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Palo Alto Adult School class program

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Spectrum 12 Movies 26 Eating Out 29 Title Pages 35 Home 37 NNews Will Adobe overpass get needed funding?

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Upfront

Local news, information and analysis

Palo Alto plans new bike bridge over 101 City forwards plans for an overcrossing at Adobe Creek, but funding is uncertain by Gennady Sheyner

T

o Palo Alto’s drivers, U.S. Highway 101 is a crucial — if often patience-testing — artery connecting the city to San Francisco and San Jose. But to local bicyclists, hikers and nature lovers the eight-lane highway is an im-

penetrable barrier separating them from the vistas and wildlife of the Palo Alto Baylands. Now, Palo Alto officials are working to change that. City planners and consultants last month unveiled a plan to build a wide overpass that

would span 101 at Adobe Creek in south Palo Alto — an ambitious project that has been on the city’s agenda for the past eight years and is just now starting to gain traction. In recent months, the city and its consultants have gathered data, held public hearings and narrowed down options for a new 101 crossing from 12 designs to five to three and, finally, to one. On July 26, city officials presented to the community its preferred alternative — an

“enhanced overcrossing” at Adobe Creek. The project is a major piece of the city’s effort to boost biking and pedestrian connections between the residential neighborhoods southwest of 101 and the recreational opportunities across the highway to the northeast. Officials also view the proposed pedestrian bridge as a major improvement over the dilapidated underpass currently in place at Adobe Creek. The underpass is

typically open between mid-April and mid-October but is currently closed because the creek has spilled over onto the path. City officials and consultants weighed a wide variety of options for helping people crossing, including improving the existing underpasses and creating new overpasses at other locations. Options included building a 48-inch “stem wall” (continued on page 6)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Taser suit settled for $35,000 City of Palo Alto to pay Tony Ciampi after 2008 incident

er ideas such as “hypnobirthing” and “birthing from within.” There’s no single “right” choice, say local birth educators, adding that they consider it their mission to support each woman on whatever path feels right to her. Probably because of the Internet, enrollment in traditional childbirth classes is down across the country, said Becky Beacom, health education manager at PAMF and a longtime childbirth educator herself. “People are looking for shorter classes,” she said. “We know they want the fast stuff, but they still need skills to really prepare them to cope with labor.” Despite a smorgasbord of online

by Sue Dremann he City of Palo Alto has reached a tentative $35,000 settlement agreement with Joseph “Tony” Ciampi, a Palo Alto man on whom police used Tasers in 2008. Police lured Ciampi, who lives in his van on city streets, from his vehicle after a neighbor complained that his presence made the man’s family uneasy. Ciampi was arrested on March 15, 2008, for resisting arrest after police pulled him out of the van. A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge ruled in December 2008 that police acted illegalTony Ciampi ly because they had no probable cause for luring Ciampi from his van. Living in vehicles is not illegal in Palo Alto. Video from the incident showed Ciampi sitting in the doorway of his van while attempting to call his attorney and being yanked from the van by officers, who zapped him twice with the stun guns amid the scuffle. Ciampi filed suit against the city in federal court, citing civil-rights violations and represented himself. He met with Steven A. Sherman, the city’s attorney, on Tuesday (Aug. 9) for 2.5 hours, during which the case was settled, according to court documents.

(continued on page 7)

(continued on page 7)

T

Veronica Weber

Zoe, 11 months, watches as mom Adrienne Macmillan does the downward dog pose during the Mom & Toddler yoga class at Blossom Birth.

HEALTH

Resource center offers support, community for expectant parents ‘You can say anything here,’ says leader of discussion group for new moms, dads by Chris Kenrick

B

reastfeeding. Swaddling. How to bathe a newborn. The subjects are as old as human time, but they spring to new life daily at places like Blossom Birth, a Palo Alto gathering spot for pregnant women and new parents. On almost any given day, mothers and babies can be found here,

sharing newborn stories and tips, practicing breastfeeding or yoga or watching their toddlers dance in “pre-ballet.” The rise of the Internet has created an explosion of choices for expectant parents looking for childbirth and post-partum education — including online instruction. Locally, the nonprofit Blossom

is one of several bricks-and-mortar options. Others include the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the retail store Day One. Expectant couples can choose from an array of approaches to childbirth, including the 70-yearold Lamaze technique, the coachassisted Bradley Method, and new-

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450 CAMBRIDGE AVE, PALO ALTO, CA 94306 (650) 326-8210 PUBLISHER William S. Johnson EDITORIAL Jocelyn Dong, Editor Carol Blitzer, Associate Editor Keith Peters, Sports Editor Tyler Hanley, Express™ and Online Editor Rebecca Wallace, Arts & Entertainment Editor Rick Eymer, Assistant Sports Editor Tom Gibboney, Spectrum Editor Chris Kenrick, Gennady Sheyner, Staff Writers Sue Dremann, Staff Writer, Special Sections Editor Karla Kane, Editorial Assistant Veronica Weber, Staff Photographer Dale Bentson, Colin Becht, Peter Canavese, Kit Davey, Iris Harrell, Sheila Himmel, Chad Jones, Kevin Kirby, Jack McKinnon, Jeanie K. Smith, Susan Tavernetti, Robert Taylor, Contributors Jeff Carr, Janelle Eastman, Aaron Guggenheim, Casey Moore, Editorial Interns Leslie Shen, Arts & Entertainment Intern DESIGN Shannon Corey, Design Director Raul Perez, Assistant Design Director Linda Atilano, Diane Haas, Scott Peterson, Paul Llewellyn, Senior Designers Gary Vennarucci, Designer PRODUCTION Jennifer Lindberg, Production Manager Dorothy Hassett, Samantha Mejia, Blanca Yoc, Sales & Production Coordinators ADVERTISING Judie Block, Janice Hoogner, Gary Whitman, Display Advertising Sales Neil Fine, Rosemary Lewkowitz, Real Estate Advertising Sales David Cirner, Irene Schwartz, Inside Advertising Sales Cathy Norfleet, Display Advertising Sales Asst. Diane Martin, Real Estate Advertising Assistants Alicia Santillan, Classified Administrative Asst. EXPRESS, ONLINE AND VIDEO SERVICES Rachel Palmer, Online Operations Coordinator Rachel Hatch, Multimedia Product Manager

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BUSINESS Penelope Ng, Payroll & Benefits Manager Elena Dineva, Mary McDonald, Susie Ochoa, Cathy Stringari, Business Associates ADMINISTRATION Janice Covolo, Doris Taylor, 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) 326-8210. Periodicals postage paid at Palo Alto, CA and additional mailing offices. Adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation for Santa Clara County. The Palo Alto Weekly is delivered free to homes in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, East Palo Alto, to faculty and staff households on the Stanford campus and to portions of Los Altos Hills. If you are not currently receiving the paper, you may request free delivery by calling 326-8210. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302. Copyright Š2011 by Embarcadero Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. The Palo Alto Weekly is available on the Internet via Palo Alto Online at: www.PaloAltoOnline.com Our e-mail addresses are: editor@paweekly.com, letters@paweekly.com, digitalads@paweekly.com. 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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City/Zip: _______________________________ Mail to: Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610. Palo Alto CA 94302

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

‘‘

‘‘

        

Upfront

I just wanted the kids to play tennis.

— Songjian “Jack� Wu, a tennis instructor, explaining why he drove off with four students on Monday. See story on page 6.

Around Town FLOCK OF BICYCLES ... Residents don’t have to walk (or bike) too far from City Hall to get a glimpse of Palo Alto’s accelerating obsession with bicycle improvements. Its latest project isn’t a new bike lane or a network of signs, but a green box painted on the road in front of Coupa CafĂŠ on Ramona Street, half a block from City Hall. The box is the city’s new “Bicycle Corralâ€? and it occupies what was once a parking spot. The new corral includes a 10-bicycle rack and is one of myriad improvements recommended by the city’s recently released Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, a document that aims at making the city America’s top biking destination. City officials celebrated the new bike-parking spot with a special ceremony on Aug. 1. “If we want people to bike downtown then we need bike parking that is readily available and visible,â€? Mayor Sid Espinosa said in a statement. City Manager James Keene publicly announced the new bike corral at last week’s City Council meeting. “Those who know this section of Ramona know it’s been very difficult to find a place to park one’s bicycle when you’re on that part of the street,â€? Keene said. TO SHAVE OR SHAVE NOT ... Laurie McHugh’s quest to help African children will get intensely personal next month, when she learns whether she has to exchange blond locks for a pink Mohawk. McHugh, an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto, is putting her hair on the line to raise money for African children with cancer. As part of the “Shave It or Save Itâ€? campaign, the church has accepted a grant from an anonymous donor to support the “shave itâ€? option. Congregants and other contributors will be trying to “saveâ€? McHugh’s hair over the next months by trying to match the “shave itâ€? grant. According to a statement from the church, proceeds from this competition will be divided between the congregation’s local mission and the Treating Childhood Cancer Program of IMA World Health in Tanzania. “My hair is not long enough to donate to Locks of Love,â€? McHugh said in a statement. “So finding another tie to a mission addressing cancer seemed appropriate given the visual association of losing my hair for a good cause.â€? The moment of truth will come on Sept. 18, when McHugh ei-

ther shaves her hair or doesn’t. More information about the campaign is available at www.firstpaloalto.com/ give. PARKING WOES ... Palo Alto’s transportation officials have been busily gathering data and brainstorming ways to improve parking options in downtown Palo Alto and surrounding neighborhoods. On Aug. 24, they are scheduled to present their findings at a Planning and Transportation Commission meeting. For residents of the Professorville neighborhood this moment cannot come soon enough. Many of them have long complained about downtown workers who park their cars in Professorville to avoid downtown’s two-hour-parking restriction. On Aug. 1, they reasserted their position at a City Council meeting and asked city officials to create a residentialparking program in their neighborhood. The program would allow residents to buy permits and put stickers on their cars. Visitors and drivers who don’t live in the neighborhood would be subject to parking restrictions. The city had recently established a similar program in College Terrace. Ken Alsman, who lives in Professorville, told the council that the city shouldn’t sacrifice the neighborhood’s values to subsidize downtown businesses and property owners who don’t provide adequate parking. “We think it’s essential that we get going with RPP,� Alsman said. The council is scheduled to consider the issue on Sept. 19. CREDIT BLUES ... The American stock market has been gyrating wildly since last week’s decision by Standard & Poor to downgrade the nation’s rating from AAA to AA+. And it’s not just the feds who are feeling anxious about credit ratings. Palo Alto City Manager James Keene said at the Aug. 1 meeting of the City Council that the credit-rating agency Moody’s has announced that it will review 162 local governments with perfect credit ratings for a possible downgrade. The news is pertinent for Palo Alto officials, who take pride in the city’s AAA rating. So far, at least, the city’s perfect rating doesn’t appear to be threatened, Keene said. “Moody’s has informed us that the City of Palo Alto would not be included in that list and our current AAA rating continues,� Keene said. N


Upfront ENERGY

EDUCATION

Palo Alto looks to tap into solar panels for green power

Foothill board chooses former Air Force base

City’s newest program seeks to turn local businesses into renewable-energy providers

District moves to acquire property at Onizuka in Sunnyvale for new education center

by Gennady Sheyner

by Sue Dremann

A

fter years of relying on wind farms and methane-burning landfills for “green” energy, Palo Alto officials are now targeting a source much closer to home — solar panels on the roofs of local businesses. The City Council approved a new program last week that will allow small businesses with solar panels to sell electricity directly to the city. The program, known by the vague and obscure name of “feed-in tariff,” will enable businesses to sign 20-year contracts with the city to provide electricity at a fixed rate, according to Jon Abendschein, a resource planner in the Utilities Department. The program creates a new avenue for the city in its quest to draw a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. So far, the city has been tackling the challenge by issuing requests for proposal to established energy companies, soliciting bids, negotiating a price and signing long-term agreements. The new program takes a more grass-roots approach to going green. Just about any business with solar panels will be able to sign up and become the city’s newest electricity vendor, according to a report from Abendschein. “A FIT (feed-in tariff) program will reduce costs and provide local renewable project developers certainty because of the fixed longterm rate, the standard contract, and the fact that it is open to any developer rather than only those who are selected through an RFP (requests for proposal) process,” he wrote. At its Aug. 1 meeting, council members unanimously and enthusiastically approved the new program, characterizing it as a good way to promote both local electricity generation and green energy. Eligible

technologies will include solar, wind and biogas-fueled generators, Abendschein wrote in the report. Solar, however, remains the most promising option. The city had 420 residential customers and 27 nonresidential customers with photovoltaic systems as of late June, according to Lindsay Joye, a marketing engineer in the Utilities Department. The new program would only apply to the commercial customers.

‘Owner of a building, or in partnership with a third party, could put solar panels on rooftops and receive a 20-year contract at a fixed rate to sell that power back to the city and participate in fulfilling our renewable portfolio standard.’ —Jon Abendschein, Utilities Department resource planner Abendschein told the council Monday that the new program will focus on “commercial rooftops.” “Owner of a building, or in partnership with a third party, could put solar panels on rooftops and receive a 20-year contract at a fixed rate to sell that power back to the city and participate in fulfilling our renewable portfolio standard,” Abendschein told the council. The council’s Finance Committee and the city’s Utilities Advisory Commission had vetted the proposed program earlier this year and endorsed the staff proposal. Last week, the full council happily gave the program its official approval.

Councilman Larry Klein said he was “very enthusiastic” about the program and proposed expanding it even after the city meets its renewable-energy goal. Councilwoman Nancy Shepherd said the program “keeps the progression of alternative energies in place” in Palo Alto, while Vice Mayor Yiaway Yeh praised it for potentially improving the reliability of the city’s electricity network. The city is currently projected to draw about 30.8 percent of its annual electric energy needs from renewable sources by 2015. Officials hope the new program will push that number to 33 percent. Feed-in tariff programs are already in effect in dozens of nations worldwide and are particularly common in Europe. Councilman Pat Burt said Monday that more than half of the installed solar power in the world has been achieved through such programs. He called the new program a “win-win situation for a lot of different elements.” “This puts us in position of providing another opportunity for community entities who are choosing to do this to do something that’s in their value structure and is of benefit to the city,” Burt said. The council did, however, find one flaw in the staff proposal — its name. Though nations have traditionally referred to such energypurchasing programs as “feed-in tariffs,” Klein called this “one of the world’s worst names.” “’Feed-in tariff’ doesn’t in any way describe what’s going on to the average person,” Klein said. Staff agreed to consider a more “accessible” name for the program as it unfolds in the coming months. N Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@paweekly.com.

MEDIA

Palo Alto Online to host second video academy Citizen Journalist Academy offered in conjunction with Media Center

P

alo Alto Online is looking for residents interested in covering community issues and events on video. Partnering with the Media Center, the four-week Citizen Journalist Academy will teach video production and reporting skills, after which participants would be ready to produce videos for community access television and PaloAltoOnline.com. The course is part of an industrywide trend of bringing the voices and passions of community members into the mix of digital media. Hands-on classes begin Saturday, Sept. 10, and continue with Tuesday evening sessions (6:30-9:30 p.m.) on Sept. 13, 20, 27 and Oct. 4 and

Saturday morning sessions (9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.) on Sept. 17 and Oct. 1. Field shoots will be conducted the weekend of Sept. 24, per the participants’ schedules. Those enrolled will learn to use video cameras, audio equipment and how to edit video on the computer. They’ll also learn how to plan and produce video segments. The course is open to anyone older than 16. The participant fee is $250. Once trainees complete the program, they’ll become community correspondents, be eligible to use Media Center video equipment and produce and submit videos to Palo Alto Online. In joining Palo Alto Online’s team, online video

correspondents will cover community events, conduct interviews and produce short video features about activities going on in the Palo Alto community. The Citizen Journalist Academy launched with a summer session in June. Videos by graduates of the course included pieces about closure of state parks, the “sharing revolution” and a Palo Alto garden. The videos are posted at youtube.com/ mczoomin. Those interested in applying can contact Becky Sanders at becky@ midpenmedia.org. For more information, email editor@paweekly. com or call Tyler Hanley, online editor, at 650-326-8210. N — Palo Alto Weekly staff

T

he former Onizuka Air Force Station in Sunnyvale has been chosen as a new campus for Foothill College, FoothillDe Anza Community College District’s Board of Trustees voted on Monday, Aug. 8. The new site does not replace the school’s main campus in Los Altos Hills. Board members directed the district’s administration to take the necessary steps leading to possible acquisition of the land as a public benefit, they said in a statement. The board cited the opportunity to acquire the 9.6-acre property at no cost; its proximity to highways, public transportation and areas of population growth; and its visibility and location in a growing part of Sunnyvale. “This is an exciting time,” Board President Pearl Cheng said. “This direction comes after an exhaustive search and review of opportunities that would best meet the district’s objectives in finding a permanent home for the education center.” The new education center will offer year-round programs and services, including partnerships with other colleges and universities, high schools, regional occupational programs, community-based organizations, local government, business and industry, district officials said. Foothill has leased an 8-acre site at Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto for many years and had hoped to purchase the property for the education center. But some residents were opposed, citing the need for future school district expansion as school-age population increases. The Palo Alto City Council voted in July to draft a letter to the district expressing its interest in the campus, but decided against moving forward after the Palo Alto Unified School District, which owns the land, voted against supporting a sale. Sunnyvale Mayor Melinda Hamilton and Vice Mayor Jim Griffith told the board they are enthusiastic about possibly having Foothill-De Anza open a center in their community. The City of Sunnyvale serves as the local redevelopment authority overseeing the disposal and reuse of the Air Force property. “We are thrilled to hear you are interested in coming to Sunnyvale,” Hamilton said. Griffith described the education center as a good match for the base reuse, envisioning it as a place where students could intern at surrounding high-tech companies and area workers and displaced armed forces personnel could gain additional education. The district must do an environmental impact report of the site be-

fore a final transaction could take place, board members said, and the Sunnyvale City Council, as local redevelopment authority, must amend the Onizuka redevelopment and reuse plan to specify that an educational use is preferred for the property. Foothill-De Anza could then move forward with an application to the U.S. Department of Education for a public-benefit conveyance. The only cost to the district in obtaining the 9.6 acres would be the expense of clearing and preparing the site for construction, estimated at approximately $5 million, according to a board statement. The education center would be funded through a bond measure approved by district voters in 2006. The Onizuka property is located in the Moffett Business Park, a center for corporate headquarters and research and development. Park tenants include Juniper Networks, Yahoo and Network Appliance. The entire Onizuka site is 23 acres, approximately 18.9 of which can be developed. The Air Force has accepted a request by the Veterans Administration to use 4.1 acres and three buildings for research activities. Foothill-De Anza has been searching for several years for a permanent home for the education center. In April, the district issued solicited proposals for properties of 8 acres or more along the Highway 101 corridor within the district’s boundaries. The district needs about 50,000 square feet of building space, with the opportunity for possible future expansion to 100,000 square feet. This effort took place at the same time companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and others were rapidly expanding and leasing large blocks of commercial and research and development properties in Silicon Valley. The district received one offer: a joint venture from development firms Orchard Partners/Lane Partners for a “build to suit” education center on a 10-acre site at 895 Kifer Road, Sunnyvale. The Onizuka site development would take several years. Even if the education center relocates from Palo Alto, Foothill College President Judy Miner said she hopes the college can retain leased space at Cubberley so Foothill can continue offering courses that are in greatest demand by residents of Palo Alto. Foothill’s Middlefield Campus serves approximately 4,000 students. N Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@ paweekly.com.

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Upfront

Overcrossing (continued from page 3)

Courtesy Alta Planning + Design

Potential overlook location

Court

Bike path

Existing bike path and undercrossing

E. Bayshore Road Adobe Creek overcrossing

W. Bayshore Road Source: Alta Planning + Design

ron Bar

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is located at www.cityofpaloalto. org/101, be submitted to the commission by Aug. 19. The City Council would then consider the project

Adobe Cree

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Proposed bike path

in the fall. N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.

