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Fitness THE PENINSULA’S GUIDE TO HEALTHY LIVING ■
BEAUTY, HEALTH & FITNESS Inside
A N A L M A N A C, M O U N TA I N V I E W V O I C E A N D PA L O A LTO W E E K LY P U B L I C AT I O N
3aBEAUTY, health&Fitness 2O1O
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PALO ALTO’S ‘SECRET TREASURE’ Gamble Garden celebrates its 25th anniversary as a public garden PAGE 20 Spectrum 14
Eating Out 17
N Arts Travel writer witnesses world change
N Sports Girls’ soccer teams advance in CCS
N Home Artiﬁcial turf: another green solution
Ask the Dietitian
LifeSteps® Weight Management Program
A registered dietitian will be available to answer questions. Pick up free handouts, a portion guide bookmark, and view special displays and other nutrition resources. Free.
LifeSteps® is a comprehensive program that stresses the importance of healthy food choices, physical activity and behavior modiﬁcation techniques for weight management.
Mountain View Center, 650-934-7373 701 East El Camino Real Third Floor, Community Health Resource Center Thursday, March 4, 11, 18 and 25, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Mountain View Center, 650-934-7373 701 East El Camino Real
Palo Alto Center, 650-614-3200 795 El Camino Real Community Health Resource Center Thursday, March 4 and 18, 1:30 – 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 10:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Nutrition Services PAMF’s Nutrition and Diabetes Education Departments have registered dietitians who offer one-on-one counseling and education for weight management, nutrition-related medical diagnoses and other nutrition needs. Mountain View Center, 650-934-7177 701 East El Camino Real
Palo Alto Center, 650-853-2961 795 El Camino Real
Improving South Asian Health: Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention This lecture covers how to identify your South Asian adjusted risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, lifestyle changes to live longer, and tips for nutrition and healthy eating. Free.
Redwood City Center, 650-853-2961 805 Veterans Boulevard
Mountain View Center, 650-934-7373 701 East El Camino Real Third Floor, Conference Rooms C & D Wednesday, March 11, 7 – 8 p.m.
This two-hour walk through Nob Hill Foods will enlighten and inspire you with tips for reading food labels, understanding how stores are laid out and shopping strategies. Pre-registration, fee charged.
HMR® Weight Management Program
Supermarket Wise Nob Hill Grocery, 650-934-7373 1250 Grant Road Thursday, March 4, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
This is a research-based, medically supervised weight management program designed for those, ages 16 and up, who would like to lose between 10 and 200 and more pounds. HMR Center (Mountain View), 650-404-8260 700 East El Camino Real, Suite 100
For more nutrition-related information, visit
Local news, information and analysis
Palo Alto to woo Google for fiber network
Officials ask community to join push for a citywide, hyperfast fiber-based Internet system by Gennady Sheyner alo Alto businessmen George Gindoyan and Steve Tidwell are the true believers. The executive director of Jazz Pharmaceuticals and infrastructure manager for Playlist.com, respectively, Gindoyan and Tidwell use the city’s 40.6-mile fiber-optic ring for light-
ning-quick access to the Internet. They call it fast, affordable, flexible and reliable. They could be poster children for a goal city officials and techie citizens are now pursuing: Become one of tech-giant Google’s test locations for a citywide fiber network capa-
ble of delivering Internet access at speeds of up to or exceeding 1 gigabit per second. That’s more than 100 times faster than what most Americans can access, according to the search company. On Monday, the City Council unanimously voted to aggressively pursue a partnership with Mountain View-based Google for an expanded fiber network — one that could use the city’s existing infrastructure as its backbone.
“We, as a city, are ready to move quickly to make this a reality,” Vice Mayor Sid Espinosa said. Palo Alto already has a “ring” of fiber-optic cables that stretch underground along Page Mill, Middlefield and Arastradero roads and hang overhead at Alma Street, Embarcadero Road and East Meadow Drive. It’s the very same network that Gindoyan and Tidwell are hooked up to. But while the system supports the massive technology firms in Stan-
ford Research Park and allows small start-ups in downtown Palo Alto to move around huge amounts of data in a matter of seconds, the ring doesn’t close “the last mile” gap to homes and small businesses. The dream of closing that gap has eluded generations of officials and tech-savvy residents alike. Palo Alto officials plan to rally the community to support its drive (continued on page 6)
Palo Alto youth to outline priorities Saturday More late-night gathering spots, better lunch deals top list by Chris Kenrick
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Miranda Lin leads the 70-foot-long dragon held by Jonas Enders and 24 classmates at Ohlone Elementary School during the Lunar New Year celebration on Feb. 19. Each class decorated a 3-foot-square piece of red satin, which was later sewn by parents for the parade.
