Town Square

Post a New Topic

Conservationists file complaint over landfill land

Original post made on Feb 11, 2011

A group of Palo Alto conservationists filed a complaint against the city Friday alleging that city officials are violating Palo Alto's agreement with the state by considering a new waste-to-energy plant in the Baylands.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 11, 2011, 4:28 PM

Comments (66)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Governor Brown
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm

You mean the State owns some valuable land in pricey Palo Alto? I can't wait to sell that to the highest bidder to close our horrendous State budget gap.

Thanks for pointing this out, Tom. You're the greatest!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by who cares
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 12, 2011 at 9:01 am

This should be an interesting fight- Jordan, Pearson and Renzel vs Drekmeier and Wenzlau.
They are all environmental zealots, so I am hoping that they will all end up battered and bloodied from the fight.
Too bad that whole group does not dedicate their energies to useful endeavors.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 12, 2011 at 9:15 am

How long before there's a push to undedicate portions of Foothills Park for other city uses and revenue streams?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parks are important
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

When people complain about overdevelopment in Palo Alto they can thank Peter Drekmeier. He was on the council and always voted for major developments and developers. As a swing vote he could have controlled some of the ugliness.
This is just one more example. He likes to build things, even in a park. jeez.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wary of peter
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I would be wary of anything dreamier supports. He has no concept of how things work
In the real world, since he has never been a part of the people that must work daily to earn a living. He also could not understand, while on the council, why Stanford could not just be a cash cow for palo alto. I have tole him and his acolytes off at piazzas when they were collecting signatures for his latest pipe dream.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Why-In-The-Park?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Let's suppose for a moment that this idea of a "compost engine" is a good idea. It can convert waste to electricity. OK .. Great! Since the electricity generated is transferred to the grid for distribution and eventual use, why does this "compost engine" need to be in this park? Why can't it be anywhere that is close to the power grid? Like in Mountain View, or Sunnyvale, or San Jose, or somewhere in the unincorporated Santa Clara/San Mateo County?

As long as our compost ends up there, and we help to pay for the construction, wouldn't that be a better idea that this? Even if the cost of transporting the compost reduces the profit (if there actually is a profit), that would solve all the problems.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Waste to Energy plants = Garbage Burners.
If you are going to do it, do it somewhere in the Central Valley where the wind goes over the mountains, and where economies of scale can be applied.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Peter Drekmeier's Letter to Editor in today's edition (2011-02-11) seriously misrepresents the opponents' argument about regional facilities. The push for regional facilities in a variety of areas comes from the recognition that the economies of scale often outweigh the costs of transportation to regional facilities, and that it may be simpler to wring additional economies out of the transportation side, for example, as trucks wear out, replace them with ones powered by natural gas.

The economies of scale come in both the capital and operational budgets, and both in tax dollars and carbon footprint. From the presentations I have heard and discussions I have been in, the proponents of the composting facility have it as a matter of faith that the transportation costs will be, by definition, larger than the economies of scale, although some of the proponents simply choose to ignore the carbon footprint of the facilities and act as if the only carbon footprint that matters is transportation.

The kinder interpretation of Drekmeier's misrepresentation is that his ideology has blinded him to legitimate viewpoints and concerns.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Link to Drekmeier's Letter inadvertently omitted in previous comment: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Too kind to peter
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Doug, you are being too kind to drekmeier. Yes, he is blinded by his ideology, but he lacks an understanding of basic finance and how the world really works. He had been too busy bashing stanford with his green glasses on to take the time to find out how the public feels and what they want. I would not support any effort promoted by him.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

"Waste to Energy plants = Garbage Burners."

Walter, "burning" is combustion. Is that what you mean?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm

How wonderful that we have such thoughtful and polite commentary by our citizens like Who Cares, and Too Kind to Peter, and Parks are Important, citizens who aren't afraid to use their real names in public discourse. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I don't think I've ever agreed with a single one of Walter Wallis' comments over many years, but he has the courage and dignity to put his name on his comments. How about we treat each other with a little more respect, and if you aren't willing to put your name where your mouth is, put a sock in it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 12:26 am

Having got that off my chest, let me now comment on the story. Jordan, Renzel and Pearson have had a dream for many years, of a wonderful pastoral park covering all of what now is the wasteland of a city dump. It's a nice vision. Expensive, of course, but nice. But Palo Alto is rich, right? We can afford to pay for-profit companies to haul our wastes away to distant places. Why shouldn't we? Indeed, perhaps we could pay to have our sewage pumped uphill to some distant locale as well, so that we could close down that "industrial" wastewater treatment plant. We can afford to transform a dump into a nice artificial "nature preserve." Hello? Welcome to the 21st Century, folks. The world is full now. We have a global warming problem. We have a global species extinction crisis. And perhaps Tom, Emily and Enid haven't noticed, but we also have a financial crisis going on. So how about we let the voters of Palo Alto decide whether we want to pay escalating disposal costs to for-profit companies to haul away our wastes, or whether we want to show less affluent cities across the nation how they can save money and reduce the environmental impacts of organic waste management.

If we are privileged, then all the more reason we should be taking responsibility for our own impacts. Tom, Emily, and Enid all go to the toilet a few times a day, and they all trim their lawns or gardens, and they all scrape food into the trash sometimes, just like the rest of the 300 million people in this country. And they aren't against sensible and economic waste recovery -- just not in their imaginary park. So rather than let the citizens of Palo Alto decide, they would rather derail things by filing a lawsuit about who owns the land.

The pseudo Governor Brown comment above was on target. If the State of California owns this land, then as soon as the "lease" is up they are going to take it back and sell it off for private, industrial development. If the State is going to get the land back in 2038, then I think most Palo Altans would agree that we don't want to blow money we don't have anyway to build an expensive park. Instead, we'll just cover it over with dirt, and let the prairie dogs and weeds take it over just like the part of "Byxbee Park" that already exists. Seriously, have you gone out there recently? Old, decaying, and strange "art" installations of concrete barriers? Buzzing planes taking off and landing at the Palo Alto airport?

I want to protect the Bay, and the wetlands. Those are real environmental assets that aren't about aesthetic sensibilities, they are about survival. But the dump will never be a wetland. It will never be a natural habitat. Personally, I would rather see a regional center for environmentally beneficial waste to compost and energy facility, that could take in yard and food waste from communities all around Palo Alto. That would make a huge contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area, and create a revenue stream for Palo Alto. And perhaps we should cover the rest of the dump land with solar panels. Parks are nice. I love parks. I love our city parks, and regional parks, and state parks. But I'm also a environmental and fiscal realist. And I believe in democracy. The land belongs to Palo Alto. To all of us. Let's just vote on it, ok, and let's not hand the land over to the State without a fight.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 12:55 am

I'd like also to respond to Douglas Moran's comment above. First off, while I disagree with Douglas, I respect him for his civil discourse on the matter and for putting his name on his comments. That is the basis of a fruitful debate. Douglas, as a member of the initiative, and a former member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on the subject, I do NOT hold the position that transportation costs outweigh economies of scale. And I don't think many of the initiative's proponents think that. What I DO think is that Palo Alto is already operating a regional facility for the disposal of organic wastes (sewage), and we are doing it in a way that is needlessly expensive and environmentally damaging. We can save a lot of money by switching to anaerobic digestion. Given that, it then becomes very attractive to add food waste to the mix, which dramatically increases the green energy that can be recovered, while keeping food waste out of the landfills where it would release lots of methane into the atmosphere. Palo Alto already has a commercial and multi-family dwelling food waste collection program. I'd like to see us build a facility that could handle not only our food waste but the food waste of surrounding towns. It would not be economical to build an anaerobic digestion facility just for yard trimmings, but it can be when combined with these other, more expensive to process organic wastes. Such a facility would generate a revenue stream to Palo Alto substantially offsetting our waste processing costs, and freeing us from the uncertain but escalating costs of disposal by distant for-profit operations. The City is also looking into the possibility of other regional partnerships outside of Palo Alto, and perhaps that will prove to be a better solution. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, the initiative gives the City the OPTION of pursuing a local facility. Without an assurance of the necessary few acres, the City cannot justify in-depth analysis of a local facility. If, after passage of the initiative, a better solution is found, the undedicated land would revert to a "parkland" designation. So I don't really think Peter, or any of the rest of us, are being fanatical ideologues. The ideologues, I would say, are those few people who are clamoring constantly "park, park, park!", without considering the benefits of a LOCAL REGIONAL solution.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 4:10 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Readers should be aware that this claim of "regional" solution represents an about-face for the proponents. The proposed facility arose under the philosophy that every city should handled its own wastes no matter how costly and inefficient, rejecting regional solutions as cities dumping their problems on someone else.

Palo Alto taxpayers have already been burned by this philosophy. Palo Alto is co-owner (with Mt View and Sunnyvale) of a waste and recycling processing center--the S.M.A.R.T. station. Because this facility was located in Sunnyvale, a coalition of many of the same environmentalists decided that Palo Alto needed to build a trash sorting facility in the Bay Lands--the so-called Environmental Services Center (ESC)--that would be operated by Waste Management. Although the folly of the ESC was recognized before it was built, Palo Alto's recycling collection had already been switched to what Waste Management wanted and which the SMART station could not accept. As a result, PA recyclables wound up getting trucked to Waste Management facilities (East Bay?) and PA had to pay a substantial penalty to the SMART station because we weren't delivering the contracted amount of recyclables.

"It feels like deja vu all over again."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 4:41 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: Bryan Long on paying for-profit companies

When this proposal started, there were _no_ instances of this technology in the US and only a couple in Germany. I don't know if this has changed. Peter Drekmeier and other early advocates were very enthusiastic about Palo Alto being the first in the nation to have such a facility. When I raised the issue of all the additional costs of being first, the response was partly that Palo Alto needed to be a leader in this area and that as a rich community, Palo Alto needed to shoulder those costs and partly that they didn't believe that the costs would be that much. I pointed out that Palo Alto would be paying for the consultants and contractors to get up to speed on the technology, that we would be paying for consultants to explore compliance with state and federal regulations and that we would be paying the technology's owner to adapt their system to US building codes, materials, ... (I worked in Britain and repeatedly bumped into these problems, both at work and at home).

Apparently, having the City pay private companies is bad only when it involves something contrary to your agenda.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 13, 2011 at 5:01 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

What a difference a name makes. When I first moved to the Bay Area, plans for a garbage incinerator had just been abandoned. Now a half century later, a name change and back it comes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 13, 2011 at 9:50 am

Walter,

Plasma arc gasification is not incineration, and it is not combustion. It operates as a closed system. That is why I asked you to explain "burner".

