Issuu on Google+

Facebook, city to release development deal Page 5

APRIL 11, 2012

| VO L . 4 7 N O. 3 3

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

When background checks miss the mark How a local private school unknowingly hired a teacher with a decades-long history of child molestation allegations Section 2 Go to for the Bay Area’s only complete online open home guide.



Stunning 5bd/4.5ba custom Craftsman style home built in 2004, offering 3,981+/-sf of thoughtfully designed living space. Beautifully sited on 1.2+/- acres, with expansive views of the surrounding hills.

Beautifully remodeled 4bd/3.5ba ranch-style home on 1.14+/acres. Spacious office/media room, exercise room, bonus room and wine cellar. Garage space for 4 cars, pool and tennis court. Las Lomitas schools.



AT H E R TO N Constructed in 2008, 6bd/4+ba home. 9,889 +/- sf living space on 1.4+/- acre flag lot. Tremendous chef’s kitchen with adjoining family room and separate game room. 12-seat theatre. 3-car garage. 1bd/1ba guest house. Pool/spa. $9,995,000

MENLO PARK | 1550 El Camino Real, Suite 100 650.462.1111 WOODSIDE | 2930 Woodside Road 650.529.1111 2 N The Almanac NApril 11, 2012


REMAINING FLEXIBLE If you have sat on an expensive pair of sunglasses, you know the importance of choosing frames that are as durable as they are fashionable and well-fitted. Among the most resilient eyeglass frames are those made from titanium-based alloys that not only bend without breaking or deforming, but are also lightweight and exceedingly comfortable. Flexible frames of this type can be bent like a pretzel before they spring back to their original shape. Thus, they can withstand not only daily abuse,

Elena Van Linge, 12, of Menlo Park with retired tennis star Andre Agassi following the announcement of her inclusion in the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament.

but they can resist the effects of being stepped and sat on. This makes frames with so-called “memory” metal not only eminently suitable for young children but also for anyone who makes the occasional absentminded move. Frames come in a variety of materials, including super durable and flexible materials that are ideal for people with active lifestyles. At MENLO OPTICAL, we feature a wide selection of frames for adults and children. Since frames are a customized product, we take the time to learn about your lifestyle and personal preference when helping you make a selection. Call us at 322-3900, or bring us your prescription. We are located at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. P.S. Eyeglass frames with spring-loaded hinges afford a more comfortable fit and can also resist breakage. Mark Schmidt is an American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners Certified Optician licensed by the Medical Board of California. He can be easily reached at Menlo Optical, 1166 University Drive, Menlo Park. 650-322-3900.

Pruning & Maintenance

Photo courtesy of Longines

Menlo girl in ‘Aces’ tourney Elena Van Linge, 12, of Menlo Park is the only participant from California selected to compete in the Longines Future Tennis Aces U.S. qualifying tournament to be held Saturday, April 14, at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, New York. The tennis event will feature 16 of the top female junior tennis athletes (ages 10-12) in the U.S. taking part in a one-day qualifying tournament, with the winner earning a trip to Paris, France. In Paris the winners from

16 countries will compete in a championship event June 7-9. The two world finalists will then have the right to play against tennis legend Steffi Graf on the clay courts of Roland Garros just prior to the French Open women’s final. All the players who qualify for the Roland Garros tournament will have the opportunity to attend the French Open women’s final on June 9. The grand prize is financing for the winner’s tennis equipment until her 16th birthday. Elena was chosen among 20 of the top ranked female junior

players in Northern California. Athletes were selected on their performance and commitment to give back to the community. Each submitted a 300-word essay on philanthropy that was voted on by a panel of judges, including Ms. Graf. In November, Elena won a fastest serve contest beating out 20 others, with tennis great Andre Agassi looking on. Both Mr. Agassi and his wife, Steffi Graf, are spokesmen for Longines, the Swiss watchmaker. The event, held at Stanford Shopping Center, was presented by Shreve & Co.

Kite Day at Bedwell-Bayfront Park on April 21 Kite-flying enthusiasts, from novices to experts, can take part in Kite Day on Saturday, April 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at Bedwell-Bayfront Park, located on the edge of the San Francisco Bay at Bayfront Expressway and Marsh Road in Menlo Park. A kite, hotdog and drink can be purchased for $6. Assistance with kite assembly and flying will be available.


For more information call 330-2200.

Creating a native plant garden “California native plants as an alternative to a lawn” will be the topic of a free landscaping workshop on Saturday, April 14, from

9 a.m. to noon, at the Menlo Park City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel St. in Menlo Park. Attendees will learn how to create a California native plant garden, while saving water. To register, call Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency at 349-3000. Specify the class date, time and location and provide your name, address and telephone number.

Tree Preservation Tree Pruning Tree Removal Long-Term Tree Care

City Arborist Tree Care delivers detailed specifications before every tree service job, so you know what to expect, how long it will take, and when workers will be present. Call for a free consultation and estimate: 650-321-2795

CITY ARBORIST TREE CARE Excellence in Tree Care Naturally

Ask for Seasonal Special Discount (650) s


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

223-6525 223-7525 854-2626 854-3650 854-0858

N E-mail news, information, obituaries and photos (with captions) to: N E-mail letters to the editor to:

To request free delivery, or stop delivery, of The Almanac in zip code 94025, 94027, 94028 and the Woodside portion of 94062, call 854-2626.

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 ©2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

À̈Ã>˜Ê-…œ«ÊEÊ-ÌÕ`ˆœÃUÊ-Vi˜ˆVÊ>À`i˜Ã ˆÃ̜ÀˆV>ÊÀV…ˆÌiVÌÕÀiÊUÊ Ûi˜ÌÃÊEÊiï˜}Ê>VˆˆÌˆià œÀʓœÀiÊ`iÌ>ˆÃ]Ê«i>ÃiÊÃiiʜÕÀÊÜiLÈÌi\ ÜÜÜ°>ˆi`>ÀÌÃ}Ո`°œÀ}Ê"ÀÊ >Ê­Èxä®ÊÎÓӇÓ{äx April 11, 2012 N The Almanac N3

NOTICE TO BIDDERS PROJECT: 12-01: Bear Gulch Creek - Creek Bank Stabilization for the Woodside Elementary School (“Project”). Engineer’s estimate: $150,000 1.

Notice is hereby given that the governing board (“Board”) of the Woodside Elementary School District will receive sealed bids for the following project (“Project”), Bear Gulch Creek Creek Bank Stabilization at Woodside Elementary School.


Sealed bids will be received until 2:30 P.M. on Monday, April 30 2012, at the Woodside Elementary School District office, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA 94062, at which time the bids will be opened and publicly read aloud. Any claim by a bidder of error in its bid must be made in compliance with section 5100 et seq. of the Public Contract Code. Any bid that is submitted after this time shall be non-responsive and returned to the bidder. Faxed or emailed Bid Documents will not be accepted.


The project consists of construction services for stitch piers and associated work to stabilize Bear Gulch Creek as described in the contract documents.


All bids shall be on the form provided by the District. Each bid must conform and be responsive to all pertinent Contract Documents, including but not limited to, the Instructions to Bidders.


It is the responsibility of the bidder to be licensed by the State of California to perform the work as described in the scope of work noted above. Bidding Contractors shall possess a Class A or B California Contractor’s license(s) in order to perform the work. The Bidder’s license(s) must remain active and in good standing throughout the term of the Contract, including any extension periods granted in accordance with the project contract.


