‘LASD cuts, BCS chooses’
In my house, many disputes are settled expeditiously with the practice of “You cut, I choose.” This method promotes equality through game theory and decades of practice with many of the highest stakes and crucial disputes settled across America, mostly between kids.
If the Los Altos School District was committed to finding a solution, including a permanent site for Bullis Charter School, this approach could be used to settle matters once and for all.
An outsider looking in would see that the current path our school district is choosing equates to many more delays, increasing complexity by using a transfer of development rights, invoking eminent domain and inviting expensive litigation over finding a solution with existing land. Simply put, this is a waste of taxpayer money and shortchanges all of our district kids by delaying the inevitable.
“The Los Altos School District cuts, Bullis Charter School chooses” would ensure equality and reveal the faulty logic in district’s attempts to squeeze the largest school, Bullis Charter, onto a new, 8-acre north of El Camino site. One would find that the current path the district board of trustees is leading us down only complicates matters.
Our voters, taxpayers and district officials need to realize that purchasing an 8-acre site would only be part of the solution to equitably house Bullis Charter School. How will voters and taxpayers feel about spending bond money to purchase a new site to find out that it is only part of the solution, that more money needs to be spent?
The district needs to pursue redrawing attendance boundaries, move to a sixth- to eighth-grade model and cut the sites into 10 campuses and let Bullis Charter School choose. The scenarios should be made public and efficiently use existing land.
Regulating drugs is not government’s business
The Town Crier’s editorial proposing that cannabis sales be permanently banned in Los Altos makes less sense than Prohibition did (“Little chance of cannabis tax benefit,” Jan. 24). Cannabis has been shown to be less dangerous than alcohol and is beneficial for many people, as now recognized by state law.
As you may recall, banning cannabis began just after the end of Prohibition, when politicians and police felt the need for a new tool to be used to harass and arrest people. While it is reasonable to prohibit the use of drugs in ways that endanger others, regulating the possession and sale of drugs is none of the government’s business aside from collecting taxes.
I suggest that you stop thinking backward and try to deal with real problems, such as the corrupt evaluations of drug effectiveness and dangers being done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration based on drug makers’ bribery and political manipulations.
Los Altos Hills
Simple question on proposed school site
I think this is a simple question, but I’ve yet to receive a credible answer: Why are Los Altos and Mountain View going to the trouble of what will likely be a contested eminent domain proceeding against the Old Mill property owners when Los Altos has, within its city limits, a perfectly suited site for an elementary school – the old Hillview Elementary School?
A few years ago, a Los Altos City Council member called on behalf of one of the community center measures, and I asked her why Hillview could not be reconverted to provide the elementary school site mandated by the creation Bullis Charter School. I was told that since the Hillview property had been purchased by the city of Los Altos, it was not available to the school district. But now we hear that the city is working with Mountain View to obtain what is, in my opinion, a less than desirable site from a reluctant buyer, ostensibly through eminent domain. This is bound to be an expensive, time-consuming endeavor, fraught with even more legal expenses.
My guess is that the reason Hillview is not available is that the city has gone so far down the “new community center” route for this property. While I understand the desire to have a community center, I still cannot understand why it has to be sited in the midst of some otherwise prime playground property, which would be perfect for an elementary school. Surely, there might be another site for such a center – or even two smaller centers, as some residents on the southern end of the community might prefer.
My husband and I have lived in Los Altos for more than 20 years. We always have been strong supporters of public education; however, this ongoing level of civic waste makes us think very hard before we vote “yes” for bond measures in this community.