Wed10222014

Letters to the Editor

Quarry serves fundamental purpose

So now the anti-quarryists are making a fuss about blasting (“LAH council urges county probe into quarry blasts,” Jan. 29).

How else does one get rock out of a solid formation? Where else should the South Bay get its cement? This writer hopes that the quarry and its neighbors will coexist for many more years. Here’s why.

Rock and cement products are literally fundamental to civilization. Their annual production exceeds that of petroleum. Always has, always will.

Vibrant cities need a nearby quarry and raw cement maker, just as they need a nearby airport. Santa Clara County and its neighbors have long been served by the facility in the hills south of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

A couple of years ago there was a public hearing following an environmental review commissioned by Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. There I learned that the Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. facility is the most closely monitored and strictly regulated plant of its kind.

Conservative air transport models showed downwind impacts to be well below legal limits. 

It’s undeniable that dust and noise are a nuisance for people who choose to live very close to the quarry.

How is that different from noise and soot endured by those who choose to live near long-established, still-growing airports?

Richard Feldman

Los Altos

Scale back buildings to two stories downtown

I would like to request that the Los Altos City Council seriously reconsider building heights and setbacks along San Antonio Road and in downtown Los Altos.

The hotel under construction at Main Street and San Antonio is case in point. Not only is this hotel much too bulky for the location, it blocks the beautiful views of the mountains as one travels south on San Antonio.

Allowing three stories at all, let alone straight up with no setback, is a precedent I would not like to see repeated.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation building is a much better example, with its height at two stories and landscaping setting the building back from the street.

Two stories is a much more appropriate scale for the town, or we are going to end up with no views of the surrounding hills and tunnels on our streets.

I urge the council not to approve the proposed three-story building for the corner of San Antonio and First Street. The buildings that this one is replacing are only one story. The building across the street is two stories. Three stories would be another big mistake.

Jennifer Granath

Los Altos

St. Nicholas students earn praise for service

Thank you for running the article about the St. Nicholas School students who help out at the Morgan Autism Center in San Jose (“St. Nicholas students give back through the Morgan Autism Center,” Jan. 29).

We are residents of Los Altos and the parents of a student at the Morgan Autism Center.

Our son loves his school. But our own neurotypical children can tell you quite honestly that the center is not an easy place to visit. It can be rather frightening, even if you have a person in your family with autism.

We would like to most ardently thank and commend the seventh- and eighth-grade students and their parents for their supportive work at the Morgan Autism Center.

Our family has had its fair share of negative experiences with autism, and you truly are making up for all of those injustices and unpleasant memories. You have brought us and other families living with autism peace.

Thank you, St. Nicholas School, for living well the call of Pope Francis to “reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment” (from his Message to the 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Oct. 4).

Margie and Tom Woch

Los Altos

Eyewitness corrects caption

I have just a minor correction to the Town Crier’s Jan. 22 “Peek into the Past” caption.

I was present the first day Covington School opened. I was entering the eighth grade – in 1950, not 1952.

We got to choose the school colors and the mascot. It is hard to believe that it was more than 63 years ago.

Robert Brown

Los Altos Hills

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