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AVHS Sports ...no music? no play by play? no fun!

Original post made by Janis Giovacchini, Amador Valley High School, on Apr 5, 2009



After being told last week that there should be no music or announcing
at AVHS athletic events I'm just wondering why? A huge part of sports
is the fans, music, cheering, hearning your name announced on the loud speaker.
For some reason all athletes at AVHS are being denied all of the above! Every
other school we travel to enjoys the high school sports experience. Why not us?
And by the way, every other school is surrounded by neighbors and houses. Our
events are completed by 9:30 pm. The AVHS athletic dept. has worked diligently to
comply with requests for less noise from neighbors. The volume has been lowered,
the speakers on the visitor's side are turned off, and all music is cleared with the
Vice Principal before it is placed on the play list.
I have spoken to the Pleasanton P.D. and we are not too loud nor are we
breaking any laws. Schools are exempt from the noise abatement laws. So what
exactly is the problem? If you purchase a home next to the fairgrounds, the
freeway, a busy road, or a school you are going to hear some noise! Pleasanton
is supposed to be the model city for raising a family. As a parent of a graduating
Senior I sure hope so. I would also like to know who is making these decisions?
J. Giovacchini

Comments

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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 5, 2009 at 4:52 pm

This issue has been hashed over extensively on this board. Bottom line -- The Amador Boosters funded a new sound system, Bill Coupe allowed it to be installed on his campus, yet it was never socialized with the immediate neighbors. This is in direct conflict with the PUSD's "Good Neighbor Policy."

As for being told, "there should be no music or announcing at AVHS athletic events," I'd like to know who told you that little ditty. Me thinks someone on Amador Staff has chosen the easy way out. No sound/music and no calls to a cell phone during events -- or calls to the District the day after.

Amador Staff and their management techniques are showcased at their best on this one. *laughing* These are the people you want to sustain via a parcel tax? I'd rethink that one if I were you.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Perhaps Janis Giovacchini's husband, who coaches the soccer team at Amador Valley High School, should ask for the specifics from his teaching/coaching peers. Or perhaps her son, who plays soccer and lacrosse at Amador, can ask around.

Come On Janis -- You likely know more than you are sharing.


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Posted by Janis Giovacchini
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I have clearly written what I know and I speak for myself. I'm not sure what you mean by
by" socializing" anything. I do know that we are not breaking any laws
and being a "Good Neighbor" goes two ways. Why shoud our students
have any less atmosphere than any other school in the area? I really
don't understand why it's such a big deal?
By the way Joe is an awesome coach and my son is a great young man, an excellent student, and athlete. My comments were my own and were meant
to give my son and all the other students at Amador the high school
experiences and memories they deserve and are entitled to.


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Posted by bobbi
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I think we all need to complain LOUD and often so the music comes back. Certain neighbors are a major PAIN near the football field. I think they have just kept the wheel squeaking and PUSD got tired and gave in. We have our rights too!


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 5, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Janis -- Socializing? Were those my words?

As for the experiences your son and the other students are entitled to -- Perhaps that would have been achieved had the Amador Boosters not pulled a fast one on the neighborhood. Or perhaps that would have been achieved had Lou Cesario not lied to a given neighbor and stated the sound upgrade was to accommodate 2007-2008 graduation. The various stories told by staff to the neighborhood were comical and clearly are not worth my additional parcel tax dollars unless "lying" is one of the courses taught at Amador. Stretching the truth is something several appear qualified to teach.

The old sound system caused no neighborhood strife. The big deal lies squarely at the feet of the Boosters and Bill Coupe -- no one else.

Who told you "there should be no music or announcing at AVHS athletic events?" Care to share?

BTW, I commend your son's talents and the dedication of your husband. I just felt everyone should know where your association to athletics at Amador stemmed from.


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Posted by no surpise
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm

No surprise that the same people who have made a huge issue out of the sound system are against the parcel tax. I'll bet they also get bugged when pesky little girls try to sell them girl scout cookies and hate it when kids splash too much at the pool, too ;)


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

I live all of a minutes drive from Amador and can see the tops of the football fields lights when they are turned on. It seems like the noise level has been turned down dramatically in the past few years. I've lived here for 28 years and I remember it being louder in the late 90's than it is today- loud enough to the point that I could clearly make out what calls were being made. Today it's more of a low mumble. Either way I've never had a problem with it as I'm a night owl. As someone else stated, living near a school is going cause more noise so neighbors should that into consideration when purchasing a house. As for the actions of the principal buying a new sound system and the ideas surrounding the upcoming special election, that's a whole other story. Should we place bets that this topic will turn into a parcel tax thread?

I'll be keeping an open ear the next weeks to see what sounds I hear coming from the school- hopefully it's all noises coming from fun times.


