News Digest | February 26, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 26, 2021

News Digest

City approves annual passes for Foothills Park

After moving to dramatically curtail access to Foothills Park last month, Palo Alto officially agreed on Monday to further revise entry rules to the scenic nature preserve and allow free entry to local students, veterans and visitors with disabilities.

By a unanimous vote, the City Council approved new rules that largely comport with recommendations from the city's Parks and Recreation Commission. This includes creating an annual pass for Foothills Park entry that would cost $50 for Palo Alto residents and $65 for visitors from other cities. The pass would provide entry to two cars from the same household. Visitors who don't have a pass will be able to enter by paying a $6 fee at the gate.

The Monday changes were the latest attempt by the council to balance the public's appetite for visiting the preserve, which has traditionally been open only to Palo Alto residents and their guests, and a desire to maintain safe traffic conditions and protect wildlife.

With the new rules now in place, the city plans to launch online sales of the annual passes on Feb. 27, according to Daren Anderson, assistant director at the Community Services Department.

To underscore the preserve's sensitive habitat, the council also approved on Monday the renaming of Foothills Park to the Foothills Nature Preserve — a change that was recommended by both the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Palo Alto Historical Association.

—Gennady Sheyner

Teen arrested for alleged carjacking, possible robbery

Palo Alto Police arrested a 16-year-old boy on Saturday after an armed carjacking and a high-speed chase. He also is believed to have also committed a strong-armed robbery in downtown Palo Alto the night before, police said Monday.

Late Saturday night, a Palo Alto patrol officer spotted a speeding vehicle that had been reported stolen at gunpoint the night before in East Palo Alto. The driver led officers on a high-speed chase north on East Bayshore Road before stopping on Clarke Avenue in East Palo Alto.

Five people got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. A police dog apprehended the driver on a nearby pedestrian bridge.

Police said surveillance footage from an East Palo Alto gas station showed the driver from Saturday's arrest using a credit card that was stolen from a woman during a robbery on Palo Alto's High Street on Friday night.

Police arrested the East Palo Alto teen on suspicion of committing multiple felonies, including robbery, possession of a stolen vehicle and evading arrest, and they transported him to Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.

Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.

—Bay City News Service

Stanford to allow students back on campus

Stanford University will allow juniors and seniors to come back to campus in late March, an announcement that signals administrators' optimism about local public health conditions and the university's ability to control the spread of the coronavirus.

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell announced the decision on Thursday, which will allow juniors and seniors who want to live at Stanford starting in the spring quarter that begins March 29, but still primarily attend classes online and have limited social gatherings.

The university's top leaders cited modeling by experts from the Stanford School of Medicine that suggests the trajectory of COVID-19 this spring is "likely to be manageable," and testing and response protocols have been "highly effective in limiting community spread."

Large gatherings will still be prohibited and commencement is taking place virtually.

All undergraduate students living in campus housing will have a private sleeping space. Newly arriving undergraduates will be required to be tested twice for COVID-19 when they arrive — and provided with an isolation space if they test positive — and then twice a week while living on Stanford grounds.

Currently, more than 6,600 students live on Stanford, including about 5,100 graduate students and 1,500 undergraduate students who were approved to live on campus due to special circumstances.

Since August, 183 Stanford students have tested positive for COVID-19 — an overall positivity rate of 0.12% — and 157 faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars, an 0.18% positivity rate, according to an online dashboard.

As of Thursday, 1,300 juniors and seniors have applied for campus housing in the spring quarter.

—Elena Kadvany

Comments

Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of Portola Valley
on Feb 23, 2021 at 9:45 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

Council member Tanaka brought up a good point by asking...

"Isn't low-income just what we're trying to get at?"

That said, perhaps FREE daily and annual park passes should be considered for ALL individuals receiving food stamps, welfare or any other form of public assistance (including CA Lifeline Obamaphones) with required verification.

High school and college students should also have to verify low-income eligibility for free passes OR this whole concept/experiment becomes just another cloud-cover maneuver to keep certain people out of Foothills Park.


Posted by Devon W.
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:08 am

Devon W. is a registered user.

As a homeless vet (two tours of Afghanistan) with PTSD, it is nice to know that I can now enter Foothills Park without getting hassled for loitering or trespassing providing I show my Veteran's Administration ID at the front gate or if questioned by a park ranger.


Posted by theAlex
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:15 am

theAlex is a registered user.

Let's get real here. At this point, turn the whole thing into low income housing. Foothill Park had a good run. Show the world how it's done!


Posted by Jim H
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:34 am

Jim H is a registered user.

Thank you Palo Alto for creating a season pass. But please add a reservation online so that we don't have to drive all the way up there and find the park is full. This should have been done before the park was opened broadly.


Posted by Mikey Palo Alto
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:46 am

Mikey Palo Alto is a registered user.

So now what was previously a benefit to Palo Alto residents is now something we have to pay for? We're basically subsidizing the opening up of the park to non-residents? What a fiasco... this whole rollout has proven to be. The "annual pass" should be what it was before... our driver's license with a PA address. Sigh.


Posted by Susan
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:48 am

Susan is a registered user.

