Palo Alto prepares for more budget cuts amid prolonged revenue slump | February 26, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 26, 2021

Palo Alto prepares for more budget cuts amid prolonged revenue slump

As economic crisis continues to hit hotels, City Council looks for other ways to reduce costs

by Gennady Sheyner

When Palo Alto's elected leaders agreed last June to cut about $40 million from the city's budget, they were operating on the assumption that the worst of the pandemic would be over by December.

Now, as the City Council is looking toward the next year's budget and COVID-19 continues to cast a dark cloud over the local economy, those seemingly dire projections have proven to be optimistic. With revenues falling beneath expectations, the council is preparing to cut the budget by another $7 million, a move that will likely include additional service cuts and delays to numerous infrastructure projects.

The debate over which programs to cut and which projects to delay will take center stage this Monday, when the council considers a series of budget adjustments and weighs further strategies for supporting businesses and nonprofit groups. As part of the discussion, the council will consider waiving rent for the tenants who lease space at city-owned properties and spending about $150,000 to modify the streetscape at University Avenue so that the city can more easily open and close the road to traffic to support local businesses.

One significant action that the council plans to take on Monday is to formally eliminate the 83 full-time positions and 107 part-time positions that were frozen and defunded when the council adopted the fiscal year 2021 budget last June. The eliminated positions make up 18% of the city's workforce, according to a new report from the Administrative Services Department.

Further staff cuts may follow in the months ahead. During a Feb. 8 discussion of Palo Alto's long-term financial forecast, council members acknowledged that the city will need to identify additional expense reductions, whether in services, infrastructure projects or both.

"I think it's safe to say there's no safe harbor, so to speak," Chief Financial Officer Kiely Nose said during the Feb. 8 discussion. "We'll have to look across the organization."

Given the bleak financial outlook, the council agreed at that meeting that one of its strategies should be slowing down infrastructure spending. Vice Mayor Pat Burt was among those who pushed for the staff to reconsider the city's capital projects.

"We need to look objectively on how aggressive a capital plan we need to have during an economic crisis and whether all these things need to be continued at a record pace in the middle of an emergency," Burt said at the Feb. 8 discussion.

On Monday, members will have a chance to identify specific projects that could be delayed or canceled. According to staff, the list that the city is currently scheduled to approve before the end of June includes $8 million for the latest phase of the Charleston-Arastradero Road streetscape improvements, which includes enhanced bike lanes, traffic signal improvements and landscaped median islands; $2.5 million for improvements at Rinconada Park, including new playground equipment and upgrades to irrigation and drainage; $2.4 million to help renovate the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo; $2.7 million for new automated parking-guidance systems at downtown garages; and $8.7 for replacing the roofs and aged mechanical, electrical and lighting systems at the Municipal Services Center.

The city also plans to approve a $950,000 design contract for the replacement of Fire Station 4 at Mitchell Park. The current station, which was constructed in 1953, has been deemed seismically unsafe and insufficient in size to provide space for emergency supplies and to separate living quarters from fumes of engines. A report from the city's 2011 Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Committee also noted that the station can "barely hold the two engines" given that equipment has grown in size and capacity over the years.

Like other projects on the council's 2014 list of infrastructure priorities, the replacement project was banking on transient-occupancy taxes for funding. But with local hotels either shuttered or operating well below capacity, the funding source has shrunk considerably over the past year. In the last three months of 2020, the city collected just $1.57 million in hotel tax receipts, a decrease of 85.7% from the same period in 2019, when the city collected $10.94 million.

According to the Administrative Services Department report, occupancy rates last December were 38.4% with an average room rate of $117 per day, down from $279 per day over the same period in the prior year. As a result, the council is preparing to adjust its 2021 budget to reduce its revenue projection from hotel taxes from the budgeted level of $14.9 million to $4.8 million, a 67.7% drop.

Sales tax revenues, by contrast, are doing better than the city had expected. Staff projects that the city will receive about $25 million in sales taxes by the end of June, which exceeds the budgeted amount by $4.5 million, or 22.1%, according to the staff report.

Council members also recognized earlier this month that the community has yet to absorb the full magnitude of last year's cuts — which included the elimination of the city's shuttle program, 33 positions in the city's public safety departments and 16 full-time positions in the Library and Community Services departments, among other measures. That's because most residents remain constrained by the county's public health orders.

"People think this is all going to come back when COVID is over, and it's not," council member Alison Cormack said at the meeting.

Even as it considers additional cuts, the council is also weighing a measure that would further eat into this year's budget: give tenants at city-owned properties rent relief.

During normal times, the city generates about $278,000 per month from 67 tenants, according to the staff report. But since public health orders kicked in last March, many of these tenants have been forced to shutter and have requested assistance.

The city had allowed about 20 tenants at Palo Alto Airport and Cubberley Community Center to defer its rent payments in the first three months of the pandemic, costing the city $250,000 in uncollected rent by the end of last June. In addition, the city is reporting about $149,000 in delinquencies from tenants who did not apply or qualify for relief in the first three months of the health crisis.

Since then, the city has been fielding more requests for rent forgiveness, according to staff. On Monday, the council will consider how far it should go in providing it.

The most ambitious option on the table would result in three months of rent forgiveness for all 67 tenants, which includes nonprofits and businesses of various sizes. That option would cost the city about $875,000 in lost revenues, according to staff. Another idea is to exclude large businesses from the forgiveness program, which would limit the number of tenants who receive forgiveness to 57 and cost the city $751,000. The third option presented by staff would limit rent forgiveness to the 17 nonprofit tenants, which would cost $203,000.

Despite the ongoing budget woes, city staff is recommending moving ahead with rent relief, provided that the tenant receiving assistance meets numerous conditions: The tenant should have no outstanding delinquencies for payments due prior to April 2020; have had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million in 2019; be able to show proof that its operations have been impacted by the county's public health orders; and have experienced a gross revenue decline by at least 50% between the first half of 2019 and the first half of 2020.

"While the rent forgiveness program will impact the city's budget, it is believed to be necessary to assist vital community businesses through an unprecedented pandemic," the staff report states.

Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at [email protected]

Comments

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2021 at 4:57 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Too bad Foothills Preserve is causing so much additional expense!

Infrastructure improvements can be delayed if they are new projects, but infrastructure is not the way to cut spending. Anything that proves to take away quality of life for the residents who are working from home and have limited options for recreation, pastimes and exercise as well as life within our homes, must be prioritized.


Posted by JF
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 24, 2021 at 8:17 pm

JF is a registered user.

But let’s get this straight- they want to spend money money enforcing parking? With businesses dwindling and people working from home we continue to promote failed programs. Good job PA


Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 24, 2021 at 10:45 pm

ALB is a registered user.

It is time for the city of Palo Alto to establish
taxation of corporate businesses. Most cities have been doing this for years. Do not
impose this tax on small businesses.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 24, 2021 at 11:28 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

My dear Palo Altans,

I have a solution for your budget woes. In fact I have two.

1) Do a local repeal of Prop 13 and normalize everyone's property taxes. Oh no, what did I just do. How would grandpas and grandmas with $2 million in home equity afford this.

Simple. We don't want them to have a sudden spike in taxes. They can be gradually raised and then when they pass away, an equity capture to fill tha gap.

2) Build dense and increase the number of families that live on the same plot of land. This one is way easier.


Posted by Oh well.....
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 25, 2021 at 4:52 am

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

We have city leaders(?) who are clueless on how the economy works.


Posted by Juliet Duffy
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2021 at 7:40 am

Juliet Duffy is a registered user.

Why not simply sell Foothills Park to developers who could then create a new gated residential community situated between the towns of Portola Valley and Los Altos Hills?

With roughly 1,600 acres (minus the lake) to work with, a variety of forested and bucolic home sites could be built with the lake as a private recreational amenity for members of this new residential community.

The monetary resources to fund city operations are already there. Just sell Foothills Park as it has become more trouble than it is worth.

Plus, a new and exclusive housing development would attract many wealthy home buyers both locally and from abroad.

It would be like having another Hillsborough, Atherton, or Saratoga to grace the locale.


Posted by Educator
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2021 at 7:58 am

Educator is a registered user.

In midtown, there have been at least three new traffic patterns installed and then removed or altered. At the intersection of Amarillo and Greer, they partially installed a roundabout before realizing that we need stop signs when there is a school a block away. There is also the mess of changing stop signs over on Louis from Amarillo to Moreno with the weird brick street. Stop investing in and planning changes to perfectly fine intersections. Lastly, the roundabout installed at Ross and East Meadow was a disaster! They finally added a stop sign back there after it was clear how unsafe it was for the kids biking to schools along E. Meadow.

Police could raise a lot of revenue simply catching the stop sign runners at Elbridge and Louis though...


Posted by J. Moreno
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2021 at 9:21 am

J. Moreno is a registered user.

previously posted...

"Why not simply sell Foothills Park to developers who could then create a new gated residential community situated between the towns of Portola Valley and Los Altos Hills?"

This is a marvelous idea as it would add to the city's residential property tax base and add further luxury to the concept of elite Silicon Valley housing opportunities.

Speaking as a seasoned residential RE agent, developing a tract of premier one acre estates in a rural setting would most definitely appeal to the newly emerging wealth class of entrpreneurs and our affluent newer citizens arriving from abroad.

Palo Alto should consider this option as the added property tax-base stream of incoming revenue would be enormous + imagine all of the newly created jobs required to construct new homes and to maintain these properties.

And since there is a seemingly endless conflict over Foothills Park, why not simply put it to rest as hiking in the woods is highly overated and needn't be a bone of contention.





Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 25, 2021 at 9:22 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Have to agree with the comments above. Some how some advocacy group got ahold of the city budget and enriched itself by issuing contracts to company's to completely ruin the streets. Those concrete pieces sticking into the street are a hazard. Someone is getting a kick-back for all of that unnecessary road work. If we are in a budget crunch then stop the unnecessary road work and set up a priority for the projects that we really need - upgrade at CHS in partnership with the school system? Improvement on ECR business areas? Sign-age for street sweeping throughout the city? Upgrade the utility system to handle the increase in usage?

The priorities for the city are being subjected to advocacy groups trying to use the taxpayer money to push their causes. Where is the priority list for the city posted? Right now the city is subjected to the shot-gun effect with no upper level planning.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 25, 2021 at 9:36 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Bean bag is busy counting his revenue stream imagining the great riches he will get when the place is flooded with commercially owned apartments whose property tax is stuck at the last selling price. A commercial entity can keep raising the rent price and make more profit. Talking about Prop 13 how about raising the commercial property tax rate to current market value every year. Meanwhile a single family owner has a property tax rate at the last selling price. As houses keep turning over in ownership the property tax rate keeps updating producing continual value to the city and county. The tax value revenue stream is better related to a single family owned house at producing results than the commercial entity which can stall for years. The more commercially owned living units produce the less value to the city and county in property taxes which support all of the services and bond issues.


Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:12 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

So, the city is experiencing the SAME BUDGET CRUNCH as EVERY BUSINESS in the state (well, outside of Amazon.com and work-from-home tech corporations that manufacture goods in China)? Now some people are demanding that the city and state raise taxes to cover the shortfall.

Why doesn't the city just "wait out the storm" as Governor Newsom has so smugly instructed businesses in the state to do?

Businesses have been forced into hard decisions. The one decision that most aren't making is to INCREASE PRICES or WAGES during this time. Why should the city RAISE taxes or give RAISES to employees while so many businesses (and employees) suffer?


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:25 am

[email protected] is a registered user.

To Resident 1 - Adobe Meadows,

How about we just get rid of prop 13 for all types of properties like they do it in let me guess...EVERY OTHER STATE BUT CALIFORNIA.

California NIMBYism has everything to do with Prop 13.

