The PA Weekly editorial about the jobs/housing imbalance in Palo Alto draws the wrong conclusion. The answer is not quality of life destroying over-dense pack and stack housing. The answer is to stop adding more jobs! It is time to renew the discussion of Palo Alto being a "sustainable" city. We have lost sight of the fact or never really understood that living sustainably means that we have to limit the number of people to fit the available resources of a finite world.
The state of California has failed miserably to curtail population to fit available resources of clean water, clean air, open spaces, recreational opportunities and to provide a decent quality of life for its inhabitants, human as well as animal. If the state won't do it, then we should do it city by city. Palo Alto should be the first to explore setting a population limit that is sustainable and then work towards a way to meet those limits. The first step is to stop adding jobs when we cannot house those workers without detriment to our city's quality of life expectations and the finite limits of our environment.
Palo Alto Avenue, Palo Alto
Recently I had an issue with the work done by Palo Alto Utilities in front of my house. I left voicemails for both the Assistant Director and Senior Manager for Utilities that went unanswered. I then emailed the Utilities Director and City Manager and received a "boilerplate" response from the Utilities' communications manager that did nothing to convince me the city would investigate my concerns or address the issue I raised.
If the city wants residents to engage to make a program like Our Palo Alto a success, they need to realize that communication is a two-way street. When residents have concerns or complaints, city officials need to be responsive. No one wants to invest time and effort on civic issues if city management can't be bothered to respond.
Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
A Palo Alto hero
Tom Wyman. What a loss to our city! Savior of Palo Alto branch libraries, he was a distinguished figure of our culture and history. He literally wrote the book: "Palo Alto and Its Libraries, A Long-Time Love Affair." He championed just causes with his wife, Ellen, at his side and crusaded on controversial issues dealing with the Oregon Expressway, Palo Alto Medical Foundation's downtown high-rise proposal and other pro-residential positions. But his most enduring legacy will be preserving with Friends of the Palo Alto Libraries and thousands of library-lovers our unique multi-branch library system. Book sales conducted by the Wymans and volunteers have contributed millions of dollars to our libraries.
With an irreproachable character and high principles, he battled adversaries, often the city, with quiet dignity and courtly civility. Under his thatch of snowy hair breathed one of Palo Alto's heroes of recent years. I propose an honorary Tom Wyman plaque be placed at his beloved new Mitchell Park Library (if it is ever opened).
High Street, Palo Alto
In her letter on 3/22, Cherie Zaslawsky decries the "overreach" of our local government in urging us to become greener citizens. Unfortunately she reflects a great many people who ignore the facts in the world today.
These facts are the following:
- Due to the increasing CO2 emissions of modern man since the dawn of the industrial age, my grandchildren will be saddled with a completely different climatic environment than the one that has existed since the dawn of civilized man 10,000 years ago.
- Unless we stop this trend quickly, and by quickly I mean one or two decades, in not many decades our grandchildren are in deep trouble.
- Since this is indeed an emergency (from my grandchildren's perspective) it is incumbent on those in power who know the facts to move us toward a fix. Enlightened officials, even if they do not have the full support of the people, must take action. I wonder what President Truman would have done if his advisors had told him he should get a majority vote of the people before moving forward in building a nuclear weapon to beat Hitler's attempt to do the same.
Ivy Lane, Palo Alto