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Woodside woman hailed a hero after Boston bombings | Page 3

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See Section 2 for photos, names of M-A and Woodside High grads

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2NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 12, 2013


Woodside woman hailed as hero She is reunited with woman she comforted after the Boston bombings By Kate Daly Special to the Almanac


he woman hailed in last week’s national news, “Bombing survivor meets her hero,” is Amanda North of Woodside. Ever since she stood near the finish line during the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, Ms. North wondered about the fate of the gravely wounded woman she helped that day. That woman turned out to be Erika Brannock, the last survivor to be released from the hospital. After losing one leg and breaking the other, Ms. Brannock underwent 11 surgeries, and was finally transferred to a rehab facility in the Baltimore area on June 3. When CNN interviewed her that day she said she’d like to thank the stranger who saved her life. CNN broadcast a picture of a woman holding Ms. Brannock’s hand right after the blasts. Ms. North’s brother saw it on TV and texted his sister to tell her she was on the national news. Ms. North then contacted CNN, which made arrangements to fly her back east for a tearful reunion with Ms. Brannock on June 5. CNN broadcast the story that night. On June 6, Ms. North was glad to be out of the limelight and back home, hugging her dogs and taking them for a walk. She says the trip was an emotional experience, but “good closure. ... I really wanted to know what happened to her.” “The new normal for Erika is being in rehab for a very long time, and being fitted for a prosthesis,” Ms. North says. Ms. Brannock, 29, planned to visit the preschool she taught at before the bombing. Ms. North says Ms. Brannock wants to return to work as soon as she is able, and can master the skill of getting up and down off the f loor so she can play with her students again. Ms. North has invited the Brannocks to come to Cal-

Photo by Kate Daly

Amanda North at home in Woodside after reuniting with an injured woman she helped during the Boston Marathon bombing.

ifornia when she can travel. Ms. North says Ms. Brannock’s father told her when Ms. Brannock arrived at the hospital “she had three minutes to live, she was the closest to death. My yelling for help to get treatment might have made a difference.” Ms. Brannock’s mother told her: “I couldn’t be there. Thank you for being me.” Ms. Brannock attended the

Woodside’s Amanda North was also injured in the explosions. marathon to watch her mother run. Ms. North was there to watch her daughter, Lili, run. Some friends texted that they saw Lili approaching the finish. A woman switched places with Ms. North so she could have a better view. That’s when the first bomb blew. “Everyone fell backwards ... there was a boom, a flash of light ... and then a second explosion and I felt like it was 9/11,” Ms. North says. “It was an out-of-body experience,” she says. She spotted a man near her with both of his

legs blown off, and then she saw Ms. Brannock. “I felt she needed some help. ... She was conscious ... she had a big gaping wound. I slithered over.” Ms. North put her jacket on Ms. Brannock’s leg. Ms. North’s cell phone was in the pocket and got lost in the shuffle. Ironically, the phone’s cover had the words, “Keep calm and carry on.” A man asked for belts to use as a tourniquet and Ms. North took her belt off. It could have ended up on Ms. Brannock, but in all the chaos, it’s not clear. The explosions perforated their eardrums, so Ms. North and Ms. Brannock couldn’t hear well, and ended up getting each other’s names wrong (Joan and Irene, respectively), but Ms. North held Ms. Brannock’s hand and told her to hang on. Ms. North stayed with her until professional help arrived. Realizing she had her own injuries, Ms. North went to a medical tent and also was taken to the hospital. There she was treated for a deep gash in one leg, burn marks on the other, bits of shrapnel in both legs, and singed hair. The hospital reached her son and he relayed that Lili had been knocked off her feet during the bombing, but was fine. Cycle ahead seven weeks to June 5 when CNN TV cameras capture the reunion of Ms. North and Ms. Brannock. They hugged, cried and talked about their connection for life with Ms. North telling Ms. Brannock, “I’m never going to stop holding your hand.” CNN ran the story for two days, and added a live interview with Ms. North on the Anderson Cooper show in New York. Ms. North took the train from Baltimore to New York, and wore her two new Brannock tokens: a green sports top with Team Brannock written on it, and a dragonfly necklace Ms. Brannock gave her as a symbol of resilience and strength. See AMANDA, page 6


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Taking a breath between high school and college By Kate Daly Special to the Almanac


or many high school seniors, May 1 means one thing: the deadline for accepting admission to college. For some students, however, it may also mean deferring acceptance, and taking a gap year to do something entirely different. What the British have been doing for decades — taking time off between high school and college — “is definitely increasing in popularity,” according to Menlo School director of college counseling Mark Clevenger. “It’s likely this year two to four kids (at Menlo School) are thinking about it seriously, whereas five or six years ago we had nobody.” “Some kids are more tired at the end of four years (of high school) and rather than burn out, they’re looking for something else to do,” he explains, adding: “Colleges love it because it’s a great chance for students to mature a little bit.” For example, Harvard’s website states the university “encourages admitted students to defer enrollment for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time

in another meaningful way. ...” A business is growing around gap years, too. There are gapyear fairs, where various advisers and programs set up booths for students, parents and college counselors to peruse. Mr. Clevenger says he hasn’t attended a fair yet, but a representative of an organization based back East, the Center for Interim Programs, made a point to swing by his Atherton office to introduce the

Deferring college for a year is an attractive option for some students. counseling service. Since 1980, the company has been advising students on where to spend their gap year, and it claims to have thousands of ideas. Annie Madding of Atherton is now a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. She was one of five Menlo School students who took time off after graduating. She used the Center to help start her search for options. She chose first to travel to the Shamwari a game reserve in South Africa, where, she says,

she was the only American there at the time. “We did some manual labor, veterinary work, and helped with the general aims of the reserve,” such as tracking elephants, she says. During the winter she studied art history and Italian alongside mostly British gap-year students at the British Institute of Florence. After traveling around Italy for a month, she interned at Mpala, an ecology research center in Kenya, where she helped collect data and run experiments. “The experience has definitely changed what I am studying in college,” Ms. Madding says. She is majoring in political science with a minor in biology and possibly Italian, and is going back to study in Italy this fall “because I miss traveling so much.” Claire Gilhuly of Woodside is graduating from Duke University next month with a major in European history and a minor in French literature. She lived in London for five years before attending Menlo School and says very early on she set her mind on taking a gap year. “I knew it would help me grow, and would make me a very well-rounded

Claire Gilhuly of Woodside began her gap year in South Africa, in the small rural town of Kurland Village where she worked with preschoolers.

and open-minded person,” she says. “I just figured, if I have the opportunity to do something like this, why would I not?”

Ms. Gilhuly also began her gap year in South Africa, in the See TAKING A BREATH, page 14

Webb Ranch to sell produce at farmers’ markets By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


t’s nearly summer, but the Webb Ranch fruit and vegetable stand at Alpine Road and Interstate 280 has been dark and empty. The ranch, in business since 1922, is in the process of trying something new, and old: selling produce at area farmers’ markets. Just in time for this change in routine will be a new Portola Valley farmers’ market, and it will join two Woodside markets that are less than a year old. The Webb Ranch produce stand may have seen its day. “I think we’re just trying to figure out, more or less, a business plan that will work,” ranch president Tom Hubbard told the Almanac. “Nowadays, it seems like having a real farmers’ market (is more popular). A lot more people attend those.” Besides, he added, customers often face “horrendous” traffic on Alpine Road.

The produce stand, according to the season, has sold organic berries, tomatoes, corn, stone fruit and pumpkins, and that service has been missed. “We’ve had calls from longtime customers asking, ‘How am I going to get your stuff?’” Mr. Hubbard said. “The plan is to be at anything local.” Some Webb Ranch routines will not change: the annual U-Pick berry harvest is set for mid-June, and pumpkins and Christmas trees will go on sale in the fall and winter, Mr. Hubbard said. Selling through farmers’ market is a back-to-the-future kind of thing, according to the company’s website. Webb Ranch began by selling produce through the intermediaries of a berry co-op and Purity Markets. The produce stand opened in 1963. As for 2013, it’s been a cool spring, which tends to slow down berry ripening, Mr. Hubbard said. The berries are about two weeks behind where they

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

The produce stand at Webb Ranch stands dormant this year.

were in 2012. When they’re ready, there will be two types of blackberries — olallieberry and Navaho, a thornless variety — as well as boysenberries, loganberries and raspberries, all certified organic. PV market coming

Woodside has two farmers’

markets that might work for Webb Ranch — on Wednesday afternoons in Skylonda, and on Sunday afternoons in the elementary school parking lot. Closer to home, a Portola Valley market is expected to open at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 13, in the parking lot of the Historic Schoolhouse. Town Hall has

confirmed that date, as has the Portola Valley Farmers’ Market website run by Maggie Foard. Ms Foard also manages the websites for the two Woodside markets. Go to for more information on these markets. See WEBB RANCH, page 10

June 12, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN5


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ear Town of Atherton: The check is not in the mail. That letter could have been written by the White House, or by the Democratic National Committee, or by one of several residents, delivering a clear message: Don’t expect reimbursement anytime soon for Atherton’s cost — about $7,600 — for police and public works services provided for the April 4 presidential visit to your fair town. But the town hasn’t abandoned all hope, City Manager George Rodericks says. Mr. Rodericks announced shortly after President Obama’s April visit for two fundraising events that the town would be “contacting all parties involved” to seek repayment for providing extra services. He sent invoices to the White House, the Secret Service, the DNC, and residents who hosted the two events: Marcia and John Goldman, and Liz Simons and Mark Heising. The town received a response from one of the residents AMANDA continued from page 3

In return, Ms. North gave her a favorite scarf she bought when she was in her 20s. Ms. North describes it as “a symbol of adventure and doing fun stuff” before she started working in marketing for various Silicon Valley high-tech firms and having kids. “I like to think of myself as a person who is appreciative, and try to live a purposeful life,” Ms. North says, adding she’s grateful for all the support she has received since the bombing. People brought food, sent flowers, and still check in with her to see how she’s doing. After this last burst of media exposure, many former classmates

“requesting additional clarification on the rationale for the invoice and history,” Mr. Rodericks said in a report to the City Council. The DNC also wrote back, saying it won’t pay the bill, and suggesting that the town might have more luck getting reimbursed by the Secret Service, he said. At this point, Mr. Rodericks told the Almanac, the town’s only recourse is to continue to pursue reimbursement from the homeowners who hosted the events. “Or, we could sue the White House — but we’re not going to do that.” He said town staff is prepared to “go through a lot of hoops and hurdles” to entreat the homeowners for repayment “in a more formal way than just a letter.” If all else fails, he said, the town could attach a lien on the properties and collect the money through the property tax rolls. The events included a brunch, where tickets went for $32,400 per person; and a luncheon, where tickets started at $1,000 per person. Lunch and a photo with the president cost $5,000, or $7,500 for two people. A

are back in touch, too. Ms. North says she did not want to be in the public eye, but has agreed to share her story at her church during services at Menlo Park Presbyterian on June 15 at 5 p.m., and on June 16 at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. A spokesperson says these are not fundraising events; the church plans to do something separate for Ms. Brannock. Ms. North’s daughter will be back studying at Harvard in the fall and training to run in the Boston Marathon next spring to raise money for Ms. Brannock. Ms. Brannock has many expenses during her recovery, and her family and friends have set up a fund for her. Visit for more information. A

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6NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 12, 2013


School district voters may be asked to OK $23 million bond measure By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


chool board members on June 11 were set to consider a staff recommendation to ask residents of the Menlo Park City School District to pass a $23 million bond measure in November to pay for construction of a new school at the former O’Connor school site. The money would be used to construct a 16-classroom school with a capacity for some 360 students. The district’s staff has recommended that the school be configured for grades 3-5, but designed so that it could be converted to a K-5 school. (Visit for updates. The meeting was held after the Almanac went to press.)

The board also is expected to consider a recommendation to allow the private school now leasing the site — the GermanAmerican International School (GAIS) — to remain on the campus through May 15, 2015. The district had recently rewritten the lease agreement with the school, applying a termination clause to force it to vacate the campus by June 2014. The original lease expired in June 2016. The bond measure would be on the Nov. 5 ballot, and approval would require a 55 percent favorable vote. According to draft bond language and an overview by the district, the “best estimate” of the maximum tax rate levied to meet the debt service of the proposed bond would be $8.70 per year per $100,000 of assessed valua-

tion of taxable property. The board voted earlier this year to take back the O’Connor campus, at 275 Elliot Drive in Menlo Park, to provide more space for a burgeoning enrollment in the district’s four schools: Encinal and Laurel in Atherton, and Oak Knoll and Hillview Middle in Menlo Park. The O’Connor site now has only one permanent building, constructed in the 1950s. GAIS uses a large number of portable buildings for its students. The June 11 meeting was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the district’s board room, 181 Encinal Ave. in Atherton Go to for the board agenda, and go to item No. 8 for the staff report and financial breakdown for the proposed project.


