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2012 Readers’ Choice It’s time to vote! | Page 10


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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

ATHERTON Beautiful 5 bedroom home with library and office. Kitchen with adjacent family room with dramatic cathedral ceiling and masonry fireplace. Lower level ideal for playroom, recreation, or exercise room. Playground, Sport Court, BBQ center, and pool/spa with connecting waterfalls and an elevated lounge area. 3-car garage. Las Lomitas schools. $7,400,000

PORTOLA VALLEY Charming updated 3bd/2ba home on 1.62 +/- acres in a private and peaceful Portola Valley location. Detached 600 +/sf guest cottage and a 160 +/- sf separate office. The grounds feature majestic oaks, redwoods and a variety of fruit trees with filtered views of the hills. Beautifully maintained and in move in condition, this special property is not to be missed. $2,475,000

MENLO PARK Rarely available townhome at back of small complex just 2 blocks to downtown. Exquisitely remodeled by interior designers with handsome stone finishes, hardwood floors, crown molding, custom lighting and more. Large master suite with fireplace, balcony and luxurious bath. Magical, private wrap-around garden with sunny deck. $1,500,000

2NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012


Hanretty charged with embezzling funds from Portola Valley district


im Hanretty, the former Related story on Page 9 superintendent of the Portola Valley School District, was arrested Friday night and The embezzlement from the charged with felony embezzle- Portola Valley district allegment of public funds from the edly began in December 2010 district, acting superintendent just after Mr. Hanretty became Carol Piraino announced late superintendent and chief busiFriday night. ness officer of the district, Ms. The charges relate to Mr. Han- Piraino said. retty seeking reimbursement Earlier this year the district from district funds for $100,926 hired an outside accounting in work done by a contractor on firm to conduct “an in-depth his personal home remodeling forensic audit following Mr. project, Ms. Piraino Hanretty’s arrest for said in a statement. misappropriation of District Attorney public funds and other Steve Wagstaffe said crimes that allegedly Mr. Hanretty, who was occurred during his arrested on a $60,000 tenure as the Chief arrest warrant, has Business Official at the posted a bail bond and Woodside Elementary been released. He is School District,” she due to appear in court said in the statement. Tim Hanretty at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June The audit 19, in Redwood City. revealed that Mr. The new charges — Hanretty submitted in addition to misappropriation six invoices totaling $100,926 charges he faces in connection for reimbursement from the with his work for the Wood- district’s solar panel escrow side Elementary School Dis- account at Deutsche Bank, she trict — are six counts of felony said. The invoices describe work embezzlement of public funds allegedly done at the district, and one count of general felony but “the contractor never actuembezzlement, Mr. Wagstaffe ally performed any work for the said. District. Rather, he performed Mr. Hanretty’s attorney, work on Mr. Hanretty’s perMichael Markowitz, said in an sonal home remodel project. email: “We have no comment at The amounts on the contractor’s this time.” invoices to Mr. Hanretty exactly Only Mr. Hanretty is charged mirror the amounts that Mr. with these offenses, Mr. Wag- Hanretty submitted to Deutsche staffe said. “We believe that Bank for reimbursement out of the contractor on defendant the District’s funds,” she said in Hanretty’s home committed no the statement. crime,” he said. “It appears that Mr. Hanretty

created the six dummy invoices ... to use District funds to pay for work performed on his home remodel project,” she said. The forensic auditors will make a public presentation of their findings at the June 20 school board meeting. The audit report identifies the contractor as Ron Perez Construction. In an executive summary, the report makes these points about the district’s solar project: ■ “Allegedly, Ron Perez Construction was paid $100,926 from the escrowed funds for work performed on Mr. Hanretty’s personal residence rather than on the District’s Solar Project.” ■ “Although some of the expenses paid from the escrowed funds appear to be for the benefit of Mr. Hanretty, the other expenses appear to be for the benefit of the District.” ■ “Approximately $415,000 of the escrowed funds was used for non-qualified purposes.” ■ “The use of the escrowed funds for non-qualified purposes could jeopardize the $1.509 million federal subsidy amount the district is entitled to receive as part of the Solar Project.” In April, Woodside school officials said they believed misappropriated funds in that district were spent on district projects, not for Mr. Hanretty’s personal gain. Visit to see the audit report (PDF document).

Woman, 73, beaten after teen asks for cigarette A 16-year-old boy on a bike attacks pedestrian.

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


73-year-old woman out for a walk on a Monday night in Menlo Park was beaten by a teenage boy after he asked for a cigarette, and she said she didn’t have one, police said.

As the woman walked along the 200 block of Lexington Drive around 9 p.m. on June 11, the boy rode up on a bicycle and asked for a cigarette. After saying she didn’t have any, she told him he looked too young and healthy to smoke, according to police. The boy rode away, but returned a short time later. He punched the woman in the back and face, knocking her to the

ground, and fled on his bike. A couple of residents heard the woman yell and ran to help her, police said. She did not need to be taken to a hospital. The victim described her assailant as Hispanic, about 16 years old, with a medium build, and no taller than 6 feet. He wore a dark baseball cap, twotoned dark jacket, and jeans, according to police. A


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To apply, please send a resume along with samples of your 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.

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June 20, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN3

He’ll pick his birthday. You pick his birthplace.


To learn more about the benefits of giving birth at Packard Children’s, call (650) 497-8000 or visit

4NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012
















City struggles to use theater it helped build By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


f you build it, they might not come. That is the quandary facing Menlo Park as the city tries to figure out how to use the multi-million dollar MenloAtherton High School Performing Arts Center. It turns out that filling 492 seats takes more than a state-of-the-art theater; it may even take outsourcing theater management. The city shares the center with Menlo-Atherton High School. The 2007 Menlo Park City Council approved a $2.6 million payment toward construction of the center on the school’s Atherton campus as part of a public-private partnership with the Sequoia Union High School District. The deal guarantees the city rent-free use of the center for 55 days during the school year and unlimited use during school vacations. The city does pay labor costs, at about $80 per hour, for custodial and theater management services during its events. It looked like a good deal at the time, because the city’s seismically unsound Burgess Theatre, and rebuilding on the same site, posed prohibitively expensive problems of space and environmental study requirements, according to former elected officials. But so far the city has never been able to use all 55 days. In fiscal year 2009-10, it booked

11 days at the center. Same for 2010-11. Last year, it used 36 days, which staff attributed to more people learning about the center and wanting to rent it. “It’s a regretful outcome,” Councilman Rich Cline said. “I’m not ready to say this was a bad deal; I’m saying that we need to fix this so we get the use of it that we were promised.” Why has the long list of uses envisioned during the plan’s inception — lectures, recitals, theater camps, gymnastics demonstrations, workshops — failed to materialize? The theater’s too large and expensive, according to a staff report — “many of these types of events were quickly deemed unfeasible once the building was finalized and the direct costs for using the facility were realized. The average costs for a basic single-day rental for the City range from $500 (to) $1000. Often these direct costs are too high for local community groups. The size of theater, with 492 seats, has also proven to be too large for these types of events as well.” Mr. Cline, who was serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission when the deal was proposed, said the momentum of an appealing public-private partnership may have outraced the in-depth research needed to analyze the plan. “I don’t recall anyone ever saying, ‘this is how much it costs to run a theater like this’,” he said. “It’s one area

Almanac photo by Daniella Sanchez

The city of Menlo Park contributed $2.6 million to the construction of a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center on the Menlo-Atherton High School campus five years ago. But the city hasn’t been able to realize the potential of the community resource. (Note: Cover photo also by Daniella Sanchez.)

that wasn’t really considered as well as it should have been.” He said he thought the city should partner with the school district to hire people with theater management experience. “It’s a real business. People need to know what they’re doing.” Show on the road

One option for the city’s pro-

gram: Let someone else run it. The proposed fiscal year 2012-13 budget suggested that the city could spend $100,000 from its surplus to hire a contractor to put together a business plan, run events, manage the schedule, and other fine points to optimize the city’s investment, according to Recreation Services Manager Katrina Whiteaker.

