News

In 'State of the City' speech, Palo Alto mayor makes a pitch for stronger ties

Tom DuBois advocates for expanding fiber network, forging new relationships with other cities

Mayor Tom DuBois outlined his goals for the coming year during a virtual "State of the City" address on March 4. Screenshot from Zoom.

Citing a critical need for improved connection and collaboration as Palo Alto recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Tom DuBois used his "State of the City" address on Thursday night to advocate for expanding the city's fiber network, improving public discourse and launching a new "sister city" program that would bridge the gap between blue and red sections of America.

In a virtual event that featured musical performances by Palo Alto students, the mayor recapped for the viewers some highlights from one of the most bizarre and disruptive years in Palo Alto's history and presented his plans for the rest of 2021, as the city continues to cope with the pandemic's devastating impacts.

He focused particularly on four areas in which he said he wants to make progress in the coming months: transparent and productive discourse, responsive government, speedy recovery and real progress on climate change. He also decried growing extremism in political discourse and made a plea for moderation and compromise.

Civility at public meetings has plunged over the course of the pandemic, he said, as COVID-19 has "made people cranky."

"We need everybody on the same team and can't afford to create sides by attacking each other, particularly in this year of recovery," DuBois said.

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Economic recovery, he said, is and will remain the council's top priority and the topic that will take up the majority of staff and council time. Last spring, as the city's hotel- and sales-tax revenues began to plummet, the city reduced its budget by $40 million. Many of those cuts, DuBois said, "won't be felt by residents until we end the shelter-in-place."

"It's going to take a long time to recover and restore many of the services our residents expect and appreciate," DuBois said.

Even so, DuBois highlighted several ambitious new initiatives this year and urged residents to embrace the changes that the pandemic has shown are possible. Citing the spike in telecommuting over the past year, DuBois voiced support for Fiber to the Premises, a proposal to expand the municipal fiber ring to all residences and businesses in the city. While the city has been considering expanding the fiber network for more than 20 years, DuBois argued that now is the ideal time to finally advance the project and, in doing so, reduce driving in the city.

"Everyone knows the person with the bad uplink on Zoom," DuBois said. "We have the opportunity to create a new city utility and deliver superior service to our residents."

In discussing the city's plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, DuBois also advocated for the launch of a pilot program this year that would provide incentives for residents to switch from gas water heaters to electric alternatives. The program is among those that the council has been considering as part of its broad plan to reduce emissions by 80% from the 1990 level by 2030.

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"Cities and states have led on staying in the Paris Accord, and Palo Alto has the opportunity to lead on the Green New Deal to provide an example of how to leave less of a footprint in the sand," DuBois said.

DuBois cited in his speech the four priorities that the council adopted in January, which in addition to economic recovery and climate change include housing and social justice. On the housing front, he cited the council's recent efforts to change zoning to encourage more residential construction and pointed to the housing developments that are now in the works, including the Wilton Court development for low-income families and adults with disabilities and the "workforce housing" development at 2755 El Camino Real.

'The divide within our own country seems larger than without. A U.S. sister city program can enable us to ... understand each other better.'

-Tom DuBois, Palo Alto mayor

At the same time, he said he was concerned about regional housing mandates, including the Regional Housing Needs Allocation process that has assigned Palo Alto to accommodate more than 6,000 housing units by 2031.

"It's an unprecedented pace of development and an unfunded mandate by the state," DuBois said. "We do need to produce more houses, but we also need to preserve and protect the ones that are here to ensure affordability."

As part of his effort to promote unity as mayor, DuBois said he is hoping to launch a "sister city" program that would forge relationships between Palo Alto and cities in other parts of the U.S. The city already has "sister city" programs with eight cities throughout the world, including, most recently, Tsuchiura, Japan; Heidelberg, Germany; and Shanghai's Yangpu District. DuBois said he has been having conversations with like-minded people to jump-start such a program between American cities.

"The divide within our own country seems larger than without," DuBois said. "A U.S. sister city program can enable us to forge connections, encourage business collaboration, share ideas and understand each other better."

He also made a pitch for restoring local connections after a year of social isolation by bringing back popular community events, including a socially distant May Fête celebration, art events on Friday nights and neighborhood town halls. He also said he wants to hold an "End of the Pandemic" celebration, hopefully in September, to commemorate the "unsung heroes," including those who helped their neighbors in need and the researchers who developed the coronavirus vaccine in record time.

In recapping Palo Alto's past year, DuBois noted that the city has done relatively well at managing the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the rest of Santa Clara County.

"We had lower rates of infection and more people getting tested, and I'm proud to say we now have over 80% of our people 65 and older vaccinated, which is top in the county," he said.

At the same time, the event also served as a reminder that the battle against COVID-19 is far from over. Normally a community celebration with food, live music, socializing and mingling, this year's "State of the City" event was conducted like all other public meetings: over Zoom. Unlike other government meetings, it featured several musical performances, including a song performed by 400 students from choirs at Fletcher, Greene and JLS middle schools and Palo Alto and Gunn high schools.

Vice Mayor Pat Burt alluded to the unusual circumstances early in the ceremony, when he thanked the viewers for attending "what we hope will be the first — and only — virtual 'State of the City' address ever."

"This is one of the few days when a number of us get to find out whether we still fit into our business suits. With this informality, it looks like we won't get to know that this year, but we'll find out soon enough, when we hopefully start to normalize," Burt said.

Watch a recording of the "State of the City" address below.

Palo Alto Mayor Tom DuBois gives the 2021 "State of the City" address on March 4.

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In 'State of the City' speech, Palo Alto mayor makes a pitch for stronger ties

Tom DuBois advocates for expanding fiber network, forging new relationships with other cities

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 10:03 pm

Citing a critical need for improved connection and collaboration as Palo Alto recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Tom DuBois used his "State of the City" address on Thursday night to advocate for expanding the city's fiber network, improving public discourse and launching a new "sister city" program that would bridge the gap between blue and red sections of America.

In a virtual event that featured musical performances by Palo Alto students, the mayor recapped for the viewers some highlights from one of the most bizarre and disruptive years in Palo Alto's history and presented his plans for the rest of 2021, as the city continues to cope with the pandemic's devastating impacts.

He focused particularly on four areas in which he said he wants to make progress in the coming months: transparent and productive discourse, responsive government, speedy recovery and real progress on climate change. He also decried growing extremism in political discourse and made a plea for moderation and compromise.

Civility at public meetings has plunged over the course of the pandemic, he said, as COVID-19 has "made people cranky."

"We need everybody on the same team and can't afford to create sides by attacking each other, particularly in this year of recovery," DuBois said.

Economic recovery, he said, is and will remain the council's top priority and the topic that will take up the majority of staff and council time. Last spring, as the city's hotel- and sales-tax revenues began to plummet, the city reduced its budget by $40 million. Many of those cuts, DuBois said, "won't be felt by residents until we end the shelter-in-place."

"It's going to take a long time to recover and restore many of the services our residents expect and appreciate," DuBois said.

Even so, DuBois highlighted several ambitious new initiatives this year and urged residents to embrace the changes that the pandemic has shown are possible. Citing the spike in telecommuting over the past year, DuBois voiced support for Fiber to the Premises, a proposal to expand the municipal fiber ring to all residences and businesses in the city. While the city has been considering expanding the fiber network for more than 20 years, DuBois argued that now is the ideal time to finally advance the project and, in doing so, reduce driving in the city.

"Everyone knows the person with the bad uplink on Zoom," DuBois said. "We have the opportunity to create a new city utility and deliver superior service to our residents."

In discussing the city's plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, DuBois also advocated for the launch of a pilot program this year that would provide incentives for residents to switch from gas water heaters to electric alternatives. The program is among those that the council has been considering as part of its broad plan to reduce emissions by 80% from the 1990 level by 2030.

"Cities and states have led on staying in the Paris Accord, and Palo Alto has the opportunity to lead on the Green New Deal to provide an example of how to leave less of a footprint in the sand," DuBois said.

DuBois cited in his speech the four priorities that the council adopted in January, which in addition to economic recovery and climate change include housing and social justice. On the housing front, he cited the council's recent efforts to change zoning to encourage more residential construction and pointed to the housing developments that are now in the works, including the Wilton Court development for low-income families and adults with disabilities and the "workforce housing" development at 2755 El Camino Real.

At the same time, he said he was concerned about regional housing mandates, including the Regional Housing Needs Allocation process that has assigned Palo Alto to accommodate more than 6,000 housing units by 2031.

"It's an unprecedented pace of development and an unfunded mandate by the state," DuBois said. "We do need to produce more houses, but we also need to preserve and protect the ones that are here to ensure affordability."

As part of his effort to promote unity as mayor, DuBois said he is hoping to launch a "sister city" program that would forge relationships between Palo Alto and cities in other parts of the U.S. The city already has "sister city" programs with eight cities throughout the world, including, most recently, Tsuchiura, Japan; Heidelberg, Germany; and Shanghai's Yangpu District. DuBois said he has been having conversations with like-minded people to jump-start such a program between American cities.

"The divide within our own country seems larger than without," DuBois said. "A U.S. sister city program can enable us to forge connections, encourage business collaboration, share ideas and understand each other better."

He also made a pitch for restoring local connections after a year of social isolation by bringing back popular community events, including a socially distant May Fête celebration, art events on Friday nights and neighborhood town halls. He also said he wants to hold an "End of the Pandemic" celebration, hopefully in September, to commemorate the "unsung heroes," including those who helped their neighbors in need and the researchers who developed the coronavirus vaccine in record time.

In recapping Palo Alto's past year, DuBois noted that the city has done relatively well at managing the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the rest of Santa Clara County.

"We had lower rates of infection and more people getting tested, and I'm proud to say we now have over 80% of our people 65 and older vaccinated, which is top in the county," he said.

At the same time, the event also served as a reminder that the battle against COVID-19 is far from over. Normally a community celebration with food, live music, socializing and mingling, this year's "State of the City" event was conducted like all other public meetings: over Zoom. Unlike other government meetings, it featured several musical performances, including a song performed by 400 students from choirs at Fletcher, Greene and JLS middle schools and Palo Alto and Gunn high schools.

Vice Mayor Pat Burt alluded to the unusual circumstances early in the ceremony, when he thanked the viewers for attending "what we hope will be the first — and only — virtual 'State of the City' address ever."

"This is one of the few days when a number of us get to find out whether we still fit into our business suits. With this informality, it looks like we won't get to know that this year, but we'll find out soon enough, when we hopefully start to normalize," Burt said.

Watch a recording of the "State of the City" address below.

Comments

Crescent Park Mom
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 5, 2021 at 11:49 am
Crescent Park Mom, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 11:49 am

Love the US sister city idea. Putting a plug in for Huntsville, AL (60% red). The new space and tech investment in their area has it booming.


Jon Castor
Registered user
Woodside
on Mar 5, 2021 at 11:53 am
Jon Castor, Woodside
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 11:53 am

Really like the Mayor's idea to pair up with a US 'red' sister city to make an effort to narrow the gaps that are dividing us, and "forge connections, encourage business collaboration, share ideas and understand each other better".


R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 12:50 pm
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 12:50 pm

"Really like the Mayor's idea to pair up with a US 'red' sister city to make an effort to narrow the gaps that are dividing us,"

Since Huntsville is ranked the 24th most racist city in Alabama, perhaps the mayor can make some headway by showing them how things are done in Palo Alto.


Darvin Medford
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Mar 5, 2021 at 1:22 pm
Darvin Medford, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 1:22 pm

✓Huntsville is ranked the 24th most racist city in Alabama,

Lest we forget, the Rosa Parks bus incident occured in Huntsville, AL and there is an ongoing debate and two opposing petitions to rename Robert E. Lee High School in this particular town.

Huntsville was forced to desegregate and the influx of the NASA moon exploration team back in the 1960s helped to ease matters as many white space engineers from other parts of the country wondered what kind of hell-hole they were entering.

Today Huntsville is similar to Palo Alto where the racism is more subtle.


avery james
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2021 at 2:48 pm
avery james, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 2:48 pm

~ Today Huntsville is similar to Palo Alto where the racism is more subtle.

~ perhaps the mayor can make some headway by showing them how things are done in Palo Alto.

And vice versa.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Mar 5, 2021 at 2:56 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Rosa Parks incident - Montgomery, Alabama


R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:09 pm
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:09 pm

@Darvin

chris/University South is correct.

Maybe you were mistaking the Rosa Parks Day commemorative in Huntsville, AL that took place two years ago.

As I recall, the mayor offered free bus rides to everyone that day and there was a statue dedicated in her honor.


Minnie Wong
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Mar 6, 2021 at 9:45 am
Minnie Wong, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 9:45 am

An additional sister city in China would be beneficial to Palo Alto in light of it's increasing Chinese population.

Establishing more cultural and student exchange programs is a step in the right direction.

And to pacify BLM advocacy, having a sister inner-city would also dispel the general perception of Palo Alto.

Why have a sister city from the Confederacy? That sends out the wrong message.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2021 at 10:58 am
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 10:58 am

"Why have a sister city from the Confederacy? That sends out the wrong message."

Many cities in the South and Texas are 10x more diverse than the Bay Area (and especially mid-peninsula). Houston achieved majority-minority status two decades ago.

Can't say the same thing about Palo Alto.

Maybe need to stop holding on to outdated stereotypes.


[email protected]
Palo Alto Hills

Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm
Name hidden, Palo Alto Hills

Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:10 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:10 pm

this is becoming a very touchy subject. How about Florida? Florida has a growing tech Base a lot of people are moving there. And the population is very diverse. If many tech companies are moving some of their activity there then that would be a good choice


R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:45 pm
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:45 pm

"Many cities in the South and Texas are 10x more diverse than the Bay Area (and especially mid-peninsula)."

"Can't say the same thing about Palo Alto."

"Maybe need to stop holding on to outdated stereotypes."

When former Confederate cities are more progressive and less 'ethnocentric' than Palo Alto...then, Houston, we have a problem.


Kaneesha
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:13 pm
Kaneesha , East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Racism can be blatant and it can be subtle.

In much of the south, it is blatant.

In Palo Alto it is subtle.

Both are the same the last time I checked in with reality.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:45 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:45 pm

Blacks can be racist, too.


Jacob Lee
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:54 pm
Jacob Lee, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:54 pm
Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2021 at 4:45 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 4:45 pm

Racism is a HUMAN problem. People of all ethnicities are capable of it. It can be subtle or overt. Generally, people who are in the majority in any society practice it more because they hold power. This has played out in many cultures throughout history and the world. Chinese did not "learn racism from white people." Read their history. Japanese, Indians, Chinese and many other Asians and blacks have practiced overt, large-scale racism without any access to the US experience--and they practiced it before the United States of America ever existed. Read world history.

Racist/tribalist practices of blacks on the African continent caused some of tribal groups to capture slaves to keep and sell. This practice later was extended to white slave traders who bought captured slaves to sell in this country.

We are all capable of making negative broad generalizations about people of other ethnicities and cultural affiliation. This is wrong and we have to constantly guard against letting the darker side of our nature drive our choices and actions. In the US, this has mostly hurt people of color, but my white Jewish husband's family suffered terribly from racism. None of us is immune.

Can we please recognize that people are people? We are capable of wonderful and terrible things--every one of us. Not one single person on the planet is immune to racism. This is what it is to be human. I try to do my best to explore my motivations and understand my own assumptions and prejudices.

General assumptions based on race (including the assumptions that all people of certain color or ethnicity are racist, is, by definition, racist. Let's try to let go of assumptions and meet individual people with openness to understanding who they are as individuals. It is a gift we can each give ourselves. I will do my best to be open to all others, and I hope others will extend that to me.


Cecelia Vega
Registered user
Stanford
on Mar 7, 2021 at 7:35 am
Cecelia Vega, Stanford
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 7:35 am

"In the US, this has mostly hurt people of color, but my white Jewish husband's family suffered terribly from racism. None of us is immune."

In Germany, reparations in the billions of dollars have been paid to Jewish families whose relatives perished at the hands of racism and countless memorials have been erected to so that this dark period of history will never be forgotten.

Plus, the Germans have shown true remorse and shame for what their ancestors did to the Jewish people.

So until the United States government demonstrates the same kind of monetary reparations to millions of African Americans along with issuing a formal apology with genuine contriteness, things will remain unchanged.

And tearing down all monuments of Confederate leaders and those of Lincoln and Washington is the first step.

The SF School District has officially removed the names of Lincoln and Washington from its public schools and all school districts throughout the nation should do the same.

And after the American government completes these tasks, it can then go to work apologizing and issuing monetary reparations to Hispanic Americans in the American southwest and California plus the Chinese Americans whose ancestors were brought to the United States by Leland Stanford to work on his transcontinental railroad.

The Golden Spike at the Stanford Museum should also be melted down as a symbol of past racism as well.


Pi Xiang
Registered user
Stanford
on Mar 7, 2021 at 8:07 am
Pi Xiang, Stanford
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 8:07 am

The United States government is deeply in debt to the Chinese government who invest heavily in American debt both domestic and overseas including military expenditures.

The U.S. debt sits at just over $22 trillion in February 2020, and the largest investors in U.S. Treasuries are other governments and central banks.

China, who owns an estimated $1.1 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, is the number-two investor among foreign governments, according to the January 2020 figures released by the U.S. Treasury. This amounts to over 21% of the U.S. debt held overseas and about 7.2% of the United States’ total debt load.

Web Link

What this means is, if the PRC were to demand that the United States pay it's debt to China immediately, the American economy would collapse.

But China prefers to sit back and collect interest, like on a credit card. It is good business and highly profitable.

So rather than be abusive to Asians and using the coronavirus as an excuse, most Americans should hold their heads down to the Chinese government (and its people) who helped finance the Iraq War during the Bush administration and who provide reasonably priced goods for American consumers to buy and enjoy.

This is why so many recently arrived residents from China can afford to pay CASH for expensive SF Bay Area residencies.


MaryAnne Carpenter
Registered user
Woodside
on Mar 7, 2021 at 9:06 am
MaryAnne Carpenter, Woodside
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 9:06 am

Though I questioned American military involvement in Iraq during the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney administration, it would not have been possible if not for the generous lending practices of our friends in China.

It is disturbing to hear of the presumed bigotry in Palo Alto towards its newer residents from China and hopefully matters will be resolved as Palo Alto (like our nation as a whole) must strive to evolve as a multi-ethnic community.

Resentments must be set aside and a bigger picture visualized as it is my understanding that the Asian population in Palo Alto has grown to a significant percentage.

They now have a voice in municipal politics and the old school of residents still clinging to the past need to look beyond their mentalities.

Only then will various inherent prejudices begin to subside.

It is time for Palo Alto to wake up.


Local news junkie
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Mar 7, 2021 at 9:13 am
Local news junkie, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 9:13 am

[Post removed; off topic.]


Shaquon
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Mar 7, 2021 at 10:36 am
Shaquon, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 10:36 am

[Post removed; off topic.]


justine
Registered user
another community
on Mar 7, 2021 at 10:53 am
justine, another community
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 10:53 am

Now I understand why Huntsville, AL is a sister city of Palo Alto.

Common bonds.


Fred Wilkins
Registered user
another community
on Mar 7, 2021 at 11:35 am
Fred Wilkins, another community
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 11:35 am
Marianne Mueller
Registered user
Professorville
on Mar 7, 2021 at 1:07 pm
Marianne Mueller, Professorville
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 1:07 pm

Love the idea of US sister cities, and why should a city from the confederacy be any less desirable? a red city is a red city I should think oh and as comments here demonstrate, people seem very willing and able to come up with reasons to discredit almost any place.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 7, 2021 at 2:47 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 2:47 pm
Bill Freeman
Registered user
another community
on Mar 7, 2021 at 2:57 pm
Bill Freeman, another community
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 2:57 pm
Erubial Montoya
Registered user
another community
on Mar 7, 2021 at 3:34 pm
Erubial Montoya, another community
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 3:34 pm
Erubial Montoya
Registered user
another community
on Mar 7, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Erubial Montoya, another community
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Moneesha Jeffries
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Mar 7, 2021 at 6:42 pm
Moneesha Jeffries, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 6:42 pm
Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 7, 2021 at 7:01 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 7, 2021 at 7:01 pm
paula jeffries
Registered user
another community
on Mar 8, 2021 at 5:46 am
paula jeffries, another community
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 5:46 am
Dang Tsau
Registered user
another community
on Mar 8, 2021 at 6:19 am
Dang Tsau, another community
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 6:19 am
R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Mar 8, 2021 at 7:00 am
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 7:00 am

This Washington Post URL probably won't settle the brunch debate but it covers a lot of bases from both historical and societal reference points.

