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HILLVIEW REBUILD: School officials to update community on the big project. Page 3

T H E H O M E TO W N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N LO PA R K , AT H E RTO N , P O RTO L A VA L L E Y A N D W O O D S I D E

AUGUST 17, 2011

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apestries of fear

Woodside woman faced terror in Zimbabwe Section 2

CITY OF PALO ALTO PRESENTS – 27TH ANNUAL

PALO ALTO WEEKLY MOONLIGHT RUN & WALK Friday, September 9, 2O11

TIME & PLACE 5K walk 7:00pm, 10K run 8:15pm, 5K run 8:45pm. Race-night registration 6:00 to 8:00pm at City of Palo Alto Baylands Athletic Center, Embarcadero & Geng Roads (just east of the Embarcadero Exit off Highway 101). Parking — go to PaloAltoOnline.com to check for specific parking locations.

COURSE 5K and 10K loop courses over Palo Alto Baylands levee, through the marshlands by the light of the Harvest Moon! Course is flat, USAT&F certified (10k run only) on levee and paved roads. Water at all stops. Course map available at www.PaloAltoOnline.com.

REGISTRATIONS & ENTRY FEE Pre-registration fee is $25 per entrant (postmarked by September 2, 2011) and includes a long-sleeve t-shirt. Late/race-night registration is $30 and includes a shirt only while supplies last. Family package: Children 12 and under run free with a registered parent. A completed entry form for each child must be submitted with adult registration. Please indicate on form and include $15 for t-shirt. No confirmation of mail-in registration available. Registration also available online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. Refunds will not be issued for no-show registrations and t-shirts will not be held.

SPORTS TEAM/CLUBS: Pre-registration opportunity for organizations of 10 or more runners; e-mail MoonlightRun@paweekly.com.

MINORS: If not pre-registered Minors under 18 MUST bring signed parental/waiver form (below) on race night to participate.

DIVISIONS Age divisions: 9 & under; 10-12; 13-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69, and 70 & over with separate divisions for male and female runners in each age group. Race timing provided for 5K and 10K runs only; not 5K walk.

COMPUTERIZED RESULTS by A Change of Pace Chip timing by A Change of Pace. Race results will be posted on the Internet at www.PaloAltoOnline.com by 11pm race night. Registration forms must be filled out completely and correctly for results to be accurate. Race organizers are not responsible for incorrect results caused by incomplete or incorrect registration forms. You must register for the event you plan to participate in.

AWARDS/PRIZES/ENTERTAINMENT Top three finishers in each division. Prize giveaways and refreshments. DJ Alan Waltz. Pre-race warmups by Noxcuses Fitness, Palo Alto

PALO ALTO GRAND PRIX Road Race Series — Moonlight Run, 9/9; Marsh Madness, 10/23; Home Run, 11/13, for more information go to www.paloaltogp.org.

BENEFICIARY Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund. A holiday-giving fund to benefit Palo Alto area non-profits and charitable organizations. In April 2011, 45 organizations received a total of $240,000 (from the 2010-2011 Holiday Fund.)

Stanford

MORE INFORMATION Call (650) 463-4920, (650) 326-8210, email MoonlightRun@paweekly.com or go to www.PaloAltoOnline.com. For safety reasons, no dogs allowed on course for the 5K and 10K runs. They are welcome on the 5K walk only. No retractable leashes! Please bring your own clean-up bag. Jogging strollers welcome in the 5K walk or at the back of either run.

Flashlights/head lights recommended. First aid service and chiropractic evaluations will be available.

Register online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com GOT OLD SHOES? Change someone’s world with a pair of your shoes. Bring your gently worn shoes to the Moonlight Run and they will be sent to Djibouti, Africa.

Please make checks payable to: Palo Alto Weekly MOONLIGHT RUN and mail to: Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302 • ONE ENTRY FORM PER PERSON ON RACE DAY

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WAIVER: In consideration of your accepting my entry, intending to be legally bound do hereby for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, waive, and release any and all rights and claims that I may have against the persons and organizations affiliated with the run and sponsoring agencies, and the assignees for any and all injuries suffered by me while traveling to and from, and while participating in the Moonlight Run, or associated activities September 9, 2011. I further attest that I am physically fit and sufficiently trained for participation in this event.

SIGNATURE OF REGISTRANT (parent or guardian if under 18 years of age) must have this on Race Night

ZIP

5K WALK 7:00 P.M.

DATE

10K RUN 8:15 P.M.

5K RUN 8:45 P.M.

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ALLIED ARTS GUILD

U PFRONT

75 ARBOR RD - MENLO PARK OPEN TO THE PUBLIC MON-SAT 10AM-5PM

Rendering by DLM Architecture

This rendering of the new Hillview campus shows the view from Santa Cruz Avenue. The building off of Santa Cruz is a classroom building. The building to its left is the existing gym. The two structures along the parking lot are classroom buildings. The buildings on the opposite side of the courtyard will have the library/media center on the second floor. The large building next to the existing gym will house the performing arts room, music classrooms, and science classrooms. To the left are the new field and basketball courts that will replace the existing school buildings.

Restaurants - Shops - Gardens Events and Meeting Facilities Allied Arts Guild Annual Gala — Tally Ho Menlo Circus Club, Saturday September 10th For more details, please see our website: www.alliedartsguild.org Or Call (650) 322-2405

Progress report on rebuilding Hillview ■ School officials will update the community Tuesday on rebuilding the middle school.

one middle school. A number of Hillview’s neighbors protested the plan to rebuild the campus and By Renee Batti Ahmad Sheikholeslami, the increase the school’s enrollAlmanac News Editor district’s director of facilities ment, urging the district to and construction, will give instead create a second middle ommunity members a progress report, and com- school program on another curious about the prog- munity members will have a campus. ress of the massive Hill- chance to ask questions and Once the project is comview Middle School recon- discuss issues or concerns. pleted, the 9.5-acre Hillview struction project at campus will have Santa Cruz Avenue some 85,000 square and Elder Street in feet of new facilThe Hillview campus will have 85,000 Menlo Park can get ity space, including an update by school square feet of new facility space, including several two-story district officials at a buildings. Among several two-story buildings. meeting on Tuesday, the new facilities will Aug. 16. Maurice Ghysels, the dis- be a performing arts/multipurThe meeting is set for 6:30 trict’s new superintendent, is pose building with seating for p.m. in the Hillview library at also expected to attend. 400; nine science classrooms; 1100 Elder Ave. Earlier this summer, the dis- music and choir classrooms; Hillview is the Menlo Park trict announced it was taking and an administration, library City School District’s last cam- advantage of the longer days by and media building. pus to be renovated in a con- starting the construction work The existing gym is being struction project that’s expect- earlier in the day — at 7 a.m. — modernized. ed to be finished in September to keep the project on schedule. 2012. Construction began in The early start time is expected N INFORMATION summer 2010, and existing to end Aug. 22. buildings, most of which ultiThe campus renovation was Go to tinyurl.com/Hillview-163 mately will be demolished, launched to address the burfor more information on the are being used to keep classes geoning enrollment in the disproject, including pictures and going on the campus as new trict, which has three schools a construction webcam. buildings are erected. serving kindergarten through At the Aug. 16 meeting, fifth-grade students but only

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THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero Media, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 940256558. Periodicals Postage Paid at Menlo Park, CA and at additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for San Mateo County, The Almanac is delivered free to homes in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. Subscriptions for $60 per year or $100 per 2 years are welcome. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025-6558. Copyright ©2011 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

