I’ve just seen a face


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Gunn rooter honors former player

Gunn vs. Paly, winter, 2015

Gunn vs. Paly, winter, 2015

As a former Gunn basketball player, I noted with interest that other Gunn rooters, parents or neighbors of current students, told me that Cameron Lee, who took his own life in November, was a basketball player, and likely Varsity player. His first cousins, it was pointed out, are the two Lee-Heidenreich boys, who were among the most skilled and at times, outright beautful players on Gunn’s team, which won 22 games.

At the Gunn-Paly game February 7, I shot the above photo: the rooter’s shirt seems to say LEE #14. I presume it is a tribute to his former schoolmate. I was touched, and wanted to share this.lee14

edit to add: a team of 3 student journalists posted this “live blog” account of the night, which has more than 200 posts and close to 2,000 words. It was a memorable evening, and despite my partisanship, we acquitted ourselves well as a community. I’d still like to hear some perspectives on the use of our national anthem as a taunt, or what was it? And not to distract from the eloquence of Cameron’s friend.

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Social Justice in Palo Alto & Mountain View

Judge Ladoris Cordell of Palo Alto, also a former council member

Judge Ladoris Cordell of Palo Alto, also a former council member

“Evil man make me kill you, baby; evil man make you kill me, baby” Jimi Hendrix, “Machine Gun” 1970

Ladoris Cordell highlights a panel discussion Wednesday evening in nearby Mountain View, along with state senator Joe Simitian and four or five others. The topic is how are we different or alike Ferguson, Missouri, which is actually about 2,000 miles away.joes

I wrote to Ladoris on this topic last August and also spoke on this in a 3-minute address to Palo Alto City Council. During my campaign for City Council (which yielded 2,100 votes), I quoted Nina Simone aobut what it would like to be free.
From a note I wrote to the Judge:

Perhaps extraneously, I recall being at City Council a few years ago and Pam Wimberly the coach at Menlo-Atherton but I believe either a Palo Altan or married to one, she was sitting near me, accepting an accommodation about 400 wins or something{actually 600, and as of 1993 she is also in the San Mateo Sports Hall of Fame} and that same night mothers of young people from Ventura District in Palo Alto were speaking, 3 minutes each, complaining that the PAPD were following their boys and I leaned over to the coach, after I had earlier introduced myself and described myself as a Hans Delannoy former player — my coach I believe played with or against her husband, and maybe Hans coaching ladies in East Bay coached against Pam — I said, “Do these people sound believable?” and she whispered back “Yes. They follow my children, too”).¬†

I believe in a type of self-policing and self-governenance that in theory at least would involve a gradual continuum from Neighborhood 
Watch or “It takes a village” up thru men and women in blue, in ‘the color of authority”. I would hope more Gunn and Paly young men and women would aspire to be Palo Alto public safety officers and agents and leadership AND more PA public safety could afford to and would want to live here. I would want a dialogue about such topics here.”

Last week I had 10 minutes in front of 8 current council members as part of the interview process for Palo Alto’s Human Relations Commission.*

Seated or not, I imagine continuing to speak out, in my own voice, and work in my own manner towards a more perfect union.

On these general topics I also recall meeting an exceptional Stanford Student, Shelby Sinclair who is among the leadership there of student input into college governance on these matters; if she were able to attend tomorrow’s event, the others gathered would surely benefit from hearing her perspectives.

This is Shelby: I also have a picture of her holding a sign, after the march on Palo Alto, that reads “DO SOMETHING”; and I sat with that sign, several times at Lytton Place (which is searchable here in Plastic Alto, but I do not offer a ping-back):

Student leader Shelby Sinclair of Stanford

Student leader Shelby Sinclair of Stanford

Jimi also dedicates the song I reference “to all the soldiers on the streets of Berkeley, and the soldiers in Vietnam and to everyone fighting a battle within himself.”

