BeachChaletFieldsProposal

Two competing San Francisco ballot measures — Propositions H and I — ask voters to decide whether or not to renovate the Beach Chalet soccer fields on the western edge of Golden Gate Park to include artificial turf and additional lighting. Approved by the California Coastal Commission and the city’s Board of Supervisors, critics claim the plan is bad for the environment and for kids’ health.

Artificial Turf War: S.F. Voters Face Competing Athletic Field Plans 24 October,2014forum

Guests:
Po Bronson, president of San Francisco Youth Soccer representing the "No on H" and "Yes on I" campaigns
Kathy Howard, landscape architect representing the "Yes on H" and "No on I" campaigns

  • I do not have an opinion about the soccer field renovation in Golden Gate Park because I have not found solid evidence that artificial turf is a health hazard, although I have looked for it. Therefore, my commitment to recreational use of urban parks—especially for children—is not trumped by concern about artificial turf. Objections to lights at
    night seem rather trivial in an urban environment.

    However, voters in San Francisco can support the renovation of the soccer fields by voting against Proposition H. There is no need for them to abrogate their right to an opinion about park projects going forward by voting for Proposition I. Proposition I is overkill. It will enable Rec & Park to railroad the many controversial projects they install without public support.

    Thank you for considering this controversial subject. You are a brave soul.

    • CaliforniaLiveOak

      If one is even remotely skeptical about Park & Rec’s and the City’s decision-making processes, a no on I vote is a sensible path.

  • CaliforniaLiveOak

    As a soccer player and enthusiast of the sport, let’s open the conversation with the fact that there are already more than 30 acres of these artificial turf fields in the City if you include public/private school fields. Grass fields are becoming scarce. Do we really need, need NEED another set of artificial turf fields? And in this particular historic location? Yes on H means let’s create beautiful fields for a beautiful location.

  • SF Mather

    I live a half-block from Kimball Field in the Western Addition, which has artificial turf. When my two kids want to play baseball or soccer we walk the extra block to Hamilton Field which has grass. We do this because the artificial turf at Kimball actually smells noxious and off-gasses when it’s hot. As well when it’s hot (which is more often now with climate change), the artificial turf collects the heat and it feels like an oven on the field, is much hotter than on grass. Also, the artificial turf is composed of tiny rubber pellets that collect in our shoes and and clothing (and hair). These tiny rubber pellets come home with us and end up all over our floor and eventually, in our landfill.

    As a father of children, I cannot see the sense of artificial turf at the Beach Chalet Soccer Fields. The plan is impractical and environmentally irresponsible, and the fact that it would be just a block away from the ocean would only make such a decision all the more devastating (these tiny rubber pellets will inevitably end up on our beaches and enter the ocean’s food chain, etc.). This would be a huge step backwards for this city that touts itself as a leader for environmental causes.

  • Bill Kroulee

    Starting soon, San Franciscans will be getting up to 5% of their drinking water from wells drilled in GG Park, including one very close to this field. This was in the October issue of the Richmond Review newspaper. Here’s a few paragraphs from it:

    (first 2 paragraphs)
    The City is moving forward with plans to drill water wells and blend the water, which contains pollutants, with water delivered from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir near Yosemite. The blended water, which is treated with chemicals to make it safe to drink, will be delivered primarily to residents on the west side of the City.

    Planning for construction of pipes going into the grounds of GGP started in September, as the SF PUC began construction on a system of wells and pipelines that could eventually produce 4 million gallons of water each day.

    (later excerpt)

    Groundwater pumped from six wells on the west side of SF, four newly dug and two converted from existing irrigation wells, could provide as much as 5% of its daily water needs, and also provide a 30 day emergency backup supply in case the HH flow is cut off.

    (later excerpt)

    Two wells now dedicated to irrigation in the park would be converted for use as a water supply, one at the southern windmill and one at North Lake. Pipelines will be constructed to connect five of the wells to the Sunset Reservoir.

