Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blood, Shit, and a Proposed Task Force Highlighted at Grace Cathedral Canine Confab

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Chance visitors to the conference room at Nob Hill's Grace Cathedral might have taken the proceedings therein as an odd semblance of civic engagement: Gargantuan photographs of dog turds greeted those who walked in the door, and several close-ups of a gaping leg wound were displayed on the stage at the front of the room. Meanwhile, a lot of the folks milling about wore stickers reading, "Dog Lover." Sure, it seems a little weird. But San Francisco's veteran dog gangstas know it's all in the game.

Marion Cope speaks in front of photos of her injury
  • Marion Cope speaks in front of photos of her injury
Tonight was the much-anticipated summit meeting arranged by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu in the wake of the brutal November dog attack on 74-year-old Nob Hill resident Marion Cope. More than 100 attended -- the majority of them Nob Hill residents -- in a preliminary bid to hash out the dispute over leash laws that heated up after Cope was injured.

A cop and a gaggle of robed clergypersons were on hand to keep the peace, and for a time it seemed like they might be called into action. Cope, the widow of Newton Cope, former proprietor of the swanky Huntington Hotel, gave a graphic description of her injury -- a 10-inch gash to the leg, which she said became infected and carried a risk of amputation -- and a round denunciation of what she called "gross negligence on the part of city officials" who didn't adequately enforce leash laws at Huntington Park.

click to enlarge Huntington Park
  • Huntington Park

Then, as this cry for justice was in crescendo, a loud beeper went off in the audience. One of the pro-dog folks was timing Cope's speech with his own stopwatch, and loudly insisted that she had exceeded her time limit.

"You try three weeks, and part of the time in a bedpan," Cope retorted, referring to her period of convalescence after surgery.

With the meeting off to such an auspicious start, Constant Reader, your correspondent thought the evening might end in a seaman's bar brawl -- or at least some steeple-striking lightning, The Omen-style, to indicate God's displeasure with the dog-centric preoccupations of His children in San Francisco. But things proceeded civilly enough thereafter, as members of the public made sundry pro- and anti-dog comments amidst the embittered mutterings of their fellows.

Chiu capped the night with a proposal that Nob Hill residents form a task force of 10 to 12 people to work on a new leash-law policy governing Huntington Park. It is currently illegal to run dogs off-leash at the park.

click to enlarge Huntington Park
  • Huntington Park

"I have to admit, I was surprised by the civility and respect and, frankly, humor which you have brought to this conversation," Chiu told the dogged masses.

Supervisor, you said it.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Peter Jamison


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"