Pet droppings topic of Yongsan griping
February 26, 2009
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan commander Col. Dave Hall stepped into a mess of complaints Tuesday during the garrison’s monthly community information forum as residents barked out complaints about the little presents left behind by pets.
He echoed statements by several members of the community reminding people to clean up after their dogs.
"We’ve got a pet problem," Hall said. "A lot of people are walking their dogs on fields that our children are playing soccer on and they’re falling in poop."
Hall suggested that people take digital photos of offenders and report them on the commander’s hot line, which can be found on the garrison Web site. He promised "immediate action" for complaints lodged on the site.
Also discussed was last week’s spike in yellow dust levels. Some community members reported seeing children at Seoul American Elementary School playing on the playground and children at the Child Development Center lined up at a bus stop during the dust storm, despite levels exceeding 800 particles per cubic meter of air. According to medical officials, in those concentrations the dust can be harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems.
Hall said the dust storm’s sudden peak came as a surprise to garrison officials, who couldn’t notify the schools on time.
"I believe we’ll do better next time, but that doesn’t mean it’s fixed," he said.
Garrison spokesman Dave McNally said after the meeting that some organizations, like Department of Defense Dependents Schools, are missing from the garrison’s global address list, and updating the communications plan will solve the problem.
At the end of the meeting, community members got a sneak peak at the new housing planned for Camp Humphreys. Representatives from the Pinnacle Corp., which will design and manage the housing, showed a short video of Park Place. It will feature 3,141 new family units in a collection of 17- and 20-story high-rise buildings.
According to the video, the housing area will consist of 90 percent open space and most of the area’s 5,137 parking spaces will be underground, making the area pedestrian friendly. The housing area will be built around a "Main Street USA" lined with retail shopping and radiate from a central community center.
The houses will be between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet and will all be within walking distance of playgrounds, gyms and movie theaters.
According to the video, construction on the first phase of the project is slated to begin in August and is expected to take 34 months to complete.
An expansion to Seoul American High School, which is expecting a large influx of students next school year, is slated for sometime in the spring. To make room, Public Works director Chuck Markham said, the garrison plans to build a temporary building similar to the one built in front of Falcon Gym last year. The new building will replace an unused tennis court near the gym. It will have six classrooms and accommodate 144 students.
Another construction project under discussion is a community recreation park, which garrison commander Col. Dave Hall said will cut into half of the land occupied by the garrison’s driving range. Hall said a decision on whether to build the park would depend on how much parking space is needed in the future. He said there are 17,000 cars on the garrison, and the addition of as little as 500 more would mean the land needs to be turned into a parking lot.
Director of Human Resources Bob Clifton announced a college fair at the Seoul American Elementary School cafeteria April 18 from noon to 3 p.m. He also announced the Army Career Alumni Program will host two roundtable sessions with David Egert, a senior General Motors executive who will talk about how to gain employment in a corporate environment. The sessions are slated for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the ACAP center behind Harvey’s Lounge. For more information, call Drew Brandt at 738-7322.
Geri Fortner of the garrison’s adolescent substance abuse program warned parents to watch out for the abuse of common cough and cold medications as drugs — a phenomenon she said may be on the rise. She said she has seen three cases of adolescents using over-the-counter medicines containing dextromethorphan, which has hallucinogenic properties.