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With 'Baby Trump' soaring above, locals protest president's policies in first visit since getting elected

Community members critique president's policies, call his visit a 'publicity stunt'

Protesters gather on Alpine Road in Portola Valley to protest President Trump while he attended a fundraiser luncheon in the neighboring Palo Alto foothills on Sept. 17. Photo By Sammy Dallal/Almanac.

President Donald Trump's fundraising luncheon Tuesday ended up being in the Palo Alto foothills near Portola Valley, but protesters found out about the location early enough in the morning to switch their demonstration to Rossotti Field, a soccer field adjoining the Alpine Inn, the well-known Portola Valley roadhouse.

About 80 to 90 demonstrators showed up at the site, where a "Baby Trump" balloon hung over the field.

The Trump motorcade, composed of four cars, thundered by at high speed at 11:30 a.m., turning left off Alpine Road onto Arastradero Road in the direction of 610 Los Trancos Road, the home of Scott McNeely, the former CEO of Sun Microsystems, once located in the Menlo Park building now occupied by Facebook.

"I heard that he was coming, and I felt compelled to make my protest," said Mark Leather of Los Gatos. Leather was standing next to Arnie Thompson of San Francisco, who was holding the cable attached to the balloon.

Leather said he also participated in the 2016 demonstration when Trump spoke at a fundraiser at a Burlingame hotel, but he said this protest was a lot smaller.

The Raging Grannies, a group dedicated to social activism whose members dress up in outfits that mock stereotypes of older women, were out in force, holding up signs on Alpine Road as drivers whizzed past, many of them honking their horns to indicate support.

Ruth Roberts, a Palo Alto resident and a Raging Granny, said she is particularly opposed to Trump's policy of separating families at the Mexican border.

"We have the granny attitude, which means protecting future generations," Roberts said.

"Trump is sneaking in here to solve the homeless problem, but he's just doing it as a publicity stunt."

Marcia Plavcan of Redwood City said she was able to come out because she is currently off work taking care of her 6-year-old daughter. She said she was particularly incensed at Trump because she has friends who had to leave the country in fear of being deported.

"A lot of people who could have been here weren't because they couldn't take off work," Plavcan said.

Some of the signs were clever. Jim Burrill of Redwood City held up one that read "Know More Muslims" and was handing out a leaflet that said "Toddlers shoot more Americans than Muslim immigrants do. Send all toddlers back where they came from!"

"There's not too many opportunities to demonstrate against Trump in California, so I'm taking advantage of this one," Burrill said.

The Trump motorcade was expected to make the reverse trip at about 1:30 p.m.

"I think I'm going to stay around because I missed (the motorcade) the first time," Burrill said.

Bay City News wire service cited media pool reports that Trump's press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that at the event Trump "participated in a roundtable with about 25 supporters, then moved to a larger area and spoke to a couple of hundred supporters about the many accomplishments of his administration."

It was a brief visit to the Bay Area, with the luncheon being Trump's only stop before departing for Southern California. He boarded Air Force One back at Moffett Field shortly before 3 p.m. and is headed to another fundraiser Tuesday evening in Beverly Hills, according to media pool reports.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Rick Radin writes for The Almanac, the sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

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Comments

54 people like this
Posted by zap
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm

>she is particularly opposed to Trump's policy of separating families at the Mexican border.

"Trump's policy" Funny how Obama was using Trump's policy even before President Combover decided to run.

Obama- STILL deporter in chief. Reagan and Bush...Still more illegals given amnesty than any democrat


90 people like this
Posted by Wally D Bild
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 17, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Did someone from the Mexican embassy swing by and drop off a check for The Wall?


72 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Of course this was a publicity stunt. News reports say that he only collected $3 million on "donations" during this trip. Surely, the logistics and security cost much more than that. I hope that the cities that were disrupted by this stunt are billing him for their expenses.


70 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2019 at 6:47 pm

I think all the anti-Trump protesters are beclowning themselves.
Instead of standing around holding signs proclaiming that you're morally superior to others, why don't you find something more productive to do. God knows, Gavin Newsom is a much bigger problem for California than Donald Trump is.
Just my opinion.


124 people like this
Posted by @(so-called) Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2019 at 6:52 pm

"God knows, Gavin Newsom is a much bigger problem for California than Donald Trump is."

Gavin Newsom isn't ordering California to abandon its emissions standards -- Donald Trump is.

Or are you going to blame Newsom for that as well?


35 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 17, 2019 at 7:38 pm

My understanding of the city code is that a special events permit is required for gatherings of 25 or more people, even at a private residence. Was a special events permit issued for this event? If not the city needs to go after the property owner for thousands of dollars in expenses incurred by this unauthorized event. The law applies to everyone, even billionaires. You can't get around the law because you host the president either. Whether you host homeless people or the so-called president of the United States, the law still applies to you.


40 people like this
Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2019 at 7:46 am

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

Great job President Trump! Good for him to come out and raise money for the 2020 campaign right in the heart of the global elite and democrat media complex. There are a lot more supporters of President Trump than those whining imbeciles with their ridiculous impeach signs standing on the side of the road. It will be a landslide for Trump in 2020. The vast majority of the USA realize he is doing all the right things. Trump is exactly what we needed to turn this great ship around. 4 more years!


10 people like this
Posted by r.o.w
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2019 at 8:06 am

r.o.w is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by r.o.w
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2019 at 8:08 am

r.o.w is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


45 people like this
Posted by r.o.w
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2019 at 8:31 am

r.o.w is a registered user.

I suggest that everyone send an email, message or letter to Scott McNealy, urging him to distance himself from this emperor with no clothes. He's a GOP guy but why would he tarnish his legacy by associating with Trump?


37 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 18, 2019 at 9:47 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

There was an article in the papers that discussed what the protestors planned on doing and it provided a name and organization. The local news had that lady on during the day. She dripped HATE. One person had a sign that said the homeless were here because of Trump. It is amazing that the inhabitants of this state refuse to acknowledge that the previous governor who was very old and the current governor who likes being audacious are horrible managers and think getting people here with the promise of free stuff is a winning ticket. Further the local press who have spent all of their opinion pages heaping scorn on the president seem to forget that they are fueling people to act out. They then expect the President to provide them funding for ill-planned programs. You can not look at any successful program instituted by your state that is successful.

[Portion removed.]


37 people like this
Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2019 at 9:56 am

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

@row

[Portion removed.]

Thank GOD for President Trump! He is the greatest President since President Reagan, and history will decide if indeed he proves to be the best since my all time favorite, President George Washington! Sorry Donald, no one can ever come close to George, but you may get close.

We needed a real New Yorker with a real backbone to go to DC and shake that place up, drive the snakes out, and DRAIN THE SWAMP! Sacramento will be next, mark my words, this land of Reagan will be shaken out of its comma in a matter of time, sanity will return. [Portion removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 18, 2019 at 10:02 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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