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WOOSDIDE celebrates ‘Walk to School’ day, Page 5


NOVEMBER 2, 2011

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Woodsiders preserve log cabin while building modern farmhouse next to it

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Almanac photo by Michelle Le

A miniature golf course from the 1920s was unearthed in the 3200 block of Woodside Road in Woodside. This view is of the 9th hole.

Miniature golf course is uncovered Golf course was built in 1920s in Woodside.


By Kate Daly Special to the Almanac


emnants of a forgotten piece of history have surfaced right on Woodside Road in Woodside — some earthy mounds of dirt, rocks and concrete that blend right into the landscape despite their colorful past. In 1924 or 1925, when miniature golf was sweeping the country as a new craze, building contractor Frank Mowee bought an acre of land at 3270 Woodside Road across the street from the elementary school, according to the late Jacques Audiffred who lived nearby for many years. Mr. Audiffred recalled the property being subdivided to build a home on the back halfacre and a miniature golf course on the front half. Shortly before his death last year, Mr. Audiffred wrote down what he remembered: “A small club house was built where you rented your club and picked up your golf ball for 25

cents a play. ... When you played this ninth hole, your ball would drop down through a pipe and roll into the club house to be caught in a bucket.� “This golf course became so famously successful that Mr. Mowee erected electric lights so the course could be played at night,� Mr. Audiffred wrote. “It was truly fun, while it lasted!� the narration continued, but, “in 1929 as the Depression set in, that was the end of the miniature golf course.� Eventually, the little club house was torn down, and part of the foundation was used to build a new house for the Pete Jarvis family in 1942, Mr. Audiffred explained. “The golf course, itself, was left to the elements and slowly disappeared from view due to the growth of weeds and a large growth of poison oak.� The late George Sellman, who was superintendent of the Woodside School District, then bought the property from the Jarvises, and moved his family there in 1969, Mr. Sellman’s

daughter, Jennifer Anderson, says. “One summer, not long after we moved there, my brother and I tried to remove some of the blackberries and that’s when we discovered some of the rock work — stone walls and paths,� she says. “We weren’t sure what it was, garden landscape or what?� She vaguely remembers thinking it might have been a miniature golf course after finding a golf ball or two, but it wasn’t until last year after her mother, Joan, passed away, that Ms. Anderson had the yard cleared and the old course revealed itself. As Mr. Audiffred wrote: “The ninth hole was uncovered, still in its original glorious shape. There was also found a small rock bridge that was part of the course.� Coldwell Banker Realtor Jim Milton of Woodside is currently working with Ms. Anderson to rent out the remodeled threebedroom, two-bath home. A more recent clearing of “a

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THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero Media, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 940256558. Periodicals Postage Paid at Menlo Park, CA and at additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for San Mateo County, The Almanac is delivered free to homes in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. Subscriptions for $60 per year or $100 per 2 years are welcome. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025-6558. Copyright Š2011 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

for an Estate and Consignment Jewelry Sale on Nov 4th & 5th Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday 10 am to 5:30 p.m. 1148 Crane Street Menlo Park, CA 650.327.3334 | November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N3

4 N The Almanac NNovember 2, 2011
















Big changes in firefighter benefits, work practices ■ Menlo Park fire chief may recommend two-tier retirement system. By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


ajor changes in work practices and benefits are coming for firefighters with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. The district’s government board voted 3-2 on Friday, Oct. 28, to give Chief Harold Schapelhouman the power to make the changes. The changes were proposed by Chief Schapelhouman, who said in a report that he will also “consider options for developing a ‘second tier’ retirement program for employees hired on or after January 1, 2012,” including considering both “lower level defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans (such as 401K)” and bring his recommendations back to the board. (A two-tier retirement program

would offer lower retirement benefits to new employees.) The changes, detailed below, were adopted without input from the district’s firefighters union, but the fire board said it has invited union representatives to meet with board members to discuss the changes and will continue to be willing to discuss them in the future. The union insists it cannot negotiate until a grievance it filed against the district in 2009 has been resolved. Firefighters’ salaries are effectively frozen with no raises in the adopted documents. Step raises for years worked have been eliminated with a set hourly rate for each job title. Among the changes approved by the board: ■ Retiree medical benefits will be phased out for any fire-


fighter not yet retired, with current employees offered either a one-time cash-out, or staggered payments of a maximum of $30,000 for firefighters and $36,000 for chief officers into a Public Employees Health Plan. New employees will not receive retirement health plan benefits. Current retirees will see no change. ■ New firefighters hired by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District will have to live within a two-hour drive of the district. Current firefighters will be subject to the same limits if they move from their current residence. Current employees who live more than two hours away “should be encouraged to move closer ... as the opportunity arises,” Chief Schapelhouman said in a report on the changes. ■ Firefighters will be expected

to start work on their 48-hour shifts at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m., and would have their regular workday end at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. Holiday pay would be eliminated and be considered part of the regular hourly wage. Sundays, which had been considered a half work day, will become a full work day. The changes allow “increased flexibility to train, conduct safety inspections and better serve the business purposes of the organization and the community,” Chief Schapelhouman said. ■ The amount of annual leave that employees can accumulate will be capped with the district cashing out any existing hours over that amount. ■ New hires will not receive any benefits while they are in the academy or working as trainees. ■ Firefighters will have to stay at their station and shift assignments for a two-year period instead of being allowed to

change more often. ■ Vacation times will have to be arranged in advance and may not be changed once scheduled. These changes will allow the district to have more control over scheduling and avoid “over-hiring” to fill in for absent employees, Chief Schapelhouman said. ■ New classifications for employees were adopted to simplify the way firefighters are paid. Instead of receiving supplemental pay for having paramedic or emergency medical technician credentials, firefighters will get a flat hourly wage for being, for example a “Firefighter-Paramedic.” No firefighters will have their pay reduced because of the changes. Board members Rex Ianson and Jack Nelson voted against the measure; Stephen Nachtsheim, Bart Spencer and Peter Carpenter voted for it. See FIRE, page 8

Las Lomitas district to use ‘open bidding’ for site where Woodland School operates By Barbara Wood


Special to the Almanac


timetable for negotiating a new lease for the old Ladera School site, occupied for the past 30 years by Woodland School, was presented to the Ladera neighbors by the Las Lomitas Elementary School District at a community meeting on October 24. The district has decided to use an open bidding process rather than a request for proposals (RFP), which might have given it more flexibility in choosing a tenant for the school site. The bid process requires, with few exceptions, that the highest bid be accepted. Las Lomitas superintendent Eric Hartwig said the bid process was chosen “because it’s simple, open, understood by all, allows us to provide protections of community interests, and most likely yields the best result for the district.” The district proposes to put restrictions on the school site that have been requested by its Ladera neighbors. The restrictions will be in a bidding prospectus, sent to all interested bidders. Tom Shannon, the consultant working with the district on the lease, said the pro-

spectus will contain all the information that potential bidders need to make a bid in compliance with terms acceptable to the board. The timetable, if adopted by the Las Lomitas board at its Nov. 9 meeting, would have the district signing a lease with a tenant by July 2012. The school site was purchased by the district in 1952 but has not been used as a district school since Ladera School closed in 1979. The district’s enrollment has been growing, but a study found that the Ladera neighborhood does not have enough students to reopen its own school. John Ora, head of school at Woodland, said if the school board adopts the proposed timetable, Woodland will have to decide if the school has enough time to try to stay in Ladera, or if they will have to continue to look for a new site. The Woodland lease originally expired in July, but the district has extended it twice, through July 2013.

Almanac photo by Michelle Le

Parents and students walk en masse along Woodside Road to Woodside Elementary School for Walk-toSchool day on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Woodside celebrates ‘Walk to School’ day By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


oodside was transformed for about 45 minutes Wednesday, Oct. 26, as a good portion of the more than 500 pre-school to eighth-grade students at

Woodside Elementary School celebrated their second annual Walk-to-School Day by walking, riding bikes or even skateboarding to school. Sheriff’s deputies on motorcycles, in cars and on foot helped to slow traffic and make sure streets could be crossed

safely as students converged on the school from every direction. Preschoolers on tiny bicycles joined older students chattering away as they hauled their wheeled backpacks on See WALK, page 8

See WOODLAND, page 8

November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N5


Eshoo holds ‘town hall’ meeting by long-distance

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and work in the U.S., their green card should be stapled early 7,000 people lis- to their college degree,” she tened to a telephone said. The DREAM Act passed town hall hosted the House last year but failed by U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, in the Senate. D-Menlo Park, on Oct. 25, With students come student according to the congress- loans, and Ms. Eshoo praised woman’s office. the president for taking the Constituents from Ather- first steps in providing relief ton, Menlo Park, Woodside, for students saddled with Portola Valley, and La Honda educational debt by creating took advantage of the oppor- an executive order designed tunity to ask Ms. Eshoo, who to cap monthly payments, was in Washington, D.C., provide easier loan consoliabout national issues that are dation, and forgive outstandhaving a local impact, such ing debt after 20 years. as unemployWhen Patment, health rick of Menlo care, and The telephone meeting Park turned green jobs. t he focus was conducted for Ms. Eshoo to national spent about residents of Atherton, health care, an hour field- Menlo Park, Woodside, Rep. Eshoo ing 12 quessaid that the Portola Valley, and tions. AgreeD e m o c r at i c ing with one Party had La Honda. caller, Helen not gotten a from Woodside, who sug- convincing message across, gested that current environ- despite working for decades mental problems presented to get a plan in place. She said an opportunity for creat- that the framework for affording jobs, the congresswom- able health care would be set an said, “Unfortunately, it’s by 2013 anyway, and agreed almost a form of torture for with another Woodside caller me to be in a Congress that’s that the private insurance as anti-environmental as this industry still wielded a lot of one is. They have cut and hol- power in Congress. lowed out the departments The telephone town hall that are responsible for all of wound down with a comthese policies.” mentary on changes in camHow to retain highly edu- paign financing disclosure, cated people who train in with a recent Supreme Court the United States but then ruling making it possible for return to a foreign country corporations to anonymously also came under discussion, donate millions, according to thanks to a question from Ms. Eshoo’s analysis, and job Casey, another Woodside creation. resident. Saying the Republican Ms. Eshoo responded that majority in Congress refuses she was proud to be a co- to take up the president’s jobs sponsor of President Obama’s bill because they put their DREAM Act, which would dislike of the current adminlet illegal immigrants who istration ahead of the needs arrived in the United States of the country, Ms. Eshoo as children and completed ended on what she called a high school or some college, sad note, stating that it’s remain in the country. “If almost November, with no someone graduates from one jobs bill in sight, and unemof our universities, they’re ployment in the Bay Area talented, and wants to stay rising. Almanac Staff Writer

