Page 1 of 1

Dear Mclaren Park Neighbors

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:13 am
by pepe

I know that you'll read this. I just wanted to write to you specifically and ask you to keep an open mind as it pertains to disc golf in the park, with the idea that we can all behave without hysterical outbursts and threats. Several people felt intimidated and threatened at the tour on saturday and that simply is no way to treat another human being.

I'd like to acknowledge the fact that we know Mclaren Park has been neglected for years and that this is really the source of your anger. I also understand that you feel threatened by the idea of disc golf in the park since it seems to you that the decision to install a course was done with little, if any, of your input. The design is not set in stone, so you DO have a chance for input. That's what the meeting on the 20th is all about.

I feel that disc golf would be a net positive for Mclaren because it would bring an entirely new set of people out to enjoy the park, and that group of people will also invest itself in the security, cleanliness, and development of the park into the jewel it deserves to be. Now some of you may argue that it already is a jewel and that it doesn't need more people. The fallacy here is that the park is a public space that can and should be shared by all.

To that point, disc golf is unique in that it doesn't require exclusive use. Every day in crowded parks like Golden Gate or Aquatic Park in Berkeley, disc golf happens. Hundreds of people share the space without conflict. In other words, you really have very little to fear when it comes to disc golf, and if it gets installed, my hunch is that many will wonder what the big deal was. Certainly there would be no removal of the off leash dog area, nor restrictions on where anyone could walk or hang out.

Some may argue that environmental degredation is the key issue. It is true that disc golf, like any activity in which thousands of people over time participate, has a footprint. However, there are ways to mitigate (even offset) each and every concern, and these have already been tried and tested, as well as planned for in conjunction with the rec and park department. Disc Golfers have already shown up at Friends of Mclaren Park workparties, pulling Himalayan blackberries from the ground and helping to plant some new natives. Much more help of this sort will happen in and around the proposed course. The course was carefully designed to ensure safety, and to completely avoid any natural areas within Mclaren.

The people who will come to play will be a surprise. We don't know who will actually show up, but we have seen an amazing array of people in golden gate park. Expect to see a lot of families in addition to young adults out there. There won't be as many people who come to play in Mclaren as do Golden Gate but it should be enough to give the park a better presence of individuals who will help prevent crimes...simply by being there.

I hope this open letter helps you to reconsider your position. I understand that we may have different opinions on how the
park should be enjoyed, but I hope you realize that we all do share a love of the park, and that we will help ensure that it is a fun, safe, and healthy experience for all.


Peter B

Re: Dear Mclaren Park Neighbors

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:31 pm
by Billym
Thanks Peter,
I wish more of the folks opposing disc golf in McLaren Park, who have been "lurking" on our forum mostly to discredit rather than understand us and the matter, have actually read it.
I was impressed by the attendance and passion of tonight's meeting (4/20/2010) but mostly I was disturbed and saddened by the conduct of the McLaren Neighborhood residents who made a mockery of public debate.
I know that we the SFDGC community have tried to and WILL continue to be respectful of the debate and it's opposing side. I also know we are human too and capable of mistakes or emotions.
That said those of you who continually shouted, protested, and created general unrest; You should be ashamed. I came to a public meeting to have a meeting of minds to discuss a debate and point of concern and disagreement. Instead I felt unwelcome and in some cases actually hated by many of the local resident's conduct. The rules were clear perhaps some ran over or others were wrongly cut short. But the cat calls, booing, "go back to Iowa" (are you for real?), "don't come to my park from over in Oakland" (this is America "BUB") the examples are unending.
You should be ashamed at your community.
By the way just for argument's sake. I bet there was proper notification in 2005 but no one bothered to look into their community meeting's agenda. If the city were to rip up a street, change a curbside, add a bus stop or permit a homeowner to make improvements to their home all of these thing are and were part of the public record and had a window of opportunity for debate.
Man what a sad display. I feel bad for the ladies who represented the Park's department they are human being's and deserved to be treated better.
I just got to sat it hurt to feel so unwelcome in the coolest city in America!
Have a great whatever.
Billy M

Re: Dear Mclaren Park Neighbors

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:18 pm
by pepe
Generally I was very pleased with the conduct and showing of SFDGC. There were plenty of Mclaren neighbors who were very respectful. I saw one fella in the bar afterwards and offered to buy him a beer. The man sitting behind me who wanted to go home to watch "America's Deadliest Catch" made me laugh. I told him that I would love to hang out in the park someday...You know, just being friendly and respecting those who seemed respectful themselves.

KUDOS to the SFDGC for being a GREAT organization. Let's keep up the good work!

Re: Dear Mclaren Park Neighbors

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:28 am
by Billym
Yes there were many civil folks there who either has concerns or opposed the course. They were overshadowed by the way others acted.
I was proud of our club members who attended.

Re: Dear Mclaren Park Neighbors

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:36 pm
by crosstoby
For a meeting that was as contentious and emotional as it was, I was very glad to have heard so many individual voices and opinions from so many people. It was not a shouting contest. I think the Save McLaren folks were voicing their frustration at SFR&P way too strongly at Karen and Lisa, but as heated as it was, my opinion is that most folks got to speak their piece.

This meeting was part of a long that we hope will end up with a nice new course in the ground, but one that will include some bumps and bruises as we all become more educated, more acquainted with the personalities and issues at hand, and ideally, as we all move closer together. I reflect on that meeting in a hopeful way.