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Little League to the rescue at Hoover diamond

Original post made on Feb 28, 2008

When Hoover Park reopens in early spring, baseball players will walk onto a revamped infield, compliments of the Palo Alto Little League. The local youth-baseball league is funding the project in a public-private partnership with the city.

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Comments (4)

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Posted by Little League Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2008 at 11:06 am

This raises an excellent question? Should the renovations of our parks' sporting facilities be the responsibility of the City or should private bodies in fact be the ones financing this.

The fact that Little League has financed part of the upgrade at Hoover Park inasfaras the Baseball facilities is interesting. The fact that Stanford has provided us with soccer facilities is another example. We are hoping to get an improvement at El Camino Park with the new water storage tank and that will help with soccer and baseball (softball) as a result. We need more gym space and Kikis closing down can provide a solution.

We pay for Little League, AYSO, CYSA, YBall, NJB among other organisations, for our kids who in turn pay out large amounts to the City in rental for these facilities. Where does this money go?

So, all this poses the question. Who should pay for PA kids sports facilities?

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Posted by Anne
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm

At the same time the City was working on Hoover Park, they were also doing the same kind of upgrades to Don Jesus Ramos Park. The project is now finished at Ramos Park.

"In the child-play area, there are no gates in the area it's easy for a child to go zooming out of there. There are also some concerns about safety." They didn't include a fence or gates round the children's play area at Ramos Park either, so why should they put them in at Hoover?

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Posted by Annette
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Cuurent plans for Hoover: The schedule is to open Hoover mid March, after the new grass has time to get established. There will be an official park opening celebration in mid April when the weather improves.

City officials inform us that several of the improvements have not been installed but will be done before the March park opening. The Midtown Residents Association had child safety as the #1 priority. Spring loaded gates will be installed as well as some barriers to prevent tots from running through the junipers. The city does plan to improve the basketball area including 2 hoops, but that will be done within the next few months.

Hope this helps.

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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 29, 2008 at 11:48 am

I have some history with this Hoover park deal, so I will offer the following:

1. Little League requested a letter of understanding with the City to take care of the infield at Hoover Park. We did this because we wanted to insure a good playing surface throughout the season. The City did not request that we give them money or time, but they have been very supportive partners with us.

2. The irrigation system at Hoover was old, and did not provide even coverage, thus we were always fighting an uneven battle in the infield. The renovation should fix this problem.

3. In an agreement with the City, the old cyclone fence was removed, so that the outfield could be used for other sports in the off season. A white plastic safety fence is put up, seasonally, as the outfield fence. The City and Little League were trying to make things happen in a more efficient way, for more citizens. I think this approach has been a success.

4. There used to be a near-swamp in right field, during the wet months, something that has been fixed by the City, by bringing in more topsoil. The new drainage system will also help to insure that it stays fixed.

5. Due to weather issues, and concerns about access damage, the LL infield will not be ready until about mid/late-March (if the weather holds). We have ordered a thicker sod, so as to accelerate the time line. Please try to bear with us on this one...the new infield should be a good one!

6. We will be replacing those ratty old storage bins with newer versions, although this may not be done by mid-March.

7. The new backstop and sideline fencing was provided by the City, not LL. The City also provided the new bleachers.

I think the Little League has tried to be a good partner with the City. The City has been a good partner with us. I don't know if this is a policy model for the future, but it works. BTW, the fees paid to the city by the sports groups, like LL, are a small fee per player, and it serves to subsidize the staff position that schedules fields.

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