I am usually part of the "silent majority" on campaign measures; however, the importance of Measure N for our libraries is too great to not speak out.
When my family moved to Palo Alto, we were shocked and disappointed at Palo Alto's libraries. We chose Palo Alto for its values of "lifelong learning" and education. Unfortunately, our current libraries do not reflect this. Library visitorsm, especially to the Mitchell Park branch, see that the library is bursting at the seams. There is limited space for programs, and no small group and meeting space. Los Altos, Mountain View and even San Francisco (where getting anything done is a colossal challenge) have better areas for technology and space for new ways of learning.
Especially exciting are the plans for Mitchell Park. The architects developed a functional and cost-effective design that unites the library with the community center. This center will serve many purposes such as safe places for youth and tranquil spots for seniors looking for ways to learn. In addition, the community center could be a revenue source from fees collected from weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc.
We cannot afford to think short-term. If Measure N does not pass, we will be stuck with woefully inadequate facilities.
Measure N addresses many prior concerns including the desire to maintain the satellite libraries, upgrade the Downtown and Main Libraries and re-develop the Mitchell Park library and community center to address current needs. This is a great opportunity to build our legacy. Vote for Measure N.
More N support
As the parent of two school-age children, I recognize the value our libraries provide. As a regular patron, I am acutely aware of the embarrassing state of our library facilities, especially in a city that prides itself on its public resources. That's why I'm voting yes on
No one visiting our libraries needs an auditor to tell them that these buildings are cramped, dilapidated and pale in comparison to our neighboring communities. After 50 years the time has come to renew our investment and bring these facilities into the 21st century. Surely this is worth the cost of a latte per week.
Measure N is about more than books and a quiet place read. It is also about creating civic spaces that enhance our community. The planned meeting and program spaces will accommodate changing educational, service and social needs over time, plus provide reliable structures in case of disaster.
Those who claim to support libraries but say they will vote no because they want a different plan are offering voters a false choice. We are not being asked to choose between this plan and one featuring a centralized library. Like it or not, that ship has sailed. Rather, this is a choice between much-needed modernization and continuing deterioration.
Maintaining a first-class city requires responsible investment. After years of discussion, it's time to stop talking and start acting so we can move forward with this well-thought-out and essential project. I urge a yes vote on Measure N.
El Centro Street
The opponents of the Measure N library bond love to write about numbers but they might need a new calculator to redo their fuzzy math.
Just a handful of library foes have written dozens of letters to local papers, yet their numbers are minuscule compared to the more than 1,000 individual supporters and dozens of school and community organizations that have officially endorsed Measure N.
Just bike, walk or drive through any neighborhood and see all those orange signs of support. Library foes use fuzzy math in their Mitchell Park Library cost estimate ($1,490/sqft) vs. the actual cost estimate ($455/sqft).
Library foes don't mention the extra miles that will be driven if branches are closed. They don't mention the school kids and seniors that would lose a walkable destination in their neighborhoods and near their schools. They don't mention the young entrepreneurs that move away to cities that offer meeting space and better resources.
It is time for Palo Alto to once again be a leader in education and equal access to information. See www.BetterLibrariesForPaloAlto.com for more.
Vote Yes on N.
Farewell to Lonnquist
Sandra Lonnquist, Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, has brought more programs to the Chamber than previous presidents and CEOs. She was especially effective at reaching to the various shopping districts and working with Palo Alto Neighborhoods.
I will be eternally grateful to Sandra for her vision that led to Palo Alto Business Goes Green (PABGG) at the Chamber. After Don Weden's Jan. 28, 2006, presentation, "Winds of Change: Adapting Our Communities to the Changing Realities of the 21st Century," which I organized, she said, "We need to bring this to the Chamber."
Our first event, "Focus Palo Alto 2006," featured world-acclaimed climate scientist Stephen H. Schneider, of Stanford University and his keynote, "Business and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities." This event led to increased global climate-change awareness by the business community as exemplified by the second FOCUS event on cleantech, close cooperation with Stanford on sustainability issues, the expanded Certified Green Business program, Jim Baer's WAVE ONE and Community Environmental Action Partnership.
Sandra was always there working to make PABGG succeed and serve as a model for other community and business groups.
I will miss her introducing me as the "Green Goddess"!
End inhumane treatment
This November 4, I urge all California voters to vote yes on Proposition 2. This is a very modest measure that will end the cruel and inhumane confinement of egg-laying hens, pregnant pigs and veal calves.
Prop. 2 will require that such animals be given enough room to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around. Such farmed animals are currently forced to live under conditions that are so inhumane that that they cannot even make these minimal body movements.
It is common sense that no living creature should be treated in such a manner. Unfortunately, factory farms do treat animals in exactly this way, with complete disregard for the wellbeing of their animals, the quality of food they produce or the impact that they have on human health and our environment. We wouldn't force our pets to live in filthy, cramped cages for their whole lives and we shouldn't force farm animals to endure such misery, either.
Prop. 2 is endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, the Palo Alto Humane Society (as well as other humane societies throughout California), the Center for Food Safety, the California Veterinary Medical Association, Consumer Federation of America, United Farm Workers, more than 100 California farmers and numerous California businesses and elected officials.
Please vote yes on Prop. 2. It is a reasonable and common-sense reform that prevents cruelty to animals and will improve food safety. Prop. 2 is better for the animals — and for us.
Page Mill Road