Editorials

2011

Support local charities with a Holiday Fund gift

Join the hundreds of local residents who make donations to support nonprofits serving the needs of children and families in the Palo Alto area
Despite Palo Alto's well-deserved reputation as the home to some of Silicon Valley's most innovative and caring residents, there are many children and families in this community and others nearby who are barely making ends meet this winter.

December 19, 2011 | No comments yet
Handicapping the golf course

lood-control project creates opportunity to examine options for uninspired Palo Alto Muni
Perhaps there is a silver lining in a flood-control proposal that would place a new levee on part of the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course and force some redesign.

December 9, 2011 | 3 comments
The achievement treadmill

Parents are fueling a competitive environment that is jeopardizing the health of our teens and their development of 'purpose' in life
There is some irony that the same week we learn that Palo Alto is the most educated city in California, if not the nation, the Weekly publishes an extensive look at the culture in our community surrounding student "success" and the effects that this culture is having on our kids as they try to find their way in the world.

November 18, 2011 | 5 comments
Strong majority approve Measures D, E

Binding arbitration will end for public safety unions; space reserved for compost facility
Despite the absence of a City Council race on the ballot, Palo Alto voters strongly approved measures that will improve the city's oversight of its two public safety unions and set the stage for a possible new method of dealing with its waste and compost.

November 10, 2011 | 29 comments
Yes on E, with caution

Measure E will allow, but not require, exploration of innovative alternatives to trucking yard clippings and food waste to San Jose or Gilroy
It is difficult to imagine any other city engaging in the kind of hard-fought battle that has characterized the debate over Palo Alto's Measure E, an initiative that does nothing more than reserve 10 acres next to the sewage treatment plant currently designated as parkland as a possible site for a state-of-the-art composting facility.

October 21, 2011 | 137 comments
Yes on D: Repeal binding arbitration

Palo Alto's unusual binding-arbitration requirement for fire and police contract disputes should have been repealed long ago
Palo Alto voters are finally being given the opportunity in Measure D to decide whether a single outside arbitrator should continue to have final say on police and fire compensation, benefits and work rules when the city and unions reach an impasse.

October 15, 2011 | 33 comments
Creative genius, respected neighbor

As tributes pour in from around the world for Steve Jobs, Palo Altans feel the loss more personally
The scene outside of the Old Palo Alto home of Steve Jobs on Wednesday evening was a remarkable and emotional display of affection by a community that deeply admired and respected our most famous resident.

October 7, 2011 | No comments yet
A time for Cubberley planning

With Foothill College vacating aging complex and a looming 2014 lease expiration on the entire site, it's time for a careful school-city process to create a new vision for the site
There are endless possibilities for how the 35-acre former Cubberley High School site on Middlefield Road in south Palo Alto could be used to meet the future needs of the school district and broader community.

October 1, 2011 | 2 comments
The economics of downtown parking

Employees opt for free neighborhood parking, leaving garage permit spaces empty
A Planning and Community Environment Department study that will be reviewed by the City Council Sept. 12 shows that despite an overabundance of spaces in the numerous parking garages and surface lots scattered around downtown, Palo Alto has a parking problem.

September 2, 2011 | 7 comments
A little sanity from fire union

Effort to stop public vote on binding arbitration is withdrawn, for now
After apparently rethinking its "shoot first, ask questions later" strategy, Local 1319 of Palo Alto Professional Firefighters sensibly agreed to withdraw its attack on the binding-arbitration ballot issue that will go before Palo Alto voters in November.

August 15, 2011 | 10 comments
The slow death of high-speed rail

Loss of federal money will be the nail in the coffin of doomed project
Back in 2008, Palo Alto voters, the City Council and the Weekly liked the idea of bullet trains zooming at more than 200 miles an hour between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, providing an alternative mode of travel that was economical and more environmentally friendly.

August 8, 2011 | 31 comments
What to do with $40 million?

Stanford money tied to approval of hospital expansion will require disciplined process by Council and the community
The Palo Alto City Council and administration set the stage Monday for what we hope will be a serious and productive discussion about how to bring the most benefit to the city from the $40 million that will begin flowing from Stanford later this summer.

July 29, 2011 | 9 comments
Breathing room for car dwellers

Palo Alto wisely delays consideration of ordinance banning sleeping in cars to allow time for more outreach, discussion
Surprised by the intensity of the negative reaction from some segments of the faith community and others grappling with the problems of the homeless, City Manager Jim Keene spared the City Council and the community a long and emotional meeting next Monday night by putting off the issue of car dwelling until September.

July 22, 2011 | 31 comments
Outlook brightens to replace Newell Road bridge

City will seek major grant to pay for a bigger, safer span over flood-prone creek
Helped along with the prospect of a generous grant from the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and funding from the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, the City Council wisely took advantage of a generous opportunity and voted 8-0 Monday to replace the Newell Road bridge that the state has declared obsolete and unsafe.

July 15, 2011 | 17 comments
Whither the recycling center?

With use of Recycling Center declining and the city facing a budget shortfall, talk of closing center is not environmental heresy
While the primary focus of Tuesday night's meeting of the City Council Finance Committee was how to address a $3.7 million deficit in the city's Refuse Fund, the newsworthy discussion focused on the idea of closing the Recycling Center in the Baylands.

July 8, 2011 | 1 comment
The Cubberley conundrum

As Foothill College seeks to upgrade or move its Cubberley campus, Palo Alto school and city officials struggle over how to plan for the community's own future needs for the site
As with many Palo Alto issues, the current debate over whether the City of Palo Alto should enter into negotiations to sell part of the Cubberley Community Center to Foothill College is like a Rubik's Cube.

July 1, 2011 | 17 comments
Deja vu on arbitration

City Council once again puts itself under time pressure in deciding whether to place repeal of binding arbitration on November ballot
There was at least some logic a year ago when the City Council voted 4-5 to punt on placing a measure on the November 2010 ballot to repeal the city's unusual 33-year-old binding-arbitration requirement whenever an impasse is declared in police or fire labor negotiations.

June 24, 2011 | 15 comments

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