5.4
April 30, 2012

Boulder Farmers’ Market bans Dogs: here’s a bunch of other Things we should Outlaw.

Some folks seem to think the dog ban at Farmers Market is uptight and yuppie. I, frankly, have been won over–in fact, I think, while we’re at it, here’s 13 other things we should ban. ~ Waylon Lewis

What else can we ban at our Farmer’s Market? Let’s play lawyer.

As of June 1 or something, the Boulder County Farmers’ Market will ban dogs. And lizards and birds and squirrels.

My Fellow Californians,

The Yuppie-Family-Safety-Fear First-Truman Show takeover of Boulder is nearly complete.

This once wild town (Beat Poets, Trungpa Rinpoche drinking sake, horses on the streets as late as 1987, dirt lots downtown replete with tumbleweed) has been tamed by money-making development, our own CA license plates everywhere, red cups everywhere, and folks have to walk out of downtown to see those jarringly-beautiful views of Boulder’s iconic Flatirons.

(That’s one way to get rid of Chief Niwot’s curse: never see the mountains in the first place)

In that spirit-crushing spirit, here’s a bunch of other inconvenient, bulky, dirty, troublesome, messy, unpredictable things we should ban at the Boulder Farmers’ Market.

1. Dogs, we already know about. Finally. Dogs are hairy, dirty, can get stepped on, can get into dog fights, could attack humans or children, and can definitely scare people who are scared by dogs.

2. Baby Carriages take up an incredible amount of room. Especially the double-wides. Ban ’em.

3. Bicycles. No walking bicycles in the farmers’ market. The handlebars could hit me while I’m holding hot coffee and I could die.

4. Hot Coffee. All hot liquids should be kept lukewarm. You never know what might happen.

5. Homeless people. Also, clipboard people. They’re dirty, and/or annoying when I’m trying to get back to my SUV with my three Ritalin’d children so we can get home in time for video games, or watching TV together, in separate rooms.

6. Children: so dirty, always pooping, digging up dirt, having fun—children are just messy, unclean generally. Like dogs, you can never really predict what they’ll do next. At the least, they should all be leashed up to the age of 18.

7. Cigarettes shouldn’t be allowed within a block north, south, east or west. The smoke, the cigarette butts—it’s disgusting. Don’t those people know they’re bad for you, yet!?

8. Hairy people—hairy heads, hairy chest, armpit hair, leg hair…it’s not just dog hair that has a way of flying through the air and landing on my perfect food.

9. Traffic within a block north or south. Cars pollute. Not to mention the noise pollution. This car ban should include the farmers’ own trucks and other vehicles, which take up an incredible amount of real estate in the already-crowded block.

10: Cell Phones: they cause cancer, and/or accidents (for which the Market Board could be liable) when texting and walking.

11. Arguments: toxic energy. Please, no unhappiness. Stay out.

12. GMO food. There’s a lot of it there, including via members of the Market Board. As far as I know, only Abbondanza has truly organic food that doesn’t come out of a seed catalog.

13. Dog owners. Dog owners probably won’t want to come if they can’t bring their dogs, anyways, since now they’ll be busy hiking, and Whole Foods etc is so much more convenient, schedule-wise. Also, we should consider banning Libertarians, who don’t like rules, and Republicans, who don’t like Big Brother meddling in their business.

14. The Farmer’s Market. It’s noisy, crowded, costs taxpayers a bundle and blocks the bike path for pedestrians and cyclists. Ban it.

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Relephant bonus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7yEQGyONt8&feature=related

If you want to argue, or get bummed out, here’s my serious take.

Just found out about this today, made me angry, then sad. Already it’s illegal to have dogs inside a patio railing at a restaurant (food violation) or outside (dogs must be under leash control at all times).

Are we becoming a town obsessed with safety, orderliness, are we becoming too Aspen/Vail/CA yuppie-ized? Only 20 years ago the Beat poets were all over town, Trungpa was drinking Sake and making the cover of NY Times/TIME…now the possibility of a dog peeing or getting in a momentary dogfight is enough to ban all pooches.

Thoughts? Too many Rules n’Regulations? Keep Boulder Weird? I’m all ears.

Click above for comments, respectful debate.

