News

Activist group calls on city to 'desegregate' Foothills Park

Teenagers, Raging Grannies paint message outside open space on Sunday night

The message "Desegregate," painted by activists on the night of July 5, is seen in large, yellow letters in front of the Foothills Park entrance on July 6. Courtesy Vigil for Democracy.

Palo Alto's newest public mural came and went so quickly that you probably missed it.

One word, painted in large yellow letters on Page Mill Road, in front of the Foothills Park entrance: Desegregate.

About a dozen activists, some from Palo Alto (who, as such, can visit Foothills Park whenever they want under the city's "residents-only" policy at the open space) and some from other cities (and, as such, would be prohibited from entering the park, unless accompanying a Palo Alto resident), met under the full moon on Sunday night to paint the message along Page Mill Road. Most were teenagers; two were from the activist organization Raging Grannies, according to Vara Ramakrishnan, one of the organizers of the activity.

The group planned the act months in advance, waiting for a day when there would be little activity and a bright moon under which to work, obviating the need for lighting. They painted the message over about four hours, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., Ramakrishnan said.

But the group's work proved to be a fleeting gesture in a decadeslong debate over Foothills Park access. By 7 a.m. on Monday, a city employee was on scene using a power hose to erase the message. Before long, it was gone.

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Ramakrishnan, who lives in Los Altos Hills and who often walks to the park, said she observed passersby asking the city employee what the message said. He told them he didn't know, she said.

"We wanted to look over the work in the daytime and touch it up," she said. "We never got a chance to do that."

Ramakrishnan's daughter, Anjali Ramanathan, a recent graduate of The Nueva School who briefly attended Gunn High and who was joined by her friends from Gunn and Palo Alto High School, said she was inspired to partake in the action by personal experiences and recent rallies in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. She cited a speech by East Palo Alto Mayor Regina Wallace Jones during a Juneteenth rally last month that addressed how race continues to affect the area.

At that time, the activist group drew the outline of "BLM" in front of Palo Alto City Hall. The city followed suit on June 30 with its own gesture of support for Black Lives Matter — a street mural painted by 16 artists.

Ramanathan, 17, believes the "residents only" policy at Foothills Park is closely tied to racist practices of the past — including redlining and blockbusting — that have made it historically difficult for Black and brown people to buy homes in Palo Alto. Even if the policy isn't explicitly racist, it has effectively kept non-white people from other communities from living in the community and visiting the park.

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"I wanted white folks to think about it, next time they go to Foothills Park and don't see any Black or brown faces around," Ramanathan said. "That does mean something. It's not an accident."

The issue of opening up Foothills Park to the greater public has been a point of contention in Palo Alto for decades, with the debate over the issue flickering on and off every few years. Opponents of removing the policy have consistently argued that limiting access to the park is necessary to protect the pristine natural landscape in the 1,400-acre preserve. They also note that in the late 1950s, when the family of Russel V. Lee offered to sell the land to the city, none of the surrounding cities were willing to chip in to buy the park.

The argument has reignited over the past month, with more than 100 civic and faith leaders and residents signing a letter in early June urging the council to "meet the moment" and abolish a policy that they argue "sends a terrible message to our neighboring communities" and "leaves a bad taste in the mouths of thousands of would-be visitors who are prohibited by uniformed City staff from entering a public park." The list of supporters includes U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo; state Assemblyman Marc Berman; former mayors Leland Levy, Peter Drekmeier and Pat Burt; the Rev. Kaloma Smith, pastor at University AME Zion Church and chair of the city's Human Relations Commission; and NAACP of San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Palo Alto residents who oppose the policy change have argued that the law, which makes it a misdemeanor for a non-resident to visit (unless accompanied by a resident) has nothing to do with race and everything to do with protecting the environment.

Robert Roth, a member of the Friends of Foothills Park and a volunteer at the park, made that point at a June 2019 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission, when he argued against expanding access.

"It seems to me it follows that if the park is overused, the magical experience of coming upon a flock of quail, or 30 or 40 young turkeys, or seeing a coyote or any of the experiences of the birds and the beasts and the flowers in the park could be lost," Roth said.

But according to city staff, the current number of visitors is relatively low, compared to historic trends. In the years after the park opened, it attracted more than 300,000 visitors annually, peaking at about 372,000 in the early 1970s over two consecutive years. According to a 2019 report, attendance had dropped by about 50% since then, with about 152,000 people visiting the park annually over the prior 17 years.

The Parks and Recreation Commission tried to address the issue of overcrowding by proposing a pilot program that allows non-residents to buy permits online for $6 each. It would cap the number of daily permits at 50.

Activists modified a "Do Not Enter" sign in front of the Foothills Park entrance between July 5 and July 6. Courtesy Vigil for Democracy.

The City Council, however, has delayed taking up the politically sensitive subject. After months of inaction, the council scheduled a discussion of the proposal for June 23. But on June 22, the council voted to take the item off the agenda and postpone it until after the council's summer recess, which concludes on Aug. 2. The latest delay prompted the resignation of Ryan McCauley, a leading proponent of expanding access to Foothills Park who served on the Parks and Recreation Commission. It also spurred retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, a former City Council member, to issue a letter to the city, threatening a lawsuit if it doesn't immediately stop enforcing the law that bars non-residents from the park.

Ramakrishnan said her family has been seeing people turned away from the park for years.

"There are routinely Black and brown families that, I imagine, excitedly packed a picnic and drove from wherever, and then were told to turn around," she said.

The group had hoped that their message would celebrate the city's change in policy. Before the council voted to delay its discussion, the group was considering painting "All are welcome" in capital letters near Foothills Park. After the vote, it settled on "Desegregate," a message that Ramanathan said was chosen to reflect the policy's impact.

"The policy that makes it a misdemeanor to enter the park doesn't say anything racial in it," Ramanathan said. "But I believe we live in a society that is structured such a way that a policy doesn't need to be explicitly racist to be racist in practice."

She said that when the group finished painting the message, she "took it in for a second."

"I had a sense it would be the last I saw of it," she said.

She was hoping a friend of hers would take a photo of the message with a drone later in the day. But she also had a sense that this wish was a "pipe dream."

"In my short time on this Earth, I've seen enough to see that bureaucracy moves fast on some things and not on others," Ramanathan said.

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Activist group calls on city to 'desegregate' Foothills Park

Teenagers, Raging Grannies paint message outside open space on Sunday night

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jul 7, 2020, 9:55 am

Palo Alto's newest public mural came and went so quickly that you probably missed it.

One word, painted in large yellow letters on Page Mill Road, in front of the Foothills Park entrance: Desegregate.

About a dozen activists, some from Palo Alto (who, as such, can visit Foothills Park whenever they want under the city's "residents-only" policy at the open space) and some from other cities (and, as such, would be prohibited from entering the park, unless accompanying a Palo Alto resident), met under the full moon on Sunday night to paint the message along Page Mill Road. Most were teenagers; two were from the activist organization Raging Grannies, according to Vara Ramakrishnan, one of the organizers of the activity.

The group planned the act months in advance, waiting for a day when there would be little activity and a bright moon under which to work, obviating the need for lighting. They painted the message over about four hours, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., Ramakrishnan said.

But the group's work proved to be a fleeting gesture in a decadeslong debate over Foothills Park access. By 7 a.m. on Monday, a city employee was on scene using a power hose to erase the message. Before long, it was gone.

Ramakrishnan, who lives in Los Altos Hills and who often walks to the park, said she observed passersby asking the city employee what the message said. He told them he didn't know, she said.

"We wanted to look over the work in the daytime and touch it up," she said. "We never got a chance to do that."

Ramakrishnan's daughter, Anjali Ramanathan, a recent graduate of The Nueva School who briefly attended Gunn High and who was joined by her friends from Gunn and Palo Alto High School, said she was inspired to partake in the action by personal experiences and recent rallies in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. She cited a speech by East Palo Alto Mayor Regina Wallace Jones during a Juneteenth rally last month that addressed how race continues to affect the area.

At that time, the activist group drew the outline of "BLM" in front of Palo Alto City Hall. The city followed suit on June 30 with its own gesture of support for Black Lives Matter — a street mural painted by 16 artists.

Ramanathan, 17, believes the "residents only" policy at Foothills Park is closely tied to racist practices of the past — including redlining and blockbusting — that have made it historically difficult for Black and brown people to buy homes in Palo Alto. Even if the policy isn't explicitly racist, it has effectively kept non-white people from other communities from living in the community and visiting the park.

"I wanted white folks to think about it, next time they go to Foothills Park and don't see any Black or brown faces around," Ramanathan said. "That does mean something. It's not an accident."

The issue of opening up Foothills Park to the greater public has been a point of contention in Palo Alto for decades, with the debate over the issue flickering on and off every few years. Opponents of removing the policy have consistently argued that limiting access to the park is necessary to protect the pristine natural landscape in the 1,400-acre preserve. They also note that in the late 1950s, when the family of Russel V. Lee offered to sell the land to the city, none of the surrounding cities were willing to chip in to buy the park.

The argument has reignited over the past month, with more than 100 civic and faith leaders and residents signing a letter in early June urging the council to "meet the moment" and abolish a policy that they argue "sends a terrible message to our neighboring communities" and "leaves a bad taste in the mouths of thousands of would-be visitors who are prohibited by uniformed City staff from entering a public park." The list of supporters includes U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo; state Assemblyman Marc Berman; former mayors Leland Levy, Peter Drekmeier and Pat Burt; the Rev. Kaloma Smith, pastor at University AME Zion Church and chair of the city's Human Relations Commission; and NAACP of San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Palo Alto residents who oppose the policy change have argued that the law, which makes it a misdemeanor for a non-resident to visit (unless accompanied by a resident) has nothing to do with race and everything to do with protecting the environment.

Robert Roth, a member of the Friends of Foothills Park and a volunteer at the park, made that point at a June 2019 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission, when he argued against expanding access.

"It seems to me it follows that if the park is overused, the magical experience of coming upon a flock of quail, or 30 or 40 young turkeys, or seeing a coyote or any of the experiences of the birds and the beasts and the flowers in the park could be lost," Roth said.

But according to city staff, the current number of visitors is relatively low, compared to historic trends. In the years after the park opened, it attracted more than 300,000 visitors annually, peaking at about 372,000 in the early 1970s over two consecutive years. According to a 2019 report, attendance had dropped by about 50% since then, with about 152,000 people visiting the park annually over the prior 17 years.

The Parks and Recreation Commission tried to address the issue of overcrowding by proposing a pilot program that allows non-residents to buy permits online for $6 each. It would cap the number of daily permits at 50.

The City Council, however, has delayed taking up the politically sensitive subject. After months of inaction, the council scheduled a discussion of the proposal for June 23. But on June 22, the council voted to take the item off the agenda and postpone it until after the council's summer recess, which concludes on Aug. 2. The latest delay prompted the resignation of Ryan McCauley, a leading proponent of expanding access to Foothills Park who served on the Parks and Recreation Commission. It also spurred retired Judge LaDoris Cordell, a former City Council member, to issue a letter to the city, threatening a lawsuit if it doesn't immediately stop enforcing the law that bars non-residents from the park.

Ramakrishnan said her family has been seeing people turned away from the park for years.

"There are routinely Black and brown families that, I imagine, excitedly packed a picnic and drove from wherever, and then were told to turn around," she said.

The group had hoped that their message would celebrate the city's change in policy. Before the council voted to delay its discussion, the group was considering painting "All are welcome" in capital letters near Foothills Park. After the vote, it settled on "Desegregate," a message that Ramanathan said was chosen to reflect the policy's impact.

"The policy that makes it a misdemeanor to enter the park doesn't say anything racial in it," Ramanathan said. "But I believe we live in a society that is structured such a way that a policy doesn't need to be explicitly racist to be racist in practice."

She said that when the group finished painting the message, she "took it in for a second."

"I had a sense it would be the last I saw of it," she said.

She was hoping a friend of hers would take a photo of the message with a drone later in the day. But she also had a sense that this wish was a "pipe dream."

"In my short time on this Earth, I've seen enough to see that bureaucracy moves fast on some things and not on others," Ramanathan said.

Comments

Chuck
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 10:48 am
Chuck, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 10:48 am
106 people like this

Foothill Park is not segregated. Any Palo Alto resident can enjoy the use of the park, no matter their skin color. LaDoris Cordell has no chance of winning a lawsuit that will allow non-residents into the park. She might however, get the city to cave in to her demands, which would then result in another suit being filed against them by residents demanding the policy be enforced. The park belongs to the City of Palo Alto and its' residents. It's not the California coast line and beaches that are open to all.

If it gets to this, the voters should decide, not city council. Simple ballot addition.


Dan
Professorville
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:06 am
Dan, Professorville
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:06 am
89 people like this

The great irony of this story is that these folks painted this early on a Monday morning. Had they stayed just a few hours more, they would have found that anyone can enter Foothills park. There are no rangers working the entry gate during the week - anyone can drive right in. The entry gate is only staffed on holidays and weekends. In addition, anyone can enter Foothills park at any time from connecting trails within the Arastradero Preserve and the Los Trancos preserve, which are also always open to everyone, including on weekends. I also suspect Ms. Ramakrishnan is not telling the truth when she says regularly sees black and brown families turned around from the entry gate. For this claim to be true, she would have to be standing next to the entry gate on weekends for very long periods of time, close enough to see the identities of every occupant of every car. The front of the entry gate is a very short driveway - no one ever hangs out there, and very few cars ever get turned around from the park. So I don't believe it. Instead, this seems to me to be more likely a fairly cynical and transparent strategy designed to try to inject racism, where none exists, into the Foothills park debate. What I find is that for all the people yelling about opening up Foothills park, it seems most of them never actually go there - they don't seem to know it's already effectively open to the public the vast majority of the time. I'm not against additionally opening up Foothills park on weekends, but this should be a decision by our residents and not by the city council, and it should be based on cost and environmental impacts, not on fabricated accusations of racism.


Net effect is segragation
Fairmeadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:08 am
Net effect is segragation, Fairmeadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:08 am
24 people like this

The reality is that our housing is segregated, the direct result of deed restrictions, disparate police enforcement, and informal refusal to rent. This in turn means that a residents-only restriction has a disparate racial impact, enforcing a residents-only level of segregation which would not exist otherwise.

At this point, ending the residents-only restriction, per the pilot plan that City council hasn't yet been willing to vote on, would be an excellent way to limit the damage we're doing.


Observer
Greater Miranda
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:16 am
Observer, Greater Miranda
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:16 am
83 people like this

I am someone who, with their African American husband and child, experienced red-lining by Palo Alto realtors in the early 70s and was lucky enough to find an honest realtor who enabled us to buy a home there. The problem was real, but it had nothing to do with the decision to limit Foothill Park access to PA residents. That decision was made because "none of the surrounding cities were willing to chip in to buy the park". Had they done so, the park would have been open to their residents as well. Adverse environmental impact, if it were to occur due to use by a larger population, would have had to be solved by some means of limiting use -- as do many national and other parks. That is still the logical solution. But the surrounding cities still do not seem willing to step up and even contribute to its maintenance, nor do their residents seem willing to pressure them to do so, even while they pressure Palo Alto's city council. Nor do they suggest that they should individually pay an extra fee to do so. I do not object to allowing non-PA residents to use the park, but there must be 1) meaningful cost-sharing by surrounding communities or their users, and 2) a reasonable cap on overall usage.


senor blogger
Palo Verde
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:29 am
senor blogger, Palo Verde
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:29 am
48 people like this

All that action did was make enemies. What about sending a bill for the cleanup to the "painters".


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:50 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:50 am
30 people like this

Will these "activists" be charged with vandalism?

How are the numbers of visitors counted? Many times there is nobody at the gate even at weekends. Do they count cars? Do they count people hiking in from other gates? Do they count bikes?


Family Friendly
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:53 am
Family Friendly, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:53 am
41 people like this

[Post removed.]


let it die
College Terrace
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:55 am
let it die, College Terrace
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:55 am
56 people like this

Gennedy, clearly the idea of opening Foothill Park to no-residents resonates with you. This is not the case for most Palo Alto residents. Please let it die.


S_mom
Community Center
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:09 pm
S_mom, Community Center
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:09 pm
15 people like this

What about opening it up (maybe in a way that caps total visitors at one time) to EPA only? That gets rid of the potential that Los Altos Hills will take all the spots. But, it shares the open space with neighbors whose city shares our name but not our wealth.


PA Nick
University South
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:10 pm
PA Nick, University South
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:10 pm
24 people like this

Here's a quick timeline:
1896: Supreme Court says "Separate but equal" is constitutional in Plessy vs Ferguson, stating that racial segregation is not unconstitutional.

