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2NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN June 18, 2014


R EAL E STATE Q&A

UP F RONT

by Monica Corman

Preparing a Home for Market Dear Monica: I want to sell my home soon and want advice on preparation. I have a ranch-style home in a good location that hasn’t been remodeled in 25 years and has other deferred maintenance. What would you recommend? John D. Dear John: Buyers like homes that look good. New paint, new carpeting, and newly finished hardwood floors are the simplest and most cost effective things you can do to prepare your home. If your home is in a good location chances are the pool of buyers will include several different segments of the market, e.g., buyers who want to keep the home but update it, and buyers who want to build new. It is in your

Photo by Nicole Miller

Grazing in a Portola Valley field is this paint horse, owned by Nicole Miler, one of the volunteer organizers of the Portola Valley Horse Fair.

Portola Valley celebrates the horse Submitted by Ellie Ferrari of Portola Valley.

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he banners are up in town and the countdown has begun to Portola Valley’s “Celebration of the Horse, Past, Present and Future” on Sunday, June 22, a part of the town’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The day will kick off with three organized trail rides from 9 a.m. to noon, staging across from the Town Center in front

of Springdown. Ride-in only as no trailer parking is available. RSVP for the trail ride to pvhorseday@gmail.com. Then, from 2 to 5 p.m., the Horse Fair will take place, with fun for the whole family, such as carriage rides, apple bobbing, Icelandic horses to pet, and miniature driving horses and their competition vehicles to check out. A horseshoer will on hand, plying his trade and shoes to decorate. Listen to a horse’s heartbeat and,

for good measure, sit on one of the demo saddles. For some action, how about flying around a mini-jumping course on foot and see what it’s like to be a horse? Or have a turn on a barrel, simulating what a vaulter does on horseback. On hand will be pony clubs, local stables, riding facilities and merchants, all catering to the horse. Local Girl Scouts will be selling refreshments. Bring the entire family (but leave the dog at home).

interest to attract as many buyers as you can so you should appeal to both of those groups. You may even want to re-roof your home if the present roof is at the end of its life. Many buyers who are stretching to buy don’t have money in reserve to do this kind of project soon after moving in. You may spend $10,000 to $50,000 on these improvements but this represents a small percentage of the value of the home in good Peninsula locations and will give you the best chance of achieving the highest price. You needn’t remodel kitchens and bathrooms in most cases because this is expensive and takes too long. But simple cosmetic updates can bring a high return.

For answers to any questions you may have on real estate, you may e-mail me at mcorman@apr.com or call 462-1111, Alain Pinel Realtors. I also offer a free market analysis of your property. www.MonicaCorman.com

Cal Water is committed to supporting our customers’ conservation efforts as part of our plan to provide a reliable water supply for today and tomorrow. For ideas on how you can use water wisely, visit www.calwater.com/conservation, and look for our upcoming weekly tips in the Almanac.

Woodside rider, 15, to compete in Iceland By Kate Daly Special to the Almanac

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mma Erickson, 15, of Woodside is busy riding her horses whenever she can, getting ready to fly to Iceland to compete in July. She is one of four Americans selected to participate in the FEIF (International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations) Youth Cup, a biannual event open to young riders from 19 countries. Emma has just finished her freshman year at Woodside Priory, which could free up

a few more hours to exercise her three horses, ride with Woodside Pony Club, and work with her trainers. Emma Erickson Last summer she worked at Mountain Icelandic Farm in Watsonville and met a former FEIF Youth Cup competitor who encouraged Emma to apply to qualify for the event by submitting videos of her riding a tolt, a running walk or smooth natural gait that is

unique to Icelandic Horses, and a four-gait combination. Emma won a spot on the U.S. team and at the end of the month will be going with two other Bay Area riders and one from the East Coast to Iceland to meet their borrowed Icelandic horses and stay at a farm. The plan is to tour, attend clinics, and compete July 11-20. In general, Icelandic horses may be on the small side, but Emma says she enjoys their “nice pace” and personality. “They’re pretty smart,” she says, “so they’re pretty opinionated.” A

Use water wisely. It’s essential.

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THE ALMANAC (ISSN 1097-3095 and USPS 459370) is published every Wednesday by Embarcadero Media, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 940256558. Periodicals Postage Paid at Menlo Park, CA and at additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for San Mateo County, The Almanac is delivered free to homes in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside. Subscriptions for $60 per year or $100 per 2 years are welcome. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Almanac, 3525 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025-6558. Copyright ©2012 by Embarcadero Media, All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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Crisis Housing

Education

Employment

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Educators: Ending ‘tenure’ no magic bullet By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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court decision last week to throw out state teacher tenure rules may lead people to think that this is the solution for providing quality education for all students, a shortsighted view in the opinion of local educators. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on June 10 decided that tenure rules, which allow teachers to get lifetime job protection after just 18 months, were unconstitutional because they allow ineffective teachers to stay

in the system, thereby depriving equal access to a quality public education for all students. “I think some people believe that if you get rid of tenure, you’ve solved the problem and quality (of education) will go up,” said Deborah Stipek, dean of the school of education at Stanford University. The problems are elsewhere, she said, in teachers’ lack of social status and paychecks that don’t reflect their value to the community. Society needs to invest in the best and brightest, train them well and provide on-the-job support, she said.

“Tenure is a red herring,” Woodside High School English teacher Tony Mueller said is an email. “Rather than going after labor unions and worker’s rights, ‘reformers’ should confront the real problems with our education system: gross inequity in funding based on geography, the drastic cuts in social spending for the poor, the obscenely small amount of money spent per pupil in California, the constant attack on teachers from those intent on privatizing the system, and inherent American anti-intellectualism that is suspicious of science, poetry,

foreign languages, and history.” The lawsuit

Nine public school students represented by Students Matter, a nonprofit with a mail-drop in Menlo Park and founded by Atherton resident and Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch, sued the state and the state Department of Education in May 2012, alleging “outdated state laws that prevent the recruitment, support and retention of effective teachers.” The statutes in question — on tenure, dismissal and last-infirst-out teacher-layoff policies

— were declared unconstitutional in a June 10 decision by Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles County Superior Court. Judge Treu suspended the decision pending an appeal by the state. The lawsuit asserted that teachers play a crucial role in the lifetime achievements of their students, and that ineffective teachers can have a dramatically negative impact. Lawyers for the students claimed that such teachers are “disproportionately situated in schools serving predominantly See EDUCATORS, page 14

Sheriff changes policy on cooperating with immigration agents By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

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choing decisions made by local law enforcement agencies around the state and across the country, the Sheriff ’s Office in San Mateo County recently changed its policy with respect to cooperating with federal immigration agents. Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been routinely asking local authorities to temporarily detain arrested immigrants whom agents find of interest. As of May 23, immigrants eligible for release after being arrested will be released, despite ICE requests to detain them, unless there are “significant public safety concerns” about the person arrested, in which case the executive staff in the Sheriff’s Office has to approve the detention. Twenty-four other California counties have made similar policy changes, according to a list compiled by Jennie Pasquarella, an attorney with the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. There is a state context: Effective Jan. 1, the Trust Act, authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2013, sets minimum standards for not cooperating with ICE. The Trust Act recommends honoring ICE detention requests if the immigrant has a criminal record of being convicted of a

serious or violent felony, or a felony punishable by imprisonment by the state, or a misdemeanor that can also be punished as a felony. ICE did not respond to an interview request. According to the ICE website, the Obama administration has set “clear and commonsense priorities for immigration enforcement focused on identifying and removing those aliens with criminal convictions.” ICE claims a total of 368,644 “removals” for the 2013 fiscal year, including 133,551 people apprehended away from the borders, 82 percent of whom had criminal records. The new policy at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office sets aside the “criminal record” standard and simplifies the matter to detaining immigrants who represent a “significant public safety concern,” adding that these instances are expected to be the “rare exception.” ‘Secure communities’

ICE makes its detainment requests through its Secure Communities program, which was launched in 2008 and, by January 2013, had reached “full implementation,” including all law enforcement jurisdictions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories, according to the ICE website.

