Plastic Alto 2020 coverage of local elections: Or, ‘Doomtree Palo Alto population growing all the time’

Forget the bull in the china shop
There’s a china doll in the bullpen
Walk with a switch, fire in her fist
Biting at the bit
Swing at every pitch
Coach put me in like

Dessa, “The Bullpen” — you may have seen this synched to footage of Ruth Bader Ginsburg z”l pumping iron

I’ve likely commented on Palo Alto Weekly boards 1,00 times, ran more than 20 ads for my business just this year, subscribed at $10 per month and been featured and pictured, either for politics or music five times all time, yet Bill Johnson that Fascist still censors me or cuts me off. What a dick! I believe I am the only person who comments under my own name and is still frequently censored. Why is that?

I should ramp up the distribution of “Plastic Alto”, the leading independent source on the local skinny, especially in the run up to the election, next month.

Here’s a 40- part omnibus of coverage on local issues since January (I’ve included some prologue dating back to May, 2019, that shapes my thinking on recent events: a total of 56 articles, like in the DiMaggio streak):

(The counter says I’ve posted here 2,800 times since 2011, and 324 times this year)

I think of my work, as a concert promoter, blogger and or activist as part of a whole cloth initiative, an endeavor to use the art and utterances of our most creative linguistically conscious ape-men and ape-she’s to make the world and Palo Alto better for everybody. By the way, if you are new here “Plastic Alto” references the jazz world of Ornette Coleman –he played a plastic alto sax — and only indirectly is a pun on our locale.

Basically, me and 1,000 friends with acoustic guitars are leading a revolution that will culminate in an American utopia where everyone’s need and no one’s greed gets met.

Palo Alto’s ‘grassy knoll’ of rock and roll

Posted on May 20, 2019

Bo Crane, 67 — a Paly and Stanford grad — is giving a talk at Palo Alto Historical Association next month — their annual dinner — about rock and roll. He published a book or chapbook on such — maybe he used notes I sent him about more recent artists with roots here.

The Weekly had a blurb about C-SPAN doing a segment on Palo Alto, or several, including one that featured six minutes of Bo, and some stills and a bit of footage that is likely not Lytton Plaza or El Camino Park, and so far about 300 views online.

Bo repeats the story about Jerry Garcia a music teacher at Dana Morgan Music on Bryant scratching away on a banjo in the alley and then Bob Weir of Menlo Park saunters by and the rest is history.

I call this the grassy knoll of rock and roll — or of the psychedelic movement — in that he looks like he is talking about “back and to the left” in Oliver Stone or real life or Magruder. (I had never heard anyone say that Weir turned from Hamilton onto the alley, if that matters — I’ll have to replayto see if he was heading up or down, west or east before turning to the left or right to hear and meet Jerry).

Palo Alto Rock a a to z w

Posted on June 7, 2019


World For Ransom is or was a Palo Alto based rock band featuring Billie Eyeball — her legal name for as long as I’ve known her — and Dave Womack as manager. Ray Pogue, a Gunn 1980 graduate, played keyboards (and is friends with Steve Zukowsky an early guitar hero of mine). Billie and David were my first tour guides — like Dante in the seven layers of hell/heaven — of the SF underground rock scene of the early 1990s, and before I thought to produce shows. World For Ransom sang The Star-Spangled Banner at The Palo Alto Firebirds semi-pro soccer team games, my day-job in 1993. Billie Eyeball and band were headliners at The Donnas’ professional debut, at Cubberley, January 1995, a 4-act all female led lineup.

Cutting edge at Cubberley 

Fronted by singer/songwriter and Palo Alto resident Billie Eyeball (her real name, they say), the modern pop band World for Ransom will headline a four-band benefit concert this Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Cubberley Community Center. Known primarily to San Francisco audiences for songs like “Thank God for the Pill,” World for Ransom’s music has been dubbed “lush, eclectic and very listenable” by BAM Magazine. Also, making its professional debut will be Ragady Ann, comprised of four students at Palo Alto High School, and a veteran favorite of local Battle of the Bands contests. The other two bands on the schedule are True Margrit and the Cat Cody Band, a hip-hop jazz act from Los Angeles. Tickets are $5 at the door. All ages are welcome. All proceeds will benefit the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Berkeley and Family Service Midpeninsula’s teen hotline. For more information, call Earthwise Productions at…

People: Bart Thurber: when Palo Alto rocked

“Basically, I hold the band’s hand throughout the entire recording process, and try to make it as fun and painless as possible.”

For the last four years, Bart Thurber has recorded more bands than he can count or remember. Bands with names like Tilt, Shovelhead, Minimal Criminal, the Guttersluts and Drug have walked the halls of his Palo Alto studio, House of Faith.

Born in Michigan, Thurber moved to Palo Alto at age 11, and a few years later began playing the guitar in local bands. Making music led him to an interest in recording it, which soon became a impassioned hobby. “The hobby got out of control,” he said.

So much so that it became a profession.

Thurber, who describes his age as “37 going on 90,” started House of Faith in 1990 in a 1,500-square-foot office building in the once-thriving, eclectic area of Urban Lane. His neighbors were potters, woodworkers, artists and craftspeople. In other words, people who liked quiet when they worked. “The neighbors used to call the cops and tell them we were devil worshipers,” he said.

“But its not against the law to be devil worshipers,” he joked. “Besides, how can we be devil worshipers, when we record Christian bands?”

If the noise didn’t get to people, the graffiti did. Every inch of space was covered with the stuff, which ranged from tame to not-so-tame. “The graffiti was unbelievable,” he recalled. “It wasn’t like gang tags, it was good graffiti, things people had drawn.”

Still, he is thankful no one called the “graffiti police.”

House of Faith provided local bands with one of the best–and least expensive–avenues for going professional. Palo Alto bands such as ETO, Daisy Chain and Smiley Face recorded with House of Faith.

Palo Alto Rock a a to z z

Posted on June 8, 2019

And I thought about meeting Paul de Barros a Cubberley grad and long time jazz writer for the Seattle Daily news at Zotts; a couple years ago; his mother had died, he came home to organize her effects, then biked up Zotts from South Palo Alto. He said he was re-tracing or re-living a gig he did in the 1960s while still in high school, a rock cover band in which he was the sax player and also explained or asserted that in the early days of rock the sax was a staple. Et cetera…

X Could stand for the straight edge movement started by Ian McKaye a former Terman student. They put an “X” on their hand and refused to drink alcohol. It’s a subcategory of punk. He is better known as the founder of Dischord records and the band Fugazi – which played at The Edge –because Jackie Rose the longtime assistant at Cubberley was told by Del Thorpe that only I could do rock shows, they were being grandfathered in and Ian being very DIY meaning his own agent called the Cub himself —would’ve preferred the Cub to an alcohol-serving generic night club like the Edge —but I did not hear about it until he was already committed to the Edge. Although I did later bring him to his alma mater Terman with a group called the Evens featuring his wife Amy Farina sic on drums— I also did a nooner information session about the music business at Terman day of show.

T is for Tah (Palo Alto Rock a A to Z): Tommy Jordan, Paly ’81

Posted on June 10, 2019

I just left Tommy Jordan a long voice mail, to inform him he is Mr. T, in the context of Palo Alto rock history. (Actually, although I probably said forty things and made five jokes, before the machine cut me off, I did not think of that mohawk dude; interestingly, to somebody, although my brother Rick and I are not as close as the twins Tommy and Amy, I want to mention that my brother Rick Weiss, the engineer — HP, Fusion I-O, SanDisk, Western Digital, Mitsubishi I think, some San Diego thing that resembled Tracy Kidder — Tracy with a “T” mind you — “Soul of A New Machine” — hey, that’s a very Geggy Tah’esque line — wrote his one and onliest paper while at UCSD and incidentally I think he overlapped there with the great Palo Altan music executive from Paly ’79 or Marc Geiger – -whose father was sort of like my brother an engineer, I think, at CPI — on Mr. T, the TV show, “The A Team”. He was an EECS major at Warren College — while Geiger was likely at Revelle –I’ll have to get this clarified somedy — they probably have a dorm named for him by now — and took five years to graduate. We are still on my brother Rick and digressing from Tommy Jordan — he took only one course apparently that required knowledge of the human language or written language, and he wrote something in sociology of a world with humans and machines, about a tv show. [Ed: Tommy Jordan the musician is the son of Tom Jordan who advised my 2012 campaign for Palo Alto City Council]

The ‘V’ Word; or ‘et tu’ VS ‘me too

Posted on June 10, 2019
Posted by Mark Weiss [at Palo Alto Online i.e the Palo Alto Weekly, I sometimes call PAW]
a resident of Downtown North
11 minutes ago
Mark Weiss is a registered user.
I misread this to believe for a second that the screen writer was a Casti grad — as Grace Slick was.
I was going to sugget she write an original treatment about the Donnas.

Report Objectionable Content Email Town Square Moderator 

Hey don’t castigate this group of innocents.
Come to think ot if: that’s a cool name for the brouhaha over the school expansion: CastiGate.
The auntie of a Casti grad wrote this
Also, this might be inappropriate for this thread but it is a true fact and not fake news that when Eve Ensler spoke at Casti the columnist of the local paper Janet Luca Norton wrote about the event without mentioning the name of her most famous book and project.

Whereas a couple years later the Paly principal Phil “Chill Phil” Winston got fired for booking the author into an assembly then as girls left the buidling he stopped them and said, “hey, don’t you want to learn about your valedictorian?”

Ok, one more:
Do you mean to say that Castilleja has enacted a valedictorianectomy?

Which reminds me, and since I’m going to be deleted and castigated anyways might as well go full monty, when I was at Dartmouth in the 1980s, and by the way there were three Casti grads — all debutantes mind you — in my class, Elizabeth Babb Fanlo, Gabrielle Whelan and Marylee LaFollette Culley — and there was a very gradual and bumpy coeducation going on — Dartmouth was all male for more than 200 years — there was a joke:

Q: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That’s not funny!

Good luck, ladies!

edit /update a wee bit later:
Parts of this were surgically removed by the Church Lady in Chief at PAW:
and so I updated or upstreamed

Vagina. Phil Winston was fired for saying “Vagina”. Eve Ensler wrote about her vagina. Lisa Brown an elected official in Michigan castigated right wing pols in her state, apropos of Roe V Wade said “Thank you for your interest in my vagina”.
Censorship is unamerican, yo. Freedom of expression is as American as my Mom’s….apple pie. 

Another important Casti grad in music, besides Grace Slick nee Wing is Rupa Marya of Rupa & The April Fishes. She has a recent song that goes “It’s not about a woman not saying ‘no’ its about a woman saying ‘hell, YES!’” but I’m not sure what its about. Go ask Alice.

A Call for ‘Kurt Cobain Plaza’

Posted on June 10, 2019

Ok, I admit it was I who under a nom de plume posted an attack on the effort to re-name Lytton Plaza for a recently deceased prominent Palo Alto clan figurehead and namesake. I spoofed the idea by posting lyrics based on Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. (I did a second similar thing a year or so later, against the proposal to build an office tower at 27 University: “27 Nation Army” spoof on White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”)

And to be honest, if someone can be honest or that courageous on the internet or their own blog, I did lay low for a while at some point in my 10 year run as a political asprirant or dissident here because I was concerned that there would be some push back or revenge from the powerful forces that had skin in the game (meaning millions or billions of dollars behind them, and many many friends — i.e., I might be making enemies just being me, and speaking my conscience).

Or, I could be slightly paranoid.

Monheit sends Mitchell to ‘Dreamland’

Posted on June 22, 2019

Jazz vocalist Jane Monheit of Long Island and Los Angeles rode a musical magic carpet, piloting 75 of her intimates, on a tour of the American and New World songbook, Friday at the Mitchell Park Center El Palo Alto room.

Monheit, who triumphed at the 1998 Thelonious Monk vocal contest and released sessions on Concord and Sony, leaned in towards the audience to provide context to her repertoire choices, a virtual but real biographical map of her journey and origins. 

“This is a cultural highlight in the last 60 years of Palo Alto” said a guest who identifed himself as “Gulliver” and said he was a contemporary of the Grateful Dead (who had origins here).

“Jane Monheit out of this world” wrote a former mayor of Palo Alto. “I will start practicing the lullaby about Dreamland — I found the YouTube and lyrics for my granddaughter”.

Presenter Earthwise of Palo Alto (Note: also the writer and publisher of this post and 2,100 similar rants and raves here in Plastic Alto) said in a brief introduction that Jane’s appearance was part of a timeline that included Thelonious Monk’s concert at Paly High in 1968 and his series of 150 concerts in Palo Alto at the Cub in the 1990s.

After the show, Weiss told me that he has three other onsales now via EventBrite: Bob Margolin/Jimmy Vivino/Mitch Woods, July 6; Scott Amendola/Trevor Dunn/Philip Greenlief, October 11 — both at Mitchell Park; a Tom Harrell Quartet Thursday October 24 at location TBA; and a special Sunday August 18, 2 p.m. matinee concert with a Special Appearance Quartet at Mitchell Park (the day of the Rolling Stones concert in Santa Clara, but not Tim Ries or Marty Ehrlich).

At Friday’s show, a local family band named Camacu wowed the crowd with songs in Hawaiian, Spanish and English, on guitar, bass and “ook”. 

Edit to add:
Jane’s set list:
Hit the Road to Dreamland
My Foolish Heart
So Many Stars
Look Around (Sergio Mendes)

Fuct in fact not effected

Posted on June 25, 2019

The Courts have indeed approved as a trademark the name of the clothing manufacturer (started by a conceptual artist) with the naughty-sounding name, Fuct. I reported earlier that the courts were going to hinder. I fuct up….

Palo Alto Arts Program brouhaha

This might be as good a place as any to register my recent ongoing concern over the Palo Alto Public Arts program. Although Council voted via consent calendar to approve the contract with East Bay artist Peter Wegner for the Percent For Art enhancement of the new Public Safety Building (near Cali Ave), the artist himself seemed very upset with the state of affairs. He told me that staff did not explain why the centerpiece of his “suite” of artworks was deleted from the proposal. Something about budgeting and fungibility, apparently, but the more people on staff he spoke to the more muddied the picture became– they, or “we” more precisely, could not get our story straight.

Staffer Elise DeMarzo was in attendance but apparently she and Wenger are not on speaking terms. Are we really expecting an artist to deliver $700,000 of his best work when we treat him thusly?

The context of this is that in recent history, besides adding a number of pieces to our collection, we have alienated, insulted or disrespected the following artists: Peter Wegner, Bruce Beasley, Sam Yates, Joan Zalenski, Nilda Maltz, Varella, Marta Thoma. People we do busines with leave with a bitter taste in their mouths. We still got 63 proposals for the $92M PSB, but I for one am embarrassed about the state of things. Besides DeMarzo (herself a former commissioner, and indeed someone I consider a friend – -I saw her and Michael Friday night at my Jane Monheit show), people who were stakeholders or contributors to the Wenger project, according to staff reports, are Yoriko Kishimoto, commissioner Loren Gordon, Director Kirsten O’Kane, Liz Kniss and City Manager Ed Shikada –let’s get our story straight, at the very least.

I suggest that we restore the LED element of the Wegner Suite, perhaps by earmarked donations or a PPP and then re-mount from scratch if necessary our Public Arts Program. There are too many kerfuffles. 

This is well beyond the small group of Philistines who claim their grandchild can paint better than Picasso. Or that cannot multiply “point oh one” on numbers beyond a certain point. (And Greg Tanaka sounds like an idiot for parroting their concerns — and exaggerating the significance — even if, to his credit, he gave me five minutes ex parte Monday to hear me out).
Palo Alto is the place where homes sell for nearly $2,000 per square foot yet residents balk at paying $5 per capita for art. 

The next art commission meeting is WHEN. Another problem, not limited to the arts, is the trend wherein commissioners and board members and council are afraid to publish their addresses and contact info beyond “City Hall”. If you don’t trust us, your neighbors, don’t try to represent us. 

Democracy without humanity reverts to totalitarianism. Look at the worst regimes in history and how they view or viewed expression or art. We are better than that, people, or used to be.

Prague police puppy pipeline

Posted on August 5, 2019

After City Council business I met Officer J. Tannock and Bohdan. She says his or her name means “given by God” and the dog arrived from Czech Republic where we apparently get all our dogs here. Thanks in advance for your service!

Tannock and Bohdan will be appearing Tuesday at National Night Out.

Personally, I’m looking forward to SF Mime Troupe “Treasure Island” at Cubberley Center outdoors, the amphitheatre. But if I happen on one of our eight block parties, I’ll try to sniff a few butts and get some paw.

Earthwise Welcomes Molly Tuttle, to The Mitch, Monday, September 30

Posted on August 27, 2019

Molly Tuttle performs a rare hometown concert at Mitchell Park Community Center, Monday, September 30.
Tickets are $20 in advance at EventBrite.

edit to add: this is selling very briskly. Thanks to Karla Kane of the Palo Alto Weekly for including my onsales in her Fall Arts Preview. It’s the first time in roughly 20 years that Earthwise Productions was anticipated in that way:
— From Earthwise Productions at the Mitchell Park Community Center and Palo Alto Art Center: John Santos Sextet (Sept. 13), Sun Kil Moon (Sept. 27), Molly Tuttle (Sept. 30), Amendola/Dunn/Greenlief (Oct. 11), Tom Harrell Quartet (Oct. 24); Earthwise (link).
There’s also an interview between Karla and Molly later this month.

Spooks take center stage at former downtown art studio

Posted on August 28, 2019

[editor: I have to admit I mis-read this for “spoons”]

[Nathan Olivera reclining nude, painted at 209 Hamilton in the ’60s and now part of the Anderson Collection at Stanford- not shown]

I heard a ruckus last week on Friday and follow the parade so to speak of people trying to support families even of Mexicans and Hondurans by pointing fingers at Palo Alto‘s hipster spooks the multibillion dollar unicorn who claimed they were trying to catch Osama Bin lot of interaction [and now] the spying on us arguably even hearing my voice in real time as I compose, using auto dictation on my super smart.

I chuckled and thought of the long time dissent leader Tom Jordan who when I ran for City Council told me that like in “the Tao of Pooh” I should find a parade and jump in front of it. I tried to explain this to one of the other marchers, a former mayor.

The group stopped at the corner of Hamilton and Alma and a lady with a megaphone invited a succession of young speakers most of who’s organizations were probably no more than the speaker and his or her roommate, all of which had weirdly similar names, sort of out of something from “Life of Brian”.

I asked to speak, and they jotted down my name and bona fides or identifications in her hand held which likely was a burner while mine is not parentheses as fate would have it I mine was home charging so at least that day I was not being tracked.

But if you look it up I am on record as questioning the relationship between the City and this group.

Speaking of art, some of the radicals, like Raging Grannies, made red paint handprints on the sidewalk and even the window of the building. Not exactly abstract expressionist, or barely Jackson Pollock.

[Ironically this door, once the home of the Sons of the Golden West, there is a plaque in the sidewalk, and one of only maybe 10 downtown sights not of this group, the spooks, not the radicals, although Bay Area Action once held court in the basement of Ross, across from Lytton Plaza.

They never got to my turn starting at four prompt ending at six prompt. I was wearing a Rolling Stones T-shirt and was going to say something about using your tongue meaning speak out but not “speak friend, and enter”.

Today I noticed there is “no parking” here to corner in front of their headquarters and they had parked three fairly large rental trucks to try to screen the protest from the hundreds of drivers going north and south on Alma which means “soul”.


[Tom Franco art installation at 540 Ramona, the last days of Phyllis, price upon request: Speaking of spooks –hey that could be the name of a blog–not shown],

I started to say that one of my favorite James Franco movies is where he plays a CIA operative I think and he’s going to take out a fictitious version I think not played by the real guy…


Not to blow paranoid winds, But as I stood in front of Institute for the Future actually – it seem like there was a guy there merely to spy on me and try to tape record my rambling or maybe he just had his own conversation. Wired magazine says the Russians hack anybody who ran for public office in the US even people who only got 8,000 votes like me; and on the other hand as I was telling the Reds,

And I wrote about it here once, as I passed a group of the ex military guys I think they said “good morning We know who you are”. They have facial recognition software hidden in their hair gel but do they have a machine that can detect bad Hunter Thompson imitators from bad Allen Ginsberg from bad David Foster Wallace from bad the guy who wrote tortilla curtain? [T.C. Boyle]

Palantir deploys ‘smart squirrels’ to spy on neighbors in Downtown North

Posted on September 1, 2019

[not shown — two images]

I admit this post is bullwinkle. [Note: a year after this was originally published, Palantir went public and has a valuation of $13b. They took $3b in investment and after a few years of spying on you and me turned that into $10B profit — yeay, America! Yeah, post-democratic Orwellian America! And thank you Palo Alto leadership for not taxing any of that $10b delta for fear of upsetting the landlords who run things here — and I mean this unironically since as of July, 2018 I inherited at the death of my mother an eight-percent interest in a downtown building for which the GP General Partner claims he turned down an $8M offer. So I have to admit that I too indirectly am benefitting from Palo Alto’s role in hosting those who are destroying Democracy here].

This guy arguably helped our investment in a Palo Alto restauarant site go from $400k to $8m in only 30 years

Mark and Molly shows, almost fabulous

Posted on September 23, 2019Big week for Earthwise Productions, The Mitch, and me. Eight days that is, today, Monday, September 23 thru midnight September 30. One hundred eighty or so golden hours. 

Mark Kozelek, performer known as Sun Kil Moon, has an evening at Mitchell Park Community Center El Palo Alto Room (“The Mitch” — the moniker is actually a nod to Mitch Okmin, his uberagent) on Friday.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, we have an even 100 sold and 100 available. 

Three days later, in the Jewish New Year, High Holy Days, we have Molly Tuttle band, in what might be her first big hard ticket show since becoming, well, almost famous….

Meta-interlude: if you read Plastic Alto — and it now has 100,000 hits — you might know the various categories but not their meanings. In this case this post is filed under: Plato’s Republic, Sex, Sports and Words. Because the room is part of the public sector, We The People approved in 2010 a Bond Issue to build the $50 M facility, and I am fundamentally an advocate of arts being part of the public space, I tag this type of post — that includes actual coverage of actual government functioning, public hearings and the like – -and I did attend a press conference at Santa Clara chambers last week, on the brouhaha with the 49ers and The Stadium Authority — although ironically Molly’s show conflicts with Palo Alto City Council – -I texted several of them to suggest an early adjournment. “Sex” is a provacative way of saying “gender”. Molly Tuttle is the first woman named guitar player of the year by the bluegrass association. Twice. “Sports” in that Sun Kil Moon is a boxing reference; one of his or their best songs is about the death of the boxer Duk Koo Kim. My posters feature Pernell Whitaker — an actual boxer — and Bill Burroughs posing shirtless and brandishing his fists. “Words” — I forget why; unless I mean lyrics and or the naming of the group. (If I think of it, I will sift thru the archives — of more than 2,000 posts — to see how I’ve used this tag previously. The nine most used tags are: Plato’s Republic; media; sex; music; “uncategorized” which in this case means I forgot to specify, its the default; art; ethnicities which means “jewish”; words; sports and filthy lucre which means money.

Mindy Rosenfeld Hedges at The Varsity, 2019

Posted on December 7, 2019
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra performed an oratorio by Handel of Judas McCabee which I missed, but in my own great miracle happened here file, I met Michael Hedges’ widow Mindy Rosenfeld Hedges at The Varsity yesterday.

The Varsity is what we old timers call 456 University, which some think of as a chain book store or Blue Bottle coffee. It’s owned by Chop Keenan, leased to SAP as master tenant, has offices for a division of Cisco on the second floor – what we call the balcony of the movie house — and has a co-working space — $3 per hour plus you give them access to your data via your cell phone number — and coffee — I admit I liked the poached eggs– though I think I paid for bacon and never got it. They stole my bacon!

I met Mindy, who is blond and a flutist, because she giggled at Duffy, my dog, who was dragging a biscuit from his lips like Robert Johnson’s cigarrette. 

In small talk, she let out “My husband used to play here….”…

 I put a ton of energy, mostly wasted, into “Save the Varsity, 2.0 or 3.0” which I called The Last Picture Waltz 456, which riffed, in my mind, on The Last Waltz –concert movie with Muddy Waters at old doomed Winterland – and The Last Picture Show by McMurtrey book and movie — I didn’t own “the Varsity” so didn’t feel appropriate using that in my political watchwords. The city of Palo Alto, because Jim Keene city manager had worked in Berkeley when they rebuilt Freight and Salvage instructed his development director — trying to forget his name — to call a list of concert promoters to see who would take, a subsidized lease — i.e. we would TDR to Chop the right to build higher than normal somewhere else — he built at High and Hamilton around that time. The only people who toured the room or agreed to were Danny Scher, from here, semi-retired from BGP Live Nation — and Steve Baker of Freight and Salvage who called me the day of the tour to say his son had broken his ankle at a soccer game and he was off to hospital instead. I pigeon-holed Roger McNamee a partner in GAMH about this. Jeff Crowe, my fellow Dartmouthian, of TheatreWorks board. Then, weirdly, and infamously, Amy French of COPA — who used to sing with The Tubes — got the idea of using my rhetoric about downtown arts to help A_____ present a ludicrous plan to build office towers at not 456 but 27 Uni, with Theatreworks as a tenant. So, to summarize, City of Palo Alto botched the opportunity to bring culture to The Varsity and instead precipitated or aided to the tune of $500,000 a plan that ultimately, because it was linked to another dubious plan about 7.7 acres at Foothills Park, became a grand jury report. (See also, and I am so far from dear Mindy — I said, don’t get me started — when the City of Palo Alto sent a fix-it letter to Facebook about their hiring David Choe to paint a mural in their first, Emerson Street offices, because the artist had dripped on the sidewalk. Palo Alto: Drips on the Sidewalk not Music in the Courtyard. Or as Jeff Tweedy would say: I am trying to break your heart). 

and1: GS in the PAW, October, 2014, on my campaign maneuverings:
Yet occasionally he shows a glimmer of compromise. After initially opposing proposals from Charles “Chop” Keenan to redevelop the Varsity Theatre building (which Keenan owns), Weiss said at a recent meeting of the Architectural Review Board that he is keeping an open mind about the latest plan for the building — a cafe and public space geared toward young high-tech workers.

Weiss said he recently ran into Keenan, who told him that the new cafe will “rock.” This has prompted the veteran concert promoter to “reverse my position and give Mr. Keenan the benefit of the doubt.”

Weiss said he will give Keenan six months after the opening to see if the new business works at the historic site.

“And if not, we’ll let him have it,” Weiss said.

Dobos Torte VS Tom Dubois

Posted on December 24, 2019

I got this from the Palo Alto Weekly:et them eat cake, he never says

The motor home parked in front of Chef Chu’s sells special layer cakes, sometimes known as Dobos Tortes, and they have a brick and mortar spot in Los Altos.

Tom Dubois, of whom there is a video jawing away with PAW’s Jocelyn Dong, is on city council, drives a cute little import jobber, plays hoops at lunch hour at the Y — i.e. he is layered.

I am still a Luddite but it is pretty cool, I admit, to be discussing Nina Simone ‘Mississippi goddamn’ with my Mexican blood brother while Gael García Bernal can hear him from the next table or her; There he is Mr. Palo Alto

Posted on January 12, 2020

Palo alto’s 10th youngest mayor all time Adrian fine meeting with Larry Klein at Coupa (Klein due to the new math is both in the top 10 youngest and oldest all time)

340F79CF-3FFB-4425-864F-C266B362540D.jpegAnd 1: Circling the square,  I did once have a political initiative here called Palo alto goddamn.

‘Respect my hair, white people’ Jon Pareles of the Times touts Xenia Franca of Bahia at GlobalFest

Posted on January 15, 2020

BLUF: I’ve produced a handful of world music concerts in Palo Alto — Femi Kuti, Ozomatli, Kemuri, Danilo Perez — and would like to do more. Also: I think there should be more street music and buskers, beyond the Claude Ezran World Music Day — Make Music Palo Alto. The article in the times about GlobalFest NYC spurred a certain amount of chatter and progress on this front. Stay tuned. And somehow colored my efforts to impact local policy and leadership, and a weird brouhaha at the Human Relations Council, or the version of reality and my sister site, PAWActually, she’s gone to braid Xenia 2019 not braid but SXSW showcased

 The same article also glossed Meklit Hadero pka Meklit frisco-ethiopian singer and activist. I mistook the photo of Xenia for Meklit, sometimes confusing dreads with braids and clock wise with earthwise

edit to add the next day:
I started my day by drinking coffee and listening to Xenia Franca — the Times pointed out in a link that her entire cd is on Youtube, with 200K plays – -and you can also jump to 20:00 to start with the song about her hear. It’s all pretty mellow and not very exotic — if you’ve heard Jobim or Gilberto this is not far from it. Or Seu Jorge. Meanwhile, tying a bunch of parts of my brain together, I wrote a missive on local politics on the PAW site:
I think the work of the HRC could be incorporated into the missions of Public Arts, and Parks and Recs commissions: besides beauty, how does art enforce our highest sense of community? How can we use our open space and recreation areas for social justice and building of community, et cetera? 

Note that Claude Ezran did exactly that in 2009 when he founded World Music Day.

I think inherent to HRC is you get people with chips on their shoulders arguing that their chip is more significant than another’s. 

You say tomato, I say tomato, let’s call the whole thing off.

Or leave it to the church to promote church values: as is we push against the No Establishment Clause.

Also: if you pay attention, you see that the entire commissions and board process is going out of balance. 

Mark Weiss
2x candidate for that board, 5x candidate for other boards, 3x candidate for Council, 2009-2018
plus 25 years enacting these values and more in private sector as Earthwise Productions, which is in some ways a spin-off of Bay Area Action

Whether Steven or Kaloma emerge from this tempest in a teapot, they’ve done huge harm to the idea of civic engagement and or the values purportedly represented when this commission bylaw was written a long time ago, pre-Obama certainly. And that’s nice that a woman named Jill Asher signed her name to a pro-Steven Lee post – but it makes my point that a group of self-selected NGO or 501c3 created that playground, not a city commission, and not HRC per se. Never underestimate what a group can do…
Also: I noted that in my epistolary of sorts with Mr. Lee Lakiba Pittman, who I noticed apropos of the community debate or lack thereof about Ventura — a historically black community here that is the target of developers now — but Sue D of the PAW brought her up with skeletons in the closet of her purported homophobia from 2004 — so has Lakiba reconciled her Christianity with her love of all of us or is she now blacklisted by the Social Justice Left? I think it was a cheap show for Sue to bring this up. Maybe she has changed or grown in the ensuing 15 years…

How many of those (even anonymous) posters who support Steven Lee were solicited by him? He seems, from my observation, to be the type of guy who would ask people to post here. (Hint: maybe next time, ask them to use their names, like Jill Asher did, or better let chips fall where they may).

This brouhaha is more of a press contrivance than real on some level: I don’t think council is seriously considering any action in response to this. (And I know that posting here rather than lobbying actual leaders or speaking for the record at meetings and hearings or letters to City Clerk/Council is just letting off steam and not actual political efficacy – that plus half my shit gets edited out by the arbitrary powers that be in the fake news editorial board at 450 Cammie – and I’m an advertiser!

We could do better. Or I know 100 people who could do better — their names are a public document. I’m saying: draw five random names from the last 100 people who applied for commission and ask them on behalf of the rest of us to take over the HRC agenda — I bet we’d get better results than what the current process evolved or devolved to. Five for fighting!

Or come find me in a cafe and berate me for my views: I’m wearing today a cap that says: well, it is gray with a blue logo with a shark’s fin and when I bought it a professional hockey team gave $5 to breast cancer. But berate me if you think I eat too much fish and you think killing fish for food is a sin, or berate me for being a capitalistic predator who prays on smaller fish, or berate me — as my wife, the former arts commissioner Terry Acebo Davis does – for the fact that that shade of gray on my cap does not match the blue of my shirt, aesthetically. Or berate my dear friend and colleague Tim Gray for cybersquatting a URL that people might thing belongs to a competing political faction.

Further: if you dredge thru the HRC video archive, you see me speaking my 3 minutes in a meeting and suggesting a comedy event that I claimed would further the goals of the HRC. I suggested a specific comic I had met and was following who had a unique ethnic background or mix. But when I called another potential participant in my proposed comedy event he said “that comic is not funny” and soon I realized it was a stupid idea to book a comic just because of his ethnicity. It’s one thing – and I’ve been producing similar events for years, in fact I have five music shows on sale right now – -to include diversity in cultural offerings. But its another thing to ram it down people’s throats.

Bottom line: a little “human relations” as policy goes a long way. Or as Paracelsus once said: the difference between a potiion and a poison is the dose.
I’m here all week. Try the fish. (and then I tagged the category: Plato’s Republic, meaning its political

Likewise EarthWeiss no doubt: or, take five

Posted on February 26, 2020

I started a management practice in about 2002, after 9/11, and for most of this century have done slightly more management than concerts. I would say although it’s personal I don’t mind admitting for the record that when my mother Barbara Weiss and my father Paul Weiss were in their twilight years I spent more time as a caregiver, being the youngest and in certain ways in 2018 and 2017 Earthwise had come to a full stop.
The Allison Miller show I mentioned in a previous email 10/18/18 which was about three months after my mother passed – – she fought Alzheimer’s for nine years —- and was the first of this run at the new Mitchell Park. I say quite often at shows, as part of my welcome or introducing of the acts that the taxpayers of Palo Alto myself included voted a $41 million bond initiative and the facility opened five years ago and I just want to see part of its use being live music.

I did 15 shows in 2019 which is my biggest year since I think my record was 32 in ‘98 or ’99 which included Cubberley, Coho maybe The Varsity courtyard, maybe a club in San Jose on Bascom, a cafe. I definitely had a sense of wanting 2019 to be a banner year and for example convinced Dave Douglas to squeeze us in on very short notice for Engage with Jeff Parker, Carmen Rothwell and Clarence Penn.
My goal is two shows a month for the next two years or a total of 50 all-in to see if people will think of the Mitchell Park ballroom El Palo Alto Room as a concert hall.
I also got invlolvrd in local politics, it started by protesting the elimination of the Brown Bag Concert Series here. I ran for council three times and applied for commissions maybe another six times. I did end up marrying another local activist / politician named Terry Acebo Davis. She was on the arts commission and its chair at one point and we met at the studio of Bruce Beasley my fellow Dartmouth alum whose granite arch graces the entrance at 3700 Middlefield to Mitchell Park.
The taxpayers in Palo Alto approved a $41 million bond initiative- the woman who led the initiative Alison Cormack was later elected to City Council in fact I just saw her five minutes ago here in a downtown cafe and told her that at virtually every show as I introduce the band I mention her.
There are two other art elements at The Mitch which we take credit for or have a connection to: the owl-shaped bollards by Brad Oldham and Roger Stoller’s die-cut aluminum tree hanging on the walls inside and outside the library building.
So if using a defunct high school auditorium in the ’90s was earthwise or recycling or scrappy, the space now is somewhat decrepit, And in fact the people of Palo Alto are debating how to redevelop it. But using this new building is trying to keep the arts alive here, that is sort of a cause, and it’s sort of beyond just my respect for, or an appreciation of the music and how much I enjoy working with the musicians and or meeting the people at these small scale community events.
Another point that is somewhat remarkable about Earthwise is it is a reaction again Silicon Valley in various ways; and over the years although I’ve been a very slow adopter of many technologies, I am dictating this into a handheld computer and communicating with you in a medium that did not exist when I started; yet overall I question if we have gained as much as we have lost. And since you’ve given me this pulpit I would say for example music did more for Steve Jobs than he did for the musicians.
Mark Weiss
Dba Earthwise
2) If I’m not mistaken, there was a bit of a gap between the initial launch of Earthwise and your more recent activity.

a) What caused the pause, if so?

b) When did you start back up (assuming I’m remembering correctly)?

c) And why?

*Another guy on our high school newspaper, for one year, Jim Yardley, later won the Pulitzer Prize for The New York Times for writing about the corruption of China — he is a candidate to be the editor of The New York Times one day – – his mother the journalist Rosemary Yardley was a Knight Fellow at Stanford that year. He, his little brother Bill and I would play basketball in Escondido Village at Stanford — Bill was also later a Timesman — which reminds me that when I did a show with Ian MacKaye of The Evens (and Fugazi and Dischord Records) at not Cubberley or Gunn but Terman — now Fletcher — my old junior high he told me he had attended Terman one year when his dad a professor was at Stanford; Gina Arnold a successful rock journalist you might know went to Palo Alto High around that time — I’ve never met her — but the story is that she made a Xerox-copy of the Terman Tiger Tracks to give to Ian years later because he had lost his or never had one. Ian also did a nooner meet and greet at Terman — the Weekly wrote a story about it, by Robyin Israel I’m sure its in their archive and searchable online — talking about the biz but at the end he got kind of sick of me because I kept ringing people like Eugene Robinson of Oxbow and Whipping Boy by cell and saying “Hey, Ian MacKaye is in Palo Alto…” and handing them the phone. That is still a problem of mine I get too excited and it sort of freaks out the talent. Fear and Loathing on Las Pulgas or something. Which is sort of an inside joke since I wrote my college admissions essay on Hunter S. Thompson. The joke being I am not Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo Journalism or his attorney I am the grotesque square jawed DA’s scaring your or our protagonist, the talent, in that context.

Ugh. A lot of auto correct. I will have to re-edit this. (The misspelling of the word “involved” I had left intentionally as a little joke and is testimony to my ambivalence about technology but there are at least 20 other statements I will have to clarify. “Hershel Yatovitz” is an old friend, who played in my series, and now plays for Chris Isaak. Et cetera.

Earthwise completed its 25th season and I am looking at how to pace myself and do another 25 years. For the next two years or so that means twice a month at Mitchell Park although I do have five shows already for April and five for March so I’m not good at sticking to a plan.
The opportunities are pretty random in some ways; my best weekend ever was in 1996, July, Cake, Medeski Martin and Wood and AFI back to back all three sellouts more than 1,000 people at The Cub.
Train played on my birthday in January 1999 But I had to turn down The New Radicals whose agent wanted a gig the night before because I just didn’t imagine being able to spread myself so thin. And another near miss was that around 1996 the Dixie Chicks were booking their own tour and I took their tape and gave it to David Womack to review it and we agreed they were good but not enough to merit renting the hall and building a show around them. Or one of those agents calling me about would I do a show for an unknown named John Mayer, he only needed 500 bucks, he was going to be great, and then they called back to say they had something else going on. Totally true stories unlike what was probably vapor from day one: an agent or kind of a fringe LA scenester person who had managed a band that I have done business with she called to ask if we could hold the Cubberley Auditorium because it was going to be a benefit for the widow of Brad Nowell and her baby —Brad being the recently deceased founder of a band called Sublime. The headliner was going to be someone else from that scene named No Doubt. Not sure how real it was, like I said, but obviously Sublime made a lot of money for the widow once the record came out and maybe likeWeiss no doubt was not available for long. Not sure how real it was like I said but obviously sublime made a lot of money for the widow once the record came out and maybe likewise no doubt was not available for long.
I did book blink-182 into the former Cubberley cafeteria on their first tour it was Earth Day Rock N Bike six dollars but if you rode your bike you got in two-for-one which about 20 of the 150 people took us up on. I guess that would’ve been Sunday, April 20, 1997 or 1998.
Charlie Hunter played my series five times at Cubberley in five different configurations and he also told me that I should keep doing it when it was in doubt because he said when he played the community center in Palo Alto he knew that people were there to focus on him compared to playing some hipster bar in San Jose where they were clinking glasses and comparing the different types of martinis. It’s a “listening room”.
Somewhere in there if this was an interview I would try to mention my most famous former client is Mark Stew Stewart the creator of “Passing Strange”^ the Broadway show which is also a Spike Lee movie and a “great performances” on PBS and at least in our home you can get it pay-per-view. Stew’s band The Negro Problem opened for Cake in fall, 1995. Another band on the bill was called The New EZ Devils featuring a guy who had gone to Cubberley named Dan Olmsted who claimed that he used to mow the lawn for Palo Alto’s most famous high school graduate in the Hall of Fame Gregg Rolie. The second season which I guess was spring of ’95 we did a press conference in front of Gregg Rolie’s old house which is right behind the Cubberley soccer fields. Of course no one came but Dan and I and a guy named Chad from American Sensei.
Sent from my iPhone

The previous feature in the Weekly – I think this is the third actually — had me mentioning a book called “Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh” by Helena Norberg Hodge as influential on the philsophy or methodology of Earthwise Productions so this time I will toss in there or here the fact that a press release or interview or new media or hybrid like this is also a lyric essay in today’s lingo and I am influenced by a book by David Shields called “Reality Hunger” which is why I think it’s okay to mimic speech in writing or have all these digressions and some faux naive puns or mistakes. There’s a music version of this called sometimes “glitch-pop” like bedroom demos like Liz Phair or something or a guy who I was tracking and almost managed named Eric Lindley who pka’s as careful the Times reviewed him and labeled the term. People like to see the seams, or the grain in the wood. To know its real. 

Palo Alto Sky Posse VS CA Plane Por Moi

Posted on April 4, 2020

Sky Posse is a political action group lobbying to change federal aviation laws in favor of suburban quiet enjoyment.
One of their people ran for city council and got 8,000 votes, but in retaliation the pilots are buzzing are homes more obviously.

I wrote to them and suggested a rebranding as CA Plane Por Moi an allusion to the 1979 French novelty song, #58 on the charts with a similar looking name Ca Plane Por Moi — pronounced “saw plan poor mwah” — slang for “its alright with me — gliding along “ but there’s also an American language version  “Jet Boy Jet Girl”. (At the meeting at which to me this was revealed, there was also a plank about gender equity).
I’m suggesting that beyond the obvious or too obvious appeal to reason the people should pack the council chamber and start chanting “CA Plane Por Moi “.
A second front good start a counter melody chant “oooh—-oooh—ooh”.
At a certain point the group or subgroup could go “CA plane Por Moi Moi Moi Moi “ four or five times and others could shout out without waiting to be recognized “ Sonic Youth” or “I am king of the divan”.
maybe raging grannies could chime in with a saucy parody version of “Leaving on a jet plane”.
of course the ultimate would be dragging guitars to the rally, and amps.

one of these days I’ll start the group on my own.


the kid in their ad needs a helmet:

Kenny Rogers, 1976 VS Covid-19

Posted on April 4, 2020
Hi, Doug. I want to, first, commend you on the the meticulous and persevering nature of your blog. That enabled me to discover that at minute 36 of the October 13, 2009candidates forum I suggested that Palo Alto get ahead of the curve on socialized medicine, for something I was calling — but had no other plan besides the words — as I am a strict Saper-Whorf-rat — “Public Option Palo Alto”. Would we — Palo Altans, Americans — be sleeping any easier right now if we had “health care for all”, beyond Obamacare — if we had what Europe has? Or how does reaction to Covid-19 and result sort versus type of health care system? Were we penny-wise pound-foolish to not prepare more for a pandemic in this way? I was bemused to discover that, according to your previous recent posts, a model was run locally imagining a hypothetical concert as source of contagion — did it mean if a band called Anthrax had played? Or Killing Joke? The Germs? Death Cab for Cutie? The Sick? At around noon on 3/13/20 Akira Tana and I had a discussion of whether we should cancel our Tohoku Relief benefit concert at Mitchell Park Center, for that evening. So far we stand by our decision. Thanks for taking such a serious look at this. You called it.

In 2009 I suggested universal health carePS, albeit off topic, I was pleased to see somewhere in your archives two comments by the great griot Tom Jordan suggesting that people using their real names be prioritized over people like “Reason”/”Dissent”. Pretty sure I am the only person who uses his name and commonly gets deleted from TownSquare – and definitely the only $800/week advertiser who does. Sapir and Whorf, rather. (Plus a song by the Dead). That, plus I worked at Chiat-Day right after their Orwell spoof for Apple. Ok, as an intern. But I worked for a talking teddy bear — talk about prophetic! I pointed out earlier today on these same pages that the article by GS in a matter of paragraphs quoted authorities offering projections that varied 64-fold — 250 deaths predicted hear by the University of Washington model compared to 16,000 deaths in County predicted by the assistant City Manager of San Jose*. Or as the late great Kenny Rogers said in his most famous song I hope that in the last cards I am dealt there is something that I can keep, I’m paraphrasing. The last thing I got deleted by Bill Johnson, who claims he does this himself, is that I had a riff about the fact that Terry and I got lost driving around Inverness the exact same night that Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin got lost on foot, even though we had three computers plus a loaded new car — there is apparently no room for poetic utterance or prayer dressed in lyric attire; you know, space is so scarce here in cyberia. I guess it depends on what condition your condition is in.
its * passed my bedtime but this reminds me that the Palo Alto Weekly was better when it was folded not stapled

Weird Al vs Thoits Plaza

Posted on April 11, 2020

Great article in the Times about Weird Al Yankovic; it reminded me that I stole a line of his for a political parody I posted online about power and the proposal to rename Lytton Plaza for a leader of a large extended Palo Alto clan.
The family later told their advocates to drop the issue. They also later built a brand new building in the 500 block downtown which includes a plaque explaining some of the family history.
To wit:

[from 2010]

There they are now. Let’s detain them.
They look stupid. And contagious.

Hello, hello, hello, hello.
Now go. Now, go. Now, go. NOW, GO!
They wear doo-rags, they speak Ingles
They have skateboards. And gold braces.

First Amendment? Don’t recall it.
We have billions. And the Council.
Our new plaza, looks so sterile.
But our pizza, makes us virile.

A “Due process”?
It’s like sausage!

Hello, hello, hello, hello.
Now, go. Now, go. Now, go. NOW, GO!

“Sketchy people” “Undesirables”. [note: these were exact words used by Dykwel and Keenan in interviews in local papers]
Huddled masses. Civil rights groups.
We hate workers. We hate loudmouths. (and song parodies)
It’s hard to bargle nawdle zouss. [Thanks, Al]
People’s Plaza – is just for Berkeley.
We like crushed rock, not rosy parks stuff.

How low? How low— how high? (match our $400,000, guys!)

Our “doo” process?
It’s just sausage!

Smells Like Thoits Plaza
with apologies to K. Cobain and L. Levy
Wouldn’t THAT be loverly?
I’m sorry for the deceased and family but their so-called friends are doing them a disservice. And it’s only about the naming because of the context, how they do things here, with our money, and name.

Recently a friend from Berkeley said my People’s Park reference is problematic because the place is overrun by people with diseases. Kinda ironic coming from a musician; but he has kids.

The Thoits also own the former Palo Alto Sport and Toy building and saved the Greg Brown mural there: Greg’s aunt with a garden hose, a bird alighted, learning to pray.

Palo Alto Mayor who makes the trains arrive on time

Posted on May 10, 2020by markweiss86

Palo Alto mayor Adrian Fine, who is in hot water this week for pledging his support for proto-Fascist CEO Elon Musk, literally references trains arriving on time on his social media home page:

FB Pr and Real Estate Team ‘Man-splaining’ Corporate Creep to Menlo Park neighbors, June 21, 2018

Posted on May 14, 2020BLUF: Facebook exacts threaten to pull out of silicon Valley unless they get their way which means quit it with all this democracy self governance stuffI’m going to update this with a transcript.
My recollection and paraphrase is they are saying: you don’t need public transportation because we 500 billion dollar market cap neighbor has all that covered. You don’t really need self-governance if you work for us or work with us. Democracy was only an experiment, the new thing is benevolent corporate Big Behebroth. (mixture of Big Brother and Behemoth, an old word for monster). Where do I sign up?

There was a black lady, a former Obama dude, and the real estate dude, who I think lives in Palo Alto, unless I am confusing him with the Google real estae dude. Tennis. Temes, something like that. 

I think I did raise my hand and give some quick feedback. Maybe that is heckling and uncouth. 

I shop at this cafe and chat up the owner and in fact have produced my own events there. Art, essentially, although art is subversive in that it requires having a heart and a brain. 

Meanwhile, Palo Alto Weekly announced it took a $100,000 bribe from the same people. Or they applied for a grant and got it! Also, in a not necessarily related move, the food columnist for Palo Alto Weekly announced that founder of FB donated $100,000 to each of eight restaurants . And then somehow the pr person –maybe one of the five or six pictured above, explained which 8 restaurants were so honored. I mentioned something about Veruca Salt (the rock band, Seether — see here! — but also a character in a book but not actually a type of broth for ramen ).

Follow me on Plastic Alto, partial bibliography: Piketty, tho I have not read, I’ve read about; Chomsky; Bagdikian; Jerry Mander, Absence of the sacred; Roger McNamee on Zooked, but why does he continue to use the function? He livestreams his band there. Also: how much did he make going in and out of that investment? I guess Walter Isaakson on Jobs especially the parts about music. I guess Duck Soup by Marx Brothers. Underworld by Don Delillo mainly because it’s baseball season I was just reading 1,200 word excerpt –all in one sentence, no period or STOP — from “Absalom, Absalom!” 1936 by Faulkner. There is a remastered tape of his famous Nobel speech and we have been wrong he actually said “Man will not only persevere, he will remain. Or ramen. He will order ramen. Rock on! Right arm!” Ray Bradbury about burning books or memorizing them and ice cream George Packer, various, on Orwell, or “The Unwinding” or preview for such in The New Yorker. edit to add, an hour later: I wrote my headline first, which is typical of this medium, blogging, or wordpress, and the opposite of both newspapers – -where the headlines are written much later by editors — or academia where my teacher maybe Professor David Shapiro said that if you write a paper and cannot think of a good title that you have not written a good paper — but I checked “mansplaining” is in the lexicon but likely not in my new Webster’s Illy — but I did find Rebecca not Eisenberg but Solnit in 2012 using it. And maybe men cannot use this term. But — and I also admit there is no “black woman” in my video, just four men – – three white and one non-white, perhaps, hard to tell — but the speaker is a man and the owner of the cafe is Kathleen Daly a woman It’s named for her daughter, Zoe, who now works there but likely was away at university in June, 2018. I’m using mansplaining or “man-splaining” in the sense of tech people and millenials and people hooked up to the Brave New World talking to we the subject people, or aspiring to be such. Rebecca Solnit says she started using the term in 2008. andand: More importantly perhaps, I am conflating two separate nightmares; one, that FB as our overlords we will not need government by We The People, just a bunch of real time thumps up and thumbs down,as we lift the toilet seat in the a.m. then again as we place it back down for wife. But here he is saying Silicon Valley is not really Silicon Valley anymore so watch out because some indicator says we went from $100B market cap to $550B market cap slower than had been predicted by some tout early round investor and maybe there are fewer places to get really good latte in Eugene, Oregon. And I am saying “Silicon Valley” is a shibboleth on both sides of the creek and I still try to sometimes remember the name that came before “Santa Clara Valley” although that is named for a saint I don’t know — Rupa Marya has a song that awkwardly uses the Coastanoan or Ohlone name for here, I think. Or Malcolm Margolin at Press has written about this. Stanford ironically has a plaque near their knew power plant that says this was once an Ohlone world. I am suggesting that 250 years of eurocentric Catholic rule — cue Ben Gibbard, who was on Colbert last night — will be a cake walk compared to the next 200 years of rule by The BeheBroth. The Nazis had IBM, but what’s coming next will have smartphones. By the way, Jack London has The Iron Boot which imagines a 500 year struggle for socialism. Not all the cards/books/cds have been dealt, my friends. Or unfriends. Also: Murder Most Foul by Bob Dylan, which mentions — back on topic — Steve Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, who went to Menlo-Atherton. located two miles from Cafe Zoe.

Trump appointee to ramp up war on wild horses

Posted on May 15, 2020Seeks increase of $25 million in next budget to capture mustangshe chronicle had a small wire item about wild horses in the Bureau of land management which I clipped out today. Reminds me that right before I started Earthways productions I would go to Bay area action meetings at the corner of Emerson and university in the basement of what is now west elm in fact salesforce I believe uses that basement and Bill Kimball TCV fund had recently the top floor. I believe Jim Baer arranged for Barry action to share the Ross stores site in that era 1992 through 1994 or so. And one of the project was called Pine PA NE and it had to do with supporting to get the Dann sisters western Shoshone of Nevada in their efforts to graze their horses and federal lands

Smoke signals, I and II

Posted on May 25, 2020Twice in the last 24 hours I have posted at PAW about the government decree to ban vaping and cherry-tobacco from Palo Alto and its likely negative impact on Mac’s Smoke Shop, which I frequent for newspapers and magazines.
I think flavored tobacco at Mac’s to adults should be grandfathered in.
Leadership should work with the landlord to give Mac’s a break while they figure out what to shelve to displace the offensive-by-decree items.
Further research indicates they also sell a pretty good $2 cup of Joe that is a bargain compared to the places I usually buy from. 
The title I found objectionable — see above –is Cherry Boxxx Pictures “Black Virgin Teens” but it says they are over 18 years of age and has contact info for the publisher, 2005. Seven-ninety-nine reduced from $13.99 originally. I opted instead for Living Blues Magazine with a plain black cover “50th” anniversary issue, mainly for the ad for Ruthie Foster Big Band live album (“evokes Ellington, Sinatra”) on Blue Corn Records. (There were also magazines such as Marie Claire –Megan Thee Stallion–Sports Illustrated-Deandre Hopkins– and National Geographic with more wholesome and respectable images of black people, if you excuse the digression into race).
I spoke to the owner Neil Khoury about the possibility of eliminating the porn section of his store, which is behind a beaded curtain. But there is a difference between stores deliberately changing their wares for their own reasons and their hand being forced by government over-reach, which is how Dubois rightly describes his board’s unfortunate result.
I also bought a Gatorade, due to the heat. Earlier today, I had bought The Times, The Chron and the Merc. Earlier (trigger warning: I say “fuck” and I make a joke, based on Bertrand Russell’s work or Marshall McLuhan, about the inconsistency of “virginity” and “promiscuity”) 

With new vaping ban, Palo Alto expects smoke shops to shutter Council members vote down proposal to exclude adult-only shops 

The Khoury’s published an 80-word broadside with their view on this story and a call to action. They are partly right in that unlike the other businesses impacted, they are a marketplace of ideas. I buy roughly 10 newspapers there per week, easily $1,000 per year on that, magazines, plus pork rinds, and juice, the rare Nabisco product. I bought Take Five bars with two different packagings, intending to write about appropriation. The location is great, they can survive the blow. They could do more with their logo — they sell t-shirts but of a weak design. I’ve opined here hundreds of times plus posted 2,600 articles to my own blog, (which itself and in its name protested installing fake grass at the Page Mill soccer fields, but also covers local news and jazz music, for ten years). Maybe Mac’s Smoke Shop could publish “Smoke Signals” that covers this dispute and other pro-retail, unique to Palo Alto issues. Maybe I’d pay them to handle an exclusive weekly broadside based on “Plastic Alto”. I’d ditch a lot of the bongs and pipes, piled embarrasingly high. Likewise “Black Teen Virgins Who Like to Get F****” — this paper won’t even print the title. (Note: so far, 23 hours, it stands) Maybe the successor beneficiary landlords would give them a break. But if Neil and Lori Khoury can step to the step of the true spirit of Palo Alto, they can not only persevere but prevail. The council voted: Tom Dubois, Liz Kniss, Adrian Fine –no (3) The council voted: Eric Filseth, Greg Tanaka, Lydia Kuo, Alison Cormack — yes (4)I hope besides engaging in the government or self-governance process — leadership interacting with citizenry, being both representative and responsive — customers of Mac’s who read newspapers read magazines, drink coffee, eat snacks, eat ice cream or smoke tobacco — shop at the store and reach out to Neil and Lori Khoury with your words of support and ideas. Mark Weiss Plastic Alto blog resident, Downtown North

AFI at The Cub, 1996 and 2021?

Posted on May 29, 2020

And 1: a bit parochial but WordPress cannot distinguish Davey Havok from AwkwAFIna.

