Vol. XXXI, Number 2 • October 16, 2009 ■ 50¢
City tries to nail down business tax Page 3
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A new breed Silicon Valley’s unemployed turn to volunteering PAGE 20
Eating Out 34
Arts When is a book not a book? ■ Sports Defining moments for Menlo water polo ■ Home Evergreen Park: quiet and well-located ■
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Photography by Frank Gaglione; Physician: George A. Fisher, Jr., MD, PhD; Patient: Gary Grandmaison
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Page 2 • October 16, 2009 • Palo Alto Weekly
Local news, information and analysis
College Terrace development earns key approval Dense project would include offices, apartments, new JJ&F Food Store
by Gennady Sheyner
proposal to expand and rebuild the popular JJ&F Food Store as part of a dense, office-heavy development on El Camino Real earned long-awaited
support from a previously skeptical Planning and Transportation Commission Wednesday night. But project applicant Patrick Smailey still has to clear a series of
procedural hurdles before he gets the city’s final approval for the controversial College Terrace Centre. After a nearly six-hour discussion spanning topics such as parking time limits; elimination of a rooftop gazebo; implementation of special fines for noncompliance; creation of drawings for a hypothetical expansion of JJ&F; and conversion of
ground-floor office space to retail, the commission voted 5-2 to support the zone change requested by the applicant. Commissioners Karen Holman and Susan Fineberg dissented. The commission’s approval, which included more than 10 amendments and conditions, came about six months after it vehement-
ly rejected a similar proposal from the applicant. In April, the commission argued the project was far too dense and that the grocery store it includes would be too small to be viable. But on Wednesday night most of the members agreed that the (continued on page 14)
Palo Alto revising business-tax guidelines Planned changes include policies to exclude minors, nonprofits from filing statements
(continued on page 5)
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virus, a Stanford press release said. Meanwhile, the first doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine arrived in Santa Clara County Oct. 6. The initial shipment of more than 14,000 doses of the vaccine in nasal form (FluMist) went to “a limited number of private and public medical providers in the county, as well as to the Public Health Department,” the Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced. Early supplies should go to healthy children between the ages of 2 years and 10 years, since they are at a high risk for illness from H1N1, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
alo Alto officials are revising the rules for implementing a proposed business-license tax in response to criticism from a vocal group of small-business owners. The tax, listed as Measure A on the Nov. 3 ballot, would be based on employee count and would have varying rates for different business types and a ceiling of $30,000 for large firms. But while Measure A cements the method of taxation and the tax rates, it also gives the City Council and staff leeway to refine exemption rules and repeal parts of the ordinance even after it is enacted. With three weeks to go until Election Day, staff and council members are already thinking about changing the rules for collecting the tax. The changes include a new policy that excludes minors who are working from having to file statements declaring their exemption from the new tax, Senior Assistant City Attorney Cara Silver said. The ordinance currently exempts teenagers, nonprofit organizations and some disabled veterans, but specifies that anyone claiming an exemption must file a sworn statement. Silver said staff has decided to issue an “administrative guideline” specifying that minors engaged in a business — babysitting or yard work have been used as examples — would not need to file any statements. Staff is also considering doing the same for nonprofit groups, Silver said. She said the council under the or-
Singin’ in the rain? Pedestrians walking along University Avenue during Tuesday’s storm clutched their umbrellas close, as winds howled, branches fell and everyone just got wet.
Stanford study: Early flu shots save lives, money Many saved by October versus November shots, math model says
by Chris Kenrick
tarting a vaccination campaign a few weeks earlier could save nearly 600 lives and more than $150 million in a city the size of New York, according to a study by the Stanford University
School of Medicine. Under mathematical models that tested many alternative assumptions, researchers concluded that vaccinating in October would save more lives and money than in No-
vember and that vaccinating in November would save 1,468 lives and $302 million in New York City compared to no vaccination campaign at all. “To put it simply, the most costsaving and life-saving strategy is to vaccinate as many people as possible as soon as possible,” said the study’s first author, Dr. Nayer Khazeni, an instructor of medicine in pulmonary and critical care. She also is an associate at Stanford’s Center for Health Policy and Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research. “The study makes a compelling case for the benefits of vaccinating sooner rather than later” relative to current concerns over the H1N1 flu
by Gennady Sheyner
Palo Alto Weekly • October 16, 2009 • Page 3
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450 CAMBRIDGE AVE, PALO ALTO, CA 94306 (650) 326-8210 PUBLISHER William S. Johnson EDITORIAL Jay Thorwaldson, Editor Jocelyn Dong, Managing Editor Carol Blitzer, Associate Editor Keith Peters, Sports Editor Tyler Hanley, Express™ and Online Editor Rebecca Wallace, Arts & Entertainment Editor Rick Eymer, Assistant Sports Editor Chris Kenrick, Gennady Sheyner, Staff Writers Sue Dremann, Staff Writer, Special Sections Editor Karla Kane, Editorial Assistant Veronica Weber, Staff Photographer Jeanne Aufmuth, Dale Bentson, Colin Becht, Peter Canavese, Kit Davey, Jeanie Forte, Iris Harrell, Sheila Himmel, Kevin Kirby, Jack McKinnon, Susan Tavernetti, Robert Taylor, Contributors Royston Sim, Editorial Intern Be’eri Moalem, Arts & Entertainment Intern DESIGN Shannon Corey, Design Director Raul Perez, Assistant Design Director Linda Atilano, Diane Haas, Scott Peterson, Paul Llewellyn, Senior Designers Laura Don, Gary Vennarucci, Designers PRODUCTION Jennifer Lindberg, Production Manager Dorothy Hassett, Blanca Yoc, Sales & Production Coordinators ADVERTISING Walter Kupiec, Advertising Director Cathy Norfleet, Display Advertising Sales Asst. Judie Block, Janice Hoogner, Gary Whitman, Display Advertising Sales Kathryn Brottem, Real Estate Advertising Sales Joan Merritt, Real Estate Advertising Asst. David Cirner, Irene Schwartz, Inside Advertising Sales Alicia Santillan, Classified Administrative Asst. EXPRESS, ONLINE AND VIDEO SERVICES Rachel Palmer, Online Operations Coordinator Molly Stenhouse, Online Sales Consultant BUSINESS Mona Salas, Manager of Payroll & Benefits Elena Dineva, Mary McDonald, Sana Sarfaraz, Cathy Stringari, Doris Taylor, Business Associates ADMINISTRATION Amy Renalds, Assistant to the Publisher & Promotions Director Janice Covolo, Receptionist; Ruben Espinoza, Jorge Vera, Couriers EMBARCADERO PUBLISHING CO. William S. Johnson, President Michael I. Naar, Vice President & CFO Walter Kupiec, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Frank A. Bravo, Director, Information Technology & Webmaster Connie Jo Cotton, Major Accounts Sales Manager Bob Lampkin, Director, Circulation & Mailing Services Alicia Santillan, Susie Ochoa, Circulation Assistants Chris Planessi, Chip Poedjosoedarmo, Computer System Associates Lisa Trigueiro, Assistant to the Webmaster The Palo Alto Weekly (ISSN 0199-1159) is published every Friday by Embarcadero Publishing Co., 450 Cambridge Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94306, (650) 326-8210. Periodicals postage paid at Palo Alto, CA and additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for Santa Clara County. The Palo Alto Weekly is delivered free to homes in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, East Palo Alto, to faculty and staff households on the Stanford campus and to portions of Los Altos Hills. If you are not currently receiving the paper, you may request free delivery by calling 326-8210. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302. Copyright ©2009 by Embarcadero Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Printed by SFOP, Redwood City. The Palo Alto Weekly is available on the Internet via Palo Alto Online at: www.PaloAltoOnline.com Our e-mail addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Missed delivery or start/stop your paper? Call 650 326-8210, or e-mail circulation@paweekly. com. You may also subscribe online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. Subscriptions are $60/yr.