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Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:05 am

You can't make EVERYONE happy.

Pleasanton can be so micro-managed at times.

It is a school for sakes. What do people (I'm sure it is one household though) expect. It wasn't like the school was just built this year....


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Posted by Happy Gatetree Resident
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:16 am

There are a few houses for sale on our lovely Gatetree Circle and I certainly hope one of them belongs to "Another Gatetree Resident"!!! Such a broken record with such a grudge. Dude, stop worrying about your personal "injustices" and think about the kids for once.


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Posted by Ptown Kid
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 7:16 am

I am a student in Ptown and think that a lot of people need to find the good in these events, how it builds character and how it builds the community. Wouldn't you rather see kids spending time in sports than causing havoc in the streets in your precious neighborhoods. It is so sad that people cant just enjoy the noise and listen to the joy it brings to a lot of people rather some people choose to find it irritatiing and a bother.

Ok it gets a little noisy.. who really cares it shows a community getting together to enjoy an evening of HS sports.

Come on people get a grip on what really matters!!!!!!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Athletic Supporter
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 6, 2009 at 7:45 am

When you choose to live next to a high school stadium, there is a certain amount of noise, light, and activity that go along with that location. The choices are to either: 1) tolerate it, or 2) move somewhere farther away to get away from it. There is no legal claim that can be asserted by those few neighbors, since they chose to live next to what is obviously a source of noise. It is like moving next to a railroad tracks, and then complaining about the noise of the trains. There are also benefits of living close to Amador.


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Posted by Toni
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:21 am

Give me a break. The noise of any event from a high school cannot be that disturbing. The people complaining must have nothing else to do. Maybe they should move.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Eileen
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:50 am

I love hearing the fun and excitement of kids playing sports. It's part of living in a vibrant community. Sad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by AVParent
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:51 am

This is the first time I've heard about this. Does this mean no announcing at the AV football games? No more "Let's all stand for the kickoff?" No more music for warm-ups? No more announcements at the baseball field? No more fun for our kids? Do the neighbors surrounding Foothill have the same issues? Probably not. Not having all the facts, I would like to know how the new sound system was purchased, how the surrounding neighbors were told (in reference to the lying comments above), and perhaps hear from the Gatetree residences who are opposed to the noise. The high school was established in 1923. Surely when people moved next to the school they took into consideration there might be some noise especially at an athletic event.

These are sad times in our town as I have a current AV student and one in the pipeline. It would be a shame for them not to have the same experiences their older siblings had.


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Posted by John
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:55 am

Let the music play. Let the Gatetree GRUMP hide his head under a pillow. You had to ask or complain in the first place to "be lied to". I think if it is not the answer you want or like it is a lie. Right Gatetree? Even if it was a lie or someone "pulled a fast one" you are making the kids pay the price. Surly you do not think the kids had anything to do with it? Right? So why make them go without to prove your point.

Yes on Music and Yes on G.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:17 am

PToWN94566 -- The "sound" situation is greatly improved over that which occurred immediately post the new system's installation. I'm sure you'll notice a significant improvement also.

Pro-Law -- No disagreement with your statements. None whatsoever. Nor do I think anyone bought here not knowing the school was nearby.

Happy Gatetree Resident -- Personal injustices? Please. As I've openly stated, I prefer being neighbor to Amador any day over backing to Hopyard Road, 580, or 680. I love this neighborhood and bought after sitting on the street for hours on end assessing the sound issues. However, the new sound system changed that dynamic significantly and if you can't accept that, then that's your issue coupled with a lack of perception -- not mine.

Ptown Kid -- You are right! Sports do build character and teach team work. No one has issue with the sports activities. It's the non-sports specific items that have raised some ire.

Athletic Supporter - You are absolutely correct! There is a certain amount of noise, light, and activity that goes along with living near Amador. Much if it is why I bought here. However, I never expected a college stadium type sound system to be installed and used for events that in size did not warrant the sound level produced. Nor do I feel it necessary to blast AC/DC's Highway to Hell and Kid Rock's somewhat questionable material over the PA system for practice events. However, the issue at the root of all of this is "HOW" the system was implemented and the amount of lies told post install. As for legal claim -- are you an attorney? If not, then let me state that while there is no current legal precedent established, all it takes is one legal case to establish a principle or rule that a court or other judicial body adopts when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts.

Toni -- Come sit in your car on Gatetree Circle some evening when the "new-ish" stadium sound system is in use. That would likely be the best way to determine whether the "noise of any event from a high school" is disturbing to you personally.

That's really the bottom line -- personal perception of what is disturbing. The sporting events are not. The way the sound system was deployed, then lied about, and used inappropriately is. But then again, appropriateness is also a personal perception isn't it? I'll bet the same people thinking the sound system is appropriate are the same ones urinating against the common fence line rather than walking to a proper facility -- and they think THAT behavior is appropriate. Says a lot, no?