CRIME

Tennis teacher could be charged with child endangerment Songjian Wu says language barriers, coach rivalries are behind the misunderstanding by Sue Dremann

A

All Activities | All Food Arts & Crafts

August 27, 2011 / 10:00am-5:00pm Bell Street Park, East Palo Alto ©

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tennis instructor who allegedly fled from Palo Alto police Monday (Aug. 8) with four young students in his car, leaving five other students at Cubberley Community Center, said Wednesday the incident is a case of misunderstanding based in part on his lack of mastery of the English language. Songjian “Jack” Wu, 47, was teaching nine youngsters tennis at Cubberley in south Palo Alto when police approached him at 9:45 a.m. about giving lessons on city property without a license. Police say he put four children ages 8 to 13 in his car and took off, leaving five others behind, police Agent Max Nielepko said. But Wu said he was moving the children to Rengstorff Park in Mountain View. “I just wanted the kids to play tennis,” Wu said. Palo Alto’s municipal code requires all instructors to have a permit or license from the Community Services Department to use city facilities, including parks and open space. Wu currently has a contract with the city for leasing tennis courts at Palo Alto High School and a tentative one for Mitchell Park, which

will expire Aug. 19. Wu’s troubles began on Aug. 5, he said, after police informed him that a “citizen” complained he did not have a permit from the city to teach at Mitchell Park. Wu said he believes that rivalries and jealousies between coaches for the city’s courts and students have been behind the calls to police. He said he had tried to contact Shia Geminder, city recreation supervisor and facilities manager, to discuss finalizing the Mitchell Park contract on Aug. 5 without success. Geminder could not be reached for comment. The Aug. 5 contact with police resulted in a misdemeanor citation for giving false information to police. Nielepko said the police report indicates Wu gave an incorrect name. But Wu said he gave his American name, Jack Wu, instead of his legal name, Songjian Wu, which is the name on his driver’s license. Three days later, Wu emailed Geminder with a request to reserve two courts at Mitchell Park. He said he then brought his students to Cubberley, since it was closer to Geminder’s office, so he could get the contract for Mitchell Park. Geminder arrived at the court and

informed Wu that he had to leave, Wu said. That’s when he put four of his students into his vehicle and transported them to Rengstorff. He left a tennis-ball machine and balls at the court and told the remaining children to practice until he returned. But police arrived around the time he was leaving, and Nielepko said officers believed Wu had fled with the four children and abandoned the others. Police called Wu on his cell phone and demanded to know where the children were, Nielepko said. Wu allegedly gave conflicting information regarding the children’s whereabouts, but he then said the children were left at Rengstorff. Police called the children’s parents and Mountain View police, who found the four children at the park. They were not harmed, Nielepko said. Wu said he returned to Cubberley to pick up the other children, but instead he was arrested and booked into the San Jose Main Jail. He was released on $45,500 bail. The case against Wu is under review, said Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Rob Baker. Wu could be charged (continued on page 10)

Shannon Corey

of landing such grants. The hope is to have all the environmental and design work completed within the next three years and to have the new overcrossing in place about five years from now, Ames said. The new crossing is also part of the city’s vision for transforming the neighborhood around East Meadow Circle and Fabian Way. The feasibility study notes that the concept plan for the East Meadow neighborhood identifies the “over/undercrossing as a key transportation project to connect residential areas to Baylands Nature Preserve.” The city’s Planning and Transportation Commission is scheduled to review the feasibility study for the Adobe Creek overcrossing on Aug. 31, and the city is requesting that comments on the plan, which

Adobe Creek proposed overcrossing Elwell

The “enhanced overcrossing” at Adobe Creek would guarantee year-round access to Palo Alto Baylands for pedestrians and bicyclists.

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to stave off flooding or creating a waterproof concrete “tube” at the Adobe Creek undercrossing. Consultants also considered making improvements to the undercrossing at Matadero Creek. But none of these extensive projects would guarantee year-round access. Elizabeth Ames, a senior engineer at the Public Works Department, said giving residents the ability to cross the highway at any time of the year was a main goal of the design team and a major reason why the overpass alternative was ultimately chosen. “That was really the charge — to try to develop a crossing that wouldn’t have to close down and that we’d then have to keep opening and closing and cleaning up,” Ames told the Weekly. “A crossing that allows you to go during night time or day time without any worry of flooding — that was a big consideration.” Officials see the new crossing as more than just a pathway over the highway. The city released a feasibility study last month calling the proposed overpass “a signature piece of community infrastructure that connects the general community, the Baylands Nature Preserve, and technology/business campuses with a safe and convenient pedestrian/bicycle pathway.” Though the design has yet to be re-

fined, preliminary plans call for a 14foot-wide travelway, mesh fencing, motion-activated LED lighting and a gathering area with a “signature viewpoint” overlooking the Baylands on the east side of the structure. “The overall design would be respectful of and incorporate design methods and techniques that strike a balance of beauty, durability, performance and cost efficiency,” the study states. Casey Hildreth, a consultant at the firm Alta Planning + Design, said Palo Alto has been eyeing a new 101 crossing in south Palo Alto since at least 2003, when the city released its last bicycle master plan (the document is in the process of being updated; the draft of the new plan was released last month). The new study, Hildreth said at a July 26 community meeting, takes this project to a “new level of feasibility.” Money, however, remains a major wildcard. The overpass, particularly an “enhanced” one with wide bicycle lanes, has an estimated price tag of $3.9 million to $5.5 million for construction alone. When the costs of design, project development, right-of-way acquisitions are thrown into the mix, the project could cost more than $9 million, according to the feasibility study. The city hopes to eventually land federal and state grants to help pay for the project. In the meantime, officials are pressing ahead with the environmental analysis and design work that would raise their chances


Upfront

Taser suit

(continued from page 3)

City Attorney Molly Stump confirmed Thursday that the case had been settled but said she could not comment on the settlement terms until the paperwork is finalized, which could happen next week. The settlement documents are being prepared by the city, according to court papers. Ciampi originally sued the city for $11 million. He confirmed Thursday morning that he had settled for $35,000 but said it was premature to say it was finalized. “The city wanted this case to settle, and I didn’t think that I would get much more in front of a jury. There were no guarantees, and there was only one claim left,� he said. Ciampi said he did not feel vindicated by the agreement, however. He has maintained that the city withheld crucial original video foot-

New parents (continued from page 3)

material, Beacom insists there’s no real substitute for the human touch in getting across essential prenatal and postpartum information — and providing bonding and fellowship for new moms and dads. “I built my community of friends at Blossom Birth,� said Mora Oommen, who was 7 months pregnant when she and her husband moved to Palo Alto from Boston four years ago. “I struggled with that choice — ‘should I go back to work, should I stay home?’ Coming to discussion groups here really helped me with that decision,� said Oommen, now the executive director at Blossom. Recently, an increasing number of new mothers have been returning to work sooner, observes Eva Roodman, who has facilitated parent discussion groups at Blossom for the past 10 years. “Maybe it’s the economy or something. The choice or ability to stay at home longer is out the window,� Roodman said. “A lot used to go back after a year, after two years. But more women are just not leaving their jobs and have the three- or four-months’ leave.� For full-time working parents, Blossom holds yoga and discussion groups on Sundays. “There’s a big hunger for it,� Roodman said. “So many women going back to work feel really concerned about the disconnect from the parenting community.� With parents who typically are well-informed and well-read professionals, Roodman views her role as that of facilitator rather than leader. “They’re Internet-savvy and they’ve read every article about vaccinations, breastfeeding, sleeping, co-sleeping, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome),� she said. “My mission is to try to help them find their way.� When the ever-popular subject of sleep came up in a recent discussion group of 14 parents of newborns, one mother volunteered that she had read five books on the subject. The parents — 12 moms and two

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age from the Taser recordings that he said show police acted improperly and initially fired the Tasers at him without provocation. He has kept up a protracted fight to obtain the alleged missing footage, which he said would show police used the Tasers before any altercation began. Police have maintained no footage is missing. Citing the Oscar Grant killing in which BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot the prone man in the back, Ciampi said: “It seems like the only times videos hold officers accountable are when the citizens have the videos.� N Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com. dads — were gathered in a carpeted room furnished with seating around the edges. As they talked, some held sleeping infants, others breastfed and two stood and jiggled fussy babies. The diverse, international clientele drawn to Blossom adds weight to Roodman’s view that “there’s no one ‘right’ way to parent.� “It lends itself nicely to the atmosphere I like to engender, which is, ‘Take a bit of this and a bit of that.’ There are no bibles here,� Roodman said. “People from the Netherlands come here and talk about the social issues around going back to work when they have two years’ paid leave, and others struggling with going back after three months. “We have cultures where cosleeping is what’s done, which gives insight to people who are fundamentalists about the idea that babies must sleep separately and be independent.� Back in the discussion room, Roodman provoked laughter when she told parents that a graduate of the discussion groups had come back and told her: “’There are two things you’re not allowed to say at Blossom: that your baby is sleeping through the night and that you’re back to your pre-pregnancy weight.’ “But the reality is, you can say anything here,� Roodman told the parents. N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly. com. What: Blossom Family Fun Day and Meet BABI Fair When: Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Downtown Community Center at All Saints’ Church, 555 Waverley St., Palo Alto Activities: Music performances for children, including Yoga with Kids, 10:15 a.m.; Reggae singer and preschool teacher Craig, 11 a.m.; AndyZ, noon; Music for Families, 1:30 p.m. plus crafts, obstacle course, photo shoots Cost: Free Info: http://blossombirth.org/

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Upfront

Meadow Wing & Focused Care

News Digest

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Burglars hit Duveneck school — again

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Burglars have preyed on Duveneck Elementary School in Palo Alto a third time in four weeks, striking again on Sunday (Aug. 7) through the same window that was smashed only two weeks ago. The thief or thieves removed a board covering the window, which was attached with nails or screws after the previous incident, police Officer Heather Souza said. The theft was discovered at 12:30 p.m. Four digital cameras valued at $300 total were taken, she said. The burglary is the latest in a series of break-ins at Palo Alto public schools in which thousands of dollars of digital equipment, from laptops to cameras, have been stolen. In two earlier incidents at Duveneck, burglars took $6,000 worth of cameras and computer equipment on July 8 or 9 and stole $23,000 worth of equipment on July 25, police said. Six digital cameras worth $3,600 total were taken from a Palo Alto High School classroom during the July 23 weekend, and two laptops valued at $2,200 total were taken from a classroom at Gunn High School either July 21 or 22. Jordan Middle School was burglarized July 28 when thieves stole five Apple Macbooks valued at a total of $2,500 to $4,500, according to police. Two 18-year-olds, Alfredo Gonzalez and Nayely Castillo of East Palo Alto were arrested Aug. 3 in connection with the Gunn thefts. N — Sue Dremann

families are assured that their loved one will

Firefighters withdraw challenge to ballot measure

get the best care in the most appropriate

Palo Alto firefighters have withdrawn their challenge to a ballot measure that would strike the binding-arbitration provision from the City Charter, city and union officials said Monday. The firefighters filed a complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) on Aug. 1 seeking an injunction that would stop the laborreform measure from appearing on the November ballot. If the voters pass the measure, contract disputes between the city and its public-safety unions would no longer be required to go to arbitration. The council voted 5-4 last month to put the measure on the ballot after debating the issue for more than a year. In its complaint, the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1319, argued that the city violated a state labor law by not conferring with the union before placing the measure on the ballot. The city responded by arguing that binding arbitration is not subject to a “meet and confer” requirement with unions. Representatives from the union and from city management got together for a settlement conference on Aug. 4 to discuss the union’s complaint. They have scheduled another meeting for Sept. 13 in PERB’s Oakland office. Meanwhile, the union has withdrawn its request for an injunction and asked the labor board not to take any action on the “unfair practice charge” until the second meeting takes place, according to a letter from the union’s lawyer, Duane W. Reno. Tony Spitaleri, president of the firefighters union, told the Weekly that the union decided to pull back its complaint pending further conversation with the city. It has also asked the labor-relations board to hold the unfair practice “in abeyance,” which means it would remain in the court system but no action would be taken on it until a later date. N — Gennady Sheyner

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Green camps gear up for campaign battle

2011

Special issue

G N I M O C 9 1 . G U A

Palo Alto City Council members, a developer and other residents are contributing their cash to two competing campaigns over a November ballot measure that could determine the future of local composting. The two camps are at odds over whether the city should make a 10acre portion of Byxbee Park in the Palo Alto Baylands available for a new waste-to-energy facility. The proposed facility, an anaerobic digester, would process local food waste, yard trimmings and, possibly, sewage sludge and convert them to gas or electricity. One group, led by former Mayor Peter Drekmeier, believes the parkland should be undedicated to give the city an option of keeping composting local. The other group, led by former Councilwoman Emily Renzel, is arguing that an industrial facility has no place on Baylands parkland. According to campaign-finance documents filed this week, Drekmeier’s side has the early lead when it comes to campaign cash. The Committee in Favor of the Palo Alto Green Energy Initiative, as the group is called, has raised $7,861 this year and now has $8,765 in its campaign chest. Renzel’s group, known as the Save the Baylands Committee, has received $5,572 in contributions and has spent $412, ending the current period with a balance of $5,159. Proponents of the ballot measure received a major boost from local developer Jim Baer, who according to the documents contributed $5,000 to their committee. Other top contributors include William Reller, owner of EWS Real Estate Investments, Inc., ($1,000); Cedric La Beaujardiere, member of the citizen task force that recommended the anaerobic digester as a top solution to the city’s composting dilemma ($200); and local residents James Phillips, John Dawson and Norma Grench ($250 each). Contributors to Renzel’s campaign include two council members, Greg (continued on next page)

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Upfront

News digest

Shop Local Online Sales Representative

(continued from page 8)

Schmid and Karen Holman, who donated $125 and $120, respectively. The campaign also received a $1,500 contribution from the group Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge. Other contributors include committee Treasurer David Bubenik ($600), residents Nat and Betsy Allyn ($300), land-use attorney Thomas Jordan ($250), Renzel ($250) and former Councilwoman Enid Pearson ($250). N — Gennady Sheyner

Google’s self-driving car in five-car crash Google’s self-driving cars have traveled 160,000 miles without incident, but that changed last week when one was behind a five-car collision on Charleston Road. A Google spokesperson said the robotic Toyota Prius was clearly being driven by a human during the trip when the crash occurred on Friday, Aug. 5. Tiffany Winkelman, who witnessed the crash, reportedly said that Google’s robotic Toyota Prius rear-ended a second Prius, which then hit the Honda Accord she was riding in, which pushed another Accord into the fifth car, another Prius. A Google spokesperson said he did not know how many cars were involved. “We regret that a Google driver recently caused a minor accident, and we’re grateful that no one was hurt,” said a Google spokesperson in an email. “Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fenderbenders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.” The incident came to light when a reader of online blog jalopnik.com sent in a photo of the car after the crash. It appears to have occurred behind Mountain View’s Costco, near Google headquarters. The car is not shown with any major damage. Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The self-driving Prius uses special sensors and cameras to navigate roads that have been pre-mapped. The goal of the project is to reduce the number of deaths caused by car accidents and to reduce traffic. Google claims the Google car was in between tests and that the accident was on a road that had not been mapped previously to allow it to drive autonomously on the street. N — Daniel DeBolt

Online This Week

These and other news stories were posted on Palo Alto Online throughout the week. For longer versions, go to www.PaloAltoOnline.com/news or click on “News” in the left, green column.

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Palo Alto Garden Workshops These FREE workshops will help you create a beautiful, healthy place for you, your family and the environment. Please pre-register, space is limited.

Activists rally outside office of Rep. Anna Eshoo About 50 local political activists sang, chanted and waved picket signs in front of U.S. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s office Wednesday (Aug. 10) as part of a nationwide “Jobs Not Cuts” campaign organized by nonprofit liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org. (Posted Aug. 11 at 8:52 a.m.)

Bay Area gas prices rising despite drop in state Gas prices have been dropping in many parts of California the past few days, but Tuesday’s (Aug. 9) AAA gas price report shows many Bay Area cities are seeing slightly higher prices at the pump since last month. (Posted Aug. 11 at 8:37 a.m.)

Palo Alto officers honored for Zumot investigation Two Palo Alto officers who used cell-phone records to help convict Bulos Zumot in the October 2009 murder of Jennifer Schipsi were recognized this week by a consortium of law enforcement and security professionals. (Posted Aug. 10 at 3:50 p.m.)

Fraud at Palo Alto branch costs Citigroup $500K The failed supervision of a Citigroup branch employee in Palo Alto has resulted in a $500,000 fine for the parent company, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (Posted Aug. 10 at 2:14 p.m.)

High-speed rail price tag rises again California’s planned high-speed rail line could cost billions more than the state’s initial projections indicated according to newly released documents from the agency spearheading the project. (Posted Aug. 10 at 9:51 a.m.)

Gardening From the Ground Up The foundation of a Bay-Friendly garden is healthy soil. And the best way to build healthy soil is to amend with compost and/or cover with mulch. This class digs deeper into how to: 7 7 7 7

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Motorist crashes into Palo Alto water truck A woman smashed into the back of a City of Palo Alto landscapewatering truck early Monday morning (Aug. 8) and had to be extricated by emergency personnel, Palo Alto Battalion Chief Niles Broussard said. (Posted Aug. 9 at 9 a.m.)  5/($,#*5(0 1/ #$+ /) ,#0$/3("$+ /)-4,$# ,##$3$*-.$#!51-. 01$/& Bay-Friendly programs are made possible by the Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition.

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Upfront

Tennis teacher (continued from page 6)

with child endangerment and additional charges, he said. He is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 23. Wu, an American citizen who was born in China, said he thinks things were misunderstood because of his faltering English. He also stammers. “I think maybe I was talking too fast. I’m in big trouble now,” he said. Wu said he has two children of his own. It is the first time he has ever left children unsupervised, he said. “I’m not saying I’m right. I feel

bad. I just wanted them to She described Wu as be able to play,” he said. a dedicated coach who Parents and colleagues loves the game. Somecontacted by the Weekly times he doesn’t even ask said they are sure the for payment, she said. incident is a misunder“This is so crazy. I’m standing and that Wu has horrified that this is hapalways been a responsible pening to him. I can toperson. tally see him moving the “He’s really great. He kids from one court to dedicates a lot of time to another. He just wants the really working with the Songjian “Jack” Wu kids to play,” she said. kids,” said Alma Lalonde, Ken DeHart, a U.S. whose son, Nick, has taken lessons Professional Tennis Association from Wu for two years. “He’ll pick master professional coach, said up any kids if you are tied up. He he tested Wu and certified him to accommodates. He’s so good with teach through the Professional Tenthe kids; he takes them out for ice nis Registry. He said he knows Wu cream,” she said. fairly well and can’t imagine that he

would abandon his students. “He has a sense of responsibility. I feel pretty confident that it wasn’t this way,” he said of the allegations. Bruce Deng, a parent, agreed. His children sometimes play at Saratoga High School with Wu, he said. “He’s a really good guy. We enjoy having him as a coach for the kids,” Deng said. He said he has seen firsthand how Wu handles the kids. One day Deng took a day off to help Wu at Mitchell Park, which is a preferred place to play because it is one of the only courts with shade, he said. Baker said the incident should be a lesson to parents about who they

trust with their children — even teachers. Wu “showed extremely poor judgment. In this day and age, it’s not safe for an 8-year-old to be left alone in a park. ... As a parent, I would have been outraged and terrified,” Baker said. Wu, a Mountain View resident, has a coaching license from the Professional Tennis Registry and more than $8 million of insurance, documents of which he provided to the Weekly. He has a contract to use courts from the West Valley/Mission College District. N Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com.

