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AN ALMANAC, MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE AND PALO ALTO WEEKLY PUBLICATION

HOME+GARDEN SPRING 2012

East meets West in Portola Valley PAGE 4

A three-week kitchen in Palo Alto PAGE 10

Spring HOME & GARDEN DESIGN in this issue.

Updating a Mountain View bungalow PAGE 18

ALL GROWN UP

IN LOS ALTOS HILLS PAGE 25

T H E H O M E TOW N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N L O PA R K , AT H E RTO N , P O RTO L A VA L L E Y A N D WO O D S I D E

APRIL 4, 2012

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W W W. T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M

CAN TECH

CLOSE THE GAP? Panel examines whether technology can reduce the yawning gap in student performance. Section 2


WE’RE WORKING TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS

FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN CALIFORNIA Our Small Business Bankers are out in the community, meeting face-to-face with clients in California. They know the special needs of small businesses, and all the ways Bank of America can help them. Additionally, as part of our ongoing commitment to small businesses, Bank of America extended $6.4 billion in new credit to small businesses across the country in 2011 — a 20% increase over 2010. Combining our local support and expertise with our national resources, Bank of America is working to grow this crucial part of America’s economy.

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To learn more about the ways that Bank of America can help your small business, visit bankofamerica.com/smallbusinessbanker © 2012 Bank of America Corporation. Member FDIC. AR6061FO

2 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012


UP F RONT

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Want fresh veggies all Spring? Grow your own!

Photo by Houselens.com

Intero Real Estate provided this photo of the new house at 2 Robert S. Drive in Menlo Park that sold for $7.625 million. Tom Dallas and David Kelsey of Intero Real Estate in Woodside and Ken DeLeon of DeLeon Realty in Palo Alto are the listed brokers. Steve Niethammer represented the buyer.

Menlo home sells for record $7.6M By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac

I

n a sign that the local real estate market has rebounded, a house in Menlo Park last week sold for a record-setting $7.625 million with the sale closing only 11 days after the home went on the market. Ken DeLeon of DeLeon Realty in Palo Alto co-listed the newly constructed house with Tom Dallas and David Kelsey of Intero Real Estate in Woodside. It’s located on Robert S. Drive, a cul-de-sac off of Valparaiso Avenue near Sacred Heart Preparatory and close to downtown Menlo Park. Mr. DeLeon said he also made two record-breaking sales in Palo Alto the same week, selling homes in Midtown and Community Center for record high prices for those neighborhoods. Not only did the 6,270-squarefoot home at 2 Robert S. Drive sell for a record amount, but the home was only on the market for

three days before it was sold, Mr. DeLeon said. Escrow closed on Friday, March 30, for the home, which was listed 11 days earlier, on March 19, at $7.95 million. The sales price was equivalent to more than $1,200 per square foot of living space. Mr. Dallas and Mr. Kelsey work out of Intero Real Estate’s new Woodside office, which recently opened at 1580 Canada Lane. The Robert S. Drive home was the first listing, and first completed sale, in Intero’s new estates division called Prestigio. The buyer of the recordsetting home was represented by Steve Niethammer of Zane MacGregor & Co. in Palo Alto. Mr. DeLeon said the newly constructed home, which has six bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths, and is on a 20,000-square-foot lot, has been purchased by a high-tech entrepreneur who is relocating from overseas. A real estate agent not connected with the sale confirmed that the Multiple Listing Service

shows the sale is the highest on record in Menlo Park. The high sales price it replaces is also on the same street. That home, at 6 Robert S. Drive, sold for $7.4 million in April 2004. Mr. DeLeon said the location and large lots on the street make it “the best street in Menlo Park.� The two record-setting sales in Palo Alto have not yet closed escrow, Mr. DeLeon said. But both homes sold in less than a week at more than the listed prices, he said. The home in the Community Center area was listed at $5,398,000 and the Midtown home was listed at $2,998,000, he said. Go to tinyurl.com/Tour-0402 to see a virtual tour of the 2 Robert S. Drive house in Menlo Park from Intero Real Estate. For those wondering how Robert S. Drive got its unusual name, Mr. DeLeon says the woman who first developed the street in the 1940s named it after her dead husband, Robert, whose middle initial was S. A

CALLING ON THE ALMANAC Newsroom: Newsroom fax: Advertising: Advertising fax: Classified ads:

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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 Š2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

No vegetables taste as good or are as good for you as the ones that come right from your own garden. Come by Ladera Garden and Gifts and let us help you get started on your very own vegetable patch.

-IRRORSsCERAMICSsWALLDECORATIONSsVASESsPICTUREFRAMESsPLACEMATSNAPKINSsAPRONSs CANDLESsGREETINGCARDSsGIFTWRAPPINGsORGANICSPRAYSsSOAPSLOTIONSsBABYANDCHILDRENSGIFTS sBABYBOOKSsSTUFFEDANIMALS Superior rating for quality & price by Consumers Checkbook.

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How’s the Market... That question can be quickly answered with my one page Executive Summary reports for: Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley and Menlo Park. The market data used is updated every week so you are always getting the most current local housing data available.

ports ekly Re ED We D D A JUST

To view the reports, scan the QR code or visit www.PeninsulaSpecialist.com

Steven Gray, REALTOR DRE# 01498634

650-743-7702

sgray@cbnorcal.com April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N3


725 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | (650) 497-800 | lpch.org

5th Annual Autism Spectrum Disorders Update A one-day conference for parents, educators and care providers of children with an autism spectrum disorder. This annual update will concentrate on promising scientific advances that can lead to improved treatment for children with an autism spectrum disorder.

Presented by Stanford Autism Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Saturday, May 12, 2012 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, Stanford University

Register at childpsychiatry.stanford.edu For more information, call us at (650) 721-6327 or email autism@lpch.org. The people depicted in this ad are models and are being used for illustrative purposes only.

4 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012


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Woodland School wins bid to stay at site in Ladera By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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he Woodland School community and its neighbors in Ladera are celebrating after the private school won its bid at a March 27 auction to remain on the site it has called home for 30 years. The school had one competitor — the German-American International School in Menlo Park — during an open bidding process for the former Ladera School, which was operated by the Las Lomitas School District until closing in the late 1970s. The district has leased the property since 1981 to Woodland, a preschool through eighth-grade school. The school signed an option agreement after the March 27 bidding. Tim Brady, chair of the Woodland School board of directors, said he’s hopeful a lease agreement will be signed within 60 days. “Obviously, we’re really excited” about the prospect

of staying at the Ladera site, Mr. Brady said. Now paying $650,000 annually for the site, the school will increase its lease payments to $710,000 — a 9 percent increase — when the new 25-year lease takes effect in August 2013. The German-American International School submitted a written bid of $651,000; Woodland School’s written bid was $660,000. After the written bids were read, the two schools bid against each other during an oral auction, with the GermanAmerican school putting down the paddle at $705,000. Woodland had been in a kind of limbo for about two years: With a long-term lease expiring in July 2010, the private school signed one-year extensions while the Las Lomitas district board delayed a decision on what to do with the property in the long term. Woodland officials pressed the school district to act quickly so that they

Almanac file photo by Michelle Le

Preschool students line up before heading to the multipurpose room for gymnastics at Woodland School in Ladera in this photo from May 2011.

could make long-range plans, which would include raising millions of dollar to repair and renovate the site if the school were allowed to stay. The Ladera community also urged the district to move more quickly, with residents expressing concern that Woodland,

which had been a good neighbor for decades, would find another site out of frustration with the district’s inaction. Mr. Brady said he was grateful to the Ladera community “for all their help — they’ve been fantastic.” Superintendent Eric Hartwig

said in an email: “I would say that all of us at the Las Lomitas District are also very happy with the outcome. It has been a long road that had to be navigated very carefully, but we are thrilled to have the security of a long lease with a respected tenant.” A

Beechwood School’s plan Portola Valley names new town manager to buy land gets green light He has a master’s degree in executive public administration By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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ooks like Beechwood School∏ a private Belle Haven facility for grades K-8, may be getting bigger. A unanimous Menlo Park City Council on March 27 approved the city’s intent to sell property on Terminal Avenue to the school for $1.25 million. Menlo Park wants to sell the property the school sits on at 50 Terminal Ave., plus another 1.5 acres on Terminal Avenue, so that Beechwood School has room to expand and to replace temporary buildings with permanent ones. Principal Dave Laurance said he expects construction to start next year. “The plan is to do half of the project in the summer of 2013 and the other half in the summer of 2014,” he told the Almanac.