I'd still like to know specifically WHO at Amador has told Janis "there should be no music or announcing at AVHS athletic events." I think that type of information is key to getting at the truth.


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Posted by Bud Engel
a resident of Willow West
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:20 am

After reading the reponse from AV Parent, I had to respond. For 22 years I was the pressbox announcer and "Voice of Amador Valley Dons Football." I was the one that coined the phrase "Let's all stand for the Kickoff." Every year the principal would show me a complaint from a Gatetree resident. This must go back to the days when Lincoln was President. No matter what was done to mitigate the complaint there was always another. Some residents on Black Avenue would tell me they opened their windows on a balmy fall Friday night just so they could hear the play by play of the game. If the wind was blowing strong enough residents in Vintage hills could hear the game. They would say they always had a sense of pride knowing that the football players, cheerleaders, band members and student body were engaged in school activities. Does that not count anymore?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:33 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Bud's comment reminds me of the one Pleasanton household that always complains about the noise from the airport. This one household generates something like 50-70% of all the noise complaints from Pleasanton (don't recall the exact statistic offhand).


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:34 am

Posted by AVParent, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, 26 minutes ago

This is the first time I've heard about this. Does this mean no announcing at the AV football games? No more "Let's all stand for the kickoff?" No more music for warm-ups? No more announcements at the baseball field? No more fun for our kids? Do the neighbors surrounding Foothill have the same issues? Probably not. Not having all the facts, I would like to know how the new sound system was purchased, how the surrounding neighbors were told (in reference to the lying comments above), and perhaps hear from the Gatetree residences who are opposed to the noise. The high school was established in 1923. Surely when people moved next to the school they took into consideration there might be some noise especially at an athletic event.

These are sad times in our town as I have a current AV student and one in the pipeline. It would be a shame for them not to have the same experiences their older siblings had.

_______________________

The sound system was purchased by the Boosters. It was installed prior to last year's graduation by Swanson Sound Service - 1-800-540-4944. The surrounding neighbors were told about the increased sound levels and new installation WHEN it was being tested -- not before. As for the false statements -- those have been documented on this board all ready. However, to be specific -- here are a few:

Lou Cesario told a given neighbor the system enhancement was made purely for graduation. He also stated the additional speaker at the Boosters end would not be used at sporting events. Um -- if the sound system was for graduation only, why make the additional speaker comment, Lou? Blatant Lie Number One.

Ben Fobert, Amador Assistant Vice Principal with responsibility for facilities stated:
The sound system is for sporting contests only, not practices -- nor is it widely available to those who use the facility on weekends. Another Lie -- given what Janis has documented. And between it's install and now, the system has been used at practice.

Bill Coupe never returned one neighbors call until the District became involved and when he interacted with the District, he and Kris Weaver (of the School Board) lead the District to believe only one neighbor had contacted Ben Fobert. That was an outright lie.

These are just a few examples. Key is that no one intends on halting the use of the sound system all together and if that is what is now being communicated, I'd like to know who is delivering that message as it too appears to be bordering on a falsehood.


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Posted by AVHS Neighbor
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 10:15 am

This is the same Another Gatetree Resident that forced the school to close the football field gate access for students after incessant complaining. Many families bought their house near this side of campus so their children could use this entrance that had been there since the school was built but because Gatetree Resident complained about it, they got what they wanted. What hold do they have over PUSD? The gate closure, sound system, what's next... the athletes will have to practice/play in the dark because the field lights are too bright? Enough is enough.


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:36 am

I live right behind Foothill and I have to say that we have no problem with the lights, noise, kids, music or anything else. in fact we had to buy some "black out" drapes because the lights come right in our window. We have lived in the neighborhood for a while, in fact my neighbor has been here for over 20 years and we have NEVER heard any of our neighbors complain. In fact some of us have set up bbq's in our backyard so on game days we can bbq and watch or listen to the game. We have the band practice early on the weekends and we do not mind. This is why we bought here and it is all about the kids.

I think the problem is that we do not make this known to the school board. All they hear is the complaints from Gatetree. Go to the next meeting and let them know how you feel. They will listen and if we out number the nay sayers then we will win.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Jon -- When was the last time Foothill's sound system was updated? Were you notified of that change/impact prior to it being executed?

I will repeat -- No one has ever said the sound system should not be utilized. I'd STILL like to know specifically WHO at Amador has told Janis "there should be no music or announcing at AVHS athletic events." That type of information is key to getting at the truth.

If some intend on attending a Board Meeting, which I fully endorse, be sure you share or attempt to obtain the name of the Amador resource who took the most recent stance. I would bet the School Board would like to be aware of this latest slant/turn of events.


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Gatetree-

I am not sure when the last update was done, however, I know it is loud. I moved to Pleasanton in 1979 but have only lived behind Foothill for the past 5 years. I have not been notified of any changes in that time.


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Posted by Janis
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm


The message was sent to the booth via the coach
And we simply followed the directive. It's as simple as
that. My original question was WHY? My question still is
WHY and how do we resolve the situation? So let's problem
solve on the side of the STUDENTS at AVHS! This is their
time, let's just do the right thing and put them first!


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Posted by SoundSystem
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Apr 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I believe FH just replaced the sound system if not last year the year before and it is awesome to actually be able to understand what the announcers say now ... let is be heard loud and clear!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Posted by D W
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:06 pm

It's one thing to shut off the music. But shut off the sound system entirely? In other words, we cannot tell those in attendance to drive safe, forewarn them of accidents or to stay away from personal vices, or preview a future event on the campus. How many of these neighborhood complainers are talk radio addicts who are clearly influenced by the personalities who get paid to complain, regardless of entertainment value? It's a shame that these pundits are far better communicators than those responsible for Amador's operations.
We have two of the Eastbay's greatest high schools, one of which goes back to the 1930's. It is an abomination that a pioneering voice of Amador Valley High like Bud E. has been forced into silence because these neighbors have nothing better to do than to complain about poor communication and implementation instead of recommending solutions and being more understanding about how special this school really is. Plus, how many of these homes existed before Amador?
To those who use the Weekly's webpage a lot and read the paper all the time, before we address this field issue, please request to the Amador & School District authorities that they do a better job communicating to all students, parents, faculty, and neighbors. Then we can find more common ground and an eventual solution.
Thank you everybody in town for making a difference.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Jon -- Thank you for your response and input. Sounds like Foothill's system is ready for replacement if Amador is the benchmark.

Janis -- Which coach would that be? Soccer or Lacrosse? Again, I have never received any communication on this issue that indicated anyone was going to issue a directive stating "there should be no music or announcing at AVHS athletic events." With that in mind, one can only assume someone at Amador has made yet another decision that simplifies life for them without balancing that intelligently against various sources of input.

Is there anyway to determine where the "coach" got the directive? What was their source? I continue to believe there is a reasonable solution to this issue.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Posted by D W, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood

It's one thing to shut off the music. But shut off the sound system entirely? It's a shame that these pundits are far better communicators than those responsible for Amador's operations.

-----------

Exactly, DW! Again, no one has ever stated to the neighbors the sound system would be turned off entirely nor do I know of one neighbor who has asked for that course of action to be taken. The lack of communication on this issue coming from Amador, and the various sources of inaccuracy, is worrisome.

I retained Bill Coupe's doorstep drop notice from 9-12-08 as evidence of how this issue not only required Dr. Casey's involvement, but to also track when the neighborhood was last informed of status directly from the school. The terms of sound system use within that communication now appear to have been flipped 360 degrees, yet no one can cite a source.

Pathetic comes to mind.


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Posted by Amador Fan
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm

To Another Gatetree Resident,

You asked Janis what Coach, Soccer or Lacross? Based on the time of the year a good guess would eliminate soccer since the season has been over since the middle of February.

Regardless if the problem is Amador or "Gatetree Circle" there has to be a solution and this needs to be resolved soon. The sound system is a very important part of the activity and should remain so.

Finally, in regards to your comment about the sound system being used for practice. That is the first I have ever heard of that. I have heard a bull horn used for band practice, but I must say that I have never heard of football, boys or girls soccer, and lacrosse ever using the sound system for practice. There is never a need to do so.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Amador Fan -- I don't follow the various sports at Amador as closely as some -- and I asked for the clarification as Janis mentioned both Soccer and Lacrosse.

I absolutely agree there is a solution. People simply need to get together and talk to find one. I would also hope this is resolved sooner than the walkway issue. Contrary to popular belief, I was not involved in that issue but I understand it took Bill Coupe over 2 years to reach closure on that item. Looks like the sound system may continue to be rehashed just as long and cause an equal amount of frustration due to lack of communication.

Until the start of this school year, the sound system was used to play music during practice. Neighbors were told it was "part of the culture." That sounded like an intelligent response, no?

And these people are educators? I'm worried.


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Posted by PTOWN RESIDENT
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Apr 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm

So what is going to happen tomorrow...Amador hosts FH tomorrow...so sad if we can't enjoy it to its full capacity sounds and all!!!!!!!


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm

I say we give the people who complain about the noise the job of explaining it to all the fans!!! And that they should have to do it at a game and with out the sound system! Good luck.

Let the kids play and let them hear their names called. The music is part of the atmosphere. Keep playing until Dr. Casey comes to tell you to turn it off.

Otherwise maybe we can all hand out bull horns for the fans to use. What's next? Padded bats because hitting a home run is too loud?


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm

PTOWN RESIDENT-

We can invite them to Foothill!!! LOL


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Posted by Janis
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm


Please join us tomorrow night at Amador for AVHS vs.Foothill LAX

J.V's @5pm and Varsity @ 7pm

Join us on the "Fabled Amador Pitch" for the best in high school sports!
We will be enjoying our two home town teams, our National Anthem,
exciting play by play, and music!
GO DONS !!!


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 6:05 pm

So Janis -- Was the statement of "there should be no music or announcing at AVHS athletic events" inaccurate? It certainly appears you have more information and/or insight!

I hope the teams have an enjoyable event!



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Posted by Janis
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm



In response to your last question, I'm sorry I didn't catch your name?
Sometimes parents and schools work together to resolve issues for the
benefit of the children. This happens to be one of those times. Our many voices
has been heard and our children are the really big winners! And that is exactly
as it should be.


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Posted by Bill Johnson
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2009 at 7:06 pm

As the Uncle of an AVHS athlete, I must wonder how this ever begame an issue. I went to Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, right next to homes and no one complained. A couple of my children went to Homestead High School in Sunnyvale and the band practiced at 6 am and no one complained. My oldest son went to Los Altos High and there were night games, right in the middle of very nice homes and no one complained. We moved to Granite Bay above Sacramento and the football and baseball fields backed up to and were basically surrounded by million dollar homes, and guess what no one complained. So I've got to say way to go, to those who stood up to say, let the kids enjoy the high school experience. Oh, yeah, way to go to J. Giovacchini for the letter, parents need to speak out, you are a parent forever...but only a kid in high school once!


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Posted by Paul Zolfarelli
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Paul Zolfarelli, Amador Parent of 3, 2 past 1 present and for the past years I have been proud to be called "the voice of Amador Soccer". I have been responsible for the music during warm ups, half time and closing and the annoucing of the successfull play of soccer players on both sides of the 'Pitch' (although I seem to have more enthusiasm for Don's success). I have worked closely with Amador Staff (thank you Mr. Fobert) to ensure that all the music was appropriate for school functions and as I like to call it FCC approved.

If there has been a time where the music was too loud or objectionable the blame lies with me and no one else. And if this was the case, I appologize.

It has been my goal in providing this service to the school to create a fun environment for the students, parents and the community. I believe that one of the most greatest gifts we can give our youth is an understanding of the importance of community support. These students will go off to college or join the work force and hopefully one day have a solid appreciation of all that the Pleasanton community has done for them.

Putting politics, egos, and anonymous sniping aside it is imparitive that we recognize that this is important to our students (and I don't want to be out of the best volunteering assignment I ever had).

It is foolish of me to think this is the last word on this subject but in closing let me again say if there have been times where we have been too loud or the music was objectionable, I appologize. I will try to do better in the future and by the way I do take requests.

Thanks to all of you, pro or con, who care enough to step forward here and express an opinion without getting personnel.

Paul Zolfarelli


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:43 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

Here's a thought and simple solution (which I'm sure will stir up the pot for people who dislike the noise)- buy some ear plugs.

People that do complain should take a look at the bigger issue of our high school students not driving around for no reason. Instead they are at a high school function. We don't live in complete crime ridden neighborhoods, so why not enjoy the noise and know that it's kids having a good time?


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Posted by Thanks Mr. Z
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Mr. Zolfarelli,
What a very nice post. It's nice to see someone behave so graciously.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Mr. Zolfarelli,

Thank you for the post! No apology needed.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Janis -- Enjoy tomorrow evenings events.



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Posted by lisa
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 6, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Our schools are our community and our future.
Good neighbor policy goes both ways.
I for one...no several..as we have a family..want my children to feel they have a voice ..figuratively and literally. Don't move near a school if you don't want to hear kids....
can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen........


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Posted by D W
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 10:13 am

I'm sorry that even Dr. Casey isn't keeping closer tabs on this historical issue. I wish he'd follow the verbal details in the same depth as he has fighting off the recession and letting Ott Weaver et al make the most important fiscal decisions. Maybe we need better communication on all PUSD issues. Good luck PUSD families on that!


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Posted by marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 11:29 am

Many times PUSD does not communicate with home owners. Example FHS is having the solar panels removed from roofs right now because they did not give enough notification to the homeowners next to the school. How much money was spent installing these panels that are now being removed. What a waste of school funds. If you purchase a house next to a school you should know that there will be noise. Enjoy the noise, the kids could be doing a lot worse things than playing in a sporting event.


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Posted by Sue
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 7, 2009 at 12:45 pm

My Daughter is graduating this year, I hope the neighbors will allow us to hear her name being announced. Both sets of Grandparents (who live out of state) are making the trip. How Sad, it only takes one person to start a movement! Don't live near a school if you don't like the sound of Kids having fun.


