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2NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013

UP F RONT

Menlo Park district turns to public to help plan school campuses By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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ould the Menlo Park City School District community endorse significantly larger class sizes or year-round school? Judging from history, no. That’s one reason the school district’s option of terminating the lease with the tenants of its former O’Connor School site and opening its own school there is looking more like a reality. The school board and district staff are moving into high gear to make a decision by midMarch about whether it will end the O’Connor site lease with the private German American International School. Community meetings and special board meetings have been scheduled for the next two months to get the public’s views and ideas about how the district should proceed in the face of an everincreasing student enrollment at its four schools: Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll, and Hillview Middle. The board meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, to approve “guiding principles” the district will call upon to decide how to address the enrollment surge, and three community meetings will be held in February. Board President Terry Thygesen said the community meetings are critical to helping the board decide among options, which include increasing class

size or going to year-round school so that no new campus would be necessary; or creating a new school at the O’Connor site at 275 Elliot Drive in Menlo Park. Although a list of options has been compiled, the board is open to the community’s ideas beyond those on the list, Ms. Thygesen said. “We’re throwing things out as an academic exercise, trying to seed a conversation. But no analysis on the various options (has been done.). That’s the next step.”

Community meetings are set as the board nears a decision on opening a new campus. The list of options also includes creating a magnet school; and integrating Laurel School and a new school on the O’Connor site, creating a single K-5 neighborhood school. The district’s enrollment has increased by about 40 percent since 2000, and is not projected to level out for several more years, according to district Superintendent Maurice Ghysels. The increase significantly

exceeded enrollment projections done in prior years. This year’s enrollment is 2,791, up 81 students from the prior school year. In the 201314 school year, the district is expecting enrollment to rise to about 2,882, an increase of 91 students, according to Ahmad Sheikholeslami, the district’s director of facility planning and construction. A prior study projected enrollment for the 2014-15 school year at 2,847 — a figure that will be exceeded by 35 students one year early, according to current projections. In accordance with a termination clause in the lease, the district must notify the German American school by April 10 if it is to end the lease. But district officials say they want to make the decision by the board’s March 12 meeting to give the private school more notice. The GAIS took over the O’Connor site in 1991; the lease expires in June 2016. The private school operates out of one permanent building and several portables, and has an enrollment of 315 students, according to its website. The district has said that if it breaks the lease, a new district school may open for the 201415 school year. For dates and additional information about the community meetings, call the district office at 321-7140.

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PERSONAL REFLECTIONS Whether you are wearing eyeglasses with prescription lenses or looking at someone wearing them, reflections and glare can be very distracting. Thus, it is a good idea to opt for an antireflection (AR) coating for your lenses. This can be especially advantageous if you have a stronger prescription, because most choose Hi Index materials when filling stronger prescriptions, and these materials reflect even more light off their surfaces. And the purpose of an AR coating is to reduce the light reflected

off your lenses, both front and back. This means that you would be less susceptible to glare emanating from behind. As for reducing the light that is reflected off the front of the lens, this feature enables others to see what lies behind your lenses. Eyeglasses are a customized product. The shape of eyeglass frames, the style of bridge, and how the frame sits on your face can affect how you see and minimize some facial features while enhancing others. Bring your eyewear prescription to MENLO OPTICAL at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. Because we are locally owned, we emphasize individualized attention and quality products. Call us at 322-3900 if you have questions about lenses or frames. We provide complete repair service. P.S. An antireflective coating provides a great safety benefit by providing better vision for driving at night. Mark Schmidt is an American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners Certified Optician licensed by the Medical Board of California. He can be easily reached at Menlo Optical, 1166 University Drive, Menlo Park. 650-322-3900.

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Ormondale School sets parent visitation day Parent visitation day will be held at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, for parents whose children will be attending either transitional kindergarten or kindergarten at Ormodale School in the fall of 2013. The day will begin with a short orientation by principal Jennifer Warren. Parents will then brief ly visit the four kin-

dergarten classrooms. Registration forms for kindergarten will be available in the school office afterward. Children should not attend visitation day. Incoming kindergartners must be 5 years old on or before Oct. 1, 2013, in order to be registered for kindergarten. In accordance with the

Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, Ormondale will offer transitional kindergarten for those children with fifth birthdays between Oct. 2 and Dec. 1, 2013. Ormondale is located at Shawnee Pass in Portola Valley. For more information, call the Ormondale School office at 851-1777, ext. 1151.

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4NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013

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Menlo cop caught with prostitute keeps job Case sheds light on confidential police disciplinary process.

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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earing a knock at the Motel 6 door, a prostitute wearing a black catsuit answered, $20 bills stashed in her cleavage. In the bathroom, Sunnyvale police officers found a veteran Menlo Park police detective wearing nothing. End of his career? Nope. Officer Jeffrey Vasquez, 48, returned to duty in the Menlo

Park Police Department late last year, following an internal affairs investigation triggered by the bust. He had also been charged with misdemeanor solicitation by the Santa Clara County District Attorney. What internal sanctions he faced remains unknown; the state’s confidentiality laws prevent discovery of penalties levied by his employer. The leak

Under California law, internal affairs investigations — even the fact that an investigation has occurred — are confidential

personnel matters. So are complaints of misconduct and police disciplinary records. But the investigation came to light anyway more than a year later. On Oct. 17, 2012, Menlo Park City Manager Alex McIntyre sat talking about city business with his predecessor, Glen Rojas, at a communal table near the bar at the Menlo Hub, a Menlo Park restaurant. Their conversation carried to an Almanac reporter sitting at the other end of the same table. Part of their discussion involved the city’s binding arbitration policy, invoked when a

police officer appeals a disciplinary penalty after failing to convince city management to reverse it. Apparently the city “lost royally” during arbitration, Mr. McIntyre said, forcing Menlo Park to reinstate the officer. The city manager said he told the council that paying the officer to leave instead of returning to work would be “a million dollar check.” He expressed frustration that some members of the City Council wanted to discuss the matter publicly despite regulations prohibiting disclosure. Without naming Officer

Vasquez, the city manager mentioned the officer’s length of service and gender. Only two current officers matched the description; a painstaking search of employment data, police logs and court records led the Almanac to a Santa Clara County Superior Court file that detailed the case against the officer. “You overheard a conversation between two colleagues,” Mr. McIntyre told the Almanac during an interview in January. He said he didn’t remember preContinued on page 10

Parcel tax vote likely for PV school district By Renee Batti

district board room. The school community was rocked last year by revelations oters are likely to be asked that then-superintendent and this spring to renew and chief finance officer Tim Hanboost the Portola Val- retty had embezzled more than ley School District’s parcel tax, $100,000 from the district, and which last year raised close to significantly misrepresented the $1 million for the two-school amount of money the district district. had at its disposal. After extenThe tax, approved by voters sive audits were performed and with the passage of Measure austerity measures put in place, C in 2004 and Measure D in the district closed the fiscal 2010, will expire in spring 2014. year ending June 30, 2012, with The district hopes a $31,000 deficit to place both meaand no money in sures on the ballot its reserve fund. in May for an eightBut the disThe district year renewal, and trict’s plan to ask raise the combined hopes to raise the voters to renew amount district resand possibly parcel tax by idents are assessed increase the par43 percent, to to a maximum of cel tax “has noth$656 — a 43 percent ing to do with $656 a year. increase. Tim Hanretty’s Currently, the actions,” school combined tax from board President both measures is Jocelyn Swisher $458 per parcel. Measure C said in an email to the Almanac. assesses $290 per parcel annu- “Through restitution (courtally; the assessment for Measure ordered at $181,750 to include D is $168 per parcel each year. attorney and auditor fees and That has added up to a robust other costs) and improvements supplement to the school dis- in process and oversight, we trict’s budget over the years, feel that those issues have been last year bringing in $987,296, addressed.” according to Sandra Lepley, the Instead, the parcel tax issue district’s interim chief business “relates to the long-term stabilofficial. ity of our school district,” she The school board will consider wrote. “We have two options: we adopting a resolution placing can renew and enhance stable the parcel tax measures on the local funding that we control; ballot on Wednesday, Feb. 6. or we can let these funds expire A public hearing on the mat- and hope for the best. “This ter will precede the vote. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the See PARCEL TAX, page 11

Almanac News Editor

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Photo by Howard Young

This tree along upper Alpine Road fell into Corte Madera Creek during a late December storm and, in falling, weakened the shoulder of the road. The situation is safe, officials say, but may cost $300,000 to repair.

December storm damages infrastructure By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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he heavy rain over the Dec. 22 weekend inflicted infrastructure damage in Woodside and Portola Valley that could cost nearly $1 million to repair, officials said. There was damage in Woodside at two culverts and an equestrian crossing over Bear Gulch Creek, and in Portola Valley at the road shoulder on a short section of upper Alpine Road. Both towns have asked for disaster relief from the governor’s office through the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services. None of the damage affects vehicle traffic, officials said.

In Portola Valley, the damage to upper Alpine Road was to the road’s western shoulder along the bank of Corte Madera Creek. A tree fell over and took with it part of the shoulder, Town Manager Nick Pegueros said. The town geologist and public works director have inspected the site, and public works checks it regularly, Mr. Pegueros said. Repairs could reach $300,000. The town “will repair it at some point in the future, but it’s not a threat to life, safety or property,” he added. See STORM DAMAGE, page 11

January 16, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN5

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6NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013

Bradley’s Fine Diner to replace Gambardella’s Celebrity chef Bradley Ogden is planning to open a new restaurant in the large, plantationstyle building that formerly housed Gambardella’s on Merrill Street across from the Menlo Park train station, a spokesman for Ogden has announced. Mr. Ogden, a chef and restaurateur who has a home in San Jose, is poised to open B.F.D. (Bradley’s Fine Diner) in late summer. He plans to develop a restaurant with food served in a casual, approachable atmosphere, said Michael Duffield, a spokesman for Ogden. The space features a 2,800-squarefoot, wraparound deck that would be used for patio dining. Gambardella’s — which had been a Menlo Park mainstay since the mid-1980s, aside from a brief three-year stint in Burlingame — closed in late December. A phone call to Andy Gambardella was not immediately returned. The proprietors of nearby restaurants Crepes Cafe and Lisa’s

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Tea Treasures — which will not be closing, contrary to an earlier report — are looking forward to their new neighbor. “We’re excited. It brings a breath of fresh air,” Helene Pascal of Crepes Cafe said of the remodeling that will be done to make way for B.F.D. “We want to make improvements, too — change the tables, put up new decorations.” The Crepes Cafe lease extends to at least 2019, Ms. Pascal said. Lisa’s Tea Treasures, at 1175 Merrill, continues to host its high teas and private parties and offers catering. “Lisa’s Tea Treasures in Menlo Park is open for business, and we do take reservations. We are looking forward to serving customers as always,” Thao Nguyen, manager and co-owner, said. — Daryl Savage and Jocelyn Dong of the Palo Alto Weekly

Planning Commission to study Arrillaga project Keep the evening of Jan. 28 open — the Menlo Park Planning Commission has scheduled a study session to review the proposed eight-acre complex developer John Arrillaga wants to build on Stanford’s empty El Camino lots. No action will be taken at the meeting, but the public will have an opportunity to comment. Community opposition to the project has been building since the latest plans for 300-500 El Camino Real were submitted to the city during the first week of November, with 96,000 square feet of medical office space, 133,350 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail space and 120 rental housing units. The Arrillaga proposal appears consistent with the baseline requirements of the specific plan, according to city staff, which wouldn’t trigger public benefit discussions. That means

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Menlo Park doesn’t have much control over the project, apart from negotiating the number of below-market-rate homes on the site and the Planning Commission signing off on architectural details. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

Recycle electronics St. Denis Parish will host a free e-waste recycling event on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church, located at 2250 Avy Ave. in Menlo Park, will accept computers, cellphones and other devices. Contact Lindsey West in the parish office at lwest@ stdenisparish.org or 854-1081 to arrange a different drop-off date.

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community.

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Banning bags on city’s terms By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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eluctant to cede control to San Mateo County, the Menlo Park City Council wants to add a clause to the proposed ban on single-use plastic bags that would allow the city to decide whether to incorporate any changes the county makes in the future. The county Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance in October 2012 for unincorporated parts of the county and asked the cities to adopt it. The ban, which takes effect April 22, prohibits the use of plastic bags by retailers, except those used by restaurants and for produce, and also implements a 10-cent fee for paper bags. That fee would rise to 25 cents per paper bag on Jan. 1, 2015. Menlo Park, along with 24 other Peninsula cities, decided last year to support the county’s proposed ordinance, in part to save the city from spending at least $150,000 for its own environmental review. During its Jan. 8 meeting, the council asked City Attorney Bill McClure what approving the countywide ordinance would mean for the city, should the county decide to expand the ban or increase fees for singleuse bags. He explained that the county could force Menlo Park to adopt the changes; while the

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city could opt out of the ordinance, it would probably need to perform its own environmental impact report (EIR) to do so. An EIR might also be triggered if Menlo Park decided to revise the ordinance, he said. Some changes discussed at the meeting were whether compostable plastic bags should be allowed, lower fees for customers who choose paper bags, and incorporating a “check in” period to evaluate how well the ban is working.

Menlo Park proposes revisions to the countywide plastic bag ban law. Councilwoman Cat Carlton described not including compostable bags as a glaring omission, saying her research suggests that the bags place less stress on the environment compared with paper bags, and were easily recycled. Environmental programs manager Rebecca Fotu responded that not all compostable bags are created equal, since there’s no single standard for manufacturers to meet. Local compost-

ing facilities can handle bags that biodegrade within 60 days, but some bags require up to 90. Other factors include the difficulty of distinguishing a compostable bag from other types, which could create enforcement problems. Members of the Stop the Bag Ban coalition challenged the need for a ban in the first place. “(We’re) a group of citizens fed up with this type of terrible nanny state-type law,” said Don Williams. “Where’s the evidence that Menlo Park actually has a problem? There’s no real evidence.” Other speakers begged to differ, as did the council. “This is our pollution,” said Adina Levin, environmental quality commissioner and Sierra Club member. She noted that while working in Palo Alto, she always thought reusable bags were a good idea, but it wasn’t until that city passed its ban that she actually started using them. In the end, the council voted 5-0 to introduce the ordinance, adding a clause that requires any changes by the county to be approved by the Menlo Park City Council before implementation within the city, and a request that staff spend the remaining time before the ban is adopted at a future meeting to research how much flexibility the city has to make its own revisions.

R EAL E STATE Q&A by Monica Corman

Condo/Townhouse Values Rising 2012 values began to rise and at present, there is almost no inventory. In 2009 only 45% of townhouse/condos listed sold compared with 91% in 2012. The townhouses in downtown locations are especially desirable and they do not stay on the market very long. Now would be a good time Dear Laura: Yes, condos and for you to sell your townhouse townhouses are in demand because there is high demand again. This property class and interest rates are still had declined in value and was very low. You should have no lagging considerably behind trouble finding a buyer in this single family homes. But in market. Dear Monica: I have a townhouse that I would like to sell but I felt that values had come down so much during the recession that I have been waiting for the market to get stronger. Are townhouse values finally rising? Laura D.

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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Nativity figurines stolen in Woodside Figurines from a Christmas Nativity scene were stolen from a Woodside corner sometime between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and community members are hoping someone knows where they are or feels moved to return them. Thieves stole f igurines including Joseph, the Virgin Mary, Baby Jesus, kings, shepherds and farm animals from the set, which has occupied the corner of Canada Lane and Woodside Road during the holidays for the past several years, according to Sheriff ’s Office spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt. The figurines, each around 20 to 30 inches tall, are worth a total of about $1,600. However, Ms. Rosenblatt noted that they also have great sentimental and nostalgic value for community members, some of whom banded together years ago to purchase them. The theft was not made public earlier because the owners were hoping the thieves would have

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Thieves made off with 10 figurines from a Woodside Nativity scene.

a change of heart and return them, she said. The theft has triggered an outpouring of support from the community, including offers of money to help replace the figurines.

