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Los Angeles ruling could jeopardize Palo Alto vehicle-dwelling law

Original post made on Jun 20, 2014

The U.S. District Court of Appeals has ruled against a Los Angeles vehicle-habitation law similar to Palo Alto's, saying that it opens the door to discriminatory enforcement against the homeless and the poor.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 20, 2014, 6:09 AM

Comments (87)

Posted by correction, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 20, 2014 at 8:12 am

Sue: it's William Abrams, Managing Partner at Steptoe and Johnson.


Posted by Deb, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 20, 2014 at 9:01 am


YEAH!!! Now maybe Palo Alto will do the right thing!


Posted by Winnie Bagal, a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2014 at 9:02 am

As soon as I get ol' Bessie to turn over I'm taking her to Palo Alto. Some lucky vehicle dweller is going to get into a situation that will allow them to sue the city, and with this precedent it'll be a good payday for their efforts.


Posted by GivingUp, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:15 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by Chuck Jagoda, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:54 am

Chuck Jagoda is a registered user.

I have every confidence that even the most rabid of anti-homeless litigation-seekers will not continue to press this issue. The City Council of Palo Alto may have been deaf to the moral outrage they heard the night they passed the dreaded and draconian Vehicle Habitation Ordinance and the many nights afterward when people spoke their embarrassment of the actions of their City.

But I believe it's sufficiently clear now that (1) many long standing citizens are morally outraged at the VHO and (2) such a thoughtless- vague- and discriminatory ordinance is unConstitutional and cannot stand and (3)as Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer says in the article above--using punitive measures to solve homelessness is not appropriate-- the deeper more structural bases are what need to be addressed.

We must not forget the macro economic picture: We are in the largest transfer of wealth from poor to rich ever in history. Palo Alto has been woefully deficient in building affordable housing for the duration of this hugest-ever wealth transfer. It cannot now blame the victims of this neglect.

Profiting from this transfer -- which has only accelerated since 2008 (the values of most IRAs and property values are higher now than in 2008) -- and then criminalizing those who are left sucking hind teat is not what America and Palo Alto want to be known for.


Posted by jerry99, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Mark P., a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by jerry99, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:40 pm

[Post removed]


Posted by 3rd Generation, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm

When I was a kid at Escondido Elementary in 1963 , a classmate reported on her trip to Calcutta, saying that at night you'd have to step over people sleeping on the sidewalk. I thought that was barbarous. Now with all our "progress" since 1963, that's how it is in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

1960s Palo Alto had many funky old houses too big for modern families but ideal for tolerant and flexible folks whose values of freedom and economic efficiency made them choose communal living.
The real estate profiteers wanted University Avenue to be a highrise financial center, a Montgomery Street South of towers like those at Palo Alto Square and at 525 University, Channing House and 101 Alma. The highrise vision ultimately lost out, and Montgomery Street South occupied Sand Hill Road instead, but the City has in the last 40 years pursued policies benefiting the residential real estate profiteers at the expense of the poor as low-cost housing was bulldozed and luxury apartments were built in their place. No more frugal, freedom-loving groups allowed—residents must choose choose high-priced and selfish isolation or homelessness.

During these same decades we have been so bombarded with very well-funded neoconservative propaganda and so steeped in pure short-term market values that even most liberals now accept that a certain amount of homelessness is an inevitable consequence of the new version of freedom and economic efficiency that the neocons have been hypnotizing us into accepting as the best of all possible worlds.


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm

jerry99, thank you pointing out that the people living in their vehicles are not "transients" as they are not moving from town to town as many have misled us to believe.

3rd generation, I work full-time and live out of my vehicle. It's not about working its about the exploitation of the poor. I was born and raised in Menlo Park. On my dad's side my family goes back 3 generations like yours. On my mom's side my family goes back 8 generations, to before 1776. One of my close relatives was high ranking general in the U.S. army prior to the civil war.

Like I said I work full time in Palo Alto at a job that does not pay enough for rent let alone food and clothing. In the 1970's the wage I earn from my job would have been sufficient to pay for a studio 1/3 of my income or a one bedroom 1/2 of my income for an apartment two to four blocks off of University.

I didn't change. I've worked hard like I always had. The only thing that changed is that the cost of housing went up out of proportion to the wage I earn.

Don't you dare tell me that I should live somewhere else because the I cannot afford to pay for housing here. Why should I who can least afford it be forced to give up another 2 to 3 hours of my day commuting to and from work and having to pay for it while those with the greater income do not? Every American should be able to afford a place to live in the town or city where they work so long as they are working a minimum of 40 hours a week. I know one fellow who has two kids and makes less than I do who lives in south San Jose. Why do you force him to live 40 miles away polluting the environment unnecessarily? His wife works part-time too just enough to cover rent and food.

Immigrants who come to this country are allowed to cram 6, 8, 12 adults into two bedroom apartments in E.P.A. areas of Mountain View and areas of Redwood City. Why won't Palo Alto allow the same?


Now I see several startups renting or buying homes in the 4 blocks adjacent to University and instead of using them for housing they are using them as businesses eliminating that much more housing. Rather than increase the number of homes for all of the new workers the city planners keep the supply extremely low to increase the profits of land owners. Palo Alto's population increases by 50,000 people every day from jobs that are here. Either eliminate the jobs or build housing.

Forget about building housing elsewhere, the overly zealous environmentalists have ruled all open space off limits.

It boils down to simple arithmetic. And to use an simplistic analogy: if there are 100,000 people working and living in a finite area and there are only 999,000 places for these people to live 1,000 people are going to left without a place to live. So rather than vilify these people if you would share the land space with them then they would not be living in their vehicles.

The ball is in your court. What are you going to do? Are you going to continue to blame full time workers who used to pay rent but no longer are capable of doing so due to a housing market that has been deliberately manipulated to produce this condition or are you going to demand that more housing be built?


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Message to the post. Pleas don't censor giveing up, jerry99 and 3rd generation they have said nothing offensive. They only expressed their position which should be allowed to be challenged by the rest of us.


Posted by Score Keeper, a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Look for those who name call and insult. They have the weakest argument and must supplement it with insults.


Posted by PA mom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm

PA mom is a registered user.

I'm so relieved that the discriminatory ordinance against vehicle habitation is being questioned and hopefully scrapped. I'm a licensed mental health professional, and I can tell you that the homeless population are comprised of the mentally and physically disabled and ill, battered women and their children, drug addicts and alcoholics and people (some with children) who lost their jobs. Where is the compassion? What happened to those individuals in LA was despicable, and shows how homelessness leads to premature death (remember Bunny and the mother found in Heritage Park?). Homeless shelters are sometimes not safe places, so those with vehicles need the option to sleep in them for their own safety. Shelters also have rules and curfews that may clash with the individual's evening work schedule or family life (yes, some homeless people hold down jobs that don't pay enough for housing, and have families).

If a person who happens to be homeless disturbs the peace, etc. they should be dealt with as an individual case. To blame all vehicle dwellers for the behavior of a select few isn't fair and is unconstitutional.


