Amazing Day

Dear Editor:This is an open letter to The Downey Patriot, and the residents of our great city. I was pleased to read some of the thoughtful, well-intentioned postings on your website about our request to hold the first annual Sean Vernon Feliciano Amazing Day Foundation Run for Life 5K run/walk in the city of Downey. ("City Denies Request to Close Streets," 4/16/10) Just a couple of comments: first, ignorant folks who don't understand the loss of a loved one to suicide do not deserve a response from me or any other person. Others have expressed some excellent comments. The city of Downey has always done things their way; is that the residents' way, I think not. Now for the substance of this letter. I left the city council meeting Tuesday after they voted 4 to 1 against our permit request. I thank God I did so because I would have really been offended after denying our request to close Woodruff Avenue for one hour on a Saturday morning as opposed to closing Downey Avenue every Saturday for a three-month trial. It may have pushed me over the line. A couple of other corrections about misinformation provided by Downey officials. No one from the city worked with us to find another venue for the run; in fact, when I would call certain city administrators to find out what was going on or to set up a meeting, I did not receive the courtesy of a return call. I moved to Downey 40 years ago and have raised four great kids in our city and for the life of me I will never understand what happened to my son, Sean. Obviously ignorant folks who really don't understand life kiss things off, but those who knew Sean know he was a winner in everything he did. We will have the Walk on Sept. 11, but we are not giving up on the 5K run/walk, and we will reapply to hold the event next year. When we think of runs that impact traffic just look south to Long Beach and their annual marathon, or the city of Lakewood that will close major streets for their 10/5K run this year. Sean was an athletic young man who loved sports. We wanted to raise awareness by holding this event. I ask you how much traffic would closing Woodruff for one hour have impacted our city? The farmers market will benefit vendors, and add taxes to our city and make some of our city council members happy while causing problems for 5,000 or more vehicles that travel on Downey Avenue every Saturday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. I find it somewhat hypocritical of an elected official who states; "It is a very worthy cause, but we don't close streets" and then votes to close Downey Avenue every Saturday for a three-month trial. We would have appreciated the same type of courtesy of a trial run for the Amazing Day Foundation. The city of Downey is still a great community to live in, our city employees provide us with great service. Our schools are great and we are really fortunate to have so many fine neighbors. Members and volunteers of the Amazing Day Foundation are looking forward to a great event on Sept. 11, 2010, but rest assured we will approach the city with a new permit for 2011 5K run/walk for life. - Bob Feliciano, Downey

********** Published: April 23, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 1