letters to the editor

Cheer situation tarnishes school’s reputation

I find it sad and ridiculous that we are having to beg the school to provide a safe, consistent place for our SLVHS cheerleaders to practice. They have worked so hard since April, only to start school and find that they are unappreciated and dismissed by the same people that want them to “rise up” and value their school community.

My daughter was so excited, as an incoming freshman, to be part of the Cheer Team. The fact that us parents are expected to support our school financially, give our time and tax dollars, and serve on committees, should give us a voice in our kids’ schooling and extra-curricular activities.

The cheerleaders would be happy (and have offered) to clean the floors, set up tables, do whatever they need to keep their practice space they have used for 30 years. The statement made to them that the school would prefer to keep the cafeteria vacant than let them continue to use it is ludicrous and just plain mean.

Cheer makes my kid want to go to school and motivates her to get good grades. Cheer is what will encourage her to be a leader. Cheerleading teaches our kids to support each other, be kind humans and lead their peers. 

This whole situation leaves me with a tarnished opinion of the adults in charge here. We need more from these adults that are supposed to be supporting and guiding our kids.

Cory Marello
Boulder Creek

Time to speak up for Cheer

My name is Ray, and this is my first year cheerleading at SLVHS. Despite only doing Cheer for about five months, I can already see the positive impact it has had on my life.

I love stunting and seeing my stunts work as they are supposed to, and one of the great things about the cafeteria as our practice space is that it’s the perfect place for us to stunt. It’s safe, it has the right amount of room, and the Cheer Team has been using it for 30 years.

This year, our superintendent wants us to speak up and be more active, and that is what I am doing. Our Cheer Team has doubled from last year and despite being more active, our safe space to practice was taken away.

We bring the school so much spirit, it wouldn’t truly be SLV without the spirit we bring. I hope the School District Board of Trustees will consider helping us get our practice space back.

Ray Clark
Ben Lomond

Support Felton Covered Bridge pump track

As a resident of Felton, I want to express my support for and provide a positive view of building a pump track in the covered bridge park. This proposal presents a unique opportunity to provide the community with a much-needed convenient, safe and legal space to practice a variety of sports.

The beauty of an asphalt pump track is that it appeals to a range of users of all skill levels on anything with wheels. Anyone who has used one can attest whether you’re 5 or 35, they are just plain fun. I encourage anyone who has yet to see one to go, and it will help clarify the scope of this low-impact project and its benefits to the community.

To that end, this project is a series of low earthwork berms with a ribbon of asphalt on top that are landscaped to blend into the environment and surrounded by a natural wooden split rail fence. This project is absolutely in line with the development plan for the Felton Covered Bridge Park by respecting its historical value while providing an area for modern active use that doesn’t unduly burden other users.

The Valley Womens Club has made this community infrastructure a focal point to oppose, despite both the original proposal and clearly announced public hearings addressing their concerns regarding sanitation, flooding, parking and access. 

When facing this organized opposition, speaking up and making your voice heard is more important than ever to represent the community accurately.

Daniel Core

Celebrating the anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps Act

Sept. 22, 2023, is the 62nd anniversary of President John F. Kennedy signing the U.S. Peace Corps Act. At the time, Kennedy said, “These men and women are going overseas at the request of the host nations. They will be doing specific, needed jobs. They will be working at a level and living at a level comparable to the citizens of the foreign nations. They will be farmers and teachers, craftsmen and nurses, doctors and technicians of all kinds. They will be a cross-section of the finest men and women that this Nation has to offer.”

The Covid-19 pandemic temporarily caused the withdrawal of all volunteers. Today, the Peace Corps, America’s hands-on, grass roots organization, is back with 2,000 volunteers serving in 60 countries. The agency has plans to increase the number of volunteers serving in more countries.

For many Peace Corps volunteers, it is an opportunity to be a part of change and to make an impact in service and at home. Intercultural competence, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility are core principles that help the agency achieve its mission.

The Peace Corps was established to assist with health care, education, environmental improvements and other basic human needs at the community level. Since then, more than 240,000 volunteers have answered the call to public service and joined the Peace Corps serving in 143 countries.

I am a board member of the Northern California Peace Corps Association, representing the Monterey Bay area. I taught at a teacher’s training college in Sierra Leone from 1967 to 1969. 

There are many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in our region who contribute their worldly experiences to our community. I urge you to consider joining the Peace Corps and taking on the “toughest job you’ll ever love.”

The Northern California Peace Corps Association would like to hear from those RPCVs in our area who might be interested in joining our active local organization.

Returning volunteers bring their extraordinary experiences home where they continue their service using skills learned through foreign service. Having worked abroad, they have learned to appreciate cultures and customs, helping them find common ground amid the growing complexities of our own multi-cultural society.

Make an impact, join the Peace Corps or the Northern California Peace Corps Association.

John Bost
Board Member, Northern California Peace Corps Association
Monterey and Santa Cruz

We welcome letters to the editor and commentaries on all topics of local interest. Email your submissions to [email protected]. Letters must include the writer’s name and hometown (for publication) and phone number (for verification). Submissions may be edited, and will be published as space permits. Letters are limited to 400 words, commentaries to 600 words.

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  1. Do you have real journalists? I don’t know the answer, but I really wonder.

    I read your article, “District boots San Lorenzo Valley High School cheer team from practice space” published September 15th.

    Like many of your readers, I was pretty offended by the audacity of the school district to show such disrespect for these young student athletes.

    I asked the SLV principal about the article, and he responded,

    “Yes, the cheerleaders do have a space to practice. In fact, they have two. One in the gym and one in the wrestling room. And… …now that they have taken the steps to become a sport again, instead of a club, they have equal access to our gym as any other sport in season. The Athletic Director and I have been working with cheerleader coaches to make this happen long before this article was written.”

    Is this consistent with what the principal told Christina Wise when she, as a responsible journalist, contacted the school principal about the issue? Did she even bother to ask the principal, or for that matter, the school district?

    “We take our news-gathering responsibility seriously.”

    DO YOU? As they say in Missouri, “Show Me.”

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