Public Art Policy | A Pragmatist's Take | Douglas Moran | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

A Pragmatist's Take

By Douglas Moran

E-mail Douglas Moran

About this blog: Real power doesn't reside with those who make the final decision, but with those who decide what qualifies as the viable choices. I stumbled across this insight as a teenager (in the 1960s). As a grad student, I belonged to an org...  (More)

View all posts from Douglas Moran

Public Art Policy

Uploaded: Feb 7, 2015
There has long been widespread public dissatisfaction with what has been chosen as public art and the process behind those choices. This is good time to visit City Hall's public art policies because Council recently expanded the "Percent for Art" program (requirements)(foot#1) and Public Art Commission has three of its seven seats coming up for (re)appointment, with one currently vacant (application deadline March 3).(foot#2)

In assessing Palo Alto's public art program, recognize that it needs to represent the wide range of tastes in the community: Don't fall into the trap of judging it based on a single piece or a small group of pieces. Instead ask yourself a question such as which pieces you like, dislike and are ambivalent about. It can also be very revealing to ask this of people you know. There is a hidden component in that suggested question because it also reveals how many pieces the person has noticed and remembered. You can browse the City's Collection to see how many you got and missed (to narrow down to most of the pieces you would likely encounter while out-and-about around town, use Search By? on the Discipline of Mural and Sculpture).

If you have listened carefully to past debates, you will quickly detect the disconnect between the general public and the decision-makers. The former sees the goal of public art as enhancing the aesthetics of the community, whereas the latter routinely talks of "the collection" in the sense of a catalog. They talk of the importance of "collecting" certain artists and of having "destination pieces" (art that they believe that people will travel some distance to see). This philosophy of the purpose of public art is not uncommon, and occasionally causes embarrassment for the government. (foot#3)

Regarding a public art collection as a catalog creates additional problems. For example, you start with the artwork and then try to find a location to display it. You can make very different acquisition decisions if you start with the location and decide what would improve its aesthetics. For example, consider the sculpture at the driveway entrance to the Junior Museum and Zoo (which I didn't see listed as part of the public art collection). This enhances its location and is the sort of artwork that you would want there. But it would be silly in a wide range of other locations. On the other hand, one of my favorite artworks is the Sunflowers (Street View) in front of Country Sun Natural Foods at 440 California Avenue. Most people I know are unaware of these sculptures because they are so poorly sited: They need to be located where the public will be viewing them from above (the new Mitchell Park Library comes to mind).(foot#4)

One of the recurring problems with "Percent for Art" programs is not the intent, but the psychology that it creates: The funds can too easily be viewed as found/free money and be diverted to large purchases that would not have otherwise been made. Palo Alto saw this in connection with the Mitchell Park Library: The entire "Percent for Art" budget was spent on a single sculpture by an artist that the Public Art Commission had long been trying to collect (Beasley sculpture approved for Mitchell library: Council allocates $270,000 for new 'destination piece' for renovated library, PA Weekly 2009-10-27). When I and others raised the question "What about funding for art for the library and community center?" we were told that money was being transferred from other sections of the budget for that (which it was). But the obvious follow-up question of who was loser in this transfer got no answer. This, of course, was an improper/impolite question: The very reason for doing these sort of transfers is to obscure who is getting shortchanged.
Aside: When I ask people what they think of the new Mitchell Park Library, none has mentioned that sculpture. Even when prompted, they don't remember it. What they do remember (and largely like) are the Athenian Owl bollards "Whimsy and Wise".
More info on the Mitchell Park art can be founding by scrolling down on the City's homepage for Public Art, and in a Press Release: Art at the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center (2009-11-10).
Addendum: Google StreetViews of the Beasley sculpture (construction fencing still present in the photos, but good-enough): On Middlefield Road, going southeast, northwest and NW, but closer.

Recognize that the descriptions of public art acquisitions often obscure the criteria used to decide on it: Was it to collect that particular artist, have an example of that discipline, or a belief that that specific artwork was a good match to the location? One example for you to think about is currently highlighted further down on the City's homepage for Public Art: "Questions About Your City" by Anthony Discenza (copy of texts and map of locations of the signs with these questions). Although I have ruled out discussions of matters of taste (both this category of art and the questions themselves), there is the matter of siting: Is the intended audience for these signs likely to be passing by them? Are they likely to see these signs? Are they likely to stop read and ponder the questions? Are they likely to actually do anything as a result of having read these signs?
For me, this artwork failed for each of these questions: Likely many people from my end of town (southern Palo Alto), I rarely go to where the signs are displayed (University Avenue downtown). When I did, I didn't see the signs despite thinking I knew where to look (defeated by visual clutter?). And I wouldn't have had time to peruse them, nor follow-up.

In contrast, consider the Art of Greg Brown, a group of medium-sized Trompe d'Oeil (Fool the eye) murals scattered around much the same area. They are spotted, and enjoyed, by many passersby.(foot#5)

Palo Alto has a serious problem with its public art selections. Residents talk of it as being silly (in the wrong way), mundane, bland, unimaginative, and being badly sited (no artistic sense in how a piece of visual art is displayed). Residents complain that Palo Alto does much worse than other cities in the region ("Why can't we have something like ?"). And what they experience (and photograph) on business trips and vacation.

In writing this, I (re)read a number of descriptions of our public art. It was amusing (depressing?) that various of the descriptions displayed more creativity and imagination than the artwork itself (echoes of the Pet Rock fad of 1975). In particular, many descriptions talked of conveying motion, which was render even more absurd when those works are compared to this photo I had recently received of a sculpture in Singapore.

What can be done
If there is going to be a change of the philosophy about public art in Palo Alto, there needs to be a visible public sense that such a change should occur. It is not enough that people express to Council such a desire, because there need to be eligible and qualified candidates for the Public Art Commission who are interesting and willing to push such a change. And someone who knows much more than I do needs to advise Council members on how to distinguish the various approaches during their interviews of the candidates.

Reminder: Not for griping
Reminder that comments here are not for griping/shilling about individual pieces in the collection. My desire is to have commenters focus on what should be done to have an acquisitions policy more compatible with what residents want.

---- Footnotes ----
1. "Percent for Art" is a common requirement that 1% of the construction budget of various categories of projects be reserved/dedicated/? for art to enhance the aesthetics of that project. In January, Council expanded the existing program to cover more capital projects. This was considered by the Council's Policy and Services Committee in December (Palo Alto prepares to broaden public art requirements: Revised policy would make 'percent-for-art' policy applicable to more municipal projects) and approved on January 12 as Item 11 on the Consent Calendar (Staff Report: Municipal Public Art Ordinance) with the second (confirming) voting on February 2. Note: The "Consent Calendar" contains the items deemed ready for approval without further debate by Council. The debate/consideration on many of these items is deemed to have been completed at earlier meetings and/or at lower levels in City Hall (Staff and Commissions and Boards).

2. Public Art Commission: Current members, application instructions, qualifications/eligibility requirements, meeting agendas and minutes.

3. San Jose is my favorite example of a city being embarrassed by its decision that it was important to "collect" an artist without regard to the particular artwork. In 1994, San Jose commissioned a sculpture for the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. They chose (the late) Robert Graham who was famous for his monumental bronzes (Online Gallery). He proposed creating a soaring bronze sculpture of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered/plumed serpent deity (Aztec and earlier cultures in the Mexico City region). The sculpture would be open?you would be able to walk through it?and sunlight would play off the bronze. However, after he got the $500,000 commission, the artist declared that his proposed sculpture was impractical/too expensive, and the City of San Jose agreed to let him change this to a squat coiled snake of cast stone (a formulation of concrete that simulates stone). Picture and more pictures. The sculpture quickly acquired names such as "Dinosaur poop" (San Jose sculpture described as waste, 1995-04-14, SFGate). Many attributed this fiasco to a contractor using a change order to rip off a naïve, trusting, over-awed client. I like to think of it as a different piece of art than what the client expected: The artist realized that the politics of the situation would let him get away with "doing shit", so that became his artistic statement.
Apologies to the 1971 movie (and earlier play) "Little Murders" (IMDb).

4. Sunflowers: Siting problem details: They are easily missed when encountered where virtual everyone passes by them. They are stunning when seen from above when they are catching the sun, but the only time I have had that opportunity was during meetings in private offices in two of the taller buildings nearby. Even when the top of the Sunflowers are catching the sun, the undersides of the petals are shaded and consequently they register as furled, faded umbrellas (driven by context cues). The StreetView illustrates this: The picture is taken far enough above head level that you start to see the brilliance of the tops of the petals, but still mostly see the drab undersides. When I take visitors to lunch on California Avenue, I routinely ask them to tell me what they think of the various artworks without pointing out any?no one has yet spotted the Sunflowers.

5. Most people tend to underestimate the range of possibilities for murals. There are murals on the side of buildings (such as the one on Country Sun). There are murals on utility boxes (several examples in the City's Collection). There are ones for corridors and hallways. The Kansas City Public Library recently made a big splash with a parking structure as a bookshelf: Although there is an official site, you get far better pictures from a web search on "kansas city library book wall".

The Guidelines for comments on this blog are different from those on Town Square Forums. I am attempting to foster more civility and substantive comments by deleting violations of the guidelines.

I am particular strict about misrepresenting what others have said (me or other commenters). If I judge your comment as likely to provoke a response of "That is not what was said", don't be surprised to have it deleted. My primary goal is to avoid unnecessary and undesirable back-and-forth, but such misrepresentations also indicate that the author is unwilling/unable to participate in a meaningful, respectful conversation on the topic.

An abbreviated index by topic and chronologically is available.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 7, 2015 at 11:45 am

There is no need for a city to OWN art. Few people agree on what constitutes a work of art, so public pieces are as hated as much as appreciated.

Palo Alto has a full-time public art manager ($102,00/year), who urged the city in December to require that all capital improvement projects ? e.g., bridges, parks, walls ? have a public art component.
Web Link

That means taxpayers would be footing the bill, whether we like the art commission?s choices or not. And, as Doug points out, ?There has long been widespread public dissatisfaction with what has been chosen as public art and the process behind those choices.?

For example: ?An abstract, vertical fountain ? will replace the aged fountain at the end of California Avenue, the Palo Alto Public Art Commission decided by a 5-1 vote Thursday night. The decision went against an online opinion poll in which a traditional design was favored by Palo Alto residents ?? Web Link

?Public art? should be for the public, not serve as vanity projects for the city. The Beasley sculpture at Mitchell Park is an example of the egotistical need of the art commission to have a ?famous? artist represented.

Los Altos has a loaner program where artists donate a work of art for a period of 2 years. This offers benefits to the artists (exposure) and to the public (rotating exhibits). Catalog at Web Link

If people want to donate art works to the city (I think the ?bug? statue in front of the Junior Museum was donated), let?s thank them. If developers see value in putting an art installation in or around their buildings, we should thank them, too. But let?s not force unnecessary policy ? and unwelcome ?art? on builders or on the public.

Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm

PS: Think about that $10M bike bridge, which was originally estimated at $5.4M to $9.4M. Imagine what the final cost will be. Now add 1% to that for the price of "art," which you will pay for.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 7, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

I will disagree with Pat on "There is no need for a city to OWN art." Artwork that is on loan and rotating exhibits are appropriate for some locations and are already part of the City's program -- for example, Mitchell Park Library deliberately included facilities to support this (press release (cited in OP) in next-to-last paragraph).