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quote of the week
We’re not a community that beats down doors to collect $75.
—Peter Drekmeier, Palo Alto mayor, regarding fears that a business-license tax would prompt audits of home-based businesses. See story on page 3.
HOME INVASIONS ... Opponents of Palo Alto’s proposed business-license tax have argued for months that the proposed tax would be too onerous for small businesses to comply with. But now, the group Small Businesses Against Taxes is claiming that the tax — which will be on the Nov. 3 ballot — has already created a climate of fear for small businesses. On Tuesday, Harold Justman, the leader of the anti-tax campaign, said he’s spoken to business owners and residents who said they were frightened by the prospect of city officials barging into people’s homes and businesses to cross-examine minors and seniors who supplement their income with small side jobs such as tutoring and mending clothes. “It puts them in danger of audits and interrogation from city administrators,” Justman said at a debate hosted by the Midpeninsula Community Media Center. But city officials have repeatedly maintained that the opponents’ Kafkaesque fears are misguided. The city plans to have two-and-a-half employees assigned to collecting revenues from the tax, Mayor Peter Drekmeier said at Tuesday’s debate. City officials are also adding language to the tax guidelines specifically excluding minors from having to file statements requesting exemptions. “The city has no intention of having home raids,” Drekmeier said. “I go on the record that it’s never going to happen.” The media center will broadcast the debate between Justman and Mayor Peter Drekmeier on Channel 27 on the following dates: Monday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.; Saturday, Oct. 24, 2:30 p.m. POWER CHARGES ... Setting utility rates in Palo Alto is a bit like making sausage. The city’s Utilities Department has a stack of plans and guidelines — some of which contradict each other — and they use these documents to propose rates, which are then subject to public hearings, reviews by the Utilities Advisory Commission and the City Council and ultimate approval by the council. But the city notably lacks a “rates policy”
that utility officials can use to weigh the competing interests (for instance, low rates vs. environmental protection). That, however, is about to change. Last week, the utilities commission heard a presentation from Utilities Department staff on a proposed new rates policy — a one-page document that includes three “required elements” (recovery of all costs of service, equitable returns to the city and no undue discrimination), two “key objectives” (rates and revenue stability and encouraging efficient use of resources), and desirable attributes (simplicity, ease of implementation and rate assistance for low-income residents). But some commissioners, including Steve Eglash, argued that the proposal is too vague and philosophical. “I’m concerned it’s so high-level and so abstract that it fails the test of being a truly useful document,” Eglash said. Chairman John Melton said the policy doesn’t need to be a “recipe book,” but said it should have more “specificity.” Staff was directed to revise the proposed policy in the next few months so that it could be used to set rates in March. “If we don’t have it, we’ll just go with what we’ve got, which is nothing,” Utilities Director Valerie Fong said. JOB SEARCH 101 ... The Palo Alto Library is trying to take the mystery out of job hunting by launching a series of programs next week focusing on jobseeking resources. Each of the five programs will include an informational presentation followed by hands-on practice. The programs include “Find the Right Employer Using Reference USA” (Oct. 20), “Social Networking as a Way In” (Oct. 27); “The California Employment Development Department Website: More Than Just Benefits” (Nov. 6); “Applying Online Made Easier” (Nov. 10), and “Prepare for Your Interview Using Company Research” (Nov. 17). Each program is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon and will be held at the Art Center Auditorium, 1313 Newell Road. To register, use the Library Calendar of Events at www.cityofpaloalto. org/library or call the reference desk at 650-329-2436. n
East Palo Alto gives green light to Mi Pueblo Public divided over Hispanic grocer, with some fearing mom-and-pop markets will lose business he supermarket Mi Pueblo will move into East Palo Alto after all, after the City Council approved its liquor off-sale license and architectural permits at a special city council meeting Tuesday night. The council voted 3-2 in favor of the San Jose-based company, with council members David Woods and A. Peter Evans dissenting. More than 250 people attended the meeting to object to or support a new supermarket, an issue that has sharply divided the local community. East Palo Alto city officials have attempted to attract a supermarket to town for decades so residents need not drive to other cities for their groceries. Supporters lauded Mi Pueblo as a long-awaited supermarket that adds diversity to the city, while opponents have labeled it a specialty market catering to Hispanics that would shut out local mom-and-pop grocers. “This store coming in is going to offer our community more options, and that’s what we need,” said Councilwoman Laura Martinez. “The small markets are not going anywhere. It’s now their turn to step up their game and see what they can offer to this community.” Mayor Ruben Abrica and Councilman Carlos Moreno concurred. Moreno said Mi Pueblo would keep shoppers in town and prevent “economic leakage” from grocery trips to other cities. It would also generate a large amount of foot traffic, which in turn would bring additional revenue to other businesses nearby, he said. Mi Pueblo operates 12 markets in Northern California, including one in Mountain View. It is moving into the former Circuit City store in the Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center along East Bayshore Road, next to existing businesses such as Home Depot. Councilman Woods said that site should be reserved for a tax-generating business, as many groceries
aren’t taxable under state law. “I would be for Mi Pueblo if they were coming to any other location in East Palo Alto,” Woods said. “We are giving up too much to get very little.” The public hearing, the second on the controversial topic, lasted more than two hours, with residents voicing their support and concerns before the council discussed and voted on the issue. Opponents argued that small grocers have fostered lasting relationships with the community and said the city would benefit more from a general supermarket such as Safeway or Wal-Mart. “The potential benefits of shopping at mom-and-pop businesses are well-documented,” said resident Susi Feltch. “We need to remain loyal to them, especially when they’ve remained loyal to the community.” Mi Pueblo’s supporters said it would offer lower prices than local markets and finally grant the city a full-service grocery store. “We deserve progress,” said resident Guadalupe Martinez. Other residents countered with claims of discrimination, saying Mi Pueblo catered mostly to Hispanics and alleging it would not hire people of other races. “All of us want a supermarket in East Palo Alto, but this one is not a full-service market,” said resident Keisha Evans, an African American who said she felt disrespected by staff at Mi Pueblo while shopping there. A cashier had allegedly returned her change without looking her in the eye. “The salespeople, they don’t see me,” she said. Resident Rosa Gutierrez was saddened by such claims. “Ever since I’ve been able to vote, every candidate has promised to bring a supermarket to the city,” Gutierrez said. “Now that it’s here, I’m saddened to see it has become a racial issue and brought about racial tension.”
