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Around Town: a water fountain, a font of knowledge and improved scores for young learners

Original post made on Aug 28, 2023

Here's the latest news from downtown Palo Alto, the Rotary Club of Palo Alto/University and the Palo Alto school district.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, August 26, 2023, 8:55 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 28, 2023 at 6:30 am

Annette is a registered user.

As I recall, when the time came to replace or repair the Cal Ave fountain, public input was requested via a voting or ranking. The more traditional fountain prevailed in that exercise but the City ignored that. I remember wondering why the City bothered to ask the public in the first place. So I started paying closer attention to how the city operates and came to the conclusion that City Hall isn't terribly concerned about public opinion even though they are sometimes obliged to seek it. This goes back to at least City Managers Benest and Keene. Shikada and his senior staff appear to be cut from the same cloth.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 28, 2023 at 11:23 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@Annette makes an excellent point about the city sometimes seeking and then ignoring resident input. Sometimes their transparency is blatantly transparent like the recent StreetSense retail survey where they offered only absurd choices for whether we'd rather have PA downtowns resemble Manhattan or Santa Barbara and maybe some huge Asian cities -- while ignoring the real resident feedback from individuals and neighborhood associations.

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2023 at 12:02 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

Improvements to PAUSD students' scores is excellent news. Isolated students across the country lost ground in reading and math during the pandemic--particularly low income students who had less access to private tutors, good computer equipment and suitable study space. I'm very glad to hear these young people are regaining lost ground. This shows hard work done by staff and students and the benefits of resuming in-person learning. Good news!

Also, hearty congratulations to Mr. Cepeda for his well-earned Rotary Foundation Scholarship. Best wishes!

As for the fountain, It is notable how urgently staff attends to places where they eat lunch and shop every work day. I suppose staff notices problems in downtown more readily because they see them more frequently. I wish the rest of the city got the same level of attention. Cubberley is rapidly becoming thoroughly blighted with some rooms unusable, dying landscaping that, in several areas has been replaced with ugly heaving asphalt. It has rats, mold, dry rot, etc. --truly an embarrassment caused by active neglect of the city and PAUSD over many years. Mitchell Park Fire Station hasn't had a fire engine for two years (residents didn't hear about this change until a little over a week ago). Midtown businesses who want to recover and rebuild after fire are delayed by staff. I wish staff would give similar urgent attention to problems in all parts of the town they are paid to serve. It would be nice if they visited other parts of town occasionally to learn what is going on. Staff could have lunch in midtown and Charleston Shopping Center occasionally. Staff could do more frequent and thorough field work in parts of town where they are less familiar with the people and environs. That would improve community satisfaction and effective problem-solving.

Posted by Silver Linings
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Silver Linings is a registered user.

Congratulations Christian Cepeda! Thank you for your service to this community!

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 28, 2023 at 5:30 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

I wish the charming little fountain at Edgewood Shopping Center, gateway to Palo Alto on Embarcadero, would be allowed to operate. It would use very litte water.

Oh, government, please clean up the gateway to Palo Alto off 101 @ Embarcadero and Oregon Expressway, the dry weeds and trash are a disgrace!

If it’s the County (Oregon Expy), Caltrans (physical cloverleafs, roads) and the city (Embarcadero), please, City of Palo Alto, get all government entities in action. This has been a dry mess for too many years.

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