Portola Valley: Ford Field fundraising drive looks promising

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Posted by ashamed of our community
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I would love to give a decent amount to this fine cause but the town's position on the 'resurrection' tree is ridiculous and shows a lack of common sense and a disdain for sports and kids. So no funds from me.

Sorry to post anonymously but I do not want my kids to suffer from my posting an unpopular reply.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on May 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

The tree should go. It has to be supported by a metal pipe/brace! If nature had been allowed to take its course, the tree would have come down on its own a long time ago. Plant several others in its place and dedicate them to the largest donors. Heck, there is room to plant a small oak forest! The tree is an eye sore and should go!

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Posted by anonymous too
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm

How does the Little League have so much money?

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Posted by Contrarian view
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on May 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Little league baseball is a great experience. I have played on and coached teams on Ford Field. However, the sad truth is that enrollment in Alpine West Menlo Little League as well as Menlo Atherton Little League (they used to be a single league but were split many years ago) has been on a sharp and steady decline.

Three seasons ago, Alpine LL majors fielded 10 teams of 12 players each with another 40-50 players who did not get drafted onto a majors team. Due to low enrollment, the league has shrunk the number of teams in each of the last three seasons. This year, Alpine was barely able to field 7 teams with NO players players on the undrafted list. In fact, this year, there is a team who doesn't even have enough players and has to 'borrow' players from competing teams.

You get my point. 8-12 year old kids (boys) are opting for Lacrosse these days. Popularity of the sport has risen ridiculously fast with club organziations and most middle and high schools launching competitive programs in the last 2-4 years.

Here is the punchline...the town should at least consider developing Ford Field as the pre-eminent local LACROSSE field for local league and school play.

Seems like a better use of resources to support an undeniable trend in youth sports.

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Posted by Tim Goode
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on May 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Just to correct Contrarian, LL numbers are not down. We have experienced a slight increase in enrollment in each of the last 3 years. We have shrunk the majors to seven teams but not for lack of players. Three years ago we had 10 teams and that included 9 and 10 year olds. The league now requires 9 year olds to play minors instead of majors.

The league also re-structured its minor leagues so there is age appropriate competition. The increased competitiveness of minors and the opportunity to play a meaningful role in a quality minors program rather than a secondary role on a majors team has caused most 10 year olds to opt for minors rather than majors. These moves with 9s and 10s has shrunk our available majors player pool.

We now have 20 minor league teams. Next year we will have 8 majors, teams too. We now schedule minors games on Ford to allow access for more levels.

We aren't losing kids to lacrosse. In fact, lacrosse is a shadow of what it was in the community in the 70s.

Our numbers have had minor increases each of the last three years. Little League is vital and thriving. I also understand M-A will go add another majors team next season.

We look forward to working with the town to revitalize Ford Field into a model little league field that will serve the community for years to come.

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