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wear lenses move with each blink of the eye, they may also allow more oxygen to reach the cornea. While all extended-wear lenses are deemed safe, wearers should not be lax about adhering to the manufacturer’s wear instructions. Contact lenses can be an exciting alternative to glasses because they give the wearer a glass-free look and hassle-free wear all day long. If you decide to wear contact lenses rather than glasses, it is essential that you use good hygienic methods in the care and handling of your new lenses. Bring your eyewear prescription to MENLO OPTICAL at 1166 University Drive, on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. We offer soft, hard, bi-focal, and tinted contact lenses and provide instructions on how to clean, handle, and store lenses. Call us at 322-3900 if you have questions about eyewear. P.S. Even though these lens types are approved for overnight wear, most contact lens fitters feel the safe option is to remove your lenses before sleep. Mark Schmidt is an American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners Certified Optician licensed by the Medical Board of California. He can be easily reached at Menlo Optical, 1166 University Drive, Menlo Park. 650-322-3900.

Stanford Graduate School of Education Cubberley Lecture Series presents

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Tyler Williams, a Hillview seventh-grader, focuses on the target during an exercise of skill and concentration called Archery Apocalypto. Teacher Michael Kaelin said the exercise was the physical component to a learning project that used historical data from Aztec/Maya/Inca civilizations.

Innovative thinking to take center stage at Hillview Middle School By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


illview Middle School Principal Erik Burmeister is a true believer in “design thinking” — a process that emphasizes innovation, experimentation and collaboration to learn and to create. He believes so firmly in it that he used the process to redesign Hillview’s educational program in a way that he says will help students develop “high-order thinking skills” and an openness to learning. The specifics of the redesigned program — what the first-year principal is calling “Hillview 3.0” — will be unveiled at presentations on April 24 and 25 in the Menlo Park school’s performing arts center. Although he’s waiting until that time to provide details of changes, which will be launched next school year, Mr. Burmeister said the new approach to the educational program would involve longer teaching and learning periods in which students would be immersed in “hands-on,

project-based, design-thinking learning opportunities.” At an April 18 program at which the PBS documentary “Extreme by Design” was screened, Mr. Burmeister told the audience that design thinking in the classroom gives kids “permission to think creatively,” which means they must also be given permission to make mistakes. “We program them to avoid failing,” he said, but without the risk of making mistakes, “they can’t imagine what can be.” Mr. Burmeister and other Menlo Park City School District administrators partnered with the Stanford design school, which developed design thinking, to study ways that the concepts can be incorporated into the local schools’ programs. At Encinal School, kindergarteners and third-graders are using the process to enhance reading programs, and teachers in all district schools have begun to learn about design-thinking concepts, according to the district. At the middle school, a team of 18 people — including students,

staff and parents — gathered to “imagine what could be” for Hillview. Mr. Burmeister said they called on design-thinking practices, which begin with “empathy” to understand the perspectives and experiences of others. The next steps in the process are to define the problem or goal, to come up with many possible solutions (ideate, in designthinking parlance), to create and test prototypes of a solution or program, then to finalize the solution based on feedback. Mr. Burmeister told the Almanac that the team came up with two prototypes, one of which was then chosen for Hillview. “Beginning in August, it’s going to be who we are, what we do, how our curriculum and courses we offer are going to change,” he said. As the team was working on creating prototypes for the program, some Hillview eighthgraders explored design thinking in their flex classes, according to a district statement. See HILLVIEW THINKING, page 17

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John Merrow President, Learning Matters Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

In conversation with Prudence L. Carter Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Friday, May 3, 2013 Film, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Discussion, 7:00 to 7:45 p.m. ■

Cubberley Auditorium Graduate School of Education 485 Lasuen Mall Reception, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. ■


ohn Merrow’s latest film, based on 6 1/2 years of filming in post-Katrina New Orleans, reveals how a failing school system has become a fair-to-middling system of public charter schools. The cast of characters in the one-hour documentary includes Brittne Jackson, a 19-year-old senior who has failed the graduation exit exam about a dozen times; Bobby Calvin, an engaging young man chafing under the harsh behavior code at his charter high school; two Teach for America corps members having dramatically different classroom experiences; and Clarke Bordelon, a special needs student whose mother cannot find a charter school willing to take on the challenge of teaching her son. As the film reveals, real change is possible, but anyone looking for a silver bullet will be disappointed. Merrow and Professor Carter will use the film as a springboard to a broad range of issues. Audience participation will be encouraged. GRADUATE SCHOOL OF For more information, please call 650) 723-0630.



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Local News M















Image courtesy of Stanford

A rendering of Stanford’s revised design for the office buildings proposed for El Camino Real in Menlo Park. These buildings would be between College and Cambridge avenues.

Outrage remains after Stanford changes project By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


eaction from those opposed to StanfordArrillaga’s joint proposal for an 8.43-acre mixed-use complex on El Camino Real in Menlo Park did not waver after the university recently presented a new version with less medical office space and more housing. Twenty-four of 31 speakers lambasted the proposal during the April 16 council meeting. Grading the project as an average ‘D-’ — “We thought Stanford would understand the notion of a report card,” Save Menlo spokeswoman Perla Ni told the city council on April 16 — the grassroots coalition said Stanford got an “F” for not fitting Menlo Park’s “vil-

lage character,” not helping the town’s east-west connectivity, and potential for dumping cutthrough traffic in surrounding neighborhoods. The proposal did get a “C” for providing some housing Comparing the revised design to “re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” Ms. Ni said, “This traffic will kill Menlo Park.” One speaker, Elizabeth Houck, called for Mayor Peter Ohtaki’s resignation and the firing of City Manager Alex McIntyre. Some of those who spoke at the meeting were familiar faces to those who followed the creation of the newly implemented downtown/El Camino Real specific plan, which allows Stanford to build its mixed-use complex.

Comparing the revised design to ‘re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,’ Perla Ni said: ‘This traffic will kill Menlo Park.’ Planning Commissioner Vince Bressler, long a proponent of removing the Stanford properties outside the boundaries of the specific plan, urged the council to do so. “We don’t need to give anything away if we’re not going to get anything.” Fellow commissioner Henry Riggs struck a more moderate note, saying that big projects scare some Menlo Park resi-

dents. He asked the city to find a way to fund a bike and pedestrian tunnel under El Camino Real — a project it was hoped Stanford would contribute to. Former councilman Heyward Robinson wondered where the process went wrong. Saying the point of the specific plan “was to not have these battles every time a new (project) came up, it’s fairly dismaying to see us on the first project here with the pitchforks out.” Given that Stanford’s proposal caught the city by surprise, he suggested the council consider whether the specific plan’s size threshold for requiring public benefits was too high, a criticism levied by former councilwoman Kelly Fergusson while in office. The council had given away its

leverage, Mr. Robinson said. While fewer in number, voices have been raised in support of the proposal. Three were heard at the April 16 meeting; others submitted emails to the council. Menlo Park resident Noah Eisner wrote, “I’ve found it much easier to complain about options rather than to act. Through that, you get nothing done. That’s the state of affairs for downtown Menlo Park. It is a pass-through town even for people who live in it. We don’t shop, eat or work there. El Camino Real is a disgrace with empty lot after empty lot. The Park Theater has been closed for 11 years!” Rather than act, he wrote, See STANFORD CHANGES, page 6

Council names subcommittee to work toward compromise with Stanford By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


fter a discussion that started on a Tuesday night and stretched into Wednesday morning, the Menlo Park City Council decided to form a subcommittee to help figure out how to make the proposed Stanford-Arrillaga mixeduse complex more palatable to the city. The council voted 4-0 on April 17, with Ray Mueller recused, to form the subcommittee and appoint Kirsten Keith and Catherine Carlton to serve on it.