Preventing Mold in Your Home When you are selling your home, typically a home inspection is conducted. Among the many items a home inspector will check for is the presence of mold in the home. If mold is discovered, the buyer will likely ask for further inspection and remediation before the transaction closes. Mold can cause damage to the home itself, and also poses a health risk. Indoor exposure to mold has been linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people. People with mold allergies, immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses may have more severe reactions when they are exposed to mold. Mold grows indoors and outdoors wherever there is a lot of moisture - in the air and on many surfaces. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors. Mold

growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it and work to prevent future growth. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, hire a mold remediation company. You can control mold growth inside your home by controlling humidity levels, promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes, ventilating shower, laundry, and ceooking areas, and thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding. Please check the Centers for Disease Control website for more comprehensive information.

If you have a real estate question or would like a free market analysis for your home, please call me at 650-384-5392, Alain Pinel Realtors, or email me at For the latest real estate news, follow my blog at


Menlo weighs privacy vs. surveillance By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


n the heels of an announcement of the long-awaited Belle Haven police substation, the Menlo Park council found itself mulling over privacy rights versus surveillance. With revived interest in expanding Menlo Park’s law enforcement facilities comes a look at how to widen the police department’s technological capabilities as well. In addition to extending East Palo Alto’s ShotSpotter gunfire detection system to cover Belle Haven and eventually adding surveillance cameras in key sites around the city, Police Chief Robert Jonsen plans to deploy up to three mobile automated license plate readers. The department recently borrowed one plate reader from Daly City to monitor a funeral, Chief Jonsen told the council on

June 4, and has also asked San Mateo County to loan its five units out as needed. The mobile automated license plate readers, used by East Palo Alto as well as the county and other local jurisdictions, run hundreds of plates a minute within a 360-degree arc.

How long should police retain license plate data? While the council hopes to see the readers up and running in Menlo Park sooner rather than later, with Councilwoman Kirsten Keith expressing concern that the summer could see a spike in crime, it also wants to settle the issue of what happens to the collected data. Vice Mayor Ray Mueller asked that the council first establish a privacy policy before police deploy

the readers within the city. Chief Jonsen said that captured data is retained within a database in San Francisco, which also stores information from other jurisdictions. Councilwoman Keith said that the sheriff told her the county’s policy is to keep the data for a year, then purge it. The chief said that a one-year retention policy is considered best practice. The American Civil Liberties Union has been monitoring data collection by law enforcement; it recommends keeping the information for as short a period as possible and limiting access. Tiburon, for example, stores the data from automated license plate readers for only 30 days unless it relates to a specific criminal investigation. Mayor Peter Ohtaki asked that staff present a report on privacy policy during a July council meeting. A

Menlo council approves police substation By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


s if the Menlo Park council needed another reason to celebrate Facebook’s relocation to the city, the social media company has now chipped in to help open a new police substation in Belle Haven. Facebook recently volunteered to help fund the substation, and followed through by guaranteeing to cover $2,750 in monthly rent and to pay for renovations to make the facility — to be located in a strip mall at 871 Hamilton Ave. off Willow Road

— a place where residents want to drop by. “It’s amazing generosity,” Vice Mayor Ray Mueller noted and thanked the social media company for stepping up. The council unanimously approved a three-year renewable lease for the new substation on June 4. The police department expects to get access to the site by mid-June and estimated that remodeling would take about three months. How much it will cost the city to staff the site remains to be determined, according to

the staff report, but the police department expects to staff it at least part time during regular hours and also have officers rotate through while on patrol. It’s been about 10 years since Menlo Park first announced its intent to open a substation in the Belle Haven neighborhood. The current location at Newbridge Avenue fell short of expectations in both staffing and hours of operation; plans to build a new facility on Ivy Drive fell through due to construction conflicts and the loss of the city’s redevelopment agency. A

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185 University Ave, Palo Alto Reservations: (650) 614-1177 June 12, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN7


Legal granny units coming to Menlo Park By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


ranny’s got a new place to stay, or at least she will, once the Menlo Park City Council concludes its authorization of secondary, aka “in-law,” aka “granny,” units. The council voted 3-2, with Kirsten Keith and Ray Mueller dissenting, during its June 4 meeting to introduce an update to the city’s laws that will legalize building granny units on lots of at least 6,000 square feet. How many bedrooms allowed, distance between homes and whether owners wanting to reduce that distance through smaller setbacks should have to get approval from neighboring property owners all came up for discussion. In the end, the council opted to allow one secondary unit of up to 640 square feet of living space per lot, with one bathroom and either a single bedroom or a studio configuration. Each unit must have at least 10-foot setbacks, reducible to 5 feet with written approval from the owners of bordering properties. Walls may climb up to 9 feet, unless located in a f lood zone where construction can go higher if necessary, and a maximum total height of 17 feet for the entire granny unit.

Parking may be handled by either putting cars behind one another, within a side yard, or in the front yard if no more than 500 square feet, including driveways, is paved. The ordinance also requires that the property owner live either in the main house or the granny unit. Council members Kirsten Keith and Ray Mueller opposed involving neighbor approval for smaller setbacks, instead favoring having the property owner apply for a variance through the city — a more expensive route, but possibly more likely to maintain harmonious relationships between neighbors. The new regulations came about as part of an update to the city’s housing plan as required by a lawsuit settlement over the city’s failure to comply with state housing law for the past 10 years. To catch up, Menlo Park has to find sites where zoning changes could allow construction of about 900 new housing units, with 454 units dedicated to affordable housing. The council was expected to pass the ordinance at its June 11 meeting; it will then take effect in 30 days. See for an update on the meeting, which occurred after the newspaper went to press. A

Portola Valley to discuss affordable housing report By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


he Portola Valley Town Council will meet this week to discuss a report from a committee of nine volunteers on how the town should address the controversial topic of affordable housing mandates. Missing from the Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee’s 11-page report is the divisive tone that characterized much of the public discussion/ debate leading up to this group effort. The report’s key concerns: distributing rather than grouping together any condominiums that might be built, and retaining local control of land use. The report favors second units and affordable housing for seniors and employees of an employer that serves Portola Valley residents. The council meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, in the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola

Road. Also on the agenda: the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The report was requested by the council in January when it commissioned the committee. The report includes feedback from community discussions on the issue and options on how the town could meet its obligations. Go to and click on the link “Committee Report to Town Council.” State law requires every community to accommodate a diverse population through good-faith efforts to plan for homes affordable to various income levels. Why? The Department of Housing and Community Development, according to Portola Valley planning consultant Karen Kristiansson, considers the shortage of affordable housing in the state a crisis and places the blame on local landuse regulations. Regional agencies set specific

8NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 12, 2013

Block party adds diaper derby By Sandy Brundage


Almanac Staff Writer


xhausted from chasing your baby around the house? Put that speedy crawl to good use by registering your child for the diaper derby debuting at the annual Menlo Park block party on Wednesday, June 19. Go to menloparkchamber. com or the Chamber of Commerce office at 1100 Merrill St. to register. Participation is free, but limited to the first 18 children, under the age of 1, who sign up. Eligible children must be able to crawl alone, but are not yet walking. Two adults may accompany each baby, coaxing the racer from outside the track, and may use toys or other lures. The derby starts at 5:45 p.m. at 814 Santa Cruz Ave. in downtown Menlo Park. Also new on the block party schedule: a scavenger hunt. To play, grab a map from the Yiftee table or other participating business during the party and solve the clues.

