Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - November 11, 2011

Letters

Free fuel?

Editor,

The City of Palo Alto is offering free fuel for anyone that wants to fill up their car.

There is one requirement — The vehicle must run on electricity.

There is a state law that requires cities to recover the full cost of anything provided to the citizens or public. The city is breaking state law — simple as that.

As a taxpayer, or utility-rate payer, I am directly paying for the fuel cost of other people's commute. Incentives for alternative fuel vehicles are nice but free electricity for anyone that wants to "fill up" at the city "gas" station really violates the Stewardship of the Public Trust. (BTW, Palo Alto residency is not required.)

The city has expressed awareness that the state law prevents resources from being supplied to the public at less than full cost. That was the reason that the city first offered low rates for fueling natural-gas vehicles and then was "forced by the state law" to raise them to a rate that reflected the direct cost and overhead.

It is important that the city encourages use of alternative fuel vehicles, but where is the consistency? And before we celebrate our greenness too much, we must remember that no mode of transportation represents an environmental free lunch. Incremental use causes a coal plant to be fired up somewhere.

As residents, we must try to stop one financial leak at a time. I don't recall our city government approving this expenditure.

The city must find a green path that honors reason and logic.

Tim Gray

Park Boulevard

Palo Alto

Hilton Garden Inn

Editor,

We speak on behalf of the residents of south Palo Alto as well as those who commute to and from their place of work in Palo Alto and have no knowledge of the proposed construction of a major hotel on North El Camino Real at Arastradero Road.

On their behalf we strongly protest the construction of a 178-room Hilton Garden Inn at this location in its current architectural design. We also protest the apparent cozy relationship between the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Departments and the developer, Matt O'Shea of Tarzana. While we recognize that the city will benefit from the increase in revenue and jobs that will result from this major project, we feel that close scrutiny will be required on the part of the city to insure the safety of residents and the commuters.

North El Camino Real at Arastradero/E. Charleston Corridor intersection is already congested during both the morning and evening commutes. In addition, children ride their bicycles to both Gunn High School and Terman Middle School during heavy traffic in the morning and return home in the middle of the afternoon. While some of the older students are more mature and cautious the younger ones are not. We urge extreme caution in allowing the hotel to proceed as currently planned.

This is a matter of public safety. Even in these dark times the safety of the community cannot be sacrificed for the financial benefit of the city.

Truett Ckuftib-Vizvary

Rickey's Way

Palo Alto

Veterans Day

Editor,

Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on Nov. 11 and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.

World War I — known at the time as "The Great War" — officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.

However, fighting ceased seven months earlier. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars." In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas, man named Stephan Riod, the owner of a shoe-repair shop, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

If you want a glimpse of what war is all about, go down and volunteer at one of our hundreds of veteran's hospitals. Talk to the vets and see what war has done to change their lives. See what the price is in limbs, eyes, and minds.

Ted Rudow III

Encina Avenue

Palo Alto

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