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Shorter hours, smaller collections eyed for libraries Palo Alto ponders keeping some libraries closed, trimming budget for new collections by Gennady Sheyner
or Palo Alto’s library supporters, the city’s latest budget proposal is the ultimate buzz
kill. It should be a happy time. The city’s $76 million library-improvement project is sailing along swimmingly and, in some cases, ahead
of schedule, city officials said this week. Fundraising efforts for library furniture are accelerating, and the Downtown Library just closed down for major renovations — an event city leaders commemorated with a cheerful ceremony. But with the city facing a $7.3
million budget deficit, it now appears increasingly likely that the new, state-of-the-art libraries will have shorter hours and smaller collections than residents expected when they passed Measure N in 2008. City Manager James Keene’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, slashes the Library Department’s budget for collections by 18 percent — meaning fewer new books, reference materials and electronic resources. Keene also proposed keeping all
libraries closed on Monday and changing the closing time at Mitchell Park and Main libraries from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m. The College Terrace Library, which is currently undergoing construction, would be closed until summer 2011, despite the fact that the renovations are scheduled to be completed this fall. Keeping the branch closed for an extra eight months is expected to save the city about $74,000. The Downtown Library’s bond-funded renovation is
scheduled to be completed in spring 2011, but the budget proposes to keep the branch closed until the end of June 2011. Library Director Diane Jennings said her department, in proposing the cuts, tried to spread the impacts widely to avoid affecting any group of library users disproportionately. Some stay in the libraries for hours without checking anything out, she said. Others pick up their materi(continued on page 13)
DA race a wild ride Incumbent Dolores Carr and prosecutor Jeff Rosen trade allegations over lack of ethics in contentious election by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto code enforcement officer Brian Reynolds, whose job is threatened, inspects a home littered with debris and trash in early May. He has already issued multiple citations against the owner and is seeking an abatement warrant to haul the debris away.
Enforcing the code Palo Alto budget cuts could trim staff to one officer by Sue Dremann
rian Reynolds’ job is on the line. Proposed Palo Alto budget cuts could shrink the city’s two-person code-enforcement team down to one officer — and he would not be that one. Most people don’t know what Reynolds and his partner, Judy Glaes, do. Theirs is a job that, when done well, prevents hazards from turning into disasters. Reynolds, 32, walked past two vacant lots near California Avenue Wednesday, wondering aloud how his partner will handle the workload if his job is eliminated. The pair divides the city in two. His beat cov-
ers the foothills and areas bounded by San Antonio Road, Fabian Way and west of Waverley Street. Glaes handles downtown, Midtown and east of Waverley, he said. “We average 500 to 800 cases a year — last year we had just over 600 — and we handled 200 to 300 more that don’t need to be logged in,” he said, inspecting an area where he had issued an order to abate a public hazard. Metal rebar in a planting strip adjacent to a professional building had been jutting out like javelins toward the sidewalk. An elderly gentleman tripped on the 2-foot-tall encroaching metal and
was nearly impaled in the throat, Reynolds said. Whether following up on tall weeds or oversized fences, Reynolds checks out complaints large and small and then returns to places after he’s already ordered a clean up. He walked past two vacant lots near California Avenue, reflecting on the city’s many hidden hazards that require constant vigilance. “I had a limo company in a residential area that I made move out because they were parking limousines all over the street,” he said. The company then moved to a warehouse that was not zoned to house limousines, he said. Next door, there was a special-ed school. “One night, one of the old limos caught fire. ... If that fire had happened during the school day, it would have been one of the worst disasters in Palo Alto history,” he said. (continued on page 6)
he fierce re-election battle between Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr and her employee, prosecutor Jeff Rosen, has become one of the most hotly contested in the June 8 election, splitting powerful supporters between the incumbent official and upstart litigator. Carr’s four-year tenure has been scarred by a series of embarrassing gaffes that have led detractors to question her judgment and ethics. She was criticized when her husband, a retired police lieutenant, became a paid consultant for a murder victim’s family in a case Carr’s office would eventually prosecute. But her husband consulted on a civil action against the bank where the victim was killed and had nothing to do with the criminal case, Carr told the Weekly during a recent interview. In April 2008, she was accused of intervening in a case on behalf of a defense attorney who contributed to her 2006 election campaign — which she has denied. Rosen has seized on those criticisms, once calling her “un-American” during a candidates’ forum because of her rare boycott of a judge whom she said was biased against prosecutors. But Carr isn’t taking the attacks complacently. Rosen was taken to task for prosecutorial misconduct in a trial by an appeals court eight years ago, Carr said during a March campaign debate. She recently filed a lawsuit against the wording of Rosen’s ballot statement. And she accused his campaign of taking an illegal in-kind $17,000 campaign donation from the San Jose Mercury News, after Rosen used the paper’s stories on his website without authorization. Rosen said he did not know it is illegal to post copyrighted articles from a newspaper’s site, he told the online
news site San Jose Inside. He is questioning Carr’s use of 21 billboards paid for with state money on behalf of the state’s campaign against workers’ compensation fraud, to which she added her name. Carr has denied the billboards have anything to do with her election campaign. Amid the verbal brawling, both candidates claim they want to reform the District Attorney’s office. Carr, 57, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge for six years, was elected after a three-year exposé in 2006 by the Mercury News, “Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice,” which uncovered widespread judicial, defense and prosecutorial failures and misconduct that the newspaper asserted deprived defendants of fair trials in Santa Clara County. “I left the Superior Court bench to change the culture and to have a broader view of justice,” she told the Weekly. She appointed an ethics advisor to aid deputy district attorneys and provide ethics training; set up capital-case protocol for consideration of death-penalty cases and established an equal-justice task force to look at the disproportionate prosecutions of minorities. Carr set up standards and professional-development evaluations for managers. She ordered the first outside management audit in the history of the District Attorney’s office, she said. She has also gone after white-collar crime, beefing up prosecutions of mortgage and real estate fraud. Her office helped get legislation passed that made mortgage fraud a felony, she said. “We’re doing more regional kinds of things than just try cases,” she said, pointing to preventive tactics to reduce gang violence, such as the Parent Proj(continued on page 12)
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Today’s news, sports & hot picks
I’m not a big fan of phone banks. ... But they work. — Tracy Stevens, Measure A campaign co-chair, on the use of phone banks to help the parcel tax pass Tuesday. See story on page 5.
Around Town THE CUBS HAVE GROWN ... Though Palo Alto’s Cubberley High School graduated its last senior class in 1979, alumni of the shuttered school are keeping its memory alive this summer. 1978 Cubberley grad Colleen Standley is turning 50 this year and plans to celebrate her golden anniversary with her “Cubb” classmates. She’s throwing a “Cubberley 50th Birthday Party” potluck May 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cubberley campus, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. All former Cubberley students and staff (from all years) are invited to celebrate. “The spirit of that school has its own lifeblood,” Standley said of her beloved alma mater. “It won’t die because, in the words of its last principal, Dr. Herman Ohme, ‘It was a special place.’” More information is available on the “Cubberley 50th Birthday Party” Facebook page (where the event is described as an “all-class reunion sponsored by Class of 1978 to celebrate together as these turkeys turn 50 and get laughed at by those who already have and scare those who think it’s ‘old.’”), which has already attracted 63 attendees. Meanwhile, Cubberley’s class of 1980 (called “The Class That Never Was” due to the school’s closure the previous year) also remains active, never-was status notwithstanding. Thanks again to the magic of Facebook, the class is planning its first-ever reunion for the weekend of Aug. 6-8. “The trauma caused by the Cubberley closure created a special bond among these people that remains strong even after three decades. The excitement created by this upcoming reunion is palpable, even over the Internet,” Cubberley class of ‘80 member Linda Wilcox wrote in an e-mail. The event organizers are hoping to get back into contact with each and every lost classmate. Those interested in attending the class of 1978’s 50th birthday celebration should contact Colleen Standley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those wishing to RSVP to the “Class That Never Was” reunion should contact Scott Schroeder at email@example.com. SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS ... On Nov. 9, a member of the Palo Alto Police Department was
called up for a 10-month tour of duty in Iraq. On Monday night, the City Council debated whether this officer, who serves as a reservist in the U.S. Coast Guard, should receive $41,000 from the city — the difference between his salary and the money he earns for his military duty. The city has an agreement with the police union to compensate employees who serve in the armed forces, but the agreement only applies to those officers who enlisted before Feb. 18, 2003. The soldier under discussion, whose name wasn’t mentioned, enlisted after that date. With the city facing a $7.3 million budget gap, some council members argued that the officer in Iraq should receive the salary difference for the first month of his duty (about $5,000), rather than for the full duration of the tour. Councilman Yiaway Yeh called the staff recommendation to pay the officer $41,000 “not an easy decision.” The dilemma, he said, demonstrates the impact of federal policies on local budgets. Larry Klein, a military veteran, couldn’t disagree with him more. “This person is taking a risk; he’s putting his life on the line and he’s also putting his career on the line,” Klein said. “I don’t want to see our city look like it doesn’t support the people who put their lives on the line.” Human Resource Director Russ Carlsen said he felt “very passionate” about advocating for the police officer, and Vice Mayor Sid Espinosa said he felt queasy that some on the council oppose the staff recommendation. But some did. The council voted 7-2, with Greg Scharff and Karen Holman dissenting, to support the staff recommendation. NEWS TALK ... Paul McHugh, longtime journalist and author of the mystery novel “Dead Lines,” put a unique spin on an age-old phrase during a talk Tuesday at Books Inc. in Mountain View. McHugh said traditionally “No news is good news,” but when it comes to the journalism industry, no news — as in no newspapers — is bad news. McHugh emphasized the value of journalism and the need for people to subscribe to newspapers during his hourlong talk. N
Palo Alto parcel tax passes, with highest-ever approval
Saturday, May 15th s AM
Seventy-nine percent endorse $589-per-year parcel tax to maintain core school programs and staff
Preview: &RIDAY -AY TH AM PM AND 3ATURDAY /PENS AM
by Chris Kenrick
alo Alto voters have said a resounding â€œyesâ€? to their public schools, according to a vote tally announced at 8:01 p.m. Tuesday by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. Voters approved Measure A, a $589 annual school parcel tax, by 79.36 percent, far more than the two-thirds needed. The approval percentage was the highest ever for a parcel tax in Palo Alto, according to campaign consultant Charles Heath of San Franciscobased TBWB Strategies. The result is â€œreally energizing,â€? Palo Alto Superintendent Kevin Skelly said. â€œThis is a big â€˜yesâ€™ to our children and our community.â€? More than 50 percent of registered voters in the school district cast ballots in the mail-only campaign. The tax replaces the current $493per-parcel-per-year tax. It is expected to generate an annual $11.2 million, about 7 percent of the operating budget of the Palo Alto Unified School
District. The tax carries a 2 percent annual escalation adjustment and an optional exemption for people over age 65. It will expire in six years. â€œThis is incredibly important for our school district,â€? Board of Education President Barbara Klausner told campaign volunteers at a victory celebration Tuesday night at the home of Sunny and Dan Dykwel. â€œThis is a new reality for California and for our schools. ... This is what we need to do to protect our schools.â€? School parcel taxes also passed Tuesday in the Menlo Park and Portola Valley school districts, as well as in Sunnyvaleâ€™s Fremont Union High School District, San Joseâ€™s Union Elementary School District and the Loma Prieta Joint Union Elementary School District. Measure A campaign Co-Chair Tracy Stevens said more than 500 people had volunteered in 35 phonebank sessions during the campaign, calling 25,000 voters.
â€œWe did call several people repeatedly and they let us know that,â€? Stevens said to laughter from fellow volunteers. Repeat calls were made to people who hadnâ€™t yet sent in their mail-in ballots or whose ballots hadnâ€™t yet been listed as received. â€œIâ€™m not a big fan of phone banks ... I do not like getting the calls. But they work.â€? Heath said Palo Altoâ€™s 79.36 percent approval is â€œin the stratosphereâ€? for school parcel-tax results, although other communities occasionally have reached approval ratings of more than 80 percent. â€œItâ€™s a strong mandate and a high turnout,â€? Heath said, noting the 50 percent-plus turnout refutes criticism that mail-in ballots squelch participation. â€œItâ€™s also notable that this occurred in a down economy.â€? N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be e-mailed at ckenrick@paweekly. com.
