Town Square

Post a New Topic

Man, 27, fatally shot in East Palo Alto

Original post made on Jan 3, 2010

A 27-year-old man died in a shooting in East Palo Alto Saturday afternoon, according to a San Mateo County deputy coroner. No one had been arrested in connection with the shooting as of Saturday night, according to police.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, January 3, 2010, 9:51 AM

Comments (54)

Posted by concerned
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I grew up in East Palo Alto. We used to be able to play outside whem the street lightd came on everyone went home. you didn't do wrong because the neighbors would tell your parents . We had respect for our parents and any adult. Our children grew up like this. Children can't play outside for fear of a drive by shooting. children don't respect anybody. Our city is in a state of emergency. There is genocide being committed among our young. If they are not dead they are serving life sentences in prison. Where is it going to stop? Does anyone care?, that is anyone that can do something about it. Someone the governor, the Mayor, The Police that are supposed protect and serve, You and me.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 3, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Wow. Wonder what the ShotSpotter audio sounds like. ShotSpotter website has blogged audio clips from several shooting incidents around the country. EPA was one of their original testbed installations (recent SJMerc story).

Posted by MACKO
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm


Posted by tired of the bs
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Concerned, I think you said it yourself. It is not the job of governor, the mayor or the police department to raise people's children. You had respect for your parents and adults because your parents and your community taught you to have respect. When parents don't care that their kids are hanging out selling dope, the kids are not going to care either. The truancy and drop out rate in East Palo Alto is outrageous, yet there is busing to good schools and plenty of programs for youth. When parents don't do anything when their 13 year old doesn't go to school, whose fault is it when that kid becomes a criminal or a crime victim?

Posted by G -TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Those who know JR like I do, know better then this. And what happened to JR was wrong. He was like a brother to me but my blood cousin. We lived on Camellia together and cared for my aunt before she passed. These things taught JR how to be a man, have morals, and show respect for others.RIP JR

Posted by DontBlameMe
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 4, 2010 at 3:09 am

The situation with youths of all colors is complex but people do know the answer.

See the article "Rich, Black, Flunking".

Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.

The professor and his research assistant moved to Shaker Heights for nine months in mid-1997. The team observed 110 different classes, from kindergarten all the way through high school. They conducted exhaustive interviews with school personnel, black parents, and students. Their project yielded an unexpected conclusion: It wasn't socioeconomics, school funding, or racism, that accounted for the students' poor academic performance; it was their own attitudes, and those of their parents.

The same conclusion could probably be applied to poor whites in places lik West Virginia.

Posted by I'm Tired
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:06 am

I've been living in this city for years and the administration here is underperforming. Look at the blight within the city. What do I pay taxes for? Forget the liberal social programs. Spend the money and clean up the blight. Stop enabling....

a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 4, 2010 at 10:32 am




Posted by Concerned Resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

What I find most disturbing is that the murderers are not afraid to kill during the daylight. This sends a message to the neighborhood and to the police that they can commit these crimes without impunity, with little fear of being turned in or being caught. We as a community must not live in fear. We must walk the streets with pride as hardworking people who want a better life for our families and friends. I urge the East Palo Alto Police Force to catch these criminals. Do not stop until these crimes are solved. Patrol the areas. Make the streets safe. I find it disconcerting that petty bicycle thieves are caught in Palo Alto, yet murderers are left on the streets in East Palo Alto. This must end.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

Unfortunately, you cannot compare Palo Alto and East Palo Alto evenly. They are different counties, the police departments are funded differently, prioreties are set differently for the police, and the two cities are very different socially and economically. They may be just on opposite sides of a small creek, but they are very far apart in our society.

I am VERY concerned about the folks in EPA. The city certainly does need help. But I sense that the police do not get adaquate support and assistance from the people over there, making it very difficult to do their jobs. Yeah, bicycle thieves get caught in Palo Alto, but it is because the police are heavily assisted by the people who come forward with information and evidence. In EPA, if someone gets shot on the street in front of tons of people, no one wants to talk to the police about it. How can the police do their jobs without support from the people? They cannot operate in an information vaccuum. If you support them, they can support you.

