Holiday Fund 2013
Give to the Holiday Fund and help families in need | Page 10
T H E H O M E TOW N N E W S PA P E R F O R M E N L O PA R K , AT H E R TO N , P O R TO L A VA L L E Y A N D WO O D S I D E
D E C E M B E R 1 1 , 2 0 1 3 | VO L . 4 9 N O. 1 4
W W W. T H E A L M A N AC O N L I N E . C O M
Friendly persuasion Woodsideâ€™s Rebekah Witter helps equestrians learn the language of their horses SECTION 2
" %+'*&)##.&+(!&$"%*!)'("% -"*! % &%. $(.&+-"##(", )* "% '(&'(*."%)'*"&% ')*"%)'*"&%
2 N The Almanac N TheAlmanacOnline.com N December 11, 2013
UP F RONT
Portola Valley schools foundation defrauded of $182K, deputies say By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
n investigation has turned up seven bad checks, a total of $182,500, written this fall against an investment account for the Portola Valley Schools Foundation, according to a Dec. 9 report from the San Mateo County Sheriff â€™s Office. The checks, written between early September and early November 2013, transferred money from the foundationâ€™s Charles Schwab account into a JP Morgan Chase account at an unknown location, deputies said. â€œIt is so disheartening that a crime such as this has been perpetrated against the Foundation,â€? said Superintendent Lisa Gonzales in an emailed statement. â€œI am confident that the authorities will soon identify the person or persons responsible, and that the investigation will bring all relevant
details to light very soon.â€? The foundation has not yet responded to a request for an interview. The checks were written out to â€œEye For Design LLCâ€? with a mailing address in Monroe, Connecticut, deputies said. The incident has a reporting date of Nov. 25. The Sheriffâ€™s Office typically issues crime reports on a weekly basis; an incomplete report on an individual case can delay publication. The checks were pre-printed with the foundationâ€™s name misspelled and without the foundationâ€™s address, but did include the correct account and routing numbers on the bottom of the checks, deputies said. Investigators from Charles Schwab and U.S. Postal Police are working on the case, deputies said. The news comes as the Portola Valley School District is in the
I canâ€™t say enough about our experience with Steve. He was supportive, knowledgeable, smart, creative, and worked like crazy to help us get a 2 1/2 acre place ready for sale...I have never had anyone put in as much personal elbow grease as Steve. I recommend him unconditionally.
midst of recovering from an embezzlement of nearly $101,000 by former superintendent Tim Hanretty, who is serving a twoyear term in state prison. When the cost of the investigation into his crimes is included, Mr. Hanrettyâ€™s actions set the district back by $182,000, nearly $121,000 of which he had repaid, according to an Almanac report in September. â€œThe many volunteers of the Portola Valley Schools Foundation have worked tirelessly for almost two decades in support of the students and staff at Ormondale and Corte Madera Schools,â€? Ms. Gonzales said in her email. â€œEspecially over the past two challenging years, the support of the foundation has been instrumental in ensuring that key programs and staffing levels have continued uninterrupted, and our students have received the best education possible.â€?
30+ years of local knowledge. Born in Menlo Park. Raised in Atherton. A Woodside resident.
Hanretty released from prison, appeals court order for $2.7M in restitution By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac
im Hanretty, the former Woodside and Portola Valley school official who was imprisoned for embezzlement and misappropriating public funds in 2012, has been released after serving a year of his two-year sentence and has taken steps to appeal a court order to repay $2.67 million to the Woodside Elementary School District. Mr. Hanrettyâ€™s former attorney, Michael Markowitz of Danville, said he has filed a notice with the court of appeals on Mr.
Hanrettyâ€™s behalf to give him more time to appeal the restitution order. Mr. Markowitz said he has asked for a courtappointed lawyer to handle the appeal for Mr. Hanretty. Mr. Hanret- Tim Hanretty ty, the former Portola Valley School District Superintendent and Woodside Elementary School District finance officer, pleaded no contest to six felony charges of embezzlement and misappropriating public funds
in both school districts in July of 2012 and was sentenced to two years in prison the following October. In Woodside he was accused of forging documents that allowed a loan of up to $3 million to be made to the district, despite the fact that the school board had approved borrowing only $632,000. He eventually obtained a loan of $2.6 million, which district officials say was spent on school projects. He changed the loan terms from a 10-year payback to a 21-year payback. In Portola Valley further invesSee HANRETTY, page 6
CALLING ON THE ALMANAC
Newsroom: Newsroom fax: Advertising: Advertising fax: Classified ads:
223-6525 223-7525 854-2626 223-7570 854-0858
N E-mail news, information, obituaries and photos (with captions) to: editor@AlmanacNews.com N E-mail letters to the editor to: letters@AlmanacNews.com
To request free delivery, or stop delivery, of The Almanac in zip code 94025, 94027, 94028 and the Woodside portion of 94062, call 854-2626.
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 $100 per 2 years are welcome. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025-6558. Copyright ÂŠ2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
The online guide to Menlo Park businesses Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. Visit ShopMenloPark.com today
t.BLFQVSDIBTFT t8SJUFBOESFBESFWJFXT t'JOEEFBMTBOEDPVQPOT t#VZHJGUDFSUJGJDBUFT t%JTDPWFSMPDBMCVTJOFTTFT
December 11, 2013 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 3
TH I S Y E A R , C H E AT O N TH E N U TC R AC K E R
THE CHRISTMAS BALLET
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! NOW PL AYING MOUNTAIN VIEW MV CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS | DEC 11â€“15 | 650.903.60 0 0
" #$% " &% " % # '( !
4 N The Almanac N TheAlmanacOnline.com N December 11, 2013
Local News M
E N L O
A R K
T H E R T O N
O O D S I D E
O R T O L A
A L L E Y
FBI seeks ‘Sports Cap Bandit’ bank robber The FBI is seeking a woman they have dubbed the “Sports Cap Bandit,” who robbed two banks in Menlo Park in October and November. The robberies occurred at about 12:25 p.m. on Oct. 29 at a Bank of the West at 701 Santa Cruz Ave. and at about 2 p.m. on Nov. 8 at a U.S. Bank at 1105 El Camino Real, according to the FBI. In each robbery, the suspect gave a bank teller a note demanding money and said she had a gun. During the October robbery, she wore a red Cincinnati Reds baseball cap with a “C” on it, along with sunglasses, a dark gray hooded jacket and gray sweatpants, FBI officials said. She was carrying a dark bag. In the November robbery, she wore a light blue and gold Denver
Nuggets hat with the word “Nuggets” and a graphic on it, along with a long-sleeve green sweatshirt and blue jeans, according to the FBI. That day, she was carrying a light brown handbag. The FBI released surveillance images of the suspect, who is described as a Pacific Islander or Hispanic woman between 25 and 30 years old. She is about 5 feet 7 or 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs between 140 and 170 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair. The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the FBI’s San Francisco office at (415) 553-7400. Tips can also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov. Go to tinyurl.com/Bandit-620 to see the surveillance photos. — Bay City News Service
Town looks at ways to coax walking, cycling to school By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
bout 8 percent of Woodside Elementary School students walk or ride a bike to school. In a town that likes to see itself as rural, students driven to school are the majority and most vehicles carry just one student, according to a Safe Routes to School audit. That audit is on the agenda for discussion at the Dec. 10 Town Council meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. in Independence Hall. To encourage walking and cycling to school, the audit makes several recommendations, including: narrowing by 1 foot the width of Woodside