I love that old Mary Chapin Carpenter song (tho written by someone earlier) about sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug. Yesterday, at a beautiful though slightly (appropriately?) smoky late morning early aft at Foothills Park, about 40 of us — local pols, native plant lovers, guys and gals who look good in green — we were the windshield. And we SMASHED the bug or bugs. Bug. His name is Arrillaga. You know, the subject of the Grand Jury Report. Stanford rich guy, who (most) rules do not apply to. This time they did!
In 2012 — tho Karen Holman, former mayor and newly elected to Open Space District, pretended she forget the year — Mr. Rich Guy simultaneously tried to ram down our throats an office tower on a public parks and a war memorial at 27 Uni AND lord knows why offered to buy a 7.7 acre parcel of never-dedicated parkland. Did he low-ball us because we would be so grateful of his offer of a new building, for Stanford? Did he offer to over-pay so we woud look the other day while drillers drilled and hammerers hammerered away for years at a time? Who knows. Did he offer to reimburse us for $500,000 after he coaxed staff to use tax payers money to flesh out his vampire scheme? NO, of course not. (of coarse knot, his brain). I remember that my notes on the weak staff report under obvious duress had 287 faults in it.
I remember damn well it was 2012 because I ran for Council that year (me, Tim Gray, Marc Berman, Liz Kniss and Greg Schmid — Liz and Marc acing out Tim and I for the open seats, Greg carrying as incumbent.) I got 6,000 votes, Tim, 7,000 despite me not spending a dime on campaign — ok, wifey to be and outgoing arts commish and chair Terry Davis did design some buttons without my approval — with help from the great Rob Syrett of monsters fame, thereby establishing myself as the most pop of the pols in recent memory on a cost basis — thru 3 successive tries and less than $2,000 spent or in-kind I got 8,000 votes or paid less than 25 cubits per vote. Jason Green after the candidates forum wrote in the Merc and the Daily News that I “came out swinging” against Arrillaga Towers. (On these pages I called it — hoping to duck his evil Palentir – Allen like Ginsburg Raga like Indian percussion. My review: Moloch. Moloch. Moloch).
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edit to add: I haven’t finished the story but want to add the part about drinking until 3 at Zotts with Rhineharts, Roths and Joe Melena the former para-trooper skydiver on public dole — Army, between Korea and Vietnam but only for practice — and photographer for Chronicle and Times Tribune — and Cory Wolbach outgoing 37-yo pol with a lightbulge above his head about wanting to connect Lee Flats to Los Trancos Road by bike trail and the fact that now that I suss it up –here on a Sunday morn at Old Pro watching MC 2 MU 1 with Sean or Shawn from VZ, that the local angel or angle to “The Bug” is that it was actually written by Mark Knofler of Dire Straits and recorded by he and his brother David Knofler, who for whatever reason toured Europe with local star Megan Slankard of Tracy — disclosure, I offered to manage her, and got a meeting with she, I and Andrea Troolin for manages Andrew Bird if that’s his real name or not — whose parents…wait for it… are Stanford Alums Tom and Amy Slankard. Read my lips, Stanford: more Toms and Amys and progeny Megan (who went to Cal or sis did) and fewer JA.
and1: I first heard of this because Enid Pearson, the former council member, posted on a website about the undedicated land.