S E C T I O N
March 10, 2010 ■ Stories about local schools, students and issues related to learning
UI D E
S TAT E
L AS S I F I E D S
A break in a recent school day at Sacred Heart Prep for seniors Jonathan Romero, left, and Matt Walter meant a visit with three manure-producing, pampas-grasseating campus goats.
ardening (to eat) at school
By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
Michelle Le Almanac Photographer
Sacred Heart Prep wins right to prepare and serve campus-grown food
Web search for the sentence “I don’t like fennel” retrieves 4,600 hits. For mustard greens, 9,700. For radicchio, 1,200. Such sentiments were probably not felt by reporters and local officials gathered at Atherton’s Sacred Heart Preparatory High School on Wednesday, March 3, where all of these vegetables are grown in the school’s 6-year-old organic garden. Two of the vegetables — radicchio and mustard greens — were on the menu for breakfast. They went fast. The school had invited the
visitors to celebrate its newly acquired right to prepare and serve campus-grown food, including eggs, a first for a school in San Mateo County. The Environmental Health Services Division gave the school the green light in December. With that recognition comes another: As of March 3, Sacred Heart is the first school in the nation to receive the top greenbuilding award, a spokeswoman said. The new Science and Student Life Center received a platiSee GARDENING, page 19
Drops of rainwater grace the leaves of a collard green plant in the 6-year-old organic and edible schoolyard garden on the campus of Sacred Heart Preparatory High School.
fff March 10, 2010 N The Almanac N 17
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NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CITY OF MENLO PARK PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MARCH 22, 2010 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Planning Commission of the City of Menlo Park, California, is scheduled to review the following items: PUBLIC HEARING ITEMS Use Permit/Taylor & Huang Properties, Inc./648 Santa Cruz Avenue: Request for a use permit for a real estate office on the ground floor of an existing commercial building in the C-3 (Central Commercial) zoning district. The proposed tenant space is located at the rear of the parcel, facing Parking Plaza 1 and a pedestrian breezeway. Use Permit/Gordon Bell for Clearwire/1330 University Drive: Request for a use permit to co-locate new wireless dishes, antennas, and associated equipment with existing cellular sites on the roof of an existing multi-family residence in the R-3(X) (Apartment, Conditional Development) zoning district.
Measure to Limit Retirement Benefits for New City of Menlo Park Employees (excluding Sworn Police Officers) and to Restrict City Council from Increasing Benefits in the Future without Voter Approval The initiative proposes to adopt an Ordinance to place limits on defined benefit pensions for “new employees” of the City of Menlo Park hired after the effective date of the proposed ordinance, excluding sworn police officers. The initiative would have no direct impact on existing retirement benefits for existing City employees, or on retirement benefits for new sworn police officers. The initiative establishes 60 years of age as the minimum “full retirement age” for new employees. The City could offer retirement benefits to employees starting at age 55 with reduced benefits, provided there is a cost savings to the City. Under the initiative, new employees generally would be eligible for smaller defined benefit pensions than those currently provided. The initiative establishes maximum pension benefits for an employee of no more than 2% of the employee’s annual average base wage as defined by the Public Employee Retirement System, which is based on no greater than the highest annual average base wage of the employee over a period of three consecutive years of employment, multiplied by the number of years of employment. The initiative prohibits the City from providing retroactive increases in retirement pension benefits for any current or new employee. Under the initiative, employees shall pay at least 7% of their salaries toward their retirement. If the City’s required contribution drops below 7%, the City may pay part of the employee’s contribution such that the employees’ and City’s contributions are effectively equal. The limits imposed by the initiative may only be modified by approval of the majority of voters at a regularly scheduled election. The initiative would become effective and apply following approval by a majority of voters and upon expiration of collective bargaining agreements with the City’s two non-safety bargaining units in effect as of the date of approval. 18 N The Almanac N March 10, 2010
Use Permit/NSA Wireless/2884 Sand Hill Road: Request for a use permit to replace three existing antennas with nine panel antennas mounted to the exterior of an existing screenwall located on the rooftop of a building in the C-1-C (Administrative, Professional, and Research, Restrictive) zoning district. An associated equipment cabinet will be installed on the rooftop behind the screenwall. Use Permit/3-V Biosciences/1050 Hamilton Avenue: Request for a use permit for indoor use and indoor and outdoor storage of hazardous materials for the research and development (R&D) of therapies for the treatment of infectious diseases at an existing building located in the M-2 (General Industrial) zoning district. A new diesel generator is proposed to be located outside the building, within an existing equipment enclosure. NOTICE IS HEREBY FURTHER GIVEN that said Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on public hearing items in the Council Chambers of the City of Menlo Park, located at 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, on Monday, March 22, 2010, 7:00 p.m. or as near as possible thereafter, at which time and place interested persons may appear and be heard thereon. If you challenge this item in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City of Menlo Park at, or prior to, the public hearing. The project file may be viewed by the public on weekdays between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, with alternate Fridays closed, at the Department of Community Development, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park. Please call the Planning Division if there are any questions and/or for complete agenda information (650) 330-6702. Si usted necesita más información sobre este proyecto, por favor llame al 650-330-6702, y pregunte por un asistente que hable español. DATED: PUBLISHED:
March 4, 2010 March 10, 2010
Deanna Chow, Senior Planner Menlo Park Planning Commission
Visit our Web site for Planning Commission public hearing, agenda, and staff report information: www.menlopark.org
PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
ardening (to eat) at school • cover story continued from page 17
num Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) award from the U.S. Green Building Council. Sacred Heart’s extra garden produce is donated to those in need, including St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room in Redwood City, Sandwiches on Sundays in Menlo Park, and Food Not Bombs in San Francisco, school spokeswoman Annie Berlin said. The menu for the celebration reflected the season and included radicchio braised with bacon and rosemary, radicchio fritters, Swiss chard frittata, braised mustard greens, and blue-corn muffins. That it went fast and that such food probably goes fast every day there is easily explained. For one thing, it should not be called food. The more deserving term is cuisine. The school has a food service contract with Los Altos-based Epicurean Group, which has institutional clients throughout the Bay Area. Still, it seems natural that students would object to fennel, which tastes like black licorice, and radicchio, which is bitter. Epicurean’s Jim Julian said the staff is not intimidated and discusses food with students. “We introduce things (in the spirit of) not being afraid, and not being afraid to reintroduce them,” he said. “You kind of build that excitement about it.” Some students also get their hands dirty. Those who take Human Geography and Environmental Science, an elective taught by history teacher and student garden coordinator Stew-
NOTICE OF INTENT TO INCREASE SOLID WASTE / RECYCLING RATES IN THE CITY OF MENLO PARK
The City Council of the City of Menlo Park hereby gives public notice of its intent to define the service area and increase the existing solid waste / recycling rates for singlefamily residential customers within the City of Menlo Park for the collection of solid waste and recyclable materials. The changes, if approved, will be effective on July 1, 2010. The City Council plans to consider these rate increases at a public hearing on March 23, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the City of Menlo Park Council Chambers Building at 701 Laurel Street - Civic Center. Chefs on hand for questions about radicchio fritters, Swiss chard frittata and other dishes they prepared for a March 3 breakfast at Sacred Heart Preparatory High School. They are, from left, Reynaldo Hernandez, Pedro Guerrero and Pablo Barron.
art Slafter, work the garden and learn of worldwide patterns of agriculture and different concepts of what constitutes food. The average Byelorussian, for example, eats 400 pounds of potatoes a year, Mr. Slafter said. What do students take away? “At the very least,” Mr. Slafter said, “they know what it is to plant carrot seeds and weed and see the seeds germinate and nurse the crop and harvest it and know how meticulous a process that is.” The program is modeled on the edible schoolyard, an idea pioneered by celebrity chef Alice Waters. Sacred Heart’s 10,000square-foot section of schoolyard is definitely edible. A innocent looking patch of weeds turned out to be sukiyaki greens and borage. One taste and you’ll want them in your backyard. Mr. Slafter and students also maintain a flock of egg-laying chickens, three goats and some
rabbits. While the goats help dispose of campus green waste, the animals also contribute valuable manure to the compost, which is segregated to prevent animal protein from finding its way to ground where food is grown, Mr. Slafter said. Student views
Freshmen Johnathan Louie of Menlo Park and Bridgette Harper of South San Francisco take a global studies class at Sacred Heart and toured the garden with reporters. Asked if he has a home garden, Johnathan replied: “I have room for a garden, but do I have the time? No.” And his parents? “No,” he added. “We’re a very busy family.” Bridgette said her home has a small garden, which Mr. Slafter has inspired her to expand. (For the record, a Web search for the sentence “I don’t like tomatoes” yielded 99,000 hits.) A
David Palecek, 37, Atherton resident, father of four David Vaclav Palecek, an Atherton resident and a partner at McKinsey & Co. management consulting firm, died from complications of a staphylococcus infection at Stanford Hospital on Feb. 16. He was 37. A celebration of his life is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, March 14, at the Arrillaga Alumni Center on the Stanford campus. Born in Richmond, Virginia, he spent the first several years of his life with his parents in Lausanne, Switzerland. The family moved to Palo Alto in 1975, and then to Atherton, where Mr. Palecek and his two brothers grew up. As a teenager, he was an Eagle Scout and became a member of the Alpine Meadows ski patrol, a volunteer job he performed for 20 seasons, family members said. He graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in genomics from the University of California at Davis.