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Palo Alto weighs housing subsidies for city's homeless

Original post made on Oct 3, 2013

With Cubberley Community Center now off-limits to Palo Alto's vehicle dwellers, city staff is proposing a program that would offer long-term shelter and case management to at least 20 homeless individuals.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 3, 2013, 9:56 AM

Comments (52)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:17 am

Don't understand this at all.

First question, where would the money come from?

Second question, isn't the Opportunity Center doing this stuff?

Someone who is "homeless" can't be a Palo Alto "resident". Once again, this sounds like something that will turn us into a magnet. Many churches and outreach programs do this already, so why can't the city work with the groups already doing this and integrate the different programs without the huge dollar amount.


Posted by Ronnie, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

Totally agree with Resident. If you are homeless, you have no more relationship with the city than if you were just passing through. That's not intended as a value judgement on the homeless person, I'm just stating that their mere presence does not obligate the city to subsidize their housing or provide case management services.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:42 am

Ridiculous! Most of the money will go to the case manager anyway.
Let's just keep doing all we can to attract more homeless to Palo Alto.


Posted by 35 year resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

Agree with both of the comments above. We will become a magnet for anyone claiming to be "homeless".


Posted by Palo Alto Resident, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:52 am

I agree with the two comments posted. The City should not devote resources to welcome 'homeless' folks. There are already some homeless services available (like the rather new building next to Town and Country Shopping Center and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation). Some churches are providing some services. If the City wishes to contribute to these church services, they can set aside a modest budget to support the churches' programs as donations/discretionary spending. Some of the homeless folks need psychiatric care - would it make sense to set a budget to help the homeless find a way to become productive people and earn a living rather than the bandaid approach of providing superficial, yet costly, help? The City has to keep in mind that if they convert the entire city into low income housing and homeless shelters, the City is never big enough to take care of all the 'less fortunate' people.


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 3, 2013 at 11:36 am

How about some affordable housing for people who can't pay $3000 a month for housing in this city. Some of us have been here 40 years, and now can't afford to be where we always lived and where we can be close, say, to an aging mother. A lot of us can pay rent, just not rent that is more than 2/3 of our income!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by No, thanks, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2013 at 11:50 am

I appreciate the City staff's recommendation, but I'm against it and plan to vote against any City council members who support this plan.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I am spending a lot of money on TUMS. Best that I don't read the Palo Alto news. Between DC, Sacramento, and Palo Alto, 'tis enough to make me want to call "Mayflower". This Council
has a guilt "complex". Is it even concerned about robberies, escalating burglaries, and street attacks? Is it concerned about the PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE???? Is it really concerned about infrastructure? Is it concerned that seniors are afraid to take a walk? Is it concerned about residents who can't afford ObamaCare? Is it concerned about all the sold houses with no one living in them? Is it concerned that locals go other places to shop -but NOT downtown Palo Alto? The Council has a 'hair shirt' state of mind. They drip GUILT.


Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) knows all to well the financial tsunami that is effecting too many of our middle income 'housed at risk' and those recently unhoused. NHN strives to serve those who will not be selected for this 'new' case management program. We already serve 500+ households who have fallen through the gaps and cracks in 'safety net' programs. These are all longtime Palo Alto residents and a few from Mtn. View.

We are adding a growing number of singles, couples, families & seniors to our grocery roster as rents and cost of basic needs continues to rise.
You may wish to read this article, click this link,
Web Link What this article does not tell you is the financial tsunami that continues to affect our middle income households right here in Palo Alto and in other Peninsula cities. NHN has recently added some Mtn View households to our rosters as well.
As a matter of fact, Stanford University has talks and workshops throughout October on this topic. Web Link

Our annual Food Drive will begin Oct. 14th to Dec. 14th. Drop Off locations TBA, check our facebook page.
Like us, Web Link

BUT, WE NEED 'FOOD' RIGHT NOW,
Please contact us for drop off details.
email, NeighborsHelpingNeighbors2013@gmail.com

Checks payable to: Midtown Neighbors & Friends
P.O. Box 113 Palo Alto, CA 94302
NHN is not a 501c(3) yet. So, a non tax deductible donation can be made.
In case, you are not familar w/NHN here's some more details,
What We Do:
We are a group of volunteers striving to provide groceries to Palo Alto families, seniors and singles who are unable to qualify for 'safety net' programs like Cal Fresh (formally food stamps) or food closet assistance. However, extra food items collected are given to local food closets. Also, our City of Palo Alto Family Resources trained volunteer provides peer counseling and referrals for other life's challenges (housing, healthcare, professional counseling, legal issues, etc.) for those who may need extra help.

