Mon09012014

Letters to the Editor

Careless management harms air quality

A two-alarm fire at the Sims Metal Management Ltd. facility in Redwood City Dec. 17 floated a toxic plume of uncontrolled smoke into the surrounding neighborhoods.

Then, expedited by a slight southerly breeze, Sims Metal Management contaminated the community. The fire burned for more than eight hours, and air-quality officials advised that residents stay inside with windows closed.

This is not the first time that Sims Metal Management mismanaged its business and created a public nuisance that prompted a health advisory for residents as far away as Santa Clara County.

I recall entering a fog bank of smoke while traveling south on Interstate 280 from San Bruno to Los Altos Nov. 10. The acrid stench and sudden low visibility were alarming. After a little research, I learned that a “shelter in place” order was issued due to an uncontrolled fire at the Sims Metal Management facility.

My understanding is that since that fire, the company has implemented improved processing standards. Please note that these new procedures are not working. Several friends compared the air quality Tuesday to the air quality in Beijing and Shanghai.

I’ll breathe a little easier when businesses that repeatedly break laws are banished.

Marilee Taylor

Los Altos

Be careful on road during holidays

’Tis the season – for racing. Individuals race to the bustling malls, rabidly seeking last-minute presents, and race to the supermarket for forgotten ingredients.

All these races lead to a race for our lives – on the road. Upon my return from the airport, we had close-call accidents twice with speeding drivers.

We are lucky enough to enjoy our holiday cheer in the beautiful town of Los Altos. So, this season we can give back with kindness behind the wheel.

A fender bender or, even worse, a driving fatality during the holidays can be a shattering event. We need to consider the consequences before we race.

Alyssa Jacobson

Los Altos

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