September 4, 2009

Forestville Little League fears it might lose out in school project

Worried that construction of a new school next door may create a ball field shortage, the Forestville Little League is pondering the possibility it may cease to exist.
“We haven’t heard anything at all that our fields are getting saved,” said Dale Akerley, a board member of the 55-year-old Little League.
Akerley said that Forestville’s directors are reaching out to McCabe-Waters and Edgewood Little Leagues about the prospect of splitting its territory between the two. It’s even planning games with Edgewood teams to begin tearing down long-standing walls.
But it’s not clear the concern is justified.
“They’re not going to have to shut down,” school Superintendent Philip Streifer said Friday.
Streifer said that two fields used by the league won’t be touched at all. Two others won’t be available during construction of the new kindergarten to eighth grade school, but once it’s done, they’ll still be accessible.
But Akerley said he’s been told the new school, slated to open by 2015, will need a soccer field, girls’ softball field and a baseball diamond configured for older students. It won’t have a field suitable for Little League, he said.
That would leave only the two fields at Peck Park, behind the school, one of which is for the Little League and the other for softball.
There are no plans to reconstruct Peck Park as part of the $130 million project to build two new K-8 schools in town.
Mayor Art Ward said he’s heard nothing about problems that may impact the Forestville Little League.
“Those concerns have never been brought to my attention,” he said. “I was under the impression that Little League was going to be accommodated very well.”
Ward said that if the project was going to make it hard on the league, officials would address it.
“We aren’t sure what is going on,” Akerley said.
Streifer said he believes the Forestville School Building Committee has been working with the league all along.
He said there was a point earlier in the planning process where officials thought they might have to take the league’s fields, but that was shelved at least a year ago. If it had gone forward, he said, the plan included buying an alternative site for the Forestville Little League to use.
More than 300 children play in the Forestville Little League, which has been around since 1954. In 1976, its all-star team made it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.
The school project includes another K-8 building on Chippens Hill. The existing Greene-Hills School on Pine Street would be torn down to make way for the new building.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frank to the rescue.

Anonymous said...

In 1976 that team went to the little league wold series, never knew that , my kids play there they don`t even have a banner up there forestville should be proud of that.

Anonymous said...

What a shame. It's all Board of Education property that the board let the Little League use. They are lucky they let them use it all these years.

Anonymous said...

O'Brien doesn't like nor support it therefore it won't be discussed. The superintendent will wait until after the school is built and then apologize. The school board will say they have no idea and no say and the Mayor will disavow any knowledge and throw everyone under the bus in his bid to get re-elected. Who suffers? The kids as usual.

Save the tax money, save Little League baseball in Forestville and save face. Stop the project.

Anonymous said...

It would make sense to split and strengthen McCabe and Edgewood due to dwindling enrollment numbers and Forestville knows that.
Maybe those two remaining fields could go to the girl's softball program.

I don't get Mr. Ackerley's position of "not knowing what is going to happen." If people on the street know the numbers, why doesn't he?

nonsense said...

11:52 - get your head together and stop spewing unfounded, inflamatory rumors in order to further your own objectives, whatever they might be.
Need to be sure that what is coming out of your mouth doesn't need to be flushed.

Anonymous said...

7:58 - Let me guess. You were the last pick in gym class.

not mensa said...

7:58 - and they probably spell it "jim."

balk said...

how stupid, where has this idiot been? ever go to a board of ed meeting, a city council meeting, talk to anyone?
please tell us that you were never a starter in little league or a coach or manager?
talk about having bases empty - slide baby, slide = OUT!

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with people like Mr. Akerley making statements that have no basis in fact. He said "he's heard" that there will not be enough fields. Who have you heard that from, Mr. Akerley? Have you shown up to any of the meetings of the Forestville School Committee that is dealing with the whole issue of the new school? Probably not.

I wish the Press would not put stories like this on the front of the paper, because then people believe it is based in fact, when there is nothing to substantial what Mr. Akerley is saying. All this is is supposition. No one from the school building committee was even spoken to to find out what is going on with the fields.

Yes, we need more fields. That's been a huge problem from day one, and it continues to be ignored. However, I'm sure the Little League fields will be usable after construction. Please, please let's print stuff like this when we have more fact-based information instead of one person's "belief" from talking to God knows who!

Taxpayer Tanner said...

9:45pm - find something else to do Mayor then blog us with you stupid comments.

Steve Collins said...

8:50 -- Thank you for a reasonable, rational comment.
I want to explain why this story is in the paper despite the shaky sourcing of Akerley's concern. It's because the Little League is taking action on the assumption that what he heard is true. If a half century old Little League is beginning to take steps to dissolve itself, that's news. And so is the reason, which may or may not be valid. I'm sure that Streifer and the people he spoke with believe the worries are baseless. But until we all see the final plan, some will wonder what's really going to happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster at 8:50.
Rumors only work people up - and speculation should not make the front page. Let's do some homework and find the facts first, huh?
Why get the kids all upset?
Why drag the whole new school concept down?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping the Board of Education and Streifer honest Steve.

