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Rescuing the Rescuers Local responders to 9/11 reflect on 10-year anniversary Section 2

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Teacher-volunteer Susan Adams of Portola Valley leads a critical thinking discussion at Eastside Prep. On her right are Teâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Mesha Paxton (second from left) and Yesenia Garnica. Ms. Adams spends several mornings a week on campus.

Volunteers make big difference at school

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Some put in many hours a week to help with reading, environmental ed By Kate Daly

graduated in five years, whereas â&#x20AC;&#x153;nationally, only 11 percent of first-generation college students graduates within six years.â&#x20AC;? Many of the volunteers who help Eastside achieve its mission are retired, such as Susan Adams of Portola Valley. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wonderful place to spend time,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t base (admission) on academic ability. They base it on desire.â&#x20AC;? Now in her 13th year working

The sessions are add-ons to the English classes taught by regular teachers. s students head back to Board member and volunteer classes at Eastside ColLynn Winkle of Palo Alto devellege Preparatory School oped the curriculum. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on in East Palo Alto this fall, so do campus most days training and close to 60 volunteers who come overseeing the readers. from all over the Peninsula every Ms. Winkle earned her MBA week to provide a vital layer of and started volunteering in the extra academic support. 1990s, tutoring high school stuThe goal at Eastside is to dents in her kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; local school take local students in grades 6 district. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when she realthrough 12, and withized that â&#x20AC;&#x153;high school out charging them is too lateâ&#x20AC;? to catch tuition, prepare them up. to become the first in She refocused her â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t base (admission) on their families to go to efforts on middle college. So far, in the academic ability. They base it on desire.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; school after she met 12 years the school Stanford grad Chris VOLUNTEER SUSAN ADAMS OF PORTOLA VALLEY has been graduating Bischof, who was at seniors, all of them that time involved in have gone on to attend four-year with seventh- and eighth-grad- an after-school program that colleges or universities, includ- ers in the Middle School Read- offered basketball and tutoring Stanford, UCLA, Harvard ing Program, the former English ing to young students in East and Yale, school officials say. major spends several mornings a Palo Altto. He founded Eastside Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wait list to get into week on campus. From 8 to 9:40 with eight students in 1996. The Eastside, and a boarding option, a.m., the students read books students first met in a park, and but most of the students come that track with what they read then moved into a portable. from the immediate area. in social studies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We help with Now there are 280 students The student body is composed higher order thinking skills and enrolled, with plans to grow that of Latinos, African Ameri- vocabulary,â&#x20AC;? she says. number to 320. The campus at cans and Pacific Islanders. The She finds the reading cur- 1041 Myrtle St. in East Palo Alto schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website,, riculum â&#x20AC;&#x153;well thought-out,â&#x20AC;? features a theater, music room, states that 80 percent of Eastside and filled with projects that are art and dance studios, gym, and alumni are either in a four-year writing-based, such as creating See EASTSIDE, page 6 college now or have already a newspaper, a cartoon or a play.

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Where the boys are ■ Ormondale School accommodates “boy-heavy” third-grade group with all-boy classes. By Renee Batti

When school began on Aug. 29, third-graders were divided into five classrooms, two of which rom the start, the third- were made up of boys only. graders at Portola ValThe idea for the change to boysley’s Ormondale School only classrooms, and the decision set records. A larger-than-usual to go forward with it, didn’t group when happen overthe children night. Ormonarrived at the Before the all-boy classes dale Principal school as kinwere launched, ‘there Jennifer Wardergartners, and the was a period of diving ren the class was school’s teachunusual in ers have poninto the research’ on another way: methods single-gender classes, dered The boys outof better servnumbered the said Ormondale Principal ing students in girls on a scale “ boy-heav y” Jennifer Warren. never seen classes from the before, at least beginning, Ms. in recent recollection, in the Warren said. Portola Valley School District, “Year after year, a lot of little according to Superintendent Tim things have happened” to adjust Hanretty. teaching and supportive strateNow, with about 20 students gies, she said. But this year, with more than the other grade-level the backing of the school board, cohorts at Ormondale, the third- and with enough parents willing grade class is made up of 70 boys to have their sons in boys-only and 36 girls — a 66 to 34 percent classes, the school created singleratio. gender classes for the first time With the start of the new ever. school year, Ormondale is using “Parents had the option,” Ms. a fresh approach to teaching the Warren said. “We would not have 106 students at that grade level: moved forward without (paren-

Almanac News Editor


Michelle Le/The Almanac

Teacher Daphna Woolfe reviews grammar with third-grade students in her all-boys class at Ormondale School.

tal) consent.” Before the classes were launched, “there was a period of diving into the research” on single-gender classes, Ms. Warren said. Affected teachers and other staff members spent time with staff at the Town School for Boys in San Francisco, for example, picking up ideas and information that might help smooth the way for Ormondale teachers and administrators involved in the

new project. There is ample research pointing to learning differences between boys and girls, and teachers of the all-boys classes are using methods that accommodate some of the differences, Ms. Warren said. For example, she said, “boys need kinesthetic ways to learn. They need more movement breaks, opportunities to move around in the classrooms.” One example of accommodat-

ing this need for movement, she added, is to allow them to practice spelling exercises while skipping rope. Ms. Warren said the preponderance of boys in the third and other grade levels at the school has led staff to “look at our entire literacy library” in general, and offer changes in the third-grade classes in particular. For example, See BOYS, page 10

New pitch made for sparing Bernstein calls for rejection of fiscal analysis would generate more revenue oak tree in North Fair Oaks By Sandy Brundage DOWNTOW N P L A N than reflected in the FIA. “I am Almanac Staff Writer

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


our days ahead of a Sept. 6 deadline, the neighbors of a centuries-old heritage oak tree called “Granny” in North Fair Oaks voted to send a new proposal for saving the tree to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) that appears to resolve the one issue standing between failure and success. In a press release, the coalition fighting to save Granny said that 85 percent of neighborhood residents, whose properties adjoin the SFPUC right-of-way at 827 15th Ave. where the tree lives, agreed to provide public access to the tree, a requirement imposed by the utilities commission. The commission initially

planned to kill the tree in May on short notice, which riled Granny’s fans. During the summer, 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 Hetch Hetchy as part of a $4.6 billion seismic improvement project. After weeks of negotiations, the SFPUC sent a letter on Aug. 26 that gave the coalition until the day after Labor Day to provide a written proposal that would let the public access the tree site. “The agency stated previously that public access to the oak tree is a basic requirement before its See GRANNY, page 16


relatively peaceful Menlo Park City Council discussion about the draft downtown plan on Aug. 30 was followed later that week by harsh criticism again targeting the plan’s fiscal impact analysis (FIA) and calling for its withdrawal. Educator Chuck Bernstein, who holds an MBA from Stanford University, asked the city to reject the FIA because of what he said were documented gross errors. “I am requesting that you formally reject the FIA as both erroneous and incomplete, and withdraw it from further public consideration until it can be revised and rewritten,” he said in a letter to the City Council on Friday, Sept. 2. “Based on the example that I have been able to explore below, it displays such


ignorance of basic economic principles as to call into question not only all the other finding in the analysis, but also the calculations performed by Strategic Economics for the Specific Plan itself.” The example he cited involved the calculation of sales tax from retail sales expected to be generated by 2030 through implementation of the specific plan. The city had acknowledged the consultants forgot to subtract vacant space in their estimate, which then alerted Mr. Bernstein to other underlying potential mistakes. He said he’d also consulted two Stanford Graduate School of Business professors in his quest to clarify the method used to perform the calculations. Mr. Bernstein emphasized that by his calculations, the plan

not trying to attack the plan by delving into the numbers; I want to understand what the financial implications are,” he wrote. Rather than withdraw the report, Assistant City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson said the city expects Strategic Economics to respond to the critique this week. Council evaluation

Earlier in the week, during its Aug. 30 meeting, the City Council evaluated the Caltrain station area and southeast El Camino Real portions of the specific plan in a comparatively tranquil fashion. Comparatively, because some interested parties raised objections. Stanford University challenged the specific plan’s See DOWNTOWN, page 16

September 7, 2011 N The Almanac N5


Volunteers make a difference

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“In 2006 I saw that there was a need for an outdoor environmental education program,” she says. “These kids have a student residences, in addition rigorous academic year. ... but to classrooms, science labs and a lot of the students don’t have multi-media rooms. really positive associations with “There’s more interest and the outdoors, like sleeping outdemand,” says Mr. Bischof, who side. Most have never been to is Eastside’s principal. “That’s the beach or seen snow. These why we’re so motivated to are such incredible things that increase the student body. The everyone should be able to big challenge is to raise scholar- explore.” ship support.” She organizes the food, logisAll students attend on full tics, teachers and community scholarships. Tuition is $17,000 volunteers who help chaperone a year per student. Foundations students on outings. She proand corporacured a grant tions contribfrom North ute to Eastside, Face, and has but the school Kimberly McMorrow of arranged to relies heavily receive free on individual Woodside is the ultimate camping and sponsors, who volunteer. She leads class- hiking gear as have the option es of up to 68 students well as ski jackto cover all or ets, pants and a portion of a on field trips to Yosemite, gloves from Bay tuition, and Tahoe, Point Reyes and Area Wildercan choose how ness Training, Half Moon Bay. much they want a nonprofit in to be involved Oakland. with the students on a personal It’s a lot of work, she says, but basis. worthwhile. Some students are three to Teacher Darren Chan heads five grade levels behind in basic up the boys’ dorm and recently skills, Mr. Bischof says. Eastside started a Boy Scouts troop at offers an extended school day Eastside. Ms. McMorrow, her (until 5 p.m.), mandatory sum- husband, John, and neighbor, mer programs, and tutorial time. Brad Miller, are all acting as The aim is to not just educate the scout leaders. current crop of students, but to Mr. Miller’s wife, Helen, has create “a profound ripple effect been active in the Middle School that influences siblings and the Reading Program for seven years, next generation,” he says. and goes on many of the field Volunteer Linda Winkle trips. The two families also host observes: “Many students live Eastside students for sleepovers, a life that isn’t orderly. The kids movies and pool parties. grow up in random situations At the high school level, voland don’t learn in a linear fash- unteers tutor students in small ion.” groups and one-on-one, mainly She’s always on the lookout in math and science, according for new volunteers at Eastside, to Judy Wong-Chen, the student “someone who is deeply inter- services coordinator. She is planested in learning and is highly ning to add a writing center this literate.” fall. “Because of volunteers we have Outdoors extra mentorship opportuniKimberly McMorrow of ties,” she says. “They know the Woodside is the ultimate volun- students and want to do more, teer. For eight years, the attorney offering internships and nethas been working with students working,” she says. in the Middle School Reading Eastside has an alumni coorProgram one morning a week. dinator who helps keep track of Additionally, this mother of those contacts and give graduates three leads classes of up to 68 support in writing resumes and students on field trips to Yosem- preparing for job interviews. ite, Tahoe, Point Reyes and Half Daisy Rodriguez and her Moon Bay. younger brother, Michael, grew up in East Palo Alto, went to Woodside School, and then attended Eastside. She plans to graduate from Stanford in the spring and expresses gratitude that Eastside put in her touch with a mentor, a Stanford alum who lives in Palo Alto. Says Ms. Rodriguez: “She’s making sure Join today: I’m taking advantage of all the EASTSIDE


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PV councilman-elect Jeff Aalfs says heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll uphold â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;nature trumps structureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ethic â&#x2013; Jeff Aalfs is one of two candidates for two seats. By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


hen it comes to the relationship between Portola Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landscape and its residences, the notion that buildings are to be subservient to the land is not merely a nice idea to Jeff Aalfs. The town has ordinances that bring this ethic to bear and they are the guideposts, he says. Mr. Aalfs, appointed by the Town Council to the Architectural & Site Control Commission (ASCC) in December 2008, is poised to join the council himself in December. He and incumbent Ann Wengert are the only candidates for two open seats. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a consistent balance â&#x20AC;&#x201D; some would say tension â&#x20AC;&#x201D; between the desires of some to develop and the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission as stated in the general plan: to keep the built environment subservient to its surroundings,â&#x20AC;? he said in a brief biography provided to the Almanac. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the ASCC, I have seen that balance maintained ... through extensive and sometimes difficult discussions, with the general plan and ordi-

nances as the guideline: rule of law, not rule of man.â&#x20AC;? On the ASCC, Mr. Aalfs has had qualifications suitable for overseeing that balance. He is self-employed as a residential energy consultant, helping homeowners and home designers comply with government energy codes and improve efficiency in new and existing homes. Is Portola Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greenhouse gas reduction plan worth pursuing, given the rapid expansion of Asia-

Mr. Aalfs is a scientist, with a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in molecular biology from the University of California at Los Angeles and a doctorate in genetics from Harvard University. He did post-doctoral work at the medical school at Tufts University and worked at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, now part of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Corp. He worked as an entrepreneur in Palo Alto before getting involved in green building, he said. A husband and a father, with two children, he swims reguand plays â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a consistent larly softball in an adult league. balance â&#x20AC;&#x201D; some would â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a council say tension â&#x20AC;&#x201D; between the member, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t desires of some to develop and have much an agenda, the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission as stated in of other than to the general plan: to keep the continue what I built environment subservient feel are the traditions of Porto its surroundings.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; tola Valley,â&#x20AC;? he said in the bio. JEFF AALFS â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am looking forward to the opportunity to based coal-fired power plants work even more closely with and resulting emissions that the other members of Town essentially nullify reductions Council to address the ongomade in a small residential ing challenges that come to California community? the town.â&#x20AC;? A lot of energy is wasted Asked about the illicit topin inefficient buildings, Mr. ping of 25 oaks in the 500 Aalfs replied. As for the skep- block of Portola Road in a secticism over Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impact, tion of field owned by the â&#x20AC;&#x153;I disagree with that,â&#x20AC;? he Midpeninsula Regional Open said in a telephone interview. Space District, Mr. Aalfs notâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Innovations are going to ed that it is wrong for private come from places like Portola citizens to be taking matters Valley. This is part of what I into their own hands like that consider the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadership without permission. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It seems role. Over the long haul, these obvious and yet itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happened things make a difference.â&#x20AC;? more than once,â&#x20AC;? he added.

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Tara Rolle named principal of St. Raymond School Tara Rolle, formerly the assistant principal and director of admissions at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, is the new principal of St. Raymond, the K-8 Catholic school in Menlo Park. She took the post Aug. 1, succeeding Sister Ann Bernard, who was principal at St. Raymond for 16 years. Born and raised in Atherton, Ms. Rolle received a doctorate in educational leadership, administration and policy from Pepperdine University in June 2011, a

masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in educational leadership from Santa Clara University, and a bachelor of arts degree in theater education from Tara Rolle UCLA. Among her challenges this year is to further integrate technology into classrooms and increase professional development of teachers, the school said in announcing her appointment.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Catholic education is fundamentally important because it aims to educate the whole student â&#x20AC;&#x201D; heart and mind,â&#x20AC;? Ms. Rolle said in the announcement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In a world where our children are being inundated with messages that may or may not align with our values, creating a community where we call ourselves back to compassion, kindness and service is imperative.â&#x20AC;? St. Raymond School, which has 245 students enrolled, is located at 1211 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park. September 7, 2011 N The Almanac N7


It’s wine time at Lutticken’s After 5 After 5 p.m., the longtime deli is transformed into a wine bar, and small plates are served By Jane Knoerle Almanac Lifestyles Editor


utticken’s Deli, a fixture in West Menlo Park for 30 years, has had an “extreme makeover.” The once-worn interior has been transformed with “okra” green walls with white crown molding and woodwork, handsome lighting, and comfortable seating areas. Wicker chairs are clustered before a cool “gel” fireplace, and black leather chairs and a couch are gathered around a wooden coffee table made by interior designer Michael Black. “I wanted to create a rustic, yet contemporary look,” says Mr. Black, noting two tables made from tree stumps. He has had experience in the restaurant business and as an interior designer in Los Angeles. “Everybody that comes in is just amazed,” says deli owner Bob Lutticken. The smart interior is appropriate for the deli’s new venture. After 5 p.m. it morphs into a wine bar. Looking for a niche where his store could fit into the expanding business along the Alameda, Mr. Lutticken brought up the wine bar concept to Mr. Black, a regular customer who designed the deli’s Web page. “Michael thought it was a great idea,” he says. Deli manager Judy Congdon, who has worked with Bob for 30 years, took over choosing the wines. “I’m no expert, but I know what I like,” she says. Working with a wine rep, she selected a large number of wines that sell by the glass from $6 to $12. There are also a number of beers. Domestic

Almanac photos by Michelle Le

Owner Bob Lutticken is shown behind the counter at his new wine bar.

sells for $3; micro for $4. Chimay Red from Belgium is $8. After 5, small plates are served, ranging from typical bar snacks such as nachos and chicken wings, to a cheese plate with baguette ($7). There are three kinds of panini ($8), sliders ($8), and four kinds of salads, including Caesar ($5); and a not-so-small plate of ribs with coleslaw ($9). There is also a kids’ menu. In the early evening, the wine

bar’s customers tend to be young families. The parents have a glass of wine, while the kids have a root beer or a snack. The families usually sit outside in an enclosed outdoor patio area with umbrella tables. Dogs are also welcome. Later the 20-to-30 crowd arrives, meeting for drinks and to watch TV on the large flat wall screen, which is always tuned to a sports event. “We see a lot of Stanford and Menlo College students,” says Mr.

Kaygetsu restaurant prepares to say goodbye ■ Two new restaurants opening in Menlo Park.

retire yet,” Ms. Sakuma said.

By Sandy Brundage


Almanac Staff Writer


aygetsu, a seven-year-old Japanese restaurant in Menlo Park that made Zagat’s top 10 list and has consistently made the San Francisco Chronicle’s list of best Bay Area restaurants, will shut its doors next month, according to the owners. “We feel like we’ve been running non-stop and we need to stop now,” said co-owner Keiko Sakuma. “We have been very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people through Kaygetsu. It is truly a bittersweet moment for us as we’re saying goodbye to our

customers.” The building at 325 Sharon Park Drive in Sharon Heights won’t stand vacant, however. Tomonari and Keiko Mitsunobu plan to open Restaurant Mitsunobu at the same spot as soon as the liquor license transfers, probably by the second week of October, according to Ms. Sakuma, who said the seasonal menu will feature “Japanese food with a California twist.” Current executive chef Shinichi Aoki will stay on. Neither will the Sakumas stand idle. “We’re retiring from the restaurant business, but we will still be working — we can’t afford to completely

8 N The Almanac NSeptember 7, 2011

As Kaygetsu prepares to close, yet another restaurant is getting ready to open. The owners of Left Bank plan to open a steakhouse at the corner of University Drive and Santa Cruz Avenue, in the space that until recently housed Marche restaurant. The date for the grand opening “completely depends” on Menlo Park’s permit process, according to spokesman Tom Walton. Why Menlo Park? He said that after the city was selected for Left Bank in 1998, the owners came to enjoy the community, particularly events such as the Connoisseurs’ Marketplace.

Lutticken, “and we’re starting to see folks come in for meetings. Customers seem to appreciate having a place for conversation and the fact they don’t have to stand in line to order their food and drinks. “Bob was adamant on having table service,” says Mr. Black. The wine bar isn’t the only innovation at Lutticken’s. It now opens at 7 a.m., serving breakfast until mid-morning. “Prices are stuck in 1962,” says Mr. Lutticken. Bacon and eggs will set you back $2.75. The deli also has a coffee bar where you can order your favorite specialty coffee, latte or cappuccino. It isn’t unusual to see four construction workers eating lunch around the fireplace while ladies from Atherton occupy another nearby table, says Mr. Black. The deli’s transformation, begun

in May, is now completed. The building’s owner, Gary Souza, has also renovated the exterior with new stucco and paint. For many years, Gary’s parents, George and Jean Souza, had a neighborhood tavern where Lutticken’s now stands. The Alameda-Avy Avenue area, once known as University Heights, continues to attract new businesses that cater to the area’s affluent young families. Bob Lutticken hopes his wine bar fits into that trend, and he gives Michael Black credit for its transformation. “This is Michael’s baby,” he says. Lutticken’s After 5 is open Monday through Saturday, 5-10 p.m., at 3535 Alameda de las Pulgas. 854-0291. (The deli opens at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast and coffee, and stays open during the day.) A

Comfortable seating in the lounge area is inviting to customers at Lutticken’s wine bar.



Restaurant - Shops - Gardens Events and Meeting Facilities Allied Arts Guild Annual Gala â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Tally Ho Menlo Circus Club, Saturday September 10th Mountain lions are solitary animals that sleep away a good part of the day in and under trees, then move around between dusk and dawn, says researcher Yiwei Wang.

Tips on coexisting with mountain lions Mountain lion researcher speaks in Woodside

In general, mountain lions are solitary animals that sleep away By Kate Daly study that currently focuses on a good part of the day in and Special to the Almanac an area that extends from the under trees, then move around researcher who has spent border of San Mateo and Santa between dusk and dawn. As the last three years study- Clara counties, down to Aptos carnivores, Ms. Wang said, they ing mountain lions in and Soquel to the south, and to will eat almost any animal, such the Santa Cruz Mountains says U.S. 101, Morgan Hill and Gil- as a pig, coyote, skunk or rat, that due to development, people roy to the east. She estimates 75 but they prefer to dine on deer. pose a bigger threat to the ani- to 100 mountain lions are living A mountain lion eats an average mals than the animals pose to in the study area. of one deer per week. people. As of August, researchers have Females tend to weigh between Yiwei Wang, a doctoral stu- captured 26, tranquilized them, 80 and 90 pounds, whereas dent in environmental studies and outfitted them with track- adult males are heavier, usually at U.C. Santa Cruz, spoke to ing devices to study their behav- between 120 and 140 pounds. about 50 people at Females need about 25 Woodsideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Indepento 30 square miles for dence Hall on Aug. territory. Males Yiwei Wang, who spoke their 25. She was invited to cover 100 to 200 square in Woodside, is working miles and fight other talk after numerous reports of mountain males over turf. on a field study of lion sightings in the Ms. Wang mountain lion behavior described the study area. Only six human area as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a patchwork in this area. fatalities involving of developed areas and mountain lions have open spaces.â&#x20AC;? One outPhoto by Kate Daly been recorded in growth of her work is California since 1890, she said, ior and patterns. The collars figuring out potential corridors and two were from contract- have GPS and accelerometers for mountain lions to travel in, ing rabies. Yet, mountain lions that provide continuous feed- so they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t so fragmented and still scare people because of the back. Additionally, 50 camera can still find mates and hunt association with the days when traps have been set up to take for food. She said discussions grizzlies and wolves roamed the pictures of wildlife in action. are under way with Caltrans state, and hunters were paid $20 The goal is to find out how to pinpoint where culverts or for each mountain lion pelt. mountain lions are using the overpasses would be beneficial Ms. Wang told how mountain land developed by people, the so wildlife can get under or over lions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; also called pumas, cou- effect of humans on males ver- Highway 17. gars and panthers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; were hunt- sus females, and how mountain The California Department of ed on the East Coast to the point lions and other predators inter- Fish and Game claims 85 to 90 of extinction. In California, they act, she said. percent of reported mountain became a â&#x20AC;&#x153;specially protected A few weeks ago one of the lion sightings are false. In many mammalâ&#x20AC;? in the 1970s. Still study animals was run over on cases, other animals, such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;several hundred are killed a Highway 17. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Several have been coyotes, bobcats or dogs, are year for depredation,â&#x20AC;? she said. shot or poached, a couple hit mistakenly identified as mounFor example, some are shot if by cars, a few died of natural tain lions. they go after livestock. causes; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re probably down to Mountain lions â&#x20AC;&#x153;can see us, Ms. Wang is working on the 10 with functioning collars,â&#x20AC;? See LIONS, page 12 Bay Area Puma Project, a field Ms. Wang said.


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Ormondale School launches all-boy third-grade classes

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dent body is currently 65 percent male, Ms. Warren said. whereas â&#x20AC;&#x153;Little House on the PraiSuperintendent Hanretty notrieâ&#x20AC;? by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which ed that the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth- and has a female protagonist, has been fifth-grade classes reflect the a staple for classroom reading, a boy-heavy trend. First- and secswitch to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Farmer Boyâ&#x20AC;? has been ond-grade classes are even more made for third-grade boys. That heavily male, he added, though book, written by the same author, not as much so as the recordhas a male protagonist. breaking third-grade class. Ms. Warren stressed that the But whether this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kinchanges for dergarten t h i rd-g rade class, which students are Mr. Hanretty â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Parents had the option. designed said is â&#x20AC;&#x153;fairly to serve the â&#x20AC;&#x153;We would not have moved b a l a n c e d â&#x20AC;? needs of both forward without (parental) between boys boys and and girls, consent.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; girls. And, she indicates a added, much ORMONDALE PRINCIPAL JENNIFER WARREN reversal of the time, energy trend wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be and thinking is being devoted to known for some time to come. the first-time project to monitor its progress and results. The Other all-boy classes? Although there are a numschoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s counselor is involved on an ongoing basis, and is available ber of private schools that as a resource for the teachers, she offer single-gender classes, the state Department of Education said. In addition, a research assistant doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t track public schools that has been brought in to collect have such classes, according to data in all five third-grade classes Stephanie Papas, a department so that when the district consid- consultant. Ms. Papas said public schools ers whether to continue the class groupings in fourth and fifth are allowed to teach single-gengrades, there will be solid infor- der classes, with a U.S. Supreme mation â&#x20AC;&#x153;to make a thoughtful Court ruling in the 1990s suprecommendation to the board,â&#x20AC;? porting that option. She noted that within the last 10 years, the Ms. Warren said. Although this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third- federal education department grade class is the most â&#x20AC;&#x153;boy also backed that option, though heavyâ&#x20AC;? in the district, it merely it emphasized that placement in reflects the high end of an aston- a single-gender class must be ishing trend. Ormondaleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stu- voluntary. continued from page 5

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 $ $ %& '()! *+, $  10 N The Almanac NSeptember 7, 2011

League of Women Voters meets The League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County will hold its fall kickoff meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, with Mark Church, chief elections officer in San Mateo

County. A continental breakfast will be served. The meeting is open to all. For information, contact Ellen Hope at (550) 839-8647 or



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Friday, September 9, 2O11

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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 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

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 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

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 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

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.)


MORE INFORMATION Call (650) 463-4920, (650) 326-8210, email or go to 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.

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 Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302 • ONE ENTRY FORM PER PERSON bringto:printed form to Race Night Run, Registration ON RACE DAY





(12 & under - include t-shirt size and $15)


(If you are under 18, please read the instructions above)














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


5K WALK 7:00 P.M.


10K RUN 8:15 P.M.

5K RUN 8:45 P.M.


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





September 7, 2011 N The Almanac N11


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continued from page 9

but don’t want to be seen,” Ms. Wang said, pointing out that most encounters last less than two seconds. If you do see a mountain lion, she suggests: maintain eye contact but don’t approach it, run, or turn around. Instead look big, pick up children, make noise, throw rocks and sticks, and fight back if attacked. Her advice on coexisting with mountain lions is to be smart. Don’t run, hike or bike alone between dusk and dawn. Don’t leave small pets or children outside unattended, particularly at night. Don’t attract prey by leaving food out. Do deer-proof yards and protect livestock by putting them in secure enclosures.

Mountain lions can jump over 10-foot fences and leap up to 30 feet horizontally. Some nervous neighbors asked about keeping their horses safe. Ms. Wang said mountain lions don’t usually go after them because horses can defend themselves. Goats, on the other hand are a favorite treat, and should be put in sheds overnight. A couple of audience members asked if it’s safe to walk on trails with dogs, and she responded, “if they act aggressive they’ve been known to tree” mountain lions. Woodside Mayor Ron Romines mentioned that county residents may sign up to receive mountain lion warnings by going to A

Go to for more on Ms. Wang’s work.


Two plead not guilty in iPhone leak case â&#x2013; DA says deal was done in Menlo Park. By Patricia Decker Bay City News Service


wo men suspected of selling an iPhone 4 prototype that was lost last year in a Redwood City bar pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges in San Mateo County Superior Court on Sept. 1. Prosecutors from the county district attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office have said that the deal was consummated at the Starbucks coffee shop at 3590 Alameda de las Pulgas in unincorporated Menlo Park. Brian John Hogan, 22, and Sage Robert Wallower, 28, are suspected of selling the leaked phone to a techonology blog, Gawker Mediaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gizmodo, after it was found at the Gour-

met Haus Staudt restaurant on March 18, 2010. The men were each charged with one count of misappropriation of lost property after they allegedly arranged to sell the device for $5,000 to the blog, which then disassembled it and posted details about the prototype on its website. The man who bought the phone, Jason Chen, was an editor at Gizmodo at the time. To charge him with a crime, pros-

ecutors would have had to prove a) that he is not a journalist as defined by the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;shieldâ&#x20AC;? law, which protects a journalist from revealing sources for stories; and b) that he was knowingly in receipt of stolen property, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the Almanac. Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said the two men did not appear in court Sept. 1 but that Mr. Hoganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attorney, Jeffrey Bornstein, and

Mr. Wallowerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attorney, Elizabeth Grossman, entered notguilty pleas on their clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; behalf. A pretrial conference was scheduled for Oct. 11 and a trial date was set for Nov. 28, Ms. Guidotti said. No charges were filed against Gizmodo employees. News reports surfaced Sept. 1 that an iPhone 5 prototype was recently lost by an Apple employee at a San Francisco bar. According to a CNET report, the phone was lost in late July at Cava 22, a restaurant and

bar in San Franciscoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mission District. The article goes on to say that San Francisco police and Apple employees visited a home in Bernal Heights where the phone had apparently been traced. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said the company is declining to comment on the matter. San Francisco police spokesman Albie Esparza said he has not been able to find a record of a police report filed by the company for its loss. He said Sept. 1 that police were awaiting a response from Apple. A



Almanac writer writes mystery Marie Wagner Krenz, who has written occasional â&#x20AC;&#x153;Woodside Memoriesâ&#x20AC;? features for the Almanac over many years, has published a mystery novel, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fear at Phantom Ship Lake.â&#x20AC;? Set in Lassen National Park in northeast- Marie Krenz ern California, the novel tells the story of Carolyn Walkerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frightening experience at a small writersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; conference, where an attendee is found dead in Phantom Ship Lake. Then the murderer strikes again. Ms. Krenz says her love for the natural beauty of Woodside is reflected in her appreciation for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;spectacular glory of Lassen Park, which inspired the writing of this book.â&#x20AC;? Since 1918, members of the Krenz and Wagner families have spent summers and weekends at their Woodside home. Born in San Francisco, she attended Stanford University, and as a graduate, taught Spanish to veterans returning from World War II. After teaching high school for a few years, she married and later discovered the pleasures of freelance writing. Since then she has contributed numerous columns to San Francisco and Bay Area newspapers, including the Almanac. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fear at Phantom Ship Lakeâ&#x20AC;? is available at Keplerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Menlo Park, Orinda Books in Orinda, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or XLibris.



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September 7, 2011 N The Almanac N13



Finvola (Finny) Arney Finny Arney, a former resident of Menlo Park, died Aug. 21 in Tucson, Arizona. She was 86. Born in Ellensburg, Washington, she and her family moved to California when she was young, and she remained there until moving to Tucson in 2001. After retiring in 1987, she served as a volunteer for the Peninsula Volunteers, the Menlo Park Police Depart-

ment, the Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office, the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary, and the Cancer Discovery Shop. She enjoyed spending time with her friends and family, playing golf, traveling, reading, and completing crossword puzzles, the family said. Survivors include her four daughters, Sheryn Klein, Kathlene Finvola Petretti, Missy Marsh, and Robin Eber; and seven grandchildren. She asked that no services be held.

New guided tours at history museum The San Mateo County History Museum has begun offering docent-guided tours to the public. The 60-minute tour begins at 10:30 am on the first Saturday of each month. Tours are free to members of the San Mateo County Historical Association and to those who pay the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general admission of $3 to $5. The museum is at 2200 Broadway in Redwood City. Visit or call 299-0104 for more information


on the museum.

Carl Payne graduates from Navy school Navy Seaman Apprentice Carl R. Payne, son of Elshebia N. Payne and a resident of Menlo Park, recently graduated from Operations Specialist School with honors. In Great Lakes, Illinois, he took a course at the Center for

Surface Combat System Unit, where he learned to operate surveillance and search radars, recognize and identify electronic signals, control aircraft approach devices, and operate electronic navigation systems, the Navy said. These studies are designed to train operations specialists for duty in a shipboard combat information center or at a shorebased fleet training center. Seaman Payne, who graduated in 2010 from Menlo-Atherton High School, joined the Navy in December 2010.



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Clinic teaches youth more than water polo Members of Boys & Clubs participated Submitted by Wade Avery, Menlo School varsity water polo player


he South Peninsula Water Polo Club (SoPen), made up of high school water polo players from Menlo School and other local high schools, hosted its 7th annual water polo clinic this past summer with members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula at the Menlo School pool. Instead of a focus on creating Division 1 athletes, this clinic is about teaching elementary and middle-school boys and girls about nutrition, motivation, and being their best. It is also a chance for the high school athletes to become teachers and mentors for a few days. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the best aspects of the clinic is that everybody gets to experience something new,â&#x20AC;? said Menlo senior Nick Goldman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We become coaches and leaders and the kids get to try out being water polo players.â&#x20AC;? Most kids come to the clinic with little to no water polo experience. But, with the help of their coaches, the children are able to improve their swimming, learn how to pass and shoot the ball, and even run an offense. That is why the kids are shown how to eat healthful foods, stay active, and stay motivated through whatever challenges they endure. The SoPen philosophy of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Be Your Bestâ&#x20AC;? is applicable to many aspects of life and the coaches teach the kids how they can â&#x20AC;&#x153;be their bestâ&#x20AC;?

no matter what they are doing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All of the SoPen players really take the idea of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;being your bestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; very seriously, so we felt like that was very important that we pass that philosophy on to the children we were training,â&#x20AC;? said Menlo senior Brad Haaland. When the kids are in the water, they are learning how to throw the ball, play defense, and tread water. When they are out of the pool, they are chatting with their coaches about their favorite book, a time they have tried and failed, and how to face challenges. At the end of the clinic, the campers were given a SoPen T-shirt and a certificate for their participation. A

Photo by Marcus Jackson

Kids from the Menlo Park club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Peninsula play at the Menlo School pool during the clinic.

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In the Back to School report in the Aug. 31 issue of the Almanac, we incorrectly identified Encinal as a grade K-3 school. Encinal is a K-5 school.

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Menlo City Council evaluates downtown plan DOWNTOWN continued from page 5

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requirements for the vacant car lots it owns along southeast El Camino Real, while the council said the university needs to commit to developing the parcels, particularly with a hotel that could help financially support the specific planâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implementation. Others, including Richard Draeger of Draegerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supermarkets, voiced concerns about replacing portions of parking plazas with mixed-use retail developments. Overall, the councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preliminary recommendations followed the tone set by the planning commissioners during a series of reviews held during the summer.

Among the highlights: â&#x2013; Curb extensions, which allow sidewalk segments to spread into the street, providing a haven for pedestrians but an obstacle for bike and bus lanes, should be removed from the plan. â&#x2013;  Increase safety by installing quad gates at the Ravenswood and Oak Grove Avenue railroad crossing that would prevent drivers from attempting to cross despite the warning signal. â&#x2013;  Increase the upper-floor setback on Alma Avenue to 15 feet. Go to to review all documents associated with the specific plan, including recommendations. The council also supported the Planning Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request that the Finance Audit Committee prepare an executive

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GRANNY continued from page 5

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. Guided by Assistant County Manager David Holland, San Mateo County stepped in to offer insurance and liability coverage if the residents could agree to the public access requirement. But during a meeting with the county on Aug. 15, a majority of the residents indicated they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to fulfill that condition. However, the coalition somehow found a way to make public access palatable. According to spokesman Ron van Thiel, they expect a positive response from the SFPUC to the latest proposal. Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: Due to the Labor Day holiday, this issue of the Almanac went to press on Friday, Sept. 2. Later news updates will be posted online.

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summary of the FIA. According to Assistant City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson, the committee will meet on Sept. 12 to compile the report. Mr. Bernstein said the committee â&#x20AC;&#x153;should not waste its time on the present document.â&#x20AC;? Upcoming meetings of the council will focus on different areas of the draft plan: Downtown Menlo Park and the remainder of El Camino Real on Sept. 13, and the FIA along with public benefit during a last review on Sept. 20. Final versions of both the specific plan and environmental impact report may start circulating by winter.

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16 N The Almanac NSeptember 7, 2011


from the home front

It takes a village to empty a nest


or the first time in 25 years my husband and I have no children in our house, and it would not have happened without the help of our friends, relatives and neighbors. My daughters have always loved to tease their brother, our middle child, probably because heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never been overly ambitious. At one point Rileyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stated goal in life was to be a character at Disneyland, part-time, while sharing BARBARA an apartment WOOD with five or six friends. At the end of eighth grade, when assigned to write an essay that might be read on stage at graduation, Riley tried to write something that would never be chosen. His essay, comparing life to a bucket of friend chicken, was too hilarious to not win, though. Riley was handed a bucket of fried chicken by the superintendent after he read it. For a few years in high school Riley wanted to go to Chico State, since heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d heard it was a party school. When admitted to Chico, however, he decided on San Francisco State instead, since his best friend since nursery school would be there. Riley found a major he thought was easy, technical and professional writing, and graduated in four-and-a-half years. He moved back home the last semester. Riley didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get his driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s license until he was 22, when he needed to commute to a summer internship. Six months after graduation, Riley found a paid internship as a technical writer, through the friend of a friend of his parents. Since there was no guarantee the job would last, Riley continued living at home for nearly a year until hired as a regular employee. He said he wanted his own place so he could have a faster Internet connection and a big screen television. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when the village really came in handy. I asked a good friend, a real estate agent, if Riley could afford to buy a condo near his job in Sunnyvale by living at home another year. She asked how much of a loan he could qualify for; so my nephew, a loan broker in Oregon, began investigating. It turned out, thanks to the real estate collapse, Riley could actually buy a condo for about

what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d pay for rent, with the money heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d already saved the last year as the down payment. The deal-breaker seemed to be, however, that since Riley had no credit history, a government-insured loan was all he qualified for and few condo complexes near his work qualified for those loans. But my nephew knew townhouses qualify on their own and Riley soon found a foreclosed onebedroom townhouse only 10 minutes from his work to buy. As the close of escrow neared I posted Rileyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s need for furniture on a local website. The response was overwhelming and within two weeks, Riley had been given a sectional sofa, floor lamps, TV stands, a dining set, ottoman, chairs, everything needed to furnish his kitchen, outdoor furniture and a propane grill, and even floor lamps. One trip to IKEA and one to Target completed his furnishings without overdrawing his bank account, with enough left over to buy a flat screen television. So thank you everyone for helping Riley find a job, find a loan, find a condo and furnish it, and move him in. We are a little lonely around here, but I know I have a nice place to visit in Santa Clara any time I want. A

Barbara Wood is a freelance writer, photographer and gardener from Woodside. Her column runs the third week of the month.


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Help choose city manager By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

HOOVER STREET CROSSWALK PROJECT NO. 56011 Notice is hereby given that SEALED BIDS will be received at the office of the City Clerk, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton, California 94027, until 3:00 p.m. SEPTEMBER 21, 2011, at which time they will be publicly opened and read, for performing the following work: LAYOUT OF WORK, SHOULDER WIDENING, UPGRADE CONCRETE CURB RAMP, INSTALLATION OF SIGNING AND STRIPING, AND INSTALLATION OF IN-PAVEMENT LIGHTED CROSSWALK ON VALPARAISO AVENUE AT HOOVER STREET. The UDBE Contract Goal is 1.0% (percent) The Engineer’s Estimate for the project is: $30,800 Per Section 6.01 of the Town of Atherton’s Standard Specifications, the General Contractor shall perform, with his own organization, work of a value amounting to not less than 50% of the total contract, excluding specialty items as indicated on the bid schedule. Bids must be for the entire work, and shall be submitted in sealed envelopes clearly marked: “Bid of (Contractor) for HOOVER STREET CROSSWALK, Project No. 56011”, along with date and time of bid opening. Plans and specifications may be obtained at the Town of Atherton’s website at under Bid Solicitation at no cost. Additional important information is contained in Town of Atherton Standard Specifications, which are available on line at . Contractor shall be responsible for any addendums that may be posted on the Town’s website. No Planholders list shall be available. Bids must be accompanied by a bid security in the form of cash, a cashier’s or certified check or bid bond for not less than ten percent (10%) of the amount of the bid, as a guarantee that the bidder, if awarded the Contract, will fulfill the terms of the bid. The Town of Atherton, The City, reserves the right to reject any or all bids; to make any awards or any rejections in what it alone considers to be in the best interest of the City, and waive any informalities or irregularities in the bids. The contract will be awarded, if at all, to the responsible bidder that submits the lowest responsive bid. [NOTE: If there are alternates in the bid, the City will need to state how the low bid will be determined, as required by PCC 20103.8.] Bidders are hereby notified that, pursuant to California Civil Code Sections 3247 and 3248 and Standard Specifications Section 3.02, the successful bidder will be required to provide payment and performance bonds in the amounts of 100% of the contract price. Bidders are hereby notified that provisions of California Labor Code regarding prevailing wages and apprentices are applicable to the work to be performed under this contract. Pursuant to Section 1773 et seq. the general prevailing wage rates have been determined by the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations and appear in the California Prevailing Wage Rates. Copies are on file at the office of the City Engineer and are available to interested parties upon request. The successful bidder shall post a copy of the wage rates at the job site. The Contractor may elect to receive 100 percent of payments due under the contract, without retention of any portion of the payment by the Town of Atherton, by depositing securities of equivalent value to the retention amount in accordance with the provisions of Section 22300 of the California Public Contract Code. All bidders shall be licensed under the provisions of the Business and Professions Code to do the type of work contemplated in the project. The City has determined that the Contractor shall possess a valid Class A license at the time the bid is submitted. Failure to possess the specified license shall render the bid non-responsive. Each bidder shall submit with this bid a statement setting forth his/her/its experience and qualifications. The statement shall be made on the forms provided by the Town and must accompany each bid. The three lowest bidders will be required to submit subcontractor’s experience and qualifications statements within 48 hours of the bid opening, on forms provided by the Town. By submitting a bid in response to this advertisement for bids, the bidder shall be conclusively deemed to have read, understood and agreed with all of the information and materials contained in the bid documents, including but not limited to the construction contract, the standard specifications, the special provisions, the required nature and amount of insurance and the documentation evidencing said insurance. Any questions regarding the project should be directed to David Huynh, Project Engineer, telephone: (650) 7520555 or by written Requests for Information (RFI) to: Public Works Department, 91 Ashfield Road, Atherton, CA 94027, no later than ten (10) business days before bid opening. RFIs may be emailed to dhuynh@ci.atherton. or faxed to (650) 688-6539. Responses shall be posted on the Town’s website no later than five (5) days prior to bid opening. By: Michael Kashiwagi, P.E., City Engineer Date: 18 N The Almanac NSeptember 7, 2011


ell Menlo Park what you want in a city manager — the city has posted an online survey to ask residents what skills, experience, and attributes the successful applicant should have. Interim City Manager Glen Rojas retired on July 15, but remains on as a contractor through December or until the city hires a replacement. Go to to take the survey, which will stay online until Sept. 20. Residents can also comment during the City Council Tuesday night meetings on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, or write recruitment firm Avery Associates at MPCM@ Of course, the ability to tell the council what you think about the new city manager — or the old one — will continue to be available during public comment on Tuesday nights.

No council meeting There’s nothing like following up a holiday with a day off. The Menlo Park City Council has cancelled its meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 6. The council will next convene on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. Starting an hour earlier than usual to allow public input on the hiring of a new city manager, the meeting is also expected to include discussion of portions of the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan.

Commission openings Two seats are opening on each of three commissions in Menlo Park. If you’ve ever dreamed of sitting on the Environmental Quality, Housing, or Transportation commissions, here is your chance. The


deadline to apply is Sept. 20. Go to for more information and applications. The terms run from appointment through April 30, 2015. Contact msroberts@menlopark. org or call 330-6625 to throw your hat in the ring.

Emergency wells As part of its plan to install two to three emergency water wells in Menlo Park, the city is holding a community meeting on Thursday, Sept. 8, to seek public input on possible locations. Go to to review the potential well sites. The wells would provide a backup water supply in the event of earthquake or other disaster. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Menlo Park Senior Center at 100 Terminal Ave.

Reclaim closing Reclaim, a Menlo Park home furnishings and design store with an eco-friendly emphasis, will close once its remaining inventory is sold, probably by October, owner Bridget Biscotti Bradley said. “We loved working with our community and educating people about sustainable and healthy products for the home, and we appreciated the support of the community,” she said. “We’re sad to be closing but we enjoyed the experience and we have no regrets!” After nearly four years of running Reclaim on Santa Cruz Avenue, Ms. Bradley said she will keep writing and editing home improvement and design books for Sunset Publishing, but has no plans to open another store. A

Caltrain shifts to new rail operator Over the next five months, Caltrain operations will transition from Amtrak to TransitAmerica Services Inc., following the unanimous approval Sept. 1 by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board to contract with the St. Joseph, Missouri, firm. The approval comes after a 15-month bidding process that led to the comparison of five rail operators, Caltrain officials said. The first full year (FY 2013) of the five-year contract is for $59.5 million, within the projected Caltrain operating and capital budgets, according to a

Caltrain statement. Subsequent contract amounts are subject to annual negotiations. It’s likely that the familiar faces of those running the trains will remain the same; federal regulations provide job protections for current employees. The major components of Caltrain’s contract include the daily staffing and operations of trains, as well as inspection and maintenance of tracks and other facilities. Amtrak has operated Caltrain for more than 20 years. — Embarcadero Media


Eshoo reflects on loss of Belle Haven in redistricting By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


change her strategy or tactics? It may be hard to believe, she said, but she would not. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t approach it that way. I never have.â&#x20AC;? Nor will her districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new outlines change anything; her constituents, new and current, share the same concerns for the environment, education, justice and tolerance, she said.