Stanford’s most recent plan would replace mostly vacant lots along 300 to 500 El Camino Real with 25,000 square feet of medical offices, 199,500 square feet of regular offices, 10,000 square feet of retail, and up to 170 apartments. Two car lanes would pass through a public plaza at Middle Avenue to allow vehicular access to the site. Steve Elliott, managing director of real estate for Stanford, said they wanted a project the community would be happy with. While the university had researched building senior housing or a hotel on the lots, it

Councilwomen Kirsten Keith and Catherine Carlton are appointed. decided the mixed-use complex was more suitable, he told the council. Asked whether he could guarantee that Stanford would not designate the buildings for academic use — which would allow it to claim an exemption from paying property taxes — Mr. Elliott responded that he wasn’t willing to promise that. “(But) these have always been

investment properties,” he said, like those the university owns on Sand Hill Road. “The provost thought that will continue to be the intent. ... I would not advise the university to put Stanford offices on El Camino Real in Menlo Park, but I can’t guarantee (they won’t).” The subcommittee’s goals include facilitating discussion between the city, residents and Stanford University that could lead to compromises that bring the project more in line with what the community wants. It will also help city staff expand a traffic analysis to look at poten-

tial cut-through traffic along Middle Avenue and into the Allied Arts neighborhood. Ms. Carlton said she was worried that bringing the two sides together may be impossible. “My fear is that there are members of the community who will never be happy with this and I don’t know how to reconcile that.” Twenty-four residents spoke against the project, highlighting its size, inclusion of medical offices and traffic impacts. Perla Ni, spokesperson for Save Menlo, a grassroots coaliSee MENLO PARK, page 6

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Menlo Park aims to shape compromise with Stanford continued from page 5

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tion organized to oppose the project, said the recent changes Stanford made amounted to “re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.� She urged the council to remove the Stanford parcels from the boundaries of the specific plan and reinstate the zoning that existed prior to the plan’s passage. Several asked that the height of the buildings be restricted to two stories. The current design has two five-story residential buildings, one four-story office building and two three-story office buildings, according to Stanford, which the new downtown/El Camino Real specific plan allows. Three speakers expressed support for the proposal and four indicated they would if minor changes were made. Chamber of Commerce CEO Fran Dehn asked the council to “trust the process; don’t undermine the (specific) plan� created through years of public outreach and discussion. Councilman Rich Cline said that should the subcommittee’s efforts prove futile, he didn’t mind looking at removing Stanford’s parcels from the specific plan boundaries, although he noted the plan does technically comply with the new regulations. “I need to see a better balance of housing and office use. I need to see a traffic study that shows me there’s a way to mitigate traffic,� he said, along with a way to help get people who aren’t in cars from one side of the city to

Big Bear 5K run set for May 5 The five-kilometer Big Bear Run, open to runners and walkers of all ages, is set for 9 a.m. Sunday, May 5, at MenloAtherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road in Atherton. Proceeds help pay for equipment and tournament fees for more than 50 athletics programs at M-A, said spokeswoman Diana Holliday. Entry fees are $25 for adults and $15 for students 18 or younger. Rates jump slightly after April 29, and for online registration. Same-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the main gym. Go to to register online. Set the search locality for “Atherton� and enter “big bear run� in the search box.

the other. He asked Mr. Elliott to explain how the proposal ended up so far afield of what the city and community indicated it wanted during the five-year specific planning process. “Compliance is one thing. I’ll grant you that,� Mr. Cline said. “But we were in the same meetings and had the same discussions ... no one said they wanted medical office on El Camino. In fact people said (they did not want it). ... This became a majority of office and not housing, and I think that starts the disconnect� between what the city expected and what Stanford actually proposed. Acknowledging that “disconnect� was an accurate description, Mr. Elliott said that Stanford indicated that a variety of uses might work, including senior housing or a hotel or medical offices, and never guaranteed to develop any one type of use. “Would more residential be a deal-breaker?� Mr. Cline asked after further discussion. Mr. Elliott initially declined to comment one way or another, but later told the council Stanford wasn’t interested in adding more housing. City review of the project is waiting on completion of Menlo Park’s traffic analysis, which staff expected to take at least two to three months. The Planning Commission may review Stanford’s new proposal in August, which is also when the council subcommittee may return with recommendations, although the exact timing remains to be worked out. A

STANFORD CHANGES continued from page 5

the city prevents development based on complaints “from the vocal minority. There is no bias for action here, which results in lower revenue from restaurants, shops and businesses and our schools are impacted.� Steve Taffee also wrote the council to say he supported the project. “Stanford has demonstrated flexibility in design considerations. The opposition that is being mounted is, unfortunately, mostly of the NIMBY type who are motivated by fears about projected personal inconvenience or loss of property value.� Traffic, parking and noise were concerns that could be managed, according to Mr. Taffee’s email, given the overall value of the project to Menlo Park. “Everyone needs to give a little. This is part of living in community.� A


Police union letter raises residents’ ire By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


ome residents are calling it a scare tactic and a “shameful� attempt to misrepresent reality. But the head of the police union insisted that the letter his group mailed to Atherton residents earlier this month was “intended to help foster communication between the less engaged residents and their elected representatives.� In the one-and-a-half-page letter, the Atherton Police Officers’ Association addressed what it called “a staffing crisis� in the police department, the parcel tax’s role in funding the department, and upcoming labor negotiations for a new contract for police officers and dispatchers. The letter was signed by police dispatcher and APOA President John Mattes. The City Council will be focusing on the parcel tax and the police contract in coming weeks, and its decisions, the letter says, “may change the way the town provides your safety and security services. Ultimately, the council’s choices may lead to the outsourcing of the Atherton Police Department to another local agency.� The APOA “is trying to strike fear in our hearts,� resident John Ruggeiro charged during the public comment period at the April 17 council meeting. A former San Francisco police captain whose son is now on the San Francisco force, Mr. Ruggeiro compared police-to-resident staffing ratios in both cities, and contested the letter’s claim that Atherton’s police staffing is inadequate. “The letter is not ‘fear mongering’ or scare tactics,� Mr. Mattes wrote in an email to the Almanac. Instead, it’s part of a campaign to publicize issues the APOA believes need to be understood by residents. “The problem we face ... is the


residents only become involved in a crisis,� he wrote. “They are largely detached from local politics and many of the intricate local issues. ... We don’t have a good way of connecting with our supporters other than through direct mail. The APOA members are committed to keeping residents engaged in the issues that impact them, including how the town will provide safety services.� That’s not how longtime resident Lou Paponis sees it. He also addressed the council last week, saying that he resents being sent a “threatening� letter “from a dispatcher.�

