Mark Weiss: Good evening, Board Members, Commissioners. My name is Mark Weiss. I actually have two things to talk about in three minutes. If I don’t get to both of them or all the points, I’ll send a letter to Council or to you all. I seem to have two threads going with various Commissioners or groups of Commissioners. One is about basketball, and one is about music. I was going to talk about music in my three minutes, but there were some emergent things this week with basketball. The Palo Alto Historical Association had a presentation this weekend with Dave Newhouse, former sportswriter who grew up in Menlo Park. It wasn’t on topic of his event, but a famous Palo Alto basketball player named Jim Loscutoff, who was a world champion for the Boston Celtics and Paly Class of ’48. He would be turning 90 years old next week, February 4th. I thought we should remember
him. I actually had proposed years ago when Yiaway Yeh was the Mayor in 2011—he actually discussed this with Ron Wyden, another famous Palo Alto basketball player from Paly High, who is a U.S. Senator. The idea is something to do with naming the basketball courts of our parks in honor of famous Palo Alto basketball players. At the time in 2011, it had to do with the renovations of Seale Park, the former Stockton Park, the former De Anza School yard. There’s an article you can find, I wrote in 2011, on my blog called Plastic Alto, which is a jazz reference. It was called the Lockhart Loo Proposal. It’s a little bit off topic, but it did generate some of the same ideas. Kent Lockhart was a famous basketball player from Palo Alto. They used to say that there were three Ls who were the top players, Kent Lockhart, Jeremy Lin, and Jim Loscutoff. Jeremy Lin has risen above them. I’d like to maybe talk about that sometime. I’m really here to talk about music in that I’ve been running a concert series at Mitchell Park Community Center in the relatively new building, celebrating its fifth anniversary. The people of Palo Alto authorized a $41 million bond initiative a few years back, if you recall. As a private company called Earth Wise Productions, I’ve produced ten events at Mitchell Park, and I have about another ten on sale right now. It’s my idea of a—it’s not quite a public-private partnership. As a private citizen, I’d just like to leverage our public support for the arts. I had been a consultant years ago to some of the music in the park events, for example Mitchell Park bowl is a good idea for doing events. We still do a little bit. I think it’s less than we did a few years ago with the Twilight Series and the Cogswell Plaza Brown Bag Series. It’s not the exact purview of this department. It’s almost more of an Arts Commission topic, but at least one Commissioner said it was of interest to him. The general topic of how can we use our parks to cross-pollinate, if it were, with the arts community. By the way, I’m going to stay to hear about Juanita Salisbury. I think she’s doing a great job. Good luck this year, Commissioners. Thank you for your service, and Council Member. I look forward to talking with you all about either basketball or music. Thanks.
Take me out, Michael Franti, former USF hoopster: