Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - August 20, 2010

Letters

Environmental education

Editor,

Thank you for your cover story on RISE, Stanford's hands-on summer science program for high school students.

As chair of the Environmental Volunteers and a docent myself, I have seen the "wow" effect that our hands-on approach to science education has had on elementary school students in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. For almost 40 years the EV's have been bringing science and nature kits into hundreds of classrooms (425 last school year) and leading field trips to places like the Palo Alto Baylands, the Los Trancos earthquake trail, Jasper Ridge and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

Between the work that we do and what RISE is doing, we are engendering a generation of responsible stewards of the environment.

Ellen Turbow

Hamilton Avenue

Palo Alto

Foothills help

Editor,

The Friends of Foothills Park wish to thank the Palo Alto Sheraton Hotel's management team for its help in making the park a more visitor-friendly place.

Two groups totaling about 30 volunteers contributed close to 100 hours removing invasive weeds. Their cheerful enthusiasm encouraged our efforts to enhance this cherished nature preserve.

Bob Roth

Friends of Foothills Park

Palo Alto

Rail concerns

Editor,

While high-speed rail is a good idea for California in general, I found that the way of presenting the method of building the railroad in Palo Alto has been confusing, misleading and intolerable.

The board members (of the California High Speed Rail Authority) do not take Palo Alto residents' daily lives into consideration at all. Therefore, why should we even bother to support them and waste each other's time?

We need to put a stop on it all together until they seriously consider our needs.

Michelle Ma

South Gate

Palo Alto

Bland homes

Editor,

I am disappointed by the homes that are being built along El Camino Real on the Stanford campus.

The bland designs lead to the unfortunate conclusion that even an institution of Stanford's quality cannot be entrusted to review its own work.

As a longtime member of Palo Alto's Architectural Review Board, I tended to believe that Stanford took the long view by promoting timeless design in the spirit of its founder. As an institution of higher learning and new thinking, I would have expected Stanford to explore creative ways to build its housing economically without resorting to the generic formulas typical of run-of-the-mill spec-home developers.

Reviewers of future Stanford projects should take note.

David Solnick

High Street

Palo Alto

Editor,

The City of Palo Alto has notified residents on private streets that they will have to pay an extra monthly refuse charge of $14.42 in addition to the rate increases everyone will pay. The only way to avoid this is if the majority of utility customers city-wide write to the City Clerk before September 20 to protest this extra fee. Be sure to include your address and utility account number.

This must be a signed letter sent by US mail to the City Clerk, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto 94301.

E-mails are not accepted. Many people do not realize that they are affected, which is why I'm writing to the newspapers. If you received the rate increase notice from Public Works, read page 2 (in back of page 1) and look over the maps carefully. You can also look for your street online at the web address given in the notice.

If you did not receive the notice, check to see if the property owner did. A separate letter must be sent for each parcel.

Natalie Fisher

Ellsworth Place

Palo Alto

Comments

Posted by ARB complaints, a resident of Stanford
on Aug 20, 2010 at 6:53 am

Well,looks like we have a disgruntled member of the city's ARB weighing in on the new Stanford housing. everyone has an opinion. Of course given the track record of our ARB, I would not talk but...
Anyway, was this design up for review by the ARB? What was Mr Solnick's opinion then? Maybe Stanford knew that if they proposed anything "radical" the usual suspects would be out in force complaining. Also, considering the way the ARB nitpicks apart projects and makes ridiculous suggestions, maybe Stanford decided to avoid that headache also.
Seems to me that the when an architect cannot produce anything worthwhile himself, he sits on a review board and gets his "revenge" by tearing apart other's work.


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