Palo Alto Weekly article, "Catching neighbors who fall through the gap." Dated Friday Jan. 25, 2013
Web Link

JOIN OUR eList, send message, NeighborsHelpingNeighboors2013@gmail.com


Posted by Dan, a resident of Southgate
on Oct 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Cur Mudgeon, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Let's spend the money for a "case manager" to instead fund the existing programs so that more can be accommodated, not add another layer of bureaucracy.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

$12,500 per person "for items such as transit passes, rental application fees and cellphones." Cell phones? Of course, after the case manager salary, I suppose it's only $500 per person...

"The plan would target people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, have had run-ins with the legal system, are likely to be repeat offenders, and significantly impact state, county or local resources." So the worse you behave, the more likely you are to get help?

Surely there's a better way to spend $250,000 on the homeless.


Posted by Slippery Pete, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm

According to HUD, local nonprofits have decreased the number of homeless people in Palo Alto by ~ 50% in recent years. Claiming that Palo Alto is a mecca for homeless people is simply misinformation. While a comment section certainly isn't the place for a debate on ethics, statements like that are empirically false.

To echo Enough!, the majority of the unhoused individuals in Palo Alto grew up in Palo Alto and/or are long time residents (ie have been both housed and unhoused in the city for decades). If you are really such a social darwinist as to suggest that people should be ejected from their hometowns because they're poor, then I strongly encourage you to invest in Peter Thiel's floating libertarian islands because those types of morals are anti-Bay Area, anti-Californian, and unamerican.


Posted by John, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm

> the majority of the unhoused individuals in Palo Alto grew up in Palo Alto and/or are long time residents (ie have been both housed and unhoused in the city for decades).

That is a flat out disingenuous statement, with no factual basis. Time to put up, and prove it, S. Pete. Name your source, and provide the data.


Posted by kb, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Slippery Pete said:
> If you are really such a social darwinist as to suggest that people should be ejected from their hometowns because they're poor

So the fact that I've lived here for a long time entitles me to handouts from my neighbors?

We live where we want to, as long as we can afford it. Anything otherwise, and it's a quick slippery slope to living where the government tells us to live.

[Portion removed.]

Let's look at it another way: say I've always eaten at Evvia Estiatorio every week, but now the kids are in college, and I can't afford to anymore. Should I get help from the city so I can continue to eat there? How is that different? What about my relationships with the staff there? My Greek food diet and health? Surely, you can't expect me to change that after all this time...


Posted by David V, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm

David V is a registered user.

"With Cubberley Community Center now off-limits to Palo Alto's vehicle dwellers, city staff is proposing a program that would offer long-term shelter and case management to at least 20 homeless individuals."

WRONG! They are still there, growing in size, cluttering the hallways, more brazen and bolder than ever. There are now more vehicle, and outright homeless than ever. Everything about this is just a big joke, signs proclaim the hours are dusk to dawn; with less daylight the danger is increasing. Loose cats & dogs, shared generators humming, bathrooms are defacto drug galleries and kitchens. If this were anywhere else in our fine city it would not be yolerated, but for whatever reasons, it is perfectly acceptable here.


Posted by Could be you, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm

There is a significant portion of the homeless car campers who used to be Palo Alto tax-paying residents, but lost their homes due to medical bills, a lost job, etc.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Are the folks at Cubberley possibly waiting for our new library to open?
With the bond payments on that, it will be like homeowners ARE paying for a luxury day shelter. Free computer - new furniture.

I once remember reading on the blog, a posting from a mother who took her child to use the restroom at Main library. Apparently someone was washing their dishes and then clothing in the restroom sink






Posted by don't get it, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I thought the whole point of closing Cubbberly CC was to make PA less attractive to homeless folks than EPA or RWC. Wouldn't this sort of subsidy have exactly the opposite effect?


Posted by Midtown, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm

"The case manager would then find a landlord willing to rent to the client despite the possible extenuating circumstances and then either help to "stabilize" a client in housing so that he or she can hold on to the housing despite the various obstacles or help transition the client to a non-subsidized housing. These obstacles, according to the report, include substance abuse, mental-health issues, disabilities, hygiene, past evictions, criminal history and lack of additional income."

Good luck with that. Are there any landlords that desperate for clients? I hear a big sucking sound as our money vanishes.


Posted by Matt, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Build affordable housing ? Give out section 8 certificates!


