On page 3 I read (Palo Alto Weekly, July 27) that the council had unanimously agreed to spend $7.5 million on a redesign of Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course. It saddened me. I believe this is the second or third time they have spent money trying to make "a silk purse out of a sow's ear." Some 50 years ago when I lived in Palo Alto we welcomed the idea of a new golf course — it was sorely needed.
There were a number of us "golf nuts" who attended meetings describing what is going to happen. The majority of that group was against putting the golf course down by the Bay. There were several reasons: the wind factor, the nearness of the airport, but most important was the fact that the salt water level below the land would create problems in draining and the growing of trees.
Proposals to use some of the land and the Palo Alto foothills parkland were immediately rejected. The cost of building a golf course in the hills was the primary reason given for rejection. We all agreed that the cost would be higher, but in the long run we felt it might be lower. But just as important it was felt that a course in the hills would be one of which the city could be proud.
After playing the game for about 50 years — and having heart attacks on the golf course twice, both of which ended up in heart surgery — I gave up that both most wonderful, most frustrating game about 25 years ago. I am sorry to say that I feel the money being spent is wasted because it will still not give Palo Alto the quality golf course it deserves.
If it ain't broke ...
There is no need for any big change on California Avenue in Palo Alto. Why waste money "to fix what is not broken?" Let's be practical people and do only urgent things.
Still, one change should be made on California Avenue: The right lanes should be dedicated for bicyclists and marked distinctively. Riding on an 11- or 12-foot-wide lane, bicyclists will be far enough from both passing and parked cars. That will be much safer than riding on narrow bike lanes the City Council plans.
Thanks to good Samaritan
I wish to thank the good Samaritan who retrieved my handbag from the shopping cart around 5 p.m. at the Menlo Park Safeway on Thursday, July 25, and turned it into the manager.
I had left it in the cart after unloading my packages and drove home. When I realized what I had done I returned to Safeway and found it at the customer service desk.
Nothing had been taken, and I shall remember this act of honesty forever and happily relate it to my friends and children.
Whoever you are — God Bless You!
Splashes of speculation
Thank you for your story about Matt and Brandon Johnson, Paly's new boys' water polo coaches. Our whole family enjoyed learning their stories. As the parent of one of the players, I've observed that they are competent coaches, giving instruction and direction, directly able to plan and execute the team's needs. The future of the team seems to be in good hands.
However, the author's comment on the previous coaching staff was inconsistent and a bit perplexing. First he said that the reason for the dismissal was not made public and then he went on to proclaim that it was because of a "European-based personality, demonstrative behavior and reported lack of communication" not sitting well with the Paly parents. I assure you, as one of the majority of the varsity parents who approached the Paly administrators about more serious issues than yelling or not emailing properly or whatever the author was implying, these had nothing to do with the dismissal.
While the community will most likely never know the true reasons for the change in coaching for this team, I ask, as a parent and a member of this community to stop this ridiculous public speculation about it. Besides being completely inadequate, it is, more importantly, offensive to the administrators at Paly who made the decision. And if that isn't reason enough, then please consider the young sports players in our town who might be led to believe that the dismissal of a complete coaching staff is justified because someone yelled or didn't email enough or has a foreign personality.
In our multi-cultured community of intelligent, divergent thinkers, I am surprised that it's not more obvious to more people that this was a complex situation and not easily defined by those not involved.