Remember Christmas days in the past? You would march up to the local athletic field with your new football, PF Flyers tennis shoes, and Los Angeles Rams football helmet, and toss the ball around with your father or play a game of touch football with your friends.

Well, this Christmas, don’t be surprised when you arrive at that athletic field and find the gate locked or a sign posted requiring a permit to enter the facilities.

At Santa Barbara City College, if I want to play catch with my young grandson on the athletic field when school is not in session and there are no special events going on at the stadium, I have to find the college’s Administrative Services Department, apply for a permit (which presumably will have to be cleared through the appropriate channels), then return in two weeks to find out if the activity is permitted.

Come on, gatekeeper, show a little Christmas cheer. Take down those signs and unlock those gates. If you do, maybe the general public will reciprocate when it’s time to refurbish those athletic fields we all have enjoyed in the past.


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