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We're the best; no, the worst

Original post made on Dec 26, 2014

Palo Altans tend to identify strongly with the inhabitants of Garrison Keillor's fictitious Lake Wobegon, "where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 26, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (8)

7 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Dec 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

Well said. And true that Searsville Dam continues to damage the reputation of Stanford U. and the health of our San Francisquito Creek watershed. It is time for Stanford to catch up with the 21st century and remove their 19th century, harmful, and unnecessary dam.

7 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

Good to see that some of our highly paid officials are hard at work: writing press releases and applying for awards.

5 people like this
Posted by Continuous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Theres a saying, Don't rest on your laurels.

Pride goeth before a fall, too, which is all about people feeling full of themselves at the expense of doing what's right.

The success of the tech industry is all about not resting on laurels. Continuous improvement and disruptive innovation. Not caring what others think.

None of that comes from resting on your laurels. Do you want to imagine and do what's possible, or hunker down with the comparisons and take potshots at innovators?

And when is the last time an accolade came with a full audit? It is possible to both deserve the accolades and have a lot of development in the pipeline that will destroy it. It's possible to be rich even while someone is stealing the silverware and should be stopped.

15 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The thing is, keeping Palo Alto as one of the most livable, wonderful places in the entire world would take no effort at all-the most incompetent fool could achieve it in his sleep. Yet, we managed to diminish the quality of life and livability of this once wonderful town by falling prey to the false gods of "vibrancy" and "urbanization", as if trying to compete with San Jose and San Francisco at being a hip urban metropolis, trying to please and appease the new Yuppies was something Palo Alto needed to be relevant. Now we have scandalously overpriced boutique stores and restaurants, a downtown teeming, mostly at night, with aggressive panhandlers and criminals, drug deals at many corners, drunks from many other parts of the Bay area, crime, noise, congested traffic, pollution, just so we can lose our soul and become just like the others. It takes special talent to achieve all of that.

13 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

The tech industry also knows that lousy products/services ultimately fail no matter how many Barney/Barney press releases they fill with phony accolades.

I think we're trying to compete with LA, not SF or San Jose. We're going for all glitz, no substance. New and improved press releases can't hide ever-increasing gridlock and over-development with with the worst inbound commute in all of Silicon Valley.

Who designs a ridiculously expensive glitzy shiny library to be NOISY?

Who wastes $4+ million dollars on a city hall library that will be seen by very few people and then adds insult to injury with a $200,000 "digital art" directory when we have an unresponsive city government?

Who spends a fortune on "statement" energy projects -- composters, etc. -- when the city's forgotten it's supposed to provide COST-EFFECTIVE SERVICES, not contests, mailings, etc. etc. How about some working storm drains and fewer mailings?

But hey, we've got a Chief Sustainability Officer to run Zero-Waste contests and tell us to spend tens of thousands of dollars to switch appliances, furnaces, etc. to this year's fad. that will get officials a few junkets to conferences when they're doing nothing about the big wide world around us?

Who spends a fortune on a new Cal Ave streetscape and then proceeds to replace convenient diagonal parking with parallel parking the backs up onto El Camino while ignoring the REALITY that fewer lanes and inconvenient parking HAS to cause backups?

Where's the common sense??

But hey, we've got the glitz and the spending and the highest City Hall Comp packages. Rah rah. Roll out the red carpet.

9 people like this
Posted by Senseless
a resident of Mayfield
on Dec 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm

@Online Name:

Don't forget the lovely broken-glass sidewalks that cause injuries on Cal Ave. Brilliant design. Thanks to our planning department for using their typical "sense" when they approve stupid proposals.

I hope the new city council will clean house at 250 Hamilton!

6 people like this
Posted by shredded
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2014 at 10:35 pm

@Mauricio. Well said but add in the sheer ugliness spreading over the
City. The character and ambiance of this City are being shredded,destroyed.
I travel and I have never seen anything on a par with what is taking
place here. We are moving in the opposite direction.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 1, 2015 at 11:19 am

I was in Lake Oswego, Oregon - suburb of Portland - for Thanksgiving. Same issue up there - the downtown is being replaced with 3 story business / apartments. They have instituted a city mandate on any new development meeting certain requirements for density. This area has a high degree of technology related businesses.

There are repetitive themes in the major high-end smaller urban cities that are near major cities. And yes - the long-time residents are up in arms and there is a lot of city unrest regarding these changes.

Palo Alto is not alone here - we are all in some stew pot derived from type business and general upper end wage level.

A lot of big money is out there playing monopoly.

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

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