Gaspar y yo

A Fiskars blue, not unlike the one that Jack Porterhouse uses

A Fiskars blue, not unlike the one that Jack Porterhouse uses

Steve Staiger, historian, greeted Jack Porterhouse, avid archivist and a whiz with a Fiskars — our version of Edward Scissorhands — and since I happened to be sharing a table with Jack, at Downtown Library — I hit up Steve with my latest whimsy:

I am applying for Historic Resources Board, and would he back my claim that the four week period in October, 2013 in which I was at H-1 (now K-7) every Tuesday, 4-8 and Thur, 1-5 as an ad hoc “junior historian” qualify me for a reserved seat on the board.

He said “sure”.

I am, if you are an avid reader of Plastic Alto you already know, running for City Council, but I figure sitting down and thinking hard — composing thoughts, maybe even some editing — about 1769 to 2014 will do me some good. You also get about 10 minutes in front of 8 and sometimes 9 council members (although it was 8 when I applied for Planning and Transportation Commission a couple clicks ago, as Larry Klein took that time to excuse himself from the room) to let them hear your thoughts.

I wrote a 20,000 word history of jazz here. A copy of which is on file at Palo Alto Historical Association, if you excuse the Bertrand Russell set of all sets reference therein embedded.

And speaking of brevity, brief candles, ironic, iconic or otherwise, last night I set a Politico efficiency record in that I walked into Policy and Standards (a council subcommittee) at 7:01, ascertained in a flash that they were talking about, or as it happened had just concluded talking about — the screen had the name of a large corporation in that realm — “social media’ or “social media strategy” filled out, or half-filled out a card, asked to speak, Greg Scharff of all people set “Let the man speak” to chair Gail Price — and I said gesturing “inch” or “close” with my hands, “I’ll be brief, one minute” and then I approached the mike and said something about how although I was one of the first PAUSD students, back in 1974, at Fremont Hills, to be brought to the district office to use the HP 3000 (or was it HP 2000?), and have been using computers therefore for three-fourths no four-fifths of my life, I actually, in keeping with Jerry Mander and William Davidow, of Mohr Davidow who wrote “Overconnected” about “feedback” think we should be “cautious” with our social media plan. And then I sat down and within 30 seconds concluded that, as Sam Adams would say, there is nothing further at this meeting to advance our country/city, and left. So that’s 1 minute of being heard in 2 minutes of sitting around, compared to Monday night when I spoke twice for 3 minutes a spell in a meeting that started at 6 and went until about 11:30 pm. Comparing 50 percent efficacy of my time to 6 minutes out of 5.5 hours, 330 minutes or less than 2 percent efficacy; so I was more than 20 times as efficient with my time yesterday. And that, rather than a reduction of council from 9 to 7 or elimination of a commission or board would speed up and maybe improve our self-governance. Think fast and be brief. That, and a Weissbier as Eric Rosenbloom and his Palo Alto Forwards are advocating (ok, so Monday was also atypical, in that I was in and out of council and 250 paces to Scotty’s and chugged two biers, a weissbier and something domesticated but you get the idea. It takes longer to explain this than it did to do it. And I have been consistently on record about not playing to the hand of the computers cartel, or to corporate interests too easily. Not to be a (Philip K.) dick.

3. I was going to report on the PADBid meeting. Nice meeting you, Rita Comes (co-mess) Whitney of C is For Craft on Bryant (where PAPAC Nia Taylor works). more TK but first pre-empted thrice by



Good point about my imprecise reference to my constitutional rights vis a vis theirs: the Weekly can pretty much say what it wants and tells us that 250 Hamilton is made, like a Wallace Stegner story, out of rock candy, if that will sell ad space and not completely alienate readers.

Pat Burt meanwhile says that when I criticize him, an elected official and public figure — or call him a “pussy bully” that it is slander, and I told him personally, at the Mads Tolling concert that what I do is protected by First Amendment and is not “reckless disregard for the truth…actual malice”. (Ok, I have not actually called him a “pussy” meaning coward or “bully” to his face, and likely will not)

Meanwhile, plot thickens in that apparently I am blacklisted from posting under Jason Green’s article in the Mercury/Daily News.