August 17, 2011 N The Almanac N3

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Court rejects order to stop Atherton layoffs ■ Employees union says it’s committed to fighting the decision on appeal. By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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escribing it as a “very, very difficult decision,” and a “profoundly sad case,” a judge denied the Teamsters Union Local 856 request for an injunction that would have stopped the town of Atherton from laying off 11 employees. Judge Steven Dylina in San Mateo County Superior Court on Thursday, Aug. 11, sought arguments from both sides before rendering the ruling, and told the courtroom that he fully expected the case to head to the

appeals court. He explained that the plaintiffs failed to prove their case in light of other cases cited by Atherton’s legal defense, which argued that cities have the right to lay off employees as needed. The union appeared to agree with the judge’s prediction about the appeal. “We are disappointed in the ruling, but the union will continue to push the lawsuit forward,” said spokesman Peter Finn. “Teamsters Local 856 is committed to fighting outsourcing with all available resources.” The town planned to lay off

six employees on July 15 as part of its strategy to outsource the building and public works departments, a move staff said was necessary to help close an $856,000 budget deficit. Those six employees will now lose their jobs on Friday, Aug. 19. Five public works maintenance employees received job extensions through Sept. 16, town staff said. According to City Attorney Bill Conners, another employee may also retire now that the judge has ruled, bringing the number of actual layoffs to 10. The layoffs were challenged in court by the union under a section of state government code that it says makes it illegal for the town to outsource the jobs it has targeted, according

to Mr. Finn. The court granted a temporary restraining order last month, blocking the layoffs until the Aug. 11 hearing. A similar case in Orange County Superior Court led to a preliminary injunction in July against outsourcing of city services in Costa Mesa. According to the firm representing the employee union in that case, the lawsuit cited California Government Codes 37103 and 53060, which it interprets as prohibiting the use of private contractors for general services performed satisfactorily by city employees. Those are the same government code sections cited in the Atherton lawsuit by Stewart Weinberg, the union’s lawyer. But City Attorney Bill Con-

ners said the two cases didn’t have much in common, primarily because the Teamsters union signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the city could lay off employees and eliminate positions when necessary due to economic conditions. In the Costa Mesa case, he said, the city outsourced without negotiating first, treating it as a management right. The Teamsters argued that the MOU expired on June 30. Atherton’s legal defense contended in its filing that the agreement is still in effect despite the expiration date, because no new contract has been put in place yet, an argument the judge’s ruling appeared to confirm on Thursday. A

High-speed rail price tag rises again By Gennady Sheyner Embarcadero Media

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alifornia’s planned highspeed rail line could cost billions more than the state’s initial projections indicated, according to newly released documents from the agency spearheading the project. The California High-Speed Rail Authority released Environmental Impact Reports for two Central Valley segments of the proposed line, which is slated to stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles and reach speeds of 220 mph as it passes through the middle of the state. The two reports — covering the Fresno-to-Merced and Merced-to-Bakersfield segments, respectively — indicate that the combined cost for the Central

Valley section would be at least $10 billion and could be higher than $13 billion. Previous estimates had the price tag for this section of the line at about $7 billion. The revisions should come as no surprise to legislators and critics of the controversial project, for which voters approved a $9 billion bond measure in 2008. At the time, the project carried an estimated price tag of $33.6 billion. The rail authority in 2009 revised the projected price tag to $42.6 billion — a figure that local watchdogs and state analysts claimed was still too low. The Palo Alto-based group C a l i for n i a n s Advo c ating Responsible Rail Design (CARRD) released its own projections in February, estimating the price tag at about $65 billion.

The group used details from the rail authority’s own plans to come up with the estimate. In May, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office issued a report largely confirming CARRD’s estimate and projecting the cost of the project at about $67 billion. “We knew the costs were in a different ballpark,” said Elizabeth Alexis, co-founder of CARRD. “We wanted the authority to start talking about that ballpark sooner or later. “A project of this size is not in the realm of financial possibilities,” she added. “So you either just say no to the project or you make some changes.” Legislators have also been consistently skeptical about the See RAIL, page 11

College board puts $564M measure on ballot By Leslie Shen Special to the Almanac

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measure that would raise $564 million for community college facilities will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. The money would be spent on facilities at three community colleges in the San Mateo County Community College District, including Canada College in Woodside. The district’s Board of Directors passed a resolution Aug. 10 to put the measure on the ballot.

To pass, the measure must be approved by 55 percent of the voters. The other colleges in the district are the College of San Mateo and Skyline College. Projects that would be financed include modernization of buildings for earthquake and fire safety, energy efficiency, and accessibility for people with disabilities. Technology upgrades would be made to libraries, math and science classrooms, research labs, and campus security systems.

Among the goals, according to a district report, is to “prepare students for high-demand 21st century jobs.” Bond sales would generate funds where other sources have fallen short, said Barbara Christensen, director of community and government relations for the district. “There was a lot of discussion about state funding,” she said of the Aug. 10 board meeting in San Mateo. “Over the past few years we’ve lost almost $200 million that were promised to us.”

Almanac photo by Nick Gonzales

Thanks, buddy Seven-year-old Augusta Iwasaki pats her horse Tigerlilly on the nose for a job well done at the Menlo Charity Horse Show in Atherton last week. Augusta competed in the Small Pony Hunter Conformation class on Tuesday, Aug. 9. See more photos on AlmanacNews.com.

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M. Kenneth Oshman, tech pioneer, dies at 71

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Silicon Valley pioneer, Ather- ford University and received a ton resident and Jewish Com- master’s degree in 1965 and a munity Center benefactor M. doctorate in 1968. Kenneth Oshman Mr. Oshman and died July 30 at age three associates 71. founded ROLM He co-founded Corp., a telecommuROLM Corp., a telenications company, c om mu n ic at ion s in 1969. He was comcompany, in 1969. pany CEO, president He was executive and a director until chairman of Echelon, its merger with IBM a San Jose clean-tech in 1984. He was a company, since 1989, vice president at IBM and served as the M. Kenneth Oshman after the merger and company’s CEO from a member of its cor1988 to 2009 and porate management president from 1988 to 2001. board until 1986. He stepped down in 2009 He was a past president of the after he was diagnosed with board of the Stanford Alumni lung cancer, according to a Association and past member statement from Echelon. Ech- of the advisory council of the elon is a pioneer in energy- Stanford Graduate School of control systems for smart elec- Business, of Stanford Associtric grids, smart buildings and ates, and the board of directors smart devices. of the Community Foundation “He was one of the original of Santa Clara County. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, He was a member of Presiwhose personal vision and pas- dent Ronald Reagan’s Economsion formed not one, but two, ic Policy Planning Committee industry-leading companies and the Committee to Advise that developed revolutionary the President on High Temtechnologies that paved the perature Superconductivity. way for today’s communicaMr. Oshman was known as tions and modernization of a gifted businessman and lent the smart grid,” the board of his expertise to the boards of directors of Echelon said in the Sun Microsystems, Knight Ridstatement. der, ASK Computer Systems, Ron Sege, Echelon’s president StrataCom Inc., and Charles and CEO, said in a statement Schwab Corp., among others. that Mr. Oshman’s colleagues His family foundation donat“will deeply mourn his loss and ed $10 million to help build miss his spirit, good humor and a new south Palo Alto Jewbig-heartedness.” ish community center, which Mr. Oshman was raised in opened in 2009 and was named Rosenberg, Texas. He attended in their honor. Rice University and graduated He enjoyed playing golf, summa cum laude with under- attending opera, and spendgraduate degrees in engineer- ing time in Hawaii. The most ing. He married his high school important thing in his life, say sweetheart, Barbara Daily, in family members, was spending 1962. time with his family. The couple moved to the He is survived by his wife of Bay Area in 1963, where Mr. 49 years, Barbara, sons Peter Oshman was a member of the and David, four grandchildren, technical staff at Sylvania and and brother Rick Oshman. developed nonlinear optical A memorial service was held techniques and systems. While Aug. 9 at Congregation Beth at Sylvania, he attended Stan- Am in Los Altos Hills.

N BIRTH S

Menlo Park

■ Christine Tsai and Sze-jun Tsai, a son, July 9, Sequoia Hospital. ■ Molly and Andrew Titley, a daughter, July 25, Sequoia Hospital. ■ Susan and Timothy Hibbard, a son, July 6, Sequoia Hospital. ■ Molly and Jon Kossow, a daughter, July 7, Sequoia Hospital.

Atherton

■ Viola and John Moses, twin sons, July 4, Sequoia Hospital. ■ Noemmy Barron and Eduardo Ruiz Jauregui, a daughter, July 21, Sequoia Hospital.

Emerald Hills

■ Tatiana Bachniak and Robert Ginda, a son, July 30, Sequoia Hospital.

N E W S

R EAL E STATE Q&A

State citizens commission makes it final: Menlo Park gets two congressional districts By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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he city of Menlo Park will have two representatives in Congress when the June 2012 election rolls around, a distinction shared with 35 of the approximately 1,050 cities and towns in California. Ten others will have more than two representatives. The responsibility for this state of affairs lies with the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which came into being after voters approved Proposition 11 in 2008 and took the once-a-decade redrawing of district borders out of the hands of politicians in Sacramento. The commission voted on Monday, Aug. 15, to accept the final versions of the new maps for the congressional districts as well as state Assembly, Senate and the tax-collecting Board of Equalization districts. Disputes about the maps will go directly to the California Supreme Court for resolution. In its representation in Washington, D.C., Menlo Park has long been entirely within one congressional district and represented since 1992 by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park. The new map divides the city at U.S. 101, assigning the Belle Haven neighborhood to the district represented by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco. Also to be represented by Ms. Speier: the demographically similar communities of unincorporated North Fair Oaks near Atherton, East Palo Alto and Redwood City. Ms. Eshoo’s district retains the rest of Menlo Park as well as Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley, among many other areas. That’s the extent of local splitting by the new maps. Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley and the nearby unincorporated areas will continue to be represented in the state Assembly by Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park. In the state Senate, Portola Valley

and Woodside used to be outside the district represented by Sen. Joe Simitian. After June 2012, they will join Menlo Park and Atherton and other Peninsula communities in a single Senate district. The 14 commission members — five registered Democrats, five registered Republicans and four registered as “Decline to State” — were chosen in a multi-faceted process that included 120 applicants, interviews with the Bureau of State Audits, a winnowing phase, and random selection. Since January, the commission met 79 times, according to its website, where interested readers will also find the meeting transcripts. Go to wedrawthelines.ca.gov for more information on the process. Views on split

The idea of Belle Haven and the rest of Menlo Park being represented separately in the U.S. Congress isn’t wildly popular. Letters to the commission from Menlo

Disputes over the maps will go directly to the California Supreme Court for resolution. Park and East Palo Alto residents were uniformly negative, as were the sentiments in interviews. “I think it’s disgusting, myself,” Belle Haven resident Matt Henry said. “Belle Haven is part of the city of Menlo Park. ... Belle Haven always gets cut out.” “We have the same politics as Menlo Park,” Mr. Henry added. “We might argue and squabble, but we’re the same family. We have the same objectives and financial base. I think this is just another layer of complexity for us. I think it’s awful.” But the redistricting commission had as an objective to comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act to “ensure that minorities have

an equal opportunity to elect representatives of their choice.” Wouldn’t Belle Haven have more of a voice with this realignment? “Something tells me that the reason (the commission) did what they did is precisely because of that,” East Palo Alto Mayor Carlos Romero told the Almanac. “That’s the only logic I can come up with.” The commission did not understand the “very close relationship” that Menlo Park, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto have when local officials go to Washington, D.C., to lobby the Department of Justice on crime issues or the Environmental Protection Agency on polluted fields, Mr. Romero said. The three-city relationship is important “irrespective of the socio-economic differences, and they are vast, and we admit that,” he added. Anna Eshoo was “very instrumental” in lobbying with and for East Palo Alto and she visits frequently, he said. State Sen. Joe Simitian, who represents Menlo Park, would not comment specifically on the outcome. “Many of the communities of interest bump into each other,” he said, and called it “unfortunate” that Menlo Park “got caught” in a late change to the congressional map. It may be particularly irritating locally in that residents have a “strong and unique” attachment to their community’s identification, he added. But Menlo Park will have two representatives in Congress, he noted. “If you get the right two people, you have two voices in the legislative body instead of one,” he said. “If you have two who are willing to step up to their jobs, a split is actually a good thing.” And the redrawn Peninsula Senate district, which will include more of San Mateo County, less of Santa Clara County and none of Santa Cruz County? “I think it gives that district a somewhat more San Mateo County cast, if you will,” he said. A

Fire damages portable classroom at Belle Haven school Firefighters battled a blaze at a school in Menlo Park on Aug. 9, a fire official said. The fire, which burned in a double-wide trailer behind Belle Haven Elementary School at 415 Ivy Drive, was reported by a neighbor at 8:49 a.m., said Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Firefighters had the one-alarm blaze under control by 9 a.m., and no one was injured.

The trailer is one of several portable classrooms in the rear of the campus, and is used for preschool and as an office space for an after-school program, Chief Schapelhouman said. School was not in session, so no children were in danger, he said. The trailer and its contents, which included computers and other office equipment, were seriously damaged and will most likely not be usable.

“If the trailer can’t be repaired — and we don’t believe it can — replacement is an option, preferably before school starts,” he said. He said school officials estimated the fire caused about $150,000 to $200,000 in damage. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chief Schapelhouman said it was most likely accidental. — Bay City News Service

by Monica Corman

Pricing Real Estate in Turbulent Economic Times Dear Monica: I am planning to put my home on the market after Labor Day and want to price it appropriately given the current economic uncertainty. I could wait until next spring but I really don’t want to do this. What would be your recommendation regarding pricing? Joseph T. Dear Joseph: If you are about to put your home on the market I assume you have listed it with a very experienced and effective real estate agent. With your agent, look carefully at everything that has sold in your area in the past few months. Your agent can tell you which properties are the closest in comparison to your property. The most recent sales are the best ones to use, although

if the best comparable sold last spring, you can update its relevance by adding or subtracting value according to what the market has done since then. Think like a buyer. Buyers are going to be more cautious in the next months and some will decide to wait to buy until the economic indicators are more stable and certain. But many will still buy especially if they plan to stay in the property for several years. Interest rates are so attractive that these buyers are smart to buy now. They will be looking for good value and will not pay a higher price than they feel is prudent. You should price your property accordingly and you will have the best chance of succeeding. Preparation, marketing and pricing are key to selling your home well.

For answers to any questions you may have on real estate, you may e-mail me at mcorman@apr.com or call 462-1111, Alain Pinel Realtors. I also offer a free market analysis of your property. www.MonicaCorman.com

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A community health education series from Stanford Hospital & Clinics

New Tools, New Anesthesia, New Therapy Mean Big Changes in Hip Replacement David Heuck is a lot like most people when something hurts and doesn’t get better. “I just didn’t want to go in to see my doctor,” he said. “I didn’t want someone to tell me I’d have to have something done.”

As far as Heuck was concerned, that fixed the problem and life went on as usual. Two years ago, however, he played golf two days in a row. The next day, “all of a sudden, I had some pretty intense pain in my hip. I didn’t think much of it. I figured I’d tweaked something the wrong way,” he said. But it didn’t go away, and it didn’t go away, and Heuck turned to some online medical information which made him think he had bursitis, an inflammation in a joint that can resolve itself. “I was pretty good at compartmentalizing things,” he said. “I just gimped along.”

“It gets depressing when you can’t do things you normally would do. I just got to the point of thinking, ‘This is how it’s going to be.’” – David Heuck, patient, Stanford Hospital & Clinics Miller is Matt Miller, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, with a Stanford University undergraduate degree in human biology and a cum laude graduate of Boston University School of Medicine. His special interest and training is in minimally invasive techniques for hip and knee replacements and design of hip and knee implants and instrumentation. He has also done more than 750 hip and knee replacements. Miller represents a generation of surgeons “who grew up playing video

games, so surgical techniques like arthroscopy, working from a monitor and using instruments to do something on a different plane make sense to us,” he said. “It’s about relearning what you’re supposed to look for, where vital structures After David Heuck played golf two days in a row, he developed an intense pain in his are and how to hip. He thought he’d tweaked something, but the pain didn’t go away. use the newer instruments to protect those structures.” All went well with Heuck’s surgery, and when he was back at work only Miller is also part of the broadening six days after Miller replaced his hip, trend throughout surgical specialties to walking unassisted, some of Heuck’s use smaller incisions, an approach that colleagues thought he’d decided not to reduces tissue damage, which can rehave the surgery after all. duce surgical pain and recovery time. With hip replacements, the introduction of minimally invasive techniques, in combination with changes in anesthesia and rehabilitation has transformed a once-lengthy and very painful operation. “It is still a serious procedure, however,” Miller said, “and patients should exhaust non-operative measures first.

Smaller can mean faster In Heuck’s first meeting with Miller, the physician was very direct. “You’ve exhausted your non-operative options,” Miller said, “and your best option is to have the hip replaced.” Heuck’s left hip had never formed properly that had cause the difference in his leg lengths and it failed quickly, relative

When he played catch with his son, he could only go for balls on one side of his body. When he bent down, it was an awkward, stork-like movement. He couldn’t walk uphill or stand for any length of time. The pain was constant, even waking him at night. “It gets depressing when you can’t do things you normally would do,” Heuck said. “I just got to the point of thinking, ‘This is how it’s going to be.’ “

Trying something different This April, he walked up in front of an audience to give a presentation and his doctor happened to be there. Afterwards, he came over to Heuck and said, “What is up with you? Go get an MRI.” Within minutes of the MRI test’s end, “the guy who’s reading the results tells 8 N The Almanac NAugust 17, 2011

Norbert von der Groeben

At 51, Heuck is the father of two young children, a busy executive and a guy who likes to be active. Golf is part of his daily environment and he enjoys the game. He’d been active in sports in his youth, but around the time he turned 14, that stopped being so easy when his lower back began to hurt. A doctor told him it was because his legs were different lengths. “Go to a shoe repair person and have an insert made,” the doctor said. The back pain stopped.

me he’s surprised I’m even walking,” Heuck said. His doctor began a search for someone to help. “He asked around and talked to people and gave me Dr. Miller’s name. He said Miller was doing some new procedures that maybe were a little bit less invasive,” said Heuck.

Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery meant David Heuck was able to return to work six days after his surgery, and, instead of having to wait months to get back to Norbert von der Groeben playing golf, he was back on the course in six weeks.

special feature

Getting a New Hip

t Replacing the hip joint means putting a new covering on the socket, located in the pelvis and creating a whole new version of the ball-shaped top of the femur that fits into the socket. A metal stem is inserted about six inches deep into the femur, with a ball, usually metal, anchored to its tip to complete the mechanism. t Hip replacement surgery may still mean restrictions on certain kinds of movement, like jogging or high-impact sports.

t Replacing the ball and socket hip joint is a relatively new surgery the first routinely successful modern procedures were performed in the 1950s and 1960s. Now, more than 300,000 hip replacements are conducted each year in the US. t Most hip replacement candidates are between 60 and 80 years old, but barring other health conditions, there is no weight or age limit. t All our joints are cushioned by cartilage; when it is damaged or wears away, the absence of a cushion means pain from bone on bone contact. The hip is the largest joint in the body, the primary support of our body weight.

t When properly cared for, a well-positioned hip replacement can last for 20 years or more.

t The hip joint can deteriorate for many reasons; the most common is the effect of osteoarthritis, where the cartilage that cushions the movement of our bones wears away. t Without that cushion, every movement of a joint becomes painful, even while resting, day or night. Being overweight also puts stress on the hip joints. t Some sports activities may mean harder wear and tear on hip joints, and hip replacement at an earlier age. t The pain may be dull and aching, or sharp. A worn-out hip joint may cause lower back or knee pain, too.

For more information about minimally invasive hip and knee replacement at Stanford, call 408.866.6651 or 650.723.5643, or visit stanfordhospital. org/hiplg or stanfordhospital.org/hiprc. To see an animation of a hip replacement surgery, visit stanfordhospital.org/seehip. Join us at stanfordhospital.org/socialmedia. Watch the new Stanford Hospital Health Notes television show on Comcast: channel 28 on Mondays at 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. and Fridays at 8:30 a.m.; channel 30 Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. It can also be viewed at youtube.com/stanfordhospital.

before you do small incision replacements.”

Miller explained what he wanted to do: Instead of a 10- to 12-inch incision, a three-to four-inch incision; instead of a general anesthesia, which often causes postoperative nausea and mental confusion, a spinal anesthesia, which would avoid that side effect and dampen nerve fibers that respond to surgical pain. He would David Heuck was back to work so quickly after his hip replacement surgery that some of his colleagues, like Shawn Smith wondered if he’d also use a long-acting lodecided against the surgery. cal infusion of a numbing, Novocain-like medication, in combination with a It’s a hugely different scenario from drug that causes blood vessels to conthe early days of hip and knee replacestrict and keep the numbing medicaments, in the 1960s, when patients tion from dispersing. might spend three to four months in the hospital and then many more months recovering full function. “The goal is to get people healed

Less fuss, less pain

quicker so they can get back to work and get back to life.” – Matt Miller, MD, orthopaedic surgeon, Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Before his surgery, Heuck and his wife, Janie, had to attend a pre-surgery class, of sorts, to learn what to expect. Heuck said he was surprised at first because he was 20 years younger than everyone else. Then, as the class continued and the instructor was explaining about drains and bandages, Heuck said, she kept turning to him and saying, “Oh, you won’t have that with Dr. Miller,” Heuck began to appreciate how his hip replacement might be different from most. “I don’t think I had a full appreciation of how wonderful it was going to be,” said Janie Heuck. “It was all new to

With newly-designed instrumentation that allows less damage to muscles, through that smaller incision, the kind of fast recovery Heuck experienced is now possible. “Healthy, younger patients can go home the morning after,” Miller said. “The goal is to get people healed quicker so they can get back to work and get back to life.” The smaller incision surgery is more technically demanding, Miller said. “You have to know how to look at things, to know what you’re looking for. You have to have lots of experience and specific training with hips and knees

us.” She visited her husband in the recovery room immediately after surgery and expected to say hello and leave. “I thought he would be loopy, and he was completely coherent!”

“It’s changed the quality of our life, for sure.” – Janie Brooks Heuck Heuck told Miller he never felt any pain at all. They left at 11 am the next day, less than 48 hours after he emerged from the operating room. Heuck’s surgery was on a Thursday; he stopped taking pain medications on Monday evening. And, Wednesday, he went back to work, which brought those colleagues to wonder if he’d skipped the surgery. Six weeks after the surgery, Miller gave him the okay to play golf again, albeit sensibly, and Heuck went out onto the course for a bit. “It felt great,” he said. Norbert von der Groeben

After the surgery, Heuck would be given pain medications, but fewer narcotics, which can interfere with a patient’s ability to participate in therapy. Within hours of the surgery, Miller would be asking Heuck to get up right away, and expecting physical therapists to help Heuck walk and get himself in and out of bed. That kind of immediate activity, Miller said, can cut rehabilitation time to weeks instead of months.