Councilman Woods took issue with the security Mi Pueblo brought to the council meeting last week. “I do find it offensive for someone who’s wanting to do business with the community that would need security at a City Council meeting,” he said. Perla Rodriguez, vice-president of public affairs for Mi Pueblo, said her company employs a third-party security company for all its stores and for all key activities such as Tuesday’s meeting to ensure safety for its staff and customers. East Palo Alto has long struggled to both house and retain supermarkets, even as small grocers such as Pal Market and Oakwood Market continue to operate. A former Palo Alto Co-Op Market briefly occupied a site on Bay Road and University Avenue, but it closed in the early 1970s. A small Value Max supermarket located in the former Whiskey Gulch area closed in the 1990s. Mi Pueblo supporters were elated after the council vote, but their joy did not spread round the room. “I feel really betrayed by the city,” said Pal Market owner Rafik Shuman, a member of the East Palo Alto Merchants Association. Shuman said the city was not transparent or forthcoming with local merchants about its negotiations with the company. Meanwhile, Rodriguez said Mi Pueblo aims to open in East Palo Alto before Thanksgiving if possible. The store plans to hire about 200 people and open 365 days a year from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., she said. For the merchants’ group, however, the issue isn’t over yet. “We’ll evaluate what occurred this evening and take appropriate steps,” said merchants association attorney A.K. Abraham. “I can reasonably assure that there will be court action in the near future.” n Editorial Intern Royston Sim can be e-mailed at email@example.com.
Palo Alto has seen “a modest amount of genuine, bona fide cases” of the H1N1 flu, some of which required hospitalization, according to Dr. Charles Weiss, a public-health physician and medical director of the flu committee at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “We’ve seen H1N1 throughout the entire summer. Our patient population sort of dropped off in late August and has picked up again in the last week or two,” Weiss said. “We’ll need a couple more weeks of statistics to know whether it’s really gone up compared to the end of the summer. We were never really overwhelmed and we’re not overwhelmed at this point, but that may change. “The numbers may go up sharply. There’s certainly a lot of activity
across the United States.” The medical foundation received “a modest amount” of H1N1 intranasal vaccine from the county health department, which is being reserved for the priority patient groups identified by the CDC, Weiss said. The foundation has provided seasonal flu vaccination clinics for its patients over the past several weekends, but cancelled Oct. 17 sessions in its Los Altos and Dublin locations because of shipping delays. The foundation said it has not yet scheduled vaccination clinics for H1N1 flu but will follow the situation and post updates to its website (www.pamf.org) when new information becomes available. n Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Control and Prevention (CDC). It is expected that there will be enough vaccine, in nasal or vaccination form, for everyone who wants it when larger shipments arrive in the coming weeks and months, the health department said. Once larger shipments arrive, most people should be able to get vaccinated through their regular medical providers, the county said. Seasonal flu vaccinations have been widely available over the past month through health providers as well as through outlets such as Safeway pharmacies, CVS and other drug stores.
Board seeks ‘order’ from new California Ave. trees Architectural Review Board urges quick selection of new trees, cohesive landscape design
by Royston Sim
by Gennady Sheyner
alo Alto’s tree-replacement project on California Avenue should strive toward continuity and purpose and should avoid relying too heavily on public requests, members of the Architectural Review Board said Thursday morning. The tree-replacement project, which has been in the planning stages for about five years, unleashed a storm of controversy after workers removed 63 holly oaks from California Avenue on Sept. 14 without first alerting the public. Since then, Public Works officials and City Manager James Keene have publicly apologized and scheduled a series of meetings with the community and local commissions to solicit input. But on Thursday, Architectural Review Board member David Solnick argued the city is giving residents a bit too much power over the project. While he acknowledged the importance of getting input from the public, he also said the city should have hired a landscape architect to manage the streetscape project and devise a “cohesive” design. Solnick called the city’s decision not to engage a landscape designer in the process “astounding” and said it was a “far bigger mistake than the removal of trees.” The city’s process turned the public from a “client” to a “designer.” Solnick said he expects this approach to lead to chaos. “What you have is design by a merchant group with Public Works,” Solnick said. The board met to consider a list of 13 trees that a panel of four arborists — including two city employees and two consultants — recommended for the business district. Staff had previously recommended planting 59 red maples and 13 other trees but revised its
list of species after receiving input from arborist Barrie Coate, the two city arborists, the nonprofit group Canopy and members of the public at a contentious community meeting on Oct. 8. The new list includes both deciduous and evergreen trees, as well as trees of various sizes. The recommended trees are: coast live oak, southern live oak, white ash, valley oak, sycamore, autumn-blaze maple, Brisbane box, Engelmann oak, Cimmaron ash, Shumard red oak, Chinquapin oak, ornamental pear and silver linden. Board members didn’t express preference for any particular tree species on Thursday, saying the choice should be left to landscape specialists and arborists. But members urged Public Works staff to make sure the tree selection reflects a clear and cohesive vision for California Avenue. Board member Clare Malone Pritchard said the design should include one main tree species, with a few other species planted at select locations. “There should be a sense of order,” Malone Pritchard said. Board member Alexander Lew said the city should work as quickly as possible to come up with several different concept plans for tree replacement so that the trees could be planted before the end of the year. Arborists are expected to develop several alternatives and to present them at an Oct. 22 community meeting. The Planning and Transportation Commission will also review the alternatives on Oct. 28. “I live near Castro Street, and we had to remove trees twice in 10 years,” Lew said. “Though it’s initially shocking, it’s amazing how fast a well-selected and wellplanted tree can grow.” (continued on page 7)
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City targets carbon dioxide Palo Alto Mayor Peter Drekemeier (from left), Assistant to the City Manager Debra Van Duynhoven and City Manager Jim Keene launch a city campaign Wednesday to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 5 percent.
L U C I L E P A C K A R D
C H I L D R E N â€™ S H O S P I T A L
Online This Week
These and other news stories were posted on Palo Alto Online throughout the week. For longer versions, go to www.PaloAltoOnline.com/news or click on â€œNewsâ€? in the left, green column.
Your Childâ€™s Health University Lucile Packard Childrenâ€™s Hospital offers classes and seminars designed to foster good health and enhance the lives of parents and children.
Police are looking for witnesses to a drive-by shooting in East Palo Alto Tuesday afternoon that left a 20-year-old man wounded in the hip and abdomen. (Posted Oct. 14 at 7:52 a.m.)
Storm dumps 4.5 inches of rain, half-fills creeks
Tuesdayâ€™s rain-and-wind storm dumped approximately 4.5 inches of rain in the Palo Alto Foothills, but area creeks swelled to only half full. (Posted Oct. 13 at 9:03 p.m.)
ALL ABOUT PREGNANCY Our newest class is designed to offer an overview of pregnancy for the newly pregnant or about-to-be pregnant couple. The program will include the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, comfort measures for pregnancy, maternal nutrition and ďŹ tness, pregnancy precautions, fetal development and growth, pregnancy testing, life changes and more.
Thousands lose power as storm continues
This ďŹ rst offering of the class will be complimentary but please call to reserve a space. - Sunday, October 25: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Proposed pre-K class targets â€˜achievement gapâ€™
PREPARING FOR MULTIPLES SEMINAR Are you expecting twins, triplets or more? With the potential for early delivery, expectant parents of multiples are encouraged to learn everything there is to know about carrying and delivering multiple infants. - Sunday, November 1: 12:30 - 5:00 pm PEDIATRIC WEIGHT CONTROL PROGRAM OPEN HOUSE This family-based, behavioral and educational weight management program promotes healthy eating andexercise habits for overweight children and their families. More than 80% of children achieve long-term weight loss through this program â€“ and parents lose weight too! Call (650) 725-4424 for information. - Tuesday, November 3: 7:00 - 8:00 pm CHILDBIRTH PREP CLASS Our Childbirth Prep Class is designed to explain the variations and choices surrounding birth. Along with preparation for labor and birth through lecture, discussion and ďŹ lm, the class includes relaxation and breathing techniques, medical pain relief options and the important role of the support person for the laboring mother. - Two Sundays: November 8 & 15: 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Call (650) 723-4600 or visit www.lpch.org to register or obtain more information on the times, locations and fees for these and other courses.
C H I L D R E Nâ€™S
Page 6 â€˘ October 16, 2009 â€˘ Palo Alto Weekly
A cost-effective way to narrow the achievement gap is one goal of a three-year â€œSpringboard to Kindergartenâ€? pilot program for prekindergartners proposed for the Palo Alto Unified School District.
(Posted Oct. 12 at 11:59 p.m.)
Palo Alto fourth in state among K-12 districts
Palo Alto ranks fourth statewide among K-12 school districts, as measured by the state Academic Performance Index. But â€œmuch remains to be accomplishedâ€? in boosting the achievement of certain student groups, including English learners, students with disabilities, students from poor families and minorities. (Posted Oct. 12 at 10:45 p.m.)
Palo Alto council-candidate videos online
Fourteen candidates â€” including 13 newcomers and one political veteran â€” will be jostling for five seats on the City Council on Nov. 3. Video interviews with the 14 candidates are now available to watch online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. (Posted Oct. 12 at 1:05 p.m.)
Motorcyclists severely injured on Highway 84
Two motorcyclists were severely injured after colliding at Skyline Boulevard and Highway 84 in Woodside early Sunday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol. (Posted Oct. 11 at 10:03 p.m.)
Fire burns 3,500-square-foot Atherton home
Investigators were at a 3,500-square-foot home in Atherton Saturday afternoon trying to determine what caused a fire there, Menlo Park fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said. (Posted Oct. 10 at 4:32 p.m.)
Boy may lose eye after â€˜assaultâ€™ at Mitchell Park
(Posted Oct. 9 at 5:08 p.m.)
Former Paly student dies from polo horse fall
H O S P I T A L TODAY
More than 35,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers were without power in the Bay Area Tuesday afternoon as crews dealt with heavy rain and high winds, a spokeswoman said. (Posted Oct. 13 at 4:39 p.m.)
A young boy may lose sight in his left eye after he was chased by at least three other boys and shot with a plastic pellet gun at Mitchell Park Monday afternoon, according to Palo Alto police Sgt. Dan Ryan.
L U C I L E PA C K A R D
Drive-by shooting in EPA hits 20-year-old man
Ariel Shaker, 21, a 2006 graduate of Palo Alto High School and a horse enthusiast since she was 8, was pronounced dead Wednesday night from injuries from a â€œfreakâ€? accident while exercising a horse for the Harvard University polo team Oct. 1. (Posted Oct. 9 at 12:37 a.m.)
(continued from page 5)
A few residents attended the Thursday meeting to voice their support for the tree options and to urge more public participation in the process. But Terry Shuchat, a member of the California Avenue Area Development Association, said he was skeptical about some of the trees on the list.
“You can take a tree — and someone can see it’s a beautiful tree, it’s a magnificent tree — but it doesn’t mean the tree will work (on the street),” Shuchat said. “Those trees look absolutely huge.” Kate Rooney, a project manager from the Public Works Department, said staff is considering trees of different sizes with the goal of achieving the “healthiest canopy possible.” She said staff has been working
CityView A round-up of
with the public on selecting the appropriate trees and will continue to do so. The goal, she said, is to get the City Council’s approval by midNovember so that the trees could get planted before the year’s end. “We deeply apologize for the way the project progressed to date, but in some ways, we’re now hearing everyone’s input and coming up with a better plan than what we originally worked up,” Rooney said. “That’s because we’re hearing from everybody and incorporating the information into the streetscape plan.” ■ Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.
Woodland School Open House November 7, 2009, 1:00-3:00 Preschool through eighth grade Visit our beautiful 10 acre campus in Portola Valley and learn about our strong academic and enrichment programs in the areas of the arts, science, math and technology. You‘ll see why Woodland School was voted Best Private Day School in the San Francisco Bay Area by Bay Area Parent Magazine.
Please call our Admissions Office at 650.854.9065 Reservations recommended. Woodland School 360 La Cuesta Drive, Portola Valley www.woodland-school.org
Palo Alto government action this week
Board of Education (Oct. 13)
Springboard to Kindergarten: The board heard about a plan to offer low-income children in the Palo Alto school district a “kindergarten readiness” course. A vote is scheduled for Oct .27. Action: None Academic Performance Index: The board heard a report that Palo Alto’s K-8 students rank fourth among the state’s K-12 districts as measured by the Academic Performance Index. But board members expressed concern at the slower academic progress of some minority subgroups. Action: None High School Landscaping: The board hired the landscape architecture firm Gates & Associates to create master landscape plans to accompany the major construction programs at Palo Alto and Gunn. Yes: Unanimous Palo Alto High Field Expansion: The board criticized a proposal to remove 13 large sycamores from the Palo Alto High School’s entrance from Churchill Avenue to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. District Superintendent Kevin Skelly said he would return with some new proposals at the board’s Oct. 27. Action: None
Planning & Transportation Commission (Oct. 14)
College Terrace Centre: The commission voted to recommend approval of a mixeduse development at 2180 El Camino Real. The project includes an 8,000-squarefoot grocery store intended for JJ&F Food Store, 38,980 square feet of office space, 5,580 square feet of other retail and two levels of below-grade parking. The commission included 11 amendments, among them ones regarding noise mitigation; a cut of 5 percent of office space; and a requirement that the project return to the commission after a review by the Architectural Review Board. Yes: Garber, Tuma, Lippert, Martinez, Keller. No: Holman, Fineberg
Architectural Review Board (Oct. 15)
California Avenue: The board reviewed staff plans for tree replacement on California Avenue, between El Camino Real and the Caltrain station. The board considered 11 proposed tree species and urged staff to create a sense of continuity through tree selection. The item will return to the board next month. Action: None
Public Agenda PALO ALTO CITY COUNCIL ... The council is scheduled to hold its annual meeting with state Sen. Joe Simitian. The council is also scheduled to discuss the recommendations of the Compost BlueRibbon Task Force, hold a study session on federal legislative priorities, consider continuation of the Community Farm Shop program and discuss a colleague’s memo regarding early reopening of a portion of Byxbee Park. The meeting with Sen. Simitian will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, in the Council Conference Room at City Hall. The regular meeting will follow in the Council Chambers in City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.).
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Palo Alto Weekly • October 16, 2009 • Page 7
Community College District Board of Trustees seeks applicants for its
Measure C Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee
Palo Alto’s oldest black church celebrates rebirth Historic University A.M.E. Zion Church restored, turned into office space
Candidates appointed to the independent, volunteer Measure C Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee review and report to the public on the district‘s Measure C bond expenditures. Applicants must reside in the district’s service area, which includes the cities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and portions of San Jose, Santa Clara and Saratoga. Applicants may not be an employee, contractor, consultant or vendor of the district. The Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee bylaws are available at www.measurec.fhda.edu or by calling (650) 949-6100.
This committee is responsible for reviewing expenditures related to the district‘s $490,800,000 general obligation bond, Measure C, approved by the voters on June 6, 2006. Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their qualifications, and noting which of the above categories they would represent, to any of the following: Mail:
Office of the Chancellor Foothill-De Anza Community College District 12345 El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
E-mail: email@example.com Fax: (650) 941-6289
Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. For more information, please call (650) 949-6100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page 8 • October 16, 2009 • Palo Alto Weekly
Currently four committee members are needed in the following categories: • Representative, Taxpayers Association • Representative, At Large • Representative, Business Organization • Representative, Foothill-De Anza Auxiliary Organization
larence Nicholas, 90, stood outside a small, stucco building in downtown Palo Alto last Saturday afternoon, his hands clutching a piece of paper on which he’d written the lyrics to “Because He Lives.” It was his late wife’s favorite hymn. They married in the stucco church on Ramona Street in 1957, he said. “It was very sunny and very warm, just identical like it is today,” he said, his voice gravelly but melodious. “We were so happy. ... We had a wonderful afternoon here.” For Nicholas and about three dozen other members of the oldest black congregation in Palo Alto, University A.M.E. Zion Church, Saturday was a homecoming of sorts. Their original church at 819 Ramona, built in 1925, had faced near-certain demolition for decades. But aided by the City of Palo Alto and real-estate developer Menlo Equities, the dilapidated building was recently restored as part of a larger office-and-housing project on the corner of Ramona and Homer Avenue. The church itself will become office space. Members of the congregation got their first peek inside the historic building on Saturday. Many had never seen the old church — the congregation had moved in 1965 to a new facility on Middlefield Road and sold its original home to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. But a handful of old-time members returned. Among them was Ruth Anne Gray, the granddaugh-