Posted by Let My Employees Park, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I live in Palo Alto and own a business in the small industrial area bound by Transit, Commercial and Industrial streets. Many Palo Alto residence do not even know this small light industrial zone exists. It does, and its thriving.

Almost every office, RD, warehouse and manufacturing site here is fully occupied. Even Google Shopping has moved in to the last open building (an old butcher shop). The neighborhood is filled with commerce.

And unfortunately, large RV's park here continually. We are not talking about someone living in a car. We are talking about 30 foot long mobile homes that take 3-4 parking spaces at a time. At last count there were 9 of these monstrosities taking up more than 30 parking spaces that would otherwise be used for our employees.

Setting the socioeconomic questions aside. These RV's present a real problem. Palo Alto Community services tags the vehicles when they have not moved for 72 hours...but they typically just move forward or back two or three spaces and the parking violation is satisfied.

Lets set up a parking lot near the airport and provide a save zone for these folks. They will have a safe place to park and not impact other areas of the city which are not configured to accept these large RVs.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm

>> I have every confidence that even the most rabid of anti-homeless litigation-seekers will not continue to press this issue.

Wow, you have not spent much time on these boards listening to them have you?

What has not been done is to define the problem being solved.
Is it car camping or is it the homeless.

Clearly any city has a right to protect itself, but there is no claim to real
damages yet at this point. A couple of vague claims of crime, going to
the bathroom outside, but not one bit of documentation.

This law in Palo Alto was rammed through by a few macho-wannabes so they
could look tough and self-righteous and claim victory.

If thousands of homeless people swarmed into Palo Alto, yes, would would have
to something if another city or statute did not manage the problem, but that is
not what is happening.

It is teen-agers such as the ones throwing stuff off the parking structure the
other day that cause as much problems as the homeless or car camping.

Somehow, the law needs to be understood as something that must be rational
and fair to all. I am very much for a reviewing of Palo Alto's statute and some
real numbers, as I mentioned in previous discussions. It's not fair or right to
whip up sentiment against any population and push laws against them.


Posted by Great news, a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Great news. A real victory for those less fortunate. I was hoping that if the law was allowed to be in place, I would catch a certain resident eating in his car. I would then have him arrested under the Palo Alto law


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

CPAnon, I heard a heartbreaking (that's sarcasm) tale of damages from one resident of the Cubberley neighborhood. A youngish, athletic man, he told the City Council that he was afraid of the resident of the long yellow Dodge van at Cubberley. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know the resident of that van was a slender blonde woman twenty years older than he, a former substitute teacher, who is deaf.

Now I must admit that if I had paid a million and a half for a simple ranch house, I too might be just a leetle bit touchy about having homeless people near me. I might feel guilty that I was benefiting from a system that was not just failing them but, as Chuck noted above, has been transferring wealth from the poor to the upper 10% rapidly for some time now.

I might feel fearful that maybe they blamed me for their ill fortune, I might feel fearful that I blamed me for their ill fortune. I might feel regret that I devoted my life so far to enriching myself at the expense of others so that I might qualify to take on a mortgage designed to ensure that I would be forced to spend the rest of my life enriching myself at the expense of others in order to maintain my home.


Posted by 3rd Generation, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm

I graduated from Paly in the 1980s. Attending my reunion, I found there are few alums who could afford to buy houses in Palo Alto so they left Palo Alto, left California, or live in neighboring cities. Many commuters drive from the East Bay every day so they won't be homeless. Immigrants who don't even speak English can afford to live in a home in America. If it were really that bad in this country, we'd have more homeless, but people adjust and find homes, even mobile homes. Other cities have ordinances against vehicle dwelling and Palo Alto should follow. It's easy for people to sympathize in writing, but no one wants to invite homeless into their homes.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:33 pm

3rd Generation, where are people going to find mobile homes? AFAIK the last mobile home park in Palo Alto is Buena Vista. It's been full forever, and it's about to be closed.

Other cities' vehicle dwelling ordinances are just as unconstitutional as Palo Alto's and Los Angeles's are.

Inviting homeless in is not the issue. Tolerance for their existence outside is the issue.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Brian Good:
> Now I must admit that if I had paid a million and a half for a simple ranch house, I too might be just a leetle bit touchy about having homeless people near me.

That is a reasonable discussion to have, and some of the problems that happened particularly an assault by a person over there was citywide news. Like I implied, I am not for or against the homeless, but people who have not committed crimes or caused problems should not be lumped in with everyone under a trumped up bunch of charges at the last minute to push through draconian measures.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm

3rd Generation:
> Immigrants who don't even speak English can afford to live in a home in America.

Most immigrants cannot afford to live here, and when they do they live crowded in one house. It used to be a common practice for Asians to all live together in one house and pay that off, then they would work in turn for the next family member and the next and so on. I don't know if that is still common or if it worked for the majority, but life around here is hard if you are not wired into the economy, and then when you are, a good amount of your political speech usually is all about defending your turf and kicking the ladder away from others.

I suppose it's human nature, and homeless people can be a problem. But ... there was no real documentation of homeless people being a problem. There were people here claiming all kinds of crimes and dangers and that everyone in the local area would move to Palo Alto, and that did not happen. There was plenty of time to have discussed a phased and responsible solution to problems as they arose.

There is a lot more problems caused by the City not requiring developers to build parking than there is regarding homeless problems and car camping.

I don't see why there could not be a legitimate allowance for people to have relative visit them in a motor home which is apparently illegal in Palo Alto. All these folks who make a big noise over property rights suddenly get very quiet when this subject comes up. Why should't people be allowed to have an RV or trailer on their property? This is part of the issue.

I've recently views a lot of videos of what are called "Tiny Houses", 20x10 or so small houses built on a towable trailer frame. Why can't Palo Alto make a Tiny House Trailer park like some cities do. It could be out in the BayLands.

Maybe also distinctions should be made for people depending in their circumstances. I am much more willing to make room for people who were born in Palo Alto or who have lived here a long time in terms of allowing them stay here. If there are people from other towns coming here to avoid their police, that is a separate group of people that maybe we should differentiate?


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Edgarpoet:
> The government is housing illegals while ignoring the homeless and the vets, most of whom paid taxes for 30 or more years as I did! The government did nothing for me because I don't have a hispanic name!

Well, who can say, but I do think there is an attempt to turn majority citizens against the whole idea of fairness and justice by giving special treatment to whatever minority group. This is how people are divided and fragmented. Equal opportunity should just as much be based on class as race or religion or whatever other criterion in my opinion. Don't know why that seems impossible to get through peolpe's heads.


Posted by 3rd Generation, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 20, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Let me get this straight: A person who has 8 generations of ancestry has the RIGHT to live in Palo Alto? What happened to the American Indian's rights? They claimed the land first. Don't people in developing nations have the right to live in Palo Alto too? Shouldn't the entire world have the right to live in Palo Alto?

Yes, the government should take care of our veterans - Obama had promised that but has failed. We should dedicate more resources to our traumatized veterans rather than to people who can do better but refuse because they think they have some right to stay in a multimillion dollar real estate city just because their ancestors landed here long ago.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm

> Let me get this straight: A person who has 8 generations of ancestry has the RIGHT to live in Palo Alto?