Anyone with information about the theft or the whereabouts of the figurines is asked to call sheriff ’s Detective Bridget Hensley at (650) 3634051 or the anonymous tip line at (800) 457-2700. A

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January 16, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN7

A community health education series from Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Small Changes in Big Network May Signal Autonomic Disorder

He was experiencing a set of symptoms that were both ordinary and unusual: Hot weather sapped his strength and made him dizzy, yet he was sweating less and in cool weather no goose bumps ever appeared when he grew chilled. As a young man growing up in France, Laderriere had always been active. “I did a lot of skiing, a lot of swimming,” he said. When he came to work in the United States, as a director of wine sales for the Vina Robles Winery & Vineyards in Paso Robles, “I became a workaholic. I completely accepted that way of life,” he said. The more he traveled for his job, the less time and attention he paid to his health until he recognized with some discomfort that he was not in such great shape any more. He knew he should add exercise to his daily routine, but the tiredness he felt was overwhelming. Laderriere, whose home base is in Paso Robles, started first with visits to local doctors. He had a variety of standard tests, with the thought that he might have developed diabetes. That was not the case. When that one physician sug-

gested the nerves problem, he went to see a local neurologist who sent him back to his original physician, still without a diagnosis. His symptoms continued and, finally, his local doctor suggested Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

“It’s the reason your heart beats. It’s the reason why your stomach digests food. It’s the reason that you shiver if you’re in a cold room and sweat if you’re in a hot room.” — Neurologist Safwan Jaradeh, MD, director, Autonomic Disorders Program, Stanford Hospital & Clinics At his first visit, he found himself meeting with a group of physicians asking him questions rather than putting him through more physical tests. “They were picking my brain,” he said, “asking me, ‘What’s wrong with this?’ I did not think to mention to them that I wasn’t sweating, but my wife was with me and she did. One of the doctors said, ‘Hmm, I think you may want to meet Dr. Jaradeh.’”

Knowing what to look for

Norbert von der Groeben

Laderriere had found the right doctor. Neurologist Safwan Jaradeh, MD is the director of Stanford’s autonomic disorders program. Board certified in neurology, clinical neurophysiology, electrodiagnostic medicine and autonomic disorders, Jaradeh is a rare specialist in autonomic disorders. Worldwide, he estimates, there are only about 150 physicians with expertise in a biologic system most take for granted because its activities happen, when all goes well, without conscious thought. Treatment facilities with laboratories set up to test for these disorders are even more difficult to find. With Jaradeh’s arrival at Stanford, the tally of such labs on North America’s West Coast doubled—to two.

Because the system affects more than one organ, its care requires special knowledge of each of those organs—and a comprehensive physical exam process focused on reaction to stimuli, like the pupil’s changes in different degrees of light.

The challenge for diagnosis and care begins with the complexity of the autonomic system.

8NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013

Only in the last 40 years has its biology, chemistry and interconnections become more known, yet it is the part of the nervous system that develops first. In addition, because the system affects more than one organ, its care requires special knowledge of each of those organs. “In a nutshell, it’s responsible for your well-being,” Jaradeh said. “It’s the At first, Marc Laderriere thought that his decreasing energy was just age reason your heart beats. catching up to him—he was about to be 50— and that, perhaps, the It’s the reason why your answer was to slow down. But something about that answer didn’t fit stomach digests food. It’s the facts. the reason you can hold your bladder if you’re busy. It’s the reason that you shiver if and pass out or they have constipation you’re in a cold room and sweat if you’re for days or they vomit in cycles.” Heat in a hot room.” intolerance, such as that experienced by Laderriere, means patients will develop Its functions are so ingrained to that heat stroke very quickly. sense of normalcy that when the auto“It is not uncommon for me to see nomic system begins to malfunction, regardless of which particular organ is afpatients who come with a large fected, “people don’t feel well,” Jaradeh volume of medical records, that said. “They don’t feel rested. They’re when sifted through, show a completely drained. The inner balance common thread.” is completely derailed.”

Norbert von der Groeben

At first, Marc Laderriere thought that his decreasing energy was just age catching up to him—he was about to be 50— and that, perhaps, the answer was to slow down. But something about that answer didn’t fit the facts. His growing sense of exhaustion “had been going on for a few years,” he said. “At one point, one of my doctors said, ‘This is definitely a little strange. I don’t know what you have, but it could be nerves.’”

The system reaches throughout the body and especially crucial in the brainstem, where it connects the upper brain to the spinal cord and sends signals to the deepest parts of the brain. Dysfunction there can cause anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. The range of symptoms might begin with something relatively small— like Laderriere’s inability to sweat—or affect something like blood flow to the heart. “Sometimes patients present with unexplained arrhythmias where the heart palpitates like crazy,” Jaradeh said, “and our cardiology colleagues cannot find a cause.” Because the autonomic nervous system has a significant presence in the digestive system, some patients develop major gastrointestinal issues, Jaradeh said. “They can’t eat very well or they feel bloated after eating a small meal or they eat

— Neurologist Safwan Jaradeh, MD, director, Autonomic Disorders Program, Stanford Hospital & Clinics Half of those with autonomic disorders will have more than one part of the system affected, Jaradeh said. And, for a variety of reasons, including the lack of specialists who recognize the

Neurologist Safwan Jaradeh, MD, is the director of Stanford’s autonomic d neurophysiology, electrodiagnostic medicine and neurology, Jaradeh is a r patient Marc Laderriere. Worldwide, he estimates, there are only about 15 for granted because its activities happen, when all goes well, without con

special feature

Cracking the Code of the Autonomic Nervous System t The autonomic nervous system reaches throughout the body to act as a silent commander of a number of elemental body activities. It controls heart rate, respiration, digestion, salivation, perspiration, pupil dilation, urination and sexual function. It controls all those minute changes in blood pressure and heart rate that keep us from feeling dizzy when we stand up. It triggers us to sweat when the weather is hot and to shiver when the weather’s cold, both done to maintain an appropriate internal body temperature. t Autonomic system disorders can affect one or more of the body’s organs whose activity is regulated by the system. Symptoms might include

dizziness, fainting, excessive fatigue, rapid heart rate, stomach pain, difficulty adjusting eyesight from light to dark, sweating abnormalities, constipation, vomiting. t Changes in the autonomic system can be triggered by diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Lyme disease, infections, lupus and other autoimmune system diseases or independent of a specific infection or other disease. t Tests to diagnose autonomic system disorders will include a variety of methods to measure how the heart, blood pressure and other functions its controls react to changes in body position and temperature.

For more information about neurosciences at Stanford, call 650.723.6469 or visit stanfordhospital.org/neuro. 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.

Another confusing factor is the range of triggers for autonomic system disorders. They can be a secondary symptom of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and infections like tick-borne Lyme disease or they can appear independently. Laderriere, it turns out, had had Lyme disease without knowing it. Like many people who develop an autonomic system disorder, Laderriere

had gone so long without diagnosis that he had begun to doubt what he felt going on in his body, Jaradeh said. “He clearly has something real, but he was beginning to be concerned that he was imagining his symptoms.” Many patients may also go from doctor to doctor, looking for an explanation for that set of symptoms, which, like Laderriere’s, seem simple and complex at the same time. “It is not uncommon for me to see patients who come with a large volume of medical records, that when sifted through, show a common thread,” Jaradeh said. After a bit of education about what’s going on, primary physicians and other types of specialists can become “great partners in care,” he said.

“I feel I am in good hands—there’s no doubt. We’ll get there.” —Marc Laderriere, patient, Stanford Hospital & Clinics Norbert von der Groeben

isorders program. Board certified in clinical rare specialist in autonomic disorders like that affecting 50 physicians with expertise in a biologic system most take scious thought.

Like many people who develop an autonomic system disorder, Laderriere had gone so long without diagnosis that he had begun to doubt what he felt going on in his body, Jaradeh said. “He clearly has something real, but he was beginning to be concerned that he was imagining his symptoms.”

