Tree Removal Notice – Wanted Trees Dead Or Alive

A Once Healthy Tree Ordered Destroyed By James Keene
A Once Healthy Tree Ordered Destroyed By James Keene

It would seem that city manager James Keene is bent on destroying the canopy of trees in Palo Alto one tree at a time without public input.

I tried without success in my attempts to learn the answers as to why one tree located in Hoover Park was axed.

One reason I later learned was that the city attorney Gary Baum instructed all personal including the city manager not communicate in any fashion with PaloAltoFreePress.com.

They, the city attorney’s office does not consider PaloAltoFreePress.com a community news paper or “print media” and as such will not return calls or interview requests. These fine points will be addresses at a later time.

Never-the-less, it is incumbent upon government employees to serve all with distinction tactfulness and without prejudice.

And at the very least they should return phone calls to explain their position. Again, city attorney instructions were not to do so especially in our case.

Please visit this site – paloaltotreewatch.com – to learn more about ways to fight the destruction of Palo Alto’s canopy. The destruction of city trees should be everyone’s concern.

Meet the Two Chiefs – Fire And Police

Considering the population of the city of Palo Alto, which stands at a little over sixty-six thousand, the turnout was relatively small. In fact, one resident had complained that there were more police and fire staff personnel than those in attendance.

The “Meet The Chief”(s) meeting was held at on Wednesday, July 21, at Juana Briones Park.

The presenters were Sandra Brown, of course Dennis Burns who is Police Chief and acting Fire Chief, Bob Beacom, Scott Wong, Robert Bonilla and others.

It was encouraging to note that the overall crime was in fact down however, there have been a few business burglaries and in one case Lt. Scott Wong indicated that the fashion / methods used by the burglars were similar to a “spider man” act which, as of this writing, remains unsolved.

One concern was the carrying of the hand guns in open public, known as “open carry “. There were concerns expressed by one person in attendance. Lt. Scott Wong recognized that the “open carry” laws are within the constitution to do so (second amendment). However, he felt it would not be wise or recommended due to public safety concerns and other issues.

Chief Dennis Burns said as well, that a national search was underway to look for a replacement fire chief. The “Meet The Chief” event was filmed in its entirety and available as a download for those interested. If interested please contact the editor.

No one takes you seriously

Your scattered and seemingly senseless website leads me to believe you all either have some mental issues or just plain way too much time on your hands. PAPD is an outstanding department and I don’t know anyone who takes you guys seriously. You seem like pestering clowns. The fact these officers have to deal with you people while doing the job they do is amazing. Here is a thought, why don’t you organize a community watch group that looks for criminals and spend less time carrying on about how bad the police are.

Movie Review: INCEPTION

I’m not a movie reviewer. After seeing INCEPTION tonight, however, I feel compelled to write a short review about it.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I saw the trailer months back. It was vague, cryptic and ambiguous. What I did know, was that it was written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the creative mind that brought us The Dark Knight. That was not his only movie, mind you, but a huge blockbuster that everyone (including me) seemed to love.

I not a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, but I’ve loved every movie he’s ever been in. Weird, I know. I was excited though about seeing Ellen Page, whom I fell in serious “like” with after seeing Juno a few summers back. The rest of the cast featured some interesting picks, including a pretty large role for Tom Berenger who hasn’t seen a lot of Hollywood work lately.

I should probably stop right here for those of you who haven’t seen the trailer, or know anything about it and give you a chance to watch it.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, watch it below.

The movie studio/cast/crew, pretty much everyone had kept silent regarding the plot. Aside from the obvious that somehow entered people’s dream and are able to manipulate them. This being the case, I had no idea what to expect, plot-wise. I have to say that I went into the theater with high expectations, though. I wasn’t disappointed.

From the very opening scene to the quasi-cliffhanger ending, I was glued to my seat and must have dug my nails two inches deep into the plastic armrests.

If, after seeing the trailer, you have ANY interest at all in seeing this movie please do so. I’ll personally refund your ticket price if you don’t enjoy this movie.* (Not available in all areas)

If you agree, please leave a comment below!

Apple to hold iPhone 4 Press Conference Friday

Per all the normal geek channels (Engadget, Gizmodo, etc.,), Apple is set to have a press conference regarding the iPhone 4 on Friday at 10am. Will Apple address the “antenna-gate” scandal? Are they announcing the white iPhone 4? No one really knows at this point.

What we do know is that all eyes will be on Cupertino on Friday.

