Monday, March 9, 2009

Palo Alto Strikes Again - Thank You Daily Post

I seem to like picking on Palo Alto, CA.  Previously I've mentioned how they have this wonderful park up in the mountains - it's big, it's scenic, it's connected to the wildlife in the region... but oh, you can't go in unless you are a resident of Palo Alto.

That's because back when other cities had a chance to pitch in and provide funds for the land, they didn't.  So the Palo Alto infrastructure struck back at everyone by saying since we paid for it, no one else can use it.

Palo Alto also started looking at some plan to charge non-residents fees to park in their city.  That would also include the non-residents who own businesses in Palo Alto, but don't live there.

Now the latest fun I'm having with Palo Alto...  which some around here use the term affectionately, Shallow Alto, is that over the last few months they were looking to build a new police station for their cops.  It was projected to cost $80 million.  Fine, I get that.  But wait!  After all this time, something was being overlooked.

My new favorite newspaper, called the Daily Post ran an article last week titled "Mystery Floor May Help Cops" points out that there's been this 3rd floor of the present police headquarters that is empty...  and has been empty since the building was built back in 1968...  crickets...  10,000 square feet of empty space, just waiting to be occupied.

Palo Alto doesn't seem to want people to come to their little neck of the woods and doesn't seem to think there's a limit on their spending.  Or their vision of advancement is obscured.  How do you miss an entire floor of a building?  Eh, I'm not involved in the process.  I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation.

For now, the Daily Post is my fav paper.  They're been calling out local municipalities on various issues.  Red Light Traffic Cams that cost the city $6k a month for each intersection to run.  Or that the Yellow Light time frames at these interesections seemed shorter than the national recomendation.  Or how they've been outing the income of city officials in different locations.  I liked the list from Palo Alto.  Street Sweepers making $72k...  librarians - $100k...  the paper is a fun read.

I hope more people pick it up and read it.  The only short coming is that the paper doesn't think it needs a website... so we can't visit it vicariously through the web... sorry.  I'd like to see them be able to monetize an online existence.  I'd be there everyday.




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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce