Column gets bad grade from school parent
Following is an open letter to Town Crier columnist Frank Hughes.
I was very disappointed to read your recent column, “The Villaj Idiut,” in the Town Crier (“Independence Day,” Sept. 13).
While I understand that you may have intended it as tongue-in-cheek commentary, your column comes across as anything but humorous. It is both misleading and damaging.
There is ample demand for alternative schools such as the School for Independent Learners, which serves a broad constituency of students – kids with serious illnesses or significant time commitments in sports/activities, as well as those who simply want to explore in-depth an academic subject outside of their traditional school.
My own son has attended this school, as part of a small literature workshop. He loved it. It has engendered in him (a STEM-oriented young man) a love for and interest in Shakespeare that I doubt would have been sparked in any other academic arena. The School for Independent Learners is a gem of a school.
I urge you to reconsider your column and the tone with which you wrote it.
JoAnne Chung Vedati
Incorrect assumptions made about school
“The Villaj Idiut” is an opt moniker for someone who chooses to write about something with which he appears to have no familiarity. Why the Town Crier would allow such a column to be published is beyond my understanding.
Did Frank Hughes ever talk to anyone at the School for Independent Learners? Did he talk to a student who has taken advantage of it? A parent of such a student? Why would you write a published article about something that you haven’t even researched?
Mr. Hughes, you have made one assumption after the next. You are emblematic of what is going on in our society in living color right now.
I know someone whose daughter had to take a leave from her schooling due to mental health issues. Guess who provided the academic support and opportunity to keep up? The School for Independent Learners!
Mr. Hughes, did it ever occur to you that there are students who, for a variety of reasons, need an alternative to continue their studies while they endeavor to manage extenuating circumstances?
I remain stunned and appalled that such a column could appear in the Town Crier and that Mr. Hughes would want his name and photo attached to such a column.
Try this ‘trick’ to avoid idling engine
Regarding the Town Crier’s article on avoiding excess engine idling (“Resident’s anti-idling efforts fueled toward clean air,” Aug. 9):
There’s no need to leave the engine running to listen to the radio, talk on the phone or keep a call live when switching off the engine.
The following works on a number of cars with push-button start and has been tested on a 2007 Lexus and 2016 Subaru. I have no idea if this is a planned feature or a “trick,” but with the car stopped, in Drive with engine running, foot on brake and parking brake engaged, push the button to stop the engine, then put the gear lever in Park. On both cars mentioned above, the radio will stay on or an active phone call through the car’s phone connection will stay live. When done waiting/talking, either push the button to turn it all off or restart the car.
I suggest testing it at home to see if it works with your car.
David J. Russel
(No address given)
LACI project deserves coverage of all views
I am disappointed in the lack of coverage regarding Los Altos Community Investments’ update on the First Street Green to the Parks and Recreation Commission Sept. 13.
The Town Crier advertised that this presentation was occurring, and it was a well-attended meeting, with a thoughtful debate among the commissioners. By comparison, the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Commission made the front page when it “approved” the First Street Green at its commission meeting.
I hope that the lack of coverage for the Parks and Recreation meeting was not due to the outcome of our discussion, which was an approved motion requesting more information, notably a cost-benefit analysis of the plaza.
It is also worth noting that our meeting started with three commissioners, myself included, voting “yes” on a motion to remove this item from our agenda based on the premise that it was premature to discuss a proposed “park/plaza” that is still under consideration by the Los Altos City Council and Planning and Transportation Commission.
I hope that the Town Crier will give coverage of all views on this project as our residents consider whether it should move forward.
Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commissioner