Norbert von der Groeben

to his age, Miller said. “That’s often the case.”

Back at work without any pain from his recent hip replacement surgery, David Heuck can walk and talk to colleagues, including John Buntin, without a second thought.

“My son is excited for his daddy to be able to run with him and I’m excited because he’ll be able to exercise with me,” Janie Heuck said. “It’s changed the quality of our life, for sure.”

Stanford Hospital & Clinics is known worldwide for advanced treatment of complex disorders in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer treatment, neurosciences, surgery, and organ transplants. It is currently ranked No. 17 on the U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list and No. 1 in the San Jose Metropolitan area. Stanford Hospital & Clinics is internationally recognized for translating medical breakthroughs into the care of patients. The Stanford University Medical Center is comprised of three world renowned institutions: Stanford Hospital & Clinics, the Stanford University School of Medicine, the oldest medical school in the Western United States, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, an adjacent pediatric teaching hospital providing general acute and tertiary care. For more information, visit http://stanfordhospital.org/.

August 17, 2011 N The Almanac N9

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Atherton set to hire firm to outsource building services By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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he town of Atherton is poised to hire Interwest Consulting Group to provide services now performed by its building department staff, a move Interim City Manager John Danielson says will save the town more than $350,000 in the current fiscal year. The Atherton City Council will be asked at its Aug. 17 meeting to approve a contract with Interwest. The town currently employs one of the firm’s partners, Michael Kashiwagi, as its interim public works director. Current building department

See related story on Page 5.

staff members, along with a finance department assistant and a public works supervisor, are being laid off, effective Aug. 19. Three other public works employees will be laid off Sept. 16. Under a plan designed by the interim town manager, building and public works services are being outsourced. The Teamsters union representing the employees are fighting the layoffs and outsourcing of services. The contract before the council this week would set payment to Interwest for building services at an amount not to exceed

58 percent of building revenues collected through fees. In a staff report, Mr. Danielson said that the town will “incur additional cost for Interwest to take over building projects that are incomplete. (That cost) will either be paid out of current building revenues or from the building department operating reserve.” The building department reserve was estimated to have about $960,000 in fiscal year 2010-11, according to Finance Director Louise Ho. The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 94 Ashfield Road in the Town Center. A

Portola Valley crime: Woman faces prison, again ■ She has been to prison nine times. By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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nother confinement in state prison, or in the San Mateo County jail, could be ahead for San Francisco resident Jennifer Leigh Prince, 40, who has a connection to a series of December 2010 Portola Valley property crimes. Ms. Leigh Prince, who has been in prison nine times, pleaded no contest on Aug. 8 to possession of stolen property and identity theft, both felonies, prosecutors said. Her offenses, including grand theft and auto burglary, were neither violent nor “serious,” so she is not subject to an automatic three-strikes prison sentence, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the Almanac. In the plea agreement, prosecutors had asked that Ms. Leigh Prince plead guilty and be sentenced to five years in prison with no chance of parole, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said in a telephone interview.

Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak modified the agreement to the include a range of possible sentences, from probation all the way up to a maximum of seven years behind bars, Ms. Guidotti said. A probation report and sentencing is set for Oct. 4. Ms. Leigh Prince remains in jail on bail of $25,000, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Because the sentencing takes place after a budget-cutting measure takes effect to send nonviolent, non-serious offenders to county jails instead of prison, the judge will have that option, Mr. Wagstaffe said. Ms. Leigh Prince’s attorney did not respond to an interview request. The Portola Valley connection occurred at around 6 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2010, when a deputy from the county Sheriff’s Office, called to investigate an auto burglary in the Brookside Park neighborhood, discovered two women sitting in a green Jeep Cherokee parked on Crescent Avenue with no license plates, according to a deputy’s

account. While examining the women’s IDs, the deputy noticed an object in the vehicle that resembled an object reported stolen in the auto burglary, at which point the driver put the Jeep into gear and drove off, the deputy said. The deputy gave chase but lost sight of the vehicle. A Sheriff’s Office report subsequently noted three thefts and two burglaries reported for Dec. 23 in Brookside Park. The next day in a traffic stop, San Mateo police arrested Ms. Leigh Prince. She allegedly gave the officer an ID and was in possession of a checkbook that were reported stolen in two Coastside auto burglaries three weeks earlier. There also was a warrant out for her arrest, and she was in possession of four $20 bills with the same serial number, deputies said. After consulting with Sheriff’s Office investigators, police determined that Ms. Prince had been driving the green Jeep that night in Portola Valley. The report is silent on whether the second woman in the Jeep was ever caught. A

Car meets pole John Woodell sent us this photo of a car that crashed into a telephone pole on Valparaiso Avenue near Emilie Avenue in Atherton shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. AMR treated the driver at the scene for minor injuries while AT&T replaced the pole.

Deputies look for man after suspicious Woodside incident By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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uthorities are still looking for a man a San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office deputy discovered pushing buttons on a call box at the gate of a residence on Mountain Home Road then escaping on foot on Friday, Aug. 12, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman told the Almanac. A warrant has been sworn out for suspect Scott Louis Hendrickson, 40, of Rodeo, on charges of possession of stolen property and burglary tools. Mr. Hendrickson is also on parole, Lt. Ray Lunny said in a phone interview. With Mr. Hendrickson at the time was Scott Arlin Evers, 38, of San Mateo, also a parolee and now in county jail on the same charges, deputies said. A deputy on a motorcycle discovered Mr. Hendrickson at the gate of the Mountain Home residence. Mr. Hendrickson walked

Sunday: North Fair Oaks street fair

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Dancers, acrobats, and the San Jose Sharks mobile shark tank will be on hand Sunday, Aug. 21, for the 10th annual San Mateo County Sheriff’s North Fair Oaks Community Festival. The highlight of the day’s events will be the coronation of the 2011 North Fair Oaks Queen of the Festival at 2:30 p.m. She will receive a $6,000 scholarship, while three finalists will share $9,000 in scholarships. Funds raised by the festival go to

N BRI E F S

youth, intervention, and diversion programs run by the Sheriff’s Office. Held in Redwood City, the free event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Middlefield Road between First and Fifth Avenue.

Another meeting on downtown plan The subject of many (many)

across the street to his vehicle and got in and drove off, deputies said. Records showed the vehicle’s registration as expired, so the deputy went after it, made a traffic stop and discovered that both men were parolees and thus eligible for random search and seizure, deputies said. While Mr. Evers was out of the car being searched, Mr. Hendrickson drove off on to Mountain Home Road, turned left on to Vintage Court — a dead end — and crashed through several fences before stopping his disabled vehicle and running away, deputies said. Deputies said Mr. Hendrickson is white, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and has a shaved head. He was wearing a blue shirt, blue pants and white shoes at the time. They are advising an immediate call to 911 in encountering someone matching this description. “Do not approach or try to apprehend subject,” the deputies said. A

late-night discussions, the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan stars as the topic of a special meeting of the Menlo Park Transportation Commission on Thursday, Aug. 18. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. The Planning Commission is expected to continue, and perhaps complete, its review of the specific plan on Monday, Aug. 22, when it convenes at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.

