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Menlo Park benefit raises $4 million for Alzheimer’s Association | Page 3


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Actresses Brooke Shields, left, and Virginia Madsen, right, pitched in to help Part the Cloud Chair Mikey Hoag, center, raise a record amount of money for Alzheimer’s research.

Menlo benefit raises $4M for Alzheimer’s Association By Kate Daly Special to the Almanac


e blew the doors off,� said Michaela “Mikey� Hoag of Atherton, after chairing the “Part the Cloud Gala� and raising a record $4 million in Menlo Park on May 3. Silicon Valley donors really rallied to the cause, she said, making the event “the biggest fundraiser the Alzheimer’s Association has had in its history.� Past fundraisers held in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago have been attended by some 800 people. The Menlo Park blacktie event at the Rosewood Sand Hill was a sellout at 320 people. Guests paid from $1,500 to $5,000 a person for cocktails, a seated catered dinner, and entertainment in a decorated white carpeted tent. “A lot of our expenses were taken care of. We had 15 corporate sponsors ... and most of the vendors discounted,� Ms. Hoag was happy to report. That leaves more funds to go “nationwide towards clinical trials,� she said. “I call it late-stage research.� When Ms. Hoag launched

the first “Part the Cloud Gala� in 2012, the focus was on Northern California. Research grants totaling $2 million were awarded for early-stage drug development. This time, she said, the Alzheimer’s Association will assemble a group of 20 scientists from 12 countries to process grant applications “and look outside at the best possible research.� Ms. Hoag founded Part the Cloud to raise money and boost awareness of the disease. “The number of Americans who die each year from Alzheimer’s has increased 68 percent since the year 2000,� according to the program for the benefit. “One in nine baby boomers will get the disease after they turn 65.� Ms. Hoag’s father had Alzheimer’s disease, and now her mother has it. But her involvement goes beyond personal. She wants people to know “it’s OK to talk about it. You don’t have to keep it in silence. Everyone is sort of touched by it. Let’s figure out a cure.� Ms. Hoag spent months planning this year’s fundraiser, then found herself looking for a quick fix when politician, author and

activist Mark Shriver arrived too sick to carry on as master of ceremonies. At the Part the Cloud luncheon a year ago, Mr. Shriver talked about his father, Sargent, having Alzheimer’s. At the gala, Mark Shriver was supposed to introduce the head of Alzheimer’s Association, and an Alzheimer’s patient and caregiver from the Bay Area, and then run the fund-a-need auction. But Mr. Shriver was in the midst of passing a kidney stone, and instead ended up in the hospital. At 8:15 p.m. Ms. Hoag swiftly switched to an impromptu Plan B, asking two Honorary Dinner Committee guests to fill in, actresses Brooke Shields and Virginia Madsen. Ms. Shields lost her mother to Alzheimer’s in 2012 and Ms. Madsen knew the disease first hand through her aunt. The actresses had collaborated on a feature film that Woodside resident Laurie Kraus Lacob was involved in as executive producer a couple years ago. Ms. Lacob was on the Part the Cloud steering committee and or call


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City moves to limit use of surveillance data By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


n a rare split for the current Menlo Park City Council, members voted 3-2 to take the first step toward enacting an ordinance governing the use of surveillance data by law enforcement, despite the police department’s opposition. Data captured by automated license plate readers must be destroyed after six months, unless it pertains to an active criminal investigation or court order, according to the terms of the ordinance. Security camera recordings would be kept for 90 days. Other law enforcement agen-

cies that want to access the data must first get permission from the Menlo Park Police Department and agree to comply with the regulations. Penalties for unauthorized use include potential termination, criminal prosecution and civil liability. The Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, which would store Menlo Park’s license plate data, would provide quarterly reports showing the number of plates captured, how many were on an active “wanted” list, and who asked to review the data and why. Police Chief Robert Jonsen urged the council to adopt a resolution, which is essentially


License plate reader data must be destroyed after six months, unless it relates to an investigation or court order. a policy statement, instead of an ordinance, which is an actual law. Disregarding a resolution doesn’t carry the same potential for penalties as it does with an ordinance, but the crux of his argument was that severe sanctions for misusing data are already in place at the

state and federal levels. “It comes down to public trust,” Chief Jonsen said. He pointed out that no other police department currently operates under such an ordinance, and “this department has never given this community any reason to feel it would use the information inappropriately.” He said the regulations could backfire by making other law enforcement agencies reluctant to use Menlo Park’s data if they have to sign an agreement to comply with yet another layer of oversight. The council members voting in favor of the ordinance — Ray Mueller, Kirsten Keith, and Rich Cline — said it wasn’t a

matter of trust, but rather of checks and balances and retaining local control. “I understand what you’re saying,” Ms. Keith told the police chief. But look at the penal code, she said, which has penalties for all sorts of crimes. “It doesn’t mean that we think everyone is going to commit a crime.” Given how new the license plate reader technology is, the long-term ramifications are not really clear yet, Ms. Keith continued. Mayor Mueller, who served with Ms. Keith on the subcommittee that drafted the regulations, suggested that while See SURVEILLANCE, page 16

Incumbent faces watchdog in District 3 supes race By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


ig differences in beliefs on government’s proper role in our lives, and on local government’s effectiveness in fulfilling its role, separate Don Horsley and Michael Stogner. One key thing on which they find common ground, though, is that each wants to represent District 3 on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Mr. Horsley has held the board’s District 3 seat since 2010, and is running for a second four-year term. Mr. Stogner ran against Mr. Horsley in 2010, and ran for the District 1 seat in 2011. District 3 includes Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside, parts of Menlo Park and Belmont, San Carlos, and large coastal and unincorporated areas. This will be the first by-district supervisor race, which means only residents of District 3 can choose the district representative. While Mr. Horsley has played a key role in county governance and law enforcement for decades, Mr. Stogner’s involvement has been primarily as a government watchdog. A San Carlos businessman who has also worked as a victim’s advocate, he lists corruption, unfunded pension liabilities, and what he sees as the lack of oversight and review of

Challenger Michael Stogner, left, and incumbent Don Horsley.

government practices as areas he would focus on as a supervisor. A retired sheriff receiving a pension, Mr. Horsley promised not to accept a supervisor salary when he ran for office in 2010 because the county was facing a structural deficit, he said. But after about two years, he began receiving the salary, noting that the county’s fiscal health had improved and that taking a salary was justified. He changed course in the face of public criticism once the matter made headlines in the local newspapers, which his challenger, Mr. Stogner, takes credit for. “I’m the one who got Don to get back on track after he broke his political promise,” Mr. Stogner said in an email. Mr. Horsley said he intends to accept the $125,000 annual salary if re-elected. “Basically, I figure I saved the county half a million dollars by not taking (a salary) in my first term,” he noted. While Mr. Stogner says he

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

In memory These ceramic gardenias, located in the hallway of the administration building on the Menlo-Atherton High School campus, are the work of more than 150 students, teachers and parents. The gardenias are a memorial to Balbir and Kamal Kaur Singh, who were killed Oct. 24, 2013, by an alleged drunken driver while walking their dog along Chilco Street in Menlo Park. They left behind three teenage children. Gardenias were their mom’s favorite flower; she used to sprinkle them throughout the house, according to the Singh children who attend M-A. The memorial project was made under the supervision of art teacher Deborah Gutof.