Kleiner Perkins answers sex discrimination lawsuit By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


laiming a female employee has “twisted facts and events in an attempt to create legal claims where none exist,” Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers filed a detailed response to a sex discrimination lawsuit on June 13 in San Francisco Superior Court. Ellen Pao, a junior investment partner at Kleiner Perkins, filed the lawsuit on May 10 after working at the Menlo Park venture capital firm for seven years. The suit alleges that the firm discriminates against women for promotions and compensation, and retaliated against Ms. Pao after she complained about sexual harassment.

Kleiner Perkins has asked the court to seal portions of the case record related to profit-sharing agreements, and to compel Ms. Pao to resolve the issue through arbitration, which the company says she is contractually obligated to do. But the public portions of the filing attack Ms. Pao’s allegations, often presenting a pointby-point rebuttal. It flatly denies that she reported any harassment until late 2011 or early 2012. By then, according to the document, she had already hired a lawyer and was preparing to sue. Once she did complain, according to Kleiner Perkins, it hired an independent outside investigator who interviewed 17

partners, including every female partner at the time, “provided Plaintiff multiple opportunities to provide information and documents, and, after a thorough review, concluded the Plaintiff’s discrimination and retaliation complaints were without merit.” Ms. Pao started working at Kleiner Perkins in 2005 a few years after finishing an Ivy League education that included both a law degree and MBA from Harvard, according to her lawsuit. A peer with longer tenure at the firm began pressuring her for sex, she alleges, and after eight months she briefly gave in. The lawsuit claims that after she ended the relationship he

retaliated by leaving her out of business projects. According to Ms. Pao’s filing, the man left the firm in 2011 after allegations made by other women were investigated. After hearing of complaints from three administrative assistants about harassment and discrimination in 2007, she repeatedly approached upper management for help without success, according to the lawsuit. Instead Ms. Pao perceived a pattern of retaliation as she was passed over for promotion, networking events and raises, and given delayed or biased performance reviews. In its rebuttal, Kleiner Perkins cites Ms. Pao’s performance reviews, which questioned her

City staff members have looked to other cities as models. The city of San Ramon operates a 600-seat theater in conjunction with a local school district, while the city of Campbell outsources management of its 800seat theater. Both charge rental rates in line with Menlo Park’s. See THEATER, page 8

initiative, interpersonal skills and ability to work as a team member. “Based solely on repeated and widespread performance concerns” raised by colleagues inside and outside the company, “Plaintiff did not earn the necessary support of her male and female partners for promotion,” according to the filing. Although veteran partner John Doerr posted a statement on the company’s website two weeks ago that said facts would determine the outcome of the case, it may be a matter of perspective. For example, Ms. Pao’s filing says a senior partner gave her “The Book of Longing” by Leonard Cohen, and described it as filled with sexual drawings See DISCRIMINATION, page 8

June 20, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN5



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6NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012

Chowchilla kidnapper to be released on parole ichard Schoenfeld, who grew up in Atherton and was imprisoned for nearly 36 years on a 1976 conviction related to the kidnapping of 26 Chowchilla schoolchildren, will be released from state prison in the second half of June at an undisclosed location, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation told the Almanac. A parole board in April 2011 found Mr. Schoenfeld, now 57, to not to be an unreasonable risk of danger to the community, defense attorney Gary Dubcoff told the Almanac. The secrecy regarding the location of his release is “usual policy, for the security of all concerned,� CDCR spokesman Jeffrey Callison said in an interview. Mr. Schoenfeld, his older brother John Schoenfeld and Fred Woods, who grew up in Portola Valley, pleaded guilty to kidnapping 26 Chowchilla schoolchildren and their bus driver and secreting them in a quarry in Livermore, from which they all escaped on their own without injury. The men were sentenced to life in prison but went to trial on the issue of whether they had physically harmed their victims, Mr. Dubcoff said. Physical injuries would have meant no possibility of parole. The initial sentences excluded parole — the trial judge considered a nosebleed and a stomach ache to be injuries — but an appeals court judge disagreed and overturned the decision, said Mr. Dubcoff, who represents Mr. Woods. John Schoenfeld and Mr. Woods have not yet been found suitable for parole.

After 20 unsuccessful appearances before a parole board, Mr. Schoenfeld was granted parole in 2011. The board later tried to delay his release until November 2021, but the First District Court of Appeal said the board “erred� by violating its own rules and that it had no authority to increase Mr. Schoenfeld’s sentence after finding him suitable for parole. Mr. Dubcoff said he was “overjoyed� about Richard Schoenfeld’s release. “I’m thrilled for his mom,� he said. “It’s been her great desire to have her sons come home. It’s long, long overdue.� “I have no doubt in my mind that Richard Schoenfeld is going to be a model parolee, just as he was a model inmate,� Mr. Dubcoff said. Mr. Schoenfeld participated in psychotherapy, excelled in his prison occupations and was no problem for staff, he said. There are victims who object to Mr. Schoenfeld’s release — a vocal minority, he said. “I totally get where they’re coming from,� he said. “It was a very, very serious crime and that’s why they served 36 years.� But their time has come, given that doubleand triple-murderers have been released after shorter sentences, he said. “Virtually every� state representative involved in the case supports Mr. Schoenfeld’s release, Mr. Dubcoff said, including the trial judge, two appeals court judges, a prosecutor on the case, and two law enforcement officers. “That’s a pretty telling fact,� he said. As for further criminal activity on the part of Mr. Schoenfeld, “It ain’t gonna happen,� Mr. Dubcoff said. “I can assure everyone.� A

Bay City News Service contributed to this story.

Boesch leaves for Placer County Placer County announced on June 12 that it had hired a new CEO — former San Mateo County manager David Boesch. Mr. Boesch, who also served as city manager in Menlo Park for seven years, resigned from San Mateo County in November after three years due to what he called “different philosophies� with the Board of Supervisors. As the local county manager, he earned $270,233

annually plus a $13,338 transportation allowance on top of other benefits. His severance package included three-anda-half months’ salary plus health insurance through April 2012. The $1.16 million home loan Mr. Boesch received from Menlo Park in 2002 was transferred to San Mateo County. According to a county spokesman, the loan was repaid in full upon the sale of the house on March 22.



by Monica Corman

Atherton residents may be surveyed on library in Holbrook-Palmer Park By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


therton residents will be asked a number of questions about issues in their community — including whether they want a new library built in the town’s only park — if the City Council approves a proposal on June 20 to conduct a professional survey. Mayor Bill Widmer, with support from Interim City Manager Theresa DellaSanta, is proposing the survey to get feedback from the community on the controversial library plan, the effectiveness of the town’s outsourcing of key public services, a proposal to build permanent Little League facilities in the park, and other matters, Mr. Widmer said in an interview. Should the council approve the survey, it may calm an ongoing tempest over the planned construction of a 10,000-square-foot library in Holbrook-Palmer Park — a

plan approved by a 3-2 council vote last year that has galvanized a number of community members to push for a vote on the facility’s location.

Mayor Bill Widmer says he wants to determine how widespread opposition to the plan actually is. “There’s a lot of divisiveness in this town on the library issue,” Mayor Widmer said. “In my personal view, the park is a good place for a library ... but I would like to hear from the public” to determine how widespread opposition to the plan actually is, he said. In a press release issued Friday, Mr. Widmer said: “It is my hope that this survey will serve as a way to help unify the town and bring valuable input to

To Sell or Not To Sell In Summer Dear Monica: My children are out of school for the summer and I would like to sell our house before the next school year begins. Is it a good idea to put my house on the market in summer or is it better to wait until September? Karen G.

the decision making process. I hope the full council embraces this recommendation.” If approved, the survey would be conducted by Godbe Research. Saying that she believes a survey would be “a positive step forward for Atherton,” Ms. DellaSanta noted in the press release that the town has used the firm in the past, and that its understanding of the town’s demographics “should allow for a clean and efficient process.” Mayor Widmer said on Friday that the interim city manager was still calculating the cost of conducting the survey, but he estimated it would cost about $18,500. “That’s in line with what we paid a few years ago when the town did a survey (related to) the police department,” he said. The council will vote on the proposal at its regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the Council Chambers, 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.

