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A TRIBUTE to Coach Parks: There was no one else like him. Page 3

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

AUGUST 31, 2011

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What’s new at local Schools

Section 2

Almanac photo by Michelle Le. On the first day back to school Aug. 22, Las Lomitas Elementary School students play on the new blacktop during recess.


CITY OF PALO ALTO PRESENTS – 27TH ANNUAL

PALO ALTO WEEKLY MOONLIGHT RUN & WALK Friday, September 9, 2O11

TIME & PLACE 5K walk 7:00pm, 10K run 8:15pm, 5K run 8:45pm. Race-night registration 6:00 to 8:00pm at City of Palo Alto Baylands Athletic Center, Embarcadero & Geng Roads (just east of the Embarcadero Exit off Highway 101). Parking — go to PaloAltoOnline.com to check for specific parking locations.

COURSE 5K and 10K loop courses over Palo Alto Baylands levee, through the marshlands by the light of the Harvest Moon! Course is flat, USAT&F certified (10k run only) on levee and paved roads. Water at all stops. Course map available at www.PaloAltoOnline.com.

REGISTRATIONS & ENTRY FEE Pre-registration fee is $25 per entrant (postmarked by September 2, 2011) and includes a long-sleeve t-shirt. Late/race-night registration is $30 and includes a shirt only while supplies last. Family package: Children 12 and under run free with a registered parent. A completed entry form for each child must be submitted with adult registration. Please indicate on form and include $15 for t-shirt. No confirmation of mail-in registration available. Registration also available online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. Refunds will not be issued for no-show registrations and t-shirts will not be held.

SPORTS TEAM/CLUBS: Pre-registration opportunity for organizations of 10 or more runners; e-mail MoonlightRun@paweekly.com.

MINORS: If not pre-registered Minors under 18 MUST bring signed parental/waiver form (below) on race night to participate.

DIVISIONS Age divisions: 9 & under; 10-12; 13-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69, and 70 & over with separate divisions for male and female runners in each age group. Race timing provided for 5K and 10K runs only; not 5K walk.

COMPUTERIZED RESULTS by A Change of Pace Chip timing by A Change of Pace. Race results will be posted on the Internet at www.PaloAltoOnline.com by 11pm race night. Registration forms must be filled out completely and correctly for results to be accurate. Race organizers are not responsible for incorrect results caused by incomplete or incorrect registration forms. You must register for the event you plan to participate in.

AWARDS/PRIZES/ENTERTAINMENT Top three finishers in each division. Prize giveaways and refreshments. DJ Alan Waltz. Pre-race warmups by Noxcuses Fitness, Palo Alto

PALO ALTO GRAND PRIX Road Race Series — Moonlight Run, 9/9; Marsh Madness, 10/23; Home Run, 11/13, for more information go to www.paloaltogp.org.

BENEFICIARY Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund. A holiday-giving fund to benefit Palo Alto area non-profits and charitable organizations. In April 2011, 45 organizations received a total of $240,000 (from the 2010-2011 Holiday Fund.)

Stanford

MORE INFORMATION Call (650) 463-4920, (650) 326-8210, email MoonlightRun@paweekly.com or go to www.PaloAltoOnline.com. For safety reasons, no dogs allowed on course for the 5K and 10K runs. They are welcome on the 5K walk only. No retractable leashes! Please bring your own clean-up bag. Jogging strollers welcome in the 5K walk or at the back of either run.

Flashlights/head lights recommended. First aid service and chiropractic evaluations will be available.

Register online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com GOT OLD SHOES? Change someone’s world with a pair of your shoes. Bring your gently worn shoes to the Moonlight Run and they will be sent to Djibouti, Africa.

Please make checks payable to: Palo Alto Weekly MOONLIGHT RUN and mail to: Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302 • ONE ENTRY FORM PER PERSON ON RACE DAY

CHECK ONE

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WAIVER: In consideration of your accepting my entry, intending to be legally bound do hereby for myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, waive, and release any and all rights and claims that I may have against the persons and organizations affiliated with the run and sponsoring agencies, and the assignees for any and all injuries suffered by me while traveling to and from, and while participating in the Moonlight Run, or associated activities September 9, 2011. I further attest that I am physically fit and sufficiently trained for participation in this event.

SIGNATURE OF REGISTRANT (parent or guardian if under 18 years of age) must have this on Race Night

ZIP

5K WALK 7:00 P.M.

DATE

10K RUN 8:15 P.M.

5K RUN 8:45 P.M.

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EMAIL (Note: all race communications is sent by email)

VISA/MASTERCARD EXP. DATE

NAME ON CARD (PLEASE PRINT) SIGNATURE

2 N The Almanac NAugust 31, 2011

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File photo by Carol Ivie

Known simply as “Coach Parks,� he had profoundly influenced thousands of students, not just the athletes he coached.

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There was no one else like him The beloved Coach Parks was a man of substance, character and integrity N A TRIBUTE

By Rick Eymer Embarcadero Media

C

oach Ben Parks made you a better person whether you liked it or not. Most of the time, you’d appreciate his kindness, his toughness and his way of embracing life. There was something special in his heart, something that made him believe every life was valuable. When you listened, you believed it too. The long-time iconic MenloAtherton football and wrestling coach died in his sleep Aug. 19. He was 77. There will be Coach Parks Memorial/Tribute day at Menlo-Atherton High School on Saturday, Sept. 17, beginning at 11 a.m. Video equipment will be there to record memories of Coach Parks for a future tribute. Known simply as “Coach Parks,� he had profoundly influenced thousands of students, not just the athletes he coached. He put kids first and nothing else was second.

“Coach� was merely a small part of Parks’ character. He was also a friend, a teacher, a guidance counselor, a role model, and a father figure and his boundaries were limitless, just like his compassion for people. Parks was still roaming the M-A football sidelines this past fall, still encouraging the Bears. His absence this football season will surely be felt. He was one of a kind. In 2008, he stepped forward when the head football coach suddenly resigned, days before a game. He let the staff run the team. He was there to make sure everything ran smoothly. M-A won its next game, and kept winning, taking home the championship trophy as the best team in the Central Coast Section Large Schools Division. Parks worked with athletes on every level, including serving as conditioning coach for former San Francisco 49ers such as Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Keena Turner and Roger Craig. He treated them the same way he treated high school players.

“Go ask Joe and Ronnie how I treat them,� Parks once said. “They’re all the same; they are just like my sons. People are people.� He founded the Pro Football Institute and worked with his sons, Ralph and Ben Jr., to create an environment for success. Just being around him seemed like enough; he was a gift that no one took lightly. Parks retired from M-A in 1999 after spending 31 years reaching out to the student body. He couldn’t stay away from sports, though, and returned to coach wrestling at Sequoia High at age 73. “He was an icon at M-A,� said Stanford women’s water polo coach John Tanner, a 1978 graduate of M-A. “Whenever there was a problem at school everyone — teachers, students, administrators — would look to him for guidance. He was everything a coach aspires to be in terms of being a leader, being self-assured and being ethical.� He inspired courageous acts of kindness and good will, and nurtured future coaches and

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Same great services. Šh{‰Šw‹ˆw„Š‰w„zjw {C…‹Š\……z ŠYw {‰w„z_y{Yˆ{wƒ Š\‹‚‚i{ˆŒy{]ˆ…y{ˆ�iŠ…ˆ{ Šm„{‰w„zb‡‹…ˆ‰ ŠY‚{w„{ˆ‰w„zbw‹„zˆ� ŠZ{„Š‰Š ŠX{w‹Š� Š_„‰‹ˆw„y{i{ˆŒy{‰ Šmˆ{‚{‰‰i{ˆŒy{‰ Š\Š„{‰‰w„z\‚{Žx‚Š�

See COACH, page 6

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Rick Eymer is a longtime local sports writer.

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TOWN OF WOODSIDE 2955 WOODSIDE ROAD WOODSIDE, CA 94062 PLANNING COMMISSION September 7, 2011 7:30 PM PUBLIC HEARING 2. Zambezi Creek Development 325 Kings Mountain Road

SDES2011-0002 & CUSE2011-0009 Planner: Deborah Dory

Review and approval, conditional approval, or denial of a proposal to demolish the existing residence, and to construct a 5,936 square foot new main residence, a 1,185 square foot detached garage, a 1,360 square foot pool cabana, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a new gate, fencing, and associated landscaping on a property zoned SCP-5. The applicant also proposes to repair the vehicular bridge over the stream corridor, which requires a Conditional Use Permit. All application materials are available for public review at the Woodside Planning and Building Counter, Woodside Town Hall, weekdays from 8:00 – 10:00 AM and 1:00 – 3:00 PM, or by appointment. For more information, contact the Woodside Planning and Building Department at (650) 851-6790.

