News

'Our Palo Alto' launches with lessons in local demographics

Panel discussion focuses on aging population, income inequality

An attempt by Palo Alto officials to get out of City Hall and engage residents in a two-year conversation about the future launched on a hopeful note Wednesday night, with a standing-room only crowd packing into the Downtown Library to hear a panel of experts take up the question: Who are we?

The city developed the effort, known as "Our Palo Alto," in response to growing anxieties in the community about growth and development, issues that were at the forefront of last year's polarizing election battle over a proposed housing complex on Maybell Avenue. It was also launched in conjunction with the city's update of its Comprehensive Plan, the land-use bible that will outline the city's vision until 2030.

"This is a very interesting time in our city and we are working to strike that right balance between a place to grow companies and a place to grow families," Mayor Nancy Shepherd said in her introductory remarks at the inaugural event.

So who are Palo Altans? According to the panel -- which included Steve Levy, an economist with the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy; David Evan Harris from The Institute for the Future; and Ann Dunkin, chief technology officer at the Palo Alto Unified School District – local residents are by and large a smart, innovative and affluent bunch. The city boasts a larger percentage of residents 65 or older than most other area cities and, thanks to Baby Boomers, the ranks of seniors will continue to grow in the next decade. The city has also become more diverse, with immigrants responsible for much of recent population growth and the school district now enjoying a student population where the majority is minorities.

Here are four take-away lessons from the conversation, which was moderated by former Mayor Sid Espinosa:

1. Seniors are our future.

Palo Alto's population has been getting increasingly gray in recent years, with 17.1 percent of residents now aged 65 and older, said Steve Levy. That's well above the county average of 11.1 percent and the state average of 11.4 percent. Of cities in the area, only Los Altos has a higher proportion of seniors (20 percent). Levy called this probably "the starkest difference" between Palo Altans and residents of nearby communities. The number of seniors will continue to grow in the coming years, Levy said, as the large Baby Boomer generation joins this demographic.

2. School enrollment is high, unless you look at history.

Since 1990, the Palo Alto Unified School District has seen a steady growth in student enrollment. At its lowest point, in 1989, the district enrolled 7,452 students. Today, it has 12,481, said Ann Dunkin, who is preparing to leave her post in the Palo Alto Unified School District to accept an appointment in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Not that anyone should panic. The figure only looks high until one zooms out further and realizes that enrollment was far higher throughout the 1960s. According to school data provided by Dunkin, the number was highest in 1967-68, when enrollment topped out at 15,575 students. Today, growth appears to be "flatting out," she said. In fact, in the north part of the city, there has been a decline in elementary school students, she said. "We have empty seats at all North cluster schools now," she said.

3. Tense times are coming.

Palo Alto is a city with at least two strong personalities -- a haven for newly arrived startups and a community of intellectuals with deep roots in the city. These two sides don't always complement each other, said David Harris. So while city officials talk about turning California Avenue into something like Mountain View's vibrant Castro Street, Harris thinks Palo Alto's future may look more like San Francisco's Mission Street, where a well-documented culture clash is taking place between newly minted tech millionaires and longtime residents who gave the neighborhood much of its eclectic character and who can no longer afford to live there. Harris, who was recently evicted from his own Mission apartment, said the colossal amount of wealth and conspicuous consumption in Palo Alto might make it hard for the city to sustain its intellectual, counter-cultural current. "If that (current) loses out to the conversation on the street about Teslas versus the new hybrid Porsche, the city is in trouble."

4. Palo Alto is not your typical suburb.

The idea of Palo Alto as a collection of quiet, suburban neighborhoods filled with single-family homes and bustling with happy children may be comforting in a Norman Rockwell way, but it's not very accurate, panelists said Wednesday. As Levy pointed out, 57 percent of Palo Alto homes are detached single-family homes, just below the state average of 58 percent. The rest are multi-family units, such as apartments and condominiums. Also, more than two thirds of Palo Alto households don't have school-age children at all. In fact, according to Levy, 31 percent of Palo Alto's 8,359 households have children under 18, compared to 34.3 percent in Santa Clara County and 33 percent statewide. "The image that we are -- or that any of our neighboring communities are -- single-family-dwelling-unit communities where everyone has kids in school is factually incorrect," Levy said.

