Town Crier ‘incited’ extreme reactions

Neither Los Altos City Councilwoman Lynette Lee Eng nor Kenan Moos is at fault in this debacle. The rabble-rousing input is from the Town Crier itself and other newspapers.

It was the Town Crier that identified the parties and made the controversy both public and personal. The articles in the Crier were well written from a journalistic point of view. They were reasonably accurate, provocative and were within the scope of proper journalistic coverage.

What was outside the scope of responsible journalism was identifying the parties (specifically Mr. Moos), “spinning” their texts and comments as representing irreconcilable differences. As a result, it did not take long before the conflict, which might have been resolved in its early stages, became an issue of reputation, name-calling and public uproar.

In my opinion, the Town Crier “incited” unnecessarily extreme responses. This raises questions worthy of discussion. Freedom of the press requires self-imposed limitations. The Town Crier is a respected and influential publication. What limitations could the Town Crier impose upon itself to avoid “inciting” divisions in the community? When is it justified for the Town Crier to turn an essentially private discussion between a council member and community member into a “flap”?

Leelane Hines

Los Altos

Editor’s note: This was not a private matter. The debate spanned several public city council meetings.

LA could benefit from conflict resolution tools

“Schlimmbesserung” is a German word for an improvement attempt that makes things worse – an ideal term to describe the Los Altos City Council’s meddling into the Lynette Lee Eng/Kenan Moos conflict.

While it would have been best had they left it alone, I read that the council asked for community solutions to this problem. I have a suggestion.

Before the U.S. war in Iraq, a peace rally was held in San Francisco. To commemorate that day, I attended a conflict resolution class taught by Elisabeth Seaman and Jack Hamilton. Their company was Learn2Resolve, and their communication tools were very effective.

Coincidentally, in his Town Crier interview last month, the new pastor at Bridges

Community Church expressed a desire to get more involved in the community. Perhaps he could lend the use of his large facility to hold a city-sponsored community conflict resolution class, and Elisabeth and Jack could be coaxed to teach it.

There would be no downside. Councilwoman Lee-Eng’s valid concerns ought not to be dismissed. Her person, her elected position and her supporters all deserve respect.

This problem needs proper closure, using measured, reasoned and equitable means. The community would benefit by possessing conflict resolution skills, resulting in a healthier environment for everyone.

Ronna Devincenzi

Palo Alto

‘Biased’ resolution disrespects Lee Eng

I am pleased that Los Altos City Councilmember Lynette Lee Eng has finally taken the opportunity to speak out about the disrespect she has endured and continues to receive from some of the current and former council members.

The mayor and fellow council members stated that the resolution was not meant to punish, embarrass or discipline. But by drafting such a biased resolution, you can’t help but feel for Councilmember Lee Eng, because they have done just that, embarrass her.

Let’s face it, the tone of attacks led by some of our former mayors have opened the door for the excessive incivility we have witnessed in our last campaign and the discussions on Nextdoor. The other elephant in the room is the continued prejudiced and slanted reporting by the Town Crier. Until our local paper and civic leaders recognize the damage they have done, our community will continue to remain polarized and individuals will feel unsafe to verbalize their positions.

Please stop the hate against our Asian community members. It reflects poorly on our community.

Jerome Camp

Los Altos

Find space for domestic abuse column

I was disappointed, actually appalled, that part three of the three-part “Confronting Domestic Violence” series was not included in your print copy, allegedly due to space constraints. This series had been so very informative to the public of the type of abuse many women experience in the shadows of Silicon Valley.

Furthermore, the information about the subterfuge of some Silicon Valley abusers has been described so very graphically, and it results in both demoralizing the female victims and, at the same time, perhaps turning her friends and family against her. This dynamic can lead to the absolute destruction of the female victim in both mental and physical ways.

To limit this because of “space constraints” appears to me to infer a real lack of knowledge, understanding and acceptance of what might be going on in our town and others. Its elimination from the June 2 Town Crier could be compared to other long-standing social issues that many people find easy to discount.