Anonymous said...

Post 1:12: how does putting information that is not based in fact keeping Streifer and the Board of Ed honest? Give me a break. If they did anything suspect, you know people would pick it up in a heartbeat. Steve, I understand where you are coming from and I believe some things should be reported, but this should not have made the front page and that probably wasn't your call. Perhaps putting it in a page or two would have been sufficient especially if Akerley had heard about it. It's obviously a rumor and rumors come from all sources, as we all know. That's why they're rumors. Just my opinion.

Steve Collins said...

I'll be sure to stay on top of this and to make sure we all know what'a happening.
As for the placement in the paper, remember it was a holiday weekend with a skeletal crew for three days. The editors have to use what they have, which is not always what they wish they had.

Anonymous said...

harivHey, Before everyone decides its a grerat day for a hanging why dont we find out what realy is going on. Last heard, at the very least the fields at forestville would be altered. Field 1 would be left alone field 4 would be left alone and field 2 and 3 would be altered; with a new field proposed in the front of the new school open to the league when not in use by the school. However field 4 is for softball only,I bet the building comitee didnt know that,which during construction leaves only field 1 for a league of aprox 300. Now I was not at last months building comitee meeting but this was brought up the month before. Now this could just be a rumer also, so how about someone from the building comitee letting us know what the plans are. Thank you Mr. Ackerly for saying what others are afraid to.

failed attempt said...

great cover up ackerly

Anonymous said...

Its not a cover up,I'm not Ackerly, just a person with some info. I encourage all with questions about this to show up at the next Building comitee meeting, push for answers if you really care about the topic rather than attacking someone who might just be on to something that the rest of you are not.

Jerry Meehan said...

Mr Ackerly is 100% correct in his concerns about F.L.L. I have been to the building committee meetings I have spoken With the Mayor and I have spoken to Mrs. Kate Mathews I have also spoken to Dave Mills the two local Reps for that district, niether have a clue as to what the board of Eds plans are for the little league first of all they will be taking both the lower fields for the school project and replacing them with a 90 foot diamond and a softball field which is table top flat. with no mound and cannot be used by the league for 12 years and younger which just happens to be 90 plus percent of the league. After they're changed. the league will be left only with the land, left in trust by Judge peck which I'm sure the board would take but can't Mrs holden our new district 5 Admin. has made no attempt to be at any meetings concerning F.l.l. or made any public comment at all, but that is no suprise to any one who knows her.she has always been in favor big little leagues.and would like that league to be absorbed by the other two and the lines redrawn. But what Her and the board of Ed forget is that back in 1952 when lines were drawn in this city they had a reason for doing so, Which was that the kids in the northeast section of town had edgewood the kids in the west section of town had Mccabe and the kids in the southeastern section had Forestville nothings changed people. The people in this city basiclly consists of working Classs families which means both parents have to work and I have yet to talk to one mother that will let little Bobby or suzie walk or bike all the way past rt. 69 to Mccabe or all the way past Rt. 6 from Forestville to play ball or anything else. They simply won't get to play. This non profit organazation where children have learned courage good sportsmanship and Social skills they need as adults atop of learning our national past time should never have been a second thought,or after thought. they should have found a place for the kids on that side of town first. Shame on us for taking away yet another safe structerd place to go after school on that side of town. Anybody remember (Forestville Boys club). It is our Responsibillity as a community to leave our town a little better than we had it how can we do that by shutting down a little league in the name of progress. (Please) the board of Ed. owns several other sites on that side of town they could give the to little league, but have made no attempt to find any permanent soultion and is now not even in contact with any board members of the league to find one
from our city leaders we get nothing but lip service and empty promises and one little side note That little league paid at great expense to maintain that property paid for the lighting at night and paid for the sewer use per the agreement all the way back to 1952 Left in it's natural state it would be wooded and god knows what and not a nice clean slate for them to build on. Tell me that didn't save the tax payers a ton of money the board of ed is in possesion of 8 acres of land behind Hubble and I'm sure is in the position to make the same agreement they made with the L.L back in 1952 but won't you have to ask yourself why they won't do that for the kids on that side of town, besides after a little homework I was suprised at how much real estate the board of Ed. is in control of I thought they were in the Education buisness. I'm no buisness major but I under the impression the city was trying to unload unused land trying to lesson the tax burden for everyone in these tough economic times We need to make the city officials do what is right for our kids & our grand children and there's, that league has provided fond memories for generations and should remain able to do so even if it's at a new location.