A bid bond by an admitted surety insurer on the form provided by the District, cash, or a cashiers check or a certified check, drawn to the order of the Woodside Elementary School District, in the amount of ten percent (10%) of the total bid price, shall accompany the Bid Form and Proposal, as a guaranteed that the Bidder will, within seven (7) calendar days after the date of the Notice of Award, enter into a contract with the District for the performance of the services stipulated in the bid.


The successful Bidder shall be required to furnish a 100% Performance Bond and a 100% Payment Bond, if it is awarded the contract for the Work.


Pursuant to section 22300 of the Public Contract Code, the successful Bidder may substitute securities for any monies withheld by the District.


The Contractor and all Subcontractors under the Contractor shall pay workers on all work performed pursuant to this Contract not less than the general prevailing wage rate of per diem wages and the general prevailing rate for holiday and overtime work as determined by the Director of the Department of Industrial relations, State of California, for the type of work performed and the locality in which the work is to be performed within the boundaries of the District, pursuant to sections 1770 et Seq. of the California Labor Code. Prevailing wage rates are available on the Internet at:

10. A mandatory pre-bid conference and site visit will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM and will run for 45 minutes. All participants are required to sign in the Administration Building at 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA 94062. Bidders that fail to attend, or are more than fifteen (15) minutes late to, the mandatory pre bid conference shall be ineligible to respond to this Notice. 11. Each bid shall be in accordance with the Contract Documents. Contract Documents will be available for review after Tuesday April 17, 2012 at the District office (3195 Woodside Road, Woodside, CA 94062), or may be requested electronically, free of charge, from Bruce Thompson, WESD Facilities Consultant ( Hard copies of the documents may be requested in writing to the District at the time of the Pre-Bid Conference, and shall include a non-refundable deposit in the form of a cashiers check in the amount of fifty ($50.00) dollars. 12. All project inquiries shall be directed to:

s " RUCE4HOMPSON 7%3$&ACILITIES#ONSULTANT s 7OODSIDE%LEMENTARY3CHOOL$ISTRICT 7OODSIDE2OAD 7OODSIDE #!4ELEphone: (650) 851-1571 Ext. 284; Fax: (650) 851-5577 s

13. The Board reserves the right to reject any and all bids and/or waive any irregularity in any bid received. If the District awards the Contract, the security of unsuccessful bidder(s) shall be returned within sixty (60) days from the time the award is made. Unless otherwise required by law, no bidder may withdraw its bid for ninety (90) days after the date of the bid opening. 14. The District shall award the Contract, if it awards it at all, to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, qualified to complete the scope of work for the project. The Basis of Award shall be on the Base Bid amount. 4 N The Almanac NApril 11, 2012

ADVERTISEMENT FOR REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN the Town of Atherton invites proposals from Civil Engineering firms with expertise in the detailed design of a site specific retaining wall. The purpose of this RFP is to select a Consultant with the capability and experience to efficiently and cost-effectively satisfy and deliver all of the requirements described in the RFP. Request for Proposal documents can be found at: under the “RFP/Bid Solicitations” Proposal Format: The Town of Atherton seeks a proposal for Municipal Engineering services to provide engineering design and related services for the Marsh Road Retaining Wall. The Proposal should include the following: 26736. Cover Letter - Statement of firm’s background and technical capabilities. 26737. Organization Chart - Identify Project Manager, members of the project team, their classifications and any sub-consultants that will be used. 26738. Detailed Work Plan - Demonstrate your understanding of the project by presenting your approach to the work and the tasks that will be performed for the identified project. Tasks, milestones, and deliverables should be described in sufficient detail to serve as a contractual basis for the contract. 26739. Personnel Allocations - For each task, indicate the staff members and sub-consultants assigned to the task and the amount of hours planned. The firm’s management and internal review and quality control should be included. 26740. Experience - Provide a short summary of the firm’s previous work related to the qualifications needed for this project. Provide qualifications and summaries of experience for each person assigned to the project demonstrating relevant experience performing similar work. Describe specific qualifications and related experience of sub-consultants with focus on experience from projects of a similar nature. 26741. References - Include at least four specific examples of similar project work and include names and telephone numbers of individuals involved as the clients’ project managers. Please verify that the telephone numbers will reach the individuals named so that we can call them for references. 26742. Schedule - Provide a schedule identifying task durations, milestones, progress review meetings with Town staff and key project deliverables for the identified project. 26743. Cost Proposal – A separate cost proposal in a sealed enveloped Submittal of Proposal: Proposals are due no later than 3:00 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2012. 1. 2.

Submit five (5) letter-sized copies with one (1) unbound copy of the technical proposal to: Atherton City Clerk Town Of Atherton 91 Ashfield Road Atherton, CA 94027
















Facebook, city to release development deal Major payments and public benefits are expected to be part of the agreement.

By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


acebook and the city of Menlo Park will release this week the terms of a development agreement that will allow the social networking giant to continue adding employees at its new Menlo Park headquarters. The development agreement terms, which were still being negotiated late last week, will be made public late Thursday, April 12, when they are posted on the city of Menlo Park’s website as part of the city council’s April 17 meeting agenda and background. A link to the document will be posted on the Almanac’s website,, as soon as it is available. However, the Almanac has learned from sources familiar with the negotiations that the following terms are likely to be included in

the draft agreement: ■ A multi-million dollar payment package, which will include payments to the city in lieu of taxes, as well as an additional onetime payment to the city. ■ Public benefits for the neighboring communities of Belle Haven and East Palo Alto that will include a local community fund as well as job training and internship programs. ■ Environmental investments and safeguards for the nearby San Francisco Bay wildlife and habitat. ■ Economic incentives for Facebook employees to shop in Menlo Park, which will build on the “Facebucks” pilot program. ■ A hard cap on the number of car trips permitted on and off Facebook’s campus, which will carry a financial penalty for excess trips. ■ Investments in traffic mitigations and infrastructure improve-

ments as outlined in the Environmental Impact Report. Facebook, which completed moving into the Menlo Park headquarters in December 2011, has a two-phased plan for expansion in Menlo Park. Phase one, which this development agreement addresses, asks Menlo Park to swap the current 3,600 employee limit on Facebook’s Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway location, at what is now called 1 Hacker Way, for a cap on the number of vehicle trips allowed to and from the campus. In phase two Facebook would build additional offices and a parking garage on a site across the street on Constitution Drive, with an eventual total of as many as 9,400 employees on both sites. Right now Facebook still has a number of empty buildings on the former Sun campus and as of late last week had about 2,000 employees. The City Council plans to dis-

Almanac photo by Michelle Le

Facebook wants city permission to eventually have as many as 9,600 employees on its two Menlo Park campuses; now it has about 2,000.

cuss and make recommendations on the terms of the phase one development agreement at its Tuesday, April 17, meeting. A vote on the actual agreement is tentatively scheduled to take place at its first meeting in June. According to City Attorney Bill McClure, who is acting as lead

negotiator for the city, the agreement and the final environmental impact report will first go to the Planning Commission for a hearing, discussion and recommendations at a meeting now scheduled for May 7. See FACEBOOK, page 10

