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With the break in weather last week, we went to our favorite place to get some fresh air and exercise.

I have two little kids who are sick of being stuck inside with this rain for so long. It is a huge challenge to keep them occupied in the house. As soon as the weather cleared up we went over to our favorite place, which is the walkway near the library.

As a mother, it’s kind of awesome to watch your kids run ahead of you as fast as their short little legs will take them giggling the whole way and never looking back. I never get to see them be so free, because everyplace else, I have to hang on to their hands, or constantly tell them to wait for me, or yell whenever they look like they’re going to step off the curb or run by a driveway where a car could back up and not see them. I feel like I’m controlling everything they do, but I’m not going to take chances. That’s why we love that walkway. It’s a wide open straight shot along vineyards with no cars, no driveways, no hidden curves or places they can go where I can’t see them.

Maybe I’m too protective, but even at Meily or Crane Parks, I don’t like to lose sight of them, and that means they can’t run too far or too fast.

Anyway, I heard they are thinking about digging that whole area up to put in Adams Street to cross up with Starr Avenue and packing it with like a hundred houses all the way down to the river. I admit I don’t have time to keep up with city stuff, but they can’t be serious.

People are out there all the time with dogs and kids, jogging and walking. Everybody stops to talk, it’s awesome. I thought that was like a public park, so how can they rip it all up and put in a street with tons of houses and cars without getting a vote or something? That would be awful.

Supposedly, it really is all being talked about now, and we could lose it. How do I look at my kids’ faces and I tell them we can’t go there anymore because they turned that awesome place into just another busy street and their mom did nothing. Does anyone know how to keep it from happening?

Krystine Smith

St. Helena

Editor’s Note: The writer refers to the Hunter project, which is an 87-unit residential project at the end of Adams Street and Starr Avenue that has been in the works since 2010. Consultants currently are working on an updated EIR and working with staff to analyze an updated proposal the applicants submitted on Feb. 1. The application proposes 40 percent affordable housing. At a Feb. 14 St. Helena City Council meeting, Councilmember Mary Koberstein said the city needs to analyze whether the plans comply with city codes that require affordable units to be dispersed throughout the project and comparable to the market-rate units in the number of bedrooms, exterior appearance, and overall quality of construction.

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