Concours d’Elegance evicted from Stanford
Stanford University has advised the Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance that it may no longer hold its event on the Stanford campus, its venue for the past 38 years.
The Concours, a charity fundraiser, donates its net proceeds to a Stanford Athletic Scholarship fund and to 41 local charities. The end of the Concours would deprive these organizations of needed operating funds.
The Concours puts on public view rare and exotic classic cars and is a major social and cultural event in the early summer season.
Readers can help to save the Concours by emailing Ray Purpur, deputy director of athletics, at
, requesting a reversal of this decision.
William C. Downey
Los Altos Hills
Member, Concours Board of Directors
Councilman’s ad discredits candidates
Last week’s “paid ad” by Councilman Ron Packard gave inaccurate information that should be clarified.
• Jeannie Bruins and Jerry Sorensen are not “demanding” three- to five-story buildings, nor are they aligned with city property owners. There is no “leader” to the downtown property owners for development, as Packard implied.
• Jerry Sorensen is not the leader of a downtown property owners’ group.
It is difficult to understand how a current city councilman can publicly pass judgment on the slate of potential councilmembers. Packard appears to be offering his agenda to candidates he supports while discrediting the opposition.
Open your eyes, Mr. Packard, to give the talented slate of candidates the support they deserve. Please let this election be run by the candidates and not influenced by a city councilman whose paid article and views are quite degrading and misleading.
I ask you, is your article “fair to all concerned”?
Former Los Altos resident
Should Los Altos residents pay for MV students?
As anyone who drives down San Antonio Road can easily see, the so-called Village at San Antonio Center, presently under construction, will include hundreds of family apartments in high-rise buildings.
Recently, I have heard reports that children residing in these 330-plus apartments will attend schools in the Los Altos school districts, which are closest. Los Altos schools, not schools in the Mountain View districts, will pay for the public education of children residing in Mountain View.
As we in Los Altos are repeatedly reminded by the KLASS (Keep Los Altos Schools Strong) supplemental tax drive every few years, it costs more to educate a student in Los Altos than the state of California allotment per-capita student provides. Moveover, the city of Mountain View is planning to expand The Village at San Antonio in the future – and presumably add more residential apartments with children.
As a resident of Los Altos, I would like to know all the facts and figures pertaining to this issue. I call upon the Town Crier to publish an impartial, informative article exploring all aspects in depth. I call upon every candidate for city council in the forthcoming election to take a public stand on this issue in the Town Crier (before the election, of course).
Animal cruelty has no place at Fall Festival
I enjoy visiting the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Festival each October, but this year I was dismayed to see two booths exhibiting cruelty to animals.
One was the “Hermit Crab Throw,” which offered live hermit crabs as prizes. I doubt that many of the winners of these animals have the knowledge and the motivation to care for them properly, so most of the crabs will die in the next few weeks.
A hermit crab is no more appropriate a prize in a carnival game than a puppy or a kitten.
The other booth was selling small creatures (mostly insects and sea animals) encased in blocks of clear plastic. Taking the lives of these animals to make paperweights and key chains is as unnecessary as it is cruel.
Los Altos residents care about animals – just look at how many dogs come downtown with their people every day. Animal cruelty has no place at a festival hosted in our community.
Water district leadership solving problems
The Town Crier recently came out against Measure B, a proposal to continue the current parcel tax of $56 for the Santa Clara Valley Water District until 2028 (“Measures A and B: No on both,” Sept. 26). You expressed concerns about “governance” issues, and other local residents have also mentioned that as an issue with them.
I shared your concerns. However, after careful consideration, I am now convinced that the district board is solving the problems that have plagued the district.
The projects to be funded by the continued parcel tax are vital to the district’s mission of providing safe, reliable water to its customers while working to reduce pollution, ensuring the viability of our dams and reservoirs if a natural disaster strikes and protecting our homes, businesses and roads from the dangers of flooding.
BCS serves students with special needs
In the past few weeks, I have witnessed a lot of misinformation spread about Bullis Charter School. Of particular and very personal concern is the ludicrous myth that the charter school does not serve students with special needs.
As a parent with kids at Bullis Charter School with special-education needs, I know that the charter school is the best place for them. This is because Bullis Charter School teachers, school leaders and coaches individualize learning for all students, regardless if they are in special education.
Once my children were identified with specific learning difficulties, Bullis Charter School staff made their program fit for them, rather than make my kids fit to one generic program.
By integrating resource help with the general education curriculum, my kids learn the same material as all students alongside their peers.
Project-based learning, arts education, leadership training and a focus on character development are all areas of Bullis Charter School education that allow my children to excel.
Do we want behemoth structures downtown?
Now it’s 4 1/2-story buildings downtown. Is this what we want?
The most recent big building to be constructed downtown, 396 First St. (site of the old Adobe Animal Hospital), is 51 feet, 4 inches tall. Drive by and look at it.
How is it that this behemoth structure was approved? It consists of three floors of condos, plus the height of another floor of peaked roof, plus 6 feet of garage height.
Couldn’t the roof have been flat instead of peaked? Couldn’t the entire garage have been dug underground instead of only 3-4 feet? That would have dropped the structure heights under 40 feet.
What were the Los Altos City Council and the Planning Department thinking when they approved this project?
There is not much anyone can do about the situation now, only to not let this happen again.
I would like to see a clear, nonobtuse statement from each of the candidates running for city council seats on where they stand on future building height in our city, including the number of floors and maximum height.
That way I can decide how to vote.
1"Zero Dollars for Spec Ed"
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:55
LASD spends about $7 million per year on special education according to their filings.
BCS spends about $0.00 according to their filings.
For those not familiar with the educational jargon, there are high-performing special needs students and higher-need special education students. The major difference is that some kids can get along with a few tweaks (read: cheap and easier to handle) and some present more challenges for a school (read: expensive).
Bullis Charter School has uniformly "easier" children to educate who all fit into their mainstream program. If they are not easy, they are "managed out", as has been alleged in filings with the court and by testimony I have heard personally.
All children are "special" in somebody's eyes. The phrase "special needs", however, has a specific technical meaning.
at Wednesday, 17 October 2012 23:06
Joan J. Strong, you do not work at BCS, and I do. What you wrote above just isn't true. The truth is that our students who "can get along with a few tweaks," which I think is the majority of students in any classroom anywhere, aren't usually classified as special education students. Have you ever spent a day in any classroom at BCS? I don't think so. Please don't try to pass off as truth something about which you have no first-hand experience.
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 10:09
I am one of the residents of a Mountain View slum. My children went to "your" Los Altos schools. Why don't you learn a little about school district boundaries versus city boundaries before you embarrass yourself even more. We own a home and pay into the Los Altos School District parcel tax. I volunteered many hours and raised quite a bit of money for my children's schools. I really appreciate the education they received.
I am not sure why the Los Altos Town Crier decided to publish your letter. Since it was not based on correct information.
4"First Hand Experience"
at Thursday, 18 October 2012 17:24
I have first hand experience with parents whom you have cruelly "waved off" from your school. I have first hand experience with the court filings which contain sworn testimony to this. I have first hand experience with BCS filings to the county which contain no trace of special education funding at BCS.
The fact that you work at BCS yet cannot distinguish between high performing special needs and non-mainstreamed special needs is case and point: you've never seen any of the more challenging cases because they are blocked at the door.
Fortunately our PUBLIC school district, LASD, spends the money necessary to give them the education they deserve from our caring community--that is, unless the BCS mission to bankrupt our school district through lawsuits* succeeds.
* BCS insider Ron Haley has promised that BCS will sue our District for more than $20 million.
at Tuesday, 23 October 2012 19:20
Why all the dust-up about Mountain View residents attending Los Altos schools? Is Mountain View so horrible? I attended Los Altos schools and worked in Mountain View as a youngster. Good folks in both places. Los Altos High School included students from adjacent Mountain View north of Jardine. Many were my best friends--grounded, decent, nice to be around. Let's take a deep breath.
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