It was terribly distressing to learn of an appalling incident at Garfield Park in South Pasadena. At the City Council meeting on Aug. 21, a tearful woman related the story of her young granddaughter playing in the park when suddenly a huge picnic table fell from a tree on her. Yes, absurd as it sounds, some irresponsible youths lifted this table into a tree. The young girl is now in a body cast. The council was appropriately disgusted.
The woman also distributed pictures of graffiti-laden walls. They were deplorable. She and other residents noted that at night the park is a haven for vandals and vagrants. The council took immediate action to have lights installed in the park. Acting Police Chief Bill Reese was also appropriately disgusted. He pledged to increase police patrols of the park.
This is commendable, but as a resident who lives within walking distance of the park and often jogs right through it, I would like to see something more done. As the working mother of an 11-year-old son, I'd like to think the children of our community could be safe in the park.
There is absolutely no reason anyone should be in the park after dark. Perhaps it is time to consider stronger enforcement of loitering and curfew laws, setting the park's sprinkler system to operate only after dark, removing overgrown shrubbery, or fencing the park.
Lacy Park in San Marino was first fenced in 1970. Since then its problems with vandals and vagrants have been dramatically reduced. Closed gates at night would serve notice that no one is to be there after dark.