I applaud your past publication of these articles (two out of three) and prior publication of these series in the past. I acknowledge that this current series can be considered more graphic than the others, but this is how the abuser works. Therefore, my wish is that part three be included in your next or subsequent issues.

Marian E. Lofgren, Ph.D.

Clinical psychologist

Former LAH mayor regrets endorsements

Reading about the situation in Los Altos Hills in the June 9 Town Crier, I am extremely disappointed with several people who took advantage of my friendship (“Staff turnover debate deepens divide among Hills residents, council recall effort brewing”).

At the request of Linda Swan and Stan Mok, who are people I considered as friends and thought of as reasonable, I endorsed the slate. They valued my support because as past mayor, having served eight years on the council, my endorsement was a plus. What a mistake I made endorsing three, including one I did not know at all!

I did not realize, because they did not make it clear, that the main purpose of electing that slate of three was to take control of the council and fire the city manager. Fortunately, the third member of the slate was not elected and the plot failed.

City Manager Carl Cahill has done a commendable job managing the town. The criticisms are all contrived. The solid-waste contract that was negotiated included significant price increases because the market for recyclables has changed considerably in the last few years. I was on the team that negotiated the past contract, which was very advantageous to the town and turned out quite unprofitable for GreenWaste Recovery. The prices recyclers get for recycled materials has collapsed since China and others have stopped accepting them.

Turnover in staff, blamed on Carl, is due to the town being small, with limited career opportunities. It is a good first job for many on their way to more responsibility and more money elsewhere.

Jean Mordo

Past mayor of Los Altos Hills

MV farmers’ markets aren’t ‘rivals’

This is a response to the farmers’ market “rival” claim in the article posted in the June 9 edition of the Town Crier (“Rival farmers’ market opens in downtown MV”).

For over a decade, many of the farmers of the Mountain View Certified Farmers’ Market have been a part of Thursday Night Live, a festival that takes place every summer in downtown Mountain View. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Thursday Night Live was not able to hold its festival this summer. The farmers, however, are able to operate a market under current

COVID-19 restrictions. Many farmers had planned to participate in Thursday Night Live and had dedicated their crops for the event. After a year of planning, the farmers’ market was able to host these farmers at a quaint market in Lot 12 downtown at California and Bryant streets in Mountain View.

As restrictions ease, fun events like live music, kids’ crafts, zucchini car races, watermelon-eating contests and other activities often found at Thursday Night Live will be allowed. The farmers’ market is happy to offer farm-fresh produce to the Mountain View community twice a week, on Sundays at the Caltrain lot year-round and on Thursdays downtown June through September.

Each of the markets serves their community, hosting different vendors.

We wish all the best to the Los Altos Farmers’ Market!

Kayla Hayden 

Market manager

Mountain View Certified Farmers’ Markets

First Friday events create vibrancy

If Los Altans were looking for vibrancy, they had no farther to look than the First Friday celebration June 4 on both Main and State streets.

The streets were filled with folks meandering along, visiting open stores, packing the restaurants and listening to the music played by 12 bands. Yes, I said 12 bands covering both streets.

There wasn’t a seat to be had at any of the outdoor eating establishments.

You want vibrancy? It was in Los Altos big-time that night. Thanks to Los Altos First Friday for making it happen.

Bob Simmons

Los Altos

Thanks to Safeway staff for service

I would like to extend a big public shout-out and thanks to Jose Gomez and his entire staff at our local Safeway store.

Jose has been always present and ready to help out customers with questions, concerns and requests throughout the pandemic. He kept the store clean, followed all the protocols and managed the store in a consistent and orderly manner with significant attention to customer service and safety.

Jose and his staff deserve recognition for keeping us all safe and well-stocked.

He made those dark times during the pandemic a little brighter!

Petrita Lipkin

Los Altos