the other at the Hampshire-Langley Shopping Center.

Keep it down

Five citizens now have the ultimate power to say “Shhhh!” The city’s Noise Control Board has been revived. Beau Archer, Nicholas Kowalski, Adriana Kuehnel, Anne Perrault and Josh Rudder were appointed to the board at the Oct. 19 meeting.

The council gave the noise ordinance some teeth last February. City cops can now shut down noisy parties or loud bar bands – instead of standing a certain distance away trying to figure out how to work a decibel reading device.

The Noise Control Board is different from other citizen committees or commissions, which are usually advisory. These folks adjudicate two-party noise complaints. In other words, they get to poke their noses into neighborhood feuds. Lucky them.


Todd Bolton points out where the hillside will be graded to create a dog-friendly running-space. Photo by Bill Brown.

No debate

There were two work sessions this week. There are no votes in a work session. Usually some committee-member or staff person gives an overly-long presentation to the council on an issue or proposed resolution or resolution. Then the councilmembers take turns picking around at tiny details for great length and small purpose – to the annoyance of those in the audience who would much rather be watching the presidential debate.

The first work session was, as the presidential debate began, a presentation of the grants review committee’s recommendations for next year’s community grant awards. The candidates clawing at each other’s jugulars with poisoned fingernails was far less interesting than learning why an after-school program was getting $400 less than they requested.

The last work session, as the country’s future teetered between fascism and farce, was about the proposed new Community Partnership Liaison position. This new staff person would help residents, particularly youth and elderly, find helpful programs and agencies. This ties in with the council’s recent agonizing about what to do for youth on the city’s limited budget.


We do good stuff including giving you cash. That’s the summary of the Oct. 19 presentation given the city council by Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments executive director Chuck Bean. COG, as it is usually known, is an independent non-profit association of regional government representatives from the US Congress down to the Takoma Park city council. So, don’t forget to pay your dues, see you in another five years.

– Gilbert


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About the Author

Gilbert is the pseudonym of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, long-time Takoma Park resident who maintains the granolapark blog. Gilbert and William L. Brown — Granola Park's mild-mannered chief of staff, researcher, and drink pourer — have never been seen in the same place at the same time.

4 Comments on "GRANOLAPARK: Dog park in a small world"

  1. Gee, my tax dollars at work because what with all the green space and private property, not to mention Sligo Creek Parkway, we have to have a dog park. And who gets to pay for it? Surprise again, people who don’t have dogs. And the Tree Nazi works for the contractor–all of this stinks as much as a load of dog crap. I think this should pay for itself via fees from users. When do we get an adult playground, a crafts center, anything that all of us can use. I feel as if I’m paying the highest taxes around and aside from the Police, I don’t get anything for it that the County doesn’t provide cheaper and better. Frankly, I absolutely hate this idea. I love dogs, but I don’t believe as a tax payer I should have to pay for a facility so that owners too lazy to walk with their dogs can take them off the leash.

  2. I don’t understand the part about an adult playground, but Anonymouse makes perfect sense. And the extra police presence, although unfortunately necessary, isn’t particularly effective. Why aren’t we using cameras to deal with the perpetual property crime? Perhaps cops shouldn’t waste their time on feel-good pablum at the Cheesecake Factory. I’m sure that all of that was off the clock.

  3. Tom Gagliardo | October 21, 2016 at 6:32 pm |

    How much is the dog park going to cost? Land should already by city-owned. Fence, poop bag dispenser, garbage can and you’re done. Right? And no, you don’t need a designer, a planner, a supervising engineer and a city employee to assist youthful and elderly dog owners and dogs. We only need help finding programs and agencies.

  4. Perhaps next on agenda could be fixing up the basketball court and attendant erosion at Spring Park. I’ll email my city councilman — maybe he’ll even respond.

Comments are closed.