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Helen Seely answers questions about her time in Uganda after her presentation to third-graders at Laurel School.

Building a health center in Uganda By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor

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n the era of big-buck philanthropy in which sixfigure donations get you a seat at the table and eight figures will mean your name’s on the building, a $1,300 check almost doesn’t seem worth mentioning. Unless the money was raised, a few coins at a time, by third-graders over a two-week period. Such is the case with thirdgraders at Laurel School, who saved their allowances, worked around the house, and staffed lemonade stands to contribute to a $20,000 fund for the con-

struction of a health center in Uganda. Leading the effort was former Laurel School and MenloAtherton High School student Helen Seely, who through the nonprofit Mama Hope spent four months this year in Budondo, Uganda, to help residents there realize their dream of establishing a health center in the community. The appeal to third-graders at the K-3 school in Atherton was a natural: Helen’s mother, Priscilla Seely, teaches one of the six third-grade classes there. All six classes participated, which adds up to about

120 students, the elder Ms. Seely said. Helen Seely visited the campus recently, equipped with a PowerPoint program to show the students “the progress you helped make — the impact that you had ... and the lives that you helped change” in the tiny African village. Others were inspired to support the $20,000 fundraising effort after hearing about the third-graders’ contribution “because people were so inspired by your dedication,” she told them during the mornSee BUILDING, page 8

See IMMIGRATION, page 8

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Greenheart complex moves into environmental review By Sandy Brundage Almanac Staff Writer

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Whether those plans will have to change won’t be known until the November election, when an initiative proposed by grassroots coalition Save Menlo is likely to go on the ballot. The initiative, among other changes, would cap office space at 100,000 square feet per project, cutting by about 50 percent the amount allowed to be built within Greenheart’s mixed-use complex. Company representative Bob Burke said that while Greenheart believes the initiative will go on the ballot, the company cannot assume that it will win, and indeed, hopes that Menlo Park voters defeat it. “We believe the initiative has major flaws with multiple unfortunate consequences, namely that Menlo Park residents will miss the opportunity to achieve the full vibrancy of the downtown, as well as lose much-needed revenue for the schools and the city that would result from development in accordance with the downtown specific plan, which was adopted as part of a thorough, transparent, and deliberative six year process,” Mr. Burke said. Rather than wait to see how things turn out, the company has decided to move ahead and pay for the environmental review. “We do not believe it is in Greenheart’s or the city’s best interest to freeze the entitlement process now because a group of neighbors is dissatisfied with the outcome of a fully vetted, public planning process,” he said. The council was scheduled to hear an informational-only update that the review process was continuing during its June 17 meeting, after the Almanac’s deadline. At this stage, no action will be taken regarding any type of project approvals; the city is preparing to determine the scope of the review. “Detailed project review likely isn’t happening until 2015, in any event,” said Thomas Rogers, senior planner for Menlo Park.

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reenheart Land Company is commencing the next phase of the environmental review of its proposed 420,000-square-foot mixed-use complex, located within the specific plan’s boundaries at 1300 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Although the specific plan came with its own environmental impact review, according to the city’s planning staff, Greenheart’s project has some features that require a more in-depth, project-level analysis, such as the fact that separate developments had previously been put forward for some of the parcels now merged into Greenheart’s project. At one point, the Derry project was proposed, but that fell apart after delays and negotiations in the face of community opposition led to financing difficulties for the developer. Greenheart is planning to build two three-story buildings with 210,000 square feet of office space, and up to 216 apartments on its nearly 7-acre site, with 16,000 square feet of retail incorporated into the commercial buildings and 7,000 square feet in the residential. Ninety-five percent of the onsite parking would be provided by an underground garage with entrances off El Camino Real and Garwood Way. The company is aiming to provide public benefits in exchange for building to the bonus level of allowed floor area ratio at 150 percent, rather than the 110 percent, to let the two office buildings go up to 48 feet, with the top stories set back. The proposal also includes renovating Garwood Way and creating a bicycle/pedestrian path to connect with the Caltrain station on Merrill Street. The project’s proximity to the Caltrain station should help decrease the number of car trips, and 95 percent of the onsite parking will be provided by an underground garage.

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School foundation raises $3.6M

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6NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN June 18, 2014

For the second consecutive year, the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation has raised $3.6 million to supplement funding for teachers and classroom programs in the Menlo Park City School District. Representatives of the nonprofit foundation, including students from the district’s four

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schools, presented an over-sized mock-up of a check for the $3.6 million donation at the June 10 school board meeting. Fundraising efforts by the foundation have resulted in more than $25 million in donations to the district over the last 11 years. The latest grant will supplement the district’s 201415 fiscal year budget.


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Mary Massey Madison

City looks at ‘east side’ zoning By Sandy Brundage

N MENLO PAR K

Almanac Staff Writer

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ith all the attention focused on Menlo Park’s downtown and El Camino Real corridor, it’s easy to overlook the development activity happening on the city’s east side, in the M2 district. Some city observers have characterized the changes as a shift in character, away from industrial, towards residential. Now Menlo Park is working on updating the zoning for that area to help guide its future. The zoning update is part of a broader revision to the city’s general plan, the overall “constitution� for development in Menlo Park as described by the city’s staff. The $1.65 million contract with PlaceWorks, a consultant that also worked on the visioning process for the city’s downtown/ El Camino Real specific plan as well as the housing element revisions, was scheduled for a vote by

the council on June 17. Check AlmanacNews.com. Sometimes referred to as an “industrial backwater,� the M2 district roughly spans parcels wedged between the San Francisco Bay, University Avenue, Marsh Road and U.S. 101. During the past four years, the approval of the Bohannon Menlo Gateway project and Facebook’s move into the district has sparked new life in the M2. The Sobrato Organization submitted a proposal in March to build two four-story research and development buildings, totaling 259,919 square feet, on 13.3 acres at 151 Commonwealth Drive and 164 Jefferson Drive. Facebook has started construction of a new “west� campus on Constitution Drive, within walking distance from its headquarters off Willow Road, and recently confirmed

June 2, 1931 – May 1, 2014 Mary Madison, an award winning newspaper reporter, died of heart failure at Stanford Hospital on May 1 after several years of declining health. She was 82. Her 40-year career as a reporter spanned from the old Palo Alto Times to later the Redwood City Tribune and the Peninsula Times Tribune. She also worked as an adjunct instructor of journalism at Stanford University and as a correspondent for the San Francisco Examiner, United Press International and ultimately the San Francisco Chronicle before retiring in 1997. She was well known for her penetrating coverage of Stanford and for the Times and the Times Tribune gaining circulation on every beat she covered for them. Her awards included a Pulitzer Prize honorable mention for a continuing story in 1979 about the government’s efforts to classify the manufacture of nuclear weapons, even though the process was publicly available. The source for her report headlined “How to Build an A-Bomb in Your Garageâ€? was a Palo Alto resident who gained his knowledge in public libraries. She also directed a Times Tribune team in covering a 1987 tower apartment ďŹ re in Redwood City and wrote the story on deadline, winning the paper a California Newspaper Publishers Association First Place Award for Spot News Coverage. In addition to her hard news coverage, she enjoyed the lighter side of the news. In 1983, she attended a press reception on the Royal Yacht Britannia when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited California. In a brief chat, she told the Queen that, outside a lunch later in the week hosted by Stanford’s President Kennedy, the Stanford Band would be playing Beatles tunes. The Queen responded, “Oh, I am so glad to know what they will be playing.â€? Mrs. Madison’s story of the encounter, one of only two ďŹ rst person stories she ever wrote, was a sell-out for the Times Tribune. A life long Peninsula resident, she was the second baby and ďŹ rst girl born in what was then the new Palo Alto Hospital (later Hoover Pavilion at Stanford). She grew up in Burlingame and, after attending Stanford, where she earned an A.B. in journalism, lived with her family in Menlo Park. Her career was a journalist was inspired by her father, the late Charles F. Massey. He was managing editor of the old San Francisco News and later executive editor of the Yakima, Washington dailies before ending his career with the San Jose Mercury News. She is survived by her husband James Madison, to whom she was married for 60 years after serving with him as Stanford Daily editors; by three children, including Michael, a professor of law at University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania; Matthew of Denver, Colorado; and Molly Caouette of Sacramento; and by three grandchildren, Kate, Dave and Carly. A memorial service in celebration of Mrs. Madison’s life will be held at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Menlo Park on July 22 at 2:00 p.m. followed by a reception.

