Compassion for RV dwellers
I am appalled by Frank Wood's letter "Not in my front yard" (Letters to the editor, Sept. 7).
He complains about the RVs along Crisanto Avenue, which are the homes of many families who are not as lucky to have a house as he does a block away from the RVs. He worries his property value will not keep up with that of neighboring cities because of the RVs, and wonders what the City Council and the police department are doing "to curb that growing epidemic." He exaggerates when saying the RVs generate a "large transient population" and because of that, his kids can't play in front of his house, as if that "transient population" -- that does not exist -- were a bunch of predators and kidnappers.
Both the council and police department are doing what they can within the circumstances and are tackling the drug trafficking and violent crime he mentions, in which only a few of the RV dwellers are involved. Mr. Wood should realize that in spite of it all, he is very fortunate to have a piece of land and a house on it as opposed to his fellow human beings who only have deteriorated RVs for a "home." He has the moral obligation to look at the other side of the coin and see that the RV inhabitants are an important source of needed workers in construction, roofing, restaurants, landscaping, basic gardening, janitorial, child and elderly care, etc. They don't pay mortgage or property taxes, but they do pay sales taxes. They are the most visible victims of the horrible lack of affordable housing, but they are not a disposable matter to be thrown out. We all, including Mr. Wood, are members of the great human family. They are our brothers and sisters and we have to treat them with respect and compassion based on their human dignity.
North Bayshore fees
I congratulate the Mountain View City Council on standing up to developers who wanted the city to waive the 'onerous' impact fees for housing development in North Bayshore ("City rejects tweaks to North Bayshore housing," Sept. 14). In my mind, considering the basic precepts of free enterprise, Mountain View should not be in the business of subsidizing any private development projects. Those financing these projects should be paying all of the costs they are imposing on Mountain View and its residents -- parking, traffic, noise, roads, police, fire, schools, etc. I would hazard a guess that the current impact fees are still not nearly as high as they should be. If the developers can't make the enormous profits they expect from these projects here, let them go somewhere else with their money!
I was deeply disturbed with the guest opinion by Councilwoman Pat Showalter ("Keep it civil: Don't vandalize campaign signs," Sept. 7). She suggests voters disregard crimes of vandalism bordering on hate (defacing election signs of John Inks) and just vote on "issues."
Crime (especially hate) to me is far more important than issues (like housing and traffic) that current city council members have no deep understanding of. I would hope that the vandalism to Inks' signs was not hate.
There was a time when the Voice would print photos of council candidates who violated election codes (or written pledges) on the front page of their newspaper -- that was better than ignoring crimes.
North Rengstorff Avenue
Bikes on Caltrain
As a daily Caltrain commuter who brings his bike on board the morning and evening bullet trains, I see firsthand the stress that bike cars at capacity cause. Caltrain should ensure adequate space for bikes on new electric trains and not underestimate the chaos that would ensue at each stop if people had to shuffle between cars to deboard their bikes.
Vote for change
In the Aug. 31 edition, you published a letter to the editor in support of Ellen Wheeler's re-election to the Mountain View Whisman School District Board of Trustees. I'd like to respectfully offer an opposing view.
If you believe that our school district is well-run and that its leadership is strong, it makes perfect sense to vote for the incumbents who are seeking re-election. On the other hand, if you believe that it is not acceptable to:
• Announce the termination of four well-liked principals halfway through the school year without providing any kind of justification, completely ignoring the feedback of concerned parents, and creating a problematic leadership void that lasted several months.
• Eliminate the independent studies program against parent opposition, even when its impact in the overall district budget is negligible.
• Make financial decisions, including delaying projects and implementing hiring freezes, based on calculations that the district subsequently admitted were erroneous.
• Hire and support a superintendent whose leadership and communication skills have repeatedly been proven to be lacking.
I urge you to consider joining me in voting for a change. Ms. Wheeler, in particular, has been a trustee since 2002 and I strongly believe that the district would benefit from new leadership in the Board of Trustees.
Enrique Munoz Torres
Vote for Ellen
Having worked in Mountain View for many years and as an active community volunteer, I have been very pleased to see the outstanding progress and success experienced by the Mountain View Whisman School District during the last several years. The curriculum is top-notch and students are challenged to reach their potential by outstanding educators. There are innovative programs offering great opportunities for every student preparing them to move on to the high school level.
During this time of tremendous positive change for the district, there has been one constant in a leadership role who has refused to settle for anything less than the highest quality. That person is Ellen Wheeler. Ellen is absolutely committed to every student that passes through the district. Over the years, she has worked tirelessly to put systems in place to ensure that students receive an outstanding education. She has worked to bring strong leadership to the district level and then made certain that it filtered down to all levels at every school. Her passion for giving all students every opportunity to succeed has truly set the standard for the district for many years.
I have known Ellen for almost 20 years, and I don't know if I have ever met a person who is more committed to this community. She is a smart and very creative individual and she works extremely hard on every task that she takes on. She has the highest level of integrity and will make tough decisions when they are necessary. The constant theme with Ellen is that she gets things done and gets them done well.
Please join me in supporting Ellen Wheeler for trustee of the Mountain View Whisman School District, who I'm certain will continue to guide the district on a path toward excellence.
Bruce Barsi, retired Mountain View Police captain
Thank an engineer
When you go online and seamlessly connect to your Netflix account, thank an engineer. When you use your smartphone's GPS to steer you effortlessly to a new restaurant, ditto.
Invisibly, engineers have bound together the world in many ways. Key to this world-changing effort were elegant standards, developed by engineers from many countries and companies, who cooperatively chose the best ideas, codified them and developed the technologies needed to operate smoothly despite the language, culture and geographic differences our earth and its people present.
If only our global political leaders would take a page from this astonishingly successful methodology. Perhaps we would now be sharing our nations' various strengths rather than trying to tear each other down or even destroy the world we have finally learned to bring so much closer to unity.
==B Bike cars
I depend on taking my bike on Caltrain to get to work. I have been bumped before due to lack of space, and the bike cars are often overcrowded and very difficult to navigate. Therefore, I was dismayed to learn that the new trains may have less bike capacity, rather than more. More trains and more people taking trains will no doubt mean more (people with) bikes. I am looking forward to the updated Caltrain service and fleet and hoping that Caltrain will continue to be a transportation option that encourages and facilitates bike riding.