1952: "A survey by the Palo Alto Fair Play Council reported that only 68 Palo Altans polled would rent to person of good character regardless of race while 198 would rent to Caucasians only."
Source: Web Link

1954: Brown vs BOE I says "Separate but equal" is unconstitutional and orders desegregation. This was a huge blow to racists, who did not want to share public spaces with people of other races.

"Late 1950s": Palo Alto begins plans to buy Foothills Park.

1959: Palo Alto buys the land for Foothills Park and makes park only open to Palo Alto residents. At this point, almost no people of color live in Palo Alto due to discrimination. At this point, ONLY ABOUT 2% of PALO ALTO RESIDENTS ARE BLACK.

1963: CA legislature passes the "Rumford Fair Housing Act" to address racial discrimination by realtors and landlords who didn't want to sell or rent houses to people of color.

1964: California Real Estate Assocation fights the fair housing act with 'Proposition 14', which nullifies the Rumford Fair Housing Act including

1967: The California Supreme Court and US Supreme Court rule that housing discrimination is illegal and proposition 14 invalid.

------
It's impossible to know the intention of the people who planned Foothills Park, but that being said, when taking the historical context into consideration, it seems reasonable to infer that making a park that was only open to Palo Alto residents may have been an attempt at keeping black people out of a public park through "legal means". It's also worth noting that blacks still only make up ~2% of Palo Alto's population today.

It's been 60 years, let's just stop this nonsense and open up Foothills Park. Aside from the fact that the "PA Residents Only" policy is an obvious vestige of a racist time, it's also a huge waste of money to pay for several people to sit at the gate every weekend and holiday to check drivers licenses of people coming in.



resqpro911
Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:32 pm
resqpro911, Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:32 pm
13 people like this

We should all get along. The rules are here, its what happened. Now stating that is is segregation. It has little merit. Please do your best to enjoy the park, no graffiti, no trash, just look at Rinconada Park, on the weekends, find syringes in the bathrooms, trash everywhere, used by all. Kind of scary going to the bathroom with son or daughter and finding these sorts of things...


Vigil for Democracy
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Vigil for Democracy, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm
23 people like this

Dan from Professorville would have also had America vote on ending slavery and segregation. The city's policy is de facto racist and unconstitutional. It must end now. As for observing families being turned away, just because Palo Alto residents don't "see" it, it doesn't mean it's not happening. Show up on Saturday or Sunday a couple of hours before sunset - you will see a steady stream of disappointment.


This is not about racism. It is about wealthy Los Altos Hills paying their fair share,
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm
This is not about racism. It is about wealthy Los Altos Hills paying their fair share,, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm
62 people like this

If Ms. Ramakrishnan wants her wealthy Los Altos Hills (LAH) community to have access to the park and preserve, perhaps she should approach her own city government and ask them to offer to pay a fair share toward its maintenance and insurance coverage costs to help defray the costs Palo Alto will incur for their additional use.

This park and preserve abuts LAH expansive backyards. Palo Alto invited LAH to be partners in the purchase of this property many years ago. LAH declined, claiming they were a new government and didn't have the resources. Okay. I accept that. BUT they do have the resources now. LAH is now a very wealthy community. Step up. LAH freely uses Palo Alto playing fields and community services and our other parks. It's time for them to help with the cost of maintaining this park that sits right on their border if they want access.

Invoking the racism charge when you are advocating for people who reside in mansions is obnoxious and ignores the history of this situation.


Sam Spiegel
Mountain View
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:46 pm
Sam Spiegel, Mountain View
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:46 pm
18 people like this

Old protectionists Chuck and Dan are ready with the same tired arguments every time the Foothills Park issue comes up. Just because you got away with violating the constitution for six decades doesn't mean you get to keep doing it. A white-majority town isn't going to vote to end racist policies, and we're not going to wait for a vote to enact justice.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:52 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:52 pm
22 people like this

WOW - Activists on the move. Everyone is an activists now. But guess what - the people that want the status of FHP to remain as is are also Activist. And claims of racism have no legal justification to day. You have no legal basis for those comments. Do the people that write for the Weekly live in PA? Is this about them?
The rules for the park are clearly stated in the city web site and bulletins / pamphlets. Are you tryin to tell me that people take the time and effort to drive up there with no concept of the rules? They just go up to complain?


Vigil for Democracy
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:56 pm
Vigil for Democracy, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 7, 2020 at 12:56 pm
14 people like this

Please read the opinion of Geoff Paulsen, who worked as a ranger at Foothills Park for seven years, and whose grandmother, Do Lee, was responsible for saving the park from becoming a McMansion tract. Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:00 pm
29 people like this

Just have to add here that it is very presumptive for some people to go about lecturing other people - as though they are the agents of change. Everyone is entitled to an opinion - but when you deface roads you have stepped over the line. And when you figure that your opinion overrides the residents of the city who finance the park then you are out of line. And there is no legal basis for the rants at this time - just opportunistic thinking that one issue can be leveraged for another issue.


casey
Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:05 pm
casey, Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:05 pm
37 people like this

"Even if the policy isn't explicitly racist, it has effectively kept non-white people from other communities from living in the community and visiting the park."

U.S. Census reports that Palo Alto is 55.2% White alone (not Hispanic or Latino). Non-white people can and do live in Palo Alto.

Also, while the policy keeps non-white people from other communities from visiting the park, it also keeps white people from other communities from visiting the park as well. The factor isn't that they are non-white, but that are from other communities.


Check your zip code
Ventura
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm
Check your zip code, Ventura
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm
38 people like this

Ramakrishnan says that, "I wanted white folks to think about it, next time they go to Foothills Park and don't see any Black or brown faces around," According to the 2010 census, Los Altos Hills where she lives, had a population of 7,922. There were a total of 4 African-Americans.

[Portion removed.] Gunn has fewer than 2% African American students.

I would love to go golf at the Los Altos Country Club. However, I know that I am not allowed to as it is closed to people that are not members. Therefore, I do not show up and attempt to play only to get turned away.

Foothills, which is wide open during the weekdays, turns away people from all different nationalities. Last time I was there a couple of weeks ago, there were people of a variety of races. I have no idea if they were residents, nor do I care.

[Portion removed.]


Wake up
Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:12 pm
Wake up, Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:12 pm
23 people like this

The girl in the article is 17 and is standing up for what she believes in. Yes, she lives in Los Altos Hills, but this is NOT about her and she knows that and expresses that. Of course this isn’t about her, she’s Indian and she talks about equity for all POC. She’s never said she is discriminated against. Maybe you should stop bashing a 17 year old girl who’s standing up for others and instead do something to help a cause like she is.


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Granny B, Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm
15 people like this

Heavens to Betsy. Someone writing above thinks what's the problem? Why don't non-residents just SNEAK IN! Meanwhile the large signs "Palo Alto RESIDENTS ONLY" send a clear UNWELCOMING message. Whether intentional are not the effect is de facto segregation.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:29 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:29 pm
30 people like this

A note to Gennady and the publisher - at some point you compromise your "journalistic" skills and reputation when you repeatedly surface a contentious issue and then go out to find non-residents to support the story line.

Note to Los Altos Hills - please take a piece of city owned property and create a park.

Note to Woodside - please take a piece of city owned property and create a park.

But wait - you already have a lot of parks - so what is your story?
Very disappointed in where this is heading from the so-called "professionals" - threatening law suits. Hope that no one is thinking of running for office because some potential PACC office seekers have already displayed their lack of so-called professional skills.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm
16 people like this

Posted by Vigil for Democracy, a resident of Palo Alto Hills

>> The city's policy is de facto racist and unconstitutional. It must end now.

No, it isn't.

But, I'm changing my mind about this. I think Palo Alto should sell Foothills Park to Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District at market value and put the proceeds towards fully forward-funding employee pensions.


@Vigil for Democracy
another community
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:48 pm
@Vigil for Democracy, another community
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:48 pm
8 people like this

I hope you go back to repaint the words on the street every week.
But please don't paint over park signs, which are harder to clean and are less powerful of a message.

Desegregate, the only message you need to say.


This is not about racism. It is about wealthy Los Altos Hills paying their fair share
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:51 pm
This is not about racism. It is about wealthy Los Altos Hills paying their fair share, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:51 pm
30 people like this

It costs additional money to maintain, monitor and insure this park and sensitive preserve area for visitors. More visitors, more cost. Los Altos Hills should offer to help. Their community is VERY privileged. They can afford to bear this cost if they want access. Make an offer. Advocate for your own LAH city government to help with this cost before you ask your Palo Alto neighbors to pay for your free use of yet another Palo Alto amenity. Be a good neighbor and put a reasonable offer on the table..

A local doctor, who lives in Los Altos and drives a $200,000 car, asked me about availability of affordable housing in Palo Alto for his mother. I suggested he might work with his own city council to get some affordable housing built in his community closer to home. Good luck with that. So much for equity in LAH. Maybe he could sell his fancy car to fund an addition to his fancy house for his mom. That's what I would do if I had a fancy car or a house with enough land to build an addition.

This is not about racism. There is a lot of history underlying this issue that, evidently , these protesters either don't know or dismiss for the convenience of argument.


Terrace Antelope
College Terrace
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:59 pm
Terrace Antelope, College Terrace
on Jul 7, 2020 at 1:59 pm
1 person likes this

I'm all for it, as long as non-residents pay a nominal fee to keep the park clean. Also, we need a cap on useage.


Beggars Belief
Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Beggars Belief, Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm
32 people like this

I support the Black Lives Matter movement, but honestly what rot this is. One struggles to see past the self-serving spectacle of a Los Altos Hills resident calling on us to open the park in the name of equality. Los Altos Hills residents have wanted park access for years, not because black lives matter, but because it suits them to use our public services. Yet while living in a town with one of the most healthy tax bases in the country, they seem to expect it as a handout. Where is the equity in leaving us holding the bag for the millions of dollars spent over the years to purchase and maintain it?

The Los Altos Hills City Council made the decision not to participate in the park program, that's fine--but you reap what you sow and that's as it should be. I don't see her campaigning to open the town picnic to non-residents of Los Altos Hills, nor do I see her suggesting that the cost of the park be equitably shared among our cities. If she really wanted movement on the policy, she would put her tax dollars where her mouth is by encouraging Los Altos Hills and Portola Valley to pay up.

Palo Alto is more racially diverse than Los Altos Hills. It is more racially diverse than Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Woodside, and Portola Valley. Is there a storied history of racism in Palo Alto housing? Of course there is--and it is a topic worthy of discussion all around the Bay Area. We must reckon with our past, particularly with regard to East Palo Alto, whose coffers would not have supported partnership in the Foothills Park project. But Ms. Ramakrishnan and other residents of our neighboring cities should not get a free pass, nor should they be allowed to capitalize so cynically on the political zeitgeist.

Rank hypocrisy does not benefit the cause of social justice, and I am embarrassed that activist resources are being wasted in this way. Inter-city environmental projects depend on access restrictions at Foothills to encourage participation, keeping the free-rider problem at bay. Those projects benefit visitors to and residents of the Mid-Peninsula alike--it's one of the reasons that Foothills Park is surrounded by freely accessible open space which was paid for by in cooperation with all our neigbors. It would be manifestly unfair to all of us if that legacy is destroyed.

Let's see this for what it is--a callous attempt by greedy residents of affluent cities to enrich themselves, without heeding the permanent damage it would do to regional cooperation. Shame.


JR
Palo Verde
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:16 pm
JR, Palo Verde
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:16 pm
22 people like this

The protesters are essentially advocating for rich white Los Altos Hills residents at the expense of diverse Palo Alto residents. Maybe they should name their group White Billionaire Lives Matter.

Palo Alto is a diverse city with all income levels and residents. Los Altos Hills residents should NOT be admitted to the park without being escorted by a Palo Alto resident because Los Altos Hills refused to participate in the purchase many years ago.


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:36 pm
Granny B , Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:36 pm
10 people like this

People commenting here are mean spirited. Rather than criticize Los Altos Hills resident
anti racism activists we should applaud them. Have any of the “keep the park closed to non-residents” commenters participated in Black Lives Matter protests? our friends who painted their message have. For most of the commenters here BLM protests were minutes away in front of Palo Alto city hall on multiple occasions. Everyone at these protests wears masks, BTW.


Leah Cowan
College Terrace
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:39 pm
Leah Cowan, College Terrace
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:39 pm
12 people like this

If we look at the history of Central Park in New York, we will see the exact same arguments made to keep the park exclusive for certain people who felt that they were entitled to this park over others. Let me just ask this question to those wanting to keep this park from “others,” would you be open to allowing just East Palo Alto residents to use the park, still keeping the foot traffic down? If your knee jerk reaction is no, you know why. Desegregate our resources in Palo Alto.


Douglas Moran
Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:53 pm
Douglas Moran, Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 2:53 pm
14 people like this

> PA Nick: "It's impossible to know the intention of the people who planned Foothills Park, but that being said, when taking the historical context into consideration, it seems reasonable to infer that making a park that was only open to Palo Alto residents may have been an attempt at keeping black people out of a public park through "legal means"."

It's so easy to morally indignant and cast aspersions on others when you don't have to bother with easily found facts.

Actually, it is easy to know their intentions:
Palo Alto's initial plan was to have Foothills Park be open to everyone, but when then surrounding cities refused to contribute to its purchase, Palo Alto made it a residents-only park.

> "At this point, ONLY ABOUT 2% of PALO ALTO RESIDENTS ARE BLACK." (capitalization in the original)

If you had bothered to check the demographics for Santa Clara County (eg in Wikipedia), you would have seen that Blacks are 2.4% of the County's population as of the 2010 Census. San Mateo County's is 2.8%. Looks like normal variation to me.

===

Would it be fair for me to echo your "it seems to be reasonable to infer" that you are ignorant, lazy and so utterly lacking in ethics and morals that it doesn't bother you to fling vicious false accusations at people?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:17 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:17 pm
8 people like this

Posted by Leah Cowan, a resident of College Terrace

>> If we look at the history of Central Park in New York, we will see the exact same arguments made to keep the park exclusive for certain people

It surprises me to hear that Palo Alto denied park entry to Palo Alto residents on the basis of race. Do you have a link to documentation of that?

>> Desegregate our resources in Palo Alto.

I have read many comments from Palo Alto residents who were hassled by Palo Alto police because of race. Driving, walking, driving too old or too new a car, riding a bicycle. It would be interesting to hear if residents routinely experience being denied entry to Foothills Park because of their race.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Like this comment

I’d rather put the energy into getting a result in Ventura the historically black neighborhood I’d like to see excuse the expression 40 acres And a pool. I am meaning to reach out to Matt Sonsini the CEO of Sobrato who is also a gunn grad.
Sobrato can re-calibrate their plans for the fries up zone to add a little chocolate shake


Granny P
Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:37 pm
Granny P, Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:37 pm
10 people like this

Hey it is 2020 everyone. Let's embrace this moment when we are 'finally' 'finally' addressing institutionalized racism throughout this country. Lets not dwell on the 'history' of Foothill park and whether it was right or wrong to make it for PA residents only.

I agree with those who have written that keeping it closed to ONLY those living in Palo Alto DOES send the WRONG message, It is 'de-facto' racist.

It is TIME TO forward FORWARD and recognize/embrace that we are in a different historical time. OPEN Foothill Park TO EVERYONE!!

It is long overdue!!


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm
25 people like this

Rich bored teenager and friends with nothing to do on a summer night when the pandemic has prevented the normal teenage haunts and activities from taking place. Now she has been taught how to desecrate (that's what I misread the statement at first) a street and a sign.

I am sorry that it is now an appropriate thing to do, painting messages on streets. It is not art, it is not a mural, it is graffiti, no matter what the message, no matter where it is. Whether it is permitted or not, it is a distraction to drivers and expensive to clean up.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:53 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:53 pm
2 people like this

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North

>> I’d rather put the energy into getting a result in Ventura the historically black neighborhood I’d like to see excuse the expression 40 acres And a pool

40 acres and a pool and *housing*. NOT office space. Housing. With *parking* while we are talking -- for both the park and the housing.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:05 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:05 pm
23 people like this

Lazy thinkers but hey, get your selfie.
It’s not politically sensitive, it’s off-base screaming by people who have too much time on their hands.
Their is nothing racist here.
Keep Foothills Park as it is, a nature preserve.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:06 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:06 pm
19 people like this

To Granny P .... institutionalized racism does not exist in the U.S.A. today. Let's embrace that. Prove me wrong if you can with facts, not rhetoric. You agree with those who see things the way you do, which is a very small number of people posting on this topic. Keeping the park exclusive to Palo Alto residents has nothing to do with racism, period. Not one person of color ( BTW, white is a color) who is a resident of Palo Alto has ever been denied admittance to the park.


