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Published March 4th, 2020
Letters to the editor

The Campo Season That Could Have Been

The Campo varsity soccer season ended in disappointment last week. But the real let down was the lack of transparency and leadership about how the incident of 8 November last year at Campo was handled.
I wanted to provide a perspective into what happened and give the removed players and the fired coach a voice - since the school and AUHSD administration haven't. The incidents of that night were investigated by law enforcement authorities who found no wrongdoing. This case closed long ago, because there never was one to begin with.
We moved our family here like many parents in this community, for the quality of the schools. Campo has a great reputation because of the leadership and administration, and I'm grateful for the work they do. There's something for everyone there. Unfortunately, that includes hazing in some sports programs. Multiple sports. Multiple seasons. Multiple years. It didn't begin with soccer and doesn't end there -- because we have failed to fix the culture that created it.
The way this incident was handled and the way these student athletes have been treated is that very culture exposed. Rumor and gossip fill the void of communication. Little transparency from leadership. Remove players in one sport and turn a blind eye to hazing in others. Fail to act as an AUHSD governing body to update district-wide sports policies. Take meetings with parents trying to help but do nothing.
Did some of the players break school rules that night? Yes. Should they have been disciplined? Yes. Should police have investigated? Maybe. I don't question any of that. What I question is why the entire team was punished for the actions of a few. Why they were subject to cyber-bullying off the field and so many injuries and taunting on it. Why the administration used this incident to cover-up years of inaction. And why, in an educational setting, we missed the learning moment it presented to keep it from happening again. Every Campo athlete should learn something from this but won't. And that's the biggest loss of the season, and maybe the year.

Keith Pearce

Orinda's Streetscape Folly

The consultant's draft Streetscape Master Plan (https://cityoforinda.app.box.com/v/ConnectOrindaDraft ) should be rejected, because it does not deliver what we were promised we would receive in return for $300,000 of taxpayer funds plus substantial city staff time.
This Plan was funded by a $250,000 CCTA grant of taxpayer money plus $50,000 of Orinda matching funds. The City promised the CCTA that we would receive a design level conceptual plan, and after public hearings, "DESIGN DOCUMENTS" consistent with the conceptual plan and a FINAL "Downtown Orinda Streetscape Master Plan." (https://www.cityoforinda.org/
Contra-Costa-Transportation-Authority )
It now turns out that we will receive none of the above. The Draft ConnectOrinda Master Plan bears little resemblance to what the City promised the CCTA we would receive, what the RFP (https://cityoforinda.app.box.com/s/dlfu2h9o979sn2w2tdcroerndgymovjk ) required, and what the consultant promised to deliver. (www.cityoforinda.org/
Instead of a "FINAL" plan, we will receive an INTERIM plan in which the consultant suggests that further consultants be hired to pursue future possible plans, each at a substantial additional cost.
Instead of "design documents," we will receive "guidelines" that include "use landscaping" and "develop a maintenance program." (see pp. 24-25 of the consultant's contract for what was promised) These requirements could have been developed by a group of high school students doing a civics project.
The plan does nothing to address parking, in contrast to the requirements of the RFP at pages 9 and 13, and in contrast to the promises of the consultant contract at p. 25. In fact, the only mention of "parking" is a vague suggestion to "improve bike/scooter parking." (Item 4 of the Streetscape Design Guidelines.)
At a minimum, the Council should require that the consultant come back with something that is consistent with what the City promised the CCTA, and what the consultant promised the City, we would receive.

Nick Waranoff

Private roads. Clarifications.

The residents of private roads are requesting that their roads be allowed to become public at a reasonable cost to the residents. The current city policy (59-18) precludes most private roads from ever becoming public. For the rest it imposes exorbitant costs to create a CalTrans quality road that will last for 20 years without maintenance. It further requires that the older narrow roads be widened, which in many cases is impossible, and many expensive geotechnical reports. These expenses to be shared by the few residents of each private road with no assurance that the road will become public even if it meets all the city requirements.
Private road residents have already paid about $4 million to repair public residential roads that are just like theirs. This excludes the payments made for arterials and collectors that we all use. They will contribute another $12 million.
We are asking for inclusion into the public road network at a reasonable cost! To date the city has been unwilling to accept any road into the public network. The city has also been unwilling to get any private road or drain data that would cost very little. They wish to pretend private road residents don't exist except to pay for bonds, taxes, and garbage truck (which cause by far the most wear) impact fees so that the public streets get repaired and maintained.
The citizens for fair road funding want a fair deal: a reasonable path to inclusion. The city seems to want us to disappear. Until a reasonable city policy is created we shall be forced to vote against any new taxes for roads or drains.

Charles Porges

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