High school stadium lights get go-ahead | November 16, 2018 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - November 16, 2018

High school stadium lights get go-ahead

Contentious meeting ends with school board's unanimous backing of $1.3M plan

by Kevin Forestieri

Mountain View-Los Altos High School District board members unanimously agreed Tuesday night to move forward on a plan to install field lights at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools, following hours of comments from a sharply divided crowd.

This story contains 1043 words.

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Email Kevin Forestieri at kforestieri@mv-voice.com


2 people like this
Posted by Right after that pesky matter of an election
a resident of Slater
on Nov 16, 2018 at 1:52 am

A day after the election, Donald Trump dumped his Attorney General and installed a politician-conman to do his bidding. Locally, the politicians on the high school board waited until a week after the election to express support for stadium lights at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools. And some wonder why politicians are distrusted and a third of eligible adults do not even register to vote.

3 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 2:40 am

Recall Baby!

21 people like this
Posted by YES YES YES!!!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 5:14 am

Nimby-ism can only stop things for so long when the betterment of the community is being fought for.
This is FANTASTIC news! Whooot!

4 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 7:37 am

"FANTASTIC" news because people who live nearby will now be miserable for several nights a week during the school year? Why are schools spending money on lights for sports and not for education?

10 people like this
Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 11:46 am

It's about time. This is great news for our high schools.

8 people like this
Posted by Rah Rah Rah
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 12:43 pm

"because people who live nearby will now be miserable for several nights a week during the school year?"

Oh please. Those few people will be miserable a LOT more than several nights, and over many more things than simple field lights.
It's what they do, and they seem to be really good at it.

1 person likes this
Posted by Facts
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 1:19 pm

The LAHS site is 10 acres smaller than standard for a 2000 student high school. The district puts well more than 2000 students there, even though MVHS campus is larger and has fewer students.

I don't think people realize this but it can be brought up in the CEQA analysis. An obvious mitigation is to reduce the enrollment at LAHS.

The difference between this site and St Frances is stark. There are no adjacent houses by St Francis. The closest ones are separated by entire streets and rows of office buildings. The difference with LAHS is that the backyards of homes abut not only the campus but directly the place the campus has placed the football field. In other nearby districts, they have relocated the football field not to be so adjacent to back yards.

The insistence on lights can lead to a lot of other things. The comments on here gloating about the planned lights are not well informed. The situation is not resolved. It's not over yet.

7 people like this
Posted by Interested Party
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 16, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Disappointed the Voice would print a misleading title for the article. Scroll down to the end and you will see we are a long way from getting lights. Many steps need to take place and then money will be an issue. I attended the meeting and nobody suggested that putting in lights would change the entire school culture. It's one positive aspect. To compare MVHS to Pinewood was ridiculous. Also a speaker alluded to a "silent majority" against lights. As far as I can see anyone was invited to attend a voice their opinion.

Like this comment
Posted by All for School Spirit!
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Why does the MV Voice print the very misleading headline: "High School Stadium Lights get the go-ahead" when the last 2 paragraphs of the article state that Tuesday nights decision "does not amount to approval of the lights... and at any point prior to committing the funds for installation - the board could decide to reject the proposal or head back to the drawing board on policies for appropriate use of the lights"?

Tuesday's night meeting did moved the proposal further but it still has a far way to go "38 weeks" for the final approval. By printing headlines like this, the Voice is clear on its position but unfortunately may stop community members from voicing their own opinions- either for or against, because they now believe the lights are a done deal. And, that would be a travesty.

2 people like this
Posted by Approval
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm

If you followed this, the school board (which is populated by many long term incumbents) approved this before. Then they put it on hold until after the election, with comments that made it seem they were reconsidering. This is left out of the story. Given the history though, this action does constitute an approval. They released the hold. The details may have changed from the previous approval, but it's hard to tell. There was a non-Brown Act committee that was supposed to be formed to develop the planned hours of operation. That's what the neighbors want input on. If you look at surrounding districts that recently added lights, they had much stricter rules than the district here is talking about. They didn't do this out of pure altruism. There are legal requirements, and not just CEQA.

Another reason this is an approval is that the district is set to spend something like $300K on the planning effort. Probably it's actually more. So while they can call this off, that will be wasted money, and they did OK the superintendent spending like that. That's not chopped liver.

School spirit is one reason they have been saying they need this. That's what's ridiculous, not the comparison to Pinewood. Only one speaker compared it to Pinewood and was quoted also referring to school spirit and calling that part of the culture of the school.

Like it or not, what's been happening is that the culture of the school has gotten more studious and academic. That's been misinterpreted as a reduction in school spirit. Adding bright lights and making noise on the football field later at night is not going to reverse the academic emphasis. It's sad that these bogus arguments are used. The scheduling benefits are minimal. The school has like 3 million instructional hours in a year. Kvetch about losing 1000 of them. Probably 1000 are lost by kids going to the restroom.

11 people like this
Posted by But seriously....
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 7:19 pm


(grabs popcorn and awaits enlightenment).

14 people like this
Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 7:19 pm

There is a long list of valid reasons why the lights are needed. School spirit is near the bottom of the list. The lights will benefit numerous sports teams (boys and girls) as well as marching band.

6 people like this
Posted by SNSimonson
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 9:26 pm

This article is completely wrong. Nothing can happen to install these lights for many months, and not before there is an environmental impact report. That's exactly what the board member explained at the end of the meeting. That the reporter would report this story this way shows me such bias. Why is there an assumption that this WILL happen rather than an assumption that the issue is being explored?

The idea that the lights are somehow going to create community spirit is to me farfetched. Even if it's not, one fact is clear: nowhere have I seen in any of the documents from the district any statistical proof, formal study, academic finding that school spirit is related to playing sports and musical instruments at night. My parents wouldn't have let me go to sports games at night during the week.

The worst part of this whole proposal is what it has revealed to me about my neighbors, some of whom have been aggressive and dismissive. I had to think long and hard before even posting this as I fear that others will attack me and accuse me of not being community minded or being selfish or not supporting kids. None of which is true. At the school board meeting, it was interesting that the two men who engaged in this behavior both were middle-aged white men who did not remove their ball caps when they addressed the board. One man in particular was very aggressive, even threatening, I thought. I was stunned. Our forests are burning, we can't go outside and this is what is important?

1 person likes this
Posted by Paul William
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 17, 2018 at 12:04 am

There used to be field and tennis court lights at Los Altos High which allowed the neighbors to play tennis and soccer on the fields during winter which was really nice!

1 person likes this
Posted by It'll be fine
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2018 at 5:44 am


3 people like this
Posted by Object to Environmental Report
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 17, 2018 at 10:46 am

Neighbors and anyone else who wants to stop or limit the use of stadium lights (and other changes) must object to the environmental report, if inadequate, OR GO HOME and whine there. Look at the "project" to be approved, think about and raise any concerns about environmental effects. Adopt by reference all other objections received by the School District so you are in a position to sue. The point is not to sue but to force the District to consider, avoid and mitigate the environmental impacts. Otherwise, don't be surprised when the RAP CONCERT starts right after the football game concludes.

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

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