Whose park?

Proposal to build a large artificial turf soccer complex in Golden Gate Park sparks controversy

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A rendering of the proposed soccer complex

news@sfbg.com

Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach have long been destinations for locals and tourists to take in natural beauty within an urban setting, but a controversial plan to build a complex of artificial turf soccer fields at their intersection is drawing opposition from neighbors and environmentalists.

The project seems to belie the original intent of Golden Gate Park as a uniquely wild setting. The Master Plan for Golden Gate Park, drafted in 1995, emphasizes environmental stewardship and maintaining the park in a natural, multi-use way. Among its provisions are "major meadows and lawns should be adaptable to host a wide variety of activities, rather than designed for a specific use."

But the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) and sports advocates are pushing a plan to install seven acres of synthetic turf fields, complete with 60-foot, 150,000-watt lighting that will shine until 10 p.m. year-round.

The project will have its first major public hearing before the Planning Commission on Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. in Room 400 at City Hall. Public comments on the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report, which was released in October, will be accepted at the Planning Department until 5 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Critics of the plan, including the Ocean Edge Steering Committee, have been distributing educational materials and trying to energize people to oppose a project that the group says runs counter to the park's purpose and which will harm wildlife and cause other negative impacts.

The fields are slated to be installed over the four existing run-down grass fields in the Western Edge of Golden Gate Park, which sits directly across from Ocean Beach and next to the Beach Chalet historical building and restaurant. The project is projected to cost up to $48 million, about $20 million of which comes from the Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks bond measure approved by city voters in 2008.

Advocates for the synthetic fields — most notably the City Fields Foundation, the main proponent of converting grass to turf in city parks (see "Turf wars," 10/13/09) — say that this project will only take up a fraction of the natural space in the park, and that turf has many benefits over natural parkland.

"You can put a grass field in, but then you have to limit public access," said Patrick Hannan, communications director for the City Fields Foundation. "If you want to have grass, there's only so much sports play that can happen."

Hannan says that this project is a response to the high demand for usable athletic fields and the limited play provisions of grass fields and availability of usable fields also limits the number of adults and children able to play sports.

RPD spokesperson Connie Chan was not responsive to Guardian questions about the project's consistency with the Master Plan, and on the main project, she referred to a statement on the RPD website: "We are proposing to renovate the dilapidated Beach Chalet Athletic Fields in the western end of Golden Gate Park with synthetic turf, field lights and other amenities because Beach Chalet is one of three primary ground sports fields in San Francisco but unfortunately, these fields are in abysmal condition, often closed, and lacking spectator seating."

But activists say the RPD shouldn't disregard its own planning documents. "It took a long time to draft the Master Plan," said Shawna McGrew, an activist who worked at RPD for 30 years. "They have no legal obligation, but a moral obligation to uphold the Master Plan."

The grass soccer fields have been run down due to lack of maintenance and a continuing gopher problem. But environmental advocates argue that installing the planned light fixtures and synthetic turf will interfere with the wildlife, particularly the nesting birds.

Comments

to the treatment that they will require for the cancers that they develop from continuously playing soccer on toxic artificial turf.

What an idiot.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 9:59 am

That is their level of discourse - claiming children will develop cancer from playing on artificial turf (with no evidence to back it up) and then calling the hardworking people who donate their time and effort to bringing sports into under served neighborhoods "idiots." All the while backing up the wealthy NIMBYs around the park who loath the carious lowlifes from other parts of San Francisco who dare to think the park is a public space - vs. an "asset" for use only by its neighbors.

People like the foul-mouthed, threat-filled poster "anonymous" better make the case for the collapse of the progressive movement than any alleged "conservative" poster here.

Posted by Eye of Sauron on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 11:46 am

Here is the URL to an independent assessment of a recent study on artificial turf which also highlights industry influenced scientists' recommendations to 'soften' the results when releasing them to the public. The most important finding is that the study unconscionably does not consider cumulative and combined effects of all chemicals being released together from artificial turf fields. Studying individual chemical impacts separately instead of analyzing combined impacts, is now well recognized as a deeply flawed model for risk assessment.

http://www.ehhi.org/turf/turf_pr_0810.shtml

Children would be endangered and sickened by this turf, and so we must not install it.

And there is nothing more insulting or reprehensible, than a capitalist prick who does everything in his power to become rich, at the expense of others and the environment, who then throws a pittance of charity at the very same poor children who he has spent his entire life fucking over; then crows to the world about how much he cares about poor children.

You are a maggot.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

a fucking bourgeois bitch.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:33 am

Private developers once they turn the WESTERN END OF GG Park into a soccer stadium nightmare will then need to pave huge parts of the rest of the park for a parking lot. Then they will charge big time to park there. The traffic jams will cause more headaches for residents like me who live one block from the park and actually live in the community. Can SF residents afford more traffic jams and the price tag this massive mess is going to create? We will see but it feels like SF and its local government exists to funnel more of our tax dollars to wealthy developers who are creating a city for those who want to make a buck at our expense. SF is looking like ancient Sparta and not the city of St. Francis.

Many residents in the Sunset and Richmond are organized and are fighting this mess.

Posted by Guest lucretiamott on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 6:12 am

They say NIMBY means not in my backyard, but what about not in my CITY?
Nobody wants this boondoggle other than the paid shills for the developers who seek to pave over every square inch of what exists now as a rural retreat.
So count me in as a NOT IN MY CITY.
There are plenty of fields in SF, and we don't need to be building soccer fields to attract kids from Oakland and Richmond into our communities. You developers have ruined so much of San Francisco, leave what is left to us - the people who live here. If this proposal continues, we will use every option to block it: CEQA appeal, EIR, DR. We will keep this appeal going until the funding for this boondoggle dries up. The local government is on our side with this and as you can tell from this thread, so is much of SF: Erik, parksider, Magnum, Lucretia, Pat monk etc.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 8:17 am

God forbid we should have those poors and criminals in Golden Gate Park - we already have enough of a problem with our own blacks from Bayview. The last thing we need is more lil' thugs drinking 40s and staring at white women in the park - all under the guise of "soccer."

Posted by Park Denizen on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 11:54 am

Here is the URL to an independent assessment of a recent study on artificial turf which also highlights industry influenced scientists' recommendations to 'soften' the results when releasing them to the public. The most important finding is that the study unconscionably does not consider cumulative and combined effects of all chemicals being released together from artificial turf fields. Studying individual chemical impacts separately instead of analyzing combined impacts, is now well recognized as a deeply flawed model for risk assessment.

http://www.ehhi.org/turf/turf_pr_0810.shtml

Children would be endangered and sickened by this turf, and so we must not install it.

And there is nothing more insulting or reprehensible, than a capitalist prick who does everything in his power to become rich, at the expense of others and the environment, who then throws a pittance of charity at the very same poor children who he has spent his entire life fucking over; then crows to the world about how much he cares about poor children.

You are a maggot.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

Complete fucking lowlifes - I agree with Eric. They think volunteering their time mitigates the damage their full-time jobs, feeding the capitalist system, do on a daily basis? Who the fuck do they think they are? They're total bourgeois pigs and thinking that throwing a pittance of charity at the children of the oppressed classes somehow alleviates the destruction they have wrought throughout their lives, makes them reprehensible pigs.

Capitalist pricks. I question the whole basis of "volunteerism" to begin with - an alien concept in the socialist society I hope we are building here in SF. If you have enough time to "volunteer" then you should be made to join a forced labor brigade for 70-80 hours a week to alleviate the burden of the oppressed classes. My model is Mao's great proletarian cultural revolution - where the bourgeois elite learned quickly the life of the peasant worker is full of hardship - and they've never forgotten the lesson they learned.

Forward in Maoist thought brother Erik!!

Posted by Avakian Fan on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

after an extravagant lifestyle and a life of privilege ducking one's fair share of taxes has robbed those kids of almost any chance to get a fair shake, doesn't get you into heaven asshole.

And it should be self evident that potentially getting kids deathly ill by continuously putting them in contact with artificial turf, runs a bit counter to what it means to help kids.

But thank goodness those poor and brown skinned kids have the great white hope to set them straight on how to be a man.

"That turf doesn't smell bad boy! Suck it up and get out there and kick some ass!"

go team...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

Fuck those "volunteers." Their "extravagant lifestyle and a life of privilege" don't give them absolution. It's about time someone started telling the truth about the bourgeois pigs who think "contributing" makes them immune from the consequences of their actions.

And while both boys AND girls play soccer (oftentimes more girls than boys), Eric is right to point out the disgusting patriarchal values involved in this sport. We should not be supporting this crap.

If I may, Eric:

"That turf doesn't smell bad boy (or girl)! Suck it up and get out there and kick some ass!"

Eric Brooks for mayor!!

Posted by Avakian Fan on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

Make artificial turf safe to play on... just how? exactly?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

and you know that. If you're "red-baiting" anyone it's yourself.

Stop jousting with lions of your own imagination Eric.

Posted by Erik Brooks on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

Maybe in your neck you are.

You wouldn't have attacked him with your digs at Mao etc, unless you intended to ridicule those of us on the left as 'commies'.

This has got to be the worst backpedal I've ever seen.

Just admit, that as usual, you got your ass handed to you, and now you are trying ridiculously wild non sequitur bullshit to try to worm your way out of looking stupid.

(Which you have now made an impossibility...)

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

Oh no Anony - I am not attacking anything other than the bourgeois "volunteer" culture which thinks it can absolve itself of the damage it has done to the lower classes through "volunteering" to teach the working class bourgeois sports.

Eric lays out the truth - despite the pleas from those who work with minority and poor children (like those in the Excelsior - average property value: $390,000) we, as progressives, know what's better for them - as Eric has amply stated there is a strong case to be demonstrated that artificial turf is toxic - and those children who wish to play on it will not bear the price, as long as WE have a say in it. They must be taught that despite their wish to "play" that "playing" can come with costs - costs disproportionately borne by the working classes. WE know better - and it is better they play on blacktop year round than they be tainted by the poison of artificial turf.

We also stand with the poor, working class neighbors who surround the proposed "play" area in the outer Richmond (average property value: $700,000) and outer Sunset (average property value: $590,000) districts. These poor working class people must not bear the brunt of the assault of the 1%!! As neighbor Gabriel Lampert has written here, this area is part of the neighborhood property owner's "assets" and "of course, every sunny weekend, the rest of San Francisco comes out to visit." We cannot allow that to continue in any form.

They must learn young. The sting of truth becomes lesser as one ages.

Posted by Erik Brooks on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 12:37 am

News flash.

No one reading this blog is impressed with your moronic bullshit, which you apparently, mistakenly believe, is incredibly clever.

Just go away man.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:15 am

Erik posts as anon? Sure sounds like him

Posted by Guest on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:42 am

although I have a feeling he doesn't

not his way I think

kindof nice here at late night with only a couple of jackasses and the crickets

nice and quiet

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:56 am
No?

You seem to be impressed because you keep responding.

I say "jump." You say "how high?"

LOL - keep jumping little fishy. Keep jumping.

Posted by Erik Brooks on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:54 am

i'm happy to see how long you will keep doing it

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 2:16 am

Words alien to your existence.

Bring it limp dick. Stop bragging and make me pay for my crimes. Isn't your "trace" working? LOL.

You. Are. A. Failed. Man.

Posted by Erik Brooks on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 2:30 am

hahahahahahahahahahahaha

you are such a joke

keep goin'

i've got all night :))))

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 2:46 am

OK - it's been more than a week since you put out that "trace." Surely you can find me by now?!?!

Are you just a limp-dick motherfucker who talks a good game but in the end - can't get it up? I'm beginning to think so despite all your claims to the contrary.

Come on big man - I'm waiting for you.

Posted by Aragorn on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:18 am

Only a stupid horse's ass grunt like you would think that I would resort to ape-like direct physical confrontation to solve you as a problem.

Just hold tight.

You'll start noticing. It'll become pretty obvious.

And the beauty is. You won't be able to prove jack shit.

See you sweat soon company boy...

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:41 am

"I can't get it up."

Par for the course for a San Francisco "man." LOL. This "company WOman" will just keep waiting. The sooner you can swing it my way (if you can even get some motion on that limp dick) the better for me.

I can hook you up with a couple of cute guys if you're interested. A good, cleaning orgasm, achieved through butt sex, may purge you of your interest in issuing toothless threats on an obscure website.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:49 am
Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:58 am

Save Our Sod.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 9:29 am

In addition to the insanity of putting over 300 tons of toxic material in GG Park, the City of San Diego studied the issue thoroughly (ALL, I mean ALL factors were considered) and they show in the paper below that artificial turf costs more than keeping their parks grass.

So in addition to ruining GG Park, it will also cost the City of SF (i.e., taxpayers) more money (besides the millions they may pay in lawsuits).

Here’s a link to it:
http://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/pdf/parkdesign/11synthetictu...

Here’s what it says: “Over a 10-year period, the projected cost per participant hour of use is approximately $2.70 for natural turf and $3.10 for synthetic turf. Over a 20-year period, including one replacement of the synthetic turf carpet and infill, the cost per participant hour of use decreases to $1.75 for natural turf and $2.60 for synthetic turf.”

So there’s not one good reason 300 tons of this toxic material should be put in GG Park and an abundance of strong reasons it shouldn’t be.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

(I'm sure the wildlife of GG Park is overjoyed Rec & Park's Phil Ginsberg wants to put over 300 tons of toxic-containing ground-up tires in their home.)

