Flags at the Palo Alto district office should be at half mast, as yet another school superintendent bites the dust.
Although he lasted seven years, the average for earlier superintendents being three and a half years, he could have continued but for a series of unexpected happenstances that may have marred his otherwise unblemished record.
His letter announcing his June 30 departure is a thing of beauty. Reading between the lines, this writer feels there is a world of unspoken pain and hurt, a sense of betrayal, inhibited anger and a feeling of failure that may well be remembered, rather than his many moments of success.
His school district -- unique in its wealth, teaching staff and administration as well as student brilliance -- is charged with the task of being everything to everyone, in a day and age when California schools have been asked, nay, told they must provide in the school setting services that not so long ago were undreamt of.
In a short period of time the schools have had to face all that the Internet and the devices invented to harvest it, have impacted on students and teachers alike. The day of the computer classroom is looming as apprehensive teachers see the handwriting on the wall.
Kevin Skelly, PhD, in his seven years as superintendent of schools, was immersed in a period of rapid change, with extraordinary demands on just how to meet and handle the unexpected between a changing school board and strong involvement from the Palo Alto and Stanford parents. It surprises this writer he lasted as long as he did.
I came not to bury Skelly nor to overpraise him but hopefully to soothe him knowing that he sincerely gave it his best.
Harvard Street, Palo Alto
Things we can do
The effects of global warming have been with us for a long time ("Rising sea level isn't in the future - it's now and right here" by Jay Thorwaldson, 2/21/14). There are physical things we can do to help minimize the damage from global warming.
One of the major contributors to global warming is world overpopulation. People are the ones who over-produce and over-consume. As couples choose to have one or two children (or none) and adopt the rest, I'm sure we will experience the results of global warming in a far less dramatic way. Maybe those results can even be prevented.
Conservation begins at home.
Walnut Avenue, Atherton
Save Buena Vista
I raised my two children in the Foothill Green neighborhood of Palo Alto, not far from the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. The Buena Vista community was, and is, a vital and precious part of our city. Can't we come up with a viable and creative solution to save this community?
There are 108 households and 129 children at Buena Vista. One-fourth of the households are in extended families who own neighboring mobile homes. Care and support of both children and elders happens at Buena Vista every day. It is a model for how we might all like to live — in real community, helping one another. Destruction of Buena Vista means children will be separated from grandparents, aunts and uncles. This network of family support is vital to the children being cared for and to the parents who rely on this care so they can work to support their families.
Just as people get upset when thinking High Speed Rail could result in loss of homes along the rail lines, many of us are also upset that homeowners at Buena Vista will lose their homes, plus everything else — schools, childcare, jobs, etc.
Silicon Valley is a place of innovation and brilliant ideas; surely creative minds plus generous spirits can come up with a way to save our Buena Vista community.
Lincoln Avenue, Palo Alto
Fountains still running?
I took a 40-minute stroll around Old Palo Alto on this beautiful day and was horrified to see that while some people have stopped letting their garden fountains run, many more have not.
Haven't they heard that we're in a drought? Wouldn't that be the easiest way to save some water, even if the water used in the fountain is recirculated? I hope the City of Palo Alto will take note and require citizens to not allow their fountains to play.
Seale Avenue, Palo Alto