Sun04192015

The elephant on the pathway: Other Voices

Pathways in Los Altos Hills are great. I love hiking on them, and I love seeing horses on them. They allow me to exercise and get around, and the mysterious ones that teleport me from neighborhood to neighborhood by walking between homeowners’ backyards seem magical. So what’s the controversy?

We moved to Los Altos Hills 16 years ago, the last time the Pathways system was a big issue. At the time, I hadn’t had the fun of hiking the pathways that I’ve since had. In that time, though, I’ve encountered another side of the experience that was eye-opening, which was when we remodeled to add a family room and a garage. During that project, the only objectionable step was when members of the Pathways Committee hiked through our backyard to determine whether we’d have to provide an easement for a proposed future pathway, provide the easement and construct the pathway, or pay an $8,000 in-lieu fee for doing neither. It felt a little like extortion – all we wanted was a garage and a family room.

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Bob Grimm: The definition of love: Other Voices


Courtesy of Art Carmichael
Bob Grimm, left, and Art Carmichael, both former Los Altos councilmembers and longtime friends, flank a friend in Tanzania. Bob was injured the day after this photo was taken and died March 21.

I have been part of the Grimm family – I was adopted – for 55 years of my life. I am currently 62.

My half-brother Terry and I came to California to stay with Bob and Marion Grimm for a short period of time with the intent of giving our biological mother time to get her feet under her. This was the second time the Grimms had offered to help. During this second visit, my brother and I were playing in the neighbor’s garage and ate some poison that was used in the garden. It scared Bob and Marion to the core! This event brought deep concern for our safety, but it also brought to the attention of all involved that there are legal ramifications to administering medical help to those outside your immediate family.

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Is MV headed for high-tech exclusivity?: Editor's Notebook

Recent headlines have been awash with news of the future campus Google Inc. plans to build featuring “canopies.” Also in the news is Facebook Inc.’s recent announcement that it, too, wants to expand at its current Menlo Park headquarters. Meanwhile, LinkedIn Corp. looks to be making a major expansion with a possible campus in Phase 2 of The Village at San Antonio Center development in Mountain View, and possibly in an office building on El Camino Real in Los Altos, soon to be vacated by the also highly successful Box Inc.

Everywhere you look, growth abounds. Construction sites are everywhere along El Camino in Mountain View. And if recently submitted plans for Mountain View’s North Bayshore area are any indication, much more construction – millions of square feet in office space, for starters – is on the way.

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LASD Carefully considering all options: Other Voices

As Los Altos School District officials explained during the November election, dramatic growth in our local economy, increasing housing density and a decade of solid academic achievement by district schools have increased enrollment to heights last seen in the 1970s. Existing district infrastructure and footprint are incapable of addressing existing needs or future enrollment.

Voter approval of the Measure N bond signaled an implicit expectation that the district would address growing enrollment by first doing no harm; that solutions would preserve the small-school model that resulted in all of our schools being ranked in the top 1 percent of public schools in California. We know that our voters expect that all investments must consider solutions that best address school overcrowding but also create facilities that facilitate the educational programs of the future. Most importantly, we know that a community-driven solution is essential to a successful Measure N implementation.

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We need a town hall meeting on Measure N: Other Voices

Last November the Los Altos School District community – comprising residents of Los Altos and parts of Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto and unincorporated areas – passed the $150 million Measure N bond to address enrollment growth in grades K-8.

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Don't blame the victim: Other Voices

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. In fact, in this country, everyone is entitled to express his or her opinions without getting murdered as a consequence. In her recent “Other Voices” column (“Inalienable right? How about respect for others?,” March 4), author Joy Valentine expressed her opinions. And here are mine in response.

In my opinion, the opinions expressed in Valentine’s column are especially pernicious, because they are falsehoods surrounding a kernel of truth. Yes, the publishing of images of Muhammad is probably unnecessarily aggressive and offensive. But such expression is a right of our society, and it is a right worth defending, even if in this particular case it was somewhat misused. The arbiter of that boundary and whether it has been crossed is not a band of extremist, fundamendalist Muslims. Those offended by this publication have other means of redress, including, but not limited to, court action and retaliatory publication.

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Inalienable right? How about respect for others?

The January mayhem in Paris is tragic, as are all the other slaughters perpetrated from time immemorial.

We need to understand that when we attack another, whether it is with words or pictures or guns, there are consequences that often reverberate around the world. This particular tragedy in Paris is one more demonstration of that fact. However, it is not only about free speech, but also obligations and responsibility.

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