Moss Calls Grand Boulevard ‘Garbage’

photo of moss by melena

photo of moss by melena

Reporting live from Palo Alto Planning and Transportation meeting, a public hearing, sage and activist Bob Moss says, re “build to the line” proposal that the catch-word “Grand Boulevard” is “garbage”.

If I get the chance I will get Bob Moss to pose for a photo.

I am sitting next to Gennady Sheyner of the Weekly; I will scoop him on this in that I am publishing at 6:30 while he likely will not post (a longer more in-depth coverage, I admit) until about 10.

So I am scooping the Weekly again, by about four hours.

Mark Weiss
residentialist candidate for City Council (5749 votes in 2012)
former Times Tribune intern and, for four more weeks, $100 per week reporter

edit to add: at 6:40 I showed my post to Gennady and stopped working long enough to say “Cool”. But like the dynasty in 1226, as Mongol troops approached Wuwei, he does not realize this  is the beginning of the end for Palo Alto Weekly and old school media. This type of computer-aided-populist-concert-promoter-wanna-be-Howard-Gossage-Award-winner-running-for-office-with-blog-as-machine.

Also, please note I wrote this in the 3 minutes Moss used. And amended during the attorney for 14 property owners additional time two minute. Pierce I think. Hanley spoke for her Dinah’s Shack, she says she owns.

Another picture of Moss:

colorized version of Moss

colorized version of Moss

edit to add, two hours later: speaking of Garbage, PATC wants to forward the idea of using a particular tech platform, the one Obama used in 2009, to forward and streamline our little ol’ demotechy.

outro : sister shirley rains:

Posted in media, Plato's Republic | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

HBSB coming at ya!

henry butler, left and steven bernstein is always right

henry butler, left and steven bernstein is always right


Henry Butler, a piano player from Louisiana, and Steven Bernstein a slide-trumpet player from Berkeley and New Yorker, cover new territory as the Hot 9.

They gave a taste of their sound at Yoshi’s last  month.

We will probably see them, maybe in the 650, soon enough.

Good luck, guys. Mazel tov.

Posted in media, music, sex | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Happy birthday, Vida Blue

I am going to the Giants game tonight if that makes me feel any better

I am going to the Giants game tonight if that makes me feel any better

Vida Blue turned 65 yesterday.

When I was 10 years old, my dad took me to a World Series game to see the Swingin’ A’s win the World Championship of baseball for Oakland. I don’t recall if I ever saw Vida pitch in person, but I definitely was a fan, and had his trading card.

There’s also a jam band called Vida Blue I saw once at the Fillmore. It says in wikipedia that Vida Blue the pitcher came on stage with them. I remember seeing Dan from Fog City in front of the hall, before I got sorted. I think one of his bands was the support act that night.

I also approached Pumpsie Green once about borrowing his name for a funk band I wanted to build around my then-client, Henry Butler. He said no. I guess if I was Page McConnell of Phish I would have been more persuasive or persistent.

Meanwhile just last week my former client Henry Butler and my rabbi Steven Bernstein released a co-led project (not named for a baseball player), on Impulse Records, the resurrected imprint, part of Blue Note, and I wish them well. I did present Steven Bernstein’s Disapora Suite cd release show a few years ago, in San Francisco but whiffed on bringing his Sly Stone thing here.

What a weird mix of baseball, music and philosophy is this plastic alto.

The HB SB thingy is called Viper’s Drag, got a jelly roll to it:

That kinda rhymes you know

Vida Blue

Pumpsie Green

Henry Butler

and Steven Bernstein

my tags

I have a strangely vivid memory, that I could not this minute repress, of leading Henry Butler

his hand on my shoulder

thru and airport,

maybe in Paris France

and him whacking me

with his cane

in my upper V

like Vida

between my pants

that’s life I guess

that’s kind of a poem

I used to know ‘em

and show ‘em

Eli Eli Eli

but not Elijah Pumpsie Green

and tell me little stevie who might be those 9 — hey that’s a baseball number: who’s on first? I don’t know. third base. 

I was Henry Butler’s manager for six months in 2002-2003; I missed by Gunn 20-year reunion for instance because I was with Henry in Clermont-Ferrand that week. I spent about 40 nights with him during that stretch, either he in the Bay Area — he stayed at my parents’ house some of that – or me in New Orleans or on the road. Steven Bernstein meanwhile met Henry on the set of Robert Altman’s “Kansas City” in about 1990. I probably met Steven by phone in that period when I was working with Henry. Steven meanwhile has worked with Peter Apfelbaum and Jeff Cressman since they were at Berkeley Junior High, circa 1975.

This is a remarkable little video of the band at Yoshi’s. While the horn section leaves the stage and re-emerges in the house, as a type of second line meme, Henry takes the spotlight, his hands moving at super-human speed, like a John Henry myth, and his blue jacket glowing almost supernaturally — can he sense that?

I wonder if he tried to drive the tour van after the show.