There was a story in the Sep 4, 2011 SF Chronicle about the risks of tattooing. Here's a link to it:

“Tattoo health risks - research raises concerns”
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/05/BAJB1KSGO6.DTL

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

*** start of excerpt ***

Black tattoo inks, which are usually made of soot, contain products of combustion called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), according to a 2010 study by the German scientists. The PAHs in the inks include benzo(a)pyrene, which was identified in an EPA toxicity report as “among the most potent and well-documented skin carcinogens.” It is so potent that it is routinely used in animal tests to grow tumors. It also has been linked to skin cancer in shale oil workers.

*** end of excerpt***

It turns out the ground-up tires that R&P wants to put in GG Park, over 300 tons worth, has that exact same component, benzo(a)pyrene, according to a lab test done on samples of the same artificial turf with rubber crumb infill (“rubber crumb infill” being what the ground-up tires are called).

And 2 of the 8 samples had levels of this chemical that were at levels considered toxic enough that it would have to be removed from the soil (a third sample was close to that level and a fourth was over half that level so 50% of the samples had troublesome levels of this “most potent and well-documented skin carcinogens”).

A paper was written by those who carried out the testing of the samples in a credible journal. Here is a link to the paper on Pubmed (pubmed.org) – a site run by the NIH, a US federal govt agency, along with the title of the journal, the title of the paper, the authors and their affiliation (and an email of one of the authors):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18728695

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2008 Nov;18(6):600-7. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Hazardous chemicals in synthetic turf materials and their bioaccessibility in digestive fluids.

Zhang JJ, Han IK, Zhang L, Crain W.
School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 683
Hoes Lane West, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA. jjzhang@eohsi.rutgers.edu

If you go to the above link, you can read the abstract (a summary of the whole paper) but not the whole paper. But here's a link to the whole paper:
http://www.eastharlempreservation.org/docs/jes200855a.pdf

Here’s the part (in the Discussion section) where they discuss benzo(a)pyrene, the chemical mentioned in that Chronicle article on tattooing:

*** start of excerpt ***

In the absence of a better set of health-based standards as reference, we compared PAH [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons] concentrations in the rubber granule samples to the PAH concentration levels that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) considers sufficiently hazardous to require the removal from contaminated soil sites (DEC, 2006).

Chrysene was found to be above the DEC residential contaminated soil limit of 1.0 p.p.m. in five of the seven rubber granule samples (1, 2, 5, 6, and 8).

Dibenzo(a,h)anthracene was also found above the DEC limit of 0.33 p.p.m. in five of the seven samples (1, 2, 5, 6, and 7).

Benzo(b)fluoranthene and benzo(k)fluoranthene were each at or above the DEC limit of 1.0 p.p.m. in three samples (1, 2, and 5 for the former chemical; 1, 2, and 8 for the latter).

Benzo(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene were found to be above their corresponding DEC limits (1.0 p.p.m. for each) in samples 1 and 2.

Our findings with respect to the PAHs that appear above or at DEC safety levels are fairly consistent with findings of Plesser and Lund (2004) in Norway, who also conducted a small survey of PAHs in rubber synthetic turf granules. Among all the PAHs sampled in various studies, chrysene appears most consistently (Plesser and Lund, 2004; OEHHA, 2007).

All the PAHs that we found at or above the DEC safety limits are known, probable, or possible human carcinogens, as defined by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, 2006).

However, our bioaccessibility simulation study suggests that the absorption of these PAHs through ingestion is unlikely. This finding will undoubtedly provide a degree of comfort to health officials and the public. To health scientists, this finding would provoke little surprise because PAHs are non-polar organic compounds that have very limited solubility in water-based digestive fluids. The results of our digestive tract simulations will therefore confirm many investigators’ expectations, and will direct them to other exposure routes.

However, the fundamental limitation of our simulation method should be recognized. The human digestive tract is not as simple as a glass vessel containing synthetic biofluids. Its surfaces contain lipids that can enhance the absorption of lipophilic PAHs [“lipophilic means “absorbed in fatty acids or oils”]. Once ingested, PAHs in rubber granules would interact with foods, which may increase PAHs bioavailability.

Historically, significant exposures to PAHs via dermal contact were reported in workers handling used engine oils and chimney sweepers, because both lipophilic and hydrophilic compounds can be absorbed through the human skin. Considering children and athletes have frequent skin contact with the surface and rubber infill of synthetic turf field, exposure through dermal contact cannot be ignored until further investigation of this exposure route shows it insignificant.

