No Library for Public Ping Pong

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
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The push to put a public ping pong table outside of Santa Barbara’s downtown library ran into a net of city bureaucracy, and other locations are being considered.

Even though the library committee was in favor of a year-long trial for the table in Library Plaza β€” a patch of grass outside the front doors that is currently most popular among slumbering homeless people β€” pong proponent Hugh Margerum said in an email to city officials that the requirements, from handicapped ramps to inability to use volunteer labor, were too expensive and exhausting to pursue.

β€œIt’s enough to turn me into a damn Libertarian!” he wrote. Instead, Margerum is seeking alternative sites that offer easy access and visibility mixed with lack of wind and a setting that won’t allow balls to roll into the street. Ideas? See


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Maybe donate the money to the Library??

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2012 at noon (Suggest removal)

It's a great idea Ken, but what we are seeing is a classic example of too much government and they would find a way to obstruct it.

If Mr. Margerum is reading this, one of the reasons I am a Libertarian (although not a "capital L" Libertarian as I have more liberal ideas on government funding of certain things) is because of these insane barriers to getting things done.

About twenty years ago my dad and a group of fellow volunteers wanted to fix up the trolly car stop on Alameda Padre Sierra. They figured out they could do it for $800. When word of this got out, the city of Santa Barbara slapped a sign on the structure saying that under penalty of prosecution, no such work was to be done. According to what my dad told me, the city then contracted it out to Towbes construction for $10,000.

Santa Barbara...a Gilded Cage.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2012 at 3:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seems like a pretty whack place for a ping pong table anyway. Go to the Neighborhood dude.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2012 at 3:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How disappointing! I was so looking forward to that ping pong table. I work nearby and was planning to play at lunchtime -- I even bought a new set of paddles and balls. Though I realize that the City has to do things by the book or they will clobbered -- by ADA, by the union, by personal injury lawsuits, by various interest groups that might object for their own reasons -- it is indeed sad that this healthy, happy and social resource cannot be given to the community where it could really be an asset. Opportunity lost.

Ibid (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2012 at 5:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Now there will be no shade for the bums? We could easily fit 4 of 'em under the table to lessen their risk of skin cancer...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2012 at 6:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I believe Mr. Margerum is mistaken. If anything he would turn into a dictator rather than a "Libertarian."

DonMcDermott (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2012 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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