Now Prop 13 does not have to go all at once to blunt the impact. Do a 10-year phase in for folks who can afford to pay or for folks who can't, do an equity recapture at the back end.

But STOP with this wealth transfer from the old and the rich to the young and the poor which is what prop 13 is or has become.

And better yet, to reduce this scourge of an environmental disaster that is single family zoning, replace property tax with land value tax. Two equal tracts of land pay the same property tax. If one has a four-plex, the tax gets split four ways.

This is how you do it the right way.


Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 25, 2021 at 11:17 am

commonsense is a registered user.

With the reduced budget, what percent of the budget is pension costs? That's the biggest problem we have. Perhaps this will force restructuring of pensions as well as other cost problems. A silver lining of the pandemic or wishful thinking?


Posted by peppered
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 25, 2021 at 11:18 am

peppered is a registered user.

1. Prop 13 is sacrosanct. Anyone who thinks it can be eliminated is delusional.
2. The city is bloated with personnel. Need to get lean, efficient.
3. Start outsourcing most functions with competitive bidding.
4. No more defined contribution pension plans and retiree health benefits. Switch to 401k plans and retiree funded health plans. Just like the residents in town.


Posted by memsman
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2021 at 11:31 am

memsman is a registered user.

We shouldn't be forgiving rent to tenants (e.g. flight schools) at the Palo Alto Airport which is an environmental and noise burden and a detriment to the enjoyment of the Baylands by everyone. Let the elitist users of the airport pay for their fees and rent.

We've been promised that the airport would be self supporting for ten years and it still hasn't happened. Same thing for leaded fuel elimination.


Posted by Alfred Guillen
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2021 at 11:36 am

Alfred Guillen is a registered user.

Sell the park and move forward. This would be nothing more than an extension of what the NAACP, ACLU and LaDoris Cordell were trying to convey...white privilege.

So empty out the piggy bank and take care of fiscal matters.

There are other places to hike and listen to birds.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 25, 2021 at 11:58 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Cancel the idiotic plan to bring fiber to the home. What makes the city think it can compete with the big companies when it can't even implement simple IT projects? It's merely a consultant gravy train.

Let them also cancel the consultant gravy train to figure out how to fix climate change only here in Palo Alto while failing to fix the traffic light timing, to ticket a single idling vehicle when it merely had to follow every delivery truck that idles while double-parked and collect the revenue or to remove the bollards that cause backups when cars are trying to turn...

How about some common sense??


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2021 at 12:02 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

Unloading Foothills Park does have it's merits, both fiscally and controversially.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 25, 2021 at 1:40 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

bean bag - you keep mucking with the facts. In a 4-plex it is commonly owned by a corporation and the people are renters - or leasing. They never see a property tax bill and the property tax bill is for a commercial property stuck at the original sales price of the building. You keep forgetting the obvious details here. You have all types of theories of what you think the state is going to do but reality says we have to work with what the state is currently doing. You are betting on all type of outcomes that are not going to come to pass. Square up on what the current tax laws are NOW. Throwing out aspersions on your disgruntlement with the facts is not changing anything.


Posted by Don't Yuck My Yu
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 25, 2021 at 2:31 pm

Don't Yuck My Yu is a registered user.

Tax granny off the cliff! You know, those filthy rich retirees who live on fixed incomes!


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 25, 2021 at 3:15 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

Yes, tax granny who is sitting on multi-million dollars in equity just for squatting on a piece of land and hindering progress all long, absolutely off the cliff for not paying her fair share.

Either now or at the back end when she cashes out.

Prop 13 should be slowly fazed out with a near simultaneous dollar for dollar reduction in other regressive taxes that actually hurt the poor.

And that time is coming else this state is toast.


Posted by Byron G.
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 25, 2021 at 3:22 pm

Byron G. is a registered user.

Yes. Just sell the parkland and build residencies to accommodate both the wealthy and lower-income families as well.

Certain sections of the park could be designated/zoned accordingly with the lake area open to all residents of this new community.

Why debate racism issues? The park is highly overated to begin with and there are other places in the vicinity to hike and watch deer eat grass.


Posted by Pelican
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 25, 2021 at 3:33 pm

Pelican is a registered user.

There are increase criminal activities in Palo Alto partly due to the cut in the police department budget.
Please review their budget and do not cut budgets from essential departments.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 25, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Yes, tax granny who is sitting on multi-million dollars in equity just for squatting on a piece of land and hindering progress all long, absolutely off the cliff for not paying her fair share.

Either now or at the back end when she cashes out."

Beany, what do you think happens when "she" sells??

In addition to paying cap gains taxes to the state and the feds which tax any gains at the high capital gains rates, "she" also pays a big transfer tax to the locals for the "privilege" of selling. That's after paying property taxes for the years she "squatted" and taxes on "her" social security" and fixed income and any other income with SALT (state and local tax) deductions capped at $10,000 thanks to Trump so "she" can't even deduct the California cap gains tax "she" paid from the Federal tax gains so "she" pays twice!

Now imagine "granny" living in an area where there are no gains and "her" house in under water.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 25, 2021 at 4:32 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Most of the people I know who live here worked up to retirement age. And they volunteered for AYSO and Little League. Everyone here has paid into the system, and continues to pay into the system. So Bean Bag lives in the hills. What has bean bag done for the community? Look at the homes sales - they are trust to trust. Someone may be doing something right instead of griping.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 25, 2021 at 4:50 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

What many don't know is that the Prop 13 tax base carries over even the property is transferred creating a permanent landed gentry who will keep on obstructing progress because it is in their vested interest to do so. Prop 19 fixed a little bit of that but not completely.

On the $10,000 cap on SALT, most of that benefits accrued to the top 10% of rich folks in this country. There should be no tax breaks for paying your taxes.

The shocker is that it took a Trump to mend the regressive nature of the tax code while the Democrats and the fake liberals who claim to be for the poor are only their for the elites in Palo Alto.

I know truth hurts but it is the truth.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2021 at 5:02 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"Yes, tax granny who is sitting on multi-million dollars in equity just for squatting.."

"Either now or at the back end when she cashes out."

"Look at the homes sales - they are trust to trust. Someone may be doing something right instead of griping."

∆ Meanwhile back in the REAL WORLD what often occurs...

(1) Granny is designated mentally incompetent by her children who haggle over the trust because they want their inheritances NOW.

(2) To appease all of the disgruntled parties, the probate court appoints a private fiduciary to manage both Granny's estate and her personal care.

(3) Granny is tossed into an RCFE (retired community for elders) under a full conservatorship filed for by the private fiduciary.

(4) The private fiduciary rapes and pillages Granny's finances and after those dollars are depleted, the private fiduciary petitions the probate court to sell Granny's house.

(5) The children now take the private fiduciary to court but under the law, the private fiduciary is allowed to access Granny's estate and real property to cover legal costs. This is called defending the conservatorship.

(6) Granny's estate is depleted via legal costs and questionable private fiduciary expenditures.

(7) And after all is said and done, the children look stupidly at themselves and bemoan where all the money went...to various lawyers and the private fiduciary.

(8) Moral of the story: don't be greedy and avoid bringing probate attorneys or a private fiduciary into the picture.

(9) Protect Granny's estate by filing a DPOA (durable power of attorney) to preserve her estate and try to be kind to both her and yourselves.

(10) And don't count chickens before they hatch.

Just saying.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 25, 2021 at 5:17 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

All this debate on the regressive nature of Prop 13 and the big reason for rampant NIMBYism and and I am left to figure out how grannies in other states manage without Prop 13.

I know how. They don't obstruct progress because progress means more supply and more families living around her that keeps a lid on her home price and hence the property taxes.

Now imagine if we could repeal prop 13 and see this state and hence the country blossom. Or we could keep protecting the landed gentry in the name of the 'poor' old grannies with multi-million dollar in housing equity who are in it to maintain their neighborhood 'character' for both selfish and racist reasons.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2021 at 5:50 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I am shocked by the ageist comments here. Hopefully, one day those commenters will be "old" and will want to be treated with respect that is entitled with age.

When the ageist comments are tinged with racist comments it doubles the disrespect.

Those who have lived in Palo Alto, raising their children, volunteering in the schools and other youth activities as their children grew up and then volunteered in libraries, food banks and other community services, deserve our thanks and respect. When "young people" show such disrespect to those who are the same age as their parents/grandparents, it makes us wonder where they learned their attitudes. I hope those growing up in Palo Alto today learn to respect their older family members and neighbors!


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 25, 2021 at 6:03 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

This has nothing to do with age but guess who shows up at these city council meetings every time there is a proposal to add more housing and hence more young families to the neighborhoods? You got that right.

And why do they show up? Because they want to preserve their neighborhood 'character'. And what does that mean? You have your answer as well.

I volunteer at my daughter's school so do many other folks. That does not give anyone any rights to destroy our planet.

We want walkable, bikeable, public transit rich communities that are devoid of automobiles.

That can only be achieved with density. And density will not be allowed to happen until prop 13 exists.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 25, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Cavendish - that is hilarious. True story - my in-laws went into a noted retirement home here in PA. They were told that there would be 24 hour care if there was an issue. Low and behold it turned out that the insurance liability for a 24 hour care person on the premises would be prohibitive. So forget that idea. Then they were told that if someone was in a wheel chair they had to be next door at the rehab center. And yes my MOL did have back surgery so she ended up there until she could walk around. This plot continues on with the facility changing hands a number of times because no one truly could get a grasp of the whole series of events to their logical conclusion. Bottom line is stay at home. What ever they are selling out there is not worth it. My son had to intervene with the facility a number of times as to what they said in the contract and what they were actually doing. A lesson not to be repeated. All of those old people are going to stay at home and are happy to do so. All of my co-workers who are retired are at home, traveling, and enjoying it all. This is what is called Retirement Planning. Morgan Stanley has other names for it - Wealth Building. My son live in the Oakland Hills he gets the house to sell - or rent out. He like the Oakland Hills better then PA.

I suspect Beanbag's venom has to do with some investment he has that is going south. Bean bag has been confounded with a number of statements that people get fired for. A smooth operator.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:08 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

Beanbag has no money to invest unlike the rich Prop 13 beneficiaries like Resident 1-Adobe Meadows because all my savings goes for paying property taxes for the folks who just happen to show up before me and the rest of the folks who are just starting out in life.

Oh yes, we should just suck it up and work harder, a typical boomer response who were able to buy homes and raise families at 3x median income.

Investments. Ha. See the condescension there. Only the folks who have been squatting on land and stopping progress can talk about investments because who gets to live in $3 million homes and pay $1,000 in property taxes. Folks like Resident 1-Adobe Meadows and his ilk.

Until prop 13 exists, there will be no progress. It will have to change and we will vote for that change.

We want this change to be revenue neutral. Reduce other taxes while raising property taxes. That's the only way to increase density and reduce the environmental impact that is wrought upon us because of single family zoning.

Oh did you hear about Berkeley? Change is coming and all for the better. We want 21st century cities for the 21st century.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Find us one homeowner who pays $1,000 in property tax. We'll wait.

You're sounding like the congressman who opposes a $15 minimum wage "because he paid for his college on minimum wage" -- back when tuition was around $899 not what it is now!

And speaking of "rich" granny's investments, remember her Social Security income is based on what her wages of decades ago minimal increases since!

If you're so against Prop 13 for homeowners, are you also against it for commercial property owners?


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Yes - I read about Berkley - I keep a file on this topic as well as all of the building in progress in the bay area. You can also read about People's Park - UC wants to build there for the students to live and the "people" do not want to give up the park so they can relive their 60's battles. They still have those battle on the campus and Berkley let's it happen. People's Park is now a crime scene. So someone wants to build and the people are trying to stop it. Go Figure.


