Summer Solutions: Parks, Pools and Public Spaces

by on August 2, 2021 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Colleen O’Connor

What’s Up with the Mayor’s “Get it Done” App?:  Part III

Lots happening. The Delta variant (now predicted to hit 140,000 to 300,00 cases a day this month). The Newsom recall effort.  Raging fires.  No need to list all the problems.

Any attempt at solutions (since getting anything through the Mayor’s ‘Get It Done app’ is impossible) relies on each of us, as individuals and family units, to respond.

So, how to deal with the new Delta variant of the COVID pandemic that is near defeating us? Local, local, local or YOYO (You’re On Your Own) strategies remain the best option.

San Diegans have behaved better than most of the country.  Clearly, way better than the former southern states, now engulfed in a nightmare repeat of last winter’s disaster.

Still, “What to do?”  Common sense applies.

Best advice for the summer, even if you are an “anti-vaxxer,” is stay outdoors.  Fresh air is your greatest defense (other than a vaccine).  Take the kids to the pool, play with them in the park, or local playground.  Stay away from crowds.   Picnic outdoors.  Enjoy San Diego’s weather.

Not only does fresh air keep the virus at bay, exercise wears everyone out.  Sleep is better, and you are healthier for it.  Just avoid indoor crowds of any sort.  Wear masks as advised.

Yes, swimming, tennis, golf, outdoors activities are a good idea, but the city needs more open and bettered maintained outdoor venues.

Muni pools; open for longer summer daylight hours; perhaps even shared pools with neighborhood schools (as La Jolla High has done).  The colleges and universities could also step up to offer weekend access to city residents.

More lifeguards and more park rangers.  And all need to be OPEN.  And available and free.

Look at how many years the Bud Kearns outdoor muni pool in North Park has been closed!  Unbelievable neglect.  Think how many San Diegans could use that pool now.  What is the incompetence here?

The City’s near permanent notice:

POOL CLOSURE: Currently Under Construction. The Bud Kearns Pool is CLOSED until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please call the pool for updates.”

Same with the City Heights pool.  “Closed for the summer” sign has been posted for years now.

Why closed so long?  Why not maintained and open?  Especially in a pandemic?

Ditto for city’s parks.

Think: the current Ash Street scandal.  Watch out for “closing” municipal golf courses, neglecting more muni pools, and city parks.  Every developers’ dream.

Even Balboa Park, San Diego’s “jewel,” desperately needs a good old fashion scrubbing.  “Deferred maintenance” has morphed into “benign neglect” and now “blighted” or “abandoned” property; all available for sale.

Go for an early morning walk under the Balboa Park’s colonnades. Stroll along any weekday morning; one can smell and see the decay.  It is a disgrace.

The El Prado sidewalks are long overdue for that bleach-spiked, antiseptic power wash used in 2017 to stop a Hepatitis A outbreak downtown.  Then, the County declared a “public health emergency” because that outbreak killed 15 people and hospitalized 300 more, which forced the City to literally, “clean up its act.”

Do it, again. STAT.

For a contrast, tour the next door, Japanese Friendship Gardens.  That beautifully designed, lush parkland is what Balboa Park once resembled.  And should do so again.

After cleaning up the Prado, power-wash all the sidewalks in many of San Diego’s older, neglected neighborhoods.  And get the street sweepers, and trash collectors moving, again.  Name a “Trash Czar.”

Next up, the beaches, bays, and bathrooms in San Diego’s public areas. Has the Mayor or anyone on the City Council actually visited these, without advanced notice?

Go for a swim at the beach.  Paddle board in the bay.  Use the restrooms.  Do your own intelligence gathering.  Try wading into the La Jolla Children’s pool; given in “Trust” by Ellen Browning Scripps to the City of San Diego, almost a century ago.

See how that “trust in government” turned out.

Perhaps, councilmembers doing “walk-abouts” in their neighborhoods might lead to a better understanding of why a current ‘lack of trust’ (amid a deadly pandemic) is strangling those politicians who cannot, or will not, keep their communities “safe” or “clean.”  That is government’s minimum job requirement.  And, it is failing.

Stop with the photo ops, the press announcements, the meaningless “talking points.”  And especially, stop with the juvenile school yard taunts.













{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

sealintheSelkirks August 2, 2021 at 10:30 am

To anybody who doesn’t get what is going on with the Delta Variant you really might want to read this:

Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19

A cut:

People who had recovered from COVID-19, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits versus controls when controlling for age, gender, education level, income, racial-ethnic group, pre-existing medical disorders, tiredness, depression and anxiety. The deficits were of substantial effect size for people who had been hospitalised (N = 192), but also for non-hospitalised cases who had biological confirmation of COVID-19 infection (N = 326). Analysing markers of premorbid intelligence did not support these differences being present prior to infection. Finer grained analysis of performance across sub-tests supported the hypothesis that COVID-19 has a multi-domain impact on human cognition.



triggerfinger August 9, 2021 at 1:58 pm

Cliff notes:

If you’re unvaccinated you can catch and spread the Delta.
If you’re vaccinated you can catch and spread the Delta.
If you’re vaccinated you have almost zero chance of being hospitalized or dying from Delta.

The previous argument that you have to get vaccinated to protect others no longer carries weight. So if you want to protect yourself, get vaccinated. Or go play the odds. It’s no skin off my back either way.


Gravitas August 2, 2021 at 1:53 pm

Now, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham admits he has “breakthrough” virus!


Geoff Page August 2, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Wow, very well said Colleen, very well said.


Douglas Blackwood August 2, 2021 at 6:38 pm

Incompetency seems to be the rule downtown?
If we can defeat Jen Campbell (the worst rep OB has ever had) perhaps: there’s a Donna Frye person wanting to rep OB?


Frank Gormlie August 9, 2021 at 10:14 am

Thanks, Colleen. I just rode east Mission Bay yesterday (Sunday) and I’ve never seen it so trashed – not even during the height of the pandemic. Also there are sections of 94 that look like a trash truck just emptied its contents all along the road. Where’s that “Trash Czar”?


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