The pages of this newspaper indicate that many citizens of Palo Alto and nearby towns feel poorly served by our local institutions.
Inattentive city council! Incorrigible city staff! Inadequate police presence! Insufficient downtown parking! Insubstantial affordable housing! Insidious development deals! Injurious school environments! The list of legitimate grievances seems endless.
Despite these issues, perhaps most would agree that our community is fortunate in the availability of cutting-edge medical options. Notably, we have direct access to promising new drugs, devices and procedures through the clinical trials program at Stanford.
A lengthy series of intravenous drug treatments gave me ample opportunity to observe Stanford's medical research team in action.
These professionals deal with all variety of human disease and exploratory pharmaceuticals. They handle complex protocols for patients feeling discomfort and facing uncertainty. They attend individuals from all walks of life with grace and humor.
While it's an impressive operation across the board, the nurses at Stanford's Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) deserve special mention for providing their charges with truly excellent care.
Sure, we have plenty of problems in the neighborhood. Even so, those of us unable to benefit from conventional measures can be both grateful and hopeful to have Stanford's medical research facilities right in our own backyard.
Alma Street, Palo Alto
Need a safe place to live
On Monday night (Aug. 5), I went to the town council meeting where the vehicle habitation ordinance was debated and passed. Although the idea of making Palo Alto a safer place is a good one, the fact is, less than 10 percent of all homeless people in Palo Alto are mentally ill and/or drug addicts. The ordinance will prevent those potentially dangerous people from causing harm, but it also prevents the 90+ percent who are not dangerous from having a safe place to live. The ordinance should only have been passed if an alternative option is being provided to house homeless people.
Yale Road, Menlo Park
The greater good
I agree with the city council's decision to ban vehicle dwelling for the better of the public and a new start for dealings with the homeless. While others might call this shameful and an attack on the neediest residents, this is for the better interests for Palo Alto. These measures have been taken for the safety of children and the obligation to protect neighborhoods — particularly at Cubberley and Greenmeadow where parents have said that they do not feel safe anymore.
Although the act might seem as an attack on the homeless I believe that the City Council is doing it for the greater good of the children and safety of neighborhoods. Even though people may be upset about the outcome of the vote, the council will continue to look for new ways to help support the homeless and find resources for them. I believe that the City Council acted responsibly by supporting what the majority of residents wanted.
Carmel Drive, Palo Alto
Not discussing parking
Whenever it was convenient over the past couple of years I have engaged in friendly conversations with the office and restaurant workers who park in front of our house on Emerson Street — prime parking territory for Town & Country, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and downtown. I always ask them if their employers and/or landlords have discussed parking solutions with them.
I have never had anyone say yes.
Emerson Street, Palo Alto