LITE FOR LIFE-MENLO PARK 713 Oak Grove Ave, Menlo Park, CA menlopark@liteforlife.com

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Menlo Park’s downtown plan: commission’s proposals STATION AREA [ from Oak Grove to Ravenswood to El Camino ]

[ between University Drive and El Camino Real ]

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The above map depicts the main changes suggested by the Menlo Park Planning Commission to the proposed specific plan for downtown/El Camino Real. The plan includes two possible parking garages, wider sidewalks, and other features that planners say are designed to create a more vibrant city during the next 20 to 30 years. The City Council starts its review of the plan on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Planning Commission votes 6-1 to send downtown plan to council By Sandy Brundage “>˜>VÊ-Ì>vvÊ7ÀˆÌiÀ

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hen the City Council takes up the Menlo Park downtown/El Camino Real specific plan on Tuesday, Aug. 30, it will also have a package of recommendations from the Planning Commission to consider. The 6-1 vote in favor of recom-

mending the plan to the City Council didn’t quite reflect the heated debate voiced by the Planning Commission at its Aug. 22 meeting. While most of the commission appeared to support the plan, the recommendation came with some proposed modifications that inspired argument, such as upgrading bike lanes along El Camino Real to a higher level than planned. The

vote to upgrade was 6-1, with Commissioner Henry Riggs opposed. Curb extensions proved to be one of the more controversial components of the El Camino Real portion of the specific plan. Extensions allow sidewalk segments to spread out into the street, providing a haven for pedestrians but an obstacle for bike and bus lanes. On a 4-3 vote, with Commissioners Ben

Eiref, John Kadvany, and Peipei Yu disagreeing, the panel decided to recommend deleting curb extensions from the specific plan. Other suggestions, including a request that the council lower allowed new building facade heights from 45 feet by one full story, found consensus. After casting his dissenting vote against recommending the plan to

the City Council, Commissioner Kadvany, participating by phone, expressed his frustration as the meeting ended close to midnight. “I just want to say I told people yes, I would just try to bring this stuff up for you, stuff I didn’t even agree with, and now I can’t. I just have to say, ‘Sorry, we ran out of See DOWNTOWN PLAN, page 8

August 31, 2011 N The Almanac N5


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By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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Deli Department GET READY FOR LABOR DAY WITH OUR FRESH AND DELICIOUS SIDES FOR YOUR BBQ! Roberts own Baked Beans … So Yummy! ... $5.99 lb. Yellow & New Potato Salads … Made Fresh Daily ... $6.99 lb. Macaroni with Ham & Peas … Classic ... $6.99 lb. Also try our delicious BBQ BABY BACK RIBS … Hot & Tasty! ... $9.99 lb.

Wine and Spirits 2007 Chaine d’Or Cabernet Sauvignon Reg $14.99...................................Sale $12.99 For years, the Chaine d’Or Cabernet has been a source for good wine at a modest price. The just released 2007 version lifts this wine to a whole new and compelling level. This is serious Cabernet with fine aromatic and flavor complexity, a lingering finish, and can compete with wine several times its cost. A mere 75 case production, so don’t wait to buy a case, or two.

ith far less contention than accompanied Beverages & More’s successful request to sell alcohol on El Camino Real, the Menlo Park City Council voted 5-0 on Aug. 23 to deny Walgreens a permit to sell beer and alcohol. The Planning Commission had voted 4-3 in June to turn down the request, saying public welfare would be damaged by stocking approximately 12 feet of shelf space with beer and wine in a drugstore on Santa Cruz Avenue. Daniel Beltramo of Beltramo’s Fine Wines and Spirits had submitted the single letter opposing the appeal, arguing that Menlo Park already has more than its quota of alcohol outlets. Meanwhile, Walgreens representative Dan Kramer contended that the zoning along downtown Santa Cruz Avenue allows alcohol sales without creating exceptions based on business type, and that there’s no empirical evidence supporting opposition statements that the sales would be detrimental to the community. “The police department found

COACH continued from page 3

teachers. When he spoke, he backed his words with action. His annual “birthday run,” in which he would run a mile for every year, became an enormous fundraising event and his signature event. Parks, who coached the Bears football team between 1968 and 1984, was named Leading Citizen of the Year for 1996 by the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula. Parks, who worked in physical fitness for over 50 years, was also involved with ‘Fifty-plus,’ an association that draws attention to the need for fitness and health even at an advanced age. “I train seven days a week

no danger,” he told the council, later adding that statistics show no impact on general welfare. Selling “1 percent of the alcohol Trader Joe’s sells” would put Walgreens on a level playing field with its competitors, according to Mr. Kramer. The manager of a San Carlos Walgreens which has sold alcohol for about a year, also addressed the council, saying that the nominal $100 to $200 per day in beer and wine sales indicates shoppers see it as a convenience rather than a main reason for visiting the drugstore. He said there’s been no change in type of clientele or increased police activity. But citing the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s moratorium on similar permits in San Mateo County, Councilwoman Kirsten Keith moved to uphold the Planning Commission’s denial of Walgreens’ request. “We are well served in our alcohol purchases. There are retailers just a few hundred feet away that do carry alcohol, just not on Santa Cruz Avenue,” Ms. Keith said at Tuesday’s meeting before making a motion to uphold the permit denial. A

myself,” he said in 2000. “In my day, growing up, I thought 30 and 40 was really old, and 50 was ancient. Now 50- plus is nothing. I’m just getting started and I’m looking forward to 70. There are things I haven’t done yet, like hiking to the highest peak, swimming, cycling.” What Coach Parks accomplished was showing us that anything was possible if we believed in ourselves and accepted the support of friends and family. He showed, by the way he lived his own life, integrity and character mattered and that shortcuts only lead to dead ends. A

Go to tinyurl.com/Coach-163 for more information and to post remembrances.

Support The Almanac’s print and online coverage of our community. Join today: SupportLocalJournalism.org/Almanac

6 N The Almanac NAugust 31, 2011


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R EAL E STATE Q&A by Monica Corman

Remembering Andy Garcia on 10th anniversary of 9/11 The annual Andy Garcia 5K run, walk and bike event in Portola Valley will be held on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5. The community event is held in memory of Andrew Sonny Garcia of Portola Valley, who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. The flight was one of four hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists, but the only one that failed to meet its intended target, believed to be the White House or the U.S. Capitol. The passengers attempted to regain control of Flight 93, and the Boeing 757 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All aboard were killed.

be cooking. “As you know, the firefighters played a huge part in the events in New York, the Pentagon as well as Shanksville,” Ms. Bachler said in a statement. “The firefighters have been especially important to me and my family through the years.” She gives special thanks to Kevin Bianchiani for his “continued support and generosity for our event.” There will be a time of silence and reflection as the names of those aboard Flight 93 are read. “My granddaughter, Bella Bachler, will be singing an American favorite,” Ms. Bachler said. “It is my sincere hope that we will never forget the heroism of our loved ones as we give honor to those who gave their lives for us.”

The public is invited to pa r t ic ip at e in the Portola Valley event, which starts at 9 a.m. at Triangle Park, at Andy Garcia the corner of Portola and Alpine roads. In the past, 75 to 100 people have participated, including kids on bikes, parents with strollers, and “last year we even had a girl on horseback,” says Dorothy Garcia Bachler, who was Andy Garcia’s wife at the time of his death. After the run is a pancake breakfast, and firefighters will

Finding the Right Condo or Townhouse Dear Monica: I want to buy a condo/ townhouse but want to be sure I find one that has good potential for appreciation. What are some of the factors I should consider when buying this type of property? Alex G. Dear Alex: The condo/townhouse (C/ TH) market has been a bit softer than the single family home market in the Menlo Park and Palo Alto area. However, there are varying levels of strength within this market and it is good to know what they are before buying. The newer properties of this type that are well-designed and are close to downtown areas are selling relatively quickly and at the highest prices in this category. The buyers are typically younger singles or couples, or older buyers who are moving down from a larger property and want to walk everywhere. This segment of the

market is growing. Older C/THs in good downtown locations sell for quite a bit less than the new properties but can be good investments if renovated and if the complex has sound financials. The downtown properties also command top rents. There are a few very nice complexes mainly built in the 1970s that are not walking distance to downtown but have amenities such as pools. The predominant demographic of many of these properties tends to be older and you should be aware of this when buying. There are also a few new high density townhouse complexes in Palo Alto that are located next to busy commute routes. They provide new construction at lower prices than in the more desirable locations. How much these properties will appreciate is not known yet. Your price range, age, needs and tastes, will determine which of these property types are best for you.

