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Mayor: Stanford, Palo Alto must make 'best efforts' on med center expansion

Original post made on Nov 7, 2007

In August Palo Alto received applications for a 1.3 million-square-foot net expansion and modernization of the Stanford University Medical Center -- 50 percent more than today's zoning limits.

Read the full guest opinion here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 7, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (59)

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 7, 2007 at 11:00 am

Just out of curiosity is any other business or entity in Palo Alto required to abide by a "no new net trips" policy?
If not, then why not? Shouldn't a "no new net trip" policy be in force for every business,school and shop in Palo Alto?


And we (our city leaders, actually) constantly use the phrase "walkable neighborhoods". If they are serious about this, then every neighborhood should have a shopping center like Charleston Plaza (the one on Middlefield and Charleston with Piazza's, Peets, ice cream, cleaners, resteraunt etc) and a branch library.
What is our city doing to achieve this goal?


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 7, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Mayor Kishimoto: "We must shape and size the project and create mitigations and community benefits such that in the end our town, our partnership with Stanford and our region make a positive big step into the future, not a step backwards."

I agree with Mayor Kishimoto, but the Devil remains in the details.

The first thing we must do is proactively enter these negotiations as a _partner_; this means both negotiants must work toward accomplishing their respective goals, while not alienating the other party.

Stanford is very measured and professional as it approaches a negotiation. This is easier to pull off when there is a well-coordinated process that has been designed toward a goal.

Mayor Kishimoto's sentiments and goals are good ones, but in order to go forward with these negotiations in the spirit of partnership will require that our nine-person City Council enter with one well-coordinated voice. Currently, I'm concerned about what the tenor of that voice will be, as we have already seen a number of probing volleys shot across Stanford's bow - e.g. "we want open space"; "we want housing"; "we want mass transportation"'; "we want less trips per day", and so on.

What troubles me about this is that Stanford *MUST* conform to seismic retrofits amd rebuild within a certain amount of time. Are we going to entangle this time-sensitive project in the sticky web of the Palo Alto Process? I hope not, because that will force options that are less than optimal for both parties, and lessen the strength of going forward as real partners with Stanford in this process.

Further, Stanford is a *growing* institution, one that has probably done more to ameliorate the travail of commuters than any single municipal entity in this region. Why are we asking Stanford to do more, without offering up some of our own mass transport innovations, and putting them right out there on the negotiation table? As in, we're willing to do "A", if you're willing to do "B".

No negotiator wants to tipp her hand too soon, but surely we can begin this negotiation from the perspective of a partner _that has something to offer_.

Further, from the housing perspective, what about ABAG? How does it look to our partner if we project rhetoric (as we have been) about how we're not going to accept our responsibility to meet our obligations for the net trips that Palo Alto generates, while asking Stanford to constrain itself further with the same set of obligations? We can't have Stanford building dwellings for us; we're not going to escape our obligation to the region - and our environment - that way, and at the same time _strengthen_ our relationship with Stanford, our partner.

The same goes for open space. Why should we be asking Stanford for more open space? Perhaps *access* to open space, but certainly not the giving up of open space. Stanford has been a good steward of open space.

We simply cannot bring forward a laundry list as a set of conditions that burden our partner, while at the same time relieving ourselves of our responsibilties - _responsibilities that our partner would, in good faith, expect us to be fulfilling on our own, so as to set a *joint, partnered* example to our other municipal neighbors.

Mayor Kishimoto speaks about our municipal neighbors in her GO. Perhaps this is an opportunity - an opening - to bring our municipal neighbors into dialogue on housing and transportation issues...something that would springboard our region forward, and help Palo ALto on its way to leading the region on these issues, and this giving our city more weight in negotiations with a municipal partner (Stanford) that has been pulling its own weight for a long time.





Posted by Henry W, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2007 at 5:41 pm

3,000 new jobs translates into about 5,000+ or more, new people since many of those 3,000 will have spouses and children. They will need housing and schools and of course transportation. This is not comparable to any other "business or entity." Also it is possible they are underestimating the number of people, it wouldn't be the first time a developer underestimated their impact.


Posted by Palo Alto Resident, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2007 at 10:41 pm

I hope our City approves this project ASAP. For anyone who has needed the services of Stanford Hospital recently should know, it is almost impossible to get a bed there particularly at short notice. My Doctor told me recently she had a seriously ill patient warehoused at the clinic because she could not get her into Sequoia, Stanford, or El Camino at short notice.

I had to wait 4 weeks for elective surgery, and a friend recently had surgery at El Camino Hospital because she could not get into Stanford. So, if you think you live near this wonderful, world class facility, you do, and it is there when you may need it, think again.

Our City Council must approve this project as soon as possible.




