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Heritage tree falls in Menlo Park where plenty hear it

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From child laborer to child benefactor,

helped develop Woodside’s extensive system of horse trails Section 2

Michelle Le/The Almanac

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St. Raymond principal to leave, but not without a few suggestions By Miranda Simon Special to the Almanac


’m not exactly a spring chicken,� said Sister Ann Bernard the day after she announced she planned to leave St. Raymond, a Catholic K-8 school in Menlo Park, where she has served as principal for 16 years. Sister Bernard is 72 years old and has been in the education field for 52 of them. She was the assistant superintendent at the Diocese of San Jose before she became principal at St. Raymond. Still, when she announced Jan. 25 that she would leave at the end of the academic year, she didn’t mean retirement. “Oh, good heavens, no,� she said. “It’s just a case of stopping what I’m doing and take a little bit of time off.� Sister Bernard plans to take a sabbatical of six months to a year and then return to education. “Some of it will be personal time, some will be spiritual development and travel. Possibly a trip to Alaska,� she said. She has a few job prospects lined up for when she returns but declined to name them during the transition. Meanwhile, the interview process for a new principal at St. Raymond has already begun. Sister Bernard said she is happy to have some new blood at St. Raymond. “The school is in very fine condition physically and academically but someone needs to come in with a new vision,� she said. And she is willing to offer up a few suggestions. The new principal should “keep the 21st century child in mind and make better use of technology� but, at the same time, she said, kids should be allowed to slow down and dream a little. “Parents have them on the fast track. They just need some down time to be quiet and peaceful and maybe read a book,� she said. “Smell the roses.� She said she attempted to bring about a slower pace when she was in charge, but encountered resistance, mostly from the parents. “When both parents are working, it does cre-

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ate a safety net when (children) have a sport lesson, a piano lessonâ&#x20AC;? after school, she said. Her educational philosophy has not always been the same, however. She remembers when technology started making its way into classrooms and the initial reticence she felt toward using electronic whiteboards and computers as teaching instruments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Technology began to stick its head up and now we can see the true value that the computer has for the education of the children,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As an older person there is always a fear of the unknown and seeing the lack of fear in the children was encouraging.â&#x20AC;? Father William Myers, pastor of St. Raymond Catholic Church, is leading the search, interview and selection process for a new principal. In its announcement, the school said it plans to name a new principal in the spring.

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Folder Stable earns awards, open for tours The recently renovated Folger Stable at Wunderlich Park in Woodside has received two prestigious awards. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;California Constructionâ&#x20AC;? publication cited the stable as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the best renovation/restoration project completed in Northern California in the last 12 months.â&#x20AC;? The award was presented to Gonzales and Stronck contractors, architect Adolph Rosekrans of Woodside, and structural engineer Ephriam

Hirsch. Mr. Rosekrans also received the honor award from the American Institute of Architects, San Mateo County chapter, the highest of their three award categories for excellence in design. Stable tours

Visitors may now take docentled tours of the stable on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 and 2:30 p.m. Admission is free, but

reservations are required. The carriage room, which provides displays highlighting the heritage of Folger Stable and Wunderlich County Park, is open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For reservations and information, call Jeanne Thivierge at 851-2660. The stable is located in Wunderlich Park at 4040 Woodside Road, near the Portola Road intersection, in Woodside.

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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 Š2010 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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Pension reform may be delayed a year or more By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


he celebratory buzz that followed the passage of Measure L by a whopping 72 percent of voters in November died down in Menlo Park after voters realized approval was only the first step in a pension reform process that could take years. The quandary: How to fill the city’s 15 vacant positions when Menlo Park can’t legally implement Measure L’s limits yet? Measure L raised the minimum retirement age for new public employees by five years to 60, excluding police officers, and also decreased maximum pension benefits by 0.7 percentage points to 2 percent of their highest annual salary averaged


over three years. Under this measure, a new hire who retired at age 60 after working for the city for 30 years would receive 60 percent of that average salary. Current employees can retire at age 55 and get 81 percent. Henry Riggs, who helped bring Measure L to voters, said that state law requires the city to negotiate with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) before it can impose lower benefits. According to his research, if the bargaining ends in a stalemate, and a contract is imposed, as happened last May with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the limits won’t

take effect until March 2012. Menlo Park appears to have three options: A hiring freeze. Outsourcing to contractors. Or continue hiring at the old pension rates, which the city can’t afford to sustain. Council members Kirsten Keith and Peter Ohtaki asked staff to examine outsourcing in neighboring communities to gauge how well it might work in Menlo Park. Ms. Keith also questioned why the city interviewed arborists on Jan. 25, a position advertised at $7,000 per month, while the higher benefits were still in place. Glen Rojas, city manager, responded that contractors are limited in what they can do before becoming public employees in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. The city then

Mayor says he won’t support hiring ‘a bunch of new people’ with the higher pension benefit. runs the risk of owing back taxes. The position can’t be eliminated, he said, because of the workload. “Right now there’s only one person supervising all tree crews,” he said. “That’s not sustainable.” Mr. Riggs sent an e-mail to the council in December suggesting a hiring freeze since the city expressed a firm commitment to the new benefit structure. “Put another way, when you realize you are in the most expensive widget store in town, why would you buy one more widget before crossing the street

to the competitive store?” Echoing that reasoning at the Jan. 27 budget meeting, Mayor Rich Cline said he was very sensitive to the 72 percent of voters who want the new pension structure implemented now and are not happy about the city advertising positions under the old structure. “It seems like an affront to the movement that just happened,” he said. “I’m not going to give you the answer, but I’ll tell you I’m not going to support hiring and adding a bunch of new people to the mix.” A

Facebook scoops up Menlo Park properties ■ City finalizing paperwork for former Sun Micro campus sale. By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


s rumors swirled about social networking giant Facebook buying the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, the company quietly bought 22 acres of business property near the campus. Facebook purchased 312 and 314 Constitution Drive — neighbors to the former Sun campus — on Dec. 27, 2010, via an intermediary, Giant Properties LLC, listed at an address Facebook uses in Palo Alto, according to San Mateo County databases. Meanwhile, “finalizing land use entitlements for a new tenant at Sun campus” appeared on the Menlo Park community development staff’s “to do” list during a city budget presenta-

tion to the council on Jan. 28. That’s as much information as anyone working for the city would reveal about Facebook’s plans. The move could be a boon to San Mateo County. Larry Stone, assessor for Santa Clara County where Facebook currently pays taxes, said the value of the company is its exponential growth. “Facebook from a property tax standpoint — their public profile is much more valuable. But their growth is phenomenal,” he said, and provided the following figures, good through Jan. 1, 2010: ■ In 2007: Facebook had an assessed business property value of $8.0 million, which includes computers and other equipment.

Photo by Dave Boyce/The Almanac

A horizontal perspective This athlete on wheels glided up, down and around recently at Burgess Park in the Menlo Park Civic Center. The painted darker surfaces hide graffiti on the five-year-old concrete skate park, whose 15,000 square feet includes three basins, ramps and a collection of above-ground concrete-and-metal surfaces that encourage feats of balance while in motion.

