Letters to the Editor – Week of Oct. 23

Kudos from former council members

As former Los Altos City Council members who had a role in enhancing the civic center during our tenures dating from 1976, when the old Hillview School site was purchased, we are perhaps more delighted than most to witness the groundbreaking of the new community center.

We congratulate the city manager, his staff and the citizens who made it happen. We especially thank council members, past and present, who kept voting to make this plan come to fruition – Jeannie Bruins, Neysa Filgor, Jean Mordo, Jan Pepper, Mary Prochnow and Megan Satterlee.

A tip of the hat also to the taskforce members who recommended the tough choices about design and facilities; they were true to the legacy of dedicated volunteerism that is a hallmark of the city.

The path to this groundbreaking has been fraught with controversy and failed bond issues – a common path for many, maybe most, enhancements in the city. The controversy started at the city’s birth, as evidenced by the small margin by which incorporation passed. Without incorporation, we likely would be part of Mountain View and would likely not have our much-cherished quarter-acre lots.

Angry confrontation met the proposals to replace septic tanks with sewers. If we had kept septic tanks longer, we probably wouldn’t have the downtown parking plazas that were built over the septic tanks. Without that parking, our downtown wouldn’t be the much-appreciated retail and dining destination.

If a previous council had listened to the active citizens group in 1976, we wouldn’t have purchased the Hillview property on which to build the community center. Nor would we have Redwood Grove or Heritage Oaks parks if that council hadn’t ignored the fact that the bond issue to purchase those properties failed and they bought these recreational treasures anyway.

So we tip our hats to city councils that faced the opposing crowds and made the city the wonderful place it is today. We know that the path of least resistance – and to re-election – is to vote with those who regularly appear at council meetings and write blogs and letters to the editor. However, it is the job of councils to represent all citizens – not just those who contact or appear before them.

The community center will host the senior center, expanded recreation classes and activities, teen activities, meeting rooms and a dining venue. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, we will not be able to imagine how we got along without it.

Marge Bruno, Art Carmichael, Curtis Cole, Penny Lave, Roy Lave, King Lear, Jane Reed, Dave Reeder and Frank Verlot

Trump is a danger to our democracy

My July 31 letter to the editor was titled “Partisan politics is not working.” My new one is titled “Trump is a danger to our democracy.”

I am so disappointed my earlier letter to the editor was so prescient. Now I believe that President Donald Trump is not only destroying the Republican Party as we have known it, he is destroying our republic.

Benjamin Franklin would be devastated. He feared the likes of The Donald over 230 years ago.

We will not be able to impeach this despot because of partisan politics and the Republicans’ control of the Senate, but we, as Americans, must vote him out of office in 2020.

John Swan

Los Altos Hills

Why the outrageous car repair costs?

Cars play a pivotal role in our daily lives; it’s crazy the cost of collision repair and even basic servicing is so high.

After a collision, I needed a new bumper, fender and headlight for my Honda Civic, for which I received a quote of a jaw-dropping $6,500. Using my amateur automotive skills, I managed to source the parts online for $500 total and repaired it myself in three hours.

Moreover, to replace worn brake pads costs $200. Instead, I managed to replace my brake pads in 45 minutes for only $60.

But the outrageous prices don’t end there. Repairing a near-invisible dent on a Tesla Model 3 could result in a very visible $7,000. Why the jokingly high cost, you may ask? Well, it’s simple – the labor cost comes in at around an unbelievable $125 an hour. Then, the number of hours lands around 27, and if it takes 27 hours to fix one fender, they better be taking a break after each screw! But this doesn’t factor in painting, which adds more hours.

These prices hike up insurance costs for drivers and make me ask: Who controls such a market?

Darian Mohsenin

Los Altos

Submit a Letter to the Editor

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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