Thu11202014

Letters to the Editor

Traffic signal a waste of money

We appreciate your editorial regarding the signal scheduled for installation at El Camino Real and Clark Avenue in Mountain View (“Clark traffic signal a big waste of money,” Feb. 27).

How do citizens of Los Altos and Mountain View reach out to Caltrans to discourage this from happening? Can’t our city officials do that also? Or is it a done deal?

The signal is an absurd waste of our tax dollars and a traffic creator. Four traffic lights in a less-than-1-mile stretch from Rengstorff Avenue to El Monte Avenue? Try a “No Left Turn” sign first and see how that impacts the situation. Duh …

Rita Held

Los Altos

Apartment developers respond to criticism

In her Feb. 29 letter to the editor (“Developers should support community,” Feb. 20), Los Altos resident Emily Wu suggested that Carmel the Village developers should support the community. We do! We just started welcoming our first residents March 1, but the property is already having a big financial impact. And we appreciate the writer’s suggestions for the community involvement we’ll be ramping up soon.

As a one-time set of fees from development-agreements governing the Village, the apartments have already provided the Los Altos and the Mountain View Los Altos Union High school districts more than $1 million in development impact fees.

Wu is incorrect in her statement on the property-tax payments. The property owner is paying property taxes to the Los Altos and MVLA districts. This is no different than multiple owners paying when it is a condominium project versus a single owner paying for the apartment and retail assets.

Demographic research does not suggest that the property will have many children. To date, only two of the first 20 committed residents have children under the age of 18. Carmel the Village consists of 70 percent studio and one-bedroom units and 30 percent two-bedroom units, with an overall average of 816 square feet for the residences.

We are active in every community in which we operate. As Carmel the Village begins to fill, we will work through Carmel Cares to support programs that benefit the local community in a positive way – and we love the suggestions!

Nicole Histo

Carmel the Village

leasing manager;

Kim Hoeksema

Carmel Partners

senior vice president

Minister supports sex education for teens

I’ve been following the controversy around the articles on sex and sexuality in The Oracle, the Mountain View High School newspaper, as reported in the Los Altos Town Crier (“Parents sound off over Mountain View High newspaper content,” Feb. 27).

Our church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, serves both Los Altos and Mountain View, and we have a number of young people attending Mountain View High, so this issue is of particular interest to me.

Our faith community strongly supports comprehensive education on sexuality for adolescents at a developmentally appropriate level. Research into teen sexuality consistently shows that a fairly high number of teens, probably more than half, engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual acts during their high school years. While I certainly believe it is best for legal minors to postpone all such sexual activity until adulthood, given the high level of sexual activity among teens, I also believe that as a public health matter, they should have accurate information about avoiding sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

Indeed, our church believes this strongly enough that we provide comprehensive sexual education to adolescents using a highly regarded curriculum titled “Our Whole Lives.” We also offer copies of a renowned book on teen sexuality, “Changing Bodies, Changing Lives,” to the families of all early adolescents in our programs.

While the number of teens we see go through our programs is too small to serve as an adequate sample size, anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that providing comprehensive education actually reduces and postpones sexual activity.

While much of the opposition to The Oracle article seems to stem from persons voicing specific religious views, I would like to make it clear that there are other religious views that strongly support comprehensive education on sexuality, in the classroom and through other outlets such as the school newspaper.

The Rev. Dan Harper

Unitarian Universalist Church

of Palo Alto

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