The contract would let the city buy back the land for the purchase price if a new school “is not substantially completed” within five years, and also gives Menlo Park the right of first refusal should the school decide to sell the land for a non-educational use. Habitat for Humanity planned to build 22 affordable homes on the parcel since 2001, but the nonprofit pulled the plug on the development after 10 years of community opposition and financial difficulties. Councilman Rich Cline noted during the meeting that he didn’t want to make a habit of selling city property, when it could be used for affordable housing, but that these were exceptional circumstances. The final vote to approve the sale is scheduled for the April 17 council meeting to give the public a chance to protest. A

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icholas M. Pegueros, a San Carlos resident and the finance and administrative services director for the town of Los Altos Hills, will take over as town manager in Portola Valley on May 1. In a unanimous vote on March 28, the Town Council named Mr. Pegueros to succeed longtime Town Manager Angie Howard. His compensation will include a base salary of $162,000, a car allowance of $3,000 per year, health insurance, three weeks annual vacation for the first five years and four weeks thereafter, and $5,000 annually for professional growth. “I am very enthusiastic about my future here and I look forward to working with all of you,” Mr. Pegueros told the council. Mr. Pegueros, who is 35, said

from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University, he said. His 12-year career in public service began as a management analyst in San Bruno, where he then advanced to assistant finance director. Hiring process

Nicholas Pegueros will succeed longtime Town Manager Angie Howard.

he grew up in Daly City and South San Francisco and graduated from Drew School, a private college-preparatory high school in San Francisco.

The council had met six times in closed session to interview candidates seeking this office, Mayor Maryann Derwin said. “In true Portola Valley fashion, we took an extended amount of time to deliberate on a new town manager,” Ms. Derwin said. “The decision was agonizing because the candidates were so good.” Fifty-eight people “from all over the place” applied for the job and the council interviewed five, all from California, Ms. Howard told the Almanac. A

April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N5


Portola Valley | Woodside '%"(,!""&,!$("% '&&!,%)%%!

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Police release sketch of stabbing suspect By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

4420 Alpine Road | Portola Valley | 650.851.1711 4 3015 Woodside Road | Woodside 650.851.1511

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Menlo Park police released this sketch of one of the stabbing suspects.

is recovering from multiple stab wounds and is in stable condition, according to police. “At this point we’re still investigating all the evidence, investigating the timeline and the victim’s statement, and really trying to sort out what happened here,� Commander Dave Bertini said. A

Error in climate-change story

7

PEET’S $ 99 WHOLE BEAN COFFEE

here’s a new face wanted by Menlo Park police, who have produced a sketch of one suspect in a stabbing on Monday night, March 26. An employee of a business complex on Alma Street across from the Caltrain station told police that after stepping outside the building around 9:45 p.m., two men attacked him with knives as they tried to rob him. He described both suspects as Hispanic and about 5-foot-8inches tall, with short hair and thin builds. Menlo Park police reportedly learned of the incident after a call from a Palo Alto police officer who was at the hospital where the victim was taken. After interviewing the victim, police were able to produce a sketch of one suspect. The 67-year-old businessman

Happy Spring! Hand Decorated Sweets Edna’s Cookies, Gianna’s Cookies, Devine Delight Petit Fours Pies, Cakes, Tarts!

Spring 2012 Pinot Noir Releases Sojurn Cellars 2010 Pinots, while unabashedly Californian, continue the trend toward freshness, transparency of fruit, and nuance. These are top-notch efforts worthy of a spot in any cellar.

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2010 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast .................. Sale

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95 points-Pinot Report. A blend of 8 distinct lots, it sports fresh cherry/pomegranate fruit with a liqueur-like concentration, creamy oak, nice balance and lingering ďŹ nish. Easily the best Sonoma Coast yet.

A story about climate change written by the Bay City News Service and carried in the March 28 Almanac contained an error. The story covered a talk given by U.S. Geological Service scientist Tom Suchanek in Menlo Park on March 22. The factual error was also referred to in an editorial in the same issue. The story quotes the scientist as saying that if worldwide carbon emissions continue to rise at the present rate, rising temperatures could cause the

Sierra Nevada to lose 80 percent of its winter snowpack in just 40 years. The correct numbers are that the Sierra Nevada could lose 80 percent of its winter snowpack by the end of the century (not 40 years), according to Leslie C. Gordon, a USGS spokesperson in Menlo Park. Bay City News Service, a longtime provider of news to most newspapers and other media outlets in the region, acknowledged the error.

‘SurvivalFest 2012’ at Hillview School A rock-climbing wall, makeyour-own survival bracelet, and an appearance by Game Truck, a mobile audiovisual and videogame studio will among the exhibits at SurvivalFest 2012, a one-day program for seventhgraders on Thursday, April 12, at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park. SurvivalFest is new this year, replacing the seventh-grade Renaissance Faire day, which

has been retired after 20 years. During SurvivalFest, students will compete in teams to make shelters, apply simple navigation techniques, prepare for hot and cold natural environments, practice emergency first aid, and learn other survival skills. “This will be a unique experience that students of all interests and abilities won’t soon forget,� says Kim Staff, Hillview seventhgrade social studies teacher.

At 14.2% this is the most spry and nimble of these Pinots with Burgundy-like clarity, precision and mineral complexity. As with the’09s, this is my favorite. 95 points-Pinot Report. Beautiful, sexy and poised. The fruit, oak and mineral nuances are in perfect harmony. This is at out delicious and the ďŹ nish seems endless.

94 points-Pinot Report. This is the biggest, darkest, richest and most dense of the group with pretty wood spice and baking spice. What this lacks in ďŹ nesse, it makes up for with dramatic richness.

Purchase any 6 bottles and get a 10% Discount or During the month of March, get a 15% Discount Off your order when you purchase a mixed case with 4 bottles each of 2010 Sonoma Coast Blend, 2010 Rodgers Creek Vineyard, 2010 Sangiacomo Vineyard.

6 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012

The online guide to Menlo Park businesses

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R EAL E STATE Q&A by Gloria Darke

Are There Disadvantages To Not Having A Sign In The Yard? Dear Gloria, We do not want to do a lot of explaining for the reason why we are selling. Is it really necessary to put a sign in the yard? Anonymous, P.A.

Almanac photo by Michelle Le

Artistic scavengers Oscar Conklin watches his mom help his sister Aurora build a camera out of recycled material during a workshop hosted by the Museum of Craft and Folk Art at the Portola Valley Library on March 29.

Smoke from fire drives neighbors out of home By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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eighbors living next door to 52 Willow Road, the house that caught fire on March 6, were forced out of their own home thanks to smoke damage, according to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Chief Harold Schapelhouman said that while firefighters focused on protecting the neighbor’s home, which has a “highly flammable” wood-

shingled roof, “some of the windows were apparently open, which filled the home with smoke from the fire next door. That homeowner felt they needed to have their home cleaned prior to living in it again as I understand it.” Investigators are still puzzling out what caused the fire. According to the chief, they are focusing on the exterior composting area. Another factor may be a recent trimming of trees that allowed more sunlight

into that area of the yard. They are also testing items such as air conditioning units. “We will continue to work closely with the private insurance investigators,” Chief Schapelhouman said. The morning of the fire, neighbors reported hearing a “boom” shortly before 11 a.m. and seeing flames leap from a front corner of the home. Firefighters arrived on the scene about two minutes after the 911 call. No one was injured, but the family of four who live at 52 Willow Road, along with two visiting grandparents, had the difficult task of finding longterm shelter for up to a year as a result of the damage.

Many home sellers dislike the idea of placing a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. Some sellers don’t want the neighbors to know they are selling, perhaps because of a divorce, or for other personal reasons. Here are the facts; “For Sale” signs are the number one form of advertising and the least expensive. Compared with other media, signs attract the highest number of phone responses, in ratio to the money invested.

Signs are effective because many potential buyers like to drive around neighborhoods they like. Or people may be visiting family or friends in that neighborhood and want to be near them. It’s human nature to be curious. When they spot a property that attracts their attention, they will either call the listing brokerage, or contact their agent to make a showing appointment. The appeal of seeing a live property is far greater than that of a picture on the internet, a magazine, or from a three line classified ad. Although various advertising media are effective in creating interest and inquires, nothing beats a sign in the yard.

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.

