LOCAL RESIDENTS participate in a project to tell the stories of World War II. Page 5
T H E H O M E TOW N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N L O PA R K , AT H E RTO N , P O RTO L A VA L L E Y A N D WO O D S I D E
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you’ve rarely seen them Menlo Park filmmaker takes the plants’ perspective in new PBS documentary. [SECTION 2]
W W W. T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M
Are Fire District Policy’s Costing You Higher Insurance Premiums? The Insurance Safety Ofﬁce, their Public Protection Classiﬁcation program and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District The Insurance Safety Ofﬁce (ISO) collects information on municipal ﬁre-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data using their Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The ISO then assigns a Public Protection Classiﬁcation (PPC) from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property ﬁre protection, and class 10 indicates that the area’s ﬁre suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria. Virtually all U.S. insurers of home and business property use ISO’s PPC program to assess property policies. That’s because statistical data on insurance losses demonstrates the relationship between better ﬁre protection, as measured by the PPC program, and lower ﬁre losses. ISO statistics show that, per $1,000 of insured property, communities with the worst PPC ratings have ﬁre losses two or more times as high as communities with the best PPC ratings. By classifying a community’s ability to suppress ﬁres, ISO helps the communities evaluate their public ﬁre-protection services. The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps ﬁre departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment, and training. Agencies with the best PPC ratings secure lower ﬁre insurance premiums for their communities by having better public protection. A community’s investment in ﬁre mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future ﬁre losses. Insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for ﬁre insurance. Generally, lower premiums are in communities with better protection. Many communities use the PPC as a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of their ﬁreprotection services. The PPC program is also a tool that helps communities plan for their budget, and justify improvements. The ISO PPC program rates ﬁre departments in three areas: 10% receiving and handling ﬁre alarms, 50% ﬁre department operations and 40% water supply. For more information on the ISO’s PPC program please visit their website at http://www.isomitigation.com/, or call an ISO mitigation specialist at 1-800-444-4554. The ISO has extensive information on more than 44,000 ﬁre-response jurisdictions. The Menlo Park Fire Protection District is one of those jurisdictions. In 1987 the Fire District was given a Public Protection Classiﬁcation from the ISO of 78.2% or PPC-3, just short of the 80% benchmark
necessary for the District to become a PPC-2. On June 1st, 2004 the ISO reevaluated the District and rated us at 70.99% or PPC-3, a 69.99% would have given us a PPC-4. What was disturbing to the ﬁreﬁghters of Menlo Park was that our Public Protection Classiﬁcation (PPC) went form nearly a Class 2 to almost a Class 4 in seven years. Our rating was broken down in the following manner…
Receiving and Handling Fire Alarms
*Divergence Total Credit
*Divergence is a reduction in credit to reﬂect a difference in the relative credit s for Fire Department and Water supply.
The Fire District’s current ISO Classiﬁcation represents over a seven percent loss of credit assigned to our 1987 classiﬁcation. The feature the District can most improve on is ﬁre department. This feature includes: equipment, stafﬁng, training, and geographic distribution of ﬁre companies. Within the ﬁre department feature, training can be best improved since it received a 0 out of a possible 10. This was due to the District not hitting training standards as well as not properly documenting those that we do hit.
departments in planning, budgeting for facilities, budgeting for equipment, and training; or as a tool used by insurance companies when they calculate your rates. The classiﬁcation program is a source of pride for the ﬁreﬁghters that work for agencies that carry ISO Public Protection Classiﬁcation 1. Fire agencies that carry that classiﬁcation proudly display their accomplishment on the doors of their ﬁre apparatus as well as on department letterhead. It was because of pride in doing our job, for our agency, and for the community we serve that the President of Menlo Park Fireﬁghters put together a plan that would have taken the Menlo Park Fire Protection District from a PPC rating of nearly Class 4 to one that was well into Class 2. The plan could be implemented at no cost to the District. It merely utilizes one of the Fire District’s existing computer programs, known as Target Safety, to address the issues of missed training benchmarks and insufﬁcient documentation of the benchmarks the District has achieved. The plan was ﬁrst given to the District’s Training Chief and current Deputy Chief on May 23rd, 2008. Within two months the District had a new Training Chief and the plan was once again given to the new Training Chief on July 14th, 2008. It looked as though the new Training Chief was going to implement the plan, but he retired in late 2008. On February 2nd, 2009 the plan was again given to yet another Training Chief and to date the plan has not been implemented.
