Leaders must balance housing, water needs

Regarding the July 7 article “Water suppliers, conservationists outline challenges of state’s drought”:

Assemblymember Marc Berman supports the State Senate and Assembly housing bills that will greatly increase population density throughout California. He does this despite the fact that we are experiencing a long drought and facing another fire season exacerbated by the drought. The Town Crier’s excellent article notices how critical our historic drought is.

Among the experts quoted, there should have been a mathematician. We in Santa Clara County have voluntarily cut back on water usage, including wasteful baths, which has been a big help. Now multiply. Where there is one home, Sacramento wants four. Where there are four homes, there can easily be eight, allowing for “granny” units.

When the population of Santa Clara County grows, the water does not increase with it. There is not enough water. By what percentage will new and current citizens need to reduce their water? Will developers who donate to elected representatives join with elected reps who support the developers to develop water?

Please do not start name-calling NIMBY. These developments do not aim to solve the affordability problem of lower- or middle-income citizens, and the plans do not include any backyards to be next to.

Susan Embers

Mountain View

Craving competence on Foothill bike route

It’s hard to comprehend how so many people could be involved in the modifications to Foothill Expressway, and that construction drawings could be approved introducing a severe bike hazard.

This fiasco follows upon the intersection improvements a couple of years ago with flashing lights at Los Altos Avenue and Portola Drive, and the ugly “pork chop” islands now impeding the flow of traffic at Covington Road and Riverside Drive.

I concur with H.L. Mencken, who wrote, “The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to

zoology.”

Jerry Clements

Los Altos

Heed motorist concerns on Cuesta traffic bumps

I completely agree with Diana Lloyd’s letter to the editor on the Cuesta Drive “calming” bumps (“‘Calming’ bumps not very calming,” July 7).

Three bumps in one block, between a stop sign and a traffic light (Campbell Avenue to El Monte Avenue)? Really!

There have been enough complaints from drivers to heed our concerns and do something about these bumps.

Susana Krulevitch

Los Altos

LA should prioritize disaster preparation

As long-term residents of Los Altos, my husband and I find the city woefully unprepared for the possible variety of natural disasters that could come upon us at any moment.

While we understand that the city council cannot dictate actions to Los Altos residents, working with city staff the council could provide plans and recommendations for a variety of mitigating actions before they may actually be needed.

Wouldn’t we love to be seen as the Bay Area city that has made these things happen as part of forward thinking on our part?

Our suggestions include:

• Developing a plan to begin undergrounding utilities as soon as possible, especially surrounding downtown and near any essential buildings.

• Conducting fire/earthquake evacuation drills for various neighborhoods, officially organized by the city, working with the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

• Setting up at least one large, blackout-protected civic space for vulnerable people to go, in case of extreme heat.

• Holding a citywide drive to reduce water consumption by at least 10%, co-sponsored by Cal Water.

• Replacing any trees removed by the city, and a program of planting new ones (fire-resistant varieties).

As residents, frankly, we see the council as mostly tied up with picayune items and not really taking a lot of important actions to protect, and enrich, Los Altos.

Please consider some essential plans while we still have time to enact them.

Lizebeth Burch

Los Altos