Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You can fight city hall

At least upset badminton players in San Francisco can. City officials learned that much recently. Until January, badminton players could play the game at the city's recreation centers for free. Then the city, seeking to make up an $11.4 million deficit in the Parks Deparmtent, decided to charge $4 for 45 minutes of court time.

Ah, but they didn't impose the same fee for basketball and volleyball, even though they are played on the same court. So some steam started coming out of the ears of the badminton players.

The number of city badminton courts reserved from January to the end of February fell by 50 percent from the October-December period. Asians make up 90 percent of the players, and they saw that as discriminatory. An 87-year-old retiree named Ed Leong collected 200 signatures to oppose the charge, presented the petition to the mayor, staged a rally in front of City Hall, and called on local politicians to complain.

It's apparently worked. The city has compromised and in April will drop the fee to $1for 45 minutes.

Amarillo is fortunate to have a top Parks and Recreation Department under supervisor Larry Offerdahl. Opportunities are plentiful and cheap. Facilities are more and better than ever before, though never quite perfect.

One thing I appreciate is the tennis court across from Paramount Park where I live is lighted for free. All you got to do to play at night is just go over there and turn on the switch. Also works if you want to play catch or throw a frisbee. Or, I suppose, play badminton.

1 comment:

Boston Cullen said...

So are the basketball and volleyball players having to pay the $1 fee or is it only for badmiton?

Thankfully if I ever move to SF I won't have to worry about being descriminated for playing badminton... I avoid physical activity at all cost.