Posted by jolene, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

Most of the local homeless have chosen not to be housed and not to work. Many have college degrees but have decided to drop out of being a productive member of our society. There is a documentary that was played on local television interviewing many of the homeless individuals from the downtown area and you would be surprised how many have an education and have decided to sit on the streets and have others take care of them. I just can't feel sorry for them because we all have opportunities, its just a matter of choice to pursue them or not.


Posted by Carlos, a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 4, 2013 at 8:38 am

I see this subsidy idea as another indicator that our city officials are out of touch with the community.

Please share how the individual city council members vote on this, and I know many of us will make sure we vote them out of office asap.


Posted by they need help, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

There is a group of people out there with serious problems, mental and/or substance abuse.

These are our sisters and our uncles and our old neighbors.

In the old days, many would have been institutionalized. That doesn't exist anymore.

The city is simply extending a safety net to those in need - with a proven methodology of getting people into housing, stabilizing them enough to make progress on their real issues.

We can spend money on housing them or we can spend money on law enforcement and visit to the ER and $50k a year or whatever on prison or we can make what is really a very small investment in trying to help them.

I have met many of these people at Cubberley and I fully support NOT letting them take over the place. I also understand that these are people with serious needs who should not be left to wander from place to place.

The city could have just kicked these people down the road to another city, another place who would then eventually kick them down the road. It chose to try and make a dent.

Thank you city council and thank you service providers.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

I agree that these people need help, but I don't think it is up to Palo Alto to do it.

What I am trying to say is that it can't be done by one city alone and the next do something different. It has to be a regional attempt to help them. If the whole Bay Area worked together and did something constructive, it would make a big difference. This piece by piece situation with different laws in different cities is not working and will not work. Moving them on the way Nevada does it is just causing the problem to escalate in California. The same could be said for the individual cities on the Peninsula.

We need to rethink our attitude to the homeless and the mentally ill and by "we" I mean society. I think even raising the sales tax by .01 cent and using the money regionally to get a program whereby the homeless could be housed and rehabilitated, given help to restart their lives, could work. But it has to be done regionally to make sense.

If someone who has lived and worked in Palo Alto all their adult lives and have fallen onto hard times, it is different from someone who has bummed around different places for 10 or more years. Both need help, but it is different types of help they need. Lumping them together into one category isn't helping any of them. Sorting out who needs what is the first step and then giving them the help they need rather than what "the homeless" need is the second step.


Posted by Consistency?, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 4, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hey editor what happened to deleting comments offensive to a group?


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 10:26 am

I am disgusted at the callous attitude of most of the people posting. I am one of the 'long time' Palo Alto residents who could soon be facing living out of my car. I was born and raised in Palo Alto, my father was a lifetime fireman/paramedic in Palo Alto, and I currently work for the City of Palo Alto. I have worked hard my entire life. As soon as my alimony payments end, I will not be able to afford the rent in this city that has been mine for more than 52 years. I probably will end up living in my car, or on the streets. My streets.
Have some freaking compassion. Or move to a red state and live in your dog eat dog nirvana.


Posted by Wow, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 4, 2013 at 10:37 am

The Editor obviously believes that the homeless don't read Town Square, or perhaps he's comfortable with making ad revenue off of people trashing the poor.

Here's my 2 cents: Renters shouldn't get to vote in city elections. They are basically just passing through town. Also, have you noticed that a lot of them look funny and eat smelly food?


Posted by Expensive in PA, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

Rents, food, education, etc. is expensive in Palo Alto. But not far away, e.g. In Sunnyvale, rents for a tract home are 1500 less., or more, for a nicer setup.

I think with increasing pressure to grow Palo Alto, despite efforts to provide "senior" or "affordable" housing, prices will only go up.


Posted by Carlos, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

[Portion removed.] I used to love coming to Palo Alto for coffee, diner, etc, but now I feel a increasing disdain for those not like one of the snooty groups of elite who walk through the city turning their noses up. Your city is getting grey. It is getting ugly. It used to be fun.


Posted by Member, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm

It is amazing how people get off topic so quickly. The topic is subsidizing 20 homeless people in a shelter. I do not believe that the $250,000 is the real cost. You have insurance, maintenance, health services, food, etc. This is only the opening of the door to a fixed budget item to support this whole effort. The actual cost will be way over in a short amount of time. We pay property taxes to the Santa Clara County - not PA. Santa Clara county needs to weigh in on a county solution for all of the cities within its boundaries. We cannot piecemeal this problem city by city. It is not in our city charter. If someone thinks they will float a bond issue for some other function because the $250,000 was used for this effort they have another thought coming - it won't happen.
Menlo Park is in San Mateo County - they need to come up with their own solutions.