PAHs are semivolatile compounds (boiling points from B2401C to B4001C). PAHs contained in solid rubber granules are expected to evaporate into the atmosphere
especially when ambient temperature is high. Out results suggested a relatively rapid decay in PAHs contents, suggesting a potential for inhalation exposure to occur when children and athletes are close to the turf surface and especially when the respiration rate is high during heavy exercise activities.

*** end of excerpt ***

I went to the Silver Terrace playground at Silver and Bayshore (where the artificial turf with ground-up tires has recently been installed) and saw a couple with their three young kids (kids were in range of 2 – 5 years old) playing on the turf field. The parents were lying down on it and the kids were falling on it and rolling on it.

The above paper indicates the City of San Francisco is exposing its youngest residents (and most vulnerable) and their parents to carcinogens at levels “sufficiently hazardous to require the removal from contaminated soil sites.”

And when one plays on this stuff, they track the little toxic tire particles into their cars and then into their homes from their shoes.

Tell ALL the Supervisors that you don't want Golden Gate Park ruined with over 300 tons of this cancer-causing small tire particles (maximum dimension of each particle is only 3 mm).

Posted by Guest on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

as well as those on automobiles - if the composition is as you say we need to be talking to the city supervisors about banning ALL tires - on cars as well as bicycles. As a pedestrian I do not want to be contaminated with tiny carcinogenic particles simply because people cannot get off their cars or bikes and walk a bit. I also wonder about the composition of the soles of shoes - are they leaving behind carcinogenic bits with every step? Perhaps we should consider banning those as well. The Dutch were fine with wooden clogs for a long time - why can't we consider the same?

When you add in the cost of maintaining rubber plantations, vulcanizing the rubber and transporting it - we really need to start reconsidering the emphasis we've placed on surface transport consisting of cars and bikes. We have to legs - why can we not walk to where we're going - preferable barefoot or in wooden clogs?

Someone must take a stand.

Posted by Walker on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

A very good reason to switch to rail transit, walking and bicycling, the latter which of course produces far less tire pollution.

Regardless, what's even worse than continuing to drive around in individual cars on car tires is to -then- make the tires far more toxic in impact by grinding them up and reprocessing them into turf so that they will outgas vastly more of their toxins; and then put that turf out in the sun to get hot and outgas even -more- while little kids play on it.

Now -that- is what I call clever...

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

All those who think they're doing children a favor by pushing for the replacement of grass with artificial turf are badly mistaken. Here's a bunch of links, with excerpts from each one:

"Soccer Injuries: Cleats - Natural Grass Combination May Be LESS Likely to Result in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury [than Cleats - artificial turf]"
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100120093523.htm

First three sentences of above link:
Athletes put LESS STRAIN on their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while making a cut on a NATURAL GRASS surface while wearing a cleat. This is the conclusion from a study by investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) that tested the strain placed on the ACL of four different shoe-surface interactions: Astroturf/turf shoe, modern playing turf/turf shoe, modern turf/cleat, and natural grass/cleat. The study appears in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.

"Artificial Turf Injuries Still More Likely in NFL"
http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AAOS/19020
First three sentences of above link:
National Football League players were significantly MORE LIKELY TO INJURE their legs and feet on a popular brand of ARTIFICIAL TURF than on grass, researchers found in one of three NFL injury studies reported here. Players were 27% more likely to sustain a lower extremity injury when the game was played on artificial FieldTurf instead of the real thing, according to Elliott Hershman, MD, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. More specifically, there was an 88% increased risk of an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament and a 32% increased risk of an eversion ankle sprain when playing on FieldTurf, Hershman reported at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting here.

"Risk of injury on artificial turf and natural grass in young female football players" (NOTE: these "football" players are soccer players - this is Sweden)
http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/41/suppl_1/i33.abstract
(from the British Journal of Sports Medicine)

From the "Results" section of abstract:
***
In matches, the incidence of serious injuries was significantly higher on artificial turf.
***

The above abstract said "acute injuries" were similar between grass and artificial turf but for "serious injuries" the incidence "was significantly higher on artificial turf."

So all you out there who think you're doing your son or daughter or one of the youngsters you're coaching a favor by pushing for more artificial turf fields, you're wrong.

What you're doing is advocating for them to have life-long knee and ankle problems that will seriously affect their quality of life. Unintentionally of course but ignorance aint always bliss, and you can't use it as an excuse any more because if you're reading this, you're no longer ignorant of these facts.

So if you still push artificial fields knowing this, you have no morals for you're advocating for young people to get terrible injuries (as well as advocating for the destruction of Golden Gate Park and the habitat of the animals that live there).

Posted by Guest on Dec. 03, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

According to Huff Post:

"The fields are currently unsafe and in poor condition due to heavy use, abundant gopher holes and year-round wet conditions," said project manager Dan Mauer. "Players of all ages regularly suffer foot, ankle and leg injuries, with several broken legs reported over the last year."

or

"A 2007 study by the Connecticut Department of Public Heath found that, while it's inevitable both participants and bystanders will ingest particles from soccer field turf, its unlikely that it poses a significant health risk. The report also notes that governmental bodies in Norway, Sweden, New Jersey and California all conducted similar evaluations and all independently came to the conclusion that this particular type of synthetic playing field, which can be up to 90 percent recycled tire material, doesn't pose a threat to public health."

Posted by Partier on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 1:31 am

http://www.nsc.org/safetyhealth/Pages/research_links_artificial_turf_to_...

Research links artificial turf to increased lower-extremity injuries

Playing on the artificial surface FieldTurf increases knee and ankle injuries among professional football players, indicates research presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Orthopaedic Association.

The study examined injuries that occurred to players in the National Football League between 2002 and 2008, and found teams that played on FieldTurf had a 27 percent higher lower-extremity injury rate than those that played on natural surfaces. According to a press release from the Rosemont, IL-based American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the greatest difference was seen among injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament and eversion ankle sprains -- where the ankle twists outward. Playing on FieldTurf was associated with an 88 percent greater risk of ACL injury and a 48 percent increase in eversion ankle sprains.

Lead author Elliott B. Hershman stressed in the press release that the study only focused on NFL players and called for further study to determine what impact, if any, playing on FieldTurf had among younger players or those playing different sports, such as soccer.

Posted by anonymous on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 2:14 am

The problem with using artificial turf from oil and other toxic materials (lead, etc) is that NEW DISCOVERIES of its TOXIC properties are CONTINUOUSLY being discovered. That 2007 Connecticut study is already obsolete due to the DISCOVERIES of the toxic nature of this artificial turf in the Nov, 2008 study posted above - which found levels of CANCER-CAUSING particles at levels that would require it to be removed from soil.

And we're talking about Golden Gate Park here - a place that is supposed to emulate a real natural park that's supposed to be able to sustain and nourish animals and birds. Putting over 300 tons of toxic materials that will SPREAD OUT into the surrounding vegetation and soil from wind and rain - toxic material that can NEVER be recovered (because each tire particle is smaller than bb balls) - is DESTROYING THEIR HABITAT. Go destroy your own home if you so badly need to destroy anyone's habitat.

As for believing anything Dan Mauer says wrt to this project (you do realize IT'S HIS JOB TO SELL THIS THING don't you???!!!) please don't be so naive. If you believe his comments about this project, I've got a big bridge to sell ya.

As for gophers, it's easy to keep gophers them out of the area - put a 4 foot deep wall around the perimeter - that's it, no need to spread over 300 tons of toxic material there. And I played on those fields for five years and never got as much as an ankle sprain and never heard of anyone else I played with getting anything either.

But it wouldn't surprise me to see Rec and Park purposely trying to make the fields get in as worse shape as possible because that would make it so much easier for Phil Ginsburg to satisfy the wishes of the late DON FISHER and his living three BILLIONAIRE sons (who are "City Fields Foundation") who would love to have as much control over this large chunk of GG Park as possible.

If you want an idea of what kind of criminal operation that Rec and Park apparently is, if the article by Matt Smith below is accurate, you might want to read this little gem:

http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-09-21/news/marcus-santiago-sf-park-patrol-o...

This is the same Rec and Park that is constantly saying they don't have any $ to take care of the park - yet their employees are apparently running their own fiefdoms, taking as much overtime as they want, hiring whoever they want, being paid by SF taxpayers while working state jobs in SACRAMENTO.

It's time Mark Buell and Phil Ginsburg answer some serious questions to find out if that article is true. It it is true, lots of people should go to jail from Rec and Park. And these clowns could concentrate on something other than working 24 / 7 to satisfy the wishes of the late rightwing Republican billionaire Don Fisher and his three billionaire sons.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 2:47 am

No one loves Phil Ginsburg or Mark Buell.

But, you are deluded if you think you can stop gophers from populating a natural grass field in San Francisco with anything less than poison bait, poison gas bombs and lethal traps, all of which are prohibited in this City.

Gophers can't fly. So, if you installed enough stainless steel mesh and poured enough concrete, you might have a chance of stopping them.
But, that still doesn't address the issue of high use or too many foot steps on too little natural grass.

