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Around Town: Locals rally against border crisis; East Palo Alto chef named 'Best Baker in America'

Also, city prepares to give community a behind-the-scenes look of Municipal Service Center

Attendees of a vigil against the alleged mistreatment and separation of undocumented at U.S. detention facilities stand on the corner of Embarcadero Road and El Camino Real in Palo Alto on June 25. Photo by Veronica Weber.

In the latest Around Town, locals against the alleged mistreatment of immigrants at the U.S. border make their voices heard, a hotel chef wins big on a national baking show and details on an open house at the Municipal Service Center.

TAKING A STAND ... About 70 demonstrators spoke out against the alleged mistreatment and separation of undocumented families at U.S. detention facilities, specifically in Clint, Texas, on Tuesday evening in Palo Alto. They gathered at El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road, just outside of Town & Country Village shopping center where they held signs and cheered as passing cars honked in solidarity. The event was organized by Pastor Danielle Parish of Spark Church and Rabbi Chaim Koritzinksy of Congregation Etz Chayim of Palo Alto, who share a space of worship in the city. "In both of our religious traditions, as a Christian pastor and a Jewish rabbi, we are commanded to welcome the stranger, care for the orphan, care for the widow — it doesn't matter where someone's from, it doesn't matter their legal status," Parish said. The crowd consisted of members of the faith-based community, families with children and other residents who caught wind of the event through social media and word of mouth. "I've been feeling that this is actually quite wrong for a long time," said Ian Shou, who had never attended any type of protest before but brought his kids, ages 9 and 11, to Tuesday night's vigil after seeing a post from Parish on Facebook. "I felt kind of shallow to just comment on Facebook with no action," he said, adding that he hopes that by bringing his children to the event, they will be inspired to be vocal and involved in social issues throughout their lives. View more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

BAKING LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW ... Eric Keppler, executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto, was declared the "Best Baker in America" on Monday night. Keppler earned the title after seven intensive episodes on the Food Network competition show. The three contestants brought out the chops for the finals under the theme "chocolate birthday bash." They first had to create an upgraded birthday brownie sundae in two hours. Keppler presented a double chocolate brownie with banana cocoa nib ice cream. The judges raved about the dessert, calling it "gorgeous," "impeccably incredible" and "elegant." They were particularly impressed by Keppler's use of white miso in his butterscotch. "Miso want some more!" judge Jason Smith said. For the final challenge, the competitors had six hours to deliver a happy birthday USA chocolate fireworks cake. Keppler recreated his nana's dark chocolate fudge cake and fulfilled the salty snack requirement with a chocolate and pretzel streusel inside. The three-tier creation was covered in a white chocolate mirror glaze; surrounded by passion fruit chocolate and strawberry chocolate mararons; and topped off with sugar decorations and bottle rockets made out of balloons covered in chocolate. "I love nana's cake!" judge Marcela Valladolid said during the judging panel's deliberations. "Everything he does he brings to life," Smith added. Along with the title, Keppler walked away with the coveted prize of $25,000.

MAKINGS OF A CITY ... For one day, the Palo Alto community will have a chance to get up close with bucket trucks, learn what's inside a transformer, say hello to Sequoia the Bald Eagle and learn about other "behind-the-scenes" work at the city during the Municipal Service Center open house on Friday, July 5. The family event will give attendees chance to talk to representatives from several city departments and partners including Palo Alto Utilities, the Police and Fire departments, Pets In Need and Zero Waste program. City executives, including City Manager Ed Shikada and Utilities Director Dean Batchelor, will be lining up to get "dunked" in a dunk tank at the event, according to Palo Alto Utilities. There also will be information on electric safety, water, wastewater and gas operations; where city utilities come from; facilities systems; EcoHome and efficiency programs; cybersecurity and watershed protection. The open house is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Municipal Service Center, 3201 E. Bayshore Road. Anyone who plans to attend is encouraged to bring their own water bottle and bike, walk or carpool to the center where parking spots are available. To RSVP, visit paloaltomunicipalservicescenteropenhouse.bpt.me.