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forest of acacias” on the side yard unveiled even more holes from the old course, he says. Several raised platforms are now exposed, featuring rock walls and cement decorated with

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“little curlicues.” These days a black feral cat nicknamed “Lucky” meanders among the ruins. Who knows how many others once tried their luck on the old course? Now that “you can see more of the golf course than ever before just makes me want to know more,” says Ms. Anderson. A


R EAL E STATE Q&A by Gloria Darke

Timing Is Right To Buy Dear Gloria, Our family has offered to help us with a down payment to buy our first house. We will eventually have to pay them back so it’s not as if it is free money. So we are really conflicted about whether or not it is “safe” to buy now or does it seem as if the market has further to fall? We will be really stretching to buy now and would be in big trouble if our home were to go down in value. Bernie G., Menlo Park Dear Bernie, I can understand your concern for where the market is and where it might be headed. Times have been tumultuous with one month the powers that be declaring the recession is over and the next month the economy seem-

ing worse than ever. While prices have gone down since the meltdown of 2008, our local market is in excellent shape. There are several reasons that fortune smiles on us in this area; two of the main reasons are our very local economy, which is creating jobs (and wealth) and the very low interest rates we are experiencing. Spending less to finance a property means you can buy more for your money. Many of us remember interest rates that looked attractive at 8% and now you can get the same loan at 4%. There is no guarantee that prices will not go down but there is nothing in the foreseeable future that should cause that. Even considering that you need to set money aside to pay your family back, it is wise to take advantage of prices and interest rates now before they start to go up again.

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

Offering the longest-term parking options are plazas 1 and 5.


Pay-by-space parking arrives in Menlo Park By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


he city’s trial run of payby-space meters starts this week in Menlo Park, as part of a new range of options offering people the choice of dashing into a 15-minute spot for a quick errand, or parking up to nine hours at a time for a more leisurely day. Offering the longest-term options are Plaza 1 (off Oak Grove Avenue near El Camino Real) and Plaza 5 (off Crane and Evelyn streets between Santa Cruz and Menlo avenues). The first two hours of parking would still be free. The third hour would cost $1; the fourth, $1.50, with additional time costing $2 per hour. Drivers can add time by credit card or cell phone.

The city also converted twohour parking along Santa Cruz Avenue and several intersecting streets to one-hour parking, then added 15-minute spots at strategic corners such as the intersection of Chestnut Street and Santa Cruz Avenue. Enforcement remains in effect Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the city. The City Council voted unanimously in July to pay Parkeon $53,364 for six solar-powered pay-by-space meters — four for Plaza 1 and two for Plaza 5. The meters provide a way for the city to test whether the capability to pay to park longer than two hours will resolve the unhappiness expressed by downtown merchants and their customers, who complain that the current

two-hour limit doesn’t leave enough time to run errands and enjoy a meal. At the time of the council vote, Mayor Rich Cline noted that the biggest feedback came from businesses losing customers because they were unable to park for long enough without getting ticketed. An email sent to the City Council as recently as Oct. 27 bolstered that argument, as a woman notified officials that her next weekly lunch with a friend would be held in Palo Alto after she got a $45 ticket for parking in Plaza 5 twice in one day, even without exceeding the two-hour limit on either stay. Visit to load a PDF document from the city with more information. A

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City eyes eight potential sites for water well By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


he Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club’s dream for one public well to water its private golf course now has eight chances to come true — Menlo Park has announced that the city is considering eight potential well sites, with six in Nealon Park and two in Jack Lyle Park. A community meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3, will give residents an opportunity to help the city select one site — or no site, if you’re one of the residents fighting the proposal. “It doesn’t hold

water,” said Elizabeth Houck of the city’s claim that the well would benefit the public. According to city staff, the club would pay construction costs for the well and pipeline, and also reimburse the city for annual operation and maintenance. Menlo Park would be able to use the well water for Nealon Park, Jack Lyle Park, Sharon Park, and La Entrada School, with staff estimating that it would save the city $68,000 per year on park irrigation. “Can you take up open space and park land for a publicprivate venture when there is no

compelling public benefit?” Ms. Houck asked. “Public benefit has to be one of the reasons you do a project like this. It’s not saving a ton of money. It’s still adulterating our park space and it still doesn’t conserve a gallon of water.” She is one of the residents who hired environmental attorney Craig Breon to scrutinize the plan. The attorney is still waiting for the city to provide all the project documents he requested under the public records act on Oct. 11. See WELLS, page 9

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Big changes in firefighter benefits, work practices FIRE continued from page 5

The board also unanimously voted to spend close to $1.2 million to implement some of the changes. Some of the changes, including those for vacation time and work place and shift assignment, will go into place immediately. Others, including the residency requirement and work times will go into effect in January. Chief Schapelhouman said the changes will allow the district “to gain additional efficiencies for the organization.” Mr. Carpenter said the board had to move ahead even though the union has not agreed to reopen negotiations. “Their unwillingness to do so does not relieve us of the responsibility to effectively manage this district,” he said. “We can’t change the position that the other side has taken. Nor can we withdraw from our responsibilities to do what we were elected to do.” But Mr. Ianson said he was concerned that the changes are “going to make it harder” on the firefighters. “I think there needs to be changes,” he said, “but it needs to be reasonable changes.” District firefighters have not had a raise since July 2007 because the district and the Menlo Park Firefighters Association Local 2400 have been unable to agree on a new contract. Their last contract WALK continued from page 5

the town’s trails, which are shared by horses and pedestrians. Horses pastured on Canada Road watched as the students passed by. Many of the students walked in large pedestrian “school buses” that came through the Glens, on Canada, Miramontes, Mountain Home and Tripp roads. With parents guarding their flanks, groups of students were “picked up” by the bus at scheduled stops along the way. Tillie Nessi, 9, a fourth-grader who lives in the Woodside Glens was there with her mom, Pam. Tillie’s dad, Chad, grew up in the Glens and used to ride his bike or skateboard to school every day. Tillie and her mom walk with a group of friends every Tuesday. “I feel like unless they’re in a pack, it’s not safe,” Pam Nessi said. Jessica Hope walked with her 8- and 10-year olds from Godetia Drive, more than two miles

expired in June 2008. In April the district imposed a contract on the union that offers no pay raise, but does include $750 a month in additional benefits. Union representatives continue to insist that they cannot negotiate with the district until a grievance alleging unfair labor practices filed by the firefighters’ union in 2009 with the state’s Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) is resolved. The board’s hearing has been completed, but no decision has yet been announced. In August the union filed a new grievance, and firefighter’s association vice president John Wurdinger says that another will probably be filed because of the latest action by the district board. “If we start negotiating our PERB charges go away,” Mr. Wurdinger said. “We are very certain the fire district is in the wrong, which is why we’ve stood fast for the past 2-1/2 years.” The latest grievance claims the district should not be imposing changes on the firefighters until the original grievance is resolved. Until then, the union’s claim says, the district should continue to operate under the terms of the contract that expired in 2008.

Fashion show benefits children’s hospital Clothes and fashions from the American Girl Company will be featured in five fashion shows and teas to be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12, at Christ Episcopal Church, 1040 Border Road in Los Altos. Sponsored by the Palo Alto Auxiliary for Children to benefit the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, the shows are at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11; and at 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12. The show will present historical and contemporary fashions modeled by local girls who will carry matching character dolls. It is recommended for children 6 and up. Kanani, a Hawaiian doll, will be featured. Tickets are $30 and include refreshments and a chance to win door prizes. Souvenir items and American Girl books will be for sale. Go to paloaltoauxiliary. com for tickets. For more information, call 3642588.

Photo by Jim Beetem

Modeling American Girl clothes, and carrying matching character dolls, are, from left, Ally Thanassi of Portola Valley, Devin Johnston of Mountain View, and Lhaga Dingpontsawa of Palo Alto.


Visit and check under “Board Agendas and Minutes” to see the full text of the board’s resolution. away. They’d walk more often, Ms. Hope said, except that they would have to get up at least 25 minutes earlier to make it to school on time. Devon Morehead and her two sons walked with a group of about a dozen kids from Mountain Home Road. Her sons, in eighth and fifth grades, ride their bikes to school most days, Ms. Morehead said. Millo Fenzi, chair of Woodside’s bicycle committee, spearheaded the Walk-to-School event, which he said is a “win” for all involved. “It’s good for the environment. It’s good for the kids’ health. It’s good for the parents’ health,” he said. Last year, a kindergarten teacher told him it was also good for classroom order, because her students arrived with some energy already burned off. Mr. Fenzi has been working with Woodside’s Trails Committee to make the towns many trails safer so more students can get to school on foot, since Woodside has no sidewalks.