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Voters face local races, bond measure By Dave Boyce

nonprofit director Larry Moody, San Carlos School District board member Carrie B. Du Bois, Stanford University law school lecturer and Menlo Park resident Allen Weiner, and incumbents Lorraine Rumley and Olivia Martinez. ■ Menlo Park Fire Protection District, with two seats open and five candidates: incumbent Bart Spencer, business executive Scott Barnum, security consultant Robert Silano, community activist Virginia Chang Kiraly, and former board member and “low-voltage� electrician Steve Kennedy. ■ San Mateo County Community College District, with three seats open and six candidates: incumbent Dave Mandelkern, Jaime Diaz, incumbent Patricia Miljanich, incumbent Karen Schwarz, Shawn Kann (who is listed as having not yet completed the nomination process), education nonprofit director Joe Ross, and businessman Michael Stogner. ■ Woodside Elementary School District, with two open seats and three candidates: lawyer and parent Kevin P.B. Johnson, businessman and parent Rudy Driscoll, and incumbent and lawyer Virginia “Ginger� Bamford. ■ Woodside Town Council, with the District 3 seat open and two candidates: venture capitalist Tom Shanahan and Eldona Hamel. Mr. Shanahan has completed the nomination process and

Ms. Hamel has not, Town Clerk Janet Koelsch told the Almanac. Meanwhile, incumbent councilmen Ron Romines, Dave Burow and Peter Mason are running for re-election. In Portola Valley, incumbent Councilwoman Ann Wengert has completed the process in her bid for re-election to the Town Council. The other possible candidate, Jeff Aalfs of the architecture review board, has not yet completed the nomination process, Town Clerk Sharon Hanlon said, but he has until Aug. 17 to do so. Papers are available in Portola Valley Town Hall at 765 Portola Road on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m. In Woodside, Town Hall is at 2955 Woodside Road with weekday hours from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. On the board of the West Bay Sanitary District, three incumbents are running unopposed: David Alexander Walker, Frances M. Dehn and Ronald W. Shepherd. In the Woodside Fire Protection District, two board incumbents, John Gardner and Patrick Cain, are running unopposed. Two seats are open on the Ladera Recreation District board. Incumbent Karen Fryling is running, as is Peter Caryotakis, a science teacher at Menlo-Atherton High School. Two seats are also open on the board of the Los Trancos County Water District, and Claudia C. Mazzetti has filed for one of them.

increase in the cost projection to the additional engineering work that has been performed since the original estimate was released. She said the agency has always assumed the cost estimates of a major infrastructure project such as high-speed rail would be dynamic. “As we’ve done further engineering and worked further with communities to address their designs and concerns, the estimated costs have changed,� she said. She said the rail authority plans to release an updated business plan in October with a revised cost estimate for the entire system. She said the authority expects the new estimate to be higher than its cur-

rent $43 billion price tag. The new concerns about highspeed rail’s final price tag have not deterred state and federal officials from proceeding with the design of the new train system. This week, in fact, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood authorized a $179 million grant to California for various rail-related improvements. The grant includes $86 million to the rail authority for construction of the Central Valley segment. The rail authority will accept public comments on the newly released EIR between Aug. 15 and Sept. 28. Go to cahighspeedrail.ca.gov for more information.

Almanac Staff Writer

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half-billion-dollar community college bond measure is on the ballot in November, as are several local races that are now officially contested. These include the fire protection district in Menlo Park, the local high school district, the community college district, the elementary school district in Woodside, and possibly the Woodside Town Council. The filing period ended Friday, Aug. 12, for elections where incumbents are running for re-election. In elections where incumbents are not running, the deadline is extended to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. In the San Mateo County Community College District, voters will be asked to approve a $564 million bond measure, which requires 55 percent voter approval for passage. The funds would be used to modernize classrooms, classroom equipment and libraries; add renewable and alternative energy systems; retrofit for seismic and fire hazards; improve access for disabled students; remove hazardous materials; add security cameras; and fix leaky roofs and deteriorating infrastructure. Following are the candidates in contested elections. Candidates are listed in the order shown on a roster at the website of the San Mateo County Registrar of Voters. â–  Sequoia Union High School District, with three seats open and five candidates: East Palo Alto RAIL continued from page 5

rail authority’s financial projections and its business plan. State senators Joe Simitian and Alan Lowenthal have grilled rail authority officials at numerous committee meetings over the past two years and tried to get the authority to release a more realistic business plan before it could receive state funding. Sen. Simitian’s provision tying state funds to a new business plan died last year when then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger struck it down with a line-item veto. Rachel Wall, spokesperson for the rail authority, attributed the

Four Menlo Park break-ins in one week As-of-yet unidentified thieves crept through an unlocked back window of a home in the 500 block of Glenwood Avenue in Menlo Park on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 10, and left with an estimated $8,200 in jewelry and an Apple MacBook.

Burglars also busted the side window of a home in the 200 block of Marmona Drive on Monday, Aug. 8. The resident reported the theft around 3:15 p.m. and told police a monitor, digital camera, docking station, Wi-Fi device, iPad, jewelry,

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and $300 cash â&#x20AC;&#x201D; worth about $7,600 total â&#x20AC;&#x201D; were missing. The past week included two other burglary reports in Menlo Park; one in the 1100 block of Windermere Drive and another in the 1300 block of Almanor Avenue, both on Aug. 4. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Sandy Brundage August 17, 2011 N The Almanac N11

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Inspector cites 14 vendors at Menlo Park Block Party By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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t started with a dead pig. An eagle-eyed shopper at Draegerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Market in Menlo Park noticed a store employee wheeling around a dead pig in a shopping cart, snapped a photo, and called the county health inspectors. Turns out, the pig was meant for a school dissection lab, and no violations were found, according to the county. But, after wrapping up a visit to Draegerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on June 22, a health inspector noticed the Menlo Park Block Party down the street on Santa Cruz Avenue and decided to drop by. Four hours and 14 citations later, vendors at the block party realized that they did indeed need a special event permit from the county to dispense food at the party. In addition, they also needed hand-washing stations, gloves, covers for food, and other hygienic niceties. Several vendors told the inspector the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, cosponsor of the block party, invited them to participate, but hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t told them they needed permits, according to the inspection reports. The vendors werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fined

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; this time. Instead, the chamber footed a $918 bill for the inspectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overtime. Five mobile food trucks operating at the party did have current permits, the inspection report said. Dean Peterson, the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director of environmental health, said the fines can go as high as three times the cost of the permit, racking up $294 to $888 per booth, for a potential total of $12,432. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We also have the authority to shut down their operation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; this option is rarely used unless the operation poses a risk to public health, i.e., no hand-washing equipment or food kept at unsafe temperatures, basically the same reason we would shut down any operation,â&#x20AC;? he said in an email to the Almanac. A similar event hosted by the chamber â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Connoisseurâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marketplace â&#x20AC;&#x201D; hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had the same problems, Mr. Peterson noted. The chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CEO, Fran Dehn, said the organization has an upcoming meeting with the county to discuss the issues, and had asked the county to bill it instead of the vendors. A copy of a letter sent to Ms. Dehn by the county indicates the chamber completed the application for a special event permit for the party on June 23, the day after the festivities. A

Mia Banks joins Coldwell Banker



               

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Mia Banks has joined ing at her childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coldwell Banker Resischools (Sacred Heart dential Brokerage as and Menlo School), hika sales associate in its ing the Portola Valley Menlo Park-El Camino hills, and playing tennis office. She will specialat Alpine Hills Tennis ize in residential sales & Swimming Club with in Portola Valley, Menlo her husband and two Park, Atherton, Wood- Mia Banks teenage boys. side and Palo Alto. Ms. Banks received her Prior to joining Coldwell bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in biology Banker, she was a real estate from Brown University, and then agent with Cowperthwaite & earned her masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree from Co. She also has worked the UCLA Anderson School of in management consulting for Management, with an emphasis BCG, CSC/Index, and Andersen on marketing and strategy. Consulting/Accenture, and has â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coldwell Banker Residential worked with several start-up Brokerage has been rapidly companies in Silicon Valley. growing on the Peninsula, and Ms. Banks has lived in Menlo we need high caliber agents Park, Palo Alto and Portola Val- to help us meet the increasley, and has raised her children ing needs of our clients,â&#x20AC;? said in the local public and private Wendy McPherson, manager of schools. the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Menlo Park-El She says she enjoys volunteer- Camino office.