Kepler’s Books hosts National Geographic Lions, polar ecology and Mars are a few of the topics that explorers from National Geographic will present during a series of five lectures hosted by Kepler’s Books, beginning June 18. Tickets may be purchased for individual lectures, starting at $37, or for the entire series, starting $125. The lecquotas. Between 2014 and 2022, the Association of Bay Area Governments requires Portola Valley to plan for 21 homes for very-low-income residents, 15 for low-income residents and 15 for moderate incomes — about $123,000 for a family of four in San Mateo County. Second units address some of the need, but communities must have land zoned for multi-family housing, an HCD spokesman told the Almanac. There is multi-family housing in Portola Valley — for faculty at the Woodside Priory School and for retirees at The Sequoias. In the past, proposals for multi-family housing have faced opposition from neighbors who said the condominiums would lower their property values. If the proposal looked as if it might succeed — as did the Nathhorst Triangle project in 2003 — residents who lived farther away joined the opposition. A

tures will be held at the Fox Theatre at 2215 Broadway St. in Redwood City. Buy tickets at or at the bookstore, located at 1010 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

Music to a tee Golf and music don’t immediately spring to mind as natural companions. The East Palo Alto Junior Golf Program aims to change that, however, through its first annual “Music to a Tee” fundraiser on Sunday, June 16. Artists will perform a mix of jazz, blues and rock music during two shows, one at 2 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m., at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center (555 Middlefield Road in Atherton). Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children 17 and under. Funds will go to support the junior golf program, which introduces kids from East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Redwood City and Menlo Park’s Belle Haven to the sport. Go to for more information and to buy tickets.

Carlton appointed to state board Menlo Park councilwoman Catherine Carlton has been appointed to the California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind, according to the governor’s office. She has served on

the board of the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired for the past two years and was elected to the council in 2012.

June 13: Tip a cop Drop by Stacks restaurant at 600 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park on Thursday, June 13, to support the city’s police officers in raising funds for the Special Olympics. The officers will be waiting tables from 9 a.m. to noon; all tips will be donated to the Special Olympics of Northern California.

Peninsula Moves Dying to know what SamTrans is up to? Go to, the transportation agency’s new blog. Featured on June 7: the story of how second-graders at Belle Haven Community School worked for nearly the entire school year to save up $900, enough to buy tickets to a Giants game and pay for transportation via bus and Caltrain. According to the blog, teacher Bronwyn Alexander’s students donated prize money from a canned food drive, grew vegetables in the school garden and sold the produce, and also exchanged a pizza party they’d won for cash to go into the game fund. Peninsula Moves, launched on May 30, will feature news about transportation issues and events as well as stories about the people using public transit, SamTrans staff said. A


Theft reports:

Armed robbery report: A woman reported June 6 that man in the 2000 block of Menalto Avenue reached into her vehicle while she was sitting inside and took her purse while pointing a handgun at her. Estimated loss: $130. Suspect description: Man of unknown race, about 6 feet tall, of medium build, and wearing black pants and a black hooded jacket with the hood tightened over his face.

■ A bike with an estimated value of $1,000 is missing from a bike rack on the 800 block of Alma Street, where it had been sitting unlocked for about an hour, June 5.

■ A bike valued at $100 is missing after being locked to a bike rack on the 700 block of Alma Street, June 1.

■ Someone stole an unlocked red mountain bike worth about $60 from a front yard on Hollyburne Avenue,

Burglary reports:

■ Someone climbed through a bath-

June 2.

■ A customer had two keys made in

room window in a Linfield Drive house and took a pair of earrings and a car key for a loss of about $150, June 1.

the 1100 block of Marsh Road and left

■ Someone tried but failed to pry open

$175, May 31.

without paying for them, leaving the key-maker with an estimated loss of

a large wooden sliding door on a shed on Arbor Road, June 1.


■ Someone broke in through the

■ Someone entered a garage on

front door of a home on Willow Road but police don’t know if anything was taken, May 31.

Leland Avenue through an unlocked side door and left with two bicycles and a helmet for an estimated loss of $12,450, June 2.


June 10 WEEKLY REAL ESTATE REPORT Reports available via the convenient QR code or at

Offering 30+ years of local knowledge. Born in Menlo Park. Raised in Atherton. A Woodside resident.

Real Estate Statistics Updated Weekly for Atherton Woodside Portola Valley Menlo Park


650-743-7702 Jesse Ziff Cool with some of the chefs she worked with when in Africa for the book, “Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity.”

Jesse Cool launches ‘Share’ cookbook Restaurateur and author Jesse Ziff Cool and Women for Women International volunteer Lauri Pastrone will help launch “Share,” the first recipe book from Women for Women International, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park. Ms. Cool will prepare appetizers from the book. The recipes come from women living in war-torn countries, where

Women for Women International operates, as well as from international chefs, such as Alice Waters and Maggie Beer, and humanitarians, such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. “Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” sells for $40 and is published by Kyle Books. Kepler’s is located at 1010 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

The publisher says its profits from the sale of the book will support Women for Women International’s farming and food-training initiatives, and will provide micro-financing in the eight countries and regions where the organization operates: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Menlo Park aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 27% By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


he city will strive to cut the community’s greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent during the next six-anda-half years, according to the Menlo Park City Council. Implementing the policy will cost an estimated $400,000 annually, according to the staff report . The council voted 4-1, with Mayor Peter Ohtaki dissenting, to target a 27 percent reduction, as compared to emission levels

in 2005. He remained true to concerns he voiced last year that the target was too high and expensive. “I’m very supportive of the overall program, I’m just uncomfortable with the 27 (percent),” Mayor Ohtaki explained during the June 4 council meeting. Menlo Park could set a target of 17 to 20 percent, he said, and still be committing to an ambitious reduction plan. Other local cities have set reduction targets ranging from 15 percent, including Palo Alto

and San Mateo, while others have gone higher, with Los Altos at 30 percent and San Jose at 35 percent. Potential funding sources for Menlo Park include publicprivate partnerships, an increase to the users utility tax, selling the methane generated by the landfill at Bedwell Bayfront Park, and upgrading the energy efficiency of the city’s facilities and vehicles to save money. The overall goal as noted by the council is to reach an 80 percent reduction by 2050 in accordance with state law. And now that Menlo Park has set a goal, the council noted that it needs to start figuring out how to achieve it. A