Posted by Perplexed, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2007 at 8:58 am

I completely fail to comprehend why Stanford has to provide housing for employees. Does any large tech. company have to do the same? Does Cisco? I don't think so. Most people are thankful for the job opportunities and they *don't* want to move there because they already spend enough time at work. Who among us moves next door to the office every single time they change jobs in this area?

I say that Stanford goes above and beyond it's duty to this community. Geez, Palo Alto came about because of Stanford. They're building a new hospital that we will *all* benefit from on their property. And, no, I have absolutely no affiliation with Stanford; but I'm thrilled to have the University as my neighbor.


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 8, 2007 at 9:11 am

It is quite clear from Yoriko's post and writings in this thread and other thread that many people in government in PA and many of the citizens feel that there needs to be an adversarial relationship between Stanford and Palo Alto. That Stanford does not have PA best interest in mind. Stanford has bent over backwards for PA--what Stanford has done to help PA become the city it is now is beyond mentioning in this post.
Others in our city think that Stanford is a cash cow that can be milked anytime that PA needs something.
PA squandered away most of their open space, now they expect Stanford to provide open space for them. Palo Alto feels that they can ignore the ABAG requirements, but they expect Stanford to provide housing.
PA wants businesses, hotels, tourist and people shopping in town--all these generate traffic. There is no call for a "no new net trips" policy in the city, but Stanford is expected to adhere to this draconian measure, even though as Yoriko points out Stanford has done plenty to cut down on car trips.
Clearly Yoriko is not the one to lead this discussion with Stanford--she is biased against Stanford (she likened the porject to swallowing a bowling ball ) and really is a one-note council member (too much traffic) and a one not mayor (climate change).
She does not have the leadership skills to carry out meaningful discussion with Stanford on this issue as mayor and as a regular city council member next year shew ill be an obstacle to dealing with this matter fairly.

I call on the city of Palo Alto to deal with Stanford fairly (i.e. not the "do as I say not as i do" method that it is using now when it comes to housing for example) and I also call on Yoriko to resign from the city council immediately so that a competent person can be appointed in her place.


Posted by Phil Ritter, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 8, 2007 at 10:01 am

One reason for Stanford providing housing is that it benefits Stanford. They have long provided housing for faculty and more recently for other employees (along Sand Hill) without being forced to by the city. Of course this is different than the city requiring Stanford to provide housing, and I admit that there is a different standard for Stanford compared to other industries. But I've long argued that any large scale industrial development needs to include matching housing in order to lessen the negative effects of the long-distant commuting that is almost certain to result from adding jobs without adding housing. This would not mean necessarily building apartments next to a new HP building, but just that for every job added, some number of housing units be added within an easy biking radius (say four or five miles).

The main reason Stanford gets treated differently (whether fair or not) is that it owns the only large blocks of land still available for housing (excluding all the land within Palo Alto that has been zoned open space). Stanford has voluntarily allowed large sections of its land to be annexed to Palo Alto in order to for it to be developed (mainly the medical center area, along Sand Hill, and the Industrial Park). Palo Alto is perfectly within its rights to require that at least some of that land within its borders be zoned residential. And what better way to mitigate the effects of adding hundreds or thousands of new jobs than to include places for many of those new employees to live within a reasonable distance.


Posted by Stanford Transplant, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 8, 2007 at 10:05 am

Dear Perplexed-

Stanford is a worldclass institution that must hire the most qualified people in each field in order to maintain the University's prestige. Many of these professors are moving here from other parts of the country, as well as from around the world. News flash: professors earn far far less than techie gazillionaires. In case you haven't noticed, Silicon Valley has some of the highest home prices anywhere. I reallize this must be difficult for you, but try putting two and two together! How do you expect a professor from the Midwest to purchase a home here? How do you expect the university to attract to best and brightest? No, the university doesn't "have to provide housing." But if Stanford wants to compete with other top-tier schools, then they need to do more than tell their recruits to "borrow some money from mom&dad" in order to scrape up enough money for a tiny fixer-upper. Most people who work at Stanford cannot afford to live here. Many live in crappy Stanford West apartments! We owned a lovely three bedroom, two bathroom home prior to coming here. That house sold for over a half million - we were thrillled! Then we came here and realized that 500K doesn't go very far. One house we looked at sold for $380K OVER ASKING - that's more than we paid for our previous home! WTF? How do you honestly expect the University to compete? Try telling a recruite that they have to down-size as part of their promotion package! Yes, please, offer me tenure but then tell me that I'll have to live in a two bedroom, one bath apartment. Wrap you brain around the idea that not everyone in Silicon Valley works at Google (and not everyone wants to)! Duh!


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 8, 2007 at 11:13 am

Phil Ritter: "...I've long argued that any large scale industrial development needs to include matching housing in order to lessen the negative effects of the long-distant commuting that is almost certain to result from adding jobs without adding housing."

Then why is Palo Alto shirking its responsibility, as it resists the development of sufficient housing to meet *Palo Alto's* jobs housing imbalance?