Helen
Greenmeadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:08 pm
Helen, Greenmeadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:08 pm
26 people like this

This is simply Los Altos residents playing the race card to try to gain access to Foothills Park, when their city refused to pay their fair share for it. Pretty sad.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:12 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:12 pm
11 people like this

To Beggars Belief ... You are spot on. I would suggest, however that you look up what BLM means today, before supporting them. The original intentions were good, but the movement has been taken over by radicals, who have a very different playbook.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm
12 people like this

To Leah Cowan ... EPA had an opportunity to buy in and didn't. EPA is sadly going through gentrification. It won't be long before the Facebook, Amazon, Palantir and other worker bees buy up every property they can get their hands on. So, no. It belongs to the residents of Palo Alto.


Karen
Charleston Gardens
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:24 pm
Karen, Charleston Gardens
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:24 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:52 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:52 pm
11 people like this

Think some of the people in the comments might need to look at the larger issue here. Sure Los Altos should contribute, but doesn't matter where the organizers live they're still pushing the point here which is that redlining forced black families into EPA, leading to Palo Alto being 2% black when the PA residents only policy was set. It's ignorant not to acknowledge that race affects the demographic of entrants into Foothills


Marianne Mueller
Professorville
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:09 pm
Marianne Mueller, Professorville
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:09 pm
Like this comment

why not just limit parking and require permits, like Muir Woods?


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:18 pm
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:18 pm
17 people like this

Open it up, so we can have garbage everywhere, tagging in the bathrooms, no parking?

NO THANKS!!


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:28 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:28 pm
6 people like this

To Sam Spiegel ... What part of the constitution was violated by Chuck and Dan ? Please be specific and back it up with fact, not rhetoric.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm
8 people like this

To Anon ... one might argue that it's ignorant to think that race had anything to do with who gets in to the park.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm
Like this comment

Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> Think some of the people in the comments might need to look at the larger issue here.

There are several Anons here. No problem. Anon's arguments always stand or fall on their own merits.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:39 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:39 pm
9 people like this

To Anon ... as Douglas Moran pointed out earlier in the thread, only 2.4% of Santa Clara County is black, San Mateo County is 2.8% and Palo Alto has a 2% black population (a normal variance). Are you implying that these counties and others redlined blacks ? Can you back it up with facts?


Beggars Belief
Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:41 pm
Beggars Belief, Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 5:41 pm
4 people like this

What Will They Do Next, I am well aware of the Black Lives Matter movement was, and is--I supported it then, and I support it now. They are giving this country the wakeup about systemic racism that it so richly deserves. I join Granny P and many others in the belief and knowledge that institutionalized racism is alive and well in the United States. I could not possibly provide you with a complete picture of its extent; it is simply too broad. If what you need is statistics, you can start with the attached--Black Americans are shot by police officers at nearly twice the rate of their representation in the U.S. population.

This is not the time for conflation of two different issues. It is incumbent upon all of us to strive for greater racial justice. The park is not the way to accomplish meaningful change, but that does not mean that meaningful change is not necessary.

I salute those activists who have risked life and limb to right real injustice in this country--they are American heroes. That is why I am so offended by those who would use this moment to their own ends.

Web Link


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:27 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:27 pm
5 people like this

To Beggars Belief ... "Black Americans are shot by police officers at nearly twice the rate of their representation in the U.S. population." Sadly, Black Americans commit crime at a much higher rate disproportionate to their representation of the population. That is a documented fact. Check FBI statistics.

BTW, this is what the BLM movement has become. Web Link


Menlo Park Resident
Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Menlo Park Resident, Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:33 pm
2 people like this

Regardless of whether you think it’s a race issue, I’m still at a loss as to why Palo Alto residents and City Council are so hesitant to open Foothills to all. What’s really the issue? Because “well, that’s just the way it’s always been.”? I still haven’t been given a logical and rationale reason.


John Krown
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:50 pm
John Krown, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:50 pm
6 people like this

What Will They Do Next,

I feel it is important for me to explain to you, with facts, why your denial of institutional racism is a clear display of ignorance and privilege. I do not doubt you are an individual of high intellect so this should not be hard for you to understand. Your lack of understanding for racism is only possible because your have never experienced it. It is not my job to put all of the evidence in front of you because I am not an encyclopedia, however, I will recommend to you some resources that you can visit so as to inform yourself and allow you to make more educated decisions in the future. Remember that in your place of privilege it is always to your advantage to deny racism because it allows you to stay comfortable instead of taking steps to change for the better. I insist that you take the five minutes necessary to educate yourself. I hope you can learn something from this experience and be more informed in the future.

Web Link

Web Link

These resources have been fact checked to ensure maximum reliability.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:52 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:52 pm
6 people like this

To Menlo Park Resident ... the issue is that it is owned by the city of Palo Alto and designated for use by residents of Palo Alto. No one nearby wanted to share the cost of the land purchase decades ago so the city purchased the land for use by Palo Alto residents. What is it that you don't understand? It's quite clear.


John Krown
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:54 pm
John Krown, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:54 pm
3 people like this

Part 1

What Will They Do Next,

I feel it is important for me to explain to you, with facts, why your denial of institutional racism is a clear display of ignorance and privilege. I do not doubt you are an individual of high intellect so this should not be hard for you to understand. Your lack of understanding for racism is only possible because your have never experienced it. It is not my job to put all of the evidence in front of you because I am not an encyclopedia, however, I will recommend to you some resources that you can visit so as to inform yourself and allow you to make more educated decisions in the future.


John Krown
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:55 pm
John Krown, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:55 pm
3 people like this

Part 2

What Will They Do Next,

Remember that in your place of privilege it is always to your advantage to deny racism because it allows you to stay comfortable instead of taking steps to change for the better. I insist that you take the five minutes necessary to educate yourself. I hope you can learn something from this experience and be more informed in the future.

Web Link

Web Link

These resources have been fact checked to ensure maximum reliability.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm
12 people like this

To John Krown ... what makes you assume that I am a person of "privilege" ( I assume you mean "white" privilege) and have not experienced racism? Do you think that because I live in Old Palo Alto I'm white? Sorry to disappoint you.


Rose
Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:03 pm
Rose, Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:03 pm
20 people like this

If you live in Palo Alto and you are Black, Latinx, Asian or white you can visit Foothills Park. You also can bring a friend of any color with you, from wherever they live. They are welcome. This issue isn’t about race.


George
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:12 pm
George, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:12 pm
13 people like this

There are resident only parks and preserves all over the country. Saving city property for future use is reasonable preservation and a smart land use for a time when a bigger city population will need more space.
Attaching 'racist' to anything and everything has really made it meaningless. Those who care so much aren't doing anything about the black creeps that gunned down a 7 year old (7 years old!!) girl in Chicago last weekend. Or the other 79 shot, 15 of whom died in that one city. Racism? Are you kidding. If you who like to mess the streets really care about Racism, get on a bus and do something about that. This racism thing has gotten old and pointless. There has never been a better time for blacks in America than now - no question - and it's getting better, not worse. As far as the park goes, this minority efforts that keeps pounding at this should go away. Leave Foothills in peace as a preserve and in the kind stewardship of the good people of PA


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:23 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:23 pm
23 people like this

I do not see these same protesters demand to open Searsville Lake or Felt Lake. Which are much nicer then Boranda Lake in Foothills Park.


GeoffPaulsen
another community
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:36 pm
GeoffPaulsen, another community
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:36 pm
9 people like this

I wrote an opinion piece here about this recently, so I don’t want to repeat myself. But I have one question, and a couple additional thoughts.

1) Perhaps one of my fellow seniors can answer the question: What was the underlying reason - the emotional climate - that spawned the residents only policy.? My wife and I suspect it may have been fear, due to the unrest and violence in Palo Alto In the 1960s.

Demonstrators broke windows at Stanford, where a friend of mine caught a stray bullet in the leg. A friend of my wife’s was stabbed to death trying to break up a fight on the run-down (no trees, massage parlors, porno theaters) University Avenue. Now we have a different fear - fear of change.

2) We need to rethink peninsula parks in general. My grandmother Dorothy Lee’s donation of 1,000 acre as to Palo Alto was one of the seeds that grew into the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MidPen) - which has done a great job of preserving open space, and where I worked as a planner.

But in a staff meeting one day, our operations manager said, “If you do that, the 408ers (as in area code) will come.”

“EXCUSE me,” said my boss, the planning director, who lived in Sunnyvale, “the WHO??”

So, even my dream job, there was discrimination. You might want to read an excellent article by REI and The Atlantic for suggestions for making parks more inclusive. Web Link


There is also an unwillingness to either accommodate more cars in open space areas or provide useful shuttles. I told Karen Holmes, Palo Alto’s former mayor and now MidPen board representative, that we need more parking lots at open space preserves. “I hate parking lots,” was her reply. I do, too - but a parking lot needn’t be fancy, especially if it’s mainly used during the dry season.

Visit Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills, and look at their parking lots. And while you’re there, take a look around, and see that Foothills Park could become with some creativity and compassion.

And, just an idea - there’s a little-known access alternative for Foothills Park. When we owned the place, we had a road connecting Los Trancos Road with Page Mill Road. That road still exists, but it’s for emergency use only, as during a fire. But why not declare a “recreation emergency”? Seriously, if we can condemn land for the 280 freeway, why not negotiate with the owners of this road?

That way, we could use wide, preferable Alpine Road to access Foothills Park by bike, Segway, electric skateboard, or?


I know there will be much more discussion about this, but as the poet Bob Dylan sang in the 1960’s, “...the times they are a changin’ “.

And they are again.


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:40 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:40 pm
19 people like this

To George ... thank you for a great post. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. I am deeply saddened by the unchecked black on black crime and murder that goes on every weekend in this once great city and never gets any media attention (other than Chicago local news) or BLM acknowledgement. I also agree that there has never been a better time for Black Americans than now.
The park issue is perpetuated by the social justice crowd. They won't let it go despite the fact that racism isn't an issue here, but they desperately want it to be.


Harold
Fairmeadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:01 pm
Harold, Fairmeadow
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:01 pm
14 people like this

>>1) Perhaps one of my fellow seniors can answer the question: What was the underlying reason - the emotional climate - that spawned the residents only policy.? My wife and I suspect it may have been fear, due to the unrest and violence in Palo Alto In the 1960s.

I've lived here since 1959. I believe the underlying reason, the "emotional climate" that led to the residents-only policy was this: the city wanted to build and maintain the park and asked neighboring cities to share in the cost. None of them wanted to. So the city justified spending the large amount of Palo Altan's money by keeping this one section for the use of Palo Altans only. All the many other parks and facilities in the city would be open to anyone. So it was simple. Nothing to do with fear. Or race.


Martha Dogood
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:04 pm
Martha Dogood, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:04 pm
12 people like this

@Geoff Paulson:

And to everyone, you all need to better understand the history of Foothills. And no Geoff, the limit to PA residents was NOT due to civil unrest of 1960s.

The good doctor who gave the land to City of Palo Alto did sowith one major requirement: it be forever preserved as a place only open to Palo Alto residents and their guests.

This land is VERY different from City, County or State owned land set aside as a public park. It was PRIVATE owned land which the owner gifted tothe City with this major requirement. The requirement serves two main purposes: 1) it was meant to be a nature preserve, not a highly used urban boundary park. The point was to keep it very lightly used to preserve the natural beauty, the flora and fauna. The interpretive center has served as an exceptional yet very low footprint resource for residents to understand the nature and importance of a nature preserve. 2) the donor wished it to be a quiet and peaceful reserve for PA residents to enjoy a super quiet and peaceful place, with the main purpose, again let’s say it in unison, to PRESERVE this land for the nature, the flora and fauna.

This use is very different from intended use of the MANY city, county and state parks, along with the many open spaces.

Let foothill be! It’s not related to RACE you crazy “race is everything” people who have lost your minds! The rest of us have not.


Donald
South of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:12 pm
Donald, South of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:12 pm
13 people like this

To add to what Martha said, I was in the park the last Sunday before it was temporarily shut down. It was swarming with people who didn't understand or respect how different it is from a neighborhood park. I saw several families letting their young children go off-trail into the undergrowth and bushes. This put them at risk for ticks, poison oak, rattlesnakes and other hazards that are completely absent from most city parks. You need to understand and respect nature to keep yourself safe in Foothills Park.


Resident
Evergreen Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:30 pm
Resident, Evergreen Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:30 pm
10 people like this

"I saw several families letting their young children go off-trail into the undergrowth and bushes. This put them at risk for ticks, poison oak, rattlesnakes and other hazards that are completely absent from most city parks. You need to understand and respect nature to keep yourself safe in Foothills Park."

More people = More Lawsuits.


AlexDeLarge
Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:37 pm
AlexDeLarge, Midtown
on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:37 pm
2 people like this

Oh brother...


Name hidden
Palo Verde

on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:08 pm
Name hidden, Palo Verde

on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:08 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Name hidden
Evergreen Park

on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:14 pm
Name hidden, Evergreen Park

on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


What Will They Do Next
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:19 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:19 pm
13 people like this

For all of you who believe the park should be open to everyone and that the residents only policy was driven by racism, I'd suggest you read every comment on this thread. You are in the minority, significantly. If it needs to be put to a vote, let it happen. I would venture to guess that 80% of voters would be in favor of keeping it the way it is. Landslide win for sensibility and a loss for injustice due to the false narrative of "privilege".


Frances Griffin
Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:25 pm
Frances Griffin, Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:25 pm
3 people like this

Because of redlining there is a de facto racist effect of the current rules. So it is not unreasonable to call it segregation.
My take on the issue is softened a bit by the fact that it is open to all on weekdays, which was not known to me(and perhaps not to the protesters).
Still, all other city parks in the area are open to all whether their town contributed or not, so it looks at the very least elitist, if not outright racist, to restrict it by place of residence.
Usage has historically fallen overall though is probably up temporarily.If sheer numbers are the issue, a no-fee or very very low fee reservation system can be put in place. Annoying but knowledegable locals will find a way in if they want to be spontaneous.
I would not sneer at the goodwill and concern of the young woman quoted or of her family. We need more such people, who care about narrowing the gap between haves and have-nots, maintained in the past by segregation and Jim Crow laws and still having a profound impact on people's lives and their health and safety.
As for the expense to the city of cleaning-up the signs--really? Non-profane and definitely not obscene slogans do no harm. Why the rush?
Keep calm and carry on and accept that things are a-changing.


Geoff Paulsen
another community
on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:36 pm
Geoff Paulsen, another community
on Jul 7, 2020 at 9:36 pm
8 people like this

Martha, where did you get the information about my grandfather Russel Lee’s stipulation in donating the property? I lived next door to him till he died, and he and I were very close, seeing each other several times a week. We never specifically discussed this issue, but I do know that he wanted to develop it like Los Altos Hills and my grandmother Dorothy Lee refused to sell her share Because she wanted the land kept as open space. To my knowledge the only stipulation is that if the park were ever sold for development, it would revert to the Lee family. In my darker moments I count the billions… (just kidding).


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm
Like this comment

Oh boy.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm
Like this comment

Oh brother.


John
Professorville
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:03 am
John, Professorville
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:03 am
5 people like this

This issue has nothing to do with racism... but OPEN THE DAMN PARK ALREADY!

Its a nice place. Wide open, plenty of room for all. It should be enjoyed by all. None of the other parks and open space preserves are “ruined” by crowds, there’s no evidence that opening this park will damage it.

Times change. People change. We should adapt to change and take whatever small steps we can to be a more open, welcoming city.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:15 am
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:15 am
10 people like this

Too much liability.


CR
Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:17 am
CR, Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:17 am
5 people like this

It's interesting reading these comments, and I applaud the young activists taking a stance. Foothills is a special place, and I do understand why they and other Los Altos residents would like to be able to gain entry. That being said, I have never felt guilty that Foothills is only open to Palo Alto residents. In fact, knowing that I don't have to fight crowds there (unlike at other Peninsula parks) and that wildlife is prioritized makes me less unhappy about paying my astronomical property tax bill twice a year. Perhaps it would make more sense to liken it to a club where our tax dollars are the dues? I wouldn't expect to be allowed into the Los Altos Country Club unless I paid my fair share.

I'm actually surprised that there aren't more calls to open the Palo Alto school district to children in East Palo Alto. In terms of rectifying past and present inequality, I think this would be far more impactful, and I don't see why all of the activists' arguments regarding opening Foothills wouldn't equally apply (if not more) to opening the school district. Or, perhaps, someone could explain the difference to me?

As a note, this is the first article that I have ever posted on on this site, and I imagine if the issue does go to the ballot, there will be a very high voter turnout. And, despite what the figures in the article may suggest, it can be a struggle to find parking at Foothills on weekends.


Chris
University South
on Jul 8, 2020 at 5:26 am
Chris, University South
on Jul 8, 2020 at 5:26 am
5 people like this

CR,

Many EPA students do attend Palo Alto schools. Are you unaware of the Tinsley policy?


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:07 am
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:07 am
57 people like this

I have no problem using Foothills Park. I am not "white." This isn't about racial segregation. It isn't even about "unintentional" racial segregation. It's about a preserve in the city that is permitted to be visited by people in the city.

I might love the New York City, East Palo Alto or Detroit public libraries. However, I am not permitted to check out books there. In fact, I cannot even visit the Stanford libraries. It isn't because of "racism" or "racial segregation." It's simply because I am not a resident of those cities or enrolled in the school.

This is yet another example of "the boy who cried wolf" -- but with allegations of "racism." If we allege racism and "racial segregation" when it isn't true, you simply serve to desensitize people to your claims when it is true.


Xan
Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:26 am
Xan, Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:26 am
3 people like this

If Palo Alto is so concerned about cost of maintaining the park, then donate it to MidPen OST. That would eliminate the financial burden from Palo Alto and the park would be open to everyone.


Xan
Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:28 am
Xan, Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:28 am
1 person likes this

If Palo Alto is so concerned about the cost of maintaining the park, then donate it to MidPen OST. That would eliminate the financial burden from Palo Alto and the park would be open to everyone.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:32 am
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:32 am
29 people like this

We walked our dogs around the lake yesterday. We met a lady from Italy, a couple from New Dehli, a family from Guadalajara, all Palo Alto residents. Folks like Vara Ramakrishnan, are doing their best to divide the country. I am sorry she feels so under priveleged, being from Los Altos Hills.

Her and her group need to compensate the city for the clean up of the unathorized graffiti.


CR
Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:37 am
CR, Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:37 am
4 people like this

Thanks, Chris. Admittedly, I’d forgotten about the Tinsley policy but, if Wikipedia is correct, it was a result of litigation and maxes out at 60 pupils per years. I’m talking about merging the school districts. I’ve been proud to participate in number of BLM marches, and I think this is the type of real change which is probably needed to mend race relations in this country. Opening a park to people in Los Altos who are attempting to leverage the BLM movement to suit their own needs seems, on the other hand, disingenuous and counter to the movement.


Tiger Mom
Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:35 am
Tiger Mom, Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:35 am
12 people like this

Are they going to be charged for the vandalism?


resqpro911
Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:45 am
resqpro911, Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:45 am
Like this comment

Xan, good comment. Hopefully whatever happens, we can all smile and wave at each other and let each express their feelings and thoughts without getting angry or negative. Life is too short and we need to respect each others view points. No vandalism, or violent responses , just understanding that this is a tough time and we have to live on this planet together, and in harmony...


Martha Dogood
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:59 am
Martha Dogood, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:59 am
10 people like this

Geoff Paulson,
The stipulation to limit foothills preserve to only Palo Alto residents is in the original agreement with City. It was published years ago somewhere when we read all about history of foothills.

I’ll try to find link and send it out.

It’s agreat idea to keep some of the peninsula as nature preserve. Let the flora and fauna have priority in one place.

There are so many city, county and state parks, along with many open space preserves with marked hiking trails, all open to everyone living in Bay Area as well as our millions of visitors per year (normal non pandemic years!).

Let Foothills remain as it was intended! A nature preserve only open to PA residents. This has nothing to do with race.


Donald
South of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 10:18 am
Donald, South of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 10:18 am
5 people like this

Selling Foothills Park to POST and having it taken over by MidPen might a good idea, but it would probably change the park radically. MidPen doesn't run parks; they run open space preserves. They don't have picnic areas and BBQ grills. They don't rent canoes on their lakes. They generally don't offer bathrooms and water fountains, and there is only one campground in all their holdings (Black Mountain). On the other hand, they do offer outdoor education programs to local school districts and they have educational docent-led hikes. Foothills Park does not presently offer those programs.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2020 at 10:55 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2020 at 10:55 am
16 people like this

The Martinez couple who painted black paint over a freshly painted yellow black lives matter stenciled phrase, partially obscuring the Stop on the road, have been charged with a hate crime and face potentially a year in prison.

The Martinez couple basically stated their opinion with their actions and are facing the consequences of such action.

What's good for the goose would suggest that the activists who vandalized the street and signs at the gate with their opinion by a similar action should also suffer similar consequences.

Just because the opinions are different, does that make the actions less criminal?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:15 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:15 am
10 people like this

For the people that put paint on the road - people on bikes are coming down that hill at a very high speed. If they hit that paint their tires will have no traction. You are putting people's safety at risk. If anyone gets hurt you will be fined / sued. And we know who you are.
How old is Jeff Paulsen? Jeff - how is it going at Rancho San Antonio where YOU live. It is a ZOO. I have seen school track teams running through there. Hoards of people waiting in the parking lot waiting for a space. We already know what is going to happen. And it is not good. I do not believe Jeff at his age at the time would be involved in the legal and business decisions that were made with the city.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:19 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:19 am
6 people like this

Posted by Donald, a resident of South of Midtown

>> Selling Foothills Park to POST and having it taken over by MidPen might a good idea, but it would probably change the park radically. MidPen doesn't run parks; they run open space preserves. They don't have picnic areas and BBQ grills.

Exactly!! There are "parks" like Rinconada and Mitchell. Pre-COVID-19, there were summer evening concerts at Rinconada with many hundreds, sometimes over 1000, with many other people wearing down the lawns playing frisbee, having picnics, kids playing in the wet sand play area, and on and on. Huge events at Mitchell all the time, with parking down Meadow for many blocks. Nothing wrong with that-- that is what urban parks are for. Then, there are quiet reserves. A few of MidPens trails are worn out with too many visitors, but, many are quiet and serene. Foothills is mostly reserve, area-wise, but, with a few faux-natural features like Central Park or Golden Gate Park: the big meadow, the lake, etc. Then, the BBQ grills, etc., that are very kid/family-gathering friendly. In a normal year, on a 4th of July, the place is jammed. Other times, more quiet. (It was jammed this year too, but, no BBQs allowed.)

If "they" won't let us have mostly-reserve with a nice BBQ area for a few summer weekends, then, let's sell it to MidPen and make it 100% real reserve. No way do I, or anyone else I know actually, want it to become another Rinconada or Mitchell Park. Again, *not that there is anything wrong* with Rinconada and Mitchell. Just an *entirely* different kind of park. And, honestly, there is no way that Page Mill can safely stand that much traffic all summer.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:21 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:21 am
4 people like this

Francis Griffin does not ride a bicycle on mountain roads that have steep drop- offs.
Her advise just perpetuates clueless activity. No - you cannot leave paint on that road. Is this an age problem?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:30 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:30 am
10 people like this

Activists? Assume going in here that everyone is an "activist". Everyone is educated in this city and can see manipulation in process - and coercion. That is a legal term.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:01 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 12:01 pm
13 people like this

I have friends who live in Mill Valley near the top road that goes along to the popular parks. These place do not have big parking lots so people are parked everywhere in the residential streets which are not wide. Any fire in that area would hinder the passage of fire engines. There are cars all over the place and they want reservations to get in to the parks. That is the same at what you see at Rancho San Antonio.

It is predictable.
Any one area can only sustain a number of people.
I suspect that JEFF cannot get in to the parking lot at Rancho. And if you open the park then you will not be able to get into the park without a reservation. I think I will visit the park in Los Altos Hills and check it out. Also the park in Woodside.


Pinguino Cattivo
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:28 pm
Pinguino Cattivo , Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:28 pm
8 people like this

There used to be a communist under every bed.
Now there’s a racist under every bed.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:52 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:52 pm
3 people like this

Really - it turns out that the BLM organization is headed by a person who is a Marxist trained organizer. She is on FB and proud of it. Check out Marx on Wikipedia - Marx and Engel wrote the Communist Manifesto. Don Lemon on CNN confirms that the BLM organization is only concerned with police action and shutting down the police. If you let situations breath a bit then the facts start dribbling out. Yes Pin - there is a communist under every bed. And calling people racist is only a strategy to focus people. BLM did not care that 6 children were murdered this last weekend. Not their focus.


C
Palo Verde
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:51 pm
C, Palo Verde
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:51 pm
3 people like this

Palo Alto wants to raise parcel taxes again. How about Lo$ Alto$ pay yearly fees to the Palo Alto general fund in return for access to the park??


Steve
Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 10:48 pm
Steve, Mayfield
on Jul 8, 2020 at 10:48 pm
5 people like this

I live in PA for the last two months. What i can say it is a privilege to have your own private park. I was surprised when I got to the park and I was asked for a proof of residency in PA to enter the park. I am on the fence on this issue. I am from Boston and I just learned from a Ranger about the residency. Which by the way the ranger wasn't so pleasant to talk to. Not so polite and sounded angry. I still don't have changed my DL from Boston to California. I tried to tell him but he kept saying I needed to show proof and fair was fair. I was about to leave him talking to himself another staff came and the conversation was totally different. The guy was polite he let me explain myself and asked in a great mood and manner if I had anything official in my possession that could show my PA address which I had. The staff name was Paul or Peter "nice guy". The other staff not so good perhaps needs more training. However, nice park.


Gloria
Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:12 pm
Gloria, Downtown North
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:12 pm
4 people like this

Hello Steve, welcome to PA. This situation regarding Foothills Park has been going on for decades. I hope this time things might get changed. However, I dought that it will. I have been living in PA since 2005 and this issue has been under the radar for a long time. By the way the good staff you mentioned his name is Paolo. Very nice guy and very polite. I got to know him and he is not a ranger, he is a part-time park employee. I am so sorry for the unpleasant talk you had with the other staff. I wish you the best in California.


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:27 pm
Granny B, Midtown
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:27 pm
4 people like this

To Resident 1-Adobe Meadows ..
Who exactly is being manipulated and coerced? What were YOU doing during the Civil Rights Era of the 50's 60's? If you were not alive then, you should know that similar fear of communism was raised then too.

To Everyone: Members of the Raging Grannies were all alive then and many of us were on the streets...myself included in DC. The struggle continues. This is our new Civil Rights Era and despite our advanced ages we are committed to being a part of it.

No matter what the park history, we must open it to all. To keep it closed to outsiders is unjust. Think about whether you want to be on the right side of history, or be remembered for being like Gov. George Wallace of Alabama who fought school integration.

I'm also wondering if those commenters here who raise the preservation issue are involved in climate action with groups like Extinction Rebellion or 350.org.....Global warming is the true danger to the park.

Sure seems like many "don't open it" commenters are channeling their inner Trump ... Trump who so likes walls and borders.



Ronnie
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:21 am
Ronnie, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:21 am
6 people like this

I ride my bike up to skyline and Sundays and usually I stop at fThills Park for water restroom. But for the last month or so my stops hasn't been so welcome at the park. I had a bad conversation with an employee at the entrance gate. I admitted I forget my ID and I tried to ride in without it, but the staff was so rude and like some of you stated he sounded very angry. The staff kept saying fair is fair man, that is how it is man. We went back and forth. I got it I forget my precious PA ID, but come on KIDDO you didn't have to letture me. The staff was a white little kid, I say kid cause he acted like an angry little kid. He didn't let talk at all and I felt like I had to go before things could had gotten escalated. Bad mood, angry, wearing an uniform, type cop wanna be are a recipe for disaster.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:08 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 9:08 am
14 people like this

Posted by Granny B, a resident of Midtown

>> No matter what the park history, we must open it to all. To keep it closed to outsiders is unjust.

Why? Saying something over and over doesn't make it so.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:23 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 10:23 am
6 people like this

You can tell the people that grew up on the east coast. Relatives in Baltimore - every war that was ever fought is documented as to location. They live and breathe that period in history. I grew up in California that did not become a state until 1850. Our focus here was building a railroad and building cities overrun with gold diggers. Slavery was not an issue at that point in time in CA - except for the Irish and Chinese that were building the railroad.
CA History -
Tom Bradley was Chief of Police - then Mayor - 1973 - 1993. The LAX international terminal is named after him.

Willie Brown was mayor of SF, then Assembly and head of Assembly - he is currently a SFC contributor.

Ms. Lee of Oakland - long time Federal representative.
We do pretty good here. WE get it right then the next generation comes along to make it a political issue. Because stirring the pot happens every generation.
CA was more focused on the Beat generation as the change agent. The summer of love. I was going to college and working for a defense company that had a very diverse workforce busy building plane parts - then satellites. Best of times.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:41 am
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:41 am
5 people like this

@ Resident 1 - Adobe Meadows
Some reading this thread who are young, uninformed or who moved here in recent decades may be unaware of even more details:

that Tom Bradley was the successful African-American mayor of L.A. years ago. America’s second largest city.

Some may not know Willie Brown was the most powerful politician in Sacramento (State of CA government) for many years, and HE is African-American, too.
His early life had challenges, but our system- our current system - led to his being the most powerful politician in THIS huge state - very influential politician in San Francisco, was mayor, then State of CA as Assembly Speaker for 15 years!!
Both these people were strong leaders during their careers (Willie Brown is still alive and active in media, politically).


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:05 pm
32 people like this

@ Ronnie - I forgot my identification once. Instead of calling the librarian something quite racist and bitter such as a "white little kid," I realized that the fault was entirely my own. I maintained my dignity, thanked the librarian and returned home. The next day, I went back to my middle school library and checked the books out.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 3:21 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2020 at 3:21 pm
Like this comment

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis

>> Willie Brown was the most powerful politician in Sacramento [...] but our system- our current system - led to his being the most powerful politician in THIS huge state - very influential politician in San Francisco, was mayor, then State of CA as Assembly Speaker for 15 years!!

A biography of Brown was published in 1996, and it is now available online:

Web Link


Ronnie
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm
Ronnie, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm
6 people like this

Nayeli, I agreed with you. However, when you work for a city and wear an uniform you are representing a city. The words that comes out of your mouth makes a difference. Now, I am 55 year old man and I didn't like a city employee approaching me and using words Hey MAN, fair is Fair MAN. That was and is unprofessional. Like I said I didn't have my ID with me. Maybe the employee was having a bad day who knows. But it doesn't hurt being polite to people.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:45 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:45 pm
1 person likes this

Willie Brown has a column in the SFC and provides a political commentary of what is going right and what is going wrong. Always entertaining. He is the Boss.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm
10 people like this

Granny, et all - if we open that park it will be destroyed. We all know that. Every other park right now that is in a hills area is being destroyed. Rancho, parks in Marin County. There is no adequate parking at any of these parks. Rancho has the best parking but people are stacked up waiting for a space.

If you know you are destroying the park and area outside of it then why are you pushing for that to happen? You have fashioned this into a civil rights issue - it isn't. Only in your head. Everyone out there wants to relive their youth? You need a better civil rights function than a park. We have am election coming up which has real issues. For a park go to the local park near your home. My park on East Meadow has a lot of people hanging out. And they have parking.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 9, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 9, 2020 at 8:41 pm
16 people like this

@Ronnie

You are telling us that you rode right in, we all know we have to show ID at the gate.

Your comment sounds like it came out of a mouth of a self entitled aristocratic racist.


former employee
another community
on Jul 10, 2020 at 7:23 am
former employee, another community
on Jul 10, 2020 at 7:23 am
4 people like this

I am with Ronnie and some other folks here. I worked there and saw racism towards black and brown people. I saw white folks drive up and say "Oops I forget my DL" and the employee at the gate say NO problem bring it next time. And at the same time I saw African-American or latin-American or any Hispanic decedent without an ID to proof PA residency be denied entry or be challenged by the employee in an UNPROFESSIONAL manners and we are all human beings it doesn't hurt to be polite to each other. Now, this topic open or don't open to all I don't care I am no longer living in the area. PA is a great city to work for. However, some departments have some bad seeds working for them. Since I left the area, I got to work for another city where managers recognize when an employee needs help or training regarding ethics while at work.


John
Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 10, 2020 at 7:44 am
John, Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 10, 2020 at 7:44 am
4 people like this

I am a 3rd generation born in PA. My grandparents probably would not like the idea of open the park to non-residents. However, I think the city should. The only problem I see will be that there are not enough employee working at foothills park. I go up there once a month and I have seen the same guys running back and forth for years now. I am not a ranger or nor have ever worked at parks but I think to maintain a park takes a lot effort and staff. Now, about the unprofessional staffing, I would say most of my approach with them was ok. Yes there always will be one the two bad seeds. But most of the staff at the park are polite.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:05 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:05 am
4 people like this

I think the city should provide a finance sheet for all of the costs and income for the park - a balance sheet and profit and loss statement specific to the park. And if we have a shortage of personnel there then how much is it going to cost to bring the park up to speed. Offset that with some cost to non-residents as to how much they have to pay. Also a reservation system that takes into account the number of parking spaces.

