Sun04202014

Letters to the Editor

Make village friendlier to patrons

I was glad to see the Town Crier addressing the subject of the business climate in town. Tom Harrington mentioned the difficulty new businesses have in going through the permit process.

I’ve heard from multiple sources that Los Altos is developing a reputation of being unfriendly to new shops because there are so many hoops to jump through, causing many delays that end up costing the fledgling businesses more time and money than expected. This does not encourage new business development.

Also, the $50 parking fine discourages shoppers. We have many beauty shops and nail botiques. Out-of-towners come here for those services.

Instead of lingering to shop after an appointment they leave rather than move their cars or risk getting one of those $50 tickets.

We need to make sure our town is friendly to business and friendly to patrons!

Sylvia G. Johnson

Los Altos

Loss of Oak School staff hurts

I was deeply saddened to read Oak School Principal Dave McNulty's final note to members of the Oak School community, in the last issue of the school's weekly newsletter before the summer break.

Dave shared the news that a number of longtime instructional assistants have received layoff notices and likely will not be working in our classrooms next year. Every grade level is affected.

Like many families, we moved to Los Altos in part due to the exceptional results our schools consistently achieve, as demonstrated by the kids' performances on standardized tests. Oak ranked fourth in Santa Clara County and 13th among the many hundreds of elementary schools across California in the most recent API test results.

But it's hard as a parent not to regret how greatly the loss of our talented and caring instructional aides will affect our kids' experience in the coming years. We haven't yet had the heart to tell our daughter, for example, that Mrs. Ann Packard, a neighbor who has been an aide in the Kindergarten and first grade classes at Oak for 18 years, won't be working at the school next year.

We'll also miss Mrs. Lori Fuller, who helped in the office when she wasn't working with first- and second-graders in the Read, Write and Type program.

Pretty much the same is happening at every school in the district. I hope that our school district leaders will find a way to rally district residents to provide more local funding so that we can continue to benefit as a community from having schools of the very highest quality possible.

Bill James

Los Altos

Parking ticket fear driving shoppers away

I would like to thank the Town Crier for doing their part in recognizing how much the businesses of Los Altos are struggling. The Passport Program, as well as the roundtable, are steps in the right direction.

However, I was disappointed in the number and types of individuals participating in the roundtable. Many more merchants/store owners should have been invited to participate. Perhaps a monthly roundtable could continue for the next few months so that more voices can be heard.

Each time a client comes into our center, I always encourage them to go downtown and have lunch or walk around. A large amount of my clients have told me they won't do that due to fear of getting a ticket. They have told me, "If I have to get in the car to move it to avoid a ticket, I might as well keep on driving to the mall to do shopping and have lunch." Therefore, most of my clients will spend 60-90 minutes at the center and then leave.

This dilemma corresponds with what was mentioned in the article – lots of parking but no foot traffic. And why people come into town, do their business and then get out of town. The city should consider trading in the Segway budget to support our local businesses and shop Los Altos campaign. 

Debbie Sera, owner

DownTime Healing Arts Center,

Los Altos

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