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Whatever happened to the nice bench at the corner of Bryant and Churchill?

Original post made by Susan, South of Midtown, on Jul 21, 2011

It was such a nice bench, and in a very shaded corner of our town. I used to love to sit there and read a chapter of my book. A very interesting African American man began to use it to take a nap. I talked to him several times, and his life story was very interesting. He told me that it was only a matter of time before the bench was removed, because the local neighbors don't like poor black people. I thought he was being overly concerned, but he was right, and the bench was removed. This was a real shame.

I would like to know who made that bigoted decision. Does anybody know? Is there a public records act that allows one to trace the details of that horrible and racist decision? For example, who were the neighbors who complained to the city, and who gave the work order to remove the bench?

Comments (16)

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

If you want to find out who those racist bigoted neighbors are, simply put a bench in front of your house, and invite that nice African-American man to sleep there.


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Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Outside Observer, that was not very nice. That lovely bench had been on that corner for many years. Why was it removed? Who demanded that it be removed? Who signed the work order?


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Minus the sarcasm I have to agree with Outside Observer. The homeless ruin everything like that for all the rest of us. Who wants to have a homeless person who does not live here sitting next to them while waiting for the best or whatever. The guy needs to get some help and we all need to figure out a way to maintain society in the face of homelessness and desperation because it is going to get worse.

The answer is not let them sleep all over the place. Very sad, sorry you lost your bench.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2011 at 6:37 am

Wasn't that bench actually on private property? If so, the land owners have every right to remove the bench - for whatever reason.


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2011 at 11:37 am

My guess is that the bench was removed because it was being slept on - not because of "poor black people". New benches are deliberately sized to discourage homeless (and non-homeless) people from sleeping on them in the parks. BTW - if the man that slept there was the gentleman with the shower caps and lots of bags covering his body, he is also one of the people who use yards as toilets. I know because I've picked up after him.


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Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Oh my! The bench was clearly on public property. One can go by that spot and still see the outline of it (Bryant and Churchill). That is, until a new work order goes out, and the spot is painted over.

I personally oppose a ban on overnight car sleepers, but I can also understand why College Terrace residents have had too much of it. The general City attitude is to send "them" over to CT, while, at the same time removing the single bench in the toney part of town. This was a lovely bench, but now it is gone, because the elites demand their own solutions.

If I lived in CT, I would demand that the homeless move over into the elite parts of Palo Alto. Why not? Where do the mayor, and the rest of the city council, live? What is the public record, regarding the original work order to remove this lovely and peaceful bench?


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Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm

So, what happened to that lovely bench? Will the PA Weeky do an investigative article? Who signed the work order?


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Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

i am still waiting to hear from the PA Weekly: Will you investigate this story, or not? What happened to that lovely bench, there for many years, and why?


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Posted by VoxPop
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

You'd better be patient. The odds of a reply from Palo Alto Online are vacillate between slim and none.


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Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

PA Weekly, are you going to wait for the PA Daily to do your investigation for you?

What happened to that lovely bench? Who ordered it? Why?


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on May 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm


@ Susan

Why dont you place a nice sleeping bench in your back garden and invite vagrants to visit?

It will reduce your property values and those of your neighbors -- and they will sue you

We are glad the bench in question was removed


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Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

"It will reduce your property values and those of your neighbors -- and they will sue you

We are glad the bench in question was removed"

If that is the answer, then why not just have the Weekly report it, once it interviews the neighbors and city staff and councilmembers?

Come on, Weekly, do some real reporting!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on May 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Why dont you place a nice sleeping bench in your back garden and invite vagrants to visit?

If you want drunks/drug users and vagrants in your home fine

We do not want them on our streets or near our kids-

-it is that simple


Get it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Sharon,

Other neighborhoods have made your argument, for example, College Terrace, which is tryly impacted by vagrants. However, that single lovely bench, on a public corner, was a classic, until a black guy started napping on it. Then it got removed.

Who drove the removal? Where is the work order? This is a very easy reporting case for the Weekly or the Daily. Who will report on it?


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on May 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm

The issue is the safety of our children

You do not care about that

Your choice


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Posted by Susan
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

"The issue is the safety of our children"

Was that black man a threat to your children? He seemed pretty harmless to me, just out of the mainstream, and the police knew him. I think there are some serous threats in places like College Terrace, yet they get no similar "help" from the city.

Who gave the order to remove this lovely bench? When? Why? Work order?

It is time to bring back that bench. It was there for decades. Was it destroyed? If so, who gave the order to destroy it?

This is a simple story, with deep implications. Like a Southern novel, sans the alligators and swamps. Why the coverup? Who, among the powerful, is being protected? Why is the local press silent? Old money, or new money?


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