See FACEBOOK, page 8

Why some crimes in Portola Valley, Woodside have not been reported By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


s some residents of Portola Valley have discovered, there’s been a mismatch between crimes entered in the records of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office as having happened

in Portola Valley, Woodside, Ladera and unincorporated West Menlo Park and crimes reported by The Almanac. Sheriff’s Office media spokesman Lt. Ray Lunny oversees the once-aweek crime report e-mailed to The Almanac. Asked to explain the missing incidents, Lt. Lunny said

that his office had been reporting only the crimes for which the deputies had completed the paperwork — an oversight since corrected, he said. Portola Valley residents had expressed concern to The Almanac about incidents not reported. In December 2010, for example,

The Almanac reported eight property crimes in Portola Valley, but a summation received from the Sheriff’s Office shows 13 property crimes — four additional thefts and an additional auto burglary. The unreported incidents tended to stay unreported because by the time deputies had finished

their paperwork, enough time had passed so that the incidents were no longer considered news, Lt. Lunny said. Under the policy now in effect, he said, the report will include the basic facts of every incident, See CRIMES, page 8

February 2, 2011 ■ The Almanac ■ 5


Park advocates oppose 1,000-tree plan Homeless shelter to close to help the city find alternate ways on VA campus in Menlo to improve the former landfill that By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


plan to plant 1,000 trees in Bedwell Bayfront Park to reduce carbon dioxide has stirred concern among the park’s advocates. The Menlo Park City Council voted 3-2 on Jan. 25 with Kirsten Keith and Andy Cohen dissenting, to proceed with a state grant application for $350,000 to cover the costs of planting the trees and maintaining them for two years. “What happens after two years?” Ms. Keith asked. She also noted that no one from the community spoke in favor of the project during the Jan. 25 meeting. Several members of the Friends of Bedwell Bayfront Park spoke against the plan, wondering why community members weren’t consulted, and why the city declined


to first conduct an environmental impact review (EIR). Alan Bedwell, son of former city manager Mike Bedwll, for whom the park is named, described the

Friends of the park spoke against the plan, wondering why community members weren’t consulted. warning signs he saw of potential problems. “Lack of knowledge of the depth of soil, the Environmental Quality Commission failing to fully endorse this, the lack of an EIR.” He offered the group’s services

would still preserve its open-space character and wildlife habitat. Rebecca Fotu, environmental programs manager, explained that the application’s February deadline didn’t leave enough time for an EIR. She also pointed out adjustments already made to the plan in response to public concerns, such as hiring an expert to measure soil depth to see whether trees could be planted without the risk of roots penetrating the landfill cap. Voting to approve the application, council members Rich Cline and Kelly Fergusson urged the city to tap community expertise going forward to ensure the park’s welfare. So did Peter Ohtaki, who said he’d support applying now in case the state funds weren’t available next year. A

By Sue Dremann Embarcadero Media


lara-Mateo Alliance, a shelter for homeless families and single adults, located on the campus of the VA Medical Center in Menlo Park, will be phased out over three months and will close April 30, its parent organization InnVision announced Jan. 26. The decision came after several months of analysis, according to a statement released by the InnVision board of directors and CEO. The shelter has been in jeopardy for some time. In 2006, the Palo Alto VA Healthcare System told InnVision the shelter would be evicted from the Menlo Park campus in 2010 because the building is seismically

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unstable and the VA planned to add sports fields and recreational facilities for its veterans. Clara-Mateo Alliance has 70 beds and approximately 67 percent of its single residents are veterans. It was opened in 1999 on the grounds of the VA Medical Center on Willow Road. It is also home to the Elsa Segovia Center, which provides resources for self-sufficiency for women, children and families. Programs include children’s educational and extra-curricular activities, adult education, food boxes and other supportive services. In 2008, reduced funding threatened to close the shelter due to a decrease in donations. CEO Christine Burroughs said at the time that the shelter would probably be closed because of the high cost of real estate. Some municipalities also have zoning restrictions on where shelters can be placed. Clara-Mateo Alliance merged with InnVision in 2004. InnVision says it is Silicon Valley’s largest nonprofit provider of housing and services to homeless and at-risk families and individuals and serves more than 27,000 homeless and severely at-risk people annually from San Jose to Redwood City. “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of the Clara-Mateo Alliance in Menlo Park,” said InnVision President and CEO Christine Burroughs in a statement. “Every effort was made to keep CMA open.” “Unfortunately, due to numerous factors including a difficult economy, we feel that the closure of CMA will allow us to focus our resources toward the continuation of our other programs throughout Silicon Valley and the Peninsula,” she said. Ms. Burroughs said InnVision is committed to placing current residents in other InnVision programs or in facilities run by other nonprofit service providers. She thanked InnVision’s donors for their support during a difficult time. “If conditions allow, we hope to re-open this shelter in the future at a different location,” she said. A

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Susan George plans to retire as town manager By Dave Boyce


Almanac Staff Writer


he proceedings of the Woodside Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 25, had an unusual start: the meeting began with Susan George, the town manager since 1992 and in her usual seat, announcing that she will be retiring in 12 months. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Ron Romines opened the

staff and to the council, as appropriate,” she added. A new budget is coming, too. “I am determined to leave the town well-positioned financially, so a major goal is the development of a sound twoyear budget and financial plan for the councilís review and adoption/approval this June,” Ms. George said.

‘I am determined to leave the town well-positioned financially.’ – SUSAN GEORGE Photo by Michelle Le The Almanac

meeting by giving the floor to Ms. George. In brief unwritten remarks, she had high praise for the council, the Town Hall staff and the residents. “I look forward to working with many of you over the next 12 months,” she said, her voice just on the edge of breaking at one point. “There will be lots to say about this,” Mr. Romines said, “but there will be ample time (for that).” Her priorities for the coming year: the completion and adoption of a revised and updated general plan, revisions to the residential design guidelines, completion of pending amendments to the municipal code, and two essays: one on the history of the town’s public sewers and another on downtown parking, Ms. George told The Almanac. “There are other areas like those about which I have a fair amount of stored knowledge and I want to pass it along to

The town has been fairly well positioned financially under her leadership, with reserves that are consistently over the council mandate of 15 percent of the operating budget. A 40 percent balance is expected for June 30, the end of this fiscal year. The update to the general plan has been a major undertaking. The general plan is meant to capture a town’s character and guide its future development. The 10 chapters in Woodside’s plan include land use, historic preservation, getting around town, hazards, noise, housing and environmental sustainability. The updated plan, according to a staff progress report, will include a reorganized and more readable layout and a sophisticated full color set of maps that cover zoning and land use; sewer assessment; neighborhoods at risk of flood, seismic and fire hazards; roads and trails; open spaces and scenic corridors; and fresh water resources. A

Neighbor helps Menlo Park police nab four burglary suspects Three men and one juvenile were arrested in Menlo Park on Jan. 26 after a neighbor spotted suspicious activity shortly before 4 p.m. on Bieber Avenue and called police. The neighbor spotted two people searching for an open window at a house in the 1100 block of Bieber Avenue. Two others were acting as lookouts, police said. Police officers were patrolling

the area at the time so they were able to get to the scene within 90 seconds, police said. The four were arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime, police said. Andres Lopez Solano, 21, Antonio Barrajas, 18, Leonel Contreras, 19, were booked into San Mateo County jail, and the juvenile was booked into juvenile hall.

Six new artists at Portola Gallery A reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at Portola Art Gallery in the Allied Arts Guild for six new artists: Carolyn Jones, Mark Monsarrat, Jerome Peters, Jared Sines, Nancy Stevenson and Decker Walker. The artists’ work will be featured in a group show during February. About the artists

Carolyn Jones of Menlo Park is best known for California landscapes focusing on local scenes, including the Baylands, the Pacific Coast and coastal mountains. Mark Monsarrat of San Francisco is a plein air artist creating traditional oil landscapes. Jerome Peters of Palo Alto likes to paint old trucks, landscapes, portraits, and still art in acrylics on stretched canvas. Jared Sines’ long career began at age 20, showing his work at

“Autumn at Allied Arts” by Carolyn Jones can be seen at Portola Art Gallery. Ms. Jones, a resident of Menlo Park, is one of six new local artists who recently joined the gallery.

Shreve & Co. in San Francisco. His oil paintings are featured in California galleries and retail stores. Nancy Stevenson, a former clinical psychologist, is a sculptor whose bronze figures feature

both adults and children. Decker Walker of Palo Alto paints figures, landscapes and still life in oil. Portola Art Gallery is located at Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, in Menlo Park.

