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Woodside’s new commissioner has ties to kitchen stars. Page 3


MARCH 21, 2012

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2 N The Almanac NMarch 21, 2012



Woodside’s new ASRB member has ties to stars of culinary world By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


oodside resident Maggie Mah Johnson, a food industry consultant, a former assistant to Julia Child, and an equestrian, is now a member of the Architectural & Site Review Board. The Town Council appointed Ms. Mah Johnson on a 5-1 vote at its March 14 meeting, with Councilwoman Anne Kasten absent and Mayor Dave Tanner giving his vote and his encouragement to the other applicant, commercial real estate agent Gary Willard. “I really want you to apply for more things in town,� Mr. Tanner said to Mr. Willard, who responded to the council’s decision with a smile and congratulated Ms. Mah Johnson. “I really didn’t want to see him get discouraged,� Mr. Tanner said later when asked about his vote. “He has a lot of talent.� Ms. Mah Johnson lives in the Emerald Hills neighborhood with her husband Tom, two horses and two dogs, and will serve the remaining year in the four-year term of Martha Putnam, who left the ASRB in December. The seven-member panel reviews construction and design plans for new homes and major remodeling projects before they go on to the Planning Commission. “My reason for applying is because I care very much about this town,� Ms. Mah Johnson told the council. Councilwoman Deborah Gordon noted that people have “interesting ways� of skirting square-footage limits in planning their homes, and asked Ms. Mah Johnson for her comment. The plans, Ms. Gordon said, “may be legal and fit all the (design) guidelines, but they certainly won’t be what (the town) had in mind� when it set the limits. Ms. Mah Johnson recommended starting a dialog with the applicant as early as possible, adding that she would look for a collaborative solution that both

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Maggie Mah Johnson, an equestrian and a member of Woodside’s Trails Committee, is now a member of the town’s Architectural & Site Review Board.

the ASRB and the applicant could accept. “Obstacles often provide the grounds for coming up with creative solutions that help avoid conflict,� she said. “In a perfect world, architects would come and look at the design guidelines of the town that (the client) purchased the property in.� What if there were a disagreement over how to interpret a guideline? Ms. Mah Johnson replied to that question that she would take a quality-of-life perspective. “A big part of this has to do with stepping back and looking at the larger picture.� Cooking with Julia

Ms. Mah Johnson, who has contributed articles to the Almanac, is a food industry consultant, and the larger picture of her career encompasses many celebrities in the field of food preparation. She assisted TV cooking show pioneer Julia Child from 1975 to 2004. “I had a long, close relationship with Julia over the course of 30-plus years,� Ms. Mah Johnson wrote in an email. “We did a lot

of things together both personally and professionally. On my first trip to France, I stayed with Julia and Paul (Ms. Child’s husband) at their place in Provence — quite an introduction.� At the Great Chefs cooking school at the Robert Mondavi winery in Napa County, Ms. Mah Johnson said she helped Ms. Child with kitchen prep work, and rehearsed recipes with her before class. “During the actual class, I made sure she had the exact amount of each ingredient and specific piece of equipment right when she needed it,� Ms. Mah Johnson said. “Meanwhile, there were usually items set to cook or bake during class that had to be watched, which was also part of what I did.� Ms. Mah Johnson studied under many notable chefs, she said, including cooking show stars James Beard and Jacques Pepin. “I learned a lot from both of them, although what I remember most from Beard was learning to trust my own judgment,� she wrote. “Jacques Pepin is a wonderful teacher and just as charming as he seems on TV. He is a master, and things seem to fall from his hands perfectly formed while he speaks.� Among the commercial products from Ms. Mah Johnson’s imagination as a food consultant: the Frappuccino at Starbuck’s Coffee, Pom pomegranate juice, and Boca Burgers, she wrote. Ms. Mah Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in German literature and art history from the University of California at Berkeley. Her professional affiliations include membership in Les Dames d’Escoffiers, a philanthropic society for women involved in the food, beverage and hospitality business. She is past president of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and a member of Resetting the American Table Summit, an “incredible effort to create a new ‘sustainable’ model that embraced taste and enjoyment as part of a healthy lifestyle,� she said. A



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March 21, 2012 N The Almanac N3


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Menlo Park impasse with union may be over ■ Pension reform progresses, but work remains, advocates say.

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


n unresolved wrinkle in Menlo Park’s efforts to curb city employee pension and benefit costs may finally be ironed out: At its March 27 meeting, the City Council is expected to vote on a new proposed agreement with a union after negotiations stalled in an impasse in 2010. The proposed contract affects 140 members of Service Employees Union International (SEIU). It incorporates

terms the city had earlier imposed: The retirement age for new non-police city employees was raised from 55 to 60, and pension benefits decreased from a maximum of four-fifths of annual salary to three-fifths; no raises; no awards for not using sick leave; and fixed contributions rather than automatic increases to health plans, according to a staff report released March 14. Other sections give the city permission to implement up to 21 hours in unpaid furlough each fiscal year and to release salary and benefit information as public records. SEIU employees would each receive $100 to $200 more per month for health

and dental coverage. The contract would run from March 25, 2012, through Oct. 31, 2013. The agreement comes with a price tag. According to the staff report, the operating budget for fiscal year 2012-13 will absorb the associated $336,600 increase. The council approved a similar twoyear contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) last year. Menlo Park has been working to implement Measure L, the pension reform initiative passed by 72 percent of voters in 2010 that raised the minimum retirement age for new non-police city employees by five years to 60, and also

decreased maximum pension benefits by 0.7 percentage points to 2 percent of their highest annual salary averaged over three years. However, the initiative remains under fire in the court system, because of a clause requiring voter approval for all benefit increases, a decision that used to rest with the City Council. That policy is the foundation of the lawsuit filed by Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, the firm representing SEIU and AFSCME. The leaders behind the Measure L initiative seem pleased by the progress See PENSION, page 11

County supervisors ban most roadside herbicide spraying By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


ounty residents who have been trying since 2006 to convince San Mateo County supervisors to find nonchemical ways to kill weeds were celebrating on March 13 after the supervisors voted to end roadside broadcast herbicide spraying. The resolution, which passed 4-0 with Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson absent, bans broadcast spraying by the county everywhere except at its two airports, but allows targeted spraying of invasive plants. “We’ve waited for this since 2006,” said La Honda area resident Patty Mayall, who has led the fight against herbicide spraying. Broadcast spraying “kills everything, not just the invasives, but natives,” she said at the March 13 Board of Supervisors meeting. The fight to end roadside spraying is not completely over, however. While the California Department of Transportation has told the neighbors in the past that it does not spray in counties where broadcast spraying has been banned, for now, Caltrans says it will spray ìif we have issues such as weeds that are impeding safety devices, fire danger, site distances, noxious weeds, etc.,î said spokeswoman Gidget Navarro. But Caltrans will give notice before a spray is applied, she added. According to Patty Clary, executive director of Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, Caltrans will stop spraying if

asked to do so by the Board of Supervisors, not just by residents. Caltrans has quit spraying roadsides in cities and counties where the local government has stopped its own roadside spraying,î Ms. Clary said. ìBut, generally, it took a separate vote of the governing body requesting that Caltrans stop spraying roadsides within its jurisdiction to bring that about.î The county supervisors March 13 vote came despite a report from the county’s public works director saying that trying to control weeds without spraying herbicides could cost the county up to $800,000 a year. But department staff needs to “really think outside the box here,” Supervisor Dave Pine said. “We should put a challenge to the department of public works that they should do as much as they possibly can with their budget.” “The risk of chemicals is a great concern to me,” he said. “There’s been tremendous growth in childhood neurological disorders, which more and more are being tied to chemicals.” “I think the time has come,” Supervisor Adrienne Tissier said. “It’s time for us to take that leap to eliminate broadcast spraying.” Supervisor Carole Groom said the ban is in line with other county efforts to improve public health. “We know that spraying can increase the chances of asthma; See HERBICIDE, page 11

Almanac photo by Michelle Le

Kids helping kids Parent volunteer Meredith Walsey shows Oak Knoll fifth-grader Axel Ljunggren how to sew a bag to be filled with shoes, clothing, and gift certificates, which will be distributed to low-income kids through the nonprofit My New Red Shoes. For two weeks earlier this month, the Oak Knoll School community made bags and cards, and collected new shoes in an effort organized by Ms. Walsey. The school also raised funds through a bake sale each afternoon. The nonproft was founded by Menlo Park resident Heather Hopkins.

