This is one problem Palo Alto neighborhood residents hope to hit out of the Ballpark

Cell Tower Radiation.jpgParents who said the Palo Alto Little League was choosing money over their kids well-being, protested plans last night to build new cellphone towers on the baseball field.

Verizon Wireless first proposed plans in 2009 to put a new cellphone tower at the Middlefield ballpark at 3675 Middlefield Road., which is owned by the league.

But some neighbor said they were opposed to the tower because they didn’t like the way it looked and and we’re afraid it could emit harmful radiation that could hurt the kids playing on the field.

Last night, Verizon held a sparsely attended community meeting at the ballpark, where it unveiled its thrice-revised plans to put one new cell tower, a new field light, a combined light and cell tower and some equipment at the ball field.

According to Verizon employee Charnel James, the company revised its plans a number of times so that the tower installation would be more spread out and also provide the benefit of two large lights for the field, which would illuminate the back area that is currently dark at night.

Resident Willy Lai told the Post he was upset that Verizon had only let residents know about the meeting three days ago and were holding the meeting on a Friday night when most people already have plans.

Lai said he was fearful that the radiation emitted by the cell tower would hurt kids and said that Verizon had blown him off when he tried to talk to them about the adverse health effects.

Resident Jason Yotopoulos, who is also opposed to the towers, said that when the ballpark was originally donated by John Arrillaga, he specified that the land should never be used for commercial development.

But league Board Member Mark Burton that the cell tower would bring in about $2,000 every month in much-needed funds.

For example, Burton said that the league wants to replace the sprinkler system, which is 60 years old. That alone, he said, would cost about $20,000.

Other renovations

After that, the league’s board would also like to put some coverings over the stands, and add a dugout and a batting cage.

“There are a lot of things we want to accomplish,” he said. And the towers would help them do that. It’s an opinion residents Ken and Sue Allen also share.

Allen, who is President of the Adobe Meadow Neighborhood Association, said he had walked up and down Middlefield Road to talk to neighbors.

Out of about 30 families he spoke to, only three were opposed to the towers. “We’re not worried at all. We think it needs to go in,” he said.

As for those who are opposed, Allen said their concerns didn’t make much sense to him.

Old rationale

“The radiation from a cellphone next to your ear is 25,000-times stronger than the radiation from a cell tower 50 to 100 away,” he said. “I hate to say it, but they’re not rational. Their opposition is based on old ideas.”

The plan for the towers will next be sent to the Architectural Review Board. But if some neighbors still oppose it, the plans could go before the Palo Alto City Council, James said.

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Buffalo SoldierScheduled for architectural review. Home and Visitor scoreboard with lights

Palo Alto’s Tunnel of Love and Hate

Caitlin Ann Taylor-Stanford University, Ca
Caitlin Ann Taylor-Stanford University, Ca – Santa Clara County Jail Booking Photo furnished by Google

But you better be careful you just might be arrested. That was the experience of one MADD scientist from all places Stanford University as described in a detailed police report provide by PAPD Lt. Zachary Perron:

Caitlin Ann Taylor (DOB 05-18-1990, female, 5’7” tall, 140 lbs, blonde hair, hazel eyes) was arrested on 09-17-2013 at 7:42 p.m. in the 2400 block of Bryant Street.

She was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on 09-17-2013 at 8:55 p.m. for 148(a)(1) PC (resist arrest) and 243(b) PC (battery on peace officer), both of which are misdemeanors. She was released from custody on 09-18-2013 at 3:48 a.m., and her bail is set at $6000. Her occupation is “scientist.”

It just goes to show and prove that those arrested come from all walks and cyclists of life.

Why the arrest detail? Good question. California civil code allows all media reporting agency’s to do so despite what some may feel as an evasion of privacy. Bottom line, once your arrested, it becomes public record. Here’s the civil code procedure: See: California Government Code & 6254 (f) (1).

Government Code Section 6250-6270

(1) The full name and occupation of every individual arrested by the agency, the individual’s physical description including date of birth, color of eyes and hair, sex, height and weight, the time and date of arrest, the time and date of booking, the location of the arrest, the factual circumstances surrounding the arrest, the amount of bail set, the time and manner of release or the location where the individual is currently being held, and all charges the individual is being held upon, including any outstanding warrants from other jurisdictions and parole or probation holds.

So what’s the problem with Pedestrians vs Cyclists?

According to eyewitnesses, the Palo Alto police have been stationing themselves outside the tunnel of love and hate entrance to catch illegal contraband? No, no Mexican cartel this time.

Walk BikeThe PAPD have been assigned to catch cyclists riding their bikes through the tunnel of love and hate illegally. Although there are no signs posted warning otherwise so whats the Baskin-Robbins problem or scoop?

According to unconfirmed reports, pedestrians have been complaining about cyclists zooming through the tunnel of love and hate at reckless speeds without consideration for their foot-tracking brethren’s safety almost knocking them over on a daily bases all the while they should be walking their bikes as posted.

What’s interesting is that their is no municpale code attached to this sign [a first for Palo Alto] indicating an infraction of the law. What’s up with that Palo Alto? They have an ordinance or law to cover almost everything we do in Palo Alto. You name it, they got it! [PAMC 2.0]

The lack of a PAMC may in fact be a viable defense for this MADD scientist ridding her bike through Palo Alto’s tunnel of love and hate not so friendly bike city, but assaulting a peace officer!

Finding the right solutions

That’s a big no, no. Even in my book, you deserve everything meted out to you by the judge.  Don’t even think about placing your hands on a peace officer under any circumstance.  If you allegedly did, your a real “bonafide” MADD scientist.

Alexander, an avid bike rider BTW from Stanford who declined to provide his last name said that the number of cyclists he’s observed walking their bikes through the tunnel of love and hate out of 100, was 10 percent. That’s MADDing high percentage.

Lin Liu, another Palo Alto Stanford worker, and Earth Science Researcher, said that in the two years of walking through the tunnel of love and hate, putting things in a researchers perceptive formula of 4 riders to 1 walker…

In conversation with the first person interviewed, we both agreed, arresting persons for riding their bikes is not the answer.  Their ‘needs to be a mutual coexistence’.

lane dividerSo we came up with what we beleive to be a lasting solution.  Highway dividers, those relative poles to run right down the center of the tunnel of love and hate.

Cyclists on one side, and pedestrians on the other side. That just might work with the caveat of adding one of Palo Alto’s famous in your face control your life municipal code warnings.

Related story: Now this is worthy of a police chase and the waste of taxpayer dollars

DA Jeff Rosen suffers from a severe case of dyslexia, “You’re guilty until proven innocent”

The left hand knows what the right hand is doing?
The left hand knows what the right hand is doing

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen painted a rosy picture of his office’s relationship with the city of Palo Alto last night, but a few residents who had run-ins with the police in the past begged to differ.

Rosen was in Palo Alto last night to speak to the city Council and give an update on the cases his office has been able to successfully prosecute thanks to Palo Alto’s help.

He mentioned Kariem McFarland, the man who broke into the late Steve Jobs Palo Alto mansion and stole the Apple co-founders wallet and a number of Apple devices. McFarland had been on a home burglary spree in four different counties before Palo Alto police got involved, Rosen said.

Huge meth ring busted

He also thanked the Palo Alto Police Department for its help in busting the biggest meth ring in Santa Clara County, when police from the city tracked a stolen iPhone to San Jose and in the process found $35 million worth of methamphetamine.

“When I told this story to my father he said. ‘They had $35 million worth of meth, but they couldn’t afford an iPhone?'” Rosen explain.

Two Palo Alto residents throw knock out punches at prosecutor

“That’s the kind of people we’re dealing with. “But two Palo Alto residents didn’t share Rosen’s enthusiasm for the Police Department.

Both Mark Petersen-Perez who claims he was falsely accused by police of raping his wife and stepdaughter, and Tony Ciampi who was offered a $35,000 settlement after he was pulled from his van by Palo Alto police and shot with stun guns, blasted Rosen and his office, saying that the system failed them.

In a heated moment, Petersen-Perez, who was never convicted, said that the allegations will follow him forever and called on Rosen to take action to help clear his name.

Wife fled

Petersen-Perez said his wife, who has since fled to Nicaragua, also robbed him of more than $35,000 and that prosecutors refused to hear his “exculpatory evidence.” Exculpatory evidence is the evidence that can prove defendant’s innocence.

“They just wanted to prosecute me, “he said. “It’s not just prosecuting; it’s persecuting,”.

Ciampi claims police lied, falsified reports and even tempered with video footage of his Tasing and arrest. “Pursuit of justice for everyone?” Ciampi asked, staring at Rosen. “Why not for me?”

