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March 03, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Letters Letters (March 03, 2004)

Non-partisan clarity


Because I know that in election campaigns mistakes can happen, I want to make sure it is understood that officers of the League of Women Voters do not endorse or publicly support candidates or parties.

I have not endorsed any candidates while president of the Palo Alto League. Non-partisanship is a core principle of the League and I firmly support that principle. While my name appeared on a list of the supporters of Joe Simitian's candidacy in the State Senate race, I did not agree to the use of my name.

I have requested that my name not be used and that it be removed from the campaign Web site. Sandy Eakins President, League of Women Voters of Palo Alto Kingsley Avenue Palo Alto
Garages 'half full'


The articles and letters about the "half empty" new downtown garages surprise me. It seems to me that the "half full" garages show they are meeting the needs of many people for parking while they are downtown.

The fact that they are half empty tells me that the city may have been looking ahead to future needs as well as current ones. I can imagine that if the garages were completely filled at this time, by next year there might be a hue and cry about the city transportation division's lack of foresight in planning only for immediate needs rather than for future ones.

This might especially be so once the economy starts into an upswing and there is more activity downtown.

So, let's appreciate that the garages are "half full" at this time and be glad that the "half empty" space is available for the future. Elisabeth Seaman Nelson Drive Palo Alto
Define values now


Noting that the Charleston/Arastradero corridor moratorium is over ("Our Town," Feb, 25), Don Kazak says Palo Alto core values are being defined by the housing debate. I say, if we don't have our core values defined before the debate, it's too late.

As a resident of the Charleston-Meadow neighborhood, I'd like to nominate this core value: equity in sharing the benefits and burdens of development. If anyone benefits from development -- developers who profit, new residents who get to live here, commuters on regional highways who see traffic reduced because jobs and homes are closer together, everyone in town who experiences increased diversity -- then those folks should share the burden.

If anyone shoulders a burden because of increased local traffic, huge structures looming over small residential property, more crowded schools, then they should receive commensurate benefit.

When people perceive that the benefits and burdens of development are spread equitably over the community, opposition will disappear. William H. Cutler Park Boulevard Palo Alto
'Accuracy' reaction


In my recent Guest Opinion on the Downtown North traffic-diversion barriers regarding cut-through commuter traffic on the local streets in our neighborhood, I stated that, "non-residential traffic represented up to 75 percent of the total." In a letter to the Weekly headed "Barrier Accuracy," (on-line edition, Feb. 25) Hal Prince implies that my statement is disingenuous.

I will therefore refer your readers to the city's transportation division staff report to the planning and transportation commission, Oct. 11, 2000. It states: "The consultant estimates that through traffic may reach up to 75 percent of daily volumes when the trips of non-resident parkers are included. Staff considers this level of through traffic as 'overwhelming.'"

Regarding Mr. Prince's deft handling of statistics, I would also note -- as I have previously detailed (Daily, Sept. 10, 2003) -- that in a previous letter (Daily, Sept. 3, 2003) Mr. Prince gave numbers on cut-through traffic volume for the Downtown North neighborhood that were grossly on the low side. Walter Sedriks Waverley Street Palo Alto


George Bush's decision to be a cheerleader for a Constitutional Amendment opposing same-gender marriage greatly offends me. My husband and I were both raised Catholic; we have two children in middle school; and have been happily married for almost 16 years.

I wonder if President Bush thinks defiling our Constitution protects or pleases me or my family. My husband and I do our best to teach our children the values Jesus preached: love, tolerance, compassion.

This proposed amendment runs contrary to those religious values and certainly to the civic values (equality and justice) of our Constitution. I hope many people tell him: Discrimination is wrong Mr. President. Doe Myers Chester Street Menlo Park

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