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Upfront

CityView A round-up of

Palo Alto government action this week

Public Art Commission (Aug. 4) New artwork: Commissioners heard reports on the possibility of temporary new media artwork this fall at the Civic Center building, and further discussed the options for new artwork in Midtown. Action: None Status update: Commissioners heard a status update for the Main Library and Art Center project, which solicited more than 100 responses. Action: None New officers: The commission elected Nancy Coleman as the new chair and Ally Richter as the new vice chair. Yes: Unanimous Absent: Collins

Support Palo Alto Weeklyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coverage of our community. Memberships begin at only 17¢ per day Join today: SupportLocalJournalism.org

City Council The council did not meet this week.

Public Agenda A preview of Palo Alto government meetings next week CITY COUNCIL ... The council has no meetings scheduled this week.

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ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD ... The board plans to discuss 2875 El Camino Real, a request by Ken Hayes Architects on behalf of Ehikian and Company for a review of a new one-story, 3,250-square-foot retail building; and 200 San Antonio Ave., a request by William Lyons Homes, Inc., on behalf of Hewlett Packard, for relocation of a sculpture and placement of a 1,614-square-foot recreation building within the Palo Alto portion of the project site. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.).

BĂŠatrice Levinson Naturopath Expands to Menlo Park after 15 years on the Monterey Peninsula.

RAIL CORRIDOR TASK FORCE ... The task force is scheduled to continue its discussion of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision for the Caltrain corridor. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, in the Lucie Stern Community Center (1305 Middlefield Road).

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Editorial

A little sanity from fire union Effort to stop public vote on binding arbitration is withdrawn, for now

A

fter apparently rethinking its “shoot first, ask questions later” strategy, Local 1319 of Palo Alto Professional Firefighters sensibly agreed to withdraw its attack on the binding-arbitration ballot issue that will go before Palo Alto voters in November. When the City Council approved the measure last month, it did not take long for union president Tony Spitaleri to seek an injunction that would keep the measure off the ballot. But after meeting with City Attorney Molly Stump and a member of the Public Employee Relations Board last week, Spitaleri apparently came to his senses and withdrew the challenge, at least until after another meeting set for Sept. 13. The ballot issue is controversial — passing the City Council by a 5-4 vote, but it is the city’s only chance to end the union’s iron grip on staffing levels in a department that desperately needs to reduce expenses. Last year consultants hired by the city said the current fire department staffing levels are arbitrary and hamper efficiency by requiring the department to always have at least 29 firefighters on duty. Recent studies conclude that without the binding-arbitration requirement, which exists in only a handful of California cities, the city could manage the department more efficiently. One consultant said that he has never encountered an organization that has “the same workload at 2 a.m. in the morning and at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.” He added, that “by setting minimum staffing, you’re never able to adjust your staffing to meet the demand.” The repeal of binding arbitration is only one piece of needed reforms in the operation of the fire department, and might have been avoided if firefighters had worked cooperatively to bring down department expenses in response to the city’s budget challenges. The city’s other unions, including the police, offered concessions but Spitaleri and the firefighters stood alone, refusing to give an inch unless the city accepted minimum staffing levels, which forced negotiations on a new contract to impasse. Now the two sides are headed to binding arbitration. It has been an ill-conceived strategy from the start, and it is a shame that the dedicated men and women of the department, who already receive generous wages and benefits, are dragged into this fight by union leaders. The binding arbitration provision in the current firefighters’ contract takes away the council’s ability to manage the city’s finances and balance its budget, since it ultimately places financial decisions in the hands of an outside arbitrator. Prior to voting to place the question on the ballot, the council adopted a 2012 budget with a $4.3 million hole that the city hopes to fill with concessions from the public safety unions. Local voters have already been through this obsession by firefighters to set their own staffing rules. Last November, they overwhelmingly rejected a union-backed ballot measure that would have frozen department staffing levels and forced the city to hold an election before it could close a fire station or reduce staffing. Such an arrangement would give the union extraordinary powers over management of a city department, a power-grab that voters wisely rejected. Binding arbitration has only been used six times since it was adopted by the city, but its mere existence significantly influences how the city conducts its negotiations with firefighters and police unions. “We really have been constrained by binding arbitration’s presence because in order to avoid it we have settled for something less that where we need to be,” City Council member Karen Holman said. The November repeal measure includes a section requiring that all disputes between the city and public safety and non-public safety labor unions go to mandatory, but non-binding mediation. If voters agree to scrap binding arbitration, the city’s updated partnership with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District could ease the concerns voiced by Spitaleri that the city has already reduced department staffing to unsafe levels. In the upgraded deal the two departments agree to cover adjacent areas around Palo Alto’s northern border in an automatic aid arrangement. Palo Alto will extend coverage to Bay Road in East Palo Alto and the Menlo Park district’s coverage to West Bayshore, the Palo Alto Airport and the Baylands. Whatever happens in the November election, the Palo Alto firefighters need to take on their fair share of the budgetary load that is confronting the city during this economic downturn. In our view, binding arbitration has outlived its usefulness and should be scrapped. This would give the city the tools it needs to manage all the public safety agencies fairly, just as they do all other bargaining units.

Page 12ÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

Spectrum Editorials, letters and opinions

Heroes near home Editor, Last Tuesday we had a relatively small kitchen fire that resulted in some minor burns, a destroyed kitchen and a lot of smoke damage, but several aspects of the service we got were extraordinary. The firemen got the call for a Fairmeadow neighborhood filled with Eichlers and scrambled four trucks from multiple firehouses to contain the fire as quickly as possible. They hooked up miles of hoses but didn’t drag them through our home, instead cutting a small hole in the roof to prevent the spread of embers. Even though my wife had a fairly significant burn on her hand, she refused treatment. She might have been in a mild state of shock, so the workers bandaged her hand while encouraging her to get more help later. She understandably wanted to stay near her family and dogs until everything was over. Later that day the pain from her hand grew worse, so we saw our family doctor. He treated her burns and prescribed pain medication. That evening at a local restaurant my wife had a violent reaction to the new pain medication and collapsed in the restaurant. Someone called 911, and surprisingly, 10 hours after our fire, two of the same paramedics responded. They arrived no more than four minutes after the call and instantly recognized us, knew what we’d been though that day and rushed my wife to the Stanford Emergency Room. We went home and rested the next day. My wife and I had several conversations about how to properly thank the teams who had helped us keep our home and responded so quickly in the restaurant. But as the day drifted by in a haze as my wife, children and I contemplated putting our home back together, there was a knock on the door. Joe Penko and Max Magnus, the same two rescue workers who had come to our aid twice the day before, were standing at the door with flowers for my wife, wishing her a speedy recovery and sympathies for the horrible day before. In the moments as we were trying to think of ways to thank them, they were thinking of ways to express their sympathies. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the entire team of the Palo Alto Fire Department, especially the men and women who responded that day, for their service and compassion. Richard Bullwinkle Starr King Circle Palo Alto

Let rail dreams not die Editor, In California, the “Land of

Dreams,” we should not quickly dismiss the vision of connecting the 10 million people in the north with the 20 million in the south with a high-speed rail system. The vision is a good one for the long-term good of the state. To shelve it because of short-term economic problems would be a big mistake. Let’s not leave our children and grandchildren with the same old airport-rental-car-schlep or the mind-numbing, dangerous drive down I-5. My own, probably minority, opinion is that there is plenty of money in our economic system. It’s just that the money is in the wrong places. Let’s not let the dream die; perhaps delayed a bit and improved with mid-course corrections, but not die. And let’s not forget the bottom line: For the sake of our grandchildren we desperately need to decrease our car and airplane emissions, which high-speed rail will do. Steve Eittreim Ivy Lane Palo Alto

Bravo to New Works Editor, I saw TheatreWorks’ Sunday premier of “Little Rock,” the first of its 2011 New Works Festival productions. Don’t miss it. Lucie Stern Theatre vibrated with audience approval and admiration. The story: Nine black teenagers, known since their 1957 integration of Central High School as the Little Rock 9, braved threats and violence (to which they were not allowed to retaliate) with courage and dignity, simply because they wanted a real education at a time when schools were separate, but certainly not equal. Playwright Rajendra Ramoon Majaraj’s exemplary script, derived from his interviews with all of The Nine, will be fine-tuned in the remaining New Works performances. Writer, producers and actors process audience and their own responses, following each show. Remarkable acting, familiar music performed uncommonly and thrillingly well make usually dry, textbook-history come alive as the players tell their stories. Despite (continued on page 14)

YOUR TURN The Palo Alto Weekly encourages comments on our coverage or on issues of local interest.

What do you think? Do you think the city should have to abide by binding arbitration to resolve disputes with its unions? Submit letters to the editor of up to 250 words to letters@paweekly.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 editor@paweekly.com or 650-326-8210.


Check out Town Square! Hundreds of local topics are being discussed by local residents on Town Square, a reader forum sponsored by the Weekly on our community website at www.PaloAltoOnline.com. Post your own comments, ask questions, read the Editor’s blog or just stay up on what people are talking about around town!

Guest Opinion Debt debate delusions: An economist shakes his head at budget mess have lived in Palo Alto for nearly 50 years studying economics and working as an economist. I have lived here through the recession after the Vietnam War ended, the recession after oil prices surged in 1974, the recessions in the early 1980s after interest rates skyrocketed, the recession in 1990 after defense spending was cut, the recession in 2001 after the dot.com bust and the recession in 2008 after the housing market crash. After all of these recessions Republicans and Democrats disagreed about the mix of policies to spur economic recovery but these disagreements were at the edge of a core set of agreements about fighting recessions. Four of these basic agreements have been almost completely uncontroversial. One, the federal government has the tools and responsibility to support economic recovery after a recession. Two, lowering interest rates in the short term provides some incentive for businesses and consumers to spend and invest. Three, there are “automatic stabilizers” that mitigate the negative impact on spending — taxes go down as incomes fall, safety net programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps get greater usage. Note that the result and intent of automatic stabilizers is to increase the deficit and reduce the amount of money taken out of the economy by a recession. The fourth relatively uncontroversial recession-fighting-policy tool is temporary tax

I

rate cuts. And, in fact, tax rate cuts were approved in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and, in addition, the so-called Bush tax cuts were extended through 2012. The fifth and more controversial policy tool is an increase in selected federal spending such as extending unemployment insurance benefits, building infrastructure and making grants to state and local government to support schools, public safety and health care. Increased federal spending programs were adopted in 2008 and again in 2009 and 2010. Tax cuts and increased spending both increase the short-term federal deficit — that is the point so money is added to the economy. And then came the debt ceiling debate! Decades of negotiating differences in priorities for long-term economic growth within a framework of basic agreement about shortterm recession-fighting went poof — as if it had never happened. Instead of focusing on the need to support the economy and the broad areas of agreement, members of Congress focused almost entirely on the areas in which the parties do not agree. In the process they polluted our national dialogue, harmed the economy and did virtually nothing to seriously address long-term federal deficit challenges. Both the President and Republicans managed to confuse the public about the timing of the deficit reduction and fighting recession — economic recovery as a first priority and aggressive deficit reduction thereafter. President Obama, in arguing for repealing the Bush tax cuts as part of long-term deficit reduction, made it seem as if he wanted tax increases now, which he does not. Republicans, in arguing for their version of long-term deficit reduction, forgot that they were also

Both the President and Republicans managed to confuse the public about the timing of the deficit reduction and fighting recession. arguing that the economy needed help and they had just the tax cuts to do the trick. And both parties, in arguing their version of long-term deficit reduction, forgot to remind the public that you don’t cut spending or raise taxes in the middle of an economic downturn. Running deficits, whether with just “automatic stabilizers” or active policies like tax cuts and spending, is what happens while we fight recessions. Whatever the longterm merits of tax and spending policies (a debate we postponed but still need to have), both spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit are short-term “job killers” in fighting recessions. And if you listened to last Sunday’s news shows or read last week’s Town Square posts, the S&P downgrade and worldwide stock market decline did nothing but escalate the rhetoric and finger pointing. In doing this we have moved further, not closer, from addressing the nation’s economic and budget challenges and in getting the right sequence of public policy. This week we learned that there are approximately 3 million job openings today in

an economy with 14 million Americans out of work. Surely this is not the time to give up on economic recovery policy. And the public agrees overwhelmingly with most polls putting job growth first and deficit reduction a very distant second for today’s agenda. It is easy to point blame. I do not think both parties are equally to blame. But at this point, blame is not helpful. The Economist magazine, a free-market-oriented British weekly, echoes what I feel: “Worse, the poisonous politics of the past few weeks have created new sorts of uncertainty...At best the politicians will have slowed a sputtering expansion; at worst they will have killed off the recovery and inflicted lasting harm on the world’s most impressive prosperity machine.” There are plenty of good ideas out there — read Tom Friedman’s columns this week from the New York Times or an op-ed by Jed Bush and Kevin Ward, a former Federal Reserve governor in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. Surely amidst the agreement for tax reform (closing loopholes and lowering rates), infrastructure and education investment, immigration reform and support for public and private research and development, we can find a pro-growth agenda with majority agreement. But can we find a public dialogue that allows this agreement to be developed? That is what I worry about. And can we find that level of public dialogue and civility within disagreements within Palo Alto as we face the challenges of maintaining a city that is a great place to live and work and a welcoming community? N Stephen Levy is director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy and a resident of Palo Alto.

Streetwise

What past era would you travel to if you could time travel? Asked on California Avenue and in Rinconada Park. Interviews and photographs by Aaron Guggenheim and Janelle Eastman.

Decker Walker

Retired Pearce Mitchell Place, Stanford “The obvious answer is Ancient Greece. ... (I’d like to learn) how a few city-states produced such spectacular innovation.”

Melissa Tuladhar

Student Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City “Before industrialization back when we survived off our own natural resources instead of depending on man-made things.”

Craig Freeman

Contractor California Avenue, Half Moon Bay “The 50s because of the hot rods.”

Nevin Lantz

Psychologist Ramona Street, Palo Alto “I would probably go back to the 18th century because that’s about the time my ancestors came to the states.”

Rachel Kanauss

Mother Corina Way, Palo Alto “The 1800s so I can buy up California real estate.”

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Spectrum

This week on Town Square Posted Aug. 10 at 12:26 p.m. by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood: Any time the subject of traffic comes up it is always assumed that using a bike is the only alternative to driving. We should instead be talking about improving public transportation. Many people are unable or unwilling to ride bikes as alternatives to driving. Many people need to carry too much stuff, take elderly or very young people along, have no shower facilities at their destination or (are) not physically strong enough to use a bike for the type of trip they need to make. Getting improvements in Palo Alto shuttle, VTA, etc., are a big part of

the solution, which is never discussed. Getting kids to school, seniors to medical or other appointments, teens to after-school activities, social activities, local jobs, can all be done if there were better public transportation. It is about time all the traffic commentators in Palo Alto started pressing for better public transportation rather than pressing people to start riding bikes. Posted Aug. 10 at 10:53 a.m. by Robert, a resident of Stanford: It’s too soon to relax. There is still a potent web of special interests pushing this (high-speed rail) fiasco: construction companies, labor unions, Gov. Jerry Brown (who’s indebted to the unions for his election), consultants,

Letters

Cooperation can ease complaints

(continued from page 12)

Editor, Several of us who were at the City Council meeting July 27 were caught unawares by the lastminute limitation of our speaking opportunity to one minute. You may have noticed the rushed and incoherent quality of some of our speeches. Two of the speakers on vehicular habitation struck me most powerfully. One woman told of her fears of sleeping in a shelter and other alternatives — and how she could only feel secure when she locked the four doors of her car before she went to sleep.

minimal sets, costuming and staging, this New Works premier gave its audience an emotional, empathic, exciting and wonderful night in the theatre. The New Works Festival will continue until Aug. 21 at the Lucie Stern, with readings of four more plays and musicals. Theatre-inthe-making, and TheatreWorks investment in it, should be a source of immense pride for all of Palo Alto. Verne Rice Ross Court Palo Alto

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This Sunday: The Story of Moses, the Complete Failure

California High-Speed Rail Authority and its executives, and many politicians. Brown asserted just the other day that he still supports high-speed rail (HSR). Given the economic fragility of the day, it might seem improbable that this project will be built. But the crafty strategy that will probably be followed is to get it started in one place — even in the Central Valley (“train to nowhere”) — spend the few billion they have to build that segment and then make the argument that “we have to finish it so that the money we’ve already spent won’t be spent in vain.” (This is “the sacrifice trap argument.” It’s also used in persisting with unpopular wars: “We can’t abandon the war effort otherwise the already dead will

I was also impressed with the young man who said that after a party when he felt he had indulged too much to safely drive, he curled up in his car and napped until he felt he could drive. Don’t we all want to live where such civic- and safety-minded behavior is legal? In order to respond to members of the community who feel imposed upon by people living in vehicles, the Community Cooperation Team is developing a structure to deal with past and future home-owner complaints. We see no need for additional legislation or police duties. Sometimes less government can be more efficient. There are many opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit between vehicular dwellers and the rest of the community. Vehicle dwellers can perform yard chores, act as neighborhood watch sentinels and keep on eye on children playing in the street. Instead of instant enmity, there can be an

INSPIRATIONS

Page 14ÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

atmosphere of welcome relief between all concerned. Chuck Jagoda El Camino Real Palo Alto

A Good Samaritan Editor, This is a letter about a “good citizen.” I didn’t see her nor get a chance to thank her, so I’m doing it right here and now. Last Thursday morning, she found my son’s wallet that he had accidentally lost the night before ... and saw the license of an 18-year-old who surely would (and did) miss the Jamba juice card, credit†and†debit cards, and $50 inside, not to mention last year’s high school ID, to which he was very attached. And so she did the following: She looked up our street address on Yahoo maps and drove right over to return the wallet and all its contents fully intact. When she knocked on our door and realized we weren’t

Join the discussion on Town Square at www.PaloAltoOnline. com.

home, she went over to our neighbor’s house and asked if she knew us and would she please return the wallet to our son. We do indeed know those neighbors. The neighbor promptly emailed me. I called my son at work, he retrieved the wallet, and within the hour “all was well again” in the world. His tears and worries from the night before were replaced by a sense of wonder, gladness and gratitude. She didn’t leave her name or phone number to be thanked ... yet she left us with thankfulness. I know she works for VTA, but that is all. So to her I say: “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You did the right thing; you did it right away; and you did it without a thought of gain for yourself. What a role model to my son and to the rest of my family. I am grateful to you, to my neighbor, to people like you, and to acts such as yours.” Edna Wallace Riverside Drive Los Altos

A letter to the community by Ronald L. Davis

T

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Posted Aug. 8 at 11:13 a.m. by TimH, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood: OK, this (vehicle dwelling) is clearly a hot topic! To repeat a portion of an earlier post, taxpaying residents DO have a right to feel safe and comfortable in and around their homes. Despite the unfortunate circumstances faced by automobile dwellers, the city is correct to enforce laws that suit the legal preference of its citizens. Laws are not sentimental; they are, by design, guidelines for means of enforcement for the greater good of the af-

fected population. It is not Palo Alto’s obligation to provide shelter, and the city is not a religious or humanitarian organization. People live in Palo Alto because they can afford to do so; it is not a finance-free environment. Growing up in Palo Alto, it was only acceptable to park in front of peoples’ homes to visit a resident or (depending on location) to park for church or Stanford football games. When did it become acceptable to appropriate this space for indefinite time and purpose? This doesn’t even need to address the peoples’ reasons or their vehicle’s appearance. Perhaps a referendum would answer the question, and let all legal residents vote on the topic.

