Menlo Park's Future


Censorship in Menlo Park

Fellow Residents,

It has recently come to my attention that our local Menlo Park newspaper has been rejecting some Letters-to-the-Editor.  It appears that the editor does not agree with the positions that the writers express.  

I believe that if the press prints letters- to- the- editor, it should not censor opinions it does not like.  I am therefore printing those letters I know were rejected below, so you can check them out.

Four letters our local newspaper would not print:

1. Dear Editor,

Whatever happened to the Derry Project?  It’s been two years since Morris Brown ran a petition drive to stop the project and there seems to be nothing happening.  Mr. Brown and his supporters claimed to have improved the project and increased the benefits to the City; however it now appears that they may have only succeeded in killing the project.

The city council for its part was more than willing to abdicate its responsibility to Mr. Brown and has apparently washed its collective hands of the project, moving on to other areas of interest such as the “greening” of our City.

Study groups and committees are well and good but it seems that those interested in the environment should have embraced this project.  Among its most compelling attributes was that it was in tune with environmentally sound principles such as proximity to public transportation, and provided an opportunity for our local merchants.  So now with the present economic situation casting doubt on the economic viability of any new development the citizens of Menlo Park are left with nothing.  In light of the current realities Mr. Brown and his supporters claims of having done a better job than our elected officials rings hallow.

We need elected officials who will actually do their job, not delegate it to the loudest special interest group.  Unfortunately they allowed a vocal and ill-equipped minority to take over the process and we are all worse off as a result.

Mark Gilles, Hermosa Way, Menlo Park

[NOTE:  The editor wrote to Mr. Gilles that he did not agree with him; thus disallowing any public vetting of a divergent viewpoint.]

2. Dear Editor,

After reading Rory Brown’s article “Where Was Public Discussion on Lawsuit?” I am struck by an even more astounding fact that there were only 2 council members, Kelly Fergusson and Richard Cline, who made the decision in a CLOSED SESSION WITH NO OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT BEFOREHAND for our City to join a lawsuit against High Speed Rail.  John Boyle, the 3rd council member to be present for the decision voted against.  It has also now been learned that the lawsuit is not just about NO HSR through Menlo Park – it’s really against the selection of Pacheco Pass as the route for HSR.  So, if we win the lawsuit, the option is to run the HSR up through the Altamont Pass which results in the HSR behind the homes in Suburban Park and Lorelei Manor.

So, depending on where you live in Menlo Park, you might be happy with the lawsuit or you might not.

Mary Gilles, Hermosa Way, Menlo Park

[NOTE:  This letter provided new and accurate information on the process and impact of the Council's recent HSR decision . No explanation was given for the rejection of this letter .]

3. Dear Editor,

No matter that this council routinely appoints its supporters to commissions; Lou Deziel may well be the smartest Planning Commissioner this City has had in recent history.  His opinions were always well reasoned and impartial; he worked diligently for the betterment of the community, was not partisan, and was a judicious Planning Commission Chair, and frequently educated staff as well as his fellow commissioners.

The City Council did our city a great disservice by not reappointing the assiduous and ever so caring Lou Deziel to the Planning Commission.

Hank Lawrence, Sharon Oaks Drive, Menlo Park

[NOTE: By rejecting this letter, residents were denied the chance to learn anything about Mr. Deziel’s years of public service.]


4. Subject: The U.S. Mail Mess

Dear Editor,

What is going on with our mail service?  On some days I feel like my house is a substation – a redistribution point for mail.  Those are the days I redeliver mail to my neighbors.

On other days, I wait for my neighbors to redistribute mail to me.

Mail people are paid well, have early retirement and outstanding benefits, and can never be fired or laid off.  They have no incentive to perform.  Ditto for Post Office management.

If anyone has a clue about how to reverse this situation, please let the editor know.  And, if you are suffering from mal-mail distribution, let the editor know that, too.


Robert Anderson, Menalto, Menlo Park

[NOTE:  This is an important issue that could really have used a public vetting. I myself have had trouble with mail mix-ups. Have you?]



Do you think these letters deserve rejection?

Thanks for letting me know at,

Lee Duboc

If you would like to read any of my past emails, please hit on this link