Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - January 20, 2012

Letters

Winter lodge land swap

Editor,

I so appreciated the Palo Alto Weekly's coverage of the Palo Alto Women's Golf Club's letter to the city council, as well as the wonderful story about the success of Winter Lodge.

The voters of Palo Alto did indeed vote to save the ice rink but the little-published story is the fact that golfers helped make it possible. There was a Golf Course Corporation Committee that had to approve the land swap in order for it to take place. I was on that committee.

After the vote, we had a number of meetings with the members of the council and were encouraged by them to vote for this swap. We also met with the parks and recreation administrators and were assured if we voted to swap the Geng/Embarcadero corner of the course for the ice rink land, it would not impact the golf course. We were assured that the golf course was a valuable asset to the city and would always be there for the community golfers. The majority of the committee voted for the land swap. I was one of them and have never regretted my decision.

I do feel that now is the time for our council to step up to the plate, do the right thing and do what they have to do to make sure Palo Alto always has an 18-hole course that is properly maintained.

I might point out that there are more than 500 golfers who belong to clubs based at our course. Golfers from Palo Alto and the surrounding community provide a lot of revenue to our city.

Bonnie Miller

Lois Lane, Palo Alto

Save the arts

Editor,

A disturbing trend seems to be setting in regarding a fix to our state money problems. Apparently many people think that the way to control our education costs is to eliminate non-essential courses in our schools. The basics are all that are necessary for a good education for our kids, according to this view.

Arts, music, drama, physical education — forget them; they're not needed. Stick with the basics. However, don't touch competitive sports. They're needed to feed our kids into the college and pro teams in the future. After all, a robust society cannot exist without its sports entertainment. Yeah, sure.

The problem with this thinking is that it fails to recognize the value of the arts. The arts not only enrich our kids, they also add great value to society.

The arts, in their various forms, broaden peoples' perspectives — and guess what else? — they make a society more creative, innovative, in ways that "the basics" alone cannot match. Band, orchestra, drama, etc., are all life enriching, as I recall.

If we abandon the arts in our kids' educational process, our society will quickly become narrower in its thinking — colder and uncreative, unable to keep up with the rest of the world.

Ruben Contreras

Waverley Street, Palo Alto

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