‘Ultimately, the council’s choices may lead to the outsourcing of the Atherton Police Department to another local agency.’ APOA PRESIDENT JOHN MATTES

Referring to a letter sent by the APOA before the council election last fall — endorsing council candidates Cary Wiest and incumbent Elizabeth Lewis and warning of the possible outsourcing of police services if the public didn’t make the right choices — Mr. Paponis said the APOA tactics are leading him to favor outsourcing. If police officers aren’t satisfied with the “sweetheart job� in Atherton, they can “move on,� he said. Another unhappy letter recipient is resident Peter Carpenter, who is pushing the council to schedule a public hearing before negotiations with the APOA begin so that residents could

Burglars hit three homes Burglars hit three homes in three different Menlo Park neighborhoods and stole jewelry, computers and construction equipment for a total estimated loss of $15,000, on Monday, April 15, according to reports from the Menlo Park Police Department. In West Menlo Park on La Loma Drive, thieves forced open a door at the back of the garage, entered the residence, and stole antique coins, miscellaneous jewelry and $1,000 in cash for a total loss of about

$11,000, police said. Meanwhile on Henderson Avenue in Belle Haven, someone entered the house through an unlocked bathroom window and took two table computers and one laptop along with miscellaneous jewelry for a total loss estimated at $2,000, police said. On San Mateo Drive in the downtown neighborhood, someone stole construction equipment from a house but left no indications as to how or where the house was entered, police said.

comment on objectives they want to see met in the contract. The APOA letter “is a shameful misrepresentation of the facts and an unwise attempt to scare the residents,� he said in an email. Following Mr. Paponis’ remarks to the council, Councilman Jim Dobbie said: “I am disgusted with the APOA as well. Those letters are totally inappropriate in this community.� In his email, Mr. Mattes countered: “It is entirely appropriate for our organization to participate in the public discourse. He may not like what we have to say; that’s OK. But, he’s a public official. I find it astonishing that he criticize(s) our constitutionally protected speech from the dais. That’s inappropriate for this or any other community.� Mayor Lewis noted that the APOA is independent, and neither the council nor the police chief has authority over what it does. The APOA enclosed a card addressed to the mayor with the letter, and encouraged residents “to send your opinion to Mayor Lewis and the rest of your Town Council� to let them know “you support us.� Ms. Lewis said that the union didn’t contact her before the mailing to inform her that the cards would be sent out. The town several weeks ago asked the union to begin the bargaining process for a new contract. The current contract expires Sept. 30. In its letter, the APOA said that the council “has tipped its hand on several occasions in public forums that they will mandate a series of reductions in salaries, pensions, and medical benefits.� It warned that if the cuts are similar to those imposed on nonrepresented employees earlier this year, “many officers, sergeants and dispatchers will find they are unable to provide for their families. As much as they enjoy working in this town, they may have no choice but to seek other employment opportunities.� Under the current contract, police officers are paid at the 70th percentile of police salaries in specified Bay Area jurisdictions.

R EAL E STATE Q&A by Monica Corman

A Buyer’s Dilemma Dear Monica: I have just started looking for a home and have seen a few properties that I like but none are perfect. Either they don’t have the kind of open floor plan I like or they need remodeling, which I am not interested in doing. Would you advise me to wait for a better property to come along or should I accept something less than my ideal home? Dan T. Dear Dan: The market is so active right now that it is easy for buyers to feel pressured to act because of news of multiple offers and higher prices. However, since you have just begun looking for a

home, you probably have not seen enough inventory to know whether or not it is likely you will find your ideal. You haven’t reached this point yet and there is still a chance you will find a home that is right for you. You don’t seem to be in a hurry to find something, which is good because more properties are and will be coming on the market in the next weeks. You can continue to educate yourself by seeing everything in your price range. By doing this it should become clear to you which property you should bid on and you will have confidence that you are doing the right thing.

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.

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Mae Mays dies in Atherton Mae Louise Allen Mays, the wife of baseball legend Willie Mays for 41 years, died Friday at their Atherton home after a 16-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 74. Mr. Mays announced his wife’s death through the San Francisco Giants. Growing up in the racially segregated Homewood section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she was an accomplished sprinter, according to Willie Mays biographer Jim Hirsch. She earned a degree in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in social work from Howard University. She worked in child welfare

and, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, became a “pioneer in getting single adoptions started in San Francisco.” She met Willie Mays in New York and they were married in November 1971. Author Hirsch, who dedicated his biography of Willie Mays to Mae, said her “grace and beauty touched the soul of a legend.” During her 16-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, she remained at their Atherton home. Mays family attorney Malcolm Heinicke said in a statement: “Mae died peacefully and without pain. Willie is now grieving the loss of his beautiful wife of more than

four decades, but he is staying strong by remembering all of the many experiences they enjoyed together. Mae was a beautiful person, and although her illness took some of her memories late in life, Mae passed with full knowledge

that Willie loved her dearly.” Larry Baer, Giants president and chief executive officer, expressed “heartfelt condolences to Willie and his family with the passing of his beloved Mae. I was honored to know Mae and to witness how Willie

loved and cared for her.” A private funeral service will be scheduled in the near future. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the Say Hey Foundation Inc., P.O. Box #2410, Menlo Park, CA 94026.


The Mohr Visiting Poet Anne Carson Reading

Back in bloom Once again 500 daffodils put on a springtime show at the corner of Woodside Road and Northgate Drive in Woodside. Ten years ago the Woodside Heights Homeowners Association started planting the bulbs for a colorful display each spring. When PG&E work last fall destroyed the plantings, PG&E’s Ott Reid saw to it that the bulbs were replaced in December by Cagwin and Dorward Landscape Contractors of San Jose. The result? Another blooming spring. Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac


INFORMATION: 650.723.0011 HTTP://CREATIVEWRITING.STANFORD.EDU Sponsored by Stanford University Creative Writing Program

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You can only vote on Measure O by mail — there are no polling places for this election. All registered voters should have received a ballot in the mail in early April. Mail your ballot by May 2. If you have not received your ballot or misplaced it contact the San Mateo County Elections Office, 650 312-5222. Seniors are eligible for an exemption. Joe Ginny


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Record set by Ted Williams in 1936 falls.

