Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - January 21, 2011

Letters

Fruit failures?

Editor,

Regarding your article featuring Rosalind Creasy promoting edible landscaping, I have some comments.

For 30 years we have tried to do edible landscaping but squirrels and possums eat the apricots; squirrels devour the guavas, leaving a big mess; the grapefruit is so bitter we can only pick it and put it in the garbage; squirrels eat the fruit from both apple trees without minding that coddling moths got there first (in spite of traps); the dwarf Asian-pear tree grew taller than the two-story house and is unreachable; the Fuyu persimmon has been raided by both squirrels and thieves; the crabapples are too small for anything except to make the ground a nice shade of pink; the robins love the blueberries and figs; and so it goes.

Herbs and vegetables have been successful.

My advice: buy your fruit at farmers' markets and avoid the frustration and angst of trying to grow your own, as Creasy suggests.

Jean Garrett

California Avenue

Palo Alto

Compost plans

Editor,

The NIMBY stance of the two writers against the proposed anaerobic digestion plant (Letters, Jan. 7) is especially ironic since the facility they want to stop would process waste from their very own backyards.

Without the facility, the considerable volume of yard trimmings produced in Palo Alto must be trucked to Gilroy since our landfill is closing. The proposed facility would be located next to the existing wastewater treatment plant and would require repurposing of about 8 percent of the land currently slated for the 126-acre Byxbee Park, or about 0.4 percent of the 1,940-acre Palo Alto Baylands.

It would use completely enclosed processes to convert yard and food waste into compost that could be distributed in Palo Alto parks and gardens, as well as methane gas that can generate electricity and revenue for the city. The anaerobic processes could also treat sewage sludge that currently is incinerated at the 40-year-old waste treatment plant, which undoubtedly would improve the air quality over Byxbee Park.

Palo Alto voters should get to decide what is the most responsible and ecological approach, which is why I'm supporting the petition to put the anaerobic project on the November ballot.

Karen Porter

Greer Road

Palo Alto

Composting initiative

Editor,

In response to letters from Emily Renzel and Enid Pearson:

"Where do I sign?" "Thanks for doing this." These are the responses I get every time I am collecting signatures for the composting initiative. The support is tremendous.

I volunteer because I create waste that can be used to provide material for healthy soil and growth. I volunteer because I want my city to be responsible for its waste and to reuse it efficiently in the service of the community. I volunteer because sending our waste to Gilroy landfill creates pollution.

The research of the Blue Ribbon Task Force and the current feasibility study appointed by the city will tell us how to proceed with providing a composting facility. This initiative is to re-purpose 10 acres of land that is currently part of the landfill so that Palo Alto can continue to compost material within the city.

The most realistic site for this purpose is adjacent to the sewage plant.

In the current climate of growing awareness and responsibility for the environment there is no alternative to this course of action.

Elaine Elbizri

PA Green Energy Initiative

Greer Road

Palo Alto

Pedestrian perils

Editor,

We've been reading a lot lately about pedestrians being hit by vehicles making left turns onto major streets.

For each reported incident there are dozens of unreported near misses. I experienced one myself in Midtown crossing Middlefield at Colorado. It seems to me that the only really safe way for pedestrians to cross is for all traffic in all directions to be stopped when the pedestrian crossing light is on.

The problem is that drivers making left turns look for other vehicles and don't look for pedestrians.

The crosswalks are so close to the intersections that large vehicles such as buses can't even complete the turn without entering the crosswalks.

Certain traffic lights in town need to be changed to allow pedestrians to cross while all traffic is stopped.

Natalie Fisher

Ellsworth Place

Palo Alto

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