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Tacolicious Opens 3rd Location in Palo Alto, California

Tacolicious Opens 3rd Location in Palo Alto, California


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Tacos and tequila are in store for Silicon Valley

Palo Alto, Calif., has been deprived of a worthy late-night California Mexican cuisine spot until now. Tacolicious has finally moved south from San Francisco and opened up a location in the heart of Silicon Valley!

"The space itself is very bright and spacious, and we just felt the demand to be in Palo Alto," executive chef Telmo Faria told The Daily Meal.

Stanford students and Facebook and Google employees now have a place to indulge in tacos filed with flavorsome juicy braised meat, officially known as tacos de guisado. Enjoy your tacos and creatively inspired appetizers such as their tuna tostada in a full sit-down cocktail-driven restaurant with 100 tequilas to choose from. Faria suggests customers go with his favorite tequila, the Fortaleza reposado.

The Palo Alto location sits just blocks from University Avenue on Emerson Street. As the biggest out of all three locations, this one sits 90 in the dining room, 20 in the lounge area, and roughly 50 people in their private dining area. "We’re a fun yet laid-back environment," added owner Joe Hargrave. "We want our customers to feel that energy when they come in to dine with us."

The location features an open space with large ceilings, an open kitchen, and a full bar with two big-screen TVs. It’s a trendy environment with authentic Mexican food. Their tacos are their signature, and Hargrave and Faria have traveled into Mexico City to get inspiration from local restaurants like Califa and Contramar.

Tacolicious Palo Alto also has a hand-picked staff to make your experience and service worth every bite and penny. "It doesn’t feel like work, it’s just like I’m hanging out with my friends, and I get to meet new people every day, " said Faria. "I feel truly lucky to be a part of the Tacolicious family."


Tacolicious Opens 3rd Location in Palo Alto, California - Recipes

Collecting Sales Tax

  • Certain groceries, including bottled water.
  • Sales to the U.S. government
  • Sales to out-of-state consumers (when the items are delivered or shipped to the purchaser out-of-state).
  • Candy and snack foods are not taxable.
  1. Restaurant food, whether take-out or served, is taxable.
  2. Non-subscription sales of newspapers are generally taxable.
  • You are in a higher sales tax area and are Sell to people physically located in that tax area (at the time of the sale). In this case, you should charge your county's sales tax.
  • You conduct business and make sales in your customer's tax area. In this case, you should charge your customer's area sales tax. "Conducting business" means if
    • Any part of your business is located in the county (including storage, showroom, etc.),
    • You have a canvasser, solicitor, representative, or agent operating in that county,
    • You receive rental or lease income from that county.
    • You are in a 7.5% sales tax area and sell or directly deliver to a 7.5% area.
    • You are in a higher sales tax area and ship via common carrier (UPS, Postal Service and other third parties) to any sales tax area in California where you don't conduct business (see explanation of "conducting business" above).

    If you ship your product via common carrier to a higher sales tax area, but don't conduct business in that area, you do not have to collect their extra sales tax.

    • If you deliver a product out-of-state or sell to an exempt customer (either someone who will resell your product or someone buying an exempt product), you do not have to collect sales tax.

    The use tax may also be owed on items you lease. A purchaser/lessor has the option of paying tax on the purchase price of a leased item or on the rental receipts. If you elect to report on rental receipts, you may collect the use tax from your customers and remit it to the California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration.

    Since you have a seller's permit number, all use taxes should be reported on your quarterly BT-401 sales tax return.


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    Open Preservation Foundation Joins Open Source Initiative

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - Oct. 28, 2019 - PRLog -- The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI) is proud to announce the affiliate membership of the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF). Enabling shared solutions for effective and efficient digital preservation, the OPF leads a collaborative effort to create, maintain and develop the reference set of sustainable, open source digital preservation tools and resources.

    Founded in 2010 as the Open Planets Foundation to sustain the results of EU-funded R&D, OPF currently stewards the leading portfolio of open source digital preservation software and enables the development of best practice through webinars, interest groups, community events, and training. Open Preservation Foundation's vision is open sustainable digital preservation.

    "The OPF joined the OSI because we share a commitment to raising awareness and advocating for open source software," said Martin Wrigley, Executive Director of the OPF. "We maintain a set of open source file format validation tools and look forward to exchanging ideas with new communities and sharing our experience in digital preservation."

    "Open Preservation Foundation's work exemplifies multiple dimensions of openness, not only as a maintainer of several open source tools and an open community for collaboration but also through their work ensuring digital content remains accessible and usable," said Patrick Masson, OSI General Manager. "We're grateful for OPF's support as a member and look forward to their contributions as a community."

    The OSI Affiliate Member Program, available at no-cost, allows non-profit organizations to join and support the OSI's work to promote and protect open source software. Affiliate members participate directly in the direction and development of the OSI through board elections and incubator projects that support software freedom. Membership provides a forum where open source leaders, businesses, and communities engage through member-driven initiatives to increase awareness and adoption of open source software.


    Friday, June 23, 2006

    Green Bean Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dressing (Page 143)

    • Date: Thursday, June 22, 2006 - 8pm
    • Location: Palo Alto, CA
    • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
    • Fellow Chef: Emilee
    • Dining Companions: Brian, Karen, Bret, Kai-Mei and Stanford Mike
    • Recipe Rating: B+

    I have been wondering lately if people get more or less picky about food as they age? I have certainly outgrown almost all of my finickiness about food. But maybe that has less to do with age and more to do with the fact that I have learned more about food as I have gotten older. I think it is harder to dislike foods that you cook with and know about. Maybe that's just me. It's interesting to me to see what people will and will not eat though. Some friends of mine have aversions that I just don't understand (blue cheese, mayonaise, mustard, vinegar, etc. ). Other friends will eat absolutely anything. I wonder how much that has to do with what you were fed as a child. Do you think that adventurous eaters are more often the product of parents who fed their children a wide variety of foods? I don't really understand why many parents feed their children a very limited, bland diet. If I have kids someday, as soon as they start eating solid food I will feed them whatever I eat. It doesn't seem obvious to me that children really have a different palate than adults do. I think kids just tend to like what they are used to. If they are used to eating a wide variety of things, probably they will like a wide variety of things. Well, I guess I will have to wait and see.

    Roasted Pepper and White Bean Spread (Page 13)

    • Date: Thursday, June 22, 2006 - 7pm
    • Location: Palo Alto, CA
    • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
    • Fellow Chef: Emilee
    • Dining Companions: Brian, Karen, Bret, Kai-Mei, and Stanford Mike
    • Recipe Rating: C+

    We had a really lovely dinner party last night. There is something so nice about gathering friends together on a warm summer night to drink beer and grill steak. My friend Bret is getting married in August and I hadn't met his finace Karen yet, so it was really fun having them to dinner! They are one of those couples that just immediately seems like a great match. I am so excited for them! I am planning to come back to California for their wedding in August. It sounds like it is going to be an elaborate affair!

