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Windrider Film Forum returns to Atherton | Section 2

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Among the vines Portola Valley family wants to create a community on vineyard grounds | Page 5

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M-A grad Sydney Young is participating in a national student leaders program that involves a paid internship at Citizen Schools in Redwood City, a nonprofit that helps kids find “the connection between the classroom and real life,” she says.

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ydney Young, a former Menlo Park resident and Menlo-Atherton High School graduate, is taking part in Bank of America’s national Student Leaders program. Chosen along with four other Silicon Valley teens, Sydney, 17, is working for eight weeks at a paid internship for a local nonprofit organization, and will then attend a week-long Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. It’s a “really awesome opportunity and no one knows about it,” Ms. Young said. She heard about it from Jolene Kokroko, the youth coordinator at Menlo Park Presbeytarian Church. Sydney has passed the word to M-A staff so others there will know about it in the future. The goal of the Student Leaders program is to help decrease teen unemployment and give students “real-world experi-

ence,” while helping the community, according to a Bank of America spokesperson.

It’s a ‘really awesome opportunity and no one knows about it.’ SYDNEY YOUNG

Sydney is working in Redwood City for Citizen Schools, a nonprofit with a “really innovative program for education. They have a twofold approach, with academic supports for the students ... and also apprenticeships,” she said. The program is “really inspiring the kids, showing them the connection between the classroom and real life.” At work, she “get(s) to do a little bit of everything ... supporting all the different” parts, including operations, office

Rotary Club seeks host family for exchange student from Sweden The Rotary Club of Menlo Park is looking for a host family in the Menlo Park area for a 17-year-old exchange student from Sweden. The home stay will begin

in mid-August and end in December. The student will be attending Menlo-Atherton High School. Anyone interested should contact Mark Flegel at 326-9661.

work, intake calls, recruitment and development. The best part, she says, is “being part of the team. Citizen Schools has a really welcoming workplace culture to it.” People there are “given wonderful opportunities ... to just tag along to different things” and get the most out of the experience. The leadership summit in Washington, D.C., will bring together students from across the country to collaborate and engage in interactive workshops and activities. “That’s the icing on the cake,” Ms. Young commented. “I’m really excited to go.” The program has been in place since 2004, and about 1,600 students have taken part. This year, 225 seniors and juniors across the country are participating. A

Visit tinyurl.com/Lead-703 for more information about the Bank of America’s Student Leaders program. N ON T HE COV ER

Debbie Lehmann, vineyard manager of the Lehmann family-owned Portola Vineyards, and Simon, a familiar presence on the vineyard site on Los Trancos Road, take a morning stroll among the vines. Almanac photo by Michelle Le. Story on Page 5.

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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 ©2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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Summary Reports Summary Real Estate Reports for Week of July 9. May 7. Available at

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STEVE GRAY offers 30+ years of local knowledge. Born in Menlo Park. Raised in Atherton. A Woodside resident.

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sgray@cbnorcal.com July 11, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN3

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Gathering a community among the vines Portola Valley family wants neighbors to connect with the land that produces its award-winning wine By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

I

t’s 10 o’clock, and the summer sun is gently warming the vines on a recent morning in Portola Valley. Fog hangs lightly just above the ridge like a shy visitor spying on the locals at a distance, holding the temperature at a refreshing 61 degrees as Debbie Lehmann clips grape leaves in the vineyard. Those leaves will make their way into the family kitchen, where they will be stuffed and shaped into dolmas, and served up Sunday afternoon during a vine-trellising event and picnic — one of four annual member events hosted by the familyowned Portola Vineyards. Ms. Lehmann is an important part of the vineyard’s operations. Vineyard manager and marketing director, she’s also the daughter of winemaker Len Lehmann, who with his wife, Vivian, own the vineyard off Los Trancos Road. The operation is largely a father-daughter enterprise, but their goal, in addition to mak-

ing great wine, is to create a vineyard where the community gathers, enjoys good food and drink, and becomes better acquainted with the process that produces that food and drink. “We want to be the local winery of Portola Valley and Woodside, where people can bring their children and participate in local agriculture, and be involved with it and each other as a community,” Len Lehmann says. “People have lost their sense of where their food comes from.” “We’re trying to create the French model” of community wineries, Debbie Lehmann says in a recent interview, referring to a tradition of wines being provided solely to the surrounding community. “We think there’s something special about drinking a wine produced this close to home — all of our members have to come to the winery to pick up, so they get to see the vineyard, see the winery, help with the harvest, and really feel connected to the bottles of wine they’re taking home.”

Menlo Park starts figuring out how to add housing By Sandy Brundage

both market-rate and affordable housing, to its current stock of hen your city is only 12,500. 19 square miles big A new housing element steerand largely built out, ing committee met on June 26 where do you find room to build to outline what needs to happen more housing units? Menlo Park and review preliminary data, city officials have started the with a focus on identifying very first steps in updating the potential sites for high-density housing element of the town’s housing, which the state defines general plan and as a minimum complying with 30 units per the terms of a Steering committee acre. Serving on lawsuit settlesix-member wants to distribute the ment. committee are high-density sites Three housing council members advocacy groups Andy Cohen and around town. filed the lawsuit Peter Ohtaki; in May, alleging housing comthat Menlo Park has failed to missioners Carolyn Clarke and comply with state housing laws. Anne Moser; and planning The city quickly settled, under commissioners Katie Ferrick terms that require the city to and Jack O’Malley. provide the zoning necessary to add sites for 1,975 housing units, See MENLO PARK HOUSING, page 6 Almanac Staff Writer

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Almanac photo by Michelle Le

“We want to be the local winery of Portola Valley and Woodside, where people can bring their children and participate in local agriculture,” says Portola Vineyards manager Debbie Lehmann.

Most of the wines are sold directly through Portola Vineyards, but a small amount “is sold pretty much in a 10- or 15-mile radius of the winery,” she says. It can be found on the shelves of Bianchini’s and Roberts markets in Portola Valley,

and Vino Locale in Palo Alto, she said. It’s also on the wine list at Madera restaurant in Menlo Park. The community that’s been established around the nineyear-old Portola Vineyards is made up primarily of 170 win-

ery members. But the Lehmanns are working to expand the range somewhat. Last year, they started a summer concert series on the grounds, inviting the community at large. See VINEYARD, page 10

Legislature OKs funding for high-speed rail By Gennady Sheyner Palo Alto Weekly

C

onstruction of California’s controversial high-speed-rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles is ready to launch, following a dramatic vote by the state Senate on July 6. The Senate’s 21-16 vote on Senate Bill 1029 is a major victory for the much-embattled project that voters approved in 2008 but that has attracted major opposition since then, particularly on the Peninsula. Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, was among a handful of Democrats who turned against the party majority and voted against the bill. The Senate vote came a day after the state Assembly approved the bill 27-15. Peninsula assemblymen Rich Gordon and Jerry Hill voted for the bill, which allocates $2.7

billion from a 2008 state bond measure to launch construction on the system’s opening segment in the Central Valley. Much as in the Assembly, members of the Senate lined up along party lines, with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing the bill.

Construction can begin on controversial $68 billion project. The dramatic outcome followed extensive debate between those who called the project a much-needed boost to the state’s struggling economy and those who characterized highspeed rail as a badly botched project that the state can ill afford at a time of massive cut-

backs to education and social services. Senate President Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg opened the conversation: “How many chances do we have to vote for something that will inject a colossal stimulus into today’s economy while looking at the future far beyond our days in this house?” Sen. Simitian rejected this logic: “We’re not being asked to vote on a vision today. We’re being asked to vote on a particular plan.” He then laid out a list of reasons for his decision to oppose SB 1029. He cited the fact that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has a leadership structure riddled with vacancies and that the bulk of the funding in the bill would go toward a 130-mile track in the See RAIL, page 10

July 11, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN5

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Department of Transportation “to better define the movements proposal to redesign a of the cyclist and the motorist bike lane on Alpine Road in order to minimize potential near Interstate 280 where conflicts,� according to the staff a cyclist was killed in 2010 is on report to the supervisors. the agenda of the San Mateo Caltrans and the county PubCounty Board of Supervisors lic Works Department have had this week. four plans to consider, each The board on Tuesday, July 10, of which inserts a bike lane will consider approving a request between the lane for I-280to the county bound traffic and Transportation the westbound Authority to lane into Ladera. Supervisors also spend $175,000 The differences consider plan to on that project lie in where bikes plus $500,000 install traffic lights weave into traffic to install traffic and the markings at two Ladera lights at Alpine that indicate the Road intersecbike lane. intersections. tions with La Go to tinyurl. Mesa and La Cuesta drives in com/280-redesign for a look at Ladera, effectively bracketing the the four designs. Ladera Country Shopper mall Traffic lights with traffic signals. The $500,000 traffic light If approved by the Transportation Authority, the money would proposal is a response by the come from the county’s Measure county public works departA half-cent sales tax revenues for ment to concerns of the Ladera Homeowners Association about transportation projects. congestion at the Alpine Road Bike lane intersections with La Cuesta and The $175,000 would be spent La Mesa drives. on improving an ill-defined bike The public works department lane on westbound Alpine Road concluded that “both intersecas it passes under Interstate 280. tions warrant traffic signals in In November 2010, Los Altos order to improve traffic flowing Hills cyclist Lauren Ward died onto Alpine Road at peak hours in this stretch of road after a and to improve pedestrian and collision with a tractor-trailer. bicycle safety.� The westbound bike lane Between 2004 and 2011, the on Alpine Road “suddenly staff report says, there were six disappear(s)� as it heads under collisions with four injuries in I-280. Restriping it has the sup- and around La Cuesta, and nine port of the Silicon Valley Bicycle collisions with seven injuries Coalition and the California around La Mesa. Almanac Staff Writer

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MENLO PARK HOUSING continued from page 5

The committee discussed the preliminary criteria for ranking housing sites, which include proximity to transit and other services; size; and impact on neighbors and environmental resources. The early map of potential sites shows 14 locations mainly distributed along the perimeter of Menlo Park. The committee asked to add major bus routes to the preliminary map to ensure that sites are distributed and allocated around the city so that no single neighborhood bears

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the brunt of the changes, Mr. Ohtaki told the Almanac. A key first step is taking a housing inventory is to figure out the existing capacity for additional homes within current zoning, including those allowed under the new downtown/El Camino Real specific plan, and any housing built since 1998, which could be deducted from the preliminary number. According to staff, the inventory should be done by Aug. 31 and may leave a net requirement of 900 units. The steering committee meets again on July 17. An outreach to “stakeholder groups� will take place at the end of the month, followed by community workshops on Aug. 15 and 16. Mr. Ohtaki said the steering committee also encouraged staff to reach out to neighborhoods. Visit tinyurl.com/MP-707 for more information from the city on the housing element project. A

6NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJuly 11, 2012

R EAL E STATE Q&A

N E W S

by Gloria Darke

Delay Close of Escrow Dear Gloria,. We are due to close on a brand new house we bought. On our walkthrough with the builder and agents it was clear to everyone that the hardwood floors were “cupped�. They have promised to fix them after we close but our agent isn’t comfortable with that. What do you suggest? - Adrian B., Menlo Park Dear Adrian, Whenever there is a construction defect or something isn’t completed as per the contract, it is common practice to either hold funds in escrow or to delay the close. Both of these options have issues associated with them. If you choose to hold funds back is that a

problem with the lender? How much will the builder agree to and who will be the decider as to the acceptability of the new floors? You also didn’t mention if your move is scheduled around the close of escrow. You would not be able to move in even if you close because it takes several days for floors to be redone. Are you going to have to move into another house in the meantime? If so, you have damages and expenses associated with the two moves and renting temporary housing. By delaying the close, the responsibility for making the floors meet your standard of acceptability is on the builder. You may have to pay to have your loan papers redrawn but that is a small price to pay to make sure you are getting the house in the condition you expected.

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

Almanac photo by Daniella Sanchez

It’s all fixed George Lynch, left, a 25-year employee of the Menlo Vacuum & Fix-it Shop in Menlo Park, reviews inventory paperwork with former owner Bill Wagner. Mr. Lynch recently signed a contract giving him ownership of the landmark store that has fixed the household appliances of generations of local residents.

Shelter Network, InnVision combine The two large homeless service providers in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties — Shelter Network and InnVision — have merged into a single orga n i z at ion called InnVision Shelter Network, the organizations announced July 10. By consolidating operaKarae Lisle tions, the new orga n i z at ion will be able to operate more efficiently and effectively, and serve an additional 1,000 people each year, said Karae Lisle, the CEO of Shelter Network who will become CEO of the combined organization. InnVision CEO Christine Burroughs will retire after 24 years in that position. The two organizations currently serve approximately 20,000 homeless men, women and children annually, Ms. Lisle said. Of those, approximately 4,000 to 6,000 in each county receive shelter services. The remainder receive food services in Santa Clara County. The merger was prompted in part by Ms. Burroughs’ retirement and the arrival of Ms. Lisle as Shelter Network CEO last year with a goal of serving more

homeless people. “In San Mateo County, we have an average of 50 families every night — a total of 200 people — on the waiting list� for shelter, Ms. Lisle said. By adopting in both counties the Shelter Network model of “Beyond the Bed� services, aimed at getting people back on their feet and into permanent housing quicker, the new organization hopes to serve more people. InnVision in Santa Clara County has had a policy of charging fees for shelter, which tended to result in longer stays. The new organization will stop that policy, Ms. Lisle said.

The goal is to serve an additional 1,000 homeless people a year. The combined organization has 18 major facilities, approximately 200 employees and 18,000 volunteers, said spokesperson Maria Duzon. Other than having one CEO rather than two, no other staff or employee reductions are anticipated, Ms. Lisle said. In fact, the combined budget for the current fiscal year, which started July 1, will grow by about $2 million to a total of $16 mil-

lion in part to hire more case managers in Santa Clara County to provide the “Beyond the Bed� services, Ms. Lisle said. She acknowledged there has been cuts in government funding, which has made up about 60 percent of the organizations’ budget, and there is a greater reliance on private donors. There are no plans to alter the service facilities, such as Haven House in Menlo Park, which serves homeless families, but there will be an emphasis on increasing efficiencies and serving more people, she said. Its “Beyond the Bed� package of services, including counseling, job assistance and child care, has resulted in 90 percent of transitional family graduates returning to permanent housing, the organization says. The new InnVision Shelter Network board of directors was selected from the two previous boards, and includes community members with experience in finance, law, technology, venture capital and nonprofit work. The organization received pro-bono legal counsel for the consolidation from Fenwick & West LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Go to www.ivsn.org for more information on the new organization. A

Windrider brings award-winning, independent films along with the stars and filmmakers who create them.

