I read your article, "Is Downtown Danville going to the Dogs?" (Sept. 12) and I agree dogs should not be banned from these events but rather dog owners should use common sense when deciding to bring their dog. I raise puppies for Canine Companions for Independence, an organization that provides highly trained assistance dogs to the disabled, and have frequently brought my dogs to events. This is good socialization for the dogs, which is key in their development. I would be very disappointed if dogs were banned because of a few irresponsible dog owners and/or parents. I have seen both. Dog owners who have dogs that can't be trusted in stressful situations should leave their dogs at home. Parents - and I have three children - should also teach their children to ask before petting any dog.
As for the person who was bitten by a Chihuahua, I am sorry that happened but this is a breed whose tendency is to be temperamental, has a reputation for being suspicious of everyone but his owner, and a clannish dislike of any breed but his own. At Danville's Doggie Night where one can view a large variety of breeds, it is the small ones who are typically the feistiest. It is important for ALL dogs to be properly trained from the time they are puppies and this includes socialization with other dogs and people. This is one of the key ways to prevent negative incidents relating to dogs and the public.
I do hope that Danville continues to be as dog friendly as it has been in the past. It is just one of the many things that make this town as charming as it is.
Kristen Trisko, Danville
Danville's bridge to nowhere
On Sept. 2, I appeared before the Danville Town Council to express my dismay with the massive shade structures that have been built over the bocce ball courts at Sycamore Valley Park. The huge pergolas on each end are supported by 13 steel reinforced concrete columns, almost four feet in circumference. And at one end, the structure obscures the lights.
Town Manager Joe Calabrigo said the structures cost a little over $100,000. They took so many months to complete that for about 400 players, the spring league was lost, the summer league was delayed for over a month, and the fall league has been shortened to five weeks. Incidentally, San Ramon provides fully adequate shade at its senior center bocce courts with attractive and inexpensive shade umbrellas and seems to have no problem with vandalism, which Mr. Calabrigo cites as a reason for our mega-structures.
But the most ironic aspect of this wasteful project is that there was no need for shade structures to begin with. Except for one group that plays on Thursday mornings and is finished before noon, the courts are used exclusively for league play in the evenings.
I realize the structures are now there, but it would have been refreshing if a council member or the town manager had acknowledged this project may have been a mistake instead of trying to justify it by saying it was approved by various town departments and commissions. Mr. Calabrigo mentioned that the applications of 50 teams were denied because of the limited number of courts. It's a shame the money wasted on the shade structures was not used to build more courts.
Burt Bassler, Danville
Keep council incumbents
I want to speak out on behalf of the incumbents who are running for reelection: Candace Andersen, Newell Arnerich and Mike Doyle. I have interacted with the Danville Town Council very closely over the last few years as a senior advocate and as a board member of Discover Danville Association. When the seniors raised issues two years ago, our council members listened carefully, authorized a study, and voted for the substantial increase it would take to fund a senior center, more staff and more programs. They continue to work toward purchasing and renovating the Veteran's Hall to serve both veterans and seniors. The Town Council unanimously approved more than $5 million toward the revitalization of this building, the biggest single renovation project for the town.
Though the dollar amount is impressive, what is more impressive is that we do not have to borrow this money to do this project. This Town Council has run Danville so effectively that it is financially sound. There is no reason that we should make any change in our council members when they have demonstrated their expertise in running this town well when other towns not far away are failing.
I have watched the choices that our council members have made to insure that we are not spending sums of money needlessly. I have gone to Town Council meetings, listened to the issues, and seen the decisions of this group working for the good of the town. We need their experience more than ever. Now is not the time to make a change in Danville!
Linda Stolow, Danville resident; treasurer, Discover Danville Association
LAFCO report online
Thanks for covering all views of Alamo incorporation - the independent state studies, the comments of those who support incorporation, and the comments of those who oppose it.
In response to opponents quoted in the Sept. 5 issue who claim insufficient law enforcement services for the new town, I would like to quote from the studies. The 24th line item of Table 3-B in the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA) of Alamo incorporation is "Law Enforcement/Sworn Officers (Includes Traffic)." The base year cost of that line item (from which subsequent year costs for 10 years are extrapolated) is $2,641,337 for 12-1/4 full time equivalent officers. And the source of the line item is none other than the Contra Costa County Sheriff, who is surely the last word on sufficiency of law enforcement services in the Alamo community.
Incidentally, a new town council could contract for services with any number of different law enforcement agencies, like the East Bay Regional Park District or the city of San Ramon.
The Sept. 5 issue also quoted an accusation that the new town council could appropriate the P-5 special assessment for Round Hill police services and spend it wherever they wanted to. By law, under county or town governance, the P-5 assessments may provide police services only to the Round Hill assessment district. Taxes collected as special assessments must be spent only to serve those who pay them.
I urge all Alamo citizens concerned about how incorporation would affect their lives to go directly to the CFA, the independent, state-contracted source of information about Alamo incorporation. It is available online at www.contracostalafco.org.
Smitty Schmidt, Alamo