Town Square

What are your hopes for the new year?

Original post made by Town Square Moderator, online staff of Palo Alto Online, on Dec 31, 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, the Weekly asks its readers: What will 2014 bring to Palo Alto?


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 31, 2013 at 11:57 am

That our city leadership wakes up and stops the all out assault on our town by developers: no more massive, ugly, blind buildings ominously looming close to the streets.

Let's keep Palo Alto airy and green. It was never meant to be a city. Trying to urbanize it the way our leaders have just won't work well for our town.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Let's keep it simple.

How about a library in Mitchell Park.

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Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Even simpler, how about completing the construction on 101?

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Posted by Make Skelly go away
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Just one little thing: get rid of skelly and his partners in crime. No more cheating and violating the students civil rights. No more spending our parcel tax in laweyers defending themselves for what they did wrong. That money should come out of Dr. skelly'as and board member's account, not of the education funding for our students.

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Posted by Rising up
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm

@Make Skelly,
I actually don't think Skelly is the problem. Skelly could actually come out pretty well if he got rid of some of the less competent but great at internal politics underlings like Charles Young and Brenda Carrillo. I think Skelly is okay but surrounding himself with the wrong kind of people.

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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm

1. Save the homeless, by criminalizing them, and forcing them (against their will, if necessary), into shelters, warehoused or not. The current benign neglect model is cruel and unusual punishment, including freezing to death on our streets, provided by Palo Alto liberal guilt. Nothing good will happen until criminalization becomes the model.

2. No more welfare housing in Palo Alto! We have become a magnet. Welfare housing should be a state or national matter. PAHC should be abolished, because it continues to expand welfare housing...something that attacks our neighborhoods and tax base.

3. Give the ten acres in the Baylands back to park lands...the absurd anaerobic digestion scheme is a taking of public lands for a lost, and very expensive, cause.

4. Neighborhood protections, including parking permit systems. Until this happens there will not be enough pressure to force the issue.

5. Stanford wins the Rose Bowl!

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Posted by Tired of being sick
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Cures for MS, ALS, MD, RA, and cancer.

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Posted by Bank on it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Look for Kevin Skelly and Charles Young to announce their resignation in 2014, nothing dramatic, just moving on to other positions, but leaving PAUSD in worse condition that when they arrived.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2013 at 11:32 pm

End the Tinsley/VTP so all students in PAUSD reside in Palo Alto rather than allowing residents who live in EPA and East Menlo Park (San Mateo County) to attend our schools. Our schools are already overcrowded and should be for our residents only.

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Posted by Please
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 1, 2014 at 7:20 am

A shiny new city council that puts residents first. And fiber to the home

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Posted by Save Buena Vista Park
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

That City Council who with one side of their mouth coddles developers and the other laments the state of affordable housing and economic diversity in town, do the right thing and save Buena Vista Park.

That Palo Alto get real with lame initiatives like ABAG which impose a re-design of Palo Alto.

That more residents step up to scrutinize city data, and governance, in particular the planning commission.

That Manager Keene kill his vision of Palo Alto as a the world's heart to "plug" into, and stop his role as the ambassador to developers. If he cannot lead City staff to serve residents, prioritize residents over developers, he should go.

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Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jan 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

That the Council 1) continue to work on infrastructure choices and funding, 2) continue to work on funding future employee pension and health care obligations and 3) continue the work of past councils in developing a vision for the future that plans for both current and future residents and businesses.

That local media devote a bit more time to reporting the facts and laws regarding local and regional growth and development and a bit less time printing personal opinions.

That Town Square posters begin to distinguish better when the council, ARB or school board disagrees with their position as opposed to this repetitive "they did not listen ti us". I could have claimed that George Bush did not "listen" to me regarding Iraq but in fact he did hear the dissenting voices, he just did not agree. Respecting that difference in language would go a long way toward toning down the accusatory tone on some posts here.

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Posted by Mirrors help
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jan 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Regarding Levy's accusatory tone about posters taking an accusatory time, I just want to say that I agree with him.

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Posted by O, sole mio
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jan 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

A new Superintendent of Schools

A new Board of Education

A new City Council

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Posted by anne
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 2, 2014 at 3:18 am

I'm not going to say anything I really want, because it's too far out there.
Ambitious things I think are doable:

An Indoor Air Quality Management plan implemented in Palo Alto schools. Less asthma, healthier kiddos and teachers.

Manufacturing undergoes a renaissance in the US. (And comes back to our shores.)

Our nation starts repairing and taking pride in our infrastructure the way we did when I was a kid. The think about what America the Beautiful really means.

Game-changing technology for cars on the road abruptly improves the outlook for solving global warming, the way LED lights that plug into existing sockets suddenly reduced power needs for lighting.

Consumers get a legally-required standardized block of information on all receipts (physical and electronic) and other financial invoices (date, transaction amount, business name, etc), with a standard font and scan code for smartphones, so that consumers can take advantage of automated technology for their personal accounting, similar to the way banks got us all to sign our checks on one end for the same reason. I shouldn't have to watch my statements for unauthorized activity, my computer should automatically do it for me using my own receipts.

Remote two-way citizen participation capability to increase participation in City Council and School Board meetings, and allow them to do instant polling of large numbers of residents.

A wider sidewalk standard.

A new City Council populated mainly by Greg Schmid clones.

The state begins a microbusiness initiative, lowering the barriers to forming corporations for microbusinesses,
allowing young people and the disabled an easier way to get their feet wet in running a business.

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Posted by Lol
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 2, 2014 at 5:46 am

Anne, love the Gree Schmid clone wish! If we start now we could have Greg's 10 years apart in age :-)

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2014 at 10:14 am

Elimination of the parasites. Both the 1% and the 47%

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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 2, 2014 at 11:18 am

I didn't have time to read the other comments before posting mine, so hope I'm not redundant. My hopes for Palo Alto in 2014:

1) I hope all the newly-arrived Palo Altans make friends and come to feel part of the city. It's not always easy given how hard everyone has to work, but hope it happens nonetheless.

2) I hope our youth gain more hope and positive outlook for their lives and futures, and that we parents all take time to contribute to that.

3) I hope we all get a bit more moderate in our views, myself included.

4) I hope we get some rain in Q1!