Broward Politics blog
Air Lauderdale leader proposes political booths, responds to criticisms
by Brittany Wallman
November 17, 2009 06:06 PM
Among the offerings planned at the April 24-25 Air Lauderdale Beach Fest is a political area, where candidates can set up tables to reach out to voters, said Stan Smith of Air Lauderdale.
He noted that 2010 is a big election year, and thought candidates would want to take advantage of the opportunity to reach thousands of South Floridians.Smith responded a moment ago to early criticisms of his plans to charge a gate fee for the festival area, and to ban coolers in the gated festival area
Read the rest of the post at:
The National Mall in Washington, D.C., belongs to all Americans, but for years, despite the fact that many events like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day Concerts/Fireworks were pretty much all-day family events, for which people arrived in the morning with all their stuff, the National Park Service banned coolers within The Mall area and, eventually, the consumption of alcohol as well. http://www.nps.gov/mall/index.htm
Video of The National Mall plan http://www.nps.gov/nationalmallplan/Timelapse.html
There were predictable outcries against the change of policy, especially from suburban families that for years had used the Metro system to get to and from the Mall quickly and cheaply.
With their ice coolers full of sandwiches and cold soft drinks and beer.
These changes produced rather predictable bad results in the view of most Washingtonians, and combined with what most thought were the high prices charged by officially-licensed vendors, only further hastened the ruination of what had been one of the few traditions -besides the Redskins- that united all the myriad racial and cultural demographics of Greater Washington.
I pretty much attended both events every year for over ten years, and for me, they always represented one of the highlights of the year, especially if out-of-town family or friends were attending with me.
Sitting on the lawn off the steps of the west side of the U.S. Capitol, they'd often get a kick out of the fact that there were so many people there they recognized from TV or newspapers, like Senators or Congressmen, or even Hill or media folks whom I knew and had might've mentioned in passing over the telephone at some point, who'd come by and say hello, often with their spouses and kids.
It was very affirming and a reminder that for certain days at least, everyone in Washington, regardless of their political opinions or policy prescriptions, had the same two goals: good weather and a good show!
Given the NPS changes and the impediments placed in their way, rather quickly, less and less people wanted to attend the events in person, and more resorted to simply watching them on PBS, as I do while I'm down here.
Sort of like South Florida's traditional apathetic sports fans.
Except that last time I checked, all the teams in the area still serve alcohol, no?
The $5 for access to a special area discussed above seems reasonable enough, since you don't have to go there if you chose not to, but overall, they only have one year to prove themselves.
Any out-of-the-ordinary screw-ups or rip-offs will kill what some think is a golden goose.
As I've mentioned here before, The Mall is also where my coed Capitol Hill softball team played in the early Nineties, when I was an outfielder for the National Democratic Club's DNG squad, Democrats of a New Generation. http://www.natdemclub.org/
The NDC was located right next to the Democratic National Committee HQ on Ivy Street, where many of us had reason to be fairly often, though it wasn't the safest neighborhood at night.
The NDC is also where I watched the the Dan Quayle-Lloyd Bentsen VP debate in 1988, with a few dozen friends and colleagues who left in a better mood than we arrived with. Though we played all over The Mall, usually, we were fortunate and played on an area either near the Smithsonian Castle or its Carousel, or in the field just south of the West Building of the National Gallery of Art.
Places with lots of people nearby so we could could get in our fair share of people-watching in between innings and at-bats.
And the people-watching was always very good, too.
and The National Coalition to Save Our Mall