Gunn graffiti update or lack thereof, with Herrman here

I am still researching and trying to get traction on the purported “graffiti hate crime” of May, 2014, that included, as was reported in the Oracle and perhaps here “Thank God Villalobos is gone”.

I wrote a letter to Chief Dennis Burns about this, and he said he got it but otherwise has not responded. Likewise I left a message with a contact in Herrman’s office (Herrman replaces Katya Villalobos, the subject of some of the graffiti). By the way, and probably a red herring, Vicki Nguyen of Channel Four news has a report about Palo Alto Police airing tomorrow Tuesday.

My impression, based on some research, is that the perpetrator was a student and someone who did not feel part of the Gunn success story. His actions were inappropriate but I have a hard time believing his message, albeit odious, is not protected by the First Amendment. Or do we really think “scared straight” will do him good? (Certainly he is responsible for the damage per se as distinct from the content of his message).

For me personally, that my parents moved here so I could attend these schools (Fremont Hills, Terman, Gunn) was one of the greatest privileges I have been offered. I do try to keep tabs, as an alum but not a parent and help where I can. I am following the school board race, for instance.

Go, Titans. Good luck Dr. Herrman.

Mark Weiss
Gunn 1982

I will admit in print if, sadly, I am wrong and the authorities, press and the system are right about the case.

Response to Chris Kenrick in Weekly on new Gunn chief.

Also, and this is maybe a quibble or red herring here, I am alarmed by commercialization and corporate creep into the public sector and schools: I notice the mention of the software/search sponsored event you name, Chris, albeit the local and ubiquitous firm. I’d rather pay our teachers more and not buy the latest gear.

It’s still very Channel One to me and problematic.

(I make similar complaints about Palo Alto libraries and their letting corporations use us as branding and market; I criticize Council and staff for using public meetings for such; I am a stickler on this. No logo and all that).

Anyhoo, good luck to Denise.

four months later:
Months later I have decided to close out this case rather than push for light to be shed and a remedy.

Another believable theory emerged that rather than a “hate crime” the vandal was, beyond being engaged in prayer and making protected political commentary, was also a whistle blower.

I’m gonna leave it at that. But I think The Weekly could do better. You should delete the comment speculating on what offensive words the writer had created, who as a group he or she might have been attacking.


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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