Posted by HIS LADY
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm



Posted by GTOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm


Posted by EPA Resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm

My primary concern is that no more violence will result due to the tragic circumstance. I went to school with Ronald and I do recall his attitude and direction as a youth, it did not surprise me to see him hustle over going to school, yet the one truth that we can take from this is that peoples past never leaves, you can pray and live a good strait life but ultimately your past will always catch up. It is known that he chose to live his life strait for the last remainder of his years, it is known that he attempted to do good, all I can hope for is that his kids never grow up to be part of the enviroment that molded him. The family is left victimized a wife with no husband and kids with no father! If the judicial system does not get the man responsible for the crime GOD WILL.

Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I was born and raised in EPA since the early 80's.

Yes, we used to play football in the street untill the streetlights came on or untill moms called us in. EPA is so small everyone knows everyone so as a kid you had extra eyes on you ready to report any mess up to your parents. I had to walk down the dirty block everyday from 10-16yrs old right past the gangstas and the dealers but they showed us love and made sure we was going to school. They treated us like little brothers. Doesnt feel the same anymore everyone so cut throat and broke and dont give a dam.

Things changed when Ravenswood Gym/HS closed. I played ymca ball there they even had midnight basketball. It gave people something to do it had a full size pool, tennis and bb courts and a dance studio. For a long time EPA had no HS. I knew some white kids that lived so close they could walk to school but we had to ride a bus for a hour just to attend a public high school. I got lucky cause I went to MA (only a 15-20 min ride) but if you went to Carlmont or Woodside you had to take a bus from epa to belmont or redwood meaning you had to wake up early just to get to class on time. If you missed that bus (which are filled most of the time) you were guaranteed to miss your first 2 classes. Are you going to wait a hour for the next bus or are you going to go home or roam the streets. Sometimes we waited sometimes we roamed. Those that waited mostly graduated and those that roamed most kinda never made it.

The police were curupt and the whole force was replaced. Even the Ravenswood City School Dist was shady with the Super, Dr. knight, facing charges for using school funds for personal use. Hell even people on the school board did jail time for stealing money meant for the schools. And I wondered why our schools had the oldest computers/ supplies if any when I was growing up. Hell my son's class room looks exactly the same way it did when I went there 20 years AGO! But they gave PA school district the obama stimulus money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

As a teen I was on the youth city council to try to help my city and the main problem was that there were no activities for teenagers so they roam. Even now with budget cuts and the recession after school and summer school programs have been cut so get ready for more madness.

Product of our enviroment- EPA for the longest had no bank, grocery store, high School, rogue cops, shady school district etc. Some roses grew from that concrete but most never made it. You want production like PA kids then give us the same infrastructure.

RIP Davis, Book, Chris, Jason, Paris etc.

Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Mr Ironic,

Unfortunately the people of Palo Alto just don't care enough to take action or demand better. They use the East in front of the city name, or the county border to justify the lack of concern. There's more concern about burning wood in fireplaces on Christmas day than there is for these young victims. It's sad when you think about how priorities change for people once they are living comfortably beyond the harshest of threats to our community. And it is OUR community, to say it's not is a lie. I'm sure the same people consider Menlo Park and Atherton their community, especially when shouting down the HSR. Yet a stone's throw away lies a city in peril and all that is given from the West are shrugged shoulders.

East Palo Alto needs a public high school. That should be at the top of the list.

Posted by SO SAD
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jan 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm

The victim was shot 10 times by a handgun and a long gun.
Seems like a gang execution to us.
Until the residents of EPA are prepared to tell the EPAPD and the FBI about local gang activities, names and locations, then these gangs will thrive and get even more ruthless, look at what is happening in Mexico.
The long gun probably had a killing range of 1/2 mile or more, fortunate that more people were not killed.
A united effort by EPA residents will drive out the gangs, without their help the FBI cannot do much.

The alternative is to have the National Guard patrol in armored vehicles with military fire power and military rules of engagement and impose a curfew and vehicle search at stop points throughout EPA.
If the residence do not speak up that will be the next logical step.
Gang violence, particularly Mexican prison driven gang violence, has reached the level of urban terrorism in some California communities like Salinas and EPA.
Enough is enough, we pity the decent families in EPA who are living this nightmare, they have to speak up and notify the FBI about the gangsters they know of.

Posted by Moved On
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm

In response to Mr. Ironic. Your statements were oh so true, but I'm not too sure about wanting a high school in Epa. It's hard enough getting these kids to attend the schools we have out here right now. Seeing what they see out here in the streets it's no wonder hell most of them don't want to even attend high school. I guess they think there going to miss something. Police aren't helping. Parents seem to be looking the other way. It's a community that's really lost right now.

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 4, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Your post says it all. If you missed the bus because you had to wake up early, then the only alternative was to roam the streets? Where are the parents who are supposed to oversee their children and get them off to school on time? Sick of the many "victim" excuses. Make a stand and teach your children well.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm

The crime problem in EPA exists because the local population will not provided intelligence to the FBI about gang activity.

We believe that the EPAPD has integrity, but if residents of EPA have any fear they can report to the FBI.

The gangs in EPA may be linked to serous international gangs which are now linking to terrorist organizations in Latin America and the Mid East.

EPA resident need to take these matters very seriously, they need to provide information to law enforcement now before the matter gets out of hand and requires Martial Law.
Firing 10 + rounds from a large caliber hand gun and a long gun to kill one man looks like a terrorists profile to us.

Everyone in EPA should take this escalation to potential terrorism seriously and let law enforcement what they know about gang activity in EPA.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Sharon, you clearly are out of your element in this conversation. The FBI doesn't deal w/gangs in EPA. What long gun are you referring to? You think the death of this man was possibly linked to terrorist activity? If you think so, why do you think so? You think that the EPA PD has integrity, based on what info? Based on what the media reports? Do you attend the community meetings? Do you do volunteer or paid work in EPA? And who makes up the "us" you refer to in your posts? You & the FBI? You & your husband/neighbor/son/daughter/minister/gardener/bowling partner? I don't mean to sound so cynical, but your posts on this matter are pretty out there!

Posted by Lisa
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I didn't know the latest victim but this message goes out to the Street Punks and their F-ed up parents, or whomever they're sleazing off of.

I'd like to see parents who know that their young teens and young adult children are committing crimes take responsibility for raising those little bastards. They want to carry guns and shoot someone because they can't relate or don't know how to communicate, or just lacking social skills and find themselves frustrated.

I don't have a crystal ball, but I do believe that these type of street punks sleep somewhere, doesn't work or pay taxes, and is probably living in his mama or grandmama's house.

The family member probably knows of the violence, drugs and crimes that the street punk in their house is committing and afraid to say anything, or maybe even taking hush monies from the street punk.

Parents! Get off your tush and tell that street punk the party is over. Turn him or her into the police if you have any evidence of criminal activity. This will eliviate your problem and the community of another loser and his gun collection.

This may sound hard, but damnit do it and don't think twice about it if you failed to instill into the street punk about being a contributing factor into the society at a young age, then it's your duty to drop a dime on his/her ass and help your community clean-up.

Posted by Mr Fischer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 5, 2010 at 1:12 am

This is a statement we must come to an agreement on,..."please understand",.......I've lived within the walls of the "DEPTARTMENT of CORRECTIONS",...Sooo,... I am an ex-convicted felon. I made that mistake when I was eighteen. Twenty-five years has past,... today I am a man of character and moral. First of all I earned my G.E.D.,.in prison,..along with ten other vocational trades plus.,...CERTIFICATIONS*. In response to "all" the mis-spelled complaints prior to this post. It is not only about East Palo Alto not having a high school its about willingness to want to be continuously educated. I now understand that you dpn't just get an education and walk away with it, (like a bag of potateo chips it takes a life time to own,and know it all. Education never stops. About these young men killing each other. Its a sign of strength, and yes some of you are right its the parents,... who are weak, weaker than the child,whom is very angery due to that fact. Parents you are showing fear,and possibly of your own destiny without hope,or confidence. I am not afraid to speak to these young adults and I know for a fact that eight out of ten of them wants to work. We need a non profit without fees to partake in joining. the non-profits in EPA/Menlo Park are selfishley political and not about the youth. For example :"Crabs in a Bucket",...Look at "epatoday newspaper and media stories same people dating back since its first posts. "Ms. Burroughs every picture,and Chief Davis every page". At least Davis is working with the parolees. "I remember Jr. commiting to helping the youth on his wedding day I believe approx. 2 or 3 years ago. And don't even try to figure me out. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"R.I.P. Jr."

Posted by response to Mr. Fischer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 5, 2010 at 10:41 am

''We need a non profit without fees to partake in joining. the non-profits in EPA/Menlo Park are selfishley political and not about the youth.''

