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Letters to the Editor

Thanks for spotlight on important cause

Thanks to the Town Crier for its excellent publicity and ads regarding the “Smartpens for Veterans” campaign at Foothill College.

The Livescribe Smartpen is a device that records lectures or meetings. It can record everything the veteran writes and hears so that he or she will never lose or miss a word. Tapping the specialized notebook provides easy access to the material, and replay enables playback of the recorded information. The smartpen is a big boost to veterans returning to school.

A project of the Rotary Club of Los Altos, the Red Badge Committee has scheduled a fundraiser 5-8 p.m. Friday at Nature Gallery, 296 State St. Food from Go Go Gyro and music by The Jazz Connection will be provided.

Ron Labetich

Los Altos

Mayor’s tampering reflects on candidates

I am appalled at the lengths to which Mayor Val Carpenter is willing to go to influence the outcome of the city council election.

She raised my eyebrows when I received a large glossy campaign mailer in which she touted her choice of candidates and advertised herself as mayor. I became further concerned when I saw the opinion piece in the Oct. 16 issue of Los Altos Patch in which she claimed Los Altos would be “best served by electing” the mayor’s candidates. If it is not against some law or policy for a sitting mayor to use the influence of her office in this way, it should be.

In the mayor’s recent email to Safeway, which has contracted to purchase Los Altos Pharmacy, Carpenter implored Safeway to exert its influence over the pharmacy, which displays campaign signs for candidates the mayor does not support, to remove those signs. She also asked Safeway to “display … campaign signs on your ... property for incumbent Megan Satterlee as well as Planning & Transportation Commissioner Jon Baer, both of whom voted in favor of your new store in downtown Los Altos.”

I understand that candidate Jan Pepper did not seek the mayor’s endorsement and has recently distanced herself from the mayor, and I applaud that action. Councilwoman Satterlee apparently supports the mayor’s actions, which I find quite disturbing.

Carpenter’s actions are offensive and embarrassing. They are not the type of conduct I expect of our elected officials, and they reflect poorly on her candidates.

Marlis McAllister

Los Altos

One last appeal against Measure M

As this election season comes to a close, I would like to make one last appeal to the residents of Los Altos to vote no on Measure M, which I believe would harm El Camino Hospital, our community’s hospital. As a longtime member of the hospital’s foundation, I believe I am uniquely qualified to make this appeal.

Most people are familiar with El Camino’s main facility on Grant Road, including its emergency room. But El Camino Hospital is also home to many outstanding treatment centers for urology, men’s health, orthopedics and breast cancer as well as the Women’s Hospital, the Taft Center for Clinical Research and the Fogarty Institute. These are places where patients come to be treated for everything from a broken bone to a fatal illness.

The El Camino Hospital District spends approximately $6 million in tax revenue annually on programs, including school nurses, subsidized health services such as dialysis and preventive health care. In the past three years, more than $16 million in district funds have been distributed. Additionally, out of its own operating revenue, the hospital spends approximately $49 million annually to cover charity care expenses, unreimbursed Medi-Cal treatment and subsidized health services for the community, including emergency services and behavioral health.

Supporting Measure M would mean losing our talented and dedicated leadership team at the hospital, because their salaries would be cut to those of a rural hospital one-fifth the size of El Camino. I really believe Measure M sets a bad precedent, asking voters to micro-manage operations and reduce the authority of their elected board.

Please join me, along with close to a dozen former Los Altos mayors as well as the Los Altos City Council, in voting no on M. Let’s not play politics with such a valuable community resource.

Robert D. Adams

Past chairman, El Camino Hospital Foundation

TC endorsements disappoint resident

My family and I have enjoyed living in Los Altos for more than 40 years, thanks to the intelligent, thoughtful and caring residents of our community. Thus, I was disappointed to see “A summary of Town Crier endorsements” in the Oct. 24 edition.

The Town Crier must be unique among Santa Clara County papers in its opposition to two important tax measures (Propositions 30 and 38) that would fund the education of our children. It also opposes the repeal of the unfair “three strikes” law (Proposition 36) and the costly death penalty law (Proposition 34).

Moreover, the Town Crier is against Proposition 37, which would require labels for genetically modified foods. On the other hand, the Town Crier supports the deceptive Proposition 32, which would limit campaign financing for unions and corporations (but does not limit private contributions by wealthy donors). And, surprisingly, the Town Crier is silent on Proposition 35, which would increase penalties on human trafficking.

I would like to believe that the Town Crier’s endorsements do not accurately reflect the sentiments of the good people of Los Altos.

Sami A. Ibrahim

Los Altos

MVHS neighbors oppose permanent lights

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District board scheduled one night game with temporary lights at the Mountain View High School football field Oct. 26. We were among the neighbors of the school who opposed this game at the board meeting. We are also among the many neighbors who are strong supporters of the school.

We think Mountain View High is a great school with many wonderful young people. Our opposition to the game was based on the planning process used.

This game was planned by the school’s Athletic Boosters, who we feel looked upon the neighbors as problems to be marginalized. They asked for our input only five days before the vote by the school board. We listed several problems that had not been solved. The school board agreed that there were still issues that needed to be addressed for a game that was only a couple of weeks away, but they still approved the game.

We appreciate the fact that the leaders at Mountain View High have worked in the past to maintain a good relationship with the school’s neighbors. It seems like members of the Athletic Boosters are acting without respect for this relationship and are using this game to try to push through permanent lighting for night games at Mountain View High, without concern for its effect on the neighbors.

We learned at the board meeting that the estimate for installing permanent lights would be approximately $500,000 and would involve an environmental study. We know that school board members are aware that they need to focus their funding and time on the academic requirements of the school.

We are not opposed to this one-time-only night game at the high school, if it is well planned. We are opposed to permanent lighting at the school. At the time of the school bond issue, the school board determined that upgrades to the fields would not include lights. They said lights would not be appropriate for this school, because the field is close to so many people’s homes – that is still true!

If the Athletic Boosters want several night games a year, then they need to focus their attention on finding a more appropriate location for the games.

We hope everyone will keep in mind that we live here. We do not come and go as the students, administrators, teachers and most Mountain View High sports fans do.

We simply want to be included in the process and work with the rest of the community to find win-win solutions.

Vi and Dan Robertson

Mountain View

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