Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - July 19, 2013

Letters to the editor

In support of Maybell

Editor,

As a 35-year resident of Barron Park, I strongly support the Palo Alto Housing Corporation's project to build 60 senior low-income apartments and 12 single-family homes at the Maybell-Clemo site. Many senior citizens are on waiting lists for affordable housing. Few places, if any, remain in Palo Alto to build such a project. A referendum drive is underway by neighbors opposing the project as approved by the Palo Alto City Council. Before signing, consider:

Since their first presentation, the PAHC has listened to neighborhood concerns and made important modifications:

Reduced the number of single-family homes from 15 to 12, seven along Maybell and five on Clemo.

Moved driveways to behind the houses to eliminate cars exiting onto Maybell.

Homes on Maybell will be two story to better fit into the existing neighborhood.

Increased setbacks and added space between houses.

Committed $200,000 for traffic improvements, including sidewalk safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and cars.

If the referendum qualifies for an election, consequences will include:

Significant costs for an election and added interest payments.

Impact to the chances of qualifying for tax credits, necessary to fund a large portion of the construction costs.

Existing zoning will allow for 34-47 single-family homes to be built, generating more traffic (per staff report to the Planning and Transportation Commission).

I value diversity in our community. PAHC has a 30-year history providing affordable, well-maintained housing fitting in with the neighborhoods.

Trina Lovercheck

McGregor Way, Palo Alto

On library design

Editor,

I live in South Palo Alto and unfortunately have been able to observe the last three years of Mitchell Park Library/Community Center construction. I appreciate the fact finding and excellent article by the Weekly staff which included the architect's rendering. There have been many discussions with friends and neighbors about the blue cargo container structure on the Middlefield side of the building. I do not understand the design element nor the color choice; neither seem to fit with the rest of the building. Please change the color and add a design element to fit with the rest of the building.

Jackie Wheeler

Nelson Court, Palo Alto

Arrillaga donation

Editor,

Let us be for real in the sense of this donation to Stanford. In reality, it is chump change from a billionaire.

Do the math. This might be one year of interest earnings. It is not significant at all in the total wealth of Americans. It is mind boggling and stupifying that such an incredible sum amounts to ZED in typical earnings.

It would have made a difference if this pittance of a donation was donated to the infrastructure of the Bay Area.

So as it goes, no change — no support for the people of the community that supported his empire.

Oh well, the math — the numbers and the people living living in poverty who lay bricks and other tangible efforts don't account for anything.

Master, can I have a token of appreciation for my efforts with healthcare????

Brian Wax

Louis Road, Palo Alto

Stop the name calling

Editor,

PAHC has almost 50 years of service to the Palo Alto community and has provided housing to thousands of low- and moderate-income families in this community. I personally know two members on the board — both are solid citizens and the kind of people who help those in need. One member has volunteered for this organization for over 25 years. Here in Palo Alto, people like to debate and difference of opinions are tolerated. To call people liars and devolve into character assassination is shameful and not what our city should be about. For this issue and the many others swirling about town: Support your claims with facts and stop the name calling.

Sharon Chin

Stanford Avenue, Palo Alto

Ban on vehicle dwelling not the answer

Editor,

I am really concerned that the Palo Alto City Council has decided to move forward with establishing this ban on people sleeping in their vehicles. Most people will not choose to live out of their cars if they have a better place to live. Besides, it does not even make economic sense. Have they considered how much time and efforts will have to be directed at going after these vehicle dwellers to issue warnings, then citations? And if they do not leave, or cannot pay the fines, then even more resources will be devoted to their arrests, court proceedings and perhaps even incarceration. A majority of this population is just law-abiding citizens struggling to find jobs that pay enough for real housing. Turning them into criminals will make it that much harder to find employment. This is a vicious cycle that pushes more people deeper into homelessness.

Laura Chiu

Talisman Court, Palo Alto

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