Traffic & Safety – Change of Season

Change of Season: Summer is almost here. With this season we will certainly experience an influx of guests and associated festivities. As a good host, be sure to remind our visiting friends to park their cars with guest passes clearly displayed through the window. Also remind them to park their authorized guest vehicle at the designated Guest

Parking lot while at the Bluff. Almost all of the cars that have been towed away recently have been in violation of these two rules. A couple of swimmers asked me to remind folks that guests in the pool area must be accompanied by a resident. You can’t just turn over the FOB to someone that drops by and wants to use our pool, but doesn’t want to unnecessarily bother you by having to go there.

Coyotes: Recently we have had a rash of coyote sightings. While walking my two dogs I have accidentally passed within five yards of the coyote on two occasions. My dogs, who are always alert to aggressive body language from other dogs, obviously saw him/her but did not detect a potential challenge. Some folks describe the obviously young coyote as almost playful. In fact on one occasion two little dogs who, along with their owner, were enjoying the greenbelt at the end of Capstan saw Wile E. Coyote and chased him away. In the past few days (around May 20) there have been quite a few sightings of a much older and larger coyote prowling the area between Leeward and Atlantic. An older and younger coyote were seen for several days on the greenbelt near Dosina and Niguel Shores Drive apparently enjoying the sunset.

Note: It is a common ploy for a weaker coyote to entice dogs to chase it into a pack of hungry older coyotes. I spoke with our animal control folks and learned that coyotes are a protected species and are not normally hunted down or trapped (Fish and Game in conjunction with Animal Control) unless they demonstrate a threat to human beings.

The good news is that coyotes are generally comfortable living close to humans and don’t, normally, pose a threat to us. The month of May is usually the end of their breeding season and this animal might deviate from its normal pattern and warn us, by striking a threatening posture, if we approach their den which is often off the beaten path and isolated on a steep bank or thick brush. Should we, while walking on a normal path, unexpectedly walk near a coyote and become concerned for our safety, or the well-being of our pet, we may choose to frighten it away by using an airhorn, a whistle or shaking a coffee can filled with pennies.

Other suggestions range from waving our arms and shouting at it, shining the beam from a flashlight in its eyes or simply throwing rocks near it. Every bit of literature warns us not to run away from them.

Of major concern to many of us is the well-being of our pets. Once all the small rodents and rabbits have been eaten, Wile E. Coyote and pups are apt to seek other food sources such as smaller dogs and cats. As they normally hunt and seek small prey from dusk to dawn, Officer Jill Moran from Animal Control suggests that, with coyotes present, unattended smaller dogs and cats should be kept indoors at night and that, if they go outside for a moment or two, they should be accompanied by an adult. All pet food should be stored in the house. Garbage containers should be secured as coyotes stake out these containers and prey on the creatures that raid garbage bins. Coyotes are remarkably smart and quickly discern patterns of behavior. For instance, if we normally let our dog or cat out at 7:00 a.m. each morning to use the outdoors, we regularly should change the times. Adhering to a schedule for three days may well result in a happy meal for Wile E. or offspring on the fourth.

Lock It or Lose It: After a brief hiatus, our car clout struck once again stealing property out of an unlocked, parked on the street, vehicle in the Broadmoor Homes area. With warmer months coming, more people, which will likely include opportunists, will be walking the streets. For the past few years the thieves have not targeted locked vehicles and instead only entered unlocked ones. Perhaps they know that breaking into a locked car is a felony. Depending on the amount of property taken from an unlocked car, it is only petty theft or low grade misdemeanor. God Bless…

— Tim Murphy

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