Letters: Local control | Value of microgrids | Failed Prop. 47 | Ethical integrity

Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Oct. 10, 2023

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Communities must

have say in development

Residents in San Jose’s quiet neighborhoods are discovering “notices of development”: a massive condo development to replace a beloved recreational facility; a seven-story skyscraper towering over a street of single-family homes; or multiple million-dollar mansions replacing a single older home, necessitating the removal of several age-old redwood trees.

Residents naturally turn to their City Council representatives to provide feedback on these startling new developments. Unfortunately, due to a slew of new state laws, city councils and planning departments no longer have control over local zoning issues.

If citizens want to be heard, they should vote for a ballot measure that restores the balance between state mandates and local control over zoning issues.

San Jose

Sandra Delvin

Study must focus on

value of microgrids

Re: “Riling PG&E, San Jose OKs Electric Utility” (Oct. 5, Page B1).

The Mercury News report on the study to form a municipal power grid in San Jose corresponds well with the previously published letter on the importance of microgrids on Oct. 3.

PG&E has long been opposed to microgrids. As a monopoly, PG&E fights against local power production and is protected by CPUC rules that prohibit power from crossing property lines unless they own the lines.

Microgrids enable flexibility and resilience while focusing on local needs and clean energy opportunities.

I recommend that the researchers include the value of microgrids in their upcoming study.

Los Gatos Rita Norton

DA should rethink

support of Prop. 47

Re: “‘Theft tax’ costs families more than $500 per year” (Oct. 5, Page A6).

Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou’s remarks are correct. Proposition 47 was a colossal flop.

Making almost every theft under $950 a misdemeanor, regardless of the number, has resulted in rampant theft, the closure of many retail businesses, and the inconvenient lockdown of everyday items in our stores. It decriminalized most drug possession, with the intention of encouraging offenders to seek treatment voluntarily rather than agreeing to treatment to avoid jail time. The end result? Many drug courts have seen a significant drop in participation.

These outcomes were predictable, which is why 55 of California’s 58 elected district attorneys, as well as nearly all of law enforcement, opposed its passage. It was supported by Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and current Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon. Residents must press their district attorney to reconsider his support for these failed policies.

San Jose’s Dolores Carr

Padilla fails to show

ethical integrity

Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey has been charged with bribery and corruption. Thirty-one of his colleagues in the United States Senate have asked him to resign. The governor of New Jersey has asked him to resign. Many members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation have called for his resignation. Governor Newsom has asked him to step down. All in order to deal with bribery and corruption allegations.

Senator Alex Padilla of California has expressed disappointment and other platitudes. We need and expect our California elected leaders to demonstrate ethical and moral integrity in an era of mistrust of our leaders and institutions. If they are unable to do so, they should resign.

Saratoga Robert Woolsey

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