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Judge's order nixes M-A plans for night football

Original post made on Oct 6, 2010

A San Mateo County judge, in a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday, Oct. 5, agreed with a group of Atherton neighbors of Menlo-Atherton High School who sued to prevent use of the lights for night football games.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 11:38 PM

Comments (221)

Posted by peter carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 5:58 am

peter carpenter is a registered user.

"The Sequoia district, Judge Weiner noted, "not only 'chopped' the temporary poles portion of the project, but (the district) also 'chopped' the pole portion of the project from the electrical wiring part of the project -- all in order to try and artificially utilize a categorical exemption for temporary structures."

Hopefully the school district will realize that strict compliance with the laws, including CEQA and the Brown Act, is far better than attempts like this to circumvent these laws. This is a useful lesson for all concerned - complying with the law, even when doing so might seem inconvenient, saves a lot of time and effort.


Posted by Wow, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:50 am

Really??? OMG...three hours of light a week on a Friday night so parents who work can actually go see their kids play, cheer, or perform at halftime..wahhhhhhhh. Environmental impact report??? You people are crazy...but you are rich and crazy and can afford lawyers to oppress the rest of us. Congratulations on your victory.


Posted by wow, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:12 am

[Portion deleted. Express your views but please avoid name-calling.]
Nighttime football is fun and an American past time. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. Anyone who buys a home near a school knows there will be noise and events. A lawsuit? Really? Common sense should prevail-football games do not occur in the middle of the night after all. Anyone associated with this law suit is petty and selfish. SHAME ON YOU!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:19 am

The issue is not football or lights but the school district's habitually attempts to skirt the laws by doing such things as appointing a new superintendent in secret and declaring itself exempt from environmental laws - hardly an example for the students who are entrusted to their care.


Posted by can't believe it, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:51 am

You people are mean and selfish we were looking forward to playing our homecoming game at HOME school spirit is going to take a dive, how could a judge do this at the last minute - thanks for ruining homecoming for hundreds of students!!! You know you could go out to dinner or see a show and you would not even know the lights were on


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:55 am

"how could a judge do this at the last minute ?"

"These three night games were scheduled after this petition was filed (on Aug. 17), and thus (the district) took its chances in scheduling them in the first place," the judge wrote."


Posted by Jimmy Johnson, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:11 am

What a joke. Menlo Atherton School has been there longer than most of the people living in the area. Friday night lights. Boo Hoo. Keep taking away things for kids to do and they just might be the ones to break into you homes. You better keep your lights on when you don't let them use theirs.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

"They have not justified the need for the late use of the lights at all"

August 16 Sunset: 8:02pm
November 8 Sunset: 5:04pm

If the football team practices until 8 in August, but darkness requires them to terminate at 5 in November, do the neighbors have basis for suit to terminate the "late" practices in August?

Atherton neighbors v. Sol. Another frivolous Atherton lawsuit.

Coming to a courtroom near you. Those poor neighbors need to be asleep by 6:30pm. That's why they bought a house next to a school.

The neighbors are delaying the inevitable, just to take it out on the kids.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

I am delighted at the judge's ruling, and agree with Peter on two issues-first, that hopefully the district board will learn a lesson for the future; it is easier to do things correctly up front and two, this isn't about the lights, its about the law and this districts tract record for ignoring it. I am bothered, however, but several of the posts here that are obviously from students who only see this as a "take away" aimed at them. I would urge the teachers at MA who are involved in civics to use this as a real life case study to teach the kids about the various legal and social aspects of this issue. I honestly do hope that eventually, after proper study, a compromise plan can be put in place that enables MA to have night football games, but in being able to have them that its done in a way that doesn't require their neighbors to have to "go out to dinner" until the game is over.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

"do hope that eventually, after proper study, a compromise plan can be put in place"

You think that after the school wins, they should bother to listen to the folks that sued them multiple times? The arts center, the lights, etc...

Haven't the neighbors burned that bridge several times over?


Posted by Outraged, a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

"They have not justified the need for the late use of the lights at all," she said. "They absolutely can accommodate all school-related practices before it gets dark."

Really??? The sun sets before 5:00 PM in November and December. Practices can't start until 3:30 now with the late dismissal, meaning that practices can only last 1 1/2 hours, instead of what used to be 2 1/2 hours. I'm not too sure where you're getting your information, Ms. Shimko, but but a good lawyer should always do their homework!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

Don't blame the neighbors and don't blame the judge - blame the school board.

Had the school board initiated the required environmental study when it voted to proceed with the temporary lighting the study would have been finished long ago and there would have be no basis for the lawsuit. And in the process of doing the required study there would have been amply opportunity for the neighbors to raise questions and for those questions to be addressed in the final EIR.

Once again the school board elected to cut corners and they simply got caught - by a judge who places adherence to the law above the right of the school board to as it pleases.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

WhoRUPeople has an excellent point in using this result as an object lesson in the rule of law, a concept that has been under increasing threat for at least a couple of decades.

If there are students posting on this thread, please take care with your grammar.

For example: "A good lawyer should always do their homework."


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:06 am

"A good lawyer should always collect fees while conducting a futile effort to delay the inevitable."

Better?


Posted by MA Student/Football Fan, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:21 am

This is rediculous, I have been faithful to this football team sense the start of my career at MA. I have personally driven across the bay area and penisula to see games. A dozen diffrent schools, all who have night football games. Most of the time I'm the only student there. This deprives our football team from getting the support from the student body that they need. The reason the football team and football isn't barely recognized by students is because no can go to the games. I have been preparing for this upcoming homecoming game for weeks. I have followed this stories and some pretty idiotic reasoning from opposers to the lights. Thank you all so much for RUINING HOMECOMING for myself and hundreds of students who where going to get most likly there first taste of what high school football is all about. Thanks for shouting down our teams support and destroying hours of work and preparation not only by the school but the students as well. Really a few days before the game and you ban it now. How cruel! You just killed hopes and dreams of students by waiting till the last moment congradualtions if that was your goal you succeeded.I'm so dissappointed in these adults costant need to look out only for themselves and never consider the effects on the students they are stealing from!


Posted by be honest, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:26 am

While Peter and a few others may argue that the lawsuit is not about the lights, the reality is exactly that. The community around the school has a prevailing fear of "outsiders" being near their homes or community. For them, its bad enough that M-A has a significant population that comes from the eastside of the Bayshore freeway but to have students around at night strikes fear into their hearts. The district used temporary lights for this year with the hope that an environmental study for permanent lights would be approved and accepted in the near future. Temporary lights were used only to solve the current year and not intended for long term use. If the lights were intended instead for a park - like Burgess - this wouldnt be an issue. Having students around the campus at night makes the neigbors uncomfortable.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:32 am

MA Student states:"You just killed hopes and dreams of students by waiting till the last moment congradualtions if that was your goal you succeeded.I'm so dissappointed in these adults costant need to look out only for themselves and never consider the effects on the students they are stealing from!"

1 - Don't blame the neighbors and don't blame the judge - blame the school board for not following the law.

2 - Based on this writing sample I think that you need to spend more time in English classes and less time thinking about Homecoming.


Posted by frustrated, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 11:57 am

we spend alot of time in class and we were looking forward to a fun school sponsored event. which has been taken away from us!


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Dear Peter, Prince of Correctness,

Stay on track, won't you? This has nothing to do with grammar or spelling or English classes. You can be insulting and go off track if you prefer, but that might only convince folks to think you are [Portion removed. Please avoid name-calling.] And that's not the point of any of this. That approach certainly won't convince anyone to agree with you.

To honest's point (and recognizing it was probably written from a very small keyboard), this may be about building a valuable learning and social experience for students and community alike. Sure, there is a process that the law requires, and the process may require an environmental impact study. That is why we have laws, lawyers and judges. Let's find the process to make it work. No need to distract the discussion with unrelated and unnecessary comments (unless, of course, you are suggesting that people with perfect grammar and spelling deserve lights on the playing field).


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm

[Post removed. Please discuss the topic and don't attack other posters.]


Posted by be honest, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm

How big of you Peter to prove your point based on a student's grammar. That clearly makes your argument more effective.

I agree with you - the district did circumnavigate the law by placing temp lights up. But this was not done out of malice or disregard to the neighbors. Instead, it was done as a stop-gap fix until a permanent solution could be found.

I still believe that the underlying truth to this whole debate is that nearby Atherton residents do not want East Menlo and EPA residents in their "backyards" Its a fear or concern largely based on race and socio-economic prejudices.

You can say you are progressive, in favor of diversity, etc. But the truth is you are in favor of diversity - just so long as it doesn't impact your own life, in the secluded and homogeneous neighborhood of Lindenwood.


Posted by No Fumble, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Yes, some (not all) of the neighbors are a nuisance to the school. Bring back the old song, " Whatever it is, We'er Against it" The tree canopy is so dense, no light would not have gotten through to bother anyone! Yes, the cart (school) has to face the horses behinds daily.


Posted by Scholar, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

The school and students and their parents should call in Gloria Allred to clarify the bottom line being prejudicial snobs hiding behind a few regulations


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Defining a bad relationship. Neighbors filing ill-advised lawsuits at the drop of a hat. The school trying to reach out and consult with them. Inviting them to school board meetings to discuss. None of the neighbors show up.

Face it, MA, from a friend, sorry, the neighbors "just aren't that into you......."


Posted by M-A Parent and Neighbor of M-A HS, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Once again our kids suffer because of shortsightedness and vindictiveness of adults. Another harmless childhood pasttime goes away for our kids. What is so awful about the school attempting to instill school spirit and fun into our kids' and the larger community's life? I guess it is better that the kids sit in front of TVs and computers or roam the streets aimlessly rather than being at a supervised group event, learning what it is to be part of a community, to have school pride,and to support our players? I feel sorry for those neighbors involved with the lawsuit who think it is a horrible thing to hear thru your windows the sounds of high school traditions with students,parents and community having a good time. Maybe those involved in the lawsuit should be offered front row seats at an M-A football game to refresh their memories of high school life and having fun.


Posted by AN MA Graduate and Parent, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm

The discussion over lights has been thoroughly reviewed and discussed ad nauseum over the last two years. The few neighbors who border Menlo Atherton have been heard over the voices of hundreds of others. Has anyone viewed the expanse of lawn and foliage that divide Menlo Atherton's football field from its Atherton neighbors? How can sports events that end by an agreed time impact these neighbors? As one astute football player stated, "Its as if they bought a house next to a train track and didn't expect a train to go past!"

Is it an increased level of crime they are worried about? The money they have spent on a full page ad in the Almanac and suing the District could be better spent rehiring the police officer laid off during budge cuts. The school held a trial night game last year that did not result in ANY crime. MA Football Association had more than 10 volunteers solely to increase security and calm the fears of our neighbors.

In fact, the entire football program is supported by volunteers as the district has very little money to support the after school sports programs. Many of our coaches volunteer their time - not one earns more than $4000. for countless hours of service. High School Football is about building character, keeping kids off the street and teaching them to be accountable for their actions. America is built around Apple Pie and Homecoming Games - usually a night game. Ours will be played this year at another school. Thanks Friends of Atherton for crushing the morale of 121 boys (and their fans.)

All this suit has done, is reduce money that the district could better use elsewhere and disappoint many who have worked hard to make MA a wonderful place to receive an education.


Posted by Doug, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Mr. Carpenter:

I find your comments about grammar and English classes to be offensive, mean-spirited, obnoxious and, most importantly, beside the point. (Though, I could point out, sir, that your grammar is less than stellar. To wit, and I quote, "...there would have been amply opportunity for the neighbors... Amply?!)

To All:

I applaud the expression of opinions, including frustration, by the students; it's all part of a vigorous debate on the issues. Keep it up.

Sadly, I think the School Board lost the first battle in this skirmish. It appears that they took a calculated risk in putting up temporary lights and scheduling a few games and practices pending completion of the EIR for permanent lights. Things didn't work out this time, but in the end the Board and M-A will eventually prevail. To do so, however, will take time, including finalizing the EIR, and money (which, by the way, could be better spent educating students rather than fighting lawsuits filed by neighbors).

I know that it's disappointing to M-A students, all of whom I'm sure were looking forward to Homecoming under the lights. (As a product of the Midwest, I recall fondly going to Friday night football games under the lights. These games took place, by the way, in a neighborhood much like what surrounds M-A.) Be patient. It will happen. It's just going to take a little while longer while the School Board has to work through skirmishes with the Peter Carpenter's of the world.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Doug states:"It's just going to take a little while longer while the School Board has to work through skirmishes with the Peter Carpenter's of the world."

No, it is going to take how ever long it takes for the school board to start respecting the law.


Posted by REALITY CHECK, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I suspect that if the law requires an environmental impact report, it will be done, with whatever effort and resources it this requires. It will likely find that there is additional traffic before, and after games (as there is, today). That there is some noise & cheering (this happens at games, too). That there are some lights (and most likely, with minimal impact, given the distance from the lights to neighbor back yards). This will take a little while longer, given the inevitable protests of a wealthy, vocal, and minority.
...sure, the lawsuit cited environmental impact. But, what exactly is the neighborhood complaint?


Posted by MA Parent, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm

and in the meantime our students take the hit. Lets be reasonable. This is about a few wealthy residents who don't want change and could care less about the well being of their community. Who is the law supposed to protect? Apparently, deep pockets.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm

EIR

Lindenwood - home of renowned activist environmentalist hippies. Just one look at the front of their homes shows how concerned they are - they recycle cans, after all! Good thing all Lindenwood homeowners are such environmentalists - it surely means they vote for all things green. Firm believers of climate change, they are!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm

MA parent asks:"Who is the law supposed to protect?"

The law in question was passed to ensure that significant projects not have an adverse effect on the environment or, if they would have such an impact, to require appropriate mitigations. And ALL of this could have been avoided if the school board had simply complied with the law rather than "taking a calculated risk" that they could skirt the law.

I am neither for or against the proposed lights but I am strongly in support of public agencies complying with the law - and I wonder why so few MA parents seem to even care that a judge has found that there is reasonable cause to believe that the school board's actions were in violation of the law.


Posted by Doug, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Peter, I admit I tossed in the last comment about the "Peter Carpenters of the world" with the hope that you would respond. Thanks for doing so...(And, BTW, there shouldn't have been an apostrophe in my original post. Sic the grammar police on me).

Anyway, by making the comment that you did, you categorically state that the M-A School Board purposely violated the law. You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but I think you're being myopic. As I'm sure you can appreciate, there is much interpretation required with respect to complicated and detailed regulations. I think the School Board and its attorneys acted in good faith interpreting the regulations and moved forward with the temporary lights under the view that it was OK to do so. The judge, however, didn't agree and you won the first round. Nonetheless, as I pointed out in my original post, I think your victory will be short-lived.

In case it's not obvious, I support the addition of lights to the field. I agree with several others that it will, among other things, add to the sense of community in Menlo Park, something that is becoming increasingly hard to find. I acknowledge that the School Board needs to follow the regulations, but I am disgusted that there is litigation over this. It's a gigantic waste of money.


Posted by KD, a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I played afterschool sports throughout my high school career. It was definitely less pleasant to attend soccer practice than field hockey, because of the loss of light in the afternoon. I think lights, even if they were only used until 7:30 aside from games, are actually a safety issue in the fall/winter. Unfortunately, only ONE field will (ultimately) get those lights and those kids who aren't practicing on that field will still suffer the problem. It would seem the local immediate residents around M-A have forgotten the meaning of community.


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm

There is a timely, and interesting parallel, that the 1st Amendment protects freedom of speech, even speech that targets funerals of men and women who have died in service of our country. Until the Supreme Court decides otherwise, protestes have the right to protest. It's the law. The sad part, is that just because there's a law that protects free speech, many might agree that it is incredibly disrespectful, and maybe morally wrong, to hide behind that law in order to protest, at the expense of grieving families.


Posted by Glad to See, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

[Post removed. Please discuss the topic instead of attacking other posters.]


Posted by db, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Which was there first? The school or you? Likely the school, so you shouldn't have bought a house there if you are anti kids, fun and football. Let there be light!


Posted by M-A Supporter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

The M-A Neighbors did not have to sue. During a school board meeting, where the lights were discussed, they AGREED that temporary lights would be a great way to evaluate how the lights were going to be used and address issues that might arise during practices and games. Of course, we all know they changed their minds and determined that rather than work on a compromise, they would sue a public school. We, as a community, need to get behind M-A and encourage the neighbors to support what could be an amazing opportunity for all of us-not just the students and families who attend the school. The neighbors could still do the right thing and drop the lawsuit so M-A's football, soccer and lacrosse seasons could be salvaged. This would be a generous thing for them to do.


Posted by Teacher, a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

The two of the official reasons given for concern are that "non residents" and "gang members" may attend the event.

Still sore that the poor kids have a reason to come into your community Athertonians? You could at least try to hide your disgust.

The environmental report is a joke, a legal hoop that puts off the day of embarrassment when locals realize that it actually wasn't a big deal at all.

Snap.


Posted by sick and tired of Atherton people who can't deal w/ change, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I am sick and tired of the people in Atherton who try to block anything that changes their town. The Performing Arts Center, lights at a COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL'S football field--really? These are changes that will improve the town by building community. The school district, M-A and all parents involved have been polite and respectful and this is what happens. Sad that the true losers in this situation are the students of M-A. Look beyond your own life and think of other people.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Much of this could have been avoided had the school district complied with the law and the spirit of cooperation. Unfortunately, we learn these lessons after the fact. MA might have been able to use lights and the community's concerns might have been accommodated had people worked together before the situation got out of hand. Even more unfortunate is we have become a society of finger pointers and blamers. This event demonstrates that.


Posted by Laura Hale, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm

As an M-A parent, an Athletic and Band Booster and a Menlo Park resident (who is probably more affected by the lights and sounds than those in the well insulated mausoleum of Lindenwood) I am very sad about the preliminary injunction against stadium lights. I may not understand all the legal posturing and environmental impact requirements, but the seeking of an 11th hour injunction against a local public high school smacks of anti-community minded, self protectionist, xenophobic mean-spiritedness. Parse my grammar any which way, Mr. Carpenter. While I do concede admiringly that at least you have the cojones to state your name, in the court of public opinion, you have failed.


Posted by disappointed, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Hey Football Fan - love the passion Go Bears - I too try to get to as many games as possible because I love football and want to support our team - last week the Varsity game against San Mateo started before school was over so we arrived just before half-time, it was sad because we won the game but very few students or adults could attend so early in the afternoon. I am frustrated by the people who say afternoon games are just fine when they don't take into account the fact that students cannot attend. We want our lights


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Boosters of M-A sports are understandably sad about this injunction, and the neighbors may well be acting like crotchety Scrooges, but a big share of the blame belongs with the Sequoia district board, not to mention the bad advice they received from their attorneys.

The board should not have raised the hopes of the M-A community without being much more certain about their position and their legal strategy. They look like dopes for holding the bag in a strategy whose main tenet seemed to be that the judge won't look too closely at the law and will accept the district's arguments at face value.

What fools.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Regardless of your position on school lights and night football, you must admit that the SUHSD has an imperial attitude when it comes to local laws and regulations. Local laws simply don't apply to them, they are exempt.

Judge Weiner said "not so fast..." The district's trustees needs to learn from this.


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:59 pm

POGO, SUHSD actually is excmpt from local ordinances, zoning and regulations. The issue here is around state, not local law.
Describing SUHSD as imperious for looking beyond local ordinances is like blaming someone in PA for not respecting NJ laws. Unless you are suggesting they are imperious for NOT ignoring the law (just imagine the chorus of lament if SUHSD felt compelled to follow laws that didn't apply).


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm

REALLY CHIC -

Yes, I am well aware that the school district is exempt from local laws. That was my point.

Just a bit of community outreach, making reasonable accommodations to impacted neighbors, and, of course, abiding by the state's CEQA regs, would prevent these things from happening. Now, the district can look forward to spending some more money on litigation.

But more importantly, the district is not exempt from local opinion. The SUHSD clearly has an imperious attitude - they consistently give neighbors the back of their hand.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Now that's what you call a "Hail Mary". Greatly disappointed by the ignorance of anyone saying night games will cause gang members to be more present, but what the NEIGHBORS are doing is exactly that. Gang members get their way by intimidation and force, see the similarities? Now the difference is, these neighbors have the MONEY to take action (as their kids probably went to private schools, hence the mentality) and knows that education in general, is in much financial distress, way to go, kick the district when they're down! Keep depleting our funds on frivolous lawsuits AND did you know to keep kids out of trouble is to keep them involve with sports, school activities creative arts, etc., so more kudos for the NEIGHBORS neighbors to keep more kids in gangs!!! What I really think is sad, is that when this community should be embracing these young players, students and fans, all they hear is that the neighbors think they are not worth given their chance to enjoy a nightly game, ever so once in awhile. [Portion deleted.]


Posted by m-A Supporter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:50 pm

POGO--On what basis do you believe that the SUHSD did not reach out to the neighbors, and that they consistently give them "the back of their hand?" There were no less than 5 public meetings where neighbors were invited to state their position. Members of the school board met, personally, with neighbors and they were very aware of their concerns. The temporary lights were a concession to them--it was THEIR idea in the first place. The school board went above and beyond to address neighbors' concerns--And ended up getting sued. I would not blame them at all if they determine in the future that it really is not worth it to involve neighbors in any kind of discussion. But that is not how they choose to operate.


Posted by GoGiants, a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:07 pm

For those interested in watching, the M-A Bears will be hosting The King's Academy Knights on Thursday, October 7 at Sequoia High School (1201 Brewster Ave, Redwood City). JV – 4:30pm and Varsity at 7:00pm under the lights.


Posted by Dolphin, a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Two things seem to be equally true:

The school board may have not handled this as well as they should have, and

The neighborhood folks' NIMB mentality is detrimental to the students' and the broader community's needs.

Friday night lights brings community together and in many ways defines the HS experience for athletes, students, and the school community. The neighborhood leaders' mypotic, self-interested view and power tactics miss the big picture.