Meanwhile, I want to read up on Mayor Karen Holman’s white paper on civic engagement. The implication would be: more civic engagement from the rank and file Palo Alto, 500 or so people stepping up, leaning in and speaking out, might be remedial of the recent status quo, which seems to have let a special interest, commercial real estate cartel — if this is not too simple a model — to displace a more thorugh reckoning on various issues and situations including or especially social services (and justice). Case in point, newly promoted Director of Human Services Rob DeGeus told me recently that his department has shrunk by 30 percent, from 100 people to about 70, in his tenure as staff; And there has been a drain of good people, for instance, Kash Alaee being re-assigned from Recreation Department to the Development office; With due respect to Mayor Karen, an ally, I both endorsed and voted for her, I think she should start by taking office hours, as her five immediate predecessors did, and also, she should answer her doorbell when it rings, or there is a knock on the door. (Low tech, old school; in contrast, a cluster of “Millenial” commissioners are suggesting that we conduct government via a social media platform; Wednesday’s interviews were actually set up more for the archived camera than for the public per se in person; one guy, Jeff Hoel, attended the hearing, which was in a new chamber adjacent to the lobby of city hall).

Besides my laptop word-processor and magic lantern, I am packing George Packer “The Unwinding” whose central metaphor suggests that the Democracy gap (the difference between what we say we do and what we actually do) can be remedied by more people putting more energy into the process, especially to combat the corrupting and corrosive influence and effect of money, the concentration of wealth, the creation of a “1 Percent” super-class. (Wow: 500 reviews on leading market-social media page: here

Meanwhile there are now two music events and Earthwise topics I have on my radar; continuing a tug-of-war between the two distinct modes of conduct that have carried me along these recent 23 years (I count off from the day Rodney King came on tv, said “Can’t we get along?”, the network cut to a Chrysler commercial, and I switched off the tv, packed up my apartment and moved back to this area; I’ve been a fugitive, not unlike Harrison Ford as Richard Kimble, from corporate American and consumeristic values: the one-armed man is Moloch, alias Mammon).

And back on authors, as distinct from critiques of electronic media, if that is implied: I did see Bryan Stevenson do an author reading here recently, or nearby. And Ralph Nader, in 2012(“17 Solutions“).

Social justice topics I have glossed here in Plastic Alto and or tried to bring to the public forum include, but are not limited to: Buena Vista, Fergusen, Stevenson House, Albert Beltran and Jim Hardy (veterans issues), First Amendment rights and Lytton Plaza, teen suicide, tenants rights, single payer health care?


I pick up my axe and fight like, a farmer, a writer, an artist, a lover:

*I’m at 2:11 to 2:21 here, if you are curious, responding to prompts from Kniss, Scharf and Dubois.

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Fire on the Mountain > Estimated Prophet (Bill Monning w. Jerry Hill)

If you send me a jpg. of you Senator Bill Monning at the Jerry Garcia Archive, with the hand statue, I will post it to my blog, Plastic Alto. I’m a concert promoter in Palo Alto who has run for City Council here three consecutive times, plus I’ve put in for commissions now five times (with a pending application for Human Relations Commission current, may be seated tonight). I’m an 8-time loser by some accounts, but as Jerry would say “at least I’m enjoying the ride.”

Saw GD at Laguna Seca.

Mark Weiss
Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto
Plastic Alto blog

I’m also, for what it’s worth a former Nelson Rockefeller Center Fellow in Public Policy at Dartmouth College; my first Dead show I went with eventual U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul…at the Greek, spring 1982, not that I have kept up that relation very well…cool guy however

Senator Hill:
I just wrote to your colleague Bill Monning about his rumored interest in the music of the Peninsula and San Mateo based rock band, The Grateful Dead and wanted to post a photo I saw on his social media page, posed at their archive in his district, at UC-Santa Cruz, to my blog called Plastic Alto, which covers everything from real-time reports on Palo Alto counci and commissions to record reviews. I want to give you equal time, if you have a favorite San Mateo County rock band, I can write about for my blog. Conversely, if you do not, I’d be happy to write you a white-paper on the history of rock music in your district or the county.

