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In response to the Sept. 21 Los Alamos Monitor article regarding the Ashley Pond project meeting. This was a 30% design meeting to discuss the renovations at the pond, by no means the final.
Why have the meeting if the public input is not welcome or its considered too late. People can not always attend all the meetings, but I was at the earlier meetings, I voiced my concern about the stage on the water but there was no response. I realize majority rules. But so should common sense.
People were not there to protest at this last meeting, it was a nice discussion. I think all those in attendance at this meeting are for the renovations and don’t want delay, some of us that voiced our opinions just want this stage on the water rethought.
It could certainly save the County lots of money if they leave off this stage. Funny how the project consultant, George Radnovich could not even tell us how much this stage would cost. Only what the cover for the stage would be depending on the style selected. It was mentioned that the cover would have to be removed after each event, where would it be stored, how much time will this require?
I think we all agree that the heart of our community, Ashley Pond definitely needs a make-over. Richard McIntyre has a done a great job on the key design elements for the Pond. Water filtration and aeration for cleaner water, wetland and duck walk, boardwalks, waterfall for aeration, wheelchair accessibility and new smoother walkways colored even to match the boulders along the edge. But I think we should hold off on the stage on the water.
The concerns I heard at this meeting were that this would break up the walking around the pond that kids like to do during events and concerts, this location would not provide a big enough area for dancing and is there enough flat grassy area for lawn chairs? Also it may be difficult for performers to get equipment to stage area.
Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan, Community Services Director mentioned that the area where Gordon concerts at the pond are held now is not part of the redo so the concerts can still be held there.
After the Municipal building is completed, and the council chambers are moved to the new building, it might be nice to renovate the Community Building to go along with our lovely park. Perhaps just the top of that building could be removed to make a large outdoor patio with a permanent band shell and much larger stage.
Russ Gordon is concerned about not disturbing residents and so if the band shell faced Trinity it would direct sound in that direction where there are no residences. Being up higher overlooking the pond would be better for seeing the mountains then down on the pond. Those that just want to enjoy the music from afar can still set their chairs on the lawn around the pond. What a great venue this could be for Gordon concerts, Shakespeare in the park, symphony concerts, ballets, weddings, proms, etc. Save money and leave the lower level which could house storage for props and dressing rooms as well as restrooms.
Put a rock facade on the outside of the lower level to match the Judicial Complex. The youth activity center and Pac 8 can remain where they are. I am sure there is a talented architect that can make this work and design something that would be versatile and fitting for the heart of Los Alamos. That is my suggestion, I am sure you have yours. I am open to creative ideas, I hope the county will be.
There will be a 60 percent hearing for the project in mid-October and the 90 percent hearing in November. So if you have any thoughts on this, NOW is the time to share them!
Irene Powell is a resident of Los Alamos.