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Faster than a speeding ... carrot?

Original post made on Apr 14, 2008

Palo Alto drivers were seeing orange Friday afternoon as a human carrot jogged from Safeway in Midtown Palo Alto to East Palo Alto carrying two bags loaded with groceries.

Photo by Susan Bradley/Palo Alto Online.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 14, 2008, 12:02 PM

Comments (28)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2008 at 12:45 pm

While EPA residents do have my sympathies in that they have to travel this far for everyday groceries, I ask myself the question that if Midtown is their nearest supermarket, is that any part of the reason why Midtown seems to have had an increase in crime?

I would like to see if there is any correlation to this. Last week it was Baskin Robins, but Safeway, the 7 - 11, have both been targeted over the last year or so.

Posted by Nonsense, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Maybe everyone coming into PA from EPA should be stopped and searched--after all there are no criminals in PA.
I also suggest that EPA put in some traffic calming measures on their portion of University Avenue, if PA continues with this nonsense of painting all EPA residents as criminals. After all if PA does not want EPA residents in town, let them take another route to the Dumbarton Bridge

Posted by steve, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Why are there no supermarkets in EPA?

I am concerned about the increase in armed robberies around Midtown PA it is time to install cameras and have an increased police presence particularly around the ATMs, 711 and

I often see people who seem to be intoxicated visiting 711 then driving at high speed down Middlefield road late at night when I am walking my dog.Often the blow through red lights.

I am glad I have my dog with me for protection.

In terms of access to Dumbarton Bridge I am glad I do not have to use it a night, the dramatic increase in gun crime in EPA would make me afraid for my live.

Posted by Nonsense, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Does anyone know for sure who perpetrated all the recent crimes discussed above?
Does anyone know how many EPA residents come into PA to shop? How many of those are criminals?
Let's look at all the crimes in th epast year in PA and see who committed them and where they live--then we can discuss if we need to do anything about EPA.
Sounds to me like this is getting to be about race.

Posted by Derf, a resident of another community
on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Lack of convenient options shouldn't be an excuse for someone to be healthy or not.

Posted by steve, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm

According to the EPA police there is a Violent Crime Emergency in EPA.

There were 45 gun crimes in EPA in the first 3 months of 2008, a 33% increase over 2007.

The issue is about gangs, drugs and violent crime,icreased armed robberies and home invasions.

You can try and make it about race if you want to- but the days of white guilt are over--

increasing the population of Palo Alto is Asian--We do not see problem in terms of race but in terms of danger to our families and children.

More cameras will catch more violent criminals- if it turns out that armed robberies are a spill over from the Crime Emergency in EPA then we need to take action to prevent the violence spilling over into our community ASAP

Posted by Nonsense, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Steve as you say "if it turns out that armed robberies are a spill over from the Crime Emergency in EPA then we need to take action to prevent the violence spilling over into our community "--so let's first determine where the criminals that are committing crimes in PA are from.
It is easy to pick on EPA and it is about race.
Let's not forget how the PA police beat the crap out of Albert Hopkins and how people in PA rae pulled over DWB.

Posted by ten18, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Yes, the race of the criminals is overwhelmingly black and hispanic. If it was overwhelmingly white, we'd want the same attention paid to the problem. Quit with the race-baiting already.

Posted by ten18, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm

And it is amazing that a city of 20,000 people can't attract a major supermarket, among other things. I suppose that's someone else's fault? I've been around long enough to remember Nairobi Village. I'm sure that anyone who was planning to bring a large retail store to EPA would have to consider what happened to that little gem.

Posted by trudy, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Pretty sad reading these comments. Maybe PA has changed a lot, which would not surprise me as the normal homeowners have been driven out by the gimme gimme McMansion types.

Years ago PA, EPA, and Menlo Park got together to combat crime. Where is that effort now?