Guest Opinion

Rev. David Howell preaching Outdoor Worship in our Courtyard An Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ

have died in vain.”) So, we have to remain vigilant to prevent another $100 billion from being added to California’s debt, and that doesn’t reflect the fact that HSR would likely run at an annual deficit thereby requiring even more subsidies from taxpayers.

he months of June and July have been extremely challenging for our community of East Palo Alto. The tragic murders of Izack Garcia, Catherine Fisher, Jabari Banford, Hugo Chavez and Kevin Guzman have tested our resolve to create and maintain a safe community. Yet, as a community we responded to this challenge not with fear but with immediate action and a unified message that we will not tolerate violence. Because of these actions, the police department has received numerous tips that have led to significant leads in all five murders, including the identification and/or arrest of suspects in at least three of these tragedies. This community is literally removing the historic barriers created by the “Stop Snitching” culture that has plagued our community and communities throughout the nation. I can only hope that

this response provides solace to the families of the victims as well. The community has also partnered with the police in Operation Ceasefire through its participation in the advisory committee and the call-ins, which offer gang members and at-risk young persons alternatives to their lifestyle. Hundreds of community and faithbased leaders and organizations are actively engaged in community outreach programs that are savings lives every day. We witnessed an example of that engagement last week with the tremendous participation in National Night Out. The community’s response to this recent challenge is equaled only by the contributions of the outstanding men and women of the police department. They have worked tirelessly to respond to this spike in violence, and they continue to work with you every day to make our community safer. I am extremely

proud of them and the sacrifices they make. It is because of all of these efforts that I remain confident that we are heading in the right direction. The recent spike in violence, albeit tragic, must not change our course or lessen our confidence. Rather, let it strengthen our resolve to achieve even greater crime and violence reductions in the future. A recent report that compared the city’s crime statistics this year, through June, to those last year demonstrate continued crime and violence reductions. Cases of rape, assault, assault with a deadly weapon and motor vehicle theft all decreased, with a 9 percent decrease in total crime. Although these “numbers” do not lessen the pain of the families of the victims nor minimize the impact of any violence to our community, this report highlights the fact that we are on the right track. N Ronald L. Davis is the police chief of the City of East Palo Alto. He can be reached at rdavis@cityofepa.org.


Pulse

Woodland School Building a Lifelong Joy of Learning. Accepting Applications for Fall, 2011.

A weekly compendium of vital statistics

Palo Alto Aug. 3-9 Violence related Child abuse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Dependant adult abuse . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Robbery/carjacking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theft related Commercial burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Embezzlement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Identity theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Residential burglary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Shoplifting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Vehicle related Auto recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Bicycle theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Driving w/suspended license . . . . . . . . .3 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Misc. traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Theft from auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Vehicle accident/minor injury . . . . . . . . .9 Vehicle accident/property damage. . . . .6 Vehicle stored . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Alcohol or drug related Drunk in public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Possession of drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Miscellaneous Disturbing the peace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 False info to police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Lost property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Missing person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Other/misc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Psychiatric hold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .2 Town ordinance violation . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Warrant/other agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Menlo Park Aug. 3-9 Violence related Assault w/a deadly weapon . . . . . . . . . .1

Domestic violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theft related Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Identity theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Residential burglaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Theft undefined. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle related Auto recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Driving w/suspended license . . . . . . . . .3 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Suspicious vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle tampering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Alcohol or drug related Drug registrant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Miscellaneous Disturbance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Fire call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Information case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Lost property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Medical aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Missing person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Other/misc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Psychiatric hold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .1 Tow request . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Warrant arrest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Miscellaneous Animal call. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Building/perimeter/area check . . . . . . . 21 Citizen assist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Civil matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Construction site check . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Coronerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Disturbance noise/fight. . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Fire call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Juvenile problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Medical aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Meet citizen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Outside assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Prowler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Shots fired . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Special detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .3 Suspicious person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Town ordinance violation . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Tree blocking roadway . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Watermain break. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Welfare check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Wires down. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Atherton

Unlisted block Park Boulevard, 8/6, 7:49 p.m.; dependant adult abuse. Unlisted block Newell Road, 8/7, 3:29 p.m.; robbery/carjacking. Unlisted block Middlefield Road, 8/8, 9:48 a.m.; child abuse. Unlisted block Curtner Avenue, 8/8, 9:17 p.m.; child abuse.

Aug. 3-9 Theft related Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle related Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Parking problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Suspicious vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Ticket sign-off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Traffic detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Traffic hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Vehicle accident/minor injury . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle code violation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

VIOLENT CRIMES Palo Alto

Menlo Park 1400 block Willow Road, 8/5, 2:22 a.m.; assault with a deadly weapon. 600 block Live Oak Avenue, 8/5, 11:03 p.m.; domestic violence.

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Transitions M. Kenneth Oshman, Silicon Valley pioneer, dies His family foundation donated $10 million to build Jewish community center in south Palo Alto Silicon Valley pioneer and Jewish Community Center benefactor M. Kenneth Oshman has died. He was 71. Oshman, an Atherton resident, died peacefully Aug. 6, 2011, surrounded by his family, according to Sinai Memorial Chapel. He was executive chairman of Echelon, a San Jose clean-tech company, since 1989 and also served as the company’s CEO from 1988 to 2009 and president from 1988 to 2001. He stepped down in 2009 after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, according to a statement from Echelon. Echelon is a pioneer in energy-control systems for smart electric grids, smart buildings and smart devices. The company’s board of directors released a statement this morning praising Oshman as a “brilliant leader who served as an inspiration to everyone around him” and commending him for creating a “culture where hard work and collaboration just came naturally.”

“He was one of the original Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, whose personal vision and passion formed not one, but two, industryleading companies that developed revolutionary technologies that paved the way for today’s communications and modernization of the smart grid,” the board said in the statement. Ron Sege, Echelon’s president and CEO said in a statement that Oshman’s colleagues “will deeply mourn his loss and miss his spirit, good humor and big-heartedness.” “We will dedicate our efforts to continue to innovate and grow at Echelon as Ken would have wished,” Sege said. Oshman was raised in Rosenberg, Texas. He attended Rice University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with undergraduate degrees in engineering. He married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Daily, in 1962. The couple moved to the Bay Area in 1963, where Oshman was a member of the technical staff at Sylvania and developed nonlinear optical techniques and systems. While at Sylvania, he attended Stanford University and received his master’s degree in 1965 and his doctorate in 1968. Oshman and three associates founded ROLM Corporation, a telecommunications

company, in 1969. He was company CEO, president and a director until its merger with IBM in 1984. He was a vice president at IBM after the merger and a member of its corporate management board until 1986. He was a past president of the board of the Stanford Alumni Association and past member of the advisory council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, of Stanford Associates and the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Santa Clara County. He was a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Planning Committee and the Committee to Advise the President on High Temperature Superconductivity. Oshman was known as a gifted businessman and lent his expertise to the boards of Sun Microsystems, Knight Ridder, ASK Computer Systems, StrataCom, Inc. and Charles Schwab Corporation, among others. His family foundation donated $10 million to help build a new south Palo Alto Jewish community center, which opened in 2009 and was named in their honor. At the center’s 2007 groundbreaking, according to J. Weekly, Oshman recalled the 2,000-square-foot building in Texas where

Miriam K. Angus Miriam K. Angus always had a smile and a positive word for everyone she met. She could remember names, facts, places and dates up until the day she died. Miriam died peacefully at the age of 93 on July 30, 2011. Even though blind for the last 9 years of her life, she had a visual memory that enabled her to see things from her travels, memories, and friendships. She remained independent until the day she died, mastering voice email, text to voice translation, and books downloaded to a stream reader. She listened to two to three books each week. She walked on the treadmill until she was in her 90’s. She was born at home in Crete Illinois, on October 16, 1917. She married her high school sweetheart, Stewart M. Angus in 1940. They lived and farmed near Miriam’s childhood home, raising corn and Angus Cattle until 1948, when they sold the farm, purchased a long trailer and a solid body Ford station wagon. They took eight weeks to travel to California with their three children, Korleen (Angus) Brodie, Matthew S. Angus, and Alice Anne (Angus) Chandler. This was quite a courageous adventure: the kids were six, four and two! They settled in Ventura, CA, completing their search for a moderate climate for Stew’s health. They enjoyed life there with a growing family, wonderful friendships, their beloved ocean, church, school board, Lions Club and Port Board Commissioner duties. Miriam was the first woman president of the Ventura School Board and the first woman to serve as an Elder for the Ventura Presbyterian Church. She was a true pioneer! While in Ventura, Stewart Page 16ÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

had his own Real Estate office and Miriam was his Office Manager. They moved to Palo Alto, CA in 1983, where they joined The First Congregational Church and Miriam was a member of Chapter RS PEO, as well as NSDAR. Miriam enjoyed helping out at the Palo Alto Museum of American Heritage when it was in its beginning stages. She donated the family antique pump organ to the museum where it is on display periodically. After Stewart’s death, Miriam became an active resident of Channing House. She loved the many friends she made while living there. Miriam loved her six grandchildren, four great grandchildren and several step great grand children. They were the joy of her life! Miriam will be greatly missed. She asked that all remember her when they gaze upon the Pacific Ocean. Per Miriam’s request, there will be no formal services. A family gathering will be held to celebrate her full and courageous life. Memorial donations may be made to the: First Congregational Church of Palo Alto http://www.fccpa.org Museum of American Heritage Palo Alto http://www.moah.org (650) 321-1004 PA I D

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local Jewish families socialized in his youth. “For Barbara and me, the Oshman Family JCC is a marvelous, modern, urban extension of exactly the same community gathering place — a place not for a handful of families but for thousands of families,” he said. Oshman’s generosity extended well beyond the local Jewish community. His name is associated at Stanford University with the Oshman Family Gallery at the Cantor Arts Center, the Barbara and Kenneth Oshman Professor of Engineering (jointly with Applied Physics), the Barbara and Ken Oshman Fund at the Stanford Library and an undergraduate award in the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. He enjoyed playing golf, attending opera and time in Hawaii. The most important thing in his life was spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Barbara, and sons Peter and David and their wives Stephanie and Joanna, four grandchildren and his brother, Rick Oshman, and sister-in-law, Tania, of Houston, Texas. — Palo Alto Weekly staff

We’re looking for community video journalists! Palo Alto Online is looking for residents interested in joining our team in covering community issues and events on video.

Citizen Video Journalist Academy starts September 10th We’ve partnered with the Media Center and are offering a four-week Citizen Journalist Academy to teach video production and reporting skills, after which you should be ready to produce videos for community access television and PaloAltoOnline.com. Hands-on classes begin Saturday, Sept. 10, and continue with Tuesday evening sessions (6:30-9:30 p.m.) on Sept. 13, 20, 27 and Oct. 4 and Saturday morning sessions (9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.) on Sept. 17 and Oct. 1. It’s open to anyone over age 16. You will learn to use video cameras, audio equipment and how to edit video on the computer. You’ll also learn how to plan and produce video segments. Participant fee is $250. Once you complete the program, you’ll become a Community Correspondent, be eligible to use Media Center video equipment and produce and submit videos to Palo Alto Online. You’ll join Palo Alto Online’s team of online video correspondents who cover community events, conduct interviews and produce short video features about activities going on in the Palo Alto community. To sign up, contact Becky Sanders at becky@midpenmedia.org For more information, send an e-mail to editor@paweekly.com or call Tyler Hanley, online editor, at 650-326-8210.


Transitions

Physician, teacher, naturalist William Hadley ‘Bill’ Clark dies Longtime Palo Alto Medical Clinic physician, nature guide and teacher succumbs at 92

W

illiam Hadley “Bill” Clark, an early partner at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, a lifelong teacher, community leader and a dedicated nature guide in his retirement, died July 30 following a lengthy period of failing health. Dr. Clark joined the Palo Alto Medical Clinic staff in 1946 and cared for patients for decades until he retired in 1983 following the first of several heart operations. He served on the Palo Alto City Council during the politically tumultuous years of 1967 to 1973, showing a broad understanding of community issues and demonstrating an ability to listen to differing viewpoints — relating to community growth, housing and the Vietnam War, among other issues. He was a born in Oxnard, Calif., in 1918, but spent his childhood in Ventura County, where he worked with his father on a farm, chiefly raising chickens and selling eggs. After both parents died, he moved to Palo Alto with his stepmother in the early 1930s. He attended Palo Alto High School, where he got his first taste of leadership as student-body president. He graduated in 1936. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, from 1936 to 1939, then transferred to Stanford University, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in 1940 and his

medical degree in 1944 from the Stanford School of Medicine, then based in San Francisco, where he did his internship from 1943 to 1945. Dr. Clark served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps in the closing months of World War II, and was on a ship scheduled to participate in the invasion of Japan when it was canceled due to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His ship was diverted to China, where he helped care for war victims. He later served in the Naval Reserve. While in high school, he met Jean Helen Yuill at a picnic on the beach at Searsville Lake, beginning a relationship that lasted until his passing. They were married in 1941 and had four children between 1944 and 1951: David, Carolyn, Peter and Bruce. When the Stanford School of Medicine relocated to a new complex in Palo Alto in the mid-1950s, Dr. Clark was named Stanford Hospital’s first chief of medicine in Palo Alto, during 1957-58 — which his children recall as a terrible year of overwork and absences from the family. He later served as secretary, vicechief and chief of the Palo Alto medical staff at the hospital. He also was an attending physician at the Palo Alto VA Hospital from 1960 to 1979. Dr. Clark loved teaching as well as sharing his extensive knowledge of birds, plants and nature in his later years. He and Jean both served as docents at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, which now encompasses their beloved Searsville

Debasis Sen

members said. He is survived by his two daughters, Maya Gillian Sen and Julia Nihar Sen; one grandson; former wife Jill Otto; and son-in-law Dylan Campopiano. A memorial service has been held. Memorial donations may be made to Doctors without Borders or UNICEF.

Debasis Sen (known to his family as Satu), 78, a 35-year resident of Palo Alto, died July 11, 2011, at Stanford Hospital of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was born in Purulia, West Bengal, India in 1932. He graduated from the University of Calcutta in 1954. He moved to London in 1959, sent off in style with a personal letter from the then-President of India Rajendra Prasad. There, he met his wife of 27 years, Jill Otto. They moved to the Bay Area in 1966; to Houston, Texas, in 1970; and back to Palo Alto in 1980. He worked as a financial analyst, an auditor and in various other capacities at Shell Oil, Sohio, Westinghouse, Lockheed and L-3 Communications. He loved playing tennis, cooking, listening to opera and hiking, and was a passionate supporter of the San Francisco Giants. He was incredibly generous to those in need, loved ones recalled. He was a loving father and grandfather, and he is sorely missed, family

Births

Viola and John Moses of Atherton, twin sons, July 4 Susan and Timothy Hibbard of Menlo Park, a son, July 6 Jessica and Dennis Akos of Palo Alto, a son, July 7 Molly and Jon Kossow of Menlo Park, a daughter, July 7 Noemmy Barron and Eduardo Jauregui Ruiz of Atherton, a daughter, July 21 Jill and Michael Asher of Palo ALto, a daughter, July 24 Molly and Andrew Titley of Menlo Park, a daughter, July 25

Introducing

Lasting Memories

An online directory of obituaries and remembrances. Search obituaries, submit a memorial, share a photo.

Visit: www.PaloAltoOnline.com/obituaries

Lake region. He was a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford, was affiliated with numerous professional organizations, and in 1990-91 founded and was first president of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic Retired Physicians group. Prior to serving on the City Council, Dr. Clark served on the Palo Alto Park and Recreation Commission in 1957-58. He was an avid hiker and a naturalist. He was also active with the Peninsula Open Space Trust, based in Palo Alto. But the lasting memories of Dr. Clark by his family, medical colleagues, patients and friends included “his great gusto with which he approached everything in life,” according to his youngest son, Bruce, now a physician. He also had a “rascal” streak as a youngster, including once getting kicked out of a Catholic school for tripping a nun.

Dr. Clark also had a great love of teaching, his son David noted during a family reminiscence for the Weekly this week: “I’ve worked in schools most of my life, and watching him as a teacher in general ... he was a very good teacher.” “He was beloved,” Carolyn added, noting that he had large turnouts for his grand rounds and twice yearly three-month teaching stints at Stanford Hospital. “He was a listener. He had a quality of listening and ‘seeing you.’” She said he listened closely even to those with differing views during years of community leadership through organizations, including the Rotary Club and community-based organizations. “He was a community builder,” Peter added, and had an “incredible memory.” They also said he was a great storyteller, from his Navy experiences to Sierra hikes to last night’s sports game.

His and Jean’s relationship lasted as “one of the great love relationships” even during recent years of health problems for both of them. The couple celebrated their 70th anniversary recently. Despite heart bypasses and other physical problems, “his spirit just kept going,” Peter said. He is survived by Jean; son David Clark and his wife, Catherine Clark, of Austin, Texas; daughter, Carolyn Clark Clebsch, and her husband, William Clebsch, of Menlo Park; son Peter Clark and his wife, Gail Hartman, of Minneapolis; and son Bruce Clark and his wife, Deborah Clark, of Novato; and nine grandchildren. Private family services are being held. The family prefers memorials be contributions to the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and the Peninsula Open Space Trust. N — Jay Thorwaldson

Howard Luther Swinehart Long-time Palo Alto resident Howard Swinehart passed away August 1, 2011 at age 84. Howard was born in Sandpoint, Idaho. He graduated from Chico High School and earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He married Elizabeth (Betty) Flick in 1953 in Berkeley. She preceded him in death in 1999. In 2000, Howard married Dorothy (Dottie) Glass Hall. He worked for many years for United Air Lines as a Warranty Officer at the San Francisco Maintenance Base. He served faithfully as a deacon at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, after ordination in 1967. Howard will be remembered for his gentle nature, intellectual curiosity, and pastoral care.

Howard is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his three children, Helen Eyles of Sydney, Australia; Katherine Graham of Davis, Calif.; and Bruce Swinehart of Somerset, Ky.; and two grandchildren, Susan Eyles and Megan Graham. He was a beloved stepfather to Betsy Hall of Charlottesville, Va., Ellen Hall of Richmond, Va., Kent Hall of Mechanicsville, Va., Anne HallWurst of Purcellville, Va., and Susan Hall of Menlo Park, Calif., and stepgrandparent to their children and grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 555 Waverley St., in Palo Alto on Friday, Aug. 12, at 2 p.m. PA I D

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Douglas Mattern Douglas Mattern, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, passed away July 20 after a long illness. He was 78 and is survived by his beloved wife, Noemi. After serving 4 years in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Mattern attended San Jose City College, San Jose State University, and Stanford University, where he worked, audited classes, and learned his profession as an engineer in material science. He became an expert in Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy. In 1980, he was hired by Data General Corporation and later by Apple Computer to design, build and manage fully staffed Failure Analysis Labs that were considered by many engineers as the best in Silicon Valley. He retired in the year 2000. His hobbies included mountain hiking/ climbing, sports, and astronomy/cosmology. Mr. Mattern was known for scores of letters published in The Palo Alto Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, and The New York Times. In addition, he had 200 articles published in magazines on peacerelated issues. In 1975, he co-founded and

became President of the Association of World Citizens (AWC). AWC organized major peace conferences in San Francisco, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York City, and Taipei, becoming an international peace organization gaining official NGO (NonGovernment Organization) status with the United Nations. In the 1980s Mr. Mattern was invited to be a speaker for the U.S. delegation on Citizen Diplomacy trips to the Soviet Union. On these and other trips, there were many interesting stories, most of which are detailed in his book, Looking for Square Two. Mr. Mattern received several awards, including the Albert Einstein Peace Award from the International Association of Educators for World Peace, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for World Peace from the Federation of World Peace and Love. PA I D

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story by Karla Kane photos by Veronica Weber

I

n a Palo Alto backyard on a sunny July day, Allen Larson brushed his gloved hand through layers of oozing honeycomb and humming honeybees, rifling through drones, larvae, workers and wax, his white suit and screened headgear protecting him from the increasingly irritated insects whose turf he was invading. “Ahhh, there she is!” he finally exclaimed in triumph. He’d found the queen. Her royal majesty (whom Larson described as a particularly comely monarch) — longer, darker and shinier than the hive mates surrounding her — is one of perhaps 30,000 honey bees residing in this one hive alone. And as interest in backyard beekeeping blossoms, hives like hers are springing up all over town. There’s no official count of beekeepers in the Palo Alto area but they — and their bees — are out there, pollinating gardens, collecting honey and in some cases even selling it. Though beekeeping has occurred for millennia, with the emergence of the Slow Food and locavore movements, along with recognition of the vital role bees play in a healthy environment and their recent endangerment (see sidebar), interest in backyard beekeeping has been on the rise in recent years. Santa Clara Valley Bee Guild member Wayne Pitts said official membership in his guild now hovers in the hundreds, up from double digits 10 years ago. The Beekeepers Guild of San Mateo County boasts similar numbers. But many more beekeepers do not belong to any organization. “There are probably more beekeepers than anyone would think. Most people keep bees in their backyard and no one notices,” Los Altos beekeeper and blogger Jack Ip wrote in an email. “I know people who I sold hives to and mentor aren’t in these local clubs.” Grocers such as Country Sun Natural Foods and Draeger’s Market sell honey from Double J Apiaries in Los Altos Hills, while Pitts sells his Uvas Gold brand (www. uvasgold.com) at the Palo Alto Farmers Market each weekend. Common Ground Garden Supply and Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County host workshops on backyard beekeeping, and Common Ground’s Patricia Becker said that while she’s been selling local honey in the store for years, interest in beekeeping supplies and classes is definitely ascending. Restaurant maven Jesse Cool has recently adopted two hives from Ip, while Ohlone Elementary School keeps two educational hives on campus, with guidance from Pitts.

A

ccording to the National Honey Board, there are between 139,600 and 212,000 beekeepers in the United States. Ninety-five percent of those are hobbyists with fewer than 25 hives. Larson (www.getbees.net), a professional beekeeper who sets up hives, assists with maintenance and extracts honey for clients all over northern California, said he has around a dozen customers in the Bees prepare honey on a honeycomb in a Palo Alto resident’s backyard hive in late July. Far right, Wayne Pitts’ variations on honey are sold weekly at the downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market. Page 18ÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

(continued on page 20)


Cover Story

what’s the

buzz? Homemade honey and beekeeping blossom

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Cover Story

What’s the buzz? (continued from page 18)

Palo Alto area, including Catherine, at whose home he was working on a recent morning. Catherine, who asked that her last name not be disclosed, is one of Palo Alto’s “underground” beekeepers, who fly under the radar, producing honey for personal use and wary of potential attention from non-bee-friendly neighbors. The city’s municipal code permits residents to have up to two hives on their property but only if adjacent neighbors consent in writing. Catherine, who’s kept bees for three years, hasn’t had any complaints yet but said she’d be devastated if forced to give up her hives and the delectable, golden syrup — useful for sweetening everything from tea to baked goods to tomatoes or eating straight from the comb — they give her. “The honey is to die for,” she said. “Summer honey tastes completely different than winter honey. I love the product.” Larson guarantees his clients at least 25 pounds of honey per hive per year but said most average between 30 and 50. Catherine said her family eats three pounds a week. Scott Mitic, his wife, Katie, and their sons, Dylan and Tyler, ages 7 and 5, have made beekeeping and honey a family project. Their Suburban Blend honey club (www. suburbanblendbliss.com) provides honey to friends and family, as well as to a few dozen subscribers and customers who purchase it from the entrepreneurial Mitic boys. They sell it for $5 a jar from their Old Palo Alto driveway. Mitic said he hopes to be the biggest honey producer in town (“we want the bragging rights”) and added that another resident — Apple’s Steve Jobs — is rumored to have hives of his own. The Mitics have two hives in their yard, another at the city’s community garden near the Main Library and a few more scattered through the area in friends’ yards. They’ve had nothing but positive responses from neighbors, with their honey getting a welcome reception. “My neighbors love us; they make out quite handsomely and reap the reward. It’s become more of a neighborhood science experiment,” Mitic said. Because the bees are drawing nectar from a variety of gardens and wildflowers, their honey is a true suburban blend, giving the business its name. “The flower gardens around Palo Alto provide a wonderful, fertile environment for bees. Professional beekeepers grow crops around the bees to flavor the honey but in our case it’s a blend ... from citrus, lavender, rosemary and a number of blossoming trees, singing with the bees in the branches.” The different nectar collected by the bees shows through in the product. “That tree that’s blossoming right now is going to impact the taste of the honey,” he said. “You can taste the changing of seasons. When you make it yourself it all

A honeybee gathers nectar from a flowering plant at the Community Garden behind Palo Alto’s Main Library. tastes pretty good.” A few years ago, Mitic was inspired to take up beekeeping after marveling at the high price of honey in the grocery store. “It’s a really amazing process. To get started all you need is about $100 of equipment, a box, some frames and foundation, then you obviously need the bees,” he said. Domestic bees most commonly

they’ve created, Ip explained. “Honey is kept in the cells until the moisture level is right, before the bees cover the cells with wax, capping the cells for storage. ... When capped, we know it’s time to harvest — that’s if they have excess,” he said. Since the bees need honey to survive, keepers are careful to always leave enough in the hive come harvest time.

“The darker the honey the more flavor it has. The darker honey comes from later in the season, picking up more of the minerals.” — Wayne Pitts, Santa Clara Valley Bee Guild member belong to the genus Apis and were originally introduced to the Americas from Europe. Mitic ordered his initial batch through the mail. “That certainly didn’t excite the postal workers,” he said of the unusual postal order. “It’s one of the most amazing things you’ll ever see; the box was literally vibrating with thousands of bees.” Once the supplies are in place, “Mother Nature takes care of the rest. As long as the queen is in the center, the bees will immediately start to take care of her,” he said.

Smoke (mostly burning leaves) is used by keepers to calm the bees and mask the scent of their alarm pheromone. Most beekeepers use a series of stacked boxes as hives, with removable frames inside on which the bees construct their honeycomb. Raw honey can be eaten right off the comb (the wax is edible, too), but most keepers use an extractor (a centrifuge-like device) to separate the liquid for bottling. Since honey is largely sterile, it doesn’t require much filtering or regulation and won’t quickly spoil.

Honey production “depends on the weather and a thousand other things,” Pitts said. The Gilroy resident keeps several hives in Palo Alto. Customers who purchase his honey at the Palo Alto Farmers Market have asked him to place hives on their properties to benefit their gardens. He takes care of the maintenance and extracts the honey a few times a year. Pitts likes his honey the way he likes his beer: dark. “The darker the honey the more flavor it has. The darker honey comes from later in the season, picking up more of the minerals,” he said. Others prefer the milder, lighter taste of early honey. And while you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to keep bees, in Pitts’ case it hasn’t hurt: His day job is working at Lockheed Martin. He also works with Ohlone science teacher Tanya Buxton on maintaining the school’s hives and speaking to students about bees. In general, kids “are really, really interested in bees. There’s a few of them in each class that are scared,” he said, but the majority are fascinated. One of Ohlone’s hives is used for honey production while the other is for ob-

A

honey beehive is a complex society, ruled by one queen, who is raised to her position by the hive, fed special “royal jelly” (a nutritional secretion for larvae) and set apart from the rest in a special “queen cup” cell. When mature, she mates with the males on one or several “nuptial flights,” then retires to the hive to lay the eggs that will become the future generations of bees — up to 2,000 eggs a day. The industrious worker bees (adult females who lay only unfertilized eggs) gather the nectar, build the comb and feed their hive mates. The male bees are the drones — bigger and fuzzier than the workers and lacking a stinger. Worker bees forage daily for nectar, which they bring back to the hive to be placed into the “honey cells”

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Wayne Pitts, left, and his granddaughter Nsharra Clark help customers Kate Wies and daughter Zoe, far right, at the downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market in early August.

servation and teaching. “I teach the kids all about the cycle of the bees, and they help in the honey harvesting,” Buxton wrote in an email, adding that a hive was lost last year due to campus construction. “I repopulated that hive and also have a hive behind glass for the students to see the bees coming and going and observe the bee dance and find the queen,” she said. Though bees have a reputation as fearsome creatures, Mitic said that’s undeserved, especially in the case of honeybees, who sting only to protect their hive and are generally quite docile. All beekeepers get their fair share of stings but most seem not too bothered. “It’s relaxing,” Pitts said of tending the hives. “It forces you to move slowly. I don’t even wear a suit. If you move with patience the bees tend to leave you alone.” “I have to thank my dad for getting me into beekeeping. We are partners, working the hives together,” Ip said of his father, who kept bees during his youth in Hong Kong. “Bees are neat creatures. Trying to learn and understand them is just half of the fun. Going into the hive and seeing their home is another. And for my dad, seeing the queen during a hive inspection puts a huge smile on his face,” he said. When a hive grows too crowded, a new queen is raised by the hive and the old queen flees, followed by a large group of her minions, to find a new home. This phenomenon is known as swarming. While a roving cloud of buzzing bees hovering nearby may look frightening, Catherine said swarming bees are at their most gentle, since they lack a hive to defend and are heavily laden with honey. “A swarm is really beautiful,” she said, comparing the sound to the resonant “om” chant performed during yoga and meditation. Sometimes honeybees swarm and settle down in places where they’re not welcome, such as in recycling bins or ceilings. In those cases, Ip and his father are ready to step in, rescue the bees by trapping them with a special vacuum and find them a new home. The Ips, along with other bee enthusiasts, frequently receive calls to perform bee relocations from all over the Bay Area. They recently removed a hive from a Palo Alto office building, and Ip said he works almost every weekend during the summer. Though bee removals are hard work, “it’s important to rescue the bees because most people don’t know what to do with them. If I and other beekeepers don’t provide the service then people will call pest control and the bees will get sprayed and killed,” he said. “We don’t charge much, and most of the money goes back toward the bees. We just like to go and remove the bees from the structure and capture the queen.” Ip keeps a blog chronicling his beekeeping adventures at www.losaltoshoneybees.wordpress.com. “Just watching them is very enjoyable, seeing them grow a whole network. Beekeeping is fun and rewarding; everyone should do it,” he said. N Editorial Assistant Karla Kane can be emailed at kkane@paweekly.com.


Cover Story

Saving bees

Diseases and parasites threaten the food-crop pollinators

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he seemingly ubiquitous honeybee has been fighting an uphill battle for survival since the late 1980s, according to Allen Larson, a commercial beekeeper. Among its enemies: a host of new diseases and parasites, the combination of which kills off between 20 and 35 percent of hives nationwide annually. Larson, who maintains 400 commercial hives and leases about 100 hives to Bay Area backyard gardeners, estimates about 20 percent of local commercial hives are lost annually to parasitic mites alone. The varroa destructor mite is the biggest culprit. Another mysterious ailment that has grabbed headlines, colony collapse disorder, is a worldwide problem responsible for causing up to 35 percent of hive die-offs in some areas nationwide, he said. The die-offs shouldn’t be taken with a grain of sugar. Honeybees feed the nation, agriculturists say. One mouthful in three relies on honeybee pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Larson said the Bay Area’s long warm season helps bees, but that the climate also benefits the parasites. In winter, the queen bee lays fewer eggs, and bee deaths caused by the varroa mites can lead the hive to fail, he said. Larson said the mites could be controlled with medications. But “it’s a delicate process to try to kill a bug on a bug,” he said. Since he manages his hives organically, Larson dusts his bees with powdered sugar. “They clean each other off, so the mites will be chewed off and drop out of the hive,” he said. Fred Crowder, agricultural commissioner for San Mateo County, said in a recent crop report that colony collapse isn’t a major player locally. But beekeepers are wary since the cause of colony collapse is unknown. Worker bees in a colony abruptly disappear, leaving the queen and remaining bees with no ability to survive. The phenomenon began in 2006, when some beekeepers reported unusually high losses of 30 to 90 percent of their hives, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The USDA’s preliminary data for winter 2009-10 has shown that collapse doesn’t appear to be fading away, with the repeat collapse of some colonies. As researchers search for a cause and cure, three possibilities are being considered: pesticides; a new parasite or virus; and stresses, including environmental, which could unexpectedly weaken colonies and compromise the bees’ immune systems, according to the USDA. Despite some news reports, cell phones and cell towers have not been implicated in throwing off bee homing systems, according to Stephan Kimmel, the author of a German study on the topic that discounted that claim. But researchers might be getting closer to a connection between colony collapse and the varroa mite. A 2007 study found Israeli acute paralysis virus in 96 percent of bee samples with colony collapse, and the varroa mite could be transmitting the disease, according to the USDA. The virus was not found in noncolony-collapse samples, USDA researchers noted. Scientists say while there is a strong cor-

relation between the Israeli virus and colony collapse, they aren’t ruling out that a complex of factors might be involved. And the 21st century is not the first time colony collapse-like phenomena have occurred. Several other honeybee disappearances occurred in the 1880s, the 1920s and the 1960s, according to the USDA. Scientists are also trying to build a better bee to combat the new diseases. U.C. Davis bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey has been working with New World Carniolan bees, a darker honeybee, and is developing bee

strains with high productivity, good overwintering ability and disease resistance. But the best action homeowners can take is not to use pesticides and especially not to use them at midday when the bees are most likely foraging for nectar, according to the Xerces Society, an invertebrate-conservation group. The organization recommends planting good nectar sources such as bee balm, anise hyssop, asters, basil, English lavender, rosemary and zinnias. Native plants are best for native bees. N — Sue Dremann

Tyler, left, Dylan, Scott and Katie Mitic use a smoker to quell the bees while checking on a hive at the Community Garden behind Palo Alto’s Main Library.

About the cover: Beekeeper Allen Larson checks on the health of a hive in a Palo Alto resident’s backyard in late July. Photograph by Veronica Weber. *>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊU *>}iÊ21


Arts & Entertainment A weekly guide to music, theater, art, movies and more, edited by Rebecca Wallace

Singer/ songwriter Elana Loeb practices in her living room.

THE

Veronica Weber

TEEN MUSIC

SCENE by Leslie Shen

Courtney Warren

Countrypop singer Hannah Allison.

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M

Courtney Warren

Twilight Concert finale showcases young local acts

olly Butera, a 2011 graduate of Gunn High School, makes two key observations about her task as a teen musician. First of all, it’s tough. But more importantly, she says, tough is a challenge, not a deterrent. “People are always going to be judging you, seeing if they think you’re good, trying to point out your flaws,” she said of performing with After Closing Time, the indie alternative band for which she plays bass guitar. “But it’s such an awesome feeling being with your friends, playing music and showing the audience what you’ve been working on.” Which is precisely what After Closing Time will be up to on Aug. 20 at Teens on the Green, the youthfocused group concert that

The indie alternative band After Closing Time. will serve as a finale to Palo Alto’s Twilight Concert Series. The band will perform at Mitchell Park along with two solo acts from Palo Alto, singers Elana Loeb and Hannah Allison. Also scheduled are the al-

ternative band Caustic Ties (Ashwin Jaini, Rahul Patel and Neil Mallinar of Mountain View High School) and the Palo Alto rock/Americana band The Northern Flickers, which just signed on for the concert.


NOTICE OF DRAFT REPORT BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN TRANSPORTATION PLAN NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Draft Report for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan 2011 has been prepared by the Palo Alto Department of Planning and Community Environment, Transportation Division. This document will be available for review and comment during the period beginning July 26, 2011 through September 7, 2011, and is available online at: www.cityofpaloalto.org/bike

Many of the young performers in question have already encountered the public eye, and developed comfort levels that range from marginally jittery to cool as a cucumber. Local concertgoers might remember Butera and her bandmates from last year’s Teens On The Green, or recall having heard Allison strumming soulful country-pop tunes at Palo Alto’s World Music Day outdoor festival in June. Here’s a closer look at several of the Palo Altans in the upcoming Aug. 20 concert: After Closing Time Each of the four artists in this band — Butera and Gunn seniors Nitsan Shai (piano/guitar), Justin Alfrey (guitar/vocals) and Remy Felsch (drums/vocals) — seems emphatically an individual. The musicians have individual approaches to music and differing post-high school plans. Felsch, who is also a songwriter, is looking into music schools where he might study composition. Butera, a soon-to-be freshman at University of the Pacific, says she’s curious

{

I have more respect for people who play a really terrible song that they wrote than I have for people who do what someone else did. It takes so much bravery to get up and play an original song.”

-Musician Elana Loeb

about its program in music management. Independent though they may be, the band members appear to handle their group dynamic with ease, operating on a “friends first, band second” philosophy and insisting that artistic differences should never be divisive. “Sometimes we have arguments, but we’re all friends,” Felsch said. “We have to remind ourselves that friendship is more important than being in a band. You never know, maybe your band won’t be popular.” A sensible acknowledgment, but perhaps not one that needs to be a concern. The teens have amassed a Facebook fan following that numbers in the hundreds; collaborated

with rappers; and even popped into a studio for two immersive days of recording their shiny new EP, which they’re fairly secretive about due to the difficulty of keeping tabs on their music once it materializes on the Web. Some of their tracks have been accessible through a music-sharing site called PureVolume, but the band’s page is “in the process of being taken down,” Felsch said. “PureVolume is kind of like Myspace, but different because (on PureVolume) you can download music for free, which we’re trying not to do because we want to sell our music.” Those who attend the Aug. 20 concert can expect After Closing Time to debut a fresh batch of hitherto unheard songs. “Be excited!” Butera said. Elana Loeb A guitarist, singer, enthusiastic scholar of history, aspiring writer of musical theater and self-described cinephile, Loeb values artistic flexibility and risk-taking over measures of experience. “There are great musicians who can do crazy, crazy things with their instruments, but they don’t write,” said Loeb, a songwriter approaching her junior year at Gunn. “That, to me, doesn’t make any sense. Why wouldn’t you try? I have more respect for people who play a really terrible song that they wrote than I have for people who do what someone else did. It takes so much bravery to get up and play an original song.” This kind of originality, especially the writing involved, is “why I play music,” Loeb said. “The point of playing music is to create.” And create she does, often bringing her rock, jazz and pop stylings to open mics around town. She’s also taken part in local theatrical productions. According to Loeb, childhood participation in Peninsula Youth Theatre and a recent role in the “Little Women” musical put on by Los Altos Youth Theatre are good experiences to draw on for her current project, a musical she hopes to see performed by student thespians at Gunn. “I’m writing and choreographing and I really want to direct next year for One Acts, my school’s studentdirected plays,” she said. “It’s a silly, random musical about comic books and copyrights and men in spandex shorts.” The inevitable downside of all this fun is that schedules tend to fill up for students keeping a grip on academics and activities. “There’ll be times when it’s one in the morning and I’m halfway done with my homework and I’ll be like, ‘Hey! I’m going to write music now,’” she said. “So yes, it is difficult balancing everything, but for a high schooler, especially a high

schooler in Palo Alto, it’s not that crazy.” Loeb cites “Seussical the Musical” and “The Book of Mormon” as personal favorites. In terms of general listening, she talks nonstop about Ella Fitzgerald and Elvis Costello. Hannah Allison Like her peers, Allison preaches work ethic. “Just stick with it,” the singer-guitarist said. “If you love music and have a true passion for it, you’ll get what you want.” Since the age of 4 or 5, she’s found singing — and then, starting in her freshman year of high school, playing the guitar — to be a matter of “sitting down and working with it until you’re strong enough.” Recording her country acoustic “heartbreak songs” from home has been tricky, she notes, but overwhelmingly positive responses from friends and family, along with a learned willingness to “just let it go,” make it less necessary for her sound to give off an air of slick production. “I don’t want a lot more attention for (my music),” Allison said. “It’s really special for me in the way that I can just come home and zone out and sit down with my guitar for an hour. I want to keep it with me all my life.” The laid-back approach is one plausible reason for moving away from social media typically used by young artists. Allison has considered weaning herself off musician profiles on Myspace and Facebook and creating a less hectic, but ultimately more approachable, personal website. “I want my fans to be able to hear my music even if they don’t have Facebook or Myspace,” she said. The artist’s senior year at Gunn will be spent working in a similar vein. As a student government official overseeing campus arts, Allison will be charged with coordinating ways for students to entertain and be entertained. “I want to get more open mics at Gunn and more opportunities for performers and all kinds of artists,” she said. “I think it’s really important for people to have chances to show their work.” N What: Teens On The Green, a concert of teen bands that concludes the city of Palo Alto’s annual Twilight Concert Series Where: Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Drive, Palo Alto When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 20 Cost: Free Info: Go to cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-463-4930. (The second-to-last Twilight concert is scheduled for this Saturday, Aug. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in Mitchell Park, featuring Beatles cover band The Sun Kings.)

