Don’t get your Dauber down (note to self)

Ken Dauber

Ken Dauber

I was pleased to meet Ken Dauber at the farmer’s market today, and that he signed my petition for Palo Alto City Council. (It does not imply an endorsement, merely qualifies me for the ballot; I would hope to earn his vote over the next several months, and perhaps his endorsement).

As I understand it, Ken Dauber is a local parent and homeowner who has taken an exceptionally keen interest in our schools. He ran for School Board in 2012 and got 15,000 votes. (Heidi Eberling got about fifteen thousand and one, and won).

His group is called We Can Do Better. I think that being a Gunn graduate is one of the biggest privileges I have been offered, in 50 years here (on Earth, I’ve spent about 32 years, on and off, in this community, or roughly since 1974, backing out four years in Hanover, New Hampshire while at Dartmouth, and four years in San Francisco, as the world’s most conflicted ad guy, and three years in Chicago, where I was born, and six years in Saratoga, where I did K-4 at Foothill Elem).

I think our schools are very good, maybe not quite what they were pre-Serrano Priest and Prop 13, but yes, I agree with Ken that we can do better. Always.

Maybe it’s just me to I am also thinking of Roger Craig when he was the Giants’ baseball manager and he had an expression — I think about self-esteem: Don’t Get Your Dauber Down.

Anyhoo, I look forward to trading notes with Ken Dauber the education activist and leader as we both proceed in our respective campaigns, he for School Board and me for Council.

rogercraig(I am especially curious to hear his thoughts on the “Gunn graffiti hate crime case” — strictly put, I am wondering about lenience for the young man whose misguided act in May, 2014 was surely offensive but dubiously criminal. I wrote to Dennis Burns Chief of Police seeking more information on the actual content of said-crime; the Gunn Oracle reports that one message read “Thank God Villalobos is leaving” Sounds more like a prayer than a threat, but I’m a reform, mustard not mayo type. Let’s teach our kids better, not lock them up. Ken?)

Speaking of which — and this is after all my blog and for now at least my second life cushy campaign headquarters for my Chicago-style deep dish political operations — I enjoyed meeting these fellow citizens — maybe they don’t realize that their names will become a public document that can be inspected at City Clerk Donna Grider’s office — I’m willing to redact if one of you reads your name here and would prefer more privacy, but I did enjoy meeting so all six of you:

Nancy Pleibel (whose actually a friend and neighbor, and is teaching me about the vast world right of McCloskey, although we often talk baseball, I think she might remember Roger Craig, and may have seen him pitch); Lynn Rubinson or Robinson, everyone knows her from St. Michael’s — its a cafe not a church, for you greenhorns; Scottie Zimmerman, who with Jeremy Robinson were telling us about Frankie the dog and his or her cataracts, or lack thereof, thanks to Friends of Palo Alto Shelter – -and I promise to take a tour and bug City Manager Jim Keane to do so also, my two fellow candidates, Eric Filseth and Tom Dubois, who shared a table, and our hosting an invite-only event in Professorville next week which they invited and then dis-invited me to. I signed Eric’s page, and he just may earn my vote. Tom has an inside track for that, if I had to choose between them.  Check back on these pages for all of above

edit to add: and this started as a simple little shout out to Dauber, but like a lot of things on the internet – and he should know, being a Google honcho — they sprawl out. So here is something I posted on PaloAltoVille a website somehow connected to PASZ Palo Alto Sensible Zoning — 411 likes on popular social media site — and thought would  go discretely to leadership of the org or webmaster of the site but for whatever reason it is staying public (Eric Filseth it seems is on the board to this fledgling NGO, which came out of the Maybell Referendum — I vote for but did not work on, and running for office):

Meanwhile, if you’ve read the Grand Jury Report, of June 16, 2014 you could argue that Karen Holman is as culpable as Scharff and Shepard about the corruption evidenced by the two projects it describes. Although I tend to agree with Karen more often than I do with Scharff and Shepherd, I am not sure that people don’t want more change than merely a self-described shift toward ‘residentialism”. It almost looks like Karen is using Eric and Tom as a shield; maybe she is sinking them all. Or, alternately, you could argue that PASZ if it offers a slate of candidates — and the Weekly is practically already describing it as such,100 plus days before the election — you could say there has already been some compromise between the Establishment to defuse or diffuse the reform. Their enthusiastic greeting of the Filseth-Dubois-Kuo quasi-slate smacks of their backing of Berman, who is reality is way right of his press, Scharff in 2009 who they let describe himself as a “country lawyer” and not the more factual “real estate lawyer…and developer”.

Or how much is PASZ willing to spend on the Weekly to get its way?

Karen, to my mind, and she is a sort of ally, will have to come clean on what she did or did not do regarding 27 Uni and what she was thinking, and there are two or three other things she said or did that I never got her story on, before I would support her. It’s far more tempting and probably expedient to push the issue of GJ and throw her along with Scharff and Shepherd under the bus, or try to.

I am disappointed better candidates have not stepped forward.

I’d appreciate if whoever reads this memo identifies him or herself to me.

PASZ is a promising development but let’s not build a castle with five bricks, or please don’t claim you’ve cornered the market on change, reform or dissent.

This is more about my curiosity about PASZ then a reaction to Eric Filseth per se so perhaps better if this is stored internally and not kept viewable. Most blogs are moderated before they are made public. Not that I don’t stand by these ideas but they are not meant as public attacks.
Or you can leave this up, I guess, and let Eric respond, but that was not my intention. I think of PASZ as a type of arbiter but not a hegemony.

Don’t get me wrong I’d like to cultivate supporters among the membership of PASZ or as an organization — and I presume many of them voted for me in 2012 — but it looks like deals are already made. And I’m pointing out some obvious flaws.

and this, I posted on July 23, pretty late in eve:

I pulled papers to run for Council. I presume I am running to the left of corporate types like Eric and Tom and to a realtor like Lydia. I actually like Lydia, she sold my brother’s house.

I may vote for all 3 of them, but they have yet to earn my vote, or support.

Mark Weiss

I think I am the only Gunn or Paly grad in the race…

I did not work on Measure D, but did have discussions during that period with Maurice Green and Tim Gray. I met Ken Scholz when he rang our buzzer.

A lot of people will vote for me before Filseth, Dubois or Kuo.

Tim Gray and I were the only people willing to stand up in 2012 for “residentialist” ideals. In some ways we paved the way for the referendum, or where I am wrong about that?

Why does PASZ think it speaks for all Palo Altans? It seems a little inbred to me…

By the way, I’ve posted in other places that I like what I’ve seen of Cheryl L — if she ran, I’d vote for her.

Meanwhile Jason Green of the Merc / Daily news has this in today’s paper: “Four more pull nomination papers for city council race: At least 2 newcomers will get seats, with (Gail) Price opting out, (Larry) Klein termed out”. Which is overall a better treatment of me than what I saw in the Weekly, commented on, and spoke with the reporter. So the 11 are: Mark Weiss, Eric Filseth, Tom Dubois, Karen Holman (i), Lydia Kuo, Richard Wendorf, Victor Frost, Hans Gregory Scharff (i), Nancy Shepherd (i), “John Karl Friedrich” (that cannot be right – I have him as John Fredrich), and Seelam Reddy (to whom I offered, via the blogs, the tagline “I’m Reddy R U?”). I’m somehow predicting one more to pull but only 11 on the ballot.

When I ran into Greg Schmid the other day he indicated he had read my post, in other realms, that fewer than 10 candidates would be Palo Alto’s way of indicating it was throwing in the towel, on Democracy.

Yesterday at Withers’ hamburger joint – I was there for the milkshake, in 85 degree heat, I met a math professor named Rich Peterson who signed my petition and gave me a clue on Riemann, and a man named Garrett told me in passing he is for small government and no pensions. (He said he lives nearby but hopefully soon will be moving to a hand-made cabin in Montana). Firm grip, his hands at least.

Meanwhile, Karen had written me a brief note via email; it is brief enough that I don’t feel bad moving it from private to public, and it rebuts what I had posted (that which I thought was private but is actually public — I presume I will see Karen in person in good time and give us of us a chance to re-set with the other):

HI, Mark.
I did speak out about the Arrillaga proposal on a number of occasions, both to staff and in public.
I surely hope that my 13 years standing up and speaking out is not forgotten so easily.
Take good care.