We're all in this together, you know.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm

I have no idea where the perpetrators of the crimes are coming from. Unfortunately, it seems that PAPD don't know either. For this reason and due to the fact that there is a crime emergency in a neighboring city, it makes sense to put feelers in that direction. I am not accusing anyone and I know that these people could easily come from elsewhere, including Palo Alto, but if there is a high crime area bordering us when our crime is increasing, then it would make sense. If, for instance, there is more security going on in EPA, then the criminal element from there could easily find a less secure target in a neighboring community. You don't have to be a genius to work that one out.

If one of these criminals are caught and they come from Palo Alto, then we should pay attention to that fact also.

Posted by sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Although half of East Palo Alto's residents were African Americans in 1990, Latinos now constitute about three-fifths of the total population, while the proportion of African Americans has decreased to about 20%.
A small minority of Pacific Islander population also resides in East Palo Alto, mostly Tongans with some Samoans and Fijians.
East Palo Alto has the largest concentration of Pacific Islanders of any U.S. city or town outside of Hawaii.

East Palo Alto has an unenviable reputation for crime and poverty, a reputation well deserved during the 1980s and early 1990s (in 1992, the city had the highest per-capita murder rate in the country with 42 murders.

We have the responsibility to clean up this current crime wave before it degenerates to a 1990s nightmare.

It is our responsibility to make EPA an attractive environment for investment, nobody can do it for us.

Posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online
on Apr 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

Please try to keep your comments focused on the story above (Get Fit EPA or East Palo Alto health/nutrition). Those wishing to comment on East Palo Alto or Palo Alto crime issues should comment on either of the following two threads:
Web Link

General crimes and incidents discussions: Web Link

Thank you.

Posted by sara, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm

editor OK

I think the two issues are related in that stores are reluctant to invest if the environment has high crime.

The idea of farmers markets for EPA is a good temporary solution as the risk to stall owners is small.

Also I believe some of the produce sold in the Palo Alto farmers market on Saturdays comes from EPA.

My only concern with this is that EPA has highly polluted soil which needs to be monitored.

There are, I believe, some UK studies showing a relationship between poor nutrition and violent crime.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm


Your point is taken. The fact that there are no supermarkets is really bad. The question of why there is no supermarket has not been covered in the article. I wonder if there is any correlation as to why some store like Lucky/Albertsons, Safeway, and other major chains have never appeared to want to open a store there. It would be interesting to know if crime was a factor.

Posted by WF shopper, a resident of Ventura
on Apr 14, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Isn't Whole Foods closer?
What about produce delivery services?
Finally, ther is also the Farmers Market.

Posted by Resident, a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2008 at 8:52 am

EPA has a grocery store now, or will very shortly. The big issue was should it be allowed to sell liquor.

Posted by J, a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 15, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Whole Foods closer? Delivery services? Do you know the EPA demographic? C'mon!

Posted by june, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 16, 2008 at 11:44 am

I see that EPA now has a grocery store--- with a liquor license -- and security guards.

Problem solved!

Posted by Disgusted, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2008 at 3:27 pm

I have lived in two worlds in my life: as a privileged individual who grew up in an upper middle-class community, and as the spouse of an East Palo Alto resident. I understand a bit of each side.

The depth of stupidity and outright racism displayed by some of you is truly appalling, but not at all unexpected. What is incredibly tragic is the effect your hard words have on the kids in my community. These kids are struggling with plagues to which outsiders have largely contributed.

Many of these kids work hard in schools that have no resources. Yet, they still manage to get good grades and are working very hard to make something of themselves. Reading your hateful spew just serves to widen the sense of alienation they already feel and to discourage them. Here they are trying to do something good and to lead healthy lives, and look how you react to it. They do not deserve it. Stop it.

I would like for you bitter, angry and unenlightened people to join in and volunteer your time at one of our fine nonprofits. Come and help our youth at the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, at a school or at another community group so that you can find out what I learned about East Palo Alto decades ago: that East Palo Alto is full of wonderful people of all colors and ethnicities who are kind, generous and nonjudgemental. You will find some of the nicest people you will ever meet here.

