I am disappointed with Ms. Brunel's letter expressing negative views regarding a children's park surrounding the new library in Castro Valley ("Children's park not compatible with new library," Jan. 10).

The community of Castro Valley has changed a lot in the past 44 years; Castro Valley has lost much of its open space and children do not have the fields and open spaces they once had to explore, climb and just plain be kids. This means skateboarders scramble to find places to skate without being hassled, soccer and baseball teams squabble over places to play, and many in the community have complained of not being able to find a place to just walk and enjoy nature.

As a teacher and parent in Castro Valley, I take pleasure in the thought of a library that attracts children and draws them in. The "pocket park" seems like a wonderful idea. It is on land that will not cost a fortune to purchase. This would be a park that would cost us nothing extra. It is not a "ludicrous" idea. Rather, it would be a wonderful asset to our community.

I sure hope that HARD will be able to add the pocket park to our community.

Jason Berberian

Castro Valley

Funky Monkey

not 'gay friendly'

As a gay, former customer of Club Rumor, Funky Monkey owner Ms. Pepperell's comments that she wishes more of the gay clientele had hung around come across as a bit insincere ("Hayward bar scene younger, straighter," Jan. 18).

The consensus amongst the gay community is that the Funky Monkey is not "gay friendly" and several have gone in and were told to leave or were given a chilly reception. If Ms. Pepperell's intention was to be all inclusive as she asserts, why did she not retain at least one of the long time, gay bartenders from Club Rumor? Several saw the train coming down the tracks and left on their own; others were fired.

Your article did accomplish one thing for Ms. Pepperell. That is to get the word out to the straight community that "The coast is clear. The gay folks have left the building." Very smart PR on her part. Too bad The Review played into it. As a proud member of the gay community, I (and many others) choose to spend our dollars where we feel welcomed.

Turf Club (and The Rainbow Room, which your article omitted) are two such viable options.

Mark Ziebro

Hayward

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