The instant matter my blog to God’s vag:

I will pay a pro rata share of the rent for the Cubberly multi-purpose room/auditorium which seems to be roughly $460 To produce a monthly showcase of jazz blues and folk as I did recently at Mitchell Park and will likely continue there and as I did at Cubberley back in the 1990s. I have more than $5000 on credit currently with the city. Which easily covers the first year.
Bands I had previously brought to the Cubberley Auditorium which is now of course a museum, a library briefly include cake, AFI, blink-182 brown Fellinis Alvin Youngblood Hart —some of these are still around.

If the curve isn’t bent enough we can do the first couple shows as a live streaming maybe a lottery to have a token number of actual Palo altans in the room wearing masks politely bobbing their heads and tapping their feet.

what follows, will swallow whole

My platform for 2020, although I’m definitely not running

Posted on May 29, 2020

Davey Havock of AFI, who once played at Cubberley, does not imply and endorsement but I’m asking for it, a fire inside.So to tie together a couple loose threads on the internet here at PAW, we have 35 acres at Cubberley, 39 acres special zone and Casti, which someone, apples to oranges, defines as a CUP on 51 R-1 single house tracts — I think these three discussions will define us as a community and be the gist of the election locally in the fall. A couple years ago, there was Maybell and Buena Vista concurrently but not treated equally or not thought of simultaneously – -and pretty mediocre outcomes in both cases. 
It is a challenge for us to self-govern in Palo Alto; the special interests — which I define loosely as Downtown Interests Vs The Residents — have had a rout going on for at least since 2009 when I started to tune it seriously. Leadership should be reflective of and responsive to We The People. How many of us feel that is the case?

There is no way that 15,000 voters and 50,000 citizens and 10,000 homeowners call all get what we want all the time. And I often feel that our differences are an asset; they are unique to us, our problems; or as The Guy Who Wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull wrote: inside of every problem is a gift.
I want to see more park lands, a major park, in South Palo Alto. I guess I’m a NIMBY on housing, but if we do have housing, don’t do gimmicky schemes (like at the Maybell that was referendum-dummed, or refendunned) and maybe there should be subsidies for teachers, civil service, public safety or artists.
By the way, I think PAUSD gives a sweetheart deal to the tenant at my old school, the Fremont Hills campus we own — its a private school. Maybe that should be housing!!! BMR in LAH! Who’s with me?

I had a theory that Palo Alto always under-utilized Cubberley in terms of not really programming it , just keeping the light bulbs current — no pun intended, the floors mopped. And that that was a dog whistle to the developers that they will someday get to send in their bulldozers and then build baby build.
By the way, who builds a school then 25 years later asks for a Mulligan and shuts the school? And then basically lets it flop around like a flounder for 40 years. Who builds and closes, who shutters and stutters? We do, both counts. Maybe the mascot for the School and the city should be the Push Me Pull You or The Flounder (and our Sister City had a radish as a mascot — I wrote somewhere that Ed Shikada’s first job in the area was as the hockey mascot, or that we hired him to find us a good mascot).

What about moving Casti to Cub and having PAUSD teachers live there too, building some homes at Bryant and Embarcadero, to fund shuttles and other precariot services, and making it up the difference to actual and current Palo Altans at Fry’s, with an arts center and some parks and just a smidgen of housing. Or maybe housing above a PAC performing arts center at Ventura, and use the old school campus of Ventura School as a lure, or lagniappe. 
But lets plan this all ourselves super-slowly – I’m serious — and not hire a bunch of out of town consultants. And don’t throw “scoping parties” with high end cheese. 

We could change the name of Cubberley to Green, Bill Green and then change the old Jordan to Baez, Joan Baez. 
Or if Jeremy Lin can raise $10M I’d say call the Cub, The Lin. Years from now they will think the Cougar was a Lion, The Lin Lions. I’d make the park in Ventura Yamamoto, the war hero.
Problems solved. 
Your welcome. and1: I’m helping Mac’s replace the lost tobacco and vape revenue by offering to produce a pop up art gallery in what is now their porn closet, behind the beads, working title Go Ask Matt; I’m covering the political debate in my blog, with a pro-Koury bias. But overall I think Cubberley, Ventura and Castilleja are the 3 hot topics. 

R u Casti R-1?

Posted on June 1, 2020

Numerous signs, especially Professorville for or against the Castilleja expansion project, which is being recast in some circles as Revoke Their CUP conditional use permit. And replace the school with single family residences, to increase the tax base. Every candidate for local fall elections will have to choose sides.

Fire go come Palo Alto?

Posted on June 1, 2020by markweiss86


[Apropos of the curfew, I support city manager Ed Shikada; mostly because he attended the last show I produced at The Mitch, before the Covid sheltering, March 13, which was a benefit for Tohoku featuring Akira Tana Otonowa and in fact featured a trumpet player who flew in from Japan for this tour. We did contact tracing of the 50 or so attendees, most of whom knew each other. Not an easy time to be a City Manager].

Thank you, James Mattis, of Stanford

Posted on June 3, 2020

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” former Trump administation Secretary of Defense, and Hoover fellow James Mattis writes, for The Atlantic. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

The Atlantic, we note, is owned by Laurene Powell Jobs, whose offices at Emerson Project are here in Palo Alto. She also hired Gunn graduate George Packer, son of law professor Packer and writing teacher Nancy Packer to write for The Atlantic. I learned of this missive just now while watching Fox News. The article says it was published earlier today. Similarly, it was reported that Secretary Espers is refusing to use the military to suppress protest in Washington, D.C. It’s sort of a red herring but I noted that Morgan and Amercian Express and Apple are boarded up — and my news stand Mac’s Smokeshop, but Ms. Powell Jobs tasteful office is not. Palo Alto is under a 8:30 curfew. I do note however that Ms. Powell Jobs building previously was the Nevada Building that once had the office of poet laureate (and Stanford Steger fellow) Al Young. I hope the protests stay peaceful tonite. Also, I posted on PAW that this reminds me of Spike Lee, 1989 “Do The Right Thing”. Helen Sung, and excuse my segue, sent something about a Mingus piece based on the German philosopher who opposed the Nazi’s and the “when the came for the Unionists, I did not object”. Also, shout out to Gunn High’s Jessica Zang, JZ, who writes for the Weekly and has seven posts, 30,000 readers and 125 comments. She broke the story locally that the protests can happen here. Not to tip my hand, I want to know what Marcus Shelby, who was on the books for April 18 at The Mitch, thinks of all this. What motivates him to do the work that he does, with his bass, as a composer, and a band leader, and a leader? edit to add: from Hoover website: General Jim Mattis, US Marine Corps (Ret.), is the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow, after having served as the nation’s 26th Secretary of Defense in the administration. In December of 2016, President Donald J. Trump nominated Mattis for Secretary of Defense and he was confirmed a month later. Mattis left Hoover to apply his knowledge and experience to help the President shape his national defense policy. General Mattis commanded at multiple levels in his forty-three year career as an infantry Marine. As a lieutenant in the western Pacific, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander in the Third Marine Division. As a captain in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, he commanded a rifle company and a weapons company in the First Marine Brigade. As a major he was the battalion officer at the Naval Academy Prep School and commanded Marine recruiters in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. As a lieutenant colonel he commanded an assault battalion breaching the Iraqi minefields in Operation Desert Storm. As a colonel he commanded 7th Marine Regiment and, on Pentagon duty, he served as the Department of Defense Executive Secretary. As a brigadier general he was the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Following 9-11 he commanded the First Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Naval Task Force 58 in operations against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. As a major general, he commanded the First Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Iraq. In his first tour as a lieutenant general, he was in charge of Marine Corps Combat Development at Quantico and subsequently served as Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force/Commander, U.S. Marine Forces in the Middle East. As a general he served concurrently as the Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation. Before retiring in 2013 he was the Commander of U.S. Central Command, directing military operations of over 200,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and allied forces across the Middle East. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, and the co-editor of the book, Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military. I saw a video of James N. Mattis talking in the locker room to the Stanford basketball team. I will also, weird segue, add a photo from this winter Condi Rice as a special bench coach for Stanford Men’s basketball. Can I mention here that Michael McFaul has a son who played hoops for Gunn?

I am George Floyd

Posted on June 4, 2020

by markweiss86

Are you?

dit to add, the next day: the Rev. Kaloma Smith has an op-ed in today’s Weekly that has some sugestions to improve public safety here, apropos of race or bias. I posted this set of commments:
Ventura is a historically black neighborhood in Palo Alto.
I hope Rev. Kaloma Smith leans in on what becomes of that neighborhood, especially with Sobrato and Wheatley salivating at the profits in the upzoning deal. (Fry’s and the expansion)
I also think Palo Alto could use a Black History Museum, as part of the Palo Alto History Museum.
In a related story, I hear that Verve Records is going to release a recording make here in 1968 of Thelonious Monk playing at Palo Alto High School soon after (MLK) was killed.
I had a Marcus Shelby concert on the books at The Mitch in April when the pandemic hit and when we reschedule that maybe we can have him double down on the socially conscious element of his work; for instance, he has done programs with Angela Davis. (Stanford Lively Arts does a lot of this as well, but we the town not gown can do our share, too). Marcus by the way came and played when Mildred Howard built her bottle house at King Plaza, a few years back.
I also want to shout out to the amazing George Floyd mural on cardboard that is taped to the plywood that it protecting the Apple store on Uni – it is so well done that it made me wonder if Apple itself or the landlord Elizabeth Wong had covertly commissioned it – i.e. are looters less likely to demolish something that seems hip to BLM.
There’s a bench at Cubberley for Bill Green the US champion in 1980 in the 400 — I actually think that if we re-open Cubberley we could change the name to Bill Green Center.
I usually don’t tip my hand like this but I am really tripping on a Nicole Butler Lisa Harris jazz and voice program based on the writings of Octavia Butler, “earthseed”.
I’m a white guy but a lot of my work in the arts involves my wanting to learn more about Black Culture.
Lastly, I think Aram James does a lot on the public safety front, and of course LaDoris Cordell is a treasure. Maybe we should name something for her.
Two hundred and fifty years ago some white people named this area for a very tall tree. It’s time to name for something here for a pillar of justice like LaDoris.

Mark Weiss
Downtown North 

I also think that the scrutiny of Zach Perron and Wayne Benitez show that Palo Alto is very serious about the values that Rev. Kaloma Smith articulates here.

Drop the fucking mic, mayor of Palo Alto

Posted on June 6, 2020

Hi, I’m Adrian and I am posing next to the trains are on time sign ironically not because I’ve heard about Musollini but because I work for Ford who wants to create cars like in the movie “The Minority Report”

I saw the mayor of Palo Alto speak today. Not really, I got there too late to see the podium. I could barely hear the speakers. There were 10,000 people at Hamilton and Ramona, 250 Hamilton. I taped the mayor’s speech, using my smart phone, but I have not tried to listen to it. A friend of mine texted me that he was pretty bad. I said “Who is speaking?” And then “Adrian?” and then recognized his voice, barely. After a while people started chanting “De-fund Po-lice” Defund the police. They weren’t really shouting him down they just weren’t sure if he was still speaking. Maybe he was the guy who was about to announce the next band.
If I ever get the chance to speak to 10,000 of my fellow citizens. I would go, ad lib, like I’m doing here “Hello, Palo Alto! It is so good to see you. I recognize some of you, but I love all of you! Black lives fuckin’ matter! BLACK LIVES FUCKING MATTER! MALCOLM X! FUCK YEAH! LADORIS CORDELL, FUCK YEAH! FRANK WILDERSON! FUCK YEAH! ANGELA DAVIS FUCK AND FUCK YEAH! GEORGE FLOYD! SAY HIS NAME!”
Something like that.

My friend said that Adrian Fine, a 35-year old Gunn grad and former Planning Commissioner chosen by his peers as the buck-stops-here-only-one-year mayor, instead said, and I could update later if the tape comes out, something about City Council will “debate black lives matter”. What could that mean? Debate? black lives matter, Black Lives Matter. The people have spoken. There is no debate. People could die while the bureaucracy debates.
Was he referencing the “Resolution” he will read to an empty chamber Monday night? It’s pretty good. It’s better that the “message of hope” that the city sent out the other day. But I wonder who wrote it. It’s not as good as what I just wrote, off the top of my head (“Angela Davis! Fuck and Fuck Yeah” et cetera). It looks like something someone faxed us from another city.

I am thinking about a movie I liked as a kid, I saw on tv. It was a World War II movie, in the Pacific. A mix of comedy and suspense. A small boat with an iconoclast captain, maybe William Holden. It was not I don’t think “McHale’s Navy”. It was more serious that that, the movie. 
There’s a scene I remember where they get a message:
The captain is puzzled. He says “What are we, The PTA? (Parent Teacher association). 
Someone speaks up: “Mine” not “fine”. Explosives. Danger.

Or as Mark Twain once said: the difference between having a Mayor of Palo Alto who can piss holding his dick with one hand while standing up and having a mayor who is not sure if black? lives? matter? is the difference between life and death, Democracy and Fascism, you fucking idiot.
Drop the mic, Adrian “fine”. 

PS I mean “drop the mic” in an ironic sense in the he should let someone else speak for us, and lead us. Not “drop the mic” in the sense of BOOM I said something important. 

PPS Someone pointed out that as of a week ago the mayor of Palo Alto Adrian Fine filled out an updated Form 700 Fair Practices which says he now works for Ford Motors and owns 10 percent or more of a startup here helping this $26 Billion dollar company — which has a history of racism and anti-Semitism — get in on what some people want or predict, self-driving cars. I thought Adrian Fine worked for NextDoor, that announces yard sales and the like on the internet. Why didn’t this make the news? I would think going forward the mayor should recuse himself from the business tax, from shuttle system and how to get it here, from RPP parking. Ford just bet another billion with a B on self-driving cars, they don’t want a director of marketing who is also a civil servant. 

So now is the perfect time for Adrian Fine to resign as mayor “for personal reasons” for his family or his employer or to become a motivational speaker.


edit to add: shout out to Michael Young formerly of Palo Alto who hipped me apropos of Frank Wilderson who he calls “brilliant’ about Frantz  Fanon and CLR James, who I would have worked into my speech.

Pitter Pat pear

Posted on June 6, 2020

Former mayor Pat Blurt pert butte apple butter stewed like prunes

Pat you were in leadership here for 16 years, 2000 thru 2016. Two companies, now worth a combined $1.6 trillion market cap were either founded here or based her during that time (FB, 2004; Google, 1999-2003). Why did we fail to establish a business tax for these and similar companies? I recall a more recent vote by you to grant concessions to the developer of the HQ of a video game company at Stanford Industrial Park — isn’t your discussion above just chump change compared to the opportunity cost or failure to lead?
If not you, who is responsible for the mess we are in? Why should people trust that you’ve changed?

So I’ve been deleted three times but I backed up my comment which I can circulate to people on my own or send in to city government and let the clerk decide to run it: I said something in these pages about when Pat Burt announced that he had been secretly contacted by John Arrillaga in defiance of policy and was about to be the subject of a grand jury probe which he himself oddly would later help rebut I made a joke about how he sounded, unbelievable. He said “we are going to take the lead here”. It’s like when my dog briefly wants to play tug-of-war he’s 14 pounds I’m 214 pounds. I didn’t say that then. But the point is if I had said Pat Burt is an Anjou three weeks short of ripe, that is not libel that is political speech or satire and in fact people said that about the French monarchy right before the revolution, literally the thing about pears. 
At this point he is barely baby food. 
Pat said “you’re morally detached from what you say” In a way that he looked like he was threatening a physical remedy. So I call him a bully. (note: three members of  leadership  when Pat was on council told me that he had treated them the same way, all eight others felt this way and they called it “being burted”. 

Pat Burt did vote with a 7-1 majority to give Sand Hill Properties millions of dollars worth of zoning bonuses for the headquarters at 1050 Page Mill Stanford industrial park of Machine Zone a video game maker. The leases overall at Stanford Park are worth $18b with a B. Is it any wonder our leaders lose every time to special interests?

So by deleting my previous comment, Pat Burt is assenting to my assertion that in twelve years in leadership everything he did benefitted the developers and special interests and nothing he did benefited We The People, his neighbors and Palo Altans. 
I hope he runs again.

Deleting my comment does not refute my point. 
Another example: these pages 2/13/19
In addition, without the cap, existing housing (such as the President apartments) may be converted to commercial. Council However, lifting the cap is a reason why we will lose those apartments and, potentially, other existing residential units in the future. 
Monday’s actions were bad planning, bad policy and bad politics, all rolled into one.
[Portion removed.]

I tag this “platos republic” which means government, “words” because it has to do with lexicon; and “lumpialumpialumpia” which means either Philipines or food or that Pat Burt’s head looks like Jerry Lumpe of the Tigers after a close call at home plate. 

Pat what did you learn from the grand jury report that said leadership during your tenure enabled a secret Development plan by a very powerful individual contrary to our policies and not in the best interest of the citizens who you were sworn to represent?

This is the 34-page response to the Grand Jury Report, co-authored by Pat Burt and Greg Schmid, pertaining to secret simultaneous discussions about a office tower at 27 University (MacArthur Park/El Camino Park) and a 7.7 acre parcel at Foothill Park. 
What, Mr Burt was the relationship between the two deals? Why did staff suggest adding a third element, a venue for an arts organization?Mayor Burt said there’s always room for good people


To now avoid layoffs and retain community support for city employees, unionized city workers should opt to forego these previously agreed upon raises.
Oh, wait, I’m sorry, I didn’t read this carefully before: when you say “forego” these promises, you mean break our word. Got it. You really should jump back into leadership here, big guy.

(ok here I admit that I did misread this; Pat is not suggesting that force majeure the negotitions with a labor we should declare null and void, he is merely telling labor what they should do, for Pat. Which also reminds me that Joey Piziali a Paly grad – -and like Pat Burt’s father involved with football — and now an artist – -his is the mural on Cali Ave that looks like a whiffle ball melting – when I ran for council made me a mock campaign poster that said DON’T BULL SHIT A BULLSHITTER  which I tried to place at the PAW as an ad but they wouldn’t accept it. They wanted it to read DON’T    A  . 

This sort of repeats:

My opinion is that a better way to preserve, like pear baby food, City Services would be for Pat and Pat to butt out, or burt out. 
Pat you were in leadership here for 16 years, 2000 thru 2016. Two companies, now worth a combined $1.6 trillion market cap were either founded here or based her during that time (FB, 2004; Google, 1999-2003). Why did we fail to establish a business tax for these and similar companies? I recall a more recent vote by you to grant concessions to the developer of the HQ of a video game company at Stanford Industrial Park — isn’t your discussion above just chump change compared to the opportunity cost or failure to lead?
If not you, who is responsible for the mess we are in? Why should people trust that you’ve changed?

So I’ve been deleted three times but I backed up my comment which I can circulate to people on my own or send in to city government and let the clerk decide to run it: I said something in these pages about when Pat Burt announced that he had been secretly contacted by John Arrillaga in defiance of policy and was about to be the subject of a grand jury probe which he himself oddly would later help rebut I made a joke about how he sounded, unbelievable. He said “we are going to take the lead here”. It’s like when my dog briefly wants to play tug-of-war he’s 14 pounds I’m 214 pounds. I didn’t say that then. But the point is if I had said Pat Burt is an Anjou three weeks short of ripe, that is not libel that is political speech or satire and in fact people said that about the French monarchy right before the revolution, literally the thing about pears. 
At this point he is barely baby poop. 
Pat said “you’re morally detached from what you say” In a way that he looked like he was threatening a physical remedy. So I call him a bully. (note: three members of leadership when Pat was on council told me that he had treated them the same way, all eight others felt this way and they called it “being burted”).

Pat Burt did vote with a 7-1 majority to give Sand Hill Properties millions of dollars worth of zoning bonuses for the headquarters at 1050 Page Mill Stanford industrial park of Machine Zone a video game maker. The leases overall at Stanford Park are worth $18b with a B. Is it any wonder our leaders lose every time to special interests?

So by deleting my previous comment, Pat Burt is assenting to my assertion that in twelve years in leadership everything he did benefitted the developers and special interests and nothing he did benefited We The People, his neighbors and Palo Altans. 
I hope he runs again.

Deleting my comment does not refute my point. 
Another example: these pages 2/13/19
In addition, without the cap, existing housing (such as the President apartments) may be converted to commercial. Council However, lifting the cap is a reason why we will lose those apartments and, potentially, other existing residential units in the future. 
Monday’s actions were bad planning, bad policy and bad politics, all rolled into one.
[Potion removed. The snake he beguiled, he ate the pear]

I tag this “plato’s republic” which means government, “words” because it has to do with lexicon; and “lumpialumpialumpia” which means either Philipines or food or that Pat Burt’s head looks like Jerry Lumpe of the Tigers after a close call at home plate. Which of course reminds me of the softball fields at El Camino Park near where Pat Burt wanted to give away public lands to his rich buddy and puppet master puppy poop stepper inner, or that’ s my reading of the Grand Jury Report. What’s yours? Give away is a poetic and expedient term for it; the offer was more like $150,000 for 7.7 acres. 
Before the song ‘Move Like Jagger” there was one here, but not by Le Levy, “Poop like Patrick” in the sense of not having verve enough to defend the Constitution.

Pat what did you learn from the grand jury report that said leadership during your tenure enabled a secret Development plan by a very powerful individual contrary to our policies and not in the best interest of the citizens who you were sworn to represent?

This is the 34-page response to the Grand Jury Report, co-authored by Pat Burt and Greg Schmid, pertaining to secret simultaneous discussions about a office tower at 27 University (MacArthur Park/El Camino Park) and a 7.7 acre parcel at Foothill Park. 
What, Mr Burt was the relationship between the two deals? Why did staff suggest adding a third element, a venue for an arts organization?

Mayor Burt said there’s always room for good people


To now avoid layoffs and retain community support for city employees, unionized city workers should opt to forego these previously agreed upon raises.
Oh, wait, I’m sorry, I didn’t read this carefully before: when you say “forego” these promises, you mean break our word. Got it. You really should jump back into leadership here, big guy.

(ok here I admit that I did misread this; Pat is not suggesting that force majeure the negotitions with a labor we should declare null and void, he is merely telling labor what they should do, for Pat. Which also reminds me that Joey Piziali a Paly grad – -and like Pat Burt’s father involved with football — and now an artist – -his is the mural on Cali Ave that looks like a whiffle ball melting – when I ran for council made me a mock campaign poster that said DON’T BULL SHIT A BULLSHITTER which I tried to place at the PAW as an ad but they wouldn’t accept it. They wanted it to read DON’T A .

You had me at ‘ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!!!’

Posted on June 6, 2020

It’s been six years since the biggest sea change about corruption in Palo Alto vis a vis the developers, the billion dollar industry micromanaging every last parking spot and tree planting in Palo Alto and things have sure gotten better. Just kidding. 
Grand Jury Report? Refresh my memory.
Pat Burt, a former mayor and the self-appointed pulling guard stupid body right for John Arrillaga, who built a stadium only a few years before, recently bloviated about something-something-something here, so I dug up my old reporting. 
There’s a link to a 24-page document, which I think combines the staff report, the response drafted by Burt and Greg Schmid, and the GJR itself. 
How will it look after six years water under the bridge or down the creek?
I could only get three paragraphs in:
This project got off to a bad start, and certainly off on the wrong foot. The initial action requested of Council on March 5, 2012 to allocate funding to allow for the City to actively shape some of the potential design features in response to initial suggestions by John Arrillaga did not establish enough detail for public review and commentary. The fact that Council members had received individual briefings by staff (permissible) on Mr. Arrillaga’s interest in a project of significant scale at that location compounded eventual community criticism for the project and process.
And although the purpose for that funding was to inform a potential future project, by the time the specifics of the project design parameters came forward (September 24, 2012) too much time had passed. More importantly, the scale of the potential project, particularly building heights, far overshadowed potential public benefits related to a new regional theater, significant parking, and improvements to the intermodal transit center and surrounding road network.
My guess is: same old crap brand new rap: Ventura, Fry’s Cubberley, Casti — uh-boy. Hang on to your tri-cornered Andew Hamilton it’s hop hop but I’m still a right-winger hat, it’s going to be a long night, or a short superficial election season and three more bobble heads with fake smiles and crocodile tears for We The People.

If I had this guy in my collection, I certainly did not associate him with Doonesbury

Exuse my post-modernisms and interjections and ejaculations:

This project got off to a bad start, and certainly off on the wrong foot. Ok, if you have to say it twice, maybe you should not say it at all. It was a cold and rainy cold night…A bad start and the wrong foot? Two different faux pas or you just couldn’t decide which page on your cliche book to start with. No, you got off on the wrong side of your procrustean ruptured water bed and ran out of quarters or took no quarters the machine did it’s magic fingers, typing with two fingers at a time.

So March 12 2012 is the date this started — and I will check against my records of there being a Monday meeting that Burt said something stupid, and then he confronted me at Printers Ink – which I call bullying and then awkwardly pat and his party of six get seated with Terry and I and our guest — a young activist — at a busy St. Patrick’s Day (irony) dinner downtown. The hostess said “since you guys all seem to be in local politics, is it okay if I seat you all together at a big table?” Which I thought was fine, we discussed with Mr. Beacom his nephew in pro baseball and Fulton Kuykendall Kaptain krazy his fraternity brother — guys can always talk sports. Burt self-seated at far west end of table away from the Weiss Party of Three – Burt Party of Six Borderline. Politics is like making corned beef or something. 

So they say that something else happens by September. And again this is two and a half years before this staff report and now its six years later. We’ve learned so much.

Pat Burt, city council member who wanted to help Arrillaga build his legacy giant office tower

Staff gave council briefings, permissable, they say. The grand jury stuff therefore is more in the likes of the secret meetings between the billionaire and leadership/council, serial and secret meetings. Got it. Paid staff is permitted to work directly for billionaires and not think about the needs of the people paying their salaries. Ok now. Moving on.

Something significant scale something something compounded eventual community criticism for the project and process.

Ok, I’m taking issue here. When they say  “significant scale” they mean that a billionaire wakes up one morning, he’s 74 years old, his name is on several buildings on campus already, he rebuilt the football stadium, with fanfare if they dont’ call it the “The Argh!” –maybe if we go from “Cardinal” which is a type of math or maybe a color and not a bird to Pirates, which in fact students wanted once, Robber Barons, then having a stadium called “The Argh” would work. Assuming people call the Arrillagas “the Arghs” and not “the Llags” and people will get it that that is the noise that pirates make. And I also notice there is a trend throughout the Pac 10 or whatever to riff up the mascots a bit: The Beavs, not the Beavers, the Fighting Ducks not the Ducks. But I digress.

Anyhow the billionaire reads that in Abu Dabi and Dubois and Saudi Arabia — where he visited when he sold a billion dollars to the Saudis his land here – the land he and Rich Kelley’s dad Rich the seven foot basketball star from the 1970s to Argh the six foot guard from the 1950s – they obviously know each other – the dad Ry Kelley liked poetry and music I recall learning – Though I didn’t know he was either Rich Kelley’s dad or John Arrillagas former mentor. Anyhow, and this is good backstory, somewhere in there Arrillaga and Peery — two e’s — team up and gather some land and sell it to the Saudi’s and anyhow Argh or Big A but not Big E Elvin or Wes Unseld, rest in peace and remind me to look up if Wes Unseld had a nickname I have since forgetten. Anyways there are some big ass buildings in the Middle East these days so why not try to break the record here in Palo Alto or Stanford? 

But then, and I may be getting ahead of myself, a staff member, nice gal, went to school with me, used to sing with The Tubes –White Punks on Dope, Talk to You Later, Completion Backward Principle, What Do You Want from Life — reads about people like me asking questions about the covenant between another developer — his son went to Dartmouth – -not sure his Stanford bona fides — promising that when the chain book store ever leaves 456 University will definitely go back to what the people wanted, thousands of them, signed a petition, a performing arts space or movie hall or both, the Varsity and she goes “hey Mr. Arrillaga, because there’s a lot of talk here about people who live here not wanting that much more office space office space office space and then also wanting, like, music, like my band the Tubes, what if we confuse them all or soothe the savage beasts the great unwashed and say this is not 200,000 stories of office or 200,000 feet of office space but A THEATRE wearing a stove top hat, like Abe Lincoln, I was thinkin’…”.

And staff goes, that’s great, we can spend $200,000 of some other Stanford bribe money on some consultants, like that guy on the ARB who is short of cash and we can make a big fancy report. And the press will report it just as we lay it out to them, like in The Front Page the old version not the feminsit one that is confusingly like Robinson Caruso, the press will play along, and we’ll tell everybody not to run for office this year so it won’t like be talked about during the campaign. And we’ve got a real team player, she’s actually Argh’s neighbor at one of his sites, she says, moving back down from County to local; and a real gamer, a kid, burt I mean but he’s ready to play along. and the old guy, the one honest guy, he’s about to have a heart attack or something, so this will fly thru. 

And although the purpose for that funding was to inform a potential future project, by the time the specifics of the project design parameters came forward (September 24, 2012) too much time had passed. 

I have nothing to add, that totally makes sense. Off to the wrong start, too much time passed. No secret meetings during those six months. No collusion. No peeing on faces of oligarchs in fancy hotels even when the Saudi lock out all eight floors (the four we see, the four no one knows about but oligarchs and the 300 ). And years before the Saudi’s start taking bonecutting saws to dissidents and bad or formerly in the know pundits. Got it.

A little back story: when Len Siegel a former mayor of Mountain View was at Stanford he was a radical, trying to stop the  war. On March 18 of that year they literally had a Catholic priest perform an exorcism to remove the snakes i.e the developers from Palo Alto Square which at the time seemed like it would help The Military Industrial Complex more than it would become a place for art movies. But then even poor Len somehow lost his purchase. 

But 27 University besides a pretty good place for ribs – and I recall they had Keena Turner of the 49ers do some ads — bust some ribs, get it? – but also David Gilhooly – -who wanted frog legs on the menu — was a historic building and if you look at the flag pole I think there are three separate war memorials there; and you’d have to un-dedicate park land at El Camino Park which is harder than putting a big fish tank under the artificial soccer fields. 

Personally I counted 270 problems with the report, my copy of it – that is the staff report that either the people paid for but it was to please the billionaire, one guy or the one that citizens gave up seats on boards to collect $200,00o to help flesh out – and not the grand jury report. The errors went from grammatical to the idea that putting a theatre under a giant office tower made it a new “arts and transportation district” or something. 

compounded eventual community criticism for the project and process.

I like the alliteration, the compounded and community and then then the project and processes, the writer is clearly minding his c’s and p’s. Yes, I agree, it was probably already an incredibly stupid idea just the billionaire wanting a 300 foot model of his dick before all the secret meetings and like. And I cannot recall if it actually looked from outer space like the Argh family crest – -a Big A not a Big U or a Big FU Unseld unsold and unchained and uncanny but I did joke that years from now people would be confused if El Palo Alto is a big tree, or Hoover Tower was The Big Tree or This Thing was The Big Tree Thingy. The Huge Erection – -and this was before the big Dick Building in SF. Or someone should look at whether this was just a big office building “for Stanford’ — was that part ever official? — or for VMWare – that was on the plans, rather than being up on Deer Creek they’d be vertical, in the tower — or did someone predict Salesforce would want to get in anything reeking of big dicks?

So it got off to a bad start, then on the wrong foot, then six months passed and there was no collusion or hookers peeing on billionaires in hotels and no carving up with saws journalists but then someone noticed that the same billionaire guy when he wasn’t fantasizing about seeing his erection from space he wanted to purchase from the people 7.7 acres of park land that he was using next to his castle in the hills, but someone noticed this because someone on staff (permissable) accidently put it on the agenda, of a secret meeting – -the meeting was secret but people could see the agenda. 

And I still don’t know if he offered us $200 million dollars for the 7.7 acres because then we’d look the other way about the office tower OR he drank his own Gatorade and thought that his gift to the world (Stanford, an elite institution with $30 B endowment and $18 B in groundleases to manage) was so great that we’d sell him the land for, like $770, like what John Hopkins did to purchase the land from the Ohlone in 1769.

And how do we know that El Palo Alto near the creek, on Palo Alto Menlo Park border is the one Portola saw or did that one, closer to Middle Field and Embarcadero get cut down for a giant Bonfire of the Vanities?

So that’s the 2020 hindsight Monday Morning Quarterback version of the Grand Jury Report.

Related question: I just re-watched 49ers and Bengals, Montana to John Taylor (not the Bush economist) and I noticed John Paye on the sidelines wearing a white sweat shirt with what looks like three ping pong paddles on it — what kind of sweat shirt was that? 

From the GJR:

The City first leased the Lee Gift Deed Property to the adjoining landowner in a document dated April 5, 1996, but it stated that the lease term began on March 17, 1996. The lease was for twelve months, to be used “for TENANT’S continued use of the PREMISES as a staging area for construction of a residence on the adjacent parcel owned by TENANT.” The lease rate was $1,100.00 per year plus a $1,500.00 security deposit. 

Tenant is Arrillaga — did we give him back the $1,500 security deposit?

edit to add, a few minutes later, after walking the dog, feeding him, getting some soup, et cetera: the thing about staff initiating the part about adding the theatre after hearing the enthusiasm from The Varsity as a performing arts space, no one else has ever reported. (And similarly, I wrote that a Stanford grad student had written a paper about The Varsity and quoted Chop Keenan as saying that Borders had pre-paid him for reversion to theatre- she never returned my calls) . I gave the city – -Jim Keene and Tom Fehrenbach — a list of 20 names and venues in the music business, mostly regional – -of people qualifed to develop 456 Uni as a world-class 500 capacity venue, but in my opinion staff did not make a good faith effort to find a PPP because the landlord wasn’t into it. Yet, later both Berkeley and Menlo Park have movie houses converted to music venues, or approved plans for such. For whom does staff work?

And rather than actually producing an arts venue (or arts district) for downtown Palo Alto it had the secondary effect of dividing the arts community. I said: if you are building a venue, why not have arts groups compete to be the tenant? Also, I said things like “Theatreworks is NOT an incubator of Broadway shows or Tony-winners; in fact, the producers of “Memphis” quit Theatreworks to pursue their Broadway dreams.

Andandand or “Argh!” — I’m trying to circle back to Wes Unseld, but “significant parking“? Staff seems to be saying that a feature of the building and a public benefit, were it not derailed by corruption, was that it had signficant parking I guess implying that we are building a motherfucker of a building but it will have so much parking that it will solve the under-parking problems of fifty previous flawed projects, wtf? Maybe the whole is so deep it’s a joint venture with our Chinese sister city Smart City consort. Wes unsold, you bet. There’s going to be infinite underground parking and a pneumatic tube that connects to the arena of the Shandong Heroes of the Chinese basketball league, where all Palo Altans have a lifetime pass, and free parking. 

Overhead view of the proposed Arrillaga Towers which from outer space looked like the letter “A” help me Mr Wizard. But seriously, Unself was one of only two people to be MVP in their rookie season, averaging 18 rebounds per game. So they are saying that in one game, Wes Unseld had more rebounds than Randy Arrillaga in 2 seasons at Saratoga High

Revised version of Adrian fine Adrian Figg riff for readers of the Palo Alto Weekly

Posted on June 8, 2020

Eleven hours later, kind of reminds me of the joke when I was a kid about Gilligan and Ginger and Gilligan asks if he can stick his finger in her belly button and she says “If Black Lives Matter”..)
I saw the mayor of Palo Alto speak Saturday. Not really, I got there too late to see the podium. I could barely hear the speakers. There were 10,000 people at Hamilton and Ramona, 250 Hamilton. I taped the mayor’s speech, using my smart phone, but I have not tried to listen to it. A friend of mine texted me that he was pretty bad. I said “Who is speaking?” And then “Adrian?” and then recognized his voice, barely. After a while people started chanting “De-fund Po-lice” Defund the police. They weren’t really shouting him down they just weren’t sure if he was still speaking. Maybe he was the guy who was about to announce the next band.
If I ever get the chance to speak to 10,000 of my fellow citizens. I would go, ad lib, like I’m doing here “Hello, Palo Alto! It is so good to see you. I recognize some of you, but I love all of you! Black lives matter! BLACK LIVES MATTER! MALCOLM X! YEAH! LADORIS CORDELL, YEAH! FRANK WILDERSON! (he’a an author, new book) YEAH! ANGELA DAVIS DOUBLE YEAH! GEORGE FLOYD! SAY HIS NAME!”
Something like that.

My friend said that Adrian Fine, a 35-year old Gunn grad and former Planning Commissioner chosen by his peers as the buck-stops-here-only-one-year mayor, instead said something about City Council will “debate black lives matter”. What could that mean? Debate? black lives matter, Black Lives Matter. The people have spoken. There is no debate. People could die while the bureaucracy debates.
Was he referencing the “Resolution” he will read to an empty chamber Monday night? It’s pretty good. It’s better that the “message of hope” that the city sent out the other day. But I wonder who wrote it. It’s not as good as what I just wrote, off the top of my head. It looks like something someone faxed us from another city. (OK, two drafts, this, but you get my drift).

I am thinking about a movie I liked as a kid, I saw on tv. It was a World War II movie, in the Pacific. A mix of comedy and suspense. A small boat with an iconoclast captain, maybe William Holden. It was not I don’t think “McHale’s Navy”. It was more serious that that, the movie. 
There’s a scene I remember where they get a message:
The captain is puzzled. He says “What are we, The PTA? (Parent Teacher association). 
Someone speaks up: “Mine” not “fine”. Explosives. Danger.

Or as Mark Twain once said: the difference between having a Mayor of Palo Alto who can (find the right words, at once in a lifetime event) and having a mayor who is not sure if black? lives? matter? is the difference between life and death, Democracy and Fascism, you Clydesdale led to proberbial fountain of wisdom but read the label did not inhale.
Drop the mic, Adrian “fine”. 
Maybe now is good time to resign from public service and work full time for large corporate day job.
Very dramatic would be to do so tonite. Waiting until closer to the election weakens it. 

This is a dated reference but George Floyd is like the American Stephen Biko so our South African mayor Adrian Fine is sort of Botha or DeClerq.
And the remedy, if having 5,000 chanting to drown you out doesn’t do it then maybe listen to the Peter Gabriel version of Biko’s story.
America is an apartheit state now. But we can fix this. First step, Fine time to resign.
Meanwhile, a young filmmaker just died in an Egyptian prison – -he made a music video in which a rapper calls the despot leader “a fig”. Adrian Fine as a white populist leader of Palo Alto is a lot closer to being Mubarak than to being Ronald Reagan. Or as Winnie The Pooh said, find a parade and jump in front of it. Either lead it or let it run you over, young man.

Mayor Fine opens meeting but does not resign; votes to close session, for labor negotiations, per agenda and as exception to Brown Act

Posted on June 8, 2020

Also just earlier last hour or within the last hour met two young activists who gave me information about how to use my smart phone to learn more about black lives matter:


I noticed the local paper that had a misleading headline which I guess influenced this misleading headline above that said that if tonight Council ratifies its ordinance that impacts Mac’s smoke shop that voters could within 30 days get 2500 or so signatures locally to put the matter to referendum I thought it said this had already been accomplished which surprised me because I thought they were a few of us high on MaC’s

The subhead refers to the fact that I sometimes talk about very much mundane things yet four at a time it comes from a Grateful Dead song about two different melodies going, the other one

Yesterday, last year or medieval?

Posted on June 20, 2020

Aram James a retired public defender and also an activist in our community – – a former Gunn football player from the 1960s, who, also as much as anyone else avidly followed my three attempts at running for city council, sent me a video.
The video is dated June 19; some people call it Juneteenth.
The first thing I noticed is that officer reifschnider, who I’ve met, reminds me of a weird cross between Jack Webb in Dragnet and Rod Serling In the twilight zone.
I’ve never heard of the genre of Orwellian spin doctor of torture videos paid for by the tax payers.
Ironically the events take place at “ happy donuts”.

they try to explain why the surveillance camera goes in and out although to me it looks like it was deliberately deleting incriminating parts.  It’s hard not to be cynical and believe that our tax dollars have bred a bunch of liars. In our name, they do this.
with black lives matter there’s a lot of talk about race these days but I’ve also felt that class is an issue.  The man in the red shirt our neighbor, I would say I’m guessing he’s relatively poor more than he is or isn’t Jewish is or isn’t white is or isn’t black is or isn’t Latino. He’s X-x. He’s ACTG. He is our neighbor he is a citizen and fellow human being he looks like a kid.
It’s hard not to think of George Floyd: how much longer will they force his face or his chest into the floor or the steel bars? Will he keep talking or will he expire before our eyes?  Will they kill him? Will we kill him? Will we kill ourselves?

The red shirt actually says Stanford medicine —are they a sponsor of the video?

My immediate reaction was to forward this to Ten of  my friends and briefly say will you comment?

Mark Weiss

in Palo Alto

Jim Eshelman pole vault for Stanford, 1966

Posted on June 20, 2020

He was also a Cubberley grad. I’d nominate him for the Cubberley Hall of Fame (talk to Dan Fowlkes, Bret Baird or Hans Delannoy).
But going forward, with our tax dollars from COPA and PAUSD using the site for cultural and educational post-BLM matters, we need to rename the space, for someone not associated with eugenics.
How about The Bill Green Center? (For national champion in the 400, but missed the 1980 Moscow Olympics and died young due to a neuromuscular disease: no, It was cancer but ironically enough presented as loss of movement of his feet as Keith Peters describes in a great obituary: metastatic esophageal cancer after an undetected malignant spinal tumor caused sudden paraplegia.

A call to censure Pat Burt

Posted on June 24, 2020

Pat Burt is a bully. He does not deserve a second crack at this; Epecially in the me -too  and Black Lives Matter eras. The last thing Palo Alto needs is a macho jock white guy who is used to bossing people around; and he triggered the grand jury report (27 University w 7.7 acres of parkland) which we never truly responded to; [re Arrillaga; see also Castilleja CUP and new expansion, I digress]. Ask around why so few of Pat’s contemporaries on commission or council are listed as supporters. [Hint: ask Sid Espinosa, Yiaway Yeh, Gail Price, Marc Berman, Greg Schmid or Nancy Shepherd; heck, ask Karen Holman why she does support him. I’m wondering about Vicky Veenker…]


Posted on July 1, 2020

I think the BLACK LIVES MATTER mural in front of City Hall 250 Hamilton is a high water mark for culture here in the last 25 or 30 years. Kudos to the makers, staff, volunteers and leaders. In that order.
I read it like a codex: not sure what it means, it will reveal itself over time, to me, to you, to each his her or their own.


I say, as 1 in 10,000 voters here, we keep the cars off it for a few more weeks. And the tenants of 267 Hamilton can park elsewhere for a while.

Godspeed you Black Empress

Posted on July 5, 2020

ndian mounds vs monster house, 2551 Webster at Middlefield

Posted on July 7, 2020

I swung the car into Webster when I spotted the site of the plaque regarding Indian mounds of the Ohlone or coast to knowing that we’re here in 1769 when Portola arrived.  But I couldn’t find parking so I detoured into the cul-de-sac where I found the 9000 square-foot home being built on the lot that previously had a 1900 square-foot home.  I guess the workers cars gave away the monster home.

Robertson, Basirico, Carpio work in progress, Palo Alto, June, 2020

Posted on July 9, 2020by markweiss86

Black Lives Matter mural, artists at work, a week ago:


← On June 29, 2020 just before midnight and before walking the dog, I discover Avenue BeatCornel’s love supreme for Glaude on Baldwin →

The rail: Good week for Avenue Beat from Quincy and Nashville, bad week for TJ DeStefano of San Jose and Palo Alto: fuck 2020 low key ok?

Posted on June 30, 2020by markweiss86

21ABD0A8-76E4-45A9-942D-EF83D8C905B608FFE8B5-42F1-41E8-BB4A-DCDDAE9FE3F6 Or as the woman once said: some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug  Debug.

Should the new Palo alto police headquarters be reviewed in the light of Black Lives Matter and coronavirus?

Posted on July 12, 2020

hould the new Palo alto police headquarters be reviewed in the light of Black Lives Matter and coronavirus?

The answer is yes of course.
I wrote separately about my dismay that the bureaucracy arbitrarily cut the guts out of the art element the 1% for the arts and the difference between what staff approved and what the artist Peter Wegner had presented regarding the new police station near California Avenue.

Michael Kimmelman inthe New York Times yesterday Saturday, June 13, 2020

discusses a movement among architects to boycott new prisons and death chambers on ethical and racist or anti-racist grounds.

A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police: Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.

Posted on July 17, 2020

US senator and former Paly basketball star Ron Wyden via social media, Thursday, July 16, 2020 regarding Black Lives Matter


from Anna Eshew newsletter gazing tight

For what purpose, and under what legal authority, did the FBI conduct such aerial surveillance?
(b) How many flights for aerial surveillance over protests has the FBI initiated since May 25th?
(c) How many law enforcement actions were investigated or initiated by the FBI based on data collected during aerial surveillance?
(d) Has the FBI transferred any data collected through aerial surveillance to other federal, state, local, or international agencies (including law enforcement agencies), to private corporations, or to any other organization? If so, please list what was shared and with which organization.
(e) Other than the FBI, which federal, state, or local government agencies, law enforcement or otherwise, participated in or conducted such surveillance that the FBI is aware of?…

Vote for ‘SMEK’

Posted on July 25, 2020Four fingered slate: 1, Stone; 2, Malone; 3, Eisenberg ; 4, Kou (named for a Dreamworks character from 2015 voiced by Steve Martin

COINTELPRO in Palo Alto, fall 1968 legend

Posted on July 28, 2020

Yoshi Kato in PAW and Almanac has the scoop that the Thelonious Monk Palo Alto live concert produced by Danny Scher then a senior at Paly has been shelved, because of an injunction by Verve’s Record’s rivalry with another label. Not to bask in Danny’s limelight but my take:

The concert production itself is legendary. The recording and release is icing on the cake.
Kudos for Danny, a true baller and all-time great Palo Atlan; he’s also the one who got Journey to play the 1979 Tri School Formal. And built Shoreline. And had Dr. John in his yard. 
Brad Kava of the Mercury compared me, for putting on shows at Cubberley in the 1990s, to Bill Graham but Danny was actually Bill’s right hand band for many years. When people say that I am “the Bill Graham of Palo Alto”, I say “I’m not even the Danny Scher of Palo Alto”.Another angle of this story is all the energy people are putting in years later to try to identify the the janitor who taped the show and tuned the piano. I’m going with: he was actually FBI COINTELPRO only in town long enough to pose for one picture in the yearbook, tune the piano, tape the show and his real mission of counting how many times Monk or Danny said “Nairobi” or “Revolution”.


I’m doubling down on my suspicious belief that the janitor who recorded the show was actually a Fed, part of COINTELPRO, and now the deep state doesn’t want this to help Black Lives Matter and have put the kibosh. 
Other than that, how was the show, Dan?
I guess this answers the question, “Kenneth, what’s the frequency?” – the answer is maybe every fifty years, maybe 70.
And they killed Eddie Gale, my Miss Acker.


Posted on August 1, 2020

1) Marguerite is my neighbor although I’ve only met her once or twice;
2) Jesse her daughter I’ve not quite met, but I know her husband, her kids and her mother in law;
Good luck Jesse Fletcher Ladomirak running for School Board!

This painting is hung in City Hall:

Below the fold (thank G#^)

Posted on August 4, 2020

(photo of Donald Trump)I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this guy by name which is a Chinese wall so to speak against being rounded up when they come for the union thisI don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this guy by name which is a Chinese wall so to speak against being rounded up when they come for the union this and I was not a unionist

Monk America Monk again

Posted on August 11, 2020

I’m only kidding about the janitor actually being an FBI agent, but a lot of the press about Danny’s (Scher) concert with Monk does describe the timing of the event during an era


when MLK had been shot and East Palo Alto had an initiative about rebranding as “Nairobi”. Robin DG Kelley has this in his book on Monk.
Steve Lacy, the first person other than TS Monk to play Monk’s music did a show at Cubberley in 2000 — not quite as historic but I am proud to have promoted that. Also Charlie Hunter had a project called TJ Kirk (formerly known as James T Kirk) where the “T” stands for Monk, that played at Cubberley in September,, 1995: another highlight for me.

We should sort the 11 candidates for 2020 City Council election by how well they know Monk!!!
Monk America Monk Again!!!


Charlie Hunter has a thing with Silvana Estrada a jazz musician and vocalist from Veracruz,  MX. Their tour got cancelled because the idiots in charge would not give them a visa.

Getting back to my almost point: the candidates for Palo Alto City council include:

Rebecca Eisenberg

Ed Lauing

Pat Burt

Cari Templeton

Raven Malone

Greer Stone

Lydia Kou

Monk Monk

Greg Tanaka

Steve Lee

And I couple Who I’ve never heard of, young tech types [Ajit Varma]

I’m going, out of fairness, ask each one for a plank on Thelonious Monk. And then I will sort them by their responses. 

(I could paste in RE’s response: note Rebecca responded without missing a beat whereas the other five or six I copied ignored me)

Malcolm X was born within six months of my father, and killed within six months of my birth

Posted on August 18, 2020

From “AKA Cassius Clay” (1970)


I heard back from first-time Palo Alto City Council candidate Raven Malone and left her a voicemail suggesting that she develop a plank regarding Ventura or the Fry’s site. I pointed out that Ventura may have been the home of as many as 100 Black Palo Alto families over the years and is still our most diverse neighborhood. I suggest that a park of 7 acres or more on the 39 acre up-zoned former Fry’s extended region would help all current Palo Altans who live there. In the enthusiasm of Black Lives Matter which by the way took out the political career of Mayor Adrian Fine — I thought he might’ve resigned and not just refused to run again—and that that alone would get him admitted to the Kennedy School— we could raise the bet to 40 acres and a pool.

Good luck, Ms. Malone.

(If you excuse the typical plastic alto digression and while Muhammad Ali Cassius Clay are on pause and I am taping the Democrats for when my wife Terry Acebo Davis gets home from working a long day in the emergency room reminds me of picturing my ex-girlfriend I’ll call her D— getting hit on in the parking lot of the Philadelphia whole foods by none other than Moses Malone. And worse than that because I had given up on the possibility of D and I having a future, I imagined reaching Moses by phone and offering to fly him out here to speak to the incipient group that wanted to honor Danny McCallister.  Also a woman from the neighborhood and perhaps those 100 families, named Dina Philyaw or Radina  Philyaw is a candidate for the arts commission I hope she makes it. I think she’s a former Gunn high school softball star. Also, and sadly only because a dog was mauled at Johnson Park by a pitbull, I met the longtime city employee and gunn high graduate from the same neighborhood Jeanette Washington.

Tre: Apropos of Ms. Philyaw I was thinking about the 1976 movie “bingo long and the traveling all stars…” about a barnstorming black baseball team. It starred Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor but also former Cleveland Indians slugger Leon daddy wags Wagner who was 42 at the time.

  1. Raven, ”V” for victory

 Raven is having a kickoff event Saturday 2 p.m. here, on the internet. 

Avenge Hana Morita

Posted on August 24, 2020

Hana Morita Is a community member, artist and activist who is Heritage is Okinawa. She is part of a collective of 20 or so like minded people whose comment on Black Lives Matter were briefly displayed on the 200 block of University. Literally on the 200 block

  • Not sure I got to finish the story, later that day: Rebecca Eisenberg, soccer mom and laywer running for office, is meeting me at Uni ave to check out the “distressed” murals. I meant to say that the woman I mention above did a depiction of two cranes, one yellow and one black and she explains that her background is Okinawa near Japan and she believes Asian Americans have sympathy to Black Lives Matter. It literally says this. It also, at the top, near Bryant, closer to home as it were — I live on Bryant — and closer to the mural by Greg Brown of Spiro Agnew or not pushing an alien formerly a cat – -cat we all get along, peeps? — it says that the previous set of wheat paste posters — new genre wheat past — was destroyed by a young man with a gold can; there’s also a mural of a white guy and a spray can posted in this set: i think it calls him a coward. So is this second round of posters being cancelled worse than the first or are we getting numb? Did the rains come? Did a street cleaner start to clean then realize he was ruining the art or message? Heck, will it even be there when I meet Mz Beck? (who also reviewed Beck’s Odelay and nailed the title track. 
  • The McCloskey’s of St. Louis are Unamerican; the Republicans are Unamerican
  • Posted on August 26, 2020
  • …and1: Anita Fellicelli who is Indian wrote about a Native whodunit in the Chron today. Yurok, Anitia. edit to add, the next day, or Friday:Tim Egan:On one night, the convention trotted out a pair of gun-toting white suburbanites to scare people into taking up arms against protesters. One night later, a white teenager with a semiautomatic rifle was arrested on a charge of gunning down several protesters.At the same time, California is burning and the South is underwater. If you play the sucker, you won’t notice that this confederacy of con men has been unable to gaslight the seasonal rage of climate change. Nor would you care.Also: I still want to speak my “peace” or “piece” about the City’s grafitti abatement applied to Palo Alto Art Protest posters on University Avenue — if the closing of the street is a perk for landlords, they should try to or we should preserve the streets as a common for ideas; why the rush to eliminate the messages which were well done?
  • Ed and Lava’s Excellent Adventures
  • Posted on August 28, 2020
  • I’ve met Lava Thomas several times in the last couple years, out and about or at the home of our mutual friend my neighbor; I’m happy she won an award today and earlier this month San Francisco apologized for cancelling her Maya Angelou tribute.

    Maybe Palo Alto can site her Maya piece, on Lytton Plaza, or Cali Ave. We cancelled two female created works, Go Mama and The Egg so this would be a good make good. 

  • Eisenberg tops my rankings of City Council candidates after online forum
  • Posted on September 16, 2020by markweiss86
  • My ranked choice of Palo Alto’s ten candidates (although we can choose four): 
    1. Rebecca Eisenberg 
    2. Powerful presence as novice reform candidate.  Stanford grad with Harvard law degree; would raise the game of the other six electeds. She plausibly claims skill in negotiating outcomes in a contest where others settle for merely listening. With her industry background, for example, taking PayPal public, she has the chance to be like Gary Fazzino and Sid Espinosa in terms of bringing Valley know-how to local issues. 
    3. 2. Greer Stone Mentored by former mayor Karen Holman, teacher in the district that groomed him, nipped in his previous bid, but this time Greer could win. Also an attorney, he brings a social conscience to leadership.  
    4. 3. Raven Malone My respect for Black Lives Matter elevates this person onto my list of ballot picks, but with reservations. Starting with the cognitive dissonance between her career in defense contracts and her stance on social justice. 
    5. 4. Lydia Kou (I) Lydia is flawed as a leader and cannot brush off the cynical view that she’s a realtor working on name recognition for personal gain. She was elected as part of a flawed sea change but ultimately failed “new residentialist movement”. She was elected on a platform actually co-authored by Tim Gray and I (in my case, with advice from Tom Jordan) two cycles previous.  
    6. 5. Steven Lee 
    7. Steven Lee is seriously flawed but a more defensible choice than half the field. I asked him to distance himself from anti-Semitism characteristic of “the Left” (and locally Rebecca Parker Mankey, who berated a Jewish Trump supporter), but got lip service or no reply. No one to my knowledge has advanced directly from HRC to Council (though Claude Ezran has contributed significantly to our community during and post-term). 
    8. 6. Ed Lauing 
    9. Ed could potentially represent his neighbors as a leader and elected but my measured pessimism based on 12 years of engagement — I ran for Council in 2009, 2012 and 2014 —with policy here says he serves power more than people and capitulated rather than stood for anything or anyone. My pet peeve is his support for landlords who lobbied staff to limit constitutional rights and freedom of speech at Lytton Plaza, when the matter was deliberated by his parks commission. (I asked him recently to revisit those issues and principles). 
    10. 7. Cari Templeton 
      Seems oddly cold and disconnected from her opportunity; as a commissioner, she is blameworthy for the circumstances she claims to confront. There’s plenty of tapes to judge her by, but I still suspect she was seated to displace more activistic candidates, like Rebecca. She worked for Google, but not as a founder. (As in, she’s no Stacy Savides, Jon Rosenberg, Alan Eagle or Woj-Brin — and I’ve met them! My Gunn mafia…) 
    11. 8. Pat Burt Burt is personally responsible for the decrepit state of our affairs, and our inability to self-govern, and the real estate rout. He personifies the corruption described in the Grand Jury Report. I liked his praise for the Obama book, although I have not read it. He’s frail looking but it’s hard to believe he’s grown out of his bullying former self. Move on, buh-bye!
    12.  9. Greg Tanaka 

    13. Somewhat personal response but Tanaka is a delusional liar when he claims that his office hours prove he listens to his constituents. One, he proved he did not listen to me by cutting me off mid sentence. Tanaka is an an amoral compass that points towards power, and kowtows. He mumbles. He dissembles.  He practically slithers. He’s a fraud professionally and publicly. He’s a threat to self governance and community. His re-election would be an indictment of our system. He’s not the whole swamp,  just a tank of it.  10. Ajit Varma  Considering how much I deplore Tanaka and Burt, this guy had to work hard to earn my cellar. His favorite book is by a loud mouth new rich capitalist monster; he basically thinks Democracy exists to fuel Big Business. This man epitomizes the dark side of the proliferation of the semiconductor industry.