I applaud the changes you have made in your life and all your accomplishments but please don't throw every non-profit organization under the bus.....explain selfishly political? I'm a volunteer with a non-profit organization and everyone who helps are volunteers and it takes time and money to make the programs work. Most of us have families and kids to take care of too. But we sacrifice time and money that can be spent with our families to benefit the youths of the community and their families..yes they're minimal fees that cover a variety of things that cost way more than the fee's itself...we are not a sponsored group and we have fundraise so our kids can do the things that we do and it's only possible because of the hardworking parents in our group.Yes, we do get donations and we do scholarship kids but our fees would be equal to a new pair of shoes if cost money to provide programs for these kids...don't place the blame on all the existing non-profit organizations in the community.

Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:32 am


We missed the bus because they are filled not because we were late. This is not a school bus Im talking about this is a city bus "samtrans" that everyone rides to get to work etc not just students trying to get to school on time. So unless it was a extended double bus chances are it will be full by the time it reaches your stop. The bus used to be so full guys would have chicks sit on their lap when there was no standing room. It got so bad after school it was quicker to walk home then wait for the next bus to come. Sorry we dont have vans or big yellow school buses to transport us to school we had to take the city bus.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

Respectfully - there are plenty of nonprofits and other orgs working with youth in EPA, and working hard. But they can't replace good parenting, can't replace job loss, economic downturn, they can't replace a lack of respect for life. But at least they're making a difference! Check out:

One East Palo Alto
City of EPA
Sports programs
Boys & Girls Club
El Concilio

For more, check out this site: Web Link

Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Here are my thoughts on what has transpired with the killing of JR, i meet him once, yeah he was a cool kat, but you have to understand that someone's apperance is just the iceing on the cake, yeah he had a job and was trying to do good for him and his family, but you never know what they are like behind closed doors, they still are selling drugs and robbing people, so it's not a valid point to say he was a good guy knowing well, that he was doing thing's he was not supposed to be doing, i bet alot of you on this comment page knew pretty well the kind of activity's he was involved in, he lived in away in san jose somewhere he had no business down but, he chose to be around here so the end result was that he got murdered, East palo need's to stop the violence.

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Mr. Ironic,
You said it best: "Sometimes we roamed and sometimes we waited." The students who waited went on to graduate and be respectable, responsible people while the ones who roamed ended up nowhere. That's not too hard to figure out. It's not the success that really matters: rather, the amount of obstacles overcome on the way to success that shape a person's character and destiny. It requires effort and discipline. Either you have it instilled into you by your parents or by your own ambition, or you roam the streets at the first sign of disappointment and blame Samtrans. Sorry, but I don't buy your argument.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

It's easy to talk about discipline, ambition, hard work, online and in our communities. It's another thing to be at the effect of the total opposite: a lack of caring, a lack of trying, a lack of love and a lack of discipline. Many of the kids in EPA are at the effect of lack, and it's not their fault or their responsibility to provide it early in life. But they become the victims of lack and rarely develop the inner resources to counter lack. I see it every day, and it's awful to witness. The bus being late is just one small part of it, but it's indicative of not just families who don't care, not just communities who don't care, but a whole darn country that doesn't care. The majority of low income children of color are considered expendable. The violence on the streets reflect this.

There is more truth about what's happening on the streets in places like EPA in this interview with Bill Moyers and David Simon, than there is with comments from PA residents who think they know what they're talking about. Web Link

Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm

@ Sonny

Sorry my mommy and daddy didnt take me to school and pick me up in the AUDI station wagon with Lassie in the back untill I was old enough to get a car. We had to walk, ride a bike or take the bus to school and I graduated HS and Cal St even though I roamed more than I waited.

I have a buddy that graduated from cal st with a degree in criminal justice and the only job he could get was at UPS. Try convincing a young guy that college is the way to go with a UPS uniform on. Our skin will always be our Sin. I have a BA but could only get a job cleaning gas station bathrooms for a few years. On resume's I had to put "Palo Alto" because when I had "East Palo Alto" on it no one would give me a chance. So imagine me trying to motivate kids that college is the way to go with a Chevron uniform on.

Thats the problem there are no success stories in EPA, nobody for the kids to look up to and say "wow I want to be like them". They see the guy outside selling drugs sitting on the hood of an AUDI though. Also food for thought 80% drug buyers come from PA, MP, Los Altos and Atherton not EPA.

