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INSIDE: N Classified Marketplace, page 47 N Puzzles, page 48 Home Front on lin e at w w w .P al o Al to On lin e. co m by John Squire “M y entire house was damaged. I lost all my possessions,â€? Melanie Hibbs said. On May 1, 2009, the control panel of Hibbs’ dishwasher short-circuited and her kitchen caught fire. Even though the fire was limited to the kitchen, smoke seeped through every room and smoke damage ruined most of her possessions. Eight months later, the house is still undergoing repairs. Hibbs wasn’t home at the time, but a neighbor saw the smoke and called the Palo Alto Fire Department. “By the time I got home, the fire department was there,â€? she said. “When they let me go in, the house was still radiating heat. Everything was covered in a thick layer of acrid smoke.â€? Eight home fires were reported in Palo Alto last year. Although residential fires are down as a whole, many of the fires could have been prevented, according to Palo Alto Fire Marshal Gordon Simpkinson. These fires have been caused by appliances, gas lines and electrical shorts. Faulty appliances are a regular cause of home fires, he said, noting that Hibbs’ dishwasher was subject to recall. He recommends being aware of major recalls. “The Consumer Product Safety Commission website ( is a pretty good resource. It’s a central repository for appliance recalls,â€? Simpkinson said. He suggests taking an inventory of appliances and checking if any have recalls in effect. “Take a look at the major appliances in your house: your microwave oven, your regular oven, your washer dryer, your dishwasher.â€? Although residential fires are down as a whole, many of the fires could have been prevented, he said. FROM SEEDS TO ... Two classes on Grow Biointensive seedpropagation techniques will be offered by Ecology Action apprentices from the Golden Rule Mini-Farm in Willits, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 9, at Common Ground Educational Center, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. Natasha Fernandez, will teach “Seed Propagationâ€? from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Ed Fernandez will teach “Double-digging and Bed Preparationâ€? from 2 to 4 p.m. Each class is $31. For information, call 650-493-6072 or visit, or http:// doubledigbedprep.eventbrite. com/. Norbert von der Groeben PRUNING ROSES ... Peninsula Rose Society members will talk about pruning roses on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Roger Reynolds Nursery, 133 Encinal Ave., Menlo Park (650323-5612), and on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City (650-857-9380). Both talks are free. For information, visit www. COOL THE PLANET ... Burt Liebert, co-author of “Out of the Cage: Cooling a Warming Planet,â€? will teach a course on “Cooling a Warming Planet: so Simulations of dried-out Christmas trees, candles, radiant heaters and fireplace fires are demonstrated every year by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, shown here in December 2007. TREE WALK ... Arborist Ted Kipping will lead a free tree walk through the Palo Verde neighborhood on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the entrance to Palo Verde Elementary School, 3450 Louis Road, Palo Alto. For information, call Canopy at 650-964-6110 or visit VEGGIE GARDENING ... Candace Simpson and UCCE master gardeners of Santa Clara County will teach a class on “Vegetable Gardening — Sustainability for the Environment and Youâ€? on Tuesdays, Jan. 12 through Feb. 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Palo Alto High School, Room 1707, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. The class will cover soil preparation to management of pests, weeds and diseases. Cost is $96. For information, call 650-329-3752 or visit Al E M 42 HO GE EN PA OP IDE, GU HOME & REAL ESTATE PA L O A LT O W E E K LY (continued on page 39) Don’t let get in your eyes How to prevent fires at home (continued on page 40) *>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?ÞÊUĂŠ>Â˜Ă•>ÀÞÊn]ÊÓä£äÊU Page 37

Palo Alto Weekly 01.08.2010 - Section 2

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