Letters to the Editor

LA considers joining anti-idling effort

The Palo Alto City Council Aug. 28 voted unanimously in favor of an anti-idling ordinance. The ordinance is expected to be educational in nature – not punitive. That’s because most people erroneously believe that idling is better for their engines, and saves gas and money. In fact, the opposite is true, and this ordinance will help set these drivers straight.

Idling is rampant and selfish. Particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions from idling get into the lungs of our children when parents idle their engines waiting to pick them up from school, or when diesel trucks at construction sites leave their engines running for no apparent reason and turn the air brown.

The good news is other cities are following suit. Out of the actions of the Palo Alto City Council, three other cities – Los Altos, Saratoga and Los Gatos – are considering joining the fight against idling.

Shelly Gordon

Palo Alto

Hurricanes: Give credit where it’s due

Instead of calling hurricanes “Irma” and “Harvey,” why not give credit to their enablers by calling them “ExxonMobil” or “British Petroleum”?

Or how about “Oscar Mayer” or “McDonald’s”? After all, animal agriculture accounts for more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined.

Kim Hunter

Los Altos

Obey 10 Commandments of cellphone use

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the iPhone next week, we have enjoyed enormous pleasure and convenience from this tremendous technological invention by Steve Jobs.

But we have also experienced a growing disconnect with family, friends and even business associates. Emailing, texting and apps are controlling our lives and interrupting our personal relationships.

Now is a great time to review the Ten Commandments of the cellphone and begin the next decade with improved use of this valuable communications tool.

Enjoy, and thanks again, Steve!

1. Thou shall not email or text while driving. Duh!

2. Thou shall not use thy cellphone in restaurants. Ever seen a couple on their two cellphones?

3. Thou shall not use thy cellphone while exercising at the gym. Really?

4. Thou shall not use thy cellphone while walking, running or biking. Look up!

5. Thou shall not use thy cellphone while strolling with kids. Never!

6. Thou shall not use thy cellphone during valuable parent time with kids.

7.  Thou shall not use thy cellphone during live athletic events or concerts.

8. Thou shall not use thy cellphone while shopping. Missing great bargains!

9. Thou shall not use thy cellphone during business meetings, in theaters, in church or at kids’ school events.

10. Thou shall not use thy cellphone while making love to thy significant other.

Pat Saign

Los Altos

Train caption off track regarding LA service

Southern Pacific ended passenger train service to Los Altos in early 1964, not 1958, as stated in the “Peek into the Past” caption in the Sept. 6 Town Crier.

SP’s Oct. 27, 1963, schedule still shows one train per weekday through Los Altos, with a “subject to change” footnote. This service was gone from the April 26, 1964, timetable.

The rail line over the Santa Cruz Mountains from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz was washed out around 1940; after that time, trains heading from San Francisco to Santa Cruz had to travel the long way via Watsonville.

Bill Hough

Los Altos

Reader schools columnist on accuracy, sensitivity

Following is an open letter to Town Crier columnist Frank Hughes.

I read your commentary in the Town Crier (“Independence Day,” Sept. 13).

Is your piece meant to be pure fiction?

A brief online search would answer your questions.

School for Independent Learners is a true school with students, including my own. It’s been around since the early 1980s as first a tutoring center, and now a fully accredited high school for over a decade.

Its warm, family-like environment, mastery-based approach, exquisitely qualified academic faculty and one-to-one teaching format make it unique. You’ll see it teeming with students, some who attend full time and others who come to take courses alongside their work at Los Altos High and other local high schools.

Every piece written about the children of our town must be considerate and accurate, and yours was neither.

Debbie Newhouse

Los Altos Hills

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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