Uploaded: Thu, May 24, 2012, 8:35 am
Firefighters battle morning blaze at Paly
Fire causes $100,000 in damages to contruction materials
An early-morning fire that erupted at Palo Alto High School Thursday, May 24, will likely delay construction of new classrooms, a Palo Alto fire official said.
Firefighters responded to a call at 5:23 a.m. about a burning homeless encampment that spread from the adjacent Caltrain right of way at Alma Street and Embarcadero Road. The fire, which was near the bicycle path, ignited insulated construction pipes, causing $100,000 in damages, fire Battalion Chief Chris Woodard said.
"It will cause a significant delay in the construction at the school," Woodard said the project's construction manager told him.
The chiller pipes, which were for the building chilling and cooling system, had just been delivered from Texas, he added.
In a later e-mail to school district staff, Paly Principal Phil Winston said, "There was damage to the bike path fence and to the insulation around a group of pipes. This should not have a major impact on the construction schedule and nobody was injured, thankfully."
Firefighters had the blaze extinguished in 25 minutes, using three pieces of equipment, Woodard said. Investigators do not yet know what caused the blaze, but Woodard said it did not appear intentional. No one was injured and no school buildings were in danger.
The man whose belongings ignited has not been charged in the incident and Palo Alto police are still investigating, Woodard said.
Posted by John DT
a resident of Downtown North
on May 29, 2012 at 12:25 am
You state, "It's all we can do to keep ourselves ahead, how can we be expected to support others,…Spare me the guilt card. Subsidies and entitlements do nothing more than remove incentive and perpetuate the root problem."
Did I say anything about supporting others, Phil. Nobody is asking you to support anybody Phil.
This is what I said Phil, "provide real affordable housing without subsidizing it through non-profits and the government."
DO YOU GET IT? Do you understand? STOP subsidizing the poverty pimps and the industry that supports them.
Glad to see that you acknowledge that the SYSTEM for supporting life in this country is even difficult and taxing upon someone as yourself who appears to have a lot of ability in supporting yourself and your family.
Now imagine if you suffered a medical problem while you were say, 24 years old that put you on your back for three years with no insurance or family support and then sapped of much your strength and abilities for the rest of your life due to an accident not of your doing.
You state, "The cause of homelessness is not due to a lack of affordable housing. It's caused by too many people who made poor life choices and failed to take advantage of the opportunities this country has to offer."
Facts are facts Phil and you cannot deny facts so you twist your way out if by denying the facts by refusing to even address the facts, your mental state is cognitive dissonance.
1.5 million adults who would be living on their own ten years ago are now living at home because they cannot afford a place of their own.
Census finds record gap between rich and poor
Income ratio of 14.5-to-1 nearly doubles 1968's low of 7.69
Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor, said while the U.S. has developed policies to combat poverty, it has trouble addressing ever-widening income inequality. "
"We're pretty good about not talking about income inequality," Danziger said.
Housing Costs for Palo Alto:
In 1965 a single person's housing cost in Palo Alto was 43.5% to 65.0% of the Federal Minimum Wage.
In 1970 a single person's housing cost in Palo Alto was 44.9% to 64.4% of the Federal Minimum Wage.
In 1975 a single person's housing cost in Palo Alto was 37% to 44.6% of the Federal Minimum Wage.
In 1980 a single person's housing cost in Palo Alto was 77.6% of the Federal Minimum Wage.
In 1990 a single person's housing cost in Palo Alto was 98.8% to 127.4% of the Federal Minimum Wage.
In 2000 a single person's housing cost in Palo Alto was 145.6% to 194.0% of the Federal Minimum Wage.
In 2010/11 a single person's housing cost in Palo Alto was 94.8% to 142.2% of the Federal Minimum Wage.
In 1965 a 2 bedroom house cost $23,000.00
In 1965 a 4 bedroom house cost $36,000.00
In 1965 a Machinist earned $8,500.00 a year
In 1965 a Custodian earned $5,100.00 a year
A Machinist's yearly salary was 37% of the cost of a 2 bedroom house.
A Machinist's yearly salary was 23.6% of the cost of a 4 bedroom house.
A Custodian's yearly salary was 22% of the cost of a 2 bedroom house.
A Custodian's yearly salary was 14% of the cost of a 4 bedroom house.
In 1975 a 3 bedroon house cost $61,000.00
In 1975 a Delivery Driver earned $7,200.00
A Delivery Driver's yearly salary was 11.8% of the cost of a medium quality house.
In 2011 a 3 bedroom house costs $1,200,000.00
In 2011 a Delivery Driver earns $22,000.00 to $30,000.00 a year
A Delivery Driver's yearly salary is 1.8% to 2.5% of the cost of a low end quality house.
Sources: The "Palo Alto Times," the "Palo Alto Times-Tribune," the "Palo Alto Weekly," and "Craigslist"
The ability to buy a house in Palo Alto went from:
22% to 11.8% to 2.5% in the last 45 years.
If the Cost of Housing were comparable to the percentage of the Federal Minimum Wage used in 1975 to cover the cost, the cost of housing for a single person, (a one bedroom apartment in Palo Alto), would be between $429.00 to $517.00 for a $1,100.00 a month apartment.
I can see your response now Phil, "Delivery Drivers, Custodians and Machinists don't below in Palo Alto."
But you sure do love the lower paid workers slaving away over you at CVS, Whole Foods and Starbucks.
Over the last three decades the top fifth of earners saw their cash flow jump by 65 percent while the bottom fifth of earners saw their incomes increase by less than 20 percent. But it's among the top 1 percent where the growth was breathtaking. That contingent saw their incomes spike by 275 percent.
"It is really stunning the degree to which rewards have been concentrated at the top," said Josh Bivens, an economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. "We have now returned to Gilded Age levels of inequality."
Study by the Congressional Budge Office
Phil, You State, "Don't punish those who have worked hard to succeed by expecting them to support those who have squandered life's opportunities."
What do you mean by this Phil?
Who is punishing you Phil? How are they punishing you?
The only people who are being punished are legitimate United States Citizens who are human beings who happen to be poor. And they are being punished as a collective group by those like you who do not want to be bothered with having to view poverty. The poor are punished as a whole for the actions others, a few, because you refuse to differentiate between character and status, between integrity and ethnicity.
Kevin Smith used to think he led a comfortable middle-class existence that included a car and a home in a subdivision in Raleigh, North Carolina.
But then he lost his job and felt himself slipping into the have-not corner.
He, like a majority of Americans who responded to a new survey issued Wednesday, believes the gap between America's rich and poor is getting wider. He isn't resentful of people who sleep in mansions and drive swank cars, but he is angry at a system that he says allows the greedy to take advantage of people.
"I am not angry at rich people," said Smith, 51. "I am angry at the people who manipulate the system."
Phil you blame the poor and homeless for their predicament as a result of their own life choices.
Who are the ones refusing to build housing that meets the number of people who need it?
Did the poor take all of the land and create a shortage of housing?
Who are the ones refusing to allow the thousands of poor people from building apartments and homes for themselves to live in?
From the 50s through the 70s and even into the 80s, an average person spent very little on housing, and rightfully so, due in large part to a supply of housing that exceeded demand.
Please explain to me why it would be harmful to our society to have affordable housing like it was in the 50s and the 60s as you have suggested.
Do you seriously believe that if there was a surplus of housing that there wouldn't less homeless people on the streets?
FOR THE RECORD:
The pot-head did not buy his own house, his multi-millionaire parents bought him the house because he was not and is not capable of doing anything for himself with the exception of enjoying his marijuana.
Similar situations have provided for the others, so none of them have it together, they just happen to have private support systems. Those who don't have private help, well they end up at the mercy of the system which does not reward the hard work of delivering your food to you.