For a park in Ventura neighborhood on Fry’s site

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Terman Middle School,

0 minutes ago June 19, 2014, after a ridiculous round of offline blather

Maybe your problem is your banana is stuck up your nimby.

Laffer all around.

Unplug.

Posted under their voodoo economics guy’s typical drivel:

 

So how about this: what about purchasing, in the event of Fry’s locating to cheaper and smaller brick-and-mortar site, in Palo Alto or elsewhere nearby for us, the land and turning it into a park, a large park, on the order of our investment, to marvelous effect, of Foothills Park (saving that from the developers at the time) or Arastradero Preserve? Wouldn’t a large park in the Ventura neighborhood help the gradual, organic, inevitable gentrification of that neighborhood, where average home is something like $1 million less than the average in our fair city? Isn’t that a better idea than letting large regional developer make their nut according to their, I can only imagine, pragmatic game-theory-computer-alogorithm? Of course it would involve a nearly unprecedented political will of citizens (and not media, and not current leadership or current Pravda-orient press and their lackeys) standing up to the developers, unprecedented as in every 30 or 40 years — no one remembers the last victory outside of Tom Jordan, Emily Rentzel and Enid Pearson.

How much more effective is stimulus spending on giant park versus relatively self-contained cluster of too dense too expensive housing-easy way to riches?

 

I walked the site the other day, from Ventura Community Center — which I remember as a school, feeding into Terman, the old Terman — to Cali Ave and got into a few nice conversations with the neighbors as I went. I wanted to get a walking feel for how close or far Cali Ave is from Ventura — there is a plan, which we seem to never look at, called California Avenue -Ventura Plan. I also lived on Pepper in a rental house for a couple years, before I got so sucked into the process. Actually, it did help activate me politically: my landlord, the former secretary of one of the largest developers here, and her husband, wanted to quickly dump the property they had held for many, many years, despite my lease, my 6-month renewal, to cash in on a reverse 1031 despite the fact that they were not actually, as the law would specify, trading like-for-like, and I called their bluff in trying to evict me. I recall calling Peter Drekmeir for moral support, to learn, for example, that Palo Alto has no rent board or tenants union and instead has Mandatory Mediation, which actually is a layer to insulate owners from the courts or their tenants, administered by Human Relations Council (which does not actually, as in would in other places, have a Police Advisory Board either – -we have a secret policeman’s club or something like that, if you excuse the digression).

I walked from Ventura past Fry’s all the way to California Avenue to try to picture how things are changing (with or without Jay Paul still salivating over office towers ) and how would a park where Fry’s is chill out the whole area — notwithstanding the Expressway going thru as well. I also posted recently something I never spoke up about at the time, about 400 block Page Mill, creating a small art-park accessible only via Pepper, and some kind of easement with Smith-Andersen Gallery there.

There’s also a plan, which may be fait accompli, about privatizing the public zoned parking lot so that yet one more developer can get his beak wet in the office tower race, at corner of Page Mill and El Camino. “Privatizing” a sub-category of “up-zoning” or vice versa.

Steve Levy’s column in the Weekly, which precipitated this burst, does the narrow-framing trick of saying the debate is between types of growth not types of use, or types of progress. It begs the question of whether rapid growth, what I call a five-year rout, shall continue.

The funny thing about Steve Levy’s column is either the irony or the cognitive dissonance of his flag-waving, “been here since the 1970s” Nixonian-Friedmanesque rhetoric and his downright Stalin-esque tactic of deleting (as in Great Purge) dissent. In my case he deleted not just my quote, from Corey Harris citing St. Peter Gospel, but that I posted at all.

I tag this “Ventura Park” but will revisit the idea of a more propitious name.

edit to add: my comments are verbatim and either have a follower or a troll being sarcastic. I added:

27 University plan includes not adding park like I advocate but raking it back, not to mention I count four War Memorials on the site, not to go too far off subject but you brought it up. I think the Billionaires and their grand ego-fueled plans are bad for America, as a Democracy. But that the 27 Uni plan seems to want to if not piss on than at least bulldoze and pave over the flag in so many literal ways, makes me wonder even more about those guys.

There already is housing on the site if you count the homeless curled up there, reading John Steinbeck “In Dubious Battle” and Jack London “Iron Heel”.

and one:

“It would be interesting for the city to enter discussions with Stanford about housing and amenities at the 27 University site”.

What parallel universe do you live in? The City does not enter discussions — our so-called leadership, elected Council, appointed commissioners and boards and staff, just wait for their marching orders from certain big players — including Stanford –and then do their best to please, like a legion of Cocker Spaniels. No disrespect but just observable phenomenon and fair comment. Jim Keane at least looks and sometimes acts like a Greyhound or some classy hunting dog, combing speed, smarts and charm.

The real estate industry, arguably is a billion dollar entity, well-motiveated well-organized and used to getting its way. It dwarves in size not just our entire government, at about $150 million but the entire pubic sector. The staff segment purportedly regulating that industry, the development office, is about $10 million of that, but they don’t feel their job is to regulate, more like enable, be of service. The industry practically can generate an app or computer program to jump thru the hoops we put up, although they then complain that “The Process” is unfair and unnecessary. QED, the industry is largely unregulated and does what it wants when it wants and how.

Stanford meanwhile, chartered as a school, runs more like a keiretsu, and seems fixated on building, growing, spending and managing it’s $30 Billion asset. The land guys and money guys make more than the professors.

I think we counted 20 or more public officials lining up to, for recent example, cheer on the $5 billion hospital splurge. How long will we all have to live — or die super slowly — to see whether that is worth the effort? No one of any credibility spoke up to question the big picture worth.

We also have some discussion in some neighborhoods about building on College Terrace and Cali Ave more Stanford housing. I wrote somewhere else, I wonder if the Ohlone thought to appeal the Spanish back in 1769.

I almost wrote Kudzu for keiretsu: same difference, hard to stop the growth.

By the way, just wondering, notwithstanding the difference between b.a. in English and PhD in Econ, how does one get a job telling the very powerful what they want to hear? The closest in my work was King Lear and The Fool.

and once more, with feeling:

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park,

1 hour ago

Any progress on determining the combined job:housing numbers for SF, SC & SM Counties?I’ll do the math if I can get a pointer to the data. 

 

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,

0 minutes ago

27 University plan includes not adding park like I advocate but raking it back, not to mention I count four War Memorials on the site, not to go too far off subject but you brought it up. I think the Billionaires and their grand ego-fueled plans are bad for America, as a Democracy. But that the 27 Uni plan seems to want to if not piss on than at least bulldoze and pave over the flag in so many literal ways, makes me wonder even more about those guys.There already is housing on the site if you count the homeless curled up there, reading John Steinbeck “In Dubious Battle” and Jack London “Iron Heel”.”It would be interesting for the city to enter discussions with Stanford about housing and amenities at the 27 University site”.

What parallel universe do you live in? The City does not enter discussions — our so-called leadership, elected Council, appointed commissioners and boards and staff, just wait for their marching orders from certain big players — including Stanford –and then do their best to please, like a legion of Cocker Spaniels. No disrespect but just observable phenomenon and fair comment. Jim Keane at least looks and sometimes acts like a Greyhound or some classy hunting dog, combing speed, smarts and charm.

The real estate industry, arguably is a billion dollar entity, well-motiveated well-organized and used to getting its way. It dwarves in size not just our entire government, at about $150 million but the entire pubic sector. The staff segment purportedly regulating that industry, the development office, is about $10 million of that, but they don’t feel their job is to regulate, more like enable, be of service. The industry practically can generate an app or computer program to jump thru the hoops we put up, although they then complain that “The Process” is unfair and unnecessary. QED, the industry is largely unregulated and does what it wants when it wants and how.

Stanford meanwhile, chartered as a school, runs more like a keiretsu, and seems fixated on building, growing, spending and managing it’s $30 Billion asset. The land guys and money guys make more than the professors.

I think we counted 20 or more public officials lining up to, for recent example, cheer on the $5 billion hospital splurge. How long will we all have to live — or die super slowly — to see whether that is worth the effort? No one of any credibility spoke up to question the big picture worth.

We also have some discussion in some neighborhoods about building on College Terrace and Cali Ave more Stanford housing. I wrote somewhere else, I wonder if the Ohlone thought to appeal the Spanish back in 1769.

I almost wrote Kudzu for keiretsu: same difference, hard to stop the growth.

By the way, just wondering, notwithstanding the difference between b.a. in English and PhD in Econ, how does one get a job telling the very powerful what they want to hear? The closest in my work was King Lear and The Fool.