by Jocelyn Dong
The historic University African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at 819 Ramona St. in Palo Alto was recently rehabilitated as part of a larger office-and-retail project. It will become office space. ter of co-founder Isaac M. Hinson. In the late 1980s, she led the fight to save the church from demolition after it had fallen into disrepair and the medical center planned to use the land for expansion. She applied to the National Register of Historic Places, securing the church’s historical significance on the register in 1996. Among its notable features, she wrote, was the story of how the young, black church had benefited from the help of the wider Palo Alto community during the 1930s. Despite ongoing racial segregation nationally, the church received donations from whites and Asians alike to keep the building from foreclosure. In 1935, half of the church’s $3,500 debt was covered; by 1939, the mortgage was paid off, according to news articles at the time. On Saturday, a bell tower and triangular stained-glass window, pointing heavenward, rose above Gray. “It was in pretty bad shape until Menlo Equities started working on it in 2007,” she said. “I’m absolutely delighted it has been restored. ... This is the result after so many years.” She said she’d oohed and ahhed over the hardwood floor, which had been restored to the state she’d remembered, along with the stainedglass windows, freshly painted stucco walls and wood trim. Only the addition of a bathroom and wheelchair lift and the closing of a tiny mezzanine were new. The rehabilitation had its challenges, according to staff with Menlo Equities of Palo Alto and construction firm Webcor Builders, whose work on the mixed-use project also included the restoration of the historic French Laundry building on Homer. The church had to be jacked up onto stilts while a basement and underground garage were constructed. Then the church had to be rebuilt
to add structural integrity. Broken window panes were replaced with new glass made to match the original panes, according to a Menlo Equities spokeswoman. Those difficulties fell to the wayside Saturday as congregation members held an hour-anda-half-long worship service in the restored church. Members of the city’s Historic Resources Board and city Historic-Preservation Planner Dennis Backlund attended the event. The simple building deserved the efforts made to save it, Backlund said. Its history represented the core values of the city: freedom, equality and the unity of all people into a single community. “The restoration of this building is kind of a mirror image of a communal effort by which it was built and by which it was maintained during difficult times,” he said. “We did our part to make sure the historical outcome really represented its history. We feel ... it does, and so meticulously, too.” Doris Richmond, a slight woman whose late husband also fought to save the church, said she was grateful to see the old building reflecting its former glory. She recalled the days when she would stop by on Saturdays to stoke the pot-bellied stove, so the building would be warm enough for Sunday school the next day. She said she’s been touched by the building’s transformation and the good memories it’s brought back. “Sometimes,” she said, “I just sit on the steps and cry.” n Managing Editor Jocelyn Dong can be reached at email@example.com.
Watch it Online
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Palo Alto Weekly • October 16, 2009 • Page 9
The Business License Tax will help keep Palo Alto a place where businesses want to locate ...
ou dy ? l u o s w x fails e c i a v ser ense T y t i ic n mu ess L m n o C si ich he Bu h W if t cut
... the charge that Measure A, the Business License Tax, will drive businesses from Palo Alto is a myth that has it backwards. In fact, the rich array of quality services provided by the City is a major reason why businesses want to be in Palo Alto. And, without the passage of Measure A, the City will be required to make significant cuts in those services. The Measure A tax rates are very modest ... similar to many neighboring cities and less than others. It will raise much of its revenue from lawyers, accountants, venture capitalists, and other professional service providers who do not pay sales tax.
of Measure A would have you believe that a $75 Opponents modest tax of $75 would drive small businesses out of
town ... and that is all a service provider working alone would pay. A retailer with four full time employees would pay just $177 per year. A law office with three attorneys and a secretary would pay only $360. These modest costs will not discourage businesses from keeping their highly desirable Palo Alto locations.
If you care about Palo Alto’s parks, libraries, playing fields, recreation programs, and other services, join the many prominent Palo Alto elected officials and community and business leaders who support Measure A ... vote Yes on A, and Yes for those services. Elected Officials:
Ray Bacchetti, Past President, PAUSD Board Betsy Bechtel, Former Mayor Jim Burch, Former Mayor Pat Burt, Council Member LaDoris Cordell, Former Council Member Peter Drekmeier, Mayor; Ellen Fletcher, Former Council Member Julie Jerome, Past President, PAUSD Board Yoriko Kishimoto, Council Member Larry Klein, Council Member Cathy Kroymann, Past President, PAUSD Board Jack Morton, Vice Mayor Gail Price, Former Board Member, PAUSD Board
Eve Agiewich Mike Alexander Alex Ameri Jim Baer Fred Balin Jagdish Basi Dorothy Bender Jeff Blum William Bochert Richard Bowden Jay Boyarsky Jeffrey & Katie Bramlett Ralph Britton Dean Bunderson Michael Closson Janet Dafoe
Jack Hamilton Ben Hammett Susan & Harry Hartzell Bruce Hodge Walt Hays Ed Holland Su Hwang Ray & Eleanora Jadwin Olana Khan Dr & Mrs. Ronald Kaye Adele Khabbaz Jessup Steve Levy Ernest Lieberman Barbara Lindsay Grainger Marburg
Jane David Winter Dellenbach Beth Delson Jeannie Duisenberg Anne-Marie Duliege Dan Dykwel Penny Ellson Claude Ezran Herbert & Alice Fischgrund Jon Foster Andy Freedman Dan Garber John Garcia, Mark & Romola Georgia David Greene Norma Grench Raju & Pooja Gupta
Pat McGaraghan Elke McGregor Gery Masteller John Melton Bob Moss Trish Mulvey Debbie Mytels Nadia Naik Peter Neal Fred Nichols Bonnie Packer Joan Paulin Al & Barbara Platt Marlene Prendergast Hope Raymond Robert Redfern-West Joe & Diane Rolfe
Non-proft organizations, from Community Child Care to the Chamber of Commerce, will pay no tax. Owners of rental property with less than four units will also pay no tax.
To ensure fairness, the Business License Tax is set up on sliding scale with a cap so that no business will pay more than a very small fraction of their income. What the Tax will do is raise $3 million each year — 1/3 of solution to the City’s $10M structural budget deficit. (The balance will come from reductions in expenditures and employee compensation.) And, this is local funding that can’t be ‘raided’ by the State. Susan Rosenberg Alice Schaffer Smith Arlene & Jack Schaupp Nancy Shepherd Lillian Tibby Simon Roger Smith
ser vices. d e u l a ’s v o t l A o l Pa g n i rv e s e r p Barbara Spreng Yes on A ... the key to Brian Steen Diane Reklis, Past President, PAUSD Board Emily Renzel, Former City Council Member Greg Schmid, Council Member Dana Tom, Board Member, PAUSD Board Carolyn Tucher, Past President, PAUSD Board Lanie Wheeler, Former Mayor Gail Wooley, Former Mayor Edel Young, Former Board Member, PAUSD Board
Judith Steiner Suzan Stewart Valerie Stinger Megan Swezey Fogarty John Tarlton Tig Tarlton Malay Thaker Sven Thesen Susie & Craig Thom Terry Trumbull Samir Tuma Teri Vershel Bill Warrior Elizabeth Weal Elizabeth Wolf Rega & Allen Wood (partial list)
— PAID ADVERTISMENT —
Page 10 • October 16, 2009 • Palo Alto Weekly
Yes on A — Save Palo Alto Services. www. SavePaloAltoServices.org Greg Schmid, Treasurer FPPC # 1320789
News Digest Teachers’ union, district at odds over co-pays
The Palo Alto teachers’ union has asked the school board to restore $780,000 worth of health benefits to the school district’s latest contract offer. But the district said it can’t afford to. Nearly two dozen teachers sat at the board meeting Tuesday night to support Gunn High School math and social studies teacher Ronen Habib, negotiations chair for the Palo Alto Educators Association, who spoke to the board. Noting that the union is not seeking a salary increase this year, Habib said the group is asking for “one of our most basic needs — health insurance — to be covered without increases in co-pays, as that equates to a pay cut.” The school district and unions representing teachers and other employees are in the midst of negotiating contracts for the 2009-10 year. Scott Bowers, the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources, said employee health-insurance premiums have gone up more than $1 million, along with increases in dental premiums. A committee comprised of union members and district representatives came up with a plan that included increasing co-payments on prescriptions and office visits, generating enough savings to cover the increased costs, Bowers said. However, the union wanted the district to cover the extra costs without making any of the planned changes, Bowers said. “Given our budget situation at this time we really couldn’t commit ongoing funds beyond this year, especially with a projected multi-milliondollar deficit next year,” he said. The school district’s 2009-10 operating budget is $154 million, 86 percent of which goes to employee salaries and benefits. ■ — Chris Kenrick
Court ruling gives boost to high-speed rail
Design work can proceed on the planned Peninsula segment of highspeed rail despite flaws in the environmental analysis of the overall project, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge has ruled. The ruling last Friday by Judge Michael Kenny is a setback for a coalition of opponents of the rail plan and of the Peninsula segment. The coalition of Menlo Park, Atherton and environmental groups had hoped Kenny would send the California High Speed Rail Authority back to redo the environmental studies and halt design work on segments, such as the Peninsula segment. The ruling means the rail authority — charged with building the 800mile line between San Francisco and Los Angeles — can continue studying design alternatives for the Bay Area section of the line. California voters approved $9.95 billion to provide seed funds for the $40-billion-plus rail line in the Nov. 3, 2008, election. The coalition had sued the rail authority, arguing that the agency was hasty in approving Pacheco Pass as its preferred alternative for the Bay Area segment of the line. The coalition argued that the line should pass through the East Bay via the Altamont Pass. It also argued that the authority failed to describe the project adequately when it approved the broader environmental report that identified Pacheco Pass as the preferred alternative. Kenny agreed in August that the authority failed to describe fully some sections of the line, specifically the segment between San Jose and Merced. Kenny also ruled that the authority failed to consider Union Pacific’s opposition to sharing its right-of-way with high-speed rail and ordered the authority to revise those sections of the environmental-impact report. ■ — Gennady Sheyner
Residents fight to save sycamores at Paly
A proposal to remove 13 large trees from Palo Alto High School’s sycamore-lined entrance from Churchill Avenue was headed off by residents and school board members Tuesday night. The Board of Education sent school officials back to the drawing boards in their effort to rebuild the adjacent football field bleachers to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Residents argued passionately for saving the trees, comparing Paly’s sycamore-lined entrance to the Cours de la Reine in Paris or to the northern Virginia estate of 18th-century statesman George Mason. “I’m here to urge you to preserve the great treasure that double allee of sycamore trees represents for the school district and for the city,” resident Rega Wood said. Paly Principal Jacqueline McEvoy and Athletic Director Earl Hansen said the planning committee had struggled since last spring to find an alternative to the tree removal. “It’s been a real struggle because unfortunately the choice of having to remove trees is one we didn’t anticipate. But one thing the facilities committee is adamant about is capacity of the bleachers,” McEvoy said. District Superintendent Kevin Skelly said he would return with some new proposals at the board’s Oct. 27 meeting, possibly adding capacity by extending the bleachers south beyond the light poles toward Churchill. ■ — Chris Kenrick LET’S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues at Town Square at www.PaloAltoOnline.com
WANT Palo Alto to make the right choices to ensure the quality
of life that we all cherish. That is why I’m running for City Council now and asking for your help.
