AN ALMANAC, MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE AND PALO ALTO WEEKLY PUBLICATION
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Spring Home + Garden Design INDOOR/OUTDOOR — AND THEN SOME IN PALO ALTO PAGE 16 SMALL PROJECTS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN PALO ALTO | PAGE 4 AN EYE TOWARDS AGING IN PLACE IN PORTOLA VALLEY | PAGE 10 REMODEL OR MOVE? IN MOUNTAIN VIEW | PAGE 24
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COMPELLING ACCOUNT OF THE HARD-WON SUCCESS OF SUNSET MAGAZINE Section 2
W W W. T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M
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2 N The Almanac N TheAlmanacOnline.com N April 10, 2013
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OPENING EYES TO SUNGLASS PROTECTION Just as the most expensive pair of sunglasses do not necessarily better protect eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, neither do sunglasses with the darkest lenses. In fact, they may do more harm than good. When dark sunglasses are worn, the pupils dilate to let in more light. If dark lenses do not sufficiently block out UV rays, they are actually allowing more of these harmful rays to reach the eye than if no sunglasses were worn. Without UV-blocking ability, dark sunglasses
only filter out the ambient light, not UV rays that can lead to cataracts and cancer. The recommendation remains to only purchase sunglasses that carry labels that guarantee to block UVA and UVB rays. The damage from ultraviolet rays is not limited to the skin. Whether you like to jog, bike, or sit in your yard, you need to wear sunglasses. Please bring your eyewear prescription to MENLO OPTICAL at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. We create lenses based on your prescription. Lenses can include UV ray protection and be fit into a wide variety of frames. Non-prescription sunglasses are also available. Call us at 322-3900 if you have any questions about lenses or frames. P.S. Unless they are specifically treated with UV coating, polarized lenses (which reduce glare) do not offer UV protection. Mark Schmidt is an American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners CertiďŹ ed Optician licensed by the Medical Board of California. He can be easily reached at Menlo Optical, 1166 University Drive, Menlo Park. 650-322-3900.
Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac
The Raging Grannies rally to stop the development of the Keystone XL pipeline while waiting for President Obamaâ€™s motorcade on Alameda de las Pulgas on April 4.
Obama raises funds in Atherton President Barack Obama was in Atherton on Thursday, April 4, to attend two political fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee: a brunch for 30 at the home of Liz Simons and Mark Heising and a luncheon for 200 at the home of Marcia and John Goldman. The president got into some trouble at the Goldman home when he referred to California Attorney General Kamala Harris as â€œby far the best-looking attorney general in the country.â€? He later apologized to her, and she accepted the apology. Visit tinyurl.com/prez-462 to see the presidentâ€™s remarks at the home of Marcia and John Goldman. Visit tinyurl.com/prez-442 to see the presidentâ€™s remarks at the home of Liz Simons and Mark Heising. About 50 people gathered in the vicinity of Valparaiso Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas on Thursday to watch the presidential motorcade. About five police-escorted SUVs traveled east on Valparaiso Avenue and turned right on Alameda de last
Pulgas at about 10:30 a.m. In the cheerful crowd were those holding professionally made signs to rally against the Keystone XL pipeline. The Raging Grannies were there, too.
Athertonâ€™s city manager says the town will seek reimbursements of its costs from â€˜the responsible parties.â€™ The president flew to Atherton by helicopter, which took off from Crissy Field in San Francisco and landed at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. In San Francisco, he had attended two other political events, including a dinner at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty, to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The president arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday evening
for the fundraising trip, and departed SFO on Thursday afternoon. Costs to Atherton
The presidentâ€™s visit cost the town of Atherton $7,616.41 in police and public work services, according to Jennifer Frew of the police department. City Manager George Rodericks said â€œthe responsible partiesâ€? will be billed. When asked if that means local event hosts would be asked to cover the costs, or if the Democratic National Committee could expect a bill in the mail, Mr. Rodericks said, â€œWe will be contacting all parties involved.â€? Thereâ€™s not an ordinance on the books requiring reimbursement, he said. Former councilwoman Didi Fisher, at a special City Council meeting last week, urged the council to pass a law requiring hosts of presidential visits â€” regardless of political party affiliation â€” to cover costs to the town. â€”Bay City News Service contributed to this report.
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April 8 WEEKLY REAL ESTATE REPORT Reports available via the convenient QR code or at PeninsulaSpecialist.com Real Estate Statistics Updated Weekly for Atherton Woodside Portola Valley Menlo Park
Offering 30+ years of local knowledge. Born in Menlo Park. Raised in Atherton. A Woodside resident.
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April 10, 2013 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 3
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Menlo council to review Stanford project The university plans to submit revised plans this week. ■
By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer
tanford University said it will have the latest revision of its proposed eight-acre El Camino Real complex ready this week — just in time for the Menlo Park City Council to carry out a review of the new specific plan as it relates to that project. The university and developer John Arrillaga want to replace the car lots along 300 to 500 El Camino Real with a mixed-use
complex. The most recent proposal suggested 96,000 square feet of medical offices, 133,500 square feet of offices, 10,000 square feet of retail, and up to 150 apartments. The council voted 3-0 on April 2, with Cat Carlton absent and Ray Mueller recused, to put the review on the council’s April 16 agenda. Councilman Rich Cline said that, to date, the proposal was not in any way what the university discussed doing during the creation of the specific plan, and it violated the spirit of the plan. Councilwoman Kirsten Keith, who along with Mr. Cline asked
the council to consider reviewing the project, said she wanted to make sure the public had a chance to be heard. However, she said, she wanted “to be very clear” that she thought there is a way “to make this a good project for Menlo Park. I just think it’s time to have a dialogue.” Dozens of residents have raised concerns about the complex’s potential traffic impacts, among other issues, and formed a grassroots coalition that called for an early review of the specific plan in protest of the development. Menlo Park is currently conducting a traffic analysis.
The council asked city staff to provide an evaluation of options ranging from removing the Stanford parcels from the specific plan to a possible moratorium on medical office construction. City Attorney Bill McClure said the staff report for the April 16 meeting would include discussion of the legal viability of those options. Reviewing the physical details of the Stanford project currently falls under the Planning Commission’s responsibilities. The commission will take a look at the project after the new batch of changes are submitted to the city.
Although Stanford wasn’t ready to go into detail about those changes, city officials told the Almanac they expect to see a significant reduction of medical offices and a redesign of a public plaza off Middle Avenue. The council’s decision to review the project before the Planning Commission takes a look at the revised design set off alarms for local government watchdog Peter Carpenter, who has since said he plans to create a website “that will contain facts, quotes from elected officials and case studies to help potential See STANFORD PROJECT, page 12
Woodside considers $52,000 fine for illegal tree-cutting By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
ay laurel trees get no respect by many in Northern California because they harbor the nefarious microbes that cause Sudden Oak Death. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have legal standing, at least not in Woodside. The Town Council will hear an appeal by Woodside property owner Rajiv Gujral, who received notice in January of a municipal code violation over the unlawful felling in December of six mature bay laurel trees on his property at 330 Jane Drive. Mr. Gujral is appealing the staff decision requiring him to pay a penalty of $52,500. The council meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in Independence Hall near the corner of Woodside and Whiskey Hill roads. Woodside requires property owners to obtain a $50 tree destruction permit from Town Hall, a process that also involves
a visit to the property by town officials. The prescribed fines for cutting significant trees without a permit are $5,000 for the first tree, $7,500 for the second, and $10,000 for each subsequent tree. Significance depends on species. A faster growing native tree becomes significant when it measures more than 9.5 inches in diameter at 4 feet above the ground. For non-native trees like the eucalyptus and Monterey cypress, the standard is 11.5 inches. Over the past few years, the Woodside council has heard three appeals of staff decisions and lowered the fine every time. Residents do get tree cutting permits, Deputy Town Manager Paul Nagengast said in an interview. The town issued 339 permits over the previous three years. In 2013, the town has issued 29 so far, Mr. Nagengast said. Also on the agenda: a council discussion of a draft historic preservation ordinance for Woodside. A
Michelle Le/The Almanac
Excelling in math, reading, and barbering Erik Burmeister asked for it, and he got it. Hillview School eighth-grader Andrew gives his principal’s head a close shave on April 5 while students Madeline, left, and Gaby watch. The students were among the four top-ranked achievers in the school’s test Acceleration Model program, begun in January to help kids who are struggling with math and reading. The principal had promised that the program’s top achievers could shave his head, and he’s a man of his word.
Residents picked for Town Center panel By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor
f the Atherton City Council’s most recent vote were a popularity contest, Philip Lively would be the man about town wearing a crown. He was the only candidate of 13 to win the endorsement of all five council members as an appointee to the newly formed Community
Center Advisory Committee, which will lead the citizen effort to build the Atherton’s new Town Center. The council met on April 3 to choose seven members of the committee, which will also include Mayor Elizabeth Lewis and Councilman Jim Dobbie, with Councilman Bill Widmer serving as alternate.
The other CCAC members, chosen in one round of council voting, are: Former councilwoman Didi Fisher, Rose Hau and Steve Dostart, who along with Mr. Lively served on an earlier task force that studied options to rebuild the Town Center; and Rick DeGolia, Clive Merredew and Paul Tonelli. All members of the earlier
Town Center task force who applied for the new committee were appointed. Ms. Hau and Mr. Dostart won four of the five council members’ votes, and the others were supported by three members. The CCAC is expected to work for 12 to 18 months to shepherd the Town Center project, which will replace the aging and in some cases decrepit buildings that house the town’s police station, administrative offices,
library, and public services. Mayor Lewis noted at the start of the April 3 meeting that the effort to plan for and build a new center might serve to bring community members together on common ground — an appealing notion given the rancor and divisiveness that flared over an earlier plan to build the town’s library in HolbrookPalmer Park. See TOWN CENTER, page 6
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