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Letters to the Editor

Whoa! Cut horses slack on pathways manure

I agree with Jennifer Granath (“Pick up your pets’ poop from pathway, please,” March 20), who wrote about dog poop on Fremont Road pathways. Dog owners can, and should, do a better job of picking up the droppings.

Horse manure is a different problem. Horses are calmest when they are walking and mounted, not held in hand and expected to stand still while cars and bikes and all sorts of commotion whizzes by on Fremont. Dismounting to remove manure is often not an immediate option, assuming you’ve even noticed that your horse has pooped.

Horses are special and extraordinary. When I’m out riding my horses, there is a constant stream of people waving, smiling and telling us how much they love seeing the horses.

I don’t know if Ms. Granath knows this, but the town of Los Altos Hills was founded in part due to the desire to preserve horse owning and riding. Shortly after Los Altos incorporated as a city in 1952, the city of Los Altos banned horses, shutting down five barns that were operating at the time within city limits. Los Altos Hills residents wanted to keep their horses, and to do so they knew they had to incorporate.

Despite the fact that horse manure is relatively innocuous, a lot of people are offended at the sight of fecal matter of any kind. As a horse owner, I respect this sentiment and make every effort to remove manure. But I would like to impress on people that removing horse manure is several orders of magnitude more difficult than picking up after your dog. And if these gorgeous creatures are going to be part of life in Los Altos Hills, a certain amount of manure will have to be tolerated.

I would also like to correct Ms. Granath on one point: Los Altos Hills did not pay for the pathway improvements on Fremont Road. Safe Routes to School is a federal program – the citizens of the United States paid for those new pathways.

Deborah Goldeen

Palo Alto

Former BCS supporter frustrated with lawsuits

This letter is to Bullis Charter School. I used to be one of your supporters. As a parent whose child didn’t fit the Los Altos School District system, I was frustrated that there were no alternative/magnet schools and no Independent Study programs. I watched more than just my child slip through the system. So I felt the charter school brought value to our community by offering another option.

But my support has waned. The district is growing rapidly and can’t afford to give up a campus. It is not unreasonable to ask charter students to attend middle school on a different campus. Our district students do that. The district’s offerings have seemed fair, so it is frustrating to watch the charter school counter everything with a lawsuit.

I’m glad you’re surveying the community. I think you’ll find that past supporters are no longer standing behind you. The costs of the charter school are outweighing the benefits. I’m not saying we don’t need a charter school, because we definitely need alternatives. But we don’t need any more lawsuits. I hope you’ll reconsider the constant courtroom battles. There’s too much damage being done.

Anna Durante

Los Altos

Where’s the compromise from LASD trustees?

Note: The following is an abridged version of a letter sent to the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees.

I have been following the proceedings surrounding the negotiation between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School closely, and I find I have some questions with regard to the course the district has taken.

Despite the excellent start of holding one community meeting to receive mediated feedback regarding the possibilities of alternative placement of Bullis Charter School, things have not continued in that vein. Why were there no further meetings?

After hearing from the Bullis Charter School board specifically what they are looking for to make Blach Intermediate School a viable option, some concerns and questions arose from the district. These questions were regarding inconsistencies between what Bullis Charter School desired to make the Blach/Egan split work, and their response to the preliminary offer. Was this ever followed up?

What I’m trying to understand is if there is ever any communication beyond the one meeting between the district and the charter school looking to compromise on the Blach/Egan split. This was an opportunity for the two boards to bargain out what would work best for all three schools involved.

Communication was the basis of my own run for the Los Altos School District board last fall. Trustee Pablo Luther specifically stated that he viewed the district as having 5,000 children and that he would work to meet the needs of all of them. Doesn’t that require communication and compromise?

Amanda Burke-Aaronson

Los Altos

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