Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - January 8, 2010

Letters

Kishimoto's leadership

Editor,

The Weekly named former Palo Alto mayor and state-assembly hopeful Yoriko Kishimoto "coalition builder of the year" for her work uniting cities on high-speed rail.

"Kishimoto soaked up information, made connections ... organized community meetings ... "

Too bad she didn't do all that before writing the October 2008 colleagues memo (with Larry Klein), "Request for the City Council to Support State Proposition 1A," urging all citizens to vote for HSR.

Conveniently, after HSR's negative impacts became apparent and Peninsula residents were up in arms, Kishimoto ran to the head of the parade and declared herself its leader.

In February 2009, at a meeting of the VTA Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee, Chairwoman Kishimoto "noted it may be a good idea to release a Memorandum of Understanding among HSR affected cities ... containing baseline common interests regarding HSR." One of the common interests noted was "more time to review the plan."

Why didn't Kishimoto review the plan before urging us to vote for it?

There were certainly indications of problems. In September 2008 — before Kishimoto wrote her colleagues memo — nearly 200 people showed up at the Menlo Park City Council Chambers, voicing concerns about HSR.

Why wasn't Kishimoto uniting with other communities back then?

Now that she's running for state Assembly, Kishimoto's press — thanks to "awards" like the Weekly's — paints her as the heroine of Peninsula cities, lauded for her "leadership."

If HSR is an example of Kishimoto's leadership, heaven help us if she's elected to the state Assembly.

Pat Marriott

Oakhurst Avenue

Los Altos

Plaza entertainment

Editor,

After Lytton Plaza re-opened, a choir of teenagers from a Mountain View church provided a marvelous program of Christmas carols.

We were lucky to happen by, and hope they will come back next year earlier in the holiday season before so many people leave town and when the plaza has become known as the place to go for such good events!

Mickey Bright Griffin

Alma Street

Menlo Park

Looking ahead

Editor,

As 2009 ends and 2010 begins, we say goodbye to one City Council and greetings to a new council.

Writing as residents, we two, who sit on the Library Advisory Commission, are sincerely appreciative of the efforts of the outgoing council and excited to work with the new council.

To the departing council members, thank you for your many hours reading our documents. Thank you for your supportive votes. Thank you for endorsing a bond measure, which will enhance library services well into this century. Thank you for your sense of duty and responsibility to the community.

Your support was the groundwork for the largest project in Palo Alto in years.

To the incoming council, we look forward to sharing with you the excitement of annual openings. Palo Alto will have renovated libraries in College Terrace (2010) and Downtown (2011), a new Library/Community Center in Mitchell Park (2012), and expanded community library space at Main (2013).

These will provide space for expanded collections, more programs and services, more community rooms, more study space. It is evidence of what a community can do when it comes together.

As the year ends, and councils change, it is a good time to reflect and look ahead with anticipation. There will be a lot of building dust starting now and a lot to celebrate will follow.

Raj Mashruwala

Valerie Stinger

Co-Vice Chairs, Library Advisory Commission

Taser concerns

Editor,

I'm really concerned that Tasering someone in the stomach could do damage to internal organs. I suggest someone in the Palo Alto city administration check with independent physicians, perhaps specialists at the Palo Alto Medical foundation and/or Stanford Hospital, as to the risks of an electric jolt (specifically that amount delivered by a Taser for the five seconds or more it can be used) to the stomach area.

It took Taser International many years before they recognized the risk to using the Taser on the chest. Meanwhile, people died.

I would not count on this company or its paid consultants for an assessment of the risk of targeting the stomach. This could cause more deaths or injury to more people than targeting the chest.

Natalie Fisher

Ellsworth Place

Palo Alto

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