Around Town | May 17, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 17, 2019

Around Town

OUTSMARTED... Palo Alto High School teacher Trevor Crowell fell short on Monday's episode of "Jeopardy!" Teachers Tournament, where incorrect answers, including missing the final clue, cost him a spot in the finals. His knowledge of local figures proved useful in the first round when he was presented with this question under the colleges and universities category: "John Steinbeck studied marine biology at this private California school on and off from 1919-1925, but never got a degree." (Answer: Stanford.) He racked up more errors as the competition entered the second round. In a category about medical conditions, he was given this clue: "One more reason to monitor this substance in your diet: It can build up & cause strawberry gallbladder." Crowell said sugar, but the correct answer was cholesterol. Another mistake came through a Daily Double question on which William Shakespeare play had the future Henry VII declare "We will unite the white rose and the red." Crowell said King Lear, but the correct answer was Richard III. Going into the Final Jeopardy round in second place with $10,600, he took a risk and wagered all but $100. The clue on Americana got the best of him (and his fellow competitors): "John and Priscilla Alden lie in the USA's oldest maintained cemetery, which like a poem about the couple, is named for this person." The Paly teacher said Arlington, but the correct answer was Miles Standish. Despite falling short of his chance at $100,000, Crowell congratulated the tournament finalist at the end of the show.

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Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2019 at 9:37 am

It was good to see a local teacher on Jeopardy. I am sure his students, past and present, were pleased to see him and support him. Well done.


23 people like this
Posted by Incredible
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 18, 2019 at 9:59 am

From the PA Weekly...

> With no noticeable hint of irony, the Palo Alto City Council approved on Monday a special proclamation honoring "Affordable Housing Week." Read by Mayor Eric Filseth, the proclamation calls affordable housing "one of the cornerstones of democracy."

Typical PACC balderdash. Will they be hosting festivities at the BV trailer park?


10 people like this
Posted by I call bias on the Weekly
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2019 at 3:54 pm

@Incredible,
The success of the referendum is one of the major reasons that trailer park is still there instead of having been successfully turned into luxury housing like the President Hotel. SB50, the rezoning -- these are all just different flavors of things that wholesale displace existing residents.

There is no hint of irony, because Filseth and others understood the Trojan Horse being offered (or, forced onto people) with a sugar coating of superficial affordable housing that would cost more actual affordable housing because of what it offered developers.

The magical thinking of people on the left who let themselves be co-opted by developers is going to destroy the ascendency of the democratic party in California, same as those on the right completely destroyed the reputation of Christianity by letting themselves be co-opted by rightwing politicians. The people here who can't be trusted are those who claim they care about affordable housing but play right into developers hands like the authors of SB50.


16 people like this
Posted by Incredible
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 18, 2019 at 5:36 pm

> The magical thinking of people on the left who let themselves be co-opted by developers is going to destroy the ascendency of the democratic party in California, same as those on the right completely destroyed the reputation of Christianity...

Speaking of the far right (aka red states) & their interpretation of Christianity...

Why is it that when it comes to abortion and women's rights, the bible-belt conservatives are promoting the 'right to life' of an unborn fetus (as per their pro-life beliefs) yet when it comes to capital punishment, they are generally wholeheartedly in support the death penalty?

Is that not ironic?


8 people like this
Posted by I call bias
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 19, 2019 at 12:03 am

@Incredible,
The greater irony is that Jesus of Nazareth said nothing at all about homosexuality, but he did say you are your brother's keeper and to love your neighbor as yourself, and he also said not to get divorced (wonder if the cake bakers ever ask people if it's their second marriage?) Oh, and, he did have a lot to say about religious hypocrites. Now that's ironic.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 19, 2019 at 7:53 am

I'm not sure how this thread became mixed up in religion, Christianity (aka Easter Worshippers) abortion, homosexuality and divorce.

But I would add that Jesus destroyed the tables where the money changers were making a buck on the backs of those trying to follow their religion.


18 people like this
Posted by Incredible
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 19, 2019 at 8:08 am

>> Read by Mayor Eric Filseth, the proclamation calls affordable housing "one of the cornerstones of democracy."

Jesus also advised being aware of false prophets.


>> ...Jesus destroyed the tables where the money changers were making a buck on the backs of those trying to follow their religion.

Perhaps we should also add being aware of 'false profits' (i.e. certain acts being conducted by developers, banks and attorneys etc.).


13 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 19, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Pat Burt is a registered user.

