Let my dog pee where the app and property rights (Ventura Park)

Let our dogs pee, at new park in the Ventura District

Let our dogs pee, at new park in the Ventura District

Not to be baited too easily, and I do note that my relationship with Dr. Levy is experiencing a type of glasnost, I worry that when people say “property rights” they are somehow commingled with the “corporations are people” crowd, which I admit, includes the majority of the Roberts court.

Do you mean that a pile of gold, for example, which weighs 10 ounces has a “right” to grow to be a pile of gold someday weighing, for instance 20 ounces?

I spoke to a Tim Steele of The Sobrato Organization the other day on the instant matter of the 15-acre parcel in Ventura and he seemed to be in that exact camp, that the purported $80 million his firm spent on that land — and the lease of Fry’s — seems to have its own right to become, for instance, a $500 million property if he or they build 500 homes there, such that he seemed taken aback that a mere citizen, one of only 60,000 such entities, would imply that it is not inevitable, this growth or alchemy. But I say the opposite, that if enough voters (maybe 20,000 of us here) choose via the Democratic process a pro-resident and in the instant case a pro-Parks council, with five of nine seats at play, so to speak, that indeed we could have some input and maybe if not 15 acres than how about 8 acres of park and maybe something the size of Villa Torino in St. James Park (Sobrato built and manages or owns)?

As it stands and in the current real estate rout they are probably figuring on 500 homes and a patch a grass suitable for one dog to pee on, by appointment. There’s probably an app for that: Let My Dog Pee Where?

Did I mention I am running for Palo Alto City Council, and this discussion came out of Our Palo Alto scoping meeting at Elks Lodge some months ago, Dr. Levy and I in same “scope”?

and one:

If I was Leland and not Steve Levy, I would write a song parody about a dog’s right to pee, based on the Negro Spiritual “Go Down Moses”:

When Spaniards were in Ohlone land,
Let my Frida pee…

(Frida was our beloved Cocker Spaniel who was deaf and blind but could navigate Downtown North and Johnson Park by an uncanny sense of smell, and did, several times a day, relieve her bladder on public and sometimes discretely private lands, such as tree-lawns in front of houses).

Maybe I will write the rest of this, in honor of 2019 the 250th anniversary of Portola finding El Palo Alto, and sing it at council, although I am not Paul Robeson. I skew younger than Leland Levy, however.

And it is true that I am doing a be-baited-and-switch in that when I heard from Steele of Sobrato, he had been flipped my call, apparently by Chase Lyman his associate and the former St. Francis, Cal and NFL receiver, to whom I had left a message suggesting that a park in Ventura could, for instance be a home to the venerable Palo Alto Knights pee-wee (!) football organization, and then here I switch to dog lovers not football…My bad. Woof. Woof.

Interestingly, Tim Steele I reference, senior development for Sobrato, in 2000 was in outreach for City of San Jose and worked on a Sobrato project there, for the public sector (sort of like our Steve Emslie revolving door to a land use lobbyist). As Hunter S. Thomsons said, when the going gets tough, the weird turn pro:

From SJ Business Journals archive, 2000:

Cisco will build its 6.6 million square feet across the street; and once they get started, then I’m sure the market pressures will be in [John Sobrato’s] favor,” said Tim Steele, manager of corporate outreach for the San Jose Office of Economic Development.

And this fits perfectly in my blog’s coverage of these types of things, if not in Levy’s or Bill Johnson’s wheel-house.

I am suggesting we look into a large park in Ventura District, on land that Sobrato reportedly bought for $80M.

My gold piles story was rhetorical. But yes elements are elements, people are people, and neither piles of gold nor corporations should have the rights of people.

I think equating the rights of the 1 Percent to make the greatest profit with the Civil Rights of blacks is pretty insulting, to all of us.

I’ve also said and will continue to say that leadership here should be brokering a deal with the owners of Buena Vista mobile home park, despite a gag order issued by city attorney Molly Stump, telling us to not talk about it.

Other than that, thanks, Stev,e for this week’s Talmud lesson and good luck next week, Shavuah tov.

Remind me, did Solomon suggest we split the baby or did he yank out its teeth so that his descendants could sell them on EBay,?


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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