Reusable boba straws, Tesla Hot Wheels and a Sushirrito menu: Palo Alto is considering items to fill a time capsule | News
In the latest Around Town feature, news on plans for next year’s Palo Alto Day celebration, local students working to combat food waste, and community members who helped a family of ducks to return to the Baylands of Palo Alto.
A WINDOW ON OUR TIME… If things go according to plan, in the year 2094 the people of Palo Alto will gaze in wonder and bewilderment at the array of strange objects that make up our modern reality: reusable boba straws, a Sushirrito catering menu, a Tesla Hot Wheels together an impression of Town Square’s comments from Palo Alto Online and dueling lawn signs supporting and opposing the proposed reconstruction of Castilleja School.
They will dig up a time capsule containing these objects, along with writings from local students, in April as they celebrate Palo Alto Day on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the existence of the city. At least that is the vision presented by a coalition of civic groups, including the Palo Alto Heritage Association, Chamber of Commerce and Palo Alto Museum and pursued by a group of students who make up the museum team Teen Advisory Committee. The project will be part of next year’s celebration of Palo Alto Day, a holiday the council created in late 2018, celebrated in 2019, and largely shelved in 2020 and 2021 as the reality of the pandemic eclipsed any display of civic pride. It was postponed this year due to the emergence of the omicron variant.
The former mayor Judy Kleinberg, a longtime supporter of establishing Palo Alto Day, argued this week for the celebration to resume next year. “Towns smaller than Palo Alto and, pardon the bragging, smaller, have different ways of recognizing their shared experience, from parades and community barbecues to school programs and activities for children and families. We wanted ‘something’ to do this for Palo Alto,” Kleinberg told the board on April 25.
The celebration will likely take place on April 9, Palo Alto’s official day (which commemorates the day residents voted to incorporate) or April 23, the actual day the city incorporated. In addition to burying a modern mix, city officials and city volunteers plan to re-enter a time capsule their predecessors buried in 1994 to mark the city’s 100th anniversary and had since dug up, smashing the capsule in the process. .
Sonya Cherian, a junior from Castilleja, said the new capsule includes 74 articles from 2019 (the city’s 125th year), as well as letters from members of the Teen Council talking about their hopes, dreams and fears for Palo Alto. There’s also a letter talking about COVID-19 and explaining the city’s delay in burying the capsule.
The project received a warm reaction from city leaders, with council member Tom DuBois laughing at the Teen Council’s decision to include a Salt & Straw mug in the capsule. “I wonder if in the future they’ll think it’s some kind of treat to put salt on a straw,” DuBois said.
REDUCE FOOD WASTE… When Palo Alto High second year students oscar anderson and Kai Mirchandani noticed the amount of food wasted in their school, they decided to collaborate and tackle the problem. Their teamwork resulted in People Plates Planettheir non-profit organization which was launched on April 22, in conjunction with Earth Day.
The organization aims to “collect surplus food from school campuses and divert it to help those who are hungry,” Anderson wrote in an email to The Weekly. They set up an exhibit featuring facts about food waste and its impact on climate change. They also placed food collection boxes on campus, in which their peers were asked to deposit their unwanted extra packaged food from the free lunch provided by the school.
The duo delivered the food to a non-profit organization The Opportunity Center in Palo Alto, where their donations were received and distributed by staff to those in need.
SAFE PASSAGE… Traversing the busy streets of Palo Alto can be intimidating, especially for small animals with very long strides. It is in this situation that a mother duck and her nine ducklings found themselves on April 15, according to Pati Rouzerwho helped save the feathered family with the help of other members of the community.
The ducks were seen on Louis Road and Elsinor Drive, then again on Greer Road, where they were heading east towards the Oregon Expressway and the Baylands. Concerned about the web-footed creatures, locals contacted the Animal services and were redirected to police dispatch, who informed them that “city departments do not cover animal rescue, especially ‘after hours,'” according to Rouzer.
The ducks found help from a mother and son who were cycling in the area. The wife called her husband, who brought their daughter with a duck box and blanket. He “turned out to be a remarkable duck whisperer,” Rouzer said. He pushed his way through the shrubbery and provided ‘soothing reassurance’ to the mother duck, who was later named Ms Mallard for she seemed to resemble a member of the homonymous race.
The human family of four, plus Rouzer and another community member, Patty McGann, eventually managed to reunite the duck family. The wayward animals were taken to the Baylands and released in an area between the duck pond and the tidal mudflats. “We noted that it was Good Friday,” Rouzer said, “and agreed that indeed it was Good Friday for nature.”