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Barely scraping by: How the Bay Area housing crisis is making it near impossible for students to stay in community college

Original post made on May 10, 2019

Many local community college students are pursuing education to break a cycle of difficult life circumstances -- homelessness, poverty, abuse, addiction, family conflict -- but face barrier after barrier due to the high cost of living.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 10, 2019, 6:45 AM

Comments (47)

24 people like this
Posted by DT North
a resident of Downtown North
on May 10, 2019 at 10:32 am

Sounds like a high rise dorm would be a simple solution. Mandatory keeping grades up to keep your spot. Much better use of space than having a bunch of poor students legally homeless in their cars. You can’t be a good student sleeping in a car. Community college is a great resource.


30 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2019 at 11:45 am

There are 114 community colleges in California, as well as many more in neighboring states. There is no doubt that this area has a very high cost of living. If students are in fact homeless, why not move to an area where the cost of living is lower? If these people choose to be homeless, why not choose to be homeless in an area where the cost of living is lower, and there is a community college?

Seems that too many people are expecting the government to solve all of their problems and not do much thinking for themselves.


29 people like this
Posted by Hal Plotkin
a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2019 at 11:53 am

Hal Plotkin is a registered user.

Kudos to the Palo Alto Weekly and to reporter Elena Kadvany for this excellent article. The first step in fixing a problem is to recognize that the problem exists. We must now ask ourselves what kind of a community we want to be and what we must do to extend opportunity and hope to the next generation. For those in a position to make an immediate difference please consider making a generous donation today to the Foothill-De Anza Foundation, which provides financial support to programs on campus like those mentioned above that help close the opportunity gap. You can learn more at: Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 10, 2019 at 1:09 pm

I suggest a clearly defined group home or hostel with management confirming students are enrolled in the nearby community college. They can contribute to the center with in-kind donations, volunteering to earn credits, plus people in local communities likely would contribute either financially or like other programs to build housing like Jimmy Carter’s. Otherwise a dedicated small dorm may need to be built? I’m not sure how one may prevent anyone from anywhere moving here, though, and demanding free housing or a spot for their vehicle, riding on the shirt-tails of a needed program.


9 people like this
Posted by Bean
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2019 at 1:17 pm

"Another bill, signed into law in 2016, requires California community colleges to designate a staff member as a liaison to support homeless students, which Foothill has yet to formally do."

So...how is Foothill being held accountable for this? Have DeAnza, SJCC, West Valley, Evergreen, and Canada appointed people too? Who is holding them accountable?


19 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2019 at 2:44 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

@Joe Perhaps the course of study these young people want to pursue isn't offered at every community college. Perhaps, even though without a fixed home, they have ties to the community, friends; etc. Would YOU like to pull up roots and move somewhere away from everything familiar so that "the government" doesn't have to be bothered with you?


4 people like this
Posted by A Foothill JC Trailer Park Would Suffice
a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2019 at 9:12 pm

The Foothill-De Anza College district should consider purchasing a number of mid-sized trailers and parking them somewhere near the campus.

Either that or erect teepee style tents along the open areas.


27 people like this
Posted by Overpopulation Crisis
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 10, 2019 at 10:23 pm

We need to stop referring to the current situation as a housing crisis. This treats demand as uncontrolled and ignores one entire side of the equation. What we have is more accurately characterized as an overpopulation crisis. In addition to the problems described in this article, our overpopulation crisis stresses natural resources and infrastructure while degrading quality of life. If you stop at housing shortage you’ve only asked the first why in studying the problem of housing insecurity. Ask at least two more questions to probe deeper and you’ll quickly arrive at overpopulation. Then keep digging. What we need is a replacement “association of governments” focused on zero population growth at the local, regional, state, national, and international levels. I’d settle for a local/regional strategy.


19 people like this
Posted by Downfall
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 11, 2019 at 12:20 am

@Novelera

Many people who have ties to an area due to family/friends/community have to pick up and move every day to do job movement or reassignment. That is reality, it is not ideal but it happens. I agree with Joe, if you cannot afford housing plus community college in this area why not attend one of the many other ones in more affordable locations?