Here is a short article listing the benefits of plasma arc: Web Link

The Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA)recently authorized a full EIR to assess plasma arc and its ability to sataisfy CEQA air quality mandates. SWSWA has the goal of eliminating landills almost completely, and plasma arc will be a very important part of reaching that goal.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

Douglas, your concern over the limited prior deployment of dry anaerobic digestion is very valid. I'm concerned about that too, even though I am excited about the opportunity for Palo Alto to be a national leader. That is something this city should aspire to. But the City certainly will have to consider costs and risks carefully. I'm not religious about this proposal. If more economical and environmentally beneficial solution can be found, most of us backing the initiative would go along with it. But we want the City to have the flexibility to choose a regional facility based in Palo Alto if that makes the most sense. The initiative is to free up some land for that option, not to mandate a facility.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

Let us hope that, if the land is opened up, the best, most comprhensive solution, will be studied, not just anaerobic digestion (AD). Plasma arc solves many problems, while AD is quite limited (and requires a much larger piece of land).

The political/ideological opposition to plasma arc mostly comes from those who think it will be too effective, thus reducing the incentive to recycle. This, of course, is nonsense. The Salinas Valley Solid Waste facility is a strong promoter of recycling, AND it is pursuing plasma arc. It is not an either/or choice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parks are important
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by who cares
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

"How wonderful that we have such thoughtful and polite commentary by our citizens like Who Cares, and Too Kind to Peter, and Parks are Important, citizens who aren't afraid to use their real names in public discourse. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I don't think I've ever agreed with a single one of Walter Wallis' comments over many years, but he has the courage and dignity to put his name on his comments. How about we treat each other with a little more respect, and if you aren't willing to put your name where your mouth is, put a sock in it."

So, Bryan, if you use your own name then you are allowed to be nasty? Is that how it works in your world? Why are we nasty cowards? Because we disagree with one or both sides of this issue? Because some people (i.e. Too kind to Peter) state opinions that are not favorable to Mr Drekmeier? Have you read the letter that Mr Moran referred to (written by Drekmeier)? SOme people would consider that "nasty".
As you will note, you can use any name you want when posting on this forum, so your comments about putting "a sock in it" are way, way out of line.
I find it amusing (and hypocritical) that you claim to want civil discourse, yet you unleash a rude, nasty diatribe against those that disagree with you. SOrry, Brian, you are out of line.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm

The Palo Alto Weekly Forum Editors are just too nice.

If these trash talkers were posting on another site that I follow here are the kind of responses that they would have received from that site's Editor"

"Editor: That's fine Steve, but for the record each of the comments that was scrubbed was ridiculous and they are always flushed and it is nothing new. People need to not be total jerks and their words will be published, but I get sick of the personal attacks on our writer so there you go. It is counter productive.

Editor: Hey Mona, your needless comment was flushed.

Editor: No nimrod, when people write stupid things or feel like expressing keyboard bravery they get deleted. "


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Instead of all the regular trash talk, could we, possibly(?), try to stay with the merits of this issue?

Plasma arc is a real solution; anaerobic digestion is a very small solution, if it is that.

We should be looking for solutions that ELIMINATE land fills, including the possiblity of reversing previous land fills. We need real solutions, not political fantasies...and puerile name calling.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: Brian Long "...The initiative is to free up some land for that option, not to mandate a facility."

I have encountered multiple (6-10) people passing this petition and _all_ describe it as seeking a vote to have Palo Alto build such a facility. None have described it as making land available as a prerequisite for doing a study.

Telling signature gatherers how to accurately describe the initiative is an important part of the petition process. Since the people behind this initiative are politically sophisticated and experienced, it is hard to believe that if this initiative wins that they will not portray it as a vote to _build_.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm

In the end, if the petition passes, the PA City Council will need to decide the best solution for the use of that land. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is not the best solution. Plasma arc has a lot going for it. I can only hope that our Council is not "in the pocket" of the AD group, blue label or not.

Plasma arc would use a LOT less land than AD, and it would solve MANY issues that AD doesn't even consider, for example, toxic chemical destruction, volume reduction, heavy metal stabilization/recovery, maximizing electricity generation, reducing costs (possibly to zero, or better...making a profit).

Many of the current arguments I am hearing about this issue are an anachronistic blood letting, based on tribal politics from the past.

We need a new, problem-solving approach. Plasma arc is an example of such an approach. It is about the future, not the past.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Why-In-The-Park?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

> The world is full now.

Really? Who says so? Are you prepared to solve this problem by sterilizing a generation of our youth so that we can "cull the herd" a little?

Places like the US are almost empty. Most of the population lives within a couple hundred miles of the waters that surround us. Canada is even more empty than we are.

> We have a global warming problem.

Says who? The earth has gone through these sorts of cycles in the past--for billions of years before man arrived. The temperature goes up, and then it goes down. It wasn't all that long ago that the bulk of the North American continent was under a mile of ice. There weren't any people around then, so there wasn't anyone to claim we had an "ice problem" .. but this will happen again, so there's time to hone those slogans when the glaciers reappear. (Will be interesting to see how those same folks claiming we have an "global warming problem" will attack us humans about the onset of the next ice age.)

> We have a global species extinction crisis.

Who says? Most biologists will admit they don't know accurately how many species that currently exist. Most paleontologists will tell you that they don't know how many species have come and gone, long before man showed up on the continent--although there is sufficient fossil records to identify at least five major "mass extinctions". The best that we "know" is that "probably" twice the number of living species have evolved into existence, and then disappeared from the earth, as a part of "life's cycle".