This year, we are pleased to welcome actor Josh Lucas to the forum. Thursday, July 12 - Rising From Ashes “Work in Progress� screening Friday, July 13 - The Hammer Saturday, July 14 - Red Dog At the M-A Performing Arts Center Visit windriderbayarea.org for info

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Ladera Garden and Gifts t"MQJOF3PBEt1PSUPMB7BMMFZt July 11, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN7

A community health education series from Stanford Hospital & Clinics

New Stanford Program Puts Pancreas At Center of Comprehensive Care Team Like tens of millions of Americans, Mitzi Moynihan had occasional, sometimes even frequent, unidentified problems with her digestive system. She thought it was probably acid reflux, caused by excess stomach acid. And like those millions who experience similar discomfort, Moynihan would reach for an over the counter medication to quell the pain. That happened a couple of times a day, and most of the time, those medications worked.

The pancreas’ other elemental job is to make insulin, that hormone that controls the body’s use of its basic fuel, glucose. Those two functions put the pancreas at the heart of the body’s nutritional

After a thorough round of image-based evaluations at Stanford, Moynihan’s gallbladder was found to have accumulated gallstones, which had likely caused the acute pancreatitis attack. The images also showed something abnormal within her pancreas, possibly a small cyst, which would be checked out again after the surgery to remove her gallbladder.

The Stanford Benign Pancreas Program aims to shine a light on treatment for a long-neglected set of illnesses that arise in this often-overlooked but quite important organ. “We want to give more attention to these under-recognized pancreatic diseases,” said Visser. “Pancreatic cancers, relatively rare in incidence, have had the bulk of the medical community’s focus. The benign far more common pancreatic disorders have had far less. Doctors learn less about them in medical school, so patients don’t always get the care they deserve. These benign diseases are certainly benign technically, meaning they’re not cancerous, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cause a lot of pain and suffering.”

Gathering new knowledge Even with a bit of extra knowledge, that pain and suffering are easy to understand. The pancreas is just, by nature, “a finicky little organ,” Visser said. “It tends to bite back when you poke at it. When you’re operating, as fast as you’re trying to cobble it together, pancreatic juice is working to get out through the seams.” The gland can also clog, then the pancreas begins to digest itself, eventually leading to scarring, more pain and debilitated function. In short, pancreatic surgery is technically demanding and not to be attempted without great caution and respect for its balanced risks or by those not

Moynihan is back to her normal routine now, which includes getting together with friends to play cards. She’s smarter, too. More than 200,000 patients each year learn what she did—that the the pain they think comes from the stomach is actually a problem with the pancreas.

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She recovered quickly from that procedure. To get a better look at her pancreas, Moynihan’s physicians ordered a test that extracted fluid from the lesion they’d spotted. The cells, lab analysis showed, confirmed that Moynihan’s pancreas had Like tens of millions of Americans, Mitzi Moynihan had occasional, been harboring a cystic sometimes even frequent, unidentified problems with her digestive tumor. The tumor was prosystem. She thought it was probably acid reflux, caused by excess ducing a thick fluid, called stomach acid. She would learn otherwise. mucin, which was blocking the pancreatic ducts, sending the underlying biology, and that has led the gland’s protein-dissolving enzymes to to the diseases best being managed by a work on the pancreas itself. group of specialists who attack problems from a variety of angles.” “These benign diseases are certainly

benign technically, meaning they’re not cancerous, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cause a lot of pain and suffering.” – Brendan Visser, MD, surgical director, Stanford Benign Pancreas Program

Norbert von der Groeben

More than 200,000 patients each year learn what Moynihan did—that the pain they think comes from the stomach is actually a problem with the pancreas, a somewhat wrinkled, hot dog-sized gland tucked behind the stomach, between the kidneys. As crucial as the functions of the pancreas are, however, it’s a part of the body better known for the very lethal cancer that can grow there. The stomach may get the majority of popular attention, erroneously getting both credit and blame for digestion, but the pancreas is the true workhorse of the digestive system. “The stomach is just a storage organ that allows us to consume good-sized meals,” said Brendan Visser, MD, surgical director of the new Stanford Benign Pancreas Program. “After food leaves the stomach and reaches the first portion of the intestine, the pancreas releases enzymes that break down food so we can absorb its nutrients,” he said.

well versed in the territory and its challenges.

That’s when Moynihan sat down for a serious talk about her options with Visser, one of three pancreatic surgeons in the program’s multidisciplinary team. She’d heard great things about him from a good friend who’d been a patient of Visser’s, but she’d also heard that he often recommended against surgery. That track record reflects the program’s special approach. “Pancreatic disorders have traditionally been treated by the surgical specialties because we haven’t really had any medications to offer,” said gastroenterologist Walter Park, MD, medical director of the Stanford Benign Pancreas program. “A lot has changed since then in imaging, in biopsy, in our knowledge of

Norbert von der Groeben

Then came the afternoon when the pain was overwhelming and Moynihan went to the emergency room for help. The sensation was so intense she needed a heavy dose of prescription painkillers to relieve it. And it was not her stomach that was the problem, she was told. It was her pancreas, inflamed into a condition called acute pancreatitis. Follow up with your doctor, she was told.

chemistry; when things go wrong, the pain can be intense and the damage long lasting.

That new knowledge has changed the surgery-first protocol to a comprehensive examination of all aspects of a patient’s condition in a way that incorporates the latest research and emphasizes cooperative, coordinated care directed by experts in the field. This new program, Visser said, “is an attempt to bring in patients with these less understood diseases for care in one setting from a variety of specialists to attack the problem from a variety of angles.” Acute pancreatitis is one form of pancreatic disease, with severe attacks often

Moynihan did not want to decided to have her pancr used by Stanford surgeon days and soon back to her

special feature

“It’s been quite exciting to be able to bring together, to interact and partner with, some very bright individuals in their respective specialties who each bring a unique perspective to the disease.” – Walter Park, MD, medical director, Stanford Benign Pancreas Program

Diagnosis, and sometimes treatment, is enhanced with newer technology carried by endoscopes; the program has three experts in therapeutic endoscopy.

“We are still in the search for therapies that can effectively treat the pain without common side effects,” Park said, “as well as trying to stop the process that initiates pancreatitis.” Last year, Stanford launched the related, multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Pain Program, which created an enhanced treatment pathway for patients to see physician specialists in pain and gastrointestinal disorders.

Another area of interest is developing new tests that could predict if a particular benign cyst might turn malignant and which patient with chronic pancreatitis will develop more severe complications. Visser also is one of a small handful of surgeons in the U.S. skilled in laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical approach that avoids large, slow-to-heal incisions. He chose the specialty in part because of the challenge. “When I was a trainee,” he said, “the pancreas was the jewel in the crown of surgery cases. Now, after more than 200 pancreatic laparoscopies, Visser is still on high alert. “Every case is its own challenge and every case has to as perfect as a human can make it.”

Focused collaboration The new Benign Pancreas Program represents a large-scale, comprehensive union of experts for coordinated care of patients with pancreatic disorders. “It’s a dream come true,” Park said. “It’s been quite exciting to be able to bring together, to interact and partner with, some very bright individuals in their respective specialties who each bring a unique perspective to the disease.” Stanford has also built a large body of experience: it is consistently among the top five medical centers in California as measured by annual volume of pancreas operations. Each year, its physicians care for more than 600 cases of acute pancreatitis and 250 cases of chronic pancreatitis.

Visser told Moynihan that her cyst was in the tail of the pancreas, on the left side, near the spleen. Deeper analysis of cells in the cyst showed them as most certainly pre-cancerous. She could have chosen to wait, in that state called watchful observation, but did not want to live with the anxiety that comes from wondering when and if something has changed. She wasn’t eager for any uncertainty, or being tested once or twice a year, for years. Even if diagnosed at its earliest stages, pancreatic cancer is among the most lethal forms of the disease. Moynihan did not want to worry about what might be going on between tests. And she had complete confidence in Visser. “I was very comfortable with him, very impressed,” she said.

The Benign Pancreas Program’s team represents almost 20 clinicians in gastroenterology, radiology, pain manage-

Norbert von der Groeben

o worry about what might be going on between tests and reatic tumor removed right away. The laparoscopic approach n Brendan Visser meant Moynihan was home in a couple of r docent tours at Filoli Gardens in Woodside.

Quick return to health Visser’s laparoscopic approach meant Moynihan was home in a couple of days, doing up and down her stairs on her first day home. The lesion was gone and she’d

A Pancreas Primer Symptoms of a pancreas in trouble can include: t abdominal pain that radiates to the back or chest t nausea, vomiting, rapid pulse rate, fever t unexplained weight loss t jaundice Tests to diagnose pancreatic conditions may include an abdominal ultrasound, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, an endoscopic ultrasound, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and the measurement of amount and concentration of pancreatic juice. Treatment may include therapeutic endoscopy procedures, advanced surgical techniques, nutritional counseling, pain management and participation in clinical research trials. For more information about the Stanford Benign Pancreas Program, phone 650.736.5555 or visit stanfordhospital.org/benignpancreas Join us at http://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 www.youtube.com/stanfordhospital.

had less internal alteration to a neighboring organ: Traditionally, because the blood vessels of the spleen are so immediately adjacent to the pancreas, physicians have removed the spleen in such surgeries, but when the specific location of the cyst and the patient’s anatomy allow, Visser leaves the spleen to reduce trauma to the body. He was able to do that with Moynihan.

“I’ve done really well and I’m enjoying my life!” – Mitzi Moynihan, patient, Stanford Benign Pancreas Program

Norbert von der Groeben

ment, nutrition, pathology, therapeutic endoscopy and endocrinology. Each plays an important role in care decisions, Park said. Pain, for example, can be a cardinal symptom of pancreatic conditions; the endocrine system is also affected, sometimes altered enough to trigger diabetes. Because the pancreas is so central to how the body processes food, its disorders often produce nutritional deficiencies. “It’s hard to eat when you feel bad afterwards,” said Neha Shah, MPH, the program’s clinical nutritionist. “We help our patients translate the science of nutrition into practical food choices.”

caused by gallstones, as was the case with Moynihan. Hospitalization is usually required. Most episodes are short, Park said. Chronic pancreatitis, where pain can be a constant and eating becomes frightening, can be long term, with repeated bouts, said Visser.

As do many when they hear that a friend is having pancreatic problems, some of Moynihan’s friends had been fearful for her. She’s been happy to prove their fears unfounded. “I’ve done really well,” she said, “and I’m enjoying my life!”

“I never felt bad and had any pain after the surgery,” she said, and she’s taken back the regular rhythm of her life. She’s a docent at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Filoli Gardens in Woodside, leading energetic tours through its expansive acres; she meets friends for outings and bridge games; she also delights in being an active grandmother of two little boys.

“She’s had no troubles at all with the function of her pancreas,” Park said. “The remaining pancreas has been fully able to do its job, and she hasn’t missed a beat.” As do many when they hear that a friend is having pancreatic problems, some of Moynihan’s friends had been fearful for her. She’s been happy to prove their fears unfounded. “I’ve done really well,” she said, “and I’m enjoying my life!”

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/.

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Gathering a community among the vines VINEYARD continued from page 5

On July 15, the local bluegrass band Windy Hill will kick off this year’s threeconcert series, performing under the summer sky, with participants picnicking on blankets or just enjoying the music. Charged Particles, a jazz group led by Portola Valley resident and drummer Jon Krosnick, will perform Aug. 5, and Agua Salada is set to play on Sept. 9. Taste of Portola Valley

The Lehmanns planted their two acres of pinot noir vines in 2003. Their first vintage, 2005, took home a double-gold prize from the Indy International Wine Competition. Since then, their wines have won numerous awards, including a gold at the San Francisco Wine Competition for their current release, a 2009. Mr. Lehmann, who retired several years ago from a career in the technology world, said he and Vivian looked for a place to grow vines for about three years before finding the property at 850 Los Trancos Road. The family moved from Palo Alto and built a house on the land, moving there in 2004, Debbie Lehmann says. Debbie went off to Brown University, studying economics and public policy, but “had been interested in food and sustainable agriculture for a long time,” she writes in an email. She was trying to pursue those interests from an academic standpoint, she says — perhaps in areas of food policy or agricultural economics. She worked on small-scale, sustainable vegetable farms and did a seasonRAIL continued from page 5

Central Valley. He noted that the bill fails to answer the critical question of how the rest of the $68 billion system would be funded and cited criticism from a variety of nonpartisan agencies, including the Legislative Analyst’s Office and the Office of the State Auditor. The bill approved by the Legislature allocates $2.7 billion for Central Valley construction and another $1.9 billion in bond funds for either end of the line. But even with a $3.3 billion commitment from the federal government, the project is still far short of the estimated $68 billion that would be needed to fund the system, Sen. Simitian noted. He alluded to a recent Field Poll that showed that the controversial project could derail the tax measure that Gov. Jerry Brown plans to bring to the voters in November. Though 54 percent of the survey respondents said they support Gov.

long internship on a small “community supported agriculture” farm, known as a CSA, which typically delivers produce to members’ doorsteps. With this experience, there was no turning back: “I fell in love with getting my hands dirty.” From the start, the Lehmanns wanted to practice sustainable, organic farming, and their grapes are certified organic. Although they had little to no experience working vines or making wine, they found great support in the surrounding wine community. In particular, Brian Caselden of Woodside Vineyards and Rex Geitner of Clos de la Tech were willing to share their expertise and advice, the Lehmanns say. While they want to encourage their neighbors to have hands-on experiences at their vineyard to connect in a physical way with the earth that provides their nourishment, both father and daughter say they have a “hands off” philosophy to making wine. “We want to express the grapes’ varietal character, and the uniqueness of the flavors as they develop right here in Portola Valley,” Mr. Lehmann says. “That means minimal intervention in the winemaking process itself.” So far, the Lehmanns have produced about 350 cases of pinot noir a year: 300 cases of estate wine, and about 50 from grapes purchased from Regan Vineyards, also in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Debbie Lehmann says they plan to raise that figure to about 700 this year, buying additional grapes from three other growers in the region. Last year, the Lehmanns produced their first pinot noir rose, and this year,