Would seniors with handicap placard for their vehicles receive any discount on annual pass and/or daily pass?


Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:56 am

Aletheia is a registered user.

Please tell me how you identify a "low income" individual? Do they carry some kind of identification? Is there some indication on their driver license? Enlighten me please.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2021 at 11:19 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"Please tell me how you identify a "low income" individual? Do they carry some kind of identification? Is there some indication on their driver license? Enlighten me please."


Simple...if one has a SNAP or Medi-Cal card or a document from a county social services agency verifying that they are receiving public assistance.

To receive these benefits, one must fall below a certain income level or be disabled.

It's no different than requesting that superior court filing fees be waived for those below a certain income level.

Next question?


Posted by Joyce
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 23, 2021 at 11:28 am

Joyce is a registered user.

Will there be a reservation system so that visitors will be assured of getting into the park? Otherwise, it will be disappointing not to enter once plans have been made and one can't enter because the park is filled.


Posted by Sara A
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2021 at 11:47 am

Sara A is a registered user.

Discounts for seniors were not mentioned. Were they included? Now we will have to buy an annual pass for a single park. I think the city could have found other ways to keep the number of visitors down. Arastradero Preserve and Bixbee Park are both open to all and should stay that way. Fees are exclusionary. Turn the park over to the county? At least that way our annual pass would provide access to our many county parks as well.


Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 23, 2021 at 12:11 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

So, opening to everybody has negatively affected Palo Residents? Couldn't you have designed something to give priority?
I've gone here for 38 years for free. Now you're incurring additional costs, but we have to pay to get in? Outrageous! And we might not get a parking place? Are you making any distinction between residents and non-residents for reservations? Like we have priority? Thanks a lot!


Posted by Richard
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 23, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Richard is a registered user.

I am all for opening the park to everyone. However, since there is nothing particular about the Palo Alto Nature Preserve for Palo Altans, it's time to ask the county or the state to take it over.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2021 at 12:31 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"Discounts for seniors were not mentioned. Were they included?"

A good point Sara as many seniors are on fixed incomes.

Curious...was this PACC decision addressing park entrance protocols rushed through in haste?


Posted by Oh well.....
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2021 at 12:36 pm

Oh well..... is a registered user.

Good grief! What a mess the city council created!


Posted by Samuel Jackson
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 23, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Samuel Jackson is a registered user.

What does this mean for hikers / bikers who are NOT arriving in a car? Does it remain just a "vehicle fee"?

I hope a system to avoid cash transactions can be handled quickly -- this is a pain at Huddart Park. That said, Foothills is a great reward after a nice bike ride (for those who are able to get up the hill), so I encourage local cyclists to give it a try.


Posted by Len Ely
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Len Ely is a registered user.

I have lived in Palo Alto for 70 years. As someone mentioned to now have to pay to go to Foothills Park seems unreasonable. Palo Alto residents should be able to go at any time for free. Even with the cap an extra 10 to 20 people would not have any impact. We have had this benefit of residency in the past and we should going forward.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2021 at 1:09 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

My first thoughts.

In a pandemic, who wants to hand over a $20 at the gate and get change, or who wants to collect $6 in bills and give change? Money is pretty dirty and the need to pay with cash and get change is very wrong.

Who decides what "low income" means? How is the bar going to be set? Will it change each year, every 5 years, or what?

I was under the impression that the reason Stanford residents were never allowed in was because of "Frat Parties" with drunk students misbehaving. Is there going to be any way to stop the same from happening again?

Are bikes and pedestrians going to continue to be allowed in even when the number of visitors arriving in cars are stopped? Will bikes be counted, will pedestrians be counted? Will this give an advantage to very local residents who can enter via a short walk from their homes?

Are we going to have any type of reservation system? The race to get there on weekend mornings is real and arriving at the sign at 9.20 am to see that the gate is closed is not a good system, and for cars that are already on the drive up the hill, they can arrive at the gate and be the first not allowed in. That system is not dependable.

What about all the illegal U turns being made on Page Mill higher up the hill?

What will happen in an emergency situation? A fire, earthquake or other serious event could cause big problems at the gate, on the hill and for arriving emergency vehicles.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 23, 2021 at 2:06 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I listened to the entire discussion. Despite good intentions, this has turned into a complicated mess. The access plan is reminding me of the ridiculous color-coded parking plan that the City put into place several years ago. The discussion about the cap and what categories of visitors are excluded from the count (e.g. bus loads of kids, volunteers) was - is - baffling. If the point of a cap is to protect the preserve, why exclude any person from the count? I kinda doubt the deer differentiate between wear and tear by a person on the exclusion list and wear and tear by other visitors. I realize public opinion about Foothills is largely ignored, but here's mine anyway: make the plan simple so that it has the highest possibility of success. I suggest setting the cap at a level that provides the highest level of protection for the preserve and counting everyone (kids, volunteers, bicyclists, hikers, walkers - all human beings) that pass through the gate as part of the headcount.


Posted by Tristan Thompson
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2021 at 3:59 pm

Tristan Thompson is a registered user.

Charging an entrance fee where was once none wreaks of the same exclusionary practices that originally gave rise to the Foothills Park debacle.

There should be no charge to enter a nature preserve and Palo Alto residents should welcome non-residents as their guests.

As far as guestimated adverse impacts on the floor and fauna, simply limit the number of people who can enter the park on any given day.

Special entrance considerations should also be given to those whom the NAACP and ACLU cited as targets of alleged Palo Alto racism.

Only then can Palo Alto move forward as a modern 21st century city that embraces both equality and progressive ideals.

Until then, it will remain a SF Bay Area Mayberry where cordial white folks congregate and make small talk while clandestinely ironing their white sheets and honing timber for other social occasions.

Stanford University should also consider changing its name as it's founder was also a blatant racist who exploited Mexican, Native American, and Chinese laborers who toiled on his bucolic estate and helped build the Transcontinental Railroad.

A liberal racist town is an oxymoron.


Posted by LOL NO.
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2021 at 3:59 pm

LOL NO. is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

Show proof of low income? Many residents work 40 hour+ weeks and still can't afford to live in that so called "liberal" town and barely scraping by. It's just racism wrapped up in socio-economic strangleholds to keep the unworthy out.


Posted by Steve Ludington
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 23, 2021 at 5:20 pm

Steve Ludington is a registered user.

Do they want a charge for those entering by bicycle or on foot??


Posted by Gnar
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 23, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Gnar is a registered user.

City Council, you're blowing it, again.

My family and I have lived here for almost 60 years. You're now requiring us to buy an annual pass to get into our own park?

Let's make this really simple for you: free for residents.

Residents pay property taxes. Nonresidents don't. The increased wear and tear on the park needs to come from the new visitors. Charge $6 a car for guests. Done.


Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 23, 2021 at 5:26 pm

TimR is a registered user.

A little short on relevant facts here (and long on irrelevant ones). When is the fee scheduled to go into effect, when can I buy the annual pass, and where/how can I buy it. I don't really care about the insentient social justice angle. I know everyone's a little bored spending so much time at home (maybe even alone), but enough already. Just buy the pass if you like the park, if not, try one of the other dozen or so Open Spaces in the area. Plenty to choose from, with options for every budget.


Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 23, 2021 at 8:48 pm

eileen is a registered user.

Personally, I will miss the solitude of Foothills Park. The encounters with deer hurds on the meadow and a quiet walk on the trails. Yes, open it to all, I genuinely hope everyone has the same, quiet, nature-filled, experience others have had before them! :-)


Posted by Julian Gómez
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2021 at 10:23 pm

Julian Gómez is a registered user.

What a terrific "solution" for Palo Alto residents. You get to pay taxes for the park's upkeep AND you get to pay for a pass to get in. Unlink everyone else. This is blatant discrimination against residents, and is only because the city administration is a bunch of lazy pushovers.

They are also tone deaf. The only way to get equitable treatment from the city is a court order.


Posted by hcc2009
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 24, 2021 at 7:39 am

hcc2009 is a registered user.

This whole stupid idea was sold on the argument that "underserved communities" and "people of color" were being discriminated against. So you open up the park and it is FLOODED with people from over-served communities and very few of color. So what do you do? You institute a FEE which is guaranteed to keep OUT the people you originally told us were your reason for opening it. Liberalism is a mental disorder and PA City Council has it bad.


Posted by Hiram Motubu
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 24, 2021 at 8:33 am

Hiram Motubu is a registered user.

As a visiting scholar from Kenya, I do find this park entrance issue perplexing.

From what I understand, a decision to open Foothills Park to the public was made by the Palo Alto City Council after decades of alleged discrimination brought to light by the NAACP, ACLU and retired African-American judge LaDoris Cordell.

Fearing a potential lawsuit, the city council decided to open the park to all visitors and Palo Alto residents are now concerned about the park getting overun.

That said and duly noted, the only alternatives are to keep the park open to all (with limited access) or close it down completely as a designated wilderness area with absolutely no visitations except by range management.

This scenario is no different than what we have experienced in Africa where various exclusionary practices by colonial white people wreaked havoc on both native societies and the natural ecosystem.

I might suggest that in light of the current attention being addressed towards historical American white racism and it's adverse impact on various peoples of color, Foothills Park be returned to the native Ohlone Indians who can manage the area as both an ecological and sovereign state, allowing park visitations at their own discretions.

In America as in Africa, it is the white people who destroy native lands in the name of progress and to serve their own selfish enterprises. Indiginent people strive to preserve the natural ecosystems.

So there is your solution and I am most grateful to have been able to draw certain myopic Palo Alto residents a simple 'connect the dots' picture for those who do not comprehend basic realities.

In many ways, the intelligent preservation of natural lands in Africa is far more advanced than in a small town like Palo Alto.



Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2021 at 11:13 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

Enlightening and on point...leave it to an educated African scholar to 'educate' Palo Alto on the Foothills Park debacle.

Perhaps Palo Alto should have a student exchange program whereby various PAUSD students have an opportunity to travel abroad and learn about pertinent 'real world' realities from their academic counterparts in Africa.




Posted by Please Don't
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 24, 2021 at 3:23 pm

Please Don't is a registered user.

This is ridiculous. Time to sell the park.


Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:49 am

mauricio is a registered user.

This is a debacle. The only reasonable and just solution is to ban all human access to this nature preserve and turn it into a wildlife sanctuary run by the county. Trust humans to destroy any gift from nature and endanger the wild life, so separating humans from wildlife is the only righteous thing to do.


Posted by Alfred Guillen
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2021 at 11:47 am

Alfred Guillen is a registered user.

Yes. Sell the park and be done with it.

For close to 50 years it has been a symbol of white privilege and racism.

We are in the 21st century now and those kinds of values and perspectives are no longer acceptable.


Posted by coughvid
a resident of Monroe Park
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:23 pm

coughvid is a registered user.

We have this thing called the internet and zoom meetings for the infamous council meetings. Since most people are not aware:

Palo Alto accepted the lawsuit that somehow Foothills Park was racist and so we now can only create a mild discount for Palo Alto residents. Thus, if residents are free then legally, all must be free. Got it?

So, the park that was free and open to all every weekday is now pay-to-play except to wealthy local Los Altos Hills residents who can walk in thus ending racism in the world. Because Los Alto Hills doesn't like people parking middle class cars on their roads, they have indeed ended all nearby road parking. Yeah!

My solution: Close Foothills Park to walkers and cars. Only bikers can freely enter the park from now on which would also make our policy in line with that of the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Thank you! Brilliant.


Posted by Ashley
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2021 at 11:36 am

Ashley is a registered user.

"Only bikers can freely enter the park from now on which would also make our policy in line with that of the Kingdom of God in Heaven."

What does Foothills Park have to do with the Kingdom of God In Heaven?

It's just another park and nothing to write home about.


Posted by Jed Larraby
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Jed Larraby is a registered user.

A wrongful sense of white privilege created the Foothills Park conundrum which is why advocacy (NAACP and the ACLU had to intervene.

The park is now open to all and refusing to pay the entrance fee should serve as a rallying cry and behavioral model for all guests.


Posted by LaVonne
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 26, 2021 at 1:48 pm

LaVonne is a registered user.

Entrance into Foothills Park should remain free to all.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by BARRY W.
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm

BARRY W. is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by esther phillips
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2021 at 8:24 am

esther phillips is a registered user.

Goodness. Foothills Park has become such a controversial subject.

Perhaps as others have suggested, the parklands should either be returned to the Native Americans or sold-off for housing parcels.

Or to appease the various racist accusations, maybe build an African-American cultural and convention center on the site with lodging and dining facilities for guests and seminar attendees.


Posted by Arden Pasquinel
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2021 at 8:56 am

Arden Pasquinel is a registered user.

Relinquishing Foothills Park to the ancestors of the Ohlone tribe is a most profound concept and is currently under discussion with various legal advisors who upon further study will request and then demand that this action be taken.

Ideally we will also be able to enlist the assistance of the ACLU and other Native American Advocacy groups to pursue this matter in a concerted effort.

Since it is highly unlikely that the City of Palo Alto City Council would approve an Indian gaming casino within it's city boundaries, returning Foothills Park to it's original inhabitants is justifiable compensation.


Posted by Darrin Johnson
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2021 at 10:29 am

Darrin Johnson is a registered user.

The Native Americans have been granted many generous opportunities by the U.S. government in terms of relocation to reservation lands and the option to open independently-operated gaming casinos.

What more could they ask for?


Posted by Dave Parker
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 27, 2021 at 12:07 pm

Dave Parker is a registered user.

Agree. Just return the land at Foothills Park to the Native Americans as they are the only ones with a true sense of respect and spirit for nature and wildlife.

The roads, fences, and trails at the park constitute a vandalism of its own as most white folks could not enjoy the park on its own without man-made contrivances.

Wearing Patagonia and cross-trainers does not make one a true outdoors person, just another tourist.


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 27, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Me 2 is a registered user.

" Just return the land at Foothills Park to the Native Americans as they are the only ones with a true sense of respect and spirit for nature and wildlife."

You first.

Unless you're willing to give up your house to the Native Americans, don't tell anyone else they have to. That makes you a hypocrite.


Posted by merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 27, 2021 at 1:37 pm

merry is a registered user.

It’s a mess.
There is a simple answer. PA residents free entry EVERYONE else..... ????????????6 bucks please.
The current situation is out of control.
Time for CC to meet again
For more rule changes. Maybe $10 dollars entry fee is the right number.
Maybe mr. Tanaka was right again.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2021 at 2:58 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

previously posted:

> "Relinquishing Foothills Park to the ancestors of the Ohlone tribe is a most profound concept and is currently under discussion with various legal advisors who upon further study will request and then demand that this action be taken."

> "Agree. Just return the land at Foothills Park to the Native Americans as they are the only ones with a true sense of respect and spirit for nature and wildlife."

∆ The movement to return native lands to indigenous peoples is picking-up steam throughout the nation.

The SCOTUS recently ruled that ALL of eastern Oklahoma is Native American sovereign land and in California, immense acreage of prime natural land in Sonoma County (700 acres) and Big Sur (1,200 acres) have been relinquished and returned to both Ohlone and Esalen tribal ancestors.

