Letters to the Editor: Affordable housing, small business support

Affordable housing: The right thing to do

Re: “Local officials discuss Los Altos’ first all-affordable housing project” (Feb. 2):

For the first time in many years, I feel proud to live in Los Altos. This is because the city council is finally allowing affordable housing to be built. The decision not to stop development of new housing is the responsible, equitable and environmental thing to do.

For years now, the Association of Bay Area Governments has asked Los Altos to build our share of new housing in order to solve this terrible housing crisis. I felt ashamed as Los Altos repeatedly refused to do its part.

The only way that we can address the growing inequality in our country is to provide affordable housing in cities like Los Altos. When children living in Distel Circle attend quality Los Altos schools, they will have a shot at the elusive American dream.

Forcing low-income workers to commute daily into Los Altos not only creates the terrible traffic everyone hates, it also is not environmentally sustainable. Workers living in this new affordable housing project can walk to work at a myriad of businesses up and down El Camino Real, or take a short bike or bus ride to downtown Los Altos or Mountain View.

Neighbors for more neighbors!

Elaine Haight
Los Altos

Small businesses need support, not bullying

When I read of Los Altos’ economic development coordinator Anthony Carnesecca’s response to The Post restaurant owner Vicky Breslin’s angst at having to close down yet again in early December, I felt extremely disappointed (“Los Altos restaurant owner reverses course after planning to defy outdoor dining ban,” Dec. 9).

The small businesses and restaurants in downtown Los Altos are our community. Owners have worked hard to comply with all requirements, and then some, to keep their stores and restaurants safe and welcoming. Despite losing revenue but still required to pay all expenses necessary to small business, they have worked to keep their employees paid and to come up with new ways to stay solvent and provide service.

With steep revenue losses that do not mirror the stability of a government employee’s salary and benefits, I don’t know of one who has not experienced extreme anxiety during this challenging time.
Mr. Carnesecca’s response to Ms. Breslin was one of intimidation and bullying. He could have reached out with empathy, made a name for himself by innovating ways to support hers and other’s restaurants and businesses in town by rallying the call to buy meals, buy gift certificates – do something each day or at least once a week to support this town’s economy.
Instead, his only communication was to threaten to revoke her parklet permit and her liquor license.

This to a community business whose leader has not scoffed at coronavirus, but rather invested to make her business safe and in compliance with required regulations. Who has provided meals to underfed Foothill College students and our first responders during this difficult time. Who was expressing her sincere concern for the financial well-being of her employees.
This, not intimidation tactics, is community leadership and what makes me proud to have had Los Altos as a base for my small business for over 20 years.

K. Esther Szabo
CEO, Gates Pass Advisors LLC

Crack down on cyclists who don’t use lights

As an avid cyclist, I am dismayed by the number of bicycles ridden after dark with no lighting whatsoever.

The evening of Feb. 5, I nearly hit two young men riding down Main Street where it crossed State. They were totally invisible.

I frequently see packs of unlit bicycles riding down State or Main after darkness has fallen. Good lights are not expensive and can make the difference between life and death.

It’s time to crack down on these foolish riders. If we treated riders like they’re treated in most European nations, this problem would not exist.

For instance, all new bicycles sold in Germany are required to be equipped with dynamo lighting along with very bright front and rear lights. If you ride after dark without lights in Germany, you will not only be fined, but your bicycle will be confiscated. The police will not release it until you’ve provided legal front and rear lights.

It’s time for our local police to treat our riders similarly and likely prevent a serious injury or death.

James Thurber
Mountain View

GreenTown hosts Zoom talks

GreenTown Los Altos is an environmental group in town that plants trees, cleans up creeks, works with the schools to get more kids on bikes, and in addition to that, we like to provide education on environmental issues.

We are pleased to announce “Lunch with GreenTown,” a five-week series of noon talks, on Zoom, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Feb. 23, and they’re free. The series is offered through the Los Altos Recreation and Community Services Department.

The topics include energy-efficient homes, good urban planning, biking, recycling, sustainable farming, sustainable eating, water, environmental art and more.
Intrigued? Email us at [email protected]

Gary Hedden
President
GreenTown 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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