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Inside this issue



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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 Obama’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 “by far the best-looking attorney general in the country.� He later apologized to her, and she accepted the apology. Visit to see the president’s remarks at the home of Marcia and John Goldman. Visit to see the president’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.

Atherton’s city manager says the town will seek reimbursements of its costs from ‘the responsible parties.’ 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 president’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 “the responsible parties� 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, “We will be contacting all parties involved.� There’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 — regardless of political party affiliation — to cover costs to the town. —Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero Media, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 940256558. Periodicals Postage Paid at Menlo Park, CA and at additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for San Mateo County, The Almanac is delivered free to homes in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. Subscriptions for $60 per year or $100 per 2 years are welcome. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025-6558. Copyright Š2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

April 8 WEEKLY REAL ESTATE REPORT Reports available via the convenient QR code or at 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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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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ith a May deadline right around the cor- Haven Avenue (540 units). All five sites would be zoned ner, Menlo Park has released the environmental and as high density — defined as 30 financial impact analyses for the units per acre — to qualify as upcoming housing plan update. affordable housing. The PlanThe Planning Commission ning Commission is scheduled and City Council scheduled to make recommendations on a joint session to review the the update on April 21, with council action to follow on reports on Tuesday, April 9. (Check May 22. To get a jump on the next for updates. This paper went to update cycle, Menlo Park is also press prior to the meeting.) The long-overdue update is considering implementing new part of the settlement of a law- programs to encourage construcsuit brought last year by three tion of 300 granny units and an nonprofits over Menlo Park’s additional 118 units on existing housing sites lack of compliance with excess space with state housing infill developlaw. The city needed for ment, according to During this update cycle, the to find sites where the staff report. The f isca l city needed to find zoning changes impact analysites where zoning changes could could allow about sis conducted by allow about 900 900 new housing consultants with BAE Urban Econew housing units units to be built. nomics concludes to be built, with that if all the units 454 units dedicated to affordable housing. Menlo considered by the housing plan Park held numerous community update were built, without any workshops and study sessions to counterbalancing commercial whittle the initial list of 25 sites development, the city’s revenues would dip into the negative by down to five: ■ A site at the Department of about $1.5 million a year because Veteran’s Affairs campus in the of added demands placed on 700 block of Willow Road (60 the Menlo Park’s administrahousing units). tive and community services. ■ Gateway Apartments at two However, if business developlocations: the 1200 block of Wil- ment occurs and revenues from low Road and the 1300 block projects such as Facebook and of Willow Road. Both sites are Menlo Gateway are included in owned by the Mid-Peninsula the analysis, the report projects Housing Coalition (78 units that that changes to a $4.2 miltotal). lion annual surplus. ■ Hamilton Avenue East locatGo to to ed in the 700 and 800 blocks of review the proposed changes, Hamilton Avenue (216 units). along with the environmental ■ A site in the 3600 block of and financial impact reports. A

TOWN CENTER continued from page 5

The plan had divided the council as well as the community, with only three council members — Jim Dobbie, Bill Widmer and Kathy McKeithen, now off the council — supporting it. It was defeated overwhelming in a November ballot measure, and as a result, the library is likely to remain in the Town Center. The resident who was a key player in the effort to build the library in the park, longtime town volunteer Denise Kupperman, also applied for a seat on

the new CCAC. She was chair of the advisory committee that focused for two years on the library rebuilding project, and at the meeting told the council that she could provide valuable knowledge gathered during that time “that would benefit the process.” Despite Mayor Lewis’ comments about launching a process that might bring the community together, the vote on Ms. Kupperman’s membership on the CCAC matched old alliances. She was supported by council members Dobbie and Widmer only. A

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Terminate private school lease, superintendent recommends By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


uperintendent Maurice Ghysels recommended that the Menlo Park City School District governing board terminate a private school’s lease on a district property two years before it’s set to expire. The board was almost certain to endorse that recommendation at its April 9 meeting. (Check for updates. The meeting occurred after the Almanac’s press time.) The German-American International School’s lease of the district’s former O’Connor school site in Menlo Park expires in June 2016, but the lease agreement includes a clause that lets the district terminate the lease earlier, with advance notice. If the superintendent’s recommendation is approved, the district would deliver that notice on April 10, requiring the private, bilingual-education school that

has leased the site since 1991 to vacate the campus in June 2014. GAIS officials and parents have pleaded with the district to give the school one more year at the site — until June 2015 — saying that, even though an intensive search for property was launched earlier, 15 months is not adequate time to find and prepare a new home. Without the additional year, the school may be forced to close, they say. A district staff report says that terminating the lease and opening a fifth district school at the O’Connor site, at 275 Elliot Drive, would allow the district to reduce the number of students at each of its existing campuses and maintain the “appropriate level of student/ teacher ratios.� The district has been struggling with a student enrollment increase that has surpassed the projections of demographic studies done over

the last 10-plus years. Current enrollment is 2,791, having increased by about 40 percent since 2000, according to Superintendent Ghysels. The staff report says that the latest study, completed last year, projects enrollment to rise to between 3,000 and 3,300 in the next decade. The board has been discussing various options for using the O’Connor campus, including integrating the nearby Laurel School and a new school on the O’Connor site to create a single K-5 neighborhood school. GAIS officials have pushed for the district to use available classroom space on the new Hillview Middle School campus, a sixththrough eighth-grade school, for fifth-grade classes through the 2014-15 school year, and allow the private school to remain on the O’Connor site until the end of that school year.

R EAL E STATE Q&A by Monica Corman

Why Is The Market So Active? Dear Monica: I am in the market to buy a home and have been unsuccessful so far. I have bid on two homes but was outbid by others whose offers were all cash and higher than mine. I would like to know why the market is so active because this may help me decide whether I can compete or not. Dan M. Dear Dan: This is one of the most active markets we have seen in several years. Multiple offers on properties in good locations up to 2.5 million are the norm and they are happening at other levels as well. There are a few reasons cited to explain this. First, interest rates are still extremely low and buyers like you are desirous of locking in these rates

on houses they will live in for a long time. Second, there are investors with cash buying real estate to rent out (the rental market is very strong) and who will hold the properties for appreciation. Third, there are foreign cash buyers who are either buying for investment or for their own use. These buyers are sometimes buying sight unseen, except what they have seen online. My advice to you is to stay informed about the market, be poised to make an offer if the right property comes along, and don’t be discouraged by the strong activity around you. This will even out eventually, as we have seen during previous times, and you will no doubt find a property that suits you.

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


Villareal resigns from PV school board By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


ith the resignation last week of longtime Portola Valley School District board member Ray Villareal, the school board will now fill two vacant seats when it meets later this month. The deadline to apply for a seat has been extended until Thursday, April 11. In an April 5 letter to Superintendent Carol Piraino and board President Jocelyn Swisher, Mr. Villareal cited his work-related travel schedule and “the excellent slate of candidates being considered as interim trustees� as his reason for resigning, effective April 8. The “excellent slate� of candidates had applied for the seat

vacated April 1 by Scott Parker, who announced his resignation in February after accepting a new job in Sonoma. The deadline to apply for Mr. Parker’s position had been set for March 28, and five people turned in applications: Caitha Calvello Ambler, Terry Lee, Richard Murphy, Matt Richter, and Karen Ann Tate. The board had planned to interview the candidates and appoint a new member on April 10, but had to reschedule the meeting for Wednesday, April 17, because of board members’ scheduling conflicts. With Mr. Villareal’s resignation, the district decided to extend the filing period and appoint both new members at the April 17 meeting. Both new members will have to

stand for election in November if they want to remain on the board for an additional four-year term. Mr. Parker’s and Mr. Villareal’s terms on the board were set to expire at the end of this year. To apply for the position, a resident must complete a form and a submit a letter of interest stating his or her experience in and commitment to educational, youth and community activities. The application and letter should be submitted by 5 p.m. April 11 to Superintendent Piraino at the district office, 4575 Alpine Road in Portola Valley. Go to for application materials, which can be found in the “Headlines and News� section of the home page; or call 851-1777, ext. 3001.

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Training officer of the year District Division Chief Frank Fraone of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District now has bragging rights as the state firefighter association’s “Training Officer of the Year.� He accepted the award in March, accompanied by colleagues from the district who had nominated him, citing his 32 years of experience and leadership in passing on the lessons learned on deployments during the Northridge earthquake, the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and other disasters. Of the 45 registered fire instructors in San Mateo County, 11 are from the district, which his colleagues attribute in part to Chief Fraone’s mentoring. Photo courtesy of MPFPD

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Menlo holds meeting on union contracts

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nyone interested in how union contracts are put together in Menlo Park may want to attend an informational meeting on Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. Sponsored by Councilman Ray Mueller the meeting comes just as the city starts a new round of negotiations, expected to take a couple months, with its employee unions on April 16. City Manager Alex McIntyre and Human Resources Director Gina Donnelly will attend to help answer questions. Email menlofuture@gmail.

com if you plan to attend. The location for the meeting will be announced closer to the date.

Menlo Park school is vandalized Vandals didn’t steal anything, but they left a calling card. Explicit graffiti spraypainted across the walls of La Entrada Middle School greeted Menlo Park police responding to a burglar alarm on Easter Sunday, March 31. Officers also found a busted window and small fire set outside an interior office door,

Volunteers sought for rail board The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board needs volunteers for its advisory committee to represent San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The nine-member group advises the board of directors on the needs of rail customers. It meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5:40 p.m. in San Carlos, one block from the San Carlos Caltrain Station. Go to or call 508-6223 to get an application, which are due by Friday, May 3. A

Christina Patton pitches perfect game Woodside High School’s Christina Patton pitched a perfect game April 2 to lead her team to a 11-0 victory over Menlo-Atherton in a Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division girls softball game. Menlo-Atherton batters struck out 15 times during the Bears’ loss to visiting Woodside. M-A (1-2, 4-9-1) managed just

two ground outs and a pop-up in foul territory. It was a six-inning game, so of the 18 outs, all but three were strikeouts by the right-handed Patton, a junior at Woodside High. The Woodside Wildcats now have a record of 11-4-1 overall and 2-0 in the PAL Ocean Division. Patton has a record of 10-4-1

and pitched a 7-inning nohitter earlier this season against Watsonville, said Coach Mike King, who is in his 10th season at Woodside High. At the plate, Patton batted 2 for 4, including a double, in the April 2 contest. Second baseman Rebecca Pilakowski fielded a tough ground ball to help preserve the perfect game.


“since (Menlo Park) doesn’t seem to want to play by the rules, i.e. respect its established zoning, then I think that prospective developers need to have easy access to case studies which demonstrate what the city actu-

ally does. Just the facts.� Mr. Carpenter’s recent comments to the council suggest that he views the attempt to force Stanford to modify a project that follows all specific plan requirements as disastrous for future development in Menlo Park: “Don’t be at all surprised if other developers now simply walk away from the zoo that is called the City of Menlo Park,� he wrote in an email on April 3. “(Menlo Park) is now a city without any credibility when it comes to zoning and planning — even thinking about removing parcels from the specific plan and moratoriums less than a year after the Specific Plan was adopted are clear signs of lunacy.�

continued from page 5

developers decide if they should attempt to locate a project in Menlo Park.� He told the Almanac that

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he historic Villa Lauriston on upper Alpine Road in Portola Valley is for sale, as is its now-unassociated gatehouse, the intriguing black stone castle-like tower that greets passersby at 451 Portola Road. The estate, when it was intact, encompassed hundreds of acres and was used to grow medicinal herbs, according to Linda Hymes, an agent for Intero Real Estate. Ms. Hymes is marketing the 100-year-old gatehouse — now called the Castle at Willow Brook Farm — and is asking just under $5.6 million. “It’s just been completely renovated,” she said. “It’s really beautiful.” The home is about 5,800 square feet and the property includes a stone guest cottage, work-

Photo courtesy Guy Masters

Villa Lauriston is scheduled to be sold at auction on April 21 by auction consultant Guy Masters and listing agent Olivia Decker of Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty.

shop, pool, enclosed garden and orchard, Ms. Hymes said in a statement.

Villa Lauriston, built by entrepreneur Herbert Law early in the 20th century, is up for auction at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 21, with starting bids at $8.88 million, auctioneer Guy Masters told the Almanac. “The grounds are superb and the house is extraordinary,” he said. Mr. Law used his estate to grow medicinal herbs for sale through Viavi, a health-remedy company that he owned, Ms. Hymes said. The gatehouse was home to a botanist hired to oversee the farm. The stone for the house came from nearby Corte Madera Creek, she said. The estate was also once home to a second unfinished mansion begun in 1929 and meant for Mr. Law’s daughter Patricia, according to a 2000 account in the Almanac by Nancy Lund, a Portola Valley historian. The plans included a main residence, garages, stables and gardens, Ms. Lund wrote. “During the construction of her mansion, Patricia was growing up a privileged child, largely isolated from the world,” Ms. Lund wrote. “In 1926 a newspaper reporter had written about her as a two-year-old child living alone in her own San Francisco penthouse, cared for by servants, while her parents were abroad. She was educated mainly by tutors. The late John Skrabo, who grew up in Portola Valley, used to ride horses with her and remembered her as beautiful and an excellent horsewoman. Not many details of her life have survived.” Go to for more. A

Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2pm Tickets $22 - $24, 650 -Fox-7770 or <> Fox Theater, 2223 Broadway, Redwood City, 94063 Chamber Orchestra and English Supertitles and 16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN April 10, 2013 LET’S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues at Town Square at


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Menlo Park hikes fees for classes, facility rentals By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


hanges to Menlo Park fees for community services such as gymnastics classes, sports programs and facility rentals will add approximately $178,125 to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual revenue. The City Council voted 4-0 on April 2 to approve the increases and also added a new annual permit fee of $135 for food truck vendors. Councilman Rich Cline asked the city staff how the city planned to enforce the food truck fees, given the mobility of the vehicles. The staff said that the city would likely conduct random inspections and respond to complaints. A new $75 facility cleaning fee for spaces rented to accommodate more than 100 people and implementation of a 7 percent increase in phases for gymnastics classes appear to be part of an attempt by Menlo Park to leverage the new Arrillaga Family Recreation and Gymnastics centers for an estimated $66,000 in annual revenue.

Increases to various project fees, including heritage tree removal and traffic impact fee appeals, may be used in part to fund a mediation program as suggested by Vice Mayor Ray Mueller, who said he wanted a way for project applicants and residents to talk face to face about controversial projects without disagreements becoming â&#x20AC;&#x153;another world war.â&#x20AC;? One of the largest hikes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from $300 to $500 for storm water operations and management agreements â&#x20AC;&#x201D; likely wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affect many residents. That fee is expected to cover staff time spent coordinating with applicants, attorneys and engineers, according to the report. The Belle Haven program for school-age children saw a slight increase ranging from $20 to $40 a month, and eliminated a category of subsidized fees applicable to participants with incomes higher than the â&#x20AC;&#x153;extremely low incomeâ&#x20AC;? category as defined by San Mateo County. According to city staff, 99 percent of the program

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See FEE HIKES, page 18

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N E W S N P O L I C E C A L L S WOODSIDE 4HEFTREPORT A Woodside woman told deputies that jewelry is missing from her Blue Ridge Lane home that has an estimated value of $68,000, April 1. 6ANDALISMREPORTS ■ Someone knocked the head off a 4-foot-tall hand-made Easter bunny sitting in the front yard of a residence on Glenwood Avenue and left the remains in a ditch across the street, March 27. Estimated damage: $300. ■ Two vehicles with windows smashed but nothing missing from inside were found parked at the Park-and-Ride at Woodside Road and Interstate 280, March 27. 2ESIDENTIALBURGLARYREPORT Six teens in a green or blue BMW were

seen leaving the driveway of a home under construction on Las Pulgas Drive. A check of the premises showed no damage to the interior of the house, but a smell of “burnt marijuana” inside the pool house. The door to a construction container outside has been forced open, March 31. PORTOLA VALLEY 6ANDALISMREPORTS ■ Someone shattered a vehicle’s driver’s side window and mirror at a home on Willowbrook Drive, with estimated damage of $1,000. A couple of blocks further on, a mailbox had been knocked to the ground for a loss estimated at $900, March 27.

See POLICE CALLS, page 22

AN IMPORTANT NOTICE REQUIRED BY THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH Este informe contiene información muy importante sobre su agua potable. Tradúzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien. The O’Connor Tract Co-Operative Water Company has levels of manganese above the secondary drinking water standard. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what you should do, what happened, and what we are doing to correct this situation. Our water system is in violation of a secondary drinking water standard. We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Water sample results for the first quarter monitoring in 2013 have manganese levels of 68 ppb in well #1 and 130 ppb in well #2 (ppb=parts per billion). This is above the secondary drinking water standard, or secondary maximum contaminant level of 50 ppb. Manganese concentrations above the standard may have an effect on taste and tend to leave black deposits in some plumbing systems. What should I do? s 9OUDONOT NEEDTOUSEANALTERNATIVE WATERSUPPLY (e.g., bottled water). There is no health risk. What happened? What is being done?