Web Link

Web Link

So perhaps the Foothills Park debacle will eventually be settled in this manner as discussions are apparently underway by tribal leaders and once the ACLU gets involved, it's game over for the PACC as we have previously witnessed.

On the bright side, there will always be Mitchell Park for outdoor gatherings and chili contests.


Posted by Danielle Vanderburg
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2021 at 3:31 pm

Danielle Vanderburg is a registered user.

In many ways, returning the land encompassing Foothills Park to the tribes whose ancestors once lived there is the right thing to do and perhaps Palo Altans must learn to look beyond their seemingly narrow perspectives.

Native Americans are eco-minded caretakers of land whereas most whites view land in terms of physical ownership dictated by title deeds.

Given the media and legal allegations of systemic racism in Palo Alto, returning Foothills Park to the surviving descendants of the Ohlone tribe would not only be a humanitarian gesture but also serve to dispel the ongoing rumors and imageries of Palo Alto as a city governed by its old school bigotries.


Posted by Grew Up Here
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Grew Up Here is a registered user.

We pay taxes for the upkeep, why do we have to pay a $6 entrance fee?

The park's rules were not discriminatory: Palo Alto residents are diverse: Asians, blacks, Latinos, and any other immigrants live in Palo Alto and all were welcome to visit Foothills Park.

Forcing Palo Alto residents to pay twice is reverse discrimination.


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 27, 2021 at 4:13 pm

Me 2 is a registered user.

"Native Americans are eco-minded caretakers of land whereas most whites view land in terms of physical ownership dictated by title deeds."

Stereotype much?

Reminds me when I went river rafting with classmates of differing origins. The (white) guide was rhapsodic on Indian (subcontinent) mysticism and religions and then turned to my friend, who was of Indian descent and asked him about it. He had no clue what the hell she was talking about and gave a mystified shrug.

Stop with this claptrap.

Again, you first. Once you give up your own house or living quarters to Native Americans will we take your nonsensical "return to Native Americans" movement seriously.

Otherwise, you're just a hypocrite.


Posted by Florence D.
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2021 at 4:14 pm

Florence D. is a registered user.

Why not simply donate the land to the Ohlones and allow them to develop a casino resort on the land with maybe some condos to help alleviate the housing crisis in Palo Alto?

There are no endangered species or plants at the park, just the same deer, skunks, coyotes and poison oak easily available for appreciation at Los Trancos and Adobe Creek.

Seniors and local gamblers would flock to an Indian gaming casino situated conveniently off Page Mill Road.


Posted by iSez
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 27, 2021 at 4:16 pm

iSez is a registered user.

The goal was accomplished, the park is open to all. Palo Alto residents already pay taxes for the park. Everyone else should pay to enter.


Posted by Florence D.
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Florence D. is a registered user.

quote: "The (white) guide was rhapsodic on Indian (subcontinent) mysticism and religions and then turned to my friend, who was of Indian descent and asked him about it. He had no clue what the hell she was talking about and gave a mystified shrug."

If the white rafting guide was referring to East Indian mysticism and the other listener a Native American Indian, this is totally understandable.

Besides, from what I have read he


Posted by Florence D.
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Florence D. is a registered user.

[Post removed; excessive posting.]


Posted by Arabella Rosa
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2021 at 6:51 am

Arabella Rosa is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 28, 2021 at 11:14 am

ndn is a registered user.

"Just return the land at Foothills Park to the Native Americans as they are the only ones with a true sense of respect and spirit for nature and wildlife". Yes. It was stolen from them. Apparently some think that the "generous" benefits the native people received were the pox that kill unsurpassed numbers of them and the steal of their rights and dignities. How would you have liked that for yourself and your descendants? A few years ago in Connecticut precisely the reclamation of a good portion of a village (on the land that had been Native) was met with a hefty settlement of some 200million dollars in compensation.
Foothills Preserve needs a new comprehensive plan for preserving it.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

These passes are now available to purchase online through the Enjoy catalog. Has anyone been able to buy one without any problems yet?

As a follow on, how has the traffic been on Page Mill now that a fee is being collected at the gate?


Posted by Edgar Villarone
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2021 at 2:58 pm

Edgar Villarone is a registered user.

"passes are now available to purchase online through the Enjoy catalog."

Only campsite reservations are currently listed on City of Palo Alto online Enjoy.

Just another way to discourage outsiders (non-outdoor camping people of color) and their families from enjoying a single day at the park.

Trailers and RVs should be allowed to park in the picnic area near the lake for car camping. Then the current reservation process makes more sense.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2021 at 7:36 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Here is a link to the Enjoy catalog Foothills annual pass. Web Link= I do not think it was easy to find and it was not as simple a process as it should have been.

It will be interesting to hear just how many annual passes are sold and how many residential v non-residential passes and how far away the non-residential passes are going.


Posted by Bobby Munoz
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2021 at 8:00 am

Bobby Munoz is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 1, 2021 at 7:10 pm

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" Just return the land at Foothills Park to the Native Americans as they are the only ones with a true sense of respect and spirit for nature and wildlife."

