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Guest opinion: Library supporters fear impact of new gym

Original post made on Jun 3, 2009

The Friends of the Menlo Park Library and the library community learned last week that the preferred building site of the city's gymnasium project is facing the library on land adjacent to the recreation building and Alma Street.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Tom McDonough
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm

To the Library Community and the Community at large –

The Library Commission held a special meeting on Thursday May 28th reviewing information from Public Works and Staff. As of this date, we are continuing to gather data regarding parking and traffic, particularly in Lot #6.

My thanks to the Almanac for publishing an online article of that very important meeting, to Lisa Ekers from Planning (who came at the last moment) and to the public that attended. Additional thanks to Mayor Robinson and Glen Rojas helping facilitate Public Works’ involvement.

The Library Commission will be having its regular meeting this Monday June 8th at the Library. Lisa will be making a 10 minute presentation including an overview of City campus parking/traffic and some preliminary but not finalized solutions to concerns on that topic. As is always the case, the public is welcome to attend.

I would encourage you to express any concerns and opinions (no matter which side of the “issue fence” you might be on) via email to the addresses below:

City Council

Planning Commission

Tom McDonough - Library Commission, Chair

While it is an effective and wonderful service the Almanac offers, it is very important for the community to remember to post concerns and opinions through official City communication channels. It’s the best way to be sure they’ll reach the appropriate decision makers.

Tom McDonough
Chair – Library Commission
Menlo Park Library &
Belle Haven School Library

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Posted by Paul Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Having attended a most interesting meeting just opened my eyes to WHAT in the world is the city doing to create GRIDLOCK from Bayshore to El Camino Real, Yes, it was a real education to be able to understand traffic jargon, counts , delays etc. The EIR prepared for the Alma- Arrillage Gym, is quite a document. The traffic counts etc. show that the streets to be used to get to the library--& gym, if approved,... are already at gridlock, as they are at "LEVEL OF SERVICE F....NOT A, B, C, D, or E,, but at F.Any additional traffic is unacceptable, and thus the PROJECT NEEDS TO BE MOVED....Where to? EL CAMINO REAL, on one of the auto dealer sites, across from Safeway would be perfect., and near the Big Five Sporting Goods store.....To TRIPLE THE SIZE of the current gym facilities is unconscionable and makes absolutely no sense, and it will cost US the taxpayer, $6 million. , that is not in the budget.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 5, 2009 at 1:04 am

Moving the gym away from the rest of the sports facilities is not a practical option. Thousands of Menlo Park children use the gym every year for a variety of leagues, classes and clinics. Children enrolled in the after school day care walk from the Menlo Children's Center to the gym to take classes. Teams waiting to play basketball games warm up on the outdoor courts. Moms drop their kids off for tumbling and then go to exercise classes. Kids have gymnastics parties and then go to the rec center for cake and ice cream. Like it or not Burgess is our main civic center.

We have to develop a parking plan for Burgess that addresses the needs of all of its users. After all, the mother bringing her child to a tumbling class has just as much right to convenient parking as the mother bringing her child to the library or the senior coming to the rec center for a class.

A number of options for creating more parking have been discussed. It is time for the serious to get serious about exploring them.

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Posted by Outside The Box Thinking
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:21 am

Here's two possible outside the box solutions that I'm sure people will shoot down immediately, but here goes anyway:

1) Move the library, not the gym, out of Burgess Park.
2) Kick out the débutantes from that house on the corner of Ravenswood and Laurel and use that space.

Let the flaming begin!

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Posted by coach
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 5, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I'd love to see the library on El Camino. That makes a lot of sense, as it's a more central location. But there is no money for a new library and there is money for a gym. So be it.

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Posted by Do some research
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm

OTBT: Not a flame, but... You should do some research before you dump on the "debutantes". Do you have any idea how many non-profit charities they have funded (start up money), organized, supported through continued funding and/or executive assistance and management? Didn't think so.

The house is a historical structure, so it isn't going anywhere. Can't build a gym there, can't tear it down. The building is a collection of small rooms that have been converted to office space. Have them move to free up office space for city programs, fine --- but at least give them a nod of respect for what they have done for some many charities in and around the Peninsula.

