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The Almanac Holiday Fund Helping people in need | Page 16


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Try not to stress

Be sure to take time for yourself this holiday season Section 2

MENLO PARK Craftsman style home built in 2003, in sought after Felton Gables. Shingled façade with 5bd/4.5ba on 3-levels. Recreation/Media room on lower level. Temperature controlled wine cellar, landscaped grounds with patio, also featuring raised flower and vegetable beds. Excellent Menlo Park schools.


WOODSIDE This custom 3,900+/- sf contemporary home has a striking Tahoe flare and integrates beautifully with the natural environment. This remarkable home is ideally situated on the landscaped 5.4+/acre parcel, taking in majestic, pristine views. Soaring wood beamed ceilings and expanses of glass draw in the spectacular scenery. Light pours into the home through walls of windows and well placed skylights. $2,150,000

PALO ALTO Beautiful, contemporary 3 year old home with 3bd/2.5ba, plus a large landing area currently used as an office. Open plan Living/Dining room, ground floor master bedroom, and a well-appointed kitchen. Quiet and clean radiant heating system, high ceilings, and light-filled rooms. Beautifully landscaped private yard and courtyard. Palo Alto Schools.



The Almanac

December 12, 2012


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Tom Rogers of Portola Valley was curator at Filoli for 22 years.


Celebration of life of Tom Rogers A celebration of the life of Tom Martin Rogers, longtime curator at Filoli, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at The Sequoias, 501 Portola Road, in Portola Valley. Mr. Rogers died Nov. 21 of acute leukemia. He was 80. Mr. Rogers, who resided at The Sequoias, was honored May 10 at a reception at Filoli for his 22 years as curator at the historic Woodside estate. After retiring from teaching, he served as curator from 1989 to 2011, overseeing the collections of antiques, artifacts and historical furniture at the estate. Born in Fresno, he grew up in Salinas and attended San Jose State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and secondary teaching credential. He served in the U.S. Army from

1954 to 1958 and was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska. After being honorably discharged, he worked as an actor in Fallon theater in Columbia during the summers as he started his teaching career. His teaching career at Mountain View-Los Altos Tom Rogers Union High School District was from 1958 to 1985. While teaching, he volunteered as a docent at Filoli from 1977 to 1989. He was also a volunteer at the San Francisco Palace of the Legion of Honor and an active participant in the San Francisco Ceramic Circle.

Libraries will accept food for fines During December the San Mateo County Library system is accepting non-perishable food as payment for library fines.

Patrons may take any amount of boxed or canned food to any of the county’s 12 branches including in Atherton, Wood-

He enriched many lives with his optimistic outlook, sense of humor and love for others, say family members. He is survived by his three grandchildren; their parents, Bill and Judie Lee; brotherin-law Jack Brott; and nephew Eric Brott. Gifts in Mr. Roger’s memory may be directed to the Filoli Conservation of Objects in the Decorative Arts Collection; or for the Acquisition of Books for Filoli’s Sterling Library, 86 Canada Road, Woodside, CA 94062; or to a fund directed to assist Residents Who Have Exhausted Their Funds, The Sequoias, 501 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028. Visit to see an Almanac cover story by Jane Knoerle on Tom Rogers.

side and Portola Valley during business hours and all fines will be waived. The food will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

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

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■ E-mail news, information, obituaries and photos (with captions) to: ■ 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.

New Stanford Blood Center location now open! 445 Burgess Drive in Menlo Park

The 780 Welch Road location in Palo Alto has moved just a few miles away to 445 Burgess Drive in Menlo Park. Our new center is located near Burgess Park, about a half mile from the Menlo Park Caltrain station.

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Menlo Park Hours: 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.

Center Locations:

Monday Noon - 7:30 pm

Palo Alto Center

Tuesday Noon - 7:30 pm

3373 Hillview Avenue

Wednesday 7:30 am - 3:00 pm Thursday Noon - 7:30 pm Friday 7:30 am - 3:00 pm Saturday 7:30 am - 3:00 pm Sunday Closed December 12, 2012

Mountain View Center 515 South Drive, Suite 20 Menlo Park Center 445 Burgess Drive

The Almanac


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Retirement Sale

We’ve emptied the warehouse for this epic event. Sale starts Wednesday, December 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Fine furnishings, accessories and antiques 4

The Almanac

December 12, 2012

850 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park


Local News M









DECEMBER 12, 2012







SRI proposes big changes to Menlo campus By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


ig changes are in the works for the 63-acre headquarters campus of SRI International in Menlo Park. The nonprofit innovation powerhouse sits a few blocks east of downtown Menlo Park and is often on the cutting edge of research and development despite its facilities in 38 fairly old buildings built over three mid-20th-century decades. In a plan on file with the Menlo Park Planning Department and dated Nov. 29, SRI describes a 25-year plan to “revitalize and upgrade” its campus without changing the overall size of its footprint. The plan shows 33 of the existing buildings coming down and 13 taking their places, including three at 64 feet high (five stories plus basements), one at 56 feet, and five at 48 feet. The total floor area of 1.4 million square feet would be 11 percent under the allowance in SRI’s conditional development permit, the plan says. One component of the plan: a new “research campus” zoning district that appears to be

designed to allow SRI’s plan to go forward. Menlo Park Senior Planner Thomas Rogers said that Planning Commission and City Council review would be required for the proposed general plan and zoning ordinance amendments, as well as for the rezoning, the development permit and agreement, the heritage tree removals and the environmental study. “With a project of this scope, Iíd imagine that study session(s) would probably occur as an initial step,” Mr. Rogers said in an email to the Almanac. The company employs 1,300 people in Menlo Park and has facilities throughout the United States as well as in Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Arecibo, Puerto Rico, where SRI operates the radio-telescope observatory. The plan proposes an upper limit of 3,000 employees in Menlo Park, which is 10 percent under the number allowed by SRI’s permit. SRI’s clients include corporations large and small, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, as well as government agencies at all levels here and abroad. Among its federal clients: the

Building contractor charged with felonies in Atherton case By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


building contractor is due in court on Dec. 20 to enter a plea on felony grand theft and other charges stemming from work he did for an Atherton resident. Richard Smith, 54, of Redding was arrested on Oct. 30 by Atherton police, and is accused of a number of crimes allegedly intended to defraud the resident out of about $400,000, according to Police Lt. Joe Wade. The court complaint identifies the victim as Larry Lowry, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti. Mr. Smith was performing work on property in the 100 block of Stockbridge Avenue, Lt. Wade said. Mr. Smith faces three charges of grand theft, one charge of diversion of funds, one charge of making or passing a fictitious

check, and one count of obtaining money by false pretenses, Ms. Guidotti said. All are felony charges. Mr. Smith appeared in court last week with attorney Robert Mezzetti, and the case was continued to Dec. 20, Ms. Guidotti said. Although Mr. Mezzetti said he has not yet been formally retained, he said he is reviewing the case and is likely to represent Mr. Smith. “The indication I have from the limited investigation I’ve conducted is that the charges are ... baseless,” he told the Almanac. He said Mr. Smith has never been in trouble with the law before, and has a good reputation in his field. “It’s a vindictive person that is driving this claim,” he said, calling the matter a “deal gone bad.” Mr. Smith posted a $75,000 bail bond and is out of custody, Ms. Guidotti said. A

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

SRI International has released a 25-year plan to “revitalize and upgrade” its 63-acre headquarters.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the federal departments of defense, education, energy and transportation.

At the Menlo Park campus, bordered by Ravenswood Avenue, Middlefield Road and Laurel Street, the plans show an outdoor amphitheater, extensive vegetative screening to create a “shady, soft edge that will be

visually appealing to neighbors and passersby,” and nine pedestrian entrances governed by turnstiles, with six of them apparently set up for secure See SRI CAMPUS, page 6

2-story buildings for Las Lomitas district? By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac


plan to allow the Las Lomitas Elementary School district to serve the ever-growing number of students in the district’s two schools, possibly in new twostory school buildings, will be discussed at a meeting of the district’s governing board at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the La Entrada Middle School multi-use room, 2200 Sharon Road in Menlo Park. According to Carolyn Chow, the district’s chief business officer, the district has been working to develop an updated facilities master plan since summer, when a construction firm analyzed the district’s facilities. Two new board members, Diane Honda and Bill Steinmetz, are joining the board, replacing Maria Doktorczyk and John Macdonald, who did not run for re-election. “We’d

like to bring them up to speed,” Ms. Chow said. Enrollment in the K-8 district has surged 40 percent in 10 years, Ms. Chow said. In 2009 the district received a report that projected enrollment in the two-school district would increase to 1,384 students by the 2014-15 school year. But this year it is already at 1,419.