For answers to any questions you may have on real estate, you may e-mail me at mcorman@apr.com or call 462-1111, Alain Pinel Realtors. I also offer a free market analysis of your property. www.MonicaCorman.com

Residents protest: private club seeks public well By Janelle Eastman and Sandy Brundage

Staff suggested the proposal could help the city meet the state’s mandate to cut water consumption 20 percent by 2020 by saving about 60 million gallons of Hetch Hetchy water annually. However, David Alfano, a 24-year resident of Menlo Park who attended Wednesday’s meeting, said the well proposal does nothing to meet this requirement; it only changes the source of water

as well as the appearance of a private club benefiting from diverting a public resource. he city’s proposal to install “I believe any public-private an irrigation well in Nealventure in open space and depleton Park, a popular coming a valuable natural resource munal open space located at 800 is not an acceptable use. This Middle Ave. and owned by Menlo appears to be a sweetheart deal Park, aroused the ire of the park’s for a private country club,” said neighbors at an informational Elizabeth Houck, a lifelong resimeeting on Wednesday, Aug. 24. dent of Menlo Park. The Sharon Heights Golf The suggested non-recreationand Country Club, located al use of the park provided at 2900 Sand Hill Road, another avenue of objecwants to pay for the well The well would save the club money tion. and a pipeline to water want our park to by switching to groundwater but be “We its golf course, which a park and not used as a could also irrigate three what the city gets out of the deal light industrial space. Just city parks and a school. a month ago they proposed remains murky. The well would save the to plant cell-phone towers club money by switching at Nealon. I’m wondering to groundwater for irrigation from Hetch Hetchy to the park’s if there will ever be a time when instead of potable Hetch Hetchy aquifer. we can just relax and not have to water, but what the city gets out The well would be located in worry about our park being used of the deal remains murky. front of the tennis courts facing for non-recreational purposes,” Matt Oscamou, the city’s inter- Middle Avenue, within a 10-foot Mr. Alfano said. im engineering manager, said by 30-foot area enclosed by screens Toward the end of the meeting, aspects of the project that still designed to match the court fenc- a club representative mentioned need to be worked out, includ- es, according to city engineering that another private business is ing construction cost and the staff. They estimated construction also interested in the aquifer, but length and direction of pipeline would take six to nine months, and declined to identify that business. alignments between the park and need one week of 24/7 drilling, Staff plans to present the proclub, would have to be factored in which didn’t sweeten the deal from posal to the City Council in before calculating the financial the neighbors’ perspective, despite October or November. If numbers. The city would also staff’s promise of a temporary approved, construction could need to negotiate an agreement noise barrier. start in fall 2012, once the pipefor the club to cover ongoing Residents objected to the pro- line alignment also gets the green maintenance costs. posal on environmental grounds light.

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Downtown plan: City corrects errors in financial analysis By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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scant week before the Menlo Park Planning Commission finished reviewing the proposed downtown/El Camino Real specific plan, the commissioners finally received the project’s fiscal impact analysis (FIA). The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the council ask the finance and audit committee to review the FIA produced by consultants Strategic Economics. Coming under fire for potential errors, the report evaluates the impact of implementing the specific plan on the city’s general fund. Educator Chuck Bernstein, who holds an MBA from Stanford University, told the commission on Aug. 22 that he’d documented multiple calculation mistakes. City staff scrambled to doublecheck the analysis before the initial council review on Tuesday, Aug. 30, and determined that some of Mr. Bernstein’s own calculations were in error, since he didn’t use the same underlying assumptions to crunch the numbers as the consultants did. But other observations were right on — for example, pointing out that

the FIA failed to take into account black, offsetting the cost of the determined the scope of the FIA the expected vacancy rate for the parking garages. Without those three years ago. Overall, the study carried out by 91,900 square feet of retail space transient occupancy taxes, the plan allowed under the plan by 2030. loses $250,000 a year if the city still Bay Area Economics (BAE) determined the school and healthcare The staff report agreed, stating: adds the parking garages. “The sales tax projections did not Add only one garage, though, districts would see annual revenue account for a 10 percent vacancy and the balance tips back toward increases of less than 1 percent rate, and Mr. Bernstein is correct profitability, according to Associate of their total budget. The Menlo Park City Elementary School Disthat they should. It appears that Planner Thomas Rogers. trict would get a projected this will reduce the sales tax $275,000 annual increase, revenues by approximately $15,000, which would lead Without two new hotels, the plan loses while Sequoia Union High School District would see to an approximately 0.37 percent decrease in revenue $250,000 a year if the city still adds an added $586,600 a year. On the flip side, the County in year 30,” but none of the two parking garages. Office of Education could overall conclusions in the expect to lose $13,800 a report were affected as a result. Strategic Economics calculated year. The Menlo Park Fire Protection What were those overall conclu- that running and maintaining the sions? For starters, the analysis garages costs twice as much as the District (MPFPD) faces the most determined that if the geographi- city’s parking plazas, but also noted significant impacts. The developcal areas covered by the specific that the analysis doesn’t include ment allowed under the proposed plan are fully developed under the potential sources of revenue, such specific plan — like 60-foot-tall proposed guidelines, the city’s gen- as higher permit fees or meters, that buildings on El Camino Real — means the district needs a $600,000 eral fund would get $2.1 million in could cover the expense. aerial ladder truck, if firefighters annual net revenue. want to be able to reach the upper However, that changes depend- Special districts The FIA, initially intended to stories. Station 6 downtown would ing on if or when the two hotels, as well as the two parking garages, be released before the Planning need renovating, as would the water are built. Two hotels with a total of Commission started its review, was system due to enhanced demand 380 rooms are expected to gener- delayed because staff decided to created by a larger population of ate 60 percent of the plan revenue add analyses of the plan’s impact on residents and workers. The district through transient occupancy taxes, school, fire, healthcare, community expects to need to hire personnel as and at least one hotel with 80 rooms college, and water districts, which well. According to the BAE report, a is needed to keep the plan in the weren’t included when the city

new fire services impact fee for all new development in the specific plan area would help cover those expenses, as would a portion of the estimated $1.1 million in property taxes generated by increased property values. While stating that it’s not possible to assess the net impact on the MPFPD since factors like the impact fee have yet to be established , the analysis projects an added $1.1 million in revenues for the district. Council consideration

The City Council is expected to start reviewing the draft specific plan on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. Staff will present an overview of the plan at 6 p.m. Corrections to the FIA may not be finalized by the time the council convenes, Mr. Rogers said, but an updated report should be released this week. A tentative schedule shows the FIA coming before the council in late September for evaluation. A

Go to tinyurl.com/plan-163 to view all documents related to the specific plan, including the fiscal impact analysis.

Commission sends plan to council Renu Nanda heads Ravenswood foundation DOWNTOWN PLAN continued from page 5

time,” he said. “This whole thing has been hurry up, then wait, since this whole project started. It’s not right.” The vote allowed the commission to forward the plan to the council, subject to suggested revisions, with the caveat that “not everything was discussed.” Mr. Kadvany told the Almanac that one outstanding issue is the allowable dimensions of 60-foothigh buildings near the Caltrain station and on El Camino Real. “(The commission chair) said that residents probably didn’t understand, today, the 60 foot building standard being used for larger buildings — that’s taller than Borrone, Schwab, Menlo Square — and there could be a real ‘shock’ when the first proposals come through,” he said, adding that the council will have to decide if it’s worth paying consultants Perkins and Will to rethink building scale. A second issue concerns the vacant car lots Stanford University owns along southeast El Camino Real. “To prevent large masses of 60-foot, four- or five-story buildings joined together, the draft plan calls for building separations and open space for this large site,” Mr. Kadvany explained. However, the

university submitted a letter the same day as the commission’s final meeting on the specific plan, saying that the requirements weren’t appropriate for what it described as narrow lots. The last-minute letter left little time for the commission to weigh its merits. Chair Vincent Bressler later said the commission had considered every area covered in the plan, and that the point of the commission’s five-meeting series was to provide lots of opportunity to receive and respond to public comment before recommending changes to the plan. “Our goal was to make the City Council’s job easier. I expect that it will be difficult for the City Council to come to consensus on this plan. However, without our efforts, it would have been much, much more difficult,” he said. The project’s fiscal impact analysis (FIA) also caused a stir at the Monday night meeting. Released just six days before, on Aug. 16, the report came under fire for potential errors. Educator Chuck Bernstein, who holds an MBA from Stanford University, told the commission he’d documented multiple calculation mistakes. City staff said they would work on double-checking the FIA, which analyzes the impact of the specific plan on the city’s revenues, before the council meets on Aug.

