Advocates say teen center would reduce crime Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Aug 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm
Gang violence and crime in general will be substantially reduced if the city opens a larger and better teen center — that was the message put forth by a group of youth and their advocates at a community meeting last week.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 3, 2009, 8:36 PM
Posted by 16 yr. MtnView Resident, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm
I am constantly amazed that Mtn. View politicos & activists never seem to place any responsibility upon parents to raise their own kids with values & morals & keep them out of gangs! Or, expect teens to show any personal responsibility for their own actions. "They, the gangs, made me do it." "You aren't amusing me enough. I have to go steal and break into cars because of you, the community." Mtn. View police should quit coddling gang members and our community should quit bribing these kids in hopes that they won't join gangs.
Posted by 16 yr MtnView resident, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm
How much money, total, including staff salaries/benefits, has been spent over the past 20 years on gang prevention, abatement & "underserved" teens? Have the number of gang violence incidences decreased each year? Have the number of gangs/gang members decreased? Has Mountain View crime in general decreased over that time? If not, why not??
In contrast, how much money, total, including staff salaries/benefits has the City of Mountain View spent over the past 20 years on enrichment programs for bright kids who do the right things?
Posted by Old Ben, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2009 at 12:15 am
Nobody owes your kids anything. If they want to join gangs and kill each other, that's fine. If you want your kids to live, find some way to keep them out of trouble. This idea is nothing but a racket, a scam, and the perpetrators want taxpayer money to fund it. Let's put an end to subsidizing reproduction by people who can't afford to have children. You breed 'em, you feed 'em.
Posted by Steve Moyer, a resident of another community, on Aug 5, 2009 at 8:14 am
Ever hear of "It takes a village to raise a child?" Well, it takes a community to raise a teen. Teen centers should be places where the community is involved in teaching values, skills and simply having fun with teens.
Teens need more than one or two parents. They need lots of adults to guide them and teach them the wisdom of life. The Republican mantra "you know better how to raise your children than the government" is imply not true for most people. SOme people know better how to raise children than MOST people. Those who know should teach their skills to those who don't know. Government is really a manifestation of the "best of us" leading the "rest of us."
Posted by Nicole, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm
Regardless of whether or not it would reduce crime, I think a teen center would be beneficial in our community because there isn't much to do for teens in Mountain View. Sure, it keeps them out of crime, but the biggest epidemic among teens in this area is apathy coupled with a sedentary lifestyle. Get them off the computer/video games/couch and send them somewhere to socialize and make friends.
Posted by 16yr MtnView resident, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2009 at 4:52 pm
What do you mean there is *nothing* for teens to do in Mountain View?? We don't exactly live in the middle of the Sahara Desert! Let's see now: Homework. Sports. School activities. Church/synagogue/mosque activities. Babysitting. Bussing in restaurants. Scouts. Hiking. Bicycling. Dance & music & arts (most organizations like CSMA have scholarships for kids whose parents can't pay the fees). Libraries. Movies (jobs there, too). All kinds of organizations around here already provide activities for teens -- and school tutors too. The missing link: Parents who parent, supervise, guide, direct, lead. What we need are parenting classes teaching such values/skills, along with personal morals & responsibility. How about funding them? And making them mandatory for all parents with kids enrolled in Mountain View public schools? And don't tell me parents don't have the time. I was a single working parent with no back-up resources.
Posted by Nicole, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Aug 7, 2009 at 2:07 pm
I didn't say "nothing", I said not much. And that was my experience growing up in Mountain View, anyway. Do you really think parents that aren't teaching their children to get involved in positive activities are going to attend a parenting class? I don't.
Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Aug 10, 2009 at 11:19 am
It is sad that city council members did not attend. LM in particular does not get the point, hammered in by reports from past teen task force reports, that these members of our community do expect these services. BUT TEENS, seniors got their center and services by VOTING! (except for Old Ben - who would never think of accepting senior services - thanks Ben!).
So, get your organization together teens, pummel candidates for support, leaflet, canvass, show up at council candidate forums, at council meetings (use the 3-minute free speech), and make your issues clear to those who spend the public $.
P.S., Old Ben, you got to vote on representation, expect taxation!
(the phrase from the Revolution was 'no taxation without representation')
Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Aug 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm
Here's my observation: I was off Farley St. 2 weeks ago and ALL the sidewalks, which were in perfectly good condition, were being ripped up and replaced. It made no sense. My tax dollars at work!! Most of our streets are paved over every 3 years whether they need it or not. The Sr. center and childcare centers are multi million$$ pieces of art which the elderly and city employees kids attend for almost nothing. We have hundreds of city employees (police, fire, and city workers) getting paid from $100-$225 K/year, with massive benefit packages. Bottom line: a couple thou to get a few teens off the street AIN'T GONNA MAKE A DENT in the $90 MILLION/YEAR City of Mountain View budget, and doesn't even make up a fraction of one police dispatcher's salary.
Whether it breaks up a gang or not, I'm a mom with kids in MV and I for one feel people under 18 here are underserved. If the city is not going to simply write me a check and give those tax dollars back, or bring the salaries back in line, or quit ripping up perfectly good sidewalks and mowing park lawns when the grass is only 2 inches high, then at least fund something for the kids!! Of course there's plenty to do, if you have money, and a car, and a parent to take you there. The point of a "teen center" is that it is walking distance to some low-income kids and offers free activities during hours when kids might be drinking of making trouble. So instead of saying "Don't given them a dime", why don't you "Old MV" folks ask for your money back?? Or at least admit that we should fund all age groups equally? I bet there's PLENTY of stuff in the $90 million per year budget that would tick you off if you knew about it.
Posted by sandy, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Aug 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm
Years ago the schools would have what they would call
'summer recreation' and most of the schools in the district would
have 'recreation leaders' and this was the 'drop in-center' for the kids in the neighborhoods. We played games outside, went on field trips to san francisco zoo and even had pot luck at the end of the year with the families of the kids that attended. this was so long ago back in the 70's the center opened at 9 and closed around 4 or 5 to keep them busy all day so that the kids could go home have dinner then sleep. not a word was ever mentioned about money or location. Buses were available for trips to the pool on Rengstorff it was a great time.
Posted by localmom, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Aug 11, 2009 at 11:04 pm
To Sandy, I think it would be great if the schools could host some activities for kids of all ages. That's a good synergy between public money and a public space that is not being used anyway during the summer. Besides, all the kids have a local school they can get to without needing a car.