Stanford *has* been forthcoming in its provision of housing for staff and employees - far more (relatively speaking) than any of its municipal neighbors.

Stanford Transplant, perhaps you should begin to lobby Palo Alto and surrounding municipality lawmakers to support BMR housing, and other housing development sufficient to meet ABAG requirements.

Stanford will non doubt - and has no doubt *already* planned (athough Stanford's not telling Palo Alto [and why should Stanford tell, as Palo Alto simply ties up sensible forward planning with interminable process?].

I am troubled when I hear our policy makers asking adjoining municipalities, who are claimed to be "partners", asked to do the very things that we ourselves are reluctant to do.

Does that make for autheticity in negotiation? I'll let you answer that question.


Posted by Forum Reader, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 8, 2007 at 11:39 am

It would be helpful to know whether anyone posting here is a city official. It is relevant on this issue.


Posted by John, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2007 at 12:13 pm

I kinda laugh at the draconian way California is dealing with this supposed job/housing imbalance. Many countries in Europe are dealing with it quite differently.

Instead of insisting on low cost housing being built to off set industrial and business expansion; some countries have made a very conscious decision not to build anymore highways. Instead they are putting money into building and extending mass transit systems.

California makes it so easy to get into your car and drive to work. This should be discouraged and much greater efforts should be made to improve mass transit.

We should consider doing what London has done and charge people for driving their cars into Palo Alto. If you couldn't drive your car to work, you'd soon find other ways of getting there.


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 8, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Doesn't the driving fee in London only apply to the center of the city--which is primarily business. Not sure how that would work in a city the size of Palo Alto, which is mainly residential. What about people who drive through PA, i.e. Menlo park to Mountain View for example.
I am sure, though, that Yoriko has wanted to charge people for driving down Embarcadero Road so that there won;t be too much traffic going by her home


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 8, 2007 at 12:36 pm

In fact, the driving restriction is London applies to rush hour, city-center traffic. I was back and forth to London as this was happening; it was an interestign deployment of technology.

City officials were requiring a permit for driving in city center during rush hour, but many thousands of motorists were willfully refusing to buy permits.

The Brits solved that conundrum by hiring a first-rate technology company (based in India, I think) to create a networked system of cameras and software that would identify scofflaws.

It worked, and within weeks central London was much easier to negotiate.

As for America's - and California's - seeming inability to get people out of their cars, John's post is exactly right. We have simply not garnered the political will to make this happen.

To accomplish the goal of creating effective mass transport systems that citizens would WANT to use will take political will and coordination of the highest order. As of today, political will relating to this issue, in Silicon Valley, in California, and in America - is MIA.


Posted by Publicus, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Mike - good post. Congestion pricing is the way to go.


Posted by Betty, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 8, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Stanford is asking to expand their Medical Center by 1.3 million sq ft requiring 2,000 more employees. Palo Alto can simply say, "For every employee you add, add a housing unit that employee can afford within 1 mile of the job." If we don't start doing something like this as a community and a nation, greenhouse gases will negatively impact the lives of all future generations.


Posted by Jeremy Loski, a resident of Ventura
on Nov 9, 2007 at 12:09 am

Betty, how about Palo Alto diong the same thing, to relieve *Palo Alto's* jobs/housing imbalance?


Posted by Long Time Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:42 am

I think that Menlo Park, Woodside, and Redwood City would be able to take a lot of these employees.

For Stanford, some nurses and staff could also ride the train to work, and then take a shuttle over to Stanford.

I don't think we need to build more housing for more employees.

I know someone who drives to UCSF medical center everyday.
He does not ride the train because he needs to go to various meetings at all the medical center sites throughout the day.

UCSF's medical facilities are spread out all over the city.

The employees at UCSF use all kinds of methods to get to work, and come from all over. If they are working in one facility, it makes it easier. For this manager at UCSF, using public transportation was not an option, but I feel that this would not be the case for many at Stanford.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2007 at 8:57 am

LTR,

Exactly! It's interesting to note that those (including our distinguished Mayor) who often to react *against* the ABAG numbers, question the latter's viability "because how do we know that those who purchase ABAG are actually not commuting to another job?". So, why shouldn't Stanford make the same argument?

A consequence of the above might be that Palo Alto would argue that Stanford should make housing available within its own municipality *specifically* for its workers. So, why can't Stanford make the same argument about Palo Alto, relative to municipal workers and others who have had long-time employment here, with a focused approach to incentivizing local workers to live in town?

This goes to the heart of my concern about the 'walking the walk' when it comes to talk about 'partnering'.

In fact, some policy makers are suggesting that Stanford to do something that the former are not willing to do, themselves.

Again, what are *we* offering Stanford? What are *we* putting on the table?

A rhetorical plea: *Please* don't tell me (or Stanford) that we're putting 'our permission to go forward with your medical center project' as the primary negotiating carrot. If that's all Palo Alto is offering, and our own policy is to block the very same things in our community that we are asking Stanford to pony up, we look weak, insincere, and not anything at all like a partner - we look like the old days, with our hand out, taking a bribe for favors.


Posted by Henry W, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Who is getting a bribe?
The only person ever mentioned is the city manager who might want a job there. Or the honor of teaching people how to get things done without paying attention to those annoying citizens.
Who else?


Posted by Keeping-The-Record-Straight, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2007 at 12:55 pm

> Stanford has voluntarily allowed large sections of its
> land to be annexed to Palo Alto in order to for it to be
> developed (mainly the medical center area, along
> Sand Hill, and the Industrial Park).

Just to keep the record straight--by "allowing the annexation" of some of its land, Stanford does not have to provide fire and police protection. These costs are shifted to the tax base of Palo Alto.


Posted by Stanford-Can-Build-It, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2007 at 12:59 pm

> How do you honestly expect the University to compete?

Stanford is an incredibly rich institution, with a lot of land it can use for employee/staff housing. Stanford can compete by building housing for people who come here from elsewhere. This is Stanford's problem and Stanford's problem alone.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:02 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Stanford-can-build-it says "Stanford can compete by building housing for people who come here from elsewhere. This is Stanford's problem and Stanford's problem alone."

Let's move a few words around, to point out the duplicitousness in your argument.

my revision:
*Palo Alto* can compete by building housing for people who come here from elsewhere. This is *Palo Alto's* problem and *Palo Alto's* problem alone.

How does that sound, especially when applied to our city's job/housing imbalance. I wonder how your original statement would play, with Stanford's knowledge that we have had a recent vote that undermines Palo Alto's responsibility to do the very same thing we are asking of Stanford.






Posted by Keeping-The-Record-Straight, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:53 pm

> Since when does someone give you land as a gift

Who gave whom land as a gift? The original point was that Stanford "allowed" Palo Alto to annex some of its land. Well, Stanford still owned the land and still was able to do with it what it wanted after the annexation, since there has been a lot of development on the Stanford Campus over the years. The city was anxious to get the property tax and sales tax from the Stanford Center back in the mid-1950s and Stanford was obviously eager of getting out of providing infrastruture and public safety services for these buildings.

As to the rest of your claims--everyone within the city's jurisdiction undergoes zoning and planing restrictions. Stanford is no different


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:16 pm

And who receives the sales taxes and other benefits from this gifted property?

Stanford is an entity that does have obligations based on zoning, but it *is* primarily an independent entity.

I fail to see how one "partner" can ask another partner to meet an obligation that the former partner has already said it plans not to meet.

Can you help clear that one up for me?


Posted by Stanford-Can-Build-It, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Somewhere up-thread someone posted: "how can Stanford compete?"

The context of this snippet was that people to whom Stanford offered jobs find that there is "sticker shock" when they try to convert the proceeds of their recently sold homes into local property ownership. The original poster did not seem to see that Stanford could "compete" under these circumstances.

The response: "Stanford can compete by building housing for people who come here from elsewhere. This is Stanford's problem and Stanford's problem alone." was intended to point out that Stanford is the employer and that Palo Alto is not responsible to Stanford, or these new Stanford Employees, to provide housing.

Stanford can easily provide no-interest loans, or even grants, to people it has invited to move to this area. Stanford can build new housing on the Campus and offer these quarters on any terms it would like. Stanford can build apartments, and offer these dwelling units to employees as it sees fit. The idea that Stanford can invite thousands of new staff to work on its Campus and Palo Alto now has to absorb all of these people without so much as an "excuse me" takes one's breath away.

As to any "duplicitousness" .. say what?
----


Posted by Keeping-The-Record-Straight, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2007 at 3:38 pm

> And who receives the sales taxes and other
> benefits from this gifted property?

As noted above .. the city receives the property tax and sales tax. It also receives the burden of providing services which can far exceed the value of the sales and property tax when big ticket items like roads, sidewalks, creek overbanking prevention and other capital expenses are factored in.

As to the benefit? Well .. that one is a little hard to measure since so many of these companies are startups, which move out of Palo Alto eventually. The hospital is a benefit if you use it, but if you don't ...

> Stanford is an entity that does have obligations based on
> zoning, but it *is* primarily an independent entity.

Yes.

> I fail to see how one "partner" can ask another partner to
> meet an obligation that the former partner has already
> said it plans not to meet.

I suspect that we might agree on this point. The term "partner" probably does not mean that Palo Alto and Stanford have signed a legally-binding agreement to be "partners". Some of the demands made by the "greenies" on the Council are over-the-top.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 10, 2007 at 12:31 am

"The hospital is a benefit if you use it, but if you don't ..."

Really?
from a previous post in this forum:
Web Link

"1) How much is having nearly the best medical care on earth within 10 minutes drive?

"2) How many physician, health administrator, and medical education conferences will the hospital's presence bring to Palo Alto? How many hotel room rentals, and long-term housing rentals, does that compute to; how many local restaurant meals; how many new, highly educated residents; how much of an inflation factor to our homes; how many supermarket, bookstore, Stanford Mall and other shopping visits; how much free word-of-mouth advertising about the wonders of the hospital, Palo Alto and the region, spread to potential visitors from all over the world; how many intangible intellectual and R&D add-ons to our community; how many medical service, medical device, and other medically-related business startups emanating from the university - soley due to the world class R&D efforts; how much national prestige, and all tthe benefit hat carries; how many altruistic non-profit startups; how many more foundation grants that will feed into the local economy; how much cutting edge research that _saves_ Palo Alans lives, not to mention the lives of potentially millions more; how many educational opportunities for our high school and other K-12 students, who will have opportunities to tour the facility and be inspired; how about the multiplier effects of Stanford's presence in the region, and how that feeds back to PA; how about the careful planning that has _already_ gone into this facility (with no charge to Palo Alto); how about the increase in badly-needed social diversity (from the perspective of socioeconomic status) that will accrue in Palo Alto, as Stanford's staffing needs increase?

"There's a lot more; why aren't we hearing about this from those who are tralking about the _costs_ of the Stanford project. I'd wager the benefits above, _not including their local and regional multipliers_ FAR outweigh any of the so-far puny impacts (by comparison) that some Palo Altans (and some of their representatives) are beginning to shout about.

"Will we ever hear anything about these benefits from...those who shout the loudest about the _cost_ to Palo Alto of this facility? We'll see.

"Will we see locals and some policy-makers taking credit for already-assumed environmental efficiencies and cost replacement planned by Stanford? We'll see.

"Will the costs that Stanford have to bear from inordinate delay caused form our infamous inability to move _quickly_ on important measures be computed by Stanford, and made public? I hope so.

"I'm looking for more from our policy-makers and administrators than grandstanding and pandering to noisy locals who are interested I'm looking for maturity in negotiations, and _absolute honesty_ when it comes to comuting the cost picture relative to this facility. The latter assumes that _benefits_ coming from Stanford must be computed and factored in as fiscal equivilants."


Posted by Homeowner & Cancer Survivor, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2007 at 1:31 am

As a 5 year cancer survivor, who was treated in our "backyard world class hospital", I am all for modernizing and expanding the hospital! Everyone I met -- from the doctors on down to the orderlies and building maintainance -- is really good at what they do, and dedicated to their collective mission.

As it happens, I was treated in the old cancer clinic, but did my follow up visits at the new cancer center. It's the same great people, but the new facilities are incredibly superior. The patient experience is far more pleasant, and the docs are happier and more efficient working in the new layout.

Any other community in America would have to float bonds for 30 years to finance the hospital upgrades Stanford is proposing. Is it really true that we only have to say 'sounds good to me!' and it will happen?

As a palo-alto homeowner, I really can't see any reason to object. If the hospital expands and adds workers it will draw more smart, well paid and generally reasonable people into the neighborhood. That should be good for home values as well as cafe conversation...

Besides, when the next big earthquake hits, I kind of like the idea of our local trauma center remaining open for business.





Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 10, 2007 at 12:31 pm

I have lived in many metropolitan areas around the world, and there was one thing that stood out among those areas that were the best places to live - their hospitals. When "life" happened, the places with the best hospitals made it possible to get through the healing process quickly. It made us grateful to be alive, to be so fortunate to live near top care, and, that positive thinking, made the healing faster.

If Stanford can't attract top talent to work at their bigger facility because it's too expensive to live here, don't you think they would try to fix the problem with creative solutions (as suggested above)? It would be in their own self-interest to ensure success rather than blame everyone else for their own failure.

Despite all the arguments tossed about, I cannot fathom how this would be anything but a net benefit for Palo Alto residents.


Posted by Henry W, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2007 at 12:41 pm

>, we look weak, insincere, and not anything at all like a partner - we look like the old days, with our hand out, taking a bribe for favors.
Mike, you mentioned a bribe. Please explain. Do you mean the council member who said she is going to be a "cheer leader" for the project? she is professionally and personally connected to the manager of the projects but I would not think of anything so crass.
Mike, please explain what you meant.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 10, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Henry W.

I think you know what I meant - especially if you consider the full context of the posts I've written about this issue - but just to be clear, I was in *no way* suggesting that any of our fine City Council memners are taking bribes. That thought never crossed my mind, nor would it, because our City Council members are all good people.

In fact, I think *your* intimation is crass, because it takes a point of debate and debases it with unfound assumptions that will get us off track, and sullies the conversation, in general.