Police ID â€˜person of interestâ€™ in Arreguin shooting Officers conduct interviews as funeral is held for graduate of Palo Alto schools by Chris Kenrick
ast Palo Alto police said Thursday they have identified a â€œperson of interestâ€? in the April 28 shooting death of 20-yearold Gabriel Arreguin. Arreguin, a lifelong East Palo Altan who was educated in Palo Alto schools from kindergarten through high school, died of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso in a 9:30 p.m. incident on Jasmine Way. â€œWe believe we have a motive, and weâ€™re just trying to put the pieces together and detain the right people and make a positive arrest,â€? East Palo Alto Police Capt. Carl Estelle said Thursday morning. â€œWeâ€™re following up on more leads and are in the middle of some more interviews to try to determine who was responsible. â€œI canâ€™t tell you the motive because it would tip our hand.â€? Estelle declined to comment on whether drugs or gang activities were involved in the murder. A funeral mass was held Thursday morning for Arreguin. â€œGabriel was not involved in gangs or drugs,â€? his godmother, Jennifer Espinoza of Palo Alto, said Tuesday. â€œThere were no witnesses, and no motive other than robbery,â€? said Espinoza, who first met Gabrielâ€™s mother, Socorro Arreguin, more than
20 years ago through an outreach program from Peninsula Bible Church of Palo Alto. A short time later Gabriel, the eighth of nine children, was Gabriel Arreguin born and Socorro Arreguin asked Espinoza to be the boyâ€™s godmother. â€œShe became my dear friend,â€? said Espinoza, a longtime Palo Alto resident and retired Spectra Art teacher in the Palo Alto Unified School District. â€œGabriel is the last one Iâ€™d ever think would die this way,â€? Espinoza said. â€œHeâ€™s so sweet, such a good friend, easy going, not a fighter â€” itâ€™s stunning.â€? Like all but one of his eight siblings, Gabriel participated in the Tinsley Voluntary Transfer Program, which allows 60 kindergartners from East Palo Altoâ€™s Ravenswood City School District to enroll in Palo Alto schools each year. Gabriel went to El Carmelo El-
ementary School and Jordan Middle School. He attended Palo Alto High School but graduated from Alta Vista Continuation High School, an alternative program emphasizing personalized instruction, integrated study and vocational education and training. â€œHe went through some rough years in terms of typical teenage angst,â€? Espinoza said. â€œWe went to his graduation. It was a very proud, happy day for everyone. It felt great to see him do that.â€? Socorro Arreguin worked for many years at Casa Olga in downtown Palo Alto until the residential facility closed last year. Gabriel lived with his mother while working at PetSmart, from which he was recently laid off. He helped by picking up nieces and nephews from St. Elizabeth Seton School in Palo Alto, where they attend. â€œHe was really devoted to his family. His sisters-in-law are saying how hard this is on the little ones. The last time Espinoza saw her godson, in late April, she encouraged to find a job. â€œHe said, â€˜I will, I will.â€™â€? â€œHe was a huge animal lover his whole life,â€? Espinoza said. â€œAt different times he had dogs, chickens, a toad, lizards, pythons, parakeets, tropical birds.â€? Socorro Arreguin, who speaks limited English, has been surrounded by family and friends since her sonâ€™s death, Espinoza said. In a report issued last week, East Palo Alto police said were responding to calls that shots had been fired and were flagged down near the scene by a motorist who had put the bleeding
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Stanford rejects nursesâ€™ contract counter-offer
Reynolds surveyed the pile of junk choking a front yard on Ramona Street. Barbecues, filing cabinets, book cases and several motorcycles filled the driveway and yard, blocking the path to the front door. â€œIâ€™ve issued a citation to this lady. Next will be a compliance order. If it goes to a hearing, we will charge her for city time,â€? he said. â€œMost people are cooperative and want to comply,â€? he said, driving down an alley where a restaurant had used a garbage-bin containment area to store food, which was not an approved use. The business fixed the problem, adding a shed, he said. On nearly every street and alley in the city, Reynolds is likely to find at least one violation of a city code. He hopped out of his car to push an Aframe advertising sign off the sidewalk in front of Charleston Center. He keeps cans of gray spray paint and pruning shears in his trunk to take care of small amounts of graffiti and an errant overhanging branch. But some issues are clear dangers. A man with a hoarding compulsion has repeatedly refused to clean up his yard, despite weekly citations, Reynolds said. The yard on Wednesday was covered with bicycle parts, large cardboard boxes and assorted debris reaching from the sidewalk to the door. â€œAt one point it reached to the top of the carport,â€? Reynolds said. â€œItâ€™s a fire hazard.â€? Reynolds has tried to help the man, giving him weekly deadlines to clean parts of the yard so the man will not feel overwhelmed. But after two years of wrangling and coaxing, there is little progress. Reynolds has carefully documented the trash piles in preparation for a hearing. â€œWeâ€™ve coordinated with the fire department, and weâ€™re in the process of obtaining an abatement warrant,â€? he said. In less severe cases, Reynolds might give someone a week or two weeks to comply, or in some instances 30 days, depending on the circumstances, he said. People are sometimes initially angry, he said. But Reynolds, who is working on a degree in sociology, uses a people-friendly approach. â€œOur goal is to work with the public and have voluntary compliance,â€? he said. Seemingly small things can create big problems. Businesses are not supposed to cover their windows more than 20 percent with signs, he said. â€œThe police need to be able to see inside safely if the place is being robbed,â€? he said, looking over a liquor store-market he recently ordered to remove banners advertising beer. â€œIn this economy, we donâ€™t want to hurt businesses, but we have to make them move the signs onto their property,â€? he said, pointing out several Aframe signs lining the sidewalk. Each day he â€œtakes the scenic route,â€? driving past places he knows to be hot spots. Cypress Lane, a no-manâ€™s land that edges Barron Park, is notorious for piles of debris and abandoned vehicles. He made note of a dusty vehicle without current registration. The po-
A bluntly worded letter to Stanford and Lucile Packard hospitalsâ€™ nursesâ€™ union has flatly rejected contract negotiations, bringing both sides closer to a strike. â€œWe had told CRONA that if their proposal falls within the parameters of the Last, Best & Final Offers, the hospitals would be happy to return to the table to wrap things up; if not, there was no purpose to be served in meeting,â€? hospital officials wrote. â€œUnfortunately, the proposal was well outside these parameters and diluted those aspects most essential to the highest-quality operations of our hospital,â€? the letter said. The hospitalsâ€™ in-no-uncertain-terms letter to the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievements (CRONA), dated May 4, reiterated that hospital officials would not budge on their final offer. Union officials had asked hospital representatives to return to the bargaining table and submitted a counter-proposal on April 28 after the hospitals said they saw no reason to negotiate further. The unionâ€™s new proposal was submitted through a federal mediator to Stanford Hospitals and Clinics and Lucile Packard Childrenâ€™s Hospital on April 28. Union officials made several concessions, which included accepting the hospitalsâ€™ wage-increase offer of the three-year contract. They also accepted staff reductions and layoff policies and performance evaluations. Two areas remain major sticking points: paid time off and the hospitalsâ€™ Professional Nurse Development Program, or PNDP, which defines promotions for upper-level nurses. CRONAâ€™s proposal would allow nurses to accrue up to 520 hours of paid time off, or 13 weeks. â€œThey are proposing to cut in half the period that the hospitals will pay for medical insurance. A nurse who is out and has no paid time off â€” because the hospitalsâ€™ plan makes it impossible to â€œbankâ€? it â€” will end up with no income and no medical insurance after 12 weeks, CRONA attorney Peter Nussbaum said. CRONAâ€™s assertions are misleading, hospital spokesperson Sarah Staley said: â€œThe claim that nurses cannot bank their (paid time off) is simply false. They can bank up to 520 hours. CRONA knows and is not saying, that 520 hours is more than nurses can carry at other hospitals in the Bay Area ... and is what is provided for the other 6,000 Stanford and Packard Childrenâ€™s employees.â€?N â€” Sue Dremann
TheatreWorks cited as â€˜treasured cultural iconâ€™
1 San Francisquito Creek
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It all started with â€œPopcorn.â€? Now, decades later, TheatreWorks of Palo Alto is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The Palo Alto City Council Monday proclaimed TheatreWorks â€” and its founder and director Robert Kelley â€” a â€œtreasured cultural icon.â€? Since its very first production â€” the musical â€œPopcornâ€? in 1970 â€” TheatreWorks has grown to become the third-largest theater in the Bay Area, nationally recognized for its quality of new plays and musicals. This week TheatreWorks took home seven 2009 Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards, including five for â€œIt Ainâ€™t Nothinâ€™ But the Bluesâ€? (Entire Production; Principal Performance, Female, to C. Kelly Wright; Director, to Randal Myler; Sound Design, to Cliff Caruthers; Ensemble) and two for â€œTinyard Hillâ€? (Supporting Performance, Female to Allison Briner; Supporting Performance, Male, to James Moye). The company has produced 53 new works in 40 years. One of them, â€œMemphis,â€? currently is running on Broadway. The rock nâ€™ roll musical, which had its world premiere at TheatreWorks in 2004, was nominated for eight Tony Awards. Kelley originally founded TheatreWorks as a youth program for the City of Palo Alto, and the company has presented performances at Lucie Stern Theatre throughout its history. TheatreWorks also presents at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. N â€” Chris Kenrick
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Burial service Saturday for Gunn grad Tim Sullivan
cleanup sites... PALO ALTO
4 Adobe Creek MOUNTAIN VIEW
19 Guadalupe River (West bank)
5 Stevens Creek
20 Guadalupe River
6 Stevens Creek
21 Upper Penitencia Creek
7 Stevens Creek
22 Guadalupe River
23 Coyote Creek
8 Sunnyvale West Channel
24 Guadalupe River
9 Sunnyvale East Channel and Calabazas Creek
25 Coyote Creek
CUPERTINO 10 Stevens Creek 11 Calabazas Creek 12 Regnart Creek SANTA CLARA 13 San Tomas Aquino Creek 14 San Tomas Aquino Creek 15 Saratoga Creek
26 Guadalupe River 27 Los Alamitos Creek CAMPBELL 28 San Tomas Creek 29 San Tomas Aquino Creek 30 San Tomas Aquino Creek 31 Los Gatos Creek GILROY 32 Uvas Creek
A burial service will be held Saturday (May 8) for Timothy Sullivan, 20, of Palo Alto, who died April 25 in a skateboarding accident in Capitola. The Catholic graveside service will be at 1 p.m. at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 22555 Cristo Rey Drive, Los Altos. All are welcome at the service, which will be a â€œsimple Catholic rite at graveside with time for sharing of stories and reflections about Timmy,â€? his mother, Sherry Cassedy, said. Sullivan, a 2008 graduate of Gunn High School, was completing his sophomore year at the University of California at Santa Cruz and planned to study in Berlin this fall. He died from head injuries sustained in the accident, in which he was not wearing a helmet, but doctors were able to transplant his organs to others. Rather than flowers, the Sullivan family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Timothy Sullivan Legacy Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300, Mountain View, CA 94040. N â€” Palo Alto Weekly staff LETâ€™S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues at Town Square at www.PaloAltoOnline.com
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Palo Alto looks to landfills for ‘green’ electricity
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Despite major concerns, City Council approves two 20year contracts with energy company Ameresco by Gennady Sheyner he phrase “green energy” may feel right buying energy from the San evoke idyllic images of solar Joaquin landfill, which she learned panels and gently tilting wind still accepts materials such as wood turbines, but in Palo Alto the term and cardboard. She equated the city’s can now be chiefly associated with decision to buy energy from a landmethane gas burning in Central Val- fill that accepts such materials to ley landfills. “looking the other way. After a lengthy debate that “I really feel we’d be fostering bad stretched into the wee hours of practice if we support the activities Tuesday morning, a split Palo Alto at San Joaquin,” Holman said. “If City Council decided to commit the there are things actually going into city to two 20-year contracts with the landfill, I feel it is a very bad the energy firm Ameresco, which policy and an inconsistent message converts escaping landfill gas into that we’re sending if we support both electricity. The two contracts will contracts.” cost the city about $233.7 million The second contract is based on over their terms. the Crazy Horse Landfill in Salinas, With the decision, the proportion which closed a year ago and no lonof electricity the city receives from ger accepts waste. The San Joaquin renewable sources will increase from landfill is expected to remain in op22 percent to 28 percent in 2013. The eration until 2059. city’s goal is to get 33 percent of its But a five-member council majorelectric load from renewable sources ity, led by Larry Klein, argued the by 2015. two contracts are a good bargain for But the new contracts also mean the Palo Alto, whose Utility Departthat the city’s renewable-energy port- ment normally has a hard time comfolio is dependent, more than ever, on peting with energy giants like PG&E landfill gas. The portfolio now con- for long and lucrative contracts. Klein sists of seven landfill-gas contracts also pointed to the city’s commitment with Ameresco and two wind-energy to hydroelectric power, which he said contracts. With the two agreements, proved to be wise. Ameresco accounts for 56 percent of “This is an area that lends itself to Palo Alto’s renewable-energy supply long-term contracts,” Klein said. and 16 percent of its total supply. Klein’s argument ultimately The City Council reached the prevailed with Vice Mayor Sid Escontroversial decision a month after pinosa and council members Gail a similarly split Finance Commit- Price, Nancy Shepherd and Yiaway tee failed to reach a consensus or Yeh joining him in supporting the offer a recommendation to the full two contracts. council. Greg Scharff and Greg Burt called the Ameresco contracts Schmid, the two council members a tough decision but emphasized that who opposed making major com- the city’s goal isn’t to use more remitments to Ameresco during the newable energy, but rather to use less Finance Committee meetings, once nonrenewable, so-called “brown” enagain urged their colleagues not to ergy. In fact, earlier in the evening, sign the two contracts. the council unanimously approved a Both warned about the potential of new 10-year energy efficiency plan, new and better technology emerging which seeks to curb the city’s elecover the next two decades and won- tricity consumption by 7.2 percent dered aloud whether the Ameresco over the next 10 years through a wide plants, which burn methane gas, can range of programs. truly be considered “green.” Mayor Burt called the city’s new renewPat Burt and Council member Kar- able contracts as means to that end, en Holman voted with them to sign not ends in themselves. just one of the two contracts recom“The higher objective should be mended by staff. reduction of brown electricity,” Karen Holman said she wouldn’t Burt said. N
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lice will have it towed, he said. Reynolds then turned his inspection to the Palo Alto Hills. “We’re seeing more vacant lots with the downturn in the economy,” he said, checking on the progress of a weed-abatement order he gave two weeks ago. “And there are more issues with unfinished homes, as people run out of money.” Reynolds checks new construction and home-based businesses and follows up to make sure projects remain in compliance with their conditions of use. People rip out landscaping and businesses encroach on public benefits
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that were conditions of their construction, he said. Not all complaints are actionable. Draining water from planters on a sidewalk did not rise to a tripping hazard and drumming at a residence was within legal noise limits. And many problems fall within gray areas. “The city does not have a blight ordinance,” he said. Property owners can’t be forced to raze burned and abandoned structures. Reynolds pointed to a dug-up front lawn. Wisp of weeds protruded from large dirt clods. It was ugly, but it didn’t break the law. “They could leave it like that if they wanted,” he said. N Sue Dremann can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. *>ÊÌÊ7iiÞÊUÊ>ÞÊÇ]ÊÓä£äÊU Page 7
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Arreguin in the car’s back seat. Arreguin was transported to a hospital but died of his injuries. Police ask witnesses to call Detective John Norden at 650-464-6822, or the department’s anonymous tip line at 650-851-8477. In addition to his mother, Gabriel is survived by his siblings Ramiro, Ismael, Fernando, Alejandro, Juan, Sandra, Jasmin and Jose; a grandmother in Mexico; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He had lost contact with his father. N
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 “News” in the left, green column.
Police chase nets four arrests in Menlo Park Four men believed to have been involved in a shooting in East Palo Alto early Monday were arrested after a police chase and search that involved more than 30 officers and five K-9 units. (Posted May 5 at 12:13 p.m.)
Residents, workers worry about Palo Alto cuts Stanford to build pedigreed concert hall Envisioned as an oval ship rising from a sea of glass, the area’s newest music venue, Bing Concert Hall, is scheduled for its groundbreaking ceremony next Tuesday (May 11) on the Stanford University campus. (Posted May 5 at 11:54 p.m.)
Duveneck principal named to district-wide post Kathleen Meagher, principal of Duveneck School since 2007, has been nominated to become director of elementary education for the Palo Alto Unified School District. Superintendent Kevin Skelly said the search is on for Meagher’s replacement at Duveneck. (Posted May 5 at 10:38 p.m.)
Hours before Palo Alto City Manager James Keene presented his proposed budget to the City Council Monday night, dozens of city workers gathered at City Hall to share their concerns about the expected budget cuts. (Posted May 4 at 12:59 a.m.)
Menlo man killed in fire likely inhaled superheated air Kelly Brosnan, 46, who died in the April 27 house fire on Berkeley Avenue in Menlo Park, died as a result of “inhalation of products of combustion,” by which San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said he meant soot and superheated air. (Posted May 3 at 5:34 p.m.)
Interfaith group seeks better teen ‘connections’ Spurred by last year’s string of Palo Alto student suicides at the Caltrain tracks, an interfaith group is exploring ways to help isolated students feel better “connected” with peers and adults at school. (Posted May 3 at 9:51 a.m.)
L U C I L E PA C K A R D
C H I L D R E N ’ S H O S P I TA L
VIDEO: 31st annual Palo Alto Tall Tree awards Palo Alto’s 2010 Tall Tree awards recognized suicide-prevention and mental health advocates Victor and Mary Ojakian; local developer and Junior Museum and Zoo board member Roxy Rapp; transitional-employment program Downtown Streets Team; and longtime Palo Alto business Stern Mortgage Company. (Posted May 3 at 9:49 a.m.)
Palo Altan among trio arrested for insurance fraud
Your Child’s Health University
The owner and founder of several Bay Area bakeries has been arrested on suspicion of failing to report employee injuries and accurate hours worked, according to the California Department of Insurance. (Posted May 2 at 10:49 p.m.)
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital offers classes and seminars designed to foster good health and enhance the lives of parents and children.
Soap Box Derby ‘Rally Race’ held in Palo Alto
CESAREAN BIRTH CLASS This two-hour class is taught by a labor and delivery nurse/childbirth educator who helps prepare families for cesarean delivery. Information about vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) will also be discussed. - Wednesday, June 2: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
About 35 young racers from throughout California and Arizona competed Saturday in Palo Alto in a Soap Box Derby “Rally Race” on a hill on Hanover Street. Competitors aged 8 to 17 hunched down and mentally pushed their cars toward the finish line. (Posted May 2 at 7:52 a.m.)
Historic May Fete parade celebrates the young Palo Alto’s historic May Fete and Parade has celebrated the area’s youth each first Saturday in May since the 1920s — meaning the grandchildren or great grandchildren could be recent participants. (Posted May 1 at 9:34 p.m.)
State-of-the art dental clinics open in East Palo Alto INFANT MASSAGE WORKSHOP Learn techniques of infant massage along with tips to relieve gas, aid digestion and soothe the soreness of vaccination sites on your baby. Class is recommended for infants from one month of age to crawling. - Saturday, June 5: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
SIBLING PREPARATION CLASS This class for children two years of age and older will help prepare siblings for the emotional and physical realities of the arrival of a newborn. - Saturday, June 12: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
PEDIATRIC WEIGHT CONTROL PROGRAM Join us for a family-based behavioral and educational weight management program that promotes healthy eating and exercise habits for over-weight children and their families. More than 80% of children achieve long-term weight loss through this program — and parents lose weight too! - Call (650) 725-4424 for information on the next Open House.
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.
L U C I L E PA C K A R D
C H I L D R E N’S H O S P I T A L C A L L TO D AY TO S I G N U P F O R C L A S S E S ( 6 5 0 ) 72 3 - 4 6 0 0 Page 8ÊUÊ>ÞÊÇ]ÊÓä£äÊUÊ*>ÊÌÊ7iiÞ
A state-of-the art dental clinic and health-education center opened Thursday in East Palo Alto, providing the first such clinics to residents in the city. (Posted April 30 at 3:58 p.m.) Want to get news briefs e-mailed to you every weekday? Sign up for Express, our new daily e-edition. Go to www.PaloAltoOnline.com to sign up.
CityView A round-up of
Palo Alto government action this week
City Council (May 3)
2011 budget: The council heard a presentation on the fiscal year 2011 budget from City Manager James Keene. Action: None Libraries: The commission approved a naming policy to recognize donors to city libraries. Yes: Unanimous Energy efficiency: The council approved a 10-year energy-efficiency plan, which seeks to reduce citywide electricity consumption by 7.2 percent by 2020. Yes: Unanimous Ameresco: The council voted to approve two 20-year energy contracts with Ameresco, which builds plants that convert landfill gas to electricity. Yes: Klein, Price, Shepherd, Espinosa, Yeh No: Scharff, Schmid, Burt, Holman
High-Speed Rail Committee (May 6)
High-speed rail: The committee discussed its guiding principals, strategic legislation relating to high-speed rail and a schedule for monthly high-speed-rail monthly updates to the council. Action: None
Architectural Review Board (May 6)
Keys School: The board voted to approve a proposal by Keys School, on behalf of First Christian Church, to replace four existing classrooms with seven new classrooms at 2890 Middlefield Road. Yes: Unanimous Water well: The board approved a request by the Utilities Department to build a water well facility at Eleanor Pardee Park. Yes: Unanimous
LET’S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues at Town Square at www.PaloAltoOnline.com
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Community Health Education Programs Palo Alto Center 795 El Camino Real Lecture and Workshops 650-853-4873 Hepatitis B & C: An Update Presented by Erick P. Chan, M.D. PAMF Gastroenterology Tuesday, May 11, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Your Baby’s Doctor Thursday, May 19, 7 – 9 p.m.
Lecture and Workshops 650-934-7373 Understanding the Parent’s Role in Feeding The Marvin Small Memorial Parent Workshop Presented by Tracy Slezak, R.D. Tuesday, May 11, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Living Well Classes 650-853-2960 Functional Spine Training First Monday of each month, 5 – 6:30 p.m. What You Need to Know About Warfarin (Coumadin) Wednesday, May 5, 2 – 4 p.m.
Learning About Heart Failure May 6, 14, 18 & 27, various times.
Nutrition and Diabetes Classes 650-853-2961 Adult Weight Management Group Thursdays, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Bariatric Pre-Op Class First Tuesday of each month, 9:30 a.m. – noon Bariatric Nutrition SMA First Tuesday of each month, 10:30 a.m. – noon Prediabetes First Monday of the month, 9 – 11:30 a.m., and third Wednesday of every other month, 4:30 – 7 p.m. Also in Redwood Shores, fourth Wednesday of every other month, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Living Well with Diabetes Tuesdays, 4:30 – 7 p.m., or Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – noon Heart Smart Class Third and fourth Tuesday of every other month, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Healthy Eating Type 2 Diabetes Third Wednesday of every other month, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Gestational Diabetes Wednesdays, 2 – 4 p.m.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Child Care Classes Preparing for Birth Thursdays, May 6 – June 10, 7 – 9:15 p.m.; Saturday/Sunday, May 15 & 16, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesdays, June 2 – July 7, 7 – 9:15 p.m., 650-853-2960
Mountain View Center 701 E. El Camino Real
Preparing for Childbirth Without Medication Sunday, May 16, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., 650-853-2960
Ladies’ Night Out Women’s Bone Basics Mother’s Day Event For Your Health Community Lecture Series Presented by Anne Liess, M.D., and Susan Kirkpatrick, R.D. Wednesday, May 12, 7 – 8 p.m.
HMR Weight Management Program 650-404-8260 Free orientation session. Tuesdays, noon – 1 p.m., and Thursdays, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Living Well Classes 650-934-7373 Supermarket Wise Tuesday, May 18, 2 – 4 p.m.
Nutrition and Diabetes Classes 650-934-7177 Heart Smart Class Second Tuesday of each month, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Diabetes Class (two-part class) Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. – noon and Wednesdays, 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Infant Emergencies and CPR Wednesdays, May 5 & 19, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Raising Healthy & Happy Eaters! (for parents of children aged 0 – 6) 650-853-2961 Toddlers and Preschoolers, Thursdays, 10 a.m. – noon, Palo Alto and Los Altos Introduction to Solids, offered in Palo Alto, please call for dates.
OB Orientation Thursdays, May 6, 20 and June 3, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Drug and Alcohol 650-853-2904
Multiple Sclerosis 650-328-0179
Healing Imagery for Cancer Patients 650-799-5512
Prediabetes Third Thursday of each month, 2 – 4 p.m. Fourth Tuesday of each month, 3 – 5 p.m. Sweet Success Gestational Diabetes Class Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – noon
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Child Care Classes
Breastfeeding: Secrets for Success Saturday, May 22, 10 a.m. – noon, 650-853-2960
Is Your Blood Pressure Controlling You? A Conversation With... Presented by Nancy Jacobson, R.D. Sunnyvale Public Library Thursday, May 20, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Infant/Child CPR Monday, May 10, 6 – 8 p.m.
What to Expect with Your Newborn Tuesday, May 18, 7 – 8 p.m. Baby Care Saturday, May 22, 10:30 a.m. – noon Feeding Your Preschooler Tuesday, June 1, 7 – 9 p.m. For all, register online or call 650-934-7373.
Preparing for Baby Tuesday, May 11, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Childbirth Preparation Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, May 13, June 3, 4 & 5, 6 – 9 p.m.
Free Appointments 650-934-7373 HICAP Counseling, Advance Health Care Directive Counseling, General Social Services (visits with our social worker)
Support Groups 650-934-7373 AWAKE
For a complete list of classes and class fees, lectures and health education resources, visit: pamf.org. Page 10ÊUÊ>ÞÊÇ]ÊÓä£äÊUÊ*>ÊÌÊ7iiÞ
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Public Agenda A preview of Palo Alto government meetings next week CITY COUNCIL ... The City Council plans to meet in a closed session to discuss ongoing litigation and labor negotiations. The council is also scheduled to accept the Regional Water Quality Control Plant site feasibility study; get a monthly report on high-speed rail; authorize the sale of $60 million in bonds for the Measure N library projects; discuss a memo regarding the city’s investment policy; and hear an update about the Santa Clara Valley Water District redistricting plan. The closed session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 10, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). The regular meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m. or as soon as possible after the closed session.
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BOARD OF EDUCATION ... The board will consider the nominations of Katya Villalobos as the new principal at Gunn High School, Phil Winston as the new principal at Palo Alto High School and Kathleen Meagher as the school district’s director of elementary education. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, in the board room of school district headquarters (25 Churchill Ave.). FINANCE COMMITTEE ... The committee plans to hold budget hearings for City Attorney’s Office, the Planning and Community Environment Department and the Community Services Department. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.).
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POLICY AND SERVICES COMMITTEE ... The committee plans to discuss the city’s zero waste goals, the council’s priority work plan, the proposed Blue Ribbon Infrastructure Committee and a proposal to release the City Council packet earlier. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, in the Council Conference Room at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). 2198 AVY AVENUE MENLO PARK 650.854.9090 www.rkiinteriordesign.com
UTILITIES ADVISORY COMMISSION ... The commission plans to discuss the proposed capital and operating budgets for fiscal year 2011. The meeting is scheduled for noon on Wednesday, May 12, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). PLANNING AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION ... The commission plans to discuss the 2011-15 Proposed Capital Improvement Plan and its consistency with the Comprehensive Plan. The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). CITY COUNCIL, PLANNING AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION JOINT MEETING ... The council and the commission are scheduled to hold a joint meeting to discuss the city’s updates to its Comprehensive Plan and Housing Element. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.).
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PRESIDIO BANK MID-PENINSULA
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Steve Heitel, President & CEO Sarah Lewis, SVP/Relationship Manager Luke Farley, VP/Relationship Manager Brenda Phillips, VP/Relationship Service Manager Kevin Hutchison, AVP/Relationship Service Manager
ADVISORY BOARD Terry Conner, Partner, Thoits Love Hershbenger & McLean Bill Hurwick, Partner and Senior Vice President, Cassidy Turley/BT Commercial David Kalkbrenner, Principal, Kalkbrenner Consulting Ronnie Lott, Managing Member, Lott Auto Ventures Al Pace, President & CEO, Urban Housing Group David Sacarelos, Partner & CPA Seiler LLP
Presidio Bank announces the opening of its Mid-Peninsula Regional Office 325 Lytton Avenue, Suite 100 Palo Alto 650.321.0500 Personalized business banking Delivered by expereinced local professionals Supported by local business leaders
ect, a 13-week program that focuses on skills to help parents work through issues with adolescents, she said. Rosen, a 15-year prosecutor of high-profile murder and sex-crime cases, has tried more than 65 jury trials and has one of the highest conviction rates in the District Attorney’s office, he said. He has campaigned as a reformer who is intent on restoring integrity to the District Attorney’s office and would create a conviction-integrity unit. The unit would handle requests to look into old and possibly wrong convictions, he said. “A prosecutor’s job is to pursue justice, not just rack up convictions,” he said during a recent interview at the Weekly. Rosen said he would increase transparency and open discovery to defense attorneys and supports opening the grand jury in cases involving police officers accused of crimes. Rosen would also re-open an independent cold-case unit closed by Carr.
GUIDE TO 2010 SUMMER C AMPS FOR KIDS
n n o e C c p t i on m a C For more information about these camps, see our online directory of camps at PaloAltoOnline.com/biz/summercamps To advertise in a weekly directory, contact 650-326-8210 Sports Camps
Spring Down Camp Equestrian Center Portola Valley Spring Down camp teaches basic to advanced horsemanship skills. All ages welcome. Daily informative lecture, riding lesson, supervised hands-on skill practice, tacking/untacking of own camp horse, and fun horse arts and crafts. www.springdown.com 650-851-1114 Stanford Baseball Camps Stanford All Day or Half-Day Baseball Camps at beautiful Sunken Diamond. For ages 7-12, Stanford Baseball camps feature personalized Baseball instruction, fun activities and drills, and exciting Baseball games. Camps for beginner and advanced players. Camps for older players also available. Camp availability from June 14th-August 6th. Receive $25 off by calling 650-723-4528. www.StanfordBaseballCamp.com 650-723-4528 Stanford Water Polo Camps Stanford Morning and/or afternoon water polo sessions at Avery Aquatic Center. June 1417 for ages 8-14. Beginners welcome. Fun water skill instruction, activities and games. Camps for more advanced players available too. http://www.gostanford.com/camps/waterpolo-camp.html 650-725-9016
India Community Center Camps Palo Alto & Milpitas Explore the rich heritage of India through the India Community Center’s Cultural Immersion, Hindi Language, Bollywood Dance & Crafts of India Camps. Over 14 different camps all through the summer for ages 4-18. These unique camps will immerse children in Yoga, Indian Dance & Music, Sports & lots more! www.indiacc.org/culturalcamps 408-416-0215
Academic Camps iD Tech Camps and iD Teen Academies Stanford Experience North America’s #1 Tech Camp — 4 Bay Area Locations! Ages 7-18 create video games, websites, movies, iPhone® & Facebook® apps, robots and more during this weeklong, day and overnight summer tech program. Teen Programs also available at Stanford. Save w/code CAU22. www.iDTechCamps.com 1-888-709-TECH (8324) Stratford School - Camp Socrates Bay Area Academic enrichment infused with traditional summer camp fun—that’s what your child will experience at Camp Socrates. Sessions begin on June 28 and end on August 13 with the option for students to attend for all seven weeks or the first four weeks (June 28-July 23). Full or half-time morning or afternoon program are available to fit your schedule. 12 locations. www. stratfordschools.com 650-493-1151 TechKnowHow Computer & LEGO® Camps Peninsula Fun and enriching technology classes for students, ages 6-14! Courses include LEGO and K’NEX Projects with Motors, Robotics, and Game Design. Many locations, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Sunnyvale. Half and all day options. www.techknowhowkids.com 650-474-0400
ISTP Language Immersion Palo Alto International School of the Peninsula camps offered in French, Chinese, Spanish or ESL for students in Nursery through Middle School. Three 2-week sessions, each with different theme. Students are grouped according to both grade level and language proficiency. www.istp.org 650-251-8519 Amazing Science Camp! Mountain View Check out this terrific new hands-on science camp designed to bring STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics) to students in a way that engages both mind and body. Two Great Programs-- One for 1-3 graders (1 or 2 weeks 9:00am-12:00pm) –the other for 4-6 graders! (This is a 2-week course- 1:004:00 pm) Both camps are July 26th-Aug 6th. Email: AmazingSciClass@AOL.com 650-279-7013 Conversation Hindi Camps Bay Area The camps provide a creative, fun and interactive environment and focus on developing conversational Hindi skills. A natural and nurturing environment gives numerous conversation opportunities through theatre, role playing, games, arts & crafts and multimedia. www.eduhindi.com 650-493-1566 Summer Program @ Mid-Peninsula High School Menlo Park Mid-Peninsula High School Summer Program is open to students entering grades 9-12 and is proud to offer a variety of academic and enrichment courses in an individualized and caring environment. www.mid-pen.com 650-321-1991 x110 Earth Care Science Camp Los Altos Conservation and Preservation of God’s Creation. Hands-on learning environment featuring experiments, arts and crafts, games, field experts and more. For age 3 to Grade 5. August 2 to 6, 9am to 12pm. Held at First Baptist Church. www.fbcla.org/childrens 650-948-5698
He criticized her decision to add two publicinformation officers (PIO) instead. Liquidating the unit hurt the Dolores Carr District Attorney’s office and left hundreds of unsolved rapes, robberies and murders without follow-up, he said. Carr defended her Jeff Rosen decision, saying that prosecutors were handling media inquiries before. “A PIO costs one-third of an attorney to get information to people,” she said. The office has faced unprecedented challenges under her watch, including an $11.7 million cut from her budget, state-mandated early releases of prisoners and a proliferation of marijuana dispensaries, she said. Carr has managed 500 employees, an $85 million budget and 45,000 cases annually, while Rosen has no managerial experience, she said. “It’s really about who is the most experienced and most able to lead the D.A.’s office,” she said. Rosen said Carr is unfit for reelection. Carr has come under fire in the press for deciding not to prosecute the 2007 high-profile De Anza rape case. In March, she announced her decision to not indict police officers involved in the videotaped beating of Phuong Ho, a 21-year-old San Jose State University student. And she was widely criticized for boycotting Judge Andrea Bryan, whom she accused of bias against prosecutors. In January, Bryan had released a child molester from prison after ruling that a trial prosecutor gave false testimony in the case. Rosen lambasted Carr’s decision to instruct prosecutors to stop bringing criminal cases before Bryan, saying the boycott threatened the independence of the judiciary and eroded the checks and balances of judicial oversight of unfair prosecution. Carr said the unusual step is allowed under state law, and that Bryan exhibited bias in several cases that prosecutors clearly should have won. She had asked that Bryan be moved to another court, she said. Rosen said he would have appealed Bryan’s decisions. Rosen has won support from the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Santa Clara County and the Santa Clara County Bar Association, the latter of which had endorsed Carr in 2006. Carr has received endorsements from San Jose Police Officers’ Association and the Central Coast chapter of the Police Officers Research Association of California. N Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be e-mailed at sdremann@ paweekly.com.
Library cuts (continued from page 3)
als and leave quickly, while others use the library system remotely. Accordingly, the budget cuts her department identified seek to strike a balance among the collection budget, the hours of operation and the available library services. Jennings also emphasized that most of the cuts in the departmentâ€™s budget are things that could be restored if the economic climate improves. A few, such as deferring opening the College Terrace branch, are clearly temporary. Still, she said some residents, including former City Council member Dena Mossar, said they were worried about the proposed deferral. â€œPeople are very eager to get into their libraries,â€? Jennings said. â€œThey donâ€™t want to see their libraries not being available for an extended period of time.â€? Jim Schmidt, president of Friends of the Palo Alto Library, told the Weekly this week he has not yet seen a credible argument for deferring the opening of the two branches. He also said he expects the proposed cuts to the library budget to hit new books particularly hard. Because new materials are the ones that attract the most interest, the cuts would likely lead to an overall decline in library use. But Schmidt, who also sits on a committee that oversees expenditure of Measure N funds, said itâ€™s important not to mix up the cityâ€™s yearly budget woes with the bondfunded capital project, which appears to be proceeding smoothly. On Monday night, the City Council is expected to authorize staff to sell $60 million in bonds for renovations of Downtown, Main and Mitchell Park libraries and for the new Mitchell Park Community Center. This past Monday, the council also heard a report from project architects and city officials involved in the Measure N projects. Mike Sartor, assistant director of the Public Works Department, said the city has been hurrying along to take advantage of the favorable construction-bid climate. Under the current timeline, the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center are scheduled to open in the middle of 2012, with the Main Library following a year later. The council also approved a new â€œnamingâ€? policy to acknowledge major donors to the library project. The Palo Alto Library Foundation, a nonprofit group that spearheaded the Measure N drive, is now leading a campaign to raise $4.3 million for library furniture, equipment and fixtures â€” items not funded by Measure N. The naming plan, presented by foundation President Alison Cormack Monday, calls for those who donate between $1 million and $2 million to have their names displayed in more prominent areas (including the new wing at the Main Library and the prominent meeting room shared by the Mitchell Park Library and the Mitchell Park Community Center), while those
who donate between $100,000 and $200,000 would have their names attached to some of the smaller rooms in the new facilities (including the teen room at the Main Library and the study room in the Downtown Library). The rooms themselves would be named after local neighborhoods and landmarks (Midtown Room, Barron Park Room, Ventura Room, El Palo Alto Room). The donorsâ€™ names would be displayed next to the room names. Cormack said the foundation has already raised more than $500,000, which includes verbal commitments, formal pledges and money in the bank. She called the library renovations the â€œlargest project in the city in many decadesâ€? and encouraged residents to support the foundationâ€™s fundraising efforts (information is available at PALF.org). N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.
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A Guide to the Spiritual Community FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UCC ÂŁÂ™nxĂŠÂœĂ•ÂˆĂƒĂŠ,Âœ>`]ĂŠ*>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠUĂŠÂĂˆxĂ¤ÂŽĂŠnxĂˆÂ‡ĂˆĂˆĂˆĂ“ĂŠUĂŠĂœĂœĂœÂ°vVVÂŤ>Â°ÂœĂ€}ĂŠ -Ă•Â˜`>ĂžĂŠ7ÂœĂ€ĂƒÂ…ÂˆÂŤĂŠ>Â˜`ĂŠ-Ă•Â˜`>ĂžĂŠ-VÂ…ÂœÂœÂ?ĂŠ>ĂŒĂŠÂŁĂ¤\Ă¤Ă¤ĂŠ>Â°Â“Â°
This Sunday: Head of Household Rev. David Howell preaching An Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ
THE WOMANâ€™S CLUB OF PALO ALTO
Please join us for our
Spring Kitchen Tour S a t u r d a y, M a y 1 5 , 2 0 1 0 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
We Invite You to Learn and Worship with Us.
Timothy R. Boyer. A place of caring, sharing and growing Worship Service 10:30 AM.
Tour ďŹ ve fabulous Palo Alto kitchens Ticket orders received before May 8 - $30 After May 8 - $35 Ticket orders received after May 8 and tickets for sale at the door will be available at 125 Southwood Drive on Saturday, May 15th. For your comfort and safety, we request low-heeled shoes. Please no cameras or children. For questions, visit www.womansclubofpaloalto.org or call 650.269.3517.
www.fpcmv.org 1667 Miramonte (Cuesta at Miramonte) 650.968.4473
A resource for special events and ongoing religious services. To inquire about or make space reservations for Inspirations, please contact Blanca Yoc at 326-8210 x6596 or email email@example.com
The Pa lo Alto Sto ry Pro je c t
Stories about Palo Alto, as told by local residents as part of the Palo Alto Story Project, are now posted on the Internet. Watch them at www.PaloAltoOnline.com
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NOTICE OF VACANCY ON THE LIBRARY ADVISORY COMMISSION FOR ONE UNEXPIRED TERM ENDING JANUARY 31, 2011 (Term of Mashruwala)
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 special meeting at 6:00 PM, Wednesday, May 19, 2010 in the Civic Center, Council Conference Room, 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.
6:00 PM CONSENT. 1. 805 Los Trancos Road: Planning and Transportation Commission consent review of plan details and agency comments, and conﬁrmation of the March 24, 2010 Site and Design Review approval recommendation and conditions for a new 11,184 square foot single family home in the Open Space (OS) Zone District.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council is seeking applications for the Library Advisory Commission from persons interested in serving in one unexpired term ending January 31, 2011. Eligibility Requirements: The Library Advisory Commission is composed of seven members who shall be appointed by and shall serve at the pleasure of the City Council, but who shall not be Council Members, ofﬁcers or employees of the City of Palo Alto. Each member of the Commission shall have a demonstrated interest in public library matters. All members of the Commission shall at all times be residents of the City of Palo Alto. Regular meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday the month, at least one month per quarter. Purpose and Duties: The purpose of the Library Advisory Commission shall be to advise the City Council on matters relating to the Palo Alto City Library, excluding daily administrative operations. The Commission shall have the following duties: 1.
NEW BUSINESS. Public Hearing: 2345 Yale Street: Planning and Transportation Commission Review of a Request for Hearing on a Request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow a Dental Ofﬁce on the second ﬂoor of an existing ofﬁce building. Zoning: CN.
7:00 PM NEW BUSINESS. Public Hearing: 3.
High Speed Rail: Review and comment on draft Alternatives Analysis for High Speed Rail.
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 ada@ cityofpaloalto.org. *** Curtis Williams Director of Planning and Community Environment Page 14ÊUÊ>ÞÊÇ]ÊÓä£äÊUÊ*>ÊÌÊ7iiÞ
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4. 5. 6.
Advise the City Council on planning and policy matters pertaining to: a) the goals of and the services provided by the Palo Alto City Library; b) the future delivery of the services by the Palo Alto City Library; c) the City Manager’s recommendations pertaining to the disposition of major gifts of money, personal property and real property to the City to be used for library purposes; d) the construction and renovation of capital facilities of the Palo Alto City Library; and e) joint action projects with other public or private information entities, including libraries. Review state legislative proposals that may affect the operation of the Palo Alto City Library. Review the City Manager’s proposed budget for capital improvements and operations relating to the Palo Alto City Library, and thereafter forward any comments to one or more of the applicable committees of the Council. Provide advice upon such other matters as the City Council may from time to time assign. Receive community input concerning the Palo Alto City Library. Review and comment on fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Palo Alto City Library.
The Library Advisory Commission shall not have the power or authority to cause the expenditure of City funds or to bind the City to any written or implied contract. Appointment information and application forms are available in the City Clerk‘s Ofﬁce, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto (Phone: 650-3292571) or may be obtained on the website at http://www.cityofpaloalto. org. Deadline for receipt of applications in the City Clerk‘s Ofﬁce is 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 27, 2010. PALO ALTO RESIDENCY IS A REQUIREMENT
DONNA J. GRIDER City Clerk
Violence related Assault with a deadly weapon . . . . . . . .2 Domestic violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Sexual assault. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Strong arm robbery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Elder abuse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theft related Commercial burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Identity theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Residential burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Shoplifting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Counterfeiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vehicle related Bicycle theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Suspended license . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Misc. traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Theft from auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Vehicle accident/minor injury . . . . . . . . .5 Vehicle accident/property damage. . . . 12 Vehicle impound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Alcohol or drug related Drunk in public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Possession of drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Miscellaneous Disturbing/annoying phone calls. . . . . . .1 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Lost property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Misc. penal code violation . . . . . . . . . . .1 Outside assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Psych. Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Warrants/other agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Unattended death. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Restraining order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Disposal request. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Menlo Park April 28-May 3 Violence related Domestic violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theft related Auto burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Burglary (unspecified) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Commercial burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Grand theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Vehicle related Auto recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Suspended license . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Hit and run/property damage . . . . . . . . .3 Parking/driving violation . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle accident/injury . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vehicle tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Alcohol or drug related Drug activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Narcotics registrant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Possession of drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Miscellaneous Animal call. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Business check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Domestic disturbance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Gang validation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Info case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Located missing person . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Mental evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Outside assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Parole arrest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Property for destruction . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Psychiatric evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Threats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Warrant arrest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
VIOLENT CRIMES Palo Alto 200 block Forest Avenue, 4/27/10, 7:28 p.m.; armed robbery. Colorado Avenue, 4/30/10, 2:35 p.m.; family violence. Waverly Street, 5/1/10, 1:57 a.m.; sexual assault. Grant Avenue, 5/1/10, 6:33 p.m.; elder abuse/emotional. El Camino Real/Serra Street, 5/2/10, 3:11 a.m.; assault with deadly weapon. El Camino Real, 5/2/10, 6:58 p.m.; assault with deadly weapon. Middlefield Road, 5/2/10, 8:18 p.m.; domestic violence/battery.
Menlo Park Location not specified, 4/29/10, 6:54 p.m.; spousal abuse.
Carolyn Reller Carolyn Reller, 68, a philanthropist and active member of the Palo Alto community, died May 3 after struggling for several years with a brain tumor. She grew up in Burlingame, Calif., and attended the University of Washington. After marrying her husband, Bill, she moved to Crescent Park in Palo Alto and worked briefly for Sunset Magazine before her three children were born. Her lifelong friend, Karen Olson, also moved to Palo Alto and the two watched their children and grandchildren form close friendships over the years. “She had a natural ability to make everybody feel as if they were a close friend,” Olson said. “She was elegant and she was gracious, but
she was down to earth.” She was passionate about helping senior citizens and served as a board member for Avenidas and Channing House. She was also on the board of the Children’s Health Council, worked as a pink lady at Stanford Hospital and participated in the Junior League and the Palo Alto Garden Club. She and her husband decided to build Palo Alto Commons in south Palo Alto after seeing a need for assisted living facilities for the elderly in the area. Over the years, the couple supported several other local institutions, including the Garden Club, the Yosemite Fund, the Stanford Cancer Center and the Palo Alto Library Foundation. “She was a dear friend, we picked right up with every conversation, and probably the most genteel, loveliest woman I’ve ever known,” said
2010 Photo Contest Congratulations!
Winners and Selected for Exhibition have been notified Watch for the June 4th Edition of the Weekly announcing all the winners! All those that entered but weren’t notified, please pick up your photos at 450 Cambridge Ave, M-F 8:30am - 5:30pm
Jeanne Ware, a longtime friend and neighbor. “I’ve heard somebody say once, ‘God picks his prettiest flowers for his garden,’ and that would surely apply to her.” She is survived by her husband, William (Bill); a daughter, Elizabeth Moragne of Palo Alto; and two sons, William (Bill) of Seattle and Stephen of Palo Alto. A memorial service will be held May 14 at the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto.
Memorial services Alex Fu-Hing Cheng, a Stanford graduate and former resident of Portola Valley, died April 24. Those interested in attending his memorial service on Saturday, May 8, are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
*/(. $/./6!. John Donovan, passed away on 4/26/10 at the age of 87. He lived in Menlo Park for 54 years before moving to Woodinville, WA, in 2008 to be closer to family. He was an Army captain in WWII, an avid stamp collector, and a retired stockbroker. He graduated from NMMI and the U of Washington. John was married to Donna for 61 years until she died of cancer in 2004. He is survived by 4 children, Sandy Wenning, of Austin TX; Judy Thomson, of Maui, HI; Linda Olson, of Woodinville, WA; and Mike Donovan, of Carlsbad, CA; as well as 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. PA I D
O B I T UA RY
,/)3 %,)./2 /+3%."%2' Lois Elinor Oksenberg, 69, died at her Atherton home on March 27, 2010, surrounded by her family after a long illness. She was born to Laura and Frederick Clarenbach on September 25, 1940 in Columbia, Missouri, and was the younger of two daughters. Mrs. Oksenberg graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore University in 1962 and with a Doctorate in Psychology from Columbia University in 1970. She was the wife of noted sinologist Michel Oksenberg, whom she married in 1963 and who preceded her in death. She was a senior and accomplished researcher at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Survey Research and remained an active reviewer of professional articles throughout her life. She will be remembered as a gentle and loving wife and mother who bore the burden of her illness with grace and dignity and enjoyed her life to the very end. Mrs. Oksenberg is survived by her son, David, of San Francisco, her daughter, Deborah, of Bellingham, Washington, and three grandchildren. She is further survived by her sister, Ann Skutt of Seattle, and by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Her memorial service will be held Saturday, May 22d at 1 PM at her Atherton home. PA I D
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CAROLYN WIEDEMANN RELLER
Carolyn Wiedemann Reller, 68, of Palo Alto, died peacefully at her home from brain cancer on May 3rd. Carolyn was born and raised in Burlingame, attended Burlingame High School and later the University of Washington. After marrying, she and her husband Bill Reller settled in Palo Alto and never left. She worked for Sunset Magazine for a short time before taking on major volunteer efforts that brought her great joy and satisfaction. Carolyn loved and was loved by her friends, community, and most of all her family. She led a truly wonderful life, appreciating every day to the fullest and never wavering from her greatest priority of caring for, and having fun with, her family. Carolyn is survived by her brother Ted of San Mateo; her husband Bill; children Elizabeth (Mark Moragne), Bill (Amy), and Stephen (Melissa) and nine grandchildren: Rebecca, Anna, Stephen, Annie, Will, Catherine, Michael, Avery, and McLain. Above all, she provided beauty, peace, grace, and dignity to a family of 17. A memorial service will be held in her honor at the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto on Friday, May 14th at 11:00. In lieu of ﬂowers, donations may be made to Avenidas (450 Bryant St., Palo Alto 94301), the National Brain Tumor Society, 124 Watertown Street, Suite 2D, Watertown, MA 02472 or Pathways Hospice Foundation, 585 North Mary Avenue, Sunnyvale CA 94085. PA I D
Professor Rangaiya Aswathanarayana Rao Resident of Los Altos Hills 2/27/34 – 4/22/10
Born in Bangalore, India to a family of ﬁve brothers and three sisters, Professor Rao attended Central College and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. As a young man, he distinguished himself by earning 1st rank in his B.Sc. examination among 60,000 candidates in Mysore State. After completing a post-graduate diploma course at the I.I.Sc., he then left home to join the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) in Pilani, Rajastan, India. He moved to the US in 1959 to attend the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. In 1966, he joined Fairchild Semiconductor and went on to serve as a Professor of Electrical Engineering at San Jose State University, where he taught and advised undergraduate and graduate students for over three decades. He also held visiting professor appointments at several universities including Stanford University and Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan. Professor Rao was a prominent member of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Indian community, having served as President of Kannada Koota of Northern California and President of South India Fine Arts of Northern California in the 1980’s. During this
time, he hosted performances by several renowned artists from India and the US. After retiring from San Jose State University in 2003, he enjoyed golﬁng, exercising and spending time with his family in the Bay Area and in India. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Sarala Rao of Los Altos Hills, son Gopal Rao of San Francisco, daughter Gowri Grewal, son-inlaw Paul Grewal, and grandchildren Calvin & Sarina Grewal, all of Palo Alto. In India, Professor Rao leaves behind his three brothers, R. Ananthaswamy, R. Ramachandra and R. Sundaramoorthy and two sisters, Leela Ramakrishniah and Rajeshwari Krishamoorthy. He was preceded in death by his sister Smt. Venkatalakshamma Srikantiah of Mysore and brothers Wg. Cdr. R. Nagaraja Rao and R. Shankara of Bangalore. There will be a memorial service for friends and family on May 8, 2010 at 4:30pm at India Gate Restaurant in Santa Clara. Please visit http://rangaiyarao.blogspot.com for more information. In lieu of ﬂowers, donations in his memory may be made to the International House Scholarship Fund at the University of California at Berkeley. The International House Scholarship Fund (FU096700) In Memory of Dr. Rangaiya A. Rao Ph.D. ‘66 University of California, Berkeley 2299 Piedmont Avenue Berkeley, CA 94720-2320. PA I D
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Vote for Jeff Rosen for district attorney Incumbent Dolores Carr has failed to demonstrate that she can run and lead an effective criminalprosecution operation, making too many missteps anta Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr has had nearly 3 1/2 years to prove she can effectively manage the sixth largest DA’s office in the state and fill the shoes of respected long-time former DA George Kennedy.
Instead, in one embarrassing revelation after another, Carr has come up short. Not all of the DA office’s controversies of the last few years are Carr’s fault. But when deputies are accused of prosecutorial misconduct for withholding evidence from defense attorneys, as occurred in domestic abuse and other cases, ultimate accountability rests with the boss. More importantly, Carr’s lapses in her own judgment and her self-acknowledged communication shortcomings combine to create an organization that is divided, politicized and unhealthy. Her critics share responsibility for that, but the conflict may be irreparable. To her credit, she owns up to much of the criticism and says her 2006 commitment to reform the culture in the DA’s office is still “a work in progress.” She acknowledges she poorly explained her decision not to prosecute several De Anza College baseball players for sexual assault in a case that received extensive publicity. She says in hindsight she should have been more alert to the conflict created when her husband, a retired San Jose police lieutenant, became a consultant to the family of a murder victim in a case her office would end up prosecuting. And she defends her action to blackball Superior Court judge Andrea Bryan, a former prosecutor, ordering her deputies to refuse to appear before Bryan due to what Carr believed were unwarranted criticisms of her office. In short, it has been turbulent first term for Carr, and despite her many positive qualities, we believe she will not be able to overcome the controversies of the last few years. Many others, including the Santa Clara County Bar Association and former DA George Kennedy, agree — Kennedy in fact has publicly endorsed Rosen. By a wide margin, the Bar Association voted to reverse its prior support of Carr and endorsed her sole opponent, Jeff Rosen. Carr was even deemed “not qualified” by more Bar members than found her “qualified.” For her part, Carr has picked up the support of most, but not all, police unions. Rosen has been endorsed by the sheriff’s deputies association. Rosen, 42, has spent all but two years of his 15-year career as an attorney in the DA’s office, trying some of the more complex homicide and other cases. He harshly criticizes his boss’s ethical and management shortcomings and points to the number of attorneys in the office who have publicly endorsed him — more than have endorsed Carr — as a sign of the discontent in the office. Among Rosen’s goals is to bring back the Cold Case Unit, open grand jury proceedings into officer-involved shootings, and reduce small case loads for all supervisors so they are not so insulated from the courtroom. Rosen’s major shortcoming is that he lacks the management and leadership experience one would want to see in someone seeking to run a large county bureaucracy as critical as the District Attorney’s office. Although he has had to manage complex cases with large numbers of witnesses, he has never been a supervisor in the office responsible for managing employees, creating budgets and dealing with other lawenforcement leaders throughout the county. Rosen counters that as president of Temple Kol Emeth of Palo Alto he administered a large budget and oversaw staff. But this hardly compares to trying to lead and manage through the intense politics of a 500-person organization within a county bureaucracy that must make significant budget cuts. Rosen is a passionate, well-respected prosecutor with a firsthand view of the management challenges Dolores Carr has faced in her first term as DA. He is less qualified than we would prefer for this important position, but we believe there have simply been too many missteps by Carr to put our faith in her ability to turn things around in a second term. We recommend Jeff Rosen for Santa Clara County District Attorney. Page 16ÊUÊ>ÞÊÇ]ÊÓä£äÊUÊ*>ÊÌÊ7iiÞ
Spectrum Editorials, letters and opinions
Importance of firefighters Editor, After reading Tina Peak’s letter on the role of firefighters last week, I felt that someone needed to speak up. Obviously this resident has no clue what these hard-working men and women do every day for our community. The position of a firefighter is not “archaistic.” Firefighters in Palo Alto do not just fight fires. They also handle medical calls, traffic accidents, natural disasters, gas leaks as well as many other situations. Firefighters and police are specially trained for what they do. These two careers don’t just overlap. Most firefighters are EMT’s or paramedics. They are first responders, meaning that they are the first medical personnel at the scene and they have highly specialized training and knowledge to save a life, whether it be heart attack, drug overdose, stroke or auto accident. In addition they also have extensive training in fire science, extrication, searchand-rescue and much more. To be a firefighter/paramedic takes years of school and training. “Replacing the old firefighters” would put our community at risk. You cannot replace the years of training and experience these men and women have. I feel like this resident is under the impression that firefighters don’t work “full time,” which couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are constantly training, studying, practicing their skills, testing, responding to calls, maintaining the firehouse and the vehicles. They aren’t just sitting around doing nothing at the station waiting for a call. Each station is responsible for calls in a certain area, especially the surrounding neighborhood. I would suggest that this resident spend some time at a station talking to the firefighters and maybe going out on a ride-along for a 12-hour shift. I think it would a very eye opening and life-changing experience. Andrea Roucoule Oxford Avenue Palo Alto
Yes on 15 Editor, The League of Women Voters Palo Alto urges a “yes” vote for Proposition 15 on the June 8 ballot. Proposition 15 is a pilot project to make voluntary public financing available to secretary of state candidates in 2014 and 2018. It is a first step toward changing the way we finance elections in California. Fees on lobbyists fund the program, not taxpayers’ dollars. Public financing of campaigns has
a successful, proven track record in, Maine, North Carolina, Connecticut and Arizona. It frees politicians from fundraising and dampens the impact of special interest lobbyists. Elected officials have passed bipartisan, ground-breaking legislation without fearing retribution from powerful special interests. Women and minorities are encouraged to run, because candidates from all backgrounds can be elected, not just those who are wealthy or know wealthy donors. Phyllis Cassel, President League of Women Voters of Palo Alto
Cheney’s oil connections Editor, The oil well spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico didn’t have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills. The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig last week.
Cheney’s energy task force — the secretive one he wouldn’t say much about publicly — decided that the switches, which cost $500,000, were too much a burden on the industry. But then again, maybe they are not. Regulatory decisions have consequences all the time, and the people who made them should be asked to justify their decisions in a democracy. Halliburton is involved, too. The Los Angeles Times reports that “BP contracted Dick Cheney’s old company to cement the deepwater drill hole.” Cheney himself corrupts the very foundation of government itself by illegally boring into the private affairs of its citizens and scandalously destroying their personal freedoms, while at the same time he tries to hide his evil-doing with hush money, colossal cover-up, and the most flagrant whitewashing in Washington White House history as it is now born out. Ted Rudow III Encina Avenue Palo Alto (continued on next page)
YOUR TURN The Palo Alto Weekly encourages comments on our coverage or on issues of local interest.
What do you think? What is your primary reason for voting – or not voting – in the June 8 primary election? Submit letters to the editor of up to 250 words to email@example.com. Include your name, address and daytime phone number so we can reach you. We reserve the right to edit contributions for length, objectionable content, libel and factual errors known to us. Anonymous letters will generally not be accepted. You can also participate in our popular interactive online forum, Town Square, at our community website at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. Read blogs, discuss issues, ask questions or express opinions with you neighbors any time, day or night. Submitting a letter to the editor or guest opinion constitutes a granting of permission to the Palo Alto Weekly and Embarcadero Publishing Co. to also publish it online, including in our online archives and as a post on Town Square. For more information contact Editor Jay Thorwaldson or Online Editor Tyler Hanley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-326-8210.
Check out Town Square! Hundreds of local topics are being discussed by local residents on Town Square, a reader forum sponsored by the Weekly on our community website at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. Post your own comments, ask questions, read the Editor’s blog or just stay up on what people are talking about around town!
Letters (continued from previous page)
Healthy choices for EPA Editor, Although Sheila Himmel’s review of El Pueblo conveys the excitement and energy of a new supermarket, it misses the mark in so many ways. Even her heading, referring to “mere groceries” shows need for a new approach to how we acquire our food. You will be hard-pressed to find a single dish at the long deli counter that does not contain excessive amounts of meat or fish. If you avoid the central junk-laden aisles, you will find that El Pueblo’s peripheral displays do have remarkably fresh beans, pretty good fruit and vegetables, and lots of cheese from different Mexican states. But look for recycled toilet paper, local organic milk, or fresh whole grain bread and you will be disappointed. Staff members at Mi Pueblo are charming and friendly but they are not trained to ask if you really need a bag or if you would like a recycled one. Watch for a few minutes the families leaving the store laden with countless yellow plastic bags and you will be disheartened. It is wrong to assume that people in East Palo Alto do not care about the environment or making change. The Charter School on Runnymede has an excellent garden program (Collective Roots) where children and their parents learn about growing food and healthy eating. As someone who has worked in EPA for the past seven years, I look forward to the day when Mi Pueblo, with its profile and presence, shows an equally refreshing and progressive leadership in helping people link healthy diet choices with respect for our desperately endangered environment. Margaret Allen Cornell Street Palo Alto
Board of Contributors A new volunteer gig : ‘muscular mediation’? by Jeff Blum am very excited about my new volunteer endeavor — being a mediator with the Palo Alto Mediation Program. This mediation gig is a good one for me. It is right up my alley, since I do mediation as a divorce attorney. However, my passion for conflict resolution harkens back to an early age. Remember those Charles Atlas ads about the muscular bully who kicked sand in the skinny guy’s face? And how the skinny guy got all buffed out and turned the tide, or sand? I was the skinny guy. While I was a fantastic swimmer and a lifeguard (a hometown hero for saving a little boy’s life), my nickname was “Pencil Body” to some, “Bones” to others. Charles Atlas’ body-building program failed me miserably, so I learned to deal with the bullies by negotiating my way out of trouble. Most of the time it worked and the bullies found someone else to work over. My conflict-resolution skills were limited, though, as I wasn’t able to get these brutes to renounce violence a la Gandhi or to start doing Yoga instead of bodybuilding. My dad planted the mediation idea in me, too, by telling me about his good friend, who was a mediator. This mediator guy was involved in some high-profile conflicts. I remember reading in the newspaper about major labor disputes, often involving strikes by workers over labor conditions and wages. Invariably, the mediator involved in resolving the disputes was my dad’s friend. Being a typical teenager, I was more im-
pressed with the guy’s huge estate (a family inheritance) on the tip of Long Island than I was with his career. My parents together also taught me the benefits of mediation, although not in the way you might expect. They had a long and solid marriage but they had their share of fights, mainly about money. I agonized when these disputes occurred. The fear of my parents divorcing motivated me to act as a child-prodigy mediator. I remember wracking my brains for creative things to say to get them to stop their arguments. One time my mother got so mad at my father while we were driving somewhere that she got out of the car at a red light and walked away. My mind raced with thoughts about how to get her back in the car. This is where I first learned the benefit of using humor as part of mediation. At the next light, I got out and began walking in cadence with my mom. My lighthearted comments to her about the weather, the scenery, and what a perfectly appropriate idea it was for her to choose that moment to go for a walk, broke the ice. These youthful experiences with conflict resolution were a means of survival of my bodily unit and the family unit. However, as I began having successes in my mediation practice in divorce cases — helping people get through an extremely difficult period in their lives — it became a tremendous source of personal satisfaction. It made me want to do more. Think of the busman’s holiday, one of my supervisors at the Palo Alto Mediation Program observed. I can’t get enough of it. Raising two children also helped me hone my conflict-resolution skills. If you are new to the two-kid life I recommend reading Siblings Without Rivalry and Getting To Yes. Teach
What are your thoughts on the upcoming June election?
your children the mediation skills they need to resolve disputes — don’t do it for them. An ability to mediate is perhaps the most important gift you could give your children. It is something we need to spread more widely among all youth and adults as the key to a gentler family, community, nation and world — with the possible exception of Congress, still locked in the kicking-sand mode. With my background in conflict resolution it is easy to see why I am so excited about volunteering with the mediation program. But as a veteran volunteer I will not allow my excitement cause me to do something rash. I have given great thought and consideration to my first suggestion. I am sure you will agree this is solid. Since among its services the Palo Alto Mediation Program handles neighbor-toneighbor disputes, perhaps we should get involved in the dispute in Arizona over its new anti-immigration law. After all, Arizona is our neighbor. Ever mindful of the need for a back-up plan, if the Arizona idea falls flat I have another one. You may recall that our governor was a body builder early in his career. It would be great if he and I could do Charles Atlasskinny-guy-at-the-beach type skits together at schools, promoting the benefits of mediation to our youth. Of course, now that I am a superpowered mediator I would be the one kicking the sand. N Jeff Blum, a family law attorney practicing in Palo Alto, is a former member of the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission and of the Palo Alto YMCA board. He can be e-mailed at Blumesq@aol.com.
Interviews by Aimee Miles. Photographs by Kimihiro Hoshino. Asked on California Avenue
“I haven’t been exposed to any candidates in the newspaper or in person. I know how to register to vote but I don’t know once I register how to vote, so there are a lot of uncertainties in the voting procedure.”
“It’ still difficult to narrow the selection down to one choice, but I’ve definitely eliminated some. Who I won’t vote for? Carly. I am an environmentalist at heart, and the last governor we had who really paid attention to the environment was Jerry Brown.”
“I definitely plan to vote, I just don’t know the issues right now. I’m sure there will be a lot about education and health care but I don’t know what’s actually on the bill at this point.”
“Probably the biggest issue for me is education and fiscal debt. On the candidate front I don’t know yet — I’m waiting for the debate. I don’t have a party affiliation yet.”
“No affiliations yet, but I want to just exercise my power to vote.”
Homemaker Sheridan Avenue, Palo Alto
Retiree College Park, San Jose
Occupational therapist Sioux Drive, Fremont
Marketing consultant Robleda Road, Los Altos Hills
Student Greenwood Avenue, Palo Alto
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This Week on Town Square: Jay Thorwaldson’s blog Posted May 4 at 3:04 p.m. by Jay Thorwaldson, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly:
NOTICE OF A PUBLIC MEETING of the City of Palo Alto Architectural Review Board (ARB) 3:00 p.m., Thursday, May 20, 2010 Palo Alto Council Conference Room, 1st Floor, Civic Center, 250 Hamilton Avenue. Go to the Development Center at 285 Hamilton Avenue to review ﬁled documents; contact Alicia Spotwood for information regarding business hours at 650-617-3168 341 Ramona Street [10PLN-00075]: Request by the Topos Architects on behalf of James Goddard for Architectural Review of minor changes to one residential unit in a Planned Community to allow façade improvements, expansion of the second ﬂoor deck and conversion of 32 square feet of ﬂoor space. Zone: PC-3111. Environmental Assessment: CEQA Exemption per Section 15301. 524 Hamilton Avenue [10PLN-00128]: Request by Hayes Group Architects on behalf of R&M Properties for Preliminary Architectural Review of a new two story ofﬁce building. Zone: CD-C (P). Environmental Assessment: Preliminary Review not subject to CEQA. Stanford University Medical Center Facilities Renewal and Replacement Project- Request by Stanford University Medical Center on behalf of Stanford University for Preliminary Review of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital expansion. Zone: (MOR). Environmental Assessment: Preliminary Review not subject to CEQA. Stanford University Medical Center Facilities Renewal and Replacement Project- Study Session to review conceptual computer simulations and modeling of the renewal and expansion elements of the Stanford Medical Center project. Amy French Manager of Current Planning
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PUBLIC NOTICE FORMER NAVAL AIR STATION MOFFETT FIELD
Original Ownership Since 1975
Restoration Advisory Board Meeting
The next regular meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) for former Naval Air Station (NAS) Moffett Field will be held on: Thursday, May 13, 2010, from 7:00 to 9:10 p.m. at: Mountain View Senior Center Social Hall 266 Escuela Avenue Mountain View, CA 94040-1813 The RAB reviews and comments on plans and activities about the ongoing environmental studies and restoration activities underway at Moffett Field. Regular RAB meetings are open to the public and the Navy encourages your involvement. To review documents on Moffett Field environmental restoration projects, please visit the information repository located at the Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin St., Mountain View, CA 94041, (650) 903-6337. For more information, contact Ms. Kathy Stewart, Navy Base Realignment and Closure Environmental Coordinator at (415) 743-4715 or email@example.com. Visit the Navy’s website: http://www.bracpmo.navy.mil/basepage.aspx?baseid=52&state=California&name=moffett Page 18ÊUÊ>ÞÊÇ]ÊÓä£äÊUÊ*>ÊÌÊ7iiÞ
The special recognition TheatreWorks received Monday night — being called a “treasured cultural icon” at a Palo Alto City Council meeting and winning seven theatre critics awards in San Francisco — triggered some remembrances of four decades back when I was a reporter at the erstwhile Palo Alto Times. In 1970, our A&E editor, the late Paul Emerson, broke the news of the formation of a new theatre endeavor in Palo Alto being launched by an energetic Stanford creative-writing grad named Robert Kelley. By the time I met Kelley he had settled into his trademark Elizabethan-style garb that, when combined with a neatly trimmed goatee, gave him a resemblance of a young Will Shakespeare — better looking than the real thing, I always thought. Emerson himself was a remarkable person, a kind of Renaissance Man who could review anything from plays to opera, concerts to solo performances, come back to the office and write the review, then get into his vehicle (a retired Times’ delivery truck), drive to the Sierra, do a 60-mile loop hike and be back at work early Monday morning. He once did a midwinter transSierra trek, reporting that it was the “coldest I’ve ever been in my life.” He later became one of the strongest mountain climbers in the West, before chronic health problems afflicted his life. He once almost died of a foot-blister infection while on a 30-mile hike into a mountain in South America. When he moved up to a climbing pack, he gave me his old backpack, a Kelty with one aluminum foot broken off from a fall in a scree field. He said the pack had done about 6,000 miles of hiking with him. But at the paper he had a rare gift of being both an honest critic of art and entertainment events and a sup-
portive friend of talented individuals and organizations. “Paul was absolutely critical in our early development as a theatre company,” Kelley reminisced Tuesday, confirming my own early 1970s observations as a newsroom colleague. Emerson could be both supportive and honestly critical, guiding and advising in his writings and personally. “There was no real reason why we caught his attention, but we did,” Kelley recalls. At 22, he and others in the small troupe “were a part of the community not being heard from” in the arts field. Kelley said Emerson’s successor, John McClintock, followed his example and contributed to the group’s continuing success and growth. Kelley, perhaps still in the glow of the Monday night accolades and awards, said Tuesday he has no regrets about his decision and early struggles to establish TheatreWorks. The relationships along the way have been rich and rewarding. “In theatre, everything’s a collaboration,” he said. Could he or another young artist do it again today? “It would be a challenge, but it would be a fun challenge,” he said. “I’ve been asked exactly that question many times.” And he takes time to share advice, as if following the path of Emerson of decades ago. In fact, he has an appointment this weekend to meet with someone who desires to create a theatre group in another community further north. He said the advice he will give is twofold: Know yourself and what you believe in, and know your community. “What I wanted to talk about and write about was the community, about us” in Palo Alto and the Midpeninsula, Kelley said, encapsulating his 40 years of creativity. ■
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Rich Gordon, Yoriko Kishimoto and Josh Becker brace for a tight race for Ira Ruskin’s seat in the California Assembly
A seasoned county supervisor, a bike-riding environmentalist and a venture capitalist with a passion for clean technology are all vying to replace Ira Ruskin in the 21st District of the California Assembly. Each of the three Democrats believes he or she is the face of California. San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon points to his long record of balancing county budgets and building bipartisan coalitions. Yoriko Kishimoto, a former member of the Palo Alto City Council, cites her strong environmental credentials and her path from being a Japanese immigrant to becoming the first Asian elected to the Palo Alto council. Venture capitalist Josh Becker
touts his clean-tech savvy and business knowhow as major reasons why he best represents his district. On June 8, voters will decide which of the three is best positioned to take on Republican candidate Greg Conlon. The winner of that race will have to tackle California’s $21 billion budget deficit, oversee a controversial high-speedrail project, revive a cash-strapped education system and find consensus in Sacramento.
The 21st District includes large chunks of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties: Palo Alto, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Atherton, East Palo Alto, Stanford University and a section of San Jose. Because the district is heavily Democratic, whoever wins the primary next month will be a strong favorite to prevail. When it comes to policy, Gordon, Kishimoto and Becker have more similarities than differences. Each talks about the need to reform California’s system of governance, add transparency to the high-speed-rail project (see sidebar); promote clean energy; repeal the state’s two-thirds requirement for passing budgets; and implement an oil-excise tax to reduce the state’s staggering budget deficit. None of the three could think of a single Ruskin vote they disagree with. Their backgrounds, however, are as varied as their personal styles. Gordon, who was born in San Mateo County, served as a minister in
the United Methodist Church and has spent years in youth ministry and the nonprofit sector before joining the Board of Supervisors. Kishimoto moved to California as a child and worked as a business consultant before emerging as one of Palo Alto’s leading conservationists and transportation experts — credentials she believe make her well-suited to dealing with the proposed high-speed-rail project. Becker, a Pennsylvania native, believes he epitomizes Silicon Valley better than his two opponents because of his entrepreneurial background, his networking skills and his history of supporting innovative ideas and creating jobs. The following three profiles explore the candidates’ respective journeys toward the 2010 election and their plans to fix California. N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YO R IKO KISHIM OTO Finding common ground, while sticking to her principles
f the three Democrats running for Ira Ruskin’s seat in the 21st Assembly District, Yoriko Kishimoto is the only one who can boast of being a “proven futurist.” It’s been more than two decades since Kishimoto co-wrote the book “The Third Century,” which predicted that America’s entrepreneurial spirit, democratic system and tendency to attract the best foreign talent would give the nation a major long-term advantage over Europe and Japan. These days, she is struck by how many of the prophecies in the book came true. For Kishimoto, California presents the same challenges and opportunities as the nation at large: a dysfunctional Legislature, fierce competition from abroad and an education system that’s gradually slipping. But she believes that, of the three candidates, she is uniquely positioned to lead the state forward. She didn’t just study the statistics about foreign workers succeeding in America, she became one. Kishimoto, 54, sees herself as the “face of California.” Born in Japan, she immigrated to America as a child, learned English, earned a master’s degree in business from Stanford University and started a management-consulting business. She was elected to the Palo Alto City Council in 2001 and had what she calls her “watershed moment” six years later, when she became the city’s first Asian-American mayor.
“Of the 15 mayors in Santa Clara meetings vague and troubling. County, five were Asian and all five In the following months, she were first-generation Americans,” reached out to neighboring commuKishimoto said in a recent inter- nities and helped found the Peninview. “That’s a true testament to the sula Cities Consortium, a coalition robustness of our economy.” with Menlo Park, Atherton, Belmont During her eight years on the and Burlingame. She believes the council, Kishimoto never shied away consortium may have played a role from pushing for her top priorities: in persuading the rail authority to walkable neighborhoods, safer bike eliminate the “berm” option (known paths, a functional public-transit locally as the “Berlin Wall”) from its system, climate protection and land recent list of possible designs. conservation. She routinely subjectKishimoto said a seat in the ed developers and planning staff to state Assembly would give her grueling Q-and-A format sessions more power and influence over the and voted against any project that controversial $43 billion project. she felt was inconsistent with the She supports demanding a better city’s long-term vision. business plan from the California Last year, she voted against Palo High Speed Rail Authority; ensurAlto’s three largest proposed devel- ing that the authority’s work unopments: Alma Plaza, the College dergoes peer reviews; and making Terrace Centre and the proposed sure the system’s design doesn’t hotel for the Palo Alto Bowl site. harm the quality of life in local All three were ultimately approved communities. despite her opposition. “It has to be a solution that leaves Kishimoto has also emerged as the communities better and protects one of the Peninsula’s leading crit- the walkable and livable aspects of ics of the proposed California high- our community,” Kishimoto said. speed-rail system. In October 2008, She also supports tackling the she joined the City Council in pass- state’s $21 billion budget deficit by ing a resolution urging residents to instituting an oil-extraction fee (a support Proposition 1A, which pro- position shared by her two Demovided $9.95 billion for the project. cratic opponents) and raising taxes She now says she regrets casting on cigarettes and alcohol. She also that vote. said she would support reining in Kishimoto said she still supports pension costs for state employees having a high-speed-rail system but and trimming expenditures, though is disappointed with the way the in a recent interview she couldn’t planning process for the new system cite any specific programs she has played out. In February 2009, would eliminate. (continued on page 22) she attended public outreach meetShe acknowledged that holding ings on the project and found some of the information coming out of the (continued on page 22)
by Gennady Sheyner
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PALO ALTO CITY COUNCIL CIVIC CENTER, 250 HAMILTON AVENUE BROADCAST LIVE ON KZSU, FM 90.1 CABLECAST LIVE ON GOVERNMENT ACCESS CHANNEL 26
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Closed Session: Existing Litigation Closed Session: Labor 7:30 PM or as soon as possible thereafter Selection of Historic Resources Board Applicants to Interview Proclamation Acknowledging Track Watch Volunteers Monthly HSR Update Acceptance of the Regional Water Quality Control Plant Site Feasibility Study and Authorization to Proceed with an Environmental Assessment of a Recycling Center and Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Facility Improvements for the West Side of the Regional Water Quality Control Plant Site (Continued from 4/5/10) Public Hearing: Approval of a Mitigated Negative Declaration, a Site and Design and Approval of a Record of land Use Action, and Park Improvement Ordinance for a New Green House and Shed Located in the Baylands at 2500 Embarcadero Road. Adoption of a Resolution Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of its General Obligation Bonds for Measure N Projects in the Principal Amount of Not to Exceed $60,000,000, Authorizing and Directing the Execution of a Paying Agent Agreement and Certain other Related Documents, and Authorizing Actions Related Thereto Colleagues Memo from Council Members Shepherd and Schmid regarding City Investments (TENTATIVE) AGENDA – SPECIAL MEETING – COUNCIL CONFERENCE ROOM MAY 12, 2010 – 6:00 P.M. Joint meeting with Planning & Transportation Commission regarding the Comprehensive Plan
STANDING COMMITTEE MEETINGS The Policy and Services Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, at 7:00 p.m. regarding: 1) Zero Waste: Recycling and Compostable Ordinance Development and Public Outreach; 2) City Council Priorities Workplan; 3. Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Committee; 4) Early Council Packet The Finance Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, at 7:00 p.m. regarding: 1) Budget Hearings for Community Services, City Attorney, Planning Page 20ÊUÊ>ÞÊÇ]ÊÓä£äÊUÊ*>ÊÌÊ7iiÞ
sk Rich Gordon, a candidate for the state Assembly’s 21st District seat, what makes him think he can bring people together and help end the divisiveness in Sacramento, and he’s likely to point to his endorsements. The endorsement list includes more than 100 elected officials — from U.S. congresswomen Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier down to local special-district board members. But more to his point is the representation of both sides of the political fence that the list reflects, said Gordon, a three-term member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Perhaps his proudest example is the people Gordon worked with several years ago when he chaired a group of “very disparate” individuals charged with working out controversial elements of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s plan to annex Coastside property. The group included members of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District board, pushing for annexation, and opponents of the plan, including San Mateo County Farm Bureau representatives and vocal “property rights” activists, Gordon said. They met every other week for six months, and at the end, “We were able to hammer out the agreement without opposition from the Farm Bureau,” he said. When he announced his candidacy for the Assembly seat, the first individual who endorsed him was Mary Davey of the District board, and the first organization, the Farm Bureau, he said. He also points to endorsements he’s received from county supervisors from across the state, most if not all of whom he worked with when he served as president of the California State Association of Counties. Singling out the board of Yolo County, Gordon said he received the endorsements of the most liberal member and the most conservative member. Gordon highlights his work with the association, and the support of many of its members, because he believes it speaks to his viability as a state legislator. The supervisors were from “disparate groups — reflective of what you see in the state Legislature,” he said. “I worked to bring them to common ground.” Gordon believes his hefty resume and long history as a supervisor gives him a sizeable edge over Josh Becker and Yoriko Kishimoto, his two opponents in the Democratic primary. Becker has had no elective office experience, and Kishimoto’s city council service was eight years in duration. Gordon contrasts that with his own history. Before his 12-year stint as a supervisor, he served for six years on the San Mateo County Board of Education. “My background, experience and knowledge are broader and deeper”
(TENTATIVE) AGENDA-SPECIAL MEETING COUNCIL CHAMBERS MAY 10, 2010 - 5:30 PM
by Renee Batti
than that of his opponents, he said. “The key is that I can be judged on my track record. I have demonstrated fiscal responsibility in government (and the) ability to build bridges and coalitions.”
‘Obviously, one person cannot change the system. One person can be a voice, and one person can join others. ... It only takes a handful to move toward change.’ As examples of fiscal responsibility, he cites his role about 10 years ago in helping to put an outcome-based budgeting process in place for the county, whereby results and benefits of programs could be measured for their efficiency and effectiveness. Also, he was a strong supporter of “a very good reserve policy” now in place. If elected, Gordon said, he would work toward both revenue generation and spending cuts in the state but emphasized that cuts must be “surgical and strategic.” For example, lawmakers shouldn’t cut programs that help keep people out of prison, because prison is far more expensive than the axed programs would be. He would support a look at reinstating the vehicle license fee and reviewing “the long-term fairness
of Proposition 13,” he said, noting that there are ways of protecting senior citizens to allow them to stay in their homes — a stated goal of Proposition 13. Another source of revenue could be an oil-extraction tax, he said, noting that California is the only oil-producing state in the country that doesn’t charge oil companies a fee for extracting oil. That tax is as high as 25 percent in at least one state — Alaska. Gordon returns often to the need to fix Sacramento. As a legislator, he would “engage the public in a conversation” about the need to eliminate the two-thirds majority vote to pass a budget, a requirement that has caused gridlock in the Capitol for many years running. But how can one person fix a badly broken system? “Obviously, one person cannot change the system,” he said. “One person can be a voice, and one person can join others. ... It only takes a handful to move toward change.” A native of San Mateo County, Gordon entered the ministry in the United Methodist Church after receiving a degree from the University of Southern California. Before running for public office in 1992, he worked in the nonprofit sector in San Mateo County, first with the YMCA, then with Youth and Family Assistance, where he served as executive director. He lives in an unincorporated area of Menlo Park with his husband, Dennis McShane. N Almanac News Editor Renee Batti can be e-mailed at rbatti@ almanacnews.com.
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Menlo Park entrepreneur hopes to ride his networking skills to victory in the Assembly race
2009-10 J G L
by Sean Howell
C U S T O M S O L U T I O N S F O R E V E R Y S T Y L E A N D E V E R Y B U D G E T
enlo Park venture capitalist and social entrepreneur Josh Becker is stressing his networking abilities in campaigning for the California Assembly, saying that the 21st District needs someone who can unite disparate groups of people to rally for change. In the months before the Democratic primary, his main challenge is likely to lie in convincing voters that those abilities would serve him well in public office. In a recent interview, Becker spoke energetically and cogently of jumpstarting a state with constant budget troubles and in need of new jobs. He expressed a desire to make California a leader in energy, and to â€œbring the spirit of Silicon Valley to Sacramento.â€? His private-sector career has centered on bringing innovators together in various coalitions. He is the founder and chair of the Full Circle Fund, a San Francisco-based philanthropic organization that gives grants to nonprofits and boasts on its board of directors Congressman Mike Honda, Netflix founder Reed Hastings, and Brian David, director of the National Broadband Task Force. Becker also founded New Cycle Capital, an â€œearly stageâ€? venturecapital firm based in San Francisco. He also sits on the board of trustees for the University of California Merced. Becker, 40, grew up in Pennsylvania and now lives in Menlo Park with his wife, Jonna, and their two children, Sophie, 5, and Aaron, 4. Though he has worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Reps. Howard Berman and former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, he is new to state politics. Becker said involvement in the Silicon Valley for Obama campaign sparked his interest in running for the Assembly. According to Becker, he helped launch â€œCleantech and Green Business for Obama,â€? which raised funds for the 2008 presidential campaign, as well as the Clean Economy Network. The home page of his campaignâ€™s website features a photo of Becker standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Al Gore. Becker seems to fit the profile of a â€œConnector,â€? a term popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2000 book, â€œThe Tipping Point.â€? According to Gladwell, connectors can spark a new trend by virtue of their wide networks: â€œOne of the key things she does is to play an intermediary between different social worlds,â€? he writes. And that, essentially, is Beckerâ€™s pitch. â€œI think that whatâ€™s needed right now is my kind of background,â€? he said. â€œThe other people who are running are good people, but whatâ€™s really needed right now are innovative ideas, and people who can bring together different coalitions.â€?
He emphasized his connections to Silicon Valley innovators, saying heâ€™s working to get people with good ideas involved in his campaign, people who may have sat on the sidelines in past Assembly races. If his fundraising so far is any indication, heâ€™s succeeded, having leapfrogged the other candidates in money raised in six months of campaigning. He proudly points to the fact that he didnâ€™t contribute his own money into the campaign (like former Palo Alto City Council member Yoriko Kishimoto) or receive major contributions from unions and other special-interest groups (like San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon). He may, however, face a challenge in convincing voters he is ready to confront the realities of serving in the California Legislature. Beckerâ€™s two opponents have histories as elected representatives. Asked whether he was prepared to deal with the slow pace and frustrations inherent in government bureaucracy, Becker said: â€œIâ€™m not a big believer in people saying, â€˜We canâ€™t do things.â€™â€? One of his top priorities, if elected, would be to promote clean technology, which he believes could be the stateâ€™s engine of job growth. He supports issuing Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) bonds, a mechanism pioneered by Berkeley that allows residents to borrow money for energy-efficiency projects and to pay back these loans through their property assessments. If elected, Becker said he would work to create a system that makes it easy for other California cities to set up such programs.
He also said he would use his business skills and Silicon Valley know-how to identify innovative clean-tech businesses and find ways (tax credits, prizes, etc.) to give them an incentive to grow. When it comes to cutting expenses, Becker is less certain. He said he would support trimming the prison budget by halting design work for prisons California canâ€™t afford to build. He also thinks some money could be saved by reviewing the state governmentâ€™s informationtechnology projects. But Becker also recognizes that these specific proposals alone wonâ€™t be enough to close the stateâ€™s $21 billion deficit and is hard pressed to suggest more substantive cuts. When it comes to the budget gap, addition for Becker is more attractive than subtraction. The real solution to Californiaâ€™s economic malaise â€” a solution he always returns to when discussing the budget â€” is job creation and the resulting revenue growth. As an entrepreneur, thatâ€™s exactly where his skills come in, Becker said. He believes his clean-tech background, his passion for job creation and his business savvy make him perfectly suited for the Assembly. â€œThis is a critical time,â€? he said. â€œI just got off the phone with a friend of mine who asked, â€˜Can California really be saved? Why should we send you up there?â€™ I said, â€˜Yes, it can be, but itâ€™s an all-hands-on-deck situation.â€™â€? N Almanac Staff Writer Sean Howell can be e-mailed at showell@ almanacnews.com. Weekly Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner contributed to this report.
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office in Sacramento would be more difficult than serving in Palo Alto but says she’s up to the challenge. She recalled that when she joined the council, the body was also dysfunctional and polarized. She takes some credit for the growing spirit of cooperation and cites herself and former Mayor Bern Beecham as the two council members who were willing to cross the proverbial aisle and build constructive relationships. Kishimoto, who lives in Palo Alto with her husband, Lee, and
her daughters, Maya and Sarah, said her ability to find common ground helped her govern in Palo Alto and build alliances around the Peninsula. If elected, these same skills will help her tackle some of California’s steepest challenges, she said. “California has some very serious short-term issues and challenges that we have to face head on,” she said. “But we do have the single best long-term system in the world — a system that is amazingly resilient; a system that allows us to pick up and reinvent ourselves.” N Weekly Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at email@example.com.
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