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Park Priorities

August 10, 1986

I was interested in your article on Sunday, July 27, which brought to light the space conflict in Balboa Park between cars and cloggers.

It's also a conflict between active and passive activities in the lives of my fellow San Diegans. The benefits of exercise in our daily lives is stressed by almost everyone, and the fact is that we have allowed our entertainment to be confined to the role of audience to a few players.

My first reaction to listening to both sides of the argument as to whether the Conference Building and other halls in Balboa Park should be turned into museums or used for active citizens, seemed obvious. Of course the City Council of San Diego and the Parks and Recreation Commission would opt to keep a positive use going. In my mind there was no way that inert metal could replace the action of music, dance and such healthy fun for thousands of citizens. Square dancing is a social activity that is one of the great equalizers in our culture. Participants of all ages and from every ethnic and social group are together and accepted in the free spirit of the activity. At Balboa Park, it brings together dancers from all parts of the city and creates a community feeling of togetherness.

I urge the City Council and the Parks Commission to examine carefully their vote on the Conference Building. It's a matter of priorities and depends on the value we place on the people of our city.

I echo the cry of other dancers in the city that this building will become "A rich man's garage!" rather than a recreational asset.

MARTHA M. WITZ

Encinitas

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