Enrollment in the K-8 district has surged 40 percent in 10 years. The district’s temporary solution has been portable classrooms. “That clearly isn’t going to be the answer for the long term,” Ms. Chow said. “We have come up with some nice ideas for two-story buildings,” which could provide for more classrooms, but don’t take up more green space or

December 12, 2012

playing space, Ms. Chow said. “That’s kind of the key thing that we’ve been looking at.” Ms. Chow said the space in the new buildings would be flexible so that a classroom or lab used for one purpose now could be used for a different purpose in the future. “This is a plan not for five or 10 years, it’s for the very long term,” she said. So far reaction to the facilities plan has been positive, Ms. Chow said. Those attending a town hall meeting on Nov. 27 “were highly complimentary” of the idea of two-story buildings, she said. The public will have another chance to learn about the facilities master plan at a board study session on Jan. 9, Ms. Chow said, and the board will probably approve a plan at its regular January meeting. Visit to see the agenda.


The Almanac



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Almanac Staff Writer

eekends in Menlo Park have not been peaceful as of late. The Belle Haven neighborhood endured yet another shooting — the sixteenth in the East Palo Alto and Menlo Park area during the past six months. But this time no one was injured beyond rattled nerves. Menlo Park police arrested Geoffrey Smith, a 24-year-old Truckee resident, within hours of a shooting in the 1300 block of Windermere Avenue on Sunday, Dec. 9. He allegedly fired several gunshots at the home, police said.

SRI CAMPUS continued from page 5

access. The work appears be divided into three phases, with reconstruction following demolition in each of three areas of the campus. The plans do not include timelines or cost estimates. Among the anticipated effects are greater energy efficiency, a greener footprint, and better access for pedestrians and cyclists. The plan shows the upgraded campus using 10 percent less electricity, 7.6 percent less water and 1.7 percent more natural gas. The extensive recycling program would include composting, turning used cooking oil into bio-diesel fuel, and col-

Sgt. Tim Brackett issued a press release saying officers received a report of shots fired around 1:29 a.m. They found a 1992 gold Subaru fleeing the scene, and based on a description of the suspect and the car, arrested the driver, Sgt. Brackett said. A handgun was found in the Subaru. According to police, Mr. Smith was embroiled in an argument with the victims over money. Investigators have concluded that the shooting was not connected to other recent incidents. Police ask that anyone with information about this case to call Detective Christine Powell at 330-6300. A

lection of batteries, light bulbs and vehicle tires. Of the 1,287 trees on the campus, 520 are considered heritage trees, meaning they cannot be arbitrarily cut down. The plan shows arborists recommending the felling of 35 heritage trees. The project as presented would add another 56 for a total of 91 heritage trees cut down, all done through tree-removal permits from the city. The plan proposes replanting 10 heritage trees. Remarkably, there would be many fewer parking spaces. The current 3,244 would drop to 2,444, including 519 in a parking structure. Much of the current parking is “unused� and will not be needed in the foreseeable future, the plan says. A

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r. and Mrs. William and Marilee Rossi of Woodside, CA are pleased to announce the engagement of their son, Nathaniel Francis Rossi to Sarah Agnes Conway, daughter of Dr. Joseph and Patricia Conway of Osterville, MA. Nate was born and raised in Woodside, CA, is a graduate of St. Francis High School and earned his BA at UC, San Diego. Sarah was born and raised in Barnstable, MA, is a graduate from Barnstable High School, the University of Arizona and holds an MFA from the University of Montana. The couple currently resides in San Francisco‘s Marina district where Sarah works as a teacher; Nate works downtown for the Ritz-Carlton. A July wedding at Our Lady of Victory church on Cape Cod is planned. PA I D


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The Almanac



December 12, 2012

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community.

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Struggle for safer crosswalks By Renee Batti

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Almanac News Editor






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ou can’t always get what you want. But if the town of Atherton accepts what’s on offer by the California Department of Transportation, will it ever get what town officials believe it really needs: safer El Camino Real crosswalks to avoid the kinds of accidents that have killed and seriously injured numerous pedestrians and bicyclists over the last few years? Caltrans officials late last month told the City Council that the El Camino-Selby Lane intersection meets the criteria for installation of a traffic signal, and asked if it wanted to pursue a signalization project. The intersection marks the northern boundary of Atherton’s stretch of the El Camino corridor — a section bounded on the south by Valparaiso Avenue. Although Caltrans was given the go-ahead to begin the process at the Nov. 28 meeting, council enthusiasm was limited, largely because members had hoped the state agency would present more information and options for the handful of crosswalks at non-signalized intersections that have been the scenes of recent serious accidents. With limited funds, would the town and Caltrans be able to finance crosswalk improvements in addition to the traffic signal? Roland Au-Yeung, Caltrans’ District 4 traffic operations division chief, told the council that his agency is poised to begin the long process to signalize El Camino and Selby, but is also meeting with town staff to come up with a plan to address the crosswalk dangers. But, he said, even if a crosswalk were to be improved with flashing lights, the soonest the project would be completed would be 2017-18.


Menlo College





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A 1.6-mile stretch of El Camino Real bounded by Selby Lane and Valparaiso Avenue bisects Atherton. There are traffic lights at three intersections — at Atherton, Encinal and Valparaiso avenues — and a number of dangerous crosswalks at at intersections without traffic lights.

Mike Kashiwagi, the town’s community services director, later told the Almanac that staff “will work with Caltrans to see how that time could be reduced.� Because pedestrians have been injured in several non-signalized crosswalks in the 1.6-mile stretch of roadway, which has only three signalized intersections, the staff is also working with the state agency to determine the best location for what is likely to be a pedestrian-activated overhead system with a flashing beacon at only one intersection, Mr. Kashiwagi said. The town has been studying the pedestrian- and bicyclesafety problem on El Camino for years, but the effort was ramped up earlier this fall when two women were struck and seriously injured in the crosswalk at El Camino and Isabella Avenue.

The Sept. 30 accident occurred two years to the day that a bicyclist was struck and killed in the same crosswalk. After the recent accident, Mayor Bill Widmer sent a strongly worded email to Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty “to insist that improved safety measures are taken� for Atherton’s section of the El Camino corridor. Caltrans and town staff have met several times since then, and council members were told that in addition to the flashingbeacon system being considered for a single crosswalk, studies are being done on options such as narrowing the roadway from six lanes to four. While town officials are stressing the urgency of the situation, the issue has been complicated by the fact that a tally of the total number of vehicle collisions with pedestrians and bikes is either unavailable or has not been compiled. That’s because accident reports are spread out among a number of agencies, depending on which jurisdiction responded to individual incidents. Reporting agencies have included the Atherton, Menlo Park, and Redwood City police departments; the Sheriff’s Office; and the California Highway Patrol. Last summer, a lawsuit was filed against the town, Menlo Park, a motorist, and several other public agencies over a 2011 accident in which teenager Courtney Schrier was struck and seriously injured in the crosswalk at the El Camino and Alejandra Avenue intersection. The accident report for that incident was taken by an agency other than the Atherton Police Department. Town officials said that Caltrans has committed to providSee crosswalks, page 15

Police: Driver at fault for striking pedestrians By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


he 89-year-old driver of a vehicle that struck and seriously injured two women in an El Camino Real crosswalk on Sept. 30 was speeding and at fault for the accident, an Atherton Police Department investigation has concluded. Police Lt. Joe Wade said Willie Haynes of Palo Alto had been traveling southbound on El Camino at 48 mph in the 35-mph zone when his Chevy Blazer struck the two women, who were crossing the six-lane roadway at Isabella Avenue.