To my East Palo Alto neighbors and friends: Please don't let the ignorance of a few sadden your lives. Crime and fear in our community are being perpetrated by a minority. So too, the hatred you are hearing out of Palo Alto is coming from a few disenchanted loud mouths.

Palo Altans, many of the hard-working parents who clean your toilets and pull your weeds so that you don't have to get your fingernails dirty live in East Palo Alto. Try being a little bit kinder. It's really not that hard.

The gulf between us and you is really at heart about money. Maybe that's what scares some of you and makes you so mean. It might happen to you some day, not having a job or perhaps becoming too sick to work. Then maybe you will only be able to afford to live in East Palo Alto.

In my decades as an East Palo Altan and during the darkest days that my city experienced in the 1980s and 1990s, I have seen many wealthy people -- including blonde Caucasians in BMWs -- come into my community to buy cocaine, crack and heroin. These people, if we are to follow the logic of some of the posts written here, must all be from Palo Alto, right? They are, after all, white and wealthy.

I live in EPA but work in Palo Alto. I shop at Stanford, Safeway in Midtown and many other stores on the west side of the freeway. You would never make the assumption that I am from EPA because I don't fit any of your stereotypes. I am white, well educated, have a good job and don't drive a beater. I also do not have a criminal record.

What I do in Palo Alto is spend my hard-earned money in your stores and shops, as do many of my non-criminal, hard-working neighbors. If and when East Palo Alto gets a grocery store, I will gladly spend my money in my own city.

I see a lot of "you people" coming to East Palo Alto to shop at Home Depot and IKEA. Using your logic, you all would be banned from shopping for lumber and cheap furniture in my town.

So let's get real, folks. Dark-colored people shopping in your town aren't any more responsible for the crime wave than Palo Altans are for the drugs in East Palo Alto.

The crime wave, if you ask the police, is coming from the methamphetamine epidemic. Many of the criminals are coming here from as far away as the East Bay and even south of San Jose, according to police reports.

This problem is pervasive. It isn't isolated to East Palo Alto or Palo Alto. Combined with a troubled economy, we can all expect it to get worse.

If you truly believe that East Palo Alto is creating crime in your city, then stop being part of the problem. Stop your developers from buying up our prime land and robbing our poor tenants and small businesses of their homes and livelihoods so they can make money off of it under the guise of "improving our lives." Start paying your domestic workers and low-wage earners more than slave wages. And come and use your brains and resources to help our youth develop the skill set to get into good colleges and get good jobs.

Posted by triumph of hope over experience, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 17, 2008 at 3:41 pm

>>>In my decades as an East Palo Altan and during the darkest days that my city experienced in the 1980s and 1990s, I have seen many wealthy people -- including blonde Caucasians in BMWs -- come into my community to buy cocaine, crack and heroin. These people, if we are to follow the logic of some of the posts written here, must all be from Palo Alto, right? They are, after all, white and wealthy.>>>>>>> end quote

If you have a crime wave caused by people outside of your EPA community then you have a right take steps to monitor, deter and arrest them .

we in Palo Alto have the same right

BTW you sound rather bitter, are you one of those people Obama was talking about?

Posted by disgusted, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Triumph -- No, not bitter, just fed up with toxic assumptions. Hope some day you can learn to stop viewing the unfamiliar as a threat.

Everyone has a "right" to keep crime out of their neighborhood, but not the right to engage in vigilantism at the expense of innocents to do it.

The assumption that the perps are always from EPA and "those" people should be kept out is the same sort of logic used by mainlanders to keep blacks fleeing the flooding in New Orleans from crossing the bridge to safety. It's gang-mentality logic: "Stay outta my turf."

It's a fear-related response. I urge you and others to look deeper. If you think all of the crime is because of shoppers from EPA coming to Midtown, you are in serious need of getting educated. The best way I can think of is by mingling with the very people you fear.

Many people from East Palo Alto shop at the Safeway in Menlo Park and yet I don't hear anyone there blaming EPA residents for a crime wave in downtown Menlo.

