This week, our commenters had plenty to say about Balboa Park’s past and present, among other stories. Check out a sample from the discussions and please join us if you haven’t already.

Here are five comments from the week:

David Cohen on “Balboa Park Vandalism Sparks Mayoral Pandemonium“:

Mayoral campaign issues and who-publicized-it are nothing but sideshows. The important question (and problem in need of a solution) is why there was no police presence when the dispatcher was warned by one of the organizers that it was about to get out of hand. Beyond that, why was there not already routine nighttime patrolling though the park’s main thoroughfares, given the value of the property and the everyday potential for vandalism or harm to walkers/runners/homeless/dog exercisers?

Could it be that SDPD is chronically understaffed?

Janet Shelton on “How 1960s SD Navigated a Gift to Balboa Park“:

I don’t oppose “modern” but this is the perfect example of what happens when money is allowed to dictate architecture in a public spaces. I have always felt that the building was ugly in its setting. It’s as if someone plopped down a warehouse in the park. First, it is completely out of place. Second, one doesn’t have to look far to see much nicer modern designs. Sadly, much of Balboa Park’s history is about things that have wrecked its beauty, taken its land, and used it literally and figuratively for a trash heap. Don’t let the destruction happen this time or there will be future articles lamenting this chapter, in which a rich man is allowed to destroy an iconic bridge and other historical features purely because he has money and power.

Carol Simpson on “How Opponents Plan to Stop the Balboa Park Remodel“:

Maintenance of Balboa Park is the City’s responsibility – whether they have the funds to do it or not. It’s not the responsibility of philanthropists. If Irwin Jacobs wanted to donate money to help maintain the Park, that would be great. But, he will only donate money if the City performs the functions that he stipulates – something that Balboa Park does not “need.”

If the City wants to open things up and conduct a drive for donations to provide maintenance to Balboa Park, they probably would get the money they need for that.

Carrie Schneider on “The Garbage Dump Hiding in Balboa Park“:

A few years ago, my neighbors and I had a conversation with the landfill managers about implementing the plan for this area – a naturalized grasslands. Our idea was to bring in volunteer labor and plant materials. We lost steam once it was explained that they must constantly regrade for the reasons described in the article.

The weeds used to be completely out of control, leading to tumbleweeds that would accumulate against the golf course fence, and seeding the protected part of Florida Canyon. It’s gotten better now that they regularly mow it.

Dale Peterson on “Want Housing? Stadium? Maybe Bribe Neighborhoods“:

As a conceptual solution towards avoiding the “piecemeal” approval process I would like to have more details about this idea. This could be promising.

I am an elected member of the Navajo Planning group (not representing the NCPI in this commentary). I cast a “nay” vote (on the Shawnee project) due to some of the issues described in Scott Lewis’ narrative.

I have listened to some absurd traffic pattern studies that are compliance oriented, not solution oriented for the impacted communities.

Question: Any policy wonks have information on how this type of proposal would impact CEQA requirements?

Statements have been lightly edited to fix spelling errors and typos.

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Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at or 619.550.5669.

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Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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