Issuu on Google+

Meet Nutty

New mascot chosen to ‘re-brand’ Menlo Park | page 3

J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 4 | VO L . 4 9 N O. 1 8

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

San Mateo County is ‘ground zero’ for economic devastation, but entire region is threatened SECTION 2


ATHERTON Newly built modern interpretation of a Napa Valley-style estate. Registered for LEED platinum, only extremely conscientious construction can produce such luxury and push the limits of technological sophistication and environmental responsibility. Temperature, media, lighting, pool & spa, and security all can be controlled on your smart phone. $9,800,000

ATHERTON Sophisticated, 3-story home with spacious light-filled rooms all above ground. Resort-like grounds with Pool/ spa, tennis ct, sweeping terrace, pool cabana and 2 garages for 10 cars. Las Lomitas schools.

$7,925,000

WOODSIDE Serene & private 1.6 acre setting with expansive views of the Bay located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Updated contemporary style home with an open light filled floor plan, four + bedrooms on main level with 2nd Master suite and office/nursery on upper level. Beautiful grounds include pool, patios, lush lawns & gardens. Don’t miss this very special property.

$3,950,000

2NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 8, 2014


TOWN OF WOODSIDE 2955 WOODSIDE ROAD WOODSIDE, CA 94062

UP F RONT

INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR COMMITTEES ARTS AND CULTURE COMMITTEE Meets first Thursday of each month, 5:00 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee strengthens multigenerational community involvement by initiating, sponsoring and celebrating local art, creativity and cultural activities including, but not limited to, the areas of art, photography, design, music, horticulture, culinary arts, literature, drama and dance. The Committee will create opportunities to educate, inform and engage the community about cultural affairs and will organize and supervise events to showcase local creative talent CIRCULATION COMMITTEE Meets third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee supports the General Plan goal to balance circulation system user needs and works to foster a community for all users of the public roadway system. The Circulation Committee works with the Town Engineer, Sheriff’s Department and local and regional organizations to develop programs to encourage dialog on circulation system needs, promote “share the road” programs for all users, and develop educational programs to promote traffic safety. The Committee advises Town staff and the Town Council about ways to make the roadway system safer for all users, to encourage effective traffic enforcement, and to promote safe, convenient access to schools, Town businesses, public and private institutions, and neighborhoods.

Nutty the Squirrel joins Mayor Ray Mueller at the city’s tree-lighting ceremony.

Will Menlo Park go nuts for new mascot? By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

T

he choice may seem a little odd for a city that once covertly hired an exterminator to take out the squirrels at Bedwell Bayfront Park, but Menlo Park now has a new official mascot: “Nutty the Squirrel.” The theory is that the costumed character may induce more participants to join the city’s already popular community programs, some of which, like gymnastics classes, have waiting lists. Nutty cavorted at the city’s tree-lighting ceremony in December. Community Services Director Cherise Brandell said that creating a mascot had been on the department’s “to do” list for several years before being finalized at a team meeting several months ago. “That same group approved the purchase as an additional way to build (a) sense of community and draw families and children into our programs,” she said in an email. Children participating in the city’s after-school programs chose the mascot’s name, according to Ms. Brandell. The costume, ordered from MaskUs.com, cost $1,846, includ-

ing a pack to adapt it for hot weather, a tote bag and shipping. It caused a bit of a kerfuffle, according to internal staff emails obtained through a public records act request, when it seemed the bill would be split among programs within the department at $246 each. “This seems like a large amount for programs that will not use the mascot service or who have tight budgets. Should we have a dis-

‘Nutty the Squirrel’ debuts to help city ‘re-brand’ itself cussion regarding who will actually use the ‘costume’ and how billing of the person inside the suit works?” a Menlo Children’s Center supervisor asked. A manager with the recreation program said, “I really don’t see us using it, but am willing to chip in some to pay for it if that is what we need to do. Although I can think of other things I can use the money towards, too! Whatever is decided, we will go with it.” A gymnastics supervisor commented, “At this point, I don’t really see any times that we would use Nutty. Unless we are

doing something in conjunction with a special event.” In response, Community Services Manager Derek Schweigart wrote that the cost had been divided between the special events budget and funds for the city’s current re-branding efforts, describing Nutty as a marketing expense that would benefit the entire department. “Most of us operate various special events and other functions where we could possibly see Nutty making an appearance. It might be difficult now to see where Nutty may add value or help to promote our department, but there is much potential,” Mr. Schweigart wrote. Paying a staff member to don the costume and frolic at the tree lighting cost $17, billed to the special events budget, according to the city’s records. Menlo Park, known for cutting edge technological industry, is now leading the charge with Nutty the Squirrel as well, compared with other Peninsula cities both smaller and larger, including Palo Alto, Foster City, Redwood City and Burlingame: Officials in those cities, bemused by the Almanac’s inquiry, said that their towns did not have official mascots, but did have logos. A

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.

