Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - June 25, 2010

Letters

Lewis' spirit lives on

Editor,

The Industrial Property Owners Association consists of many long-term property owners and businesses in the Ravenswood Industrial Area of East Palo Alto.

We would like to add our names to the long list of East Palo Alto residents and businesses and express our sincere regret at the death of David Lewis.

We thank him for his inspiration to others, his long-term service to the community and his contributions to Free At Last.

The East Palo Alto community will miss him but we believe his spirit and contributions will live on.

Ken Alsman

Ramona Street

Palo Alto

Disaster drill

Editor,

Last Saturday a city emergency-preparedness drill tested the actual procedures and protocols that will be used in the event of a major earthquake. Perhaps you saw us, with orange and green vests and city IDs.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work and excellent execution by the organizers: Al Dorsky (Co-Chair of the Palo Alto Neighborhoods Block Preparedness Coordinator Program), PANDA (Palo Alto Neighborhoods Disaster Activity); District Coordinators Doug Kalish and Bob Sikora; and PAPD Officer Ken Dueker (City of Palo Alto Homeland Security Coordinator and Reserve Police Officer).

I would also like to commend the 150-plus others who participated in the exercise: Block/Neighborhood Preparedness Coordinators, CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams); PANDAs; HAM radio operators and observers.

Participating neighborhoods included Barron Park (four districts), Channing House, Charleston Gardens, Duveneck/St. Francis, Midtown (three districts), Miranda, Palo Alto Hills, Palo Verde and Stevenson House. Early estimates of participants include 60 Block and Neighborhood Preparedness Coordinators from Palo Alto Neighborhoods, 59 CERTs, 22 HAM radio operators, and 10 observers.

Exercises such as this are essential to reinforce training and keep skills fresh, so if (when) a disaster occurs the city of Palo Alto and residents will be resilient. This drill had the objective of effectively communicating areas of greatest need. A plan of action was developed and the appropriate resources were dispatched.

It was most successful. We practiced, refined our techniques, learned a lot — and best of all we had fun! See several drill photos at the new photo gallery at Palo Alto online at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/photo_gallery/

We invite those who are interested in the neighborhood program to attend the next series of trainings on Thursday, July 29, at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. For details see: www.paneighborhoods.org /ep

Annette Glanckopf

Chair, Palo Alto Neighborhoods Emergency Preparedness Committee

Bryant Street

Palo Alto

Tall-building concerns

Editor,

I think that JJ&F is a wonderful store and it should stay where it is. However I do not understand why there seems to be an assumption that having 40,000 feet of office space is beneficial to Palo Alto.

As far as I know offices do not generate sales tax for the city. They do require much more parking and increase traffic congestion, and having another four-story building is my idea of spreading blight.

El Camino at present is mostly two-story buildings and has a pleasant aspect. I recall that a few years ago a "boulevard" plan for El Camino was being promoted, with trees to be planted and buildings to be in scale to the existing small stores and businesses and some better new housing being built.

Instead several large buildings have been built, more are being proposed and the latest housing project on the Elk's Club site is much too close to the street with not enough space for plantings and landscaping or adequate parking.

By contrast, the earlier housing development across the street has more setback, attractive plantings with room for trees and a much better appearance from the street, plus more privacy for the residents. I do not see any public benefit at all to a four-story building full of yet more office space.

The council is following suit with more high-rise housing planned and more density advocated. This is supposedly to encourage the use of transit by the residents and visitors. The big fallacy in this is that higher density does not encourage the use of transit if it is not convenient to use.

We desperately need more and better local public transit, not the boondoggle of high-speed rail. Local, quiet, and clean electric buses going along El Camino at frequent intervals, crossing the Dumbarton to connect to BART, connecting to the train stations in cities on this side of the bay; all of these improvements would vastly improve our area.

I am convinced that much more carbon dioxide is emitted by local traffic than by people coming up here from Los Angeles. Building more tall buildings that bring in lots more traffic will only make our problems worse.

Ellie Gioumousis

Loma Verde Avenue

Palo Alto

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