Dear Karen: Summer can be a great time to sell your house but it is usually not as busy a time of year for homebuyers as spring is. Springtime typically brings out more buyers than at any other time of year, and this year springtime was a very active time for the real

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.

TOWN OF WOODSIDE 2955 WOODSIDE ROAD WOODSIDE, CA 94062 INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR CIRCULATION COMMITTEE The Circulation Committee will meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Initial appointments will be for one or two year terms.


Rental-car tax passes by tiny margin By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


an Mateo County’s Measure T — a 2.5 percent tax on rental-car company receipts — passed by a slim margin of just 197 votes in the June 5 election, according to a final vote tally released June 13 by the county Elections Office. A total of 57,224 voted in favor of the tax measure, and 57,027 were opposed, or 50.09 percent to 49.91 percent. The tax passed despite donations of $243,500 by rental car companies, and spending by opponents of $270,677, including $33,500 on polling and $72,190 on TV advertising. The Elections Office would undertake a recount only if someone requested it within a five-day window after the election is certified, Elections Manager David Tom said in an interview. Certification must take place within 28 days of the complete and final count of all ballots. There is no threshold below which a recount becomes automatic. “We’ve had contests that are much closer than (197 votes),” Mr. Tom said. Measure T imposes a 2.5 percent tax on the gross receipts of vehicle rental companies in

unincorporated parts of the county, including San Francisco International Airport. The companies would be expected to pass the tax on to customers, mostly visitors. Measure T was one of three deficit-reducing measures the Board of Supervisors proposed for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1. The measure is expected to raise about $7.75 million and lower the county’s projected deficit to $33 million for the fiscal year.

Rental car companies donated $243,000 to defeat the tax measures. Voters defeated the other two measures — U and X — that would have added another $5.2 million a year to the county’s annual revenues. Each failed with about 53 percent casting “no” votes. To cover the deficit and balance the $1.83 billion spending plan for the 2012-13 fiscal year, the county will draw down its reserves to about $160 million, Budget Director Jim Saco told

estate market in this area. However, with continuing low interest rates and high demand, summer will likely be a good time to sell as well. You don’t need to wait until September. If selling in the summer works best for you, this should be your plan. It’s true that some buyers will be out of town and will miss seeing your property, but there are many who will be staying put mainly because they need to buy a home. Keep your garden looking fresh and your house cool. You should do well.

the Almanac. Measure U would have raised the hotel and motel occupancy tax rate in unincorporated parts of the county to 12 percent from its current 10 percent, raising about $200,000 a year. Measure X would have raised an estimated $5 million by imposing an 8 percent tax on commercial parking facilities located in unincorporated parts of the county, including SFO. Big spenders

Opponents to the tax measures organized as a committee with the name: “No on T, X and U, Taxpayers for a Strong Economy, Sponsored by the Local Tourism Industry.” Campaign finance forms show two donors: Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company of San Francisco, which gave $218,500, and Hertz Corporation, which gave $25,000. A late filing shows another $155,000 loan from the committee itself, and Enterprise gave $10,000 in in-kind contributions in legal services. The committee spent a total of $270,677, including $33,500 for polling, $26,933 for professional services, $22,500 for campaign consulting, and $72,190 on TV advertising, the reports show. A

The Committee supports the General Plan goal to balance circulation system user needs and works to foster a community for all users of the public roadway system, including motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians. The Circulation Committee works with the Town Engineer, Sheriff’s Department and local and regional organizations to develop programs to encourage dialog on circulation system needs, promote “share the road” programs for all users, and develop educational programs to promote traffic safety. The Committee advises Town staff and the Town Council about ways to make the roadway system safer for all users, to encourage effective traffic enforcement, and to promote safe, convenient access to schools, Town businesses, public and private institutions, and neighborhoods. The Committee shall review applications for special event permits for the Town’s roadways, offer expert participation on the City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG) Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and make recommendations regarding grant applications that seek to improve the Town’s bicycle and pedestrian system. The Committee shall confer with the Trails Committee on programs and recommendations of mutual interest. The Committee will consist of nine members with two appointees concurrent members of the Trails Committee. The Council will strive to appoint individuals with an understanding of the bicycle and pedestrian issues in the Town including those relating to Safe Routes to School. Committees are volunteer positions and serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Council. Interested residents may request information and applications Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon and 1-5:00 p.m., from the Town Clerk’s Office at Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, or telephone (650) 851-6790, or through the Town’s web site at Deadline for applications is Tuesday, July 3, 2012. June 20, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN7


City struggles to use theater it helped build THEATER continued from page 5

Cynthia Bojorquez, director of recreation and community services for Campbell, said policy limits the city’s subsidy for its theater to $100,000 a year. So Campbell relies upon a business model that generates revenue through facility rentals as well as ticket sales and event sponsorships. A nonprofit organization, Friends of the Heritage Theatre, also chips in. In addition to offering grants of $1,500 to help community groups afford the space, it donates $26,000 annually, runs concession stands, and sponsors activities. “We are very grateful for their support and really view them as a key to our long-term financial sustainability efforts,” Ms. Bojorquez said. That model seems to be working; the director said the theater stages nine to 12 productions annually, with three of five concerts selling out this year, in addition to managing community use of the space. A glance at the season brochure mailed to San Ramon residents likewise depicts a vibrant performing arts program that this year includes appearances by the Moscow Ballet, Better Than Ezra, and the city’s symphony. San Ramon’s program budgets $1.1 million a year and costs the city a net $504,099 annually. By comparison, Menlo Park currently budgets $64,000 a year for the PAC, with net expenses running around $47,000 after some costs are passed along to renters. So the riddle facing the city is how to turn the stateof-the art center into a viable performing arts program on a shoestring budget. Kepler’s Books has staged events at the center. “It’s a great venue, no question,” said DISCRIMINATION continued from page 5

and poems. The partner then asked her out to dinner while his wife was out of town, which she found inappropriate, according to the lawsuit. Kleiner Perkins, on the other hand, said the book was chosen by the man’s wife for Ms. Pao after the junior partner gave him a book about Buddhism as a holiday gift. Leonard Cohen wrote “The Book of Longing” after a five-year stay at a Zen monastery; the firm’s legal filing quotes a New York Times book review

Kepler’s community relations manager, Jean Forstner. “But we’re always mindful that we can’t afford to rent the venue, so we do it in partnership.” The bookstore coordinates with the public library and the school’s parents-education foundation to make the price work out. Ms. Forstner wondered whether other community groups are even aware that they could use the PAC. “We do events, it’s in our blood, so we’re very ‘venue aware.’ Nonprofits may assume that because it’s on a school site that it’s only available to schools.” She suggested the city could expand its outreach to increase public awareness of the center as a community resource. Publicity doesn’t come cheap. For now, the city relies on placing notices on its website and in the tri-annual activity guide to advertise events, according to Ms. Whiteaker. “However, I think general word of mouth and people attending other events at the PAC has also help spread the word,” she said. That strategy may pay off — 6,150 people attended a show at the center during the last fiscal year, up from 1,775 during 201011. But that still leaves plenty of room to grow; if the PAC were filled to capacity for all 55 days, that figure would be 27,060 people. Last year Menlo Park experimented by working with a production agency, Prime Time Entertainment, for two shows. One concert headlined by opera singer George Komsky was canceled due to poor ticket sales, despite selling out theaters in Walnut Creek and San Francisco. Jim Douglas of Prime Time Entertainment said that “what really needs to happen is to establish a decent-sized marketthat called it “profound.” Ms. Pao’s lawsuit details specific instances of gender exclusion, including a company ski trip in January 2012 and several dinners to which only male employees were invited. The host of one event reportedly said that inviting women would “kill the buzz.” Kleiner Perkins again flatly denied the allegations. “On the contrary, a dinner to which Plaintiff appears to refer to as male-only was, in fact, attended by male and female KPCB partners, and male and female entrepreneurs and leaders,” the

8NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012

Almanac photo by Michelle Le

Lighting the way

Members of the Menlo Park Police Department run with local athletes during a Special Olympics Torch Run in Menlo Park on Friday, June 15. Their route began at the Stanford Park Hotel and ended at the Atherton border, although the torch continued to San Francisco with support from cities along the way. The event raises funds for local athletes to compete at the Special Olympics. The 2012 games will be held across the world from June to August.

ing budget, and get a series in place. You invest all that money on the front end, it only makes sense to invest enough resources to make it fly.” He suggested the city create a user-friendly ticket website and develop a database of ticket buyers. Councilman Cline, drawing upon his professional experience in public relations, offered another option. “Marketing is a bigger issue, and at what level, but we need to figure out a better way to get to people. I think the city needs to do a better job of creating an email distribution system that’s really clear.” Sharing the spotlight

Sharing the school’s resources presents its own challenges. The marquee at Menlo-Atherton High School could publicize the city’s events, except that it’s usually already advertising the school’s, according to theater filing states. The venture capital firm’s counsel, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, has asked the court to dismiss the case. The court scheduled a management conference for Oct. 10. Attorneys for either side were not available for comment, although Ms. Pao’s eminent lawyer, Alan Exelrod, told the New York Times that they plan to fight the request for arbitration. Ms. Pao remains an employee of Kleiner Perkins, and posted on an online industry message board on June 4 that she has no plans to quit. A

staff. Scheduling is another issue. Ms. Whiteaker said that whenever the city requests a date at the PAC, the school has to check its programming to first make sure there aren’t too many other events occurring on the same day, to lessen the impact to Atherton residents living near the 555 Middlefield Road campus. The city’s agreement with the school district also caps attendance at an event at 550, whether a single large performance or more than one small event running simultaneously. The clause effectively restricts the school and the PAC from hosting events at the same time, creating scheduling bottlenecks for the city. “We also have several blackout dates around Friday night football games, open house, back to school night, or any large

sporting event where having too many events can lead to parking problems,” said Karl Losekoot, the administrative vice principal at Menlo-Atherton. “In general it is difficult to balance the needs of the school with the needs of the community given that the PAC is a school theater first and a community theater second.” The future direction of the city’s program at the performing arts center remains to be decided. The council postponed debate on what to do with the city’s $269,000 budget surplus until after voters decide the fate of a proposed hotel tax hike during the November elections. The budget relies on the additional $560,000 generated by raising the tax 2 percentage points; if the measure fails, the city might not have $100,000 to spend on outsourcing its theater management. A

Fire burns porch and cat bedding By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


one-alarm fire burned a bench and bedding for several cats on the front porch of a two-story home at 407 Bay Road in Menlo Park on Friday afternoon, June 15, but firefighters quickly contained the fire and limited the structural damage, Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District told the Almanac. An always-on electric blanket for the cats is being looked

at as the source of the fire, Chief Schapelhouman said. There were no injuries, he said. The house is home to three people. The fire at one point spread to the surface of the front of the home and reached up to the eaves, but never penetrated the interior of the house, he said. “They knocked it down real quick,” the chief said. The fire caused about $10,000 in damage to the structure and maybe $500 to the contents, he said. A


Teachers oppose furlough proposal By Renee Batti

Related story on Page 3

Almanac News Editor


s the Portola Valley School from his earlier work with the District struggles to slash Woodside Elementary School more spending for the District. next fiscal year, a key concern In addition to the furlough of a number of parents is the days, the district’s proposals potential elimination of up to include a salary freeze and 10 school days to save the district take-aways in bonuses agreed about $300,000. But that option, to in exchange for prior salary which would require agreement freezes, and elimination of the with the teachers’ union, appears summer technology institute for almost certain to be grounded teachers. even before contract talks are The teacher association’s proreopened. posal primarily involves work“I’d say there’s no support at ing conditions, including proall for 10 furlough days” among visions confirming preparatory Ormondale and Corte Madera time during the instructional school teachers, represented by day; limiting the scheduling and the Portola Valley Teachers duration of mandatory meetAssociation (PVTA), said John ings; and refining the employee Davenport, the association’s grievance process. president and a Corte Madera Contract talks will begin after teacher. He said, though, that a second, legally required “sunsome teachers shining” of the have indicated proposals takes they might supat the June ‘I’d say there’s no place port one or two 20 board meeting. furlough days. support at all for 10 They were first The furlough publicly presented furlough days.’ option is one at a special June of the district’s 12 meeting. JOHN DAVENPORT, PRESIDENT, proposals to the The proposed PORTOLA VALLEY TEACHERS PVTA, which 2012-13 budget, A SSOCIATION in the face of also on the June an unexpected 20 agenda for budgetary shortfall has agreed approval, includes $10.97 milto reopen talks on the teach- lion in spending, with projected ers’ contract, set to expire next revenues of just over $11 milJune. lion. It projects ending next When the board meets school year with a balance of Wednesday, June 20, it is likely only $46,871. to approve a budget for fiscal year 2012-13 that cuts $2.1 Schools foundation As auditors continue to sort million in spending, eliminates summer school and K-5 through the books and finalSpanish, increases class size at ize their investigation, Acting several grade levels, and has no Superintendent Carol Piraino has approached the nonprofit reserves. The extreme measures are the Portola Valley Schools Founresult of a budgetary shortfall dation about the possiblity of that has left the district end- additional funding. Foundation co-president Joyce ing this fiscal year on June 30 with an estimated $1.65 mil- Chung said in an interview that lion deficit — about half of the foundation plans to contribwhich came as a surprise to ute about $1.3 million to the disthe board and administrators. trict this year — a boost of more Board members were already than $200,000 over last year’s wrestling with a projected donation that will be drawn deficit of about $854,000 when from the nonprofit’s reserves auditors informed them in late in response to the unexpected April that they had uncovered shortfall. The foundation also will “run bookkeeping irregularities and possible misappropriations of a more aggressive (fundraising) funds that would compound campaign this year,” Ms. Chung said. the shortfall. “It’s really an unfortunate sitThe auditors had been called in following Tim Hanretty’s uation,” she said. “But we believe resignation as superintendent that between the parents, the in January after the coun- administration, the teachers, the ty District Attorney’s Office whole community at large, we began an investigation into will get through this. ... We’ll alleged misdeeds stemming pull together.”

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June 20, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN9


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10NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012

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Two plead not guilty to pornography charges By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


rosecutors have filed charges of possession of child pornography against Portola Valley resident Stephen Wolf, 64, and Menlo Park resident Charles Vela Reyes Jr. The men were two of nine men arrested March 22 during a county-wide sweep of 11 homes by detectives from a regional Internet-crimes task force. Both Mr. Wolf and Mr. Reyes

pleaded not guilty, Mr. Wolf on April 24 and Mr. Reyes on May 23, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said via email. Both men are out on bail and awaiting preliminary hearings. Attorneys representing Mr. Wolf and Mr. Reyes did not respond to requests for comment. In the arrests, detectives seized computers containing pornographic images “and other evidence linking the men to the distribution and/or possession

of child pornography,� the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, using decoys in Internet chat rooms, detected “a cluster of suspected child pornography users� in San Mateo County. Over 100 investigators from more than 20 law enforcement agencies participated, including the Sheriff’s Office, the Menlo Park Police Department, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and a “homeland

security� investigative arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Investigators have found significant links between the possession and trading of child pornography and the actual victimization of children, including a progression by some suspects from fantasy (Internet child porn) to reality (sexual crimes against actual child-victims),� the Sheriff’s Office said. “Frequent operations such as these help keep our communities safe.�

Correction In a story in the June 13 Almanac about owner Mike Wallau transforming Mike’s Cafe in Ladera into an Italian eatery to be called Portola Kitchen, the Almanac misspelled the name of the chef. The correct spelling is Guillaume Bienaime.