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District to use open bidding for school site WOODLAND continued from page 5

Mr. Ora said that the district has presented timetables for the lease process several times, but keeps revising them. The July 2012 date is “pushing” what would allow Woodland, a preschool through eighth-grade independent day school, to try to stay. The school’s board and supporters have pledged to spend over $8 million on renovation and upgrade of the aging campus if they get a new lease. Woodland, which now has 275 students, currently pays $650,000 a year to lease the site. The school operates under a conditional use permit from San Mateo County because Ladera is The town has improved streets in the Glens to allow more room for walkers and also improved trails along Canada, Kings Mountain and Mountain Home roads, all of which are used by many pedestrians. Currently the town is working to improve the trail that cuts behind the Canada Corners shopping area from Canada to Woodside Road, Mr. Fenzi said. A

an unincorporated neighborhood and the site is zoned for residential use. Right now, the use permit, which will be the subject of a hearing by the county on Nov. 13, limits the number of students at the school to 325. Ladera residents at the meeting said they want the number of students to be capped by the district in the lease, and not subject to negotiation with the county. The issue is important to neighbors because they have steep, winding streets and limited parking in their hilly neighborhood. District real estate consultant Tom Shannon said that the district’s board could put that limit in the lease. “If they (the district board) want the lease to say the use

permit allows 325 (students), they can do it,” he said. A district advisory committee, formed in April 2010 to advise the district on the school site, and chaired by Ladera residents Karen Fryling and Lennie Roberts, has asked the district to include a number of restrictions on anyone who leases the school site. They have asked that the site be used only for a preschool to eighthgrade school, that its fields and facilities be available for use by the community in non-school hours, that local residents be allowed access to and through the campus when it is not in use, that restrictions be placed on parking and traffic, and that the sidewalk leading to the school be improved. A

Reserve traffic court date online No more waiting in line at the courthouse to reserve a date for traffic court. The San Mateo County Superior Court system has launched an online reservation system, although you can still do things the old-fashioned way by phone or in-person if you insist. The court took this step even as it reduced the number of weekly traffic calendars available from

four to two in response to budget cuts, meaning fewer cases will be heard each time traffic court takes place, according to a press release. People walking into court hoping to have their case heard on the same day can now expect to be rescheduled to a future calendar, the release said. Go to to check out the new tool. A


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Facebook hitches a Zimride ■ New ridesharing program coming to Menlo Park. By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


acebook will soon launch a new way to connect — by car. In an Almanac exclusive, the company announced a partnership with Zimride, a ride-sharing service that relies on social networking online, that will debut in Menlo Park by December. Jessica Herrera, Facebook’s transportation coordinator, said her goal is to get people out of their cars. “Zimride’s really great on matching people,” she said. “And ride-sharing clears up congestion over the long-term. That’s really what our goal is, these types of green initiatives. “ We have a robust system at Facebook and we’re now at 47 percent of employees using alternate transportation. ... I’d like to see where (Zimride) goes, see how it works, and see how far we can get with it.” Zimride’s CEO, John Zimmer, is no stranger to social networking or to Menlo Park. His company, which started locally before moving to San Francisco, received some of its original funding in 2008 as part of a group of businesses selected by Facebook that could showcase its potential.

The company’s main revenue comes from contracts with universities, businesses, and municipalities. Facebook is footing the $35,000 one-time fee for Menlo Park. The city’s interim public works director, Chip Taylor, said the city just found out about the program, and is now looking for the best way to get involved. Mr. Zimmer said the company started thanks to a couple questions. “How do you make carpooling work? How do you make it more mainstream? And it turns out the big challenge is: Who are you riding with?” The solution was to let people meet online first. The more than 300,000 users currently using registered using their Facebook accounts, giving them a way to check out each other’s profiles and interests before accepting a ride. They can offer or ask for a lift, with passengers indicating how much they’re willing to pay. Over 90 percent of the users help split the cost of the trip, according to Mr. Zimmer. Of course, you’re still getting into the car with a stranger. “One of the reasons we started the company was because the alternative was Craigslist,” he said, explaining that the idea was to help people make

Menlo Park Fire Protection District

informed decisions. “We take safety really seriously. On Facebook you can see pictures, friends in common, interests, and how many friends they have on there,” Mr. Zimmer said. “It’s an important indicator of true identity. If someone has 500 friends on Facebook, that’s a real person with real ties in the area.” Zimride’s users also post reviews of their rides, and a community manager follows up. Asked whether Zimride’s sociability runs counter to Bay Area etiquette that dictates no conversation and as little eye contact as possible between people sharing a ride, he said there are two types of commutes: With casual carpooling, such as a Bay Bridge commute, the etiquette applies, but with Zimrides, the idea is to get to know the person because they’re going to share rides often. The site gets its share of offbeat requests. Mr. Zimmer remembered someone asking for a walk buddy for a commute by foot to work. The social networking has had unexpected payoffs; some people found romance on a Zimride, and others found themselves studying abroad after riding with a person from a different culture. “It’s a lot about the community bonds that form, and saving money,” he said. A







Keep our Community Safe Paid for by Kiraly for Menlo Park Fire Board 2011, FPPC #1341635


Re-invent your Wheel and Join us for Breakfast on Wednesday mornings

15th Anniversary

Courtesy, city of Menlo Park

Left: The six potential well sites in Nealon Park, located at 800 Middle Ave. Four are near the tennis courts, while the other two border University Drive and Morey Drive respectively. Right: In Jack Lyle Park, at the intersection of Middle Avenue and Fremont Street, the two alternate locations sit near Middle Avenue.

WELLS continued from page 7

“Meanwhile, as you have seen, they have clarified the process to some extent,” he said. “We now know that they plan on going through the (California Environmental Quality Act review) process, though we do not know

how thorough a document they intend to pursue. “I think the city has realized that there are some legitimate concerns with the proposal, and they’ve wisely decided to take more time and to give more solid information to the residents,” he added. “Good news, but some considerable work to go.”

The community meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 700 Alma St. After getting feedback, the city staff said they plan to present the project to the Parks and Recreation Commission in December, and to the City Council at the beginning of next year. A

Membership provides the opportunity to: -Become connected to your community -Work with others in addressing community needs -Interact with other professionals in your community -Assist with RI’s international humanitarian service efforts -Establish contacts with an international network of professionals Meeting Time: Wednesday at 7:30 am Meeting Location: Woodside Village Church, 3154 Woodside Rd, Woodside, Ca

For more information: November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N9

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Community Health Education Programs Mountain View, 650-934-7373 Palo Alto, 650-853-2960

November 2011

For a complete list of classes and class fees, lectures and health education resources, visit:

Lectures and Workshops

Cancer Care

Bye Bye Diapers Dr. Marvin Small Memorial Parent Workshop Series

– Eating Tips During Cancer Care Treatment – Exercise for Energy – men and women’s group – Expressions – Healing Imagery

Presented by Heidi Emberling, ParentsPlace Tuesday, November 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m. 701 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View 650-934-7373 This program covers ways we can help children teach themselves to use the toilet, help you set up an environment and an attitude that will guide and promote child’s progress and understand how consistency with a routine helps your child feel more in control and independent.

Common Headache Disorders: An Overview on How to Manage Migraine and Tension Headaches Presented by Diana Blum, M.D., PAMF Neurology Tuesday, November 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m. 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-853-4873 Join us to learn how to manage these two most common headache disorders. This lecture will explore contributing factors for headaches such as certain foods and life style choices. Tips will be given on preventative strategies as well as information on the acute treatment of both headache types.

– Healthy Eating After Cancer Treatment – Look Good, Feel Better – Qigong – When Eating is a Problem, During Cancer Treatment

Childbirth and Parent Education Classes – – – – – – – –

Baby Safety Basics Breastfeeding Childbirth Preparation Feeding Your Young Child Infant and Child CPR Infant Care Infant Emergencies and CPR Introduction to Solids

– Mother-Baby Circle – New Parent ABC’s – All About Baby Care – OB Orientation – PAMF Partners in Pregnancy – Prenatal Yoga – Sibling Preparation – What to Expect with Your Newborn

Living Well Classes – Back School – Mind/Body Stress Management – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Nutrition and Diabetes Classes

Depression For Your Health Lecture Series

Mountain View, 650-934-7177 s Palo Alto, 650-853-2961

Presented by Shahna Rogosin, M.D., PAMF Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Wednesday, November 16, 7 to 8 p.m. 701 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View, 650-934-7373

– Diabetes Management – Healthy Eating with Type 2 Diabetes – Heart Smart (cholesterol management)

What is depression? Who gets it? How common is it? When should I seek treatment?

Weight Management Programs

Understanding the 2012 Medicare, Medigaps, Medicare Advantage and the Drug Plans Presented by Don Rush, volunteer counselor for the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) Thursday, November 17, 3 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, November 29, 6 to 8 p.m. 795 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-853-4873 Changes to Medicare happen each year and over the next few years there will be even more. Even the timing for making your selection has changed for this year. We will provide information to help you evalute your options and make informed choices about your Medicare coverage for 2012. Please join us on one of the above presentation dates.