8 N The Almanac NAugust 31, 2011

The Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF), which supports the R a ve n s wo o d City School District, has a new executive director: Renu Nanda of Menlo Park. The dis- Renu Nanda trict includes three schools in Menlo Park: Belle Haven and Willow Oaks elementary schools, and East Palo Alto Academy High School. Ms. Nanda replaces outgoing executive director Charley Scandlyn, who will now serve on the foundation’s board. Ms. Nanda is an attorney with nonprofit experience that includes program management at the Low Income Investment Fund and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, according 30 to begin its own review. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the council ask the finance and audit committee to review the FIA. A

Go to tinyurl.com/plan-163 to view all documents related to the specific plan, including the fiscal impact analysis.

N MEN L O B RI EF S

to the announcement. She also served on the education foundation’s development committee for nearly three years, as well as on its board.

Rebates on homes that are energy-efficient San Mateo County residents who decided to lower their utility bills by upgrading the energy-efficient elements of their homes can also qualify for up to $8,000 in incentives, thanks to a collaboration between the county and Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. The program offers basic and advanced upgrade packages, based on the number and type of modifications homeowners make. The basic set of seven improvements includes duct sealing, hot water pipe insulation, and attic insulation, and qualifies for up to $1,000 in incentives. The advanced package consists of all basic features, plus projects such as installing energy-efficient windows. Go to tinyurl.com/3vxz3ft to learn more. According to PG&E, the program will continue until it runs out of funding, which is provided on a first-come, firstserve basis.

Council meets The star attraction at the upcoming Menlo Park City Council meeting may be the draft downtown/El Camino Real specific plan. Carrying a 6-1 vote by the Planning Commission to recommend the plan, with modifications, the proposal enters the next round of review on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Before tackling that behemoth, however, the council is scheduled to consider a resolution to join the Healthy Eating and Living (HEAL) Cities campaign. Organized by the League of California Cities, the initiative provides a support network for cities trying to implement policies that “improve their communities’ physical activity and retail food environments.” Should be an easy vote; then again, this is Menlo Park. The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. At 5 p.m., the council meets in closed session to talk to negotiators from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, and at 6 p.m., staff will present an overview of the specific plan. Go to tinyurl.com/agenda083011 to view the agenda.


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Teens admit to arson at Woodside School By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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rson and vandalism at Woodside Elementary School over three days in early August have led deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office to make two arrests in a roundup of seven teens from the local community. Four live in Woodside, one in Portola Valley, one in Redwood City and one in unincorporated Redwood City, authorities said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All (the teens) admitted to one level or another of association and wrongdoing,â&#x20AC;? Lt. Ray Lunny of the Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office said. Deputies said the arson incidents at Woodside Elementary School occurred between Aug. 5 and 8. The damage included scorch marks on the stage at the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outdoor amphitheatre, fire damage to three

plastic sliding boards in the playground, tire marks in the artificial turf field, and the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;paintersâ&#x20AC;? burned into the natural grass field, Lt. Lunny said. All of the arson-related activities involved the use of gasoline, he said. And their rationale? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Other than theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got nothing better to do, there is no known logical reason for their behavior,â&#x20AC;? Lt. Lunny said. Authorities are not releasing the teensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names because they are juveniles. Two attend Woodside High School and there is one each from Menlo School in Atherton, Castilleja (Girls) School in Palo Alto, Everest and Summit Prep charter high schools in Redwood City, and St. Francis High School in Mountain View, deputies said. The teens range in age from 13 to 16, deputies said. Two are girls. Details that led to the arrests came

on Aug. 18 after questioning by the Redwood City police in connection with a traffic stop, an unlicensed driver, and youths reportedly using baseball bats to damage mailboxes in Redwood City, deputies said. Two of the teens were booked into Hillcrest Juvenile Hall in San Mateo on charges of misdemeanor arson and vandalism, deputies said. The other five will be participating in the youth diversion program, which includes classes and community service, deputies said. A parent has stepped in and paid for the damages, including a loss estimated at $13,500 in damage to the sliding boards, Lt. Lunny said. The incidents will not interrupt normal school activities at Woodside Elementary, he said. The anonymous parent is also paying for a private security guard to patrol the school grounds, Lt. Lunny said. A

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In each case, the exact amount of change in power will vary with the prescription and the distance the lenses are allowed to slip. Proper fit ensures the effectiveness of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lens prescription. Eyeglass frames must fit properly on the bridge of your nose and stay in place whether you are looking up, down or sideways. At MENLO OPTICAL, we carry the latest designer frames and a variety of temple styles and lengths to suit all facial constructions and lifestyles. Frames are available in many styles, including wire-thin titanium, stainless steel, bold metals, and sleek- colored laminated plastics. Call us at 322-3900 if you have questions about eyewear, or bring us your eyewear prescription. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re located at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. P.S. The distance between your temples should determine the width of your eyeglass frames, while the temple-to-ear measurement ensures that the eyeglass frames will be placed correctly in front of the face, with lenses properly positioned Mark Schmidt is an American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners Certified Optician licensed by the Medical Board of California. He can be easily reached at Menlo Optical, 1166 University Drive, Menlo Park. 650-322-3900.

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Portola Valley town official leaves abruptly By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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he staff at Town Hall in Portola Valley is one person smaller with the abrupt departure of Assistant Town Manager Janet McDougall after four years with the town. An email to Ms. McDougall yielded the following reply: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Assistant Town Manager posi-

tion has been vacated. If you need assistance, please contact Angela Howard, the town manager.â&#x20AC;? In a telephone interview, Ms. Howard acknowledged that Ms. McDougall â&#x20AC;&#x153;is no longer with the town.â&#x20AC;? Asked if Ms. McDougall left voluntarily, Ms. Howard responded that â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a personnel matter and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not really at liberty to give out details. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not

that big a deal. People come and go all the time.â&#x20AC;? Asked if Ms. McDougall had given notice, Ms. Howard replied: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to discuss it with you.â&#x20AC;? Ms. McDougall, reached by phone at her home, said she had no comment other than to say that she left her office after half a dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work on Friday, Aug. 26. A

Granny oak faces one-week deadline; neighbors negotiate By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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ranny, the heritage oak tree at the center of a battle between a coalition of North Fair Oaks residents and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), may be cut down despite the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best efforts to save the tree. The centuries-old oak sits on a right-of-way owned by the SFPUC at 827 15th Ave. in North Fair Oaks. The commission initially planned to kill the tree in May on short notice, which riled Grannyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fans. In an Aug. 26 letter from the SFPUC to the residents, the commission gave the coalition one more week to provide a written proposal that would let the public access the tree site. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The agency stated previously that public access to the oak tree is

a basic requirement before its Commission could reasonably consider the additional public funds needed to tunnel under the tree and preserve it,â&#x20AC;? the SFPUC said in a written statement about the deadline. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without a public access component, the SFPUC would move to avoid any further delays and costs to the project and ratepayers by having the contractor formally notice and prepare to remove the tree and install this segment of the regional drinking water pipeline.â&#x20AC;? Earlier in July, the SFPUC asked the neighbors to form a nonprofit to handle maintenance, liability insurance, and public access should the commission decide to dig a $269,000 tunnel under the tree for a pipeline meant to carry water from the Hetch Hetchy as part of a $4.6 billion seismic improvement project.

