Bravo for your excellent editorial on the threats facing Tassajara Valley ("Bit by Bit," Feb. 22). Your editorial covered many of the important points about the attempts to pave over the last bits of open and agricultural space we have.
In addition to the points you raised, we should consider whether we want the type of growth that is proposed. Without even considering the unthinkable breach of public trust that the subversion of the urban limit line represents, we can quickly see through the illogical claims that more housing is needed to accommodate the growth of the area.
The growth of the area is actually fed by residential development, so the argument made by developers and county officials that new development is needed to balance jobs is illogical on its face and utterly circular.
But more important, what happens when the Tassajara Valley is paved over and developed and there is no more open space to develop? The answer is that we are left with, as you described, a "stucco forest" and the qualities that used to make this area so attractive will have been destroyed.
Let's not be lured into the same disaster that is now playing out around the country (and even in our own back yard, in the Central Valley), where residential development was allowed to spread unchecked and entire neighborhoods of unsold and foreclosed upon homes have become ghost towns or, worse, breeding grounds for crime.
There are plenty of homes in this area already. There is nothing wrong with obeying the will of the voters, respecting the balance between human needs and preservation of the environment, and standing firm in the face of those who would permanently destroy the character and health of this area for a quick, and illusory, buck. In fact, there's a lot of honor in doing so.
Marc Greendorfer, Danville
Police volunteer speaks out
I would like to respond to the Letter to the Editor (Feb. 22) entitled "Scary cover photo." I am one of those volunteers working with the Danville Police Department. I was amused with the words describing what we do to assist our police: "Issuing firing arms to posse members" and "providing fantasy camps for adults."
The volunteers that work with the Danville Police Department, all 11 of us, are not cops and do not want to be cops. What do we do? Clerical functions such as attending the front desk, routine the automotive fleet to assure readiness, participate at community functions such as the Devil Mountain Run, Primo's Run, Tree Lighting Ceremony, situations that require traffic control, school events such as bicycle safety rodeos, Stranger Danger class discussions, etc. And yes, periodic patrols through our town to assess safety violations or conditions that need the attention of the regular force.
As for the "The Academy." This is an opportunity for everyone to see what the Police Department does in their community, how the officers are trained and what they do. It is not a training facility for volunteers, as was mistakenly portrayed. These academies are conducted all over the country.
Yes, the volunteer group does get to visit incarceration facilities, firing ranges, the communications center, and participate in classes beneficial to assisting the department.
Is it cost effective? Yes. The department does provide a uniform, and that's it. The volunteers, on average, contribute a minimum of 16 hours of service per month. For most, many more. For me, it's a privilege to be a part of this organization and to be contributing to the community. I would encourage all to consider attending the next "Academy" and gaining a better understanding of just what it does to serve the Town of Danville.
Bob Gross, Danville
33 years of preschool
"What preschool do you go to?"
The small, friendly Alamo school at the back of San Ramon United Methodist Church on Danville Boulevard, known as "Methodist" to parents, continues its tradition of 33 years, offering developmental learning in a nurturing setting.
This year the school has adopted a new name, "United Methodist Preschool," to reflect its connection to the United Methodist Church, though the parents still call it just "Methodist." Children, ages 2 years 9 months to 5 years, benefit from small-group classes of same-age children, as well as cross-age groupings for choice activities. The outdoor setting by the creek, nurturing teachers, academic readiness activities, and the involvement of church members in supporting the preschool have caused the school's standing in Alamo to grow.
Director Kelley Cochran invited the community to celebrate that reputation in an Anniversary Open House earlier this month. Families reunited with former teachers and reminisced over photo albums.
The preschool still has openings for fall enrollment, so for further information or to enroll, please call Kelley Cochran at the United Methodist Preschool at 837-2788.
Heather Hammer, Associate Pastor
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