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City, fire union deadlocked Page 3
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Spectrum 10 Movies 24 Eating Out 26 Title Pages 34 Puzzles 49 N Arts
Painting a bold vision at City Hall N Sports Menlo coach goes to Warriors N Home Oxymoron? No, affordable clay and glass
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Local news, information and analysis
City, fire union deadlocked over minimum staffing Grand Jury calls minimum-staffing clauses â€˜a disadvantageâ€™ to cities by Gennady Sheyner
he tense negotiations between Palo Alto and its largest firefighters union remain deadlocked because of a dispute over the minimal-staffing provision in the firefightersâ€™ contract, both sides told the Weekly this week. City Manager James Keene and Tony Spitaleri, president of Palo
Alto Professional Firefighters, Local 1319, both said minimum staffing â€” a guarantee that at least 29 fire employees will be on duty at all times â€” remains the great divider in the contract negotiations, which have dragged on since May 2010. In recent weeks, the union upped its offer to the city, agreeing to a
wage decrease, revisions to the pension formula and a proposal to share health care costs with the city â€” measures similar to those undertaken by other employee groups over the past two years. Spitaleri also said the union proposed bringing down the minimal staffing level from 29 to 25, even though he characterized the proposed staffing level as â€œthe bare minimum.â€? The city declined the offer. Instead, management is focusing on scrapping the minimum-staffing requirement altogether. Keene
called the provision, which requires the same staffing levels around the clock regardless of how many calls are received, â€œan archaic approach to providing services.â€? â€œI think minimum staffing is absolute key (in negotiations) and has been from day one from the cityâ€™s perspective,â€? Keene told the Weekly. â€œItâ€™s really difficult otherwise to get a handle on controlling overtime costs and to look at how staff can be deployed most effectively.â€? Spitaleri countered that minimum staffing is critical to maintaining the
departmentâ€™s ability to provide adequate service. It is there to ensure the safety of both the community and the firefighters, Spitaleri said. He added that the departmentâ€™s staffing level of three firefighters per engine is already low, by county standards. â€œEvery time thereâ€™s a call, weâ€™re relying on other cities for additional resources because we donâ€™t have the staffing on our engines that we need, whether on medical calls, fires or in a major catastrophe,â€? Spitaleri said. (continued on page 9)
Homework, counseling among new priorities In annual two-day retreat, school board, staff ponder policies to guide district by Chris Kenrick
(continued on page 8)
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third taxi service, that additional cabs would not create traffic or parking problems and that Singh has enough work experience. Singhâ€™s team, which included two attorneys and a translator, produced five letters from individuals and businesses stating that a need for more taxicabs does indeed exist in Palo Alto. Though not in attendance at the hearing, Barbara Gross, general manager of the Garden Court Hotel on Cowper Street, asserted
close look at homework policies and high school counseling will be among the top priorities of the Palo Alto school district this fall. In 12 hours of discussions over two days, Board of Education members this week hammered out a rough list of â€œfocused goalsâ€? for 2011-12, which will be refined and voted on in September. Much of the conversation was about fostering school climates in which students feel supported and parents think their kids are getting a fair shake. Superintendent Kevin Skelly said he wants policies that â€œweave togetherâ€? academic excellence and social-emotional support for students so that â€œwhen youâ€™re talking about one of those things, people donâ€™t think youâ€™re choosing.â€? The tentative list of goals pleased parents who have lobbied schools to explicitly address issues of academic stress â€” and their possible link to a devastating cluster of teen suicides that began two years ago. â€œI want to thank the board and the superintendent for ... taking steps to reduce academic stress and also for addressing counseling and connecteness,â€? said parent Ken Dauber, a founder of the school lobbying group We Can Do Better Palo Alto. â€œWe donâ€™t have to balance socialemotional well-being and academic success, because our kids are most happy when theyâ€™re successful at learning, and theyâ€™re most success-
Batter up! The boys of summer are back Outfielder Gabe Campos, center, of the San Mateo Little League American Team (ages 11-12), waits in the outfield during the District 52 tournament against the Redwood City Highlanders at Palo Altoâ€™s Little League field on Wednesday. The American Team, which won 14-1, next heads to sectionals.
Taxi companies say: â€˜No fareâ€™ Application by A Orange Cab to pick up fares in Palo Alto is contested by Jeff Carr
oncerned that a new taxi service wants to horn in on their business, drivers from two cab companies that service Palo
Alto showed up at a public hearing Wednesday (June 29) to oppose an application by A Orange Cab Company of Santa Clara.
At times chaotic and noisy, the meeting focused on whether A Orange Cab owner Jorawar Singh could prove that the city needs a
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Upfront Redwood City - San Mateo - San Jose
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BUSINESS Penelope Ng, Payroll & Benefits Manager Elena Dineva, Mary McDonald, Susie Ochoa, Cathy Stringari, Doris Taylor, Business Associates ADMINISTRATION Amy Renalds, Assistant to the Publisher & Promotions Director Janice Covolo, Receptionist Ruben Espinoza, Courier EMBARCADERO MEDIA William S. Johnson, President Michael I. Naar, Vice President & CFO Walter Kupiec, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Frank A. Bravo, Director, Information Technology & Webmaster Connie Jo Cotton, Major Accounts Sales Manager Bob Lampkin, Director, Circulation & Mailing Services Alicia Santillan, Circulation Assistants Chris Planessi, Chip Poedjosoedarmo, Computer System Associates The Palo Alto Weekly (ISSN 0199-1159) is published every Friday by Embarcadero Media, 450 Cambridge Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94306, (650) 3268210. Periodicals postage paid at Palo Alto, CA and additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for Santa Clara County. The Palo Alto Weekly is delivered free to homes in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, East Palo Alto, to faculty and staff households on the Stanford campus and to portions of Los Altos Hills. If you are not currently receiving the paper, you may request free delivery by calling 326-8210. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302. Copyright ÂŠ2011 by Embarcadero Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Printed by SFOP, Redwood City. The Palo Alto Weekly is available on the Internet via Palo Alto Online at: www.PaloAltoOnline.com Our e-mail addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Missed delivery or start/stop your paper? Call 650 326-8210, or e-mail circulation@paweekly. com. You may also subscribe online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. Subscriptions are $60/yr.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
â€œThereâ€˜s no place like home.â€?
Donâ€™t pave over paradise. â€”Community gardener Rita Morgin, who objects to proposed changes to the Main Library parking lot that would impact garden space. See story on page 5.
JUST DANCE ... Palo Altoâ€™s debate over the future of Cubberley Community Center turned contentious Monday night when artists, school-district boosters and former mayors urged the City Council not to offer an 8-acre parcel of the center for sale to Foothill College. One speaker, Jo Gilbert, compared Foothill to a â€œ200-pound gorillaâ€? trying to impose its will on the city â€” a description that several council members rejected. Perhaps the highlight of the long and contentious public hearing came from DanceVisions, a dance studio at Cubberley. Laura Zweig, who teaches at the studio, showed the council a collage of photos featuring children who have trained at the studio since the age of 3. She then deferred the remainder of her public-speaking time to her dancing colleagues, who rose from their seats and indulged in a minute of synchronized clapping, swiveling and hip-shaking to the beat of Duffyâ€™s â€œMercy.â€? The surprise performance delighted the audience, who responded with a hearty round of cheers and applause. â€œThat is a first,â€? Mayor Sid Espinosa observed once order was restored. PREPARING TO CHARGE ... By the year 2020, Palo Alto officials expect to see between 5,000 and 10,000 electric vehicles zipping up and down city streets. But while they agree that Palo Alto will be at the forefront of the trend, they are still trying to figure out the cityâ€™s role in supporting the gasless fleets of the future. The city already has free charging stations for electric cars in garages at City Hall, Bryant Street and High Street. Five more chargers are scheduled to be installed soon, thanks to a series of grants. But the cityâ€™s long-term plans for electric cars remain hazy. Though Palo Alto boasts two major electric-vehicle companies, Tesla and Better Place, and a bustling population of green engineers â€” factors that will undoubtedly make electric cars locally popular â€” city officials arenâ€™t ready to blanket the streets with electricity outlets just yet. Samir Tuma, chair of the cityâ€™s Planning and Transportation Commission, said at a Wednesday night discussion of the topic that installing charging stations is an endeavor best left to private enterprise, though he advocated providing incentives to developers and companies interested in doing so. Tuma
raised questions about the future of charging and envisioned a time, 10 to 15 years from now, when the city would have centralized locations (much like gas-station hubs) where people would flock to charge their cars. Commissioner Arthur Keller, who switched to electric cars a decade ago, was more supportive of rolling out parking spots with Level-2 chargers, saying he expects these chargers to remain the industry standard for a long period of time. But he was less certain about how many charging stations the city should unroll. â€œIâ€™d expect that within 10 years, that 10 percent of commercial parking spaces will be used by electric vehicles,â€? Keller said. â€œWhether that means 10 percent of the parking spaces need to be electric stations or not is an open question.â€? In the coming months, the city plans to brush up on the topic by issuing a request for proposals to the private sector, according to a report from Jaime Rodriguez, the cityâ€™s chief transportation planner. UPROOTED ... Former Palo Alto Mayor Peter Drekmeier is wellknown for advocating green issues such as water conservation, composting, farmers markets and the carbon tax. The latest foe on Drekmeierâ€™s environmental agenda is the Ailanthus â€” an Asian tree also known (ironically, from his perspective) as â€œtree of heaven.â€? Drekmeier said the trees can be found near local creeks, along the Caltrain tracks and other spots that donâ€™t face regular maintenance. These trees tend to spread their seeds around and have an advantage over other species, he said. â€œItâ€™s a very tenacious, invasive tree and itâ€™s getting a foothold in the creek,â€? Drekmeier said. â€œWeâ€™re very concerned about it.â€? Drekmeier told the City Council this week that he had recently started a habitat-restoration project that involves pulling out invasive species and replacing them with native ones. While he said removing the smaller Ailanthus trees is fairly easy, the large ones pose a problem. He proposed partnering with the city to apply for state grants that would fund the removal of these trees. He made his comments just before the council approved a grant application that would fund removal of invasive Spartina trees from the Baylands. â€œI think we can extend our good work from the Baylands out to the creek corridors and into the hills,â€? Drekmeier said. N
Upfront COMMUNITY SERVICES
Plan to connect Main Library, Art Center draws ire
Remove shed, (+4 to +7 parking spaces) New connector driveway allows shared use by both Library and Art Center Visitors, (-2 parking spaces)
Revise both parking patterns & drive lanes: net 23 spaces (+2 spaces) plaza,, Create new central p integrate landscape with current Library Landscape Design
Community gardeners fear loss of space by Janelle Eastman
are not â€˜unusedâ€™ or â€˜deadâ€™ space but very much alive and appreciated by families with children, gardeners and anyone who walks through the gardens. Donâ€™t pave over paradise,â€? Morgin said. But staff from cityâ€™s Public Works and Community Services departments wrote in a report that a fire-access trail currently running through the community gardens could be moved, opening up alternate space for garden plots. Morgin nonetheless argued that even with the removal of the trail and the addition of a driveway, there would still be less usable garden space due to exhaust from cars driving by. The goal of connecting the library and art center include improving access to the buildings, increasing the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists and creating a sense of unity on the site, city staff said. The driveway would enable cars to travel between parking lots when searching for a space, rather than exiting onto Newell Road and reentering down the block, which endangers pedestrians and bicyclists, staff said. The driveway plan would also bring new bike racks to the site to encourage cycling. A parking shed, which gardeners said attracts vagrant dwellers, would also be removed. As part of the three proposed designs, a crosswalk between the art center and the library would be widened as a safety measure for pedestrians. In the first design, the current driveway that runs in front of the art center would be retained, along with the narrow parking lot parallel to it. The second design shows the cur-
Net impact: +6 to +9 parking spaces
Courtesy City of Palo Alto
proposal to improve the connection between Palo Altoâ€™s Main Library and its Art Center, both on Newell Road, is infuriating community gardeners, who fear the proposed improvements would threaten garden plots at the site. The library and art center are both scheduled for major renovations over the next two years. The art center closed in April and will hold a renovation groundbreaking July 16. The Library Advisory Commission discussed three potential designs last week. All three include the addition of a driveway between the main parking lots of the two buildings, removal of a parking shed and the addition of a central plaza. Commissioner Leonardo Hochberg said the buildings would be better connected with the addition of a curved driveway, enabling visitors to go between the facilities easily. But the plan to connect the library branch and art center has drawn criticism from visitors to the community gardens, which are adjacent to the libraryâ€™s main parking lot. Up to six garden plots could be displaced by the driveway, according to preliminary plans. A new driveway would also create noise and pollution in the gardens, according to Rita Morgin, a Palo Alto gardener. The driveway would pass by the â€œGarden Annex,â€? an area that lies between the Main Library and Main Garden and serves as a meeting and play area for families and their children. â€œPutting in a driveway will ruin the quietness of this gathering area,â€? Morgin said. She also argued that the loss of garden space would have a negative impact on visitors and wildlife. â€œBird habitat and buffer zones
Widen crossing for drop-offs & create new Art Center forecourt with planting planting, seating and improved pedestrian circulation to east parking lot.
Design Concept 2 for integrating the parking lots of the Main Library and the Palo Alto Art Center calls for a curved parking lot off Newell Road with a new central plaza, as well as a connector driveway between the old parking lots. The net result would be six to nine more parking spaces and safer pedestrian drop-offs, staff said. rent driveway curved and expanded to encompass parking spaces on either side (the current narrow lot would be eliminated). The crosswalk would also feature a raised platform acting as a large speed bump for cars. The third design shares the same concepts as the second but would also expand a nearby drop-off zone. The number of parking spaces could change, with the second option bringing the most additional spaces (up to nine) and the first option potentially resulting in the loss of one space. Hochberg said that before renovations are made, it would be helpful to talk with people affiliated with other Bay Area buildings that feature connecting parking lots. The preliminary designs will be presented to the City Council on July 11. If approved by the council, renovations would begin by the end of this year. Costs and funds for renovations are not yet finalized. N Editorial Intern Janelle Eastman can be emailed at jeastman@ paweekly.com.
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This Sunday: Checking the Time Rev. David Howell preaching An Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ
Voting for Best Of Palo Alto 2011 ends Sunday Vote on your favorite area restaurants, service businesses, retailers and more
eaders of the Palo Alto Weekly and users of Palo Alto Online can voice their views on the top establishments in or around Palo Alto through Sunday (July 3), when voting ends for the Best Of Palo Alto 2011. With a musical theme amplifying this yearâ€™s Best Of poll, voters can sing the praises of their favorite business. From manicures to Mexican food, yogurt to yoga, weâ€™re asking you to single out the best restaurants, the best retailers, the best services and
2011 the best places for sheer enjoyment. Convenient online voting can
be accessed at www.PaloAlto Online.com/best_of. Vote for at least five categories by July 3 and then activate your ballot by responding to a confirmation email and you will be entered into a prize drawing. Prize winners will be contacted via email after voting ends. If you canâ€™t find your favorites in the drop-down menus, submit them as write-in votes. Write-in votes help new businesses qualify for next yearâ€™s ballot. N â€” Palo Alto Weekly staff
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Online This Week
These and other news stories were posted on Palo Alto Online throughout the week. For longer versions, go to www.PaloAltoOnline.com/news or click on â€œNewsâ€? in the left, green column.
Police investigate thefts at future Facebook HQ Police in Menlo Park are investigating three separate thefts of copper wiring this month from the future headquarters of Facebook. (Posted June 29 at 3:49 p.m.)
Woman arrested after trying to run car off road A woman was arrested after allegedly trying to run her own car off the road with another vehicle after her car was repossessed in Palo Alto Tuesday night (June 28), according to police. (Posted June 29 at 12:36 p.m.)
EPA police conducting parole, probation sweeps East Palo Alto police conducted parole and probation sweeps throughout the city Wednesday (June 29) as part of an ongoing crackdown on gang activity. (Posted June 29 at 11:07 a.m.)
New head named for language, Tinsley programs A Palo Alto middle school administrator has been named districtwide â€œcoordinator of academic success,â€? with responsibility for the English Language Development Program and the Tinsley Voluntary Transfer Program. (Posted June 29 at 9:53 a.m.)
Man kicks, spits at officers in Mountain View A San Jose man was arrested in Mountain View early Sunday morning (June 26) with more than 10 grams of cocaine in his pocket, police said. The man reportedly resisted arrest, and kicked, spat at and yelled racial epithets at one of the arresting officers. (Posted June 28 at 1:45 p.m.)
New study, same arguments in compost debate Palo Altoâ€™s heated debate over the future of local composting reignited Monday night (June 27), with both supporters and opponents of a new facility pointing to a newly released analysis to support their position. (Posted June 27 at 9:56 p.m.)
Stanford Hospital, parents near agreement Stanford University Medical Center has offered to relocate a day care center to another campus site to appease a large group of parents who believe Stanfordâ€™s hospital-expansion project would threaten their childrenâ€™s health, a spokesperson for the parents said Monday night (June 27). (Posted June 27 at 7:41 p.m.)
Robber shoots man in leg in Mountain View A Mountain View man was shot in the leg with a handgun and robbed of his pellet gun Monday afternoon (June 27), police said. (Posted June 27 at 4:06 p.m.)
Menlo Park burglary suspects tied to other crime Neighborhood watch works. A resident of the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park spotted two strangers strolling through his neighborâ€™s backyard on Friday (June 24), and called police. (Posted June 27 at 2:24 p.m.)
Stabbing suspect arrested in Menlo Park A sharp exchange of words turned physical in Menlo Park on Thursday (June 23). Police arrested city resident Alamoti Finau, 69, for allegedly stabbing another man in the arm, police said. (Posted June 24 at 1:24 p.m.)
First Person: A conversation with Meg Waite Clayton Meg Waite Clayton has published three novels, including â€œThe Wednesday Sisters,â€? which is set in Eleanor Pardee Park. In this â€œFirst Personâ€? video, Clayton talks about the challenges and triumphs of writing, and gets in some quality time with her pet Golden Retriever, Frodo. (Posted June 26 at 10:02 a.m.)
Recent property owners get tax break Not many people look forward to hearing from the Santa Clara County Assessorâ€™s Office. But close to 2,700 Palo Alto homeowners received a notice mailed Friday (June 24) letting them know that their property taxes have been reduced. (Posted June 24 at 10:04 a.m.)
Plane crashes, flips in the Baylands Three people on board a small Cessna plane escaped largely unharmed after the plane lost power, nosedived and flipped over as it approached Palo Alto Airport Thursday evening (June 23). (Posted June 24 at 9:03 a.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.
Proposed downtown â€˜gatewayâ€™ building debated Planning commissioners call for more apartments, greater height for â€˜Lytton Gatewayâ€™ by Gennady Sheyner alo Alto officials would like to see larger developments near the cityâ€™s transit stations, but they are still trying to hash out exactly who should occupy these buildings. The question of what types of developments the city should encourage downtown bubbled up Wednesday night, when the Planning and Transportation Commission discussed a proposed four-story building that a developer hopes to construct at the site of a former Shell station on Alma Street and Lytton Avenue. The developer, Lytton Gateway LLC, is seeking a zone change to a planned community (PC) zone, which would enable it to exceed the cityâ€™s zoning regulations in exchange for a set of public benefits. Because the dense project would be next to the downtown Caltrain station, it would comport with the wishes of the City Council, which last year directed staff to explore allowing greater building heights and higher density near major transit centers. The Lytton Gateway project at 355
Alma St. was proposed in March as a 64-foot tall, five-story building with a cafĂŠ on the ground floor, office space on the first four floors and five apartments on the fifth floor. At that time, the commission voted 6-1, with Susan Fineberg dissenting, to initiate the zone change. Lytton Gateway LLC â€” which consists of Boyd Smith, Lund Smith and Scott Foster, with consultant Jim Baer of Premier Properties â€” has since scaled back the proposal to four floors and 50 feet in height. The retail component was roughly doubled and the number of apartments went up to six, which includes three units of affordable housing. The developers have also offered two electric vehicle recharging stations and new street trees. The projectâ€™s biggest selling point, however, is the location. In a memo to the council, the applicants said the new building will â€œfurther entrench Palo Alto as a regional leader in progressive planning and design, unquestionably aided by the Bay Areaâ€™s premier transit center across the street which beckons the
features discussed below.â€? These features would include widened sidewalks, more street trees, ground-floor retail and shortened pedestrian crosswalks at Lytton and Alma. Planning commissioners agreed that the proposed buildingâ€™s location presents the city with great opportunities, but they had different opinions about how to take advantage of these opportunities. Some called for more apartments, others said they would like to see even more height and others lobbied the applicants to reserve the apartments for seniors. The commission did not take any votes on the project Wednesday, but provided a series of comments â€” some of them conflicting â€” to the applicantâ€™s team. The development will likely see further revisions before it goes to the City Council for a vote. Both the cityâ€™s planning commission and the Architectural Review Board are currently reviewing the project and are scheduled to issue their own recommendations before the council rules on the zone change. N
teacher Iâ€™m going to get hammered with no chance of an A, but if I get this other teacher itâ€™s an easy A,â€™â€? board member Dana Tom said. Some board members worried that unduly harsh grading â€” particularly in high school math and science classes â€” could undermine studentsâ€™ confidence and possible pursuit of the subject as a career. â€œI donâ€™t know if anyone steps back and says, â€˜Why do we give the grades we do, and whatâ€™s the rational objective,â€™â€? board member Barbara Klausner said. She wondered why, in one Advanced Placement biology program, 72 percent of students earn a 4 or 5 on the AP test but only 38 percent of them get an A in the class. â€œAre we asking our students to do more than the AP test requires or is there some other purpose weâ€™re trying to achieve, because it certainly has an impact on studentsâ€™ socialemotional health,â€? Klausner said. Board President Melissa Baten Caswell worried about potential consequences beyond high school. â€œThe danger weâ€™re creating there is that only the rocket scientists are going to be enthusiastic about studying those subjects in college and beyond,â€? she said. â€œAre we doing a disservice to a student who might be engaged and great at math but will never take another math course?â€? Skelly noted some grading disparities may reflect the behavior of a student who, while competent at the subject, â€œnever does the homework and is always tardy.â€? Tom cautioned against imposing â€œtop-down directivesâ€? regarding homework and grades, saying, â€œYou wonâ€™t get much compliance.â€? Skelly and board members advocated more â€œprofessional developmentâ€? opportunities for teachers as
a way for them to collaborate and potentially foster greater consistency in approach. Member Camille Townsend cautioned that a goal mentioning â€œconsistencyâ€? could be misinterpreted and have the effect of â€œtamping downâ€? particularly creative teachers. â€œAs long as we have a base of consistency, I want to capture the individuality and excitement of each teacher,â€? Townsend said, mentioning in particular the historic re-enactments created for years by former Paly social studies teacher Mike McGovern. Board members said new structural policies, including the school calendar, start time and block schedules, have great effect on school climate. â€œIf we look at this through school culture, we want to make sure we have a culture we designed rather than a culture that happens to us,â€? Caswell said. N
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ful at learning when theyâ€™re happy,â€? he said. Dauberâ€™s group has pressed Gunn High School to scrap its traditional college-counseling system and adopt Palo Alto High Schoolâ€™s â€œteacher advisorâ€? system, which uses teachers to augment the counseling staff. Neither Gunn nor the district has agreed to that â€” but officials did promise to bring in an unbiased outsider to evaluate the two systems and â€œshare best practices.â€? In the homework area, board members said they may adopt a specific â€œhomework policyâ€? as a nudge to drive change in practices. â€œWeâ€™d have to form some sort of committee, get some PTA input and appoint some people,â€? Skelly said. â€œPleasanton has been through this process, and I have their boardpolicy markup. Weâ€™ll do it with the board values of transparency.â€? Skelly said the faculties at Paly and at JLS Middle School have already taken steps to examine homework policies. Both Skelly and board members referred frequently to parent focusgroup meetings held last month, in which randomly selected parents were invited to talk about their experiences with the schools. Many parents raised concerns about inconsistency, in which a childâ€™s experience â€” and level of preparation for the following year â€” too often depended on the teacher he or she happened to have. For high school students, differences in grading policies also were raised as a concern. â€œItâ€™s not a good system if thereâ€™s inconsistent grading between classes and students think, â€˜If I get this
Space Shuttle blog landing on Town Square Todd Heapy, a Bay Area photographer and animation artist, will be blogging on Town Square about the launch of the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Heapy has been a space-shuttle enthusiast since childhood, and he will give Palo Alto readers a taste of the final shuttle launch with his blogs starting next week. The launch is currently scheduled for Friday, July 8. To read Todd Heapyâ€™s Space Shuttle blog, go to Town Square and click on â€œTodd Heapyâ€™s Space Shuttle blog.â€? N
Trash rates to rise again in Palo Alto
From artistsâ€™ studios to child care to classrooms, Cubberley Community Center is a well-used Palo alto institution. Here, students wait outside of a classroom for their class to begin on Wednesday.
School district asserts need for Cubberley land Opposing 8-acre sale to Foothill, board asks to work with city on â€˜joint interestâ€™ in property by Chris Kenrick and Gennady Sheyner
ith the fate of the Cubberley Community Center at stake, Palo Alto school board members laid their cards on the table, saying future Palo Altans will need the entire 35 acres of the former high school for K-12 education. The assertion by the school board â€” in a formal, unanimous vote â€” came Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the Palo Alto City Council agreed to consider the possible sale of 8 city-owned acres of the dilapidated Cubberley site to the FoothllDe Anza Community College District. The school district owns the remaining 27 acres of Cubberley. School board members indicated they do not back a sale to Foothill and want to work with the council to â€œdefine and addressâ€? the joint cityschool interest in the property. With school headcount quickly rising again, Cubberley could be needed for a fourth middle school as early as 2015 and for a third comprehensive high school by 2021, school board members said. Until now, they had been reticent about when and how they might use the 4000 Middlefield Road acreage. Cubberley operated as a comprehensive high school from 1955 to 1979, when it was closed due to declining enrollment. Following that, it was leased to the city, which has operated it as a community center. The city took ownership of 8 acres at Cubberley in 2001 in exchange for returning the Terman campus to the school district when it was needed as a third middle school. Foothill, which currently serves up to 4,000 students in five leased Cubberley buildings, is looking to purchase and upgrade part of the former high school campus to create a â€œstate-of-the-art educational center.â€? Foothill is also considering building its center in Mountain View or Sunnyvale. School board members said they were acting on behalf of â€œfuture Palo Alto residents and school trust-
eesâ€? to preserve the Cubberley option for K-12 growth. Admitting they â€œcould have done a better jobâ€? of planning, board members said they now believe working with the city â€œwill produce effective and mutually beneficial decisions for the residents we serve.â€? â€œA deadline of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, much as I love them, should not be framing or driving this decision,â€? board member Barb Mitchell said. â€œIf the city or school district loses control over this property, itâ€™s a forever decision. Weâ€™ll never have the choice to change our minds.â€? Palo Altoâ€™s district-wide enrollment, at 12,024 last fall, has been on a steady upward trajectory since hitting a post-Baby Boom nadir of 7,452 in 1989. Elementary enrollment in particular has grown quickly in recent years, and officials are scrambling to add up to 40 K-5 classrooms across the district. At its historic high in 1968 â€” when Palo Alto had three high schools and more than 20 elementary schools â€” enrollment reached 15,575. Currently, there are two high schools, three middle schools and 12 elementary campuses. Two former mayors â€” Mike Cobb and Lanie Wheeler â€” and two former school board presidents â€” Diane Reklis and Carolyn Tucher â€” pleaded with the school board Tuesday to block sale of the 8 acres. Another former school board president, Susie Richardson, advocated striking a creative deal with Foothill as â€œa springboard to the high school of the future.â€? While board members said they support technology-based innovations in education, they said they had difficulty envisioning a feasible spacesharing arrangement with Foothill. â€œThereâ€™s likely to be fundamental change in how education is delivered in the future, but the issue we have is one of time,â€? board member Dana
Tom said. â€œIâ€™m not willing to bet the farm on the nature of the change, or when that change will take place.â€? Noting the school district, the city and Foothill â€œall have some overlap in what they want,â€? Board President Melissa Baten Caswell said nonetheless she doubts â€œthe site is big enough to give everybody part of the sweet spot.â€? Caswell indicated the district â€œdoes not have additional money floating aroundâ€? to buy the 8 acres, adding that she â€œcan guessâ€? but does not really know the cityâ€™s financial constraints and therefore would like to work together. In a presentation to the City Council Monday, City Manager Jim Keene said capital improvements and annual maintenance at Cubberley is projected at $10.2 million from 2012 to 2016. The city currently pays the school district $4.48 million a year to lease Cubberley, with that lease expiring in 2014. In addition, the city pays the district $1.7 million a year as part of a â€œcovenantâ€? under which the district agreed not to sell off any more school sites for private development. It pays the district another $600,000 annually in exchange for land at all 12 elementary schools that provide space for after-school child care, which is managed by the nonprofit Palo Alto Community Child Care. It also pays for utilities on the site. The payments are roughly equivalent to the amount the city raises through the utility-users tax, though not a direct payment from that account. The city-school cooperation on Cubberley arose after passage of the 1978 tax-cutting initiative Proposition 13, when community leaders were concerned that financial losses could threaten the schools. N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@ paweekly.com. Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Palo Alto residents should expect to see their trash rates spike by 13 percent this fall to help cover a gaping budget hole in the cityâ€™s refuse operation. The rate adjustment would supplement the 6 percent rate increase the City Council approved for residential customers in October. If approved by the council, it would push the residential monthly rate for a mini-can container from $15.90 to $17.90. The rate for the regular 32-gallon trash bin would rise from $32.86 to $37.16 under the new proposal from the Public Works Department. The rate increases, which the councilâ€™s Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss Tuesday night, are part of a Public Works plan to close a $3.7 million hole in the cityâ€™s Refuse Fund. The fund has been struggling financially in recent years as residents increased their recycling efforts and switched from large cans to mini-cans, slashing their bills and creating revenue shortages for the city, which doesnâ€™t charge for recycling. In October, the City Council raised residential rates by 6 percent and commercial rates by 9 percent. These rates are scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, but staff has recommended extending them into next year. In addition to raising rates, Public Works staff is proposing to construct a smaller Recycling Center with more limited hours of operations than the existing center in Byxbee Park. Other cost-cutting measures include freezing a Zero Waste Coordinator position and raising rent for the Utilities Departmentâ€™s use of the Los Altos Treatment Plant site. The city is also exploring changing its street-sweeping services from weekly to biweekly or monthly, though that change isnâ€™t expected to take effect for at least another year and only after a public-outreach process. The Finance Committee will consider the proposed rate increases at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Conference Room at City Hall. N â€” Gennady Sheyner
East Palo Alto school libraries saved School libraries will be open and computers running in East Palo Alto schools this fall after the Ravenswood City School District narrowly averted layoffs of its entire library and technology staffs. But the school year will be shorter, classes larger and two of eight campuses will close as the district, serving 3,600 K-8 children in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park, shaved $3.2 million from its approximately $39 million 2011-12 budget. Ravenswood trustees unanimously approved the budget June 23. After initially recommending layoffs of district library and technology staff members, Superintendent Maria De La Vega said she was able to preserve all seven positions by cobbling together foundation and grant funding. But 26 teaching positions will be lost â€” through attrition â€” because of the increased class sizes, officials said. K-3 class sizes will rise from 20 to 25, and fourth- through eighth-grade class sizes will increase from 29 to 31. Ravenswood trustees particularly struggled with recommended layoffs in the districtâ€™s maintenance staff, ultimately avoiding a vote on the layoffs. Instead, they asked De La Vega instead to work with local representatives of the California School Employees Association to make reductions in the maintenance department. Nearly half of Ravenswoodâ€™s $39 million budget comes from restricted federal and state grants targeted specifically to address things like poverty, special education, school improvement, migrant education and English-language learners. About 80 percent of Ravenswood students are considered low-income under government guidelines, 61 percent are English language learners and 30 percent each year are new enrollees, according to the Ravenswood Education Foundation. N â€” Chris Kenrick
Land sale connects Skyline, Russian Ridge In an effort to connect two land preserves and provide the community with greater access to trails and viewing locations, Palo Alto-based Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) sold nearly 100 acres of La Hondaarea land to Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) on Tuesday, POST announced. The 97.5 acres, which stretch along Alpine Road two miles west of Skyline Boulevard, closes the gap between Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve and its neighbor, Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve. The land was sold for $3.09 million, the same price POST gave to purchase the property from its private owners last December. Funding was aided by the California Coastal Conservancy, which contributed a $500,000 grant. Future plans for the land include expanding connections to Mindego Hill and the Mindego Ridge Trail, developing a staging area for viewing Skyline Ridge and creating new parking spaces, according to POST Executive Vice President Walter Moore. N â€” Casey Moore LETâ€™S DISCUSS: Read the latest local news headlines and talk about the issues at Town Square at PaloAltoOnline.com
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Landfill to close July 28 Recycling Center and Hazardous Waste Program to remain open by Aaron Guggenheim he Palo Alto Landfill and Composting Facility will close permanently July 28, changing â€” in some ways â€” how residents and businesses discard their trash. The landfill closure has been planned since 1965, though it remained open for more years than expected, according to Phil Bobel, the cityâ€™s environmental compliance manager. â€œWe are throwing away less and recycling more,â€? Bobel said, referring to how changing habits extended the life of the landfill. After the landfill closure, excess garbage will be accepted at the Sunnyvale SMaRT Station located at 301 Carl Road. The fee schedule varies on the objects that are thrown away. It can be found at http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/ by searching for â€œSMaRT Station.â€? But, â€œnothing changes in terms of household hazardous waste and nothing changes at the Recycling Center,â€? Bobel said. Household hazardous-waste collection days are still held at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant at 2501 Embarcadero Way in Palo Alto on the first Saturday of each month. Additional information can be found by phone at 650-496-6980 or at www.cityofpaloalto.org by searching for â€œhazardous waste.â€? The Recycling Center at 2380 Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto will remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, and accept all manner of recycling that does not fit in residential recycling bins as well as additional recyclable material that isnâ€™t picked up. More information on what is accepted can be found at www.cityofpaloalto.org by searching for â€œRecycling Center.â€? Residents may still call GreenWaste at 650-493-4894 and request an annual pickup of excess (or oversized) trash. N Editorial Intern Aaron Guggenheim can be emailed at email@example.com.
that increased competition wouldnâ€™t hurt. â€œWe find that there are times that we call for reservations and the taxi doesnâ€™t show up,â€? she said. In response, drivers from Yellow Checker and California Cab â€” the only companies with permits to pick up fares in Palo Alto â€” stood up to testify, often out of turn. They said that no demand exists for another taxi service and that increased competition would hurt their business significantly. Palo Alto Police Officer Louis Amadeo called for order several times and once threatened to clear the room of the 30 attendees. Dave Logan, operations manager at Yellow Checker, said that his company received an average of 177 calls per day from Palo Alto in May and 232 in June, as of June 28. Dividing that number among his 120 drivers means thereâ€™s not much work for each one, he said, though he failed to note how many of those drivers were in Palo Alto at any given time. Logan also produced a statement from the general manager of the Sheraton Hotel on El Camino Real, which he called the most important taxi magnet in the city, stating that no excess need exists. Logan and many of his drivers also complained of â€œbandit cabsâ€? that operate in the city illegally and further decrease demand for certified companies like his own. However, the police
department has found bandit cabs to be â€œnot a real problem,â€? according to Heather Johnson, code-enforcement officer for the city. According to the Palo Alto Municipal Code, certified taxi companies in the city must offer 24-hour service, respond to requests as soon as possible and submit to annual vehicle inspections. Drivers must be licensed, drug-free and eligible to work in the United States. Signage, advertisements, taximeters, receipts, insurance and solicitation practices are also subject to strict regulations. A non-refundable application fee of $1,750 accompanies the documentation. Perhaps the biggest obstacle for applicants lies in the section of the code entitled â€œProof of public convenience and necessity.â€? The section states that applicants have the burden of proving three points: first, that a public demand exists for their services, or at least that through them, public service will be improved. Second, applicants must prove that they have sufficient experience and assets to handle the work properly, and finally, they must prove that their operations will not increase traffic or parking problems appreciably. Johnson said that new cab companies begin the application process from time to time, but Singhâ€™s is the first to reach the final hearing stage in about two years. A Orange Cab currently operates in San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View, all of which are heavily regulated, and Menlo Park, Ather-
ton and Redwood City, which are not. Singh began driving in 1999, and started A Orange Cab in 2004 with one car. He now owns 27 taxis, seven of which he said he plans to send to Palo Alto if he receives the permit. Singh listed only $22,000 in assets on his application, however, which the city and the opposing cab companies both found potentially problematic, especially if Singh must replace any of his seven Palo Alto-bound vehicles, each of which have logged more than 150,000 miles. Bikram Singh, owner of California Cab, said: â€œI started a cab company 20 years ago and was rejected five or six times by the City of Palo Alto. I had more assets than that, but they said it wasnâ€™t enough.â€? Yellow Checker Cab, which operates both the Yellow Cab and Checker Cab lines, and California Cab are based in San Jose. Singhâ€™s attorneys encouraged the city to allow the free market to function, especially for a family man with a good business reputation. But the numerous current taxi drivers who say their jobs are in jeopardy have a different perspective. John Winters, who has been picking up fares in Palo Alto since 1979, said: â€œThe point is that if we canâ€™t survive as individual drivers, weâ€™re going to start dropping off. Weâ€™re going to go find something else to do.â€? Amadeo is expected to make his decision on the issue next week. N Editorial Intern Jeff Carr can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The minimum-staffing clause has become a target for the City Council over the past two years, as city revenues have declined while Fire Department costs continued to escalate. In February, the council heard a report from two consultants, ICMA (International City/County Management Association) and TriData, who reviewed the department and recommended a long list of reforms, including abolishing the minimum-staffing provision. The consultants wrote in their report that the city â€œshould never agree to a minimum staffing requirement that establishes the total force as this equates to establishing the level of service provided.â€? A recent report from the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury, which reviewed all 15 fire departments in the county, made a similar finding. The report criticizes fire unions for relying on outdated service models and for resisting change even as this model is no longer sustainable, particularly now that the majority of calls are medical emergencies. â€œLogic would dictate that SCC fire departmentsâ€™ continued insistence on clinging to a 100-year-old response model designed to fight structure fires makes no sense given the modern reality that structure fires are the exception and medical emergencies are the norm,â€? the report stated. The Grand Jury report takes particular aim at departments with minimum-staffing provisions. The requirement, the report argues, takes away the fire departmentsâ€™ ability to adjust service levels based on service demand. â€œThose cities with fire contracts mandating minimum-staffing levels and crew size are at a disadvantage compared to those with the discretion to staff as needed,â€? the report stated. â€œIn minimum-staffing jurisdictions, fire chiefs have no flexibility to adapt crew composition, equipment assignments, or the form of response in the most efficient and effective manner.â€? The report also takes a swipe at firefighter unions, claiming that union leaders are doing a good job supporting union members but not enough when it comes to making the necessary changes. In Palo Alto, the union tried to permanently freeze staffing levels last year, when it put a measure on the November ballot that would have required the city to hold an election any time it wanted to reduce staff or close fire stations. City voters overwhelmingly shot down the proposal, with 75 percent voting â€œno.â€? The Grand Jury report claims the firefightersâ€™ resistance to change has diminished their reputation in the public eye. â€œBut unions must see that firefighter reputation is tarnished by a public perception of union greed, particularly in an economic environment where such greed â€” manifested by negotiations intractability â€” is forcing other necessary and popular city services, such as parks, libraries and recreation, to be cut,â€? the report states. â€œThe result is a clear impression of firefighters as self-serving rather than community serving.â€?
the arbitration requirement, which is currently encoded in the City Charter. Any change to this provision would have to be approved by the voters. The councilâ€™s Policy and Services Committee discussed the issue Tuesday night and considered a long list of changes that could be implemented, including limiting the arbitratorsâ€™ input to wages and benefits and requiring them to consider the cityâ€™s overall financial picture and the impacts of their rulings on other city services. The council will consider in late July whether to place these changes, or a repeal of binding arbitration, on the November ballot. N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.
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Spitaleri, a retired Palo Alto fire captain, called the Grand Jury report â€œbiasedâ€? and inaccurate in its characterization of firefighters. The union, he said, has more than stepped up to meet the cityâ€™s financial challenges, offering concessions that he said would have saved the city about $3.1 million. If the two sides donâ€™t reach an agreement on minimum staffing, the issue could end up getting settled by an arbitration panel, which is scheduled to resolve the contract dispute in the fall. The discussion over minimum staffing is one of two long-standing issues of disagreement between city management and firefighters. Even as negotiations are preparing to go to binding arbitration, the council is considering scrapping or repealing
Palo Alto government action this week
Public Art Commission (June 23)
Public art: The commission approved artwork donated by artist Nora Raggio. Yes: Unanimous Discussions: The commission heard reports on upcoming projects at the Water Treatment Plant and Recycling Center, the commissionâ€™s publicity brochure and the cityâ€™s library projects, and further discussed either restoring a sculpture or selecting a new piece by artist David Bottini. Action None
Board of Education (June 27 and June 28)
Goals for 2011-12: In a two-day retreat held at the University Club of Palo Alto, board members discussed possible â€œfocused goalsâ€? for the 2011-12 school year. The draft goals will be refined and voted on in September. Action None
City Council (June 27)
Compost: The council discussed the draft feasibility study for an anaerobic digestion facility in the Baylands and directed staff to return with the final report in the fall. Yes: Unanimous Cubberley: The council approved a letter to the Foothill-De Anza College District expressing the cityâ€™s interest in negotiating sale of an 8-acre parcel at Cubberley Community Center. Yes: Espinosa, Klein, Price, Scharff, Shepherd, Yeh No: Burt, Holman, Schmid
Board of Education (June 28)
Cubberley: The board passed a motion stating its belief that future Palo Alto residents will need â€œ35 contiguous acresâ€? at Cubberley to meet the need for K-12 education, and that the school district should work with the City of Palo Alto to â€œdefine and addressâ€? their joint interest in Cubberley. Yes: Unanimous
Policy and Services Committee (June 28)
Arbitration: The committee considered a list of possible changes that could be made to the cityâ€™s binding-arbitration provision. It will resume the discussion on July 12. Action: None
Planning & Transportation Commission (June 29)
355 Alma St.: The commission discussed a proposal for a four-story, mixed-use building at the former Shell station site at 355 Alma St. Commissioners recommended more residential units, greater height and senior housing. Action: None Electric Vehicles The commission discussed the cityâ€™s policies for electric vehicles and encouraged staff to pursue grants for installation of charging stations at city facilities. Action: None
Public Agenda A preview of Palo Alto government meetings next week CITY COUNCIL ... The council has no meeting scheduled. FINANCE COMMITTEE ... The committee plans to discuss the fiscal year 2011 reappropriation requests to be carried forward to fiscal year 2012 and proposed rate increases for garbage rates. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5, in the Council Conference Room at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). HISTORIC RESOURCES BOARD ... The board plans to discuss Edgewood Plaza, a proposal to renovate three retail structures, relocate one structure and construct 10 homes at 2080 Channing Ave. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD ... The commission plans to consider a proposal by Jimmy Chang on behalf of AEK Partnership for design modifications to the exterior of 383 University Ave.; and review the design of Hohbach Realty Companyâ€™s proposed 157,387-square-foot building at 195 Page Mill Road. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 7, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.).
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The Cubberley conundrum As Foothill College seeks to upgrade or move its Cubberley campus, Palo Alto school and city officials struggle over how to plan for the communityâ€™s own future needs for the site
s with many Palo Alto issues, the current debate over whether the City of Palo Alto should enter into negotiations to sell part of the Cubberley Community Center to Foothill College is like a Rubikâ€™s Cube. Aligning all the well-intentioned stakeholders may be practically impossible, especially given the large number of uncertainties. The complexity of the factors at play are staggering. It begins with the fact that 8 of the 35 acres at the former Cubberley High School site at 4000 Middlefield Road are owned by the City of Palo Alto and the remaining 27 acres are owned by the Palo Alto Unified School District. This odd configuration stems from the city leasing the entire 35 acres from the district in 1989 but then acquiring ownership of 8 acres when a new middle school was needed and the city swapped the Terman Middle School site (which it owned) for the space at Cubberley. The 8 acres are at the north end of the site and include most of the classrooms, two small parking lots and six tennis courts. The 27 acres owned by the school district consist of a few classrooms, the theater, gyms, multi-purpose rooms, two large parking lots and all the playing fields. Foothill College currently leases about 40,000 square feet of space at Cubberley, roughly half of it from the city and half from the school district. The balance of the space is occupied by artists, two private schools, some city staff, nonprofit organizations and a few businesses. The city receives about $2.5 million a year in rent (at well below market rates) and its cost of operating the facility are roughly the same. The 1989 lease deal came at a time when the school district was facing big financial challenges and, together with the city, orchestrated a complex deal that included a 35-year lease of Cubberley, an agreement whereby the school district pledged not to sell off its unneeded school sites and to provide space for after-school child care at all elementary sites. It was deemed a â€œwin-winâ€? because it gave the city a community center in south Palo Alto, retained school sites for possible future use, and provided much-needed child care. But it came with a huge price tag, with annual payments that have now grown to more than $7 million. How did the city come up with the money to support this deal? By passing a Utility Userâ€™s Tax that now generates more than $11 million a year from local residents and businesses. Meanwhile, finances aside, there is concern over the growing enrollment at Gunn and Palo Alto high schools, the steady increases in elementary school enrollment and the prospect of additional students due to new housing development. And in the midst of this, along comes Foothill College, sitting on millions of dollars in voter-approved bond money for capital projects that it would like to invest in a new â€œeducation centerâ€? in either Palo Alto, Mountain View or Sunnyvale. For the third time in the last four years it is eyeing the 8-acre site at Cubberley. In the perfect world there would be a wonderful and innovative collaboration between the Palo Alto school district and Foothill College, facilitated by the city, in which Cubberley would be transformed into a unique campus functioning both as a high school and a community college, serving both teens and adults. It is that dream that led six City Council members Monday night to vote in support of sending a letter of interest to Foothill, despite an overwhelming negative response from the public. At stake, one can assume, is Foothillâ€™s presence in Palo Alto. If it canâ€™t secure the space it wants here, it will probably go elsewhere. For both the Palo Alto council and the school board, however, there is more at stake than Foothillâ€™s local campus. While the dream of an integrated education facility is one we share, it is even more important that policymakers responsibly plan for the long-term needs of our local school district, including the possible need for a third high school. The city could proceed with talks with Foothill and put the burden on the school district to exercise its right of first refusal, meaning it would have to step in front of Foothill and buy back the 8 acres. But that kind of jockeying between public agencies is not in the spirit of cooperation that this community expects. Cubberley is in disrepair, and neither the city nor the school district has a plan for dealing with it. That neglectful stewardship is shameful and is what makes the Foothill offer tempting. If further talks, ideally in public rather than in secret, can produce creative development ideas that preserve the ability for Cubberley to house a high school in the future, then it may be worth the effort. Otherwise we have no choice but to let Foothill go, find replacement tenants, and begin a discussion on how to maximize the value of Cubberley to the community over the long-term. Page 10ĂŠUĂŠĂ•Â?ĂžĂŠÂŁ]ĂŠĂ“Ă¤ÂŁÂŁĂŠUĂŠ*>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?Ăž
Spectrum Editorials, letters and opinions
Online anonymity Editor, When I heard of your â€œSupport Local Journalismâ€? effort I immediately made a contribution and hope many other readers will do the same. I fear for the future of the venture, however, unless the Weekly is able to offer some exclusive, tangible benefit to members. One suggestion might be that only members would be entitled to comment online on the newspaperâ€™s website â€” using a system where identities are verified, and responsibility and courtesy are fostered. Unfortunately I expect the Weekly will continue to follow the orthodoxy that has ruined so many newspaper websites, i.e., allowing anonymous postings, sometimes horrific. Yes, moderation can help, but it cannot turn an open site where people take no responsibility for their words into a venue for useful discussion, any more than the most zealous janitor could turn a public bathroom into a place where one would want to hang out and eat a meal. Like other newspapers, the Weekly needs to appreciate that thereâ€™s a disconnect between, on the one hand, requiring a name, address, and phone number for letters that
This week on Town Square Posted June 29 at 11:40 a.m. by Frank, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood: If the PAUSD wants to reclaim Cubberley (the part the city owns) they will have to pay for it and they donâ€™t have any money to do that. They sold it and many other campuses then spent that money keeping programs running. Iâ€™m not saying that was a bad idea at the time but to buy back the land then rebuild the campus will cost a significant amount of money. Developer fees wonâ€™t come close. Personally Iâ€™d vote to raise money to pay for this, but Iâ€™m not sure how many others would. I also like Foothill and think they should have a nice new campus â€” itâ€™s quite a benefit to us. Posted June 30 at 11:56 a.m. by Concerned parent, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood: There is no way that there is enough space for Foothill and a high school campus, let alone another school. There are 12 acres of fields that cannot be built upon. They need space for parking. I believe that the two high schools we currently have are about 40 acres each.
might be printed and, on the other hand, freely allowing anonymous graffiti online. Jonathan Angel Ashton Court Palo Alto
City needs Cubberley Editor, If the City Council responds favorably to Foothill Collegeâ€™s request to acquire the 8 acres of Cubberley owned by the city, the result will be an intensification of the site beyond its capacity; the loss of valuable community-serving uses, including more than 300 childcare slots; and the precluding of the school districtâ€™s ability to re-open the campus with sorely needed secondary classroom space. Foothill has been an excellent tenant at Cubberley. Their expansion plans will draw residents from the entire north county area. The new satellite campus might be a
good use were it not for the dearth of public facility zoned land to serve not only the current but future requirements of our own Palo Alto residents. Recent discussions of the need for a new public-safety building and vastly expanded elementary school space, to say nothing of ABAGâ€™s demand that we make room for up to 14,000 additional housing units, illustrate that we can ill afford to let these 8 acres be used for anything other than to provide for our own residentsâ€™ needs. To sell, or even long-term lease, one of the cityâ€™s most important capital assets would be irresponsible â€” a terrible mistake that would forever penalize its current and future citizens and diminish Palo Altoâ€™s legacy. Mike Cobb and Lanie Wheeler Former mayors of Palo Alto Dixon Place and Diablo Court Palo Alto
YOUR TURN The Palo Alto Weekly encourages comments on our coverage or on issues of local interest.
What do you think? What should the City of Palo Alto do with the 8 acres it owns at Cubberley Community Center? 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 Media to also publish it online, including in our online archives and as a post on Town Square. For more information contact Editor Jocelyn Dong 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 Editorâ€™s blog or just stay up on what people are talking about around town!
Why your help is needed to keep local journalism strong by Bill Johnson â€œWere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.â€? â€”Thomas Jefferson
homas Jefferson might well sound the alarm today about profound changes underway in the media business, ranging from the way news is gathered and presented to the way it is funded. These changes are threatening the viability of quality local journalism everywhere. Imagine trying to stay informed on the issues before the City Council or school board without journalists covering the meetings, asking questions and presenting analyses for debate and discussion throughout the community. Whether you now obtain your news from the Palo Alto Weekly or from Palo Alto Online, or both, you are depending on a dedicated staff of local reporters and editors working hard to bring you the most important news of the community. Local weekly newspapers have traditionally been the heart and soul of a communityâ€™s identity and culture. They reflect the values of the residents and businesses, challenge assumptions and shine a light on our communityâ€™s imperfections and aspirations.
But as more residents turn online to stay informed about local news, and businesses rocked by the recession turn to inexpensive marketing alternatives, the traditional business model that allowed local journalism to be supported primarily through advertising is quickly evaporating. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™ve launched our campaign to Support Local Journalism. Unlike national and international news, there is no substitute for locally produced news. By its very nature, local news depends on local newsgathering. Local news is as popular and as highly valued as ever. In fact, the total number of people we reach has expanded substantially due to our website and â€œExpress,â€? our popular news digest sent out by email every weekday morning to more than 13,000 local residents. All of our efforts are geared to creating greater public awareness and engagement â€” toward building a stronger community. So if local readership interest has never been greater, whatâ€™s the problem? The problem is that the advertising business model for newspapers no longer works the way it used to. Craigslist is a prime example of this. Classified ads used to make up a significant portion of newspaper ad revenue. If you wanted to buy a used car, rent an apartment, look for a job or a mate, you opened your newspaper and scanned the ads. Add the current worldwide economic crisis
and you have the â€œperfect stormâ€? of radical change in the news and information industry and how it is financed, at every level. Bottom line: The days of expecting local advertising to fund 90 percent of the cost of operating a quality local media organization are gone. We need you â€” the citizens who value and benefit from the professional reporting we do and who recognize the critical role of
the media in monitoring and, when needed, challenging the actions of local government and other institutions â€” to commit to funding a much greater share of our operations. So here is our proposition: Sign up to become a â€œsubscribing memberâ€? and agree to an automated monthly credit card (or bank debit) charge of $5, $8 or $10. By automating this process, you eliminate the need for us to spend money to repeatedly solicit your renewal of support. You can, of course, cancel at any time. Or, if you prefer, make a single annual payment. As a member, we will provide you with
some special â€œperksâ€? that you might enjoy or appreciate, including a â€œSupport Local Journalismâ€? bumper sticker, a small gift and special invitations to events and offers from local businesses. Itâ€™s simple. Go to www.SupportLocalJournalism.org/PaloAlto and fill out the online form, or phone us at 326-8210. Or simply return the form you should have received in the mail earlier this week. Canâ€™t afford it right now? Thatâ€™s fine. Youâ€™ll continue to receive the Weekly and be able to use Palo Alto Online free of charge. Weâ€™re not requiring subscription memberships, just urging readers to acknowledge the value and cost of quality local journalism. We hope and believe the vast majority of residents have always shared our view of the value and necessity of a strong local media and are willing to provide support equal to two or three cups of coffee a month to secure its future. This same model works well for KQED, so why not in support of the media organization that focuses exclusively on our community? Thanks for doing your part to keep strong local journalism alive and well in Palo Alto and our surrounding communities. N Bill Johnson is publisher and founder of the Palo Alto Weekly and president of Embarcadero Media.
Who would you like to see on the ballot for the next presidential election? Asked on Cambridge Avenue, Palo Alto. Interviews and photographs by Janelle Eastman and Jeff Carr.
â€œI am a big Obama supporter so I donâ€™t care much whoâ€™s on the other side.â€?
â€œMaybe Hillary Clinton or Michelle Bachman.â€?
â€œNot Sarah Palin.â€?
â€œIâ€™m not a Republican but if I had to choose for that side it would probably be Jon Huntsman.â€?
â€œI would like to see Dennis Kucinich on the ballot.â€?
Tutoring Company Employee Burgoyne Street, Mountain View
Salesperson Susan Way, Sunnyvale
Student University Avenue, Palo Alto
Administrative Assistant Homer Avenue, Palo Alto
Retiree Nathan Way, Palo Alto
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Pa lo Alto
Hot and Spicy! COOK OFF & Summer Festival
ty i C
Monday, July 4th, 2011 Noon to 5 pm Mitchell Park 600 E. Meadow Drive, Palo Alto
Festival Begins Live Music, Tasting tickets on Sale, Kids Area and Food Booths Open, Beer & Margaritas on Sale
Public Chili Tasting Begins 2:00
Back by popular demand!
Peopleâ€™s Choice Voting Ends
cover tune band! Rock, Pop, Funk, Reggae HITS from the 70â€™s,80â€™s,90â€™s! Sound engineering provided by Rich Sound Live Also featuring DJ Joe Sheldon, Hedy McAdams, DanceAdventures.com
Awards Ceremony 4:00
Johnny Super Final Set Sponsored by
For more information visit us online at www.cityofpaloalto.org/recreation or call the Chili Hotline at 463-4921! Offsite parking will be available at Cubberley Community Center, 4000 MiddleďŹ eld Road. Shuttle van available between 12 â€“ 5pm. Onsite parking preference for the disabled until 2pm. Biking and carpooling encouraged.
Capt. Robert F. Gonia, 85 March 27, 1926-June 21, 2011
Births, marriages and deaths
Deaths Gerald M. Meier G e r a ld M. Meier, a leading econom ist and former Stanford business and economics professor, died from complications of a brain tumor at his home on the Stanford campus June 21. He was born in Tacoma, Wash., in 1923, and graduated from Reed College in 1947. He became a Rhodes Scholar in 1948, studied economics at Oxford, and received a PhD in that field from Harvard in 1953, according to a statement from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Before coming to Stanford, he taught at Oxford, Williams, Wesleyan and Yale universities. He taught Stanford business and economics students from 1962 until 2005. His 1964 text, â€œLeading Issues in Economic Development,â€? has been translated to seven languages and is taught in classrooms around the globe. He specialized in development economics: the study of the economies of developing nations. In his book â€œEmerging from Poverty: The Economics That Really Matters,â€? he wrote: â€œWe worry in this book about what can realistically be done to lessen the pain of poverty still suffered daily by two-thirds of humanity. Two centuries after the industrial revo-
lution, only a few countries have become rich, while more than 100 nations are poor.â€? He authored more than 34 books and lectured frequently at universities around the world. As a consultant to the World Bank, he served on three Bank missions to China. â€œGerry Meier was a major contributor to the field of development economics with a worldwide reputation,â€? said colleague George G.C. Parker, Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance, Emeritus, in the statement. â€œHis arrival on the faculty strengthened our international economics curriculum in a major way. Professor Meier was widely traveled and was among the most in-demand leaders of student study trips to the developing world. His enthusiasm for all things international made him a role model for international scholars at the school.â€? He is survived by his wife, Gretl Slote of Stanford; sons, David E. Meier of Boston, Mass., Daniel R. Meier of Berkeley, Calif., Jeremy Meier of Sacramento, Calif., and Andrew Meier of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and six grandchildren. Plans for a memorial service are pending. The Gerald M. Meier Book Award, an annual prize to honor excellence in undergraduate economics, has been established at Reed College and University College at Oxford University. Similar awards are being created by the family at Stanford University, and Wesleyan University. Donations may be made to the funds through the family at 774 Santa Ynez, Stanford, CA 94305.
Gillonne M. Wachter September 21, 1946 â€“ June 24, 2011
Gillonne Marie Jeanne Wachter, nĂŠe de La GrandiĂ¨re, passed away on June 24, 2011 at home in Palo Alto, California surrounded by her family. She is survived by her husband Thomas, daughters Claire Madeleine and ChloĂŠ Rose of New York, N.Y. In France, she is survived by her brother Arthur de La GrandiĂ¨re of Paris, sister Marie-Charles and brotherin-law Christopher Heap of Norolles. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine (Hts de Seine) on September 21, 1946, she attended the Sacred Heart School in Hove, England and lived in London and Paris before moving to California in 1985 with her husband and daughters. She was a loving wife and mother and had a wonderful â€˜joie de vivreâ€™ that inďŹ‚uenced everyone around her. A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, July 22, 3 pm at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park. The family requests that in lieu of ďŹ‚owers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders. PA I D
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BIRTHS Evelyn and John James of Menlo Park, a son, May 13. Stacy and Brent Gullixon of Atherton, a daughter, May 16 Lailuma Nabi-Samuels and Keith Samuels of East Palo Alto, a daughter, May 16 Elizabeth and John Balena of Atherton, a son, June 23 Margarita Alvarez and Karl Neuman of Menlo Park, a daughter, June 24
Longtime Los Altos resident Robert Francis Gonia passed away June 21st, 2011. A memorial service was held , Thursday, June 30th, at St. Simonâ€™s church in Los Altos, CA. Mr. Gonia was born March 27th, 1926 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, to Laddie and Mercedes Gonia. He served in the United States Marine Corps in World War II and fought in the South PaciďŹ c. After the war, he met and married Kathryn â€œKittyâ€? Nilles on June 25, 1949. In 1955 Mr. Gonia moved his family to Los Altos where he became a captain for United Airlines, until he retired in 1985. During his 30+ year tenure with United Airlines, he and his wife Kitty raised 7 children; Steven, James, Mark, John, Thomas, David, and Kathryn. Mr. Gonia enjoyed sailing and he and his wife â€œKittyâ€? enjoyed many summers in Seattle aboard their boat â€œMadelineâ€? sailing the Puget Sound and the San Juan islands. He is survived by his 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. PA I D
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Introducing Go to PaloAltoOnline.com
VOTE DEADLINE TOA THIS SUND Y!
Lasting Memories An online directory of obituaries and remembrances. Search obituaries, submit a memorial, share a photo.
Sherie Greenberg Jan. 20, 1932-June 25, 2011
Beloved mother of Morisa Guy and Stephanie Edelman passed away peacefully in the morning of June 25, 2011, at the age of 79. She was a 37-year survivor of metastatic breast cancer. Born in Allentown, Penn., Sherie was a resident of Palo Alto for the last 51 years. She attended Penn State, but transferred to Boston University where she received her bachelorâ€™s degree. Her passion was for the game of bridge. Just like her mother, Sherie developed into a national bridge champion and world-class player. With master points in excess of 8,250, Sherie was an Emerald Life Master. Her love for the game was not just intellectual. She thrived on providing an outlet for people to come together and was an expert at bridge matchmaking. Her phone was continuously ringing with bridge players and students searching for partners, whom Sherie always helped. As a teacher and club owner, she taught hundreds of people in the community the strategies of bidding and card play. With the popularity of the Internet, Sherie became adept at playing online and increased her reach of teaching and playing with partners around the world. In fact, Sherie continued playing online into the ďŹ nal days of her life. Sherie always loved to travel, but that was put on hold as she and her husband David raised their two daughters. After her initial cancer diagnosis, she was determined to live as fast as she could and resumed her world travels. That love of travel took her often to her favorite destination, Israel. Her unwavering support of Israel and determination to help
eradicate cancer led her to the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she became actively involved in fund raising for cancer research. As a board member in 1994, Sherie was honored with an award in appreciation of her leadership. Sherie was always available to provide emotional support to those diagnosed with cancer. She convinced them they, too, could ďŹ ght the disease and â€œlive.â€? As Sherieâ€™s long-time oncologist, Frank Stockdale, reminded her daughters, she was fortunate in that she â€œenjoyed an independent, long and full life. She took great pride in her children and their families. And while more limited in recent times, she remained ďŹ ercely in control of her life and lifeâ€™s decisions. Her approach is something we should all try to emulate.â€? Sherie was preceded in death by her devoted husband, David, in 2007. She is survived by her daughters, Morisa Guy (Amir) and Stephanie Edelman (Jeff); her grandchildren, Cameron and Drew; and her sister, Edythe Bloom of Connecticut. A service for friends and family will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos. In lieu of ďŹ‚owers, the family requests donations to the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, 300 Montgomery Street, Suite 615, San Francisco, CA 94104. PA I D
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CITY OF PALO ALTO NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
PALO ALTO CITY COUNCIL CIVIC CENTER, 250 HAMILTON AVENUE BROADCAST LIVE ON KZSU, FM 90.1 CABLECAST LIVE ON GOVERNMENT ACCESS CHANNEL 26
***************************************** THIS IS A SUMMARY OF COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS. THE AGENDA WITH COMPLETE TITLES INCLUDING LEGAL DOCUMENTATION CAN BE VIEWED AT THE BELOW WEBPAGE:
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Palo Alto City Council will hold a public hearing at the regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. or as near thereafter as possible, in the Council Chambers, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, to Consider Approval of a Record of Land Use Action for Historic Rehabilitation and Seismic Upgrade of an Existing Category 2 Historic Resource, Generating 5,000 sq. ft. of Bonus Floor Area (4,940 sq. ft. would be used on site and 60 sq. ft. would be available as Transferable Development Rights) for 668 Ramona Street (PaciďŹ c Art League) DONNA J. GRIDER, MMC City Clerk
(TENTATIVE) AGENDA- CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS The City Council Meeting of July 4, 2011 has been cancelled due to the Independence Day Holiday
STANDING COMMITTEE MEETINGS
NOTICE OF A PUBLIC MEETING Of the City of Palo Alto Transportation Division
The Finance Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 5, at 7:00 p.m. regarding 1) Refuse Fund Rate Recommendation, 2) Third Quarter FY 2011 Financial Update, and 3) Request to Preliminarily Approve Fiscal Year 2011 Reappropriation Requests to Be Carried Forward into Fiscal Year 2012
Public Meeting Notice Channing Avenue Striping and Bicycle Facility Options Public Open House
NOTICE OF A PUBLIC MEETING of the Palo Alto Planning & Transportation Commission Please be advised the Planning and Transportation Commission (P&TC) shall conduct a public meeting at 6:00 PM, Wednesday, July 13, 2011 in the Civic Center, Council Chambers, 1st Floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, California. Any interested persons may appear and be heard on these items. Staff reports for agendized items are available via the Cityâ€™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.
DATE: TIME: PLACE:
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 6:30-8:30 PM Community Room, Lucie Stern Community Center 1305 Middlefield, Palo Alto 94301
This public meeting will be an opportunity for all interested parties to provide input on the resurfacing options including improving bicycle facilities on Channing Avenue east of Middlefield. Resurfacing could begin as early as this fall after the completion of the storm drainage system improvement project currently in progress. For further information contact: email@example.com or call (650) 329-2520.
NEW BUSINESS: Public Hearing: 1.
Arastradero Road Re-Striping: Planning and Transportation Commissionâ€™s recommendation to City Council whether to extend the trial period of the Arastradero Road Re-Striping Project to the end of 2012. An update of recent changes, data collection, community feedback, and anticipated traffic conditions will be presented.
Pulse A weekly compendium of vital statistics
Palo Alto June 23-28 Violence related Child abuse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Domestic violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theft related Commercial burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Identity theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Residential burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vehicle related Abandoned auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Driving w/ suspended license . . . . . . . . 11 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Misc. traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Theft from auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle accident/minor injury . . . . . . . . .9 Vehicle accident/property damage. . . . .2 Vehicle stored . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Alcohol or drug related Drunk in public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Miscellaneous Animal call. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Lost property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Misc. penal code violation . . . . . . . . . . .1 Outside assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Psychiatric hold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .3 Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Warrant/other agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Menlo Park June 22-27 Violence related Assault with a deadly weapon . . . . . . . .1 Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Domestic violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Robbery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theft related Commercial burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Grand theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Residential burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Vehicle related Driving with suspended license . . . . . . .5 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vehicle accident/injury . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Vehicle accident/no injury. . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vehicle tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Alcohol or drug related Drunk in public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Narcotics registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Miscellaneous Disturbance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Information case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Missing person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Other/misc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Property for destruction . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Psychiatric hold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Suspicious person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Warrant arrest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Atherton June 22-28
Questions. For 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 Cityâ€™s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), please contact the Cityâ€™s ADA Coordinator at 650.329.2550 (voice) or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curtis Williams Director of Planning and Community Environment CITY OF PALO ALTO RECREATION PRESENTS
27th Annual â€“ Palo Alto Weekly
MOONLIGHT RUN & WALK FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2O11
Register now at PaloAltoOnline.com Page 14ĂŠUĂŠĂ•Â?ĂžĂŠÂŁ]ĂŠĂ“Ă¤ÂŁÂŁĂŠUĂŠ*>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?Ăž
Camp Avenidas at Channing House
July 26 - 28, 10 am - 3 pm ÂŠ Body & brain fitness ÂŠ Memorable keynotes ÂŠ Info-packed presentations ÂŠ Healthy gourmet lunches ÂŠ Free t-shirt and awards ÂŠ Fun & friendship Call (650) 289-5436 or visit www.avenidas.org for details or to register!
Where age is just a number
Theft related Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle related Abandoned auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Suspicious vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Ticket sign-off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Vehicle accident/no injury. . . . . . . . . . . .4 Vehicle code violation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Vehicle/traffic hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Alcohol or drug related Drunk in public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Miscellaneous Animal call. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Be on the lookout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Building/perimeter/area check . . . . . . . .7 Citizen assist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Civil matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Disturbance noise/fight. . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Disturbing/annoying phone calls. . . . . . .1 Fire call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Juvenile problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Medical aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Other/misc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Outside assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Probation violation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Shots fired . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Special detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .7 Suspicious person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Town ordinance violation . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Tree down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Watermain break. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Welfare check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
VIOLENT CRIMES Palo Alto
California Avenue, 6/24, 11:22 p.m.; domestic violence. Scott Street, 6/26, 10:26 p.m.; child
abuse. Yale Street, 6/26, 10:49 p.m.; child abuse.
Menlo Park 500 block Willow Road, 6/23, 11:21 a.m.; battery. 1200 block Willow Road, 6/23, 16:18 p.m.; assault with a deadly weapon. 1100 block Sevier Avenue, 6/26, 4:14 a.m.; robbery. 200 block Newbridge Street, 6/26, 20:15 p.m.; domestic violence.
WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS DOING THIS SUMMER? Join the YES FOR CHESS summer camp The camp runs from July 11th to 15th
No chess experience? No Problem! We teach beginning to advanced students
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Some like it hot Chili can also be smoky, smooth and sweet at Palo Altoâ€™s annual July Fourth cook-off by Rebecca Wallace / photos by Veronica Weber
at Markevitch plans to wear a new Renaissance costume for the event. John Barton has been hunting down just the right chili pepper. And Justin Vavuris wonâ€™t let his newly broken leg stop him from attending, saying: â€œThat is life or death.â€? For crowds of Palo Alto residents and visitors, the City of Palo Altoâ€™s Summer Festival & Chili Cook-off is worth far more than a hill of beans. Itâ€™s a social shindig, a chance to reconnect with neighbors, an opportunity to scorch the roof of oneâ€™s mouth. This year marks the 30th annual event. As in summers past, 20-some teams of chefs and helpers are set to cook and compete in festively decorated booths â€” with some teams in costume â€” at Mitchell Park. People give up many hours on the Fourth of July to stir pots over propane burners, judge the offerings, do some country line dancing or just eat and imbibe. â€œHow often in Palo Alto do you get to be that silly?â€? Barton says. Barton should know. Despite having a serious record of Palo Alto community involvement that includes stints on the City Council and school board, he has plenty of experience taking part in the frivolity that is the chili cook-off. He was a judge for several years and last year crossed the firewall to become a souschef with the Rotary Club of Palo Altoâ€™s team. This year heâ€™s sitting in the big chair as head cook. He and teammate Steve Emslie, the cityâ€™s deputy city manager, just may wear their white chefâ€™s jackets, with many other team members decorating, serving and doing other tasks.
John Barton, whoâ€™s serving as head cook for his Chili Cook-off team this year, prepares a sample chili at his home in late June.
After a request from the Weekly, Barton makes a sample batch of chili in his Palo Alto kitchen on a recent afternoon. Itâ€™s not quite the 15 minimum gallons mandated for the cookoff, but a conservative 1-gallon test pot. White bowls of meat, spices and other ingredients cover his counter. Barton eyes the ground beef, ground pork and chorizo. Heâ€™s also pondering using venison and pork shoulder during the contest, to add fat and â€œdepth of flavor.â€? For now, he likes this combination; the chorizo will add a robust orange hue to the chili. Sporting a baseball cap and shorts, Barton cooks up some onions and peppers with salt and olive oil. All the while, heâ€™s thinking about chiles. He has pasilla and New Mexico chiles, but heâ€™s still searching for the right ancho chiles, ones that will add a fruitiness without too much heat. After a few minutes, Barton moves the onions and peppers to a bowl and puts the meat in the pot to brown. Next come cans of tomatoes and sauce, then the chiles, and then the spices: garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, thyme, chipotle powder and salt. â€œIf we have time, we will toast the spices a bit,â€? he says. Later, Barton will add black beans â€” heâ€™s not a pinto-bean guy â€” and perhaps some cheese or sour cream. When he was a cook-off judge, he usually noticed the â€œinitial spiceâ€? and the â€œmouthfeelâ€? most. So, heâ€™s planning to add â€œsomething to give it a kind of mouthfeel thatâ€™s kind of creamy, that people would like.â€? He spoons out a taste from the pot. â€œOh, itâ€™s kind of hot,â€? he says. But the chili has about three hours for its spiciness to mellow out on the stove. â€œSome of that will reduce as the tomatoes pop and give their juices,â€? he explains. A Weekly photographer tastes the chili and (continued on page 20)
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a tradition of caring PALO ALTO COMMONS offers a comprehensive program for individuals with Alzheimerâ€™s disease and dementia in our Hedy McAdams, seen here last year at Mitchell Park, will once again be teaching line dancing at the Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off on July 4.
Festivities on the Fourth Peninsula events include parades, concerts and fun runs by Leslie Shen
ith the approach of the Fourth of July comes an opportunity to reflect: on what liberty means, on what a nation is, the gravity of calling a series of events â€œrevolutionaryâ€? and the challenges implicit in it all. Which is to say, take a moment to think seriously. Then kick back and enjoy the glimmers of history tucked away in a whole host of carefree Independence Day festivities. Palo Altoâ€™s official party, as usual, is the 30th annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off, noon to 5 p.m. at Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive. Thereâ€™ll be music provided by DJ Joe Sheldon and the band Johnny Super, line dancing with Hedy McAdams, face painting and other childrenâ€™s activities, food vendors and samples from the culinary showdown, which are up for tasting at 1:30 p.m. Information is available at 650463-4921 and cityofpaloalto.org/ recreation. (See separate story for more on the chili cook-off.) If the 5K Chili Chase, also at Mitchell Park, sounds just distantly familiar, itâ€™s because it last took place in the late â€˜90s. Revived for the first time this side of Y2K, the 10 a.m. run starts and ends in the park, segueing into the chilithemed afternoon proceedings. Racers can pre-register at active. com (search for Chili Chase Palo Alto). General registration is $20; $15 for students and kids. In Menlo Park, the city holds its annual parade, starting at 11:45 a.m. at the Wells Fargo parking lot on Santa Cruz Avenue and Chestnut Street, and winding down at noon in Burgess Park at Burgess Drive and Alma Street. There, games, crafts, music and other family-friendly activities will last until 2:30 p.m. The event is free, with a $6 wristband required for some activities. Information is available at menlopark. org (search for â€œJuly 4thâ€?) and 650-330-2200. Redwood Cityâ€™s celebration, honoring 150 years of the Redwood City Fire Department, promises to be a host of things
happening at once, beginning bright and early as the firefighters serve up a fundraising pancake breakfast at 755 Marshall St. from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. The annual festival starts at 9 a.m. and fills the day with arts and crafts for sale; a jump house and other kidsâ€™ activities; a car show; a fire engine display; and live music, including the marching bands of Stanford University and the University of California at Davis. Maps of the festival area and the route to be taken by the 10 a.m. parade are posted at parade.org, where there is also information about the 35th annual Fun Run, which meets at Brewster Avenue and Arguello Street and takes off at 9 a.m. Race registration specifics have been posted at redwoodcity.org. Not far from the parade, the San Mateo County History Museum at 2200 Broadway offers something a little more retro: a chance to churn oneâ€™s own ice cream and make parachutes, whirligigs and flags from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2.50 for adults, $1.50 for seniors and students. Information is at historysmc.org and 650299-0104. In Mountain View, the San Francisco Symphony will play marches and patriotic songs at Shoreline Amphitheatre. The 8 p.m. concert concludes with a fireworks display. Tickets are $19.50-$47.35. Information at sfsymphony.org. Another possibility is Foster Cityâ€™s Leo J. Park, 650 Shell Blvd., where an all-day celebration will be capped with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Information at fostercity.org. Lastly, a reminder that the American Automobile Association (AAA) offers a nifty free tow of up to five miles for drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on the Fourth to 6 a.m. the next morning. To request a tow, drivers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and say they need a â€œtipsy tow.â€? The service is available to both AAA members and non-members. N Editorial Intern Leslie Shen can be emailed at lshen@ paweekly.com.