Web Link

[Portion removed.]


Leticia Prescott
Registered user
Stanford
on Mar 8, 2021 at 7:21 am
Leticia Prescott, Stanford
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 7:21 am
Casey M.
Registered user
Community Center
on Mar 8, 2021 at 9:06 am
Casey M., Community Center
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 9:06 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2021 at 10:09 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 10:09 am

Any one who goes on vacation anywhere and stays in a hotel the breakfast/brunch is the biggest meal in the hotel because people then venture out to go site seeing in other locations and a lot chose to then eat at other theme restaurants.

Breakfast/brunch is the one meal that everyone usually eats where they are staying. Look at these absurd comments above - you all are just competing as to who can be the most absurd.

In big hotels the breakfast is where they are selling all of the trips and adventure available.

Denney's have a lot of their locations on the same block as some hotels who do not have a big restaurant in the hotel so that is strategic placement. We need a big Denney's here in PA.


julia morgenstern
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Mar 8, 2021 at 10:44 am
julia morgenstern, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 10:44 am
Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2021 at 10:51 am
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 10:51 am

I should have been more clear. My Jewish husband's fled eastern Europe where the government was threatening to use Jews, including their five sons as cannon fodder at the front lines. They left farm land that had been in the family for generations, and nearly all of their belongings. No reparations were made for that. They sought refuge in the US where they were received with terrible prejudice. They lived for a time in a cesspool of NYC ghetto tenements. Then moved to Upstate NY to work in a meat packing plant plucking chickens because that was the only work they could find. No bank would give them a loan to start a business, so the entire family worked and saved for many years. Over decades they built a small
retail storefront toy business in a tiny Upstate NY town. They were always very poor, but some of their many grandchildren got educations and built a better life. It took three generations in this country. No reparations...ever. Prejudice is a widespread human problem. Every human on the planet carries prejudices of one kind or another. That doesn't mean it's ok or that reparations should not be made. My point was, we all need to guard against it and actively question our own assumptions about others. Reparations mean nothing if we don't learn to manage the darkness that resides in each of us, regardless of our ethnicity or other differences.


Barry Stein
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:09 am
Barry Stein, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:09 am
judy harper
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:30 am
judy harper, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:30 am

With all of the nationwide discontent currently going on, why all the hate towards brunch?

Brunch provides a wonderful opportunity for people of all colors to get together and share a multi-cultural buffet of delectable goodies and to talk about their children and various pastimes.

March 14th is National Brunch Day in America and hopefully many of us will get together and let eggs benedict begin the healing process.

Web Link

And ideally, many white families in Palo Alto will take it upon themselves to invite a nice non-white family to join them for a friendly and cordial buffet.

Just think, if the Native Americans had allowed the Pilgrims to starve there would be no reason to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day and brunch is no different whether one resides in Saratoga or Palo Alto.


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:38 am
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:38 am

We had a Denney’s, and a Lyons.


Efren Zaputo
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:40 am
Efren Zaputo, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:40 am
AJ
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:58 am
AJ, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:58 am
Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2021 at 2:26 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 2:26 pm
Palo Alto Demographics
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 8, 2021 at 2:32 pm
Palo Alto Demographics, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 2:32 pm
Brunch is OK but...
Registered user
another community
on Mar 8, 2021 at 3:44 pm
Brunch is OK but..., another community
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 3:44 pm

I've noticed that there are a lot of East Indian restaurants on the peninsula, more so than say Mexican or Italian.

This speaks volumes for the emerging demographics here on the peninsula and I am assuming that most of the steady clientele are professionals from East India employed as engineers at Google or in the health care fields.

There are a sizable number of sushi bars as well. Sushi and sashimi have sort of become mainstream American dining options and while I don't see too many African Americans ordering sushi, Hispanics seem to enjoy it perhaps because of the tangy wasabi paste and dipping sauce.

The earlier commentary about more local restaurants serving American Classics does carry a certain validity of sorts as dining on certain ethnic dishes does not conjure up the same timeless and traditional 'comfort food' vibe of having meat loaf with mashed potatoes, a good homemade casserole, a slow-cooked pot roast, or even a plate of spaghetti.