Belle Haven may yet see active police substation By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


uried in discussion of Menlo Park’s upcoming budget was a hint as to the fate of a long-awaited, active police substation in Belle Haven. While the community does have a semblance of a substation already on Newbridge Street, the facility remains unstaffed and not open to the public. Menlo Park police want to change that, and are exploring locating a new substation in a strip mall at Hamilton Avenue and Willow Road. The new substation would be staffed at least part-time and include regular hours along with officers rotating through while on patrol, according to

FEE HIKES continued from page 17

participants qualify for the “extremely low income” subsidy by earning between $22,000 to $41,800 per year based on family size, so there was no point in establishing fees for those who make more. While some increases took effect immediately, other fees will go up starting July 1, according to the staff. Go to to review the complete list of fee changes. A

O’Connor Water has been above the secondary standard for manganese for many years, and this has been described to members in the annual Report on Water Quality Measurements. Recent state regulations have imposed stricter requirements for complying with the secondary standard for manganese. The state has issued the company a citation for noncompliance. The state ordered the company to start quarterly monitoring in February 2012, and this monitoring was completed in September. The state also required that manganese monitoring be continued quarterly and that the results of these tests be reported to the members. The company has contracted with an engineering company to study best available technologies for either manganese removal or sequestration (adding a chemical so that the manganese does not precipitate from the water). The report has been received, and the company will be contacting members to decide whether they wish to remove or sequester the manganese, or request a waiver from the secondary standard. Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this public notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this public notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. For further information, contact: Ana Pedreiro, Secretary-Treasurer, Telephone 650-321-2723 O’Connor Tract Co-Operative Water Co., System 4110019 P.O. Box 1375, Palo Alto, California 94302-1375 April 2013

18NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN April 10, 2013

Commander Dave Bertini. The substation would cost the city an estimated $100,000 per year. He said the strip mall site offers 900-square-feet of space. Trying to renovate the Newbridge Street substation into a functioning facility would cost at least $131,000 to make improve handicapped accessibility and security, on top of the $1,000 per month rent. City Manager Alex McIntyre said the Menlo Park Fire Protection District had offered space in its disaster response center off Willow Road, but the city decided that creating a substation tucked away in a business park would provide too great an obstacle to community interaction. Menlo Park has been try-

ing to open a new substation in Belle Haven since 2004, but that stalled out due to disputes between the city and the developer, Willow Corners LLC, according to city staff. Construction of a two-story, 3,800-square-foot facility was supposed to be finished in 2008, but repeated delays essentially killed the project. Vice Mayor Ray Mueller helped revive the idea, asking during a study session on the city’s capital projects list on March 26 why the substation was no longer a priority. He followed up again during a budget discussion on April 2, suggesting that the city use one-time revenue expected from Facebook to fund the facility. “I think this is worth it,” he said. “Every time we have an uptick in crime, we talk about a substation.” The item will return to the council for a vote on whether to appropriate the money in upcoming months. A

Funeral alliance talk on hospice care “What to Ask When You Consider a Hospice” will be the major topic at the 61st annual conference of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties to be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at the Community Room of the Los Altos Library, 13 S. San Antonio Road in Los Altos. Vince Evans, vice president of patient services at Hospice of the Valley, will be the speaker. Also on the program will be

Allan Hutty, regional manager of Cemetery Resales, San Mateo, who will speak on buying cemetery property in the secondary market. After the talks, the audience will be invited to visit a dozen tables to ask experts about such end-of-life needs as eco-caskets and urns, natural burial, funerals, cremations, and passing on your assets. The public is invited to attend the free event. Refreshments will be available.



AT&T Woodside Road at Hobart Heights Road

CUSE2013-0001 Planner: Sage S. Schaan, Senior Planner

Review for approval/denial of a Conditional Use Permit Amendment to amend CUSE2010-0003 which would modify the ground-mounted equipment and antennas at an existing wireless facility. The project proposes to: 1) add equipment cabinets and an equipment rack; 2) replace two antennas on an existing utility pole with four antennas on the same utility pole; and 3) and construct a new six-foot tall fence around the ground mounted equipment in the public right-of-way near the intersection of Woodside Road and Hobart Heights Road. All application materials are available for public review at the Woodside Planning and Building Counter, Woodside Town Hall, weekdays from 8:00 – 10:00 AM and 1:00 – 3:00 PM, or by appointment. For more information, contact the Woodside Planning and Building Department at (650) 851-6790.


Judge finds veteran not fit Facebook reveals new ‘Home’ for smartphones interface for smartphones. window to a text message. to stand trial for attack Facebook held a press conThe company also announced By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

A San Mateo County Superior Court judge has found a military veteran not competent to stand trial on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and attempting to disarm a police officer in Woodside, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Milo Mcintosh Imrie, 23, pleaded not guilty to all charges in December and has been in county jail on $25,000 bail. A hearing is set for May 15 to determine his future custody. Were Mr. Imrie to make bail, he would have to stay in a residential treatment center, prosecutors have said. In February, the court appointed two doctors to evaluate Mr. Imrie for his competency to stand trial, and both concluded that he does not have that competency, prosecutors said. “Post traumatic stress,” his attorney, Geoff Carr, said in summarizing the diagnosis.

Mr. Imrie was a Marine infantryman in Afghanistan, where his job included clearing of improvised explosive devices from roadsides, Mr. Carr said. He missed an IED that resulted in the death of an interpreter and serious injury to another Marine, the source of his psychological distress, Mr. Carr said. Being declared incompetent in the present does not infer incompetence to stand trial in the future, nor does it imply insanity in the defendant, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said in an interview. In the Dec. 12 incident, Mr. Imrie allegedly threatened violence to himself and to his cousin in his cousin’s Woodside home, prosecutors said. Deputies arrested Mr. Imrie at the Menlo Country Club, where he had fled after allegedly hitting his cousin with a shovel, prosecutors said.

TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED FARMERS’ MARKET AT TOWN CENTER This is to notify you that the Town Council of the Town of Portola Valley is considering the approval of a weekly farmers’ market to be located on the parking lot near the Historic Schoolhouse located at 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA. The Town Council will hold a Public Hearing regarding this proposed weekly event on Wednesday, April 24th at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Historic Schoolhouse, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA. This Public Hearing will provide the general public and interested parties an opportunity to provide input on the proposed weekly farmers’ market. Information relating to the proposed farmers’ market is available at Town Hall Building & Planning Department, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. All interested persons are invited to appear before the Town Council to be heard at the time and place herein above mentioned. Dated: April 10, 2013 Brandi de Garmeaux Sustainability & Special Projects Manager 650-851-1700 ext. 222


e’re not building a phone,” Mark Zuckerberg said, finally putting to rest months of rumors on April 4. What Facebook has done, however is build what they bill as “the best version of Facebook there is.” Starting April 12, Facebook aficionados will be able to download “Home,” a new application that presents a new user

ference at its headquarters in Menlo Park to show off its latest product. “Home” incorporates a new homescreen depicting updates from friends, news stories and other content, and a redesign of traditional messaging systems — “Chatheads” — that allows message notifications to persist on top of whatever applications the user is accessing; no more switching from the phone browser

contracts with manufactures to launch new phones featuring “Home,” such as the upcoming HTC First model, which will come with the application pre-installed. The new interface represents Facebook’s drive to focus on mobile applications, according to Mr. Zuckerberg. It will be available for tablets a few months after the launch of the phone version. A

Donald W. Schroeder Mr. Schroeder died of natural causes, with family present, on March 30, 2013. He was 95 years old. A long-time resident of Atherton and Menlo Park, he is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Mary Enneking Schroeder, and three sons, William [Wendy] of South Burlington, Vermont, and his children John Henry and Susie, David [Carmen Sofia] of Menlo Park, and his son Christian, and Stephen of Carson City, Nevada and his twin daughters, Baylee and Charlotte. Twin sons Mark and Tom preceded him in death. He was a native of Wisconsin, and after graduation from the Business School at the University of Wisconsin in 1943, he attended the Naval Midshipmen’s School at Tower Hall in Chicago, receiving his commission as an Ensign in late 1943. He served as an AntiSubmarine Warfare Officer until his discharge in 1946. He then took a position with the Chicago office of Price Waterhouse, and obtained his CPA certificate in 1950. While working in Chicago he met and married Mary, who also was employed by the Chicago Price Waterhouse office. She was from Madison, Wisconsin and had also attended the University of Wisconsin. In 1954, after holding an executive position in the Midwest, he and Mary decided to move to California, where he joined the staff of Lybrand, Ross Bros. & Montgomery [later known as Coopers & Lybrand, one of the Big Eight accounting firms] in its San Francisco office. He became a partner in the Lybrand firm in 1959 and remained a partner until he retired from Coopers & Lybrand in 1979. He was the managing partner of the San Francisco group of offices, serving in that position for ten years, and was elected to the firm’s Governing Council during that period of time. He was very active in the accounting profession, serving as the President of The California Society of Certified Public Accountants and on a number of committees and the governing council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the governing national body for CPAs. He gave freely of his time in these organizations. In 1978, he and Mary served as chairpersons of the AICPA’s annual meeting in San Francisco. He was a member of the Cercle de l’Union [The French Club] in the City for many years. One of his greatest joys was entertaining his friends there. He enjoyed billiard games at the Club with members of the French community, as well as a game of dominoes before lunch. He was also active in

the Rotary Club of San Francisco and the Stock Exchange Club. As a member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, he was involved in many of that organization’s projects. His favorite project was serving on the Board of Directors for the Fort Point Museum Association, which developed that tourist attraction before turning it over to the National Park Service. He was an avid golfer and a long-time member of the Menlo Country Club. He also belonged to The Springs Golf Club in Rancho Mirage, California, where the family had a winter home. He played for many years in the California Seniors and the Northern California Seniors Golf Association tournaments until his health declined. He made numerous trips to Scotland to play the old traditional golf links. After his retirement he was appointed to the boards of directors of several corporations and served faithfully for many years, finally resigning from the last board at eighty years of age. During his retirement years, he and his wife also traveled extensively. They were both avid fishermen. They fished for marlin and sailfish off the Mexican, Costa Rican and Hawaiian coasts, and enjoyed salmon fishing in the Pacific near their Oregon beach house. Every year they would go to a fishing camp in Northern Wisconsin to fish for muskies, the world’s greatest fresh water game fish. Over the years, they had remarkably good luck, but his beloved Mary usually out-fished him, regularly catching the biggest fish. Throughout his lifetime, though there were many demands in his professional career, he always found time to devote to his family. The family made annual trips to a dude ranch in Northern California when the children were small and later, as they grew older, the family spent much time at the family beach house in Oregon, fishing and crabbing. His grandchildren added a great deal of pleasure to his later years and he loved them dearly. His family always came first in his life and he will be missed by them all. Burial arrangements will be private. A memorial mass will be held at St. Denis Church in Menlo Park at a date to be determined. Donations in Don’s memory may be made to St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room, 3500 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025 or to a charity of your choice. The family wishes to thank the folks at the Belmont Village in Sunnyvale and Vitas Hospice Care for taking good care of Don during this last year; they did a terrific job. PA I D


April 10, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN19

We are buyers of Diamonds, Estate Jewelry, Fine Watches, Sterling Silver Flat Ware and Gold and Platinum Jewelery Jackson Square Estate Buyers


Obituaries are based on information provided by the family and mortuaries.

Donald W. Schroeder

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Tues. – Sat. 10am to 5pm Closed Sunday & Monday


Discover the best places to eat this week! AMERICAN


Armadillo Willy’s

Chef Chu’s

941-2922 1031 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos

948-2696 1067 N. San Antonio Road

The Old Pro


326-1446 541 Ramona Street, Palo Alto

856-7700 1700 Embarcadero East, Palo Alto


New Tung Kee Noodle House

Sundance the Steakhouse

947-8888 520 Showers Drive, Mountain View

321-6798 1921 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

A memorial Mass will be held Friday, May 3, for Donald W. Schroeder, a longtime resident of Atherton and Menlo Park who died March 30. He was 95. Mr. Schroder was a native of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Donald After receiving Schroeder his commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1943, he served as an anti-submarine warfare officer until his discharge in 1946. He obtained his CPA certificate in 1950. While working in Chicago he met and married his future wife, Mary Enneking, a fellow employee at Price Waterhouse. The Schroeders moved to California, where he joined the staff of Lybrand, Ross Bros. & Montgomery (later known as Coopers & Lybrand) in San Francisco. He became a partner in the firm in 1959 and remained a partner until retiring in 1979. For 10 years he was the managing partner of the San Francisco group of offices and was elected to the firm’s governing council. Mr. Schroeder served as president of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 1978 he and his wife served

as chairmen of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants annual meeting in San Francisco. He was a member of the Cercle de l’Union (The French Club) in San Francisco for many years. He was also active in the Rotary Club of San Francisco and the Stock Exchange Club. As a member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, he was involved in many projects. A favorite was serving on the board of directors for the Fort Point Museum Association. An avid golfer, Mr. Schroeder was a member of the Menlo Country Club and the Springs Golf Club in Rancho Mirage. He played in the California Seniors and Northern California Seniors Golf Association tournaments and made many trips to Scotland to play on the traditional golf links. During his retirement years, the Schroeders were avid fishermen and traveled extensively. The family made annual trips to a dude ranch when the children were small and, later, spent much time at the family beach house in Oregon. Mr. Schroeder is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Enneking Schroeder; sons William of South Burlington, Vermont, David of Menlo Park, and Stephen of Carson City, Nevada; and six grandchildren. Donations in Mr. Schroeder’s memory may be made to St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room, 3500 Middlefield Road, in Menlo Park, CA 94025; or to a favorite charity. See OBITUARIES, page 22

Serving the community for over 22 years


Janta Indian Restaurant Read and post reviews, explore restaurant menus, get hours and directions and more at ShopPaloAlto, ShopMenloPark and ShopMountainView

462-5903 369 Lytton Ave.

Thaiphoon 323-7700 543 Emerson Ave, Palo Alto

Are you getting the service you deserve? We answer our phones. Charlie Porter Farmers Agency ® License # 0773991

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20NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN April 10, 2013

671-A Oak Grove Ave Menlo Park 650-327-1313

G U I D E TO 2013 S U M M E R C A M P S F O R K I D S

For more information about these camps, see our online directory of camps at To advertise in a weekly directory, contact 650-326-8210 YMCA of Silicon Valley

Academics Early Learning Camp Connection listing

Palo Alto

Write Now! Summer Writing Camps Emerson School of Palo Alto and Hacienda School of Pleasanton open their doors and offer their innovative programs: Expository Writing, Creative Writing, Presentation Techniques, and (new!) Test-Taking Skills. Call or visit our website for details.

Emerson 650-424-1267 Hacienda 925-485-5750

Foothill College

Los Altos Hills

Two Six-Week Summer Sessions Beginning June 10. These sessions are perfect for university students returning from summer break who need to pick up a class; and high school juniors, seniors and recent graduates who want to get an early start. 12345 El Monte Rd.


Harker Summer Programs

San Jose

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


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Take interests further! Ages 7-17 create iPhone apps, video games, C++/ Java programs, movies, and more at weeklong, day and overnight programs held at Stanford and 60+ universities in 26 states. Also 2-week, teen-only programs: iD Gaming Academy, iD Programming Academy, and iD Visual Arts Academy (filmmaking & photography).

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

1-888-709-TECH (8324)

ISTP’s Language Immersion Summer Camp

Palo Alto

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


Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park

Menlo Park

Prevent Summer Brain Drain with Mathnasium Power Math Workouts. During the summer months, many students lose 2 to 2.5 months of math skills learned during the school year. Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park is offering 8 and 16-Session Flexible Summer Passes which will keep your child’s math skills sharp and provide a boost for the school year ahead. Open to grades 1st - 10th grade. Summer Passes on sale now and expire Sept. 7, 2013. Center located at 605 A Cambridge Avenue, Menlo Park (next to the Oasis, one block north of Stanford Shopping Mall).


Professional Tutoring Services of Silicon Valley Los Altos Academic camps offering Algebra I & II, Geometry, and Spanish I, II, & III in small groups. Three sessions starting June 24 through August 2. Sign up for all three or just one. Perfect for junior high students taking high school level courses. Register online.



What makes Y camps different? We believe every child deserves the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. Y campers experience the outdoors, make new friends and have healthy fun in a safe, nurturing environment. They become more confident and grow as individuals, and they learn value in helping others. We offer day, overnight, teen leadership and family camps. Financial assistance is available. Get your summer camp guide at camp. Youth camps (ages 5 - 17) run June 17 - Aug. 16 . Half-day and full-day options. Fees vary. 1922 The Alameda 3rd Floor, San Jose


Arts, Culture, Other Camps Busy Bees & Astro Kids Summer Adventure Camps

Mountain View

Join us for these half-day camps designed for 3-8 year olds as we have fun, participate in games and crafts, and go on fun field trips! Mountain View Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Avenue

Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA)

Mountain View

50+ creative camps for Gr. K-8! Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Musical Theater, School of Rock, Digital Arts, more! One- and two-week sessions; full and half-day enrollment. Extended care available. Financial aid offered.

DHF Wilderness Camps

650-917-6800 ext. 0

Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve

Children ages 6-14 can meet the livestock, help with farm chores, explore a wilderness preserve and have fun with crafts, songs and games. Older campers conclude the week with a sleepover at the Farm. Near the intersection of Hwy 85 and Hwy 280

Pacific Art League of Palo Alto

Palo Alto

PAL offers morning and afternoon art camps in cartooning and comics, printmaking, glass fusing, mixed media and acrylic and watercolor painting for children 5-18 years. It is a great place to explore imagination and creativity in a supportive, encouraging and fun environment with a lot of personal attention. Scholarships are available. 227 Forest Avenue


Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC)

Palo Alto

PACCC summer camps offer campers, grades kindergarten to 6th, a wide variety of fun opportunities! K-1 Fun for the youngest campers, Neighborhood Adventure Fun and Ultimate Adventure Fun for the more active and on-the-go campers! New this year: Sports Adventure Camp for those young athletes and Operation Chef for out of this world cooking fun! Swimming twice per week, periodic field trips, special visitors and many engaging camp activities, songs and skits round out the fun offerings of PACCC Summer Camps! Registration is online. Open to campers from all communities! Come join the fun in Palo Alto!


Theatreworks Summer Camps

Palo Alto

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

Western Ballet Children’s Summer Camp


Mountain View

Students attend ballet class and rehearsal in preparation for the recital of either Peter Pan or The Little Mermaid at the end of the two week session. Separate Saturday classes are also offered. Ages 4-9. 914 N. Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View

Stratford School - Camp Socrates 17 Bay Area Campuses

Academic enrichment infused with traditional summer camp fun--that’s what your child will experience at Camp Socrates. Sessions begin June 24 and end August 9, with the option for campers to attend all seven weeks, or the first four (June 24-July 19). Full or half-day morning or afternoon programs are available.

Western Ballet Intermediate Summer Intensive

Summer at Saint Francis


Mountain View

Summer at Saint Francis provides a broad range of academic and athletic programs for elementary through high school students. It is the goal of every program to make summer vacation enriching and enjoyable!

TechKnowHow Computer & Lego Camps

650-968-1213 x446

Palo Alto Menlo Park/Sunnyvale

Fun and enriching technology classes for students, ages 5-14 Courses include LEGO and K’NEX Projects with Motors, Electronics, NXT Robotics, 3D Modeling, and Game Design. Many locations, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Sunnyvale. Half and all day options. Early-bird and multi-session discounts available.


Mountain View

Students obtain high quality training in ballet, pointe, character, jazz, and modern dance, while learning choreography from the classical ballet Paquita. The students dance in featured roles in a final performance. Ages 9-12. Audition required 914 N. Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View

Western Ballet Advanced Summer Intensive

Mountain View

Students obtain high quality training in ballet, pointe, character, jazz, and modern dance, while learning choreography from the classical ballet Paquita. The students dance in featured roles in a final performance. Ages 13-23. Audition required. 914 N. Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View

Athletics Alan Margot’s Tennis Camps


Alan Margot’s Tennis Camps provide an enjoyable way for your child to begin learning the game of tennis or to continue developing existing skills. Our approach is to create lots of fun with positive feedback and reinforcement in a nurturing tennis environment. Building self-esteem and confidence through enjoyment on the tennis court is a wonderful gift a child can keep forever! Super Juniors Camps, ages 3-6; Juniors Camps, ages 6-14.


City of Mountain View Recreation Division

Mountain View

Discover fun with us this summer through the many programs available with the City of Mountain View Recreation Division. From sports to traditional day camps, to cooking camps, dance camps and art camps... we have it all! Mountain View Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Avenue

City of Mountain View Swim Lessons Rengstorff and Eagle Parks

Mountain View

We offer swim lessons for ages 6 months to 14 years. Following the American Red Cross swim lesson program, students are divided into one of the 11 different levels taught by a certified instructor. Rengstorff Park Pool, 201 S Rengstorff Ave and Eagle Park Pool,650 Franklin St.

Club Rec Juniors & Seniors

Mountain View

Club Rec Juniors and Seniors is open for youth 6-11 years old. These traditional day camps are filled with fun theme weeks, weekly trips, swimming, games, crafts and more! Monta Loma Elementary School, 490 Thompson Ave.

Foothills Day Camp

Palo Alto

What will you discover? Foothills Day and Fun Camps, for youth ages 8-10 and 5-7 respectively, includes canoeing, hiking, animal identification games, crafts, and more- all for less than $5 an hour. Registration begins February 15th for residents. (February 22nd for non-residents.) Hurry, spaces are limited!



Palo Alto

Exciting programs for kindergartners through teens include swimming, field trips, sports and more. Enroll your child in traditional or special focus camps like Surfing, Archery, Animal Adventure, Circus Camp and over 50 others! Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way

Kim Grant Tennis Academy & Summer Camps


Palo Alto Menlo Park/Redwood City

Fun and Specialized junior camps for Mini (3-5), Beginner, Intermediate 1&2, Advanced and Elite Players. Weekly programs designed by Kim Grant to improve players technique, fitness, agility, mental toughness and all around tennis game. Camps in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City. Come make new friends and have tons of FUN!!

Nike Tennis Camps


Stanford University

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

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

Spartans Sports Camp Spartans Sports Camp offers multi-sport, week-long sessions for boys and girls in grades 3-6 as well as sport-specific sessions for grades 6-9. There are also strength and conditioning camps for grades 6-12. Camps begin June 10th and run weekly through August 2nd at Mountain View High School. The camp is run by MVHS coaches and student-athletes and all proceeds benefit the MVHS Athletic Department. Lunch and extended care are available for your convenience. Register today! www.

Spring Down Camp Equestrian Center


Portola Valley

Spring Down Camp teaches basic to advanced horsemanship skills. Ages 6-99 welcome! Daily informative lecture, riding lesson, supervised hands-on ski-ll practice, safety around horses, tacking/untacking of own camp horse, and arts/crafts.

Stanford Water Polo Camps



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


Summer at Saint Francis

Mountain View

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

650-968-1213 x650

Summer at Saint Francis

Mountain View

This is a child’s delight with trees to climb, rope swings, and unpaved open spaces. Our engaging and creative program includes time to play and make friends. Peninsula School, 920 Peninsula Way. Visit website for class listings.

Advanced Sports Camps (5th-9th grades): We offer a wide selection of advanced sports camps designed to provide players with the opportunity to improve both their skills and knowledge of a specific sport. Each camp is run by a Head Varsity Coach at Saint Francis, and is staffed by members of the coaching staff.

Summer at Peninsula School

Menlo Park

650-325-1584, ext. 39

650-968-1213 x650

April 10, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN21


Expanded camp selection this summer!

5 E $2e SAEVnter cCoTd2013

POLICE CALLS continued from page 18



■ Someone damaged a key pad for an automatic gate in Westridge Drive. WEST MENLO PARK 2ESIDENTIALBURGLARYREPORT Someone entered a Sterling Avenue home through a downstairs bedroom, damaging the window blinds, and stole jewelry and cash of an as yet undetermined value, March 25.


June 10 - August 2 Register today at For more info (650) 479-5906 or


spring & summer


art & music

■ A resident of Gloria Circle reported


Grades 6 - 9: Sports Specific Camps Grades 6 - 12: Strength & Conditioning Camps

Mountain View High School • 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View All Proceeds Benefit the Mountain View HS Athletic Department. Offer limited to a discount on one session only. Expires 7/29/13.