Who shot ‘Meet Jane Doe‘?

Posted on September 18, 2020

by markweiss86

Win with Rebecca — I shot this!

When Anna Eshoo our fifteen-term Congress-member and stellar rock of Democracy — metaphorical meteorite and Haley’s Comet of light exposing the swamp — was merely a neighbor or housewife or local businesswoman, my mom got invited to a meet and greet. It was around 1988, and I remember she was also in a fledgling group called Twenty-Twenty led by Brenna Bolger, I believe, that sought to have women take 20 percent of our leadership roles by 2020 — this year! I remember this well because I was working in the semiconductor industry as a junior copywriter and Brenna, who seemed hip and powerful, would sometimes drink with our crew. Apparently, my mom, Barbara Hayms Weiss z’’l gave Anna a book about leadership, and even flagged certain pages or passages with Post-It Notes. Anna told me this herself on October 18, 2018 when she spoke at Mom’s memorial at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, and even rose in Congress with a version of this the Friday before.

I actually don’t believe the story entirely. It’s possible Anna confuses Barbara with another of the small legion of her early supporters. It’s definitely true, nonetheless, that my mother often spoke of Anna and what a great job she was doing (is doing). And I believe my parents Paul and Barbara gave to Anna’s campaigns a dozen times, usually pretty close to the limits. When I ran for Palo Alto City Council in 2014 I got a note, however, from Anna’s office saying she would not endorse me because she didn’t know me. It was not until my mom was in hospice that I tried in earnest to reach Anna, make a connection and delve the facts of the case. When my dad said “I know Anna Eshoo” we didn’t qualify that statement either.

The actual book and Post-Its here — a MacGuffin in Hitchcockian terms — is not important. Although I did discuss it just the other day with my neighbor Neilson Buchanan, I cannot keep straight whether it is “Meet John Doe” or “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” that ends with the line that we should never let the truth get in the way of the legend.

I am writing all this in honor of Rebecca Eisenberg, a novice reform candidate for the 2021 Palo Alto City Council. I met her walking our dogs, Zoey and Duffy, I think (or Sammy — or that is Karen Holman’s pooch. Karen Frankel also had a “Sammy” I think. My dad meanwhile was a ZBT not a Sammy if you excuse the digression. Karen and Terry served on the arts commission, which is how I met Terry, when I ran…). 

I had also noticed her application for commission, Rebecca Eisenberg. She is married to Curtis Smolar, by the way. They are both qualified to serve. Attorneys, parents, neighbors, smart. It’s an indictment of our system that current leadership has never put the two and two together, the matching street addresses, let alone give either of them a single nod in their numerous applications for Planning, Recreation or Human Relations commissions.

Besides having taken PayPal public and helping Reddit similarly, she was also a journalist and listed close to 100 articles she authored, mostly about tech but also, I noted, a spot-on contemporaneous review of Beck’s “Odelay” including the lyric that explains the title, which I had never noticed though I know the cd and its singles.

Rebecca Eisenberg is a Stanford grad with a Harvard law degree, where she was mentored by Elizabeth Warren (the US senator and presidential candidate).  Her father is a federal judge in Wisconsin, her mother taught school. She waitressed at 42nd Street the fern bar located a stones throw from where I sit today composing this — its in Palo Alto’s best redevelopment project, all-time —kudos to Jim Baer and Roxy Rapp. While schooling she was on financial aid — she is not an elite, except by her academic and professional record, post-admission to The Farm.

I was very disappointed that the local Democrats endorsed three obviously lesser candidates in her race; I will likely only vote, among those, for Raven Malone, unless I bullet ballot Rebecca and Greer Stone (who got 8,000 votes last cycle) and leave two spots blank. To me Rebecca is a cut above the other nine candidates this cycle. 

What upsets me, grist for this mill, and rocket fuel, more aptly, is that people keep saying Rebecca Eisenberg is too loud, obnoxious, throwing elbows like Rebecca Lobo, shaking her butt too much like Cardi B, strident, uppity, hysterical and all that. Really?! Have you read her briefs? Can you find a flaw? Would you say all that if she were a man? Would you say that about your own mother? People said such about my mother…

If elected, Rebecca Eisenberg would raise the game of the other six on her Council, our Council. They need it! WE need it. My sense, with 12 years leaning in, — and arguably I’ve been in leadership– or is this dissent??– since 1976 when Jean White my teacher asked me to be on the Terman SITE Council — is that Palo Alto does not want to self-govern and is somehow okay with special interests, especially downtown landlords, calling all the shots, running amuck, in a constant and perenial rout. Yes, my, or Terry’s property has trebled in value during this term, but do you really feel that much better about the future of the planet, our Democracy, our civilization? Personally, I’m petrified. As a caveat, plese note that I quit the aforementioned career as fledgling media and industry hack when the US tanks rolled into Iraq — I was writing ads for Chevron when people like me or my age were around the corner at Broadway and Columbus waiving signs and screaming “NO BLOOD FOR OIL!”. I admit I’m neurotic as my general state of concern. 

I’m inspired by Kamala Harris — who I met thru my former editor Jim Newton at his parents’ house nearby — a short bike ride from here — when his “Eisenhower The White House Years” came out — and rooting for Joe Biden — deftly, if you excuse yet another digression, profiled by Palo Altan George Packer, Nancy’s son – and thank you belatedly Nancy for endorsing me, if Anna never did — in “The Unwinding” a few years ago. But I am concerned, very concerned, if we cannot change the tide locally. Vote out Burt, Tanaka, commissioner Templeton – -complicit! Vote in Rebecca. We need people like her. 

And maybe 20 years from now she will thank me for being her early supporter.

Also, I just stopped a lady, who I know by sight and used to chat up more frequently pre-Covid at Coupa — actually Duffy barked at her, in a nice way — he’s trying!!  — and was pleased to bring Rebecca’s campaign to her attention. “It’s not fair” I claimed, that people dismiss her. Likewise I stopped, with her dog, earlier this morning, L_ , a former New York Times writer, married to G_ the attorney, and she thinks, from my description of Rebecca that their kids may have overlapped somewhere, and she, too, said she’d look into it.

Please do.

Mark Weiss
guy with a computer on a table and a dog in his lap

but studied language and history at Dartmouth with Charles Tuttle Wood, Michael Dorris, James Melville Cox, Horace Porter, Chauncey Loomis and James Shapiro;

and freelanced, interned or stalked both the Got Milk and the Think Different guys — mostly guys — I call it “Milk Different”, what I do

in Palo Alto

but born on the South Side

and lived in San Francisco briefly but long enough to know my Quentin Kopps from my Matt Gonzalezes

and1: I’m also recalling getting kind of a chill while watching the documentary about Harvey Milk and the riots after the Dan White verdict, recognizing a version of a cheer the Gunn basketball leaders shared:

We have the power to/

We have the power to/

We have the power to


andand: I actually reached today Professor Shapiro and reminded him of our work together years ago on Marlowe’s “Edward The Fecund” — inside joke — but also even more obscurely Sir Walter Scott, 1820, either proving the Protestant work ethic or fantasizing about Ruth Bader Ginsburg in heaven. We lost a judge but not the occupation. Nor the syncopation in the Beck Hanson -Dessa Doomtree shoot from the hip all in the writ dancing on a glass ceiling turned dance floor sense.


Posted on September 21, 2020

The Palo Alto Post has picked four choices for Council even though there are still two months left in the campaign. Their slate includes four of my five bottom-dwelling worst-possible candidates. The only thing Dave Price and I agree on is that Greg Tanaka would be a nightmare continued.

edit to add, an hour later: maybe I am being unkind, especially to Commissioner Templeton with a one-word dismissal: “ninny”. In all caps. 

Mainly, if she is a commissioner she is complicit in all the problems her platform would claim to address and remedy. Or, maybe she thinks Palo Alto is running very well, and that she would continue such, and ten thousands fellow citizens agree with her, and that’s what we actually want.

But I thought it odd, delving a bit into her — and with the short season and lack of events you have to do some research — to find that she lists herself as a Stanford alumna despite her credential there being the MLA masters in liberal studies*, which to me is closer to the classes I took recently — with Lynn Stegner, Michael Krasny and Andy Dolich – that were not selective or demanding and I paid my $500 and sometimes attended. If MALS finishers are considered alumnae just like people with BA’s and the GSB crowd, I stand corrected. But that she doesn’t even list a bachelors’ degree — Pat Boone who ran a couple cycles ago was similar — to me is a tell. And we live near Stanford so it is not elitist or credentialist to  call someone on this point. I don’t list Stanford Continuing Studies on my resume. I don’t list my Dick DiBiaso cerfificate from Stanford Baseketball Camp as a credential, although I put it on my wall recently, and ironically. Greg Tanaka lists or listed a similar pseudo-Stanford connection until I wrote him about it. I don’t believe, or want qualifed his connections purported to either UC Berkeley – is he a graduate, what class, et cetera? — and CalTech. 

Not to digress too far but: Greg Tanaka claims, in a taped interview with Reverend Bruce Reyes Chow that he lived three doors down from a victim of Richard Ramirez The Night Stalker – -he gets some of the facts wrong — but I don’t believe the story: can Greg Tanaka prove that the Petersons, shot in the neck and face, but survived — lived on the same street and block in Northridge, Calif.  as the Tanakas?

Regarding Cari Templeton, I noticed that in one of her videos she says something about her study of Grimm Fairy Tales but doesn’t actually say anything qualitative, smart or thoughtful other than some cliche that “Palo Alto politcal life is not a fairy tale”. 

Also: does her sudden, mid-career interest in Grimm mean she does not care that Jews feel that Grimm is anti-Semitic? What would she say about Grimm and The Jews? If her thesis actually addresses this point I will donate $500 to her campaign. Likewise, if Greg Tanaka can prove that he was living three doors down from the Petersons when Richard Ramirez shot them, I will donate to his campaign.

Why would Greg Tanaka mention this at all? 

I’ve written previously, and discussed privately, and posted and re-posted and had censored my views on why Pat Burt is a bully, why Varma’s views are Fascist, and Ed Lauing’s siding with landlords rather than citizens in the limit to constitutional rights at Lytton Plaza, which I compare to Quisling in the sense of being useful to the more powerful. Burt more obviously, wants to help Arrillaga. Burt more than Templeton is responsible for the mess we are in, and the Grand Jury Report bears this out.

I hope my fellow citizens think harder and read more about our leadership and how to improve it.

I think things are worse not better apropos of the residents versus downtown real estate interests, or the average person versus the very wealthy, compared to when Tim Gray and I ran in 2012. And America itself teeters on the edge of an abyss. 

Or as Stevie Wonder would say: heaven help us all. 

Did I mention, or do you read Plastic Alto carefully enough to know that Dave Price, the editor of the Post is a big fat idiot? In the sense of US Senator and SNL writer Tom Franken calling out Rush Limbaugh. Franken, who, according to Kirsten Gillibrand would have fought for his job if he was innocent. But still correct about Limbaugh. 

The Post did not bother to discuss two of the candidates I support. 

*here is a link to the discussion on their website about Master of Liberal Arts, MLA. It is intimiately connected to the Continuing Studies program, though it claims it is “rigorous” and “selective”. And my own mother took courses one at a time at SJSU (then full-time for her MSW at Cal) when I was a kid. But she is being a bit misleading and I am starting with not liking her performance on commission. There is a woman in Stegner’s 2019 memoir class who lists “Stanford” at the top of her social media page.  Cari Templeton also remind me of the not terrible sympathetic (we don’t like her) character — or two of them we are meant to blur, perhapss — in Coen Brothers “Inside Llewyn Davis” – -the professor’s wife and the horrible harpsichord player. If Cari can prove to me that she knows Coen Brothers I might support her. Reminds me, I will check back on which candidates answered my query on Monk. How does Thelonious Monk influence your policy?

In Tanaka’s satanic service?

Posted on September 21, 2020

I don’t know what the f*ck but Greg Tanaka mentions Satan twice in the first 30 minutes of his interview with the Rev. Bruce Reyes Chow of 1st Prez.

This guy is a nightmare. He puts the bent in “incumbent”. How did he decide to run in the first place? Who…does…number…two…work…for?

These are my notes from a day or two ago watching this crap. I’ve got the Raiders on which is getting me so psyched:

Actually I want to mention that I am a Jew and there’s a riff, coming out of Beth Am, that Satan if you go old school and back to the source is God’s book-keeper and his job, during this Jew holy week, between Rosh HaShanah head of the year and Yom Kippur when we eat canned fish well-sealed, God is laying it out for the next 12 months of OT retribution baby and basically when we, like, blow the Ram’s horn, the shofar, we do it in a shout out to the old days when it would “confuse” Satan, and thereby spare us from The Grim Reaper, excuse my mixed metaphor. Did i mention that Ed Solomon the Bill and Ted dude, was in my Hebrew school car pool? I’m also liking some of Vince DiFiore’s trumpet solo especially on Motorcade of Generosity as pseudo-fake-Satan riffs.

But Tanaka, what’s his deal? 

With the devil?

And I just want to shout out — hats off, Shirley, for RBG but also whoevrer wrote Sullivan Vs New York Times protecting freedom to toss serious shades on electeds and fuck-wad incumbents. 

This is the unedited draft. I got a guy in LA who might be able to pull some reocords in Northridge to refute or prove Greg Tanaka’s statement that he lived three doors down from a victim of Satanic murderer Richard Ramirez the Night Stalker. Peterson. Look it up. 

Greg Tanaka: can you please prove your statement that you lived near the Petersons, three doors down. What was your address in Northridge? What was the address in Northridge of the Night Stalker crime scene?

(Kind of reminds of the Chill Phil saga at Paly but I digress. Also, the title riffs on The Rolling Stones, not sure what songs…)

This is pretty rough, but I think you get my drift:

Tanaka in Cahoots with Satanic Mass Murderer

I’m at minute 33 of Greg Tanaka’s interview with Bruce Reyes Chow and I am baffled. 

He starts out by talking about Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker. I had to look it up: Ramirez is dead of cancer at age 53 but in his 20s carried out a series of 19 attacks and murders, including one in Northridge, CA which Greg Tanaka claims was three doors down from him, at the time, his neighbors. Wiki says there name was Peterson and they survived the attack; Tanaka falsely claims they were shot in the head. The woman was shot in the face and and man in the neck, but they escaped. Northridge is not generally thought of as a locus of Richard Ramirez nightmare. Nor do other Northridgeans lead with this fact. 

Then apropos of Black Lives Matter and police reform, whereas Bruce says he was “on the wrong side of the baton a few times” while living in SF, Greg says that recently at Middlefield — on his motorized skateboard or bike, a group of young people in a white minivan verbally  accosted him about being Asian, blaming him for Covid — which supporters of Trump claim, they call it “Kung Flu” or “China Virus”. 

But even oddlier, Tanaka riffs on Stanford Prison Experiment and that maybe if police are also cross-trained in fire and carry spare uniforms in their car, this somehow prevents the brutal murder by a rogue police officer in Minneapolis of George Floyd. I want to know, using his odd Socratism: ok, what does Zimbardo say about BLM? Do intelligent people try to invoke the purported lessons of The Stanford Prison Experiment regarding today’s challenges at reform? (I also think of Ron Jones and the Cubberley experiment, aka The Wave, which to me is oddly similar).

They also namecheck CAHOOT which is a program, I learn wherein Springfield and Eugene OR have a special mental health intervention program that they spend $2.1m and claim savings of $20m in emergency response, that (Paly basketball star) Ron Wyden US senator has a bill to expand by at least 10 fold to $25m if that means national. 

Cahoots in this case is an acronym. Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets. My Webster’s 9th — I can crosscheck with my 11th — I spent $30 on a new dictionary, stimulus spending first time since 1984 towards I guess this flow, my blog — says its from the French word for “hut” as in strange bedfellows or under one roof and says that it entered the language in 1829 and is usually a plural, cahoots sic and is often used in the phrase like “Is Greg Tanaka the weird incumbent Palo Alto council candidate in cahoots with the devil?”

More to the point, in 30 minutes, I have not heard one good idea. I barely hear ideas at all. I hear words, phrases, half descriptions, no actually linking of thoughts or depth of thought.

He says he is the council’s leader on retail — didn’t Lydia Kou own a business? A video shop?

Tanaka a couple times points to the Cali Ave redo as an accomplishment – isn’t that just giving a bunch of contractors $10 m to repave and re-stripe?

Isn’t IBRC just a blue ribbon fluff job for the new Police Station? Or did I miss the big pothole problem that happened and then we fixed it? I liked Le Levy’s song about flivver quiver or whatever. But I’m an arts presenter.

We still don’t believe Tanaka went to Berkeley or CalTech — did he graduate? I guess it’s progress that he didn’t claim a fake Stanford education, like his LinkedIn misleadingly claimed.

I don’t believe Northridge is comparable in any way to East Palo Alto – is he comparing 1985 dollars to 2020 dollars?

I don’t believe Percolata does jack shit. He says he goes to New York to tout it. How many employees does it have? How much revenue? i believe it may have gotten some random gift from a VC but that doesn’t mean its a business. (It looks to me like it spies on consumers, and then pivots to spying on workers).

He mumbles and jumbles.

As far as I can tell the people who told him to run were Chop Keenan, an architect and others who are special interests. 

So, yeah if you believe in Satan as a supernatural evil force that walks among us or flies and causes havoc and evil —and explains Richard Ramirez — you can fairly simply go from watching 30 minutes of Greg Tanaka to saying “Greg Tanaka is in cahoots with the devil”. 

At minute 29 Greg says something about wanting to reform policing here but avoiding the Stanford Prison Experiment. he says that in Eugene OR there is something called CAHOOTS where a police officer is also trained as a fire fighter and would keep a spare uniform in his car, and change it in the case of an emergency; he also says he is looking forward to “a thousand flowers blooming”.

He says Stanford Prison Experiment was stanford students and grad students acting as police which led to abuse.

