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Jeff for the People 

Editor:

You and your competitor have not been accurate about when Jefferson School closed ("The Council that Kicked the Hornet's Nest," Jan. 13). Each time it makes me question my reality! The school staff was notified of the school board's closure vote before the Christmas break in 2005, but the school actually closed in June 2006. That was four and one-half years ago, not five and one-half years ago.

I ought to know. I was laid off from my paraeducator position of six years at Jefferson and had the heartbreaking task of witnessing excellent teachers, some of whom had taught there for decades, dismantle their cheery classrooms. I had to explain to upset students why they couldn't come back in the fall. As a neighbor who could see the school from my house, I had no pleasure in viewing an empty, boarded-up school when the next school year started. By the way, the age and design of the school, as Streamline Moderne, do have historical value.

Now I read that city officials question the abilities of the Westside Community Group to follow through with action and commitment. I personally know at least six of the featured members. For more than a decade five of them have been going to city council meetings to fight community blight there. They have served on city committees and commissions. They are professionals and retired professionals. We worked together for years with commitment surveying and documenting that neighborhood's historic properties for the proposed Clark Historic District.

Eureka City Council members are voted in to serve the community, not their own preferences or special interests. They should listen to what the people living around Jefferson want for their community and do their best to work with them and supporting agencies, as the prior city council did. Even a stakeholder, College of the Redwoods, recognizes it needs community support.

Kay Kaylor, McKinleyville

 

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