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Reusable boba straws, Tesla Hot Wheels and a Sushirrito menu: Palo Alto envisions items to fill a time capsule

Palo Alto plans to resume its Palo Alto Day celebration in 2023. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

In the latest Around Town column, news about plans for next year's Palo Alto Day celebration, local students working to address food waste and community members who assisted a duck family back to the Palo Alto Baylands.

A WINDOW TO OUR TIME … If things go according to plans, some time in 2094 the residents of Palo Alto will look in wonder and bemusement at the array of strange objects that make up our modern reality: reusable boba straws, a Sushirrito catering menu, a Tesla Hot Wheels set, a printout of Town Square comments from Palo Alto Online and dueling lawn signs supporting and opposing the proposed reconstruction of Castilleja School.

They will dig out a time capsule containing these objects, as well as writings from local students, sometime in April as they celebrate Palo Alto Day on the 200th anniversary of the city's existence. That, at least, is the vision presented by a coalition of civic groups, including the Palo Alto Heritage Association, Chamber of Commerce and Palo Alto Museum and pursued by a group of students who make up the museum's Teen Advisory Committee. The project will be part of next year's celebration of Palo Alto Day, a holiday that the council created in late 2018, celebrated in 2019 and largely shelved in 2020 and 2021 as the reality of the pandemic overshadowed any displays of civic pride. It was postponed this year due to the emergence of the omicron variant.

Former Mayor Judy Kleinberg, a longtime proponent of establishing Palo Alto Day, made a case this week for resuming the celebration next year. "Cities of lesser sizes than Palo Alto and, forgive the bragging, of lesser significance, have varying ways to recognize their shared experience, from parades, to community BBQs, to school programs and activities for children and families. We wanted 'something' to do that for Palo Alto," Kleinberg told the council on April 25.

The celebration will likely occur on either April 9, the official Palo Alto Day (which commemorates the day that residents voted in favor of incorporation) or on April 23, the city's actual day of incorporation. In addition to burying modern miscellanea, city officials and civic volunteers plan to reinter a time capsule that their predecessors had buried in 1994 to mark the city's 100th anniversary and had since unearthed, breaking the capsule in the process.

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Sonya Cherian, a junior at Castilleja, said that the new capsule includes 74 items from 2019 (the city's 125th year of existence), as well as letters from Teen Council members talking about their hopes, dreams and fears for Palo Alto. There is also a letter talking about COVID-19 and explaining the city's delay in burying the capsule.

The project received a warm reaction from the city leaders, with council member Tom DuBois chuckling at the Teen Council's decision to include a Salt & Straw cup in the capsule. "I do wonder if in the future they will think it's some kind of a delicacy to put salt on a straw," DuBois said.

From left, Palo Alto High students Oscar Anderson and Kai Mirchandani deliver unwanted boxes of food to Cynthia Perkins, program coordinator at The Opportunity Center, in Palo Alto on April 22, 2022. Courtesy Oscar Anderson.

REDUCING FOOD WASTE … When Palo Alto High sophomores Oscar Anderson and Kai Mirchandani noticed how much food went to waste at their school, they decided to collaborate and fight the problem. Their teamwork resulted in People Plates Planet, their nonprofit that launched on April 22, in conjunction with Earth Day.

The organization aims to "recover surplus food from school campuses and divert to help those suffering from hunger," Anderson wrote in an email to the Weekly. They set up a display with facts about food waste and its impact on climate change. They also placed food-recovery boxes on campus, into which their peers were invited to drop off their unwanted extra, packaged food from the free lunch provided through the school.

The duo delivered the food to nonprofit The Opportunity Center in Palo Alto, where their donations were received and distributed by staff to people in need.

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SAFE PASSAGE … Crossing Palo Alto's busy streets can be intimidating, especially for small animals with not very long strides. That's the situation a mother duck and her nine ducklings found themselves in on April 15, according to Pati Rouzer, who helped rescue the feathered family with the aid of other community members.

Patty McGann, far left in pink, holds Ms. Mallard, a mother duck who was rescued in Palo Alto's Triple El neighborhood, while a local family saves the mother duck's ducklings on April 15, 2022. Courtesy Pati Rouzer.

The ducks were seen on Louis Road and Elsinor Drive, then again on Greer Road, where they were heading east to Oregon Expressway and the Baylands. Concerned about the web-footed creatures, residents contacted the city's Animal Services and were redirected to police dispatch, who informed them that "city services do not cover animal rescue, especially 'after hours,'" according to Rouzer.