Posted by coughvid
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:45 pm

coughvid is a registered user.

The city has wisely cut its new construction inspection staff. Not only do remodelers pay fees for this staff, but delays in construction mean delays in getting the higher post-construction tax revenue.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 12:05 am

[email protected] is a registered user.

To Online Name:

Here is a link for you.

Web Link

Look for your neighborhood and you can find the discrepancies in taxes that should just boggle everyone's mind. How is that fair for anyone young and new is beyond me.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2021 at 7:45 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"Who gets screwed? The young and the poor."

∆ It seems I've heard this complaint before.

When? About 50 years ago during the turbulent 1960s.

History has a way of repeating itself and every generation has its share of gripes, usually focusing its contempt and anger towards the previous generation.

Residential-based Proposition 13 (Jarvis-Gann) was initiated to protect senior citizens on fixed incomes as their home property values grew in value by curbing increases in property tax assessments.

It was also initiated to curb wasteful spending by local municipalities in anticipation of increased property tax revenues emanating from inflation and over-valuation of residential properties.

It was a protective measure and is grandfathered in only under certain circumstances.

And while 1976 property values have increased over the years, people weren't earning as much back then either and today, many are elder citizens on Social Security. Not everyone was able to stash away a nest egg or massive investment portfolio.

Blame it all on inflation. A new Porsche 911 retailed for around $12K back in those days but also keep in mind that the minimum wage was roughly $2.75 an hour.

Yes, one could purchase a modest home in the $40K range but making those mortgage payments could be just as stressful as for those paying $8-$10K monthly today.

And most people were not earning six-figure+ salaries unless they were professional athletes or entertainers.

So give it a rest millennial whiners.

Nobody ever said life was supposed to be easy and each generation (including those preceding the baby boomers) had to endure various hardships.

The millennials (aka the self-entitled generation) deserve absolutely no sympathy because a sizable number of them are not willing to make any personal sacrifices.





Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2021 at 7:55 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2021 at 10:40 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Reading the papers the state is not in a budget slump. Houses are turning over at a very fast rate so the property taxes are updating in a continual process. The companies that work here are proceeding ahead with people working at home. That helps those companies because it reduces the normal cost of having a full crew of people in the buildings. Those companies are making money and planning huge developments in MP. MV, and SJ. What hurts is the trickle down between when tax payments are obtained by the government and when they then release those cash funds back to the cities.
The good news is that this is forcing cities to revaluate their priorities and focus on what is really needed right now. The city needs to list it's priorities So that the resident taxpayers can be aware of what the focus is at this time. Tired of being surprised when road work gets started now when people have complained about the end results. We do not need more surprises of how the city money is spent.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 26, 2021 at 11:04 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@beany -- That map didn't answer my question about one homeowner paying $1,000 in property taxes. Nor did you answer my question if you oppose repealing Prop 13 for commercial properties.

Resident above is right that the state isn't in a budget slump because it makes a fortune on real estate transactions since they're taxed at the high cap gains rate.

As for local governments like Palo Alto, our "leaders" have ridiculously short memories to base their economic projections on hotel visitors and commuters. The dot.bomb crash was only 20 years ago; California's known for its boom and bust cycles.


Posted by Ashley
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2021 at 11:27 am

Ashley is a registered user.

Parents should not bring children into this world unless they are willing to help them fulfill the American Dream of having a nice life.

It is not asking too much and if adults are unwilling to do so they should stay single or not have kids.

It is that simple.

Who care's about municipal budget cuts?

Fiscal obligations begin at home within the family first.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 11:59 am

[email protected] is a registered user.

Wow Ashley, way to go. This is perfect Palo Alto mindset. How about we just get 'rid' of the children.

To R. Cavendish, this is not from the perspective of a millennial. This is from the perspective of how do we justify such wide tax disparity between two neighbors paying vastly different taxes on the same exact thing, extracting the same set of services and you are okay with that. Of course you would be because you are raking it in at the expense of your neighbors.

Talking about inflation, that exists across the country. How come Prop 13 is unique to California. You mean all the old people on fixed-income only live in California and nowhere else.

Agree with the wastefulness in spending and hence normalize property taxes and reduce dollar for dollar other taxes that are actually being paid by the poor. Like the gas taxes that we so willingly vote for because oh we are helping the environment. But imagine that grocery store worker that works in your community that has to commute 2 hours in a car to serve you because we have not built dense. He or she is bearing the brunt of those taxes. And sales taxes. All of them regressive while grandma in $3 million home lives paying 0.1% in total taxes just because she happens to squat on land for 40 years and not allowing anything else to be built.

To Online Name, we want a repeal of the entirety of prop 13. Slowly phasing it out will be the right move. On someone paying < $1,000 in property taxes, all you have to do is spend 5 minutes on that site in your neighborhood. [Portion removed.]




Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Revenue slumps can be caused by cities dithering over how to proceed with new plans.
Los Altos - 5 story residential/mixed use on Main street fought by the citizens. One council member is being threatened by a non-citizen.

Berkley - People's Park - UC wants to build student housing and the
"people" are fighting that. Meanwhile one council-person want to gut the equivalent to Crescent Park in the Berkley Hills. Sorry - that looks like a pay-off by a builder.

Portola Valley - SU wants to build housing and the city is fighting it.

Oakland - the Asian community is getting beat up and now they have citizen police on the streets to protect the older people.

We have contributors from all of these cities who are throwing stones at PA. How is it when all of these other incidents are reported in the papers. Are they trying to deflect bad publicity about their cities by making snarky comments about this city?

We need to resolve the FRY's site - what is happening there? Residential Units?
Old, empty buildings on ECR in the section Oregon to Charleston. Put the screws into the owners to resolve those empty buildings and turn into residential units. That is where the new residential units need to be. That is where we can make sure that the new buildings are functioning IAW the agreements with the city.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 12:04 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed; excessive posting.]


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 12:10 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed; excessive posting.]


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

[Post removed; excessive posting.]


Posted by Jed Larraby
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Jed Larraby is a registered user.

One way to resolve this housing dilemma would be for the PACC to mandate that all personal income in Palo Alto over $200K be turned over to a city-managed community chest with the proceeds going towards purchasing all available for sale residencies at a fixed price, say $1.5M maximum.

Then the city could lease these properties to families at 25-year intervals for no more than $3K per month.

That would be the most equitable way of circumventing Proposition 13 while enabling more diverse income levels to reside in Palo Alto.

The concept could be applied to apartments, plex-units and condos as well but at a lower monthly rent, maybe $2K maximum.

And by repealing Prop 13 for long-established businesses, the increased property tax revenues could be applied towards reduced or fixed utilitity rates for all residents.

The motels along ECR should also be phased out and used to provide shelter for the homeless and transient RV dwellers.

This would leave the downtown hotels available for business travelers and tourists.

City services and city employee payroles could then be financed by extensive 'pay for us age' city amenities like the parks, library, recreation, animal control, public safety etc. This approach would also keep expenses down and allow the city to apply for various federal fundings as a supplement.

By curtailing the predominantly white upper middle class in Palo Alto, social and economic equality can then be achieved.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 1:14 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed; excessive posting.]


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 1:18 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed; excessive posting.]


Posted by LaVonne
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 26, 2021 at 1:41 pm

LaVonne is a registered user.

>>> You are making a racial statement if you are working on the assumption that there are no black homeowners. That is absurd.

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows...with only a 1.9% African American population in predominantly white Palo Alto, what % do you assume are actual homeowners VS renters residing primarily in the lesser parts of South Palo Alto?

How many blacks live in the nicer neighborhoods such as Crescent Park, Old Palo Alto? Zilch or closer to zero.

And even if a professional African American could afford to reside in those sections of town, white real estate agents would discourage them from doing so, reflective of the existing white residents.

Only the recently-arrived residents from China have made headway into the finer Palo Alto neighborhoods because many of them are wealthy.

But there is even a silent white hostility and resentment towards them as their residency numbers have approached 40% of Palo Alto's overall population.

And so you see, while many Palo Alto residents like to perceive themselves as Kennedy-esque liberals, most of them actually are because the last time I checked, no Kennedy ever invited Martin Luther King to Hyannisport for the weekend to discuss matters. Typical white Boston-Irish racism (but concerned about securing the black vote).

Talk is cheap and a lack of sincerity is even more hurtful.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 1:57 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed; excessive posting.]


Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 26, 2021 at 2:12 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

Well, I don't know everyone in Professorville, but I do know two mixed (Black/White) couples within a block of me who have been in their houses decades longer than I've been in mine, and who raised kids here.

Does this mean there's no systemic racism in Palo Alto? Of course not. But it does suggest we have to take care when we make broad generalizations.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2021 at 2:14 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 2:26 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed; posts containing only links are not permitted.]


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 26, 2021 at 3:13 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

I've spent time on that map. I see nothing about specific taxes paid for specific properties; I see how much less properties are taxed based on average city prices if they haven't been reassessed (due to sales, remodels etc.) based on a small sample covering less than 1/3 of our current population. Given the rate of ownership turnover each year, the numbers from that little-known organization seem highly suspect, esp since they show only a $10K difference between PA and Atherton taxes when Atherton obviously is much more expensive.

I bought my home in 1985; I'd LOVE to have paid $1K in property taxes then. Or now.

Again, show me ONE PA home taxed at $1,000. And you didn't answer my question if you only propose eliminating Prop 13 for homeowners but not businesses which typically "live" longer than humans.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Proposition 13 is a state issue not specific to Palo Alto. Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco are very diverse cities with a lot of long time black homeowners. You are translating state issues with any one city - sorry - does not make sense. It is not a racist issue - it is helping people who have been in their homes a long time. Young people who do not have families like apartments. They change jobs and move around a lot. Families with children prefer homes so their children can be in an established school system. All people. End of story for me.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 3:45 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:14 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

To Resident-1-Meadows,

Young people live in apartments because they are forced to. They want to live in vibrant communities just like the rest of us and start families. But we have made life so difficult and tenuous for them that they have no choice but to subject themselves to grueling commutes and low quality apartments.

"Families with children prefer homes." What kind of families are you talking about? What families can afford $3 million homes? Say it out loud. The 'right' kind of course according to you.

It is a state level issue and it will have to be repealed at the state level.

You still have not answered the question that is on everyone's mind I bet...

WHY IS CALIFORNIA SO SPECIAL THAT IT NEEDS PROP 13? What are the folks on fixed-income doing in the other 49 states without this prop 13 subsidy and this transfer of wealth from the young and the poor to the old and the rich? And destroying the planet in the process by not allowing denser development.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:16 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by BARRY W.
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:18 pm

BARRY W. is a registered user.

Back to topic and in terms of trimming the fat during these austere times...

Who cares about the Junior Museum and a mini-Zoo? Close them down!

Fire most of the deadbeats working at city hall and cut their retirement benefits by 50%.

Make the top city administrators take a 30% salary cut and reduce their bloated retirement benefits as well.

Streetscape improvements = unnecessary.

Close the libraries and encourage residents to use the internet instead as Covid-19 is still with us.

Trim the police force and utilize the volunteer reserve officers + no more new vehicles.

No need for Community Services or a Recreation Department at present with Covid-19 still not eradicated.

Sell Foothills Park to residential developers as the place is more trouble than it is worth.

These measures should alleviate the bulk of the municipal fiscal concerns.

Done deal.



Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:29 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Barry, thanks for getting us back on topic and apologies.

I like your list except for "Close the libraries and encourage residents to use the internet instead as Covid-19 is still with us" because while the libraries REMAIN closed, they've done an admirable job of serving the community, processing hold requests and making their web-based services even more valuable.

The librarians, unlike the highly paid pr folks in the city manager's office, are also responsible for answering the community's COVID questions because the pr staff never "researches" the handouts they're given.


