Happy Halloween, Dublin ghouls and goblins! There are a lot of young children in our growing community, so please be safe and drive very slowly on neighborhood streets tonight!
While you can expect to see a lot of superheroes, ghosts, princesses and other assorted costumes tonight, one we hope not to see are kids dressed up as bullies. I'm, of course, being a little facetious about that, because bullying is a real problem for school districts and communities across the United States, including here in Dublin.
The Dublin Unified School District has awareness programs in place in schools to try and stop physical and electronic bullying. Here's how the district describes the issue on their website.
"Bullying is a form of violence. It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with the more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful. Bullying may be physical (hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing), verbal (taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, threatening), or emotional (spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, extorting or intimidating). Bullying can occur face-to-face or in the online world."
To help raise awareness and a little money to help combat the problem through character education efforts, the city's Integrity in Action recently held the See Dub Wellness Fair and Run 5K.
"Ages for the event ranged from 5 to 80 years old with 110 participants," says Robert Boboc, who sits with me on the Dublin Parks and Community Services Commission and participated in the event.
While specific statistics for Dublin are not available, the numbers are likely to be similar to some national studies that have been conducted. According to the iSafe Foundation, which looked at cyberbullying, which is the fastest growing type of bullying, over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online and about the same number have engaged in cyberbullying. More than one in three young people have experienced cyberthreats online. More than 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet. And well more than half of young people do not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs.
Girls, by the way, are slightly more likely than boys to engage in cyberbullying. More information and forms for reporting bullying can be found on the school district's website at http:/ /www.dublin.k12.ca.us.
Schaefer Park: The grand opening of Dublin's newest park will take place Saturday. A ceremony to dedicate Schaefer Park, which sits on the west side of Dublin off Dublin Boulevard, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. The mayor, members of City Council and various other city officials are expected to be on hand for a ribbon cutting and light refreshments. The public is encouraged to attend and take a look at the new park.
Positano Hills Park: Meantime, on the east side of town at what was Dublin's newest park, some modifications are already in the works. Residents around Positano Hills Park, which is really very picturesque, had asked the city to make some changes in the play areas to better serve the area children.
After a public meeting to gather input, and additional input from citizens at the Parks Commission meeting, a new play structure and swing set area more suited for kids ages 5 to 12 are expected to be installed in late spring or early summer of 2014. The planting of additional shade trees is also part of the plan.
At the time of this column's writing, the recommendation still needed final approval from the City Council, but was likely to get the thumbs-up.
Tax Bills: You've now had the treats, so here's the (real) trick part of today's Halloween version of Around Dublin: taxes to pay for sewer service.
The folks at the Dublin San Ramon Services District recently sent around a news release as a reminder to Dublin and South San Ramon residents who will soon be grumbling as they pay their increasing property tax bills. Part of the "fun" will be a $362.52 fee for residential wastewater treatment and disposal charges. This fee, which works out to about $30 a month, is not part of your bimonthly water bills.
According to DSRSD, "the average single-family home produces 294.3 gallons of wastewater a day, which adds up to more than 107,000 gallons a year." Of course the real scary part of this year's tax bill comes courtesy of the county assessor, which has been closely watching the rising values of homes in Dublin and decided it wants a piece of the action in the form of higher taxes.
Trick or Treat!
Contact Alan Elias at firstname.lastname@example.org.