It is important to note that for the ﬁrst 5.46% improvement we see in the ﬁre department feature of our classiﬁcation we will receive a 10.92% increase to our overall classiﬁcation due to the 5.42% decrease in our PPC due to divergence. Improving our ability to reach speciﬁc training benchmarks and proper documentation of that fact would easily bring us up to a Class 2 Fire District.
What is troubling to the ﬁreﬁghters of Menlo Park is that our current ﬁre administration has been aware of the plan to increase our ISO rating for over a year now and our current Fire Board knows nothing about it- as they have refused to speak with the ﬁreﬁghters of Menlo Park for 36 of the last 42 months.
After receiving the ISO report in 2004, our former Fire Chief Paul Wilson started to take actions that would have improved our ISO Classiﬁcation. Unfortunately, the Fire District Board chose not to renew Chief Wilson’s contract. This was puzzling to the ﬁreﬁghters of Menlo Park because when the President of the Fire Board asked the ﬁreﬁghters of Menlo Park to vote to either support or reject a contract extension for Chief Wilson; we did, and 84% of our membership supported Paul Wilson and wanted to keep him as our Fire Chief.
Jack Nelson, Robert J. Silano and Jon M. Mosby are all aware of the potential for cost savings to our community associated with increasing our ISO Public Protection Classiﬁcation. All three candidates support the concept and their commitment to the needs of our community has earned them our support in their campaigns for the Menlo Park Fire District Board. We respectfully ask that you do so as well.
The ISO’s Public Protection Classiﬁcation is not just a tool that is used by ﬁre
Please vote for Jack Nelson, Robert J. Silano and Jon M. Mosby for the position of Menlo Park Fire District Board Members on Tuesday November 3rd, 2009.
Menlo Park Fireﬁghters Legislative Group (881024) P.O. Box 534 Menlo Park 94026 2 ■ The Almanac ■ October 28, 2009
Sacred Heart Schools
Where scholarship and values matter
OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE
This week’s news, features and community events.
PRESCHOOL & K: 650.322.0176 GRADES 1-8: 650.473.4011
F IR S T SH OT
Tours available for preschool - 5 (please call for an appointment) Open House for Grades 6-8 Sunday, November 1 at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 14 at 10 a.m. (registration required)
‘Fiddler’ in Woodside Twenty-five years after their arranged marriage, Tevye, left, asks Golde in a song, “Do You Love Me?” Tevye is played by Daniel Matis and Golde, by Claudia McCarley, in the Woodside Community Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Performing Arts Center at Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., on several dates from Nov. 6 through Nov. 15. For details and ticket information, go to woodsidetheatre.com or call 529-4828.
GRADES 9-12: 650.473.4006 Open House Sunday, October 25 at 1 p.m. Sunday, November 22 at 1 p.m. (no registration required)
150 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027 www.shschools.org Inquiries and reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Barbara Wood
■ Atherton city manager wins 10 percent pay raise. Page 12
■ Local residents participate in a project to tell the stories of World War II. Page 5
■ City Council’s recent decisions on development projects underscore need for green policy. Page 5 ■ Reconsiderations, accusations, recriminations, insinuations — just another council meeting. Page 8
■ George Baier achieves Eagle Scout rank at age 12. Page 7
Schools ■ Voters have choice of change or continuity in Sequoia high school district election. Page 9 ■ Want to serve on the Las Lomitas school board? Deadline to apply is Nov. 6. Page 12
Also Inside Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . Police Calls . . . . . . . . . . Viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . .
SHE EARNED HER B.A. IN PSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES FROM SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY, AND HER M.A. IN CATHOLIC SCHOOL TEACHING FROM THE INSTITUTE OF CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP (ICEL) AT UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO.
■ Elections: Three pages of endorsement letters start on Page 16
She has completed three marathons and loves to hike and snowshoe when she visits her family in Oregon.
■ Vikings Pop Warner football teams wrap up regular season games. Page 13
She encourages her students to be enthusiastic in every endeavor and loves to see their enthusiasm radiate to other students. She hopes all her students carry their excitement and passion into the world to help those who are in need of their gifts.
On the cover 24 16 14 15 16
“The Botany of Desire,” a new PBS documentary produced and directed by Menlo Park resident Michael Schwarz, will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, on KQED-TV. The documentary is an adaptation of a book by the same name by Michael Pollan, and looks at botanical domestication from the plants’ perspectives. Cover photos, from top to bottom: a red delicious apple, photo by John Chater; a flaming parrot tulip, photo by Ruth Dundas; a marijuana bud, courtesy of Kikim Media; and a potato, courtesy of PhotoSpin. See Section 2.