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Related story: The Justice System’s Imprisonment of Innocent Citizens

DA Jeff Rosen supports Palo Alto police in tracking your every whereabouts with impunity

PAPD license plate reader.jpgPolice departments in the mid-Peninsula have been quick to buy automatic license plate readers that scoop up enormous amounts of data about innocent residents.

But they haven’t been as fast in creating safeguards to prevent data from being misused.

Menlo Park police, who put one such plate reader into operation over the summer, are going to City Council tomorrow to ask for permission to buy three more.

Thanks to grants from the Department of Homeland Security, every Police Department in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties has at least one license plate scanner. But not one department has a policy to regulate their use.

license plate readerThe scanners, usually mounted on top of a police car, automatically takes pictures of every license plate in view. The data, time and location are recorded, too. This data can be analyzed to create a permanent record of where any of us has driven.

“The tracking of people’s location constitutes a significant invasion of privacy, which can reveal many things about their lives, such as what friends, doctors, protests, political events, or churches a person may visit,” the ACLU said in a report in July.

Money-making opportunities

The license plate scanners can help find stolen cars quickly. Police can raise money with the scanners by catching motorists who were late paying their vehicle registration fees or parking tickets.

All a police department has to do is park a police car with a plate scanner near a busy street, and then pull over all scofflaws.

The data local police collect is stored to buy a Homeland Security fusion Center in San Francisco, known as the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center.

The fusion Center signed a $340,000 contract with Palo Alto’s Palantir to construct a database of license plate records from local police departments, according to a report by the Center for investigative reporting.

That same report said that the San Francisco fusion Center will store license plate records for up to two years, regardless of data retention limits set by local police departments.

The police department that feels it should be erasing data on innocent residents sooner than two years will have to battle the fusion Center and Homeland Security.

Growing surveillance state

This issue of collecting license plate data comes at a time when, thanks to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, we now know that the federal government is collecting data about all Americans’ phone calls, emails and credit card transactions.

It seems hopeless for average citizens to fight the federal government over this surveillance. Leaders of both parties favor it, and a large number of Americans believe that NSA surveillance protect us from terrorists.

But while we can feel powerless to take on the federal government, average citizens can have influence on elected city councils, which are supposed to oversee Police Department.

We can demand that our city council’s tell the police to put reasonable restrictions on data collection on innocent citizens by these plate readers. It’s not unreasonable to have police delete data on innocents with in a week of its collection.

Last year, then-state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, introduced a bill that would limit the amount of time local police departments could retain plate data to 60 days unless the agency is using the data to investigate a crime.

The bill died in the legislature after heavy lobbying against it by law enforcement and the manufacturers of plate readers.

It will be used against you

Wolfgang Schmidt, a retired colonel in the former East German secret police known as the Stasi, told the McClatchy news service in July that he was amazed by the amount of information the U.S. government collects on it’s people. “You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” Schmidt said.

He said the dark side to gathering such broad, seemingly untargeted amount of information is obvious.

“It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used, “Schmidt said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect its people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”

To get a sense of how bad things got in communist East Germany, see the movie “The Lives of Others,” which won the Oscar for best foreign language film and 2006.

It’s about the relationship between a Stasi officer and a playwright he’s assigned to spy upon, and how the government uses information to manipulate people and turn them into informants. It’s particularly relevant in light of the Snowden revelations.

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Honk if you love [Jesus] or the San Mateo Police if you dare

20130921-082750.jpgThe city of San Mateo has filed for a restraining order against a resident who police say has been harassing and threatening officers for decades.

San Mateo Assistant City Attorney Bahar Adbollahi filled documents in San Mateo County Superior Court on Thursday that claim Peter Nepote has been “making gun gestures with his hand, flashing lights, honking his horn [*porn] for yelling at [police]” for years.

San Mateo police are “subjected to harassment, intimidation and disturbance” by Nepote’s actions, Absollahai wrote. “[Nepote’s behavior serves as a dangerous distraction which, unless restrained, may cause great irreparable injury to himself, the public or [police employees].”

The city said that for the last several years, Nepote has listen to the police radio and “memorize police officer call signs and followed police officers for extended periods of time.”

Adbollahi said that in 1994, three San Mateo police officers obtained restraining orders against the Nepote after he tried to follow them home.

