The city of Berkeley is cracking down … on memorial park benches. The Chron reports that Tuesday the City Council will address the “glut” of memorial benches. Slow news day, huh?

To stop the overpopulation of these menacing benches, one proposal presents some criteria for memorial-worthiness:

* honorees dead for at least a year
* well-documented contributions from honorees to Berkeley and its parks
* approval from the Parks and Recreation Commission

Previously, donors could purchase benches for 1,200 bucks for anyone living or dead. The time has come to stop this madness.

We really can’t believe the Chron spent 850 words on this piece, but it really paid off:

“Do we want plaques and memorials strewn over our public parks?” (Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna) added. “A lot of people are offended by it – they feel that the reminders of other people’s family and friends diminishes the feeling of freedom and peace you’re supposed to have in a public park.”

According to the commission’s proposal, city parks should not be used to publicly remember someone unless there is “a transcendent relationship between the park and the individual” or unless someone “has made an outstanding contribution to the Berkeley community.”

Yes, other people’s family and friends, get out of my public park. You’re not “transcendental” enough, whatever that means. We’re pretty sure that’s hippie lingo.

Couldn’t the city just hook up a deal with People’s Park? There could be some sort of donor mosaic made out of recycled bits. You know, freshen up the place, make it more lively … in the name of dead people.

Image Source: James F. Perry under Creative Commons
With a glut of memorial benches, Berkeley moves to limit seating [SF Chron]

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