Letters to the Editor

Thanks for tribute to Dave MacKenzie

Thank you for the wonderful tribute to Dave MacKenzie upon his recent passing (“The passing of a Los Altos legend,” Aug. 10).

Dave was a close family friend of my parents and grandparents. He attended many gatherings at my grandparents’ home and often kept us in laughter and engaged in lively conversation. We all looked forward to spending time with him.

I reconnected with him a few times since moving to Los Altos 26 years ago and enjoyed our chance encounters at the post office or hardware store. I loved how he could keep us all grounded with his witty editorials.

When The Daily Grind, Peet’s and Starbucks all came to town, I appreciated his gentle reminder that folks used to ride into town, tie up their horses and head into the one and only coffee shop for a good, strong cup of just plain old black coffee!

He had a true sense of humor and a sense of what is genuinely real and meaningful in our lives. I will miss his presence among us but treasure the memories.

Kathy (Mauel) Wright

Lost Altos

Letters to editor express residents’ views

The Town Crier Letters to the Editor should be required reading for members of the Los Altos City Council. The citizens writing the letters seem to have a better grasp than elected officials of what’s needed to make our town vibrant, unique and appealing.

Ruth Troetschler’s remarks about three-story buildings and giant parking structures being the antithesis of a village atmosphere are spot on (“Three stories? Parking structures? Some ‘village,’” Aug. 10). On that note, do we really want a French chateau hotel greeting people entering town? We’re not a French village.

Randy Rhody is another writer who got it just right (“Development a step toward ‘mass mediocrity,’ Aug. 10) . The downtown landlords are not only “greedy” and “exploitive,” as Rhody comments, but also don’t know much about the real estate business. Asking a high rent and letting a building stay empty for months results in a building that is lower in value than one that is charging market rents but is fully occupied.

I’ve lived in Los Altos or the Hills since 1943, and I am heartbroken about what’s happening to our town.

Sylvia Johnson

Los Altos Hills

Parking structures do not a village make

I would like to second Ruth Troetschler’s Aug. 10 letter. For all the talk of maintaining the village atmosphere of Los Altos, why would even the concept of a parking structure ever see the light of day?

A parking structure and development of the parking plazas would forever destroy the charm of our downtown.

What the downtown needs is full occupancy of its retail strores. Unfortunately, a small group of renters who control the downtown properties with their attendant outrageous rents choose to ignore the current economic realities. As a result, many stores remain empty and a few more will shortly follow suit. If downtown withers away, whom shall we blame?

Regarding the parking structure, I hope my fellow Los Altans will not permit yet another downtown disaster.

Mae Nagel

Los Altos

Sharing the planet trumps killing animals

I totally agree with Kay Bushnell’s letter to the editor in response to the Town Crier’s article on gophers (“A ‘hole’ lot of trouble, July 13). I was disappointed and saddened reading the article, which promoted the killing of gophers.

Humans must learn to share. It seems to me that when humans deem another animal to be a pest or a nuisance, the first resort is the murder of that animal. It boggles my mind how humans can so easily justify the killing of one animal (for instance, gophers) yet hold sacred the life of another (for instance, dogs and cats).

Humans, cats, dogs, gophers and all other of earth’s creatures are made of the same blood, bone and flesh, have the same basic needs (as described in Kay’s letter) and deserve to be treated with kindness, respect and consideration.

I implore us to learn to appreciate, rather than kill, each other.

Jennifer Knapp

Los Altos

Impacted residents need better communication

I read with interest the Town Crier’s Aug. 3 editorial, “Nobody told me this would happen.”

A while back there was mention in the Town Crier of the need for traffic control at Foothill Crossing (Trader Joe’s) in my immediate neighborhood. Recently, on an outing with a friend, she asked if I were going to attend any of the city meetings on the matter, and I told her I knew nothing of them (“Nobody told me this would happen”).

So, I would like to know when these meetings are scheduled. And I would like to know why better efforts are not made to alert Los Altos residents of these meetings – especially those who live in the area of immediate impact.

The editorial asked, “Could the city have communicated better? Could the Town Crier? The answer to both is probably yes.” Actually, the answer is “Definitely yes!” Leaving it to a small blurb in the paper or requiring residents to check the city council website constantly for the possible mention of an agenda issue is not very community-friendly.

And yes, there is an urgent need to reconfigure traffic in the Foothill Crossing area. And no, it does not necessarily require a traffic signal or other extravagant expenditures.

I would appreciate the opportunity to be part of a reasonable solution, but I need to know when and how to do so.

Kristi Waterland

Los Altos

Mayor Packard extends a personal invitation

Thank you for the Aug. 3 Town Crier editorial, “Nobody told me this would happen.”

It is comforting to see that others are aware of the frustrations when we try over months to provide as much information as possible to the public through multiple forums, only to be accused at the final decision point that the city was trying to keep the matter secret.

Yet such complaints are understandable given the hectic lifestyles for most of us.

In the interest of providing as much notice as possible, I would like to personally invite residents to provide input regarding the parking/retail/office/residential structure that is contemplated on San Antonio Road.

The city will be preparing a Request for Proposal from contractors, which could focus on parking, retail, office and/or housing.

What would our residents like – that is financially feasible?

The public study session will occur in the first part of September. Everyone is welcome.

Ron Packard

Mayor of Los Altos

Two others who murdered more

Myra Orta’s statement that Hitler was “the murderer of all time” (“Protest doesn’t constitute free speech,” Aug. 3) is factually incorrect.

Hitler killed 9 million to 11 million. Josef Stalin killed about 62 million and Mao Zedong killed 30 million to 40 million.

I find it odd that the Holocaust constantly finds it way into the press while the atrocities of Stalin and Mao are hardly ever mentioned.

Edward Kelley

Los Altos

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