Posted by M-A student and athlete, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 7, 2010 at 2:31 am

To Peter Carpenter and those against the lights,
First off, I must admit that I do not know every detail surrounding this issue. I have not attended the meetings and I am not familiar with the regulations and laws. I also want to say that your refutation of the student comments as grammatically incorrect is insensitive, uncalled for, and naive of the backgrounds many M-A students come from.
I also want to address what I feel is the real issue here. You have stated several times that this really isn't about the lights, it's about the school carelessly breaking the law and acting selfishly. I'm sorry, but please be reasonable and honest. You are not the police. This is not assault or theft or even jaywalking. You don't care when city ordinances and regulations are broken and you aren't suing because of that. You care about the fact that you don't like these lights and you don't want them there. As another student said, you don't buy a house next to the train-tracks and then complain about the noise of the train (actually, I'm pretty sure Atherton residents have done that, but still, beside the point).
The "environmental impact" of these lights is that there will be more light at our school. I believe there are trees between our school and your houses. If not...close your blinds. Is having to close your blinds worth suing over? And yes, there will be noise, but you live next to a football field and we have agreed to stop playing by a reasonable hour. And while I know you paid a very pretty penny for your house, a whole lot of people live much closer to much louder things; you will be just fine with a small amount of noise once every few weeks.
And regards to traffic and possible gang activity/crime/loitering: basketball games. I've seen no lawsuits over those, yet it's the same thing, with more fans even, and played indoors. Last time I checked M-A students have not been inspired by the spirit of a basketball game to go out and commit a crime.
Obviously, if anyone in this lawsuit even does read this, it will have no effect on your opinion. You have made your decision and I doubt you budge on it. But my plea is that rather than make a political statement against the school for failing to properly accommodate you, and yes, M-A is undeniably not always perfect, re-consider whether the damage those are doing you is anywhere close to what you are doing to us. This is a distraction to both our team and the rest of the student body, and while I understand that M-A is in the wrong on several issues here, selfishness has carried this on much farther than it ever should have gone


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

M-A student - Thank you for a very thoughtful posting.

First some facts about me - I live in Lindenwood but far enough away from the school that the proposed lights would not impact me. I am not involved in the lawsuit. I do not have an opinion for or against the lights.

Lawsuits occur when one or more people feel that they have been or will be harmed AND there are reasons to believe that the other party has behaved in a manner that has or will violate the law. Lawsuits can be avoided by carefully following the law and by being sensitive to the people who might be impacted by your actions. It appears that your school board DID engage in outreach to the neighbors but it is also clear the your school board intentional decided to "exempt" itself from complying with the law. That self declared exemption created the opportunity for anyone who wished to challenge the school board's actions - which at least one person did. Had the outreach to the neighbors been totally successful, an unlikely outcome in any controversy, there would have been no need for a lawsuit. Had the board complied with the law and prepared the required environmental report then, in the process of the public review of the draft of that report, there would have been opportunities for comments by the neighbors and those comments would have had to be addressed in a well done final report. Under those circumstances those opposed to the project would have had very slim grounds for further challenges.

Your school board's disregard for the law in this case is more troubling because it is part of a larger problem - the board's repeated disregard for a strict adherence to the laws. For example, your school board recently appointed a new superintendent in a series of secret sessions without ever publicly disclosing the name of the candidate and giving the public the opportunity to comment on that candidate's qualifications. This unnecessary, intentional and illegal secrecy served no useful purpose and placed a cloud over the appointment of someone who appears to be well qualified.

My suggestion that one of your fellow students spend more time in English class was an honest concern that a student in high school should be capable of writing simple sentences and spelling correctly - which is, I believe, one of the basic goals of the education which the taxpayers are supporting. Your posting is a superb example of someone who has been taught to think and write clearly for which I congratulate both you and your teachers.

As for the judge's decision to temporarily prohibit the lighting, don't blame the neighbors or the judge but recognize that your school board took a calculated risk that they could ignore the law - and lost. "These three night games were scheduled after this petition was filed (on Aug. 17), and thus (the district) took its chances in scheduling them in the first place," the judge wrote.


Posted by Glad to See, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:25 am

Why haven't Peter's off topic comments been removed as he attacks people use of English and suggests English class. That is insulting. A civics class would be a better suggestion. The suit about the lights is still sad.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:23 am

I would love to know if any of the residents who agreed to the temporary lights are involved in the lawsuit. If so my disappointment in the lawsuit would be replaced with sheer disgust.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:23 am

"I would love to know if any of the residents who agreed to the temporary lights are involved in the lawsuit."

They are "unnamed." They do not show up at meetings to discuss the situation. They renege on the agreement with temporary lights. They sue at a moment's notice.

Except one neighbor who [portion removed, terms of use]listed her name.

Which was odd because her son played football on the field for a number of years, we assume supporting the school and wearing Bear colors. But now that he is off to another school, whoops! Can't support the school any more.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

Interesting that the comments have mostly focused on whether or not there should be lights at MA. Very few comments have submitted regarding SUHSD and their compliance or lack thereof with the law.

I don't have an opinion either way on the lights. I do have an expectation that government agencies comply with laws and ordinances.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:25 am

Bob:

Once the EIR is done and they are compliant, count on the lights going in.

The neighbors, instead of meeting, discussing and holding to their agreements to test the temporary lights, resorted to (mostly anonymous) lawsuits. Then there was the arts center lawsuits. How'd that work out for ya, Atherton? Another $100 grand down the drain.

Talk about burning bridges. Why the school would ever bother to consult with those people after all the effort the school has put in, only to be slapped around, is beyond me.

The school is exempt from local zoning anyway.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

It always amazes me how intelligent (I assume) people who encounter a legal ruling that goes against them suddenly ignore the legal basis for the decision. It further amazes me how they then go into denial, making statements about "when we win in the end" this will prove to be a waste of time. The Almanac article very clearly, completely and accurately stated the basis for the judge's decision, explained the state law that was violated, and, noted that the judge,as the law requires before issuing an injunction, rendered an opinion on the fact that it is HIGHLY LIKELY that the neighbors will prevail in the end (this is a requirement in the law to prevent both frivolous law suits and injunctions). To reiterate the judge's basis for ruling, "the district IMPROPERLY divided the installation of the lights into a "temporary project" and a "permanent project". A trick that state law has already declared improper when dealing with environmental issues. The judge's comments went on, "all in order to try and ARTIFICIALLY utilize a categorical exemption for temporary structures". In my view, that means the district had full knowledge of the law and did this on purpose to get around the law. This is why I, and, I believe, others in this forum keep saying it is not about the lights. It is about respecting the rule of law and working within those rules; not trying to go around them. As Peter Carpenter accurately pointed out, the SUHSD Board has a reputation for this type of behavior. It is wrong and should not be tolerated.


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:59 am

This isn't about denial, of any sort and while this forum make a judgement about SUHSD's intent, but it's likely that one of two things happened:
1) SUHSD was aware of their choice, as a calculated risk, or
2) SUSHD believed it was correct, and in compliance with the law & intent (and possibly, as a way to test the lights, temporary use).

The good news is that there is a judge and the judge(s) will decide.

To anyonumous's point, the issue appears to be around the state law around EIR compliance, and when the EIR is complete, there will be a decision. The judge did not say the neighbors would prevail re lights v. no lights. The judge decided that neighbors would likely prevail in a requirement for the EIR, and that the temporary installation is not likely to get around the need.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:10 am

who r u:

Are you saying it's not ultimately about the EIR and lights?


Posted by RU Serious, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:46 am

To the residents in Atherton

Get a Life and stop wasting those thousands of dollars on lawyer and court fees! You have stomped on the very students that could become your future Atherton Mayor, Police Chief or neighbor. In any case, I hope they remember how short sighted and bigoted this small group of individuals are and decide to live anywhere but Lindenwood


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Anonymous - I have said all along (including in previous strings on this forum regarding this subject that I would be in favor of having a lighted field at MA IF any negative impact on surrounding homes could be appropriately mitigated. I don't live anywhere near MA so it won't affect me, but I can understand people who do live nearby wanting to be sure their rights are protected/considered. An appropriately done EIR will identify any negative impacts (or identify that there aren't any) and if there are will include a list of mitigations necessary to eliminate negative impacts to an acceptable level under the law. So it is about the EIR. The judges ruling in my mind was appropriate because the district put up temporary lights pending the results of an EIR. State law says you can't do it that way.


Posted by Football Mom, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

For those of you disappointed by this turn of events or those who support students and their education in and out of the classroom:

MA Football vs. Kings Academy TONIGHT! 10/7/10

Sequoia High School

Frosh/Soph Football 4:30

Varsity 7:00

Come with an appetite as we will be transporting our amazing dinner options from MA to Sequoia. You will love the food. But even better, the students on and off the field will appreciate your support!


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Who:

"It further amazes me how they then go into denial, making statements about "when we win in the end" this will prove to be a waste of time."

So if you agree it hinges on the eventual EIR, are you saying you think an EIR will likely prohibit or allow lights?

I stated previously my confidence in the eventuality of lights because I'm unaware of an EIR prohibiting lights in the past.

I'm glad it amazes you.


Posted by GOLLY, a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm

[Post removed. Stay on topic.]


Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:46 pm

It was clear from the comments of neighbors who spoke, on camera, with SF news reporters, that they want no lights on the M-A field.
A strong unwillingness to compromise came through in the interviews.

One would think the proposal was for something previously unheard of in school sports programs. It made me sad because I have good memories of going to HS football games on Friday nights with my family. My father liked football & had 4 kids, so this was family entertainment. Having an evening activity now in a supervised environment seems to me a very positive way to help build community spirit. Some parents who go might even start acknowledging recognition of each other which could actually lead to conversations.

Mr. Carpenter says the school went about this incorrectly. I don't know. I do know that when my offspring attended M-A more than 20 years ago, we parents would have liked to take our kids & watch a Friday night game. Lots of players' parents never saw any games because they were at work.

The cranky-pants who want to prevent night games should be ashamed. We saw them on TV & we know who they are. Boo!


Posted by Kate Reardon, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Please read the student perspective at mabearnews.com! We're not too thrilled that our Homecoming game was at Sequoia High School.

Web Link


Posted by Dave, a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Clearly this is a case of selfishness on the part of those who demand a lighted field with no regard for the people they are impacting.
If lighted fields were so important to the parents of these students, there are plenty of places they could have chosen to live where schools have lights. The people who live near the school were aware that schools would impact them, but they also knew the school did not have lighted fields.
It is just stunning that so many people lack any emphathy at all for the people in the neighborhood.
As for Homecoming, why does the game need to played at night? Willow Glen H.S. has lights, but they play their Homecoming game during the day. Have your game during the day and have your dance at night after the game.
And there is still light after sun down. Look up civil twilight, and you will find there is enough light for outdoor activities for about half an hour after sunset.
There are solutions, but schools seem to have no imagination. And they always have the trump card of "its for the kids."


Posted by Hmmmmm, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Fellow supporters of Lights for M-A, see this link from families of Palo Alto.
Web Link


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2010 at 6:50 am

To bad it may be late for a ballot inititive. Here's an equitable solution, to pay current fair-value to imapcted neighbors. Choices may be to resell the property with revised CC&Rs, or to expand the school property. Everyone gets something - old owners get FMV, new owners get what they're willing to buy, and the community geta a school with extracurricular sports, events, and reasonalbe use of evening lights. Too far out to consider...or the perfect solutoin?

Ordinarily, a government can exercise eminent domain only if its taking will be for a "public use" - which may be expansively defined along the lines of public "safety, health, interest, or convenience". Perhaps the most common example of a "public use" is the taking of land to build or expand a public road or highway. Public use could also include the taking of land to build a school or municipal building, for a public park, or to redevelop a "blighted" property or neighborhood.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

After reading through all of these comments it is pretty clear to me that the residents ACTUALL objections to lighting the feilds have nothing to do with lights. It seems to break down into two areas: 1. the district didn't follow the law and do an EIR or 2. I'm not sure the motivation - as the lights aren't going to be on any later than a summer sunset. So what's the REAL objection?


