Wed08272014

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Letters to the Editor

Adobe relocation still convenient

As a Los Altos Hills resident and owner of two lifelong Adobe Animal Hospital patients, I want you to know I am thrilled to learn the veterinary offices might get to move to the Elephant Pharm location on El Camino Real.

When I go to the vet, I almost always combine it with grocery shopping or other business in town. They are so convenient now, but I understand they are bursting at the seams. The location on El Camino Real will keep me and my money in Los Altos.

Every vet I have had at Adobe is great, but Drs. O’Day and Maxwell are exceptional. Although I hate to see them move from First Street, having them on El Camino, near so many other businesses I frequent, is much better than down by El Monte Avenue. Please urge the city council to approve Adobe’s relocation.

Elissa Hirsh

Los Altos Hills

Give public streets back to the public

I join others in their objections to street closures and no student drop-off zones near our schools.

I too am fed up with the new trend in Los Altos – partial privatization of public streets that force traffic jams onto adjacent nonprivatized public roadways. Who is authorizing all these street closures? First it was Eastwood Drive, creating more angry and frustrated drivers at the Miramonte/Covington intersection with its mix of cars, children and bikes. Now it’s Carmel Terrace. What’s going to be next?

I live on Clinton Road by McKenzie Park, and people park in front of my house when they use McKenzie at the end of the street – especially when racing to organized soccer activities. On those days, my mailbox is blocked off by cars, so my mail isn’t delivered, and water bottles and food wrappers are left in front of my house.

With the new ideology, maybe the Clinton Road neighborhood should also have signs prohibiting McKenzie park traffic on “our” street.

We can go with this process of closing one street after another and on and on. But they are public streets, maintained with taxpayers’ money – a fact that the city and some people seem to forget. They think that because they own the house, the street belongs to them as well.

I think it’s time to give public streets back to the public, especially the streets near schools that our children need to access.

Basia Baney

Los Altos

Perhaps SmartMeter not so smart

Kacey Fitzpatrick’s quote in the recent article about PG&E SmartMeters (Town Crier, Feb. 3) illustrates beautifully how misplaced hope leads to worse reality.

Specifically, you quote Ms. Fitzpatrick as saying that “SmartMeters could benefit consumers through their real-time analysis of home energy use.”

I know the operative word here is “could,” but please look at the reality.

With the old analog electric meter, you could go over and see how fast the aluminum disk was spinning. It even had a convenient black mark on the disk, possibly for that purpose.

If it was rotating at three revolutions per second, you had a problem. If it was barely moving, everything was copacetic. You had real-time usable feedback.

Contrast that with the new SmartMeter, which sometimes flashes all eights, sometimes some letters, sometimes a number of kWh, etc.

Getting a real-time estimate of your power usage now entails figuring out which numbers to subtract, timing with a stopwatch, and then dividing into the difference to obtain some estimate of power.

The number of significant digits displayed isn’t even sufficient to determine in a reasonable amount of time if you do have a small-trickle use somewhere that you haven’t stopped yet.

With this new SmartMeter for electricity, PG&E is now hiding real-time information that was previously readily visible on its analog meter.

Harald Herchen, Ph.D.

Los Altos

Los Altos – support your local restaurants

Our family was dismayed to discover that our favorite pizza place for more than 15 years, Applewood Pizza, had closed. More disheartening was to hear from the Menlo Park store that the Los Altos store closed due to the high lease.

Applewood always seemed to be very busy and successful, so is it true that the cost of doing business in Los Altos is that high? I would hope that landlords are working to keep the long-term businesses here, especially during this tough economic time.

A week later we had a delicious dinner at Il Porcino on a Saturday night, and we were the only customers at 6:30 p.m.! A few more arrived later, but it was still pretty empty.

We Los Altans need to support our local restaurants. The food and service were excellent.

On a brighter note, later that evening we listened to wonderful guitar performances from our own local Los Altans, Rusty Waite and Woody Arnold (and friends), who played to a packed crowd at First and Main Sports Lounge. There is life in Los Altos on a Saturday night!

Vivien D’Andrea

Los Altos

Rezoning downtown a bad idea

The rezoning of parts of downtown commercial zones to allow multifamily housing is a bad idea. Proponents claim the downtown is in trouble and in need of revitalization.

Developers explain that the “highest and best use” for that land is high-density, multistory condos, which yield the greatest land values and profits with redevelopment.

Unrepresented in the considerations are the interests of Los Altans who enjoy the convenience of shopping for goods and services at local establishments. If businesses are replaced by housing, Los Altans will have to shop elsewhere. We need to keep all of our retail zoning downtown.

Claims are made that increased population residing downtown will add to retail revenues, helping to support the remaining businesses.

When did Los Altans ever think that increased population was generally good for the Los Altos environment, and particularly for the downtown village atmosphere?

With all the talk about the city’s need for sales-tax revenues, it is surprising to see rezoning efforts that supplant retail businesses that generate some of those revenues.

The citizens of Los Altos have yet to express their concerns. Hopefully, when the proposed rezoning comes before the city council, our representatives will consider the interests of the residents and protect and promote all of our retail establishments downtown.

Gerry Madea

Los Altos

When will charter school stop with litigation?

I am wondering when Bullis Charter School will stop filing lawsuits.

Is it when the Los Altos School District has spent so much on legal fees that it has to close down one of its superb, top-of-the-state schools?

Is it when charter school students happily walk on the campus of Gardner Bullis, sending all the current students scattered elsewhere?

Charter school: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

At some point you need to see that five failed lawsuits and $500,000 paid by residents of Los Altos is enough.

Charter school parents: Are you understanding that the only way you’ll win this is by closing down an LASD school?

There is no other room in Los Altos. Is this what was meant to happen by Proposition 39?

Don’t say you don’t know. Please go read the proposition. Please use your influence to stop this sadness and waste.

Jenny Doyas

Los Altos

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