S E C T I O N
Community S TO R I E S A B O U T P E O P L E A N D E V E N T S I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y
Fire chief ready for new challenges Harold Schapelhouman returns to work at Menlo Park fire district By Sandy Brundage | Photos by Michelle Le
was signing invoices and it felt like I’d never left,” said Harold Schapelhouman, reflecting upon his first day back at work on Jan. 6 as fire chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District after a fall last May left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Then he realized that while he still felt like the same person, the world had changed in his absence. Hundreds of emails piled up about issues that may not matter now. Colleagues moved on to other jobs. New directors took their seats on the board. “I feel like I’ve fast-forwarded to the end of the movie,” he said. Working part-time for at least two weeks, he plans to catch up on the state of the district with interim chief Dan Belville, who will stay on temporarily to assist with the transition. Chief Schapelhouman may well be the first person to serve as fire chief anywhere with this degree of disability, but he’s found inspiration and support from other public safety officers, such as Sean Simonson, a former firefighter now serving as emergency services manager for the city of Milpitas after he was paralyzed following a mountain biking accident. Eight months ago, the chief wasn’t sure he could come back. Even after finishing a hospital stay that saw almost every complication possible, he faced hours and hours of exams — to earn a license to drive, to demonstrate to his doctors he could handle the job — on top of therapy to rebuild strength and learning how to navigate the world sitting down. Gracefully accepting help presents another challenge as people try to figure out how to treat him. Neighbors and colleagues and firefighters mowed his lawn, cleaned the pool, cooked for his family. The parents of his 14-year-old daughter’s classmates put up holiday lights and then took them down. And if watching others do tasks that he used to delight in feels bittersweet, it’s also not without gratitude. “I wouldn’t have made it as far without the people who support me,” Chief Schapelhouman said. It’s a balancing act, though. “I get to the door of a restaurant and people jump up to open it. But you have to learn how to open it and sometimes that’s awkward, as you try to maneuver. I had to change my attitude. I real-
ized I had to be a bit nicer about (the help),” Chief Schapelhouman said. “I used to be the guy who jumped up.” His return is not without controversy. “Is everyone thrilled I’m back? I’m pretty sure everybody is not thrilled I’m back,” he said. But the long absence left time to reflect on difficult decisions made in the past, as well as to develop greater compassion. “I try to do the right thing instead of being right. There may be other ways, though, to get to the point where everybody sees themselves as part of the solution.” Some say they’re worried about his capacity to respond to the scene of an emergency. The district is buying a used van for about $52,000 that’s adapted for his use and includes emergency lights and radio, to replace the work vehicle Chief Schapelhouman used before — an accommodation required under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In his busiest year as chief in 2007, he said, he went to the scene 19 times; in the slowest year, six. “I’m not afraid of that. I’m looking forward to the first incident just to get that concern out of the way. Responding to the scene is part of the job. But I’m not combating fires
directly anymore and we have very competent incident commanders.” Mostly, as before, he plans to be on the sidelines, updating the press and
keeping an eye on the overall situation. Board President Rex Ianson said a “whole lot of unknowns” remain: How will it go the first time the chief drives to the scene? Do some tasks, such as meetings in other jurisdictions that will now take much more time, need to be delegated? Does the district need a deputy chief? Time will tell. For now, Mr. Ianson said the board has learned it needs a better succession plan in place should a key figure suddenly drop out of the action again. “We weren’t quite prepared to have the chief be out that long. It was a little bit of a scramble.” Others have suggested the chief should just retire. It’s something Chief Schapelhouman said he and his family considered, then decided it was important that he have the chance to continue making a contribution to the fire district, drawing upon his 33 years of experience and organizational knowledge. It’s also good for people to see him succeed, he said. The chief isn’t sure he’ll reach 40 years of service before choosing to call it quits — the goal before the accident — but said, “I’m not going to pack up tomorrow.” A
On the cover: On his third day back at work, Chief Harold Schapelhouman leaves the office of interim chief Dan Belville to attend a board meeting.
