Help the homeless
Mountain View is facing a hygiene and public health crisis among our homeless population because bathroom and shower facilities suddenly closed because of COVID-19. For over one week, homeless people, including families residing in vehicles, have had almost no access to sanitation services.
Almost all of Mountain View’s public and private facilities, including all bathrooms and showers in public parks and facilities such as the YMCA, have been closed. This puts all of us at risk. We need the city to immediately reopen at least one public bathroom with showers (Rengstorff or Eagle Park) and deploy more portable restroom facilities in strategic areas throughout the city.
We appreciate what the city has done so far. As of last Saturday, two portable restrooms and hand wash stations opened at Rengstorff Park, one portable restroom and hand-wash station opened at Eagle Park, and temporary hand-wash stations opened throughout downtown. This is insufficient. We must provide more bathroom facilities throughout the city to support the hygiene needs of our most vulnerable populations, and prevent an even more challenging public health crisis.
Dave Arnone, Middlefield Road; IdaRose Sylvester, Jefferson Drive; and Marilyn Winkleby, View Street
The only thing more dangerous than COVID-19 right now is our government's irrational response to it. Our societal "immune response" is driving us into the equivalent of anaphylactic shock, and will kill us as a culture if we don't dial back this insanity. We need to take a deep breath and reconsider what we are doing before we destroy the very thing we are trying to protect. Most of us will survive the disease, but few of us, and not the best of us, will survive the collapse of civilization.
Free meal program
It is exciting to read that Santa Clara County is piloting a free breakfast and lunch program schoolwide in two participating schools. Having worked with foster youth who benefit from free lunch programs, youth have shared with me that it is the stigma of participating in a free lunch program that causes them to forgo the free meal and not eat during the school day. This, in turn, decreases their school attendance and decreases their school performance.
A free meal program schoolwide would erase the stigma and create a fair playing field for all students. In a county where 1 in 3 students experiences food insecurity, this would dramatically benefit the youth in this county, both nutritionally and academically, as the correlation between physical health and academic performance is indisputable.
Erica Van Skike
San Jose State University social worker
RV lots will bring more RVs
Mountain View has decided to be a sanctuary city for RVs. The "safe parking" lots will take a small flock of existing RVs off the street so a new gaggle of RVs can move in. What shortsighted half-measure will our politicians come up with then?
Protect the Peace Corps
As the Trump administration and Congress continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, there's an important federal program whose needs must not be forgotten: the Peace Corps.
I know of Peace Corps' global importance firsthand as a returned Peace Corps volunteer. While saddened, I understood the agency's unprecedented step recently to suspend all global programs and bring approximately 7,000 volunteers home from their service. It is imperative that Peace Corps receive the necessary funds to cover its evacuation costs, swiftly provide financial commitments to evacuated volunteers, and prepare for the steady redeployment of Peace Corps programs when the pandemic passes.
It is also critical that we honor, respect and support the amazing Peace Corps volunteers from this state and all around the U.S. who come home to a different nation. As the community of returned Peace Corps volunteers rallies to support these heroes of international service, our lawmakers must also consult with Peace Corps to make sure the special circumstances these volunteers face are addressed.
Our country will rise up in the face of this crisis. And, on the cusp of its 60th anniversary, so will the Peace Corps.
Mary Ann Irvine
S. Rengstorff Avenue
Thanks to Mike and Ray
Ever since moving back to Mountain View five years ago, I have been walking my dogs every morning at beautiful Rengstorff Park.
After a couple of years of walking my dogs at the park, I sent a letter to the Mountain View Voice thanking all the maintenance people who worked to keep the park looking so great.
Since then I have learned that it's Mike and Ray who are responsible for keeping Rengstorff Park looking so beautiful. It's hard for me to believe that two guys can accomplish the job. I have a hard time keeping my small yard looking as good as the park and I am retired with time on my hands. So thanks again Mike and Ray for all your hard work! And thanks for the yard care advice you have given me from time to time.