hat do Palo Alto’s teens want? Outdoor movie screenings in parks, better student-lunch deals and more teen-friendly latenight venues — for starters. As Palo Alto’s high school students prepare to explain themselves to the city’s adult leaders this Saturday, teens were culling a list of suggestions generated by more than 100 students who attended a Feb. 6 session to identify youth concerns. Youth representatives will present the concerns to community leaders, including local business owners and elected officials, this Saturday at Mitchell Park Community Center. Saturday’s 2 p.m. meeting, featur-
Witness saw plane ‘suddenly appear from the fog’ Fatal flight from Palo Alto Airport hit main power line and tower and wires, government report says by Sue Dremann
he Cessna 310R that crashed in pieces in an East Palo Alto neighborhood last week flew in at a level or slightly nose-up position at a low altitude until it struck power lines and a high-tension electrical tower, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday night by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Multiple witnesses living near the accident site reported observing portions of the accident sequence. One witness, who was walking on a levee near the crash site, said she saw an airplane “suddenly appear from the fog” to her left. She said she continued to watch the airplane fly from her left to her right at a low
altitude until it hit power lines, according to the report. Parts of the Cessna, piloted by Doug Bourn, a senior electrical engineer with Tesla Motors, crashed into several homes and the ground following the collision with the power lines and tower, the report noted. Bourn, a licensed commercial pilot, and his two passengers, Andrew Ingram and Brian Finn, also Tesla employees, were flying to Hawthorne, Calif., for a meeting. All three men were killed. The airplane was registered to Air Unique, Inc., of Santa Clara, and piloted by Bourn as a personal flight. “Instrument meteorological con-
ditions prevailed and an instrument flight plan was filed for the crosscountry flight,” the NTSB report said. “Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane struck power lines and a power line tower about 50 feet above ground level. Various portions of wreckage debris, power lines, and power-line tower structure were scattered throughout the wreckage debris path,” according to the report. The southwesterly debris path measured approximately 900 feet from the tower and wires to where the main fuselage of the plane came to rest in front of a residence on Beech Street. In total, a post-crash
fire and wreckage debris damaged four homes and at least five vehicles. All major structural parts of the airplane were located and are being studied by NTSB investigators. A fuel-laden wing, believed to have been severed by hitting the power lines or tower, crashed into a home housing a day care center and burst into flames, but all of the seven persons there escaped unhurt. The plane’s engine, landing gear and part of the fuselage destroyed a carport and the car in it, and the engine continued on, smashing the side of a garage and winding up inside the garage. Joshua Cawthra, the NTSB lead
ing food and raffle prizes, is sponsored by the City of Palo Alto, the nonprofit Youth Community Service organization, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the Palo Alto Family YMCA and the Palo Alto Unified School District. Palo Alto High School seniors Daniel Jones and Charlie Lin were among several dozen students planning Saturday’s session at a meeting of the Palo Alto Youth Council Monday. “We’re hoping to promote an honest, open dialogue between teens and relevant adults in the community that can effect the change we want to see,” Lin said. (continued on page 7)
aviation accident investigator, said a final report to determine the exact cause of the crash would take six months to a year. “The process is very time consuming. It depends on where the investigation leads us. If it’s mechanical failure we have to dig deeper as to why there was a failure,” he said. Cawthra said whether the plane impacted with the tower or wires first isn’t known at this point. “We may never know. It was pretty instantaneous,” he said. No flight recorder was required on the plane and the airport control tower did not receive any distress calls prior to the crash, Cawthra said. Investigators are examining five audio recordings of the crash picked up by East Palo Alto Police Department’s ShotSpotter gun-shot detection system, however. The recordings picked up 11 seconds of the accident, which included (continued on page 7)
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Upfront 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, Iris Harrell, Sheila Himmel, Kevin Kirby, Jack McKinnon, Renata Polt, Jeanie Forte Smith, Susan Tavernetti, Robert Taylor, Contributors Martin Sanchez, Mike Lata, Editorial Interns 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, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Judie Block, Esmeralda Flores, Janice Hoogner, Gary Whitman, Display Advertising Sales Neil Fine, Rosemary Lewkowitz, Real Estate Advertising Sales David Cirner, Irene Schwartz, Inside Advertising Sales Cathy Norfleet, Display Advertising Sales Asst. Diane Martin, Real Estate Advertising Assistants 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, Susie Ochoa, Doris Taylor, Business Associates ADMINISTRATION Amy Renalds, Assistant to the Publisher & Promotions Director Alana VanZanten, Promotions Intern Janice Covolo, Receptionist Ruben Espinoza, Courier
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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, Circulation Assistants Chris Planessi, Chip Poedjosoedarmo, Computer System Associates 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 ©2010 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
Commitment To Excellence
We may never know. It was pretty instantaneous.
