Thousands of DACA recipients live in or near the city of Mountain View. These are not hidden faces. These are your neighbors, your classmates, your colleagues, integral members of our community.
With the repeal of DACA, the fate of our community is uncertain. People who have lived most of their lives in the U.S., arriving at the average age of 6, are wondering how they can build a life away from all they know, and all they have built, in a place they know nothing about.
We owe them something better than the inhumane repeal of DACA presents. On October 24, the City Council will consider making Mountain View a sanctuary city, and discuss anti-registry policies. As a sanctuary city, no city employees, including police, will assist in federal ICE raids in our community. It means we, as a community, support our people.
I encourage the Mountain View City Council to vote "yes" on becoming a sanctuary city on October 24.
A question of smart spending choices
Dear Resident: The attached bill for $46 is your share of the cost of Hurricane Harvey disaster relief. (That's the $15 billion Congress just authorized divided by 325 million Americans.) You'll also be paying a bit more for gasoline for a few months. The bill for Hurricane Irma, which will hit after this letter was written, will be sent to you shortly.
You probably didn't budget an extra $46 this month for disaster relief. Don't feel bad about that — neither did the president or Congress. They thought cutting FEMA's budget was a better idea.
If every resident of Mountain View pooled their $46 it would come to $3.7 million. Imagine how much better it would be to spend money on mitigating climate change that causes more powerful hurricanes rather than spending it on clean-up! Let your elected officials — local, state and federal — know that we should be spending at least as much on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as we are on disaster relief.
Dangerous crosswalk needs flashing lights
I was pleased to learn that the case was dropped against the driver who was involved in the 2015 accident that killed a woman walking across El Monte Avenue, near Marich Way. That tragic incident could have happened to any of us. That section of El Monte near Marich is unusually dangerous — for drivers and pedestrians.
For years, I have referred to that area as the "Bermuda Triangle." There's heavy traffic moving north and south on El Monte, drivers are entering and leaving Marich Way, and pedestrians are trying to safely navigate across El Monte. What adds to the danger are the huge evergreens near the crosswalk on the east side of El Monte. The darkness of the huge tree trunks and the shade they cast make it difficult to see pedestrians wearing dark clothing, near the crosswalk. While florescent signs have been posted to alert drivers, that area is still very dangerous.
That crosswalk desperately needs flashing LED lights embedded in the asphalt to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Otherwise, pedestrians and drivers will continue to be put at risk.
A dire prediction
Save those pictures of Houston 2017. They will look very much like those we will take of North of Bayshore housing in 2027. The elevation there is 8 to 15 feet above NGVD sea level. For comparison, parts of Palo Alto below 15 feet are within federally designated flood zones. Get ready to take in the refugees.
Raymond R. White
Will the spirit of preservation survive?
Having just returned from a wonderful trip to view the Great American Eclipse from a lovely location (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) I am here to report that our National Parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone) are still there, that the staff and visitors are courteous and friendly, and that the scenery is beyond description in its beauty.
We saw license plates from dozens of states and were completely blown away and deeply grateful that these scenic wonders had been preserved for future generations (i.e., us) by far-sighted politicians and conservationists working cooperatively for the betterment of all.
I can only hope that the spirit that preserved these national treasures can somehow seep back into our leaders' hearts, and that all Americans can continue to peacefully enjoy all of the natural wonders of our beautiful land.
Hearing on teaching materials Thursday
There will be a mandatory public hearing by the Mountain View Whisman School District on the sufficiency of teaching materials. Since there was such a fiasco last year for middle school math materials, perhaps parents would like to study the situation and participate this year.
"The Board encourages participation by parents/guardians, teachers, interested community members, and bargaining unit leaders at the hearing. (Education Code 60119)" — from district policy.
This should be at the Thursday evening, Sept. 21, board meeting held at Graham Middle School.
Caltrain's plan for bikes inadequate
In 2015, Caltrain's board unanimously approved an electric train design with increased bike capacity. However, there's a recommendation to reduce bicycle capacity, and this worries me.
Currently, there are about 77 bike spaces and 761 seats in a six-car train. Proposed electric trains with a capacity of 569 seats and 72 bike spaces is a loss to both non-bike passengers and bicyclists. However, non-bike passengers will have the option to stand — bicyclists will be bumped if the train is at capacity. We already see cyclists bumped with 77 spaces; having fewer spaces to accommodate a bicycling ridership that increases every year is a bad combination.
I recognize that Caltrain anticipates making up the difference by running an additional train every hour. However, the board approved increased bike capacity in train design, not train schedule.
Plans under consideration also put handicapped seating into the bike car. This is a poor design that makes for an uncomfortable (at best) experience for the handicapped person using Caltrain, and reduces bike capacity even further when such handicapped seating is needed. Caltrain should keep needs of various riders in mind when designing trains, so that Caltrain can continue to be the best commute service in the Bay Area.
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