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Parents call for Friday night lights

Original post made on Sep 6, 2017

When it comes to football at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools, light is always in short supply.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 10:37 AM

Comments (36)

27 people like this
Posted by Ballot Measure
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Its VERY sad and VERRY pathetic that there are no lights on our fields. I would support a process started where the VOTERS have a say instead of a handful of whiny neighbors and the Council who seem to be holding up progress?


14 people like this
Posted by Lights are Bad
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm

This article overlooks several obvious facts. One is that the other schools in the county have also not had lights for most of their history. Second is that while the schools have 20 acres of fields available during daylight hours, only 1.3 acres of football field with artificial turf would be lit under this proposal. The added field time would be limited and there are questions about adding extra use to artificial turf. To think that community groups are going to get time on the field is ludicrous. Third is that with a 100 foot setback, which would be required due to the bleacher locations, the height of the lights would be 100 feet, not 70 feet. Forth, the
reason there are no frosh/soph teams is funding and interest related. Back in history there were such teams, and there were no lights at that point. Interest among students
in high school football is waning nationwide. In our area with affluent parents
focused on academics, the interest is below average. It could be that this attempt
to revive the past is destined to failure anyway. This type of event is a curiosity for today's students. Interest will wane over time. The high schools have been
there for 60 years or so, and we got along fine without lights all this time.
At a time when the realization that high school football players suffer some permanent
brain injury, we don't need to glorify the activity with $1.2 Million in funding.

Finally, a big impact would be felt from the desired goal of increased use of the football field later at night. Mountain View High recently had a night game with
temporary lights, and the disturbance lasted past 11pm. There was no crowd control
and there was a lot of traffic late at night on residential streets which are not
well suited for such traffic even in the daytime when visibility is better.

The motives of those pushing this are strictly


14 people like this
Posted by Lights are Bad cont'd
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:08 pm


The motives of those pushing this are strictly for football. At a time when
there is evidence that high school football players are suffering permanent
brain injury, there is not need to glorify the activity by extra funding. $1.2
Million could be better spent, as could the operational costs of running these
lights and managing these late night activities.


6 people like this
Posted by Rich
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

This is such a bad idea. I have no interest in supporting more kids getting hurt playing football. This is not 1960.


11 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm

@Lights are Bad: 1) Why did you continue your post just to repeat what you said at the end of your original one? 2) your premise about affluent parents pushing their kids away from attending games, the games at St. Francis (closest local example I can think of) are HUGELY attended and popular, and you don't get much more affluent and academically minded parents than that.


5 people like this
Posted by YES, LIGHTS!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Wonderful idea!

This made me chuckle as a side note:
"One is that the other schools in the county have also not had lights for most of their history."

If one of my employees came to me stating his first compelling reason for doing or not doing something is because others do or don't do it...well, he'd be fired next opportunity ;)


8 people like this
Posted by LIGHTS in Texas
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Those pushing the lights are indeed citing as a reason the fact that over the
last few years, other school districts in the county have finally added
lights after not doing so for decades.

Now what they are doing is copying the state of Texas, probably based on
the movie and TV show "Friday Night Lights'" It's a matter of pop culture
glamorizing and idealizing this idea of the small community coming together
around the local high school football team on Friday night after dark.

Never mind that Texas has a terrible educational system and high rates
of teen pregnancy and so forth. We need to "Progress" to be more like
Texas.


12 people like this
Posted by No need for lights
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

$1.2 million for lights for football? Forgetaboutit!

Just more time for kids to injure themselves.


14 people like this
Posted by Keep it with no lights
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 6, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Mountain View High School is deep in a residual area that doesn't need the disturbance of lights at night. This is not a new discussion. It goes back to when they first opened as Awalt High School. Neighbors had the same complaint then when the subject came up and weren't shy to let the school know. At that time, Mountain View High School on Castro Street did have lights.

Now with lights comes a lot more problems. Just ask anyone who lives around St. Francis and they can tell you when an evening sports event is on, since we can hear the announcer like he is in your very back yard. Bands, crowds cheering and even starting guns sound loud and clear. End of game traffic noise is common late at night.

The poor MVHS neighbors put up with enough having the school in their neighborhood. Give them some peace at night and use the money where it can benefit the whole school, not just a football team.


19 people like this
Posted by Lighten Up
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 6, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Lighten up you guys. (Couldn't resist) Those of you who bought a house near a high school, tsk tsk. You knew there would be associated activities. It's like the people who bought houses around McKelvey and then complained about the noise and lights. They are just having fun, let them. Have you forgotten what is like to be young? If they keep the games to Fridays and Saturday nights, that seems reasonable. I lived in the Cuesta area for 10 years and heard the noise from St Francis. Personally, I am not into football, but it made me smile to hear all of those people having fun at a high school football game. It almost made me want to go!


2 people like this
Posted by Lights Rule
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

That's why other schools draw such big crowd. I say let the citizens VOTE! Where do I sign, we need this on the ballot. Let the town decide, not those with the special interests.
Yes, listen to all those people and students having a BLAST on a couple friday nights per year. What an outrage, all those people having such fun on so few nights.


3 people like this
Posted by Be considerate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 6, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Ha. Ha. It's not like there is no other problem besides upset neighbors being ignored by the petition. The whole thing is dishonest. Its time to look at why football receives so much funding out of tax dollars. They want to ask for bond money so get serious. Dont waste a million plus on such a dubious frill. There ate 2000 kids at each school. How many attend these events?


11 people like this
Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Wow. The NIMBYs are even out trying to justify denying basic amenities for high schoolers. These aren't Google employees. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


They're high schoolers. Stop driving them onto the train tracks and let them at least try to live a well-rounded life before adulthood. You old people don't even go outside at 11pm.


25 people like this
Posted by Lights - YES!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

A lot of mis-information is floating around regarding installing lights at both high schools. First, our two high schools were initially built to serve student bodies of plus/minus 1,000. Today both schools stand at plus/minus 2,000 students. With more students there is more demand for extra-curricular activities ranging from marching band, to the fine arts, to athletic teams that didn't exist at our schools 30/40 years ago including field hockey, badminton, and lacrosse (boys and girls, varsity and junior varsity teams). Although demand for these activities has increased the space needed to host them has not. Both high schools are land-locked and have limited field space - this is especially acute at LAHS. Given adding more field space is not possible since there is no space left, both schools need to get better utilization out of the space they have - hence the drive for lights. The focus on lights has been the football fields as they are already turf versus natural grass and are lined for the most sports - so although this will definitely allow for night-time football games it will dramatically help winter and spring sports that have to contend with a very narrow window of time available for practices in the Nov - March timeframe and often get rained out when they are on the grass fields that are closed when it rains. A lot of the objections I have seen floating around are not based on facts. It is possible to be excellent in academics and athletics (Stanford and St Francis come to mind as examples). Guidelines can be agreed on to make sure that lights are used in a reasonable way. Money is not really an issue as the MVLA School District has ample funds and is supported by one of the wealthiest business communities (Google, et all in Mountain View) and residential communities (Los Altos Hills) in the country. Although this will affect the neighbors directly around the schools, other communities very similar to ours (Menlo Park, Saratoga, Palo Alto, San Mateo) have all installed lights at schools that are surrounded by residential communities and everyone has survived and many neighbors have found it to be a nice benefit to be able to go across the street and get a jog in at 6:00pm on a December evening after work. Lets not let a small, noisy minority rooted in the past stop an improvement that will benefit the entire community and move us into the current century!


2 people like this
Posted by Lights Irrelevant
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2017 at 12:00 am

St Francis High School is 1800 students on 25 acres, and yes, they have lights.

But both public high schools are on 40 acre sites, and they have a similar
number of students and have for years now. What consumes space on the sites
is the buildings and PARKING LOTS. Parking is excessive at Mountain View High,
way more than at Los Altos High. In any event, not long ago Mountain View High
had some added new buildings built and they spread them out and only built
one story. Too bad they didn't go for 2 stories. Obviously, it was bad planning.
Only one tiny building at Los Altos High is 2 stories, but they are gearing up
to ask for another bond measure. If they replace low slung older wings with 2 stories,
that makes for more students and better space utilization.

The fact is the high schools have enough land according to generous California
practices to accommodate 1800 students without any use of 2 story buildings.
40 acres is a LOT. They include use of 10 acres for PARKING and driveways.

In 2010-2011, the enrollments were MV 1816 LA 1660
In 2012-2013, that changed to MV 1851 LA 1728
In 2015-2016, that changed to MV 1871 LA 2044

It's the height of disconnect to argue that the main purpose of high school is
P.E. What an irresponsible position to argue. Obviously the state feels
the biggest use should be for parking. St Francis uses much less for parking.
Imagine that, they run bus service and encourage car pooling rather than
every student driving.

No, I don't want to pay $1.2 million to light up the neighborhood at night
just so 1 acre of field can be used at night, which is impractical anyway to use
more than maybe one added hour.


5 people like this
Posted by Lets have a VOTE
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 5:26 am

One resident, one vote. We'll take it off the msg board where the same few posters pretend to be different people.

We all pay taxes, lets put it to a VOTE!


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

Two story buildings for schools is a great idea, but not original. The Old Mountain View High School on Castro Street was initially two stories.


5 people like this
Posted by Seriously
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:09 am

Please don't expect me to vote for another bond measure, or more tax dollars, for any local schools if this is how they want to spend our money. If you want to install lights, let those families who support sports pay for them. There have to be other much more important ways to spend taxpayer money. How about on education!


3 people like this
Posted by Lets have a VOTE
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:18 am

I won't ask for your vote, just that you have an equal say in the matter, the same as every other voter. I won't solicit support for it or measures to block it, I will only solicit that the voices of all voters be heard in this matter.


2 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

If the MVLA board chooses to proceed, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be required, which will likely show the loss of property values for surrounding homes. A loss of even 5% would be more than $100K per home, which brings the total cost to many millions of dollars...way more than the $1.2M cited by proponents. So, if you think $1.2M is ridiculous for night football, How about $10M, $20M? BTW...MVHS and LAHS have held night games at Foothill College for years, a venue which can better handle traffic and parking. One of the main reasons sports booster organizations want games held on the high school campus is to reap a few hundred dollars of revenue at the snack shack.


4 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:14 am

Gary is a registered user.

Lights for what? Not football. Los Altos and Mountain View have two the the worse football programs in the area. See Maxpreps.com. And they have always played under Friday night lights at Foothill College or away games. The only good reason for lights could be for night school: to handle the doubling of students stemming from the City Council's wholesale addition of more jobs and housing in Mountain View. During the night shift, students could sit in class on the grass and in the stands. Will these newcomers - mostly from other countries - have children who want to beat their brains out playing American tackle football? One hopes those parents might know better. The high school board would never put the question to voters. Why? Because it would raise larger questions including why tackle football - with its lifelong injuries - is still being played in 2017.


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Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2017 at 9:47 am

True is a registered user.

HS football should be played under the lights. My school had them and we played a large number of San Jose schools that didn't. To the man, every opposing player that played on our field enjoyed the experience.

When you hold games later in the day on Friday more parents of the players, band and cheerleaders are able to come. More students from both schools are able to come. More members of the surrounding community will be able to come (as they do for St Francis).

When games are held at night there is a pageantry to it, a specialness to it that isn't found in broad daylight.

C'mon...put up the lights. Go to a game or two. It's fun for everyone.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Gary is a registered user.