    (end)

    Do we really want to pollute our drinking water with toxic tire particles??? Yes on Prop I, No on Prop I

  • jamiebronson

    Grass is great until you twist or break your ankle. Who is going to pay to kill all of the gophers and moles that riddle the fields of GG Park. And then to maintain that they stay in great shape. Grass is very very expensive.

    • CaliforniaLiveOak

      Polo Field renovation cost $1 million for 7 grass fields. Beach Chalet is costing $13 million for 4 artificial turf fields. Then, in 8 years, that artificial turf will have to be replaced. The artificial turf needs to currently be replaced in places like Youngblood Coleman and Garfield but it’s not …. Artificial fields are not a permanent solution.

      • jamiebronson

        Sorry, but when you look at the cost analysis artificial is far cheaper:
        – Medical costs from injuries. My soccer team regularly gets injuries playing on the Polo and Beach Chalet fields
        – Maintenance of the grass field including killing moles and gophers which is incredibly expensive
        – Close to 10 million gallons of water is required to water that grass
        – Field closure due to rain means additional fields need to be built to accommodate demand. There is already a huge shortage of fields in the Bay Area to play.

        • CaliforniaLiveOak

          I am offering my dissent with — and I truly mean this — the greatest respect for all the other work Po Bronson has done for the City’s soccer community in expanding, supporting and speaking well for it. But that said, I’ve witnessed in just the past few months a number of injuries and illnesses from the artificial turf. Two rolled ankles in one day @ Garfield, with a gaping hole right in the center of the penalty box. Blisters and skin infections from the overheated and not-self-sanitizing plastics & SBR tire crumb. A broken bone from a fall on this much harder surface. Water analysis: I’m assuming your 10million figure is for Polo, not Beach? For Beach Chalet, City documents I saw showed it uses between 1.3 and 1.5 million galls of water per year. Given that the water from artificial turf has to be diverted into sewage treatment and does not return to the aquifer, the 3.1 million gallons of rainwater that would go missing leaves artificial turf giving us a water deficit. And, finally,the very occasional field closures due to rain gives kids a rare opportunity to rest …. (and I have indeed seen thunderstorm closures on artificial turf, too) they are over-scheduled, in general, I think we all can agree?

    • notadvised

      related to Po? accidents happen on all playing surfaces. Rec & Park has plenty of $$$s to maintain fields just as they already maintain acres of golf courses and the much larger Polo Fields (which they recently replanted with natural grass). Actually 6 years ago Rec & Park could’ve put in new grass at the soccer field for less than $1 million… far cheaper than toxic turf….but they intentionally let the field deteriorate …. read your Voter Handbook on H & I to see the official letter from retired GGP gardeners. To maintain grass is more expensive but what cost can anyone put on a child’s health? If you haven’t seen the NBC story about the U of Wash soccer players… you should.

  • Another Mike

    The park near my house has natural grass soccer fields. These fields, like the Velveteen Rabbit, are loved to death, and must be rested every other winter, to give the grass a chance to recover.

    SF has very limited recreational opportunities, as the recent clash over field users in the Mission shows. Keeping dedicated recreational space available should be a priority.

  • Chemist150

    You should go to artificial turf. Why not remove everything natural from a child’s life. Children who think there is something wrong with the sky when they first see the milky was at age 24. Why should a child know what fresh air and mowed grass smell like. Children scared to walk barefoot in the grass for fear of broken glass. It’s imperative that we isolate these children from anything natural. We don’t want them to think that they are a natural part of the environment and that they only belong in the artificial realm created for them. Keep them online and inside cramped condos and houses with almost no yard.

    • Another Mike

      When we were kids we played on an asphalt playground, where I chipped my front teeth.

      • CaliforniaLiveOak

        Interestingly enough, asphalt is not as toxic as crumb rubber, which is dust and particle, much hotter and heavier in its off-gassing. For playing soccer, I’d prefer the asphalt … and I, too, chipped my two front teeth that way in second grade.

        • Chemist150

          And it adds heat. Grass cools by using the heat to create plant matter.

      • Chemist150

        I chipped my tooth on a rock when I fell but we grass, gravel and sand.

    • Sanfordia113

      Nobody is proposing removing grass from parks… only playing fields. If we lived in Arizona or Palm Springs, we should in fact replace absolutely all grass with artificial turf, because unnatural use of grass is a terrible use of water.

      • Chemist150

        SF is not in Arizona. Different issue.

  • William Lynn

    Mr. Bronson is evasive with the questions asked like many of the politicians that have appeared on the show previously. It is a shame. He should stick to reporting or writing.

    • Guest

      He wants to become Warren Hinkle.

    • disqus_er3g2byx2B

      He wants to become Warren Hinkle, moonlight for the machine.

    • Sanfordia113

      Which questions? The one about specifics of a Parks & Rec report? The guy is a soccer coach. Why should he know what a city report said, word-for-word?

  • Ben Rawner

    The Sierra Club representative is sporadic and illogical. She first says that parks and rec didnt do enough research, than says she used their figures. I played football on artificial turf for years and there are many advantages. The number one is that one can use the field immediately after it rains, while a grass field would be muddy and could potentially cause more injuries. Lets give the children of SF a place to play.

    • disqus_er3g2byx2B

      This is on the west end of GG Park. Not a lot of children there.

    • notadvised

      Kathy Howard does not represent the Sierra Club.. so you might want to make another comment that’s more logical.

  • Bob Fry

    I understand the concern about chemicals in artificial turf, but what chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides) exist in “natural” turf?

    • CaliforniaLiveOak

      Not as many chemicals in natural grass turf, certainly not as many chemicals in the highly-regulated gardening work done in San Francisco parks. Artificial turf, on the other hand, is made of nothing but (seemingly) carcinogenic chemicals. (That’s an overstatement but, for starters, these Prop 65-listed chemicals: carbon black, styrene-butadiene …)

    • Sanfordia113

      Every playground in the city is built with rubber tire turf. In fact, the majority of parents even invite these rubber tire tiles into their homes for their infant children to play and crawl on. Much more exposure for vulnerable infants than casual occasional soccer play.

      • CaliforniaLiveOak

        The deal is most kids aren’t playing just casually and occasionally. The players who use these fields are in 3x practice per week Club teams, generally, with one or more games on the weekend. Is 40 hours a month (not even counting all-day summer camps) of exposure, taking in a maximum amount of air as they play, minimal?

        • Sanfordia113

          If you want a grass soccer field with no lighting, move to the suburbs.

          • CaliforniaLiveOak

            Nope. I gotta stay here for the intelligent conversation, Sanfordia. Perhaps I just take up another sport, though 🙂

  • William Lynn

    Mr. Bronson seems to think that the players are somehow entitled to play on the field all the time. What gives them the right to do so? From where did this sense of entitlement come?

    • Another Mike

      Playing fields should not be played on? Why have them, then?

      • Chemist150

        Perhaps it needs time to recover and maintain a healthy state. i.e. give the gardener time to properly maintain it as to avoid muddy swamps.

        • jamiebronson

          With artificial turf there is no down time. That is one of the benefits in an area that has a severe shortage of soccer fields.

          • Chemist150

            But more people are employed. The grass removes heat from the environment. Artificial turf will add more heat to the city and reduce air quality.

          • jamiebronson

            Yeah, because it is so hot down there at the beach.

          • Chemist150

            I see, you’re not concerned with global warming and would like to do your part. Think globally, act locally and all that bizzwack.

          • jamiebronson

            No, you are right. Lets tear up the roads and plant them with grass too. While were at it lets get rid of all the concrete buildings. Your argument of turf contributing in a meaningful way to global warming is a straw man argument. Don’t eat meat my friend. That is the best way to contribute to stopping global warming. A turf field? not so much.

          • Chemist150

            Actually, you reversed the process. This is removing something natural that works fine and replacing it with something that will subtract from the environment.
            If you want to go with roads, they build way to many as is because they don’t budget to maintain them and that’s why SF keeps trying to get people to pay fees for using the highway through SF. This is just typical SF.

          • jamiebronson

            ROTFL

          • notadvised

            how old are you?

          • CaliforniaLiveOak

            Interestingly enough, the city does have a plan to remove as much asphalt at ground level as possible, bit by bit, to bring the water back to the aquifer…. and not into sewers. You can apply for your grant here: http://sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=104 … That’s because that groundwater is going to be mixed with Hetch Hetchy for drinking. (See this: http://sfwater.org/bids/projectDetail.aspx?prj_id=322) The city does expand medians when possible and encourage green building practices. Don’t eat meat? That could help, too. But the building of turf fields creates a per-field carbon deficit that takes the planting of 1,800 trees growing over more than half a decade to mitigate [Athena Institute] We don’t appear to have room for that. Let’s just keep the grass.

          • notadvised

            Any chance the Bronsons Dynasty will move back to wherever they came from? You moved here because we made and protected our beautiful city… and now you work to poison our parks and kids with toxic tire waste that is banned from landfills?

          • jamiebronson

            Any chance you could STFU? I have been here for 31 years.

          • notadvised

            My point exactly. Bronson bullies.

          • jamiebronson

            No, I refuted your ridiculous comment about not being here very long. You used an adhominen attack against me in doing so. All I did was defend myself. NotAdvised is the bully here.

          • notadvised

            The term is Latin, ad hominem.

          • jamiebronson

            Hey you lost. Were getting lights and turf. No more broken ankles!

          • Sanfordia113

            lol, you nailed it!

          • notadvised

            middle of the day, early afternoons it can be…

          • notadvised

            if Rec & Park isn’t rinsing the turf to clean off bacteria and fungus they are nullifying the turf warranty. Animal excrement (fruit bats, skunks, raccoons, rats, birds, etc) must be cleaned off to avoid those horrible bacterial infections that have been documented with artificial turf. No amount of fencing can keep those animals off the fields…

      • Sanfordia113

        that is would be the ideal result for elitist Sierra Club members (who are NOT environmentalists, but rather a self-interested social club of wealthy Pacific Heights residents, as well as a few naive youth who have not yet learned the true background of these people. If they were environmentalists, they would be opposing Prop 1 – the water-wasting giveaway to rich benefactors).

    • neutral_corner

      From where does this red herring come?

    • jamiebronson

      That is a silly comment. Please re-read and edit.

      • William Lynn

        That is a silly comment. Please re-read and edit.

    • Lorraine

      That area of the park was CREATED to be sports playing fields as you can see from the 5 lined fields in this 1938 aerial photo – before the homes of many opponents homes in the area were built. There is no entitlement issue here – just trying to make sure city uses are used as designed.

      http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~217215~5503222:161–San-Francisco-Aerial-Views-?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No

    • notadvised

      I witnessed him bullying several people who disagreed with him, on the top of the steps of City Hall. He shouted, hovered over and threatened to sue people for speaking. People fled in fear. Scary to think he’s in charge of anything related to children.
      Real men don’t bully, Po. Get some help.

  • MNTaylor

    These grass people are behaving like spoiled entitled children. They lost at the Board of Sups, they lost at the Coastal Commission – what will they do if they lose at the ballot? When will they respect the process put in place and learn to cope with their disappointment?

    • CaliforniaLiveOak

      “Lost the Coastal Commission” is an interesting idea. The Coastal Commission staff report — as the speaker mentioned — supported maintaining grass in this location. It was 11th-hour political maneuvering from above that changed commissioners’ minds …. not the actual environmental research.

      • MNTaylor

        I haven’t seen the report, so I can’t comment. But the fact is, they lost the vote. Period.

        • disqus_er3g2byx2B

          I have an idea. Let the people in the affected neighborhoods take the vote, rather than political appointees beholden to the machine.

        • notadvised

          Actually I think the CCC votes were “stolen” by Rec & Park’s and City Fields lobbyists. They votes against their own staff report that clearly said no artificial turf in GGP. I heard Phil Ginsburg (Rec &Park’s GM hugged the CCC commissioners after the vote. This is politics at it’s scummiest level.
          Toxins don’t belong around children.

    • Sanfordia113

      most don’t actually care about the grass. It is an excuse to keep the park closed down to the public so that their neighborhood remains like a sleepy suburb.

      • notadvised

        huh… I don’t live in that area but I’ve been working on this issue for 6 years…you are recycling just another “myth” perpetuated by Rec & Park.

  • Sam Badger

    What ever happened to hiring a gardener to keep down the weeds, fertilizing with some old manure, and taking some CO2 out of the air with real actual grass? No toxins, jobs made, who cares?

    • Another Mike

      Playing soccer is very hard on natural grass fields. The grass soon disppears, leaving a muddy swamp.

  • Terry Ingram

    My issue is with Rec & Park’s ability to maintain artificial turf. They have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars “restoring” the chain of lakes, then let it revert to the state it was in prior to restoration. If they can’t maintain grass, how will they ever come up with resources to maintain astro turf?

    • Another Mike

      Good point — what sort of maintenance does artificial turf require, and how long will it last?

      • disqus_er3g2byx2B

        Show said ten years of continuous degradation until unplayable.

      • icpacific

        hi – read the forbes article in september issue on-line about turf verses grass costs. please make sure to spread the word about YES on H AND No on I. If I gets more yes votes than H, H won’t win. Crazy politics at work. Lets keep the grass REAL.

    • CaliforniaLiveOak

      They don’t maintain it — take a look at the older fields: Youngblood Coleman, Garfield, Franklin for starters — all (no surprise!) in the poorer neighborhoods.

  • Joshua Davidson

    this woman says that golf courses have gardeners so why don’t soccer fields? She is aware that golf courses charge 20 to 40 dollars per person to afford a gardener. Is she suggesting that we charge every person playing soccer 20 to 40 dollars?

    • Sanfordia113

      More like $150 per person. The municipal courses are subsidized for the use of crusty Sierra Club members.

    • Another Mike

      That’s what GG Park needs! Greens fees!

    • notadvised

      Rec & Park charges kids in the Mission $27 for one hour of soccer play since that turf went in. So yes, there will be money! On top of that SF REc & Park is the 7th highest spender of public funds among all the cities in the nation. They have lots of deep pockets… this is a political deal they are making with the Fisher family (GAP founders).

  • Guest

    Has anybody pointed out that Measure I is run by professional political operatives? Has the show considered Measure I as part and parcel of SF machine politics and a larger effort to privatize city services?

    What do comprehensive surveys of the neighbors say about bright lights being on late?

    • Another Mike

      Yes, in a bucolic area like the Outer Richmond, one would not expect outdoor lighting that would keep the livestock awake.

      • disqus_er3g2byx2B

        Are you calling us outside landers sows and cows?

    • icpacific

      Is it Alex Tourk’s group, Ground Floor? If yes, they are a very unethical group. They have paid people to give public comments during RPD Commission hearings and Supervisor hearings! PAID PEOPLE. There is a chain of emails that prove it, when the documents were sunshined over another RPD issue. I’ve been trying to find out who is behind I’s PR. That hit piece showing the old rundown soccer fields bathroom was so sleazy and untrue. The bathrooms out there were remodeled, what 5 years or so ago and are fine.

        • citymom

          Clever slide show!

      • BarryEisenberg

        Half a mil to remodel a bathroom?

        • icpacific

          RPD supposedly spent 1 mill on the bathrooms at Stow Lake!
          Maybe the contractor that got the bid was a friend of Phil’s?

          How come kids aren’t playing tennis? Went by Lowell, tennis courts empty. Went by SF State tennis courts empty. Maybe some other sports should be promoted in this city.

          • BarryEisenberg

            I hear the bathroom is to be named for Punxatawney Phil.

    • BarryEisenberg

      Survey? They don’t need no stinkin survey. They don’t got to show you no stinkin survey. They don’t give a damn what the neighbors think about the lights or anything else.

  • Terry Ingram

    One of the most concerning issues related to artificial turf systems is their lack of ability to self-sanitize as natural turf systems do. Regardless of the installation location, turf systems will be exposed to bodily fluids, animal excrement and algae growth creating prime locations for harmful bacteria growth. Because these systems are not self cleansing they require mechanical and chemical maintenance in order to maintain a healthy environment. Depending on frequency of use this may be required several times a month. Staph infections transmitted through abrasion burns and cuts are the most pressing sanitary issue.

  • disqus_er3g2byx2B

    Has anybody pointed out that Measure I is run by professional political operatives? Has the show considered Measure I as part and parcel of SF machine politics?

    What do comprehensive surveys of the neighbors say about bright lights being on late?

  • Sanfordia113

    The Sierra Club lady is being dishonest. Get real. You may be a crusty old person who only wants to look at the nature with no people; we live in a city. Get used to it. Let’s use the “millions in bond money for maintaining grass fields” to actually acquire more land to build soccer fields on the east side of the city where they are needed most. Build the rubber turf in Golden Gate Park.

    • Another Mike

      Golden Gate Park is highly unnatural. Before John McLaren, it was just a bunch of wind-swept sand dunes.

      • CaliforniaLiveOak

        Yep. let’s go ahead and finish the job. Pave it.

    • disqus_er3g2byx2B

      Maybe appreciate the city you’ve just moved to before wantonly changing it.

      • Sanfordia113

        Born here and lived on and off for 40 years. Also lived in other great cities, like Paris, London, Shanghai, Milan, Stockholm… San Francisco is really slipping.

    • CaliforniaLiveOak

      Sanfordia, wow, you’re really representing the cause well. Best of luck with that.

    • Sanfordia113

      Alternatively, build 50-story luxury condo towers over the Beach Chalet field and use the tax revenues on the development to buy property in Dogpatch/Bayview to build a Golden Gate Park East.

    • notadvised

      wow, some people need a nap.

  • Ken Foster

    Remember the movie, The Stepford Wives? There’s a part
    in the movie where one of the Stepford wives gets stabbed and it messes with
    her wiring and she starts repeating, “I thought we were friends, I thought we
    were friends.” That’s what I imagine synthetic turf is saying when I stab it
    with my accusations of it being a pseudo green product.

    http://www.terranovalandscaping.com/blog/2013/09/02/synthetic-turf-artificial-grass-or-stepford-lawns-an-update-2/

  • Lorraine

    Prop I and the Beach Chalet field renovation will allow this area of the park to return to its originally designed and built use as sports playing fields (see the link to the aerial photo from 1938 below). Prior to that it was sand dunes as you can plainly see. It was never a “meadow” as those who oppose this project contine to mislabel this area of the park. Let’s give more people access and use of this area of the park – grass playing fields are more expensive and unsustainable with the countless pressure and needs of our City of SF budgets. More kids, families and visitors will come t this area (and public transit and bikes will follow) to get there. It ridiculous to call this project elitist.
    http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~217215~5503222:161–San-Francisco-Aerial-Views-?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No

  • CaliforniaLiveOak

    What happened to the Stepford Lawn comment? It was great! … but disappeared from here. I just looked up the site myself, as he made me laugh. He had said, “Remember the Stepford Wives? There’s a part in the movie where one of the Stepford wives gets stabbed and it messes with her wiring and she starts repeating, “I thought we were friends. I thought we were friends.” Interesting analysis of artificial turf here: http://www.terranovalandscaping.com/blog/2013/09/02/synthetic-turf-artificial-grass-or-stepford-lawns-an-update-2/

  • icpacific

    Hi: Cost to maintain real or turf, check out Forbes Magazine on-line Sept issue. States clearly from studies, turf more expensive to maintain than grass. Prop H is a very clear ballot measure, either you want to keep the grass real and no night-time lighting til 10pm at night (right across from the fire pits at the beach) or you don’t want real grass and want artificial turf. Simple and clean measure. To let all the people of the City decide. Why did the Powers that Be feel they needed to complicate the issue with Prop I?

    Prop I, as the very first person who wrote a comment mentioned, is complicating this issue. If you support I, not only are you in favor of playgrounds and trails (who isn’t?), you are also giving away your power as a member of your community in the future to decide what happens to your neighborhood park. The people of the Potrero didn’t want plastic grass in their park and were able to stop it. That likely won’t happen if Prop I passes. It gives Rec and Park much more power and less community power. Read the actual fine print at the back of your voting book.

    As far as if it is toxic… well, we were told Teflon was safe, it wasn’t. We were told fire retardants were safe, just learning they aren’t. Asbestos, lead etc. After watching the NCB News piece on turf, the horrible question I have (because many of my friends kids play soccer in SF and I go to games), is the ground up tire crumb safe? Would you let your kid or your dog intentionally sniff up a half a cup of tire dust every week? We already have enough pollution around us, why add more?

    Also, a soccer player I spoke with mentioned he plays inside soccer and I know one of my friends kids did too. When weather bad or at night, lets open up all the schools gyms for people to use when not in use. We can have adults play indoor soccer. I know it is different, but at least it doesn’t add to pollution and will be in multiple locations expanding playing time even more! Lets think outside the box folks. We can come up with creative solutions without more plastic everywhere.

    What’s next, turfing Speedway Meadows or (Hellman Hallow for new folks to SF) so more concerts can be held there? Turfing Big Rec? Turfing Stern Grove?

    “They put all the trees and put them in a tree museum, and they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see them. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone?” Joni Mitchell

    • Sanfordia113

      Potrero doesn’t have a single soccer field. A could of baseball diamonds with dirt infields, but no soccer/playing fields. Big difference. Baseball is played in the spring when the weather is conducive to grass fields.

      • notadvised

        the wise people of Potrero Hill soundly rejected this toxic turf when Rec & Park and the Fishers tried to foist it on them. Bravo Hill folks… this stuff is poison.

    • BarryEisenberg

      Next would probably be the Polo Fields.

  • icpacific

    Please read SF Mather full comment an hour ago, ” I live a half-block from Kimball Field in the Western Addition, which has artificial turf. When my two kids want to play baseball or soccer we walk the extra block to Hamilton Field which has grass. We do this because the artificial turf at Kimball actually smells noxious and off-gasses when it’s hot. As well when it’s hot (which is more often now with climate change), the artificial turf collects the heat and it feels like an oven on the field, is much hotter than on grass.”
    I have attempted to take my 2 yr old niece to many playgrounds in SF, so many of them now have rubber crumb mats – like at 28th and Lawton, or the park at Clay and Webster on the hill (can’t remember name), anyway, THEY STINK! When it is even mildly warm, they off gas all the chemicals they are made from. What is this doing to kids brains and lungs? We couldn’t stay and we had to find a playground that wasn’t covered in rubber. For people with certain kinds of asthma or who are chemically reactive, these ground up tire fields or rubber mats are very bad for their health.
    I’m a native San Franciscan and I absolutely understand that things have changed in the City. We use to play in the street – imagine that? One parent who wasn’t working would be keeping an eye out on all of us. We never had after school organized sports in 1st – 6th grade, not that I remember (graduated Washington High in ’76, go Eagles). All that started in Junior High and was connected to SFUSD, with a few outside teams. Where is all our lottery money for our schools? Sports, Music, Art programs?
    The more we take money from corporations to fill in all the cuts that have been made by our government and wasteful spending and backroom deals, the more power and control the corporations or extremely wealthy folks (like the Fisher Brothers) have over how that money will be spent. It will be spent with less and less oversight by the average citizen. ALL the kids in the city need art, music and sports back into their neighborhood schools. Providing a plastic grass field at the end of golden gate park isn’t going to fix theses problems. Lets use that $12 million to re-do many playing fields
    through-out the City for all kids to enjoy with real grass – heck, take some of the young teens being trained by Friends of the Urban Forest, and other groups, and once they are old enough give them jobs to maintain the fields in their own neighborhoods. A win/win!

  • citymom

    We’re not discussing what happens when the turf fields wear out. My son plays at Franklin Square, which is a terrible turf field with tears and sink holes. It’s not a safe playing field and really needs to be torn out and replaced. Why do we want to create more of these fields that will need to be torn out and thrown away every ten years? Furthermore, kids, like grass, need rest from time to time. A rainout or field closure can offer a welcome break.

    Why is it that we can’t have a decent grass field, even in Golden Gate Park? Why has artificial turf been sold to us as the only playing surface for soccer?

    • notadvised

      I saw Franklin Sq.. the other day and it is sad. I think you have to have some local billionaires complain about it to get Rec & Park’s attention.

  • citymom

    Also, there are a lot of school and college fields that are not being used for youth soccer that could be.

  • Information about the actual water usage at the Beach Chalet fields in golden Gate Park and why the artificial turf will COST water can be found at:

    http://www.slideshare.net/SFOceanEdge/beach-chalet-water-usage-analysis-6

    • notadvised

      This is really helpful info. Thank you! I can’t believe what your side has accomplished with only volunteers and no budget…. you are up against big money politicians and their donors. You are brave and I support you!

  • Information on the impact of the 150,000 watts of stadium lighting on the environment, on wildlife, on the park and on Ocean Beach can be found in this report by Professor Travis Longcore and Catherine Rich, who have literally written the book on the negative impacts of artificial light on wildlife.

    http://www.slideshare.net/SFOceanEdge/impact-of-artificial-lighting-on-golden-gate-park-ocean-beach

  • For folks from outside the Bay Area, the following presentation shows the beauty of Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach, and the impact that this project would have on the area.
    http://www.slideshare.net/SFOceanEdge/beach-chalet-fields-the-threat-to-golden-gate-park-and-ocean-beach?related=1

  • howardwasright

    I am Pro H and Anti I. I have a sports-playing kid, coached SFLL for years and for the life of me cannot understand the love affair with artificial turf–especially in SF where parents are worried about their kids consuming organic, non-rBgh dairy products, yet are willing to let them run and roll around in and breathe ground up tire dust and offgassing. Yes, GG Park is man-made, but its original plan was to keep the West end of the park rugged and natural. John McLaren did not even want statuary in the park because it took away from the natural environment and was only a way for the wealthy to show off. Since the California Coastal Commission ignored the recommendations of its staff to ban the artificial turf from GG Park, there has been press about drinking water reservoirs for the residents of the Outer Richmond and Outer Sunset being built underground in very close proximity to (directly under?) the turf fields. Was this known when Planning and the Supes and the CCC voted to put ground up tires at the Beach Chalet Fields? Finally, it is totally ludicrous that the NPS is working hard to ban the presence of dogs from virtually all of the GGNRA–including most of Ocean Beach–yet has not taken objection to the installation of ground up tires and stadium lighting just yards from Ocean Beach.

  • jamiebronson

    Looks like that lighting and turf is finally going to go in. I am sure the anti-crowd will be challenging the will of the voters to proceed with this initiative.

  • notadvised

    The SF Dept. of Elections has not certified the vote counts yet on Wed. Rec & Park started digging up the Beach Chalet soccer fields.
    The real losers are the kids, who are very vulnerable to the 200 + toxins in the 700,000 pounds of tire rubble that is planned for these fields, as well as anyone who cares about safe drinking water. These fields sit atop an aquifer, which the PUC plans to merge with Hetch Hetchy water for SF residential use. How will Rec & Park keep precious drinking water safe?
    This battle against the toxic waste in this project will go on…. protecting the health of one child is worth it!

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