This man keeps the ping pong ball bouncing, but city isn’t helping much


Roger Smith with among the paddles and ping pong balls that have been broken by gamers at Lytton Plaza in Palo Alto. Publish picture.

BY SARA TABIN
Each day Publish Employees Author

Many Palo Alto residents get pleasure from enjoying ping-pong downtown at Lytton Plaza, however they might not notice that the town doesn’t pay to maintain balls and paddles out there.

Resident Roger Smith has taken it upon himself to exchange lacking or broken provides a number of instances every week for the previous yr because the metropolis received’t do it.

Smith estimated he spends about $200 a month on provides. Smith mentioned he’s aggravated by individuals who deliberately break balls by urgent on them with their thumbs.
Metropolis spokeswoman Meghan Horrigan-Taylor mentioned that after the unique tables have been donated to the town final June, the town’s Neighborhood Providers Division supplied a starter provide of paddles and balls and changed them for the primary few months.

She didn’t say why the town stopped changing the paddles and balls.

Horrigan-Taylor mentioned the balls and paddles don’t have to be changed proper now as a result of shared sporting tools between individuals who aren’t in the identical family isn’t allowed below the Santa Clara County Public Well being Order.

She mentioned folks can deliver their very own tools and play with different members of their households.

A member of the town’s Parks and Recreation Fee is in search of “exterior funding” for the paddles and balls, and the town has gotten some donations of the ping pong gear, mentioned Horrigan-Taylor.

She added that when the county’s stay-at-home order ends, the town will preserve trying to get funding to maintain a provide of balls and paddles.

“As soon as the shelter-in-place is lifted, we are going to proceed to hunt funding to maintain a provide out there for public use,” mentioned Horrigan-Taylor.

Till the town finds $200 a month to spare, the duty of changing the tools will presumably preserve falling to Smith.

He began his ping-pong mission as a result of the town informed him they lacked the funds to maintain up with provides for the tables.

“It warms my coronary heart once I see households enjoying or folks enjoying,” he mentioned. “We’ve these good new tables … to me when you have ping-pong tables you don’t need them to simply be idle.”

Smith mentioned he orders new tools on-line and brings it downtown about 3 times every week. When he isn’t on the town he has a good friend ship the nice for him.

This isn’t the primary time Smith has gotten concerned with Palo Alto recreation. He began the Mates of Palo Alto Parks 14 years in the past along with his spouse and has since supported renovations at Lytton Plaza and Heritage Park.



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