Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - June 24, 2011

Letters

Don't sell Cubberley

Editor,

Monday night the Palo Alto City Council will vote on entering into negotiations with the Foothill-De Anza Community College District to sell them eight acres of the old Cubberley High School site. We urge the council to vote no, no and no!

Selling a major part of Cubberley would affect Palo Alto Unified School District, youth and adult sports programs, and local nonprofits. It will impact all future uses of the site. Yet the council made it an Action Item on its June 27 agenda — while schools, PTAs, and the PAUSD Board are on summer vacation and most sports teams are between seasons.

Is the council convinced that the citizens of Palo Alto support selling the last potential site for an additional high school or middle school in the city? District demographers anticipate continued enrollment growth; does council believe they are wrong? Where will children who move into the new housing approved by the city go to school?

Twenty years ago, district enrollment was 8,000 and Cubberley was recognized as an essential community asset and a buffer for potential enrollment growth. Today enrollment is 12,000 and Cubberley is even more critical to the families of Palo Alto. What will our community need 20 years from now?

Palo Alto has been fortunate to have Foothill College here. It is an outstanding community college. We hope they can stay, but not if it cripples the school district.

Selling any part of Cubberley is a bad idea.

Diane Reklis and Carolyn Tucher

Former presidents of the PAUSD Board of Education

Janice Way and Manuela Way

Palo Alto

Cubberley's community value

Editor,

With little or no public input, the city council is once again looking at selling eight acres of Cubberley Community Center to Foothill College. By their actions, the Council has decided that the community center located in south Palo Alto is less valuable than the community center in north Palo Alto, i.e., Lucie Stern.

Lucie Stern center celebrates the arts with the Children's Theatre, TheatreWorks, Palo Alto Players and West Bay Opera, while Cubberley is home to El Camino Youth Symphony, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, Palo Alto Philharmonic, Peninsula Women's Chorus, numerous artists studios and four dance studios.

Lucie Stern houses the Boy and Girl Scout facilities, whereas Cubberley houses two preschools, a large after-school child care provider, and two alternative high schools.

Cubberley has tennis courts and Lucie Stern has courts nearby at Rinconada park. Lucie Stern's rooms are used for meetings and classes and so are Cubberley's.

The two centers are similar in their value to the community. Why does the City Council choose only to protect the community center in north Palo Alto?

As a resident of south Palo Alto, I'd like to know the answer to that.

Lisa Steinback

Creekside Drive

Palo Alto

Blue-bin blues

Editor,

When I give to charity I expect most of my donation to go to charity. You probably do too. Yet, if you donate books into those big blue Reading Tree bins marked "Books for Charity," only one in four books go to those in need (Weekly, June 17). The other three books are sold for pulp or resold online by Reading Tree's commercial fundraiser, the for-profit Thrift Recycling Management (TRM).

TRM claims to be one of the world's largest online book distributors for resale through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, etc. TRM manages the Reading Tree bins, transports the donated books for sorting at one of its distribution centers, and then reaps big profits from books donated to Reading Tree.

The bins neither mention TRM as Reading Tree's commercial fundraiser, nor its involvement with the nonprofit, so donors cannot know that only 25 percent of their donated books go to charity — a fact TRM readily admits.

I don't know if Reading Tree's and TRM's practices reach the level of illegal deception, but it sure reaches my level.

I hope you will think twice about feeding books to those big blue bins.

Winter Dellenbach

La Para Avenue

Palo Alto

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