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WORLD WAR II AVIATOR M. Jean Harman receives Congressional Gold Medal | Page 15

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

MARCH 17, 2010

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W W W. T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M

Pondering the effects of

Prop 13 Concerned about diminishing school funding, local parent examines effects of 1978 property tax measure, and makes some startling discoveries. Section 2


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Come Join Us at Kicks 1060 Evelyn St. Menlo Park Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Menlo seniors, from left, Roxana Meyers, Vikram Padval and Deborah Wohl reflect the latest Bloomingdale’s fashions.

Menlo School showcases spring fashions Menlo School’s 60th annual benefit, “Dream,” will be an allday party Friday, March 19, celebrating the graduating senior class. The event will feature luncheon and dinner fashion shows, where seniors will model the latest fashions from Bloomingdale’s and entertain with dancing vignettes. The benefit is the Atherton school’s main fundraiser for financial aid. More than 1,600 parents, alumni and community members are expected to attend the two shows, staged in a large tent on campus. All proceeds, including funds raised in online and live auctions, will go toward financial aid. “Day Dream,” the luncheon show, begins at 11:30 a.m. “A Dreamy Evening,” the dinner show, starts at 6 p.m. Continuing their 14-year-old partnership with Menlo School, the Stanford and San Francisco

Also Inside Around Town . . . . . . . . Editorial. . . . . . . . . . . . . Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Police Calls . . . . . . . . . . Regional Heritage . . . .

hoto by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Menlo School parents Debbie Rosenberg, left, of Atherton and Julie Douglass of Hillsborough are chairing the school’s 60th annual benefit.

Bloomingdale’s stores will fill the runway with the season’s latest fashion trends. Models will wear spring fashions by top designers, including Rebecca Taylor, Nanette Lepore, Hugo Boss, Eli Tahari, Theory, and RLX by Ralph Lauren. Dress designer Tadashi Shoji

will make a personal appearance featuring his 2010 collection. Mr. Tadashi’s clients include celebrities Helen Mirren, Queen Latifah, Beyonce, and Deborah Messing. The evening gala begins with cocktails, including a vodka bar and hors d’oeuvres. Dinner will be catered by McCall Associates. There will be a live auction with such “dreamy” items as a 10-day rafting trip in Chile, a vacation at Le Sereno Hotel in St. Barts, and Christmas or New Year’s week at a home in Aspen. After the fashion show and dance productions, there will be dancing to DJ Lou Loiben. Co-chairs Debbie Rosenberg and Julie Douglass have spent the last year working on the benefit, supported by a committee of more than 130 adult volunteers. Students pitch in on the day of the event, doing everything from helping with See FASHION, page 17

On the cover 16 18 18 17 18

Jennifer Bestor of Menlo Park took a close look at property tax rates for downtown businesses and for an Allied Arts neighborhood, and began to think about ways to lessen the growing tax burden imbalance that favors commercial property owners. Photo by Michelle Le. See story, Section 2.

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:

854-0858 854-2690 854-0677 854-2626 854-3650

■ E-mail news, information, obituaries and photos (with captions) to: editor@AlmanacNews.com ■ E-mail letters to the editor to: letters@AlmanacNews.com

To request free delivery, or stop delivery, of The Almanac in zip code 94025, 94027, 94028 and the Woodside portion of 94062, call 854-2626.

THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero Media, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 940256558. Periodicals Postage Paid at Menlo Park, CA and at additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for San Mateo County, The Almanac is delivered free to homes in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. Subscriptions for $60 per year or $100 per 2 years are welcome. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025-6558. Copyright ©2010 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

Trunk Show Thursday, March 18th Representative Gabriella will be here to assist you.

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TOWN OF ATHERTON COMMITTEES/COMMISSIONS RECRUITMENT Join us and Make a Difference The Town of Atherton invites dedicated volunteers to submit an application for the following committees: Finance Committee – 2 vacancies – 2 year term expiring April 30, 2012 1 vacancy – 1 year term expiring April 30, 2011

At its regularly scheduled meeting on February 17, 2010, Council voted to expand the Finance Committee to allow up to three (3) appointed, qualified Atherton residents with financial expertise for staggered terms of which are one term for one year and two terms for two years and two years thereafter. Applicants must be Atherton residents and registered voters of the Town of Atherton. Applications must be received in the City Clerk’s Office by Friday, April 2, 2010 For more information or to obtain an application, contact Theresa DellaSanta, Deputy City Clerk, Town Administrative Offices, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton, CA 94027, phone (650) 752-0529, e-mail: tdellasanta@ci.atherton.ca.us. Applications may be downloaded from the Town website, http://www.ci.atherton.ca.us/armm.html March 17, 2010 ■ The Almanac ■ 3


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rule,” which calls for taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes, during which time you should sit back and focus on an object 20 feet away. Doing so will also help refresh your mind and body. Spending long hours starting at a computer screen can be incredibly demanding on your eyes due to lack of eye blinking, glare and reflections off the computer screen, and pre-existing eye problems. This problem is not isolated to adults because children spend time playing video games and searching the web. Bring your eyewear prescription to MENLO OPTICAL at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. We carry computer, athletic, and occupational eyewear for the entire family. Please call us at 322-3900 if you have any questions about this week’s column. P.S. Following the “20-20-20 rule” will help your eyes vary their focus and not remain stuck in the near focus. 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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Results are in, but what to make of Bohannon poll? By Sean Howell

N ANALYSIS

Almanac Staff Writer

F

or the second time in a year, a poll has indicated strong support among Menlo Park voters for one of the largest single land development proposals in the city’s history. The motivations of the company that commissioned the poll — and the question of whether it will have any bearing on the project’s prospects — remain a mystery. The poll was not commissioned by the city, but by David Bohannon, the developer behind the proposal. The Bohannon Development Co. is wrapping up its first round of negotiations with Menlo Park, asking for major zoning and general plan concessions in exchange for asyet-undisclosed public benefits to allow for three eight-story office buildings and a 230-room hotel near Marsh Road and Bayfront Expressway.

According to Brian Godbe, whose company Mr. Bohannon employed to conduct the poll, seven of nine respondents “support” the project — the most favorable results he’s seen for a development proposal in his 20-plus years on the job, he said. But the fact that Mr. Bohannon is for a second time publicizing the results of a poll raises three distinct questions, all of which council members have thoroughly debated: 1) Are the poll results reliable? 2) What exactly is Mr. Bohannon up to? and 3) What are council members supposed to do with this information, anyway? The debate around the first question is fairly straightforward. Several council members have said they’ll ignore the poll altogether, relying on the adage that any survey will reveal whatever the surveyor wants it to reveal.

The counter-argument is that Mr. Godbe is a professional, and he’s staking his professional reputation on the poll, which claims a 5 percent margin of error. Mr. Godbe has conducted similar surveys for cities and school districts across the Peninsula and the state, including Menlo Park. Answers to the second question are more difficult to come by. Is Mr. Bohannon trying to pressure council members into giving his company a better deal in negotiations? Is he warning them of the public rebuke they might face if they reject the project? Or is this merely a gentle reminder for them to listen to their constituents? The poll itself holds a few clues. Council members will surely note that it surveyed only “likely” voters in the November 2010 election, when three of five council seats are up for election. Still, it does not ask respondents See BOHANNON, page 8

Bohannon offers peek at survey By Sean Howell Almanac Staff Writer

D

avid Bohannon has disclosed to The Almanac the results of a public opinion poll his company commissioned regarding a land development proposal in the eastern reaches of Menlo Park. The poll, conducted by the firm Godbe Research, asked a representative sample of people likely to vote in the November 2010 election whether they supported the Bohannon Development Co.’s proposal for three eight-story office towers, a 230-room hotel, and several large parking garages. Pollsters also asked people whether they would vote for the proposal if the Bohannon company placed it on the ballot as a voter initiative. It follows on a similar poll the company commissioned in early 2009. According to Mr. Bohannon,

the company ordered the polls so it could better understand the milieu in which the city is processing the project, and to prepare for the possibility that the issue will be decided not by a vote of the City Council, but by Menlo Park citizens: in a voter referendum, or an initiative sponsored by either the Bohannon company or the city. Brian Godbe and Mr. Bohannon sketched the poll results for The Almanac on Wednesday, March 10. Mr. Godbe delivered a summary of those results and disclosed the exact wording of survey questions when asked, but did not provide The Almanac with a copy of the exact questions and responses. The survey was conducted in January via phone interviews of 400 people. It cost “in the ballpark” of $25,000, according to both Mr. See SURVEY, page 8

Bell tolls for Jackling house ■ Judge rules against preservation of 85-yearold Woodside mansion. By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

U

phold Our Heritage, the preser vation-or iented group trying to save Woodside’s historic Jackling house, has been dealt another blow. A San Mateo County Superior Court judge has overruled Uphold’s objections to plans by Apple Corp. chief executive Steve Jobs, the owner of the 82-year-old mansion, to destroy it and replace it with a modern home. In her March 8 ruling, Judge Marie S. Weiner spent most of its 12 pages recounting the four-year unfolding of this case, including her decision for Uphold in February 2006, the appellate court’s agreement, and Mr. Jobs’ subsequent — and now successful — efforts to address his case’s shortcomings as identified by the court. The saga may not be over. Uphold Our Heritage has 60 days to appeal the decision. The last time Uphold appealed, they won, but Mr. Jobs has addressed the deficiencies cited then by the courts. In her ruling, as she concluded

that Mr. Jobs could go forward with demolition, the judge paused twice to note the unhappiness among some in Woodside over the increasingly likely passing of this Spanish colonial-style mansion. “It’s unfortunate that someone didn’t buy the property who really bought it in order to preserve the mansion, but that’s what happened,” said former Councilwoman Carroll Ann Hodges in May 2009, and quoted in the judge’s ruling. Judge Weiner also quoted architect and then-mayor Peter Mason, who lamented the tearing down of historic resources. “I think that’s really sad for the long term historic heritage of our town,” he said. The judge noted the Jackling house’s location on private property, its inaccessibility to a view by the passing public, the house’s “serious” state of disrepair as a public health and safety issue, its construction before there were building and fire codes, and its proximity to the San Andreas fault. The judge noted that Mr. Jobs “intends not to fix (the house) and not to sell it,” though he has received several proposals to take it off his hands, including two in 2009.

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Susan Sartor, who will take the reins as principal of Las Lomitas School in July, sits with Angelina Causor, to Ms. Sartor’s right, and other Las Lomitas students during lunch last week.

Sue Sartor named Las Lomitas principal By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

S

usan Sartor, who has served as assistant principal of Las Lomitas School since 2005, has been named the school’s new principal, effective July 1.

The Las Lomitas Elementary School District board on March 10 voted unanimously to approve Superintendent Eric Hartwig’s recommendation to appoint Ms. Sartor. She will replace Gerald Traynor, who served as principal for 10 years and announced in Janu-

ary that he would retire at the end of the school year. Ms. Sartor’s roots with the Las Lomitas district go deep. As a girl, she moved with her family to the Sharon Heights neighborhood of Menlo Park, See SARTOR, page 8

See JACKLING, page 7

March 17, 2010 N The Almanac N5


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6 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010


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R EAL E STATE Q&A

Menlo Park board OKs teacher layoffs ■ Parcel tax approval could save jobs. By Andrea Gemmet Almanac Staff Writer

T

eachers in the Menlo Park City School District could see preliminary layoff notices in their inboxes this week. At the March 10 meeting, the school board voted to end nearly 12 full-time equivalent positions in the K-8 district as a cost-cutting measure. The layoffs affect two librarians, an assistant principal, two Spanish teachers, a counselor, an instructional technology coordinator and a couple of physical education teachers. Several other positions will have their hours reduced. While only two classroom teaching jobs were on the chopping block, the reality is that young classroom teachers with the least seniority will be the ones who are laid off. All but one of the people losing their positions have teaching credentials, and because

they have greater seniority, they will be offered classroom jobs, while teachers with the least seniority will be getting pink slips, said Superintendent Ken Ranella at the March 10 board meeting. “It’s a reduction of services, not positions,” he said. “It’s not the assistant principal that goes away, it’s another classroom teacher.” Nearly eight temporary teaching positions will also be terminated, Mr. Ranella said. The number of layoffs for a district of Menlo Park’s size is significant, he said. Additional layoffs of staff in non-teaching positions will be done in the coming weeks, he said. The passage of Measure C, a $178 annual parcel tax on the May 4 ballot, could save many, if not all, of the jobs that were cut, Mr. Ranella said. Board member Laura Rich addressed the teachers in the

audience, saying that district officials are doing everything they can to prevent the layoffs from becoming permanent on May 15. “We hate doing this to even one person,” Ms. Rich said. “This is just awful. This is the worst. I hope each (teacher) understands how much we value them.” The district is looking to make at least $1.2 million in cuts, in the event that the parcel tax does not pass. Swelling enrollment numbers, flat property tax revenues, and an anticipated $1.4 million cut in state funding are projected to leave the district with a $2 million budget shortfall for the 2010-11 school year, district officials said. If the parcel tax passes, the district will still need to make $300,000 in budget cuts for the coming school year, and about that much in cuts for the 201112 school year, Mr. Ranella said. Class sizes are almost certain to be affected. A

by Monica Corman

Another California County Adopts Prop 90 Q: I am over 55 years of age and want to sell the home I have lived in for 30 years and move my property tax base to a new residence in another county. Which counties allow this transfer?

A: There are eight California counties that accept property tax transfers from other counties. As of February 15, 2010, El Dorado County, whose county seat is Placerville in the Gold Country, became the eighth California county to adopt Proposition 90, the ordinance that governs these transfers. The other counties accepting Proposition 90 are San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Diego and Orange.

If a homeowner is age 55 or older, he or she may buy or construct a new home of equal or lesser value than his or her existing home and transfer the base value to the new property. The homeowner has two years from the time the original property is sold to purchase or build the replacement property. There are specific rules that must be followed in order to qualify for this transfer. Homeowners should contact the Assessor’s office for the county they plan to move to for information on qualifications. If these qualifications are met, the result can be substantial property tax savings.

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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Board votes to take all Tinsley students next year The Menlo Park City School District will enroll its full allotment of Tinsley transfer students from the Ravenswood school district. The school board voted unanimously at the March 10 meeting to enroll its usual 24 students, plus 10 “backfill” students for the coming school year. As part of the Tinsley desegregation lawsuit settlement, Menlo Park takes 24 students every year, usually kindergartners,

and guarantees them a place in the district through eighth grade. Children who leave the district or don’t show up usually have their spots backfilled. This year, due to the Menlo Park district’s enrollment growth and an unusually large number of backfill students, there was some question whether the backfill could be accommodated. Superintendent Ken Ranella said that due to the combination of a slightly lower than expected

number of new kindergartners who registered in February, plus a decrease in the anticipated number of Tinsley backfill students from 14 to 10, the district would be able to accommodate all of the students. An earlier proposal to temporarily suspend the Tinsley program for all students next year met with criticism and outrage from parents who attended last month’s Menlo Park school board meeting. A

Menlo-Atherton High finds a new football coach The Menlo-Atherton football team, which struggled through a 1-9 record last season and has gone through three coaches in the past two seasons, has a new head coach. Sione Taufoou, 27, who for the past three seasons has been an assistant football coach at Menlo School, will guide the Bears this fall. Taufoou replaces Tony Rosso, who lasted only this past season. Prior to that, Philip Brown finished up the 2008 season as the

interim head coach after Bob Sykes left just a few games into the campaign. Taufoou, a San Carlos native and a graduate of St. Francis High, expects to be around a lot longer than his predecessors. He comes from a long line of football players in his family — Kaoi, Will and Matt. It’s a family that is highly regarded in San Mateo County. Taufoou was the defensive coordinator at Menlo School this past fall, which saw the Knights

reach the Central Coast Section Small School Division championship game for the first time in school history. Menlo head coach Mark Newton said he was sorry to see Taufoou leave but that he believes the Bears’ new coach has the personality that will relate well to the M-A players and that he’ll be a steadying influence to a program that has seen plenty of highs and lows over the years.

JACKLING

the house and reuse parts of it in a new family home. It’s unclear whether Mr. Jobs ever agreed to this, and the proposal has since lapsed. Later in 2009, Woodside residents Jason and Magalli Yoho offered to relocate the house to

Lindenbrook Road from its current location on Robles Drive, according to a letter to the couple from Town Hall. Representatives from Uphold Our Heritage did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

continued from page 5

Gordon Smythe, a venture capitalist and enthusiast of Jackling house architect George Washington Smith, offered in the summer of 2009 to dismantle

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PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE 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 increase the existing solid waste / recycling rates for commercial and multi-family residential customers within the City of Menlo Park for the collection of solid waste and recyclable materials. The increase, if approved, would be retroactively effective as of January 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. What are the new rates: Several rate increase levels will be considered at the public hearing. The maximum rate increase under consideration is 28% higher than current rates. A detailed listing of the proposed rates can be obtained from the Finance Department located on the second floor at City Hall, 701 Laurel Street, on-line at http://www.menlopark.org/departments/dep_finance.html, or by calling 650-330-6644. In addition to the rate increase mentioned above the City Council will also consider expanding the services provided to include Doorto-Door collection of Household Hazardous Waste, Universal Waste, Electronic Waste, and Sharps and Medicine at a cost of $0.20 per month per customer through a City-wide contract for the Recycling and Disposal Services provided by Curbside Inc. The additional services and fee, if approved, would be effective as of July 1, 2010. Necessity for new rates: The intended new rates are necessary due to the terms of the City’s existing contract with Allied Waste Company which provide for fees to be set at a level which gives the Contractor a rate of return based on approved costs. The Contractor’s costs have increased in the current year primarily due to increased labor and disposal costs. The City’s costs of providing billing services and environmental programs that support reductions in solid waste have also increased in recent years. Prior year rate increases have not kept pace with this combination of rising costs, resulting in a significant amount due to Allied at the end at the contract on December 31, 2010. If you wish to file a written protest to these fee increases, please send a letter addressed to Solid Waste Rates, City Clerk, City of Menlo Park, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Your letter must identify the real property you own by street address and the assessor’s parcel number. Your letter must be legibly signed by any one of the current property owners. Your name should be set forth as it appears on your tax bill. The City of Menlo Park must receive your letter at City Hall by 5:00 p.m. on March 19, 2010, or it must be presented at the City Council meeting on March 23, 2010, prior to the close of the public hearing on the matter. Any person interested, including all solid waste / recycling collection customers of the City of Menlo Park, may appear at the public hearing and be heard on any matter related to the proposed increase in rates. Dated: March 2, 2010 /s/ MARGARET S. ROBERTS, MMC, City Clerk Published in THE COUNTRY ALMANAC on March 10, 2010 and March 17, 2010 8 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010

continued from page 5

to grapple with questions about the company’s negotiations with the city, something the council will do in the upcoming months. It also doesn’t ask whether a council member’s vote on the project would influence their decision on Election Day. But it does test, in a vague way, certain assumptions and predilections that council members have articulated in the year since the previous poll. The results indirectly suggest, for instance, that tangible benefits to the nearby Belle Haven neighborhood are far more important to people than the more ethereal goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s noteworthy because council members have suggested that the project’s fate might hinge on the Bohannon company’s willingness to reduce those emissions. The poll’s final question poses a more direct challenge to council members, some of whom have SURVEY continued from page 5

Bohannon and Mr. Godbe. At the beginning and end of the poll, the same percentage of people said they “supported� the project: 70 percent. In between, pollsters asked a series of questions, designed to simulate public debate, and to inform “communication� efforts, according to Mr. Godbe. The information the survey provided on the project was couched in a series of hypothetical questions: Would you be much more likely to support the project if you knew thus and such? Somewhat more likely? Less likely? etc. It left the environmental consequences of the project somewhat vague, asking people whether they would be less likely to support the project if they knew it would produce “thousands� of car trips and SARTOR continued from page 5

and attended district schools: the now-closed Ladera School and La Entrada Middle School. She began her teaching career in San Jose and Redwood City. She returned to the local district in 1988, taking a teaching position at Las Lomitas, a K-3 school located in Atherton. She taught kindergarten, first, and third grades, and in 2002 began teaching English language development at the school, at the same time serving as the site coordina-

said they fear that the Bohannon company, instead of negotiating with the city, will use California’s ballot initiative process to take the issue directly to voters. At one council meeting, Councilman John Boyle scoffed at that possibility. If the city were to tell residents the Bohannon company was making an “end run� around the council, voters would surely support the city’s autonomy and reject the project, he said. So Mr. Bohannon asked respondents that very question: If the Bohannon company placed the project on the ballot, would you vote for it, even if you were told the process represented an “end run� around the council? Sixty-four percent of residents would, according to the poll — a statistic that should only reinforce council members’ fears, though Mr. Bohannon reiterated that he is not at the moment planning to mount a ballot initiative. Still, if the Bohannon company uses the poll’s results to guide its marketing campaign

in preparation for a vote — telling people, for instance, that the project would generate $3.6 million annually for local agencies, without mentioning that much of that money would go outside of Menlo Park — the company would surely prevail, Mr. Godbe said. “It’s a home run� were his exact words. While council members have said that the poll won’t weigh much on their deliberations, the political calculus suggested by the results is clear. If the city and Mr. Bohannon can’t agree on terms, and his company elected to place it on the ballot, voters would approve the project by a cushy margin — even if the public benefits the city is currently trying to negotiate weren’t part of the deal. Whether the Bohannon company would actually elect to take that route, or whether it’s simply flexing its muscles, is another question. But the poll should at least remind council members, for the second time in the past year, of that possibility.

“tons� of greenhouse gas emissions. In general, the results of the recent survey did not vary significantly from those of the 2009 poll, though by the end of the 2010 survey there was a statistically significant increase over the 2009 results in the number of people voicing “strong support� for the project, according to Mr. Godbe. Prior to the poll, the Bohannon company conducted two focus group sessions: one for project supporters, and one for project opponents. Mr. Bohannon gave a brief, anecdotal description of those sessions, saying that he and others who watched them from behind a two-way mirror observed a noticeable softening among opponents when they realized that the project site is east of U.S. 101. Those sessions informed the questions asked in the poll,

according to Mr. Godbe. Mr. Godbe emphasized that the survey was not a “push poll� — a term that describes a poll whose purpose is to sway voter opinion, rather than record it. “It’s really easy for somebody who opposes a project ... to say, ‘well, this is just a push poll,’� he said. “That’s yet another campaign tactic that is just not true. The purpose is to find out what voters’ priorities are, so we have to ask questions, and those questions have to have a point of view.� Asked whether he had considered bringing the city in on coming up with the questions, Mr. Bohannon said he took issue with the fact that people would discount its results, just because a developer commissioned it. He observed that city staff includes land-use experts but not polling experts, and said the poll is primarily for the company’s use.

tor for the ELD program. “It is just a thrill for me to have an opportunity to continue working with this district in this new role,� Ms. Sartor told The Almanac. “I always think of Las Lomitas as a three-legged stool,� she said, explaining that the “students, staff and parents here are top-notch. You put all those things together and you have the optimal conditions� for a great school. Mr. Hartwig was unavailable for comment before press time, but in a prepared statement, he said: “In the three years that I

have known Sue, I have been extremely impressed with her knowledge of the school and community, and her ability to work with staff and community towards common goals. She is the perfect match for this position, and we are extremely fortunate to have her ready and willing to take on this challenge at this time.� Ms. Sartor and her husband, Mike, the assistant director of public works for the city of Palo Alto, live in Menlo Park. Their two daughters attended Las Lomitas and La Entrada schools.

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Water conservation mandates come to Portola Valley ■ New rules for Woodside are ahead. By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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he El Nino effect — unusually warm temperatures in the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean — is soaking the Bay Area with rain. The snow pack in the mountains is 107 percent of normal, according to the state Department of Water Resources. Not the perfect setting for the Town Council of Portola Valley to be passing ordinances regulating how much water can be used inside and outside certain homes, as happened on Feb. 24, but then the council had little choice. The setting that really matters is a three-year drought, new statewide water conservation mandates, and Gov. Schwarzenegger’s initiative to cut water use by 20 percent by 2020. Since Jan. 1, every city and town in the state has had to establish water-use ordinances using either the state’s model or one of local design, provided it is as tough or tougher than the state’s. Also having an impact is an October 2008 decision by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to cap Bay Area water supplies at current levels until at least 2018. At current usage levels, the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), which serves Portola Valley, Woodside, Menlo Park and Atherton, estimates that regional demand for water will exceed supply by 2015. Conservation is thus not an option. Portola Valley’s ordinance is based on a model prepared by BAWSCA and stakeholders from San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties, where it is in wide use. Residents of Portola Valley are already living by the ordinance, according to a staff report by Planning Manager Leslie Lambert and Brandi DeGarmeaux, who coordinates environmental issues for the town. The ordinance also has the support of

local water suppliers. Woodside’s Town Council is likely to see the BAWSCA ordinance for outdoor irrigation in 30 to 60 days, with indoor rules coming later, Town Manager Susan George said on March 9. In her staff report, Ms. George noted that BAWSCA’s approach is complicated but less so than the state’s, and that a similarity of rules from town to town would be welcomed by regional professionals such as landscape architects. New standards

Portola Valley’s ordinances, adopted by unanimous vote, are intended to cut outdoor water use by 25 percent and indoor use by 20 percent, the report said. The outdoor ordinance applies to homes with landscaping of more than 1,000 square feet, whether it’s new construction or an existing home with landscaping to be “rehabilitated” such that a building permit or new or expanded water service is required, the report said. For such homes, under the ordinance, lawns cannot exceed 25 percent of the landscaped area and cannot exceed 1,000 square feet without a watering plan. Of the non-lawn parts, 80 percent must contain native or drought-resistant plants. Gardens larger than 1,000 square feet need a watering plan. Landscaping greater than 2,500 square feet should have a separate water meter, and must have a separate meter if greater than 5,000 square feet, the report said. These homeowners must also employ professionals to design the landscape and audit water use. The indoor standards apply to new construction, remodels that require a building permit, and all remodeled bathrooms and kitchens, the report said. The indoor rules are meant to meet or exceed changes coming to the state’s plumbing and green-building codes, the report said. Generally, the standards require appliances verified to be energy efficient, such as those labeled EnergyStar.

YMCA honors outstanding volunteers Three local residents were recently honored for their volunteer service by the YMCA. The Palo Alto Family YMCA presented its distinguished service award to Judy Horst of Menlo Park. The Association Office of YMCA of Silicon Valley named Donald Lee of Portola Valley winner of its distinguished service award. Jessica Pulido of Menlo Park received the teen volunteer of the year award from the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA. Ms. Horst is chairman of the Palo Alto Family YMCA board of managers. She recently helped develop the Cooper YMCA scholarship awards for college-bound students. Mr. Lee has volunteered on both the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA board of directors and on the YMCA of Silicon Valley Association board of directors. He has served as fund-raising

Morris named to Humane Society board

N PEOP L E

Judy Horst, Donald Lee and Jessica Pulido received YMCA awards.

chair and worked on the association’s Hispanic taskforce. Ms. Pulido has prepared healthy snacks and led fitness activities for family nights at the East Palo Alto Y’s welcome center. She has also served as a summer camp leader. The YMCA of Silicon Valley serves nearly 190,000 members and includes 11 YMCA facilities and Camp Campbell, a wilderness camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Arlene Morris of Menlo Park has been elected to the board of directors of the Humane Society Silicon Valley. Ms. Morris is president and CEO of Affymax Inc. in Palo Alto, a 180person firm conducting research and development in the field of therapeutic peptides. She was CEO of Clearview Projects from 2002 to 2004. She earlier served as senior vice president of business develop- Arlene ment at Coulter Phar- Morris maceutical. Ms. Morris is a graduate of Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended graduate classes in marketing and finance at Western New England College.

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Correction An article in the March 10 issue on Margo McAuliffe’s efforts to raise money for a girls high school in Kenya states that Ms. McAuliffe met Father Daniel Kiriti when he visited the Peninsula. In fact, she hadn’t met him here; she learned about him from a friend and e-mailed him several times about teaching math in Africa, and he encouraged her to come to Kenya. She met him for the first time in the Nairobi airport.

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special feature

What’s at the Stanford Hospital Health Library Resources: t print, online, databases, video, online books

A community health education series from Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Stanford Hospital Health Library Opens Fourth Branch at Oshman Family Jewish Community Center

The Library’s current holdings include 8,000 catalogued volumes, 700 health-related videos, a database of nearly 400 medical journals, thousands of articles from 2,200 general interest publications and a large Chinese language consumer health collection. The Library was the first part of the Hospital to have its own Web page. It also began capturing physician talks and publications as archived and accessible documents and videos.

The doctors also talked about treating her with a new approach called intraoperative radiation−then in clinical trials at Stanford Hospital, but already demonstrating good results. Pinkston wanted to know about this technique, about her particular cancer and about other options. Her daughter thought she had the perfect answer. “Call my friend at the Stanford Hospital Health Library, the branch at the Cancer Center,” she said. “I know she can help you.” Soon, Pinkston was working with Stanford Health librarian Nancy Dickenson at the library’s Cancer Center branch. Dickenson, like the Library’s other experienced medical librarians, had access to a broad range of resources to compile a packet individualized for Pinkston. “We went back and forth for several days,” Pinkston said. “She was amazing because she found all kinds of articles for me, all kinds of Web sites. She got articles out of medical Web sites I couldn’t get into.” With Dickenson’s help in finding the particular information useful for Pinkston, she began her treatment with an increased confidence in the outcome. She decided to have the new therapy; she has been cancer-free for six year. “Without Nancy,” she said, “I don’t know if I would have gone to a health library for help.”

“We always knew what the cutting edge was and aimed for that.” – Barbara Ralston, Stanford Hospital Vice President for Guest Services and International Medicine

10 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010

Beginnings−and a new location Each branch has a collection crafted to include materials that reflect its location. The Cancer Center library has the most information about cancer. The Hospital’s collection has more material about surgery, transplants and cardiac issues – the primary causes for hospitalization. The newest branch, at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in South Palo Alto, which is adjacent to the Moldaw Family Residences for seniors, offers classes, lectures and activities with older adults in mind. The educational programs were developed at the Stanford Research Prevention Center, the Stanford Patient Education Research Center and the Hospital’s Aging and Adult Services. Physicians and staff from the Hospital will teach all the classes. The Health Library was one of the very first hospital-based libraries in the U.S. to open with such a focused collection. “It was the dawn of consumer awareness,” said Barbara Ralston, the Hospital’s Vice-President for Guest Service and International Medicine. “We’d moved from ‘Dr. Spock’ to ‘Our Bodies, Our Selves.’ People were starting to have dialogs with their physicians.” The value of this information hit home with Ralston around the same time. She became ill far from home and couldn’t find anywhere with information about her illness. “I felt paralyzed and helpless,” she said. When she returned to Palo Alto, she volunteered to join an effort, in its early stages, to open a health library that the Hospital would support. The first branch opened at the Stanford Shopping Center. “Our assumption was that people would stop by and ask questions

The Library gets requests for information from around the world for everything in the When Gwen Pinkston was diagnosed with breast cancer six years health spectrum, Cain said. ago, her daughter suggested she could find answers to some of The OFJCC branch in South her questions from the Stanford Hospital Health Library. Palo Alto is also a resource center with expanded programming and space for classes and support about colds and flus,” Ralston said. “Ingroup meetings. stead, we had people walking over from the Hospital with their IV poles in tow. We had people coming in saying, ‘My “Illness makes you feel helpless. significant other was just given a devKnowledge is power.” astating diagnosis.’ We were supposed – David Spiegel, MD, Director, Stanford to be a mom and pop project, but we Hospital Center for Integrative Medicine always knew what the cutting edge was and aimed for that.” Health lectures are held throughout the year and cover topics from all clinical Within two years, the Hospital branch services at the Hospital. Many of the was open. The Library had advisory and lectures are videotaped and accessible review boards filled with Stanford Hosthrough YouTube and the University’s pital physicians and others. “There was iTunes collection. Sixty of those videos nothing in the library that wasn’t vetted are available for purchase. The lecture by a Stanford physician or someone with series is also recounted quarterly in an proper qualifications,” Ralston said. electronic newsletter, Notes from the DocTalks, archived on the Library’s Web site.

reach out to the general community. And we have an onboard group of patrons.”

Valuable Help The Library has always been strongly supported by the Hospital’s physicians, including Sarah Donaldson, MD, an oncologist who decided she wanted to volunteer there. Since then, part of her conversation with her patients involves resources so they can learn more. “When I am their doctor, I tell them about the resources that are available. And if it’s a patient with cancer, I tell them about the library and the support groups in the same breath as I’m telling them about everything else,” Donaldson said.

While technology may be the means to transport information, Ralston said, “it’s still about one human being helping another.”

When she does that, she knows she may have avoided a common problem. “Physicians do their best to educate their patients, but maybe you’re starting at the wrong level, or the patient’s not really listening to what you’re saying,” she said. “A lot of patients get misinformed by going to an inappropriate source.” Ultimately, she said, “It’s much more rewarding as a physician to see a patient who knows a lot about what they’re dealing with.”

The new branch at the OFJCC, on the other side of the city from the Hospital, Ralston said, allows the Health Library to

The availability of so much information can be problematic, said David Spiegel, the Hospital’s Director for the Center of

New Technology

“The biggest difference between the early days of the library and now is technology,” said the Library’s Director, Nora Cain. “We just have access to so much more now. The Internet has changed the game. And our library, unlike some, is able to give people access to information from many sources, not

The newest branch of the Stanford Hospital Health Library and Resource Center, at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in South Palo Alto, has plenty of room for readers.

Gwen Pinkston has been cancer-free for six years and lives an active life that includes enjoying the vintage car she and her husband, Art, own and cherish.

Integrative Medicine, an early supporter of the Library. “With the Internet, you can go from too little to too much. Health care is ever more sophisticated and complicated. The Health Library plays an important role.”

“We went back and forth for several days. She found all kinds of articles for me.” – Gwen Pinkston, former Stanford Hospital patient Spiegel, one of the first physicians to study the value of medical treatment that included support groups, understands very well the shock of a serious diagnosis. “Illness makes you feel helpless. In the case of cancer, your body turns on you. One of my patients told me he’d started to think of his body as a dog that wouldn’t obey,” he said. “And knowledge is power.” Having someone mediate the flood of information is a valuable tool in moving forward. The help of a medical librarian “can help them prepare mentally for the next step,” Donaldson said. “Sometimes it can help them make decisions about their treatment options because they have enough to really look at those options, based on scientifically-based information. They can feel more confident about their decision and have a more meaningful dialog with their physician.” “We help people get started,” Ralston said, “to get centered, to develop a base of knowledge, to move step by step at their own speed.”

Norbert von der Groeben

This year, the Stanford Hospital Health Library celebrates its 20th anniversary, and the opening of a new, 1,500-squarefoot branch at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center. That new branch, and another to be opened soon at an East Palo Alto health clinic, fur-

nishes five locations for the patients, their families and others whose need to find answers is unique and immediate. Norbert von der Groeben

For a decade, the same radiologist read Gwen Pinkston’s mammograms. Then one day she took one look and said, “I don’t like this.” Within days, physicians diagnosed Pinkston with a small cancerous tumor in her right breast.

Community Programs t Free lectures and programs at the Health Library are held at all its branches and at the Redwood City Public Library. This month’s programs and lectures at the Nancy Abreo is the librarian at the Oshman Family Jewish Community newest branch of the Stanford Hospital Center include: Health Library and Resource Center, at the Oshman Family Jewish Community t March 24, 7 pm. Health Care Center in South Palo Alto. Reform Explained and Debated. Robert Jackler, MD, Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in Otorhinolaryngology t March 25, 7 pm. Long-term Care for You or Your loved One. Don Rush, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) t Wednesdays, 10:30 am. Strong for Life, an exercise program designed by physical therapists for older adults to improve strength, balance and overall health.

Norbert von der Groeben

just one or ones designated by their doctor.”

Norbert von der Groeben

Twenty years and thriving:

Personal Touch t Health Library librarians have special knowledge of available medicine and health materials t Librarians prepare information packets customized to each patron’s needs

For more information and a calendar of events, visit healthlibrary.stanford.edu

Health Library Locations Oshman Family Jewish Community Center 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto 650.855.9396 Hours: 10am-6pm Mon-Fri

Stanford Hospital 300 Pasteur Dr., Palo Alto 650.725-8100 Hours: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri

Stanford Cancer Center 875 Blake Wilbur Dr., Palo Alto 650.736.1713 Hours: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri

Main Branch Stanford Shopping Center Palo Alto, 650.725-8400 Hours: 10am-6pm Mon-Sat, until 9pm Thursday

healthlibrary@stanfordmed.org 800.295.5177, TTY: 650.723.1216

All research searches are free, and available by email.

Plans for the new Stanford Hospital include a library that will serve as a health information commons, she said. “We’ll be developing our technology capabilities but we’ll also be looking at ways to personalize our services even more.”

information. I even found the article he’d remembered reading. He was so happy. He just wanted information.”

Stanford Health Library librarian Carmen Huddleston cannot forget the evening a man came in, just as she was closing the library. He was clearly upset. “His son had had a very serious head injury and the father wanted to know about a treatment using lowered body temperature. I pulled him some

Since her experience with the help available at Stanford’s Health Library, Pinkston has talked to friends who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. “They come out of their doctor’s office with sketchy info. It was really important for me to have that help from Stanford.”

His father came back later to tell Huddleston that his son had survived.

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. Consistently ranked among the top institutions in the U.S. News & World Report annual list of “America’s Best Hospitals,” Stanford Hospital & Clinics is internationally recognized for translating medical breakthroughs into the care of patients. It is part of the Stanford University Medical Center, along with the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, visit stanfordmedicine.org. March 17, 2010 N The Almanac N11


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Summer Institute for the Gifted

Sports Camps Spring Down Camp Equestrian Center

Portola Valley

Spring Down camp teaches basic to advanced horsemanship skills. All ages welcome. Daily informative lecture, riding lesson, supervised hands-on skill practice, tacking/untacking of own camp horse, and fun horse arts and crafts. www.sprindown.com 650.851.1114

Champion Tennis Camps

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Gifted students in grades K-12 can participate on the renowned Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) program. Hosted at some of the most famous colleges and universities in the U.S., SIG combines both traditional summer fun and a challenging academic schedule. Day programs are available for younger students. www.giftedstudy.org 866-303-4744

Summer @ Harker

San Jose

CTC provides an enjoyable way for your Junior to begin learning the game of tennis or to continue developing existing skills. The 4-6 year olds have fun learning eye-hand coordination and building self-esteem! www.alanmargot-tennis.net 650-752-0540

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SOLO Aquatics

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Mountain View

Two great programs — SOLO Day Camp: One-week sessions of 5 full days (9:00 – 4:00) featuring instruction in swimming and fun activities; lunch included. SOLO Sharks Program: Spring/Summer weekly afternoon swim clinics for all ages and abilities. www.soloaquatics.com 650-851-9091

New from GMS - Day camp for girls entering grades 4-7. Explorations in Science, Technology, and the Arts in the morning, Moving and Making, includes sports and games, swimming, arts and crafts, in the afternoon. www.girlsms.org/summercamp 650-968-8338

YMCA

The Oshman Family JCC offers outstanding camps for preschoolers through teens. With both traditional camps and special focus camps like sports, travel, performing arts and more, our innovative staff will keep campers entertained all summer! www.paloaltojcc.org 650-223-8600

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Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Redwood City day and overnight camps for youth Pre-K through 10th grade. Enriching lives through safe, fun activities. Sports, arts, technology, science, and more. Field trips and outdoor fun. Accredited by the American Camp Association. www.ymcasv.org/summercamp.com 408-351-6400

Matt Lottich Life Skills

Woodside

At Matt Lottich Life Skills, all of our camps focus on giving high-level basketball instruction while highlighting the life skills that this sport reflects. Grades 2-11, two camp styles — Day and Elite Camps. www.mllscamp.com 1-888-537-3223

Academic Camps iD Tech Camps and iD Teen Academies

Stanford

Experience North America’s #1 Tech Camp — 4 Bay Area Locations! Ages 7-18 create video games, websites, movies, iPhone® & Facebook® apps, robots and more during this weeklong, day and overnight summer tech program. Teen Programs also available at Stanford. Save w/code CAU22. www.iDTechCamps.com 1-888-709-TECH (8324)

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Mountain View

Summer at Saint Francis provides a broad range of academic and athletic programs for elementary through high school students. It is the goal of every program to make summer vacation enriching and enjoyable! www.sfhs.com/summer 650-968-1213 x446

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Hillsborough

Nueva Summer offers unique and enriching summer camps for students entering PreK - 8th Grade. June 21 - July 30. We have camps that will inspire every age: from Marine Biology to Tinkering, and Model UN to West African Drumming. Half or full day camps, from one to six weeks. Healthy lunch is provided for full day campers. Extended care available. www.NuevaSummer.org 650-350-4555

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Portola Valley

For kindergarten through 8th grade. Offers academics, sports, field trips and onsite activities. June 28 - July 30. www.info@woodland-school.org 650-854-9065

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Stratford School - Camp Socrates

Bay Area

Academic enrichment infused with traditional summer camp fun—that’s what your child will experience at Camp Socrates. Sessions begin on June 28 and end on August 13 with the option for students to attend for all seven weeks or the first four weeks (June 28-July 23). Full or half-time morning or afternoon program are available to fit your schedule. 12 locations. www. stratfordschools.com 650-493-1151

Write Now! Summer Writing Camps

Palo Alto/Pleasanton

Emerson School of Palo Alto and Hacienda School of Pleasanton open their doors and offer their innovative programs: Expository Writing, Creative Writing, Presentation Techniques, and (new!) Media Production. Call or visit our website for details. www.headsup.org 650-424-1267, 925-485-5750

TechKnowHow Computer & LEGO™ Camps

Peninsula

Fun and enriching technology classes for students, ages 6-14! Courses include LEGO and K’NEX Projects with Motors, Robotics, and Game Design. Many locations, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Sunnyvale. Half and all day options. www.techknowhowkids.com 650-474-0400

ISTP Language Immersion

Palo Alto

International School of the Peninsula camps offered in French, Chinese, Spanish or ESL for students in Nursery through Middle School. Three 2-week sessions, each with different theme. Students are grouped according to both grade level and language proficiency. www.istp.org 650-251-8519

Theatreworks Summer Camps

Palo Alto

In these skill-building workshops for grades K–5, students engage in languagebased activities, movement, music, and improvisational theatre games. Students present their own original pieces at the end of each two-week camp. www.theatreworks.org/educationcommunity 650-463-7146

he Portola Valley School District is going to have to make do without a librarian or an educational technology coordinator. The board voted 4-0, with Judy Mendelsohn absent, at its March 10 meeting to lay off both positions as part of a series of anticipated budget cuts to close an estimated $550,000 shortfall in the coming school year. At the meeting, the board also cut back by 40 percent the hours of its director of special education, and trimmed a night custodian’s hours by 25 percent. Like many other local school districts, Portola Valley is facing the double-whammy of flat property tax revenues and big cuts in state funding. Measure D, a $168 annual parcel tax on the May 4 ballot, is expected to raise $345,000 per year for its four-year term. If it passes, Portola Valley could escape the worst of the budget cuts, although $200,000 in expenses would still need to be trimmed. Far bigger cuts were proposed by district staff, including laying off all of the district’s paraeducator/classroom aides. After much discussion, board members chose to postpone a decision on layoffs of certified staff, said Superintendent Anne Campbell. “Over the past two years, we’ve made $1 million in cuts, but we’ve kept them on the periphery,” Ms. Campbell told The Almanac. “We’ve managed so far to avoid having to do large-scale layoffs, like Redwood City has, but it’s starting to hit (educational) programs.” Teachers, or certificated staff, must be notified of pending layoffs by March 15, with final layoff notices due by May 15. Classified staff can be laid off with far less lead time, giving the board some wiggle room as it searches for other ways to plug the projected budget shortfall. “(The board members) did decide that they need to be very fiscally careful, but want to maintain optionality over the next few months,” Ms. Campbell said. The librarian at Corte Madera, who has a teaching certificate and seniority, will be offered a classroom teaching position, Ms. Campbell said. A

OPEN HOMES HOMES for SALE plus plus Interactive Prior Sale Info MAPS & More EXPLORE OUR NEW SITE TheAlmanacOnline.com/real_estate

12 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010


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Menlo Park weighs changes to downtown parking By Sean Howell Almanac Staff Writer

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enlo Park has plenty of parking spaces in its downtown area, but many business owners and customers say they’re frustrated at how hard it is to find an empty one. Others feel they’re not allowed to stay long enough once they do come across two white lines with only asphalt in between. Those were two of the issues presented to some 35 attendees, mostly business and property owners, of a city-sponsored meeting on the downtown parking situation March 11. The meeting was the second in a standard three-meeting, consultant-led cycle, which will presumably result in changes to parking rules downtown. Two representatives from Wilbur Smith Associates outlined two possible approaches. One involved restricting parking limits to one hour on and around Santa Cruz Avenue and providing spaces with a threehour limit in some parking plazas, to accommodate shoppers. Most plazas would retain the current two-hour limit. A second approach, aimed at freeing up spaces in central downtown plazas, would keep the current two-hour limit in the parking plazas, but allow people to pay in order to stay longer. That might dissuade employees from snagging threehour spaces meant for customers, the consultants said, though paid parking would also allow people to sit in the same space for a longer period of time. The people who attended the

meeting peppered the consultants with questions throughout. A few voiced suspicion or outright objections about the data collected in the survey, the consultants’ methods, or the fact that the city is undertaking a parking study at all. These speakers exhibited what appears to be a longstanding general mistrust of consultants in Menlo Park, plus the residue of years of frustration over what some perceive as the city’s inability to crack the downtown parking conundrum. A survey of 150 downtown business owners yielded surprising results. Half the respondents said they were “satisfied” with the parking situation as is, with only 37 percent saying they were “dissatisfied.” Contrary to conventional wisdom, the survey suggests that business owners view the difficulty of finding a parking space as a bigger problem than the short interval of time in which people are allowed to occupy a space, by a wide margin, though that distinction was less apparent when consultants asked the question in a different way. Other factoids that may be of interest: Downtown streets and plazas are most full between 1 and 2 p.m., both on weekdays and weekends; 65 percent of people who park downtown stay for only one hour; half the employees who work downtown re-park their cars every two hours, rather than buy a permit; 12 percent of customers move their cars to avoid getting cited; at any given time, cars occupy no more than four-fifths of the total spaces downtown. This is all according to the survey. A

Another try at spa in the Willows Ambreen Lakhani is hoping the fourth time’s the charm when it comes to opening a spa at 103 Gilbert Ave. in Menlo Park’s Willows neighborhood. Her business, Spa in the Park, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 27 to mark its presence in Menlo Park, two months after opening its doors. Ms. Lakhani’s business is the fourth spa to occupy that location in the last several years, she said; the site had been vacant for six months. But she’s not intimidated by the failures of her predecessors. “Our approach is different” from that of the

businesses that previously occupied the space, she said, arguing that her business is friendlier to customers. “The services we offer are more down to earth. ... We want to get to know the community, we want to know our neighbors.” Ms. Lakhani stressed her employees’ bona fides, saying that each is nationally licensed and has 500 hours of training. The spa is located in a small business strip in the midst of the Willows, around the corner from Cafe Zoe, La Hacienda Market, and Be Yoga, among other businesses. March 17, 2010 N The Almanac N13


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ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS TOWN OF ATHERTON STATE OF CALIFORNIA GARDEN ROOM RENOVATION PROJECT NO. 09-025 Notice is hereby given that SEALED BIDS will be received at the office of the City Clerk, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton, California 94027, until 3:00 p.m. April 15, 2010, at which time they will be publicly opened and read, for performing the following work: Renovation of the Garden Room, located at the Holbrook-Palmer Park Main House. Renovation shall include demolition, painting, installing flooring, cabinets, and doors, upgrading electrical, relocating utilities. The Engineer’s Estimate for the project is: $53,317 Bids must be for the entire work, and shall be submitted in sealed envelopes clearly marked: ”Bid of (Contractor) for GARDEN ROOM RENOVATION, Project No. 09-025”, along with date and time of bid opening. VOLUNTARY PRE-BID MEETING ON MARCH 24, 2010 at Garden Room of Holbrook-Palmer Park Main House, 150 Watkins Ave., Atherton, CA 94027 at 2 p.m. Plans and specifications may be obtained at the Town of Atherton Public Works Department, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton CA 94027, for a non-refundable fee of $30.00. Additional important information is contained in Town of Atherton Standard Specifications, which are available for an additional $20.00. If shipping is requested, there will be an additional charge of $20.00. Bids must be accompanied by a bid security in the form of cash, a cashier‘s or certified check or bid bond for not less than ten percent (10%) of the amount of the bid, as a guarantee that the bidder, if awarded the Contract, will fulfill the terms of the bid. The Town of Atherton reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and/or to waive any irregularities therein. Bidders are hereby notified that, pursuant to California Civil Code Sections 3247 and 3248 and Standard Specifications Section 3.02, the successful bidder will be required to provide payment and performance bonds in the amounts stated in Section 3.02 of the Standard Specifications. Bidders are hereby notified that provisions of California Labor Code regarding prevailing wages are applicable to the work to be performed under this contract. Pursuant to Section 1773 et seq. the general prevailing wage rates have been determined by the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations and appear in the California Prevailing Wage Rates. Copies are on file at the office of the City Engineer and are available to interested parties upon request. The successful bidder shall post a copy of the wage rates at the job site. The Contractor may elect to receive 100 percent of payments due under the contract, without retention of any portion of the payment by the Town of Atherton, by depositing securities of equivalent value to the retention amount in accordance with the provisions of Section 22300 of the California Public Contracts Code. The successful bidder must be licensed under the provisions of Chapter 9, Division 3, of the California Business and Professions Code to do the type of work contemplated in the project at the time the contract is awarded and shall be skilled and regularly engaged in the general class or type of work called for under the Contract. Failure of the bidder to obtain proper and adequate licensing for an award of the contract shall constitute a failure to execute the contract and result in the forfeiture of the bidder‘s bid security. Each bidder shall submit with this bid a statement setting forth his/her/its experience and qualifications. The statement shall be made on the forms provided by the Town and must accompany each bid. The three lowest bidders will be required to submit subcontractor‘s experience and qualifications statements within 48 hours of the bid opening, on forms provided by the Town. By submitting a bid in response to this advertisement for bids, the bidder shall be conclusively deemed to have read, understood and agreed with all of the information and materials contained in the bid documents, including but not limited to the construction contract, the standard specifications, the special provisions, the required nature and amount of insurance and the documentation evidencing said insurance. Any questions regarding the project should be directed to David Huynh, Project Engineer, telephone: (650) 752-0555 or by written Requests for Information (RFI) to: Public Works Department, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton, CA 94027, preferably no later than five days before bid opening. RFIs may be emailed to dhuynh@ci.atherton.ca.us or faxed to (650) 688-6539. For information on obtaining Plans and Specifications, Standard Specifications or obtaining a Plan Holders list, please call Judy Bellmont at (650) 752-0570.

14 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010

By:

___________________________________ Duncan L. Jones, P.E., City Engineer

Date:

___________________________________

Union negotiations at impasse By Sean Howell Almanac Staff Writer

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enlo Park city officials continue to meet with representatives from the city’s largest union in mediation sessions over stalled contract negotiations. Employees with the union, Service Employees International, have been working without a contract since late October. In public meetings, some have argued that the city is making unreasonable demands, and asking its lowest-paid employees for the most salary concessions. The city and union representatives met with mediators on March 12, according to City Manager Glen Rojas, who said the fact that the two sides are still talking is encouraging. While the union has made several claims about what the city is asking for, saying among other things that it’s calling for structural pension changes similar to what a group of residents is advocating, the city has not commented on the substance of the closed-door negotiations.

Planning for aging population Don Weden, a Santa Clara County planner, will speak at the new Menlo-Atherton High School performing arts center at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 25, about landuse planning to accommodate an aging population. The center is at 555 Middlefield Road in Atherton. Mr. Weden focuses on “what we can do to adapt our cities to assure that our growing senior population — and others in the community — can live active, interesting and productive lives,

Porter-French Anne Porter and Charles French were married Sept. 26 at Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio. A reception followed at the Rocky Fork Hunt Club. The bride is the daughter of Lucy and Chip Porter of Columbus. She is a graduate of Ohio University and a pharmaceutical sales consultant for Novartis. The bridegroom is the son of Elaine and John French of Ketchum, Idaho, formerly of Woodside. A graduate of Menlo School and Harvard College, he is a program manager for Microsoft. Maid of honor was Sarah Marshall. The bridesmaids were MacKenzie Tesner, Karen Anderson, Pamela French, Liza

N MENL O WATC H

without having to drive or own a car,” Menlo Park resident Patty Boyle writes in an e-mail. Ms. Boyle sits on the city’s Housing Commission, which is a sponsor of the event along with the League of Women Voters.

Grant will help police enforce alcohol law A $6,000 grant from the state will allow Menlo Park police to employ underage decoys to try to bait people into buying alcohol for them. The grant comes through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s “shoulder tap” program, according to police spokeswoman Nicole Acker. The state instituted the program after finding that minors were increasingly turning to adults to buy them alcohol, following a statewide crackdown in the mid-1990s on alcohol vendors.

Landscaping classes People who want to learn about native landscaping and waterconservation techniques may be interested in two free upcoming classes, sponsored by the Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency. A class on March 20 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Menlo Park will focus on native landscaping. A class on April 17 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Menlo Park will offer water-saving tips for gardeners. Both classes require registration. E-mail landscape@bawsca.org or call 349-3000 to register or obtain more information. A

N W EDDI NG

You ng , Molly Porter and Sydney Good. Ca meron Good was ju n ior bridesmaid and Devan French was flower girl. Anne Porter and D u nc a n Charles French and Eric were married F r e n c h Sept. 26. were best men. The groomsmen were Sam Porter, Michael Stoll, John Intrater, Christopher Schonberger, Christopher Catizone, and Nicholas Freund. The couple is living in Seattle, Washington.


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World War II aviator saluted at Foothill M. Jean Harman of Menlo Park, who recently received a Congressional Gold Medal for her service as a pilot during World War II, will be a featured guest at an Authors Series program Tuesday, March 16, at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Ms. Harman was a member of the WASP, the elite wartime corps of female pilots who served on the home front. The program also will showcase Margit Liesche, author of “Hollywood Buzz,” her second novel

in the Pucci Lewis World War II home front mystery series. The addition to the author’s discussion, there will be M. Jean Harman a questionand-answer session with Ms. Harman, who grew up wanting to be a pilot after seeing Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh while visiting relatives in South-

ern California. For her WASP service, she received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Congress, in a ceremony on Capital Hill on March 10. The Foothill program runs from noon to 1 p.m. at the CampusCenter Lounge (Room 2313). Admission is free and the public is invited. Go to is.gd/ah9wt for more information, including on parking on the campus at 12345 El Monte Road in Los Altos Hills.

Deputies’ ploy nets burglary suspects in Westridge By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

A

lert observation followed by a little deception — it was all in a day’s work for sheriff’s deputies patrolling the Westridge neighborhood in Portola Valley late on the afternoon of Sunday, March 7. Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office arrested South San Francisco residents Gary Wayne Ledbetter, 42, and Nathanial James Rohman, 33, on charges of burglary, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools, Lt. Ray Lunny told The Almanac. Both men are in the county jail. The tale of their arrest began in

the twilight just before 6 p.m. when a patrolling deputy passing through the 200 block of Golden Hills Drive noticed a parked green pickup truck, a truck matching a description from a suspiciouscircumstances incident several days earlier. Alone in the driver’s seat was Mr. Ledbetter with a “real concentrated look on his face,” Lt. Lunny said, quoting from the incident report. Deputies questioned him and Mr. Ledbetter identified himself as a parolee and confirmed that he was, therefore, subject to random search and seizure, Lt. Lunny said. Deputies searched the truck and found a bolt-cutter, wire cutters and

a reciprocating saw, “all tools for entering and possibly removing things,” Lt. Lunny said. Mr. Ledbetter told deputies that he had an accomplice at a nearby construction site, Lt. Lunny said. While deputies were interviewing Mr. Ledbetter, he received a call from Mr. Rohman on his cell phone, asking to be picked up. Mr. Ledbetter made the arrangements and gave permission to the deputies to drive his truck to the rendezvous point on Fawn Lane, Lt. Lunny said. Mr. Ledbetter passed the time in the back seat of a patrol car. When the truck arrived at Fawn Lane, Mr. Rohman started

M-A dance team show Hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and ballet performances will highlight the seventh annual Menlo-Atherton High School dance team show and fundraiser to be held at 6 p.m. Friday, March 26, in the high school’s new performing arts center. Tickets at the door: $5 for students and $10 for adults. Dance team members shown are, from left: front, Holly Cogan and Erika Athens; middle, Sierra Drew, Brandi Armstrong, Lauren Smith and Anna Argente; top, Jellie Hardison, Leah Worthington, Erin Kelley, Emily Aguilar, Taylor Gananian, Kimmie Glass and Elise Cabral.

walking toward it, deputies said. The officers in the truck identified themselves and ordered Mr. Rohman to lie on the ground, but he turned, ran for about 20 feet, then stopped and gave up after seeing an approaching patrol car. Mr. Rohman also had burglary tools in his possession but no stolen property, Lt. Lunny

said, adding: “He may just have been on the move. They were in contact on their cell phones.” Five deputies and a sergeant participated in the arrest, Lt. Lunny said. The men are also suspects in another construction site burglary in the 200 block of Westridge Drive. A

March 17, 2010 N The Almanac N15


C O M M U N I T Y

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS TOWN OF ATHERTON STATE OF CALIFORNIA FLETCHER DR. / RIDGEVIEW DR. PAVEMENT AND DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT NO. 08-010 Notice is hereby given that SEALED BIDS will be received at the office of the City Clerk, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton, California 94027, until 3:00 p.m. APRIL 8, 2010, at which time they will be publicly opened and read, for performing the following work: LAYOUT OF WORK, REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT OF ASPHALT CONCRETE PAVEMENT ON STREETS, REPLACEMENT OF DRIVEWAY APPROACHES, REPLACEMENT OF CONCRETE VALLEY GUTTERS, INSTALLATION OF NEW VALLEY GUTTERS AND NEW ROLLED CURBS, INSTALLATION OF NEW STORM DRAIN PIPING SYSTEM WITH INLETS AND MANHOLES, INSTALLATION OF A DETENTION CHAMBER SYSTEM, AND PLACEMENT OF PERMANENT STRIPING FOR THE FOLLOWING STREETS: UÊ  /  ,Ê ,6 UÊ ,  6 7Ê ,6 UÊ  -Ê "1,/Ê­ / ,- /" ® UÊ -1/ , Ê ,6 Ê­ / ,- /" ® The Engineer’s Estimate for the project is: $1.8 Million. Bids must be for the entire work, and shall be submitted in sealed envelopes clearly marked: “Bid of ­Contractor®ÊvœÀÊ /  ,Ê ,°ÊÉÊ,  6 7Ê ,°Ê*6  /Ê Ê ,  Ê*,"6  /-]Ê PROJECT NO. 08-010”, including date and time of bid opening. Plans and specifications may be obtained at the Town of Atherton Public Works Department, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton CA 94027, for a non-refundable fee of $30.00. Additional important information is contained in Town of Atherton Standard Specifications, which are available for an additional $20.00. If shipping is requested, there will be an additional charge of $20.00. Bids must be accompanied by a bid security in the form of cash, a cashier’s or certified check or bid Lœ˜`ÊvœÀʘœÌʏiÃÃÊ̅>˜ÊÌi˜Ê«iÀVi˜ÌÊ­£ä¯®ÊœvÊ̅iÊ>“œÕ˜ÌʜvÊ̅iÊLˆ`]Ê>ÃÊ>Ê}Õ>À>˜ÌiiÊ̅>ÌÊ̅iÊLˆ``iÀ]ʈvÊ awarded the Contract, will fulfill the terms of the bid. The Town of Atherton reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and/or to waive any irregularities therein. Bidders are hereby notified that, pursuant to California Civil Code Sections 3247 and 3248 and Standard Specifications Section 3.02, the successful bidder will be required to provide payment and performance bonds in the amounts stated in Section 3.02 of the Standard Specifications. Bidders are hereby notified that provisions of California Labor Code regarding prevailing wages are applicable to the work to be performed under this contract. Pursuant to Section 1773 et seq. the general prevailing wage rates have been determined by the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations and appear in the California Prevailing Wage Rates. Copies are on file at the office of the City Engineer and are available to interested parties upon request. The successful bidder shall post a copy of the wage rates at the job site. The Contractor may elect to receive 100 percent of payments due under the contract, without retention of any portion of the payment by the Town of Atherton, by depositing securities of equivalent value to the retention amount in accordance with the provisions of Section 22300 of the California Public Contracts Code. The successful bidder must be licensed under the provisions of Chapter 9, Division 3, of the California Business and Professions Code to do the type of work contemplated in the project at the time the contract is awarded and shall be skilled and regularly engaged in the general class or type of work called for under the Contract. Failure of the bidder to obtain proper and adequate licensing for an award of the contract shall constitute a failure to execute the contract and result in the forfeiture of the bidder’s bid security. Each bidder shall submit with this bid a statement setting forth his/her/its experience and qualifications. The statement shall be made on the forms provided by the Town and must accompany each bid. The three lowest bidders will be required to submit subcontractor’s experience and qualifications statements within 48 hours of the bid opening, on forms provided by the Town.

Charming cottages tour Five homes, which have been remodeled for today’s life styles, will be on display at the 19th annual Charming Cottages of Palo Alto house tour Friday and Saturday, March 26-27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour, sponsored by the Palo Alto Area Mills College Club, is a benefit for Mills College students who in live in Santa Clara or San Mateo county, and for the endowment fund of the Alumnae Association of Mills College. Original construction dates for the homes range from 1898 to the 1950s. Remodeling projects for the bungalows, cottages and ranches include transforming an artist’s studio into a guest house, adding a second floor, and bumping out a back wall. Tickets for the tour are $30 in advance and $35 after March 19. You can buy them at the door at 446 Ruthven Ave. in Palo Alto on tour days only. Got to charmingcottages.org to buy tickets online. Approximately 100 of the Mills Club members will act as hostesses for the house tour. N CALENDA R Go to AlmanacNews.com and click on Community Calendar link on the green navigation bar on the left to view all Calendar listings. Marcus Shelby at the Portola Valley Library. Jazz bassist Marcus Shelby conducts a musical presentation on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the music of the civil rights era. Shelby has written original compositions, and rearranged and reorchestrated spirituals, freedom songs, jazz and blues music written during the heart of the movement. Wednesday, March 24, 7-8 p.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. smcl.org

N A RO U ND TOW N

Katie Sanborn is tour chairman. Among committee members are Judy Castaillac of Atherton and Anna Henderson and Jane King of Menlo Park. Patti Zussman of Portola Valley is president of the local Mills College Club.

Book sale at Menlo Park Library The Friends of the Menlo Park Library will hold a book sale from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 21, in the library’s downstairs meeting room at 800 Alma St. in Menlo Park. The sale will feature literature, cookbooks, fiction and mystery, biography and history, gardening and home improvement, children’s picture and chapter books, and more. Titled “summer sale,” the event will have books for summer reading and books priced to be read and left at destinations. All funds raised will be used to support Menlo Park Library programs and events, the sponsors say. Year for Priest Speaker Series. Fr. Jim McKearney speaks on “Spirituality of the Priesthood.” Wed., March 24, $10. St. Patrick’s Seminary & University, 320 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-289-3321. www.stpatricksseminary.org Future Vintage: Wine Tasting Dinner and Auction. This event helps support Northern California Urban Development’s youth financial literacy program, which is breaking the systemic grip of poverty in east Menlo Park, East Palo Alto & Redwood City through youth education. The event includes wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, dinner and a live auction. March 20, 6-9 p.m. $150/Ticket, $1,000/Table (8). Menlo Circus Club, 190 Park Lane, Atherton. Call 650-3281890. www.norcaludc.org

Sellers facing financial difficulty can be overwhelmed, but there are options.

