My recent rescue dog has an extraordinary amount of energy. Her acquisition was, unfortunately, followed by major medical drama. Thank heavens my neighborhood, Evergreen Park, abounds with Stanford grad students, one of whom stepped up to the plate. Graham takes Hazel on his runs. When he picked up Hazel last Sunday, before attaching the leash, he said, "If you don't mind, I'd like to take the ID collar off for the run." As he carefully worked his hands around her neck, he added, "It interferes with the prong collar and she doesn't need that added discomfort." This level of thoughtfulness, intelligence, concern and responsibility is a joy to interact with. It is why I treasure those grad students. Problem is, they are here for four years and then they leave.
That didn't used to be the case. Stanford Industrial Park was built so the Stanford grads would stay. They did and Palo Alto benefited way beyond what it deserved.
People look at all the trees, pretty houses and generous city services and think that's what makes Palo Alto special. But that's not true. Everything good about Palo Alto has come out of the brain trust created by Stanford graduates who stayed. Because of our choices about building housing, they can no longer stay. They haven't been able to stay for 15 years.
So many of my single-family residential neighbor homeowners are up in arms at the prospect of someone building a duplex next door. But not building those duplexes means Graham, and people like him, are not going to be our neighbors. Personally, I want those people as neighbors, in my community and, whenever possible, running the show because they do a damn good job of it.
Birch Street, Palo Alto
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