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:39 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 26, 2021 at 6:58 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Unrealistic for every CA city to somehow be valued equally and property valued equally. Stanford U started mid 1800’s and became a known intellectual resource and foundation for some tech industries.
Meanwhile, I remember when on 680 and 580 there was all this open land and farm land. This got developed and built up much later and there is no “Stanford” adjacent. Richmond w shipyards different. No way to “standardize” cities!
Short of Communism and grim eastern bloc grim stack and pack housing, I don’t know a way to enforce some sort of equivalency.
When my parents moved us out here we bought in a local recession - good timing - 74/75 yet it was still 3X what our old house was valued at in the midwest. Buying on a dip was a great opportunity though still challenging. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen this kind of timing so prospective homebuyers are justifiably frustrated..
We need more housing regionally and attractive direct transit.
I’m hoping the downtown San Jose remake by the Diridon transit center will function meaningfully in a few years.
For those who insist on PA, we got into this city on our third house....not first....almost 20 yrs ago, midrange and we pay a helluva lot of property taxes. It’s challenging.
I agree with a poster that swift redevelopment along EC Real makes perfect sense and up to eight storeys is no prob,
NO under-parking, though!!


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2021 at 7:04 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The libraries are filled with children at Mitchell Park. It is their hangout. Some may go here after school and then get picked up by their parents. The Mitchell Park library is so special. It is also filled with seniors who are using the computers on the second floor. It is not only a library but a resource center - people read the newspapers and read the magazines. Assume that the libraries will be opened up by summer. Also open the food bar - the kids are getting some food there. That is one of the best features of this city.


Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 26, 2021 at 7:27 pm

eileen is a registered user.

beanbag, "Change is coming whether you like it or not", so very scary! Actually, the change you are looking for will definitely not happen. Google and Read, Professor Patrick Condon. Hopefully, you will be able to use your critical thinking skills (instead of raw emotion) to see another side to this discussion.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 26, 2021 at 7:43 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

eileen, thanks for the reference. Sounds like he's worth reading given his credentials.

Here's a direct link to the pdf of his book "Sick City: Disease, Race, Inequality and Urban Land"
Web Link

For what it's worth, I've never seen a Wikepedia entry with so many caveats; it looks like his opponents are trying hard to silence him.


Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 26, 2021 at 8:33 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

I've made one pass through "Sick City", and I saw a lot in it to recommend. I particularly liked the explanation of why increasing density doesn't (by itself) make housing more affordable. It analyzes the developer profitability problem that's responsible for a lot of the issues we see locally. It offers suggestions for how to improve things in ways that are equitable for a larger number of people. I'm going to read it again more carefully.

Two other books I recommend frequently are (1) "Pictures of a Gone City" by Berkeley urban geographer Richard Walker, which gives insight into development patterns around the Bay, how the financial industry is a major cause of housing problems throughout the country, and how tech-company demand is a major cause of housing problems here; and (2) "Cities of Knowledge" by Margaret O'Mara, which describes how Silicon Valley came to exist, and why it has certain characteristics (such as widely-dispersed jobs and lots of single-family housing) that are factors we have to deal with today. These authors are not even remotely NIMBY, so they're easy for the YIMBY crowd to read, but informative in an objective way.


Posted by JB
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 26, 2021 at 9:26 pm

JB is a registered user.

I can't believe how many people (most are from another community) casually say that Foothills Park should be sold. Many people like me who have lived in Palo Alto for decades would be heartbroken to see it sold. This is a nature preserve, a wonderful place to hike and enjoy deer, lizards, birds and flowers. If you don't like the park, just go somewhere else, please. It's sacrilege to even consider turning it into a major housing development. Why do some people want to just build, build, build? As Joni said a long time ago, pave paradise and put up a parking lot. No thanks!


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Palo Alto Hills

on Feb 26, 2021 at 10:59 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2021 at 10:36 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

A good escapist read is "Half Moon Bay" by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. It is really about Berkley and UC but maybe needed to avoid that direct spotlight. A long ago child's death (1960's) in People's Park and the attempts to create housing there - and attempts to avoid housing there. Past riot on UC campus about their investment in nuclear energy. And the out-of-towners who are from the "hills" and possibly related to the death of the child. His books mirror what ever is happening in LA and this area and the motivations of the players. All of his books are good escapist reads which have factual history as areas evolve. They are spot on as to both past and current history on a societal level.

Berkley gets a lot of press, as does PA because they are directly next to major universities that are doing major research. Sometimes fiction and a good story gets some points across better than a "scholarly" offering in which the author is trying to sell an idea or theory and cherry picks incidents and ignores other incidents which are just as compelling as to "facts".

Note on above - Bill Gates has bought a house in Del Mar on the beach. That is SOCAL in the San Diego area. The general area around San Diego and inland has been developed more recently and has better designed cities with great subdivisions, well organized parkways and highways, and generally built to take advantage of the local waterways and lakes. That is in direct contrast to San Jose which is putting their homeless camp on the main river Guadalupe and subjecting it to trash and human waste.

If anyone wants to compare arm pits then go to it. It doesn't take much to convert an area into an arm pit. And those conversions usually are the result of poor city planning and relegating the running of a city to advocacy groups which are single topic oriented with no grasp of all of the issues.


Posted by Miriam DeAbo
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 27, 2021 at 10:50 am

Miriam DeAbo is a registered user.

"Bill Gates has bought a house in Del Mar on the beach. That is SOCAL in the San Diego area."

There's a big difference between Northern San Diego and San Bernardino.

If San Bernardino/Riverside County is so great, why didn't Bill Gates (with all his billions of dollars) relocate there?

Reason: because San Bernardino/Riverside County is a most unpleasant place to reside...a hicksville desert area between LA and Las Vegas.


Posted by Dave Parker
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 27, 2021 at 11:51 am

Dave Parker is a registered user.

It's easy to tell others to move to places like San Bernadino when one is residing comfortably in Palo Alto.

This is one reason why Palo Alto needs to promote more residential development, primarily in the southern part of the city which is not a pristine nor particularly attractive area to begin with.

Anywhere south of Page Mill Road would be suitable for residential redevelopment. The older and nicer-looking neighborhoods further north could remain as is.

The irony is the NIMBYs living in the nicer Palo Alto neighborhoods complaining about new housing in areas where they do not even reside.

Like what is their problem?


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2021 at 11:58 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Bobby Munoz
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2021 at 8:17 am

Bobby Munoz is a registered user.

We are planning to relocate to Palo Alto from East San Jose. It will be better for our children and closer to work.

The Palo Alto rents are very expensive but by having three families (five adults and nine children) sharing the same three bedroom house we can get by though it will be crowded.

This is one way to cover the $5,000.00 monthly rent/utilities. We all work and the landlord is also willing to accept our section 8 rent vouchers from county social services.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2021 at 9:09 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

Curious...does Palo Alto have any maximum occupancy ordinances when it comes to residential rental properties?

Decades ago, a neighbor in SoCal rented his house out as a dormitory for airline pilots on layover. It was a three bedroom home with two bunk beds per room + four bunk beds in the den. Kitchen, living room, and bathrooms were shared and occupancies varied anywhere from 15 to 20 people at a time.

I imagine that multiple families sharing a home is one way to cover the high cost of Palo Alto rental units/homes.


Posted by Ameesh Dhillon
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2021 at 11:54 am

Ameesh Dhillon is a registered user.

As far as multiple families living in one household, anything goes providing it serves the best interests of the inhabitants.

I work in a senior care facility and it is amazing how many well-to-do white people simply toss their elders into rest homes. It is as if they don't care one way or the other. Just the money and property they anticipate on inheriting.

There are very few Asians here as their families practice the concept of extended families whereby the elders are looked after by their children. It is the same in most Hispanic families as well.

Cultural differences make all the difference in the world and I am so grateful not to have been born into a traditional white American family where the children are self-serving and only care about themselves.

Shame on most white Americans as they are not The Walton's by any meaning of the word.


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Living in a home with multiple families is over crowded. That's why it's not allowed in a lot of places. Families do it because they lack the money to have their own place. All cities should have maximum occupancy ordinances.


Posted by cannot say name
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2021 at 1:48 pm

cannot say name is a registered user.

rent is very expensive in palo alto . sometimes we let other families use garage to live.

ok with landlord as long as we pay rent.

our children go to good school but envious of others with better clothes and newer cellphones.

we do not go to food bank or riseve new stimulis check. do not want to get notised and deported.


Posted by Cesar Guiterrez
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2021 at 2:10 pm

Cesar Guiterrez is a registered user.

@Jennifer

~ Living in a home with multiple families is over crowded.

Yes it is but many families are forced to do so.

During these times of declining rental revenues because of state mandated eviction protections, some landlords are allowing this multi-family rental practice to exist providing the comings and goings are kept discreet.

~ Families do it because they lack the money to have their own place.

Your profound explanation does not require a Dick Tracy to ascertain.

Some families fear deportation and the adults work in various service sectors such as landscape maintenance and housekeeping.

Many are struggling to survive but too afraid to accept charity for fear of being noticed by immigration agents.

Also, returning to their native country would only exacerbate their poverty.

Which is why the CA stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants will come in handy for some.

Many others will not sign-up for them due to deportation fears and being outed as illegals.


Posted by Dorothy Peterson
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 1, 2021 at 2:24 pm

Dorothy Peterson is a registered user.

Speaking for myself, I am grateful that we have so many others (legal or undocumented) willing to take on the kinds of work that most American citizens wouldn't even consider doing.

And so as as far as state issued stimulus checks to undocumented immigrants I have no problem with that as my tax dollars are often wasted on other things by state politicians.

And to those who say undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans, let's just see how many Americans would assume the jobs currently undertaken at below minimum wage by these undocumented immigrants before we start talking deportation.

Chances are, most of these menial jobs would go unfilled by American workers.


Posted by Duveneck resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2021 at 7:56 am

Duveneck resident is a registered user.

I am sorry to have scrolled through these Comments. Despite the Weekly’s best efforts, these particular Comments are replete with falsehoods, untruths, illogic, false equivalencies, false dichotomies, whataboutisms, and other rhetorical graffiti and trash.

Truths, like them or not:

—We will neither sell Foothills, nor develop it.
—Prop 13 will not be changed. The last election saw voters fail to change its most objectionable element. QED.
—PA is not even close to all-white, or all-wealthy. Even a cursory search on {Palo Alto demographics} will reveal factual information, rather than specious, prejudiced, opinionated, hyperbolic statements.
—Historical obligations to pay retirement benefits remain our biggest budgetary problem, hampering Council’s ability to progress in any arena of endeavor. Furthermore, most present staff do not have at-will employment contracts; they cannot typically be fired or laid off.

I recommend a separation of Comments into two sections: one which is a free-(speech)-for-all; the other which is heavily moderated, with high standards for facts and evidence, and commitment to rejection of arguments based upon logical fallacies.


Posted by Jamie Long
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 2, 2021 at 8:22 am

Jamie Long is a registered user.

From a Millennial viewpoint/opinion only:

—We will neither sell Foothills, nor
develop it.
BUT MAYBE SHOULD IN ORDER TO EASE DISCRIMINATORY ALLEGATIONS FROM OUTSIDE & TO GENERATE MORE MONEY FOR CURRENT & FUTURE CITY BUDGETS/EXPENDITURES.

—Prop 13 will not be changed. The last election saw voters fail to change its most objectionable element. QED.
OLDER RESIDENTS WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT PROP 13 BECAUSE NO ONE LIKES TO PAY ADDITIONAL TAXES.

