Letters to the Editor: Parks petition & more Persky

Initiative would protect parks, city-owned land

I recently signed the petition to put an initiative on the ballot to protect Los Altos parks and city-owned land.

Obviously the people who started this are forward-thinking and realize the pressures that have led other cities to sell off their parks. As a result, the citizens in these cities have passed initiatives like the one proposed for Los Altos.

The people promoting our initiative are being proactive in putting forward a measure to protect our city-owned land before our city council tries to sell it off.

I hope enough people will sign to get this on the ballot and then pass it in November.

Greg Stewart

Los Altos

Judge Persky recall is ‘misguided’

Thank you, Judge Leonard Edwards! A highly respected member of our community and former Los Altan of the Year, retired Judge Edwards spoke out against the recall of Judge Aaron Persky in the Town Crier (“Why Judge Persky should not be recalled,” April 25). He presented a dispassionate analysis of the facts and personal testimony about the professionalism of Judge Persky.

The recall effort is misguided. It arises from the (understandable) passion of the moment when we all heard about the Brock Turner sentence. But Judge Edwards’ column shows us that the sentence was in keeping both with the law and with current practice in the courts.

The State Legislature noticed the sentence, too. Legislators revised the Penal Code so as to guide judges toward more severe sentences under such circumstances in the future.

Judge Persky is unjustly accused. Vote “no” on the recall.

Duncan MacVicar

Los Altos

False assertions muddy Persky/Turner case

I am disappointed to read how our community is presenting incomplete or inaccurate information regarding the Judge Aaron Persky/Brock Turner case.

I don’t know if Persky has a long pattern of bias toward white athletes, and I would agree that this would be wrong. But when I read that Persky’s cases of “light sentencing” were perhaps plea deals, not sentencing, I worry about how we verify our assertions.

Likewise, when it is alleged that Turner has not faced consequences, I would argue that registering as a sex offender for life is a pretty huge consequence. Maybe his consequences should have been stiffer, but to suggest that Turner has not faced substantial consequences seems patently untrue. And perhaps a substantial financial re- compense for the victim’s therapy would be a more suitable and useful remedy, rather than a Turner jail sentence.

I’m sure that both the victim and Turner wish this never happened. It is painfully sad – for the victim above all, but also for Turner. It will change both of their lives forever. But perhaps it has helped our community (and well beyond) discuss sexual abuse more openly and thoroughly to hopefully reduce these extremely damaging events going forward.

Barry Smith

Los Altos Hills

Fear of more recalls proves unwarranted

Many of those against recalling Judge Aaron Persky say there is a danger that recalling one judge will result in recalling more and more judges, and that this would result in judges making bad decisions. For example, in the April 25 Town Crier article about the recall, Judge LaDoris Cordell was quoted as saying judges should not be “looking over their shoulders, factoring in considerations to save their jobs” (“Persky recall debate reveals divided picture of ‘accountability.’”)

This fear is completely unwarranted. As the article pointed out, this is only the third recall attempt in 86 years, which is hardly a number that should scare anyone. The Town Crier’s older readers (like me) will recall the same arguments being made when we voted out Rose Bird from the California Supreme Court in the 1970s. At the time, many said that it would lead to more judges being tossed out by the people. It didn’t happen.

Either you believe that Judge Persky failed to dispense justice and should be recalled or you don’t. But the argument that it will lead to more recalls is not supported by history.

Let’s make a decision based on the facts of this case, not based on what might happen – but never has – if we recall him.

Dan Walsh

Los Altos

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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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