Species are constantly evolving. The rates are slow, but there is nothing that we can do to stop this. (Keeping in mind that in about five billion years the sun will "go Nova" on us, and will envelope the earth as its ages towards its own "extinction". That will be the final "mass extinction" for life on earth--without man's having anything to do causing it, or being to stop it.

But what do any of these "complaints" have to do with why this compost converter needs to be in this park. If it's a good idea, let's do a complete feasibility plan, and then look at a regional solution to the placement, and operation, of the facility. If it's not a good idea--then let's drop it like a hot potato!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Dear "Parks are Important", "Who Cares", and "Why in the Park", you are absolutely right, I was being nasty. Perhaps unreasonably so. But who did I insult? Some anonymous person who wrote a nasty note about one one of my friends on the school blackboard? In the adult world, anonymity is appropriate if you fear reprisal for speaking truth to power, but not appropriate for making snarky derogatory comments. That is just cowardice. There is certainly room for sharp criticism in a public forum. I happen to think Jordan, Renzel and Pearson are caught up in a dream that doesn't make sense anymore. But they likewise think I'm caught up in a dream that doesn't make sense. But I also know that they are real people, and good people, who are well intentioned (even if wrong). Some of you apparently think my friend Peter Dreckmeier is an environmental dreamer, other that he is a pro-development zealot. If you know him, you also know he is a decent man who cares a lot about Palo Alto (whether right or wrong). That's all fine; that's what grown-ups do when they get together to debate an issue. They get fired up, and tempers flare a bit. If I get too nasty, people can judge me, people can tell me I'm a jerk, and I might begin to feel a need to apologize. But how would you feel if somebody showed up to a town hall meeting wearing a cloak, hood, and mask, and began saying nasty things about other people? It's anti-social. It's dishonest. It's cowardly.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Do not like brians comments
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Sorry, brian, you are trying to excuse your nasty comments by claiming that since you made then using your own name then it is okay. You also seem to think it is okay to insult people because you do not know their real identities. Maybe that is one of the reasons people post anonomously-they are concerned about a person like you knowing their identity. You condemn those that criticize drekmeier "anonymously" even though those kind of postings are allowed on this forum. There are many reasons why people post anonymously-no reason to go into them here. You also try to justify your nasty comments by claiming that drekmeier is your friend. Sorry, brian. Your comments were our of line and hypocritical.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Plasma arc sounds like a good idea. Set up a pilot operation somewhere, and bring it into serial production, then buy it. Buy it with a guarantee of performance. Do not invest City money in an idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm

To: "Why in the Park". Am I prepared to WHAT? No, I'm not. If you are, you are a strange person. As for "Who says", the answer in each case is "Bryan Long". I'm the person who wrote the post. But you want me to refer to authority. You want me to say, on the question of Global Warming, that my statement is backed up by the National Academies of Sciences of 22 nations and 97% of climate scientists worldwide. So that you can say "Yeah, but 3% disagree, so it's just a theory." Or maybe "Why should we believe scientists, they don't know anything." In your own comments, you reference the evidence for five major extinction events in the geological past, even though we don't know how many species existed then. We know that there was a very wide diversity, then a large percentage of them died out. That's an extinction event. We don't know exactly how many species exist on Earth today, but we have a pretty good approximation for mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish. A study in 2010 involving 174 researchers in 38 countries finds that approximately 20% of all vertebrate species are in danger of extinction due to habitat destruction. That's the full world: it isn't population per square mile that matters, it's human impact. Fly over the "empty" United States, and where you don't see deserts or mountains, you see agriculture and cities. So say I, and I am not alone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Yes, I think it is ok to make nasty comments about people who make nasty comments about people from behind a veil of anonymity. It's also ok to make nasty comments about people who make nasty comments about people without hiding their identity. :-)

Yes this forum "allows" anonymity, but the comment form also encourages using your real name. I think it is a good side debate, whether and how anonymity is useful in an electronic forum, but I'll try to stick to the main debate from this point on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 14, 2011 at 5:49 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Bryan, wake up. The day of the subjective scientist is past if it was ever here. Scientists, like industrialists and scholars and politicians, tend to view data that confirms their gut reactions more favorably than data that rejects it. That is why the double blind has been so successful in genuinely predictive science. Global Warming has been successful because it confirms that the other guy is taking more than his fair share.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by who cares
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

"Yes, I think it is ok to make nasty comments about people who make nasty comments about people from behind a veil of anonymity. It's also ok to make nasty comments about people who make nasty comments about people without hiding their identity. :-)"

You seem to feel the need, Bryan, to justify your hypocritical stand on nasty comments. If you feel that nasty comments are wrong--then they are wrong, period.
Let me tell you what I did--about a month ago I ran into Drekmeier collecting signatures at Piazzas. I refused to sign the petition and told him to his face that he was a "waste of space". He did not know who I was--so I did it anonymously. Is that "wrong", Bryan?

"Yes this forum "allows" anonymity, but the comment form also encourages using your real name. I think it is a good side debate, whether and how anonymity is useful in an electronic forum, but I'll try to stick to the main debate from this point on."

But the people who are posting anonymously are allowed to under the terms of use. Also since you are arguing about what the terms of use encourage, they also say that abusive language should not be used. Another example of your hypocrisy.

I understand, Bryan, that you are zealous in your support of Drekmeier and his pipe dreams, however your comments about others is over the line and hypocritical.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Emily Renzel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

There is a bottom line in this debate and the most recent information from the City's consultant on the Anaerobic Digester feasibility shows that AD on Palo Alto's parkland costs much more than the adopted Regional Plan currently in place. The range of net costs for AD is $110 to $355 per ton. The range for the Regional Plan is $68-$72. That is a difference of $2,356,000/year to $17,546,000/year for the 62,000 tons of material. And that will translate directly into increased garbage and sewage rates.