—PA is not even close to all-white, or all-wealthy. Even a cursory search on {Palo Alto demographics} will reveal factual information, rather than specious, prejudiced, opinionated, hyperbolic statements.
PALO ALTO IS ROUGHLY 60% WHITE, CLOSE TO 36% ASIAN, APPROXIMATELY 2% AFRICAN AMERICAN & 1-2% OTHER ETHNICITIES.

INFLATED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES MAKE SOME OLDER HOMEOWNERS APPEAR WEALTHY.

MOST NEWER RESIDENTS (HOMEOWNERS) ARE WELL SALARIED PROFESSIONALS.

—Historical obligations to pay retirement benefits remain our biggest budgetary problem, hampering Council’s ability to progress in any arena of endeavor. Furthermore, most present staff do not have at-will employment contracts; they cannot typically be fired or laid off.
TOP CITY ADMINISTRATORS ARE GROSSLY OVERPAID & THEIR BENEFITS PACKAGE ARE EXCESSIVE.


Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2021 at 8:38 am

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

I was born and raised in PA, left for good in early 2018 and wish to never return. The real PA that once existed is no longer.


Posted by cr
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 2, 2021 at 11:13 am

cr is a registered user.

So last night Council didn’t accept Tanaka’s proposal to stop a $40k expenditure on “interviewing software” to help the city with hiring. I know $40k isn’t a lot, but they said they need to hire 20-40 critical positions per year and zoom isn’t good enough. Alison Cormack asked the HR staff person proposing the expenditure if it was needed, and (surprise) she said yes. Just like my disagree says she needs all her expenditure requests approved.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2021 at 7:48 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

@ Ameesh
There are many Chinese residents here in Palo Alto. They are great members of our community!


Posted by Arabella M.
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 5:44 am

Arabella M. is a registered user.

@Anonymous

I think Ameesh meant there are very few Asian elders in rest homes because Asians look after their elders as do Hispanics.

I also work at a senior living complex and most of the patients are older white people, assumably because it is easier for their children to toss them into an old folks home rather than care for them in their own homes.

Many well-to-do white people are like that. Most do not care for or about their elder parents.

Easier to dump them off in a nursing facility and enjoy life with the trust money.


Posted by Jim Nettles
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2021 at 7:07 am

Jim Nettles is a registered user.

The United States has become a country of nuclear-based families and extended ones are rare among white people unless they live and work on a farm.

As a result, it is far easier for family members to simply use their elder parent's estate and dump the old folks in a rest home.

And the so-called 'Granny unit' is just another term for rental unit as Granny is usually nowhere to be found, even in her former home.

As aforementioned, other ethnicities still embrace the concept of extended families because they actually respect, appreciate and care about their elder parents...a far cry from most white upscale nuclear families who tend to view their elders as nuisances.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:21 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I am concerned about the comments on white people being thrown into rest homes by their children. My in-laws chose to go to a very nice rest home because they were getting to the place where they could not get out and shop and cook and clean. Also they were having trouble with eyesight which was interfering with getting a renewed license. That is where the upscale rest home business comes in. A person is on a mailing list in which all of the aspects of life are going to be pampered and new friends will be found to socialize with. Rides to your doctor appointment, beautiful dinners every night. That is what is being sold. And depending on what type of housing you have it has to be sold and the tax implications get over with so that does not flow down to the children to deal with.

Many financial considerations come into play here and tax advisors help prod a person on. A lot has to do with how families pass on the assets. Read the Mansions section of the Wall Street Journal and many large estates are sold because the older people are not using it as they were when a whole family lived at that location. They are downsizing and working to reduce the daily hassles of marketing, cleaning, and reduce the number of cars in the family. That is what the senior members of the family want. They want independence. They want to travel. They can translate the revenue of selling the house to other things that now interest them, including helping their children.

It is unfortunate that the people who have a job in the retirement industry appear to resent the people they are helping.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:38 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

@ Resident 1-Adobe Meadows

You are painting too rosy a picture of many RCFEs and their inhabitants.

Unwarran


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:38 am

Bystander is a registered user.

I am very concerned about the ageist as well as racist comments about elderly people.

My own surviving parent lives thousands of miles away and would hate the idea of having to move here without any friends or support circles. I actually grew up with a grandparent living with our family and it was a situation with good and bad things. I won't list all the pros and cons but my memories of living with an elderly grandparent have plenty of both.

There are plenty of comments on various threads here which shows lack of respect for the older generation. Hopefully one day we will all be old and we would like to be able to have the respect of our neighbors and community that we are worthy members of town. We must do a better job of teaching our youth to respect their grandparents' generation much more than they seem to be showing.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:46 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

@ Resident 1-Adobe Meadows

You are painting too rosy a picture of many RCFEs and their inhabitants.

Unwarranted conservatorships of elder citizens in an effort to steal their financial assets and real property often result in these kinds of sequesterings.

And the perpetrators are often their own avaricious children or professional fiduciaries appointed by the probate courts to manage their financial resources and care.

It is very easy these days to have an MD contrive and declare a senior citizen 'mentally incapacitated' which opens the floodgates for false imprisonment and further isolation.

The key of course is personal choice and when that option is excluded from the overall picture, elder financial abuse often occurs.

I suspect that the earlier comments citing there were more white people in rest homes is based on both affordability and cultural considerations.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:19 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

It is obvious to me that each person has had a personal experience with this topic. People are relaying their personal experiences and what the decision making powers are of the elder community. We all have relatives who have had varying experiences. WE all have parents who have had to consider and evaluate the pros and cons. Each elder gets to make those decisions based on their perceptions of the pros and cons.

One group moved to the "Villages" in San Jose. All was good until they could not have their grandchildren over and in the pool. End of the Villages and on to Aptos and a new home in which they can have grandchildren over. My Mom lived in LA and came up to look at the choices. She grew up on SU campus and went to PAH so PA is a location she knows. She liked her place in LA better and that is where she wanted to stay. Her choice.


Posted by carrie p.
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:28 am

carrie p. is a registered user.

@We must do a better job of teaching our youth to respect their grandparents' generation much more than they seem to be showing.

^ You are sadly mistaken.

My parents (in their late 60s) tossed my grandmother (86) into a rest home and then sold her house because they wanted the money. They got a doctor to say she was senile but she wasn't.

My grandmother died two years later at a rest home in Palo Alto alone and isolated. I visited her whenever I was home from college (at MIT).

My parents procured a conservatorship which gave them access to my grandmother's house and savings.

And so you see, it is oftentimes not the grandchildren demeaning their grandparents but their own children!

Baby boomer parents are oftentimes very greedy and self-serving.

And if the opportunity ever presents itself, I will do to my parents what they did to my late grandmother.

Two can play this game and since I will be an MD in three more years, I can relegate them to a rest home as well.


@Each elder gets to make those decisions based on their perceptions of the pros and cons.

^ Not so. In many instances, the lawyers and courts make that call.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:57 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

One way to avoid/circumvent these war stories of elder abuse is for one to establish a DPOA (Durable Power of Attorney) prior to becoming mentally incapacitated.

This legal measure ensures that one's initial wishes are carried out while still living.

A false sense of trust in family members can create a boatload of problems, both financially and in one's eventual residency.

In closing, I can sort of understand the contempt certain minorities and millennials have for my generation of baby boomers as most white upper middle class kids did not suffer financially nor for want of what poorer people consider perceived luxuries.

Arrogance and greed is a trademark of various white baby boomers who were born with certain 'breaks' in life and a certain degree of humility could very well be warranted in some instances.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:00 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Okay - there are people ay the Oshman Center, Channing House, Webster House, A hotel on campus, and others. More senior houses here in the city. I am sure that all of those people have different stories and different situations. Maybe a different blog can be set up where they can tell their stories. Every story will be different but that is their story to tell. Classifying people by white (bad) and other is only in the eyes of the person making those comments. That says everything about the person making those statements and nothing about the experiences of other people.

Most baby boomers I know lived through the stories of the depression, after WW2 rebuilding, and have more real life experiences and worked until retirement was forced upon them. Most have seen the ups and downs as the history plays out. And most know how to save money,


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 11:15 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"Most baby boomers I know lived through the stories of the depression, after WW2 rebuilding, and have more real life experiences and worked until retirement was forced upon them. Most have seen the ups and downs as the history plays out. And most know how to save money,"

∆ Yes...we have all heard the stories from our parents but we ourselves as baby boomers did not live through or endure the hardships of the Depression or WW2.

It was usually part of an ongoing series of parental lectures about not taking things for granted, not being wasteful and the classic 'money doesn't grow on trees' advisements.

Some baby boomers succeeded in saving money for old age, others didn't.

Some baby boomers are 'down to earth', while others aren't.

And as far as 'ups and downs', that will vary upon how one was brought up.

In other words, no blanket statement applies...just as saying all white people are racists (though many of them are).

And as far as minorities (aka people of color) goes...they are entitled to their perspectives as they were the ones brought over as slaves (or imported as cheap labor), incarcerated in relocation camps, and had their native lands/personal properties 'allocated' (aka stolen) by white people etc.

The white people in America (or some of their ancestors) are solely responsible for the aforementioned societal misdeeds...not the minorities they were screwing over.


Posted by Ashley
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:10 pm

Ashley is a registered user.

A lot of older people perhaps should be placed in rest homes as they slow down the everyday pace of life.

Whenever I am at Safeway there is always some old person slowing down the checker aisle because they don't know how to work the credit card swiper and the checker has to do it for them.

So pay cash! Others of us are in a hurry because we have jobs or school to deal with.

And then there are the ones who seemingly enjoy 'window shopping' and clogging up the grocery aisles...how fascinating.

Plus the ones who make incessant 'small talk' with bank tellers while others of us simply want to get in and out of there.

What gives? I thought baby boomers were supposed be leading interesting lives based on their generational enlightenments.

Not so!


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Ashley is a generational user. A millennial? So far a very boring generational group.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:37 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

@Ashley

Another way to differentiate 'old people' from the younger generation...

Young people are very adept at using their thumbs to text or browse on their smartphones.

Older people tend to 'hunt and peck' using their index finger OR they still rely on flip-phones.

BTW...I pay cash at the grocery store as it is actually faster than using the card swipe and waiting for approval.

But I do know what you mean as some of these oldsters do seem to reside in a modern-day world of perplexity.

Hopefully I can keep my marbles for at least 5-10 more years...until I too get hustled off to the elder farm.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I love all of these generalities offered up = they are assumptions only. And you know what they say about assumptions. Seems to be a lot of that going round right now. And this strangely comes from people who live in other cities, other agendas. Go look on the MV Voice and the Almanac and check out what they are consumed with. They are directed at housing in their communities. So when someone from another community starts to rag on PA about housing you can go look on the other sites and yes they are ragging about housing in their cities. And the process of deflecting the impacts of housing on their cities. Try and shove it to some other place.

As to the topic of this blog the city needs to make sure that the residential priority is top most and it needs to be in the areas that have been discussed - FRY's site, Park Ave. Site, ECR sites. The Fabien site has it's for lease signs up so they are still on the fence. Property taxes for the new buildings moved up to current market value.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 3, 2021 at 1:10 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Don't forget the need for a business tax like the ones imposed by all the surrounding cities. Until PA implements one, it should stop pleading poverty.

A review of salaries and compensation packages of the top 5 or 10 city employees is in order. Also review the consultant gravy train for things like "Climate change" when they've done nothing to fix things within the city's power like traffic-light timing (on which we've wasted MILLIONS of dollars) and enforcing Ms. Kniss's feel-good never-enforced anti-idling ordinance. Have we ticketed a single delivery vehicle when they're ALWAYS double-parked?

Finally stop the "planning" for the fiber-to-the-home project since PA can't even implement a password reset on the City Manager's resident survey. It's delusional for the city to think it can compete with the big companies and/or that staffing up for such a project would be cost-effective.


Posted by Jud Taylor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2021 at 6:55 am

Jud Taylor is a registered user.

