Town Square

Welcome to Town Square!

Original post made by Bill Johnson, publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly, on May 30, 2006

Palo Altans never hesitate to get involved in local issues when they have an opinion or see a problem needing to be solved. Whether your issue is currently being debated by the City Council or one of the city's many commissions and advisory boards, or is simply something you and your neighbors are concerned about, share your views here in this category of Town Square and get a discussion going.


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Posted by Jeff Bedolla
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Thanks, Bill. My number one issue is that people don't know how to drive. I don't mean just the red light running. And I don't mean just the egregious violators. I mean everyone. A lot of people complain about what other people do in their neighborhoods. But these same people probably wouldn't know good driving if they saw it.

Well, my mission is to keep putting the message out there. Anybody who wants to discuss the subject is welcome to contact me. I have always found a great wall of silence greets me whenever the subject is introduced. I find that people have an aversion to discussing driving candidly. I think that in itself is a matter of great concern in our society.

I appreciate the opportunity offered for free speech by this Forum. The profound silence is much more bearable diving into these waters.

Jeff Bedolla

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Posted by Amazing
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 18, 2016 at 11:09 pm

I can't believe town square is 10 years old already! Boy, the years sure have flown by!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2016 at 8:25 am

Thanks for digging up this piece of social history.

We have certainly covered a myriad of issues over the 10 years! I wonder if Bill understood the power of social interaction, I know I would never have expected the way social media would have become such a valuable tool, but also such a source of vitriol between normally rational people.

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Posted by Sean
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2016 at 10:25 am

I think this blog has been tamed down too much. It has become pedestrian, unlike in its first few years. Remember Walter E. Wallace? How about Craig Laughton, who has recently disappeared, a real loss IMO, since he dealt with important neighborhood issues. Bill Johnson has lost a number of important contributors, because of his censorship or conditioning.

Too bad. We have lost a vibrant venue for local discussion.

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Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 19, 2016 at 10:47 am

This place is hardly perfect, but tamed down to me doesn't quite
seem accurate. If someone has a "blessed" position they can just
about say anything, so that is not tame. If you trip certain buzzwords
or ideas you find yourself deleted or even picked on.

I don't think the "pay to play" thing works well, and I hope it does not
get more draconian that it is now.

The whole idea of monetizing everything does not scale to include
everyone, and ends up as a virtual means of censorship and media
control of ideas.

It is amazing that this is only 10 years old, but also amazing how few
changes or improvements as well.

I've often wondered why so many online forums remove the downvote
option, and do not report on the total number of votes ... that is unfair
and undemocratic in my opinion. Just get rid of voting altogether if
you cannot do it fairly or in a way that imparts actual data instead of
a "feeling" of agreement that may or may not even be there or exist at

One thing is for certain though, referencing Jeff Bedolla's first post,
driving has not gotten any better in Palo Alto! ;-)