Palo Alto Weekly 25th Anniversary

Fact or fiction?

In the course of the Weekly's 25-year history, we've published several stories on the state of Palo Alto and the people who live here. As we took a look back in time to write this story, we found several amusing and grim predictions by residents, city officials and academics about the city's future. Below are excerpts and quotes from past stories. Whether some of these claims are now truth or fantasy is, in some cases, subjective.

(Richard Carlson, an economist at Stanford Research Institute) is optimistic about the "Palo Alto differential" of housing prices being reduced in the future. That differential -- a house in Palo Alto costing so much more than the same house in another nearby city -- will go down, Carlson said. One reason is the aging of the Eichlers. Another, he said, is the continuing traffic congestion and urbanization -- Palo Alto is slowly losing a little of specialness. -- Weekly, Aug. 24, 1983.

" We have fewer and fewer young kids," (Hal Anjo, city's human services department) said, "but more and more single parents and families where both parents work. The actual demand for child care services could be going up, even though the number of children is decreasing." Weekly, Aug. 24, 1983.

--"People here," Dick Carey, director of research for the Palo Alto school district, continues, "use the public schools like they use the private schools elsewhere. It's an academic elite -- parents and students. This isn't a normal population, by any means." Weekly, Aug. 24, 1983.

--"I think this community is going toward an Atherton. The high cost of housing here is making it a narrower, less diverse community of wealthy, older people. It's getting a club-like atmosphere," said (resident) Ed Hillard. Weekly, Oct. 18.

--"My fear is that we're going to lose some of those qualities that have made Palo Alto different and better than other communities. My fear is that we're going to become another Los Altos - a far more cautious, conservative, protectionist-type environment, not open to innovation, not open to change in the community," said Palo Alto Planning Director Ken Schreiber. Weekly, Oct. 18.


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25th Anniversary • 1979-2004




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