I read Tom Stienstra's columns in the SFC which talks to all of the parks in Nor-Cal and most right now have been closed and are now opening with a reservation system. He also informs how to get to a place, and status of parking. The biggest problem across the board is parking in unauthorized places.

Running a city is a business - we hear that all of the time because they tell us that when they want more taxes - so let's up the game here and get the facts on the table exclusive of racial rants. If the park is run consistent with all of the other drive-in parks in the state then there is no legal issue.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:30 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:30 am
3 people like this

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> I think the city should provide a finance sheet for all of the costs and income for the park - a balance sheet and profit and loss statement specific to the park. And if we have a shortage of personnel there then how much is it going to cost to bring the park up to speed.

To create a "park" that is open to all comers and still -preserve- the natural value of the park will take a lot more staff than are there now. That will cost a lot more money. If gate fees have to pay for it, gate fees will have to be high. Or, tax money will have to be used. I would rather sell the park (I know, there is an indirect mechanism to do this), to make it part of MidPen.

The larger problem that I have with this is that it is another facet in the new-urbanists' plan, another wolf in sheep's clothing. They are literally -pretending- it has something to do with racism, when, in fact, they want to destroy Palo Alto as we know it, and, have said so, and Manhattanize the whole place, and claim that they are doing it for the cause of -economic justice-. Have any of them actually ever been to Manhattan?

I think MidPen is probably the best bet to actually -preserve- the land in the face of the new urbanists desire to Manhattanize the Peninsula.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:32 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2020 at 9:32 am
3 people like this

We need to know a better number of visitors than the estimates thrown about. How these numbers are reached and whether it is just from cars at the gate.

What about reservations for the picnic areas, the group area and the campsite. How and what types of groups are using the group area and the campsite?

The decisions should be made on data, not on emotions. I agree with the previous poster, if it is going to cost X + ? more to open then where will the money come from? If we don't know X then we can't have any idea how much more it is going to cost. Economics over emotions, data over estimates or anecdotes, facts over feel good virtue signaling.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 1:15 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 1:15 pm
10 people like this

Data - I am with a group that reserves the back end of the park twice a year. We provide the names to the gate. Due to the popularity of the park the reservations have to be nailed down almost a year in advance. And it is pricey. FHP is not a cheap adventure when you have a group with reservations. You have to pay up front whether the people come or not. Since I am now used to working within a reservation system which includes people who are not residents it all make sense. The back section has limited parking. And we have to clean up - there is no clean up service that will come.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 10, 2020 at 1:22 pm
16 people like this

Yes - I agree there is a faction that wants to destroy PA as we know it. I call it the Weiners since he is the water carrier for all type of legislation. There is some reason that this city's name keeps popping up in national papers - and not in a nice way - and no one is writing in about Menlo Park, Atherton, Sunnyvale, Mountain view, San Mateo. Have you seen those names in any papers? They know to keep their profiles low and not feed contentious activity.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 10, 2020 at 7:47 pm
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 10, 2020 at 7:47 pm
9 people like this

Reservation system!?

Just like the DMV?

Have you called the DMV lately?

You will get a recording like this:

" You have reached the DMV, we are only accepting customers with existing appointments, and we are not accepting new appointments."

No Thanks




Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2020 at 11:50 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2020 at 11:50 am
Like this comment

I have friends in Mill Valley at the top end where traffic goes into Muir Woods. Parking is very limited so that people drive all over the residential areas. Friends have put up a fence now to stop the interlopers. The visitors actually have ruined the fence. Friends now go to Idaho during the summer months because their cute, picturesque city is overrun and the hills above are overrun with people who do not live there. And when they leave they leave trash all over the place.
Cartoon in paper today - people are using fairy tales to sell a concept. Cartoons, fairy tales are not reality. A concept is just that - not reality.
Reality is that there is limited parking and the road to get there is very narrow, curvy, with sharp drop-offs.
As to hosting large groups reservations are required - look at the directions provided in the city booklets.


Anonymous
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm
Anonymous, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm
10 people like this

Agree with 'This is not about racism. It is about wealthy Los Altos Hills paying their fair share'

This issue is not about desegregation. Paying absolutely no attention to the issue of Foothills PRESERVE (not PARK) and making this about segregation and Black Lives Matter is just plain wrong. They say 'Charity begins at home'. Perhaps the wealthy residents of Los Altos Hills like Ms Ramakrishnan and her daughter should look into LAH history and try to get them to work with Palo Alto support a Preserve that is in their neighborhood. |
I am in favor of opening the park to non-residents, but to do so in a way that preserves this preserve and does not perpetuate inequities. My guess it it is the LAH residents that are currently most perturbed by lack of access. Instead of opening only to EPA as someone suggested, let per-day non-resident passes be handed out based on neighboring city populations. That would ensure that the bulk of the passes are not hogged up by the wealthy residents of LAH and there is equitable distribution to the 6-7 neighboring towns in the peninsula.


Motorcyclist
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2020 at 7:59 pm
Motorcyclist, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2020 at 7:59 pm
51 people like this

I was coming back from Pescadero, down Page Mill, this afternoon. I noticed that there was a large group gathered at the entrance to Foothills Park. I turned around to see what was going on. When I arrived at the entrance there was "Desegregation" painted in green on the street. I pulled in ,and parked. On the street, in front, there was a camera crew "interviewing" Anjali Ramanathan.
She is the 17 year old daughter of Vara Ramanathan of Los Altos Hills. Anajali was having trouble reciting her speech, she had to start over several times. Pretty much her whole speech was about how racist the policy was to not let other people into the Park. I was surprised how many times she used the word racist, throwing that ugly word around in almost every sentence.

Anyway, I touched the surface of the painted letters on the street, and it felt slippery to me. Kinda of like dust or dirt. So, I walked over to Vara Ramanathan. I told her,that it was not right for her and her group to change the surface of the road. I told her that I have been riding that ride for 40 Years, and by her putting down that message, she is putting motorcyclist ( and bicyclists) in danger. She got very defensive, I could see the anger in her eyes. She replied "No!! It is not slippery, No, it is chalk!!" I told her when you create inconsistent road surfaces it can be very dangerous for us folks on two wheels. I knew there was no way to reason with her. So I left for home.

On the way home I was thinking to myself, how much segregation folks like her have created, living in their multi million dollar mansions. Growing up we did not have the income inequality that is going on today.

I think it is sad that she is using the tragedy of George Floyd just so she can gain access to Foothills Park.

I feel sorry for her and her daughter.











Jon
Professorville
on Jul 11, 2020 at 10:47 pm
Jon, Professorville
on Jul 11, 2020 at 10:47 pm
11 people like this

This is in no way segregation. The communities most directly affected by this policy should be those adjacent to the park. They are LAH, LA, Southern MV, Ladera, Stanford, Woodside, West MP, Portola Valley. Ring a bell? Had this PA resident issue been a discussion about Bayland reserve near Palo Alto Airport, arguendo, then it would have been de facto segregation given the adjacent communities, but this Foothills Park is not.


Bubba
another community
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:15 am
Bubba, another community
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:15 am
1 person likes this

I don't why you all having this conversation. I am not from PA and the few times I drove up to this park I got in without any prob. Only one time an employee tried to Hussle me at the gate, however the guy asked for my ID, I asked why! He said to enter the park you need to show an ID. I asked him if I have done something wrong or was i being detained! He said no. I told him you can't ask someone for his/hers ID. He didn't know what to do. Those employees aren't cops, and most the employees who are at the gate aren't even rangers like, people already wrote in here they are just park employee with no powers to stop you or to enforce anything. So, please don't be intimidated by them. Just listen what they have to say, but they can't make you or enforce you to do anything.


Tomas
Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:30 am
Tomas, Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:30 am
Like this comment

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


common sense
Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:30 am
common sense, Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:30 am
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:29 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:29 am
4 people like this

Posted by Bubba, a resident of another community

>> I don't why you all having this conversation. I am not from PA and the few times I drove up to this park I got in without any prob. Only one time an employee tried to Hussle me at the gate, however the guy asked for my ID, I asked why!

Posted by Tomas, a resident of Menlo Park

>> I was there yesterday. There was no one in that gate asking to see an ID. I'll be there today again. Just go up there and tell those employees what is up. They aren't cops they can't force you to leave.

I'm sorry. I'm a little slow sometimes. Can you guys please spell out for me what your point is?


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:43 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:43 am
Like this comment

@Anon

"Can you guys please spell out for me what your point is?"

What's YOUR point?


Beggars Belief
Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 12:31 pm
Beggars Belief, Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 12:31 pm
15 people like this

I believe that what Bubba and Tomas are proposing is that non-residents remain in the park after having been challenged by a park ranger, because they are not police officers and therefore cannot tell people what to do.

This is an extraordinarily disrespectful sentiment to all Palo Altans, and they should both be ashamed of themselves. The residency requirement is municipal law (PAMC 22.04.150), and it is a criminal offense to remain in the park while not complying with the residency requirement. It is also an offense to disobey a park regulation by failing to provide identification on request.

You should be aware that nothing Bubba or Tomas have said about enforcement is true. PAMC 22.04.035 empowers Palo Alto Park Rangers to arrest persons in violation of Chapter 22.04, and at their discretion to issue citations in lieu of arrest. Do not confuse politeness, kindness, and de-escalation for a lack of options with respect to criminal behavior.

Entering the park is not a form of civil-rights protest--it does not make a statement except in self-service of the privileged few who want something for nothing. It is petty thievery, and shows a disgusting lack of moral fiber.


Annette
College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2020 at 3:05 pm
Annette, College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2020 at 3:05 pm
5 people like this

I could get more worked up about this if it weren't easy as pie for anyone from anywhere to walk in, bike in, hike in or ride a horse in whenever the "park" is open. And also drive in most days of the week. My husband and I went up to Foothills Park last Sunday. The entry was staffed and we had to provide proof of residency. Presumably the same was true for the other visitors there - a typical for Palo Alto mixed group of people. Also, even though we call it Foothills Park, isn't it open space with a utility easement? Main thing I thought as we left was this: whatever the outcome of this discussion, the funding and staffing of the fire station there is critical. All fires are devastating, but one there could easily get out of control if that station is not staffed. We need to be smart about whatever we do.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm
11 people like this

I visited our City Country Club today - it was hot and the air quality not good. Must be fires somewhere. The sign outside said Desegregate.

Now think about that one - Palo Alto is a suburban city, a university city, and one of the larger ones on the peninsula. If you look at all of the churches we have in the city by any one's estimate we are an inclusive city. We have all of the combinations and am sure that any one of the resident population groups would be offended if not included in the total count. Asian, white, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Indian, Black, etc. And all can go to the park if they so wish. Their choice.

So along comes a young lady from pricy Los Altos Hills, has a middle-eastern name, and is accusing our city of being segregated. Now think about that one. One could guess that based on the prices of the homes in Los Altos Hills - which has a limited population - that that city would have a segregation problem. That is just a guess.

So what is the take-away here. The young lady harassed the guards at the gate. She is 17 years old. Does her father have any thoughts about the type of publicity this causes to the family?

And no - we are not going to reduce the voting age. If nothing else this young lady is the proof that age group is impressionable and not able to get a grip on all of the facts when making accusations. She has no vantage point from Los Altos Hills.

Los Altos Hills has a park it is on their web page.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 12, 2020 at 6:04 pm
3 people like this

[Post removed.]


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:18 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:18 pm
1 person likes this

So that means that when a 17 year old votes they are voting IAW their parents say-so?
No - don't believe it - the kids are being taught marxist programs. The child has left the mom behind.


get your own house in order first
Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:28 pm
get your own house in order first, Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 7:28 pm
9 people like this

I don't understand how these residents of Los Altos Hills call Palo Alto racist. How many Black people walk the streets of Los Altos Hills? How many Hispanics? I used to live in Palo Alto and I know it is far more ethnically diverse than posh Los Altos Hills. And the girl graduated from Nueva School- any idea how posh that school is ? and how lacking in African Americans and Hispanics? How about these activists think about improving things in their own backyard? Get your own house in order first!

If these people really cared about Black Lives Matter, they would work to make their own city and schools more inclusive before centering their attention on access to a park (that is so remote for most people in the peninsula- other than those richie rich people in Los Altos Hills, of course). There are so many things people could be doing to fight for Black rights. Access to a nature preserve in a remote posh area seems like a really odd issue to pick. I don't see the issue as being one of "segregation" either. I am not white, and I for one have no desire to go to a far-to-reach park up in the hills even if it's open to all.

I am a teacher and I support Black Lives Matter and am doing many things to make things better for my students.


Anjali Ramanathan
Los Altos Hills
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:25 pm
Anjali Ramanathan, Los Altos Hills
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:25 pm
6 people like this

Re: “I was coming back from Pescadero, down Page Mill, this afternoon. I noticed that there was a large group gathered at the entrance to Foothills Park. I turned around to see what was going on. When I arrived at the entrance there was "Desegregation" painted in green on the street. I pulled in ,and parked. On the street, in front, there was a camera crew "interviewing" Anjali Ramanathan.
She is the 17 year old daughter of Vara Ramanathan of Los Altos Hills. Anajali was having trouble reciting her speech, she had to start over several times. Pretty much her whole speech was about how racist the policy was to not let other people into the Park. I was surprised how many times she used the word racist, throwing that ugly word around in almost every sentence.”

It’s Anjali, not “Anajali.” I had to restart my comments because somebody was starting and stopping their motorcycle engine every time I began speaking. I wasn’t “reciting” anything—I don’t need a prewritten speech to explain why the park policy is wrong. But go ahead, slander a seventeen year old on the internet! I’m not bothered. :)


Anjali Ramanathan
Los Altos Hills
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:31 pm
Anjali Ramanathan, Los Altos Hills
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:31 pm
4 people like this

Re: get your own house in order first

You’re right! I should use the platform my school gives me to advocate for issues that matter to me.

Web Link

Until I have unilateral control over my school’s admissions policies, though, I’m going to keep fighting for this issue, which is not the same one I spoke about at graduation. (Believe it or not, police brutality ISN’T the only way that systemic racism manifests in the US!)

Telling people they shouldn’t stand up for their beliefs until they have the perfect moral high ground is an excellent way to make sure nobody ever advocates for change. Maybe that’s your intention?


Kenny
University South
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:33 pm
Kenny, University South
on Jul 12, 2020 at 8:33 pm
Like this comment

The protesters are essentially advocating for rich white Los Altos Hills residents at the expense of diverse Palo Alto residents."

Diverse Palo Alto residents? Yeah, right. Unless you count white people of 50 different ethnicities as diverse.

Palo Alto is a diverse city with all income levels and residents.

Yeah, we have 50 different kinds of white people. We might have all income levels, but how much is that skewed towards the higher end? Look at San Jose or Fremont if you want to see diversity. Palo Alto is anything but diverse.

"Los Altos Hills residents should NOT be admitted to the park without being escorted by a Palo Alto resident because Los Altos Hills refused to participate in the purchase many years ago."

Then offer Los Altos the chance to purchase a share of the park ownership. The same for any other communities adjacent to the park. If any of their residents complain about not being entitled, then they can go pester their City Council to buy in.


Diversity
Triple El
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:08 pm
Diversity, Triple El
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:08 pm
9 people like this

Someone is essentially claiming that Indians, Chinese, Iranians, Pakistanis, Japanese, and Koreans are white. I doubt they’ve ever visited Palo Alto.


Beggars Belief
Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:44 pm
Beggars Belief, Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 9:44 pm
3 people like this

Since I see Ms. Ramanathan has joined us, I'd like to speak directly for a moment.

While clearly we vehemently disagree on this issue's connection to social justice, you've got game; there aren't a lot of people who can so quickly mobilize when it comes to the park, and many have tried. The diversity of the coalition you have assembled speaks to a young person at the helm--brava.

When I was younger, I was also accused of being a political pawn as I spoke out on issues I cared about. It wasn't right then, and it isn't right now. Keep fighting the good fight--it keeps things interesting, and the conversation is half the battle anyhow.

Be safe, make sure others are safe, and as far as I am concerned you can write what you will on the road.


Now let's return to regularly scheduled opposition. What kind of message does opening the park send to Los Altos Hills, and other neighbor cities? If they can reap the benefits of large-scale open space projects without financing them, how can we rely on their support?