An online comment form is available to provide immediate feedback. Comments may also be submitted via email at transportation@ cityofpaloalto.org. Printed copies of the Draft Report are available for review during the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M., at City Hall, 5th Floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, California. Additional copies will be made available at the Downtown Library and the Cubberley Community Center Library. This Report will be considered at a public hearing by the Planning and Transportation Commission on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 6:00 p.m. in the Palo Alto City Council Chambers on the first floor of the Civic Center, located at 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, Curtis Williams, Director of Planning and Community Environment In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, listening assistive devices are available in the Council Chambers and Council Conference Room. Sign language interpreters will be provided upon request with 72 hours advance notice.

Bring a friend for appetizers and wine! Join Xceed and guest speaker Shari Storm who will share insights on using your parenting skills to be a better boss. This seminar, Motherhood is the new MBA, is absolutely FREE and will illustrate how anyone can be a better boss by employing the skills we learn as parents. Xceed Financial Credit Union’s new LifeWorks seminar series is specially geared toward interests and concerns of busy women.

Motherhood is the New MBA Attend and receive a free copy of Shari’s book!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Xceed Financial Credit Union 601 Showers Drive Mountain View, CA 94040 Seating is limited. RSVP by August 15 at www.xfcu.org/lifeworks or contact Matt Butler at 650.691.6501 or mbutler@xfcu.org.

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Arts & Entertainment

The Mildred Howard bottle-house sculpture “1945” is built on a small scale. Her bottle house scheduled to go up in Palo Alto’s King Plaza next month will be 10 feet high and 12 feet wide.

Bottle house on the plaza Berkeley artist builds sculpture in front of Palo Alto City Hall

T

housands of glass bottles will soon compose a new art installation in King Plaza in front of Palo Alto City Hall. “Clear Story,” by Berkeley artist Mildred Howard, will take the shape of a bottle house stretching out 10 feet high and 12 feet wide. The work’s inspiration is twofold, according to a press release from

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the Palo Alto Art Center, which is presenting the installation. Howard’s house will pay tribute to Palo Alto’s many Eichler homes, and will also honor the bottle houses of the American South and West Africa. The traditional structures were often built to protect a family or a grave against evil spirits. In “Clear Story,” the bottles will be fused together and placed in a wood armature. The installation is scheduled to be in King Plaza at 250 Hamilton Ave. from Sept. 10 through August 2012. Howard is set to speak in Palo Alto’s council chambers at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, with a reception following at 4 p.m. Several of Howard’s smaller bottle houses were on display at the

art center earlier this year. Other venues have included the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.; the Oakland Museum of California; the San Francisco and Sacramento airports; and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash. The Palo Alto Art Center is currently closed for a $7.9 million renovation, and set to reopen next summer. During the closure, numerous artistic and cultural activities are taking place around the city in other locations. Besides the Howard installation, other events will include a talk by two Djerassi Resident Artists Program participants, choreographer Andee Scott and media artist Simon Zoric, at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road. For more information, go to cityofpaloalto.org/artcenter. — Rebecca Wallace

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For more information, call 866920-5299 or go to www.sfjazz.org/ sfjazz-summerfest.

Lecture ‘History of Recorded Sound’

Jerry McBride, head librarian of Stanford University’s Braun Music Library, was profiled in the Weekly in May about one of his favorite projects: the library’s Archive of Recorded Sound. He demonstrated a 100-year-old phonograph, picked up 19th-century wax cylinders designed by Thomas Edison, and leafed through countless old LPs.

It was all just a sample of the archive’s 350,000 items. This Saturday morning, McBride will tell even more about the archive. He’s scheduled to give a free talk at 11 a.m. on a very large subject: the history of recorded sound. Audience members can plan on hearing a diverse sampling; the archive includes poetry readings, radio broadcasts, musical recordings and speeches by such big names as John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill. The lecture will be held in the Menlo Park City Council chambers at 701 Laurel St. Free van service is available for Menlo Park seniors and people with disabilities; call 650-330-2512.

Avenidas presents the 8th Annual

Caregiver Conference Now on display at Stanford Art Spaces, works by Ichen Wu combine Chinese painting and Western sketching techniques. scheduled for Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The monthly competition is presented by the San Carlos nonprofit West Coast Songwriters, and winStanford Art Spaces ‘Sense and Sensibility’ Delicate water lilies by Jeung After scoring a palpable hit with a ning performers will get to play in H. Kang use a gentle economy of musical version of “Emma” in 2007, the WCS playoffs next summer. West Coast Songwriters has aimed brushwork, while Claudia Stevens’ TheatreWorks is back in Austenbotanical paintings are methodically town with another theatrical produc- to connect musical people with murendered in the finest detail. “I am tion based on a Jane Austen novel. sical careers since 1979. On its list fascinated with the architecture and “Sense and Sensibility” will soon of past participants is Sara Bareilles, complexity of plant structure,” Ste- be on the Mountain View stage with who won a WCS contest before her vens says in an artist’s statement. the American premiere of a play relative obscurity gave way to mainMeanwhile, Ichen Wu’s art min- written by Roger Parsley and Andy stream recognition, according to a WCS press release. gles Chinese painting and Western Graham. Admission for audience members sketching techniques to create landThe story of the poor but spirited scapes and animal scenes. Dashwood sisters will be told anew at the Media Center evenings is $5. These varying approaches combine beginning with 8 p.m. previews on Songwriters can participate for $15 on the walls of Stanford University’s Aug. 24, 25 and 26 and the official (WCS members pay $10). MemberPaul G. Allen Center for Integrated opening on Saturday, Aug. 27. The ship, which costs $75 yearly ($40 for Systems at 420 Via Palou, where the show runs through Sept. 18 at the under age 21), is required of anyone works of these three artists are cur- Mountain View Center for the Per- wishing to be in the running for prizes. rently on display in the Stanford Art forming Arts at 500 Castro St. The Media Center is at 900 San Spaces program through Sept. 22. Jennifer Le Blanc (“Opus”) The exhibition also continues into plays Elinor Dashwood, while The- Antonio Road in Palo Alto. For the David Packard Building and the atreWorks newcomer Katie Fabel more information, go to westcoastpsychology office at Jordan Hall. plays her sister Marianne. The story songwriters.org. To register, contact Stanford Art Spaces shows are on follows them through courtships becky@midpenmedia.org or call view to the public weekdays from and confusion, with suitors suitable 650-494-8686, ext. 11. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (They also may and not-so. Mark Anderson Philbrighten up the days of the people lips, who was also in TheatreWorks’ Le Jazz Hot Quartet When guitarist Paul Mehling was working in the buildings.) A public production of “Opus,” plays the kind reception is scheduled for the cur- Colonel Brandon, with Thomas Gor- 6 years old, he saw The Beatles on rent exhibition on Friday, Aug. 26, rebeeck (“The Chosen”) as the soft- the Ed Sullivan Show. “It was like getting hit by lightning,” he later from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Allen Cen- spoken Edward Ferrars. ter’s reception area. TheatreWorks founding artistic wrote on his website. “I said, ‘I wanna do that — make the girls scream For more information, call 650- director Robert Kelley directs. 725-3622 or go to cis.stanford.edu. Tickets are $19-$69. For details, and give people the buzz I get from go to theatreworks.org or call 650- hearing the music.” Nowadays, Mehling’s music may 463-1960. give people the buzz, but it’s less rock ‘n’ roll and more swinging and driving. He plays with Le Jazz Hot Quartet of the Hot Club of San Franperforming the gypsy jazz Songwriters’ competition cisco, that harks back to the late Django For those hoping to make it in music, or those who just want to watch, Reinhardt and the music scene of a songwriting contest coming to the 1920s and ‘30s. Other musicians Palo Alto’s Media Center could be contribute fiddle solos, evocative guitar and rhythmic bass. a good bet. Le Jazz Hot Quartet comes to On the third Wednesday of each town to play a free concert next month from this October to next July, musicians can play their origi- Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 7:30 nal songs at the Media Center and p.m. The show happens at Stanford Jennifer Le Blanc plays Elinor be judged on both songwriting and Shopping Center, outdoors on Clock and Thomas Gorrebeeck is performance, with awards given Tower Plaza (near Neiman Marcus). Edward in TheatreWorks’ stage monthly for the best of each. A It’s part of the annual summer jazz production of Jane Austen’s novel special kick-off contest evening is series put on by SFJAZZ, and this is “Sense and Sensibility.” the last concert of the season.

Art

Theater

Saturday, August 20 9 am - 3 pm Mountain View, CA Discover ways to: Š Overcome a loved one’s clutter Š Understand mental decline Š Manage multiple medications Š Plan ahead for legal issues Š Build family cooperation

Register at Avenidas.org or call (650) 289-5435.

Where age is just a number

Music

Tracy Martin

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OPENINGS

The Whistleblower --1/2

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SUNDANCE BERLIN LOS ANGELES TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL FILM FESTIVAL FILM FESTIVAL FILM FESTIVAL

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JOHN MICHAEL MCDONAGH WWW.SONYCLASSICS.COM

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(Aquarius) If only the American people were more attentive to international news (and American media more inclined to report it in depth), it would be easier to dismiss â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Whistleblowerâ&#x20AC;? for being clunky and obvious in imparting its rippedfrom-the-headlines story. But things being what they are, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Whistleblowerâ&#x20AC;? is a useful tool in drawing attention to an underreported problem that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going anywhere: human trafficking. It also puts Rachel Weisz front and center, a fine actress given a crusading-hero role. First-time feature director Larysa Kondracki gets across the broad strokes of the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz), a Nebraska cop turned United Nations peacekeeper in turn-of-themillennium Sarajevo. A divorced mother of three, Bolkovac makes her career move out of financial strain (the job pays better than she can earn at home) and at a price of her relationships with her daughters. But even over a long distance, those daughters add fuel to the fire of Bolkovacâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rage against the kidnapping, sexual and emotional abuse, and forced prostitution of young Bosnian women. Bolkovac discovers that her employer (a contracted international peacekeeping taskforce here called Democra Security) is well aware of the abuses, and that her colleagues patronize the abusers. With the moral support of Madeleine Rees (Vanessa Redgrave) of the U.N.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gender Affairs office, Bolkovac investigates the abuses and attempts to organize raids that do more than ineffectually go through the motions. Since â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Whistleblowerâ&#x20AC;? means to evoke the literally and figuratively shadowy paranoid thrillers of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70s (though it does so wanly), Bolkovac canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be entirely sure whom she can trust, especially amongst the men. These include her Dutch boyfriend, Jan (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), and U.N. Internal Affairs officer Peter Ward (David Strathairn). At its most skillful, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Whistleblowerâ&#x20AC;? humanizes its horrors and stokes the viewerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indignation through emotion as well as basic standards of social justice. Kondracki and co-scripter Eilis Kirwan wisely weave in the subplot of a representative victim, young Ukrainian teen Raya (Roxana Condurache). Established as chafing against her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attempts to steer her right, Raya sets out on her

own and falls prey to traffickers. Her fall is poignantly detailed, through to the point when she becomes a tentative witness for Kathryn. Still, the story construction feels awfully by-the-numbers, the real-life details hyped for melodrama, and the dialogue curdled into inelegance (right from the start, when Bolkovacâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ex-husband says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not my fault that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re married to that job of yoursâ&#x20AC;?). Condurache and Weiszâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;small correctionsâ&#x20AC;? make a big difference in steering the movie right, enough to make â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Whistleblowerâ&#x20AC;? a decent entry in the genre of political passion plays. Rated R for disturbing violent content including a brutal sexual assault, graphic nudity and language. One hour, 48 minutes. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Peter Canavese

The Help --

(Century 16, Century 20) Hollywood has a pernicious tradition thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been dubbed, by one professor, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;anti-racist-white-hero film.â&#x20AC;? You know it unconsciously, if not consciously: a movie purportedly about racism afflicting an oppressed community, but actually about the experience of the affluent white person defending that community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cry Freedom.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mississippi Burning.â&#x20AC;? Director Edward Zwick scored a hat trick over the years, with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Glory,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Last Samuraiâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blood Diamond.â&#x20AC;? And now we have â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Help,â&#x20AC;? an adaptation of Kathryn Stockettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bestselling novel by writerdirector Tate Taylor, her lifelong friend. Where the novel adopts multiple perspectives to tell its story of Jim Crow-era Mississippi, Taylorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s film sticks closely to 23-year-old aspiring journalist â&#x20AC;&#x153;Skeeterâ&#x20AC;? Phelan (Emma Stone), an implicit audience surrogate meant to reassure the white viewer that he or she is â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the good ones,â&#x20AC;? just like the enlightened protagonist. Despite being a privileged white girl obliged to play nice with the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nasty cliques of racists, Skeeter has the soul of a rebel. She decides to help the help â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that is, work against the mistreatment of local maids by getting them to tell her their stories, which Skeeter will fashion into a book sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s writing on spec for Harper & Row editor Elain Stein (Mary Steenburgen). Skeeterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to social justice contrasts with the inability of her mother (Allison Janney) to step up, and the film doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

much complicate Skeeterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heroism with the obvious career boost the book will give her: Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a girl whose intentions are good. As for the help, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re treated as second-class citizens as a matter of course. Worse, high-strung socialite Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) has mounted a campaign to officially banish all African-American servants to outhouses, since they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good enough or clean enough to use the indoor facilities. Though such virulent racism rings true to the time and place, Howard plays Hilly to the hilt (if she had a moustache, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be twirling it), the better for audiences to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whew! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not a racist like her!â&#x20AC;? After much hand-wringing about the consequences, maid Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) can no longer stand by. She agrees to be interviewed by Skeeter and, better yet, takes the initiative to write down her own accounts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; of employer mistreatment and the expectations put on a maid not only to cook and clean for 95 cents an hour, but also raise the employerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s children. Much is made of the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s touching mother-daughter bonds with their maids: Cicely Tyson serves as the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s godmother by playing, in flashback, Skeeterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longtime, maternal maid. Eventually, Aibileenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best friend, sassy Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), joins Skeeterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s project, and others follow. Taylorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s studiously styleless direction goes down easy: Nothing in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Helpâ&#x20AC;? could be described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;challenging.â&#x20AC;? If anything, the style spikes on the cartoon meter during anything involving Hilly and her serial comeuppances (all involving toilet humor; all stretching credibility in their particulars). â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Helpâ&#x20AC;? has essentially one good excuse to exist: Davis, the Oscar-nominated, Tony-winning powerhouse who radiates Aibileenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deep pain and coiledanger determination in another remarkable performance. Unfortunately, Aibileen disappears for long stretches to accommodate the white characters (including Jessica Chastainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guileless employer). If only â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Helpâ&#x20AC;? accepted more of Davisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; help, we might have a work of art on our hands instead of another condescending, half-baked history lesson. Rated PG-13 for thematic material. Two hours, 27 minutes. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Peter Canavese


Palo Alto native has supporting role in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Helpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by Samantha Bergeson

A

t 6, she moved with her family from Palo Alto to France. At 8, she played a von Trapp child in a Washington theater production. While she was at Menlo School in Atherton, she and her family played beach-goers in the

2004 sci-fi action film â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dinocroc.â&#x20AC;? And now, Ahna Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly is breaking into the Hollywood spotlight, with a supporting role in the new film â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Help,â&#x20AC;? based on a 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett.

Ahna Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly

MOVIE TIMES 30 Minutes or Less (R) (Not Reviewed)

Century 16: 11:40 a.m.; 2:20, 4:50, 7:30 & 9:55 p.m. Century 20: 11:25 a.m.; 1:35, 3:45, 5:55, 8:10 & 10:25 p.m.

Another Earth (PG-13) (Not Reviewed)

Century 16: 1:50 & 7:20 p.m.

Buck (Not Rated) (((

Century 16: 1:45 p.m.; Fri.-Tue. & Thu. also at 6:50 p.m.

Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13) (((

Century 16: 12:10 & 7:10 p.m.; In 3D at 3:50 & 10:20 p.m. Century 20: 10:55 a.m.; 4:40 & 10:30 p.m.; In 3D at 1:45 & 7:30 p.m.

The Change-Up (R) ((1/2

Century 16: 12:40, 4:05, 7:40 & 10:25 p.m. Century 20: 11:10 a.m.; 1:45, 4:35, 7:20 & 10:05 p.m.

Cowboys & Aliens (PG-13) ((1/2

Century 16: 12:20, 4:10, 7:25 & 10:25 p.m. Century 20: 11:35 a.m.; 2:20, 5:05, 7:55 & 10:45 p.m.

Crazy, Stupid, Love (PG-13) ((1/2

Century 16: 12:30, 3:30, 7:15 & 10:15 p.m. Century 20: 11:15 a.m.; 2, 4:45, 7:45 & 10:35 p.m.

The Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Double (R) (Not Reviewed)

Century 20: 11:45 a.m.; 2:20, 4:55, 7:35 & 10:15 p.m. CinĂŠArts at Palo Alto Square: 2, 4:45 & 7:15 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. also at 9:50 p.m.

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Stanford Theatre: Sat.-Thu. at 7:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. also at 3:30 p.m.

Final Destination 5 (R) (Not Reviewed)

Century 16: Fri. & Sat. at 11 a.m.; 3:35 & 8:30 p.m.; In 3D Fri. & Sat. at 1:20, 5:50 & 10:50 p.m.; Sun.-Thu. at 11 a.m.; 3:35 & 8:05 p.m.; In 3D Sun.-Thu. at 1:20, 5:50 & 10:25 p.m. Century 20: 11:30 a.m.; 1:55, 4:15, 7 & 9:25 p.m.; In 3D at 12:35, 3, 5:25, 8 & 10:30 p.m.

Friends with Benefits (R) (Not Reviewed)

Century 16: 11:10 a.m. & 4 p.m.; Fri.-Tue. & Thu. also at 9:25 p.m. Century 20: 11:05 a.m.; Fri.Wed. also at 1:40, 4:25, 7:05 & 9:50 p.m.

The General (1926)

Stanford Theatre: Fri. at 7:30 p.m.

Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (Not Rated) (Not Reviewed)

Century 16: 11 a.m.; 1:10, 3:20, 5:30, 8 & 10:30 p.m. Century 20: 11:10 a.m.; 1:25, 3:40, 6, 8:20 & 10:40 p.m.

The Globe Theatre Presents Century 20: Thu. at 6:30 p.m. Palo Alto Square: Thu. at 6:30 p.m. Henry IV Part 2 (PG) (Not Reviewed) The Guard (R) (Not Reviewed) Palo Alto Square: 2:15 p.m.; Fri.-Wed. also at 4:55 & 7:25 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. also at 10 p.m. Harry Potter and the Deathly Century 16: 11:30 a.m. & 6:40 p.m.; In 3D at 3:10 & 9:40 p.m. Century 20: 12:50 & 7:15 p.m.; In Hallows: Part 2 (PG-13) (((( 3D at 4:05 & 10:25 p.m. The Help (PG-13) ((

Century 16: Noon, 1, 3:20, 4:30, 7, 8:20 & 10:30 p.m. Century 20: 11 a.m.; 12:20, 2:15, 3:40, 5:30, 7, 8:50 & 10:20 p.m.

Horrible Bosses (R) (((

Century 16: 11:20 a.m.; 4:20 & 10:10 p.m. Century 20: 12:40, 3:10, 5:45, 8:15 & 10:40 p.m.

Midnight in Paris (PG-13) (((1/2

Century 20: Fri.-Tue. & Thu. at 6:45 & 9:05 p.m. Guild Theatre: 3:30, 6 & 8:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. also at 1 p.m.

RiffTrax Live: Jack the Giant Killer (PG) (Not Reviewed)

Century 16: Wed. at 8 p.m.

Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly, a Palo Alto native, began her acting career as a child during a summer in Washington state, when her mother suggested that she and her sisters audition for a production of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Sound of Music.â&#x20AC;? They wound up playing the three young von Trapp children. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ever since then, since I was 8, I wanted to be an actress,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly says. Returning to Palo Alto, she took drama courses at Menlo School during high school, and later drove to San Francisco for acting classes. She attended the University of Southern California but left after a year to pursue acting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes I can have three days and have nothing planned, or I can go through a week and have two to three auditions a day.â&#x20AC;? If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s during the TV pilot season (April), and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going for a role, â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just crazy,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m up at 6 and in bed at 6, and just learning my lines.â&#x20AC;? Her first credited acting job was in the 2008 film â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just Add Water,â&#x20AC;? starring Danny DeVito. She played a â&#x20AC;&#x153;cracked-outâ&#x20AC;? pregnant teenager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m literally in it for two seconds!â&#x20AC;? In â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Help,â&#x20AC;? she plays a Southern housewife alongside actors Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. The ensemble tells the story of a white college-educated young woman, Skeeter (Stone), returning home to Mississippi in 1962, and refuting the prejudices that deal with African-American household workers. With help from maids (Davis and Spencer), Skeeter challenges the local white social hierarchy, in the persons of Elizabeth (Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly) and others. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly credits Spencer â&#x20AC;&#x201D; whom she met when they both appeared in the quirky 2009 comedy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Herpes Boyâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for helping her

land the part in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Help.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;With big movies like that with such a hot title, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at a big agency, they see all the girls from that agency. And I was not at a big agency; I did not have a very long resume. ... So it was really Octavia being like: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to see this girl.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? During the shooting, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly moved to Mississippi for three months. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I loved it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very different from here. There is such a rich, complicated history, which is what the movie is about.â&#x20AC;? She is also interested in theater, and possibly living in New York someday. Upcoming projects include independent films â&#x20AC;&#x153;I Am Ben,â&#x20AC;? costarring Menlo School alum Elyie Yost, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Girls Girls Girls,â&#x20AC;? a compilation of eight short films written, directed, produced and edited by women. â&#x2013;  To read a longer version of this story, go to PaloAltoOnline.com. Samantha Bergeson writes for the Almanac, one of the Weeklyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister papers.

READ MORE ONLINE

www.PaloAltoOnline.com Weekly critic Peter Canavese recently interviewed actors Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari when they were in town promoting their new comedy â&#x20AC;&#x153;30 Minutes or Less,â&#x20AC;? about a pizza boy forced by crooks to rob a bank. He also sat down for a chat with actress Emma Stone, whose career is on a particular roll this summer. To read the stories, go to PaloAltoOnline.com/movies.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;EVERY

SINGLE MINUTE OF THIS MOVIE IS HILARIOUS.â&#x20AC;?

Century 20: Wed. at 8 p.m.

Cole Abaius/FILM SCHOOL REJECTS

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Century 16: 11 & 11:50 a.m.; 12:50, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 & 10:30 (PG-13) (Not Reviewed) p.m. Century 20: 11 & 11:40 a.m.; 12:15, 1, 1:35, 2:25, 2:55, 3:30, 4:20, 5, 5:40, 6:20, 6:55, 7:40, 8:25, 9, 9:40 & 10:20 p.m. Sarahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Key (PG-13) ((1/2

Aquarius Theatre: 1, 3:45, 6:15 & 8:45 p.m.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Stanford Theatre: Sat.-Thu. at 5:30 & 9:30 p.m.

The Smurfs (PG) (Not Reviewed)

Century 16: 1:35 & 7 p.m.; In 3D at 11:05 a.m.; 4:15 & 9:35 p.m. Century 20: 11:20 a.m.; 4:20 & 9:20 p.m.; In 3D at 1:50 & 6:50 p.m.

The Whistleblower (R) ((1/2

Aquarius Theatre: 1:30, 4:15, 7 & 9:55 p.m.

Winnie the Pooh (G) (Not Reviewed)

Century 20: 10:55 a.m.; 12:55 & 2:50 p.m.; Fri.-Tue. & Thu. also at 4:50 p.m.

( Skip it (( Some redeeming qualities ((( A good bet (((( Outstanding Aquarius: 430 Emerson St., Palo Alto (266-9260)

Guild: 949 El Camino Real, Menlo Park (266-9260)

Century Cinema 16: 1500 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View (800-326-3264)

Stanford: 221 University Ave., Palo Alto (324-3700)

Century 20 Downtown: 825 Middlefield Road, Redwood City (800-326-3264)

Internet address: For show times, plot synopses, trailers and more information about films playing, go to Palo AltoOnline.com.

CinĂŠArts at Palo Alto Square: 3000 El Camino Real, Palo Alto (493-3456)

ALL AMERICA HAS GONE WILD OVER â&#x20AC;&#x153;PARIS.â&#x20AC;? VISIT, RETURN AGAIN, IT'S MAGIC!

â&#x20AC;&#x153;TERRIFIC! BOOK THIS TRIP TO PARIS!â&#x20AC;? -James Verniere, THE BOSTON HERALD

Fri and Sat 8/12-8/13

Thurs ONLY 8/18

The Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Double 2:00, 4:45, 7:15 The Guard 2:15

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

WWW.SONYCLASSICS.COM

LANDMARKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GUILD

949 El Camino Real, NOW Menlo Park (650) 266-9260 CENTURY 20 DOWNTOWN REDWOOD CITY PLAYING! 825 Middlefield Road, Redwood City (800) FANDANGO

BWQYSbaO\RAV]ebW[SaOdOWZOPZSObQW\S[O`YQ][

SCAN THIS FOR MORE INFORMATION

Sun thru Wed 8/14-8/17

The Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Double 2:00, 4:45, 7:15, 9:50 The Guard 2:15, 4:55, 7:25, 10:00 The Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Double 2:00, 4:45, 7:15 The Guard 2:15, 4:55, 7:25

Midnight in Paris

COLUMBIA PICTURES PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH MEDIA RIGHTS CAPITAL A RED HOUR PRODUCTION â&#x20AC;&#x153;30 MINUTES OREXECUTIVE LESSâ&#x20AC;? JESSE EISENBERG DANNY McBRIDE AZIZ ANSARI NICK SWARDSON MICHAEL PEĂ&#x2018;A WITH FRED WARD PRODUCERS MONICA LEVINSON BRIAN LEVY PRODUCEDBY STUART CORNFELD BEN STILLER JEREMY KRAMER SCREENPLAY DIRECTED STORY BY MICHAEL DILIBERTI BY RUBEN FLEISCHER BY MICHAEL DILIBERTI & MATTHEW SULLIVAN

STARTS FRIDAY, AUGUST 12

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR THEATERS AND SHOWTIMES

VIEW THE TRAILER AT WWW.MIDNIGHTINPARISFILM.COM

*>Â?Â&#x153;Ă&#x160;Â?Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Ă&#x160;7iiÂ&#x17D;Â?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2022;}Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;ÂŁĂ&#x201C;]Ă&#x160;Ă&#x201C;䣣Ă&#x160;U Page 27


POLYNESIAN

Trader Vic’s 849-9800 4269 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Dinner Mon-Thurs 5-10pm; Fri-Sat 5-11pm; Sun 4:30 - 9:30pm

of the week

Darbar

Available for private luncheons Lounge open nightly

AMERICAN

INDIAN

Armadillo Willy’s 941-2922 1031 N. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos Range: $5.00-13.00

Darbar Indian Cuisine 321-6688 129 Lytton, Downtown Palo Alto Lunch Buffet M-F; Open 7 days

Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-6 pm

SEAFOOD Cook’s Seafood 325-0604

Hobee’s 856-6124 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Also at Town & Country Village, Palo Alto 327-4111

Burmese Green Elephant Gourmet 494-7391 Burmese & Chinese Cuisine 3950 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto (Charleston Shopping Center) Dine-In, Take-Out, Local Delivery-Catering

CHINESE Chef Chu’s 948-2696 1067 N. San Antonio Road on the corner of El Camino, Los Altos 2010 Best Chinese MV Voice & PA Weekly

Janta Indian Restaurant 462-5903 369 Lytton Ave., Downtown Palo Alto Lunch Buffet M-F; Organic Veggies

ITALIAN

751 El Camino Real, Menlo Park Seafood Dinners from $6.95 to $10.95

La Cucina di Pizzeria Venti 254-1120 Scott’s Seafood 323-1555 1390 Pear Ave, Mountain View #1 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto www.pizzeriaventi.com Fresh, Chef Inspired Italian Food Open 7 days a week serving breakfast, Spalti Ristorante 327-9390 417 California Ave, Palo Alto ݵՈÈÌiÊœœ`ÊUÊ"ÕÌ`œœÀÊ ˆ˜ˆ˜} www.spalti.com

JAPANESE & SUSHI Fuki Sushi 494-9383 4119 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Open 7 days a Week

lunch and dinner Happy Hour 7 days a week 4-7 pm

Ming’s 856-7700 1700 Embarcadero East, Palo Alto www.mings.com New Tung Kee Noodle House 520 Showers Dr., MV in San Antonio Ctr. Voted MV Voice Best ‘01, ‘02, ‘03 & ‘04 Prices start at $4.75 947-8888 Su Hong – Menlo Park Dining Phone: 323–6852 To Go: 322–4631 Winner, Menlo Almanac “Best Of” 8 years in a row!

Page 28ÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

MEXICAN Palo Alto Sol 328-8840 408 California Ave, Palo Alto Õ}iʓi˜ÕÊUÊœ“iÃÌޏiÊ,iVˆ«iÃ

PIZZA Pizza Chicago 424-9400 4115 El Camino Real, Palo Alto This IS the best pizza in town Spot A Pizza 324-3131 115 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto Voted Best Pizza in Palo Alto www.spotpizza.com

Largest Indian Buffet in Downtown Palo Alto

Take-out & Catering Available

Full Bar, Banquets, Outdoor Seating www.scottsseafoodpa.com

THAI Siam Orchid 325-1994

Jing Jing 328-6885 443 Emerson St., Palo Alto Authentic Szechwan, Hunan Food To Go, Delivery www.jingjinggourmet.com

FINE INDIAN CUISINE

129 Lytton Avenue Palo Alto 650-321-6688 www.darbarcuisine.com open 7 days

496 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto Organic Thai Free Delivery to Palo Alto/Stanford/Menlo Park Order online at www.siamorchidpa.com

STEAKHOUSE Sundance the Steakhouse 321-6798 1921 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:00pm Dinner: Mon-Thu 5:00-10:00pm Fri-Sat 5:00-10:30pm, Sun 5:00-9:00pm www.sundancethesteakhouse.com

Search a complete listing of local restaurant reviews by location or type of food on PaloAltoOnline.com


Eating Out RESTAURANT REVIEW

Saucy sushi creations Tempting sushi with outrageous names not the only draw at Yakko Japanese Restaurant by Alissa Stallings

Michelle Le

F

The New Girlfriend Special is a spicy spider roll with eel and soft-shell crab wrapped in cucumber.

DINNER BY THE MOVIES AT SHORELINE’S

Pizzeria Venti

vations r e s e r epting now acc

able! l i a v a g caterin

irst we met the New Girlfriend. This was followed by Temptation and a Screaming Orgasm. I just report the facts, folks. On a recent Friday a group of friends and I stopped by Yakko Japanese Restaurant, tucked away on Dana Street toward the edge of the Mountain View business and residential area. We were warmly welcomed by the wait staff and sushi chef, Leon Hong, and were left with pots of green tea and a carafe of ice water. While we could have opted for more traditional low tables in the back, we quickly learned it was an advantage to be within sight of the chef. He began by starting us off with an amuse bouche of fresh, cold

tofu with hints of sesame and onion, which was refreshing and tasty. We studied the menu and found funny names for the sushi such as Hot Night, White Night, New Girlfriend and yes, The Screaming Orgasm. Just imagine turning to the fresh-faced waitress and prefacing any of these with, “I want a ... “ I ordered a combo dinner ($16) with veggie tempura and chose California rolls as my accompaniment. They were so tasty. The miso soup was great, the salad topped with tangy dressing, and the tempura hot and crispy, with green beans, onions, broccoli, Japanese pumpkin, zucchini and potato. It was a nicely done but standard as(continued on next page)

Scaloppine divitello al Marsala

The town of Marsala is a seaport city located in the Province of Trapani on the island of Sicily in Italy. The low coast on which it is situated is the westernmost point of the island. It is best known as the source of Marsala wine. Chicken Marsala is an ancient dish made with this wonderful wine. So great was thought the power of this wine, a Greek warlord even believed his men fought with more flair by drinking a little before battle. But it was the English who settled in Sicily in the early 1800’s who are credited with “upgrading” the dish with the use of veal.

It is our distinct pleasure to offer Scaloppine di vitello al Marsala as this week’s special dish.

Buon appetito! Chef Marco Salvi

SCALOPPINE DI VITELLO AL MARSALA sPOUNDVEALMEDALLIONS sTABLESPOONSOLIVEOIL s!LL PURPOSEmOUR s3ALTANDPEPPERTOTASTE sLARGESHALLOT MINCED

sPOUNDFRESH button mushrooms, sliced sžCUPDRY-ARSALAWINE sCLOVEGARLIC CHOPPED sTABLESPOONBUTTER

Preparation instructions: Add 2 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly season the veal with salt and pepper coat each medallion in flour, shaking to remove excess flour. Place in the heated skillet until golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes. Remove medallions from the skillet, place in a baking dish covered with foil, and keep warm in the preheated oven until ready to serve.

1390 Pear Ave., Mountain View (650) 254-1120 www.mvpizzeriaventi.com

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over medium low heat, and sauté the shallot, garlic and mushrooms, scraping up any browned bits, until shallots are tender. Increase heat to medium high, and stir in the Marsala. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter until melted. Pour sauce over the veal and serve with a wedge of lemon. Serves 4

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Eating Out (continued from previous page)

sortment. This meal also comes with ice cream at the end, which makes it a good choice for the least adventurous or youngest of your dining companions. The extensive menu features nigiri, soba, udon, hot pot, tempura and specialty rolls. We ordered maguro ($5, tuna) sake ($5, salmon) and hamachi ($6, yellowtail). Everything was fresh and the knife work was excellent, and we appreciated the extra crunch of scallion. Yakko features some unusual rolls to match the unusual names. The White Night ($10) includes six servings of tuna sashimi and avocado wrapped with soybean paper, which we hadn’t seen anywhere else. It was very good, but could use a bit more rice.

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The New Girlfriend ($15) was another roll that we thought was fairly unusual and had exquisite knife work, with beautiful scrolls of cucumber decorating the plate. Six rolls of eel and soft-shell crab (a spicy spider roll) were wrapped in cucumber. The Screaming Orgasm ($15) was the only dish we didn’t completely fall in love with. It’s simply tuna with ponzu sauce and daikon, and while it was good, we weren’t all convinced that the ponzu and daikon were completely complementary. The Thanksgiving roll ($18) had lobster tail and crab mixed in a creamy salad with a hint of heat, surrounded by shrimp tempura and avocado rolls, and was a hit at our table, especially since I seldom see lobster tail at our local sushi restaurants. Our stomachs quickly filling up, we watched the chef add sauce to something that looked like a fried haystack. He looked at us eyeing him and said, “Do you want one?” We nodded eagerly and soon after he brought one to our table. “What is it?” we asked. “The Temptation roll!” he answered proudly. We laughed. It had worked on us. A mass of fried potato strings, accompanied by eel, avocado and green-onion rolls wrapped in fried potato noodles ($12), it became a fast favorite. “I’ve been a sushi chef for 15 years and I love it, but I also love meat and cheese and potato and I’ve been trying to find ways to incorporate them. One day, I will do it

with the other two!” Hong said. At lunch the following week, Yakko was packed. The staff still found a seat for me quickly while I read about the $1.99 hot-sake happy hours Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The lunch box special ($10.95) featured two gyoza, two California rolls, chicken teriyaki, pork katsu, shrimp tempura, rice, salad and miso. This was an incredible value. The gyoza melted in my mouth; the shrimp was juicy; the tempura carrot was thick and hot, and I could sink my teeth into it; and the potato was fried to perfection. The only part that wasn’t just right was the katsu, a breaded pork cutlet that was dry. I was plied with green tea and smiles, and the salad had a light yet peppery dressing that was refreshing. Yakko is one on the most enduring restaurants in downtown Mountain View, opened 35 years ago under previous ownership. Hong has been the chef/owner here for the past 15 years and greets patrons as they enter and leave. His infectious enthusiasm and warmth makes this feel like a neighborhood hangout you want to return to again and again. N

Yakko Japanese Restaurant 975 W Dana St., Mountain View 650-960-0626 Hours: Lunch: Weekdays 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Dinner: Mon.-Thu. and Sun., 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri.Sat. 5:30-10 p.m.

 Reservations  Credit cards Lot Parking



Beer & wine

 Takeout  Highchairs  Wheelchair access

Page 30ÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

Banquet Catering



Outdoor seating Noise level: Fine Bathroom Cleanliness: Fine

ShopTalk BUMBLE BEGINNINGS ... Bumble, billed as a “play cafe,” is set to open later this summer at 145 First St. in Los Altos. It is intended as a cafe with a kids’ playspace and patio for families to meet and eat organic food. Bumble will be housed in a 100-year-old cottage, with the decorations chosen to maintain “the quaintness and charm of the cottage,” cafe director Emily Richard said. Several soft openings are being scheduled before the grand opening. More information is at bumblelosaltos.com.

—Aaron Guggenheim SUBWAY ON THE AVENUE ... Another Subway Restaurant is making its way to Palo Alto. Located at 205 University Ave., the restaurant is planned as a standard franchise with the same sandwiches, deals and promotions provided at other Subways. The store is still under construction, and owner Amos Wu said he hopes to open his eatery in August. It will replace the Subway forced to close because of the Walgreens fire, which Wu also owned. This new restaurant will be Wu’s fourth in Palo Alto; he also owns and operates others on California Avenue, El Camino Real and Middlefield Road.

—Aaron Guggenheim MALL’S CARTIER CLOSES ... After nearly a decade at Stanford Shopping Center, the French jeweler and watchmaker Cartier has closed its location in the mall. Cartier did not renew its lease when it expired in July, and no information has yet been released on which retailer will occupy the empty space. Julie Kelly from the mall’s managing and marketing department said, “We are very committed to offering customers a luxurious shopping experience and are excited to soon have a new retailer add to that experience.”

—Janelle Eastman LOCAL CURVES CLOSES, TOO ... Palo Alto’s first Curves branch, located at 839 Emerson St., will now be the last of its franchise in the area to close. Since opening in 2003, Curves on Emerson has offered strengthening and cardio workouts in 30-minute circuits. By the end of this month, it will become one of the nearly 2,000 branches that have closed in the U.S since 2009. “We hate to see a club close. Our clients are very important to us, which is why they are able to transfer to another club free of charge,” said Becky Frusher from Curves’ corporate communications office. Susan Empey, owner of the Curves on Emerson, declined to comment on the reason it was closing.

—Janelle Eastman Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out, or in, down the block or across town? Shop Talk will check it out. Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.


Sports Shorts

READ MORE ONLINE

www.PASportsOnline.com For expanded daily coverage of college and prep sports, please see our new site at www.PASportsOnline.com

Rachael Acker, a senior at Gunn High, has come into her own as a swimmer with the Palo Alto Stanford Aquatic club this summer. She finished fourth in the 100 free and qualified for the Olympic trials.

Tosky shakes off fatigue to grab for gold Adam Hinshaw also earns gold at Junior Nationals; Acker, Sims, Howe and Sanborn also headed for Omaha by Colin Becht he real Jasmine Tosky showed up to swim in the Speedo Junior Nationals Championships this week. The one who stumbled through the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships last week just had to be an imposter. The Palo Alto High senior, who swims for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, never came close to sniffing a final last week. Not only did Tosky qualify for the finals in the first two of her events in the USA Junior Na-

T

tionals at the Avery Aquatic Center at Stanford, she took home a pair of gold medals for her trouble.