Or, they're the only ones with a true sense of how to run a casino on Indian land. Some might like that idea, but I say no thanks. Better to keep it as is.


Posted by Laur
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 1, 2021 at 10:03 pm

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I appreciate many of these comments! I am late for the party- found out about the fee when I arrived at the park on Saturday morning. No signs posted in advance or grace period for people.

I AGREE, with the comments with questions and anger about the institutional barriers for low-income folx to get a fee waiver- the option is only for City of Palo Alto residents. A person must download the form, present it from processing and it requires the person to show proof of residency, TAX returns, and another qualifying income statement for a 25 or 50% discount. WHAT>!>!>!

Why not just post a suggested donation and cap capacity? I agree everyone should be counted for capacity purposes. The new fees are 10000% discriminatory, prohibitive, and against the spirit of opening the park to all.

A thinly-veiled move by the council to continue to try and deter certain people from enjoying the park. Come on, fix this, drop the mandatory fee, and stop creating new laws to prop up the caste system and create new barriers for low-income people. Low-income PA residents could go free 2 months ago- now they have to go through an intense application for a discount. And for low-income non-residents? Guess they are out of luck? And that's the problem.


Posted by Carmen Marquez
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2021 at 6:12 am

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√ "A thinly-veiled move by the council to continue to try and deter certain people from enjoying the park."

Yes. Palo Alto remains a racist city in denial and the council is reflective of this mindset because they want to get re-elected.

The advance protocols required to show low-income status for park entrance is just another example of Jim Crow type laws to prevent and deter others from participation and entry.

Palo Alto is not a liberal/blue city. It is a low-key racist community that prides itself on exclusivity and white privilege.

A town no different in character than any other bigoted community in the Deep South. Just more subtle.


Posted by jeff beaumont
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2021 at 6:38 am

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Palo Alto people are not racist.

They are what some call discriminatory preservationists.

And if that means keeping others out to ensure their own sense of well-being, they will proceed accordingly whether it involves convoluted park entrance requirements or city council intervention.

As someone mentioned earlier, Palo Alto is like the Kennedys. They talk the liberal talk to appear humanitarian and enlightened but deep down inside they don't want 'certain people' coming around their homes or playgrounds.

My grandparents still reside in Palo Alto and are cut from this cloth of bigotry.

And apparently so are many of the younger and more recent Palo Alto residents.

Best to stay clear of this place if you are not white nor upwardly mobile.

On the other hand I have read that there is an increasing population of wealthy Asians now residing in Palo Alto.

Perhaps over time they will alter the political landscape of Palo Alto.


Posted by Jamie Long
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 2, 2021 at 8:32 am

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They are what some call discriminatory preservationists.

My grandparents still reside in Palo Alto and are cut from this cloth of bigotry.

MANY OLDER PEOPLE ARE SET IN THEIR WAYS & RESIST CHANGE. LIVING IN THE PAST OFTEN SERVES AS A COMFORT ZONE.

Best to stay clear of this place if you are not white nor upwardly mobile.

BEING ABLE TO AFFORD THE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS & PROPERTY TAX IS THE KEY DETERMINANT TO WHETHER YOUNGER INDIVIDUALS CAN AFFORD TO OWN A HOME IN PALO ALTO AS A HOMEOWNER.


Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2021 at 1:56 pm

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The web link to Enjoy catalog for Foothills Park, as I understand it, shows making a reservation for camp sites. I didn't find anything about an annual pass to drive up, park, and then take a hike.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 2, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"MANY OLDER PEOPLE ARE SET IN THEIR WAYS & RESIST CHANGE. LIVING IN THE PAST OFTEN SERVES AS A COMFORT ZONE."

Many people who are older now were in forefront of protests and lobbying for civil rights, women's rights and equal rights. Many of us are still out there protesting and supporting those causes.

You're welcome.

In fact, we've often commented how political activism at, say Stanford is a mere shadow of what it was decades ago.

Such a shame to see everything now reduced to stereotypes, us-vs-them divisiveness and slogans. But that's easier than thinking through the issues or remembering history including WHY Foothils was restricted to Palo Alto residents.


Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 2, 2021 at 2:32 pm

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Gnar suggests "Let's make this really simple for you: free for residents.

Residents pay property taxes. Nonresidents don't. The increased wear and tear on the park needs to come from the new visitors. Charge $6 a car for guests. Done."

The sentiment here seems just. Why not do this: keep the new fee schedule, but give people one year's credit toward a pass for every year they've lived here during the years 1970-2020? Seems fair all around -- everyone can access the park and those who have already effectively "prepaid" for their passes by paying taxes even when access was free get some credit for those payments.


Posted by Jeremy Taylor
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:43 pm

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"Many people who are older now were in forefront of protests and lobbying for civil rights, women's rights and equal rights. Many of us are still out there protesting and supporting those causes."

"You're welcome."

∆ Yeah, and how far have we really evolved based on your protests and lobbying?

African Americans are still being mistreated and discriminated against while women are still underpaid and being objectified.

Yes, your colorful tie-dies and Birkenstocks really changed the world for the better.