“Another Candidate who will push for strong ﬁscal discipline is Greg Scharff, who also pledges to limit city wage increases to inﬂation. We also like his idea that the city should actively recruit high sales tax generating businesses. To accomplish that he said Palo Alto needs to be perceived as business friendly. But he is also against high density housing and he favors ﬁnding places for new parks. Scharff has the ability to tell the unions “no” and has rejected their support. He’s an independent thinker, is serious about the issues and knows this community well—the characteristics one wants in a council member.” “Greg Scharff, a 20-year resident and sole-practitioner attorney making his ﬁrst run for council, is the “surprise” candidate in the race. We were impressed with his knowledge of the issues, his directness and his ideas for improving the effectiveness of city government. Of all the candidates, he was the most clear and thoughtful on why Palo Alto’s “planned community” development process, the method used by most developers in proposing major projects that exceed the allowable size in exchange for often nebulous “public beneﬁts,” needs to be reformed and why developers have gained unfair advantage from it. He is also adamant about government transparency and accountability, proposing that no item be allowed on a council agenda unless all materials relating to that item have been available for at least 10 days. He believes past labor negotiations have resulted in excessive and unsustainable retirement beneﬁts for city employees which must now be rolled back. He supports the expansion of the Stanford hospitals assuming agreement on strong trafﬁc-mitigation measures.” t My Video a Check Out om ltoOnline.c om A lo a .P w w w harff.c lectGregSc and www.E
Scharff For City Council 2009 � Karen Neuman, Treasurer � 1301 Parkinson Avenu Palo Alto, CA 94301 � FPPC#1320354 Palo Alto Weekly • October 16, 2009 • Page 11
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Page 12 • October 16, 2009 • Palo Alto Weekly
f Palo Alto’s largest labor union were to go on strike, 87 workers would be barred from participating, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday. City Attorney Gary Baum succeeded in having 87 members of the Service Employees International Union Chapter 21 designated as “essential employees,” which means they would not be able to participate in any future strike. These include workers at the city’s wastewater-treatment plant, fire and police dispatchers and utility workers, City Manager James Keene said Wednesday. Most of these workers had already been barred from striking by a temporary restraining order the court had issued before the union’s one-day strike on Sept. 24. During that strike — which the union called a “self-imposed furlough” — 99 workers were required to show up to work. These workers included Greg Schulz and Mike Keate, who are members of the union’s negotiating team and employees of the city’s Utilities Department. With the temporary restraining
order set to expire on Oct. 13, the city narrowed its list of “critical workers” to 87 and succeeded in getting a permanent restraining order prohibiting these workers from striking, Keene said. Judge William Elfving upheld the city’s request to have each of these workers listed as essential to the city’s health and safety. “The city certainly supports and understands the labor’s right to strike,” Keene said. “But the court ruling certainly ensures that in the event of the strike, the city’s critical services will not be impacted.” Palo Alto has been in tense contract negotiations with the SEIU since May and the two sides have met more than 25 times but have not reached a consensus. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 20, Keene said. The union vehemently opposes the city’s plan to trim health care and pension benefits. City officials have repeatedly maintained that the cuts are necessary to reduce Palo Alto’s “structural deficit” in its budget of about $10 million. On Tuesday, Mayor Peter Drekmeier alluded to the union negotiations during a debate on the
business-license tax. He referred to the negotiations as “very contentious” and said a strike may be on the horizon. Drekmeier said the city remains firmly committed to winning $3 million in concessions from the labor unions. He said SEIU workers have been reticent about accepting the city’s proposal for a new labor contract. “The employees’ morale has been down because of this tense debate over the future of benefits,” Drekmeier said at the debate. “We’re losing some employees to early retirement.” Elfving’s preliminary injunction states that the city has established “the probability that there is an immediate danger that defendant SEIU will violate the Government Code by engaging in a strike or work stoppage.” “Failure to issue this preliminary injunction would result in an imminent threat to public health, safety and welfare,” the injunction reads. n Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.
Business tax (continued from page 3)
dinance has the full right to repeal technical issues without a vote of the people. However, changes that would result in a higher tax rate would require a new public vote. Mayor Peter Drekmeier said Tuesday that the council could later modify some of the details in the tax ordinance to address any procedural problems business owners encounter. The business-license-tax ordinance, which needs the approval of more than 50 percent of the voters to be enacted, has met fervent resistance from a small group of smallbusiness owners who claim the new tax would be too onerous and invasive. Harold “Skip” Justman, an attorney who is leading the opposition to the tax, reiterated these arguments at a Tuesday afternoon debate with Drekmeier, who favors Measure A. “Small businesses feel completely neglected — they feel punished and burdened,” Justman said during the debate at the Community Media Center. The proposed tax would charge each business $75 for the first employee and then between $34 and $95 for each additional employee. Hotels, stores, wholesale businesses and manufacturers would pay $34 per employee; professional businesses such as law firms, medical practices and real estate brokerages would pay $95 per employee; and landlords with fewer than four rental units would be charged $75 for the first unit and $25 for each additional unit. Justman said he has spoken to residents with home-based businesses and said these residents are frightened that the city will start auditing them and demanding money. Justman said one senior citizen told him she supplements her income by washing and mending clothes and said “she would be darned if she let some city employee come in and get into her supplemental income.” But Drekmeier said the issues Justman brought up have not materialized in neighboring communities, all of which already have a businesslicense tax. He said the city would never raid a home or target a minor and described Justman’s arguments as “scare tactics.” “We’re not a community that beats down doors to collect $75,”
Drekmeier said. “The scare tactics are not going to come to fruition. “We’re certainly going to work with businesses to make this work,” he added, noting that this could include “cleaning up the language” in the tax ordinance. Drekmeier, like other supporters of the tax, argued it is urgently needed to help close the city’s financial woes, even though the tax would not start until 2011. The city’s structural deficit this year exceeds $10 million. The tax would bring in $3 million annually, the city has estimated. Supporters of Measure A have also created a website, www.SavePaloAltoServices.org, to inform the public about the tax measure and to solicit contributions for the “Yes on A” campaign. The site lists a coalition of business-license-tax supporters, including developer Jim Baer, City Council watchdog Bob Moss, Planning and Transportation Commission Chair Daniel Garber, conservationists Walter Hays and Emily Renzel, and five candidates for the City Council — incumbent Councilman Larry Klein, Gail Price, Dan Dykwel, Nancy Shepherd and Brian Steen.
Commitment To Excellence
Baer, Klein and former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Roger Smith have also contributed $1,000 each to a “Yes on A — Save Palo Alto Services” campaign, which had collected $4,450 in contributions as of Sept. 24. Meanwhile, the “Small Businesses Against Taxes” group has created a Facebook group to oppose Measure A and has held a “pub crawl” to urge residents to vote against the new tax. Justman said Tuesday that the group is getting ready to send out fliers this week urging residents to vote against the business-license tax. But the group hasn’t come close to its original goal of raising $100,000 for the campaign. Its campaign statement shows that it has received $8,450 in contributions as of Sept. 24. Contributors include Palo Alto Theatre; Barbara Gross, general manager of Garden Court Hotel; Denovo Ventures, LLP; and planning consultant Carol Jansen. “Businesses are in hard times,” Justman said. “They just don’t have the money to contribute right now.” n Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.
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NO: Business License Tax (Measure A) s NO: High Speed Rail (Great Concept, Bad Plan) SPENDING: Control it Now! (For Our Future) VISION: Community building with Police, Fire and Schools Balanced land use – Stop over-crowding Retail Services –- Help our business community to thrive Palo Alto Weekly • October 16, 2009 • Page 13
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