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

Anonymos,

Having been through the EIR process several times, let me try to explain what I meant by my comments. Contrary to what many people think, an environmental impact study (EIR) is not intended to result in a "go, no go" answer on a project. It is supposed to identify whether or not there are any environmental impact(s) that will result from the project; if there are impacts, to what extent they are significant; and finally, if there are significant impacts, what, if any, mitigating measures can be incorporated into the project to offset the impacts. Many projects which do have significant enviornmental impact do still get done with mitigations (i.e. paying in lieu fees, etc.). What I am saying is that I would hope that a properly done EIR will either provide adequate assurances to the neighbors that they won't be adversely affected, or that if they will be, that additional things can be included that will "make it right" with them. I do not agree with the district's approach to put up temporary lights and wait to see if they have adverse affects--nor does state law like such an approach.


Posted by Member, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Oct 8, 2010 at 9:10 am

1)The neighbors requested the school district install temporary lights – as a way to see what impact they would have.

2) The school district went along with their suggestion.

3)The neighbors then sue the district for installing temporary lights.

4)Need I say more,,


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 8, 2010 at 9:17 am

The school disctrict made a clear choice to install temporary lighting, for two reasons:
1) It wanted the benefit and experience of using lights (no better way to understand the impact, than in actual use)
2) The EIR & permit process has been started, but will take a very long time (I understand, up to one year).
The unknown to me whether the SUSHD was attempting to cheat the system by installing temporary lights, or instead, take steps now, with the prospect benefitting from, and learning from the exerience.

For the sake of neighbors and community, IMO it is better to learn with temporary lights...than to rely on a paper conjecture of an EIR report. Again, that's just an opinion. Perphaps the EIR experts can document the actual impact, without having to see the lights.


Posted by Peter got spanked, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

"If lighted fields were so important to the parents of these students, there are plenty of places they could have chosen to live where schools have lights."

yeah. lets take that a little further

analogy - those black folks who chose to live in the south with jim crow laws should have just moved up north

it's there fault

personal responsibility

lazy parents should make mo money so kids can go to Menlo School

oh, no lights there either


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Peter got spanked: just to understand your point...are you saying that if 5 neighbors are opposed, then the other 37,974 residents of Menlo Park & Atherton should move away to a place that has field lights, games and afternoon practices? If you were democratic king, would this be your choice?

ps I'm sure glad I wasn't here when they first installed Edison's lights in Menlo Park. Imagine the headlines, blogs and uproar from our Atherton neighbors. Bright street lamps piercing the rural character of the neighborhood.


Posted by Peter got spanked, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

37,974 to 5

that is close

5 would say edison was a socialist, take country down wrong road

besides, where are lights in menlo park or atherton? none

maybe the 5 were right about edison

ha


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Edison's Menlo Park was in New Jersey, but I suspect he would have been with the school's ambitions in spirit.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

To Member-let not make this up as we go along. The residents filed their suit prior to the temporary lights even being an alternative.

Central Menlo-the law is the law for crying out loud! The courts have ruled in past cases that you can't make a unilateral decision to "try it and see if you like it" when it comes to environmental issues. Like it or not, agree with it or not, the school district violated ESTABLISHED law.

It is no wonder most of the students participating in this debate put no weight on the fact that the residents who filed the suit were completely within their rights to do so. That is what bothers me the most; perpetuating a belief that if you don't agree with a law, its ok to break it.


Posted by Peter got spanked, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

37,974 to 5

no weight

law get followed

then light go up

weight


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Still no one addresses a central issue here - just what is the impact of having lights on that are not on any longer than day light during the summer?


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm

WhoRUpeople: I'd guess the SUHSD had no intent to break the law, and facts are, they haven't. If the SUHSD consulted an attorney, no doubt they saw no issue, or made their decision with an understanding of the risks. I'm not justifying this either way, just sayin' that attorneys write opinions, as do judges. If everything were black-and-white, we wouldn't need either.

And of course the neighbors were very well within their rights to file the lawsuit. This doesn't make it reasonable, right, or wrong.


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

WhoRUpeople, The best part is that this forum reads like the debate-of-the-ancients v. the students. It might be different if we focused a bit less on stereotyping and bias, and more on the issues.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Central Menlo- you said"...the facts are they haven't. If the SUHSD consulted an attorney...." By that do you mean that if they got legal advice, even if it was wrong, they didn't break the law? That is what courts/judges are for. Again, I hope/believe this all can be worked out so that the kids can get their lights and the neighbors will be able to live with them, but our laws are there for a reason.


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

WhoRUpeople: no, I meant simply that no laws were broken (and expect the SUSHD consulted an attorney but I doubt there was intent to break the law). Things might have been different, but so far, the lights have not been used, the game was rescheduled, there was no noise, traffic, gang members, etc. Trusting that our legal system works the way it should, and that the courts, neighbors, school and community find agreement.


Posted by Is It Any Wonder Why People Hate Lawyers?, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

Kids, here's the take-home message:
When you don't like something (no matter how trival) and are rich, just hire some lawyers to stop it based on some procedural BS.
Then when questioned, give lecturing-type bureaucratic answers like Peter Carpenter does about needing to "follow the process" to the letter of the law.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 9:04 am

I think a lot of issues could be resolved if the SUHSD offered an agreement that provided for strict (and binding) limitations on the use of lights and PA systems at the M-A football field. I could see the use of lights restricted to football practices (and in no event later than 9:00pm) and football games (and in no event later than 10:30pm) and PA system use limited to football games only. That limits the impact on neighbors but allows the school some night use.

Of course, this same district appears to be having trouble honoring their agreement with the community with respect to public use of the Performing Arts Center, so there may be some understandable distrust among neighbors.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 9:07 am

Is It Any Wonder Why People Hate Lawyers? -

Perhaps unintentionally, you provided a near perfect description of the Sequoia Union High School District's strategy with respect to charter schools.

Nicely done!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

SUHSD's brilliant civics lessons is if you really want to do something, just ignore the law - like hiring a new superintendent in secret, like voting to exempt yourself from CEQA because the kids need lights at night, or like blocking Menlo Park's use of the PAC by creating impossible scheduling hurdles.

Lesson for the SUHSD students - you want to drive a car, no need for a license. You wamt to drink alcohol under age, no problem. You want lights, that is your right. If it feels right, just do it.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:01 am

"...could be resolved if the SUHSD offered an agreement..."

Could be, but as mentioned here and on other threads, the neighbors have no intention of agreeing about lights. They agreed to allow a test with temporary lights, then came the lawsuit. That's bad faith.

The news trucks were out this week, where were the neighbors? Were the neighbors at the last school board meeting? Of course not.

You bring up the arts center, they sued on that one too, because they never would have compromised.

How did that lawsuit work out for Atherton?


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm

anonymous -

As you said, "could be..."

There's one way to find out, isn't there? The SUHSD could offer a binding agreement limiting use to settle the suit.

What's the worse that could happen?

And, the neighbor's lawsuit was filed PRIOR to the light towers being placed... at least according to this thread. Please don't ignore inconvenient facts...


Posted by basic citizenship, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I can think of ex MA football star graduates who have grown up to build illegal homes in Atherton that were proven to have ignored every building and zoning ordinance on the towns books. They were not approved to move into this structure when it was finished-but moved in anyway in complete defiance. They threatened to sue the town if it tried to stop them because they " wanted to teach their kids to stand on up principal". This example may serve to explain how this may not be the first generation of kids coming out of our local school system who will have not been taught the full meaning of "entitlement" or "divine right" from any of their S.A.T. vocabulary lists. They will have learned plenty about taking as much as you can get and then negotiating backwards with as little as possible. Job security for all future attorneys.


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm

basic citzenship: what is your point? you made a fairly broad generalization and it looks like you might be angry at football players. please be careful here, because you failed to note that all of these are boys. maybe the problem is with all boys? or all of Atherton? I doubt so.

To your point, it seems we should all be concerned about issues around entitlement, expectations, morality, ethics, citenzship, and accepting reasonalble judgement. Where the judge ruled that the EIR is important, this may be a good example of our legal system working the way it should. It is good to see you agree that lawsuits can work well - and they can be a shameful example for our children, when parents use lawsuits for selfish (not rightful) needs.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Pogo:

"And, the neighbor's lawsuit was filed PRIOR to the light towers being placed... at least according to this thread. Please don't ignore inconvenient facts..."

I never said that.

The neighbors requested and agreed to a test, and then filed a lawsuit. True, the lawsuit occurred prior to the PLACEMENT, but not prior to the agreement.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm

anonymous states:"The neighbors requested and agreed to a test, and then filed a lawsuit."

Some neighbors agreed to a test and some neighbors filed a lawsuit - it is NOT know if any of the neighbors who agreed to a test were among those neighbors who filed the lawsuit.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

"..it is NOT know if any of the neighbors..."

Indeed. We do not know who files the lawsuit.

Stay classy, Lindenwood.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm

anonymous -

I stand corrected, thank you. The neighbors filed the suit before the lights were installed but after the test period was discussed. I'm not sure that is terribly significant, but I should be accurate in my criticism.

I still believe the root of this problem is the arrogance of the SUHSD. I won't repeat the litany of their abuses - they are too well known.

I also believe a reasonable accommodation through limited use of the lights and PA system will work for all parties. Again, there's one way to find out who is prepared to be reasonable.


Posted by why settle?, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Why would the SUHSD settle now. They will probably prevail in the lawsuit. Even if they lose on the temporary lights, once they get the permit fro mthe State School Board Architecture Review, they can put up the lights, and runthem until midnight without anyones pemission. So Athertom will have prevailed and there will be no temporary lights this winter, but they will have "angered" every student, parent, coach, and school board member over the lawsuit.

We call that winning the battle and losing the war!!!


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 9, 2010 at 11:17 pm

why settle -

Well look who's being unreasonable now!

The District had that same "scorched earth" plan with those pesky charter schools. Those charter schools prevailed; they are thriving and being fully supported by the District today.

So be careful what you wish for. Environmental impact studies are very unpredictable. If they find a frog or bird in the neighborhood that doesn't like those lights, you may just end up with no lights at all. And that would be a shame.

Hubris is never a good thing (look it up, it's a good word).


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 10, 2010 at 10:22 am

Pogo:

Seems to me the school has listened to, and consulted with, the neighbors over and over, as has been previously discussed.

Also seems that the neighbors agreeing to temp lights and then suing better represents the phrase "scorched earth" than the school's actions.

I'm having trouble thinking of any area the neighbors have compromised that didn't first have them manning the barricades. All the while, the school has (excluding the EIR) been holding all the cards.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

As I stated before - Some neighbors agreed to a test and some neighbors filed a lawsuit - it is NOT know if any of the neighbors who agreed to a test were among those neighbors who filed the lawsuit.

It is entirely possible that whatever 'agreement' was reached with some neighbors may well not have been acceptable to others. Does anyone know the terms of the alleged 'agreement'?


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

First, I am a long-time Lindenwood resident and totally support the idea of lights for MA football games. At a minimum it should be a temporary situation while the legalities are worked out.

My rationale is that the kids shouldn't be the ones to suffer or be punished. It's kind of like the Reggie Bush/USC situation. He's off "Scott Free," while the current football players are the ones being punished.

