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June 23, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Letters Letters (June 23, 2004)

Lytton needs no egg


I like eggs, but "Digital DNA" symbolized by an upright egg in the "heart" of Silicon Valley sounds a bit scrambled for a public statement about our place in the universe.

But what sounds truly uninspiring is the fountain with its sprinkling of foot-level geysers. If the idea is to limit the use of the plaza, the fountain wins. The egg is a close second.

How is one to enjoy the various bands that perform in the plaza during the summer if one is standing behind a 7-foot-tall egg?

The plaza is ugly, but it works. It's a public space -- it doesn't need to be filled up with sculptural statements or little geysers. Some minimal redecoration is needed, perhaps some nice tile or mosaics.

Both egg and fountain could be set aside in favor of a more modest set of renovations. The egg sounds like a bit of fun, though, and could find a home elsewhere in Palo Alto.
Pete Carey
Oregon Avenue
Palo Alto

Working on retail


Last week I attended a meeting in the Palo Alto City Council Chambers on actions that could be taken to improve the retail environment.

Bern Beecham has set up an "Ad Hoc Retail Committee" and I what to express my thanks for his forward-looking action. The ideas that were presented seemed to be reasonable and well thought out so that it seems possible the city will become a better environment for its businesses.

I hope that the committee continues to work toward developing these proposals and that we, the businesses and citizens, can interact to help in this activity.

I have set up an un-official Web area that discusses this project ( and opens up some comment areas for discussion of the proposals and other considerations, and hope that this will be useful in helping in improving Palo Alto.

Of course, I am open to any corrections, suggestions, etc.
Mike Liveright
Byron Street
Palo Alto

Questionable tactics


Misleading polling (Weekly, May 19) is hardly the only sleazy tactic used by the developer of 800 High St.

During the period when the ordinance to authorize this project was under consideration, the developer, using an electronic copy of the city's own ordinance file, made changes to it and distributed copies of the 800 High ordinance.

The document looked as though it came from the city attorney.

The planning director and the assistant city manager issued a disclaimer labeling the fake ordinance, "This is not a city document."

I do not know whether the developer's attorney, former councilmember Jean McCown, approved of the distribution of this document, or who it was that obtained the original electronic file.

I brought this matter to the attention of the City Council and also to the newspaper, but no one followed it up.
Elaine Meyer
Kingsley Avenue
Palo Alto

An act of treason?


I strongly urge passage of the Leahy anti-war Profiteering Amendment to keep companies like Bechtel, Lockheed, Halliburton and others from raking the taxpayers over the coals.

I understand that private contractors are enriching themselves at public expense. Just recently, more stories emerged about Halliburton, including a report by auditors at the Pentagon that found serious problems with overcharging and waste on contracts presently worth more than $4 billion.

If Joe Public were to steal a loaf of bread, he'd probably get 5 to 10 years in jail, yet Cheney and his cronies are getting away with war profiteering like this country has never seen since Enron screwed the Western states.

Get our tax dollars back from these thieves and put them in jail. At the very least, this is an act of treason.
Donnasue Jacobi
Haight Street
Menlo Park

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