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Posted by What the Heck
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I believe that I predicted that this thread would re-surface. This was a thread earlier in the school year, and here it is again. "Another Gatetree Resident," don't sit there and make your persnickety comments and act suprised that someone at the school said "no more" to the use of the sound system. We all know that inside you are privately celebrating your victory.

The only reason that this is an issue is that the top brass at the district office has decided to listen to your incessant complaints. They in turn tell the site administration that they don't want to hear about it anymore. Site administration has their hands tied, and are held hostage by residents like "Another Gatetree..." because they will not rest until their precious neighborhood silence is such that you can hear a pin drop.

Your insinuations that folks at the school lie...that's rich...Those people over at the school have better things to do than to sit around thinking about how they will cook up some lie. You've been watching too many conspiracy movies.

The city ordanance states that the school doesn't have restrictions on the noise level. It continues to make me physically sick that these complainers continue to be selfish enough that they would expect that thier home next to the stadium would be a quiet place to live. "Another Gatetree..." commented that he spent time on the street determining the noise level of the neighborhood...must have been in the dead of summer when school was out. No person in their right mind would expect that their home would be a bastian of silence when they move in next to a stadium.

What really needs to happen is that the district's administration needs to once and for all tell these people that the district and school has broken no rules or laws pertaining to noise levels. Yeah, yeah...I know...the "good neighbor" agreement...well, you neighbors that complain have not lived up to your end of the agreement...complaining enough for the gate to be closed...now the sound system...not exactly good neighbors. I would propose that you complaining neighbors have broken the "good neighbor" agreement as well.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...You bought a house next to a high school stadium, in a community that values its youth and the sports programs that they are involved in. Music and announcing are a modern component of those events. A system that works (the old one you couldn't hear in the stands which is why it was OK with you in the past) and that spectators and players can actually hear is a good thing for that facility. Stop your hateful witch hunt. Get over yourself...and no...I don't believe that you are entitled to your neighborhood to be a quiet place on game days...YOU BOUGHT THE HOUSE. Live with the consequences or choose somewhere else to live.
To those of you who enjoy the announcing and music at games...you need to be more vocal than the kermudgin on Gatetree and his friends. Here's what you do. If you go to an even where there is no music or announcing...call the district and get your friends to call and complain. If you go to an event and you can't hear the music or announcing because it is down too low...call the district and complain. If you go to an event and the volume is great and you can hear, and you've had a great time...PLEASE call the district and let them know, because you can bet if you can hear it...the neighbors will be on the war path again. If on the days you can hear the sound we flood the district with 100's of positive feedback calls, our voices will overpower the complainers, and we can win....let's not just make this a thread on the internet...turn your disapproval of this witch hunt into action. The number at the district office is: 426-4304...or you can email the superintendent directly at jcasey@pleasanton.k12.ca.us. Together we can beat the Gatetree Kermudgin!


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Posted by What the Heck
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm

My Post from October 2008: (OK I was wrong...the same complaints came much earlier than I predicted)

Posted by What the Heck, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Dec 8, 2008 at 8:36 am

Football season is over now...which is the sport that uses the speakers most heavily. It seems to me that the "fray" of complaints has stopped. I'm willing to bet $20 that after the summer when the school's neighbors have had a break from the activity on the field, and the speakers come on again for the football season that the complaints will be renewed afresh. Don't worry. All of the same arguements will be brought up again, time and energy will be wasted, and the neighbors will still forget that they bought a house next to a high school sports complex.


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Posted by What the Heck
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Here's another one of my posts from earlier in the year....it's really long, but has lots of GREAT factual information. All that the neighbors have to stand on is their complaining. Again I say...UNITE and make sure that the distrcit hear's the voice of the MAJORITY!!!!!

Posted by What the Heck, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:59 am

FACTS, Let me clear up a few things about your facts...(I appreciate your willingness to state the facts and want to add)...




#1 The district's "Good Neighbor Policy" has NO specific decibel restrictions written into it. Here is the entire text of the policy:


Pleasanton Unified School District


Good Neighbor Guidelines


District schools are situated within the city of Pleasanton and each share a fence with residents and businesses. It is the intent of the District that staff work to establish a positive relationship with neighbors to the school. While the mission of a school may conflict with that of a home owner or business, we believe that through clear understandings and effective communication, neighbors can learn to appreciate and support each other.


We believe that by following the guidelines below, we will support the development of good neighbor relations.


1. Listen well and take seriously concerns expressed by the neighbors.


2. Since the District is in partnership with the City of Pleasanton regarding facility use, City and District staffs will work together to address concerns expressed by neighbors.


