Go Knicks! Like many people who live in Palo Alto, I have now become a Knicks fan. Growing up in Los Angeles I never thought I'd write that sentence, but I love basketball and I love Palo Alto High School so there was no avoiding this startling convergence after "Linsanity" began. The Jeremy Lin story is remarkable from just about every angle, but it is especially compelling from the heart of Palo Alto High School where I work as the teacher librarian.
For those readers who haven't been interacting with any media lately, 2006 Palo Alto High School graduate Jeremy Lin is now the starting point guard for the previously woeful-now-somewhat-successful New York Knicks. Before he reached such lofty heights he studied in the Paly library (I have eye witnesses) and guided the Paly team to a state basketball championship.
Jeremy's inspiring story reads like a best-selling young adult novel where the underdog athlete shows grace under pressure, overcomes stereotypes and thanks his family and coaches in the end. It's a narrative suitable for all our young people as long as we tell it right, because in Palo Alto, where there is so much flashy success, sometimes it's hard to realize that the ordinary can be extraordinary too.
The message shouldn't be: Harvard, NBA or bust! Instead we should encourage the attainment of meaningful goals and celebrate students' personal achievements with genuine and meaningful fanfare. And if you don't believe me, listen to Jeremy Lin. In an interview with ESPN, Jeremy advised young people to follow their own dreams. He said, don't be like me, be yourself.
So let's cheer for all our students who are working hard to find their place in the world and struggling to find success. Their ups and downs may not be in the public eye, but they are tremendously important and deserve our encouragement and rapt attention. Go Vikings!
Downtown parking problems
The Alma and Lytton office building featured in a recent edition is a nice building but it, along with several other projects in the pipeline will seriously add to already intolerable parking problems that dramatically impact the livability of our homes and neighborhoods.
Yes, the developer has made last-minute promises to try to address the project's parking deficiencies — but the parking will still fall far short of the need. Even if the 30 percent transit goal were ever reached, the project cannot support even the most conservative estimate of the needs of its employees, residents, customers and clients. Favorable city projections depend on 57 spaces in parking structures that no longer have room; more than 100 downtown employees are already on a waiting list for $400-per-year permits.
And, there is no control over the employee density. A Facebook-like use or another high-tech start-up could double or triple the number of employees and hence, the real parking needed.
Unfortunately, these problems are glossed over in the environmental documents prepared by the City. I encourage the Weekly to take a much deeper, more investigative look into these growing problems and changing conditions in a downtown already woefully short of the parking essential to support itself.