Those AD numbers include a scandalous rent based on land VALUE of $100,000/acre (which happens to be the current RENT paid for the landfill)! The AD costs do not include costs of a Green Roof, also touted by Initiative proponents which would add costs of $3.51 to $5.62 per ton to their already excessive costs. Our Refuse rates are the second highest in the Bay Area and our Refuse Fund had a $7 million shortfall last year, after 57% in increases over the prior several years. DO THE MATH. AD = much higher bills.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

Emily,

The cost of plasma arc waste reduction is much less than other methods. Depending on the fuel content, a profit can be turned, meaning that garbage is a resource, not a libility. To put it another way, the cost per ton could be zero.

It my understanding that we would be voting on undedicating a few acres of park land, which is currently a dump. I don't think we are voting to dedicate that land to aneaerobic digestion. If the land is undedicated, then the city can discuss the best method to proceed to handle our solid waste issues. Am I wrong about this?

If you want to include the value of the land for a city service, then you need to do the same for the park. For example, how much is currently being paid, yearly, for the existing Byxbee park? This is a red herring argument.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Keep it off the ballot!
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 14, 2011 at 10:53 am

This is NOT an issue for the ballot. It is far too complex, requiring serious, deep study of construction and long-term operational costs of the digester facility vs. park use.

While I am sympathetic to the viewpoint of the parks advocates, I also think that we need a responsible decision that considers our city's overall long-term budget, that balances the environmental costs and benefits of the digester vs. park uses.

I have read some of the staff reports about this project, and I can't honestly say that I have decided where I stand on it yet...and given the sheer volume of data that needs to be analyzed, I don't have the bandwidth to do that work. I guarantee the average voter is going to make an emotional decison, not an educated decision on this complex issue.

Please DO NOT put it on the ballot. Nothing good can come of that. There is a reason we have elected representatives. It is their job to study the data and make an informed decision on our behalf.

I have not signed petitiion, because I think the ballot initiative is a very bad idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 14, 2011 at 11:33 am

My concern is that even if science developed a fully-captured, efficient, clean, no-emission, Earth-warming plant --- that the three obstructionists will still try to prevent the plant from being installed in the proposed location.

What we are witnessing is just another version of our Congress - polarized view points with no hope of negotiation or compromise.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by enough!
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 14, 2011 at 11:48 am

Sick of Palo Alto whiners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm

"even if science developed a fully-captured, efficient, clean, no-emission, Earth-warming plant"

Crescent Park Dad,

OK, plasma arc is not all of that, but it is pretty close. It is FAR superior to any other method currently being discussed. It is also MUCH less expensive.

Don't lose hope. Rational minds really are capable of making rational decisions. It just takes time and effort and focus.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Emily Renzel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Since when have Palo Altan's who want to protect our parks become NIMBY's, obstructionists, whiners, and unreallistic dreamers? This sort of smear is typical of dirty politics. Many of our parks, including all of our Baylands, are protected because Enid Pearson was visionary and led a group of people to initiate a Park Dedication Charter Amendment. Article VIII of our Charter has done a pretty good job of protecting parks which otherwise would constantly be viewed as "vacant" land for politicians to toy with. This AD proposal is just another such instance.

Despite Public Works' landfill activities on some of the Byxbee Park acreage -- allowed, by the way, only because it was shaping the park for magnificent vistas --the open part of the park is really a wonderful nearby open space for hiking, biking, running, and generally enjoying the surrounding wetlands and wildlife. I urge you to visit this park to understand for yourselves what the intrusion of an Industrial Anaerobic Digester Plant will mean to the ability of future generations to enjoy this park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Emily Renzel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

This is in response to Craig Laughton's question. About 20 years ago, the City changed to an Enterprise Fund system for all of the utilities, including the Refuse Enterprise Fund. In this way, the City's General Fund could charge the Enterprise Funds for use of General Fund assets such as space at City Hall, use of computers, etc. etc. It also included charging rent. This was a post-Prop 13 way the City could raise revenue, charging utility customers for use of General Fund assets. Since 1992, the City has charged the Refuse Enterprise Fund $100,000/acre/year for using the General Fund's Byxbee Park as landfill. Byxbee Park has been park dedicated since 1965 and the filling has been allowed ostensibly to shape the final approved park plan. Once the landfilling is completed sometime this year, the park will still be a General Fund asset but the General Fund does not charge itself rent as it does the Enterprise Funds. That's why parks don't pay rent.

Re Plasma Arc: It is one of the technologies being reviewed in the Master Planning for the Regional Water Quality Control Plant on its site. Those circulating park undedication petitions have tried to limit the use of the proposed undedicated land to Anaerobic Digestion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

"Since when have Palo Altan's who want to protect our parks become NIMBY's, obstructionists, whiners, and unreallistic dreamers? "

Emily,

My answer would be when they attempt to block the future, and the rational needs of our city. Frankly, I don't understand why you would oppose a process (plama arc) that could REVERSE our current toxic pile out there. Byxbee "Park" is really just a stop-gap thing that allows tons of toxics to leach into our bay. True environmentalists would oppose such an approach. We need to clean up our environment, not just bury it. Plasma arc offers this answer.

Emily, please do a little research on plamsa arc. I think you will like what you see. It offers the dream of reversing our past degredation of the SF Bay. Please don't oppose technology for the sake of it being technology. You and I are on the same boat.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Emily,

The Enterprise Fund system is just a trick that the city uses to develop profit centers, and these 'profits', having been extracted from PA citizens through fees, are then put back into the general fund. In other words, they are a tax. Any accountant, with half a brain, could understand this trick. Even Enron had better cover. Can we, please, just drop this thing? Public lands, for public purposes, should not be charged a 'rent', period.

We should be talking about best uses and practices of our public lands. Parks are great. So is the rational disposal of our solid wastes. That is why I support plasma arc. Please take a look at it, Emily...I think you might like it!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Creighton Beryl
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Two sure signs that somebody knows little to nothing nothing about what he advocates:
(1) He evangelizes with religious zeal instead of reasoned facts,
(2) He call his opponents names. And not terribly original names at that.
There are two major facts about plasma arcs:
(1) They consume huge amounts of power,
(2) Their extreme operating temperatures decompose materials into their constituent chemical elements. Trash contains hydrogen, oxygen, and a witches brew of highly reactive nasties like chlorine, fluorine, sodium. These immediately react in the exhaust stream to form a soup of exotic bioreactive chemical vapors, like dioxin. Nobody wants these in in their trachea, but anybody living downwind of the arc exhaust stack will get lungfuls.
People really should research their subject before they try to push poisons on other naive folks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Creighton,

I have discussed plasma arc, in some detail, in previous threads on this site (look it up). None of your charges are informed. Plasama arc will only be used if it passes CEQA standards. Your alarmist charges are pandering to unfounded fears. Do your research, please.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tree Huggers Make Me Laugh
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Crescent Park Dad:
"My concern is that even if science developed a fully-captured, efficient, clean, no-emission, Earth-warming plant --- that the three obstructionists will still try to prevent the plant from being installed in the proposed location."

YES - We have a winner for the defintion of "environmentalist" in the next edition of Webster's Dictionary.

I really think that, given the chance, they would eat their young if it meant getting their way.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Creighton Beryl
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 15, 2011 at 9:44 am

I've seen the prior posts. It's superficially impressive what a little selective googling will turn up. But more name calling will not cover for a lack of understanding of the basic physics and chemistry (not to mention operating costs) of plasma arcs vaporizing trash.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Why-In-The-Park?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

To Those Who Continue To Whine About Anonymous Posting:

Why does it matter who the poster is? When an argument, or a narrative, is intelligent, succinct, and respectful--what makes it impossible for your to read it, and engage it, without knowing the names of those who posted the comment? Is it possible that you have a filter than only accepts information from "known sources"? Is it possible that you might "deal with" such posters, later, and off-line?

I know a person who was a official in the Republican Party, who ran for elected office locally. After the election, he relayed a few of the "incidents" that occurred during his campaign. A couple stick in my mind-- 1) He was called a "known Republican" by a visible "community leader" in the Green Meadow area, and treated rather rudely in a public setting during the campaign; 2) his car was "keyed" cost several hundred dollars to repair.

In my own case, I have had signs torn down from my yard, that have endorsed "unpopular" positions, and my house has been "egged"-- Leaving a clear message that "freedom of speech" is not for everyone in this town.

I would encourage you to your spend time reading the posts, researching them for validity and depth of content, and constructing better arguments than you folks typically do.

It's clear that people are more willing to speak their minds in this politically-charged town when they can do so anonymously. That's the obvious reason for having secret ballots when its time to make public decisions.

I will continue to post anonymously, as it makes it easier for me to be open and honest, without fear of retaliation for people who believe that "the ends justify the means", and include the use of verbal, and physical, intimidation in their political tool kit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Why-In-The-Park?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:53 am

To: Bryan Long --

I asked you three simple questions, and you failed to answer any of them with facts. You did waste our time with a lot of words in your response.

I prepared a lengthy response to your nonsense, but have decided that all that information is just distracting to this discussion about the basic question, which still seems to have no intelligent answers: "Why in this park?"

Why is a regional solution to this sort of problem unacceptable to you and your colleagues? (And by the way, I am not opposed to "undedicating" parkland. Palo Alto has perhaps $20B tied up in parkland/open space. At some point, some of these assets need to be sold off to pay for future infrastructure refurbishments. It's just that so far, no one promoting this project seems to have any clarity of thought in their answers about this proposal.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Creighton,

I am not aware that I was "name calling", but it is usually in the eys of the beholder. That is not my intention. I am being critical of false claims, like yours (about plasma arc). Fear mongering, like yours, is not helpful to the discussion. My intention is to draw attention to plasma arc waste reduction. For example, I fully welcome Emily Renzel to take look at it. I also invite those who are advocating anaerobic digestion to take a serious look.