    Bret and Karen both work for Google and they were telling me last night about Google Spreadsheets which I had never used. It's nice because it is a very easy way to share spreadsheets with others (basically it is cool in the same way that Google Calendar is cool). Paul has been suggesting that I list the recipes in my project on a spreadsheet with their grades so that one could sort easily for the A recipes, etc. I started doing this this morning. I can't figure out how to make the spreadsheet public though -- I can only give permission person by person. If anyone is interested, let me know and I can add you.


    Pizza Palo Alto Late Night


    Searching for Pizza Palo Alto Late Night information? You are in the right place. At maarslet-pizza.dk you can find everything you want to know about Pizza Palo Alto Late Night. And of cause you can order a tasty pizza! So find info and order pizza online!

    Top 10 Best Late Night Food in Palo Alto, CA - Last .

      https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=late+night+food&find_loc=Palo+Alto%2C+CA
      Reviews on Late Night Food in Palo Alto, CA - NOLA Restaurant & Bar, L & L Hawaiian BBQ, Taqueria El Grullense, Pizza My Heart, Dutch Goose, The Rose & Crown English Food & Ale House, The Patio, Gravity Bistro & Wine Bar, In-N-Out Burger, The…

    Palo Alto - Deep Dish Pizza in San Francisco, Denver .

      https://patxispizza.com/location/palo-alto/
      PATXI’S PIZZA – PALO ALTO. 441 Emerson Street Palo Alto, CA 94301. Telephone: 650-473-9999. HOURS OF OPERATION: Sunday – Thursday: 11 am to 10 pm Friday – Saturday: 11 am to 11 pm. HAPPY HOUR: Monday-Friday, from 3 pm-6 pm. LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR: Sunday-Thursday, from …

    THE 10 BEST Late Night Restaurants in Palo Alto - Tripadvisor

      https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g32849-zfp8-Palo_Alto_California.html
      Best Late Night Restaurants in Palo Alto, California: Find Tripadvisor traveler reviews of THE BEST Palo Alto Late Night Restaurants and search by price, location, and more.

    Pizza My Heart - Palo Alto, CA - yelp.com

      https://www.yelp.com/biz/pizza-my-heart-palo-alto
      Great place to grab a late night slice of pizza. This Pizza My Heart location is spacious, clean and has a bigger menu then any of the other locations I've been to. . As usual, good pizza and ambiance located next to al-fresco music in the heart of downtown Palo Alto! I've had Pizza My Heart's Isla Vista location (shoutout to the college town . 3.5/5(592)

    THE 10 BEST Pizza Places in Palo Alto - Tripadvisor

      https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g32849-c31-Palo_Alto_California.html
      Best Pizza in Palo Alto, California: Find Tripadvisor traveler reviews of Palo Alto Pizza places and search by price, location, and more. . Late Night Restaurants in Palo Alto Restaurants for Group Dining in Palo Alto . Pizza Places in Palo Alto View map. Map. Satellite. Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info. Reset zoom .

    Palo Alto Pizza Delivery - Order Domino's Now!

      https://pizza.dominos.com/california/palo-alto/
      For Palo Alto pizza delivery that's sure to please, choose Domino's. When you order Domino's, you're not ordering the same old, ordinary pizza that other restaurants offer. You're ordering a pizza with an expertly browned crust, a handcrafted marinara sauce made from only the most excellent tomatoes, and a delicious medley of toppings that's .

    THE 10 BEST Late Night Restaurants in Palo Alto - TripAdvisor

      https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g32849-zfp8-Palo_Alto_California.html
      Best Late Night Restaurants in Palo Alto, California: Find TripAdvisor traveler reviews of THE BEST Palo Alto Late Night Restaurants and search by price, location, and more.

    Late Night Restaurants in Silicon Valley andreas.com

      https://www.andreas.com/restaurant.html
      Milpitas Square. A bonanza for late night food is Milpitas Square, the Asian shopping center at 237 and Milpitas. Hop out from 237 onto McCarthy Ranch Road and get on the south side of 237. Go to the stoplight, turn left, and after two blocks, you're in Asia: Chinese, Vietnamese, Singaporean.

    Gluten Free Late Night Spots in Palo Alto, California - 2020

      https://www.findmeglutenfree.com/us/ca/palo-alto/late-night
      Gluten free late night spots in Palo Alto, California. Oren's Hummus Shop, The Counter, Tacolicious, Wahlburgers, Oren's Hummus Shop, Coconuts Caribbean Restaurant & Bar.

    Any place to eat late at night? Town Square Palo Alto .

      https://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/index.php?i=3&d=&t=310
      Aug 16, 2006 · Palo Alto Creamery is open until midnight on weekends. Haven't tried it, but Cafe 220 on University is open until midnight most days and until 2:30AM on Friday and Saturday Web Link

    Steamers in Beer (Page 326)

    • Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010 -- 7pm
    • Location: Palo Alto, CA
    • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
    • Fellow Chef: Chris
    • Dining Companions: Emilee, Brian, and Sam
    • Recipe Rating: C

    The internet will easy lead you to a half a dozen different recommendations for how to clean steamers: soak them in salt water, soak them in vinegar water, soak them in water mixed with cornstarch, soak them in water mixed with cornmeal, soak them in plain water, etc. The one thing most people seem to agree on is that they do indeed need to be soaked. The theory is that soaking steamers will cause them to spit out the sand and impurities that they have in them. The Book recipe, however, did not call for them to be soaked. So I didn't soak them. The result: very gritty clams. Poor Brian got two very sandy/gritty clams in a row, and then wasn't feeling well later in the evening. Who knows what kind of impurities were in there.

    My second issue with this recipe was the flavor of the broth. Although I love butter and I love beer, I didn't find the combination of beer and butter to be at all appealing. The dipping sauce was essentially 2 cups of beer and a stick of melted butter. It just wasn't good. On the upside, the clams were nicely cooked. We were all so turned off by the grit and the flavor, though, that most of these didn't get eaten.

    My special gentleman's birthday is on Friday. Last year when his birthday came around it was so close to our wedding that I couldn't rally to organize anything special for him. It was his thirtieth birthday, though, and I felt bad for having been so lame. This year, I am going to try harder! To celebrate we are going to Palo Alto to have dinner with friends, and I am planning a very nice meal. I have assembled a selection of items from The Book that sound very tasty, and I have already started cooking! This evening I assembled and froze an hors d'oeuvre -- tiny puff pastry crescents filled with mushrooms and serrano ham -- and I made the quince apple filling for his dessert. Over the next several days I will make a pate, braise beef for pot au feu, make the pastry crust for his dessert and assemble it, etc. The meal is not so complicated that it would have been impossible to do it all on Friday. Indeed if I started cooking early in the day I could easily have everything prepared by dinnertime. But for a special meal I like to draw it out a bit -- working on it in small chunks over several days. For one thing, I have a better attitude about cooking when I am not working on 6 recipes at the same time. But more than that, planning a meal ahead and working on the components feels very celebratory to me!

