If you back school arts, vote 'yes' on A

We've all been moved to tears looking at a photograph, felt our hearts race listening to music, been entertained by theater and movies.

The arts are how we talk to each other -- how we speak about things for which we cannot find the words. Why would we not want this for our children? We proudly support Measure A and all the teachers who enable our children to explore our world through the arts.

Pete and Amanda Doctor

Piedmont

Piedmont cares about its students

I just finished reading the Final Summary Report of Piedmont's Seismic Safety Program.

It was great to see what a diverse collection of citizens supported the good work of the school district at various points in its progress. Once again, I feel blessed to live in a community where PUSD leadership and citizen participation combine for a positive outcome.

I am equally encouraged to know that PUSD administrators have made oversight and accountability a major consideration for passage of Measure A, the school support tax, by specifically soliciting citizens to serve on a subcommittee of three to five Piedmont taxpayers who will review and report on Measure A revenue and expenditures.

Dana Serleth

Piedmont

City safety meeting proved productive


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On behalf of 40 residents of Bonita, Estrella and Ramona avenues at Moraga Avenue, I extend sincerest appreciation to many individuals who made it possible for us to meet as a neighborhood watch group Feb. 2 at the Ellen Driscoll Theater.

There was the urgency to discuss neighborhood safety concerns following the recent armed home invasions in Piedmont and rising crime rate in general. Sue Lin, of the Public Safety Committee urged we meet with the Piedmont police and fire departments to be apprised of all measures to protect our homes and property.

When it became apparent that the meeting was not easily possible at a home location, the search for a community facility became challenging. I am indebted to Sheila March, an administrative assistant at the PPD, who took time out of her busy day to research city facilities, only to find them unavailable.

Resident Nancy Andrada, a classroom aide at Havens School, suggested we inquire about using the school library or Ellen Driscoll Theater. A visit to the PUSD Office resulted in a referral to make application for facility rental to Terra Salazar. A subsequent phone call with instructions to make application on-line then followed.

An incredible progression of events, speedily put into motion by Mrs. Salazar, followed. She obtained the permission of Havens School principal Cheryl Wozniak to allow the use of Ellen Driscoll Theater. Subsequent approval by Michael Brady, PUSD Assistant Superintendent, resulted in a permit with waiving of all fees.

Fire Captain Scott Barringer assured me that a PFD representative would attend to make a formal presentation and PPD Chief Rikki Goede telephoned personally to assure me that she would have a patrol officer on hand to answer questions. And indeed, Lieutenant Jon Fitzpatrick of the PFD appeared with many props and a handout for awareness as to disaster preparedness. Patrol Officer Thomas Kincaid spent over an hour detailing measures and procedures to ensure personal safety and that of our neighborhood and homes.

We benefited greatly from all the information presented. However, what is most telling is the involvement of the civic infrastructure of the Piedmont community to provide the resources for identifying and working toward a shared goal of preserving and enhancing individual and collective quality of life.

For this, I again extend my sincerest appreciation to all those individuals named above who assisted in our neighborhood effort to build mutually responsible and productive relationships to experience the challenges and joys of everyday life here in Piedmont.

Ednette Chandler

Piedmont

Hills get soaked on parking tickets

Recently, I parked in the Montclair Village just before my 6 p.m. dinner reservation. Honestly, since there were only a few minutes left, I didn't even think about walking to the machine to get 10 cents of parking meter time.

When I returned to my car (after a fabulous dinner at Kakui Sushi), I was greeted by a parking ticket that was time stamped 5:59:42. Ouch.

Pan Haskins

Oakland

Bones to pick on Measure A claims

Thank you, Maggie Sharpe, for your even-handed and accurate reporting in the Feb. 15 article, "Pros, cons debated at League forum." However, some information presented by opponents is categorically false. Proponent Jonathan Davis' claim that Measure A "represents a decline in taxes from the previous measure" is shown to be false by simple math.

Mr. Davis alleged that the city of San Marino was forced to forego millions in lease payments and sell Stoneman School because of an increasing senior percentage use. This is categorically false. The increasing senior exemption was mutually exclusive to the sale of Stoneman, and until the school district and city forged a mutually beneficial lease/sale agreement, Stoneman School -- unused by the district since 1984 -- was a financial operating drain to the district.

Rick Schiller

Piedmont