“I wouldn’t have made it as far without the people who support me,” Chief Harold Schapelhouman says. January 15, 2014 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 17
TOWN OF WOODSIDE 2955 WOODSIDE ROAD WOODSIDE, CA 94062
INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR COMMITTEES ARTS AND CULTURE COMMITTEE Meets ďŹ rst 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.
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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, speciďŹ cally 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 ďŹ re services provided within the Town. RECREATION COMMITTEE Meets ďŹ rst 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 Townâ€™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.
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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.
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The Committee shall review applications for special event permits for the Townâ€™s roadways. The Committee shall confer with the Trails Committee on programs and recommendations of mutual interest.
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, Sheriffâ€™s Department and local and regional organizations to develop programs to encourage dialog on circulation system needs, promote â€œshare the roadâ€? programs for all users, and develop educational programs to promote trafďŹ c safety. The Committee advises Town staff and the Town Council about ways to make the roadway system safer for all users, to encourage effective trafďŹ c enforcement, and to promote safe, convenient access to schools, Town businesses, public and private institutions, and neighborhoods.
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WOODSIDE HISTORY COMMITTEE Meets second Thursday of each month, 10:00 a.m.; appointed for two-year term. 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 Clerkâ€™s OfďŹ ce at Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, or telephone (650) 851-6790, or through the Townâ€™s web site at www.woodsidetown.org. Deadline for applications is Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
18 N The Almanac N TheAlmanacOnline.com N January 15, 2014
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C O M M U N I T Y
Local piano teacher behind band nominated for Grammy Award Pacific Mambo Orchestra is nominated for its debut album By Emma Marsano Special to the Almanac
any solo artists and musical groups perform for decades without receiving a Grammy nomination. The Pacific Mambo Orchestra, on the other hand, was just nominated in the category of Best Tropical Latin Band for its self-titled debut album. The group was founded in 2010 by Steffen Kuehn, a German trumpeter, and Christian Tumalan, a Mexican pianist who is, among other things, a piano teacher at Woodland School in Portola Valley. Currently, the two are the co-directors of PMO — Mr. Kuehn directs the horns and Mr. Tumalan the rhythm section. The creation of Pacific Mambo Orchestra can be traced to 2010, when Mr. Tumalan and Mr. Kuehn met at a recording session for an album to which they both contributed. While chatting between takes, they discovered their mutual interest in forming a larger Latin jazz group. For his part, Mr. Tumalan had become interested in Latin jazz about a decade earlier, while studying for his first of four musical degrees, this one in classical piano music at the Escuela Superior de Musica in Mexico City. Listening to the radio in the car one day, he heard Tito Puente’s song, “Ran Kan Kan,”
Photo by Luis A. Solorzano
Christian Tumalan, a piano teacher at Woodland School in Portola Valley, help organize the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, which has been nominated for a Grammy for its debut album.
a classic of the Latin jazz genre, and was reminded of how much he liked it. Instantly inspired, he thought to himself, “I’m going to be doing something like this (someday).” After joining forces, Mr. Kuehn and Mr. Tumalan made a deal with the owner of San Francisco’s popular salsa club, Cafe Cocomo, to rehearse every Monday night, when most musicians take the night off. Within 18 months, Mr. Tumalan says, “We had a packed house on any given Monday night. Word spread (to elite local musicians), and that’s how we put the band together.” In 2012, after just a year and a half of performing together,
PMO decided to release an album. Mr. Tumalan and Mr. Kuehn raised money through a Kickstarter campaign to independently produce the album under the “Stefrecords & Tumalan Music” label. Their goal for the record was to help a wide range of people to “connect with Latin music,” Mr. Tumalan says. To that end, they blended genres in the songs they recorded, and even added a Latin groove to Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed.” Virtuoso Kenny Washington did the vocals on the track. “In my opinion,” says Mr. Tumalan, “he sings it better than Stevie Wonder.” Among other guests artists, the album features Tito Puente Jr., the son of the artist whose song “Ran Kan Kan” originally inspired Mr. Tumalan to form a big Latin jazz group. After its release in October 2012, the album hit top charts in Europe and South America, and reached Tim Fox, the president of Columbia Artists Management. Mr. Fox secured PMO a national tour, which they completed a few weeks ago. PMO’s competition for the Grammy is relatively steep: they’re up against past winners like Carlos Vives and Marc Anthony. “The four other nominees are really heavyweights in the industry,” Mr. Tumalan says. But members of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra are hopeful that their novelty will work in their favor on Jan. 26 at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. A
Canada college student chosen for internship with NASA
Annette Jones, music teacher
For the second time in two years, Canada Community College in Woodside will be represented in a competitive program put on by NASA that invites students to put in time and effort at a NASA facility working on a mission to Mars. Canada student Jessica Rose, an applied mathematics major and a member of Canada’s Phi Theta Kappa honors program, is one of 53 students chosen in a nationwide competition to participate in an online internship. Depending on criteria that include test scores from online
Private services will be held for Annette Victoria “Vicky” Jones, who died at her home in Menlo Park on Dec. 27. Born in San Francisco, Ms. Jones was a longtime resident of Menlo Park. She graduated from San Jose State College (now University) and taught music in the Sunnyvale School District. She met and married her husband, James F. Jones, in 1943. They were married for 68 years. Mr. Jones died in 2011. Survivors include her daughter, Victoria Molfese of Lincoln, Nebraska; sons David Jones of Scotts Valley and Stephen Jones of South San Francisco; and five grandchildren. Memorial gifts may be made to the San Francisco Symphony Foundation or a favorite charity.
lessons, the quality of her application, and her letters of recommendation, Ms. Rose may be chosen for a three-day visit to either the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, or the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The internship includes learning about Mars and past Mars missions, and designing her own mission, including a rover. “My dream is to one day work with the space program and it would be so exciting to work on a mission to Mars,” Ms. Rose said. A
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TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY ARCHITECTURAL AND SITE CONTROL COMMISSIONER NEEDED The Portola Valley Town Council is seeking an individual to serve on the Town's Architectural and Site Control Commission (ASCC) through January 2017. The ASCC consists of ﬁve members appointed by the Town Council, and meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. The ASCC is charged with the review and approval of design review applications and site development permits, including applications for new homes, second units, larger additions, second story additions, and commercial buildings. In addition, the ASCC provides comments on conditional use permits, subdivisions, variances and other matters referred by the Town Council, the Planning Commission, or Town Staff. To apply, please submit a letter of interest to the Town Council by 5pm on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. The Town Council will conduct interviews at its regularly scheduled meeting on January 22, 2014. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Karen Kristiansson, Deputy Town Planner, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 650-851-1700 x212.
TOWN OF WOODSIDE 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 ﬁrst 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. 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.
January 15, 2014 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 19
C O M M U N I T Y N CALENDAR Go to AlmanacNews.com/calendar to see more calendar listings
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Sequoia â€˜Big Pictureâ€™ High School is an alternative education charter school projected to open this fall. Learn about school at this community meeting. Jan. 23, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park. www.eventbrite.com/e/community-meetingsequoia-big-picture-high-school-tickets-10030795379 Menlo Park City School District Transportation Dept. hosts town hall meeting about traffic, student commutes, safety and parking at Encinal and Laurel schools. Jan. 23, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Encinal Elementary School Large Multipurpose Room, 195 Encinal Ave., Atherton. www.district. mpcsd.org
AN IMPORTANT NOTICE REQUIRED BY THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH Este informe contiene informaciĂłn muy importante sobre su agua potable. TradĂşzcalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien. The Oâ€™Connor Tract Co-Operative Water Company has levels of manganese above the secondary drinking water standard. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what you should do, what happened, and what we are doing to correct this situation. Our water system is in violation of a secondary drinking water standard. We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Water sample results for the fourth quarter monitoring in 2013 have manganese levels of 75 ppb in well #1 and 130 ppb in well #2 (ppb=parts per billion). This is above the secondary drinking water standard, or secondary maximum contaminant level of 50 ppb. Manganese concentrations above the standard may have an effect on taste and tend to leave black deposits in some plumbing systems. What should I do? s