4 letters: Cordoba Center has serious issues being ignored by paper; Islamic Center supporters hope and believe proposal will receive approval;

Islamic Center has serious groundwater and zoning issues being ignored – why?  
Dear Editor,
I’m really disappointed in “Your View “that you published on July 27. It sounds as if someone from the Cordoba Center spoon-fed you the article.
I for one am personally fed up with proponents of this project calling anyone who disagrees with them a bigot. Isn’t that in itself a form of bigotry?
As for District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman, whom is he pandering to?  What do you mean he “hasn’t taken a formal position”? Isn’t that his job? Did the voters elect a representative who is unable to assess the information and then comment on it? I thought he represented the 3,000-plus registered voters of San Martin as opposed to the backers of this one project? What do you say to the San Martin residents: “Sorry, I don’t have time to care about your concerns?” Or is the fact that the Republican Arab Congress, which endorsed Wasserman in 2010, getting all his undivided attention?
“Arguments about the Cordoba Center have been floated. There’s one about the use not just serving San Martin resident and another that claims a cemetery would cause groundwater contamination. Neither holds water.” 
Who are you trying to fool? Do you really think the people of San Martin are that ignorant? Maybe you can answer the following questions:
1. If I am a San Martin resident and am not a member of SVIC (South Valley Islamic Center) and I die, am I able to be buried in the Cordoba Center Cemetery?
2. Will the Cordoba Center allow the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots to hold our monthly meeting in their Cordoba Center Hall?
3. If I am a resident of San Martin and not a member of SVIC, can my child attend the Cordoba Center School?  Yes? I didn’t think so. Even though I am not a member of Cordevalle Golf Course I am still able to golf there. So your rationale doesn’t hold water.
A poll of San Martin residents regarding the Cordoba Center resulted as follows: West San Martin residents are 94% opposed; 5.9% neutral; .10% in favor; East San Martin residents are 96.4% opposed; 3.7% neutral; 0.14% in favor.
And how about the zoning ordinance that states any land use permit issued as a result of fraud shall be invalid? Batz Environmental committed fraud when they reported that the 2006 percolation test passed, while certain county employees observed that they failed. That alone raises red flags for a lawsuit. Why is the county’s mantra seems to be full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes! 
The California Environmental Quality Act states that when there is serious pubic controversy an Environmental Impact Report study is mandatory.  Seventy-seven (77) neighbors of the project site who have suffered catastrophic flooding voiced their disagreement with regional board who seems to “think” the storm water runs in a southeasterly direction (away from the cemetery and leachfield), when in reality it flows southwesterly. I suppose the 77 neighbors are bigots too for caring that this project will contribute to additional flooding of their property if approved.
And why is the county trying to fast track approval of this project prior to the State Water Resource Board reviewing the petition filed outlining these violations? This whole project has lawsuit written all over it. Oh, and let’s not forget the noticing requirements for cemeteries that state you most post notices on the property 20 days prior to any planning meeting.
I totally agree with the writer who said that this is not how you pave the way in getting residents to welcome you into the community. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.
Georgine Scott-Codiga, Gilroy

Islamic community hopeful that Cordoba Project worship house will receive approval   
Dear Editor,
The South Valley Islamic Community’s aspiration of having its permanent place of worship locally in San Martin is finally having its application before the County’s Planning Commission. Based on the Commission staff’s positive reports and broad-based community support, we, members of SVIC, have every reason to be hopeful that our application for our Cordoba Project will be approved.
From the very inception of the process we have actively engaged the community, including our would-be neighbors. I wish to express our organization’s sincere appreciation and deep gratitude for their support.  We thank them for their time and effort in establishing a dialogue during the many “Open Houses” we have had related to this project. We also thank other faith organizations such as Emeth Congregation and the Abrahamic Alliance for their support.
 We have complied with all the technical requirements and in many instances exceeded them. We have not asked for nor been granted any variance or special dispensation by the county. The concerns raised by the relatively few opposing the project have been addressed and mitigated in our final submission. Many agencies that normally are not involved in an application process such as ours were called in by the Planning Staff to respond to those concerns.
At its core, this process should be viewed essentially as an application by a local property owner (in this case, a legitimate religious organization) to develop its property to meet the needs of its members. The application is within the parameters of existing zoning laws.
I hope those who still oppose our project will recognize that we are responsible neighbors who have an ethical commitment to be good neighbors. We also hold dear our  rights as private property owners, like all Americans do.
Members of SVIC have deep roots in South County. This Cordoba Project symbolizes our commitment to this community.  We have chosen this particular site precisely because of its pastoral ambiance. We want to preserve it as it would enhance the spirituality of our center.
The Bay Area is home to wonderful religious and ethnic plurality, and this project spreads the spirit of inclusion and diversity to the South County.
Karen Musa, president,
South Valley Islamic Center


Workable pit bull ordinance demanded by common sense and a little breed research  
Dear Editor,
A Google scan using “dog attacks babies” will bring up pit bull, and pit bull mix again and again. Pit bulls are listed as the number one most dangerous dogs in general, and 60 percent of all death-by-dog attacks are by pit bulls. What ordinance or law could be passed that would effectively deal with situations like the dog-killing and owner-mauling by a pit bull in Gilroy while the dog’s owner watched, then slipped away?
Here is a suggestion:  Any pit bull outside of an owner’s residence must be on a leash at all times with the owner on the other end at all times. The pit bull can be with an authorized adult (over 18) possessing a signed note provided by the owner. The dog must be currently licensed, and must bear a metal dog tag with the owner’s name, address and phone number. The dog must be micro-chipped, and the microchip must be registered to the current owner. If the pit bull is not so registered, a $1,000 fine will be issued to the person deemed to be in possession of that pit bull. Any violation of these requirements by a registered owner will result in a fine of $500 that will be issued on the first offense, or $1,000 on the second offense.
On the third offense, the dog will be confiscated and sent to the Humane Society where the former owner may not retrieve it. Local police will be required to issue citations with no warnings being permitted. If a pit bull is observed off-leash, it must be treated the same as a mountain lion: either trapped or destroyed. In addition to the fines, all time involvement by city personnel, including police officers, will be charged against the owner as “administrative fees.”
With this in effect, anyone who wishes to own a pit bull may freely do so. If they are so sweet and gentle as many owners claim, what’s the worry?
Tony Weiler, Gilroy

Morgan Hill a remarkably generous community as search for Sierra goes on
Dear Editor,
I came to Morgan Hill as a young bride in 1960. This is my town. When one of our children goes missing, or one is hurt, we all hurt.
This community is remarkable! Fifty to 75 volunteers continue to search for Sierra LaMar every Wednesday and Saturday.
Some come as far as from Fremont, Sunnyvale and even San Francisco. They deal with the heat, ticks, poison oak, tall grass and snakes, etc. Every search day begins with prayer – asking God’s protection and his wisdom and direction.
The merchants and individuals are amazing. Peet’s Coffee gets the gold star award. Every morning they have provided coffee since day one.
People bring in fruit, veggies, bagels and bread. Some mornings there is nothing in the kitchen, but within a half hour we are flooded with food to serve the searchers for breakfast and lunch. I call it the “loaves and fishes” kitchen.
They have yet to fail us. Whatever we get we will fix and serve – sometimes it’s a gourmet meal.
The kitchen crew is all seniors. We are unable to do the walking, but we are all good cooks who love to cook.
We are humbled and honored to be a part of this effort to bring Sierra LaMar home.
Loretta Wilson, Morgan Hill

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