Fake turf, lights will hurt Golden Gate Park 

The San Francisco Examiner article on the 7-acre artificial turf fiasco planned for Golden Gate Park was breathtakingly one-sided (“Beach Chalet fields grass clash,” May 22).

Photos of a child locked out of a field, and gopher holes? Really? Where are the photos of glorious raptor birds, of majestic trees, of families enjoying the beauty of nature?

The article omits mention of the 150,000 watts of light on 60-foot poles that will be on every night until 10:00 p.m. — right next to Ocean Beach. It leaves out the 60 other light standards, the expanded parking lot and the bleacher seating for more than 1,000 spectators. 

The western edge of Golden Gate Park will no longer be parkland — it will become suburban-parking lot-land.
This is not about kids vs. environmentalists. It is about preserving parkland for 800,000 San Franciscans, for vanishing species and for future generations. There is a win-win solution. Fix up Beach Chalet with real grass and no sports lighting, and use the rest of the funding to fix up other playing fields for children all over San Francisco.

There is only one Golden Gate Park.

Katherine Howard
SF Ocean Edge
San Francisco

Proposition B debate continues

Andrea O’Leary’s letter (“Coit Tower not a cash cow,” May 23) clarifies what she called my “confused” mind, and restates a compelling reason to vote no on Proposition B.

If, as she says, the Recreation and Park Department has lost sight of serving the public good (which I’m not sure is true), then why waste taxpayer dollars struggling to understand why and repair it?

Private enterprise can both thrive and serve the public at Coit Tower. Let taxpayer dollars fund needed reforms at other city parks.

Now is the chance to try something new with The City and private business in partnership, which makes good sense during a recession.

Ann Grogan
San Francisco

Crackdown aids cartels

Regarding your editorial (“California must clarify its murky medical pot laws,” May 23), Mexican drug cartels are no doubt thrilled with the Obama administration’s crackdown on voter-approved medical marijuana dispensaries. So much for change and 2008 campaign promises to respect states’ rights. So much for jobs. The medical marijuana industry is one of the few job creators in the current down economy.

If Obama succeeds in destroying the domestic medical marijuana industry, international drug cartels will move in to meet demand and reap the profits. This is basic economics. As long as there is a demand for marijuana, there will be a supply. Replacing domestic growers with organized crime groups that also sell cocaine, meth and heroin is not necessarily a good thing.

Marijuana prohibition is a gateway drug policy.

Robert Sharpe
Common Sense for Drug Policy
Washington, D.C.


Win-win with Warriors

The Warriors’ planned move to San Francisco is a rare win-win-win transaction (“Warriors set to jump over Bay,” May 23). The crumbling Piers 30-32 get rebuilt and The City gets back its basketball team.

Best of all, the Warriors will not have to deal with the Recreation and Park Department, which, through maintenance neglect at Candlestick Park, was a cause for the 49ers to leave town.

Cal Tilden
San Francisco

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