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

A

Post office manager faces theft charges By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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he post office manager of Menlo College is facing charges of credit card and identification theft after an investigation by the Atherton Police Department concluded that she had stolen three credit cards sent to two students and a nonprofit operating on the campus. Debra Lynn Blaylock, 55, of Santa Clara, was arraigned on felony charges in San Mateo County Superior Court on March 22, and remains in

custody on $100,000 bail. The charges include three counts each of credit card theft and identification theft, and nine counts of commercial burglary. The case came to light with the discovery by the nonprofit’s CEO that a credit card issued to the organization but never received had been used multiple times in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. The CEO was able to obtain a video of the person activating the card, and recognized her, the

Talk: Linguistic innovation by teenagers “Language, Style, and the Adolescent Social Order” will be Penny Eckert’s topic at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, when she speaks at Cafe Scientifique at, SRI International at Middlefield Road

and Ringwood Avenue in Menlo Park. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. Ms. Eckert, a linguistics and anthropology professor at Stanford University, will discuss how linguistic innovation arises

DA’s report said. Atherton Police Detective Kristin Lopez located surveillance video at three businesses where the person using the credit card was identified as Ms. Blaylock, according to the DA’s report. After Ms. Blaylock’s arrest, investigators found credit cards that had been issued to two Menlo College students, the report said. She was arrested on March 21, according to Atherton Police Lt. Joe Wade. A preliminary hearing of the case is set for April 12. A

as teenagers develop identities that are independent of their families. The evening is free and no reservations are necessary. Visit cafescisv.org for more information. April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N7


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Park is still best library site, councilwoman says By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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uilding a two-story library in the park is still the best course for Atherton, City Councilwoman Kathy McKeithen said this week, commenting on the draft environmental report that said the proposed library would intensify the traffic-congestion problem at Watkins Avenue and El Camino Real. “There’s absolutely no question that the park is far and away the best location as far as the EIR (environmental impact report) is concerned,” said Ms. McKeithen, a member of the town’s library task force that recommended building a new facility in Holbrook-Palmer Park. Regarding the Watkins/El Camino traffic impact, the EIR says that all alternative projects studied in the environmental

N ATHERTON

review would significantly impact the intersection, she noted. And although the EIR stated that there is no feasible way to mitigate the intersection’s traffic backups resulting from the new library, Ms. McKeithen said she’s not so sure. A possible solution, she said, is to ban left-hand turns from Watkins onto southbound El Camino all the time, rather than only 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays, as the restriction now exists. Critics of the plan to build a library in the park — including former mayor Didi Fisher, who is gathering signatures to put the question on the ballot — could not be reached for comment before press time. Ms. McKeithen, Mayor Bill Widmer, and Councilman Jim Dobbie formed the council 3-2

majority that voted last October to support a library in the park. Mayor Widmer noted last week that his support was contingent on the EIR findings, leaving the door open to reconsider his support of the project, which has generated intense criticism by a number of vocal residents. As of late last week, Mr. Widmer said he had yet to thoroughly study the EIR, and was going to hold his judgment until he had a chance to do so. Just as the traffic congestion at El Camino and Watkins is expected to increase significantly under any alternative studied, Middlefield Road’s intersection with Watkins is also expected to be affected by any of the options. But the EIR listed a traffic signal at that intersection as a mitigation measure that would reduce the impact to “less than significant.” Denise Kupperman, a leading

figure on the library task force, acknowledged that a new library in the park would create additional traffic at the two intersections, but noted that “this is the case regardless of where it is located, and ... these intersections already have issues that need to be addressed.” The traffic impacts are rated “significant” as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act, but in fact “are not major,” she said. Opposing views

Opponents of building a library in the park cite a range of concerns, including the desire to keep the park quiet and pristine, and its use limited largely to Atherton residents. (Regional in nature, libraries are open to anyone.) But many opponents have cited the inevitable increase in traffic and parking needs should the library be built in the park.

Reinstate town committee, attorney recommends By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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he town’s advisory Environmental Programs Committee should be reinstated now that an investigation of some of its practices has concluded, but measures must be put in place to avoid the kinds of problems that led to its suspension in December, Atherton’s city attorney has recommended. “There is no indication that the EPC acted intentionally or with any malicious disregard for process and procedures in carrying out its specified duties and tasks,” City Attorney Bill Conners wrote in his report. But problems? Oh yes, there have been problems, according to the investigation conducted by Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Larson. And Interim City Manager Theresa DellaSanta has already been working on new policies and procedures involving how money is spent and accounted for, and how the town can best provide direction to its many volunteer committees, and oversight of their actions. The investigation was ordered by the City Council in December after an opinion piece by EPC member Valerie Gardner questioning the environmental soundness of building a new library in Holbrook-Palmer Park was posted on the committee’s website — a challenge of sorts to the council’s support of the park as the “preferred site” of

the planned library. a proposed budget with a certain Also, questions were raised amount of detail from the EPC about how funds were spent by and then approved the annual the committee, including the EPC budget ... the Council never process by which spending was had any formal conversations being approved by the town. with the EPC about their budget In his March 19 report to projections,” Ms. Larson wrote the council, Mr. Conners con- in her report. cluded that the website postChecks were often authorized ing of Ms. Gardner’s opinion by the staff person assigned piece was a violation of a town to the committee and other resolution that spells out basic staff members, and committee rules for committees and com- members who spent their own missions to follow. money on EPC projects were The resolution prohibits a reimbursed through the finance member of such a body from department, the report says. “speaking on behalf of the Among spending irreguTown, City Council, and/or larities that violated the town’s committee or commission laws: The mandated competiwithout prior approval of the tive bidding process for goods City Council.” and services Also prohib- N AT HERTON over $750 ited is public wasn’t foladvocacy, in lowed, and “it the capacity of a committee appears that the City Managmember, of any particular ers and Finance Directors over position that runs contrary to time signed off and allowed council policy, the report says. this inappropriate process to Mr. Conners recommends continue” until then-finance that policies governing com- director Lousie Ho intervened, mittee actions and website Mr. Conners report says. postings be clarified with staff Early last year, Ms. Gardner so that committee members asked Deputy City Clerk Thewon’t be able to “post materi- resa DellaSanta (now the town’s als to these sites without clear interim city manager) for a authority and approval.” copy of the town’s purchasing Reviewing the financial policy, including information issues surrounding the EPC about bidding for services, after proved more complicated, and speaking with Ms. Ho. Ms. Larson’s Feb. 8 report on In researching the policy and her investigation cited a lack speaking with Ms. Ho and Ms. of oversight by town staff and DellaSanta, Ms. Gardner realthe City Council, which dur- ized that spending practices ing a five-year period allocated by the EPC up to that time nearly $104,000 to the com- sometimes violated the town’s mittee for its programs. policy. “(I)t appears that after “(W)hile the Council received that point in time there was an

attempt at compliance moving forward,” according to Mr. Conners’ report. “It is quite probable that the primary reason for this noncompliance with appropriate procedures stemmed from a lack of understanding on the part of the Town staff member assisting this committee, and there is no evidence that this breakdown was in any way malicious or in any way an attempt to circumvent the correct process,” he wrote. At the March council meeting, Interim City Manager DellaSanta recommended that the EPC be reinstated, that the terms of all committee and commission members be extended to June 30, and that the council review and approve new rules and procedures for the volunteer bodies, developed by Ms. DellaSanta and staff members. The proposed rules include the mandatory assignment of a trained staff member to all volunteer committees and commissions. The investigation report and Mr. Conners’ subsequent report were labeled confidential, and the council voted that night to make them public, and allow some time after their release before reviewing and approving the proposed rule changes. The council also directed the interim manager to set up a workshop, preferably on a Saturday, during which the council would review the proposed rule changes with committee members and the public. A

John Ruggeiro, a Transportation Committee member, said he has long been concerned with traffic impacts resulting from a library in Holbrook-Palmer Park, and committee members have requested that the matter be put on the Transportation Committee agenda. That request has been denied by the town, he said. The EIR studied alternatives that included a smaller-scale library in the park — a one-story building of 10,000 gross square feet and about 8,900 square feet of usable space. The proposed project will allow a building of up to 13,500 square feet, although Councilwoman McKeithen said the building would likely be smaller than that. By removing the second floor, however, a key goal of library advocates would be foiled: The creation of a community gathering place that would include a new town heritage room, and meeting and activity space for arts and civic programs. The smaller-scale option is further complicated by the plan to tear down the Main House to make way for the new library. The Main House, in spite of its age and rat-infestation problems, is now used by the town’s Arts Committee, the HolbrookPalmer Park Foundation, the Atherton Dames, and the Atherton Civic Interest League, among other community uses. If the town reduces the size of the library, those community groups — which would have found a home on the proposed library’s second floor — would have to find other sites to operate from. Other alternatives analyzed in the EIR were a renovation and expansion of the existing library in the Town Center, and construction of a library within a new Town Center, which may be built in a number of years using mostly donated funds. The EIR cited an environmental impact unique to the existing library alternative: a significant, unavoidable impact to historic resources. The historic building, which needs a seismic retrofit, would be greatly altered if expanded to meet the minimum space needs identified by a recent library needs assessment study. The expansion also would significantly reduce the existing outdoor space, including part or all of the reading garden. Both the existing library alternative and the new library in a rebuilt Town Center option would have to mitigate noise impacts, including the noise from the trains that roar down the nearby tracks. The draft EIR will be reviewed at the April 25 Planning Commission meeting. A

8 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012


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Let us eat cake Madison, 6, and her sister Dillan, 2, pick out their cupcakes at the SusieCakes grand opening in downtown Menlo Park on March 24. The 2,200-square-foot space at 624 Santa Cruz Ave. includes a large viewing window, which looks into the bakery’s cake-finishing room. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Menlo approves new fees, labor contract By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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t was a quiet night, and a short night, for the Menlo Park City Council on March 27. Without much public comment and nary a debate, the council voted unanimously on the agendized issues and adjourned by 8 p.m. A proposed contract with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) got a full panel of five green lights, as did changes to the city’s fee structure for community services. The 140 city employees affected by the contract will see the following changes: 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 staff.

N MENLO PAR K

The city can also implement up to 21 hours in unpaid furlough each fiscal year and continue to release salary and benefit information as public records.

Council asks for market study of child care costs. Menlo Park giveth as well as taketh away —SEIU employees will each receive $100 to $200 more per month for health and dental coverage. The contract runs through Oct. 31, 2013, and will cost the city $336,600 more than the previous agreement. Higher fees

The community services fee discussion brought one of the few public comments at the meeting. Michael Brandt, a parent with two children set

Menlo council cancels two meetings Menlo Park’s gadflies will need to save their public comments until April 17, as the City Council has canceled its next two meetings. If you just can’t stand the lack of political action, the

Environmental Quality Commission will meet on Wednesday, April 4. Agenda topics include how to implement the council’s desired community greenhouse gas reduction target, and an update on the

to attend the Menlo Children’s Center, said his family was looking at $3,200 a month in daycare bills if the fees increased 3 to 8 percent as planned. He asked what level of cost recovery was necessary for a service that provided child care to working families. During the brief ensuing discussion by council and staff, Councilman Rich Cline noted that the city has considered outsourcing childcare, since it’s one of the most heavily subsidized services, so it needed to get as close to full cost recovery as possible. Mayor Kirsten Keith suggested conducting a market study to compare the cost of city daycare with other local providers, a notion supported by colleagues Peter Ohtaki and Kelly Fergusson, and approved by the council 5-0 as part of the vote on fee changes. Staff clarified one unclear section of the report on fee changes — the costs of reviewing construction projects smaller than 250 square feet would go down, not up. The new fee structure would take into account that less staff time is spent on reviewing smaller projects.

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proposal to build a well to draw from a public aquifer to irrigate a private country club’s golf course and a few city properties. The commission meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in an unusual location: the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium at 600 Alma St. April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N9


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Morgan named Sunset editor

Photo: www.lisakeatingphotogtaphy.com

Kitty Morgan was executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Kitty Morgan is the new editor-in-chief of Sunset magazine, according to Sid Evans, group editor of Time Inc’.s Lifestyle Division. Ms. Morgan replaces interim editor Charla Lawhorn, who served after Katie Tamony was replaced in December. Ms. Tamony was Sunset’s editor-in-chief for 10 years. Ms. Morgan comes to Sunset after serving as executive

editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine since 2006. Early in her career (1984-88), she was an associate travel editor at Sunset. She was previously executive editor of Oprah’s O at Home magazine and created the Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine A graduate of UC Berkeley, Ms. Morgan will be based in Sunset’s Menlo Park headquarters.

Greg McKeown

Peninsula Easter Services ST. ANN ANGLICAN CHAPEL A TRADITIONAL EPISCOPAL CHURCH 541 Melville Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301 650-838-0508

The Most Reverend Robert S. Morse, Vicar Reverend Matthew Weber, Assistant April 8

Easter Sunday

11am Choral Eucharist & Sermon

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Palm Sunday Easter Service

WESLEY UNITED METHODIST 470 Cambridge Ave (one block off California) Rev. Karen Paulsen

HOLY WEEK SERVICES April 1 Palm Sunday Worship – 9:30 a.m. April 5 Maundy Thursday Service “Living the Passion” – 7:00 p.m. April 6 Good Friday Service – 7:00 p.m. April 8 Festival Service – 9:30 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt and Celebration Reception immediately following service

Reverend Michael E. Harvey, Pastor Reverend Dorothy Straks, Minister of Music

Woodside Village Church 3154 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA

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A resource for special events and ongoing religious services. For more information please email Blanca Yoc at byoc@paweekly.com or call 223-6596.

Join Us For Easter AN EPISCOPAL COMMUNITY IN MENLO PARK

The great question of Easter is about us: where are the tombs in our life that God is inviting us to leave and where is new life rising in us? Join us at Trinity as we celebrate the promise and possibility of new life. Palm Sunday, April 1: 8:00 am, 10:00 am*, 5:05 pm Maundy Thursday (The Last Supper) April 5, 6:00 pm* (with simple meal) Good Friday, April 6 7:00 am, Noon, 7:00 pm The Great Vigil of Easter Baptisms & First Easter Communion Saturday, April 7, 7:00 pm* Easter Sunday, April 8 6:30 am in the Memorial Garden 8:00 am* & 10:00 am* in Church with Festival Choir *Indicates child care available.

10 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012


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Menlo man named ‘Young Global Leader’ Greg McKeown of Menlo Park is one of 37 North Americans named as “Young Global Leaders� at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. They were selected for professional accomplishments and commitment to society, the forum says. The honor, bestowed each year by the forum, recognizes up to 200 people from around the world. This year

N PEOPLE

192 men and women from 59 countries were selected. Mr. McKeown is the CEO of THIS, Inc., a leadership and strategy design agency in Silicon Valley. He has advised senior executives in companies that include Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, Twitter and Xerox PARC.

Originally from London, Mr. McKeown has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA from Stanford University. He lives in Menlo Park with his wife, Anna, and their four children. The young global leaders become part of the Young Global Leaders Forum, which will convene this year in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from April 14 to 18.

Recruiting new manager What will Atherton’s City Council members be looking for as they recruit a new permanent manager for the town — and how much are they willing to pay to get the person who best meets their criteria? Those are key questions the council will discuss in a special meeting set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Town Council Chambers, 94 Ashfield Road, in the Atherton Town Center. The council and the consultant hired to help with the

recruitment, Bob Murray and Associates, will review and refine criteria for the new city manager. The discussion will include development of a candidate profile, recruitment schedule, and council expectations for a manager, including compensation, according to the agenda. The council will go into a closed session after that discussion to confer with legal counsel about the town’s lawsuit against the California-High Speed Rail Authority.

Peninsula Easter Services ST. MARK’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH PALO ALTO

Maundy Thursday— April 5 V6:15pm

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Monastic Supper & Liturgy of the Word followed

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by Holy Eucharist & Stripping of the Altar

Good Friday — April 6 V Noon to 2:00pm Stations of the Cross with Reflections V 2:00 to 3:00pm

Labyrinth Stations: A Walking Meditation

V 7:30 to 8:30pm

Tenebrae: The Office of Shadows

Easter — April 8 V 5:30am

Easter Vigil, Eucharist & Baptism

V 8:00 to 9:30am

Festive Breakfast & Family Easter Activities

V 10:00am

Festive Holy Eucharist

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Holy Week & Easter at

St. Bede’s

Episcopal Church 2650 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park

         

12 noon Foot Washing 12:10pm Holy Eucharist & Healing Rite 7:15pm Foot Washing 7:30pm Holy Eucharist

Valley Presbyterian Church Holy Week Services

Life Together! Easter Sunrise Service 6:15 a.m. Easter Worship 9:00 & 11:00 a.m.

April 5 April 6 April 8

6:00 pm Seder Dinner Noon & 7:00 pm Good Friday Services 9:30 am Easter Festival Service

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Celebrating the completion of the renovation of our sanctuary Bethany Lutheran Church £ä™xĂŠ Â?ÂœĂ•`ĂŠĂ›iÂ˜Ă•i]ĂŠi˜Â?ÂœĂŠ*>ÀŽÊUĂŠ650.854.5897



  12 noon Service of music,        7:30pm   

Passion of Christ    9:00pm Great Vigil of Easter,     Eucharist    8:00am Eucharist with Hymns 10:15am Sung Eucharist 11:30am Easter Egg Hunt Nursery available 10-11:30am

April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N11


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Burglars busy with property crimes By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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he last few weeks in the Almanac’s circulation area have been busy ones for burglars and thieves, who made off with copper wire, a tile saw, a purse, and a lot of jewelry, according to reports from local law enforcement agencies.

Woodside

Burglars entered four homes in four different Woodside neighborhoods — on Neuman Lane, Skywood Way, Fox Hill Road and Fox Hollow Road — and stole jewelry from three of them, according to a March 28 report from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. In the Neuman Lane, Skywood Way and Fox Hill Road incidents, the miscreants entered through unlocked doors and made off with “unknown amounts” of jewelry, deputies said. The Fox Hill Road case included theft of clothes and a Louis Vuitton bag. Deputies expect the victims to be providing loss estimates soon to the Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Larry Schumaker told the Almanac. In the Fox Hollow Road incident, one or more burglars pried open a locked sliding glass door and ransacked dresser drawers for valuables but came up empty, according to a report of what the resident told investigators. The glass door will need about $300 in repairs. Atherton

Atherton police reported three recent property crimes. On March 17 on Polhemus Avenue, police responded to an alarm and discovered a shattered window and missing jewelry valued at $3,200, Lt. Joe Wade of the Atherton Police Department said. In a second incident on Polhemus Avenue five days later, a woman reported hearing a downstairs window being smashed while she was upstairs, and then footsteps running away after she yelled, “Who’s there?” Officers surrounded the home

and called in a K-9 unit from the Sheriff’s Office but found no one, Lt. Wade said. A March 18 report described a scene at an Atherton Avenue residence of severed phone lines, a smashed second-story window in the master bedroom, and a section of ladder lying near a barbecue. The resident reported nothing taken. Police suspect the burglar may have used the ladder section in combination with the barbecue to climb up the side of the house. Menlo Park

In a grand theft case reported March 20, police said someone stole a Rolex watch valued at $8,000 from a home on Ringwood Avenue, the same day that someone stole a tile cutter, also valued at $1,800, from the bed of a pickup truck parked on Cotton Street. Meanwhile, the next day at a downtown street corner, someone ransacked a car parked at Chestnut Street and Oak Grove Avenue, popped the trunk with a screwdriver, and stole a purse for a cumulative loss estimated at $1,800, police said. On March 24, a man and a woman concealed “on their person” $1,000 in eyeglass frames and walked out of the LensCrafters store at 700 El Camino Real, police said. According to a March 20 report, someone stole nine extension cords and 25 spools of copper wire with a total value of $5,200 from several locked storage boxes in a fenced-in area on Bohannon Drive, Menlo Park Police Department spokeswoman Nicole Acker said. Police reported a March 19 incident on Bay Laurel Drive involving three suspects, one of whom forced open a front window and entered a residence while a second rang the doorbell and a third stayed in the vehicle. At one point, when the driver honked the horn “for an unknown reason,” the other two suspects returned to the vehicle and the three of them drove off. A

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. 12 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012

Photo by Doug Cody, Bay Area Events

Sacred Heart Schools auction Dressed for a night in “Old Hollywood” are, from left, Emma Goltz, Elaine Murphy and Fred Goltz. They are at the 33rd Sacred Heart Schools auction, held March 24 in a tented area on the Atherton school’s campus. The 560 guests dined in a supper club atmosphere and danced the night away to the big band music of the Dick Bright orchestra. Milen Tobagi and Kathy Yaffe chaired the annual fundraiser.

New high-speed rail plan drops price tag By Gennady Sheyner Embarcadero Media

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alifornia’s proposed highspeed rail system would extend from the Central Valley to the Los Angeles Basin within the next decade and would cost $30 billion less than previous estimates indicated under a new business plan that the agency charged with building the system released April 2. The revised plan, which the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s board of directors expects to discuss and approve on April 12, departs in many key ways from the draft the agency released in November. The new plan commits to building the system through a “blended” design under which high-speed rail and Caltrain would share two tracks on the Peninsula. It also calls for early investment in the northern and southern segments (known as the “bookends”) of the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles line, including the long-awaited electrification of Caltrain on the Peninsula. The revised plan also specifies for the first time that the first usable segment of the rail line

N MO RE O NL I NE Use these links to see more Caltrain news online. ■ An extended version of this story. > tinyurl.com/Caltrain-0402 ■ Plan to modernize Caltrain sales through regional commission. > tinyurl.com/Caltrain-0328

would be a 300-mile segment from Central Valley south to the San Fernando Valley. This stretch, the plan states, “will be transformational in creating a passenger rail nexus between one of the fastest growing regions in the state with the state’s largest population center.” This “initial operating section” would extend from Merced through Bakersfield and Palmdale to the San Fernando Valley, according to the business plan. The prior plan committed only to an “initial construction segment” — a set of train-less test tracks between north of Bakersfield and south of Merced (this segment was characterized by many critics as a “train to nowhere”). At a press conference in Fresno Monday morning, the rail author-

ity’s board Chair Dan Richard emphasized the significance difference between the agency’s previous proposal for the system’s initial phase and the one laid out in the new business plan. “Beginning next year, we will begin construction here in the Valley not of a mere track but a fully operational 300-mile electrified operating segment that will connect the valley to the Los Angeles Basin,” Richard said. “This will bring high-speed rail not only to California — it will bring high-speed rail to America,” he said. The business plan also offers a firmer commitment from the rail authority to improve Caltrain and to rely on existing tracks on the Peninsula. This marks a dramatic departure from the rail authority’s initial vision for the system — a four-track system along the Peninsula with high-speed rail on the inside tracks and Caltrain on the outside. The four-track design was widely panned, with many Peninsula residents and city officials expressed concerns about the seizure of property and the visual barriers a four-track system would necessitate. A

Ex-coach sentenced for Menlo School thefts A quick-fingered rifling of a backpack wasn’t fast enough to let Michael William Taylor escape the law last October. A security guard spotted the move and later connected the dots when the backpack’s owner, a student at Menlo School, reported that his iPad had been stolen, according to the district attorney’s office. A former assistant baseball coach at Menlo School, Mr.

Taylor voluntarily came in to the Atherton Police Department and confessed to stealing two iPads from the campus. The two iPads were later found in a search of Mr. Taylor’s San Leandro apartment, according to a Nov. 16 report to the Atherton City Council. In an odd twist, a Nov. 10 article on the school’s website described how Mr. Taylor and a student helped catch two Menlo

College students who were later arrested on suspicion of stealing backpacks from campus. He pleaded no contest on March 28 to misdemeanor petty theft in San Mateo County Superior Court. The judge sentenced him to three days in county jail, with credit for one day served, and 18 months’ probation. He also owes $212 in restitution and court fees.


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Woodside board OKs plans to renovate Menlo Country Club By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac

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Photo courtesy of Facebook

A bar code appeared on the roof of a building at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters during the social networking company’s recent Hackathon event.

Facebook employees add bar code to roof in Menlo Describing it as a “hack of epic proportions,” a team of Facebook employees unveiled a 42-foot-square bar code that they’d painted on the roof of a building at the social networking company’s Menlo Park headquarters at 1 Hacker Way. Inspiration struck during the company’s recent Hackathon event.

It took gallons of black paint, string, a remote-controlled tiny helicopter carrying a camera, and hours of patience for the team to create a QR code, a type of scannable bar code, according to employees. The code leads to a URL — fbco.de — that for now only tantalizes with a “coming soon” message.

lans to renovate the golf course and tennis courts at the Menlo County Club in Woodside moved one step closer to reality on March 26 when the town’s Architectural and Site Review Board approved the project with some recommendations and sent it on to the town’s Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will consider the project on April 25 and will make the final decision on approval unless its decision is appealed to the Town Council. If the club gets the necessary approvals, the project will probably begin in April 2013. No members of the public spoke against the project, which would modernize the 25-yearold golf course within its current footprint and include the removal of 345 trees and a manmade pond. Earlier plans to expand the golf course were abandoned because it would disturb the nests of a rare wood rat that lives near the golf course. The country club is located across the street from Woodside High School, near the boundary of Woodside and Redwood City. Despite the lack of public opposition, the board members did have some concerns about the project. “The fencing is abominable,” said board member Karen Rongey-Conners. She asked that a plan for the fencing and landscaping along Woodside Road be brought back to the ASRB.

That recommendation was made part of the board’s approval. The club was also asked to agree to the request of a neighbor to add trees near the tennis courts so the courts are less visible to neighboring homes. Board Chair Nancy Reyering said she has concerns about the environmental impact of the golf course, especially the use of water and chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides.

‘The golf game has evolved in the decades since this course was last designed.’’ MARK PITCHFORD, MENLO COUNTRY CLUB

“The thing I’m most concerned about is that this renovation happen in an environmentally sensitive way,” she said. “I’m not convinced that enough has been done.” Scott Lewis, the superintendent of the golf course, said that the renovations will reduce the amount of “highly maintained turf” from 95 acres to 58 acres, replacing the rest of the grass with native fescue that uses less water, pesticides and fertilizers. The country club is also a member of the National Audubon Society, he said. Woodside Planning Director Jackie Young said she will ask the club to put together a list of all

the things it is doing, and plans to do, to make the course more environmentally sustainable. Mark Pitchford, former chair of the club’s golf and greens committee and now heading its Golf Course Working Team, explained why the renovations are necessary. “We have a golf course that is old,” he said. While the club is nearly 100 years old, the course was last renovated 25 years ago. The drainage, irrigation, cart paths, tees and greens “are simply failing,” Mr. Pitchford said. In addition “the golf game has evolved in the decades since this course was last designed.” In addition to redesigning the course, the project will move two of the club’s tennis courts closer to two other courts in the southwest area of the property and add a 640-square-foot tennis building with an office, restrooms and exercise area. Another concern of several board members was the removal of a pond that is now part of the golf course. While the pond is man-made, it was added in the 1970s and is widely used by local wildlife, ASRB board member Maggie Mah said. “Creatures have come to rely on it, including migratory birds. It’s part of the flyover,” she said. Instead of removing the pond, “it might be an opportunity to renovate it and create a better habitat, maybe with a more See COUNTRY CLUB, page 16

Bill Cosby entertains at local benefit An invitation-only “Evening with Bill Cosby,” held March 24 at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, raised more than $400,000 to benefit Sequoia Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute. The Sequoia Hospital Foundation hosted a sold-out ballroom of guests who paid $1,000 per plate to attend, according to foundation spokesman Joanie Cavanaugh. Fifty guests, each of whom paid a premium for the experience, began the evening with a meet-and-greet with Mr. Cosby.

They were given copies of the entertainer’s new book, “I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was),” and an opportunity to pose for pictures with him. Mr. Cosby entertained for more than 90 minutes before closing the evening. The entertainer donated his performance as an honor to his childhood friend, Sequoia Hospital’s Dr. Edward Anderson, a cardiologist with Silicon Valley Cardiology, who grew up in the same neighborhood in Philadelphia as Mr. Cosby. April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N13


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ADVERTISEMENT FOR REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN the Town of Atherton is accepting proposals from qualified firms to perform comprehensive Architectural and Engineering Services (Consultant) for the programming, design and construction of a new library in accordance with the included specifications, terms, and conditions shown in this Request for Proposals (RFP). Request for Proposal documents can be found at: www.ci.atherton.ca.us under the “RFP/ Bid Solicitations” Proposal Format: The Town of Atherton seeks a proposal for Architectural and Engineering Services for the programming, design and construction of a new library. Responding individuals or firms must have demonstrated experience in managing the public process, design, and permitting of buildings for public entities. The Proposal should include the following: 1. FIRM OR PERSONS INTRODUCTION: including information such as length of time in business, office location(s), number of staff and a general summary of qualifications documenting the strengths of the firm or persons, areas of expertise and licensing. 2. SUB-CONSULTANTS INTRODUCTION: including information such as length of time in business, office location(s), number of staff and a general summary of qualifications documenting the strengths of the firm or persons, areas of expertise and licensing. Include what area of the project the sub-consultant will be providing services for and the percentage of overall project for each. 3. UNDERSTANDING AND APPROACH TO SCOPE OF WORK: demonstrate understanding of the tasks and services requested and describe the approach to accomplish the services described in this RFP. 4. PROJECT EXPERIENCE: listing specific design experience that is related to the type of service required by the Atherton Library project. Project experience should list the type of work provided with the client contact information for each project. Project experience should not be limited to Library projects and should include other civic design projects. 5. DETAILED WORK PLANS with estimated hours by task or project stage. 6. BUDGET and SCHEDULE: describe methods to be used to maintain work product within budget and schedule and methods used to bring budget and schedule into compliance when they are out of compliance. 7. KEY STAFF: including the identification of the Principal-in-Charge and key staff, including sub-consultants. This section should identify the qualifications and related experience of key staff assigned to the project; and includes their resume showing experience providing similar design services. 8. SOFTWARE: List the software planned for use for scheduling, budget management and the schematic and construction documents. 9. LITIGATION: A list of any current litigation to which the firm or person are parties by virtue of their professional service, in addition to a list of any such litigation from the past ten years. 10. DISCLOSURE: of any past, ongoing, or potential conflicts of interest that the firm or person may have as a result of performing the anticipated work. 11. COMMENTS OR REQUESTED CHANGES TO CONTRACT: The Town of Atherton standard professional services contract is included as an attachment to the RFP. The proposing firm or persons shall identify any objections and/or requested changes to the Standard contract. 12. Proposals shall be printed double sided, submitted on 8-1/2” x 11” paper, with font size 11 pt minimum. Pages shall be numbered, tabbed, and presented in a three (3) ring binder or other bound format. Proposals shall not exceed fifty (50) pages (i.e., sheets of paper), including an organization chart, staff resumes, and introductory letter. Divider tabs do NOT count toward the 50 page limit. Submittal of Proposal: Proposals are due no later than 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 27, 2012. Submit one signed original, six (6) letter-sized copies, and a CD of the technical proposal to: Atherton City Clerk Town Of Atherton 91 Ashfield Road Atherton, CA 94027 14 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012

N OB I TUA RI ES

Claude G. Alexander Services will be held on Saturday, April 14, for Claude G. (Alex) Alexander, who died March 17 in Redwood City from congestive heart failure. He was 87. The will services at 11 a.m. at Christ Church, 815 Portola Road in Portola Valley, with a reception to follow. Bor n in San Diego, he served in the Army in France during Claude World War II. Alexander After the war, he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oregon State University and a doctorate in zoology from UCLA in 1955. After accepting a faculty position at San Francisco State University, he and his family moved to the Bay Area, first living in Palo Alto, and then San Carlos, Woodside and, finally, Menlo Park. While at San Francisco State, he conducted research on the physiology and parasites of sharks, skates and rays from the Pacific Ocean, and the parasites of fresh water fish from lakes and streams from Canada through Baja California. Other research trips took him to Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and to Enewetak, Marshall Islands. However, his great love was teaching and mentoring several generations of biology undergraduate and graduate students at San Francisco State until his retirement in 1987, the family said. He always thought of his students as colleagues and never held formal office hours. The doors to his office and lab were always open, even on nights and weekends, to accommodate his working students’ difficult schedules, family members said. He was an active sportsman all his life; he played basketball for the U.S. Army and Oregon State, and organized weekly pickup games (faculty vs. students) at San Francisco State. A high school track and field star, he continued to run or walk several miles a day, and participated in a couple of Bay to Breakers, several 10Ks and half-marathons, and one marathon. In retirement, he pursued his long-deferred interest in the arts by taking creative writing, art history and painting classes at Canada College. He served on the vestry and was an active member of the weekly men’s breakfast group at

Note: Obituaries are based on information provided by families and mortuaries. You can leave a remembrance on Lasting Memories: AlmanacNews.com/ obituaries. Christ Church, Portola Valley. In 2005, he and his wife, Betsy, bought a condo in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand and enjoyed many months with old and new friends in that country. He is survived by his wife, Betsy; his son, Mark; his daughters, Leigh and Kay; and five grandchildren. The family requests that memorial gifts be sent, payable to “UCorp SF State” with “BioAlexander” on the memo line, to Michael A. Goldman, Chair, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132-1722.

Jeffry Leggett Jeffry Alan Leggett, who had a lifelong career in advertising and marketing, died March 17 at his home in Carmel Valley. He was 51. Mr. Leggett grew up in Atherton and graduated from MenloAtherton High School, where he was captain of the golf team. He graduated from the University of Oregon, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Following his early years in advertising agencies in San Francisco, he moved to Seattle to become brand manager at the Henry Weinhard Company. He later founded his own microbrew, Jet City Ale. Tra nsit ioning to newspaper advertising, he worked for the Palo Alto Jeffry Alan Daily News, Leggett then becoming branch manager of the Peninsula editions of the paper. He last worked in sales at the Monterey Herald newspaper. Some of Mr. Leggett’s hobbies were refurbishing vintage sports cars, remodeling his homes, barbecuing, and relaxing with his family and three cats, say family members. He is survived by his wife, Birgitt Leggett; his mother, Beverly Allen, children Maren and Ryan; and sister Christine Triska. Donations in Mr. Leggett’s memory may be made to Maren and Ryan’s education fund by contacting Todd Bergstrom at Edward Jones, 967-0450. Go to missionmortuary.com to leave messages in the online guest book.


Thank You Ladera On March 27, Woodland School was the winning bidder to secure a long-term lease at our current campus, and we could not be happier. Our school has been in the heart of the Ladera neighborhood for 30 wonderful years and we now have the opportunity to remain among our friends and neighbors for at least another 25 years. Woodland is grateful to each and every Laderan — and all other community members — who have helped and supported us over the years and championed our cause throughout this long lease process. Woodland is grateful to the Las Lomitas Elementary School District for giving us the opportunity to lease this property for the long-term and provide an idyllic setting in which to educate our children. Woodland is grateful to our families, students, faculty and staff for their understanding and patience throughout this period of uncertainty. Winning this bid was the watershed moment in the history of the school. Thanks to your support, we are now able to embark upon an exciting new era of serving families and educating children. We thank you all!

Tim Brady Board Chair

John Ora Head of School

!CADEMICSs#OMMUNITYs#HARACTER www.woodland-school.org 360 La Cuesta Drive - Portola Valley, CA 94028 – 650.854.9065

April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N15


C O M M U N I T Y

G U I D E TO 2012 S U M M E R C A M P S F O R K I D S

n n o e C c p t i o m n a C Summer 2012

For more information about these camps, see our online directory of camps at http://paloaltoonline.com/biz/summercamps/. To advertise in a weekly directory, contact 650-326-8210 Palo Alto Elite Volleyball Club Summer Camp

Athletics Bald Eagle Camps

Mountain View

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 (3rd-8th), and Leadership Camp (7th8th 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. www.baldeaglecamps.com 888-505-2253

California Riding Academy’s Camp Jumps For Joy!

Menlo Park

Join us this summer for fantastic and fun filled week with our beautiful horses and ponies! Each day Campers have riding instruction, develop horsemanship skills, create fun crafts and enjoy with our kids’ jump course. In addition, campers learn beginning vaulting, visit our Full Surgical Vet Clinic, and much more! Voted the best horse camp by discerning young campers. Choose English, Western or Cowboy/Cowgirl. Ages 5-15 welcome. Convenient close-in Menlo Park location and online Registration and Payment with either PayPal or Google Checkout. www.CalifiorniaRidingAcademy.com or JumpsForJoy@CaliforniaRidingAcademy.com for more information 650-740-2261

Earl Hansen Football Camp

Palo Alto

No tagline, no logo, just football. Earl Hansen Football camp is a non-contact camp for participants ages 9 to 14. Develop fundamental skills with proven drills and techniques. Sessions are 9:30 to 3:00, July 30 to August 3. Save 10% with Early Bird registration through April 30. Four morning practice days and 7 on 7 games in the afternoon. Lunch provided daily. Palo Alto High School Football Field. www.earlhansenfootballcamp.com 650-269-7793

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!! www.KimGrantTennis.com 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. www.USSportsCamps.com/tennis 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! www.paloaltojcc.org/camps 650-223-8622

Palo Alto/ Menlo Park

Girls Volleyball - fastest growing, non-impact sport for girls, emphasizing team work. Camp provides age appropriate fundamentals; setting, hitting, passing, serving, plus; offense vs defense strategy and learning rotations. 3rd - 12th grades (separate camps). High coach to player ratio. Email: info@paloaltoelite.com www.paloaltoelite.com

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 sportspecific 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. SpartansSportsCamp.com 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. www.springdown.com 650.851.1114

Stanford Water Polo Camps

Stanford

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. stanfordwaterpolocamps.com 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. www.sfhs.com/summer 650-968-1213 x650

Summer at Saint Francis

YMCA of Silicon Valley

Peninsula

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. www.ymcasv.org/summercamp 408-351-6400

COUNTRY CLUB continued from page 13

interesting shape,� she said. The concerns about the pond will be added to the environmental report on the project. The town is not requiring a full environmental impact report on the project, but instead a report called a “mitigated negative declaration� because, Planning Director Young said, research

N B RI EFS

Hachigian-Kruetzer, princes George Krikorian and Julian Sheehan, and princesses Madi McCauley and Jaclyn Abbey. For more information, contact May Day chair Kassia Kingsley at 415-602-8290.

Artists in the garden show Bellefleur Garden Design will present an “Artists in the Garden� show from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, at 1352 Orange Ave. in Menlo Park. The outdoor show will feature Garden Faces by Susie Howell, mosaics by Kathleen McCabe-Martin, and works by “Tile Muralist� Simone Archer. Benches, fountains, clay murals and sculptures, birdbaths, fused glass, garden wall hangings, and more will be for sale. There will be wine and cheese tasting at the free event. has indicated that the environmental impacts of the project can be made less than significant if the club meets conditions imposed by the town. The vote to approve the project was 5 to 1, with board member Barbara Hoskinson absent and member Thalia Lubin voting no. Maggie Mah, Karen Rongey-Conners, Peter Rosecrans, Nancy Reyering and Jack Helfand voted yes.

Menlo Park

Learn German by way of Fairytale! GASPA is taking Summer Camp into the world of fairy tales and everything that comes with it‌in German of course! Offering a 4 week program for children ages 3-12. www.gaspa-ca.org 650-520-3646

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Academics

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16 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012

The Woodside School PTA is seeking nominations for Citizen of the Year, a person in the community who has made significant contributions to the well-being of children. The person named will be honored at the 90th annual Woodside May Day Parade, to be held Saturday, May 5. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Viva Woodsideâ&#x20AC;? as the parade falls on Cinco de Mayo. April 15 is the deadline for nominations. Email woodsideCOY@yahoo. com to submit nominations, or pick up a form in the Woodside School office. Include the name of the person to be nominated, a short description of why this person should be honored, and your name and phone number. Steve Frank, assistant principal at Woodside Elementary School, will be this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parade grand marshal. The Royal Court, chosen from the kindergarten class at Woodside Elementary, will include King Colin Johnson, Queen Klara

Mountain View

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. www.sfhs.com/summer 650-968-1213 x650

GASPA German Summer School Camp

Nominations are sought for Woodside citizen of the year

2801 Middlefield Road, Redwood City (650) 369-5250 9am-5:30pm Mon. - Sat. Coffee roasting & fine teas, espresso bar, retail & wholesale. B]/RdS`bWaSW\Âż/BOabS]TbVS>S\W\acZOĂ&#x20AC;QOZZBVS/Z[O\OQ$#&#" $ $


F O R

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R E C O R D

Maid sentenced for jewelry thefts By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

L

uz Maria Garcia, a maid for “The Maids” home cleaning service in Redwood City, was sentenced on March 29 to six months in county jail and ordered to pay nearly $33,000 in restitution in three jewelry thefts that occurred between December 2009 and June 2010, including one in Menlo Park and another in Atherton, prosecutors said. In February, on the morning her trial was to begin, Ms. Garcia pleaded no-contest to one count each of grand theft and possession of stolen property, according to Steve Wagstaff, San Mateo County district attorney. In sentencing Ms. Garcia, Criminal Presiding Judge Craig Parsons denied her request for home detention instead of jail, prosecutors said. In addition to paying restitution of $3,940, $15,884 and $13,084 to the three victims, Ms. Garcia, 42 and a resident of East Palo Alto, will be subject to five years of supervised probation, counseling, DNA registration, fines total-

County seeks election officers The San Mateo County Elections Office is seeking workers to fill election day jobs for the Nov. 8 election. Individual applicants are welcome and service clubs members are asked to consider fundraising for their organization. First-time workers are required to attend a three-hour procedures class held at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo. Classes will take place in May. On election day, workers are on duty from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. with two one-hour breaks for meals. Effort is made to assign workers to precincts close to home. Pay is $100 a day. An additional training stipend is awarded if you serve on election day. Visit shapethefuture.org or call 286-2810 for more information. N B IRT H

Menlo Park ■ Christine and Christopher Peetz, a son, March 8, Sequoia Hospital.

ing $420, and the loss of her Fourth Amendment rights regarding search and seizure by police, prosecutors said. The judge gave her one day’s credit for time already served and ordered her remanded to jail. She had been out of custody on $50,000 bail. According to the prosecutor’s report, she stole a $4,200 diamond ring and gold earrings from a jewelry box in a Belmont residence; two pairs of gold earrings and a pair of blue topaz earrings from a Menlo Park residence; and gold earrings, a gold necklace decorated with diamonds and other jewelry from a resident of Atherton. Ms. Garcia also admitted to stealing jewelry from five other homes while working as a maid, but prosecutors did not file charges, Mr. Wagstaffe said. The victims were not identified in those cases. Ms. Garcia sold much of her take to jewelry stores in the area, prosecutors said.

G U I D E TO 2012 S U M M E R C A M P S F O R K I D S

n n o e C c p t i o m n a C Summer 2012

For more information about these camps, see our online directory of camps at http://paloaltoonline.com/biz/summercamps/. To advertise in a weekly directory, contact 650-326-8210

Arts, Culture and Other Camps

(continued from previous page)

Academics Harker Summer Programs

San Jose

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 www.imagineerz-learning.com 650-318-5002

iD Tech Camps Summer Tech Fun!