That said, Palo Alto has a history of 'asking for things' in return for giving Stanford approval to move ahead in certain ways. This pattern has become habituated on our negotiating strategy (re: Stanford) to the point where it's an assumed quality.

My point about "bribes" was that if we keep doing things this way with Stanford, we will be (and, in fact, are) being seen (en masse, as a community) as 'extorting bribes for favors', in the larger sense of the word - i.e. we are requiring 'conditions' (that, btw, are beyond what Palo Alto is willing to commit to, in roughly similar circumstances) in exchange for our giving permission to Stanford to complete projects that Stanford MUST complete in order to sustain itself.

We need to be more enlightened about these issues, as well as being more transparent about our own shortcomings, before we approach our neighbor with hand out, asking our neighbor for the very same thing that we ourselves are unwilling to commit to.


Posted by Betty, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:27 am

I couldn't agree more with Homeowner & Cancer Survivor,"when the next big earthquake hits, I kind of like the idea of our local trauma center remaining open for business."

Me, too. That's why I'm sure Stanford will be building BMR housing for ALL the emergency personnel employed in its Medical Center. Otherwise, the Stanford trauma center will remain open for only as long as the employees who were on premise when the next big one hits can continue to function, because the replacement emergency employees trying to get to the trauma center from Tracy will be hopelessly blocked from getting to work by bridge collapses and closures.

In Palo Alto's "jobs/housing imbalance", aren't most of those jobs on Stanford land?












Posted by Silvia, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:41 am

It is not just the Med Center expansion adding 2,000 new employees, it is the Shopping Center expansion adding 1,000 new employees. My third grade math tells me Stanford is suggesting adding 3,000 NEW employees with its expansion plans. And Palo Alto gets to be the neighbor of Stanford's world class medical facilities that few Palo Altan's use and about $2 million of added tax revenues annually.

This reminds me of Jack selling his milk cow for six magic beans. We know how that turned out. A bean stalk grew, and Jack met a giant.

We all already know the giant, it's Stanford.


Posted by Bruce, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:51 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Marge Whitman, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 8:52 am

"In Palo Alto's "jobs/housing imbalance", aren't most of those jobs on Stanford land?"

Since when? Please show some evidence for your implication.

Stanford has even had to agree to a "no new net trips" clause in its expansions. Has any other regional entity had to walk down that path?


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 12, 2007 at 8:58 am

Silvia--The Stanford Shopping Center and the Med Center/Hospital expansion are two separate issues.
the city council really wants the Shopping center revenues so that they can collect added tax revenue. I think many residents of PA use the Stanford Hospital,but even if no one in PA did does that mean that Stanford should not have a world class medical center here?
I reallythin the "no new net car trips" should apply to the Stanford Shopping Center, University Ave shopping are and the California Avenue shopping are as well as to the main campus.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:27 am

Silvia, The vast majority of surgeries done through PAMF are *performed* at the Stanford Hospital facility.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sylvia, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:45 am

PAMF surgeries are mostly performed in the Stanford surgical wing and patients stay in Stanford Hospital because Stanford bought its way out of the City/University partnership which originally built our "community hospital".

In the Buy/Sell agreement, Stanford "permitted" local doctors to remain on the hospital staff for some finite period of years. How long does that agreement have to run? Is it about to run out? Then what? Doctors, and their patients, want to know.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 12, 2007 at 10:10 am

Sylvia, Stanford's generous offer to extend its medical facility to PAMF doctors is probably something that willl continue indefinitely.

In case you wonder what Stanford is doing to alleviate space concerns - -
from Web Link
"Stanford Hospital & Clinics recently bought the former Excite campus in Redwood City for a proposed outpatient facility with on-site orthopedics, ambulatory, radiology/imaging, and pharmacy services in order to reduce outpatient traffic at the Palo Alto site. This expansion has reduced the need for several hundred square feet of expansion on the current Palo Alto site."

from the same site, another view of how Stanford contributes to our health care, contrary to what your original post implied
This is just the tip og the iceberg, in terms of what Stanford contributes to our community
"SHC served 2,100 Palo Alto residents as inpatients and 4,000 residents who came to the emergency room last year. LPCH served 1,123 children and pregnant women from Palo Alto as inpatients in the last fiscal year and 2,156 individual patients for outpatient visits. Over 5,000 babies are born at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital each year from San Mateo and Santa Clara counties."


Posted by Henry W, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2007 at 1:29 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Marge Whitman, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Henry W.

You might read this document.
Web Link

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Henry W, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Ms Whitman is a hospital employee.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Marge Whitman, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 6:02 pm

I am no more a Stanford hospital employee than you are.

Henry, what is your connection to the development? I ask because you appear to be against the development with no other reason to be "against" the development. I have seen no reasons for your disapproval.

Here are some more reasons why the Stanford Hospital facility and its development is a great idea.
Web Link


Posted by Henry W, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2007 at 7:57 pm

There is a nurse with the same name as yours. If you are not a nurse, I apologize.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Homeowner & Cancer Survivor, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2007 at 2:45 am

Thanks for the support Betty, but don't you think you're micro-managing a bit? I'm sure they have disaster plans in place which will deal with staffing needs. Especially since the whole renovation idea came about through disaster planning: They noticed the current 50's era main hospital is likely to FALL DOWN in a major quake.

Please go visit some time. Take a ride on the old fright elevators, or better yet the escalator! (Yes, Escalator... You ever try to take crutches or an IV dolly on an escalator? What were they thinking?!?) They've learned a heck of a lot about how to design and build hospitals in the last 50 years.

We really should just let them tear this one down in a controlled way and replacing it with something nicer.

Honestly, isn't that enough of a benefit? Do we really have to ask them to solve global warming, provide open space, give free housing to all and bring peace to the middle east before we're willing to do our part and say "Thank you for the world class hospital that won't fall down"?

What gives us the right to be so impossible and obstructionist?

It's not like they want to build a chemical weapons lab... It's a shiny new HOSPITAL, filled with really smart doctors. We don't even have to pay for it, because Stanford has really smart/rich alumni who are going to pay for it for us.

We just have to say "yes" and maybe even "thank you"


Posted by Forum Reader, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 13, 2007 at 9:20 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 13, 2007 at 9:33 am

Stanford is not trying to "mislead". The are clearly calling this an expansion.
It is all clearly spelled out at this link,which someone else already posted:

Web Link

Or, forum Reader, are you just upset because someone at Stanford voted against you?


Posted by Recent renovator, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 13, 2007 at 9:41 am

Given my own sticker shock as we renovated our house, I can easily see how a major overhaul like this will cost so much. Safety standards and industrial construction for a modern hospital must be exhorbitant. I'm glad they want to do it because I'd like to live next door to a shiny new hospital when the next emergency arises.

And I'm even more thrilled at the donation for the new emergency room. I spent entirely too many hours there this summer with my child who was in a lot of pain from a severely broken bone ... because there were so many trauma cases coming in that bumped us back before they could even admit my child for surgery --- the next day. The 10 minute ride to the hospital was long enough and bumpy enough, I was thrilled that they didn't send us to another hospital. What will happen when the next disaster hits?

I've said it many times before to all of the professionals there who have cared for us over the years and I'll say it again, Thank you, Stanford!


Posted by Homeowner & Cancer Survivor, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2007 at 11:02 am

FR,

It's not disinformation. It's a typo. I should have said "replace".

I'm sorry if my poor word choice, together with the part about tearing the old hospital down and replacing it, mislead you into thinking they are just replacing the curtains....

I still can't believe that you're upset about them putting in a BILLION dollar state of the art hospital and not asking us to pay for it. Any other city in the world would think they'd hit the jackpot!

For perspective, when Intel puts in a billion dollar semiconductor fab and brings thousands of jobs to a town, they usually extract outrageous concessions from the city and state they chose to build it in.

How is it that we think we can or should extract maximum concessions from them, before agreeing to accept this excellent new facility in our back yard?

What, exactly, is the problem with replacing/expanding the hospital?

Seriously, go visit the old dump and wander around for a while. Then go to the cafe, just past the concierge desk in the new cancer center. Have a nice cappuccino and ask one of the bald people how they like the place. The difference in the quality of the facilities is jaw-dropping.

If cancer creeps you out, walk through Packard Children's Hospital instead. It's the same story. Every little detail puts kids at ease and helps adults find their way around. Compared to that, the old hospital building has all the warmth and charm of an IRS office.

The patients and the staff at the old hospital deserve a newer, better, and yes bigger facility...

Seriously, what is wrong with making it bigger? Is saving more lives somehow a problem?


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 13, 2007 at 11:28 am

Homeowner & Cancer Survivor--apparently for some people in PA saving lives would be a problem if it will "negatively impact their quality of life in PA".
BTW--that is another all encompassing statement(along with "too much traffic") that is used in PA to oppose development, new business, remoldels etc.


Posted by Forum Reader, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 13, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Hey, Not so fast, that's cute!
No, no one voted against me, I don't do anything that requires a vote. The vote you are referring to was for Library Commissioner. The council votes for commissioners.
PS It isn't Stanford who calls it a renovation. It was you.


Posted by Forum Reader, a resident of Stanford
on Nov 13, 2007 at 3:45 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.

I am sure the "Too Much Traffic" contingent on the council and in the city will be upset with this donation since they will feel it puts them in a corner to okay the Stanford Hospital remodel

Posted by Not so fast, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:24 pm


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 13, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Where are all the benefits to Stanford NOT building this facility? It looks like all those opposed have nothing but negative innuendo on their side. Where are all the numbers to support your "sky-is-falling" scenarios. Pretty weak, as debates go.