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Comments

12 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 30, 2019 at 11:34 am

Really nice to see different religious groups working together for the greater good


11 people like this
Posted by Checkpoint Lapses
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 30, 2019 at 12:58 pm

As long as the undocumented immigrants aren't pouring into Palo Alto, the border detention issues are far removed to local concerns. And Mexico should be doing a better job of retention so these detention problems do not arise on US soil.

There is no need for a wall, just better border security on the part of Mexico.

According to a previous poster, this Central American migration had something to do with bananas. Mexico should provide job opportunities or transport the refugees back to their southern borders.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2019 at 6:50 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

So people are upset? You all have been told that for the last two years that there is a problem at the border and Nancy and Chuck said not true. Contributing factors are that the three central American countries were taken over by American companies to be used to produce agricultural products. Then things went wrong and attempts to remove the existing presidents of the countries ran into unintended consequences. Then further unintended consequences in Cuba - Bay of Pigs - there goes the sugar cane fields. The current unintended consequence is the Walmart Scandal who now owes $282 million in a global Bribery Scandal which started in Mexico then went world wide. No - a person cannot make this all up. I guess Nancy and Chuck have stock in Walmart - the biggest corporation in the US. So follow the money. The people in the central American countries do not have any work now - abandoned by their American agricultural benefactors.


25 people like this
Posted by Reality Roots
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2019 at 9:05 am

> And Mexico should be doing a better job of retention

Read a newspaper - many are not Mexicans.

> Nancy and Chuck said not true

The Speaker of the House and the Senate Minority Leader offered lyin' donny an immigration package of $25 BILLION which included wall funds, and the fool couldn't take yes for an answer. Web Link

Q: lyin' donny had a GOP House and a GOP Senate for TWO YEARS and did nothing. Who's lying?

A: lyin' donny.


re: the rest of your diatribe: sorry, it's really difficult to understand. Suggest punctuation and more to improve comprehension. Or perhaps just ideas rooted in reality.




28 people like this
Posted by Secure The Border
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Mexico should provide a buffer zone between Central America and the USA.

They speak Spanish, share a common religion and agricultural expertise in picking fruits and vegetables.

If Mexico is going to be lax in border security, then it should be held accountable. America does not need any more under-educated, unskilled immigrants.

Refugees...go away or stay in Mexico! America is not the land of opportunity anymore. Just check PA real estate prices.



Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

^ Axiomatic: prices are highest where opportunity is greatest.


23 people like this
Posted by Reality Roots
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm

> America does not need any more under-educated, unskilled immigrants.

To the contrary. LMFTFY:

American businesses *need* and *want* more under-educated, unskilled immigrants.

Demonstrable. Absolute. Republicans promised to stop the flow and did absolutely nothing when they had absolute control over the White House, Senate and House.

Why the GOP bluster and GOP lies, followed by impudent GOP inaction? Their corporate handlers need cheap labor to drive wages down. The GOP does as it is told by the Donor Class. And then they lie to conservative voters, over and over.

It's an amazing, ridiculous, repeatable event, over and over (George Bush and lyin' donny being just the most recent.) GOP voters with blindfolds on would be laughable, were it not so tragic.


14 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2019 at 4:24 pm

The Silicon Valley business model explained in 15 seconds:

1. Eliminate as many jobs as possible by developing & marketing automation.
2. Export any jobs that can't be easily automated to low-wage nations.
3. Import workers from low-wage nations to suppress wages for all of the jobs that can't be easily exported.

Pretend it is all about inclusion and diversity. If anyone challenges the model, call them a "raciss", a NIMBY, or a deplorable. When the business model collapses... find a convenient scapegoat to blame.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2019 at 11:28 pm

Boston Scientific in Costa Rica just announced that they are hiring an additional 600 people at their facility. They currently employ 4,200 Costa Ricans at their facility.