See INCUMBENT, page 16

May 21, 2014

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Buffett company buys Intero Real Estate HomeServices of America Inc., an affiliate of Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, has acquired Intero Real Estate Services, which has offices in Menlo Park and Woodside. Local Intero offices were opened in 2012 by senior vice president Alain Pinel, a wellknown real estate entrepreneur. Founded in 2002, Intero has 13 offices in Northern California and is headquartered in Cupertino. In its May 13 announcement, HomeServices, which says it is the second-largest residential real estate brokerage in the United States, did not disclose the price it paid to buy Intero and its affiliated franchise network, Intero Franchise Services. The Interno brand name will not change, says CEO and president Gino Biefari, who will remain with the company. In 2013, the Intero franchise


network had a sales volume of $5.7 billion, according to HomeServices. In a 2012 article in the Almanac, Alain Pinel said Intero’s focus in both Menlo Park and Woodside would be the luxury market nationally and internationally. Mr. Pinel was the founder of a national real estate company that bears his name. There are 16 real estate agents at the Menlo Park Intero offices, located at 807 Santa Cruz Ave. Twelve agents are affiliated with the Woodside Intero offices at 1580 Canada Lane. Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, ranks as one of the world’s richest men, with a fortune of more than $60 billion. Berkshire Hathaway owns dozens of subsidiaries in many industries. A

Pregnant woman robbed in Menlo Park driveway A man approached a pregnant woman sitting in a parked car in Menlo Park on May 16 and shattered a car window after demanding she hand over her property, according to the Menlo Park police. He fled on foot with $200 in stolen cash. Officers arrived at the home, located in the 1200 block of Sevier Avenue, around 9:45 p.m. that night. The suspect was described as a black man in his 30s standing about 5 foot 8 inches tall, and wearing a black, long-sleeve

sweatshirt with a hood pulled over his forehead. The 30-year-old victim, who is 8 months pregnant, had been sitting in her Toyota Camry in the driveway of her home after returning from a night out, the report said. She was treated for non-life-threatening cuts and other injuries at a local hospital. Investigators ask that anyone with information about the case call 330-6300 or the anonymous tip line at 330-6395. — Sandy Brundage


evening the gala was. She will “probably end up doing it again in two years,” but for right now, she said she and her steering committee want to rest. The committee included Sue Foley, Lulu Frye, Stephanie Harman, and Ms. Lacob of Woodside; Melissa Badger, Anne Lawler, Bren Leisure and Sally Robinson of Atherton; Betsy Matteson of Menlo Park; and Ellen Drew, Liz King, Heather Pietsch, Debbie Robbins and Paula Robichaud. Contributions can still be made to Part the Cloud by contacting Dagmar Schildwach at (650) 962-8111 or at: Alzheimer’s Association, 1060 La Avenida St., Mountain View, CA 94043.

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continued from page 3

instrumental in getting them to come to the event. “The two of them weren’t even going to speak,” Ms. Hoag said, but they agreed to skip dinner, learn the script and improvise the auction part. “I thought Virginia and Brooke have done a fabulous job,” Ms. Hoag said. Rock musician and actor Chris Isaak performed, inviting guests to get up and dance to his songs. The after-party in the ballroom featured another rock band, the Cheeseballs, that played until midnight. Ms. Hoag said she has received a lot of compliments on what an intimate, warm, and fun



City hires consultant to analyze impact of specific plan initiative A complaint is filed with a state commission over Save Menlo’s financial reports.

By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


s city and county officials work on the painstaking process of verifying the signatures of registered Menlo Park voters submitted as part of an initiative by Save Menlo to change the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan, other analyses are also underway. Menlo Park has hired Lisa Wise Consulting Inc., based in San Francisco, to perform an independent review of how the initiative would affect the specific plan, with a preliminary report complete by the end of June. The company has extensive experience with municipal landuse planning for jurisdictions such as Alameda County and Richmond. According to both city officials and Ms. Wise, it has never worked with the two major developers whose proposed projects would be impacted by the initiative — Stanford University and Greenheart Land Company — or with the city of Menlo Park. The $148,420 contract includes evaluating what effects the initiative’s changes would have on development feasibility, infrastructure and finance. Two meetings will be held with city representatives, and up to two meetings will be conducted with the public. The fee includes a 15 percent contingency fee, according to the contract, which may or may not be used. A staff report presented to the council cited the total amount as $130,294. According to the city’s summary, Save Menlo’s initiative limits the amount of office space in any individual development to 100,000 square feet; and caps total new office space to 240,820 square feet and overall new, non-residential development to 474,000 square feet within the specific plan’s boundaries. The initiative would also redefine open space to mean only areas no higher than 4 feet off the ground, thereby preventing balconies from counting as open space. Voter approval would be needed to revise the ordinance or to exceed the size limits for office and non-residential development. The initiative would impact two mixed-use development proposals already in the works


by cutting the amount of office space allowed in each project by about 50 percent. Stanford University and developer John Arrillaga want to build a complex on the mostly vacant car lots along 300 to 500 El Camino Real. The 8.4-acre project would involve 199,500 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail, and up to 170 apartments. The mixed-use complex initially contained medical offices and fewer apartments, but Stanford revised the project after a series of discussions with city officials and Save Menlo representatives. A second project, designed by Greenheart LLC, would put 210,000 square feet of office space, 210,000 square feet of apartments, and 13,000 square feet of retail on the 7-acre site located at 1300 El Camino Real and Oak Grove Avenue. Complaint

Like its initiative, Save Menlo is also coming under scrutiny. Atherton resident and community activist Peter Carpenter, who has been speaking out against the initiative, filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission on May 16 alleging that the group is masquerading as a general purpose committee when it is actually a ballot- measure committee. The latter would be required to file quarterly public disclosure reports that would provide a look at who has donated to the group and how the money is being spent, he said. According to the FPPC, a

general purpose committee may support or oppose a variety of candidates and ballot measures. Whether a group is classified as a “primarily formed” committee — in this case, a ballot measure committee — depends on whether it spends more than 70 percent of its funds on a single candidate or measure. Save Menlo spokesperson Perla Ni said the group’s goals are “are long-term and not primarily for a particular election, so we are correctly formed as a general purpose committee.” As a general purpose committee, she said, the reports are due every six months, with the next one due at the end of June. Save Menlo can, as a general purpose committee, support City Council candidates as well as the initiative if necessary during the fall election, according to Ms. Ni, but its work won’t be done. The group “has every reason to believe its efforts to protect a livable walkable community will be necessary for a long time, not just this election cycle.” The most recent financial report available covers the committee’s activities from July 1 through Dec. 31 — a period before the drive to collect signatures to get the initiative on the November election ballot began. At that point, it had collected $16,500 in donations and spent about $5,330. The largest expenditure during that period — $5,000 — went to Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, a law firm specializing in land-use issues that has popped up in other Menlo Park battles. The firm was also retained by a group of downtown business and property owners unhappy with the way the specific plan’s environmental impact analysis was conducted prior to the plan’s adoption.

R EAL E STATE Q&A by Monica Corman

Who Can Buy in a Complex for Seniors? Dear Monica: My parents live in another state and I would like to move them here to be closer to me. I am interested in buying a condo in a complex for persons 55 years of age and older. May I buy a unit for my parents to live in an age-restricted building even though I am under age 55? Sophie D. Dear Sophie: More adult children with aging parents are in the same position as you are. They would like to move their parents to a place close by and

it feels safe and secure to move them to a senior complex. They are also attracted to the community aspect and the social connections it provides. Both federal and state law allow communities who meet the requirements to impose age restrictions on those who reside there. The recorded Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) for these complexes spell out in detail the residency rules. Unless there is a specific rule to the contrary, it doesn’t matter who owns the unit.

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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Deputy challenges incumbent sheriff in election By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


reg Munks ran unopposed for re-election as San Mateo County sheriff in 2010. This time around, while the ballot for the June 3 election again lists Mr. Munks as the only candidate, he does have an opponent. Deputy Juan Lopez, a 26-year veteran in the Sheriff’s Office, is running a write-in campaign to replace his boss. Some of his priorities: more in-depth and varied training for deputies, reconstituting the sex-crimes unit, and a “proactive” approach to preventing crime. On his website, Mr. Lopez writes that he “will restore integrity to the leadership of the Office of Sheriff,” that Mr. Munks “is not the person to lead the law enforcement program,” and that Mr. Lopez will be a leader that voters can “respect and trust.” In April 2007, Mr. Munks and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos were detained and questioned by police after they were found on the premises of a brothel located in an unmarked house in a residential neighborhood of Las Vegas. The raid was part of a federal initiative known as Operation Dollhouse. Did Mr. Lopez use the words “integrity,” “respect” and “trust” in reference to Operation Dollhouse? “You know, I really can’t say anything about that,” he said. “I wasn’t there and I don’t have first-hand knowledge.”

Then why use those words? They are ways of expressing concerns about transparency over a construction project, Mr. Lopez said. The public and deputies were not informed, he said, of a recent plan to demolish the motor pool and build new headquarters for the patrol divisions, the Office of Emergency Services and public information services. A county spokesman said the Board of Supervisors had held a public hearing on the new structure in August 2013 and approved the $16.25 million in funding for the building in September. Deputy Lopez said he is currently assigned to driving prisoners to and from court and medical appointments. “I have worked almost every division, position and assignment in this organization,” he added in an email. “From that experience, I have a keen understanding of what it takes to be successful in those positions, to move the organization forward and a real appreciation for the men and women who do the job.” Asked about his management experience, Mr. Lopez cited a restaurant he once managed where his responsibilities included overseeing employees, bank accounts, supplies and “the day-to-day routines of business,” he said. “I tried to reach a happy medium for everyone.” Mr. Munks is away and chose not to comment on Mr. Lopez’s

Juan P. Lopez

Gregory Munks

Experience: 26 years in the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Education: Associate’s degree in university studies from Canada College in Woodside; bachelor’s degree in vocational education and master’s degree in emergency services administration from California State University, Long Beach. More information:

Experience: 30 years in law enforcement, including 13 years as undersheriff in San Mateo County and eight as sheriff. Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Menlo College; master’s degree in business administration from Golden Gate University.

priorities, but did email a statement about his candidacy. “I am honored to be running alone on the ballot again which I believe is an acknowledgment of the progress and fine work that we have accomplished on behalf of our community,” he wrote. “I’m pleased to be able to stay focused on the challenges ahead and continue my efforts to make San Mateo County a safe place to live and work.”

The Sheriff’s Office would employ a “proactive” approach to crime prevention, including crime-trend analysis to prepare deputies and get ahead of criminals, and the vigorous encouragement of neighborhood watch programs. ■ Deputies would have more in-depth and varied training opportunities — gang, robbery and fraud case training, for example — which go beyond what he described as the “bare minimums” of CPR and how to “take people down.” Outside training is available, he said, but deputies are not reimbursed for expenses. ■ The sex-crimes unit would be reconstituted. The Sheriff’s Office folded that specialty into the major-crimes unit in 2007, in part due to funding cuts, but a fully staffed sex-crimes unit is still needed, Mr. Lopez said. The cases are “very labor intensive,” he said. “Unfortunately, it affects you in many ways. You go home after a non-stop day, you don’t sleep, you sit there and try to unwind. ... I was assigned to it

and I just couldn’t keep up.” The rate of sex crimes since 2007 “surely have grown,” he added. The Sheriff’s Office did not respond to inquiries about sex-crime trends in the county. How would he pay for these changes? “It can be done by redistributing funds, I’m sure,” Mr. Lopez said. Asked by email to comment on these priorities, Mr. Munks did not respond. A write-in campaign

On the issues

Enter the phrase “Juan Lopez for sheriff” in a web search engine and the first hit is Mr. Lopez’s campaign site, which includes a page of priorities should he be elected. A similar search for Mr. Munks turns up plenty of hits, but none about his 2014 candidacy and priorities for the next four years. A search of, the electioninformation site maintained by the League of Women Voters, showed nothing for either man. Among Mr. Lopez’s priorities:

Mr. Lopez, who has not run for office before, told the Almanac that he wanted to have his name on the ballot, but that complications arose, in part because he waited until the last day and the last hour of the candidate filing period to complete his paperwork. At the counter at the Elections Office in San Mateo at about 4:10 p.m. on March 7, he said he learned for the first time that he needed the signatures of at least 20 registered voters on his nomination papers. He rushed out and got 20 signatures, but a traffic jam prevented him from getting back to the Elections Office in time to meet the 5 p.m. deadline, he said. Why did he wait so long? “I was pretty much waiting until the end so I could file without creating a problem at work,” he said. What might have happened at work? “I have no idea and I didn’t want to take any chances,” he said. In the weeks since, he said he has heard nothing untoward about his candidacy. A

Supes candidate says he questioned sheriff about Vegas incident By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer


or Greg Munks, the sheriff of San Mateo County and the incumbent in the June 3 election for his third four-year term, one question refuses to go away: What were he and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos doing on an April night in 2007 when Las Vegas police and federal agents found them on the premises of a brothel located in an unmarked house in a residential neighborhood? Mr. Munks answered that question at the time with a statement that he has not publicly elaborated upon: that he had been seeking a massage after a relay run and that he “believed (he) was going into a legitimate business.” The raid on the brothel, referred to by federal agents as Operation Dollhouse, netted seven arrests, though not of

customers, and 3,500 tabs of ecstasy and $20,000 in cash. Mr. Munks and Mr. Bolanos were detained and questioned, then released. The subsequent investigation looked into whether the prostitutes were working as sex slaves, a Las Vegas officer said at the time. If Mr. Munks was wounded by that experience, the wound may have reopened April 29 while he was attending an invitationonly conference in Redwood Shores on the subject of gun violence in schools. The question to Sheriff Munks came from Mark De Paula, a resident of San Mateo who is challenging incumbent Supervisor Carole Groom in the election for county supervisor for District 2. It was a question Mr. De Paula said he’d heard while campaigning. “I had a quite a few people ask me about the Munks situation and whether he was exon-

8NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014

erated by the FBI,” he told the Almanac. “I wanted to hear it directly from him.” The conference had not yet started, Mr. DePaula said, when he noticed Mr. Munks socializing in the seating area. He said he walked up to Mr. Munks,

The raid on the brothel netted seven arrests, though not of customers. introduced himself, said he had a question, and proposed that they step away from the gathering, which they did. Mr. De Paula said he asked Mr. Munks if the FBI had exonerated him in the Operation Dollhouse incident. According to Mr. De Paula, Mr. Munks replied to his question with a question of his own: “How dare you ask that question

here?” Mr. Munks then alluded to his reason for being there: to discuss gun violence in schools. Mr. De Paula said he followed up. “Sheriff Munks,” he said, “I’m just asking you a yes or no question.” Mr. De Paula said the sheriff then re-examined Mr. De Paula’s name tag and asked him who he was and what his name was, then walked over to Capt. Mark Wyss of the Sheriff’s Office and said: “This guy probably doesn’t belong here.” Asked to comment, Capt. Wyss told the Almanac that he had nothing more to say about the incident than what he told another newspaper, which was that he did not remember the sheriff saying that Mr. De Paula probably did not belong at the event. Mr. De Paula said he attempted to calm things down, to “neutralize it. I had a little bit of butterf lies in my stom-

ach.” He said that he walked to the lobby with Capt. Wyss and repeated that he had been looking for a yes or no answer and that he was surprised that Mr. Munks did not have a prepared answer seven years after the event. The Almanac attempted to get Mr. Munks’ account of the incident with Mr. De Paula, but he was not available for an interview. In an email, however, Mr. Munks commented: “Just a guy pulling a sophomoric campaign stunt at an inappropriate time and place,” he wrote. “The real story is the important work of that day focusing on the problem of school shootings and what we can do as a community to prevent/respond and recover from them.” As for Mr. De Paula, when the Almanac asked him what he would do if elected supervisor, he said he would ask for Mr. Munks’ resignation. A

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May 21, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN9








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10NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014

St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s employee pleads no contest to embezzlement By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


secretary accused of helping her boss embezzle money from St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seminary and University in Menlo Park has pleaded no contest, according to the San Mateo County District Attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office. Evelyn Vallacqua, 45, was accused of collecting illicit severance pay with the finance directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approval and helping issue improper reimbursement checks. As part of her plea agreement, entered into on May 14, she will be sentenced to 90 days in county jail in exchange for testifying truthfully. Her co-defendant, Jennifer Margret Morris, 58, was serving

as the seminaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finance director when charged with stealing $202,000 and a 1982 Mercedes from the institution. St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conducted an audit after learning that Ms. Morris allegedly charged seminary purchases to her personal credit card, reportedly to rack up airline miles, and then reimbursed herself, according to the police report. The finance director has pleaded not guilty to four counts of felony embezzlement and one count of taking more than $65,000 worth of property while committing a felony. She is out on $200,000 bail, with a trial scheduled to start on Aug. 11. Ms. Vallacquaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sentencing has been set for Sept. 19. She remains out of custody on $10,000 bail. A

Menlo sets granny unit fees By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer


lthough much higher estimates of $20,000 were bandied about during the Menlo Park Planning Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discussions of how much fees for secondary, aka â&#x20AC;&#x153;granny,â&#x20AC;? units cost, once the city staff delved into the data, they discovered the average was closer to $7,500. During its fee review on May 13, the City Council voted 4-1, with Peter Ohtaki dissenting, to leave fees at that level, as recommended by the staff, rather than reducing them. Development Services Manager Justin Murphy told the council that $7,500 is in line with what residents of other nearby communities pay for secondary units. The city assesses approximately $5,000 for a 500-square-foot unit, with the remaining $2,500 going toward fees charged by outside agencies such as the fire and water districts, he said. This is generally in line with costs in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, San Bruno and other Peninsula cities, according to the staff report. East Palo Alto charges more â&#x20AC;&#x201D; $11,000 to $18,000. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we over-encourageâ&#x20AC;? construction of granny units, the impacts on neighborhoods and infrastructure might be felt faster than expected, Mayor Ray Mueller said, while explaining his resistance to lowering the fees. Since staff time must be paid for, he said, that would equate to using taxpayers who canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t build secondary units to subsidize those who can build them. The question arose as to whether those building the units could qualify for assistance from

Menlo Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s below-market-rate fund. City Attorney Bill McClure explained that technically it was possible, although the property owners would have to sign a commitment to restrict the unit to low-income levels for 55 years. Councilwoman Kirsten Keith noted that she supported 100 percent cost recovery for staff time spent reviewing plans and issuing permits for granny units, but asked if less time might be spent overseeing a 500-squarefoot unit as opposed to a 5,000-square-foot house, thereby justifying a lower administrative fee. The staff responded that may be feasible but would first have to be researched. Holding out for reducing the fees, Councilman Peter Ohtaki argued that reducing the permitting costs would encourage the owners of secondary units built before the city legalized them to make safety upgrades and bring the units into compliance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think that is, in my opinion, worth doing,â&#x20AC;? he said. The mayor, who had earlier noted that housing advocates were pointing out that secondary units would rent for market rates â&#x20AC;&#x201D; currently around $2,000 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and thereby not contribute to the supply of affordable housing, commented that he thought people were more likely to build a new unit instead of paying to bring an illegal one into compliance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re already enjoying the one without a permit,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Mueller said. The council also approved a new $100 fee to register granny units for property owners that plan to rent out both the main dwelling and the secondary unit, with a $50 annual fee for up to four more years after the initial registration. A

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12NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014

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judge may deliver a devastating blow to the defamation lawsuit filed against two Menlo Park fire board directors. John Woodell, married to Councilwoman Kirsten Keith, filed a lawsuit alleging that Virginia Chang Kiraly and Chuck Bernstein told people that Mr. Woodell had vandalized campaign signs during the 2011 Menlo Park Fire Protection District board election, after Mr. Bernstein discovered an uprooted Kiraly campaign sign in his yard lying next to a cellphone that turned out to be Mr. Woodellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Mr. Woodell has denied vandalizing the sign. The defendants filed a motion in April asking the court to dis-

miss the lawsuit on grounds that Mr. Woodell allegedly destroyed evidence by deleting the contents of his cellphone before they were able to thoroughly examine it. In a tentative ruling issued last week, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak agreed, writing that Mr. Woodell allegedly captured data for his own purposes before wiping the phone clean â&#x20AC;&#x153;such that all potentially relevant information retained on the phone was destroyed. ...â&#x20AC;? Mr. Woodellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s explanation for the data deletion has â&#x20AC;&#x153;evolvedâ&#x20AC;? over time, the judge said, and now the phone has somehow been damaged in a way that prevents it from connecting to a charger. Judge Novak wrote that the court believes Mr. Woodell was clearly thinking about filing a lawsuit in 2011, well before

destroying the contents of the phone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Court cannot condone the destruction of evidence, including in anticipation of litigation, particularly when the probative value of that evidence is so heavily connected to the ultimate ability of the Defense to seek and receive a fair trial. As such, the motion for terminating sanctions is granted,â&#x20AC;? she wrote. The ruling is not yet final. On May 19, the judge heard arguments from all parties and took the matter under submission. If the tentative ruling is accepted, Mr. Woodell would be prohibited from filing the lawsuit a second time. Seth Rosenberg, the attorney representing Mr. Woodell, told the Almanac before the tentative See WOODELL, page 19


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DEADLINE TO VOTE June 1, 2014 readers_choice May 21, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN15


Incumbent faces watchdog in supes race continued from page 5

won’t be taking campaign contributions or spending money for mailers and signs, Mr. Horsley raised about $19,250 from Jan. 1 through March 17, and spent nearly $6,600 during that period, according to his campaign disclosure statement. Don Horsley

Mr. Horsley served as county sheriff for nearly 14 years before retiring in 2007. He then was elected to the Sequoia Healthcare District board, on which he served until being sworn in as a supervisor. During a second term, he said, priorities would include upgrading farmworker housing, which would improve the lives of many migrant workers “who really aren’t migrant anymore” but whose presence is critical to the county’s agricultural sector; improving facilities and services of the Cordilleras Mental Health Center in unincorporated Redwood City to “help the mentally ill people (served) there deal with their illness and be reunited with their families”; and traffic management on the Coastside.

He said he will also continue to work on resolving traffic problems — for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists — on Alpine Road in the South County. During his first term, he said, he helped to secure funding to reconfigure a section of the Alpine Road/Interstate 280 interchange to make it safer for bicyclists after the November 2010 death of a bicyclist riding in that location. Another South County project he found funding for was a long-term solution to a roadway problem in Los Trancos Woods, he said. Although the county’s public works department planned to fix a portion of Ramona Road with a project that would have been cheaper, residents were concerned the planned project wouldn’t provide the stability needed and the road would be in danger of being washed out, he said. Mr. Horsley met with the community and county staff, brought in an outside soils engineer to assess the situation, and managed to secure the emergency funding for a project that is likely to provide more stability in the long term, he said.

Michael Stogner

“I believe that corruption exists most everywhere and it is up to the citizens to stop it where possible,” Mr. Stogner says in his opening statement on his campaign website. “... I am committed to substantially reducing it in our County. The Supervisors are responsible for this issue,” the statement concludes. Although he’s never served in public office, Mr. Stogner is a regular presence in the county supervisors’ chambers and at meetings of other public agencies.

By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor


therton officials are projecting robust revenues and a budget surplus for the 2014-15 fiscal year, prompting them to propose increased spending for some services, particularly in the police and public works departments. The City Council will review preliminary figures from the town’s number crunchers when it meets on Wednesday, May 21. The staff report projects general

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16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014


Revenues, spending rise in Atherton


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His has also been a recognizable voice when public officials are in the spotlight for their missteps: For example, when Sheriff Greg Munks was detained in a Las Vegas brothel during a 2007 law enforcement sting, Mr. Stogner publicly and repeatedly called for his resignation. Mr. Stogner supports creation of a Citizens Oversight Committee for the county composed of “ordinary citizens” to keep an eye on government practices. He opposes the county’s participation in regional and

broader-based efforts, such as the One Bay Area Plan and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, in favor of maintaining local control of decisions and policies. As the county has grown and become a much more expensive place to live, Mr. Stogner says county residents are “being pushed to the limit with taxes” and he opposes any increase. Instead, cost-cutting measures should be put into effect, including outsourcing the county’s building and planning departments and reducing the county jail’s population of people awaiting trial.

fund revenues of $11.6 million — even without factoring in revenue from the town’s parcel tax and money that will almost certainly be arriving from a special state fund — and $11.5 million in spending next fiscal year. The budget for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, projected $10.8 million in revenue and $10.4 million in spending. With higher-than-expected revenue this fiscal year, the council readjusted the budget after its June 2013 passage, allocating $2 million to pay down the town’s unfunded postemployment benefits liability, and smaller amounts to increase maintenance in HolbrookPalmer Park and along the public right-of-way, pay for a master plan for the civic center, boost code enforcement, and support the emergency preparedness program. Go to and click on item No. 21 to read the staff report reviewing the preliminary budget.

Also on the agenda: The council will revisit the question of whether to support a $2.5 million project to renovate the carriage house in Holbrook-Palmer Park; council members will take a second look at a proposal to cede some of the public right-of-way on Parker Avenue to property owners; and the council will discuss possible use of the Gilmore House in the park, which has for years been used as the town manager’s residence but is currently unoccupied because current manager George Rodericks continues to live in his longtime home in Marin County. One possible use: as accommodations for police officers at the conclusion of their shifts, especially those who must commute a long distance to and from work. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.


ton, casting the other dissenting vote, seemed more concerned about destroying the data after only six months. She said she supported the ordinance, but worried that the data will be less useful to law enforcement without a longer retention period, such as 12 to 18 months. “Basically in an effort to show how great Menlo Park is” about protecting privacy, we’re inhibiting the ability to catch criminals, Ms. Carlton said. She pointed out that other agencies working with NCRIC went with a one-year retention span; the mayor countered that the California Highway Patrol keeps data for only 60 days. Go to to see the staff report on the ordinance. The law will take effect 30 days after a second reading, provided the council doesn’t reverse course.

continued from page 5

Menlo Park might be the only city with such an ordinance for now, that could change if the law helps other jurisdictions feel comfortable about using the license plate readers. He said he wants the ordinance to show that there’s “a prudent middle ground,” another choice besides “use (the technology) or not.” On the other side of the debate, Councilman Peter Ohtaki dissented, saying that he thought the controls already in place were adequate when combined with a resolution. The mayor pointed out that, unlike the ordinance, those controls don’t address data captured by cameras, but this failed to persuade his colleague to change his vote. Vice Mayor Catherine Carl-




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May 21, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN17



Circus Club suit alleges age discrimination By Renee Batti

THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU that an application for a variance request (File #X7E-136) has been submitted for review by the Town of Portola Valley Board of Adjustment (Planning Commission). The proposed variance associated with house additions and remodeling would allow for: s! PORTION OF A  SF ADDITION TO THE EXISTING HOUSE TO EN CROACHINTOTHEFRONTYARDSETBACK 4HEPROPERTYISOWNEDBY2AMESH3UBRAMONIANLOCATEDAT 2USSELL!VENUEANDISIDENTIFIEDAS!0.   The Board of Adjustment public hearing has been scheduled to review the subject variance application on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., in the town council chambers (Historic Schoolhouse), 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, California. Information pertaining to the proposal may be viewed at Town Hall Building and Planning Department, Monday through Friday, AMTOPMANDnPM!LLINTERESTEDPER sons are invited to appear before the Planning Commission to be heard at the time and place herein above mentioned. $ATED-AY 

#AROL"ORCK Assistant Planner

Almanac News Editor


he former head of maintenance at the Menlo Circus Club who was fired last November is suing the Atherton club and its general manager, alleging that his firing was due to age discrimination and retaliation, and that he has been cheated out of the bonus heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s owed. Robert Crosby, 60, filed the lawsuit on May 7 in San Mateo County Superior Court. He had worked for the club at 190 Park Lane since 1978, and was promoted in 1989 to maintenance supervisor, placing him in charge of maintenance for all club facilities and a crew of 10 employees. The lawsuit names the Menlo Circus Club and Christian Thon, the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general manager.


An email request for comment sent to Mr. Thon on May 9 was not responded to. A Circus Club staff member told the Almanac that Mr. Thon is on vacation and unavailable until he returns. Mr. Crosbyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attorney, Yosef Peretz, declined to comment. In the lawsuit, Mr. Crosby maintains he had â&#x20AC;&#x153;a positive working relationshipâ&#x20AC;? with all five general managers he worked for before Mr. Thon took over the position in 2009. Soon after Mr. Thon was hired, the lawsuit alleges, he began making comments about Mr. Crosbyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;personality and appearance and continued to question his leadership and decision-making ...â&#x20AC;? The lawsuit also alleges that in June 2013, Mr. Thon, who lives on the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grounds, asked Mr. Crosby to move the fence line that divided his house from other portions of the grounds to allow him to increase the size of his yard. Mr. Crosby balked at the request, saying he wanted approval from the board of directors before making such a change, the lawsuit says. Mr.

Crosby ultimately asked for board approval through proper channels, and the request was denied, according to the lawsuit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;After that incident, Thonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s harassment of (Mr. Crosby) dramatically increased,â&#x20AC;? the lawsuit alleges. After Mr. Crosbyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s firing, the lawsuit says, Mr. Thon sent an email to the other department heads informing them of the dismissal, and saying that he hoped the action would â&#x20AC;&#x153;forceâ&#x20AC;? Mr. Crosby to spend his time with his grandchildren, being the â&#x20AC;&#x153;granddad that he so naturally falls into.â&#x20AC;? Mr. Crosby is seeking payment of the bonus he says is non-discretionary and constitutes 15 percent of his salary; general damages, including for emotional distress and mental anguish; and punitive damages. Mr. Crosby has been unable to find work since his firing, the lawsuit says. A

LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues on Town Square at

TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING ON SITE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT This is to notify you that an application for a Site Development Permit, File X9H-669, has been submitted for review by the Planning Commission of the Town of Portola Valley. This proposal requests Planning Commission approval of approximately 2,065 cubic yards of earthwork in association with new residential construction. The property is owned by Ravi and Anu Khatod located at 128 Escobar Road and is identified as APN: 077-080-050. Planning Commission public hearing has been scheduled to review this application on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers, Historic School House, Portola Valley, CA. Public Hearings provide the general public and interested parties an opportunity to provide testimony on these items. If you challenge a proposed action(s) in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at a Public Hearing(s) described above, or in written correspondence delivered to the Planning Commission at, or prior to, the Public Hearing(s). Information pertaining to the proposal may be viewed at Town Hall Building & Planning Department, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5:00 p.m. All interested persons are invited to appear before the Planning Commission to be heard at the time and place herein above mentioned. Dated: May 14, 2014 Carol Borck Assistant Planner

18NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014


Authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talk: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Growing Up With Ty Cobbâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Herschel Cobb of Menlo Park will talk about and sign his book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heart of a Tiger: Growing Up With My Grandfather, Ty Cobb,â&#x20AC;? at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, at Little House, 800 Middle Ave. in Menlo Park. There will be refreshments at this free afternoon of stories, food, and Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite pastime.

Chamber mixer Haven Family House will host a mixer on behalf of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, Intuit and InnVision Shelter Network on May 21. The event

riders. Admission is $10. Go to or call (951) 303-0405.


starts at 5:30 p.m. at 260 Van Buren Road in Menlo Park.

Horse Park Equestrians will compete in dressage, cross country jumping and stadium jumping events at a Spring Event on Friday through Sunday, May 23-25, at the Horse Park at Woodside, 3674 Sand Hill Road. The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., includes a trade fair, food, family activities and chances to meet horses and

Mystery Readers Relive the golden age of rail travel when author Janet Dawson discusses her latest mystery, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Death Rides the Zephyr,â&#x20AC;? at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, in the downstairs meeting room at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., in Menlo Park. Ms. Dawson is the author of the Jeri Howard series of books set in the Bay Area.

Circus in town The circus team of Coventry & Kaluza will present music, clowning and circus skills (juggling, acrobatics and hula hoops) for all ages at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road. Call 851-0560.

Docent talk A docent will present a slideshow in Portola Valley on Thursday, May 22, on the San Francisco Legion of Honor exhibit, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Intimate Impressionism,â&#x20AC;? 70 landscapes, seascapes, still lifes and portraits

WOODELL continued from page 15

N PO LI C E C A L L S This information is from the Menlo Park Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent unless convicted. Police received the reports on the dates shown. WOODSIDE Traffic accident report: A man driving east in the 4000 block of Woodside Road (Highway 84) crashed into a telephone pole after looking away from the road â&#x20AC;&#x153;for only a secondâ&#x20AC;? at a cell phone ringing from its place on the passenger seat. May 10. MENLO PARK Residential burglary reports: â&#x2013; A $400 locked bicycle was stolen

from an apartment carport on Sharon Park Drive. May 16. â&#x2013; Someone removed a screen from a bedroom window of a home on Linfield Drive and opened the window. No one entered the home and there was no evidence that anything was taken. May 16. Commercial burglary report: Two laptop computers were stolen from a business on the 1500 block of El Camino Real. Estimated loss: $500. May 16. Theft reports: â&#x2013;  Someone stole two bicycles locked to a bike rack in the 1000 block of El Camino Real. Estimated loss: $2,800. May 14. â&#x2013;  A UPS package containing $100 in American Express rewards card was stolen from a home on Adams Court.

May 12. â&#x2013; Someone broke the glass on a game vending machine in the 1100 block of Willow Road and stole $45 in cash. May 14. â&#x2013;  A $25 serving dish was delivered to, and stolen from, the front porch of a home on Crane Street. May 16. WEST MENLO PARK Residential burglary report: Someone entered a home in the 2000 block of Santa Cruz Avenue while the residents were at home and stole two Apple computers, an Apple iPad, a Specialized bicycle, $500 in cash and three bottles of Patron tequila, a total loss of about $3,900. The residents neither heard nor saw the burglar(s). May 9.

ruling was made that the motion to dismiss was absurd. He said the cellphone was wiped as required by company policy on the last day of his clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s employment at Google in 2012, and also that the phone had become unstable and needed to be reset. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We provided literally well over 100 pages in this case of phone records, call logs, cell phone photos, text records, and everything Mr. Woodell could pull off the phone before the phone malfunctioned and required reimaging. Mr. Bernstein and

from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The free onehour program starts at 10 a.m. at The Sequoias, Hanson Hall, 501 Portola Road. Call 851-0560 for more information.