    I hope the meal turns out well. My husband is awesome and he deserves the very best on his birthday (and every day!).

    2 comments:

    How sad! I love steamers but yes they do usually need to be soaked. My mother has always chopped up an onion and tossed it with beer. After they're steamed, then we have bowls of butter to dip them. Happy Birthday to your gentleman! I hope it all turns out wonderfully, my birthday is monday so I'll be having birthday festivities this weekend as well!

    Yeah it seemed to me that they could have been good, but the soaking was key and we didn't do it!


    Keeping Palo Alto a Desirable Place to Live and Work

    Despite what the majority of Town Square posters say, we know that Palo Alto is a very desirable place to live and work from the perspective of new residents and businesses. Strong demand for living in Palo Alto is pushing home prices and rents to record levels. New market rate housing usually sells quickly. Office and retail rents are rising. Three existing buildings in downtown recently sold for around $1,000 per square foot.

    The institutions on Stanford land are renovating and sometimes expanding to keep up with trends, technology and preferences whether that is for the Medical Center, the shopping center, university facilities or the research park. Private companies continually look for new ways to invest and innovate and sometimes these result in new facilities or renovations that increase use such as the startups that occupy space around the city.

    Older uses of land get replaced by newer uses, often resulting in more employees or customers and more trips. We see that downtown with Casa Olga being replaced by a hotel and one of the smaller buildings on Waverly between Hamilton and Forest (right outside my back window) being replaced by a new taller office/residential building. I suspect the adjacent building will sooner or later be replaced given the strong demand downtown and the rights of these property owners (like homeowners) to benefit from the increasing value of their investment.

    I know how to make traffic go away. It is a joke among economists and the media traffic watch folks. Have a really deep recession. It works every time. Not a great solution in my opinion but very effective.

    The same is true for Palo Alto. If you want to stop growth, it will be hard and not a good idea in my mind but here are some ways—

    --Keep fighting and blaming other folks
    --Don't build any new school capacity
    --Don't increase parking capacity (it is too much fun arguing that someone else should pay). Yes new developments should provide parking but that is only a small piece of the problem.
    --Let the parks, libraries and public safety facilities fall behind best practices
    --In general don't follow the practice of private companies and Stanford—don't keep up with changes in technology and space utilization

    You will note that these options fight growth by reducing the desirability of Palo Alto so the only "victims" are the folks that are here.

    I think the more realistic approach is to accept that there is strong demand to live and work in Palo Alto and that much if not most growth is completely legal and beyond anyone's means to stop. Then let's get on with it and make the investments that keep Palo Alto a great place to live and work with the coming growth.

    Yes, keeping up with change costs money. It is called investing in our future just as it is for Stanford or Google or a small restaurant.

    If that is not your taste, if you think the direction of the city makes it less desirable, if you aren't willing to participate in funding the city's investments, now is a great time to move to an area that is cheaper and quieter.

    Well, written blog entry, Steve. Especially pointing out that what is on the town square forum is not indicative of the feelings of the residents of palo alto . Your solutions to palo altos problems are spot on.
    Things change, places change, technology changes. Unfortunately many of the vocal complainers I town think everything was so wonderful years ago and palo alto should never change.

    It?s a shame that Steve Levy doesn?t actually read the postings that are offered by the few readers who actually respond to his ideas. Levy seems caught in a time-loop, saying the same thing today that he said yesterday. He never really seems to offer any hard data about the topic he seems so infatuated with?more unaccountable government spending.

    This week?s rendition of last weeks song seems to want us to ?invest in infrastructure?, but it?s hard for me to remember if he has ever given us any idea of how much ?infrastructure? Palo Alto has, and how much more it needs to make Palo Alto ?livable?.

    Levy also seems to advocate a never ending stream of new housing, and new people, while never providing any real insight into what 10,000 or 20,000 new units of housing, and 25,000 to 50,00 new residents, would do to the City?s ?livability?.

    If Levy doesn?t think that actually seeing as many as 25,000 new housing units are possibly, he never seems to actually offer a maximum number that he thinks that the carrying capacity of the town is capable of bearing.

    I?ve done some rudimentary calculations of the City?s assets?coming up with a numbering in the 35 Billion dollar range. Of course, most of that money is tied up in land, which might be possibly difficult to sell immediately, but none-the-less is money in the bank.

    And then there is the money generated by the Utility that just disappears into the General Fund, being very hard to see the impact of this money?s being given to the City via higher utility chargers. Since the Utility began transferring funds to the General Fund, over $430M will have been transferred. Anyone really able to see much in the way of results of that much money in ?infrastructure? improvements?

    And then there is the Utility Users Tax (UUT). Actual, and projected, collections that go into the General Fund could be as high as $225M by 2025 (an arbitrary date, but one linked to the Cubberley lease). If the yearly transfer were to continue, another $170M-$200M will be transferred by 2025. Combining these two amounts, that comes to somewhere in the $850M range.

    I suspect that no one on the City Council knows this, or is willing to admit that these vast sums have slipped through their fingers, over the years.

    It?s really difficult to be subjected to people slavishly telling their peers that Palo Alto needs more money, the ?infrastructure is aged and needs repair?, or some such, when all of this money has been at their disposal, and they have simply ignored the ?infrastructure? as a place to spend this money.

    Palo Alto?s general management model seems to be: ?wreck the train, then fix it with a bond measure?. Sadly, Mr. Levy doesn?t seem to see the same things so many others of his neighbors do.

    Mr. Levy equates market demand with quality of life, city character.
    This blog is so misguided as to be shocking. It is because market
    demand is strong that we need stronger land use and design control so
    that the City is not totally ruined by uncontrolled market forces.
    Obviously we are failing in that. There are natural constraints to
    more growth. The road network cannot be expanded. To create a Paris
    metro equivalent rail system is not going to happen. And another constraint-
    water supply which is looming as a possible crisis- is completely beyond
    the myopic thinking of Mr. Levy. I suggest that if Mr. Levy worships at
    the altar of more growth at any cost he move to Las Vegas.

    Steve, I agree that for a city and a community as a whole to remain viable it must be adapt, embrace technological advances, and seek creative solutions to civic challenges. In order to achieve there will undoubtedly be a great deal of debate, exchange of ideas, as well as compromise. Our community will not be able to face these challenges successfully, and for the greater good, if we don\\'t remain open-minded and approach it with an inclusive spirit. Your blog reflects little if any desire to do so. You draw the line and call out those who disagree with you, and that if your perspective is not to their liking then they can move away. Not the best way to promote your argument in my opinion. I too do not agree with all of your opinions, but many I do, especially on this topic. Listening and consideration is a two-way street, and without it we truly fail to grow and make progress.

