Hoping LASD promises come true
I was appointed by the Los Altos Hills City Council to work with our school districts to assure the return of neighborhood public education to our town. I have been encouraged that the Los Altos School District appears ready to reopen a public school at the Bullis site.
I am also encouraged by the recent letter written by LASD trustee David Pefley, as long as he and the rest of the LASD board follow through on the commitments he mentions.
More specifically, Pefley states, "It has been announced many times already that Bullis-Purissima is being opened in August 2008 as a neighborhood school, not a districtwide enrollment school."
However, this statement will not be accurate if 100-plus spaces remain taken by the districtwide all-day kindergarten program at the Bullis site, which some board members have advocated keeping in place (even through major construction).
Pefley goes on to say, "The taxpayers in the Bullis neighborhood will enjoy the same facilities and programs enjoyed by other residents of Los Altos." Even though we in Los Altos Hills are not "other residents of Los Altos," I hope this statement finally comes true, meaning that Bullis will be reopened as a K-6 with programs comparable to other district schools. The sample configuration showing a K-3 ramp-up would not fulfill this promise.
I remain optimistic and applaud Pefley's promises. Now is the time for the LASD board to make them come true.
Los Altos Hills
Sacred courts or private business?
Your article of March 28 regarding the school district's stand on locking out the citizens of Los Altos from one-third of the courts at Los Altos High School quoted Joe White, associate superintendent for business services, as saying, "but school activities get first priority."
On the same day the article came out, I happened to be playing tennis at the school and noticed the sacred courts were being used for tennis lessons for a younger-than-high-school-aged child.
When I asked the instructor if he were giving private lessons, he said yes, indicated he was a Los Altos High School coach and acknowledged he was being paid for giving private lessons.
I can now understand why the school district wants to keep the sacred courts closed to the taxpaying citizens: so the tennis coaches at the school can have a private tennis club using public courts without paying for them.
The argument that these sacred courts must be kept pristine for the high school team doesn't hold water.
I would like Los Altos High School administrators to explain their business operation and the school district to explain just what they consider school activities. Is the school's argument that the public will damage the sacred courts just a ruse to keep a private business venture going?
William F. Moniz
Associate Superintendent Joe White responds: The tennis coach referenced in his letter does not receive free use of the four locked courts. He is required to rent the facilities from the school district, as well as provide a certificate of insurance protecting the school district from liability.
Our current rate for renting the tennis courts ranges from $2-$6 per hour per court. The rental fees help defray the cleaning and maintenance costs for the 12 tennis courts at the school.
Having private lessons assigned to the four locked tennis courts first allows community members to have access to the other eight courts.
The school district does maintain a student-first priority at all times and will rent to organizations outside of those priority times if the organization abides by our use of facility policy.
No auxiliary prompt should be necessary
The recent articles about innovations and recognition for achievement at El Camino Hospital reinforce community pride in our hospital.
As an auxiliary member for over 40 years, I'm keenly aware of the many levels of support by which the volunteers contribute to the fine care given to ECH patients.
There's a hand-and-glove connection between hospital staff and auxilians.
Thus it was disappointing to discover that the auxiliary now is advertising for new members, although I applaud the outreach.
Volunteerism provides major benefits to the giver and the recipient. The "warm glow of service" can enhance healing while enriching the individual who selflessly contributes the small gift of time.
ECH dispenses great medical care - supplemented by caring volunteers. Our hospital has always served our community well.
Our community should come forward to serve ECH by joining our hospital auxiliary.