Another frustration for patients can be the slow rate of recovery. The auto-

nomic system’s nerve fibers do not have a sheath that guides the nerves’ growth and acts as a protective layer. Without that protection, they are more fragile and without that guide, they take longer to regain strength and normal behavior. “It doesn’t mean that regrowth won’t happen,” Jaradeh said. “It’s just a long tunnel before you get to the light.”

cal activity in the heart. “Or you could focus on hormones,” Jaradeh said. “We see patients who are sometimes misdiagnosed with early menopause who are actually having an autonomic problem. The ultimate future would be to see if we can figure out something in terms of the genetics of these issues—the sky is the limit.”

Trusting in the future

Laderriere is willing to be patient. He is working with Jaradeh to see which medications will mitigate as many of his symptoms as possible. “I still don’t sweat, so that’s going to be the next stage of recovery,” he said. “We’re going to have to discover more with Dr. Jaradeh about what’s to be done. He’s so bright and has so much information. I feel I am in good hands—there’s no doubt. We’ll get there.”

From the various tests that Jaradeh conducts with each visit, Laderriere is showing signs that his system is “on the slope of recovery,” Jaradeh said. He has seen no further spread of disease within the autonomic system and some areas have improved. “I think he will continue to regain function,” Jaradeh said. For others with similar issues, “the horizon is very promising,” Jaradeh said. “The field is wide open and the opportunities for interactions between physicians are very great and the choice of areas for research is unlimited.” Possibilities include focusing on what neurotransmitters in the brain are active in response to various levels of blood pressure and connecting that to electri-

Norbert von der Groeben

Finding a cause

Norbert von der Groeben

underlying systemic cause, people with such disorders may go for years without an accurate diagnosis. “Sometimes symptoms can’t be well characterized,” Jaradeh said. “A person will say, ‘When I change position, I get dizzy.’ The initial inclination is to say,’ There is something going on with your inner ear.’ So that person goes to see the ear, nose and throat specialist—who can’t find anything. Or it might be suspected that it’s medication, so the medication is changed. Finally, somebody will realize that maybe it’s the blood pressure that’s changing. Then the blood pressure is measured by having the person gets up from a supine position and that’s when someone realizes that the blood pressure has dropped—and that there’s something wrong with this person’s autonomic system.”

Laderriere is showing signs that his system is “on the slope of recovery,” Jaradeh said. He’s taking medication to mitigate as many of his symptoms as possible. “I feel in good hands—there’s no doubt. We’ll get there,” Laderriere said. Here, with his colleague at Vina Robles Winery, winemaker Kevin Willenborg, he tastes a young port.

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 stanfordhospital.org.

January 16, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN9

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Menlo cop caught with prostitute keeps his job continued from page 5

cisely what he said at the Hub, and stated that it’s not unusual for a city manager to consult his predecessor. As for the case itself: “(City Attorney) Bill McClure said I can’t say anything.” Officer Vasquez told the Almanac he’d been ordered not to talk about it by the interim police chief. At an hourly rate of $52.40, his annual base wage is approximately $109,004. Should he retire at age 50 with at least 25 years of service, he’d receive 75 percent of his final salary as a pension; that increases to 90 percent if he retires after 30 years. The officer’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did Bryan Roberts, who was serving as Menlo Park police chief at the time of the incident. The motel

Credibility under oath How does a troubled past affect an officer’s future credibility in court? In 1963 the U.S. Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland ruled that prosecutors must disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense, including misconduct by a police officer who might be called as a witness in a case if that misconduct could discredit or impeach the officer’s testimony. As in other jurisdictions, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said his office keeps a “Brady list” of police officers charged or convicted of an offense, and discloses that information to the defense when the officer will testify while facing charges or serving probation. He said some crimes, such as misdemeanor drunk driving, allow the removal of the officer from the list after he

completes probation. Other crimes, such as a moral turpitude offense or one related to credibility, such as filing a false report, keeps the officer on the list in perpetuity. The Brady list is not public record; the information “is accessible only to our attorneys in handling their cases,” Mr. Wagstaffe said. A police officer charged with soliciting a prostitute may not make the list. Mr. Wagstaffe said that case law considers solicitation by the prostitute as an act of moral turpitude, but wasn’t sure whether that held true for the john. “Doesn’t seem like it should be different, but the law is a strange thing in so many distinctions it draws.” The district attorney, having never seen a case on that point, said the question would require some research.

Senior officers from Sunnyvale and Menlo Park arrived on the scene after a series of calls — standard procedure when an incident involves a fellow officer, according to law enforcement sources. Capt. Carl Rushmeyer of Sunnyvale showed up, then Watch Commander Tim Brackett and Sgt. Matt Bacon of Internal Affairs, both from Menlo Park. Ms. Ramirez, who has a criminal record for drug possession and prostitution, was arrested on the bench warrants. The Photo by James Tensuan report noted that Sunnyvale police turned a “distraught” The Motel 6 in Sunnyvale where police tracked down a woman wanted Detective Vasquez over to his on outstanding bench warrants, and questioned a Menlo Park police Menlo Park colleagues and for- detective, who was later charged with soliciting a prostitute. warded the case to the district attorney. trial on that day or within 10 they’re arrested for, if there’s a nexus to their employment and Charged with misdemeanor days.” solicitation, Officer Vasquez His team looked for work- whether there’s a conviction. hired Redwood City attorney around strategies to no avail. All city employees are held to a William Rapoport to handle the They concluded that ultimately very high ethical standard, and case and pleaded not guilty in they weren’t going to be able police officers are held to an June 2011. to use Ms. Ramirez’s state- even higher standard.” The standard of proof for A month later — on July 11 ment. “What’s the jury going — the prosecution to think when the pri- an administrative hearing is asked to dismiss the mary officer doesn’t lower than that for a criminal case. The problem? show up to testify? If I trial. “It’s ‘more likely than Prosecutors were was to dismiss the case not,’ similar to the standard in notified the day of against her, his defense a civil case,” Ms. Donnelly said, Ms. Ramirez’s trial attorney would then as opposed to “beyond a reasonthat the officer who know we couldn’t prove able doubt” in a criminal case. had interviewed her the case against him,” But while court proceedings was unavailable to Mr. Baker said. A pre- generate public records, admintestify. According trial conference for the istrative hearings don’t. Three levels of discipline exist: to Deputy District charge against Officer a letter of reprimand, susAttorney Rob Baker, Vasquez had been set Officer who supervised the for the same day as Ms. pension, and the most seriJeffrey Vasquez ous, dismissal. An officer may case, the officer was Ramirez’s trial. caring for his wife as she endured In the end they asked the appeal the decision within the a life-threatening medical crisis. court to dismiss the case for lack department and then to the city A Sunnyvale officer confirmed of evidence. “With misdemean- manager, Ms. Donnelly said. If the circumstances related to ors, you only get one bite at the challenged again, the case goes the dismissal to the Almanac apple. The case gets dismissed, to binding arbitration. Binding arbitration is writand said his department had and that’s it,” Mr. Baker said. hoped the case could have gone “Had this been felony conduct, ten into the city’s contract with forward. we could have dismissed and the police unions, according to City Attorney Bill McClure. The “I wanted to prosecute the case, then refiled it.” contract spells out the steps: The that’s the reason we charged it,” union and city first try to agree Mr. Baker said. “But in light of The ties that bind The dismissal of the criminal on an arbitrator. If they don’t, the (misdemeanor) charges, we didn’t feel it appropriate to force case sheds some light on how the State Mediation & Conthe cop to come to court when Officer Vasquez he was able ciliation Service supplies a list of his wife was going through to return to duty. The city of five names, and the union and Menlo Park’s administrative the city take turns eliminating something that serious.” Losing a key witness left the mechanisms also contributed to names until one remains; that person then serves as arbitrator. case against both Ms. Ramirez his reinstatement. Personnel procedures sepaNo single set of guidelines and Officer Vasquez dead in the water. “We couldn’t prove the rate criminal proceedings from applies to the criteria an arbitracase against the cop because the administrative hearings, accord- tor uses to reach a decision, Ms. (officer) who actually observed ing to the city’s human resources Donnelly said. The contract states: “The him in the room with the prosti- director, Gina Donnelly. “You tute wasn’t available,” Mr. Baker have to be careful not to impede a award of the arbitrator shall criminal investigation,” she said. be final and binding.” In other said. As with all other city employ- words, that person can overrule The court would regard the confessions recorded in the ees that the Almanac questioned whatever disciplinary decision police report as inadmissible about the case, Ms. Donnelly the city made. Many jurisdictions in Califorhearsay, he explained, without said she couldn’t talk about Mr. the testimony of the officer who Vasquez and could answer only nia, including San Jose and Palo general questions about the dis- Alto, use binding arbitration. took the statement. Sources familiar with the proCompounding their dilemma, ciplinary process. “An employer can’t take dis- cess said it makes removing a Ms. Ramirez had not waived her time to a speedy trial. Mr. Baker ciplinary action based solely on problem police officer nearly said, “We literally had to go to an arrest. It depends on what impossible. Menlo Park Police Department