And then your generation traded in their ratty-looking VW bugs for stylish BMWs.

Foothills Park is not Walden Pond or Max Yasgur's farm. Seriously.

And as your parents eventually discovered, there comes a time to let the later generations assume the reins.

As your close to 90 year-old prophet once sang, " the times they are a changin'.

BTW...your welcome.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:53 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

That would be "you're welcome" and obviously we've not come far enough since so many are still discriminated against on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, gender, ethnicity etc.

How about getting angry at the institutions that DO the discriminating like the big companies, red-lining banks, law firms and venture capital companies instead of those of us who've been subject to discrimination?

Yelling at us makes no sense.

And Bob Dylan's 79 years old, not 90.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:53 pm

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The Enjoy catalog link Web Link= I posted it above as it took me quite a while to find it. I think people are still unable to find it. Click on the link then look for the annual pass section


Posted by Jim
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 2, 2021 at 7:31 pm

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Foothills wasn’t always free. As I recall we used to pay $2 to get into Foothills Park in the ‘90s. Nearly $4 in today’s money.


Posted by Arabella M.
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 5:54 am

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[Post removed; off topic.]


Posted by Jim Nettles
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2021 at 7:19 am

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"And as your parents eventually discovered, there comes a time to let the later generations assume the reins."

Reminds me of a song where the lead singer (who must also be about 90 now) is singing and stuttering something about 'my generation'.

Well that particular generation is now OLD and should give things a rest.

Being 60 is not the 'new 40' and someone who is pushing 80 or 90 years old is most definitely not 50.

This is delusional and defies the scientific practice of modern gerontology.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:57 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

Being 60 is not the 'new 40' and someone who is pushing 80 or 90 years old is most definitely not 50.

∆ Which is why cosmetic surgeries, various elixers, and health spa retreats are such lucrative businesses.

Many baby boomers wish to stay as Bob Dylan once sang, 'forever young' and the delusion is OK because as we get older, our minds tend to get forgetful as well.

BTW...I suspect that the stuttering singer you were referring to was Roger Daltrey of The Who and both he and Pete Townsend are no spring chickens either.


Posted by Gnar
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 5, 2021 at 1:51 pm

Gnar is a registered user.

PSA: Everyone stop with the "white privilege" straw man.

Affluent and historically-white neighboring communities of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Menlo Park, etc. have all been excluded by the residency requirement this entire time, so the issue clearly was never about social injustice.


Posted by avery james
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2021 at 2:44 pm

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~ "so the issue clearly was never about social injustice."

Yes it was... 'social injustice' towards the "Affluent and historically-white neighboring communities of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Menlo Park etc."


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:37 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

It was about simple economics. Those other communities refused to help pay for the park so they were denied access. See also no free lunch.

If someone doesn't buy concert tickets or pay for hotel rooms in advance, they don't let you in. Same thing. Whoever you are.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:46 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"If someone doesn't buy concert tickets or pay for hotel rooms in advance, they don't let you in."

Unless you are wearing a 'laminate' and have a backstage pass.

As for nice hotels and fine dining...best reserved as a corporate 'business expense'.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:54 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

R Cavendish, fine. I was trying to keep it simple that if you -- or your employer or sponsor -- don't pay, you don't get in.


Posted by Felicia Marquez
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 4:28 pm

Felicia Marquez is a registered user.

Ideally the park will remain open to all outside visitors with free entrance.

Since the Pao Alto residents have had exclusive and free access to the park for many years, it would not be unreasonable for them to pay a nominal entrance fee instead of non-residents having to pay and as some others have mentioned, create a group of community volunteers to keep the place tidy and maintain the walkways and trails as needed. Then they could get their fresh air and outdoor experience twofold.

Call it civic duty, a community responsibility to preserve cherished recreational areas for everyone including themselves.

Perhaps people from other communities could join in as well but the ultimate obligations rest with the residents of Palo Alto and the munipality itself.

It's time to step-up and maintain the area or give it back to the Indians.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 5, 2021 at 6:41 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Since the Palo Alto residents have had exclusive and free access to the park for many years, it would not be unreasonable for them to pay a nominal entrance fee instead of non-residents having to pay and as some..."

One more time:

PA has NOT had FREE access; we've PAID for it. With our TAXES. For DECADES.

PA had "exclusive" access BECAUSE PA chose to prioritize the park and pay for park staffing, maintenance and education etc. while the other communities didn't. They chose to use THEIR tax dollars for OTHER things in THEIR communities.

Rangers and Parks & Recreation people aren't free. Nor should they be. PA pays their salaries and benefits and pensions. As we have for decades.

That means PA has less money for OTHER things which are being cut due to A) budget shortfalls due to the the pandemic and B) higher Park costs related to opening the park and dealing with overflow crowds and park damage.

It has nothing to do with racism. PLEASE stop calling it that.

PS: Why should non-residents pay nothing? Access to state parks and national parks isn't free.


Posted by LaVonne Miranda
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2021 at 6:56 am

LaVonne Miranda is a registered user.

"It has nothing to do with racism. PLEASE stop calling it that."