Beach Chalet has been a sports field complex for 75 years. So, get used to it.

And, you're still a NIMBY.

Posted by Andrew Solow, MYSL Co-Founder and Past President on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

- There are perfectly effective nonlethal and nontoxic ways to deal with gophers.

- No one is arguing that the area is not a sports field area, so stop your endless chihuahua-style yapping about that.

- And how is dealing with treading impacts on real grass (while keeping the grass and soil perpetually alive) worse than putting down a toxic layer of plastic that, 24/7, outright kills almost everything beneath it, and drives out almost everything above it?

Sounds like you are the one who is whining 'Not In My Synthetic Turf Yard' NIMSTY.

Your pathological neat-freak need to completely kill off, sanitize, and plasticize those sports fields is in fact, disturbing, and smacks of personal control issues that you should discuss with a therapist.

Final question. Is your undoubtedly anal, perfectly manicured down-to-micron-level lawn at home artificial turf?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

I think this is called Jumping the shark - when Eric Brooks tells you that you need to see a therapist...

Posted by Guest on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

Eric totally nailed it by making excellent points. You, OTOH, made a pathetic attempt to be, uh, what, cute? funny? an asshole?

I thought you came off as desperate - you couldn't refute the points Eric made so you basically take a cheap shot at him as you're running away as fast as you can from responding to his points.

Your comment is a good example of how lame the arguments are for this idiotic scheme by the late rightwing Republican billionaire and big George W Bush funder, Donald Fisher, to put 300 tons of oil-based plastic turf in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco's crown jewel.

Any supervisor who supports this should be targeted for defeat for they are advocating for the toxification of OUR Golden Gate Park.

Thanks Eric for the excellent points you're making. That link you posted earlier titled, "Recent Artificial Turf Study Shows Carcinogens and Toxins in Synthetic Turf Fields" shows what a disaster this would be for Golden Gate Park.

For those who didn't see it, here's the link:
http://www.ehhi.org/turf/turf_pr_0810.shtml

Posted by Guest on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

You idiots should have read the actual study instead of the propaganda the hysterics published.

The following is excerpted from the Connecticut DOE Risk Assessment of Artificial Turf Fields EXECUTIVE SUMMARY at:
http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2690&Q=463624

Results indicate that in spite of worst case assumptions, cancer risks were only slightly above de minimis levels for all scenarios evaluated. This includes children playing indoors, the scenario with the highest exposure. These risks are well within typical risk levels in the community from ambient pollution sources and are below target risks associated with many air toxics regulatory programs. Further, the main cancer risk driver, benzene, was only above background in personal monitoring samples....

Based upon these findings, outdoor and indoor artificial turf fields are not associated with elevated health risks from the inhalation of volatile or particle-bound chemicals....

Even the indoor test field was found to be safe. The proposed Beach Chalet Complex is outdoors and will of course be well ventilated.

Andrew Solow
Co-Founder & Past President
Mission Youth Soccer League, Inc. (MYSL)
Cell 415-722-3047

Posted by Andrew Solow, MYSL Co-Founder and Past President on Dec. 05, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

The link I posted clearly shows pressure to water down and skew that original study to softball it to the public. And frankly, I did read it, and it becomes clear upon reading it that it is indeed soft-pedaling the findings of risk. And again, the failure to address cumulative impacts of multiple chemicals and exposures is a deep flaw in the study.

You want to risk kids lives? You go right ahead.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 05, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

You idiots should have read the actual study instead of the propoganda the hysterics posted. See the Connecticut DOE Risk Assessment of Artificial Turf Fields EXECUTIVE SUMMARY at:
http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2690&Q=463624

EXCERPTS:

Results indicate that in spite of worst case assumptions, cancer risks were only slightly above de minimis levels for all scenarios evaluated. This includes children playing indoors, the scenario with the highest exposure. These risks are well within typical risk levels in the community from ambient pollution sources and are below target risks associated with many air toxics regulatory programs. Further, the main cancer risk driver, benzene, was only above background in personal monitoring samples....

Based upon these findings, outdoor and indoor artificial turf fields are not associated with elevated health risks from the inhalation of volatile or particle-bound chemicals....

Andrew Solow
Cell 415-722-3047

Posted by Andrew Solow, MYSL Co-Founder and Past President on Dec. 05, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

I do not understand all the focus on the health effects of artificial turf. There is a much greater health risk I have never seen mentioned once. I wonder if it is because all of you are young.

15 or 20 years ago the San Francisco Sewer Plant was right next to that field. That is why that end of the park was ignored. It was full of sewage. Who knows what kinds of overflows they had and how much of it sank into the ground under the soccer fields?