Police arrest sexual-assault fugitive By Miranda Simon Special to the Almanac


olice responding to a codeenforcement complaint in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park on Jan. 26 found more than they expected: a fugitive on the run since 2004 after he was convicted of sexual assault. Marco Vargas-Ortiz, 26, of Redwood City was arrested at the scene, in the 1200 block of Sevier Avenue, by Menlo Park police officers with the Narcotics Enforcement Team. He was booked him into San Mateo County jail. No narcotics were involved — narcotics officers sometimes work on code-enforcement complaints. In 2003, Mr. Vargas-Ortiz and two other suspects were arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a victim under 14. Mr. VargasOrtiz pleaded no contest to charges he committed lewd and lascivious acts with the child, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Vargas-Ortiz had been sentenced to a three-year suspended prison sentence with the provision he serve nine months in county jail, according to the district attorney’s office. The defendant never served his sentence, police said. Officers who responded to the code-violation complaint said they observed an “illegal structure” in the rear yard of the site. The structure was “an add-on to the existing residence that had not been approved by the city with permits and is drawing electricity from main house,” Detective Soares

said. “It presented a fire hazard.” Police said they found several occupants inside, including Mr. Vargas-Ortiz. “We contacted two male adults and some younger children,” Detective Soares said. “There were three bedrooms inside a small dwelling.” While on the premises, officers said they found and confiscated a pistol-grip assault shotgun but are unsure to whom it belongs. “It’s not registered to anybody,” Detective Soares said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the weapon or the illegal structure, Detective Soares said. There are no immediate plans to evict the residents of the dwelling, he said. Police are working with homeowners to rectify the violation and are giving them a grace period to comply with the necessary permit. A

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

R EAL E STATE Q&A by Monica Corman

Many Sellers Are Deciding It’s Time To Move Dear Monica: I have been looking to buy a house for a few months now and am disappointed at how little selection there is on the market. Why do you think there is so little inventory? Nicole E. Dear Nicole: It is true that there is very low inventory on the market at the moment and if this continues, sellers will be missing an opportunity. Part of the reason for the low inventory is that January is usually a wet and miserable time to put your house on the market. Many sellers wait for solid signs of spring to do this. Also for the past two years many sellers have waited thinking that the market would improve and

they would be able to sell their homes at higher prices. The market has improved from the low point of 2009. There are signs that many sellers who waited are deciding not to do this any longer because the market may take a long time to show real price increases. For these sellers, they are deciding to accept what the current market will pay even if it means they take a loss, just so they can get on with their lives and plans. I have had this conversation with a few sellers in the past few weeks enough to see a likely trend. You and other buyers like you will likely have more properties to choose from soon.

For answers to any questions you may have on real estate, you may e-mail me at or call 462-1111, Alain Pinel Realtors. I also offer a free market analysis of your property. February 2, 2011 N The Almanac N7


Heritage tree falls in Menlo Park where plenty hear it ■ Council votes 3-2 to approve removal. By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


oney doesn’t grow on trees, but apparently it does grow if you chop the tree down. After an hour and a half of late-night public comment, the Menlo Park City Council finally approved a developer’s request to remove a heritage redwood tree. The vote split 3-2, with Kelly Fergusson and Andy Cohen dissenting. Most speakers supported developer Kim LeMieux’s request to cut down a 70-foot heritage redwood tree at 240 University Drive. Three months ago the council also voted 3-2, with John Boyle and Rich Cline dissenting, to spend $7,500 of city funds to design a home that would preserve the tree. However, Ms. LeMieux’s analysis concluded the proposed design wasn’t economically feasible without a basement, which would decrease the home’s value by an estimated $350,000. The developer wants to build and sell a new two-story, 4,402-square-foot home complete with detached garage and basement at the site.

She also told the council at its Jan. 25 meeting that the tree, which thrusts upward from the middle of the property, posed safety risks as well as maintenance issues. Those supporting her case focused on the rights of property owners and the damage a growing redwood tree can cause, including car paint ruined by acidic cones; cracked foundations and sewer lines; and mold. Scott Marshall countered that when he bought a house in Menlo Park, he signed an acknowledgment that the city has a heritage tree ordinance, and seemed to wonder whether the ordinance matters. “If someone goes through the process (of requesting removal), is it ever declined? Seems like there’s always a way around it if you’re persistent,” he said. “Menlo Park is about trees.” The city has approved 97 perPhoto by Michelle Le/The Almanac cent of heritage tree removal This 70-foot heritage redwood tree at 240 University Drive in Menlo Park will come down as a result of requests since 2008, according the council’s decision. to Rebecca Fotu, environmental programs manager. that the alternate designs show weren’t cut down. council members appeared to The newest member of the that the tree could reasonably be Colleague Peter Ohtaki called it agree that the heritage tree ordiEnvironmental Quality Com- preserved, and challenged Ms. “a gut-wrenching decision,” but nance in Menlo Park could use a mission lives next door to the LeMieux’s economic analysis of voted to remove the tree because rewrite to avoid a similar morass tree. Christina Smolke stated the property’s value if the tree of its position on the property. The in the future. A

Suspect claims doctor prescribed marijuana Saturday: Meet a chicken in Atherton A man charged with selling marijuana bought three more months before he’ll have to face the jury. Menlo Park police arrested Thomas Marshall Stine, 35, after reportedly seeing marijuana smoke pouring out the windows of his parked car, according to the district attorney’s office. A search found a half pound of marijuana, a scale, and baggies, police said, and Mr. Stine, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, allegedly had an expired medical marijuana card. On Jan. 11, the day the trial was initially supposed to start, the defense attorney told San Mateo Superior Court Judge Stephen Hall that a doctor had prescribed marijuana for his client in 2004. The prosecutor discovered the doctor had lost his medical license five years later, and demanded the defense provide a chain of custody for the last-minute evidence. Over the prosecutor’s protests, Judge Hall granted a defense request to postpone the trial, which is now set for April 18. Mr. Stine remains free on $15,000 bail.

New commissioners Finding it easier to fill commission vacancies than deal with the city’s trees, the Menlo Park City Council appointed a new planning commissioner and finance audit


committee member at its Jan. 25 meeting. Skipping the opportunity to discuss the applicants’ backgrounds, a taciturn council selected Peipei Yu from a list of 15 applicants to take a seat on the city’s Planning Commission. As for the Finance Audit Committee, Honor Huntington will start a second term. The only other applicant for the spot, educator Chuck Bernstein, withdrew after issuing a statement supporting Ms. Huntington’s re-appointment. He described her as smart, competent, and perhaps most important, apolitical in civic work. “Rather, she is factual and analytical, focusing on understanding our problems thoroughly in order to develop effective solutions,” he wrote. Mr. Bernstein said he’ll apply again once another position opens. “Congratulations, Honor,” Mayor Rich Cline said at the meeting. “Or, I always make the joke, depending on the day, condolences.”

No council meeting A schedule lighter by six meetings was approved by the Menlo

8 N The Almanac NFebruary 2, 2011

Park City Council for this year, and as a result, no meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1. The council will next convene on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. City staff expects the agenda to include discussion of how to counter the state’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies, including Menlo Park’s.

If you like the notion of raising chickens in your backyard, or think you might, you might want to show up at an event in Atherton on Saturday, Feb. 5. The Atherton Library has invited neighborhood chickens young and old for an open house with the public from 10:30 a.m. to noon. “Chickens are all the rage,” said Maeve Visser Knoth, youth

services librarian in a statement. “Meet some of the children who raise them, ask your questions, learn what it takes to care for hens, and watch Henny Penny perform her chicken tricks!” The library is located at the town center at 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane. For more information, contact Ms. Visser Knoth at 328-2422 or 654-4975.



continued from page 5

continued from page 5

■ In 2008, the value doubled to $16.7 million. ■ In 2009, it nearly doubled again, to $30.2 million. ■ In 2010, it more than doubled, to $63.4 million. “They’re not considered to be one of the major contributors to Santa Clara County business property tax right now,” Mr. Stone said. “But if they keep growing the way they have been, they’ll be a major player. Not unlike Google was, not unlike eBay was.” Facebook declined to discuss the purchases. The company has about 2,000 employees worldwide, and more than 500 million active users, according to spokesman Larry Yu.

including what happened, when it happened, the name and block number of the street on which it happened, and an itemized list with estimates of financial losses, if available. Menlo Park and Atherton police have online logs updated daily. Can the Sheriff’s Office do that? Can’t be done, Lt. Lunny said he’s been told. Asked to elaborate, he said that staff is not available and that the numbers of crimes “are too great.” In Menlo Park, dispatchers prepare logs during the early morning hours by extracting the necessary facts from officers’ barebones reports, said department spokeswoman Nicole Acker. Couldn’t Sheriff’s Office dispatchers do the same?