Former superintendent pleads not guilty to three felony charges By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


ormer Portola Valley School District Superintendent Tim Hanretty pleaded not guilty on April 6 to three felony counts that include misappropriation of public funds — allegations of misdeeds that stem from his earlier employment with the Woodside School District. Mr. Hanretty, who resigned Jan. 31 from his position in the Portola Valley district during an investigation requested by the Woodside district, was arraigned in San Mateo County Superior Court the day after charges against him were announced by the county District Attorney’s Office. Despite the seriousness of the charges, Woodside school officials believe at this point that the misappropriation of funds wasn’t for Mr. Hanretty’s personal gain, according to a statement issued April 5 by Woodside district Superintendent Beth Polito. The preliminary hearing on the charges against Mr. Hanretty was set for 9 a.m. May 24. Mr. Hanretty is out of custody on

bail of $30,000. The charges stem from a loan that allegedly was fraudulently acquired by Mr. Hanretty when he served as finance officer for both the Woodside and Portola Valley school districts, but they involve the Woodside Tim Hanretty district only. School officials said earlier that there has been no indication of such irregularities in the Portola Valley district. New details of the alleged misdeeds emerged April 6 in a report from county District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, who said Mr. Hanretty presented fraudulent paperwork to obtain a far larger loan than was authorized by the school board for the purpose of updating an athletic field. The board had approved a loan not to exceed $632,000. Mr. Hanretty obtained a $2.6 million loan instead, and agreed to a repayment schedule that pushed the amount to more than $4.33

Photo by Michelle Le

Firefighters outside a modified metal shipping container used to duplicate conditions in an intense flashover fire, where temperatures reach as high as 1,200 degrees Farenheit, hot enough to cause all the contents of a room to ignite at once.

Responding to a flashover fire By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


t’s the firefighter’s nightmare — a flashover, a fire involving heat so intense that everything in a room, including anyone in it,

ignites at the same time. Last week more than 85 Menlo Park Fire Protection District firefighters experienced a flashover — not nightmares, but part of training exercises meant to teach them how to anticipate and react

to flashover conditions. The training, which also involved 15 Fremont and 12 South San Francisco firefighters, took place at the Menlo Park See FIRE, page 10

See HANRETTY, page 12

April 11, 2012 N The Almanac N5


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

Key finding in library EIR based on error

Open 6:30 am - 8:00 pm daily Sale Dates: Apr. 11, 12, 13, 14

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

By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

Visit us anytime at





99¢ 49¢ lb












$ 98 lb






98 lb


$ 99








7 OZ.

12 OZ.

DELI DEPARTMENT We have Four Hot Soups made fresh daily $4.99 lb.


$ 99



50 OZ.

Grab lunch at Roberts’ Deli! Have a cup with a Hot Panini Sandwich

$7 - $8

2012 Pinot Noir Releases WINE AND SPIRITS Spring 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.

2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir....................................................... Sale


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


2010 Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ..................... Sale


2010 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ..................... Sale


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. 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 11, 2012

l Camino Real’s intersection with Watkins Avenue has given Atherton residents major headaches for many years. It turns out that it isn’t sparing the firm that produced the environmental study for the proposed new library in HolbrookPalmer Park. An error in the recently released draft environmental impact report (EIR) — brought to light last week by a trio of residents that include Councilwoman Kathy McKeithen and her husband, Smith — resulted in the finding that any library construction project would result in significant but unfixable traffic problems at the already problematic Watkins/El Camino intersection. The firm, LSA Associates of Berkeley, drew that conclusion because it considered the only possible mitigation to be creation of a dedicated right-turn lane on Watkins onto northbound El Camino. But that option wasn’t considered feasible because it would involve the taking of residential property in the right-of-way. As a result, the traffic impact at that intersection is “significant and unavoidable,� the EIR says. But longtime resident Sandy Crittenden wasn’t convinced. Earlier this week, he told Councilwoman McKeithen that he believed LSA was in error in measuring the rightof-way, and before long, the McKeithens were out at the intersection taking a look for themselves, Ms. McKeithen told the Almanac. “They got it wrong,� she said. The crew that did the

work apparently believed that a white fence located near the roadside indicated the division between public and private property, she surmised. That is not the case, Interim Public Works Director Mike Kashiwagi confirmed last week after investigating Ms. McKeithen’s surprising claim. As it turns out, the existing right-of-way width of Watkins Avenue is 60 feet, “which is adequate to provide a right-turn lane,� Mr. Kashiwagi said in an email to the Almanac. He has informed LSA of the error, and the firm “in consultation with Town Staff will determine the most appropriate way to make this correction,� he wrote. The draft EIR indicated that with a right-turn lane at that intersection, the traffic congestion wouldn’t worsen if a new library is built in the park. The LOS — or level of service — at the intersection is already rated F for peak morning traffic. (LOS ratings range from A to F, with F indicating the worst level of delays for vehicles navigating the intersection.) For peak afternoon traffic, it is now rated D, but is expected to drop to E even without the library project because of near-term traffic increases stemming from other sources, according to the EIR. Without a right-turn lane on Watkins, increased traffic would cause delays at the intersection that would earn an F rating during afternoon as well as morning peak periods if the library is built in the park or the Town Center, the EIR concluded. A

Drop off household hazardous waste Menlo Park residents may bring household hazardous waste to a drop-off location in central Menlo Park from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday, April 14. There is no charge, but residents must make an appointment. Visit or call 363-4718 to make an appointment. The waste may include paint, motor oil, batteries, fluorescent

lamps, pesticides, pool and photo chemicals, drain openers and cleaning solvents. No radioactive, explosive, medical or commercial waste will be accepted. Residents may also dispose of hazardous waste through the free “At Your Door� collection program, which picks up hazardous items near your door. Email or call 800-449-7587 for a collection kit and instructions.



Judge dismisses Buckheit lawsuit By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


federal court judge has thrown out a $10 million lawsuit filed by Atherton resident Jon Buckheit against the town of Atherton, San Mateo County, and three Atherton police officers. Judge Joseph Spero issued his ruling Friday, April 6, granting the town’s, the county’s, and the officers’ motions for summary judgment to dismiss the lawsuit before it went to trial. “I’m very disappointed with the decision, and seriously considering appealing it,� Mr. Buckheit told the Almanac. Mr. Buckheit filed the lawsuit in 2008 as a result of his arrest after a domestic violence incident in his home in which he had called the police and reported that he was the victim. He later amended his lawsuit to include additional grievances when he learned that the police report of his arrest was changed hours after it was completed to include false charges of physical abuse to a child who had been present during the domestic dispute — charges the town later said were added inadvertently because

of a computer entry error. “He threw the whole case out, saying the falsification of the police report didn’t cause significant damage or have enough of a chilling effect on my free speech to be an actionable claim under the Civil Rights Act,� Mr. Buckheit said. “But I felt I was damaged when I had to write that check to my lawyer to expunge my record,� he said, referring to having to go to court to ask for a legal declaration of factual innocence. Atherton City Attorney Bill Conners told the Almanac that he believes “the judge ruled correctly� in dismissing the case, but he wasn’t gloating over the town’s win. “To be fair, I know Jon Buckheit, and he believes passionately that he was correct.� Mr. Conners noted that he wasn’t Atherton’s attorney for much of the time the case has been active, and he expressed disappointment that the town and Mr. Buckheit didn’t work things out long ago. “I always thought this thing got way out of hand ... and it never should have gotten to the lawsuit stage,� Mr. Conners told the Almanac. Mr. Buckheit’s legal claims against the town included violation of his First Amendment rights,

which he said occurred when his police report was changed to include the child abuse charge. The charge was added, his lawsuit claimed, in retaliation for his complaints that he had been mistreated by Officer Dean DeVlugt during the domestic violence call, and thus was an attempt to “chill� his right to speak out against the treatment. In his ruling, Judge Spero concluded that Mr. Buckheit had “presented no evidence that any of the retaliatory acts had any adverse effect on him or would have had a chilling effect on his speech.� The lawsuit’s claims also included assertions that Mr. Buckheit’s arrest was the result of gender discrimination, and that the county and town engaged in a conspiracy of retaliation and an attempt to thwart Mr. Buckheit’s petition for factual innocence. Mr. Buckheit was granted a declaration of factual innocence in San Mateo County Superior Court in 2010. During the hearing, Judge Mark Forcum stated that “there’s absolutely no basis to believe that Mr. Buckheit ever laid a finger on the child,� referring to the charge added to the police report after Mr. Buckheit’s arrest.