I advocate getting rid of solid waste disposal sites, thus returning the environment back to a more pristine state. I want to use a method that is efficient, both in energy inputs/outputs, toxics control/destruction and cost-effective. If that makes me a radical environmentalist, so be it. If plasma arc cannot out-perform other approaches, in this regard, then it won't be used. Why are you, Creighton, frightened by this approach?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 15, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Craig,

Are you and Greg (Mr. I-Love-Nuclear-Power) the one in the same (Craig/Greg)? Because if you aren't, it sure seems you should be at least BFFs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

Dear "Keep it Off the Ballot!" please note that the ballot initiative is NOT a vote to build an Anaerobic Digestion facility, but a vote to undedicate 10 acres of the much larger landfill land, and show public support for the idea, SO THAT the City Staff and Council have the opportunity to do the deep technical and financial study that I agree must be done. The City Council and staff indicated that they would not engage in a deep study when it was unclear whether they would have the option to build something on that land. Public support, including my support, will disappear if the analysis shows that such a facility will be much more costly than expected or impractical for other reasons. In that case, the Initiative specifically mandates a return of the 10 acres to "parkland" status.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by who cares
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

If this does come to a vote, I will make sure that people know that supporters of this ballot measure will tell you "to put a sock in it" and call you nasty names if you disagree with them.
(See Bryan Long's postings above)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Emily Renzel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:10 am

In response to Bryan Long: All of the literature passed out in the signature collection talks about an AD project as if it were real, including a $4-$6 million green roof. It is not clear at all in the literature that this is really to undedicate 10.1 acres of parkland. It is probably true that a project may not be mandated.

Reversion to parkland is not "mandated by the initiative" as you indicate, but rather the initiative says that a City Council "may" rededicate the parkland in 10 years, if no project is built. Then again they may not. In the two-page flyer there's only one mention of park undedication and that is a picture caption that says"All of the current landfill is scheduled to be added to Byxbee Park, bringing it to 137 acres. The ten acres proposed for the facility is less than 8% of this total." All of the landfill is already dedicated as Byxbee Park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:23 am

Dear "Why-In-the-Park?", On reflection I am quite sorry I got drawn into the vituperative comments going back and forth. I am not against anonymous comments that are intelligent, succinct and respectful, such as your first comment on this story. In my first comment, I was reacting out of anger to the comments by "Who Cares?", "Parks are Important", "Wary of Peter", and "Too Kind to Peter", which were personal attacks unsupported by any facts and pretty irrelevant to the topic. Those are the kind of comments that I find cowardly when made anonymously, and I felt, perhaps wrongly, that they deserved a response in kind. Your anonymous comment preceded my post, so I should have said my comment did not apply to yours.

I'm sorry you didn't like my answers to your "three simple questions". "Who Says?" on my assertion of global warming doesn't sound like a simple or even sincere question: surely you are aware that many, many climate scientists and others are telling us that humans fossil fuel use is causing a rapid rise in average global temperature. I took your question as more of a statement that you are in the camp of those who don't believe it. I know a lot about the research on global warming and on species extinction due to habitat loss, but I'm not convinced you are really looking for an education on the topic.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by who cares
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:51 am

"In my first comment, I was reacting out of anger to the comments by "Who Cares?", "Parks are Important", "Wary of Peter", and "Too Kind to Peter", which were personal attacks unsupported by any facts and pretty irrelevant to the topic. Those are the kind of comments that I find cowardly when made anonymously, and I felt, perhaps wrongly, that they deserved a response in kind. "

Well, Bryan, at least you finally admit that many of your comments may have been wrong. I gave an example, where I confronted Drekmeier, without identifying myself, and told him what I think--anonymously.
Why do you feel that criticism can be done only if one identifies themselves?
I went back and read my comments and the comments of the others that you site--seems to me that most of those comments were legitimate criticism of Drekmeier, based on seeing him in action on the council and in other venues. You are too thin skinned. Also note that the editors did not delete any of those posts.

You very proudly stated your feelings about so-called "nasty comments":
""Yes, I think it is ok to make nasty comments about people who make nasty comments about people from behind a veil of anonymity. It's also ok to make nasty comments about people who make nasty comments about people without hiding their identity. :-)""

These comments will be remembered come election time./


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Long
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

Hi Emily, I somewhat share your concern with the potential costs of the project. The numbers in the DRAFT feasibility study do look expensive for the AD project compared to the alternative, but I think there are some errors that need to be addressed and some follow-up needed with the vendors. I'm waiting for the final report to make up my mind.

I do appreciate the leadership you, Enid, and others provided in the past and currently to protect our parks. The charter amendment requiring a vote to undedicating parkland has likely been a valuable part of that protection. However, the purpose of the ordinance was to require a vote of the people, not to PREVENT a vote by the people to undedicate parkland. This initiative isn't driven by politicians seeking a land grab, it is driven by citizens who believe it is the right thing to do, and worth the undedication of 10 acres of the landfill land.

I agree with you that people should go walk Byxbee park and consider the trade-off. Different people will perceive different things when taking that walk. I don't see the same value you do, even though, were all other things equal, I'd rather see open space than an airport and a water treatment plant. But I don't think all other things are equal. I think that there are compelling reasons to consider adding an anaerobic digester next to the water treatment plant. You and others disagree, and that is why it is good that we have a vote on the issue. Let's let the people decide whether to undedicate the land.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Creighton Beryl
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

"This initiative isn't driven by politicians seeking a land grab, it is driven by citizens who believe it is the right thing to do."

I am not so sure about that. Consider:
(1) the 10-year set-aside to keep the undedicated land available for city use,
(2) the lack of a mandate to rededicate it to park after that period,
(3) the city's prior attempt to build a giant garbage sorting facility on this parcel (euphemistically named the Environmental Services Center),
(4) the head proponent of this is scheme is a pro-development former mayor

I think the deeper motivations bear some close scrutiny. The city very evidently wants this land made available for its own use, and the rank-and-file proponents of this initiative, as well intentioned as they may believe they are, have bought into an agenda they will eventually regret.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

"I think the deeper motivations bear some close scrutiny.