Isn't sewage more harmful to children that artificial turf?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 11:27 am

"We therefore suggest a compromise. The budget for the proposed Beach Chalet project is a whopping $10 million to $12 million."

This project needs to be exposed as the fiasco it is by the news or someone important.

I have lived by Ocean Beach for 20 years. Over the course of the last few years the height of the beach has risen by what feels like 10 feet. The original stairs from the parking lot down to the beach that were built 10 or 15 years ago are now half buried in sand. There are maybe 6 steps from the parking lot at Ocean Beach down to the beach.

What does that have to do with this project you ask? Last year during the big windstorm the winds were so strong the sand was blowing up from the now higher beach onto the parking lot, onto Great Highway, and into Golden Gate park exactly where the soccer fields are.

If the beach height continues to change at the rate it has been changing, the soccer fields are going to be under the sand in about 10 years.

What forward thinking city officials actually believe it is a good idea to spend 12 million dollars rennovating a soccer field that is going to be buried in sand in 10 more years?

Why doesn't a news organization go out to Ocean Beach and document what has been said? A TV camera crew can point their TV cameras from the parking lot down the beach steps to the sand and show there are only 6 or 8 steps left. Then they can get archival footage of the steps when they were first built to give young people an idea of just how high the sand has risen.

Wouldn't it be smarter to spend that 12 million on a project somewhere closer in to the city center so people will get their full money's worth out of it? Instead of literally burying that 12 million under the beach sand from Ocean Beach?

I thought the economy was bad and the city was on a budget? How can they afford to throw away 12 million dollars?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 11:29 am

"We therefore suggest a compromise. The budget for the proposed Beach Chalet project is a whopping $10 million to $12 million."

This project needs to be exposed as the fiasco it is by the news or someone important.

I have lived by Ocean Beach for 20 years. Over the course of the last few years the height of the beach has risen by what feels like 10 feet. The original stairs from the parking lot down to the beach that were built 10 or 15 years ago are now half buried in sand. There are maybe 6 steps from the parking lot at Ocean Beach down to the beach.

What does that have to do with this project you ask? Last year during the big windstorm the winds were so strong the sand was blowing up from the now higher beach onto the parking lot, onto Great Highway, and into Golden Gate park exactly where the soccer fields are.

If the beach height continues to change at the rate it has been changing, the soccer fields are going to be under the sand in about 10 years.

What forward thinking city officials actually believe it is a good idea to spend 12 million dollars rennovating a soccer field that is going to be buried in sand in 10 more years?

Why doesn't a news organization go out to Ocean Beach and document what has been said? A TV camera crew can point their TV cameras from the parking lot down the beach steps to the sand and show there are only 6 or 8 steps left. Then they can get archival footage of the steps when they were first built to give young people an idea of just how high the sand has risen.

Wouldn't it be smarter to spend that 12 million on a project somewhere closer in to the city center so people will get their full money's worth out of it? Instead of literally burying that 12 million under the beach sand from Ocean Beach?

I thought the economy was bad and the city was on a budget? How can they afford to throw away 12 million dollars?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 11:31 am

I don't play the sport but know lots of people who do, but not in San Francisco. Field space is tough, you have kids and adults needed field space, sports have come and gone, but the need remains.

Posted by garrett on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

Didn't the Guardian attend the hearing before the Planning Commission on December 1? Why no follow-up report on the hearing?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 07, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

According to this paper on the subject, a Canadian school that replaced a 9000 sq ft soccer field with artificial turf would need to plant 1,891 trees and nurture them for ten years to offset the carbon impact.

http://www.athenasmi.ca/projects/docs/UCC_project_ATHENA_technical_paper...

What RPD plans for San Francisco is the removal of thousands of trees:

http://sutroforest.com/2011/10/11/killing-healthy-trees-in-sfs-natural-a...

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2011 @ 3:46 am

Reality Check Eric.

Artificial turf is not a bad thing. Astro turf is, but not the artificial turf that would be used here. Yes, there is alot of rubber, but let me stress, it is 100% recycled materials, and there are studies proving that the rubber used in the fields poses no threat to health.
So, bogus evidence about CO2 is completely illegitimate.

I would also like to add that I DO NOT support these fields, but your evidence is not substantial. I do not support these fields because this idea.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4665933

By the way, it is a bit naive to be arguing this right now, no one has any evidence of anything. I know many things about this because I am righting a paper on it for school. 8th grade, to be exact. So go find some real, concrete evidence before you go around ranting about how bad artificial turf is.

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