Weiss interview on tape with Palo Alto Weekly

I was interviewed by Bill Johnson and Jocelyn Dong, the publisher and editor, of the Palo Alto Weekly last Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, for about an hour, and they posted this 30-minute segment on their YouTube page.

TO VIEW THE VIDEO click  here.

I thought I made myself reasonably well-understood as someone running as a residentialist, and concerned that developers and downtown interests have too much sway and say. At about 3:18 I mention this blog, “Svayambh-PA: or New Residentialist Platform”.

I don’t know why it makes me look like I am wearing sunglasses.

I will update here with some highlights in transcript form on what I am caught on record here saying, and some time-cues — you can click ahead to the cues I will mention. By the way, you can also see on YouTube the candidates forum from a few weeks ago, via Media Center.

The Weekly did not include my response to their survey, although they ran a picture of me, by Veronica Webber, staff photographer. For the Weekly to state that I “declined” to participate is a half-truth. In addition to the hour interview, a shorter conversation by phone with Bill Johnson a few weeks back, and about 10 minutes with reporter Gennady Sheyner after Monday’s meeting, I wrote about 1,600 words on the election per se, my criticism of their survey format per se and certain points about the issues, as well as the requested faux-sound-bytes on three of the 10 prompts. I said that questions #10 and #7 on development and zoning were to me by far the most important issues. I am not complaining here, just stating more facts and context. I said that it is not a best-practice to try to teach candidates to think of complex issues in terms of 75-word faux sound-bytes, that it’s reductivist.

Gennady Sheyner did a decent job, on the other hand, in a sidebar discussing the election with Gary Fazzino and Enid Peason, among other sources. He quoted from a book about Palo Alto by Ward Winslow, a former editor of the Palo Alto Times and Peninsula Times Tribune. I was an intern at the PTT in winter, 1984, as a reporter, and hired on for $100 a week for four weeks when the unpaid internship ended — I was also designated a Nelson Rockefeller Center Fellow by Dartmouth College — to qualify and meet the Tribune Company’s needs regarding hiring unpaid interns. When I left the Times Tribune to return to Dartmouth, Ward Winslow wrote me a nice note that said that I would be a credit to whatever field I chose; I wondered years later how he would have guessed that I would leave journalism for advertising, the arts and now, ironically enough, Palo Alto local politics. Gennady’s article barely mentioned me, fair enough, but did incorporate some of the points I asked him about, in my email to him of 9/25/12 about the election.

Not to digress too far into the meta-topic of the Fourth Estate and its diminishing role in policy or the public interest here, and their coverage of this election, but the other two papers have not even attempted a survey or round-up of the candidates per se. Patch the website did interview me and the five others.

Although my campaign is not getting much attention — and yes, my decision to not accept contributions or so far not to spend any money is a factor — I have heard from intelligent and respectable people who said they will vote for me and believe in what I am doing.

Let’s see what vox clamantis in deserto can do in next 37 days.

edit to add, an hour later: I commented on GS’s story and linked back to here.

Ward Winslow was one of my editors at Times Tribune during my internship there, in 1984. He wrote me a nice note predicting I would be a credit to whatever field I choose. I would not have imagined running for Palo Alto City Council, however, but maybe he did.

Beyond “railing” against developers, I have posted about 30 short essays at my campaign blog here:

Web Link

Edit to add, November 3: So far, 180 people have watched the video. I have continued to comment on Palo Alto Weekly site about their coverage of the issues and the campaign. They are generally dismissive of my campaign — perhaps because my anti-developer stance contradicts their pro-developer bias — although I am trying not to be distracted unduly by the meta-issue of campaign coverage as compared to speaking on issues per se, or campaigning per se.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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