Letters: Expensive trees | SB 9 affordability | Local actions | Who is duped? | Misrepresenting BBB

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No reason why tree
program is so costly

It’s quite unfortunate that San Jose’s tree canopy is diminished, but not surprising after reading “San Jose losing hundreds of acres of trees each year.” (Page A1, Jan. 10)

The city is going to spend $210,600 in this year’s budget to plant 250 trees in city-owned park strips in East San Jose. That’s $840 per tree. Even more shocking would be spending $24 million to maintain 30,000 trees on city property. That’s $800 per tree, per year, for tree maintenance. It would not cost a private resident $840 to plant a tree nor $800 per year to maintain it, yet even with the great economy of scale that the city has, it still costs fantastically more.

An interesting follow-up article would break down and explain why those costs are so high. Administrative costs, non-competitive bidding and simply poor management might be a good place to greatly reduce tree costs and increase the likelihood of more trees being planted.

Jim Mielke
San Jose

Nothing affordable
about early SB 9 plan

While we all agree that more affordable housing around the Bay Area would be good, SB 9 is the state’s nuclear bomb on local communities trying to control their own zoning and neighborhoods.

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The article about architect Randy Popp’s application for a permit to transform a Palo Alto residential lot into a 6,000-square-foot mansion, an auxiliary unit, and two large 3,800-square-foot homes says it all. (“Lot-split housing requests trickle in,” Page A1, Jan. 10)

The new homes will apparently sell for around $5 million each. Popp — who will bill over $100,000 on the project — ridiculously says these mansions will help our housing-starved region: “Individual drops eventually fill a bucket.”

Yes, SB9 reveals that developers are really civic-minded people who will help relieve our terrible shortage of $5 million homes. Mr. Popp, who do you think you’re fooling?

Marty Klein
Palo Alto

Local actions can have
big impact on warming

I appreciate The Mercury News for giving airtime to recent news about the Antarctic ice shelf — called “the widest glacier in the world” — whose meltwater is expected to have serious consequences for global sea-level rise. (“Scientists explore Thwaites, the ‘doomsday’ glacier,” Page A4, Jan. 7)

I get that this feedback matters, and in a big way. But let’s not forget the other scale of climate change: what takes place, day in and day out, in our cities and towns, through ordinances and building codes, electrifying fleets and installing charging stations. What cities do now can bend the curve of greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the overall harm that communities will experience. Residents too can help spark change by speaking up about climate as a top priority — and holding their local leaders accountable.

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Wendy Chou
San Mateo

Who is really being
duped about COVID?

As the saying goes,” When you point your finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing at yourself.” The article on Page 5 in the Jan. 9 Mercury News …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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