Essays

What are your thoughts and feelings?  

Have you been coming to Beach Chalet for years or have you just discovered it, and you are appalled that it will be destroyed?

Do you play soccer there - or do your kids?  How do they feel?

How do you feel about playing on real grass vs. artificial turf?

Are you a birder -- what will be the impacts on the birds and other wildlife?

How do you feel about artificial turf?

How do you feel about 150,000 watts of stadium lighting on 60 foot poles, lights that will be turned on from dusk to 10:00 pm every day of the year!

Do you just love coming to the Park and are distressed that more park will now be paved and lighted, like a suburban sports complex?

Let us know.

Please limit to maximum two sheets of paper.  See the Guidelines for more information on what you are agreeing to by submitting to us.

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The Yeashore Community

 

I am the Maggid, Jewish Spiritual Leader, for the Yeashore Community.  The purpose of our community is to build community.  We do this, in part, through bonfires at Ocean Beach.  We have been having these bonfire gatherings, with a religious component, for nineteen years.  We have approximately 2,000 members.

The bonfires nourish the connections between self, community, earth, and Spirit.  We facilitate individual spiritual growth, strengthen multi-generational community, and connect people to nature.  We sing, tell stories, and talk together into the dark night, made light and warm, spiritually and physically, by the flicker of the flames.  People on the beach often wander in from the dark to join us and become involved.

We awaken and celebrate traditions of Judaism, specifically the Havdalah ceremony that bids farewell to the Sabbath and ushers in the new week. Sabbath ends on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky.  The ceremony usually happens an hour after sunset.  The dark night sky allows us to look for and spot three stars very easily.

The Yeashore Community is strongly opposed to the installation of the proposed lights at the Beach Chalet Fields.  It will irreparably damage our ability to continue our bonfires as we have for nineteen years.  The lights will destroy the warm, close atmosphere created by a bonfire, as the illumination from the Beach Chalet Fields will drown it out.  It will be much harder to make the connections we have made for so many years when we try to do it under a bright light from across the road.  

Connections between self, community, nature, and Spirit will become very tenuous when attempted at a light washed out bonfire.  People will be less inclined to participate in song, story, or discussion if they have to do it under bright glare.  The feeling of warm closeness will be lost even as the bonfire will continue to physically warm the participants.  

We tell people they can be up close to the bonfire in the light and participate, or hang back at the edges of the bonfire light and see what is going on before joining in more fully.  This will no longer be the case if the lights are installed at Beach Chalet Fields.  People will be less inclined to even want to come to a bonfire once they realize they will be in the luminous lights of artificial illumination instead of the flickering flame of a fire.

 

I also doubt that people will join in as they wander by.  The ability to stand in the darkness at the outer edge of the bonfire light will be lost.  People will not sense the closeness they could join, if there is light everywhere flooding onto Ocean Beach from the Beach Chalet Fields.  One of the ways we build community is by strangers joining us and becoming involved. This will not happen as it has with the addition of unwanted light from a soccer field.

 

Our religious activities will be harmed by the intrusion of the intense light.  A crucial part of the Havdalah ceremony is the distinction between light and darkness.  Currently we can turn away from the bonfire and experience darkness, then turn back toward it and experience light.  We will not be able to make that distinction when all of Ocean Beach will be bathed in the light glow coming from the Beach Chalet Fields. 

We will have an even more difficult time knowing when to begin the Havdalah ceremony with the installation of the soccer field lights.  The ceremony begins after the appearance of three stars in the sky about an hour after sunset.  There will no longer be a dark night sky allowing us to easily spot three stars.  It will be difficult to look skyward and see almost any stars at all.  Standing on the Beach, across from bright lights proposed to be installed at the Beach Chalet Fields, will be similar to standing on any street in the city and trying to see stars through the radiant shine. 

It will become very arduous to see the stars, and will seriously impair our ability to conduct our religious ceremony if the proposed lights are installed.  There are troubles beyond the serious negative impacts the addition of lights at Beach Chalet Fields will have to our community, our religious ceremony and our ability to continue our work.  

There are problems for the general public who may wish to be in the natural setting at the western end of Golden Gate Park, at the Promenade along Ocean Beach, and on the beach itself.  The beauty of a sunset in a darkening sky will be lost.  Star gazing in what is now a dark sky area will be lost.  The ability of photographers to take pictures of a natural setting in the coming darkness of evening will be lost.  The ability of a couple, in love, to walk together in the twilight will be lost.  The list could go on and on and on.

There are also difficulties that arise for those who do not even live near the Beach Chalet Fields.  I live in Golden Gate Heights, and have a view of Golden Gate Park.  The view will be ruined by the inclusion of bright glaring lights at the Parks western edge.  The lights will ruin the view for any who now can see the west end of the Park.  Our sunsets will certainly be washed out if not lost altogether in the incandescent gleam of the Beach Chalet Field lights.  

 

Recently I was in the area of the Beach Chalet Fields.  I saw a coyote there, and have previously seen a fox.  These amazing creatures, as well as skunks, raccoons, birds and others will have their area, ecosystem, and lives disrupted and negatively altered with the addition of the lights, and the other parts of the proposed project.   Beautiful, and in some cases, rare birds will become disoriented and possibly die.  The rare birds include the snowy plover, which has a safe zone on Ocean Beach within a stone's throw of the Beach Chalet Fields. The coyote, fox, raccoons and others will no longer be able to act in their normal nocturnal way when the entire area is full of light.

For all the above reasons, the Yeashore Community, and its approximately 2,000 members strongly oppose the installation of the proposed lights at the Beach Chalet Fields.

