Bird exhibition proves a feather in museum’s cap
It’s the year of the bird, and the Los Altos History Museum timed it perfectly with the exhibition “Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway.”
Open now, the display explores the seasonal migration of millions of birds navigating by instinct. Sadly, the birds face habitat loss, pesticides and a changing climate, and many species will become extinct.
Why do we care? Birds are endlessly fascinating, often brightly colored, sing cheerful songs and we can get close to them. At a recent bird sketching class at the museum, John Muir Laws connected the dots for us. We can get close to birds because they can fly. They can easily escape, and that makes them almost fearless.
We also care for more practical reasons – hawks and owls eat rodents, smaller birds eat bugs and weed seeds.
Birds also are an indicator of the health of our environment, or as the “Peterson Field Guide” puts it, “If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble.”
The Los Altos History Museum will host a talk on birds and two more sketching classes in support of the exhibition. Pay us a visit – we always enjoy the company.
For more information, visit losaltoshistory.org.
Los Altos History Museum
BCS, LASD are not on ‘equal footing
In her Feb. 7 letter to the editor on the subject of school facilities, Jill Jene suggests that “LASD cuts, BCS chooses.” This proposal places the district and Bullis Charter School on an equal footing, which is not justified based on their standing in the community.
The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees is publicly elected by the entire district constituency, accountable to the electorate and responsible for the well-being of all district students. The contrast with Bullis Charter School governance is striking, with a board selected for their commitment to Bullis Charter School alone, without public input or accountability.
Transparently pro-Bullis Charter School candidates have stood for the Los Altos School District board in the last three election cycles, and all have been rejected by district voters.
For Bullis Charter School to have an equal say in the use of our public facilities, its board should be publicly elected and subject to public review in the best interest of all district students, not selected to support its own narrow interests.
Absent this, the Los Altos School District board must be recognized as the only democratic institution with the interests of all K-8 students in our community as its mission.