In it's section on the Affordable Housing Week proclamation, the article above repeats a false claim that the recently approved Wilton Court affordable housing project was the first such project in Palo Alto in seven years. Actually, it is our third affordable project in the last four years.
The 70 unit Mayfield Place affordable project at lower Cal Ave/El Camino was approved in 2015 and opened in 2017, Web Link. Although the general framework for such a project was agreed upon more than a dozen years ago, the actual project was not proposed, approved and constructed until recently.
In addition, Buena Vista Mobile Home Park was purchased converted to deed restricted affordable housing in 2016 in large part by using the city's affordable housing fund. Caritas, the new non-profit operators of BV are currently replacing the old mobile homes with newer units, along with many other upgrades to the parkWeb Link.
In addition, last year the city adopted an Affordable Housing Overlay zoning that provides for higher density, lower parking requirements and other allowances for affordable housing, Web Link.
Going forward, the challenge is that BV and the recent Wilton Court project have depleted the city's Affordable Housing Fund. To fix this problem and accelerate production, city needs new funds dedicated to affordable housing which are leveraged by non-profits against state, federal and private funds. The city can take two significant actions to increase funding. First, they should increase the housing impact fees on new commercial development to the levels that were recommended by the 2016 city council and reversed by the new council in 2017. Second, they can adopt a tiered business tax for local transportation and affordable housing, focused on larger companies which the city has just begun considering. If Palo Alto charged one-third the rate charged by San Francisco and if only 20% of that was used for affordable housing, we couple double to triple the rate of new affordable projects going forward.


11 people like this
Posted by Good not Bad
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 19, 2019 at 3:05 pm

Good point Pat Burt. Buena Vista is 117 units of housing for nearly 400 people. And remember the 16 units of workforce housing approved for the VTA lot.

One thing that angers me is when I hear that the billionaire Spieker family of Windy Hills developers only includes 15% affordable units in big market rate development, saying "it just doesn't pencil out to include more". Give me a break, Tod Spieker, you never held a pencil, only a Mont Blanc pen, and Palo Alto required 15% inclusionary zoning way back in the 1980's. So you are not fooling anyone, you could do much more, but you and developers like you are not providing the housing needed, but the profit wanted.

Study after study show that market rate housing does not "trickle down" to help with the moderate and low income housing situation. Towns such at Palo Alto must have robust inclusionary zoning an affordable housing impact fees (yes, we need to raise these), along with controls on commercial growth including office and R&D such as Palo Alto has.

Don't think that simply building housing of any kind housing - nonsense. Don't look to MV or RWC as good examples. They build so much more office and commercial that it far outstrips housing capacity, so just exacerbates the problem, often displacing renters while only including 10 - 15% affordable units.

Even Mayor Filseth's favorite good example in MV of balanced development is no longer valid. Google's 10,000 housing units along with its zillions of square feet of development was in a jobs/housing balance until google reneged on half the housing - and it seems its going to get away with it. So much for balance. MV is making housing, traffic and pollution worse. So is RWC.

I am glad Palo Alto is careful and thoughtful about what housing we build and where, and its impacts on traffic, schools, etc. I supported the Maybell project but don't support abominations like SB50 that would allow developers to exploit our town with Mont Blanc pen in hand.


Like this comment
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 21, 2019 at 1:16 pm

Weekly Express/Town Square...please acknowledge me as a paid up subscriber so I don't have o type in the silly verification code below. Thanks! And why don't I see a like + sign after the posters' names. Is that a new policy change?


Like this comment
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 21, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Well, it's good to see the + sign come back. It didn't show up earlier...about an hour ago. But I repeat my plea...don't force me to use the verification code!Thanks!


2 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 21, 2019 at 1:57 pm

@Pat Burt...Thanks. You have the history...you've lived through it and led us through much of it. And you can speak, and do speak, with authority, on the real situation re affordable housing. I have one comment, or actually a question, about BV. Is it as affordable as it was before our massive investment in it, for the residents living there? Who is paying for the new living units and the upgrades? What is the progress report on improving the infrastructure/roads/utilities etc., to bring that area up to code? I ask tough questions just like you do, Pat. I always await responses from the more pro growth CC members (current and past). Let's all be honest with each other. Gentrification is happening and rezoning and relaxing rules on housing development won't work if it amounts to tearing down old and building new, and the new only, or mainly, being units that are only affordable for the high income employees and rich foreigners with suitcases full of cash who want to call Palo Alto their home. The ABAG mandate is very specific on housing for various income levels. We will never meet all those demands. We should acknowledge that and move on and let our community be what it has been and wants to be without outside...state mandated rules.


1 person likes this
Posted by Xiao Ping
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 21, 2019 at 8:00 pm

"...the Palo Alto City Council approved on Monday a special proclamation honoring "Affordable Housing Week." Read by Mayor Eric Filseth, the proclamation calls affordable housing "one of the cornerstones of democracy."

I agree with mayor. We moved to Palo Alto and bought nice home. Palo Alto is affordable with good schools and safe streets. Much better place to be than China.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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