Other Voices: A public works report card

Los Altos has changed very little in 34 years, so one would not expect our governmental departments to have grown much. In 1985, the Engineering Department had five employees; today it has 12.

Salaries for each position have a range, depending on years employed. The collective annual total for the mid-range salaries is approximately $1.35 million. With an estimated override of 18% for benefits, the total cost to the city becomes $1.6 million. If the current staff were cut to six, the savings would be approximately $800,000 per year. We are being asked to approve a parcel tax to raise $1.1 million each year for the Clean Water and Sustainable Storm Drainage Initiative, with no identification of any flood damage having occurred.


Letters to the Editor: Stormwater fees, idling, massage column and more

General fund should pay for stormwater work

The Los Altos City Council will be asking residents to approve a special fee to fund maintenance of the stormwater system. Certainly we need to maintain our stormwater systems – no one would dispute that. However, I’m puzzled by the funding discussion.

Most cities fund maintenance projects out of general fund dollars. Our city staff indicates that Los Altos “lack(s) allocated funding for maintaining storm drain infrastructure.” I find that puzzling.

The Villaj Idiut: Columnist ponders more deep (t)issues

 

In last month’s column I wrote about the awkwardness that can ensue when getting a massage. Male or female masseuse? Clothed or unclothed?

A mother's birthright

 

Tiptoeing into our hotel room just past 1 a.m., with her Bette Davis hazel eyes sparkling brightly, my daughter Jenni instantly became confused when I had an explosive “mommy moment.”

Other Voices: A woman ahead of her time

My mom was a woman who was way ahead of her generation. For a woman born in China in 1914, she was bold to have defied her mother’s desire to play matchmaker for her with a son from a wealthy family. This was definitely not the norm for Chinese girls during her days. She had already met a young man she thought had ambition and drive. She married him, my father, and chose to get a secretarial job to help with the finances.

I was too young to know much about the early years other than my father having to settle his father’s debts before he managed to transition into a shipping business after the war. Once the family finances were secure, my parents made sure that we had a quality education and engaged home tutors in Chinese, calligraphy lessons, plus piano lessons for all the kids and ballet for the girls. My mom took on the task of visiting boarding schools on the East Coast before sending my brother and me to prep schools.

Letters to the Editor: Alzheimer's, Egan, leaf-blowers and more

Support Alzheimer’s legislative action

I am 15 years old, and my grandmother is one of the 5 million Americans living with Alz- heimer’s disease. In order to help patients like her, I developed a diagnostic tool for the early detection of Alzheimer’s that uses machine learning and de-identified patient data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

But no amount of individual effort will be enough to end this disease. Instead, we must work together and strive to make public policy choices that advance Alzheimer’s research and patient care.

A Piece of My Mind: Describing Easter Sunday in a local park

I had occasion to spend some time in one of the local county parks on Easter Sunday.

The park was mobbed – nearly every picnic table occupied, nearly every barbecue smoking. Many of the tables were decked in Easter-themed cloths and sported Easter baskets filled with colorful eggs, some real, some obviously plastic and prize-filled. We had arrived too late to see the family Easter egg hunts, but the treasure troves were on display on all sides.


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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