Mind Wilder's words

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Take a look at Chick Wilder’s monument near the concession stand at Willard Beach. It says, “He made Willard Beach a place for recreation and community. His rules forbade bullying, meanness, and vandalism … he cared for the vulnerable … leave your dogs at home, keep off the rocks, be safe and have fun.”
Today the vulnerable are not safe on Willard Beach. On Feb. 21 a large mongrel-dog came at full gallop to within a couple feet of my three little grandchildren. He then went growling after a nearby dog. His owner was not in sight. A young man came into view, but didn’t respond to my inquiry about his ownership of the dog. When I persisted, he finally indicated ownership and released a very animated, highly profane tirade. It’s obvious to me this man doesn’t care about the vulnerable. He doesn’t care about the law requiring a leash or voice control.
Our City Council’s latest response to this problem is to allow dogs on the Beach after 7 p.m. during the Summer. I often don’t get home from work before 7 pm. Many people want to enjoy the beach on a beautiful, hot night. On the first Saturday in May last year, we counted over 600 people enjoying the beach with no problems. There were no dogs present. Chick was right: leave your dogs at home, be safe and have fun. If you absolutely insist on visiting with a dog, please put it on a leash.

Steven E. Gray
South Portland