Comments

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

Didn't really get into the divisive land-use and development issue, except for an oblique comment by one of the panelists that the city needs to "reach out to seniors and people who don't have kids."


Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2014 at 8:56 am

Did this group actually say any thing that we all didn't already know? Census data is on-line, so Levy's contribution was not helpful. Suggestions that Palo Alto is a haven for startups would have be better received if there were some reasons as to why, and will this trend continue--in light of such a small physical area current zoned for business? Dunkin's comments about "empty seats" in some PAUSD schools is interesting. It's a shame that that sort of data is not more readily available from the PAUSD web-site. Dunkin probably would not be interested in answering that sort of question.

These sorts of discussions need more "meat"--like:

1) What is the impact of current tax law on decisions facing seniors about staying in their homes, or moving somewhere else?
2) Will more home-based technology for providing medical diagnostic and monitoring have an effect on the needs of seniors?
3) How will self-driving cars change the options, and mobility, of aging, and disable persons?
4) How will the increase in housing prices change the demographics of Palo Alto in the coming decades.

Wonder if any of these questions were asked, and if not, why not?


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2014 at 9:37 am

I was not there but the discussion is irrelevant to the real underlying issues, which is what I expected. First, aggregate city-wide statistics miss the point that we do have single-family oriented neighborhoods and residential areas that need to be preserved and their quality of life protected. Also from a land use development perspective we are talking about preserving the scale,character and ambiance of the city, for everybody as a long-term commitment- the physical, aesthetic and environmental qualities which once defined Palo Alto, and not turn this into a congested,crowded, ugly, unsafe commute zone and sterile job center.
That should not be a choice.


Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 24, 2014 at 9:58 am


The Our Palo Alto gathering helped to quantify and verify our experience.
Yet:
This meeting left out the still unknown data about how many people daily enter the city for jobs. Mr. Harris dared to ask the question that deserves to be on the table: could it be that "more jobs" is not actually good for our community? And I would expand that: could it be that building more commercial office space does more harm than good?

Several other important facts:
2/3 of households do not have school age children.
44 % of people living in Palo Alto are renters.

Student population is declining in the North, rising in the South: rapidly.

New construction (for the most part in South Palo Alto) generates more new students than other locations. Arbor Real generated twice the number of students that were expected. (The planning department documents have a habit of understating the community impacts of large developments: let's hope that trend changes with the new development director...)

Like other cities in California, 31 % of the population is recent immigrant, speaking many languages, and that trend is expected to continue.

Student ethnicity: from 2008 to 2013,
"white" population decreased from 51.6% to 46.4%,
"asian" population increased from 32.1% to 39.3%,
"hispanic/latino" increased from 9.1% to 11 %, and
"black" population declined from 3.6% to 2.8%








Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein, a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 24, 2014 at 10:13 am


Much of what makes Palo Alto appealing is the parks and recreation facilities.

I would like the next Our Palo Alto to include a statistics regarding geographic population density, compared to city services/parks and rec and the geographic locations of those services. Please make a graphic display so we can get on the same page about this issue for the coming Comp Plan, and distribute services equitably (one of the goals of the LAST Comp Plan which was not fulfilled).

Since the population AND student enrollment is rising in the south, and declining in the north, (and the PAUSD does not want children to cross busy Page Mill Road), the logical and equitable thing to do is to expand services to the South rather than continuing to invest, expand, and concentrate them in the North.

For newcomers, I'm naming what's in the north that's not in the south:
Two Rinconada Pools, one for toddlers, one for laps.
Childrens' Theater.
Childrens' Library.
Art Center.
Art Museum.
Junior Museum.
Petting Zoo.
Girl Scout meeting room.
Lucie Stern Community Center.
Lucie Stern Theater.
Magic Bridge.
Two large Community Gardens.
Golf course.
Airport.

