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Waterfront needs athletic fields

-Jahlee Arakaki
Monday May 13, 2002

To the Editor:  


I fully support the use of State Park space for creating playing fields for soccer and baseball. There are more children who want to play sports than there are fields in Berkeley. Sports is the healthiest alternative to sitting in front of a TV, a computer, going to the Mall, or hanging out on the streets (studies have shown that sports deters juvenile delinquency). 

I've spent my evenings since my oldest was 7 years old (now 19) and my youngest was 7 (now 10) being a soccer mom, attending softball games, little league games, keeping my children involved with sports because public schools could never afford to sponsor sports programs.  

Often, parents have to opt out of sports for their young children because there may not be enough field space, or the space available is too far to travel for children that young. Berkeley doesn't offer a quality sports venue to attract other teams for tournament play, or to attract top-notch coaching. Local teams could raise money sponsoring tournament play if only Berkeley had a true "field of dreams" which would help our local teams be more competitive, as well as recreational, in soccer, baseball, softball, or basketball. 

While I don't have the time to attend City Council meetings, I'm hoping that the City Council is aware that they represent more than those who come to every Council meeting with the loudest and squeakiest of wheels. So, in conclusion, I hope their decision will consider the future of Berkeley as being a city supportive of those of us raising families, supportive of its small businesses, and supporting the growth of its youth – their minds and bodies.  



-Jahlee Arakaki