Sat08302014

Letters to the Editor

Closing lone school led to ‘hornet’s nest’

Sheryl Rattner’s letter (“BCS seeks more than its fair share,” Dec. 12) was an “aha” moment for me. She has a strong opinion of Bullis Charter School and disagrees that the charter school is an asset to the community.

She made her points well and then she got to her definition of “decent schools”: “Decent schools do not try to get funds/facilities for themselves by taking away what belongs to existing schools.”

I immediately flashed to when the Los Altos School District made the decision to close Los Altos Hills’ only community school and take our taxes from the Hills to build new multipurpose rooms and improve facilities at many of the schools in Los Altos.

She went on to write: “Decent schools do not try to destroy or displace others to grab more than their fair share.” Every student in Bullis at the time was displaced to schools across Foothill Expressway. Their sense of independence to ride to school and become comfortable in their own neighborhoods was taken away. Taking our taxes to enhance their facilities seems like taking more than “their fair share” to me.

As a Bullis Charter School supporter, I don’t feel despised by the community, nor do I feel a sense of entitlement. In fact, the people and children in Los Altos Hills seemed to have had no entitlement until Bullis was finally reopened after many years.

However, if my son were still in the school district, even with Gardner Bullis open again, I would want him in Bullis Charter School. By forcing Los Altos Hills parents to take such a stand, they have created a wonderful school with many opportunities.

Diane Brauch

Los Altos Hills

Why only Hanukkah and no Christmas lighting?

The very first thing I noticed when I opened my Town Crier was the lighting of the Menorah in downtown Los Altos (Dec. 19 issue). I then ask myself, why is the city of Los Altos allowing the menorah lighting at Main and State streets and not the lighting of our Christmas tree?

This city, for many years, has refused to call our Christmas tree a Christmas tree for fear of offending non-Christians. Instead, they call it a holiday tree, but it appears they have no problem allowing another religion to celebrate its holiday on public property. So I must ask, why is Hanukkah being recognized and Christmas is being denied?

Either we eliminate all religious references or we allow all of them to be represented. I support the return of our Christmas tree and the lighting of the menorah for our Jewish residents.

I hope the new city council takes up this matter before Christmas/Hanukkah 2013. Let’s bring back the Los Altos Christmas tree lighting in 2013.

Ken Girdley

Los Altos

Note: The Los Altos Village Association, not the city, historically sponsored the tree-lighting ceremony but discontinued the event a few years back. The Menorah lighting is also privately sponsored.

GreenTown looks to put a charge into Los Altos

GreenTown Los Altos wants to make Los Altos an electric vehicle (EV) magnet. There are almost no EV charging stations along the I-280 corridor between San Francisco and San Jose.

“It’s a desert,” said Joel Bartlett, a GreenTown volunteer. “Let’s make Los Altos an oasis.”

Maureen Blanc, executive director of Charge Across Town, would like to do that, too.

GreenTown met with Blanc and learned about her group’s successful event in San Francisco in September. Thousands visited its EV Expo to check out the latest vehicles and take test drives. More and more people are buying EVs, so the idea of a Los Altos EV magnet makes sense. Think of the benefit to merchants – visiting EV owners could eat or shop in town while their cars get a charge.

So why EVs? Despite their high initial cost, the lower operation and maintenance costs make them a viable choice. And there are two added benefits that should close the deal – zero tailpipe emissions to keep local air clean and a lower carbon footprint to help the planet.

Another thought: Many trips around town are short. We know from a recent survey that the average resident drives more than 2,500 miles per year just in town. These short trips are perfect for an EV.

GreenTown plans to make energy a top priority in 2013. We would like to work with Charge Across Town to schedule an EV event here. To learn more, join us at our community meeting 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Neutra House, 181 Hillview Ave., Los Altos.

Gary Hedden

Energy Program chairman GreenTown Los Altos

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