Brown’s proposal, a third of those surveyed said they would be less likely to vote in favor of the measure if the Legislature funds high-speed rail. By chasing the $3.3 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail, Sen. Simitian said, the Legislature is risking a $40 billion hole in the budget that lawmakers would have to fill if Gov. Brown’s measure fails. “How are we going to feel if we wake up on Wednesday after Election Day and look at the trigger cuts — the $40 billion that will have to be pulled painfully from the budget — from schools, colleges, universities, health, welfare and public safety?” he said. Republicans were vehement in their opposition, with Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, calling it a “colossal fiscal train wreck for California.” The state, he said, is spending money it doesn’t have. “You simply cannot find the money to fund education, but you can find money for this fiscal train wreck?” he

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Photo by Debbie Lehmann

Winemaker Len Lehmann: “People have lost their sense of where their food comes from.”

they will make their first chardonnay from grapes purchased from Santa Cruz Mountains growers, she says. Having fun

The Lehmanns are clearly serious about sustainable farming and creating wine that reflects the terroir of Portola Valley. But their desire to “engage with the community and have fun,” in Debbie’s words, is equally important. That’s why they schedule member events that include not only eating and wine-tasting, but also toiling in the vineyards, such as helping out with the clipping, trellising and, of course, the autumn harvest. This year, the family is planning the winery’s first “grape stomp,” where the more adventuresome in the community can take off their shoes and crush grapes with their feet. The grapes will be purchased, and will include cabernet sau-

asked. The budget-trailer bill, which has been a subject of intense speculation in Sacramento before lawmakers unveiled it July 3, makes several overtures to Peninsula communities, where opposition to high-speed rail has been most vehement in recent years. It commits to a “blended” system in which high-speed rail shares tracks with Caltrain and allocates $705 million for the long-awaited electrification of the Caltrain system. In the Assembly, the vote wasn’t close. It passed July 5 on a 51-27 vote. Though they had both criticized the project in the past, Peninsula lawmakers Rich Gordon and Jerry Hill, both Democrats, sided with the majority. Mr. Gordon lauded the changes that the California HighSpeed Rail Authority made to the project in recent months, including the adoption in its April plan of the “blended” approach. A

Summer concert series Portola Vineyards’ summer concerts are free, but reservations are required, as attendance is capped at 200. Participants are invited to bring a blanket and a picnic; there will be free wine-tasting, Mr. Lehmann says. The concerts are from 5 to 7 p.m.; the winery is open from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Go to tinyurl.com/Vino-707 to reserve a spot. ■ July 15: Windy Hill bluegrass band ■ Aug. 5: Charged Particles ■ Sept. 9: Agua Salada

vignon and chardonnay, Mr. Lehmann says. Has he ever stomped grapes, barefoot, before? “No, but we’ve seen Lucille Ball do it,” he says. But there’s a first time for everything. “We’re small enough that we can indulge ourselves.” Go to portolavineyards.com for more information about Portola Vineyards. A

Menlo Park, Atherton still have lawsuit against high-speed rail By Sandy Brundage and Renee Batti Almanac Staff Writers

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he state Legislature may have voted to let the highspeed rail train project keep rolling, but that doesn’t mean local jurisdictions jumped onboard. Menlo Park Councilman Rich Cline pointed out that the city, along with Atherton and Palo Alto, still has a lawsuit on the table. The suit challenges the project’s environmental impact report, including ridership projections, the effect of a blended system, and the impact of elevated tracks. Mr. Cline represents Menlo Park on the Peninsula Cities Consortium. “(High speed rail) has become all that’s wrong with politics,” he said. “Nobody’s looking at the data anymore. They’re looking at what their friends are doing and what important people are telling

them to do and what the governor’s pressuring them to do.” He pointed out that the Legislature’s vote does not mean high-speed rail will be financially viable. “The economic plan has never been sorted out. They just kicked that can down the road. Which I understand — why would you want to deal with something that could blow up the entire plan?” Similar discontent surfaced in Atherton, courtesy of Councilman Jerry Carlson. “I’m very disappointed the assemblymen Gordon and Hill supported this bill,” he said. He said that there’s no guarantee that even a blended system won’t be built with four tracks, because the HSR business plan and the EIR allows for that scenario. That possibility is “a cloud over property owners in the area,” who will have to disclose the possibility of rail expansion if they sell their property. A

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Coroner says stabbing killed Menlo Park man By Sandy Brundage

who took him to a local hospital where he was released in stable he stab wounds Lawrence condition following treatment, Cronin, 67, received on but he died on May 30. March 26 did kill the MenThe assailants were both lo Park man two months later, San described as Hispanic and about Mateo County Coroner Robert 5-foot-8-inches tall, with short Foucrault said. However, without hair and thin builds, and invesknowing more about the circum- tigators released a sketch of one stances, he said he was unable to suspect. Police said Mr. Cronin categorize the manwasn’t able to confirm ner of death into whether anything was one of three legal Circumstances stolen. categories — acciQuestions surdental, self-inflicted, still too unclear rounding the incior homicide. to determine dent have left those “He died of injuworking in the same whether it ries related to his building uneasy. One stab wounds. That was homicide, worker said that as doesn’t change. attack reportedly coroner says. the It’s the manner in took place as Mr. which he got the Cronin carried out stab wounds that remains to be the garbage that night, he has determined,” Mr. Foucrault said, concerns about his own safety. and explained that the status “The building is right next to may change as the police develop Caltrain; there’s a lot of tranmore information. The coroner sient activity there and it may described the wounds as “three not be quite as safe as other parts to four superficial wounds,” of Menlo Park, I think,” he said. none in the back, that led to “It’s a public matter. I undermultiple organ system failure. stand the family needs privacy, According to the police report, but it’s a public safety issue.” two men attacked Mr. Cronin as The night of the incident, those he stepped outside his insurance working nearby reportedly were brokerage at 1100 Alma St. in unaware that anything unusual Menlo Park around 9:45 p.m. had taken place, he said. on March 26. He was able to The investigation remains contact his wife after the attack, ongoing, according to police. Almanac Staff Writer

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Portola Valley calls community meeting on affordable housing By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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hat should be done in Portola Valley to bring the town into compliance with state laws requiring communities to have housing that is affordable to people of moderate incomes? The town government is inviting residents to the Community Hall at Town Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, for an informal and moderated discussion of this issue. Town Center is at 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley. The town is negotiating to purchase 1.68 acres at 900 Portola Road, the former home of Al’s Nursery, with plans for about eight homes there that would fulfill some of its affordable housing obligations. Former councilman and experienced mediator Steve Toben is set to moderate the discussion. The town’s general plan includes a chapter on housing that discusses in some detail the housing situation in town and the applicable regulations. The town recommends that anyone

planning to attend the Wednesday discussion prepare by reading the housing “element” of the general plan. Go to tinyurl.com/PVhousing. Town staff is preparing a webpage on Portola Valley’s affordable housing efforts “to serve as a resource for those who are interested in learning more about the issue,” Town Manager Nick Pegueros said in a staff report. The webpage should be ready late this week, he said. The town is planning to finance the purchase of the former nursery site through the sale of two parcels designated for affordable housing in the Blue Oaks neighborhood. Town representatives will be available at the meeting to answer questions about this proposed land swap. The invitation asks that residents “Please come to learn the facts about affordable housing in Portola Valley and what is being considered, to listen to others’ opinions, and to share your own thoughts and ideas.” A

Almanac photo by Michelle Le

‘Fill the Boot’ Menlo Park fire cadet Colin Patino walks up and down El Camino Real near Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park asking drivers to fill the boot to raise money for kids with muscular dystrophy. “Fill the Boot” is an annual fundraiser of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Menlo Park police chief leaving after 23 months By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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escribing it as “an agonizing decision,” Menlo Park Police Chief Bryan Roberts said he’s taken a new job in Draper City, Utah. He starts Aug. 6. Hired a scant 23 months ago by Menlo Park, Chief Roberts started here in September 2010, confronting the San Bruno pipeline explosion his first week on Bryan Roberts the job. He was chosen from a pool of more than 30 candidates nationwide and started with a salary of $179,500. Although Draper City, with a population of about 42,000, is larger than Menlo Park, the new job comes with a lower salary. Draper City will pay the chief $105,019 a year, according to the contract. Benefits include a cell phone and police vehicle that can be used for personal reasons as well as a matching 401K plan, and the city will cover payments into its retirement program. Sixteen weeks’ severance will be paid if his contract is terminated without cause. Chief Roberts had previously served for four years as second-in-command of the Citrus Heights police department in Sacramento County. According to a press release from the city of Menlo Park on July 5, he “implemented numer-

ous organizational changes that reduced annual expenditures by over $700,000” by combining positions, changing shift schedules, and starting a community service officers program to respond to lower priority calls. He also led the department’s social media initiative, the statement said. “Bryan did great work for both the Department and the community and he will be greatly missed,” said City Manager Alex McIntyre in the release. He said

the city will conduct another nationwide search to hire a new chief. The city’s finance director, Carol Augustine, said the recruitment process cost Menlo Park $18,518 in 2010. The budget for the next talent search has not yet been established. Chief Roberts said that he has family in the Salt Lake Valley area who urged him to accept the Utah position. He was not immediately available for comment. A

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Caltrain gets funds to go electric With $700 million in funding coming to Caltrain, the agency expects to see modern electric rail service by 2019, according to a press release. Theoretically that means trains that can carry more people for less money. The agency will receive $600 million as a result of the state Legislature’s approval of the high-speed rail project, and another $100 million from Proposition 1A. Supporters of electrification have touted its potential to reduce pollution, lower operational costs, and enable it to share tracks with high-speed rail. “There is a generational responsibility to leave behind a world that is better than the one we found. This speaks to that responsibility,” said Executive Director Mike Scanlon in the release.

Heritage tree law changes proposed It has often been heard at city hall that Menlo Park’s heritage tree ordinance could use some tweaking. The Environmental

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12NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJuly 11, 2012

Author, builder Keller’s Books brings a Bay Area author and builder to

This information is from the Atherton and Menlo Park police departments and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted.

Enjoy sociability and activities with your neighbors while living in your own private condominium. Our shared common facilities include a crafts room, exercise room, media room, workshop, roof deck and gardens. We’re 14 households strong and are looking for 5 more to join us. Homes still available range from 1750 SF (3 bedrooms) to 2050 SF (4 bedrooms). Construction starts this summer, with occupancy by late 2013. Endorsed by the Greenbelt Alliance.

Quality Commission took that to heart, and will now consider proposed changes to the regulations meant to protect the city’s oldest trees. The changes include incorporating the commission into the permit approval process when someone wants to remove a heritage tree; improving enforcement of tree replacement after a removal, with a fine of more than $500 if a new tree isn’t planted within three months; and modifying the calculation of the value of a heritage tree. Any agreed-upon changes will go to the City Council for final approval. The commission meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, in the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium at 600 Alma St. Go to tinyurl.com/cbhq84j to review the agenda.

local audiences this week. On Wednesday, July 11, architect David Stark Wilson presents “Houses + Origins,” a book tour of Bay Area homes designed by his firm next to the images of nature that inspired the design. The free event will be held at the main Menlo Park public library at 800 Alma St. at 7:15 p.m.

Churches organize blood drive St. Raymond Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Menlo Park are co-sponsoring an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Saturday, July 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The drive is a part of an Interfaith Community Blood Drive, in which various groups are organizing about 80 blood drives across the Bay Area this month. The local drive will be held at St. Raymond’s Kennedy Center, next to the church, at 1211 Arbor Road in Menlo Park.

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N B RIEF S

MENLO PARK Residential burglary reports: ■ Losses estimated at $2,100 in breakin through bathroom window and theft of TV, DVD player, jewelry, video game console, two Apple iPods and $640 in cash, Hollyburne Ave., July 1. ■ Losses estimated at $250 in breakin into locked garage and theft of jewelry, air mattress and several DVDs, Pierce Road, July 1. Theft reports: ■ Loss estimated at $2,300 when suspect distracted clerk and stole bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac from liquor cabinet, Draeger’s Supermarket at 1010 University Drive, July 5. ■ Loss estimated at $450 when sus-

pect asked for and got permission to borrow 13-year-old victim’s bike, then rode away and did not come back, Alma St. and Burgess Drive, June 30. ■ Total losses estimated at $800 in theft from premises of three bikes, two of them unlocked, Alma St. and Willow Road and Coleman Ave., June 29 and July 3 and 5. Vicious animal report: Runner and his leashed dog both suffered minor injuries when bitten by loose dog, Carlton Ave., July 1. Spousal abuse report: Arrest made, 1300 block of Willow Road, July 1. Fraud report: Losses estimated at $320 in unauthorized use of name, address and Social Security number to open credit account, Sand Hill Circle, July 3. WEST MENLO PARK Residential burglary report: Loss estimated at $1,000 in theft of electric ride-around “Go-Go” scooter from open garage, Altschul Ave., July 5.

N E W S

Atherton and Facebook are friends at last By Renee Batti and Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writers

I

t appears that all’s well and friendly between the town of Atherton and its new neighbor, Facebook, after a period of disagreement over what should be done to lessen traffic impacts to the town as the social network giant expands its nearby campus in Menlo Park. The town announced in a July 3 press release that the two parties have “agreed to mitigation efforts where anticipated Facebook traffic may impact Atherton’s traffic.” The announcement didn’t specify what mitigation measures would be put into place, mainly because the agreement itself doesn’t specify. But according to Mayor Bill Widmer, Facebook will pay Atherton $350,000 to be used at the town’s discretion and not restricted to traffic improvements. The town had challenged mitigation measures identified in the Facebook expansion project’s environmental impact report, certified several weeks ago by the city of Menlo Park. Those measures, focused on the already problematic intersection of Marsh and Middlefield roads, were inadequate because they were based on flawed data, the town maintained. There are no plans at this point to change the intersection of Marsh and Middlefield roads identified in the expansion’s environmental impact report as a potential area of congestion, the mayor said. “The EIR was covering total growth, but that total growth won’t happen immediately. We’ll evaluate what’s happening when it’s happening,” Mayor Widmer said. In addition, Facebook will spend up to $5,000 on a consultant to work with Atherton’s public works department on other transportation initiatives, and up to $10,000 to plan bike routes, according to the agreement. The social networking company also “agrees to make

