News

Letters to the editor: Sept. 7, 2018

Readers weigh in on RVs, new school, stadium lights

Not in my front yard

I'm proud to live and work in Mountain View and often brag that I raise my kids in the most innovative place on Earth. A block from my house on Crisanto Avenue is one of the largest city-sanctioned homeless encampments in the South Bay. On any given day, there are 40 to 50 RVs bordering the well-utilized Rengstorff Park, with more spilling over into our neighboring streets. Many park well over the 72-hour code limit, run generators and discard trash, creating unsanitary conditions in our yards. Small kids run into the road from between trailers, and there is a documented increase in drugs and violent crime from the encampment.

As this is a large transient population, we cannot let our kids play in front of our house, we are picking up trash daily in our front yard and our property values are not keeping up with our neighboring cities, who create and enforce sensible laws. This blind eye approach from the city of Mountain View is negatively impacting those of us who pay rent, mortgage, and property taxes.

Besides providing once a month street sweeping, portable toilets and showers, what is our City Council and police department doing to curb this growing epidemic and keep our neighborhood safe?

Frank Wood

Villa Street

Proposed new school

The new school being planned by the Los Altos School District board in Mountain View must be a school that serves Mountain View residents first. The task force report ("Task force backs plans to move Bullis to Mountain View," Aug. 31) says that they will be recommending that the Los Altos board send Bullis Charter School to the new site in Mountain View. I believe that this is a big mistake. This plan may allow the board to move the Bullis school out of town and open up a site, but it is against the interests of Mountain View residents.

I even question the need for the additional school, except for improving convenience for Mountain View residents. Mountain View is paying a heavy price for providing a school space to give the Los Altos school district room "to prepare for future enrollment growth." It is not clear to me how enrollment can grow in Los Altos with current zoning. It is clear the school board has a long-standing conflict with the Bullis school and that may color their decisions.

The takeover of a section of a currently active shopping center is against the interests of Mountain View residents. I shop at Kohl's and thousands of residents also shop there. Closing Kohl's would be a significant reduction in shopping options for this growing city.

I have always believed that the decisions of the entire City Council are in the best interests of Mountain View residents. I hope that they will examine this plan carefully and be sure our best interests are considered first. The Los Altos school board can "prepare for future enrollment growth" by condemning other commercial properties on the south side of El Camino Real.

Jim Cochran

Thaddeus Drive

High school stadium lights

The last time parents of public high school football players starting clamoring for lighted football stadiums at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools ("Community divided over high school stadium lights," Aug. 17), I suggested in a guest column that the high school board consider discontinuing tackle football altogether because of serious injuries, including concussions. I suggested students receive training in dance and self-defense, just for starters. And as to team sports, there are many others.

Years later, the clamoring parents are back, this time citing other sports and activities that might utilize a lighted stadium. Once again, the proponents of lights are not addressing injuries and are unpersuasively downplaying the continuing availability of Foothill College for night "home" games. In fact, the local public high school footballers will play against each other on Oct. 6 at Foothill College (if healthy players can be found).

If the school board does decide to impose nighttime stadium activities on the neighborhoods, there should be expressed limits -- for example, no rap music concerts and no lights after a certain hour. If the conditions on use are not part of the project approved, neighbors would want to consider suing under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

And one last point. Donald Trump is president of the United States in no small part because students have not been adequately introduced to the importance of participating in politics -- voting and far more. In America, elections have consequences; football games, not so much.

Gary Wesley

Continental Circle

Send letters to the editor to letters@mv-voice.com.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Phil Aaronson
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm

I live near the Kohls site, and I sent my kids to BCS, though they have now mostly gone on to college and high school (my youngest is in 8th grade at BCS and will be going to the high school next year). Having a local school, be it a neighborhood school or BCS would be a tremendous resource for the neighborhood. I would have loved having a school, and weekend soccer games walking distance away and I certainly hope my neighbors will be able to enjoy such a resource for years to come.

BCS is the #1 charter school in the state, and where my children were educated. It would be disingenuous of me to not be thrilled to have it locally available. Applications to BCS will naturally shift to more from Mountain View because of its location, as fewer Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents want to cross El Camino. Frankly LASD has always been much more focused on the needs of Los Altos residents and less so on other communities. BCS will be a good fit, if that's what they choose to site there.


