Poor lighting poses public-safety danger
In October, I took a walk in the early evening in our neighborhood. As I ventured through the darkened streets onto Parma Avenue, my right foot landed in a pothole (or uneven pavement surface – it was too dark to see), snapped, and I landed on my left side on the street. Lying in excruciating pain on the concrete in total darkness, I prayed no car would come in my direction. Luckily, I had my phone with me and managed to call my husband.
That night, I fractured my right ankle and injured my left elbow, hip and knee. I have been homebound for the last eight weeks, unable to drive, go to work, pick up my children or do any housework, including cooking. If it were not for the incredibly supportive network of friends and family that stepped in, it is unclear how we would have managed.
My misfortune highlights an ongoing issue regarding the poor lighting in Los Altos. This has been a concern to us, as well as to many neighbors and friends who live in this city. City planners cannot presume reliance on individual flashlights to solve the problem. Rather, as a responsible body tasked with protecting its citizens, it must act to minimize the potential for accidents. This is akin to adding stop signs with flashing lights, which has been done at several busy intersections within Los Altos. With the noted increase in car break-ins, packages stolen off front porches and clear risks to personal safety, the lighting in Los Altos must be improved.
While I certainly favor the “village feel” that our city has to offer, the threat to personal and public safety is serious and must take priority. Increasing the number of current “village-style” street lamps would be one way to preserve the city’s character, while simultaneously improving safety.
Dr. Tmirah Haselkorn
City shows ‘bad faith’ regarding ADU ordinance
Los Altos Community Development Director Jon Biggs claims the recent accessory dwelling unit ordinance changes proposed by city staff and approved by the city council were “in response to recently adopted state legislation,” etc. (“Nothing misleading about city’s revised ADU regulations,” Nov. 14 Town Crier).
No other city in the state, not even those adjacent to Los Altos, passed the extensive ordinance changes this city did. If “state law required” those changes, as claimed by city representatives (including Mr. Biggs), why has the city failed to respond to our requests for a public discussion and independent investigation following our presenting them evidence – from no less than the city’s own records! – confirming city staff (including Mr. Biggs), Mayor Jean Mordo and the city attorney worked in concert to misrepresent, mislead and misinform the city council and us residents using state law as false pretext?
Mr. Biggs, by citing “housing crisis” and “state law,” is merely attempting to obfuscate, mislead and cover up what we believe are fraud and bad faith by public servants and those we elected to oversee them.
This is a very serious matter, one involving breaches of the trust we residents place in our public servants and elected representatives. Only an open and public discussion and independent investigation would repair and restore our trust and confidence in city hall and the city council.
For the record, we are in support of accessory dwelling units and believe they are part of the solution to the housing crisis.
LASD/BCS boards: Consider all possibilities
Following is an open letter to members of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees and the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors.
The Los Altos Women’s Caucus asks you to rise to new heights of governance and good faith, putting aside personal divisions, as you pursue a lasting plan for school facilities, as they apply to all the children of the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School.
Everyone recognizes that a healthy, robust school system is a very desirous and vital community asset. As parents, we hold varying views about what is best for our children, as every one has their own uniqueness. We ask, “Isn’t it reasonable to embrace our distinctive situation – learn from each other and offer choices that make all our schools model programs?”
We recognize the wider community is desperate to fairly resolve the district/charter school facilities issue. The animosity between the groups has gone on too long, and makes the future of possible funding issues become ever more challenging.
We ask that both boards support a common willingness to work civilly and fairly, without inflammatory words and accusations, and to consider all possibilities. Clearly, serious compromises from both sides will be necessary to reach a mutually acceptable and long-lasting solution. We are confident that to proceed in this manner would be welcomed by many, as a sign of your resolve to work together to reach a common goal.
The Los Altos Women’s Caucus, along with community groups, plans a public event in February on building a collaborative resolution. We hope that representatives from your boards will attend.
We thank you for your service and dedication to our school community.
Members of the Los Altos Women’s Caucus – Robin Abrams, Marge Bruno, Neysa Fligor, Duanni Hurd, Penny Lave, Sally Meadows, Susan Mensinger, Debby Meredith, Cindy Murphy, Mary Prochnow, Jane Reed, Vicki Reeder, Brenda Taussig, Emy Thurber and Marie Young