From the Mayor's Desk: Earth gets a breather as we mark 50th anniversary day in its honor

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Back in 1970, a number of events prompted Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. senator, to make people aware of environmental issues. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio had caught fire due to oil floating on its surface, and a massive oil spill had ravaged the beaches of Santa Barbara. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was formed in December 1970 due to bipartisan recognition of the need to clean up the environment.

During these last 50 years, we have seen our air and water cleaned up as people recognize that we all inhabit this Earth together and must protect it together.

From the Mayor's Desk: An update on Los Altos COVID preparedness

Los Altos held its inaugural virtual town hall April 7. More than 130 people called in or Zoomed in to the town hall. I want to recap the messages from this event.

As everyone no doubt knows, the shelter-in-place order has been extended to May 3. What is very important to know is that everything that everyone does makes a huge difference. And what should you do to stay healthy? Stay home!

MVLA grading decision: MVLA vote levels the playing field

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees convened a special meeting April 6 to decide on grading for the spring semester due to the closure of on-site education at our schools. The decision to change grading policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic is being done by all school districts in the Bay Area, and many throughout the country.

Most, if not all, Bay Area school districts are choosing the mandatory credit/no-credit option. This does not imply the board’s decision was correct, but that it aligns with other districts in the Bay Area and allows our students to compete on a level playing field with other students in the Bay Area.

Letters to the Editor, teddy bears, diesel use

Teddy Bear Hunt

earns thumbs-up

I enjoyed the editorial in the April 1 Town Crier with all the thumbs-ups. I would like to add one more.

CSA leader offers update amid the coronavirus crisis

Following is an open letter to the community from Tom Myers, Los Altos resident and executive director of Community Service Agency, a nonprofit social services agency serving Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

While these are incredibly trying times for all of us, I am blown away by the generosity and spirit of our community, the heroics of our staff and volunteers, and the breathtaking intensity of sudden need among the most vulnerable residents of our community. I want to update you on how this ever-evolving situation has affected CSA, as well as critical client needs.

MVLA grading decision: Don't allow pandemic to harm students' records

For the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District’s remaining 39 days of Emergency Remote Learning (ERL), grading that holds students’ academic records harmless from the adverse effects of the abrupt transition to such learning is essential. Unfortunately, the binary credit/no-credit grading imposed April 6 by the board’s 4-1 vote, over my dissent, harms students who have worked hard to demonstrate improvement in their grades. It unfairly denies them any chance to have the “summative assessments” – that is, course grades – their labors have earned.

It doesn’t have to be that way – there is a more sensitive, hybrid system of grading. It not only preserves the protections of credit/no-credit for students whom letter grading would undeservedly harm, but also allows students who have improved, despite ERL’s challenges, to get grades showing that improvement on their transcripts.

Editor's Notebook: Life in the age of the coronavirus

We are living in what is sure to be a historic moment in time. Every single human being on the planet is impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

It’s a formidable enemy. People can have it and show no symptoms for two weeks. Its devastation is unpredictable. Initially, the word was that it was deadly almost exclusively to older people and those with underlying conditions. While this is still predominantly true, it’s not an absolute. A young person with no underlying condition can be killed by the coronavirus. A 90-year-old nursing home patient can recover from it.

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 [email protected] 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 – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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