What's in the South? More density planned, with:
Unfinished library.
Mitchell Park squirting fountain for toddlers operating only in the summer.
and some nonprofits not affiliated with the city.
Forgive me if I haven't noticed something here, and please add to this list if you have additions...

Is this Our Palo Alto?







Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 24, 2014 at 10:34 am

@Cheryl, excellent points, but from your "north" list I'd strike Magical Bridge (at Mitchell Park?), Airport and Golf Course (neither north nor south, I call them east). Maybe you can add Caltrain grade separations, all in the north, unless you count San Antonio which is actually Mountain View.


Posted by Naphtali , a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2014 at 10:39 am

You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Except that is not true in Palo Alto, where you can't please some of the people any of the time.


Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2014 at 10:52 am

> Several other important facts:
> 2/3 of households do not have school age children.
> 44 % of people living in Palo Alto are renters.

All of these points have been published, time and again--if you were paying attention to basic data about Palo Alto.

> Student population is declining in the North,
> rising in the South: rapidly.

Look at the housing prices in the North and the South. Various info sheets sent out by local real estate agents provide data on the location and sale price of homes. Obviously, younger families are going to gravitate towards cheaper homes--in the South. If you can afford a $5M-$10M home, you can most likely afford a prestigious private school.

All of this is just common sense.


Posted by Eric F, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

I thought the most interesting material was Ms. Dunkin's. As somebody above pointed out, most of the other data is available on-line and isn't particularly controversial anyway.

One thing Ms. Dunkin said after the main discussion was that value premium for a home being within PAUSD appears to be around $500K.

I'm sure it's more complex than this, but if that's correct, and you took that number and multiplied it by the 26,000-odd households in Palo Alto, you'd get PAUSD being worth $13 Billion to Palo Alto homeowners. That's a lot. Even a tenth of that is a lot.

That's yet another reason to worry about overcrowding PAUSD. My kids in Paly High have some classes with 40 kids in them. Ms. Dunkin observed that PAUSD's only real lever on school crowding was to try to level any overload between existing schools, since the land available to PAUSD isn't growing. Obviously more land in Palo Alto goes to big underparked mixed-use office buildings than goes to schools, which exacerbates Palo Alto's jobs-housing imbalance, which leads to greater regional housing pressure (and I think Mr. Levy actually does work with ABAG), which leads to more kids in PAUSD. But $13B is a big number.

Interesting times indeed.


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 24, 2014 at 11:05 am

@Cheryl...Who really cares "what's in the North vs what's in the South"!!?! It takes like 5 minutes to get from one side to the other...(okay a little longer) but really?!! It's all Palo Alto, and if people in the North think they are any better than anyone in the South...ooohwee for them!

I was born and raised in this city, now have raised my kids here, and my grandkids are growing up here.
My grandparents built one of the very FIRST houses on Arastradero!! Now, someone in the "North" - beat that!!

The REAL problem here in Palo Alto, is our city council continuously allowing oversized housing units and commercial/retail monstrosities with no additional parking allowances, up to the curb, no foliage, etc.


Posted by Hillary Gitelman, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 24, 2014 at 11:16 am

Three cheers for Cheryl, Naphtali, and Eric. Your comments are thoughtful and you've joined our conversation using your real name! We won't always agree on everything, but welcome constructive dialogue about the issues facing our City and the region. Hillary Gitelman, Director of Planning & Community Environment for Palo Alto


Posted by Closed School Sites, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

When Palo Alto USD had 15K+ students, there were 24 K-6 elementary schools, 3 7-9 middle schools, and 3 10-12 high schools. We simply don't have the same facilities to grow back to that many students even if the closed schools are all reopened. Back then, each high school has 1200 or so students. Now they are being expanded for double that.

With much of the recent and future housing growth in the south, we need significant investment in new City facilities there.


Posted by New Observer, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

1) Mentioned first are senior citizens. But council is trying to reduce the number of cars driving in the city, seemingly thinking that senior citizens will be riding their bicycles, even at night while carrying groceries.

I am against reducing car lanes on El Camino Real, and against widening the sidewalks to accommodate the new buildings that were built too close to the street; I am against putting in a bus lane on El Camino Real- especially for buses that have darkened windows, that may be carrying only two people, and its under-use goes undetected.

2) Not mentioned are the 40,000 new jobs that neighboring Mountain View is creating with more zoning for 5 story office space in the Shoreline/Google/Microsoft area, inevitably causing even more traffic backups on freeways and other streets throughout Palo Alto and Sunnyvale, making a bad situation even worse.

Who is Palo Alto? Not an island. Palo Alto seems confused.


Posted by Just Saying, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

So, if our future is seniors, why exactly are we putting in more and more housing? Seems like after not too much longer, the boom in seniors will mean declining population, but land use is forever. Sorry seniors, you won't live forever.

Also, if City Council wanted to get out among the people, why go across the street from City Hall [portion removed by Palo Alto Online]?


Posted by Sidney, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Sid, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm

[Post removed]


Posted by chris, a resident of University South
on Apr 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Just Saying,

Seniors may not live forever but for the next 20 years they will make up a growing share of the community. Without building more appropriate senior housing, many seniors will be stuck in their current houses longer than they would like to be. By not recycling their houses, a reduction in school population would eventually result and the property tax base will be held down because of the Prop 13 effect.


Posted by TimH, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Bravo to City Hall for officially launching this dialogue. Watching so many familiar businesses either move or close in Palo Alto due to rising rents, changing tastes or hostile landlords is a symptom of civic illnesses discussed by "Our Palo Alto". Why does it remind me of how dead fish in a river signal changes in the environment? Don't look for too much subtext in that one. Still, lots of great points by neighbors in this thread. Worth mention are that PA still needs its roads and lanes for cars, as seniors and LOTS of other people will not be riding bikes for anything outside of recreational use. Also, yes - it's not a big city, so don't waste tax money on duplicating each desired service for the "South" that exists in the "North". Keep what we have in excellent condition and accessible to all, and look to the future to build "new" as needed in part of the city that make sense. Ever since I was young, it's been a neighborhood scuffle for attention. Downtown, Midtown, California Ave (Mayfield), Arastradero and Barron Park, Stanford, etc. Frankly, these turf comparisons do distract the city council from more important matters, so let's hear it for "Our Palo Alto".


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

Eduardo Martinez in his comments last week after being thanked for his
service, seemed to say what many in the community have been saying for a long time, many in this forum - that the ARB is a broken process in Palo Alto and needs improvement and reform. It seems that would be a good starting point for any substantive "Our Palo Alto" discussions. He fits Naphtali's paradigm above since he is in the acceptable category of people who are pleased "some of the time". He used his real name, and his comments were thoughtful and constructive, so he qualifies there too.


Posted by To TimH, a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2014 at 11:39 am


Please consider that you might not "see" the unfairness of this imbalance because you don't have to live with it.


Posted by TimH, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Dear South of Midtown, I appreciate your implied views regarding feelings of service imbalance across town. What I am saying is to simply look at what the city offers today, and recognize the geographical needs (for this example, South of Middlefield Road) when a case for offering new services is evident. In a small city as Palo Alto, having "two or more of everything" to suit a perceived "North and South" issue does not seem to be fiscally responsible. However, it's completely justified to build based on need, with a goal to reach a balance. Nearly all of the examples listed in Cheryl Lilienstein's post have been in their location for decades and are more historical landmarks than current strategy. This is a wheel, not a pendulum. :)


Posted by Was North, Now South, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 26, 2014 at 12:22 am

@TimH: It's easy to say 'having "two or more of everything" to suit a perceived "North and South" issue does not seem to be fiscally responsible' when you live in the north where the resources are rich (no pun intended). Having lived in Crescent Park for five years and now living in the south I can attest to the completely different feel between the two "sides" of town.

Don't even begin to tell me the difference is only "perceived" - that's just ignorance. Living in South Palo Alto means more residential traffic, more high-density housing, over-crowded schools, none of the city's cultural resources, no social "hub" (like downtown or California Avenue). Don't get me wrong, I much prefer the more down-to-earth people in the South (much more like the Palo Alto I grew up in), but it really is like two different cities.

