Bark on bite on howl in Palo Alto

Palo Alto has $50 billion on the tax rolls but does not provide services commensurate; Palo alto does not tax even multibillion dollar companies like Tesla; we have a lot of billionaires who live here – – likely a couple more since a cryptocurrency brokerage house just went public yesterday. We have dogs that will bite the poor on command yet we hardly tax capital or the ultra rich. We suck. Nosferatu-style. 
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Carrie Dann vs Elon Musk

Carrie Dann was an indigenous leader, western Shoshone, who raised awareness about her people and also advocated on behalf of wild horses in Nevada; Elon musk is a Sociopath Uber capitalist and today in the New York Times it says he is using images of wild horses to lure workers to his factories near Sparks, Nevada. His company is named after a mad genius who promoted eugenics.

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Mind if we play through?

A golf course in Newark, Ohio is built around centuries old earthworks built by an indigenous pre-contact culture and frames the moonrise every 18 or so years.

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Ghosts of Alden Van Buskirk and Robert Stone rattle chains for Rachel Kushner

I noticed a blurb from Robert Stone on the back cover of the new Rachel Kushner collection of essays, “The Hard Crowd”. I quote, “she’s going to be one we turn to for our serious pleasures and for the insight and wisdom we will be needing in hard times to come”. Here and in the hereafter, I guess he means. Stone died in 2015.

Meanwhile I was just telling one more person that Rachael‘s father went to Dartmouth with the poet Alden Van Buskirk and his mother Pinky met Peter through Alden Van Buskirk when he visited St. Louis where the doomed poet and the future Mrs. Kushner we’re grad students together.
(People in Pinky’s family like those in the House of Windsor had no last names only colors or Hughes… oh, wait, that’s actually a scene from an early Quentin Tarantino movie).

I literally drove to San Francisco yesterday just to buy this book; mine comes with an autograph; well, the car drove; I drove the car. On the way home I listened to the interview with Kurt Vonnegut which reminded me of the time Ed Burns and I interviewed by to get at Dartmouth in 1983 and may still have the tape. In most relevant Lee Rachel excepted part of this book in the New Yorker, About her experience as a bartender at the blue lamp in San Francisco which made me try to contact Ramona down the co-owner and talent buyer of the bottom of the hill. I’m wondering if Ramona overlapped with Rachel or influenced her. I also bought David Ratrace book for which Rachael wrote and afterward, a clerk at books Incorporated at town and country said that he work at Green Apple books and I told a story that the owner Kevin Ryan says I overlapped there with Margaret show but I don’t remember her. And lastly I read somewhere the Jonathan let them around that time worked at Pendragon in Berkeley.

No comments from Larry McMurtry



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Noname at the Fox

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Stanford victory parade: April 5, 2021

At first I thought the procession was for a fallen firefighter. Soon enough it dawned on me that this was a Covid-protocol social distance parade. I saw Tara Vanderveer with assistant Kate Paye, Haley Jones and others. Two or three replied to my cheers. Later I saw mayor Tom Dubois interviewed by KPIX 5 and Kyle Martin of the Post in front of City Hall. I sent the footage to Ann Killion and Scott Strazzante of the Chron, and to John Paye, the former Stanford star, brother of the coach.

Tara and Kate:

Haley Jones, two shots:

I said “Go, Mitty!” and “Congrats”. She said “Thank you!”

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Fieldwork regarding the skate park initiative in Palo Alto

Palo Alto City Council has agendized for next week, Monday, April 12, a discussion of skateboarding. There is also a memo written by members Alison Cormack and Greg Tanaka on the topic.
What should we do with the Greer Park skateboard element, which is abandoned?
Should we push, perhaps as a public-private-partnership for a state-of-the-art (or usable) skate park, like kids enjoy nearby in Menlo Park, Fremont, Newark, San Jose?
Palo Alto built an early public park but no one uses it now for sundry reasons. The graffiti adds a roux to the scene but is evidence that Community Services has given up here.
Kieran, a 16 year old Paly student and neighbor, agreed to meet me at Greer yesterday to teach me about his world, to help me try to impact the result of these discussions.
He said he had not been to the park in eight years.
He had gone to Burgess the day before.
He has gone as far as Oregon to skate new parks (with his family, if I got this correct — he and friends with cars go to Bay Area and south bay parks frequently, it seems).
Kieran is a talented skater, who has won prizes in competitions. Maybe he would go pro after high school, although both his dad and uncle are Stanford professors and scientists. His uncle Mark played tennis for Stanford (and Gunn – -I knew him, slightly, since grade school).
Ironically, a skater like Kieran approaches Palo Alto’s publicly-financed skate park like street skaters approach the built environment: what can we do here? Our park is not suitable for skating per se but you can use your head — if you are someone who is always looking to make do or improvise to turn the odd bench, curb, stairs or rail into your domain — to find some use for it.
Kieran is not political so this might be his only input on this issue. His parents had opinions on the topic – dad had signed the petition — and sent me some links but didn’t say whether they would chime in on April 12 or continue to advocate.