The department is financially strapped and anticipating cuts of up to $10 million in the next budget year while trying to maintain service levels and modernize, Sheriff Greg Munks told The Almanac. In addition, the dispatchers work for the county communications office. “We could certainly ask (the county) if they could do that,” he said, but he noted that internal costs might rise. The Sheriff’s Office has taken over patrol of San Carlos, and the deal came with the former police department’s crime-log software, Mr. Munks said. While it may be suitable, it would likely include a more costly contract, he said. “We’re using the scarce resources that we have for frontline boots on the ground and managing an overcrowded jail,” he added.




Chief: Police probe limited in scope â&#x2013; Investigator concludes police followed departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standards despite adding false charge to arrest report.

Dennis submitted the report. Mr. Buckheit, who has reviewed a copy of the Peterson report, said that Mr. Peterson blamed limitaBy Renee Batti tions of the computer system used N ATHERTON Almanac News Editor for filing police reports for the addition of false information in ritics of an investigatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s said that the investigation conclu- the arrest report. report exonerating Atherton sively proved that the addition of He said the report also stated police officers of wrongdo- the child assault charge did not con- that Judge Forcum, who granted ing in the alteration of a police stitute â&#x20AC;&#x153;falsificationâ&#x20AC;? of the report. Mr. Buckheit the factual innoreport on the arrest of resident Jon The Almanac and members cence declaration, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is unfamiliar Buckheit have called the investiga- of the public will not be able to with how the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s domestic tion a whitewash. examine the entire report filed by violence protocol works.â&#x20AC;? But Police Chief Mike Guerra Mr. Peterson, Chief Guerra said, Mr. Buckheit strongly opposed said last week that the Mr. Petersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hiring, investigation applied only and pushed the town to the police departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to ask a judge or retired Police Chief Mike Guerra judge to appoint a neuâ&#x20AC;&#x153;personnel standards, conduct and performance,â&#x20AC;? said it is up to the district tral investigator. The and it is up to the county town instead authorized attorney to determine district attorney to deterthe hiring of Mr. Petermine whether criminal acts son, at a rate of $125 per whether criminal acts were committed in the hour, capped at $5,000 were committed. case. unless the city manager Le Chief Guerra last March Photo byTheMichelle approved additional Almanac asked the San Mateo pay. County District Attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office because laws are in place protectChief Guerra said earlier this to investigate Mr. Buckheitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s charge ing the confidentiality of internal week that he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how that the police report of his 2008 personnel investigations. much the investigation cost, but arrest after a domestic violence In January 2010, Mr. Buckheit that it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exceed the $5,000 incident was falsified when an offi- was granted a declaration of factual cap. cer added a charge of child assault innocence in San Mateo County Mr. Buckheit dismissed the hours after the original report had Superior Court. Atherton Police findings of the Peterson investibeen filed. The DAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office and Mr. Officer Tony Dennis testified dur- gation, and continues his push to Buckheitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attorney are negotiating ing the factual-innocence court have the matter investigated by details of how to proceed with that proceedings that, although the an outside agency other than the process. police report bore his signature, the DAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office, noting that the county The personnel investigation that section recommending criminal is among the defendants in a fedwas concluded several weeks ago charges for assaulting a child who eral lawsuit he has filed regarding was conducted by Pete Peterson, a was present during the domestic the arrest and its aftermath. The former police chief of a small Cali- violence incident was not written state Attorney Generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office or fornia town. According to a Jan. 14 by him. the FBI would be more appropriletter sent to Mr. Buckheit by Chief During the trial, Judge Mark ate agencies to conduct the invesGuerra, Mr. Peterson concluded Forcum stated that â&#x20AC;&#x153;thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abso- tigation, he maintains. that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;acts (that) provided the lutely no basis to believe that Mr. Meanwhile, Mr. Buckheit is basis for the complaint or allegation Buckheit ever laid a finger on the asking for a meeting with Chief occurred; however, the investiga- child,â&#x20AC;? according to the court tran- Guerra to discuss the investigation revealed that they were justi- script. tion. He told The Almanac that fied, lawful and proper.â&#x20AC;? An examination of the police among his questions is: Why Regarding Mr. Buckheitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s charge database showed that Officer Dean wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t he interviewed by Mr. that the police report had been DeVlugt had added the child assault Peterson before the investigation criminally falsified, Chief Guerra charge several hours after Officer was concluded?


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Parking a factor in closing of Boutique 4 in Menlo Park After five years in business in downtown Menlo Park, Boutique 4 has closed at 809 Santa Cruz Ave., according to Tamara Michel, co-owner of the boutique with her sister, Julie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our lease was up and we were not comfortable signing up for another four years, given the business conditions in Menlo Park,â&#x20AC;? says Ms. Michel.

Another factor in closing, she says, was Menlo Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extremely aggressive parking enforcement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had many customers who refused to come downtown to shop.â&#x20AC;? The Mitchel sisters continue to operate a second clothing shop at 279 Castro St. in Mountain View, where parking enforcement is more

relaxed, she says. In 2010, Readersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Choice chose Boutique 4 as its favorite boutique for selling â&#x20AC;&#x153;timeless and classic clothing for women; styles that never go out of style.â&#x20AC;? A sign on the door at 809 Santa Cruz Ave. says a Subway submarine sandwich shop will be coming soon.

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Menlo Park scrambles to defend assets

Audrey Rust to retire as head of POST Audrey Rust, who has led the Peninsula Open Space Trust for 24 years, will retire as president this summer, she announced Jan. 25. â&#x20AC;&#x153;During my time at POST, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve saved 53,000 acres of open space out of a total of 64,000 acres since our founding in 1977,â&#x20AC;? she said in the announcement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve raised more than $325 million to save stunning scenery, world-class recreation, productive farmland and vulnerable wildlife habitat in one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most expensive real estate markets.â&#x20AC;? Executive Vice President Walter Moore will take over as president when she leaves

â&#x2013; Governor proposes to shut down redevelopment agencies. By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

W Audrey Rust

on July 1, Ms. Rust said. Mr. Moore has been with POST for 16 years

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hen the governor proposed shutting down redevelopment agencies (RDAs) across California, cities like Menlo Park began taking tactical steps in a war to protect their assets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Redevelopment agencies were formed to get rid of blight within a boundary, such as rundown properties, or commercial properties that are underutilized,â&#x20AC;? said City Manager Glen Rojas, who described an RDA as an economic engine for the city. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll lose that opportunity. That money will no longer be available, somewhere in the neighborhood of $17 million.â&#x20AC;? That money is already ear-

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marked for projects on the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital improvement plan, as well as support for community services. The governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan would shift control of housing assets, including below-market-rate units, to the county housing authority. It could also cash out tangible assets such as the six vacant lots and two houses along Hamilton Avenue overseen by the redevelopment agency, according to Dave Johnson, the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business development manager. Property tax revenues currently funneled to the redevelopment agency would instead be redistributed by the state â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an aspect of the plan supported by some school districts, since they would receive money directly instead of as a percentage passed through by the RDA. Mr. Rojas listed as an accomplishment of Menlo Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s redevelopment agency: persuading Pacific BioSciences, now one of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top 25 revenue producers, to relocate to the Willows area; the city cleaned up blight and created a better atmosphere, he said. Other accomplishments: maintaining undeveloped properties within the city, and funding code-

This information is from the Atherton and Menlo Park police departments and the San Mateo County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted.

ATHERTON Residential burglary report: Three doors pried open at construction site; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unknown if anything was taken, Stockbridge Ave., Jan. 22. Auto burglary report: Window smashed and set of golf clubs stolen, first block of James Ave., Jan. 21. Grand theft report: Two boxes of tools valued at $1,000 stolen from construction site, first block of Ralston Road, Jan. 27.

Theft report: Cell phone left in store then picked up and used to make calls and to download games before being returned to victim, 100 block of Glenwood Ave., Jan. 19. Assault with deadly weapon report: Arrest made after fight in which suspect struck victim on head with belt buckle, then victim takes belt away and retaliates with belt slap that raises welt on suspectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back, and suspect retaliates with unsuccessful attempt to stab victim with pocket knife, 300 block of Olive Hill Lane, Jan. 24.