I embrace diversity, but I do not want to become a minority in my own home town. I appreciate the more down-to-earth people, but I don't want my part of town to become the high-density "slums" of town.

I want to enjoy the same representation that my neighbors to the north enjoy, and feel comfortable that poor decisions will not be made in my "part" of town simply because we live south of Oregon Expressway.

No part of Palo Alto should be a "dumping ground" of necessary but unattractive resources and housing, and no part of Palo Alto should be the "pristine and protected cultural center of town."

We didn't see developers come in and build out Edgewood Plaza all the way to the sidewalks with no setback and a discount grocery - that's only a south Palo Alto thing. You don't see north Palo Alto schools designated as "overflow schools" when the various elementary schools exceed capacity - that's only in South Palo Alto.

There is a very real reason people in south Palo Alto are less happy than those in north Palo Alto, and it is not just "perception."


Posted by Jackson, a resident of Mayfield
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:27 am

@Was North, Now South: Why do make this so personal? I read over the posts by TimH and he is not arguing at all. To call someone ignorant for just asking to have civic balance is just mean-spirited. Why do all parts of our city need to be identical? Downtown and California Ave. are historic areas while South PA was developed as suburban area. Don't be mean.


Posted by A Big Change, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:43 am

One of the biggest changes in demographics, aside from Chinese immigration, is the number of classist wealthy people living here now. Some are even racist, but most are of the antiquarian and unAmerican classist species.

Another is the number of age discriminatory, especially the ones who are entrepreneur-employers.


Posted by Was North, Now South, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 26, 2014 at 10:04 am

@Jackson: I didn't call TimH ignorant, I said a belief that the North/South imbalance is only a perception is ignorance. I did not attack him as a person, but I definitely attacked the opinion on this particular issue. Sorry you think that is mean. And I do feel he is arguing, albeit very politely, when he continues to label what many, many south Palo Altans see as an issue, with clearly stated examples, as only "perception." It's dismissive.

No where in my post do I say all parts of the city have to be identical - that really would be silly. Please feel free to refute my statements, but please don't argue against statements I did NOT make.

Feel free to disagree with my statements, but don't call me "mean" - that IS attacking me personally.


Posted by Just saying, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm

I agree with Cheryl Lilienstein and Was North, Now South. In fact, I, too, was north now south, and find the people on this side much friendlier and down to earth, too. Perhaps we were always supposed to be more suburban here, but the City has been dumping density over here and taking about our suburban openness without providing commensurate open space (which we are promised in the code), urban safety analysis, and amenities near us now that gridlock makes it so hard to get around. The quality of life here has changed SIGNIFICANTLY in the last 3 years.

I pay for our giant library system in PA but use the Los Altos library (and pay for it, too) because I don't live anywhere near our City libraries and Los Altos is easier to drive/walk to from our side of town. It also has better - friendlier - lending practices.


Posted by Anna, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm


Seniors don't need more bike lanes. They need good traffic management and parking close to the store doors. California Ave. is planned to lose that. Shame.

The City should be more friendly to seniors and not just dismiss them as not mattering. We are here. We grew up here. We are actual people. We matter. We also vote.


Posted by Donald, a resident of Professorville
on May 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm

As several people have pointed out seniors will be replaced in a relatively short amount of time. It is hard to say right now who will replace them, other seniors or younger people, but perhaps decisions we make at this time might influence what happens.

It is worthwhile to keep in mind that the Millennial generation prefers cities and public transportation and are eschewing cars. The issues that make some of out older citizens upset, having parking spaces close to the front of a store and traffic are of little concern to people who use other means of transportation. Considering that it takes time to implement things we might want to think about getting ourselves in a situation where we are doing things that are perpetually out-of-date when they are finished.

Seniors are a disproportionately powerful part of this city. Older people are much more likely to vote and participate in civic affairs. I don't think seniors are getting "dismissed," I think it is the other way around. It is understandable that an older person would have habits that are harder to change but I urge the older Palo Alto residents to think about what they are leaving behind. Cars and the transportation system as we know it has to change. Palo Alto is one of the wealthiest, best educated cities in the world. I read one person on this forum that said that we should roll back Palo Alto to 2000 levels. It is odd that one of the wealthiest, best educated cities in the world can't think of anything except to go back to the good old days. Of course, I know we can and he is not representative.

The reality is that there is Google Express, Amazon, Safeway, Door Dash and many ways to get virtually anything you want delivered right to your door. Even the way it is now people who live downtown don't need a car. I don't have one.

I would like to see a conversation that acknowledge that this area is thriving and that we need ways to fit more people. Palo Alto is part of the region, it is not us completely, but we could be proud to do our part. If the City is going to be becoming a higher percentage of seniors, what can we do to bring in more young people? Do we really want Palo Alto to become a gated retirement community for Silicon Valley? I love the energy of young people and love having families and children around and I think most people do.

Besides just being about senior housing, Measure D was about housing in general. It was framed by opponents as "developers" vs the rest of us. The anti-D folks are happy about their "overwhelming" victory. The problem is, that if you look at the number of people in the city and the number of people that voted for it it is only 13%. Now, they may well be representative but there are many studies that show that younger people are not voting so I suspect they are underrepresented.

Blocking housing of any sort leads to less housing, at least as long as people want to come here. Supply and demand then drives the housing prices up. It is great for the people that already own houses but not so great for the people who would like to or who rent. More housing would help.

Seeing people come here from all over the world and get good jobs, have good lives and make more for the world seems positive to me. I consider the area to be healthy and thriving. Personally, I hope to see us think of ways to expand that and make it even greater rather than spend our time thinking of ways to stop it.


Posted by Just Saying, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

"I would like to see a conversation that acknowledge that this area is thriving and that we need ways to fit more people. Palo Alto is part of the region, it is not us completely, but we could be proud to do our part. If the City is going to be becoming a higher percentage of seniors, what can we do to bring in more young people? Do we really want Palo Alto to become a gated retirement community for Silicon Valley? I love the energy of young people and love having families and children around and I think most people do. "

I would like to see a conversation that acknowledges that this is not Hong Kong Island, and we do not HAVE to pack in ever more people just because this is a desirable place. This is an enormous country with many delapidated urban areas that could benefit from overflow. I hear that right now Fresno is actually starting to boom for that very reason. If even just for security of our nation, the centers of innovation should be many, we shouldn't just be trying to pack them all here.

Secondly, the desire to have urban spaces without the responsibility of yards and space happened in the '80s with the yuppies, remember them? Then the housing in Los Altos was actually undervalued for a long time. Then, surprise! The yuppies grew up and wanted houses and yards and good schools in the suburbs to send their kids to, and suddenly Los Altos and Palo Alto were hot again.

We are only going to ruin the quality of life here if we keep packing in more people, so that when the young techies in SF now grow up, they will leave the Bay Area altogether and Palo Alto will end up in a worse decline in the next bust cycle (and there will be a next bust cycle) than otherwise. We need to protect what makes this place unique, which is the suburban feel, the schools, the vibrant university town. We cannot be San Francisco - plenty of young people living there and commuting here now shows it - and we don't WANT to be San Jose.

But many dilapidated communities all around us a few hours drive in any direction would love to be us. Stop hogging all the jobs, it's just fine if we encourage development money we don't need and that only compromises our quality of life to go elsewhere.

Oh, and by the way, Measure D was begun and furthered mostly online by much younger grassroots than ultimately made the election happen. The younger ones turned to the elders who had been fighting all along for guidance, but fighting the REZONING began among younger parents because of safety concerns. (I know, I was one of them.) It was never about senior housing, in fact those who began it tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a way to keep the senior housing. Nice try to rewrite history though.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Handmade truffle shop now open in downtown Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 2,450 views

Why is doing nothing so difficult?
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,121 views

Breastfeeding Tips
By Jessica T | 6 comments | 1,011 views

Who Says Kids Donít Eat Vegetables?
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 779 views

Call it a novel: Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III
By Nick Taylor | 1 comment | 267 views