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Posted by OTBT
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Oh, pleaze, Do some research - So some family-money girls give a few bucks out of Daddy's wallet for the poor downtrodden and we're all supposed to kiss their ---?

It just so happens that Sunday's Doonesbury captures this kind of thinking perfectly - enjoy!
Web Link

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Posted by Financially strapped but fair
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm

OTBT, Thanks for the Doonesbury -- I needed the laugh. Trudeau makes a great statement, which -- sorry to break it to you like this -- has nothing to do with the Junior League and the building they inhabit. Your assumptions about "family-money girls" raiding "Daddy's" wallet (and if you're making assumptions, what makes you think it's not Mommy's wallet) are so silly. And sexist. Do you know members of Junior League personally? What exactly do you base your assumptions on?

And by the way, the Junior League partnered with the city on the costly project to renovate this building you advocate dumping them out of. Bad form.

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Posted by Thinking out loud
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm

How about putting in a surface lot between the gatehouse and the library. Could be reserved for library patrons only during library hours.

Does the downtown visioning project have any plans for more parking along El Camino? Whenever they get around to raising, lowering, or tunneling under the tracks; one of those empty car dealerships could be accessible from the gym.

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Posted by on and on
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 13, 2009 at 12:08 am

Speaking of parking - where are all the M-A campus new theatre patrons going to be parkng? And what kind of traffic problems will that be adding to Ravenswood and Middlefield.

Location of the new Burgess Gym. How about the parking lot behind the Oak Grove Post Office. Build a new two or three level parking structure with one level 2/3'rds below ground level. Build it structurally strong enough to place the gym on the top level. Include a fee fitness center and all the fat kats who patronize our expensive high brow restaurants, realtors, rug and "antique" stores, can work off those extra pounds to better fit into their fashion threads.

Seriously - the gym or perhaps a theatre or park on top of a parking structure at that location should be a serious consideration. We need more parking and open space downtown. It would also promote business downtown and act as a venue space.

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Posted by Do some research
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2009 at 11:34 am

An incomplete list of Junior League funded organizations (they're such awful people...):

Abilities United (formerly C-A-R): The League’s grant helped expand the agency’s “Community Connections” program, which turns adults with developmental disabilities into volunteers and fosters a sustained interest in community service.

Challenge Learning Center: League funding helped cover the cost of a second teacher for the Leading to Empowerment and Prevention Program at Columbia Middle School in Sunnyvale. This program encourages self-reliance, leadership and healthy peer relationships.

Community Gatepath: The League’s grant brought Community Gatepath’s PigMillion Possibilities, a disability awareness program, to 3rd through 6th graders in San Mateo County. The program includes readings, sensitivity exercises and an art project, all designed to promote awareness of and sensitivity to those who are “differently abled.”

Community Services Agency: The League’s grant provided operational support for CSA’s emergency assistance services for low income families, including a food and nutrition center, dental and vision assistance, back-to-school help and a holiday sharing program.

Eastside College Prep: A grant from the League supported this East Palo Alto school’s literacy resource program, which works with remedial students to bring their reading, writing and oral
communication skills to the level required for college success.

Family and Children’s Services: The League funded a pilot program to provide professional counseling services at the East Palo Alto Charter School. The grant helps fill a gap in counseling and mental health services that were not previously available to the
school’s low-income students and their families.

Friends of Deer Hollow Park: A grant from the League will fund enhancements to the educational program at Deer Hollow Farm, a working farm and education center, and will sponsor field trips to the farm for Mountain View and Sunnyvale elementary school students.

Moment by Moment: A grant to this cooperative of 75 professional photographers provided free portrait sessions and prints for 50 families of children with terminal illnesses at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Shelter Network: The League’s grant is helping expand a newly-launched Shelter Network Alumni Association whose mission is to mentor current residents.

The Health Trust: A grant from the League was used to purchase specially insulated food bags for the Meals on Wheels program and to support the program’s expansion in northern Santa Clara County.

The Art of Yoga: A League grant helped expand their program to guide at-risk girls to use yoga and creative expression as tools for accountability, well-being and empowerment.

Baby Basics: The League’s grant was used to provide free disposable diapers to working-poor families in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park.

Camp Kesem: League funds sponsored a one-week camping experience for six children whose parents have cancer or recently died from cancer.

Collective Roots Garden Project: Collective Roots engages students in hands-on learning, through its gardening and nutrition programs that encourage healthy lifestyles, stewardship of the land, and a stronger sense of community. A League grant helped to fund a full-time garden-based learning instructor.

Family Resources Foundation: The League’s grant supported expansion of the Foundation’s Ambassador Alumni Program, in which alumni serve as educational resources about community services and programs.

The Friendship Circle: League funds helped the agency to expand volunteer and leadership training, bringing together families with special needs children and teenage students looking for volunteer opportunities.

Hidden Villa: League funds provided more than 7,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals and families in need.

My New Red Shoes: The League’s grant helped to prepare approximately 60 children for their first day of school, equipping them with new clothes and shoes.

Peninsula Youth Theater: League funds sponsored the participation of seven low-income children and teens in a local theater production.

Planned Parenthood Golden Gate: League funds supported PPGG’s Teen Clinic in Redwood City, which works to increase access and reduce barriers to health care and health education for underserved teens in southern San Mateo County.

Project Help: Project Help works to ensure all students are working to their full academic potential and to close the achievement gap between students from different socio-economic backgrounds. The League’s grant enabled Project Help to expand their highly successful math center at Bishop High School.

Rape Trauma Services: This agency strives to eliminate all forms of violence, with a special focus on sexual assault and abuse. The League’s grant provided funding for a support group for one year.

Rebuilding Together: The League’s grant helped fund the rebuilding/refurbishment of a day care center serving low-income children.

Career Closet: Career Closet provides business attire and counseling to disadvantaged women on the Peninsula, helping them to gain employment, advance their careers and improve their financial stability. The League’s grant was used for operating expenses.

Community Breast Health Project: League funding supported CBHP’s Gabrielle Paster Program, which provides free breast cancer screening and diagnostic services for low-income women under age 40 who are ineligible for state-sponsored services.

Community School of Music and Arts: The League’s grant was used to help return arts and music education programs to local public schools.

Dragon Productions Theatre Company: The League’s grant helped area teens experience live theater, with the opportunity to work both on-stage and backstage.

St. Elizabeth Seton School: Seton School provides faith-based education to disadvantaged, mostly Hispanic students in Palo Alto. The League’s grant provided an ESL science teacher for summer school.

Environmental Volunteers: League funding was used to help recruit, train and retain volunteers for this organization that shares the wonders of natural science through classroom programs and field trips with more than 10,000 children each year.

Family and Children’s Services: The League’s grant was used to support a teen counseling program. This agency provides mental health services to children and families who are low-income or uninsured.

Girls for a Change: GFC trains low-income middle and high school girls to be change agents, leaders and innovators – giving them the resources to implement social change projects in their own neighborhoods. The League’s grant provided funding for mentors.

Jeremiah’s Promise: The League grant provided operating funds to this agency which addresses the needs of teens who “age out” of the foster care system at age 18 and might otherwise be homeless.

Shelter Network: The League grant supported the children’s program at Haven Family House in Menlo Park; the program provides individualized support, academic assistance and enrichment activities.

St. Vincent de Paul Society: League funds supported their eviction and homelessness prevention program, which offers temporary rent assistance and other support to working poor individuals and families.

TheatreWorks: The League’s grant funded a touring, live theater program for local schools and expanded the Poetry Artist-in-Residence program.

YES Reading: The League’s grant provided one-on-one tutoring for at-risk students in underserved schools.

Done in a day project:Over the past few years, the League's Done in a Day projects have contributed more than 2,000 volunteer hours and $10,000 in home/building improvements and furnishings to these community projects.

Among the local nonprofit agencies that have benefited from a JLPA•MP Done in a Day project are:

Blind and Dyslexic Center of Palo Alto
Community Association for Rehabilitation
Ronald McDonald House
Clara-Mateo Alliance
St. Elizabeth Seton School
Menlo Park Fire Protection District
The Princess Project
East Palo Alto Charter School
Cantor Arts Center -- Community Day Opening
Support Network for Battered Women
St. Anthony's Clothing Center
Resouce Area for Teachers (RAFT)
Rebuilding Together (formerly Christmas in April)

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Posted by Still Not Buying What You're Selling!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm

[Post removed; disrespectful comment]

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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