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm

How about the Vietnamese people who came here without any possessions, not knowing the language; yet became lawyers, doctors and successful business people? If anyone had a legitimate gripe about obstacles in their respective paths, it's should be those immigrant groups who came to this country without any knowledge of the customs and language of their adopted country. Yet they persevered and didn't give up at the first obstacle thrown at them. I still don't buy the now prevalent victim mentality whereby anyone who doesn't participate in society feels free to blame said society for all of their woes. Choices were made and consequences were followed.
Consider that Jesus was born in abject poverty in a stable, but he became one of the most influential persons in civilization. Follow his example.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Sonny, the descendants of slaves are not the same as immigrants to America. While your argument is a common one, it doesn't scale. People smarter and more informed than any of us have been wondering about this for a long time. As a long time resident who isn't Latino or African American, I wonder about it. One of the conclusions I've come to is that so many obstacles for African Americans have become institutionalized. Many of these are ones that white people don't notice or care about because they aren't affected by them. So there is a strong culture of denial going on about what it's really like to grow up African American in a low income town with lots of violence, substance abuse and other harsh conditions.

Also, I get tired of hearing about the supposedly oh so successful Asians. There are many Asians who are criminals, gang members, or aren't successful by society's standards. I've met a number of them. Ditto for other ethnic groups - and for white Americans.

None of us know what Davis pulled himself out of. Word is that in adulthood he'd gotten his act together and for a number of years was a solid member of society.

Please don't think I am defending violence; I am not. But as tired as you are of hearing what you think of as a victim mentality, I am tired of hearing judgements from people who most likely didn't overcome incredible difficulties to be successful. Are you someone who came from a war-ravaged country and are now an American success story? I'm not. But I've learned that America is a country of opportunity as well as equally full of institutionalized racism, hate, bigotry and blame. This Langston Hughes poem still rings true:

Let America be America Again

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That's made America the land it has become.

O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home—For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,

And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa's strand I came

To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?

Surely not me? The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we've dreamed

And all the songs we've sung

And all the hopes we've held

And all the flags we've hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay—Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—The land that never has been yet—And yet must be—the land where every man is free.

The land that's mine—the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME—Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,

We must take back our land again,


O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain—All, all the stretch of these great green states—And make America again!

Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm

That last post is painful. How about the Vietnamese people who came here decades ago and still can't speak English. Yet they demand that San Jose change the East side into "Little Saigon" and hold a one million dollar recall election to oust the Vietnamese council woman who wouldn't vote in favor of it.

Did Mr. Ironic choose to be from EPA? That's what I'm reading there, choices were made right?

But this can all be solved by following Jesus? Who knew there was such a simple answer to such a complex issue.

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

O.K. I concede to all of your arguments. People from EPA are doomed and there's nothing they or anyone else can do to rectify this fatalistic situation. So sad.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Yeah, Sonny, of course you're right.

Let's forget about people like Frank Satterwhite Web Link
Maybe we should ignore the accomplishments of EPA residents such as Dr. Cecil Reeves, the McNairs, Bernardo Huerta, the Knoxes, Pastor Paul Bains, Martell Winn, Shannon Pekary, the Uhilas, C.W. Roddy, Re'Anita Burns and other members of YUCA (the youth group who were so crucial in shutting down Romic Chemical), the young community reporters at

Since violence and criminal acts achieve for news time, few outsiders are interested in what the real accomplishments are in EPA, because those accomplishments, like many others, are based on hard work, discipline, overcoming obstacles, you know, the qualities non-EPA residents don't think any of us have. The idiots & the thugs grab the headlines while the rest of us work, raise families families, garden, participate in the community, volunteer, coach, cook - all the normal things that make up a life that has meaning.

P.A. Native, I don't normally post long poems, but I felt that one was apt. Hughes has always been one of my favorites. You are right - there are corrupt, asinine & difficult people everywhere. Coming from Asia doesn't make one a saint. Living in EPA doesn't make one a criminal. Thank you for your perspective. Life here is as messy & complicated as anywhere else, but people love to hyper-focus on EPA so they can attempt to tell us how to live, just as many of our antecedants did to African Americans many years ago. Some of the fitting lyrics from Won't Get Fooled Again, by The Who:

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Except people in PA aren't our bosses, even though they still try to use that same old paternalistic tone of expertise and world-weary wisdom. But most people here are just too busy living their lives to give a dang what PA residents think.