    As for the issue at hand, I agree, there are many areas where we must be willing to look for more creative and efficient ways to handle the growth and development in our community. I maintain that before we do so, we must also gain solid traction when it comes to instituting a financial plan that will allow us to fund our vital infrastructure needs that does not involve another bond measure and tax increase. We need to reestablish a strong civic foundation before we build on that and move ahead. You are correct sir, that public safety is very much a part of that infrastructure. However, I do not consider parks and libraries to be in that same category, at least as you refer to them in the same breath as public safety. Our public safety, emergency preparedness, streets, sidewalks, water/sewer, and utilities, those are examples of true infrastructure. They also represent where the city has fallen behind the most in terms of maintenance and deterioration. Libraries and parks are important and lend a great deal to our quality of life in the city. They are not more important however than our other vital infrastructure needs. Bottom line, we should have been investing heavily in those areas over the past several years, and not on major library construction, park renovations, community center upgrades, and many other projects that represent the desirable, but certainly not the essential needs that exist.

    Quite frankly, I don\\'t care what the community center in my neighborhood looks like when I don\\'t feel as safe walking there because our public safety resources are not staffed and equipped to the optimum level. I could have lived with the state of our city park\\'s condition for awhile if the sidewalks and streets on the way there were better paved. You get the idea. I am not, like the majority of those who respond to your column, anti growth, anti development, or anti civic improvement. What we are saying is can we just please move on these areas after, and only after we take care of our basic civic needs first.

    > we know that Palo Alto is a very desirable place to live and work from the perspective of new residents and businesses.

    What does that really mean though? I'm thinking more and more it means that in the past Palo Alto was a great place, nice friendly neighborhoods, churches, communities, schools, and as non-Palo Altans moved here to get that, it has been steadily disappearing. I was surprised the first time . I think it was in the 90's that I heard the term Shallow Alto. Are we known for being fake and shallow. I think so now . but the real estate value is still here, the proximity to Stanford, Silicon Valley, the hills, the City. But now most of the hills have been sold and developed so much that every time I go up there I can hardly stand to see it.

    The people with money always seem to want to buy their way into nice places and ruin them.

    Palo Alto would still prosper if we did not do so much growing and developing. We are losing our character and charm . but if it's just in the physical stuff maybe it's not real anyway. Our old Post Office will be soon gone I guess, and we will get a hole in the wall location of no particular pride - in keeping with the Stanford/Hoover ownership society that seems to want to scorn everything public or government.

    Corporations have as their charters to maximize profit . does that mean that is the way to run a city. How about a neighborhood or a family. Should we send our kids out to work to maximize profits?

    Palo Alto has gotten to the point of absurdity, but it is still economically valuable and the real trends have no come home to roost yet. I think they will and the landowners will not lose money, but the city will lose. We really have no idea what we are doing when we just mindlessly follow one path.

    For Steve Levy, progress means more, and wider, roads, more traffic, more population density, building on every available plot of land, more and taller office buildings. Those who disagree are dismissed as Neanderthals who refuse to adapt and who are incapable of appreciating the joy, happiness and prosperity that more density and more commerce would bring. For steve Levy, nothing should stand in the way of his vision of progress. Perhaps we should just change our city's name to Los Angeles Del Norte and be done with it.

    now you need to have big bucks to live in palo alto. who could have foreseen this? try to keep palo alto a good place to be. some of us would also like to afford it

    For the most part, reader posts have four themes

    --growth is making Palo Alto less desirable as a place to live (for them)

    --there is lots of money around to spend on infrastructure without asking them to contribute (if only the dumb council and voters who elected them would agree with posters? priorities)

    --the newer residents have values that posters don?t approve of

    --lots of allegations about what I said that I did not actually say if they had bothered to read carefully

    What I wrote and believe is ?we know that Palo Alto is a very desirable place to live and work from the perspective of new residents and businesses?. That is not a values statement but a reflection of what is. We know that for the reasons I stated about the market but we also know it from the vitality that I see daily in the downtown area where I live and work.

    University Avenue and the surrounding area has been part of my daily life for 45 years. There is now more vitality and more happy people that I have ever seen. Evenings and weekends are filled with families and young children out and about. Every time I take a train tons of mostly young people get off to work downtown or at Stanford.

    And from my professional work, I see these trends continuing.

    Posters often talk, with some disrespect, of the landowners where new homes and offices are built. But these homes, offices and stores are inhabited by regular people?not giant corporations. It is the demand of these people that says they like to live and work in Palo Alto.

    My goal is to urge readers to get on with the public investments that are part of keeping Palo Alto desirable and not get caught up in endless debates about whether growth is desirable or whether property owners have the right to improve their property.

    Most of these infrastructure improvements?public safety and fire facilities, parks, schools and other public facilities?being discussed by the City Council are for the benefit of residents and would be needed whether growth is a little faster or a little slower. They are needed not primarily as the result of growth but because facilities age, technology and regulations change and the space needs of 50 years ago are not right for the next 30 years.

    Readers can disagree about how much growth is ?desirable? but that has little to do with addressing our infrastructure needs today.

    Many posters on this thread and elsewhere on Town Square have argued that there is ample money for infrastructure spending if only the City Council would reallocate resources according to their priorities. Marrol and Wayne Martin argue their version of this case above.

    I disagree with their analysis and priorities but the real problem is that many other people feel the way I do. If the folks arguing that the city wastes money (translate?spend on activities they do not think important) had sufficient allies, the City Council and budget would be different. But they don?t and they aren?t.

    People?s priorities differ. There is no issue of right and wrong.

    But there is the reality that if infrastructure investments depend on reallocating major ongoing budget spending, that is a recipe for doing nothing.

    I have a pretty simple approach to major long-term capital investments by the City or School District. They should be funded by bonds supported by property tax increases spread over 30 years. They should be sent to voters for approval. Ongoing maintenance and repair spending should come out of the existing General Fund budget with no tax increases needed and that is exactly what the City is doing and increasing their annual allocations in line with what the Infrastructure Commission recommended and supported by rising sales and property tax revenue.

    But the capital investments such as the public safety building are large in relation to the annual budget. Besides the political difficulty of getting agreement on priorities to reallocate current spending, I do not see the justification for deciding city budget priorities for 30 years out just to avoid raising the revenue to support the long-term borrowing.

    I want these investments for our family but also for the next generation who will be here in 30 years while many of us will not.

    When you keep overdeveloping and increasing the population density, the infrastructure gets degraded more rapidly and needs to be upgraded more often. Since upgrading the city's infrastructure is very expensive, the solution, according to pro-development people like Steve Levy is to develop even more and further increase the population density, which will cause the infrastructure to degrade even faster, ad nauseum.

    Then we have posts like these above?a combination of bad feelings about people who moved here more recently than the posters, nostalgia for an earlier era and some negative personal comments.


