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Published February 22, 2017
Letters to the Editor

Group Hopes to Save Rheem Theatre

Dear Editor and to the members of our community:

My name is Renata Sos, and I am the President of the Moraga Community Foundation. On behalf of the MCF Board, I wanted to give our donors and other members of the community an update on our recent activities and our anticipated projects for the short term.
The Moraga Community Foundation (MCF) was established in 2015. It is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to working with the community to build a vibrant future for Moraga. MCF focuses on significant capital projects that the Board believes, based on community input, will benefit Moraga as a whole. We are not supplanting or in conflict with the efforts of the many worthy and important community organizations; rather, MCF hopes to continue to work alongside and in concert with those organizations towards the betterment of this town.
MCF's efforts over the past year have been directed towards securing long-term viability for the New Rheem Theatre. The Rheem Theatre is a jewel of Moraga and an integral part of its social and artistic fabric. To date, the members of this community have generously helped support the continued operations of the Theatre. MCF is exploring the possibility of buying the Theatre, making it a community-owned asset, and positioning it to thrive and prosper for years to come. In so doing, we hope to preserve the Theatre's rich past and invest in its future. We will keep you informed of our progress, and appreciate your interest and support.
To be clear, the Rheem Theatre is but the first of what we hope will be many endeavors. MCF will continue to look for and explore other significant projects that are of interest to the community. In that regard, we welcome your thoughts, input, and questions. You can reach me at Renata.sos@moragacommunityfoundation.org.

Renata Sos,
President of the Moraga Community Foundation Board

Reasons to Keep Park Passive

Dear Editor,
Thanks to Nick Marnell who accurately covered the debate swirling around Leigh Creekside Park in his article, "Council: Still no decision on Leigh Creekside Park" in the Feb. 8, issue. In 1999, my wife and I donated $5,000 to the community campaign to preserve this quiet green space across the street from our house, on the land that once belonged to our neighbors, John and Ethel Leigh. The park is named after them and it's worked well without trouble for 17 years as a "passive neighborhood park."
Mr. Marnell reported that "passive" park supporters outnumbered the "active" supporters by more than 2 to 1 at the meeting. When he asked an "active" supporter about their low turnout, he was told, "People were at home that night with their kids." This is a valid reason, but I'd like to add another perspective. I am elderly man and I tell you this only to say that being a parent with young children is not the only reason Lafayette residents can't go to meetings. Elderly folks have trouble attending evening meetings too, and worry that their voices may not be heard. We need this type of peaceful park, but many of us can only write letters.
I imagine the same applies to people with disabilities. I often see students from Las Trampas School in the park and suspect it's difficult for them to go to meetings, too. At a previous council meeting that I attended, two people from Futures Explored spoke about their anxiety disorder. They stood together at the podium for moral support and said that the park makes them feel better because it's quiet, natural, and not crowded. Another disabled man at that meeting told us that he takes his own chair to the park and likes to look at the big oak tree and quietly read his favorite book. He's a veteran.
These are very good reasons to keep the park as it is and I hope the council votes to keep the park passive.

Richard Jensen

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