The women, whose names haven’t been released, were rushed to Stanford Hospital with major injuries, but survived. One woman is from Atherton, the other from Mountain View, Lt. Wade said earlier. Just before the impact, Mr. Haynes had slowed his vehicle to 37 mph, Lt. Wade said. He remained at the scene after the collision and voluntarily submitted to a blood test for drugs and alcohol, police said at the time. The investigation report made no mention of mitigating circumstances such as sight impediments on the roadway at

the time, Lt. Wade said. The case was forwarded to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office for review, but the police department is not recommending that criminal charges be filed, he said. The accident was one of many that have injured or killed pedestrians and bicyclists trying to cross the section of El Camino Real that intersects Atherton. The Sept. 30 collision happened two years to the day that 62-yearold Christopher Chandler of Redwood City was struck and killed in the same crosswalk while riding his bicycle across the busy thoroughfare. A

R EAL E STATE Q&A by Gloria Darke

How Sellers Get Protection From Unexpected, Last Minute Surprises Q: Recently a friend of ours had the sale of their home fall through at the last minute because of some negative problems revealed on the buyer’s home inspection report. How can we avoid any last minute surprises like that when we sell out house? – T. M. A: Unfortunately, you won’t know exactly what the buyer’s inspections will reveal, that is, unless you take action first. The best way to know where you stand in advance, is to order your own home inspection report, particularly if you have an older home. The sellers report should disclose any serious problems before listing and selling your property. With your own report, you will have a better idea of what to expect from any subsequent buyers inspection reports. Of course, there can always be exceptions.

Your agent or broker should advise you on how to get this information and how to interpret the reports. He or she can also help you decide what to do about any serious issues. A serious issue would be water leakage problems anywhere, from the roof to the basement (or crawl space for single level or ranch type homes). Naturally, you’ll want to know how those problems will affect the bottom line. Armed with all the right information will put you in control. Remember, the disclosure laws that are meant to protect the buyer but also protect the seller from possible litigation at a later date. Sellers should not attempt any sales negotiations without first knowing the true condition of their property. In our local area, it is rare that sellers don’t order all the reports prior to putting the property on the market.

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

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December 12, 2012



The Almanac



N E W S ■ POLICE CALLS 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: ■ Losses estimated at $21,200 in entry through unlocked bathroom window and theft of three laptop computers, one tablet computer, video game console, two TVs, miscellaneous jewelry and $1,300 in cash, Del Norte Ave., Dec. 7. ■ Losses estimated at $3,900 in entry through unlocked sliding window and theft of laptop computer, guitar and safe containing $2,500 in cash, Newbridge St., Dec. 5. ■ Losses estimated at $800 in entry through garage rear door and theft of two golf bags and two sets of golf clubs, Politzer Drive, Dec. 4. ■ No losses after unknown suspect fled in vehicle after being confronted in open garage by house guest, San Mateo Drive, Dec. 6. Commercial burglary report: Losses estimated at $19,296 in break-in through smashed glass front door and theft of high-value alcoholic beverages, mostly wine, Sharon Heights Wine & Liquor at 325 Sharon Park Drive, Dec. 2.

Auto burglary report: Unknown losses in break-in to locked camper and theft of various tools, Nancy Way, Dec. 1. Theft reports: ■ Losses estimated at $30,000 and no signs of forced entry in theft of jewelry and silverware, Arbor Road, Dec. 9. ■ Losses estimated at $3,550 in theft from rear storage yard of 50 pieces of cast iron pipe and 100 pieces of assembled prefabricated cast iron pipe, Lovazzano Mechanical Inc. on Constitution Drive, Dec. 8. ■ Losses estimated at $780 in theft of bicycle and tool box from carport, University Drive, Dec. 6. ■ Losses estimated at $485 in theft from front porch of packages containing leather jacket and children’s toys, Pope St., Dec. 6. ■ Unknown losses in theft of packages from doorstep, Pope St., Dec. 5. ■ Loss estimated at $435 in theft of two locked bicycles from front yard, Santa Cruz Ave., Dec. 3. ■ Loss estimated at $350 in theft of black Kona hybrid 18-speed bicycle locked to pole in apartment complex, Roble Ave., Dec. 4. ■ Unknown loss in theft of keys from envelope inside mailbox, Pine St., Dec. 1. Fraud report: Losses estimated at

$701 in unauthorized use of debit card at retail stores in Southern California, Terminal Ave., Dec. 4. ■ Losses estimated at more than $1,000 in unauthorized use of credit card at Nordstrom department store in Stanford Shopping Center, Santa Cruz Ave., Dec. 4. Adult Protective Services report: Loma Prieta Lane and Monte Rosa Drive, Dec. 5. PORTOLA VALLEY Theft report: Losses estimated at $1,500 in unauthorized use of credit card to make online purchases, Kiowa Court, Dec. 3. Indecent exposure report: Incident occurred on school bus to reporting party’s daughter by juvenile male enroute to Woodside, Dec. 4. ATHERTON Commercial burglary report: Losses of $700 in cash, Menlo College at 1000 El Camino Real, Dec. 8. Theft reports: ■ Bicycle stolen, Menlo School at 50 Valparaiso Ave., Nov. 30. ■ Bicycle stolen and theft captured on camera, Menlo-Atherton High School at 555 Middlefield Road, Dec. 4.

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The Almanac

LPFCH CGA 5.9375x8.0625.indd 1

December 12, 2012

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


fter last week’s selection of mayor and vice mayor, the reshuffling of Menlo Park City Council duties continues on Tuesday, Dec. 11, with the appointments of members to various regional boards and advisory bodies. They’ll also consider whether to extend Interim Police Chief Lee Violett’s contract beyond January to allow for a smooth transition when a new chief is appointed by February. Chief Violett stepped in after Bryan Roberts left Menlo Park in July after serving as chief for 23 months. The city has considered both internal and external candidates as replacements, according to City Manager Alex McIntyre. One applicant, Cmdr. Lacey Burt, decided to retire as of Dec. 1. The Dec. 11 council meeting starts with a study session at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on regional transportation policies, including whether a Metropolitan Transportation Commission resolution should include an exemption on sidewalks for the Allied Arts neighborhood. Residents have protested the idea of building sidewalks along their low-traffic streets. The regular meeting follows at 7 p.m., also in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. Go to to review the agenda.

Wednesday: Plastic bag ban meeting

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Police chief, Allied Arts sidewalks on agenda

8/29/12 11:38 AM

Watch “Bag It!”, a documentary about the impact of plastic bags on the environment, and learn more about Menlo Park’s proposed ban on single-use plastic bags at an informational meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Oct. 23 to certify the environmental impact report (EIR) and adopt an ordinance eliminating the use of plastic bags by retailers, except for restaurants and produce sellers. The ordinance would add a 10 cent fee for paper bags through the end of 2014, then hike the fee to 25 cents per paper bag. Menlo Park, along with 24 other cities along the Peninsula, may opt to go along with the ban. The City Council plans to vote on the ordinance in January. The informational meeting


starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 701 Laurel St.

Teen assaulted A 16-year-old boy was walking near Newbridge Street and Carlton Avenue around 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, when two teens approached and demanded his property, according to Menlo Park police. Punching his face, the suspects fled empty-handed after turning out the boy’s pockets. The duo evaded a search of the area, police said. They were described as two black teenagers, one wearing a black longsleeved T-shirt over a red shirt, and the other a gray hooded sweatshirt and black-and-white checkered scarf. Police ask that anyone with information about this case to call them at 330-6300 or the anonymous tip line at 3306395.

Students show photos Jim Vanides, a Menlo Park resident and community volunteer, alerted the Almanac to an exhibit of photography by 13 East Palo Alto students. Working with volunteers from Hewlett Packard and Citizen Schools, the Cesar Chavez Academy students participated in a 10-week apprenticeship to create “The Power of Photography: Images that Matter.” Their work will be on display on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church at 1425 Bay Road in East Palo Alto. Go to to view the photos online or order copies. Net proceeds from sales will support future Citizen Schools apprenticeships at schools serving disadvantaged students, according to Mr. Vanides.

Blankets for veterans People are invited to drop off new blankets for veterans on Saturday, Dec. 15, in the parking lot next to Trader Joe’s at 720 Menlo Ave. in Menlo Park from 2 to 3:30 p.m., according to Councilman Ray Mueller, who said he’s running the drive with the help of State Sen. Jerry Hill and Supervisor-elect Warren Slocum. The blankets will be delivered to veterans at the Veterans Affairs hospitals in Menlo Park and Palo Alto.



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Seasons of Sharing Volunteers Mary Holman, center, and Sherry Fowler, right, work together on Dec. 7 to wrap presents for Woodside High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seasons of Sharing program, which provides gifts and groceries for 76 school families that are in need.

County managerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pay may rise to $300,000 By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


he Board of Supervisors in San Mateo County is poised to hire on a permanent basis County Manager John Maltbie â&#x20AC;&#x201D; heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been interim manager since November 2011 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and quickly raise his salary to $300,000 from the $270,233 that the permanent position now pays. The one-page proposal is included in the agenda for the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 400 County Center in Redwood City. (The meeting is after the Almanacâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s print deadline. Check AlmanacNews. com for an update.) Mr. Maltbie had retired from

the job in 2008 but returned to county government after his successor, David S. Boesch, resigned Nov. 4, 2011. Mr. Maltbieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s compensation as interim manager has been $100 per hour with no health benefits and no vacation or sick leave. The year-long arrangement as interim manager apparently allowed him to simultaneously collect his pension benefits from the county of $133,000 per year from his 20 years as county manager. The new contract, which would be for four years, would restore his health benefits but suspend his pension payments, according to the staff report. The proposed raise is â&#x20AC;&#x153;based on the Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s review of the

compensation of other Chief Executive Officers of other Bay Area public entities,â&#x20AC;? the report says. In the Nov. 6 election, voters approved Measure A, a half-cent increase in the sales tax for 10 years and expected to add $60 million per year to the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general fund. The measure, according to the ballot statement, was intended to address â&#x20AC;&#x153;increased demand for, and expenses in providing, essential County services and facilities that its residents rely on.â&#x20AC;? Among the long list of intended beneficiaries of this tax revenue were child abuse protection programs, 911 emergency dispatch services, healthcare for low-income children, seniors and disabled, fire prevention and response, and pre-school after-school and library programs for children and teens, including reading programs and homework centers. A

Obituary: Maureen Hoffman, former Calla manager Maureen Elizabeth Hoffman, former manager of Calla boutique in Menlo Park, died Nov. 30 after a brief battle with brain cancer. She was 86. Born in San Francisco as Maureen Slattery, she was a 1944 graduate of Ursuline Academy in Santa Rosa. While working in San Franciscoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial district, she met her future husband, M. Dave Hoffman. They were married in 1946 and moved to Menlo Park in 1955. When her four sons were in

school, Ms. Hoffman was active in local PTA and sports organizations. After the boys grew older, she was manager of Mon Petit Chou boutique, located at the corner of Santa Cruz Avenue and El Camino Real in Menlo Park, for 10 years. She later became manager at Calla, retiring in 2000. An active parishioner at St. Raymond Church for more than 50 years, she enjoyed singing in the church choir. She was an avid Giants fan

from the time the team relocated to San Francisco in 1958. Survivors include her four sons, William of Murphys, David of San Francisco, Thomas of San Mateo, and Timothy of Belmont; brother Thomas; sister Anastasia; and nine grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Marvin â&#x20AC;&#x153;Daveâ&#x20AC;? Hoffman. Memorials in her name may be made to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health, 400 Hamilton Ave., Suite 340, Palo Alto, CA 94301. December 12, 2012



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A community health education series from Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Restoring the Spine’s Natural Curves With New Minimally Invasive Surgery

Stark had spent most of his working life as a house painter in Santa Rosa, crawling up ladders, over roofs, through attics. Often he was carrying full five-gallon cans of paint at the same time. It was hard physical work, but Stark didn’t think twice about it. “When you’re doing physical things all the time, you just keep doing them,” he said. “You never think you won’t be able to. It’s just what you do.”

Debilitating pain “When they asked me at Stanford what my pain level was—they go by numbers 1 through 10—I started with an 11,” Stark said. His spine was curving into an extreme S shape and sloping forward, too. Very little about Stark’s life was normal, especially since he needed so much medication for his pain that he felt drowsy most of the time. Work was out of the question. And small inconveniences symbolized his deterioration—the day arrived when Stark was so bent over he could no longer see his face in his bathroom mirror.

“I kept thinking, ‘You can exist this way. It’s not going to get worse.’ Then you look in the mirror and it is worse. And you know you have to do something about it.” – Jerry Stark, patient, Stanford Hospital & Clinics Norbert von der Groeben

Before the orthopaedic surgery that restored his spine to a more normal curvature, Stark lived with pain he counted as an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. Now, he can stand straight enough to look himself in the mirror again. 10

The Almanac

Stark’s scoliosis, like that diagnosed in 6 million others in the United States, had no definitive cause, although genetics and biology may play some part. The abnormal curvature of the spine can appear at any time of life. With age, however, comes the natural degeneration of discs, the pads of cartilage that cushion the spine’s stack of bony vertebrae. Bone on bone grinding becomes one cause for pain; pinched

December 12, 2012

Norbert von der Groeben

He figures it might have been about 20 years ago that he lifted something “and I lifted it wrong,” he said. “I dropped to my knees in pain and couldn’t get up.” After a few minutes, the pain was gone and he returned to work as if nothing had happened, he said. But many more years as a painter would exact a heavy toll. By the time he saw Ivan Cheng, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, he had endured nearly 30 years of increasing disability from a spine that had degenerated into a twisted, bent version of its once-straight self and with it any semblance of a normal life.

Just like most of us, Jerry Stark took his physical strength for granted until the first time it didn’t respond the way it always had—and delivered word of its new status with a sharply-sent message of pain.

Jerry Stark figures his back problems might have begun about 20 years ago when he lifted something “and I lifted it wrong,” he said. Decades later, adult scoliosis had altered his spine into a twisted, bent version of its oncestraight self, taking with it any semblance of a normal life. spinal nerves can send pain signals down through the legs. For many, medication and other nonsurgical treatments can alleviate the discomfort caused by scoliosis’ misalignment. For others, including Stark, the changes caused by the condition may require surgery. Until recently, such surgery was very risky and could mean months of hospitalization toward an end result that was not always positive. Stark, fearful, tried to ignore what was happening to his body. “I kept thinking, ‘You can exist this way. It’s not going to get worse.’ Then you look in the mirror, and it is worse. And you know you have to do something about it.”

former wife, Pam, who volunteered to be part of his post-surgical support team, along with his grown children, began to interview surgeons. At one facility, they waited four hours to see a surgeon; they liked him but were put off when, after presenting him with some questions, he directed them to his assistant. They decided they’d seek a second opinion at Stanford. “I think the longest we waited was

“Twenty years ago, there probably would have been a lot of reluctance to operate on Mr. Stark,” said Cheng. “Surgery for these types of spinal problems often took multiple procedures, staged over days, with massive blood loss and patients might lay in bed for six months at a time.”

New techniques—and hope What Cheng and other orthopaedic surgeons now have available are new, minimally invasive ways to enter the body and new implants endowed with technology that makes them more reliable. Stark and his



(Left) Stark’s spine before his surgery. His scoliosis, like that million others in the United States, had no definitive cause, and biology may play some part. (Right): Stark’s spine after a more natural position with new, minimally invasive ways t and new implants endowed with technology that makes the

special feature

Back Basics Back pain is a health complaint so common that the National Institutes of Health estimate it may have visited as many as 85 percent of adults in the United States at least once in a lifetime. The causes are many. Some of us may injure our backs with one bad lift of a heavy box. Age-related changes to the spine’s system of bones and cartilage bring their own type of pain.

Here are some ways to keep your back strong: t Know how to lift safely. Never bend over an object at the waist; lower your body by bending at the knees. Keep the object close to the body. t Good posture also helps to reduce strain on the spine. When sitting, tip weight forward on the pelvis instead of leaning back; draw chin back instead of jutting jaw forward. t Exercise in ways that strengthen your back muscles, warming up slowly before beginning. Developing core muscles also supports a strong back. t A supportive mattress and pillow you sleep on can be beneficial to spine health.

t Think about what kind of shoes you wear—and how you carry a purse or shoulder bag. Wearing high heels and carrying a heavy bag on the same shoulder can contribute to stress on the spine. t Alternate between sitting and standing during the day. t Maintain a healthy weight.

Treatments for back pain can include:

t Physiotherapy, including massage, whirlpool baths, ultrasound t Chiropractic care t Acupuncture t Posture adjustment t Surgery, including fusion, decompression, microdiscectomy For more information about orthopaedic spine care, visit or phone 650.725.5905. Join us at Watch the new Stanford Hospital Health Notes television show on Comcast: channel 28 on Mondays at 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. and Fridays at 8:30 a.m.; channel 30 Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. It can also be viewed at

10 minutes,” said Pam Stark. “He pulled everything up on a computer and explained everything. He didn’t hold back. And he said, ‘Anytime you need to call me, you can call me.’ When we left there, I told Jerry, ‘He’s the guy.’ “

At 68, with significant spine issues, Stark did present a challenge, even for an experienced surgeon like Cheng, but Cheng was impressed with Stark’s spirit. “Because of his deformity, he could barely walk, even with a walker, but he was still a vibrant individual. You could see that he was very motivated to accomplish a lot more in his life, that he really wanted to get something done that would allow him to move on with his life.”

diagnosed in 6 although genetics surgery, restored to to enter the body em more reliable.

In Mr. Stark’s first surgery, Cheng avoided the traditional large incision approach along the spine and, instead, made just three small incisions along the side of his torso. Through these incisions, in a relatively

An active life restored

Cheng had estimated that it might take With steady devotion to his post-surgical physical therapy and regular Stark up to a exercise, Stark has regained such mobility that those who meet him now year to regain have a hard time believing the degree of his previous disability, he says. normal function, but at short three-hour process, he was seven months out, it’s hard able to remove Stark’s damaged to tell that anything was discs and replace them with synthetever wrong with Stark. He’s ic spacers. “With these minimally been completely disciplined invasive techniques, where we can about his physical therapy achieve the same amount of correcand has found delight in tion, minimize the amount of blood returning, with full vigor, loss and the amount of anesthesia— to a full life, right down to that really enhances recovery,” details like jeans. Before Cheng said. his surgery, the curvature in his spine was so extreme he couldn’t fasten a belt “I’m so glad I did it. It’s like a new around his waist and could life—and I feel good when I look in only wear sweat pants. the mirror now.” Once he was upright again, one of the first purchases – Jerry Stark, patient, he made was a new pair of Stanford Hospital & Clinics Levis. He also takes some

pride in showing off the before and after X-rays of his spine. “This one shows the extreme curvature of the spine,” he explains. “Everything was moving.” Then he holds up the after image. “This is when Dr. Cheng was finished. Here’s the new Jerry Stark.” He has a few kinks in his mobility yet to work out. “I’m still in pain at different times, doing different things,” he said, “but I’m so glad I did it. It’s like a new life—and I feel good when I look in the mirror now.”

Norbert von der Groeben

– Ivan Cheng, MD, orthopaedic surgeon, Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Norbert von der Groeben

“With these minimally invasive techniques, where we can achieve the same amount of correction, we can minimize the amount of blood loss and the amount of anesthesia really enhances recovery”

In a second procedure five days later, Cheng did use a large incision along Stark’s spine to place titanium screws and rods to complete the straightening and stabilization. Again, the procedure was relatively short—about five hours.

Pam Stark, Jerry Stark’s former wife, stepped up to help him through the surgery—and the interviews with doctors that preceeded it. After they met Ivan Cheng, MD, at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Pam Stark was so impressed with Cheng’s forthrightness— and compassion—that she told Jerry Stark, “He’s the guy.”

Stanford Hospital & Clinics is known worldwide for advanced treatment of complex disorders in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer treatment, neurosciences, surgery, and organ transplants. It is currently ranked No. 17 on the U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list and No. 1 in the San Jose Metropolitan area. Stanford Hospital & Clinics is internationally recognized for translating medical breakthroughs into the care of patients. The Stanford University Medical Center is comprised of three world renowned institutions: Stanford Hospital & Clinics, the Stanford University School of Medicine, the oldest medical school in the Western United States, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, an adjacent pediatric teaching hospital providing general acute and tertiary care. For more information, visit

December 12, 2012

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December 12, 2012

â&#x2013; o b i tua ry Obituaries are based on information provided by the family.

clinical faculty appointments at Brigham and Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital in Boston and at Harvard Medical School, according to a biography at the Palo Alto venture firm Skyline Ventures, where he had been a managing director. At Stanford University Medical School, Dr. Sullivan was chief medical resident (in 1985) and an assistant clinical professor. He was a practicing physician at the Menlo Medical Clinic. For a decade, he had â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the largest medical practices in Silicon Valley,â&#x20AC;? the Skyline biography says, adding that it was during this time that his interests turned to venture capital. After his Harvard program, Dr. Sullivan joined the healthcare IT firm Eclipsys as the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first staff clinician and one of its first employees, the Skyline bio says. After Eclipsys Stephen was acquired Sullivan by Allscripts in 2010, Dr. Sullivan co-founded HEALTHvision, a spinout later bought by Lawson Software. At Skyline, Dr. Sullivan â&#x20AC;&#x153;found much fulfillmentâ&#x20AC;? in financing and advising medical technology start-ups, the family said. He was a member of several advisory boards, including for the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke, the Industrial Advisory Board of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Catherine Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship at New York University and Stanford, the SPARK Scholar program, and the Coulter Foundation. He also coached entrepreneurial students at several universities. In its first season in the National Hockey League, the San Jose Sharks employed Dr. Sullivan as its team internist. In 2011, Dr. Sullivan moved with his wife Jay to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to do consulting work for Silicon Valley firms that have Middle East operations. His most recent plans included a healthcare innovation talk set for Saudi Arabia and evaluating entries in a business-plan competition in Ireland. Dr. Sullivan is survived by his See Sullivan, page 14


New mayor looks forward to ‘economic renaissance’ By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


ewly minted Mayor Peter Ohtaki appears ready to get down to business. He told the public he was excited about the “economic renaissance” of Menlo Park, and looking forward to using technology to streamline the city’s business development process. The mayor’s comments capped an evening of recognizing outgoing council members and welcoming the two new representatives on Dec. 4, one of whom, Ray Mueller, was elected by the council to serve as vice mayor. Community members, local officials and colleagues thanked Kelly Fergusson and Peter Ohtaki Andy Cohen, who left the dais after eight years on the council. “You all serve our community so well,” Patti Fry said. Ms. Fergusson, who lost her bid for a third term by 235 votes, received kudos for her work on everything from the downtown plan to the city’s block parties and advocating for the use of native tree species. She thanked her family and supporters. “It certainly has been a privilege to serve the people of Menlo Park during these past eight years.” Mr. Cohen, acknowledged for his outspoken support of “the underdog” on issues such as housing, likewise thanked his

colleagues and the public. “I have often been a challenge to work with,” he noted. Mr. Mueller and Catherine Carlton, who collected 5,841 and 5,530 votes, respectively, in the November election, were sworn in. City Clerk Margaret Roberts noted that Menlo Park saw 83 percent voter turnout. That left choosing the new mayor and vice mayor as the final business of the evening. The city’s non-binding policy states that council members who have served at least one year and have yet to hold the lead office take priority, leaving Mr. Ohtaki as the top choice to replace Kirsten Keith as mayor. Making her first official motion as a council member, Ms. Carlton nominated Mr. Mueller as vice mayor, with the rest of the council in agreement. The new council has its work cut out. “My heart’s been heavy these past few weeks,” Mr. Mueller said, referring to the spate of gang-fueled violence within the city. He declared chasing crime from the city to be his top priority. The “economic renaissance” anticipated by the mayor will also bring its own share of political struggles as the council attempts to weigh development versus quality of life, with statemandated updates to its housing capacity and a proposed eightacre mixed-use complex off El Camino Real among the topics worrying residents.





Car thief on the lam steals soy milk Running from the police makes a man thirsty. When Menlo Park officers caught up with Valentin Arias Jimenez, they discovered the alleged car thief chugging stolen soy milk beverages, according to the district attorney’s office. The 29-year-old East Palo Alto resident fled after reportedly ramming a stolen car into a police vehicle, then hiding inside a Madera Avenue home’s garage before he was arrested Nov. 1. The homeowner confirmed that there had been six VitaSoy beverages stored in the garage; after the impromptu visit, there were three.