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A long line of chili tasters clustered in front of the Chili Penguins team booth on July 4, 2010. Costumes and themes are all part of the fun.
Chili Cook-off (continued from page 16)
praises its smoothness. Barton is modest. â€œIt sort of feels kind of pointy in your mouth now. Over time itâ€™ll smooth out.â€? His ultimate goal? A mediumspicy chili with a â€œdark, rich feel to it.â€? Achieving the perfect chili could be a challenge to any chef. The cook-off adds extra obstacles with a few rules. For instance, ingredients canâ€™t be pre-cooked or treated before the preparation period, which starts at 8:15 a.m. on July 4. Cooks have to get their chili to the judges by 1:45 p.m. A few exceptions to the pretreating rule include some canned and bottled ingredients. Cooks can also soak dried beans overnight,
cook fresh peppers in advance, and grind, bone and dice meats beforehand. Teams can have at most four cooks and 20 assistants. At the cook-off, chili is judged in two categories: corporate (formal groups such as restaurants and offices) and open (anyone else). The best-decorated booth, the peopleâ€™schoice chili and the team with the best spirit also get awards.
â€˜Some are sweet, or all spice, or smoky. Youâ€™d be amazed at the range.â€™ â€“ Pat Markevitch, Cook-off competitor Unlike in years past, there will not be a separate category for vegetarian chili; veggie options will be judged with the others because there havenâ€™t been enough entries, says Minka van der Zwaag, supervisor of recreation programs. If there were awards given for Best Corsets, Pat Markevitchâ€™s team just might be a shoo-in. Her group, called Good King Wench & Lass, features her husband, Jamie; sister Suanne Starner; and friend Cynthia. She and Cynthia, a Renaissance Faire veteran, wear period costumes just for fun.
Markevitch, a member of Palo Altoâ€™s Parks and Recreation Commission, figures her team has competed in the cook-off for about eight years. Except for last year, when she was a judge. Markevitch started making chili from a long-forgotten recipe, making her own additions and subtractions over the years, she says in an interview at the Weekly. Her cookoff chili is a blend of beef and pork and secret spices, but no beans. â€œI just think real chili shouldnâ€™t have â€˜em.â€? Markevitch says her team has won a few awards including best spirit and first and second place in the peopleâ€™s-choice category. â€œItâ€™s a really friendly rivalry, which is what I like,â€? she says. But the event is sometimes one of endurance. Her team gets to the park as early as 7:30 a.m. to decorate and set up, and later in the day itâ€™s all about dishing out the chili. One year, Markevitch spent so much time serving that her friend had to pry her hand off the ladle. Markevitchâ€™s tip to newer cooks is to bring potatoes. If you oversalt your chili, she says, you can put a
Perfect Will Be Just Fine â€œBy consistently delivering what we promise, we serve up our most important product... trust. Just like our trusted partners at Presidio Bank who have helped us sustainably grow our business. We are honored to be in business with our banker. â€“Paula and Jim LeDuc During a band break last Fourth of July, children took turns with hula hoops and limbo â€” sometimes at the same time. Page 20ĂŠUĂŠĂ•Â?ĂžĂŠÂŁ]ĂŠĂ“Ă¤ÂŁÂŁĂŠUĂŠ*>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?Ăž
Cover Story cut-up potato in a cheesecloth bag and leave it in the pot for a few minutes to draw the salt out. She especially enjoyed judging last year because she got to taste so many different kinds of chili. â€œSome are sweet, or all spice, or smoky,â€? she says. â€œYouâ€™d be amazed at the range.â€? Last year, Justin Vavuris was undoubtedly happy with the judges. His team, Big Kid Sports, made the first-prize chili. Even though he recently broke his leg in a softball game, the 27-year-old Palo Alto native says he wouldnâ€™t miss competing for the third year in a row. â€œItâ€™s mostly local people and a lot of familiar faces, and everyoneâ€™s there to have a really good time,â€? he says in a phone interview. The team name came from a company that Justin and a buddy started three years ago, he says. It no longer exists, but they had a lot of leftover T-shirts. Vavuris says his team made a lot of mistakes its first year before becoming champions.
â€˜Youâ€™ve got to be able to throw a good party, thatâ€™s a key element.â€? â€“ Justin Vavuris, Cook-off competitor â€œThereâ€™s a lot that can go wrong when youâ€™re cooking outside. You can overcook or undercook the beans; itâ€™s very difficult controlling temperatures with outdoor burners,â€? he says. Now the team seems to have found success with â€œa southern flavor,â€? with a lot of cilantro and paprika and other flavors found in Mexican cuisine, Vavuris says. The cooks aim for a variety of tastes throughout the chili, with a medium level of heat. In the booth, he adds with a chuckle, there will also be plenty of â€œadult beverages.â€? â€œYouâ€™ve got to be able to throw a good party,â€? he says. â€œThatâ€™s a key element.â€? N
july 9 & 10, 2011 10am to 5pm rinconada park embarcadero and newell 175 prestigious clay & glass artists
What: The City of Palo Altoâ€™s 30th Annual Summer Festival and Chili Cook-off
demonstrations free admission valet parking
Where: Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive, Palo Alto. Attendees are asked to park at Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road; a free shuttle will take people to the park. When: July 4, noon to 5 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free; chili-tasting tickets cost $5 for five tastes. Info: Go to cityofpaloalto.org/ recreation or call 650-463-4921.
About the cover: A pot of sample chili simmers on John Bartonâ€™s stove, as he prepares for this yearâ€™s competition. Photograph by Veronica Weber.
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hen asked for some insight into the title, â€œAs Bold As California,â€? of his justopened exhibition in Palo Alto City Hall, artist Michael Killen gestures at the 24-foot-wide, 5-foottall painting that is the centerpiece of the show and gives a simple nonanswer: â€œWell, isnâ€™t this bold?â€? A dizzying stretch of thick acrylic color â€” deep oranges and greens, watery blues â€” spanning four canvases, the piece unquestionably makes that case. But its boldness, and the boldness of the exhibition, also lies somewhere beyond initial visual arrest. â€œI canâ€™t just paint,â€? Killen said in his at-home studio in Menlo Park. â€œI have to have big ideas.â€? Big, he explained, as in globally significant. This painting, titled â€œSustainability,â€? is one in a whole body of works aimed at â€œincreasing awareness and helping to educate the publicâ€? not only about conserving nature, but also about making it viable in the long run. In â€œSustainability,â€? that need is represented by depictions of solar, wind and geothermal energy, painted alongside strokes of coal black that caution against prolonged use of fossil fuels. â€œI make paintings like this so that they bring attention to finding ways to use less water, less coal, less oil, and finally to get the new energy we need,â€?
he said. â€œThe paintings create news, bring people in and get people thinking about the good messages coming out of Stanford and NASA about sustainability, about the need to think about climate change.â€? When it comes to exhibiting his work, Killen is no novice. His paintings were displayed in City Hall last fall, and this round of showing, while it starts here, will move outside the local bubble to the county seat in San Jose, then possibly to NASAâ€™s new Sustainability Base building by the Ames Research Center, and then across the country to Lake Wales, Fla., according to Killen. But his time as an artist began more recently, and poignantly, than one might expect â€” roughly two years ago, he said, after the six to seven years he spent recovering from an injury that forced him to retire from his position as leader of a think tank. â€œIt broke my heart losing my profession,â€? Killen said, â€œbut somebody got me started painting and it went like that, and then the environmental people grabbed me, and it went like that. I never studied art, so everything is new for me.â€? These days, he seems to be looking forward rather than back, seeking out people willing to share creative and environmental thoughts and inviting them to speak on programs he broadcasts
Michael Killenâ€™s painting â€œThe Beginning After The Endâ€? uses modern and prehistoric symbols to imagine a future in which a prehistoric society will return to â€œpaint overâ€? the current technology-heavy one.
A vision of sustainability story by Leslie Shen | photographs by Veronica Weber
PAINTER SEES POSITIVE LESSONS, RELEVANT COMMENTARY IN HIS ART
Above: Michael Killenâ€™s painting â€œLiberty Fused to Coal Oil.â€? Right: Killenâ€™s â€œImpact of the Internet on Civilization.â€?
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from the Media Center in Palo Alto. Local figures who have made appearances include Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa, former mayor Pat Burt and Ric Ambrose, executive director of the Pacific Art League. â€œI give them a chance to talk and share salient comments they have that are good for us,â€? Killen said. â€œItâ€™s one of my ways of learning.â€? Among his projects is a documentary in the making, â€œPainting to Change the World,â€? which follows his artistic journey and interactions with experts in the fields of science, business and education. According to Palo Alto environmentalist and graphic designer Carroll Harrington, a collaborator of Killenâ€™s since early last year, his creativity and inspiration are one of a kind. â€œMichaelâ€™s ability to use his business-information expertise to create his dynamic and bold art is awe-inspiring,â€? Harrington said. â€œWatching him interview climate-change experts and then translating these complex ideas into art is quite an adventure.â€? Of the interdisciplinary nature of his efforts, Killen said: â€œIâ€™m a TV guy at times. Iâ€™m an artist at times. Iâ€™m going to touch people and change how they think.â€? And thinking, ultimately, is what the art is all about. Every image in a Killen painting stands for something, symbolizes some urgent concept. It could be a mast and billowing sail â€” a nod to wind power â€” or the infinity figure eight, which Killen calls â€œthe icon of sustainabilityâ€? for the sense of future and continuation it elicits in his mind. â€œMy practice,â€? he said, â€œis thinking clearly about issues and then thinking, â€˜Whatâ€™s the imag-
ery?â€™. In a way itâ€™s very simple.â€? An image that stands out as being particularly significant to him is the image of the infant and child. Youngsters are almost everywhere in â€œSustainability,â€? skating precariously on the curves of the figure eight â€” curves that form the brink of a yawning void. Itâ€™s intended to be cautionary, according to Killen: a warning against environmental irresponsibility and the consequences he believes will take their harshest toll on the very young. â€œI want to get the word out that we should be concerned about what weâ€™re doing for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,â€? he said. â€œI want to get personal, get us tuned in to the things we should be tuned in to. Itâ€™s only about you and me in terms of what you and I do, but itâ€™s really about the children that come after us. They may not have choices. Maybe they wonâ€™t be able to breathe the air, or maybe theyâ€™ll be starving, if weâ€™re not careful.â€? Heâ€™s even affixed pictures of his own grandchildren to the canvas, which he said makes it that much more personal for him. â€œI love my granddaughters,â€? he said, â€œand I want them to have a better life than we have.â€? N What: â€œAs Bold As California,â€? an exhibition of paintings by Michael Killen and by Arabella Decker, plus a reception. Where: Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto When: Exhibition through July 28, open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reception on July 14 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Cost: Free Info: Go to killen.com. To RSVP for the reception, contact painting@ harringtondesign.com by July 11.
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