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A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Abusing the ADA & Compromising safety of others for the convenience of bicyclists

False claims about ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)? Unsupported claims about bicycle safety problems? Merely City Hall's rationales for a dubious project...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jul. 11, 2016
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Jul 18, 2016 at 2:56 pm | 20 comments | 1770 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Amnesia at City Hall

A repeated theme of this blog has been the persistent problems with public participation and input, from major policy decisions down to the practical details that...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 14, 2016
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Jul 6, 2016 at 1:40 am | 4 comments | 2957 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Nonstarter killed after 2 decades

The Matadero Creek Bikeway proposal is an example of why it is so hard to get things done in Palo Alto. It was proposed in the early 1990s as part of the Comprehensive...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 28, 2016
Last comment by maggie, on Jul 5, 2016 at 7:14 pm | 19 comments | 9064 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Rethinking High School Curriculum: Chemistry

Q: For cleaning and disinfecting, what are the differences between soap, household ammonia, alcohol and chlorine bleach? Explain in terms of how they work. I...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on May. 22, 2016
Last comment by Isabella Cohen, on Jun 8, 2016 at 6:17 am | 11 comments | 2109 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

State Assembly Candidates: Links & Notes for the LWV Forum

A video of the Candidates Forum for State Assembly District 24 is online.(foot#1) The primary election is June 7. These notes are...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on May. 13, 2016
Last comment by Robert Neff, on May 21, 2016 at 11:17 am | 6 comments | 2257 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

City Council & School Board: Leaders, Overseers, Technocrats or Advocates?

Candidates are starting to declare for the School Board and City Council. Although the public campaigning typically doesn't begin until September, between now...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on May. 5, 2016
Last comment by Sea Reddy, on May 11, 2016 at 1:56 pm | 2 comments | 1725 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Misuse of Mixed-use Development

Mixed-use development is an enticing concept. The notion is that by combining different categories--housing, office, retail--you can make better use...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Apr. 23, 2016
Last comment by Rashad, on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:55 pm | 29 comments | 2763 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Anniversary of an unlearned lesson: The Irish Easter Rising and current politics

Easter week 1916 was the beginning of the end of the British Empire. The event was the Easter Rising in Ireland. In...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Apr. 2, 2016
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Apr 11, 2016 at 7:49 pm | 3 comments | 1574 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Retail - basics of public policy

"Retail loves retail" is the basic maxim you will hear in a discussion of planning for retail districts. It is analogous to ==I critical...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Mar. 25, 2016
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm | 16 comments | 1592 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Another Copenhagen Syndrome

Visionaries and dreamers can be major impediments to accomplishing anything useful. They clutter the public discourse and decision-making with ideas that are non-starters...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Mar. 5, 2016
Last comment by History Buff, on Mar 23, 2016 at 10:27 am | 19 comments | 2149 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Public Discourse: Inverted Totalitarianism, Threshold Models and Cell Phones

Online discussions are an important part of public discourse even for people who don't participate directly. Much of what they hear from others may have come...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Feb. 21, 2016
Last comment by sunshine, on Feb 27, 2016 at 8:27 am | 24 comments | 1370 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Pet Hair for the Birds (Nests)

The increased chirping of birds signals that nest-building is close at hand. Birds can have problems finding suitable materials in a too-manicured suburban environment....

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Feb. 16, 2016
Last comment by Flying Fur, on Feb 22, 2016 at 11:53 pm | 1 comment | 2870 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Flint Michigan disaster: Unusual only in its severity

Teaser: The Flint Michigan disaster involves most notably lead poisoning, which causes serious permanent health damages, especially to children. The immediate...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Feb. 14, 2016
Last comment by Marie, on Feb 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm | 14 comments | 1974 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Groundhog Day: Dis-embellishing a Multilevel Proxy

The Groundhog Day folklore provides a useful exercise in separating embellishments from the core of a story, for example...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Feb. 2, 2016
Last comment by Sunshine, on Feb 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm | 2 comments | 1043 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

How history should be taught: Connections to the present

The admonition "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it" (many variations) is ignored in the traditional...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jan. 16, 2016
Last comment by Noel82, on Jan 28, 2016 at 7:39 pm | 16 comments | 4394 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Housing Policy: It's community, not generational

Although the debate on housing policy has recently been stated in terms of affordability for Millennials, it is actually one of different cultures, and of questions...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Oct. 20, 2015
Last comment by Just Work Here, on Jan 3, 2016 at 5:51 pm | 24 comments | 2664 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Wisdom, Skills, Knowledge, Wits: Not the same

The 1999 paper Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 14, 2015
Last comment by History Buff, on Dec 27, 2015 at 10:30 am |
4 comments | 1942 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Development Cap: Size, what to count, and why

On Monday, Council will be discussing the update of Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan to provide guidance to the Citizens Advisory Committee (

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Nov. 1, 2015
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Dec 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm |
14 comments | 2391 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Replacing the defunct Planning and Transportation Commission: Part 1: Cronyism and Corruption

In a move that was long in coming, but that still managed to surprise, the members of the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) abandoned the pretense and...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Aug. 18, 2015
Last comment by Conflicts of Interet, on Oct 28, 2015 at 12:34 am | 15 comments | 2429 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Guy Fawkes: Historical vs Misappropriated

A Guy Fawkes mask figured prominently as a symbol in the recent...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Sep. 28, 2015
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Sep 28, 2015 at 2:58 pm |
4 comments | 2187 Views
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Nitro cold-brew, early hours: What's new at ZombieRunner in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 7,308 views

Heart Pounding, Hands Cold and Sweating
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,096 views

A “Hi-Tech” Solution with a Low-Tech Payoff
By Max Greenberg | 0 comments | 559 views