— Joshua Cawthra, lead aviation accident investigator, on what caused the fatal crash of a small airplane in East Palo Alto last week. See story on page 3.
Around Town BRAZEN BRASSIERE BURGLARY ... Three people landed in the slammer last Tuesday for allegedly swiping 87 bras from the Victoria’s Secret store at Stanford Shopping Center. Police say the thieves stuffed the undergarments — valued at $4,000 total — in large bags before fleeing the popular lingerie outlet. Police caught up with the bag-toting burglars and arrested them. The incident gave Town Square punsters plenty to cheer about. One commenter thanked Palo Alto Online for “keeping us abreast.” “Let’s hope the charges hold up,” said another. “I hope these three young people get the support they need,” said a third. Thanks to the quickfooted cops, the crime was a complete bust. FILLING BIG SHOES ... Newer Palo Altans may not know that the legendary David Packard, yes, THE David Packard, served on the Palo Alto school board from 1947 to 1956. That kind of civic commitment from a business leader is recognized annually in the David Packard Award bestowed by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network. This year’s recipient is longtime Palo Alto resident Richard M. Levy, chair and former CEO of Varian Medical Systems. A nuclear engineer involved in the early days of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Levy’s career led him to a passion for seeking cures for cancer and improving health care delivery. In addition to his stints coaching youth baseball and chairing the board of the United Way, Levy sits on the boards of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Sutter Health. CELEBRATION TIME ... A veteran East Palo Alto mentor, a Gunn High School graduate who helped students cope with recent suicides and a major fundraiser for the new Jewish Community Center will all be honored by Midpeninsula Community Media Center in March for their significant contributions. The Palo Alto-based broadcasting organization is planning to air interviews with all six winners of its “Local Heroes Award” on Channel 30 between March 7 to March 14. The winners are: Cur-
tis Haggins, dean of students at Midpeninsula High School; Leif Erickson, executive director of Youth Community Service; Carol Saal, board president of the Jewish Community Center; McKay Daines, a Gunn High School graduate who started a Facebook page to help students and alumni cope with the suicides; Bob Hoover, a mentor in East Palo Alto; and Gary Riekes, who runs the Riekes Center for youth in Menlo Park. The Media Center is also hosting a reception for the winners on March 7. BUTTON PUSHING ... Could Palo Alto’s effort to spread fiber to the masses boil down to how many local button-pushers the city can reach? A few city officials and fiber enthusiasts think it just might. On Monday, residents and City Council members encouraged the masses to log on to Google’s “Fiber for Communities” web page and to nominate Palo Alto for the company’s fiber experiment. Bob Harrington, a resident who advises city officials on fiber issues, said the city’s grassroots outreach effort could very well determine whether Palo Alto’s bid to get selected for Google’s fiber system is successful. Mayor Pat Burt agreed. “We have 65,000 people,” Burt said. “If we get 64,000 to hit the button, we may show a good response.” CELEBRATING JOE ... State Sen. Joe Simitian earned wide praise from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society this week — picking up the group’s “California Legislator of the Year” recognition. The society called Simitian a “longstanding champion of persons living with MS and other chronic conditions.” It also praised Simitian’s authorship of Senate Bill 486, which encourages safe disposal of needles, syringes and other “sharps.” The bill requires pharmaceutical companies to tell customers where sharps can be safely disposed of. But the bill, ironically, wasn’t even Simitian’s idea. It was submitted by San Carlos resident Betty Lipkin, who has MS. Simitian said he is “gratified” by the Society’s recognition and praised the new needle-disposal law. N
Upfront PALO ALTO CITY COUNCIL
School board slices $3.8M from budget Biggest cuts boost class size, shrink principals’ discretionary funds by Chris Kenrick
he Palo Alto school board Tuesday approved $3.8 million in cuts — about 2.5 percent of the district’s operating budget. The largest single chunk of the cuts — $600,000 — will come from raising the maximum class size in K-3 to 22 children and, in grades 4 and 5, to 24 children. The second-largest cut will come from reducing principals’ discretionary funds from $105 per student to $70 per student, resulting in possible reductions in materials, printing, supplies and the hours school aides work. The cuts to the principals’ discretionary funds will be partly mitigated by extra contributions from Palo Alto Partners in Education, a parentrun educational foundation that recently presented a record-breaking $2.9 million to the district. Board members expressed particular concern about the classroom consequences of the discretionaryfund cuts, with board member Barb Mitchell withholding her support for the whole package until more information about next year’s finances becomes available. “This cut is something particularly disruptive to school sites and puts
us on a slippery slope,” Mitchell said before the 4-1 vote approving the $3.8 million reduction package. “I’d rather wait on this one until we have more information in May or June,” she said. But her colleagues disagreed. “I think we’re in an unprecedented economic situation in this country and actually in the world,” board member Melissa Baten Caswell said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get out of it, but I’m not optimistic that things are going to look better in May or June. So it’s important for us to give the school sites an ability to plan for next year,” she said. The cuts approved Tuesday did not include an earlier proposal to increase the size of ninth-grade English and math classes by one student. Instead, principals were given discretion to manage the budget cuts in the ways most effective for their sites. Board members praised efforts already undertaken, such as an informal hiring freeze and winter closures of middle school pools, which have yielded significant savings. They also stressed the critical need to secure an increase in the district’s current $493-per-parcel tax to $589
per parcel. The measure will come before voters in May and requires a two-thirds majority to pass. In addition to the cuts passed Tuesday and $2.7 million in surplus from past years, school leaders are banking on $1.8 million in the higher parcel-tax revenue to plug the district’s $8.3 million “structural deficit” for 2010-11. “The additional $1.8 million is 18 teachers — this is really core to our program,” board member Camille Townsend said. Board members noted that Palo Alto is far luckier than many school districts in California, where class sizes will rise to 30 this fall. Skelly thanked board members for approving the cuts, noting that he needs to move on to other pressing concerns such as replacing many top administrators who have announced their resignations, including the principals of both Gunn and Palo Alto high schools, Terman Middle School and Palo Verde Elementary School, as well as several top managers in the district office. N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be e-mailed at email@example.com.
Noreen Likins to retire as Gunn High principal After 12 years at Gunn, Likins cites sadness and a desire for time off for personal pursuits by Jay Thorwaldson
unn High School Principal Noreen Likins is retiring at the end of the school year, she told Gunn teachers, students and parents in an e-mail shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday. Likins has been at Gunn for 12 years, six as assistant principal and six as principal. “Always waiting until tomorrow to do things you want to do is not wise,” she said in the e-mail as the central reason for her retirement. Her husband, Tod, has been retired for 13 years and “is patiently waiting for us to do some of the traveling we keep talking about but don’t have time to do.” Likins said the past year has been emotionally difficult for her as principal — referring indirectly to deaths of four young persons linked to Gunn — and personally. “As you all know events here at Gunn over the past nine months have been very hard on all of us but while all of this has been going on, I lost my beloved sister Liz to cancer in August, and her husband, Malcolm, who was really a brother to me, also died suddenly in November,” she wrote. “The impact of it all has left me deeply saddened and very much aware that life is unpredictable.” Likins’ retirement leaves Superintendent Kevin Skelly with two high-school-principal vacancies to fill by next summer, after Palo Alto High School Principal Jacquie McE-
voy resigned “for personal reasons” in late January. There also are several lowerlevel principal openings to fill. “Noreen’s contributions to education in our community have been enormous,” Superintendent Kevin Skelly said. “I know I speak for the (school) board and her colleagues when I say how much we will miss her leadership and inspiration and wish her well in the next phase of her life.” Martha Bowden, parent chair of Gunn’s Site Council, said, “My respect for Noreen has grown not only from her courage to identify the impediments to change, but also from her demonstrated dedication and love of the students. “This has been a really hard time for her and, while I understand her decision, I am saddened that some of what she wanted to do to help the students (community building period) may not happen with her leaving. “And for that, we will all lose out on an opportunity to improve the experience of each kid at Gunn.” Likins’ full e-mail message: “Dear Gunn Community
