Piedmont Neighborhood News

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Archive for March, 2008

The City Should Pay For The Field At Havens

Posted by drewbendon on March 28, 2008

According to the CIP Packet for the March 20, 2008 CIP meeting, the City currently has in excess of $1,000,000.00 “in the bank” for projects to improve the field surfaces at Hampton Field and Coaches Field.

22. Hampton Renovation Plan – $358,253 was budgeted in 2007-2008 of which $353,405 remains.  This projected is estimated to cost $1,200,000.

25. Field Improvement Savings Account – $714,613 was budgeted in 2007-2008 all of which remains. This saving account is for the installation of field turf and possibly lighting at Coaches Field.  Staff anticipates construction to commence in the Fall 2008.Among the rationale for these projects, particularly the Coaches project, is that the proposed renovations will allow for more usable time on these fields.  Right now, the fields are used to their maximum capacity as permitted by the City’s use restrictions.  The renovations would “increase” playing time by allowing the fields to be used in inclement weather or more quickly thereafter.  Adding lights to Coaches would increase the actual amount of time the field is playable.  But, to the best of my recollection, the issue of lights at Coaches has not yet been resolved.

The Becker Plan includes a new field at Havens the size of Beach Field.  The addition of this field will add more playing time than either of the projects at Hampton or Coaches.  Which is why I propose that the City should re-prioritize the projects at Hampton and Coaches and offer to use the $1,000,000.00 it has “in the bank” to develop the field at Havens.  If the field at Havens is paid for out of Measure E Bond Funds, it will reduce the availability of those funds for other seismic projects and it will mean that we are paying bond interest to build a field when we already have the cash to do so.  Re-prioritizing the Coaches/Hampton stash of cash to the new Havens field is a more fiscally prudent use of those funds.

Drew

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Recreation Commission Appointments

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 26, 2008

On Monday, I submitted an application for the recreation commission. My interview with city council is next Monday evening. With my experience in Piedmont youth sports, I’m very interested in the recreation department’s youth programs, and Mayor Friedman’s desire to improve field space availability in town and hope that if I am appointed, I can contribute to that effort.

What do you think the recreation department is doing right? What can be improved? What is important to you? Have you ever registered for a camp or activity online? Do you use Schoolmates? Let me know your thoughts and ideas by adding your comments to this post or contact me directly.

Posted in City News, Recreation | 1 Comment »

Piedmont Unified School District Meeting

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 19, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 – 7:00 pm City Hall Council Chambers

This is the next meeting of the school board.

Other items of note

Write your representatives encouraging them to keep their educational funding promises.

Posted in School | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Public Works Recommends Joining Other Bay Area Cities Opposing Aerial Spraying

Posted by Len Gilbert on March 14, 2008

An article by Linda Davis in today’s Piedmonter says Public Works Director Larry Rosenberg will recommend the city follow suit with other Bay Area cities and oppose aerial spraying for brown apple moth.

The city council is set to discuss spraying in April.

Be heard

  1. E-mail Larry Rosenberg, Piedmont ’s Director of Public Works (lrosenberg@ci.piedmont.ca.us), letting him know that you are very concerned about this untested pesticide being sprayed over our community. He is preparing the City’s response to CDFA’s draft Environmental Impact Report, and in the Post article he invites concerned residents to e-mail him. The City’s letter to CDFA needs to be submitted by March 20, so the time to write him is right NOW! It doesn’t need to be a fancy letter!
  2. Write directly to the CDFA, either to their Light Brown Apple Moth Program at lbam@cdfa.ca.gov (again, a simple message is fine), or make your own comments on their draft Environmental Impact Report by the close of the business day on March 20th by sending an e-mail to jrains@cdfa.ca.gov . (The draft EIR is posted at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/PHPPS/PDEP/lbam/pdfs/docs/LBAM_NOP_020808.pdf).

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Letter: Concerned about Aerial Spraying over Piedmont

Posted by movenden on March 13, 2008

This letter about the proposed aerial spraying in Piedmont for light brown apple moth was sent to the Post, but is also published here for people to have a chance to comment.

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your coverage of the proposed aerial spraying for the light brown apple moth. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has now clarified that Piedmont indeed will be part of the spraying, scheduled to begin in August. It is dismaying that the CDFA representatives who addressed our City Council on March 3rd did not come armed with the basic fact of whether or not Piedmont would be in the spray zone. The CDFA’s Action Plan, available on its website, has Piedmont clearly listed.

We are also concerned about the testimony given by the CDFA to City Council, because two of its basic premises are contested: Not only do experts disagree about the scope of the moth infestation, they also do not agree that questions about the health safety of the likely aerial spray product have been resolved. The CDFA’s position is that the light brown apple moth has only recently arrived in California and that the State must act quickly to prevent it from turning into a disaster for our crops, trees and economy. The San Francisco Chronicle, however, reported on March 6th that top insect and plant experts in the state question not only the timing of when the moth arrived in California, but also the extent of its threat and the necessity to move so quickly to an aerial spray.

In his testimony to the City Council, CDFA’s scientific expert, Dr. Dowling, testified that each of the ingredients being considered for the spray (exact formulation still to be determined) has separately been tested and approved, and therefore should be of no concern. At the same meeting, however, a representative from Cal/EPA testified that testing of the product as a whole has not been completed, and that he could make no assertions about its safety.

Questions about the health safety of the likely aerial spray center not on its main ingredient (a synthetic pheromone that has been used safely in localized applications), but on some of its inert ingredients, which studies have shown can cause lung irritation in higher concentrations. Children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma may be particularly at risk.

We urge Piedmont citizens and leaders to raise their voices on this issue. The CDFA plan to spray heavily-populated urban areas with a product that has not been thoroughly tested for safety would be ill-conceived even if the extent of the moth infestation were undisputed. Until the scientific issues related to both the necessity and the risks of this program are resolved, the only correct course of action for the CDFA is to pull back from its plans to begin widespread aerial spraying in August.

Sincerely,

Margaret Ovenden, Len Gilbert, and others.

Next Steps

  1. E-mail Larry Rosenberg, Piedmont ’s Director of Public Works (lrosenberg@ci.piedmont.ca.us), letting him know that you are very concerned about this untested pesticide being sprayed over our community. He is preparing the City’s response to CDFA’s draft Environmental Impact Report, and in the Post article he invites concerned residents to e-mail him. The City’s letter to CDFA needs to be submitted by March 20, so the time to write him is right NOW! It doesn’t need to be a fancy letter!
  2. Write directly to the CDFA, either to their Light Brown Apple Moth Program at lbam@cdfa.ca.gov (again, a simple message is fine), or make your own comments on their draft Environmental Impact Report by the close of the business day on March 20th by sending an e-mail to jrains@cdfa.ca.gov . (The draft EIR is posted at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/PHPPS/PDEP/lbam/pdfs/docs/LBAM_NOP_020808.pdf).

Posted in City News, School | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »