Letters to the Editor

Resident supports bond because of charter school

After following the continuing disputes between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School, culminating in children being locked out of school, I must speak for hundreds who are tired of this soap opera.

Being affiliated with neither, my personal observation is that Bullis Charter School is one of the most successful charter schools in history.

We are incredibly fortunate to have this dynamic, creative educational force in our midst. Because a well-educated society is a benefit to all, I would have absolutely zero problems supporting a bond to benefit the charter school.

District officials demonstrate brazen impudence in attempting to impose policy on the charter school under the guise of facilities negotiations. That is blackmail.

Time and again, the district has fallen on its face in court. This circus has to stop. Kudos to Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck for bringing sanity to this discussion.

It would behoove the district board to show some humility and learn a thing or two from the charter school, which, frankly, has done a far better job of educating children.

Rajiv Bhateja

Los Altos Hills

Local tap water isn’t safe for everyone

I must respond to the advice given by a Palo Alto Medical Foundation physician, Dr. Amy E. Gilliam (“Getting the red out: How to manage your child’s eczema,” Sept. 18), who recommended various medications and treatments.

Those of us who are made sick by our tap water recommend first trying spring water.

I recall some years ago the Town Crier had a front-page article with a photo of a young man with debilitating eczema living in Los Altos Hills. The article mentioned a group, Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, which had formed because others in the area had gotten eczema from the local tap water after chloramine was added. Others had asthma attacks if they took a shower. Some people have gastrointestinal problems if they drink or cook with tap water. Some must avoid swimming pools.

Before starting medicines, for a month try drinking, bathing and handwashing only with bottled water, which is spring water without chloramine. Note that not all bottled water is without chloramine. I do not know which brands to recommend, except I know that Arrowhead Springs, Crystal Geyser and Calaveras Springs work for me.

For bathing, I add vitamin C to my hot tub water and have devised an outdoor shower using that. Dining out, I ask for lemon to squeeze into my glass of water, and I avoid soup, rice, pasta and steamed or boiled vegetables, which absorb the chloramine of the cooking water. At home, I cook with and drink only water that has no chloramine.

All this involves some effort, but it is far less trouble than having asthma, eczema and gastrointestinal problems.

It is hard to believe that public tap water is toxic in the U.S. We hear from Cal Water of Los Altos and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy water sellers to Los Altos Hills that our tap water is fine for people. But there have been no scientific studies proving that chloramine is safe to add to public water.

For more information, call the president of Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, Denise Johnson-Kula, at (408) 227-5767; email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or visit chloramine.org.

Marjorie Rauch

Los Altos

A call for a carbon tax

Last Friday, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fifth Assessment Report, further solidifying the science of climate change and calling for action.

“The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change has strengthened year by year, leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction,” according to the report.

While it may seem like a global or national issue beyond the scope of Los Altos, consider that the Los Altos City Council is actively working to complete the city’s Climate Action Plan. The council and most residents understand the global impacts of our local decisions.

Most people recognize the seriousness of the problem and do what they can in their own lives but worry that there is no good way to tackle the global issue.

Fortunately, there is a simple suggestion being proposed that really could help: a carbon tax. If we add a fee at the point where carbon-based fuels come out of the ground (or enter the country) that reflects the true cost of burning those fuels (environmental damage, health effects, etc.), then everyone downstream will make choices that move us toward a sustainable energy economy and prevent the full ravages of climate change. The time to enact this is now.

Karl Danz

Los Altos

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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