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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, January 30, 2002

Letters Letters (January 30, 2002)

Why add fluoride?


What do the cities of Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Modesto, Flagstaff, Palm Beach, Olympia, Colorado Springs and Wooster all have in common? Their citizens or City Councils did the reading and voted down the addition of a chemical to their water supplies which the Center for Disease Control says is one of the 10 major health achievements of our time.


They looked at the source and found it to be classified as a hazardous waste from Florida. They learned that the Environmental Protection Agency has no record of chronic studies for the chemical which Palo Alto has been adding to its water supplies for the past 50 years.

They investigated and found the chemical has never been tested or approved as safe or effective in reducing cavities by the FDA, and that 98 percent of all European countries rejected the practice of ingesting the chemical in the 70s when neither safety nor effectiveness could be proven.

They also looked at their own city's liabilities for practicing medicine without a license, and dispensing an unregulated dose of a chemical, which is more toxic than lead, on a day-by-day basis to its citizens.

They reviewed the four published studies in the Journal of American Medical Association which show higher hip-fracture rates in fluoridated cities. They also saw that cancer rates of all kinds go up. Household filtration does not remove fluoride, nor can you be sure about bottled water.

A city, such as Palo Alto, which strives to achieve the status of "sustainable," needs to take a serious look at the real reason why cavities are down. Barbara Dawson Emerson Street Palo Alto
Safe water essential


Communities that add fluoride to the water supply need to rethink the practice. Information that had been available for many years, but not distributed to consumers, has only recently been brought to light.

I just saw a 13-minute video that discouraged the practice of adding fluoride to the water supply. It has raised concerns for me that need to be addressed. It has made me think twice about adding fluoride.

I encourage the widespread distribution of this video. Perhaps making it available for viewing at a public forum is in order.

It is troubling to learn that taking medication with fluoridated water could cause health risks. This must be shared with our senior citizen population, among others.

All consumers must have full disclosure about what they ingest. Drinking eight glasses of water daily is recommended to maintain good health. We need to know that the safety of our water is not compromised. Ronna Devincenzi El Camino Real Palo Alto
Reject Rickeys


I would like to express my view about the Hyatt development proposal.

The Hyatt's development will definitely create a great negative impact on a residential neighborhood because the development will:

1) Make the current congested traffic situation worse -- residents living on W. Charleston Road will find it very hard to get in or out of their houses.

2) Increase noise level and air pollution.

3) Create an unharmonious neighborhood infrastructure. A 4- or 5-story building doesn't mix with the residential area. The highest residential house is only two stories.

4) Create an extreme hardship for the residents living across the street with the proposed Charleston entrance. The street parking for guests will be reduced.

5) Place school children and pedestrians in danger because of the proposed Charleston entrance and increase in traffic.

6) Definitely decrease the neighbors' property value. Andy Wang W. Charleston Road Palo Alto
Keep area quiet


We oppose Hyatt's redevelopment plan for a larger hotel and 302 apartments directly across from a quiet neighborhood of single-family homes.

Hyatt has been grossly insensitive to the impacts this development would impose and has refused to reduce its development by even a single unit. A project of this size and scope would destroy the peace and tranquility of any neighborhood, and people throughout the city clearly understand this.

Additionally, Charleston Road is a school commute corridor for seven different schools. Morning commute traffic is already at gridlock, posing unacceptable dangers for our children. Our city government must limit future development in this area so that traffic conditions do not worsen.

Our schools, libraries and recreational facilities are already stretched beyond capacity. Large new developments have been approved at Stanford and SOFA. Palo Alto is committed to building more affordable housing. We cannot achieve this the old way, letting developers build only one unit of affordable housing for every seven-to-nine units of market-rate housing.

We must find a way to directly fund affordable housing, and enact a moratorium on other housing, until we figure out whether we can grow any more as a community without losing the quality of life which we all cherish.

We look to the City Council for leadership. The residents of our community are speaking with a loud voice -- traffic and over development are destroying our quality of life.

Do not be intimidated by the fancy lawyers on Hyatt's bankroll. Just say "NO!" Werner and Deborah Ju Whitclem Drive Palo Alto
Development too large


With regard to the proposed Hyatt Rickey's Project. I believe that this proposed development is much too large for this property.

The 300 houses will surely result in 600 more auto trips, twice a day onto Charleston Road during the rush hour. I'm skeptical about the offer of a van to the train stations and skeptical about how much it would be used even if there is one.

Given the few shops and services in south Palo Alto, there are likely to be additional auto trips to stores and services in other parts of town. Charleston/Arastradero is a school corridor so congested that many parents, afraid to let their children walk, bicycle, or skateboard to school, drive them there, causing even more congestion.

Aside from my considerable concern for the safety of our children, please note that there is no egress from the Charleston shopping center at a light. Many people who shop there must drive across two lanes of traffic from all three exits from the shopping center. It is tricky at any time of day, but promises to be exceedingly dangerous with the proposed increase in traffic. Notice how many older people fill the shopping center.

This development offers very little in so-called affordable housing. As far as I understand, what is considered below market is hardly "affordable."

We in south Palo Alto get very little of what we want. I hope we don't have to swallow a big dose of what we don't want, especially for the benefit of developers who don't live here and don't care. Relly Davidson Duncan Place Palo Alto
Know parking


I have to reply to the letter from Doug Kolosvari (Weekly, Jan. 16). If you live in downtown Palo Alto and you walk to downtown Palo Alto, naturally you prefer storefront windows to driveways. But downtown Palo Alto is a "regional draw," meaning it draws people from outside Palo Alto and therefore you can't have it both ways.

You're not walking down the dusty streets of Mayfield anymore. If you want easy downtown parking, come to Redwood City. But in the circus that is downtown Palo Alto, you need as much parking as possible.

I would like to reiterate a point I made in my earlier letter. The parking I'm talking about, like the buildings on Cambridge Avenue near California Avenue or a couple buildings on Lytton Avenue, is gated parking for tenants.

Think of how many tenants occupy a three- or four-story building. All of those people need parking. Every building that doesn't have parking is three or four stories worth of tenants parking in front of some resident's house in downtown.

I think the Downtown Parking Assessment District is a stupid idea. All I'm saying is that 15 years ago all new major office buildings had parking and they don't now. We need to get parking back so that limited space for clients and tourists isn't taken up by parking for tenants. Paul Mendelowitz Chestnut Street Redwood City


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