Who was it said that?

>> I am much more willing to make room for people who were born in Palo Alto or who have lived here a long time in terms of allowing them stay here.

Is that what you mangled and distorted to get that ridiculous statement ... easy to argue against the ridiculous stuff you think up isn't it ... kind of a low bar.


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm

"We should dedicate more resources to our traumatized veterans rather than to people who can do better but refuse because they think they have some right to stay in a multimillion dollar real estate city just because their ancestors landed here long ago." By 3rd Generation

There you have it right out of their own words, "since I own a million dollar home in a city of million dollar homes you don't have right to live here because you cannot afford to even though you work downtown 40 hours a week."

Let's follow that line of thought to its nth degree. If Palo Alto can get away with denying full-time employees the right to live in its city, then so can E.P.A., Redwood City Mountain View, San Jose, San Francisco, Fremont, Tracy and Modesto. If northern California can deny workers any right to live in the area who cannot afford to live here Los Angeles and southern California can do the same. If California can deny people the right to live in California because they cannot afford it, then so can the entire United States. So what you are saying is that those who cannot afford to live in the United States should leave the United States because there is not enough housing here for everybody.

And therefore according to your premise all illegal and legal immigration should come to a halt until housing catches up with the current population.


There is only one reason why your house is worth so much and that is because their is high demand in the greater bay area for housing while at the same time their is a small supply. You see its not because you're some brilliant engineer or entrepreneur or whatever, or that you have worked hard all your life. The only reason why your house costs so much is because the market has been manipulated by greedy people to create a shortage of housing relative to the number of people and jobs.


If we built 1 million living spaces in the greater bay area adding 50,000 to Palo Alto your house wouldn't be worth so much and you couldn't claim that no one has a right to live in Palo Alto because they don't own a million dollar home. But you won't allow that housing to be build because you don't want the value of your house to stagnate or worse go down. In fact like the predatory "house flippers" you want the housing supply to remain low so that you can cash in on your house as a result of its value increasing. Homes were never meant to be a means to get rich.


"Classism" originates from the same core bigotry that all other kinds of racial, ethnic and religious hatred come from. "Classism" justifies it's discrimination against it opponents in much the same way, they are less deserving than us to exist in the same area as us because they are inferior to us because they are not as good as us because they are not as capable as us.

Let's up the ante, lets pass a law that makes it illegal for anyone to live in Palo Alto who is not earning over $5,000,000 a year. Oh, you think that's crazy, well the way inflation and the economy are going as well as the devaluation of dollar you can expect the salaries of the top tier to increase while the upper middle-class and below continue to decrease and in ten years there will not be one person moving to Palo Alto who is earning less than $5 million.


P.S. as far as the illegal or legal immigrants whom you think can find places to live, prior to Cubberley being shut down there were a dozen Hispanic males who could barely speak english who were living there, sleeping there every night in the hallways and grounds.

As far as generational seniority goes I could really care less, I just like to throw it out there when someone thinks they can use themselves as an excuse for having more rights than someone else to exist here, or even on the planet.


Posted by CrescentPark, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 7:55 am

The Ninth Circuit usually has the most reversals of its decisions when compared to the other circuits- reversals occurring on about 75% of its decisions, or more. This decision, too stands a good chance of reversal.


Posted by Now-A-Veteran, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2014 at 8:17 am

> the government should take care of our veterans

If you mean injured, or disabled, veterans--then yes. If you mean all veterans--then NO!

At the end of WWII, there were 16M men and women who would sooner, or later, qualify as veterans. These people left the military and went to work, building the US that we see all around us. These people did not want to be taken care of--they wanted to enjoy life on their terms! They wanted to chart their own courses.

Injured veterans certainly need care to the point that they are able to work again. Some veterans will require care all of their lives. To that end, the US is now spending about $150B a year on the Department of Veteran Affairs. This year's expenditures are the highest ever. Why this money is not sufficient to get the job done certain is a question that our Congress should get an answer for.

Given that self-sufficiency is something that the military trains heavily for, it is a mystery why so many former military people are homeless.


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

NAV, if you think it's a mystery why so many veterans are homeless, you should try talking to some veterans. I don't know what ideologue you got your opinions from, but they are contrary to the facts. Did you never hear of the GI Bill?

After WWII the veterans got free college educations and low cost VHA home loans and low cost small business loans. How a country that had gone into the red fighting a war could afford to do this I don't know, but the result was an era of such prosperity that the succeeding generation rejected materialism and took to roaming around the country in old school buses and crowding into old downtown Palo Alto houses so they could live cheap and spend their days playing bongos and translating Haikus and working on novels and PhDs.

This state of freedom so alarmed the city fathers that they ruled that only four unrelated people could room together in a house, making the funky old houses downtown economically unsustainable. They were bought up cheap by the real estate profiteers who knocked them down and put up luxury apartments and townhouses by the block to ensure that only the well-paid could afford to live here, and that PhD candidates had to go seriously into hock to achieve their degrees.

Problem solved! And now we have the heaven-on-earth that Palo Alto is today! Except for those pesky homeless people! It really bums my trip when I come of of Whole Foods with a bag full of $6 a pound produce and some guy in a tasteless old sweatshirt wants a dollar. I mean, get a fashion coach, guy!










Posted by Chuck Jagoda, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Chuck Jagoda is a registered user.

To Now A Veteran:

You must know veterans too shell shocked/nervous/PTSDed to come in from living on loading docks and live indoors or be around other people--don't you?

You must know veterans too physically and mentally wounded to even apply for work--right?

Some of the homeless people you see on the streets of Palo Alto fit in these categories.

One guy who sleeps on the ground and visits the Opportunity Center regularly was a few months from discharge and was caught with a small amount of marijuana. He got a discharge "other than honorable" and therefore can't get Veterans' benefits.

If your military service has left you whole and functional enough so as not to impede your ability to relate to others and to support yourself-- God bless you. You are a lucky veteran. But you do know that there are many not nearly so lucky-- right? Guys who can't be around others; who have manic or paranoid visions; women who were raped in the service and are now unable to live normal; productive lives. Veterans who suffered from these and other service-related ailments as long as they could and then killed themselves. You must know some.

I'm not a veteran of any war but I have known veterans from WWII; Korea: Vietnam; Iraq; and Afghanistan. A number of them (and their families) are still suffering (or have already died or committed suicide) from various losses.

And you think the budget that is published is enough? Or that it's really spent on veterans' benefits? The AP has a story today about the huge bonuses ($2.7 million for VA execs in 2013 alone)-- at the same time veterans are not able to get treated.

Has there every been a time when the U.S. has met its obligations to our vets? Not that I know of. Douglas Mc Arthur-- American hero of the Pacific part of WW II-- earlier in his career led troops against Civil War veterans who were demonstrating in Washington D.C. for their undelivered; inadequate; promised-but-not-forthcoming benefits. This means that some 50 years after the Civil War veterans who had given "the last full measure of devotion" could not get what they were owed.