Jeffrey Vasquez jeopardized his 24-year career with the Menlo Park Police Department when he went to the wrong place at the wrong time on Feb. 18, 2011. According to court documents, a Sunnyvale police officer acting on a tip was watching a motel room for signs of 32-year-old Natalia Ramirez, who had two outstanding bench warrants. He knocked on the door. Once inside, the officer asked Ms. Ramirez what was going on. “She replied that it was what

it looked like. I asked her if it was prostitution, she replied by saying yes,” the police report stated. Her male companion did not reveal himself as a fellow law enforcement officer until a check of his driver’s license alerted the Sunnyvale police that he was. Detective Vasquez was in Sunnyvale to serve a subpoena related to a Menlo Park sexual assault case, he told the officers, “and this was not the first time he had solicited a prostitute for sex,” according to the filing. Upon learning that the target of the subpoena wouldn’t be home until later, the report states the detective said, “I had an hour to kill” so he called “My Redbook,” a site listing local escorts and their phone numbers. Ms. Ramirez confirmed that she advertised on Redbook and said that Detective Vasquez had called her, asking to come over later, according to the Sunnyvale police report. She didn’t remember what name he had used. The Menlo Park police officer “admitted that he was there for sex” and that he had found her on Redbook. They hadn’t engaged in sexual activity before Sunnyvale police arrived or discussed specific prices or services, according to the report. Asked why he didn’t immediately identify himself as a police officer, Detective Vasquez reportedly responded, “I don’t want to be a dick and ask for preferential treatment.”

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10NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013

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Employee compensation cutbacks Horsley reverses, will on Atherton City Council agenda forgo supes salary By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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he devilish details of how to shift more of the town’s financial burden for employee benefits onto employees’ shoulders will be discussed, again, by the Atherton City Council when it meets on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Council members appear to be in agreement on the cost-cutting goals of a resolution approved in November, which would affect the town’s 10 unrepresented staff members. But the newly constituted council last month rescinded the November decision, and asked staff to figure out a way to slow the pace of the cost shifts — particularly for retirement benefit contributions — to ease the employees’ burden. Currently, the town picks up the employees’ share of contributions to the California STORM DAMAGE continued from page 5

In Woodside, one of the damaged culverts carries water from Dennis Martin Creek under Portola Road near the intersection with Old La Honda Road; the other culvert is located near the intersection of Eleanor Drive and Stockbridge Avenue in the Woodside Heights neighborhood, just west and south of Woodside High School. Erosion compromised the shoulder of about two miles of unidentified roadway, according to a staff report. The damaged culverts are 7 feet in diameter, Town Engineer Paul Nagengast said. The culvert PARCEL TAX continued from page 5

community has a long history of investing in quality local schools.” Ms. Swisher said renewing the tax is a top priority for the district — a means to ensure “that we never find ourselves overly dependent on Sacramento for protecting the quality of our local schools.” School districts across the state have had to severely cut or eliminate educational programs and increase class size

Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) as well as its own share. The price tag for the employee contributions: $92,000 annually. The council wants the unrepresented employees to pay their own CalPERS costs in the future. The resolution that passed in November created an 18-month period of incremental changes for the transition. City Manager George Rodericks is presenting two options for council consideration. One extends the transition period to three years, while the other shrinks the period to one year but provides a salary increase “to share the burden” of the transfer, according to Mr. Rodericks’ report. In addition to reducing the town’s CalPERS costs, the proposed changes would cap vacation and sick-leave accrual, cap the town’s contribution

for health benefits, and create a two-tier retirement system (one for current employees and another for new hires) that would also eliminate postretirement health benefits for new hires. The resolution will not affect most police department employees, who are represented by a union. Also on the agenda are discussions on the possible resumption of renting out space in Holbrook-Palmer Park for special events such as weddings; and approval of a review process for the Menlo-Atherton Little League’s proposal to improve the ballfield in the park, a plan that includes a spectator stand and restrooms. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 94 Ashfield Road in the Town Center.

along Portola Road is buried under 22 feet of earth and about 100 feet long. The town’s culverts are generally made of corrugated steel and are at least 50 years old. “They probably need some attention,” Mr. Nagengast said. Town staff will be investigating alternatives to culvert replacement, including the use of plastic inserts. Staff will be bringing the Town Council a proposal for a town-wide analysis of the storm drain system. The cost to replace the two culverts could reach $475,000, with another $112,000 to repair the equestrian crossing, $45,000 to strengthen a road shoulder, and $51,000 to remove debris,

according to the staff report. “Obviously, if we can do it cheaper, we will,” Mr. Nagengast said. The damage to the culverts, he said, came not from the volume of water, but from the debris it carried. A chunk of lumber gets caught in the culvert and “the force and pressure of the water is enough to rip steel, and that’s what happened,” Mr. Nagengast said.

through the years because of significant reductions in state funding. In announcing the public hearing, the district said the ballot measures would generate revenue earmarked for educational programs, with emphasis on math, science, reading, writing, art and music, and would also be used to maintain “qualified and experienced teachers” and minimize class size increases. The measures would also maintain the current exemptions for certain senior citizens and disabled people, the district said.

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By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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upervisor Don Horsley has announced that he has changed his mind and would resume his twoyear practice of not taking a salary for the remaining two years of his four-year term on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Mr. Horsley, a former county sheriff who receives $215,000 annually from his pension plan after 35 years in county government, issued a statement on Jan. 11. “I made a commitment to forgo the salary and I will keep that commitment,” he said. He had announced late in 2012 that he would begin collecting his $120,000 salary, citing as justification a healthier local economy than when he was elected. Mr. Horsley won election in November 2010 and represents Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside and several nearby unincorporated communities. He has not yet responded to an interview request. The decision not to take his full salary effectively renews a pre-election pledge made in a January 2009 press release in which Mr. Horsley says

that he is “fortunate that I receive an excellent package of benefits, and believe the compensation I would be awarded as a County Supervisor would be better spent elsewhere.” When asked recently to comment on t his statement, Mr. Horsley said he did not remember making it, but told the AlmaDon Horsley nac that the county in 2009 had a structural deficit, which “put us in an austerity position. ... The overall economy of San Mateo County is not what it was three years ago.” Recent figures from the county budget director bear out Mr. Horsley’s view of the health of the local economy, but his announcement to take his full salary did not go over well with some voters. Michael G. Stogner, a frequent critic of county government, said in the Almanac’s online forum that he would initiate a recall election if Mr. Horsley did not recommit to his 2009 pledge. A

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w w w. j e n n i fe r w a n g m d . c o m January 16, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN11

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Atherton tops county list in growth rate of property values By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

