Letters to the Editor: Downtown vitality, encryption, unifying country

LAPOD encourages downtown vitality

Following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.

Los Altos Property Owners Downtown (LAPOD) congratulates the new council and looks forward to working with you in the coming years.

LAPOD is the only group whose total focus is on representing commercial downtown property owners. Our goal is to keep a healthy, vibrant downtown, and we are working with tenants to help them navigate through the pandemic. Unfortunately, during this COVID time of challenges, there are 13 vacancies on Main and State streets, not counting the two unfinished buildings, at the top of State and at lower State.

Many landlords are forgiving or discounting rents, and continue to work with tenants in an effort to help them stay in business. As the landlords are working to help their tenants on one side, on the other side some landlords are experiencing a hardship working with their unyielding financial institutions in order to fulfill their financial obligations.

We consider the council teammates in our efforts to keep the downtown strong. We hope we share with you the following goals.

• To maintain tenants through actions by the city in hand with the downtown business community. This strengthens the Los Altos community as a whole, making it a great place to live and raise a family.

• To continue the good relationships LAPOD has developed over the years with the council and staff.

• To continue working with the city to implement the recommendations laid out in some of the professional studies commissioned by the city, including the Downtown Vision plan, identifying what are best practices – one of these being the parklets.

LAPOD Board of Directors: Kim Cranston, Robert Hindman, Mel Kahn, Emeric McDonald, Bart Nelson, Kent Nelson and Liz Nyberg

Encryption thwarts criminals, terrorism

It’s about time! It’s long overdue that police radio communications were encrypted.

The Town Crier’s article on the subject (“Los Altos PD to encypt radio system,” Jan. 27) identifies only two rather innocuous-sounding groups of people who monitor police radio traffic using commercial scanners and smartphone apps: journalists and “neighborhood watchdogs.” However, there are two other rather important and not-so-innocuous groups that also monitor police radio traffic: criminals (especially sophisticated ones) and, potentially, terrorists.

For decades, criminals have used police scanners. Why? To gather information about police staffing levels, deployment, location and tactics. Such information can obviously be used in operational planning and implementation by both criminals and terrorists.

The article tells us that the California Department of Justice has mandated encryption to “prevent identity theft and give privacy to crime victims.”

That’s all well and good. But I would hope that Sacramento had two additional even more important reasons for the mandate: (1) peace officer safety; and (2) making it more difficult for malefactors to plan and carry out their attacks.

John Fennell
Los Altos

What will Democrats do to unify country?

As I listened to President Joe Biden’s inauguration speech, it was impossible to miss the overriding theme: Unity, Unity, Unity! We all need to work together! And the president renewed his pledge to “heal the divisions” in the country. But one might ask, “What will the Democrats actually do to heal the divisions?”

Will they rescind the rushed, unjustified second impeachment of former President Donald Trump?

Will they repudiate and attack the hateful voices that label the 73 million people who voted for Trump as “racists,” “fascists” and “domestic terrorists”? Will they at least repudiate their celebrity friends, like Alec Baldwin, who call for Trump’s murder?

Will they pass laws to pressure Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media to stop censoring conservative views?

Will they work with Republicans for increased enforcement of our laws against illegal immigration, to avoid another flood of low-skilled, impoverished people?

Will they temper their enthusiasm for large tax increases, to give U.S. businesses a fighting chance at revival?

Will they continue Trump’s policy of pressuring Red China on its illegal trade actions, to get at least a few more manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.?

As the Democrats attack global warming, will they go after China, the largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions (at almost twice the level of the U.S.), or will they continue to harass industries in the U.S., which has consistently decreased its carbon dioxide levels since 2007?

Call me a cynic, but I estimate the chances that the Democrats undertake any of these unifying actions at approximately zilch.

John McDonnell
Los Altos, past president, South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition

 

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 [email protected] 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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