Ah, Democracy. (In describing this, and Karen, I think with Dubois, I had referred to her service, in Council and on Planning as “15 years”, but I do like the ring of 13, my old Gunn Titans hoops jersey number).

Don’t get your dauber down!

By the way, if you type “gunn” into the internal search function here at Plastic Alto, you can sort of sort out my thoughts on local ed, that plus girls softball and wrestling. If you tap the “Plato’s Republic” tag on the right column, you might find that close to 200 of the first 800 posts here are loosely speaking, on policy as much or more than music. This be a hybrid. Give it a drive.

edit to add, again: I like this photo of Ken, more than what was used in 2012, which I thought made him appear stern. I said to Owen Byrd, via email that maybe Ken would look good in a Kangol.

About 40 bucks, might get him another 500 votes: do the math, bro.

edit to add, an hour later, but two hours before leaving to see Tempest, a Celtic rock band, by bike, at Rinconada Park: I apologize to Ken Dauber for making my little shout-out that much more of a hot mess — Democracy is not for the tidy — but I posted about 300 more words on Palo Alto Weekly responding to trolls, including “Seriously?” — that’s her pen-name, I think — who called me out, and presumably had it deleted — that I mistook her for a man and said “man up”, responding to her, and my point that the discourse is made worse by the nature of anonymous or pseudonymous posting. Here is my reply:

I didn’t notice your curves.

I think of my country as a she but vitriolic, cynical and cowardly blog trolls as “he”. That’s how my mother raised me, I guess.

The point would have been moot, if under your own name you said “With due respect I doubt you have the community support and skill set of Sid Espinosa”…

But duly noted. For the record I am not a sexist.

This is ludicrous. How do I know you are a woman and not a man pretending to be a woman to catch me in this trap? (Which apparently you’ve also tagged and has been deleted, the offending sexist comment. It’s actually a compliment to women that I don’t imagine your post to be written by a woman).

I was also responding to an aggregate of anonymous attacks along various lines, which to me sounded like macho male-type locker-room slurs.

But seriously “Seriously?”, who in particular do you think I should drop out of the race and support?.

If you read my blog, talk to any of the 4,300 hundred people who voted for me in the past (it might be 5,000, if a different 700 voted for me in 2009), talk to current and past council and commissioners (including my girlfriend Terry Acebo Davis, a two-term arts commissioner) or my parents, you will find I am a viable candidate. You are free to disagree with me on the issues and not vote for me, or on any criteria.

But I would say closer to the truth, compared to the framing here, is that I am in the tradition of Gary Fazzino, Joe Simitian and Yiaway Yeh as people who were nominated by their peers and teachers to be in student leadership, in my case at Terman and Gunn, and then later in life offered to be involved in local self-governance of Palo Alto.

I am the only candidate in the race who is a product of local schools. I am also a Dartmouth grad. It’s not Stanford but it has a proud history of training people for public service. (Melissa Baten Caswell, of PAUSD trustees, is a Dartmouth class, 1986).

I’m certain if I were a realtor I would get more press and more “love” here. Earthwise Productions, my concert company, was a cover story in the Weekly, not so long ago.

Anyhow, feel free to comment here, on my own blog, Plastic Alto, or approach me if you see me around, between now and November 5.


edit to add five hours, a Giants loss and a few slices of pizza later:

went back to PaloAltoVille site – which is probably not the PASZ homepage — to complete the circle and describe and link to my Against D “Fox Says Ding” campaign:

I did work on an Against D campaign but it never got off the ground:
at a friend’s early Halloween Party, i.e. about a month before referendum voting, I became aware of a fad in the form of a talking and dancing Fox from Norway who says “Ding”. An artist and I created a suite of stickers featuring this character that we wanted to be used as the mascot of the referendum or a potential folk icon who is in general the nemesis of development. I also wrote a long post in support of Margot Davis’ idea of preserving the same site for the orchard, as an educational asset.

Here is info on my “Fox Says ‘Ding'” campaign:

Not sure how I started to believe that PaloAltoVille was the PASZ website but, I thought I would round out this round of posts. Tom and Eric have been giving me funny looks but not sure if its because they have read these posts.


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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