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Speak up against park booze ban

By Christian F. Winkle

Pacific Beach resident

Kate Sessions Park — a 20-acre public park paid for by taxpayer dollars — is lightly used most days but becomes very popular on sunny weekends, especially Saturdays.

Before the beach alcohol ban there were rarely more than 75 people in the park any weekend day (other than on July 4th or for weddings, corporate parties or special events). Now there can be a couple hundred people there some sunny Saturdays and most of them are in their 20s and 30s. While this certainly is not over-crowding for a 20-acre park, it’s more use than there historically has been,

I live less than half block away from the park and recognize that the intensified usage has upset some activist residents who prefer to see “their” park remain quiet and lightly used. And as with any large outdoor congregation where alcohol is served a few may drink to excess. While the vast majority behave responsibly, there can be a few that break the law.

It is this rude (and unlawful) behavior that has spurred on the park pressure group to seek to ban alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The bad acts of a few are once again being used to justify a 24-hour ban prohibiting law-abiding residents from ever enjoying a beer or some wine while watching the sunset.

No compromises such as keg bans, amplified music bans, weekend summer alcohol bans, etc., have been discussed.

This matter will be before the Park and Recreation Board today at 2 p.m. and then to the City Council, where hopefully wiser heads will prevail. You can contact your Pacific Beach or La Jolla city council members Kevin Faulconer and Sherri Lightner and let them know you oppose a 24-hour ban and think a compromise should be explored. Reach them at KevinFaulconer@sandiego.gov, or SherriLightner@sandiego.gov.