Byxbee Park's tranquil baylands give us stunning views, a crucial sanctuary for wildlife, accessible recreational opportunities, and more.
The Weekly wrote that in 2011,"Palo Alto's environmentalists split into two camps over whether a site near the Baylands should be used to build a waste-to-energy plant or conserved as open space. The battle culminated in Measure E, a November election in which proponents of the plant prevailed, resulting in the city setting aside 10 acres for a possible facility ... with the city now considering building a recycled-water plant at the site."
As city officials and others ponder a new ballot measure that might develop the 10 acres of previously dedicated parkland, despite Palo Alto's growing population and the known benefits of parkland for environmental and human health, all should be asking: "Where else might a recycled water plant go that would not be so detrimental to the long-planned development of this park?"
The 2011 campaign in favor of Measure E was crafted by anaerobic-digestion-facility proponents. Since then, their arguments have become moot, the plant was never built, and by law, the 10 acres could soon revert back to sustainable and valuable parkland.
Instead, some in the city government are seeking to use this parcel earmarked by Measure E for an anaerobic facility for a recycled water plant, which would require a new ballot proposition. Residents should be aware that we are talking about a long-promised parkland that is being considered for this new idea, and not just a random parcel of the current sewage treatment plant site.
Byxbee Park deserves the support of residents and Palo Alto's leaders to achieve its most sustainable and productive purpose. We encourage the City Council to re-dedicate the 10 acres to parkland.
Carol Muller and Al Henning
Heather Lane, Palo Alto
Beautiful lands and waters
I have lived in or near Palo Alto for over half my life. I've visited the Baylands and Shoreline Park many times. On New Year's Day, I explored the full extent of the hilly Byxbee Park in the Palo Alto Baylands and, atop a small hill for the first time, I looked over the large extent of the Baylands and part of Mountain View's Shoreline Park. I was astounded by how much land has been preserved by both cities, especially Palo Alto, in this sensitive area.
This contrasts markedly with some other nearby cities where large buildings are encroaching on the bay edge and even onto the former marsh lands.
I know that both cities used to have landfills in these areas, but at least the land was preserved as open space after the closures. And I know there is still ongoing pressure to use these lands for purposes other than preservation.
With this perspective, I am proud of Palo Alto for its leadership, winning political battles and following through to preserve these beautiful lands and waters.
Richard Court, Mountain View
Speak out against hate
We are members of Peninsula chapters of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, a north American and International grassroots organization that brings Muslim and Jewish women together to know one another and stand up to hate and negative stereotyping.
We decry the vandalism at University AME Zion church in Palo Alto on Dec. 28. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their house of worship — regardless of their religion or the color of their skin. We were deeply troubled to hear that someone violated the sanctuary.
As Muslims and Jews, we sadly know the pain of bigotry and hate. We are with you, knowing that an attack on you is an attack on all of us. Acts of hate and violence against all communities and especially minority communities are intolerable. We all deserve to live safely and freely.
Ellen Stromberg and Lama Rimawi
Cass Way, Palo Alto and Wilmar Drive Palo Alto
Building an inclusive city
I write today on behalf of the board and members of the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto in response to your article, "Vandal sprays graffiti at historically black church in Palo Alto." We were shocked and disheartened to learn of the vandalism of the University AME Zion Church building. There is no place for hatred or bigotry in our communities.
The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto strongly condemns this hateful act. We value the AME Zion community and the many ways it contributes to the health and vibrancy of our city. We have, and will continue to, partner with AME Zion on building a more inclusive and resilient community. We stand by their side at this difficult time and are ready to offer whatever support Pastor Smith and the congregation may need.
We ask that other organizations also condemn this hatefulness and that they lend support to our neighbors at AME Zion.
Oxford Avenue, Palo Alto
Right call on Cubberley
Palo Alto residents missed an opportunity to have a brand new adult education school and community center. The public passed a Foothill College bond in 2007, which would have allocated $40 million in reconstruction costs for the Cubberley site. Now 13 years later, we are still debating the future of Cubberley.
The Palo Alto Unified School District, which owns 27 acres, has no interest in developing Cubberley so long as a lease agreement is in place. It commenced back in 1990, providing them financial support, but provides no improvement to the facilities at Cubberley. They do not want to develop and only keep the land for a future school.
Now the district wants to renew the same existing lease for another five years since it expires at the end of 2019. This month, the City Council will vote on this new lease agreement. I recommend that the council tell Palo Alto Unified, "No way." The city needs to focus on its owned portion of Cubberley (8 acres), currently in unacceptable condition and continues to deteriorate, so that all the nonprofits and artists have the facilities that will have long term benefits and stability for the community. It is time to make the right call on Cubberley!
Homer Avenue, Palo Alto
Appoint a city auditor
The City Council could increase the public's faith and trust in city government by appointing a city auditor, as the city charter requires. Not appointing a city auditor, tasked with overseeing our tax dollars, raises the question, "Why?"
If the City Council can appoint other positions required by the city's charter, why not appoint a city auditor?
Walter Hays Drive, Palo Alto
This story contains 1094 words.
Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.
If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.