A review of the recently released ROI documents on 27 University show that Pat Burt was among the leading proponents of the project at the time. My feeling and strong sense — personal observation – -is that further, and perhaps consistent with the problems described in the Grand Jury report — Pat personally would not bear criticism of the plan, and would try to discourage comment. He did this to me, at least. 

So I am not buying his mock-contrition nor do I think he is an appropriate person to write the response. How about Greg Schmid and Alan Davis?

And Tom Jordan, a campaign advisor and friend since at least 2012 but not, so far at least, an endorser of Weiss 2014, said I should lie low on this point until after the Schmid-Burt report, but I think Pat should resign. From that and from Council.

Fair comment?

I will repost this in entirety at my own blog.

I left a vm for Jocelyn trying to get their official position.

at 12:30 and I have to move my car and “red-shift” out of lime but:
I have a riff comparing leadership to NFL John Harbaugh in that they say a lady on the floor gee that’s too bad how she got that but will not suspend the wife-beater thug until someone releases the rest of the tape. Perhaps a bit crass.

edit to add, later that night, while at PATC:

I’ve done dozens of hours of work on the 27 University Ave deal — and made its opposition a point of my 2012 Council campaign — and got nearly 6,000 votes — but have read or written considerably less about the 7.7.

My current thrust is the assertion that beyond a) the secrecy and b) the lack of response there may be, based on my observation c) an attempt to stifle dissent or further investigation at the time the proposal -27 Uni — was on the docket by at least one council member who I say bullied me into not furthering my request or speaking out.

Bill Johnson told me today that he is deleting my posts — at least five so far — because my claim is based on my version of events that happened in a cafe and were not filmed in council chambers so it is my word against the council member, and I countered by pointing out that he has not verified the identity of the 80 or so other posters here beside myself and Sea Reddy (another candidate for council).

Today I verified with a second source on or former council members that my description of the events is consistent with things that have happened to them, that said council member has a habit of bullying not just his inferiors (so to speak) like me but his peers.

So d), we will not get a straight story on this from the Palo Alto Weekly, compounding the problem. They are protecting the status quo and prioritizing that over my rights for example to be treated in a public place with civility or to speak my mind, or dissent.

Be forewarned. Caveat emptor.

I also made a version of this speech tonight at PATC planning in first 10 minutes of that meeting, and will do again Friday at Human Relations Commission Retreat Friday at 9 a.m. at Palo Alto Art center and will keep on repeating this story until the council member apologizes or resigns or is censured. Or I am heard. Dig?


6. this has been up for at least 11 minutes now, a record, and I did have a side-bar with GS of the Weekly, who says he appreciates that I use my real name on “town square” their comments forum.
here is the link.

7. the next morning: gone, most of it at least.
someone defended me. I reply:

I am not confused about “bullying” versus “abrupt”, and I have read Sullivan v. The New York Times and Pat Burt has not. Anymore than I would confuse a quick kick with a leg whip, in football terms.

Thanks for voting for me.

At this moment I feel that getting to the truth on this matter is more important than my campaign. I may end up resigning from the race if that is the only way to be taken seriously on this matter (as compared to if someone says I am only doing this to gain attention for my campaign).

I have two sources, people who served with Pat Burt who tell me, so far off record, that I am right and not imaging or exagerating this BULLYING because he has done it to them or they have observed it.

Read Plastic Alto my blog for the content of the six deleted messages.

And maybe we should re-read The Weekly archive on bullying, but also any social issue like domestic violence or rape or abortion rights or gay marriage and figure out if there is a pattern of Bill Johnson edited reality to fit his world view and biases, and bigotry.

I wondered if victims of abuse would think my claim trivializes their’s but maybe the opposite is true: that people who have been victimized in some way, or forced to feel small, will see in me that I feel their pain. That part of me that does make me want to know the name of a panhandler — yesterday, “Chester” — is exactly what the Pat Burts and the bullies of the world seize on, and attack it as a weakness.

We can do better, I said at end of PATC. And someone said, “You sound like ____” (who I endorse).

By the way, see Bryan Stevenson of the innocense project Nov. 6 at Kepler’s I will be there (he enforces Gideon v. Wainwright in states like Alabama where the state gov refuses to follow the law of the land in this land, re right to fair trail, especially for the poor).


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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