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Refuge restaurant to open soon in Menlo By Jane Knoerle Almanac Lifestyles Editor


t’s all about pastrami and Belgian beer at “The Refuge� restaurant in San Carlos. Owner and chef Matt Levin is now bringing his popular concept to Menlo Park, opening a second Refuge at 1143 Crane St. “hopefully in June,� he says. A native of Akron, Ohio, Mr. Levin worked in Michelinstarred kitchens in Paris and served as a chef at Viognier, the upscale restaurant in San Mateo, before opening The Refuge in WEBB RANCH continued from page 5


Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. Visit today

The Portola Valley Town Council in April authorized a six-week trial run for a farmers’ market. That decision did not meet with universal acclaim. Residents of Family Farm/ Hidden Valley, a Woodside neighborhood within hearing distance of the Town Center, objected vigorously, saying the market could interfere with equestrian activities and create “noise.� There are enough farmers’ markets as it is, they added.

San Carlos five years ago. It is named after an old wine bistro in Paris. Although Paris might be the inspiration, the menu at The Refuge seems related to the famed delicatessens of New York or Los Angeles. According to Yelp and other websites, the most popular item on the restaurant’s menu is the Reuben sandwich (pastrami, sauerkraut, melted Swiss, and Russian dressing on toasted rye). Another hit is goofy fries (garlic fries topped with chopped pastrami and cheddar cheese sauce). The

extensive menu also lists such offerings as ribeye cheesesteaks, burgers, and even a pastrami chopped salad. Just so you don’t leave hungry, there are house-made ice creams, bread pudding, and a root beer float on the dessert menu. Eighteen Belgian ales are on tap and the bar features 100 selections of artisan ales. The Refuge also offers “old world� wines. The Refuge’s new location is the former site of Siam Restaurant and, later, Marq’s of Menlo.

For the June 20 market in Portola Valley, Ms. Foard’s website lists musicians and food trucks. The Town Council was agreeable to a musician or two, but denied access to food trucks after staff relayed concerns about competition expressed by local restaurateurs. On June 20, there will be music and prepared food from trucks, but associated with a free summer concert at Town Center and not with the farmers’ market, Town Manager Nick Pegueros said in an email. Will Webb Ranch find a place? The Woodside markets run by

Ms. Foard hold about 10 vendors each, and more tend to sign up than there is room for; some vendors have to take turns. The downtown Woodside market lists 20 vendors, and there are 14 already listed for Portola Valley. Ms. Foard said she envisions 25 vendors at the Portola Valley market by the summer of 2014. Mr. Hubbard mentioned the Portola Valley market as an ideal spot for Webb Ranch. Ms. Foard said she has not yet been contacted, but that she is “hoping Webb Ranch joins both the Woodside and PV markets.�


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June 12, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN11

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Menlo boys win soccer title


The Menlo Park Boys Under 10 AYSO Select soccer team won the Davis World Cup soccer tournament on Memorial Day weekend in Davis, California. Earlier in April the same team won the AYSO El Palo Alto Tournament Boys Under 10 Division. In the photo are, front row, from left, Josh Roitman, Lasse Osterberg, Nate Baxter, Enrique Rivela and Dustin Mathia; and back row, from left, Lars Osterberg, Michael Heller, Mathias Giomi, Justin Creamer, Ramsey van der Meer, Will Ryan and Santiago Vitullo.


Wildfire season is on, danger is high By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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ith a severe fire season projected for California, the Woodside Fire Protection District is asking residents to be particularly alert. Roadside signs about wildfire danger go up when temperature and wind conditions warrant it. Some 30 residents in the district have signs at home and post them when the fire district requests it, said Fire Chief Dan Ghiorso. The signs were up for the 90-degreeplus temperatures on June 7 and 8, Chief Ghiorso said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I put them up and take them down as the weather dictates,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to leave them out there all year round ... so that people get used to them.â&#x20AC;? Homeowners need to take

certain measures, he said. Grass should be no longer than 6 inches by this time of year, according to the fire code. Areas within 100 feet of a house or other structure and within 30 feet of a property line should be made into a defensible space â&#x20AC;&#x201D; cleared of dead vegetative material, with shrubs and large bushes and the lower limbs of trees trimmed to prevent a fire on the ground from spreading from bush to bush or from climbing into the treesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; crowns. Roofs, gutters and decks should be cleared of leaves and debris. Ideally, vegetation likely to catch fire â&#x20AC;&#x201D; pine trees, firs, bamboo, juniper, Scotch and French broom, for example â&#x20AC;&#x201D; should be replaced with fireresistant native species. Go to

for detailed lists of what and what not to plant to lower the risks of a wildfire spreading to and from your property. Fire district officials said they will be out â&#x20AC;&#x153;in force inspecting properties to ensure compliance with Government Code 51182 and the fire districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ordinance.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;All property owners are urged to consider utilizing ignition resistant building materials in the construction or remodeling of their homes,â&#x20AC;? the officials said in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is also recommended that property owners inspect their structures for any susceptibility to ember intrusion that could assist in ignition of their home during a wildland fire.â&#x20AC;? Go to for more on fire prevention. A

Walk with a doc in San Mateo County The San Mateo County Medical Association is sponsoring Saturday morning walks, when physicians walk with members of the public and chat about general health topics. The one-hour walks begin with a free bloodpressure check, followed by a brief talk about the importance of staying active. All walks are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday mornings on these dates and at these locations: June 22, Central Recreation Center and Park, 50 E. 5th Ave., San Mateo; July 6, Red Morton Community Park, 1120 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City;


July 20, Orange Memorial Park, 781 Tennis Drive, S. San Francisco; Aug. 3, Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park, E. Hillsdale Blvd. near Shell Blvd., Foster City; Aug. 17, Red Morton Community Park, Redwood City; Sept. 7, Central Recreation Center and Park, San Mateo; Sept. 21, Foster City. Walkers may sign up by contacting Karen Stone at kstone@ or 312-1663.

County fair The 79th annual San Mateo County Fair continues through

June 16 at the San Mateo Event Center, 2495 South Delaware St. in San Mateo. The fair includes such oldfashioned family entertainment as a pie-eating contest (June 14), extreme apple-bobbing (June 15), and donuts-on-a-string (June 16). There are daily free concerts, agriculture, horticulture and sustainable living exhibits, as well as carnival rides, strolling acts, and favorite fair foods. General admission is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors. A one-day unlimited carnival ride wristband is $30 for all ages.

June 12, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN13


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Taking a breath between high school and college continued from page 5

is a freshman at Stanford, one of four kids who opted to take small, rural town of Kurland time off after graduating from Village, where she worked with Sacred Heart Preparatory in preschoolers in the morning, Atherton in 2011. Her mother, and spent afternoons at a safe Mindy Rogers, says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It took a house for abused girls. fair amount of convincing her to She then moved to Park City, take a gap year. She had been at Utah, to become a ski instruc- Sacred Heart ever since she was tor at Deer Valley Resort for the 3 and we wanted her to travel, winter. get more independence. ... She In the spring, she flew to Paris was pretty much of a hometo attend a language school, body.â&#x20AC;? then headed south to MontpelThe younger Rogers started lier to stay with a family and out as a cooking intern at Southgo to cooking school. Finally, ern France Youth Institute, she traveled with friends in where, her mother estimates, Europe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;a third of the 22 students were â&#x20AC;&#x153;By the time I got to col- trying to get a better college lege, I had pretty much spent choice by retaking SATsâ&#x20AC;? and everything Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d earned, but it reapplying. was totally worth it,â&#x20AC;? she says. Ms. Rogers then interned at â&#x20AC;&#x153;I became very self-sufficient John Bentleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s restaurant in and independent. ... I came into Redwood City for a stretch, college refreshed and excited to before returning to Europe to learn.â&#x20AC;? study at cooking schools in Italy Her brother John, a recent and England. Menlo grad, is just wrapping Now, her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take is: up his gap year, which com- â&#x20AC;&#x153;Christine is so much more conbined studying music in Los fident and outgoing than before Angeles with a she went away,â&#x20AC;? ski-season job and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happy â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Colleges love it in the meat to be social by department at a because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great cooking for her grocery store in dorm. chance for students Jackson, WyoBetsy Van ming, and then a to mature a little bit.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Wagenen, direcservice-oriented tor of college trip to Australia MARK CLEVENGER, MENLO SCHOOL counseling at COLLEGE COUNSELOR offered by RusWoodside Pritic Pathways. ory in Portola Jack Sieber of Woodside is a Valley, sees two to three kids freshman at the University of out of about 60 graduates take Puget Sound, where he is major- gap years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s routine now. ... I ing in Chinese. After graduating would encourage every student from Menlo in 2011, he wanted to do it. Kids in rigorous colto beef up his language skills. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I lege prep schools work so hard had already been to China and for so long, they almost need a wanted to be somewhere where break.â&#x20AC;? I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been before.â&#x20AC;? He chose At Menlo-Atherton High to study at the National Taiwan School in Atherton, college and Normal University Mandarin career specialist Alice Kleeman Training Center. counts â&#x20AC;&#x153;a handfulâ&#x20AC;? of students â&#x20AC;&#x153;My parents werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t very big taking gap years. She notices supporters of this idea, so I had another trend: â&#x20AC;&#x153;More colleges to put up a lot of the money are offering students the oppormyself. I had to be very entre- tunity to begin in springâ&#x20AC;? so preneurial,â&#x20AC;? he says. some students end up taking a To raise funds before his gap semester. departure, he helped people The college and career adviser set up their iPhones, iPads and at Woodside High in Woodside, Macs, served as a driver for a Zorina Matavulj, recalls just one family, and worked at American student who went to Paris last Apparel. By November he was year and plans to attend Lewis & ready to go overseas, initially Clark in the fall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gap years are staying in a hostel, then finding a luxury, and most students on an apartment with a San Fran- our campus would be chalciscan and a Taiwanese. lenged to afford them,â&#x20AC;? she says. He finished out the summer But she say she believes â&#x20AC;&#x153;a year working the night watch at a off between high school and colhostel, where he slept in one of lege should be mandatory eight bunk beds. He says heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nationwide. Students could grateful to have just one room- probably benefit from time away mate now, and some personal from school especially if they space. could do service work in the Christine Rogers of Atherton meantime.â&#x20AC;? A

14NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 12, 2013

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June 12, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN15


Let us be your guide on an Epicurean Weekend at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Exchanging homegrown goods in Portola Valley By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


he second Garden Share event under the redwoods at Portola Valley Town Center on May 25 drew a gathering of about 25 people and a picnic table of fresh goods. Participants were encouraged to take home items from gardens and kitchens other than their own. The herbs included chives, mint, rosemary, marjoram and tarragon. Grapefruit and lemons smiled up from inside their boxes. There were flowers, lettuce, samples of nut butters, and eggs. “It was simply precious. I can’t wait to grow more so I have more to provide and share,” said resident Danna Breen in an email. “I came home with lots of herbs, fresh baby lettuces and lots of

grapefruit. Everyone there today was so delightful and happy. Sharing makes you happy. The simple act of mutual reciprocity is beautiful. I was uplifted.” Garden Share happens on the fourth Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. in the redwood grove near the schoolhouse. There are hopes for more vegetables, seeds, pickles, chicken manure and earthworms. This event is meant to cultivate community, share best practices, encourage appreciation of homegrown food, reduce waste and lower food-gathering carbon footprints, Brandi de Garmeaux told an appreciative Town Council when she presented the idea in March. Ms. de Garmeaux is the town’s coordinator of initiatives on sustainable living.

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The April Garden Share was “absolutely charming” and “quite wonderful,” Councilwoman Maryann Moise Derwin said in an email. “I predict that the farmers’ market will be similarly uplifting for the community.” The council approved a sixweek trial for a farmers’ market sometime this summer a few steps over in the parking lot of the Historic Schoolhouse. The market is vigorously opposed by the residents of Family Farm/ Hidden Valley, a Woodside neighborhood across Portola Road and within hearing distance of the Town Center. Concerns included interference with equestrian activities, the abundance of existing farmers’ markets, and “noise,” including the possibility of musicians. Herb Moore, a musician from Redwood City, entertained at the Garden Share with his guitar, several flutes, and a handheld African thumb piano. What the sharing public heard, if they were paying close attention, could not have been detected by anyone outside the shade line of the trees.

Menlo Park Block Party June 19, 2013 5pm-9pm A walk down Santa Cruz Avenue with your friends, neighbors, and local retailers!

San Mateo County voters decided last year to have county supervisors run for election within their districts rather than county-wide. Do current district boundaries need changes? The Board of Supervisors recently appointed a committee to engage the public in a series of meetings on this question. The meetings are set for: ■ Saturday, June 15, at 9:30 a.m. in the Cunha Intermediate School Library at 600 Church St. in Half Moon Bay ■ Tuesday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the War Memorial Community Center at 6655 Mission St. in Daly City ■ 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the East Palo Alto council chambers. ■ Thursday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Millbrae Community Center at 477 Lincoln Circle in Millbrae The meetings will include public comment and a demonstration by a demographer on how to use an online mapping tool to review and redraw current boundaries. The agenda for the final meeting in Millbrae will include a draft set of boundary adjustments. State law requires electoral districts to be approximately equal in population. In setting district boundaries, supervisors can consider these factors: “topography; geography; (the) Continued on next page

16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 12, 2013


Students win college scholarships Sharon Heights Golf Club Fifteen first-generation college students to be

feted June 18 at Sacred Heart Prep. By Chris Kenrick Palo Alto Weekly


ifteen local high-school graduates will be honored June 18 by the Peninsula College Fund, a nonprofit aimed at helping low-income, first-generation college students achieve educational and career goals. The 15 students, from East Palo Alto, eastern Menlo Park and Redwood City, will each get $12,000 scholarships as well as summer internship support and one-to-one mentoring through their college years. They join 81 other local students who have been helped by Peninsula College Fund since the group was founded in 2005 by Charles Schmuck, a Menlo Park resident who teaches history at San Jose’s Presentation High School. One of those students, Daniel Valencia, will speak at the June 18 ceremony. A 2013 graduate of California State University East Bay with a degree in biology, he

has the goal of attending medical school. “My family could not be more proud,” he said. “My supporters in the Peninsula College Fund have been amazing tutors, counselors and friends. I could never have gotten this far without them.” Also speaking June 18, in festivities open to the public, will be former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. The event will be from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Preparatory, 150 Valparaiso Ave., Atherton. “The Peninsula College Fund is on an exciting growth trajectory,” said Catherine Crystal Foster, a Palo Alto resident and executive director of the fund. “With our incoming class of scholars, we will have students at every UC campus in the state.” This years honorees are: ■ From East Palo Alto Academy High School in Menlo Park: Diana Carranza, heading to San

Continued from previous page

cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity and compactness of a territory; and (the) community of interests within the districts.” Before recommendations are made to the board, another five meetings will be held later in the summer to gather public comment on proposed boundary changes. The committee members are supervisors Adrienne Tissier and Warren Slocum, Laura Martinez of the East Palo Alto City Council, Gonzalo ìSalî Torres of the Daly City Council and five members of the public from each of the five districts: Rebecca Ayson of Daly City, Barbara Arietta of Pacifica, Hayden Lee of Millbrae, Raymond Lee of San Mateo, and William Nack of Menlo Park.

Jose State University, and David Lozano Camacho, also going to San Jose State. ■ From Eastside College Preparatory School: Alexis Aceves, heading to UCLA, Gladys Bustos, also going to UCLA, and Getssiva Hernandez, going to UC Santa Barbara. ■ From Menlo-Atherton High School: Haissane Fakalata, going to St. Mary’s College of California, and Niesha Ford, gong to College of St. Benedict. ■ From Sequoia High School: Aureliano Davila, heading to UC Irvine, Nereyda Guzman, going to Notre Dame de Namur University, and Rossmeri Ramirez going to Sacramento State University. ■ From Summit Preparatory Charter High School: Jose Martinez Luna, heading to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and Jocelyn Morales, heading to Notre Dame de Namur University. ■ From Woodside High School: Stephanie Contreras, going to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Yarely Guzman Lopez going to San Francisco State University, and Gemma Urena, going to UC Santa Cruz.

Kathleen Downing, who works at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club in Menlo Park, was honored as one of San Francisco State University’s top graduates at graduation ceremonies on May 25. Ms. Downing was chosen as student speaker at the graduation, where she spoke to a class of more than 8,000 students and their guests. She was also chosen to receive the symbolic hood at commencement on behalf of all the students in the College of Business. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, Ms. Downing is already putting her training into practice.

For the past year, she has combined studies with a full-time job as a food and beverage manager at Kathleen the country Downing club, where she leads a staff of 35. During her last year at San Francisco State, Ms. Downing served as event chair for Taste of the Bay, the annual food and wine fundraiser for the department of hospitality and tourism management. The event raised $145,000, providing funds for more than 15 student scholarships.

William Edward Roth Sept. 19, 1919-June 1, 2013


LET’S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues at Town Square at

Pete Chow

March 1, 1961 – June 3, 2013 Pete Chow, 52, of Menlo Park passed away suddenly June 3, 2013, with loved ones at his side. Born on March 1, 1961, in San Francisco, Pete grew up in Portola Valley and graduated from Woodside High School. Pete’s passions included riding motorcycles and mountain bikes, and fishing. He always was ready for a new adventure and family gatherings. He was a gentle soul, a loyal friend and a loving uncle. Pete is survived by his brothers Victor Chow (Michelle) of Torrance; Jeff Chow (Shirley) of Sunnyvale; Tim Chow (Lynne) of Norwich, VT; Vince Chow (Taryn) of Diablo; his treasured nieces and nephew Ciara & Connor Chow of Diablo and Christina Chow of Norwich, VT; many cousins and his lifelong friends, the Olsen family. A celebration of his life will be held “Pete-style” this summer. PA I D


Evelyn Adele Rybensky Born July 24, 1921, Entered into Heaven June 1, 2013 Evelyn was a native daughter of San Francisco. She graduated from Commerce High School, class of 1939. She married her classmate, William Rybensky . In their 66 years of marriage, Bill and Evelyn enjoyed entertaining friends and family as well as seeing the world aboard cruise ships where they danced the night away and made many lifelong friends. Evelyn walked across the Golden Gate Bridge for the celebration upon its completion. During WWII she devoted many hours to the USO in San Francisco and then after worked for the US Navy. When they moved to Menlo Park in 1955, Evelyn worked at Lockheed as an administrative secretary until her retirement. Evelyn was known to spend many hours praying the Rosary for her family, friends and those in need.

staffer honored at SFSU

Evelyn is survived by her husband Bill, sister in law, Phyllis Rybensky, brother and sister in law, Lincoln and Lila Rybensky, nieces Louise and Carmine Frank and many cousins, nieces and nephews. She will also be remembered and missed by her neighbors and her beloved dog, Annie. Bill and Evelyn have loved and adopted many dogs over the years and request any gifts made in her memory be to the Golden Gate Labrador Rescue or the Humane Society of San Francisco PA I D


