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Former Amazon CFO and Woodside resident killed in bike accident | Page 3

S E P T. 2 5 , 2 0 1 3 | VOL. 49 NO. 3

T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M

As government agencies step up the use of technology to follow our movements and mine our personal information, what’s being done to protect our privacy and civil liberties? SECTION 2








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they see what a normally sighted person sees at 20 feet. When a person’s visual acuity is worse than normal, the second number will be larger than 20. Visual acuity is only one factor used to determine overall visual ability. There are many new styles in eyewear on the market today. If you have not had an opportunity to see these styles first hand please visit MENLO OPTICAL at 1166 University Drive on the corner of Oak Grove Avenue and University Drive. We carry a wide selection of eye-catching designer frames in several sizes, colors, and materials. Please call us at 322-3900 if you have any questions about this week’s column. We work with several ophthalmologists in the area and can recommend one to you.


Joy Covey killed in bike accident By Dave Boyce


oy Dianne Covey, a former CFO of Amazon and a Woodside resident, was killed Sept. 18 when the bicycle she was riding collided with a van on Skyline Boulevard about three miles south of the intersection with La Honda Road. Ms. Covey, 50, was the current treasurer for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and was a chief financial officer at Amazon from 1996 to 1999. Ms. Covey’s path to the executive offices at Amazon was unusual. She dropped out of high school at 15, left home and took a job in Fresno as a grocery clerk, according to a 2002 interview with the Harvard Law Bulletin. It set a pattern. “(H)aving fallen off the track, in a way I think I acquired a sense of independence in how I make decisions,� she said. “It’s really helped me not worry so much whether other people approve of my choices.� While in Fresno, she enrolled at California State University and finished in two and a half years “because I wanted to get on with things,� she said. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in business administration. In 2003, she received the university’s Distinguished Alumna Award. At Harvard University, where she acquired degrees from the law and business schools, she recalled having lunch with fellow students who had taken the traditional route into college. “People would talk about their favorite seventeenth-century poets, and I’d be thinking, ‘Could I even name five poets? From any century?’ So that was intimidating, and it wasn’t until we got our first-semester grades back that I started to realize that everything was going to be OK,� she said. Ms. Covey graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1990, and graduated from the business school in the same year. Law school taught Ms. Covey

The accident Photo by Julie West

Joy Covey of Woodside died in a collision with a van on Sept. 18 while riding a bicycle on Skyline Boulevard.

to break down and analyze questions, an essential skill at Amazon, she said. “A lot of things we did were things that hadn’t been done before, or situations that had never been dealt with,� she said in the Harvard Law interview. “Rather than asking ourselves, ‘How has this been done in the

The former CFO at Amazon dropped out of high school at 15. past? What’s the answer to this question?’ we said, ‘Where do we want to go and what are our goals?’� Go to for the complete interview. In 1999, Fortune magazine named Ms. Covey one of the 50 Most Powerful Business Women in America, and in 2000, the World Economic Forum selected her as one of 100 “Global Leaders for Tomorrow.� As treasurer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ms. Covey was “a close friend

Ms. Covey was traveling north on a downhill section of Skyline at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, when a white Mazda minivan traveling south turned left onto Elk Tree Road “directly in front of the bicycle,� the CHP said. The bike collided with the right side of the van, the CHP said. A 22-year-old man from Fremont was driving the van, the CHP said. Authorities closed a lane of Highway 35 at Highway 84 in Skylonda shortly after 2 p.m. and issued a Sig alert; they reopened the roadway at about 3:30 p.m., according to the CHP. Medics on the scene called in a LifeFlight helicopter ambulance, records of the incident show. Medics pronounced Ms. Covey dead at the scene as a result of the collision. She was wearing a helmet, the CHP said. The CHP is investigating the incident. Officers released the van driver at the scene. If the district attorney were to bring charges against the driver, that would have to wait until after the investigation is complete, CHP Officer Art Montiel said. The CHP is asking witnesses to call Officer Barry Van Otten at 650-369-6261. “It does not appear that drugs or alcohol were a factor in this collision,� according to the CHP. A


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

HOW SHARP IS YOUR VISION? To determine visual acuity, a person must sit 20 feet in front of a Snellen Chart (“E� Chart) and read the printed letters. The distance of 20 feet is used for testing purposes because, at that distance, the eye is relaxed and its lens is in a neutral position (not trying to focus). At 20 feet, those with normal visual acuity can clearly read three-eights-inch letters. They are said to have “20/20 vision� because at 20 feet from the chart,

P.S. A person with 20/40 vision sees at 20 feet what a normally sighted person sees at 40 feet. 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.

The Palo Alto Art Center, Bay Area Glass Institute, and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation present

&).  Artist: Glass by Glass, Photographer: Drew Loden

and advisor (and) a deeply committed environmentalist,� NRDC spokesperson Kate Slusark Kiely said in an email. “She encapsulated the heart and soul of NRDC and will be so deeply missed by all the NRDC family.� “The entire NRDC family is devastated by the tragic loss of our beloved Trustee, Joy Covey,� said NRDC president Frances Beinecke. “During her nine years as a NRDC trustee, she worked tirelessly to help protect our oceans and last wild places. Her indomitable spirit and her passion for nature and wildlife were infectious to all her knew her.�

Almanac Staff Writer


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September 25, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN3

Menlo Park Median Price â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Midyear 2013

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Local News M















County seeks new operator for Folger Stable By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


hree years after a historic renovation, Folger Stable finds itself facing empty stalls in the near future as San Mateo County cancels its contract with the Bay Area Equestrian Connection. Built in 1905, the stable and carriage house tucked away in Woodside’s Wunderlich Park took about $3 million to renovate into a showpiece worthy of listing in the National Register of Historic Places. It reopened to the public in September 2010; soon after, BAEC took over the equestrian program, offering riding lessons, trail rides and horse boarding to the community. The relationship eventually soured. The three-year contract, with an option to extend, set rent for the first year at $27,000 annually, raised to $36,000 thereafter, due by the first of the month. If not paid within five days of the due date, the county added a 5 percent fee. The county said BAEC repeatedly paid late. The monthly rent was late more than a dozen times, and at one point was $15,000 behind, according to Interim Parks Director Jim Nantell. Monthly fees of $25 per occupied stall were late ten times. Dan Byrum, owner of BAEC, which has provided equestrian services for more than three decades, said the situation is not

cut-and-dried. Every bill the county sent was paid in a timely manner, he told the Almanac. Some bills didn’t come in; others failed to include the rent increase after the first year. BAEC had consistently paid mid- to late-month, to ensure an accurate count of stall occupancy, since October 2010 without complaint from the county, he said. The county sees it differently. “There’s no requirement to send the bill. He’s supposed to pay it,” Interim Parks Director Jim Nantell said, comparing the situation to any other tenant paying rent — the landlord doesn’t send a bill first.

The Folger Stable operator loses contract amid conflict over payments, other programs. “He’d gotten pretty far behind for a number of months. Staff talked to him, he got up to snuff, but then almost immediately — one month it was five days late, another month it was 20 days. You kinda feel like, look, you were way behind, you got that up to snuff but now you’re not honoring the deal to get your payments in on time.” Not quite friends

Payments weren’t the only issue. Both BAEC supporters

and the county hinted at struggles in figuring out how to keep all the different stakeholders working in harmony out at the stable. The Friends of Huddart and Wunderlich Parks, which organized the fundraising campaign that refurbished the stable into a showpiece, as well as the county’s Historical Society, have their own uses for the site, arranging nonprofit tours and educational programs on the grounds. BAEC’s lease recognized this, saying, “Tenant shall work with and provide reasonable accommodations for any non-profits running programs and conducting tours in and about the stable.” The question became, what’s reasonable? Mr. Byrum said he faced problems ranging from bathrooms left sloppy following class tours to disagreements over whether the Friends should stage programs in the carriage house rather than extending into the entranceways. It was only after negotiations with the Friends totally broke down that the county decided to cancel BAEC’s lease, Mr. Byrum said. “It is pretty clear that (the county) wanted to create an event of default, so they had a legitimate reason to remove BAEC,” Mr. Byrum told the Almanac. “All they had to do was mention that they wanted payment earlier, but instead they sent out two notices for

2010 file photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

A groom takes a horse back to his stall at Folger Stable in Wunderlich Park.