Castilleja Summer Day Camp Stanford

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). www.internalDrive.com 1-888-709-TECH (8324)

iD Teen Academies

Stanford

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. www.iDTeenAcademies.com 1-888-709-TECH (8324) ISTP Summer Camp is designed to give participants a unique opportunity to spend their summer break having fun learning or improving in a second language. Students are grouped according to both grade level and language of proficiency. Our camp offers many immersion opportunities and consists of a combination of language classes and activities taught in the target language. Sessions are available in French, Mandarin, Chinese and English ESL and run Monday through Friday, 8am-3:30pm, with additional extnding care from 3:30-5:30pm. www.istp.org 650-251-8519

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 Monday-Thursday and limited to 15 students. Every Thursday there’s a BBQ lunch. The Science and Art classes will have weekly field trips. www.mid-pen.com 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! www.sfhs.com/summer 650-968-1213 x446

“There’s no place like home.”

When you, or someone you care about, needs assistance... you can count on us to be there. We provide Peninsula families with top, professional caregivers. Call now

(650) 839-2273 www.matchedcaregivers.com

Mountain View/ Los Altos

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. www.summer.harker.org 408-553-0537

ISTP’s Language Immersion Summer Camp

Matched CareGivers

Camp Imagineerz

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! synapseschool.org/curriculum/summer 650-866-5824

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. www.headsup.org 650-424-1267, 925-485-5750

Palo Alto

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

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! Two-week sessions; full and halfday enrollment. Extended care available. Financial aid offered. www.arts4all.org 650-917-6800 ext. 0

Creative Kids Camp

Menlo Park

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. www.mppc.org 650-323-8647

India Community Center Palo Alto/ Sunnyvale/ Summer Camps Milpitas/Olema 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: www.indiacc.org/camps 408-934-1130 ext. 225

Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC)

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! www.paccc.com 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. www.techknowhowkids.com 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. www.theatreworks.org/educationcommunity 650-463-7146

April 4, 2012 N The Almanac N17


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: Editor@AlmanacNews.com Email letters to: letters@AlmanacNews.com The Almanac, established in September 1965,

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

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

More hurdles for library in the park

I

t may be time for the Atherton City Council to give in to the increasing pressure for a referendum on whether to build a new library in Holbrook-Palmer Park. We say that with some regret, after endorsing the idea last September as a great opportunity for the town, which has what will soon be $8 million in a fund that can be spent only on the library. After a round of many meetings, a steering committee appointed by the town decided to push for building a library of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet in Holbrook-Palmer Park. It would replace the 4,790-square-foot facility at Town Center that has been in use for 82 years. But while the impact of building a new library has been EDI TORI AL widely exaggerated by some The opinion of The Almanac town residents, there is a possibility that increased services in a new and larger space could attract more patrons, although how many and how often is unclear. Certainly the added space of a larger library would be a bonus, in that it could be used by any Atherton organization that needed it. Unfortunately, the Achilles Heel of the project is likely to be the environmental impact report released last month that found there is no feasible way to correct the traffic impact at Watkins Avenue and El Camino Real, if the library were built in the park. In addition, the city would have to install a traffic light at Watkins Avenue and Middlefield Road to lower the traffic impact at that busy intersection. We suspect the traffic impact analysis could be enough to convince Mayor Bill Widmer, the apparent “swing vote,” that the town should vote on the controversial project before a final decision is made. If he does change his mind, it would leave council

members Jim Dobbie and Kathy McKeithen, a tireless supporter of the new library, one vote short of keeping the park project alive unless voters support it. That would be a shame, but if a majority of residents say they oppose a library in the park, then so be it. The money that would pay for a new library, regardless of where it’s built, comes from a fund created by Proposition 13 that put aside a small slice of Atherton property taxes for the library, and the fund will contain more than $8 million in a year or two. If a proposal is drawn up, the town could ask that some of the money be used to renovate the small library at Town Center, although the site is cramped and a small garden there could be lost. That scenario comes with its own problems, and the unavoidable traffic problems identified in the EIR that would result at Watkins and El Camino Real if the library is built in the park would exist as well if the existing library is renovated and expanded. We think residents should keep in mind that the Main House in the park, which would be torn down if the library is built there, is not historic, and that the town already has decided not to make it available for outside events like weddings and parties. Local events would have to be restricted if an extra-large function was scheduled at the library, although we doubt that would occur very often. But the traffic concerns are something else. And even if the Watkins-El Camino intersection problems were solved, the town has no money set aside to install an expensive traffic light at Middlefield Road and Watkins Avenue. And without that it would be virtually impossible to go that direction during rush-hour traffic. At this juncture, it looks as if Atherton could lose this golden opportunity to build a really first-class library at HolbrookPalmer Park. We hope it plays out in another way, but at this point, the library’s opponents appear to have an edge.

is delivered each week to residents of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside and adjacent unincorporated areas of southern San

L ET TERS

Mateo County. The Almanac is qualified by decree of the Superior Court of San Mateo County to

Our readers write

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, www.TheAlmanacOnline.com, and occasionally on the Town Square forum.

TOWN SQUARE FORUM Post your views on the Town Square forum at www.TheAlmanacOnline.com EMAIL your views to: letters@almanacnews.com 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.

Library project should go to a vote Editor: I urge Atherton residents to read the draft environmental impact report for the park library on the town’s website, and send their comments to Lisa Costa Sanders by the May 7 deadline. While the park may be good for the library, the library may not be so good for other park users. For example, parking mitigation measures includes limiting the Pavilion use to 92 persons weekdays and 58 on weekends. Although Atherton will own the library building, the San Mateo County Library System will have operational control. That means the town and county will have to work together on operational and financial matters pertaining to the park. Whereas, today, Atherton has sole control over the park. These issues have not been addressed in the community outreach process but become

18 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012

Menlo Park Historical Association

Our Regional Heritage The Menlo Park Recorder was located on El Camino Real in 1930s and carried the news and advertising of the day. The Milky Way Creamery on Santa Cruz Avenue advertised, as did the Wall Meat Market, where fryers and broiling chickens sold for 37 cents a pound. The city’s Piggly Wiggly store offered five pounds of potatoes for 18 cents and four pounds of apples for 22 cents. At the time, gasoline sold for 31 cents a gallon.

obvious in reading the DEIR. The impact on other park uses and inserting the county in park operational and financial matters are significant and permanent changes for the town and should

be supported by a majority of our residents. Because of the dark cloud hanging over the park library decision, the matter should be brought to the residents to vote

on whether they approve having the library in the park. If the council accepts the will of the majority, it would go far in bringContinued on next page


V I E W P O I N T

L ET T ER S Our readers write

Continued from previous page

ing the town back together. Jerry Carlson Atherton City Council member

Beware of dangerous Atherton intersection Editor: I hope that the Atherton City Council does not have its collective head buried in the sand in regard to the big traffic impacts we can expect from the proposed library in Holbrook Palmer Park. Within the past two years there have been three serious accidents at the corner of Watkins Avenue and El Camino Real, two of which resulted in deaths. We don’t need further traffic at that corner. And unless a traffic light is installed at Watkins and Middlefield, that, too, will become an untenable situation (being close to such already). In short, Holbrook Palmer Park is a poor location for the very popular public library which so many of us revere. Nancy Barnby Spruce Street, Menlo Park

Has town lost its soul over library issue? Editor: Last week my daughter came to visit us in order to prepare for an upcoming wedding. We spoke of her childhood, her friends, of growing up in Atherton, of events in Atherton today, of a potential new library, and some pretty hostile sentiments against it. She told me about a close childhood friend of hers from Atherton, now living in San Francisco, working at a major investment firm, with a new child and who was looking to buy a home. My daughter asked her if Atherton was a possibility

and was told, “Never would I think to raise a child in Atherton — it has no sense of community.” She was going to look in the East Bay. As a longtime resident and representative council member of Atherton, my response to this sentiment was one of profound sadness, yet, given recent events, complete understanding. When I hear someone at a meeting discussing a possible new library say that we can put children in the basement, because “they don’t need a view,” when I read in a comment letter that the “’busyness’ of a contemporary library/community center poses a risk greater than the benefit,” when a council member repeatedly objects to our park as a site for a library because it will bring into it people from other communities, I realize that we have become a town of beautiful gated homes but are at risk of losing our soul. Kathy McKeithen Atherton City Council member

Error in climate change story A story about climate change written by Bay City News Service and carried in the March 28 Almanac contained an error. The story covered a talk given by U.S. Geological Service scientist Tom Suchanek in Menlo Park on March 22. The factual error was also referred to in an editorial in the same issue. The story quotes the scientist as saying that if worldwide carbon emissions continue to rise at the present rate, rising temperatures could cause the Sierra Nevada to lose 80 percent of its winter snowpack in just 40 years. The correct numbers are that the Sierra Nevada could lose 80 percent of its winter snowpack by the end of the century (not 40 years), according to Leslie C. Gordon, a USGS spokesperson in Menlo Park. The Almanac regrets the error.

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20 N The Almanac NApril 4, 2012


The Almanac 04.04.2012 - Section 1