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Roses for Regalia

Rather than take heed of growing voter sentiment against the Council's plans to break the civic bank for a giant garage, retail stores and big-box library in Civic Park, Councilwoman Gwen Regalia in today's W.C. Journal dismissed the 92 residents who took the time to rank the City's key issues. ... "It indicates that there was not a great deal of interest ... I wouldn't call this the most accurate poll," Regalia told the Journal's Theresa Harrington. ... Perhaps our elected representatives could take time to read the letters, like the one from Sharon Doherty. Sharon likes the idea of a new library, but she wants to keep the tennis courts, the trees and the roses. Won't somebody listen to Sharon? ...

The people are with us!

I couldn't help but grin as I read this morning's Walnut Creek Journal. A few days ago I asked CC Times editor Chris Lopez if he thought the paper's coverage was tapping true voter sentiment. I posed perhaps not, since most of the coverage focuses on official actions, while the people are "too busy fighting with traffic, housing costs and everyday hassles to make a fuss." What a vindication to find that W.C. readers told the Journal in a survey published today that traffic and trasportation were their top issues, with affordable housing not far behind. ... Also near the top were preservation, a dog park, and Walnut Creek Heritage. "New library" was second to last on the list of residents' concerns, beating out only "political changes in city." Wanna bet that last one gains steam if the Council holds course? ...

Photos

Hey! That's why I love blogger. It's easy as pie to add photos. Send in your favorite Civic Park images and I'll add my own over the weekend. ... Meanwhile, enjoy this shot of the gazebo from the City Web site. ...

Save the trees

What will incorporation of the Maxwell property into the library design mean for Civic Park? The loss of historic trees, for one thing. Hopefully this weekend I'll get photos up and we can look at some of the leafy giants slated for the axe. ... (And earlier than expected, pictures of our shady friends.)

How to help

Ready to get involved? Download the nifty "Save Civic Park" flyer (click here - updated to reflect win on eminent domain) and pass it around your neighborhood or keep stacks at the counter of your downtown business. Or print out a copy of our car sign (click here) and display it proudly in your car windows (or even on cardboard in your front yard). All the kids are doing it! ...

Comments welcome!

Wow! Lots of folks are visiting the site as word starts to get out about the dark side of Walnut Creek's library plans. Please feel free to click the comment link and add your thoughts. ...

Traffic dumping zone

It's an open secret that 310 spaces in the parking garage is far more than needed to serve even an expanded library. The parking is overflow for the surrounding downtown. Sadly, that's how much the City cares about open space. And remember, two retail spaces are slated for the garage area. A Starbucks and a Borders? ... (OK, maybe I'm going overboard with the Borders suggestion. Use the comments to suggest what intrusive business might be waiting to set up shop in the park.) ...

Tennis, anyone?


As far as I can tell, the Civic Park tennis courts are slated for closure in the GARAGE/library plan. That means the winter ice rink is just the start of troubles for hardcourt lovers. Please add to the comments if you know more. ...

Flyers!

My son and I made it to tonight's Environmental Impact Report scoping meeting long enough to hand out a few flyers and pick up an agenda. There were a little more than 20 people there, and the Maxwell family reports strong support for saving their home, Casa Cristina. ... It was interesting to find out that the taking of the historic Maxwell home is the sole reason for the planned EIR. Putting a five-story garage next to a creek doesn't trigger the law. ... After leaving the meeting based on a one-year-old's attention span, we went over to the park to use the swings and talk to people about the garage and retail proposals. Sure enough, people know about the retail, but they don't have much idea about the rest of the project. ... One big problem with the upcoming bond election: the EIR won't be released until December - full month after voters go to the polls to decide on funding for the project. The public hearing on the EIR is scheduled for early 2006, and the final version won't be reading until next spring. ...

Casa Cristina

Coming soon, an interview with Elizabeth Heidt, whose children are the sixth generation to occupy Casa Cristina, the Spanish-style home on the creek bought by H. Lloyd Drury, who moved to the county home to raise dogs. Now la casa is on the chopping block as the Council reaches for the biggest library garage (oh, yeah, with books too) in Contra Costa County. ... Keep reading, and make yourself heard Monday, 7 p.m., at the Council chambers, where the City takes input on its plans to take Casa Cristina using eminent domain. ...

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