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By submitting a bid in response to this advertisement for bids, the bidder shall be conclusively deemed to have read, understood and agreed with all of the information and materials contained in the bid documents, including but not limited to the construction contract, the standard specifications, the special provisions, the required nature and amount of insurance and the documentation evidencing said insurance. Any questions regarding the project should be directed to David Huynh, the Project Engineer, 91 ÅwÊi`Ê,œ>`]Ê̅iÀ̜˜]Ê ʙ{äÓÇ]ÊÌii«…œ˜iÊ­Èxä®ÊÇxӇäxxx]Ê«ÀiviÀ>LÞʘœÊ>ÌiÀÊ̅>˜ÊwÊÛiÊ`>ÞÃÊ LivœÀiÊLˆ`ʜ«i˜ˆ˜}°Ê,iµÕiÃÌÃÊvœÀʘvœÀ“>̈œ˜Ê“>ÞÊLiÊv>Ýi`Ê̜ʭÈxä®ÊÈnn‡ÈxΙ°Ê*>˜Ê…œ`iÀ½ÃʏˆÃÌÃʓ>ÞÊ LiʜLÌ>ˆ˜i`ÊLÞÊV>ˆ˜}Ê­Èxä®ÊÇxӇäxÇä° By:___________________________________ Duncan L. Jones, P.E., City Engineer Date:_________________________________ 16 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010

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F O R

T H E

R E C O R D

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE â–  P O L I C E C A L LS This information is from the Atherton and Menlo Park police departments and the San Mateo County SheriffĂ­s Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted.

block of Willow Road, March 8. Stolen vehicle report: Blue 2005 Ford Escape, 300 block of Ivy Drive, March 7. Adult Protective Services report: 1000 Berkeley Ave., March 10. WEST MENLO PARK Assault report: Door-to-door solicitor

walking down street was struck on knee by vehicle driven by resident who claimed solicitor had damaged angel on resident’s porch, 1800 block of Camino a los Cerros, March 8. Auto burglary report: Window smashed and coat stolen, 1300 block of Cloud Ave., March 5.

ATHERTON Grand theft report: Steel plate, 5 feet by 8 feet, stolen from trailer, Santiago Ave., March 10. Residential burglary reports: â–  Camera stolen from trunk of car in garage, first block of Faxon Road, March 11. â–  Lock on trailer cut and tools stolen from construction site, Stockbridge Ave., March 8. Mail theft reports: â–  Mail stolen, Menlo College at 1000 El Camino Real, March 8. â–  Resident believes mail stolen, first block of Parker Ave., March 11. MENLO PARK Fraud report: â–  Seventy-five-year-old resident wiretransferred $19,000 to unknown person who promised return of $1.5 million, 1300 block of Crane St., March 6. Auto burglary report: Vehicle broken into and two bags containing business paperwork and ID stolen, first block of Willow Road, March 6. Grand theft report: Bicycle stolen, first

Girls’ soccer team looks for players Palo Alto Soccer Club team 94G Red Power, a class 3 team for girls 16 and under, is looking for players to add to its roster for the spring and fall seasons, including tournaments. Players must be born after July 30, 1993. Nina Gann is coach for the team, which practices twice weekly in Palo Alto. E-mail clarac@ABCandM.com to contact team manager Clara Chang for more information.

Menlo School showcases spring fashions FASHION continued from page 3

parking to serving meals. Four professionals give the benefit its polished flair. Alex Perez, Menlo School’s director of creative arts and communications, is the producer for ‘Dream.� Jan Chandler, Menlo School’s dance director, has served as the benefit’s choreographer for 27 years. Fashion show director Jeffrey Adair has produced and/or directed the show off and on for 20 years. He is assisted by BB Bernheim of Bernheim Productions. Go to is.gd/aggWH to participate in the online auction, which will be open for bidding until 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. The URL is case-sensitive. Cost of the luncheon show is $100. Cost of the evening show is $200. For reservations, go to www. menloschool.org and click on benefit. Menlo School is located at 50 Valparaiso Ave. in Atherton.

Have you been diagnosed with RA? Stanford‘s Department of Rheumatology is conducting several clinical trial studies to evaluate and treat your arthritis. You must be between the ages of 18 and 75 years. Please call: (650) 736-8482 or email zshaheen@stanford.edu for more information TODAY. (For general information about participants rights, contact 1-866-680-2906.)

Menlo Park Library Book Sale Featuring: s,ITERATURE s#OOKBOOKS s!RT#OLLECTIBLE s%ASTER2ELIGION s&ICTION-YSTERY s"IOGRAPHY(ISTORY s'ARDENING(OME)MPROVEMENT s#HILDREN@S0ICTURE#HAPTER"OOKS sAnd much more!

3UNDAY -ARCHnTO ,OCATEDINTHEDOWNSTAIRSMEETINGROOM 3CANNERSWELCOMEBEGINNINGAT Sponsored by: The Friends of the Menlo Park Library

WWWFRIENDSMPLORG !LMA3TREET -ENLO0ARK #!    ~All funds raised support Menlo Park Library programs and events~

CITY OF MENLO PARK ORDINANCE 966 SUMMARY NOTICE OF ADOPTION The City Council of Menlo Park adopted Ordinance No. 966 at its regular City Council meeting of February 23, 2010. The Ordinance was introduced on February 2, 2010, and adopted on February 23, 2010, by a 5-0 vote. The ordinance is effective thirty days from its adoption, and is summarized as: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA RENUMBERING CHAPTER 12.48, “WOODBURING APPLIANCESâ€?, AS CHAPTER 12.52 AND CORRECTING CROSS-REFERENCES TO THAT CHAPTER IN THE CODE The full text of the ordinance and all exhibits are available at the OfďŹ ce of the City Clerk and/or may be viewed on the City of Menlo Park website at www.menlopark.org Margaret S. Roberts, MMC City Clerk Dated: March 10, 2010

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. What are the new rates: Several rate amounts will be considered at the public hearing. The maximum monthly rates under consideration by size and number of containers are as follows: SERVICE LEVELS AND MONTHLY RATES Size of Containers

CURBSIDE SERVICE

BACKYARD SERVICE

20

32

45

20

32

45 46.18

(In Gallons)

Number of containers 1

11.65

19.80

32.39

15.01

28.44

Rate for multi can user 1

N/A

24.32

32.39

N/A

34.15

46.18

2

N/A

48.64

64.78

N/A

68.30

92.36

3

N/A

72.96

97.17

N/A

102.45

138.54

4

N/A

97.28

129.56

N/A

136.60

184.72

In addition to the rates shown above the City Council will also consider expanding the services provided to include Door-to-Door collection of Household Hazardous Waste, Universal Waste, Electronic Waste, and Sharps and Medicine at a cost of $0.45 per month per customer through a City-wide contract for the Recycling and Disposal Services provided by Curbside Inc. The additional services and fee, if approved, would be effective as of July 1, 2010. Necessity for new rates: The intended new rates are necessary due to the terms of the City’s existing contract with Allied Waste Company, which provide for fees to be set at a level which gives the Contractor a rate of return based on approved costs. The Contractor’s costs have increased primarily due to increased labor and disposal costs. The City’s costs of providing billing services and environmental programs that support reductions in solid waste have also increased in recent years. Prior year rate increases have not kept pace with this combination of rising costs, resulting in a significant amount due to Allied at the end of the contract on December 31, 2010. If you would like additional information on the proposed rates, please visit the Finance Department located on the second floor at City Hall, 701 Laurel Street or call 650-3306644. If you wish to file a written protest, please send a letter addressed to Solid Waste Rates, City Clerk, City of Menlo Park, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Your letter must identify the real property you own by street address and the assessor’s parcel number. Your letter must be legibly signed by any one of the current property owners. Your name should be set forth as it appears on your tax bill. The City of Menlo Park must receive your letter at City Hall by 5:00 p.m. on March 19, 2010, or it must be presented at the City Council meeting on March 23, 2010, prior to the close of the public hearing on the matter. Any person interested, including all solid waste / recycling collection customers of the City of Menlo Park, may appear at the public hearing and be heard on any matter related to the proposed increase in rates. Dated: March 2, 2010 /s/ MARGARET S. ROBERTS, MMC, City Clerk Published in THE COUNTRY ALMANAC on March 10, 2010 and March 17, 2010 March 17, 2010 ■ The Almanac ■ 17


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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.

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

W

ith an annual budget approaching $100 million and 1,000 employees, the Sequoia Union High School District far exceeds the size of many Silicon Valley companies. And with some 8,200 students, its four comprehensive high schools (including Menlo-Atherton and Woodside), adult school and Redwood continuation high school have long been fixtures in Peninsula communities. In recent years, the district has served many students well, although it has struggled to improve the graduation rate ED ITORI AL among underperforming stuThe opinion of The Almanac dents and has become known for its increasingly strident opposition to charter schools, particularly Everest Public High School. This opposition, with outgoing superintendent Pat Gemma acting as the point man for a majority on the district board, has included successful opposition to Everest’s acquiring a charter at local and county levels and unsuccessful opposition at the state level. The state’s granting of a charter for Everest then led to the district’s obligation to provide adequate and appropriate facilities, as required by law. To put it mildly, the district has not cooperated. With Mr. Gemma’s retirement, which is effective at the end of the current school year, district board members have a major opportunity to turn a new page and bring in a superintendent who is willing to end the war with charter schools and improve the graduation and college entrance rate of the student body. Unfortunately, the board is now moving in the opposite direction after deciding in a recent closed session to restrict recruitment of a new superintendent to “inside” candidates only. The restriction would rule out a nationwide search for a superintendent, a terrible decision that is very likely to place the district in the hands of James Lianides, who was hired by Mr. Gemma and if appointed is expected to continue his unfettered opposition to charter schools.

At a Feb. 24 closed session, board President Olivia Martinez said a board majority voted to “limit the search for a superintendent to internal candidates,” an action that some open-government supporters contend violates the state’s open-meeting law, known as the Brown Act. The law, critics say, permits discussion of a specific candidate in closed session, but not the process of selecting a candidate. Saying he is outraged about the decision, Atherton resident Peter Carpenter, a former board member of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and now president of the Atherton Civic Interest League, says he will file a lawsuit to challenge the board’s action, which he claims violates the Brown Act. And Terry Francke, general counsel of the nonprofit open-government advocacy group California Aware, said he agrees that “...a discussion of whether to conduct a search is not a matter for closed session.” There are other opinions that say such a closed-session decision is not specifically outlawed by the open-meeting law, and the Sequoia district’s attorney made a spirited defense of the board’s decision on The Almanac’s Town Square Web site in an exchange with Mr. Carpenter. But regardless, district residents should be appalled that the Sequoia board does not want to reach out to interview the very best candidates in the country for superintendent. To do so would not restrict any current Sequoia staffer from applying, but would surely widen the field by a huge factor and bring in applicants who we expect would have fresh ideas about how the district operates. The decision to limit the search smacks of cronyism of the worst sort by a board that obviously does not want a change of direction for a district that we believe must have new leadership as it adjusts to the growing charter school phenomenon and tackles the lagging graduation rate. The board should change direction as soon as possible and vote to open a nationwide search for a new superintendent.