I tend to agree as it is more about the self-serving elitist mindset of many Palo Alto residents who do not believe in sharing their park with others or taking any personal initiatives on a volunteer basis to contribute to its daily maintanence.

Most want to be waited on hand and foot, whether it's at a downtown restaurant or at one of Palo Alto's fancy and overpriced hair care salons.

And chances are, the majority of them have never picked-up a broom or a rake. They simply hire a Mexican gardner and then pass ordinances against the use of leaf blowers.

We'll call it 'environmental racism' instead.


Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 6, 2021 at 7:33 am

TimR is a registered user.

"On the other hand I have read that there is an increasing population of wealthy Asians now residing in Palo Alto."

And even before opening the park to "everyone," Foothills had an increasing number of visitors who are Asian. And after the opening? No change at all. From vising around twice a week, I estimate the demographics of park visitation to be half Asian. So CLEARLY white privilege has nothing whatsoever to do with this park or current arguments about access. To say otherwise is to be touting a myth-based belief system completely devoid of facts.


Posted by Minnie Wong
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 6, 2021 at 9:28 am

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× And even before opening the park to "everyone," Foothills had an increasing number of visitors who are Asian. And after the opening? No change at all. From vising around twice a week, I estimate the demographics of park visitation to be half Asian. So CLEARLY white privilege has nothing whatsoever to do with this park or current arguments about access. To say otherwise is to be touting a myth-based belief system completely devoid of facts.

@TimR

Based on your insightful commentary. and 'And after the opening. No change at all'.

Did it ever occur or dawn on you that the multitude of Asians visiting Foothills Park prior to it's open access were also Palo Alto residents?

Palo Alto is approximately 35% Mandarin Chinese now so it stands to reason that many of them will visit Foothills Park as it is now their park as well + many of the elders who are now living with their adult children enjoy the outdoors as well.

Your comments are just another cloud-cover for the pervasive racism in Palo Alto.

And I suspect there is a certain degree of resentment due to the fact that many of the recently arrived residents from China can easily afford to buy homes in Palo Alto with cash.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 6, 2021 at 11:09 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Lavonne makes all sorts of assumptions about people about whom she knows nothing and then concludes "We'll call it 'environmental racism' instead."

YOUR racism is showing.

If you'd read PA news and comments here, you'd have noticed that for years many of us have been complained that we rarely go downtown because we've been over-run by commuters and there's no parking. Pre-pandemic, commuters outnumbered residents four to one.

Yes,I agree that many PA restaurants are over-priced BECAUSE offices rents are higher and those offices pushed out small restaurants and small retailers. SO we go elsewhere for a more interesting restaurant mix and livelier street sscene -- Menlo Park, Mountain View Redwood City etc.

Several years ago we did a petition drive to limit office growth and voted out City Council members supporting the huge growth in offices, many of which had their own cafeterias which destroyed nearby restaurants.

Re gardening, check out PA's community gardens in various parks, Gamble Garden center on Embarcadero and the big Summer Winds Garden store at Middlefield & San Antonio -- just SOME of the places for people who like to garden.

And please check YOUR racism before making unfounded accusations.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:53 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

I am beginning to suspect that given all of the unresolved issues of racial and economic disparity, we are now entering a new era defined by 'reverse racism'...a heightened sense of contempt and hatred directed at those who various minority people/groups perceive as still calling the shots in American society.


Posted by Kaneesha
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:10 pm

Kaneesha is a registered user.

White people don't get it.

They succeeded in oppressing the blacks and keeping them in poverty and now they are going after wealthy Asians by blaming them for the coronavirus.

If this isn't white perpetuated racism and ignorance, then pigs have wings.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:39 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Kaneesha, things aren't as simple as you're trying to make them.

Of course blacks were /are oppressed. But so are/were ALL women who still make much less than men if they're still employed. Read up on the history of union-busting where Pinkterons and others literally busted the heads of workers (blacks, whites and Asians) striving for better working conditions in mines and factories. This dates back at least 100 years.

Yes, Asians are being unfairly blamed for Covid because Trump called it the Chinese disease AND because rap artists ALSO unfairly characterize Asians. The increased violence against Asians by whites, blacks and others in disgusting.

But "wealthy Asians" and OTHER wealthy foreign investors are partly responsible for pushing up the price of US real estate as they move money out of their countries and treat real estate as a safe bank account.

This is a major national and international issue that cities are struggling to address.

Have you heard of "ghost" houses? Those are unoccupied houses and apartments that have been bought STRICTLY for investment often without the buyer ever seeing the properties. It's why many cities are considering taxing this type of investment to discourage it and make more housing available.

Perpetuating ignorance and stereotypes isn't limited to whites.


Posted by Jacob Lee
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Jacob Lee is a registered user.

What is wrong with a ghost investment house if other white people cannot afford to pay cash for the property like the Chinese do in most instances?

It is at the discretion of the owner whether to rent, sell or inhabit the property.

As other white Palo Alto residents have said before, if one cannot afford to reside in Palo Alto go live somewhere else.

Like Milpitas or Gilroy or Hayward.

White people in Palo Alto make the rules and we simply abide by them.

Money talks.


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