Javajoe25 is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

Botanical Garden — heck, Balboa Park itself— in desperate need

I think this is what is called "creeping privatization." Take the Prado restaurant; a very nice eatery for the hoity-toity, but most San Diegans who come to the park can't afford it. At the time of its opening, it was explained as a good "income generator" for the park. No one mentioned the loss of a driving lane and parking spaces for the valet service. Then we saw the Museum of Art convert part of the sculpture garden into Panama 66. Another nice place to grab a bite and quaff a pint. A little pricey, but at least there was no major loss of public space. Now, we're going to have ballroom dancing, a gift shop, and a bar inside the Botanical Building? Just to get some lathes replaced? Why does every repair job necessitate a giveaway to private interests? How about all that money that was blown on a whole lot o'nothing for that centennial? Is any of that left? The Botanical Building is one of the most impressive displays of plants, flowers, and trees found anywhere in the county--and it changes with the seasons! Plus, it is one of the few attractions in the park that is still free. Even the so-called San Diego Botanical Garden (formerly Quail Botanical Gardens) up in Encinitas doesn't compare. It would be an irreplaceable loss and a waste of resources to convert this amazing building into anything other than what it currently is; the best damn thing in the whole damn park! Some people just don't know when to count their blessings and leave well enough alone.
— May 1, 2016 6:56 p.m.

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