ON ALTO WEEKLY PUBLICATI N VIEW VOICE AND PALO AN ALMANAC , MOUNTAI
Home & Garden Design inside this issue
IN PALO ALTO HOME PAGE 16
ALTO I PAGE 4 BARRIER S IN PALO BREAKIN G DOWN IN VIEW I PAGE 8 BOXES IN MOUNTA 25 NO MORE BORING MENLO PARK I PAGE ENHANC ES LIFE IN DRAMAT IC PORCH
T H E H O M E TOW N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N L O PA R K , AT H E RTO N , P O RTO L A VA L L E Y A N D WO O D S I D E
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Artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han are among the performers at the 8th annual music festival [See Section 2]
apr.com Go to open.apr.com for the Bay Areaâ€™s only complete online open home guide.
PA LO A LTO Beautifully sited on a prime 30,673+/-sf lot, this stately Tudor residence is distinguished by exceptional detailing and craftsmanship. Built for entertaining, generous formal spaces are beautifully integrated with majestic gardens to create a private oasis in the heart of Silicon Valley. Pool, spa, and tennis court complete the grounds.
AT H E R TO N Stunning ranch home offers the ambiance of a country retreat. This 2,360+/-sf home is nestled in 52,272+/-sf park-like garden setting. Light-filled home boasts a natural stone fireplaces in living room and family room. 2 large workshops next to garage. Large front porch and covered back patio. Close to the best of urban conveniences.
M E N LO PA R K Lovely 4bd/3ba home on cul-desac in Linfield Oaks. Large lot with a creek side setting. Privacy and charm with many quality updates. Open family room with cathedral windows overlooking the garden. Fourth bedroom with bath for guests. Close to downtown Palo Alto, Stanford Shopping Center and Burgess Park.
MENLO PARK OFFICE 1550 EL CAMINO REAL, SUITE 10 0 650.462.1111 WOODSIDE OFFICE 2930 WOODSIDE ROAD 650.529.1111 APR COUNTIES | Santa Clara | San Mateo | San Fracisco | Marin | Sonoma | Alameda | Contra Costa | Monterey | Santa Cruz 2 N The Almanac N July 21, 2010
UP F RONT
www.mominabox.net The â€œI Careâ€? package youâ€™ll want to send off with your new or returning college student
good fun stuff that just happens to be green Folding portable speakers
Kidsâ€™ toys made from recycled plastic
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Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac
Jesus Banda piles usable lumber from what had been a portable building at Hillview Middle School on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park. This deconstruction is part of the initial phase of a school rebuilding project using voter-approved municipal bond funds.
Reconstruction work begins at Hillview Phase 1 of the reconstruction of Hillview Middle School has begun on the campus at the corner of Santa Cruz and Elder avenues. In an interview, Ahmad Sheikholeslami, district director of facility planning and construction, said the first phase will include the removal
of the tennis courts, Tinker Park, the basketball courts, the open field and the parking lot. Mr. Sheikholeslami estimated that Phase 1 will last four or five months, at which time the district will put out another bid for the actual construction of the school. The goal is to have the work
done on weekdays during normal working hours, though there may be â€œcrunch times,â€? Mr. Sheikholeslami told The Almanac. â€œIf weâ€™re going to work on Saturdays, we will let our neighbors know.â€? To contact Mr. Sheikholeslami with questions or concerns, call 321-7140 and press option 2.
158 University Ave (at High St.), Palo Alto www.livegreene.com - email@example.com (650) 331-0700
with purchase of $25 or more. Expires 7/31/10
C U S T O M S O L U T I O N S F O R E V E R Y S T Y L E A N D E V E R Y B U D G E T
City will file opposing argument to pension lawsuit By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor
enlo Parkâ€™s city attorney will file an opposing argument to the legal challenge by two public employee unions of the citizendriven pension reform initiative, and will ask the court to allow the initiative to remain on the November ballot. City Attorney Bill McClure was given the instruction to proceed with the court filing by a unanimous vote of the City Council during a July 13 closedsession meeting, he reported after the meeting. The unions, AFSCME Local 829 and SEIU Local 521, and
resident Katy Rose filed the lawsuit on June 23, challenging the legality of the initiative. The lawsuit names the city of Menlo Park and resident Ned Moritz, treasurer of Citizens for Fair and Responsible Pension Reform, the group that gathered some 3,100 signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot. The initiative would increase the retirement age for new, non-police employees from 55 to 60 years, and would decrease the pension payments those employees receive. The lawsuit asserts that the pension reform initiative violates Article XI, section 7, of the state Constitution; and provisions of the Meyers-Milias-
Brown Act. It asks the court to decide the issue, and keep the measure off the ballot if it agrees that itâ€™s illegal. N COR RECT ION S
â– In a recent story about debutantes bowing at the 50th Peninsula Ball, one of the names was reported incorrectly. The correct name is Hathaway Moore, not Elizabeth Moore. Elizabeth is her middle name. â– In a Destinations story entitled, â€œBeyond Yosemite,â€? we incorrectly referred to the Sierra Nevada mountain range as the Sierras.
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V I S I T U S AT O U R N E W LY E X PA N D E D A N D R E N O V AT E D C A M P B E L L S H O W R O O M . T H E B AY A R E A â€™ S L A R G E S T ! C E RT I F I E D
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C A M P B E L L S H O W R O O M 1 1 9 0 D E L L AV E N U E W W W. VA L E T C U S T O M . C O M
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C E N T E R S G A R A G E S
July 21, 2010 N The Almanac N 3
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No vote for you, supervisors say ■ Board rejects proposal that voters decide in November whether to change the way supervisors are elected. By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
hould voters decide how county supervisors are elected? No way, says the supervisors themselves. In a 4-1 vote on July 13, the board rejected a proposal from the county charter review committee that voters decide in November whether the supervisors should be
elected county-wide, as they are now, or by district, the way supervisors are elected in every other county in California. Twice in the 1990s, voters rejected a change in the way supervisors are elected, noted board President Rich Gordon, who cast the sole vote to put the question before voters again in November. (San Mateo County does have supervisory districts. Candidates must live within the district they represent, but they must run county-wide. Mr. Gordon is in District 3, which includes Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley.)
The 16-member county charter review committee, which held 13 public meetings over six months, had recommended on a 14-2 vote to put the question before voters. The committee made other recommendations, including: ■ Changing the methods for filling vacant seats when elected officials resign. The Board of Supervisors agreed to put that on the ballot. ■ Appointing rather than electing the treasurer/tax col-
lector and auditor/controller. The supervisors rejected that recommendation. ■ Reviewing the need for each of the county’s 49 boards and commissions. The supervisors approved this with conditions. Electing supervisors
The charter review committee actually expressed opposition, on an 11-4 vote, to changing how supervisors are elected, but on a 14-2 vote said the question should be decided by voters. They
A L L E Y
were “persuaded that there was enough energy and public debate of the issue that the voters of the county should be allowed to select the method of electing their representatives to the board,” the committee said in its report. Mr. Gordon agreed that the matter “really needed to go to the ballot for the citizens to make the decision.” No, it doesn’t, said his colleagues. “Every resident gets five supervisors and I think that’s the way it should be,” said Supervisor Carole Groom. See CHARTER, page 8
City poised to settle lawsuit involving former Cadillac site on El Camino Real By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor
he Menlo Park City Council is poised to approve a settlement agreement with a group called Concerned Citizens of Menlo Park, which in November 2009 sued the city and would-be developers of the property at 1300 El Camino Real after the city issued preliminary approvals for a planned office/ retail project for that site. The council plans to vote on the agreement, which scales back the size of a planned grocery store on the site, at its Tuesday, July 20, meeting. The item is on the agenda’s consent calendar, but Mayor Rich Cline said the council may move it from that section if council members want to discuss it. The Concerned Citizens group filed the lawsuit anonymously, but the settlement agreement names Tony Alexander as the plaintiff’s representative. The document lists an address on Mt. Hamilton Road in San Jose for Mr. Alexander. Former mayor Lee Duboc wrote in her regular Menlo Park’s Future e-mail bulletin, sent on July 18, that Mr. Alexander is the political director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents employees of grocery stores including Draeger’s and Safeway. The union’s Local 5 website lists a Tony Alexander as its political director. Mr. Alexander of Local 5, which is headquartered in San Jose, could not be reached for comment before The
Almanac’s press time. Under the agreement, the city will place two additional restrictions on the planned project at 1300 El Camino Real, according to a staff report released by the city. The first restriction states that the maximum size of a grocery store on the property will be limited to 32,000 square feet. The original plan called for a grocery store of nearly 51,000 square feet. That restriction also requires other tenants to limit the amount of retail sales floor space dedicated to the sale of non-taxable items, including food, to 15 percent. The limitation doesn’t apply to small-scale food shops such as Starbucks and Jamba Juice, the staff report says. The second restriction prohibits the “self-checkout of alcohol sales” by any retail business on the site. The agreement requires the developer — Peter Pau, president of Sand Hill Property Management Co., and SHP Los Altos LLC — to pay the Concerned Citizens $38,000 in attorney fees and costs. The developer must also pay “for all city costs and fees associated with processing the project and fees related to the lawsuit and settlement,” according to the staff report. The lawsuit was filed using the California private attorney general statute, which allows private citizens acting as public-interest representatives to sue government entities. It challenged the city’s approval of the project’s
Photo by Dave Boyce/The Almanac
Men at work from the San Mateo County Public Works Department consider a new sidewalk planter box for a sycamore tree along Alameda de las Pulgas in unincorporated West Menlo Park. Previous trees have been run over by vehicles backing out of tight parking spaces.
County tries new locations for sidewalk trees By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
hady sidewalks are slowly becoming a reality along Alameda de las Pulgas between Avy and Ashton avenues in unincorporated West Menlo Park. And the San Mateo County Public Works Department is again engaged in trying to realize more of that vision. Workers are moving the sidewalk planter boxes slightly to help a new set of young trees avoid the fate of their predecessors: being run over by heedless drivers. The planting in 2004 of some 40 sycamore trees along the twoblock-long commercial district promised an end to sidewalks baked — or blessed, depend-
ing on your point of view — by uninterrupted sunshine. Some merchants objected to the trees, seeing them as hindrances to vehicle parking in what was already a congested scene in a community in which SUVs are popular. It didn’t take long to justify their prediction. About a third of the young sycamores had short lives punctuated by repeated bashings from vehicle bumpers until they lay stretched out on the sidewalk. As did two or three rounds of replacement trees, each of which were tended by Public Works Department workers to help them grow roots sufficient to reach the water table and survive without irrigation. Jeff Grech, a supervisor with
the Public Works Department, was on the street recently to oversee the relocation of the luckless sidewalk planter boxes and their eventual replanting. Would this expenditure of sweat and public funds have a different result? “I’ve photographed a lot of those trees lying on the sidewalk,” this reporter told Mr. Grech. “I’ve picked a lot of them up,” Mr. Grech replied, unfazed. Carpenter Luis Carlos, interrupted during construction of a new frame for a planter box, noted that that stretch of sidewalk will now have one tree instead of two. “Hopefully (the tree) will survive if people will show a little bit of concern about it,” Mr. Carlos said. A
See LAWSUIT, page 9
July 21, 2010 N The Almanac N 5
TOWN OF WOODSIDE
MENLO PARK FUNERALS
INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND SITE REVIEW BOARD The Architectural and Site Review Board reviews and makes recommendations to the Director of Planning and Building on residential, site design and commercial applications.
NEW # 650-329-8022 menloparkfunerals.com
1182A-Chestnut St. Menlo Park
Interested residents may request information and applications Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon and 1-5:00 p.m. at the Town Clerkâ€™s OfďŹ ce, 2955 Woodside Road, by telephone at (650) 851-6790, or through the Townâ€™s web site at www.woodsidetown. org. Deadline for applications is Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 5:00 p.m.
A great bike ride! TOUR de MENLO 2O1O METRIC CENTURY Saturday, August 21 65, 46 & 35 mile rides with a few hills Ride Day Registration 8 to 10 a.m.
Meetings are held on the ďŹ rst and third Monday of each month, 4:30 p.m. Appointment is for an unexpired term through January 2011
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5/;3:/< oC2/;/<7 AC<%<=D One of Baliâ€™s premier ensembles in a dazzling performance of music and dance.
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