Anna Eshoo to seek another term U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat who has been representing Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside and other cities in the 18th Congressional District for nearly two decades, announced Monday, Aug. 29, her plans to seek another term. Rep. Eshoo, 68, a Menlo Park

resident who was first elected to Congress in 1992, declared her intention to seek re-election in the recently redrawn 18th District. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While the redistricting process shifted some cities out of the district that I have represented for decades and added new ones, my work has always

Another possibility emerged during a subsequent meeting, when county staff said Assistant County Manager David Holland proposed seeing whether the county could take over caring for the oak. In an email, coalition member Ron van Thiel told the Almanac that on Saturday, Aug. 28, the commission rejected a proposal to make a park on a parcel adjacent to the tree. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been and continue to be working with the county, SFPUC and the neighborhood to come up with a plan for this park that is acceptable to all,â&#x20AC;? he wrote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are preparing a second proposal to meet their requirement of physical access to the tree itself while at the same time preserving security of the residents. We expect this proposal to be accepted by SFPUC.â&#x20AC;?

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Alice Newton of Menlo Park sent us this picture she took Aug. 24 of Jil Antonio of Brothers Services (Redwood City) cutting a top branch from a live oak tree across the street from Ms. Newtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house in the 1000 block of Del Norte Avenue. The tree had been leaning lower and lower over Del Norte Avenue and scaring many people for years, she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They did a superb job of taking down this huge tree, cleaning up, and planting the new one,â&#x20AC;? she says. A replacement live oak was planted Aug. 25 near where the workers ground out the old stump, she says.

Atherton council agrees to settle suit with developer By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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he Atherton City Council has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by developer Pacific Peninsula Group, which sued the town to recover some $298,000 in road-impact fees it claimed were charged illegally. With an Aug. 22 court date looming, the council agreed to a tentative deal in an Aug. 17 closed meeting. The town wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t provide details until the deal is signed by the Menlo Park-based Pacific Peninsula Group, Deputy City Clerk Theresa DellaSanta said. Although the lawsuit sought nearly $300,000 from the town, that figure had been lowered to about $215,000 during the discovery phase of the litigation process, the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attorney for

the case, Leah Castella, told the Almanac in March. Pacific Peninsula Group, which has built numerous homes in Atherton over the years, sued the town after the council agreed to refund a portion of road-impact fees paid by builders before the town discontinued the fee in late 2009. That decision, which divided the council at the time, was based on controversy over the feeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legality. The question of whether roadimpact fees, which are charged by many California cities, are legal is yet to be resolved, but just weeks after the councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s July 2010 decision to partially refund them, Pacific Peninsula Group sued to force the town to refund the fees it paid in their entirety. A

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Presented by Annye Rothenberg, Ph.D., child/parent psychologist, author Tuesday, October 4, 7 to 9 p.m., 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-853-4873 Dr. Rothenberg will cover the essentials of when and how to begin toilet training, but will also provide valuable guidance for parents whose children may be uninterested, resistant or fearful of toilet training. Dr. Rothenberg’s all-in-one books for parents and children will be available for purchase.

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Bicyclist, 64, dies after collision in Menlo Park By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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64-year-old man’s daily ride turned tragic after his bike and a Lincoln Town Car collided in Menlo Park on Wednesday, Aug. 24. Richard Buckley of Redwood City was in the intersection of Chilco Street and Bayfront Expressway around 11:13 a.m. when the accident occurred,

according to police. He was taken to Stanford Hospital and later died. A family friend told the Almanac that Mr. Buckley rode his bicycle in a loop around that area daily instead of taking a lunch break from his job at Raychem, an exercise habit acquired after he had a heart attack several years ago. Loved ones held a gathering Saturday at the home Mr. Buckley shared with his wife, Laurie.

Investigators said the driver of the 2008 Lincoln Town Car showed no signs of alcohol or drug impairment and cooperated with police. Traffic was diverted on Bayfront Expressway between Willow Road and Chrysler Drive until 2:30 p.m. to assist in the investigation. The Menlo Park Police Department asks anyone who witnessed the accident to call 330-6300.

Atherton apathy about disaster preparation? By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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12 N The Almanac NAugust 31, 2011

people — but Peter Carpenter and over the network every month. Scott Barnum aren’t most people. Ideally, what ADAPT looks like Discussions of earthquakes, Hurri- from their perspective is this: A cane Katrina, and camp toilets only system of 16 neighborhoods, each whet their appetites. with a coordinator that oversees the The problem is how to make block captains, who are supported disaster preparation appealing to by other volunteers. everyone else. ADAPT, a 501(c)3 All neighborhoods would be able nonprofit group of Atherton vol- to plug into the ham radio network; unteers dedicated for the past eight currently, only six of the 16 can. years to teaching people how to ADAPT also needs at least eight help themselves and others when more coordinators to fill out the disaster strikes, only has about 30 network. active members. The government’s rule of thumb “It’s very frustrating that the level is to plan on surviving without of interest is so low,” Mr. Carpenter outside assistance for 72 hours. said. “It’s hard work to organize ADAPT members think 96 hours neighborhoods because people is more realistic. don’t think it’s a problem.” Mr. Carpenter shared one of his Atherton presents a particular many experiences as a first respondchallenge for ADAPT since there’s er to illustrate the need to expect the no town cenunexpected. In ter and the first the aftermath responders — the Residents want to enlist of Hurricane firefighters and more of their neighbors in Katrina, he said, police — generthe Menlo Park ally live outside emergency preparedness. Fire Protection town, according District thought to Mr. Carpenter its response team and Mr. Barnum. was ready for anything, armed with There are also geographic pecu- cell phones, satellite phones, and liarities, such as the neighborhood high-limit credit cards. located along Walsh Road, with “First message we got back was one way in and one way out. Heavy ‘nothing works,” he recalled. “The vegetation makes the area ripe for a cell phones were down, no one fire during the dry summers. could take credit cards. We had There’s an evacuation route that to put someone on a private plane follows a horse trail to Interstate with a bag of cash. The team came 280, and another that hops a back looking like refugees after 16 fence to a golf course. But given days there without resupplying.” how mobile today’s society is, the As ADAPT fights to create a solid ADAPT members wonder how framework for survival within its many people now living in that area own boundaries, some residents remember the plan. may look to civic leaders for guidThe City Council used to have a ance. The group wants to create a disaster committee, until disinter- disaster preparedness section on the est and lack of resources killed it, town’s website and also get funding they said. The general affluence of for putting a cache of emergency the area also contributes, leading equipment, such as pumps and some to believe that enough money lights, in each neighborhood. will buy solutions even in the face of While Interim City Manager John earthquakes. Danielson has been very receptive, Wealth isn’t always an obstacle, according to Mr. Barnum, it’s a though. Mr. Carpenter estimates struggle to keep the interest of the the town probably has more ham council. radio operations per capita than “My sense is that someone gets anywhere else. “Boys and their toys, on the council, and they feel like and deep pockets,” he said. Both he See ADAPT, page 14 and Mr. Barnum practice talking


N E W S

TOWN OF WOODSIDE 2955 WOODSIDE ROAD WOODSIDE, CA 94062

Council election in Woodside, not in PV By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

T

radition has held once again in Woodside and Portola Valley. Woodside will hold a Town Council election this fall, even though there are only four candidates for four seats. Whereas in Portola Valley, where there are two candidates for two seats, the town will forgo the election. Each council met Aug. 24 to make these decisions.

Woodside

With Woodside Mayor Ron Romines and councilmen Dave Burow and Peter Mason recusing themselves and temporarily out of the room because they are running for re-election, the remaining members voted 4-0 to spend about $10,000 and have an election this fall. Three-term Councilwoman Sue Boynton stayed to vote because she is not running again. Investment banker Tom Shanahan is running unopposed for the fourth open seat. There are seven council districts in Woodside, and each of the four candidates is running in a different district. After informing the council of one downside of an election, the cost, Woodside Town Manager

(

ELECT O N ( 11 (2 0 Susan George noted two upsides: write-in candidates can run and the nominated candidates, rather than being appointed, have the distinction of being duly elected. In 1997, a write-in candidate ran and defeated the nominated candidate for the District 2 seat on the Woodside council, Ms. George said. The window during which a write-in candidate can file with the elections office opens Monday, Sept. 12, and closes Tuesday, Oct. 25, San Mateo County Elections Officer David Tom said. The candidate must file a declaration of candidacy and collect signatures like a nominated candidate. Candidates should check with the Woodside town clerk, Mr. Tom said. During the public comment period, in an otherwise mostly empty Woodside chamber occupied by one reporter and one visitor from Atherton Mr. Romines returned to briefly testify as a resident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just think that, on balance, democratic processes suggest that we should go ahead and have an election,â&#x20AC;? he said at the publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s microphone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nominees should appear on the ballot.â&#x20AC;? Mr.

Romines then departed the room again. Councilwoman Deborah Gordon agreed. Elections allow candidates to meet constituents, she said, and the cost, given the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strong fiscal state, is not an issue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We should go ahead and allow the public to participate,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m disappointed that there doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to be more interest in running from other people.â&#x20AC;? An election â&#x20AC;&#x153;shows weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to be very correct in our behavior,â&#x20AC;? Councilwoman Anne Kasten added. Portola Valley

In Portola Valley, the town clerk recommended against an election, citing the $10,000 cost, and the council agreed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we cancel,â&#x20AC;? Councilman John Richards said. Councilman Steve Toben raised his thumb in agreement. There being no other comments and no comment from the public in a chamber empty but for one reporter, the council voted 3-0 to cancel the election, with Mayor Ted Driscoll absent and Councilwoman Ann Wengert abstaining because she is running for reelection. Vice-Mayor Maryann Derwin ran the meeting.

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The Planning Commission will be holding three study sessions to review and comment on the draft 2012 General Plan Update on 3EPTEMBER   3EPTEMBER   AND 3EPTEMBER    n  PM in Independence Hall. The Planning Commission will be taking no formal action at this meeting. Formal review of the draft 2012 General Plan Update is anticipated to occur in late 2011 before both the Planning Commission and Town Council. To view the draft 2012 General Plan Update under discussion, visit WWWWOODSIDETOWNORG under h7HATS .EWv SpeciďŹ c comments by Element are much appreciated and can be submitted by completing the form located under h'ENERAL 0LAN 5PDATEv h#OMMENT ON THE 'ENERAL0LAN5PDATEv )FYOUHAVEANYQUESTIONSORCOMMENTS PLEASECONTACT*ACKIE9OUNG 0LANNING$IRECTOR AT  ORJYOUNG WOODSIDETOWNORG

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N E W S

Connie De Maria Connie De Maria passed away on August 14, 2011 surrounded by her loving family, following a long illness. She is survived by her husband Charles, son Glen and wife Cheryl, daughter Jill, granddaughter Shannon and husband Neil, and her sister Ruby, and several nieces and nephews and their families. She was born in 1922 in Scranton, North Dakota, the third of four daughters of Peter A. Harder and Mabel F. Harder (Cunningham). Following high school in Scranton, she went to business school in Minneapolis and worked there as an accountant for several years. During World War II, she came to San Francisco with her sister Ruby to be near Ruby’s husband who was stationed at Treasure Island. They were later joined by their other two sisters. She worked as an accountant and learned how to fly a Piper Cub. In 1948, she married Charles De Maria

and they lived in San Francisco and Burlingame until moving to their present home in Atherton in 1957. They joined Alpine Hills Tennis and Swim Club in 1965 and were active members for 38 years. Connie loved to ski and was an avid tennis player, enjoying playing in tournaments as well as with club members and family. She will be laid to rest at the Todd’s Valley Cemetery near Foresthill, California. Her family wishes to thank all of the wonderful people at Alpine for being her friends, competitors, and companions. No services are planned.

PA I D

OBITUARY

Going behind the scenes of county government ■ Sept. 5 deadline to apply for Civics 101 course . Two field trips — to the county jail in Redwood City and to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve on the coast north of Half Moon Bay -are included in Civics 101, a free course open to the public on the workings of San Mateo County government. Classes meet on 10 Tuesday evenings, starting Sept. 13. Applications must be in by Monday, Sept. 5. Taught by people who work in county government, this course will give “behind the scenes” tours of county operations and discuss topics such as emergency services, the courts, public health, and the collection and dispersal of tax dollars. Also on the syllabus: “Budgeting for results.” The program is meant to increase understanding of and participation in local government, including

ADAPT continued from page 12

they’re paying their dues,” Mr. Carpenter said. “I disagree with that, being on the fire district board. It doesn’t relieve me of my responsibility to help.” Two of the five council members polled by the Almanac seem actively engaged in disaster planning. Vice Mayor Bill Widmer said he meets regularly with ADAPT members, while Councilman Jerry Carlson responded

leading people to want to serve on boards and commissions, the county says. Graduates of previous courses have served on civil grand juries and county advisory boards and commissions. The three-hour classes start at 6 p.m. in the Hall of Justice at 400 County Center in Redwood City. The classes are open to residents of San Mateo County and people who work in the county. “This is a tremendous opportunity to learn how your county is managed and to see how tax dollars are spent in our community,” Carole Groom, president of the Board of Supervisors, said in the statement. Go to tinyurl.com/Civics-163 for information and to apply. Applications must be in by Monday, Sept. 5.

that both he and his wife completed the community emergency response training (CERT) offered through the fire district. Another CERT training will be held in September, and ADAPT plans to host a pancake breakfast fundraiser in October. The group meets on the first Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. in Atherton council chambers at 91 Ashfield Road. Contact Scott Barnum at microbarny@msn.com for more information. A

Tessa Bunny Walton August 19, 2011-August 22, 2011 Tessa Bunny Walton—6 pounds, 7 ounces and 19.5 inches long, with beautiful dark-brown hair—came into this world on Friday, August 19, 2011, and was joyously welcomed by her parents, Georgia Walton and Michael Walton of Menlo Park. Within hours, Tessa experienced complications that led to surgery on Sunday, August 21. Tessa struggled valiantly for her life over the next 24 hours as she received expert and caring treatment at Kaiser’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Santa Clara. She died on Monday afternoon, August 22, in the arms of her loving parents. She is survived by Michael, Georgia, and a vast, loving, and supportive family. She will always be remembered. Donations (marked “in memory of Tessa Bunny Walton”) may be directed to: Kaiser Permanente Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Dept. 302 700 Lawrence Expressway Santa Clara, CA 95051 PA I D

14 N The Almanac NAugust 31, 2011

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or some residents of Menlo Park, Portola Valley and Atherton, the consolidation of mail routes this week could switch delivery times from early morning to late afternoon, but postal workers will not be laid off locally, Menlo Park Postmaster Jeffrey D. Gaskill said in a telephone interview. Postcards went out recently to these three communities â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Woodside will not be affected â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which are now served by 67 mail routes. Following the Postal Service consolidation on Tuesday, Aug. 30, there will be 55 routes, Mr. Gaskill said. Delivery times will largely not change, he added, unless you hap-

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pen to live at the beginning or end of a route that is being absorbed by two nearby routes. In those cases, residents may see their morning delivery change to the afternoon or vice versa, he said. With 12 fewer routes, there will be 12 fewer carriers but they will be reassigned to local post offices that need them, given that there is no hiring going on, Mr. Gaskill said. On average, a mail carrier now spends three hours in the office sorting the mail and five hours delivering it, Mr. Gaskill said. With the new routes and sorting machines, that equation will change to one and a half to two hours in the office and five to six hours on the street. Customers and mail carriers N OBI TUA RY

Peter J. Wong Peter J. Wong, 70, a resident of Menlo Park for more than 40 years, died peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 19 surrounded by family at his home in Menlo Park. He was 70. Born in Los Angeles, he attended U.C. Berkeley and received bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degrees in electrical engineering, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. He then earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. After a 20-plus-year career in engineering, he earned his J.D. from Boalt Hall at U.C. Berkeley

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have expressed sadness about the changes, Mr. Gaskill said. Some carriers have had the same route for 20 years and have seen residentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; kids grow up. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has happened before, just not this dramatic,â&#x20AC;? he said. The post office that serves Woodside is not equipped with the advanced mail sorting equipment and so is not participating in this nationwide consolidation, Mr. Gaskill said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re losing money,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Gaskill said, referring to the Postal Service as a whole. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing what we can to reduce costs and not reduce personnel.â&#x20AC;? And the spirit in the local post offices? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of worrying about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Gaskill said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re letting our employees know what the state of the business is.â&#x20AC;? A

and practiced law from 1993 to 2006. After retiring, he cofounded Micahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Call and dedicated his free time to researching and writing about social justice issues, the family said. Mr. Wong and his wife Evelyn lived in Menlo Park for more than 40 years, spending weekends at their condominium in San Francisco to attend opera, ballet and theater. He spent his free time with his children and grandchildren or traveling extensively all over the world, the family said. Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Evelyn; his daughters, Kristin Baker and Alison WongHuchard; and four grandchildren. A celebration of his life was held Aug. 27 at the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto. Go to AlmanacNews.com/ obituaries for more obituaries and to leave remembrances. Obituaries are based on information provided by mortuaries and families.

