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Palo Alto city manager suffers collapsed lung

Original post made on Apr 11, 2013

Palo Alto City Manager James Keene is recovering from a collapsed lung, which he suffered while running in South Carolina on Saturday.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 11, 2013, 11:38 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by What's-A-Muehlenbeck", a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

A quick google for "Muehlenbeck Innovation Award" results in links to this article, and another local publication, reporting on the City Manager's collapsed lung.

The City's Open Data efforts have been pretty weak so far. Guess the fact that the "Muehlenbeck" is not a very well-known award reflects how insignificant the award is, as well as the City's efforts at playing at being an "open data" City.

Wonder who is paying for his trip back East?


Posted by paco, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Apr 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

The "Muehlenbeck Innovation Award" requires the applicant to simply provide a one paragraph statement of information on how he/she provided a "quantum leap of creativity" that they believe benefited their gov't agency and community and provide a short description of the "innovation". The nomination is "self-appointed" and is reviewed and awarded by a selection committee based on number of entries. So basically you nominate yourself for this award. No word on the "quantum leap of creativity" that inspired the city manager to nominate himself, however, hopefully the city or Palo Alto Weekly can provide the residents of Palo Alto with more information on this award, costs to city taxpayers for travel/board/meals/social funtions/etc., and if recipients of the award are required to be at the award ceromony in these cost cutting times. Get well soon...lots of work still needs to be done at home.


Posted by Cheese is Riced, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I am surprised that ANYONE would have the audacity to nominate himself for such a thing!


Posted by anne, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 11, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Get well soon, Mr. Keene!


Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:37 am

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

Get well soon, Mr. Keene!

The first commenter's Google search was too quick. Here's the award notice: Web Link, and Palo Alto's submitted entry (returns a docx): Web Link

paco's comments imply Palo Alto received the award simply by virtue of asking for it, but the site says that over 80 entries were received and only 2 awards given.

The writing could have been tighter in Palo Alto's entry, but it gets the point across. Among a few other things it points to last year's hackathon which produced a street viewer to look up the conditions of streets in Palo Alto. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get it to work so if any one has a link to a working version, please share it. Here's the link to Palo Alto's Open Data page: Web Link, and Palo Alto City Apps listing page: Web Link . Budget hawks may appreciate: Web Link (you can select different data sets from the upper left).

All in all, I think it's great that the city is making its data available, and leveraging innovative ways to make it more accessible.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 12, 2013 at 8:13 am

Let's not let this discourage people from running or any other vigorous activity to stay healthy and fit. I'll insert a plug here for the 30th annual AAUW Wildflower Run this coming Sunday morning in Morgan Hill, where my time will pale in comparison to Mr Keene's recent 10k. (I'm a bit younger but a fair amount shorter.) And thank you Cedric for the links above. I agree that it's great to have more of the city's data available.


Posted by Misha, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:33 pm

What a great sense of humor he has even in such a serious situation! Get well soon.


Posted by No facts please, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I certainly hope that Cedric's post linking actual source docs will not influence the rest of us who prefer to rely on our own speculation and opinions. My perception is my reality. I have as much a right to that reality as might anyone with an objective fact based reality. Don't try to tell me otherwise.


Posted by What's-A-Muehlenbeck, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

> All in all, I think it's great that the city is making its data
> available, and leveraging innovative ways to make it more accessible

Other than a couple years of salary data, the City has virtually nothing in its "open data" effort that wasn't available in various reports--although mostly in paper.

The City has shown absolutely no sense of actually documenting the data that it has, and providing a plan for populating any of these "open data" pages with data that would be helpful for the public better understand how the City is managed.


For instance--all of the management reports for the Mitchell Park Complex that is now about a year behind schedule would be a good start.

Anyone who claims that the City is doing a good job with its "open data" project does not understand data, or what the public can do with data. Such a person should be ignored.


Posted by Jean, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm

He's one of the worst city managers in the history of Palo Alto.
Look what he has done to our town. The town is getting so ugly. He's ruining it!! I wish he would shaft us even more, by going on disability or taking a big retirement package. Just get him out of Palo Alto. He's doing too much damage to our town.


Posted by City web site, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

Have you tried to navigate the Library web site? It is full of mazes within mazes. A bureaucratic tangle that is difficult to untangle.
So many rules, you would think library users were serious criminals.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2013 at 9:02 am

The story is about the fact that the man has a collapsed lung --- and some residents see this as an opportunity to whip out all of their complaints about him and and city.

Who is sicker?


Posted by I'm with Jean, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm

@Jean
I agree. There is too much inconvenience from all of the street re-paving going on and cars are not getting slowed dowm because of fewer potholes. And there are so many people going downtown that I have trouble finding parking in the evening when I drive there from six blocks away. On top of that, someone's dog pooped near my house. It was so terrible! My life in Palo Alto is so hard and unpleasant.
Why can't time just freeze for me and never change from blissful halcyon days past. I'm going to take a nap, but watch out. When I wake up I will be invigorated with new things to complain about, providing me with a strong sense of purpose.


Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

@What's-A-Muehlenbeck: I wrote "...the city is making its data available, and leveraging innovative ways to make it more accessible." "making" and "leveraging" are in the active current tense, not the past tense. They are works in progress. I did not write that the city had already made all its data available. I agree that the city should provide more complete data sets, meta-data to say what's there, means of making it accessible, etc. But the work so far is a big step in the right direction, and few governments have done as much (I heard on KQED this weekend [maybe late last night?] that Texas has done effective data transparency).

Making all that data available and easy to use is a lot of work, and a relatively new problem to solve. The city is following good software design practice by doing essentially a beta release of data and tools, getting the public to use it and provide feedback (including whether the public is actually interested), and then iterate with more data and tweaks to the tools.

A bit of Advocacy 101 for you: Rather than jumping straight to criticism which puts people's backs up, more effective advocacy involves first thanking people for the work they have done so far, then encouraging them to go further.


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