that it’s bought additional land for future expansion. Housing projects are also lining up, with at least 735 nearby apartments already in the development pipeline. Circulation — how pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers navigate from one part of the city to the other — will be a key part of PlaceWorks’ analysis. The contract includes a series of community workshops to be held from August through March 2015 in the M2 area as well as other locations. A General Plan Advisory Committee, consisting of five Menlo Park community members appointed by the City Council, and one member each from six commissions, will provide guidance to the consultant and review the findings at each stage of the update process. A timeline provided as part of the staff report to the council estimates that the final updates are projected to be completed by June 2016. A

Woodside garbage collection rates rise Rates for collection of household recyclable and compostable materials in Woodside will rise 5.6 percent on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. The new rate includes a 2.58 percent cost-of-living increase and a 3 percent “special rate adjustment.� The Town Council approved the increase at its June 10 meeting, but after sharp questioning from the council and a unanimous vote to reduce by half

the 6 percent special increase requested by San Jose-based GreenWaste Recovery Inc. The council asked for more information before considering the remaining 3 percent. The company cited increases, over five years, of 54 percent for fuel, 12 percent for drivers’ wages, 39 percent for health insurance premiums, and 14 percent for shipping compostable material. The monthly fee to empty four

curbside cans will be $109.32 and $169.15 if they’re between 400 and 500 feet away. The company may avoid losses if it can determine the real costs of emptying distant containers, a GreenWaste official told the council. The council acknowledged the complexities. “You understand Woodside,� Councilman Dave Tanner said. “Figure out where those extra costs are coming from.�

Bond measure clears two-thirds hurdle By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac

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t was a close vote, but Measure AA, the $300 million bond measure for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, passed narrowly in the June 3 election. Passage required approval by two-thirds (or 66.67 percent) of the voters. Of the 111,464 votes cast, 68 percent favored the measure. The district declared victory on June 9. “It is terrific to live in a place that puts such a high value on protecting our scarce natural areas for future generations, and we’re incredibly grateful to this community’s strong

AlmanacNews.com

support,� said Walter Moore, president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, which, along with the Sempervirens Fund, provided much of the financial backing for the bond measure’s campaign. The vote totals as of June 16, were: Yes, 75,752 (68 percent). No, 35,712 (32 percent). The district occupies large areas of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and a small part of Santa Cruz County, where there are just four registered voters The vote by county: ■ San Mateo County: Yes, 24,781 (66.3 percent). No, 12,606 (33.7 percent). ■ Santa Clara County: Yes,

LET’S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues on Town Square at AlmanacNews.com

50970 (68.81 percent). No, 23,105 (31.19 percent). â–  Santa Cruz County: Yes, 1. No, 1.

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June 18, 2014NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN7


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San Mateo County creates LGBTQ commission By Barbara Wood

youth in local middle and high schools; and promoting access to health care and to he San Mateo County gender-divided spaces, such Board of Supervisors has as bathrooms and shelters, for voted to add one more transgender county residents. citizens’ advisory board to the 30 The commission may also recthey have — this time a Lesbian, ommend initiatives to support Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and LGBTQ families with children Queer Commission (or LGBTQ and take positions pertaining to Commission), which officials federal, state and local policies, say is the first such county or programs, and procedures, and city advisory board solely con- any legislation affecting LGBTQ centrating on the LGBTQ com- individuals, the memo says. munity in the state. Jason Galisatus, a Stanford At their June 3 meeting, student who grew up in San the supervisors unanimously Mateo, was one of those who voted to create the commission, worked to establish the commiswhich, according to a memo sion. from supervisors Dave Pine “A perception exists that the and Adrienne Tissier about LGBTQ folks in the Bay Area the commission, will “promote only flock to major urban cities programs and like San Francispolicies that fosco or San Jose,” ter the well-being ‘San Mateo County he said in a press and civic partici- is home to a large release. “But pation of LGBTQ in reality, San individuals in San number of LGBTQ Mateo County Mateo County. citizens who lack is home to a According to large number of the supervisors’ a centralized body LGBTQ citizens memo, a 2010 to express their who currently report from the lack a centralized needs.’ University of Calibody to express fornia Los Ange- JASON GALISATUS, WHO HELPED their needs to les’s Williams their local govESTABLISH THE COMMISSION Institute estimaternment.” ed that there are 1,970 same-sex Among other county comcouples living in San Mateo missions and committees are County, with 13 percent of them the Agricultural Advisory raising children. Committee, the Arts CommisThe county formed a work- sion, the Children’s Collaboraing group to consider a LGBTQ tive Action Team/San Mateo commission in February. County Child Abuse PrevenA survey by that group tion Council, the Commission found that outreach to vulner- on Aging, the Commission on able LGBTQ county residents, Disabilities, the Commission including youth, seniors and on the Status of Women, and non-English speakers, would be the Confined Animal Technical an important issue for the com- Advisory Committee. mission to consider. The county supervisors are Other tasks that the commis- also advised by, among others, sion might tackle, the supervi- the Domestic Violence Council, sors’ memo says, are promoting the Fatherhood Collaborative, programs and policies that fos- the In-Home Supportive Serter the well-being and civic par- vices Advisory Committee, the ticipation of LGBTQ individuals Juvenile Justice Coordinating in San Mateo County, including Council and the Youth Comevents such as the county’s Pride mission. celebration; reducing harassSee the full list at: bnc.smcorg. ment and bullying of LGBTQ org.

Special to the Almanac

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IMMIGRATION continued from page 5

The program takes advantage of a routine in which local law enforcement sends fingerprint records of every arrest to the FBI. The FBI has been forwarding these records to the Department of Homeland Security, where ICE uses them “to determine whether that person ... is here illegally or is otherwise removable,” according to the

Twenty-four other California counties have made similar policy changes. ICE website. When someone appears “to be removable,” ICE has been requesting that local law enforcement detain the person in jail for as much as 48 hours,

8NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN June 18, 2014

Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac

Laurel School third-graders check out fabrics, jewelry and other items that Helen Seely brought back from Uganda.

Building a health center in Uganda continued from page 5

ing assembly at the school. Ms. Seely earned a college degree in African languages and literature several years ago, but when she turned 25, she “had a serious quarter-life crisis,” she said in an email. Rather than putting her degree to good use and immersing herself in the “cultures, perspectives and languages that I had fallen so deeply in love with,” she had felt compelled to “get a real job.” But dissatisfaction caught up with her, and she quit the job, found Mama Hope, a San Francisco-based organization that supports African communities, and won a Global Advocate Fellowship, eventually traveling to Budondo to help residents create the health center, she said. Called the Suubi Health Center — “suubi” means “hope” in the Lusoga language — it had been the dream for more than 30 years of Bernard Mukisa, a Budondo native who had “seen too many women die during childbirth, too many children suffer with malnutrition,” Ms. Seely said. “He has been a dedicated social activist using theater, performing arts and educa-

weekends excluded, to allow for an ICE interview, after which ICE agents will decide whether to seek the person’s deportation, the agency’s website says. The detention requests are not governed by requirements for

tion to improve his community while gaining the respect and trust of his village. “Mama Hope discovered his leadership and passion, and decided to invest in his dream. They saw that Mukisa was the man who was going to transform his community.” Ms. Seely lived with him and his family in Budondo, extending her three-month stay there for another month

Leading the effort is former Laurel School and M-A student Helen Seely. before coming back to Menlo Park in late May. At the Laurel assembly, she told the children about what it was like to work with the Budondo residents who constructed the health center in a village with no electricity or running water, where bricks had to be hand-made from sand collected in a nearby lake, and a water tank had to be built to collect rain water to supply the health center. She talked about how the community launched an effort to grow passion fruit to sell as a way to support the health center, cre-

warrants or established standards of proof, such as reasonable suspicion or probable cause, according to the Trust Act. Such detentions, the Act says, “harm community policing efforts because immigrant resi-

ating a revenue stream to pay for medical supplies, drugs and salaries. Helen’s mother involved her students in a math project to determine the capacity of the water storage tank being built by the villagers. “We happened to be working on concepts of volume in our math lessons at the time,” she said in an email. Helen sent the class the dimensions of the pit, “and we got out our calculators to compute the cubic volume.” The project was exciting for the students, she said, because they felt involved, and it allowed her “to show them how math is so useful and important in daily life.” Helen Seely, now 26, said she intends to return to Budondo. “I’ve never been involved in a project that has had more impact or meaning than with the Suubi Health Center,” she said. “Because I believe in their vision, I have committed to raising an additional $5,000 on top of my $20,000 goal. I have seen the direct impact of the funds raised, and will do everything I can to support their efforts.” Go to stayclassy.org/suubicenter to learn more about the project or to donate. A

dents who are victims of or witnesses to crime, including domestic violence, are less likely to report crime or cooperate with law enforcement when any contact with law enforcement could result in deportation.” A


N E W S

Residents oppose herbicide spraying By Barbara Wood

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esidents of rural San Mateo County who oppose the roadside spraying of herbicides to control weeds were upset to find out recently that a fight they thought they had won in 2012 when the county ordered a stop to most spraying isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really over. On June 6, Patty Mayall, who lives off Highway 84 near La Honda in unincorporated San Mateo County, received an email from Caltrans informing her that the state would be spraying herbicides along 12.6 miles of Hwy. 84 on June 10 and June 11, between Highway 1 and where Old La Honda Road crosses Hwy. 84, east of the town of La Honda. Ms. Mayall, afraid she was the only resident who was informed, had to scramble to notify other residents over the weekend. If residents post â&#x20AC;&#x153;No sprayâ&#x20AC;? signs on their property, Caltrans will not spray in that location, Ms. Mayall said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But how can people opt out from having their property sprayed when they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know the spraying is taking place?â&#x20AC;? Ms. Mayall said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without on-road notifications posted by Caltrans, how can pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and residents avoid exposure?â&#x20AC;? In addition to San Mateo County giving up the use of herbicides, many local jurisdictions, including Woodside, which maintains miles of rural roadways, do not spray herbicides but instead mow or manually remove weeds. Caltrans does not spray within the limits of any city, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Gidget Navarro. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is disturbing that the publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health, watershed, and residentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; protests are not more important than the unnecessary use of toxic chemicals,â&#x20AC;? Ms. Mayall said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mowing is most effective for all purposes, especially for visibility and fire safety.â&#x20AC;? Caltrans did post the spray warning on its website but not until June 10 at 2:34 pm, after the spraying was already underway.

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If residents post â&#x20AC;&#x153;No sprayâ&#x20AC;? signs on their property, Caltrans will not spray herbicides in that location, said Patty Mayall, who lives near La Honda and is leading an effort to notify residents about the spraying. This photo was taken on Hwy. 84 between San Gregorio and La Honda.

The residents have asked members of the county Board of Supervisors to help them convince Caltrans to stop spraying in the county. The residents may have believed Caltrans had stopped broadcast spraying of herbi-

Residents ask the county to help them stop the spraying. cides on roadsides because they had not been informed of any spraying since the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on March 13, 2012, to end the broadcast spraying of herbicides on county roads and in parks. But the county has no authority over Caltrans, and Caltrans controls miles of roadside in San Mateo County. After the resolution was passed, Ms. Navarro said the agency would spray along state highways â&#x20AC;&#x153;if we have issues such as weeds that are impeding safety devices,

fire danger, site distances, noxious weeds, etc.â&#x20AC;? She also promised Caltrans would give notice before a spray is applied. That promise appears to not have been kept. On the Caltrans blog, which Patty Mayall says she did not know existed, there is a notice of spraying on Highway 84 in January 2014, which residents say they did not know about. Ms. Navarro, who is the Caltrans public affairs information officer for San Mateo County, said that Highway 84 â&#x20AC;&#x153;was not sprayed in 2013 at all due to time constraints.â&#x20AC;? A

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Judge charged with DUI A San Mateo County judge is a facing a DUI charge following a May arrest, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Judge Joseph Scott, 63, is the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assistant presiding judge. Mr. Wagstaffe said Mr. Scott was stopped May 24 around 12:30 a.m. when

officers saw his vehicle weaving on northbound U.S. 101 in Redwood City. He failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-alcohol level of .12, higher than the .08 legal limit, Mr. Wagstaffe said. Mr. Scott has a court date scheduled for Aug. 5. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Bay City News Service

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N E W S

Nick Woodman extends GoPro stock offering Tie-dye T-shirts for blood donors!

By Barbara Wood

Menlo Park Center only: Monday, June 16 – Saturday, June 21

Special to the Almanac

Grateful Life Tour BBQ Menlo Park – Thursday, June 19 Enjoy a burger or hot dog after you pick up a tie-dye T-shirt! For Palo Alto and Mountain View dates visit our website. Menlo Park Center 445 Burgess Drive Palo Alto Center 3373 Hillview Avenue Mountain View Center 515 South Drive, Suite 20

bloodcenter.stanford.edu | 888-723-7831 Part of Stanford University School of Medicine.

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Discover the best places to eat this week! AMERICAN

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oPro, the maker of rugged wearable video cameras founded by Menlo School grad and Woodside resident Nick Woodman, is going public soon and taking steps to make sure its loyal fans can get in on the action. The initial public offering of GoPro stock was announced in February, but on June 11 the company said it has taken steps to allow ordinary investors, such as fans of the cameras, to take part. Part of the offering will be made through an online company called Loyal3, which allows any investor to purchase initial public offering stocks through the website, Loyal3.com. “At GoPro, we realize that it’s the people who love our products and what we do who are the real heroes here, and it just made sense for us to level the playing field and include them in our IPO,” said Mr. Woodman, CEO of GoPro Inc. The GoPro camera, which is rugged and waterproof and designed to be strapped on to just about anything from the users’ chest to the handlebars of a bike or a firefighter’s helmet, takes both still and video images, and can be purchased for under $300. It is a favorite of sports enthusiasts who want to document their daring deeds. Mr. Woodman, who graduated from Menlo School in 1993, founded the company in 2002 at the age of 26, using mostly money he borrowed from his parents.

Nick Woodman is a 1993 graduate of Menlo School.

In 2012, the company sold an 8.8 percent interest to FoxConn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, for $200 million, valuing GoPro at $2.2 billion. On June 11, in an updated filing filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, GoPro said the company and shareholders plan to sell a total of 17.8 million shares, with the price anticipated to be between $21 and $24 per share, valuing the company at nearly $3 billion at the top end. GoPro reported 2013 sales of $986 million with a profit of $60.6 million. The company’s success has come while other camera makers have lost sales to smartphones. Part of GoPro’s success has been attributed to the huge number of videos made with the camera and posted on YouTube, where some get millions of views. GoPro often uses these videos in its advertising, including a 2013 Superbowl commercial of a baby learning to walk and being tossed in the air. A

Filoli showcases garden sculpture Filoli wants to show how sculpture can be used in gardens to replace water guzzling landscaping. The Woodside historic estate is holding its Summer Garden Sculpture Exhibit now through Sunday, Sept. 7. A reception for some of the artists featured in the exhibit will be held Thursday, June 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. Meet the Artists days are set for Saturday, July 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, July 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Gifts of Nature Calligraphy Exhibit will be on display during the July 13 event. Sculptures by local artists will be displayed throughout Filoli’s garden, with pieces in court-

yards, terraces, and fields. Artists include Jeff Owen, Archie Held, Grant Irish, Marcia Donahue, Richard Starks and Molly Stone from Cohn-Stone Studios, and Linda Hansen Mau, Nancy Christie, Henriette Ponte, Nessy Barzilay and Corrina Mori from the Orchard Valley Ceramic Art Guild. Admission to the artists’ reception is free for members or with paid admission to Filoli for non-members, but reservations are required. Make reservations and get more information at filoli.org, or by phone at 3638300, ext. 508, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservation deadline is Friday, June 20.

Like us on www.facebook.com/AlmanacNews 12NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN June 18, 2014


N E W S

Sacred Heart Prepatory graduates 136 students Submitted by Diana Chamorro, Sacred Heart Schools acred Heart Preparatory graduated 136 students on May 23 at the 116th commencement ceremony at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton. Alexandra Bourdillon and John Carter Kremer were named SHP’s valedictorians and both will be enrolling at Stanford University in the fall. The class Salutatorian was Alexander Mitchell and he will attend Georgetown University. The recipients of the Blue Ribbons, the highest honor Sacred Heart Prep bestows upon a senior at graduation, were: Goal I (a personal and active faith in God), Colleen Hamilton and Diana MarinMelo; Goal II (a deep respect for intellectual values), Alexandra Bourdillon and Katherine Lim; Goal III (a social awareness which impels to action), Jessica Bird and Ruth Gomez; Goal IV (the building of a community as a Christian value), Alexander Mitchell and Joseph Putnam; and Goal V (personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom), John (Jack) Wise. Dark Blue Ribbons, awarded to students who embody all five goals, were presented to Juan (Ricky) Grau and Ashley Simmons. Graduates will attend 66 different post-secondary institutions. Twenty-one graduates plan to attend Catholic colleges/universities, 53 students will attend colleges in California, and 83 are enrolling in colleges out of state. Twenty-two students have committed to play collegiate athletics and five were admitted to colleges based on their visual and performing arts abilities. Twenty-eight students have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship program and 20 have been on the Sacred Heart campus since kindergarten. Diplomas were presented to the Class of 2014 by Richard Dioli, Director of Schools.

S

The graduates A-B: Katherine Unity Ackley, Lucile Jane Ackley, James Nicholas Albera, John Andrew Balen, Stephen Robert Bannick, Walker Sanderson Barnum, Katherine Ann Bechtel, Jessica Jane Bird, Kathleen Margery Bird, Jackson Thomas Blaisdell, Michael Makoto Boggs, Alexandra Tan

Bourdillon, Charles Armen Boyden, Alexander Charles Bradford, Austin Dettmann Bradley, Julia Claire Buchsbaum C-D: Kiana Louise Cacchione, Brianna Louise Carcione, Marissa Renee Cassar, Alexander Joseph Castro, Emma Elizabeth Catlin, Collin WayneJac Chau, Fabian Chavez, Daniel Richard Cody, Nicolas Chase Collazo, Caroline Anne Cummings, Marshall James Louis Cyrus, Rory Wilmot Davidson, Sean Michael Davidson, Charles Turner Duane E-G: Harrison Scott Enright, Scott Edward Evans, Benjamin Graham Ferkol, Patrick Daniel Finnigan, Anne Louise Fishback, Peter Dallas Fitchen, Katherine Marie Flessel, Blake Paul Freitas, Ryan Michael Galvin, Lauren Eleanor Glasby, Ruth Marely Gomez, Juan Ricardo Grau H-I: Blair Virginia Hamilton, Clint Thomas Hamilton, Colleen Anne Hamilton, Allison Sophia Harman, Frank Tyus Hattler, Christopher Alan Hinrichs, Meghan Gisela Holland, Alyssa Rae Holman, Ally Joy Howe, Avery Danielle Humphreys, Allison Catherine Ivey J-K: Matthew Townsend Jacobs, Hana Christine Jenks, Madeline Anne Jones, Noah Thomsen Kawasaki, Lauren Michelle Kerrigan, Cameron John Kirkpatrick, Kohki Kitano, Austin James Klein, Bradley Richard Knox Jr., Keeon Christopher Kordestani, John Carter Kremer L-M: Megan Josephine Lamb, Robert Gibbs Larson, Maegan Jo Lavelle, Christopher Brandon Lee, Timothy Frazer Lewis, Katherine Marie Lim, Cynthia Annabel Love, McKenzie Lynch, Angel Maldonado, Philippe Jacques Marco, Diana Laura Marin-Melo, Sean Andrew Mayle, Morgan Elizabeth McCracken, Casey Charles McDonald, Jane McKeever Meehan, Kendall Schoenborn Miller, William Thomas Mishra, Alexander Thomas Mitchell, Lauren Elizabeth Mohrman, Julia W.O. Mok, Kelly Moran, Maddison Anne Morgan, Ryan Scott Morrison, Ellie Elizabeth Moultrup N-P: Victoria Rose Nazari, Taylor Daniel Oliver, Mariana Estefani Orocio, Jeanelle Ortiz, Alessandra Elma Oswald, Kelsey Ann Page, Rueshub R. Patel, Andrew Marc Plesman, Isaac Polkinhorne, Taylor Kung Preminger, Sarah Elizabeth Pursley, Joseph James Putnam, Kaitlin Michelle Putnam Q-R: Molly Anne Quinton, Caroline Josephine Rakow, William Patrick Reilly, Nina Alice Romans, John Sullivan Russell, Edward Barton Ryles S: Jordan Marie Sakowski, Hugo Enrique Sanchez, Reuben Dev Sarwal, Ruth Tanya Sarwal, Tori Jacqueline Scherba, Andrew Michael Bowman Segre, Casey Jean Shanahan, Claire Lucia Shaughnessy, Ashley Carrington Simons, Tessa Eden Somberg, Caitlin MacKenzie Stuewe, Selby Chantal Sturzenegger, Eve Marjorie Sutton, Timothy James Swan T-Z: Phyllis Ane Tameilau, Meagan Elizabeth Terpening, Tristan Fouad Tobagi, Stephanie Trejo, Camille Hart Ulam, Paul Adrien Vetter, William Hills Walecka, Mackenzie Ann Walter, Paul Brian Westcott, Brian Thomas White, Kelly Catherine Willard, John Harrison Wise, Kimberly Wong, Camille Julia Zelinger, and Remington Marie Zingale.

Menlo School graduates 135 students By Alex Perez, Menlo School he 135 members of Menlo School’s Class of 2014 received diplomas June 5 in an outdoor ceremony that included welcoming remarks from Upper School Director John Schafer. Commencement speakers were Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder and chairman of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund and the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and the founder and president of LAAF.org; and Charles Hanson, a member of the History Department at Menlo School for 15 years. Senior Class President Jack Heneghan of Atherton offered his thoughts on graduation. Menlo School’s Chorus and Chamber Orchestra provided the music. Menlo School Board Chair Larry Frye and Upper School Director John Schafer assisted Head of School Nathaniel Healy in conferring high school degrees upon the members of the Class of 2014. Menlo School, founded in 1915, is an independent, coeducational college preparatory school in Atherton serving approximately 795 students in grades 6 through 12. Students come from throughout the Bay Area.

T

Salon holds open house Virtual Image Salon in Portola Valley is holding an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, to celebrate its remodeling and invite the public to meet its new stylists. “The previous owner, Midge Huntington, died early this year and her husband, Charlie, asked me to run the business,” said Barbara Tallon, the new manager. “The Jellich family, who are the owners of the building, have been very generous and helpful with our remodel.” The salon, located at 104 Portola Road, has a “fresh, new, modern look,” she said. There are five hair stylists, a manicurist, and an esthetician for facials and massages. New clients who come to the open house can ask for a 50 percent discount on their first appointment for their choice of a haircut and style, manicure, or facial, she said. At the open house, there will be food, drink and a drawing, Ms. Tallon said.

N GRADUATI O N 2014

Graduates A-B: Danya Adib-Azpeitia, Yasmin Leyla Agah, Marielle Elizabeth Alexander, Hidehiro Anto, David Driggs Ball, Alexander Dimitri Bambos, Kai M. Banks, Malia Nychol Bates, Sonya Belle Bengali, Kelsey Rei Better, Amelia Claire Blackburn, Jaye Cori Locker Boissiere, Peter Michael Bouret, Hunter Patrick Brown, Sarah Elise Bruml, Carter Eagle Burgess, Riley Sinclair Burgess C-D: Melissa Elizabeth Cairo, Gloria del Rosario Castaneda Perez, Travis J. Chambers, Claire L. Chen, Niles Navab Christensen, Sloan Siena Cinelli, Brittany Elizabeth Costa, William Brock Cozad, Nicole Alyssa Crisci, Samuel Everett Crowder, Shelby J Haas Cundiff, Alexandra Jo Davirro, Donya Gita Dehnad, Michael Robert Diekroeger, Morgan Mary Dressel, Wyatt D. D. W. Driscoll, Kate Rome Dumanian E-G: Samuel James Eckert, Christine M. Eliazo, Lindsey Fajardo, Joseph Murry Farnham, Jack Douglas Ferguson, Kelsey Elizabeth Flower, Madeleine Juptner Frappier, Kraig Haruo Fujii, Janice Garcia, Kate McSpirit Gilhuly, Paulina V. Golikova, Alex A. Grossman, Guadalupe Jasmin Gutierrez H-J: Nazlee Hanna Habibi, Ryan Philipsson Hammarskjold, Dongxiang He, Jack Francis Heneghan, Eva Frances Joy Hitchcock, Joweina Dawng Hsiao, Madeline Clare Huber, Katherine Regan Huneke, Kathryn Mary Hurd, Kevin Lee Jacques, Eric Sami Jadallah, Myles Jeffery, Colin H. Johnson, Kristy Audrey Jorgensen K-L: Lindsay Karle, Sabrina Kelsey

Karlin, Pooja Kathail, Mackenzie Jordan Kay, Andrea Hyegene Kim, Oliver Thomas King, William Charles King, William Coutts Kittler, Gil Lorch Kornberg, Meera Anitha Kumar, Hannah Madeleine Lambing, Emma Todd LaPorte, Joshua David Lauder, Matthew Michael Linton, Christine Charlotte Little, Sarai Lucas M-N: Alexis JaNein Mack, Colin Cullen Martin, Jakayla RenÈ McDowell, Amanda Mae McFarland, Darren Shi-Yuen Mei, Wesley Armand Miller, Jahana Roshan Moledina, Sean Wildman Morgenthaler, Refilwe Mpai, Taylor Mullin, Matthew T. Myers, Lauren Jaqueline Newman O-R: Jacob Bryce Olian, Prianca Padmanabhan, Kate J. Park, Christian Michael Pluchar, Madeline Jane Price, Jamie Kristine Redman, Samuel Rohr Redmond, Paul Helmut Roever, Robert Killion Roth, Jacob Ian Daniel Rudolph S-T: Tara Rani D. Saha, Efe Sarinalbant, Sarah E. Schinasi, Abigail Frances Schmitt, Parker Allen Schultz, Christina Mariel Schwab, Alyssa Zia Sherman, Lillian Grace Siegel, Maya Mei-Ching Singhal, Jordan James Stone, Graham Douglas Stratford, Sienna T. Stritter, John Francis Strong, Benjamin Michael Taft, Arianna Zia Tamaddon, Connie Tang, Mitchell Lambert Scott Tevis, Ojan R. M. Thornycroft, Hwai-Ray Tung V-Z: Jordan Gabriel Vasquez, Christina Hart Wadsworth, Kevin Edward Walker, Justin Scott Wang, Paul Daniel Wat, Katherine Weingart, Caroline McConnell Wheeler, Chandler Frances Wickers, Claire Johanna Willig, John Benedict Wilson, Jr., John Daniel Wilson, Raina Anne Wuthmann, Adam Robert Yecies, Daniel James Yee, Ryan van Leuwen Young, Maxim B. Zats, Riley Joseph Zeisler.

TOWN OF PORTOLA VALLEY NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING ON REQUEST FOR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AMENDMENT This is to notify you that an application for Modification to the Town of Portola Valley Ground Movement Potential Map and Geologic Map has been submitted for review by the Town of Portola Valley Planning Commission. The property is owned by Bob Zider, located at 125 Deer Meadow and identified as APN: 077-212-070. Planning Commission public hearing has been scheduled to review this application on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers, Historic School House, Portola Valley Town Center, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA. 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: June 12, 2014 Carol Borck Assistant Planner

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. June 18, 2014NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN13


N E W S

Legal team hammers on tenure rules, and wins By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

N

ine students ages 7 to 15, including Kate Elliott, 15, of San Carlos and the Sequoia Union High School District, had their day in court last week before a Los Angeles judge and came away with a victory. With the plaintiffs arguing that education quality can be linked to race and wealth, and citing low teacher dismissal rates and legal precedents to show the persistence in California of issues around unequal access to quality education, the court decided for the plaintiffs in Vergara v. California. Judge Rolf M. Treu, of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, decided on June 10 that tenure rules, which allow teachers to get lifetime job protection after just 18 months, were unconstitutional because they allow ineffective teachers to stay in the system. He suspended the decision pending an appeal by the state. In their May 2012 complaint, lawyers for the nine students note California’s national rankings of 46 among the 50 states in fourth-grade reading and 47 in eighth-grade math. “California’s public schools are failing the very children whose interests they are

meant to serve,” they say. The legal team was from Students Matter, a nonprofit founded by Atherton resident and entrepreneur David Welch. Along with the state and state Department of Education, the defendants included school districts in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Jose. Among the points made in the complaint: ■ Many states, California not included, have methods for evaluating teachers that are based on “objective evidence” of student growth. ■ In “certain districts,” teachers from the bottom quartile of teacher performance are two times to three times more likely to be teaching students of color than is true among their white and Asian peers, a situation that widens the achievement gap “that education is supposed to eliminate.” ■ The dismissal rate for unprofessional or unsatisfactory performance is 8 percent in the private sector, 1 percent in other California public agencies, and 0.002 percent among public school teachers. ■ Since race and wealth are shown to correlate to education quality, the lawyers argue, the tenure rules make education quality “a function of the wealth of the children’s parents and neighbors.” A

Simitian: Tenure ruling ‘fairly reasoned’ By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer

E

ducation issues were significant in the political portfolio of Joe Simitian, an attorney who served eight years on a school board and eight years in the state Senate for a district that included southern San Mateo County. Mr. Simitian termed out in 2012, but it seemed appropriate to ask him about the meaning of a June 10 Superior Court judge’s decision declaring laws governing teacher tenure, dismissal and seniority in California’s public schools as unconstitutional. His analysis: The judge’s decision was fairly reasoned and, if upheld, sets the stage for change. Under current rules, administrators must decide whether to give a teacher permanent status after 18 months on the job. At the trial, a state witness said that up to 8,250 of California’s

275,000 public school teachers are “grossly” ineffective, according to 16-page decision by Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles County Superior Court. Testimony included a study asserting that a classroom of students loses $1.4 million in lifetime earnings when taught by an ineffective teacher for one year. Nine public school students sued the state and the state Department of Education in May 2012, alleging unequal access to a quality education as guaranteed in the state constitution. The non-jury trial ran from January to March of 2014. Representing the students was the nonprofit Students Matter, founded by Atherton resident and entrepreneur David Welch. The judge’s decision, which is stayed pending appeal, was “fairly reasoned, well written and fairly straightforward,” Mr. Simitian said. In its wake,

two institutions will be worth watching, he said: the appeals court where, he said, extensive litigation is likely, and the state Legislature. Legislators may act ahead of a decision on the appeal, but that would be unusual, he said. New legislation could include tenure, but perhaps with longer evaluation periods, he said. Three to five years is common in other states, Mr. Simitian said, adding that three years used to be standard in California. The judge did not deny teachers tenure, due process and seniority, he noted, only ruled that those privileges cannot infringe on a student’s fundamental right to a quality education. If the decision is upheld because it struck down a tenure system that did deny a fundamental right, it will be the California Legislature’s job to craft rules that do not, he said. A

