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Nose Under the Community Tent

By Paul Losch

About this blog: I was a "corporate brat" growing up and lived in different parts of the country, ending in Houston, Texas for high school. After attending college at UC Davis, and getting an MBA at Harvard, I embarked on a marketing career, mai...  (More)

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Local or Regional Solutions?

Uploaded: Mar 26, 2011
I tend to have a bias toward local problem solving.

And there are instances when local problem solving does not make sense.

This Byxbee Park composting project is the current example. I have my own opinions about undedicating parkland and the merits of the proposed composting initiative, but that is not the point.

It all sounds well and good to put a composting facility adjacent to the water treatment facility. But I have not seen any data that compares how that same compostible material "pencils out" if it were taken to existing facilities, such a Gilroy. It is not a simple study, but it needs to be done if voters are going to make an informed decision.

There are other regional issues.

We lack adequate athletic facilities, both indoor and outdoor, for all the people who wish to contribute their athleticism, fitness, and enjoyment socially. I have witnessed this first hand during my time on the City of Palo Alto Parks and Recreation Commission.

It has affected how playing areas are utilized in Palo Alto, but more importantly, it has demonstrated how numerous cities in this area are dealing with demand that is far in excess of supply.

I drive home from work every day along HiWay 101 and see all that Moffet Field land that could help address the lack of open playing fields. How about some gyms in that massive complex?

I see the potential here in Palo Alto to add gymnasium space with the last bond capital program, and despite some conversations I have had with folks in a position to make it part of how we re-build the schools, which could make this town part of the solution to a regional problem, I am not sure we are getting anywhere.

My main point is that too many times we take a local approach, and fail because what was needed was a regional approach. It depends on the topic of course.
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Posted by convert the golf course, a resident of ,
on Mar 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm

How much land is Palo Alto wasting on that golf course near the airport? A few dozen rich people per day play on acres of land. How many thousand kids could play basketball on the same amount of space? There already is a bike path over Hwy 101 at Embarcadero Road so building basketball courts on that space does not have to cause any additional car traffic.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Susan, a resident of ,
on Mar 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Paul, Your point about athletic facilities in this town is on the mark. We need more playing fields and, especially, more gyms. I should note, though, that an opportunity for a new gym (privately funded, but open to the public) was declined, at the corner of Colorado and W. Bayshore (Greer Park). It is now a "passive park", where I have not seen a single solitary individual using it, since it has been built. I am not referring to the dog people who like to let their dogs use it as a bathroom. Byxbee Park is really just a covered dump heap. It should be dug up and reclaimed as a natural part of the SF Bay, along with a few playing fields. The dug up garbage can be used to fuel a power plant. It is only fair that we take care of our own garbage, but this idea of composting is hardly a solution to the overall problem.

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of ,
on Mar 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm

The bond money is spoken for - you should know that by now. The bond packet made it very clear that the bond money was going to update infrastructure and existing buildings, then add classrooms to the schools. Not enough money (or space) to add gyms to the overcrowded campuses. NASA owns Moffett - not PA or Mountain View. It is a federal facility.

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