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BERKELEY (KPIX) — For greater than 30 years, the remaining weekend of July was once reserved for the Berkeley Kite Competition — a loose, annual tournament that drew 1000’s of spectators.  Now, the pageant has been canceled for budgetary causes and organizers and the general public don’t seem to be satisfied about it.

As a tender guy in 1986, Tom McAlister liked kites such a lot, he opened a cellular kite retailer referred to as Highline Kites within the parking space of Cesar Chavez Park subsequent to the Berkeley Marina.

“I believed, if I am going to check out to make a residing sharing my interest for kites … then I had to do one thing to present again to the group,” he mentioned.

On Sunday, the open meadow was once just about empty and, in a single nook of the park, a couple of dozen kites flapped within the breeze — an unofficial finish to the development that McAlister faithful a lot of his lifestyles to create.

“It breaks my center.  It breaks my doggone center,” mentioned McAlister, his voice choked with emotion.

McAlister canceled the pageant for the reason that town greater than tripled his allow price to $45,000 which might have doubled the development’s finances. Town informed him they might not subsidize the collection by way of offering loose products and services like regulation enforcement, firefighters and custodians.

Beverly Griffith, who got here from Oakland to observe the kites, thinks that is shortsighted.

“That is what the folk want.  It is one thing gorgeous to take a look at.  We now have been locked up for COVID for what? Two years, 3 years — turns out like 5, you realize? … Come on Berkeley, get it in combination,” she mentioned.

“It jumped from $10,000 to $45,000 so, 35,000 further bucks goes to the place, precisely?  That is my query,” mentioned Erin Kakhadze from Pittsburg.  She was once disenchanted that an tournament distinctive to Berkeley would finish to avoid wasting an amount of cash that may slightly be spotted within the town finances.

“I am disillusioned as it was once a circle of relatives tournament,” she mentioned.  “It united the group and we might all have the similar like thoughts and we might all get to proportion in the similar pleasure and feature those similar reminiscences.”

McAlister is harm that the reward he has given for greater than 30 years is now seen as an expense moderately than an asset to his group.

“I am an older guy now and I see the arena another way,” he mentioned. “And a part of me is drained and does not need to battle the battle {that a} mission like that represents however a large a part of me is gloomy, you realize? Unhappy to look that it should pass away endlessly.”

As he appeared out on the folks within the park, he added “But in addition gratified to look these types of other people out right here these days.”

The allow charges had been authorized 3 years in the past to take care of a million-dollar debt within the fund that manages the Berkeley Marina. Consequently, the Fourth of July tournament was once additionally canceled this yr and would possibly not go back.


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