Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - March 16, 2012

Letters

Abolish the stigma

Editor,

I was so very sorry to read of Mr. Salvatierra's suicide. Clinical depression and bipolar disorder run in my family as well, and I profoundly respect the family for their efforts "to help abolish the stigma associated with mental illness" by going public with the story behind this tragedy.

Going public helps all of us fight the sense of shame brought on by flawed brain chemistry. We owe the Salvatierra-Ackley family a debt of thanks.

I can recommend two books in particular, both by Kay Redfield Jamison that helped me come to terms with my own family history: "An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness" and "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide." Dr. Jamison is both a psychologist and a longtime bipolar patient. I expect that her other books on both subjects are equally as helpful.

Vera M. Shadle, MHA, MHS

Bibbits Drive

Palo Alto

Gateway? No way

Editor,

I am writing in regards to the latest ugly addition to downtown. With all due respect to the city "leaders," if this city hall truly cares about their city and its citizens, they are surely not showing it. The downtown Gateway building is so high and unattractive. It even exceeds "current" zoning laws! Why put this monstrosity of an issue at the forefront? Why not tackle clear discrimination of the disabled and elderly, instead? And also focus on the "look" of the city?

Why not solicit a ton of public opinion on issues? Rich special interests, as in the Palo Alto Bowl issue. That case also showed how this unfair status quo discriminates — in that case, against the disabled community. Once again? City officials unwilling to fight back? Once again? To stand up for those who they are supposed to serve? Once again? To stand up for this city? Once again?

Do we not matter? Does the American Flag not matter?

Government is supposed to be for the people. Not rich developers.

Daniel Mart

Awalt Drive

Mountain View

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