Town Square

Mump and circumstance

Original post made by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Jun 16, 2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW residents are normally an easygoing bunch. Rarely does something on the pages of the local newspaper get them too riled up.

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Posted by Aaron Schuman
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 17, 2009 at 5:02 am

Do more with less: make more use of free lance photographers and writers.

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Posted by GSB
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 17, 2009 at 6:47 am

I was surprised as well that a photo of LAHS was featured instead of MVHS. I was more surprised that the Los Altos Town Crier did a great piece covering all the high schools and prominently featured pics of the high school graduations.

Mistakes and missteps happen. This one just hit too close to home.

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Posted by Nick Perry
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Nice write-up Don. Those angry calls and messages are from folks who don't seem to have a clear understanding of our city's high school situation/history. Which makes sense, given how confusing it is.


Mountain View High on Castro St. serves all of MV/LA.


Los Altos: Los Altos High Knights
Mountain View: Mountain View High Eagles


Most Los Altans: Los Altos High Knights
Most Mountain Viewers: MV High Eagles (on Castro St.)
Southern MV/LA*: Awalt High Spartans (on Truman Ave.)

*El Camino Real was the dividing line


MV/LA west of Miramonte/Shoreline: Los Altos High Eagles
MV/LA east of Miramonte/Shoreline: MV High Spartans (on Truman Ave.)

1982 was the last year there was a "real" Mtn. View High that was filled with mostly Mountain View residents and a "real" Los Altos High filled with mostly Los Altans. Awalt (today's MVHS) was a mix.

Back in 1982, the district made a choice to make the campuses of Awalt and Los Altos High equally shared by both the Mountain View and Los Altos/Hills communities.

Actually, it wasn't much of a choice...

The district was on the verge of being classified as racially segregated by the State in the late 1970s. One way or another, they needed to split the diverse population of Central/Northern Mountain View in half in order to integrate the campuses of Los Altos High and Awalt High. That, coupled with declining enrollment, led to the closure of old Mountain View High on Castro St. and the splitting of Mountain View in half so that our student population could be used to integrate Los Altos High, which otherwise would be around 80% White.

Our attendance boundaries do not at all match with the names of the high schools. The names are historic relics. In fact, there was talk of changing the names to reflect this new reality - but instead the district decided to mix old traditions. They took away Los Altos High's mascot and school colors and, to the chagrin of alumni, swapped in the mascot (Eagles) and colors (blue and gray) of that campus's former arch-rival, Mtn. View High. Then, they changed Awalt High's name to Mountain View High but kept the Spartan mascot.

You have to remember that at the time, Mountain View residents strongly alligned themselves with the colors blue and gray and the Eagle mascot...and had been doing so since the early 1900s. People were also a lot more rah-rah about high school sports and spirit at old Mtn. View High because it was such a long-time community institution. Transferring the colors/mascot to one campus and the name to another was meant to ease the pain and make Mountain Viewers feel allegiance toward both the ex-Awalt and Los Altos campuses. Can't say it worked too well judging from the reactions I've heard from alumni.

Which brings us to today. The symbolism of the colors/mascot at Los Altos High is lost on most residents of Mountain View today - leaving many to incorrectly assume that the Voice should care more about what happens at MV High. Nope - like Don says, that would be unfair to the 50% of Mountain Viewers whose neighborhoods have been assigned to Los Altos High for 27 years.

And if you want to get real nit-picky, the Los Altos campus is actually closer to the center of Mountain View and where most Mountain Viewers live. Conversely, despite the name, the current MVHS is *barely* inside MV's city limits (right on the border) in a part of town that is practically indistinguishable from Los Altos.

But I wish the Voice all the best in covering both of the city's high schools equally in the future!

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm

USA is a registered user.

Some random thoughts:

* Aaron, so what are you doing next week?

* "MOUNTAIN VIEW residents are normally an easygoing bunch." Well, OK, that is probably true verses some other communities in the Bay Area. I am just glad that I am not the one having to deal with all those Polifrone article comments.

* GSB, sorry but the Voice was busy with more weighty topics than those that typically occur in the sleepy burg of Los Altos.

* This is a much better editorial than last month's Brain Day article. 'nough said.

* You should write an article / op-ed piece about the print news business. That could be an interesting inside look.

* Nick, that is a good, balanced, fact-based, dispassionate description of the history of the secondary education system in the greater Mountain View area, but a young guy like you needs to get out a little more often.

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm

USA is a registered user.

In last month's editorial comments, I made fun of Brain Day. I was wrong. At the time it looked stupid. When Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga, a divining rod for stupid ideas, endorsed it, it pretty much sealed the deal.

As it turns out, it is not stupid. It is evil. Web Link

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Posted by close reader
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2009 at 2:13 pm

For a second there thought we were going to see the slightest hint of humility out of USA.


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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm

USA is a registered user.

Lack of humility when dealing with the forces of the Evil Brain Day Killer Cultists?

Curses! You got me there. Well played, sir. I am humbled.

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Posted by "Just Think About It"
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm

You do call yourself the "Mountain View Voice".............Seems you would concentrate on happenings in Mountain View ..................................Just Think About It...............