Letters | June 10, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - June 10, 2011


Broadband options


I don't know if the "consultant" was talking about Comcast, AT&T and Earthlink when he said that Palo Alto residents have plenty of "competitive options" (June 3). I certainly don't feel this way with the Broadband options here in Mountain View.

I think it would have been more helpful if the author would have talked about cost-to-customer/mo. and included information about how various providers perform in terms of bandwidth.

A comparison with service in other industrialized countries, and the costs paid by those users would also be helpful, as I think it is fairly widely known that in many countries in Europe and Asia, they are far ahead of us, in terms of Broadband price/performance.

Bill Michel

Ortega Avenue

Mountain View

Compost Initiative


Cities normally process garbage in industrial areas. But a Palo Alto group wants to do it in a park.

The group's egregiously misnamed "Palo Alto Green Energy and Compost Initiative" would carve 10 acres out of our Baylands Byxbee Park. Period. Advocates' propaganda notwithstanding, it would not mandate a garbage-to-energy factory there; it only reserves that acreage for processing garbage. Read it carefully, especially Section 5.

The drumbeat goes on. Walter Hays' May 20 letter advocating the garbage-in-the-park scheme soft pedals the city consultant's very high cost estimates for building and operating the facility. However, my 40 years professional engineering experience shows the high estimates are usually the realistic ones, wishful thinking aside. Correspondingly, the feasibility and cost of the advocates' fanciful grass-roofed factory-in-a-cave have never been objectively analyzed. See photos of facilities actually being considered for our baylands at www.savethebaylands.org.

Hays cites high carbon emissions from burning sewer plant "biosolids" (sludge). That's beside the point. The city will supplant or upgrade the incinerator to reduce its carbon footprint anyway.

Hays believes taking 10 acres from a 137-acre park is inconsequential. But impacts transcend simple numbers. Such as, who supposes that replacing our 10-acre Pardee Park with a garbage-processing factory resembling an oil refinery would not impact its much larger neighborhood?

Palo Alto doesn't need its very own garbage processor — cost-effective regional alternatives exist. This proposed municipal toy costs way too much, financially and aesthetically.

Vote no on Nov. 8.

David Bubenik

Homer Avenue

Palo Alto

Planned Parenthood's importance


The appeal, by a group of residents and activists, against Planned Parenthood in Redwood City is unconscionable.

Orange County Catholic Attorney Gregory Weiler claims it would be "a necessary evil ... considered by a growing majority as an anathema."

Evil to provide healthcare to those who can't afford it? Anathema to offer cancer screenings?

More than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood health services are preventive. Every year it provides more than 1 million cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 breast exams and 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases — including HIV.

Abortion is legal. Abortion foes should be grateful that Planned Parenthood services prevent more than 612,000 unintended pregnancies each year. Only about 3 percent of services relate to abortion.

Weiler claims those appealing the clinic include "people who just don't want the disruption in the community."

Would these people consider a doctor's office or hospital disruptive? Is it disruptive to provide essential health care to men and women — especially young people —who couldn't otherwise afford it?

We don't need an Orange County lawyer to deprive local residents of affordable medical services.

We do need Planned Parenthood.

Pat Marriott

Oakhurst Avenue

Los Altos

'Electic' cars?


May I suggest that instead of using the term "electric cars," that you use a more accurate description?

Despite all the talk by President Obama in the past two years about wind farms and solar cells, renewables only contribute 1 percent of our nation's electrical supply. However, coal remains the number one source at 50 percent, followed by nuclear at 20 percent.

So instead of saying "electric cars," how about "coal, nuclear cars"? The environmentalists driving those cars won't like the description, but they're not helping the environment when they switch from gasoline to electric. They're just moving the place where the pollution occurs to a less affluent ZIP code.

Terry Phillips

Louis Road

Palo Alto


Posted by Sven Thesen, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Letter to editor, Palo Alto Online
Electric Cars Fight Terrorism and More!
Find out why and get a ride in one at my house June 26th

Electric cars offer triple and more benefits over their gasoline relatives. 1) They are good for national security. By using made in the US electricity versus oil of which ~60% (~10 million barrels per day) is imported with no small amount going to countries which fund terrorist activities. 2) Electricity’s carbon footprint is smaller (significantly smaller in California) than the gasoline burner 3) Its good for my wallet; electricity as a fuel costs 2-4 cent/mile versus 10cents/mile (at a sweet 40mpg and $4/gallon gas) 4) I can generate my own fuel with solar panels on my house and thumb my nose at both PG&E/Palo Alto Utility, and the oil companies 5) A fully electric car has rights to the Carpool lane and 6) Driving an electric car is way more fun than a gas car. (OK the last one is simply my personal opinion)

And if you have never been in an electric car, here’s your chance - Plug In America is holding an electric car ride and drive on Sunday June 26 3-7pm at my house in Palo Alto. Register at Web Link

Sven Thesen
Palo Alto

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