By Ken Martin

…THERE’S HOPE: Construction of our new sports field at CVHS has resulted in the temporary loss of some parking at the school. This causes the displaced students to park up the neighboring streets. We get some of the overflow on Somerset Avenue, although it isn’t as bad as we expected. The biggest problems are that the students park on the pedestrian walkway, encroach (or completely block) driveways, leave garbage in the street, and move garbage cans on collection day  so the garbage doesn’t get collected. Frequently, when the neighbors object, they are greeted with a string of expletives.  But through all of this there is Hope. Read on.

When I opened my front door to get the newspaper on the Friday before Christmas, there was an envelope tucked into the door latch. I opened it and found the following letter:

“To the residents of Somerset:

My name is Hope and I am a junior at Castro Valley High School. I park on Somerset every day and have parked there since the second semester of last year. From the notes that I have received on the windshield of my blue Mercury Tracer, it is apparent that the students that park outside of the houses around the school and on Somerset every day cause many problems for the residents.

The reason that I am writing you today is that I would like to say Thank You. I can understand that it is extremely bothersome to have random people parked outside your house five out of seven days of the week. I, too, live across from a school, and although it is not a high school where the students can drive and park, every day, before and after school, there are people parked in front of my house. I can sympathize with the fact that it is frustrating to come home from either school, or in my case swim practice often times, or any other activity, and find that you can not park outside of your own house.

I feel that it is important that I show my own gratitude towards those of you that reside in the houses that I tend to park in front of. Last year, as a sophomore, I was not permitted to park in the school parking lot. Therefore I used Somerset as my makeshift parking lot. However, this year the school decided to undergo construction of the football field to build a new stadium. Yet again, I, and about 1400 other students, now have no designated parking lot. Not only did this upset us drivers, but I am sure this upset, or even outraged, most of those who lived around Castro Valley High.

Again, I would like to take this time to say that I thank you and appreciate you for being patient even though my fellow students tend to be disruptive and/or rude. I try not to be the typical bad-mannered teenager and I sincerely try not to go out of my way to make it even more difficult for those of you that live in the houses where I park.

Happy Holidays,


(Signed) Hope”

Enclosed in the envelope was a gift card for Starbucks.

Hope, your concern is greatly appreciated. You are a bright light in what sometimes appears to be a somewhat dark picture of today’s teenagers. I would like to meet you some day. You’ll find me behind the Bear.

So, dear readers, if you have problems with our youth, just remember that there is Hope.