LIVESTOCK AND EQUESTRIAN HERITAGE COMMITTEE Meets fourth Wednesday of each month, 5:30 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee reviews applications for professional stable permits and forwards recommendations to the Planning Commission. It also reviews applications for exceptions to the private stable regulations and forwards recommendations to the Planning Director. It conducts inspections of stables in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Code. The Committee develops and supports education and information programs which aid the community in sustaining, protecting enhancing and enjoying equestrian activities and facilities. The Committee is also a resource for Town Council, staff and residents on equestrian matters. OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE Meets fourth Thursday of each month, 5:30 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises and assists the Town Council, Planning Commission and staff in implementing the policies and goals of the Open Space and Conservation elements of the General Plan, specifically with respect to acquisition and maintenance of conservation easements and open space preservation. PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE Meets on call of Chair; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises the Town Council and staff on issues of community public safety, including police and fire services provided within the Town. RECREATION COMMITTEE Meets first Thursday of each month, 7:30 p.m.; appointed for three-year term. The Committee guides the activities of the community recreation programs. SUSTAINABILITY AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE Meets fourth Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises and assists the Town Council, Planning Commission, and staff on conservation, open space, noise, public services and facilities as pertaining to the elements of the Town’s General Plan. TRAILS COMMITTEE Meets second Thursday of each month, 3:00 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee reviews land divisions, subdivisions and conditional use permits for locations for equestrian, pedestrian and bicycle trails and makes recommendations to the staff and to the Planning Commission. WOODSIDE HISTORY COMMITTEE Meets second Thursday of each month, 10:00 a.m.; appointed for two-year term.

CALLING ON THE ALMANAC

Newsroom: Newsroom fax: Advertising: Advertising fax: Classified ads:

The Committee shall review applications for special event permits for the Town’s roadways. The Committee shall confer with the Trails Committee on programs and recommendations of mutual interest.

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 ©2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

The Committee advises the Town Council and staff regarding actions, policies and plans relating to historic preservation. Committees are volunteer positions and serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Council. Interested residents may request information and applications Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon and 1-5:00 p.m., from the Town Clerk’s Office at Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, or telephone (650) 851-6790, or through the Town’s web site at www.woodsidetown.org. Deadline for applications is Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

January 8, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN3


Sellers Wanted Our Motivated Buyers Need Your Help Buyer 1

Buyer 2

Buyer 3

3 Bed + | 2 Bath +

3 Bed + | 2 Bath +

3 Bed + | 2 Bath + | View

1 Acre lot + Central Atherton

Atherton Up to $3,500,000

Sharon Heights Woodside | Portola Valley Emerald Hills

Up to $5,000,000

Up to $3,000,000

Buyer 4

Buyer 5

Buyer 6

3 Bed + | 2 Bath + | Views

3 Bed + | 2 Bath +

Fixer Upper Home

3,000 sf + | Large Lot

Bay or Hoover Tower View

Palo Alto | Los Altos Hills

Palo Alto | Los Altos Hills

Palo Alto | Menlo Park Los Altos

Up to $4,000,000

Up to $4,000,000

Up to $1,500,000

Buyer 7

Buyer 8

Buyer 9

3 Bed + | 2 Bath +

3 Bed + | 2 Bath + | 1,400 sf

2 Bed + | 2 Bath + | 1,400 sf

Townhome, Condo

Townhome, Condo

Mountain View | Los Altos Near shopping

Palo Alto | Los Altos Menlo Park

Up to $1,400,000

Up to $1,500,000

Palo Alto | Los Altos Hills with Gunn High

Up to $2,500,000

Call Jackie and Richard to Make Your Move Jackie

Richard

650-855-9700

650-566-8033

richard@schoelerman.com

jackie@schoelerman.com

BRE # 01413607

BRE # 01092400

www.schoelerman.com 4NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 8, 2014


Local News M

E N L O

P

A R K

|

A

T H E R T O N

|

W

O O D S I D E

|

P

O R T O L A

V

A L L E Y

State: Insufficient evidence in Sutton discrimination case By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

D

iscrimination and harassment complaints filed against Menlo Park by city employees may be heading to the courtroom. In December, former city gymnastics instructor Michelle Sutton received notice from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing that the state found insufficient evidence of discrimination, harassment and retaliation regarding a complaint she had filed after being abruptly fired. That may not be the end of the matter. “For the record I will say that I have been working my way through all of the procedural hurdles and that I am keeping

my options open with respect to a civil suit,” Ms. Sutton said. The week before she was fired, the instructor had asked the city’s human resources department and union representatives about filing a harassment complaint against supervisor Karen Mihalek. Ms. Sutton was then terminated on Feb. 12, 2013. She said she was told that a parent’s complaint led to her termination. The complaint, emailed publicly to program management and to the City Council on Jan. 30, described the instructor as unprofessional in how she had asked the parent to step away during a child-only class. Other parents responded to the firing with outrage, flooding the council’s email in-box with letters praising Ms. Sutton. While the initial complaint remained

on the Menlo Park’s website for a week without issue, the city abruptly deleted both the complaint and at least a dozen emails of support for the teacher. According to city staff at the time, the emails left the city

Second gymnastics program employee files complaint with state, and Menlo Children’s Center employee intends to sue city. vulnerable to a defamation lawsuit and related to a confidential personnel matter. But staff suddenly reversed course as public outcry continued, and restored the letters.

Many questioned whether the city even had legal standing to delete the emails in the first place. Jim Ewert, media law expert and legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association called the removal “ludicrous,” arguing that emails to the council are public records just like comments made during public meetings, which are archived on the city’s website. Documentation of another sort proved more elusive. The Almanac found no mention of reprimands or performance issues in Ms. Sutton’s personnel file. Since she was an at-will employee, however, Menlo Park wasn’t required by law to document disciplinary actions, although employers often do so as a safeguard. According to the DFEH, some employers may keep such records

No sign of winter in Woodside Blue sky and summer-dry grass have become the marks of an uncommon winter statewide, but they made for a warm and pleasurable ride at the Horse Park in Woodside last Friday.

