Letters: Cherry Orchard development plan a ‘ridiculous place to put seniors’

The Cherry Orchard Ranch development project for senior citizens
will soon be seeking approvals from the Gilroy Planning Commission
and the City Council.
Dear Editor,

The Cherry Orchard Ranch development project for senior citizens will soon be seeking approvals from the Gilroy Planning Commission and the City Council. The 350 prefabricated homes are proposed to be built in a productive cherry orchard on Bolsa Road in the southernmost portion of Gilroy. This is an absolutely ridiculous place to put senior citizens. Not only is it too far for them to walk to a grocery or drug store, it will also be putting their lives at stake in a medical emergency.

According to the project’s Draft Environmental Report (DEIR), police, fire and emergency medical services would have response times beyond city standards of 4.5 to 5 minutes.

I quote from the DEIR, “Police Captain, Kurt Svardal, said that due to the combination of the recently reduced number of officers from 65 to 57 and the project site being located at the extreme southern end of the city, it would be difficult for them to provide emergency police protection within the required 4.5 minutes.” And the fire department’s analysis showed the response time for fire protection and emergency medical services from the closest station would be 8 to 9 minutes!

It seems to me that senior citizens would have a greater need for emergency services due to heart attacks, strokes and falls than the general population. And it is common knowledge that in the case of heart attacks and strokes, the quicker emergency help arrives (within 4 to 5 minutes) the better the chance of survival. If our City Council members vote to approve this ill-conceived project, they will knowingly be putting our most vulnerable citizens in danger.

Carolyn Tognetti, Gilroy

New law just another step toward the legalization of marijuana

Dear Editor,

Although California has not yet legalized in California through Proposition 19, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a new law reclassifying possession of an ounce or less as an infraction. Possession is equivalent to a parking ticket.

In many ways this new law doesn”t change much. Almost no one in California gets arrested for small amounts of marijuana anyway and if Proposition 19 passes fully legalizing marijuana the same people will still smoke it. Marijuana has been virtually legal in California for years.

What will change is that we will no longer be wasting state resources fighting a fake war on drugs. Rather than wasting tax money marijuana will be generating tax money. And since marijuana is safer than alcohol many people will use it instead of getting drunk which will actually lead to a safer society. And if California legalizes it the rest of the nation will soon follow. I’m hoping people all over America will support California in it’s fight to pass Prop 19 so that we can use law enforcement resources to prevent addiction to real drugs like meth, cocaine, heroine, and cigarettes.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

Council members should protect community from high speed rail

Dear Editor,

The Gilroy and Morgan Hill High Speed Rail subcommittee should consider that we are well beyond trying to guess what will be the “best” alignment through our communities. There is much evidence that both alignments do more harm than good.

The California High Speed Rail Authority has demonstrated they plan to build the cheapest possible system; while providing the least possible impact mitigation measures. What we are faced with is reconciling between a contrived concept that won the support of the voters, against a reality that will severely damage our communities in every way imaginable.

We are not alone with our disappointment, doubts, fears, frustration and anger at being manipulated and deceived. The HSRA has provided no evidence that the system they are proposing has proper funding, credible ridership projections, will reduce commuter traffic or create immediate local construction jobs. Our city council members have the ultimate responsibility to protect the communities the from such economic and environmental harm.

Yvonne Sheets-Saucedo, Gilroy

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