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Morgan Hill
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September 23, 2021

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Letter to the editor: The other side of the story

I’m Lance Wolfsmith, Dave Wolfsmith’s son. Despite the local smear campaign against my father, my family and I couldn’t be prouder to call Morgan Hill home. I’m eternally grateful for amazing support my family has received from many in the community.I’ve been a Wolfpak member for 20 years, and I know every victim personally. What you’ve seen in the media is the perception of less than 2 percent of the athletes my father coached. I refuse to let this be his legacy.My father’s passion and conviction makes him polarizing. You don’t hire a coach if you're satisfied with your current situation, and when you hire my dad, your success becomes his priority. Through expert knowledge, passion and accountability, his clients achieved amazing results.The most profound memory with my dad was before my freshman year of high school when he set aside time for goal setting. Measurable goals were inappropriate because my ability was unknown, so my father simply asked me how good I wanted to be. Naturally, I wanted to be the best, so he made known the sacrifice and hard work that would be required. He assured me that together, we would accomplish my goals, and until those goals changed he would hold me accountable. Because of my father’s commitment to me, I was blessed with a lot of success during my high school and collegiate athletic career.What’s amazing is that commitment wasn’t exclusive to me. Over his 30-year career, nearly 1,000 clients received his commitment. He trained the full spectrum of athletes—from children and soccer moms, to collegiate athletes and elite military operators. Not once did my father advertise; every client was the result of a praising recommendation.I’ll never know the “why” behind these accusations. I have years of great memories with each victim and knew these people better than many members of my own family. Many trained years ago, a few came and went multiple times, but all continued to train at their own will after their assaults. The toughest for me to wrap my head around is that a group of victims trained with my father up until his arrest.My intent isn't to attack any victims, but to shed light on the other side to this story. I believe most people in our community have good intentions, but they've only been exposed to an extremely biased fraction of the story.Martin Luther King said, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”Sexual assault accusations do not always require physical evidence for a conviction, which leaves no tolerance for ignorance. Before his plea, my father’s accusations were broadcasted to millions, his business was taken, and he spent nearly a year in jail. As a community, that should concern everyone.I was raised a strong supporter of the law, but my family learned the hard way that innocence until proven guilty is nothing but a fantasy reserved for those wealthy enough to fight.I urge you to critically exam what you read in the news and see on TV. Too often, you're only exposed to a fraction of the story and as good as your intentions may be, they can be misguided.The bond I have with my father and family has only grown stronger. Together we will pass this test and remain unshaken, because we know the complete story and will continue to stand by my father.Lance Wolfsmith, 1Lt, USAFEditor’s note: Former Morgan Hill personal trainer David Wolfsmith pleaded guilty June 23 to 12 counts of sexual battery by fraudulent purpose, and one count of lewd and lascivious acts against a child younger than 14 and a misdemeanor child molestation charge. On Aug. 23, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

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Letter to the editor: San Martin has become a dumping ground, rural raceway

For years, San Martin residents have voiced concerns to the county for approving construction without considering concerns of residents. In recent years, San Martin residents have been victims of perchlorate contamination from Olin Corporation, the Waste Transfer Site next to the elementary school and the recurring raw sewage contamination assault from Morgan Hill.  Last winter, when the sewer trunk system (managed by Morgan Hill and Gilroy) spilled hundreds of gallons of raw sewage onto Llagas Creek, San Martin roads and farmland, neither city would claim responsibility to ensure San Martin residents (and the environment) were safe.  And now we are watching San Martin become a rural speedway! On the rural roads of San Martin, where equestrians could once meander, commuters zoom at highway speeds, having no respect for the residents and the serene country roads.The community of San Martin needs immediate action, and attention placed on the damage and danger speeding commuters are inflicting. Truckers notoriously use the roads as a detour from U.S. 101, and daily commuters are following suit. Through these rural roads, drivers are racing at excessive speeds down Columbet, Middle, Murphy and Sycamore avenues. Residents—attempting to exit their driveways or just to retrieve their mail—are jeopardizing their lives as they dodge rude, horn-honking, reckless speeding drivers.Were traffic studies really considered when Morgan Hill and Gilroy approved their many massive housing developments? Was the unincorporated rural community of San Martin ever taken into consideration?  Back in 2000, dispiritedness within the community grew and a few residents formed the San Martin Neighborhood Alliance (SMNA) in order to provide one voice for the community.  Year after year, SMNA and advocates for keeping San Martin’s rural integrity have continued to speak up at the Santa Clara County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings about the dangerous scenarios we face on the rural roads in San Martin.  Unfortunately, most county representatives do not live in South County; nor are they familiar with the rural lifestyle many in San Martin live and how it differs from the big city.SMNA (sanmartinneighbor.org) continues to address concerns of large developments that are being proposed in San Martin. Some applications submitted for development in San Martin include proposals on Sycamore Avenue, San Martin Avenue, California Avenue and Monterey Road. These projects WILL significantly impact our rural roads and neighborhoods. These applications should necessitate LOCAL TRAFFIC SAFETY studies.There is a county document known at the San Martin Integrated Design Plan (SMIDP), which is supposed to be the guidelines used when building in San Martin. The rural roads of San Martin were not designed for heavy commuter traffic, nor daily treks of semi-trucks escaping the U.S. 101 check stops or hauling enormous daily loads.  The San Martin community is also being used as an “unauthorized park-n-ride” by commuters. There are several areas near Mama’s Market where the soft shoulder of the road is being ruined by commuters parking their vehicles there all day. Then, upon returning to their vehicles, drivers are regularly seen congregating and drinking alcohol until dusk at the corner of Sycamore and San Martin Avenues.  Why is this outdoor bar activity being ignored by the authorities? This just compounds an already dangerous combination of heavy traffic, with impatient drivers, who are now intoxicated.  Not only should there be “no parking” signs, but also “no drinking in public.”  Furthermore, there is consternation about the additional proposed project at this location for a porta-potty storage business. In addition to the concerns about more traffic, there are valid environmental concerns due to the proximity of this business being along Llagas Creek. This is entirely absurd!Residents are sharing facts about auto accidents of loved ones that continue to take place throughout San Martin.It seems from all the online comments from San Martin neighbors, that something needs to take place. Here are some general ideas: 1) a better sheriff presence; 2) “local traffic only” signage; 3) speed bumps; 4) more four-way stop signs; 5) yellow flashing warnings to slow down.  Although this may impact residents from getting around, it will improve chances of surviving another day on the road.  San Martin residents need your support!Connie LudewigSan Martin