Posted by Wayne, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

It's hard to believe from the majority of these comments, that this is the same community that came to the rescue of former Co-op worker Willie Branch when he became homeless in 2004. Or do I have it wrong? Maybe this ISN'T the same community.
For those who do not know the story, go to the Weekly's online site and search for Willie Branch.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm

>I will not be able to afford the rent in this city that has been mine for more than 52 years.

So move to where you can afford the rent. There is no divine right for you live in PA. Get over it.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Why are the unhorsed still at cubbrely center. Does the city council know who. Voted them in?


Posted by Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

RE: JENNIFER DAUGHTER OF FIREMAN/PARAMEDIC, SO,PA

Dear Jennifer or anyone who knows her,
Please contact Neighbors Helping Neighbors, we maybe able
to help you.

Caryll-Lynn Taylor
Executive Director
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
NHN.FamilyAmbassador@gmail.com


Posted by member, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

The people who retire from long held jobs in this locality already know that they will move to a different state that has a lower cost of living. Some in the cold states with long held family homes have a second residence in Florida which they report as their main home to reduce tax expense. If people cannot stay in the local area / California due to high taxes and high cost of living they already know that and plan accordingly.
There is no given that everyone has to stay here and get subsidized to do that. People have to take responsibility for making those choices and understand that everyone is eventually making those choices based on their individual circumstances. Older people usually sell their homes and move to lower cost communities. That is just good financial management. That is why you have such a high turnover in homes at this time.


Posted by Elizabeth , a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Where I come from, in order to receive help, a pauper had to be from that area -- they had to be able to prove some connection, usually through birth, marriage, or work. If they couldn't prove that they had settled in that area, then they were removed to their place of birth which was responsible for their assistance. And the assistance they could get was contingent on work if they were able bodied, and of course if not, then they could get shelter and food in another place. If they had children, they could be cared for also usually through a kind of foster care system. This worked well for several hundred years, until bleeding heart liberals insisted on "outdoor relief" that closed down the workhouses.

Honestly if people would just send their children out to work to support the family if they are disabled, I think we'd have much less homelessness. It's laws against child labor that have created homelessness. In my time children as young as 5 went to work in the mines and at the loom to support their families. They were apprenticed to blacksmiths. And they loved it. It was fun, like a kind of game. And they got pocket money.


Posted by member, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 5, 2013 at 8:52 am

Everyone should read in detail what is proposed here. The plan is for 20 case workers going out to find 20 homeless people. They will presumably find 20 rentals to house them. The homeless people in question are high risk personality types, many of which have already been in jail.

Who thinks this type of activity up? If the PA CC is going to discuss it means someone on the CC has already given it the green light - and possibly thought it up themselves and are stringing it through a NP consulting group to front it.

Who is paying for the 20 case workers? Who is going to assume the increased insurance liability to house these high risk people? Who is going to pay for the health care, food, telephones, etc for these people? The $250K will not even touch the real cost of this effort. It is a strategy to set up a whole business function which we will assume that the taxpayers of PA will subsidize in a bond issue. It is an open ended play for fiscal mayhem.

It is time to the County of Santa Clara to provide one location for all of the cities within its boundaries where the collection of said 20 people and case workers, and other related homeless from other cities within the county borders can be housed. The County needs to be the "compassionate player" in this effort. Consolidating this activity in one place will reduce the overall cost of the total effort.

The county has many unused facilities where this can take place. They already know that the insurance liability alone will be staggering. The county needs to step up to the plate here instead of trying to layer this down to individual small cities. PA is not a "big city" - it is a bedroom community to Stanford which runs its own show.


Posted by Bob , a resident of Community Center
on Oct 5, 2013 at 8:58 am

To Charleston Meadows "Member"
No, this is not true that many seniors have to move to a 'lower-cost-of-living-state'. Those who have been here for a reasonable amount of time might not move due to being slammed with high capital gains taxes on their home, higher food prices, e.g. Midwest, higher property taxes - and everywhere, very high utility bill for summer and winter (try the Midwest and East and be shocked), very high property insurance - anyplace vulnerable to tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, ice storms, frequent wind storms, high auto casualty prices, high auto license $$$, the list goes on. Statistically, seniors here are much healthier than those in the East , Midwest, and South. Acc. to the last census, there is a remarkably high number of over sixty-five seniors in this area. and the number is rising everyday. Compare the frequency of tornadoes and hurricanes in the Midwest, But some realtors hound seniors - "Are you planing to move to a retirement facility soon" or "When ....????"