Some Chinese food comes close (like a carton of chow mein) and for the most part, the American palate is a simple one.

Unfortunately fewer restaurants in metro blue states offer such conventional menu items anymore and one must generally reside in or travel to the outskirts or a red state region to enjoy them.

And lastly, certain ethnic foods will probably never lend themselves to a conventional American brunch offering, the exception of course being if it is a brunch comprised of a particular ethnic gathering.


R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Mar 8, 2021 at 4:23 pm
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 4:23 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2021 at 6:27 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Mar 8, 2021 at 6:27 pm

The people who are competing for attention with absurd comments do not live in this city and have no relation to the problem at hand. This is about a sister city to PA - not EPA, not Saratoga, not Woodside, not "another community". Hey - go get your own sister cities.


maryanne peters
Registered user
Mountain View
on Mar 9, 2021 at 5:55 am
maryanne peters, Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 9, 2021 at 5:55 am

@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows

some of us in other communities watch what is going on in Palo Alto so that our municipal leaders do not make the same blunders.

the absurdity of comments are more a reflection of the seemingly absurdity of life in Palo Alto.


Elie Weisman
Registered user
Professorville
on Mar 9, 2021 at 7:58 am
Elie Weisman, Professorville
Registered user
on Mar 9, 2021 at 7:58 am

[Portion removed.]

Huntsville will be an interesting sister city for Palo Alto. It is the home base for the newly established U.S. Space Force (as selected by President Trump) and it has a long historical association with the various lunar launches and early Redstone rockets, including the post-war Nazi propulsion engineers who helped develop them.

I have been through Huntsville and it is ethnically more diverse than Palo Alto with many Asian residents (mostly Korean and Japanese) who also own very successful businesses there.

Ideally Palo Alto can learn from this positive interaction and over time, become more receptive to its growing Mandarin population from China.

In some ways, Huntsville is more blue than Palo Alto. They do not not restrict their parks to outsiders nor do they denigrate minorities by acting as if they really care.

As a Jewish person, I am very aware of subtle 'behind the back' bigotry and in some ways, Palo Alto is no different than parts of Georgia. If you have seen 'Driving Miss Daisy', you will get the drift as there are many types of crackers.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2021 at 9:30 am
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 9, 2021 at 9:30 am

I am seeing a lot of prejudice, hostility directed at Palo Altans, especially white Palo Altans, whom the writers cannot possibility personally know on this thread. Here is the definition of racism:

"prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized."

If you want to engage people on a subject, insulting them as a group is not helpful. You cannot change how someone thinks by turning them off.

This thread has become toxic and unproductive, and doesn't acknowledge that Caucasians in south Palo Alto schools are now a minority--which I view as just fine. Most to my kids' friends and my friends are people of color--and I am glad of that. And, yes, I'm a white Palo Altan.

If we want to change how things work, we get involved as volunteers in our PTAs, community and government. I work with many talented people of color who have chosen to volunteer in positions of leadership. I appreciate and admire the positive changes they are making, and I enjoy working alongside them.

Be a little nicer. Mutual respect usually brings people together, but verbal assaults divide us. We just ended an awful four years of the latter approach. Let's get to to work, together, to make Palo Alto a great community for all of us. We are in a challenging time.

I know that tempers are short. We are all exhausted by Covid and the awful effects it has had on our lives, economy, schools, etc. We need to start working together to heal on many fronts. So let's put our energy into working together--one of the best ways I know to get to know and appreciate and love my neighbors.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2021 at 9:58 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Mar 9, 2021 at 9:58 am

For the Mountain View commentator- M. Peters that is the way I feel about MV. You have let Google dominate your city functions along with the RV debate. A bunch of special interests groups have been allowed to dominate and take over what your residents vote for. I went to one demonstration in your city way back and all of the people had signs in which the biggest word was HATE. Sorry - nothing to recommend about your city, including the current staff running the place. You all vote for people and actions - don't do the actions you all voted for, and the people you vote in are signed up to the Weiner camp. But you have a new Google village planned out so you can all celebrate what ever that produces. Pay attention to what is going on in your city - I check it out on the MV Voice - you all do not look like happy campers.


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