The ducks found assistance through a mother and her son who were bicycling through the area. The woman called her husband, who brought their daughter along with a box and a blanket for the ducks. He "proved to be a remarkable duck whisperer," Rouzer said. He navigated his way through shrubbery and provided "soothing reassurances" to the mother duck, who was later named Ms. Mallard since she appeared to look like a member of the namesake breed.

The human family of four, plus Rouzer and another community member, Patty McGann, were eventually able to corral the duck family. The wayward animals were taken to the Baylands and released in an area between the duck pond and tidal mud flats. "We noted that it was Good Friday," said Rouzer, "and agreed that, indeed, it was a Good Friday for nature."

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Reusable boba straws, Tesla Hot Wheels and a Sushirrito menu: Palo Alto envisions items to fill a time capsule

by Palo Alto Weekly staff / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sun, May 1, 2022, 8:11 am

In the latest Around Town column, news about plans for next year's Palo Alto Day celebration, local students working to address food waste and community members who assisted a duck family back to the Palo Alto Baylands.

A WINDOW TO OUR TIME … If things go according to plans, some time in 2094 the residents of Palo Alto will look in wonder and bemusement at the array of strange objects that make up our modern reality: reusable boba straws, a Sushirrito catering menu, a Tesla Hot Wheels set, a printout of Town Square comments from Palo Alto Online and dueling lawn signs supporting and opposing the proposed reconstruction of Castilleja School.

They will dig out a time capsule containing these objects, as well as writings from local students, sometime in April as they celebrate Palo Alto Day on the 200th anniversary of the city's existence. That, at least, is the vision presented by a coalition of civic groups, including the Palo Alto Heritage Association, Chamber of Commerce and Palo Alto Museum and pursued by a group of students who make up the museum's Teen Advisory Committee. The project will be part of next year's celebration of Palo Alto Day, a holiday that the council created in late 2018, celebrated in 2019 and largely shelved in 2020 and 2021 as the reality of the pandemic overshadowed any displays of civic pride. It was postponed this year due to the emergence of the omicron variant.

Former Mayor Judy Kleinberg, a longtime proponent of establishing Palo Alto Day, made a case this week for resuming the celebration next year. "Cities of lesser sizes than Palo Alto and, forgive the bragging, of lesser significance, have varying ways to recognize their shared experience, from parades, to community BBQs, to school programs and activities for children and families. We wanted 'something' to do that for Palo Alto," Kleinberg told the council on April 25.

The celebration will likely occur on either April 9, the official Palo Alto Day (which commemorates the day that residents voted in favor of incorporation) or on April 23, the city's actual day of incorporation. In addition to burying modern miscellanea, city officials and civic volunteers plan to reinter a time capsule that their predecessors had buried in 1994 to mark the city's 100th anniversary and had since unearthed, breaking the capsule in the process.

Sonya Cherian, a junior at Castilleja, said that the new capsule includes 74 items from 2019 (the city's 125th year of existence), as well as letters from Teen Council members talking about their hopes, dreams and fears for Palo Alto. There is also a letter talking about COVID-19 and explaining the city's delay in burying the capsule.

The project received a warm reaction from the city leaders, with council member Tom DuBois chuckling at the Teen Council's decision to include a Salt & Straw cup in the capsule. "I do wonder if in the future they will think it's some kind of a delicacy to put salt on a straw," DuBois said.

REDUCING FOOD WASTE … When Palo Alto High sophomores Oscar Anderson and Kai Mirchandani noticed how much food went to waste at their school, they decided to collaborate and fight the problem. Their teamwork resulted in People Plates Planet, their nonprofit that launched on April 22, in conjunction with Earth Day.

The organization aims to "recover surplus food from school campuses and divert to help those suffering from hunger," Anderson wrote in an email to the Weekly. They set up a display with facts about food waste and its impact on climate change. They also placed food-recovery boxes on campus, into which their peers were invited to drop off their unwanted extra, packaged food from the free lunch provided through the school.

The duo delivered the food to nonprofit The Opportunity Center in Palo Alto, where their donations were received and distributed by staff to people in need.

SAFE PASSAGE … Crossing Palo Alto's busy streets can be intimidating, especially for small animals with not very long strides. That's the situation a mother duck and her nine ducklings found themselves in on April 15, according to Pati Rouzer, who helped rescue the feathered family with the aid of other community members.