However, there are many pieces, especially larger outdoor ones, where the site preparation and installation are a major portion of the costs of the artwork. And there are categories of artwork where rotating them out means destroying them. For example, murals. How would people respond if a Greg Brown mural had been destroyed after two years and replaced by the style of murals in Coit Tower and those were replaced two years later by ...

And then there is artwork that is good enough that it deserves permanent status.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Pat's mention of the Adobe Creek bike bridge raises an interesting question: What portion of the expected construction costs should be subject to the "Percent for Art"?

Based on similar bridges nearby, Palo Alto could have had an attractive, fully functional bridge for $4-5M. The additional costs are because our political elite wanted a bridge that made a visual statement (Mayor Nancy Shepherd: "We want a bridge that balances engineering with art, efficiency and beauty..."). One could look at the projected $8-10M costs and say that it already includes 50% for art, so why should another 1% be added (or "Why not?"). The "Percent for Art" programs have often been a response to contractors minimizing visual design elements in order to have a winning bid by keeping their costs down.

Other aspects of the bridge decision are (and have been) a big enough topic that they belong on separate topic threads, because they could easily overwhelm the focus here (what residents want from the public art that involves the Public Art Commission).

Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Feb 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm

"Mayor Nancy Shepherd: 'We want a bridge that balances engineering with art, efficiency and beauty...' "

This is one of the very few agreements I have with ex-mayor Shepherd. Anybody can put up a desultory concrete slab graffiti magnet with drab cyclone fences, and too many do. The arch bridge will finally give us something beautiful and visible for our civic art money.

Downside: What a letdown if some unwary tourist enters our fair city, expecting a vibrant public art scene after viewing that bridge, and encounters the Cal Ave public "art" scene? Better hang a "That's All, Folks" banner on it.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: Curmudgeon on the bike bridge

Too much discussion of public art ignores/rejects the cost-benefit judgement. For example, at the Mitchell Park Library, the very expensive Bruce Beasley sculpture (the arch) seems to have negligible impact (benefit) whereas the Athenian owl bollards ("Whimsy and Wise") have significant impact.

My personal opinion on the potential bike bridge design is that it isn't worth the money: That money would be better spent on other artwork, design, bicycling projects (which depends upon how you view the source of the extra money for the "statement" design).

I base that judgement on the lovely cable-stayed Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge across I-280 at Mary Ave in Cupertino (near Homestead High School. Don't take the specificity of the reference as indicative of its impact -- although I certainly remember seeing the bridge, I was fuzzy on its location and it took two web searches to find it. When I mention this bridge to others, the usual response is "Oh, yeah. I kinda remember it", not "Oh wow! It's great."

That bridge doesn't add any enjoyment or relief to my trips down I-280. I am worried that for most drivers on US-101, the proposed bridge will be little more than a very expensive exit sign ("Driving north on 101, the Embarcadero-Oregon exit is the first one after ... bridge").

Again, I am hoping to foster a discussion on how we can get the biggest bang for our public art bucks -- discussion about impact from the public's perspective seems notably lacking. And I am hoping that mentions of aspects of specific projects/artworks be restricted to being in service of this meta discussion.

On Curmudgeon's aside on "Cal Ave public 'art' scene": When I ask visitors to spot and comment on the artwork, too often the devastating comment is a sincere question "Is that supposed to be art?"

Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Feb 10, 2015 at 10:14 am

"Is that supposed to be art?"

If it wasn't <u>supposed</u> to be art, it'd have been hauled to the recycler long ago.

Fortunately, most public "art" is only a visual poke in the eye. (There, I am now on the Art Commissions' Unwashed Peasant list.) But one "art" thingy in my 'hood is outright physically toxic. That's the Egg in Lytton Plaza, a person-sized eggform plated with old electronic circuit boards liberally infused with lead-based solder, some of it on sharp points ready to scratch skin and inject lead right into somebody's body.

How this incredibility could occur in Silicon Valley speaks volumes about our ego-driven tunnel vision of our city government. We worry about lead in airplane gas, while children play around touchy-feely lead proudly featured on a crowded public plaza.

I've called city hall's attention to this. Staff acknowledged my concerns. But, years later, the thing's still there.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 10, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On the Lytton Plaza Egg:

My diagnosis of the selection of this piece was that it was based on what the artist said was the intent. The decision-makers rejected the concerns/objections/... raised by many that it would not achieve that result.

In my experience, this is a very common attitude in the art community: It shifts the burden onto the audience to "get" what the artist is intending to convey. This is an acceptable attitude when the art is being purchased by private collectors: They can get (purchase, pick and choose) what they "get" (understand).

However, when it is public art, I would argue that the purchases are not the equivalent of a gallery where the public can browse and pick-and-choose what they like, but rather that the purchases should be ones that enhance the public space.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 10, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Note to commenters frustrated by the lack of formatting, such as an earlier commenter attempting to underline a word with the HTML tag "u":

The blogging software does not offer commenters any capabilities to annotate their text. When I write a comment through the blogging interface, I have access to very minimal annotation (bold, italic, different style of Web link), which is why you see that annotation in my comments but not others.

If you, the commenter, have problems with the blogging software doing strange things to your comment (I have seen major problems with square and curly brackets), let me know (at the mailing address for this blog) and I will try to fix. However, my ability to edit comments is limited to plain-text.

Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Feb 10, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Roger the missing formatting capabilities, but I was confident you and other savvy readers would get my <i>intent</i>.

If one professes an understanding of "art" whose subtle merits the Great Unwashed cannot perceive, then one is surely one of the Truly Sophisticated. Untalented, snarky, glib artsters know municipal public art commissions can be easy and lucrative marks.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 11, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Thanks again for a very relevant post. Although I support the purchase of public art, I've been very disappointed in most of the public art around Palo Alto. I think it is telling, that despite the popularity of the Greg Brown murals, the art commission never commissioned Greg Brown for a mural. I am so grateful for the remaining ones, and sad for the ones destroyed as increased development has torn down many buildings that had his murals.

I agree that the Sunflowers on CA Avenue are wonderful and my favorite as well, although that isn't hard given the ugliness of the other statues on CA Avenue. While I agree that it may not get the maximum exposure on CA Ave., I selfishly hope it stays just so I can continue to enjoy it. I hope that the new Art Commission members will be more interested in what will fit best in Palo Alto, than being entranced by particular artists and how to support them.

I also agree that finding the appropriate siting is critical. I am probably also in a minority in that I liked the wooden Friends on a bench that was given us by a sister city in the 90's I think. Unfortunately, a number of people virulently hated it. It was vandalized several times and ultimately retired. If it had been placed in a better site (i.e. somewhere away from the people who hated it and with better security) we might still have this lively piece of art available to us.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: "wooden Friends on a bench"

For those who want to learn more:

Its official name was "Foreign Friends" (or "Fjareen Vanner") and was donated by Palo Alto's sister city of Linkoping Sweden.
One of several photos from the PA Historical Association

Doing a search on this site (Palo Alto Online) using terms such as
"foreign friends" Sweden
will return a list of news stories from the mid/late 1990s about the travails of this sculpture.

Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 11, 2015 at 5:15 pm

I loved the wooden Foreign Friends and was sad the it was vandalized to the point that it had to be removed.

Re murals Greg Brown's work is truly wonderful. I also like the mural on the side of the CVS in midtown and the haiku on the side of the midtown Walgreens building.

As Doug says, murals can?t be rotated out. But regardless of who pays for them, when a building is knocked down, so go the murals. So, unless it?s a public building, the public shouldn?t pay for them.

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Barron Park,
on Feb 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Greg Brown at his address to PAHA, for the publication of Matt Bowlng's book --Greg is on the cover -- noted that when he visited Linkoping and brought up the fate of "Foreign Friends" they all started laughing in that the work was designed to be temporary and not permanent, that they toss similar works into the bog and let them rot but we were so intent on trying to repair the piece.

