Letters | June 11, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - June 11, 2010


Oil leak


BP is trying to salvage the leaking Deepwater Horizon oil well, not plug it. I believe it's possible to stop the leak very quickly, if we, not BP, choose to kill the well.

Over and over we have heard from BP that the long-term objective is to drill relief wells to reduce the pressure. This is so they can go back in and start harvesting the fruits of their $600 million investment.

On April 20, the blowout occurred at 5,000 feet and the emergency-relief valve, rated at 450 tons of pressure, failed.

Remember "Top Hat?" In late May, a complex system of equipment was assembled on the floor of the gulf with pipes from a surface ship to pump heavy mud down on the leaking wellhead. Pumping from the surface requires some of the most powerful pumps in the world. They didn't have enough mud. Top Hat failed. So has every other effort.

Most everyone in media, industry, government and the scientific community has bought the BP point of view. But there's a much easier solution: kill the well. Drop something on the wellhead that weighs more than the 450-tons. A large empty oil tanker ship might do.

Bill Copeland

Ash Street

Palo Alto

Hospital and Menlo Park


Last week your sister paper, the Almanac, asked, "Can Menlo Park live with the hospital project?" Referring to traffic issues, it ended with a puzzling statement: "Menlo Park must go it alone on this development, without any support from Stanford or Palo Alto."

The author must not have read Palo Alto's recently released Draft Environmental Impact Report or been aware of the collaboration between Palo Alto and City of Menlo Park staff during the preparation of the DEIR.

Those discussions lead to specific mitigation measures in the DEIR to be implemented in Menlo Park, if feasible and desired by Menlo Park.

These are in addition to extensive alternative transportation programs to be offered for commuting employees by the Stanford University Medical Center (SUMC) sponsors.

Menlo Park features to be supported financially by SUMC sponsors include:

* Traffic adaptive signal technology at Menlo Park intersections.

* Fair share contribution to the proposed bicycle underpass under the Caltrain tracks at Middle Avenue.

* Coordination with Menlo Park on potentially feasible intersection improvements.

* Fair share payment of the Menlo Park shuttle fee on an ongoing annual basis.

* Fair share payment to increase the frequency of the "U-line" bus service from the East Bay.

With the combination of these and numerous other measures described in the DEIR, no intersections in Menlo Park would experience increased congestion due to future SUMC traffic in the morning peak hour commute period and only three in the evening.

And those three can be improved by Menlo Park with contributions from the SUMC sponsors. It is expected that feasible mitigation measures will be actively discussed with City of Menlo Park staff while review of the DEIR is underway. But most importantly, the community will receive the benefits of modernized and expanded hospitals, including critically needed emergency facilities.

Jean McCown

Director of Community Relations

Stanford University

Cibo review


The restaurant reviewer who wrote about Cibo (Palo Alto Weekly, June 4) must have left his taste buds and goodness knows what else in the parking lot. My husband and I couldn't disagree more with the review's nitpicking and predominantly negative overtones as our experiences at Cibo have been decidedly positive.

We have eaten at many restaurants locally, elsewhere in this country, and in countries abroad, and are well informed as to a variety of cuisines. We are quite choosy when it comes to deciding which restaurants to patronize and have eaten at Cibo many times since it opened eight years ago. We have always found the food and service to be consistently good, which is why we go

back time and time again.

The reviewer complains that the "eclectic" menu lacks focus and asks, "What's the theme here?"

We feel that Paul Khaki and Anna Jamei do a remarkably good job in presenting an eclectic menu that should satisfy everyone's tastes.

Isn't that what "eclectic" implies? Surely "eclectic" is both the theme and the focus at Cibo.

Hazel Rand

McGregor Way

Palo Alto


Posted by AnoNymous, a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2010 at 11:57 am

C'mon, Jean McCown, are you still using that old "Community Relations" title? Far more appropriate would be "Stanford Liar-in-Chief."

Why in the world would anyone trust "your word" regarding supposed assistance to Menlo Park (particular when as vaguely-worded as "fair share"), in return for the vast degradation of the local environment in the name of Stanford's megalomaniacal vision of never-ending expansion.

And please don't regurgitate that nonsense about vast hospital expansion having the purpose of "benefiting the community." That's just absurd. The "community" in question is pretty much privately insured, and overpays your facilities so that you can choose to bring in freebie work from EPA, Guatamala, Haiti, Mexico (sorry, no need to bring those in, as the illegals are already here), and God knows where else this week.

How do I count thy lies? 5 million sq ft of new buildings with a promise for recreational trails IN THE FOOTHILLS (you know which ones I mean), not glorified bicycle paths adjacent to busy thoroughfares. Promises to retain the bicycle trail through campus which originated on Sand Hill Road near Oak.

And on and on. Each time, Stanford lawyers manage to sneak tricky languange into every agreement (and/or argue it's there when it's not, yet it makes no difference once Stanford has already benefited from the phony bargain).

Where's your next job, Jean? The Obama White House?

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Bill - on the oil leak, you can be sure that BP wold far prefer shutting down this bore and drilling into the pool with a new hole. There is no guarantee any blasting or squashing would halt the leak, and if BP is recovering salable oil, more power to them

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