Michelle Le/The Almanac

New year brings new plumbing regulations By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

W

ith the start of the new year, and in the middle of a dry, dry winter, California residents face a new set of regulations on the efficiency of plumbing fixtures. Effective Jan. 1, significant remodels of residential and

commercial structures that were approved and completed before 1994 must include the replacement of outdated toilets, urinals, shower heads and faucets in order to get the remodel signed off. Enforcement will be up to the local building departments. Officials from Woodside, Portola Valley and Atherton have

said in interviews that, with a 1994 reference point, many properties have long since been upgraded. The Almanac was unable to reach anyone in the Menlo Park building department before publication time. In Woodside, property owners will regulate themselves. Owners will have to bring to Town Hall a signed form

attesting to the number of fixtures in the building(s) and their having been upgraded, Deputy Town Manager Paul Nagengast told the Almanac. “We decided that, with our (staff) resources, it was best to do it that way,” he said. Portola Valley will use signed See PLUMBING, page 6

with a supervisor’s informal collection of documents instead of placing them in a personnel file. Some examples are counseling memos, written warnings, notes of informal counseling sessions and performance improvement plans. Ms. Sutton said the state’s investigator told her the city cited performance issues as the reason she was fired, which she assumes refers to the letter of complaint sent by the parent. While employed with the city, she said, she was never given any documentation of warnings or performance issues apart from that one complaint. Fellow instructor Chris Ortez quit in protest over her firing and later told the city manager and the council that Ms. Mihalek held See SUTTON CASE, page 7

Rich resigns from Menlo school board Laura Linkletter Rich, a member of the Menlo Park City School District board since 1998, is resigning her post, citing “increasing family demands out of town” that make it difficult for her to carry out her duties. Her term was to expire later this year. The board will decide at its Jan. 14 meeting whether to call a special election to fill the post for the remainder of the term or to appoint someone instead. Although the Jan. 14 meeting will be her last official one, “I have committed to smoothing the transition until a new board member takes office,” Ms. Rich said in an announcement issued by the school district on Jan. 6. Although her children had already left the district’s schools, which serve students from kindergarten through eighth grade, Ms. Rich ran for re-election in 2010 to see to the end campus reconstruction projects, she said at the time. The last of those projects, the transformation of the Hillview Middle School campus, was completed in September 2012. Now, she said in the announcement, “the district has beautiful new facilities; is financially healthy; and has a leadership team of exceptional strength and dedication.”

January 8, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN5


N E W S

-EAT0RODUCEs&INE&OODS 7INE,IQUORs$ELICATESSEN (ARDWARE'RAIN Open 6:30 am - 8:00 pm daily Sales Dates: January 8-11, 2014

4420 Alpine Rd., Portola Valley phone 650.851.1711

3015 Woodside Rd., Woodside phone 650.851.1511

Fresh Produce Tasty!

99¢lb. Serve with cheese for a great pair! ¢ Bartlett Pears .......................................99 lb. Tender $ Blue Lake Beans ............................. 1.29lb. Minneola Tangelos ..............................

Meat and Seafood B-B-Back Ribs ................................. $4.49lb. Lamb Shoulder Chops ........ $6.98lb. Beef Short Ribs ............................

$

6.98lb.

On Sale Grocery Stouffers Lean Cuisine Macaroni & Cheese$

1.99 Florida Natural Orange Juice $ 59 oz................................................................ 2.99 Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup $ 14 oz................................................................. 1.99 Splenda No Calorie Sweetner $ 100 count. ...................................................... 3.49 Oreo Sandwich Cookies $ 14 oz. .............................................................. 3.49

10 oz.........................................................................

Deli Department Grab a quick, lite lunch at Roberts Deli with a teriyaki or mandarin orange chicken bowl $7.99lb. Just Heat and Eat

Wine and Spirits Pinot-palooza Few wines have the adaptability of Pinot Noir. As we hurtle towards the holidays, this is an excellent time to stock up on wines. Here are a few fine examples offered at special prices.

2012 Bench Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ...................................... Reg. $19.99 Sale $16.99 2011 Evening Land Pinot Noir, Willametto Valley ...............Reg. $25.99 Sale $21.99 2011 Melville Pinot Noir, Estate - Sta Rita Hills .................... Reg. $31.99 Sale $26.99 2011 Hartford Court Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley ....... Reg. $34.99 Sale $29.99 2012 Failla Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ........................................ Reg. $35.99 Sale $30.99

Symphony features works, performance by Taylor Eigsti Peninsula Symphony Orchestra will celebrate new works by jazz pianist and composer Taylor Eigsti, who will also perform George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and a tribute to composer/pianist Dave Brubeck in concerts on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18. The Jan. 17 concert takes place at 8 p.m. at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 North Delaware Ave. in San Mateo; the Saturday performance takes place at 8 p.m. at Flint Center/DeAnza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino.

