Letters | November 18, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - November 18, 2011


Occupy Wall Street


I've been trying to follow what's happening with the Occupy Wall Street movement. It started a few weeks ago as a grassroots response to the economic situation, the financial bailouts given to investment bankers, and huge salaries and bonuses they continued to pay, and the tax dodges of the rich.

Some people realized that a strong message needed to be sent, and to their credit, they adopted the well-known tactics of Ghandi and Martin Luther King. They have marched, they have sat/camped and they have stubbornly stayed to demand resource distribution.

Yes, there may be some among them who seem unattractive or whiny. But they have patiently borne the curiosity, the scorn and the very real danger of confrontation with the police or the military. They are, after all, pointing the finger at the very real failures of U.S. capitalism to meet the needs of the people.

Dana St. George

Campesino Avenue

Palo Alto

Democratic awakening


Women's International League for Peace and Freedom members are joining those who are occupying Wall Street, Oakland, Palo Alto and other sites where nonviolent, "leaderless" groups are part of a movement that seeks to reclaim a government established by the people and for the people.

We join our sisters and brothers — of all ages, colors, ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, and social and political statuses — in a "democratic awakening" that reverberates with the voices of individuals who collectively call out for a fundamental shift in power and resources — where the needs of human beings are valued over corporate profits and military might.

Together with others of the enlightened commons, WILPF protests the systems and institutions that support endless war and unrestrained corporate greed.

Bernice Fischer

Peninsula Chapter of the WILPF

Sand Hill Road

Palo Alto

Pipeline test


I would like to suggest that you try to provide a less biased report to the sophisticated audience you are addressing in Silicon Valley by taking the hype out of your headlines. The fact is that the PG&E gas pipe you reported on failed a hydrostatic pressure test. Yet your headline stated, "PG&E pipeline explodes in Woodside."

There is a significant difference between a stress test and everyday operation. My understanding is that hydrostatic tests are conducted at significantly higher pressures than those used in regular service.

By the way, I am a homeowner not in any way connected with PG&E or any utility.

Klaus Brandt

Southampton Drive

Palo Alto

'J. Edgar' review


In Tyler Hanley's review of the film "J. Edgar" (Nov. 11, 2011) he states that the protagonist (Hoover) "is neither likable nor despicable." J. Edgar Hoover was an ogre who was the epitome of despicable. The man ruined untold numbers of lives and discredited countless others. He created illegal spying in the U.S.

Mr. Hanley says that the film "reminded this critic of sitting in a dimly lit history class after tossing back a tablespoon of Nyquil." May I suggest respectfully that Mr. Hanley go back to that history class, skip the Nyquil and learn who J. Edgar Hoover really was.

Jack Comerford

Selby Lane


Shop local


I am an advocate for free trade, and am aware of how protectionism has one result: economic depression as in 1929. However, this Christmas, I am going to make a concerted effort to buy American. Charity begins at home, and our most immediate opportunity to help our neighbor is to buy local.

OK, I drive a Honda, and believe in free markets, however, I am going to add three more filters to my buying decisions:

1.) Environmental track record of the place of origin;

2.) Humane labor practices of the place of origin;

3.) Purposeful compassion for my neighbors.

I hope others will join me in this action.

Timothy Gray

Park Boulevard

Palo Alto

Egg wars


Really? Yes egg wars. A tradition between Paly and Gunn for as long as I can remember. I remember getting attacked by Gunn when I was at Paly (Class of '88). Harmless fun rivalry. This city needs to learn to let kids be kids and pick your battles. Who are they hurting? It's eggs! I haven't heard of any egg injuries the last 20+ years since I've graduated so just leave it and all the other fun traditions alone. It's silly things like this that makes high school fun. It feels like Palo Alto has an issue with kids being kids and having fun around here. I'd love to run Jordan or Paly just to bring back all the great things we did there. Our classes did things far worse than throwing eggs and no one got hurt, no one damaged anything, it's just good, clean, fun pranks.

Relax, people!

Andrea Roucoule

Oxford Avenue

Palo Alto

Measure E vote


The voters have spoken on Measure E, but what have they said? The proponents previously said that a favorable vote was required for a CEQA study. They also previously said that voting for Measure E was not a vote for a proposed composting facility, but rather a vote for further study. But they now claim a mandate for building a composting facility. It was this kind of bait-and-switch that opponents feared.

Let's now have a true accounting of the range of costs of the various approaches, including a cost-benefit analysis that includes a cost per ton of greenhouse gas reduction. Let us now have a realistic assessment of the various technologies and their feasibility, reliability and degree of risk. Let us be explicit about the assumptions in those assessments. Let us carefully consider sewage sludge separately from yard waste and food scraps. Combining them will devalue composted yard waste, as most won't want to put digested sewage sludge mixed with compost on our vegetable gardens in Palo Alto. Let us carefully understand where the digested sewage sludge, yard waste and food scraps will go, even if it is digested in Palo Alto. An important concern is that Public Works has problems managing construction projects (such as the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center) and that there will be cost overruns.

Proponents do have a mandate for further study. Let's have that study and review its results carefully before deciding how to proceed. However we choose to proceed, we should reduce greenhouse gases with the smallest increase in refuse rates, which are already among the highest in the immediate area.

Arthur M. Keller

Corina Way

Palo Alto

Victory for E


Green gigabytes of gratitude for the incredible grassroots activism for yes on Measure E! Collecting more than 6,000 signatures to place the measure on the ballot, walking the precincts, distributing literature at Farmers Markets, writing letters to the editors and, most importantly, researching the options for waste-to-energy conversion were necessary steps to win. I consider it a mandate to evaluate methodologies to solve our own solid waste problem locally and not be driving it to Gilroy, Kettleman City or San Jose.

Palo Alto has an opportunity to lead in finding new ways to meet the AB32 requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate the implementation of the Climate Protection Plan adopted in 2007.

Carroll Harrington

Melville Avenue

Palo Alto


Posted by Gina Dalma, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I want to thank LaToya Baldwin Clark for her guest column on the effects of the school district failing to make successful completion of an A-G curriculum a requirement for high school graduation due to pressure from the PALY math department. Simply, our educational system should be evaluated on its capacity to educate the students that are NOT fortunate to come from families that pay for tutors outside the classroom, not on students that will do well no matter what. I am so dismayed that this issue has been put on the back burner. By doing so, we are literally keeping kids from a post-secondary education. The same kids that need to be nurtured within a belief system that sends the message that they will achieve. We are taking that away, before they start.