Mr. Carpenter, you addressed one student and told him/her that they needed to spend more time in class because of their poor grammar. Actually the students should be commended for writing in and making calm, rational comments. (In your last post on this thread I counted 4 grammatical/spelling errors.) What you did to this student was, in essence, cyber-bullying and the student is owed an apology. Remember, you were addressing a child.

Mr. Carpenter, you also addressed another student and continued to refer make the statement: "YOUR school board." You need to remember that even though a student goes to MA (or any public school), they have no control over the school they attend or who is on the school board. The school board is voted on by residents in the district, like yourself. The legal skirmishes taking place are not the students' faults, but they are the ones that have to suffer the consequences.

I totally believe in pursuing things legally and through appropriate channels. However, at times there should also be some kindness and occasional exceptions. What is the harm in allowing kids to enjoy sports competitions a few nights a year? It's something we should be encouraging and supporting, not stopping.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Elizabeth -

I agree with your desire for a reasonable resolution to this controversy.

I'll stick to your primary conclusion which was "What is the harm in allowing kids to enjoy sports competitions a few nights a year?" Very good question, Elizabeth. And if that is truly the objective of the school, then why won't they agree to limit the use of lights and the PA system to, as you say, "a few nights a year?"

Unfortunately, I don't think that's their objective. I think they want lights and PA systems most evenings and that's truly unfair to the school's neighbors.

Don't the neighbors have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes, too?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Elizabeth states:"Actually the students should be commended for writing in and making calm, rational comments."

How about this posting (which was removed after some time):

Really,:"Peter. you and your group of rich, sheltered, upper class a-holes can go die.

youre blaming this on an environmental report and skirting the law? first off, who gives a crap?"


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Elizabeth states:"(In your last post on this thread I counted 4 grammatical/spelling errors.) "

Here was my last post prior to Elizabeth's:
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 8 hours ago

As I stated before - Some neighbors agreed to a test and some neighbors filed a lawsuit - it is NOT know if any of the neighbors who agreed to a test were among those neighbors who filed the lawsuit.

It is entirely possible that whatever 'agreement' was reached with some neighbors may well not have been acceptable to others. Does anyone know the terms of the alleged 'agreement'?

****

Elizabeth - please be so kind as to point out my errors in this posting. I am always willing to learn and to admit when I am wrong.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:08 pm

MA Student states:"You just killed hopes and dreams of students by waiting till the last moment congradualtions if that was your goal you succeeded.I'm so dissappointed in these adults costant need to look out only for themselves and never consider the effects on the students they are stealing from!"

Elizabeth states that this post was from a 'child' and is owed an apology for my stating "2 - Based on this writing sample I think that you need to spend more time in English classes and less time thinking about Homecoming."

I was addressing my comment to a high school student - hardly a child in my opinion, but if he/she thinks that I was 'cyber-bullying' then that child has my apology.


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Pogo,

You say that MA wants the lights and PA system most nights of the year. If you check any school sports calendar you will see that games are only held once a week and at least half are away games. The other days are practices. That is the same thing that goes on every day from mid-August until the end of the season. The only reason for turning on lights might be for the last hour of practice, due to the earlier darkness as we enter fall and the end of Daylight Savings. The same practices are held right now. It involves players only, so maybe 20 kids. Fans don't attend practice and PA systems aren't used.

With the late start of school this year, the practices need to start and go a little later. If anything, I would think that residents would be happy with the later start, as there is a lot more "noise" from kids talking, buses and cars early in the morning. You get a little more peace and quiet at that time!

Kids aren't screaming and yelling during sports practices. If it's running track around the field you hear nothing at all.

So, yes, residents have the right to enjoy "quiet" time, but you are talking about a few evening games a year. And anyone moving in next to a school realizes that there might be a school event once in while. Isn't that what a true community is all about? Shouldn't we foster good education, healthy sports activities and coming together as a family? Aren't these kids our future??

Also, as a side note, I do not have any kids attending MA.

And to Peter Carpenter: start with "known" instead of "know," and go from there. Where is your apology to the kids?? Remember, the adults should set the example.


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm

To Peter Carpenter: Please be sincere in your apology. And yes, high school students under the age of 18 are "children." Any derogatory or critical comments are cyber-bullying. Just look at what it has done to other kids. It is a subject to be taken very seriously, not lightly.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Elizabeth states that this post was from a 'child' and is owed an apology for my stating "2 - Based on this writing sample I think that you need to spend more time in English classes and less time thinking about Homecoming."

If that child thinks that I was 'cyber-bullying' then that child has my apology.

*************

I stand corrected : "As I stated before - Some neighbors agreed to a test and some neighbors filed a lawsuit - it is NOT KNOWN if any of the neighbors who agreed to a test were among those neighbors who filed the lawsuit."

*****
I look forward to Elizabeth's response to this 'calm, clear' posting by a student:

"Really,:"Peter. you and your group of rich, sheltered, upper class a-holes can go die.

youre blaming this on an environmental report and skirting the law? first off, who gives a crap?"


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Peter,

I did not say that that particular comment was "calm and clear." Next, you don't know for sure that it really was a student. People aren't always what they say online. If you have an issue with the comment and believe it was a student, then take it to the MA High School principal directly. Speculating as you are doing online only adds fuel to the fire and frankly, you should stop posting that comment.

The adult way to act is to always take the "high road." Be the example.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Elizabeth whoever- please read the entire thread before you start preaching:

For example:
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Oct 7, 2010 at 4:20 am

M-A student - Thank you for a very thoughtful posting.

****
And note that the issue is not about lights but about the school board not following the law. As I have stated repeatedly in this thread I am neither for or against the lights but I am for obeying the law.

"The Sequoia district, Judge Weiner noted, "not only 'chopped' the temporary poles portion of the project, but (the district) also 'chopped' the pole portion of the project from the electrical wiring part of the project -- all in order to try and artificially utilize a categorical exemption for temporary structures."


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Elizabeth states:"you don't know for sure that it really was a student."

The remainder of the referenced posting clearly stated that the poster was an M-A student.


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Peter,

Then, if you are positive, take it to the MA Principal. But I do doubt that you can be so sure just because someone says it online (i.e, everything you read on Wikipedia is true!)

Please just take the high road.


Posted by Jim, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I just stumbled on this thread and after reading it, have to agree with Elizabeth. We also live in Lindenwood, don't have kids at MA, but would love to see the students have some evening football games at their school. How very sad that they were not able to celebrate Homecoming at their own school.

Pogo mentioned entitlement to "quiet" neighborhoods. I'd give anything to have one quiet weekday. I work out of my home and every single morning begins with numerous loud construction trucks and crews speeding past my home. The noise continues all day, complete with a food taco truck loudly beeping its horn at 10:30 each morning. The trucks park wherever they please and have no consideration at all for neighbors. My front plants have been parked on and trampled many times. This activity is much more disruptive than several evening football games would be.

Elizabeth is also right on in addressing comments to Mr. Carpenter. Be the adult, Peter. Stop any direct comments to or about the kids. It is cyber-bullying. Go directly to the school if you have an issue.

Let's all consider joining together to find a way to let the kids enjoy their high school years and activities. They are our future, after all. Let's show them that we do care.

Thanks, Elizabeth. There are many that appreciate your remarks!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Jim whoever states:"Stop any direct comments to or about the kids. It is cyber-bullying."

Numerous students have posted on this thread and I have replied to their postings. You can treat them like kids if you like but I prefer to take the high road and treat them as adults. It is hardly cyber-bulling to respond to their posts in an honest and critical manner and do so so using my own name. The cyber-bullys are those who post anonymously and without reading everything that others have posted before offering pious advice.

Now, can we please get back on topic - why did the school board try to skirt the law, i.e. take the low road.


Posted by Jim, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm

All has been a very good discussion - although the postings seem to read in three groups - for, against, and the compromisers.

I wonder if in all this, we might craft a proposal to the school board and neighbors (on this issue). That might make something productive of the forum postings. This might require that we ignore the extremes, but overall, this forum includes a long list of good suggestions, and despite differences, there are a surprising number of points of agreement. It seems a waste if we left this in the archive of the Almanac blog, without productive result.

In the end, the "must-have" is that the school district follow relevant laws. The "nice-to-haves" are that students, family and community get the benefit of accessible practice, games and events, (or not) and this is done with respect and consideration to neighbors. Any suggestions - is there a concise way way to write a proposal that would work for the majority?


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

Elizabeth -

First, you ask Mr. Carpenter to apologize to a student for his alleged cyber bulling. When confronted with this "student's" abhorent remark ("...you and your group of rich, sheltered, upper class a-holes can go die..."), you take shelter that it may not be a student after all. So Mr. Carpenter is admonished for his cyber bullying for noting poor grammar and the student's disgusting and overt threat is dismissed. Seems fair to me.

Second, I have no issues with your proposal for the school's use of lights at home football games and practices. In fact, I made a similar proposal on this thread and other threads.

So if that level of use truly represents the school's desire, the school should be willing to put them in writing and into a binding a agreement. That would satisfy the needs of the school and the neighbors.

Unfortunately, the school is unwilling to do that... probably because that level of use DOES NOT reflect the use they want. But that's just my opinion.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

Jim -

You said "Pogo mentioned entitlement to "quiet" neighborhoods. I'd give anything to have one quiet weekday. I work out of my home and every single morning begins with numerous loud construction trucks and crews speeding past my home. The noise continues all day... This activity is much more disruptive than several evening football games would be."

With the lights and PA system, you can now look forward to disruptive evenings, as well. Just ask the neighbors who live near Woodside High School about their evenings. (And I don't live near either Woodside or MA high schools.)


Posted by Jim, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

Pogo--It appears that you didn't read Elizabeth's comments:

"Pogo,

You say that MA wants the lights and PA system most nights of the year. If you check any school sports calendar you will see that games are only held once a week and at least half are away games. The other days are practices. That is the same thing that goes on every day from mid-August until the end of the season. The only reason for turning on lights might be for the last hour of practice, due to the earlier darkness as we enter fall and the end of Daylight Savings. The same practices are held right now. It involves players only, so maybe 20 kids. Fans don't attend practice and PA systems aren't used.

With the late start of school this year, the practices need to start and go a little later. If anything, I would think that residents would be happy with the later start, as there is a lot more "noise" from kids talking, buses and cars early in the morning. You get a little more peace and quiet at that time!

Kids aren't screaming and yelling during sports practices. If it's running track around the field you hear nothing at all.

So, yes, residents have the right to enjoy "quiet" time, but you are talking about a few evening games a year. And anyone moving in next to a school realizes that there might be a school event once in while. Isn't that what a true community is all about? Shouldn't we foster good education, healthy sports activities and coming together as a family? Aren't these kids our future??"

She is right. You mention Woodside High. That school gets use by other schools on weekends because of situations like MA's. Not all of the events are Woodside's but other schools that don't allow nighttime lights. And again, at MA you would only be talking about situations like the ones that Elizabeth is describing.

I also believe in following the law, but there are instances where we need to be a little flexible. It doesn't sound like Peter Carpenter and others so vehemently opposed to the MA lights (even temporarily) have made any attempt to call any member of the school board, the principal or anyone directly involved. Maybe it would be a good idea for him to take the first step and extend his hand in friendship and propose a compromise.

Also, as I read Elizabeth's comments, she said that she was not referring to the one "student's" rude comments, but the others. I also agree it is wrong for an adult to criticize or admonish a child online. Mr. Carpenter can say that he wants to treat them as adults, which is fine. But he needs to remember that legally they are still children.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 10:06 am

Jim states:"It doesn't sound like Peter Carpenter and others so vehemently opposed to the MA lights "

Jim, please read all of the above posts and then stopping lying about my position. I have repeatedly stated that I am neither for or against lights at M-A.