D

uring a period when the average growth rate of San Mateo County’s assessed property value is 3.3 percent, Atherton officials are smiling with the news that the town’s rate of growth from fiscal year 2011-12 to this fiscal year is 9.03 percent. A report by HDL Services, commissioned to answer questions town officials had about the share of property taxes it was receiving from the county, shows that the growth rate in Atherton’s assessed property value is the highest in the county. Coming in second on the list is Portola Valley, with a 5.25 percent growth rate. Also above the county average are Menlo Park, with 4.4 percent growth; and Woodside, with 4.2 percent. The growth rate in Hillsborough, also known for its high property values, was 4 percent. Two cities are still suffering a loss in assessed value: East Palo Alto, at -2.5 percent; and Brisbane, at -0.46 percent. In dollar terms, Atherton’s net taxable assessed value of 2,619 parcels increased by about $575 million during this period, according to a report by Robert Barron, the town’s finance director. That brings the

total figure to $6.95 billion, the report says. The largest assessed value increase in the town was on a purchase of four Atherton Avenue residential and vacant sites by 237 Atherton Avenue LLC and 246 Atherton Avenue LLC. The purchase price was $53 million, according to the HDL report, which listed the original combined values of the properties at $1.98 million. During a recent meeting of the town’s Finance Committee, Paula Cone of HDL Services was asked who owns the four Atherton Avenue parcels, to which she replied that, because of the trend of buyers creating limited liability companies (LLCs) as vehicles for land purchases, “I can’t figure out who owns them.� The HDL report listed the top 10 property taxpayers in town, with the Atherton Avenue LLCs listed first. The next four top property taxpayers are, from two to five: philanthropist Bita Daryabari, George R. Roberts Trust, Pacific Peninsula Group, and 383 Associates LLC. In addition to the Atherton Avenue property sale’s contribution to the growth in property value, residential uses of property grew by 8.6 percent; “these were primarily homes that sold for more than the prior assessor’s enrolled value,� according to the report. A

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The poke Facebook changed the sign at the entrance of its campus off Willow Road to commemorate one of the social media company’s newest Web applications — “the poke,� a kind of online nudge to another Facebook user. Facebook also kicked off the new year by donating $200,000 to 42 nonprofits in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto.

Watch, jewelry reported stolen in Woodside, Ladera Among recent local property crimes, a $12,500 watch was found missing from a Woodside home, and jewelry valued at $18,900 could not be found after several parties in a Ladera home. The watch is one of the “Portuguese� family of Swiss watches from IWC Schaffhausen that commemorate the exploits of

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Portuguese explorers such as Vasco de Gama, Bartolomeu Dias and Ferdinand Magellan, according to the IWC website. Someone stole the watch from the victim’s bedroom on Woodside Road while he was vacationing, deputies said. He reported the incident to the Sheriff ’s Office on Jan. 3. The next day, deputies learned of the jewelry missing from a home on Conil Way in Ladera. The jewels had been in the victim’s bedroom, which was unlocked during parties at the house attended by “a variety of

guests,� deputies said. The victim said she has “no idea� who might have taken her jewels. A Dodge Neon automobile was reported missing on Jan. 3 from the 500 block of Portola Road, home to The Sequoias retirement community. The driver left the keys on the driver’s seat of his unlocked vehicle when he left the car to go to work, deputies said. Upon his return, the owner could not find the car. A description of the car has been entered into the database of stolen vehicles.

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This information is from the Menlo Park and Atherton police departments and the San Mateo County Sheriff’’s Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted. MENLO PARK Residential burglary report: Break-in to storage shed, Santa Margarita Ave., Jan. 7. Auto burglary reports: ■ Losses of at least $5,800 estimated in theft of three laptop computers from three vehicles entered primarily through smashed windows, 2800 block of Sand Hill Road, Jan. 7. ■ Loss estimated at $300 in smashed front passenger side window and theft of iPhone, Van Buren Road, Jan. 10. Theft reports: ■ Loss estimated at $3,000 in theft of unattended laptop computer, Peet’s Coffee & Tea at 515 El Camino Real, Jan. 10. ■ Cash in amount of $1,971.75 stolen from locked box, Job Train at 1200 O’Brien Drive, Jan. 7. ■ Loss estimated $700 in theft of cell-

phone from desk, Merrill St., Jan. 8. â–  Loss estimated at $600 in theft of unlocked bicycle from front porch, Mills St., Jan. 7. â–  Loss estimated at $300 in theft of laptop computer from residence, Henderson Ave., Jan. 4. â–  Loss estimated at $298 in theft of nightgown, Ela Lingerie at 1139 Chester St., Jan. 9. â–  Loss estimated at $200 in theft of tablet computer, Carlton Ave., Jan. 9. Fraud reports: â–  Losses estimated at $2,650 in scam involving three wire transfers, 500 block of El Camino Real, Jan. 6. â–  Losses estimated at $1,000 in scam in which victim paid online after caller pretended to be collection agent and threatened victim with arrest and loss of job over unpaid credit card bill, 500 block of El Camino Real, Jan. 10. â–  Domestic violence report: Middle Ave., Jan. 7. ATHERTON Residential burglary report: Cords and wires stolen, Atherton Ave., Jan 4.

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St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room

The Novitsky Family .................. 100

Provides after-school and academic support and activities for 3,200 young people, 6 to 18, at clubhouses in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood, East Palo Alto, and Redwood City, and offers programs at Flood and Belle Haven schools in Menlo Park, Hoover Community School in Redwood City, and McNair School in East Palo Alto

Serves hundreds of hot meals six days a week to people in need who walk through the doors. Funded entirely by voluntary contributions, St. Anthony’s is the largest dining room for the needy between San Francisco and San Jose. It also offers emergency food and clothing assistance.

Betty Jean Meissner ................... **

William J. Wagner ..................... 150

Ecumenical Hunger Program

Joan Rubin ................................. **

In Memory Of

Lina T. Swisher ......................... 100

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard ... 250

Malcolm and Cosette Dudley ....... 40

Frank and Celine Halet ................ **

Provides emergency food, clothing, household essentials, and sometimes financial assistance to families in need, regardless of religious preference, including Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for more than 2,000 households.

Vicky Rundorff.......................... 500

Donald Anthony Scherba ........ 1,000

Project Read

The largest collector and distributor of food on the Peninsula, Second Harvest Food Bank distributed 30 million pounds of food last year. It gathers donations from individuals and businesses and distributes food to some 162,000 people each month through more than 700 agencies and distribution sites in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Don Lowry ............................... 100

Ted Heidinger ........................... 250

Mary F. Cooper ........................ 100

Stephanie Meier ......................... **

Laura M. Reed ......................... 300

Richard H. Barbour and Louise J. Barbour ............... 100

Adele A. Carney ....................... 500 Barbara and Robert Ells ............ 700 Bill and Nancy Ellsworth .............. ** David and Kathleen Weisenberg . 100 Dianne Ellsworth......................... ** Heather Nelson ........................ 100 Sandra Pursell.......................... 300 Tom and Nancy Fiene ................. ** John and C. Friesman ............... 150 Sandy Shapero......................... 150 Charles Olsen .......................... 150 Robert B. Flint .......................... 500 Gary R. Peterson ...................... 500 Anne S. Tuttle ....................... 1,000 Luke and Virginia Vania ............... ** Kenneth M. Ashford .................... 75 Barbara and Bill Binder ............... ** Margo Ritter ............................... 25 Andrew C. Hall ........................... **

Carol Del Secco .................... 1,500 Carol Del Secco .................... 1,000 Carol Del Secco .................... 1,000 Carol Del Secco .................... 1,000 Carol Del Secco .................... 1,000 Carol Del Secco .................... 1,000 Carol Del Secco .................... 3,000 Michael and Mary Griffin .............. 75 Karen Lewis ............................... 25 Virginia and Alvin Rathbun....... 1,000 Robby Babcock .......................... ** Annie Strem ............................... ** Esther Johnson .......................... ** Peter Wong ................................ ** Janice M. Pausa ......................... ** Carl Wright .............................. 100 Bill Land .................................... ** John, Annmarie, Richard Sisson ... **

Second Harvest Food Bank

Provides free literacy services to adults in the Menlo Park area. Trained volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups to help adults improve their basic reading, writing and English language skills so they can achieve their goals and function more effectively at home, at work and in the community. In 2007-08, a total of 120 tutors assisted more than 300 students.

InnVision Shelter Network

St. Francis Center

Provides training and job placement for people with the biggest problems, including returning parolees, long-term unemployed, homeless, welfare clients, marginalized youth, and those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.

Provides services for families in need with the goal of helping them to live in dignity and become self-supporting community members. The center assists 2,400 people each month with such services as low-income housing, food and clothing, shower and laundry, counseling, community garden, and education.

Ravenswood Family Health Center Provides primary medical and preventive health care for all ages at its clinics in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto. It also operates a mobile clinic at school sites. Of the 16,500 registered patients, most are low-income and uninsured and live in the ethnically diverse East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks areas.

Provides shelter/housing and supportive services across 18 sites in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Peninsula. Serves thousands of homeless families and individuals annually on their path back to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

JobTrain

StarVista (formerly Youth and Family Enrichment Services) Provides 22 programs to help people who struggle with substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health, and relationship and communications issues. Helps strengthen youth, families, and individuals to overcome challenges through counseling, education, and residential services.

DONATE ONLINE: siliconvalleycf.org/almanac-holiday-fund Use the form below to donate by mail. Enclosed is a donation of $_______________ Name ___________________________________________________

Please Make checks payable to: Silicon Valley Community Foundation and send to: The Almanac Holiday Fund c/o Silicon Valley Community Foundation 2440 W. El Camino Real, Suite 300 Mountain View, CA 94040

Anna Marie McSweeney .............. 50

In Honor Of

Anne Moser ............................... **

Marilyn Hohbach......................... 35

Arthur and Ruth Barker ............... **

Mar and Popo Russ .................... **

Barbara and Carl Johnson ......... 100

Our Parents ............................... **

E-Mail __________________________________________________ Phone _______________________________

Barbara and Robert Simpson ...... **

Dr and Mrs James DuBois ......... 200

Q Credit Card (MC, VISA, or AMEX) ________________________________________________ Expires _____/_____

Address __________________________________________________ City/State/Zip ______________________________________________

Bob and Marion Oster ................. **

Businesses & Organizations

Bruce and Donna Whitson ......... 300 C. M. MacIntosh ......................... 40

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ................ 8,334

I wish to designate my contribution as follows: (select one)

Diane Gibbs and The Herrick Family...................... **

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation ............. 15,000

Q In my name as shown above

Dorothy B. Kennedy .................... **

Griffin & Sons Construction, Inc. .100

Gail and Susan Prickett ............. 300

Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation .......................... 11,833

Gail B. Siri ................................. ** George Comstock and Anne Hillman ......................... 1,000 Harry and Carol Louchheim ....... 300 J. and Renee Masterson............ 250 James E. Esposto ...................... ** Jane Land .................................. ** Janice E. Jedkins ...................... 400 Joe and Julie Zier ..................... 100 John and Carmen Quackenbush ... ** Karen Kang and Jon Ferraiolo .... 150 Karen Price ................................ 50

Signature _________________________________________________________

– OR – Q In honor of: Q In memory of: _______________________________________________ (Name of person) The Almanac Holiday Fund is a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. A contribution to this fund allows your donation to be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

All donors and gifts amounts will be published in The Almanac unless the boxes below are checked.

The Almanac

Holiday Fund

Q I wish to contribute anonymously. Q Please withhold the amount of my contribution. The organizations below provide major matching grants to the Holiday Fund.

2012

Gifts to the Almanac’s Holiday Fund benefit the St. Francis Center and nine other community organizations.

** Designates amount withheld at donor request

www.siliconvalleycf.org

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Rotary Club of Menlo Park

The Almanac will make every effort to publish donor names for donations received before Dec. 31, 2012, unless the donor checks the anonymous box. All donations will be acknowledged by mail.

January 16, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN13

Serving Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, and Woodside for 44 years. 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, Rosanna Leung, 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 October 1065, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo

Viewpoint IDEAS, THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS

ABOUT LOCAL ISSUES FROM PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY. EDITED BY TOM GIBBONEY

Officer keeps job despite prostitution charge

T

he recent discovery that a Menlo Park police officer who in the room’s bathroom with no clothes on. He and the prostitute admitted soliciting a prostitute continues to work full time for admitted they had met for sex, which constitutes soliciting for the department is disturbing and shows just how little control prostitution, leading to the misdemeanor charge filed against him, the city’s managers have over this critical part of the work force. according to court records. The steamy details about how Detective Jeffrey Vasquez was found Now, although the court records remain on file, the assistant diswith a prostitute in a Sunnyvale motel room and then admitted to trict attorney who supervised the case told the Almanac that he was police officers that he had propositioned her — forced to drop the charges when the investigating and that it wasn’t his first time soliciting a hooker officer could not testify at the trial. — are detailed elsewhere in today’s edition. But But even with lurid details and admissions by EDI TORI AL just as troubling as this egregious dereliction of both parties in the case, the city of Menlo Park The opinion of The Almanac duty is the blanket of secrecy that is “de rigueur” was unable to dismiss Detective Vasquez, after an in cases when an officer’s conduct is questioned in arbitrator ruled in his favor. The city apparently any way. could have paid him to leave, but City Manager Alex McIntyre was Under California law, serious misbehavior as in the Vasquez affair overheard saying that that would be “a million dollar check.” is subject to an internal affairs investigation conducted by the police In the state-mandated secret internal affairs investigation process, department. All details of the investigation, even that one is being an officer can appeal a disciplinary decision to the city manager. But conducted, are confidential personnel matters, as are complaints under Menlo Park’s contract with police, if the manager upholds about misconduct and disciplinary records. In other words, city the action, the officer can then appeal to binding arbitration, taking employees who might know that an internal affairs investigation the decision completely out of the city’s hands. This is a key flaw is being conducted are forbidden from discussing the matter with in the process, allowing an anonymous person who may have no outsiders and could be disciplined if they do. knowledge of the community to rule on extremely important and If not for a reporter who accidentally overheard a conversation in sensitive cases. a Menlo Park bar, the Vasquez case never would have come to light, Over the years, state law and local labor contracts have added including the fact that he continues to serve the city as a uniformed more and more protections for police officers who are involved in officer. misconduct, including making sure that no details reach the public. Most of what we know about the Vasquez case came from Santa In this case, it is not clear whether the arbitrator would have upheld Clara County, where court records provided substantial detail dismissal of Detective Vasquez if he had been convicted of the misabout how the Menlo Park detective found himself with time to demeanor. But whether convicted or not, Detective Vasquez admitspare in Sunnyvale while on a mission to serve a subpoena. When ted to the investigating officer that he was guilty of the charge. discovering that his subject would be unavailable for an hour, OffiHow can it be possible that this officer continues to patrol the cer Vasquez decided to arrange a date with a prostitute at a Motel streets of Menlo Park? The public has a right to know the entire 6. It was his bad luck that Sunnyvale police chose the same time to story about how an arbitrator saved Detective Vasquez’s job despite serve outstanding warrants on the prostitute, and found the officer substantial evidence of misconduct.

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 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.

Plenty of healthy substitutes for milk A frequent bugaboo of the “fiscal cliff” debacle was the “milk cliff,” the threat of milk prices doubling if Congress failed to extend dairy subsidies. Parents were forgoing other necessities, because their children “had to have milk.” Most industries would gladly give up their tax loopholes for that kind of product loyalty. But this one is totally undeserved. Consumption of dairy products, laden with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs, elevates the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when dietary flaws become lifelong addictions. A study of 12,829 children by the Harvard Medical School found that drinking cow’s milk leads to weight gain. And several proteins in cow’s milk can thicken mucus secretions leading to respiratory problems in children. Most African-Americans and Asian-Americans suffer from

14NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013

Menlo Park Historical Association

Our Regional Heritage In 1939, what is now known as the British Bankers Club on El Camino Real and Santa Cruz Avenue was turned into Menlo Park’s second city hall. The building had previously served as the Menlo Park branch of the Palo Alto National Bank and was also home to a branch of the American Trust Company.

cramping and diarrhea because they lack the enzyme to digest lactose in cow’s milk. The good news is that green leafy vegetables and legumes supply all the calcium and proteins touted in cow’s milk, without the excess calories and other yucky

factors noted. Every supermarket offers a huge line of dairy-free milks, cheeses, and ice creams made from healthy nuts and grains. This is why USDA’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, shunt dairy (and meat) off

the recommended plate of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Cow’s milk is produced for bovine — not human — babies. Let’s give our kids a healthy start. Malcolm Davidson, Encinal Avenue, Menlo Park