I think of you as a sports guy, you told me you playd football at (San Mateo High^). (I told you to check out watson filikitonga, the current star there, we met at a campaign kickoff here, in PA at 433 Kingsley)

I hope this is not too frivolous.

Mark Weiss
Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto
Plastic Alto blog
(former candidate, 3X, for Palo Alto city council — I’m actually thinking about making a try at Assembly 24, Rich Gordon’s seat, to the left or more independent than the people who have announced)

regarding the video, I may have been at that show, June of 1989. I definitely saw one or two shows of that series, urged on by David Cherner and his AWBY crew; I drove down with a guy named Jon who was a hotel broker, to my advertising copywriter. “Fire on the Mountain” stands out in that “long distance runner” describes my “persistance” (Liz Kniss’s word, although I am not sure she meant it as a compliment) in this six-year process of “civic engagement”, and “Estimated Prophet” McNally highlights and Monning on his social media page suggests it. “At least I’m enjoying the ride” I think of as late-Dead and post-prime but its embedded in my gray matter, from “Hell in a Bucket”. Maybe I will update, sussing around the setlists and the video file, if you don’t have a full three hours to listen in and travel back in time, or you can (suss).

and1: at 1:48:48 they say “like an angel, in a shaft of light”

andand: The note is real, although moot: I figured out later that it was cut-and-pastable although rightly it should probably have permission, or they could ask me to take it down from here. I also cut out the two people Senator Monning was standing with, including Nick Meriwether, the archivist, who I recently corresponded with. And, yeah, it’s a little weird to post correspondences which were previously or otherwise private. A real deadhead would know if and how and the frequency of “Fire>Estimated”, but I don’t.

State Senator Bill Monning of Carmel, and a Jerry Garcia monument, in Santa Cruz, circa 2013, from his social media page, permission pending or asked for, (detail)

State Senator Bill Monning of Carmel, and a Jerry Garcia monument, in Santa Cruz, circa 2013, from his social media page, permission pending or asked for, (detail)

^ a couple hour later it dawned on me that Jerry Hill more likely told me that he played football for Balboa High in SF (coincidentally, where Jerry Garcia a few years ahead of him, attended and dropped out). He may have said he played against OJ, at Galileo. I am more certain I told him that San Mateo had the big back, maybe not future Heismann quality, but worth noting, WF. Or via follow up. I also recall meeting and maybe mentioned to Hill, that at an author event that Kamala Harris attended her driver told me he was of that vintage and played for Galileo. I walked Jerry to his car, and have met him three or four times, but it is not what I’d term a developed relationship. The first time I met him was at a Camille Townsend event.

edit to add, the next day: it also dawns on me that Theatreworks has closing a production, a bluegrass vehicle of the same name, and that it goes back to a 1928 traditional song (which Robert Hunter the lyricist probably knew, even if he is not referencing), a Charlie Daniels cd, an Edward Abbey book. Have not heard back from either politico –not surprisingly, although I did hear from the archivist at UC Santa Cruz, who I copied here. I also spoke once with the curator of SM History museum about creating a show around great rock bands of the county.

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Fox Theatre butt lift

Baby got back, rather: hearing in RWC April 28 to add 60,000 sq ft five story office space to back of historic theatre

Baby got back, rather: hearing in RWC April 28 to add 60,000 sq ft five story office space to back of historic theatre

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Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, Tracy Chapman says


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Who are we if we permit Buena Vista closure and relocation of 100 families?

this is at 2:00:30 of the four hour public hearing archived by City of Palo Alto regarding BVMP; for  2 minutes

this is at 2:00:30 of the four hour public hearing archived by City of Palo Alto regarding BVMP; for 2 minutes

I admit I just viewed three times my 2 minute address to Council during the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park closure hearings.

Who are we if we permit this to happen? (Following the leads, separately, of John Barton and

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