Soda fountain to replace California Avenue 'bird bath'

City Council approves at least four flavors of pop for the site

The Palo Alto City Council, exasperated by the controversy surrounding the plan to replace California Avenue's aging "bird bath" cement fountain with a piece of modern art, voted today to install a state-of-the-art soda fountain at the site, based on the results of a survey conducted on the city's Open City Hall forum.

"There will be a lemon-lime flavor, a cola, a root-beer element and at least one diet option," Mayor Sid Espinosa said. "We're still working on negotiations for an orange or a grape."

The mayor said he hoped the decision would end years of divisive debate over the proposed fountain replacement. While an advisory poll indicated earlier this year that a majority of voters preferred preserving a traditional fountain at the end of California Avenue, the Palo Alto Public Art Commission voted instead to install a modern fountain designed by artist M. Szabo. Council members, however, tired of the discord and thirsty for a change, proposed and then approved the plan for the soda fountain instead.

"Who doesn't like soda? It's delicious," Espinosa added, sipping a Sprite.

Calling the decision "sweet and fizzy," California Avenue neighbors said they nevertheless planned to circulate a petition appealing the decision unless the fountain plans include a "ginger-ale feature." Some also expressed concern over whether high-fructose corn syrup would be compostable.

Representatives from California Avenue health-food retailer Country Sun said they offered to provide more nutritious options for the fountain, including wheat-grass juice and Kombucha tea, but were turned down by the California Avenue Area Development Association.

(Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day!)

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Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

There there will be quite a few dentists moving in nearby!

Like this comment
Posted by HSS
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:20 am

Finally, something we can all agree on!!

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

Great April 1st idea!

Like this comment
Posted by Merlot
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

A Free-on-Fridays wine bar would be much more popular and in keeping with long-held Palo Alto traditions.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:02 am

About time the Weekly showed a sense of humor!

Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:11 am

Bravo! Something for the PEOPLE!

Like this comment
Posted by Mimi Wolf
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:20 am

If only it were true. Thanks for keeping the controversy open. Anything but that monstrous piece of "art". How about a slot machine for collecting coins. The $ could go towards planting trees in south Palo Alto.

Like this comment
Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

But you are discriminating against those of us who don't drink carbonated beverages!! How dare the City of Palo Alto foster such blatant bias. I'm going to protest to the City Arts commission, and stop all CalTrain traffic past California Avenue until they put some healthy non-carbonated alternatives into the fountain. What are we teaching our already over-stressed children if we only offer them cavity and obesity producing drinks. Please put in organically produced non-fat milk!

Like this comment
Posted by Smiling
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

Thank you for the humor and for keeping the Cal. Ave. Fountain, that turns 50 this year, in the thoughts of the community! Nice job!

Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

The design incorporates sustainability and zero waste. The cups that are dispensed are made from edible rice paper and bees wax. You eat the cup when you finish the beverage. Also, the CO2 to carbonate the soda was harvested using new technology to reduce green house gases. That carbon remains out of the atmosphere, unless you burp.

Like this comment
Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm


Like this comment
Posted by Don
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

And I used to think that the Weekly didn't have a sense of humor. Thanks for the fun.

Like this comment
Posted by CollegeGal
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

In addition to create business for dentist nearby, we will create groups of hyper kids around the train station. Let's at least have options for water available.

Like this comment
Posted by H20 Bored
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Install a natural drinking well to tap into the toxic groundwater right under that site, and put up a sign proclaiming it "The Fountain of [Removed by Editor]".

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

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