Public input a farce on Blair Park plans

The Blair Park saga goes on.

On Dec. 12, I attended the Piedmont Park Commission meeting to hear details of the design for restoring and preserving Blair Park as envisioned by Restoration Design Group, RDG, the landscape architects hired by the Piedmont City Council with funds from the Friends of Moraga Canyon/PRFO settlement agreement."‹

It seems to me that, from behind the scenes, the entire process is being strictly controlled and directed, and that public input is just for show. I am very disappointed in the farce that seems to be developing and I urge residents to stay informed.

Blair Park has been neglected for so long that more than just routine maintenance is needed. A grand and costly plan isn't going to be approved, but something needs to be done which will forever keep developers away. "‹

Is yet another traffic study really necessary or is it just a way to buy time by slowing any efforts toward real improvement which will preserve the park for everyone?

Peggy Esposito

Oakland

Time for Blair Park action long overdue

Five years ago, there was an attempt to cut down the trees in Blair Park, lay down asphalt and utility lines and install temporary classrooms during three years of seismic upgrades to the old schools, all to be paid for by Piedmont school bond money. At the end of three years, the denuded site would be converted to sports and parking lots. That did not happen.

For five years, Blair Park has been entirely neglected, in expectation that its destruction was imminent. That did not happen.

Now the Monterey pine trees at the edge of Moraga Avenue are dying and unsafe. The reason was not named but may be beetle infestation made easy by branches dragging on the ground. Landscape architects Restoration Design Group conducted a tree survey and recommend that all Monterey pines all be removed. They further recommended new tree planting, care of the existing oaks and an ancient bay tree, simple drainage, limited irrigation for years without rain, native grasses and a few other touches such as a pathway

Will this happen? Or will the trees be cut and no further work done until still another proposal is made to convert Blair Park to some other use? The Piedmont City Council will soon receive recommendations from the Park Commission. If you are interested in the future of Blair Park, please stay informed.

Sandra Pohutsky

Oakland

Don't ruin wetlands to develop houses

My class is studying wetlands. We visited the Hayward shoreline.

The salt ponds in Redwood City are going to get paved over to build houses, which will shrink the bay and kill the animals that live there.

Wetlands are important because animals live there. Make sure to spread this news.

Maxwell Joseph Koebel

Aurora School Oakland

Don't let Cargill pave over salt ponds

I am a third-grader at Aurora School. I have been studying wetlands, and a few weeks ago we took a field trip to the Hayward shoreline. We learned about how Cargill wants to pave over Redwood City's salt ponds.

We have to stop Cargill. We heard that Cargill claims that there is no life in the salt ponds. That is 100 percent wrong.

The San Francisco Bay has shrunk by one-third since the Gold Rush.

Arvind Chettiar

Aurora School Oakland

Ireland right choice for school board

As parents newer to the community, we would like to express our support for Doug Ireland's bid for PUSD School Board.

Three years ago when we were brand-new to town, juggling the chaos and transition of moving four children to a new home and school, our neighbor, Doug Ireland rolled out the red carpet, welcoming us with enthusiasm and warmth. His passion for the community and the schools shone through, reassuring us that we were going to love our new home.

The intervening years have proved Doug's passion and commitment contagious, and we find ourselves now equally enthusiastic and engaged. How fortunate our community would be to have someone of his intelligence, wit and spirited dedication on our school board. Please join us in voting for Doug Ireland on Feb. 4.

Frannie and Mike Cooley

Piedmont

Elect Ireland for Piedmont schools

I have had the pleasure of knowing Doug Ireland and his family for many years as a neighbor and friend. Over the years, Doug has rallied me and others to volunteer for Giving Campaign, the parcel tax and the PEF Raise a Racquet Event.

You just can't say no to this guy's enthusiasm and passion for our community and public schools. I can't think of any candidate better suited for the PUSD School Board. I know he will work tirelessly to preserve the integrity of our schools and bring new ideas to continually improve them.

Doug is a true leader with a no-bull, to-the-point, style that is as refreshing as it is productive. He gains the respect of his peers by boldly bringing issues front and center for resolution. At the same time he is diplomatic and open to all opinions to determine what's right for our schools and community.

I hope you will join me in supporting Doug for school board.

Barbara Love

Piedmont