Letters: April 22, 2011

An open letter to Carlsbad City Council
Matt Hall and Carlsbad City Council,
As a real estate agent that has sold homes in Bressi Ranch with the clear promise from the city of Carlsbad to build a state-of-the-art park with aquatics, a water park, a skate park, ball fields and more, I feel it is my obligation to see that those promises are delivered since most of the money came from the very homeowners that purchased in this community. This was sold to these residents that this would be a city-run facility with no religious organization affilition. This is not right!
I recently discovered on the YMCA website that the “Y” is already promoting on their website the running of the new Alga Norte Park without even a vote from the City Council or any public input.
The YMCA’s (or Young Man’s Christian Association), stated mission “is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”  Using the YMCA to manage or run a city facility or park is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the separation of church and state, which prohibits the use of public funds for sectarian purposes. 
The bottom line is that city tax dollars should not be spent to endorse religion or for religious purposes. The Y is a religious organization and is looking to run a city recreation center and park in a way that violates the U.S. and California Constitutions.
I have contacted the ACLU of San Diego to peruse this violation of what you are doing and will file a lawsuit against the city of Carlsbad if this is allowed to continue. It is not right what you are doing. It has to stop immediately.
Patrick Knapp
Carlsbad

Help KOCT out
KOCT has televised Public, Educational and Government (PEG) access programming in the City of Oceanside for over 27 years. The Alliance for Community Media, a national organization of PEG channels, recognized KOCT twice for the best overall programming in the U.S.
For example, in the past year, KOCT informed viewers about volunteering to feed the hungry, transportation for seniors, accessing veterans’ services, enrolling children in Parks and Recreation programs and finding work at a job fair. Since our nonprofit began in 1984, KOCT has produced close to 6,000 programs for, by and about the Oceanside community.
We are asking our viewers to visit www.KOCT.org to find out how they can help KOCT. You can help by letting our City Council members know that funding KOCT is an economical and reasonable business decision in this digital Information Age. We believe that our Council has the will and the vision to sustain KOCT – the people’s television station that was established by a generation of elected officials and ordinary citizens to “Shine a Light” on our community.

Tom Reeser
Executive Director

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