Facebook reviews real estate elsewhere as contingency plan By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


ust has yet to settle on renovations at Facebook’s new Menlo Park headquarters, and while the company doesn’t seem to want to leave any time soon, it’s made a cursory check of real estate in other cities just in case negotiations over its planned campus expansion fall apart, accord-

ing to local news reports. “It’s our hope that Menlo Park and East Palo Alto see the incredible economic benefits to having a good neighbor, like Facebook, join the community,” Facebook spokesman Tucker Bounds said in an email to the Almanac on March 16. “We expect to grow and thrive responsibly in Menlo Park, but it’s important for us to evaluate other options in the case that our plans

are not fully approved and supported.” Facebook is asking Menlo Park to swap an existing cap of 3,600 employees for a traffic cap instead at its main Willow Road campus — now known as 1 Hacker Way. The requested cap is for 15,000 daily trips, with 2,600 during rush hour. In exchange, the City Council compiled its own wish list of public benefits and mitigations, including completing a one-mile gap in the Bay Trail; affordable housing; creating an ongoing community See FACEBOOK, page 7

March 21, 2012 N The Almanac N5

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6 N The Almanac NMarch 21, 2012


Art Commission finds friends A mysterious group of benefactors has decided to breathe new life into Menlo Park’s defunct Arts Commission. The “Friends of the Menlo Park Arts Commission� will soon start fundraising to create a foundation to support an arts commission, according to member Jim Lewis. But his colleagues in the endeavor prefer to remain anonymous. “Far too many groups would love to have the names of altruistic, philanthropic individuals with both heart and funds,� Mr. Lewis said. Instead, the group wants to focus on coordinating existing artistic organizations into a council that shares ideas, programs, and perhaps funding to create “a culturally rich environment� for Menlo Park, he said.


Water main break investigated It was a wet wakeup call after a rainy weekend — a water main broke in Sharon Heights around 3 a.m. on Monday, March 19. Located near Monte Rosa Drive and Sharon Park Drive, the busted pipe sent water gushing along the ground for almost three hours. Police and public works crews arrived to take control of the scene and put up barricades, and the water flow was stopped shortly before 6 a.m. Public Works Director Chip Taylor said crews were digging up the pipe later on Monday morning to figure out how it broke.

High school district discussion on achievement gap March 21 The academic achievement gap in the schools and among students in the Sequoia Union High School District is the topic for a three-hour conceptual discussion set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, at the district’s office at 480 James Ave. in Redwood City. Along with the five members of the district board, Linda Darling Hammond, a Stanford University education professor and a leading thinker on current issues in education, is expected to be there and talk with the board about research on this topic.

The agenda includes reviews of data, programs meant to close the achievement gap and relevant questions going forward, including what to do next. The tentative plan is to have more in-depth studies so as to “inform policy and priorities of the district,� board member Chris Thomsen said in an email. “My own interest is seeing where we can have a system-wide impact, rather than focusing on individual program interventions to address the major challenges of the district.�

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EV enthusiasts can recharge in PV By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


wo digital displays now glow blue in the night in parking lots at the Portola Valley Town Center at 765 Portola Road. Electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations wait for customers near the Historic Schoolhouse and the library, each station capable of recharging two cars at once. For the present, the service is free. The station at the library quietly recharged two cars during a ribboncutting ceremony under a canopy in light rain on Thursday, March 15. Mayor Maryann Derwin presided before about 20 people. “In the six-plus years since I’ve been on the Town Council, I’ve watched a new value rise to the forefront of our collective environmental consciousness: sustainability,” Ms. Derwin said in a prepared statement. The town has taken “another step along the path in (its) commitment to reduce greenhouse

gasses, and in a real global sense, lessen our dependence on foreign oil.” (The Town Center has a substantial array of solar panels.) The California Energy Commission gave Portola Valley $15,000 to install the stations, and until December 2013, a U.S. Department of Energy grant pays the $230 per-station per-year network connection fee. Recharging can take several hours, so a network website shows station locations and whether they’re busy, and what the electrons cost. Mike DiNucci, a spokesman for Campbell-based station manufacturer Coulomb Technologies, spoke and took questions. There are some 10,000 charging stations in the United States today, Mr. DiNucci said, including many for Silicon Valley employees. Google, he said, provides 280 stations at 68 buildings in Mountain View. One electric vehicle owner noted

that a round trip to San Francisco requires a recharge in the city, and that charging stations there can be busy. Drivers can reserve stations online, Mr. DiNucci said, but that’s no guarantee because drivers without reservations have been known to start a recharge and refuse to move when someone with a reservation arrives. “At this point,” he added, “there’s a small enough population of EV drivers that it can be self-policing.” Time is one tradeoff with an electric car. The Nissan Leaf has two receptacles: one renders a full charge in about seven hours, the other an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes. Just one problem, according to a Redwood City Nissan salesman: The only 30-minute station in the Bay Area is in Vacaville. A possible downside to rapid recharging is the life-shortening toll it may take on a vehicle’s $15,000 battery pack, Mr. DiNucci said.

Almanac Staff Writer


rofessionals involved with classroom technology will join in a panel discussion about whether technology can close the academic achievement gap at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at Woodside High School at 199 Churchill Ave. in unincorporated Woodside. The scheduled panelists are: ■ Karen Cator, a former Apple Corp. director and now director of the U.S. Office of Educational Technology. ■ Neeru Khosla, the cofounder and executive director of the Palo

Alto-based nonprofit CK-12 Foundation, which focuses on lowering the cost of textbooks. ■ Alan Louie, a partner with Imagine K12, an “incubator of new high-tech companies focused on K-12 education,” according to an event announcement. ■ Principal David Reilly, who has expanded career technical education at Woodside High “in an effort to harness the potential of technology in a comprehensive high school setting,” the announcement said. The moderator, Betsy Corcoran, is a former journalist and cofounder of EdSurge, a “team of journalists,

by Gloria Darke

Hurry to get on the market? Dear Gloria, I know the market around here is hot. I don’t want to miss it but we are still remodeling one of our bathrooms. My realtor says to wait and I say a buyer can see through that. What do you think? Are there any other factors we should consider prior to selling? Marlene P. Dear Marlene, When it comes time to sell your home, there are costly mistakes that sellers should avoid. Sellers should listen to the voice of their experienced real estate professional as it applies to their particular property. Putting the home on the market before it is ready: the last thing that any potential buyer wants to see is a house that needs paint or that is being painted while on the market. Presentation is everything- so get the work done before marketing the property. Over improving the home for the neighborhood: this happens with additions and upgrades that make the home stand out from among its

competitors so much that it is an abnormality, instead of a nice addition to the community. Pricing your home based on what you want to net from the sale: this pricing strategy typically ends in failure. Sellers can control the “asking” price, but they do not control the “sales” price. The market does. Hiring a professional based on non-business factors (like a nephew or neighbor’s child): make sure you are hiring a professional with a proven track record and referrals from past clients. Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home: this is one of the biggest challenges home sellers face when putting their home on the market. Once you decide to sell your home, it is no longer your home, but a commodity. Trying to cover up problems or not disclosing them. Avoiding these mistakes is not difficult. Do the research early. There are plenty of resources, like your real estate professional who is there to help.