PORTOLA VALLEY 10 N The Almanac NFebruary 2, 2011





enforcement, drug-prevention, and gang-intervention programs run by the police department. Proposition 22, which passed in November, was meant to protect local funds like those contained within an RDA. But by eliminating redevelopment agencies, Mr. Rojas said, the state leaves nothing to protect. The state Legislature must approve the proposal by a twothirds vote for it to become law. And if they do? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We lose money, we lose land, we lose control,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Rojas said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not real optimistic, because the state is desperate, and when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re desperate, you do desperate things. If this gets the support of the Legislature, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re up the creek.â&#x20AC;? Mayor Rich Cline, with the help of staff and other council members, sent a letter to the governor last week. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The proposal to eliminate our RDA wipes out the only tool local governments have to drive economic growth, to build tax revenues, and grow sustainably. Why would we do this?? he wrote. The City Council will consider what options they have to protect the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assets at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

Residential burglary report: Losses estimated at $5,100 in entry into unlocked residence and theft of two watches, two rings and digital video camera, 500 block of Old La Honda Road, Jan. 19.

MENLO PARK Commercial burglary report: Unlocked building entered with loss estimated at $400 in theft of small shelf safe containing $100 and $300 iPod, Applewood Pizza at 1001 El Camino Real, Jan. 24. Residential burglary reports: â&#x2013; Three men arrested in burglary attempt with no property loss, 1100 block of Bieber Ave., Jan. 26. â&#x2013;  Nothing lost in attempted burglary, first block of Greenwood Place, Jan. 27. Fraud reports: â&#x2013;  Credit card stolen and used at stores in Stanford shopping center, and at Cafe Borrone, 1010 El Camino Real, Jan. 26. â&#x2013;  Embezzlement suspected, 800 block of Oak Grove Ave., Jan. 27. Stolen vehicle report: Orange 2008 Honda CVR600 motorcycle, 1100 block of Carlton Ave., Jan. 25.

WEST MENLO PARK Fraud report: Unauthorized check for $18,000 nearly empties annuity account in 2008 case involving checks believed to be stolen by an insider, 200 block of Stanford Ave., Jan. 24. Theft reports: â&#x2013; Loss estimated at $45 in theft of earbud headphones, 1200 block of Sherman Ave., Jan. 24. â&#x2013;  Loss estimated at $21 in cash and $100 check in theft of wallet and other items from unlocked vehicle, 2100 block of Cedar Ave., Jan. 21. Auto burglary report: Interior ransacked and trunk opened, 2000 block of Ashton Ave., Jan. 21.


Two casts perform â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Noises Offâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at Menlo By Kate Daly Special to the Almanac


enlo School does a double-take on the British farce, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Noises Off â&#x20AC;? by Michael Frayn, by putting on the play with two alternating casts. With two people directing two separate casts, the shows should be different, but then again that means â&#x20AC;&#x153;twice the fun and twice the laughs,â&#x20AC;? according to Upper School Drama teacher Beth Orr. The cast she is directing will appear on opening night, Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m.; on Friday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m., and at a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Feb. 12. The cast led by head football coach and U.S. history teacher Mark Newton will perform Feb. 10 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13. A final

show at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 will feature a â&#x20AC;&#x153;mixed cast.â&#x20AC;? Ms. Orr said she wanted to double-cast the play to increase the number of students involved. She turned to her colleague, Mr. Newton, for help, because he was a professional actor in New York and Los Angeles, doing plays, TV shows and movies before he retired at age 29. Mr. Newton had gone to Menlo and played football through college. He decided to move back to the area and work at his alma mater, where he is now in his seventh year of coaching and teaching. He is also the sophomore dean and works as an associate in the admissions office. Ms. Orr cast him to act in several of her plays, but this is Mr. Newtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s directorial debut. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been fun to jump back

into comedy and to be on the other side,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;`Noises Offâ&#x20AC;? is a play within a play, set in contemporary times. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The writer captures the antics of putting on a production, the chaos where what can go wrong does go wrong,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Newton said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of physical comedy in it,â&#x20AC;? he added, describing the slapstick humor as â&#x20AC;&#x153;high farceâ&#x20AC;? where he has the kids â&#x20AC;&#x153;doing big and extreme character work.â&#x20AC;? The shows will be staged at Florence Moore Theatre at 50 Valparaiso Ave. in Atherton. Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults, with discounts for seniors. Donations will be accepted for admission to the last show. Tickets may be purchased at the Menlo campus bookstore,

ting children ready for the next step in their schooling: learning how to read and solve math problems. After-school care is available from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., she said. Children can enroll in the fall of 2011 if they turn 5 by Jan. 31, 2012. Applications for the junior kindergarten are due March 15. Applications for regular kindergarten are due Feb 7. For more information, call the school office at 3222312.

by e-mail at, or at the door. For

more information call 330-2001, ext. 2333. A


St. Raymond starts â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;junior kindergartenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; St. Raymond, the private Catholic K-8 school in Menlo Park, will start a morning â&#x20AC;&#x153;junior kindergartenâ&#x20AC;? class this fall, intended to serve as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten, said school spokesperson Kim McNair.. The class is meant to help children interact with their peers and adults, and aid them with physical and motor development, Ms. McNair said. The curriculum is focused on get-

Photo by Beth Orr

Menlo School students, from left, Margot Yecies, Max Serrano and Zoe Hernandez face Taylor Blackburnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ax in the British comedy, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Noises Off,â&#x20AC;? being performed by two alternating casts Feb. 9-13.

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PV calls for prompt end to Cargill project Local theater company Redwood City council would be nent protection,” the letter says. desperately seeks new stage lawful in immediately rejecting “The scope of existing local By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


he proposal to develop a mixed-use residential community for up to 30,000 people on a salt flat off the coast of Redwood City came in for another round of bruising from the Portola Valley Town Council at its Wednesday, Jan. 26, meeting. Redwood City council members should call a halt to the project immediately because the environmental impacts are too potentially harmful to the region, their Portola Valley counterparts said in a resolution. It’s the Portola Valley council’s second whack at this proposal by Minneapolis-based Cargill Salt Corp., which owns the 1,436acre salt flat and has teamed up with an Arizona developer. A unanimous council, with Councilwoman Ann Wengert absent, had agreed on Dec. 8 to oppose the Saltworks project out of concern for the impacts on traffic, drinking water and the Bay’s wildlife. The Jan. 26 resolution takes a stronger stand. After researching the legal options, the Portola Valley council points out that the

the Saltworks proposal because it is “so patently flawed on environmental grounds that it cannot be approved in any form.” The resolution requests just such a decision from the Redwood City council, and that it restore the salt flat to a wetland and add it to the nearby Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. The Portola Valley council also approved, with slight modification, an unambiguous letter written by Town Planner Tom Vlasic and intended for the Redwood City council. The town “has carefully considered its regional place in its land use decision-making,” the letter says, as can be seen in the town’s general plan and its practices and procedures. The eastward facing slopes of the Santa Cruz mountains, including Windy Hill, are protected open space and a “visual backdrop” to “help set the limits to development,” and the Bay wetlands serve the same purpose, the letter says. “These Bay lands deserve similar public efforts for perma-

and regional land use planning provisions and zoning regulations that must be changed to accommodate the (Saltworks) proposal to convert sensitive lands is unprecedented relative to contemporary land use actions.” Council Ted Driscoll observed, referring to Mr. Vlasic’s point linking the mountains and the wetlands: “We’re kind of bookends. We’re asking them to deal with their end of the bookshelf.” Councilman Steve Toben called Mr. Vlasic’s writing “extraordinary,” while noting that he is not insensitive to Redwood City’s need for housing, parks and other infrastructure. “It’s a huge dilemma,” Mr. Toben said. “I’m quite convinced that they’re sincere.” Several council members wondered aloud about how Portola Valley could help Redwood City address its problems. “It’s going to be tough,” Mr. Driscoll said. “We don’t have much in the way of resources to offer and we’re one fifteenth the size.” Go to and turn to Page 76 to read the Mr. Vlasic’s draft letter. A

