Publication Date: Friday Jul 18, 1997


On public restrooms: Publication Date: Friday Jul 18, 1997

On public restrooms:

Put one at Lytton

I really like the idea of having public rest rooms, but I would like to see it limited to one or two. Lytton Plaza definitely needs one. Cathy Patterson Fulton Street, Palo Alto (By voice mail)

U.S. needs change

On a recent bicycling trip we took in Provence, France, my husband and I found immaculately maintained public restrooms in every village. On those rare occasions when the public facilities were out of sight, we also found tabacs, bars and restaurants that enthusiastically let us use their restrooms. I wish I could say the same for United States proprietors. Then I came back and read that the city was debating whether they could "afford" public toilets. Let's get real: "affording" public restrooms is not the issue. If we choose not, let's at least say so outright: "We prefer to spend our money on business interests, not human needs." And please, spare me the indignity of charging a quarter to pee. Louisa Rogers Margarita Avenue, Palo Alto

Spend money elsewhere

I do not think that there should be public restrooms downtown. I feel like the people that come downtown to go to restaurants and other services downtown should go to the bathroom before they go downtown or to use the facilities where they plan to go. I don't feel like downtown toilets will serve the community properly, and I think it's a huge expense when we could spend the money on more appropriate things. Mary Bussmann Seale Avenue, Palo Alto (By voice mail)

Go with French toilets

I want to thoroughly endorse the idea of the French toilets for downtown Palo Alto. I have not only seen them but I have used them in London, and I was extremely impressed with the way they operated, the way they functioned and particularly the way they are clean, the whole thing, from top to bottom between every usage. As for how these toilets should be paid for, I suggest the savings that the City Council has made in cutting back on the program for updating the city chambers, by several hundred thousand dollars, that money could be used for at least two, if not three public toilets. The only thing that I would suggest is that the public toilets be installed in such a way that a seat (or bench) and landscaping be incorporated nearby into the whole plan where these toilets are going to be installed. They city should install them right now. Jean Wilcox Sutherland Drive, Palo Alto (By voice mail)

They're needed downtown

I feel that it is important to have restrooms downtown. It is very difficult if your shopping downtown to find a place to go. Often you have to buy ice tea or coffee or something to use the bathroom. I think the city should explore group buying of the self-cleaning toilets like those in San Francisco to see if they can lower the price, and I think they should also explore hiring the homeless to clean the toilets (the regular ones) to clean and maintain them and see which one is cheaper. I think it's really important, not just for the homeless but for everyone who uses facilities in downtown Palo Alto to have restrooms available. Gwen Wisner San Jude Avenue, Palo Alto (By voice mail)

It's insulting

I think it's imperative that we put in restrooms, and I think the city is insulting everyone's intelligence by even asking the question. There is a tremendous public demand for it, and they should be put in and installed immediately. Stephen Pond Lincoln Avenue, Palo Alto

It's a definite yes

I definitely think Palo Alto needs public restrooms downtown. Michele Schumacker Park Drive, Atherton (By voice mail)

Built to last

While I am glad to see that the city of Palo Alto is continually looking for ways to improve, I hope they don't tear out the existing concrete "bunkers" (as you call them) in the downtown area (Cover Story, July 9) for the newly conceived open walls. The design consultants probably have wonderful ideas, but I hope we haven't become so sophisticated that we have to tear out these walls just because they aren't the latest and most trendy. I kind of like 'em, and they have clearly been built to last a lifetime. Let's let them. Linda Bergsteinsson Southwood Drive, Palo Alto

What works best

Of course Palo Alto should have public restrooms downtown. We should try one of the $60,000 self-cleaners, plus a prefab restroom, attended and maintained 20 hours a day at $8 per hour ($58,400) by hiring unemployed and unhoused persons who will then be able to afford $375 a month housing at the Alma Place SRO now under construction. The public and their elected officials can then make an informed judgment about what works best for our community. Joe Baldwin Waverley Street, Palo Alto On All American Market: Publication Date: Friday Jul 18, 1997

On All American Market:

Enough video stores

I'm not a shopper of All American Market, but Palo Alto definitely does not need another video store. We have a Hollywood Video which is gaudy enough on El Camino. I feel sorry for the residents of Barron Park, and if it (All American Market) has to go, let's do something besides a video store. Lets do something nice that everyone can use. Linda Nelson East Charleston Road, Palo Alto (By voice mail)

Don't sell out

Whatever people or organizations are rumored to be attempting to force closure of All American Market, (July 9) and replacing it with Blockbuster Video and Starbuck's Coffee seem to me be shortsighted (and most probably profit-minded). All American Market, in addition to serving as a "people-friendly" place to shop, serves as a community meeting place for Ventura Park, Barron Park, and motel residents as well. All American Market serves as a shopping venue for daytime working people in the area. Don't sell out the community; please support your local market. Otherwise, "think global-act local", is simple Palo Alto poppycock. Chuck Despres Los Robles Avenue Palo Alto On other subjects: Publication Date: Friday Jul 18, 1997

On other subjects:

Who wins?

I have heard through the internet grapevine that Stanford "will not build the MPACT (Sand Hill Project) Alternative Initiative if it wins." I realize that many Palo Alto residents are passionate about this latest expansion of our community. However, whether one is for or against it, it is disturbing to think that Stanford would deny the Palo Alto voters of their choice regarding the Sand Hill project. Yes, its their land. But its our town. . .who is running it? Colin McDowell Palo Alto

Get police "out"

I really think that the police belong out of their big polluting cars (that they leave idling everywhere as long as they can), and on bicycles, and on foot. They should make friends with all the people in their neighborhood, be nice and be helpful to people who have lost their keys or otherwise need help, and become a known person in each area. I feel so strongly about this. I haven't found the police to be overly nice or helpful. I think that if they knew the different people in an area, they could even have something to do with how ethics are regarded in the area. Geri McGilvray Middlefield Road, Palo Alto (By voice mail)

Peace and quiet

I ask that the City Council please consider banning commercial construction on Sundays and limiting such construction to Saturday mornings only. We all work hard during the week and a little peace on the weekend is not too much to ask from this city government. Michael Marlow Corina Way, Palo Alto

"Gifts" from taxpayers

You report (July 9) that the City is planning to construct a parking garage in lots S and L at the cost of at least $26,300 per parking space. It is reported that only two blocks away the developers of 390 Lytton Ave. will pay an $18,000 fee for each of the 23 parking spaces that they are not building. This looks like a gift to the Lytton developers from the pockets of the rate payers of at least $190,900. Tom Berson Forest Avenue, Palo Alto

No wailing

I'd like to see "noise level" added to the check list of the Restaurant Reviews. When I dine, I want peace and quiet not a rock singer or a hillbilly artist wailing loudly from overhead speakers. Carol G. Massard Post Office Box, Menlo Park Hold for more info --------------------------------------------------------------------

Support for public toilets

I fully support putting toilets in downtown Palo Alto. Everybody needs them at some point or another. May Steven 328-6184 (By voice mail)

Check the "energy field"

Do you remember the Star Trek movie where they go back in time to the 1980's and Doctor McCoy rescues Chekov from the "barbaric" medical practices of the era? McCoy instead uses a small device that repairs the damaged "energy field" of the patient. Well, such "energy medicine" is now being explored by researchers. Your article on quack machines mistakenly places Ghadiali's light therapy and Abrams' radionics in the same smelly quack basket as snake oil. Readers might be interested in a scientific reporting on this field of energy medicine. If so, checkout the web site for the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, at William Croft Waverley Street, Menlo Park 

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