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Gail Kelley is wrong. Contrary to her assertion that the dog owners are “new arrivals to the neighborhood”—which is about as accurate as her report to the police about “20 dogs chasing children” (I was there). I have been a resident of this neighborhood for more than 20 years. Many of my fellow dog-owners were a part of this community long before Kelley arrived on the scene and started her one-woman crusade against us.

We are responsible dog owners who have enjoyed the camaraderie at Kingsman Field for years. We’ve watched our dogs play and run together, we’ve shared the pleasure of our dogs with kids who ask to pet them or throw a ball for them, we have always cleaned up after them, and we’ve voluntarily kept the playground litter-free. Nowadays, for the most part, Kingsman sits vacant and unused, except for the drug dealers and destructive youths who take pleasure in tearing the new trees apart. Trash blows across the park freely and abundantly. But Kelley clearly likes it better that way.

I will confess to having run my dog off-leash in the early morning hours—I am included in this woman’s archives—and on more than one occasion she has followed me to my car, impeding my access while taking her pictures. That one mean-spirited individual can be free to harass so many community-caring neighbors, and deprive them of the simple pleasure of running their dogs, is a disgrace. Kingsman should be restored to its historic use as a city park that embraces diversity and opens its gates to all.

Lincoln Park