News

Letters to the editor: Climate change, Senate filibuster, Holiday Fund

Stevens Creek flows directly into the Bay in the North Bayshore area in Mountain View on March 4, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Living as one

I was walking on the grounds of the German International School and the Yew Chung International School and Whisman Park near Middlefield Road in early February when I saw standing near the back of a baseball field fence an egret that seemed to be quietly curious about its surroundings.

Although as it stood still and only looked with attentive eyes toward a new group of townhouses beside the fields, it seemed to somehow wish to be seen. I walked carefully around the egret without looking at it hoping that it would not leave and when I turned back after a few moments it was still staring out at the existence about it. I think that it was about two days later that I saw the long-legged white egret once again: This time it was standing across the field and near the school parking lot and a walking path and I sensed once again that it desired to see and to be among people.

This reminded me of the fact that even solitary animals that live amidst streams and marshes like the egret can appear at least in moments to wish to commune with human life, just as we find ourselves at moments seeking a connection and even a friendship with a bird or a natural animal. I saw for the first time in my life an egret several years ago in Stevens Creek, which flows past the two schools and park and is bordered by a trail for walkers and bicyclists and is surrounded by trees. I read the signs posted along the trail that note the varied wildlife in existence within the watershed of the creek, including mallards and gray squirrels which I had also never seen before on my own.

The signs stated that the health of the water of the creek as well as the plants and animals living within it depend on the conditions surrounding the creek and are significantly affected by the man-made development occurring here where we live. I was therefore surprised as well as discouraged when I saw so many new and even very large business developments being constructed in the last few years on both sides of the creek. I could not understand how all of these buildings could be approved in one general area, nor how the runoff of pollution from their parking lots could not but harm the plants and animals like the egret and the general health of each one of us who live amidst the creek. I have looked for the egret in the weeks since I saw its gentle presence but have not seen it again. I hope that one day it returns to provide anyone who may encounter it a moment of genuine peace as well as, hopefully too, the truth that no matter how solitary we feel at moments of our lives, each of us, even the varied fauna and flora and the life-giving water, need to live together as one family and take care of one another in every aspect of our lives.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

Kevin Plunkett

Easy Street

Grateful for Holiday Fund

On behalf of Mentor Tutor Connection (MTC) and local students, I want to thank the Mountain View Voice and this compassionate community for your generosity. The Voice’s Holiday Fund has had a tremendous impact on MTC and the young people in our programs over the years.

Your gift is so impactful during this year when students face tremendous challenges in all aspects of their lives. We know you understand that the pandemic and distance learning have led to increased and disproportionate challenges for the young people in our programs. Many students in Mountain View are coping with isolation, stress, and anxiety. Under these conditions, mentors and tutors have been beacons of light for students. Virtual relationships are not always easy, but with training and shared learning, MTC volunteers are finding creative and meaningful ways to support students’ academic, social, and emotional growth. And, slowly, we are beginning to see each other again, and we will never take that for granted again!

Your gift ensures that young people in our community receive the support they need — not only to get through these challenging times, but to see their own potential and envision a brighter future. Thank you for making this possible. We wish all of you the best in 2021.

Carol Olson, Mentor Tutor Connection

Pass action against climate change

It seems like we are having another year of drought in the Bay Area. And all of us living on the Peninsula remember the lightning fires and orange skies of last year. As we ease out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still need to be concerned once again about breathing unhealthy air later in the year.

In the short term, we hope that PG&E and government resources are clearing brush and taking other measures to limit wildfires as much as possible. But for the longer term we must face up to the effects of climate change in our beautiful area of California.

Recently, with Rep. Anna Eshoo's full endorsement, the new Congress introduced HR 2307, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This bill puts a price on carbon that increases over time. The bill is written to be bipartisan and use market forces to encourage the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Frankly, it's long overdue.

I encourage Almanac readers to register their support for this bill. You can write or phone Anna to help give her the backing of her constituents as she works to implement a policy that more urgently addresses climate change. You can read more about the benefits of carbon pricing online at citizensclimatelobby.org.

Rob Hogue

Menlo Park

What will we say?

What will we tell kids about climate change?

I have been thinking about how our young people will judge us when they look back on how we responded to climate change.

Will they ask if we knew in our hearts that using fossil fuels for energy would kill the planet, but we needed to wait and see the data to prove it?

Will we tell them it was so hard that we couldn't figure out how to safely transition to emissions-free energy despite knowing about a carbon fee and dividend approach?

Will they ask why we could tax cigarettes and alcohol to reduce harmful consumption but not carbon emissions?

Will we say that the oil industry was so powerful that we couldn't get any climate legislation passed?

Will they ask if we knew that many underprivileged communities, which already had so many hardships, were suffering the worst?

Will we say that it seemed OK because big oil companies and wealthy investors were driving the economy and profiting at the expense of our health and the health of our planet?

Or can we take action today that will change their questions so they instead ask how we created a clean and healthy future?

Will we proudly tell them that we advocated and supported a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend that transformed our energy economy while creating jobs and protecting the vulnerable and the environment?

Carlos Rodriguez Santiago, Citizens' Climate Lobby volunteer

California Street

Time to end the Senate filibuster

The filibuster is hot news these days. There is a lot of interest in abolishing it. Originally, it was put in place to prevent civil rights legislation from becoming law. A determined minority in the Senate can gridlock the federal government by using the filibuster and not even allow debate on a bill. Any senator can signal an objection, and suddenly the Senate has to clear a 60-vote threshold. It makes the Senate a place where little happens and bills die. Every issue you may care about will likely be held hostage by this relic of the past. Please contact your senators and ask them to end the filibuster so they can do the job we sent them to Washington to do.

Barbara Kyser

Los Altos

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

The Voice accepts guest opinions of up to 600 words and letters to the editor of up to 300 words. Send signed op-eds and letters to [email protected]

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Stay informed on important political news. Sign up for our FREE daily Express newsletter.

Letters to the editor: Climate change, Senate filibuster, Holiday Fund

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Sun, Apr 25, 2021, 8:16 am

Living as one

I was walking on the grounds of the German International School and the Yew Chung International School and Whisman Park near Middlefield Road in early February when I saw standing near the back of a baseball field fence an egret that seemed to be quietly curious about its surroundings.

Although as it stood still and only looked with attentive eyes toward a new group of townhouses beside the fields, it seemed to somehow wish to be seen. I walked carefully around the egret without looking at it hoping that it would not leave and when I turned back after a few moments it was still staring out at the existence about it. I think that it was about two days later that I saw the long-legged white egret once again: This time it was standing across the field and near the school parking lot and a walking path and I sensed once again that it desired to see and to be among people.

This reminded me of the fact that even solitary animals that live amidst streams and marshes like the egret can appear at least in moments to wish to commune with human life, just as we find ourselves at moments seeking a connection and even a friendship with a bird or a natural animal. I saw for the first time in my life an egret several years ago in Stevens Creek, which flows past the two schools and park and is bordered by a trail for walkers and bicyclists and is surrounded by trees. I read the signs posted along the trail that note the varied wildlife in existence within the watershed of the creek, including mallards and gray squirrels which I had also never seen before on my own.

The signs stated that the health of the water of the creek as well as the plants and animals living within it depend on the conditions surrounding the creek and are significantly affected by the man-made development occurring here where we live. I was therefore surprised as well as discouraged when I saw so many new and even very large business developments being constructed in the last few years on both sides of the creek. I could not understand how all of these buildings could be approved in one general area, nor how the runoff of pollution from their parking lots could not but harm the plants and animals like the egret and the general health of each one of us who live amidst the creek. I have looked for the egret in the weeks since I saw its gentle presence but have not seen it again. I hope that one day it returns to provide anyone who may encounter it a moment of genuine peace as well as, hopefully too, the truth that no matter how solitary we feel at moments of our lives, each of us, even the varied fauna and flora and the life-giving water, need to live together as one family and take care of one another in every aspect of our lives.

Kevin Plunkett

Easy Street

Grateful for Holiday Fund

On behalf of Mentor Tutor Connection (MTC) and local students, I want to thank the Mountain View Voice and this compassionate community for your generosity. The Voice’s Holiday Fund has had a tremendous impact on MTC and the young people in our programs over the years.

