I am writing to correct some errors in Mr. Williamson's letter of Tuesday, May 22. For starters, Mr. Williamson claims that none of the members of D.A.R.L.I.N.G. actually live in Alameda. This couldn't be further from the truth! We are a homegrown Alameda organization. Most of us first met at Washington Park, where we love to sit on the benches with our bags of peanuts and talk — just talk, mind you — about squirrels. All of our members are residents of Alameda. I myself have lived in Alameda for over 40 years.
Mr. Williamson goes on to present a highly sensationalized version of a story about a squirrel "attacking" a school child. This is a crude exercise in fear-mongering that has no basis in fact. What actually transpired appears to have been an isolated incident that produced only minor injuries. Only a relatively small number of squirrel attacks are reported each year, none of which has ever resulted in a fatality. By comparison, there are almost 5 million victims of dog attacks every year. Between 15 and 20 of those victims — most of whom are children — die. If Mr. Williamson is so concerned about protecting children from vicious animals, why hasn't he mounted a campaign to ban dogs?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007