Thanks for the great article sorting out what is going on at Moffett Field ("NASA: Fighter jet is for research," Oct. 31). And kudos to the NASA leaders for figuring out how to use their relationship with the H211 principles to defer operating costs and maintain control of Moffett landing rights.
Does Lenny Siegel, director of the Moffett oversight group, or City Council member Laura Macias really think that the citizens of Mountain View would be better off having the feds (FAA) control landing rights? The last few months should convince anyone that the fewer things you rely on the federal government to "help" you with, the better.
I also enthusiastically endorse the "cozy" relationship between the H211 aviators and NASA if it means more prosperity for the residents of Mountain View. Ms. Macias does not define what negatives can come from the relationship, but unexplained inferences are standard operating procedure for a politician.
Thanks NASA for not holding your hand out for some assistance from the citizenry to retain local control of Moffett.
Dawning of a new era
From this election I believe Mountain View residents clearly can see three trains pulling into our station. All three won by a decisive margin (approximately 52 to 47 percent), which should be interpreted to mean that the people really, really want these things to happen, even though they face considerable odds.
First, the high-speed rail proposition swept in even though the economy looks like a train wreck. Travel infrastructure is once again exciting. Second, the traditional definition of marriage won again, this time over the intimidating state Supreme Court ruling. Third, our cities, states and country have made a historic and heroic decision for change by selecting Barack Obama as our next President. His leadership will be felt by asking, "What can you do for your city?"
I think these three expressions of the people's will are truly pivotal for the new direction our city, our state and our country are taking. Like Obama, I feel more hopeful now than in many years. The political power is moving to the center, where reason, cooperation and judgment dwell.
School funding solutions
Our Democratic Assemblywoman, Sally Lieber, recently sent a policy brief to her constituents about school finance problems in California.
Many students in our public schools are Latino or black, and those students do not do as well academically as white and Asian students. Her solution is to get more money into those schools which have large numbers of these minority students.
I believe it would be good to examine the root cause of the problems of minority students. I have been involved in tutoring minority students for about 15 years, and, as Ms. Lieber explains, many Latinos do not speak English at home. Also, many parents of Latino students cannot help their kids with academic studies. If we amended our state constitution to require illegal aliens to pay non-resident tuition, many parents would take their kids back to their home countries for schooling and we would have less funding needs.
A second means to improve this situation would be to amend the federal Constitution so that babies born to illegal aliens are not automatically U.S. citizens, but citizens of their mothers' countries. These are some things that Ms. Lieber could initiate.
The majority of black kids are born to unwed mothers, and many such mothers have several kids. They are too busy working and raising kids to help with homework. If we could convince black girls in our schools to get married before having kids that would alleviate that problem.
It would be a great help to schools with minority kids if the above solutions were enacted and the need for more school funding would be lessened.
Former student finds teacher on Zeppelin
I enjoyed Daniel DeBolt's Zeppelin piece in the Oct. 31 Voice ("Zeppelin touches down at Moffett"). I hope that Ben DeBolt is the same man who taught third or fourth grade at Green Gables Elementary School in Palo Alto and ran the after-school electronics club.
If so, please say hello and thanks for being a wonderful teacher and really nice guy. I have very fond memories of trying to wind that wire around the cylinder for my crystal set.
In any event, your article is exactly what we need and enjoy in a local newspaper.
No hope for affordable rent
I know a lot of Mountain View people are pleased with Barack Obama's election, and it has brought them hope. My Mexican neighbor (and friend) pays about $1,800 a month rent on his townhouse, and he thinks (hopes) Obama will bring his rent down.
I was a successful "affordable rent" landlord for 35 years in three cities (including Mountain View) and two counties. Trust me — there is no hope coming in Mountain View.
Obama, like any other reasonable government leader, wants to keep Google employing 10,000-plus people here. Jobs, right now, are far more important than keeping the unemployed, retired or subsidized citizens in high-quality medium density housing.
The City Council has been wise in tearing out the older, cheaper, less desirable housing units that prevent the younger, more educated people with far more financial potential from displacing the "dead wood" people (like me) who have lived here and stood in the way of "progress" for years.
Mountain View needs higher rents, more tax revenue, higher utility rates, less services and much higher resident turnover.
Just ask our city manager, our mayors (past and future), our city staff members or any of the City Council candidates. I think they would all agree with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President-elect Obama: former residents should get out and make room for the future. Go Google.
N. Rengstorff Avenue