Letters to the Editor, Los Altos City Council, dangers of 5G

LA council throwing citizens under the bus

The title of a Nov. 27 letter to the editor – “Los Altos City Council supports citizens” – is misleading at best.

Burning through $100,000 of our tax dollars (with no end in sight) and allowing Shaw Consulting to claim we need “3,000 square feet or larger with at least 20 feet separation from dais to speaker podium” for council meetings (without a shred of supporting data) is more like throwing citizens under a bus.

Seven former mayors think this is “doing the right thing,” claiming we “must be patient and learn the facts at the end.”

What facts will we learn at an end that’s nowhere in sight? We neither need nor want private medical facts. But we do have a right to some answers now: 

• Do other council member(s) claiming disability have problems in the council chambers – or in the Los Altos Youth Center?

• What criteria, backed by scientific data, describe reasonable accommodation?

• By what process will we reach an end?

• Why are Shaw and the city manager refusing to answer relevant questions? 

If Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins respected her constituents, she would have done the right thing by graciously accepting Skype as a realistic accommodation months ago, sparing us the cost, time and unnecessary drama of this long-running soap opera.

Pat Marriott

Los Altos

Stakes are high: The dangers of 5G

Overnight, the town of Paradise was scorched off the face of the earth. Our similarly sized city isn’t as densely wooded, but Paradise wasn’t studded with over 1,500 5G nodes – a Federal Communications Commission-approved number for our 6.47 square miles.

While touted as emergency communications tools, cell nodes may actually cause fires – they run hot and require 24/7 cooling fans. What if fans fail?

Los Altos is subject to high winds. Can our old poles and anchoring lines support additional weights during bad weather? The approximately 6-square-mile 2007 Malibu Canyon fire started when winds toppled a utility pole overloaded with telecom equipment.

Rolling blackouts and the acrid Healdsburg fire smoke compelled me to inquire if city staff evaluated our fire exposure. They have not. 

More questions:

• What fire mitigation strategies are planned?

• How are cooling fans addressed in maintenance plans?

• Are spontaneously combustible lithium-ion batteries used for backup power?

• Is it wise to install cell nodes on oily, creosote-soaked wooden poles?

Insurers dropped nearly 350,000 homeowners in California’s fire-prone areas. Who will help us rebuild should telecoms declare bankruptcy?

  Stakes are high. Whether or not you support 5G technology, please demand that telecoms do better. Residents deserve thorough public processes, exposure analyses, risk mitigation and implementation and maintenance plans.

Full disclosure: I also oppose 5G’s negative impacts on aesthetics, noise, health, safety, privacy and property values.

Bette Houtchens

Los Altos

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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