He remains in custody on $50,000 bail, the district attorney said, and also faces deportation as an undocumented immigrant to Mexico, his country of origin. Mr. Jimenez was arrested for possessing a stolen car, assault with a deadly weapon, felony hit and run, and resisting or obstructing a police officer. He pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court on Nov. 2. The district attorney’s office said he has three prior convictions for felony car theft during the past eight years. —Sandy Brundage

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December 12, 2012

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Irene Elizabeth DeVivo

Woodside woman offers guide to catering business

June 27, 1946 – November 18, 2012 Irene DeVivo died at Stanford University Hospital on November 18, 2012 following a long struggle with cancer. Irene, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with a rare form of non-small cell lung cancer in July 2010 and continued a normal life for the majority of the time following diagnosis. The family is forever grateful for the dedication, skill and compassion of the Stanford medical oncology team who succeeded in giving Irene a quality of life and time that exceeded all expectations. Irene is survived by her husband, Doug, who she married on November 18, 1967 when he was a young Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern university; her two children: son Christian, daughter Jessica Wegley (Chris); grandson Bradford Douglas Wegley; and siblings Rita Curran and Jack and Ed Skamarakas. Irene was born in Boston, Massachusetts and attended Mt. Ida College and Northeastern University. She worked for several years at Northeastern before moving with Doug to Wilmington,

Delaware and then to the Bay Area in 1972. An Atherton resident for over thirty years, she was a vivacious and spirited volunteer for 25 years with ICare and an inveterate photographer and parent volunteer at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton where both of her children were students. Irene was a dedicated hiker and had hiked the mountains of Eastern Europe multiple times, and every summer hiked the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where the family maintains a vacation home. The true virtues of sweetness and kindness, devotion and involvement always graced Irene’s presence. Her lively spirit always brought joy to people around her. A Memorial Service will be held Wednesday December 19, 2012 at Stanford Memorial Church at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Irene can do so with a gift in Irene’s name to Thoracic Oncology Research at Stanford Cancer Institute sent to Medical Center Development, 3172 Porter Drive, Suite 210, Palo Alto, CA 94304; checks payable to Stanford University. PA I D

By Jane Knoerle Almanac Lifestyles Editor



ver think about becoming a caterer? Read Doris Coonrad’s new book, “Cooking up a Catering Business” ($25), based on her 30-plus years in the business. Ms. Coonrad will be at Roberts Market in Woodside from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, to sign the self-published book and offer samples from its recipe section. Ms. Coonrad, a Woodside resident, has written a practical and entertaining guide to the catering business. The book is also a cookbook for those who “entertain groups, both large and small.” Along with down-to-earth advice, Ms. Coonrad regales the reader with tales of her

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December 12, 2012

culinary adventures, from triumphs to near-disasters. Ms. Coonrad’s experience in cooking for a crowd began in college when she became program director for San Francisco State College Camp in the Sierras, preparing meals for 26 people on the cook’s day Doris Coonrad off. She skipped graduation to marry Warren Coonrad, a geologist for USGS. They lived in Alaska, Hawaii, West Africa, and all over California, meanwhile raising four kids. A hostess who “loved entertaining,” she became known for putting on great parties. When the couple was posted in Liberia, she produced “beach events” for the Peace Corp, the U.S. Embassy and visiting VIPs and diplomats. After Ms. Coonrad put on a luau for a friend in Marin County, her business, Catering by Coonrad, got its start in the Bay Area in the late 1970s when she began catering for friends in the Stanford community. In the book she notes there was a time when her company was doing about one job a week, just for Stanford. The book’s extensive recipe section contains many favorites Ms. Coonrad has used over the years, ranging from Cheese Nips (serves 25) to Berry Cobbler (serves 12 to 15), her most popular dessert. There are also many family-size recipes, some reflecting her years in Hawaii and Africa. She has also included actual menus used for brunches, luncheons, buffet dinners, and finger-food buffets. Doris Coonrad is also available for teaching cooking or consulting for weddings or other events. Call 851-7483. A

SULLIVAN continued from page 12

wife Jay; his daughter Kathryn of Seoul; sons Jack of Shanghai and Mike of Kuala Lumpur; his father John; and brothers Mike, Ed, Gregory and Kevin. A memorial service has been held. The family is asking that donations in Dr. Sullivan’s memory be made to the Stephen J. Sullivan Memorial Fund, Stanford University, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford CA 94309.


SLAC project manager dies Richard “Dick” Barr Neal, who directed the team of physicists, engineers and technicians who designed and constructed the two-mile-long Linear Electron Accelerator at Stanford University, died Nov. 22 in Solana Beach. He was 95. Mr. Neal, who retired from SLAC in 1985, was part of a small group that met in 1957 at the home of Wolfgang Panofsky, who would later become SLAC’s first director, to discuss preliminary plans for building a giant linear accelerator. The machine was authorized by Congress in 1961 and was constructed during 1962-66. Mr. Neal came to Stanford as a graduate student in 1947 and received his doctorate in physics in 1953. He worked on a series of linear accelerators at the university. His thesis was a report about the 220-footlong Mark III accelerator, a precursor to the two-mile-long accelerator. At SLAC, Mr. Neal served as associate director of the laboratory and head of the technical division responsible for the design and constructor of the accelerator. After completion of SLAC, Mr. Neal continued as professor of physics and associate director of the laboratory until his retirement. After retiring, the family moved from Menlo Park to Solana Beach. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Gail Annette Neal; daughter Martha “Marti” Neal of Solana Beach and son Richard F. Neal of Bonny Doon.

Lacrosse director Matt Bond has been named managing director of the Menlo Park Youth Lacrosse Grizzlies Club. Mr. Bond played lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University from 1991 to 1995 and has been coaching at the youth and high school levels for the past 18 years. He also serves as the varsity offensive coordinator for lacrosse at Menlo-Atherton High School. Off the field Mr. Bond served as a youth pastor for 18 years, most recently at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church from 2009 to 2012. Mr. Bond has also started SixFifty Lacrosse, which provides a high school fall indoor league and after-school lacrosse at elementary and middle schools. The after-school program is offered at Oak Knoll, Hillview, La Entrada and St. Raymond schools. Visit MenloAthertonLacrosse. com for more information.


Continued from page 7

ing a compilation of all accidents along the town’s section of the corridor involving pedestrians

and bicyclists. Meanwhile, council members were not willing to endorse a project to install a traffic signal at El Camino and Selby Lane, but after being told that allow-

ing Caltrans to request funding from the county wouldn’t commit the town, they agreed to allow the state agency to begin the process. Mr. Kashiwagi said that Cal-

trans estimates the cost of the traffic signal to be $450,000 to $600,000. Caltrans would pay half the cost, while Atherton and the county would each pay 25 percent. A

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2012 Environmental Quality Awards! The City of Menlo Park’s Environmental Quality Commission is seeking nominations for the 2012 Environmental Quality Awards. Please help to nominate people, projects, efforts or property designs that contribute to environmental quality improvement in Menlo Park.

Nominations are due Monday January 14, 2013. Awards will be presented at a City Council meeting.

To apply: Please visit Environmental Programs at For questions: Call (650) 330-6740 or email


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N H o l i d ay

F u n d M

Clubs help youths avoid being ‘another statistic’ By Randi Shafton, development and marketing director, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.


From left, BGCP Executive Director Peter Fortenbaugh, Director of School-Site Programs Lara Fox, Youth of the Year Representative Oscar Delgado, School Site Unit Director Liz Calderon, and Assistant Director Jacqueline Garcia at the Youth of the Year Celebration.

tand in public and share your life’s journey in front of 200 people? Get grilled by a panel of community leaders including Menlo Park City Mayor Kirsten Keith; Menlo Park City Council member Richard Cline and Commander Lacey Burt of the Menlo Park Police Department? How many eighth-grade students would be brave enough to do this? At the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula (BGCP), Youth of the Year candidates view it as an honor. BGCP Youths of the Year are selected based on accomplishments, resiliency, and speaking ability. They exemplify their strengths through an intense series of essays, interviews and speeches. Their tremendous effort and heart are even more impressive knowing that the odds are against them. In the neighborhoods of East Palo Alto, Eastern Menlo Park, and Redwood City over half of the youth do not graduate from high school. The Youths of the Year must overcome these hardships and adversities that plague their community and prove that they are not another statistic. BGCP Executive Director Peter Fortenbaugh remarked: “Youth of the Year is an amazing experience for our members to share their accomplishments with the community. Their stories are so inspirational.” And because BGCP serves all youth, every story is unique: n Nestor loves riding his bike and feeling the wind race through his hair. Growing up in East Palo Alto, he saw how many children never had the chance to ride a bike. Instead,

The Almanac

Holiday Fund 2012

Gifts to the Almanac’s Holiday Fund help the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula and nine other community organizations.

The Almanac

Holiday Fund

he witnessed gangs, violence and obesity. Nestor plans to change that by starting a cycling club in his community. In2012 the future, he plans to attend college and open a bicycle shop, where he can share the feeling of freedom he gets when riding a bike. Nestor believes that “passions are great tools to clear your mind from any issues you face. And I know my passions will help me succeed.” n Oscar knows the importance of education. He dreams of a world where immigrant children are supported in school so that they can discover their dreams and find a quality career. Oscar describes our world as one that is full of “obstacles that stop teens from becoming productive members of society.” With the right support, “youth can achieve their full potential.” This year, 17 youths competed to be named BGCP’s Youth of the Year. Judges were in awe of every candidate’s confidence, self-esteem and talent. At the end of the night, Mr. Fortenbaugh announced Oscar as the BGCP Youth of the Year representative, and every youth was celebrated for their great achievement. Visit or contact Randi Shafton at RShafton@ for more information. A

Microsoft folks build bikes for kids Thirty-nine kid-sized bikes and helmets, assembled by employees from the Silicon Valley campus of Microsoft Corp. in Mountain View, were given away recently at the nonprofit InnVision Shelter Network’s Haven House at 260 Van Buren Road in Menlo Park. Bike-building was one of many volunteer activities at Microsoft in October, with 83 percent of employees participating by giving either time or resources, according to a company spokesperson. The corporation celebrates its 30th employee Giving Campaign this year. InnVision Shelter Network, which has shelter locations throughout the Peninsula and in San Jose, says it works toward ending homelessness for a population of over 20,000 men, women and children in Silicon Valley and the Peninsula. 16

The Almanac

December 12, 2012



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Your gift helps children

Family nurse practitioner Ivonne Velado, left, with Marta Alvarez.

Transforming health care for the community By Kathleen Alexander, communications director, Ravenswood Family Health Center.


s health care reform is debated on the national stage, a local health clinic in Menlo Park quietly carries out its mission to ensure that no one is excluded from receiving health care because they can’t afford it or don’t have insurance or because they have a pre-existing condition. The Belle Haven Clinic, tucked between the Onetta Harris Community Center and Senior Center, makes health care accessible to all who walk through the door. It is part of Ravenswood Family Health Center (RFHC), a federally qualified community health center that belongs to a movement dating back to the 1960s, when poor people had little hope of getting health care. A cardinal principle in the community health center movement is that everyone needs to be able to get primary medical care. When Marta Alvarez first came to the Belle Haven Clinic, she was struggling with depression compounded by poorly controlled diabetes. A refugee from violence in Guatemala, she fled to America 30 years ago. Leaving family and a profession was costly and finding her place in her adopted country was challenging. She says that what helped her most wasn’t simply being able to get health care at Belle Haven, but rather the kind of health care she receives. She recalls how the receptionist Yuliza Elias first greeted her, “How are you beautiful lady.” The warmth of staff, their interest in her wellbeing started her on a road back to health under the guidance of Ivonne Velado, FNP, her medical provider. Velado speaks Spanish, so Marta talks freely with her. “She is like a travel companion or a supportive guide on my road to health.” Marta has learned to value her health and make the best choices.

As a community health center, the clinic provides far more than primary medical care. It is a gateway to a family of services including prenatal care, chronic-disease management, and access to dental care and mental health counseling. Last year, 11,000 patients received care in a total of 78,000 service encounters at Ravenswood’s medical, behavioral health and dental clinics. The majority live in the multi-ethnic communities of East Palo Alto, Belle Haven and North Fair Oaks in Redwood City; 96 percent live at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty threshold (earning $23,050 for a family of four).

The Almanac

Holiday Fund 2012

Gifts to the Almanac’s Holiday Fund help the Ravenswood Family Health Center and nine other community organizations.

The Almanac

Holiday Fund

Nationally recognized in 2012, RFHC received a Health Innovation grant for its chronic care model that motivates behavior change 2012 in complex chronic-disease patients, thereby reducing costly ER visits or hospitalization. Ravenswood has a multidimensional approach that incorporates self-management training, health classes on nutrition, and cooking to improve diet. It throws in a class on organic gardening at its patient garden that now has a healthy crop of winter vegetables. Belle Haven Clinic at 100 Terminal Ave. in Menlo Park is a satellite clinic of Ravenswood Family Health Center, based in East Palo Alto. To reach Belle Haven Clinic, call 321-0980 or the main clinic at 330-7400, or go online to

and people in need


ontributions to the Holiday Fund go directly to programs that benefit Peninsula residents. Last year, Almanac readers and foundations contributed $167,000 for the 10 agencies that feed the hungry, house the homeless and provide numerous other services to those in need. Contributions to the Holiday Fund will be matched, to the extent possible, by generous community corporations, foundations and

individuals, including the Rotary Club of Menlo Park, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. No administration costs will be deducted from the gifts, which are taxdeductible as permitted by law. All donations to the Holiday Fund will be shared equally among the 10 recipient agencies listed below.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula

St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room

Provides after-school and academic support and activities for 3,200 young people, 6 to 18, at clubhouses in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood, East Palo Alto, and Redwood City, and offers programs at Flood and Belle Haven schools in Menlo Park, Hoover Community School in Redwood City, and McNair School in East Palo Alto

Serves hundreds of hot meals six days a week to people in need who walk through the doors. Funded entirely by voluntary contributions, St. Anthony’s is the largest dining room for the needy between San Francisco and San Jose. It also offers emergency food and clothing assistance.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Ecumenical Hunger Program

The largest collector and distributor of food on the Peninsula, Second Harvest Food Bank distributed 30 million pounds of food last year. It gathers donations from individuals and businesses and distributes food to some 162,000 people each month through more than 700 agencies and distribution sites in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Provides emergency food, clothing, household essentials, and sometimes financial assistance to families in need, regardless of religious preference, including Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for more than 2,000 households.

Project Read

Provides free literacy services to adults in the Menlo Park area. Trained volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups to help adults improve their basic reading, writing and English language skills so they can achieve their goals and function more effectively at home, at work and in the community. In 2007-08, a total of 120 tutors assisted more than 300 students.

InnVision Shelter Network

St. Francis Center

Provides training and job placement for people with the biggest problems, including returning parolees, long-term unemployed, homeless, welfare clients, marginalized youth, and those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.

Provides shelter/housing and supportive services across 18 sites in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Peninsula. Serves thousands of homeless families and individuals annually on their path back to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.


Provides services for families in need with the goal of helping them to live in dignity and become self-supporting community members. The center assists 2,400 people each month with such services as low-income housing, food and clothing, shower and laundry, counseling, community garden, and education.

StarVista (formerly Youth and Family Enrichment Services) Provides 22 programs to help people who struggle with substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health, and relationship and communications issues. Helps strengthen youth, families, and individuals to overcome challenges through counseling, education, and residential services.

Ravenswood Family Health Center

Provides primary medical and preventive health care for all ages at its clinics in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto. It also operates a mobile clinic at school sites. Of the 16,500 registered patients, most are low-income and uninsured and live in the ethnically diverse East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks areas.

DONATE ONLINE: Use the form below to donate by mail. Enclosed is a donation of $_______________ Name ___________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________ City/State/Zip ______________________________________________

Please Make checks payable to: Silicon Valley Community Foundation and send to: The Almanac Holiday Fund c/o Silicon Valley Community Foundation 2440 W. El Camino Real, Suite 300 Mountain View, CA 94040

E-Mail __________________________________________________ Phone _______________________________

❑ Credit Card (MC, VISA, or AMEX) ________________________________________________ Expires _____/_____ Signature _________________________________________________________ I wish to designate my contribution as follows: (select one)

❑ In my name as shown above – OR – ❑ In honor of: ❑ In memory of: _______________________________________________ (Name of person) The Almanac Holiday Fund is a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. A contribution to this fund allows your donation to be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

All donors and gifts amounts will be published in The Almanac unless the boxes below are checked.