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oodside High outfielder Brad Degnan, a junior and a resident of Woodside, attached his name to a state baseball record that will likely stand unbroken for a long, long time. In the first inning of an afternoon home game against Westmoor High on Thursday, April 18, Degnan hit three home runs. Earlier news stories have reported that Ted Williams, the former all-star slugger for the Boston Red Sox, set the state record in 1936 with two homers in one inning. A web search turned up the 2005 book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Kid: Ted Williams in San Diego,â&#x20AC;? edited by Bill Nowlin, that confirms Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; achievement. A story on Degnan at says five other high school players have matched Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; record. Degnan has tied a national record, one thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never been set in college or the major leagues, the story said. Bradâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homers â&#x20AC;&#x153;were clean and gone,â&#x20AC;? his mother Jeannine Degnan said in a phone interview the next day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m so proud of him right now I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even believe it.â&#x20AC;? She and her husband were at the game, as were other

Photo by Jeff Degnan

Brad Degnan, a junior at Woodside High School, a resident of Woodside and a center fielder for the Woodside Wildcats, hit three home runs in one inning, reportedly setting a state record and tying a national record.

family members. Degnan, at 6 feet and 190 pounds, plays center field and is the team leader, said Wildcatsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Head Coach Tim Faulkner. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s played every inning of every game for the last three years,â&#x20AC;? he said. And his three home runs? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never seen anything like it, ever. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rare enough that you

see 19 runs in one inning.â&#x20AC;? The Wildcats won 24-6. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Brad is so down to earth and very calm,â&#x20AC;? his mother said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He knows that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not cocky about it.â&#x20AC;? Asked about eclipsing Ted Williams, Degnan was awed: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing to think about what a great ballplayer he is, that I actually had the talent to beat his record. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just beside myself,â&#x20AC;? he said in an interview. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The baseball gods were with me.â&#x20AC;? Before the game, he was hitting a very respectable .500 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; meaning that about half the time, he does not connect with the ball for a hit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What I love about it is that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a game of failure,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you succeed, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like beating the odds.â&#x20AC;? Asked about his training habits, he said that he gives 100 percent in everything he does. What does he think about at the plate? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I try not to think about anything, just let my mechanics and muscle memory take care of everything.â&#x20AC;? In the field, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want the ball to be hit to me,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love making plays and being on the spot and working my hardest and making a phenomenal play and getting recognized.â&#x20AC;? He is considering college at Sacramento State, he said. A

Jury selection starts in Woodside murder trial

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Jury selection has begun in the murder trial of Pooroushasb â&#x20AC;&#x153;Peterâ&#x20AC;? Parineh, a resident of unincorporated Woodside and a real estate investor. Mr. Parineh, 64 at the time of his arrest in June 2010, pleaded not guilty in August 2010 to accusations of premeditated murder for financial gain in the shooting death of his wife, Parima Parineh, who was 56. Mr. Parineh has been in custody in the county jail on a no-bail

status since his arrest, according to the San Mateo County District Attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office. Deputies from the Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office found Ms. Parineh dead of multiple gunshot wounds on April 13, 2010, in the bedroom of the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home. Medics found Ms. Parineh dead in the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bedroom with no signs in the house of forced entry. Mr. Parineh allegedly told authorities that his wife had shot herself, but

after an autopsy, investigators dismissed the suicide allegation and determined that Ms. Parineh had been murdered. Despite evidence of multiple gunshots, the defense has been showing indications of a suicide defense, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the Almanac. If convicted, Mr. Parineh could be sentenced to death or to life in prison without the possibility of parole, prosecutors said.

Portola Valley may give farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market trial run Whether to have a trial run of a weekly farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market at the Portola Valley Town Center is one of several matters set for consideration by the Town Council at its 7:30 p.m. meeting on Wednesday, April 24, at the Historic Schoolhouse. The agenda also includes a review of a controversial Planning Commission decision to allow artificial grass at the Woodside Priory, and the awarding of a bid to renovate Ford (Baseball) Field. A later closed session could result in an


announced settlement with the property owner of 18 Redberry Ridge over the illegal cutting of 18 mature trees. Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets â&#x20AC;&#x153;underscore the demand in cities and towns for local community-oriented events that promote local produce and products, provide a venue for residents to socialize with each other, and create the opportunity to learn about agriculture and sustainability,â&#x20AC;? said

Brandi de Garmeaux, the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coordinator for initiatives on sustainable living, in a staff report. As for the decision to allow artificial grass at the Priory, the council can affirm the Planning Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s March 20 decision based on the record so far, or reject the decision and set another public hearing. On the Ford Field renovation, Public Works Director Howard Young recommends that the council approve the low bid by Jensen Corporation at $484,888.

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‘Beautiful day’ turned terrible for Menlo Park marathoner By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


eventeen Menlo Park residents, five from Portola Valley, two from Woodside and one Atherton resident were among the nearly 27,000 runners registered for the Boston Marathon, according to the official 2013 registration site. Two bombs killed three people and injured more than 170 after exploding near the finish line about two hours after the first wave of runners had completed the race on April 15. The dead included an 8-year-old boy there to watch his father run; his mother and sister were badly hurt by the explosions. Authorities later killed one of the suspects in a shootout and captured the other. Facebook employee and dedicated runner Jessica Shambora described how

a “beautiful day” turned terrible in a blog post. After crossing the finish line, she went to pick up her bag when the bombs exploded. “Most of the runners were in a post-race daze, cold and stumbling around and suddenly terrified,” she wrote on April 15. She found her boyfriend and a group of friends, then returned to where they were staying in Cambridge. “I am still in shock and not sure I have much to add at this point. Just want to let you know and share my sadness. Despite the tragedy I will still try to remember this as a day of great courage, from the runners to the first responders,” Ms. Shambora wrote. She told the Almanac that she and her boyfriend ran the marathon “because we are runners. We both qualified over the past year and a half and, of course, Boston is a big goal for many runners.” A

Eat Fresh, Eat Healthy

Board appoints two new members By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


n administrator at the private Woodside Priory school and a former high-tech executive have been appointed to the Portola Valley School District board to replace board members who resigned this month. The two new members are Caitha Calvello Ambler, the Priory dean of middle school who also has taught at the private school and in the Vallejo School District; and Karen Ann Tate, a former executive at two software companies and a former strategic consultant. The women were among five candidates considered for appointment by the school board at a special April 16 meeting. They replace Scott Parker, who also was a dean at the Priory before resigning to take a position in Sonoma, and Ray Villareal, who cited a busy work-related travel schedule in his April 5 resignation letter. The new members were appointed by a 3-0 board vote. The three other candidates were Matt Richter, Terry Lee and Richard Murphy. The terms were due to expire at the end of the year, and if the two new members want to