I met my girlfriend of six years now --my Valentine -- Terry Acebo Davis at Bruce Beasley' studio -- she was on PAPAC at the time as chief negotiator liaison to Bruce and I went as an ad hoc member of the public. In fact, that I met Bruce randomly as he toured Cali Ave with Paula Kirkeby in 2007 is what launched for me three runs for Palo Alto City Council (>10,000 votes all in) and about 400 articles on my blog on policy -- I am mentioning these two anecdotes in that the beauty of art, compared to say computers, is you cannot plot or predict how people will perceive them, what reactions it provokes. Our art catalyzes us and binds or bonds us.

People thought the Beasley design for Mitchell was weird or worse, but in context to a mishmash building design, it seems unifying; that it blends in or goes unnoticed Doug claims is remarkable in that context. Also, for a continuous granite arch, it is significantly better designed than the crappy ad hoc basketball court with its even crappier faux monument to a sports here.

De gustibus non disputandem.

Or as Paracelsus said: the difference between a poison and a potion is the Doug I mean Dose.

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Barron Park,
on Feb 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Here's a link to Palo Alto Mayors Sid Espinosa and Greg Scharff with the piece in studio, and a half dozen or more commissioners, all of whom would take issue with Doug's assessment here.

Web Link

Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown,
on Feb 13, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Discarding a work of art because it has reached the end of its useful life is far different than losing it to vandalism. I am still saddened about the fate of "Foreign Friends," which I very much preferred,for example, to GoMama on CA Avenue which is sadly permanent. Still, I would not want GoMama or any other art to be vandalized. Art is in the eye of the beholder and I'm sure GoMama has its fans. However, I wish we could move things around from time to time to freshen the look of Palo Alto's art. And I wish Foreign Friends had been sited someplace where it would have lasted longer than it did.

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Barron Park,
on Feb 14, 2015 at 8:37 am

This might go over the heads of most PAW readers or seem odd, but what creators are fighting for is the opportunity, in a consumer society, or military-industrial-complex, whatever you call this, The Matrix -- to create period. What happens to the work, how people see it, what they get or don't get, what they project, what they reject, if they want to buy it or destroy it is mere commentary. And somewhat irrelevant. Beyond our control.

I guess by my own logic it should not faze me in the least that I write here and Doug, or Steve Levy or Bill Johnson delete my work.

But I back it up at my blog.

Fido sit, where's your muzzle? Pound the alarum. Let's burn this fleur. Call me Nicky. Don't be a sticky.

[[deleted by blogger: Crude language]]

Posted by So funny and true, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Feb 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Love your comment, MArk, calling Doug the "matedero creek troll".
Very amusing name for the self-centered egoist [[deleted by blogger: crude language]]

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 14, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Mark Weiss raises an issue that should be important for Council in selecting the next Public Art Commission members.

Many in the "arts community" equate "the opportunity ... to create" with being publicly subsidized to do whatever they want (including $500,000 for "Dinosaur Poop"). This is the sort of attitude that give the right-wing ammunition to talk about "parasites" and undermine the notion that there are legitimate uses of government subsidies. I was going to point out the danger in Weiss' position by saying that it would also support government financial support for pornography, but then realized that had already happened.

I have yet to encounter an adherent of that position who had a non-elitist explanation for why the political process should be used to force people to pay for art that they wouldn't choose to pay for themselves (or even accept if it were free). The elitist position is that they know what is best for the public.
Aside: It is kind of humorous to hear artists describe Palo Alto residents in terms that equate to "the ignorant masses".

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Feb 16, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

[[Deleted by blogger: Attempt by Weiss to justify his use of sexually crude language. Because of his persistent unwillingness to even attempt to abide by Palo Alto Online's Terms of Use, other comments of his will be silently deleted.

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 3,119 views

Boichik Bagels is opening its newest – and largest – location in Santa Clara this week
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,182 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Ch. 1, page 1
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,346 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.