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Letters to the Editor

The race is on

School has started at St. Francis. How do I know? Not by reading "Welcome Back" banners on campus, but the roar of cars, trucks and SUVs as they race to the finish line, the parking lot at St. Francis.

Yes, the annual fall ritual of racing to school is on. To avoid traffic congestion on Miramonte Avenue, many of those young drivers chose Russell Avenue as a speed-way shortcut. I've waved at these speeding drivers to slow down, but most are going so fast they don't even see me.

Parents, teachers, drivers - please, we all share these lovely Los Altos streets. Slow down, leave home earlier, walk or bike, take the bus.

Avoid an ugly accident that could ruin your life. Ease up on the gas pedal and use your legs to race to that first class.

Susan Besser

Los Altos

Don't add more concrete

In response to a recent article published in the Aug. 29 issue of the Town Crier, I'd like to point out the following:

The idea of adding concrete sidewalk to what most would consider "semi-rural Los Altos" would be the Number One significant degradation of the aesthetics and atmosphere of our community.

The visual aesthetics of sidewalks along our paved and graveled streets would change the character of our town forever.

While I understand the need for bicycle access and pedestrian access, the physical introduction of concrete sidewalks is not the answer.

As a bicycle rider and father of three children, I understand these concerns, but would rather explore other alternatives to the issues raised than simply add more concrete to our residential neighborhoods.

Bill Maston

Los Altos

Does justification for Segway add up?

For a city that is constantly pleading poor-mouth when it comes to revenues, I find it totally irresponsible for the city council to have approved a $7,000 expenditure for a Segway when the problem may be inefficient ticket-writing.

Assuming an 8-hour day with two 20-minute breaks, walking 5 to 8 miles per day is equivalent to doing I mile in 57 to 91 minutes.

Considering that a person in reasonably good physical shape ought to be able to walk a leisurely mile in 20 minutes, the officer is either out of shape or he is spending too much time writing tickets.

If the ticket-writing is slowing him down, it would have been better to buy him a digital camera or some other input device to speed up the ticket-writing rather than waste money on a Segway while our infrastructure is decaying before our eyes due to all the deferred maintenance by the city.

Additionally, the article on the Segway in the Town Crier is misleading in that it says staff anticipates a 50 percent increase in enforcement with the addition of the Segway.

Yet, in another paragraph, staff anticipates a 30 percent increase in revenue due to increased enforcement and an increase in the cost of the fines.

How can the fines go up by 67 percent and 233 percent and enforcement by 50 percent and have only a 30 percent increase in revenue?

Sounds like justification math to me.

Edward Kelley

Los Altos

Memories of junior high

Thank you for your splendid "Comment" in the Aug. 29 issue. In particular, your comment that junior high is a weird time hit me.

I grew up in Santa Cruz, where I attended Branciforte Junior High School. My father was an auto mechanic, and nobody in my family had gone to college. So, in the ninth grade I met with my homeroom teacher to select my career at Santa Cruz High, and chose machine shop, one of the trade courses.

My teacher noted my good grades in math and science and suggested college prep instead. But I said I was not going to college.

We debated it some and compromised on a study course called general culture, designed for non-college students. However, when I graduated in 1938, I discovered that most of the general culture courses were the college prep courses.

I had been hoodwinked by this clever teacher in junior high.It led me to graduate from UC Berkeley as an electrical engineer. I worked as a combat information center officer in the Navy during World War II and finally as a manager of space projects at NASA Ames.

All because of this astute junior high teacher.

Also, I appreciated your comments on SUVs and lockers at the present schools. Right on!

John Foster

Los Altos

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