Has anyone seriously tried to apply lessons of Zimbardo to Black Lives Matter?

Zimbardo is alive — is he speaking out on black lives matter?

What about Ron Jones and BLM?

Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS) Act, grants states enhanced federal Medicaid funding (a 95% federal match) for three years to provide community-based mobile crisis services to individuals experiencing a mental health or SUD crisis. It also provides $25 million for planning grants to states to help establish or build out mobile crisis programs.

Ron Wyden

“I used to get beat up going to school just because I’m Asian, plus it was sort of a rough neighborhood”.

Driving While Asian is just like Driving While Black?

Is it possible your father was pulled over for a vehicle manuever and not because he was Japanese?

His father works as an extra in Hollywood for instance was in “Minority Report” — not sure I would take that as true until verified, either.

I could title this essay “Greg Tanaka’s Satanic ‘Minority Report’”

Median income of Northridge, in 2008 dollars, is $58,000.

Palo Alto’s is $138,000.

East Palo Alto is $18,000, less than a third of that of Northridge.

So it is not true that if you grew up in Northridge that it is the equivalent to growing up in East Palo Alto.

Northridge also has a university, and nineteen other schools.

I’m sure your counterparts in leadership in Northridge would be aghast to learn that you describe their city as the home of notorious murder Richard Ramirez. 

This riff does not make you seem accomplished or self-made.

It makes you look like a total goofball or moron. Your Ramirez story, as told to Bruce, was not factual. 

Mark Weiss (I did send two versions of this to people via email)

And I’m sorry if it is true that a group of teenagers commented on your race once in March 2020. But I doubt many share your opinion that “Driving While Chinese” is equivalent to “Driving While Black”.

In Palo Alto it was an Asian officer who battered a black suspect.

And then was promoted. 

Interestingly the Los Angeles City Council member who represents  Tanaka’s former town, Northridge, Mitchell Englander is under indictment for allegedly accepting bribes for real estate developers.

Does Tanaka accept any contributions from developers who also do business in Northridge or gave money to indicted District 12 council member Mitchell Englander?

and 1 or edit to ad: the Rolling Stones album with the word “Satan” in the title or reference to such is their eighth American studio album came out in 1967 – I only heard about them in about 1975 — and features “2000 Light Years from Home” and “She’s Like a Rainbow” which I’ve been tripping on recently thanks to the Saintly Molly Tuttle of Palo Alto doing right by. Their Satanic Majesties Request mixed with some Ian Fleming, ironically pronounced with a fake breathed “rone” like drone or cows that don’t fuck. I am not saying that Greg Tanaka fucks cows in outhouses as implied to the Supreme Court by Terry Abrahamson for Larry Flynt’s Hustler and the Moral Majority but thank you baby first amendment Jesus that I reverse that wrong. Aight?! Kentucky fuck me 1952, but born on the south side


On August 6, 1985, Ramirez drove to Northridge, California, and broke into the home of Chris and Virginia Peterson.[62][63] He crept into the bedroom, startled Virginia, 27, and shot her in the face with a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun.[64] He then shot Chris in the neck and attempted to flee; Chris fought back while avoiding being hit by two more shots during the struggle before Ramirez managed to escape.[65] The couple survived their injuries.[66][wikipedia, September, 2020, based on Reyes Chow interviews]

We should pull his card because he brought this up at all…

Weird connection between Guild Theatre development and MapLight policy project

Posted on September 22, 2020

I wish to point out respectfully that your Palo Alto report is seriously flawed.  Procrustean. And perhaps too short a narrative arc.  
For example you list me in a table and list me as “neither” — It is trying to compare residentialists and pro-growth. 
I am arguably the founder of the new residentialist movement in that I got 6,000 votes running under that doctrine in 2012. Tim Gray* and I were the only also-rans and each got considerable support and worked with each other comparing notes on how to describe whst we felt the problems were here. I was mentored by Tom Jordan who had knowledge of the original residentials movement from 1964. I also had meetings with Mrs. Pearson who was the founder of the movement. She showed me collateral and clippings from that era which had to do with fighting Hewitt packards  movement to create an expressway for their benefit and it divides Palo Alto north and south among other effects.  The residentialists — which is not limited to the role of PASZ — in Palo Alto have some thing of a push back against Silicon Valley or corporate hegemony which you seem to miss. Incidentally Mr. Jordan mentored Tom DuBois who was successfully elected but I still contend that he and Filseth and later Kou were sort of compromises.  For example they represent Silicon Valley, the men and real estate she. 
I am a bit of a red herring in that I spent little or no money and did not except contributions— I was making a point about Citizens United.

I’m actually the most popular politicians of the generation if you look at how much I spent,  less than $2000 (in three cycles) and how many votes I got more than 8000 — I spent about $.25 per vote,  all that my money. 
You may not have realized that Asher Waldfogel plays another role in recent history in that he was taken down by Rebecca Eisenberg a Stanford grad with a Harvard law degree who accused council of spoils and corruption especially apropos of his not recusing himself regarding Castilleja.  
I am not claiming that my popularity would’ve scaled or that if I had spent $60,000 or what not I would’ve gotten 200,000 votes, 
I also wrote a blog some of which is more relevant than others but several posts under “the new residential platform” I have another general blog that probably has 100 more articles about local policy and 2,000 on entertainment and other cultural topics. Most  significantly and on the suggestion of Mr. Jordan i opposed John Arrillaga ‘s large office tower scheme and the local papers noted that. 
I know that one of your founders Layton is also the man behind the redevelopment of the Guild theater I hope that succeeds that actually is my professional interest having worked in the music Business  for 25 years in Palo alto mostly. I was the engine behind a very weak attempt for a public private partnership redevelopment of the varsity theater 456 University predating the Guild scheme by several years and admittedly I don’t have 20 million of my own money.  
I was also a trainee and reporting at the Peninsula Times Tribune in 1984. 
I was once a Nelson Rockefeller center for public affairs fellow at Dartmouth College. 
I will report back any other more obvious conclusions from your essay.
For what it’s worth I rank my candidates in this order Rebecca Eisenberg, Greer Stone Raven Malone Lydia Kou incumbent. 
Mark Weiss 
In Palo Alto
Re Bergen Smith et al 3/2020
*Whereas I claim to be independent residentialist and not affiliated with PASZ Tim was more integrated in that he was the treasurer of Lydia Kou’s campaign

In Tanaka’s Satanic Service, Strikes Two

Posted on September 23, 2020

BLUF: if i was going to answer such a question I would say I am reading the autobiography of the recently deceased football hero Gale Sayers for whom the NFL humanitarian of the year award is named for “I Am Third” the title of which refers to his philosphical belief system and hierarchy and I quote, “The Lord is First. My friends and family and constituents are Second. I am Third”. I am listening to a new jazz based oratorio by Nicole Mitchell and Lisa M. Harris of Houston based on the writings of Octavia Butler about a future society that is balanced and humane and elevates women and people of color, “EarthSeed” and I am watching two movies by Robert Wise “w” “i” “s” “e” no relation different spelling “The Set Up” and “Somebody Up there Likes Me” from the 1950s and I taped them both from our cable system and The Movie Channel TMC in that they are both about boxing, one stars my fellow Dartmouth grad a former collegiate boxing champion Robert Ryan about a fighter asked to throw his match – -maybe the basis for the Bruce Willis plot point in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and the other starring Paul Newman in a break out role based on the life of Rocky Graziano but what I’m tracking is race in that I noticed that the Set Up is based on a poem by Joseph Moncure March I think is his name but the character in the original is a black guy named Pansy Jones and I always thought it would be interesting to stage a new production restoring that fact, but I buy way more books than I ever finish, and I have tons and tons of music and cds that I am trying to screen — that’s my business, my work, I’m a concert promoter – and I’m always taping then erasing a lot of stuff on tv, more than on Youtube, but I watch some of that. Plus I write my own blog, Plastic Alto, which has nearly 3,000 posts.

In Tanaka’s Satanic Service, Strikes Two

Yesterday I posted to my blog about Palo Alto council member and incumbent candidate Greg Tanaka and how weird it was that he described himself in relation to Satanic murderer Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker.Marlowe wrote about the faustus myth and I hope midnight comes to GT, at least in terms of his being on councilAnd I connected that to his discussion of CAHOOT, a mental health police intervention program, the name I claimed could possibly be a second dog whistle to potential devil-worshipping followers of the politician. I said that my Webster’s dictionary mentioned that the word was often used in conjunction with “the devil” as in “Greg Tanaka is in cahoots with the Devil”. But in my new Webster’s, the Eleventh edition relative to the Ninth, it actually changes the definition of “cahoots” slightly and omits the part about “with the devil”. Meanwhile it turns out the Molly Tuttle, a Nashville based singer-songwriter from Palo Alto not only sings a Rolling Stones song “She’s Like a Rainbow” that indirectly has a reference to Satanism – its from a 1976 album called “In Her Satanic Service” but she also has a second song on her new cd “Olympia” – by Tim Armstrong of Rancid – that includes the lyric “I was feeling much like the devil”.But I would never say that Molly Tuttle is Satanic, I would just say its a coincidence or she is being ironic or stepping out a bit, since she is, as I said, saintly. I like Molly Tuttle, she is fantastic.I don’t like Greg Tanaka. He’s horrible.


More specifically: in 10 or so years in Palo Alto leadership, as commissioner or council member, Greg Tanaka has never said anything that I agree with. He’s never said anything I find intelligent or insightful or important. I’ve just heard him mumble a bunch of tiresome nonsense about it costs too much.Brian’s Song was a favorite movie from my youthAlso, Greg Tanaka is constantly attacking public art and the very popular Percent for Art program and I love public art, love the Percent for Art program, work in the arts, campaigned for public office and commissions on art platforms or planks, and am married to the former chair of the arts commission Terry Acebo Davis, who is Catholic, while I’m Jewish. Plus, Greg Tanka not only did not listen to me when I visited him in his office, but he cut me off and left the room exactly as I was sharing a very intimate personal detail to him, and why I dropped out of the 2018 campaign. And then he edited his tape of the meeting to cover up that fact — while I kept my tape of that meeting.I suspect Greg Tanaka of being some sort of a sociopath or having a neurological basis for his weirdness. He is not fit to serve. I hope voters reject him, bigly.And when I say “On Tanaka’s Satanic Service Strikes Two” I mean strikes two as in “of the clock” and I am referencing Christopher Marlowe’s “Faustus” and not baseball “strike two” meaning me missing something. I mean maybe Tanaka made a deal with the Devil, Beelzebud — his angel, from Milton’s “Paradise Lost’ or Satan. I did listen to the second half of Greg’s talk with Rev Bruce Reyes Chow and had nothing further to report on this matter.ok well wait a minute; at 33:33 which is half of 66:66 the devil’s number, Tanaka says that apropos of police reform he wants to first check the data and look at “apples to apples” – is that a dog whistle to maybe a set of Satanists who have read “Paradise Lost” and know that he is talking about the apple with which Satan tempts Eve? The snake me beguiled and I did eat. I’m jest saying. well: Tanaka says that Palo Alto housing prices peaked in 2018 and are in decline.And that the house next door to him was on the market for $3m but sold for $2m which he called a “thirty-three percent haircut” – -he used that term at least twice, “haircut”. But my question would be: what was the seller’s basis? Or how much per square foot? Or, how long on the market. And I don’t believe this person was actually next door to Greg. He also said something about buying two small pizzas – and he gestures to indicate they were the size of his head, but they cost $90.00. I had to reply the tape because it sounded like “nine dollars”. Then he said, most weirdiest, that commercial utility rates are too high and a bigger problem that the residential rates. And that if people move to Austin Texas housing is one-sixth of here. His actual words” you can get three times the house for half the prize”. Now I almost moved to South Austin in 2009 after spending a month there around the time of SXSW and I used to say I could cut my overhead in half but if You look it up I bet you will find that we are more like 60 percent higher and not six times. (edit to add: Tanaka is correct and I am wrong that the median home price in Austin in 2019 was $395,000 and her it was $2.7m so indeed prices here are 6.66 times higher)“Byzantine entitlement process, so it’s really hard to get approval, right?” “we charge relatively hight impact fees” Palo Alto Housng Corporation changed their name he said because they have built everywhere but Palo Alto.? I’m guessing, they merged and moved? Or because of all the scandals and bad publicity of bad deals like Maybell?I took a big pay cut? “Haircut” is also the name of a story by Ring Lardner, and a collection of that title, which is about a bunch of guys who hang out at the barber shop and talk smack, circa 1920 and how that goes too far, but none of them were elected public figures such that the smack talker — me- is protected by the first amendment. surcharge on pizza? he’s against it, because it’s already $90?Inflation has been 3 percent but we’ve had double digit rate increases in utilities last few years??He claims that Palo Altan’s pay $50 for black trash bins but Mountain View only pays $35.He kinda goes on and on about sob stories about his child’s friend parent who complained of losing his job and the utility rate increase, yet why does he collect contributions from the uber-wealthy special interests like Chop Keenan and other developers? And he claims poor sad sack won’t be able to donate to “PIE” this year – although he cannot recall the acronym — let me try it Parent Endowment or Education? i forget to, don’t have kids. But he’s sort of messing the point that previously taxes and property taxes paid for schools — pre-Prop 13 – -and as part of the tax-dodging libertarian type that’s part of the equation, that we don’t ask as much in taxes but ask for donations to foundations, a type of privatization. When Greg Tanaka says “i feel for them” I don’t think he knows what that means but I think he knows or thinks that if he pretends to care or feel he can trick people into giving him money or voting for him. Never mentioned whether he was for or against a business tax – -he’s against it. But rails against a straw man of something no ones heard of, the $10 surcharge on the $90 pizza. He’s reading “All American Boys” by Jason Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely 2015. He sort of botches the story line by omitting that most of the plot is about the fact that the cop beats up the young black suspect who he accuses of shoplifting. At least at a glance, although I admit he is closer to an accurate description than what I first thought he said and started to pounce upon. And he watches not “the Matrix” though he’s seen it but like in the Matrix, he watches a lot of youtube how to fix it content to help him fix his bike, which he been riding for more than 30 years.

And the book was suggested by his student intern. it’s about an assault wherein a black person and a “white caucasian person” saw it differently – I was anticipating  his use of the term “Rashomon Effect” to no avail. And he listens to podcasts, about startups which are better than IBM or HPs.

He says he’s also “AA” meaning anti-acronym. LOL. Oy.  

Take us home, brother Marlowe – shout out to my professor James Shapiro: FAUSTUS.

Ah, Faustus,Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,And then thou must be damn’d perpetually!Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,That time may cease, and midnight never come;Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again, and makePerpetual day; or let this hour be butA year, a month, a week, a natural day,That Faustus may repent and save his soul!O lente, lente currite, noctis equi!

I like Bruce, he should run next time 


This is pretty experimental and obscure but I took photos of 10 human faces from artwork in my home office / spare bedroom and bathroom and was going to assign them arbitrarily as avatars of the 10 council candidates, alphabetically versus the order I shot them and see if it causes any weird shift phases of my views on them. I will correct any specific gender or race microagression.  

Ajit is a business man asscociated with high tech and the image I used is of Clint Eastwood in a parade and Carmel so just spit-balling here I guess I would predict that Palo Alto or America under someone like Ajit there would be private cops with AK-47s shooting at the feet of pedestrians in front of every office building on Uni Ave, which we would then jokingly call Uzi Ave. 


This is a slightly out of focus detail of a painting by outsider Jimmy Lee Sudduth and it times comments have described this as a cheer-leader and Cari is a cheer leader of sorts for the developers and like Ajit for a type of corporate hegemony but what comes to mind just like here I can only imagine vacuous and insipid utterances about Brothers Grimm if she was asked to write a thesis on Brother Jim she would say that it reminds her of Palo Alto because the buildings — you cannot see here — are more that 50 feet. (I can Swede in the building — but I have to add that my fav candidate also favors raising the height limit downtown[for housing only].)

Ed as a candidate seems to have a fairly blank face and fake smile when he is on the dais like the facial expression in this sticker which depicts a Warriors logo in reference to Dia De Las Muertos. 

Greer This is a cartoonified and pixelated version of the fictional boxer Rocky Balboa played by Sly Stallone and as I referenced above Rocky was based partly on Rocky Graziano; Greer is pound for pound…


This is a mask made by Santiago Romero the nephew of Mateo Romero and son of Diego Romero, a Dartmouth grad and he told us that his former step-mom Roxanne Swentzell helped him design it — whereas Greg Tanaka seems to lie all the time, so it highligths the long nose here.

Lydia(somehow got deleted but I think it was a female figure or face by Leonard Baskin, who is Jewish, whereas one of the knocks on Lydia early on was that some people in Barron Park said that her support of the Christmas pageant at Buena Vista showed a misunderstanding of the No Establishment Clause. But she did come to my mom’s memorial at Beth Am so thank you. 

Pat: This is a Tibetan face from the Beastie Boys concert poster at Golden Gate Park in the early 1990s and I can only say that it reminds me of the time in 2014 when Pat and I were both candidates in office of the Daily News waiting for the intereview to start and he said he had just been to the Bridge Concert at Shoreline and he said his favorite act was Jack White. But he did not know who White Stripes were. 

Raven: It is not strictly true that matching randomly ten details of artwork on my or Terry’s walls with ten alphabetized candidates by first name happens to yield Raven Malone a Black woman as represented by a painting by Ian Johnson of Ornette Coleman, but close enough for Plastic Alto. Ornette is a hugely influential living legend in jazz who created his own sub-language and style – and influenced the naming of this blog for his acrylic saxophone — whereas Raven is trying to exert an influence in this her adopted home town by participating in protest (BLM) and now running for office. 

Rebecca: This is a painting or mixed media work by Mateo Romero of Santa Fe area and depicts a Santa Clara pueblo woman with a black pot on her head. It means that Rebecca, a Stanford grad with a Harvard law degree has a lot of her mind.  

She’s not muted she’s having a technical malfunction

Posted on September 24, 2020

I was disappointed by the candidates’ forum, 10 aspirants (2 incumbents) moderated by two from the Weekly over Zoom. 
I was imagining the Last Supper, 10 disciples of Jesus deliberating over how to most effectively pray to Yahweh for two thousand twenty years of an absence of floods, plagues and pestilence.Or , the Kurosawa movie about a humble village hiring seven samurai to ward off the brigands. 
Read George Packer, “The Unwinding”. 
Over the next five weeks keep seeking info to help sort these 10. Vote for your best four. There are commissions open. Apply. Ring the doorbells of electeds to complain if they don’t give your interest due consideration. 
Push for publicly funded campaigns with twenty candidates in 2022, ranked choice and districting.
Keep your mask on. 
Stay calm. 
Keep on rockin’ in the free world.  And1: my computer trailed off during the final minutes, so I missed 9 of the closing statements. I liked when Jocelyn subtly by her tone called out Greg Tanaka for gorging on special interest funding.

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, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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