It is difficult to have an honest discussion when people either don't read what has been posted or simply choose to distort what has been posted to serve their argument.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:04 am

To Pogo's point that the level of use being night football games and an occasional extended football practice might not be what the school has in mind--again, go back and read the original Almanac article. It clearly states that the school intends, in addition to football games, evening soccer games, laCrosse games and night athletic practices. In other words, whatever is in season! Also, to Pogo's comment that the school might not want to agree to anything in writing; frankly I doubt that would be a problem. The district has shown no reluctance to ignore written agreements in the past (e.g. the joint use agreement with Menlo Park for the MAPAC or the destruction of the grove of heritage trees that were wiped out when it was built).


Posted by David Boyce, Almanac staff writer
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:08 am

David Boyce is a registered user.

The high school district's plans included six evening soccer games, six evening lacrosse games and weeknight athletic practices.

At none of these events would use of the PA system be allowed, and the lights would have to be out by 8:30 p.m.


Posted by Witness, a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:23 am

Peter
Because you are the most articulate person, and was involved with this very wearisome argument since it inception on ALMANAC, I TOO did have a feeling that you were opposed to the lights, and frankly, felt disappointed in you.
So, after rereading everything, I now will take your word about your position on your word.
My opinion is the same as "sick and tired of Atherton people..." I do believe that nobody is thinking of the students and ignoring them for the most trivial of reasons.They are not Klieg lights nor are they left on every night.All very Hatfields and McCoys like most issues here.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:43 am

I think what the student wrote is FAR more offensive than Mr. Carpenter's admonition about grammar. You want to talk like an adult, act like one. And curiously, I don't see anyone demanding the student apologize to the residents of Atherton for hoping they die.

I think having lights and PA systems in proximity to your home - especially when they have not been there before - isn't such a big deal UNLESS YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE IMPACTED HOMEOWNERS. Then it's probably a VERY big deal.

And I'm not sure if kids have a legal "right" to night football games, but in California, property owners do have a legal right to quiet enjoyment.

There simply needs to be reasonable limits. Some posts on this thread have represented that's it's only a few nights when there's a home football game. Wrong. As Mr. Boyce has pointed out, it's more than that and the inclusion of "weeknight athletic practices" seems pretty open ended to me. That could literally mean every night of the year.

The school should be willing to put these limits in writing and adhere to them.


Posted by David Boyce, Almanac staff writer
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

David Boyce is a registered user.

Clarification: By weeknight practices, I meant to say that weekend evenings are not open to any evening events on the field.


Posted by Atherton Mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:48 am

To Witness - I agree with you last paragraph. However, I do feel that Mr. Peter Carpenter is very opposed to any lights at MA. He has only criticized; is extremely vocal about the situation; and has done nothing constructive to approach the school district, school board or the MA families directly. I am very disappointed in him.

The kids are being forgotten in all of this. What a disappointment Homecoming was for them.


Posted by Lindenwood Homeowner, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:58 am

Pogo,

Weekday practices are going on right now - every single weekday. And no one is complaining. The ONLY thing that would change would be to give the kids some light as the days get shorter. The practice hours remain the same.

I am also one who believes that Mr. Carpenter crossed the line when he admonished a child. As someone posted, he should take those issues to the school. If he had attacked your child, how would you feel?

I'm in favor of giving the kids a place to continue to work out athletically and have a night game once in a while. (And yes, it will affect me very directly.) But in the end, the kids and community will benefit.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I have posted on this topic for over six months and urged the school district to enter into an agreement with the neighbors. I made very specific suggestions as to the issues that the school board needed to discuss with the neighbors. I personally remain indifferent to lights at M-A and have repeatedly stated that position. I am opposed to the school district continuing to ignore the law. In fact, I spent over $5000 to try to force the school district to appoint their new superintendent in public - they refused and made the appointment in secret without public input on the individual who was chosen.

Don't blame the neighbors and don't blame the judge for the absence on lights - blame the school board.

Atherton Mom - you are simply wrong - reread all my posts on this and other threads. You won't find a single post that is opposed to the lights but lots of posts opposed to illegal behavior by the school board. I am disappointed in your lack of due diligence and integrity.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Atherton Mom - here is just one example of my efforts to provide leadership on this issue - note the date:

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2010 at 9:40 pm
Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac

Wise leader, and sometimes even elected public officials, understand the value of Win-Win solutions. It is hard to have a Win-Win solution if you don't even know what the other side considers to be important.

Why not explore different type of light standards, different heights, different placements, different shielding and the rules of use with the neighbors who will be impacted by those lights? Just because you don't have to doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Why be arrogant - "the school district doesn't need to have the approval of the residents near the M-A campus" - when you can be gracious and cooperative?

Exercising Wisdom is much more powerful than exercising Power.


Posted by Caroline, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

[Post removed. See terms of use; personal attack.]


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Lindenwood Homeowner states:"If he had attacked your child, how would you feel? "

How unbelievably politically correct to suggest that suggesting to a high school student who cannot write a simple sentence or spell correctly that he needs to take more English instruction is an 'attack' or 'cyber-bullying'. If you treat these young adults, their choice of description, as infants do not be surprised that their performance and ability will not be either to their or to society's benefit.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I have to comment on this.

Peter Carpenter has made it quite clear that his issue is with the letter of the law, not whether there should or should not be lights. Think about it, please.

As for "attacking" a "child" on the use of grammar, this is so ridiculous that it hardly bears comment. This child is likely a high school student. Since when did it become an attack to correct someone on his or her grammar, at whatever age (beyond the age of reason)?

If you want your arguments to earn genuine attention, it is usually important to not be ridiculous.


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 1:19 pm

We'd probably all be correct that students have read and responded to this forum. Knowing which are students, which aren't is another story. One or two of my posts prompted a reply that suggested I was a student. Not so, but if grammar be awful important, I'll ask my son [MA] help edit my posts, going forward :)


Posted by Lindenwood Homeowner, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Joe, You don't know the effect that Mr. Carpenter's comments may have had on the child. Cyber-bullying has caused kids to become depressed and even commit suicide. You can twist it any way you or Mr. Carpenter want, but it is wrong. And legally it is wrong!

If Mr. Carpenter really had no opinion at all on the lights, then he wouldn't spend so much time on the issue. If he is truly so interested in the "letter of the law," then he should spend more time with the school principal, parents and students. One suggestion would be for him to take the first step (extend an olive branch) and go over to football practice today and ask to speak to the coach and team and explain his views.

He could next go to the history department and ask to be a guest speaker in a Civics class, again explaining his views.

This kind of action could begin to heal all of the hurt, maybe clear up confusion and begin to help this issue more forward in a positive direction.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Dear Lindenwood homeowner: Cyber bullying by correcting one's grammar? Give me a break!

By suggesting that Mr. Carpenter is not telling the truth about his interests, you're evidently not going to take him for his word. That's not fair.

He is under no obligation to take steps to be "positive," as you put it. If he is speaking truthfully, his complaint is with the law. That doesn't require any visit to the school or any need to address "the hurt" you refer to.

Here's a piece of advice: Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Folks, its time to put up or shut up. If you go to the "view all posts" on this forum, you will see that Mr. Peter Carpenter, following up on an excellent suggestion by Jim, has started a posting string asking for positive and creative ideas in terms of a solution that would be acceptable to the District and the residents. The only one who has responded with a suggestion is POGO. All of you who are bent on turning this in to an attack on Mr. Carpenter because he dared tried to impart some guidance (and, yes, manners) to a high school student (not a child-and I have an 18 year old who would agree with me) or want to keep arguing about rich people being a--h---s, go to that new string and put down your ideas for a solution. And while I'm sure it would be too much to expect, give Mr. Carpenter the "props" he deserves for putting the post up in the first place.


Posted by oak grove, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Let the kids have their lights. Peter c wants to stay on issue. Then please don't berate and bully our kids. Please keep it to the legal issue you are so passionate about and not the kids spelling. And please try to see this issue from their perspective. Thank you in advance. Whoever had an idea for you to visit the students at school had a good one. You might want to consider this.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Please understand that IF the school board had initiated the legally required environmental report when they decided last January to proceed with lights for M-A the kids would have their lights by now. Instead the board decide to try to skirt the law and the judge blew the whistle.

Please go to the new topic with your positive ideas.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

re: the new solution thread
Nice idea, but since the unnamed neighbors in the lawsuit won't be represented, it has no significant input from one side. Nor the school, for that matter.

re: "That could literally mean every night of the year."
Sure. It could. And you can extend it to a complete slippery slope scenario involving: what, pagan rituals under the lights every night at midnight, with a free showing of Rocky Horror?

But as you pointed out Mr Boyce's post, two things become evident -
"At none of these events would use of the PA system be allowed, and the lights would have to be out by 8:30 p.m."

1. Everything is shut down by 8:30, or what is just normal nightfall for three months out of the year.

2. My Boyce's posts should shut down any repetition of the "school hasn't offered any deals or consulted with the neighbors" fallacies.

The school has offered. The school has talked with the neighbors. The school has invited them to meetings, many of which they didn't bother to attend. The school reached an agreement despite all that.

And the neighbors do not want lights, so they filed a lawsuit over the only thing that can delay it - the EIR.

I personally hope the school, which has gone above and beyond to accommodate the neighbors, only to get slapped in the face by them, completes the EIR and throws up the lights without an agreement. Like Woodside did.

The neighbors negotiated in bad faith and have no desire to see any compromise that allows lights.

Until they complete the EIR, the case is dismissed and the neighbors lose all leverage. Then they'll scream about settling and compromising.

Through their lawyers.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I think any poster who states (and I quote) "you and your group of rich, sheltered, upper class a-holes can go die..." isn't likely to be offended by criticisms of their grammar.

I'm still waiting for someone - anyone - to demand this student apologize for what is clearly a hateful comment.

Where's your integrity?


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Lindenwood homeowner -

You stated "Weekday practices are going on right now - every single weekday. And no one is complaining."

And none of those practices occurs after sunset.


To anonymous -

I think that the district's offer to limit the use of night lighting to "weekday practices" is just a bit disingenuous. Except for excluding days that begin with the letter "S," that doesn't sound like a limitation at all. That's also very different that what other posters have said is the school's desire to just host a few night home football games. The school and neighbors should know what they're signing up for!


Posted by Lindenwood Homeowner, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Pogo,

That was my point, exactly! Practice doesn't extend to after sunset because we still have longer days. Once the days get shorter and Daylight Savings time ends, then the times that practice occurs will still be the same, but the kids won't have light. So, to reiterate, the times won't change at all.



Posted by oak grove, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm

To "Pogo,"

I don't think that anyone is or would defend the offensive comments posted against some residents. However, there is absolutely no way for sure that you know that it was a student. It could have been a high school student, a college student, an adult, someone from this area, or even someone from another state or another country. It is not uncommon for people to misrepresent themselves and often do things like that just to "stir up the pot." There is a college forum that has moms posting as students, as one example. We actually don't know if "Pogo" is an adult or a student.

That person's remark should just be deleted and everyone should move on. Again, it could have been anyone, and not necessarily a student.


Posted by woodworker, a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm

get bent over the proverbial table peter carpenter


Posted by Atherton Mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I agree with Oak Grove, Anon and Lindenwood Homeowner. Thanks for your comments.

And yes, whomever made some offensive comments should apologize, but there is no way of knowing whether or not it's a kid or an adult. Could be someone with no interest at all in this subject.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Just as we are ready to move on another M-A student?/imposter takes us back to the gutter.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Hopefully the editor will close this thoroughly exhausted topic and we can move on to constructive solutions under the new topic.


Posted by A mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I can't believe that the MA principal and sports coaches would be unwilling to sit down with the homeowners so opposed to lights on the field for practice when daylight savings ends and for a few games.

Whoever Peter Carpenter is seems to want to head up this project, so maybe he could start by approaching the groups I just mentioned. Might at least be a step in the right direction. He seems to know all parties involved so why not give it a try? Can' hurt.


Posted by Ed, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Pleases leave Peter alone--I don't want to see him exhausted on this one issue when there are so many others he will need to have some energy reserves for.


Posted by A Mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Ed
peter carpenter is the one involving himself in this issue. I have just seen tnis article and on reading through it, he has by far the most posts. If he needs. To save his energy for other issues, then he should just drop off here. I am suggesting a plan of action for him because he appears to want to head this up. Seems like the perfect pereon to get ma and some upset homeowners together.


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I don't know who wrote the offensive post (and there have been several, from multiple posters).

The law (TERMS OF USE Web Link) says these posts should be reported, and they will be removed by the editor. And have been.

Nothing else is required. There is no law about apologies. Yes, an apology would be nice, but there's no reason to count on it. Or to blame "students" or any group, for that matter.

There are laws about the lights (EIR requirements). An agreement with neighbors would be nice, but there's no reason to count on it. IMO as long as neighbors remain anonymous, that alone is enough for the SUHSD to stay away from further discussion. Let the laws do their thing.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm

"I can't believe that the MA principal and sports coaches would be unwilling to sit down "
"Seems like the perfect pereon to get ma and some upset homeowners together."

What am I missing here?

"2. Mr. Boyce's posts should shut down any repetition of the "school hasn't offered any deals or consulted with the neighbors" fallacies.

The school has offered. The school has talked with the neighbors. The school has invited them to meetings, many of which they didn't bother to attend. The school reached an agreement despite all that."

And the neighbors sued.

They've already defined the "solutions" you are looking for on the other board.


Posted by Atherton Mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Why are the "neighbors" remaining anonymous? Someone must know who they are.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Move on - this topic has been exhausted.


Posted by Sue, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm

I have the same question. Why are the neighbors that are suing remaining anon? That seems cowardly to me. Or am I missing something?
Thanks for any clarification


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:37 pm

"Why are the "neighbors" remaining anonymous?"

Because they don't have the intestinal fortitude to identify themselves.


Posted by REALLY CHIC, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm

They are anonymous, most likely because the did not, or do not plan to negotiate further. And that is now, exactly what the school district should do. I expect the SUHSD has decided to "Move on..."


Posted by Sue, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Thanks Menlo Voter. That's really unfortunate. What must be one person or a very small group is hurting so many kids and families. I still can't believe they won't publicly identify themselves. It seems so cowardly and childish.


Posted by Atherton Mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

By refusing to state who these opponents suing really are, what kind of a message are they sending to the students?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm

When people or institutions break the law it does not matter who blows the whistle - and the judge made an independent decision that the school board intentionally violated the law.

Why is no one concerned that the school board routinely operates in secret - in violation of the Brown Act?


Posted by Tobias, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Agree that those suing and choosing to remain anonymous are acting cowardly. Why hide? They should explain why they are so very opposed to letting kids have a few nights of lights.


Posted by Parent of an Athlete, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

So, please help me understand. Because of these "cowards" the school district is being forced to drop the idea of lighted fields? How very sad.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Tobias asks:"They should explain why they are so very opposed to letting kids have a few nights of lights. "

NO, no, no. The suit is solely because the school district attempted to evade the law. Please read the original article.

"The installation and use of 'temporary' field lights and the installation and use of permanent field lights are not separate unrelated projects under (state) law," the injunction read. "Rather the 'project' is basically identical in nature and effect -- except the 'temporary' lights can be moved around, they use an extension cord instead of an independent power plug/source, and the poles are shorter that the 'permanent' field lights."

Citing precedent, the judge noted that it is a "mandate of (state law) that environmental considerations do not become submerged by chopping a large project into many little ones -- each with a minimal potential impact on the environment -- which cumulatively may have disastrous consequences."
****
Don't blame the neighbors, don't blame the judge - blame the school district which considers laws to be a nuisance. If the school district began the legally required environmental study last January, when they decided to install these lights, then a draft study would have been produced, everyone would have had ample opportunity to comment on the draft study, the final study would have been required to address and mitigate, if necessary, all of the issues raised and the kids would have had their lights last week for their homecoming event.


Posted by Honu, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Yes, whoever brought the lawsuit is a huge coward. People want the kids to act like adults but these adults can't even identify themselves!!!!! Poor, poor message and very cowardly behavior!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm

90% of the posters on this topic chose to be anonymous - are they all cowards?

If people or institutions break the law does it matter who 'catches' them?

Is the message to the students - do whatever you want, just don't get caught and anybody who calls you on breaking the law is a coward?


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm

One neighbor did identify his/her self. Oddly, that person's child played football but is finished with MA.

"So, please help me understand. Because of these "cowards" the school district is being forced to drop the idea of lighted fields?"

They haven't dropped lights, it's just the temporary lights for this season.

The ones the neighbors agreed to before the lawsuit.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Thanks, anonymous. All I can say is how unfortunate and what cowards the rest of those filing the lawsuit are.


Posted by James, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Anon-thanks. Nice to know that there is at least still hope for next year and the future. Agree that the lawsuit filers are cowards.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:46 pm

So that's the new word of the day: cowards. Really?

As Mr. Carpenter - who has never been anonymous - has said, about 90% of the people posting on this site are anonymous. Are you cowards?

Was the school district cowards when they made decisions in secret (anonymously) when they should have done so in public. Were these trustees cowards, too?

No, you're not a coward because you are anonymous. C'mon, you can do better.

The litigants are probably chosing to remain anonymous for the same reason you and I are. We prefer our privacy. We prefer to avoid retribution - which is becoming increasingly apparent from the concerted opposition on this thread...

Why is no one critical of the district for disobeying the same California law that applies to the rest of us?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I am stunned that so few posters have the slightest concern that the school attempted to evade the law - and got caught.

It seems that whatever the kids want they should get and damn the law.

SAD.


Posted by Parent of an Athlete, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Nice to know that we still have a chance! Would also be nice if the cowards who filed the lawsuit would identify themselves.

POGO - These cowards are the ones causing the problems. In my mind they have an obligation to id themselves. You and I and all the rest here are just opinionated observers with no actual impact on the decision.


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Mr. Carpenter,
You continue to misrepresent the truth! No one broke the law! No lights were lit, no games were played, and nothing will happen until the EIR is settled.

That said, your opinion may be that the school district intended to break or evade the law regarding the EIR.

But that's your opinion. No telling what how the school district intended to do. The fact that the judge explained her decision adds to this, that our legal system anticipates uncertainty...and judges make decisions to clarify and explain away that uncertainty.

Sure, maybe the SUHSD intended to evade, skirt, break the law, but I doubt that. More likely, they were advised that theirs was a safe and reasonable course of action. The fact stands, no laws were broken.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Injunctions are issued when the court believes that the intended action would break the law - absent the lawsuit the school would have simply broken the law. As the judge herself said - the school district took a calculated risk and lost. How much better if our elected officials decided to err on the side of the law rather than to attempt to evade the law.

A truly sad lesson for the students.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Parent -

The difference is that, unlike you, I am not calling anyone a coward.

The delay was caused by a judge who ruled that the district acted with disregard to the law. The recently filed lawsuit by neighbors has yet to even have it's first court action.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Correction: "its" first court action.

I don't need the grief from my English teacher or any of you.


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 7:40 pm

That's right Mr. Carpenter, no one broke the law.

Allowing that this was a calculated risk, the "calculated" part says that there is uncertainty outcome, and uncertainty in the interpretation of the law. An absolute risk is the kind where the law, and interpretation leaves no doubt. In this case the judge ruled against the school district's decision. The judge did not rule on the intent, and we're not in position to know. And each of us can guess through an opinion, if that's worth anything.

Earlier posts suggest that the school district was working in good faith with neighbors with an agreement to test the lights. Maybe that was a calcuated risk as well, but we won't find out.

Are there any other laws involved, or is it solely the Environmental Impact Report? It doesn't appear so, but let's help guide the school district in following the law, as they pursue lights for the field.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 7:49 pm

In fact the judge determined that the school district probably broke the law by installing the temporary lights - "The installation and use of 'temporary' field lights and the installation and use of permanent field lights are not separate unrelated projects under (state) law,".

As this was a temporary injunction the judge denied the school district the fruits of their illegal action by prohibiting the use of the probably illegal temporary lights until a final decision - which clearly was likely to affirm the temporary injunction - could be made.
""The court finds that is highly likely that (the neighbors) will prevail on the ground that (the district) has improperly split the whole project of installation and use of field lights," the judge wrote."

Quibble all you want - the judge ruled that the school district probably violated the law. How do you explain that to the students?


Posted by Giants Fan, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Is there any way to get the cowards to come forward?

Let's hope they are not on our City Council or running for city office.


Posted by Linden, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

These cowards are probably the same people that enjoy their huge parties, loud PA music, illegal parking and noise until all hours, but need their "quiet time" when they want it.

Please let us know who you are? If you file a lawsuit, don't just do so and then hide. There are people that would really like to discuss this with you.


Posted by Lani, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:00 pm

So sad to see "neighbors" take action like this and refuse to say who they are. Unfortunately this is typical behavior and politics in Atherton.

And sad that the kids have to suffer. They did nothing wrong to deserve this. Their Homecoming plans were halted, no fault of theirs. Things like Friday night home games and homecoming are things kids should be able to remember fondly forever.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Don't blame the neighbors, don't blame the judge - blame the school district which considers laws to be a nuisance. If the school district began the legally required environmental study last January, when they decided to install these lights, then a draft study would have been produced, everyone would have had ample opportunity to comment on the draft study, the final study would have been required to address and mitigate, if necessary, all of the issues raised and the kids would have had their lights last week for their homecoming event.

It is stunning that there is so little concern for adherence to the law and so much support for the means justifying the end.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:12 pm

There are about a dozen brand new posters on this thread and they have all invoked the word "cowards."

Could this be a concerted effort or just a coincidence?

Gee, I wonder...

Not.

And they have the stones to call others coward.


Posted by Another Giants Fan, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Giants Fan,

Let's hope it's not someone on our City Council or running, but wouldn't be surprised.

One or a few mean-spirited people think they are in the right, regardless of who it affects.

SAD. Come on, "neighbors." Give a little. You might be surprised at how good it feels to do something nice for someone!


Posted by Lani, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

To Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Pogo whoever,

Parents are now finding out a little more about what happened and are upset. Looks like you have posted a lot here, but don't even live in our area and we have no idea who you are.

We just want those who filed the lawsuit to step forward like adults and let us talk to them. Why do they continue to hide? They are the ones who have escalated the issue, resulting in kids being penalized. So, they should come forward and let us know exactly why. Anyone else posting here, including you and Mr. Carpenter are just "guessing" ---unless you are one of them or have talked to them.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Another Giants fan states:"One or a few mean-spirited people think they are in the right, regardless of who it affects."

