Input informs school enrollment-growth decisions: Other Voices

As the Los Altos School District has made clear, existing district facilities are not sufficient to address future enrollment. If the district is to preserve the small-school model that resulted in all local schools being ranked in the top 1 percent of California public schools, a solution is needed. Voters approved Measure N in November for just this reason, but Measure N can only be successful if our community drives the solution.

To ensure that no stone is left unturned and that all ideas are considered, the district continues to engage and collaborate with the community in innovative ways. Most recently, the district hosted a community forum April 22 at the Los Altos Youth Center. More than 100 attendees – parents, staff and other community members – participated in a process using design-thinking concepts to collect input on existing ideas and generate new ideas to address enrollment growth.


Hungry? Just text us: Editor's Notebook

I’ll have to admit, I found the Second Harvest Food Bank’s recent announcement of a texting option for the hungry a bit strange.

The food bank, which serves Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, launched the texting program April 15 – in English, Spanish and Vietnamese – to connect hungry families with the underused (according to the agency) CalFresh food assistance program. By texting a keyword to “97779,” families can be prescreened to begin the process of participating in the CalFresh program.


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.


Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in the center of Redwood Grove Nature Preserve along Adobe Creek, the one-story, stucco-clad Spanish Eclectic-style house – constructed in 1923 for Theodore Vail and Emma Wright Halsey, an early Los Altos-area family – has a U-shaped plan, oak floors, hipped roofs with Spanish clay tile and sets of French doors opening onto the interior courtyard as well as the front concrete patio.


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.


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.


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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