Me 2
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:14 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:14 pm
13 people like this

Anjali - feel free to advocate for your beliefs, but I would ask you to do more research and become more informed about the history of Foothills Park before throwing around the r-word so freely. And I'm saying this as a fellow person of color who happens to live in Palo Alto and completely disagrees with you.

Hate to say this again, but this feels like another attempt (pushed by tiger parents) to bolster a college application essay about how you changed some local law based on your advocacy. After the middle school name change fiasco, we in Palo Alto are tired of it.

Frankly, if there's anything systematic about this whole thing, it's the systematic self-loathing that seems to come from upper-middle class youth going to privileged schools. There are more worthy causes than opening up a park to wealthy neighbors who live in cities that were unwilling to contribute to its upkeep.

The use of the r-word just cheapens your argument..


Motorcyclist
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:43 pm
Motorcyclist, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:43 pm
37 people like this

@ Vara Ramakrishnan

"had to restart my comments because somebody was starting and stopping their motorcycle engine every time I began speaking. "

You know as well as I do that I pulled inside the gate, and parked next to the booth, and shut the bike off. Your film crew was filming the whole time.
The story of me starting and stopping, did not happen. to imply that I was trying to disrupt your daughters speech is a fabrication.







Alex
Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:52 pm
Alex, Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2020 at 10:52 pm
2 people like this

Love me some NIMBY Palo Altan racist nonsense! 99% of y’all don’t even use the park, you just don’t want “the wrong kind of folk” using it. And we ALL know what that means...


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:20 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 12, 2020 at 11:20 pm
39 people like this

@ Anjali Ramanathan - I applaud you for feeling a need to be a fellow "owner" of our nation. We should all feel a sense of ownership when it comes to this country of ours. After all, we are citizens -- an individual part of the collective "we the people of the United States of America."

Still, at the same time, we sometimes forget that there are more than 300 Million other fellow citizens of this nation. Even when we disagree with them, they have just as much of a right to an opinion as we have. I have always felt that it is unhelpful to try and publicly shame people (or a collective ideal) for what is effectively little more than a disagreement.

Many of us understand what bigotry is. This is something that is difficult for some people who were raised in this enormously wealthy and highly educated city to truly understand.

I am an immigrant from Mexico. I spent much of my childhood as a migrant farm worker -- traveling from farm to farm and state to state picking fields. When we moved to this country, my father still demanded excellence in school. After all, we came to the United States because, well, we believed in this nation and the equality of opportunity that exists (even if my economic and linguistic starting point was far lower than someone in Palo Alto).

In fact, many of us -- including many people who live in Palo Alto -- started much further down that "ladder of success." Others might start fairly high up that ladder thanks to the sacrifices of their parents. My beginning was near the bottom rung.

Growing up, I didn't speak English. It took me years before I was fluent. It was challenging but necessary. Moreover, we were poor. When I say "poor," I am not talking about Palo Alto "affordable housing" poor. I mean that we were struggling.

We lived off of rice and beans. Have you ever known anyone who was so poor that their family had no money for shampoo, soap, deodorant, etc.? Did you know people who struggled to pay the electric and water bill? Did you ever know a family that struggled to come up with money to put gas in a car? That was my family.

Our entire family worked fields from May through late August (or even early September). We would sometimes miss the very end of school and the beginning of the next school year. At the end of those long summers (where we ALL worked from before the sun rose until long after it set everyday), my dad would give us some money. This was meant to buy the things that most parents purchased for their children. I was so proud of Suave shampoo -- because it was better than nothing.

Of course, during our migrant trips, we encountered all types of people -- including people who were not nice and those who used to racial stereotypes. As ugly as those instances were, it would make me angry when I saw people of my own racial-ethnic background who absolutely lived up to those stereotypes.

So, I am not blind to how disproportionate examples of bad behavior reflect on the rest of us. Sadly, I believe that many stereotypes and generalizations are born out of the bad behavior of some of the very people who cry out about "racism."

My childhood experiences didn't make me a victim. In fact, we never really thought of ourselves as "poor" -- even though others around us seemed to have it so much better. Rather, our experiences served as motivation to improve. We knew that we were a smart, hard-working family. We believed in the "American Dream" and the opportunity that is accessible to anyone and quite unique in this country.

Consequently, we did what we could with what we had. We worked hard in the summers. We worked hard during the school year. Once each of my nine siblings and I graduated, we went on to college. We were accepted into some great schools. Most of us earned post-graduate degrees.

I have no doubt that racism and bigotry exists. It has been a sad part of human existence for as long as those differences have existed. It still exists in every country on every continent. In fact, I think that America is a shining example of how people from many different backgrounds can live together rather peacefully -- despite the perpetual sense of racial angst or sociopolitical caricatures that the media narrates.

However, I do not believe that the debate over Foothills Park is about racism. In fact, I would argue that it has NOTHING to do with race anymore than the opportunity to attend a Palo Alto high school has anything to do with race. It is simply about restricting access to residency. If anything, it is closer to issues of "nationality" and "citizenship." I can never run for the office of President of the United States. After all, I am not a natural born citizen. Yet, I'd never complain that this is due to "racism" (and it would be silly of me anyway).

Unfortunately, there are people who use the "R" word when it isn't the case. This is especially true during times of social angst. In our hearts, we want to make a difference in this world. However, we need to be careful about assigning such a terrible thing where it isn't earned. We will be like the "boy who cried wolf." When real examples of racism occur, people might not take us seriously anymore.

I wish you the best. Stay passionate. Stay curious. However, question the logic behind each and every narrative. Sometimes, a residency restriction is just that -- a residency restriction.


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:54 am
Granny B , Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:54 am
4 people like this

Y’all know nothing about Anjali and make a whole lot of assumptions and can’t get her name right much of the time. She’s doing it for her College application essay? Nope she’s done with that and been accepted into college. Los Altos hills resident who clamors to get into the park? Wrong again. I stand with retired Judge LaDoris Cordell who calls it like it is... a long history of exclusion -and yes, racism. Once again I remind you... the petition to open the park has been signed by Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier, Marc Berman, and many religious and community leaders. Why don’t you ask THEM why we should open it? Y’all can cry a river... it will be done.


Nos
Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 9:33 am
Nos, Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 9:33 am
Like this comment

This is ain't gonna go nowhere. It happened before, city mayor, city council, city manager, parks and Rec talked, talked, talked and got changed. In the end of the day the city as a whole don't wanna make any changes. If the city officials really wanna put a stop on this racism, discrimination whatever you wanna call they could. Some people say it takes a long time to make changes but it has what 50-60 years of this.


Anonymous
Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:17 am
Anonymous, Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:17 am
12 people like this

@Nayeli —Agree


Robby M
Los Altos Hills
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:47 am
Robby M, Los Altos Hills
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:47 am
2 people like this

Foothills Park is a beautiful open space with one of the more accessible and fantastic vista points on the peninsula.

It's also on the far outskirts of Palo Alto...

Most of the park's residential neighbors are LAH and PV addresses. For decades now, Palo Alto has refused to allow the surrounding communities access to this land that is walkable and bikeable from their homes. Very unneighborly!

Luckily for me growing up, I looked the part so I could sneak into Foothills Park without being questioned. Most Los Altos Hills and PV residents can and do sneak into the park without drawing attention or fearing a criminal citation.

The discrimination, elitism, and racism show their teeth in the way this law is selectively enforced.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2020 at 11:19 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2020 at 11:19 am
2 people like this

Posted by Anjali Ramanathan, a resident of Los Altos Hills

>> Telling people they shouldn’t stand up for their beliefs until they have the perfect moral high ground is an excellent way to make sure nobody ever advocates for change.

Ms Ramanathan, welcome to the discussion. I have posted a number of links in different threads regarding the history of discrimination in the area, the history of Foothills Park, and so. I'm a senior and I've lived through over 40 years of that Palo Alto history myself.

So, the point I want to make is this. Yes, you are entitled to your "beliefs", as we all are (for now) through our Constitutional rights. But:

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan

About those facts. I've seen a lot of misinformation posted and re-posted regarding the history of all this. You owe it to your audience, and yourself, to research the facts, including census data, who did what to whom in the 1920's, 30's, 40's, and, in this case, in the 50's and 60's. Involving well-known people, such as author Wallace Stegner (who lived in LAH for a while), Joseph Eichler, Floyd Lowe, and others.

Just as one tiny example, one editorial quoted a source regarding the history of what is now Ladera. The facts as stated in that *source* match other sources at the same time. And, that history gives a local example of a known racist practice that the FHA, the Federal Housing Administration, at that time would not grant federally-guaranteed loan status to mortgages in integrated neighborhoods. They were, at the time, creating formal segregation where it did not yet exist. And, in the instance of what became Ladera, the FHA succeeded. The problem with the editorial is that it claimed that the city of Palo Alto obstructed that development. There was no evidence presented for that. That development, now named Ladera, was, and is, in San Mateo County. The city certainly did not obstruct all the people from Palo Alto, including Stanford, and the Palo Alto Co-op, who were pushing that project initially.

A few years later, a couple of well-known people from Palo Alto were on opposite sides of the same debate. The well-known suburban housing developer Joseph Eichler refused to discriminate wrt race or religion. At the same time, local Floyd Lowe, President of the California Real Estate Association, was pushing and manipulating hard to turn East Palo Alto into a ghetto for African Americans.

Was the City of Palo Alto complicit in how that played out? Perhaps. Perhaps indirectly, anyway, since the City got San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, and, the State, to allow redefining the boundary between the counties so that the airport could become part of Palo Alto. But, not the adjacent East Palo Alto-- why not? Some bits of history are difficult to uncover. As it happened, Palo Alto had the second-largest number of African Americans in the area, many living in the Ventura neighborhood. Many still do.

The bottom line, though, is this: history is complicated. Lately, people have claimed that the FHP policy is "racist" with no basis in *facts*. Saying that something "must" be so isn't good enough for me. I want facts.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."


Anonymous
Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:51 pm
Anonymous, Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:51 pm
15 people like this

@Nayeli —Agree 100%! Spot on!
you have said it well, much better than I could’ve.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm
9 people like this

So much ado about nothing. I went up there this weekend and it was very dry and somewhat unappealing. The "view" can be had anywhere on Skyline Blvd viewpoints. The lake - looks good in the pictures but looked unattended as did the whole park. The grass in the back was turning yellow. As we go into high temperatures and drought that is an area that may have to be closed off due to fire danger. The only green I saw was the edges of the private golf course below which was getting good attention.

So look at all of the opportunities around us. Shoreline Park - classes for kids for sailing and other water sport activity. Redwood City Harbor - next door to the EPA kids - rental of small craft - all types, and places where you can put in your own kayak. I even found the SU Rowing Team building - very fashionable.
Bottom line - if it is a water adventure that you want it is right in front of you. And it is very accessible by car or bike.

Hiking in the hills - the Arastradero Preserve is there with good access to cars and parking. And it has a lake within the park borders you can hike to.

A park to just sit - the one on East Meadow is always busy and people bring their dogs. Mitchell Park has all types of equipment and game areas. These are excellent areas to spend some quality time.

Our media would do good by doing a story on all of the bay area points that people can explore during the summer. Isn't that the point here - including all people in the best areas for any type of pursuit.

Another type of pursuit would be civics classes in our school system that teach the children how to make change in the best possible way. And maybe some parents could also use some civics classes. I think that any one would agree that the east coast approach is not working for anyone and we can do better. As to our legislative titled people - they are in the short hairs right now and vulnerable. Elections coming up. Everyone is in the spotlight and not always thinking clearly when their own life is on the line.


Anjali Ramanathan
Los Altos Hills
on Jul 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm
Anjali Ramanathan, Los Altos Hills
on Jul 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm
5 people like this

Re: Me 2

"Anjali - feel free to advocate for your beliefs, but I would ask you to do more research and become more informed about the history of Foothills Park before throwing around the r-word so freely. And I'm saying this as a fellow person of color who happens to live in Palo Alto and completely disagrees with you.

Hate to say this again, but this feels like another attempt (pushed by tiger parents) to bolster a college application essay about how you changed some local law based on your advocacy. After the middle school name change fiasco, we in Palo Alto are tired of it.

Frankly, if there's anything systematic about this whole thing, it's the systematic self-loathing that seems to come from upper-middle class youth going to privileged schools. There are more worthy causes than opening up a park to wealthy neighbors who live in cities that were unwilling to contribute to its upkeep.

The use of the r-word just cheapens your argument.."

>> Thank you, but I'm not advocating for my "beliefs." I'm asking that the City of Palo Alto abide by the precedent set by the Connecticut Supreme Court in 2001 before they have to be compelled to do so by a lawsuit. You don't have to agree with me about the racist implications of the park policy, but the constitution is pretty clear on the issue of residents-only ordinances.

I'm done with the college application process and will be attending Oxford this fall. They don't evaluate extracurriculars, by the way. I'm doing this because the park policy is wrong.

As for my "systematic self-loathing," I find it disheartening that you're essentially arguing that teenagers with privilege should never engage in advocacy. And yes, there are plenty of worthy causes out there. Here's my graduation speech, at the end of which I spoke about a different issue:

Web Link

I'm advocating for this cause because the Foothills Park policy is an everyday affirmation of Palo Alto's history of racist housing policies.

I have come to recognize that the folks telling me to "focus on something more important" do not actually care about those bigger issues, but would simply rather see me fighting a battle I cannot win.

And finally, the very fact that you're referring to the word "racism" as though it's an expletive indicates your level of discomfort with the status quo being challenged.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:42 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:42 pm
15 people like this

WOW -the young lady lives in Los Altos Hills and has no authority from which to address the City of Palo Alto. I took the time to drive around LAH today what I discovered is that there is no town there - only a city facility, some city buildings, and a school. I can see that the young lady may be bored and wants to interact with an actual city that has stores with people walking around. However interacting in the form of protests will not produce any results. Hopefully she will go away to college and have a broader scope of activity.

But the problem is that someone is feeding her these ideas about the city which from where I am sitting have no validity. So who is feeding her the thoughts - her school? Some mentor from the city who is in a do-good mode? We have one go-gooder who comes to mind.
In any case she is off to Oxford where she can find a new cause to champion. It will probably be the same cause with a different cast of characters.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 7:56 pm
13 people like this

[Post removed.]





Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm
Granny B, Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm
Like this comment

Why do people so intent on attacking Anjali feel the Need to act like “advisors” and bullies? The new civil rights era needs people from every walk of life, every income, and every ethnic background to join the cause! In fact those of us with privilege need to USE that privilege To speak truth to power . We have been called upon by our brothers and sisters of lesser means to join the struggle. Many of us feel a moral duty to do so. Those of you who would denigrate that commitment need to stop the bullying and really think about your priorities in life. If you feel u cannot work for racial justice or are convinced the park is not a racial justice issue please at least join an environmental action group like 350.org or Sierra Club to save the park from global warming! Check your associations, and join us in solidarity !


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 9:38 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jul 13, 2020 at 9:38 pm
26 people like this

@ Anjali Ramanathan - You might want to reread the 2001 case that went before the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Despite the fact that Connecticut law differs from California law (which immediately makes the state's "compatibility test" moot, the First Amendment question in that case was very different. The issues in that case are entirely different from the claims that you have made.

Web Link

The "First Amendment" issue in that case involved whether or not the park in question was a "traditional public forum" -- whereas equal access would be required. Foothills Park isn't a designated public forum (or even a designated limited public forum). It's simply a park. So, a lawsuit on those grounds (which had NOTHING to do with race) wouldn't stand.

More importantly, the issue that protesters are raising is about RACE. There is absolutely no evidence of racism in this. Which racial groups are targeted? I'm Hispanic and I have no problem accessing the park. I've spoken with African Americans from Palo Alto who have accessed the park.

The city has no say over who can live here. There is no "Affirmative Action" type of policy for living in a city either (nor should there be). So, if a person of ANY race moves into Palo Alto (or simply works in Palo Alto), they are able to access the park.

If you really want to tackle racism, I think that there are more apposite examples of it in this state. If anything, Foothills Park does NOT discriminate on the basis of race. Any person of any race who lives or works in Palo Alto is able to access the park.

Again, I applaud passion that drives us to try and make a difference and change things. Unfortunately, due to recent issues, angst and even "popular hysteria" turn certain areas into "monster hunts" where we search for sociopolitical beasts that haunt us on TV and movies. Some people search high and low for examples of "racism" that we are sure are out there.

In the extremely progressive Bay Area, public protests turn into echo chambers. Whereas men like Martin Luther King Jr. marched in the heart of segregated Alabama, many people my age and younger are effectively "preaching to the choir."

If Foothills Park truly restricted access to keep out non-white people, then I would join your protest. However, that is not what the city is doing. Personally, I take issue with this ruse. The "R" word is a slur and it is too often and loosely misapplied (especially over the last month or two).