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evin Bryant, Woodside’s town manager since January, can add a notch to his belt. In submitting his first budget for review by the Town Council on June 12, Mr. Bryant endured more than two hours of grilling by the council while presenting a balanced budget that includes a $90,000 surplus. The analysis by five of the seven council members — Anne Kasten and Dave Burow were absent — included a spirited discussion of priorities and a search for economies, in particular and relentlessly by Councilman Tom Shanahan. The proposed budget shows general fund revenues of $5,650,878 for the fiscal year that begins July 1, about $200,000 less than the previous year. Projected expenses are $5,560,862, an increase of about $1,000. Staff will return to the council with a final budget on Tuesday, June 26, for a public hearing and council vote. Among the highlights of the evening: ■ Library remodel: The council agreed that a seismic analysis should be done for this onestory wood-frame building and should take priority over plans for a $2 million remodel. The remodeling plans would benefit from a cost/benefit analysis, added Councilman Peter Mason and Mayor Dave Tanner. ■ Sheriff’s contract: A council majority approved a three-year $1.45 million law enforcement contract with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Unlike the annual jumps of 10 percent in previous contracts, this one rises by 4 percent for the first year and 3 percent after that. ■ Motorcycle patrols: Council members concerned about traffic chaos on weekends asked Lt. Tim Reid, the deputy sheriff overseeing Peninsula patrols,

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to look into the possibility of a motorcycle patrol every weekend instead of only periodically. ■ Environment fest: The budget allocates $6,000 for one day in 2013 to promote green living, a day the town did not celebrate in 2011. It’s a good way to bring people together, Councilwoman Deborah Gordon said. It promotes conservation practices and sustainability, Councilman Ron Romines said. “They need to do it for less,” Mr. Mason said.

‘It’s not for this council to make charitable contributions in the name of the city.’ COUNCILMAN TOM SHANAHAN

Being charitable

Doing things for less was the evening’s message from Mr. Shanahan, who questioned the annual increases in the law enforcement contract, two deputies on night patrol, the need for a bricks-and-mortar public library in a digital era, a requirement to add fire-safe vents in the eaves of homes having significant exterior work done, and allocations to outside agencies, including those advancing the cause of affordable housing. San Mateo-based nonprofit HIP Housing, supported by Menlo Park, Atherton, Hillsborough and 12 other city or town councils in the county, asked the Woodside council for $5,000. Older Woodside residents have used it to continue living in their own houses after HIP found reliable live-in tenants, Ms. Gordon said. “Each of the cities needs to participate,” she said in an interview, “and take some responsibility for the county issues as a

whole, to work together, not to be isolated.” “My view,” Mr. Shanahan said at the meeting, “is that it’s not for this council to make charitable contributions in the name of the city. Why are we sending this money out of this town? Where do we stop giving money away? Some of our citizens don’t believe in this.” “I don’t feel that we’re doing anything to reduce the cost of government,” Mr. Shanahan said at one point. Public agency budgets tend to increase and should be studied for ways to cut costs, he said. “It’s true that all governments, including ours, have to examine the services we provide,” Town Manager Bryant said in response. “I think I can count on one hand the number of things we do of an optional nature.” For example, he noted, the town reimburses homeowners for 50 percent of the cost (up to $1,000) of clearing brush and other vegetation that surround a home and might help a wildfire climb up into trees or on to the roof. The council allocates $25,000 annually for this (and 21 households have used it, he told the Almanac). “We do need to be constantly looking at ways to do what we do more efficiently,” Mr. Bryant added. “I’m just terribly frustrated to think I’m in the business of (rubber stamping the budget and going home),” Mr. Shanahan said. In a 2011 Almanac interview, he said he believes in zero-based budgeting — questioning a program’s existence, not just whether to increase or decrease its share of revenues. Mr. Shanahan is a general partner and head of West Coast investment banking at Needham Asset Management, LLC, on Sand Hill Road, and a former chief financial officer in several high-tech companies.

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High bids to redo Ford Field By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


he bids are in to extensively renovate Portola Valley’s Ford (baseball) Field ahead of the 2012 winter rains, but the news is not good. Of the four bids received, all are well over what the Town Council planned to spend. Town staff will be doing a line-by-line search for economies in the low bid of $587,500 received from Suarez & Munoz Construction Inc. of Hayward, Town Manager Nick Pegueros told the Almanac, but a recommendation may not be ready until July 25. “The analysis is proving more difficult than originally expected,” Mr. Pegueros said in a June 15 report to the council. “One option on the table is to reject all bids and issue a new call for bids later in the year when business is slower for landscape contractors.” The planned upgrades to the field at 3399 Alpine Road include re-grading and installing new irrigation, dugouts, a backstop, bleachers and a batting cage. The work should have started in June, staff has said, to be ready for the spring 2013 Little League season. The council settled on $588,000 for the job, so the low bid of $587,500 would seem in the ballpark. But while these numbers seem close, the bid

represents construction costs only, Mr. Pegueros said. The council’s number includes “soft” costs such as design work and contingency funds. Looking at construction only, the council is prepared to spend $481,443, Public Works Director Howard Young said in a report. Also bidding were: Andreini Brothers Inc. of Half Moon Bay, $879,727; Robert A. Bothman Inc. of San Jose, $663,839; and Jensen Corporation of Cupertino, $619,000. The council has the option, through the Parks & Recreation Committee, of raising the bar in the fundraising campaign. The Alpine-West Menlo Little League, the only organized user of Ford Field, donated $50,000 and has pledged another $50,000. Menlo Park’s Sand Hill Foundation, on behalf of the family of Susan Ford, has offered a matching grant of up to $100,000. The state is expected to contribute about $232,000 in grants, and the town has already spent about $48,000 on soft costs. Other possible sources include public generosity and a 2007 gift of 100,000 shares of Camac Energy. Selling the stock now could net about $75,000, Councilman Ted Driscoll said, far less than the $2.6 million it was worth around the time it was given and had restrictions on its sale. A

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Town weighs new mandates for fire-resistant building materials By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer



siding. Ember-resistant vents are necessary when exterior siding and/or roofing work includes buying new vents, according to a staff report. Ember-resistant vents comes with varying levels of sophistication. There are designs that close at a particular temperature; another design traps embers. An inexpensive alternative is onemillimeter screening, a system tested by the National Institute of Standards and Testing, Fire Marshal Denise Enea of the Woodside Fire Protection District told the council. The difference in cost between ember-resistant and ordinary vents for a typical roof- or siding-replacement project is about $1,000, according to the staff report. Go to for information on building materials approved by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. “Ventilation is important,” said Mayor Dave Tanner, a

n a move intended to reduce the spread of wildfire within Woodside, the Town Council on June 12 introduced an ordinance mandating town-wide use of ignition-resistant materials when significant changes are made to the exteriors of homes, garages and other non-agricultural buildings. The council will hold a public hearing June 26, when it is likely to vote to adopt the ordinance. If approved a second time, the ordinance becomes law in 30 days. The ordinance, which passed on a unanimous vote with members Anne Kasten and Dave Burow absent, amends the state fire code already adopted by the town to specify when a remodeling project is significant enough to require the use of ignitionresistant exterior siding, and vents that prevent the entry of burning embers. The siding rule comes into effect upon replacement of 80 percent or more of the existing

builder. “If you’re sucking up embers, you’re going to catch your house on fire. At least put the screen in there. It’ll save the house.” The new regulations do not apply to agricultural buildings such as barns and stables, which tend to be highly ventilated by design and not amenable to standard fire-prevention practices. The ordinance also incorporates state vegetation management standards for reducing the danger of a fire gathering momentum from burning brush and shrubbery. The Woodside fire district has its own standard that expands on the state’s defensible space rules by requiring an additional 30 feet of cleared land along a property’s perimeter. The vegetation of concern includes “flashy fuels” such as weeds and annual grasses, and easily ignited dead plants and litter. The Woodside fire district covers Woodside, Portola Valley and nearby unincorporated communities, including Ladera, Vista Verde Los Trancos Woods and Emerald Hills. A

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RESOLUTION OF INTENTION TO ANNEX CERTAIN TERRITORY TO THE WEST BAY SANITARY DISTRICT ON-SITE WASTEWATER DISPOSAL ZONE Lands of Dunne The District Board of West Bay Sanitary District finds and determines as follows: A. This Resolution of Intention is adopted pursuant to the District’s “Zone Master Annexation Resolution” (“ZOMAR”), which was adopted by the District Board August 12, 1996. The provisions of ZOMAR are incorporated by reference into this Resolution of Intention. B. The District has received an application to annex a parcel of real property (the “Parcel”) to the District’s On-Site Wastewater Disposal Zone (the “Zone”). The Parcel is described in Exhibit “A” attached to this Resolution of Intention and the description contained in the Exhibits are incorporated by reference. The name and address of the applicants and the number, type, volume and location of on-site wastewater disposal systems which are proposed to operate on the parcels to be annexed are described in Exhibit “B” attached to this Resolution of Intention and the information contained in the Exhibit are incorporated by reference. C. The applicants have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the District Board that the Parcel constitutes “real property” for the purposes of Section 2(b) of ZOMAR in that: X

All of the conditions described in Subsections i., ii., iii., iv. and v. of ZOMAR Section 2(b) are satisfied; or Other conditions exist which demonstrate that the Parcel will benefit directly or indirectly from the activities of the Zone. If applicable, those conditions are also set forth in Exhibit “B” and are incorporated by reference.


All of the conditions and requirements of ZOMAR Sections 2(a), 2(c), 2(d) and 2(e) have been fully satisfied.

IT IS RESOLVED by the District Board as follows:

2. In conjunction with a meeting of the District Board to be duly and regularly called and conducted, the Board will conduct a Public Hearing for the purpose of considering all matters pertaining to this Resolution of Intention. The time, date and place of the Public Hearing are: Date: June 27, 2012 Time: 7:00 PM Place: West Bay Sanitary District Offices 500 Laurel Street Menlo Park, CA 94025 At the Public Hearing, all interested persons will be heard. 3. This Resolution of Intention shall be published and copies shall be delivered to the persons and entities as specified in ZOMAR Section 2(e)(i.). 4. A true copy of this Resolution of Intention shall promptly be filed for record in the office of the County Recorder of the County of San Mateo. 5. The District Manager shall cause the matters set forth in Sections 3 and 4 of this Resolution of Intention to be completed as directed. ([KLELW%










14NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012

Almanac Staff Writer


e didn’t have a “get out of jail free” card, but Perry Mosdromos is out of custody anyway. The 46-yearold personal trainer recently arrested in a $250,000 drug bust was released after posting $25,000 bail, according to the district attorney’s office. San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said his office will handle the case related to drugs found in Menlo Park. The arraignment is scheduled for July 10. The investigation started after Homeland Security agents intercepted a package containing 499 grams of anabolic steroids and 4,374 Xanax pills that were to be delivered to a UPS box in Menlo Park. The investigation revealed that the box allegedly belonged

By Sandy Brundage

1. It is the intention of the District Board to annex the Parcel to the Zone pursuant to the provisions of ZOMAR and applicable provisions of law.


By Sandy Brundage

to Mr. Mosdromos, police said. On June 8 agents searched One-2-One Fitness in Menlo Park and his Palo Alto residence on Loma Verde Avenue, and took Mr. Mosdromos into custody. Police said a search of his residence turned up tens of thousands of prescription drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Valium, along with thousands of anabolic steroids and illegal narcotics such as MDMA. The estimated street value of the seizure is more than $250,000, police said. Investigators said Mr. Mosdromos ordered the drugs from other countries, repackaged them and shipped them all over the United States. He was booked into San Mateo County jail on multiple counts of illegal drug sales. — Palo Alto Weekly reporter Sue Dremann contributed to this story.

Fire stumps investigators

In consideration of the foregoing findings and determinations,

Exhibit A

Personal trainer released on bail after drug bust

Legend Force Main OWDZ Force Main

Almanac Staff Writer


he cause of a garage fire at a Menlo Park home remains elusive, fire district officials said. A collapsed roof and extensive damage have so far hidden the cause from investigators. The fire at 1041 Sierra Drive broke out late in the evening on June 3. Menlo Park firefighters responded to a neighbor’s 911 call of “fire coming from the front of the building” around 10:43 p.m. and found the garage in flames. Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said the crew attacked the fire by going through the living quarters to “push the fire” out of the garage from the inside out. Five fire engines, one ladder truck and two battalion chiefs responded to the fire, with firefighters from Wood-

side supporting the Menlo Park squadron. Six people and two cats were at home at the time of the fire and all escaped without incident. Two Acuras parked in the garage weren’t so lucky. According to the chief, smoke detectors alerted the residents. When they went looking for the source of the fire and opened the interior door to the garage, they were hit with a blast of heat and smoke and quickly shut the door. The 1960s single-story home was remodeled several years ago, Chief Schapelhouman said. The house lacked a fire suppression system required by current building standards, but did have a code-compliant wall between the garage and house designed to resist burning for up to one hour. He estimated total damages at $165,000 to $200,000, including the loss of the cars. A

College grad has unusual major Willa Caughey, a former Woodside resident, graduated in May from Haverford College in Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in “growth and structure of cities” and a minor in environmental studies. “I knew going into college that I wanted to do that major and minor combination,” she said. “I was interested in architecture and urban design.” Ms. Caughey grew up in Woodside, but attended high school at Westtown School, a college preparatory school in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The title of her senior thesis is

“Closing the Gap: A Design for the Expansion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.” She served as an intern for BraytonHughes Design Studios in San Francisco in 2007, as an intern for the San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council in the summer of 2010, and as analytical projects intern at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in Boston last summer. She studied at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in the fall of 2010. This summer she is residing in Woodside, doing archival research on historic gardens for a local family’s property.


Obituaries are based on information provided by families and mortuaries.

John Loustaunou, co-founder of Tandem Computers John Charles “Jack� Loustaunou died peacefully June 3 at his home in Menlo Park. He was 73. Mr. Loustaunou was known for his extensive charity work, as well as his success in the business world, say family members. He was a founder of the Portola Valley Schools FounJohn Loustaunou dation and a supporter of the art, computer, library and reading programs at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Redwood City. He also taught typing and video production courses at Ormondale and Corte Madera schools in Portola Valley. Born in Los Angeles, Mr. Loustaunou earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at the University of Southern California and served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant in the Supply Corps. He later earned an MBA at Harvard University and had a career in finance at Hewlett-

Packard, Kleiner & Perkins, and Tandem Computers, where he was a co-founder. He retired in 1980. Mr. Loustaunou had many passions, including art, Broadway shows, opera, gardening, hiking, skiing, photography, bridge, and tennis, say family members. He also loved to travel the world and spent much time in Paris, Argentiere, France, and New York City. He is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Janet; daughter Marie; and sister Marilyn. An informal gathering to celebrate Mr. Loustaunou’s life will be held atop Windy Hill in Portola Valley at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 29. Friends are asked to bring their own picnic lunch. Hikers should park at Corte Madera School and meet at the corner of Alpine Road and Willowbrook Drive at noon. Carpooling is encouraged. Donations may be made to Hidden Villas’s Environmental Education Program. Visit www. villa; Foundation for a College Education. Visit

M-A baseball players named All-League Four members of the MenloAtherton baseball team finished the 2012 season with the honor of being named to the Peninsula Athletic League’s Bay Division All League team. Nick Lange, pitcher, is a graduating senior heading to Cabrillo College in the fall, where he plans to continue his baseball career. Dylan Cook, infield, is also a graduating senior and plans on playing baseball at Caùada College.


Ryan Cortez, outfield, also plans on playing at CaĂąada College. Alex Aguilar, infield, is the only junior named to the allleague first team and played as starting shortstop. Charles Grose, junior, was named catcher on the second team. Brady Coggins, senior, got honorable mention. Submitted by Al Neiman

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Charles Lee, business executive A funeral Mass was to be celebrated for Charles Lee at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, at the Church of the Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Ave., in Menlo Park. Mr. Lee died, surrounded by his family, at his home in Atherton on June 9. He was 86. A third generation San Franciscan, Mr. Lee graduated from Lowell High School in 1942. During World War II, Charles Lee he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 299th Combat Engineer Battalion. He participated in the Normandy campaign in France and was among the first U.S. troops to cross the Rhine River into Germany.