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm

You answered my question very succinctly. If you reread the entire thread, you'll find several people offering a variety of excuses for the situation in EPA today. Unfortunately, I don't buy into these lukewarm arguments. Sadly, these responders are also aided and abetted in their ideas of an inevitable, preordained fate by white,liberal Palo Altans who feel some sort of unrealistic kinship with them as though they can feel their pain.

Remember, some of these collaborators are the same PA residents who reacted to the EPA march into PA (racial profiling incident) by posting that they will be arming themselves or leaving town until the whole thing cools off.

You've shown that there are many people who don't believe that their "skin is their sin." Rather, there are many hardworking people who are trying to make a difference and take ownership of their community.

This is the point I was trying to draw out of people: self reliance,
community activism and discipline will always win out over fatalism and negativity.

So, everyone please reread the entire thread one more time and draw your own conclusions because I've drawn mine based on these posts.

Hmmm, keep the faith. You're on the right track.

By the way, when I mentioned Jesus, I should have added that I meant the political Jesus who was a tireless community organizer and a spokesman for the downtrodden.

Posted by Golden Rule
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Choices. People know between right and wrong. People have hearts and a brain and they know when they are not doing the right thing. Don't blame it on social programs or locations. It all starts at home. Crimes are committed throughout our entire racial and ethnic spectrum throughout the world. "Do unto others.." Protect your family, instill in them the values of love and compassion... but let it be known....even the shepard carried a staff to protect his sheep from the wolves...

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Golden Rule,
Couldn't have said it better. Peace.

Posted by Mr Fischer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:37 pm

This is @,..."Hmmmm,"You were doing somewhat O.K. until you quoted: ......."Maybe we should ignore the accomplishments of EPA residents such as Dr. Cecil Reeves, the McNairs, Bernardo Huerta, the Knoxes, Pastor Paul Bains, Martell Winn, Shannon Pekary, the Uhilas, C.W. Roddy, Re'Anita Burns and other members of YUCA (the youth group who were so crucial in shutting down Romic Chemical), the young community reporters at",....................................................................................I clearly see and know from experience that you do not get it. Everybody you named was involved in some sort of politically hyped up event,or twisted up around some type egotistic personal gain, and I give you no props for mentioning,clearly a waste of paper it is all editorial and opinionated.,................. This is whats really going on in East Palo Alto. Thanks for the poem "SONNY", but lets move on. That worked for LANGSTON HUGHES, in the time necessary.wake up!!!! "OBAMA is in the white house. And Tiger Woods is black. If it was not for Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra ,Martin Luther King Jr., and many a souls "his @#$% would've never been on the PGA tours".,...................................................................................I mentioned East Palo Alto non-profits because the majority of them are battling it out for the city "MEASURE C monies instead of uniting thier efforts or teaming with one another they are burning each other like crabs in a bucket not devising a program for the senior teens and young adults. If you know of a group that is working with these age goups ,"PLEASE TELL US WHO THEY ARE? ..........and don't mention "JOBTRAIN",....We are fully aware of them. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------I hope you realize how un-informed you both,(sonny&hmmm),sound. I suggest everyone visit all the nonprofit groups, in East Palo Alto it takes about three weeks to do it. I found that 75% of East Palo Alto nonprofits tabled the suggestion of working with our troubling troubled teens.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

Mr. Fischer, it would help your perspective if you were more informed, although you do have a good grasp of goings-on. Most of the non-profits that are in process for Measure C aren't necessarily battling it out. There are still luckily grants to be gotten. The people I named are people I've seen make a difference in EPA. These are not rich people and they are certainly people who work very hard in the community. There are plenty of community organizations who do group together and work together - that's been prevalent for the past 3-5 years. Having too many cooks in the kitchen is not the way to go, redundancies can be wasteful and confusing. So there is some overlap, but most people now are working towards erasing redundancies.

As for, perhaps you're confusing it with EPA Today? is the only youth-oriented program of its kind in Silicon Valley, not just EPA. So it sounds to me like your info is a bit dated.

I am the one who posted the Langston Hughes poem, even with Tiger Woods and Obama. I did so because it's still relevant. Both of those men are biracial and as such have had privilege afforded to them that many in EPA have not.

BTW, the SEP is a summer jobs program for 100 youth, ages 14-24, in EPA. It's been around for 5 years and is growing.

So what are you working on to help your community?

Sonny, thank you for your clarifying post. I agree with you about Jesus as community organizer.