Here’s more comments, from my FB page:

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Alex B: Only in Boulder so far. Longmont had signs suggesting you leave your animals at home this morning, but not a ban…

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Meg M:

We knew it was coming…My husband and I own The Bear & The Rat: Cool Treats for Dogs. We’re a local company who makes healthful, probiotic frozen treats for dogs. Our treats used to be made in Boulder (in Boulder Ice Cream’s facility). We applied three times and all three times, weren’t accepted to the market. We have always believed that it was because a ban was coming and looks like our intuition was right!

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Lucia H: It is important to recognize, as a pet lover/guardian, that there are some places that dogs are not safe or welcome. I agree with this ban. It would be a good idea for Boulder to come up with a way to make the Farmer’s Market available to people who have their dogs with them, like doggie stations in the park, or doggie daycare. Having so many people, some of whom are little kids, crammed together with food in a small space is not a good environment for a dog and can lead to aggressive behavior/accidents even in the best behaved pooches.

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Meg M:

Love that kind of thinking, Lucia! We personally don’t take our dogs to places like the market because they aren’t well-behaved and could not handle it. I do think that it’s important for dog owners to recognize their dog’s limits, but unfortunately is oftentimes not the case.

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Waylon Lewis Lucia, no such moderate solutions have been publicized or made available, that I am aware. Did you read the comments in the link above? As I said there, the official word from the Police or Animal Control is “leave your dog at home, that’s where they’re happiest.” Again, in the link above, they’re illegal on patios or outside patios. So they can’t go out with us unless to walk. They can’t be with us if we stop anywhere, in public. Leaving them in the backs of cars is hardly a good option.

So if we’re all truly concerned about dog aggression, leaving dogs at home all the time except for walks out = lack of socialization, boredom, pent up energy, and aggression.

I offered a solution in the above link: certify dogs as safe, and take away that tag on a three strikes you’re out rule.

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Waylon Lewis Meg, making laws to get rid of the 2% of troubled dogs / bad owners is not a way to run a society.

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Meg M:

Agree!

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Waylon Lewis My dog, Red, has messed up once or twice…in five years. He doesn’t often repeat his mistakes. That said, I try and get him tired before taking him to Market, as it’s an exciting happy place for him–crumbs, dogs, children, friends. It’s sad to lose those happy Saturdays.

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Meg M:

Yeah, I have to say – Matt and I were super bummed that we were never able to vend at such an amazing market with many likeminded people. It’s why we applied three times. You can come to Denver and bring Red to our markets. J/k. Maybe enough people will be riled up and will reverse this thing.

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Alex B: Actually, we already have laws to take out the 2% of troubled dogs and owners. They’re very hard to enforce, though, and I too disagree with this sweeping, lazy approach of banning all to avoid a few.

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Alex B: ‎(Though I do also leave my dog in the shaded car or at home when we hit up either market…)

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Zane Edwards I find it odd that dogs run around without leashes, in public places, restaurants, subways, etc. and don’t seem to be a problem in Germany and France. Maybe we just have more dogs than over there?

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Emma Blue Dogs are allowed in stores and restaurants in Germany if I remember correctly.

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Waylon Lewis And up in Ned!

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Lucia H: I think the city could take more initiative to come up with a way to make this work for dogs. This might be a great opportunity for some enterprising individual/organization or group to set up a doggie station. I can imagine a separate area in the park where dogs are welcome/encouraged.

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Rob M: I agree with Lucia and with the city. We don’t know if there have not already been close calls or even injuries to children, other dogs or adults. I would not want a child to be “strike one” or “strike two” against the dog. It’s not worth it. Lots of gorgeous places here to take your dogs, places with natural beauty and wilderness and without crowded places, careless feet and other dogs.

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Waylon: Rob, you clearly aren’t a dog owner. There’s a few dog parks—none near where I live—and Open Space, where, if you read the comments above, you’d already know that there are few areas where dogs can play, and runners and families are still up there. If you’re going to base law on the chance of something going wrong, why allow drivers of automobiles to be on cell phones? Why allow cars to go above 30 mph? Why allow anyone to drink? Let’s illegalize everything that could harm anyone! As for “not knowing” if dogs have maimed children, I’ve been at nearly every farmers’ market for years and haven’t heard of this. And again there’s nothing in this ban that would make children absolutely safe anywhere else in Boulder. Should dogs just be illegal?

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Waylon: ‎Todd Mayville, seriously?

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Todd Mayville Yeah…as much as I love bringing Frankie to the market on Wednesdays, it’s really too much on Saturdays when the crowds are larger…I’ve been very concerned for both the dogs (I’ve seen dogs stepped on) and for well-meaning kids who want to pet the “puppy.” Fido isn’t always so obliging. Maybe just restrict them to Wednesdays since those days aren’t so crowded?