On his return from service, he enrolled in the University of San Francisco. After his graduation and marriage in 1949, he began his career in the oil business, starting with Tidewater Oil, then with Occidental Petroleum, and retiring as vice president and chief financial officer of Natomas Company. After retiring, he worked for Smith Barney as a managing director. He served on five corporate boards: American President Lines, Bergen Brunswig Corp., Greyhound Bus Lines, Mattel Inc. and Natomas Company. He was a trustee emeritus and President’s Ambassador at the University of San Francisco. He was a Knight of Malta, a former Serran and a 38-year

member of the Church of the Nativity. He served as chair of the board of regents (1998-2001) at St. Patrick’s Seminary. Mr. Lee is survived by his wife, Jean Egan Lee; children Kevin Lee, Dennis Lee, Moira Simunovich, Terri LaJoie, and Sheila Trombadore; 10 grandchildren,; and one great-granddaughter. The family expresses thanks to his caregivers, Jose Pinto, Charlie Malag and William Halapua, the hospice team of Pathways, and the San Carlos Adult Daycare CYO for their compassionate care. Donations may be made to University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117; Pathways, 585 North Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085; and San Carlos Adult Daycare CYO, 787 Walnut St., San Carlos, CA 94070.

Dorothea Wendell, entrepreneur, manager Dorothea Richardson Wendell, a resident of Menlo Park for the past 27 years, died June 6 of lung cancer. She was a summer resident of Essex, Massachusetts. Ms. Wendell was an entrepreneur, business manager, civic volunDorothea teer, mother Wendell of three, and grandmother of 10. Born in 1925 in Winchester, Massachusetts, she graduated from Brimmer and May School in Boston and Smith College. In

1949 she married Harlan L.P. Wendell. In 1975, while living in Wilmington, Delaware, she was hired to rescue and manage the Christiana-Millbrook Tennis Club. From a failing membership of 150, she rebuilt the club to 1,000 members. She then formed Tennis Management Services to provide consulting services in four states and managed Delaware’s Junior Wightman Tennis Development Program. In 1984, she developed an aluminum turkey lifter to help cooks lift the bird from a hot oven. After successful sales, she sold the product to Rowoco in

Elmsford, New York, a large maker of kitchen specialties. Moving to Detroit with her family, she launched a retail corporate sales and mail-order chocolate chip cookie business, named Conomo Cookies. Ms. Wendell was a teacher at Brimmer and May School and at an Arlington, Massachusetts, public school. In Wilmington, she was a trustee of Brandywine College. She is survived by her husband, Harlan L.P. Wendell; children Harlan Wendell of Menlo Park and Thayer Adams of Woodside; and 10 grandchildren.




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June 20, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN15


Incumbent Fergusson joins Menlo Park council race By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


nd then there were two: Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson has joined the 2012 race for Menlo Park City Council. Seeking a third term, Ms. Fergusson faces only one opponent so far — Transportation Commissioner Ray Mueller — in the race for two seats on the fivemember council. Early endors-

ers include Planning Commission chair Katie Ferrick, (who also supports Mr. Mueller), San Mateo and Santa Clara county supervisors Dave Pine and Liz Kniss, former Menlo Park mayor Chuck Kinney, and Paul Fong and Sally Lieber from the state Legislature. Ms. Fergusson pointed to new community facilities, such as the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium, along with the city’s financial reserves and credit

16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012

rating, as signs that life is good in Menlo Park. “My emphasis on retention in our police force has led to two major gang take-downs in the past four years, with 75 arrested and hundreds of thousands of dollars in drugs and cash seized, along with another very recent prescription drug and anabolic steroids operation bust,” she said. “These successes translate directly to safer schools, neighborhoods, and reduced violent

and property crime. Residents can count on me to continue to protect essential services.” Facebook’s arrival and the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan present challenges for the city’s planning process, according to Ms. Fergusson, but overall bring the sort of economic benefits that she’d like to continue to develop. Asked about the Brown Act violation that led to her resignation as mayor in 2010, the

councilwoman said she was very happy the incident was behind her so she can focus on serving her constituents. Ms. Fergusson stepped down two days after assuming the mayor’s title after the Almanac reported that she had held private one-on-one meetings with at least three council members to discuss her desire for the position, in violation of open government law. Continued on next page


Menlo Park reopens main library After a month of renovation, the main Menlo Park public library at 800 Alma St. will be back in business at noon Tuesday, June 19, according to staff. The library closed in May for an overhaul of the circulation area, installation of new carpeting, and inventory. The four new checkout stations use radio frequency identification tags (RFID) to let patrons check out more than one item at a time, and, one hopes, with less hassle than the old system, staff said. Funding for the upgrades came from three sources: $175,000 from the general fund capital improvement budget for carpet replacement; $90,000 from a library bond fund for the circulation area; and $147,000 from the public library fund and general fund for the RFID conversion. Library staff will help users navigate the new self-checkout


system. In a press release, library director Susan Holmer said the library circulates 750,000 items each year. “Automating routine transactions will mean more staff time is available for other kinds of more personal assistance, and will enable us to handle an increasing number of transactions. We hope everyone will drop by to see the new look for the library and check out the self checkout system.�

Council passes budget

toward the $588,000 to renovate Ford (baseball) Field. Many of these revenues projections, including those for Ford Field, are passed right through to the expense side, representing a parallel increase in expenses, Administrative Services Officer Stacie Nerdahl told the Almanac. Also on the council’s agenda: A public hearing on amendments to the town’s zoning ordinances, including a proposal to shorten to 15 days the current 30-day window that property owners have to appeal conditional use permits and variances. Go to and go to Page 50 for more information.

N P O L I C E C A L L S MENLO PARK Theft reports:

â– Loss estimated at $1,200 in theft of bike locked to tree in front of apartment, San Antonio St., June 11. â–  Loss estimated at $1,000 in theft of catalytic converter from 2006 Toyota Sequoia parked in driveway, June 9.

â– Loss estimated at $352 in theft of purse, Laurel St., June 10.

â– Loss of $305 in theft of hair cutting shears and clip-on hair extension by

Continued from previous page

(Council members appoint one of their own to serve as mayor.) “Of course it was never my intention whatsoever to violate the Brown Act, which exists to ensure the public has the trans-

man-and-woman team in which man kept store clerk busy while woman stole items, 500 block of El Camino Real, June 9. Animal bite report: Woman bitten by dog while jogging. Linfield Drive, June 8. Fraud report: Man, 77, conned into wiring $2,999 to Panama City, Panama, ostensibly to get brother out of jail but transaction cancelled before completion, Cambridge Ave., June 8.

parency it needs in all local government decision-making. I am grateful the district attorney agreed there was no wrongful intent,� Ms. Fergusson said. “Do I regret the incident happened? Of course, as it was certainly never my intention to do so.� A

Company reports embezzlement A former employee allegedly embezzled more than $100,000 from Menlo Atherton Glass, according to police. Details about how the 27-yearold woman reportedly stole the money and what tipped off the store remain scarce, as police are still piecing together what happened. The theft was reported on June 8. Mark Shafran, who has owned the business at 243 El Camino Real since 1988, declined to comment while the investigation continues.


The Menlo Park City Council passed a $68 million budget for fiscal year 2012-13, but the budget is balanced on the hope that voters will approve an increase in the city’s hotel tax in November. The budget depends on

Portola Valley budget grows mainly due to pass-throughs A budget substantially larger than usual will come before the Portola Valley Town Council at a special meeting that starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the Historic Schoolhouse. The projected budget shows revenues of $4,588,589 and expenses of $4,584,201 for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The figures represent a 19 percent increase over the previous year and would yield a surplus of $4,388. The revenues include $65,000 from higher building permit fees, a $137,000 loan repayment from the state, a $20,000 contribution by Stanford University to maintain the Dwight Crowder Trail, as well as all contributions

increasing the hotel guest tax rate from 10 percent to 12 percent. According to staff calculations, passing the higher tax would raise more than $560,000 annually for the city, and bring local rates in line with neighboring cities, including Palo Alto and Redwood City. It would also contribute to a $260,000 surplus in next year’s budget. All five Menlo Park council members voted to put the hotel tax on the Nov. 6 ballot. San

Mateo County voters failed to pass a similar measure in the June 5 election, with 52.3 percent of voters opposing the tax increase. The council also decided to leave the utility users tax at 1 percent. At the same time, it supported continued cost-cutting measures by the city that include reducing staff as possible — the city lost seven fulltime positions this year, according to a staff report — and taking small steps such as using electronic agendas instead of paper.

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Charles Lee

July 19, 1925 – June 9, 2012 At home, surrounded by the family he so loved, Charles passed peacefully on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Beloved husband of Jean Egan Lee, loving father of Kevin and Dennis Lee; Moira Simunovich (Jim); Terri LaJoie (Jerry); Sheila Trombadore (Mike); proud grandfather of Stephanie Kindler(Dorsey); Daniel (Morgan), Matthew and Sarah Simunovich; Caitlin. Mark, Andrew and step grandson Jacob LaJoie; Charlie, Erin and Henry Trombadore; great granddaughter Aimee Jean. A third generation San Franciscan, Charlie was born July 19, 1925 to Eugenia and Charles Lee. Growing up in the Sunset District he attended Francis Scott Key grade school, Lowell High School, class of winter ‘42. During World War II he enlisted in the army and was assigned to the 299th Combat Engineer Battalion. With the Fighting 299th, Charlies’ primary duty was to drive a 21/2 ton truck in combat areas hauling personnel, explosives, and military supplies. He participated in the Normandy campaign in France, the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, and was among the ďŹ rst US troops to cross the Rhine River into Germany. Upon his return to San Francisco, he enrolled in the University of San Francisco. After his graduation and marriage in 1949 he started his working career in San Francisco and thus began a lifelong love of the oil business, starting with Tidewater Oil in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Occidental Petroleum, Los Angeles and retiring as Vice President and Chief Financial OfďŹ cer of Natomas Company. After his retirement from Natomas, he worked

for Smith Barney as a managing director. He served on ďŹ ve corporate boards: American President Lines, Bergen Brunswig Corp. Greyhound Bus Lines, Mattel Inc and Natomas Company. He is a Trustee Emeritus and President’s Ambassador of U.S.F., and was named alumnus of the year 1996 by the University. He is a Knight of Malta, a former Serran and a thirty eight year member of the Church of Nativity. He served as the Chair of the Board of Regents 1998-2001 at St. Patrick’s Seminary. The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to his care givers, Jose Pinto, Charlie Malag, and William Halapua. Our deepest gratitude to the hospice team of Pathways who were with us every minute and to San Carlos Adult Daycare CYO for their compassionate care these many years. A funeral Mass will be celebrated by Bishop John Wester on Tuesday June 19, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Church of the Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025. Reception immediately following Mass. Donations may be made in Charlie’s memory to University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117; Pathways, 585 North Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085; San Carlos Adult Daycare CYO, 787 Walnut St., San Carlos, CA 94070. PA I D


June 20, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN17

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 Shannon Corey Designers Linda Atilano, Lili Cao, 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: The Almanac, established in September 1965, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo

Ideas, thoughts and opinions about

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

Alleged embezzlement hits schools hard


fter months of speculation about whether Tim Hanretty, the deficit in a budget with with an expected $11.4 million in revenue. former superintendent of the Portola Valley School District, had Certainly Mr. Hanretty was a prime suspect after he resigned as somehow managed to misappropriate school funds for his own superintendent in January as the district attorney’s office investigated use, acting superintendent Carol Piraino announced late Friday that his questionable handling of finances when he was financial officer Mr. Hanretty has been arrested on charges of embezzling funds from at the Woodside Elementary School District. He began his tenure ast the district. Portola Valley schools as superintendent in mid-2010. The announcement was based on information provided by an indeBefore charges were announced against Mr. Hanretty, Mark Bonnett, pendent audit. District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Mr. Hanretty is the district’s interim financial official, said understanding the scope of being charged with seven counts of embezzlement of public funds from the financial problem has not been easy. He said recently that figures the school district. He is accused of seeking reimbursement from the change frequently, as auditors “keep finding things under rocks.” district for $100,926 in work done by a contractor on Now many of the “extras” students and parents his personal residence. expected will be missing unless an unexpected infuEDI TORI AL The former superintendent, who posted bail and sion of funds materializes in the 11th hour. will appear in court Tuesday, June 19, also faces misapTo ward off insolvency, the district is expected to act The opinion of The Almanac propriation charges related to his financial work at the on a package of potential savings at its June 20 meetWoodside Elementary School District. ing. Cuts could come in many areas, such as dropping Although the embezzlement charges may explain part of what hap- summer school and K-5 Spanish; reducing or eliminating contract pened, they don’t help parents understand much greater losses. The technology staff to save $84,000; cutting the facilities maintenance school board is looking at a package of $2.1 million in spending cuts to budget by 25 percent to save $25,000; cutting all supply budgets 15 balance the budget. Earlier this month, the school board was forced to percent to save $58,300; reducing district office staff to save $30,000; obtain a bridge loan from the county Board of Education to help with and eliminating $25,000 in funding for the eighth-grade trip. cash flow until September, when the funds must be repaid. More drastic cuts would require agreement with employee unions, In meetings prior to the announcement of embezzlement charges including a salary freeze to save $110,032; elimination of up to 10 school against Mr. Hanretty, many parents were concerned about the board’s days to save $300,000, and elimination of the summer technology continuing refusal to explain how such a huge amount of cash could institute for teachers to save $28,000. go missing undetected by trustees. The board remained silent during School families can only hope that the most draconian budget cuts much of a meeting earlier this month as speakers in the audience sought can be avoided. In hindsight, it seems that a vigilant board should have information, but finally, board member Ray Villareal spoke up. detected the former superintendent’s apparent attempt to pay for his “For all of us on the board it was pretty awful to learn” about the home improvement project out of a solar project fund. But this orgasurprising losses. He acknowledged that board members realize “we nization, like many others, operates on trust. In this case, the checks haven’t collectively done the job we needed to do.” and balances between board members and top executives clearly were Most parents would regard that as an understatement. We agree. The not enough. Let’s hope the board members are more vigilant in the board needs to explain how the district wound up with a $1.65 million future.

L ET TERS Our readers write

Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside and adjacent unincorporated areas of southern San Mateo County. The Almanac is qualified by decree of the Superior Court of San Mateo County to publish public notices of a governmental and legal nature, as stated in Decree No. 147530, issued 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.

Atherton needs to vote on library Editor: The difficulty in reaching a decision as to placement of a new library in Atherton is caused by one universal question: Is something wrong in a democracy when one person holds so much sway over so many? Let the citizens of Atherton vote. Earl T. Nielsen Burns Avenue, Atherton

Firing of coach a community loss Editor: As a longtime supporter and fan of women’s basketball, I am appalled at the manner in which Pam Wimberley was dismissed from her coaching job at Menlo-Atherton High School. Hundreds of young girls were coached and mentored by Coach Wimberley. Their lives are better for having known her. As to the few who failed to see her qualities, it is their loss. But it also our community’s loss.

18NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012

Woodside History Committee

Our Regional Heritage The Peanut Farm on Canada Road at the entrance to the Glens subdivision was one of Woodside’s popular “watering holes” for many years. The building’s wood plank floors, often covered in peanut shells, bounced when people danced. When it closed in 1989, the building was converted to a private residence.

Age/race is part of this dismissal. How proud that principal must feel. Claudette Bergman Old La Honda Road, Woodside

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June 20, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN19

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20NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 20, 2012

The Almanac 06.20.2012 - section 1  
The Almanac 06.20.2012 - section 1  

Section 1 of the June 20, 2012 edition of the Almanac