Open space is goal for San Antonio residents
I take issue with the statement made in the Town Crier’s editorial purporting that the San Antonio petition gathered support based on the assumption of a neighborhood school (“Questions over school site purchase,” Jan. 10).
The No. 1 issue for San Antonio is adequate parkland for the residents. From the petition background letter: “A school, with its accompanying blacktop, play structures and field space that neighbors can use after school hours and its multipurpose room that can be used for scouts, clubs and other civic uses, plus an adjoining public park, would be a defining feature of our neighborhood.” Nowhere in the petition was it mentioned that the school would be for a neighborhood school.
I also disagree with many statements made by John Swan in his accompanying letter to the editor on the topic (“LASD should reconsider purchase of 10th campus”).
This is the district’s one shot to get a school site where it will be needed for future generations. It leverages lots of outside money and creates new open space instead of taking it from existing campuses. With or without the need to pursue eminent domain, this proposal is the very opposite of dead-on-arrival.
Old Mill site owners’ lease precludes sale
As parents, the families that own the site targeted by the Los Altos School District for a 10th campus highly value public education and understand the district’s need for additional space. They are supportive of the district’s need to plan for future growth and do not wish to be at odds with the district.
However, they feel it is ultimately in the district’s best interest to develop an existing site pre-zoned for a school to ensure that the expansion is fiscally and environmentally responsible.
The Old Mill/Safeway site has been in their families since the early 1900s. They have signed a 95-year ground lease agreement that precludes them from selling the land to anyone.
The Los Altos School District has more than enough suitable acres within its own portfolio. District parents and taxpayers deserve a safe, cost-effective and modern solution today, and should not spend public dollars on a potentially long and costly legal proceeding.
Attorney for the Old Mill/Safeway property owners
Step forward for foster youth
As we reflect on 2017, many Los Altos residents like me will evaluate what we’ve accomplished in the last year and how we might make changes in 2018 to feel even more fulfilled.
We at Child Advocates of Silicon Valley consistently hear from our volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) that their work with foster youth is by far the most rewarding, fulfilling experience of their lives.
In Santa Clara County, approximately 1,500 children and teens live in the foster care system, taken from their homes due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. We at Child Advocates train and support CASA volunteers, then match them with a foster child to create a one-on-one relationship, advocate for the child’s best interests and ensure his or her needs are met.
In a life full of uncertainty and change, a CASA volunteer is often the only consistent, caring adult in a foster child’s life.
We encourage you to make a difference this year that could last a lifetime: Become a CASA volunteer for an abused or neglected child. Average volunteer service is 10-12 hours per month. This year, you can make an impact in our community – and on a child’s life – as a CASA volunteer.
Executive director of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley