Fri09192014

Letters to the Editor

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 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”?

Bob Adams

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).

Mark Starr

Los Altos

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.

Lisa Towell

Los Altos

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.

Emily Thurber

Los Altos

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.

Paul Jancis

Los Altos

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.

Ron Murphy

Los Altos

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