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Letters to the Editor

What happened to courtesy on job site?

Several decades ago, when construction began to get heavy in Los Altos, the Planning Department agreed to show some consideration to surrounding neighborhoods. They created a handout titled “Courtesy on the Job Site” and distributed it to contractors along with their building permits. The “courtesy” involved unnecessary noise, particularly loud radios, along with a list of other requirements.

Why is this no longer done?

Joyce M. Smith

Los Altos

Find better solution for coyote problem

We read the recent article in the Town Crier concerning coyote attacks (“Local coyote problem proves divisive,” April 5).

It’s sad that some people lost their pets to these attacks. However, coyotes only killed three to five pets in all of 2016. Animal services do not expect a spike in pet deaths because of coyote attacks this year.

We are not justifying the actions of the few coyotes that did kill innocent pets, but we believe that a more effective solution can be found. This is not only our home. Coyotes live here, too.

To ensure coyote and pet safety, people should follow city guidelines and keep their pets inside. In addition, when buying a house, pet owners should consider the population of coyotes in the area before buying a house.

Coyotes are only attacking pets because the drought last year diminished their food supply. To prevent attacks from happening, people could put out food for the coyotes in designated areas, keeping them away from our pets. If all of the coyotes were eradicated, the ripples that it would cause in the food chain would lead to the drastic growth of both the rat and mice populations.

Salma Siddiqui, 12, Los Altos

Annum Hashmi, 11, Palo Alto

Noor Parak, 11, Palo Alto

Pesticide spraying needs clearer signage

I am a resident of Los Altos. I cherish Lincoln Park as a great place for my 14-year-old, three-legged dog to play.

Yesterday, Lincoln Park was sprayed with herbicide and there was not sufficient notice posted for park visitors to be notified.

On many occasions, I have seen park crews spray unknown chemicals on the grass. When I look for signs, there are usually only two or three visible for the entire length of the park. Lincoln Park is made up of 4.4 acres. Why are there only three signs? Signs consist of A-frames with a single page of white paper with illegible writing in ballpoint pen. Try to imagine being 10 or 20 feet from a curb and seeing an A-frame. It’s not something you can read easily. (When it rains, the ink smears or disappears.)

Even worse, imagine walking your dog, or playing with your child, 300 feet down the length of the park before you walk up to an A-frame and realize that you have been exposing the person you love to toxic chemicals. It’s a devastating feeling.

Now imagine that your family members were exposed to these chemicals.

People who visit the local parks have names, faces and families, and we cherish our pets. Please keep these ideas in mind when making decisions about the ways we remove pests such as weeds and bugs. Bugs and weeds don’t kill people and animals, but chemicals can. (Now, if you see chemicals as nontoxic, please ask yourself why the people who are spraying them are covered head to toe in a suit and wearing breathing masks. Would you stand there while these chemicals are being applied?)

Because I visit the park every day, I see picnic-goers, children and families enjoying the trees and public area, unaware of the dangers lurking in the grass after sprayings.

If the grass is being sprayed with pesticide or herbicide for weeds, there must be sufficient signage to prevent humans and animals from being exposed to these toxins.

I would also recommend that herbicides and pesticides be replaced with more earth-friendly products, or hand-pulling weeds.

Joyce Hsu

Los Altos

Let Congress decide on military action

The use of chemical weapons in Syria was truly horrific, but the U.S. has killed innocent civilians with our drone attacks and military actions for years.

We should be outraged by all these forms of violence against humanity. The quick military response by the Trump administration did not allow enough time to investigate the situation in Syria and consider other options, not just military ones.

Congress should decide if and when the U.S. goes to war or takes military action toward another country.

Congress decided against a military strike in Syria when President Barack Obama presented it to them, and they should be given a chance to do the same before President Donald Trump gets us embroiled in another needless war.

Barbara Kyser

Los Altos

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