Call to action: Stop quarry expansion
The huge German mining company Heidelberg that quarries limestone and burns cement in the Santa Cruz Mountains above our homes wants to expand, again. Our local governments are waging valiant efforts to protect our health and environment. But they spar with a multibillion-dollar public global company.
This quarry and cement kiln have violated their environmental operating permits over the years. They have compromised our air quality and Permanente Creek, which flows to the San Francisco Bay. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and federal courts have intervened to establish compliance. But the law-breaking continues: The county cited the quarry in 2018 for constructing an illegal road through the mountains. In June, the county cited the quarry for allowing mining overflow into Permanente Creek. Now, these distant owners want to kill thousands of trees and destroy acres of wildlife habitat, then leave a huge pile of mining waste in their wake.
Vote ‘no’ on FHDA funding measures
I disagree with the Town Crier’s editorial on the Foothill-De Anza initiatives (“‘Yes’ on Foothill- De Anza initiatives,” Feb. 5).
Vote “no.” Over the last several elections, voters in Santa Clara County have passed multiple tax and fee increases, including gas taxes, two bridge toll increases, three Valley Transportation Authority sales taxes, Santa Clara County’s Measure A 1/8-cent sales tax, the state Proposition 30 1/4-cent sales tax and the 2010 Measure B vehicle registration fee of $10. Additionally, we’re on the hook to pay back numerous state bond issues.
All this nickel-and-diming has contributed to making the Bay Area a horribly expensive place to live; especially for people of modest means, who must pay the greatest percentage of their income on these regressive taxes and fees. Each increase by itself does not amount to much, but the cumulative effect is to add to the unaffordability of the region. The only way to stop these recurring tax increases is to vote “no.”