November and December. Then all was quiet until the renewal, and they refused, stating the BAEC had been in default.” Lea Goldstein, who along with Lisa Raskin is co-president of the Friends, said they weren’t privy to the details of the county’s decision to not renew the lease, but their understanding was that BAEC had defaulted on the contract. Any issues with the use of the bathrooms as well as other areas at the stable were resolved by the county, Ms. Goldstein said, following discussions with

both BAEC and the Friends. The solution included allowing both groups to use the stable bathroom, and keeping a separate hot wash area for horses on the opposite side of the facility from the Friends’ programs. “The Friends look forward to working with the new contractor in a cooperative working relationship in which both groups support one another’s success. The Friends believe that a horse facility and a nonprofit organization serving the See FOLGER STABLE, page 8

New and sturdy buttress for Ramona Road in Los Trancos Woods By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


new and massive retaining wall of sturdy wooden and steel beams topped by concrete now rests alongside the 200 block of Ramona Road in Los Trancos Woods. In recognition of the protection the wall now gives to the road during the winter rains, the community celebrated Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Pony Tracks Ranch on Old Spanish Trail.

Supervisor Don Horsley, engineers and representatives from the Los Trancos Woods and Vista Verde community were gathered there for a ribbon-cutting. Ramona Road is a link to essential outside services for this community within unincorporated San Mateo County. The heavy rains in December 2012 reminded residents of a 1983 washout that closed Ramona Road for weeks, and See RAMONA ROAD, page 8

The retaining wall, which includes 15 50-foot steel I-beams sunk vertically into the ground, runs 87 linear feet along the side of the road and is 21 feet high. September 25, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN5


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fter scoring a victory in a Sacramento court last month, opponents of California’s proposed highspeed rail system are now asking the judge to bar the agency responsible for the line from spending any money on the $68 billion project until a new business plan is in place. Stuart Flashman and Michael Brady, attorneys for plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit against the California High-Speed Rail Authority, last week filed proposed “remedies” in response to an Aug. 16 decision from Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny. The judge concurred with the plaintiff’s argument that the rail authority violated the law when it adopted a business plan that identifies funding sources for only the first 140-mile construction segment of the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles line. Proposition 1A, which the voters approved in 2008 and which allocates $9 billion in state funds for high-speed rail, requires the rail authority to identify funds for the fist “initial operating segment” of the line before commencing construction. Mr. Flashman, who represented Menlo Park, Atherton and Palo Alto in prior lawsuits against the rail authority, is now representing Central Valley plaintiffs John Tos, Aaron Fukuda and Kings County. As part of the proposed remedy, which the court will consider on Nov. 8, Mr. Flashman and Mr. Brady are asking the court to require the rail authority to set aside its 2011 business plan and return with an updated version that identifies funding for the initial usable segment, as required by law. Until that happens, the rail authority would be barred from approving construction contracts or expending any portion of the $2.6 billion in Prop. 1A funds that legislators approved last year.

In addition, the rail authority would be restrained from spending the $3.3 billion in federal funds it received last year for the first segment of the rail line. The plaintiffs also are calling for the rail authority to provide, within 30 days, a “full and complete accounting of its use of Proposition 1A bond funds, including its past expenditures of such funds, its current commitments to future expenditures of such funds, and its plans for committing or expending such funds during the next two years,” the attorneys’ brief states. The November decision will come at a critical time for the rail authority, which is now preparing to start construction on the first set of tracks, between Fresno and Bakersfield. Under its preferred alternative, the segment would later be stretched south to San Fernando, culminating in the first “initial operating segment.” After Judge Kenny’s ruling last month, rail officials said they plan to proceed with their construction plans until the litigation concludes. In their opening brief on remedies, Mr. Flashman and Mr. Brady argue that the bill authorizing Proposition 1A “added a series of taxpayer protections to the bill” and that these protections should be respected. The Legislature “did this in recognition of the need to assure the voters that the money they were being asked to authorize would be used wisely.” “As the Court has already ruled, Respondent violated those provisions by issuing a funding plan that did not comply with Proposition 1A’s requirements for adequate funding and prior environmental clearance for the usable segment to be constructed with bond funds,” Mr. Flashman wrote. “The question of remedy is therefore key to assuring that the promises made to the voters remain meaningful.” A

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Commission continues review of specific plan By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


s the Menlo Park Planning Commission prepared to continue its review of the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan on Sept. 23, they had some added community input to consider. Commissioners took a series of straw votes on Sept. 10, the first day of their review, to evaluate what aspects of the specific plan merited further consideration for modification. The straw votes indicated that the commission does not want to throw the specific plan out, given the five years of analysis that led to its creation, but did identify several areas to tweak. Those include ways to give the city more control over proposed projects and the proportion of specific uses, such as housing versus office space, and possibly ways to incorporate funding mechanisms for desired infrastructure improvements. One project proposed under the new specific plan rules has highlighted the need to at least reconsider those aspects. Stanford University and developer John Arrillaga have indicated they want to build an eightacre mixed-use complex along 300 to 500 El Camino Real — a project that meets the baseline criteria of the specific plan without triggering public benefit requirements or review by the city beyond architectural features. The latest design for the

Check for updates. This issue went to press before the Sept. 23 meeting.

Stanford Arrillaga complex consists of 199,500 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail, and up to 170 apartments. A public plaza to be designed in conjunction with the city at Middle Avenue would incorporate two car lanes, along with a pedestrian and bicycle path at Middle Avenue and El Camino Real leading to a future railroad track undercrossing.

Sierra Club, Save Menlo ask city to lower maximum building heights allowed by specific plan along southeast El Camino Real. The Sierra Club and Save Menlo, a grassroots coalition that has criticized the Stanford project, submitted a list of their desired revisions to the specific plan in advance of Monday’s Planning Commission meeting. Focused on El Camino Real and the area surrounding the Caltrain Station, the changes include capping the amount of general office space at 25 percent of the baseline floor area allowed in a project (10 percent for medical offices); dropping the maximum height allowed

in southeast El Camino Real to 48 feet with facades capped at 38 feet; and incorporating an infrastructure fee based on square footage. The groups also propose implementing a transportation demand management program along the length of El Camino Real. The Sierra Club and Save Menlo also suggest fine-tuning the specific plan’s definition of “open space” to ensure it refers to shared community areas and clarifying the process of determining public benefits if a developer wants to exceed baseline requirements. As far as height and density allowances go, however, during the straw votes on Sept. 10, five commissioners said they were “favorably disposed” toward the density and floor area ratios — the scale, in other words — of buildings allowed under the specific plan. Katherine Strehl and John Onken abstained since they are recused from voting on certain zones of the specific plan. The specific plan allows buildings up to 60 feet on the southeast portion of El Camino Real, to accommodate fourstory commercial or five-story residential buildings. All other building heights in the plan area are capped at 38 feet, or two-story commercial and three-story residential units. The Almanac went to press before the Sept. 23 meeting. Check our website at for an update on what happened. Once the Planning Commission finishes evaluating the specific plan, which may take several meetings, it will send any recommendations to the City Council for review.

R EAL E STATE Q&A by Monica Corman

Showing Proof of Funds Dear Monica: I am about to make an offer on a property and my parents are gifting me the entire down payment. I am also getting a loan from a conventional lender. The seller is asking for me to show proof of funds for my down payment. Is it common to request this and should I have to do this? Owen C. Dear Owen: In this multiple offer market that we are currently in, sellers are asking for more proof of a buyer’s ability to perform. Sellers want to be sure and choose the right buyer among those making offers, and financial ability is key to determining this. Often a loan pre-approv-

al letter from a reputable lender is sufficient proof of funds, because presumably the lender has confirmed that the buyer’s down payment is real. But more and more I am seeing sellers request separate proof that the buyer has the down payment in ready funds. You can have your parents write a letter stating that they are making a gift to you of the down payment (your lender will require this as part of their underwriting) and your parents may also include a brokerage or bank statement showing that the funds are available. You should black out any private information and ask that the document be returned to you and not be copied or transmitted.

