Smell the roses

To the Editor:

Fritz Maurer’s letter about the intersection eyesore hits the nail on the head when he asks the city to please find the money to buy the whole Greenley Road corner. Easier said than done, I realize, but here is my reason for getting the entire corner.

I have spent many hours in the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital’s rose garden while my neighbor is having chemotherapy. Perhaps some of our city leaders have been there. Each rose in the labyrinth garden has a tag. No, not the Latin name of the rose — but the name of a soldier whose family dedicated a rose in his or her honor. I see families wheeling their loved ones into the garden for a quiet and dignified moment together.

Imagine if we had such a garden instead of an ugly car wash. Think about it in the context of human dignity. Imagine a garden where a patient can see and breathe in beauty, where a spouse can bring the family pet to love and comfort its owner. If the Palo Alto VA recognizes the importance of a memorial garden as part of their healing environment, we can do the same for those battling cancer.

The priorities we choose speak volumes about how we take care of our community.

Barbara Balen


Pot allergies

To the Editor:

I don’t know if I’m allergic to marijuana since I don’t use it but I do know that I am allergic to cigarette smoke which gives me an asthma attack, therefore I agree with Maureen Green when she says if supt. Randy Hanvelt wants to make growing marijuana outside illegal he needs to outlaw a host of other allergens. My first pick would be smoking anywhere in the county since smoking not only causes allergies but cancer as well.

Ann Leonard


Gun laws

To the Editor:

I am disgusted with the Letter to the Editor titled “Hatred and anarchy” (Oct. 3). How the writer can turn a madman’s attack on a helpless crowd to saying that we who disagree with the president “certainly pointed” the guns is beyond me.

The presidential election did not strongly show the direction the electorate wanted; have you checked the popular vote? It is exactly the freedoms embodied by the Constitution that we are standing for when we disagree. And it is our belief that the president and his sheeple are the ones destroying the republic, thus we will not be silent.

The president listens only to his own counsel. He is a bully. He is leading us to the brink of war with North Korea. He has appointed foxes to guard the houses of the EPA, Consumer Products Safety Commission and Department of Education (to name a few), the very departments the appointees hate. He wants to undo the protection of treasured national monuments. He did not stand up to the Nazis in Charlottesville. He made astoundingly poor Cabinet choices from Flynn to Price, etc, etc, etc.

When you call for unity of purpose, you are really saying you want us to think as you think. Deal with it, we are not going to agree, but we are also not guilty of these violent acts. If you want to blame someone, start with the NRA and their Republican toadies in Congress who, even after this unspeakable tragedy, are trying to loosen gun laws.

Sue Phalen


North Korea

To the Editor:

It appears that Kim Jong-Un has three goals: to feel secure from invasion; to enhance and maintain the standing of North Korea as a sovereign nation; and to use the threat of war to unite the populace behind him. Unfortunately, President Trump’s threats make the pursuit of nuclear weaponry seem to be a rational and necessary choice to Kim. In addition, provocative military exercises and fly-bys make it more likely that an accident or small skirmish could provide the pretext for war.

The casual talk of a “military option” is troubling. Let us realize that tens of thousands, maybe millions, of lives are at stake, especially since the “fire and fury” and “totally destroy” statements suggest the use of nuclear weapons. Because we have not experienced modern warfare on our soil, we take lightly the death and destruction that would be inflicted on the entire Korean Peninsula by a war of any kind.

It should be obvious that any attack on North Korea starts a war. President Trump might think that it’s all up to him, but the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973 say otherwise, unless it is an emergency response to an actual attack.

Congress should immediately assert its constitutional authority and insist that the president does not have unlimited power to start wars. It should also begin the debate on the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.

Now is the time to contact our senators and congressman. Trump can’t be trusted; Congress must take responsibility. Congress has the power to declare war; it should also have the power to prevent one. I sent emails and post cards — we do what we can.

John Watson