Between C.W. Nevius and mustache twins Matier & Ross, the Chronicle has been ALL OVER the problems with Dolores Park and its massive weekend hoedowns lately. You'd think they hadn't noticed the fact that the park has been a) a huge sloppy party every sunny day since about 2006, and b) greatly overcrowded on the southern end of the park for the last year after the northern (hipster) half closed for renovations. Not to say that vandals and the growing trash problem shouldn't be dealt with, but suddenly this is all huge news? Anyway, a new update from M&R details how overflowing trash bins have become very popular with the local rat population, and there seem to be more rats rooting around than ever in the park.
Part of this is attributable to the fact that an entire half of the park where some rats were likely burrowing and nesting has been under construction and inhospitable for a full year, forcing their rodent ranks into the southern half with the rest of us.
But Rec & Parks maintenance staff have taken to using a specific procedure with regard to the trash bins before trying to swap out the trash liner "they lay the bin on its side so the rats can escape."
And this has been a boon to the local hawk and owl population, says park supervisor Michelle Pallavicini. "We have a game with one of the hawks in the morning. He sits atop the swing play structure and waits for the 'rat dump.’ It’s a nice breakfast every day.”
So, yes, we live in a city full of rats, and a lot of them have found out there are many tasty leftovers in Dolores Park. Can we please stop sensationalizing this so that the residents of Walnut Creek and Danville who are casually reading Matier & Ross with their daily coffee can stop imagining the broken-glass-filled, rodent-, guinea pig-, lice-infested hellscape that San Francisco 20- and 30-somethings party in every weekend?