“I Heard That”: Sharp Park – Frogs, Snakes & Golfers!

by Rochelle Metcalfe on December 8, 2011

Monday morning, the Board of Supervisors Chambers was packed with environmentalist, conservationist and GOLFERS there for the PUBLIC HEARING called by Supervisor JOHN AVALOS , Chair, City Operations and Neighborhood Services (Supervisors Eric Mar and Sean Elsbernd). The agenda focused on Avalos sponsored ORDINANCE that would direct a Long Term Management Agreement with the National Park Service for Pacifica’s public SHARP PARK Golf Course . The problem, NPS does NOT want to take over the golf course!

There’s been a battle going on for some time between environmental groups who want the course CONVERTED into a HABITAT for the protection of the San Francisco garter SNAKE, and the California red-legged FROG!!! DIEHARD GOLFERS who play the course, and others, are FIGHTING to petition the City of Pacifica to declare the course a HISTORIC LANDMARK – a designation aimed in part at environmental activist who want the course reduced from 18 to nine holes as part of a wetland restoration process.

SAVE SHARP PARK! RICHARD HARRIS (a businessman and AVID golfer), Chair, San Francisco PUBLIC GOLF ALLIANCE, sent out emergency e-mails to attend the meeting. He has been behind the fight to get golfers involved in saving Sharp, and urge their family and friends to come to the aid of AFFORDABLE PUBLIC GOLF, and the legacy of renown architect Alister MacKenzie who designed the course in 1931.

Sharp, scenic site on the coast, considered the “POOR MAN’S PEBBLE BEACH” less expensive than Lincoln, Harding and Presidio golf courses. A melting pot of golfers play on the course daily. AND there are activities for Junior golfers.

AVALOS and Environmental groups want to protect the species, KICK GOLFERS off the links, turn the park into an habitat and scenic place for tourist and others to, of all things, hike (???) . More than likely Avalos doesn’t play golf; otherwise he would realize the pleasure to play the game – 18 holes, about 4 hours of camaraderie with others. Great for weekend golfers and retirees.

It was OBVIOUS Avalos STACKED the speaker cards with supporters in favor of his ordinance, speaking continually, seemingly an hour. Supervisor ELSBERND pointed this out when he suggested the opposition should be able to speak, intermittently between supporters; Avalos showed his hand. Saw the anger in his voice when Elsbernd called him on this.

I played my FIRST golf game at Sharp Park back in the early 1960’s. At least once a year, for the past 20 years, I make the trip the second Monday in June to cover The Annual RILEY’S SENIOR SWINGERS Shotgun Golf Tournament, an INTEGRATED field of over 150-golfers. MR. RILEY JAMEISON was in the mix Monday and testified, as did fellow golfer CLARENCE BRYANT who both noted BLACK GOLFERS play the course as well. The two had been working with RICHARD HARRIS who brought the controversy to my attention at Jameison’ Tournament in 2010. It’s been a long fight and the FATE of Sharp Park will probably be decided by the full Board!

CONGRATULATIONS … SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS clinched their FIRST NFC WEST Title in NINE YEARS! … TIGER WOODS won the Chevron World Challenge for his FIRST victory in more than 2 years!!! WATCH OUT!


E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net

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