Robert George Campbell (Bob) Born March 12, 1919; died January 24, 2011 Bob was a native of San Francisco and a third generation Californian, born to Ella Dowling Campbell and Elmer G. Campbell. He was a beloved spouse of 67 years to Jeanne Martell Campbell and devoted father to Diane Campbell and Susan Campbell. Known as “Papa,” he was a proud grandfather of Jeannie Campbell-Urban, Edie Campbell-Urban, and Mackenzie Campbell. He was the loving brother of William C. Campbell of San Rafael, CA and adored Uncle Bob to five nephews and nieces. Bob was the great great grandson of Benjamin Campbell, founder of the town of Campbell, CA, a fact that made him very proud. He was a graduate of Lowell High School in San Francisco, the University of California at Berkeley, class of 1941, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, class of 1947. As part of the Greatest Generation, Bob served in World War II as Commanding Officer of a Navy minesweeper during the New Guinea and Philippines invasions. His entire business career was spent in the property and casualty insurance business. At the time of his retirement in 1984 (on the 12 N The Almanac NFebruary 2, 2011

day his first granddaughter was born) he was President of Rathbone King and Seeley, a firm of Insurance Company Managers, and President of the American Star Insurance Company. In insurance company activities, he served as President of the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU), President of the Insurance Company Managers Association, President of the Insurance Forum of San Francisco, and Chairman of the San Francisco Insurance Educational Association. Bob’s community activities included serving as Foreman pro tem of the 1974-75 San Mateo County Grand Jury, Vice President and board member of Sequoia Hospital Foundation, and Charter member of Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club (former vice president and board member). Bob was an avid gardener, spending countless hours landscaping his homes as well as those of his daughters. He leaves behind many beautiful gardens for all of us to enjoy. Bob also enjoyed the hobbies of golf, fishing, tennis, dominoes and traveling. Most of all, Bob loved the time he spent with “his girls,” who will miss him terribly. A memorial mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 29, at St. Denis Church, 2250 Avy Avenue, Menlo Park, with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room, Hanna Boys Center, or Sequoia Hospital Foundation. PA I D


By Renee Batti

Ms. Selden said company members are trying to stress the importance to the community o be or not to be — that — and to nearby businesses — of is the question being ner- the presence of live theater, espevously pondered by lead- cially when it’s presented at no ers and supporters of the Festival cost to the audience. “We can’t let Theatre Ensemble, which has this free Shakespeare experience staged free outdoor theater at disappear in the community,” a Menlo Park high school each she said. June for nine years. The company has typically This year, the troupe finds staged two Shakespearian plays itself unexpectedly scrambling and one other work each year, to dodge the slings and arrows alternating the performances of outrageous fortune that could Fridays through Sundays for four spell its doom: weeks. The back lot of Ensemble Mid-Peninsula members fear ‘We can’t let this free that losing the High School on Willow Road Shakespeare experience local venue for — which over their producdisappear in the the years has tions could hosted the likes cause them to community.’ of Hamlet, fold up their JENNIFER SELDEN Romeo, Juliet, tent entirely, Kate and Petrueven though chio — will be torn apart in they perform the same plays in June as the Hetch Hetchy water July and August at the Los Gatos pipe restoration project chews Shakespeare Festival, which its way across the Peninsula and charges admission. The reason: lingers for a while on that east- the company works on its set, ern Menlo Park site. stages rehearsals, works out lightThe Festival Theatre Ensemble, ing and sound, and fine-tunes its which had planned to stage performances at the high school “Macbeth,” “Twelfth Night,” and site well in advance of opening the comedy “Charley’s Aunt” by night. Brandon Thomas in June, is now “The time it takes to do that is desperately seeking a stage. not available in Los Gatos,” she Jennifer Selden, a longtime said. member and producer of the theThe ensemble is hoping that ater company, told The Almanac someone in Menlo Park or that the group is looking for a site another Midpeninsula town has that could be as small as 80-by- a site, perhaps a vacant com100 feet, which could accom- mercial building or vacant land, modate a stage, backstage area, for its 2011 season. “We are very lighting rig, and audience area. respectful of our landlords,” “We provide fencing for security she said. “Since we are a ... notwhen not performing,” she said for-profit theater company, any in an e-mail. donation of space would be taxThe space would be needed deductible as permitted by law.” from May 1 through June 30, she If anyone would like to donate said. “This space can be grass, space, or has a lead on someone dirt, empty parking lot, really who might, Ms. Selden would whatever we can find. A park welcome an e-mail at FTEwould be ideal.”

Almanac News Editor








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Brian Tremaine Lifelong Menlo Park resident

Services have been held for Brian Howard Tremaine who died Dec. 25 at Stanford Medical Center. He was 50. Mr. Tremaine was born in Menlo Park to Rowland and Regina Tremaine. His father was a fireman in Menlo Park. His mother was a homemaker. Mr. Tremaine liked to spend time with his friends and ride his BMX bike on a track he and his friends built, say fam-

ily members. He was rough around the edges, but had a big heart and always had time to help a friend, they say. For many years he was a tow truck driver and was interested in working on cars, camping, and fishing. He is survived by his parents, Rowland and Regina Tremaine; son Jason; daughter Margaret; sisters Corrine, Patricia, Jeanette and Charlene; brothers Robert and Gregg; and two granddaughters. Condolences may be sent to 32564 County Highway W, Holcombe, WI 54745.

Woman injured in fall at M-A Submitted by Menlo-Atherton High School student and journalist Tyler Finn, who was on the scene. An 80-year-old woman was hospitalized Sunday night, Jan. 16, after she tripped on a speed bump and fell in the parking lot of Menlo-Atherton High School. The fall caused a gash on the right side of her head, which bled profusely, but she did not lose consciousness. The fall occurred around 6:15 p.m. after a Music@Menlo concert at the performing arts center at the school. Another woman who ran to help her also tripped on the speed bump and

fell to the ground. However, she was unhurt. Seven people gathered to assist the injured woman. M-A student and journalist Tyler Finn called 911. One of the injured woman’s friends held tissues to the side of her head to control the bleeding. The 911 dispatcher instructed those assisting the injured woman not to move her. The woman remained coherent and was able to answer basic questions. An Atherton police officer was the first on the scene, followed by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District paramedics. An ambulance arrived soon after and she was put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.

Freshmen win business plan competition By Samantha Bergeson Special to the Almanac


enlo College students Derrick Bonner, Derek Rodrigues, Sam Shapiro and Mickey Phelps won the Menlo College freshman business plan competition recently. The students had crafted their business proposal around a custom-fitted baseball glove, inspired by their Menlo College baseball careers. Each member of the winning team was awarded $100, with second and third place teams winning $50 and $25, respectively. Menlo College students are required to enroll in an introductory business course during the first semester of their freshmen year. For the business

plan competition, students are divided into teams, and the best group from each of the 10 freshmen class sections compete in the finals, explained Deborah Brown McCabe, associate professor of marketing at Menlo College. The winning team was from Ms. McCabe’s class. The business plans were ranked by a panel of judges, including Gary Kremen of CleanPower Finance, Michael Tomars of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lukas Biewald of Crowdflower, and Simon Glinsky of the Glinsky Group. Scores were based upon the competitive advantage proposed, research, reasonableness of financials, vision, creativity, and marketing.