C O M M U N I T Y

Jane Fonda at Kepler’s on Thursday Academy Award-wining and even energetic ning actress, activist, than a person’s youngauthor and fitness guru er years. Jane Fonda will speak She will speak on the Thursday night, Aug. topic at 7 p.m. and 18, at Kepler’s booksign copies of the book store in Menlo Park. afterward. In her new book, Ms. Fonda netted Oscars “Prime Time: Makfor her roles in “Klute” Photo (c) Firooz Zahedi ing the Most of Your Jane Fonda and “Coming Home.” Life,” she draws upon Following numerous research and personal stories to high-profile activist engagements argue that life after 45, 50 and and a successful string of workout even 60 can be more fulfill- videos, she released her autobiog-

raphy in 2005. Go to keplers.com/event/ jane-fonda for more information. Tickets to the event may be purchased at Kepler’s in person or online. C U S T O M

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MENLO PARK Assault with deadly weapon report: Pedestrian victim, hit in face with hamburger thrown by vehicle driver, was then grabbed by hair as vehicle drove off, but she freed herself and sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Jack in the Box restaurant at 1401 Willow Road, Aug. 5. Fraud reports: ■ Loss of $2,700 after money wired to “relative” in Mexico claiming to have been involved in vehicle accident, Felton Ave., Aug. 6. ■ Possible intrusion into victim’s bank account after victim provided personal information at fraudulent online employment posting, Noel Drive, Aug. 5. WOODSIDE Residential burglary report: Loss estimated at $1,990 in theft of tools and equipment from garage of home being remodeled, Woodside

Road, Aug. 4. PORTOLA VALLEY Woman arrested on assault, brandishing and drunk-in-public charges after entering fire station, throwing brownies at victim then grabbing knife from counter and lunging at victim, fire station at 135 Portola Road, Aug. 3. Theft reports: ■ Loss estimated at $200 in theft of “field closed” sign from athletic field, Corte Madera Middle School at 4575 Alpine Road, Aug. 10. ■ Juveniles counseled after deputies traced source of candy wrappers, ketchup bottle, hot dog buns and other picnicking indicators found near remains of campfire near batting cage, Ford (baseball) Field at 3399 Alpine Road, Aug. 11.

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Auto burglary report: Loss estimated at $1,200 after window smashed and laptop computer stolen, Sutherland Drive, Aug. 11. Fraud report: No loss in unauthorized opening of AT&T account in victim’s name in January 2011, Tuscaloosa Ave., Aug. 11.

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Editor & Publisher Tom Gibboney

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Published every Wednesday at 3525 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Menlo Park, Ca 94025 Newsroom: (650) 223-6525 Newsroom Fax: (650) 223-7525 Advertising: (650) 854-2626 Advertising Fax: (650) 854-3650 e-mail news and photos with captions to: Editor@AlmanacNews.com e-mail letters to: letters@AlmanacNews.com The Almanac, established in September, 1965, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside and adjacent unincorporated areas of southern San Mateo County. The Almanac is qualified by decree of the Superior Court of San Mateo County to publish public notices of a governmental and legal nature, as stated in Decree No. 147530, issued November 9, 1969. Subscriptions are $60 for one year and $100 for two years.

N WHAT’S YOUR VIEW? All views must include a home address and contact phone number. Published letters will also appear on the web site, www.TheAlmanacOnline.com, and occasionally on the Town Square forum.

TOWN SQUARE FORUM Post your views on the Town Square forum at www.TheAlmanacOnline.com EMAIL your views to: letters@almanacnews.com and note this it is a letter to the editor in the subject line. MAIL or deliver to: Editor at the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

CALL the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

local issues from people in our community. Edited by Tom Gibboney.

The slow death of high-speed rail

T

he bad economic news keeps piling up in front of the California High-Speed Rail project but will it be enough to bring Governor Brown, the state Legislature and even the federal government to their senses? Surely it is time for people with some clout in Sacramento and Washington to begin winding down this project, which keeps getting more expensive as the state’s fiscal woes get worse. And remarkably, even though it lacks a viable business plan and has yet to line up any private capital, the project received another $89 million from Washington just a week or so ago. Why is the federal government EDITO RIA L continuing to fund high-speed rail The opinion of The Almanac before making sure that the money won’t be wasted on two Central Valley segments that could become a “Railroad to Nowhere?” like the project made famous by the late Sen. Ted Stevens, who shamefully promoted the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Ever since Proposition 1A passed in 2008, Peninsula residents have done everything possible to point out the many design flaws in the high-speed rail’s plan, but instead of working to correct them, the rail authority was ordered to turn its focus to the Central Valley, where it was thought the project would get a much warmer reception. But even in this new, somewhat friendlier location, the rail authority must cope with skyrocketing costs and numerous other setbacks that have surfaced in recent weeks. For example: ■ After absorbing a batch of already highly critical news over the preceding month, the rail authority released its cost estimates for two Central Valley segments, from Fresno to Merced and Merced to Bakersfield, last week. These relatively flat routes were expected to cost $7 billion, but the estimate jumped to between $10 billion and $13 billion in the recently released environmental impact report. ■ Unlike the rail authority, which is sticking to its unbelievably low price tag of $42.6 billion for the entire project, the Palo Alto-based Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design (CARRD) and the state’s nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst’s Office have much higher estimates — $65 billion and $67 billion, respectively. This is a huge gap, more than 30 percent. ■ In a study made public two weeks ago, a highly respected peer-

LETTE RS Our readers write

The Belle Haven redistricting insult Editor: The redrawing of the congressional district boundaries represents another step in the process that moves Belle Haven farther from Menlo Park and many locals are overjoyed. They have the Citizens Redistricting Commission to thank and it’s all legal. As a resident of Belle Haven the continuous message is: You are not wanted. The disparity in the quality of service and education in Belle Haven compared to the rest of Menlo Park is disgraceful, but it has come to be accepted as normal. The strategy is to make some positive changes on a limited basis and to do it very slowly. This longtime tactic is insulting and this redistricting just adds insult to injury, but it’s all legal. Those of you that still believe in

14 N The Almanac NAugust 17, 2011

“separate but equal,” rejoice! The Bayshore Freeway has saved you again. Your Tree City will remain relatively pure because diversity doesn’t work in Menlo Park, but to be fair, it also hasn’t worked in many cities, most notably Detroit, Watts and now London. Everyone pretends to be shocked and surprised when long time suppressed rage is unleashed, when in fact we all know why these things happen. There are still those in Belle Haven that believe in the system in spite of everything, but be assured there are those that do not share that belief. A mind-set that glorifies every man for himself can be quite contagious and dangerous both nationally and locally. Matt Henry Belle Haven Neighborhood Association

Impugning integrity not helpful in debate Editor: Nancy Lemer’s recent guest opinion regarding the debt-ceil-

review group of professors and transportation experts that report to rail authority CEO Roelof Van Ark said the authority has been using a flawed forecasting model to predict the number of passengers that will use the high-speed trains. ■ The agency’s public relations firm, Ogilivy Public Relations Worldwide, resigned about a month ago after fulfilling less than half of a 4-1/2-year, $9 million contract. ■ Another public relations faux pas was the unexpected departure of Jeffrey Barker, the rail authority’s deputy director in charge of communication, who failed to provide a timely response to a public information request from CARRD, allowing it to drag on for months. The Palo Alto-based organization was seeking release of the critical peer-review report, and was successful only after filing a chronology of its request with the authority. The information was released the following day, the same day that Barker resigned, saying he is going “to pursue other endeavors.” ■ On the economic front, the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, including the budgeting process, has left little doubt that further federal support for high-speed rail will be drastically cut or eliminated altogether. By any yardstick, the high-speed rail project is simply far too financially ambitious for the state to undertake at this time, when basic services have been cut to the bone and additional cuts could be on the way as a result of more federal belt-tightening. The idea of paying debt-service on nearly $10 billion in bonds makes no sense in this fiscal environment. High-speed rail supporters have enormous obstacles to overcome in order to get this project back on track. They need a convincing business plan, a new management team, and most importantly, reliable funding sources that don’t commit the taxpayers to unaffordable subsidies of construction and operation. High-speed rail is looking more and more like a pipe-dream. The governor and the Legislature should provide the leadership to unwind this project, presumably through passage of another state ballot measure that counteracts the requirements of Prop. 1A, or by finding and embracing a new financing model. Otherwise, we are in danger of building a railroad to nowhere that will make Sen. Stevens’ bridge look like child’s play.