Your gift is so impactful during this year when students face tremendous challenges in all aspects of their lives. We know you understand that the pandemic and distance learning have led to increased and disproportionate challenges for the young people in our programs. Many students in Mountain View are coping with isolation, stress, and anxiety. Under these conditions, mentors and tutors have been beacons of light for students. Virtual relationships are not always easy, but with training and shared learning, MTC volunteers are finding creative and meaningful ways to support students’ academic, social, and emotional growth. And, slowly, we are beginning to see each other again, and we will never take that for granted again!

Your gift ensures that young people in our community receive the support they need — not only to get through these challenging times, but to see their own potential and envision a brighter future. Thank you for making this possible. We wish all of you the best in 2021.

Carol Olson, Mentor Tutor Connection

Pass action against climate change

It seems like we are having another year of drought in the Bay Area. And all of us living on the Peninsula remember the lightning fires and orange skies of last year. As we ease out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still need to be concerned once again about breathing unhealthy air later in the year.

In the short term, we hope that PG&E and government resources are clearing brush and taking other measures to limit wildfires as much as possible. But for the longer term we must face up to the effects of climate change in our beautiful area of California.

Recently, with Rep. Anna Eshoo's full endorsement, the new Congress introduced HR 2307, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This bill puts a price on carbon that increases over time. The bill is written to be bipartisan and use market forces to encourage the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Frankly, it's long overdue.

I encourage Almanac readers to register their support for this bill. You can write or phone Anna to help give her the backing of her constituents as she works to implement a policy that more urgently addresses climate change. You can read more about the benefits of carbon pricing online at citizensclimatelobby.org.

Rob Hogue

Menlo Park

What will we say?

What will we tell kids about climate change?

I have been thinking about how our young people will judge us when they look back on how we responded to climate change.

Will they ask if we knew in our hearts that using fossil fuels for energy would kill the planet, but we needed to wait and see the data to prove it?

Will we tell them it was so hard that we couldn't figure out how to safely transition to emissions-free energy despite knowing about a carbon fee and dividend approach?

Will they ask why we could tax cigarettes and alcohol to reduce harmful consumption but not carbon emissions?

Will we say that the oil industry was so powerful that we couldn't get any climate legislation passed?

Will they ask if we knew that many underprivileged communities, which already had so many hardships, were suffering the worst?

Will we say that it seemed OK because big oil companies and wealthy investors were driving the economy and profiting at the expense of our health and the health of our planet?

Or can we take action today that will change their questions so they instead ask how we created a clean and healthy future?

Will we proudly tell them that we advocated and supported a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend that transformed our energy economy while creating jobs and protecting the vulnerable and the environment?

Carlos Rodriguez Santiago, Citizens' Climate Lobby volunteer

California Street

Time to end the Senate filibuster

The filibuster is hot news these days. There is a lot of interest in abolishing it. Originally, it was put in place to prevent civil rights legislation from becoming law. A determined minority in the Senate can gridlock the federal government by using the filibuster and not even allow debate on a bill. Any senator can signal an objection, and suddenly the Senate has to clear a 60-vote threshold. It makes the Senate a place where little happens and bills die. Every issue you may care about will likely be held hostage by this relic of the past. Please contact your senators and ask them to end the filibuster so they can do the job we sent them to Washington to do.

Barbara Kyser

Los Altos

The Voice accepts guest opinions of up to 600 words and letters to the editor of up to 300 words. Send signed op-eds and letters to [email protected]

Comments

Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2021 at 1:21 pm
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Apr 29, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Egrets and Waterways
How does Steven's Creek remain a more natural waterway? There are some creekside low impact 'parks' that allow runoff to percolate naturally before going into the creek.
The most significant I have visited is near the Charleston East campus of Google. "Fitness Trail" to the East of the new 'tent'.
Web Link

There is a place called Shoreline Egret Rookery on Google property nearby. (summer)

Another creekside location is upstream "Sleeper Park" near upper end of the Steven's Creek Trail
Web Link


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.