Editorial: Please use your real name

For years, we and our friends in the newspaper world have operated under a double standard. In print, we’re all about accountability. Letters to the editor must have names. Information in news stories must be attributed. Online, however, we’re not as accountable. In our collective desperation for people to use our websites, we’ve allowed readers to offer their feedback anonymously. As all of us are well aware, anonymity emboldens some to be aggressive, even hurtful, in their comments. We’ve encouraged and enabled that cowardice.

We want to change that. Our first step has been encouraging people to use their real names online – no more pseudonyms like “Los Altan” or “Fed Up.” We may get fewer comments, but we feel it’s the right thing to do. We encourage our newspaper friends to follow suit.


Letters to the Editor - Week of March 6

Green New Deal ensures continued existence

Recently a number of young future leaders met with Sen. Dianne Feinstein to urge her to support Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey’s Joint Resolution for a Green New Deal.

Feinstein attempted a head fake, advocating a watered-down bill that would fall far short of what is needed to avoid what scientists overwhelmingly agree is a looming planetary catastrophe.

Letters to the Editor - Week of Feb. 27

Lehigh not complying with mandates

The 2013 Sierra Club v. Lehigh consent decree requires the Lehigh Hanson Cement Plant to perform a multimillion dollar project to restore over three miles of Permanente Creek extensively damaged by the company’s mining operations, including the dumping of thousands of cubic yards of mine waste and overburden into the creek.

To date, not a single shovel-full of that waste has been removed from the creek. In fact, due to the procrastination of the Santa Clara County Planning Department, the environmental review process for the project has not even begun.

Other Voices: Miramonte bike path: No change

Following is a letter sent to Los Altos Public Works Dec. 4, 2012.

On rare occasions I ride a bicycle, and none too steadily when I do. A week ago I jumped on my wife’s bike to go from our home on Nancy Lane to Loyola Corners. When I got to the portion of the ride on Miramonte just south of Aura, I was extremely frightened and surprised at the danger to which I was exposed.

Other Voices: Avoid Hillview delays, redesigns

With our current Hillview Community Center over 75 years old and literally falling down, and years of attempts to rebuild it, our 2017 Los Altos City Council (Jeannie Bruins, Lynette Lee Eng, Jean Mordo, Jan Pepper and Mary Prochnow) made a prudent decision to move forward with plans and a financial commitment to build a much-needed new community center.

A Piece of My Mind: Housing issues hit home

I attended a discussion in January focused on the shortage of affordable housing in Los Altos. The presenters were excellent. Both had been active in development of affordable housing projects in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City. They were well informed, personable and had good visual materials to illustrate their ideas. I can’t imagine how it could have been done better. Unfortunately, I came away thinking that they had been talking all along about another city.

One of the ideas put forward in the presentations was “form-based zoning.” The gist of this idea is that zoning laws based on strict setbacks, height limitations and occupancy restrictions lead to the building of large, boxy structures that press up against every setback requirement and clash with existing residences. The occupancy restrictions prevent affordable options such as home-sharing between unrelated people, or the building of second dwellings on larger properties.

No Shoes, Please: History lessons

Everyone knows that blackface under any circumstances is unacceptable. No, you can’t do it for Halloween. No, you can’t do as an homage to your favorite African-American entertainer. And no, you definitely can’t do it because you’re just having fun and don’t mean anything by it.

Except, I guess, in Virginia, where two of the top three lawmakers in the state have engaged in this overtly racist behavior. Maybe it’s because we’re talking about the South, but one would think that given its history and the makeup of its population, Southerners would be better informed on matters pertaining to race than anyone else in the country.


Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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