LASD should reconsider purchase of 10th campus
I want to thank the Town Crier for continuing to educate the community on the $150 million expenditure of Measure N bond funds.
On multiple occasions, I have proposed less-costly alternatives to what seems to be the Los Altos School District’s preferred option, which is to buy a 10th site in Mountain View’s San Antonio commercial area. The lowest-cost option, which will have positive benefits for all of the district schools, is to repurpose the existing 116-plus acres and facilities to accommodate a 10th school.
I strongly suggest that the district reconsider this option for a 10th site because it is fraught with legal costs. As reported in the Dec. 20 Town Crier (“LASD zeroes in on 10th site, but landowners raise objections”), the target property’s landowners sent their lawyers to the district’s board of trustees meeting to say that they would fight this option.
The Los Altos School District’s historic pursuit of legal recourse regarding Bullis Charter School was not very productive. Seems like only the lawyers won.
I was on the 2012-2013 district superintendent’s Enrollment Growth Task Force and am currently on the Citizens Oversight Committee (COC). At the last COC meeting Dec. 13, I asked that the following paragraph be added to the meeting minutes.
“The option of buying land in the North El Camino (NEC) area seems like a dead-on-arrival option. The target property owners are already saying they will fight the purchase. The role of the COC is to provide oversight to the taxpayers to assure bond funds are being spent wisely and pursuant to the wording of the bond. If LASD pursues this NEC option, I view it as a breach of their fiduciary responsibilities.”
Measure N Citizens Oversight Committee member
Funding cuts to science raise concerns
According to studies, most Americans value new inventions, technologies and medical discoveries stemming from scientific research. However, despite America’s passion for science, the Trump administration proposed a fiscal year 2018 budget with deep cuts to federal agencies that fund scientific research.
The proposed cuts would undermine our global competitive advantage in the science, technology, engineering and math fields that contribute to new products, services and processes.
Although the United States – compared to European and Asian countries – remains the world’s largest contributor to research and development, our overall contribution has shrunk. Federal funding provides the necessary push to move science research from American universities and national labs to industry and ultimately to U.S. citizens.
As a middle school student in Silicon Valley, I care deeply about the continued funding of STEM fields because I want the U.S. to lead the world in STEM when I enter the workforce.
The decrease in science research will ultimately result in a workforce less prepared to create the Amazons, Googles and Apples of tomorrow.
I urge Congress, as it completes the 2018 fiscal year budget process, to reverse cuts proposed by the administration and demonstrate strong support for science research funding.
Pathways letter off the mark
In the Dec. 20 Town Crier, Donald McCauley wrote a letter that missed the mark on at least two counts (“Pathways should be debate for LAH residents”).
First, whether or not Los Altos Hills should have pathways was decided at its founding. Details on managing these pathways have been discussed by the Pathways Committee over the years, and various proposals have been presented and approved by the city council.
On a personal note, when we moved here over 35 years ago, we were not keen on donating over 3,000 square feet of property for pathways and having over 600 feet of pathways along our property lines. But we did, and we and many others certainly have enjoyed using the pathway system. It is an important part of what makes Los Altos Hills a great place to live.
Second, Mr. McCauley suggests that Deb Goldeen is a recreational rider from Palo Alto who “thoroughly enjoys her rides in our town.”
Ms. Goldeen is a teacher of an organization of children (ages 7 and up) collectively titled Kids Love Horses (KLH). They learn about horse management ranging from riding and grooming to feeding and managing manure.
The students share great camaraderie and participate in most Los Altos Hills events, such as the recent Westwind Community Barn lighting event.
Ms. Goldeen also is an active member of the Los Altos Hills Horseman’s Association.
Los Altos Hills
PA resident anticipates Foothills Park use
Regarding Donald D. McCauley’s letter: The way the city of Palo Alto’s finances are going, it’s only a matter of time before Foothills Park is turned over to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
When that does happen, I, many people who board horses at Westwind Community Barn and half of Los Altos Hills will be more than happy to “recreate” in that park.