16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> There are 114 community colleges in California, as well as many more in neighboring states. There is no doubt that this area has a very high cost of living. If students are in fact homeless, why not move to an area where the cost of living is lower?

I haven't counted them, but, there certainly are a lot of CCs in more rural areas that -need students- and have much lower housing costs. CCs are mostly commuter schools and with minimal funding, can't afford otherwise. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to turn CCs into full-service state colleges. That is what CSUs are and are for, and, a number of CSUs need more students as well. CSUs have housing and all the other services.

>> Seems that too many people are expecting the government to solve all of their problems and not do much thinking for themselves.

Even if "the government" should support the students in the article, I'm not sure why CCs are appropriate for providing all those services. CCs by nature need to be low-cost.


20 people like this
Posted by Downfall
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 12, 2019 at 11:20 pm

What a ridiculous headline, "...How the Bay Area housing crisis is making it near impossible for students to stay in community college". So he headline's assertion is that it is near impossible for students to stay in community college. Then in subtext immediately under the headline "One in five community-college students don't have stable housing". So this means that 4 in 5 community college students do have stable housing. Having 80% with housing does not sound at all near impossible. So a more appropriate headline would be "Strong majority of community college students have stable housing". But I guess that wouldn't get many clicks.

I honestly cannot understand how this publication wins awards with sensationalist, sloppy writing like this.


2 people like this
Posted by Butch Cassidy
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2019 at 8:43 am

So what stood out for me ! Some noble soul in Los Altos is renting space to 13 people at $1000 a month
Holy Bunk bed Batman
Not only do we need housing that’s affordable we need parking garages


20 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2019 at 9:00 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

My son - who grew up in Palo Alto went to CSU-Chico. He now lives in the Oakland Hills. His comments are he cannot figure out why "homeless' people gravitate to the location that has the has the highest cost of living. And if the area in question is dependent on tech jobs if you do not have a tech skillset to make you employable. If he was "homeless" he would locate in an area that has a lower cost of living.
It is not our job to accommodate every one who gravitates to an area that they cannot live in. Many children of locals go to Foothill for the first two years to get an AA degree then transfer to an out of town college for the BA degree. It is a move for a lot of families that have a lot of children as it reduces cost. And many people are working and get their AA degree at night classes. There are a lot of ways to approach educational training but choosing the highest cost of living area in to do it is for the people that have a support system to make it happen. Throughout the state are community colleges in lower cost areas where people can go. We are not the be all / end all of community colleges. The state is filled with them.


8 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2019 at 4:52 pm

> Would YOU like to pull up roots and move somewhere away from
> everything familiar so that "the government" doesn't have to be
> bothered with you?

Military families deal with this every day. If these students who choose to be homeless were to join the military--they would be relocated to some other part of the US, and in due time, probably some other part of the world. If you think that the homeless students in this article should not have to move to find a less expensive place to live--do you think it's fair that those people in the military should also have to move?

As to your claim that only Bay Area CCs can provide a decent education--do you have any evidence to prove that? If these more rural CCs are as deficient as you suggest--should we think about shutting some of them down?


7 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2019 at 9:40 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I grew up in LA and went to Santa Monica City College - great experience. Large families with lots of kids and getting them going as they move on to graduate from 4 year schools and graduate school. My brother took classes at Los Angeles City College. Many I know took classes at a CC in Santa Barbara with intentions of being accepted at UC Santa Barbara. Also San Luis Obispo. Many in Central Valley and near UC - Davis with satisfaction of AA requirements for their field of study - then on to the state universities. Lots of opportunities out there and people not in dire straits about it. At no point is a Community College required to provide housing for students - though they do have a referral office of local housing opportunities. If we are in the highest cost of living area overall then anyone that wants a AA degree with intentions of going on to a 4 year school needs to set their priorities to that goal. It is not the CC's job to provide housing. Provision of housing just increases the overall cost to the school which gets passed on to the students with a higher cost for classes. It is counterproductive.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The goal of a community college is to provide a low-cost opportunity for people to obtain a credential or AA degree so that they can then apply to a 4 year college. Lots of families that have a lot of children take this opportunity to satisfy the AA degree at a very low cost. There are community colleges all over the state. All type of actions to add housing increases the cost to that college which then increases the cost of classes. The goal is to reduce the cost of classes. The school is trying to turn out as many students as possible as their goal. Trying to impose all type of social programs on a school which increases the cost of classes is not the way to go.


6 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2019 at 7:50 am

Why not ask the tech companies who created this cost crisis to pay to fix it? First by paying for some of these downstream consequences (stipends for students) and paying into a government fund to help multiply the number of job centers that would attract their employees. 20 years ago, SF was all lawyers. Then tech companies ruined it (except for pushing out the dominance of lawyers).

This kind of overstressing the infrastructure is not smart. Creating a few more places -- that want the investment the state should make -- that serve as alternatives (with good education, arts, schools, etc) is the ONLY way to solve this problem in the long term.

Community Colleges also need to be supported to offer more classes, right now they are very hamstrung by the legislature.


2 people like this
Posted by shanga
a resident of Downtown North
on May 16, 2019 at 11:45 am

Ewwww how can shallow alto possibly accommodate people who are not wealthy! how disgusting of those students to not be wealthy. They need to LEAVE! But wait, who will mow my lawn?


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Shanga - Foothill is in Los Altos. Canada College is in San Mateo. No clue here as to what your educational goals are. However Palo Alto does not have a community college. Suggest that you mosey up to one of the colleges and figure out the requirements and opportunities. I am sure that with some effort on your part you can figure out how to take some classes.


15 people like this
Posted by 3rd Generation Chinese
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 16, 2019 at 1:50 pm

As a Chinese person who was born in California, I agree with the many postings which state that there are other CCs in the nation, there is no need to stay in the most expensive area in the nation. Arizona, Nevada, they have low cost of living so I don’t feel sorry for these homeless people. As far as the complaint of having no family and friends if they move elsewhere, that’s pure Snowflake philosophy.

I have never seen a Chinese homeless person. Why? Because my culture does whatever it takes to succeed, no excuses. Dishwashing, janitorial work while attending college, a full-time job plus PT jobs, whatever it takes, not too proud for any menial labor. And on top of this, many arrive in the U.S. speaking no English, no family connections, no knowledge of American culture. This same story has occurred for many generations including currently. So when Americans complain of lack of money, I can only think, “Get off your spoiled butt and get a second job! You were born and raised here and have been presented with the opportunities, you just don’t want them. Quit complaining and waiting for the taxpayers to bail you out. Move to a less expensive location!”


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 16, 2019 at 11:20 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

You can check out a listing of community colleges in the state of California that shows the cost for in-state and out-of-state students. Unfortunately Foothill is one of the most expensive. However we are surrounded by schools on the peninsula and over in the east bay that are more reasonable. There are a lot of community colleges in the vicinity.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 17, 2019 at 9:26 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

There are many sites with the listings and costs of community colleges. Those that rank highest in this area are West Valley, Canada - Redwood City, DeAnza, College of San Mateo, Ohlone, Las Positas, SF City College, Evergreen, Chabot, College of Alameda, etc. It shows the costs which varies greatly. Foothill was not on the list of top CC's and the cost is very high relative to other local choices. That tells me that we do not need to turn ourselves inside out here. Any parent or student should be checking out the ranking status and costs of the relative choices in the area. There are CC's next to CSU campuses which indicates where the students would like to transfer up to a 4-year school. Check out the CSU campuses - more than I thought - there is a CC in that vicinity.


4 people like this
Posted by Foothill Alum 79
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 17, 2019 at 3:48 pm

I believe this all began back in 2018, when a student from an affluent Los Altos Hills family was kicked out by his parents for whatever reason. They have a large home with land. He should stop acting so entitled and resolve the issue with his parents.
Town Crier
Web Link

I was under the impression that we were aiming to do something to help house the TEACHERS at Foothill.
If Foothill can't hire and keep their fantastic teachers and staff, we no longer have a top notch community college.

And what do we do with the perpetual students who have been attending for more than 4 years - some leisurely taking courses just because they like the area, or it is better here than in their homeland.
Tax payers are paying for this.

I know of a teacher (PhD) with a toddler, who commuted all the way from Mill Valley
to teach a single upper level course in her field. This is absolutely ridiculous!

Please do not turn the parking lot into an RV lot.
It will cost our community more in the long run.
People will abuse our community college system more than they are currently doing, and make it a life style with entitlement to use all their facilities.
Welfare and entitlement are vicious cycles, and we should create solid boundaries on the length of time at the college, and also to make sure it is not an extension of section 8 housing.
Recall the article of a PA resident who made it his lifestyle to stay in subsidized housing for 47 years without making an effort to go back to college to improve himself?
Let's not go there.


72 people like this
Posted by David Lee/Also Chinese
a resident of Downtown North
on May 18, 2019 at 10:26 am

>> I have never seen a Chinese homeless person. Why? Because my culture does whatever it takes to succeed, no excuses. Dishwashing, janitorial work while attending college, a full-time job plus PT jobs, whatever it takes, not too proud for any menial labor. And on top of this, many arrive in the U.S. speaking no English, no family connections, no knowledge of American culture.

^^^That applies to the Cantonese who have often accepted & humbly accepted any kind of work.

The upscale, wealthy factory owners newly arriving from China (Mandarins and others), no. They will not take those kinds of jobs because they don't have to. Spending large amounts of money shopping at Nieman-Marcus is their preferred pastime. On the other hand, their elder parents who have arrived to live with them can often be seen recycling cans and are usually dressed far more simply.

It should also be noted that the newly wealthy Chinese from overseas are more likely to be involved in the college admission scandal as well. The Cantonese work and/or apply for schoarships.

It is easy to avoid homelessness when your pockets are lined with millions of dollars to pay CASH for a Palo Alto home and a Mercedes-Benz.

There are two types of Chinese now living in America. The older, more established Cantonese (multiple generations having lived in the US) and the more recent immigrants from the People's Republic who arrive here with considerable wealth.

It should also be noted that the Cantonese have retained much more of their Chinese heritage and culture than the Mandarins because religion and native culture were repressed by the Communist regimes.

Though we may look similar in eyes of many, the native Chinese languages are different and due to their time already having been here, the Cantonese are far more assimilated into mainstream American culture. GO DODGERS!


85 people like this
Posted by Harrrison Fong
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 18, 2019 at 12:34 pm

> ...the Cantonese are far more assimilated into mainstream American culture.

^^^ This is true as it was the newly arrived Chinese parents from the mainland who protested the renaming of Terman Midddle School. Had they been established PA residents, they would have realized the proposed renaming was to honor a native-born decorated war hero from Palo Alto and not the admiral from the Imperial Navy during World War II.

> It should also be noted that the newly wealthy Chinese from overseas are more likely to be involved in the college admissions scandal as well. The Cantonese work and/or apply for scholarships.

Correct again. Getting into the UC system (as many students of Cantonese background strive towards) does not warrant this kind of graft.

It is the newcomer parents from China with a 'designer mentality' that tend to get involved with this kind of scandal.

Web Link

> There are two types of Chinese now living in America. The older, more established Cantonese (multiple generations having lived in the US) and the more recent immigrants from the People's Republic who arrive here with considerable wealth.

Yes. And let's not confuse the two!


65 people like this
Posted by David Lee/Also Chinese
a resident of Downtown North
on May 18, 2019 at 5:53 pm

^^^ Agreed. The nouveau riche form the People's Republic are a far cry from the Chinese-Americans whose ancestors worked and pulled themselves up from the bootstraps.

I imagine this is the heritage and practice '3rd Generation Chinese' is referring to...not the 1980s yuppie-inspired contemporary Mandarins buying up most of the SF Bay Area residential properties with CASH, wearing designer clothes & driving fancy cars.

And as you alluded to, they are the ones caught up the recent college admissions scandal because with so much available CASH on hand, there is a general belief that anything of 'designer' image can be purchased.

I personally refuse to be acknowledged or viewed upon in the same boat as them.


75 people like this
Posted by David Lee/Also Chinese
a resident of Downtown North
on May 18, 2019 at 6:03 pm

Lastly...Cantonese = more cultural heritage & perseverance than the 'newbies' from the mainland, many of whom got wealthy exploiting cheap labor.

And we are better drivers having been here for multiple generations.


40 people like this
Posted by David Lee/Also Chinese
a resident of Downtown North
on May 19, 2019 at 10:14 am

It should also be noted that countless Chinese-Americans of Cantonese descent proudly served in the United States armed forces during times of war and peace.

The same cannot be said of the more recent affluent mainland immigrants from China whose ancestors possibly served on the opposing sides during the Korean and Viet Nam War.


45 people like this
Posted by Harrrison Fong
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 20, 2019 at 2:20 pm

"It should also be noted that countless Chinese-Americans of Cantonese descent proudly served in the United States armed forces during times of war and peace.

The same cannot be said of the more recent affluent mainland immigrants from China whose ancestors possibly served on the opposing sides during the Korean and Viet Nam War."

My father & uncles served in the US Army during the Korean conflict as enlistees.
An older cousin got drafted in 1967 and was sent to Viet Nam as a medic.

And yes, they encountered ground forces from the People's Republic of China and from above (in MiGs).

The affluent and recently arrived Mandarins from the mainland have not paid their dues to either American society nor have they fulfilled any significant military responsibilities. To many, America is simply a land to launder their wealth and live like kings off the prosperity they stole from exploiting cheap labor back in China.

There is an inherent cultural pride among the Cantonese that is seemingly lacking in the more recent Chinese arriving to the United States. This also includes pride in the American country as a whole.

And since we all look somewhat similar to some folks *L* one way you can always tell the difference is by our surnames and Americanized first names.


20 people like this
Posted by Noodles VS Rice
a resident of Downtown North
on May 20, 2019 at 6:31 pm

Aside from the modern-day Veblen-oriented perspectives and practices that differentiate many Cantonese from the now pervasive Mandarin immigrants, is it true that the Northern Chinese from the mainland are wheat growers and predominant noodle eaters VS the southern Chinese (Cantonese) who are mostly rice eaters?

I'm always a bit confused as we learned in grammar school that Marco Polo brought back noodles to Italy from his journeys to the China rather than rice. On the other hand, I've noticed that rice and noodle dishes are offered at both styles of Chinese restaurants and the Italians eat risotto.

World travel has a lot to do with the introduction of certain foods and my grandfather once told me that if the Germans had traveled to China instead of the Italians, traditional German cuisine might have incorporated more rice & noodles and the Chinese would be eating more hot dogs.

Back to topic...the housing problem at Foothill can only be partially resolved if students attended JCs in the communities where they actually reside. To drive from SF or beyond to attend Foothill is ludicrous. At one time, only residents of Palo Alto, Los Altos & Mountain View were allowed to attend Foothill College due to district resident guidelines.

My neighbor who is from Hong Kong also confirmed there is a major cultural difference between the various Chinese immigrants from different regions of the country and that he doesn't like to be mistaken for a Mandarin either.


12 people like this
Posted by The Solutions Are In The Problems Themselves
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 22, 2019 at 12:51 pm

> I know of a teacher (PhD) with a toddler, who commuted all the way from Mill Valley
to teach a single upper level course in her field. This is absolutely ridiculous!

That's idiotic. Tell her to teach the class at College of Marin.

> And what do we do with the perpetual students who have been attending for more than 4 years - some leisurely taking courses just because they like the area, or it is better here than in their homeland.

Set a deadline for completion with a waiting period to re-enroll. We don't need professional students (aka escapists) cluttering the Foothill campus.

> the housing problem at Foothill can only be partially resolved if students attended JCs in the communities where they actually reside...At one time, only residents of Palo Alto, Los Altos & Mountain View were allowed to attend Foothill College due to district resident guidelines.

^^^ There's a partial solution. Force students to attend JC where they actually reside.

Lastly,

> There are two types of Chinese now living in America. The older, more established Cantonese (multiple generations having lived in the US) and the more recent immigrants from the People's Republic who arrive here with considerable wealth.
> ...the Cantonese are far more assimilated into mainstream American culture.
> Cantonese = more cultural heritage & perseverance than the 'newbies' from the mainland, many of whom got wealthy exploiting cheap labor.
> The nouveau riche form the People's Republic are a far cry from the Chinese-Americans whose ancestors worked and pulled themselves up from the bootstraps.
> It should also be noted that countless Chinese-Americans of Cantonese descent proudly served in the United States armed forces during times of war and peace.

The same cannot be said of the more recent affluent mainland immigrants from China whose ancestors possibly served on the opposing sides during the Korean and Viet Nam War.
> The affluent and recently arrived Mandarins from the mainland have not paid their dues to either American society nor have they fulfilled any significant military responsibilities. To many, America is simply a land to launder their wealth and live like kings off the prosperity they stole from exploiting cheap labor back in China.

All true & interesting to note that established Chinese-Americans prefer to distance themselves from the newer arrivals from the mainland.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2019 at 9:41 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The lead in article is following a popular journalistic formula - find someone who is on the edge - a victim of the times - and make the article about that person in a manner that purports wide application. Here applied to Community colleges which are having their own problems. Funding and accreditation are on-going issues. I call it bottoms-up journalism - vs top down journalism. Top down outline the problems that our colleges are having, what their success rate is to move students on to a 4-year college or accreditation for a profession, and how good management of the colleges can then assist guidance and referrals for struggling students. Every story needs two bookends for the story to stand up. Otherwise it is suggesting that "other money" needs to be directed to the topic at hand.

Bottom line is create a successful college program then show how it can provide the momentum to assist students achieve their goals.


2 people like this
Posted by Fruit Salad
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2019 at 3:04 pm

> find someone who is on the edge - a victim of the times - and make the article about that person in a manner that purports wide application.

But isn't this approach similar to blaming bananas for the massive immigration problems emanating out of Central America while also targeting the dynamic impact of pineapples on the global economy at large?


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The banana / pineapple / sugar cane is the product - the issue is the business model.

In this case international corporate business model which is having a negative effect on the countries that have been stripped down. Impact on citizens is evident.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2019 at 3:35 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The banana, pineapple, sugar cane is the product - the issue is the business model.

In this case international corporate business model which is having a negative effect on the countries that have been stripped down. Impact on citizens is evident.


2 people like this
Posted by They Call It Mellow Yellow...Donovan
a resident of Community Center
on May 23, 2019 at 5:48 pm

> the issue is the business model.

Then the same can be said of the 'Nike Model'. Manufacture athletic shoes overseas using cheap labor and then retail them for high prices in the US.

This has become a standard business practice & explains why so many wealthy Chinese factory owners are now resettling in the more exclusive neighborhoods within the SF Bay Area.

The business model for bananas is nothing new.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2019 at 11:42 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The business model for bananas started in the late 1800's. United Fruit Company (UFCO) was the original international corporation developing the product in a foreign country. It created the whole scenario in which foreign labor is imported which displaces the citizens. Also corrupted the local government for tax free effort. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Happening on a continual basis with variations on type product. Sounds like a lot of companies in tech world using some elements. Amazon was trying to establish a location in New York on a tax free basis but that got upended. Google is trying to weave a story as to why H1B gig workers are desirable. It is because they do not have to pay any payroll taxes so reduces cost of employment. An agricultural product is very problematical as there are many natural disasters and disease to deal with. It is more disruptive in nature. So disruptive activity is taking place all over the world and people are migrating all over the world. Yes it is a business model and a conceptual approach to endeavors. But migration as an end result is not desirable when so many are displaced in an involuntary manner.


8 people like this
Posted by Foothill Alum 79
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2019 at 7:09 am

Foothill and other community colleges have now become a way for primarily immigrants from Asia to enter the US on student visas, and transfer on to UC's or Ivies.
There are companies galore on craigslist asking for host families to sponsor these students at a rate from $800-$1200 per month given to the families. They called themselves International Student Exchange programs, but they are really big mult-million dollar businesses capitalizing on helping Asians immigrate here through a loophole in our system.
My child told me that her entire class of calculus was entirely made up of these people who spoke poor english, and would cheat like hell.
She sent me a photo of her class one day to prove it.
These companies are also taking (trafficking people) into our private high schools and local high schools through local sponsors.
The core courses are already packed to the max, and it seems like greed by both the schools and the numerous trafficking companies only care about money.
And then we get the entitled local Los Altos kid complaining about living in his car since his rich parents booted him out.
What can be done?
Should we write to Foothill De-Anza college district, and our state senators?
She also told me that tour buses from with Chinese tourists are touring Foothill.
This is just plain crazy! And we thought is was just Stanford.


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Posted by They Call It Mellow Yellow...Donovan
a resident of Community Center
on May 24, 2019 at 7:22 am

> The business model for bananas started in the late 1800's...foreign labor is imported which displaces the citizens.


Then why is there so much immigration taking place now? As in 130 years later.

I cannot believe that everyone headed for the US border (men, women & children) are mostly disgrunted refugees who couldn't land their ideal job of working on a banana plantation. Seriously.





2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 24, 2019 at 10:08 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Foothill Alum is on target. So if the going in position for this article was to generate sympathy based on one students experience and support legislation to Pack the Parking Lot with sleep-overs and all of the attendant issues related to that - cooking, cleaning, etc. Someone should have first gone into the Foothill President's office and asked what the net effect would be relative to the increased insurance cost, security cost, facility cost, all of which go into the cost per class. So you have selectively blocked out the larger number of students who are trying to graduate on a reduced cost per unit in favor of providing amenities for a smaller number of students which bottom lime will increase that student's cost per unit. Many articles in the paper about San Francisco Community College and their attempts to break even and not go under and shut down.

Bottom line is that this community college is in one of the most expensive residential areas in the state. There are other alternatives in the state in the vicinity of the peninsula which can support more people on a power cost of living.


71 people like this
Posted by Harrison Fong
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2019 at 12:59 pm

> Foothill and other community colleges have now become a way for primarily immigrants from Asia to enter the US on student visas, and transfer on to UC's or Ivies.
> from $800-$1200 per month given to the families. They called themselves International Student Exchange programs, but they are really big multi-million dollar businesses capitalizing on helping Asians immigrate here through a loophole in our system.
> These companies are also taking (trafficking people) into our private high schools and local high schools through local sponsors.
> ... tour buses from with Chinese tourists are touring Foothill.

The so-called 'foreign exchange student' concept has apparently turned into a lucrative cash cow for the various parties engaged in this unscrupulous practice.

The mainland of China will do anything to get an edge on Americans both militarily & economically. And they have been quite blatant about it...whether in words (e.g. news reportage) or in everyday actions.

> My child told me that her entire class of calculus was entirely made up of these people who spoke poor english, and would cheat like hell.

Cheating in school & stealing trade secrets is standard operating procedure for countless Chinese/Mandarins now residing in the United States. As is bribing upper-tier universities for college admission because they have the money to do so.

For those with poor English language skills, Foothill College provides a viable channel from which to transfer to a highly accredited 4-year university such as those in the UC system. Just follow the money trail.

This is why so many established Chinese-Americans of Cantonese descent refuse to be lumped into the same category as the newly arrived & wealthy Mandarins from the mainland of China. It is quite insulting and misleading as our ancestors & parents HAVE PAID THEIR DUES to this country.


55 people like this
Posted by David Lee/Also Chinese
a resident of Downtown North
on May 24, 2019 at 6:57 pm

> This is why so many established Chinese-Americans of Cantonese descent refuse to be lumped into the same category as the newly arrived & wealthy Mandarins from the mainland of China. It is quite insulting and misleading as our ancestors & parents HAVE PAID THEIR DUES to this country.

^^^ This sentiment is widespread among the Chinese-Americans (Cantonese) whose ancestors have been here for multiple generations. They endured racism, poverty, labor exploitation, Congressional exclusionary acts yet served their country proudly and built their lives and family legacies from SCRATCH.

The same cannot be said for the newly arrived wealthy from China, many of whom accrued their vast wealth from the labor exploitation of their fellow countrymen and women in the manufacturing sectors of their native land.

To be able to pay $5-12M upfront CASH easily for a prime residential property in the San Francisco Bay Area should raise some eyebrows. It most certainly did to my now deceased grandparents who ran a small dry cleaners/laundry service for over 60 years prior to retiring in their 80s.

They also lost their firstborn son in the Korean War and a nephew who served as an Army medic in Viet Nam.

The newly arrived Chinese from mainland China are opportunists who can afford the luxury of high living based on the recent wealth that has accompanied their migration to the United States and it is safe to assume that few have any true allegiances to their new country of residence other than the modern day conveniences & accessibilities it has to offer.

This is a sore subject among the venerable Cantonese as we are often confused with the newly arrived expatriates from China.







10 people like this
Posted by Lemons & Bananas
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 25, 2019 at 1:56 pm

>...interesting to note that established Chinese-Americans prefer to distance themselves from the newer arrivals from the mainland.

It is like comparing a Meyer Lemon to a regular lemon. Both are citrons but the Meyer lemon has more character.

> I cannot believe that everyone headed for the US border (men, women & children) are mostly disgruntled refugees who couldn't land their ideal job of working on a banana plantation.

According to Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, native workers have been replaced by imported labor so in certain instances these migrants have had to forsake their simple Banana Dreams for the more ephemeral American Dream.


32 people like this
Posted by David Lee/Also Chinese
a resident of Downtown North
on May 25, 2019 at 5:52 pm

> Foothill and other community colleges have now become a way for primarily immigrants from Asia to enter the US on student visas, and transfer on to UC's or Ivies.
> She also told me that tour buses with Chinese tourists are touring Foothill.

While aspiring Foothill JC students from mainland China cannot be blamed for the junior college housing problem, the above example just goes to show that there is a big-money racket going on as conveyed by Foothill Alum 79 with these questionable foreign exchange student programs. And the number of these 'foreign exchange students' from MAINLAND China will continue to esacalate.

As a result, it is easy to ascertain that a number of prerequisite JC courses will be harder to get into and 2-year transfer aspirations will often get dragged out due to legitimate American JC students getting shut-out of certain key classes necessary for transfer purposes and intentions.

Again, the blame falls on the shoulders of these enterprising types from MAINLAND China along with the carpetbaggers who accommodate them by blatantly breaking every rule in the book in order to give these immigrants from China an unfair edge over their American/citizen student counterparts.



5 people like this
Posted by Keeping It Real
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
14 hours ago

This thread has convinced me that Xenophobia is predicated on actions and not origins.


20 people like this
Posted by David Lee/Also Chinese
a resident of Downtown North
8 hours ago

> This thread has convinced me that Xenophobia is predicated on actions and not origins.

Good point. I was walking down California Avenue one afternoon when an African-American woman slowed down in her pick-up truck...

She rolled down her window & asked, "Hey, do you speak English?"

I replied that I did and she asked for directions to 280/north.

After I responded, "left on California to ECR & then a right on Page Mill onwards to the 280 entrance", she responded..."Oh, your not one of those."

It was kind of funny at first but then I got to wondering...'is this what some people perceive when they see me in public?'

And then it kind of ticked me off as my family has been in California for over 5 generations & we have ASSIMILATED to American culture.

We also speak English...quite well I may add.


Like this comment
Posted by Enough already
a resident of Mountain View
3 hours ago

Omg, I’m so tired of this “racist”,PC BS. I’m Caucasian, grew up in the Midwest and in the 70’s was part of desegregation. White girl, got bussed into Hispanic/black majority. Girls twice my size would walk up to me, drop something and say “girl, pick up my pencil”. First boyfriend was Hispanic, girl from “ his side” who liked him called me “chicano b-yotch”. In college I dated a boy from Greece, my grandma questioned him as a “foreigner”. Ten years later I got married, my husband’s Japanese mom (from an empirical family) wondering if I was good enough. I was :)

I’ve never held this against any race or culture. To this day I have friends from every color, country, culture. Are there a lot out there with bias? Of course there are (and quite honestly probably more those who profess to be “open minded/inclusive”). But in the greater scheme of things, most people are just that. People with friends, worries, likes, etc


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