Web Link

For all the EB-5 visas issued in this state (CA has the most).
Where are all the companies located that are supposed to be employing American workers?
Aside from making a living selling our real estate (and technology) to others back in their homelands, and charging others to help navigate the loopholes through our (largely) honor based systems to gain entry into our country, where are these actual companies located?

Trafficking in more people via our education system, and real estate is not considered legit. It is taking advantage of us.





27 people like this
Posted by Xiao Ping
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2019 at 9:41 am

Key is to get green card and apply for naturalized US citizen status.

That is Chinese way to achieve permanent living in America. Chinese now 1/3 of population. Having education and surplus money ensures process. Then can bring over elders to watch children.

America not want poor people from other countries with no education coming into country. Create strain on economy and social services.

Chinese and East Indians welcome because they are educated and have monetary resources to stimulate American economy. East Indians now second to Chinese in immigration to United States. They become naturalized citizens too.

All about money. If Central Americans wealthy then they can come to America and buy house in Palo Alto or Los Altos.



20 people like this
Posted by The Bottom Line
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 2, 2019 at 1:19 pm

It is safe to assume that PA welcomes people of diversity providing they can afford to reside here and do not rock the boat.

On the other hand, impoverished people from abroad (including transient RV tenants) are not welcome in PA.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

We need to be concerned at the city, county, and state level. Our property taxes are paid to the county with a cutout going to PA. Right now we are struggling with homeless and how to pay for building new homes. The PAUSD is struggling to pay a good wage to teachers and still hold back some for the retirement system. A whole generation of teachers is now retiring. The flooded and burnt areas need to be rebuilt. California needs to get it's head on straight. The Guv keeps saying how great we are - does he think this is some type of movie set and he is the director of a movie? Is he attached to reality?

And Kamala - wow - Los Angeles School District was busing people around 20 years before she was born. And Berkley is not that big of a city. Knowledge is generational - CNN just had on the Seventies. We all have nothing on the seventies - that was wild and wholly.

And what are they selling to the migrants that they put their children in the hands of a trafficker? All a bunch of false narratives and the governor is the worst. We are all going to pay for this.


12 people like this
Posted by Life Goes On
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 2, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Highly unlikely that Central American refugees will make it all the way to Palo Alto en masse.

Much ado about nothing as it will be hard enough just to get past Tijuana.

Mexico's problem. Not ours.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2019 at 7:01 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

So they will not make it to Palo Alto? They are making it to south San Jose. And that is Santa Clara County. Your property taxes are paid to the county. You all are not financially protected in some bubble that allows you to dismiss what is going on at our CA border. The US cannot absorb the populations of other countries at this point in time - we have filled that requirement up through the decades and now have to deal with that issue. We are using our small businesses out with legal issues they cannot afford leaving us with mega companies that can leverage that situation against cities that have available land.


29 people like this
Posted by Life Goes On
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 3, 2019 at 7:29 am

I seriously doubt Palo Alto is getting bombarded by Central American refugees as it is not that easy to cross the border into CA from Tijuana. As a matter of fact, Tijuana is now overrun with homeless Central American encampments.

As aforementioned, it is Mexico's problem and responsibility (while working in conjunction with the US Border Patrol) to prevent further waves of migration into the United States.

Getting into the US illegally is more accessible in places like Texas and Arizona where the sheer expanses of open terrain provide viable opportunities to sneak in.

Rather than building a wall, the National Guard should be assigned to protect the borders with the US Border Patrol coordinating the effort. In addition, ICE should be handling all deportations and arrests...no questions asked if past criminal activity is suspected or confirmed.

As far as the detention and separation of families, it is the responsibility of the parents to keep their families intact to prevent such unfortunate occurrences.

Lastly and as you mentioned, US taxpayers cannot take on the burden of providing for these refugees.