@True Did you read the post you followed? MV and LA play under the lights at Foothill College and when playing an "away" game at night. There is no shortage of lighted stadiums. All games could be played under the lights NOW.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Gary is a registered user.

I just looked at the schedule for Los Altos High on Maxpreps. LA is 1-2 with 7 games left. Four of those 7 games are under lights - including an October 13 meeting with Saratoga High at Foothill College. Foothill is located at 12345 El Monte Avenue in Los Altos Hills just west of Highway 280. Check it out. Plenty of lights.


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Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:24 pm

True is a registered user.

Yep. Read it.

So all of their games are essentially away games. That sucks for the players, the band, the cheerleaders, the parents, and the people that live nearby who might enjoy taking in a game on Friday night (lots of my neighbors go to St. Francis games even though they don't have kids there).

It would be interesting to see what the transportation costs (and any fees paid to Foothill) are for the "home" games at Foothill vs the cost of some stadium lights. Are there concessions at those games at Foothill? Does Foothill net those proceeds or do the schools? What proceeds might the school earn with night games on their own campus? Can the ROI on the lights be reached in a reasonable amount of time?


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Gary is a registered user.

And I just looked up Mountain View High on Maxpreps. The Spartans are 1-2. Six of the 7 remaining games are at night under lights. Only the annual meeting with Los Altos is set for an afternoon clash. I will try in a minute to determine why.


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Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:29 pm

True is a registered user.

....and hey, maybe with a little home field advantage the kids might have a better record.


...really not sure why their record seems so important to you.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Gary is a registered user.

So the MV v. LA game is Saturday October 28 at 1:30pm at Los Altos. Of course, many lighted stadiums surely were available that Saturday night. Why they opted for an afternoon game is something a reporter could ask.


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Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

True is a registered user.

Maybe they wanted homecoming to be...ya know....at home?


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Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

@ Gary --- Thanks for trying to talk sense into True
@ True --- The distance between downtown MV and MVHS is 3 miles. The distance from downtown MV and Foothill College is 4 miles. VTA (52 line) runs between downtown MV and Foothill college at night. VTA does not run a bus to MVHS at night. So, which venue is better suited to students? Regarding, St. Francis, they regularly play LaSalle, one of the best football teams in America. Maybe that is why Gary brings up team records.


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Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm

True is a registered user.

Ok...show of hands.

Those opposed to lights at our local HS's....how many of you live within 1mi of one of the campuses?

Let's call it a NIMBY poll.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Gary is a registered user.

I don't live nearby. Neighbors of the high schools should be concerned. In fact, when the first high school bond measure was proposed 20 years ago, the school bureaucracy assured neighbors there was no plan for lights in the football stadiums.


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Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 13, 2017 at 9:30 am

True is a registered user.

Concerned? About what? Excess tuba noise at 1/2-time? Really aggressive cheerleaders? Those paper banners that the teams run through before the game?

I didn't know HS football could be such a threat.


1 person likes this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 13, 2017 at 10:29 pm

Gary is a registered user.

Attend night games elsewhere and see the threats. Even though MV and LA boosters seldom would have reason to cheer and the bands might infrequently be moved to play, the opponents could bring plenty of noise during and after games. Alcohol and other intoxicants are in vehicles parked for blocks. Pedestrians are at unreasonable risk. All of that to glorify to a sport for fools getting dumber with every blow to the head. How about teaching your children more useful activities such as self-defense. They may need the training to get home after attending night high school football games.


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Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

Info. There are more lighted games at MVHS scheduled this year. September 29th, October 6th and November 3rd. These are all 7pm games at MVHS that will need the diesel fuel lights each time.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 17, 2017 at 9:32 am

Gary is a registered user.

Okay. Let's see how it goes on those three nights. How many people attend? Where do the vehicles park? How many students are arrested for DUI (it will be officially kept secret)? What noise is let lose on the (neighbor)hood?


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