The email light is on, but no one has been [up stairs] home for over a year

Welcome to the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission Now Go Home!

Former PA HRC Chair Daryl Savage
Current HRC Chair- Ray Bacchetti **
HRC Vice Chair-Claude Ezran

Perhaps thousands of emails sent to have gone unanswered. And no one in the community has been informed of this change.  So it would appear the community has been left in the dark. 

So if you have been sending your heart felt email concerns to the Human Relations Committee no one is listening.

We at Palo Alto Free Press have been striving to get at the truth for months now and no one at city hall seems to be concerned.

In fact, the non-responsiveness by the Human Relation Committee has been raised on multiple occasions even being brought before city council and like the HRC; it’s fallen on deaf ears.

** On news media inquires:  “Dear Mark: I’ve changed my mind.  Don’t want to play gotcha. Ray”

HRC Mission: To address human relations issues, including promotion of awareness, understanding and resolution of actual or potential conflicts, discrimination, or injustice while encouraging community building and civic engagement.

HRC Agenda 06-09-2011

HRC Memo Noverber 2009

Up-date: June 24th, 2011

Practicing the Art of Deception – Were well past the date on answers to our California Public Records Request digging, probing, reporting on the answers as to why the email address was turned off.

None of the committee members are willing and refuse to engage us in any meaningful discussions contrary to their mission statement.

Council Liaison: Gail Price

Staff Liaison: Minka van der Zwaag – 650-463-4953



CHEN, Theresa

EZRAN, Claude

O’NAN, Jill


VERMA, Sunita

The HRC decision to turn-off perhaps one of the most important features and channels of communications with the community is mind boggling.  Equally mind boggling is the fact that no one, no one cares to step-up to the plate and address this ‘human relations issue’.

They have torched their own bridge to community building and civic engagement. We have been deceived!!  What we did learn through persistent probing was that the email address was turned off.

Brilliant we already knew this……

From: Van DerZwaag,Minka

Re: HRC email

Mon, Jun 20,2011

Dear Mr. Peterson-Perez,

The Human Relations Commission email had been non-functioning, but that has now been remedied.  You may send in all further inquiries to the Human Relations Commission to

Minka van der Zwaag
Staff liaison to the HRC

What we didn’t learn were ALL the reasons surrounding why the decision was made to turn-off the email address and most importunately why no public announcement in the first place.

Nor did they answer any of the questions posed by our California Public Records Request and it would appear the entire HRC is indeed masters in the art of community deception and so we leave them and the community with the following quote:

“Deception is a cruel act…It often has many players on different stages that corrode the soul.”

Donna A. Favor – Member of the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Institute, 1955

First published Jun 7, 2011

4 Replies to “The email light is on, but no one has been [up stairs] home for over a year”

  1. Hi Beth & Mark & Don Larkin & Molly Stump & members of the HRC & members of the local Press and the Palo Alto City Council: (California Public Records Request)


    Thanks for bringing this to the public’s attention. I feel ripped off -as I have sent numerous important e-mails to the HRC’s e-mail address over the time frame you suggest the address has been down/inactive.

    Are you sure this is true? Why in the world would the HRC and city powers allow this to happen. I would appreciate a confirmation of the fact that the HRC has not been receiving my e-mails.

    Mr. Larkin please consider this a public records request by Aram B. James.

    (1) Pursuant to the California Public Records Act: please provide any and all information re when and if the HRC e-mail address went down.

    (2) How long has the HRC e-mail address been inoperative?

    (3) Why was the public not informed?

    (4) When will the HRC e-mail address be operative again ?

    (5) Does the city IT department have the software to retrieve all e-mails I have sent the HRC during the time that their e-mail address has been down?

    (6) All other documents and or information –no matter how memorilized on this subject.

    Thanks in advance for your prompt response to this matter.


    Aram James

    1. Mr. James:

      We at Palo Alto Free Press are equally concerned as you, and eagerly look forward to city attorney, Mr. Larkin’s TOP notch response which we will publish unvarnished and uncensored unlike our competitors The Weekly and it’s online version the


      1. Hey Mark,

        I kid you not–a leading light re the constant expansion–and pushing the envelope where it hasn’t been before ( Yeah, you got that right!!)—re our First Amendment rights–has offered former Congressman Wiener a job at a 20% increase over his congressional pay and benefits.

        Yes–you’ve got it right –one of the true icons of the First Amendment– Larry Flint.

        Whatever you want to say about Larry Flint –its hard to deny that he is one hell of a hustler.

        The Wiener could do a whole-lot worse than working for one of America’s quintessential American characters–Larry ” Do The Hustle” Flint.


        P.S. Mark you asked me if the city has complied with my public records request–(see below). The answer is a big No. Apparently Ms. Minka VanderZwaag ( One Big Officious Quintessential Bureaucrat) –is “just following orders,” and no doubt has been told by the likes of Big Jimmy Keene –just give Aram the finger–so to speak–re his request that you put your answers to his questions in writing.

        We will just show that F–ker Aram whose boss!!! You go Minka–you go!!! With your bureaucratic recalcitrance ( refusal to answer my reasonable questions re the lost HRC e-mail address) you have shown that Aram alright!!! You go Minka–you go!!!!

        ( Mark –see below –the questions still not anawered by Minka)

        June, 20, 2011

        Dear Ms. VanAnderzwaag:

        Thanks for your response. I would still appreciate your answers to the few additional questions I had:

        (1) Why was the public not notified that the HRC e-mail address would be taken out of service/disabled ?

        (2) When was the HRC e-mail address formally taken out of service/disabled?

        (3) During the time that HRC e-mail address was taken out of service did the e-mails get delivered to some other source?

        (4) Is there any way to know how many e-mails–were sent to the HRC during the time frame the address was down? From who? Can they still be retrieved?

        (5) When will the HRC e-mail be back on-line?

        (6) While the HRC e-mail was down why was there not some message sent re the address is temporally disabled,etc?

        Thanks for your assistance.


        Aram James

        1. Aram,

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Here’s bit more on the subject.

          As we both have come to realize and appreciate, were not advocates of Larry Flynt , Larry Flynt speaks for himself.

          He speaks to his own audience through his publications.

          But, their is no denying the facts which disturb even me and perhaps others, Larry Flynt will go down in history like or not, as one of the most influential first amendment advocates of modern times.

          In Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), the United States Supreme Court held, in a unanimous 8–0 decision.

          As your father once told you, “people just don’t want to be disturbed by the facts”.

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