August 10, 2005
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Palo Alto Online
| Publication Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2005|
(August 10, 2005)
CORRECTION... Barron Park Association President Doug Moran, who has decided against running for the Palo Alto City Council due to "lingering effects" of a squabble with a developer last spring, has asked for a correction/clarification of the item in last week's Around Town. He correctly notes a judge issued a "temporary restraining order" against him -- which only needs testimony from one side -- and not a full restraining order, where both sides have a right to be heard in a court hearing. The temporary order ended when the developer withdrew his request for the full restraining order. The developer, Mark Migdal, claimed Moran commented to a terminally ill neighbor that the neighbor should kill Migdal. Moran denied saying anything like that and provided documentation to show inconsistencies and contradictions in the statements on which the temporary order was based. Migdal was planning to build houses on a short street in Barron Park, a project Moran as a neighborhood leader opposed. Moran said he felt the temporary restraining order was an effort to undermine and silence him as a neighborhood leader and opponent.
LEAPIN' LINGUISTICS! ... After admitting it was "like shooting fish in a barrel," visiting Stanford University Linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky took aim at the City of Palo Alto's hard-to-decipher government lingo. On the Web site "Language Log," Zwicky recently wrote that he was walking back to his office from lunch when he noticed the following city sign affixed to several newsracks: "NEWSRACK ORDINANCE COMPLIANCE VIOLATION WARNING AND FIXTURE IMPOUNDMENT NOTICE; CORRECTIVE ACTION REQUIRED." What," he asked, does that announcement say "that couldn't be said by 'This newsrack violates city ordinances and will be removed unless the violation is fixed?'"
YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS . . . Palo Altans are falling down in the area of romance. Or so indicate the tax revenues for local floral shops. While retail has grown slightly in the past two year, flower sales have wilted, dropping about 15 percent, according to tax figures from downtown, Stanford Shopping Center and California Avenue. In the first quarter of 2003, flower power brought in nearly $24,800 to city coffers. At the beginning of this year, flagging floral sales netted just $21,200, the lowest quarter in the time period. No word on whether sales of the Neil Diamond/Barbra Streisand song have increased in response.
FORMER FIRE CHIEF NOT RETURNING ... Speaking on the phone from Sacramento last week, former Palo Alto Fire Chief Ruben Grijalva ended speculation that he was returning to Palo Alto. When Grijalva took the call from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to become California's fire marshal last year, the Palo Alto City Council gave him the option of returning to the city one year later, albeit not as fire chief. The return would have been to Grijalva's financial gain -- he would have received substantially better retirement benefits had he ended his career with Palo Alto. But Grijalva said he and his family decided that mere money wasn't worth giving up the rewarding work he is doing. "At some point in your career you just decide having a sense of accomplishment and being able to make a difference is more important than money," he said.
QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES? ... The Palo Alto Weekly's reporting team is preparing for the Nov. 8 Palo Alto City Council and school board elections and we want to hear from you. Specifically, we'd like to know what questions would you like us to ask the various candidates? E-mail questions for council candidates to staff writer Bill D'Agostino at [email protected] and those for school board candidates to staff writer Alexandria Rocha at [email protected]
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