PLUMBING continued from page 5

forms as well, but won’t exclude on-site visits, said Deputy Building Official Gary Fitzer. “It’s a state law, so we’re required to enforce it,” he said. The replacement rules do not apply to building repairs, such as new roofs or windows. The law also includes a provision by which a licensed plumber can certify that newer fixtures will not work with the existing plumbing infrastructure. “That’s the plumber employing a rule of reasonableness,” Mr. Fitzer said. “It’s worthy of discussion.” Brett Hale, Atherton’s building official, said the town will be using a sign-off policy, but added that “it depends on how the building inspections go.” Go to tinyurl.com/plu-35 to learn more. Standards to tighten

After Jan. 1, 2017, the upgrade requirement will extend to all residences and commercial buildings, remodeled or not. Two years later, the upgrade becomes a mandatory item to be disclosed when property ownership changes. SB407, enacted in October 2009, established the requirement in recognition of the essen-

A native of Menlo Park and a graduate of Woodside Priory, Mr. Eigsti is now based in New York and at a young age has established himself in the upper echelon in the field of jazz. The Peninsula Symphony Orchestra concert also features saxophonist Dayna Stephens. Rounding out the evening will be Gershwin’s overtures to “Girl Crazy” and “Strike up the Band. Tickets range from $20 to $40. Visit peninsulasymphony.org or call 650-941-5291 to place an order.

tial nature of fresh water to the “future economic and environmental health of California.” The priorities include protection and restoration of aquifers, reliability of water supply and sophisticated water conservation. The state is also encouraging retail water suppliers to offer incentives to help property owners comply with the law. Plumber’s views

When asked to comment on the new regulations, Dave Guy, who owns Guy’s Plumbing and Heating Inc. in Menlo Park, said that while he does not do remodels, the law may spring surprises. “There may be an issue that wasn’t an issue before you pull the toilet up,” Mr. Guy said. A new toilet on an old fitting might leak and insurance might not cover it, he said. Lead fittings might have to be replaced with steel, or a job might entail unanticipated work on the floor. The other big issue is having enough water to complete flushing into the main sewer line. The new toilets now work well enough to move waste out of the toilet, but can they move it off the property and into the sewer main? “It builds up and the pipes need to be cleaned out more often,” Mr. Guy said. A

Life stories class begins this week The winter session of Life Stories, a creative writing class taught by Sheila Dunec, will reconvene in a private home in Portola Valley at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9. Students will record their family history and

discover insights worth passing on to future generations. The class is held Thursday afternoons from Jan. 9 through March 13. Cost is $150. For more information, call Ms. Dunec at 565-8087.

Sale prices are net and do not qualify for further discount.

Like us on www.facebook.com/AlmanacNews 6NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 8, 2014


N E W S N PO LI C E C A L L S

Schapelhouman back on the job By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

A

bout nine months after a paralyzing fall, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman is back at work, he told the Almanac on Jan. 6. The chief tumbled off a ladder while doing yard work at home in May. After a monthslong stay at the hospital, he left in a wheelchair, without the use of his legs and one hand.

He met with district representatives during the past several weeks to sort out any needed adjustments in the workplace, including the provision of a vehicle modified for his use. The chief will be putting in about four hours a day for the first two weeks of his return, then will discuss any changes with the board. “Returning to work for this great organization and community is both an honor and

a privilege that I don’t take for granted,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to contribute to the fire district’s important public safety mission and the fire board’s strategic objectives.” Chief Schapelhouman, 52, was hired in 1981 and has been chief for about the past seven years. The MPFPD serves Menlo Park, Atherton, East Palo Alto and portions of unincorporated San Mateo County. A

Martial arts teacher sentenced By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

T

he new year began with a prison sentence for martial arts instructor Ralph “Eugene” Todd III, 32, of Menlo Park, who pleaded no contest in November to felony charges of molestation and possessing child pornography. Mr. Todd, who had been released on his own recogniSUTTON CASE continued from page 5

“none-too-discreet contempt” for Ms. Sutton and reportedly had a history of complaints filed by at least two female staff members. A letter sent to Ms. Sutton by City Manager Alex McIntyre in July stated that a third-party investigator hired by the city found, after interviewing 18 people, that Ms. Sutton had not been illegally harassed or fired in retaliation for trying to file a complaint about her supervisor. Without naming anyone, the letter acknowledged that certain supervisors and employees interacted inappropriately with Ms. Sutton at times. Nevertheless, her termination, while handled in a manner that “may have been unpleasant,” was appropriate, the letter said. The staff involved in the inappropriate behavior were counseled, according to Community Services Director Cherise Brandell. However, the Almanac has learned that a second staff member within the gymnastics program has now filed a complaint with the DFEH. An agency representative said regulations prohibited releasing the employee’s name. In addition, an employee of the Menlo Children’s Center, also managed by the Community Services Department, who filed a complaint has notified the state that he or she intends to sue the city. Annmarie Billotti, an attorney

zance, was taken into custody following a Jan. 3 hearing at which a San Mateo County Superior Court judge sentenced him to three years and eight months in state prison, with credit for three days served. He also owes the state $350 in restitution and fines. He was arrested on Dec. 19, 2012, for reportedly fondling a 9-year-old student during a private lesson, police said. He

had taught at Kim’s Tae Kwon Do Academy in Woodside Plaza for 12 years. When police searched his home, they said they found child pornography on his computer, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Todd will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life once he completes the prison term.