Fall prevention Two experts from Stanford University Medical Center will share strategies for preventing falls, a topic of particular interest to older adults, at a free event at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 7, in the council chambers located in the Menlo Park Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. Ms. Kiraly donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t identify one document that they allegedly need but did not get. So, there is no evidence that anything was deleted,â&#x20AC;? Mr. Rosenberg said. He asked why it took so long to raise concerns about the cellphone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why did they say they were ready for trial, but now claim they are not? It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t add up.â&#x20AC;? Mr. Rosenberg said â&#x20AC;&#x153;far more disturbingâ&#x20AC;? were emails Ms. Kiraly sent to the media that allegedly defamed his client from the beginning, but that she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disclose. (A footnote in Mr. Rosenbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s court filing states that she deleted the emails before litigation and they were obtained through a third party.) A

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May 21, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN19

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



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: 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. ©2014 by Embarcadero Media Company. All rights reserved. Subscriptions are $60 for one year and $100 for two years.

Sheriff made mistakes, but is best choice


reg Munks has put in nearly eight years as San Mateo paign, which he chose despite the long odds. He says he has worked County sheriff. There are surely high points of that career nearly every job available to a deputy, and is currently assigned to — getting the new jail off to a good start and adjusting to drive prisoners to and from court and medical appointments. Gov. Brown’s “realignment” program sending felons convicted of Despite his unfortunate behaviors seven years ago and a few nonviolent, non-serious crimes to county jails to weeks ago, Sheriff Munks remains the best complete their sentences — but there was one low choice in this race. But it is time for him to EDI TORI AL point, and now a second one, where his judgment publicly address questions about his earlier The opinion of The Almanac failed him and the fallout reverberated, and revermistake and move on. He has apologized, but berates today, particularly among his enemies. that will not be the end of it unless he accepts His most egregious mistake occurred in April 2007 when he the burden of reassuring his constituents, especially women, that and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos were detained he truly regrets his actions and will work hard to combat prostiand questioned by Las Vegas police officers, who tution and human trafficking in San Mateo County. found them on the premises of a brothel. They were released and no charges were ever filed, but it was the kind of unseemly behavior totally unexpected from any law enforcement officer, on Horsley has spent 18 years serving San Mateo County let alone the sheriff of a major California county. as an elected official, first as sheriff for 14 years and, most The two off-duty officers had competed in a relay recently, as the District 3 representative on the Board of race, the reason given for their presence at an establishment that Supervisors, a post he won in a 2010 run-off race against April purportedly offered “massage” services. Vargas, a coastside business owner. He served on the public Soon after the incident, Sheriff Munks issued a statement in Sequoia Healthcare District board of directors in the intervening which he apologized to his family, friends and coworkers and the years, from 2007 to 2010. public, saying he believed he was going to a legitimate business. Now Mr. Horsley is running to retain his seat against Michael Apparently in the sheriff’s mind, his statement was the end Stogner, an opponent who has no experience in elective office. of the story, but that has not been the case. Not surprisingly, During the 2010 primary race for supervisor, he finished fifth his adversaries continue to periodically dredge up the incident, out of the five candidates running, with 6.8 percent of the vote. especially during re-election campaigns. District 3 covers a far-flung area that includes Atherton, PorJust a few weeks ago, while he was attending an invitation-only tola Valley, Woodside, parts of Menlo Park and Belmont, San conference in Redwood Shores, a candidate for county supervi- Carlos, and large coastal and unincorporated areas. sor quietly asked him to once again address the issue. The sheriff Mr. Stogner, a resident of San Carlos who is well-known as a responded angrily and he told a deputy that he thought the ques- government watchdog, has trotted out the standard arguments tioner “probably doesn’t belong here,” seemingly implying that against the incumbent, including charges that he favors more the person be escorted out — an option available exclusively to taxes and that he is in the pocket of the “good old boys/girls” who law enforcement officers. The escorting did not happen and the are the county’s elected leaders. After the last election, when Mr. conference went on without incident. Horsley changed his mind about giving up his salary as a superviThis response was uncalled for. While the sheriff remains sor while collecting a county pension of more than $200,000 a year, unable to provide straightforward answers about his behavior a campaign by Mr. Stogner and others forced the former sheriff to from seven years ago, he should acknowledge this recent over- reverse his decision. This year, he has said he will take the salary reaction and apologize to the candidate and the public. in addition to his pension, which is now $218,000 annually. In his re-election campaign, Sheriff Munks has no official chalMr. Stogner can hardly be deemed a serious candidate in this lenger, but a deputy sheriff, Juan Lopez, is mounting a write-in race. His lack of experience and distaste for county officials campaign, one with virtually no chance of succeeding. would only limit his effectiveness. Mr. Horsley and other superDeputy Lopez, a 26-year veteran of the department, said he missed visors know that compromise is the best strategy to manage the deadline for submitting signatures for his nomination papers county government. We urge voters to re-elect Don Horsley to to the county Elections Office. His only option was a write-in cam- the District 3 seat on the Board of Supervisors. A

Horsley gets nod in District 3 race



■ 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.

Woodside History Committee

Our Regional Heritage The Neuman Brothers Store at the corner of Mountain Home and Woodside roads at it looked in the 1930s. James Neuman had two boys and twin girls who helped operate the store, which was the forerunner of Roberts Market that is open today on the same site.

20NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014


Michael Kowtko

Specific plan just doesn’t work By Morris Brown


t really is obvious to many who have put in time to participate and now see the results of the specific plan, that this plan is just not working. What really should have taken place by now was the present council, coming to this realization, should have quickly changed much of the plan to prevent what was about to happen. Two projects — on Stanford’s eight acres and Greenheart’s development on the Derry property and the former Cadillac dealership site — were essentially going to use up in two or three years much of the proposed development that the city had envisioned would take 30 years. Furthermore, these projects, which focus heavily on office space with some housing but with almost no retail, will do very little to benefit the city and its residents if they are allowed to proceed as planned. So some residents of Menlo Park decided something should be done to try to stop this upcoming travesty. They

GUEST OPINION drew up the Save Menlo initiative. The initiative is actually not nearly enough to ensure the Specific Plan will achieve major objectives. These objectives were called for during the visioning process, which came before city staff and a new consultant (who also works for Stanford). The initiative will stop the city from implementing this plan, which ignores much of what the visioning process endorsed. This initiative should serve as a wake-up call to the council. It is time to take action to stop such unwarranted and dense development. At least one council person admits that the plan is not working as expected. Councilman and ex-mayor Richard Cline has said the Stanford project is not at all what he expected to be proposed from meetings he had with Stanford representa-

tives. Mr. Cline is the father of the specific plan. It was his suggestion when running for council back in 2006 that a plan for central Menlo Park was needed. Otherwise, he envisioned development without a plan would produce very unwanted results. The idea seemed attractive and the city has spent well over $1.8 million to develop this plan, which quite clearly is not producing desired results. When nine former mayors of Menlo Park sign a forceful letter, urging residents to sign the initiative, it is time for the present council to take notice. On May 13, seven of these former mayors and initiative leader Patti Fry spoke during public comment at that City Council meeting. Go to yout u .be / Zk273qbDi_k to view their comments. Hopefully, the council will take notice and adopt the initiative, rather than send it off to the ballot in November. A

Morris Brown lives on Stone Pine Lane in Menlo Park.

Michael Kowtko of Redwood City passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, May 6, 2014. He was 56 years old, a graduate of M.I.T. (1979) and Menlo-Atherton High School (1975). Mike had a passion for sports, travel, adventure, meeting new people, and designing and engineering projects. He is survived by daughter Nicole; brother John; sisters Sherry, Eveline, and Jacqueline; and longtime partner Denise Gil. For information on memorial services please contact PA I D


G U I D E TO 2014 S U M M E R C A M P S F O R K I D S

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Alan Margot’s Tennis Camps provide an enjoyable way for your child to begin learning the game of tennis or to continue developing existing skills. Our approach is to create lots of fun with positive feedback and reinforcement in a nuturing tennis environment. Building self-esteem and confidence through enjoyment on the tennis court is a wonderful gift a child can keep forever! Super Juniors Camps, ages 4-6; Juniors Camps, ages 6-14.


Arts, Culture, Other Camps L ET T ER S Our readers write

Garratt, Greenberg for Superior Court judge Editor: Two of our commissioners, Stephanie Garratt and Susan Greenberg, are running for the vacant Superior Court judge positions in San Mateo County. As their direct supervisor, I can attest to their excellent abilities that enable them to handle a wide variety of work, from criminal to civil to family law. As judges, their versatility and proven effectiveness will provide much-needed flexibility in their assignments and allow our court to better serve you. The state budget crisis has taken an incredible toll on our court. After losing over onethird of our workforce as a result of budget cuts, our court needs judges who can handle the wide array of work that comes through our doors. Now, more than ever, we need judges who have proven themselves able to handle highvolume calendars in a wide cross-section of legal areas. As Superior Court commis-

sioners, Stephanie Garratt and Susan Greenberg have demonstrated these capabilities and would provide our court the immediate versatility that we desperately need.

Please help us serve you better. Elect commissioners Stephanie Garratt and Susan Greenberg judges to our Superior Court. Robert Foiles Presiding Judge

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TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING ON REQUEST FOR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AMENDMENTSAND ZONING PERMITS THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU that an application for an amendment to Conditional Use Permit X7D-167, at 828 Portola Road, APN: 076-261-060, has been submitted for review by the Town of Portola Valley Planning Commission. This request is to amend the conditional use permit to include BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL OFFICES. The Planning Commission will also consider zoning permit applications for a psychiatry office and a personal office. The Planning Commission public hearing has been scheduled to review these applications on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., in the Town Council Chambers (Historic Schoolhouse), located at the Town Center, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, California. Information pertaining to the proposal may be viewed at Town Hall Building & Planning Department, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. All interested persons are invited to appear before the Planning Commission to be heard at the time and place herein above mentioned.


Dated: May 14, 2014 Carol Borck Assistant Planner

Summer is better at the Y. May 21, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN21


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MOUNTAIN VIEW MV CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS | MAY 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;25 | 650.903.60 0 0 Photo by: Patrick Fraser

D a n c e r s l e f t t o r i g h t : R o b i n S e m m e l h a c k , J o n a t h a n D u m m a r, E r i c a F e l s c h a n d J o s h u a R e y n o l d s

22NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014








330 Cervantes Rd. Portola Valley

Mid-Century Modern Classic located in The Heart of Portola Valley s4HIS SQFTHOMEISLOCATED ONAPPROXIMATELYACRES s4OP2ATED0ORTOLA6ALLEY3CHOOLS s*UST-INUTESTO3TANFORD and Downtown Palo Alto s)DYLLIC 0ARK ,IKESETTING with Private Pool




Broker Associate with Alain Pinel Realtors | BRE#01925322

Protect and Preserve Open Space



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For more information visit Paid for by Yes for Open Space Supporting Measure AA with major funding from Peninsula Open Space Trust and Sempervirens Fund, FPPC# 1363470. May 21, 2014 NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN23

Go to for the Bay Area’s only complete online open home guide.


Mary Gilles



New 3 level West Menlo luxury home near Oak Knoll School with 6 bedrooms, pool and outdoor fireplace. Coming Summer 2014.

Judy Citron



Derk Brill




Marybeth Dorst 650.245.8890

Lynn Wilson Roberts 650.255.6987



Beautiful PPG home in Menlo Oaks with resort grounds of almost ½ acre. 4bd/3.5ba, great room. Pool/spa.



Fully remodeled 4bd home in the heart of town. Formal LR and DR, FR. Gourmet’s kitchen and sunny breakfast room. Extra large 2-car garage. Menlo Park Schools.



Beautiful turnkey home in North Los Altos. Exquisitely crafted with abundance of special details. 4 bed/2.5 baths.

Carol & Nicole 650.543.1195


A Private Oasis in Menlo Oaks, adjacent to Facebook. 25k lot with limitless possibilities! Outstanding Menlo Park Schools.




Exceptional 5bd/4ba home with large kitchen/family room, form DR and LR, gated property with enchanting large gardens.

Pat Briscoe


Gloria & Caitlin Darke



3bd/2.5ba home with well-equipped kitchen/ pantry, living/ dining with Cathedral ceiling, skylights. Entertainers will appreciate the extra catering/bar space! Quiet, rear garden.



Immaculately maintained, 1990 sf split-level 3bd/2.5ba home in desirable location. Spacious kitchen overlooks pool/garden. 8000+/-sf lot. New windows and freshly painted.

Maggie Heilman 650.888.9315

Monica Corman 650.543.1164



Tucked away down a private lane, this secluded 4bd/2.5ba is convenient to Rt. 280. Close to Atherton, Menlo Park, Stanford and Woodside. 20 years old.



Very popular 2bd/2ba stretch unit that shows beautifully. Ideal floor plan with two complete bedroom/bath suites. Complex is for residents 55 years of age or older.

PA LO A LTO 6 5 0 . 3 2 3 . 1111 l M E N LO PA R K 6 5 0 . 4 6 2 . 1111 l LO S A LTO S 6 5 0 . 9 4 1. 1111 l W O O D S I D E 6 5 0 . 5 2 9 . 1111 APR COUNTIES l Santa Clara l San Mateo l San Francisco l Marin l Sonoma l Alameda l Contra Costa l Monterey l Santa Cruz

24NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comNMay 21, 2014

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2014 05 21 alm section1