L ETT E RS Our readers write

Are you paying out-of-state use tax? Editor: I agree with Clark Kepler (Guest Opinion, March 10) that large online retailers should collect sales taxes. However, a point he (and many other people) seem to miss is that it shouldn’t actually affect state revenue whether they do or not — because we, as taxpayers, are legally required to pay a use tax if the retailer doesn’t charge us a sales tax. “I’ve never heard of this!” you may be saying. I suggest you take another look at the tax forms you might be working on right now. It’s line 25 of schedule 540EZ or line 95 of schedule 540. (The use tax applies to any purchase made out of state but used in California, not just an online purchase.

CALL the Viewpoint desk at 854-2690, ext. 222.

18 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010

See LETTERS, next page

Our Regional Heritage Atherton Heritage Association

This photo from the early 1920s shows Jack Barbour, right, and fellow students at the William Warren School on Alejandra Avenue in what is now Atherton. The identity of the other students, who were 15 when the photo was taken in 1923 or 1924, is not known. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Atherton Heritage Association and leave a message at 688-6540.


LETTERS

Supervisor election model fine the way it is

continued from page 18

I believe this is why some yacht owners are very careful about where they dock.) Kevin Holsinger O’Keefe Street, Menlo Park

Woodside should speak up on Cargill project Editor: The Woodside Town Council should speak up against Cargill’s plan to build housing and office buildings on its salt ponds in Redwood City. We should indeed concern ourselves about what is happening in our neighboring city when the quality of our collective environment is at stake. San Francisco Bay is our area’s best asset. A healthy bay pays dividends to every single resident of the area. It is an economic asset, a visual asset, a health asset and a physical asset that we all have a responsibility to protect. When it comes to Cargill/ DMB’s scheme to convert openspace salt ponds to a highdensity city, the size of an entire Foster City, it would be taking away open space that we collectively all have a right to. We here in Woodside do our part in maintaining a rustic rural atmosphere for our neighboring towns to enjoy. Bicyclists and horse riders from all over the peninsula are more familiar with our many scenic lanes and trails than I, a resident, will ever be. Now we see Redwood City moving towards growing by 33 percent again doing the same. (Redwood City’s current population. is 79,000; Cargill’s proposal has 12,000 homes for approximately. 30,000 residents.) We all have an obligation to express concern now, before so much money and so many wellmeaning careers are invested that it becomes harder and harder to stop this development in our bay. Redwood City has an awardwinning plan to develop its downtown as a vibrant, healthy, mixed-use community right along the transportation corridor, where development belongs. Instead, Cargill is developing in the bay, on the wrong side of the Bayshore Freeway, which causes only problems — destruction of desperately needed wetland restoration to resuscitate our ailing bay, traffic nightmares on the wrong side of gridlocked 101, flooding of homes below sea level, and most of all, permanent loss of increasingly critically needed open space as our peninsula population grows. Gita Dev Mountain Home Road, Woodside

By Nita Spangler

This matter recalls 75 years ago when San Mateo County had a reputation as one GUEST of the most OPINION corrupt. Any three supervisors could corner countywide control. Each supervisor was a road commissioner, with road superintendent, road foreman and five equipment yards. With patronage, friendships brought free driveways. District elections were eliminated after citizens in 1931 used state enabling legislation to write a charter, organizing as Freeholders. They acquired new working offices in a courthouse built by the federal Public Works Administration with funds that paid for Depression-era jobs. They also approved the position of county manager that would bring expe-

rience and skills to departments with job descriptions and qualified staffing. After several false starts, the new charter was adopted in 1934. Experienced managers have served the county through prosperous and lean years. They deserve much credit. The county manager is usually the one to organize and see that things work, from overseeing hospitals to pothole repair. Now is a bad time to think about changing the stressed but still well-run San Mateo County government. Electing supervisors by district would certainly bring more disputes, more contentiousness, more costs and new alignments. Without a massive change, minor repairs are available for legitimate complaints. Supervisor Richard S. Gordon, who is retiring due to term limits, has already told the Charter Review Committee of the wide range of business before county government. In a recent article, a San Francisco newspaper

Sec. 15270). In other words, a public agency has the authority to reject a proposal and forego an environmental review when a project is inconsistent with existing land-use policies and ordinances. Redwood City has the legal right and a clear justification to reject the Saltworks proposal at any time, because the project directly violates the city’s existing general plan and the goals set forth by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve

sustainability of the bay. Cargill is asking Redwood City to amend the general plan and rezone their property, and also requests that the city abort its own general plan update process. The council agreed, thus stifling the best approach for revising landuse decisions. An environmental impact report is no substitute for a city-run general plan process that fully engages public input. Such EIRs are intended to inform agencies about potential environmental impacts from proposed projects, not to justify changing land-use laws.

I

n the belief that the election of San Mateo County supervisors would be improved — less expensive and more enervated with more office seekers — an appeal is being made to the 2010 Charter Review Committee to change the present at-large election of five county supervisors to election by district. The Almanac in an editorial has already joined the call for changes to district elections, even though the Review Committee has not met beyond organizing itself. Changing voting and representation would be a big decision — divisive and contentious. If it happens, every voter in San Mateo County will lose his/her vote for four of the supervisors. You now vote for all five and they are all accountable to you and everyone. In the district plan, you vote for one supervisor who is the only one of the Board of Supervisors accountable to you. No supervisor would be accountable to every voter. Is disenfranchisement a good thing?

No mandate for Redwood City to assess Cargill Editor: The Redwood City Council seems to believe that they have a legal mandate to complete a full analysis of the Cargill Saltworks proposal, including an environmental impact report, as they would other development applications. They are dead wrong. The California Environmental Quality Act “does not apply to projects which a public agency rejects or disapproves” (CEQA Guidelines

described its city-county government with district elections in that city in an article headlined: “We need a better way to run the city.” It said, in part: “The district [election] magnifies the neighborhood and tightknit interest groups to produce officeholders with little stake in citywide questions.” Calling the 11 supervisors, “small-time politicos, the writer continues, “...The system is producing too much small-time drama and not enough big-picture results.” That is good advice from the county from which we were split in 1854. San Mateo County, with its 447 square miles, needs to keep its eye on the big picture. Our boundaries are in oceanfront, San Francisco Bay and two of the state’s most populated cities. Our government is working well. It’s a good government even if our money is going to Sacramento. Nita Spangler, a journalist and longtime observer of county government, lives in Redwood City. The Redwood City Council has shown that they not only believe that Cargill is entitled to develop the site, but that they are comfortable with the concept of building a new city in the bay. This proposal is not like “any other application.” That is why concerned citizens all across the Bay Area are insisting that Redwood City reinstate its general plan update for the salt ponds before considering any development proposals. Daniel Ponti Redwood City

WOODSIDE COMMUNITY RECREATION PROGRAM

SPRING SCHEDULE CLASS

DAY

YOGA FOR EVERYONE 12 Weeks No Class Mon 11 Weeks May 4, 6 Tues. 11 Weeks Wed. 11 Weeks Thurs. 21 Weeks Fri. Bring exercise mat and wear comfortable clothing

TIME

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

LOW IMPACT AEROBICS & ZUMBA® No Class Mon. 7:45 AM - 9:00 AM May 31 14 Weeks Fri. 7:45 AM - 9:00 AM A fun combo class to burn fat & tone the body. Balance ball & free weights used for toning.

INSTRUCTOR

Carla Germano

Joy Lopez

LOCATION

FEE

STARTING DATE

Independence Hall Wdse. Village Church Guild Hall Wdse. Village Church Guild Hall Wdse. Village Church Guild Hall Independence Hall

$204 $187 $187 $187 $204

March 22 March 23 March 24 March 25 March 26

Independence Hall Independence Hall

$450 $23 drop in

April 5 April 2

Financial assistance available for children. Visit our Web Site at: www.woodsiderec.com

C To

Register or Fax: (650) 851-3534

C

March 17, 2010 N The Almanac N19


apr.com R E D E F I N I N G Q U A L I T Y S I N C E 19 9 0 Reading between the emotional line mak es the difference between finding a house and a home.

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Monica Corman 650.543.1164 mcorman@apr.com

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$ 4,700,000

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Gorgeous 5bd/5.5ba, 6200+/-sf home on beautiful 2+ acre lot with lots of level land. Stunning views.

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Bea Sines 650.743.5198 bines@apr.com

PALO ALTO

$3,750,000

LOS ALTOS

$2,999,875

MENLO PARK

$1,925,000

Exceptional 6 bd/4.5 ba home in desirable Community Center. Built in 2001 with high end amenities.

Innovative, sustainable passive solar, straw bale masterpiece with luxurious amenities. 4bd/4.5ba with oversized pool.

Judy BogardTanigami 650.209.1603 Judyand Sheri.com

Sheri Hughes 650.209.1608 Judyand Sheri.com

LOS ALTOS

$1,995,000

Gracious 4bd/2.5ba home located at the end of a private cul-de-sac. Generous formal and casual rooms. Pool + built-in BBQ.

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Courtney Bridgman Eltheringtion 650.209.1613 Courtney@ apr.com

Jeff Stricker 650.209.1552 jstricker@ apr.com

Linda Walker Smith 650.209.1571 Lwsmith@ apr.com

Joe & Mary Merkert 650.543.1156 jmerkert@apr.com

Truly magical 4bd/4ba home in a fabulous location and is private and quiet with absolutely gorgeous gardens.

Steve TenBroeck PALO ALTO

$1,395,000

Charming 3bd/2ba home, located on a quiet, tree-lined street in the desirable Green Gables neighborhood. Newly landscaped.

JUST LISTED MENLO PARK

$1,250,000

Remodeled 3bd/2.5ba townhouse on 17th fairway of Sharon Heights Country Club.

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Joe & Mary Merkert 650.543.1156 jmerkert@apr.com

SOLD PALO ALTO

1,270,000

REDWOOD CITY

$899,000

We sold our latest Palo Alto home for $1,270,000 (4 offers, over the asking price) and “as-is” terms. To learn how we can achieve these results for you call us at 650-450-0160!

Charming Craftsman-style 3bd/2ba home in Mount Carmel. Recently updated. Bonus room with full bath.

MENLO PARK 1550 El Camino Real, Ste 100 650.462.1111 | PALO ALTO 578 University Avenue 650.323.1111 LOS ALTOS 167 S San Antonio Road 650.941.1111 APR COUNTIES | Santa Clara | San Mateo | San Francisco | Alameda | Contra Costa | Monterey | Santa Cruz 20 N The Almanac NMarch 17, 2010


The Almanac 03.17.2010 - Section 1