3. Public Information Officer, Myla Grasso, is the direct contact neighbors have to the superintendent's office. She can be reached at 426-4304.


4. Staff will conduct meetings with neighbors to discuss new construction and modernization building and site improvement plans which are likely to impact the neighbors. Possible solutions will always need to be balanced with cost.


5. Staff asks that respect and concern go both ways.


6. Staff, students and their families will respect no trespassing signs, fences and gates which are meant to guide public access from surrounding premises while traveling to and from school.


7. Staff, students, and parents will be encouraged to park in the parking lots provided at each school, leaving streets available for the public.


8. Staff, students, and their families will be encouraged to stay off of adjacent properties and to stay on hardscape surfaces when waiting or passing by a school (please respect the property of residents near schools).


9. Please be aware that comprehensive high schools generally allow on campus student activities between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. When processing outside facility use permits, elements which must be considered include noise level, times of the day, day(s) of the week (avoid Sundays when possible), use of PA system (manage the volume and the appropriateness of the words used), field light use (generally not past 8:30 pm), and parking and traffic considerations Users of our facilities, event sponsors and participants are encouraged to use school parking facilities.


10. Significant activities will be posted on the school's website to give neighbors a heads up of upcoming activities.


11. Staff is asked to put themselves in the neighbors' place. Think of how our activities and plans would affect them.


12. Staff will make sure that athletics and grounds maintenance equipment are in good condition and stored appropriately.


13. All Use of Facilities requests from school sponsored teams, clubs, and organizations will be coordinated and approved through the school administration. All Use of Facility requests by non-school groups (community-based organizations, etc.) will be approved through the school administration before it is forwarded to the District Facilities Department for final approval.


14. Event supervision and security will be provided for each event as determined by the Pleasanton Unified School District Administration.


15. District and school staff will be supportive of neighbors in resolving traffic issues around school sites. However, enforcement of traffic laws is the responsibility of the police department."




AGAIN...no mention of Decibel levels. This policy is avaliable on the district's website at the following link: www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us/pub/GoodNeighborPolicy.pdf




#2 The city municipal code states that ALL approved school activities are exempt from nosie restrictions. Here is the code as it appears on the Pleasanton Municipal code 9.04.060 subsection D. "


" D. Special Events. Any community activity, sporting event, or special event occurring at the Alameda County fairgrounds, upon any PUBLIC SCHOOL GROUNDS, or at any city parks or streets is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, provided that the event has been approved by the appropriate fair association official, school official or city department or city council." (emphasis added)


You can find a link to that code here: Web Link




#3 In another subsection of the same municipal code it states the following about the RESIDENTIAL noise limit:


"No person shall produce or allow to be produced by any machine, animal, device, or any combination of the same, on public property in any residential area, a noise level in excess of 60 dBA at a distance of 25 feet or more from the noise source or sources, unless otherwise provided in this chapter."




I'm assuming that this is the level at which the Gatetree neighbors want the school to comply. If this is so, it is a ridiculous request, as 60 dBA is the noise level of a normal conversation between 2 people. The dBA level of the crowd alone must exceed 80-90dBA. If the speakers are at 60 ore even 70dBA, nobody will be able to clearly hear the announcing, music...anything.




#4- In one of the posts above, it states that the speakers are pointed directly at the houses on Gatetree Circle...Whoever made that comment has not been to the stadium to see those speakers. The speakers are, in fact, pointed directly down and inward towards the crowd. NO speakers point towards the homes on Gatetree Circle, or the residents on Tiffany Lane. Visitors side speakers (which are now not being used thanks to our friends on GTC) are also pointed down towards the stands. The only speaker not pointed towards the stands is a lone speaker pointed in the direction of the snack bar.




After all of the facts...let get down to it. How many times is the stadium field used for the school year WITH the speakers ON...checking the athletic schedules on the internet should give us the best idea:




Football:


4 more home games for the SEASON!!!!




Boys & Girls Soccer:


13 Games (Soccer noise is NOTHING like football season) (Not all on Friday nights)




Boys & Girls Lacrosse:


13 Games (Again Lacrosse noise in NOTHING like football season) (Again not all on Friday nights)




Track:


3 Track Meets (Usually all during daylight hours)




Graduation:


1 time per year (really, are you going to complain about graduation?! Heartless if you do)




So, in summary 34 events on just as many days out of 365 in a year Gatetree residents are "putting up" with crowd noise from a stadium that has been there since before their homes were built. Add the Football games that have already happened (2) and a couple of more events...Special Olympics, (again if you complain about that one you are even more heartless) and maybe 2 other events (I'm just guessing beacuse I don't know what other city events may happen there where they get to use the sound system) adds 5 more which makes it 39. This noise is not happening all day long...at the longest (football events) the sound system is used for probably about 6 hours. Remember...these residents bought a house KNOWING that there was a STADIUM there. Really...is this too much to ask? Gatetree residents will say yes, and apparently their opinion will count for a whole lot more than the rest of our community.