The racial profiling incident with PAPD still torches my socks and is deeply disturbing, as was the reactions of many on this board.

EPA is a town full of contrasts, sometimes from one person to another, one block to another, one experience to another. It can be jarring and it can be enriching. It's difficult to not be able to know which it will be. But life is like that, no matter how much we want to keep it comfy and controlled. Take care!

Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

For one his name isn't Frank Satterwhite it is Omowale Satterwhite. I grew up with his kids. My dad went to school with him, my moms cousin was his ex-wife. He is a very close friend of the family but guess what he isnt rich he drives a honda. He has done a lot for the community and still lives in the community but that isnt what the youths want they dont want to drive a honda they want to drive the Audi's they see their wealthy peirs driving. I worked for Omo even talked to youth and teens with him on different platforms but the youth dont want the honda and thats the problem thats why he asked me to talk to the youth because I can relate due to my age.

@Sonny- Honestly people like you dont help the situation because you can't relate. Tell me how many vietnamese or asian people live in EPA vrs San Jose. You can't compare EPA to SJ or another city with a high asain population, EPA has a high latin and black population for your information. EPA has higher murder/crime rates than san jose on a per capita ratio. Slavery was the greatest crime commited towards man and it happened in AMERICA and not that long ago. The black population is still recovering from that. The fact that you fail to understand that shows you dont understand struggle. Im not trying to make excuses Im just telling you what the youth in EPA go through on a day to day basis. In 1992 EPA was the murder capital of the WORLD. 2.5 sq miles but murder capital of the WORLD. San Jose stays on the safe city list.

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Mr. Ironic,
EPA 2.5 square miles and the murder capital of the world. Why is that?

Posted by Self Evolved
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Hmmm, Mr Ironic, and Sonny

I believe you3 are deviating from the original subject matter at hand, it would be best to create your own forum to speak of the current situation in East Palo Alto along with many other relevant topics, yet until then may I remind you a young life is lost kids left with no father and a wife with no husband. Your ramblings wont get nothing done unless you go and take part in the community. It is easier to speak than to take action, and action is what East Palo Alto needs.

Have a great day.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm

No, we are not deviating, as the issues are all tied in.
I am well aware of the life lost, that ther's a widow and stepchildren involved.

It would be nice to hear about what you do to make a positive impact in the community, as well as what you think the community needs. I do both professional and volunteer work that helps the community. I have been putting my $$ where my mouth is long before I moved here.

If you are looking to do work in the community, I am very happy to point you in the direction of many organizations which can use volunteers.

Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm

So easy for people to talk the talk, how about walking the walk? I applaud your commitment. Keep it up in the face of naysayers.

Posted by smh
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm

@ Raymond.....first off 4 u to meet him once you sure do have alot of negative stuff to say about u know where he the way u got the wrong city @ that! He WAS NOT into any gangs and never robbed u can miss us with that too....! How dare u get on here and speak as if u knew jr..!

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Thanks, Sonny. Many people have commitments they work hard at. Frankly, balancing safety with making a difference in EPA isn't easy. I am one of many who wants EPA to be a safer, happier and more harmonious place to live. Without revealing too much about my self and what I do professionally or voluntarily, I'd like to say that while I am cynical, it gets balanced out by what I see other people doing. I didn't fall off the onion wagon yesterday and I've been privy to some nasty secrets - all towns have them. But EPA has shifted some and from the learning curve people are seeing what works and what doesn't, and are wasting less time on what doesn't. I am making 1 tiny drop in the bucket, but of course, working together means adding all of our drops til we get the needed change. Seeing how bad things can get makes me feel desperate sometimes for a torrent into that bucket, but I know that's not realistic. It's the consistency that makes the difference in making changes. Consistency, which is the kids need, what adults need, what even our pets need. We all need it.

Mr. Ironic, Dr. Satterwhite goes by both names, Omo and Frank. Do you know what his African name means? Hint: It's in the Ifa language of Nigeria.

I understand that the kids don't want to drive Hondas. Some people have such a strong desire for status that it makes them greedy and only they can change themselves. So, what do you do in the community regulalry to make it a better place? What do you think would work to consistently improve things for youth?