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.


Can technology close achievement gap? By Dave Boyce


educators, and technologists dedicated to accelerating the adoption of education technology,” according its website. While the panel appears weighted in favor of classroom technology, Ms. Corcoran, replying to an emailed question as to whether contrarian views would be represented, said: “I will do my best to ask a wide range of questions. Technology is certainly not always the answer. We will also make time for audience Q&A.” The event’s sponsors are Kepler’s Books of Menlo Park and Woodside High School.

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N PO LI C E C A L L 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. MENLO PARK Commercial burglary report: Customer making small purchase reached into cash register drawer and removed $240, but cashier retrieved money from customer, who then fled, Willow Cove Gas at 500 Willow Road, March 15.

FACEBOOK continued from page 5

foundation; jobs; penalties for exceeding the vehicle trip cap; and in-lieu fees to compensate for lost sales tax revenue. The city’s negotiation team plans to bring a proposed development agreement to the council in April, according to staff. On the team are City Attorney Bill McClure, Public Works Director Chip Taylor, Development Services Manager Justin Murphy, and David Boesch,

Residential burglary report: Fourteenyear-old arrested on burglary charges after being seen by police fleeing from residence, stopping on officer’s order and admitting to attempted burglary, Terminal Ave., March 10. Animal bite report: Dog 1 escaped fenced backyard, attacked Dog 2, was held back by Dog 2’s owner after Dog 2 ran off, and then bit Dog 2’s owner on forearm causing “non-life-threatening injury,” Partridge Ave., March 12. Theft report: Loss estimated at $600 in theft of phone left in bathroom, Cafe Borrone at 1010 El Camino Real, March 10.

a former city manager and former county manager. At a Feb. 14 council meeting, David Ebersman, the company’s chief financial officer, said that while the company is currently happy in Menlo Park, the negotiations will decide whether Facebook sticks around. He asked the council to consider “appropriate goals.” According to the Silicon Valley/ San Jose Business Journal, the Pacific Research Center in Newark

PORTOLA VALLEY Missing person report: Son missing after being dropped off at Palo Alto restaurant to meet friends and calling home around 1 a.m. to say, out of character, that he was drunk and planning to walk home, March 10. He was found three hours later. ATHERTON Theft report: Loss of $150 from classroom, Las Lomitas Elementary School at 299 Alameda de las Pulgas, March 9.

may be a fallback location. Councilman Rich Cline, who has watched Facebook’s relocation to Menlo Park from the beginning, told the Almanac that he thinks Facebook has to always keep an out on the horizon on all fronts, real estate included. “I cannot speak to Facebook and its motives, obviously,” he said. “I know that we are having good discussions and that we both seek a positive outcome in Menlo Park.” A

March 21, 2012 N The Almanac N7


New council member is ready to ask “Why?” By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


he Woodside Town Council is a skeptical crew that regularly challenges town staff on its priorities, but with the election in November of investment banker and former private-sector chief financial officer Tom Shanahan, the skepticism has intensified. Elected without opposition from District 3, Mr. Shanahan told the Almanac in September 2011 of his preference for zero-based budgeting, in which officials question not whether to increase or decrease a program’s share of revenues, but whether the program should exist. Woodside, for example, has access to $215,600 in federal and county grants to upgrade two poorly functioning and heavily used crosswalks that cross state Highway 84 at the preschool through K-8 Woodside Elementary School. In the same area are a fire station, a library, a church and homes. This two-lane road leads to county parks, Skyline Boulevard and the beach, and


is used by motorists, cyclists, pedestrians of all ages, and equestrians. It’s busy. The crosswalks’ in-road lights have been painted over and scratched, Deputy Town Manager and Town Engineer Paul

“We applied for these funds because we and others thought that this would be a good thing for our kids,” she said. “This supports safe routes to school,” Councilman Ron Romines added, referring to town policy and the general plan, which encourages more and safer bike riding to and from

‘Personally, I have always felt that I am better off and safer if my neighbor is better off and safer.’ COUNCILWOMAN DEBORAH GORDON

Nagengast told the Almanac. This upgrade would add solar power, new signs and stripes, re-graded paths, better drainage and new bright lights located so as not to be painted over. At the council’s March 13 meeting, Mr. Shanahan began a lively back-and-forth behind the dais after he questioned the rationale for proceeding with this project. Councilwoman Deborah Gordon took the lead in responding:

schools and supports highly visible crosswalks near pedestrian destinations such as the school. “The state of California has more good projects than it can afford,” Mr. Shanahan countered, and wondered aloud: What if Woodside refused the money? Would it return to a communal pot? Another community would take it, Councilman Peter Mason said. Pe r s on a l l y,” Ms. Gordon said, “I have always felt that I am better off and safer if my neighbor is better off and safer.” “This is not the time to debate the philosophy of government, but I feel (the government) is

“If we don’t spend the money,” Mayor Dave Tanner said at the meeting, “we’ll have to leave the going to break,” Mr. Shanahan crosswalk as it is.” replied. “But we’ll have to fix it anyAsked in an email to elaborate, way,” Mr. Mason added. Mr. Shanahan imagined WoodMr. Shanahan ended up votside householders taxing them- ing to accept the money, but selves for the $200,000 project. asked whether the town had “Is it a good idea?” he asked. responsibility for how the proj“Of course. Should it cost ect was carried out. $200,000? I’m not sure. ... I very It does, Deputy Town Manager much doubt that would come and Town Engineer Paul Nagengast said. “We design the project and advertise it and award a contract.” ‘This is not the time to debate Other questions Mr. has raised the philosophy of government, Shanahan recently: ■ Can the town chalbut I feel (the government) is lenge the Woodside Fire going to break.’ Protection District’s authority over how wide a COUNCILMAN TOM SHANAHAN road must be for fire truck access? ■ Who decided that San Mateo close to approval if put to a vote, at least (not) without a lot more County needed an ordinance attention being paid to lower- banning use of flimsy single-use bags at checkout counters? (The cost mitigation alternatives. “But we don’t have to put it to Town Council recently agreed a vote!” Mr. Shanahan noted. in concept to the ban on a 5-2 “We see it as a ‘free’ crosswalk vote, with Mr. Shanahan and provided by grants from some Councilman Dave Burow discombination of county, state senting.) ■ Isn’t Woodside’s “rural charand federal government programs.” Woodside families pay a acter” a conceit? “The further in little, but so do families in “East you go (from the road) the less all Palo Alto, Detroit and other of this matters,” Mr. Shanahan said in February. “The challenge places.” “Spending without having to for Woodside is to pretend that tax is a fun but very dangerous we’re rural. Don’t we really have business. I’m a little uncom- to focus on areas close to the fortable now finding myself in property line? That’s my concern that position as a newly elected with the rural character of Woodside — what you can see.” public official.” A

Higher permit fees may be in county’s future By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac

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8 N The Almanac NMarch 21, 2012

esidents of unincorporated San Mateo County with building or planning projects may soon see their permit costs go up. But first, the board of supervisors has asked county planners to justify the increases. A new fee schedule for the planning and building department was presented to the supervisors at their March 13 meeting by Community Development Director Jim Eggemeyer. Mr. Eggemeyer suggested an overall fee increase of 5 percent, but then presented a whole list of recommended new or revised fees, including a few fee reductions. The proposed fee schedule can be viewed at: http://tinyurl. com/7wcrbh8. Some of the proposed fees include: $601 for a Williamson Act inspection to assure land is being used for agriculture, $150 for an emergency tree-removal permit, $420 for a minor modification to an already approved permit, $150 for a gas line or water heater replacement permit, and

$450 for a certificate of temporary occupancy permit. But supervisors had some questions. Supervisor Don Horsley said that although the department’s goal is to pay the costs of providing services, it does not take into

‘It seems like we’re almost trying to deter people from appealing. I just cannot support that.’ SUPERVISOR DON HORSLEY

account that after new construction or remodeling the homeowner will pay higher property taxes. “It almost discourages a homeowner from doing something,” he said — or, in some cases encourages them to do things without permits. Appeals fees would go up from $491 to a proposed $1,000. “It seems like we’re almost trying to deter people from appealing,” Supervisor Horsley said. “I just cannot support that.”

Local residents agreed that many of the changes were too high; the county was presented with a petition signed by 26 residents of Emerald Hills and North Fair Oaks by Maria Rutenberg, who said she actually has more than twice that many signatures. Lennie Roberts of Ladera, representing the Committee for Green Foothills, said the increase in appeals fees “has a chilling effect on people who are concerned about a permit that has been given in their area,” she said. “I think a $1,000 appeal fee is onerous for many people.” Board President Adrienne Tissier said that while building and planning fees have not gone up since 2004, “we can’t make that up.” “I would really like to have more detail,” she said. “If this is really what it costs to do the job, we’re going to have to bite the bullet.” Supervisors Tissier and Horsley will meet with the planning and building staff to look at the new fee schedule and bring it back to the full board in April. A


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/SLAC SITE OFFICE NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY The Final Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) that evaluates the potential impacts from the Linac Coherent Light Source-II Project at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC), Menlo Park, California, has been issued.

Menlo Park tweaks green initiatives Less gas, fewer bags, less paper? â–

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff


t’s a green time of year, what with all the rain making grass grow and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The Menlo Park City Council joined in the spirit of the season on March 13 by outlining the direction of the city’s green initiatives. First up, the council debated whether to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent by 2020 as recommended by the Environmental Quality Commission. Implementing that policy could cost the city $250,000 to $400,000, according to staff, although the cost could be reduced through grants. Three of the five council members supported the target. Council members Peter Ohtaki and Andy Cohen weren’t ready to aim that high, at least partly over budget concerns. Mr. Ohtaki noted that surrounding cities are at 15 percent and questioned the wisdom of pushing so far ahead of Menlo Park’s neighbors; he suggested 17 to 20 percent as a more comfortable goal.

More contentious, in the eyes of city residents at least, was the council’s direction to proceed with supporting a proposed countywide ban on single-use plastic bags and styrofoam takeout containers. Some residents pointed out that plastic bags are actually “multiple use� bags. Hank Lawrence said his family re-uses bags for other tasks, such as wastebasket liners and lunch bags. Another resident said he found plastic bags much easier to carry than re-usable or paper bags. However, the council’s unanimous direction to staff was to move forward with drafting a policy supporting the county’s proposed bans. San Mateo County, which is conducting an environmental impact report to assess the impact of the ordinances, has said it will enforce the bans in incorporated areas if local cities hold community outreaches to inform residents. Menlo Park staff estimated the outreach will cost about $10,000, far less than if the city implemented similar bans on its own. The greenhouse gas reduction target and the bans will return to the council for approval once staff has incorporated the feed-

back. Even if all three initiatives are approved by the council, there are still plenty of topics to tackle from an environmental perspective. For example, using less paper. At least one resident would like to see the city take that step by adding wireless Internet access to the council chambers. Wi-Fi is the norm in other cities, said Adina Levin, who serves on the environmental quality commission. “One of the costs saving measures proposed in response to the loss of (redevelopment agency) funds was the elimination of paper staff reports, which saves money and waste,� she wrote in an email to the council on March 13. “If Council Chambers and other meeting rooms had wifi, more members of the public would be able to utilize electronic staff reports during public meetings. This would make the elimination of paper staff reports more reasonable and fair since it would be possible to access the staff reports without paper.� She told the Almanac that as of yet, no one at the city has jumped on the Wi-Fi train. A

Divided board appoints new county controller â– Supervisors may support ballot measure to make controller an appointive position in future.

By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


divided San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed longtime county employee Bob Adler to fill the remaining term of county controller, vacated when Tom Huening announced he will retire effective March 31. The county controller is an elective position that the supervisors said will be especially important in the coming year as the county tries to deal with the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies. Much of the funds that had gone to city redevelopment agencies will now go through the county. Supervisors had three choices at their March 13 meeting: to appoint a successor to fill the 2-1/2 years remaining in Mr. Huening’s term; to begin a competitive process to fill the position; or to set an election to fill the position. Board president Adrienne Tissier said that Mr. Adler will fill the position “with someone who understands the county — who

knows the nuts and bolts of the department. We are going through some difficult fiscal times.� Even the two supervisors who voted against the appointment, Dave Pine and Carole Groom, expressed support for Mr. Adler. However, Mr. Pine said, “I feel a strong obligation to make the process public and to invite other candidates.� The supervisors also expressed interest in having the controller’s job be an appointive rather than elective position. Such a change would require a public vote to amend the county charter. The supervisors asked the county’s attorneys to come back to next month’s meeting with possible ballot language for such a change. The Leagues of Women Voters of San Mateo County had asked the supervisors to make an appointment rather than hold an election, which could have cost the county as much as $1.7 million for a special election, or as little as $40,000 if added to the November ballot. The league had also suggested in a letter to the board that “the

county charter should be changed to make this position one that is appointed by the county manager. This job requires substantial financial knowledge and expertise.� The letter said the position “of county auditor-controller is an administrative, not a policymaking position.� Supervisor Don Horsley suggested the controller could be appointed for a set term to allow the person holding the position independence from the board of supervisors. The controller oversees 42 accountants, auditors and others providing financial services to county departments, public agencies, special districts, cities and the school districts. Mr. Adler, 57, has served as assistant controller since 1998, and worked for the county since 1995, starting as the audit chief. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in biology and from Golden Gate University with a master’s degree in public accounting. He is also a certified public accountant. Before coming to San Mateo County he worked for Marin County and Ernst & Young. He lives in Redwood City. A

After considering all comments received during the formal comment period (December 2011-January 2012), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed the decision-making process and is rendering its decision. Based on the results of the impacts analysis documented in the EA, DOE has determined that the proposed action is not a major Federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the context of NEPA. Therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required, and DOE is issuing a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Copies of the final EA and the FONSI are available for public reading at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park, California, and an electronic copy of the document is available for viewing on the SLAC NEPA website at: Any questions and requests for hard copies of the final EA and FONSI may be directed to Dave Osugi, NEPA Document Manager, at (650) 926-3305, or submitted in writing to the DOE SLAC Site Office, 2575 Sand Hill Rd., MS8A, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

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NOTICE OF COMPLETION AND AVAILABILITY 45 DAY PUBLIC REVIEW PERIOD AND PUBLIC HEARING DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR THE ATHERTON LIBRARY BUILDING PROJECT (State Clearinghouse #2011112059) NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN of the availability and completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Atherton Library Building Project and commencement of a 45 day public review period as described below.


Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never been a better time to get acquainted with Ladera Oaks and to enjoy the privileges of membership. Take to the water in our warm family pool or adult lap pool. We offer swim instruction for all ages and skill levels, a year-round U.S. Swim Team, a wonderful summer league swim team, and a Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program. Enjoy our year round tennis community. Join our strong junior tennis programs, USTA teams and interclubs. Play in the twilight mixers on our lighted courts and keep the fun going with alfresco court side dining under the stars. You can also work out in our state-of-the-art ďŹ tness center with a spectacular view.