She accredits her parents and family for inspiring her to see the bright side of any situation. Her favorite quote is one from Morrie Schwartz, “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
M O L LY B U C C O L L A ONE OF THE MANY REASONS TO SEND YOUR CHILD TO: Woodside Prior y School
CALLING ON THE ALMANAC The Almanac Editorial offices are at 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Classified ads: Newsroom: Newsroom fax: Advertising: Advertising fax:
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THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero Publishing Co., 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 ©2009 by Embarcadero Publishing Co., All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
Admissions Office 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028 650/851-8223 ■ www.PrioryCa.org
for Prospective Students and Families
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 at 10 a.m. For information and to R.S.V.P. contact Admissions at 650. 851. 8223
October 28, 2009 ■ The Almanac ■ 3
A TOWN MARKET PLACE
Wine Discount l es on 6 iaBtelyo, Rtobterts is offering
3015 Woodside Road Woodside,650-851-1511 4420 Alpine Road Portola Valley, 650-851-1711 Open 6:30AM - 8PM
of 6, or immed Ef fective e purchase ount on th wines. sc di ed ic % pr 10 y a rl s of regula . le tt ed bo ud e, cl ex mor le prices Red tag sa
Sale Dates: Oct. 28, 29, 30, 31 S
Fresh F Fr resh esh es
Great in a salad
Great New Arrivals
59¢ 69¢ 99¢
FUYU PERSIMMONS Danish, Butternut, Spaghetti and Kabocha h
WINTER SQUASH The tops!
While rare, we do occasionally try a wine that is so good, and so surprising, that it leaves a lasting impression, and reminds us why we do this job. Here are a couple new releases that fit the criteria..
Robert’s R Ro o Homemade!
$ 98 lb.
598 $ 98 5 $ 98 9 $
TANGY DIJON CHICKEN CKKEN BBREAST REA EAST NEW YORK STEAK
An utterly gorgeous and delicious Pinot experience. This beauty has everything you want; richness, elegance, texture and balance. The balance is remarkable. This level of quality at this price is rare and deserves a place in your collection.
14oz. – Tomato Basil – Chicken Noodle 10oz. – Also Aloe Fresh Hydrating
4 ■ The Almanac ■ October 28, 2009
And for your trick and treats, we offer an assortment of pumpkin and spooky cookies and desserts.
3044 Woodside Road • 851-1084
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:30-6:00, Sat. 8:00-6:00, Sun. 9:00-5:00
3 KNUDSEN HAMPSHIRE SOUR CREAM $ 99 1 MARTINELLI’S SPARKLING APPLE CIDER $ 19 2 WOLFGANG PUCK ORGANIC LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP $ 99 1 VASELINE INTENSIVE RESCUE LOTION $ 19 3 25oz. – Plus Calif. Redeem Value
ROBERTS HARDWARE & TACK
STONERIDGE ORCHARDS WHOLE DRIED CCHERRIES HERRIES$ 9 999 5oz. Also Blueberries - Raspberries Pint-Also light
Made in our own Roberts Kitchen filled with chicken and fresh vegetables
GROCERY Pints - Mocha - Carmel Macchiato
Chicken Pot Piee
Don’t let the price tag fool you. This wine is a bargain! Denis Malbec, formerly of Ch. Latour (Yes! That Ch. Latour), oversees the viticulture and vinification of the vineyard that sits at 2500’ elevation in the northeast corner of the Alexander Valley. The power of California meets the sophistication of Bordeaux with poise and near perfect balance. This is a great wine! .
STARBUCKS JAVA CHIP FRAPPUCINO ICE CREAM
2006 Respite Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
MEAT PORK TENDERLOIN
Roberts Market Deli
2007 Fort Ross Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast -
MUD M U BOOTS
Reg. $24.99 Sizes 5 - 13
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T H E R T O N
O O D S I D E
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A L L E Y
City Council’s recent decisions on development projects underscore need for green policy ■ The council has been inconsistent in setting “green” requirements for recent development projects. By Sean Howell Almanac Staff Writer
wo recent approvals of development projects by Menlo Park’s City Council — and the headaches that ensued when council members tried to figure out how to craft green building
regulations from the dais — have made the city’s need for a “green” building code very clear. But setting climate change-related policy when it comes to new development projects won’t be easy. In approving an 110,000-square-foot development for 1300 El Camino Real at their Oct. 6 meeting, council members stipulated that the operation of the structures be “carbon neutral.” City staff members and the site developer say they’re still trying to figure out exactly