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Repairs To Balboa Park Lily Pond Will Cost Thousands

— Public donations are coming in to help repair Balboa Park’s damaged lily pond. San Diego Parks And Recreation Director Stacey LoMedico estimates repairs could cost close to $10,000. Saturday night a water gun fight, promoted on social media, apparently got out of control. Several flower boxes and a drainage pipe were broken. Several lilies were also destroyed, though no fish or turtles were killed.

Aired 8/13/12 on KPBS News.

Balboa Park is recovering after a nasty water gun fight there this weekend left its beloved lily pond trashed.

The lily pond in Balboa Park on Monday August 13, 2012.
Enlarge this image

Above: The lily pond in Balboa Park on Monday August 13, 2012.

LoMedico said there is security in the park, but they have a lot of ground to cover.

"The private security company is doing patrols over the 1,100 to 1,200 acres of the park," she said. "So it’s quite possible at them time the company was on the east side of the park and didn’t see anything."

San Diego police said they did not receive any calls for service in the park Saturday night and were extremely busy in the Gaslamp Quarter downtown. They were aware of the event, but weren’t very concerned because a similar event last year drew a smaller crowd and didn’t cause any problems. Nearly 8,000 people received the Facebook invite to this year’s event.

A cached image of the Facebook invitation lists nine people as organizers of the event. The first man listed appears to be politically active in the LGBT community. He has donated money to Councilman Carl DeMaio's mayoral campaign and counts DeMaio and Councilman Todd Gloria as Facebook friends, though both council offices point out the man has more than 1,300 friends on Facebook. Gloria issued a statement that read in part, "The people who damaged public property must be held accountable."

Congressman Bob Filner, the other mayoral candidate, emailed a statement to reporters that called on DeMaio to condemn the actions of Johnathan Hale, DeMaio's partner and the publisher of San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, for his "criminal actions.''

An article that ran in Hale's publication on Thursday, which promoted the upcoming CityFest in Hillcrest, mentioned the water fight, which was originally supposed to take place at the fountain near Park Boulevard. Then fountain was closed for maintenance.

"I think voters should be concerned about someone like this playing a significant role in the next mayoral administration,'' Filner said.

At a news conference, DeMaio called Filner's comments "desperate personal attacks against my family.'' That kind of "mean-spirited divisiveness'' might be typical in Congress, but is rejected in San Diego, he said.

DeMaio said how a mayor responds to such incidents is a test of leadership

"We need a mayor who allows for a full investigation of these incidents and waits for all facts to be determined before casting judgment on who should be held accountable,'' DeMaio said. "By condemning an innocent man today without any facts, Bob Filner has shown he is unfit to lead this city.''

Mayor Jerry Sanders also issued a statement condemning the damage done to the pond.

“Like every San Diegan, I am appalled by the complete disregard for our iconic park by these delinquents. The damage they did to the century-old lily pond and the mess they left behind is unacceptable. We will hold those who did this accountable for their actions – which may be criminal – and for every penny it costs to return this area to its original beauty.”

San Diego Police Detective Gary Hassen said the investigation is ongoing and people are being interviewed. He said anyone charged could face felony vandalism charges.

The city is working with the non-profit organization Friends of Balboa Park to accept donations for repairs.

LoMedico said Sunday was a tough day for the people who work at the lily pond. But she said they have also been overwhelmed by the number of people who want to help fix the damage.

Evening Edition

City News Service contributed to this report.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 13, 2012 at 5:10 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Why does is matter if one of the organizers is "politically active in the LGBT" community?

They should all be punished for this damage to our park regardless of their political affiliations.

At leat Mr. Gloria put out a statement, what's wrong with Mr. DeMaio? He simply doesn't care?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 13, 2012 at 6:52 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Thank you, Todd Gloria. Should we bill you now?

Next time try something at an Over-the-Line Tournament.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 13, 2012 at 6:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

CDM was NOT promoting this according to everything I've read so far.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 13, 2012 at 7:01 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

"*[one of the events organizers] has donated money to Councilman Carl DeMaio's mayoral campaign*"

Then why doesn't Mr. DeMaio **reject** the donation and **give the money to help fix our lotus pond**?