    The people with money always seem to want to buy their way into nice places and ruin them.
    I'm thinking more and more it means that in the past Palo Alto was a great place, nice friendly neighborhoods, churches, communities, schools, and as non-Palo Altans moved here to get that, it has been steadily disappearing. I was surprised the first time . I think it was in the 90's that I heard the term Shallow Alto.

    For Steve Levy, progress means more, and wider, roads, more traffic, more population density, building on every available plot of land, more and taller office buildings. Those who disagree are dismissed as Neanderthals who refuse to adapt and who are incapable of appreciating the joy, happiness and prosperity that more density and more commerce would bring.

    Mr. Levy equates market demand with quality of life, city character.
    This blog is so misguided as to be shocking.

    Well, most of the people we know now are ?new? people?that is they came after we did. This is certainly true of the young families in our building and the young tech workers who move in and out. It is also true of the people we see downtown every day and night.

    Most people on our block on Edgewood sold their homes when the children left school and were replaced by new Palo Altans for the most part.

    Jay Thorwaldson wrote in last week?s paper about the new Leadership Palo Alto program with mainly younger residents. I wish they would add their voices here. This is their city as well my city and that of the other older residents. And of course posters have a little bit of a double standard here, moaning about new rich residents and at the same time complaining about the City Council, which includes mainly very long time residents.

    As for these claims that I think growth is wonderful or ?progress?, posters could actually read what I have said here and in other threads. I think the county and region are growing and will continue to grow. This year the county has one of the highest job growth rates in the nation and last year Santa Clara County was the fastest growing county in California. I see that continuing. It is not a value judgment, it is my professional take.

    I think we should not let the debate about growth, most of which we have no control over, get in the way of making the investments Palo Alto needs to keep pace with aging facilities and change.

    > --growth is making Palo Alto less desirable as a place to live (for them)

    Not growth per se, more the consequences of the way we do growth, growth for an elite minority, pain on the rest of us. The best example I can think of is the plan to force people out of their cars so that only those with lots of money can afford to live and work in Palo Alto, and everyone else would be forced to take public transit, which there is really no good system and not a real investment in. If you want people to use public transit, then build the system first. Like the public parking garages, I never liked to use them, but now I learn that they work, I used them all the time. I will never use public transit because I have had bad experiences on public transit. It is not the public transit system my Grandmother used to take downtown everyday where she felt safe. Pretty soon even she started walking downtown because of the people and their behavior on the buses.

    > If the folks arguing that the city wastes money (translate?spend on activities they do not think important) had sufficient allies, the City Council and budget would be different.

    Waste and bad investments are unavoidable in the human efforts, so this argument is silly, but more to the point the conclusion that the budget would be different is the democracy works like free markets and is "efficient". It is not. There are all kind of strategies in place to keep people from voting or being involved. Most low income people in the US do not vote, that does not mean the like the way the country is treating them. Total logical fallacy. Try to make the Palo Alto Online a real Town Square, tell people about it and allow some real discussion and polls - just as an experiment. I think you will find people just do not think they can do anything about it, and what's more they have enough on their plate with the very competitive nature of life in Palo Alto these days. It is an unhealthy bad way of life that did not used to exist before.

    > --the newer residents have values that posters don't approve of

    Newer people coming in are very different from the people and communities that were here before. That is just an undeniable fact. The certain ways that this is true and what should or could be done about it debatable, but it is surely true. Certainly money has much more to do with life now than it did before. Somehow if someone mentions this it is forced into being perceived as racism, which I don't think most of it is. Americans love foreigners, at least those of us on the coastal states because we were or know foreigners. What they do not like is their systems of life disrupted by too much of it in a way that makes it difficult if not impossible to live with - in the name of a system that has really only been around in its present destructive state about 30 years and has not shown any responsiveness to anything but money - used to steamroll self-righteously over people.

    --lots of allegations about what I said that I did not actually say if they had bothered to read carefully

    If you do not like how your articles are interpreted, write them better and more clearly, and back them with facts. Like I was always taught in writing class, have a thesis - tell them what you are going to tell them, support it - tell them, and then have a conclusion - tell them what you told them. You are all over the place in your writing. It makes it seem like you are being deliberately vague.

    > I want these investments for our family but also for the next generation who will be here in 30 years while many of us will not.

    You say that, but if you look back 30 years and see the changes, and reflect that in the next 30 years there will be far more changes, exponential changes, most driven by shortages and lack of infrastructure and planning, especially lack of options because of the choices we make today. It seems an opinion that would be unsupported very unlikely to be true to anyone but an old fogey that does not really understand the nature of the changes coming upon us and just assumes everything will be alright like it was alright when he moved here 50 years ago. An argument based on faith in the system that he sees working for him because life in Palo Alto is OK for him and those we comes in contact with. Like the tribal elders of the native Americans thinking the vast herd of buffalo would always be around.

    I certainly do not favor forcing people out of their cars and agree that public transit as yet is an option for only a very few trips.

    I agree that many people do not vote but that is the system. I doubt that increasing access to voting would make Palo Alto less welcoming or interested in investing but I am all for your suggestion to make Town Square discussions include a broader audience.

    I agree that new residents, especially if they are ?different? in some ways, may be difficult for longer time residents but it can work the other way too. I find Palo Alto a more interesting place to live in compared to when I moved here in 1963 but other people may feel differently. As you point out though, these changes will continue. There is no going back.

    I will try and write more clearly. If I write something that seems vague, please ask me to explain.

    Steve - you have given this a lot of thought and I agree with many of your points. Change is inevitable, Palo Alto and Santa Clara County are doing well in adding jobs and will continue to grow and we need to work together, not blame each other.

    However, I would simply like the City's priorities to be our residents. As a City, I would like us to focus on what the residents view as important and have that be the priority. New residents and long time residents. Young people and older people.

    Not that I don't want to welcome business and innovation, but at the end of the day, many of the daytime "inhabitants" of Palo Alto go elsewhere (and many of the night time residents work elsewhere). We can welcome them, but not to the detriment of the residents of Palo Alto.

    > I disagree with their analyses

    Let?s look at two revenue streams that we all have some knowledge of?the Utility Equity Transfer, and the UUT.

    We know that the UUT has grown significantly over the years. From 2004-2012, the UUT brought in $108M. Using the 2013 base, and assuming a yearly increase of 3%, over the next thirty years, the UUT will likely bring in $550M. A 2% yearly increase would bring in $466M. While the yearly increase is subject to speculation, we?re still looking at a large amount of money from this stream alone?if it does not disappear into the General Fund (ie?salaries and benefits).

    As to the Utility Equity Transfers, we have already seen $433M transferred to the CPA General Fund. Looking forward 30 years, we will see another $600M transferred, based on the yearly equity transfer methodology adopted by the Utility/City. The $600M number is based on a 3% yearly increase. (This is subject to increase in the future.)

    Combined, the past Equity Transfer, and the future Transfer, will likely come to over one Billion dollars ($1B). Add in the UUT, and we are looking at the possibility of one billion dollars flowing in the General Fund that could be used for infrastructure, or it could be used to pay higher salaries and benefits.

