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By Paul Losch

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About this blog: I was a "corporate brat" growing up and lived in different parts of the country, ending in Houston, Texas for high school. After attending college at UC Davis, and getting an MBA at Harvard, I embarked on a marketing career, mai...  (More)

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It Isn't Easy Being Green

Uploaded: Apr 6, 2010
With apologies to Kermit the Frog from Sesame Street, this Byxbee Park/Composting Facility question is an incredible conundrum.

Well intentioned people/leaders of enhancing our environment come down on opposite sides of the question, which is whether after the dump is shut down, a portion of it should be put aside as a composting facility.

This concept was voted down by myself and others on the Parks and Recreation Commission, but we only advise City Council. They decided Monday night to pursue the matter further, and there will be a study/analysis around one approach for composting on part of what is Byxbee Parkland.

It is easy to jump into the deep end of the pool on this one and get hopelessly struggling to not drown.

My opinion is that this particular matter is moving down the train tracks as the rails are being laid. There clearly are some conflicting objectives, conflicting City policies, and alternative approaches to the notion of composting. To extend the analogy probably further than it deserves to go, our City leadership is getting railroaded by funding a quarter million dollar study on one approach at one site.

I take a great deal of pride in living in a City that has done many innovative things that have been adapted by other communities over the years. I hope we can do that with composting in some form or fashion.

What's missing is a lack of clear objectives, no discussion around policy and master plans, and lack of alternatives to evaluate. Even though I opposed it when it was presented to us on the Parks and Recreation Commission a couple years back, I would be willing to learn why this is the best choice for Palo Altans. And if it is the best alternative, I would be prepared to support it.

That's not how this matter is going down.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of ,
on Apr 7, 2010 at 6:40 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Here's a deal for the Green Freaks - You can have your industrial site in Byxbee Park, just as soon as you bring back the yacht Harbor and give their building back to the Sea Scouts. It will be worth it to see all those El Toros skeetering around the South Bay.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Paul, a resident of ,
on Apr 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I totally concur with you, Paul L. Except I think it's more like laying the pipes after turning on the water.

Monday night we heard several tons of civic boosterism, replete with various "facts" about the awaiting bounteous energy nirvana, etc.. What was notably lacking was any citation of a qualified source for these prognostications. I think a group of enthusiastic amateurs bootstrapped themselves with wishful thinking, wrapped it in some impressive numbers, and five members of our city council got moonstruck with the prospect of a nice new big municipal toy. A toy it certainly is - our director of public works told the council directly that the regional alternative would be just as effective and much less costly for Palo Alto.

The council has committed itself where it counts: money. There is no turning back unless somebody high up admits a mistake. Our public safety building and burgeoning budget deficit will have to wait. We're deep into garbage now in Palo Alto.

Sit down for this, Walter - I'm on your side. The south bay is one of the best small boat sailing spots in the world. Our yacht harbor was evicted because it was considered incompatible with the planned Byxbee Park. Once the park is compromised for a garbage processor there is no more possible reason to keep out the boats.

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