Educators: Ending ‘tenure’ no cure-all continued from page 5

low-income and minority students,” which has adverse effects on the quality of their education, Judge Treu wrote in summarizing his decision. Testimony at the trial included a study asserting that a typical classroom of students collectively loses $1.4 million in lifetime earnings when taught by an ineffective teacher for one year, the judge noted. A witness testifying for the state said that up to 3 percent of California’s 275,000 public school teachers, about 8,250 teachers, are “grossly” ineffective. “The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience,” Judge Treu wrote. He compared the students’ plight to the separate-but-equal schools for African-American students, a practice struck down by Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Educators respond

The ruling is “certainly a dramatic decision,” and tenure is symbolic on both sides of the issue, Ms. Stipek of Stanford said. “I think most teachers oppose getting rid of tenure because they don’t believe or have not experienced that other strategies for judging the quality of their work are fair,” she said. Two evaluation tools are now available: assessment by the

principal and measurement of the achievement of students taught by the teacher. For the first to be useful, Ms. Stipek said, principals need to know effective teaching when they see it. “Some do, many don’t,” she said, and training is uncommon. As for measuring student achievement, if students arrive in the fall prepared for the work ahead of them, assessing their progress can be uncomplicated. Students not adequately pre-

Atherton entrepreneur behind lawsuit challenging teacher tenure and seniority rules. pared can still learn a great deal and make “huge progress,” but it won’t show up in a by-the-numbers evaluation of the teacher, Ms. Stipek said. Progress is being made on effective evaluation techniques, but teachers have no faith that current methods are fair and unbiased, she said. Job security — tenure — is a fall-back position, she said, adding that she is very sympathetic to administrators whose hands are tied by union rules when trying to reassign teachers.

Woodside High teacher Tony Mueller said that some of the “world’s best education systems have highly-unionized teachers with even better job security than in California.” The lawsuit, he said, is “an attack on unions, workers, and teachers with the intent of breaking unions and privatizing public education.” Students Matter did not respond to interview requests for this story. Woodside High English teacher Sue Rhodehouse said in an email that she has seen ineffective teachers removed, often speedily. “The current system just ensures due process,” she said. “This is a challenging job. Those years that I am given a difficult assignment, I am eager to take up the task because I know that I am guaranteed due process should the need arise. Without this process ... I would question my career choice and discourage others from entering the field.” Teaching as a profession loses 50 percent of its new teachers within five years, said Fred Glass of the California Federation of Teachers. The current system protects academic freedom, he said. “One thing that makes teaching attractive is that somebody has your back,” he said. “If you raise a controversial issue such as religion or politics, you won’t be fired.” A

Support The Almanac’s print and online coverage of our community. SupportLocalJournalism.org/Almanac 14NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN June 18, 2014


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C O M M U N I T Y

Block party, concert

Parcel tax on Atherton council agenda

Music, outdoor dining, local artisans and family activities will liven up Santa Cruz Avenue on Wednesday, June 18, as Menlo Park holds its 8th annual block party. Organized by the Chamber of Commerce, the festivities run from 5 to 9 p.m. Santa Cruz Avenue will be closed to traffic from El Camino Real to University Drive. In concert with the annual block party on Wednesday, June 18, Beatles tribute band the Sun

By Renee Batti

Kings will perform at Fremont Park (at the corner of University Drive and Santa Cruz Avenue) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The performance kicks off Menlo Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free concert-inthe-park series that involves eight bands performing on Wednesdays in Fremont Park from June 18 through Aug. 13 (no concert on July 2). The music varies from classic rock to funk to jazz. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and picnic baskets to the concerts.

Almanac News Editor

R

esolutions assessing Athertonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual parcel tax at the maximum rate and approving small salary increases for town staff, including the city manager, are on the June 18 City Council agenda. Voters in November renewed the parcel tax for another four years, although a number of residents and elected officials are increasingly advocating that

the town find alternative methods of raising revenue. The tax, when charged at the maximum rate, costs most property owners in town $750 per parcel and raises about $1.86 million a year. The town has relied heavily through the years on revenue from the tax, along with property taxes, because Atherton has no commercial tax base. The council must approve charging the tax each year, and can set its rate lower than

the voter-approved maximum. At a study session earlier this month, Councilman Bill Widmer argued that, because of the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s robust revenue stream in recent times, the council should lower the rate for the coming year. He suggested a 25 percent reduction. Although Councilman Rick DeGolia appeared ready to support a reduction, he ultimately sided with Mayor Cary Wiest and Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis, and the town staff was directed to come back to the June 18 meeting with a resolution keeping the tax at the maximum rate. All council members indicated they would consider lowering the rate in the future, after master plans that may identify needed projects are complete, and the council has completed its review of revenue alternatives. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers at 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center. N P O L I C E C A L L S This information is from the Menlo Park Police Department. Under the law, people charged with offenses are considered innocent unless convicted. Police received the reports on the dates shown. MENLO PARK Residential burglary reports:

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â&#x2013;  Someone cut the lock into a carport storage locker in the 1100 block of Willow Road and stole two bicycles, a plastic cooler and a bicycle helmet, lock and toolkit. Estimated loss: $2,635. June 11.

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open garage on San Mateo Drive. Estimated loss: $2,000. June 11. Commercial burglary reports:

â&#x2013;  Someone pried open a rear door at the Vitamin Closet at 959 El Camino Real and stole $685 in cash and bottles of fish oil pills. Estimated loss: $965. June 15.

â&#x2013;  A window on a locked commercial building in the 100 block of Constitution Avenue was found broken, but the business reported nothing missing. June 9. Theft reports:

â&#x2013;  A resident of Cotton Street says that a diamond ring and $360 in cash are missing from a desk drawer, and that there were no signs of forced entry into her house. Estimated loss: $10,360. June 6.

â&#x2013;  A Rolex watch was stolen from an unlocked locker in a locker room at the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s athletic facility on Laurel Drive. Estimated loss: $5,000. June 9.

â&#x2013;  Someone stole a package of

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16NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN June 18, 2014

flower pots from the front porch of a home on Bay Laurel Drive. Estimated loss: $85. June 10.

â&#x2013;  Plants were stolen from an exterior planter box under a window at Piccola Bella Hair Design on Crane Street. Estimated loss: $25. June 6.


C O M M U N I T Y

Windrider Film Forum returns to area By Emma Marsano Special to the Almanac

T

hree feature films and a series of three shorts will be shown at the Windrider Film Forum at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center from Thursday through Saturday, June 19-21. The forum shows films that “address some human issue ... in a way that encourages the audience to openly explore the issue, dialog with the filmmaker

in the Q&A sessions, and (come away) more educated on the topic and interested in constructively responding to the issue,” said Terri Bullock, director of the Bay Area Windrider Film Forum. Panel discussions will follow these screenings: ■ 7 p.m. Thursday, June 19: “Hank and Asha,” written, directed, produced and edited by husband and wife James E. Duff and Julia Morrison. The film explores a long-distance romance between two people from differ-

ent cultures and backgrounds and asks viewers to examine how people communicate in a hyperconnected world. ■ 7 p.m. Friday, June 20: “Short Term 12,” which won the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. In making the film, Destin Daniel Cretton drew from his experience working at a home for at-risk teenagers. ■ 2 p.m. Saturday, June 21: Three short films tackle the immigration issue from differ-

ent angles: “Old Immigrant’s Dance,” “The Fence” and “The Dream Is Now.” ■ 7 p.m. Saturday, June 21: “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory,” a documentary that won the Documentary Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The film tells the story of a man who volunteered at a facility for elderly people with dementia. He began playing their favorite songs for them, and watched them go from sitting quietly to singing along with family members in a matter of minutes.

Producer Alexandra McDougald and filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett will participate in the panel discussion. The Performing Arts Center is at Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road in Atherton. Go to tinyurl.com/Wind-619 for more information and to order tickets. A

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

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ABOUT LOCAL ISSUES

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Voters not put off by size of bonds Right decision on school measure

courses, possibly in arts or sciences, for up to 400 students each. One site will be in the Menlo Park area and the other in the north t is difficult to imagine how the Sequoia Union High School part of the district, with both intended to relieve the enrollment District would have coped with the expected huge enrollment pressure at the comprehensive high schools. increase if Measure A had not been approved In the future, students will be finding their by voters last week. EDI TORI AL classrooms on second floors, made necessary At the election, voters emphatically endorsed The opinion of The Almanac because the schools have no room left to spread the district’s bond issue of up to $265 million, out. One purpose of the expansion, Mr. Lianides passing it with a comfortable 64.3 percent “yes” vote on June 3. The vote came just two days before high school and board members have said, is to provide those students with graduation, marked by ceremonies at Menlo-Atherton and the same high quality of education as today’s students are receivWoodside, where nearly 800 students received diplomas on June ing. Projections show M-A having as many as 500 more students by 2020, way up from this past year’s 2,073. 5 and 6, as did students at other district high schools. District officials as well as several high school principals made it Measure AA looks like a winner clear in the weeks leading up to the election that the surge of additional students rumbling through elementary and middle schools nother major decision by voters June 3 was passage of the $300 million bond issue to make improvements in the farwill soon be on their way to ninth grade at Menlo-Atherton, flung Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, which Woodside, Sequoia (Redwood City) and Carlmont (Belmont). spans San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and a tiny sliver of High school enrollment is expected to grow by 22 percent over the Santa Cruz County. It was close, but the measure passed with next six years. More classrooms will have to be there for them. 68 percent of the 112,000 voters saying yes. The measure needed Superintendent Jim Lianides told the Almanac that there approval by 66.67 percent of the voters to pass. should be evidence of Measure A spending on campuses as Although it was risky for the school district and the open space early as the 2016-17 school year. The electronic sign at Menlo- district to put such large bond issues on the same ballot — a Atherton is already telling parents that construction will begin grand total of $565 million — voters apparently shrugged off the this summer. relatively high numbers and simply looked at the low cost of And the search will begin soon for two sites where the district’s paying off the bonds and voted yes, much to the delight of the first “magnet” schools will be built. They will offer focused advocates of open space and the high school district.

I

A

A

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.

L ET TERS Our readers write

Was the MP council asleep at the wheel? Editor: Menlo Park voters are facing an election this fall that will shape the future of our little city. Who is responsible for proposed excessive office development along El Camino Real? Back in 2008, when the ECR/ downtown specific plan was being designed, the country was in the early stages of the Great Recession. Companies were holding on to their cash and the future was uncertain. Menlo Park’s economic consultants recommended that generous incentives for office development would be needed to attract big developers in the planning area. The City Council took the consultant’s advice and doubled the office density without requiring negotiation for public benefit. Meanwhile, Stanford silently sat in on the city’s Outreach and Oversight Committee without mentioning that they were designing a project that would instantly match the maximum amount of office development analyzed in the 30-year specific

18NThe AlmanacNTheAlmanacOnline.comN June 18, 2014

Woodside History Committee

Our Regional Heritage The Woodside mansion of San Francisco coffee baron James A. Folger shows a slight dusting of snow in this undated photo. The mansion was located on Woodside Road next to Wunderlich Park.

plan EIR. Now we have Stanford’s proposal as well as another even bigger one from Greenheart, and with the economy improving, rents have reached $6.50 square feet per month, which for Stanford’s allowed 200,000 square feet means $15.6 million a year rent. That’s quite a profit and no under-crossing of

the Caltrain tracks was offered. Our elected officials relied on consultants (Perkins + Will) who were simultaneously working for Stanford and Menlo Park. Stanford concealed its project’s design until after the specific plan was approved on June 5, 2012. The university’s architect was designing the

massive Arrillaga office complex and sending needed revisions to the specific plan long before the June 2012 approval by our council. Someone was asleep at the wheel, and in November all three incumbents have to go. Steve Schmidt Former Menlo Park councilman


V I E W P O I N T

Midpeninsula residents need to wake up By Mike Brady

M

any residents of the Midpeninsula are about to witness the destruction of hundreds of mature trees lining the Caltrain corridor. This destruction and ripping out of trees will be conducted by Caltrain pursuant to its “visionary” electrification program. Caltrain workers are already out on the Peninsula “yellow tagging” certain of the trees that will be removed. There are 20,000 trees between San Francisco and San Jose, many of them mature and beautiful. There are more than 1,000 trees between the northern border of Atherton and the southern border of Menlo Park, the heart of the Peninsula and the area served by this newspaper. Why is Caltrain doing this? They say it is because the trees on the right-of-way “interfere” with their plans for electrification. Therefore, they have to be taken out. Of course, Caltrain cannot be bothered to keep the trees pruned so that removal is unnecessary. That would be too much trouble on an annual basis. Of course, once the trees are removed, it will be too late to do anything about it. The damage is irretrievable. Therefore, local residents better wake up and do something about it before the removal starts. Following is the catalog of the damage: ■ Historical beauty: The Midpeninsula is famous for its beauty and its trees; in fact, Menlo Park’s motto is “The City of Trees.” These trees line a right-of-way that goes through the heart of our beautiful towns and cities — not blighted towns and cities, but truly beautiful. Imagine the ugliness that will result when our trees are removed: The Midpeninsula will look like the railroad trip from Newark, New Jersey, to Philadelphia — ugly, urbanized, blighted, denuded of vegetation. The historical beauty of the Midpeninsula will be destroyed forever. ■ Property values: Obviously, thousands of homes for blocks on both sides of the right-ofway will suffer serious declines in property values as the beauty of the neighborhood disappears. ■ No screen: The trees act as a filter or screen for pollution and dust picked up by the train. If you think an electric train will not kick up dust and particles from the earth and

air, you are crazy. The filter action provided by the trees will no longer exist. ■ Bird habitat: The trees are the habitat for many birds. Why aren’t bird lovers and bird-watchers up in arms along with clubs like the Audubon Society? ■ Noise: The trees act as a barrier for noise, just like a sound wall (except trees are much more beautiful). Electric trains are not quiet; the noise will increase, especially if they are elevated. We do not need an electrified Caltrain. The Peninsula has become “conflicted.” Residents know the disadvantages of electrification, but they seem to be in love with an electrified Caltrain. If you get to the Museum of

GUEST OPINION Modern Art in San Francisco four and a half minutes earlier than you would on a modern diesel train with an electric motor is the slight difference in arrival time worth the destruction of hundreds of our trees and the radical change in the beauty of our Peninsula? And what about the cost?

The electrification program for the entire corridor is going to cost $1.5 billion. If hundreds of millions of dollars could be saved, with an alternative, would it be worth it? Caltrain has suppressed all discussions of any alternative, blanketing the Peninsula with the argument that its survival depends on electrification, with that as the only solution. However, as Jack Ringham and Paul Jones of the Atherton Rail Committee have demonstrated, modern diesel alternatives (called DMUs) with electric motors inside, can do the job. These are modern diesel locomotives, not what Caltrain is currently utilizing. They can pull lightweight cars, not the heavy steel cars that are presently being pulled. The speed,

the efficiency, and the acceleration are virtually identical to Caltrain’s electrified proposal with its ugly catenary towers and 55 miles of complicated and elevated wiring, which is deleterious to the ambience of our towns. Have you checked the cost of electricity lately? And do you realize that electricity is generated by fossil fuels (all you environmentalists pay attention)? In the long run, self-propelled diesel will require less energy, with the United States fast moving in the direction of energy independence once our resources are released. A

Attorney Mike Brady represents clients who are opposed to the state’s high-speed rail project

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Almanac June 18, 2014 section1