Letters: TLC needed | Mental health | Choose the best

Letters: TLC needed | Mental health | Choose the best

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Downtown S.J. block
needs some TLC

Re: “Preservationists end court fight to save brutalist building” (Page B1, Aug. 10).

I was pleased to see an article featuring a photo of the First Church of Christ Scientist at 43 E. St. James St. in its current sorry state. I had hopes that this article would relate good news about this building and the lot it sits on, which have been a major eyesore since I moved to San Jose in 2007.

I was disappointed, and somewhat confused, therefore, to read the article. Apparently, the fight being ended is over the brutalist bank building at CityView Plaza, which I believe has already been bulldozed, while the church on St James Street is among those on the endangered list.

I offer no opinion about the desirability of preserving this church. My concern is that this block of downtown San Jose ceases its current condition of weeds, broken concrete and shredded plastic, and be developed into something useful and hopefully beautiful.

Diana Carroll
San Jose

Leaders should expand
mental health beds

Santa Clara County is short hundreds of beds in psychiatric hospitals. We have thousands of people living on our streets who have mental illnesses and many more mentally ill folks in our jails. Our political leaders constantly talk the good talk of ending or at least reducing homelessness.

Yet Good Samaritan Hospital is closing its highly respected 18-bed psychiatric unit. Shouldn’t Good Sam leaders and our political leaders be working together to enlarge that unit rather than closing it down?

John Mitchem
San Jose

For climate, choose
best from traditions

Re: “California’s landscape can be less susceptible to wildfires with care” (Page A6, Aug. 9).

Stephanie Pincetl’s recent opinion piece on California’s landscapes and wildfire is overly simplistic.

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Science makes mistakes but failed theories are replaced by better ones. Indigenous practices have value, but today’s climate and population densities require new approaches.

Instead of forcing a choice between science and indigenous approaches, take the best of both. I see this collaboration at our state parks and open spaces, but the issue is the slow pace of change. It has been 30 years since the Oakland Hills fire but very few eucalyptus have been removed in our foothills, even though they are bad for local ecosystem health and a fire risk.

At the personal level, instead of railing against colonialism, look at the choices you make today. Lawns are beautiful but out of place in California. Learn to find beauty in native plants, and if you mix in some French lavender that’s not a bad thing.

Tom Calderwood
Los Gatos