Yes, I have noticed the many construction projects either taking place now, or just completed on El Camino Real — and more are proposed in North Menlo Park.
Menlo Park and Stanford University have both talked about eliminating global warming, but neither have followed through. Both are into high-density housing. How many people can we cram into a telephone booth? There is no way residents can depend on passive solar energy to heat their water, their homes, their bodies, dry their clothes or open a window for a cool breeze of fresh air in a high-density community.
Yes, the development could have an active solar system (solar panels), but what happens when the power goes out? How much pollution and toxic chemicals result from manufacturing solar panels and backup batteries? Where do the batteries go when their useful life is gone? To hazardous waste?
What if a natural disaster or wildfire occurs? Will people in the community be able to get out of the area in a safe and harmonious way? Rusty Day's opinion stated: "As one fire expert recently remarked, 'houses are 'fuel bombs' that release exponentially more intense thermal energy over a much longer duration than vegetative wildfires.'"
The last 10 months we have been going through a health crisis. We are told to wear a mask and keep 6 feet away from each other. Will high-density housing support or hinder the spread of COVID-19 — or some similar illness?
Where is our food going to come from? This experience has reinforced in me the need for all of us to grow our own food and be more dependent on the sun for our daily needs with passive solar energy having priority over solar panels. This means houses and office spaces cannot be jammed up against one another. It also means property owners need to keep their trees and bushes cut back short and thinned out so everyone can reap the benefits of the sun.
Bottom line: We don't need more housing and jobs, but fewer people. What is affordable today will not be affordable tomorrow, if we don't have a balanced population in the Bay Area. This can be done through education: family planning, and hiring people locally instead of hours away. Let's support each other in contributing to a healthy planet.
Walnut Avenue, Atherton
Thank you Woodside fire district
Fire Marshal Don Bullard's repeated, candid warnings about the dangers of over-development in hazardous, fire-prone settings, such as Stanford's proposed Wedge project, exemplify the district's mission to protect life, property and the environment through prevention, education, preparedness, and emergency response.
During the Planning Commission's Jan. 20 meeting on Stanford's proposed project, Bullard explained clearly why a densely clustered development of 27 houses at the mouth of a steep canyon is a dangerous design, and how fire could rapidly spread up into the surrounding community. Despite strong pressure to push this project through, Bullard fulfilled his responsibility to educate us all about the hazards and risks we confront. Thank you.
Now our attention must turn to Portola Valley's town officials responsible for initiating, reviewing and approving Stanford's project. Will they prioritize our residents' public safety over private development and stop or substantially change this reckless project? Or will they persist in pushing private development at the risk of public safety?
Last August, we were extremely lucky that the CZU fire started many miles away and did not reach us. With the ever-increasing impact of global warming on our fire-prone lands and vulnerable housing, we must act now to prevent future disaster. Please help me appeal to the Town Council to immediately prioritize our safety above development and to stop promoting developments whose extreme hazards threaten us all.
Westridge Drive, Portola Valley
A gross management failure
The state has spent a lot of time pointing fingers at Washington about vaccine supply, an easy dodge ("Editorial: We need a real shot in the arm," Jan. 29). But at the same time 12 days ago, the governor admitted that barely a third of California's vaccine supply had been administered; if 85% had been used up and no shipment was arriving, that might be an issue. (The shortages at PAMF and Kaiser are an example of local agency fumbles.)
From its arrival in state, vaccine distribution and use has been the state's failure. We had months to prepare for this. In industry projects, we plan out all the steps, write a critical path schedule, identify and assign tasks, get commitments through the entire chain and then manage each step daily. Yes, all that is scaleable. It isn't miracle work, it's competence. This life-critical vaccine rollout didn't have that.
Callie Lane, Menlo Park
A Republican opportunity
Think about it. Democrats just did Republicans a huge favor, should they choose to seize it, by providing them an opportunity to rid themselves of their destructive fringe elements and join in the important work before us — work that includes saving our warming planet and our democracy, commitment to facts and truth, and the constitutional separation of church and state.
Spruce Avenue, Menlo Park
This story contains 900 words.
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