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C O M M U N I T Y

Hazel Macaulay, 87 Hazel Macaulay, a resident of Menlo Park and a longtime sales representative with the Palo Alto Lions Club Concours dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Elegance car show, died Aug. 11. She was 87. In her earlier life, she had a long career as an Havel Macaulay executive secretary in the fields of advertising and broadcasting, beginning with NBC in New York and San Francisco, and moving to other enterprises. Born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, she graduated from Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1942. In 1943, she completed a secretarial and administrative skills course at the Katherine Gibbs School in New York. She continued her secretarial career after moving to California, subsequently partnering with her husband, Edward, to form Gomac Enterprises, an independent television sports production firm in the early 1970s. From 1981 to 2006, Ms. Macaulay was one of the top advertising salespeople for the program of the annual Palo Alto Concours dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Elegance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mother was known for her famous hugs, her warm smile and loving, kind heart,â&#x20AC;? her daughter, Robin Polastri, said. A member of Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley since 1979, Ms. Macaulay frequently served as a deacon, providing comfort and care to members of

the congregation, the family said. For decades, she and Edward â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who died in January 2011 and was the public address announcer at Stanford Stadium for 39 years â&#x20AC;&#x201D; coordinated Stanford tailgate parties for their many friends. Ms. Macaulay is survived by her daughter, Robin of Half Moon Bay, step-sons Gordon Macaulay of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Duncan Macaulay of Cave Creek, Arizona; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A celebration of Ms. Macaulayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life will be held at Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road in Portola Valley, at 1 p.m. on Oct. 16. The family prefers memorial donations to Valley Presbyterian Church.

Tessa Bunny Walton Tessa Bunny Walton â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 6 pounds, 7 ounces and 19.5 inches long, with dark-brown hair â&#x20AC;&#x201D; was born Friday, Aug. 19, to parents Georgia Walton and Michael Walton of Menlo Park. Within hours, she experienced complications that led to surgery on Sunday, Aug. 21. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tessa struggled valiantly for her life over the next 24 hours as she received expert and caring treatment at Kaiserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Santa Clara,â&#x20AC;? the family said. She died Monday afternoon, Aug. 22, in the arms of her parents. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She is survived by Michael, Georgia, and a vast, loving and supportive family. She will always be remembered,â&#x20AC;? the family said. Donations (marked â&#x20AC;&#x153;in memory of Tessa Bunny Waltonâ&#x20AC;?) may be directed to: Kaiser Permanente Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Dept. 302, 700 Lawrence Expressway, Santa Clara, CA 95051.

TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY 765 Portola Road Portola Valley, CA 94028

NOTICE OF CANCELLED ELECTION FOR TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that because the number of persons running for Town Council does not exceed the number of offices to be filled at the general election scheduled for November 8, 2011, and there is no other matter on the ballot, the Town Council of the Town of Portola Valley, at its August 24, 2011 council meeting has cancelled the election for Councilmembers.

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

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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: Editor@AlmanacNews.com e-mail letters to: letters@AlmanacNews.com 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. Subscriptions are $60 for one year and $100 for two years.

N WHAT’S YOUR VIEW? All views must include a home address and contact phone number. Published letters will also appear on the web site, www.TheAlmanacOnline.com, and occasionally on the Town Square forum.

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CALL the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

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

Now is not the time to rush downtown plan

T

he badly needed blueprint that will guide development in Menlo Park’s downtown and along El Camino Real for years to come is beginning to take shape after four years of public hearings, including intensive study by the Transportation and Planning commissions. The plan’s next stop begins Tuesday, Aug. 30, before the City Council. Although both commissions gave the plan a resounding thumbs up in almost every respect, we are troubled by developments last week at the Planning Commission, where ED ITORI AL after weeks of deliberation, The opinion of The Almanac members felt they were rushed to approve the measure to the point that John Kadvany said he would like to delay approval until he and other commissioners had more time to review it. Despite that, the commission voted 6-1 to recommend the plan to the council. Mr. Kadvany sent a detailed list of the comments to the council that he was unable to raise. His criticism came in part from lack of time to consider the long overdue Financial Impact Analysis (FIA), which is supposed to assess the plan’s impact on the city’s revenues. It was not available until Aug. 16, hardly enough time to digest its findings. More concerning, in our view, is Menlo Park resident Chuck Bernstein’s critique of the FIA, which appeared to find mathematical errors. He told the commissioners that he could not duplicate the calculations in the report, a red flag that indicates potentially serious problems that need to be resolved before the plan gets approved. But the mathematical errors in the FIA, which we assume can soon be corrected, shouldn’t overshadow the work done by both commissions. The Planning Commission considered each section of the plan separately, in most cases coming to L ET TERS Our readers write

Inspiring memories of Coach Parks Editor: I met Coach Parks in 1967. We were coming out of heavy times as racial riots were happening my freshman year in 1966 at MenloAtherton High School. In the movie, “Remember The Titans,” Denzel Washington played the football coach at a recently integrated high school in 1971. The school board was forced to integrate. They combined the white school and the black school into one. The same thing happened with Coach Parks and he did it with gusto. In many ways his life is a bridge between his African-American heritage and the affluent “white” community around him. He has built bridges of understanding and compassion in innumerable situations, from his racially tense and often violent high school, to his own prejudiced neighborhood and interactions between races,

18 N The Almanac NAugust 31, 2011

unanimous agreement on suggested changes. Among the high points: agreement was reached on maximum building height along El Camino Real, in the vicinity of the shuttered car dealerships. The maximum height limit would rise to 60 feet to accommodate four-story commercial or five-story residential buildings. All other building heights in the plan area would be capped at 38 feet, or two-story commercial and three-story residential units. By comparison, the Kepler’s-Cafe Borrone building on El Camino is 46 feet and the Schwab building across Ravenswood Avenue is 56 feet. The much more controversial proposals to build parking garages and allow hotels and a permanent market on Chestnut Street remain options. Potential sites for the two garages were expanded to include parking plaza 2 as well as plazas 1 and 3. No sites have been chosen for the hotels, although the large hotel would likely be built on El Camino Real and a smaller boutique version downtown. The Chestnut Street paseo and market may be tested through temporary installations, according to Thomas Rogers, the associate planner overseeing the specific plan process. He said the market could range from a plaza to open pavilion to permanent enclosed buildings. But “one of the few hard and fast rules for any option is that it complement (not compete with) the farmers’ market, and Trader Joe’s/Draeger’s,” he said, which is a sensible approach, in our opinion. Overall, both commissions have given the City Council a lot of feedback to digest as they attempt to reach a consensus on the plan that will guide downtown development for the next few decades. We hope residents contribute constructive ideas during the upcoming hearings. Menlo Park’s downtown and El Camino Real corridor need a makeover, and now is the time to do it.

Our Regional Heritage Soldiers skirmish with bayonets during training at Camp Fremont in 1917. The camp covered 25,000 acres, much of what is central Menlo Park today. The soldiers used firing ranges in the hills west of Menlo Park, leaving behind Menlo Park Historical Association millions of pounds of lead. Salvage teams were said to pick up more than 400,000 pounds of lead from the soil in Sharon Heights alone after the base was closed in 1918.

religions, ages, and rich students and poor. He continued to reach out to the Mexican-American community where he was fed and cared for as a child and to provide food and clothing to many migrant field workers. He was a living example of “giving in action;” giving all that he had, asking nothing in return.

Although his story has special appeal to African-American and Latino audiences, it will also appeal to every person interested in bridging gaps between races, generations and economic groups. Coach’s story is universal and his message transcends the boundaries of race, ethnicity, geography, and culture. He will be missed.

Ted Rudow III, M-A alumnus, Palo Alto

High-speed rail chief not happy with 2 tracks Editor: This letter is in response to an article last week saying that highSee LETTERS, next page


V I E W P O I N T

L E T T ER S Continued from previous page

speed rail could use the Caltrain corridor. Several months ago, Sen. Joe Simitian proposed what has become known as the SEG plan (because it was also endorsed by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Assemblyman Richard Gordon). This plan envisioned a “minimal intrusion” on the Peninsula with CalTrain and high-speed rail trains using the same tracks on the CalTrain corridor. The central elements of the plan insisted on by Sen. Simitian were these: this would be a two-track system, rather than a four-track system; it would be built “at grade,” meaning no grade separations; and the system would be built within the existing right-of-way, avoiding eminent domain and property condemnation. This proposal then started getting enthusiastic support from certain Peninsula city council people and other politicians. But on Aug. 17, as the Almanac article points out, the California High-Speed Rail CEO, Roelf van Ark, in a statement, said that this “two track” system was only the “initial” step and that eventually a four-track system would be required. This is a complete betrayal and borders on deceit; the support given to SEG was premised on a minimally intrusive two-track system, yet the Peninsula stands to get the full package, which will wind up being the hated viaduct system, 60 feet up in the air (which is the cheapest method). All local politicians/council members who support the SEG proposal should now withdraw their support in light of these inexcusable tactics. If they do not, what does it say about them — that they knew the four-track system was coming but support it anyway, but couched their SEG support in a way that would make them look “protective” of Peninsula towns and cities? Furthermore, Sen. Simitian, Congresswoman Eshoo, and Assemblyman Gordon should now announce that, in light of California High-Speed Rail’s position, the SEG proposal is withdrawn. CalTrain itself was a big player in this dishonest game, and this should sour Peninsula residents on supporting their grandiose and unnecessary spending plans, in light of the fact that they have exhibited no interest in the legitimate concerns of the Peninsula communities about the dire effects of HSR on the Peninsula. When the federal government announced that the initial focus of the high-speed rail project would be in the Central Valley, the Peninsula breathed a sigh of relief. Now, SEG threatens to revive the nightmare.

Draeger’s makes case against usurping parking plazas housewives with children in tow and travel from the store to their automobiles with shopping carts weighing approximately 100 lbs or By Richard Draeger more. Structured parking located blocks away would like to thank the City of Menlo Park is simply impractical. for taking a long term view on the zoning The same point is applicable to the parking needs of El Camino Real and the Central that would be dislocated by the structured Business District. The effort put into marketplace and the boutique hotel. this plan has been substantial and Trader Joe’s, the Farmer’s Market, and it has elicited comment from many Walgreens would all be severely affected residents who typically have not by the 50 percent reduction of parking made their views public, which is one being proposed on the south side of of the most democratic and positive Santa Cruz Avenue. outcomes of this public process. Menlo Park’s Central Business DisDraeger’s Supermarkets is very trict is one of the few remaining where much opposed to the infill of the family-owned merchants, such as DraeGUEST public parking plazas being proger’s, are still able to operate a viable posed. Plaza 4 is arguably the most OPINION business. The existence of these unique, heavily used parking plaza in the locally owned businesses is one of the Central Business District and its utilization reasons that Downtown Menlo Park attracts rate leaves very little idle capacity even dur- discerning customers looking for high quality ing the weekdays. The proposed Specific Plan products and services from the surrounding is allowing approximately 25 percent of this communities of Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodparking plaza to be occupied by a mixed use side, Portola Valley and Palo Alto. retail/office building, which would irreparably A merchant depends upon convenient parkdamage Draeger’s customers’ ability to park ing where a customer is able to park within a and, of course, our sales. Grocery customers few feet of either a front or rear entrance of their need to park within a short distance of the store. Parking structures are not convenient. store’s entrance. Our customers are primarily The average amount of time for a customer (Editor’s Note: The following letter was submitted to the Menlo Park City Council.)

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All Peninsula residents should understand clearly that SEG is the device now being used to put high-speed rail on the CalTrain corridor. If they oppose this, they should contact their council representatives and tell them so. As the Almanac itself has repeatedly reported, this project is dying of its own accord, due to incompetence and huge cost overruns. The last thing we need is to give it some adrenalin here on the Peninsula. Michael J. Brady Redwood City

Worried about market, parking structures in MP (The following letter was addressed to the Menlo Park City Council.) Editor: My husband and I have lived and shopped in Menlo Park for the past 20 years. We are focused on patronizing businesses in our community and have seen many come and go as we consistently shop the very popular Sunday farmers’ market. As we look at multiple vacant buildings along El Camino Real and Santa Cruz Avenue, we question the viability of a covered marketplace and two parking structures. Marketplaces such as Faneuil Hall in Boston succeed because of the extremely heavy tourist traffic in a city with a population of over 615,000. The characteristics of Menlo Park are far different than those of Boston and we have serious doubts about the success of the rezone and redesign as currently planned. Please consider a compromise solution that enhances the value inherent in Menlo Park, including convenient parking, an enviable Sunday farmers’ market, local shops and great restaurants.

Dianna Wellen Traylor Burgess Drive, Menlo Park

Protect Atherton’s historic library building Editor: Having followed the discussion about expanding the Atherton Library, the review of the plans scheduled at Holbrook-Palmer Park on Sept. 8 is well advised. I have used the library often and find it a charming and quiet place to browse and to order books from the San Mateo County system. The Atherton Library building is a landmark and deserves preservation, regardless of how the plans for the library develop. The Spanish colonial revival architecture is classic, and buildings like it, such as the Palo Alto post office, need to reflect that historic period that identifies the city with similar architecture at Stanford. The building would serve well for the meeting space being called for by the Atherton Arts Council and the Heritage Society. Holbrook-Palmer Park, along with other departments of the city, have seen significant staff reductions due to the deficit in the city’s operating budget. The building fund anticipated for the new library, and used specifically for its construction, would appear as a callous action after such a wide-sweeping loss of jobs. There should be some way of using the library funds to defray the budget shortfall, and still expand the existing library, while keeping the beautiful architecture intact in its present location. James White Atherton

to retrieve their automobile is 6 minutes. Our customers will simply find another location to shop for groceries that makes better use of their valuable time for this activity that they conduct three to four times per week at a store such as ours. The proposed plan may help restaurants and offices but would bankrupt merchants. The city should incorporate the proposals being advocated by the Downtown Alliance. The most important recommendation would be to relocate the all day permit parkers to a new facility at the train station; or in a public/ private venture at the Presbyterian Church (which could build far more spaces than the project requires); or a smaller structure at Oak Grove and Crane. Indeed, the merchants have lost over 50 percent of the plaza parking that we paid for through assessments to all day permit parking while the city was able to profit from the permit revenues. Relocating the permit holders would automatically give back much needed parking to the merchants and increase downtown revenues dramatically. This would be better than killing trade with our customers that has helped sustain the city with tax revenues for the last 55 years. Richard Draeger is an owner of Draeger’s Supermarkets Inc.

Almanac has West Menlo preference

Give kids a break from meat, dairy in school lunches

Editor: For as long as I’ve been reading the Almanac, I’ve felt that it has always reflected a “West Menlo” preference. This attitude is clearly shown in the editorial, “District shift won’t hurt Belle Haven.” When the Almanac’s rationale is that east Menlo has more in common with East Palo Alto and Redwood City, it could just as easily say that it has a lot in common with East Oakland. I think that the districts are better represented by a diverse socioeconomic base. What the Almanac proposes is polarization and in this case promotes segregation. Tom Wong Hedge Road, Menlo Park

Editor: With the start of a new school year, parents’ attention is turning to school clothes, supplies, and lunches. Yes, school lunches. Traditionally, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture had used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of American children consume excessive amounts of fat, only 15 percent eat recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, and one-third have become overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. But the tide is turning. In recent years, Hawaii, California, New York, and Florida legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and most U.S. school districts now do. The Baltimore public school system offers its 80,000 students a complete weekly break from meat. Last December, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to replace junk food in school lunches and vending machines with more healthful options. In January, the USDA announced the first new school lunch guidelines in 15 years. Parents should continue to insist on healthful plant-based school meals, snacks, and vending machine items for their children. Malcolm Davidson Encinal Avenue, Menlo Park

Cargill plan not best use of tidal lands Editor: Cargill’s proposal to develop the salt ponds in Redwood City is an inappropriate use of this invaluable shoreline. This land is best left undeveloped, with the potential to be returned to tidal marshes. Such use would be in the best interests of Peninsula residents. It would aid in mitigating rising sea levels, which are occurring due to global warming. There is no freshwater available for developing homes to house 30,000 new residents. It is irresponsible to consider filling San Francisco Bay, after so many decades of local efforts to stop filling in this precious resource. Roger Potash Sand Hill Circle, Menlo Park

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The Almanac 08.31.2011 - Section 1