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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Former probation chief sentenced A former San Mateo County probation chief convicted of possessing child pornography was sentenced Sept. 20 to 10 months in county jail and was led away from court in handcuffs. Stuart James Forrest, 62, was also placed on three years’ probation and must register as a sex offender for life, visiting Judge Robert Atack ruled in San Mateo County Superior Court. A jury found him guilty on July 26 of two counts of possession of child pornography. He was arrested in December 2012 after being named in a complaint by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service that alleged that he possessed child pornography on his personal computer. He was placed on formal


Health screening

administrative leave on Dec. 21 and retired 10 days later on Dec. 31. Mr. Forrest, who testified on his own behalf in his July trial, said he had collected the images and videos for the purpose of policy decisions and research into the rising onset of human trafficking. The case was prosecuted through the state attorney general’s office with Judge Atack presiding. The case was turned over to the state due to the close working relationships Mr. Forrest had with San Mateo County judges and the district attorney’s office during his 34-year career with the county. — Bay City News Service

Seniors are invited to a free health screening at the Menlo Park Senior Center at 100 Terminal Ave. on Thursday, Sept. 26. Seniors at least 60 years old are eligible. To receive the most accurate cholesterol and blood glucose results, the city recommends fasting for 12 hours prior to the check-up. After the screenings, participants receive snacks and a consultation with a nurse. The event is sponsored by Senior Focus, Mills Peninsula Health Services, the Peninsula Health Care District, San Mateo County Aging and Adult Services and the City of Menlo Park. Appointments are required. Call 330-2283 to sign up; the screening runs from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday. September 25, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN7

N E W S RAMONA ROAD continued from page 5

forced residents to use narrow rural roads to get in and out of the community, said community residents Ruth and Gerry Nelson, who wrote a chronology on the project. With the past in mind, community volunteers earlier this year organized a technical analysis of the land around 281 Ramona Road using $25,000 from the local Los Trancos County Water District. With the analysis complete, the county Department of Public Works took immediate preventive measures and mapped out a FOLGER STABLE continued from page 5

public can co-exist at Folger Stable,â&#x20AC;? Ms. Goldstein said. The county acknowledged the environment presents unique challenges to the stable operator. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whoever wants to provide this service, they have to invest time in managing those relationships,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Nantell said. While he understood BAECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frustrations, he noted, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to operate here, though, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a piece you have to be willing to invest time and energy on.â&#x20AC;?

plan to fix the problem, residents said. Supervisor Don Horsley, who represents the community on the Board of Supervisors, helped arrange a declaration of emergency, which put the project on a fast track. The county began work on the wall in July and spent between $200,000 and $250,000, resident Ken Kormanak told the Almanac. The retaining wall, which includes 15 50-foot steel I-beams sunk vertically into the ground, runs 87 linear feet along the side of the road and is 21 feet high, Mr. Kormanak said. Two hundred fifty bolts hold the wooden beams of the wall in place.

League invites public to meet the candidates The League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County is holding several election forums, where voters can meet the candidates and submit written questions. Among the candidate forums for local school boards and town councils are: â&#x2013; Woodside Elementary School District, at Sellman Auditorium, 3195 Woodside Road in Woodside, on Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. â&#x2013;  Sequoia Union High School District, at Birch Con-


Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also costly to maintain Folger Stable, keeping everything polished and beautiful, adding an expense most stable operators donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have, he said. BAEC has many supporters. One, Denise Faleschini, pointed out that Mr. Byrum has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into making the equestrian program a success. The Friends of the Parks are to be commended for raising funds from the community to restore an aging dilapidated park, Ms. Faleschini said, but that was money from the pub-

lic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s me, and everyone else that lives in the county that donated to make the park safe for use again. One thing that everyone is forgetting here, is that the stakeholders in this park are nonprofit entities that operate on public funding. Dan Byrum however, invested private funds. His.â&#x20AC;? She said it appears that the county is hoping that with a new operator, the relationships will smooth out Ms. Faleschini pointed to programs â&#x20AC;&#x153;literally bursting at the seams with public participa-

N EL E C TI O N 2013

ference Room, 480 James Ave. in Redwood City, on Thursday Oct. 3, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. â&#x2013; Portola Valley Town Council, at the Historic Schoolhouse, 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. â&#x2013;  Atherton City Council, cosponsored with the Atherton Civic Interest League, at the Pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer tionâ&#x20AC;? in 2013 as proof of BAECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s effectiveness. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To start all over again with a new operator is ridiculousâ&#x20AC;? as well as unfair to BAEC, she said. Future

The county is preparing to send out a request for proposals to find a new operator, but is also considering a different business model, where a nonprofit would run the stable. Eliminating the need to turn a profit coupled with the ability to accept donations could make

Park, 150 Watkins Ave. in Atherton, on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information about these candidate forums or for help with transportation, contact Diana Post, candidates forum chair, at dsuepost@ or Ellen Hope, president of the League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County, at ellenjhope@ Visit for more information about the League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County. the stable more viable, Mr. Nantell suggested, as well as open the door to providing public services at a lower cost. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The risk is, again, a group of people who may or may not get along,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Nantell noted. An announcement on the Folger Stable website advises everyone come ride while they can, and to stay tuned for the liquidation of nearly $250,000 in assets, including the sale of horses and equipment, as BAEC prepares to vacate the premises when its lease ends in November. A

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Niall Smith from the Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, Ireland, takes questions from Ormondale children during an assembly at the school, where the observatory has installed a telescope.

School is launch pad for science project By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


newly installed telescope was the star of a community event at Ormondale School in Portola Valley on Sept. 20, when it was introduced by representatives of the organization that provided it: the Cork Institute of Technologyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, Ireland. Acquisition of the telescope is the result of a partnership that includes the observatory, the Portola Valley School District, and scientists and educators from the Center for Science Education at UC Berkeleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Space Sciences Laboratory. Ormondale School is Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s launch pad for the collaborative science and technology project, known as TARA. Astronomers and school children in both Cork and Portola Valley will be able to remotely use each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s telescopes to

view the night skies above their partner institutions. The robotic astronomical telescope, which according to the observatory can be controlled either directly by observers or can work without human control, has been installed on a school building roof; images are accessible through the Internet.

Telescope reveals night skies of Portola Valley and Cork, Ireland. The school is developing ways to integrate use of the telescope into the curriculum, according to John Dean, the school districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director of learning and media. Literature about the telescope notes that the TARA project is designed â&#x20AC;&#x153;to inspire and educate students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through investi-

gative learning.â&#x20AC;? Solar physicist Claire Raftery, a Dublin scientist now working at the UC Berkeley center, said in a press release: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Helping students to make personal connections to science in the context of their own culture is vitally important for maintaining relevance and engagement in science careers later in life. Project TARA will help both Irish and American students realize the importance of looking to the sky, both in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world and historically.â&#x20AC;? During last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Friday night event, Blackrock astronomers gave an overview of the telescopes and sampled images from the devices, according to Ormondale Principal Kevin Keegan. Niall Smith, head of research of the Cork Institute of Technology and founding director of the observatory, was part of the Cork contingent of Ormondale School visitors, and held a Q&A session with children during a morning assembly on the day of the community event. Scientists Claire McSweeney and Alan Giltinan were also among the Cork observatory ambassadors who introduced the telescope. A

City changes project noticing process Rather than getting copies of plan sheets in the mail, those living or occupying buildings within a certain distance of proposed developments will now get postcards instead from the city of Menlo Park that directs them to a website posting the plans online. The city will also post notices on its website. Hard copies will be available to notice recipients upon request. The change debuted on Sept. 13. City staff estimate that it will cut paper and postage expenses by 50 percent, and staff time by 60 percent, according to a Sept. 19 memo.


Foundation raises funds for schools The Ravenswood Education Foundation has raised more than $1.3 million during the past year to support student achievement, according to Executive Director Renu Nanda. The foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is to foster educational outcomes in the Ravenswood City School District on a par with those of students from surrounding

communities, says Ms. Nanda. Funds raised will be used for such projects as a district coordinator to enhance technology, science and math instruction and training for the new Common Core standards. The foundation is seeking Adopt-a-Teacher volunteers to provide school supplies, help with classroom parties, and offer encouragement to a K-5 teacher in the district. Contact Jennifer Vettel at or Jeanne Simonian at for more information.

For more info call (650) 949-5891 ALEX GRADUATED WITH A B.A. IN STUDIO ART AND ART HISTORY FROM DICKINSON COLLEGE AND A M.A. IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP FROM MILLS COLLEGE. By emphasizing the connections between the classroom/ studio and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;real lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, she creates awareness and excitement in her students. In particular, Alex values the Arts, as they allow students to truly â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;seeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Alex teaches Art History, Drawing and Painting, Yoga, Ceramics, and Digital Photography to Middle School and High School students. She also guides students as they investigate their passions and interests and shape them into their capstone Senior Project. When Alex isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t teaching, she can be found practicing yoga, hiking, watching ďŹ lms, and spending time with friends. ONE OF THE MANY REASONS TO SEND YOUR CHILD TO: Woodside Prior y School Admissions Office 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028 650/851-8223 â&#x2013;


for Prospective Students and Families

Saturday, November 23rd at 10am Saturday, December 7th at 10am Wednesday, December 11th at 7pm (Information evening only) For information and to R.S.V.P. contact Admissions at 650.851.8223

September 25, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN9


Where scholarship and values matter.

School board may change policy on busing EPA kids By Dave Boyce

Park and Redwood City, Mr. Lianides said. Nor does it decades-long policy of include the 1,200 students having East Palo Alto expected to attend charter teens take a bus to high public high schools, includschool in Woodside or Belmont ing East Palo Alto High, and may come to an end on Wednes- Summit Prep and Everest in day, Sept. 24. Redwood City. The board of the Sequoia In a series of community Union High School District meetings in May, Mr. Lianides meets at 5:30 p.m. at the district asked for community input. Two headquarters at 480 James St. priorities emerged: keep middlein Redwood City to consider a school communities intact, and request from the East Palo Alto continue the open-enrollment community that the students policy that allows students a attend Menlo-Atherton High, choice of high schools. which is much closer to the Parents from the Las Lomineighborhood. tas Elementary The board is School District likely to have to High school board and the North wrestle with the Oaks neighcould end busing Fair question of exactborhood south ly how many East to Woodside and of 5th Avenue in Palo Alto students Redwood City Carlmont. should go to M-A have expressed starting in August significant con2014. At about 2,000 students, cerns that their children might M-A is at or near its capacity, be reassigned away from M-A. according to one board mem- At least one board member said ber. that’s unlikely. The Ravenswood City EleMember Olivia Martinez mentary School District did described as “zero” the chances not respond to a request for an of a splitting the Las Lomitas estimate of how many eighth- graduates between M-A and graders it expects to graduate in Woodside, for example. As for June 2014. the North Fair Oaks parents, The board is addressing this Ms. Martinez said she didn’t policy as part of a larger issue: see a problem in having their District enrollment is expected children continue to attend to grow from 8,300 students M-A. today to 10,000 in 2020, or The board is also faced with about 2,400 students for each redrawing the district map, of the four comprehensive high which could also change high schools, according to Superin- school/neighborhood connectendent Jim Lianides. tions, and with finding the The enrollment projection is money to increase the physical based on current elementary capacity of the schools. A task and middle school enrollment. force will be working on what It does not take into account expansion might look like, the ongoing growth in hous- which would inform a proing, including multi-family posal for a possible bond meacomplexes going up in Menlo sure.

Almanac Staff Writer

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Staff extinguish fire at Encinal School

For information on advertising in the 2014 Living Well please contact Connie Jo Cotton, Sales Manager, at (650) 223-6571 or your sales representative. Deadline to advertise is September 27th. Call today for details. 450 Cambridge Avenue, Palo Alto |



10NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNSeptember 25, 2013

Firefighters from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District responding to a 911 call arrived at the scene of a small electrical fire at Encinal School in Atherton around 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20, but school staff had already extinguished it, firefighters said. “The school actually did a really nice job,” said Battalion Chief Jim Stevens. “They did a great job of evacuating students from the school.” Firefighters made sure that the power was off and the affected electrical panel locked down and tagged so that it would not be re-energized accidentally, Mr. Stevens said. The

school is located at 195 Encinal Ave. at the intersection with Middlefield Road. The fire was in the kiln room, school Principal Sharon Burns said in a letter to parents released the same day. “The building was quickly evacuated and all students were accounted for within minutes,” Ms. Burns said. “We immediately shut down the electrical (power) and staff used a fire extinguisher before any damage occurred. Fire and police responded immediately.” The kiln room was undamaged by the fire and art classes resumed after lunch, Ms. Burns said.

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September 25, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN11

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Atherton targets unfunded liability with surplus funds By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


therton’s unfunded liability debt will be $2 million lighter with the City Council’s decision to apply that portion of the town’s $4.9 million surplus toward employee retirement obligations. The council on Sept. 18 chose the high side of City Manager George Rodericks’ recommendation to allocate between $1.1 million and $2 million to whittle down the liabilty, which represents the cost of health benefits provided to retirees. The large surplus, Mr. Rodericks wrote in his staff report, is a result of three years of efforts by the town to restructure its operations and “right-size its structural deficit situation.” Now, he wrote, “the town is in the rare and enviable position of meeting its mandatory reserve requirements and still maintaining a surplus in the unallocated general fund balance.” The mandatory reserves include 15 percent of the town’s operational budget for emergency funds and 20 percent for operational spending. A healthy increase in property tax revenue in the last two years — a 9 percent rise both years — after several years of near stagnation also contributed to the surplus. “Buying down the long-term liability is money in our pocket,”



said Councilman Jim Dobbie. “The sooner we can pay it down the better.” The sentiment was echoed by the other council members, and the vote was unanimous. The town has managed to pay down its liability for pension costs, although there’s still some concern about additional costs resulting from overly optimistic investment predictions by CalPERS, the state’s public employee retirement agency. “There remains debate about the viability of CalPERS’ investment rates of return and any adjustments in the assumptions,” Mr. Rodericks told the Almanac. Any adjustments in the assumption will have a direct impact on the town’s contribution requirements, he said. The robust surplus is prompting talk by some council members and members of the town’s finance committee that full assessment of the town’s parcel tax may not be necessary. The council put a parcel tax renewal measure on the November ballot, but the tax language allows the council to reduce the amount assessed — or even suspend the assessment — if it determines the additional revenue isn’t needed for the following fiscal year. Most Atherton homeowners pay $750 annually in parcel taxes. The tax expires at the end of next June. A

County spending details now online

C. The applicants have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the District Board that the Parcel constitutes “real property” for the purposes of Section 2(b) of ZOMAR in that: X

All of the conditions described in Subsections i., ii., iii., iv. and v. of ZOMAR Section 2(b) are satisfied; or Other conditions exist which demonstrate that the Parcel will benefit directly or indirectly from the activities of the Zone. If applicable, those conditions are also set forth in Exhibit “B” and are incorporated by reference.


All of the conditions and requirements of ZOMAR Sections 2(a), 2(c), 2(d) and 2(e) have been fully satisfied.

In consideration of the foregoing findings and determinations, IT IS RESOLVED by the District Board as follows: 1. It is the intention of the District Board to annex the Parcel to the Zone pursuant to the provisions of ZOMAR and applicable provisions of law. 2. In conjunction with a meeting of the District Board to be duly and regularly called and conducted, the Board will conduct a Public Hearing for the purpose of considering all matters pertaining to this Resolution of Intention. The time, date and place of the Public Hearing are: Date: October 9, 2013 Time: 7:00 PM Place: West Bay Sanitary District Offices 500 Laurel Street Menlo Park, CA 94025 At the Public Hearing, all interested persons will be heard. 3. This Resolution of Intention shall be published and copies shall be delivered to the persons and entities as specified in ZOMAR Section 2(e)(i.). 4. A true copy of this Resolution of Intention shall promptly be filed for record in the office of the County Recorder of the County of San Mateo.