Maggid Raja Anderson

The Yeashore Community

San Francisco, CA

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I lived in San Francisco throughout my childhood, through my college years and as a young adult until 1978 when I moved to Oakland to live with my boyfriend, now husband of 35 years.  Although I no longer can participate in voting for issues that continue to concern me in my beloved San Francisco, I can participate with beautiful memories here on this forum.

 

At age ten I received a new bicycle.  With it I received freedom to ride all over town.  We lived at Kirkham and 20th Ave then.  On Saturday and Sunday mornings I would ride through Golden Gate Park down to the beach and back before my parents got up.  In late summer I picked blackberries in the Arboretum and my mom scolded me and then we made jam.  A couple of times I climbed over the fence at the Japanese Tea Garden and fished quarters out of the pools with gum on the end of a stick of bamboo.  Once I got caught, scolded and I never did it again.  I sought out trails seldom taken and did manage to get myself chased by a transient who first exposed himself to me and then I turned my bike around and headed for areas with more people.  That was the last time I did that as well.  My earliest memories are all infused with Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach.  I am of an age where I actually swam at Sutros and then later ice skated there.  I saw the "mermaid" in its case in the Sutro museum.  I swam and froze in Fleishecker's pool and foraged along Ocean Beach for wonderful sand dollars and pieces of ocean sculpted moonstone which I kept in jars of water.  As a kindergarten kid I went to Francis Scott Key school and spent my alone time at the beach, being very careful to avoid the water after being told about undertow and little kids who didn't listen to their parents' warnings.  I'm not sure why my folks left me alone after school.  Soon after that I was in the Child Care Centers after school, which I hated.  Years later I was a teacher in them.

 

We played in the skeletons of the new homes being built across from the beach and I must admit, we stole small tiles to play for endless hours indoors building tile houses with traps for the "unwary".  My playmate's dad and brother were architects so it must have been second nature to her.  

 

I can't imagine being able to live the life I lived in San Francisco in any other large city.  I discovered wildlife, birds, insects, sea life, plants in the strip of forested land known as Golden Gate Park.  We went to the park almost every weekend to the museum, aquarium, tea garden, hall of flowers, arboretum, saw the bison and all of it was free or very low cost.  We flew kites at the beach, had picnics at the beach and in the park on Sundays.  In the 1940's my mom and I went to lunch downtown, dressing up with hats and gloves and having lunch at the Pig and Whistle on Market, which she had done with her family when she was a little girl.  We watched the donuts being popped out in the front window of the Mayflower Coffee shop and we had the wonderful yellow cake with sticky fudge frosting on Sutter Street.  We had Hot Fudge Sundaes at Blums.  We went to the movies in the movie palaces and we stopped at the International Bookstore and Ed Kremmer's for folkdance recordings.  We lunched in Chinatown and North Beach and my dad had a jewelry store in the Mission near the most beautiful food.  My Aunt and Uncle's furniture store was nearby.

 

I dearly wish I could vote to preserve the real grass turf and the migratory path for birds in SF.  But at least I can say why they matter to me.  I am very aware of the potential danger to folks using the artificial turf, especially young adults and children.  I am 18 years beyond cancer at this point.  I am also aware of the importance of the area near the Beach Chalet as the main migratory path for birds as they make their way thousands of miles.  These birds migrate from Alaska and Siberia all the way to Hawaii.  The lights throw them off and confuse them.  The Kolea or Golden Plover migrates to the same patch of grass in Hawaii from it's nesting sites in Alaska.  Twice a year they make the 3000 plus mile migration at 30,000 feet.  They can't come down, but they can get lost over the ocean if they get confused by the lights at the beach.  Each bird migrates alone.  The chicks come individually a month after the adults leave.  These birds are too light to attach radio collars to them.  If they have to come down, they can't go up again.  There are kolea trackers in Hawaii who watch for them to arrive and it is really wonderful to know that they can make it.  Let's not make it any harder than it already is.

 

I guess that's about it.  There is always more.  :-)

 

My best to you all

 

Sandi Morey

Sing Thing Family Singing- 40th year

Summer Sing for Grownups

Oakland CA

www.sandimorey.com

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This is what is in store for San Francisco, given City Fields is explicitly abandoning any upkeep costs of the fields.

Kathleen M.

Source:  http://awalkintheparknyc.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html

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Just a note for the on-line celebration -- here is what I am worried about:

 

I was trying to go to a playground with my niece and her kid. I went to Lawton/28th and the rubber off gassing from the sun was so strong I couldn't take the toxic smell. We met at Winston & Stonecrest park, since they thought it was only sand. NOT.  Again, horrible off gassing from rubber. I bring this up because from an ADA perspective people with Environmental Illness would likely not be able to play or be near their friends/kids playing on the artificial turf at soccer fields. Not sure if that makes any sense or not.

I had to leave the 2nd park.

 

I did some research and found this under Job Accommodations for People with Respiratory problems of which chemical sensitivity is listed.

http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/employmentrespfact.doc

 

Construction, Remodeling, and Cleaning Activities:

·       Notify the employee ahead of time

·       Provide alternative work arrangements

·       Use non-toxic materials and supplies

 

·       Consider employee needs when planning remodeling, construction, and cleaning activities 

Sandy W.  May 25, 2014

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"Wings at Beach Chalet," by Dan Richman, San Francisco.

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A true GRASSROOTS group formed to give you a chance to vote on artificial turf and lights in Golden Gate Park!  Over 98,000 people voted to protect the park -- but over $900,000 was spent to defeat the ballot initiative and to destroy the western end of Golden Gate Park.  Learn more at: Coalition to Protect Golden Gate Park at: www.protectggp.org .


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