News Reporting On The ‘Streets Of Palo Alto’

Proudly Serving the Palo Alto Community

As a police critic and reporter it is equally important to recognize the hard work of our local officers as they keep the streets safe for everyone to enjoy.

You can tell the seasoned officer from the not so seasoned merely by their attitude. Officer Benjamin Lee is one such seasoned officer. Totally professional!!

Believe me; I have encounter police officers with a real attitude. And it goes without saying it’s found in all professions.

As I was filming an alleged person of interest involving recent bike thefts, I got a little to close and I appreciated the officer requesting I move back which I did.

As the other officers were wrapping up there police business officer Lee spoke with me briefly about the incident and my filming live.

Censorship And The Palo Alto Online

*Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor.

*http://bit.ly/QBSH4

It’s amazing the number of community posts removed by the editorial staff of the Palo Alto Online namely headed by its founder Jay Thorwaldon.

I think it’s safe to say most people would rather remain anonymous including me for many reasons and that’s okay with me when commenting or blogging.

What I set out to accomplish was to determine the extent to which posts were censored by the Palo Alto Online and the findings were rather revealing.

But first, let us examine the comments must notable by a past US President and Eric Arthur Blair better known by his pen name George Orwell, an English author and journalist.

(*Most research material used for this editorial can be found on the internet and through Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia)

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

-John Fitzgerald Kennedy-

“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all-except the censor.

We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”

-John Fitzgerald Kennedy-

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

-George Orwell-

Having said this, what I found which was extremely disturbing in my attempts at uncovering the truth was the way the (Weekly) the Palo Alto On-line version, censors and at times completely removes “blogger” posts without further explanation.

In fact, many Palo Alto On-Line posts found not to be in compliance with their terms of use will either be edited by the editorial staff to fit the subject material being discussed or deleted altogether.  In some circles the editing of comments are called spinning the story.

For this editorial I set out to question one of the key writer of the Weekly, Gennady Sheyner.  He was clearly irritated with my line of questioning concerning censorship, and First Amendment issues.

The following are just a few of his comments I was able to glean before he cut me off.

Mr. Sheyner stated he was unaware that any of the articles authored by him were being edited, partially removed or deleted.  I found that very hard to believe.

In fact he stated that in some cases the editing and or the removal of posts he felt were completely acceptable and personally, would not view such actions as being defined as censorship.

When I questioned him further about changing post comments to fit the story-line, then things got a little tense and he excused himself.

He did say that the actual editing of posts were the responsibility of the editorial staff.  I’m assuming that’s Jay Thorwaldon chief censor.

I found his attitude very surprising, especially coming from a reported who you would think would view the First Amendment as the equivalent of the “Holy Grail”.

We did have one thing in common which I was not given the time to discuss.  Anthony Lewis – Author  of “Gideon’s Trumpet”.

The story of Clearance Earl Gideon a personal mentor and a man with an 8th grade education that changed the course of legal history.

Again, *Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor.

And in my opinion, by editing, changing the content or removing posts altogether without further explanation,  Mr. Thorwaldon personally places our First Amendment rights on a very, very slippery slope to the degree; our personal liberties may be taken away from us altogether…

Announcing Free P.A. Roadside Assistance

As a long time bicyclist with thousand of miles under my belt, I’ve had my share of flat tires, in all kinds of weather.  No doubt, you have experienced the need for a patch or a tube and found yourself with neither.

With that in mind, I have decided to offer a free service to help out in these situations. I call it “MMM Roadside Assistance”, (a play on my name and the AAA roadside service).

If you experience a flat tire and are in need of a patch or a tube and find yourself without, I will give you one to get you back on the road, no charge!

I consider it a small gesture of kindness to the bicycle riders of Palo Alto and its surrounding communities. Hopefully I can bring a “smile to your day and have you on your way”. The catch? All I ask is that you “pay it forward” to your fellow bicycle riders when you find yourself with the shoe on the other foot.

With that being said, my personal route takes me from Cowper Street to Sand Hill Road, up to Canada Rd and back.  Approximately 30 miles round-trip.

So if I see you in distress on my route, I’m gonna help out!

If you require further maintenance, head on down to Mike’s Bikes. They have excellent service and great prices.  They’re located at 3001 El Camino, just south of Page Mill (650.858.7700).

So far “MMM” is just me. If you would care to join me in my little venture or for further information, shoot me an email (editor@paloaltofreepress) or call 650.646.5737, I’ll be happy to have you join me!

Mark