Come on, Carl, this is the crown jewel of the city *you* supposedly want to lead, and now one of your Facebook friends and political money backers has organized an event that damaged part of it.

Show you have at least a little integrity and step-up.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 13, 2012 at 7:07 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Mission, what are your other sources?

I am commenting based on what is written here, and it says nothing here about Gloria sponsoring the event, but if he did then he needs to be held accountable.

Give me another source and as long as it's not the journalistic toilet UT I will happily take a look.

By the way, I am **not** suggesting Mr. DeMaio had a direct role in the vandalism, but since he a received campaign donation fom one of the organizers I suggest rejecting using that mony for his campaign and donating it to he restoration effort as the **right thing to do.**

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 13, 2012 at 10:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

So now one of the local news stations is claiming Mr. Filner is accusing Mr. DeMaio's partner of being involved in this.

Looks like this is going to get interesting my friends.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 14, 2012 at 10:35 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

KGTV 10.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | August 14, 2012 at 10:53 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

"San Diego police said they did not receive any calls for service in the park Saturday night and were extremely busy in the Gaslamp Quarter downtown."

Dear Al Qaeda Executives,

You can do whatever you want in San Diego on Saturday nights because the police are too busy corralling drunken drivers in that oversized beer garden we call the Gaslamp District.

Cordially,
SD

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Avatar for user 'michaeljtoo'

michaeljtoo | August 14, 2012 at 12:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

If anyone from Mr. Filner's campaign is paying attention to this, please let the candidate know that although I will vote for a blind, three-legged yellow dog before I vote for a "Republican" such as Mr. DeMaio, I'm getting very tired of Filner's sloppy, knee-jerk, poke-em-in-the-eye school of politics. Show some frickin' class.

Michael Johnson

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | August 15, 2012 at 11:32 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Ahh, michaeljtoo. Thank you for your comment. It demonstrates exactly why our political system is often ground to a halt: Dolts who say "I'M NEVER VOTING FOR A X!" without using their brain to think It is just like all the people who voted for Obama due to his ethnicity, rather than his qualifications (and if you deny this happened, you are living in your own world).

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 15, 2012 at 5:54 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Bob Filner is running one of the worst campaigns I've ever seen and these childish mud slinging attacks are only making it worse.

Many moderates and even some Democrats are getting sick and tired of it.

I would have never thought in a million years that San Diego would elect a gay mayor, but it looks like we'll soon be saying Mayor DeMaio.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 15, 2012 at 7:08 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Ca defender, DeMaio is losing according to polls.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 15, 2012 at 7:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

If you want to read tea leaves though, it looks like the chances of having a President Willard Romney are about as likely as a recount from June 5th revealing Dumanis actually won the mayoral primary.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 16, 2012 at 12:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Duck,

DeMaio and Filner are even as of today.

After Filner's Lilly Pond debacle, he has dropped 6 points in 5 days (and falling). That is a substantial drop by any standard and it shifts the momentum to DeMaio. If you know anything about politics, momentum is everything.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 16, 2012 at 1:28 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Furthermore Duck,

Leave it to you to turn this into a debate about Romney. Are you sure you want to do that?

Current polls show:

Romney/Ryan defeating Obama/Biden overall 47% to 46% nationally.

Romney also has an 11 point advantage over Obama with independents. Wow!

Romney is also defeating Obama in key swing states Virginia, Ohio, and Florida!

http://www.purplestrategies.com/wp-content/uploads/PurplePoll_Aug15_Final.pdf

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | August 16, 2012 at 3:33 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Actually, CaliforniaDefender, the PurpleStrategies polls do not tell the full story.

"There was a new set of polls in swing states from the firm Purple Strategies, and there was a weekly national tracking poll from YouGov.

This set of polling was variable. Mitt Romney made clear gains in some of the polls (in Ohio and Virginia, among the states that Purple Strategies tracked), while his numbers receded in others (he lost two points relative to President Obama in the YouGov weekly tracker).

But if you simply average all the data that post-dates the unveiling of Mr. Ryan as Mr. Romney’s running mate, we’re getting largely the same story that we did on Tuesday. Mr. Romney has gained a net of one point, on average, in the eleven polls conducted wholly or partially after his announcement of Mr. Ryan, compared to the prior renditions of the same surveys in the same states. "

Obama currently has a 70.1% chance of winning. Romney 29.9%.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/aug-15-to-bounce-or-not-to-bounce/#more-33266

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 16, 2012 at 3:57 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

CA Defender wrote:
"*After Filner's Lilly Pond debacle ...*"

WOW, CA Defender, you are the master of Spin.

DeMaio received a campaign donation from one of the organizers of the lotus/lily pond incident, DeMaio's partner promoted it on his online website, but yet it's **Filner's Lily pond debacle!?**

Come on, CADef., you *can't* be serious.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 16, 2012 at 5:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Duck,

I am serious. Filner should be ashamed of himself for such abusive personal attacks on DeMaio and his partner. Those sorts of gutter politics are for DC, not San Diego.

Has it been proven that one of the organizers donated to DeMaio? Being that it was a gay oriented event and DeMaio has a lot of support from the gay community, it wouldn't be surprising if one of them previously donated to him.

If true, I agree, DeMaio should donate that money to the Lilly Pond reconstruction effort. But Filner should hang his head in shame.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | August 16, 2012 at 5:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Wasn't aware it was a "gay oriented event."

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 16, 2012 at 5:31 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Ilk,

The "chance of winning" numbers you are citing are from Nate Silver who blogs for Daily Kos and is big in the LGBT community. It is eye-rolling surprising that his numbers favor Obama. So very shocking. One more big eye-roll.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | August 16, 2012 at 5:36 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like you have a personal problem with the man, not an actual problem with his numbers. Does affiliation with the LGBT community discredit someone?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 16, 2012 at 5:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Nope not at all. No problem with the man or the LGBT community.

However, you cannot ignore the fact that the LGBT community overwhelmingly supports Democrats. Add in Daily Kos and your political bias is crystal clear.

Except with Carl DeMaio, who is a Republican and yet he's still strongly supported by the LGBT community. DeMaio isn't one-dimensional like Filner. DeMaio is able to bring together people who never thought they'd be supporting the same candidate.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | August 16, 2012 at 7:09 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

If you have no problem with him, why do you eye-roll when pointing out his political affiliations? Sure seems to me like you're attempting to discredit his work.

I absolutely can ignore the fact that the LGBT community overwhelming supports Democrats when talking about Nate Silver and the proven precision of the election forecast model he uses with 538. Statistics, when computed soundly, are unbiased. And Mr. Silver, unlike you, knows what he's talking about.

The numbers speak for themselves, and Romney is currently behind in the polls. You're wrong about Ohio and Virginia.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 16, 2012 at 7:49 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

*CaliforniaDefender: "Filner should be ashamed of himself for such abusive personal attacks on DeMaio and his partner."*

What, exactly, did Filner say that has you so upset?

As far as I know, Filner called out Mr. Hale for promoting the event and asked for full disclosure.

Certainly there have been far more bitter barbs exchanged by both DeMaio and Filner in their debates, why is his so enormous of an attack in your opinion?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 16, 2012 at 7:54 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

CADefender, I highly recommend reading this:

http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-10848-balboa-park-water-fight-was-a-tragedy-of-the-commons.html

It has been the best article I have found to date that gives a picture of what really happened that night from an eye-witness.

It was a pretty broad cross-section of attendees, not a 'gay event' though some gay people were likely present they weren't the majority.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | August 17, 2012 at 9:40 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

How many gay attendees do you suppose it takes to turn an otherwise straight event into a gay one, anyway? Maybe one of the promoters has to be gay in order for "gay event" status to take hold? Or maybe a threshold of a certain gay-to-straight ratio of organizers and attendees has to be reached before the entire event becomes gay-designated? I often lose sleep wondering these things.

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Avatar for user 'Willard'

Willard | August 17, 2012 at 11:16 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Current aggregated polling has Obama at 46.6% and Romney 45.2%
http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2012-general-election-romney-vs-obama Nate silver does not blog for Daily Koz. Carl is an amiable guy, one has to wonder why he's Republican,I doubt it has anything to do with being a Zillionaire WallSt Tycoon.

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