Do we need a Cohasset Dog Park? Lots of questions for Cohasset Water

Cohasset has so many places to walk dogs off-leash that this writer was surprised to learn of the Cohasset selectmen’s active investigation into creating a dog park – normally something you find in a city. Cohasset has hundreds of acres of passive recreation land that is owned by the town, the state, Trustees of Reservations and the Cohasset Conservation Trust. Many of these properties have trail systems that do not restrict dog walking.

When this issue was first discussed by selectmen months ago Selectman Karen Quigley recited a long list of near-by places where dogs could walk off-leash in Cohasset, Hingham and Scituate. Her fellow selectmen seemed not to be interested.

Before well-meaning selectmen go much further, it might be good for the town (I think there are approximately 800 registered dogs in Cohasset) do a needs study regarding this issue.

My sister was pleased when a dog park was created in Lancaster, Pa. Her dog loves the park; it’s where he meets and greets other dogs. BUT, she laments, “Wiley would much rather be walking in the woods in Cohasset with Rocky, Buddy and Lucky where he can chase squirrels and run like the dickens.”

When I visited my sister last summer, I noticed that not much happened in the Lancaster dog park. Humans sat on their fat butts on benches and dogs mostly stood around. There were some sprinklers, but dogs did not seem to understand them. To cool off, dogs like to stand in water, not be sprinkled by it. There was no standing water. It is interesting that Purina designed the dog park in Lancaster.

At the Lancaster Park there was a cute tennis ball tree. Several people said the tennis ball tree never really worked because dogs retrieve balls their owners throw; dogs didn’t react when a tree threw the balls. After awhile the tennis ball tree didn’t work at all and no one knew how to repair it or thought it was necessary to repair it.

A Cohasset dog park would require daily cleanups. In Lancaster, the DPW does the cleanup at the end of every day, and locks and unlocks the park. The Lancaster Park uses artificial turf – almost a must for a small, contained area; otherwise, dogs’ urine will kill all grass. If the plan is to asphalt the area, I would suggest the well-meaning selectmen find something better to do.

arron river reservoirIn related news: at the selectmen’s Oct. 7th meeting, Leonora Jenkins, chair of the Cohasset Water Commission, slurred dogs and their owners walking at the Cohasset Reservoir, saying we didn’t pick up the poop our dogs leave when we walk the trails. (Photo at left, recent photo of Arron River Reservoir)

Years ago the Cohasset Sewer commission did a poop study and discovered that even virgin woods reported high fecal counts. And that is because, EVERYTHING POOPS: Canada geese, birds, ducks, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, fish, and deer. And every time it rains the raindrops rain fecal content.

In a 2013 edition of Popular Science a small column discussed the particulate matter, which helps form rain. In a recent study, air samples were harvested during the 2010 hurricane season. Particulates were separated from the air filters and classified. In addition to pollen and dust, several types of bacteria and fungi were collected. Living bacteria and fungi. Some of the samples returned e. coli bacteria, the family of bacteria found in animal waste. Not all e. colibacteria is dangerous, by the way. The bacteria have to be cultured or have its DNA sequenced in order to distinguish if it is “bad” e. coli.

Forget the poop, Ms. Jenkins. Pay closer attention to water sales. Why is Linden Ponds in Hingham our only paid water customer? At the selectmen’s meeting Oct. 7 Jenkins bragged that Cohasset only required Aquarion to supply water to Cohasset ONCE during a particularly bad storm (1994).

At that same selectmen’s meeting Jenkins stated that no water is given to or sold to Aquarion, and that the state permit is specifically for Linden Ponds that pays $250,000 a year for its water and all meters are tested annually. Maybe. Jenkins said Aquarion and Cohasset account for the water that passes back and forth between the towns, and Aquarion gives back the water it has borrowed. It appears we would be better off selling Aquarion unmanufactured water at wholesale rates. It is nice that Hingham returns the water it borrows, but we really don’t need it back. We need a check. Some Cohasset taxpayers report that their water bill is over $400 a quarter.

In recent years, the owner of a hedge fund with financial ties to Aquarion was chairman of the water commission. I would like selectmen to be interested in that time period when the chairman of the water commission was obviously in conflict of interest over his hedge fund’s water investments and activities.

It’s way past the time for Cohasset Water to account for its activities.




© Copyright 2014 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed