Palo Alto should preserve joint animal services
I am disappointed that the Palo Alto City Council still has not approved a plan to contract with Pets In Need to provide animal care services.
When the city of Palo Alto conducted an audit of its animal services in 2015, it found that the shelter was cramped, unsanitary and potentially dangerous for animals.
The audit also showed that having local animal services is important to Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents, and that the majority of people are excited by the prospect of a public-private partnership like the one proposed.
Negotiations between the city of Palo Alto and Pets In Need began more than three years ago. Meanwhile, the existing shelter remains inadequate. Now is the time for the city to bring resolution to this project. We must give local residents an animal shelter they can be proud of, and animals in need the care and attention they deserve.
The city of Palo Alto must move quickly to finalize the agreement with Pets In Need.
Friends of the Palo Alto Animal Shelter
If land initiative passes, development ‘will die’
The city of Los Altos has spent much effort developing a Downtown Vision plan that would add vitality to our downtown.
Like most Los Altans, we believe our downtown needs more vibrancy to survive, especially as shopping opportunities are increasing nearby.
Some of the great ideas of the Downtown Vision project are live theater, an outdoor dining hub and affordable housing for some in our community who are in desperate need of less-expensive housing. These proposals generally depend upon developing some of our downtown parking plazas through private-public partnerships, and replacing the parking with underground or structured parking.
Should the citizens’ public land initiative pass in November, the hope of any of these developments proceeding will die. Developers will not pursue projects that require a public election. The uncertainty and delay will cause developers to avoid Los Altos and go elsewhere with their exciting ideas.
We have lived in Los Altos for over 40 years and have seen many ups and downs in our downtown. We are excited about the current vision and hoping for its adoption by the Los Altos City Council. We believe that the opportunities it presents would be far superior to the present look of acres of asphalt in our many downtown parking plazas.
Why move forward with ‘backward’ water policy?
When I moved to Los Altos from Switzerland 20 years ago, I was surprised to see how much asphalt and cement covered our city’s ground.
I wondered why water-capture solutions were not used in Los Altos. It looked like the problems of rain runoff pollution and water scarcity did not exist. I then understood that because of the low population density of the U.S., pollution here was not felt as a pressing problem as it was in Europe.
However, 20 years later, the Bay Area is much more densely populated, and it is now very well established in the water management scientific community that reducing paved surfaces is a key strategy to reduce water pollution, prevent flooding and replenish the aquifer.
With reference to the Town Crier article “It’s not easy being green in LA, or is it?” (June 27), it is inconceivable – and, I would even say, irresponsible – that a Los Altos City Council commission recommends a mandate installing asphalt swales for remodels affecting 50 percent or more of a home.
Why should Los Altos move backward with its rainwater management approach with a policy that not only is bad for the environment, but also will negatively impact our neighborhoods’ visual appeal?
Angelo De Giuli