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Grades 3 - 6: Multi-Sport Camp

Gr K-8 AM &/or PM

12 ca Apr 8– g fast! is fillin

Finn Center, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mtn View | 650.917.6800










Enrichment Programs


Grades K-6

Summer Camp +

Grades 6-12

Summer Institute Try Stratford This r! Summe

An Adventure in Learning Begins June 24, 2013!  Creative Art, Music & Science Adventures

(650) 493-1151 RN





Accrediting Commission for Schools



Connect With Us


22NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN April 10, 2013

870 North California Avenue


Held on our beautiful lower and upper school campuses | 408.553.0537

Palo Alto


Camp Options


· English Language Institute for International Students for us ur! t c ta l to Con rsona e a p

 Flexible Full & Half-Day


· Swim School

for Kindergarten Prep


· Sport Camps


OBITUARIES continued from page 20

 Enriching Academics OTHER PROGRAMS

losses estimated at $13,000 in stolen jewelry during October and November of 2012, April 3. ■ Thieves have taken ballerina slippers, a men’s watch, gold cuff links and a clutch purse from a residence on Trinity Drive for a total estimated loss of $8,700, April 4. ■ Thieves at a Klamath Drive home stole designer prescription sunglasses from an unlocked vehicle and a GPS device, prescription eyeglasses, a phone charger and sunglasses from a locked vehicle after picking up the keys to the second vehicle from inside the first, April 4. ■ A video surveillance camera showed three unidentified suspects involved in the theft of 11 bottled alcoholic beverages from Draeger’s Supermarket at 1010 University Drive, March 29. ■ Someone stole a cellphone with an estimated value of $600 from a desk at Belle Haven School at 415 Ivy Drive, April 3. ■ A locked 21-speed mountain bike worth about $250 was stolen from the 400 block of El Camino Real, April 1. 2ESIDENTIALBURGLARYREPORT Someone entered an underground carport on Menlo Avenue and stole a motorcycle cover, toolkit and tool bag for a total estimated loss of $500, April 1. !UTOBURGLARYREPORT Someone broke a window to a locked vehicle parked on Marsh Road and stole a purse containing a wallet, makeup bag and $400 in cash for a total estimated loss of $1,468, March 29. "RANDISHINGAWEAPONREPORT A man described as possibly homeless, in his 50s, riding a bicycle, wearing a dirtylooking brown leather hat decorated with an eagle, and carrying a “man purse” reportedly brandished a handgun at someone on Terminal Avenue and left the scene on his bike, March 31. 3TOLENVEHICLEREPORT Black 2000 Big Tex 10-foot utility trailer from 3600 block of Haven Avenue and valued at $950, March 29. (ITANDRUNREPORT Gold 2002 Lexus RX300, reported stolen, was found abandoned and smashed into a tree on Trinity Drive in Sharon Heights with a broken rear axle and damage to the front bumper and the left side, April 3.


Preschool State License Number: 434408056.

Summer enrollment forms are available online. Learn more, call us or visit

Linda Higuera Keener Resident of Menlo Park

A memorial service for Linda Higuera Keener of Menlo Park was to be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the Church of the Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Ave. in Menlo Park. Ms. Keener died March 21 after a two-year battle with cancer. She is survived by her children, Jason Lynch of Phoenix, Arizona, and Jennifer Scully of Menlo Park; her mother, Irene Higuera of Millbrae; brother Michael Higuera of Napa and two grandchildren. Donations in Ms. Keener’s memory may be made to a favorite charity.


Palo Alto Community Child Care

At Portola Art Gallery

Learning, Playing, Growing Together

This pastel painting, “Yesterday’s Poem,” is featured in “Friends and Family,” a collection of portraits of people and animals in oil and pastel by Linda Salter that will be shown during April at the Portola Art Gallery at Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road in Menlo Park. Ms. Salter spent more than 30 years as an instructor and administrator in California colleges, serving as president of Skyline College in San Bruno and chancellor of the West ValleyMission Community College district in Santa Clara County. Since retiring as chancellor, she has studied with a number of local and visiting artists. A reception for the artist will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13.

SUMMER FUN 2013 Kindergarten to Grade 6

June 3 to August 2

NEIGHBORHOOD ADVENTURE FUN (entering 1st - 3rd grades) Walter Hays Kids’ Club Highlighted Activities:* Aqua Adventures Haunted House Special



Filoli will host its 15th annual Botanical Art Exhibit from Tuesday, April 16, through June 16 at the historic Woodside estate. Artists from around the world have submitted works to be juried into the exhibit that will be on view in Filoli’s Visitor and Education Center. A reception for the artists will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18. A collection of prints, matted originals, and note cards will be for sale. A visit to the gardens after hours will be included in the event. Reservations may be made online at or calling 364-8300, ext. 508. Deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, April 12, for the free event.

NEW! (entering 1st - 6th grades) Barron Park Kids’ Club Highlighted Activities:* Sports Clinics s Pump It Up

*Please check brochure for specific camp dates.

Details and Registration Available Online at


Discover Fun

Intermediate I


with Mountain View Recreation! ★ Swim L essons

s ★ Recreation Day Camp

Intermediate II Beginner

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See CALENDAR, page 25

Botanical art at Filoli


NEW! 4-week camp (entering 1st - 6th grades) El Carmelo Kids’ Club Highlighted Activities:* Culinary School s Chef Restaurant

Special Events

Greg Bellow discusses his book, “Saul Bellow’s Heart: A Son’s Memoir.” April 23, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Caroline Paul and Wendy MacNaughton discuss their illustrated book about their cat, “Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology.” April 11, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Cecile Andrews, in conversation with Acterra’s Michael Closson, discusses her book, “Living-Room Revolution: A Handbook for Conversation, Community and the Common Good.” April 30, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler’s,

(entering 4th - 6th grades) Walter Hays Kids’ Club Highlighted Activities:* Scavenger Hunt s Rockin’ Jump


Visit for more calendar listings

‘Robots Remake the Workplace’ CEOs talk about inventing real business models for the next phase of the robotics revolution. April 11, 1-5:30 p.m. SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park. St. Raymond School Rummage Sale features “gently used” adult and children’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, books and more. April 13, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. April 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. St. Raymond School, 1211 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Earth Day Marine Science Institute celebrates Earth Day with live music, arts fair, shark feeding and more. April 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Marine Science Institute, 500 Discovery Parkway, Redwood City. Call 650364-2760. Portola Valley teen Yalda Alexandra Saii just finished her first novel for teens, “The Sassy Divas.” She will do a reading, and talk about her creative process and publishing. April 17, 2-3 p.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560.


K-1 FUN (entering Kindergarten - 1st grade) Addison Kids’ Club Highlighted Activities:* Waterslides s Build-A-Bear

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★ Deer Hollow Far Wilderness Cam m ps

Elite Advanced

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Summer Camps

June 10 - August 16, 2013

Buy 2 weeks of camp & get the 3rd week

Register Today! To register or for more information, please call (650) 903-6331 Camps available for Preschool-aged children through Teens,

June 10, 2013-August 16, 2013 Visit us at and

50% OFF! (650)752-8061 Palo Alto

Menlo College

Kim Grant Tennis Courts 3005 Middlefield Rd. Palo Alto

Cartan Courts 20 Alejandra Ave. Atherton April 10, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN23


34!. &/2 $7 7!4%20 0/,/# #!- 03 Ages 7 and up. New to the sport or have experience, we have a camp for you. (ALFDAYORFULLDAYOPTIONFORBOYSANDGIRLS !LLTHECAMPSOFFERFUNDAMENTALSKILLWORK POSITIONWORK SCRIMMAGESANDGAMES




& Teen Academies




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8. Stanford Univ e rs it y San Francisco UC Berkeley State Santa Clara Princeton UCLA 1-888-709-TECH (8324) 24NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN April 10, 2013

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Woodside resident Alden Tagg has his 600th blood donation taken by Kathryrn Fields, a registered nurse at Stanford Blood Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new donation center in Menlo Park. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just something that needed to be done,â&#x20AC;? said Mr. Tagg, 85, who began donating blood 40 years ago.

