We’re into August, and we’re all thumbs in the wake of recent local news.
Thumbs-up: To the array of candidates throwing their hats in the ring to run for seats on local city councils and school boards in the Nov. 3 election. At last count, we see seven candidates running for three seats on the Los Altos City Council, five for three seats on the Los Altos Hills City Council and nine for four seats on the Mountain View City Council. Despite the pandemic, we’re heartened to know people remain engaged and involved.
Thumbs-up: To the Open Streets program in downtown Los Altos, and a similar program in Mountain View. Although some retailers have had problems with the lack of nearby parking, overall it gives most businesses, particularly restaurants, a fighting chance at survival.
Thumbs-down: To the angry woman at the downtown Los Altos post office who aimed racial slurs at a postal clerk just doing her job. In 2020, with cellphones everywhere, that customer is going to be called out every time.
Thumbs-up: To the customers who came to the clerk’s defense, followed by vocal opposition to such racism by the community at large.
Thumbs-down: To attempts by some local schools to seek waivers to current reopening restrictions in an effort to hold in-person classes. The argument often used is that young students are not as susceptible to the deadly impacts of COVID-19. But often forgotten are the adult teachers and other support staff. Remote learning still doesn’t hold a candle to the live classroom experience, but safety must be the priority.
Thumbs-down: To the continued hesitancy of the city of Palo Alto to open Foothills Park to the general public. We find it galling that a public park has remained off-limits to the general public since its opening in 1965. What other local city has a resident-only restriction for its parks? Fortunately, efforts from Los Altos Hills residents and others have prompted the Palo Alto City Council to at least consider a pilot program charging nonresidents an admission fee. That’s a start.
Thumbs-up: To our area’s relatively low number of COVID-19 cases (at least based on current data), thanks in part to a conscientious effort by most residents to wear masks. Those who don’t need to get their act together – for all our sakes. The Los Altos City Council also can do its part by passing a mandatory mask ordinance.