Posted in ethniceities, music, words | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Bird and Jessica Johnson, two free shows I would try to catch

Andrew Bird has a free show Sunday at Stern Grove in San Francisco, which will draw about 7,000 fans, maybe Terry and I will make the trek; I love Stern Grove. Have not been in a few years, however.

Closer to home, I like Jessica Johnson, the Panamese-American jazz singer from San Jose. Last I saw of her was either at Pour House in San Jose or something on the pier in SF; She is playing Wednesday twilight hours in the Menlo Park series.

San Jose singer Jessica Johnson goes full San Mateo Wednesday or full Portola or something: it's actually in Menlo Park

San Jose singer Jessica Johnson goes full San Mateo Wednesday or full Portola or something: it’s actually in Menlo Park

Palo Alto has a Santana tribute band next Saturday at Rinconada. That always makes me think we should do more to honor Gregg Rolie, a founder of two bands in the rock hall of fame, Journey and Santana, who lived for a while on Nelson Drive behind Cubberley. Dan Olmstead said he moved the Rolie’s lawn.

Andrew also has hard-ticket shows at Mountain Winery in Saratoga and Henry Miller Library (Folk Yeah!) at Big Sur. Rumor is that Gunn grad Hannah May Allison will be last minute addition to the bill in Saratoga, in front of Tift Merrit.

Posted in music, sex | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I don’t wanna be your hero I just wanna fight like everyone else

Thank you,  Kerry Yarkin and one other, for diverting the cavalcade of trolls who attacked me on the Weekly’s site, under the back-handed article about entering the race. What Gennady Sheyner strangely leaves out is that I got nearly 6,000 votes in 2012 and my residentialist campaign platform presaged the referendum on Maybell and was validated by the Grand Jury of June 16, 2014. No I was not the whistle-blower, but I’d like to be next time.

Taking a break from the campaign trail and “fear and loathing” I ducked into the new Richard Linklater movie, at Palo Alto Square. Besides being an interesting look at family, it features one of my favorite cities, Austin, Texas, and one of my favorite places to hear music, The Continental Club. The soundtrack made me seek out “Hero” by Family of the Year. The film is “Boyhood” by the way. I also recommend his 1988 debut “Slacker” and “Thru a Scanner Darkly” an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel.

I also watched exactly one hour, recently of the Planet of the Apes movie, then walked out — which means either the movie is really bad or I am already stressing about time management in this 100-day run-up to the polls. The way the apes could communicate, the makers would have you believe, with sign language and gesture — we saw the subtitled purported actual meanings – reminded me of my post earlier in the day about the three carpenters trying to communicate the rights of workers while standing in front of a wine bar on Emerson.

Anyways here is the song from which I crib my title here: I don’t want to be a hero, or a big man.

Posted by Kerry Yarkin, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

Good Luck Mark Weiss. You have my vote. It seems that you know a lot about the ins and outs of the development process here in Palo Alto. It is unfortunate for native Palo Altans (myself included) to see all this runaway development and loss of wonderful stores that once made Palo Alto a unique place. Your perspective will definitely make a difference on the status quo.

Posted by Weiss voter, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 27, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Let the people decide. Weiss is a serious thinker whose only fault I see is underselling himself.

What GS said is accurate but I called him on deliberately provoking the trolls by framing the article as me being one of two candidates who has run unsuccessfully multiple times (the other being someone who does  not really campaign but qualifies for a ballot and is more known for challenging our sit-lie ban; I called GS and challenged him to support his claim or implication that I am not any more viable than that).

I did, by the way, greet Victor Frost my fellow candidate, who I spotted sitting in front of the stationary store near Printer’s Ink on Cali Ave.

This, by Gennady Sheyner, would be more objective outside of that framing. (Meanwhile I noted that Lydia Kuo, a realtor from Barron Park, got substantial play, especially in the print edition, while this story didn’t make the cut at all; notice that the Weekly is roughly one third realty ads).

Weiss, 50, has been vocal in his criticism of new development, particularly the proposal to turn Varsity Theatre on University Avenue into a hub for high-tech workers. He has also been a proponent for public art and an advocate for new performing-art venues. He is the founder of the concert-production company Earthwise Productions.

Weiss has also been critical of the 2012 proposal by billionaire developer John Arrillaga to build an office-and-theater complex at 27 University Ave., a plan that ultimately fizzled in the face of community opposition. In an interview Wednesday, Weiss told the Weekly that he believed that “the leadership is not listening to citizens as much as to downtown interests.”

Posted in austistic, film, Plato's Republic | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obscure labor action in Palo Alto

Three men in dubious battle against hedge funds and venture capital, and their assets, in Palo Alto, summer, 2014, when corporations are people, some say, although Krugman in the times rebuts

Three men in dubious battle against hedge funds and venture capital, and their assets, in Palo Alto, summer, 2014, when corporations are people, some say, although Krugman in the times rebuts

Three men who say they are part of a carpenters union are standing around on Emerson with a banner and say that in San Leandro a company I never heard of is building its new headquarters with non-union labor.

They are standing between the wine bar that used to be an ice cream parlor and the best place in Palo Alto for Venezualan coffee and pitching your next $19 billion app to your b-school buddies or people from your 11-year-old’s play group.

The tie-in — if I believe the shocking pink flyer they handed me — is that a Palo Alto based venture firm (ok, hedge fund –even I am a little unclear on the distinction — I probably do not have to mention that I am not an investor in the firm or the San Leandro low-flying tech start-up — it uses the math symbol of the ratio between circumference and diameter of a circle, a popular irrational, known for a Greek letter, it’s product not its corporate name, excuse the shaggy-dog and non-repeating digression) has offices right there, up the cute little alley, near the mural of the magic dragon.

I did speak to them for about three minutes, took a flyer, and said something vaguely supportive like “I believe in standing up for the rights of the working class”.

They said they had never heard of COPE, the labor headquarters for Santa Clara County — they said they were from Hayward.

Coincidentally or not, Breena Kerr of the Post said, in a brief article about my campaign for City Council of Palo Alto I am “staunchly pro-Union.” Gee, Breena, I don’t know. I am pretty sure I said I was “pro-worker”. I think there is a difference.

I am pro-worker in that I brag of shaking hands once and riding an elevator –two floors, short trip — with Budd Schulberg, author of the book and screenplay “On the Waterfront” (“I coulda been a contender”).

I also wrote a buff piece about William Gould and his love of baseball. He is a Stanford law emeritus and former head of the national labor board, but also the father of two schoolmates from mine at Gunn High.

In fact, when I ran for City Council in 2012 — and got 5,749 votes — I refused to sign a contract offered by Labor orgs that would have pledged me to vote with them in exchange for supporting my campaign. I did sit thru a panel interview — as did Marc Berman — but neither of us got an endorsement. I believe Gail Price is the only recent Council electee who was also endorsed by organized labor.

I am a critic the venture capital and hedge fund communities here, and wonder about their role in policy and land use here — I wrote about that recently and even spoke to a board. (ARB, and that reminds me that they mischaracterized in their minutes what I actually spoke about and I may seek to amend that).

I doubt the efforts of the three men on Emerson will have much impact. In some ways it does as much to raise profile of the target as it does to urge reform or change.

Here is a link to a video about a product of the so-called offensive company

A basic point about my interest in these events is that I believe they are within their first amendment rights to stand around and talk to people like me, and perhaps display that banner (hard to see from the  photo). Meanwhile I am still concerned and researching when restaurant tables encroach on the commons, the sidewalk, perhaps beyond what We The People permit or regulate, which is something I tried to describe to Breena Kerr, in contrast to something her boss Dave Price wrote about “boot on the neck of small business”.

I am more pro-speech than pro-tapas.

COPE is Council of Public Education of the South Bay Labor Council, of which Ben Fields is the head, getting that straight(er).

I also snapped a photo last week of what I thought was a job action, at a mattress outlet here, but was told it was only a photo shoot.

Posted in Plato's Republic, words | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open letter to Diana Diamond: on Arrillaga, et al

Diana, you are on-point here in many ways. I think staff actually supported The Arrillaga Towers proposal to the tune of $500,000 not $250,000.

‘Our Palo Alto” meanwhile, as if we haven’t learned anything, or it is too soon to react, is a $325, 000 slush fund to help the incumbents AND a subsidy to the developers; it is more like a dog-and-pony show selling to the participants than a dialogue or an opportunity for residents to speak up.

When I first heard of the Arrillaga 27 Uni proposal I commented on a blog that council member Pat Burt seemed unconvincing when he said “we are taking the lead here”. In fact, Burt confronted me in person and told me to back down, tried to intimidate me (and did). Little did I know how right I was: he did know things such that his body language belied his words.

Further: Palo Alto city staff used the public interest in the historic 456 University, the Varsity Theatre to sugar-coat the 27 Uni office towers: they suggested adding a theatre to the plan. Staff meanwhile stonewalled an initiative to find a concert-industry tenant for The Varsity.

I like your idea about having a rule against the revolving door, based on San Jose example.

When I was in school they still taught one-person one-vote (I am Gunn High of Palo Alto, 1982; Dartmouth College of Hanover, NH, 1986); when did we switch over to one-dollar one-vote?

When did Democracy become Dollarocracy? How do we switch it back?

b/w (backed with — it’s music ling0) because the computer wanted me to see this:

1.4 million: Current annual number of prescriptions for hydrocodone, a powerful pain reliever, to Bay Area residents.
5.6: Percent of people age 12 and older in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties who take prescription pain relievers for nonmedical purposes.
638,000: Number of California residents age 26 and up who use illicit drugs, excluding marijuana; that’s 2.7 percent of the population
159 per 100,000 population: Number of visits to hospital emergency rooms each year in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties for stimulant abuse; the national average is 30 visits per 100,000 people.

Sources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, data from 2012; City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health

by Patrick May and Heather Somerville, San Jose Mercury News:

Posted in media, Plato's Republic, sex | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers