Letters to the Editor: Pandemic, RHNA, affordable housing

What will we tell kids about pandemic?

I have been thinking a lot about how our young people will judge us when they look back on how we responded to this pandemic.

Will they ask if we knew in our hearts that many of them were suffering in isolation, but we needed to wait and see the data to prove it?

Will we tell them it was so hard that we couldn’t figure out how to safely get them back with their peers in the classroom for a year – or more?

Will they ask why we could reopen a restaurant or hair salon but not a school classroom?

Will we say that the teachers’ union was so powerful they made themselves judge and juror and determined it was really in their interest to stay in their room staring at a screen for a year?

Will they ask if we knew that many kids who already had so many hardships to face were suffering the worst?

Will we say that it was OK because some kids were doing OK and we tried to help some of them who weren’t?

Will we say that because some people didn’t feel safe going in-person, it meant that no one could?

Will they ask us when we decided public education only needed to work for some of the students and we were willing to roll the dice to see what the long-term consequences were for the rest of them?

Laura Teksler
Los Altos

LA council: Review housing numbers

It’s disappointing that three of our Los Altos City Council members are unwilling to look at research from the Embarcadero Institute challenging Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) numbers (“Los Altos council talks RHNA data, disagrees on housing report,” Feb. 3).

A Jan. 26 staff report says our housing growth target (RHNA) is 2,270, of which 1,290 are designated affordable. Inclusionary housing code says 15% of our new housing must be affordable. Thus, a total of 8,600 units would have to be built. As the staff report says, we will “need to rezone properties to accommodate more housing.” That could be your property.

Mayor Neysa Fligor calls the Embarcadero Institute a “controversial” group because its founders donated to slow-growth political candidates. True, but that doesn’t automatically disqualify their data.

As our representatives, the council has an obligation to look at all sides of state mandates that take away local control. If there are flaws in the Embarcadero Institute’s methodology or conclusions, dismiss them. Until then, the council is trusting our future to State Sen. Scott Wiener, proponent of four to eight homes on every lot, who took more real estate money than any other state legislator
(tinyurl.com/yesasmln).

Read the Embarcadero Institute’s study at tinyurl.com/2dl3fudn. Judge for yourself and see why nearby cities like Palo Alto are challenging the RHNA numbers. Then ask our council to do the same.

Pat Marriott
Los Altos

Institute’s housing input should be heard

I am very unhappy with the Los Altos City Council’s decision to bar the Embarcadero Institute from speaking at a council meeting.

The issue of Regional Housing Needs Allocation and the state government’s unending efforts to limit local zoning regulations are of major importance to every Los Altos resident. We deserve the right to be informed about all sides of these housing issues, and the council should make every possible effort to give us opportunities to understand the pros and cons of this very complicated subject. I don’t feel that the council should pick and choose information sources that only support their point of view.

Council members, please reconsider your recent decision and give us the opportunity to hear from the Embarcadero Institute. Los Altos residents are smart enough to weigh the facts and make their own opinions.

Jim Jolly
Los Altos

Housing Alliance supports Distel Circle plan

The Los Altos Affordable Housing Alliance strongly supports the proposed all-affordable housing development at 330 Distel Circle, reported on by Eric He in the Feb. 3 Town Crier.

The well-attended webinar on Jan. 27 was the first opportunity for the community to learn about this development and express their views.

With potentially 90 affordable units adjacent to the transportation and services on El Camino Real, this project presents an excellent opportunity for Los Altos to increase its supply of much-needed low-income housing.

330 Distel Circle is a partnership between Santa Clara County, which has an option to purchase the site, and the city of Los Altos, which entered a memorandum of understanding with the county to waive park in-lieu and traffic impact fees to help with costs. 

Funding sources would include County Measure A funds, and all occupants would earn 80% or below area median income (currently less than $112,150 for a family of four).

A second webinar is scheduled 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday. Join on the city’s website: losaltosca.gov/communitydevelopment/page/330-distel-circle.

Continued community engagement in the planning process for this project is crucial in the next few months.

Margo Horn
Member, Los Altos Affordable
Housing Alliance Steering Committee

Thanks for help tracking lost dog

Thanks so much to all the people who helped in various ways when my rescue dog, which I had just picked up the day before at the animal shelter, slipped out the front door. I knew he was a flight risk, as he’d gotten away from us at the shelter while trying to load him in the car.

Thanks to the lady in the white SUV that trailed him for a while; to the people who I asked if they’d seen him; to the people who took my phone number in case they saw him; and to a neighbor who told Jennifer, another neighbor I hadn’t formally met, who posted his escape on Nextdoor, which prompted at least three other ladies to track him. Susie, one of them, said he was out for two and a half hours. I totally lost track.

Thanks to the police dispatcher who took my call and called me back when he was spotted.

Thanks to the couple in two cars following him; I assume they reported his sighting to the police, and were tailing him when I saw him and them. By then, he was tired enough to be grateful to get in my car.
This is the benefit of living in a small town, where pets are welcome and people are compassionate about such things. I am very grateful.
Betty Byrne
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 [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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