Letters to the editor | February 15, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - February 15, 2019

Letters to the editor

Key differences in sign vandalism

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Posted by Bill Michel
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2019 at 1:48 pm

With the news about the Bullet Train, and the letter about the Caltrain
Viaduct, I just wanted to caution readers... do not search the Internet for
Kuala Lumpur MRT... the transit system that built many kilometers of
underground rail using tunnel boring machines, in less than a decade.

2 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 24, 2019 at 7:52 pm

Annette is a registered user.

About the Castilleja signs - I agree that it is critical that students feel safe at school. What I find troubling about the TRO is that: 1) there’s no indication (thank goodness) that student safety has been an issue in this sorry saga; and 2) it is a huge leap to conclude (or even infer) that Mr. Poppy is responsible for the vandalism and other bad acts that happened months after what he admitted doing. Per the Feb. 9 article, Mr. Poppy admitted to a single act of removing 5 signs last March. He owned up to it and was cited for petty theft. He claims to have had nothing to do with the other “repeated theft of and damage to the school’s pro-Castilleja signs.” The language in the TRO asks that he be banned from doing all sorts of things, including stalking, threatening, intimidating, and assaulting. Each of those is serious and bad, but the article makes no reference to any such conduct by Mr. Poppy.

I wouldn’t know Mr. Poppy if he knocked on my door, but I am inclined to believe his claim. It’s improbable that someone who has both admitted to and been cited for petty theft in his own neighborhood would turn around and do the same thing in the same area, especially knowing that both sides are using cameras and the PAPD knows him.

I wonder what’s really going on with this TRO. This community, and the Castilleja neighborhood in particular, is mighty riled up over the school’s expansion plans but petty theft of a few lawn signs is a very far cry from stalking and assault. Those are big claims that demand substantiation. Our standards are supposed to be higher than “guilt by accusation or assumption” but more and more it seems we are becoming a society that presumes guilt. This is not good.

Maybe, as an act of good faith and neighborliness, ALL Castilleja signs (pro and con) should be removed and discarded. At this point, the different opinions are known and the signs are only causing trouble.

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