I heard an elderly African American man say recently that if you've got to search with a fine-toothed comb for racism, then it probably isn't racism. This was in response to someone who alleged that a Starbucks near the bay in San Francisco was "racist" because it costs so much to live or even park in the City (which they alleged was a form of racial discrimination).

If you'd like to see some truly glaring examples of legislative racism, we could always visit a few places that I know of. Unfortunately, those places aren't even in this country.


Me 2
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:04 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2020 at 10:04 pm
13 people like this

"Thank you, but I'm not advocating for my "beliefs." I'm asking that the City of Palo Alto abide by the precedent set by the Connecticut Supreme Court in 2001 before they have to be compelled to do so by a lawsuit. "

Connecticut Supreme Court? Um, last time I checked, this was *California*. Yes, we do happen to start with the letter "C," but we are not subject to decisions by other states' Supreme Courts.

"As for my "systematic self-loathing," I find it disheartening that you're essentially arguing that teenagers with privilege should never engage in advocacy."

Feel free to advocate, but call me cynical when I spent a lot of time in SF among the progressive lefties with posh backgrounds and pretty diplomas on their wall. Oxford should be a welcoming environment for the self-righteous social justice warriors.

"I'm advocating for this cause because the Foothills Park policy is an everyday affirmation of Palo Alto's history of racist housing policies. "

That's your *opinion* What is unreasonable is to associate a long dead housing policy (which many of us in Palo Alto had nothing to do with) with us today. Sins of the father, indeed. If you want to take that approach, should we start blaming you for the oppression of the Ohlone while we're at it? Even though you had nothing to do with it, you are living on what was their land.

Or maybe the oppression of Latinos since California used to be part of Mexico.

We can play this parlor game all night.

And by the way, your town had the opportunity to contribute to its upkeep.

If you want to play the association game, perhaps Foothills Park is also an everyday affirmation of Los Altos Hill's racist policies as well?

[Portion removed.]


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:08 am
Granny B, Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:08 am
Like this comment

See the arguments made by former Palo Alto mayor and retired judge LaDoris Cordell if you wish to argue Law. She wrote an opinion piece on this topic on this very website ... it will enlighten you as to why keeping the park residents-only is de facto racism [portion removed.]


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2020 at 7:59 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2020 at 7:59 am
15 people like this

To Anjali.

Thank you for being brave enough to enter this discussion and standing by your opinion. I applaud your willingness to state your opinion. Free speech is important to us all and learning to do that at your young age should be something every one of us should be impressed about.

You live in Los Altos Hills. Do you consider that to be a racist community? Are there many people of different races living in your home town? You went to a private school. Are there people of many different races in this school? You may say that yes there are people who are of Asian and Indian descent, but are there equal numbers of people from hispanic or African American descent? If you answer no to the last question and these people appear to be under represented in your home town or your private school is that due to racism? You may make various excuses as to why there are less numbers of these races in your hometown and your school, you may even say it is due to policies from many years ago. But I feel sure that you wouldn't call it is due for racial policies in 2020.

Obviously the same arguments can be made for living in Palo Alto. Of course anyone can live in Palo Alto, race isn't an issue in 2020 and I know people of all races who live near me. Of course all residents of Palo Alto can enter Foothills Park. It is a residency requirement just like our schools have residency requirements.

You could argue that PAUSD should allow people into Gunn and Paly from neighboring cities because it is racist to disallow them in. It sounds a little ridiculous to say that, but in actual fact the same arguments you present for allowing everyone into Foothills Park could be made for allowing them into PAUSD.

Racism is a tricky thing. It carries a lot of weight. I have suffered a lot of prejudice in my life, not because of race but because of other things. There is prejudice against many groups in the world and not all of them have to do with race.

The world has moved on a long way in the last 100 years. It is good that you are thinking about issues of prejudice (as opposed to racism). If you go to Oxford you will see another culture. You will understand that you may be treated as an outsider. You may feel that as an American going to England you won't suffer any prejudice. Hopefully that will be the case, but it will be interesting to see how you may feel you fit into a foreign culture, how you will have to live within different rules from which you don't experience here. You may even experience some dislike of Americans.

Free speech and tolerance are important issues. The important thing to learn about them is it works both ways. You want to be heard and that is good. But people who disagree with you have a right to do so and to say so. Tolerance sometimes means that you have to tolerate the views of others as well as they have to tolerate the views you hold. To be truly tolerant you must learn these things and as and when you do so, you will be a wiser person for doing so.

Stand by your views. But be very careful when you prevent others from standing by their views. Be very careful about calling people something they are not. Be very careful about pointing any fingers at others when you are on shaky ground.


Me 2
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2020 at 9:04 am
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 14, 2020 at 9:04 am
10 people like this

[Portion removed.]

I'm responding to her the same way I respond to everyone on this board (check out my other posts). I'm speaking to her like an adult on the Internet. I assume she wants to be treated that way, and not a child with kid gloves.

She put herself out there, which is admirable. But she also has to understand the push back from making bold (and under-informed, in my opinion) claims with which people disagree. People are not just going to accept her point of view because she said it loudly. Especially when she uses a dog-whistle word in these times.

[Portion removed.]


resqpro911
Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 9:12 am
resqpro911, Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 9:12 am
10 people like this

Wow!! This is the most amazing comment on this subject. Thank you " a resident of another Palo Alto neighborhood".
This is so important to post, communicate to all in the world today. I applaud you for taking the time to share this perspective. It is amazing and right to the point.While we all have our opinions, and have the right to be heard, it should not be said that it is wrong to have our own opinion. It is the individual with the opinion that has a right to share their views. I feel that is absolutely OK to share these viewpoints. It's when it becomes accusatory and filled with negativity, and claims of racism that our opinions get filtered into some other topic.
I regard your comment as insightful and awesome.
Thank you,


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 9:49 am
Granny B , Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 9:49 am
2 people like this

Would you address Former mayor of Palo Alto and retired judge LaDoris Cordell this way? I think not. Y’all are in a different world than social justice activists ... just can’t deal with the “r” word, whereas we acknowledge our own racism as well as call it where we see it. Have you read the retired judge’s op ed piece? Do you belong to any organizations to preserve the park? Care about global warming effect on all of nature?



Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2020 at 10:40 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2020 at 10:40 am
3 people like this

Posted by Granny B, a resident of Midtown

>> Would you address Former mayor of Palo Alto and retired judge LaDoris Cordell this way? I think not. Y’all are in a different world than social justice activists ... just can’t deal with the “r” word,

Racism is all around us. But, the arguments that tie the FHP policy to racism simply don't add up. The facts, and logic, don't lead to the conclusion. For that reason, I was surprised and disappointed that Judge Cordell (who has a great judicial legacy) would sign on. I'll just have to give her a pass on that one-- we all make mistakes and have blind spots.

When I see the combination of illogical arguments and obfuscation that have been directed at the FHP issue, I begin to suspect a hidden agenda. And, I can't help that -some- of the people who keep bringing this issue up over and over do have a non-hidden agenda to make Palo Alto into an ultra-urbanized great city filled with high-rises.

Personally, I reject that agenda. But, beyond that, the "moral" arguments, including the environmental arguments, are, to put it nicely, phony. BTW-- I'm a lifelong environmentalist and I'm very aware of global warming. We can discuss all that in a different thread.


Anonymous
Ventura
on Jul 14, 2020 at 10:48 am
Anonymous, Ventura
on Jul 14, 2020 at 10:48 am
8 people like this

Grammy B-- I am not afraid of words like racism, racist, and I fight for social justice in my own right. I am Black and may be less wealthy than most people here. But I do not believe that this is about BLM or racism. That is my opinion. Just as retired judge Cordell's is. An opinion.

The city of Palo Alto maintains the park. I suppose that does mean that every Palo Alto resident is paying to preserve the park. (What is the point of asking if we are part of "an organization to preserve the park"??)

I will just say this: I have read this thread, and I notice that most here are not arguing against opening the park. People are taking issue with the cavalier use of BLM and racism to make your point.

This city has many advocates for opening up the park with passes for non-residents, as am I. I for one believe that opening the park - in a way that maintains the preserve - is imminent based on discussions in recent months at the City Council. (Yes there have been Covid-19 related delays. Perhaps you want to next argue on behalf of the residents of Palo Alto that access to a park is an equally or more important issue than the pandemic that is currently destroying people's lives and livelihoods).


Beggars Belief
Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2020 at 11:03 am
Beggars Belief, Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2020 at 11:03 am
7 people like this

[Portion removed.] I'm sure we're all familiar with Ms. Cordell's opinion of the Foothills Park access policy. She has been making the same arguments for years, and I didn't see any new reasoning this time around. I certainly acknowledge my own racism, and call it when I see it. What that has to do with organizations to preserve the park, or with concern for global warming, is beyond me. We both live in a world where good, well-meaning people are being exhorted to waste precious resources advocating against a policy that is meaningless to the cause of social justice. If I were more cynical, I would wonder if it was the intent of the organizers to divert resources from impactful work elsewhere.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2020 at 11:33 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2020 at 11:33 am
6 people like this

I should not be laughing here. Someone is very busy trying to destroy the historic status of the State of California. During WW2 it was the base of the Pacific Theatre. There were military bases from end-to-end building planes, ships, armaments, etc. The Black population reached middle class working in this extensive array of activity, including military experience. Our local contribution was Lockheed Martin - the biggest employer in the area. Add Ford Aerospace & Communications Corporation which is where the current Oshman Center is going all the way to the end to what is now Maxor, and other facilities in the area. And Moffat Field, Travis AFB, etc.

The ports of San Francisco and Oakland were busy with crops coming in, munitions going out, etc. The SF Port is no longer involved in any manufacturing status and no commercial ships are coming in to that port. If you read the Shipping news that is in the paper the ships are going to Oakland. And what is Oakland trying to do now? Build a ball park in the harbor area. The State is actively trying to eliminate any commercial activity that would draw multiple racial mix.

The problem with talking race is that it is generational and tied to history. That is true for all of our population which ties it's linkage to it's parents and grandparent's heritage countries. And that is Black, Asian, Indian, etc. Multiple category of white - many from the Ottoman empire area (Armenia) - former Soviet Russian countries, former Nazi Germany countries. That specifically addresses our local legislative reps - Eshoo and Speier who are only one or two generation American. That is in their Wikipedia histories.

La Doris Cordell is aware of all this. I worked with senior managers with no problem - and now they are retired, have great pensions, and joined groups to be "Activist". Type A personalities have found a new venture in activism - it is called "staying alive".
Granny b - what were you doing back then besides protesting - building plane parts?


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Granny B, Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2020 at 12:32 pm
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2020 at 12:32 pm
16 people like this

@Anjali
As a biracial person who grew up without your privilege and has experienced my share of actual racism in my life, I would really implore you not to cheapen or sully an important social justice movement like this. As a local parent who has had difficulty using the park because of overuse, your efforts may be well-intentioned but that’s where the saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” comes from.

If FHP were officially opened to everyone, it would quickly be overrun by rich white people from the surrounding areas, making it far LESS welcoming of people of color, and there would be significant costs. My suggestion to you is to propose a solution that would actually result in what you claim to want and then do the really hard work to achieve it. You might learn something about creating the change you claim to want.

Get your own seriously non-diverse, richer town to pay for Palo Alto adding East Palo Alto residents to access for the park. So long as LAH takes liability and financial responsibility for protecting the open space from overuse, making an equitable reservation system that includes residents of both towns equally, you will have solved the problem for everyone, including avoiding using race to further the interests of rich mostly white people from your town which is already pushing people of color out of SV through redevelopment, speciously using social justice arguments to do it.

I think the majority of Palo Altans would go for adding EPA if LAH pays for the costs, including half the purchase price adjusted for inflation. Then PA could probably reopen the fire station up there, too. Rather than bullying Palo Altans to pay for rich white Los Altans to use the park, you would be doing something actually anti-racist.

After Los Altos passed the library bond, I had to pay for using the Los Altos library even though it is a county library and thus has far more items to circulate. I did not see any young people protesting that outsiders shouldn’t have to pay $80 to use the public library, especially since it benefits from being in the county system. Someone gave a huge donation to the library so they ended that policy. Just as with the library, you can solve what you are claiming is about racism by getting your rich neighbors to be a little less stingy. Good luck with that.

That said, it hurts my heart that we have such serious problems in this country and world and you are using your energy like that. In a normal year, it’s challenging enough for college students to vote because the election happens during school, it can be difficult to determine residency for purposes of voting, and people who don’t want young people to vote make having polling places on campuses deliberately harder. Additionally, young people are perennially susceptible to anti-vote manipulations by people who encourage them not to vote if every one of them doesn’t get their own personal best customized candidate, they don’t understand about vote splitting in a winner-take-all system, and they usually don’t understand the importance of voting in other races for balance of power in Congress. With all the disruptions because of the pandemic, voting could be that much more difficult for them. Why aren’t you out agitating to make colleges help young people overcome the serious logistical hurdles to be able to vote this year (and beyond)?

Are you cognizant of our having a right wing dominated Supreme Court for the last fifty years despite changes in administrations, that routinely sides with the richest against the poor? That routinely sides against the environment? That would have changed during Obama’s term except that he couldn’t even bring his nominee for confirmation hearings, the right wing-dominated Congress prevented it. That’s not Obama’s fault, it’s the fault of voters on the left who are perennially more flaky than voters in the right who are mobilizing now.

If you care about systemic racism (and the disproportionately negative effect on communities of color of our being the only developed nation without universal low-cost healthcare while we pay far more per capita, or of unaddressed climate change, or lack of easily enforceable consumer laws for ordinary people) and want a system less stacked against the poor and oppressed, why aren’t you working with your peers to get out the youth vote in the next election and all elections after, including to help them understand how power works? There is only one side that will leave the door open to democracy and fairness, but it requires work to open it, keep it open, and the work in a democracy is not done once it is, it just begins.

I’m not even telling you which side of the aisle you should be on, but if you care about anti-racism, you could be trying to reform the party of angry white men bullies who only know how to lie and blame every last thing on everyone else but them, so that politics could become about competing goods again instead of a party trying to destroy our democratic government of the people from the inside.

A saying about deck chairs on the Titanic comes to mind.


Robby M
Los Altos Hills
on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:23 pm
Robby M, Los Altos Hills
on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:23 pm
2 people like this

"If FHP were officially opened to everyone, it would quickly be overrun by rich white people from the surrounding areas, making it far LESS welcoming of people of color, and there would be significant costs."

So criminalizing access to an open space preserve makes it more welcoming for people of color? I am not sure I see that logic.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 4:14 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 4:14 pm
19 people like this

"If I were more cynical, I would wonder if it was the intent of the organizers to divert resources from impactful work elsewhere.'

This morning there were two community police officers near the front gate.

Also there was a green streak on the right hand side of the road. This was from yesterday, after the rangers power washed away the political message. I know chalk can be harmful to our fragile eco system. We have taken many steps to restore our endangered Steelhead habitat.

Environmentalist need to look into this potential hazardous waste clean up.


Anon
Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2020 at 5:04 pm
Anon, Barron Park
on Jul 14, 2020 at 5:04 pm
15 people like this

Indeed, outdoor chalk can potentially be harmful to the ecosystem in the vicinity if large amounts are used. Large amounts of chalk can even clog up drains and adversely impact streams. If these activists have a social conscience that also extends to the environment, then they should inform the park supervisor what chalk they used and how much. And the city should look into regulating such activity if it is deemed unsafe for the fragile ecosystem around the preserve.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2020 at 5:45 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 14, 2020 at 5:45 pm
1 person likes this

So a lot of people have gone up there - how did it look to you? If you go to the scenic view you are looking at brown ground, brown hills. The grass in back is spotty and getting yellow. Contrast that with the parks that are in your neighborhood - they are green, have sitting areas, are inviting, and good grass and trees. And you can park and have your dogs with you. Some people keep romanticizing FHP like it is Yosemite. It should probably be closed in a month for fire danger. There are people's homes there.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 6:25 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 14, 2020 at 6:25 pm
23 people like this

"In California, it's against the law to allow wastewater from power washing to flow into storm drains and natural bodies of water. Doing so is not only a violation of state laws, but also federal and municipal regulations and could possibly result in fines. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces the Clean Water Act of 1972, fines violators several thousand dollars a day for offenses."


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 2:20 am
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 2:20 am
6 people like this

@Robby
“ So criminalizing access to an open space preserve makes it more welcoming for people of color? I am not sure I see that logic.”