Creighton,

I have assumed, from the beginning, that you are "Crate-and Barrel", but I didn't want to call you out on it. If I am wrong, please just announce your real name. My real name is Craig Laughton...I live at 2321 Harvard St. in Palo Alto. If I have it wrong, "Creighton", just let me know...I am a serious guy, and I will own up to my own mistakes.

Now, to get more serious, "Creighton", I am calling you out on your scare tactics about plasma arc. Lay it out there, buddy...I say that you are full of nothing. Let me (us) have it. I want to know how people, downwind from a plasma arc unit, will get poisoned by dioxins.

Then I want you to explain your (unsupported) claim that plasma arc "consume huge amounts of power", bottom line.

Time to cough it up Crate.

Palo Alto should be looking at the future, not the past, and not at fear.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by South PA Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I've already decided I'm voting against this costly and unnecessary plant because Green Waste is considering building a similar plant in San Carlos and our compost can be taken there for incineration.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Creighton Beryl
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Elementary, my dear Laughton. It's simple conservation of energy, which all technically competent types are well familiar with. Decomposing the molecular constituents in trash using anything requires energy to break their chemical bonds. The plasma* arc has to provide that energy at a rate commensurate with the garbage feed rate. You can look up the bond energy of molecules in various chemical handbooks. Multiply that by the molecular density being zapped per unit time and you have a lower threshold on the power input required. Any freshman chemistry student can help you.

*BTW, all electrical arcs involve a plasma of some sort, so you can skip the redundancy.

As for dioxin, it is very difficult not to make dioxins in any combustion involving the ingredients I listed above. Friendly health hint: don't burn PVC pipes or wiring insulation to light your BBQ charcoal, OK?

You're hardly the first to notice the correspondence between my name and a store chain. I chose not to sue, but I get even by not shopping there.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Crate,

Can you explain to me why chemical bonds, once broken, cannot provide more energy than the initial input energy to drive the chain? Last I heard, coal burns, once it gets ignited. Then you can try to explain to me why plasma arc cannot produce net energy, compared to the input energy, assuming that there is a fuel (garbage) available to drive the process (as it does in the real world). Once you have convinced me of that, I will challenge you to show me that wood, once ignited, cannot produce heat.

Crate, dioxins are produced from any high temperature source, including flares of land fill gas, if the incredients are there. Plasma arc systems are designed to scrub them, under proper quenching conditions. There is no reason to fear living downwind from a plasma arc unit.

Crate, your fear tactics won't work, except for those, like you, who like to be fearful.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Creighton Beryl
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 17, 2011 at 9:07 am

"Can you explain to me why chemical bonds, once broken, cannot provide more energy than the initial input energy to drive the chain?"

Oh, man. Here's a self-styled technology guru who's never heard of the First Law of Thermodynamics. Get thee to a high school physics class.

FYI, that's called a perpetual motion machine. Save yourself the trouble. Many have tried to make those. The Patent Office won't listen anyway.

Finally, please try to get my name right. If you need help, have your computer copy it from the "Posted by" line and paste it into your text. However, since this exchange seems to have served its purpose, I'll sign off.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

CB,

Energy is neither created nor destroyed...but it is transformed. Converted molecules can, indeed, yield useful energy. That is why coal-fired power plants can produce electrcity. It is also why plasma arc waste conversion can also yield net energy...this means that the plasma arc unit can produce more electricity than it consumes. Your charge that plasma arc "consume huge amounts of power" is a misleading statement. Plasma arc require power, true, but if it produces more output than it invested (due to the fact that fuel is being consumed), then what is the point of your statement?

Your criticisms of plasma arc have no valid scientific basis.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Palo Alto voters, can we decide about undedicating currently dedicated parkland, based upon a rational set of facts:

1. The Palo Alto dump is about to be closed, sooner rather than later. It is currently slated to become a completed part of Byxbee Park. This means that the land fill (dump), and any serious recylcing/reduction will be gone for good.

2. There is a motion afoot to undedicate about 10 acres of the dump/Bybee to consider other possibilities, regarding our own waste stream. This effort is led by a group of people, who are wedded to the idea of anaerobic digestion (AD)...and they are generally part of the "zero waste" mandate (for all of us), as unrealistic as it is.

3. AD is a very inefficient process for reducing our waste stream, including our sewage sludge. However, it is not completely unreasonable, considering our current approach of incinerating our sewage sludge, using natural gas. AD will require a relatively large industrial plant in our Baylands, and it will never be able to reduce our current toxic leach pile in our Baylands, nor will it ever be able to deal with toxic materials and heavy metals, etc. AD only (partially) deals with organic trimmings and sewage sludge...but it does not address woody plant tissues. We will still be left with a hefty mass of non-detoxified organic mass, which is proposed to be spread all over our environment...to a certain degree of benefit (compost), but as well a toxic build-up.

4. Any undedication of park land should be based on a 'best practices' model, not a merely political model. If Palo Alto wants to be a leader in this area, then it needs to fully explore the best use of park land that is undedicated. It would be a huge mistake to buy into the zero-waste/AD religion. We need to look at all possible solutions to reduce our waste mass to near-zero, and to reverse our current massive toxic leach pile..., which will slowly leak into our Bay. The only current effective technology, I am aware of, is plasma arc.

5. If someone can counter my argument, PLEASE, let us hear from you! There seems to be no leadership from our city council about these issues...yet we are left with an election, sanctioned by our council, that will drive our future in this area.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 3,571 views

Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 11 comments | 1,517 views

A Surprise!
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,408 views

It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 574 views