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NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Atherton Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider comments on the adequacy of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Atherton Library Building Project, pursuant to Atherton Municipal Code Chapter 15.32. Description: The approximately 0.3-acre project site is situated within the existing 22-acre Holbrook-Palmer Park, located at 150 Watkins Avenue in the Town of Atherton, San Mateo County (Assessorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parcel Number 061-310100). The proposed project would be sited within the general building area of the existing Main House, which is centrally located within the interior of the park. The proposed project includes demolition of the existing Main House and construction of a new two-story, up to 13,500-square-foot library and associated improvements. Some of the existing uses (e.g., meetings, classes and events) currently accommodated at the Main House would be absorbed by other facilities within the park. For the purposes of this environmental review and based on available information, this environmental analysis assumes that the existing library building, located at 2 Dinkelspiel (Station) Lane, would be repurposed for storage, Town ofďŹ ces or other civic use already occurring in the general vicinity of the existing library. The proposed project would require the following discretionary approvals: Environmental Review; General Plan Amendment; Holbrook-Palmer Park Master Plan Amendment; and Zoning Ordinance Amendment, as well as approval of the scope, size, and design of the new Library. Hazardous Waste Sites: The proposed project is not located on any hazardous waste sites lists enumerated under Section 65965.5 of the Government Code. SigniďŹ cant Anticipated Environmental Effects: The Draft EIR provides an evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and recommends mitigation measures to reduce impacts to a less-than-signiďŹ cant level. With implementation of the mitigation measures proposed, a majority of the signiďŹ cant impacts identiďŹ ed would be reduced to less than signiďŹ cant through the implementation of the proposed project. The proposed project would result in project-speciďŹ c and cumulatively considerable signiďŹ cant unavoidable impacts related to transportation. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Draft Environmental Impact Report has been prepared for the above described project pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and is now complete. A copy of this document, and all documents referenced in the Draft Environmental Impact Report, will be available for public review at the Atherton Town Hall, 91 AshďŹ eld Road, Atherton, CA beginning March 23, 2012. A copy of this document is also available on the Town of Atherton website at The public review period is from March 23, 2012 to 5:00 p.m. May 7, 2012, and public comments regarding the project may be submitted up to that time. Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report may be mailed to: Lisa Costa Sanders, Deputy Town Planner Atherton Town Hall 91 AshďŹ eld Road Atherton, CA 94027


Or sent by e-mail to:



NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that said Draft Environmental Impact Report is set for hearing by the Planning Commission at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall of Atherton located at 94 AshďŹ eld Road, Atherton, CA, at which time and place all persons interested may appear and comment on the adequacy of the Draft Environmental Impact Report, as deďŹ ned in CEQA.

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IF YOU CHALLENGE the Planning Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s determination on this matter 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 Planning Commission at, or prior to, the Public Hearing referenced above. For further particulars, reference is made to the application on ďŹ le at Atherton Town Hall at the address noted above. Any attendee who wishes accommodation for a disability at the public hearing noticed above should contact the Building Division at (650) 752-0560 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Date Posted: March 23, 2012


______________________________ Neal J. Martin, Town Planner


Herbicide spraying ban HERBICIDE continued from page 5

that children and seniors who have asthma are deeply affected by chemicals in the air,” she said. “I think that’s another reason we should stop spraying ... so we will be a healthy county.” The action was very different from what had been recommended by county Public Works Director James Porter, who asked that the county continue to maintain the 315 miles of roads under its jurisdiction with a combination of mowing and spraying. Mr. Porter said the county already does not spray about half of those miles of roadside. Mr. Porter had also, at the direction of supervisors, presented an “alternative” plan that would have banned broadcast spraying in coastal areas of the county. That strategy would mean the county could not maintain all its roadsides, he said. “We’ll take the dollars we have and mow in the areas with the highest risk and vulnerability,” he

said. He warned that there would be some consequences. “In the areas that we no longer maintain we are anticipating additional roadway damage,” he said. “There is a potential for increased fire hazards and increased mosquitoes in those areas.” But supervisors said they want to give the no-spray alternative a chance. According to Ladera resident Lennie Roberts of the Committee for Green Foothills, a number of other counties — including Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Del Norte and Humbolt — control their roadside weeds without spraying. “I think that you need to exhibit the same leadership that you’ve done in many other initiatives and establish a policy now that you will mow only except for limited areas where you need to spot spray,” Ms. Roberts said. The public works department will report back to the supervisors in four to six months on the success of the new strategy. “If there are 10-foot weeds,” said Supervisor Pine, “then despite my great, great concern about these

Pension reform progresses PENSION continued from page 5

Menlo Park has made during the past two years. “It appears the Council, the negotiators for the City and the Union have gotten the message that the citizens sent in the 2010 election with the passage of Measure L. It appears we can be proud of all the participants, including the voters, who now have a quasi-seat at the table,” pension reform advocate Ned Moritz commented in an email to the Almanac. But he pointed out that the fight isn’t over. “All that said, the most important thing will be the decision of Judge (George) Miram regarding the lawsuit by the SEIU and AFSCME challenging the validity of Measure L. What happens next is dependent on the judge’s decision.” Colleague Henry Riggs described the SEIU contract as “what we could reasonably hope

for” and gave credit to the union and city for working it out. “No, it does not by itself make our labor costs sustainable, but this shows mutual understanding of a real, deep problem,” he said. He outlined a future that includes lurking budgetary traps, however. “CalPERS announced Wednesday that in effect city payments on the employees’ retirement must go up next year and again in 2014; this is just the beginning as CalPERS haltingly admits it doesn’t have the funds to pay its commitments, as several studies have made all too clear,” Mr. Riggs said. “We’ll have another budget crisis or two because we, and other cities, still budget optimistically and are ‘surprised’ when the real numbers hit. This will be hard — we’re putting off a community-wide decision on how to handle unsustainable costs. Our services, e.g. library hours, will stay skimpy at best for some time.” A

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chemicals, I can’t have people getting in car accidents either, and I can’t have fires burning down the forests.” Several residents spoke at the meeting, including David Strohm who asked, “At the end of the day each of you has to ask yourself: Would you stake the safety of your grandchildren ... that these chemicals are safe?” Shawn Sears, a San Gregorio resident and outdoor education teacher, said the moratorium that the county put on spraying in July has already had an effect. “Last week I was standing by the San Gregorio Creek with a group of students and saw two steelheads in excess of 12 inches swimming up the creek,” he said. “It was a beautiful thing.” After the meeting, Ms. Mayall said she is very grateful to the supervisors. “I would like to publicly thank the Board of Supervisors with all my heart and soul and fiber of my being,” she said. A

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Roy Earl Demmon, Jr. (1927 – 2012)

On March 8, 2012, Roy E. Demmon Jr. passed away peacefully in his beloved Harbour Island, Bahamas surrounded by his wife and children. He was preceeded in death by his father, Roy Earl Demmon and mother, Betty Lucille Demmon. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Nina; his four children, Linda, Terry, Charlie, Nancy and their spouses, Tom Walsh, Myn Demmon, Barbara Demmon, John Clifford; and his grandchildren, Scott Walsh, Jamie Walsh, Bryan Walsh, Kathy Demmon, Case Demmon, Liz Demmon, Bailey Fowlkes, Lucy Fowlkes, George Fowlkes, Emily Demmon, Sarah Demmon and Troy Demmon. Roy was born in Houston, TX on Feb 3, 1927 and grew up in Bronxville, NY. He attended Riverdale Country Day and graduated from The Taft School of Watertown, CT, in 1945, Yale University with a B.A. in 1948 and Harvard University Graduate School of Business with an M.B.A. In 1957. He served his country from 1950 - 1953 during the Korean War. In 1955 Roy married Nina Hardenbergh in Bronxville, NY. Upon graduating from Harvard, Roy moved to California where he began his 50year career in the Real Estate business. He started his career with Derk Hunter forming DemmonHunter in 1960. In 1981, as a long time supporter of the Republican Party, he took time off from business to work in Washington, D.C. for the Reagan Administration as Executive Assistant in the U.S. Department of H.U.D. and Director of Operations and Marketing for the Federal Home Loan Board. After Washington, he returned to California to resume his career in Real Estate partnering with his son-in-law, Tom Walsh, and his sons, Terry and Charlie Demmon. Roy led the partnership through years of expansion and played an active role in the partnership until his untimely death. Roy proudly served his community as a Board Member and Chairman of the Board for Good Samaritan Hospital of Santa Clara County, Trustee of the Menlo Park School Board of Education, Vice Chairman of the California State Toll Bridge Authority, Trustee of the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, D.C., President of the SheridanKalorama Historical Association, Inc., Council

Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson House and Board Member of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. He was an avid golfer and was the Captain of his golf team at the Taft School and Yale University. He enjoyed spending time with his dear friends and family at the Menlo Country Club, Cypress Point Club, The Family Club, The Circus Club and Palo Alto Club. For many, Roy will be remembered for the things aforementioned. For his family, he will be remembered as Graddy, Roy, Dad, partner in life, partner in business, Coach, mentor, loving advocate and adoring fan at countless recitals, plays, musicals, baseball, basketball, and soccer games. He was so proud of his children and grandchildren and he loved spending time with them. He will be missed. He loved his family, friends, golf, the Olympics, travel, and the San Francisco Giants. Above all, he loved life! In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (www.bgcp. org) There will be a Celebration of his Life on Friday, March 30th at 1pm at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. PA I D


March 21, 2012 N The Almanac N11


SusieCakes opens with Saturday Sock Hop SusieCakes, an “all-American home-style bakery,” opens in Menlo Park on Saturday, March 24, with a Sock Hop at its 642 Santa Cruz Ave. location. Local residents are invited to the opening, which will feature a Sock Hop with ‘50s music, complimentary dessert favorites, and kid-friendly activities. A vintage car will be parked out front for photos. A prize will be awarded for the best ‘50s attire. The 2,200-square-foot space includes a large viewing window, which looks into the bakery’s cakefinishing room. There will be seating for 12 inside the shop. The bakery’s specialties include Southern red velvet cake, a sixlayer chocolate cake, frosting-filled cupcakes and house-made banana

pudding with vanilla wafers. Seasonal items include fresh fruit pies, fruit-filled hand pies, snickerdoodles, seven-layer bars, and Whoopie Pies. Custom cakes will be created by a “celebration specialist.” Harking back to the ‘50s, the bakery will have carhops delivering desserts to waiting cars after customers have ordered and paid online. This is the first Peninsula location for SusieCakes, which was founded by Susan Sarich in Brentwood in 2006. “Menlo Park is an ideal location for SusieCakes because of its closeknit family-friendly community,” Ms. Sarich said in a press release. “We hope we can make any occasion in the neighborhood, large or small, a little sweeter.”

Menlo College hosts luau Menlo College will host its 21st annual luau on Saturday, March 24, in the school’s Haynes-Prim Pavilion. Doors open at 4 p.m., with a Hawaiian buffet served at 5 p.m. The show starts at 6 p.m. “We will have authentic Hawaiian food and authentic dances performed by our students,” says Mary Robins, director of career services and Hawai’i Club adviser. Members of the club have spent six months preparing for the show, particularly learning traditional dances. Tickets for the luau are $40 for general admission, and $20 for students and youth. Menlo College students and children under 6 are admitted free. Visit to buy tickets.


Chef, author talk on Persian New Year Chef and author Donia Bijan of Menlo Park will talk about the ceremonies and symbolism of Norouz — the Persian New Year, which coincides with the first day of spring — at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at the Redwood City Library. A native of Iran who moved to the United States with her family as a teenager, Ms. Bijan last year released a memoir, “Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen.” There will be tea and traditional Persian sweets served at the free event. The library is at 1044 Middlefield Road.

Spring Sounds gala “Be Enchanted” is the theme for this year’s Spring Sounds gala, to be held Saturday, March 24, at Club Illusions, 260 S. California Ave. in Palo Alto. The evening benefits Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS), which provides mental health services to teens and families in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Featuring a Mediterranean theme, the party will include dinner, a hosted bar from 6:30 to 9 p.m., entertainment, shopping in a bazaar, drawing prizes and a live auction. Tickets are $200 per person. Visit or call 4240852 for tickets and event information.

St. Raymond School holds rummage sale St. Raymond School will hold a rummage sale from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 1, in the school gym at 1211 Arbor Road in Menlo Park. The sale will feature “gently used” adult and children’s clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, books, linens, kitchenware, small appliances, tools, artwork, games and sporting goods. Discounts will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds will benefit St. Raymond School.

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M-A presents ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ “Once Upon a Mattress, “ a musical version of the fairytale, “The Princess and the Pea,” will be presented by Menlo-Atherton High School’s drama department at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, through Saturday, March 24, at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road, in Atherton. The musical, billed as “a fairytale gone Goth,” is set in a “cursed kingdom with a feisty princess, who insists on being called Fred.” It’s directed by drama teacher Debra Zwicker-Sobrepena. Kent Kurrus directs members of the M-A

orchestra, and Patrick Maier is choir director. Aliya Hasoon is student director, Libby Farel, stage manager. Junior Hannah Berggren plays the heroine, Winifred Woebegone. Senior Chris Chao plays her love interest, Prince Dauntless. Junior Lissette Espinoza is Queen Aggravain, and senior Zach Abt is the silent King. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students, and $4 for children under 12. Visit thecenteratma. org for tickets, or purchase them at the box office.

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Bald Eagle Camps is the only camp Approved by the nationally recognized Positive Coaching Alliance, teaching their principles to every camper through our Certified Coaches. We offer 3 uniquely FUN Summer Camps, each of which exude our encouraging team culture: Non-Traditional Sports Camp(1st-8th), Basketball Camp(3rd8th), and Leadership Camp(7th-8th only). Come experience our positive atmosphere, great coaching, unique structure, inspiring life message and 5-STAR service. Bald Eagle Camps is guaranteed to be a highlight of your child’s summer. 888-505-2253

Kim Grant Tennis Academy & Palo Alto/ Summer Camps Menlo Park/Redwood City Fun and Specialized junior camps for Mini (3-5), Beginner, Intermediate 1&2, Advanced and Elite Players. Weekly programs designed by Kim Grant to improve players technique, fitness, agility, mental toughness and all around tennis game. Camps in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City. Come make new friends and have tons of FUN!! 650-752-8061

Nike Tennis Camps

Stanford University

Dick Gould’s 43rd Annual Stanford Tennis School offers day camps for both juniors a&dults. Weekly junior overnight & extended day camps run by John Whitlinger & Lele Forood. Junior Day Camp run by Brandon Coupe & Frankie Brennan. 1-800-NIKE-CAMP (645-3226)

Oshman JCC

Palo Alto

Exciting programs for preschool and grades K-12 include swimming, field trips, crafts and more. Enroll your child in traditional camp, or specialty camps like Pirates, Archery, Runway Project, Kid TV and over 25 others! 650-223-8622

