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Mailbag: Park location was chosen with seniors in mind

March 27, 2013

As a member of the board of directors for the Huntington Beach Council on Aging, I carefully read the letter to the editor from Shelly Stone ("Park is no place for the elderly," Mailbag, March 21) and was pleased that she expressed her worries about seniors in the park.

From my reading, I was unable to determine whether Ms. Stone is aware of where the new senior center will be located within the park and the precautions that are being taken to assure the safety of the seniors at the new facility.

I have been involved with the development of the new senior center since the first meeting with the consultants hired by the city and their determination as to where and how big to it should be.

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To enlighten Ms. Stone, and others, the new senior center will be located at the far eastern border of Central Park adjacent to Goldenwest Street and Talbert Avenue. It will be situated on 5 acres of the park, in the depression caused by CalTrans removing the dirt to build the 405 Freeway.

Of the 5 acres, 2 acres will be landscaped and open space to provide, among other things, a buffer from other park activities for those who do not wish to venture into the park. Of course, if an individual wishes to venture farther into the park to visit Shipley Nature Center or other park venues, they will have the freedom to make that decision.

The senior center building will have expanded its number of rooms to accommodate the many classes provided by the city to promote health, wellness and lifelong learning for older adults. There will be a dining room for those that come each day for a low-expense noon meal, a computer learning lab, a reading and TV room, places to exercise, and many more areas that provide opportunities for healthy interaction and interesting activities

At the last meeting of the Huntington Beach City Council, it was determined that the Central Park site, which was approved by the voters of Huntington Beach, is the only viable site at this time. It was determined that to rebuild the current site of the Rodgers' Senior Center is too expensive.

Should anyone want more information about the new senior center, I would be pleased to sit and discuss their questions with them. We would meet at the Rodgers' Senior Center for the discussion.

Robert Dettloff

Huntington Beach

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Senior center political football

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