Why I'm so upset is that I've read many posts since Town Square has gone up that have referred to EPA residents in a hateful manner. I haven't said anything until now. I'm writing now because of comments I have heard from some of the wonderful kids who worked very hard on the health initiative. When they read the hatred and negative comments, their response was to say that "they," meaning Palo Altans, always do things to trash any good that comes from them, regardless of what it is.

I feel terrible for others who do nothing wrong but are treated in an objectionable manner simply because of the color of their skin or the side of the freeway they live on. The most affected are the children. Real damage is being done to them.

The second part of your pseudonym uses the word "hope." Please make that a meaningful handle and help to change relations between our two cities positively.

If hate breeds hate, then you will find yourselves also being objectified as you objectify others. We should have taken a lesson from what happened in L.A. after the Rodney King beating.

Posted by joel, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by ?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2008 at 9:29 am

It seems to me that I often hear about areas of high crime having no supermarkets e.g. areas of Oakland, San Jose, as well as other parts of the country. Whether the lack of supermarkets leads to crime because the people living there are lacking in available fresh foods, or because supermarkets are reluctant to operate businesses in high crime areas, are good questions.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by ArtisiticalYOUTH, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm

Hey people... i am part of the youth in East Palo Alto. I see where you people are come from but, i believe in East Palo Alto. And that as a youth to come out into PA. Its hard i know that because having to be a person of color is ashamed to me but, i learned by doing this project on how to get fit is that we are just all the same and no one in this entire world is PERFECTED in anyway. But, the idea in our eyes as a YOUTH? We should come as a team and STOP! STOP! STOP! With all this negatives against East Palo Alto. Thats Why i feel like its up to US as A YOUTH to stand together and say something good. Because living here in East Palo Alto for twenty-one years made me think about my future and the future the YOUTH to come and grow up in this community we call East Palo Alto. Thats why with People like that in PA... who talks about this and that about EPA.... is just like telling a YOUTH of colors that he or she can't have an college educations because of where you grew up at. BUt, do you in PA residents understand and have ever listen to a real YOUTH talk to you about there life and experience living in EPA???? So, Please! ask yourself... do you know and NO NO NO reading the paper about them and us doesn't count. Palo Alto? Please... LISTEN! to what you are saying... with all this negatives about EPA... makes us YOUTH REALIze that with all the RACISM from back then will NOT STOP! And your showing us EPA resident YOUTH that you could careless about what we want to accomplish and CHANGE for ALL CHILDREN TO COME IN THIS WORLD. So, i ask you to get to know the real people and especially the YOUTH in EPA. And I believe that this city of East Palo Alto? THAT WE CAN MAKE A CHANGE BY THE YOUTH RESIDENTS IN EAST PALO ALTO.

Posted by nancy, a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2008 at 7:34 am

I have followed these comments over the past few days and am saddened for a number of reasons. One thing that was not clear in this brief article (although the weekly has covered it in other articles) is that the link to Get Fit EPA is to a website and video reports created by a diverse group of young people, age 15 - 21, in East Palo Alto. I encourage you to take a look at their work; they have taken the lead in trying to address problems that affect all of us, no matter our race, income, or geographic location. I have had the privilege of working with them for the past year and have never been more encouraged by the possibilities for the future - if we as leaders and adult members of the community support, fund, and acknowledge such positive efforts.

Artistical Youth is right - it is youth in both communities who have the openness and clarity to make change. We have a lot to learn from youth in communities around the bay.

Posted by berniece, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 19, 2008 at 1:49 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by berniece, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Nonsense....SHUT UP! Who do you think you are saying that it's alL about race. I know why this website removed my comment! I'm not stupid, but seriously! Why are you living in East Palo Alto in the first place....or maybe you don't live in East Palo just want us to think that! And I agree with Steve, the days of the white guilt has long gone been over! And not every one that comes into the stores of PA are criminals! So, why don't you stop sending your little white peoples to EPA, tryna make that doe, and tryna buy some of dat dope! Cause that's alL them wiggers and white people are here for anyways!!!!!!!!!

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