Palo Alto Weekly 25th Anniversary

Weekly observes quarter century of community journalism

The Palo Alto Weekly launched its first issue on Oct. 11, 1979, with a hand-drawn map of Palo Alto on its cover.

The issue arrived in people's homes with other mail at a time when housing prices were rising at a modest pace and the community had not yet become known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley.

In today's edition, four neighborhood blocks have been selected as representative of how the community and its people have changed.

Long-time residents and newcomers alike reflect on their experience of the community then and now, and in between -- as housing costs have exploded, the economy went into a high-tech orbit and crashed back, and the community began confronting its aging city infrastructure, the aging of many of its population, the influx of new residents and its overall affluence.

Our Town columnist Don Kazak -- with the paper since its inception -- reflects on the struggle of the small staff to get the first issue put together, and what the paper has meant to the community over the years.

Editor Jay Thorwaldson -- a close outsider and confidante of a number of Weekly staffers over the years before he joined the paper in June, 2000 -- recounts his early acquaintance with Publisher Bill Johnson and discusses the demise of the former Palo Alto Times (where he worked for many years) and its successor, the Peninsula Times Tribune. The editorial looks at some unfinished business facing the community in coming years.


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25th Anniversary • 1979-2004




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