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SJ’s garbage issue
needs bigger cans
Re. “San Jose faces $48 million lawsuit over recycling claims,” Page C8, Jan. 14:
On Jan. 14 The Mercury News published an article announcing that the city of San Jose faces a $48 million lawsuit for failing to prevent residents from throwing garbage into their recycling bins.
In my opinion, the city of San Jose’s black garbage bins are too small for many households so the easy solution is to throw excess garbage into the blue recycling bin.
Small black garbage bins are not adequate for moderate size and large families, not adequate for households with multiple adult roommates and not adequate for multigenerational households.
Provide black garbage bins that are large enough for people to use and they will. Don’t and they won’t.
COPA is cheaper than
My friend David Eisbach’s objections to a San Jose COPA policy (Community Opportunity to Purchase Act) are unfortunately based on misinformation (“COPA proposal is too costly for SJ,” Page A6, Jan. 24).
The 5 ½-month timeline he complains about would only apply if and when an owner voluntarily chooses to accept a nonprofit offer to purchase. The overwhelming majority of sellers would only be delayed by the 15-day waiting period for submission of a letter of intent. The inconveniences of COPA would primarily only impact professional real estate investors, many of whom rely on cash sales.
This is an acceptable trade-off for enacting a policy to address San Jose’s horrific displacement and homelessness crisis. COPA is a good solution because it uses a one-time subsidy to keep tenants in their homes, takes rental units off the speculative market and makes them permanently affordable.
It is actually Eisbach’s proposal to permanently subsidize tenant rents that would be prohibitively expensive.
Preserve Juristac hills,
The recent punishing rain storms show the necessity to protect our remaining natural landscapes. The rolling hills of Juristac, in the south county, are under threat of being quarried. Sand and gravel in these hills absorb rainfall, cleaning it as it filters into the aquifers. The vegetation also helps to prevent soil erosion, sedimentation in the streams, and flooding. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and others call for protecting Juristac so that Juristac can protect the native flora and fauna and also protect all of us from natural disasters.
This beautiful landscape is sacred to the Amah Mutsun and other indigenous peoples. It is also home to steelhead trout, mountain lions, golden eagles, badgers, rare plants and endangered butterflies. No evidence has been provided to show that a quarry is needed. Please contact the Planning Commission and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and tell them to oppose mining the Sargent Hills.
Keep gun deaths
With respect to the recent mass shootings in Goshen, Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay it is important to keep things in perspective. While the loss of lives due to the shootings is tragic, there is any number of ways to die, with many of these deaths as preventable as sensible gun control laws.
According to CDC data, there were a bit over 19,000 firearms-related homicides in 2020. According to NHTSA there were a bit under 39,000 deaths attributed to automobile accidents in 2020. And let’s not forget COVID. According to CDC data, there were roughly 350,000 deaths attributed to COVID in 2020. In total, nearly 1.1 million Americans have died due to COVID.
Many of these deaths were preventable. One wonders where the hue and cry from those calling for prohibitions on gun ownership is.
US must do better
As of this Tuesday morning, the Republicans are losing 2-1 in the document game. Still coming to bat: Harris, Bush, Cheney, Clinton and Gore.
On CNN there was a discussion about new legislation. Do we really need a new law to solve this problem? When I have an overdue book at my local library, I get an email the day it is overdue. Who are the librarians who are checking out classified material? They must have a list of classified materials that have not been turned in. One wonders how can Joe Biden have a classified document that was checked out 10 years ago.
People in charge at the National Archives and other agencies need to update their procedures and fine these officials when materials are not returned. At the rate unreturned materials are appearing, that might help balance the budget.
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