its transportation manager reasonably available from time to time to discuss bike improvements” for a period of two years. A third benefit will be an influx of surplus equipment, including computers, to help upgrade the town’s Internet resources. Mayor Widmer said he hopes to turn council meetings into a paperless exercise by using wireless networks and display screens to help residents review documents related to items on the agenda. And, of course, Atherton wants to develop a Facebook page. The agreement includes Facebook lending social media consultants to the town to help. “A Facebook page will help us engage more with residents and run our own surveys very easily,” Mayor Widmer noted. The agreement closes what could have been a contentious chapter in Facebook’s relocation to the area. In an April 26 letter to Menlo Park officials, Interim City Manager Theresa DellaSanta said that if the issues raised by the town aren’t resolved, the town “must explore all options including legal challenges to the mitigation measures to effect a more reasonable and responsible position by Facebook and the City of Menlo Park.” The Atherton City Council met several times in closed session to discuss possible legal action. After one such session on June 29, Mayor Bill Widmer announced that the council had authorized him to “conclude discussions” with Facebook officials. The newly approved agreement includes a clause stating that Atherton won’t file a complaint or take any other action objecting to the campus expansion, and the benefits will kick in Sept. 6 as long as no challenges arise. Mayor Widmer described the agreement as “very fair” for both the town and Facebook. “They’re proving they want to be a good neighbor. I’m very, very impressed.” A

Hillview grand opening is Aug. 28 A grand opening celebration for the new Hillview Middle School campus in Menlo Park is set for Tuesday, Aug. 28. (The Almanac reported the wrong date in the paper and online). All community members are invited to the celebration, which will run from 10 a.m.

To 11:30 a.m. on the campus at 1100 Elder Ave. and Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and classroom tours. Go to tinyurl.com/Hillview629 for more information from the district’s website.

Teen heads for championships By Allison Silverman Special to the Almanac

S

hae Lovazzano, a Woodside resident, will be competing on a regional team at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC). She, along with four other riders, will represent the junior riders of Region 7, which includes Hawaii, California and Nevada. She competes in dressage, in which horse and rider perform a prescribed series of movements. Now 17, she started riding at age 10, and has been training for six years, six days a week, with her horse Cinnamon. “We spend all season training and putting in effort to make the team,” she said in an email. “It’s a big sacrifice from my family.” NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders, she said. It will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park at the end of the month. The championships are run under rules of the Federation Equestre Internationale, the international governing body for equestrian sport. “This championship is such an honor and giant accomplishment,” she said. “This means a lot for my riding career. It’s just a small stepping stone for the future but it

Shae Lovazzano of Woodside on her horse Cinnamon.

feels like such a giant leap right now.” At the championships, junior riders (ages 14-17) and young riders (18-21) from the United States, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands compete in individual and team events. To qualify for the team, various NAJRC competitions are held from July through June of the following year. “All season you compete against many other girls and try your hardest to be in the top four so there is a lot of stress on many of the girls and their horses,”

she said. Next year, she hopes to be part of the “young riders” team, and has dreams of continuing on to the Olympics. She graduated high school last year, two years early, through independent study, in order to have more flexibility and time for training. She hopes to earn an associate’s degree in animal science in the future. Go to YoungRiders.com for more information. Visit California-Dressage. org to look at the rest of the team. A

Portola Valley may delay ballfield renewal By Dave Boyce

N NOTES

Almanac Staff Writer

P

lans to renovate Ford (baseball) Field in Portola Valley will be shelved until early 2013 if the Town Council takes the advice of staff and rejects the four bids it received, all of which well exceeded the town’s spending plans. The topic is on the council’s agenda for July 25. The council planned a budget of $481,443 for construction at the field, but the low bid came in at $587,500 from Suarez & Munoz Construction Inc. of Hayward. The other three were significantly higher. Waiting until 2013 “will allow more time for the fundraising effort and allow staff an opportunity to rebid the project,” Town Manager Nick Pegueros wrote in a July 6 report to the council. Menlo Park’s Sand Hill Foundation, on behalf of the family of Susan Ford, has offered to match public gifts up to a total of $100,000. Crucial state grants of about $232,000, uncertain until recently, won’t expire until mid-2015, Mr. Pegueros said. The Alpine-West Menlo Little League, the only organized user of Ford Field, has donated $50,000 and has pledged another $50,000. The Little League season normally starts in March, so a delay to “early 2013” could mean a partial upgrade that includes new dugouts and a new backstop, bleachers and batting cage. This

option has come up in council discussions. The original plans include re-grading and a new irrigation system. Such off-season work must be finished in time to avoid autumn/winter rains. Ford Field is located at the corner of Alpine Road and Westridge Drive in Portola Valley.

Donated stock takes a dive The town of Portola Valley has begun selling 100,000 shares of stock that were donated to the town to reserve naming rights for the renovated baseball field at Town Center. In April 2008, the shares of CAMAC Energy — now listed under CAK — had a value of $2.3 million, but by the time selling restrictions were lifted, the stock had plunged in value, Councilman Ted Driscoll told the Almanac. The town didn’t need the cash and was advised to hold the stock, Mr. Driscoll said, adding: “In hindsight, I wish we had sold it earlier.” In May, the council authorized a broker to begin selling it. On June 25, the stock closed at 63 cents a share, according to an online quote. That would put the value of the donation at $63,000. With naming rights for the ballfield set at $1 million, the field remains without one. A

July 11, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN13

Serving Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, and Woodside for 44 years.

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

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

Editor & Publisher Tom Gibboney

Newsroom Managing Editor Richard Hine News Editor Renee Batti Lifestyles Editor Jane Knoerle Staff Writers Dave Boyce, Sandy Brundage Contributors Marjorie Mader, Barbara Wood, Kate Daly Special Sections Editors Carol Blitzer, Sue Dremann Photographer Michelle Le

Design & Production Design Director Shannon Corey Designers Linda Atilano, Lili Cao, Diane Haas, Paul Llewellyn, Scott Peterson

Advertising Vice President Sales and Marketing Tom Zahiralis Display Advertising Sales Adam Carter Real Estate Manager Neal Fine Real Estate and Advertising Coordinator Diane Martin Classified Legal Advertising Alicia Santillan 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 Email news and photos with captions to: Editor@AlmanacNews.com Email letters to: letters@AlmanacNews.com The Almanac, established in September 1965, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo

Council passes ball to Atherton voters

G

iven the entrenched position of many residents and a On another front, the council eased tensions with Facebook possible referendum on the issue, Atherton Mayor Bill when Mayor Widmer announced last week that the town and Widmer on June 29 took the wisest way out and, with the company had worked out their differences over mitigating three fellow City Council members, agreed to put the divisive increased traffic at the intersection of Marsh and Middlefield issue of building a new library in Holbrook-Palmer Park on the roads, an issue covered by an EIR accepted by Menlo Park. November ballot. Atherton said earlier that it did not agree with the report’s Criticism of the library plan endorsed by Mr. Widmer and findings and issued a veiled threat to sue if it didn’t get its way. council members Kathy McKeithen and Jim Mayor Widmer said Atherton will settle its difDobbie had become more and more intense, ferences with Facebook for $350,000. The town EDI TORI AL and many residents, as well as council members will be able to spend the funds at its own discreThe opinion of The Almanac Elizabeth Lewis and Jerry Carlson, demanded tion for use not restricted to traffic improvethat the plan be put to a vote. The mayor’s effort ments, the agreement said. to conduct a poll of 300 residents on the library’s location did Other items in the deal take on a uniquely Silicon Valley twist, not survive a vote during an earlier meeting, leading up to the with Facebook playing a consultant role by helping Atherton to council’s June 29 decision. become more tech savvy and agreeing to help the town develop Although we strongly believe it would be a mistake for Ather- a Facebook page. ton to abandon the plan to build a new library in the park, a And the company said it will donate some surplus computers 3-2 deadlock on the council does not instill enough confidence to boost the mayor’s pet project of turning Atherton council among residents to push it through. Ballot language is not yet meetings into a paperless exercise. Recycled display screens written, but we hope voters will simply be asked to answer yes or and other equipment from Facebook will help create wireless no on whether they want to locate a new library in the park. networks to help residents review documents related to items The council also agreed to seek “yes or no” votes on build- on the agenda. ing a new town center, and on allowing the local Little League There is another $5,000 in the deal for the town to spend on organization to build a new 200-seat stadium in the park. unspecified transportation improvements and up to $10,000 Although the council has been criticized by some for not mak- to plan bike routes. And the town will also get to borrow Faceing the tough decisions, in this case it is appropriate for at least book’s transportation manager from time to time to discuss the library and town center questions to go directly to voters. bike transit improvements. Both could have a substantial impact on the town for years to Overall, most Atherton residents should be happy that Mayor come. The proposal to locate permanent Little League facilities Widmer and the council have managed to turn what looked like in the park is now making its way through the planning process, a stalemate on the library and Facebook into what we hope will and we see no reason for the council to “kick this can down the be positive outcomes. The two deals remove what had been a road.” major cloud over Atherton affairs.

L ET TERS Our readers write

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

Appropriate to consider housing in Portola Valley

publish public notices of a governmental and legal nature, as stated in Decree No. 147530, issued December 21, 1969. Subscriptions are $60 for one year and $100 for two years.

■ 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.

Editor: My hat is off to Mayor Maryann Derwin, the Town Council and staff of Portola Valley for coming up with the proposal for affordable housing on the Al’s Nursery site. The term “high density housing” is being used by opponents of innovative residential proposals to frighten residents and to inflame NIMBY passions in Portola Valley. As a former council member in Menlo Park I can assure you that I am familiar with this strategy. Eight residential units on 1.6 acres (five units per acre) is not high density. In a neighborhood that includes a viable commercial center, a couple of churches and city services, it is a reasonable, low-density use of the property. It is notably less isolated from the rest of the world than most of Portola Valley or Woodside. It is commendable that Portola Valley has joined with other San Mateo County cities, including Menlo Park, to plan for some future growth with infill devel-

14NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJuly 11, 2012

Menlo Park Historical Association

Our Regional Heritage The swimming pool was a popular place as shown in this undated photo of Flood Park off Bay Road. The park was developed during the 1930s, giving 100 Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers jobs for a year. The pool was dug by hand and other structures were made of adobe bricks using a mixture of dirt, clay and straw, including the earth from the pool excavation.

opment such as this. Many of our neighbors in Menlo Park make more than the $85,000 per year maximum threshold established for eligibil-

ity to purchase one of the units of this proposal. They do not suffer from the presence of those of us who have lower incomes. As the saying goes, we all put on our

pants one leg at a time. Steve Schmidt Central Avenue, Menlo Park Continued on next page

V I E W P O I N T

L ET T ER S Our readers write

Continued from previous page

Location of new library a matter of trust Editor: This issue has now become an issue of trust. The circulation of the citizens’ petition, which has garnered more than 200 signatures in less than a week, was clearly the motivating factor in last Friday’s special meeting and council’s decision to submit the location of the new library to a vote of the citizens. If the council presents the library issue on the ballot in a fair and balanced manner then the council will have earned the trust that it needs to properly govern. However, if the council does not present the issue on the ballot in a fair and balanced

manner then the citizens will have the opportunity at the same November election to dismiss any council member who is seeking reelection and who supported an unbalanced library ballot measure. The beauty of this all is that for the first time in Atherton’s history the citizens have clearly spoken out on an issue by use of the citizens’ petition process and they have been heard. Peter Carpenter Larch Drive, Atherton

Think we haven’t changed for the better? Editor: As we celebrated our 236th birthday it is fascinating to note that the face of our country has changed in many ways, but nowhere more visibly than in our top political leadership. Our founders were overwhelmingly white, protestant men, but if

you look at the current occupants of the 16 key positions in the country they set up they would hardly recognize the place. And they would be busting their buttons with pride. If we take the President, VicePresident, Speaker and Minority Leader in the House, Majority and Minority Leaders in the Senate, the Supreme Court and throw in the Governor of our most populous state, only two of them are white, protestant men (the Senate’s Mitch McConnell, who is Baptist and Harry Reid, who is Mormon). The 16 top

spots now celebrate 2 African Americans, 3 Jews, 4 women and 11 Catholics. Pretty clever, those founders. Jim Stanford Pearl Lane, Menlo Park

Clarification on letters, Town Square Last week some Almanac readers were understandably confused by an unsigned letter about the Atherton library. The letter was written by Denise Kupperman, chair of the Atherton Library Building Steering

Committee, whose signature was dropped due to a production error. Also, on June 27, the Viewpoint pages carried a post taken from our Town Square forum. Such posts are often written anonymously in keeping with the rules of Town Square, which encourage posters to use their real name but don’t require it. N TOW N SQ UA RE Post your news and views on TownSquare at: www.TheAlmanacOnline.com

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PENINSULA

Discover the best places to eat this week! www.menloparkchamber.com

July 21-22, 10am-6pm Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park s Contemporary Fine Art & Crafts s Fabulous Food & Wine s Home & Garden Exhibits s Green Products Showcase s Artisan Specialty Food Purveyors s Health & Wellness Displays s Microbrew & Wine Tasting Tent s Chefs’ Demos Under A Shady Tent Celebrity Chef/Author Joanne Weir, 12:45 p.m. Saturday

s AutoVino Collector Car Show s Action-Packed Kids’ Fun Zone

ree, New Get Our F bile App! o Festival &MANDROID DEVICES LE FOR APP

s Stellar Lineup of Rock’n Roll, Blues, Jazz & Party Music s Saturday Twilight Concert Featuring THE BIG DIG, Sensational Party/Dance Band, 5:30 - 8 p.m. in Fremont Park

s Radio Disney Road Crew Games, Music and Prizes s Bicycle Parking in the Coldwell Banker Lot, 930 Santa Cruz Ave., Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Menlo Park s Free Admission

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Lutticken’s 854-0291 3535 Alameda, Menlo Park www.luttickens.com

The Old Pro 326-1446 541 Ramona Street, Palo Alto www.oldpropa.com STEAKHOUSE

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Info-line: 650-325-2818 | www.miramarevents.com

New Tung Kee Noodle House 947-8888 520 Showers Drive, Mountain View www.shopmountainview.com/luvnoodlemv INDIAN

Janta Indian Restaurant 462-5903 369 Lytton Ave. www.jantaindianrestaurant.com

Thaiphoon 323-7700 543 Emerson Ave, Palo Alto www.ThaiphoonRestaurant.com

Read and post reviews, explore restaurant menus, get hours and directions and more at ShopPaloAlto, ShopMenloPark and ShopMountainView

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July 11, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN15

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16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJuly 11, 2012


The Almanac 07.11.2012 - Section 1