V I E W P O I N T

Hard lesson learned in downtown plan By John Kadvany

S

ome Menlo Park City Council members and Planning Commission’s architectural control? others have expressed dismay that the proporMandating an additional review step for projects tion of housing and retail is small in Stanford’s of several acres or more could have been easy. For proposal for its eight-acre property on El Camino comparison, the proposed downtown “paseo� and Real, especially in the context of current housing sidewalk extensions require pilot testing to see goals forced on the city through the state housing what works, and then adjust. element process. As a planning commissioner, I Why was no such safeguard enacted for the voted for Specific Plan criteria allowing such a vastly more consequential El Camino Real? project. What happened? One factor leading to Stanford’s planning A guiding assumption in the Planfreedom was to avoid micromanaging ning Commission’s discussions was the mix of retail (downtown an excepthat the build-out would be gradual tion), office/medical space, and housing, — an acre or more here, an acre there. beyond the Plan’s broad parameters. A review process every two years or That would streamline the development sooner meant the City Council could process and avoid second-guessing what change the Plan’s parameters as needed. proportions of uses are sensible at many If one five-story project looked like different locations. Not every block on El GUEST enough for an area, building height Camino needs retail, for example. The OPINION could be limited in the future. hope was that flexible standards would But there was little discussion that lead “on average� to good outcomes. But the Specific Plan authorized, in the case if a developer chooses to skew the balance of Stanford, a potential eight acre build-out all at of uses on a large project, that assumption doesn’t once, with no review of the mix of housing, retail hold. It may be that the mix proposed by Stanford and office space, as long as plan parameters were is appropriate for the site — I’m not judging the met. Allowing this to occur was great foolishness project, which may yet be revised. The point is by all involved, except, of course, Stanford. That that the City should have to be convinced that a doesn’t mean Stanford’s current proposal is good big project is right, not to have that choice dictated or bad. Nor that Stanford should have to “pay to with hands tied. play� through a benefits package. The lesson here is that Menlo Park needs to take Only that an automatic green light for such a hard look at its control and the public benefit a large project was a gross error of plan imple- parameters now in the Specific Plan. Fool me once, mentation. How could such a complex project be shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. validated in advance with such broad developer John Kadvany is a Menlo Park discretion, and little chance of review beyond the planning commissioner.

Support The Almanac’s print and online coverage of our community.

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO REVISE AND REESTABLISH AN UNDERGROUND UTILITY DISTRICT ON ALPINE ROAD NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Town Council of the Town of Portola Valley will hold a public hearing to Revise and Reestablish an Underground Utility District on Alpine Road from Nathhorst Avenue to 150 feet North of Hillbrook Drive, Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 7:30 p.m., in the Historic Schoolhouse, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, California. Comments may be submitted in writing prior to the Town Council meeting or presented at the meeting. All interested persons are invited to appear before the Town Council at the time and place herein above mentioned. A map of the proposed area to be converted to underground is available for viewing on the Town website at www.portolavalley. net as well as copies are available between 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Portola Valley Town Hall, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, California and, via mail by contacting Sharon Hanlon, Town Clerk at 650-851-1700 ext. 210. Dated: January 8, 2013

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January 16, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN15

Representing over 435 buyers & sellers in Menlo Park & Atherton since 1999.

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650 329 6645 tom@tomlemieux.com

tomlemieux.com DRE# 01066910

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16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013

V I E W P O I N T

Hard lesson learned in downtown plan By John Kadvany

S

ome Menlo Park City Council members and Planning Commission’s architectural control? others have expressed dismay that the proporMandating an additional review step for projects tion of housing and retail is small in Stanford’s of several acres or more could have been easy. For proposal for its eight-acre property on El Camino comparison, the proposed downtown “paseo� and Real, especially in the context of current housing sidewalk extensions require pilot testing to see goals forced on the city through the state housing what works, and then adjust. element process. As a planning commissioner, I Why was no such safeguard enacted for the voted for Specific Plan criteria allowing such a vastly more consequential El Camino Real? project. What happened? One factor leading to Stanford’s planning A guiding assumption in the Planfreedom was to avoid micromanaging ning Commission’s discussions was the mix of retail (downtown an excepthat the build-out would be gradual tion), office/medical space, and housing, — an acre or more here, an acre there. beyond the Plan’s broad parameters. A review process every two years or That would streamline the development sooner meant the City Council could process and avoid second-guessing what change the Plan’s parameters as needed. proportions of uses are sensible at many If one five-story project looked like different locations. Not every block on El GUEST enough for an area, building height Camino needs retail, for example. The OPINION could be limited in the future. hope was that flexible standards would But there was little discussion that lead “on average� to good outcomes. But the Specific Plan authorized, in the case if a developer chooses to skew the balance of Stanford, a potential eight acre build-out all at of uses on a large project, that assumption doesn’t once, with no review of the mix of housing, retail hold. It may be that the mix proposed by Stanford and office space, as long as plan parameters were is appropriate for the site — I’m not judging the met. Allowing this to occur was great foolishness project, which may yet be revised. The point is by all involved, except, of course, Stanford. That that the City should have to be convinced that a doesn’t mean Stanford’s current proposal is good big project is right, not to have that choice dictated or bad. Nor that Stanford should have to “pay to with hands tied. play� through a benefits package. The lesson here is that Menlo Park needs to take Only that an automatic green light for such a hard look at its control and the public benefit a large project was a gross error of plan imple- parameters now in the Specific Plan. Fool me once, mentation. How could such a complex project be shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. validated in advance with such broad developer John Kadvany is a Menlo Park discretion, and little chance of review beyond the planning commissioner.

Support The Almanac’s print and online coverage of our community.

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO REVISE AND REESTABLISH AN UNDERGROUND UTILITY DISTRICT ON ALPINE ROAD NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that the Town Council of the Town of Portola Valley will hold a public hearing to Revise and Reestablish an Underground Utility District on Alpine Road from Nathhorst Avenue to 150 feet North of Hillbrook Drive, Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 7:30 p.m., in the Historic Schoolhouse, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, California. Comments may be submitted in writing prior to the Town Council meeting or presented at the meeting. All interested persons are invited to appear before the Town Council at the time and place herein above mentioned. A map of the proposed area to be converted to underground is available for viewing on the Town website at www.portolavalley. net as well as copies are available between 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Portola Valley Town Hall, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, California and, via mail by contacting Sharon Hanlon, Town Clerk at 650-851-1700 ext. 210. Dated: January 8, 2013

Avenidas presents its 2nd Annual Financial Conference

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Join today: SupportLocalJournalism.org/Almanac

Serving the community for over 22 years

Are you getting the service you deserve? We answer our phones. Charlie Porter Farmers Agency ÂŽ License # 0773991

671-A Oak Grove Ave Menlo Park 650-327-1313 cporter2@farmersagent.com

&EATURING#ONSUMER2EPORTER Michael Finney !"#.EWS/N9OUR3IDE

3ATURDAY *ANUARYsAM PM "RYANT3T 0ALO!LTO U2ETIREMENT2EADINESS U2EAL%STATE4AXES

U-ANAGING(OUSEHOLD%XPENSES U,ONG 4ERM#ARE)NSURANCE U-EDICARE3OCIAL3ECURITY U3PECIAL4RACK&OR"OOMERS Early bird pricing available until 1/17.

2EGISTERATAVENIDASORG ORCALL  

Resources and program for positive aging

January 16, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN15

Representing over 435 buyers & sellers in Menlo Park & Atherton since 1999.

SOLD by Tom LeMieux

Superior real estate representation for those who expect only the very best.

Map data Š2011 Google

W W W. T O M L E M I E U X . C O M

650 329 6645 tom@tomlemieux.com

tomlemieux.com DRE# 01066910

Coldwell Banker Top 1% Internationally Top 100 Nationally, Wall Street Journal, 2012

16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 16, 2013


The Almanac 01.16.2013 - Section 1