The Greatest Generation lost one of its outstanding members when Bill Roth died in his sleep on June 1st at the age of 93. Like many of his generation, he served in World War II – with the Army in New Guinea and the invasion of the Philippines – and then returned to the Bay Area to raise a family and help build post-war America. Among the many projects his construction company completed was the Carlmont Shopping Center, and he went on to found and run First American Records Storage, which is now a nation-wide enterprise. A fourth generation Californian, Bill had Stanford in his blood from an early age, as he grew up on the campus where his parents, Mildred and Almon Roth, and his sisters, Betty Roth Kendrick and Miriam Roth MacKenzie, both of whom predeceased him, lived while Almon, for whom Roth Way is named, was Comptroller of the University. Bill attended Stanford, where he met his first wife, Diana Fyfe Hunter, played football, ran track, and graduated in 1941. He lived all his life within five miles of campus, and attended 74 straight Big Games. Bill and Diana had four children, all of whom survive them, and all with a Stanford connection. Barbara (Sandy) Scott received an MBA from Stanford and supervised the construction of the Schwab Center building on campus; Richard (Dick) swam for Stanford and won a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics; Douglas followed in his father’s footsteps as a successful construction executive and helped rebuild Stanford after the Loma Prieta earthquake; Nancy received three degrees from Stanford and served on the Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. After Diana’s death, Bill enjoyed playing golf with Debby Niethammer, who had also lost her spouse, and the friendship blossomed into romance that led to their wedding in 1999. They enjoyed 13 years together, and Bill credited Debby with keeping him young enough to shoot his age at golf three times after he turned 80. In his youth, Bill enjoyed hunting and a good prank – including putting a cow in a third floor office of one of Stanford’s deans – and he kept his flower garden in stunning exuberance in his final years. Besides his four children, he is survived by Debby and her four children, Bill, Steve, Jim and Mike Niethammer, twentythree adoring grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren, all of whom will carry on the memory of his long, productive and loving life. The family requests donations to Stanford Athletics, the Palo Alto Medical Foundations, or the charity of your choice. PA I D


June 12, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN17

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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:

Gap year: A Year of Living Adventurously


t’s not always obvious when we as individuals arrive at a cross- cooking while staying with a host family. road. Decisions that seem inconsequential at the time can lead Few in the local community in recent years appear to be choosto events and situations that can be life-changing. Some cross- ing such a path. This week’s story noted a handful of seniors from roads, however, are quite predictable and it is useful to consider the Menlo-Atherton, one from Woodside High, two to four from options when we’re at one. Personal character could be at stake. Menlo School, two or three from the Woodside Priory, and four Take this question: Should a high school graduate go directly to from Sacred Heart Prep. college right after high school, or should he or she get away for a Is there a higher priority than becoming an educated person? year or two to accumulate experiences and perspectives from the Maybe not, but what exactly is education, and whom should we wider world? It’s a compelling question for an 18-year-old, not to be asking? “Education,” said William Butler Yeats, “is not the fillmention for parents. Is it also a momentous question? Perhaps. ing of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” From what Christine and Parents may exhibit high anxiety if the subject Jack and Claire are saying and doing, that fire is even comes up. Are there advantages in this inside them and it’s burning brightly. EDI TORI AL competitive global economy in having had to All this is not to deny the reality that make it on your own for a while, in going places conventional wisdom describes: Job hunting The opinion of The Almanac and doing things that have little to do with these days is brutal. No college degree means few advancing your career? prospects for a conventionally comfortable life This week’s story in the Almanac on the gap-year option looks unless you’re a born entrepreneur. Good schools very often lead at a few local graduates who report on how they spread out across to good connections and a resume that survives the winnowing. the planet after high school — to a game reserve in South Africa Life-enriching experiences can be had after college, after all the for a stint of manual labor and veterinary work; to Taiwan to study hard work and the long hours, after winning the security of that Chinese while working as a night watchman in a crowded hostel; degree, right? to southern France and Redwood City as a cooking intern, and The jury is out. Massive student debt now forces grads to choose then as a student at cooking schools in Europe. jobs that may pay well but can damage their souls. Is there a colThat cooking intern was Christine Rogers of Atherton, now a lege course in how to live fully? In figuring out what’s important Stanford freshman. She is “so much more confident and outgoing and what is not? How about a class in discovering what you really than before she went away,” and is now cooking for her dorm, her want to do, and, crucially, what you really do not want to do? mother, Mindy Rogers, says. There are valuable courses and important experiences to be had The night watchman in Taiwan was University of Puget Sound in college, but a great deal depends on what a student brings to it. freshman Jack Sieber of Woodside. “My parents weren’t very big The academy is not called the ivory tower for nothing. supporters of this idea,” he says after his sojourn in China, “so I “The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the had to put up a lot of the money myself. I had to be very entrepre- individual the burden of pursuing his own education,” renowned neurial.” educator, thinker and Stanford scholar John W. Gardner once said. Duke University senior Claire Gilhuly of Woodside says she “This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd came into college “refreshed and excited to learn,” after a year conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and in Paris studying French, and then south to Montpellier to study nowhere else.”

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.

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

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

Menlo Park Historical Association

Our Regional Heritage Architect George Kelham, whose work also includes design of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank building and the 1917 San Francisco Public Library, designed this 32-room home on Sharon Heights for Frederick W. Sharon and his wife, Louise, according to “Menlo Park Beyond the Gate” by Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett. The house, built shortly after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, was known as “a cozy cottage,” to be used until the main house was built on the 600-acre site bounded to the north and south by Walsh and Sand Hill roads. The main house was never built, but the “cottage” became “a California showplace,” the book says.

18NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 12, 2013


L ET T ER S Our readers write

Farmers’ Market location decision needs more time Editor: I believe much of the information, recently put out by (Judy). Romines, declaring the Farmers’ Market is in jeopardy, is fraught with inaccuracies. Contrary to her view I witnessed four of our council members courageously and wisely vote to put off ballot measure language that would

substantially change the original intent of the voter-passed Measure J (limitation of commercial growth). Why? Those of us who actually attended the meeting heard their reasoning: the timing is not right. Their decision was not based on anything sinister or an intention to thwart a Farmers’ Market. The real story is neither the Town Center Task Force nor the Circulation Committee has completed its studies. It is also important to note none of the council members ever expressed a belief that the voters were

incapable of making a decision. Can we agree the council are representatives of the townsfolk and are operating under the expectation that we want them to ensure all proposals that will affect the residents and lands of Woodside will be thoroughly vetted as to potential costs, legal issues, and general viability? The Farmers’ Market location is only one of many proposals that are currently going through a very important vetting process. Keep in mind, even “fun” proposals may have adverse

impacts on others that aren’t readily apparent. That’s why deliberation and timing are important. Let’s patiently work together, gather all of the facts, make wise decisions for the future of Woodside and leave inflammatory remarks out of the discussion. Haste makes waste. Lee Ann Gilbert Woodside Editor’s note: Lee Ann Gilbert and her husband Bill own the Pioneer Saloon on Woodside Road, adjacent to the Town Center parking lot.

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June 12, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN19




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20NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJune 12, 2013

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2013 06 12 alm section1  
2013 06 12 alm section1