I'd like to reiterate that the municipal code does NOT require any restriction on the noise coming from these events. That means that the school is not breaking any code or law. Threats to bring lawyers into the mix are merely threats. If litigation ensued, it would hit an abrupt dead end when they find there is no code restricting the noise! Isn't it about time that Gatetree residents let go of their animosity towards the school and the district, and be good neighbors themselves. You chose to live there. The school is doing what its always done, support students and give them something productive to do. This whole situation is ludacris!


What the Heck!!!!!!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I used to live across from a school: there was noise, parking problems, etc. But that is why we paid much less for that house than people who lived farther from the school.

It comes with the territory: if you live by a school, there will be noise, parking issues, etc. That is the way it is, and the neighbors should not be allowed to control what happens in a school just because they live close by. Those who bought over there probably got a price discount on their house.

Location matters, and some people like to be next to a school because they enjoy the noise, the sports, etc. Others do not like that, so why not just move? Why did they buy there in the first place?

Let the sports go on as usual. Do not take this from the students.


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I just received feedback from a neighbor on this topic. That neighbor had just spoken with Dr. Casey to get clarification. Bottom line, NO ONE from the school or the District ever said the sound system would not be used. Dr. Casey believes Bill Coupe's message on the subject was either miscommunicated, or misunderstood by "The Couch." The desire for a compromise will continue to be worked.

Dr. Casey consistently communicates to all who call (including Janis) that they will not lose what the school has available for the students and will always error on their side.

The use of the system and it's capabilities will be based on crowd size. Large Groups -- all speakers will be used. Small groups will have the visitor side speakers turned off. The sound source is also being reviewed. Burned CDs come across differently than music used directly from an iPod and that will be closely managed to ensure the volume is consistent -- regardless of source.

Tonight there will be pre-game music, the national anthem will be done over the PA, and the system will be used for announcing.

I see nothing wrong with this solution and that is exactly as it was communicated several months back. I'm not sure who it was that wasn't listening.


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Posted by Janis
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm


I'm very happy to second the last post. I did speak with
Dr.Casey last night and was very happy to hear that he too was
looking to support our students at Amador and that the music,
play by play, and the national anthem will once again be heard.
I don't know why the directions were given last week or where they originated. As I have said all along I just wanted to make sure that our STUDENTS always come first! I think that your voices were heard
loud and strong and made the difference. Thanks speaking up!


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2009 at 7:06 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

This may be a little off topic, but do the graduations not take place at the fairgrounds anymore?


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Posted by Cathy's Son
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm


QUOTED FROM EARLIER:
Dr. Casey believes Bill Coupe's message on the subject was either miscommunicated, or misunderstood by "The Couch."
END QUOTE.

Well, there's your problem right there. Couches never listen.


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Posted by What the Heck
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm

"Another Gatetree" has now deflected the conversation to talk about an issue that I don't think is important. He is trying to act like the hero in getting the music "reinstated." Who wouldn't get frustrated if the neighbors call EVERY time the music is played, loud or not. Who wouldn't say..."just forget it..no music...that will make those complainers happy!"
Let's get back to the meat of the conversation...If you live on Gatetree, it's your lot to deal with the noise. You don't get to determine what's appropriate or not because the law in Pleasanton states that appropriate noise levels are whatever the district and school want it to be. MOVE if you don't want to hear the noise from the stadium where our kids spend their time in positive activities.
What do you think Dr. Casey will do now that he's received another call from the neighbors? He's going to be angry that he got another call from the complainers, and take it out on his underlings. The school can't win. And besides...the LAX game...no music! Gatetree gets their way again. Next Up...multimillion dollar 20 foot sound wall to keep noise and pesky teenagers away once and for all. Mabye some razor wire to make it look like Santa Rita...We'll call it Santa Rita South.
I renew my call for all of you who want the music on, call, call call.


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Posted by Emily West
Pleasanton Weekly reporter
on Apr 10, 2009 at 10:18 am

Emily West is a registered user.

Bill Coupe has said the problems playing music through the field speaker have been fixed and that there will be music tonight for the cross-city lacrosse game between Foothill and Amador. Earlier this week, there was a glitch in the volume settings, which has not been fixed. The public announcement speakers are set to serve only the main stadium stands. Those on the visitors' side are turned off when the stands aren't being used. Coupe said when the visitors' side is being used, including during graduation, all speakers will be turned on at acceptable decibel levels.


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Posted by Hamster
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Apr 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

The cross-city lacrosse game between Foothill and Amador was Tuesday.

It is a shame that people who purchase a home near a vital community resource are allowed to have such a negative impact on the community.