Trip to John Muir Festival

This past weekend we had the pleasure of taking 8 of the neighborhood boys that we have gotten to know through RYAA to the John Muir festival held in Culterville near Yosemite. All of them regularly attend the weekly boys bible study held at our house, and most had never been to the mountains before. Although taking boys ages 6-11 anywhere can be a real challenge, it was great to see them experience and learn new things.
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Grandmother who was shot tells her story

East Palo Alto has been experiencing daily shootings from a conflict between rival gang members. The Palo Alto Weekly did a great article about a grandmother who was caught in the crossfire of a shooting in front of the local McDonald’s. This gives a good view into the lives and fears of many who live here.


Million-Dollar Blocks Map Incarcerations Costs : NPR

From Tuesday’s NPR All Thing Considered.

“But today when … we see those blocks, things have changed quite a bit. There has been a real investment by the city and the state, and particularly the Department of Probation, to engage with local organizations around the community and strengthen what theyre doing.”

via Million-Dollar Blocks Map Incarcerations Costs : NPR.

via Million-Dollar Blocks Map Incarcerations Costs : NPR.

The city of EPA is trying to do this, but struggling to get it right. However, the idea is there, and now there is a group quantifying the approach. I really like the idea of government rallying behind community groups to strengthen what they are doing (as opposed to government doing it themselves). The city of EPA is making great progress in this area. The school board, not so much.

South Bay Study: Latino Immigrants Face Health Challenges | KQED Public Media for Northern CA

South Bay Study: Latino Immigrants Face Health Challenges | KQED Public Media for Northern CA.

“The study also found limited access to healthy foods and safe places for exercise in the county’s primarily Latino neighborhoods.”

We have noticed here in East Palo Alto that the lack of agreement between the city and school district to open the schools as public parks severely limits access to safe places to exercise. When we are using the field, a LOT of people come out to use the rubberized track to exercise at Cesar Chavez school. Men and women are walking, some are jogging, some are pushing strollers. When we are not using the field, the gate is locked, and many people come to the locked gate, look in, then have to turn around and go home.

In Mountain View, the Latino community is centered around the Castro area. Rengstorff park is the only park in this area, and the only play field. Most of the fields are much farther to the north and south. We have explored having some RYAA activities in this area, but the lack of facilities in bike riding distance make it difficult, and the other facilities are generally all booked by other groups.