By Jay Wilson
The Del Cerro Action Council was fortunate to have School Board member Kevin Beiser as the guest speaker for our Jan. 25 meeting. Kevin stated that the Patrick Henry Performing Arts, Media, and Entertainment Center is now scheduled to be completed in March 2016. The parking problems caused by all the construction will be alleviated when the project is completed. Despite all the space being used by the theater complex, only 18 spaces will be eliminated.
Kevin mentioned how proud he is that the school district retained its music programs and class sizes. And all of the schools in the Patrick Henry cluster will soon be air-conditioned. The school board is working on the budget and is starting to get back a little of the funding the state took a few years ago.
“We need to lobby the state to restore education funding faster. Although other departments have already been fully restored, it will take eights years to restore all the education funding,” he said.
One question for Kevin was why Patrick Henry High School can’t start later in the morning.
He responded by saying that start times are up to the individual schools. I contacted Listy Gillingham, the principal at Patrick Henry, and she responded: “With all the sports programs after school, there is no way we could move our start time back. Students are already practicing until 9 p.m. some nights.”
Adam McElroy, our police community relations officer, stated that crime has remained very low over the past several weeks in Del Cerro.
Liz Saidkhanian is our new council representative for Councilmember Scott Sherman; her email address is email@example.com. She is responsible for Grantville, Allied Gardens, Mission Trails Regional Park and Del Cerro. Ryley Webb is concentrating on San Carlos, Mission Valley, and policy matters for Councilmember Sherman. Liz mentioned the closing of the Albertsons in Allied Gardens and stated that the closing was a business decision on the part of Albertsons. They elected not to renew their lease, which was due to expire in April. (An update — I spoke with Linda Lasher, the property manager for the shopping center on Feb. 10. She stated there are six food market firms in discussion that want to occupy the space. Let’s hope one of them is able sign a long-term lease.)
There was an option to develop the canyon property south of the Chevron station and adjacent to College Avenue. The city had allegedly agreed to allow for a right turn in/right turn out from College Avenue. I have spoken with a member of the firm contemplating the development on a couple of occasions and expressed my concern as well as other Del Cerro residents over the planned entrance and exit to the project from College Avenue. One plan was to construct up to 28 single-story homes. It is my understanding the option to purchase the property was not acted upon so the project was scrubbed.
I recently attended a District 7 Steering Committee meeting hosted by Councilmember Sherman. It included the chairs of all the planning and community groups in District 7. Each community from Linda Vista to San Carlos shared some concerns. The condition of our roads was mentioned most often. Councilmember Sherman asked for feedback from each community. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you believe are the major city-related concerns for Del Cerro.
On Feb. 11, the Navajo Community Planners, Inc. (NCPI) and the Grantville Stakeholders Committee met regarding the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) relating to the redevelopment of Grantville. Concerns including traffic, flooding, parks and bicycle paths were registered with city staff and must be addressed in the final EIR.
NCPI meets monthly to address land use issues in the Navajo Area. Beginning Feb. 25, at 7 p.m., and on the second Wednesday of the month thereafter, NCPI will be meeting at Tifereth Israel Synagogue located at 6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd. Election of new board members will be held at the March 11 NCPI meeting. For more information about NCPI and the election, go to navajoplanners.org.
Councilmember Scott Sherman will be our guest speaker at the next Del Cerro Action Council meeting to be held on April 23 at 7 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El. Our website is delcerroactioncouncil.org.
—Jay Wilson is president of the Del Cerro Action Council.