Spartans Sports Camp

Mountain View

Spartans Sports Camp offers multi-sport, week-long sessions for boys and girls in grades 3-5 as well as sport-specific sessions for grades 6-9. There are also strength and conditioning camps for grades 6-12. Camps begin June 11th and run weekly through July 27th at Mountain View High School. The camp is run by MVHS coaches and student-athletes and all proceeds benefit the MVHS Athletic Department. Lunch and extended care are available for your convenience. www. 650-479-5906

Spring Down Equestrian Center

Portola Valley

Spring Down camp teaches basic to advanced horsemanship skills. Ages 6-99 welcome! Daily informative lecture, riding lesson, supervised hands-on skill practice, safety around horses, tacking/ untacking of own camp horse, and arts/crafts. 650.851.1114

Stanford Water Polo Camps


Ages 7 and up. New to the sport or have experience, we have a camp for you. Half day or full day option for boys and girls. All the camps offer fundamental skill work, position work, scrimmages and games. 650-725-9016

Summer at Saint Francis

Mountain View

Sports & Activity Camp (ages 6-12): This all sports camp provides group instruction in a variety of field, water and court games. Saint Francis faculty and students staff the camp, and the focus is always on fun. The program is dedicated to teaching teamwork, sportsmanship and positive self-esteem. After camp care and swim lessons available. 650-968-1213 x650

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Write Now! Summer Writing Camps

Palo Alto

Emerson School of Palo Alto and Hacienda School of Pleasanton open their doors and offer their innovative programs: Expository Writing, Creative Writing, Presentation Techniques, and (new!) Media Production. Call or visit our website for details. Also Pleasanton. 650-424-1267, 925-485-5750

Arts, Culture and Other Camps Camp Imagineerz

Mountain View and Los Altos

Advanced Sports Camps (5th-9th grades): We offer a wide selection of advanced sports camps designed to provide players with the opportunity to improve both their skill and knowledge of a specific sport. Each camp is run by a Head Varsity Coach at Saint Francis, and is staffed by members of the coaching staff. 650-968-1213 x650

Building i-can attitudes....In a FUN environment, children discover that when you believe you can, you can! Creating and performing original stories, building/making with recycled materials and lots of outdoor play. Grades 1- 4. Fabulous Early-bird discount up to March 15. See website for details 650-318-5002

YMCA of Silicon Valley

Castilleja Summer Day Camp


Palo Alto

Say hello to summer fun at the YMCA! Choose from enriching day or overnight camps in 35 locations: arts, sports, science, travel, and more. For youth K-10th grade. Includes weekly fieldtrips, swimming and outdoor adventures. Accredited by the American Camp Association. Financial assistance available. 408-351-6400

Castilleja Summer Day Camp (grades 2-6, CILT grades 8-9) offers ageappropriate activities including athletics, art, science, computers, writing, crafts, cooking, drama, music classes and field trips. Two and four week sessions available. 650-470-7833


Children entering Grades 1 to 8 are invited to explore the arts July 16 - 20, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Workshops available in guitar, dance, voice, and songwriting. Put together a musical from start to finish. Performance on Friday night. Register online. 650-323-8647

GASPA German Summer School Camp Menlo Park Learn German by way of Fairytale! GASPA is taking Summer Camp into the world of fairy tales and everything that comes with it…in German of course! Offering a 4 week program for children ages 3-12. 650-520-3646

Harker Summer Programs

San Jose

K-12 offerings taught by exceptional, experienced faculty and staff. K-6 morning academics - focusing on math, language arts and science - and full spectrum of afternoon recreation. Grades 6-12 for-credit courses and non-credit enrichment opportunities. Sports programs also offered. 408-553-0537

iD Tech Camps - Summer Tech Fun!


Creative Kids Camp

Menlo Park

Community School of Music & Arts (CSMA )

Mountain View

50+ creative camps for Gr. K-8! Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Musical Theater, American Idol Workshop, more! Twoweek sessions; full and half-day enrollment. Extended care available. Financial aid offered. 650-917-6800 ext. 0

India Community Center Summer Camps

Palo Alto/ Sunnyvale/ Milpitas/Olema

Take hobbies further! Ages 7-17 create iPhone apps, video games, movies, and more at weeklong, day and overnight programs held at Stanford and 60+ universities in 27 states.. Also 2-week, Teen-only programs: iD Gaming Academy, iD Programming Academy, and iD visual Arts Academy (filmmaking & photography). 1-888-709-TECH (8324)

Join ICC’s Cultural Camps which give campers a quick tour of India and its vibrant culture. These camps include arts, crafts, folk dance, bollywood dance, music, yoga, Indian history and geography. Over 10 different camps all through the summer for Grades K-12. To register or for more details visit: 408-934-1130 ext. 225

iD Teen Academies

Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC)


Learn different aspects of video game creation, app development, filmmaking, photography, and more. 2-week programs where ages 13-18 interact with industry professionals to gain competitive edge. iD Gaming Academy, iD Programming Academy, and iD Visual Arts Academy are held at Stanford, and other universities. 1-888-709-TECH (8324)

Mid-Peninsula High School Summer Program

Menlo Park

Mid-Peninsula High School offers a series of classes and electives designed to keep students engaged in learning. Class MondayThursday and limited to 15 students. Every Thursday there’s a BBQ lunch. The Science and Art classes will have weekly field trips. 650-321-1991 x110

Summer at Saint Francis

Mountain View

Summer at Saint Francis provides a broad range of academic and athletic programs for elementary through high school students. It is the goal of every program to make summer vacation enriching and enjoyable! 650-968-1213 x446

Synapse School & Wizbots

Menlo Park

Cutting-edge, imaginative, accelerated, integrated, and hands-on academic summer enrichment courses with independent in-depth, project-based morning and afternoon week-long programs for children ages 4-12. Young Explorers, Thinking Math, Leonardo da Vinci’s Inventions, Nature Connections, Girls’ & Soccer Robotics, and more! 650-866-5824

Palo Alto

PACCC summer camps offer campers, grades kindergarten to 6th, a wide array of fun opportunities! K-1 Fun for the youngest campers, Nothing But Fun for themed-based weekly sessions, Neighborhood Adventure Fun and Ultimate Adventure Fun for the more active and on-the-go campers! Swimming twice per week, periodic field trips, special visitors and many engaging camp activities, songs and skits round out the fun offerings of PACCC Summer Camps! Registration is online. Open to campers from all communities! Come join the fun in Palo Alto! 650-493-2361

TechKnowHow Computer Palo Alto/ & LEGO Camps Menlo Park/Sunnyvale Fun and enriching technology classes for students, ages 5-14 Courses include LEGO and K’NEX Projects with Motors, Electronics, NXT Robotics, 3D Modeling, and Game Design. Many locations, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Sunnyvale. Half and all day options. Early-bird and multi-session discounts available. 650-638-0500

Theatreworks Summer Camps

Palo Alto

In these skill-building workshops for grades K-5, students engage in language-based activities, movement, music, and improvisation theatre games. Students present their own original pieces at the end of each two-week camp. 650-463-7146

March 21, 2012 N The Almanac N13

Serving Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, and Woodside for 44 years. Editor & Publisher Tom Gibboney

Newsroom Managing Editor Richard Hine News Editor Renee Batti Lifestyles Editor Jane Knoerle Staff Writers Dave Boyce, Sandy Brundage Contributors Marjorie Mader, Barbara Wood, Kate Daly Special Sections Editors Carol Blitzer, Sue Dremann Photographer Michelle Le

Design & Production Design Director Raul Perez Designers Linda Atilano, Lili Cao, Shannon Corey, Diane Haas, Paul Llewellyn, Scott Peterson

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 Classified Legal Advertising Alicia Santillan 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 Email news and photos with captions to:

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

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

The right decision on herbicide spraying


atty Mayall, a La Honda resident who has worked tirelessly for many years to convince county supervisors and Caltrans to stop using toxic chemicals to control roadside weeds finally won a round last week, when the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously, with Rose Jacobs Gibson absent, to stop an abatement program that covered more than 300 miles of county roads. After many starts and stops, supervisors finally agreed to buck the recommendation of their own public works director, James Porter, to make the decision. Mr. Porter had requested approval for use of a combination of chemicals and mowing to control roadside weeds. Without the chemicals, he said, it could cost the county as much as $800,000 a year more than it is now spendEDI TORI AL ing to maintain its roads. The opinion of The Almanac But supervisors obviously felt strongly that the time had come to end herbicide spraying. Supervisor Dave Pine said the department needs to “really think outside the box. We should put a challenge to the department of public works that they should do as much as they possibly can with their budget.” “The risk of chemicals is a great concern to me,” he said. “There’s been tremendous growth in childhood neurological disorders, which more and more are being tied to chemicals.” Carole Groome said the ban is compatible with other county efforts to improve public health. “We know that spraying can increase the chances of asthma; that children and seniors who have asthma are deeply affected by chemicals in the air,” she said. “I think that’s another reason we should stop spraying ... so we will be a healthy county.”

Email letters to:

For many years, Ms. Mayall has been persistent in her efforts to convince the county and Caltrans to stop using herbicides to control roadside weeds. She has circulated information about the toxic chemicals contained in most of the sprays used, and lobbied for the county and Caltrans to post on-road notifications before, during and after spraying to warn the public. But while the county has agreed to halt roadside spraying, Caltrans remains on the fence. The agency has said in the past that it would abide by whatever county regulations are in force for roadside spraying, but so far it is only committed to stop during the month of March. After that, a spokeswoman said Caltrans could resume spraying, although a possible exception could be made on Highway 84. Spraying would occur if weeds impede safety devices, there is fire danger, or site distances need to be cleared. We hope supervisors follow through and pass the needed resolution calling for Caltrans to end spraying programs as it has in the North Bay counties of Marin, Del Norte, Sonoma, Humboldt and Mendocino. Last year, nearly 600 county residents signed a petition asking that twice-a-year roadside spraying be stopped and supporting a program of annual mowing that has proven to be effective to control weeds. The county has stepped up and agreed to end spraying on its 315 miles of roads, including Sand Hill, Alpine, Old La Honda and others. Now supervisors need to pass a resolution asking Caltrans to follow suit by ending any chemical applications under way now along Highways 35, 84, 92, 280 and 101 in San Mateo County. There is no reason to continue spreading these toxic chemicals that could harm thousands of residents.


The Almanac, established in September 1965,

Our readers write

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

Developer overseeing Saltworks EIR

publish public notices of a governmental and legal nature, as stated in Decree No. 147530, issued December 21, 1969. Subscriptions are $60 for one year and $100 for two years.

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

TOWN SQUARE FORUM Post your views on the Town Square forum at EMAIL your views to: and note this it is a letter to the editor in the subject line. MAIL or deliver to: Editor at the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

CALL the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

Editor: I have sent the following letter to the Redwood City Council: The Saltworks environmental impact report is being written by a non-representative group of consultants who are not listening to the views of Redwood City citizens about the DMB Saltworks project that will further fill in our bay. I see that 15 of 17 sections of the Saltworks EIR are to be written by people hand-picked by DMB, and that DMB will control the content of those reports, so that the city doesn’t see anything that DMB doesn’t want it to see. That process will make the Saltworks project easier to approve and save DMB much money in mitigation costs. This is not the transparent and fair process the city promised its citizens, of which I am one, and a life-long one at that. This is not the way other cities do this or have done this. Consultants are overseen by the city and work for the city as neutral parties,

14 N The Almanac NMarch 21, 2012

Portola Valley Archives

Our Regional Heritage Shack Riders: Sometime before 1970, these gentlemen relax before or after a trail ride at the Jasper Ridge “shack.” The photo appears in a history of the Shack Riders, written by Jim Gerstley in 1970.

and the developer pays the cost. Redwood City Neighbors United have asked the city to follow the latter path, which uses transparent and fair procedures.

Now is the time for the city to make these changes and stop fronting for DMB. We are not stupid, and we will not allow our city and our bay to be ruined for

DMB’s tremendous profit. We have been asking the council to represent the interests of the majority of its citizens, who Continued on next page


L ET T ER S Our readers write

Continued from previous page

have indicated clearly that they do not want this development to fill in their bay, build all that housing away from transportation and downtown, squander water we don’t have, and crowd our freeways even more. It has been clear from the start of this project that the city was working with and for DMB and not us, the citizens. I would, at this point, love to be proved wrong, and I ask that you change the procedures for the EIR so that they are transparent and fair. Judy Kirk Redwood City

Time for Menlo council to reject high-speed rail Editor: The present stated position of Menlo Park saying, the city is in favor of high-speed rail “done right” should be revisited by the City Council and changed. Palo Alto and Atherton are quite clear that they reject this project and Menlo Park should do likewise.

Palo Alto Mayor Yiaway Yeh clearly stated his city’s position last week at the hearing held by state Sen. Joe Simitian in Mountain View. Mayor Yeh said, “First, I would like to publicly reiterate that as of Dec. 19, 2011, the Palo Alto City Council has taken the position that California HighSpeed Rail should be terminated because the current project is far too expensive, is not what the voters approved in 2008, and its business plan is fatally flawed and not credible.” It is time for the Menlo Park City Council to change its stated position and also reject outright the high-speed rail project. Morris Brown Stonepine Lane, Menlo Park

One in nine affected by kidney disease Editor: National Kidney Month is a good time to reach out to those facing this life-threatening disease. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects millions of people in America. Here are a few statistics that you might not be aware of: One in nine Americans have

CKD, according to the National Kidney Foundation. CKD is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes and hypertension are known risk factors for CKD. If CKD progresses to kidney failure, the only treatment options are dialysis or a kidney transplant. It is therefore vital that these individuals find personalized, expert care that is conveniently located. World Kidney Day and National Kidney Month is a time to educate the public about CKD and the importance of prevention and the proactive ways they can reduce their risk of kidney failure. Tests to check blood glucose levels and blood pressure are essential steps in preventing kidney disease. As a social worker with over 25 years of experience, I have spent most of my time at an in-center unit where people with kidney

disease come three to four times per week for dialysis. And now, due to advances in technology, there are ways for treatment to be provided at home. Please use the opportunity during this month to take the appropriate test to make sure you have healthy kidneys. Deborah Kurland, LCSW Nephrology Social Worker Palo Alto

Awaiting spring, and a diet without meat Editor: This past winter brought us crippling droughts and tornadoes, continuing unemployment, and partisan paralysis in Washington. I really look forward to March 20, the first day of spring, balmy weather, blooming flowers, and the Great American Meatout. The Meatout has grown since

1985 into the world’s largest annual grassroots diet education campaign. A thousand communities in all 50 states and two dozen other countries host educational events. They challenge visitors to turn over a new leaf on the first day of spring, to kick the meat habit, and to get a fresh start with a wholesome diet of vegetables, fruits, and grains. The Meatout diet is touted by leading health authorities. I found it very easy to follow, and I feel great. I get all the recipes and other information I need by entering “live vegan” in my Internet search engine. I spice up my diet by exploring the rich array of delicious soy- and grain-based meat and dairy alternatives in my local supermarket. Miles Barney Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park

March 21, 2012 N The Almanac N15



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16 N The Almanac NMarch 21, 2012

Coldwell Banker Top 1% Internationally Top 50 Nationally, Wall Street Journal, 2011

The Almanac 03.21.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the March 21.2012 edition of the Almanac

The Almanac 03.21.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the March 21.2012 edition of the Almanac