The Wendy Lamm photo and caption of a dog on the beach (Times, Feb. 9) imply that dogs are legally allowed on our beaches; they are not. As spring and summer approach, now is a good time to point out that loose dogs have become such a health and safety hazard on the beaches that lifeguards are empowered to order people and their dogs off the beach. A dog owner is liable for a $46 fine for a dog on the beach and another $46 fine if the dog is unleashed; this happened to an acquaintance.
This is not a petty issue, for the public’s knowledge of health and safety guidelines is all for the common good. Unfortunately, from our home of 38 years on the Ocean Front Walk in Venice, my family has sadly witnessed, along with crass commercialism, a dispiriting decline in people’s consideration for each other and our community. Nowadays, people tend to behave as advised by the song: “Don’t worry, be happy.” I suggest that each of us and our communities would be better served by less self-indulgence.