Newsletter

Newsletter

 

November 18, 2017

THIS WEEK ON THE SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA 
News that Impacts Your Quality of Life
 
 
This newsletter serves busy residents who struggle to stay informed. SFPNA collects news on housing, jobs and transportation and places it into useful context. Our overriding objective is to promote residential quality of life. 
 
The newsletter is edited by two Palo Alto residents, Neilson Buchanan and John Guislin, who have no ties to developers or government organizations. Regional citizen leaders guide article selection.
 
 
 This issue focuses on a range of issues from housing to traffic….plus pressures on schools and parks.
Fracas at the Farm!
“Stanford development in trouble” says Nov 6 Daily Post editorial… Menlo Park Council and citizens are questioning expansion plans, traffic and transparency.”
SFPRA Ed. Note: How will Palo Alto Council and citizens weigh in?
Los Gatos Struggles with Traffic Mess
San Jose Mercury readers chime in with comments such as “…..our neighborhood is one of the latest….to be so backed up on the weekends due to apps diverting cars…that we are essentially trapped in our homes…..it is nearly all that is being discussed on NextDoor with every resident beyond frustrated.” 
Unhappy Mountain View Council
Mt View
City Council is unhappy with ‘boxy’ new developments. Councilpersons spoke out against boxy, office-like housing projects, calling for a shift in the city’s architectural design philosophy……. members repeatedly expressed frustration with trend by developers to create the vertical, rectangular “cookie-cutter” style apartment buildings that now pepper the city and other neighboring communities. Public enemy No. 1 was the first phase of the San Antonio shopping center — which both council members and city staff agreed had some serious design flaws. 
CLIFFHANGER!
Menlo Park Councilwoman Carlton is asking that the council reconsider its recent decision to approve a Stanford development.
  
Will the Council push a development reset button for the first time in recent memory.  Are Stanford, Menlo Park City Council and residents strolling up to an edge of a development cliff? 
How Deep will Facebook Dive?
Facebook, Google and other social media companies have to get their political advertising house in order. The alternative is massive governmental intervention with the sort of restrictive regulations the tech industry loathes. The integrity of our democratic elections is at stake. SJMercuryNews
Facebook to lower its profits?

“To fix itself, Facebook needs to put profit second — for now. It’s not just about writing more secure code… it’s about influencing the direction of the ship …… You need two steps: ….. Everyone in the C-Suite needs to be on that plan. All chiefs in charge of bringing revenue in, they need to understand that security trumps all.”

 

Zuckerberg indicated that he is “dead serious about this.” “The reason I’m talking about this on our earnings call is that I’ve directed our teams to invest so much in security on top of the other investments we’re making that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward,” he said. 
OMG for homeowners
“Slashing the cap on the loan amount against which people can deduct mortgage interest on their federal income taxes has the potential for huge impact in places with high housing costs. And few places equal
Santa Clara County
for high housing prices.” 
Village Vigilance in Los Altos
Developer pulls “747-sized” development. Developer stated, “After much thought and analysis, we have decided to not go forward with the First Street Green development proposal in its current form.” 
Where to Put New Downtown Park?
Redwood City is searchin’ high and low for new place for a downtown park. By reviewing parking lots, small strips of land and even the rooftop of a public parking garage….. planners are aiming to understand what spaces and park types will best fit among existing buildings and those that have been proposed and approved downtown.  SanMateoDailyJournal
Affordable Housing
The Mountain View Whisman School District is taking a close look at building workforce housing at Cooper Park, giving teachers and other school staff an affordable place to live on salaries that haven’t kept up with the high cost of living. MountainViewVoice
Boxed In!
In response to housing costs….Oakland start up is turning cold, corrugated steel containers into cozy homes. Conversion can be much cheaper and quicker than traditional housing. Proponents envision towers of stacker containers offering a fresh supply of lower-cost housing….plus potential for lucrative business model for Airbnbs or other temporary rentals. SJMercuryNews
Important Decision is Punted
The California High-Speed Rail Authority punted … important decisions during its monthly meeting……stoking concerns the entity is not moving quickly enough…. Authority staffers had advised approving a $30 million contract ……to operate the first segment of the rail line from Silicon Valley to Bakersfield. While the authority was set to do so, a last-minute appeal ……. caused the authority board to press pause….. 
Best Deal? Maybe Yes…Maybe No
Palo Alto
Mayor Scharf wrote to the Santa Clara County planning office: “Members of the Palo Alto community appreciate the university’s focus on reducing commute trips to/from campus by single-occupant vehicles (SOV) during peak commute hours but are increasingly skeptical that the university’s trip reduction programs are living up to their promise,”  

 

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