Sand a basic park ingredient

The following organizations and individuals deserve either
CHEERS or JEERS this week:
JEERS: For the city of Gilroy which has thus far drawn a line in
the sand on the issue of whether sand, as opposed to wood chips,
can be used in four new city parks.
The following organizations and individuals deserve either CHEERS or JEERS this week:

JEERS: For the city of Gilroy which has thus far drawn a line in the sand on the issue of whether sand, as opposed to wood chips, can be used in four new city parks. Having an organization raise funds to put a sandbox in the parks “at some time in the future” is not the answer. At Tuesday’s 7pm Parks and Recreation Commission meeting at the Senior Center on Hanna Street, residents will have a chance to air concerns and suggest alternatives. A flat “we can’t afford” sand answer from the city should not be acceptable. It’s a matter of priorities. Perhaps the city can take the $9,000 we might get for the return of the $11,000 water rescue boat that we “mistakenly” ordered and turn it into a few sandboxes. Seriously, there should be a way to fashion a compromise on this issue. Kids like to play in the sand, and it’s not the same as wood chips. How can Gilroy make that happen?

CHEERS: For the outstanding performance by the Gilroy High School wrestlers who collectively placed sixth in the state wrestling meet held this past weekend in Bakersfield. Junior Armando Gonzalez finished third; sophomore Nicolo Naranjo placed fourth; junior Adin Dueñas finished seventh; and freshman phenom, 15-year-old Hunter Collins, earned eighth. Sophomore Austin Gubrud also earned a trip, though he didn’t place. That’s an incredibly powerful showing in a field that is as tough as it gets. GHS matched its best state finish ever and all the state placers are back. Coach Armando Gonzalez has led this program to great heights and, given the hard work and dedication he has instilled in this team, the Mustangs in 2006 should become the finest GHS wrestling team ever. A City Council acknowledgment of the fine effort by the wrestling squad and its coaches is in order.

JEERS: For the federal Environmental Protection Agency which has moved toward setting a new perchlorate drinking water standard of 24ppb. That’s a major change upward based on what? The need to protect the defense industry and government from lawsuits? The EPA should understand that people do not want components of rocket fuel in their drinking water and set the level accordingly or change its name to the DPA for Defense Protection Agency.

CHEERS: For Gilroyan Jim Gailey who is going to local voters with a referendum designed to repeal the City Council’s passage of a new ordinance that bans traditional wood-burning fireplaces in new homes in favor of gas, wood-pellet or insert varieties. Gailey says there’s no evidence that air pollution is worsened in our city because of wood-burning devices. Without scientific measurements of the particulate matter in the air in Gilroy, he contends, there’s no evidence to support such a ban. If the Bay Area Air Quality Management District had done its homework and tested here, Gailey’s point might be moot.

JEERS: For the news that nearly a third of the 1,068 boys sent to the James F. Boys Ranch juvenile detention facility in Morgan Hill have been convicted of “serious crimes against people.” The category includes assault with a deadly weapon and puts the number of escape attempts in the last four years – 418 – in a different light. Doesn’t putting up a fence seem like a prudent idea?

CHEERS: For city engineer Steve Beams who managed a nice traffic shift on Santa Teresa Boulevard which is now halfway completed. The move took all day and 10 to 15 people. Now the new lanes are smooth, and weary residents who have travelled the pothole-filled bumpy main westside arterial can see the proverbial light at the end of the construction tunnel. Now we can focus on what absolutely needs to be done: finish construction on Santa Teresa before the Garlic Festival. If that doesn’t happen, the traffic nightmare news reports could really eat into attendance.

JEERS: For the latest spike in gas prices. This economic yo-yo ride doesn’t seem to be going away, and unless we do something about our dependence on foreign oil, our economy is in trouble. Solar tax credits and research grants, ethanol, more stringent gas mileage requirements … let’s get it done.

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