by Monica Corman

Why Inventories Are So Low Dear Monica: I have been looking for a home in this area and am frustrated by the lack of inventory to choose from. In many areas the competition from other buyers is great and although I have made a few offers, I have yet to be successful. What is even more frustrating is finding out that some properties are not even being openly marketed. Knowing that demand is high, why don’t more sellers put their homes on the market and why do some sellers and their agents market only to a select few? Teri E. Dear Teri: Many are wondering why there is so little inventory compared with other years. One reason may be that

many homeowners owe more on their homes than they would net in a sale and are waiting for the market to recover before selling. Also some potential sellers can’t find a property to move to and thus cannot sell until they are confident they can find something they like. And then there are sellers who sense that the market is rising and want to hold on to enjoy potentially larger gains. With interest rates still low but rising, when a good property has come on the market buyers swarm over it and multiple offers are frequent. It does seem antithetical then that some sellers and their agents would choose not to market a property openly on the Multiple Listing Service. They may not realize that they would do better to let this information be out in the open.

For answers to any questions you may have on real estate, you may e-mail me at or call 462-1111, Alain Pinel Realtors. I also offer a free market analysis of your property. 2011 2012


School district goals topic of roundtable The Menlo Park City School District’s top five goals will be the topic of discussion at a roundtable set for Wednesday, April 11, at Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave. in Atherton. The meeting is from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. Childcare will be provided for school-age children, and can be reserved by emailing Last year, the district appointed five teams to focus on the school board’s five goals, which address strategic planning and financial stewardship, student assessment, teacher selection, the English language arts program, and the Hillview Middle School construction project. Participants in the roundtable will hear brief updates on the teams’ progress, then may rotate among the teams’ tables to ask questions and offer comments and suggestions, according to the district.

Fundraising drive for Ford Field Community fundraising has begun for a $540,000 project to rehabilitate Ford Field, the Little League baseball diamond at the corner of Alpine Road and Westridge Drive in Portola Valley. The Sand Hill Foundation in


Menlo man sentenced for child abuse

Menlo Park, on behalf of the family of Susan Ford Dorsey, is offering donors from the community an opportunity to match its $100,000 Ford Family Challenge Gift. Visit for more information.

A Menlo Park man was sentenced to eight months in county jail and other penalties on April 4 in San Mateo County Superior Court after having pleaded nocontest in January to one count of child abuse involving his 15-year-old daughter, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe’s office. Rasheed Brooks, 37, was ordered directly to jail, said prosecutors, who had asked for a one-year jail sentence. In Mr. Brooks’ defense, his attorney Kevin Allen said that his client had been disciplined with a belt when he was growing up, prosecutors said.

Talks: Raising backyard bees Two talks — on raising bees, and on attracting beneficial insects into gardens — are set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Community Hall at the Portola Valley Town Center at 765 Portola Road. Commercial beekeeper Aidan Wing will talk about “The Joy of Backyard Beekeeping.� Landscape designer and organic gardener Steve Masley will talk on “Build It & They Will Come: Attracting Beneficial Insects & Natural Garden Pest Control.� Go to and click on the Sustainability menu for more information on the Tuesday Harvest series of talks. Visit for more information on these and other stories.


Acclaimed Austrian quartet performs Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven on historic musical instruments.

Service for Richard Tryce A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 21, for Richard Stanley Tryce, a fifthgeneration Californian and 57-year-resident of the Peninsula, who died March 15 at his home in Portola Valley following a long illness. He was 80. The service will start at 1 p.m. at Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road in Portola Valley. An obituary is online and will run in a future issue of the Almanac.


WED / APR 18 / 8 PM MEMORIAL CHURCH The beloved vocal quartet celebrates its 25th anniversary in the inspiring setting of Stanford’s Memorial Church. The program features music from each of Anonymous 4’s recordings plus new works yet to be recorded. | 650-725-ARTS April 11, 2012 N The Almanac N7

8 N The Almanac NApril 11, 2012

April 11, 2012 N The Almanac N9


Woodside may approve $415,000 in outside funds for school routes By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


wo matters that would channel some $415,000 in outside funding to Woodside to improve the walking and biking routes to school will come before the Town Council at its 7:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, April 10 at Independence Hall. The items are on the consent agenda, so the council will approve them without discussion unless someone from the council, the staff or the public asks to have one or more items pulled out for separate discussion. Such a separate discussion occurred on March 13, when Councilman Tom Shanahan raised philosophical objections to accepting outside money, which led to a spirited back-and-forth among the members. The consent agenda items are: ■ A resolution to allocate $20,000 from the town’s roadprogram fund to improve a welltraveled path and route to school along Canada Road. If the council approves it, the state will add $200,000 in grant money, the staff report says. ■ A resolution to spend $39,160

FACEBOOK continued from page 5

On Menlo Park’s negotiating team, in addition to Mr. McClure, are Public Works Director Chip Taylor, Development Services Manager Justin Murphy, and former city and former county manager David Boesch. On Facebook’s team are John Tenanes, Facebook’s director of global real estate, and Justin Gurvitz, Facebook’s real estate attorney. In the meantime, Facebook has been cultivating relationships with its neighbors, including recently hiring Susan Gonzales as head of community engagement for the company. Ms. Gonzales, who started as a contractor for Facebook in 2011, has been attending meetings with community organizations.

for preliminary engineering work on a project to upgrade two crosswalks across Highway 84 at Woodside Elementary School. (The council voted on March 13 to accept $215,600 from county and federal sources to fund this project.) The crosswalks’ in-road lights have been painted over and scratched, Deputy Town Manager and Town Engineer Paul Nagengast told the Almanac. This upgrade would add solar power, new signs and stripes, re-graded paths, better drainage and new bright lights located where they won’t be painted over. At the March 13 meeting, Councilman Shanahan characterized the $215,600 in funding as “free money” and criticized accepting it on philosophical grounds. The town would probably not spend that much on crosswalks if it were taxing itself, he said, so the town should not be shifting the burden to taxpayers from elsewhere. Several other council members defended the idea of accepting the money, and when a council majority voted to accept the money, Mr. Shanahan joined them in a 6-0 vote, with Councilwoman Anne Kasten absent. A

According to company spokesman Tucker Bounds, Facebook has already engaged with a number of organizations in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto. “Facebook has repeatedly shown a commitment to help build a stronger community and be a good neighbor,” Mr. Bounds said. “More important than the robust development agreement we’ve invested in with the city, are the relationships we’ve started building with local nonprofits and school groups,” he said. According to Mr. Bounds, Facebook has worked with at least 20 organizations in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto including the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, the Ravenswood Education Foundation, the Belle Haven Community School, and Mt. Olive Church. A

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. 10 N The Almanac NApril 11, 2012

Almanac photo by Michelle Le

Firefighters had just a few minutes to cool off before they entered another training container to practice using thermal imaging cameras, radio communications, and hoses to fight a live fire. Engineer Kevin White is second from left and Captain Balestrieri is kneeling.