    Keeping in mind that the City has doubled its salaries every 12-15 years, if there is no real management of these salary demands by labor, then this one billion dollars from the UUT, and the Utility Equity Transfer, will disappear. Poof! Gone!

    Mr. Levy, am interested in your analysis?which will disprove my analysis.

    This paragraph above needs some clarification--

    Combined, the past Equity Transfer, and the future Transfer, will likely come to over one Billion dollars ($1B). Add in the UUT, and the likely Equity Transfer for the next 30 years, and we are looking at the possibility of one billion dollars flowing in the General Fund that could be used for infrastructure, or it could be used to pay higher salaries and benefits.

    Its the kind of thinking Mr Levy demonstrates that has resulted in the state the world is in -

    7 billion people, a vast number of them living without a job, many without clean water, regular food or housing.

    A planet in peril with forests destroyed to feed the hordes, species disappearing at a terrible rate, and rising waters caused by mindless growth for the sake of growth, without taking into consideration the environmental costs.

    Mr. Levy, Do you understand that every piece of infrastructure has fundamental limits?

    Roads can only carry so many cars an hour.

    Space is limited. It may be three-dimensional but vertical growth robs neighbors of natural light and impedes air movement.

    Let's not be foolish. Alma street is a nightmare at peak hours as is 101.

    Before these unthinking people turn Palo Alto into Los Angeles, put an end to the rampant disregard of citizens concerns by city councils that are in developers' pockets.

    No we don't need more growth, we were fine before we had the high-density monstrosities like Alma Plaza. We need more of the orchards that are being torn down to build high-density housing. We need more bike lanes, separated from cars allowing people who want to and can, to commute to work by bike. We need public transit that actually works.

    "The best example I can think of is the plan to force people out of their cars so that only those with lots of money can afford to live and work in Palo Alto, and everyone else would be forced to take public transit, which there is really no good system and not a real investment in. If you want people to use public transit, then build the system first. "

    Absolutely, transit doesn't work for everyone. But about half of SurveyMonkey's employees take Caltrain and only about third of them drive. About a quarter of Stanford's employees take Caltrain, and only about forty percent of them drive to work. Clearly it works for some people.

    There aren't any plans to force people out of their cars and force people to take public transit. There are plans in progress to encourage people who already don't want to drive to avoid driving, and leave the road less crowded for people who do want to drive.

    . on Infrastructure priorities.

    City hall is doing a 'Gourmet Kitchen Makeover' while the roof is leaking.

    Continuing to Dedicate sums of scarce income on Beautification projects while the foundation continues to rot is absurd. We have beautiful, manicured parks an bone jarring bike paths and lumpy sidewalks leading to them. We are building expensive Art displays at the end of streets that are crumbling.

    Smart people have a long term projects plan.
    Smarter people are willing to change those plans due to current 'circumstances'.

    I agree mostly that residents should have priority and like your clarification of young and old, new and long time.

    I guess becasue of the work I do, I would always add residents who will come here in the coming years. Remember my story of the many homes on the block where we raised our kids that have turned over to a new generation.

    That will continue and I want to find ways to anticipate their needs and desires.

    I do think that there are many long time inhabitants of Palo Alto who deserve a voice--small businesses who pay taxes without a vote and some of whom have and will be here longer than many residents who come and go.

    And we are a university town and those students and people who work in Stanford facilities are a part of our community as well.

    When other posters see giant institutions I see the people that work there.

    If there are conflicts among groups, the residents should have some priority but, for example, I think we all gain by having up to date facilities like the proposed police and fire stations investments.

    I have never driven (poor eyesight) but I agree that the car will remain the dominant form of personal transportation for a long time.

    The examples of transit working that you cite are right on.

    The dllemma or opportunity, depending on one's perspective, is that these solutions work when there is density adjacent to transit. As I have said many times on these posts, every time I take a train I see tons of folks get off at Univerity and either jump on the shuttle to Stanford or walk downtown to work.

    People going to these destinations are much more able and therefore likely to use transit effectively, which argues for the Plan Bay Area vision of concentrating (to the extent reasonable) new activity in what they call priority development areas close to transit.

    I expect lots of new activity will locate near the new BART stations across the Bay, thus helping riders and freeway drivers alike.

    We are not discussing world population here. I support efforts to spread birth control information and support efforts to reduce poverty, which in less developed countries is connected to high birth rates.

    But in Palo Alto and surrounding areas we are discussing where existing living people can choose to live.

    Whether those people live in Palo Alto or Mountain View or San Jose or Tracy has little to do with air, water and energy issues although close in locations are somewhat better.

    For those pieces of infrastructure that we control I am in favor of moving forward to protect the quality of life for existing residents while avoiding what I consider not likley to su8cceed efforts to reduce regional population and job growth.

    I prefer action over paralysis.

    Your proposal is another version of "if you accept my budget priorities" we would have plenty of money for infrastrcuture".

    Then you add that we could use the money for infrastructure or for salaries and benefits. But salaries and benefits are what we pay for city employees to deliver services.

    The utility money is now used for budget spending. If you want to redirect to infrastructure, what activities would you cut? That will make it clearer that your proposal is just another of a long line of "if only the Council would accpet my priorities, they would not need to ask for money to fund long-term capital investments.

    But those expenditures are there for a reason--that councils elected by large majorities continue to reaffirm these as city priorities.

    There is another problem with your solution and others of the same perspective.

    We will have to borrow to make these investments. You are advocating paying for these bonds by having the city issue what are called certificates of participation where the city borrows without going to the voters and pays the principal and interest annually from General Fund revenue.

    But once you start down this path, you are commiting city revenues for the next thirty years.

    The City is considering five revenue alternatives for funding these investments and other proposals to fund some in exchange for zoning considerations.

    I still like funding long term investments separately through voter approved and funded bonds. There are many choices the Council is considering and I think this is the conversation residents should have.

    I respect your rights to your opinion but I doubt it is one of the leading candidates for moving forward with these investments.

    @Steven Levy
    "Whether those people live in Palo Alto or Mountain View or San Jose or Tracy has little to do with air, water and energy issues although close in locations are somewhat better"

    If as per your view, we keep building high-density housing in palo alto and elsewhere, we're increasing the capacity of the region to hold more people. I know this sounds far-fetched but it really isnt - when you increase capacity, more people will come and more people will have more children given that we increased the capacity of the region. If on the other hand, we recognize that the earth (and palo alto) have limited resources and that increasing density comes at the cost of the quality of life of residents, it will naturally choke population movement and population growth. This is like metering lights on freeway ramps. The lights are added with the recognition that the freeway has a limited capacity. If the backup is long enough, people will chose not to drive at that time. Its called flow-control in techie terms. We need to flow control the population, not increase density to allow more population growth. I have visited third world countries and the population density makes life miserable.