❑ I wish to contribute anonymously. ❑ Please withhold the amount of my contribution. The organizations below provide major matching grants to the Holiday Fund.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Rotary Club of Menlo Park

The Almanac will make every effort to publish donor names for donations received before Dec. 31, 2012, unless the donor checks the anonymous box. All donations will be acknowledged by mail.

December 12, 2012

The Almanac


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, Rosanna Leung, 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 October 1065, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside and adjacent unincorporated areas of southern San



Bridges need replacement but who pays?


he topic was not unusual for a city council meeting anyTo replace the bridges would cost around $6.5 million, the where in the country: a discussion about whether the engineer said, which means Woodside could be on the hook for town should take advantage of a federal program that maybe $750,000. Town Manager Kevin Bryant said the town’s would pay around 90 percent of the cost to replace three of the $500,000 annual road maintenance allotment could be reditown’s aging bridges. rected to defray part of the contribution. The engineer did note With federal money for capital projects that can be blocked by that the town could maintain the current bridges on its own and a Republican-led Congress, it can be difficult to obtain funding maybe extend their lives by 20 years, but it would cost the town in mostly Democratic California. Many local governments would about half of the total cost of the federal project, hardly worth it. jump at the chance to obtain 90 percent funding for bridges that Still, the council delayed action until the engineer could assess were built 100 or more years ago. how much it would cost for the town to do its EDI TORI AL But at the Woodside Town Council table on own bridge maintenance. The opinion of The Almanac Nov. 13, the talk for one council member was Despite the bravado of council memnot centered on protecting future constituents ber Shanahan about possibly refusing federal from what will eventually become unsafe bridgmoney “borrowed from the Chinese,” the counes but on “taking federal government money borrowed from the cil has little choice but to begin planning now for new bridges. Chinese to rebuild bridges in the richest part of the county. ... I To not do so would run the risk of Caltrans restricting traffic have a problem with that,” said council member Tom Shanahan, or placing weight limits on the bridges, which were built when a conservative member of the council. vehicles weighed a fraction of what they do today. Mr. Shanahan went on to say: “There must be bridges in EngBringing the bridges up to current standards means they must land and France that are a lot older than this. I just don’t under- be widened to accommodate bikes and equestrians, and the stand what we’re doing.” Following several seconds of silence in approaches must be built to protect vehicles from hitting the the room, council member Dave Burow said he sympathized blunt ends of the bridge rails. The work will probably make the with Mr. Shanahan’s sentiment, although it was not clear that Mr. bridges wider than the roadway, but it should not detract from Burow would support action based on that line of thinking. their rural character once the vegetation grows back. The discussion came up as a professional engineer explained Besides, like other communities that need to replace bridges to the council why Caltrans had listed three bridges on Portola, and other large infrastructure items, Woodside qualifies to Mountain Home and Kings Mountain roads as “structurally receive $6.5 million from the bridge replacement program. Mr. deficient” and “functionally obsolete.” In 20 years or so, Caltrans Shanahan aside, the council did not indicate whether it would could forbid heavy traffic like cement mixers and possibly fire accept or refuse federal money. We believe the council should trucks and garbage trucks from using the bridges, which would consider this project routine maintenance and start the ball severely cripple delivering crucial services to some neighbor- rolling before residents begin to get nervous about following a hoods. cement or fire truck over a bridge.

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.

L ETT E RS Our readers write

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.


The Almanac

Editor: I would like to commend a Portola Valley volunteer for his exemplary service. Carter Warr is ending 20 years as a member of the ASCC, the Town’s architectural review commission. I was on the board with Carter for over 10 of those years and have great respect for his professionalism, expertise in local matters, and commitment to core town values. We did not always agree on a project, but he was always respectful of other opinions. When a project occasionally got stuck, applicants would benefit from the counseling he offered to get it back on track. Many hours are involved in these volunteer positions. I trust he will enjoy some additional free time and catch a few more Monday night football games. Bud Eisberg Portola Valley

December 12, 2012

Woodside History Committee

Our Regional Heritage The third Neuman Brothers store in Woodside was busy on this day in 1908, a time of transition from horses to motorized vehicles. The store was located near the southeast corner of Woodside and Mountain Home roads, where the Gilbert Center is today.

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Your Child’s Health University Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital offers classes and seminars designed to foster good health and enhance the lives of parents and children. INFANT & CHILD CPR

This 2 1/4 -hour course provides an opportunity for new parents, grandparents and other childcare providers to learn the techniques of infant and child CPR and choking prevention. Infant and child manikins provide hands-on training. - Two classes: Monday, January 7: 3:00 – 5:15 pm & 5:30 – 7:45 pm

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A Hopeful Future

We love, challenge, and equip former foster youth


A two-part workshop for expectant couples and new parents in their first postpartum trimester, this program designed by Drs. John and Julie Schwartz Gottman will assist in preserving the couple relationship and developing the relationship between parents and baby. - Two Saturdays, January 12 & 19: 10:00 am – 3:30 pm


Designed for new and expectant grandparents, this class examines changes in labor and delivery practices, the latest recommendations for infant care and the unique role of grandparents in the life of their grandchild. - Monday, January 14: 6:00 – 8:30 pm


Dr. Courtney Jane Wusthoff, Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Packard Children’s Hospital will examine the brain’s amazingly rapid development in a baby’s first months and years and note some of the differences in how a preterm baby’s brain matures. This is a free seminar. RSVP is requested. - Tuesday, January 22: 7:00 – 8:30 pm

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

Only 1 to 5% of California’s foster youth will earn a college degree. These students have the drive. What they lack is support to overcome a myriad of complex emotional, developmental and economic issues, preventing them from reaching a goal that 85% of them express having. College students who have suffered traumatic childhoods are shown how to move forwards with confidence through monthly programming at local campuses. We help them grasp: “You have what it takes.”


Support Local Business

~ Workshop to help overcome emotional, relational, academic and career hindrances ~ One-to-one coaching sessions ~ Long-term mentoring ~ Leadership Development ~ Ability to earn gift cards, clothing & other basic needs ~ Web-based coaching to re-enforce workshop topics It takes a community to rebuild shattered lives. Through your financial giving, YOU can be part of that community that helps students, who spent their childhoods in foster care, build their academic resilience, develop a network of support and gain emotional stability. Tax-deductible contributions may be made online at OR make check payable to Jeremiah’s Promise, Inc. and mail to P.O. Box 1393, Palo Alto, CA 94302. Our Tax ID is 75-30792265

The online guide to Menlo Park businesses

Support The Almanac’s coverage of our community. Memberships begin at only 17¢ per day Join today: December 12, 2012

The Almanac





95 Fleur Place, Atherton

93 Camino Por Los Arboles, Atherton

459 Walsh Road, Atherton

7 bedrooms, 9 full-, 2 half-baths, gorgeous grounds; guest house and pool Offered at $11,750,000

Opportunity in prime Central Atherton; approx. 2.54 level acres with original home Offered at $13,800,000

4-bedroom, 3.5 bath home with resort-like amenities; pool, spa & tennis; Las Lomitas schools Offered at $3,850,000




187 Byrant Street, Palo Alto

1000 Louise Street, Menlo Park

24 San Juan Avenue, Menlo Park

Remodeled condo with amazing outdoor living, 4-bedroom, 3 bath, two-story end unit Offered at $1,795,000

Mediterranean villa in West Menlo, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, corner lot with pool Offered at $4,395,000

New construction, Mediterranean with modern interior design, 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 1 half-bath Offered at $3,450,00




196 Selby Lane, Atherton

396 Atherton Avenue, Menlo Park

838 Partridge Avenue, Menlo Park

Craftsman with 5-bedrooms, 4.5 baths, glorious gardens, pool & spa; private cul-de-sac Offered at $3,495,000

Brand new construction, 6-bedroom, 7-full, 2-half bath on over one acre Offered at $14,500,000

Charming remodeled home in Allied Arts, one level with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths Offered at $1,085,000

Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Very Happy New Year For virtual tours of these properties, please visit

650 329 6645 DRE# 01066910


The Almanac

December 12, 2012

Coldwell Banker Top 1% Internationally Top 100 Nationally, Wall Street Journal, 2012

The Almanac 12. 12. 2012 - section 1  

Section 1 of the December 12, 2012 edition of the Almanac

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