5. The District Manager shall cause the matters set forth in Sections 3 and 4 of this Resolution of Intention to be completed as directed. EXHIBIT "B" WEST BAY SANITARY DISTRICT ANNEXATION INTO THE ON-SITE WASTEWATER DISPOSAL ZONE 124 CARMEL WAY, PORTOLA VALLEY

Exhibit A

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B. The District has received an application to annex a parcel of real property (the “Parcel”) to the District’s On-Site Wastewater Disposal Zone (the “Zone”). The Parcel is described in Exhibit “A” attached to this Resolution of Intention and the description contained in the Exhibits are incorporated by reference. The name and address of the applicants and the number, type, volume and location of on-site wastewater disposal systems which are proposed to operate on the parcels to be annexed are described in Exhibit “B” attached to this Resolution of Intention and the information contained in the Exhibit are incorporated by reference.


Support The Almanac’s print and online coverage of our community.

A. This Resolution of Intention is adopted pursuant to the District’s “Zone Master Annexation Resolution” (“ZOMAR”), which was adopted by the District Board August 12, 1996. The provisions of ZOMAR are incorporated by reference into this Resolution of Intention.

Tr a

this important step in open government to County citizens,” Controller Bob Adler says in a news release. The program covers almost 94 percent of non-payroll county spending but excludes confidential payments such as those involving victims of domestic violence, Mr. Adler says. Go to to start exploring. The data can be sorted in several ways, and includes key-word and vendor-name search functions. The cloud software behind the program is by Seattle-based Socrata Inc., which also has contracts with New York City, Chicago and San Francisco, the World Bank and Medicare, the county says.

The District Board of West Bay Sanitary District finds and determines as follows:

Lo s

San Mateo County government has announced Open Checkbook, a web program that provides the public with a simplified look at spending by county agencies and tracked with the ongoing fiscal year, which begins every July 1. The list of 52 agencies includes the Sheriff’s Office ($11,561,845), the Board of Supervisors ($215,094) and the Coroner’s Office ($158,525), and a list of 475 vendors to whom checks have been paid. The program lists 156 types of expenditures, which include spending dairy products ($10,095), guns and ammunition ($13,415) and laundry services ($24,895). “We are excited to provide



September 25, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN13



Supes reject plan to allow Sheriff’s Office to sell guns


By Chris Cooney Bay City News Service


Qian Su


205 Whiskey Hill Road Planner: Jackie Young, Planning Director Amendment to Application SDES2012-0004 for the construction of a new main residence, accessory living quarters, green house, swimming pool, gazebo, auto court, and expanded driveway; and relocation of a historic residence (the Shine House), to allow balanced grading on site which will increase the cumulative grading quantities of cut (995 CY) and fill (995 CY) to over 1,500 cubic yards, thus requiring a Grading Exception. 4.

David and Heidi Kerko


700 Patrol Road Planner: Sage S. Schaan, Senior Planner Appeal of the Planning Director’s Interpretation of Municipal Code Section 153.139(B), Hillside Development Regulations, as they relate to natural state requirements. 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.


he San Mateo County Board of Supervisors rejected part of a proposed ordinance amendment Sept. 17 that would have allowed the Sheriff ’s Office to sell more than 700 guns. Supervisor Don Horsley, who served as San Mateo County sheriff for nearly 14 years, said the original intent of the ordinance amendment was to allow sworn officers of the Sheriff’s Office to buy their assigned service weapons once they become outdated and are replaced by newer models. “When you’re a peace officer and you carry a gun, it becomes a part of you,” Mr. Horsley said. During the coming year, the Sheriff’s Office reported, more than 300 service weapons will be replaced as the department purchases new Smith & Wesson guns. “As a result, the sheriff’s office inventory of 355 current duty pistols and approximately 400 old duty firearms will no longer be needed,” Sheriff Greg Munks said in a letter to the board. The current ordinance, which was adopted in 1999, prohibits the county and county law enforcement officials from sell-

ing any county-owned firearm. The proposed amendment would have allowed the Sheriff’s Office to sell its old duty guns deemed “surplus property” to sworn officers of the Sheriff’s Office, firearm manufacturers or another law enforcement agency. The Sheriff’s Office said the sale of its old duty guns could raise up to $150,000 for the department. Supervisor Dave Pine said he was concerned that selling old duty firearms to gun manufacturers would risk sending more guns into “the general population.” Supervisor Adrienne Tissier said the amendment should include language that would allow only deputies to buy their own service weapons, and not multiple firearms. “I don’t want anyone to be able to buy four or five guns,” she said. After a brief discussion, the board agreed to pull the proposed amendment and rewrite it to specify that sworn duty officers will be able to purchase their own service weapons for a nominal fee once they are replaced with newer models. The new proposal would not permit the county to sell retired weapons to gun manufacturers or other agencies. A

Celebration of life of Hobart Johnson

COMMUNITY TALK: PROSTATE CANCER The Stanford Cancer Center invites you to a community talk about prostate cancer. Learn about: 4

Prostate Cancer Screening and Watchful Waiting


New Targeted Biopsy Techniques and Surgical Treatments for Prostate Cancer


Prostate Implants (Brachytherapy) and other Radiation Treatments for Prostate Cancer

Stanford’s prostate cancer experts will share the latest information and answer your questions. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28  9:30AM – 11:00AM Sheraton Palo Alto (Reception Room) 625 El Camino Real 4 Palo Alto, CA Parking validated RSVP at: or call 650.736.6555. This event is free and open to the public. Please register, seating is limited.

14NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNSeptember 25, 2013

A celebration of the life of Hobart Stanley Johnson, a former Woodside resident, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28. Mr. Johnson died June 5 at his home in Redwood City at the age of 83. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, he spent his early years with challenges due to a mild case of cerebral palsy, causing some physical limitations. He attended Middlesex Prep School and graduated from Trinity College in 1951. After graduation, he worked for Gisholt Machine Tool, a family business. After marrying Hope Johnson, the couple traveled to Europe, where he was a service engineer for Gisholt Machine Tool. They later lived in Kingstonon-Thames in England for nine years, while he was working for the company, before moving back to the United States in 1964. The family settled in Woodside, where Mr. Johnson attended Stanford School of Business. He served as secretary of his class until his death. During his business career he worked for Gra-Tec, Memorex, and Arrowstaff Birchwood Systems until retiring in 1993. Mr. Johnson had many interests, say family members. He learned bridge at age 10 from

his grandparents, loved being in the kitchen cooking and experimenting, had an extensive knowledge of Hobart S. classical music, Johnson and knew the history of many classical composers. He was on the board of Spring Opera Theater from 1971 to 1978. In 1976 he and his brother, Richmond, produced a movie, “Southern Double Cross,” with a script by Howard Koch who wrote “Casablanca.” Mr. Johnson was also president of Amigos de Las Americas, Peninsula chapter, from 1980 to 1983. He is survived by his wife, Hope; sons Ben, Fletcher and Hobart; daughters Sonia and Evangeline; and 14 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughter Tulla and infant son Clinton Hyde. Donations may be made to Pets-in-Need in Menlo Park, who provided Yoda, his constant companion through difficult months; the Salvation Army; or a favorite charity.