Nepote, who couldn’t be reached for comment by the Post, lives on 1000 block of Bayswater Avenue in San Mateo.

Last month, Nepote called Officer Laura Ramirez at the San Mateo Police department to complain about a citation he received for honking his horn while another officer was making an arrest.

He allegedly told Officer Ramirez that he plans on coming to the San Mateo Police Department every night at 1 a.m.

According to court documents, Nepote threatened “to mess with” the police officers he was complaining about.

The police department claims its resources are being wasted by taking Nepote’s repeated phone calls and that fear of his actions make it difficult for officers to perform their duties.

“Public resources are wasted retrieving and analyzing is nonsensual and delusional reports,” Abdollahi wrote.

She argues that without a restraining order, Nepote will continue his harassing behavior. She said that he continues to interfere with police despite numerous attempts by officers to get him to stop.

*dragon dictation is not perfected just yet Lol.

In defense of Peter Nepote we have the US Supreme Court decision in City of Houston v. Hill – 482 U.S. 451 (1987)

New Orleans ordinance making it unlawful “to curse or revile or to use obscene or opprobrious language toward or with reference to” a police officer

“[a]ny person who shall, without provocation, use to or of another, and in his presence . . . opprobrious words or abusive language, tending to cause a breach of the peace . . . shall be guilty of a misdemeanor,”

City of Palo Alto’s First Amendment speech control and revised city ordinance

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Now this is worthy of a police chase and the waste of taxpayer dollars

20130919-074902.jpgA Palo Alto woman was arrested after a violent struggle with police, who tries to stop her after she reportedly rode her bike through an underground tunnel where riding a bike is not allowed.

Police said that Caitlin Ann Taylor, 23, of Palo Alto, rode her bike through the underground tunnel that connects South California Avenue with North California Avenue and passes under the train station.

An officer who was their at the time asked Taylor to stop. Taylor looked back at the officer but kept going, police said.

The officer got in his patrol car and began chasing tail [Taylor], whom he found at the intersection of Oregon Expressway and Bryant Street and stopped by pulling in front of her with his patrol car.

The officer had to struggle with Taylor to get her into handcuffs. Another officer came to help him put her in his patrol car, when they tried to do so, she kicked the patrol car and continue to struggle with officers, according to police.

Police said they arrested Taylor on suspicion of failing to obey police and battery on a police officer. Police said Taylor was not injured.

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Nothing is free in life-Not even Wi-Fi-But, that could change

20130918-074458.jpgPalo Alto City Council members said yesterday that the city should spend between $250,000 and $450,000 to devise a plan that would eventually lead to Wi-Fi service throughout the city and bring high-speed Internet to residents.

Palo Alto already had a “fiber to the premises” system that it uses to sell high speed Internet to a few commercial buyers. But at the moment, the fiber optic service is still expensive and is available to only a limited number of customers.

But yesterday, council members Larry Klein, Liz Kniss and Nancy Shepard and Mayor Greg Scharff who are on the technology and connected city committee, said they wanted to change that by bringing high-speed Internet access to more parts of the city.

Concept involves bring service to parks, plazas

That would likely include expanding this is existing high speed fiber network and using it to produce wireless Internet networks that would furnish Palo Alto Parks, Plaza and other “dead zone “with wireless service.

According to Scharff, “the point is to give people wireless Internet that is faster than what they get on their phone.”

According to a report by city manager James Keene, the cost of hiring a consultant to come up with a plan for getting high-speed fiber optic Internet to Paulo alto home would be between $150,000 and $350,000.

The cost of having a consultant come up with a wireless network plan would be up to $100,000.

The money for those plans would come out of the cities fiber fund reserve, which has almost the $15.3 million that the city has already made from its existing fiber system.

Palo Alto has been talking about connecting homes with a fiber optic system since the late 90s. In 2009, a $45 million plan to build such a system fell apart when Canadian-based and Axia netmedia corp. pulled out of the partnership with the city when it’s funding partner withdrew its money during the recession.

Axia turn to the city and asked for between $3 million and $5 million per year in support but the city turned it down.

Some cities, like Chattanooga, Tenn, And Santa Monica have successfully created their own fiber optic systems. Other cities fared less well. Provo, Utah, ended up millions of dollars in debt after selling their mismanaged system to Google for $1.