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Dr. Clarice Haylett Vaughan Community Mental Health Pioneer Dr. Clarice Haylett Vaughan (b. July 22, 1922) passed away peacefully on October 25, 2010. Born into a family of educators, engineers and doctors, Clarice’s life followed her father’s saying - “If it is worth doing, do it well.” She was her Long Beach high school’s valedictorian and graduated with honors from both Stanford University (1949) and Stanford Medical School (1951). She worked for the Marin County Health Department as their Public Health Officer for a number of years before returning to school to complete her psychiatric training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She returned to California and became the Medical Program Director of the San Mateo County Department of Mental Health at Chope Hospital. She retired in 1985, after 30 years as a mental health administrator. At the time, she was one of the first women in the country to hold such an elevated position in this field. Clarice was married to Dr. Warren Taylor Vaughan, Jr., noted child psychiatrist. Together they traveled the world, attending conferences, visiting clinics and presenting lectures. She also as a board member on a number of fine institutions, including the Common College of

Woodside, CA. Clarice’s hobbies included photography, fly fishing, bird-watching, gardening, and music; she was a gracious woman and a fine hostess. When not organizing photos, checking her garden on Farmville or planning a grand dinner party, she could often be found with her numerous cats or enjoying the squirrels who shared her bird-feeder. She is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Anne Vaughan of Portola Valley; son, Richard Vaughan and wife, Elizabeth, of Redwood City and five grand-daughters; Evelyn, Aurora, Brisa, Rosalind and Elizabeth. A Remembrance Celebration will be held in Portola Valley on February 5, 2011. For information on this event, please contact Any donations may be made in her name to Pathways Hospice Foundation. PA I D


Dorothy Dalton Hughmanick Resident of Atherton Surrounded by all her children, her grandchildren, her great grandson, and her closest family members, Dorothy Dalton Hughmanick entered heaven on January 17, 2011. Her love knew no bounds. She devoted her life to her family who cherished her. She now rejoins her beloved Douglas B. Hughmanick, husband forever, who she married as a young woman during his service as an Army Air Corps pilot during World War II. She nourished his spirit through the challenges of wartime and later in his career in law where he was able to achieve prominence with her enduring support and encouragement. Born in New York City to Edward T. Dalton and Mary Rita Dalton, she moved to California as a young girl and spent most of her childhood and young adulthood in Burlingame, California. After graduating from Burlingame High School, she attended college briefly, becoming a life long student who pursued her many interests and passions through continuing studies programs and extensive travels throughout her life. Dorothy supported the arts throughout her lifetime and was a devoted member of the San Francisco Symphony Auxiliary for several decades. She gave generously to charities that helped the most disadvantaged amongst us, in our country and throughout the world. Her children will always remember growing up surrounded by family: aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents who were every important to their dearly loved matriarch. The family home was the hub for holidays and other celebrations as she never tired of her role as perpetual, gracious, welcoming hostess.

Her sister Virginia Dalton Bouret and grandson Jason Perry preceded her in death. She is survived by her sister Maryalyce Benson, and her children Michael, Terry, Gail Alberti, Susan, Robin, and John Hughmanick. Her grandchildren blessed her passing with their courageous, attentive love: Douglas, Darcy, Hillary, Marisa, Amy, Ryan, Darren, Scott, Charlie, Rachel and David. Nineday-old Kyle, her first great grandson, also visited to say farewell. In her generous spirit Dorothy also became a second mother to Douglas and Steve Bouret and a grandmother to the Bouret children Katie, Matt and Peter. Several other loving nieces and nephews survive her. In the long silence that follows her departure, we thank all who took such wonderful compassionate care of our mother. If you wish to make a donation in Dorothy’s memory, please donate to the charity of your choice, the American Cancer Society, or the San Francisco Symphony. PA I D


February 2, 2011 N The Almanac N13

Serving Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, and Woodside for 44 years.

Editor & Publisher Tom Gibboney

Editorial Managing Editor Richard Hine News Editor Renee Batti Lifestyles Editor Jane Knoerle Senior Correspondents Marion Softky, Marjorie Mader Staff Writers Dave Boyce, Sandy Brundage Contributors Barbara Wood, Kate Daly, Katie Blankenberg Special Sections Editors Carol Blitzer, Sue Dremann Photographer Michelle Le News Intern Miranda Simon

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Advertising Vice President Sales & Marketing Walter Kupiec Display Advertising Sales Heather Hanye Real Estate Manager Neal Fine Real Estate and Advertising Coordinator Diane Martin Published every Wednesday at 3525 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Menlo Park, Ca 94025 Newsroom: (650) 223-6525 Newsroom Fax: (650) 223-7525 Advertising: (650) 854-2626 Advertising Fax: (650) 854-3650 e-mail news and photos with captions to: e-mail letters to: The Almanac, established in September, 1965, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside and adjacent unincorporated areas of southern San Mateo County. The Almanac is qualified by decree of the Superior Court of San Mateo County to publish public notices of a governmental and legal nature, as stated in Decree No. 147530, issued November 9, 1969.

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

City struggles to serve the ‘media’


e can understand why some government officials believe that answering media queries takes valuable time away from their other duties. It isn’t easy to do your assigned job while fielding phone calls and e-mails throughout the day from every newspaper and website in this area. But nevertheless, we were taken aback to hear top Menlo Park officials grousing about the time spent telling the media — and hence the public — what they’re doing. ED ITORI AL In our view, city workers The opinion of The Almanac need to be forthright about what they’re doing. We say this after having some experience in dealing with the fallout when public officials withhold information. In today’s online world, secrets are almost always found out, and quickly broadcast around the world. Too often, Menlo Park’s approach has been to seek forgiveness instead of support. This issue came up last week during a staff presentation to the City Council regarding the budget. When describing challenges facing their departments, several managers included responding to information requests. City Manager Glen Rojas voiced the hope that in the coming year he could “spend more time on the bigger picture,” adding that, “we just can’t respond to every single (e-mail to the City Council), every inquiry of the press.” Deputy City Manager Kent Steffens joined the chorus. One example, cited by Community Services Director Cherise Brandell, came following the announcement that the administration had recommended awarding Team Sheeper a contract to manage the city’s swimming pools. The City Council will make the final decision. Ms. Brandell told the council that the city is already being “peppered with” questions about how the process was L ET TERS

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TOWN SQUARE FORUM POST your views on the Town Square forum at EMAIL your views to: 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.

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

Park tree project a waste of taxpayers’ money Editor: That the Menlo Park City Council thinks it is a good idea to apply for a grant to plant 1,000 trees at Bedwell Bayfront Park, in spite of the overwhelming evidence by experts and negative public input, is evidence that the concept of “pork” doesn’t stop in Washington. This grant would use public money to plant trees that aren’t needed, aren’t wanted and won’t significantly sequester carbon emissions. Those funds should go to a truly worthy carbon offset project but this is not one of them. Bedwell Bayfront Park could use some benches and planned planting of native plants that belong at shoreline. The park does not need 1,000 trees that could break the delicate cap over the landfill and could seri-

14 N The Almanac NFebruary 2, 2011

ously imperil the plants, birds and animals of the park and wildlife refuge that thrive in an almost treeless environment. This grant is a waste of taxpayers’ money. The city should invest in those benches instead. Elizabeth Lasensky San Carlos

City needs to fix dangerous intersection Editor: While the Menlo Park Transportation Commission wrings its hands about so-called cut-through traffic in the Willows, an actual dangerous situation at the intersection of Durham and Willow continues to worsen. Traffic exiting the VA Medical Center does not have a protected left turn on green, but acts as if it does. Lately, I have noticed a drastic increase in the number of cars that race out of the VA to make that left See LETTERS, next page

handled when such information is rarely released until after the council receives it. But those requests came after residents discovered the city staff had altered the process for awarding the contract without notifying the public — or even the City Council. Originally, the city’s published outline of the process stated the council would determine whether or not to pursue negotiations. Instead, it will now be presented with a prenegotiated contract. We expected more from Ms. Brandell, whose original job description involved community outreach. What better way to maintain good relations with city residents than making every effort to share information with them? It was clear early on that there was high media and public interest in the terms and awarding of a new pool contract. In other cases, the city could have benefited by informing the public before taking actions such as poisoning the squirrels at Bedwell-Bayfront Park. Or notifying the community sooner about children becoming sick at Burgess pool. In both cases, the public had every right to know sooner rather than later. Some city departments do make public communication a priority. Margaret Roberts, the city clerk, does an outstanding job of responding quickly and thoroughly, even during hectic campaign seasons. The police department and City Attorney Bill McClure also provide strong examples of commitment to transparency. Rather than look for ways to reduce communication with the media, we urge the City Council and administration to brainstorm ways to be more forthcoming with those who are simply doing their job by informing the public about their city government. In these days of ever higher demands for disclosure at all levels of our society, it is critical that the city make transparency one of its strongest values.

Our Regional Heritage Dennis Martin, an early owner of land that has become Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, built a church and cemetery there in the 1850s. The cemetery remains were removed to Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park when planning began for the linear accelerator. A marker near the entrance to 3000 Sand Hill Road commemorates the cemetery. Portola Valley Archives


Continued from previous page

turn, to block right-turn traffic exiting the Willows on Durham, while pedestrians are in the crosswalk. Twice in the last month I’ve seen left-turn vehicles almost hit pedestrians. Left-turn traffic also cuts off, and sometimes almost hits, cars going straight into the VA from Durham. The left-turners are getting angrier as well, evidenced by an increase in middle fingers from them of late. Apparently a few of the workers at the VA are eager enough to get home that they don’t particularly care if they run into the patients they’re trying to serve. I hope that someone in authority at the VA takes some control of the situation before someone gets run over crossing Willow. Brian Schar, Laurel Avenue

Dogs lost at Stanford end up at San Martin shelter Editor: We found out the hard way that if your dog gets loose on the Stanford campus they do not take the dog to the Palo Alto Shelter, nor even the Santa Clara shelter. They have a contract with the “high-kill-rate” San Martin shelter down near Gilroy. Even if, as I did, you call the Stanford police, this is where your dog will end up and possibly die. A reasonable person would check with the San Mateo, Palo Alto and Santa Clara humane societies, but no one would even contemplate the San Martin shelter. This contract that Stanford has needs to be changed. Janet Davis Alpine Road, Menlo Park

Bad idea to build 12,000 homes in salt ponds Editor: The idea of the restorable salt ponds in Redwood City being developed into 12,000 new houses is ludicrous. In a sane world, Redwood City would no more consider permitting one single-family dwelling out there than on the moon — why are they considering an entire city? I’ve heard the developers promising pie in the sky, but realistically those promises are seldom true for the people hearing them. The burden on the roads, the flooding potential, not to mention the hardship created for the current residents along East Bayshore Road, are all inconceivable to me. Could it be that someone in the city is dreaming of the sound of a cash register loudly “chinging?” Virginia Lee, San Carlos

Missing the squirrels at Bayfront Park Editor: This is in response to last week’s

Lesson in democracy lost at RWC rally

By Henry Organ

leaflets, petitions, a coffin representing the recently attended a rally at the Old Court- death of democracy, and singing (a la “Raging house in Redwood City. The purpose of Grannies” style). But this rally was different. the rally was to mourn on the first anniAs the demonstrators were assembling in versary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Old Courthouse plaza, a group of about the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election 30 third-graders who had been visiting a Commission. museum in the Old Courthouse, came out In summary, the decision held on to the plaza to have lunch. One of that corporate funding of political the rally organizers went to an adult campaigns in elections cannot be in the group, presumably a teacher or limited under the First Amendment, chaperone, and offered leaflets on the thereby giving corporations the event. The adult was quite emphatic same rights as persons. In my opinin declaring that he didn’t want the ion, this decision harms the election class to have “any of that stuff,” and process, and was duly criticized by said that the students “...wanted to President Obama during the State have a quiet lunch.” GUEST of the Union address last year. The OPINION In my opinion, the teacher or details of and lack of jurisprudence chaperone missed an important civin this decision are really not the ics lesson. Two weeks prior, a tragic point of this article, however. event happened in Tucson, Arizona, where As a participant in the civil rights movement, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, and others I have attended innumerable rallies. In this one, killed and wounded. One of those slain was there were the traditional trappings: handmade Christina Green, a third-grader. Christina signs expressing grievances, informational was heralded for her interest in public ser-


article about vanishing squirrels at Bedwell Bayfront Park. As a frequent walker at the park, I have also noticed the lack of squirrels there but didn’t think too much about it. However I am thinking about it now. Don’t you think that the city of Menlo Park could have found a better way to deal with this? Did they really exhaust all humane options before they settled on poisoning the little guys to death? Bet that didn’t feel too good. All that anguish and pain for the low, low price of just under $10,000. Denise Seibert, Redwood City

Biker priced out of Caltrain commute Editor: I used to be a regular rider of Caltrain with my bicycle, commuting from Los Gatos to Redwood City. Last year, with ticket costs and the risk of being bumped increasing, I reduced my ridership significantly. Although it took more than twice as long via bike and train than by car, I still tried to do my part to be green. With this last fair increase,

THE WAY CHILDREN SEE THINGS In addition to children and adults not seeing eye to eye, kids literally see the world differently from the way that grown-ups do. According to one recent study, children under age twelve do not combine sensory information when trying to make sense of their surroundings. Not only do youngsters separate senses such as vision and sound, their brains also separate the input they receive when viewing an image with one eye compared with both eyes. In fact, researchers

it now costs more than three times as much to take the train then to drive my car. The inconvenience of being bumped along with the everincreasing cost has driven many of us away and back to our cars. Rich Stephens, Los Gatos

Few consulted in decision to eradicate squirrels Editor: Menlo Parkís old Marsh Road garbage dump, which is now referred to as the old landfill, has had a long and shaky history. When the dump closed several ideas were considered and dismissed. The first was a golf course and almost 50 years later, the last was a golf course. In between, the mounds of garbage began to look like hills and European annual grasses took hold. Australian evergreen shrubs and trees were planted that have survived with varying degrees of success. With no explanation, a palm tree and one oak have taken root. Amongst this unlikely setting, with methane gas leaking through found that children are not able to combine perspective (the way that objects appear on the basis of where they are in space) and binocular depth information (using both eyes together to view an object) until they reach age twelve. Clear vision is crucially important to a childís academic performance and ability to socialize. At MENLO OPTICAL, our goal is to help you focus easily and see comfortably under all conditions. We carry lenses that are impact resistant, scratch- protected, and comfortable to wear. Please bring your eyewear prescription to us at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive, or call us at 322-3900 if you have questions about eyewear. P.S. A recent study reveals that while children under age six are able to keep perspective and binocular visual information separate, adults cannot do so. 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.

vice, having been elected to a position in her school. In fact, this honor prompted her to attend the “Congress on Your Corner” event organized by Rep. Giffords. In this case, a much broader issue than solely the Citizens United case per se was taking place. The critical issue was not just “why” the demonstrators were there, but “how” they were able to be there. What was so evident right before these students’ very eyes were important human rights and principles of a democracy in force: to assemble and to petition the government when citizens feel government is not serving their best interests. To ignore such an important lesson for the youngsters in favor of “a quiet lunch” was sad, if not plain irresponsible — and certainly short-sighted. Hopefully, one day, these young students will be taught that it is their civic duty to engage in these events when warranted. In a democracy, they will always be warranted. A

Henry Organ lives in Menlo Park.

the cap, hopeful ground squirrels migrated from the surrounding area doing what squirrels do, digging burrows in the shallow top soil, foraging and breeding. Blackshouldered kites, redtail hawks and northern harriers came to feed on the squirrels. The squirrels and the raptors found the dump. Now the squirrels are gone or the raptors have no natural reason to be there. Letís hope the burrowing owls are not threatened. For a measly payment of $9,750, the city hired Animal Damage Management to poison all the squirrels. Public Works felt the burrowing squirrels were a threat to the 50-year-old cap. Are trees a threat to the cap? What is known is that despite the attempts to capture



the methane gas and collect the leacheate, this park is the source of the greatest volume of greenhouse gas in the city of Menlo Park. I doubt the squirrels are to blame. We can argue about the merits of the killing and the disruption of a simple ecosystem. As the Jan. 26 Almanac editorial points out, the process by which this was accomplished was not a good one. No public notice, no hearings and it appears that there was no consultation with the Environmental Quality Commission, the Parks & Recreation Commission or Friends of Bedwell Bayfront Park. Somethingís wrong with this picture. Brielle Johnck Former Menlo Park Environmental Commissioner

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16 N The Almanac NFebruary 2, 2011

The Almanac 02.2.2011 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the February 2.2011 edition of the Almanac

The Almanac 02.2.2011 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the February 2.2011 edition of the Almanac