or a few weeks during the summer of 2011, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission had redrawn a congressional district border such that the house of Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, was about 200 yards outside the district in which she will be running for re-election Debt ceiling and politics in 2012. After President Barack Obama The commission later expanded the map with the result that her reached a highly contentious house was back in what is now down-to-the-wire deal with conknown as the 18th District, but gressional Republicans to avoid it would not have mattered, she defaulting on the $14.6 trillion said in a telephone interview from the United States owes its crediher house. The U.S. Constitution tors, several public opinion polls requires that a district representa- put approval of Congress near 20 tive reside in the state but not in percent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think it was just sheer hell,â&#x20AC;? the district itself. Ms. Eshoo But while said when Ms. Eshooâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s asked to house was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sad comment. back in, those situation. When â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think that of some of her longtime the country needs it said terrible things to constituents consensus the the Ameriwere not. Menlo Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most, the House can people, (ConBelle Haven of Representatives that gress) is not neig hboris deeply divided.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; a competent hood and orga n i z aEast Palo REP. ANNA ESHOO, D-MENLO PARK tion.â&#x20AC;? Alto will Raising the debt ceiling is a high henceforth be represented by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, responsibility but Republicans assuming she wins election to the mischaracterized it as giving the president a blank check, she said. new 14th District in 2012. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My concerns donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop at the The fight damaged the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s county line,â&#x20AC;? Ms. Eshoo said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It reputation abroad, caused great was disappointing to me that the anxiety at home and left concommission didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t reflect some of stituents angry then disgusted, the voices of the community and she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sad situation,â&#x20AC;? she added. keep (Menlo Park) intact. There is deep disappointment in the com- â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the country needs consensus the most, the House of Repremunity.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will work just as hard on sentatives is deeply divided. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not behalf of these communities, as if (the impact) is contained in whether they are in my district or the chamber. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for the country. not. My roots are in San Mateo This is not a sport. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deeply frusCounty,â&#x20AC;? she said, referring to her trating to me. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not proud of it.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I try to be the voice of sanity years in the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Democratic party and as a county supervisor. in the midst of all that,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jackie Speier and I have worked â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can do so much better for this together for almost 30 years,â&#x20AC;? country. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the United States of she added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These communities America. We can do anything.â&#x20AC;? Texas Gov. Rick Perry has vaultare likely to get more, not less, attention. ... They will have two ed to the front of the pack of members and they will not be contenders for the 2012 Republishortchanged, either by me or can presidential nomination. Will President Obama and his party be Jackie.â&#x20AC;? ready for a folksy, tell-it-like-it-is, A primary opponent? Southern, Western, cowboy-bootAsked if she expected to have an wearing, politically agile Repubopponent for the June 2012 pri- lican governor with whom voters mary election, Ms. Eshoo said the may feel that they could sit down competition â&#x20AC;&#x153;remains to be seenâ&#x20AC;? and have a beer? and that she never takes elections â&#x20AC;&#x153;They better be,â&#x20AC;? Ms. Eshoo or her constituents for granted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;(Rick Perry) has been a sucstart from scratch every time I go cessful politician since the 1980s. out there,â&#x20AC;? she said. No one should underestimate him, And if she is opposed, will she including Barack Obama.â&#x20AC;?

Community Meeting EMERGENCY WATER SUPPLY PROJECT The City plans to construct approximately 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3 emergency water wells that will provide firefighting and drinking water supply reliability to the Menlo Park Municipal Water Districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eastern service area after an earthquake or other emergency. We need your feedback! Thursday, September 8, 2011 nPM Menlo Park Senior Center 4ERMINAL!VENUE

Comments or Questions? PHLOWE MENLOPARKORGs  

Reunion de la Comunidad PROYECTO PARA EL SUMINISTRO DE AGUA EN CASO DE EMERGENCIA La ciudad planea construir aproximadamente 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3 pozos que suministren agua CONFIABLE PARA TOMAR Y PARA LOS BOMBEROS EN EL $ISTRITO DE !GUA DEL -UNICIPIO de Menlo Park del ĂĄrea oriental despuĂŠs de un terremoto u otra emergencia. ÂĄNecesitamos sus comentarios! Jueves, 08 de septiembre 2011 nPM Menlo Park Senior Center 4ERMINAL!VENUE

ÂżComentarios o Preguntas? PHLOWE MENLOPARKORGs  


September 7, 2011 N The Almanac N19


C A L EN DAR Visit to see more calendar listings

On Stage ‘Sense and Sensibility’ Two charming sisters sail the unpredictable seas of courtship in this adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, “Sense and Sensibility.” Tue.-Wed.: 7:30 p.m.; Thu.-Fri.: 8 p.m.; Sat.: 2 p.m., 8 p.m.; Sun: 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Through Sept. 18, $19-$69. Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. ‘Shout! The Mod Musical’ flips through the 1960s, featuring the fashion and the music with soulful pop anthems and ballads by British stars such as Petula Clark, Lulu, and Dusty Springfield. Through Oct. 1, 8 p.m. $24-32. Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. Call 650-941-0551. www.

Talks/Authors ‘The Leftovers’ Tom Perrotta discusses and signs his new novel “The Leftovers.” Sept. 13, 7 p.m. Free to members. Admission requires purchase of event book or $10 gift card. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www. ‘The Woman Who Could Not Forget: Iris Chang Before and Beyond the

Rape of Nanking’ A memoir about the life of author and historian, Iris Chang, as told by her mother. Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m. Free to members. Admission requires purchase of event book or $10 gift card. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650324-4321. Josh Rolnick Josh Rolnick presents his new book, “Pulp and Paper,” Sept. 15, 7 p.m. Free to members. General admission requires purchase of event book or $10 gift card. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-3244321. Poetry with Jane Hirshfield Hirshfield presents her poetry Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Free to members. General admission requires purchase of event book or $10 gift card. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. William Carter William Carter presents a new book of photographs and autobiographical text. Sept. 14, 7 p.m. Free to members. Admission requires purchase of event book or $10 gift card. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-3244321.

Art Galleries ‘Peninsula Landmarks’ Peninsula Landmarks, a new exhibit featuring four murals by artist Lois White, will open with a reception as part of Redwood City’s Second Saturday Art Walk. The murals highlight buildings, parks and businesses of historic significance to San Mateo County. Sept. 10, 6-9 p.m. Free. San Mateo County History

Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. Call 650-299-0104. The New Contemporary Gallery European and American art in diverse media from recent decades is on display in the contemporary collection. Exhibits ongoing. Free. Cantor Arts Center, 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford.

Classes/Workshops ‘Celebrating the Peace Corp’s 50th’ The World Affairs Council - Peninsula will hold a fall kick-off event on Sun., Sept. 11, with a panel on “The Peace Corps at 50 - Making a Difference.” 3-5 p.m. Council members $10, nonmembers, $15, Students $5. Private home, 75 Tuscaloosa Ave., Atherton. Call 415-293-4600. ‘Giving Blood May Get You a Job’ Donate at any Stanford Blood Center Sept. 1-13 and be eligible to attend a networking workshop and job fair on Sept. 13. Meet with career experts, recruiters. 7:30 a.m.7:30 p.m. Free. Stanford Blood Center, 3373 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto. Call 650-725-2540. Project Read Menlo Park will train and prepare tutoars to provide one-on-one tutoring in adult literacy. Sept. 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park. Call 650-330-2525.

Kids & Families Doug Nolan of Rock Steady will present his show, “Eco-tainment,” an envi-

‘Orphaned Elephants’ Marsha Heimbecker’s oil painting “Showers” (12x24”, 2011) is part of her September exhibit, “Memories of Youth, Orphaned Elephants of Tsavo,” at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park. Her series is inspired by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a refuge for the protection and preservation of Africa’s wilderness, particularly for endangered species such as elephants. A reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at the gallery in Allied Arts Guild at 75 Arbor Road. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ronmental educational library program. Learn about protecting the environment with music, magic and juggling. Sept. 8, 4:305 p.m. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. Book Swap and Ice Cream Social The Friends of the Portola Valley Library will be hosting a book swap and icecream social. Bring a book to swap and get a treat. This event will be held outdoors, weather permitting. Sept. 14, 3-4:30 p.m. Portola Valley, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. Happy Birds Show Trained parrots will perform Sept. 12, 4-5 p.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-328-2422.

Pajama Story Time with Judy Schachner Kids are invited to wear pajamas and hear Judy Schachner read from her sixth book in the Skippyjon Jones series. Sept. 9, 6 p.m. Free. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321.

Et Alia ‘Commemorate 9/11’ Messiah Lutheran Church will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the congregation during a special service. Lunch follows in fellowship hall. Sept. 11, 10-11:30 a.m. Messiah Lutheran Church, 1835 Valota Road, Redwood City. Call 650-365-6565.

Atherton focuses on new library Community members can learn the latest information about Atherton’s plans for a new library at a meeting to be held Thursday, Sept. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Pavilion at HolbrookPalmer Park. The park is the favored location for the planned facility, which would replace the cramped existing library in the Town Center. The meeting will include “brief informational presentations of findings by a number of experts,” according to a press release from the Atherton Library Building Steering Committee, a volunteer committee studying options for building a new facility. There will be tables dedicated to different project topics, and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions at each station.

A library needs assessment analysis done two years ago is the basis for much of the drive to build a new library of about 11,000 square feet to replace the 4,790-square-foot existing facility. The new library would have greatly expanded materials collections and far more area devoted to computers. Most of the project’s financing would come from an existing fund dedicated exclusively to the library. Although there is considerable support for the idea of building the library in the town’s only park, it has been a tough pill for some to swallow. A number of residents question whether locating the library there will conflict with existing park uses, and whether the traffic generated will be too disruptive for the now generally tranquil setting.

Talk: Robots as benign workmates With robots vacuuming rugs at home, competing in feats of dexterity in high schools, and helping surgeons in heart and prostate operations, views of robots as demon machines are misplaced, says SRI International engineer and robotics scholar Rich Mahoney. Mr. Mahoney will give a talk on the state of robotics at the September Cafe Scientifique set for Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. at SRI International headquarters at 20 N The Almanac NSeptember 7, 2011

Middlefield Road and Ringwood Avenue in Menlo Park. Mr. Mahoney’s talk, “Robots and the Democratization of Quality,” will sketch SRI’s activities in developing tele-manipulation robotics as well as a view of how robots are likely to evolve and “enable broad access to high quality in everyday services,” according to a Cafe statement. Go to for directions, information on parking, and other details.





music synthesizer, 900 block of O’Brien Drive, Aug. 20.

N POLICE CALLS This information is from the Atherton and Menlo Park police departments and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted.

ATHERTON Burglary report: Desktop computers and keys to school buses stolen, office of Menlo Park City School District at 195 Encinal Ave., Aug. 30. Auto burglary reports: ■ Window smashed and piece of luggage stolen, Valley Road, Aug. 30. ■ Window smashed and clothes, laptop computer and purse stolen from trunk of vehicle, Surrey Lane, Aug. 30.

Grand theft report: Loss estimated at $3,000 in theft of laptop computer from office desk, 300 block of Middlefield Road, Aug. 29. Residential burglary reports: ■ Loss estimated at $947 in break-in and theft of two locked bicycles from secured underground parking garage, 1600 block of El Camino Real, Aug. 22. ■ Loss estimated at $850 in break-in through bedroom window and theft of three Apple iPods, Henderson Ave., Aug. 19.

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Commercial burglary report: Loss estimated at $840 in break-in and theft of eight pressure-treated boards and five or six lengths of steel rebar, 400 block of Las Pulgas Drive, Aug. 27.


■ Window smashed but nothing taken, 600 block of Sharon Park Drive, Aug. 13.

Use Permit/Erin M. Dolinko/827 Hobart Street: Request for a use permit for the construction of a new two-story, single-family residence with a basement located on a substandard lot with regard to lot width in the R-1-S (Single Family Suburban) zoning district.

■ Window smashed and purse stolen, 200 block of Blackburn Ave., Aug. 31.


Auto burglary reports:

Fraud reports: ■ Unauthorized use of credit card, 700 block of Hermosa Way, Aug. 20.


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Planning Commission of the City of Menlo Park, California, is scheduled to review the following items:

■ Foiled attempt to cash forged check, Bank of America office at 633 Santa Cruz Ave., Aug. 23. ■ Unauthorized use of credit card, 400 block of Encinal Ave., Sept. 1.


Stolen vehicle report: White 1993 Ford F150, 100 block of Willow Road, Aug. 16.

Embezzlement report: Possible loss of $5,000 in sale of illegally obtained

Spousal abuse report: 1100 block of Willow Road, Aug. 13.


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Bob Peterson Bob Peterson, 79, known by friends and family as “Big Pete”, passed away at his home in San Jose following a long battle with cancer. He was born January 25, 1932 in Menlo Park, where he resided until college. A gifted athlete, Bob played basketball at Sequoia High School and later Oregon University. After graduation, Bob served in the U.S. Army and then had a professional career with the New York Knicks from 1954 to 1956. He is honored in the San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame as the first San Mateo County resident to play in the NBA. Injuries forced his early retirement from professional basketball, and he returned to Redwood City to embark on a 40-year career in the finance and mortgage business. After retirement, Bob’s love of backyard barbecuing inspired the start-up of the BBQ Boys, a successful catering business, with his son Robert. Bob and his wife Jo were actively involved until his illness. Bob was a big man with a personality to

match. A gentle giant, people of all ages, particularly children, were drawn to his warm and kind-hearted personality. He loved all sports, loved to travel, taking trips with his wife and family in their RV. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Andrea; sister, Betty; and mother, Corinne. Bob is survived by Jo, his high school sweetheart and wife of 58 years; his son, Robert of San Jose; daughters and sons-in-law, Ginny and Gary Piazza of Menlo Park; Jan and Joe Miller of Roseville, and his beloved grandchildren, Joseph and Sara Miller. Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Bob’s life on October 1st at his childhood home in Menlo Park. Online condolences and information contact Jan Miller at PA I D

Study Session/Kenneth Rodrigues and Partners/4085 Campbell Avenue: Request for a study session to demolish two existing buildings, totaling 55,637 square feet, located at 40 Scott Drive and 4085 Campbell Avenue. The existing private recreation facility and general office/manufacturing buildings would be replaced with a 55,630-square foot, two-story office building. Associated site improvements would include new site access, parking configuration and landscaping plan. The entire property would be readdressed to 4085 Campbell Avenue. Study Session/Pacific Peninsula Architecture/702 Oak Grove: Request for a study session to demolish an existing four-unit residential building and construct a mixed-use development, consisting of ground floor parking, three residential units on the second floor, and 3,142 square feet of gross floor area of commercial uses on the third floor, located in the R-C (Mixed Use) zoning district. REGULAR BUSINESS ITEMS Below Market Rate Housing In-Lieu Fee Agreement CA 1460 O’Brien, LLC/1460 O’Brien Drive: Request to approve a Below Market Rate Housing In-Lieu Fee Agreement for the conversion of an existing 36,604-square-foot building consisting of office, warehousing and manufacturing uses (Group B) to a 33,600 square foot building for office uses (Group A) that would be conforming with regard to parking. No discretionary action is required for the change of use. Architectural Control/David Bouquillon/2400-2498 Sand Hill Road: Request for architectural control review to modify the exterior paint colors of eight existing and one approved (but not yet constructed) office buildings at the Quadrus campus located in the C-1-C (Administrative, Professional and Research District, Restrictive). NOTICE IS HEREBY FURTHER GIVEN that said Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on public hearing items in the Council Chambers of the City of Menlo Park, located at 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, on Monday, September 19, 2011, 7:00 p.m. or as near as possible thereafter, at which time and place interested persons may appear and be heard thereon. If you challenge this item in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City of Menlo Park at, or prior to, the public hearing. The project file may be viewed by the public on weekdays between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, with alternate Fridays closed, at the Department of Community Development, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park. Please call the Planning Division if there are any questions and/or for complete agenda information (650) 330-6702. Si usted necesita más información sobre este proyecto, por favor llame al 650-330-6702, y pregunte por un asistente que hable español. DATED:

August 31, 2011

Deanna Chow, Senior Planner

PUBLISHED: September 7, 2011 Menlo Park Planning Commission Visit our Web site for Planning Commission public hearing, agenda, and staff report information:


September 7, 2011 N The Almanac N21

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 Staff Writers Dave Boyce, Sandy Brundage Senior Correspondents Marion Softky, Marjorie Mader Contributors Barbara Wood, Kate Daly, Katie Blankenberg Special Sections Editors Carol Blitzer, Sue Dremann Photographer Michelle Le

Design & Production Design Director Raul Perez Designers Linda Atilano, Gary Vennarucci

Advertising Display Advertising Sales Adam Carter 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

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

Make conservation part of any water deal


he plan recently unveiled by the city of Menlo Park to drill into the aquifer at Nealon Park and pipe the water to the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club apparently will save money for the city and the country club, but it remains to be seen if the deal would run afoul of numerous regulations that govern such taking of water. Nealon Park neighbors object to the potential noise generated by drilling the well, which would last about a month. Other concerns include the city’s prior commitments for water and whether the California Environmental Quality Act would come into play. The city did not cover CEQA in its first discussion of drilling EDITO RIA L the Nealon Park well. If the City The opinion of The Almanac Council ultimately approves the plan, it could produce significant savings for the country club, which presumably is paying market rate now for 60 million gallons of Hetch Hetchy water a year from the city’s water district. And the city would benefit, too, by being able to substantially reduce its purchase of Hetch Hetchy water, and continue to meet the country club’s high demand for irrigation water. Since the proposal is in the preliminary stages, no financial details have been made public. The city says the country club will pay for all costs associated with design and construction of piping infrastructure. If the project moves forward, the city would negotiate a price for the well water with the country club. A preliminary feasibility study found that there “appears to be significant potential savings to both the city and the country club under several scenarios.” Nealon Park neighbors, however, see very little upside in placing the well near their homes, raising concerns of ground subsidence in addition to construction impact and noise. And there is the obvious question: Why drill a well on city property to serve a private country club several miles away? Acting Public Works Director Chip Taylor has explained that due to the bedrock layers under its property, the country club cannot drill for water on its own. And he added that city studies show withdrawing 60 million gallons of water a year would remove only a tiny percentage of the aquifer, which is constantly refreshed, contrary to some thinking that it is a finite pool of water that could be tapped out by a large well. The city says the Nealon Park site was selected because it could pro-

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duce a flow of 500 gallons per minute, or 720,000 gallons a day, more than adequate to serve the country club and the three parks (Nealon, Jack Lyle and Sharon, and La Entrada Middle School), which are located along the proposed pipeline route to Sharon Heights. By using its own well, the city could significantly reduce its purchase of Hetch Hetchy water, which it buys now to serve the country club and its own parks. The city’s water business serves 14,000 residents who live east of El Camino Real and in Sharon Heights. Other parts of the city are customers of California Water Service Company. Water from the proposed “groundwater irrigation well” would not be treated, so it could only be used for irrigation. The city would continue to deliver potable Hetch Hetchy water to the club for drinking and other inside uses. From the city’s perspective, the Nealon Park well would reduce its consumption of Hetch Hetchy water by 60 million gallons per year, a substantial savings. The city adds that by reducing its water purchase, it would help the water district stay within its supply assurance from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which operates the Hetch Hetchy system. At least at first glance, it appears that the city could reduce its purchase of increasingly expensive Hetch Hetchy water and continue to deliver irrigation water to the Sharon Heights club, one of its biggest customers. We remain concerned, however, about the lack of attention paid to potential conservation in the city’s studies so far. Any agreement with the country club should set an upper limit for water deliveries and contain incentives for conservation. Whether it comes from the Hetch Hetchy system or a well at Nealon Park, water is not an unlimited resource. Nowhere in the city’s preliminary analysis is there any mention of how the Nealon Park well would impact the long-term health of the aquifer. And even if the aquifer can sustain long-term withdrawals, we doubt if Menlo Park residents would want to see this water pumped out to simply save the city money, but mostly for the benefit of a private club. In addition, in light of our recent droughts, it is hardly prudent to believe that Hetch Hetchy will run strong forever. There are going to be some bad years and Menlo Park’s allocation could be cut. If we begin pumping out our aquifer now, it might not be there if our primary source runs dry some day.

LETTE RS Our readers write

Stop high-speed rail 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,, and occasionally on the Town Square forum.

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.

CALL the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

Editor: Lynn Schenk, vice chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority board, admitted recently that the authority’s previous business plans were really nothing more than sales tools. “That first business plan was more of a sales and marketing piece than it was in the nature of a proxy,” she said in a video that can be viewed on YouTube. Indeed the voters of California were convinced to vote for the Proposition 1A’s $9.95 billion bond measure in 2008 based on a whole series of fraudulent claims. Construction costs were to be $33 billion, but have now doubled to around $65 billion.

22 N The Almanac NSeptember 7, 2011

See LETTERS, next page

Jacque Audiffred Collection

Our Regional Heritage Fireman Vern Kelly, Chief Volpiano, Emmett O’Neill and Robert Nahmens with a fire truck outside the main station of the Woodside Fire Protection District in 1934.


L E TTE R S Continued from previous page

Projected ridership of 117 million passengers per year has now fallen to around 40 million and may well go much lower. The price of a ticket was expected to be $55 and has now jumped to $105. Just equate these sales pitches used by authority board members to the same level as Bernie Madoff used for his $50 billion Ponzi scheme. The only difference is really that right now Madoff lives in prison, but previous and present board members continue to pitch this scheme. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature could stop this right now, but they simply refuse to listen. Morris Brown Stone Pine Lane, Menlo Park

Downtown plan ill-advised Editor: Like many residents, I am opposed to the proposed downtown renovation plan. As a downtown resident of long standing, I regard the plan as extremely illadvised for a number of reasons. First, in our current unforgiving economy, to do anything that would take business away from our mainstays — Draeger’s, Trader Joe’s, and our beloved farmers’ market — would be shooting ourselves not only in the foot, but also in the solar plexus. We’d risk destroying our biggest draws, plus our city cannot sustain a year-round open air market like those in Boston or Seattle. We are not a large metropolis, nor do we residents want to be one. Small is beautiful. Furthermore, in view of current economic realities, this should be

Atherton setting course for new library By Jerry Carlson

larger structure of 11,000 to 13,000 square ecision time for the proposed new feet to be built on the present library site or in Atherton library is fast approaching. Holbrook-Palmer Park. At the previous two The final scheduled community meet- community outreach meetings, the committee ing will be held Sept. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the estimates approximately 80 residents showed Holbrook-Palmer Park Pavilion. up to voice their ideas about the project. People have asked why the town is planning The library committee is expected to presto spend $5 million on a new library ent its site recommendations to the at a time when it is cutting the size town’s Park and Recreation Comof its staff. The answer: a portion of mittee on Oct. 5, and on Oct. 18, our property taxes go directly into a the library committee plans to ask library fund administered by the San the council to approve the proposed Mateo County Library Joint Powers site. Board (JPB). Atherton’s library is Some have questioned why one of the 12 libraries administered the proposed library needs to be 2.3 by the JPB. Library funding from to 2.5 times the size of the present Atherton taxpayers is identified library. The larger size is necessary GUEST separately and used to pay for local OPINION because the JPB assigns the territory library expenses. each library is intended to serve, and Each year the Atherton account the territory assigned to the Atherton has been accumulating an additional surplus, library includes other areas besides Atherton. which at the end of June amounted to $5.566 In assessing the needed size of the Atherton million. These funds can only be used for library, the 9,200 residents of West Menlo Park, library-related use and cannot be transferred to Green Acres, Sequoia Tract and Menlo Oaks the town’s general fund. The library fund can neighborhoods have been added to the 7,300 only be used for construction and maintenance Atherton residents. The library taxes from of the library. these additional areas do not, however, wind The current library is housed in a converted up in the Atherton library account, and, unforhouse with about 4,790 square feet of space. It is tunately, no statistics are kept by the Atherton in need of a seismic upgrade, which would cost library that would indicate where current users around $400,000. The City Council appointed reside. an Atherton Library Steering Committee Questions have been raised about the future (ALSC) to consider the alternative of building function of a library in light of the information a new facility rather than trying to upgrade the technology changes rapidly taking place. The present structure. advent of e-books and the ease of access to onThe library committee is considering a much line library materials and documents will have


a time for hunkering down, not a time for funding luxury projects with large budgets and limited appeal. If we do have money to spend, let’s attend to the fundamentals we’ve been neglecting, such as the largely cracked and buckling sidewalks throughout our neighborhoods, which are both an eyesore and a hazard. And let’s consider our emergen-

‘We’re On Our Way’ By David L. Maggard and Sheldon Gilbert


inutes before one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed around them, two firefighters from the initial wave to arrive on the scene exchanged the following over their walkie-talkies: “Chief, what stair you in?” “South stairway Adam, South Tower.” “Floor 78?” “Ten-four, numerous civilians, we’re gonna need two engines up here.” “All right, ten-four, we’re on our way.” “We’re on our way.” Simple, direct, powerful. Those four little words speak volumes about the extraordinary heroism, bravery

and determination demonstrated by the hundreds of police officers and firefighters who rushed into the chaos on Sept. 11, 2001. Knowing the situation was bad — but amidst the panic and confusion, not fully aware of its enormity — they did what they were sworn to do: Get on their way as quickly as possible to reach those who needed their help. That they did so without hesitation — and that firefighters and police officers in cities across our nation continue to do so every day — at tremendous personal risk, commands our unending respect, admiration and gratitude. While it has been 10 years since “the day that changed everything,” the raw emotions that images and transcripts of 9-11 still bring to the

a major influence on the role of a library. New roles for the Atherton library are expected to include archiving the town’s documents and artifacts now housed in the Heritage Room. The library committee also envisions the library becoming a “community center” with space for community meetings and activities. One of the complications is the council does not know what exactly is in the future for a new town center. That future will be dependent on raising private funding to cover most of the cost. The town center planning is being done separately from the library project. On Oct. 12 the three finalists will present architectural design concepts, at the Pavilion, between 6 to 9 p.m. Finally, a philosophical question has been raised about spending money on “bricks and mortar” or directing some of the library funds to help out local school libraries. Certainly, there is a great need for such help as schools are forced to cut back their own funding for libraries. The JBP has indicated assisting both public and private school libraries would be a valid use of taxpayer library funds. Library decisions are about to be made. In terms of taxpayer dollars, this will be the largest civic project in the town’s history. The size and location of the library will be inherited by future generations. We still have the opportunity to help shape what the library’s future in Atherton. Jerry Carlson is a member of the Atherton City Council.

cy preparedness. What would we do in the event of an earthquake, tsunami, or major extended power outage? Does the city have independent generators in place? Do we have an emergency police phone system in place like Palo Alto does, to automatically call all residents to let everyone know of hazardous conditions and what to do? I’ve had such calls from Palo

Alto several times, but never from my own city of Menlo Park. Let’s take care of necessities before we even consider luxuries and superfluous projects — those are for the boom times. In addition, if the dollar continues to depreciate and prices rise, as many are predicting, now is not the time to undertake this expensive, poorly conceived down-

surface make it seem like it was just yesterday. For those of us in public safety, it might as well have been, because we will never forget the enormous personal sacrifices our colleagues made that terrible morning. New York City lost many, many lives that day: more than 2,800 in total, including 343 firefighters and 72 peace officers. A few days ago, as we reflected on their courage in the face of the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil, we came across a quote from the widow of Battalion Chief Orio J. Palmer. Up until the very moment the tower came crashing down around him, Chief Palmer was organizing the evacuation of those injured by the airplane’s devastating impact. After listening to an audiotape of her husband’s heroic efforts that was released in 2002, Mrs. Palmer said: “I didn’t hear fear, I didn’t hear panic. When the tape is

made public to the world, people will hear that they all went about their jobs without fear, and selflessly.” GUEST In the OPINION decade since 9-11, police departments, fire departments and other public-safety agencies throughout America have worked closely with county, state and federal departments, locally implementing policies and procedures that were enacted following creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Guided by our goal of enhancing public safety, we’ve focused our efforts on preventing terrorist attacks against vulnerable targets,

town project. No doubt the costs will dramatically rise halfway through, so we could easily be left with a torn-apart downtown and not enough money left to cover the out-of-control price increases. In short, the downtown project is a disaster waiting to happen. Cherie Zaslawsky Downtown Menlo Park

and prepared rapid, coordinated, effective responses if and when an attack occurs. While the terrorist attacks ushered in changes in the way public safety agencies operate, those changes were all based on something that will never change: our steadfast commitment to ensuring the safety of the citizens we are sworn to serve and protect. As we observe the 10th anniversary of 9-11, it is with solemn reverence and gratitude to the fallen heroes who gave everything that September morning. Inspired by their sacrifices, we will echo their promise when called to duty: “We’re on our way.” David L. Maggard is president of the board of the California Police Chiefs Association and Sheldon Gilbert is president of the board, California Fire Chiefs Association.

September 7, 2011 N The Almanac N23

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The Almanac 09.07.2011 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the September 7.2011 edition of the Almanac

The Almanac 09.07.2011 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the September 7.2011 edition of the Almanac