Palo Alto yard hockey

City council member Karen Holman in negotiation with her neighbor Mirvat Robinson about a set of chairs

City council member Karen Holman in negotiation with her neighbor Mirvat Robinson about a set of chairs

Have you heard that joke about “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out”?

I joked to Palo Alto City Council member, this morning at a yard sale in our Downtown North neighborhood, that we should consider this our joint kickoff event, for our respective runs toward the November election.

“Karen Holman and Mark Weiss held a joint Kickoff event Saturday, an event attended by Dave and Mirvat Robinson, two dogs, five kids and a mail deliverer, on break. The guest enjoyed a no-host lemonade bar and also were offered the chance to leave the event with some of the finest of pre-used and pre-loved functional and decorative objects. Weiss helped Holman load some slightly rusty decorative metal yard chairs into her hatchback, which Karen says the renovation of which is consistent with her longtime advocacy and impressive track record saving historic homes. Weiss, an arts activist who dates a former two -term Palo Alto Art Commissioner Terry Acebo Davis, meanwhile procured two found photographs, someone else took, of people he’ll never meet. He said buying random photos at yard sales reminds him of the recent documentary about the street photographer Vivian Mayer.

“I was intending to blog today about the photographer and conceptual artist Brian Doan, who teaches at Long Beach City College, but I happened up yesterday at Palo Alto Art Center,” Weiss said. Weiss explained that Brian and two other Vietnamese artists and arts-writers/educators we’re on their way to the Menlo Park pop-up Pace Gallery, to see the Tara Donovan, but stopped en route to meet Palo Alto Art Center artist in residence Ehran Tool, who makes ceramics that he gives away, as a way to end all war.

Dave Robinson said he was in a rock band called Hock on a small label out of Boston but is generally too busy these days as a tech entrepreneur and father to keep the band going. Weiss promised to return to meet this nice couple (and Terry’s neighbor) again to present Mirvat Robinson with a poster of a rock band M.I.R.V., who were friends of Les Claypool of Primus and briefly on his North Carolina based imprint Prawnsong Records, part of Mammoth Records, later sold to Disney, as Hollywood Records.

U.S.Mail carrier, who, like Dave Robinson of Huck or Hock, used to play in a rock band, in SF

U.S.Mail carrier, who, like Dave Robinson of Huck or Hock, used to play in a rock band, in SF

Weiss almost held a not-quite-a-campaign-announcement event 18 hours earlier when, noting the heat, he invited Doan and his two friends to come for a quick swim at the Oak Creek Apartments pool. Weiss lives in Oak Creek but spends enough time in Downtown North to be granted honorary neighbor. Many of the neighborhood dogs consider Weiss a familiar-sniff based on his five years as companion to Bryant Street stalwart Frida the Cockerspaniel (1999-2013).

Adding a dog element to any event or document enhances such, even if, as in this case, the dog, like a growing number of Palo Alto voters, and a grand jury, is skeptical about leadership, and its attempts at reform

Adding a dog element to any event or document enhances such, even if, as in this case, the dog, like a growing number of Palo Alto voters, and a grand jury, is skeptical about leadership, and its attempts at reform

Notable Downtown North movers and shakers not seen at the not-quite-a-kickoff-event yard sale included: Nielson Buchanan, Eric Rosenbloom, Marion O’Dell and Acebo Davis (working on her geraniums).

edit to add: once again Plastic Alto, run by former Gunn Oracle editor Mark Weiss, embedded in the campaign, scoops Weekly on Karen’s announcement, by five weeks!!!!!

My gloat:

Karen why don’t you prove that you are not afraid of Chop Keenen by taking the bull by the horn and get him to work with what the people want at 456 Uni, the historic and beloved Varsity Theatre — slated, with approval from ARB architects and HRB historians to become office space or a corporate lunch room: a cultural amenity for the public good.

Work with me on this and I will consider voting for you come November 5.


P.S. I think it’s great that Jim Baer IN UPPER CASE is against you. Sign of respect. If he ignores you, that means you are finished.

and then ping-backing:

On Plastic Alto blog, I scooped the Weekly on this story by a whopping five weeks:

Mark Weiss
former Gunn Oracle editor in chief
800 posts, including 200 on policy, since 2010, on “Plastic Alto”
also: running for City Council or at least qualified for ballot and blogging about that

two months later: and actually I can reveal this now but it was the fact that Karen Holman freaked out enough about my initial shock about her Steve Pierce controversy — she called me and we had a pow-wow — that made me think more seriously about running -I was among the last to pull papers, almost a month after others had; here I explain my recent decision to use one of my five votes on her, after the one for me, leaving three choices to be determined, and I also call this whack-a-troll:

For the record, I met Karen Holman while campaigning for the 2009 City Council seats. She was a planning commissioner at the time, while I was a Gunn graduate (where I was an honor student, in student government, in theatre, a varsity athlete and league champion and two-time Editor in Chief of the newspaper), dating an arts commissioner (still am), running my two small businesses and trying to follow the suggestions of people like Sid Espinosa and Peter Drekmeier who advocated “civic engagement”. I got 800 votes, but learned a lot, and started to develop a thick skin and an appetite to learn more about self-governance and Democracy in these trying times. Karen was an exemplary ally, in that she took the time to get to know some of the fellow candidates (compared to Larry Klein, who gives me, constantly a cold shoulder, for instance — by the way, Nancy Shepherd also developed a rapport with me, although I at times have disagreed with some of her actions).

For five years, as I continue to track policy, and as of fall, 2010 write about it on Plastic Alto, my blog, Karen Holman has kept a line of communication open to me.

So as I have campaigned for Council (after getting nearly 6,000 votes in 2012, all without spending a dime, in a time when seated candidates spent on average $20, 000) these last 30 days, I thought about the incumbents, especially in the wake of the Grand Jury report of June 16, 2014 and the referendum of 2013. I have seriously thought about voting for 0 incumbents (and therefore myself and four other challengers) or voting back in all 3 (because in certain ways Greg Scharff and I are experiencing a type of glasnost, although I disagreed with a lot of his actions and tactics in the ensuing years).

So, despite it’s awkwardness, I announced I am voting for Karen, after I vote for myself — in my imaginary-rank-choice ballot. She is one of my five choices, with the other three remain to be seen. There are 60 more days in the campaign.

There is no one on Council or Commissions that I would refuse to work shoulder-to-shoulder with, for the good of the community. I give them hell on my blog, here sometimes and at times it gets dicey in person — for instance when Vino Locale sat Terry and I at a captains table with Pat and Sally Burt and two other couples, on St. Patricks day, a few days after Pat and I went at it after he objected to my giving him the business online or on my blog — and ironically, or fittingly, I was questioning his tone and believability over….27 UNIVERSITY. But I still hit up Pat from time to time, for instance, I saw him at the Mads Tolling show at Mitchell Park and asked him about 456 Uni. Also, people point out that as I lobby for A NEW PARK AT VENTURA, ON FRY’S PROPERTY, 15 ACRES, Pat is given credit for bringing Heritage Park to fruition, so he may come on board as my ally.

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

I recommend attending some of the campaign events and not relying on the internet.

So, yeah, this is me. (You can check that my cross-referencing my blog; I tend to back up my posts there).

Thank you Karen for your years of service, good luck, but yeah, watch your step, sister!

Web Link
That’s for the person who objects to my use of the term “man-up”. It’s from the Broadway show by the founders of South Park.


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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