AYSO

Rename Columbia Park AYSO Park

field closed sign

Our park is still closed 1 year later

Regular readers may recall that back in October I wrote an article entitled, Columbia Park, Torrance: Pay to play? To recap, the west end of Columbia Park was closed for renovations on May 20, 2013 for what was to be “no more than thirty (30) calendar days.” Apparently contracts mean little in the City of Torrance and instead of opening 30 days later, it was reopened September 21, 2013! When it reopened it was littered with barriers that had signs attached advising everyone that if they wanted to use the field from now on, they had to get a permit (see photo). Besides writing the referenced article I started attending Torrance City Council meetings on a regular basis so the normal people would have some representation; I ever addressed the council with my displeasure. I do not think they cared.

Anyway, fast-forward to April of 2014 and our park has more barriers, signs, and chain link fences placed all over the park making it not only an eyesore but creating a safety hazard. A couple weeks ago I decided to call the City of Torrance Facility Booking Office to find out just how much it would cost me to be able to use a small section of the park to kick a ball around. It turns out I cannot; just so you understand, you cannot either. Only AYSO can use it and they will not be using it until June or July. In other words, the Torrance residents that pay for the park and its maintenance are not allowed to use the park. We only wish it was “pay to play.” In our dreams. If I was angry before, that was nothing compared to how I feel now. The following is the prepared statement I made to the Torrance City Council at the last meeting, held April 8, 2014:

Mr. Mayor, City Council members, staff, audience members and television viewers: Continue reading

Preparing for the 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade

This afternoon I headed out to Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale, CA to check out the progress on the float building for the upcoming 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade which will be held Wednesday, January 1, 2014. As I have been donating time towards helping the Torrance Rose Float Association (TRFA) raise the funds needed for building the float, I figured I would go out to where the float is being built so people can get an idea of what goes into a project like this.

Fiesta Parade Floats builds award winning floats and has for several years; as such, they were actually building about 10 floats. I went a few times last year, but today had the fewest number of people on-site that I can recall. I asked one of the builders and he said that the floats are all pretty much ready for the decorating to begin; that starts the day after Christmas and must be completed by the evening of December 30 as the floats will be judged on December 31. I will go back out in a few days after the decorating has begun so you can see the difference.

The theme of this year’s Rose Parade is “Dreams Come True.” The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), which began in Torrance is a primary sponsor for Torrance’s entry to the parade this year; so you will notice a definite soccer theme with “Everyone Plays”, which is the first of AYSO Soccer’s Six Philosophies and the theme of the 2014 Rose Parade float. Continue reading

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