49 people like this
Posted by Vote them out!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Come November 6, 2018 remember which candidates are for the RV dwellers, then vote them out.

Here is a list of candidates who are for these RV'ers staying.

Siegel
Rameriz
Hicks
Showalter


13 people like this
Posted by Agree with NIMFY
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Laws should be enforced. If law says 72 hours max, it should be 72 hours. Why police can pick and choose which laws to enforce?


6 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2018 at 8:17 pm

My estimate is that way over 75% of the vehicle dwellers move their vehicles every 72 hours or even more often. Think back about that incident where the police interviewed the Youtube shooter sleeping in her car at Walmart. She was only there the one night. She was interested in a job at Youtube and that's what she told the police. She dumbly thought Youtube was with Google. So she just slept overnight at Walmart, and the police DID interview her. They left her to sleep though. This is probably happening a lot more than you appreciate. The cops know about these people sleeping in their vehicles. They are checking on the 72 hour thing in most places. You'd only affect maybe 5% of the vehicle dwellers if you stepped up the 72 hour enforcement. But it would cost a lot because you'd need to tow a lot of vehicles and that would take a lot of resources. You think these people are going to claim their vehicles? The ones that don't move for 72 hours are exactly the ones that wouldn't. And if there was more tight enforcement, they'd just do a better job of moving around. OK, so if there is a broken down vehicle somewhere then it might get towed, but how many are broken down? The 72 hour law doesn't really work with so many construction workers and others sleeping in their vehicle. It used to work back where there were still some affordable apartments around here, but those days are gone. People should blame it on the rise in apartment prices, and not on the lack of enforcement.


9 people like this
Posted by B. Bosco
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 13, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Frank Wood, thank your for sharing your thoughts.

Agree with NIMFY; Did it ever occur to you that the Mayor and Council have instructed police to not enforce law when it comes to RVs in the city? If I recall Siegel staying in paper he wants to make MV just like “Berkeley”. Well, he’s doing a fine job of ruining what used to be a clean, safe city.

Vote them out!, thanks for listing the names. People need to know who is responsible for allowing MV to become dirty, thrashy and unsafe.

I’m waiting on a Hep C outbreak like they had in San Diego.

FYI- city council forum 9/26 4:00-5:00 at google - go and find out who will do something about this


19 people like this
Posted by @B. Bosco
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2018 at 10:58 pm

You are correct. Mayor Siegel said about a month ago that he wants to turn Mountain View into the South Bath city of Berkley.

Do we really want that activism and so called "compassion" for people living in cars and next onto the sidewalks with tents and call them tent cities in Mountain View?


34 people like this
Posted by No more RVs = Got my vote
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2018 at 6:01 am

If you don't have a SOLID plan for REMOVING the RV cities you will NOT get my vote.

No more reasons, no more excuses. If you don't want to get the RVs off our streets, we don't want you in office! Listen to the people, they havn't been silent, you've just been kicking the can down the road.

I'll be listening to all candidates as they spell out their plans for getting rid of the squatters. If they side step and sound like they don't have a plan to get rid of the RVs, we'll get rid of those do nothing, ignore the people council members.


57 people like this
Posted by The people responsible for the RV problem
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 14, 2018 at 9:32 am

Please DO NOT re-elect these people. They have completely ignored one of the biggest quality of life issues in MV and one of the top concerns of anyone I've ever spoken with about it.

When the problem was just beginning, citizens sounded their concerns loudly.
The people below have done NOTHING and refuse to do ANYTHING to get the RVs off our streets. Now the issue is huge and they still sit on their hands.

If you hate how MV is turning into a mini Market Street, vote the people responsible for it out:

Siegel
Rameriz
Hicks
Showalter

BE SURE TO VOTE!


14 people like this
Posted by Inquiring mind
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 17, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Dear MV Voice
Please do your job and do a report on the RVs. Who are the people living in them? Do they own them? If not, who does own them? How much do the RVers pay in rent? If the RVers claim they own them, RVs cost a lot of money. How did they pay for them? Do the RVers have apartments/houses somewhere else? Even anecdotes would be helpful but a study of a number of the RVers would be much better. Thanks.


11 people like this
Posted by For Me, it's all about the RVs
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2018 at 6:24 am

I refuse to vote for those posted here, who have perpetuated and increased this problem.


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