Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - May 16, 2014

Letters to the editor

Greedy for labor

Editor,

The "Immigrant Valley" (4/24/14) article by Elena Kadvany is one-sided and on many important aspects, inaccurate.

First, Intel was founded by Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore. Budapest-born Andy Grove was an early employee and later chairman, but not a founder.

Second, Moscow-born Sergey Brin accompanied his parents who left the Soviet Union with him in the late 1970s when he was 6. Maybe there was some entrepreneurial magic in breathing Moscow air at birth, but his formative years and education were entirely in the U.S.

The origins of many Silicon Valley firms trace back to people like Terman, Hewlett, Packard, Varian Brothers, Rock, et al., who were all Americans. The concept that the valley now needs a massive influx of H-1B visa holders (who are not technically immigrants) is a relatively recent concept. U.C. Davis computer science professor Prof. Norm Matloff (web search on Matloff H-1B), who has written extensively on this subject, says, "The H-1B work visa is fundamentally about cheap, de facto indentured labor."

The sidebar in the article on immigration lawyers reminds one of Ambrose Bierce's definition of a lawyer: "one skilled in the circumvention of the law." U.S. immigration law is complex and that is exactly the way such lawyers want it, allowing lucrative billings for its circumvention.

As for the fine European H-1B hopefuls in the article from Germany, Belgium and Poland, it is unfortunate those economies don't afford them the opportunities they seek. But U.S. citizens are under no obligation to step aside to accommodate them or to satiate Google's, Yahoo's, Microsoft's or Facebook's greedy clamoring for cheap labor.

Art Dent

Sheridan Avenue, Palo Alto

Sending dead trees

Editor,

If the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is serious about passing Measure AA on June 3, they and their political associates should stop spending money on sending us dead trees (in the form of multiple political mailers). Instead, convene an emergency meeting and vote to eliminate their own compensation, including health benefits, effective immediately. This would demonstrate their commitment to fiscal prudence. I will hold onto my ballot until May 20, see if they respond.

Margaret Fruth

El Camino Way, Palo Alto

Protecting wrong party

Editor,

I find it disturbing that PAUSD would simply move a teacher, with "substantiated" sexual harassment allegations against him, from one school to another. I find it even more disturbing that he was moved from a high school to a middle school, in a special education environment, where younger students might not be as able to stand up for themselves and are less aware of boundaries.

PAUSD is sheltering and protecting the wrong party.

Suzanne Jacobs

South Court, Palo Alto

Grand Boulevard

Editor,

What a crock! Vertical stack and pack ... public transport for the masses (if you're young and frisky and don't require a bench for sitting and waiting for the bus to come) ... God help you if some thug attacks you while en route ... But cities love it cause it's a money maker for them ... ABAG — you have done us wrong!

Barbara Goodwin

Middlefield Road, Mountain View

Hazardous and ugly

Editor,

Shaila Sadrozinski's commentary in Monday's Post, "Parking hazard," while a tad overdramatized, certainly reached a sympathetic "ear." Ms. Sadrozinski correctly pointed out that the layout of the new Grocery Outlet is, or can be, hazardous.

My only complaint about the layout is simply that I don't like it. OK, I'll admit that my opinion might — correctly — not be viewed as a valid one. But wait — there's more!

I live a few blocks from the Grocery Outlet, but Miki's, it's predecessor, posed the same crummy layout, so I didn't have much hope for Miki's successor.

Miki's demise was attributed to its overreach; that is, our community didn't need another high-end grocery store, therefore we didn't patronize Miki's.

Nah — it was the butted-up-to-the-street layout of the building, and the "alleyway" entrance that we were required to navigate to gain access to the store — that's what did in Miki's.

I hope that our community will recognize that architecture that jams buildings up against the street is impractical, ugly and unacceptable.

Ruben Contreras

Waverley Street, Palo Alto

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