“It is exceedingly hard to leave a job that I love and enjoy very much but after much soul searching I have decided that this will be my last year at Gunn. I have been here for twelve years, six as Assistant Principal with responsibility for Guidance Services and six as Principal. “I have been privileged to work with a great staff, amazing students and a wonderful administrative team. And I could not have asked for a more supportive parent community. “Through these twelve years, working together, I believe we have done a lot to make Gunn a more caring community and to improve what we do and how we do it. “Of course it is the staff that has done the work that makes Gunn the great school it is, and to them the credit should go. I will, however, admit to turning over a few rocks along the way that have helped to clear the path. From my biased vantage point, Gunn is a great place to teach and to learn. “I have reached a time in my life that I have to move on. Life is too short not to stop and smell the roses and my job does not allow me the time to do that. “As you all know events here at Gunn over the past nine months have been very hard on all of us but while all of this has been going on, I lost
CIVIC CENTER, 250 HAMILTON AVENUE BROADCAST LIVE ON KZSU, FM 90.1 CABLECAST LIVE ON GOVERNMENT ACCESS CHANNEL 26 COUNCIL CHAMBERS – MARCH 1, 2010 – 7:00 P.M. State of the City Address (TENTATIVE) AGENDA – SPECIAL MEETING – COUNCIL CONFERENCE ROOM MARCH 3, 2010 – 5:00 P.M. 1. Interviews of Candidates for the Planning and Transportation Commission
(TENTATIVE) AGENDA – SPECIAL MEETING – COUNCIL CHAMBERS MARCH 3, 2010 – 7:00 P.M. 1. Joint Study Session of the City Council and Planning and Transportation Commission Regarding Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Housing Element Status
STANDING COMMITTEE MEETINGS The Finance Committee Meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, 2010
NOTICE OF A SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING of the Palo Alto Planning & Transportation Commision Please be advised the Planning and Transportation Commission (P&TC) shall conduct a regular meeting at 7:00 PM, Wednesday, March 10, 2010 in the Civic Center, Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, California. Any interested persons may appear and be heard on these items. Staff reports for agendized items are available via the City’s main website at www.cityofpaloalto.org. and also at the Planning Division Front Desk, 5th Floor, City Hall, after 2:00 PM on the Friday preceding the meeting date. Copies will be made available at the Development Center should City Hall be closed on the 9/80 Friday. NEW BUSINESS. Public Hearings: 1. 805 Los Trancos Road: Request by Mark Conroe on behalf of Langenskiold Family Trust for Site and Design Review of a new 11,184 sq. ft. single family home at 805 Los Trancos Road. Environmental Assessment: An Initial Study has been completed and a Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been prepared in accordance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements. Zone District: Open Space (OS). 2. Zoning Ordinance Update: Review and recommendation of maximum house size and basement limitations to the development standards in the Open Space (OS) zone district. Environmental Assessment: A Negative Declaration was adopted on September 21, 2009 in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Meeting of February 10, 2010. NEXT MEETING: Regular Meeting of March 10, 2010 Questions. Any questions regarding the above applications, please contact the Planning Department at (650) 329-2440. The ﬁles relating to these items are available for inspection weekdays between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This public meeting is televised live on Government Access Channel 26. ADA. The City of Palo Alto does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. To request accommodations to access City facilities, services or programs, to participate at public meetings, or to learn more about the City’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), please contact the City’s ADA Coordinator at 650.329.2550 (voice) or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. *** Curtis Williams, Director of Planning and Community Environment
(continued on page 11)
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Breakfast Speaker Event with Ayelet Waldman Breast Cancer Connections is hosting a breakfast speaker event with Ayelet Waldman, author of The New York Times best-seller Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace. Ayelet is a bold author who writes about thought provoking topics regarding her life and family with wit and brutal honesty. She gained notoriety through her confessions in The New York Times style section to loving her husband more than her children. You donâ€™t want to miss this entertaining morning of laughter and celebration. Friends, mothers and daughters, and supporters of Breast Cancer Connections (BCC) are encouraged to attend. When: 4UESDAY !PRIL s AM Where: Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club 2900 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA Cost: $100 per person | $3,000 per table of ten 2EGISTER ONLINE AT WWWBCCONNECTIONSORGEVENTSFUNDRAISERS OR CALL (650) 326-6299 x17 BCC accepts check, cash, VISA and MasterCard. Why Attend? Support a great cause while enjoying the morning with a loved one or friend. Ayelet is an inspirational author who speaks about life with humility and charisma. Questions: Please contact Jill Nelson (650) 326-6299, ext.17 firstname.lastname@example.org Proceeds from the event will beneďŹ t Breast Cancer Connections, a 501(c)(3) nonproďŹ t organization in Palo Alto. BCC provides free services to individuals facing breast cancer, including diagnostic services for young, uninsured women unable to afford these critical procedures.
toward a Google system, which could involve Google investing tens of millions of dollars in installation costs. The cityâ€™s fiber ring cost an estimated $2 million to install in the late 1990s and presently clears about $2 million a year in excess revenues over costs. Although no taxpayer money would be involved under the Google network as outlined, a key question city officials are asking is: Why should Palo Alto residents support a fiber system? Gindoyan and Tidwell have some answers. Gindoyan said the fiber service has been an invaluable tool for Jazz Pharmaceuticals, which employs more than 300 people. â€œWhen you deal with data and you outsource everything, this service is about as essential as water, electricity and heating,â€? said Gindoyan, whose company is located on Porter Drive in Stanford Research Park. The fiber ring allows Jazz Pharmaceuticals to expand and contract along with market fluctuations without having to add or reconfigure complex technology at every step, he said. The company can move from one building to another and keep its high-speed Internet connection intact and uninterrupted, he said. And the fiber link is fast â€” really fast. Tidwell said the 1 gigabit-persecond bandwidth makes a huge difference for his company, which has its corporate office on High Street in downtown Palo Alto and which â€” as the name Playlist.com implies â€” creates music playlists for its users. â€œItâ€™s way more than what youâ€™d normally be able to do with a standard DSL connection,â€? Tidwell said. â€œSomething that can take hours to do with a DSL connection takes only a few seconds for us.â€? The fact that the system never crashes also helps, Tidwell said. Aside from the Feb. 17 outage, which was caused by a plane crash
that unplugged the entire city, the fiber-optic system has been delivering uninterrupted service to Playlist.com since the company moved downtown last April. â€œWe havenâ€™t had any outages at all since we hooked up to the fiber,â€? Tidwell told the Weekly. â€œBack when we were using Comcast and AT&T, service interruptions were a weekly occurrence and a major annoyance.â€? Google also offers reasons its â€œFiber for Communitiesâ€? experiment could benefit residents. The company cites scenarios in which rural doctors could discuss a case with a specialist in New York, while both viewing 3-D images of the patient; consumers could download a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes; or software developers could create new bandwidth-intensive â€œkiller appsâ€? and services. Google stated that the network, once operational, will be open to multiple service providers. Palo Alto has been operating its network since the late 1990s. The city often refers to it either as the â€œfiber ringâ€? because it circles around the city or as â€œdark fiberâ€? because it relies on customers to â€œlight it upâ€? before data can flow. The city owns the cables and the basic infrastructure that allows customers to connect. The customers provide the necessary transmitters and the receivers to make the system fit their particular needs. â€œThe customers have a great deal of flexibility in designing their network,â€? said Joyce Kinnear, marketing manager for the cityâ€™s Utilities Department. The city currently provides fiber service to about 45 customers at about 173 service connections, according to the cityâ€™s annual budget report. The number of connections went up by 10 percent in fiscal year 2009 and is expected to increase by another 10 percent in the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30. Meanwhile, operating revenue in the cityâ€™s â€œfiber optics fundâ€? has in-
creased by 23 percent over the past two years and is projected to go up by another 14 percent this year. The system brought the Utilities Department $2.49 million in gross sales revenues in 2008 and $2.6 million in 2009. The figure is projected to go up by about $34,000 this year, according to the budget. But while the fiber-optics system has given city officials plenty to cheer about, Palo Altoâ€™s quest to expand the network to the homes and small businesses has been plagued by years of false starts and disappointments. The cityâ€™s partnership with a Canada-based private consortium collapsed last March after the consortiumâ€™s funding dried up and the city refused to provide a funding guarantee. Months later, Palo Alto officials learned that the cityâ€™s planned bid to acquire federal-stimulus funds for the citywide network is unlikely to bear fruit because the federal program is targeting â€œunservedâ€? and â€œunderservedâ€? communities (a tough stretch for an affluent Silicon Valley community). The City Council Monday night agreed to scrap the cityâ€™s applications for federal funds and to pursue Google. The initial application is due March 26. Bob Harrington, member of a citizensâ€™ group that advises the city on fiber issues, was one of several residents who urged the council to pursue the Google project. Harrington told the Weekly that a citywide fiber network could change the way residents work and live. It would enable local entrepreneurs increasingly to work from home, as many already are doing in Palo Alto. â€œIf youâ€™re an engineer, wouldnâ€™t you like to have the ability to download and work with gigantic files at home in the same way as you currently do with little files?â€? Harrington asked. N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.
Palo Alto will focus on street repairs, bike lanes Capital Improvement budget targets landfill closure, Art Center, Main Library by Gennady Sheyner
ebuilt libraries, a new roof quarters and two fire stations. for the Palo Alto Arts Center Members of the Planning and and the closure of the cityâ€™s Transportation Commission, which landfill should top Palo Altoâ€™s in- discussed the cityâ€™s capital-improvefrastructure wish list for the next ment program Wednesday night, five years, a new city staff report had no major objections to the list recommends. of items, which would cost the city Six new bicycle boulevards are about $72 million over five years. also on the list, as is a more aggres- But Vice Chair Samir Tuma asked sive effort to patch up damaged city staff what the city plans to do about streets. Also included are electrical the staggering backlog in infrastrucand heating-system improvements ture maintenance. to the Palo Alto Childrenâ€™s Theatre â€œIâ€™m seeing buildings built in Commitment To Excellence and the Lucie Stern Community the 1960s and weâ€™re talking about Center, respectively. not having the money to make the But with the city facing a $510 mil- electricDupgrades,â€? Tuma said. â€œThe iscount C ouperil. pon lion â€œinfrastructure backlog,â€? city of- infrastructure in real (with purcis hase of new roof 1975 ) numficialsOriginal voicedOwnership concernsSince Wednesday â€œAs I look at these backlog about badly needed items that cur- bers and how it grows over the years All Types of RooďŹ ng & Gutters rently have no source of funding. This it gets worse.â€? includes replacementResidential of the aging Mu-& Commercial Lalo Perez, director ofS.C.L#785441 the cityâ€™s nicipal Services Center in the baylands Administrative Services Depart1901 Old MiddleďŹ eld Way, Mtn.View 650-969-7663 and upgrades to the cityâ€™s police head- ment, said staff is currently working
on a plan to involve the community in the difficult process of setting priorities. Perez said the city might have to consider funding more projects through bond sales. But budget woes notwithstanding, city officials are preparing to spend more on street repairs in 2011. Mike Sartor, assistant director of the Public Works Department, said staff plans to make street resurfacing a high priority in the coming year. The city is budgeting $5.7 million for street repairs in fiscal year 2011 an increase over the $4 million budgeted this year. The city also plans to build six new â€œbicycle boulevards,â€? with improved intersections and bike lanes. These include new lanes at Homer Avenue, Matadero Avenue, Park Boulevard, (continued on page 11)
Plane crash (continued from page 3)
the sound of the plane’s engines just prior to the crash, the impact into the wires and tower and subsequent impacts with homes and the street, according to police. It is the first time in aviation history that such a recording will be used for forensic purposes, Cawthra said. ShotSpotter filters sounds to separate gun shots from other noise and then reports the gunfire and location to police. The system automatically classified the crash as loud and impulsive but not gunfire and did not report the incident in real time to the East Palo Alto Police dispatch. But company employees realized the information was cached after learning of the crash and provided the audio recording to police, said James Bedlock, company president. Memorial services for the three men are pending. Finn is to be eulogized in DeKalb Area Retirement Center Oakcrest Chapel in DeKalb, Ill., and a memorial service is planned for Bourn on Feb. 27. Ingram’s family said they plan to hold a memorial service sometime around Easter. To honor the three victims, East Palo Alto residents on Beech Street built a small shrine at the crash site out of bricks and plywood and adorned it with flowers, candles, stuffed animals and several fragments of the plane. N Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be e-mailed at sdremann@paweekly. com. Editorial Intern Martin Sanchez contributed to this story.
(continued from page 3)
“Hopefully it’s just going to be a good, honest conversation about how we can make Palo Alto a more teen-friendly place.” Jones and Lin displayed a list of suggestions that had been raised at the Feb. 6 youth session, organized and run by teens. Many ideas clustered around the need for more gathering spots for teens, particularly late at night. “People want more 24-hour places,” Jones said. “After 9 or 10, the only real choices are drive-through fast food, 7-Eleven or Happy Donuts. One thing people said was they want more things like Happy Donuts that are open 24 hours a day and have things besides doughnuts.” Gunn students in particular said they wished for more food options closer to their campus. And all students lamented a dearth of low-cost lunch options. Jones and Lin fondly recalled former Town & Country Village tenants — now gone — Spot Pizza and Rojoz Wraps. Spot offered a $5 pizza deal, they said, and Rojoz had a $3 “Paly quickbite,” which, with an added drink, came to less than $5. “I really miss that,” Jones said. N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be e-mailed at email@example.com.
