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Carolyn Chase finally got the meeting she was hoping for. Unfortunately, it wasn't the outcome she wanted.

Today, Chase met with Mayor Bob Filner to discuss the City's decision to deny Earth Day permits to hold the event at Balboa Park.

According to a press release issued at 5pm on Monday, Chase was unable to change Filner's mind.

“Earth Day is a very important event in the City of San Diego and the City is making every effort to accommodate the event and at the same time provide a safe environment for attendees," read a statement from Filner.

"It is my belief that the best choice is to follow the advice given to relocate the event in order to protect the city from any possible liability due to construction that might be going on at the time of the event. I have however, also agreed to review the situation once more after meeting with the event organizers in order to give it every consideration possible.”

And while Filner promises to revisit the issue, high ranking staff members appear to have already made up their minds.

In a December 21, 2012 memo from Jay Goldstone to Allen Jones, Goldstone says that construction impacts from the Plaza de Panama project will burden businesses in Balboa Park. A large 60,000-people event will only make matters worse.

"Museum operators and other businesses in Balboa Park are already concerned about the financial impact the construction will have on their business. One way the City is attempting to minimize this impact is to try to limit construction to week days only. This would allow parking for weekends for visitors. To tie up limited parking with a large special event would be ill-advised."

According to Filner's office, the Mayor will make his final decision in coming weeks.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/documents/2013/jan/07/jay-goldstone-memo-earth-day/

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Comments

HonestGovernment Jan. 9, 2013 @ 8:52 a.m.

The EarthFair struggle has a history. It has more to do with Sanders, who gave permit-granting power to his admin staff, rather than with Park and Rec staff. The denial of permit is also primarily due to pressure by the museums' board and staff. The do not like having their paying customers diverted in any way. It's not just about parking problems. It's about what people do, and pay to do, when they come to the park.

From 2011, for the 2012 permit:

Date: Monday, October 10, 2011, 5:34 PM From: Chris Klein Subject: URGENT ACTION REQUIRED: EarthFair at Risk!

Dear XXX,

When we attempted to obtain a date for EarthFair 2012 from Balboa Park staff, we were told that the park WOULD NOT ISSUE A PERMIT FOR EARTHFAIR as it had the previous 22 years. Ultimately, after doing much research, we wrote a letter about our findings (read the letter: http://earthdayweb.org/Download/BP_EFLetter.pdf). We were subsequently informed that they WOULD issue the permit.

However, it was clear from this action that there are powerful forces at work in the Balboa Park community that want to see that EarthFair is forced out.

Now, it has just come to our attention that tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10 at 2pm, Item 332 will come before the San Diego City Council that, if passed, would allow city staff to deny the permit for EarthFair in Balboa Park.

If you care about EarthFair, and want to be sure that it continues to be available in Balboa Park, immediate action is required:

1) Show up at City Council tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct 11 at 2:00pm: 202 C St, San Diego, CA 92101 Fill out a speakers slip (you don't have to speak) and say that you oppose Item 332; and that you support San Diego EarthWorks' comments (see below) and want to ensure that EarthFair remain in Balboa Park.

2) Fill out a San Diego City Council Meeting Agenda Comment Form on the web: http://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/officialdocs/docketcomment.shtml

3) If you live in the city, call your councilperson's office, request that they oppose Item 332, and demand that they support EarthFair in Balboa Park. Visit http://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/ for Council phone and email info.

We apologize for this last-minute action, but the stakes are high. San Diego EarthWorks - and the tens of thousands of citizens of San Diego - thank you for your support.

Carolyn Chase CEO San Diego EarthWorks

Chris Klein CFO / EarthFair Production Manager San Diego EarthWorks

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Letter to the Editor Jan. 15, 2013 @ 11:57 a.m.

This is San Diego’s biggest free event for the environment. I am an artist. This is going to hurt my business as well as other people’s business. I think it’s detrimental to the area. Kimberly Allison Escondido

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