Will ‘overreach’ plan affect property value?
So let me get this right. Explain this to me. My mom will be 100 years old in a couple of days and has lived in her (Historic Los Altos Resource) house for over 62 years. The four of us children have at varying times gone through Hillview, Covington, Los Altos High (go, Knights) and Foothill College. I spend about 40% of my time with her and the rest at my home in San Francisco.
A few years ago, as an upgrade, my mom wrote a five-figure check to replace all the gas lines in the building. She has an ancient gas stove and gas cooktop, which are not employed as much as they used to be but have cooked innumerable everyday family meals and holiday feasts. She also has a gas furnace from the ’40s that has been declared one of the simplest and most efficient, coveted old beasts by the yearly inspectors. We call it “Bubba.”
If any of these appliances were to fail and she were forced to replace them with electric ones, who would reimburse her for the recently installed gas pipes and the cost of electrical extensions to accommodate the new appliances? How would this forced work affect the property value?
But if this were to happen, we have devised a plan: During the winter, we will bypass “Bubba” and fire up all three of the wood-burning fireplaces in the house. We are also prepared to employ the vintage (1961) charcoal/wood/burning Charbroil on the back patio to slow-roast our Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas prime rib.
This “overreach” plan seems as well thought out and researched as the brilliant Cuesta Drive speed bump fiasco.
San Francisco/Los Altos
Do reach codes kick can down road?
Everyone is for clean air and water and reducing the effects of climate change. We all are told that the reach codes currently under consideration by the Los Altos City Council will help us attain those lofty goals.
But is what we are being told really the case, or does passing the reach codes just kick the can down the road?
We are a wealthy community. Our electrical power comes from areas not as well off as we are in Los Altos. What about the purity of their air and water? Isn’t that as important as ours? The reason for asking is that in our state, 49% of electrical power is obtained by burning fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas. Generating electrical power puts out huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air around these power plants. This has the same effect on our own climate change, as the plants are nearby, and moves a large part of the pollution caused by our energy consumption to regions less able to afford dealing with its effects.
Yes, California is doing a good job of generating power using solar, wind, hydro and nuclear means. But almost half of our power still comes from plants burning fossil fuels. Worse still, when I turn on my gas range, the heat is nearly 100% efficient. An electric range suffers from the efficiency of the power plant, which turns its fuel into electricity losses on the transmission lines that deliver the electrical power to us, and the electric range itself, which turns electricity into heat. Combined, these factors increase the amount of power that must be generated by as much as 20%, further increasing greenhouse gas generation, resulting in climate change and air pollution. Not a good deal for anyone.
Bottom line: An all-electric home will have a larger impact on the climate if the power used is generated by fossil fuels. About one-half of our electricity comes from fossil fuels. We need to reach a place where all electricity comes from sustainable power plants, and we should ditch the reach codes until it does.
(No address given)
Lobby for Alzheimer’s legislation
In 2017, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She is one of 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and while I am only 18 years old, my genetic inheritance may mean I am at risk for Alzheimer’s as well.
According to California’s Department of Public Health, Asian American/Pacific Islanders have seen the greatest increase in deaths reported from Alzheimer’s of any group in the state, growing almost ten-fold between 2000 and 2018. While awareness of this disease is growing in our community, participation in clinical trials has not, and Asian Americans and other people of color remain underrepresented in Alzheimer’s research. This is even true here in Santa Clara County, where Asians make up over 40% of the population.
This underrepresentation of Asians and other people of color restricts researchers’ knowledge of how approved therapies or diagnostics may work for non-whites. As a result, future treatments for Alzheimer’s may not be effective for Asian Americans like myself.
The Equity in Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials (ENACT) Act is bipartisan legislation that would increase the participation of Asian and other communities of color in Alzheimer’s clinical trials by expanding education and outreach to these communities, increasing diversity of clinical trial staff, and reducing the burden of participation, among other initiatives.
Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in asking U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo to include the ENACT Act in an Energy and Commerce Committee markup when Congress reconvenes. Silicon Valley’s diverse communities deserve nothing less.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Courteous. Be respectful, truthful, and use no threatening or hateful language.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts and the history behind a news event.
Read our full comments policy: losaltosonline.com/comments