Responding to a flashover fire FIRE continued from page 5

district’s training facility near the Dumbarton Bridge. On Tuesday, April 3, 24 firefighters at a time — dressed in full gear with air tanks, face shields and radios — crowd into a modified metal shipping container with their instructors, sitting on the floor and watching as a specially constructed fire box in front of and above them heats to flashover temperature, as high as 1,200 degrees. On the floor, where the firefighters sit, it is not as hot, around 400 degrees. But the paint on a wall of the container behind them is melted from previous drills. Firefighters must even practice breathing slowly and calmly so they don’t use up their air tanks too quickly. Outside the container, onlookers, including Menlo Park mayor Kirsten Keith and fire board directors Virginia Chang Kiraly and Rob Silano, watch as a sensor placed in the container midway between the firefighters and the fire climbs to 800 degrees. Smoke billows when the door is opened to replenish oxygen in the room. Fire District Chief Harold Schapelhouman says the simulation training is important because today’s firefighters experience fewer live fires and do not have the same opportunities for on-the-job training that they did in the past. “We try to show the massive power of fire,” he says. According to Division Chief Frank Fraone, only about 4 to 5 percent of the fire district’s

calls are for fires, and about 35 of those each year are structure fires. Most other calls are medical emergencies. Chief Schapelhouman says that the exercise shows firefighters what indicators — including very high temperatures and thick, dark smoke — warn that a flashover is about to occur, and how to survive one. “They’re watching it happen right over them,” he says. “A lot of people have been getting hurt over the years because they don’t know what to look for.” After 20 minutes in the container, the firefighters emerge and the fire is extinguished. But they only have a few minutes to rest, rehydrate and breathe freely before they are on to the second part of the training. In small teams the firefighters enter another set of containers, where they will grope through the dark before encountering another live fire. They will practice using their radios, fire hoses and thermal imaging cameras, which allow them to see heat sources — fire or people or pets — in the dark or through heavy smoke. They will also practice teamwork. “It’s combat. You don’t go into combat with one person,” Chief Schapelhouman says. “You practice, practice, practice.” But even the practice doesn’t mean things don’t go wrong, he says. “Things always go wrong.” Chief Schapelhouman, who has been with the Menlo district for close to 32 years, says that not only do today’s firefighters have fewer opportunities to fight live fires, but conditions make the task more difficult. Better equip-

ment protects firefighters, but makes it harder for them to sense things such as the high temperatures that lead to flashovers. Construction materials and methods allow structures to collapse more quickly and anything made out of petroleum products such as plastics burns very hot and releases toxic gases. “Our time frame is much less than it used to be,” Chief Schapelhouman says. The training, he says “makes a difference.” “We’re going to save lives, we’re going to save property, by being more efficient,” Chief Schapelhouman says. In the future, the district will provide even more training opportunities at the facility. Currently under construction by firefighters is a unit that will simulate a two-story apartment building, with rooms for the firefighters to search, windows to go in and out of, and stairwells to climb. Outside, three gas meters were installed and connected to underground gas lines by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Firefighters and PG&E employees will use them to practice situations where a gas meter has been sheared off in a car accident. Chief Fraone says that fire departments from South San Francisco to Mountain View use the Menlo Park training facility. Locate on property owned by PG&E, the facility has been used by the district since 1991, he says. Firefighters go through the training at least once a year, and this time Chief Schapelhouman also participated. “It’s good for me to go back and remember what it’s like,” he says. A


Burglar absconds with Town may act on green initiatives $45,800 in jewelry By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


olice are investigating a home burglary in Atherton with a reported loss of $45,000 in jewelry, including gold chains, a necklace and earrings. The burglary was reported March 28 from a home on Walsh Road, Lt. Joe Wade of the Atherton Police Department told the Almanac. Another residential burglary, this one on Watkins Avenue and reported on March 30, resulted in losses estimated at $2,200 from the theft of items that included a flat screen TV, a spice rack, a clothes hamper, an Apple iPod touch, and an Apple Powerbook, police said. In another incident reported on March 29, a witness told


police that three men were seen lifting a hydraulic chisel, valued at $7,500, into a white pickup truck on Atherton Avenue near Monte Vista Avenue. The chisel had fallen from a passing equipment trailer and its owner had later returned to the scene but could not locate it, police said. The witness described the men lifting the chisel as of Hispanic ethnicity, one in his 40s and the other two in their 20s, police said. Meanwhile, that same day at a construction site on Fair Oaks Avenue, someone stole tools valued at $6,500, including a gas-powered hammer, two nail guns and a rebar cutter, police said. A

N PO LI C E C A L L S This information is from the Atherton and Menlo Park police departments and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted. MENLO PARK Residential burglary reports: ■ Loss estimated at $6,500 in theft of guitar from closet, Santa Cruz Ave., April 5. ■ Loss estimated at $400 in theft of locked bicycle from apartment carport, Berkeley Ave., March 30. Commercial burglary report: Lock to storage gate cut but no property stolen by two suspects driving “dark gray boxy type vehicle,� Genesis Landscape Management on Adams Court, March 31. Auto burglary reports: ■ Losses estimated at $655 after convertible roof slashed and theft of duffel bag, handbag, CDs, two pairs of sunglasses and miscellaneous other items, Sharon Park Drive, April 5. ■ Two basketball jerseys stolen after rear window pried open and broken, Sharon Park Drive, April 5. Assault with deadly weapon report: Jamal Garner, 39, of Menlo Park

arrested after allegedly attacking and slightly injuring 21-year-old male victim with meat fork during verbal altercation, 1300 block of Willow Road, April 1. Accident with injury report: Motorcyclist, 49, treated for minor injuries after colliding with dog (beagle/Jack Russell terrier) that was taken to vet with unknown injuries, Oakdell Drive and Lemon St., April 2. Theft reports: â–  Unknown estimate of losses in alleged theft of cell phone, portable DVD player, CDs, laptop computer, some food items, picture frame, Apple iPod and hair clippers, Willow Road, April 2. â–  Loss estimated at $300 in theft of bicycle from carport, 700 block of University Drive, April 5. WEST MENLO PARK Theft report: Loss estimated at $6,200 in jewelry theft, Gordon Ave., April 3. ATHERTON Fraud report: Unauthorized use of credit card racked up charges of some $12,000 over one month, Rosewood Drive, April 2.

Two environmental initiatives that would restrict use of petroleum-based packaging materials in Portola Valley come before the Town Council at its Wednesday, April 11, meeting at the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. The council could adopt “by reference� a 2011 San Mateo County ordinance that restricts food vendors from selling carryout food in containers made of polystyrene. Sometimes called “Styrofoam,� this material cannot be recycled or re-used, nor does it biodegrade but instead finds its way on to roadsides and into waterways and the ocean, according to a staff report. In adopting this ordinance by reference, the town joins a


regional effort managed and enforced by the county. Communities already involved include Half Moon Bay, Burlingame, Foster City and San Carlos. Redwood City and Menlo Park are considering joining, the report said. A related initiative before the council would support a regional ban in the works on single-use plastic bags at retail checkout counters and require customers who don’t have their own reusable bags to pay for paper ones. A majority on the Woodside Town Council indicated its support for this initiative in March. Also on the agenda: direction

Post officer manager sentenced for theft Debra Lynn Blaylock has pleaded no contest to felony charges of identity theft and credit card fraud stemming from her tenure as post office manager of Menlo College. Ms. Blaylock, 55, entered her plea April 5 on the condition that she would not serve time

in state prison, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. She will serve 60 days in county jail, and was placed on three years of supervised probation, according to the DA’s report. Ms. Blaylock, of Santa Clara, was arrested by Atherton police

to meet our teachers, tour our beautiful campus and participate in a student Q and A panel


Saturday, April 21, 2012 10:30 – Noon




✔ Call for assessment and free onehour Mathnasium session ✔ Learn about our Summer Programs


Offer available for grades 1st - 8th


650-321-MATH (6284)

on March 21 after an investigation found she had stolen three credit cards that had been mailed to two students and a nonprofit operating on the campus. More information is on


A small, caring innovative high school, celebrating over 30 years of growth and changing student lives.

Math Tutoring

to staff to proceed with a bid package for the $540,000 renovation project for Ford (baseball) Field. The upgrades to the field include re-grading, new irrigation, dugouts, backstop, bleachers and batting cage, and upgraded paths. Construction is set to begin in mid-June. Helping to pay for the project are Susan Ford Dorsey, who has given the town a $100,000 challenge grant, and the Little League, which is contributing $50,000 and may add $25,000 more, town staff said. The state has $230,000 available in reimbursement funds and the community at large would be asked to fill in the other $135,000.


Free Trial Offer!

605 Cambridge Ave., Ste. A, Menlo Park | email:


No RSVP required. 2EFRESHMENTSAREPROVIDED &ORMOREINFORMATION contact the Admissions OfďŹ ce AT  X April 11, 2012 N The Almanac N11


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 To advertise in a weekly directory, contact 650-326-8210

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 (7th-8th only). Come experience our positive atmosphere, great coaching, unique structure, inspiring life message and 5-STAR service. Bald Eagle Camps is guaranteed to be a highlight of your child’s summer.


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. or for more information 650-740-2261

Champion Tennis Camp


CTC programs provide an enjoyable way for your child to begin learning the game of tennis or to continue developing existing skills. Our approach is to create lots of fun with positive feedback and reinforcement in a nurturing tennis environment. Building self-esteem and confidence through enjoyment on the tennis court is a wonderful gift a child can keep forever! Super Juniors Camps, ages 4 – 6. Juniors Camps, ages 6 - 14.


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.


Glenoaks Stables’ Horse Camp Portola Valley Giddy up your summer at Glenoaks Stables’ horse camp. Each full day of equestrian fun includes supervised riding, horsemanship, vaulting, pony games and arts & crafts. 6 one-week sessions. All skill levels welcome, ages 6+. 650-854-4955

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!!

Nike Tennis Camps


Stanford University

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

1-800-NIKE-CAMP (645-3226)

Oshman JCC

Palo Alto

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


Palo Alto Elite Volleyball Club Summer Camp

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@

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. Spartans Sports Camp is also hosting two free basketball clinics on April 21st and May 6th from 10 am 1 pm. Register today for the camps and free clinics on our website!



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.


Stanford Water Polo Camps


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


Summer at Saint Francis

Mountain View

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

650-968-1213 x650

Summer at Saint Francis

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.

650-968-1213 x650

YMCA of Silicon Valley


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.


Academics Galileo Learning

Los Altos/Palo Alto/Menlo Park/ Woodside/Hillsborough

Galileo Learning operates award-winning summer day camps at 31 Bay Area locations. Camp Galileo (pre-K - rising 5th graders): Inspires campers to bring their ideas to life through art, science and outdoor activities. Galileo Summer Quest (rising 5th - 8th graders): Campers dive into exciting majors like Chefology and Video Game Design.

1-800-854-3684 (continued on next page)

12 N The Almanac NApril 11, 2012

Hanretty pleads not guilty to three felony charges HANRETTY continued from page 5

million with interest, the report said. “The field work cost approximately $600,000; (Mr. Hanretty) used the other monies (without board approval) for other school projects,” the report said. Over the following months, Mr. Hanretty regularly told the school board that the project was on time and on budget, it said. The alleged fraud was discovered when school district officials conducted an investigation “to determine why their debt was unusually high,” the report said. The DA’s office launched an investigation in December after Woodside district officials brought to its attention the alleged financial irregularities. Mr. Wagstaffe, who announced the charges on April 5, said that Mr. Hanretty and his attorney, Michael Markowitz of Gagen McCoy of Danville, “have been cooperative in working with us in all this.” The charge of public funds misappropriation carries an allegation of “excessive taking,” which means that it involves more than $1 million, Mr. Wagstaffe said. “That doesn’t mean that ... Mr. Hanretty got personal benefit of over a million dollars,” Mr. Wagstaffe noted. “It just means the funds that he was maneuvering inappropriately, misappropriating, was over a million dollars.” In her written statement, Super-

intendent Polito said: “During the 2005-2008 Woodside School Modernization project a loan was acquired fraudulently. The Woodside School Board approved a loan resolution for $632,000 to complete a field project as part of the modernization project. Altered loan documentation allowed for a loan up to 3 million dollars. Ultimately a loan for 2.6 million dollars was issued. “It is our current belief the money acquired through the fraudulent loan ... was spent on the 2005-2008 Woodside School Modernization Project.” In addition to misappropriation of public funds by a public officer, Mr. Hanretty is charged with fraudulently passing a forged or altered document, and filing “a false or forged instrument.” Attempts to reach Mr. Hanretty have been unsuccessful, and Mr. Markowitz has not returned the Almanac’s phone call seeking comment. Woodside district Superintendent Polito said in early February that the district first discovered the irregularities last October. The questionable accounting dated back to the building modernization project that was completed in the 2007-08 school year, she said. In her February statement, Ms. Polito said that, after the discovery, the district “immediately contacted legal counsel and through counsel, hired indepenContinued on next page

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.


To view the reports, scan the QR code or visit

Steven Gray, REALTOR DRE# 01498634


rts ly Repo

N E W S Continued from previous page

dent forensic auditors.” The information gleaned from that audit led to the district’s contacting the district attorney’s office. The Woodside School District, she said, “has retained independent accountants to further investigate these irregularities. We do not believe there will be any immediate negative impact on the ... district’s budget.” Portola Valley school district officials have “absolutely no indication that any fiscal wrongdoing has taken place during Mr. Hanretty’s tenure at this district,” the district’s school board president, Scott Parker, wrote in a letter announcing Mr. Hanretty’s resignation in January. “Nevertheless, in an abundance of caution, the board is working closely with the Office of the County Superintendent of Schools to retain an independent auditor to evaluate our district’s finances,” he

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

wrote. “The district is not able to provide any further comment or details until the completion of the investigation.” Mr. Hanretty worked many years for both the Portola Valley and the Woodside elementary school districts, first as business manager, and beginning in 2004, as assistant superintendent. He was appointed superintendent of the Portola Valley district in 2010, replacing Anne Campbell when she moved on to serve as San Mateo County superintendent of schools. Ms. Campbell said in February that her office is overseeing the audit of certain areas of the Portola Valley district’s finances. “We want to be absolutely, positively sure that everything is OK,” she said. “We owe that to the public.” Carol Piraino, who had been the Portola Valley district’s assistant superintendent, has been serving as acting superintendent since Jan. 31. She could not be reached for comment.

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 To advertise in a weekly directory, contact 650-326-8210 (continued from previous page)

Synapse School & Wizbots

Academics GASPA German Summer School Camp

Menlo Park

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


Harker Summer Programs

San Jose

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



Cherish Who You Are

you are cordially invited to attend our

Heather Moore Trunk Show Friday April 13th 12-7 PM Take advantage of this opportunity to work with a Heather Moore Senior Designer to create your own unique piece in time for Mother‘s Day


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

1-888-709-TECH (8324)

iD Teen Academies


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

1-888-709-TECH (8324)

ISTP’s Language Immersion Summer Camp 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. 1060 Evelyn Street Menlo Park, CA 650-328-5425

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.


650-321-1991 x110


Increases Grades, Confidence and Motivation. Academic pressure to stand out. Social pressure to fit in. It’s not easy being a high school or middle school student. Straight A or struggling, kids are overwhelmed by homework, activities, and technology distractions. SuperCamp provides strategies to help kids succeed. Bobbi DePorter created SuperCamp to empower kids. Now in its 30th year with 64,000 graduates, SuperCamp builds study skills, self-esteem, and test scores. SuperCamp works. Parent Patty M. says, “We saw a jump in grades … the things she learned about her worth are of lasting value.”

T TA G E CO INDUSTRIES Handcrafted Furniture

Summer at Saint Francis

621 Main Street Half Moon Bay 650.712.8078


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!

Write Now! Summer Writing Camps

650-968-1213 x446


Palo Alto

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

650-424-1267, 925-485-5750

Arts, Culture and Other Camps Castilleja Summer Day Camp

iD Tech Camps Summer Tech Fun!

Menlo Park

Cutting-edge, imaginative, accelerated, integrated, and handson 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!

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.

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 half-day enrollment. Extended care available. Financial aid offered.

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.


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:

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!


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 multisession discounts available.

Theatreworks Summer Camps


Palo Alto

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

April 11, 2012 N The Almanac N13

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

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

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

Advertising Vice President Sales and Marketing Tom Zahiralis Display Advertising Sales Adam Carter Real Estate Manager Neal Fine Real Estate and Advertising Coordinator Diane Martin Classified Legal Advertising Alicia Santillan Published every Wednesday at 3525 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Menlo Park, Ca 94025 Newsroom: (650) 223-6525 Newsroom Fax: (650) 223-7525 Advertising: (650) 854-2626 Advertising Fax: (650) 854-3650 Email news and photos with captions to: Email letters to:

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

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

Intriguing new twist to high-speed rail


one are the four sets of tracks. Gone are the elevated sections. Gone are trains that could reach 200 miles per hour on the Peninsula. Gone is the tone-deaf authority board that could not issue a press release without antagonizing many Peninsula residents and local government representatives. And gone is the incredible $98.5 billion price tag that more than doubled the $40 billion cost presented to state voters when they approved the project in 2008. Yet the question remains. Where will the California High-Speed Rail Authority find the $68.4 billion when it has only $9 billion in state bond funds and $3 billion in federal grants committed at this time? Does it make sense to move forward with less than 20 percent of the total needed to complete a high-speed rail system that right now opinion polls say would not win ED ITOR IAL approval if placed on the ballot again. The opinion of The Almanac Under new management led by Dan Richard, Gov. Jerry Brown’s hand-picked board chair, the authority on April 2 laid out a business plan to support its new strategy of building the system through a “blended” design on the Peninsula, with high-speed trains sharing the two Caltrain tracks. The plan calls for early investment in the northern and southern portions and rather than building a “train to nowhere” in the Central Valley, a 300-mile segment would run from Merced through Bakersfield and Palmdale and on to the Fernando Valley. At a Fresno news conference, Mr. Richard said work could begin next year on the Valley stretch, although the state Legislature would have to approve issuing the bonds. For Peninsula train-riders, the most significant news was the authority’s earlier announcement that it would kick in about half of the $1.5 billion cost of electrifying Caltrain, funding that seemed unobtainable for the financially struggling San Francisco to San Jose and Gilroy commuter service. The offer was quickly accepted by the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Com-

mission and won support from Assembly members Jerry Hill and Rich Gordon. And it would be surprising if state Sen. Joe Simitian, who along with Mr. Gordon and Rep. Anna Eshoo was an early advocate of the “blended” two-track approach on the Peninsula, does not support the Caltrain upgrades. However, the catch for any legislator who wants to support the segments in his or her district is that a vote based on the rail authority’s support for Caltrain and L.A.’s Metrolink is virtually a vote to approve and fund the entire project, which could wind up putting the state even more deeply in debt. And at this point, no additional funding has been identified in the business plan. As we have often said in this space, the high-speed rail project is a tantalizing bauble that could be a crown jewel for California. But the rail authority simply has not demonstrated where the funding will come from to build it and whether there will be enough riders to break even. Several studies have found major flaws in the estimated number of passengers projected to ride the trains. The new business plan says, “Benefits will be delivered faster through the adoption of the blended approach and through investment in the bookends. Across the state, transportation systems will be improved and jobs will be created through the implementation of these improvements.” Richard calls the upgrades to existing rail services like Caltrain and those in Southern California “near term benefits” and that the authority will be building “a portion of the system that we will ultimately be using.” Few would argue that point, but regardless of the partial benefits promised, even at $68.4 billion this is a huge project with less than 15 percent of its needed funding. Legislators must not forget that point when they decide in the next few months whether to support the sale of the first round of bonds for the high-speed rail project.

The Almanac, established in September 1965, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside and adjacent unincorporated areas of southern San


Mateo County. The Almanac is qualified by decree

Our readers write

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

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

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

CALL the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

Menlo Park should welcome Facebook By Assemblyman Rich Gordon

A misunderstanding about control of library Editor: Recent articles published in the Almanac need clarification and correction, particularly with regard to the content of the draft environmental impact report, which has been recently prepared for the proposed library in Holbrook-Palmer Park. This report is now available for review and comment by the community. Specifically the report discusses traffic issues related to the proposed new library. It is the goal of the town to have a new library offering better and more useable services than exist in the present seismically flawed library. A better library should be more utilized by our community. With more use there would be more traffic no matter where it is located. The report indicates that the proposed site in the park could be the best site available from an environmental perspective. Perhaps conclusions

14 N The Almanac NApril 11, 2012

Continued on next page

GUEST ilicon Valley is home to OPINION countless companies that not only provide us all with inspirational, beneficial products and services, but employ thousands of the most talented, driven people from around the world. I have the rare opportunity to represent a region where so much truly life-altering technology has been developed. I would include Facebook among the elite in the Valley. They have fundamentally transformed the way we communicate and share information with one another. Facebook has been at the heart of revolutionary political and social change movements in the Middle East, altered the way we stay in touch with the people in our lives, and provided all of us a new voice to share our opinions and ideas. With over 800 million active users, Facebook is the world’s largest social network and an incredible economic success story. As a sign of the vitality of this region, Facebook has moved to a new campus in Menlo Park. In order to complete this process, Facebook needs to secure a development agreement with the city of Menlo Park. Good faith discussions are under way and I encourage an early resolution, which the City Council will discuss April 17. Menlo Park has a rare opportunity to write a historic chapter in California’s economic story by allowing Facebook to create thousands of new, family-waged jobs in our community. Pending approval of the development agreement


with Menlo Park, Facebook plans to add 6,000 new jobs at the site of the former Sun Microsystems campus. From support staff to high-tech engineering positions, these are the kind of jobs that every community covets. There are clearly compelling reasons to support Facebook’s presence in the community related to its upcoming IPO that will provide California with billions of dollars in new revenue, in addition to the short-term local benefit in construction jobs and spending as the new campus is being developed. I believe that the greatest benefit and what should be commended above all else is what I believe to be an honest commitment from Facebook to be a good neighbor. Facebook has pledged new investments in local schools, nonprofit programs, and community infrastructure improvements. Facebook should be expected to be a good neighbor, but cannot be held accountable to fix all of our problems. I encourage all who are part of the ongoing conversations about the future of our community to start from this premise — our community is stronger with Facebook as a member than without it. Now is the time for us to come together to welcome Facebook’s plans for growth to ensure our state and community can continue to benefit from the historic economic story that is Facebook. Assemblyman Rich Gordon represents Menlo Park and other Peninsula communities in the state Legislature.


More spin than substance in latest rail plan By Michael J. Brady

bodies with respect to the previous business plan. The high-speed rail emperor still has no clothes. As former high-speed rail board member and chairman Quentin Kopp recently said, this attempted illegal raid on Prop. 1A is the “greatest train robbery” in California history. I agree. The authority is engaging in high-speed spin in its effort to pull a high-speed scam on the citizens of California.

we guess the answer? The last Field speculation to say that in the future, the GUEST n April 2, the Califor- OPINION Poll said that two-thirds of the vot- feds will come forth with tens of billions nia High-Speed Rail ers want high-speed rail stopped for California HSR. No other source of Authority released its “revised” dead in its tracks. funding is available, and cap and trade business plan (its fourth). This plan is But, there are further fundamental cannot work because it would be illegal essentially the same as the prior plan, problems as to why Prop. 1A cannot be to do so. This fundamental funding which was found to be fatally defective used for the new plan: Prop. 1A does requirement of Prop 1A (enough money under Proposition 1A by the three agen- envision the project being built in “piec- has to be in the bank to complete the cies charged with oversight: the Legislative es” or segments. But, those segments each segment) has not, and cannot, be met, Analyst’s Office (LAO), the State Auditor, have to be “usable segments,” meaning and therefore no Prop. 1A funds whatsoMichael J. Brady is a Redwood City and the Peer Review Group. These same that they have to be true high-speed rail ever can be given to the authority for the attorney who writes frequently defects continue to exist, and therefore segments, with all the components of a Central Valley. This exact same defect on high-speed rail matters. no money should be taken from Prop. 1A true high-speed rail system and with at was noted by the government oversight and given to the authority for the Central least two high-speed Valley project, the place where construc- rail stations at each tion is proposed to start. end. The funding and Here’s the basic problem: Prop. 1A is financial requiresupposed to provide money for a true ments are rigorous. high-speed rail system — nothing else. The authority is first L U C I L E PA C K A R D C H I L D R E N ’ S H O S P I TA L But no true high-speed rail system is required to describe proposed to be built. Instead, the author- the “usable segment” ity is going to spend all the money that it that it proposes to has ($3.5 billion from the feds and $2.5 build. It then must billion that it will try to get from Prop demonstrate that it 1A) on a 130-mile “initial segment” has the money in the that is conventional rail only — not bank, or immediately electrified (required by Prop 1A), no accessible, to complete high-speed trackage, no lightweight that particular segspecial rolling stock, none of the tradi- ment. This is designed Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital offers classes and tional components of a true high-speed to protect the state rail system. The rationale is that this is from the financial risk seminars designed to foster good health and enhance “preliminary” only, that it will “lead to” of an uncompleted the lives of parents and children. a true high-speed rail system someday, or abandoned project. and that this is just the “first piece” of The revised business the overall statewide system. Using simi- plan indicates that HEART TO HEART SEMINARS ON GROWING UP lar logic, the authority is now trying all the “usable segment,” Informative, humorous and lively discussions between parents and their pre-teens on puberty, over the state (the Peninsula included) which the authority the opposite sex and growing up. Girls attend these two-part sessions with their moms and to raid Prop 1A to aid local commuter plans to build, runs boys attend with their dads. services and transit agencies, saying that from the Central Valtheir “improvement” is just the first step ley to the Los Angeles - For Girls: Two Wednesdays, May 2 & 9 and May 23 & 30: 6:30 – 8:30 pm towards bringing true high-speed rail to basin and will cost an - For Boys: Tuesdays, May 22 & 29: 6:30 – 8:30 pm the regions. This won’t fly. additional $25 bilThe voters, in approving Prop 1A , only lion on top of the $6 voted for the money to be spent on true billion for the initial SIBLING PREPARATION CLASS HSR, not some preliminary improvement (conventional) segThis class for children two years of age and older will help prepare siblings for the emotional to a local commuter service made up of ment. That $25 billion and physical realities of the arrival of a newborn. conventional rail equipment. Applying is non-existent; there - Saturday, May 5: 9:30 – 11:00 am the authority’s logic, the entire $9 billion is no hope that it will in Prop. 1A would be frittered away all come from the federal over the state in these preliminary proj- government — the GRANDPARENTS SEMINAR ects before one foot of true high-speed House has expressly Designed for new and expectant grandparents, this class examines changes in labor and trackage is laid. If the authority wants announced that Calidelivery practices, the latest recommendations for infant care and the unique role of to operate this way, it should put Prop. fornia will not get one grandparents in the life of their child. 1A back before the voters and ask if they more dime for high- Thursday, May 10: 6:00 – 8:30 pm want their money spent in this way. Shall speed rail. It is pure



Your Child’s Health University


L ET T ER S Our readers write

Continued from previous page

as to whether traffic issues can be mitigated should await the preparation of the final impact report. Likewise the comment by an elected official that the library would control the park is just simply not correct. The town would own and control the site and building. The library would only control library related operations. The arrangement would be the same as those that

exist today regardless of where it would be located. Why wouldn’t a library in the park benefit both users of the park and users of the library? We want the comments and feedback from the community as we continue through the evaluation process. But we want those comments based upon good and correct information. We are fortunate to have an exciting fully funded opportunity before us — let’s make it happen. Denise Kupperman, chair Atherton Library Building Steering Committee

This interactive program teaches the specifics of newborn care including bathing, swaddling, soothing and more. Infant doll models are used to allow for hands-on practice. - Saturday, May 26: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 12:30 – 3:30 pm

Call (650) 724-4601 or visit to register or obtain more information on the times, locations and fees for these and other courses.

VI S IT LP CH.ORG TO S IG N U P FOR CLAS S E S April 11, 2012 N The Almanac N15



 $! * 

  ! "






 #$%&   '! ()

  " #$%& '() *+, '   %   $  '-$.*, %   16 N The Almanac NApril 11, 2012




The Almanac 04.11.2012 - Section 1