Let’s connect! 10 N The Almanac NNovember 2, 2011

– Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Program – Healthy eating. Active lifestyles. (for parents of children ages 2-12)

– Living Well with Prediabetes – Sweet Success Program (gestational diabetes)

s 1-888-398-5597

– HMR Weight Management Program – Lifesteps® (adult weight management) – New Weigh of Life (adult weight management)

Support Groups – – – –

AWAKE Bariatric Surgery Breastfeeding Cancer

– – – – –

Chronic Fatigue Diabetes Drug and Alcohol Kidney Multiple Sclerosis


Menlo Park history group marks 40th anniversary By Jane Knoerle Almanac Lifestyle Editor


t’s a trip down memory lane when the Menlo Park Historical Association celebrates its 40th anniversary Sunday, Nov. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m., in the downstairs conference room at the Menlo Park Library. Michael Svanevik, co-author of “Menlo Park, Beyond the Gate” with his wife, Shirley Burgett, will be guest speaker. His topic will be: “Pillars of the Past — A Retrospective,” recreating the “Saga of Menlo Park.” The book “Beyond the Gate” is a portrait of Menlo Park spanning 150 years — from silver kings and struggling immigrants, through two world wars, to Silicon Valley. The book was commissioned by the Menlo Park Historical Association and published in 2000. While the Menlo Park Historical Association is intent on preserving and promoting local history back to the city’s earliest days, its own beginning dates to 1971. In the early 1970s, Larry Johnston Sr., manager of the Menlo Park branch of Bank of America, was appointed official

historian of the city for the purpose of recording local history, according to the Menlo Park Historical Association newsletter. He and Dr. Joseph Weeden set out to interview old-timers about Menlo Park in the early 1900s “before the few oldtimers leave us.” At that time, he proposed forming a Menlo Park Historical Society, with the Friends of the Library as a steering group for the new organization. Early board members included. Kelly Ogle, Frank Merrill, Jean Bone, John Kiefer and Maggi Scaroni. Today, the historical association has 280 members, with Dick Angus as president. Some, like Frank Helfrich, grew up in Menlo Park. Others are more recent residents, interested in learning more about their city. Its board of directors meets monthly at the Menlo Park Library. Throughout the year, there are social gatherings, such as an ice cream social every June and a Chinese New Year dinner at Ten Fu restaurant. For more information, enter “Menlo Park Historical Association” in Google or call 330-2522. A

Dumbarton transit station on agenda of Menlo Park City Council Menlo Park’s City Council will gather on Tuesday, Nov. 1, to decide where to put the future Dumbarton Transit Station. The selection is part of the project’s environmental impact review. City staff has suggested placing the station either at Facebook, near the corner of Willow Road and the Bayfront Expressway, or off Hamilton Avenue in the Menlo Science and Technology Park. Before that happens, though, the council will meet in closed session at 6 p.m. with labor negotiators working on contracts with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and unrepresented city management staff. The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

Shred those secrets Free document shredding comes to Menlo Park on Saturday, Nov. 5. In addition to files to shred, residents can also drop


off old electronic items and up to five fluorescent light bulbs. Documents are limited to three 10” x 12” x 15” boxes per vehicle, according to city staff. The shredding takes place at 333 Burgess Drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You must bring proof of Menlo Park residency such as a utility bill or driver’s license. Businesses must show a business card or license.

SamTrans workshop It’s that time again — SamTrans is thinking about changing its bus service, and would like to know what you think. The agency will hold a workshop in Menlo Park on Monday, Nov. 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the senior center at 100 Terminal Ave. SamTrans will present three scenarios with reduced service on some of its 48 routes and increased service on others for your consideration. November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N11

West Bay Sanitary District Bulletin Dedicated to protecting the public health and the environment by providing cost effective sanitary sewer service

Manager’s Corner by Phil Scott

Preventative Maintenance Programs – Paying Off It’s a great feeling when you see planning, organizing, and teamwork initiatives produce the desired results. That’s what is happening at West Bay Sanitary District with the concerted effort to reduce Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs). We have seen SSOs fall 16% from 49 in 2009 to 41 in 2010. As of October 2011 we have had only 13 SSOs this calendar year. That’s a pace to reduce SSOs by 60% in one year. This dramatic improvement can be attributed to several things; chief among them is the willingness of our group to honestly assess our performance (without blame) and work together in a result-oriented fashion to improve our

methods, schedules, expectations and productivity. In addition, we have worked on procedures to improve our response times to spills, improve our pipeline TV inspection program and improve quality control for TV inspection and pipeline cleaning. We are using newer equipment to enhance productivity. We have revamped our pipeline cleaning schedule to concentrate on routes that reduce travel time and we now reassess and reassign the cleaning frequency of sewer lines based on observations from the TV inspections. We also have increased spending on our Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to replace more sewer

pipelines. Our goal is to replace or rehabilitate 1.5% or 3 miles/year; however this year we will complete nearly 4 miles. In addition to these capital improvements we also have improved our maintenance and operations programs, including implementing a root foaming program to control roots in hard-to-access sewers; televising the District’s sewer pipelines (inspecting with a remote video camera) to set priorities for pipe replacement and rehabilitation projects; performing no-dig pipepatching methods when feasible to avoid digging up the asphalted street. The District also has employed improved pipe-cleaning methods and increased the number of pipe repairs completed by in house staff, which saves money.

Harrison Steps Down After 8 Years of Service

Safety Achievement The District has achieved a record-breaking safety milestone. March 21, 2011, marked four years without a lost-time accident. The District attributes its excellent record to a proactive safety program and the enthusiastic participation of district staff. The district’s safety programs include classroom training, hands-on training, tailgate safety meetings, annual reviews of safety practices and procedures, and the establishment of a safety committee composed of administration and field staff. In August 2011, the District tied for second place in the California Sanitation Risk Management Authority’s SHELL Award (Safety, Health, Environmental, Liability, & Losses) due to its excellent safety program. Next year we hope to gain first place. 12 N The Almanac NNovember 2, 2011

Mr. Harry Harrison resigned from the WBSD Board of Directors effective September 29 after serving a total of nearly 8 years. Mr. Harrison was the ex-officio historian for the District and at age 90 has decided to spend more time with his family, friends and hobbies. The entire WBSD family wishes to thank Mr. Harrison for his time and dedication to the WBSD mission.

Capital Improvement Projects Awarded The West Bay Sanitary District Board has awarded this year’s capital improvement project to Shaw Pipelines Inc. They will be performing pipe replacement and rehabilitation throughout the District in two phases. Phase I includes rehabilitating the 10” sewer main on Atherton Avenue from Elena to El Camino Real, lining two 6” sewer mains on Willow Road, lining the Ladera Easement sewer main running through Webb Ranch and installing a new force main on Portola Road.

West Bay Sanitary District (WBSD) operates a wastewater collection system serving Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and several small portions of unincorporated areas of San Mateo County through a network of over 200 miles of mainline pipe and 13 pumping stations serving approximately 54,000 citizens.

Fall 2011

Ser v in g O ur Co mmunit y Sin ce 19 02

Re-designed Website

Board Approves 2011/12 Budget The West Bay Sanitary District Board of Directors has approved the 2011/12 budget that projects $16,305,391 in revenues and $19,936,054 in total expense, liabilities and reserves in the General Fund. The most significant cost to West Bay is in our non-operating expenses, which have risen to a full 60% ($8.5M) of all expenses for the District and include the support of the Wastewater Treatment Plant operations at South Bayside System Authority (SBSA), and debt service on the bonds to fund SBSA’s Capital Improvement projects. West Bay Sanitary is a partner with Redwood City, Belmont, and San Carlos, which formed the Joint Powers Authority known as SBSA. The Capital Asset Fund budget includes capital expen-ditures and revenue transfers of $5,743,500. This number consists of over $4 million in capital projects such as pipeline replacement. It also includes equipment replace-ment and contributions to our emergency reserves.

For more budget details go to

West Bay Sanitary invites you to tour our re-designed website at We have modernized the entire website to focus on providing useful information to our customers. You can meet the Board of Directors, peruse the financial reports, download agendas and minutes, or find out how to get a permit for sewer repair.

Tabs and pages include: t'PSNTBOEQFSNJUT t'0( 'BUT 0JMT BOE(SFBTF



Master Plan Completed The District has recently adopted a Collection System Master Plan completed by West Yost Associates. The Master Plan is a comprehensive and forward thinking plan that will enable the District to maintain a higher level of sewer service at the lowest overall cost to the ratepayers by providing a systematic and strategic plan for the replacement and rehabilitation of District facilities.

The Master Plan includes the following components: t$PNQVUFSJ[FEIZESBVMJDNPEFM – The model simulated the District’s sewer pipeline network and included dry and wet weather flows that were closely matched to measured flow data. The model was used to evaluate system capacity under a specific design storm. Capacity needs were identified and included in the 10-year capital improvement program (CIP). t1JQFMJOFSFIBCJMJUBUJPOBOESFQMBDFNFOUQSPHSBN – This program allows the District to set priorities for the replacement of pipes that have structural defects as identified through television inspections. A sample 10-year plus capital improvement program has been created to schedule future projects for repair and replacement. t1VNQTUBUJPOSFIBCJMJUBUJPOQSPHSBN – This program allows the District to develop solutions and set priorities for the replacement of pump station components based on visual inspections and District staff needs. t4FXFS3BUFBOE$POOFDUJPO'FF4UVEZ - The rate study evaluated proposed capital improvement program costs, the District’s current and projected operations and maintenance budget requirements, and the District’s contribution to South Bayside System Authority debt service to determine the appropriate sewer rates that are required. A separate connection fee study evaluated and included recommendations for adjust-ments to the District’s connection fee for new or expanded services.

November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N13


Should barn be allowed in ‘the meadow’ By Dave Boyce


Almanac Staff Writer


Time: 8:30am to 11:30am When: Saturday November 12th


few ambiguous phrases in the town’s general plan about a scenic field of grass — commonly referred to as “the meadow� — along the scenic corridor of Portola Road became a hot potato for the members of the Portola Valley Town Council on Oct. 26. They juggled it for 15 or 20 minutes and tossed it right back to those who tossed it to them: the Planning Commission. The key question on this privately owned field in a town known for its environmental ethic: Does ambiguity in the general plan tacitly allow or tacitly forbid the presence of a barn for agricultural purposes? How vital and perhaps even sacred is the current view, unhindered

by manmade objects and prized in particular by residents of the Westridge neighborhood. The council modified the language in May 2011, managing to add new ambiguities as they removed the old ones, and the commissioners wanted clarification. The passage from September 1970 read: “This preserve should be kept largely open, the existing character preserved, and present agricultural uses maintained.� The May 2011 version reads: “This preserve should be kept in a natural condition and the existing agricultural character preserved.� The commissioners questioned the meaning of “natural condition� and the council’s intent in

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the phrase “existing agricultural character preserved.� Would agricultural uses be historical, such as an orchard or hay field, or can a vineyard go in the field, or a vegetable garden? Can the commission determine what to allow, and can visual impact be considered a factor? At its Oct. 26 meeting, the council agreed that the commission should use the 1970 language for the barn project, since that language was in effect in January 2011 when they considered the project, which had the effect of mooting the commission’s questions about the council’s intentions in May. The implicit message to the Planning Commission: interpreting ambiguous language is part of the job. “I don’t envy the Planning Commission,� Councilman Steve Toben remarked. The barn-in-the-field question is a tough one. The field introduces the roadside observer to a much loved landmark in town: the 1,900-foot peak of Windy Hill. The view is a package of cascading seasonal greens and browns. From the road, the view traverses 100 yards or so of deep grass, often grazed by deer, and rises uninterrupted to the sky, climbing ridge upon ridge of undeveloped land. The general plan calls the field a community open space preserve. The couple who own it, Dr. Kirk Neely and Holly Myers, have applied to the Planning Commission to build a barn there, part of a plan that includes a cabana and pool, greenhouse, guest house and artist’s studio, all in less visible places on their 229-acre property at 555 Portola Road. (The field is off limits for human habitation because an earthquake fault runs under a corner of it.) The plan faired poorly at the Jan. 19 meeting of the Planning Commissioners, where it was unanimously voted down. Without the barn, at least two of the buildings might have been approved, but the couple’s architect, Carter Warr, would not have that. “Our intent has not been to pursue two buildings,� he said at the time. “If we wanted the two buildings, we probably could have had the two buildings a year ago.� “I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with a building in the meadow,� Commissioner Alexandra Von Feldt said at the time, after noting the conflicts with Portola Road’s “scenic corridor� designation and the field’s seismic problems. See MEADOW, page 16

November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N15


Daniel Feeny, 15, wins $25,000 prize By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


From kibble to Crystal Collars, Bow Wow Meow offers a unique shopping experience. By combining the product selection of a pet food store with that of a pet boutique our wide range of products is second to none. Pet grooming is available 7 days a week. We also offer training classes.

COUPONS* 20% OFF Winter Wear!

oodsider Daniel Feeny, 15, has won a national science award worth more than $25,000 for the science fair project he did as an eighth-grader at Woodside Elementary School. Daniel won not only for his project on how the force of waves affects life in tidepools, but also for his performance in a set of interviews and exercises designed to test his wide-ranging knowledge of science against that of 29 other young scientists from around the nation. The competition, Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), is for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and was developed by the Society for Science & the Public, the same

orga nization that is behind the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search for high school students. A p p l i - Daniel Feeny cants for the competition had to finish in the top 10 percent in science fairs in their state. A total of 1,475 entered and 30 finalists were chosen from that group. Daniel and his mom, Christina Feeny, a chemical engineer who works with underrepresented students in the Summer Math and Science Honors program, both got a trip to Washington, D.C., for the competition from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.

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“The kids were really obviously kids who loved science — all of them,� says Christina Feeny. After spending all day doing science together, at night “all the kids wanted to do was hang around together,� Christina says. Daniel’s project had won at his school, at the county level, the regional level and at the state level, but he did not expect to win the Broadcom competition. “He told me all the students were so smart and their projects were so good, he felt very honored to have been chosen as the first-place winner,� Christina Feeny says. Daniel is the youngest of five children, and the fourth in his family to attend Phillips Academy in Andover, where he is a freshman. That made the win all the sweeter, his mom says, when Daniel realized he had finally accomplished something none of his older siblings had done. Mom was a little surprised, too. She has no photos of Daniel receiving his award, because “when he won I was so shocked I didn’t even have my camera ready,� she says. His father, Curtis Feeny, is the managing director at Voyager Capital. Woodside Elementary and Yogi Sullivan, Daniel’s eighthgrade science teacher, will also benefit from his win. The school will get $1,000 and a plaque recognizing Daniel’s achievement. Mr. Sullivan will receive $625 in Walmart gift cards in addition to a $500 gift card to spend on the science classroom. A

♼ ID & Appraisal of Antique Teddy Bears ♼ Early Teddy Bear on Display ♼ Consignment Booth ♼ Doll Stringing $1.00 off admission with ad & FREE parking Adults $7. Children under 12 $4. Children under 5 Free Show Info: or call 775-348-7713

MEADOW continued from page 16

Dr. Neely and Ms. Myers have options — appeal the commission’s decision to the council, revise their plans, file a lawsuit. A













Atherton residents create their own library survey


By Barbara Wood

San Carlos, CA 94070

Special to the Almanac


therton residents, whose request to the City Council to survey the town about the location of a new library was not approved, have taken matters into their own hands and created their own survey. According to former Atherton councilwoman Didi Fisher, a link to the online survey was emailed to 1,800 residents of Atherton on Monday evening, Oct. 24, and by Friday evening, 155 people had taken the survey. The City Council decided by a 3-2 vote at its Oct. 19 meeting to choose town-owned Holbrook Palmer Park as the “preferred site” for a new library. Council members also voted unanimously to request a special meeting to discuss conducting a master plan study of town facilities and buildings. Petitions bearing at least 300 signatures asking for the master plan were presented to the council at the start of the meeting.



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Many of the speakers at the packed meeting had also asked the town to conduct a survey, but the council did not request one. The survey emailed Oct. 24 has 10 questions asking how well informed survey-takers are about the library issue, their views on usage of the park, how much they use town facilities, and demographic information. The survey, perhaps to no one’s surprise, shows how divided the town is about the library issue. A total of 54.8 percent of the respondents to the survey said they agreed or strongly agreed that the library should remain in the town center. A slightly larger percentage, 58.7 percent, said they agreed or strongly agreed the library “should not take up our limited park space.” A similar division took place on the question of library size. A little more than half the respondents, 50.3 percent said they agree or strongly agree that they like the Atherton library “small and quant the way it is.”

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Lower School (Grades 1-5), please call 650.473.4011 for appointment.

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See SURVEY, page 18

Middle School (Grades 6-8) Nov. 5, 2011 - 10:00 a.m. Nov. 19, 2011 - 10:00 a.m. Reservation required. For information call 650.473.4011

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Cancer Center ASC


Blake Wilbur Clinic


Lucile L uc Packard Children's Hospital

Visitor Parking




Staff Parking TH P AST EUR DR


LEGEND Road/Driveway Closure

Stanford University Medical Center is beginning construction work to rebuild and expand its medical facilities in Palo Alto. Please be advised of traffic changes around the medical center due to construction.

NOTE: Traffic Changes to Pasteur Drive R DR









Stanford Hospital









Stanford University School of Medicine

Effective Monday, November 7th, South Pasteur Drive will become a two-lane, two-way road. North Pasteur Drive will no longer be accessible due to construction activities. Stanford Hospital & Clinics will continue to be accessed via South Pasteur Drive. Please also note that Welch Road will continue to be a one-lane, one-way road going West between Quarry Road and South Pasteur Drive.

Vehicle Routes

Thank you for your patience during construction. MORE INFO: | | 24-Hour Construction Hotline: (650) 701-SUMC (7862) November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N17


Brian McLaren

Finance director retires, town announces

Author of Best Sellers: “Everything Must Change” “Naked Spirituality” Will Speak at

Valley Presbyterian Church Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 Adult Education Hour 9:15am Sunday Service 10:45am Everyone is Welcome There is no charge

Valley Presbyterian Church ™{xÊ*œÀ̜>Ê,œ>`]Ê*œÀ̜>Ê6>iÞ]Ê ÊÊUÊÈxä‡nx£‡nÓnÓ

Atherton’s finance director Louise Ho will retire in November, interim City Manager John Danielson announced Thursday, Oct. 27. Ms. Ho “is a tireless worker who has spent countless hours helping to bring our financial house in order,” Mr. Danielson said in a statement. “Louise has served not only with professionalism but also the highest levels of integrity and honesty. Louise has set a new bar for all future finance

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CITY OF MENLO PARK PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF NOVEMBER 14, 2011 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Planning Commission of the City of Menlo Park, California, is scheduled to review the following items: PUBLIC HEARING ITEMS Use Permit Revision/100 Middlefield Road Partners LLC/100 Middlefield Road: Request for a use permit revision to allow financial establishments as a permitted use on the ground floor of an existing two-story, non-medical office building located in the C-4 (General Commercial Other than El Camino Real) zoning district. The second floor of the building would remain for non-medical office uses. In addition, the parking is proposed to remain at a ratio of four parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area and retain the existing nine landscape reserve parking spaces for an overall ratio of five spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area. Conditional Development Permit Amendment/Sharon Land Company, LLC/3000 Sand Hill Road: Request to modify an existing conditional development permit (CDP) for the restaurant located at 3000 Sand Hill Road to: 1) allow breakfast, lunch and dinner service for the general public, Monday through Friday and for brunch service on weekends, 2) to allow special events (dinners, board meetings, holiday events, etc.) during weeknights and weekends for tenants of the complex and residents of Sand Hill Circle, and 3) for an on-sale beer and wine license to be able to serve beer and wine at the restaurant. The property is located at 3000 Sand Hill Road in the C-1-C(X) - Administrative, Professional and Research, Restrictive, Conditional zoning district. Use Permit/Pacific Biosciences/940 Hamilton Avenue: Request for a use permit for indoor use and indoor and outside storage of hazardous materials for the manufacturing of genome sequencing equipment in the M-2 (General Industrial) zoning district. Both the 940 Hamilton Avenue and 960 Hamilton Avenue buildings would access an exterior storage bunker for hazardous materials, located adjacent to the 940 Hamilton Avenue building. Use Permit/Pacific Biosciences/960 Hamilton Avenue: Request for a use permit for indoor use and indoor and outside storage of hazardous materials for the manufacturing of single molecule, real time (SMRT) chips and reagents for use in association with genome sequencing in the M-2 (General Industrial) zoning district. Both the 940 Hamilton Avenue and 960 Hamilton Avenue buildings would access an exterior storage bunker for hazardous materials, located adjacent to the 940 Hamilton Avenue building. Use Permit Revision/Menlo Business Park LLC/1455 Adams Drive: Request for a revision to a use permit, previously approved in February of 2007, to increase the types and quantities of hazardous materials used and stored at the site in the M-2 (General Industrial) zoning district. All hazardous materials, except for diesel fuel associated with an existing generator, would be used and stored within the building. The building provides incubator space for start-ups and emerging small businesses to conduct small scale research and development. 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, November 14, 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) 3306702.


directors to compare to.” Ms. Ho began working for the town in late 2008.

Good Samaritan saves day planner

window smashed on his 2008 Mercedes. Sure enough, the $15 planner that had been left on a seat was no longer there. Nothing else was missing. He met up with the Good Samaritan, who returned the planner with all contents intact, police said.

A man got a mysterious call from a stranger in Menlo Park, who said she’d found his day planner abandoned by the side of the road. When he went to his car parked in the Menlo Park Civic Center lot early in the evening on Oct. 25, he found a rear

See the stars


of the library issue before the recent council meeting on the topic — 74.2 percent said they were either vaguely aware, aware or participated in the issue. Only 18.7 percent of those taking the survey said they have lived in Atherton fewer than 11 years, with 35.3 percent saying they have lived in the town between 11 and 20 years, and a robust 25.9 percent saying they have lived in Atherton more than 30 years. Forty-two percent of the respondents said they have school-age children, while 38.5 percent said they are retired. One of the survey questions that gained the most agreement might give hope to those embroiled in this issue. A total of 83.9 percent of those surveyed said they “love living in Atherton.” Visit to see the survey summary.

continued from page 17

But even more said it “would be better with a little more space,” with 62.8 percent saying they agree or strongly agree with that statement. Just a little over half the respondents, 56.9 percent, said they “like Holbrook-Palmer Park the way it is.” Respondents to the survey were less divided on a few topics. A total of 78.1 percent said the town needs a master plan for all its buildings before making a final decision on the location of the library. A slightly lower percentage, 70.9 percent, said they want a town vote on where to move the library. A large number of those who took the survey said they had been at least vaguely aware

Weather permitting, the San Mateo County Astronomical Society invites the public to stargaze on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the main Menlo Park library at 800 Alma St. Telescopes provided. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m.



MondaysandFridays U U U

certified therapists enjoy the patio in the trees located at the intersection of Portola Rd/Alpine Rd




Va l u e s f o r N a t u r a l H e a l i n g

3 Portola Rd., Portola Valley 650.851.3215 Visit us at

Si usted necesita más información sobre este proyecto, por favor llame al 650-330-6702, y pregunte por un asistente que hable español. DATED:

October 27, 2011

Deanna Chow, Senior Planner


November 2, 2011

Menlo Park Planning Commission

Visit our Web site for Planning Commission public hearing, agenda, and staff report information: 18 N The Almanac NNovember 2, 2011

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Comment period now on for revised general plan The character of Woodside and the ongoing effort to maintain it is coming to a milestone soon with the 2012 update to the town’s general plan, a voluminous document that is available at the town’s website at A public comment period for the revised plan expires Thursday, Nov. 17. A public hearing is set for the Dec. 12 Town Council meeting, with adoption of the plan set for Jan. 10. Go to for details. The updated plan, according to an earlier staff report, will be reorganized and made more readable, and include a full color set of maps that cover: zoning and land use; sewer assessment; neighborhoods at risk of flood, seismic and fire hazards; roads and trails; open spaces and scenic corridors; and fresh water resources. The plan will also consider

MENLO PARK Residential burglary reports: ■ Losses estimated at $78,000 in entry through unlocked bedroom window and theft that included jewelry, three laptop computers, bicycle, $25 in currency, two cameras, two digital music players, purse, wallet and computer bag, American Way, Oct. 28. ■ Losses estimated at $7,780 is entry through unlocked rear window and theft of jewelry, TV, two pairs of eyeglasses and makeup, Hamilton Ave., Oct. 28. ■ Losses estimated at $5,200 in break-in of locked garage and theft of two laptop computers, sunglasses and photo, Creek Drive, Oct. 27. ■ Losses estimated at $3,500 in entry through open bedroom window and theft of laptop computer, camera, handheld game device, and miscellaneous jewelry and clothes, Robin Way, Oct. 27. Alarm report: Nothing stolen but alarm triggered after suspect(s) used vehicle to



OUTDOOR ICE SKATING & TENNIS changing the municipal code to allow “a limited number” of small bed-and-breakfast places in the commercial district. For bicyclists, the plan will include a goal to add bike lanes on Alameda De Las Pulgas, Portola Road, and Woodside Road, and bike paths in and around the Glens and Canada College, Tripp Road to Kings Mountain Road, between Edgewood Park and Huddart Park and Skyline Boulevard. Pedestrian improvements will also be a goal, particularly for the walkways to and from Woodside Elementary School, the Woodside Church, and the main fire station. The plan expects a net growth in residential dwellings of 161 between 2012 and 2035, increasing the population by about 440.

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West Bay Sanitary District Notice of Public Hearing NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the District Board of West Bay Sanitary District will conduct a Public Hearing on Wednesday evening, December 14, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the District’s Administration Office located at 500 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025. The purpose of the Public Hearing will be to consider a proposed increase in the existing residential and commercial customer rates, effective January 1, 2012 for the collection of waste/recyclable materials in the West Bay Sanitary District for calendar year of 2012. The need for this increase was discussed by the District Board at the October 24, 2011 Board meeting. WHAT ARE THE PROPOSED MAXIMUM RATES:

N P O LI C E C A LL S 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.


back into plate glass window to gain entry into closed business, Five Star Pizza at 877 Hamilton Ave., Oct. 25. Stolen vehicle report: White 2001 Acura 32L from resident’s driveway, Willow Road, Oct. 25. Child Protective Services report: O’Connor St., Oct. 27. Accident report: No injuries reported after man on motorcycle collided with side of Ford Mustang, O’Brien Drive, Oct. 26. Hit-and-run report: Minor injuries after SUV hit rear tire of bicycle and bicyclist fell, 2500 block of Sand Hill Road, Oct. 26. WEST MENLO PARK Residential burglary report: Laborers suspected in theft of laptop computer and tablet computer from unlocked house while resident was away for 20 minutes, American Way, Oct. 13. Possible scam: In new work-from-home job, resident called Sheriff’s Office after receiving check for $2,900 that she was supposed to cash, keep $75 and send the rest to another person, American Way, Oct. 17. ATHERTON Auto burglary report: Window smashed, Shearer Drive, Oct. 23.

Courage - Community - Kindness - Love of Learning

Approximately sixty percent (60%) of residential service containers are a 32 gallon size. The new rates for 2012 for a 32 gallon container would increase from $27.47 per month to $34.00 per month, equating to a $6.53 per month increase. The District’s proposed rates would remain amongst the mid-range of all the South Bayside Waste Management Authority agencies. The following table shows the current rates and proposed rates to be effective beginning January 1, 2012. Proposed Maximum Solid Waste Rates for 2012 Customer Service Level Residential: 20 gallon can 32 gallon can 64 gallon can 96 gallon can

Current Monthly Rate

Commercial: (Per Pick Up) 1 yard bin 2 yard bin 3 yard bin 4 yard bin 6 yard bin 32-Gallon Cart 64-Gallon Cart 96-Gallon Cart

2012 MONTHLY RATES Proposed Monthly Rate Monthly Increase

$17.17 $27.47 $54.93 $82.40

$21.00 $34.00 $67.00 $101.00

$3.83 $6.53 $12.07 $18.60

Current $177.84 $337.51 $375.83 $501.10 $621.22 $27.47 $54.93 $82.40

Proposed $216.96 $411.76 $458.51 $611.34 $757.89 $34.00 $67.00 $101.00

Increase per pick up $39.12 $74.25 $82.68 $110.24 $136.67 $6.53 $12.07 $18.60

Rates for Other Services In addition to the monthly collection charge, various miscellaneous costs for special services such as back yard service or overage events will be charged to the customers who subscribe to these services. These rates are also proposed to be adopted effective January 1, 2012 and were provided in the Proposition 218 Notice.

Admissions Open House Thursday, November 10 6:30pm

If you would like additional information on the proposed rates, please call the District at 650321-0384. Any person interested, including all solid waste/recycling collection customers of the West Bay Sanitary District, may appear at the public hearing and be heard on matters related to the proposed increase in rates.

RSVP to 650.854.4545 Preschool to 5th Grade Tuition Assistance Available 2245 Avy Avenue - Menlo Park - CA Amanda Perla, Director of Admissions

West Bay Sanitary District Board of Directors San Mateo County, California

/s/ Phil Scott District Manager Dated: October 24, 2011 November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N19


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M-A Vikings win playoffs By Jim Gallagher Vikings Boosters

T Matched CareGivers

“There’s no place like home.”

CITY OF MENLO PARK ORDINANCE 976 SUMMARY NOTICE OF ADOPTION The City Council of Menlo Park adopted Ordinance No. 976 at its regular City Council meeting of October 18, 2011. The Ordinance was introduced on September 13, 2011, and adopted on October 18, 2011, by a 5-0 vote. The ordinance is effective thirty days after its adoption, and is summarized as: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MENLO PARK AUTHORIZING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE CITY OF MENLO PARK AND THE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM PROVIDING FOR A REDUCED 3% AT 55 PENSION BENEFIT BASED ON AVERAGE OF HIGHEST THREE-YEAR FINAL COMPENSATION APPLICABLE TO LOCAL SAFETY MEMBERS ENTERING MEMBERSHIP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE SAFETY CLASSIFICATION AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS AMENDMENT TO CONTRACT The full text of the ordinance and all exhibits are available at the Office of the City Clerk and/or may be viewed on the City of Menlo Park website at

Margaret S. Roberts, MMC City Clerk Dated: October 19, 2011 20 N The Almanac NNovember 2, 2011

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wo of three Menlo-Atherton Vikings playoff teams scored victories over the weekend, continuing the football club’s pattern of success in Peninsula Pop Warner postseason play. The undefeated Vikings PeeWees (11-12 year olds) blanked the Berkeley Bears 28-0, while the Junior PeeWees (9-10 year olds) turned back the Hollister Vikings 18-12. Both teams will


continue playoff competition this weekend against opponents to be designated. Vikings Junior Midgets (13-14) dropped a 32-6 decision to Daly City. The Vikings football program is launching an outreach effort to attract players, coaches and support personnel for the 2012 Pop Warner season. Visit for more information. A

Public invited to watch artists paint About 20 artists have been selected to join with the artists of the Portola Art Gallery to paint in the gardens of the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 5. The public is invited to watch the artists at work and stay for the afternoon exhibit, reception and awards presentation. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event, “Paint Allied Arts 2011,” is the third plein air “paintout” and exhibit sponsored by the Portola Art Gallery, which is based at Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road in Menlo Park. Visit for more information.

