Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - November 14, 2007

Letters

Candidates' thanks

Editor,

As recent candidates for the Palo Alto City Council and the school board, we are deeply thankful to all the folks in town who supported us.

In particular, we want to send a special thank you to Barbara Gross and her staff at the Garden Court Hotel for hosting the all-candidate election night party on Nov. 6.

As results began to roll in, the candidates were able to gather with their families and supporters -- many of whom spanned campaigns -- and celebrate a season of hard work on behalf of our city.

Throughout the night, people remarked on the marvelous hospitality -- the scrumptious food, rainbow flowers, balloons in candidates' colors and the Paly/Gunn jazz musicians.

In total, this marvelous event reminded us -- whether we won or lost -- of our shared pride in this great town. As long as we have generous community-minded groups, such as the management and staff at the Garden Court Hotel, helping us come together from all neighborhoods and points of view, everyone wins.

Melissa Baten Caswell

Pat Burt

Dan Dykwel

Sid Espinosa

Timothy Gray

Wynn Hausser

Barbara Klausner

Greg Schmid

Camille Townsend

Yiaway Yeh

Move the people

Editor,

I moved to Palo Alto specifically for the trees. If I became allergic to these trees I would move to one of the many towns that do not have the large trees that canopy Palo Alto and keep it cool and beautiful.

Trees are a precious resource and they give Palo Alto its distinctive character. Do not cut down the trees to cater to self-centered people who should simply relocate.

I feel empathy for those who are not well and suffering but I do not believe that those who are disabled should demand changes that affect so many others in a negative way.

Why have we become so selfish and inconsiderate of the environment and its beauty that we sacrifice its resources when we could simply relocate? I am for the rights of the community to determine this matter by a vote.

I support Bob Herriot and his position to save the trees and I would add to that "move the people."

Linda Grace Stone

Ross Road

Palo Alto

Plaza renaming

Editor,

Our City Council did it again! In a 5-3 vote, without significant public input, all but Dena Mossar, Larry Klein, Jack Morton and Bern Beecham caved to a motion by LaDoris Cordell to rename the plaza into some monster amalgam of Mr. and Mrs. King.

In use, it will be simply "King Plaza" or "MLK Plaza." This demonstrates how little imagination and sense-of-place is resident in the City Council.

At last count, there are 6,312 King Counties, 24,197 King Plazas and 480,312 King Boulevards. OK, I made that up, but you get the idea.

Sure, it's embarrassing that Palo Alto doesn't have as many MLK-named entities as Santa Cruz and Berkeley. I'm humiliated every day.

But Palo Alto is the intellectual origin and commercial hub of the Silicon Valley information revolution. Is this not something to celebrate? Compare the conversations:

Mother: "This is 'Robert Noyce-Gordon Moore Plaza.' Do you know who they are?"

Child: "No."

Mother: They are local heroes that founded Intel and changed our lives. Look them up in Wikipedia."

Mother: "This is 'Martin Luther King Plaza.' Do you know who he was?"

Child: "Yes, of course. I read about him every year in school."

There are many other fine choices to celebrate Palo Alto's special heritage, such as: John Bardeen Plaza (co-inventor of the transistor; two Nobel Prizes in physics); Claude Shannon Plaza (inventor of information theory); Al Gore Plaza (inventor of the Internet -- well, maybe not).

It's too bad the Five don't understand this.

Dan Bloomberg

Paradise Way

Palo Alto

Another bad driver

Editor,

I couldn't agree more with Sonya Raymakers' and Elizabeth Lee's letters in the Weekly (Nov. 7). My son, a Gunn freshman, was hit by a car crossing Miranda Avenue a few weeks ago and suffered a broken leg and other minor injuries. The past few weeks have been hard for him and our family, and his healing is still a work in progress.

What's worse, a couple of years ago he was hit by a car near Fry's Electronics. That time, the driver took off and left him in the street. Fortunately he didn't suffer any injuries.

As citizens of this community, we have got to pay better attention to pedestrians and bikers, especially if they're children. My hope is that my son will one day be able to bike or walk to school again without fear of being hit by another impatient, reckless or inattentive driver.

Katja Broddesson

Cass Way

Palo Alto

Rough road

Editor,

Recently Middlefield Road was "repaved" from Colorado to San Antonio. When I discovered that it is more bumpy and rough than before, I wrote to the city about this. The answer, from a public works engineer, was that the road was sealed against water and not repaved with the usual amount of asphalt in order to save money. I was told that over time, traffic would wear the surface smooth. This is not acceptable for a major thoroughfare. The side streets are smoother.

My car is small and driving on Middlefield now is very unpleasant. The engineer received more complaints than mine as she wrote a reply addressed to "residents" explaining why the road is so rough. I suggest that others wanting to complain write to Glenn Roberts, who is the Director of Public Works, and to the City Council.

Natalie Fisher

Ellsworth Place

Palo Alto

Election manipulation

Editor,

Republicans are trying to win elections in California not by popular vote but by congressional districts, so your vote and mine won't matter.

Their current effort to change the system in California so that the Republican presidential nominee, whoever that will be, would guarantee the GOP nominee up to 20 electoral votes he wouldn't get under our winner-take-all system.

They don't want to change the rules for red states where they think they can win, and where they like winner-take-all for their Republican candidate. It is only because Democrat voters will vote strongly for their Democratic presidential and congressional candidates in California that they are trying to manipulate the system to hold on to power for another eight years.

This will not fly with voters who do not appreciate Republicans trying to manipulate the system and our popular vote so they can hold on to their power. Voters are not dumb and resent their aggressive actions.

Edith Groner

Parkside Drive

Palo Alto

Double standard?

Editor,

Mae Tinklenberg (Oct. 24) and others, defending the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center as not being anti-Semitic, said that criticizing Israeli policies dealing with Palestinians is not anti-Semitism. However, that depends on the kind of criticism. Natan Sharansky, in his book, page 225, said "a different yardstick means double standards, and double standards mean anti-Semitism. We must ask whether criticism of Israel is being applied selectively."

I think that consistently criticizing self-defensive actions by Israel and never criticizing rockets from Palestinians into Gaza and other acts of terrorism is a double standard. Sharansky has two other definitions of anti-Semitism against Israel: demonization and delegitimization. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Norman Licht

Hewitt Drive

San Carlos

Beware the flipper

Editor,

Remember the man who blanketed south Palo Alto with fliers begging for a home to buy for his family. He said he needed to save money and thus not go through a realtor.

What a joke! This guy laid it on thick to one of our neighbors and they sold at a low price because they felt sorry for him.

What a ruse! In just three months, he "flipped" the house. That is, he spent a little time painting, doing minor repairs and putting in a little furniture, and sold it for several hundred thousand dollars more! And, he paid a realtor to sell it! And, he sold it in a week! That several hundred thousand dollars should have gone to our good neighbor!

Don't be fooled. If they don't want to go through an agent, don't trust them. You could lose a lot of money that is rightfully yours. I am not an agent or realtor.

David Moss

Ferne Avenue

Palo Alto

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