Other Voices: Webinar today offers chance to learn about energy efficiency

While it is challenging right now to focus our attention on other things, the Los Altos Environmental Commission and the city of Los Altos continue to pursue progress toward our Climate Action Plan goals. Our current focus is the city’s proposed reach codes. We will be hosting a webinar at 7 p.m. today to present the proposed codes and answer questions.

What are reach codes? They are local building energy codes that “reach” beyond the state minimum requirements for energy efficiency in building design. In the past several months, many Bay Area cities have adopted reach codes that either limit or prohibit the use of natural gas in construction, as well as increase electric-vehicle charging infrastructure. The city of Los Altos is evaluating a reach code that would require new commercial and residential buildings to be 100% electric and increase “EV-read” parking spaces in new developments.

Letters to the Editor: CHAC, Draeger's, leaf blowers

CHAC ready for the ‘next wave’

It’s clear that mental health challenges will be the next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The stress of uncertainty, health concerns, income loss and social isolation are taking a toll on mental health that will only be amplified in coming months.

At the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), we will continue to serve Los Altos and surrounding cities by providing critical counseling services via telehealth to individuals and families who are struggling to cope. I want to acknowledge those who have made this possible.

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!

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.

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, conflicting messages, tree campaign

Town Crier carrying conflicting messages

The April 15 Town Crier presents dramatic contradictions. In a photo on the front page, a young man and child are out for a run and bike ride; neither has a face mask. Also on page 1: photos of teddy bears in windows and an article about the fun of a teddy bear search.

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.

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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