No, the judge was the person who made that call and it was the school board who was called 'off base'.

The Giants won the series because the played by the rules, not by cheating.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Peter:

I agree that is bad on the part of the school district to ignore the law, but I think it is just as bad for the people that filed this lawsuit to hide in annonymity. You yourself constantly attack posters for posting annonymously. If I were involved in this lawsuit I would have the courage to use my name. These folks didn't. Why? Because they lack the intestinal fortitude to do so. Either they belive they are right or they don't. If they believe they are right they shoudl have the courage to use their names. Unless, of course, even they aren't convinced of the rightness of their challenge.


Posted by James, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Menlo Voter - You couldn't have said it better.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Menlo Voter - sorry, but I just don't believe that the person who blows the whistle is as culpable as the person who commits the foul.


Posted by Giants Fan, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Perfect comments, Menlo Voter. You are right on.


Posted by Linden, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm

You are right Menlo Voter


Peter:

I agree that is bad on the part of the school district to ignore the law, but I think it is just as bad for the people that filed this lawsuit to hide in annonymity. You yourself constantly attack posters for posting annonymously. If I were involved in this lawsuit I would have the courage to use my name. These folks didn't. Why? Because they lack the intestinal fortitude to do so. Either they belive they are right or they don't. If they believe they are right they shoudl have the courage to use their names. Unless, of course, even they aren't convinced of the rightness of their challenge.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm

RIGHT ON MENLO VOTER!


Peter:

I agree that is bad on the part of the school district to ignore the law, but I think it is just as bad for the people that filed this lawsuit to hide in annonymity. You yourself constantly attack posters for posting annonymously. If I were involved in this lawsuit I would have the courage to use my name. These folks didn't. Why? Because they lack the intestinal fortitude to do so. Either they belive they are right or they don't. If they believe they are right they shoudl have the courage to use their names. Unless, of course, even they aren't convinced of the rightness of their challenge.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

It is ironic how all of you anonymous posters come out against individuals who believe that the law has been broken and elect to challenge the law breaker.

We are a nation of laws but evidently I live in a community where laws are subordinated to personal satisfaction and the end justifies he means.


Posted by Central Menlo, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Mr. Carpenter,

In your interpretation of the judge's ruling, the school district intended to, and indeed broke the law. You have an opinion, and that's okay.

"The installation and use of 'temporary' field lights and the installation and use of permanent field lights are not separate unrelated projects under (state) law,".

There are others that do not share that opinion. The lights were never used. There was no judgement that the school district intended to break the law. At worst, they did. At best, it wasn't clear that temporary lights would be a problem.

It would be nifty if this was as simple as two sides: "law breakers" and "challengers". But it isn't that simple.

Can we agree that we disagree, and move on...?

Let's join to help the school district follow the law, as they pursue lights for the field. There are a few wins in that - reinforcing responsiblity by the school district might be one of the wins.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Central Menlo states:"Let's join to help the school district follow the law, as they pursue lights for the field. There are a few wins in that - reinforcing responsiblity by the school district might be one of the wins."

I agree and another topic has been set up for people to make specific suggestions to that end.

Web Link


Posted by Atherton Mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Mmmmmm. I have just been alerted as to the identity of the person that filed the lawsuit. Not really surprising. Makes this site totally useless for any rational discussions.

So I for one am done with this thread. Encourage the rest of you to do the same.

Good luck, Peter.


Posted by A Mom, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm

To Atherton Mom, I just got the same phone call and info. Yep, no surprise.


Posted by Caroline, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:04 pm

The lawsuit is not because some of the neighbors around M-A want to work on a compromise with the district. These folks just do not want the lights installed, period, and will do all that is within their power to prevent such action. Their world is more important than any other.
I would just remind you that PARC spelled backwards is .....


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 7:20 am

"Menlo Voter - sorry, but I just don't believe that the person who blows the whistle is as culpable as the person who commits the foul."

Peter: I didn't say they were as culpable. I said they should have the guts to put there name out there if they are going to sue. The district should follow the law and it is good that the lawsuit was filed to force them to do so. What is not good is someone filing suit annonymously. As you yourself are fond of pointing out, without knowing who it is, one cannot determine the underlying motives. It is pretty clear to me that this lawsuit isn't actually about making the district follow the law, but about keeping the lights out of MA, period.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 7:46 am

Wow - two anonymous persons on this thread receive an anonymous phone call naming an anonymous anonymous person and declare that this discussion is useless! Pray tell, why????? Would the anonymous, anonymous posters please elucidate their anonymous logic.

As I have stated before I was not a party to the laws suit and I do not know the identities of the individuals who filed it.


Posted by Lindenwood Homeowner, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:12 am

Yes, some parents got a heads ups last night as to who is behind the lawsuit. And, no, it's not an "anonymous" person anymore but would be wrong for us to post his name here. And no, not a surprise. Why would we continue to argue our case and express our feelings about the right kids have to a full sports practice (needing lights when the days get shorter), when this person continues to pontificate continually here?

My last post on this useless dialogue as well (and the now the consensus of most parents).

[Portion deleted.]


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

Lindenwood homeowner states:"when this person continues to pontificate continually here?"

How utterly cowardly of you to suggest that I am the person who filed the law suit - I did not and you can ask the lawyer involved to confirm the same. You cannot prevail on the basis of your logic so you resort to calumny.

And everyone should realize that the lawsuit will NOT prevent the lights from being installed and used at M-A but simply that the school board must first comply with the law regarding an environmental report. The lawsuit is a delaying tactic at best and that only because of the ineptitude of the school board.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:25 am

...doth protest too much.

Especially for someone who claimed this thread exhausted and said he was done, dozens of posts ago. What drives you back, Peter?


Posted by James, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:30 am

Yes, "Me thinks thou doth protest too much" is very appropriate.

As Menlo Voter said, "What is not good is someone filing suit annonymously. As you yourself are fond of pointing out, without knowing who it is, one cannot determine the underlying motives. It is pretty clear to me that this lawsuit isn't actually about making the district follow the law, but about keeping the lights out of MA, period."


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:34 am

"What drives you back, Peter?"

Calumny by cowards


Posted by Parent of an Athlete, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:42 am

Very disappointed, Peter.

It wouldn't hurt to show a little kindness, especially to some kids that just want their sports.

Sad to know who the lawsuit instigator is


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

Parent of an Athlete states:"Sad to know who the lawsuit instigator is"

I was not a party to the lawsuit and this anonymous allegation demonstrates a total lack of integrity and honesty by you and the others who have made it. How outrageous to suggest, imply, state that I was the instigator of this lawsuit when I have firmly and repeatedly stated that I was not and when you have no, zero, zip proof who filed the lawsuit.

You and your fellow gossipers have no shame and no honor.
No wonder you defend lawless acts by others.


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

Wow! Me thinks thou doth protest too much is right!

Who said it was you, Peter? Don't see anyone here saying that. Maybe you should just do what we are all going to do, and drop off here. The parents who have been notified have now set up another forum/site on which to communicate about this rationally. No "gossiping" at all.

"As Menlo Voter said, "What is not good is someone filing suit annonymously. As you yourself are fond of pointing out, without knowing who it is, one cannot determine the underlying motives. It is pretty clear to me that this lawsuit isn't actually about making the district follow the law, but about keeping the lights out of MA, period."



Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 9:47 am

I agree with Caroline that the litigants primary motivation is to stop the lights and not limit them - and that's their right, of course. But a judge agreed that the school likely violated law when it erected temporary towers without and EIR and that's why things came to a stop. Blame the judge, blame the law, but don't forget to blame the district that knew better. In the words of the judge, the district took a calculated risk and lost. I suppose most of you might have a very different view if the judge stopped, say, the Bohannon development for lack of an EIR...

But this is about those precious children, isn't it (and I have two). As Parent of an Athlete stated, "kids that just want their sports." And neighbors just want peaceful enjoyment of their homes. Which is superior? Can some accommodation be made? Why not limit the utilization to minimize the impact on the neighborhood?

But unfortunately, I think this thread has degraded to one of the most disgusting displays of gossip and name calling I have ever read. This is especially true of those of have invoked the word "coward" to describe the neighbors for chosing to remain anonymous, ironically, while the acusers remain anonymous! Shades of Salem and shame on all of you for disgusting behavior.

And here I thought you were trying to teach our kids a life lesson.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

"fortunately, I think this thread has degraded to one of the most disgusting displays of gossip and name calling I have ever read. This is especially true of those of have invoked the word "coward" to describe the neighbors for chosing to remain anonymous, ironically, while the acusers remain anonymous! Shades of Salem and shame on all of you for disgusting behavior."

Yet you remain anonymous........ You are doing exactly what you are blaming others for....... What are you teaching your children with your behavior and derogatory comments???


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

And this latest round of initiating or perpetuating gossip by saying you know the identity of the anonymous litigant and implying that it is Mr. Carpenter, and then refusing to name the person or disavow your erroneous claim is beyond despicable.

Again, it's all about the children, isn't it?


Posted by REALLY CHICK, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

Poorly worded, that, but none have accused Peter.

This is about the stadium lights. And it is about the students. And their families, neighbors and the broader community.

To suggest this is about the "children" would be about as correct as calling you old and bald and wizened. It's just not relevant (although the choice of words, child, gossip, coward, a--h---, anonymous, etc. has certainly stoked the passions!).


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:15 am

I didn't say it was about the children, the posters who called people cowards did.

And with regard to the accusation about the identity of the litigant, this was from Lindenwood Homeowner: "And, no, it's not an "anonymous" person anymore but would be wrong for us to post his name here. And no, not a surprise. Why would we continue to argue our case and express our feelings about the right kids have to a full sports practice (needing lights when the days get shorter), WHEN THIS PERSON CONTINUES TO PONTIFICATE CONTINUALLY (sic) HERE?" [emphasis added]

The implication is as clear as it is disgusting... and apparently, in error.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:24 am

To the other POGO person,

No one has say the filer of the lawsuit is Peter. For whatever reason he has become very defensive. For those that know who the person is, they are doing the right thing by not naming him on this site. I, for one, do not think that it would be appropriate. They apparently have set up another forum to discuss how they want to approach the issue of lights for kids athletics during winter hours. That is their prerogative.

"Yet you remain anonymous........ You are doing exactly what you are blaming others for....... What are you teaching your children with your behavior and derogatory comments???"


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

Is this now a race?

A race to see who gets the last post before the good Mr Boyce shuts this thread down?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

POGO imposter states:"For those that know who the person is, they are doing the right thing by not naming him on this site."

Then all of those how have made reference to who this person is should at least have the moral decency not to imply that it is me and to have the courage to state that fact on this forum.


Posted by oak grove, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

Let's move forward to pursuing lights for sports practices and a few games. Thanks to those who have set up this afternoon's meeting. I will be there. Hopefully it will be more productive than this site with verbal bashing (calling someone an "imposter") and defensive behavior.

Definitely time to move on.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

Let's not forget those who called people cowards, a-holes and hoped they died.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

After that disgusting gossip fest, trying to claim the high road and hiding behind school children rings just a bit hollow.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

And don't worry about what the Editor might do - the editorial oversight of this forum is non-existent. And anonymity has allowed it to become a moral cesspool.


Posted by Lani, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 12, 2010 at 11:06 am

I'll be at today's meeting! Thanks for getting the word out.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: We're closing this thread. It doesn't seem to be going in a productive direction.]


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