I’m Robby, figuring things out works a lot better if you listen to other people before getting all in a bunch. My suggestion was that Palo Alto open FHP to East Palo Alto and LAH pay for it. Win win. Stop pretending that opening it to everyone wouldn’t just be mostly rich people from LAH and PV, which are much more monochrome. It’s not a place that can sustain regional access but if the goal here is equity, PA could welcome EPA, and we know from the OP here that LAH residents want to do something to help - paying the increased costs should be little skin of their noses.


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 2:22 am
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 2:22 am
Like this comment

Sort, spell check is getting more aggressive. I meant Umm Robbie...


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 8:31 am
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 8:31 am
9 people like this

I can’t wade through the comments again, but some of the people above who claim racism isn’t a problem anymore seem unaware that their statements evidence otherwise, and it undermines their otherwise valid points about FHP.

It’s really interesting how the right have cooped social justice language to a point of comical caricature—claiming they are afraid to speak when they are the petulant bullies (and virtually all political violence in this country is perpetrated from the right) who point fingers at the bullied and scream “they won’t let me speak!, usually because someone has given them a fact that can’t be disputed that blows their whole bubble of false framing to bits. And yet, when we have an administration in DC that’s back to hiring almost only white men and a potus who talks about My African American there, or when asked about disproportionate deaths among people of color gets apoplectic practically screaming about white people dying, too (not the question asked), and the constant attempts to destroy the reputation of the only African American president (in the wake of right wing organizations whose only goal is to canonize Reagan to legitimize racist/plutocracy-protecting Reaganomics and get his name on lots of public spaces)—there is an full out effort to destroy the power of social justice language and work (note the turds trying to equate BLM with Marxism), and you have to realize how agitating for what will almost certainly be mostly rich white people in LAH and PV and Woodside who didn’t want to pay for the park to get to use it plays right into that.


Reality Check
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2020 at 9:13 am
Reality Check, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2020 at 9:13 am
21 people like this

There's unlikely to be many on the "right" in these message boards. What you're witnessing is a pushback by normal centrist liberals against the authoritarian wokery of the extreme left.

We only look "right" to you because you're so far out on the fringe.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 15, 2020 at 10:36 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 15, 2020 at 10:36 am
7 people like this

People keep talking about EPA. So EPA - have you been over to the Port of Redwood City? That is your county. Go to the end of Seaport - grass looking at the water. And people have their dogs. Go check out the boat harbor area - they have all type of water toys to rent. If the attraction of FHP is the lake/water then you have water. If you explore the whole port you can go to the SU Rowing Team building.

I am trying to figure out why you are not using your city to negotiate some of the kid friendly adventures that are right in front of you. Someone has romanticized FHP beyond it's capabilities for kid friendly activity. No soccer, no dogs, no organized sports on the grass section. You all keep trying to politicize the place but it is lacking funds right now for proper maintenance. The political message exceeds the actual experience. If you go to Rinconada you have kid friendly areas that would be more enjoyable for kids who want to run and climb on stuff.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 15, 2020 at 3:50 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 15, 2020 at 3:50 pm
22 people like this

17 year old girls should not be on social media, shouting unfounded claims of racism, and at the same time threatening the City of Palo Alto with a lawsuit.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 5:14 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2020 at 5:14 pm
2 people like this

Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown

>> 17 year old girls

18 year old girls OK? 17 year old boys OK? What does "17 year old girls" have to do with the rest of your argument?

>> shouting unfounded claims of racism, and at the same time threatening the City of Palo Alto with a lawsuit.

-Nobody- should do that, but, logically, 17 year old girls have just as much right as anybody else.


Resident
Mayfield
on Jul 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm
Resident, Mayfield
on Jul 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm
15 people like this

Her actions expose her father to possible litigation. After all she is a minor, hence the difference between 17 and 18 years old.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 15, 2020 at 10:33 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 15, 2020 at 10:33 pm
16 people like this

Correct - defacing the street and creating a possible problem for bikers - and motorcycle people who need correct traction on a street. That whole street is a biker street and they are moving pretty fast coming downhill. Irrelevant to her age since she is living in her father's house and insurance liability issues will fall on the father.


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm
7 people like this

@delusional check
"There's unlikely to be many on the "right" in these message boards. What you're witnessing is a pushback by normal centrist liberals against the authoritarian wokery of the extreme left.
"

Milk coming out of my nose. There is no extreme left in this country. My family came out of Communist countries, you have no idea what you're talking about. The modern right has been founded on lies for power -- lies that they admit. Ehrlichman admitted that the war on drugs targeted blacks and hippies (voters on the left) and that "of course" they lied about it. Ronald Reagan's budget director admitted that the whole unsubstantiated trickle down theory was a lie to cut top tax rates. Republicans have gone further and further to the right as time has passed and used bigger and bigger whoppers because their power is based on lies, and because of that, they don't feel like they have to compete in the marketplace of ideas that is ordinary politics.

The recent histrionics about "far left" anything is just more lies, and the particular lying scheme of this potus which is to take any APT criticism of him or the party and turn it back on the person making the apt accusation. Thus, they scream about the "far left" when the democratic party has been pulling to right since Reagan.

Those considered "fringe" are to the right of people in the '70s. Things like universal affordable healthcare are not fringe. Every developed nation on the planet except us has it now, except us, and we pay twice per capita what the next most expensive country does (and they have unbelievable perks in their care compared to us), and better social mobility.

No, left-wing fringe will be what happens if the right keeps being dominated by liars for plutocracy, and if history serves, the clash will be violent, and the pitchforks will come for the 1%. While that usually happens without what the 1% see as a warning, there is still time for us to restore democratic homeostasis and the strength of our democracy and economy.

By the way, virtually all modern recessions have occurred under Republicans and overwhelming evidence is the economy does better under Democrats.
www.presidentialdata.org
Democrats have been busy bees trying to make government work and be fiscally responsible, while Republicans have been busy honing their lies at the expense of our nation.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 16, 2020 at 9:34 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 16, 2020 at 9:34 pm
10 people like this

Endgame - how do you go to sleep at night? I am laughing - your head is spinning out of control.


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:17 am
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:17 am
7 people like this

Ehrlichman quoted in center-right-biased publication Forbes
Web Link
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. ... We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

“For his part, Stockman began to disparage the grand theory as a kind of convenient illusion—new rhetoric to cover old Republican doctrine. ..’Kemp-Roth was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate.’”
Web Link
(Trojan Horse, convenient illusion, other euphemism for deception, I.e., lying.)

Web Link
Reagan’s budget director later quoted in center-right-biased publication Marketwatch:
“We've arrived at a historic turning point as a nation that no longer needs outside enemies to destroy us, we are committing suicide. Democracy. Capitalism. The American dream. All dying. Why? Because of the economic decisions of the GOP the past 40 years, says this leading Reagan Republican.”

With the GOP turning the destruction of our nation from the inside into a religion and a blood sport, promulgated by lying bully babies with zero sense of responsibility to civic duty and the truth? Who don’t bat an eye when their potus retweets a public official saying the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat (their political leader basically telling the gun nut base, when the vast majority of political violence in this nation is RIGHTWING) that any one of the 80 million+ people voting for someone else are only good dead?

When what used to be the party supposedly concerned with the honing benefits of competition and fiscal responsibility is consumed primarily by lying for plutocracy - How do I sleep at night? Not well. I love this country and democracy.

BTW, @Anjali, the political history above was mainly for your sake. If you want to learn more about how deep the lying of the GOP goes, including for racist policies, read about what a shallow intellect Reagan was and the organizations (still exist today) to turn him into a golden calf/idol to worship in hindsight, in order to protect the trickle-down lies. Contrast that with the right’s relentless campaign to smear Obama, call him Zero, etc., even though Obama was objectively more fiscally responsible than the potuses before or after. (Look at an objective comparison of the economy under Obama and Tomorrow, and Obama comes out better.) Again, you can find it all in right-biased media, it’s historical fact. Not no, the right are obsessed now with discrediting BLM by lying again and trying to make them out to be a front for Marxism. I appreciate you want to do something about racism.


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:22 am
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:22 am
6 people like this

“ Look at an objective comparison of the economy under Obama and Tvmp, and Obama comes out better.”


Another resident
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:58 am
Another resident , Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:58 am
12 people like this

@Endgame- if you are concluding that most people on this long thread are supporters of Trump/GOP simply because they disagree with the notion that FHP is about Black Lives Matter, you’re a big part of what’s so wrong with this country today. Take that from someone who’s been a liberal all her life and lived long enough in several parts of the country to know such differences.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 11:24 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 11:24 am
4 people like this

No Endgame - all Obama did was hand out money to people that hate us. Like it is post WW2 and we are saving the world. Hey - it 2020 - the European Union controls the countries, their economies, and their financing. We are mot a ATM card for these countries that are going their own ways. Grow up.


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:03 pm
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:03 pm
4 people like this

@Another resident
"@Endgame- if you are concluding that most people on this long thread are supporters of Trump/GOP simply because they disagree with the notion that FHP is about Black Lives Matter, "

Um, @Another resident, please reply to someone only after you read their posts, and it's bad form to speak for someone even after you do, but especially when you clearly haven't.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Like this comment

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> No Endgame - all Obama did was hand out money to people that hate us. Like it is post WW2 and we are saving the world. Hey - it 2020 - the European Union controls the countries, their economies, and their financing. We are mot a ATM card for these countries that are going their own ways. Grow up.

@Resident 1: I enjoy some of your posts, especially the ones reminding people of history they clearly didn't know or have forgotten. But, in this case, you're the one forgetting. President Obama inherited the "Great Recession" economy, and, from Q4 2010, there was continuous economic and job growth until the end of his tenure with very low inflation. Read this: Web Link


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:16 pm
8 people like this

@Resident 1
"No Endgame - all Obama did was hand out money to people that hate us."

Um, no. Here is an article in (center-right conservative Forbes) comparing the Obama economic record to Trvmp's:

Web Link

"Obama’s last three years of job growth all beat Trump’s best year"

"President Obama entered office in early 2009 in the teeth of the Great Recession. Not surprisingly, the deficit exploded from $459 billion in calendar 2008 to over $1.4 trillion in calendar 2009. As the economy recovered the deficits shrank to a low of $442 billion in 2015 and was $585 billion his last year in office."

"President Trump on the other hand was handed an economy that was growing. In 2017, his first year in office the deficit grew to $666 billion, was $984 billion last year "(before the pandemic)

Note the deficit was one of the right's biggest criticisms of Obama despite the right's last potus being handed a surplus and handing off a massive deficit and economy in freefall after almost total right-wing control of government for the majority of their potus's 2 terms. Objectively, Democrats have been far more fiscally responsible.

"Each of the last three years of Obama’s economy were stronger than Trump’s 2019 result when adjusted for trade, inventory impacts and government spending as were five of his last six years"

The current administration alienating all of our allies in the world and kowtowing to countries that ACTUALLY hate us is seriously hurting our national security.

But I'm not surprised you would end your post with a charge that is EXACTLY what YOU need, leveled at someone else. It is the modus operandi of the right under this administration, because there is ZERO interest in truth, to take a charge that is APT for them, and level it at someone else.

I have given you the mature, sober truth. It is you who needs to grow up and at least stop pushing lies that keep endangering all the rest of us and hurting our economic health.


Endgame
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:58 pm
Endgame, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 1:58 pm
8 people like this

@Anjali,
Repeating a little of what I wrote above since people are replying without reading (and if anyone has a reply to this, please read the whole thing first):
"If FHP were officially opened to everyone, it would quickly be overrun by rich white people from the surrounding areas, making it far LESS welcoming of people of color, and there would be significant costs. My suggestion to you is to propose a solution that would actually result in what you claim to want and then do the really hard work to achieve it. You might learn something about creating the change you claim to want.

Get your own seriously non-diverse, richer town to pay for Palo Alto adding East Palo Alto residents to access for the park. So long as LAH takes liability and financial responsibility for protecting the open space from overuse, making an equitable reservation system that includes residents of both towns equally, you will have solved the problem for everyone, including avoiding using race to further the interests of rich mostly white people from your town which is already pushing people of color out of SV through redevelopment, speciously using social justice arguments to do it.

I think the majority of Palo Altans would go for adding EPA if LAH pays for the costs, including half the purchase price adjusted for inflation. Then PA could probably reopen the fire station up there, too. Rather than bullying Palo Altans to pay for rich white Los Altans to use the park, you would be doing something actually anti-racist. "

That is the essence of white privilege, to not understand what it is like to be in a place that has no one who looks like you (when those differences have so often been the source of persecution and death in our world's history), and the majority of the people believe they are not racist so the virulent people among them who are (who in this day and age are pretty good at hiding it),they believe aren't a problem. I'm trying to get you to understand the difference between opening the park to all (which realistically would be your rich neighbors who refused to pay for the purchase and upkeep of the park but keep agitating for access), and opening it to people in EPA in partnership with PA, and going on a crusade to get your rich white neighbors to pay for it (rather than an outcome that would likely make everyone you claim to want to help uncomfortable to use it, including black taxpayers of Palo Alto).


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:38 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:38 pm
5 people like this

If you all not noticed we are on the Pacific Coast - not the East Coast. On the Pacific Coast we have a high percentage of Asian population. They are not white and they are not black. And when I was up at the park there seem to be a lot of Asians there enjoying the day. And if you all have not noticed we have one of the biggest China Towns in the nation.
It is amazing that this whole conversation goes on with no recognition that there are other people here that are not "white" or black. And note that "white" comes in a lot of variations. People from India are not the same color as the people from Ireland. They eat different food and have different religions. Pacific Islanders do not consider themselves black or white - they are Pacific Islanders.
You all keep building these strange narratives that have nothing to do with reality. I understand that we are in a "wave" right now but waves in the ocean eventually settle down and the sun and moon come out as planned. Take a deep breath people.


Bill
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:04 am
Bill, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:04 am
Like this comment

I am curious if people who want the park open to all would be satisfied by a policy like that which was proposed in the article. It was something like continuing free entry to PA residents but allowing non-residents to purchase permits for day use.


merry
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:35 am
merry, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:35 am
8 people like this

Why is this a race issue? It’s just a park/preserve. The rule is Palo Alto resident. We keep revisiting this issue. It’s a fake story. Trying to control use of outdoor space by race is condescending.
If a resident go for a hike. If not,
Make a friend who is.
This subject is fatiguing.


Foothills Visitor
Palo Verde
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:16 am
Foothills Visitor, Palo Verde
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:16 am
6 people like this

Arrived at the park around 9.15. No ranger on gate. Most official parking spots were already filled. Lots of groups that didn't look like households unless groups of 6 - 8 housemates. Screen tent erected by one group, I have never seen a screen tent. More trash than I have noticed before. Less wildlife than I have seen before, a few turkeys, that was all.

Basically, I have never seen that many people at that time on a Saturday before.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:04 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:04 pm
Like this comment

Note on tangential comments on Obama time period vs Trump time period. Go on Wikipedia and read Obama's life story. The circumstances of his childhood in Indonesia and travels through politics are exceedingly unique. It highlights his specific contributions to the time period in general. It is a time period in which his birth state transitioned from a territory to a state with all of the government trappings.

This time period saw the growth of the European Union which is now 28 nations. This is a product of Europe and not of the US's making. You can get up to speed on the EU via the Wall Street journal today which discusses their summit and all of the internal disagreements on-going within this 70 year old union. These countries are still duking it out.

Meanwhile we have the FB's, the Googles, the Gates-Microsoft, the Dell's - computers, the Yahoo - owned by Google, etc. The technology drive is unique to the time period in general and not a specific achievement of either Obama or Trump.

The post WW2 world has repaired itself to some degree and all nations are attempting to take command of their own identities. The US has been an observer and beneficiary of the world activity but the world activity is now collapsing under the epidemic effect on the economy. So we are entering a different time period. We are now at a history marker.


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jul 19, 2020 at 4:38 am
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jul 19, 2020 at 4:38 am
16 people like this

Desegregate? That is such a loaded term that I wonder why it got such a response.
Foothills Park is not segregated, and it is a bit twisted to use that word for what it implies.
The implication or subtext here is that the side that wants to keep Foothills Park for
Palo Altans is somehow bad or racist.


Resident
Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:50 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:50 pm
11 people like this

[Post removed.]


Granny B
Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 7:22 am
Granny B, Midtown
on Jul 20, 2020 at 7:22 am
2 people like this

[Portion removed.]

Here is something about chalk art from the NYTimes.

"Chalk art has long been a tableau for social activism, a form of instant commentary that takes political expression quite literally onto the streets. Cities have at times targeted it, such as in San Diego, where a man was charged with 13 counts of vandalism in 2013 for writing anti-bank messages on a public sidewalk. A jury acquitted him."

Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 20, 2020 at 8:24 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 20, 2020 at 8:24 am
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


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