who has worked with DFEH for about 12 years, said that once an employee files a complaint, the employee may either request an immediate right to sue, which doesn’t involve any investigation by the agency, or the complaint may undergo review. Some cases are then randomly chosen for voluntary mediation, creating an opportunity for settlement, but otherwise the district office will investigate, she said. The employer must provide written responses, with documentation, to the issues raised in the complaint. The employee is then given an opportunity to rebut the response and submit additional evidence before the DFEH decides whether a violation occurred. If the agency finds there’s insufficient evidence, the employee will still get a “right to sue” notice. If it appears a violation did happen, the agency’s legal division reviews the case to determine whether to prosecute, and provides another chance for mediation. “A lot of times, complaints do get closed for insufficient evidence. It depends on the type of case, the facts of the case. ... it really is an individualized assessment,” Ms. Billotti said. A common misunderstanding is that just treating someone badly or unfairly counts as a violation, she said. “I think it’s the ‘fair’ that misleads people the most. There’s a limit to the law that we enforce. (It’s a violation) only if the behavior is discrimina-

tory under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and directed against someone on a protected basis,” she explained, “like sex or race or disability, for example. Just being a terrible boss is not typically a violation.” The agency can now track whether multiple complaints are lodged against the same employer, thanks to a new case management system that debuted in 2012. “Before then, you could have some employees going to the L.A. office, and then someone would file in the Fremont office, and L.A. and Fremont wouldn’t know,” Ms. Billotti said. The DFEH is now “absolutely looking for trends and multiple complaints against the same employer, to target systemic discrimination, as well as continuing to pursue individual complaints.” It’s difficult to tell whether the complaints against Menlo Park demonstrate a trend. Human Resources Director Gina Donnelly said that prior to her arrival in 2012, separate files weren’t kept for claims made with the state, but that she did know of four: Two against the public works department, one in 2010 and another in 2011; and two regarding community services, in 2012 and in 2013. (That list does not include the latest complaint filed by a gymnastics program employee.) Ms. Donnelly said that all were closed with no adverse findings, with the exception of the February 2010 claim, which remains open.

This information is from the Menlo Park Police Department. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent unless convicted. The dates police received the report are shown. MENLO PARK Residential burglary report: A concrete saw and jackhammer, a total value of $2,500, are missing from a house under construction on Sharon Park Drive. Dec. 28. Commercial burglary report: A man stole the tip jar from Peet’s Coffee & Tea at 515 El Camino Real. Witnesses described the thief as a white man in his mid-thirties, about 5 feet 10 inches

tall with a medium build, and wearing a black leather jacket, an Oakland A’s ball cap, blue jeans and black shoes. He reportedly walked in about 5:45 p.m., grabbed the jar — containing about $45 — walked out and fled in a vehicle. Dec. 28. Theft reports:

■ Data from a video surveillance camera is being used as evidence that two women stole $990 worth of cosmetics from the CVS Pharmacy at 700 El Camino Real. The video shows two women believed to be of Pacific Islander heritage and about 30 years old, who fled in a four-door Honda or Acura. Dec. 28.

Wishing You A Happy New Year!

A

A

Samia Cullen Alain Pinel Realtors Broker Associate License # 01180821 Cell: 650.384.5392 www.samiacullen.com

Thank You For Your Support Throughout My 20 Years in Business

Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital welcomes Dr. Meghan Davis to our growing team!

New Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 11:00 pm Saturday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Regular Appointments Emergency & Urgent Care 1125 Merrill Street Menlo Park, CA 94025 Phone (650) 325-5671 Open 7 Days A Week

www.midpen.com

January 8, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN7


Penny and Greg Gallo .................. 500 Donna and Bruce Whitson............ 200 Kathy and Bob Mueller ................ 100 Lenore Horowitz........................ 1,200 David F. Armstrong ....................... 100 John & Carman Quackenbush ........ 50 Mark D. Holman ............................. 50 Ellen and Jim Laussier .................. 500 Gail and Susan Prickett ................ 500 Elizabeth Tromovitch .................... 250 Barbara B. White .......................... 100 Rona Marie .................................. 750 Jane M. Land ................................ 400 Bettina McAdoo ........................... 300 Thomas and Polly Bredt................ 300 Heidi Larsen ................................... 25 Gordon B. Chamberlain ................ 500 Judy and Doug Adams.................. 300 Donna W. Mackowski ................... 500 Diana M. Laraway ........................ 200 Sandy and Andy Hall ........................ * Barb and Carlo Jacobseon ............ 100 Lynne S. Fovinci .............................. 75 Erika Crowley ................................... * Martha Norberg ........................ 1,000 April Fallon ................................... 200 Kathleen J. Elkins ......................... 100 Mayling Dixon .............................. 100 Nanci Yuan ................................... 100 Marilyn Wolper............................. 100 Joan Lane .................................. 1,000 Adele Carney................................ 500 K.M. Ashford .................................. 75 Janice E. Jedkins ........................... 400 Jackie Johnson ............................... 20 Karen Sortino ................................. 75 Wilcox & Sandra Patterson........... 250 Lucy Reid-Krensky ........................ 100 Don Lowry.................................... 100 Hobart S. Johnson .......................... 50 Barbara Brennan .......................... 500

In Memory Of Richard H & Louise J. Barbour ...... 100 Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard ........ 500 Esther Johnson ................................. * Bill Lend ....................................... 100 Helen Gibboney ............................... * Annie Strem ................................... 50 Jack Pfluke ..................................... 75 Janice M. Pausa............................ 100 Robby Babcock ............................ 100 Marilyn Berry ............................... 100 Esther C. Judd .................................. * John Inglis .................................... 200 Margaret Green ........................... 500 Frank and Celine Halet ................. 500 In Honor Of Ray Mauss ..................................... 50 Dennis McBride .............................. 30

Foundations, Businesses & Organizations Lutticken’s After 5 ........................ 100 Packard Foundation ................ 15,000 Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation ........... 15,000

8NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 8, 2014

By Jane Knoerle Almanac Lifestyles Editor

G

enerations have loved the frozen yogurt at the Yogurt Stop, located at 401 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Starting this month, the shop is also featuring “grab and go” breakfast items, such as pastries, morning smoothies, scrambled egg sandwiches, and specialty coffees. The shop is also being updated with fresh paint and a new espresso machine imported from Italy. Soheila Khalili has owned the Yogurt Stop since it opened 25 years ago. She still comes in every morning to make 14 or 15 flavors of frozen yogurt. “It’s all made fresh every day,” she says. Flavors change with the seasons. During the holidays, eggnog and peppermint are popular. Vanilla is always a big hit, especially with flavor bursts, such as cotton candy or bubble gum for the kids, and butter pecan or strawberry jam for their moms. There are also more than 20 toppings, plus freshsliced fruit. With so many loyal customers, Ms. Khalili wasn’t too worried when several new yogurt shops opened in Menlo a few years ago. (A frozen yogurt

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Owner Soheila Khalili at the Yogurt Stop in Menlo Park. N BU S I NES S

frenzy first began in the 1980s, then like hula hoops and bell bottoms, faded away. A resurgence began in the early 2000s.) “I’ve seen them come and go,” she told the Almanac in a 2010 article. All the yogurt at Yogurt Stop is nonfat, except for French custard, which is low fat. Sugarfree yogurt is very popular, says Ms. Khalili. Locally produced ice cream, low lactose and soy yogurt are also available. Ms. Khalili has been a part

of the Menlo Park community since she opened her shop. She lived in Menlo Park for more than 20 years and her two daughters attended local schools. One is a graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School, the other, Menlo School. She has always employed local high school students. During the end-of-the-year holidays, for the first time in 25 years, she closed the shop between Christmas and New Year’s Day. She wanted to spend time with her family, which now includes two grandchildren, she said. A

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. ShopMenloPark.com

Discover works by nine acclaimed artists in this unique exhibition, on view indoors and out throughout downtown Los Altos. Free admission!

Ma rch 2

Anonymous donations ............ 24,085 Anna Tyson & D.M. Tupper ............. 50 Bob Barrett & Linda Atkinson........... * Sybille Katz ...................................... * John & Cheryl Volckmann.......... 2,000 Betsy B. Ross .................................... * Alison and Tom Cooper .................... * Doug and Kathy Stevens ................ 25 Drew McCallely & Marilyn Green .............................. 100 Kritzik-McAuley Family................. 200 Linda Craig & Evan Hughes .......... 250 Harlan L. P. Wendell ...................... 100 Lillian Sampson ............................ 100 Dianne J. Ellsworth ........................... * Barbara and Bill Binder .................... * Robert B. Flint Jr. .......................... 500 Leslie Field ..................................... 35 Ramin Samadani .......................... 100 Melanie Austin ............................. 200 Delia Laitin ....................................... * Susan and David Schultz .................. * Marilyn Voelke ............................. 500 John Friesman .............................. 100 Meredith Buenning .......................... * Amy Roleder ................................ 100 Robin Quist Gates ........................ 250 Anne Hillman & George Comstock... * Margo Sensenbrenner ...................... * Lauren and Julie Mercer ............... 100 Catherine Cerny ............................... * Ken & Judy Kormanak ...................... * Thomas & Maggie Mah Johnson ...... * Tom and Nancy Fiene ....................... * Katherine Bryant .............................. * Gerald & Candace Griffin ............... 50 Ladera Mens Tennis & Domino ..... 185 Peter & Deborah Nelson ............... 250 Joan Rubin ....................................... * David Reneau ............................... 150 Paul Perret.................................... 250 The Calhoon Family ...................... 500 Subbaiah Malladi ...................... 5,000 Jeffrey Volckmann ..................... 1,000 Gary Peterson............................ 1,000 Robert Mullen & Marsha Campbell ......................... 500 Bruce Willard................................ 500 Pegasus Family Fund ................. 1,000 Bill & Nancy Ellsworth...................... * Robert A. Page .......................... 1,064 Betty Jean Meissner ..................... 100 Lynn T. Swisher ............................. 100 Stone Family................................. 100 Lisa Ryan........................................ 50 Richard Sibley .............................. 100 Mary Soloman ................................ 50 Andrea G. Julian ........................... 300 Anne G. Moser ............................. 100 James E. Esposito ............................. * Frederick R. Mugler, Jr..................... 60 Richard and Jean Duda .................. 10 Mark and Karen Weitzel ................... * Caroline Beverstock ..................... 250 Raymond & Nancy Rosendin ........ 500 Vicky Rundorff.................................. * Terry Stein ........................................ * John and Floorine Galen ................ 50 Laura M. Reed .............................. 100

Yogurt Stop marks a milestone with 25 years of frozen treats

ugh

Through January 6th, 174 donors have contributed $126,454 to the Holiday Fund

N E W S

Thr o

Thank you for supporting the Holiday Fund

Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with the City of Los Altos. The lead sponsor of this exhibition is Passerelle Investment Company. Major support is provided by SFMOMA’s Collectors Forum. Generous support is provided by the Bay Area Contemporary Arts Exhibition Fund, founded by Agnes Cowles Bourne; and Brit and Dave Morin.


C O M M U N I T Y

TOWN OF WOODSIDE

Brother Edward of Woodside Priory, 1942-2014 By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

N OBITUARY

F

our Benedictine monks have become three at the Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley with the Jan. 2 death of Brother Edward Englund. He was 71. A memorial service is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, in the Priory chapel at 302 Portola Road. During his 25 years at the Catholic boarding school, Brother Edward — born Richard Walter Englund — served in various positions, including academic dean and director of counseling and guidance, according to his home monastery, the Saint Anselm Abbey in New Hampshire. He and his fellow monks spent decades together in their Priory quarters, a branch of the Saint Anselm monastery. A video online shows Brother Edward talking about growing up in Connecticut. He recalled train trips home from boarding school that included layovers in New York City, where he would connect with classmates. “We would fool around in New York,� he said. “You can just imagine, a teenager in New York City. It was great.�

Brother Edward spent 25 years at the Priory, serving various positions.

His parents split on his idea of becoming a monk: His mother never reconciled with it, while his father let him know that his choice was “fine,� he said. Go to tinyurl.com/Priory-222 to watch the video. His education included a bachelor’s degree in sociology,

a master’s degree in counseling, and a doctorate in educational leadership. “Brother Edward was a significant force in the progress of the Priory, both in affairs of the school and the Benedictine Community,� said Priory Headmaster Tim Molak. “Foremost for Brother Edward was the ultimate good of the other person, (whether) confrere, student or colleague,� said Rt. Rev. Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B., the abbot at Saint Anselm. “His brothers now entrust his soul to the God to whom Brother Edward was always most faithful.� Brother Edward is survived by his monastic community and members of his extended family. In lieu of flowers, the community is asking that donations be made online to the “Brother Edward Scholarship Fund� at prioryca.org/support/give.

INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING COMMISSION Districts 3 and 4 The Planning Commission participates in the administration of the planning laws and policies of the Town. It is responsible for recommending to the Town Council ordinances and resolutions necessary to implement the General Plan and adopted development policy. The Commission also conducts necessary public hearings to administer the planning laws and policies of the Town and acts upon applications for zoning amendments, conditional use permits, variances, subdivisions and other related functions as may be assigned by the Council. The Planning Commission meets on the ďŹ rst and third Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Commissioners are appointed for a four-year term. To obtain information on residency or addresses of residential properties located in Districts 3 and 4, please check the Town’s website at www.woodsidetown.org, What’s New, Town Council and Planning Commission Districts.

A

Sign up today at AlmanacNews.com

Interested residents may request information and applications Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon and 1-5:00 p.m. at Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, or telephone (650) 851-6790, or through the Town’s web site at www.woodsidetown.org. Deadline for applications is Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

+&*0.*!"2,"-&"* ",..&1"&*.,&-"!)+!"-*%+)"5-./%*! '&'$" "$!%%&'!!! $$"#$"$ !!$+-!&"!%&$'&"! !"!& #"$$+$&&'$"'$&%$!" !%")$'  " %% %%+ !%%'%&!&+)&%"#%&&%!"!,& %%"'&%%"!+"##"$&'!&+ &" $%+"'$%!&$'+ "$!(!*#$!

('%&    "$(%&'%"!!&

          0*!3*0-3 /%#-+)4 ,)  -*$"1"*0""*(+-' January 8, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN9


N E W S

PENINSULA

Hearing delayed in fatal DUI case

Discover the best places to eat this week! AMERICAN

CHINESE

Armadillo Willy’s

New Tung Kee Noodle House

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

947-8888 520 Showers Drive, Mountain View www.shopmountainview.com/luunoodlemv

The Old Pro

INDIAN

326-1446 541 Ramona Street, Palo Alto www.oldpropa.com

Janta Indian Restaurant

ITALIAN

462-5903 369 Lytton Ave. www.jantaindianrestaurant.com

Cucina Venti 254-1120 1390 Pear Ave, Mountain View www.cucinaventi.com CHINESE

Ming’s 856-7700 1700 Embarcadero East, Palo Alto www.mings.com

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

powered by

A preliminary hearing for a woman accused of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence has been delayed until March 27. Marjorie Reitzell pleaded not guilty in November to charges related to the deaths of a Menlo Park couple with three teenage children. Balbir Singh, 50, and Kamal Kaur Singh, 45, were walking their dog along Chilco Street during the early evening of Oct. 24 when they were hit from behind by a Honda driven N MENL O by the defendant, according to the police report. A preliminary screen showed that her blood alcohol was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of the crash, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in November 2012, she had a valid driver’s license at the time of the fatal collision, according to law enforcement officials. A preliminary hearing originally scheduled for January was delayed due to the defense attorney’s anticipated involvement in a murder trial during the next two months. Ms. Reitzell remains in custody on $2 million bail.

Facebook sued over user privacy Has Facebook been snooping around your private messages? A lawsuit has accused the social media company of scanning messages sent via the website for URLs that it then allegedly uses for data mining and marketing, all without disclosing the surveillance to users. The class action lawsuit, filed in federal court by Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley on Dec. 30, B RI EFS claims that Facebook systematically intercepts messages that users believe are confidential, making it likely they “reveal facts about themselves they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored.” The complaint cites a 2013 study conducted by a Swiss security firm, High-Tech Bridge, that embedded unique URLs in private messages to test whether 50 web services, including Facebook, would click on the links. Facebook was “caught scanning URLs,” according to the lawsuit. Facebook has said it believes the allegations to be without merit, and will defend itself vigorously.

Read this newspaper at home. Instead of in the waiting room. No one likes waiting, especially in the ER. That’s why, at Sequoia Hospital, you can get an estimated treatment time online through our partnership with InQuicker.™ You can even wait at home. Because when you’re not feeling well, being at home is always the kinder option. To begin, visit sequoiahospital.org

InQuicker is intended for individuals with non-life and non-limb threatening medical conditions.

10NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 8, 2014


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

Viewpoint IDEAS, THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS

ABOUT LOCAL ISSUES FROM PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY. EDITED BY TOM GIBBONEY

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, 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: Editor@AlmanacNews.com Email letters to: letters@AlmanacNews.com 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. ©2014 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, www.TheAlmanacOnline.com, 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: letters@almanacnews.com 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.

Call

the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507.

The food truck conundrum

A

lthough we are sympathetic to the concerns of unfair com- swood Avenue. Four or five trucks might be better, at least to petition raised by some Menlo Park restaurant owners, we start. Sanitary facilities should be part of any deal, and while Off do not think any of these establishments will be irreparably the Grid promises to skip alcohol and clean up at the end of the harmed if the city permits eight to 12 food trucks to set up shop evening, the city should enforce that promise with a revokable for a few hours once a week in the Caltrain parking lot. permit. And the same should go for the low noise levels promised, If the Off the Grid organization, which represents the truck as loud music and generators could become intrusive to nearby owners and is applying for a one-year permit, is to be believed, the residents. trucks will clean up after themselves, and although there will be Off the Grid clearly has been successful at managing various music and generators running, the organization says that neither is locations from San Francisco to Hayward where its member trucks likely to be loud enough to bother nearby residents or businesses. can set up and do business for a short period. Spokesman Ben The group also promises to provide lighting and up to 200 chairs Himlan said Menlo Park became an option because the location is for customers. “highly underutilized.” To get a sense of how the More worrisome for some restaurants is losing neighborhood felt about food trucks, Off the Grid EDI TORI AL their customers to trucks that have nowhere near mailed out notices in November and December, The opinion of The Almanac the expenses (rent, taxes, a large payroll) that with the first announcing a public hearing at the brick-and-mortar restaurants do, but that will Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 13. Some not be a concern of the Planning Commission. responses were critical of the idea, and other writCertainly there will be more choices for anyone looking for a din- ers did not understand that the trucks will clean up the area before ing option on Wednesday night, but of those, how many want to they leave and that the noise impact will be minimal. sit outside in a folding chair at the train station rather than enjoy a It may be a surprise to some residents, but food trucks are much more comfortable setting inside a local restaurant? We don’t already operating in the parking lot at the Willows Market at the think the food trucks can compete for the prime customers who invitation of the owner. have decided to eat out in a downtown restaurant. Off the Grid is seeking approval for a year-long permit at the Instead, the trucks are more likely to attract a younger crowd Caltrain parking lot site. But just to be sure there are no misunthat is looking for a no-frills quick bite at a bargain price. Fast derstandings, the city should approve a shorter time-frame and food from a truck might be top quality, but we doubt that good fewer trucks to make sure this new dining phenomenon keeps its customers will abandon white-tablecloth restaurants downtown promises and works smoothly with the surrounding neighborvery often to stand in line at a food truck. hood. That way local restaurants can assess if the trucks truly ruin Even so, there are questions about fitting such a large group of their Wednesday business, and the neighbors will be able to tell if trucks into a rather small space at the Caltrain lot near Raven- noise or other issues are unbearable.

L ET TERS Our readers write

A farewell to Mike Harding Editor: After a year-long illness, local bicycle legend Mike Harding left us in the dust on Dec. 14 at the age of 74. Many in Menlo Park and San Mateo County remember Mike as a bicyclist whose accomplishments were considerable and impressive. He had ridden almost every back road and byway in the nine Bay Area counties and beyond, including over 30 Davis Double centuries, dozens of Mt. Hamilton summits, rain, shine and even snow. He rode every Paris-Brest-Paris Brevet, the Sequoia Centuries, and many other organized, disorganized and impromptu rides. He was a tireless and dependable ride leader for the Western Wheelers Club. Serious rain was rarely cause to cancel one of Mike’s rides and never unpleasant enough for him to turn back in the middle. He put in hundreds of hours as a Menlo Park bicycle commissioner, a member of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s peninsula committee, a member and later liaison with the San Mateo County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee of CCAG, dealing with contentious as well as mindnumbing issues year after year

Our Regional Heritage Menlo Park Historical Association

First purchased as a summer home by Edgar Mills in 1880, this 21-room mansion was remodeled by the San Francisco banker, who subdivided and sold off much of the surrounding land in what is now downtown Menlo Park. The Noel Drive property was converted into a restaurant in the 1940s and later became the Bright Eagle antique shop. It currently houses office spaces.

with uncommon enthusiasm and generosity. Not only did he usually ride his bike to these meetings, he was a regular bike commuter to his tech and engineering jobs. When riding or walking over the San Mateo Drive bike bridge in Menlo Park, remember Mike, whose dogged perseverance many

years ago made this important crossing of San Francisquito Creek a reality despite initial opposition from neighboring residents. He leaves many friends who have fond and vivid memories of him. His bride of 53 years, Diane Harding and two sons were with him to the end. Mike Harding, bicyclist

and exemplary human being, will be missed. May his example inspire us all on and off the bike. Steve Schmidt, chair, San Mateo County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

January 8, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN11


Representing over 462 buyers & sellers in Menlo Park & Atherton since 1999. SOLD by Tom LeMieux

Superior real estate representation for those who expect only the very best. W W W. T O M L E M I E U X . C O M

Map data Š2013 Google

650 329 6645 tom@tomlemieux.com

tomlemieux.com CalBRE# 01066910

Coldwell Banker Top 1% Internationally Top 50 Nationally, Wall Street Journal, 2013

12NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNJanuary 8, 2014


2014 01 08 alm section1