Letters | September 30, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - September 30, 2011


Barron Park Market


Thank you for putting a human face on the usually cold economic news ("Neighborhood market faces foreclosure," Sept. 16, 2011). I was one of those who encouraged Hassan to open his market.

Go into the Barron Park Market and Florist any time — and I mean any time — between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and Hassan will be there to greet you and help you make your choices. I am disappointed that a friendly, neighborhood market with an international flare, stamped with the owner's personality, is failing.

He's giving his all. Strange that so many of us complain about "big-box" stores when we have something unique a walk or short drive away. If Hassan has to leave our community it is a sad day indeed.

Ginny LaRiviere

Tennessee Lane

Palo Alto

Achievement gap


Rena Davidow's letter "In poor taste" (Sept. 9, 2011) has poor taste in its own share.

The goal of closing the achievement gap is to bring up the performance of the disadvantaged; you don't discourage the higher achiever to get a lower grade so your gap can be closed.

College entrance coaching is a product of our college system and capitalism regardless of race and hardly unique to Asian community. Davidow seems to have overplayed the connection between Asian (as in "the twin advantages ... this ethnicity" ) and coaching (as "this edge").

Asian students in this country sometimes have to achieve more to be admitted to the same school. For that reason, I think you publishing the approach is a good choice, at least an informational one.

Wendy Mei

Carmel Drive

Palo Alto

Professorville parking


Quoting from an editorial about parking issues (Sept. 16, 2011): "Business leaders who suggest downtown neighborhoods have a duty of sorts to absorb the employee parking generated from businesses because it is essential to maintaining the downtown's vibrancy and viability are not going to win over public support." Amen! As a Professorville resident, I don't feel that I have a duty to absorb employee parking any more than I expect a business to have a duty to absorb any of my costs of living. That's a ridiculous claim to make.

It's not even my duty to support downtown business; it is the "duty" of business to produce usable goods and services at competitive price and there are many, many wonderful businesses that do just that. Further, as Professorville residents, my wife and I do support those businesses.

We are two of about 500 area residents who are tiring of nearly three years of trying to get the city to provide relief by solving this challenging problem.

Ray Dempsey

Bryant Street

Palo Alto

More parking suggestions


This is a draft of the message I gave to City Council to get some attention to the real problems causing the downtown parking problems.

At the recent study session I believe staff may have taken away the sense that no action should be taken towards adopting a parking-permit program for Professorville. This apparent council direction was based on the hope that the traffic engineer's proposed changes in parking garage operations did anything to improve our plight — sort of like an experiment.

To be able to evaluate an experiment it is essential to control the variables, so it will be necessary for the city to stop new downtown commercial uses, applications, exceptions, building permits, and approvals for nonconforming properties without parking — in affect, a temporary moratorium until the study is complete and adequate measures are in place to address this serious problem.

This 9-12 month hiatus will give everyone a chance to:

a. Refine policy and install equipment to maximize the use of existing parking facilities.

b. Modify the zoning to limit uses and/or plan for additional commercial parking needed for future growth.

c. Apply reasonable non-conforming rules and/or find ways to either limit allowed uses or provide parking for those nonconforming commercial businesses outside of the parking assessment district.

d. Adopt standards to combat the impacts of "office" uses with three, four and five times the typical number of employees traditional to office uses.

e. Evaluate the success and adequacy of TDM measures, and

f. Structure a simple Residential Permit Parking Program for the Professorville area — the only thing we have asked for up to this point.

Ken Alsman

Ramona Street

Palo Alto