Mon03302015

We'll buy it; what is it? Editorial

Would you buy a device on the condition that you are kept in the dark about how it works? Would you feel good about purchasing such a device when the contract even calls for nondisclosure of the nondisclosure form that keeps the device top secret?

That’s the situation local officials faced recently when Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith sought approval for a $500,000 cellphone tracking device to help in capturing criminals. Such use, of course, would apply to the town of Los Altos Hills and the county’s unincorporated areas around Los Altos, both under Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction.

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LASD Carefully considering all options: Other Voices

As Los Altos School District officials explained during the November election, dramatic growth in our local economy, increasing housing density and a decade of solid academic achievement by district schools have increased enrollment to heights last seen in the 1970s. Existing district infrastructure and footprint are incapable of addressing existing needs or future enrollment.

Voter approval of the Measure N bond signaled an implicit expectation that the district would address growing enrollment by first doing no harm; that solutions would preserve the small-school model that resulted in all of our schools being ranked in the top 1 percent of public schools in California. We know that our voters expect that all investments must consider solutions that best address school overcrowding but also create facilities that facilitate the educational programs of the future. Most importantly, we know that a community-driven solution is essential to a successful Measure N implementation.

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Divine conspiracy: Haugh About That?

Rushing back into the house to grab my lifeline to the world – my cellphone – I had only a minute to spare before my listing appointment when I came face-to-face with a large yellow puddle on the white living room carpet. Cowering in the corner was the guilty party. The damn dog was once again testing my patience.

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Homecoming: No Shoes, Please

I’m traveling with my mother next month to her hometown of Takatomi, Japan, because her eldest sister, my 91-year-old aunt, needs help planning the final years of her life. However, nothing about the trip will be as simple or straightforward as that sentence might imply, so let me break it down for you.

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Don't blame the victim: Other Voices

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. In fact, in this country, everyone is entitled to express his or her opinions without getting murdered as a consequence. In her recent “Other Voices” column (“Inalienable right? How about respect for others?,” March 4), author Joy Valentine expressed her opinions. And here are mine in response.

In my opinion, the opinions expressed in Valentine’s column are especially pernicious, because they are falsehoods surrounding a kernel of truth. Yes, the publishing of images of Muhammad is probably unnecessarily aggressive and offensive. But such expression is a right of our society, and it is a right worth defending, even if in this particular case it was somewhat misused. The arbiter of that boundary and whether it has been crossed is not a band of extremist, fundamendalist Muslims. Those offended by this publication have other means of redress, including, but not limited to, court action and retaliatory publication.

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Letters to the Editor

Silent majority, please speak up

At the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission meeting held March 19, Commissioner Jim Abraham stated that he believes many people in town do not want to continue to develop our pathway system and that some of our council members feel the same. I thought that people appreciate how the development of our pathways, for example, the Fremont Road and Arastradero paths turned out.

As the Planning Commission will continue to review the Circulation and Scenic Roadways Element of the town, now is the time to make known your feelings about our town development.

As the town council has put on the agenda for 6 p.m. Monday (March 30) meeting to discuss changing (and in my opinion, beginning to dismantle)  the pathway element of the general plan, having your input at this time is crucial to maintaining the vision of our original town founders.

The circulation element, the housing element and the pathway element are all part of the general plans for the town. They should all have the same vision for planning how our town moves into the future.  If we allow the plans to be dismantled, we will not be living in the Los Altos Hills we know today. And if the majority of my neighbors agree with the radical changes, I need to know that so I can sell before my property values are ruined.


Eileen Gibbons

Los Altos Hills

PAUSD offers high-level education

In catching up with past issues of the Town Crier after a long trip, we were surprised and sad to read John Radford’s statement as a Los Altos Hills City Councilman (“LAH Council Roundup,” Feb. 25).

Addressing the superintendent of the Palo Alto Unified School District about the upcoming parcel tax, Radford said: “We have been bled to death by your school district and received little or nothing in return.”

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Letters to the Editor

Forbid cellphone tracking in area

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith has purchased a surveillance device without adequate public debate about policies and procedures for their use (“Cellphone tracking technology comes to Los Altos Hills,” March 11).

Worse, the agreement she has executed bars her from sharing with the public any details of exactly what capabilities this device may grant to her. “Trust us,” she says.

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