I want Palo Alto to talk to and learn from the brightest and most interesting people on this topic and not just crank thru with a bureaucratic response.

My ollies on this are: Cormack, mayor Tom Dubois, commissioners Keith Reckdahl, Jeff LaMere and David Moss, and activists Rebecca Eisenberg and Aram James (whose friend  Jameel Douglas is a pro-level skater).

I don’t know how to prioritize this compared to stopping Castilleja expansion, helping the homeless, building a police station, preventing police dogs from biting the innocent or 10 other things I have had opinions on. But I do think this is an opportunity to do right by a fairly substantial sub-community, albeit a special interest.

At least two famous skaters are also great musicians: Steve Caballero of Soda and other bands; Tommy Guerrero. Jon Wurster of Superchunk published a childhood photo of himself on a board. Jazz and improv musician Philip Greenlief played in my series at Palo Alto Art center, skates and even wrote a letter to Berkeley City Council, who are responding to a similar opportunity. Gunn graduate Colt Cannon is also a known skater.

Here are two short clips of Kieran teaching me his skills:

If Greer were better designed or upgraded, Kieran would catch some air and continue or flow to more features and tricks, and not end up in the grass.

The skateboard initiative points out that contemporary parks would accomodate beginners more than Greer’s archaic and disused feature does or could or did. 


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Tribute to Stella Brooks by Kay Kosty and Noel Jewkes, January, 2021: bubble sessions during Covid times

Long story short: when I saw Stella Brooks’ obituary in the Chronicle, I was struck by her glare. Reading further baited me further. I sent a note to Deb Wright her niece and the keeper of the flame; meanwhile, the Palo Alto Weekly had a story about Kay Kosty, “Black Olive Jazz” who teaches drama at Stanford and fronts several jazz bands. Soon enough Kay and I called on Deb who showed us through a couple boxes of clippings, letters, photos and ephemera. On the way back to the Bay Area we brainstormed some ideas about how to combine our energies to tell Stella’s story. A short time later Terry Abrahamson and David Kaplan tapped us for how to reach Deb and mine that same box. There was a production in Massachusetts of “Jazz Funeral for Stella Brooks” at a Tennessee Williams festival. Terry and I had breakfast in Palo Alto. My parents died. I got married. I restarted a concert series in Palo Alto at Mitchell Park featuring vocalists like Jane Monheit doing mostly Ella songs. I had Beth Custer Clarinet Thing doing mostly an Ellington program on Mardi Gras. A plague descended upon the land. I hid in my townhouse for three months dying to live or living to die. I woke up one day and decided to use the internet to “make” “music”. I called Kay out of the blue. She called Noel Jewkes. Anyhow, she’s a little piece of leather don’t you know? Well put together don’t you know. What is? My brain? Lions with Wings? Earthwise Productions? The third rock from the sun?

Stay tuned. Stay tuneful. Fuck computers. But you can stream and download on Bandcamp – but in this case, because its not a lossless file, you can also hear it here on Plastic Alto. Only, rather.

April 20 will be the 75th anniversary of her big show at Town Hall in New York City.

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Lord of Dogtown, II

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I had three meetings on this exact topic, 25 years ago, with Lee Townsend, Hans Wendl and Gabe Unger

$70 million of silicon valley money back’s united masters as an alternative to the traditional major label system

edit to add, next day:
Apple Announces $50 Rebate For A Million Wanna Be Users; Iphone is Still $1,000, However
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