NORTH AND SOUTH ... Palo Alto residents generally agree that their city is clean, pretty, safe and awash in educational opportunities. A recent National Citizen Survey found about 90 percent of the residents in the city give Palo Alto a rating of either "good" or "excellent" in these categories. Similarly, residents from all corners of town have gripes about "variety of housing options" in the city, with only 37 percent giving the city high marks in this category. In other areas, geography matters. The report surveyed residents from north and south Palo Alto and found significant differences between the two subgroups in perceptions on issues such as social media, shopping opportunities and new development. The report, which surveyed roughly 215 residents from the north and about as many in the south found that 64 percent of north Palo Alto responders gave top ratings to the city for "overall quality of new development," compared to 51 percent in the rapidly growing south Palo Alto. The subgroup from the north also felt better about "shopping opportunities" in Palo Alto, with 76 percent rating them "good" or "excellent." In the south, the number was 67 percent. The northern subgroup also gave significantly higher marks to the city's walking, trains, street lighting and economic development. In the lattermost category, 59 percent in the northern subgroup gave the city high marks, compared to just 46 percent in the southern subgroup. Residents in the north are also a bit more optimistic about the future than their counterparts in the south. In the north, 62 percent gave the top ratings when asked about the "overall direction" Palo Alto is taking. In the south, the number was 49 percent. Even so, few are preparing to leave the city any time soon. More than 90 percent of respondents in both subgroups said they would recommend living in Palo Alto to someone who asks. Furthermore, 83 percent of the responders in the northern part of the city and 91 percent in the south said they plan to remain in Palo Alto for the next five years.
ALL THE STATE'S A STAGE ... Theater kids from Palo Alto High School mingled with 1,000 other thespians last weekend at the California State Thespian Festival, distinguishing themselves as actors and playwrights. "Yes," a script by student Grace Barry, was the statewide winner in the Playworks category. Senior Zachary Freier-Harrison was selected from 140 auditioners for the only male role in Barry's play, which was performed Saturday night on the main stage. Other Paly performers, writers, technicians and directors last weekend were Zarek Siegel, Carly King, Briana Billips, Hannah Gorelik, Rebecca Kreiger, Heather Gaya, Caroline Johnson and Henry Wilen.