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Kallie Barnes It’s a shame that dogs are banned. I think it is a very lazy approach by the city and I’m not sure why something like the green tag system they have for OSMP wouldn’t work. The city could make money (I think it’s $20 a tag) and make a lot of their dog owning citizens happy. What is Boulder becoming? Dogs have been with us for centuries, we even bond with them producing the exact same molecules that we do when bonding with another human! I think it’s just one more slap on the wrist for dog owners in Boulder and I don’t even have one! … And maybe we could move the Farmer’s Market so it is not so crammed right there in the middle of everything, I know it’s a somewhat prime location, but there’s got to be somewhere near there where we could open up an entire parking lot. I think that dogs should definitely be leashed at the Farmer’s Market, but banning them is really sending the wrong message. It’s a tricky mentality to set yourself in, banning things. I feel sorry for all the people who enjoyed getting out to the market on Saturdays with their pooches. @ Todd Mayville, maybe a ban on one of the days would make a bit more sense, but banning both days is just silly. And be careful about leaving your dog in the car, a 70 degree day can turn into 100 inside your car if in the sun. I hate hearing every summer about the pooches that die in people’s cars.

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Rob M: Hi Waylon. Though I don’t currently have a dog, I have many dog friends, and none of my dog friends’ peeps take them to crowded places with children and other dogs, except the dog parks. In no way am I anti-dog. I love the adorable, loving critters.

 

And, I HAVE seen aggression between dogs at the market, and I HAVE heard the yelps of dogs when their feet are stepped on by careless children; children who could be bitten for their clumsiness. And BTW, in many cities and states in the US, cell phone use IS forbidden while driving, and there are many other examples of forbidding predictably risky activities for the benefit of the public good. I think it’s a sensible restriction.

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Kallie Barnes ‎@ Rob M Life is a little bit dangerous and messy sometimes, dogs will be dogs, there are exceptions to every rule, children will be children, and S**t will happen. We can’t base our lives and our communities around fear of what could happen. We should be embracing what problems there might be at the Farmer’s Market and coming up with dynamic solutions. And in my opinion there’s a fine line between doing things for the public good and tyranny (for lack of a better word). While we are at it why don’t we just ban all the bums from being down at the Farmer’s Market too? They stink, they’re dirty, they beg, and they scare some people. I guess the only difference between dogs is they don’t bite… maybe.

I’m not looking for a fight here, but I really hate the ‘slippery slope’ argument, which Kallie and Waylon have both used here. I can play extremist too: “Why not allow dogs at the table in fine restaurants, in the aisles of grocery stores and sitting in movie theaters?” Highly recommend everyone read the Camera article, which quotes the current and the former directors of the Market, and one of its more popular vendors, who puts it this way:Jeni Nagle, of Ela Family Farms, said she agrees with the ban.

“I’ve gone back and forth for years, but I think it’s a good policy mainly for safety reasons,” she said. “There are little kids with food in their hands and their parents are shopping and talking. Food, children and dogs … you just don’t want to see anyone get hurt… I have a dog, but I wouldn’t ever take her to a market. She would rather be on a trail than in a crowd of people not watching where they are going.””

 

http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_20478753/boulder-county-farmers-market-ban-dogs-other-animals?source=most_emailed

Boulder County Farmers’ Market to ban dogs, other animals – Boulder Daily Camera

www.dailycamera.com

The Boulder County Farmers

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Rob M: Also worth reading, the editorial by the exec director (at the time) of the Market. He says the top three complaints by customers are ‘parking, dogs and crowding’. They have taken action on all three, but long before the ban, the Market director (former and current) have implored people to leave their dogs at home.

 

http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_18845310

Guest opinion: Reconsider bringing furry friends to the market – Boulder Daily Camera

www.dailycamera.com

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Waylon Lewis Rob, dogs are allowed in grocery stores and liquor stores and cafes and restuarants and off leash generally in the mountain towns, and as folks have noted in many areas in Europe…and yet somehow folks manage to eat etc safely.

PS Rob and Todd, great to hear from you and thanks for adding to the conversation. I’m just sad. Red effing loooooves the market. We bike there most markets, have for five years, or should I say “biked” there…and he runs and pulls once he knows where we’re going the whole way. He literally yelps in happiness as we go up the final wide sidewalk by the crick.

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