Fire foundation invites public to chili cook-off The Woodside-Portola Valley Fire Protection Foundation will hold its 2nd Alarm Chili Cookoff and BBQ at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at Runnymede Farm in Woodside. There will be firefighter demos, a chili cook-off, a live auction, and a prize drawing at the event, intended to bring together fire district residents and staff, said foundation board member Lorrie Duval. There will also be live music, children’s fire muster activities, self-guided sculpture tours, and family-style barbecued fare courtesy of Bianchini’s Market in Portola Valley. Adolph Rosekrans, foundation board member and host at Runnymede Farm, says in a press release: “I am delighted to help spread the word about the foundation and look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.” Event invitations were mailed to all Woodside Fire Protection District residents in mid-August, Ms. Duvall said. Tickets — at $35 for adults and $15 for children under 12 — cover food, drink and activities. The foundation’s 1st Alarm Chili Cook-off and BBQ in 2011 sold out. Sponsors, contributors, and supporters include Bianchini’s Market (Portola Valley and San Carlos); Dr. Eric L. Weiss, M.D./The Village Doctor (Woodside); Joe and Ginny Kavanaugh of Coldwell Banker (Portola Valley); A-1 Party Rentals (Redwood City); The Signworks, (San Carlos); Adolph S. Rosekrans Inc. Architects (Woodside); Mike Putterman; Bill Butler; Michael Hedlund; Sarah and Doug Rivers; Margot Lockwood, Coldwell Banker; TJ and Valeta Rogers; and The Bicycle Outfitters (Los Altos). Created in 2009, the WoodsidePortola Valley Fire Protection Foundation ([http://www.Fire-

N CA L E N DA R Visit to see more calendar listings

Special Events Young Minds Advocacy Project is a local nonprofit organization that works to increase access to mental health services for low-income young people. The organization celebrates its one-year anniversary with food, drinks, live music and a silent auction to raise funds. Sept. 27, 6-9 p.m. $25 suggested donation only. Cafe Zoe, 1929 Menalto St. , Menlo Park. Call 650-678-0606. Lifetree Cafe Conversations: Middle East Misconceptions Lifetree Cafe Menlo Park will host two conversations that will explore common misconceptions about Islam and the Middle East. Complimentary refreshments and snacks will be served. Sept. 25 from 7 to 8 p.m. and Sept. 26 from 9:15 a.m.10:15 a.m. Free. Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park. Call 650-854-

N AROUND TOWN www.]) raises money for fire district equipment, facilities, fire prevention education, and training. Visit FireDistrictFoundation. org for more information.

Peninsula Bridge breakfast in Menlo “Sailing to Success” is the theme of the 10th annual benefit breakfast for the Peninsula Bridge program to be held from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club, 2900 Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. Doors open at 8 a.m. Peninsula Bridge has a summer program that brings motivated middle-school students from lower-income families onto such campuses as Menlo School, Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo-Atherton High School for academic courses and enrichment activities. Since the program began in 1989, more than 5,000 students have been involved. The breakfast is free. A donation may be made at the end of the event. Call 473-9461 to attend.

Arts & Crafts Fest The Menlo Park Sidewalk Arts and Crafts Fall Fest will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-29, on Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (on Sunday, it closes at 5 p.m.). The sale will feature original works by more than 90 artists and craftsmen, including paintings, jewelry, photography, wood items, clothing, toys and more. For more information, contact the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce at 325-2818. 5897. Woodside International Horse Trials take place annually at the Woodside Horse Park. Watch equestrians compete in dressage, cross country jumping and stadium jumping. Plus a trade fair and food. Oct. 4-6, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. $10. Woodside Horse Park, 3674 Sand Hill Road, Woodside. Call 951303-0405. Autumn at Filoli Festival features tastings of heirloom fruits, live music, docent-led nature hikes, orchard tours, line dancing, flower-arranging. Advance reservations encouraged. Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $25 for nonmembers, $20 for members, $5 for children 5-17, free for children 4 and younger. Filoli, 86 Canada Road, Woodside. Artistry in Fashion Canada College fashion department hosts 22nd annual “Artistry in Fashion” event that features 60 designers selling clothing, jewelry and other fashions. Visitors tour the fashion department’s open house from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10 entry donation, free parking. Canada College, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Woodside. Call 650-306-3370.

Costumed trail riders, shown here during last year’s Day of the Horse, celebrated a “Camelot” theme.

Woodside sets Oct. 12 for Day of the Horse “Riding Around the World” is the theme for the ninth annual Day of the Horse trail ride and horse fair on Saturday, Oct. 12, in Woodside. During the event, riders will travel the town trails dressed in costumes from “Around the World.” The horse fair, located near Woodside Town Hall, is expected to draw nearly 2,000 people, organizers say. For those wanting to get “Back in the Saddle,” there will be a booth with information

Project Read Registration is now open for Project Read-Menlo Park’s next tutor training program, which begins Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St. in Menlo Park. Training continues from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, with a final meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Participants are expected to make a minimum commitment of six months. Most students need 90-minute ‘Ride for Ravenswood 2013’ The Ravenswood Family Health Center’s annual ride for Ravenswood, for cyclists and walkers, sponsored by Wells Fargo, helps support the local community health center. Oct. 6, 7 p.m. Free. 210 Park Lane, Atherton. Palo Alto Airport is holding an open house with free rides for kids ages 8-17, tower tours, aircraft displays, city emergency equipment, food and more. Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Palo Alto Airport, 1900 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto.

on local riding programs and lessons. The Woodside Public Library will have a booth featuring books on riding, horse breeds and horse care, donated by members of local horse clubs, with proceeds going to the library. The Silicon Valley Leathercraft Guild will offer hands-on demonstrations. There will also be pony rides, rides on the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, food booths and live music. Day of the Horse is sponsored by the Woodside-area sessions twice a week. Online and DVD training is available for those unable to attend the training sessions. For the past 27 years, Project Read-Menlo Park has been changing lives by helping adults improve their reading and writing. The program currently has many learners waiting for tutors. For more information, email Roberta Roth at or call Project Read at 330-2525.

Horse Owners Association (WHOA). The association says more than $100,000 in proceeds from Day of the Horse events has been gifted to Woodside-area programs, including the Folger Stable renovation in Wunderlich County Park, trail development and maintenance in town, county parks, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, and equestrian activities for children. Visit for more information.

Habitat for Humanity Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Community Foundation has launched its 15th annual Habitat for Humanity fundraising campaign, a month-long raffle through Oct. 18 in all 57 of its Northern California offices. All donations collected will be used by local Habitat for Humanity chapters to build homes in 2014. Operators have See AROUND TOWN, page 16


On Stage ‘Cabaret’ Broadway by the Bay presents “Cabaret,” the musical. Friday-Sunday, Sept. 13-29, 8-10 p.m. $40-$60. Fox Theater, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City. Call 650-3697770. Joan Rivers, television personality, comedian and actress will do standup comedy. Oct. 5-6, 5-6:30 p.m. $44-$69. Fox Theatre,

Thomas Kieninger Owner s Operator 75 Arbor Rd. Menlo Park (650) 566-1870 Licensed and Bonded CSL #932257

Continued on next page

September 25, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN15

C O M M U N I T Y Continued from previous page 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City. Call 650369-7770.

Authors & Talks Author: Katy Butler In “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death,” Katy Butler explores what happens when a fear of death collides with the technological imperatives of modern medicine. Her thesis is that advanced medicine, in its singleminded pursuit of maximum longevity, often creates more suffering than it prevents. Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. ‘Birds of Paradise’ Photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Ed Scholes will discuss 18 expeditions they’ve gone on over eight years in search of birds of paradise. Presented by National Geographic Live. Oct. 8, 7-8:30 p.m. $43.70-$58. Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City. Call 650-369-

7770. Jennifer duBois will discuss her new book, “Cartwheel,” a novel about an American foreign exchange student arrested for murder and a father trying to hold his family together. Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. Two writers Khaled Hosseini, author of “The Kite Runner,” and Tamim Ansary of “West of Kabul, East of New York” will discuss insights about Afghanistan and U.S. involvement, and talk about Hosseini’s personal journey. Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. $20. Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Redwood City. Call 650324-4321. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews discusses his book, “Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked.” As a top aide to former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, Chris Matthews witnessed the relationship between O’Neil and President Ronald Reagan. Oct. 7, 7-8 p.m. $15-$55. Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. Call 408-280-5530.

Nick Taylor: ‘Father Junipero’s Confessor’ In his new book, Nick Taylor captures the atmosphere of early California and the politics of the era. Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers. com/event/nick-taylor

Community Events EV Week Palo Alto stops by for one day at City Hall Plaza in Palo Alto. Attendees can test drive electric vehicles: Tesla Model S, BMW ActiveE, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Plugin and more, and learn about the latest charging and mobile technology. RSVP online. Sept. 25, Noon-5 p.m. Free. Palo Alto City Hall Plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. Call 415-277-6974. Free First Friday at the Museum On Oct. 4 at the San Mateo County History Museum, admission is free, and two programs are planned: At 11 a.m., preschool children will be invited to learn about farming, do hands-on craft and hear a story. Docents will lead a tour

for adults at 2 p.m. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. Redwood City Salsa Festival Multiple stages featuring a variety of Latin music, including salsa and jazz. Amateur and professional salsa chefs compete for prizes at the Salsa Tasting and Competition. Sept. 28, Noon-8 p.m. Free. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City.

Concerts Daniel Pearl World Music Days Concert Stanford Live and Music at Stanford team up to present this annual tribute concert honoring the life and memory of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter, musician and Stanford graduate, Daniel Pearl. Oct. 9, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Memorial Church, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford. Call 650-724-2464. edu/event.php?code=HARM Music on the Square Mazacote plays a mixture of classic salsa favorites and original Latin jazz tunes. They are performing as part of Redwood City’s “Music on the Square” live music series. Sept. 27, 6-8 p.m. Free. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. musiconthesquare.html


Head-to-Toe Healthier Skin Packard Children’s Dermatology Offers Comprehensive Skin Care

‘Our Shared Humanity’ is a film introduction to the World Peace, Education and Culture Organization of the SGI-USA. It will be followed by a Q&A and panel discussion. The meeting space is provided as a community service by the city of Redwood City. The city neither supports nor endorses this event nor the presenting individuals or organizations. Oct. 1, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Redwood City Public Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Community Room, 2nd floor, Redwood City.

Et Alia Atherton Library Family Movie Night presents “Rise of the Guardians” (97 minutes,

From cuddles and playtime, to school, sports and dances, it’s important for children to be comfortable and confident in their own skin. The Pediatric Dermatology team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford provides the highest quality, nurturing care to assure kids’ skin stays healthy. As one of the largest pediatric dermatology groups in the country, our Stanford Medicine team offers comprehensive skin care, including light-based laser therapy. For conditions and concerns from the routine to the rare, Packard Children’s Dermatology is completely dedicated to the skin health of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

To schedule an appointment at any of our three bay area offices, please call (650) 721-1227 or visit for more information.

AROUND TOWN continued from page 15

set a goal of raising $356,000. Raff le tickets are $2 and the public is invited to participate. Habitat for Humanity says that since its founding in 1976, it has built some 600,000 houses worldwide, providing shelter for about 3 million people.

rated PG). Refreshments provided by Friends of the Library. Sept. 27, 7-8:45 p.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-328-2422. Young Adult Event: Fierce Reads Tour This event will feature readings from Marissa Meyer (“Cinder and Scarlet”), Leila Sales (“ This Song Will Save Your Life”), S.A. Bodeen (“The Fallout,” the sequel to “The Compound”) and Alexandra Coutts (“Tumble and Fall”). Oct. 1, 7 p.m. Free. Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650324-4321. Vered’s Music Concert Vered’s music is about the connection between parents and their babies. Oct. 1, 1:30 p.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-328-2422. Jews For Jesus Steve Wertheim of Jews for Jesus, an evangelical organization, will speak. Oct. 6, 10-11:15 a.m. Free. First Baptist Church, 1100 Middle Ave., Menlo Park. Call 650-332-8544. Academy of Danse Libre is looking dancers for the 2013-2014 season. The dance company performs dances of the Victorian and Ragtime eras through the 1930s. Sept. 30, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free. La Entrada Middle School, Jensen Hall, 2200 Sharon Road, Menlo Park. auditions/ ‘Orphaned Elephants of Tsavo and Recent Works’ Portola Art Gallery presents a collection of oil paintings by Marsha Heimbecker, inspired by a refuge for protection and preservation of Africa’s wilderness, particularly elephants. Monday-Saturday, Sept. 1-30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Portola Art Gallery, Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-321-0220. Redwood Symphony will launch its 2013-14 season with Richard Strauss’s production based on the Cervantes classic, “Don Quixote.” 8-10 p.m. $10-$30. Canada College Main Theatre, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd., Woodside.

Skin screening

The Village Doctor will hold its 6th annual skin screening event from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at its office next to the Village Pub at 2979 Woodside Road. People are invited to have a free skin screening examination by Stanford dermatologists, says Louise Marquino of the Village Doctor. Email admin@villagedoctor. com or call 851-4747 for more information.

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Menlo Park police add two motorcycle officers One staffing shortage in the Menlo Park Police Department will be resolved through the appointment of two officers to traffic patrol. Riding motorcycles, the officers will investigate accidents, enforce the vehicle code and patrol around local schools during drop-off and pick-up time, according to a memo Chief Bob Jonsen sent to the city on Sept. 19. The officers staffing the positions will rotate every two to four years, the chief said, and earn a 5 percent pay incentive for the specialty assignment.

Alleged burglar spotted For many residents, it was a warm and quiet afternoon in Menlo Park on Sept. 18. But for one person, the pace of the day quickened as the citizen spotted a man and car that looked out of place in the 900 block of Crane Street. The citizen called the police around 1 p.m., and a detective with the narcotics enforcement team responded. Det. Nick Douglas discovered a car reported stolen out of Redwood City bearing license plates reported stolen out of Palo Alto.


N PO LI C E C A L L S This information is from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and the Atherton and Menlo Park police departments. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent unless convicted.

He also found Ramon Bernal, 38, of Richmond, a man with a long list of warrants from Redwood City for assault with a deadly weapon, battery, vandalism, and violating a restraining order, according to the police report. Police retrieved “a large amount of stolen property” that they suspect may be linked to a series of burglaries, according to the report.


Suspect arrested

■ Someone stole $4,000 in non-narcot-

Calls reporting gunfire led Menlo Park police to the 1100 block of Willow Road around 10:37 p.m. on Sept. 20. There, they found 24-yearold Saul Mendoza, of South San Francisco, who reportedly attempted to run away, according to police. Officers said they also discovered a loaded gun and a “large amount” of marijuana and methamphetamine nearby. Mr. Mendoza was booked into San Mateo County jail on weapons and narcotics charges as well as battery on a law enforcement officer.

Theft report: An engagement ring with an estimated value of $17,000 is missing from a home on Valparaiso Avenue, Aug. 20. ATHERTON Residential burglary report: Missing from a pool house and main residence on Selby Lane are a $2,000 silver Apple MacBook Pro, a $1,000 N1000 studio microphone, a $600 white Apple 2 iPod, and $300 red-and-black Beats headphones by Dr. Dre, Sept. 14. Theft reports: ic medicine for the blood from the doorstep of a Heather Drive resident who also discovered in his mailbox pieces of “destroyed” mail from addresses on the west side of town, Sept. 18.

■ An unlocked vehicle parked on Watkins Avenue is missing a computerized automotive diagnostic device with a value of $350 and a Garmin $150 GPS, Sept. 15. WOODSIDE Fraud report: A resident of Kings Mountain Road received a bill from AT&T for $3,500 in cell phone services in May 2013 from an account she said she did not open and from a phone she said she does not own. Her Social Security number had been used to open the account, the company said,

Sept. 13.

from students registering for city-sponsored classes, Sept. 18.


Theft reports:

Residential burglary reports:

■ A diamond-solitaire ring valued at

■ Someone broke into a garage on

$20,000 is missing from a residence on Deanna Drive, Sept. 19.

Crest Lane and stole three Specializedbrand bicycles — a Tarmac racing bike valued at $9,000, a Transition time-trial bike at $8,000 and a Langster road bike at $1,000 — and a set of Zipp tires with a value of $2,900, for a loss totaling $20,900, Sept. 17.

■ Someone got away with an Apple MacBook Pro with a value of $2,000, a $500 Apple iPad and a brown $35 computer bag that had been left unattended at a Starbucks coffee shop on Sharon Park Drive, Sept. 14.

■ An Olive Street residential garage

■ An employee of Keeping Traditions

was broken into and is missing two bicycles — a Giant-brand time-trial bike valued at $3,800 and a Specialized S Works road bike at $3,000, Sept. 13.

