Allow homeless students to sleep on campuses
We have read that nearly 20% of Foothill and De Anza students do not have housing. They couch surf or sleep in their cars.
We think it is a great idea to allow the homeless Foothill and De Anza students to park on campus in the designated parking lot(s). The fact that they are attending college is a positive indicator that they are trying to improve their lives. College is challenging enough for students without worrying about where they will sleep, shower and use toilets, as well as the safety factor.
Having to move their vehicle every 72 hours is time consuming. The campus gyms could provide showers and toilets. Campus security officers could at least provide a vestige of safety. The college could provide garbage cans and regular pickup, and portable toilets when the school is closed. The library is open late, as is the Student Center.
That said, we can see that strict rules must be in place: No loud music after-hours, no trashing the place, no fighting, no pets and no drugs or alcohol can be allowed.
Administrators will have to consider the rights of the other students and the public in allowing this to happen.
If this could be made to work with no negative impact on neighbors and other students, it would be a tremendous gift to the financially struggling students whose only problem is that they are too poor to afford housing in this expensive area.
Karen Druker and Bernice Moos
Los Altos Hills
Downtown parking used as wedge issue
The Town Crier’s Aug. 7 editorial is excellent (“Downtown needs to get over parking fixation”). It is beautifully written and compelling. It is also brave to point out how parking has been used as a phony wedge issue to impede or prevent good and proper improvements to our community.
The city’s current parking ordinance is outdated, unreasonable and inappropriate for a city wishing to have a “village” character. The current parking ratios envision a sea of asphalt with far more parking spaces than what is needed to support the downtown and the community.
When the Citywide Parking Committee was nearing a recommendation for safe and sane parking standards, similar to those used throughout the Bay Area, it was unnecessarily disbanded. Thankfully, the former city manager, former planning director and former city attorney were also gone shortly thereafter. Yet even after the parking recommendations were vetted by outside parking and transportation professionals, and found to be appropriate and forward looking, their adoption was derailed, apparently over the threat of litigation.
A vibrant downtown is an important part of a livable community. We should be doing things to support downtown, rather than bowing to bullies.
Disbanded committee perpetuating ‘half-truths’
This is in response to the letter by Kim Cranston and others regarding findings and recommendations of the Los Altos Citywide Parking Committee (“Reforms offered to increase vibrancy,” Aug. 14). A look at the facts of the committee demonstrates the following.
1. The committee was handpicked by Jean Mordo, and the majority of the members were downtown property owners/others tied to commercial development. All four signatories to the letter are former members of that now disbanded committee.
2. Based on accusations from Friends of Los Altos, an expert engaged by the city determined that the committee had been holding illegal meetings in violation of California’s Open Government laws. The city council passed a resolution formally condemning the illegal meetings.
3. The committee spent little to no time evaluating the need and feasibility of adding parking by constructing above/belowground facilities. This despite a Chamber of Commerce analysis that concluded additional parking would be required and that recommended downtown property owners fund part of the cost.
The former members of that discredited committee attempt to perpetuate misstatements of facts in their letter. There was no “loss” of 292 parking spots, as the vast majority of those were temporary parking spots created prior to construction of the new building at First and Main streets, coupled with their refusal to take into account the 129 public parking stalls provided by Safeway. We would prefer that Mr. Cranston et al. deal in facts, not half-truths.
I believe that a thoughtful, thorough analysis of facts and information is required before the city reduces the parking supply and increases the likely number of cars in the downtown.
President, Friends of Los Altos
Former chairman, Los Altos Planning Commission
Why value cats over coyotes?
Regarding the Aug. 7 Town Crier article “Coyote kills highlight potential perils for outdoor cats”:
What about outdoor cats as predators?
There’s more predation by outdoor cats on wildlife than on the cats. Not just in numbers, but by total weight, I’ll bet.
If we are to value cat welfare ahead of that of coyotes, what about the many small furry, feathered and scaly creatures that cats catch?
I say this as a cat lover whose dear old boy is supervised when roaming in the yard.
Ample evidence of harmful RF emissions
The following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.
Thank you for your courage in passing wireless regulations Aug. 5.
There is a tsunami of reasonable evidence and research worldwide showing the harmful effects of existing 4G radio frequency (RF) emissions, and that 5G will be much more dangerous.
Los Altos’ own attorney is trying to intimidate you with phrases like “enhanced remedy” (“enhanced remedy” is a euphemism for totalitarian government action without due process).
She also said the RF emissions would be within safe limits established by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is beholden to the wireless carriers. More importantly, there is no impartial local government agency that uses instruments to monitor RF emissions.
The 9/11 terror attacks were used to justify the relinquishment of our constitutional rights with the Patriot Act. Natural and man-made disaster response is being used to justify the relinquishment of our residents’ health with AT&T FirstNet.
This looks like a sweetheart deal between AT&T and the FCC.