For the 'do-gooders' marching around with their signs and barking at cars, a suggestion...enlist the churches and the major corporations to sponsor Central American families if so desired and use their resources to provide them with the basic amenities of everyday life.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2019 at 8:55 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The papers mentioned Amnesty International and other organizations involved in "protests". Maybe they, along with the ACLU should be sued for propagating unrealistic promises to encourage people to make the big march to the US. Many non-profit organizations, including churches, keep working the issues to "help" people make the decision to make the marches. What should be happening is making the countries they are coming from create education, health, and work opportunities within the countries so people will stay where they are. They have a better opportunity to creating a better life within their country if they would stay and work the problems there.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2019 at 9:19 am

I have traveled the world. I have discovered that getting into any country I have arrived at the border with the correct paperwork, getting through is a simple process. At times the lines may be long but once arrived at the desk or the machine it is a very quick process to get through.

That cannot be said here. It doesn't matter which airport I arrive at, the lines are long and it is now necessary to use a machine to get a piece of paper which still has to be shown to a person at a desk. These airport immigration halls have a large number of desks, but usually only a small number are actually fully manned.

I can't believe that the immigration process is harder here than other countries, just that the immigration service can't be bothered to put in enough people to work the desks. I have missed planes because of the delays getting back into the country.

This is not a new problem. This has been going on for a long time. I am not sure if it is supposed to show others how thorough US immigration is, but I am of the opinion it shows how inefficient it is. I should not need more than a 3 hour layover in my arriving airport in order to make my connection. Sadly, 4 hours layover to get through immigration is now the norm. Terrible.

If this is how "efficient" immigration works for those of us with all the paperwork, I can't imagine what it must be like for those without it.


22 people like this
Posted by Life Goes On
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 3, 2019 at 9:46 am

> If this is how "efficient" immigration works for those of us with all the paperwork, I can't imagine what it must be like for those without it.

Why should we even be concerned about those without the proper 'paperwork'?

They're not supposed to be here in the first place and chances are, the majority don't even have passports.

The US Border Patrol & ICE have a tough job to carry out and it's Mexico's turn to step up to the plate in lieu of any further walls or barricades.

A half-million uneducated, unskilled, impoverished, non-English speaking refugees streaming into the US is not exactly what our country needs right now.


>> The papers mentioned Amnesty International and other organizations involved in "protests". Maybe they, along with the ACLU should be sued for propagating unrealistic promises to encourage people to make the big march to the US. Many non-profit organizations, including churches, keep working the issues to "help" people make the decision to make the marches.

^^^ It's far easier to generate humanitarian-themed marches than actually dealing with the fiscal issues involved accomodating this mass migration.




40 people like this
Posted by Reality Roots
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 3, 2019 at 10:42 am

> Maybe they, along with the ACLU should be sued for propagating unrealistic promises

After they sue Reagan for the amnesty that told everyone to keep coming?

> ...than actually dealing with the fiscal issues involved accomodating this mass migration.

Follow the money - as mentioned, it's this is allowed for corporations and their labor cost reductions. Immigrants will slow to a trickle if the jobs aren't here for them.

Take away the trillion dollar corporate tax giveaway until they quit hiring undocumented workers and sub-contractors that employ the undocumented.

That would pass the GOP controlled senate, right?

Mitch? Bueller?


15 people like this
Posted by Can't Dwell In The Past
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 3, 2019 at 11:51 am

@Reality Roots

Most of the Central American refugees are incapable of doing anything highly technical or requiring advanced education.

If anything, they should be seeking asylum in China where they could be gainfully employed producing many of the cheap, disposable goods now flooding the American market.

Reagan is long gone and we cannot hold him accountable for today's problems.

Besides...due to his later and unfortunate incapacity, he had no idea that he was even POTUS at one time and the same goes for Margaret Thatcher his sidekick in GB.


29 people like this
Posted by Reality Roots
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm

> Most of the Central American refugees are incapable of doing anything highly technical...

That's not why corporations tell the GOP to allow them in, corporations don't expect engineers - they want a way to suppress their labor costs on the bottom third of their wage scales.

The GOP senate could pass laws punishing corporations for using undocumented workers. But they won't.


18 people like this
Posted by Roger Overnaut
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 3, 2019 at 12:35 pm

I cannot understand why so many Americans are so frightened by brown women and children.