Posted by junior clemons
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 6, 2010 at 11:18 pm

jr u will always be missed i dont care what nobody says about you your a good guy i remember you back on baylor in the vill and since i was older than you you used to always ask me for advice but once u got older and starting driving you would always want advice about your cars the last time we spoke was when u grauduated from our anger managment class i will always remember that smile on your face and you telling me how proud your girl would be that you finished the class i will always remember the great outspoken person you are i want to say to u there are nothing but a gang of haters out there hating on good folks i used to be out there in to everything but i turned my life over to the lord and just would like to say god is good r i p young j always your partner jr from the vill michigan st luv u bro

Posted by Cynthia Davis
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

J.R. was my step-son, named after his father, my husband. As some have stated that obviously new JR, he changed his life about 5 years ago, he worked, went to church faithfully and recently, about 2 years ago had a beautiful wedding. He had no enemies, except for those that envied his new life. It is known as the "crab in the barrel" effect. Since he had no enemies, we have to assume that his "friends" did this to him. There were many witnesses who have come forward (for the all the ignorant people who choose to criticize, instead of sympathize, especially since he wasn't pink, and didn't live in your community). I'm only talking to the people that knew and loved JR who was very popular and well-liked. His father is incarcerated, which he has been most of JR's life. I am proud of the young man he turned out to be, in spite of his tribulations. Unfortunately, those young men will run into his father who is fighting his second manslaughter charge, in the same jail they have to begin in-which I'm told some have already been arrested! God have mercy on all souls involved.

All hypocrites should pass on this one.

Posted by Boss Lady
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I have been knowing Jr for a long time he was a cool guy...All of you people that is trying to put him as if he was a bad person did you no him did you sleep with him was you there when he had suppose to have done anything to anybody so dont jugde him...when it's your time to go no one can control or stop it. It's just sad that the devil has claim so many lives and the sadest part about it is that the victim is at rest and the family must live on and stay strong...Rip JR

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm

The murder rate in NYC in 2009 is the lowest since 1962, a result of Zero tolerance policing and neighbors informing on gangs.

The residents of EPA need to adopt the same approach, tell the EPAPD or the FBI about the identity, location and activity of gangs.

All the sociological/psychological theories and excuses were worthless in solving the gang violence in NYC, they will not work in EPA.

Also the idea of legal drugs will not work.
If drugs were legal the same gangs would move on to prostitution slave trading, extortion, protection, murder for hire or whatever.

The residents of EPA know who is in the gangs, where they live and what they do--- only they can stop it.
For PA the issue is making sure the gang violence does not infect us.

Look a the evidence Web Link

Posted by Mr Fischer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 12, 2010 at 12:18 am

Sorry !! "sharon",.....from "MIDTOWN",... your neighborhood is just as infected with gangs,...just as "East Palo Alto" is ,believe it or not all the turf has been claimed. Just ask the Palo Alto police chief. They even have gang intelligence in your town too. If its not a city gang,..its a state gang. Or it may be in the races. Have you talked to your gardener lately. NO REALLY?????

Posted by mizz juicy Gurl
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Its sad that mothers in epa had lot a child in the last few years its just so sad to me the police aint shit they can't even find they people that's doin the killing I lost so many friends love one in epa jr was a gud man he was nice had a big smile with his white teeth lol bird he we was gud young man dats all he did was walk the streets and did work for old ladys near his house tu tu was a nice young man I mean a nice young man dat didn't do nuthin to nobody wen to school everyday had a lot of friends I miss him so much tu tu got killed at a young age so what do we do know epa need a lot of help can we stop killin one another rip jr rip tu tu rip bird village ent

Posted by mizz juicy Gurl
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Its sad that mothers in epa had lot a child in the last few years its just so sad to me the police aint shit they can't even find they people that's doin the killing I lost so many friends love one in epa jr was a gud man he was nice had a big smile with his white teeth lol bird he we was gud young man dats all he did was walk the streets and did work for old ladys near his house tu tu was a nice young man I mean a nice young man dat didn't do nuthin to nobody wen to school everyday had a lot of friends I miss him so much tu tu got killed at a young age so what do we do know epa need a lot of help can we stop killin one another rip jr rip tu tu rip bird village ent

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


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Burning just one "old style" light bulb can cost $150 or more per year
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 3,005 views

Banning the public from PA City Hall
By Diana Diamond | 26 comments | 2,160 views

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 1,891 views

Holiday Fun in San Francisco- Take the Walking Tour for An Evening of Sparkle!
By Laura Stec | 9 comments | 1,466 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,430 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.