Posted by Wayne, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm

>Why are the unhorsed still at cubbrely center. Does the city council know who. Voted them in?

A horse! A horse! My Kingdom for a horse!


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 6, 2013 at 1:11 am

Reading through these comments it really amazed me how many *'s are so totally shameless about their hate and contempt for people less fortunate than they are and really seem to enjoy expressing their miserable hostility like it's the only enjoyment they get in life.


Posted by resident, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

The San Jose Mercury 10/06/13 -" Santa Clara County Freed Lifers get rent help" provides more background on the larger program concerning this issue, and the funding provide by the county. The county previously depended on homeless shelters to provide some assistance. However the homeless shelters have limited ability to deal with the whole issue due to the short-term nature of their efforts. Noted is that Santa Clara County is the only one providing this service. RWC and EPA are in San Mateo County and have different criteria for homeless support.

Santa Clara County is very large and extends down to Gilroy. San Jose is the major city in the county. Major city here means an elected mayor - not a rotating mayor, international airport, major rail service, and financial center for the county.

There is a lot of room here for a centralized location for homeless people that can maximize the benefits at a lower cost. Palo Alto is not the lone ranger here - it has limited space and is built out to its borders. Many of the cities within the county have unused space.

Our county supervisor indicated in the release that public safety is the important part of this calculation. The PA CC needs to get very specific as to the limitations that it has in supporting this effort and recognize that it cannot take on social benefit programs that are within the charter of the county and are long-range in nature.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2013 at 9:47 am

I hope Jennifer doesn't have to live in here car or have to move away from Palo Alto. I know all people can't afford to live in Palo Alto but it is even getting harder to remain in the area.

As for people like seniors, low incomers even some that fall under what is moderate income are having a hard time staying in the area. One day Palo Alto with the surrounding communities are going to wake up and realize they won't be able to pay enough in wages to pay the high cost of housing.

We do have a working homeless population which I know people work full time jobs but don't have a full time apartment. See couch surging or living in a low budget motel.

The worse thing is? Watching the prices of housing skyrocket, watching people move here which get higher paying jobs and then watching your pay go rise slowly. Watching the price of Eichler rise to point that you will say "WTH"?

I know many places that where people from California in high numbers have driven up the prices because selling property here makes them millionaires. The locals in these places are driven to move to cheaper housing.


Posted by Written inside my four walls, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

Has it occurred to our City staff that many of the homeless like being homeless. They don't want to be tied down to four walls and a shower. There is freedom to just living in your RV or truck - you don't have to pay rent to greedy strangers. Many of those without homes like it that way.
[Portion removed.]


Posted by Stop the madness, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by you know who, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by kb, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by isez, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 7, 2013 at 1:41 am

isez is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm

bru is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]
[Post removed.]
[Post removed.]
[Post removed.]
[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]
[Post removed.]
[Post removed.]

Well, what happened here? Did people suddenly go nuts because someone posted a pro-homeless comment instead of the nasty anti-homeless comments that seemed to have taken over by intimidation? I am not sure if the nature of Palo Alto has changed of a few screaming mimis just try to get us to think that by spewing such nastiness that the nice people of Palo Alto just fail to participate. Keeping these board civil, and even friendly is a good idea, I am tired of the (right-wing) rancor.


Posted by bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm

bru is a registered user.

... the nature of Palo Alto has changed of a few screaming mimis just try to get us to think that by spewing such nastiness that the nice people of Palo Alto just fail to participate.

should read - "or" a few screaming meanies ....


Posted by jls mom of 2, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

jls mom of 2 is a registered user.

The only way to keep the forums civil (or even friendly) is to require the use of real names and end the practice of anonymous commenting. Although the publisher may believe that allowing anonymous commenting is somehow empowering to the community in reality it has turned the forums over time into a venomous snake pit. Most sane people don't participate, and those who do are often using the forum strategically through sock puppets to generate the appearance of a groundswell moving this or that way. Whatever benefit there may have been in the past from allowing anonymous comments is long since past. Whatever benefit there ever may have been in allowing anonymous commenting is long since past. Other publications are ending the practice. If you want to have a real, empowering, forum, hold a monthly public discussion.

A true Town Square did not have anonymous commenters (other than people like the KKK wearing bags over their heads). Is that the example of empowerment we are following?


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