"A lot of older people perhaps should be placed in rest homes as they slow down the everyday pace of life."

@Ashley

I agree to a certain extent but as another poster mentioned, the decision should be their choice providing they are not mentally incapacitated (i.e. dementia, Alzheimer's Disease etc.).

Then again, since the baby boomer generation constitutes the largest sector of our population, it stands to reason that percentage-wise, a sizable number of them will develop mental incapacities that warrant sequestering in elder care facilities anyway so we will just have to take a wait and see approach.

In time, some will also have passed on so there's no need to chastise any of them at present for slowing things down.

They cannot help it.


Posted by Rod Stephens
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:50 am

Rod Stephens is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Phoebe Tarkington
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2021 at 9:37 am

Phoebe Tarkington is a registered user.

To all of these young people criticizing older people, let's see how you're doing when you reach our age following knee/hip replacements, cataract surgery, and intestinal resection to name a few.

Chances are your kids will be advocating putting you out to pasture as well and perhaps rightfully so.

By being of sound mind and reasonable health, I have assured myself that none of my ungrateful children (along with my spoiled-rotten + ungrateful grandchildren) will ever see a cent of my sizable financial estate nor will they ever get their hands on my house in Hillsborough.

I'll burn the house down first and bequeath my money to the two dogs who have been more sociable and caring towards me than any of my rotten so-called descendents.

And no one is going to toss me into one of those rest homes...that's where old people go to die + the food and service is lousy.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2021 at 10:09 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

WOW - February was the racial injustice month. Now it is March and we are into the Ageism injustice month?

True story - I went to a "protest" event in MV last year - or earlier than that held at the city center. Big crowd. Young lady asked why I didn't have a sign. I needed to have a sign. Every body else's signs the main word was HATE - could not even read what else was on the sign. The young socialist had a table and they were grinning away and said there was plenty of money to spread around. They were on top of the world with their political position. Some old ladies were knitting their hats - female part hats. The current mayor looked very uncomfortable with this but his vice mayor Lenny was in his element. An escapee of the 1960 Berkley riots got to relive his passions along with other 1960 escapees from 1960 riots. All reliving their youth. What a picture. Zero evolution - I left.

When you look around all are above ground. Successful negotiation of all of the hazards that put a person underground. And no one is keeping score for any one person no matter what the age as to how long they will be above ground.

Ashley could walk out the door and run into some mishap because she is so busy not looking around to see what is happening around her. Reading her tablet as she crosses the street. Bang. Sorry Ashley - look what happens when you do not slow down and look around. Bottom line is there are no guarantees no matter what your age as to how long you will be above ground.

So now we have people posting on how to get grandma out of her house. Do you notice that if grandpa is there no mention of grandpa? If grandpa is still there then you cannot mention getting him out of the house. There is a whole bunch of PC words you can direct at these types of categorizations of people.

But little about running a city. Can we please focus on running the city and making good choices instead of being mauled by PC-ex single focus groups.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2021 at 10:51 am

Bystander is a registered user.

@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, well said. I am glad someone is talking sense around here.


Posted by Shaquon Davis
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 4, 2021 at 10:57 am

Shaquon Davis is a registered user.

@ Pheobe

Why not bequeath your house in Hillsborough to a nice African-American family along with a small stipend to pay white servants (at minimum wage) to cook, clean, and maintain the grounds?

The prospective employees can be recruited from Palo Alto (fat chance). They can either live above the garage or commute from 50 miles away and then go home to their families and perform the same tasks.

Hillsborough is just another white racist community that discriminates against people of color except for subservient roles.

As a BLM advocate and speaking on my own behalf, this measure would be a step in the right direction.

Since your upscale white relatives are useless, money-grubbers with apparently no soul or sense of decency, why not give someone else an opportunity to level the playing field?

Once certain numbers of bigoted white folks have learned more about domestic subservient occupations, maybe then they will become more empathetic towards the hardships others have endured serving them.

It's time for some modern-day white people to teach themselves more about reality.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 4, 2021 at 11:25 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Comments like those from Ashley and Shaquon Davis don't exactly encourage homeowners to take on hundreds of thousands in debt and thousands in increased property taxes to build ADUs to house such lovely, well-mannered and sensitive tenants in their back yards.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2021 at 11:52 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Shaquon - just think - you could be a resident of Nigeria where little girls are grabbed out of their schools. What a picture that is. Or you could be in a place in Libya where you are waiting to get on a little boat to cross the ocean - and you paid to do that. Half the time the little boat does not make it.

But Shaquon - you are an American citizen and you have access to school - in normal times - where you get to progress and chose what your life work will be. Community college, college, what ever you chose.

All those sport figures we watch on TV have been coached and nurtured along to help them get scholarships. Oprah focused on what she wanted to do and its successful. Gail King has done well. All of the older Motown successes are now featured on FB with their great hits. All of these people have moved on and are using all of the available tools to move ahead. Meanwhile you are stuck in a stereotype a number of generations back. Why don't you move up to this generation? Go to school and progress. You cannot sell past generation stereotypes because there are too many successful examples of people who have moved on and are doing very well.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2021 at 1:12 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows

But all things considered, isn't it the folks (regardless of their color) who aren't successful as per society's definition of success the most disenfranchised, vociferously (and via public violence) expressing their societal grievances (i.e. BLM and working class white supremacist groups etc.)? Everyone seems to have a gripe these days.

Not everyone can be comfortable financially or enjoy a preferred lifestyle. If that were the case we would be living in a socialist society which the likes of Sanders, Warren, and AOC are actively promoting.

Life will always be a world of haves and have nots regardless of the political system in place.

I suspect the key word here is a perceived 'opportunity' to succeed and many still feel left out.


Posted by Demonne Washington
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 4, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Demonne Washington is a registered user.

~Comments like those from Ashley and Shaquon Davis don't exactly encourage homeowners to take on hundreds of thousands in debt and thousands in increased property taxes to build ADUs to house such lovely, well-mannered and sensitive tenants in their back yards.

Oh boo-hoo. You are just building an ADU for some extra cash and chances are the ADU will rented (to some white person) at the going and exorbitant Palo Alto rental rates.

And chances are it ain't no granny unit and you won't be renting it to a person of color at below market rate.

You are not fooling anyone with your 'investment' self-sacrifices.

You are just chasing another dollar sign and calculating your ROI.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

It takes all types to make a world. However, those who succeed will be the ones who stay in school doing their best to get a good education. Those who succeed will be the ones who work at their job -whether it is in high tech or bussing tables at a cafe, flipping burgers or stacking groceries, but doing it well and being loyal to their employer. Those who succeed will be those who while at work do what is expected of them gladly, going above and beyond the others so that when a promotion comes along they are the ones who are likely to be offered it. Those who succeed will be the ones who choose to be careful with their money, not buying the expensive sneakers or the latest purse, but rather using their money to save so that they can afford to live in a nicer place than they are in now, or so that they can afford to take some training that will get them a better job in the future. Those that succeed will be the ones who teach values of working hard and doing well to their children, rather than making excuses as to why they are hard done by.

Regardless of who we are, we can make our lives better by working at it. We can all do a good job working, being a good employee, a good citizen, a good community member, a good neighbor and a good friend. It costs nothing to be positive in attitude and to have a smile while we do it (even if the smile is hidden behind a mask).

Those that succeed manage to do it because they work at it. Very few of us get where we are without being positive and working hard. Sometimes luck comes into it, more often than not it is all about attitude and determination.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 4, 2021 at 5:18 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Demonne, [portion removed] I meant people who are so eager to trash other people are equally likely to trash one's property, insult their kids, etc. Who needs that.

For the record, I'm not building an ADU so I'm not discriminating against anyone. Stop jumping the gun.

Yes, PA rents are exorbitant. And yes, no one will be renting "to a person of color at below market rate' -- or to ANYONE -- BECAUSE that price discrimination is illegal as per the city. ADU builders can't even give price breaks to their own needy grannies, friends or relatives yet you believe only you are entitled to a price break??

Go yell at the city, not at prospective landlords.

@Bystander, you're absolutely right and I'd add that employers also need to show some loyalty and respect to employees.


Posted by Chantilly Williams
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 4, 2021 at 6:10 pm

Chantilly Williams is a registered user.

Bystander paints too idealistic a picture as life doesn't always take those turn no matter how hard one tries.

Online Name conveys an atypical white attitude and that's OK because some things will never change including various bigoted perspectives.

And while it is wrong to hate anyone there is no law against distrusting and DESPISING white people based on what they and/or their ancestors have done to our people in a continuing effort (including genocide) to minimalize and subjugate the existence of African-Americans.

Even Abraham Lincoln was a racist and history is finally beginning to convey that issue as he was just another white politician who was striving to keep the union intact to serve various white political interests.

Lincoln cared about the well-being of African slaves to about the same extent as the racist, white Irish Kennedys did in the 1960s...in other words, ZERO.

The Lincoln Memorial in DC should be torn down and replaced with one memorializing African American history and accomplishments.

Racial reconciliations are a long ways away and the blame rests fully on the shoulders of white racism which has festered towards all people of color in the United States since the day America was first settled.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 4, 2021 at 6:42 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Online Name conveys an atypical white attitude and that's OK because some things will never change including various bigoted perspectives."

Chantilly, seriously how is what I said bigoted? I didn't even bring up racism; I pointed out the city barred ADU price discrimination/preferences on any and all bases. I said didn't want to be around rude disrespectful people. I didn't insult anyone the way I was insulted and mischaracterized as a profiteering landlord. I noted the fact that ADUs cost people money in construction costs and higher taxes. That's reality, not racism.

I'm VERY tired of the new harping on stereotypes -- ageism, racism, whatever. Why is name-calling suddenly so prevalent and acceptable? Trumpism?

Not that you care, but I'm a white woman who's worked and traveled with black guys. We joked about which of us was less acceptable to some of the REAL bigots we worked and met with -- who called them "Boy" in meetings and made assumptions about me. I've attended BLM protests.

Is it your intent to alienate people like me? If so, why? It might be counter-productive.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:02 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Ladies - you need to go to WABA school. Words, Attitude, Behavior, Action - Kobe Bryant. Positive role model being successful teaching young people positive attitudes. He has a book out now. Glorious man, RIP. He was helping this next generation coming up with positive attitudes.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 6:24 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

quote:

"ADU builders can't even give price breaks to their own needy grannies, friends or relatives yet you believe only you are entitled to a price break?"

Wondering...why would an aspiring or current ADU builder (and presumed family member) be charging their own 'needy granny' full Palo Alto-based market rent in the first place?

That's cold and perhaps explains some of the earlier comments that paint certain individuals in a poor light.


Posted by cheyenne phillips
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 5, 2021 at 8:19 am

cheyenne phillips is a registered user.

° "I'm VERY tired of the new harping on stereotypes -- ageism, racism, whatever. Why is name-calling suddenly so prevalent and acceptable? Trumpism?"

Perhaps best not bring the former POTUS into this conversation.

The 'harping' you apparently find sooo disturbing is based on the greed, and social and economic inequality which is deeply rooted in a pervasive racism that has plagued our nation since Day 1.

Perhaps if the southern white people had formed smaller co-ops instead of vast plantations to grow cotton and tobacco, the need to enslave Africans would not have been required.

And if white mega-farmers had opted to raise and harvest their own fruits, vegetables, nuts, and sugarcane then the need for cheap imported labor from Mexico and Asia would not have been needed.

Add to that the building of the Transcontinental Railroad where the Chinese were brought in to do the major escavation work but not allowed to be in the now famous photograph of the two trains meeting. Only WHITE people were allowed to be in the photograph (probably under the directives of Leland Stanford).

And so you see, it is all about the exploitation of minority ethnicities in the United States by the WHITE wealthy majority (Republicans and Democrats alike).

The minorities did not exploit the WHITE people.

What is perplexing is why the uneducated, poor WHITE trash also defend racism but in a more blatant and physical manner. Perhaps it is because they too need someone to look down upon.

As my African-American colleagues constantly remind me, 99% of the race-related problems in the United States were caused by WHITE people many of whom also don't seem to respect or care about the well-being of their elder WHITE parents.

What comes around goes around.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2021 at 8:51 am

Bystander is a registered user.

What is being forgotten is the slavery was going on long before America was discovered by Europeans. You forget that it was Africans who captured other Africans who sold them to other Africans and Arabs. Most Arab slave owners insisted their male slaves were castrated which increased the need for new slaves from Africa rather than breeding them. Then there were the Barbary Pirates who captured white Europeans who sold them as slaves to Arab traders to be enslaved in places like Tunis, Algiers and Tripoli.

If you want to discuss slavery then it is important to get away from the idea that it was white people who started it. It was going on long before white people got involved. Also remember that it was the British Royal Navy and their West African Squadron that basically put an end to the slave trade.

Slavery is not something that can be discussed without looking into the worldwide history. America was only a very small part of the slave trade and it is narrow minded to think otherwise.


Posted by cheyenne phillips
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 5, 2021 at 9:26 am

cheyenne phillips is a registered user.

° "America was only a very small part of the slave trade and it is narrow minded to think otherwise."

Your historical references do not justify the practice of slavery in America.

Just because slavery was a big business in the Arab world, among African tribes, pirates, western European colonists, the ancient Egyptians, the Romans etc. is not a logical rationale...except for justifying and personally endorsing perpetual greed and human subjugation.

It was a matter of CHOICE whether to implement slavery or to do one's own physical and domestic labor in America and it was only the wealthy, greedy southern WHITE plantatation owners who could afford to buy slaves...some of whom are noteworthy 'founding fathers' of the United States.

America is a country of hypocracy whether it involves embracing Christian values (only applicable to WHITE people) or in spreading global influence (via the financial support of despotic countries both past and present).

A time of serious reckoning has arrived if we are to move forward as a nation of mixed heritages and WHITE denial/excuses no longer cut it.

And all of this will require further acknowledgment and constructive resolution of the remaining social injustices currently being endured by minority people of color in America.

It is relatively easy to understand why so many well-to-do 'older' WHITE Americans tend to look the other way while planting perpetual (aka lame) excuses that do not hold any water.

With only 10-20 years remaining and money in the bank, they can rely on that old idiom from Mad Magazine where Alfred E. Newman stupidly smirks and remarks, "What, me worry?"

Upon reflection, there are times when I am personally ashamed of being born WHITE because some folks might wrongly assume I share the same values and perspectives of countless other mindless WHITE people.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 5, 2021 at 10:38 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

WOW - so we have people from EPA dumping on PA. Note: EPA is in a different county, has a different tax base, and different government management. Are all of these people posting on the Almanac? Note that each county is working to different objectives and have different tax bases. Why discussing slavery now? We are wrestling with the current set of problems - the economy of the city, county, state, and US as it relates to other foreign countries. And why are people from outside the local environment lecturing us - they have their own problems. They need to focus on the problems in their location. Each area has a set of problems that need to be addressed. But they will be addressed by the people in the county and city.
Maybe the SU people are trying to gather info for a paper? What happened in Africa where slavery was initiated hasn't changed much. Focus on Africa today, how it has evolved, and then see where we have evolved. We are doing pretty good.


Posted by Deshawn Hall
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2021 at 10:48 am

Deshawn Hall is a registered user.

@cheyenne

You brought up some valid points but it is perhaps unreasonable for those of the older 'caucasian persuasion' to get the drift.

In my neighborhood, we had an older white neighbor who used to babble about the same kind of nonsense.

Stuff like how slavery was around for centuries and that African tribes sold other captured villagers to the American slave traders.

Never once did he ever mention that the practice of slavery was morally wrong. He simply justified slavery because it had been practiced throughout history.

My late father refered to this guy as 'the stupid old white man' and the monicker was well deserved.

And not surprisingly, when this older white 'gentleman' grew further senile, his thoughtful and caring children simply tossed him into one of those 'memory care' rest homes and then sold his house + two Midtown rental properties for some easy money and a self-entitled inheritance.

And so in many ways, the ignorant old white man eventually became a slave to the encumbrances of spending his final years in an assisted-care faculty.

Well deserved karma.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 11:14 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"I'm VERY tired of the new harping on stereotypes -- ageism, racism, whatever. Why is name-calling suddenly so prevalent and acceptable? Trumpism?"

To blame POTUS45 for all of this festering discord is being overly simplistic.

The discontent has been brewing for decades and centuries, perpetuated by minimal overall improvements.

And besides, POTUS45 was only speaking-up for disenfranchised whites who believe the country is slipping away from their traditional grasps.

cheyenne brought up some valid points and given the various historical revisions currently underway, perhaps we are in some way still accountable for the sins and misgivings of our white ancestry in America.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 5, 2021 at 11:25 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Cheyenne must be writing a paper since she indicated SU as her location. However she is spanning multiple complaints that are centuries ago, 50 year ago, etc. No consistent time span. No consistent theme with beginning middle and end except dumping on an older man who is probably dealing with dementia. Sorry that she is ashamed of her heritage. If so why did she pick SU? why not UC Berkley? She would fit in better there.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2021 at 11:46 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Stating historical facts is not justifying slavery as a practice. Of course it was and still is morally wrong.

There was a story on the news last night of a liquor store in Gilroy or Morgan Hill where a person was locked up inside, forced to work with no pay, had to wash in a mop sink. If you think slavery has ended, just read the papers or watch the news.

Slavery in all forms was and is abhorrent. That doesn't mean it didn't happen and that doesn't mean it was a white v everyone else issue. White people were the ones who used their influence, power or whatever else you want to call it, to end the slave trade in the past. The modern slave trade is just as much in need of ending and once again many organizations are working hard to end it. The world is an ugly place and in many places it is foreigners (including Americans) who are funding it. Think about the sex workers in Thailand, for example. Rather than arguing about the past here, look at what is going on elsewhere often being supported by individuals from this country.

Don't assume that history is not necessary to learn. Without knowing what happened in the past, it is likely that history will be repeated. Without knowing what was going on elsewhere in the world then it is impossible to understand how slavery took such a foothold here.

Learn from history. Do not dismiss it. And look at the big picture.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 12:43 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

"Don't assume that history is not necessary to learn. Without knowing what happened in the past, it is likely that history will be repeated."

∆ Except that history always has an uncanny way of repeating itself...making one wonder, what are the lessons actually learned?

"Learn from history. Do not dismiss it."

∆ As Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle wrote in 1724, "What is history but a fable agreed upon?"

With the possible exception of the timelines and actual dates, interpretive history is purely a 'subjective' subject which misleading falls under the category of non-fiction.

History is written and perpetuated by the victors and oppressors, not the losers or downtrodden.

Imagine the history being written and perpetuated had the Confederacy won the Civil War or if the Axis Powers had proven victorious in World War Two?

In other words...except for the dates, interpretive history is a possible delusion which is why various accounts are now being challenged and disputed by a new generation of scholars.

And the same applies to the Bible being an accurate historical document as its early canonization by a powerful and influential Catholic Church removed many key historical accounts and testaments pertaining to the actual life of Jesus Christ.

Thus...we simply elect to believe what we choose to believe and it's as simple as that.


Posted by Darvin Medford
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 5, 2021 at 1:40 pm

Darvin Medford is a registered user.

It is impossible to walk in another man's shoes.

The white folks (even the ones who consider themselves educated to a certain extent) will never fully understand nor comprehend what black people have endured in America.

And this is ok because I have told my children to be proud of their heritage and to be grateful that they were not born white because due to segregation and other white exclusionary practices,
our ethnicity and DNA for the most part is not as convoluted and many of us have retained our rich cultural history.


Posted by avery james
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2021 at 2:54 pm

avery james is a registered user.

~ If so why did she pick SU? why not UC Berkley? She would fit in better there.

Am I to understand (as per your suggestion) that open-minded free-thinkers attend Berkeley while close-minded fiscally-minded conservatives opt to attend Stanford?

I can see your point when it comes to the Engineering Department or maybe the Graduate School of Business at Stanford but the humanities too?

Are you a distant relative of Leland Sr.?


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 3:42 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

@ Resident 1-Adobe Meadows & avery james...

Political leanings and historical perspectives aside, the beautiful people go to Westwood/UCLA.

Go Bruins!


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 5, 2021 at 7:06 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Avery - the people that go to UC Berkley are consumed with political nonsense, and the people that go to SU are working to plan out their future with a good job.
And yes - UCLA - I grew up next to UCLA and family member got an MBA at Anderson School of Business.


Posted by LaVonne Miranda
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2021 at 7:17 am

LaVonne Miranda is a registered user.

I think college is overated regardless of the campus one chooses.

Most kids go to college nowadays just to get away from their parents and to party. Then the majority of them return home after graduation because they did not apply themselves and cannot get a good job.

Many of them should have gone to trade school or joined the armed forces.

My husband is a high school dropout but he is trained as a heavy equipment operator. He makes $125.00/hour and though he is frequently away from the family on various construction sites, we own our own home and do not rely on public assistance in any form.

I work at Costco after having served two tours in the USAF as a desk clerk and completed one semester at a local JC prior to enlisting.

It is the working class that keeps America's tax-base running, not the MBA bean counters or hordes of parasitic lawyers.

It's ok to go to college but if you cannot find a job afterwards, it was a waste of time, energy and expense.

One can get the same education in useless fields like liberal arts by going to the library and checking out some books.

Providing one can read and has the initiative.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 6, 2021 at 11:58 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Lavonne, I agree with much of what you say. One of the problems I see with the MBA bean counters and VC-funded startups and automation is that they're working to cut labor costs thus creating MORE unemployment and homelessness which increases desperation and crime.

Replacing full-time employees with underpaid "gig workers" with no benefits and underpaid contractors hurts everyone. With the DoorDashes et al charging 30% commissions, they hurt the restaurants. Now they're pitching their cheap "gig worker" delivery services to companies like Safeway which in turn lay off THEIR full-time delivery staff. Lather rinse repeat.

FeDX drivers are now contractors whose every action is timed. They have to fight to get air conditioning. How many clerks and truck drivers are there in the US? A lot. Most will be displaced by automated checkouts, driverless vehicles and drones.

People like Ashley above who's SO irritated by boomers "chatting" with clerks might think about the fact that people are talking to bank and store clerks BECAUSE automated systems don't meet their all needs. No one visits a bank for the "fun" of it! I guess she's never been caught in a frustrating automated system or gotten good advice some a worker.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

There is a great deal of truth in what LaVonne says above, but also a great deal of falsehood although I can see where she is coming from.

My own father told me that there were two great benefits of college, finding a spouse and finding a circle of like minded people to help you in the world where it is more important who you know than what you know. Arguably, there is truth in that and depending on the chosen major, it can be said those are the biggest benefits. With so many coming out of college with a degree in things that have nothing that will help them starting a career or even having their mind stretched by hearing new ideas and alternative points of view, the college campuses are just producing more of the same like minded graduates rather as opposed to well rounded, educated individuals.

However, for anyone who wants to become one of the movers and shakers in the future, a college education is still the place to become a doctor, engineer, etc. If we don't get the local high school graduates into college learning these things, we are going to be getting more foreign educated doctors, engineers into the jobs our own locally educated people should be doing.