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retain their seats, they must stand for election in November. Ms. Tate and Ms. Ambler took their seats alongside President Jocelyn Swisher and members Bill Youstra and Linda Wong at the board’s regular meeting on April 17. In her application for the post, Ms. Ambler said her interests include innovation in the classroom, projectbased learning, collaboration, student-centered learning, the shifting role of teachers, homework balance, meaningful integration of technology, and teaching children how to be responsible citizens, both in person and online. Referring to the district’s recent overspending resulting from former superintendent Tim Hanretty’s deceptive bookkeeping, Ms. Ambler


Jerry Carlson to leave Atherton council By Renee Batti

Dinner Special

Portola Valley School District board members are Caitha Calvello Ambler, left, and Karen Ann Tate.

noted that prioritizing and raising funds are important board goals, adding that she has been involved in both areas at the Priory. She has a son in kindergarten at Ormondale. Ms. Tate has been active in the district as a classroom volunteer, and as a founder and member of the “Innovation in Education” committee, which is “focused on raising awareness and creating deeper understanding of innovations in K-8 education in support of the district’s strategic planning effort,” according to the district’s website. Among the areas she wants to focus on, according to her application for the board position, she lists strengthening the district’s finances, including building back the reserves depleted under Mr. Hanretty’s financial oversight; embracing a “culture of experimentation and continual innovation while ensuring we maintain the richness, academic excellence and quality of educational opportunities of our community-based schools; and hiring and/or developing “great leaders and mentors” in the district. Ms. Tate has a third-grader and a kindergartener at Ormondale.

therton City Councilman Jerry Carlson announced at the end of the April 17 council meeting that he will be moving out of town and stepping down from the council, possibly by the end of June. Mr. Carlson’s term expires in December 2014, and City Clerk Theresa DellaSanta said the council will have the option of calling a special election or appointing a new member. The council will have 60 days after Mr. Carlson resigns to make that decision, she said. Mr. Carlson now serves as vice mayor, which means the council will have to appoint a colleague to that position once Mr. Carlson steps down.

The vice mayor typically is appointed by his colleagues to the mayor’s post at the end of the year. Mr. Carlson Jerry Carlson was appointed to the council in January 2006 to replace Bill Conwell, who died in office the month before. He successfully stood for election in November 2006, and was re-elected in 2010. For the last few years, Councilman Carlson has been closely involved with the town’s challenge to the high-speed rail project, and is on the town’s Rail Committee. He has also been intensely focused on getting the town’s financial

health on track, and currently serves on the town’s Audit and Finance Committee. At the Wednesday night council meeting, Mr. Carlson said he and his wife, Shirley, were putting their house on the market next week, but that he would continue to serve on the council for a short while longer. He said it’s likely his council tenure would end with the fiscal year, which concludes June 30, although if he moves from town before then, he must give up his post at that time. Mr. Carlson told the Almanac that family-care matters make it likely that he will continue to live on the Peninsula, but that he and his wife are eager to travel, both domestically and overseas. A

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Adina Levin moves to transportation post By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


enlo Park has a chronic shortage of volunteers for its city commissions, and after the council meeting on April 16, one commission’s loss was another’s gain. Adina Levin, formerly of the Environmental Quality Commission, swapped that position for a seat on the Transportation Commission, with the council’s unanimous support. “I wish there were more Adinas,” Councilwoman Cat Carlton said. Ms. Levin told the Almanac that she wanted to make the switch because even during her tenure on the environmental commission, one of the main issues she was concerned about was how transportation impacted greenhouse gas emissions. “There is a broad range of related policy topics — parking, the relationship between speed and safety, forecasting methods, street classifications,” she said. “I am interested in this broader range of issues, and (the) Transportation Commission is a good fit.” One particular item of interest is how Menlo Park estimates the traffic impact of new projects. According to Ms. Levin, the city only looks at vehicle trips to and from the project, and vehicle capacity. Other jurisdictions, such as San Mateo, analyze

Woodside kids shoot hoops for hope


the relationship between expected traffic from a development, the surrounding land use, transit, bike and pedestrian Adina Levin facilities, and other factors. “Currently in Menlo Park, to the best of my understanding, it is impossible to do studies like this because the general plan does not permit it,” she said, and explained that Menlo Park is about to embark on a general plan review, giving it the opportunity to review and potentially update its policies. The council also appointed a new director to the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) and the Bay Area Regional Water Supply Financing Authority. Although former council member Kelly Fergusson asked to retain the positions, the council opted to appoint Councilwoman Kirsten Keith instead; her term will begin July 1. A letter from BAWSCA indicated that the majority of the participating cities select an elected member of their governing body as a representative, and that the same person typically holds seats on both the agency and financing authority boards. A

Grand jury slams county on pension fund management By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


n its second report in two years on this topic, the San Mateo County civil grand jury lambastes county officials over a pension plan for county employees that it says is underfunded by at least $1 billion and likely $2 billion. The county will pay $92.5 million of its $1.9 billion budget toward that liability for the current fiscal year, according to the April 10 report. To put that number in perspective, over that same period, the county is paying $89.7 million for Sheriff’s Office services, $83 million for capital projects, and $56.6 million for road construction and operation, the report says. Over the past four years, annual payments to pensioners from the pension fund,

known as SamCERA, have risen 34 percent to $139.2 million. The median annual benefit per retired employee is $23,981, the report says. Twenty-four of those retirees receive $150,000 to $199,000 and five receive over $200,000. The grand jury accuses the county of consistently overestimating the annual return on its independently managed $2.3 billion investment portfolio. The most recent projection is an annual return of 7.5 percent, but over 10 years, the rate has been 5.54 percent a year, the report says. That return compares poorly to the 7.6 percent annual return for 69 of the largest college endowment funds over 10 years, the report says. Got to to read the grand jury’s report. A

Thirty-two sixth-graders at Woodside Elementary School shot hundreds of basketball free-throws Friday afternoon, April 19, as part of a fundraiser for children in Africa who have lost their parents to AIDS. The kids committed to shooting 500 free-throws in exchange for sponsorship dollars. A total of $3,500 was raised for the organization, Hoops for Hope, said parent organizer Michelle R. Warford. The money will go to help build a health clinic in Moyo, Zambia, “where children are dying every day from AIDS and malaria,” she said. Ms. Warford collected these quotes from the Woodside kids: “I hope the kids are happy for what we did for them,” said Shadi Zakkak, the first to reach 500 free throws. Another sixth-grader, Sammy Vaea, felt sad about children who lost their parents, but “felt good because I know people are shooting hoops for them.” Max Amini-Holmes said: “My arms will be sore tomorrow. But it will be worth it and it was fun.” Marilynn Welsh, a teacher of the school’s Global Citizen elective class, said she was happy the class helped promote the Hoops of Hope event.

Hoops of Hope Emmett Morehead, left, and Hailey Warford are among the sixth-graders at Woodside Elementary School who spent Friday afternoon, April 19, shooting basketball free-throws in the school gym to raise money for children in Africa who have lost their parents to AIDS.

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Elsa Roscoe Elsa Roscoe, a resident of Portola Valley for nearly five decades, passed away peacefully at home on February 18, 2013. She was 92 years old. Elsa gained her German heritage from parents, Max Rautenberg and Elsie Hohner Rautenberg who emigrated from Germany passing through Ellis Island and settling for a brief time in New York before moving to Cleveland, Ohio where Elsa was born. She learned her strong work ethic from her father who spent nights in the library teaching himself English while training to be a landscape architect. She had one brother, Hans Herbert, who served in the Seabees during WWII, later working in civil service in Guam and Washington DC. Elsa’s parents instilled a respect for education in their children and Elsa pursued and received a Masters in Economics from the University of Rochester in 1952 a few years after graduating from Ohio University with a degree in accounting. Elsa lived a rich and rewarding life yet one not without heartbreak. Elsa married three times and outlived three husbands. Her first, Bob Jobe, whom she married in 1943, was killed in 1945 during World War II. She met her second husband, Raymond Spafford, while at the University of Rochester and married him in 1953. Both employees of Eastman Kodak, Elsa and Ray moved to California due to a job transfer with Kodak to Palo Alto in 1953. Elsa and Ray fell in love with the rural nature of Portola Valley and became some of the earliest residents of Alpine Hills. They purchased their lot for $1200, cleared most of it themselves, then designed and built their dream home. Ray, who was an engineer, did a lot of the work himself. Ray died of cancer in 1967. Elsa was married to John Roscoe, her third husband, for almost 40 years. John was a Colonel in the USMC and a Fellow in the Explorers Club. He and Elsa traveled extensively and had a residence at Air Force Village West in Riverside, where John died of a heart attack in 2007. Elsa was gentle, funny, had an active intellect and was a lover of music, which could be heard pouring from her windows every Sunday morning during her favorite radio show. She valued education and supported various students and institutions. Elsa had a natural

curiosity, was interested in knowing how and why things worked and was an avid reader, reading everything she got her hands on; her home an abundance of stacks of articles to be read or reread. Through her connection with Eastman Kodak and responsibility for testing different films Elsa developed a love of photography, which remained with her throughout her life. Elsa, a tall willowy brunette, also modeled for Eastman Kodak in her younger years, in print ads and runway events. She drove the same car, a 1962 Porsche, for many years. Elsa loved the outdoors (she received her first Kelty backpack from Dick Kelty himself), respected the environment and enjoyed nature especially in her beloved Portola Valley. She practiced sustainability before it became popular and believed in caring for and fixing things, not throwing them out, a true embodiment of “waste not want not”. After dedicating herself to her career with Eastman Kodak for 40 years, Elsa retired but continued her active life. She volunteered for the Sensory Access Foundation and USGS where she did geologic mapping in the Sierra Nevada. She was a follower of the Explorers Club and through the Earthwatch organization went on archaeological digs to Papeete and Huahine (French Polynesia), and Chaco Canyon, (New Mexico). Additionally, she trekked in Nepal, traveled through Pakistan, Burma, Greenland, and visited China. Her interest in health and nutrition, which she practiced throughout her daily life, led her to take classes in yoga and in recent years to participate in a Stanford Study on Aging. Elsa is survived by many dear friends and neighbors: her niece and nephew, Peggy Spafford Golfin and Gene Spafford and their children, and stepdaughters, Chellie and Marilynne Roscoe. A Memorial Service in her honor will be held at 4:00 PM on Saturday April 27 at the Ladera Community Church, 3300 Alpine Road, Portola Valley. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) 222 High Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301. Via web: “In Memory of Elsa Roscoe” PA I D


Thousands expected for Compassion Weekend More than 4,000 participants are expected to take part in Menlo Park Presbyterian Church’s eighth annual Compassion Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28. The public is invited to join congregants who — instead of attending regular worship services that weekend — will take part in 33 service projects throughout the Peninsula. The projects will be funded by the church’s Christmas offering, which raised more than $510,000. Menlo Park Presbyterian Church has been located in Menlo Park for almost 140 years and today has four campuses, including locations in Mountain View and San Mateo. Go to to sign up for Compassion Weekend.

Seminar on family history The San Mateo County Genealogical Society, working with the Menlo Park Family History Center, will present a seminar on family history with D. Joshua Taylor from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Menlo Park Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints, 1105 Valparaiso Ave. in Menlo Park. Mr. Taylor is a genealogy researcher and speaker, featured on the NBC program “Who Do You Think You Are?” The San Mateo County Genealogical Society was established in 1982 to encourage the study of family history. The society’s library is located on the campus of Canada College in Woodside. The Menlo Park Family History Center has been serving the area for nearly 40 years and has a staff of more than 70 volunteers offering free genealogy consulting to the public. The conference price is $48. Visit and click on “Seminars” for more information.


Frederick’s Follies The Police, Kiss and the Beach Boys are among the rock bands that will be impersonated at the 11th production of Frederick’s Follies from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, in the multi-use room at Corte Madera School in Portola Valley. This year’s three-act play is titled “Frederick’s Follies:A Space Oddity” and will feature rock band performances from Mr. Frederick’s fifth-grade class as well as guest appearances by other students and members of the community. The public is invited to this free community event. Corte Madera School is at 4575 Alpine Roard in Portola Valley.

Hats Off to Dr. Seuss In honor of the 75th anniversary of the children’s book, “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,” an exhibit of the hat collection of Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), alongside prints and sculpture from the Dr. Seuss collection, will be on display at Peabody Fine Art, 603 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park, through May 12. The “Art of Dr. Seuss” curator will unveil the hat collection at the opening evening event on Saturday, April 27, from 5 to 8 p.m, at the gallery. This is the first time that Dr. Seuss’s hat collection has traveled outside the Seuss estate. The collection is being shown at selected venues throughout the country.

Woodside book sale The Friends of the Woodside Libary will hold their semiannual used book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the library, 3140 Woodside Road in Woodside. The sale will include a wide selection of novels, travel and cooking books, and children’s books. There also will be a good selection of books on California history and the Civil War, said Margaret MacNiven, president of the Friends of the Woodside Library. Paperback books will cost 25 cents, hard cover books, $1. A selection of coffee table books will be for sale at prices ranging from $3 to $20.

