Sat09202014

Letters to the Editor

Los Altos already home to philanthropy

Robert Anson recently wrote a letter suggesting that Los Altos could be a headquarters for philanthropy (“Los Altos could become philanthropy HQ,” Feb. 20). I would like to point out that Los Altos is already one of the leading centers of philanthropy in the Bay Area. GuideStar, a nonprofit ranking firm, shows that Los Altos is home to nearly 300 public charity 501(c)(3) nonprofits. In addition, our community has more than 150 private foundations, and more than 50 of them have assets exceeding $1 million.

The Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF), in its 22nd year, uniquely benefits our community through grant making, program management, philanthropic funds management and bringing the community together to solve issues. One of its services, program incubation, gives 501(c)(3) sponsorship and funds management and mentoring to social entrepreneurs so that they can focus on solving the social problem they want to address. A number of LACF-sponsored programs have grown into independent nonprofits.

Another positive aspect of Los Altos is the strong spirit of volunteerism. Many individuals are willing to donate their skills, knowledge and time toward countless nonprofit causes. For example, LACF has more than 250 volunteers.

The spirit of doing good locally, regionally and worldwide is strong in Los Altos. Much of this work is done on kitchen tables and in coffee shops. A nonprofit incubator building, as Anson suggests, would be nice in our community and could be a physical showcase for social entrepreneurism.

In the meantime, our community can continue its momentum as a center of philanthropy.

Joe Eyre

Chief operating officer

Los Altos Community Foundation

Simple answers often solve complex problems

In regard to the Miramonte/Covington intersection, it’s clear that the various remedies considered by the Los Altos City Council are a case of treating the symptoms, not the disease.

The root cause of congestion at this intersection is the previous act of essentially privatizing two public streets, Carmel Terrace and Eastwood Drive, forcing all school traffic into the Miramonte/Covington intersection.

City Council, if you restore drop-offs on Carmel Terrace behind Blach Intermediate School and build a sidewalk on Eastwood Drive after lifting the turning restriction, you’ll eliminate the original problem and restore sanity to the Blach commute.

Bill Sheppard

Los Altos

Dispelling myths about electric vehicles

The New York Times recently published an account of a test-drive of a Tesla S that is apparently wholly inconsistent with the facts.

There are myths out there that serve individuals’ particular purposes – in this case, the “electric vehicles strand people” myth. They are supported by repetition and false facts, and over time, seem to take on some truth. However, they are still myths; their continued existence is due only to their importance to someone’s agenda.

Thought leaders and influencers evidently have an obligation now to be on the lookout for myths perpetuated by traditionally reliable or trustworthy sources, and openly call them out. No one else will.

Peter Evans

Los Altos Hills

All children deserve

proper care, guidance

I know a couple who adopted seven babies because the mothers couldn’t take care of them. I know a woman who has been an unpaid babysitter for 10 years for a mother from her “unplanned pregnancy” group and many others inspired by a genuine love for babies.

I’ll listen attentively when they condemn abortion. But when I hear someone trivializing the motives of people who do not think it is any favor to a child to bring it into a hostile world without parents who love it and can care for it – referring, condescendingly, to “inconvenience” – I’m witnessing someone who enjoys vaunting their supposed moral superiority over others.

Anyone who aspires to be a moral arbiter should acknowledge that the person who supports the choice of a woman not to give birth is also thinking of the child. “No one will bring him silver or gold” … or a warm home, someone to comfort him, teach him to get along with others, play games and help him with homework.

I believe tolerance for abortion began with the Vietnam War, when it became clear that most people’s love for babies was limited to clean, healthy ones, preferably white, and the churches lost the moral authority to claim they wanted to protect life when they failed to protect young men drafted into the military and sent into harm’s way. What’s the point of devoting your life to raising a child if your country feels free to destroy his life for a public policy of helping foreigners not be communist?

If we’re going to insist people have children, every one of them should receive a debit card at birth that entitles them to 18 years of nutritious food, health care and competent, caring teachers through college.

Any takers?

Stephanie Muñoz

Los Altos Hills

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