2019 in Palo Alto: jet boy, jet girl


unknown, unknown, unknown, Beth Minor, Jeff Hoel, Alison Cormack, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown, Arthur Keller, Gennady Sheyner, Liz Kniss, Eric Filseth –speaking as a write — Adrian Fine, unknown, unknown, Greg Schmid, Lydia Kuo, Greg Tanaka, Bob Moss (not pictured) city manager Ed Shikada

I’m reporting from the lobby of 250 Hamilton on a rainy Saturday, a policy Shabbat so to speak. Reading the 189 responses on an electronic message board, in anticipation of this meeting, “City Council Retreat”, it seems that what is on the minds of a lot of citizens is Gender Equity. I also noticed a fair sampling of people concerned about Sky Posse and airplane noise.

So as a former ad guy and 25 years in the music biz, my mind naturally flashed to “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” which has a homophone in French or Belgian with the weird title “something something plane something” which translates, if you believe the internet as “it’s going well for me” or more literally “things are gliding along for me”. One of the composers and or performers is Plastic Bertrand of Belgium.

There’s more on the musicology of these songs.

Someone, in a similar vein, lauded Human Relations Commissoner Steve Lee for organizing a screening of “On The Basis of Sex” the biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, SCOTUS. (He never answered my query of whether he did a buyout or got the room and screeing donated; he also listed his identification as Palo Alto Human Relations Commission but was careful to note that he was doing this as an individual). When I saw the new Spiderman Spiderverse movie, at the new Icon Theatres at San Antonio Shopping center ghost-site, I had the urge to do a buyout of the room and invite art and physiscs students from Gunn High, my alma mater.  I think its cool that Spider man is a mixed race boy, whose father is black and mother is Latina. His name is Miles Morales. There’s also some high school physics or pop physics or or new physics about the parallel universe theory: in this movie there are five Spidermans from 5 different dimensions including a female, and a non-homosapien.


If I’ve learned anything in 10 years of civic engagement (not to mention 33 years in culture mongering) is, as I’m sure Peter Porker aka Spider Ham would concur, don’t bring a gavel to a mallet fight.

Yeah, the lyrics for several of the “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” songs are obscene. Ooh, ooh, ooh.

Democracy is like sausage party, peoples.

I counted 50 people here, including staff.

edit to add: I might be confusing a City Survey which is comprehensive and maybe we’ve been talking about for the last (at least) 40 minutes and the thing I sussed thru to, the 189 responses on a Town Hall ap.

10:40 am, update: Now I have the meeting agenda so I can better orientate myself and contextualize these missives. Although I was up and about walking the dog early today, and pressed our noses to the locked glass doors of City Hall around 7:30 a.m. I got here late because “9:30” rather than 9 stuck in my head, and made my handheld electronic calendar. (If you were here at 8;30 you had your pick of free bagels; I was at that very hour at Jim’s New York Deli having mine made to order.

Also, above I was confusing the actual topic, National Citizens Survey with Open City Hall 189 responses. Here is one or two of the 189 responses. (And my headline is misleading in that I claim Gender Equity and Airplane Noise are 2 of the 3 priorities; they are yet to be determined; If you are reading this in real time — God forbid — Shabbat Shalom — check back around 2 p.m. If I am here at 12:15 ie. two more hours, there is a 1/3 sandwich for me, from Edgewood Market, according to assistant city clerk David Carnahan; I also greeted Doria Summa, Mark Michael, Liz Kniss, Lydia Kuo, Mila Zelka nee Currier, Jennifer Landsman, Rebecca Sanders, Valerie Stringer, and Alison Cormack. Actually, reading the pink sheet slightly more carefully I glean that 2018 priorities were Transportation, Housing, Budget and Finance and Grade Separation — which reads more like four than 3, new math.


These posts feature my friend Star Teachout and Stacey Ashlund, who I don’t think I’ve met but she ran for school board and got 11,000 votes.

Ca Plane pour moi.


Former not-actually-the-Mayor Greg Schmid gave his trademark factual and effective speech about jobs versus housing and income inequality; perhaps I should revise this post since I believe that “income inequality” dwarfs “gender equity” in significance (oops, is “dwarfs” as a verb tense not-politically-correct?)


There’s also a fair amount of talk, especially among the 15 speakers during 10:15-12:15 block 2018 Priorities Oral Communications is climate, or what I called in 1993 being “earthwise”.

At 11:11 exactly (ok, that’s fake news, it’s still 11:09 a.m.) Bob Moss suggests getting Palo Alto to ask Stanford to expand Marguerite buses on more of our streets. (Or even large corporations, which I am less high on).


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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