Our Regional Heritage This photograph of Stephen and Victoria Mariani is thought to be their 1879 wedding portrait. A prosperous San Francisco hardware merchant for most of the 20th century, Stephen Mariani and his family spent summers on the Mariani Ranch, now the Portola Valley subdivision called Blue Oaks. Portola Valley Archives

ing crisis reminded me why, after 36-years as a registered Republican, I’m no longer a member of the GOP. Not only is her point of view

extreme, but so is her tone. First, she contends inaccurately that failure to raise the federal See LETTERS, next page

V I E W P O I N T POST OF THE WEEK

TownSquare We should revisit the idea of selling off two or three UC campuses and use the proceeds to cover the increased costs of this invaluable investment (high-speed rail) in our future. Cal covers some 800 acres of very expensive land that is easily worth $3 billion to $4 billion to a developer. If we also sell off UCLA in Westwood and perhaps UCSD in La Jolla, we can extend the tracks to Palmdale. Then we can run six trains per hour between Borden and Palmdale. Posted by WestCoastSkeptic, a resident of the Menlo Park, Stanford Hills neighborhood.

Go to AlmanacNews.com/square to join the conversation

L E TTE R S Continued from previous page

debt-ceiling would not result in catastrophic default. Then, she accuses those who disagree with her, such as our congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, of lying. Ms. Lemer is entitled to her belief that risking the full-faith and credit of our country is no big deal. But impugning the integrity of those who, like Rep. Eshoo, think this reckless, is not helpful in fostering the type of respectful and reasoned debate that we need in a democracy to solve our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s problems. As one who served in local government for 30 years, I know that those who disagree with us may â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or may not â&#x20AC;&#x201D; be mistaken, but they are seldom â&#x20AC;&#x153;lying.â&#x20AC;? Reading Ms. Lemerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s piece made me nostalgic for the days many decades ago when the Peninsula was represented by Republican, as well, as Democratic officeholders in state and federal government. But, these were a very different stripe of Republican, from liberals like Pete McCloskey, to moderates like Ed Zschau, Tom Campbell and Dixon Arnett, to responsible conservatives like Bob Naylor. They and the great Republican presidents, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, would find it difficult to be at home in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Republican Party. I dare say, even Ronald Reagan would purse his lips if he saw the things being done in his name. Jon Silver Portola Valley

Palo Altan likes Menlo Park just as it is Editor: As a Palo Alto resident of many years, I go to Menlo Park to take care of my weekly errands â&#x20AC;&#x201D; groceries, dry cleaners, bank,

A counterpoint on Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Alpine trail By P.J. Utz

agreement for grants to fund other trails recent guest opinion in the Alma- or projects within San Mateo County. nac by my Ladera neighbor Lennie Fact No. 3. If Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funds are sent Roberts did not fairly represent to Santa Clara County after Jan. 31, 2011, the pertinent issues regarding the Alpine San Mateo County staff members have Road Trail. I will focus solely on six facts, said that taxpayers would have to pay for and provide my personal opinion as a con- needed, costly trail and creek repairs. cerned citizen. Fact No. 4. Repairs will not require â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Fact No. 1. The trail in question is not destruction of sensitive creek and riparjust a â&#x20AC;&#x153;bike/pedestrian trail/sidewalkâ&#x20AC;? as ian habitats. ...â&#x20AC;? It is indeed a fact that the described in the Almanac article. It is a des- creek bank will need repair, as it has already ignated trail in official county trail maps. It eroded into the trail near the Interstate 280 is designated the â&#x20AC;&#x153;C1 Connector interchange. Without a remedy, Trailâ&#x20AC;? in the Santa Clara County the creek will carve its way all the Trail Map and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;E12 Lower way into Alpine Road. For the Alpine Trailâ&#x20AC;? in the San Mateo next 135 days we have a choice on County Trails Plan. This trail is how it will be repaired and who the precise trail that was desigwill foot the bill. nated for rebuilding in Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fact No. 5. Continued scareapproved General Use Permit. tactics warning about a â&#x20AC;&#x153;12-footFact No. 2. Stanford has wide super sidewalkâ&#x20AC;? is yesteroffered over $10 million to dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s falsehood. No one â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not San Mateo County to rebuild Stanford, not the county, not the GUEST the Lower Alpine Trail. If San OPINION residents â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is advocating any Mateo County does not accept such thing. The town of Portola the funds or requests an extenValley accepted Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funds sion by Dec. 31, 2011, the $10 million and chose to construct a modest 8-foot will be given to Santa Clara County. The path. San Mateo County has the same abilsituation is simple and unambiguous. Our ity to choose for itself. county Board of Supervisors can either Fact No. 6. San Mateo County has decided approve revitalizing a Lower Alpine Trail to take another look at the Stanford offer. that badly needs work, or it can reject the It will be holding a number of educational proposal. There are no provisions in the meetings over the coming months to edu-

A

hardware store, drugstore, stationers, bakery, and bookstore. Parking is easy, which is a huge plus. On Sundays, our Live Oak Lions Club sponsors the Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Market with its outstanding fresh produce, and again, parking is easy. Please let downtown Menlo

Park continue in its present configuration â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it works. Alice Gross Palo Alto

Reader sees a bias for West Menlo Park Editor: For as long as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been reading

cate the community regarding these facts and to encourage dialogue on the issues. Now a mixture of facts and opinions. My family have been strong advocates for the environment for the 12 years we have lived in Ladera. We are a one-car family. We bike to work and school on this dangerous trail. We recently completed a green remodel of our home. And we regularly use hiking trails in the Bay Area. We are in agreement with the Almanac article, that says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;San Mateo and Santa Clara counties have a shared interest in providing safe, cost-effective facilities for walkers, runners, cyclists, and equestrians.â&#x20AC;? This will best be accomplished by first making Alpine Road and the Lower Alpine Road Trail, by far the most heavily trafficked areas in Portola Valley, as safe and as useable as possible, for as many residents as possible. We must insure that the residents of Weekend Acres and Ladera are educated on the issues, and that they be positively served by the changes. Concerned citizens should use the remaining 135 days to learn the facts at upcoming informational meetings. It is financially irresponsible to turn away Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funds that are already earmarked to rebuild this designated trail. P.J. Utz lives in Ladera and is a Stanford professor.

the Almanac, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve felt that it has always reflected a â&#x20AC;&#x153;West Menloâ&#x20AC;? preference. This is attitude is clearly shown in last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s editorial, â&#x20AC;&#x153;District shift wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hurt Belle Haven.â&#x20AC;? When the Almanacâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rationale is that east Menlo has more in common with East Palo Alto and Redwood City, it could

just as easily say that it has a lot in common with East Oakland. I think that the districts are better represented by a diverse socioeconomic base. What the Almanac proposes is polarization and in this case promotes segregation. Tom Wong Hedge Road, Menlo Park

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The Almanac 08.17.2011 - Section 1