    "For those pieces of infrastructure that we control I am in favor of moving forward to protect the quality of life for existing residents while avoiding what I consider not likley to su8cceed efforts to reduce regional population and job growth"

    you're seeing this as a black and white problem. I see it as trying to limit growth as much as I can until the infrastructure issues are addressed. If we can limit growth to zero, great! There is no requirement for the population to grow for us all to have a good life. On the contrary. The population will always change as new people move in and older people die or move out. That is enough to keep the place dynamic and interesting.

    What the developers will do if we don't stop them is to turn palo alto into los angeles. Already the JCC and Alma Plaza are examples of in-your-face building that these guys will put in, if we let them. For some reason the city council thinks its ok to make me play by all the rules for setback, daylight plane etc. when I remodel my house and to the extent that they made a neigbor of mine knock down one corner of his house because it infringed on the daylight plane, but for developers, basic rules like setbacks fall by the wayside. Sorry but lack of trust based on past experience is one of the reasons I will oppose any rezoning to high-density, no matter what the promised "public benefit" is.

    You just can't go back to small town lifestyles which yes you could have a ice cream shop on the corner but most places like the post office is dying. Where did you think the demise of the post office got started and the stationery store.

    Palo Alto was always tied to Stanford, its students, its graduates, it professors and the businesses that they help created. HP helped changed the world and it changed Palo Alto, so did Facebook.

    But if you want to keep small town flavor. Say Hi to your neighbors, support the businesses that are local, they in turn support the schools in big ways. Be nice, be happy and slow down. Support the places where people meet like parks, senior centers and the library. Have a block party, a BBQ welcome the newer residents but make sure the older ones are remember. Support the little league, the pool and old time parades. Ride your bike around town, walk around the block.


    The Really Good, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Truly Amazingly Horrendous

    • Outbound: Leave SJC Thursday, October 25 7:20pm. Arrive MCO Friday, October 26 6:00am.
    • Inbound: Leave MCO Monday, October 29 5:00pm. Arrive SJC 11:00pm.
    • Jennifer, wife, 35, travel agent.
    • Me, 38, software engineer, MousePlanet system engineer / MousePad Administrator / MouseStation DLR Bureau Chief.
    • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party &ndash worth the money. Lots of fun. Great parade! Didn't care much for the fireworks but the rest was so good it didn't even matter. So many people dressed up! Such great costumes! And I loved being recognized.
    • Epcot's Food & Wine Festival &ndash the little booths add a fun extra element to the World Showcase. All the food I tried was yummy, prices were reasonable, portions were decent.
    • Spending so much time with friends I rarely get to see at all, and when I do see them it's in usually the midst of MouseAdventure staffing craziness. It was great to see and play with my friends in a no-pressure situation. Plus, met a few cool new people.
    • The Adventurer's Club never disappoints, but this may have been one of the best times we've had. Among the many highlights:
      • Samantha Sterling, Pamelia Perkins and the maid sang &ldquoMutual Admiration Society&rdquo in Samantha's Cabaret. This had been skipped the last few times we've visited.
      • Hathaway Browne sang &ldquoThe Sheik of Araby&rdquo (with no pants on) in the Hoopla (Hoopla!).
      • Otis T. Wren, played as a Scotsman this time instead of a Southern gentleman, sang &ldquoThe Scotsman&rdquo&ndashyou may have heard it on Doctor Demento. Here's a YouTube clip, unfortunately with an audience that appears to be dead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoaGycu5UqQ
      • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor &ndash much improved from the soft opening preview we saw last December. Still not great, and probably not something I'd go out of my way to see again, but enjoyable enough.
      • The bartender at the Adventurer's Club &ndash made a great drink called the &ldquoTrick or Treat&rdquo and gave me a copy of the recipe, but was both s-l-o-w and overworked.
      • Caribbean Beach Bell Services &ndash it wasn't made clear from the DME information we received the day before we departed that Bell Services would transport not only our luggage but ourselves to the on-site airline check-in desk. The Bell Services CM who came to pick up our bags was friendly and gracious and very helpful.
      • Overall, the room was acceptable the bed was what we'd requested, a single king, and was reasonably comfortable though the pillows were either too soft or rock-hard good water pressure and temperature in the shower working air conditioner that wasn't too loud.
      • The new boat ride at the Mexico pavilion is a fun and well-done update of the sadly dated original. A bit obvious in the storyline, perhaps, but really nice to see the Three Caballeros back in action.
      • Food & Wine Festival &ndash too much beef and other mammalian items I couldn't eat. I had to skip several countries entirely since the whole menu was inedible to me.
      • The CM who checked us in at CBR &ndash I remember her name but as we had a discussion with the front desk lead about her, I won't mention it here &ndash was not exactly rude but was some combination of bored, slow, glum, distracted, disinterested and annoyed, all at the same time. Not exactly the first impression you want when arriving at your Disney hotel, especially after a miserable red-eye flight.
      • I'd forgotten the power brick for my laptop, so it remained off all weekend. Maybe this item should be promoted to &ldquoGood&rdquo, huh?
      • Reflecting on our stay at CBR (and last year's at POFQ), even discounting the unfortunate events surrounding our check-in and arrival, we are having a hard time seeing the value-vs.-price difference between the Moderates and the Pop Century, and will likely be returning to Pop for future trips.
      • The removal of live CMs from Living with the Land is really unfortunate and, I hope, soon reversed.
      • On the DME return trip to MCO, we had taken advantage of Disney's on-site airline check-in and so had only carry-on luggage (backpack, laptop bag, camera bag). Some other passengers hadn't checked in at their hotels, so their large baggage was in the buses cargo hold. The problem: when we arrived at MCO, passengers were not allowed to leave the bus until after the driver had removed that luggage from the cargo hold. Even though we didn't have any checkable bags, we still had to wait for those who did. This seemed pointless and an example of so-called &ldquosafety theater&rdquo since the explanation given by the driver was &ldquofor your safety, please remain seated while the baggage is unloaded.&rdquo
      • Our room at CBR was in Trinidad South, building 39. I'll wait while you pull up the property map. (http://albums.mouseplanet.com/Guides. aps/BLI000.gif) Yes, we were as far as it was possible to be from the Custom House and Old Port Royale/Centertown. The internal resort shuttle made pretty frequent rounds, but buses to the theme parks seemed to either start at our stop (thus going all the way around the property before leaving for their destination) or hit all the other stops first when returning. This property is just too big, too spread out.
      • In addition to the key/lock problems noted below, there were other issues with the room when we entered for the first time, primarily among them being the water diverter in the tub faucet did not work to divert water to the showerhead. We made it work enough to take showers and then called the housekeeping/maintenance department to see if it could be fixed. The person on the other end grudgingly agreed to send a maintenance person around to look at the faucet, but was positively rude when Jennifer also asked that the bathroom be refreshed at some point during the day since we had in fact taken showers after the miserable red-eye flight.
      • Smart Watermelon is no longer available at Club Cool!
      • I've come to the conclusion that there are only two valid reasons for on-property guests to use Disney transportation:
        • You are going to the Magic Kingdom and don't have AAA Diamond parking, don't want to take the Monorail or ferry, or otherwise can't deal with the TTC.
        • You are going to Downtown Disney and might be, or plan on being in a condition at the end of the night where driving back to your hotel would be contra-indicated.
        • Southwest Airlines, my air carrier of choice, doesn't do overnight (&ldquored-eye&rdquo) flights. If we'd taken the very first flight from San Jose on Friday morning, we would not have made it in time for the Halloween party that night, so a red-eye it had to be. That left Delta. Delta, who if there is any alternative at all I will never, ever, ever fly again&mdashand certainly not out of San Jose, where Delta occupies a tiny grungy corner of the aged and obsolete Terminal C. Passengers actually walk out onto the tarmac and board the plane via a staircase, just like in the '70s. The flight from SJC to LAX on a tiny commuter plane (Embraer RJ135/145) was unusual (to me) but not too bad, but the cross-country flight from LAX to MCO on a Boeing 737-800 was, as I've said already and will no doubt say again, miserable. Did you know that the port window seat in aisle 13 on 737-800s has no window? Neither did I, until we boarded and I found myself sitting next to a solid bulkhead for six hours. Delta has reduced both the seat width and pitch (the space between rows) to what should be a criminally low value, which means people such as myself with slightly longer-than-average legs are simply miserable (there's that word again). Don't bother asking for an exit row, either, unless you're a super-premium member of Delta's frequent-flyer club. You can't book exit rows on the Web site or by phone, and they're gone by the time you get to the gate. All of this is only made worse when, as I was, you are seated behind someone who insists on reclining the seat back in front of you.
        • Sprint's coverage inside WDW parks and hotels is just awful. Coverage at Downtown Disney is just barely acceptable. I don't know if the problem is Sprint not wanting to install cells in RCID or RCID not permitting the installation, but I do know it's not limited to Sprint. The funny thing is that the short-lived Disney Mobile was a MVNO reselling Sprint service you'd think Disney would have wanted good Disney Mobile coverage on property.
        • When we first got to our room after the aforementioned miserable red-eye flight and checking in and being told the room was ready, our keys did not work. Luckily I'd compiled contact information for the hotel&mdashDisney doesn't want you calling the hotels directly, it seems&mdashso we called to ask that someone come out and let us in and were assured it would be no more than &ldquofive or ten minutes&rdquo. Twenty minutes later, a hotel staff person (&ldquorunner&rdquo) showed up, casual and surly as could be, and looked quite put out to have to open our room for us&mdashand then waited around as if expecting a tip. Uh, yeah, no. After showering and changing clothes, we made our way back to the front desk to have the keys replaced (and discuss the front desk and runner staff with a lead). The new keys, we were assured, would definitely work. Of course, they did not, but we did not find this out until we returned to the room after a day at Epcot in order to change for the Halloween party. This time it was thirty minutes until someone finally came out&mdashbut this time the runner was truly apologetic and took the initiative to get the problem fixed, bringing new keys which again did not work and then calling for a maintenance person to come replace the lock. The lock, it turned out, was the problem, and we did receive new keys that worked before we left for the party. The problem was that the situation was handled so very poorly up until the final resolution.
        • The connecting return flight, on Delta, from ATL to SJC was also miserable. Sure, I had a window this time but the seat width and pitch were, if possible, even smaller than on the outbound flight. We were delayed leaving ATL for around 30 minutes, after we'd boarded the plane but before we could push back from the gate. No air conditioning when parked, of course. We did finally get off the ground, but (likely partially due to residual soreness from the race) I was in pain for pretty much the entire flight. I don't know how Delta can get away with this inhuman treatment of steerage class passengers. The worst part is that, again, exit rows were not available so I'd asked at the gate about a first-class upgrade. I was told, yes, seats were available the upgrade price is $125/person I don't qualify for an upgrade because my ticket is &ldquonon-upgradeable&rdquo. I could not form a cogent response to this. The first-class seats did go unsold and empty, and I was, yes, miserable for the entire flight. Never, never again. I'll take the extra vacation day for travel if that's what it takes to avoid these stupid people.