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Pilots’ group urges tighter procedures at airport Palo Alto Aircraft Association discourages — but doesn’t ban — takeoffs over East Palo Alto neighborhoods
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by Jay Thorwaldson cutely aware of the Palo Alto Airport’s limited-visibility future, the airport’s pilots’ and aircraft-owners’ group is pushing tighter takeoff-andlanding procedures to show more consideration for East Palo Alto residents. But the Palo Alto Airport Association stops short of banning such flights in a new proposal presented by Vice President Bob Lenox this week. The airport is operated by Santa Clara County under a long-term lease that technically expires in 2017, but county airport officials have told Palo Alto that they will not continue operating the airport after that — and even would like out of it sooner. Palo Alto is investigating whether it should operate the airport itself. “It’s put-up-or-shut-up time, folks,” Lenox summed up his bluntly worded e-mail, referring to the airport’s tenuous position and last week’s crash of a small plane into an East Palo Alto neighborhood. “We are a minority that exists with the tolerance of the community at large. We all understand that a key component of safe flying is risk management. We must do whatever we can to further enhance what really is, in the longer perspective, an excellent safety record.” Lenox began his e-mail in more measured terms: “In the aftermath of this past week’s tragic accident, the airport is under increased scrutiny. “The aviation community must do all it can to minimize risks to the surrounding areas, and the perception of risk. “The accident last week came perilously close to causing bodily harm to individuals on the ground. As it was, the psychological and physical damage was immense, and the political pressure on the airport has never been greater,”
Lenox said. He said pilots could do two things immediately to ease concern of residents: Don’t ask or accept departure routes over residential areas and (for high-performance planes) reduce takeoff engine power slowly, not all at once. “There are jangled nerves in East Palo Alto,” Lenox said. “The change in engine sounds is alarming, despite it being considered good operating practice by us. The perception of a rapid change in engine RPM is unsettling!” “Hundreds of e-mails and phone calls between the (association’s) board, the pilot community, media, emergency response and the community have literally been a full-time job for some members of the association over the last few days,” he said, in an appeal for help from the group’s members in terms of time and funding. But one pilot, Peter Carpenter, is even more blunt and urgent than Lenox. Prior to last week’s “crash there were a small and vocal minority of people opposed to the airport, a somewhat larger and more vocal group of airport supporters and most of the others were on the fence,” Carpenter said in an e-mail to Lenox and other pilots. Since Wednesday “many of the fence sitters have moved to the ‘anti’ camp and none have moved to the ‘pro’ camp,” he said. In a separate e-mail, he cited the comments in the Town Square forum on Palo Alto Online as running 9-to-1 against continuing the airport operations. The airport has one runway, but it is referred to by two names: Runway 13 and Runway 31. That refers to which way planes are headed on the runway, based on compass readings minus the third digit. N Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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News Digest Repairs, delays ahead for San Antonio overpass
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Palo Alto and Mountain View are preparing to fix up the San Antonio Road overpass â€” a project that officials say will require lane closures and cause traffic delays. The project, which is funded largely through a federal grant, includes repairs to railings, curbs and sidewalks at the San Antonio Road crossing at Alma Street and Central Expressway. About two-thirds of the overpass is located in Mountain View, while one-third is in Palo Alto. Karen Begard, a project manager in the Palo Alto Public Works Department, said the overpass has seen substantial wear and tear over the years. Concrete has gotten chipped, leaving steel reinforcement bars exposed. In 2005, Caltrans included the overpass on its list of â€œstructurally deficientâ€? bridges. Jack Muench, the project manager from the Mountain View Department of Public Works, said he expects the work to conclude in April. Some of the lanes on San Antonio would be temporarily closed, as would the two ramps leading from San Antonio to Alma; the lane and ramp closures would only occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., he said. The San Antonio Road overpass was built in 1961 and seismically retrofitted in 1994. Mountain View is overseeing the $861,000 project and contributing $174,000 for the repairs. Palo Alto is chipping in $90,000. The cities also received $597,000 for the repairs from the Federal Highway Bridge Program grant. N â€” Gennady Sheyner
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Palo Alto lawyer, fiancĂŠe, die in plane crash A prominent Palo Alto patent lawyer and his fiancĂŠe were killed last Friday after the private plane he was piloting hit a tree, caught fire and crashed near Yosemite National Park. Sgt. Jeff Wilson, spokesman for the Tuolomne County Sheriffâ€™s Department, said the plane crashed at about 7:17 p.m. Feb. 19, killing Albert Halluin, 70, and Judy Perchonock, 60. Halluin, a biotech patent lawyer at Palo Alto firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, owns a house in Groveland, near the crash site. The companyâ€™s website describes him as â€œone of the nationâ€™s most prominent biotechnology patent lawyers and strategists.â€? The website also noted that Halluin was an â€œinstrument-level pilotâ€? â€” a certification issued to pilots who have received extra training and are authorized to fly in conditions of low visibility. But Wilson said authorities believe the foggy weather was largely responsible for Halluinâ€™s crash. He was trying to make a second approach to landing because he couldnâ€™t see the airfield, Wilson said. Halluinâ€™s vision may have been obstructed by rain and fog, he said. Albert Halluin and Perchonock, of Redwood City, had been planning to get married on May 12 â€” their three-year anniversary, Marcus Halluin said. N â€” Gennady Sheyner
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