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The Unauthorized Daily Post

Unauthorized Daily Post“The Daily Post is the best newspaper between San Jose and San Francisco, bar none. But its owners don’t have the common sense to post their stories online. So we’re doing this, without permission. (This is the new home of the Unauthorized Daily Post.)”.

We have a tendency to agree, the Daily Post goes at times above and beyond getting at the truth on many different levels. I recall in one particular story about a Palo Alto police officer arrested on DUI charges [**while on duty] the (PIO) Palo Alto Police Information Officer at the time, Sandra Brown since retired was unwilling and refused to identify the officers name for privacy reasons. Getting name of cop with DUI wasn’t easy

It was only through the pain staking efforts of a Daily Post reporter, going through court documents which were limited on a daily basis that the true identity of the officer finally emerged as Officer Eric Anthony Bulatao.

As many of you know, the Daily Post is only available in printed form which seems odd in a digital age.

David Price the editor, I understand is a strong supporter of First Amendment rights unlike another on-line newspaper, the or its flagship the Weekly which actively promotes censorship.

You can Google the Daily Post but what you’ll find is that you’ll have to pay, Dave Price, a price, for archival information.  The way I look at it, going digital or on-line, is a capitol software investment well worth the expense.

Rosetta stone or abacus anyone?

Would you invest in an abacus or the Rosetta stone?  Its ancient technology which has out lived its usefulness and rightfully belongs in a museum.

E-books and on-line newspapers will continue to shape modern day societies and many visionaries have projected that even library’s will soon become a part of the distant past.

Perhaps many in the Palo Alto community will look back on our local politicians and ask the question, why?  Why, did we invest in old archival technology (books) and spend $76 million of hard earned taxpayers’ dollars on the Mitchell Park Library project, rather than investing in a real future. The future of Technology…..

Perhaps Mr. Price is just plain old fashion old school. The only problem is, he’s probably going to find himself out of business. ‘You don’t need a wind vain to know which way the technology wind is a blow’en…..abj’

Back in 2007, Bill Keller, the New York Times Executive Editor told his audience, “the Web audience is growing at a great clip, while print circulation is not. And online revenues are growing faster, too, albeit from a smaller base. If the trend continues, there’s little doubt that — “eventually” — online becomes the main business.”

Our feeling is, if Mr. Price doesn’t jump on the technology train, he’s going to be ultimately left behind. And if you’re asking yourself, we have no idea why the Unauthorized Daily Post went extinct. There not saying.

**A police officers job demands 24/7 service to the community.

Palo Alto’s Mitchell Park Library Money Pit

Mitchell Park libraryThe city of Palo Alto’s troubled Mitchell Park Library project, already over budget and 20 months behind schedule, it’s going to cost taxpayers an additional $785,000.

On Monday, city Council will vote to give the firm hired to manage construction Turner Construction Company, an additional $785,000 because the project is taking longer than expected, and the company needs to be paid before it’s time. The opening is now set for December.

The city has blamed the delays on the prime contractor, Flintco Pacific, says it failed to properly Coordinator and manage construction. Flintco says it’s being made a scapegoat by the city, and that the city is to blame for failing to pay subcontractors on time, which caused crews to walk off the job.

Flintco senior vice president John Stump told the Post previously that the architect on the project, group 4 Architecture, was still issuing design documents a year after construction started.

Wherever the blame lies, the library and communication center on Middlefield Road cost millions more then the 24 million Flintco originally bid.

Delays cost money

Because of the delays, Turner has had to remain on the job past its original contract time, said Public Works Director Mike Sartor yesterday. Now the city needs to extend the contract through November, he said.

In addition, Turner will assist the city when the library opens in December and continue working until the end of November 2014 to oversee any corrections the liberty may need.

The city has already pay Turner for some time and materials totaling more than $6.6 million. Sartor said that the additional funding council is being asked to approve Monday is to pay Turner for its services.

Construction on the Mitchell Park Library began in September 2010 with an anticipated completion date of April 29, 2011. The project was funded by Palo Altos measured N, a 2008 bond issue that raised **$76 million for the Main, Mitchell Park and Downtown libraries.

The Mitchell Park project includes a 41,000-square-foot library and a 15,000- square foot community center with teen center, cafe, computer room, game room and meeting room.

Gambia flag**Putting things into context, Palo Alto council spending is out of control with our precious taxpayer dollars and lacking the proper oversight. Current cost of the library =’s 76 x’s the sum of Gambia’s military budget

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