Have more than thou showest,

Speak less than thou knowest

,
Lend less than thou owest,

Ride more than thou goest,

Learn more than thou trowest

,
Set less than thou throwest

;
Leave thy drink and thy whore,

And keep in-a-door,

And thou shall have more

Than two tens to a score.

Although even Paul Krugman says that if you read King Lear merely as an economics text you are missing a few things.

To answer your question, when I speak of public policy I imagine a “we” not an “I” or a “they” — high school civics 1Ac courtesy of, for me, John Attig and Clayton Leo at Gunn High 1979-1981 circa. So “I” or “I and I” are not going to pay for this, other than fair show of taxes, to Feds and State, and I pay rent. And I shop, sometimes too much. For instance, as I write this, I am in a public house, having a cafe and bagel, $6.35, or about 50 cent to public coffers, although I crossed the creek to Menalto, not to make this too much more of a shaggy dog story, to continue (one of) my metaphors. So I am imagining that if the majority of the 60,000 citizens, and or 15,000 households, or 20,000 registered voters agreed that there is something to adding a park and slowing the “smart growth” or stalling ABAG or whatever, we could work it out, as the Beatles might say. (not quite a dog reference, I admit.. I could joke and say Beagles).

Column by column you, in my opinion, frame the debate in false terms: smart growth versus dumb growth (Duh!), fast growth versus super fast growth, dense versus superdense. There are people who want no growth. There could be moratoriums. And yes there could be condemnation if there were will. It’s part of Democracy. It’s in our tool kit.

And again, who besides Stalin is so quick to purge the world of dissent, as you do? Which is a comment on your tactics and not your person, and not an ad hominem attack. It’s a defense, like in chess.

 

I fouled out right around here, an hour in, and after missing first half of Belgium-Algeria:

Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,

0 minutes ago

When you say “this is not the blog for you” do you mean “blog” as in Steve Levy Invest or Die or do you mean “post” as in “Smart is SMART”? Are you saying that there is a litmus test, a compliance to ABAG, and that people who don’t see it the way you do should not read your writings period and certainly not comment? Or are you merely saying, did you actually mean to say something like “your ideas might fit in better if I chose to write on that topic some time in the future”?

Or are you saying The Palo Alto Weekly is basically an organ for the developers and its part of its deliberate editorial slant so don’t come here expecting objectivity or reporting or even fair play in its blogs? That I agree with. Further, I think the Weekly misses badly on a lot of its stories: about Happy Donuts, about Gunn Graffiti, and Karen Holman/ZaneMcGregor/”company-housing” – so maybe you are saying that if I care about Democracy, Palo Alto and the Fourth Estate I should take my eyeballs to one of the other 10 billion home pages on the internet.

Or you could be saying: write this on your own stinkin’ blog, as I do (I have 2,000 words on this topic including an archive off all the things you are deleting):

Web Link

It’s called Plastic Alto, which is a jazz reference.

I also fyi or for your trolls and occasional readers, have a lot of these ideas as a public record due to having three times applied for either Planning and Transportation or Library commissions, plus occasional letter to council. Some things written to staff may be public record, I’m not sure.

I think your comments on the Asian community and Yiaway Yey in recent documents are paternalistic, patronizing and borderline white supremacist, by the way. I plan to explicate that point later. Do you even know Yiaway Yeh?

edit to add, two months later, 30 days into my campaign for City Council:

I am sitting at PARC meeting, walking past 200 people at Reposado and a Giants game on at Old Pro. Waiting my item on the agenda, I posted to Weekly site:

from May, 2011, but people have commented this year:

See also draft white paper by Parks and Rec commission, August, 25:

“we are already 25 acres behind in our per capita goal” by the Comp Plan, so I say, and have said at Scoping, PATC (twice) and plan to tonight at PARC, let’s turn Fry’s into a new major park.

It’s 15 acres.

What is the will of the people: 500 new condos or a new park?

Guessing from comments above: parks in a landslide.

Who’s in charge here?

WE ARE.

more: Mary Ann Azevedo in Bizjournals.com said that the deal was a reported $80 M, and is part of a move north by Sobrato, whose asset-base is mostly South County, although John Sorbrato lives in Menlo Park. Also, I left a voice mail for Chase Lyman, the former St. Francis, Cal and NFL star who works there.

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About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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