7 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 3, 2019 at 1:18 pm

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

I cannot understand why an objection to unfettered, unregulated immigration is blamed on color. I could give two hoots what color someone is....if they’re legal, come on in, if you’re undocumented then turn around and get in the legal way.


20 people like this
Posted by Can't Dwell In The Past
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 3, 2019 at 1:37 pm

> I cannot understand why so many Americans are so frightened by brown women and children.
>> if they’re legal, come on in, if you’re undocumented then turn around and get in the legal way.

Not so much afraid of brown women and children but concerned about having to subsidize large numbers of undocumented refugees who probably shouldn't even be here in the first place.

I noticed that you didn't mention being frightened by undocumented brown men. Any particular reason for that omission?


14 people like this
Posted by ma bell
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 3, 2019 at 2:35 pm

"subsidize large numbers of undocumented refugees who probably shouldn't even be here in the first place."

What are the numbers that frighten you so?

Bigger than the trillions in tax cuts for the corporations who's jobs attract migrants?

(of course, you won't post substantiated numbers)


17 people like this
Posted by Reality Economics
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2019 at 3:36 pm

> Bigger than the trillions in tax cuts for the corporations who's jobs attract migrants?

The corporations do get tax cuts but they are seeking skilled engineers not unskilled, under-educated agricultural workers from Central America.

That is why the H-1B visa remains controversial. High-tech is recruiting engineers from East India & China, not aspiring janitors or field and domestic workers.

Color has nothing to do with it except for the 'color of money'.

Mexico is the best locale for displaced refugees from Central America...not the United States. In Mexico they speak Spanish, share a common religion and there are more jobs relative to the job skills and education of these migrants.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

So someone is making this a "frightened' and "color" issue. No - not the case here. It is a common sense issue. These people will require taxpayer provided support when they get here. Guess what - we have people of color who are citizens and need our help. Our cities are flooded with homeless people. They need our support more than non-citizens battling to come in.

And look at the people who are coming - young men who are able to work. So why are they frightened? I cannot imagine that these young, strong men cannot take control of their own countries - they are as strong as the so-called gangs. They need jobs so why aren't they creating jobs in their own country? They have a support system in their country so why don't they work it. Why don't they demand that their countries provide the opportunities for work. If they protest within their countries then they would get more attention and the presidents of the countries would be on the hook due to bad publicity. Why aren't they pushing back within their own countries?


33 people like this
Posted by Reality Roots
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 3, 2019 at 4:56 pm

> The corporations do get tax cuts but they are seeking skilled engineers not unskilled, under-educated agricultural workers from Central America.

Even I know that's not true. Look at the midwest meatpacking plants where wages have been cut in half in the last couple decades. Tyson and Purdue in the south. Look at any cleanup crew hired out to clean the Walmarts at night, and the crews that clean out your business.

Enigineers only?!? That is such a lame, paloalto-centric ignorant idea, that all corporations want is highly skilled labor. They want CHEAP labor at all levels.

Hell - look in the kitchens of the last ten restaurants you've visited.

So lame. Not worth the debate if you are that unaware of the world around you.


18 people like this
Posted by Life Goes On
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 3, 2019 at 6:04 pm

> That is such a lame, paloalto-centric ignorant idea, that all corporations want is highly skilled labor. They want CHEAP labor at all levels.

Since you appear to be advocating the entry of countless undocumented immigrants to perform menial tasks, you are the PALOALTO-CENTRIC...an arrogant, condescending 'do-gooder' with no concept of the repercussions.


4 people like this
Posted by Toul
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 4, 2019 at 10:36 am

"Since you appear to be advocating the entry of countless undocumented immigrants to..."

Reading comprehension error, or logical fallacy? - where did the poster say that?

It's the GOP and corporate interests that want the cheap labor, driving down several levels on wages.

Are you denying it?

They had 2 years power: scotus, house Senate, Trump, and did nothing. But lie lie lie.


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