There is a tremendous amount of stuff we Americans do that I am very proud of. But the ways the United States government throughout our history has lied to and used and then cast aside our patriotic young is not one of them.


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm

3rd Generation, you want me to pay rent then set a minimum wage of $30.00 an hour for Palo Alto and I'll start paying rent so long as you also enact a rent control similar to that of E.P.A. for if you don't then the landlords will just raise my rent 400% and take way my new income leaving me no better off than before the pay increase.

Brian, not only were veterans provided low interest mortgages for homes, the homes themselves were inexpensive due to the housing boom in creating the sub-burbs, creating Palo Alto. A single bread-winner in Palo Alto with a high school education could learn a trade on the job and buy a house and raise a family of four and still have extra income for a car and vacation time.

If the federal minimum wage had kept pace with inflation over the last 35 years it would be at $18.67 an hour. If the typical wage of a retail store clerk in Downtown Palo Alto had kept pace with the local cost of inflation, (housing-food-clothing-health care), it would be at $28.42 an hour instead of the $12.00 to $15.00 that we currently have.

Why hasn't the wage of retail clerks increased proportionally to that of CEO's which has increased 725% from 1978 through 2011?
Web Link

There is a simple solution to the problem, go on a housing boom like that of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Unfortunately nobody wants to implement it because people want to use land and property as a means to become wealthy.


Federal Minimum Wage: Pay before taxes (40hrs per week)

1965 1.25 $200 per month
1970 1.60 $256 per month
1975 2.10 $336 per month
1980 3.10 $496 per month
1990 3.80 $608 per month
2000 5.15 $824 per month
2010/11 7.25 $1,160 Per month


One bedroom Apartment in Palo Alto

1965: $87.50 to $130.00
1970: $115.00 to $165.00
1975: $125.00 to $150.00
1980: $385.00 to $400.00
1990: $600.00 to $775.00
2000: $1,200.00 to $1,600.00
2011: $1,100.00 to $1,650.00


Percentage of a Single Person's Minimum Wage Income Used On Housing Cost

In 1965 43.5% to 65.0% of income to Housing Cost
In 1970 44.9% to 64.4% of income to Housing Cost
In 1975 37% to 44.6% of income to Housing Cost
In 1980 77.6% to 80.% of income to Housing Cost
In 1990 98.8% to 127.4% of income to Housing Cost
In 2000 145.6% to 194.0% of income to Housing Cost
In 2010/11 94.8% to 142.2% of income to Housing Cost


In Palo Alto:

In 1965 a 2 bedroom house cost $23,000.00
In 1965 a 4 bedroom house cost $36,000.00
In 1965 a Machinist earned $8,500.00 a year
In 1965 a Custodian earned $5,100.00 a year

A Machinist's yearly salary was 37% of the cost of a 2 bedroom house.
A Machinist's yearly salary was 23.6% of the cost of a 4 bedroom house.
A Custodian's yearly salary was 22% of the cost of a 2 bedroom house.
A Custodian's yearly salary was 14% of the cost of a 4 bedroom house.

In 1975 a 3 bedroom house cost $61,000.00
In 1975 a Delivery Driver earned $7,200.00
A Delivery Driver's yearly salary was 11.8% of the cost of a medium quality house.

In 2011 a 3 bedroom house costs $1,200,000.00
In 2011 a Delivery Driver earned $22,000.00 to $30,000.00 a year

A Delivery Driver's yearly salary is 1.8% to 2.5% of the cost of a low-end quality house.
A person's yearly income of the cost of an average house in Palo Alto went from 22% to 11.8% to 2.5% of in the last 45 years.


Posted by jerry99, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm

[Portion removed.]

Enough is enough. No more living on the street and no more RV's residences on the streets and no more businesses on the streets of Palo Alto.


Posted by jerry99, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm

"I have every confidence that even the most rabid of anti-homeless litigation-seekers will not continue to press this issue. The City Council of Palo Alto may have been deaf to the moral outrage they heard the night they passed the dreaded and draconian Vehicle Habitation Ordinance and the many nights afterward when people spoke their embarrassment of the actions of their City.

"people spoke of their embarrassment"- this guy must be living in another world- he means he was embarrassed as well as a few of his socialist friends, not the residents of Palo Alto, that have been complaining about this for years and the city FINALLY passed a law to stop it. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Jerry, perhaps you should read the decision before you opine so confidently about its contents and the politics of its author.

Google: Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles - Court of Appeals - 9th

The case is about an ordinance that is unconstitutionally vague because there is no way to know exactly what behaviors are illegal. It represents a great danger of discriminatory enforcement such that a group of people deemed by the authorities to be undesirable will be persecuted for engaging in the same activities (eating in cars, sheltering from the rain in cars, carrying clothes or bedding in cars) that will be tolerated when others engage in them.

There are already ordinances against defecation and urination in public that are not affected by this ruling.

OK, you think the plumber's trailer abuses the parking space. Maybe so. Did you protest the year-long traffic bottleneck at Lytton and Alma where the public sidewalk and the public street were given over to the private benefit of the contractor building 101 Lytton? Now that was an abuse!


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm

jerry99, Palo Alto has become a center of international business and commerce much the same way San Francisco has been for over a hundred years. Palo Alto got what it asked for, but along with that comes all the other aspects of City life. Like employees parking everywhere, the poor and the new immigrants. It appears to me that you don't like what Palo Alto has become so perhaps you should move to a quieter sub-burb some place else like San Ramon, Danville Moraga or Brentwood. You'll be much happier there because they don't have very few poor folks, or colored folks or immigrants. There isn't much business there either, so you won't have to worry about a hard working skilled laborer parking his work truck on the street.

P.S. I'm probably much more conservative than you are so I don't know why you would think it is a left wing (liberal-democrat) judge and their subjective perceptive that resulted in their ruling. Most of the people who pushed for the VHO in Palo Alto would identify themselves as liberal democrats so I think you got things a little mixed up.


Posted by 3rd generation, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Now-A-Veteran: Read Chuck Jagoda's posting. Serving in a war is mentally traumatic depending on the person and experiences.

8th generation: Palo Alto is not a place for a minimum wage worker to live, as you have proved in your posting. Minimum wages are everywhere in the country - it's not necessary to live in Palo Alto for those who work for minimum wages - somehow, the rest of the country has figured it out. Obviously, you think you have a right to live here and that won't change until it becomes illegal to live inside vehicles.


Posted by Marlen, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Brian, you have to understand that there is going to be some collateral damage in cities such as Palo Alto's quest to keep "undesirable" elements out of town. While Palo Alto is no longer allowed to have laws on the books specifically banning races from living in town, the campaign of preventing housing development to the point where you need to make $250k a year to "buy in" has effectively kept things just as segregated as they were before the 70s, the only downside being that if you happen to be a native Palo Altan but still don't make that kind of money, you're going to be lumped in with those unwanted groups.


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

"Palo Alto is not a place for minimum wage workers to live" 3rd Generation
Again right out of their mouth. Blatant Discrimination.

You just don't seem to get it. There isn't a place in the bay area in which a person can live off of minimum wage the same way they could 30 years ago.

