Publication Date: Friday, October 22, 2004
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
(October 22, 2004) Touch screen or paper? Your choice on Nov. 2
On Election Day, Nov. 2, paper ballots will be available at the polls for those who do not like to use the touch screen voting machines.
Voters will have to ask for a paper ballot, as the poll workers have been told that they can't tell people they are available.
The paper ballots will be in the same format as absentee ballots with an arrow from each side pointing to the place on the paper where you mark your choice. These ballots are called Optiscan because they will be scanned for tabulation. There is nothing to punch, and there will be no chads.
Of course, if voters want to vote in their own homes with no rush and no parking problems, they may vote by absentee ballot. They will need to follow the directions on their sample ballots for doing this. It is possible to sign up to permanently receive an absentee ballot. It can then be mailed in or voters can turn it in at their regular polling place on Election Day.
Why can't our kids play ball?
This year, our local Pop Warner football teams were not able to play their games at either Mountain View of Los Altos high schools. They played only three home games this year -- two at St. Francis and the third at Sunnyvale.
More than 95 percent of the children in the Pop Warner program attend school in the Mountain View-Los Altos district, yet they don't have access to the only places in the district where they can play football. Why?
Why don't we care enough about these children to give them the same access and field time that their peers get in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Oak Grove and Menlo-Atherton? Our community has twice as many football fields at our own public schools, more than some of our neighbors, yet our children still do not have a place to play.
We have heard that the sports complex at Graham Middle School will solve this issue, but it will not be ready next season, and will probably not be ready until 2007. In either case it is the children that are going to suffer.
As a community we have an obligation to support our children, especially with the resources of our public schools. Nearly 50 percent of the children in this program are considered "at risk" children -- what sort of message are we sending to these kids? We believe it is in the community's best interest to create and encourage high quality programs like Pop Warner for these children.
We want to engage in a dialogue to give our children what every other child in Pop Warner on the Peninsula has -- a community that supports them, and provides them fair and reasonable access to the public resources they need and are entitled to.
Jim and Leslie Lodestro
Jay Street, Los Altos
Superintendent search should be inclusive
I would like to express my concern about the delay, or even possible cancellation, of the Mountain View-Whisman School District superintendent search. Two potential board members commented last week at the League of Women Voters Forum that they see no reason to conduct a thorough, open search for a new superintendent.
An open and inclusive process works. Our newly formed district has made great strides in including many diverse viewpoints in major decisions. The list of productive, inclusive task forces includes the School Closure Task Force, Measure J, the District Strategic Planning initiative, the Middle School Task Force and the last superintendent search team.
Would the community stand quietly by if the board were to make similar statements about other issues important to our community? What if a board member said there was no need for a School Closure Task Force because they (the board) already knew which school needed to be closed? The precedent being set here does not bode well for good decisions going forward.
Good decisions work when they have buy-in from the many different groups affected by those decisions. The selection of a superintendent warrants care and time. Members of the various constituencies in the community need to have a say in the selection criteria and the ultimate recommendation of a candidate.
I urge both the current and new school boards to keep the selection process open and listen to the many viewpoints in the district.
E-mail a friend a link to this story.