Support reach codes for greater good
For those residents who are objecting to the proposed new reach codes, I would like to call their attention to parallels with the current difficulties of fighting an invisible enemy: the coronavirus.
There were many countries that were slow to react to this insidious threat, resulting in health consequences due to the slowness of adopting preventive actions.
There are many who are slow to recognize the current threat to younger generations posed by the invisible causes of global warming. Los Altos’ adoption of all-electric building codes for new construction is a small but valuable step in the right direction.
Discussing government overreach regarding these new codes might be equivalent to discussing government overreach in directing us to frequent handwashing for protection. I remember those who objected to the laws requiring the installation of seat belts in cars and the banning of cigarette smoking. Yet these have been a benefit for the greater good of all.
For those objecting to the new codes, I would ask them to put aside their objections, fact check their misinformation, and, if only to support the future of their children and grandchildren, turn their hearts and minds to allowing these new codes to be passed.
Pandemic brings out best and worst in teens
Several weeks ago, the Town Crier highlighted two teenagers volunteering to go shopping for seniors and other vulnerable individuals. This paper also shared news about teens sewing masks for their neighbors. Bravo to these Los Altos teens who have risen to the occasion and seek to be of service to their community. These are the future leaders of America.
Unfortunately, on a recent weekend, I met a different set of teens while out on a neighborhood walk. This group of eight teens congregated on a narrow street, blocking the passage. I waited patiently and eventually asked them to pass by. One of them shouted at me, “This is a public street!” Another taunted me in a sing-song, “Are you afraid of coronavirus?” Finally, they moved to one side of the narrow street and as I passed, three of them faked coughing in my direction. These are the future losers.
I wonder about their parents. Who are the people who let their teens out on nonessential business during a statewide shelter-in-place quarantine?
Time to reconsider transportation finance
While everyone was preoccupied by the virus scare, I was horrified to learn that Caltrain is proposing another sales-tax increase.
Vote “no.” Over the last several elections, voters in Santa Clara County have passed multiple tax and fee increases, including gas taxes, two bridge toll increases, and three Valley Transportation Authority sales taxes.
It is time to reconsider transportation finance. When the virus scare began, the congestion problem went away when companies began encouraging staff to work from home. Let’s encourage more working at home when the virus scare is over. This tax would not be necessary if there were not as much demand.
If Caltrain really needs the money, either divert existing sales tax from the overpriced BART extension to San Jose or raise taxes on the rich tech companies that are responsible for the congestion problem.