Minimum was just a bar to demonstrate how much the working poor are being exploited. If you want to get technical about it, no one earing less than $18.67 per hour should be allowed to live in Palo Alto. And if that were the case there wouldn't be anybody to make you coffee, pick up your garbage, bag your grocies, cut your meat, deliver your parcels, keep your garden, sell you some electrical tape, etc...

Live for one week without using the services of anyone working at any retail store in Palo Alto or who services you at home.

You see if all laborers banded toether and went on strike demanding higher wages you would be forced to stop stealing the fruit of their labor.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm

I don't care who you are, where you grew up and how long your ancestors have been in North America...Last I checked, the Bill of Rights does not mention any inalienable right to live in the same town that you work in. And I don't think I've come across any such mention in the Constitution and its Amendments. But I'll keep checking.

I'd love to live and work in La Jolla myself. I'll get a job at Starbucks (so I can surf on my days off) and because of that, the city will have to come up with a place for me to live...because it's my right!!! Um...no.

If the ordinance does not hold up, there will be other remedies made available to solve the problem. For example, residential permit program or no parking during certain hours at night, etc. They can restrict overnight RV parking to driveways. And regardless of this particular ruling, the city can still disallow overnight parking/camping on city or school property (e.g., Cubberly).

And before you dump on me, 8gen, I have you trumped by 5 more generations (13).


Posted by 3rd Generation, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by traceychen, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 21, 2014 at 6:15 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm

CPD ... > I'd love to live and work in La Jolla myself.

Great, go there and live on the streets if that would make you happy. You are completely sidestepping the issue and the point. I'm fine with whatever opinion you have, you just express it with too much disingenuous emotional hysteria.

I don't think it matters where someone's family lives, but if they themselves have lived somewhere, presumably worked and paid taxes at some point, or even not ... if they can prove they lived here ... moving is an excess disaster you pile on them and it is not civilized, but mostly there has been no one who has proved it is necessary to pass any other laws than what are already on the books.



Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

CP Dad, the issue is not a constitutional right to free housing in Palo Alto. The issue is a constitutional right to be free from vague laws that are inherently discriminatory--which is why the Los Angeles ordinance and, by implication, the Palo Alto ordinance were struck down.

The City has pursued blatantly developer-friendly policies in the last 40 years at the expense of the poor. Recent examples that come to mind are Mayor Mosser's expenditure of $150,000 of public funds to make the development project of her buddy "Charlie" conform to City codes, and the closing of the street at Alma and Lytton for a year when the contractor could have alternatively been forced to close the street only at night. In addition we had Mayor Wheatley's tenure at a time when his construction company was doing a major development on California Avenue. And I really wasn't paying all that much attention, so I'm sure there's much, much more.

As to generations, I have you trumped by several hundred at least, so don't go bragging.







Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm

@ CPA: you missed my point. I'm not telling anyone to move - in fact I didn't even say that, let alone imply it. I'm only stating that there is no right to live where you work as stated/demanded by Gen8.

My sarcasm was trying to make the point that if Gen8's view of the world was true, then I could go anywhere I want and demand that I can live there as long as I have a job there.

Here's a quote from James Lehman that applies to G8's thinking:

"Here is where the danger lies: at the core of victim thinking is the belief that if you're a victim of something, then the rules don't apply to you. To put this another way, if you're a victim, you're not responsible for the results of your actions. Consequently, if you're not responsible, then you don't have to change anything: it's somebody else's fault."

I have become impatient with the "I've got a right" claims.
"I've got a right to a free college education" - no you don't
"I've got a right to inexpensive housing in any city I choose" - no you don't
"I've got a right to run naked through the Paly campus" - no you don't
"I've got a right to smoke anywhere I want" - no you don't
Etc.


@ B. Good: I made no mention of free housing in Palo Alto. Also - I'm just messing w/ G8 with the ancestry stuff (though it is true). If you're "hundreds", then you must be Native American? Very cool.


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:56 pm

[Portion removed.]

Rules are arbitrary based upon subjective perspectives that benefit those who hold the strings of power. "Might makes right." That is what you live by. According to you rules have nothing to do with eternal "right" or "wrong." If they did then you would have to acknowledge a higher authority which is not subject to man's self interests. From what you have espoused so far that is not something you believe in. Therefore you basis on anything is nothing but subjective self-interest.

[Portion removed.]

When you speak like this CPD,

"I have become impatient with the "I've got a right" claims.
I've got a right to a free college education" - no you don't
I've got a right to inexpensive housing in any city I choose" - no you don't,"

You ridicule the people who went through the Great Depression and fought in WWII so that you can enjoy what you have now. You dismiss facts to rationalize your prejudice against the working poor and to satiate your guilty conscience as to why you get to enjoy the riches of this land while simultaneously denying it to others because they are not as smart as you, or as wealthy as you, or as capable as you but you cannot assert that they do not work as hard as you or as long as you because people are working 60 to 70 hours a week to just make ends meet.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 10:30 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 10:35 pm

> "Here is where the danger lies: at the core of victim thinking
> is the belief that if you're a victim of something,

Surely you jest ... there are no victims in America these days?

> then the rules don't apply to you. To put this another way, if you're
> a victim, you're not responsible for the results of your actions.

Apparently you don't get that you are claiming to know what everyone
has a complaint is ... do you even see this lumps in people together
you could not possibly have any insight or understanding of?

> Consequently, if you're not responsible, then you don't have to
> change anything: it's somebody else's fault."

Your claim here by contempt is that it is never anyone else's
fault but the complainer or loser. A pretty natural world view from
someone who live in Palo Alto and thinks they are superior to others
because they have money and status. But why aren't all Palo Altans
like you?

> I have become impatient with the "I've got a right" claims.

Oh, so because you've been driven to your wits end you have the
right to make wide all encompassing judgements on people you do
not know and situations you do not understand?

> "I've got a right to a free college education" - no you don't

We have a public school system in this country, and these days college
is necessary to to have a job in the present day economy. A good and
Constititional argument could be made that we should give people
free college educations.

It's really all the same with the rest of your "manifesto" ... it is a screed, not
a reasoned argument.

> "I've got a right to inexpensive housing in any city I choose" - no you don't
> "I've got a right to run naked through the Paly campus" - no you don't
> "I've got a right to smoke anywhere I want" - no you don't
> Etc.

[Portion removed.]

> the city will have to come up with a place for me to live...because it's my right!!! Um...no.

This is what cities do, this is what the state is making the cities do. People
have to live and work somewhere, and until we get some kind of handle on
immigration and birth control, we either do that or we are going to have many
more homeless and dead people to worry about. I understand that you don't
want to look at them, not many of us do, but some of us are more responsible
and have a greater sense of justice and morality.

The primary point of the modern world is that we are all born of this world,
we should all have a right to live somewhere. Why is there a right for corporations
or businesses to hold people ransom so they have to work at unjust wages and
slowly die or just starve to death quickly? To stand on the no one is owed anything,
even though the world has been pulled out from under the feet of most humans
in this planet, replaced with a gun or a work camp or one sort or another.

You never think to question the basis of all this, the motivations for the Constitution
and the morality you pretend you defend or care about.

It is the government's job to make sure people have jobs, or to look after their welfare.
Because this is so difficult and has been botched the government and those private
interests that drive it just want to ignore that like so much. But all of this is just stuff
you do not know or think about ... it is not the point.

It is not the point that you think you can translate this issue into giving everyone
a lavish lifestyle in Palo Alto, the point is can the city run people out of town and
criminalize being an economic casualty or failure or a medical problem?


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm

[Portion removed.]

Perhaps you missed my earlier posts, I am much more conservative than you. Nobody owes me anything.
But just because you nor the government owes me anything does not mean that I don't have just as much a right to live in America, on the planet as you.

And you are wrong, it is not the government's job to ensure people have jobs, it is the government's job to ensure
that one person or class of persons do not harm, steal from or exploit any other person or class of persons.

And that is only according the U.S. Constitution when in affect.


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by 3rd Generation, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2014 at 12:03 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 22, 2014 at 12:08 am

OK - let's put this to rest...because it is getting way out of control.

I don't deny anyone has the right to live in any town they choose. We don't disagree on that.

What I don't agree with is that a person has a right to live/work in the same town, no matter what - in other words, the government or citizens must provide affordable housing (or campground) to everyone who cannot afford rent/mortgage in said town.

If you didn't mean that, then I'll shut up. Actually I'm going to shut up after this next paragraph, because I don't think either one of us is going to convince each other of anything...

As for the ancestry - you can believe me or not. I don't care. I believe you and your claim of 8gen. I'm not going to give out my immediate family names so that you (or anyone else) can reverse engineer to my name and then show up at my doorstep.

Good luck to you in the future.


Posted by office space, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2014 at 10:57 am



"Palo Alto has become a center of international business and commerce much the same way San Francisco has been for over a hundred years. Palo Alto got what it asked for, but along with that comes all the other aspects of City life."

I disagree that PA got "what it asked for."

Palo Alto has provided a relatively unique place for developing new technologies in the shadow of Stanford; not in fancy high rise buildings, but out of garages. By allowing the town to become a place like a San Francisco, it is passing on to become a place to please those seeking the vanity address and what comes with that.

Palo Alto will soon have more Chase branches and other type service operations. Nobody asks for that, unless you are in a depressed area and that's considered progress.

The definition of progress in Palo Alto is changing and unlike any other small town, it had so far managed a diverse mix of growth and diversity of residents.

I would suggest for office buildings to provide sleeping space for the homeless. They are empty at night.



Posted by Jeremy, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

"I would suggest for office buildings to provide sleeping space for the homeless. They are empty at night."

I like that idea! I suggest that they first go to the office of William Abrams, Managing Partner at Steptoe and Johnson, since he is supporting them. He can lead by example. Bill, are you willing?


Posted by Gunn Class of '67, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Kind of like the ring of Palo Alto-Stepford


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Crescent Park Dad,

I had a great day today spending all of my discretionary income that I would not otherwise have had available for my personal use if I were forced to hand it over to a landlord because of the manipulated housing market.

You say that people don't have a right to live in the town that they work in if they cannot afford to live there. If you have read my previous posts this condition only exists because the housing market has been created to produce this condition. So the real question is what right is there for anyone to manipulate the housing market in any fashion? You manipulate it for your benefit but you criticize me for wanting to do the same thing that you are doing, but instead of for your self-interests for not only my own but thousands of other people who need housing that is in line with the amount of money that they are being paid.

The Palo Alto Housing Corporation bought a piece of land and was about to build housing on it according to their own desires and in accordance with the current zoning codes yet were denied the right to what they wanted with their own property because other citizens said no. Thus we truly are not free to do what we want with our own property in America.

You claim to espouse an ideology that we should remove all zoning codes and let the market dictate. And do you know what would happen if we allowed the market to dictate, there would be dozens of high rise apartment buildings in Palo Alto housing all of the workers that current commute here everyday from as far away as Stockton. But you truly don't want that because property value would go down so in reality you do the opposite of that which you assert.

If we had thousands of apartments in Palo Alto and everywhere else in the regions then we wouldn't need to subsidize housing because the developers would build so much housing that there would be a natural equalization between the price of housing relative to wages of all of the workers in Palo Alto and the region.

I'm the one for allowing the Market to dictate but you and others like you don't want to allow the market to dictate the price of housing by enacting market manipulating building codes that artificially lower the supply of housing so that the cost for housing remains ridiculously high and out of line with wages. It's not just Palo Alto it is a regional problem, yet Palo Alto is a part of the region and shares in the blame of a lack of housing.

"Some potential buyers say they're either priced out or worn out from the competition for a relatively small number of desirable homes for sale."
Web Link

If we allowed the market to dictate the cost of housing then we wouldn't need to subsidize those who are not capable of paying the local rents, subsidies I might add are not even sufficient to pay for the rent.
Web Link

And then you wouldn't be paying for their housing through higher taxes. If you think about it you are actually subsidizing the corporations, businesses and the landlords, not the people who are working and cannot afford to pay rent.

You have stated that no person has a right to live in the town/city where they work. So tell me what is the nearest city where the people who work at Starbucks, Peet's, Whole Foods, Palo Alto Hardware, Walgreens, CVS, Chicos, and even the Apple Store should live?

Your irrational fear of me or some other low income individual showing up at your doorstep goes to the heart of the issue as to why you and others want to eliminate our "downsized" living style. That and jealousy that we are not paying property tax, but we are paying all kinds of other taxes, (sales tax-vehicle registration-personal income tax-etc...) and therefore you cannot complain about that. Typically wherever I am located at kids, juvenile delinquents and other adults who cause problems or who are looking to rob a home stay away knowing that I can witness them in their act. Thus, if anything I am free neighborhood security, a deterrent to crime.

It's been engaging but I have other things I need to do.


Posted by Paly Alum, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2014 at 8:11 pm

The majority of PAUSD alums cannot afford to live in Palo Alto but they are not living on the Palo Alto streets. Vehicle dwelling must be banned.


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Paly Alum,

name one thing that a vehicle dweller does in a car that you and your family don't do in a car.


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Oh that's easy, 8th Gen.

Sleep over night.

Pee in a jar.

Wash up and change clothes.

Shave.


Posted by Jonathan, a resident of Ventura
on Jun 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Vehicle-dwelling does not belong in R1-zoned neighborhoods. There are ways of addressing homelessness without eviscerating zoning and making a mockery of what it means to live in a neighborhood. Crafting a constitutional statute should not be too difficult, and the City Council should listen to its tax-paying residents and do just that as soon as possible.


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

I'll concede on the overnight part for the typical person, however many people take naps in their cars during the day, and secondarily people do sleep in their cars overnight at rest stops. Remove the sleeping part and their are dozens of people sitting, existing, in their cars in the middle of night. So what you are saying is that so long as a person does not close their eyes its okay to be in a car in the middle of the night.

As far as the urination goes, truckers use the "trucker's catheter" quite often.
Web Link

And then you have the elderly and those with medical conditions who require a catheter and or an adult diaper, and or a colostomy bag. Don't want to age discriminate, babies and small children are often filling up their diapers with pee and poop while in cars to which we encounter their parents in front of Prolific Oven or the Post Office or the Library changing the diapers and placing the soiled containers into the trash cans.

You can often find people changing their clothes in cars at the end of Embarcadero Rd. entering and exiting the bay with their wind surfing boards. You can also find people changing their clothes at our local parks especially when they are preparing to play soccer or softball, kids and adults.

Business man often shave in their car sometimes more than once a day.

I have to get back to work, I'll check in 3 hours.


Posted by Egarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:23 am

Brian,

I believe that people who go through hardships in life
either become better persons due to a positive reaction
or perhaps a spiritual awakening, or they simply give up
and loose any self respect they once had.
The issue here is a persons right to their own self dignity
versus a whole group of others who want to remove that self dignity
by imposing laws which oppress.
Many Americans really do believe in the constitution of the United States.
It is a very challenging issue when somebody wants to remove my right
to exist peacefully, as long as I do not break any laws, within the borders of MY country, no matter what my religion, my race or my financial standing is. I never parked in front of anyones house, I never broke any laws,
just I was classified as being a criminal simply for being impoverished.
That just is not right in a country that brags about "the land of the FREE".
If this ticks you off, then maybe you're not really "American".


Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2014 at 8:17 am

"...
While they who live up a tree,
And feast on grubs and clay,
(Isn't it scandalous? ) look upon We
As a simply disgusting They!
...
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
...
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!" -- We and They, Rudyard Kipling


Posted by PAmoderate, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

PAmoderate is a registered user.

There is no "right" to live anywhere. Sorry, 8th Gen, I too completely disagree with you.

People working those stores? I know people who work in Starbucks, Peets, etc. that affordably live in Menlo Park, Mountain View and Redwood City.

Maybe a reality check is in order?


Posted by OY!, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

OY! The problem was never about car dwellers, it was about not having a designated parking area for them and having sanitary facilities while paying fees accordingly. Having random car dwellers parking their RV's on streets and using city storm drains as septic systems and others simply using residents landscaping as their bathroom encourages unsanitary conditions that endanger all residents. If you are truly concerned regarding car dwellers, perhaps you might suggest to city council members to require their developer friends to donate a parking facility with sanitation facilities and charge those dwellers a modest fee. If you simply want justice for all, perhaps inviting these street dwellers into your family home would be accommodating and appropriate.


Posted by What's all this then, a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm

PAmoderate states, "People working those stores? I know people who work in Starbucks, Peets, etc. that affordably live in Menlo Park, Mountain View and Redwood City."

That's very interesting for on yesterday's front page of the Daily Post there was an article about how Mountain View has acknowledged that the percentage of housing is incapable of meeting the demand of local workers to which one council member stated that workers should be allowed to live in the city where they work and that Mountain View is considering placing a moratorium on business development because employees are currently forced to travel from Tracy and beyond to work.


350 sqft. menlo park studio for $2,005 a month
Web Link
600ft² (redwood city)- 1BR Apartment for $1,595
Web Link
400ft² - (mountain view) studio for $1515 a month
Web Link


$12.00 per hour equals $2,008 a month before taxes.
$12.00 per hour equals $1,600 a month after taxes.

Secondarily, so your saying that Palo Alto's homeless should be foisted on Menlo Park, Redwood City and Mountain View. I wonder what they would think about that.


Posted by Lifelong Resident 56, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 25, 2014 at 3:33 am

There is a critical housing and water shortage in this area and Southern California.

There will never be enough housing (and water) if we continue to market our homes to BILLIONS of people in India/China, and sell our properties to foreigners.

There are homes in our neighborhood *and many in Santa Clara county) which are empty, while foreign owners reside in their home countries for whatever reason.

There are also foreign landlords who own multiple homes in Palo Alto and rent them out at insane prices, while the landlord stays back in his homeland (in Asia), and collects the wired bank transfer rent checks.

We stopped renting because we could not stand sending our locally earned money to Taiwan every month for 2 years. Our former landlord owns 9 properties in the Bay Area for over 10 years.

There should be a law.

It is truly sad that the people who work here, or are born here can not afford to live here (for whatever reason) and must leave the state they were born in, or reside in a camper in a neighborhood of the community they grew up in California.


Posted by PAmoderate, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 25, 2014 at 7:34 am

PAmoderate is a registered user.

What's reality, statistics on a story or the fact that I personally know folks that can do it?

"so your saying that Palo Alto's homeless should be foisted on Menlo Park, Redwood City and Mountain View. I wonder what they would think about that."

They aren't homeless - they rent -- even, gasp own! -- and still can work those jobs. You are making false assumptions here, and I'm calling you on it.

Let's replace some of your words and use your logic: what would Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park and Palo Alto think about having to house all those engineers working at Google in Mountain View?

[Portion removed.]


Posted by Now-A-Veteran, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2014 at 9:11 am

> Did you never hear of the GI Bill?
> Where did you get your opinions from?

A former GI myself, from a military family that goes all the way back the the Revolution. And yourself? Any military experience, like transitioning from active duty to civilian life?

> Read Chuck Jagoda's posting. Serving in a war is
> mentally traumatic depending on the person and experiences.

As a former soldier (and Company Commander, actually)--I am quite familiar with the situation. I am knowledgeable enough about military affairs to add that most soldiers are not involved in combat. Generally only about 15% of the total active force is ever fighting.


I've actually not seen a good study as to how many homeless are former military people, or in which branches these now homeless people served. One point that I was trying to make is that military training (depending on the branch) reinforces pride in one's self, and self-sufficiency (within certain bounds). So--what happens to this training when the service members return to civilian life?

During the Vietnam conflict, the draft was in effect, and having seen a goodly number of personnel records of newly inducted soldiers at a major training center--the draft was scraping the bottom of the barrel. More than a few of the men drafted had serious criminal records. So, once they returned to civilian life--it's possible that they returned to their criminal pasts. Homelessness, on the other hand, is a different matter.

Vets. Likely To Be Homeless:
Web Link

30-Year Col. Now Homeless:
Web Link

Both of these articles provide some insight into the problem, but neither provide much in the way of reasons--other than the fact that many military occupational specialties are not all that compatible with jobs in the area where the vet wants to live.

What's interesting about the article on the retired Col. is that the article failed to mention that the Col. gets a pension. Where does that money go? Most of the Col's. problems are all personal--which hardly makes him a good example to use in trying to understand higher ex-military homelessness.

> You must know veterans too physically and mentally
> wounded to even apply for work--right?

My father was such a vet. He spent many years in a hospital (WWII) recovering from war wounds--and found it difficlt to get a job. But this was 1950--and he was a Depression-era child. People took care of themselves--as best they could.

In my father's case, he was not "shell shocked", but he was very infirm. Even in his state, he managed to open up a large garden patch behind our home, and grow vegtables in order to feed his family. The story is much longer--but it might just frustrate the people claimig that former GIs are not capable of taking care of themselves.

I don't remember ever seeing any homeless who were former WWII service members--but I have no doubt they existed.

