Other Voices: Clearing up misconceptions about charter schools


The nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. education secretary has sparked a contentious debate about the role of public education and school choice in this country. Despite the disagreements, I’m grateful that so many new voices have entered the conversation about how our public education system can best serve students.

A Piece of My Mind: Could local lucre grease our wheels?

I am a big fan of public transit, taking the train regularly to Sacramento and San Francisco to visit family, taking BART to the symphony or to museums in San Francisco and riding light rail and Muni in San Jose and San Francisco. But I am somewhat reluctant to recommend these services to some of my more fastidious friends, because Caltrain and BART in particular are more than a little grungy.

In the past 20 years, I have traveled on public transit systems similar to BART, and I have seen cars and stations in Taipei, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., receive upgrade after upgrade. In the same period of time, nothing has happened to BART, except that the 40-year-old cars have gotten dirtier, smellier and more worn. The windows have become so scratched that it is nearly impossible to read the signage at each station (especially because very few of the station signs are illuminated), and there has never been any interior electronic signage to tell where you are. The rails have become noisier and noisier, to the point where going around a bend in a tunnel is now acutely painful to the ears. The noise is so intense that any onboard announcements are completely indecipherable. When I take BART to San Francisco, I wear earplugs.

Letters to the Editor

Where’s coverage of Women’s March?

I am writing regarding the Town Crier’s Feb. 1 article, “LAH resident attends Trump inauguration.”

I find it disappointing in a community where I expect many more people marched as part of the Women’s March the following day than had any interest in the inauguration that there was no coverage of local women, men and children who devoted their time, energy and passion to the defense of democracy. For the local cities you claim to serve, 84 percent chose a candidate other than the one in office.

Letters to the Editor

Outcry against ‘fake news’ warranted

This letter is in response to Jacqueline Degner’s Feb. 8 letter “Fighting against ‘alternative facts.’”

Ms. Degner correctly points out that many people pass around fake information they find on the internet that fits their own personal political predisposition. However, I would like to point out that every single day in every major newspaper, false statements of fact are passed off as “news.”

A vote for development: Other Voices

When I read the recent column “The death of a village” (“Other Voices,” Feb. 1), I hesitated writing a response given how emotional I believe this issue is for many longtime residents. But while the sentiment here is genuine, the recommendation is too far out of line with what I believe Los Altos needs.

For background, I grew up in the area, moving to Los Altos Hills in 1985 at the age of 10. So I have some long-term perspective on life in Los Altos, particularly from the point of view of someone who grew up here and is now trying to raise a family here.

Best of Broadway: No Shoes, Please

For my birthday this year, my husband and I are planning to visit our daughter in New York City and see a Broadway show. The other day, in reaction to a discussion my husband and daughter were having over the phone regarding ticket purchases, I shouted, “How about ‘The Humans’? I think it might be a little depressing, but I’d like to see it.”

Take the wheel: Haugh About That?

“To get a better understanding of your portfolio,” my financial adviser began, “I want you to write down everything you spend monthly on your current home and your cabin in Tahoe. Then, we’ll dig deeper into your personal affairs.”

“OK, so just what I spend on my houses?” I asked. “You don’t care about hair, manicures, facials and massages for now, right?”

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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