Inc., a furniture store on Santa Cruz Avenue, is missing an $899 Apple iPhone and its case, all believed stolen while she was at work, Sept. 15.

■ A would-be thief left behind a dam-

■ Someone stole a black Apple iPhone

aged $10 combination lock in breaking into a Sharon Park Drive storage container, from which nothing was missing, Sept. 19.

with a value of $700 from a pouch on a (briefly) unattended stroller at the weekly farmers’ market, Sept. 15.

Commercial burglary report: Someone cut the lock to a fenced-in area at Memry Corp. on Campbell Avenue and stole $60,000 worth of cylindrical metal rods, Sept. 19. Auto burglary reports:

■ A vehicle broken into while parked on Coleman Avenue is missing two purses — a $2,000 gray-and-white purse by Louis Vuitton and a large brown $3,000 purse by Gucci — as well as a $300 pair of Prada sunglasses, a $300 gold necklace and $45 in cash, Sept. 14.

■ Someone caused $200 in damage by breaking a window but apparently stole nothing from a vehicle parked at O’Brien and Kavanaugh drives, Sept. 18. Embezzlement report: Officials suspect an employee of the city of Menlo Park may have pocketed $400 in fees

■ A bike with a value of $100 is missing from a residence on Pope Street, Sept. 19.

■ Someone stole a wallet from an unlocked vehicle parked on East Creek Drive and used the credit card in the wallet for $100 in unauthorized purchases, Sept. 15.

■ Three wooden crates are missing from the Safeway supermarket on Sharon Park Drive, Sept. 16. Parking tickets report: Police had a vehicle towed from Coleman Place and put into storage in connection with unpaid parking tickets amounting to $627, well above the towing threshold of $400, Sept. 17. Stolen vehicle report: An arrest was made in connection with the theft of a white 1991 Toyota Corolla parked on Haven Avenue, Sept. 15.

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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 Editor Carol Blitzer Photographer Michelle Le (223-6530) DESIGN & PRODUCTION Design Director Shannon Corey (223-6560) Assistant Design Director Lili Cao Designers Linda Atilano, Rosanna Leung, Paul Llewellyn, Scott Peterson, Kameron Sawyer 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.

■ 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.

Atherton grandstand hits wall of resistance


upporters of the upgraded playing field and installation But commissioners and residents should keep in mind that of a new grandstand for Little League at Holbrook- along with an improved Little League field and seating area, Palmer Park are going back to the drawing board after the town will gain other benefits from the project, on top of the Planning Commission opposed many of the changes ongoing maintenance of the field. In addition to resurfacing earlier this month. the tennis courts, the town also asked the league to donate Voters last November approved Measure M, the renova- 5 percent of the final construction costs, up to $50,000, for tion plan offered by the Menlo-Atherton Little League, other park improvements. Two years ago the entire package but the town has ultimate authority over the plan. A final was valued at about $500,000. agreement of the field improvement plan We hope that the league and the town was scheduled to come before the City can find a way to improve the playing field, EDI TORI AL Council last week, but the item was pulled which will appeal to the many new families The opinion of The Almanac to give field supporters more time to revise with young children that are moving to the original proposal. Atherton. By the same token, Little League In the eyes of the Planning Commission, the Little League’s supporters should understand that Holbrook-Palmer is a idea of an improved field is too extreme for the park. Chair- historic park — Atherton’s only park — and that it deserves man Herman Christensen said “the physical improvements protection from a major special use like Little League. The are too monumental, too large in scale and counter to main- improvements should be designed to blend in with the open taining the rustic nature of the park.” The commission also space theme of the park and still provide a positive experisaid it wants the fences, foul poles and scoreboard built so ence for Little League players and their families. After all, the they could be removed after the February-through-June Little players are focused on playing the game, not the grandstand League season. or other amenities. Perhaps still riding the wave of the 75 percent approval by Atherton is fortunate that Little League officials can make voters last fall, league officials no doubt believed that the plans such a generous offer to improve the field. And the town presented to the commission were on track with what the needs to find reasonable compromises that will make it poscommunity wanted. But it is now clear that the commission sible. Our hope is that both sides in this discussion can come has a much lower-key installation in mind. out a winner.

Change of course at St. Patrick’s Seminary By Henry Organ

tural world, especially for diohere is a quiet religious ceses within the Western United counter-revolution unfold- States and the Pacific Rim.” ing amidst bucolic St. PatThis formation is “... carried rick’s Seminary and University in out according to the Church’s Menlo Park. Its conception can magisterial teaching, under the be traced to October 2012, when direction of the Archbishop of The Most Reverend Salvatore J. San Francisco, ...” according to Cordileone was installed as arch- St. Patrick’s website. The semibishop of San Francisco. nary and university, therefore, The Most Rev. Cordileone is of strategic and ideological had been bishop of the Diocese importance, as its graduates and of Oakland for a relatively short alumni go out to parishes and span of three years. The Oak- schools in this vast geographical land Diocese is area to teach less prestigious and preach in the Catholic the word, as GU EST OPI NI ON Church nationthey have been Opinion from the community ally and intertaught. nationally than The multiplySan Francisco, even though San ing impact of the seminary Francisco has fewer parishio- and university is enormous and ners. What the Archdiocese longitudinal. The archbishop of San Francisco has, most of San Francisco, the Most Rev. importantly, and the Diocese of Cordileone, is the chancellor Oakland does not, is a seminary of the seminary/university and and university. chair of its board of direcThe primary purpose of the tors. His appointment to San seminary and university is “... Francisco was visionary on the the initial and ongoing forma- archbishop’s part, but troution of Roman Catholic priests bling to this writer. in a contemporary multiculThe revolution of which I write


18NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNSeptember 25, 2013

is “Vatican II,” an ecumenical council convened in Rome in 1962 by Pope John XXII, and closed in 1965 by Pope Paul VI. Vatican II sought to modernize the church, and was welcomed by progressive Catholics. Vatican

II was met with strong opposition, however, by traditionalists; this opposition exists at this very moment. Yes, the Catholic Church has its own “tea party,” Continued on next page

Atherton Historical Association

Our Regional Heritage This stately and much-traveled home was built by Commodore James Watkins in the 1860s and passed down to many other owners over the years. Today, after several moves, the home is located on Alejandra in Atherton, where it was restored.


PENINSULA L ET T ER S Our readers write

Planning driven by demographics Editor: Plan Bay Area is a wonderful example of regional planning and a cutting-edge showcase of modernity. Developing high-density housing near public transportation is the wave of the future — it is here to stay. The alternative is urban sprawl and that is last century’s mistake. Demographic facts demand this change. According to the U. S. Census as analyzed by the Bipartisan Policy Institute, household size fell 21 percent between 1960 and 1990. By the 2010 Census, of the 117 million

GUES T O P I NION Opinion from the community

Continued from previous page

and “altar-right” faction. The changes occurring at St Patrick’s Seminary and University are a reflection of this faction. The president and rector is being replaced by another priest, effective Oct. 1; other changes in key positions have taken place there since Archbishop Cordileone took office less than a year ago. (These changes will likely result in a radical change to the right of the faculty and the theology

U.S. households, only 23 million, or 20 percent, were made up of adults with children. Aging baby boomers and young millennials desire smaller living areas near public amenities. The trend toward high-density, transit-oriented development is driven by public demand and developers working to fill it. Government agencies are devising regional planning models to accommodate this inevitable transition. Residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are now more diverse, requesting a wider variety of housing. Fortunately, Plan Bay Area was adopted on July 18, 2013, so we can better meet the comprehensive needs of today’s and tomorrow’s citizens. Kaia Eakin Redwood City

taught seminarians.) The changes are also occurring at a time when Pope Francis is urging the clergy to be more compassionate, less judgmental, less obsessed with gay rights and abortion. It was as if Pope Francis was speaking directly to Archbishop Cordileone, who shepherded California’s Proposition 8, the antigay marriage initiative. There is a counter-revolution to Vatican II at pastoral St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park. I pray that it will fail. Henry Organ lives in Menlo Park. He was a member of the Mid-Peninsula Catholic Interracial Council until it dissolved.

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