PORTOLA VALLEY: Equestrians worry about conflicts with kids on town trails. Page 5
T H E H O M E TOW N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N L O PA R K , AT H E RTO N , P O RTO L A VA L L E Y A N D WO O D S I D E
SEPTEMBER 22, 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
MAKING A RACKET B A D M I N T O N P L AY E R S F I G H T C I T Y H A L L A N D W I N See section 2
Your New Carts Are Coming! Recycle, Compost and Garbage Cart Deliveries Start Now Starting August 30, Recology San Mateo County will be delivering new carts to homes throughout the RethinkWaste service area. Be sure to review the information found attached to your new Garbage cart. This kit will help walk you through the new collection service, letting you know exactly what can and what cannot go into each cart. Visit www.RethinkWaste.org for the delivery schedule.
How To Use Your New Carts.
BLACK CART = GARBAGE (20, 32, 64 and 96 gallon)
Basically anything that can’t go in the blue or green cart goes here. Waste, such as Styrofoam packaging, peanuts, and food containers; bagged animal waste and diapers; ceramics, glassware, mirrors, and window glass; wrappers and juice pouches; black plastic; and plastic bags, buckets, and broken toys.
Please make sure to set out your old green yard trimmings cart on your FIRST COLLECTION DAY immediately following the delivery of your new carts. The old cart will be taken away. You can choose to keep your recycling tubs, but if you want them taken away, simply place them upside down next to your carts during a recycling collection week. You can also have your old garbage cans taken away. Simply afﬁx one of the “Take Me” stickers that came with the information kit. You can have your old tubs and cans taken away through December 31, 2010.
BLUE CART = RECYCLE
GREEN CART = COMPOST
For single-stream recycling, meaning all recyclables in one cart – no more sorting! You can mix newspapers, junk mail, cardboard and other paper products with plastic, metal, and glass containers. Recycling will be picked up every other week through December 31, 2010.
Visit RecologySanMateoCounty.com or RethinkWaste.org for details. 2 N The Almanac N September 22, 2010
Out With The Old
Use your new green Compost cart the same way you’ve been using your current Yard Trimmings cart – by putting in only materials that come from your yard. Compost carts will be picked up every other week through December 31, 2010.
UP F RONT Belmont San Carlos
GAS PIPELINE 101
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*12 week minimum. Limited time offer. Call for details
GAS PIPELINE 132 & 109
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This map, based on information from the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS), shows gas mains in The Almanac’s circulation area. “A” shows the segment on the “top 100 list” of the riskiest pipelines.
Menlo Park gas pipe on PG&E watchlist By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer
hen PG&E released a list of its top 100 riskiest gas pipelines on Sept. 20, one Menlo Park pipe appeared on that list. “We have been assured that these are not ‘safety issues,’ but are pipelines that need to be watched for upgrades and repair,” Mayor Rich Cline said. “If it felt there were danger — PG&E has said they would replace it now.” The only Menlo Park segment appearing on the “top 100 list” of riskiest pipelines is an 18-foot line near Dumbarton Avenue and
Donahoe Street, along the East Palo Alto border, according to the PG&E report. The segments ranked at 1 are the riskiest. Coming in at 95, the Menlo Park line earned a place on the list through a combination of factors, including potential for corrosion, third-party damage, or ground movement; and design characteristics such as age. However, three main gas pipelines run through The Almanac’s circulation area, including Woodside, Atherton and Menlo Park. On a map provided by the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS), one — 101 — runs along the length of U.S. 101 in
Menlo Park. Pipelines 109 and 132 border U.S. 280, before curving along Sand Hill Road and into Palo Alto. Line 132, first installed in 1956, is under investigation for the Sept. 9 explosion in San Bruno, The Palo Alto Weekly reported. PG&E identified segments of all three pipelines as needing retrofits in a report to the state public utility commission last year. The portion of Line 132 that exploded was not included in the top 100 riskiest pipelines.
bers of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The county is in negotiations with several other unions with expired contracts. Other concessions in the AFSCME contract include higher co-payments and health care premiums and, for new employees, lower retirement and health care benefits and higher contributions to cost-of-living
Menlo Park needs new revenue. Menlo Gateway provides it.
— The Palo Alto Weekly contributed to this report.
Some county workers agree to wage freeze About 2,000 San Mateo County employees, including park rangers, social workers, licensed vocational nurses, and building inspectors, have agreed to a contract that forgoes salary increases for the next 26 months, according to a statement from the office of Rich Gordon, president of the county board of supervisors. The contract was ratified on Sept. 9 and applies to local mem-
WHY I’M VOTING
adjustments, the statement said. The same changes apply to the county’s management employees. In a temporary measure to help relieve the burden of these changes, the county will, in 2011 and 2012, contribute $200 per year per employee to their health care flexible spending accounts. Laid-off employees will receive a week’s pay for each year of service up to 10 years.
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“The Menlo Gateway project—a proposed hotel, health club and ofﬁce complex to be built on currently underutilized industrial land east of Highway 101—will deliver nearly $1.7 million in new revenue every year right into Menlo Park’s General Fund without raising taxes on Menlo Park residents. It also provides $1.8 million in revenue for local elementary, high school and junior college districts. This is one project that’s right for Menlo Park. So this November, join me in voting YES on Measure T.” — Rich Cline, Mayor, City of Menlo Park
CALLING ON THE ALMANAC The Almanac newsroom is at 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025. Classified ads: Newsroom: Newsroom fax: Advertising: Advertising fax:
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THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero 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.
To see and learn more about Measure T, visit us at: www.menlogateway.com
Paid for by the 2010 Citizens Coalition for Menlo Gateway, Yes on T, major funding by the David D. Bohannon Organization, 100 Independence Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94025 September 22, 2010 N The Almanac N 3
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Equestrians worry about culture, trail conflicts By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
questrians from Portola Valley and nearby communities seem nettled, in part by the prospect of students frequenting a trail along the south side of Alpine Road, and in part by the prospect of a new charter for the town’s Trails Committee. The charter is scheduled for discussion by the Town Council on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the council’s 7:30 p.m. meeting in the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road. The Trails Committee allows equestrians and other trail users to communicate with the council and the community. But the committee has “lacked good representation from the full array of trail users in town, including hikers, parents of schoolchildren, dog walkers, cyclists and others,” Mayor Steve Toben told The Almanac. At the council’s Sept. 8 meeting, a room full of equestrians complained about having not seen proposed revisions to the charter, including an emphasis on student use of trails. The council asked the committee for its own suggestions, which
it provided on Sept. 14. The language singling out student priorities has been deleted, Mr. Toben said. Other issues of equestrian concern include the trail around Town Center and the importance of horse culture to the town’s ethic. Horses keep the parcels large and the atmosphere rural, the equestrians said. Horses are a “keystone species” to the town’s culture, which needs protection in a changing world, said former Trails Committee chair Mary Hufty, who agreed to speak to The Almanac on behalf of equestrians. “People are so used to being the keystone species that they forget the impact that another keystone species might have,” she added. The trail
Students are at the heart of the Alpine Road trail matter. Though not on the council’s agenda for Sept. 22, the dirt trail between Roberts market and the Alpine Hills Swim & Tennis Club may come up. The town has tentative plans to resurface this trail with crushed rock, replacing the peppering of small rocks and possibly making
Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac
Students ride a trail along Alpine Road where they’re not allowed, in part because equestrians use the trail. The plan to make this dirt trail a safe route to school and friendly to students pulling wheeled backpacks could irk equestrians worried about skittish horses.
it more inviting to students pulling wheeled backpacks: more roll, less bounce. For Corte Madera Middle School students, this trail is a natural route to the Alpine Hills club for after-school sports lessons or to meet family members. It is one of several trails identified by a coalition of residents as safe routes to and from school. The idea: more students walking
and biking to school and fewer being hauled around by their parents. But having more students on this trail might create tensions with equestrians. The stretch across from Roberts is particularly high and narrow. It’s fenced on one side and bordered on the other by an abrupt, steep grassy slope about 10 feet high. A spooked horse could get out of
control and go plunging down the slope and on to the road. Bikes are another complication. While they are not allowed on this trail, kids bike there anyway. How would they respond to a smoother surface? There is a competing safety issue: The other side of Alpine Road has an asphalt trail, perfect See TRAIL, page 8
Town inches forward on new Town Center Menlo Park to buy house for By Renee Batti ATHERTON the task force include building below-market-rate program the center entirely with private Almanac News Editor
he town of Atherton took another step forward in the effort to upgrade its aging and cramped government offices when the City Council on Sept. 15 green-lighted the request for architects to submit design proposals for a new Town Center. The cost of a new center is projected at about $12 million, according to the volunteer Town Center Task Force, which has been examining options and costs for such a project since March. Options for funding include private donations — an idea supported by at least some of the task force members, including City Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis. “I think if Portola Valley can do it, so can Atherton,” Ms. Lewis said, referring to that town’s mostly privately funded $20 million Town Center, com-