The ducks were seen on Louis Road and Elsinor Drive, then again on Greer Road, where they were heading east to Oregon Expressway and the Baylands. Concerned about the web-footed creatures, residents contacted the city's Animal Services and were redirected to police dispatch, who informed them that "city services do not cover animal rescue, especially 'after hours,'" according to Rouzer.

The ducks found assistance through a mother and her son who were bicycling through the area. The woman called her husband, who brought their daughter along with a box and a blanket for the ducks. He "proved to be a remarkable duck whisperer," Rouzer said. He navigated his way through shrubbery and provided "soothing reassurances" to the mother duck, who was later named Ms. Mallard since she appeared to look like a member of the namesake breed.

The human family of four, plus Rouzer and another community member, Patty McGann, were eventually able to corral the duck family. The wayward animals were taken to the Baylands and released in an area between the duck pond and tidal mud flats. "We noted that it was Good Friday," said Rouzer, "and agreed that, indeed, it was a Good Friday for nature."

Comments

mally
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on May 1, 2022 at 4:45 pm
mally, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on May 1, 2022 at 4:45 pm


It's a five min walk from Paly to The Opportunity Center, but really worlds apart.
Fantastic to hear that students are trying to bridge that gap.


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on May 1, 2022 at 5:15 pm
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on May 1, 2022 at 5:15 pm

Nice job Oscar and Kai! Good name for the non profit too.


Paly/JLS mom
Registered user
Midtown
on May 1, 2022 at 5:26 pm
Paly/JLS mom, Midtown
Registered user
on May 1, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Great job, Oscar! It’s for such a good cause!
Cheers, Katja


jvpadojino
Registered user
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on May 2, 2022 at 11:20 am
jvpadojino, digital editor of Palo Alto Online
Registered user
on May 2, 2022 at 11:20 am

Editor's note: The post below was copied from a duplicate Town Square thread.

Posted by Climate
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 30, 2022 at 12:59 pm
Climate is a registered user.
I'm glad Paly students are fighting food waste. What a great idea to help community members suffering from food insecurity!

I think it's important for students to be educated about the connect between food waste on climate change. Many people don't realize how much methane gets generated from the rotting process of wasted food in landfill.

I think Palo Alto should also educate residents about combating food waste as a leading effort to combat climate change.

Thank you, Paly students!


jvpadojino
Registered user
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on May 2, 2022 at 11:20 am
jvpadojino, digital editor of Palo Alto Online
Registered user
on May 2, 2022 at 11:20 am

Editor's note: The post below was copied from a duplicate Town Square thread.

Posted by Allyson
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 30, 2022 at 2:33 pm
Allyson is a registered user.
A solution that feeds people and attacks food waste! Thanks for taking this on Oscar and Kai!


jvpadojino
Registered user
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on May 2, 2022 at 11:20 am
jvpadojino, digital editor of Palo Alto Online
Registered user
on May 2, 2022 at 11:20 am

Editor's note: The post below was copied from a duplicate Town Square thread.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2022 at 3:05 pm
Bystander is a registered user.
Best way to avoid food waste is to buy only what you can eat, use leftovers and to learn to cook from locally sourced foods. Buy more that is grown on a farm rather than manufactured in a factory. Eat in season and stop being picky, or at least eat everything you buy without digging out the tiny piece of carrot!


jvpadojino
Registered user
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on May 2, 2022 at 11:21 am
jvpadojino, digital editor of Palo Alto Online
Registered user
on May 2, 2022 at 11:21 am

Editor's note: The post below was copied from a duplicate Town Square thread.

Posted by Parent of School Age Kids
a resident of Old Palo Alto
17 hours ago
Parent of School Age Kids is a registered user.
Excellent idea on reducing food waste at school! I wish you success in this effort and I will encourage my kids to join your effort!


Eric
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 4, 2022 at 7:25 am
Eric, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on May 4, 2022 at 7:25 am

Regarding People Plates Planet and the Opportunity Center feature : It's wonderful to see young people trying to help people in our community, reduce food waste, and raise awareness regarding how wasted food impacts the world. I hope this kind of thinking catches on to where everyone understands the impact of what they do in their everyday lives. This reminds me of a quote from Abraham Lincoln :
"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him."


Joy abbott
Registered user
Community Center
on May 4, 2022 at 11:03 am
Joy abbott, Community Center
Registered user
on May 4, 2022 at 11:03 am

After covid, inflation, war , hunger is becoming a bigger problem, so proud of Oscar and Kai noticed this food waste problem right here in paly and initiated movement. We need more awareness and action to prevent food waste, to help people for a better planet.


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