Sandy Eakins, Bea Hubbard, Sam Webster, Suzie Stewart, Bob Smithwick, Mona Miller and Jing Lyman. As the Weekly's year-end "Transitions" notes, we lost them all during the year just past.
I was privileged to know them all, some better than others. Each of them was a doer and a giver. And the quality of our lives was undeniably enhanced by their presence.
Let's hope that in the year and years ahead, others will follow in their footsteps — with a similar commitment to bettering this place for coming generations.
Rhodes Drive, Palo Alto
Downtown Palo Alto: You're losing your retail and your Palo Alto resident shoppers.
Now, University Art is moving to Redwood City. There's virtually nothing in downtown Palo Alto that I can't find elsewhere anymore. Oops, I forgot to mention my favorite spa and nearby restaurant which I patronize infrequently.
Take a survey of the worker bee/pedestrian population any day on University. I bet that you'll find that few live in our city. Exceptions are those who already live downtown and can walk easily. So, go on. Stick a few more office buildings around. Chuck the parking. Lose the city's retail establishments.
Why should I shop downtown? For restaurants? Why not Mountain View where the selection is good. Why shop for clothes downtown? Yes, there's the nearby shopping center, but I'll bypass downtown Chico's for their store in Los Altos — nice town with good parking and a couple of other basic stores that I need and can't find in Palo Alto.
Wine store? I'll schlep to my favorite one in Redwood City. Same for University Art, I guess. Groceries? Yes, there's Whole Foods, but I can get their items in the El Camino Real store.
Yes, there's no reason to drive down Alma to University Avenue anymore.
Goodbye and farewell.
East Charleston, Palo Alto
More bad than good
It is abundantly clear that the majority of the City Council does not care about what residents want for this city. Six members of the council and their handpicked and well-compensated city manager and his staff are all extremely pro-growth and pro-massive-development. This group is abetted by their appointed stooges on the planning and transportation commission and the ARB, who mostly hail from real estate, development and architecture firms and have as an agenda supporting their respective industries.
Results of Measure D and public comments at council meetings clearly express that the majority of residents have a different vision for Palo Alto — a residential centered community that values our homes, schools and quality of life. Those running the city openly dismiss residents' views, declare their goals superior and continue to push their hyper-development agenda.
We can vote them out next November, but unfortunately they plan to do a lot of damage before then. There are dozens of oversized, sky-busting developments in the pipeline and council appears eager to approve them. Short of an emergency recall election, or referendum on every project they approve, it seems that inhuman scale, up-zoning, add-on zoning and give away zoning will continue to be approved.
Why do we need a new sustainability officer? At this rate, traffic gridlock and overcrowded schools and parks will be self-sustaining. And any chance of environmental sustainability will be as likely as the chance that sunlight will be able to breach the office canyons being built downtown.
Palo Alto Avenue, Palo Alto
Grocery Outlet? No thanks
So Grocery Outlet threatened not to locate in Palo Alto if they did not get their 104-square-foot oversized sign? Note to Grocery Outlet: You'll never see a nickel of my money.
N. Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View
It's hard to park
People park in front of my house even though they have a parking lot. This makes it hard to park. I support the new parking plan.
Sam Helft, 6 years old
Channing Avenue, Palo Alto