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Community News

Friends of Santa Teresa Park -- March 1, 1999

by Mike Boulland - President of "Friends of Santa Teresa Park"

You may have noticed, as I have, that there has been some construction going on in Santa Teresa County Park at Manila Drive and Camino Verde. I inquired about what was going on to our San Jose City Councilmember, Charlotte Powers, and she told me that "the parks Bernal Joice House, Pedro Bernal House (Bonnetti-Persch), and Bruno Bernal Ranch (Buck Norred) are being renovated to allow for enhanced trails, new environmentally fitting fence, and an historical setting and preservation." She also directed to me to other contacts who would have even more information. Before I could contact Mike Boulland who was the first name on the list, Mike contacted me. He is asking for our support and will provide us with more information about what is going on with the historic preservation and renovations at Santa Teresa County Park. I know this is short notice, so if you can attend this weeks meeting, it sounds like it would be a great help.[SAS]

We represent the volunteer community for Santa Teresa Park. Our goal is to open the park for more recreational access.

At the present time we are focusing on the Rancho Santa Teresa Historic District. We have encouraged County and State funding to help us make a museum at Manila Drive and Camino Verde. The project has been on the drawing boards for about 10 to 15 years but the County has not been pressured to complete the master plan until this year.

I need your help in posting a meeting that will take place at 7:00 pm on Wednesday night at the Santa Clara County Office Office Building Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors room at 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, California. It is located next to the City Hall. It is the regular scheduled County Parks Commission Meeting.

I need help from our neighbors to attend, to show support, and question the County Park's Commission. We need to question why $300,000 of insurance money paid to the parks department for the fire at Buck Norred's be spent at Calero Park and not at Santa Teresa Park where the fire occurred.

The old Buck Norred's site was slated for demolition last year. We have saved the historical buildings and they were not burned in the fire. These buildings need to be restored to house a ranger. It is too dangerous to allow such a large area with so many open areas that children can get hurt or lost. See last years Mercury News about the lost child. This area must be attended by a resident parks department person.

At the present time the parks department ranger drives by to make sure the gate is locked.

Four years ago, a ranger was living on site and watched the area. Since the area was left unattended high risk teenagers have destroyed the buildings. At the present time we have gotten the park's department to make more patrols. This has helped but is not the solution. They only react after something has occurred, for example, the fire at Buck Norred's last year.

Neighbors need to speak out because the funding needs to stay at Santa Teresa to make improvements to our neighborhood not somewhere else in the county.

I will try to keep the information about the Park as accurate as I can. The meetings with the park department are announced at their web site but what happens or what agenda items mean, I find out at the last minute.

Funding is always a surprise. The county has to divide up the funds for the entire area. We have in the past gotten the short end of the funding barrel in the past. They often do not want a group of neighbors telling them where to spend the public's funds.

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