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January 20, 2006

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, January 20, 2006

ReaderWire ReaderWire (January 20, 2006)

On the mark

For years I have read -- and usually disagreed with -- Walter E. Wallis' letters (No offense. The converse is probably true).

But his letter about body armor in Iraq (Weekly, Jan. 18) seems right on the mark. Eighty pounds of equipment makes one think of coats of chain-mail in museums. And 120 degrees of heat is not unusual in the summer.

Of course, this wouldn't be an issue if infantrymen were not where they don't belong.
Carolyn M. Frake
Sand Hill Road, Palo Alto

What 'win'?

I take issue with Don Kazak's column (Weekly, Jan. 11) titled "Stanford Wins Again." I don't see a "win" for Stanford here.

To say that Stanford, by agreeing to pay $11 million to build trails, has "won" is to say that the family of a kidnap victim "wins" when they pay the ransom and get their kid back.

The Stanford Foothills, like all Stanford lands, are part of the University's endowment -- a major part, in fact. Attempts to seize the Stanford Foothills for use as a public park are nothing more or less than an attempt at a billion-dollar theft of the resources of an educational institution.

Stanford's "win" consists of temporarily fending off this land grab, at a cost to the university of $11 million diverted from educational uses. That money could pay for 100 full scholarships.

Although the Trails Master Plan showed trails along the edges, the Green Foothills folks wanted trails that trisected Stanford's land, because they knew that such dedicated easements through the middle of this property would forever prevent its being used by the university.

The university management knew this too, which is why it never said it would agree to it (and said instead it would never agree to it). Now you act as though Stanford were going back on its promise, a promise that existed only in the fantasies of the Stanford-bashers.
Mark C. Lawrence
Marion Way, Palo Alto

Enriching photograph

Thank you for the beautiful and enriching photograph on the cover of the Jan. 11 edition of the Weekly depicting the young woman lighting candles in Russian Church.

The interplay of dark and light was in the tradition of the best artists. It reminded me of a painting in the Tate Gallery in London by John Singer Sargent of two little girls lighting candles in paper Chinese lanterns: "Carnation Lilly, Lilly Rose."

The similarities are most striking in the glow of light on their faces, the angle of their heads and the intense concentration.
Ray Dempsey
Bryant Street, Palo Alto

Top priority

The city's top priority should be to carefully guide redevelopment for the common good of residents.
Wayne Swan
Kellogg Avenue, Palo Alto

Honoring Hogle?

I read the Weekly's article, "Hogle obituary plagiarized by Daily News" (Jan. 11). Now the Weekly is considering taking legal action against the Daily News.

I understand that plagiarism is a very serious matter, especially in the news business. However, considering this was an obituary with an honest mistake, I feel that the Weekly is taking the matter too far.

Lois Hogle was a very fine person. I had the privilege of knowing her for a short time. Would this legal action truly honor the memory of such a wonderful person?
Rhea Sampson
Callie Lane, Menlo Park

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