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Giving credit where credit is certainly due

The rest of the stories — or at least more — to a couple of recent musings in this cozy corner of the world.

First, let it be known that something is being done about the parking-voucher machines at Santa Rosa Junior College. After I recently chronicled my travails at trying to find a working dispenser, I received a call from Santa Rosa Junior College President Dr. Frank Chong, who personally apologized for the inconvenience and offered me a spot in the Presidential Box at a future event at Haehl Gym. You have to be impressed with a college president who pays such close attention to details. During our conversation, he mentioned that the offending machines were being replaced.

A more recent column that sparked some interest was last week's essay thanking the volunteers for the work they have done on the high school fields around town. It should be noted, and I stand corrected, that the major reason the Casa Grande High School baseball diamonds are in such good shape is because the school district maintenance crews dug out and refurbished both the junior varsity and varsity diamonds. A lot of hard work, not to mention about $30,000 went into the effort.

On the subject of fields, what in the world happened that the A's couldn't host last Friday night's game against Seattle? I know it rained, and sometimes hard, at times Friday, but high schools all over the Redwood Empire managed to play afternoon games. Petaluma hosted Elsie Allen and managed to get its game played. Why is it that a Major League team. with its high-tech tarps and dozens of grounds keepers, couldn't have a Major League field playable?

On the list of projects that could be funded if the Petaluma City Schools bond measure passes is a new track for Casa Grande High school. With or without the bond measure passing, it is a project that should be done. In fact, it should have been done 10 years ago. I know funds are tight and the school district has many needs, but to have the district's largest school with a track program that benefits so many kids without a track is simply not right.

It is a testimony to the efforts of coaches Jamie Pugh and Carl Triola that Casa Grande is able to attract more than 80 kids to a program where the sprinters and hurdlers have no where to train and the high jumpers slosh through puddles when they approach the bar after even a strong mist.

I continue to applaud and marvel at how well volunteers (and, yes the school maintenance crews) maintain our facilities for the school athletes, but there is just nothing that can be done about the Casa Grande track. It makes our schools' other facility needs look like minor annoyances.


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