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PUBLIC FORUM\Wood Ranch school needed now, not 2000.

The Simi Valley School District will hold a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Wood Ranch Conference Center to discuss the proposed plans for Wood Ranch Elementary School and overcrowding at Madera Elementary.

Wood Ranch students currently are bused to Madera Elementary School, which at 720 children, is some 50 children over capacity. The current year enrollment is an all-time high and, if something isn't done, is likely to increase as more new housing is built and occupied in the area.

Last year, we asked when we could reasonably expect the school to be built? We were told that if the district-owned Long Canyon property were sold, that the best estimate of completion of the school would be in two to three years.

A recent newspaper article quotes district representatives as saying that a deal for the land is now in the works, but they will now only say that construction of the school is expected to begin "by the year 2000." Counting land use changes the district wants to make in the Wood Ranch Specific Plan for the developer and construction time, we could be looking at a much longer wait.

The district now has proposed several alternative plans to relieve overcrowding at Madera Elementary. Most of these plans involve busing children even further to other sites, including some Madera children who are not now bused, adding classroom space to Madera without increasing the supporting environment, or making a "temporary" cheaper school in Wood Ranch. Reopening and staffing elementary schools closed as a cost-cutting move are also being considered.

As a parent whose children are grown, I know how important a decent, uncrowded environment is to a child's capacity to learn. As a resident and homeowner in Wood Ranch, I know that I do not want to be forced to tell a potential purchaser of my home that their child must be bused miles away or must learn in an overcrowded classroom.

As a taxpayer and voter, I will not tolerate elected officials who say one thing and do another. And neither will thousands of our Madera and Wood Ranch friends and neighbors. We need to hear, immediately, that every member of the Simi Valley School Board is committed to the expeditious funding and building of Wood Ranch Elementary School.

- Jean Ruecker

Simi Valley

Disaster preparedness

Moorpark lacks commitment to emergency response:

It has become increasingly apparent that the City of Moorpark continues to follow an unrealistic approach to the management of disaster and emergency situations. Building an emergency response plan exclusively on the backs of volunteers is doomed to failure.

The City Council and management continue to show its lack of commitment to emergency response by limiting our tax dollars, staff time and resources to help its citizens survive a major emergency or disaster. Providing a room, some communications equipment, and limited staff time is hardly a response.

City officials continue to demonstrate their lack of understanding for the need to prepare "the entire community," not just a few trained volunteers to respond to emergency situations.

How many citizens know what plans the city has to assist individuals, business and industry to deal with potential losses and the management of the community population when disaster strikes?

A number of dedicated and trained volunteers continue to be frustrated by the lack of city support to even provide an "entry key" to the emergency operations center so that emergency communications can begin. It should be noted that less than 50 percent of our city employees live in Moorpark.

The ability to gather information, inform the citizens and allocate resources is vital to our survival in an emergency/disaster and denying trained volunteers to do their job is nonsense.

The citizens of Moorpark are entitled to increased staff time and budgeted funds to provide the following:

Funding for a part-time emergency services coordinator;

Community emergency awareness activities;

Annual citywide emergency services;

Periodic communications and emergency management exercises;

Emergency medical and sanitation supplies at locations throughout the community;

Publication of the city of Moorpark's emergency response plan, including comments on what citizens can expect from the city;

Ongoing education and training of volunteers.

Moorpark's success in its ability to survive an emergency/disaster is directly dependent on the leadership that must come from our City Council and city officials. Unfortunately we do not currently have that leadership. Hopefully this situation will change as a result of the elections in March and November.

- Tom Wheeler

Moorpark

GE Americom was there

The picture of Dave McGhee's home with the huge satellite dishes in the background (Daily News, Feb. 12) is disturbing. I certainly can understand why Mr. McGhee would like these dishes moved.

What I can't understand is why Mr. McGhee moved there in the first place. GE Americom Earth Station was there and had been there for many years when these estates were built. No one forced Mr. McGhee to move there. To expect GE Americom to move because Solano Verde Ranches doesn't like the satellite dishes is absurd. It is equally absurd for the Ventura County planners to even consider not renewing GE Americom's permits.

This is one more case of making a bad decision and expecting someone else to pay for it. The residents of Solano Verde Ranches elected to build and live next to a satellite relay station. To expect the station not to grow is wishful thinking, as is expecting it to move or expecting GE Americom to buy them out now that they are unhappy.

The residents say that the relay station is not compatible with the residential area. It is equally valid for GE Americom to declare Solano Verde Ranches incompatible with their relay business and ask the county planners to condemn the houses and make the residents move.

It is unfortunate that Solano Verde Ranches was allowed to build beside the satellite relay station. But the fact of the matter is that it was there and you knew it was there, Mr. McGhee. You made a bad decision. Admit it and either accept it or sell and move.

- Sharon Bennett

Agoura Hills
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Feb 25, 1996
Words:1019
Previous Article:CHURCH, CITY PROMOTE EMERGENCY TRAINING.
Next Article:TEEN PREGNANCY GROWING PROBLEM\ChildWatch plans conference with local groups to develop solutions.


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