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?
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.
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.