By Ken Martin

OH, C’MON, NOW!: Now James Shea has given us our little slap on the wrist for defeating CV incorporation (Forum, 2/27). But his assessment of why the Utility Tax passed is a little off base. Don’t you think that a possible reason for the tax passing is that the majority of people than voted on it (and for it) live in the incorporated areas and don’t have to pay it?

And our supervisors depend on this to get it passed. There was some agitation a while back (and there needs to be again) to change the rules so that only the residents of unincorporated areas, the only citizens that have to pay the tax, would be the only ones that would vote on it. You’ll notice that that idea was quickly ignored by the Board of Supervisors, most likely because they know that such a tax may not pass if the rules were fair. It sometimes seems that the Supes are more interested in grabbing the money than they are in fairness to their constituents.

Hey, Nate, show us unincorporated types that you really want to be fair and make an attempt to get the Board of Supervisors to change this regressive situation. Either that or explain to the people of Castro Valley and other unincorporated Alameda County areas why someone else, who is not affected, gets to pawn this stuff off on us. Please do it in words of one syllable so we can understand because we sure don’t understand now!

A GARDEN WILL GROW: I think that any endeavor that encourages children to be constructive and productive is worthy of note, especially in these times of instant “click” gratification. Such a project is underway in a far corner of the Stanton Elementary School grounds.

(Interruption here: A brief pause here because our beautiful long-haired black cat, Miss Fresno, has chosen my keyboard as a resting place!)

Under the guidance of Heidi Morgan, a first grade teacher at Stanton, and Jennifer Kline, the project parent leader, students are creating a garden on this little plot. What makes this activity most interesting is that it is more than just planting some things in the dirt and watering them to make them grow. There is a real challenge here in that more than half of the plot is on a very steep hillside! Before these students can even think about planting anything, they are clearing the hillside of ivy and brush, and building a retaining wall, with the latter relying on some of the involved Dads’ muscle. Ultimately, when all this work is done, the garden will be comprised of both flowers and vegetables.

While it is primarily a student project, many of the parents are involved, too. Some of the work is a little more than the kids can handle so the adults pitch in.

As with everything these days, all this costs money. So far, some funding has come from Pete’s Hardware, CV Education Fund, Eden Garden Club, and a state grant, but more is needed. With the retaining wall largely in place, future expenses include garden equipment, fill dirt, planter boxes, and the plants.

Since this is intended to be a community project, anyone, adults or children, that wants to participate with either labor or funding is most welcome. Saturdays are work days. If you would like more information, contact Heidi Morgan at Stanton Elementary School (727-9192). She’ll be glad to hear from you.