Host family sought A host family is sought for a 17-year-old female student from Brazil who will be attending Menlo-Atherton High School from mid-August through December. If you are interested, contact Mark Flegel at 326-9661 or 16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNApril 24, 2013


Rebuilding Together volunteers work on homes, facilities Rebuilding Together Peninsula volunteers will be working on 44 homes and 22 community facilities from Daly City to Sunnyvale on on Saturday, April 27, the organization’s National Rebuilding Day. Among the projects will be a home and two communities facilities in Menlo Park, said Seana O’Shaughnessy, executive director of Rebuilding Together Peninsula, which mobilizes volunteers to repair and rehabilitate


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structures, including homes occupied by people who can’t afford or are unable to do the work. The Menlo Park projects include the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula clubhouse and part of the HIP Housing project on Willow Road. Also, the Rotary Club of Woodside/ Portola Valley is working on a project in Redwood City, Ms. O’Shaughnessy said. Visit for more information.


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Man injured in drive-by shooting A 19-year-old man was injured in a drive-by shooting Saturday afternoon, April 20, in Menlo Park. Shots were reported in the 600 block of Pierce Road around 1 p.m., according to Sgt. Matthew Ortega. The victim was shot while standing in front of his home. Police found him inside when they arrived on the scene.

He had a single gunshot wound, and was taken to the hospital for treatment of nonlife threatening injuries. Witnesses told police the suspects were driving a dark-colored sedan, possibly a Nissan, north on Pierce Road when the shots were fired. The car was last seen turning east onto Berkeley Avenue. Bullets also struck a parked car and a home, Ortega said.


of the Stanford design school are followed as they work on challenging projects to improve the lives of impoverished people in other parts of the world. One student team struggled with creating a medical device that would give babies in Bangladesh a fighting chance of surviving pneumonia — a common problem in that country. The students are part of a class called Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, which uses design-thinking concepts to collaborate and create solutions. (Go to extremebydesignmovie. com to see the film trailer.) The April 24 presentation to unveil Hillview’s redesigned program begins at 10 a.m. The April 25 program is set for 6:30 p.m.

continued from page 3

“Students tackled wide-ranging projects including ‘Designing a Learning Classroom,’ ‘Wallet Project’ and ‘Artistic Statistics.’ “The students used the design process to go beyond linear thinking and develop plans and ideas that were new and, as they discovered, challenging to implement. From creating visuals to demonstrate the obesity rates in different countries to creating wallets designed for unique users, the kids tried, failed and tried again.” In the documentary “Extreme by Design,” produced and codirected by Ralph King of Hawkview Pictures, with Kikim Media of Menlo Park, students


N P O L I C E C A L L S This information is from the Menlo Park Police Department. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted. MENLO PARK Residential burglary reports: ■ Someone entered a residence on Hobart Street through an unlocked bathroom window and got away with cash, checks and gold coins for a total loss estimated at $7,000, April 20. ■ Thieves broke in through a rear door of a Hill Avenue home and made off with a video-game player, a rifle, two handguns and three laptop computers for a total loss estimated at $2,950, April 20. Auto burglary reports: ■ A thief tampered with a door lock on a vehicle parked on Madera Avenue and stole four CDs, a volt-ammeter and a GPS device for a total loss estimated at $290, April 14.

■ The Sheridan Drive owner of two unlocked trucks reported several construction tools missing from the trucks, but did not include an estimate of losses, April 15.

■ Someone forced open a rear passenger window of a locked vehicle on Sheridan Drive and stole a stereo valued at $50, April 15. Theft reports:

■ A briefcase containing blank checks and about $4,500 in cash is missing from an unlocked vehicle on Oak Avenue, April 16.

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EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Gibboney (223-6507) NEWSROOM Managing Editor Richard Hine (223-6525) News Editor Renee Batti (223-6582) Lifestyles Editor Jane Knoerle (223-6531) Staff Writers Dave Boyce (223-6527), Sandy Brundage (223-6529) Contributors Marjorie Mader, Barbara Wood, Kate Daly Special Sections Editors Carol Blitzer, Sue Dremann Photographer Michelle Le (223-6530) DESIGN & PRODUCTION Design Director Shannon Corey (223-6560) Designers Linda Atilano, Lili Cao, Diane Haas, Rosanna Leung, Paul Llewellyn, Scott Peterson ADVERTISING Vice President Sales and Marketing Tom Zahiralis (223-6570) Display Advertising Sales Wendy Suzuki (223-6569) Real Estate Manager Neal Fine (223-6583) Real Estate & Advertising Coordinator Diane Martin (223-6584) Legal Advertising Alicia Santillan (223-6578) Published every Wednesday at 3525 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025 Newsroom: (650) 223-6525 Newsroom Fax: (650) 223-7525 Advertising: (650) 854-2626 Advertising Fax: (650) 223-7570 Email news and photos with captions to: Email letters to: The Almanac, established in October 1965, is delivered each week to residents of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside and adjacent unincorporated areas of southern San Mateo County. The Almanac is qualified by decree of the Superior Court of San Mateo County to publish public notices of a governmental and legal nature, as stated in Decree No. 147530, issued December 21, 1969. ©2013 by Embarcadero Media Company. All rights reserved. Subscriptions are $60 for one year and $100 for two years.

City has bargaining chips on Stanford project


he protracted debate over the Stanford/Arrillaga appli- to change parts of the specific plan, including time for noticed cation to build up to 450,000 square feet of offices, hous- hearings by the Planning Commission and the City Council. ing and retail space on eight acres at 300-500 El Camino Although it appears that Stanford will submit a detailed Real, the gateway to Menlo Park’s downtown, is well under way project proposal, it has not yet pulled a building permit. City and now the City Council must decide its position. Attorney Bill McClure said that from a legal perspective there Last week the council formed a two-member subcommittee are no vested rights for a developer until a building permit has to devise a strategy to resolve the reservations many residents been issued and an applicant has taken action on the permit. have expressed, including at last week’s council meeting. We That is when courts have said a builder is entitled to proceed. hope the subcommittee members, Kirsten Keith and Cath- All work that occurs before a permit is issued is considered erine Carlton, succeed in convincing Stan“soft costs” that a developer cannot recover ford to reduce the size of the project and to if rules are changed. EDI TORI AL devise a way to substantially reduce the traffic Clearly, the best course for Stanford The opinion of The Almanac impact it could have on El Camino Real and and Menlo Park is for the two sides to resolve surrounding neighborhoods. their differences in an amicable way, without The council subcommittee does not go moratoriums or other procedural roadblocks. into these negotiations without bargaining chips. In fact, just But despite Stanford’s recent move to reduce medical office because Stanford has submitted a tentative design does not space, the overall size of the project remains the same. For mean the city is powerless to change portions of the specific example, will the project produce hundreds of unwanted cars plan. It is not until a detailed plan for Stanford’s development and trucks on the six Allied Arts streets that are most likely is submitted and accepted by the city’s Planning Department to suffer by virtue of being across the street from such a huge and a building permit is issued, that the city can’t alter the development. Some way needs to be found to mitigate that project. So, at this point the city can: traffic impact, and even the impact of pedestrians, including ■ Accept Stanford’s latest plan which conforms to the spe- school children, who will need to cross from the east to west cific plan and decreased the amount of high-traffic-generating side of El Camino Real at Middle Avenue. We also would like medical office space but roughly maintained the overall size to see a more detailed plan about how Stanford would facilitate of the project. construction of a bike/pedestrian tunnel at Middle that would ■ Support the two-member committee appointed last week connect Linfield Oaks and Burgess Park to El Camino Real. to see if Stanford will make more changes that would reduce It is highly unlikely that opponents of this project are going the impact of the project. to get all that they want before this project is approved. It ■ Or consider either slightly changing the stipulations of would take a major effort by the council to pass a moratorium. the specific plan or making major changes, which would But we hope Stanford responds to at least some of the opporequire the council to approve a moratorium that would stop nents concerns. We believe most Menlo Park residents truly all activity on Stanford’s application until the moratorium was want to see improvements made on this very visible property lifted. at the southern gateway to the city. But that doesn’t mean a According to a city staff report on Stanford’s plan, a mora- developer can ignore public reaction and offer an out of baltorium needs approval of four of five council members (which ance project. The City Council does have the power to stop could be a challenge with member Ray Mueller unable to vote an overzealous plan if it acts relatively soon. With that option on this project) and could last 45 days or up to 22 months if on the back burner, we hope Stanford, and John Arrillaga, necessary. By enacting a moratorium, the council would give who has given so generously to Menlo Park, will be willing to itself the time necessary to go through the complicated process reduce the size and impact of their project.

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

Email your views to: and note this it is a letter to the editor in the subject line. Mail

or deliver to: Editor at the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025.


the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

Our Regional Heritage This 1880 photograph shows the extent of environmental damage caused by early lumbering methods around the Tacoma Mill near La Honda, including the erosion of soil from the hillsides and wood scrap left from clearcutting the forests. Many of the original roads had gentle grades to make the the trip safer for oxen pulling the huge logs down the hills to the docks in Redwood City.

18NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN April 24, 2013

Woodside History Committee/Redwood City Library

Town Square forum Post your views on the Town Square forum at www.TheAlmanacOnline. com


Ira Sandperl enriched character of Kepler’s By Clark Kepler

1982 photo by Molly Black


ra Sandperl and my dad thought they could change the world. Turns out, they were right. Political activism was my dad’s passion, dating back to his time as a World War II conscientious objector. Book- Ira Sandperl selling provided him an income to raise his family. Ira, who died April 13 at the age of 90, was my dad’s greatest friend and essential peace ally. Ira also worked for my dad’s store, Kepler’s Books & Magazines, for several decades. Though, perhaps “worked” is not the right word. Ira sold books like he lived his life: In his own time, and after his own fash-

ion. It is better to say that he was present and engaged with everyone who entered. He suggested authors to read; nearly always Tolstoy. He entertained, he told stories, he inspired, he provoked, he enriched the character of the bookstore. To meet Ira was to feel that you were his friend. He was captivating. He transformed the lives of many young people. While dad was in the back of the bookstore conducting business, Ira was usually up front holding court. Ira freely expressed his radical views on war, peace and the individual conscience amid an atmosphere of ideas and protest. He, as much as anything else about Kepler’s, is the reason that young people flocked into the bookstore, out of curiosity and defiance

of the authority figures who with a broken hip that was forbade them to go. the result of a bike accident. Ira and dad were great He was still taking his early friends, but they weren’t pals. morning breakfasts next door They didn’t bowl together, at CafÈ Borrone, then visiting they didn’t get together for the bookstore. He would greet poker night; they didn’t play at me and ask how I was doing, all. They were brothers with a about my mother’s well-being GUEST shared cause. and about my young nephew, OPINION Ira’s wry sense of humor and who was serving in the Army high-cracked voice inspired in Iraq. And, when I inquired laughter from dad like little about him, he would reply else could. On many evenings at the that he was, “undeservingly well.” After dinner table, our phone would ring and all, he had his books and a few friends. dad would answer, at first irritated by He was content. the interruption. Then he would start Flamboyant from the start, reclusive to chuckle, and my sisters and I knew in the end, in the lives he touched and that it was Ira calling and that dad the hearts and minds he opened, Ira wouldn’t be finishing his meal with us. Sandperl did change the world. They would talk into the evening. Clark Kepler is the former owner and In the last decade of his life I saw Ira manager of Kepler’s Books only occasionally as he was less mobile, and Magazines in Menlo Park.

Young equestrian opposes slaughterhouses for horses By Zoe Levitan


orses are amazing animals. They can be used for riding, therapy, aids to happiness, farm work, and pulling carriages. I consider myself fortunate to be able to get to know these fascinating animals first-hand. I am a dedicated equestrian who goes to the barn every day. Horses bring pure joy. There is nothing better then grooming, riding, and spending time with a horse. I was surprised to learn that we may soon have horse slaughterhouses here in the United States. There was a ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption that was lifted in 2011. Now a number of slaughterhouses are waiting for approval to be begin operations. To be clear, we will not be seeing horse on the menu anytime soon as the meat is only

for export. I am against the slaughter of horses — whether here or internationally. Slaughtering horses is cruel; it is a punishment for something they never did. Most horses get sold at the chaotic auctions for slaughter, where the environment causes tremendous stress for the horses. Once sold, the horses will be transported under brutal circumstances. Sometimes they travel thousands of miles in cramped trailers with little or no water or food. Some horses arrive at the slaughterhouses injured from being kicked or trampled by other terrified horses. Many cannot walk after the ride, so they get towed to their death; others arrive dead. The traumatized horses at the slaughterhouse that survive get

forced into a death chute, leading them to the “knock box,” where they are theoretical going to be knocked unconscious. However, the method of slaughtering horses is horrific, as many

horses are still conscious as their throats are being slit. People say that the horses will then be transported to Mexico or Canada, where horse slaughter is permitted, but my parents always told me, two wrongs don’t make a right; so slaughter-

ing horses is not going to turn out to be the right thing to do. I would like anyone reading this article who believes in this cause to go online and sign my petition. Thank you so much. Visit to find the petition.

Zoe Levitan is a 12-year-old girl who lives in Menlo Park and goes to La Entrada Middle School. She and her horse “Tintero” (also called Tinny) compete in rated shows, where the two jump barriers up to 3-feet high.


APPL2013-0001 Planner: Sage S. Schaan, Senior Planner

Appeal of the Planning Director’s conditional approval of ASRB2012-0042; signs and awnings for Intero Real Estate on a commercial building. 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.

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The Almanac 04.24.2013 - Section 1  
The Almanac 04.24.2013 - Section 1  

Section1 of the April 24, 2013 edition of the Almanac