Posted by Homeowner & Cancer Survivor, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Marvin,

But *how* does it negatively impact the quality of life? By lengthening it? (are people really that unhappy... :)

Is it by raising property values? Do people get intimidated by the presence of really smart and caring people? Do they feel left out when people do mind-bendingly cool stuff -- like saving *MY* life -- and they're not involved?

Honestly, the only downside I can imagine is that traffic might go up a bit near the hospital. But let's put that into perspective: 2000 new jobs. If EVERYONE commutes, NOBODY carpools, and they all work 365 days a year, that's an extra 2000 round trips/day. Let's suppose there are only 4 roads in Palo Alto, going N/S/E/W from the hospital. That's 500 trips/day on each road. They do operate 24 hours, so if they're smarter than GM and allow flex time, the crude average is an extra 21 trips/hour/road. OH MY GOD!!!! ONE more car every 3 MINUTES! In *EACH* Direction! Quick, everybody lie down in front of the bulldozers!

In reality, some of the employees will chose to live here and there really are more than 4 roads in town, so I expect the traffic will probably dissipate pretty quickly as you leave the campus.

Still, just to be safe, they should probably talk to the planning department and do a traffic study. They might be able to mitigate the awful traffic impact by putting in a turn lane and retiming a couple of lights. Intel would make us pay for the traffic light, but I bet our we can stick Stanford with part of the bill.

If the turn lane isn't enough, the mayor should just pass a law requiring the 2000 crankiest and most petulant Palo Altans to sell their homes to a smart young doctor. It would cut traffic, raise the quality of life for the rest of us AND our hospital wouldn't fall over...

Seriously, is there any downside here?


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 13, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Hoemowner--I was being sarcastic. hard to express via writing only--that is why Iput it in quotation marks. But if you follow the way of doing things here in PA, you will see those arguments used quite often.

I agree with you there is no downside to the Stanford hoospital/med center rebuild.


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 13, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Forum Reader--rebuild, remodel,renovation or whatever you want to call it. I am a single person expressing an opinion. Any kind of "disinformation" that I may be providing certainly will not influence the council or "backfire".


Posted by Homeowner & Cancer Survivor, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2007 at 5:35 pm

>> You called it a "remodel" on the other Stanford thread. I sympathize, it must be hard to keep your personalities straight. But it is not difficult for a reader, the hostility comes through very clearly.

I never called it a remodel. I said renovation and admitted it was a typo. Honestly, I'm not a paid PR hack and I'm not trolling the boards. I didn't even know there was another Stanford thread.

I really am just a homeowner and cancer survivor who stumbled onto this board.

Not that you asked, but I had Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. They caught it early (stage 2EA) but it was agressive with a proliferation rate >90% I presented in the Stanford ER, at age 36, with symptoms of apendicitis. I almost got an apendectomy I didn't need, but the surgeon smelled a rat and called it off in favor of more testing. After a couple of CT guided biopsies and an ultrasound I was diagnosed on Oct 4, 2002. I got 6 rounds of CHOP chemo + Rituxan. (that's a monoclonal antibody therapy *invented* at stanford) By January 28th, 2003 I had gained 30 pounds, was thoroughly immune compromised and totally hairless. I didn't even have eyebrows left! I was however, totally in remission. I get my 5-year PET-CT scan in January. That's kind of like my final exam. If I pass, then I get to say 'cured' instead of 'in remission'. (If the shit comes back, I get a bone marrow transplant, but even then I have 50/50 odds, so I'm not too worried.)

Me, hostile? I'm glad to be alive! Dr Advani is my best friend, and I suspect Sandra Horning is God... though she's way to nice to admit it.

I rarely get angry any more. Even your sneering inuendo doen't bug me. If the thought of traffic pisses you off, I highly recommend a good dose of cancer. It has an amazing ability to clarify what matters in life and what doesn't.

If you're not lucky enough to have had cancer yourself, go sit in the cafe at the clinic and just people watch. You'll get a good sense of it pretty quick. Seriously, go visit. Nobody will mind, as long as you don't have a cold. Please do it soon. I *DARE* you... it might just change your life! :)

If the shit comes back, and I have to die in '08, I hope we have a good ski season! I'll still remember stanford in my will, because they've given me 5 more years to enjoy life.

This is the only board I'm on, regarding the hospital. The only reason I'm even here is because they saved my life, and I think I can give something back to Stanford by sharing my perspective.

I've told you my story, now please tell me yours. Why are *you* trolling here and on that other board you mentioned?


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 13, 2007 at 7:18 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 14, 2007 at 7:02 am

Editors--unfortunately you chose to delete my entire last post--including the part where I wished Homeowner & Cancer Survivor a long healthy life. Too bad.
You also did not edit Forum Readers criticism of myself but deleted my entire criticism of him above--too bad again.
I guess I may be right about Forum Reader and I understand why the Weekly isprotecting him.


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