Free conference on women’s health A free Women’s Health Conference, sponsored by Sequoia Hospital and the Peninsula Urology Center of Atherton, will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Sharon Heights Golf & Country


Club, 2900 Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. Topics to be covered include incontinence, depression, osteoporosis, vitamin supplements, and relieving stress. Doctors and a nutritionist from Sequoia Hospital will speak from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A complimentary breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will also be provided. Go to or call 306-1019 to register.

Brookside Orchids holds open house Brookside Orchids, at 2720 Alpine Road in Menlo Park, will hold a holiday open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. There will be tours of the facilities, potting demonstrations, and a wide selection of blooming orchids for sale. Located just off Interstate 280 above the Webb Ranch farm stand, Brookside Orchids opened in 1979, as a wholesale grower. In 1996, it began boarding orchids. It now includes retail sales of flowering orchids, as well as immature seedlings, to orchid hobbyists and the general public.

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Special Events ‘Developing the Scientists of Tomorrow’ SRI hosts a Cafe Scientifique event -- a “Wonder Dialogue� on education and developing the scientists of the future. The event is part of the 10-day Bay Area Science Festival. NPR’s Tech Nation host Moira Gunn will moderate the discussion. Nov. 2, 6-7:30 p.m. Free. SRI International, Ringwood at Middlefield, Menlo Park. ‘Celebrating the Fine Arts in Portola Valley’ A sample of the work of nine Portola Valley artists will be on display at the KriewallHaehl Gallery at Woodside Priory. Through Nov. 4, 3-6 p.m. Free. -Haehl Gallery at Woodside Priory, 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-218-8563. Abilities United Authors Luncheon Jennifer Holm, Maxine Hong Kingston, Erik Larson and Calvin Trillin will discuss their books, share stories about their writing experiences, and offer insight into their inspiration with more than 650 guests. Books sales and signing are held before and after the lunch. Nov. 5, $150. Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel - Palo Alto, 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. Call 650-618-3330.

Visit for tickets. ‘The climate chronicles: Tropic Of CANCER’ Using the surreal and absurd elements of everyday life as raw material, “The Climate Chronicles: Tropic Of CANCER� tells the story of a team of American climatologists and diplomats as they prepare to attend an international conference. Nov. 9-12, 8 p.m. $5. Pigott Theater, 551 Serra Mall, Stanford. drama.

Talks/Authors ‘Islam: News Media and Hollywood’ Academics, artists and others discuss the place of Islam and Muslims in contemporary American political discourse and society. Nov. 3, 6 p.m. Free. Cubberly Auditorium, 485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford. Call 650-736 8169. Abilities United Authors Luncheon Four authors read from their books, share stories about their writing experience and offer insight into the inspiration behind the characters. Nov. 5, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. $150. Cabana Hotel and Resort, 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. Call 650-618-3330. Chris Matthews presents a new portrait, from his early life growing up in Massachusetts,

service in the U.S. Navy, private battle with Addison’s disease, and his days in the White House. Nov. 8, 7-8 p.m. $15 & $35 members; $20 & $45 nonmembers. Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Harriet Chessman, Thaisa Frank and Elizabeth Rosner “Touching Fire: Writing Near the Edge of the Holocaust,� a panel discussion. Nov. 3, 7 p.m. Free. Books Inc. , 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. www. Silicon Valley Bootstrappers Breakfast Geva Solomonovich explores his experiences as an early employee at Fraud Sciences, which was acquired by PayPal. Nov. 4, 7:30-9 a.m. Hobee’s Restaurant, 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. Call 408-252-9676.

Art Galleries ‘Paint Allied Arts 2011’ The Portola Art Gallery announces its plein air paint-out and exhibit “Paint Allied Arts 2011.� More than 20 artists have been selected to join with artists of Portola Art Gallery to paint in the gardens of Allied Arts on the morning of Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Portola Art Gallery, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-0220. www.portolaartgal-

Kids & Families

On Stage

Menlo Park â–  Erin and Josh Wetzel, a daughter, Oct. 6, Sequoia Hospital. â–  Theresa Fox and David Brubacher, a son, Oct. 12, Sequoia Hospital. â–  Lisa and Daniel Bradford, a son, Oct. 13, Sequoia Hospital. â–  Si and Steven Wilber, a son, Oct. 13, Sequoia Hospital.

Miwok & Ohlone Craft Participants will join staff of the Museum of Craft and Folk Art as participants explore the ancient local sites of the Ohlone and Miwok tribes. Then, they’ll create traditional handmade objects from plant materials in this 75-minute workshop. Designed for age 6 and up; phone 851-0147 to sign up; limited space. Nov. 2, 3:30-4:45 p.m. Free. Woodside Library, 3140 Woodside Road, Woodside. Call 650-851-0147. www, Preschool Storytime Songs, stories and activities for kids ages 3-5. Mondays, 11 a.m.11:45 a.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-328-2422.

Et Alia Journalist and NPR host Scott Simon will share his personal story of international adoption with the introduction of his latest book: “Baby We Were Meant For Each Other.� Nov. 6, 5-8 p.m. $30. Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Call 650-9643800. ‘Images of Menlo’ Art Exhibit The thirdannual “Images of Menlo� exhibit showcases plein air art by Menlo College students and local artists. The show, currently on display in the Administration Building, includes more than 30 oil and acrylic paintings of the Menlo campus. Through Jan. 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Menlo College, 1000 El Camino Real, Atherton. Call 650-543-3901. Historic Folger Stable Visitors can view the historically restored Folger Stable and miles of woodland trails. View historic displays and video in the carriage room. Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Free. Wunderlich Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside. Call 650-851-2660.


Dr. Kliman named foundation trustee


Classes/Workshops ‘Pissarro’s People’ An art docent presents highlights of the new exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco, including 37 paintings and numerous works on paper. Nov. 4, 2-3:30 p.m. Free. Woodside Library, 3140 Woodside Road, Woodside. Call 650-851-0147. ‘Public or Private School (all ages)’ Parenting workshop led by Stephanie Agnew. Guidelines on how to evaluate what type of school is best for a child and family. Wed., Nov. 2, 7-9 p.m. Free. Parents Place, 200 Channing Ave., Palo Alto. Call 650-688-3040.

Babies & Books Storytime at PV Library Rhymes, songs, lap play and short stories for the very young. Mondays, 11-11:15 a.m. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl. org/en/content/portola-valley

‘Our Town’ Georges Lavaudant collaborates with Stanford Professor Jean-Marie Apostolides to present “Our Town,� the classic play. Nov. 9-12, 8 p.m. $5-$15. Pigott Theater, 551 Serra Mall, Stanford. ‘Stage Door’ is a fast-paced dramatic comedy about a boarding house full of aspiring actresses struggling to make it big on Broadway. Nov. 3-12, Evening and matinees. $12 adults, $8 students/ seniors, $4 students on Thursdays. M-A Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. Call 650-322-5311 ext. 8500.

Dr. Gilbert H. Kliman of Menlo Park has been named a national trustee for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which raises funds for retinal degenerative disease research. A former practicing ophthalmologist, Dr. Kliman leads ophthalmology investments at InterWest Partners, a Menlo Park venture capital firm. He served as a member of the foundation’s Dining in the Dark fundraising committees. Active on the boards of many life science companies, Dr. Kliman has worked to advance the fight against blindness, most recently through his involvement in companies such as On Demand Therapeutics, Glaukos, and AGTC. In its 40-year history, the foundation has raised about $425 million for sight-saving research. It provides patient education and support through outreach programs and 50 volunteer-led chapters across the country. Carolyn Jones’ “Recent Works� The Portola Art Gallery presents oil paintings by Carolyn Jones of Menlo Park. The exhibit includes Jones’ landscapes from recent travels in California, Vermont and France. Throughout November, Free. Portola Art Gallery, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-0220. www. Esther Baran Art Show Wine and cheese, plus gifts for sale and art on view. Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Call 760-855-3186.

2011 2012


Halloween Hoopla Latha Palaniappan of Menlo Park took this picture of her son, Rohan Ramanathan, 3, with Menlo Park police officer Stephen Neumann at Saturday’s Menlo Park Halloween costume parade. The picture was taken at the corner of Santa Cruz and University, in front of Peet’s coffee.

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November 2, 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 Vice President Sales and Marketing Tom Zahiralis 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

Woodland is the favorite in Ladera


e hope the private Woodland School in Ladera will get a fair shake in the upcoming bidding process that will determine the school’s fate for years to come. The school buildings and site are owned by the Las Lomitas School District, which closed the Ladera School in 1979 and leased it to Woodland. Now the lease is up, and after 30 years, Woodland, which has 275 students, must bid and almost certainly pay much more (annual rent is $650,000 a year now) just to stay in its old home, which is in bad need of repairs. Another part of the bidding process will concern how EDITO RIA L much Woodland, or another bidThe opinion of The Almanac der, is willing to spend to fix up the school. Woodland is worried because they believed the original plan to use the RFP (request for proposals) process would have given Las Lomitas more leeway over selection of a tenant. But that plan was thrown out in favor of an open-bid process, which is said to limit the district’s control over what the lessee can do with the property, although Las Lomitas officials believe it can be tailored to be somewhat flexible. Nevertheless, open bidding means that the school must be leased to the highest bidder in almost all cases, and may make it more difficult to award points to Woodland for its long relationship with the district and community. For months prior to changing the process, Woodland officials felt Las Lomitas seemed to delay going forward with the RFP process, which Woodland kept pushing to make final. Now with the change to open bidding, Woodland is facing a time-crunch and can only hope it can survive what is certain to be a spirited bidding process, possibly with Phillips Brooks School, which leases a smaller Las Lomitas property on Avy Avenue in Menlo Park. With tuition of about $20,000 a year, Woodland will have to bid carefully. Supporters of the school feel they won a key concession when a Las Lomitas representative agreed to place a limit of 325 students on the school site, which would rule out larger schools that hope to gain approval to house more students on the campus. Ladera fears

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.

more before- and after-school traffic would create a nightmare on the winding, hilly road leading up to the school. Traffic can back up on La Cuesta Drive when parents leaving the school with their children must pull out onto sometimes busy Alpine Road. And with only 27 parking spaces, Woodland is not able to permit parents to wait at the school site. Woodland had hoped to be much further along in the bidding process by now, so school officials will be hard-pressed to live with a leasesigning deadline of July 2012, when they must vacate the property just 12 months later if they fail to acquire a new lease. Certainly the Las Lomitas district needs to obtain the highest value it can for the school site, but we also hope they will give as much consideration as they can to Woodland, which has been a good tenant for many years and has become a valued and respected neighbor in the Ladera community. (The Las Lomitas District board will take up the issue Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the La Entrada School multi-use room. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.)

The Almanac recommends...


here are several important local races in next Tuesday’s election. Here is a recap of the Almanac’s endorsements in these contests:

Sequoia Union High School District Carrie DuBois, Larry James Moody and Allen S. Weiner Menlo Park fire district board Bart Spencer and Scott Barnum Measure F Vote yes to permit the Menlo Park fire district board to spend revenues it collects. Woodside Elementary School board Rudy Driscoll and Kevin Johnson San Mateo County Community College District board Patricia Miljanich, Karen Schwarz and Dave Mandelkern Measure H, Community college bond measure We grudgingly endorse this measure.


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

Our readers write

Disagrees with Almanac endorsement Editor: I am disappointed and confused by your endorsements for the Sequoia Union High School District’s Board of Trustees. In my opinion, this is the one race where voting for the incumbent is crucial. At a time when school budgets are being cut and the district facing so many unknowns, I find it inconceivable that you would advocate for an inexperienced board to oversee the education of 8,000 high school students with wildly diverse backgrounds and needs. Olivia Martinez and Lor-

CALL the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

22 N The Almanac NNovember 2, 2011

See LETTERS, next page

Portola Valley Archives

Our Regional Heritage Population soared on the Peninsula after World War II. Here Portola Valley students demonstrate the rapid growth. The three youngsters in front represent the 1948 eighth-grade graduation class from Portola Valley School; those in the back, the 1957 graduating class.


Alpine trail is the trail that nobody wants By Lennie Roberts

northbound I-280 off(This letter was ramps is particularly addressed to the Board dangerous, as drivers of Supervisors.) merging onto Alpine do he Commitnot expect to see cyclists tee for Green and pedestrians comFoothills (CGF) ing from the right. The is opposed to furtrail should be re-routed ther consideration of to cross under (or over) expanding the existing these off-ramps as it does GUEST sidewalk/trail known OPINION at the southbound onas â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lower Alpine ramps. Trail,â&#x20AC;? unless it avoids Supervisors have twice the Stanford Weekend Acres area rejected Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offer of fundand the dangerous at-grade cross- ing for the Lower Alpine Trail ing of the northbound off-ramps due to its unacceptable impacts from Interstate 280 onto Alpine to Stanford Weekend Acres resiRoad. dents, impacts to the creek/riparExpansion of the existing side- ian areas, and impacts from maswalk/trail at Stanford Weekend sive grading of the hillside across Acres would increase, rather from the Bishop Lane curve. than reduce, hazards to trail Supervisors Rich Gordon and users because the trail crosses 21 Jerry Hill spent countless hours private driveways and five streets attempting to craft a feasible in less than half a mile. Attracting compromise, but were unable more walkers, runners, cyclists, to do so. They concluded: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This and other trail users traveling in proposal does not have the supboth directions on the residential port of impacted residents in the side of heavily impacted Alpine Weekend Acres area. The plan Road would greatly increase the does not have the support of dangers to trail users, as docu- the environmental community. mented by studies compiled by Implementation would probably Rob Decker, former Ladera Com- lead to lawsuits against San Mateo munity Association president. County.â&#x20AC;? The at-grade crossing of the These reasons are still valid


Continued from previous page

raine Rumely have worked for 12 years with much success to improve the quality of education for all students in our district. I think most of us who have any long-term connection with the public high schools have seen that many positive changes have occurred since the late 1990s. That includes bringing the diverse student bodies together in key classes, Challenge Days, and through outreach in Spanish to the Hispanic community. To use the achievement gap as the only issue is shortsighted and ignores many other issues facing our district. To blame the lack of closing the gap on the current trustees ignores the progress made as well as the fact that the top two indicators of educational success are poverty and the parental education level. Doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t experience and proven effective leadership count? Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t we owe it to all of our students to provide that experience? Linda Scharninghausen Sherman Avenue, Menlo Park

today. Stanford Weekend Acres residents are overwhelmingly opposed to expanding the trail in their area. It would be a waste of time, money, and other resources to reopen consideration of this matter unless both Stanford and Santa Clara County, which has veto power over alternative alignments, agree that the trail could

either be stopped at Piers Lane, or rerouted along an alternative alignment. There are at least two alternative alignments for the trail that would avoid the Stanford Weekend Acres area. One is the existing â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dish Trailâ&#x20AC;? which crosses Stanford land in Santa Clara County, generally to the east of Stanford Weekend Acres. The other is a western alignment, which would parallel Alpine Road beginning at the back entry to SLAC opposite Piers Lane, cross

over the hill, and return to Alpine Road near Stowe Lane. This alignment could also connect to Sand Hill Road near Branner Drive, which would have the additional benefit of avoiding the extremely dangerous mega-intersection at Alpine/Junipero Serra/Sand Hill/ Santa Cruz Avenue. Lennie Roberts is the San Mateo County legislative advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills

Most Weekend Acres residents oppose trail Editor: Residents of Stanford Weekend Acres are quite diverse in terms of demographics, political views and attitudes on many issues. But they are strongly united on one thing. They overwhelmingly oppose Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s push for a large bi-directional, multi-use sidewalk/ trail along this dangerous heavily traveled traffic corridor. Results of a neighborhood petition have just been released. Of the 180 residents reached, 165 oppose any consideration of a sidewalk/trail on the stretch of Alpine Road between Piers Lane and the Menlo Park city limit. People here are too familiar with the daily challenges presented by this unsafe roadway. Adding a new flow of children on bicycles, dog walkers, strollers and joggers in front of the cars already struggling to get in and out of this neighborhood is felt to be irresponsible at best. Area residents presented the county with abundant research documenting the dangers of this type of

Baby Boomers: Thinking about downsizing? Consider something different.

multi-use roadside design during community meetings held last month. It should be noted that Stanford Weekend Acres residents strongly support the idea of safe recreational trails in this area. There are several alternate trail alignment possibilities that are natural and beautiful, and would not require children to cross freeway off-ramps or ride alongside fast moving vehicles on a winding roadway. But Stanford has thus far rejected them all, maintaining that this is the only mitigation option they will consider. Larry Horton , senior associate vice president for government and community relations at Stanford, and Dave Holland, San Mateo County assistant manager, have both assured Stanford Weekend Acres residents that they will not force this proposal on the community if the neighborhood is not in favor of the idea. This petition makes it clear that the opposition is overwhelming. Ginger Holt Stanford Weekend Acres


We just received approval from the City Council and are moving quickly toward making the Mountain View Cohousing Community a reality. Already 13 households strong, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for 6 more to join us.

We believe education can be engaging and joyous. Ä&#x2018;Ĺ?Ĺ?!(!.0%*#Ĺ?.0/Ĺ?* Ĺ? !)%/ Ä&#x2018;Ĺ?Ĺ?+.'%*#Ĺ?0+#!0$!.Ĺ?0+Ĺ?1(0%20!Ĺ?1.%+/%05Ĺ?* Ĺ?%)#%*0%+*Ĺ? Ä&#x2018;Ĺ?Ĺ?0.+*#Ĺ?+))1*%05Ĺ?1%( %*#

Our located walking walking Our cohousing cohousing community, community, located distance View, will will distancefrom from downtown downtown Mountain Mountain View, balance fellowship and shared balance fellowship and shared activities activities with with private spaces spaces and private and individual individual pursuits. pursuits. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re building neighborhood building aa new new â&#x20AC;&#x153;old â&#x20AC;&#x153;old fashionedâ&#x20AC;? fashionedâ&#x20AC;? neighborhood of with of upscale, upscale,energy-efficient energy-efďŹ cient condos, condos, with shared common facilities, open space, garshared common facilities, open space, dens and underground gardens and undergroundparking. parking.

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To learn more: 650-479-MVCC (479-6822)

N TOW N S Q UA R E Post your views and comments on TownSquare:

Photo: Marc Silber

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920 peninsula way, menlo park, ca | 650.325.1584

November 2, 2011 N The Almanac N23

The Buck Estate - Woodside


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Scott Dancer 650.529.2454 DRE# 00868362

2969 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA 94062 Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

24 N The Almanac NNovember 2, 2011

represented by Scott Dancer

The Almanac 11.02.2011 - Section 1