Yes there are some of the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs who drop out of college and succeed in life, but the majority of those who will be leading us in the next generation do need their college degrees. We must encourage our high school teens to embrace the courses that will get them a good start in a profession that will give them a career that enables them to have a better standard of living rather than encourage liberal arts degrees in topics that sound great but lead to nothing that puts them in good stead to get a job against a well educated foreign competitor.

Education can be done throughout our lives through our reading, experience and lifestyle, but getting a career generally involves becoming qualified in a chosen field.


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

A lot of professions (GOOD professions) REQUIRE a college degree. If you want to get hired in a degreed profession, you need a college degree. You have no choice.

If your profession doesn't require a college degree, it's up to you. If nothing else, you'll make more money with a college degree(s).

Finding a spouse? I met my "future spouse" at UCLA. I was in my cheerleading outfit, and on my way to practice. He made me late, and the rest is history...


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:40 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

Some observations...

Based on the various postings, it would be safe to assume that hatred, distrust, and contempt towards others is alive and well in America. And all things factored in, we've still got a long ways to go.

"My own father told me that there were two great benefits of college, finding a spouse and finding a circle of like minded people to help you in the world where it is more important who you know than what you know."

"Finding a spouse? I met my "future spouse" at UCLA. I was in my cheerleading outfit, and on my way to practice. He made me late, and the rest is history..."

@ Bystander and Jennifer...

Though connections usually happen by chance, going to college to score a prospective mate seems kind of 'old school'...perhaps from another era and maybe more engrained in the female thought process than in males.

That said, I met my future spouse when she was student at Pasadena JC (though she later transferred and became a Uclan).

As far as occupational networking, people move all over the country following graduation and some stay in touch while others drift apart.

I have found that my male college friends who went to exclusive prep schools are generally more inclined to keep in touch with one another even though they eventually attended different colleges and universities...maybe this has something to do with 'old school ties' (both in neckware and later socializing).

In closing, I have encouraged my kids to (1) pursue a viable vocation in college as a major, and (2) study the humanities (if so inclined) as a minor.

I apparently failed to adequately convey this message as one is an unemployed food server with a useless degree in Eastern Philosophy while the other after majoring in something called Astro Biology now makes 'street fair quality' jewelry while patiently waiting for Jerry Garcia to come back to Earth so the Dead tour can resume.

My wife and I screwed up somewhere.


Posted by Kaneesha
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Kaneesha is a registered user.

Privileged white people can afford to have loser kids.

Impoverished black families cannot.

Simple as that.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2021 at 9:06 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

@R. Cavendish.

You win the prize for today's best summing up in your last 2 paragraphs.

Thanks for your post. You made my evening with that. :)


Posted by P. Meyers (Lt. Colonel/retired)
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 8, 2021 at 9:33 am

P. Meyers (Lt. Colonel/retired) is a registered user.

I advocate mandatory military service for all young people upon completion of either high school or college. Two to four years minimum.

Make them all go in as buck privates to learn some much-needed discipline, develop a sense of responsibility, and to get in shape physically.

There are six branches to chose from including the newly established US Space Force. Take your pick.

Having spent 25 years in the Marines, I watched a lot of slackers become responsible adults and those who couldn't muster were either tossed in the brig, given demeaning duties until they saw the light or discharged with 'less than honorable' or dishonorable discharges which limited their vocational opportunities for life.

Most recruits learned the hard way and for America to maintain its global superiority militarily, economically, and politically, kids today are going to have to toughen up both mentally and physically.

Unless you prefer speaking Chinese or Russian as your everyday language in America.


Posted by Barry Stein
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2021 at 11:01 am

Barry Stein is a registered user.

I concur. The PRC has recently initiated a government mandated a program that will force all of its young males to 'man up' by being physically fit and better prepared for military duty.

The same mandate occured in Israel following WW2 but it also included women and today the Israeli military is a force to be reckoned with.

America needs to play catch-up or it will fall by the wayside.

The PRC already knows this and are planning ahead for future military pre-emptive actions against free Asia Pacific countries.


Posted by A Proud Veteran and Patriot
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2021 at 12:23 pm

A Proud Veteran and Patriot is a registered user.

Making kids join the service would also reduce the amount of college debt that many are incessantly whining about.

Upon receiving an honorable discharge, the military will assist in subsidizing one's higher education plus there are many civilian vocations one can learn in the military like health care, law enforcement, and office administration to name a few.

Besides, it is the duty and obligation of the younger members of society to defend our country against all perceived enemies, real or imagined.

All of my male working class family members (including myself) have served this country from World War I and up to the current Middle Eastern conflict.

Women should also be ready and willing to serve as well, especially if demanding the same recognition and pay as their male counterparts in the civilian world.

Properly trained, anyone can learn how to fire a weapon safely and this is a good skill to know.

Instead of kids being skilled in violent virtual video games, it would be far more productive to be skilled in handing the real situations and to be able to respond accordingly.

There will always be wars and to survive as a nation, we must retain the ability to destroy our enemies by whatever means possible.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2021 at 4:42 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

@ Lt.C/Barry/Proud Vet...

How about simply giving the kids other alternatives and options (i.e. conservation corps, community outreach,
inner-city tutoring etc.)?

Not everyone needs to (or is cut out to) be packing a rifle and shooting at others.

As for the PRC, they have accumulated their vast reserves of money by not engaging in war...choosing instead to be be a major player in consumer manufacturing and international money lending.

And as a result, they've got the financial resources to mobilize a HUGE military force if so desired.

Things are not the same in America.


Posted by maryanne peters
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 9, 2021 at 5:59 am

maryanne peters is a registered user.

the recently-arrived Chinese from the PRC are a benefit to our local communities because they enrichen the diversity and pay top dollar for our homes with cash.

we should not be going to war with anyone but rather extending an open-door policy to allow anyone and everyone immigrate to America providing they will be good citizens.


Posted by Elie Weisman
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 9, 2021 at 8:04 am

Elie Weisman is a registered user.

I agree maryanne. America should be home to anyone who wishes it to be and tax-payer money is better spent on social services and education rather than armies and bullets.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2021 at 10:44 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

California is a unique state. it is a border state with Mexico and a Pacific entry point for Asians. California ends up with a lot of the pressure from foreign relocations than other states. People in DC who are thinking up what the "rules' should be are not the recipients of the impact. Our school systems are based on taxpayer funding. We need taxpayers. Our legislative budgets are based on taxpayer funding. We need taxpayers. Infrastructure is based on taxpayer funding. We need taxpayers. But those taxpayers are leaving the state because they all cannot absorb the impact of countless people who do not have jobs and are looking for subsidy for living. That is a CA problem.


Posted by Lashawn J.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Lashawn J. is a registered user.

California can easily cover the added expenditures...just tax Hollywood entertainment businesses and pro-sports more.

Add Google and Facebook as well.


Posted by Resident11
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 9, 2021 at 1:03 pm

Resident11 is a registered user.

Immigration works best when it is coupled with efficient education and job onramps. The US does not do a good job getting immigrants quickly into skilled jobs. We can't be serious about immigration unless we are serious about these other things. If we do so immigration is easily a net good for the economy. If we do not then it can become a handout. This applies to many domestic demographics as well. As birth rates continue to decline we have to do more with what we've got. We have plenty of head room.


Posted by Buck Prescott
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2021 at 1:31 pm

Buck Prescott is a registered user.

"Immigration works best when it is coupled with efficient education and job onramps. The US does not do a good job getting immigrants quickly into skilled jobs."

"If we do not then it can become a handout."


Which means ALL immigration into the United States should be prohibited unless the prospective immigrants speak English, have money, or already have a viable job skill and at least a high school education.

The East Indians who immigrate to California all seem to be either software engineers or doctors and that contributes to both the state income tax base and society as a whole. And most of the Chinese wo have arrived here recently own expensive multi-million dollar house so they are paying hefty property taxes.

The others who do not meet certain economic guidelines should reside elsewhere rather than burdening the taxpayers further.

For the most part, this is the Palo Alto way of thinking.


Posted by A Theology Student/Santa Clara
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2021 at 2:28 pm

A Theology Student/Santa Clara is a registered user.

"...ALL immigration into the United States should be prohibited unless the prospective immigrants speak English, have money, or already have a viable job skill and at least a high school education."

° This criteria did not stop the Spanish conquistadors or Father Serra from entering California.

And the California Indians grew to accept their presence.

Perhaps we should do the same with other undocumented immigrants as well.


Posted by Chantrelle
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Chantrelle is a registered user.

"The others who do not meet certain economic guidelines should reside elsewhere rather than burdening the taxpayers further."

Does this criteria also apply to poor, uneducated white people as well?

We mustn't be racist...right?


Posted by Hans Schmidt
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Hans Schmidt is a registered user.

@Chantrelle

Given the all-white January 6th insurrection in DC, it does make me wonder as many of those arrested are now sequestered in jail at tax-payer expense and represented by various public defenders (again at tax-payer expense).

And the insurrectionist with the painted face and buffalo horns requested (and was actually granted) organic meals while serving time in custody.

Incarcerated African Americans usually don't receive those kinds of special dining privileges...especially in America.


Posted by Robert J.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 10, 2021 at 8:13 am

Robert J. is a registered user.

Back to topic..Some Palo Alto residents (including myself) are going to have to learn to live within our means during this period of austerity measures and so will the City of Palo Alto when it comes to handling it's municipal expenditures.

Cutting or reducing some higher salaries and retirement benefits would be a start along with the elimination of hiring consultants to do the work city administrators are paid to do.

Then start cutting down on the parks and rec, public library and community services budget.

Police department costs next and so on..


Posted by jessica landers
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 10, 2021 at 8:25 am

jessica landers is a registered user.

Hopefully library services can remain staffed and adequately budgeted but I agree that we have too many overpaid city administrators.

And yes, the police department should be subject to major cuts being that Palo Alto is a relatively low crime city.

The city does not need a SWAT team nor a new police services building.

And no more new SUVs for the cops. Just buy some older, used Crown Victoria's as needed and slap a siren on them.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2021 at 9:31 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Pleased to see that this has now returned to topic.

As soon as lockdown ends and we are allowed to go back to work in our offices, a shop and eat local campaign should be activated.

It is too easy for us here to spend our tax dollars in Mountain View or Menlo Park. Every time we shop in Costco, Target, WalMart, BB & Beyond, BestBuy, larger Safeways, etc. we are sending Palo Alto residents' taxes to other cities. Of course, if Palo Alto had foresight, the big box stores would be here rather than in our neighboring cities. But one thing Palo Alto has seriously lacked in the past is foresight.

It is time for Palo Alto to gain some foresight and be realistic in budget and financial concerns.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 12, 2021 at 10:02 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I am heading to Redwood City - they have a big Safeway and a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Things went downhill here when the bookstore left. It always had people in it, getting coffee and sweets - looking at the magazines, looking at all of the cute gift items.
How did it happen that they left? Not lacking for business. Forced out by some RE person? If PA wants to get people downtown that put in a BIG Bookstore.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 12, 2021 at 10:27 am

Online Name is a registered user.

For years I've headed to the Trader Joe's in Menlo Park BECAUSE it's faster and easier than braving the Embarcadero traffic for 1.5 miles to the one in Towm & Country. Pre-pandemic our lunch group gave up eating in PA because it was overrun by commuters and finding parking was too hard and time-consuming.

Congestion and decades of poor traffic planning costs PA sales tax revenue.

FYI Bed Bath & Beyond in MV is now shuttered.


Posted by Jerry Underberg
a resident of University South
on Mar 12, 2021 at 10:48 am

Jerry Underberg is a registered user.

"The city does not need a SWAT team nor a new police services building."

I believe the new police building is already under construction...to late.

As for having a SWAT team in Palo Alto, this municipal expense is ludicrous.

Just a bunch of wannabe SEALS where the actual need never arises.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.


Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.