> But you do know that there are many not nearly so lucky

And how many would that be? Combat deaths, and casualties, in our two latest wars have been fairly low. Certainly the injuries of some are horrific--and I certainly have no intentions of disrespecting their service, or their needs--but I want to point out to you that most people go through the military never holding a weapon other than in training, and return to civilian life without life-long trauma, or injury. Painting sweeping, unsupported images, of legions of injured, and disabled, men and women is not particularly helpful, or honest.


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2014 at 9:41 am

You didn't answer the question. Did you never hear of the GI Bill? I ask because it contradicts your ideologically-based fantasy that after WWII the veterans "did not want to be taken care of--they wanted to enjoy life on their terms! They wanted to chart their own courses." Do you have any evidence that the WWII veterans refused educational benefits, low-cost VHA home loads, and low-cost business loans?

Your suggestion that today's homeless veterans take care of themselves by growing large gardens in their (non-existent) large back yards is almost as funny as your denial of the many benefits of the GI Bill. You might as well counsel that they start businesses in their (non-existent) garages.


Posted by Now-A-Veteran, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2014 at 10:01 am

> Did you never hear of the GI Bill?

[Portion removed.] Every service member knows about the GI bill, although its benefits are not always available to every former service member. In my case, it offered nothing of value, and I've never drawn on it.

Using the GI bill for a few years of education after putting in up to four years of military service, and most also had lived through the Great Depression and were more than happy to put all of that behind them.

Yes, millions did take advantage of the GI bill during the 1950s--but it's hard to find much in the literature of that era where former GIs were clamoring for free this, that and the other--for life.

> Your suggestion that today's homeless veterans take care
> of themselves by growing large gardens in their (non-existent)
> large back yards is almost as funny as your denial of the many
> benefits of the GI Bill.

What I said was that "my father" raised food for "his family". You really should consult an oculist--your reading things that aren't there. I am suggessting that former GIs have options that many do not seem to want to use--beyond the GI bill (as you claim know so much about). During the 1930s, by father (only about 12-14 at the time) noticed that there were jobs available--but even though there were people homeless, they wouldn't take them. The result of the observation is that Dad always felt that people should be prepared to go where the jobs are, and take work that was available.

There is always work in farmig country, and right now there is work in the oil fields of North Dekota. Much of this work is semi-skilled, so there is always room for former military to learn some new skills, as long as they are not phycially disabled, or strung out on drugs.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by Seeking Good Value, a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2014 at 10:12 am

All I know is that I can spend about 250K on a Suh-WEET motorhome with multiple slide outs and all the electronics of a modern home.
I can then find a nice patch, and WHAM, I know live comfortably and mortgage free in one of the more expensive cities in the area. Why get into a bidding war with the all cash buyers flown in from China. You can live nicely in PA for a lot less than what those people are paying, and in the end, you're all in the same place, one just paid a HELL of a lot more than the other.


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2014 at 10:52 am

[Portion removed.]

Nobody was talking about cradle-to-grave entitlement. That's more of your fact-free fantasizing. I don't think you recognize that the Pentagon is one of the largest socialized institutions in the world. It is not expected to make a profit, it is paid for by the taxpayers, and if it were a country instead of a government agency its GDP would be the 16th largest world--between S. Korea and Indonesia. So don't get all pretentious about private bootstraps. The quintessential garage startup, HP, got its big break with government-funded war contracts.

There was no need to WWII GIS to clamor for "free this" and "free that". They already had all the benefits of the GI Bill, and they were transitioning to civilian life in a period of great prosperity with jobs for all--the golden age for Detroit for builders, shopping center developers, and manufacturers of consumer goods.

If you weren't offering your father's garden as an example for other vets to emulate, why did you bring him up at all? [Portion removed.]












Posted by 8th Generation, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:15 am

PAmoderate, [Portion removed.]

#1 these people whom you claim to know who work at low paying retail jobs, exactly how much money do they take in each month after taxes?

#2 how much are they actually paying in rent?

#3 where do they actually live? A studio or a one bedroom?
Renting a room in a house, and from what I hear a portion of a living room to sleep in, does not count for that is just another form of subsidization circumventing the perverted housing market.

21.6 million adults between the age of 18-31 live at home.
Web Link


Thank you for pointing out some real world facts Lifelong Resident 56.
Check out this story on trade imbalance:
"Second, there is a good possibility these graduates may not have reasonable jobs waiting for them—because the goods and services based on these innovations may be produced abroad in the lower cost countries....."
Web Link

trade deficit:
Web Link


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:16 am

PAModerate, [Portion removed.]

Assumimg your claim is true that you know people who work at Starbucks while renting or owning in Palo Alto, unless you are extremely nosy about their financial affairs you have no way of knowing that they make enough from Starbucks to pay rent. When I was young I paid $50 a month for half a room in a Midtown house while earning $4.85 as a laborer. Later I paid $100 a month for a room in another house. Working day labor for 1-1/2 weeks made my living for the month; I spent 2-1/2 weeks a month reading and writing. When the house we rented was sold for $70,000 I moved to San Jose.

I doubt that your friends are making a living at Starbucks. Have you considered that maybe they have independent financial resources, or might be draining retirement funds while looking for something better?






Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:28 am

I don't know if you noticed a couple of years ago when somebody postered the telephone poles on Embarcadero with all kinds of feel-good slogans advising people to breathe and take it easy and enjoy life. The one I remember proclaimed "IT WAS A GOOD CALL TO BUY THE RV". I always wanted to staple an addendum underneath: "NOW YOUR KIDS HAVE SOMEPLACE TO LIVE".


Posted by NAMC, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

Curbside camping should be allowed everywhere in Palo Alto except not at my curb.


Posted by palo alto resident, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Why not enact a simple, clear overnight parking ban like Menlo Park? No parking from 2-5 am, residents can buy a permit to park overnight for $2, good for one year. It has been in place since 1963, upheld by courts and it seems to work. It would not only solve the "RV living" issue, but it would also solve the EPA parking overflow. Maybe the a related permit system could be used to solve the downtown parking issue too.

Web Link


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Brian Good, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Resident, your parking ban idea would at least have the benefit of being constitutional. And unlike the LA ordinance, it would be fair--or at least as fair as laws prohibiting sleeping under bridges that apply equally to rich and poor alike. It would also allow the car dwellers to use private property--such as church parking lots. Conceivably churches or individuals could buy $2 overnight parking permits for their homeless friends.

I remember reading in one of the Palo Alto papers years ago the claim that the educational demographics of the homeless in Palo Alto was the same as the demographics of the residential population--the same percentage of PhDs and college degrees and high school dropouts.













Posted by resident 1, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm

What happens in Los Angeles has nothing to do with us. This city is 26 miles square - some of which is open space. LA is one of the biggest cities in the US.

PA is built out border to border. And we are trying to rebuild the infrastructure. Cubberly is not an option. The place is filled with children in the library, and children in band classes - all ages. Our job is first to provide a safe environment for children in the areas that we want them to congregate.


Posted by Mary, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Mary, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

[Post removed.]


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