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Archive for May 25th, 2009

Remembering that freedom isn’t free

 
For the story behind this picture, click here.

(Photo by Lisa Lang, Courtesy of one19designs and the Lee family)

“Dog Days of Summer” turns into bummer

So many of the life-size dog statues set up as part of a community art fundraising project in Lafayette, Indiana, have been stolen and damaged that organizers of the “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit are moving most of the works inside.

“I’m disheartened by the lack of respect for creativity,” said Joanne Kuhn Titolo, who had two pieces in the outdoor exhibit. “Because of the increased thefts, our artwork isn’t safe. This is horrifying.”

A total of 41 dog statues were installed in Lafayette, West Lafayette and on Purdue University’s campus. Two, as we told you last month, were stolen before the exhibit even offically started.

Altogether, seven have been stolen or significantly damaged, with most of the problems coming at Purdue or in West Lafayette near the Wabash River, according to Channel 6 News in Indianapolis.

As of Friday, organizers had moved 18 of the dogs, including “St. Joan of Bark,” to the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette until suitable indoor homes can be found for the work. Some dogs in Lafayette will remain in their original spots.

The “Dog Days” event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department and the 100th anniversary of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

(Photo: courtesy of Dog Days of Summer)

San Diego may bark its “problem” seals away

Harassing the seals is illegal on San Diego’s beaches — unless you’re the city of San Diego and a court has ordered you to do it.

The city Friday submitted plans that include broadcasting the sound of barking dogs for use if and when it is ordered to stop harbor seals from congregating at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool beach, where their numbers have raised health concerns and precluded children’s play.

A lawsuit against the city claims the seals’ presence violates the terms of the 1913 trust that established the beach as a safe wading area for children. Attorneys representing the plaintiff filed a motion last week asking that the seals be immediately dispersed. The lawsuit was filed not against the seals, or Mother Nature, but against the city.

If the order comes, according to the La Jolla Light, the city would use loudspeakers to broadcast the sound of barking dogs to attempt to disperse the seals. Other steps outlined include having employees or contractors harass the seals from afar, possibly spraying water at them.

The plan, at an estimated cost of $688,934, would require personnel to walk the beach from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week for a year, .

(Note to the city of San Diego: Ace and I hereby volunteer for that contract; for half that price, we’d even be willing to camp there at night. Ace would bark at seals and act intimidating, while I would patrol the shore, saying, “Move along now, seals, nothing to see here.”)

The plan submitted to the court also includes steps to protect the public, noting that dispersing the seals “has a high potential to create an environment requiring a police response.” It includes facilitating traffic flow, monitoring demonstrations, keeping the peace and responding to calls. Animal welfare activists have spoken out against evicting the seals.

For a closer look at the plan, you can find it on a council member’s website.