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September 23, 2005

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, September 23, 2005

ReaderWire ReaderWire (September 23, 2005)

Literary input?

Monday's (Sept. 19) announcement that Kepler's has a solid team of investors committed to saving the store is a great relief to the local community.

Moreover, the formation of a board of directors to oversee the store's operations is a necessary step for a business whose management needed some serious restructuring.

However, I am slightly dismayed by the composition of the Kepler's board. Readers and writers are the people who give Kepler's its soul and I believe that Clark and the other members should choose at least one board member whose interest in the store is entirely literary -- perhaps either a local author or teacher.

You can have the greatest business team in the world, but without books and readers this store will never survive.
Pierre Blondin
Emerson Street
Palo Alto

Bike-a-thon brings hope

This past weekend (Sept. 17), the youngest residents on the Marion/Coastland circle in Midtown Palo Alto epitomized the saying "think globally, act locally" by raising more than $2,000 for the American Red Cross and Katrina Relocation Project with a neighborhood bike-a-thon.

In addition, the value of the event went beyond the money raised. The 36 kids that biked and scootered for 333 miles were able to live that saying and take it to heart.

I hope the kids and parents all know how much their efforts meant to the three Hurricane Katrina survivors who attended the bike-a-thon. Three weeks ago, those three people survived through the worst.

What a great experience to have one Palo Alto neighborhood deliver not only money, but also what money can't buy: friendship and hope.

I was proud to be a dad in Palo Alto and watch these children represent our community at its best as they pedaled their hearts out to help others.

They reminded me that some of the best life lessons aren't in a classroom. They can sometimes take place at a neighborhood block party when you have a group of people who care and decide they can make a difference.
Dana Tom
Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto

Cycling and being Jewish

There's a tale about the time Josef Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propoganda, confronted an old Jew on the street in Berlin and asked him, "Jew, who is responsible for the collapse of Germany?"

The old Jew, knowing full well who he was talking to replied, "Why, the Jews of course," and after a moment's pause added, "and the bicycle riders."

Well, judging from Officer Alaniz's experience the other day with Ms. Okuzumi (Weekly, Sept. 14), I guess that old Jew knew something the rest of us didn't.

Actually, her story's different from what Mike Sowers writes (ReaderWire, Sept. 16). It seems Ms. Okuzumi had cycled east to the end of Park Boulevard. This was a most sensible path for her to take. How she managed to find that street I'll never know.

Well, anyway, once she got to the end of it there was nothing to tell her she could detour a block south and continue on by Wilkie Way. So, totally terrified, she proceeded down Alma Street.

It wouldn't hurt in "bicycle friendly" Palo Alto to have a guiding sign here and there or a bicycle map on the city Web site so strangers, newcomers and visitors to our fine city would be able to find our hidden trails just as well as those other bicycle riders and us old Jews who know a thing or two.
Michael Goldeen
Tasso Street
Palo Alto

Opposition to Roberts

This Supreme Court confirmation process should shed some light on how Judge John Roberts will perform as Chief Justice and it doesn't.

Clearly President Bush knows more than we do about where Roberts stands on important issues. But George Bush and John Roberts have something to hide about Roberts' past behavior. Bush continues to refuse Senate demands to see 16 highly relevant public records from Roberts' time as Deputy Solicitor General in the first Bush Administration.

I am uncomfortable, even suspicious, about this refusal and about the repeated non-answers that we-the-people have received during the Roberts hearings. Therefore, I oppose confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Edel Young
Ferne Avenue
Palo Alto

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