        I seem to have gone off ranting again. Overall, I'm glad we did the trip. Seeing our friends and meeting some new ones, doing the Halloween party and the ToT race, Food & Wine and the Adventurer's Club, and just the general joy of being at WDW seems to make up for the rest of the nonsense and stupidity that surrounded the trip.

        We'll be back in May for a few days before we depart on the Magic's Westbound repositioning cruise probably staying at Pop Century, and definitely flying Southwest.

        Buy my stuff on Amazon! (books, DVDs, etc) - all proceeds go to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training fundraising!


        December 2019 - Silicon Valley Family Volunteer Opportunities

        Volunteers are needed to help our Trail Crew staff maintain the more than 350 miles of trails in our Santa Clara County Parks trail system. Trail Days tasks will include some brushing and pruning, but will mostly focus on tread work to help reduce erosion. Please bring sturdy boots, gloves, and a water bottle. Parks will provide light snacks, water and tools.

        Since 1990, Family Giving Tree has fulfilled gift wishes for over one million Bay Area children from low-income households, holding firm the belief that no child should feel forgotten during the holidays. Your efforts will help provide thousands of children, adults, and seniors in need with wished-for gifts this holiday season.

        • Facilitate donations and participation within your group by posting wish cards or backpack tags in a well-traveled area or distributing them to friends and colleagues.
        • Set up a Virtual Giving Tree (VGT) to allow for online donations.
        • Deliver the donated items collected to Family Giving Tree's donated warehouse.
        • Receive priority when signing up for Family Giving Tree's in-demand warehouse volunteer shifts.
        • Have a direct impact in your own community.

        • Every Wednesday, 9 - 11:30am, Wednesday Weed Warriors: Habitat Restoration at Arastradero Preserve, Palo Alto
        • Sunday, December 8, 9am - noon, Volunteer at Foothills Park, Palo Alto
        • Saturday, December 21, 9 - 11:30am, Habitat Restoration - Sponsored by the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail, McClellan Ranch Preserve, Cupertino

        Contact: For more information or to register to host a toy drive, please contact us for more details at 650.802.5152 or [email protected]
        https://childrensfund.smcgov.org/

        The holiday shopping season includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but for nonprofits and big-hearted donors, there's #GivingTuesday.

        GivingTuesday harnesses the generosity of millions of people around the world to support the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. This year, YOU can make kindness, generosity and engagement a routine part of family life by making a gift to Doing Good Together. Thanks to a generous donation from the Kinney Family Foundation, all DGT #GivingTuesday donations will be doubled, up to $2,000! In addition, we are randomly awarding three (3) retail gift cards to select donors as a thank-you for their generosity.