Sun04202014

Letters to the Editor

Council candidates urge voters to research

As the election season reaches its final weeks, the excitement for different candidates is growing, including our race for the Los Altos City Council.

As in any election, national or local, rumors fly and inaccuracies are spread about the candidates.

Los Altos is a community filled with thoughtful, intelligent people. And so we encourage the voters in Los Altos to question, read between the lines and search for the truth about the candidates.

Please check our websites to find the accurate information about each of us running for the Los Altos City Council. Please vote Nov. 6.

Jon Baer

Jeannie Bruins

Anabel Pelham

Jan Pepper

Megan Satterlee

Jerry Sorensen

Students missing out on Friday-night memories

The memories I hold dearest from high school are the Friday night football games under the lights. It was always followed by a dance in the auditorium, and it filled those Friday nights for the kids.

I was disappointed to see the story about the Mountain View High School neighbors protesting one football game under the lights (“MVHS neighbors protest night-game proposal,” Oct. 10). I can speak from personal experience, because the home I grew up in backed up to the high school football fields.

There were about six football games each year that used lights, and, rather than it upsetting everyone in the neighborhood, we either spent the evening in our backyards on the roof watching the games or walked over to the fields to enjoy it.

Six nights. This is only one – one football game, lights out at 10 p.m., not an all-nighter with a bunch of drunken sailors. Is that so awful for the neighbors? Don’t they remember their high school days at all?

I still believe my son, who attended Los Altos High, missed one of the defining high school moments by not having Friday-night football games. There are 36 high schools in Santa Clara County and only three have no lights – Mountain View and Los Altos being two of them.

Don’t let a few people ruin it once again. Work toward installing permanent lights at both high schools and hope for neighbors who can remember their childhood.

Diane Brauch

Los Altos Hills

Amigos sends students to Latin America

The Oct. 10 edition of the Town Crier featured a very nice article about two local high school students volunteering with Amigos de las Américas in Paraguay (“Local students spend summer volunteering in Paraguay”).

However, the article failed to mention the other four students from Los Altos and Mountain View high schools who also spent the summer volunteering with Amigos in Latin America. In fact, our local chapter of Amigos Peninsula sent more than 40 high school students from the Peninsula to 14 Latin American countries last summer.

Amigos Peninsula is a large and very active chapter of the national Amigos de las Américas organization. The Amigos Peninsula program provides nine months of in-depth training prior to travel so that our local youth are well prepared for their experience abroad. The local chapter also focuses on creating youth leaders who continue to contribute to their local communities when they return from their Amigos experience.

Susan Evard

Los Altos

Public should elect BCS board members

As we know, all taxpayers within the Los Altos School District elect the members of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees, while no one elects the members of the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors.

I would like to applaud Bullis Charter School for exercising our democratic system of representative government to put up a candidate for election to the Los Altos school board, and urge them to offer this same opportunity to the community.

Amanda Burke-Aaronson, candidate for Los Altos School District Board of Trustees, is the mother of several children attending Bullis Charter School. Her candidate financial statement shows cash contributions and loans of some $10,000, with significant contributions from members of the charter school’s board and charter school parents who have spoken publicly at district board meetings. (Visit Google Docs at ababcs.notlong.com to read the disclosure statement.)

Now that Bullis Charter School has put forward a candidate to sit on the Los Altos School District board, I urge the charter school to hold open elections for its board of directors. Allow the taxpayers in the district to elect members of the charter school board and have a representative sit on the charter school’s board of directors, overseeing charter school operations and the spending of our tax monies.

Ann Hepenstal

Los Altos

Mayor’s mailings exploit ‘bully pulpit’

This is something new to Los Altos politics!

We are writing because, as former elected Los Altos city councilmembers and mayors, we are concerned about the level of involvement that current city councilmembers have in trying to shape the outcome of the current city council election, scheduled Nov. 6.

Mayor Val Carpenter is using slate mailings of her own to promote the election of people “I can work with” for the coming council term.

First, to us it seems like improper behavior for a mayor (selected from normal rotation on the council) to publicly declare her choices for council candidates.

In effect, when the mayor promotes a slate of candidates as mayor, she is tacitly implying that her choices represent a council consensus, when in fact they are probably an expression of her own preferences as a citizen, yet improperly expressed, and given undue weight through the bully pulpit of the mayor’s office. We feel that this practice is inappropriate – a misuse of an honored position, and it should be stopped. Hopefully it will be prevented from recurring by future council regulations.

Second, we are disappointed that the mayor is interjecting herself into a business negotiation relationship between Bart Nelson and Safeway by objecting to the campaign signs in the window at Los Altos Pharmacy, of people other than her choice, by writing a letter to Safeway rather than making a courtesy call to Nelson. Nelson has a perfect right to put candidate signs of people of his choice on his business property. This is another misstep by our mayor.

Marge Bruno, Art Carmichael and Jane Reed, former Los Altos mayors

MV students entitled to attend LASD schools

In his Oct. 17 Letter to the Editor (“Should Los Altos residents pay for MV students?”), it is obvious that Mark Starr is not aware that the city boundaries of both Los Altos and Mountain View, as well as Los Altos Hills, are not the same as the school district boundaries.

The school district boundaries are bordered by creeks and other geographical locations. Thus, there is a fairly large part of Mountain View that is legally in the Los Altos elementary school district. Maybe the name of the district should be changed so that other Los Altos residents do not feel the need to try and treat those of us in Mountain View, but also in the Los Altos School District area, as second-class citizens.

There is no question that recent large-scale building projects on land that in the past has not had housing, and now does or will, are placing a burden on the Los Altos School District. This is something that the district might want to discuss with the city of Mountain View. But, Mr. Starr, those children who live in both Mountain View and Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills, and are also in the Los Altos School District, are entitled to attend district schools. (Funny, you didn’t complain about the children from Los Altos Hills.)

Micki Miller

Mountain View

Resident recommends election fact-check sites

As we head into the home stretch of the elections, we’ll see more and more pants on fire. To uncover the facts behind the lies, check out these nonpartisan websites: www.factcheck.org and www.politifact.com.

Pat Marriott

Los Altos

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