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Just because Paul won't blog about how he can channel my anger and annoyance to do good, doesn't mean I won't.

Hey Kitt,

I saw your blog post about the "private event" at baylands. It also
pissed me off so I wrote to sunnyvale parks about the experience and
this is what they said. Thought you might be interested, but feel free
to ignore this :). My original email is at the bottom.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nancy Steward
Date: Tue, May 13, 2008 at 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: Sunnyvale Baylands
To: Paul Youn

Hello Paul,

I am glad to know that you have had the opportunity to enjoy Baylands
Park and I am sorry that your most recent experience there was
frustrating. You are correct in suggesting that there was a
misunderstanding. While we do issue exclusive use permits for the
picnic areas, we do not allow groups to rent out the entire park at
any time, nor to we allow private groups to charge the public an
admission fee to enter the park. Unfortunately, the public safety
officer you spoke with was misinformed.

I appreciate you taking the time to let me know about your experience.
I can assure you that I will be following up with our public safety
department and the rental group as appropriate.

In the meantime, thank you again for contacting us about your
experience. I hope that you will continue to enjoy Baylands Park in
the future.

Best wishes,
Nancy Steward

Nancy Bolgard Steward
Superintendent of Recreation
City of Sunnyvale
Office: (408) 730-7342
Fax: (408) 730-7754

Creating community through people, parks and programs.

>>> On 5/12/2008 at 9:14 PM, "Paul Youn" wrote:

Hello Nancy,

I received your voice mail. First of all, thanks for taking the time
to get in touch with me. The reason I'm contacting you is that I have
enjoyed the Sunnyvale Baylands park for many years, and was a little
saddened to have a frustrating experience there. It isn't the end of
the world, and it could very well be a misunderstanding. Regardless,
I'd appreciate any help to avoid such a situation in the future, which
could be as simple as telling me how I can determine if someone has
rented out the entire park on a particular day.

The experience started when I arrived at the park around 2 pm. I
parked near by and walked in next to the vehicle entrance with my
friend. At this point, I was stopped by a man who insisted that we
pay an entry fee. I asked why, and he explained that his group (I
believe West Coast Cars) had rented out the entire park. I resisted at
first because to my knowledge, the park is a public resource. Although
I should support the park by paying for parking (and often do) I
didn't think it was a requirement. However, a police officer who was
also there confirmed that they had rented the entire park for the day.
So, I retrieved my car, entered, and paid the $5. I'd be very
interested if this money made it to support the park, or if it went to
the group.

This in itself wasn't so bad, though I was a bit put off by the fact
that it looked like a private group was turning the public park into a
business on mothers day. On my way in, not only did I see people
littering, but my frustration mounted when I realized that cars had
parked along the fire lanes, reducing the traffic to one lane in the
parking lot. The cars were on display. In addition, cars would slowly
take the only lane of traffic, stopping frequently to talk to friends
while cars were stuck behind them. This repeated when we tried to exit
the park, which took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.

However, this all seemed legitimate because there were several police
officers at the park who weren't so much as asking them to "move it
along". At the same time, I know it isn't really the police's job to
make sure I'm not stuck in traffic...

Anyway, like I said, my frustration may just stem from my own
ignorance of the situation. Which is why I'd love to hear more about
park policies!

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Paul Youn