Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - February 22, 2013

Letters

Report is no surprise

Editor,

Sad to say, the findings of the U.S. Department of Education Civil Rights Division's investigative report come as no surprise to us. We saw the exact same problems at the school level when confronted with bullying in middle school of our children, though they do not have special needs. Nor do the district's oversight failures and unwillingness to treat these issues systemically surprise us. The administration is consistent in its strict (and failed) philosophy and policy of complete site-based control to avoid its responsibility to enforce best practices and systemic solutions to common problems.

It is also no surprise that it took incredibly committed, persistent and brave parents to force this issue into the spotlight, and the continuing active role of the Weekly to make the superintendent come clean. The hallmark of Dr. Skelly's tenure is his total disregard for transparency and unwillingness to be held accountable to the board or anyone else.

The only thing that would surprise us is if members of the Board of Education actually acted forcefully and decisively to address the district's failures, including calling Skelly on the carpet, instead of wringing their hands, meekly asking Skelly to please, please not do it again, and then leave him again to his own devices. We're not holding our breath on that one.

Amy Balsom and Wynn Hausser

El Centro Street

Palo Alto

Just imagine ... or not

Editor,

Reading about the development at Park & Page Mill has my thoughts racing.

Imagine getting onto Page Mill eastbound at 3:30-5:30 p.m., without 15 minutes of stop-and-go waiting, with police emergency vehicles responding at the same time and an additional 300,000 square feet of office development.

Imagine getting off Page Mill, eastbound, to Park Boulevard with new traffic generated by a large parking garage, workers from 300,000-plus-square-foot office and police emergency vehicles.

Imagine getting onto Page Mill westbound, from Park Boulevard, as workers from the new office above, everyone who uses that entrance today, Police emergency vehicles and now, workers from a four-story office building at the El Camino, ahead of you do the same.

Imaging trying to get off westbound Page Mill to either Park Boulevard or to El Camino with all of the above.

Imagine a clogged California Avenue with one lane each direction and folks trying to find an alternate route to their favorite shop, with all of the above!

Imagine the underpass flooded.

Imagine not! We don't need another $100,000 study, just imagine!

Imagine moving out of town for some peace and quiet, like we used to have here.

Imagine all the public benefit to these developers being bundled: They develop, but put the train underground!

Lee Brokaw

Hanover Street

Palo Alto

Breach of trust

Editor,

In your reporting of the Palo Alto School Board finding out about Superintendant Skelly's "transparency" issue regarding the bullying at a school, you did not address the elephant in the room! How can the school board trust him when he does not inform them of important matters such as this? What else has he not informed the Board about?

I should think they would discipline, perhaps even fire, him for this breach of trust. At the least, the Board should try to find out if he is hiding anything else from them.

Natalie Fisher

Ellsworth Place

Palo Alto

Room to play

Editor,

It's appalling that students across the freeway in Ravenswood District don't have the money for science, art, music teachers. But Paly gets more room to play.

I agree the Paly Gym is old and needs a rebuild, but $5.5 million for a wrestling room? What do you need for wrestling besides a few mats? Did no one see the news that wrestling is no longer an Olympic sport? It's already offered at few universities. What will that room be used for in the future when high school kids in Palo Alto don't want to wrestle anymore because it won't lead to college scholarships?

Sue Allen

Grove Avenue

Palo Alto

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