Woodsider makes 600th blood donation Submitted by Dayna Kerecman Myers of the Stanford Blood Center.


oodside resident Alden Tagg made his 600th blood donation, through a process known as apheresis, at the Stanford Blood

Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new donation center in Menlo Park on April 1. Mr. Tagg donated through a two-hour process that allows the center to collect specific blood components, such as platelets. This process enables donors to give blood as often as 24 times a year, whereas whole blood donors

are limited to a maximum of about six donations per year. Mr. Tagg began donating in the community about 40 years ago, inspired by an article in a local paper about children suffering from leukemia. The realization that these children were the same age as his kids at the time motivated him to become a blood donor. When the Stanford Blood Center opened its doors in 1978, he was one of its first donors. Since then, he has often donated every other week, and said that it simply became a habit. Only one other donor has reached the 600-donation mark at Stanford. Mr. Taggâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s donations have helped cancer and leukemia patients who often depend upon platelet transfusions to help their blood to clot properly. For example, a leukemia patient might have a dangerously low platelet count, caused by the disease itself or by its treatment, which can damage bone marrow and result in hemorrhage. Platelet transfusions can help keep these patients alive while allowing enough time for their therapy to work. The blood center currently has a need for all blood types, but there is a particular need for Rhnegative blood. Donors should be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms. They must eat well prior to donation, drink fluids and present photo identification at the time of donation. The process takes about an hour. Visit or call (888) 723-7831 for more information or the schedule an appointment. The Menlo Park blood center is at 445 Burgess Drive in Menlo Park.


Enrollment Now Open

for Summer Sessions

continued from page 23 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Katherine Applegate In a youth event, Ms. Applegate discusses her book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The One and Only Ivan,â&#x20AC;? about a gorilla who is befriended by a baby elephant. April 18, 7 p.m. Free. Keplerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Mark Mazzetti, a New York Times correspondent, discusses â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army and a War at the Ends of the Earth.â&#x20AC;? April 25, 7:30 p.m. Free. Keplerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Shideh Etaat and Persis Karim discuss their anthology of work by 27 Iranian authors. April 14, 2 p.m. Free. Keplerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.

Classes/Workshops â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Improv Essentialsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Class for Adults April 24 through June 5, Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m. $315 for seven sessions ($280 if you sign up before April 17). Dragon Theatre, 2120 Broadway St., Redwood City. Downtown Abbey Class: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Victorian Dreams and Edwardian Realitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Michael Svanevik discusses the time period, Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. Wednesdays, April 10-May 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m. $50. Little House, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park. Pastel Plein-Air Painting Classes Portola Art Galleryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jan Prisco will offer weekly classes at Allied Arts Guild, starting April 17 and running through August. Wednesdays, 1:30-4:15 p.m. $30/class. Portola Art Gallery at Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-341-9519.

Concerts St. Bedeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Episcopal Church presents â&#x20AC;&#x153;The SPAMmish Armada,â&#x20AC;? carols, conductus and cantigas from medieval Spain and England. April 20, 7:30-9 p.m. $15-$32. St. Bedeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-854-6555. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra performs Handelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opera Teseo. April 10, 7:309:30 p.m. $25 - $97. Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. Call 415-3924400. Redwood Symphonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Notes From Persiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Program also includes Debussyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Petite Suiteâ&#x20AC;? and the West Coast premiere of Christopher Theofanidisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; First Symphony. April 13, 8-10 p.m. $20-$25. Canada College Main Theatre, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Woodside.

SUMMER CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CAMP (July 8 - August 3) For kids ages 4 to 9 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; providing an opportunity to learn dance and develop their imagination throughout the making of set, costumes & props.

Session II: July 22 - August 1 Featuring The Little Mermaid

Session I: July 8 - July 18 Featuring Peter Pan PRE-INTERMEDIATE SUMMER INTENSIVE (July 8 - August 1)


March 16, May 18 April 1-5, April 8-12 April 15-19


June 17-28, July 8-19, July 22-August 2 August 5-16, August 19-30


Check website for details


650.968.4455 Artistic Director

914 N. Rengstorff Ave., Mtn. View


725 Portola Rd., Portola Valley (650) 851-1114


SAINT FRANCIS Camps for all ages

Family and Kids â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dog Safety For Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; All-ages talk covers basics of how to approach a new dog for the first time. April 15, 4-5 p.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-328-2422. Hans Christian Andersen Tales Randel McGee portrays Hans Christian Andersen in this show combining storytelling and paper arts. Recommended for ages 6 and up. April 18, 11:15 a.m.-noon. Free. Woodside Library, 3140 Woodside Road, Woodside. Call 650851-0147. Origami Workshop Students from Menlo School will teach children ages 3 and up how to make origami cherry blossoms. April 17, 3:30-4 p.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-3282422. Story Time with Jennifer Fosberry, who will read â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isabella: Star of the Story.â&#x20AC;? April 17, 4 p.m. Free. Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. Students from Western Ballet will give a mini-performance of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coppeliaâ&#x20AC;? for ages 4 and up. Part of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Screen-Free/DitchYour-Device Weekâ&#x20AC;? special events. April 29, 7-8 p.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-328-2422.


Space is limited, sign up now!

Alexi ZubirĂ­a,

A place where horses and humans can come together to learn and beneďŹ t from each other.

2013 Horsemanship Camps

Ages 9 to 12 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; high quality training in ballet, pointe, character, jazz & modern dance, while learning essential choreography from the classical ballet Paquita. The program culminates in an end-of-session performance.

This year we are presenting the ballet Paquita & mixed contemporary repertoire in jazz, modern, character & bollywood styles of dance classes. Ages 13 & older â&#x20AC;&#x201C; will learn & rehearse the pieces assigned for a final performance.

â&#x2DC;&#x2026; 28 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG â&#x2DC;&#x2026;



Et Alia Mountain House restaurant and Kings Mountain Associated Parents host Kings Mountain School Night on Thursday, April 11. Mountain House will donate 50 percent of net sales to Kings Mountain Elementary School. Reservations encouraged. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Mountain House, 13808 Skyline Blvd., Woodside. Call 650-851-8541. Dragon Theatre presents â&#x20AC;&#x153;Les Liaisons Dangereuses,â&#x20AC;? a drama set in France among aristocrats with themes of revenge, love, lust and betrayal. April 18-May 12, Thursday through Sunday, 8-10:30 p.m. $10-$35. Dragon Theatre, 2120 Broadway St., Redwood City. Call 650-493-2006.



Oshman Family JCC 3921 Fabian Way | Palo Alto, CA | (650) 223-8622 April 10, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN25

Serving Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, and Woodside for 47 years.



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the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

City needs to release results of probe


enlo Park’s stance that the results of an investigation into hired an independent investigator — attorney Nikki Hall. the firing of instructor Michelle Sutton and allegations But now, instead of using the report to clear the air, the city conof a toxic workplace environment within the gymnastics tends that personnel regulations and attorney-client privilege will program are not public record is yet another in a series of missteps prohibit release of the investigator’s findings. by the city that have characterized this messy situation from the Ms. Sutton’s supporters and the Almanac strongly object. Why start. would the results of such an important investigation not be shared The moment word of her Feb. 12 termination as a gymnastics with the public, which is paying for the investigation as well as for instructor leaked out, something did not seem right about how the salaries of city employees, including those within the gymnasthis highly popular teacher — despite being an at-will employee — tics program? Does the public not have a right to know how Menlo could be dismissed without warning. And the consternation only Park manages its community programs? grew when the city deleted a deluge of email posts Erin Glanville, a Menlo Park resident supporting her from the City Council’s website. who expressed concern over the instructor’s firEDI TORI AL Then we learned that six days before Ms. Suting, believes there’s legal precedent to make the ton was fired, she asked how to file a harassment report public. She cited a 2006 District Court The opinion of The Almanac complaint against her supervisor, Karen Mihalek. of Appeal ruling in a similar case that ruled an A coworker who quit in protest over Ms. Sutton’s investigator’s report about allegations of verbal termination told the council that he had witnessed the harassment. abuse and sexual harassment of a former school superintendent Amid this turmoil, Ms. Sutton allowed the Almanac to review her were public record. personnel file maintained by the city. The file showed no problems Writing for the Court of Appeal, Justice George Nicholson noted or disciplinary actions, although the city is not legally obligated to that disclosure of public records in prohibited only when it “would record those for at-will employees. constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” and that With the exception of a complaint by one parent who took exceptions to the California Public Records Act must be narrowly offense at being asked to leave the mat during a child-only class, by interpreted. Although the investigator in the Court of Appeal case all other accounts Ms. Sutton was an exemplary teacher who loved was not an attorney, enough similarities exist that the city should her job. fully disclose the investigator’s report of Michelle Sutton’s firing if After a wave of protests about Ms. Sutton’s dismissal, the city it has any interest in truly serving the public. restored supportive emails on its website and City Manager Alex Dozens of parents whose children enjoy the city’s gymnastics McIntyre said he had reviewed the circumstances of the firing and classes want to know the truth about the program’s management concluded that the action was proper. The Almanac confirmed that and Ms. Sutton’s termination, whatever the outcome. The city during this review, Mr. McIntyre did not interview Ms. Sutton or manager and the council should release these findings instead of other instructors in the gymnastics progam. Finally, after council burying the report. That is the only way to meet the standards of members started asking their own questions, the city manager public accountability and transparency.

L ET TERS Our readers write

Council should review downtown plan The Menlo Park City Council is to be commended for agendizing a review of the downtown specific plan as it relates to the Stanford/Arrillaga project. Stanford’s proposed huge eight-acre, five-story monolithic medical/office complex would be the deathblow to the city’s prized village character, and the source of constant traffic and frequent gridlock on El Camino Real and intersecting streets in the downtown area. The project is a far cry from the upscale hotel and senior housing ostensibly earmarked for the site during the specific plan process, and on which the plan’s fiscal solvency was based. The council has several options to consider: 1) Amending the specific plan; 2) Removing the El Camino corridor, or the southeast portion of it, from the specific plan, and returning it to the original zoning; 3)

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Atherton Heritage Association

Our Regional Heritage Phyllis Merrill scrubs the family dog in this undated photo. From left are son Charles; Honda, a member of the kitchen staff; Phyllis; and daughter Nancy. The Merrills lived on Glenwood Avenue in Atherton.

Adopting a moratorium on medical offices. The council could undertake one or more of these options. Ultimately, a project of this unprecedented size, scope, and impacts on

the city, calls for its own thoroughgoing EIR. If last year’s council erred in passing the specific plan, this year’s council can, and should, take corrective action

to preserve the city’s character, drivability, and livability. Concerned residents should attend the April 16 Menlo Continued on next page


Can Menlo Park recover what it lost in specific plan? By Brielle Johnck

in the general fund. should be removed from the The defining moment that plan based on the single ownith the recent downership of the eight-plus acres town Menlo Park created the main problem facand location near residential project submitted by ing us occurred the night the neighborhoods. This request Stanford University, residents specific plan was approved, is again before the council. are waking up to the reality June 5, 2012. Council member Removing the Stanford parGUEST of a large development and Kelly Fergusson made a case OPIN ION cels from the specific plan the impacts brought about to keep the base floor-area would give the council the by buildings taller and larger ratios (FAR) at the 2011 levels option to reset the plan’s FAR than the city has seen for many and to allow increased density specific plan. The inequity of Stanford’s to the 2011 level and return to years. No matter the number of if developers agreed to propublic meetings, mailings and vide benefits. How else, she FAR invites suspicion that the public benefit negotiations. In January 2012 the city was dreamy artistic renderings of asked, would the city pay for university was treated preferparklets and streetscapes, there the public benefits envisioned entially. As a stakeholder, it sued for not having a current is nothing like an actual devel- in the specific plan? Stanford was invited to serve on both housing element. The settleopment plan to focus people’s was given greater FAR allow- the 2008 committee to select ment required rezoning for attention to the impacts asso- ances than the El Camino Real the specific plan consultant 1,900 housing units. Four ciated with a 443,200-squre- parcels north of Ravenswood and the Oversight and Out- months later, when approving Avenue. Ridding the blight reach Committee. The firm the specific plan, the council foot project. MSWM (later Perkins & Will) Thankfully, the Council voted in June 2012 to review the specific plan in one year and member Kirsten Keith assured us that if problems arose, they could be fixed. The council’s review of the Stanford project should include a focus on elements of the specific plan that has allowed the university to propose a large development that falls under the trigger to negotiate for public benefits. Secondly, El Camino Real will experience the accumulated congestion from this development plus the Stanford towers at 27 University Ave. in Palo Alto, the expansion of the Stanford hospital, the future developments at the Derry and Cadillac sites Image courtesy of Stanford University and the increased employee numbers at Stanford Research Rendering shows an early version of Stanford’s mixed-use project on El Camino Real looking east from Middle Avenue. Institute. Third, the Allied Arts neighwas selected as the consultant, could have rezoned the Stanborhood with six streets lead- on El Camino is not, in itself, despite its disclosure that it ford parcels for housing only a public benefit, and many ing to El Camino Real will was working as the consultant and allowed office developabsorb a worrisome amount ask how Stanford could have for Stanford University on its ment by a conditional use of cut-through traffic. If Stan- allowed the run-down build500,000 square-foot campus permit. The size of Stanford’s ings to remain for so many ford flipped the commercial development in Redwood City. office buildings could support years. and housing buildings, the Ms. Fergusson warned that Today many of the problems approximately 900 employees. housing could be integrated with the specific plan are The council left the decision to with the residential neighbor- the city was giving away its viewed with an unfortunate build housing up to Stanford, ability to negotiate for public hoods east and west of the cloud of suspicion that perme- which has agreed to build 150 benefits and that developers project. A publicly accessible ates the five-year process. Did units. Unfortunately, this ratio plaza would serve the apart- would soon submit projects Stanford have an inside track of jobs to housing works out to ment residents, as well as Lin- enjoying the increased density. with the consultant and does six jobs to one home and adds Unfortunately, her advice was field Oaks and Allied Arts. the final specific plan meet to our current housing defidismissed due to the enthusiFourth, the city had hoped Stanford’s desires more than cit. The well-paid consultant for a hotel on Stanford’s land asm to complete the five-year it serves the city’s needs? dropped the ball. but hope didn’t produce one process. Today, the city has Early in the specific plan no negotiating power to force The jewels in the crown and the absence of the hotel process, the council was of the specific plan were the tax revenue projected in the Stanford to help us achieve advised that Stanford’s parcels public spaces on the Stanford specific plan will leave a hole the benefits envisioned in the


L ET T ER S Our readers write

Continued from previous page

Park City Council meeting and speak out. Cherie Zaslawsky Menlo Park downtown

CalPERs increase could cost $3 million Editor: Ca lPERS, (the Ca lifornia Public Employees’ Retirement System) is on the brink of raising its required contribution rates by 50 per cent over six years beginning next

year. Assuming salaries, health benefits and the number of employees stay the same, personnel costs for Menlo Park will increase by about $3 million when the changes are fully implemented. If salaries increase, the pension contribution will increase further,

since pensions are based on an employee’s final, best salary (and the time an employee has been in the program). We urge the city manager and the council members to keep these projected increases in mind when renegotiating union contracts — the renegotiation process begins

parcels. The Caltrain tracks and El Camino Real create a barrier to safe east/west mobility for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The Stanford parcels provide the last opportunity to create a safe east/west link. The Middle Avenue Plaza was envisioned as a large space without cars and a bicycle path leading to an undercrossing of the Caltrain tracks for easy and safe passage to and from Burgess Park. The council should mandate a car-free plaza as it is shown in the final specific plan drawings. While residents are disappointed that the Stanford parcels do not include any senior housing, disappointment turns to dismay that there is no hotel. Without hotel tax revenue, most of the plan’s benefits such as the Middle Avenue under-crossing cannot be built. The plan projected two hotels, one with 300 rooms and a small 80-room hotel downtown, producing an estimated annual hotel tax of $2.3 million. This amount represented 60 per cent of the total revenues the specific plan expected. The smaller downtown hotel was opposed by the downtown merchants and despite a hotel depicted in the plans on Stanford land, the university chose not to include one. The new Marriott Hotel on Glenwood Avenue projects $669,000 in hotel-tax revenue a year, but this amount pales in comparison. Progress is necessary. Blight is bad. Transparency is imperative. Keeping the city’s power to negotiate with developers is crucial. Providing safe east/ west mobility is important. Protecting neighborhoods is essential. Let’s see what our council can do to fix this problem. Brielle Johnck is former Menlo Park Environmental Commissioner and has volunteered in many environmental groups during her 43 years as a Menlo Park resident. She lives on Central Avenue. soon. And we urge voters to think about what services or public works should be cut to make way for the increase, or what increase in taxes you’d be willing to pay support it. Henry Riggs and Roy Thiele-Sardina

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The Almanac 04.10.2013 - Section 1  

Section 2 of the April 10, 2013 edition of the Almanac

The Almanac 04.10.2013 - Section 1  

Section 2 of the April 10, 2013 edition of the Almanac