“We’re way past where her prime was for this summer,” PASA coach Tony Batis said. “We peaked for (the FINA World Championships) in Shanghai, came in here to Nationals straightaway and tried to race but was definitely tired.” Tosky has earned her way to next summer’s Olympic trials in Omaha. She’ll be joined by many of her PASA teammates who have swam well enough to make the trip. Adam Hinshaw, who has two gold medals this week, Rachael Acker, Haley Sims, and Byron Sanborn

will also be making the trip. Stanford incoming freshman David Nolan also punched his ticket to Omaha this week. Tosky nearly sleepwalked through Nationals while recovering from jetlag that had her awakening at four in the morning. “Nationals was not a very happy meet for me, not one of my best,” Tosky said. “But I guess since I came back from Shanghai, that kind of has to do with my performance at (continued on page 33)

STANFORD FOOTBALL

Knapp keeps his eyes focused forward as Stanford prepares for the season M-A grad could find himself playing more this season by Rick Eymer enlo-Atherton High grad Sam Knapp enters his third season with the Stanford football team and this time around he can think about receiving a little more plying time. He’s earned the chance. Knapp saw action in three games last year and caught his first collegiate pass against Wake Forest; a modest seven-yard reception from Josh Nunes that remains the major highlight of his career. “Once you get a taste of it, you want more,” Knapp said. “It makes you want to work even harder,” The catch motivated Knapp, the son of Stanford men’s associate head swimming coach Ted Knapp, into what he believes was his best week of practice. Heck, he acknowledges that even now the play gets relived in his mind a few times. The wide receiving corps is a little less crowded this year and there’s a chance Knapp

M

can work himself into the rotation. “He’s Mr. Steady,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “He understands the offense and he is still competing for playing time. He’s a guy we can depend on.” Another M-A grad set the precedent. Greg Camarillo walked onto the Cardinal football team as a punter and pleaded with then coach Tyrone Willingham for a chance to work out with the wide receivers. His first reception was a two-yard gain from Chris Lewis. “It wasn’t a wonderful catch, but it got me in the record books,” he said after that Stanford win over Arizona State on Sept. 22, 2001. Camarillo went out to find a home in the NFL. Perhaps it’s far too early for Knapp to start thinking in those terms. He does have the support of his teammates, though. “First of all he has an unbelievable person(continued on next page)

John Todd

BARBEQUE AND VOLLEYBALL . . . Stanford will host a barbeque for its fans, along with a meet and greet on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. The barbeque will be held at Jimmy V’s Sports CafÈ, as will the get-together with the team. The squad will hold an open practice prior to the barbeque from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Advance registration for the event is required. Please e-mail aebrown@stanford. edu to register. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Cash and checks (payable to Stanford Women’s Volleyball) are accepted. . . . Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo and the U.S. national women’s volleyball team return to action this weekend in the FIVB World Grand Prix. The Americans, who swept their first three matches last weekend in China, play the Dominican Republic on Friday; host Japan on Saturday and Serbia on Sunday. Akinradewo recorded 13 points in Team USA’s 25-20, 25-17, 25-16 victory over the Chinese on Sunday . . . The United States men’s junior national volleyball team lost to Serbia, 25-15, 25-20, 23-25, 25-13, in the match for the bronze medal Wednesday at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Junior World Championship at Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro. Stanford sophomore Brian Cook had nine kills. Cardinal sophomore Eric Mochalski contributed three kills . . . Kawika Shoji, Erik Shoji and Brad Lawson were members of the Stanford men’s volleyball national championship team of 2010. Now they are hoping to help the United States win a gold medal at the World University Games, which begin Friday in Shenzhen, China.

Allie Shorin

MARATHON RUNNER . . . Stanford grad Lauren Fleshman is one of several runners who will make their marathon debuts at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg. Fleshman, a two-time 5,000 meter USA champion, five-time NCAA champion, and 15-time All-American, hopes to parlay the marathon training into an Olympic berth in the 5,000. The 29-year-old Eugene, OR resident won the 5,000 meters at the Aviva London Grand Prix last weekend. “My dream for the past 11 years has been to do something special with the 5,000 meters in the 2012 Olympics,” Fleshman said. “I know I need to get a lot stronger, so it became obvious that I need to throw some new wood on the fire. I’ve seen the marathon work its magic on many women I admire, and I’m convinced: Nothing will change my physiology, stretch my mind and freshen my perspective more than running the ING New York City Marathon.” Fleshman will also represent Team USA in the 5,000 at the IAAF World Outdoor Track and Fields Championships, which begin Aug. 27 in Daegu, Korea. Stanford grad Jillian Camarena-Williams is also on the team in the shot put.

M-A grad Sam Knapp hopes one won’t be enough as he battles for playing time with the Stanford football team. *>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊU Page 31


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Ogwumike sisters are preparing for a little basketball Team USA opens against Brazil in the preliminary round by USA Basketball staff he United States womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball World University Games team could have used a little time to relax after its 30-hour trip from Colorado Springs to Shenzhen, China for the World University Games, which begin with Opening Ceremonies on Saturday. Time was too precious to waste, though, so after a short respite from four different bus rides and two separate air flights, the Americans began acclimating themselves to living in an athletic village with thousands of other competitors. The first day began with breakfast at 9 a.m., and followed with a delegation briefing at 10 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., a press conference and back to the village about 3:30 p.m. An hour later, the players got taped and scrimmaged against Brazil at 5:35 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was great. It was a nice opportunity to get the kinks out, to finally get loose because we had a long travel,â&#x20AC;? Stanford sophomore Chiney Ogwumike said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just here trying to get acclimated, so being able to finally hit the floor after seeing so many athletes from so many countries is really great. We were motivated. It was fun.â&#x20AC;? Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and exercise, it was clearly a learning experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think someone said the name of the day was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;patience,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Notre Dame guard Natalie Novosel said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You never know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to experience with the travel. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always unexpected, so you just have to go with the flow. Once somebody to get irritable, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy for a lot of people to get irritable. So everyone was trying to keep a good attitude about it and everyone did the best they could. Overall I think everyone did have a good attitude, a good experience and we made it here safely and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the biggest thing.â&#x20AC;? Everyone on the team seems excited about the looming experience, and not just because of the basketball competition. There are too many cultures to explore, experiences to be had and lifelong friendships to forge for the USA Basketball coaches and athletes to be anything but excited. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The athletesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; village has so many different cultures,â&#x20AC;? said Ogwumike, a first generation Nigerian-American. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You see and meet people from around the world that you would never get to meet, who are also top-tier athletes and great people. The village is just great, foodwise, service-wise. The people of Shenzhen have been way over hospitable. I really enjoy the village and I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t imagine a better experience, coming to the

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 special public meeting at 6:00 PM, Wednesday, August 24, 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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main website at www.cityofpaloalto.org. and also at the Planning Division Front Desk, 5th Floor, City Hall, after 2:00 PM on the Friday preceding the meeting date. Copies will be made available at the Development Center should City Hall be closed on the 9/80 Friday. NEW BUSINESS. Other Items 1.

Selection of Chair and Vice-Chair.

Study Session: 2. Parking Program Study Session: Presentation on proposed parking management strategies in the Downtown core including way-ďŹ nding/parking guidance signage, parking permit distribution, tier-pricing for parking permits, control-access for parking structures, bicycle parking, and residential permit parking in adjacent neighborhoods. Parking management strategies for the California Avenue business district will also be discussed. Public Hearing: 3. 195 Page Mill Road and 2865 Park Boulevard [10-PLN00344]: Request by Hohbach Realty Company for approval of a Tentative Map for Condominium Purposes to create: (1) 84 residential units on the two upper ďŹ&#x201A;oors (106,320 sq.ft.) including 17 below market rate housing units; (2) common areas associated with these residential units and (3) ground ďŹ&#x201A;oor (50,467 sq.ft.) Research and Development use and subterranean garage to remain owned by the developer, subject to easements for utilities, support and access for the beneďŹ t of the residential condominium portion of the building. Zone: GM. Environmental Assessment: An Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) has been prepared and was tentatively approved by the Director on July 12, 2011 in conjunction with the application for Architectural Review (AR), in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Other Items: 4. Topics of Discussion for the Joint Council/PTC Meeting of September 19, 2011. Questions. For any questions regarding the above applications, please contact the Planning Department at (650) 329-2440. The ďŹ les 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&#x20AC;&#x2122;s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), please contact the Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ADA Coordinator at 650.329.2550 (voice) or by e-mailing ada@cityofpaloalto.org. *** Curtis Williams, Director of Planning and Community Environment

Page 32Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2022;}Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;ÂŁĂ&#x201C;]Ă&#x160;Ă&#x201C;䣣Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;*>Â?Â&#x153;Ă&#x160;Â?Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Ă&#x160;7iiÂ&#x17D;Â?Ă&#x17E;

Stanford football (continued from previous page)

ality,â&#x20AC;? Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love Knapp. He comes to work every day. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big piece of the process. You have to appreciate guys like him who help make this team go. He can step in with the first offense and knows what heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doing.â&#x20AC;? Knapp has seen Stanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success unfold from a unique perspective over his three-year career. From just missing out becoming bowl eligible, to making the Sun Bowl and last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Orange Bowl victory. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a great journey and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s far from over. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The team atmosphere is great,â&#x20AC;? said Knapp, who rooms with Nunes during training camp. You have guys who are Heisman Trophy candidates and guys who are role players and scout team guys. We all contribute

Don Feria/stanfordphoto.com

T

Stanford sophomore Chiney Ogwumike figured the 30-hour trip to China is well worth the experience. World University Games.â&#x20AC;? The USA opens against Brazil on Sunday (Saturday night PDT) and in addition to practicing, the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s itinerary includes Opening Ceremonies, shopping and getting to know more people from around the world. Team USA won the scrimmage, 79-47, 48 hours after leaving Colorado Springs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coming from the U18 team last year, I was familiar with some of their players and their style,â&#x20AC;? Ogwumike said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a completely different team that we have right now at this event. So it was a different experience. Overall I liked our energy. We got better with every play and every possession and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for as we practice.â&#x20AC;? Ogwumike will also try to keep up with the other Stanford athletes involved in the World University Games. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yeah, I definitely am trying to follow the Stanford people, the swimmers,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know some people who are swimming here, so hopefully I get to go see them compete. Besides that, USA athletes, trying to see as many sports as we can, the different ones, the obscure ones, the mainstream ones and obviously our menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (basketball) team, hopefully we can catch them, too. USA and Stanford, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hoping to watch them all. N

in our own way during the week.â&#x20AC;? Chris Owusu is the top returning wide receiver, but there are several spots open to competition. Knapp knows there are a lot of guys fighting for playing time. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about to get outworked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the biggest differences for me is Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m comfortable,â&#x20AC;? Knapp said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the playbook down and with coach Shaw keeping the same system, it was big.â&#x20AC;? Knapp was also a part of the informal summer workouts with Luck, Nunes and several other quarterback candidates. The number of passes he caught during the summer is so large all he can guess is he caught â&#x20AC;&#x153;a lot.â&#x20AC;? Knapp may never catch another pass, but even so, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s having the best time of his life. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s practicing and playing with teammates who are and will become some of his best friends. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of something special.

NOTES: Palo Alto grad Kevin Anderson is also in camp with the Cardinal along with Sacred Heart Prep grads Chris Gaertnerand Brian Moran. . . Shaw said the first day of pads Wednesday â&#x20AC;&#x153;felt like Stanford football. It was a good, physical practice with guys flying around.â&#x20AC;? . . . Josh Nunes should be the favorite to win the backup quarterback position based on experience but Shaw isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to commit until he gets a good read on all the candidates, which also includes junior Robbie Picazo, sophomores David Olson and Brett Nottingham, and freshmen Adam Brzeczek, Kevin Hogan and Evan Crower. . . . Shaw gave the offensive line, junior defensive tackleTerrance Stephens and sophomore defensive linemanHenry Anderson for the dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s practice . . . The season begins at home against San Jose State on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. N


Sports

Allie Shorin

PASA’s Jasmine Tosky receives her gold medal for winning the 100 fly Wednesday in the USA Swimming Championships at Stanford.

Jr. Nationals (continued from page 31)

Nationals.” A rested Tosky returned to her usual championship form this week at the Junior Nationals, earning gold in the 400 freestyle relay, and helping set a new meet record that she had helped set a year ago, and earned gold in the 100 butterfly. Though Tosky may be facing slower competition at the Junior Nationals, her times have also improved dramatically from the previous week. And, besides, scores of swimmers have met the Olympic Trial times this week as well. Tosky’s butterfly in the finals on Wednesday clocked in at 59.51 seconds, more than a second faster from the time she posted in the bonus finals at Nationals. Her time in the relay dropped as well, falling from 56.01 seconds to 55.98 seconds. While that decrease may seem slight, as evidence of her fit-

ness, Tosky’s time on the second lap of the relay shrank from 29.55 to 29.19. “She has an understanding of where the endpoint is,” Batis said. “She knows she’s 48 hours from taking a good, well-deserved break, and it’s a not too distant event now.” Tosky has budgeted what little energy she has left in the Junior Nationals, electing to withdraw from a few of her regular events, such as the 200 butterfly, an event in which she holds the current Junior Nationals record. As PASA coach Scott Shea said, Tosky is merely taking “a little recovery” amidst her final week of summer competition. With the conclusion of a grueling three weeks of summer competition, Tosky said she’ll take two weeks off, but then must begin preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. next summer. Tosky said she plans to swim six events at the Olympic Trials in hopes of making the Olympic squad.

Asked if the Olympics were on her radar, Tosky replied, “Definitely, but first I’ve got to work on Trials so that’s my big meet right now.” While Tosky’s Olympic aspirations may be legitimate, Batis warned that making the Olympic team requires more than talent. “There are a lot of girls that are good enough to make the Olympic team, and unfortunately it’s a battle for 26 positions,” Batis said. “Is she a contender? Absolutely, and she has the ability too. But the ability only takes you to a certain point. She’s still got a lot of stuff to do over the next 8-10 months to give herself that chance.” Hinshaw won his second gold medal in the 400 freestyle. Sitting in third place after 350 meters and trailing by more than four tenths of a second, Hinshaw found a late surge to touch just ahead of Matias Koski, winning by .13 seconds. He finished with a time of 3:56.27. (continued on next page)

Support Palo Alto Weekly’s coverage of our community. Keith Peters

Julia Ama helped Jasmine Tosky, Camille Cheng and Rachael Acker finish the 400 free relay in 3:46.68 to set a meet record previously owned by Tosky, Cheng, Acker and Maddie Schaefer.

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Sports (continued from previous page)

Allie Shorin

Jack Lane, who will be a freshman at Stanford this fall, swam 54.78 in the 100 fly to earn fourth place and a spot at the Olympic trials.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I knew I had really great finishing speed based off my other performances at Juniors so far and at Nationals,â&#x20AC;? Hinshaw said, referring to his gold in the 400 individual medley on Tuesday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So at the last 50 there, I knew that if I threw in my kick, I would be able to get to the wall first.â&#x20AC;? It was Hinshawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s closing speed that made the difference as he swam the final 50 meters in 28.10 seconds, his fastest lap by nearly two seconds. Hinshaw followed his plan for the race perfectly, waiting in fourth or third place for much of the race, but remaining close enough to catch the

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leaders in the final sprint. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just wanted to stay in the lead pack and then in the last 50, take off,â&#x20AC;? he said. Sims finished ninth in the 100 fly with a time of 1:01.14. Acker took third place in the bonus final with a time of 1:01.92. The PASA relay team of Hinshaw, Connor Stuewe, Andrew Liang and finished 10th in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:42.42. Lane swam 54.78 in the 100 butterfly to earn fourth place and his qualification for the Olympic Trials. PASAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s record-setting â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 400 freestyle relay team consisted of Tosky, Julia Ama, Camille Cheng and Acker and finished in 3:46.68 to obliterate the meet record of 3:48.24, which was accomplished by Tosky, Cheng, Acker and Maddie Schaefer, who will be a freshman at Stanford this fall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure how our relays would do without Maddie, but I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to do pretty well,â&#x20AC;? Tosky said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Julia and Rachael are really stepping in.â&#x20AC;? Both Acker and Tosky swam

their portions of the relay in under 56 seconds, times that would have been fast enough in the 100 free finals to place second and third, respectively. Finishing immediately behind PASA â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the relay was PASA â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;B,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; comprised of Sims, Alicia Grima, Carly Reid and Ally Howe. That quartet earned the silver medal with a time of 3:50.24. Jeremie Dezwirek held a lead in the finals of the 200 backstroke for the first 150 meters, but was unable to hang on down the stretch and took the bronze with a time of 2:03.13. Acker competed in the 100 freestyle finals before her gold in the relay, finishing in 56.43 seconds to earn fourth place. Ama finished fifth in the consolation final while fellow relay teammate Cheng took seventh in the bonus final. Both Ama and Cheng failed to qualify for the Olympic Trials with Ama just missing the necessary time of 57.19 by .09 seconds. Howe earned her qualification into the Olympic Trials in the 200 backstroke by winning the bonus final in a time of 2:18.33. N

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Book Talk

AN AFTERNOON IN PARIS ... Ellen Sussman, who teaches writing through Stanford Continuing Studies and judges the Palo Alto Weekly’s annual short-story contest, will discuss her new novel “French Lessons” on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. at Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. In her second novel (she also wrote “On a Night Like This,” and edited “Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave” and Dirty Words: A Literary Encyclopedia of Sex”), she depicts a single day in Paris when three Americans learn about language, love and loss. Sussman will also appear at the Downtown Library, Program Room, 270 Forest Ave., Palo Alto, on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. Sponsored by Friends of the Palo Alto Library, the event, which includes book sales by Books Inc., is part of the Palo Alto City Library’s Adult Summer Reading Program. Information: www.booksinc.net or www.cityofpaloalto.org/library or 650-329-2436

AUTHOR AUTHOR ... Upcoming authors at Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, include Chris Haft, “This Is Our Time!” (Aug. 11, 7 p.m.); Jane Fonda, “Prime Time: Making the most of your life” (Aug. 18, 7 p.m.); Lev Grossman, “The Magician King” (Aug. 24, 7 p.m.); Kathleen Baty, “College Safety 101: Miss Independent’s Guide to Empowerment, Confidence, and Staying Safe” (Aug. 25, 7 p.m.); Annamarie Pluhar, “Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates” (Aug. 31, 7 p.m.); Ying-Ying Chang, “The Woman Who Could Not Forget: Iris Chang Before and Beyond the Rape of Nanking” (Sept. 8, 7 p.m.). Members may attend free; general admission requires purchase of the event book or a $10 gift card, which admits two. Information: www.keplers.com MORE TALKS ... Upcoming authors at Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View, include Jafar Yaghoobi, “Let Us Water the Flowers: the Memoir of a Political Prisoner in Iran” (Aug. 17, 7 p.m.). Information: www.booksinc.net N

Items for Book Talk may be sent to Associate Editor Carol Blitzer, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 93202 or e-mailed to cblitzer@ paweekly.com by the last Friday of the month.

A monthly section on local books and authors, edited

by Carol Blitzer

Veronica Weber

LOCAL AUTHOR ... Palo Alto residents Nick and Betsy Clinch have co-authored “Through a Land of Extremes: The Littledales of Central Asia,” which they will read from and sign on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. at Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Nick is a graduate of Stanford and Stanford Law School who also served as executive director of the Sierra Club Foundation. He led several expeditions to Central Asia. Information: www.keplers. com

Title Pages

Palo Alto resident JoAn Chace tells the story of her adopted daughter Kate’s search for her birth family in the book they’ve co-authored.

Who am I?

by Carol Blitzer “Growing Up Is Hard to Do When They Won’t Tell You Who You Are,” by JoAn E. Chace and Katherine E. Chace; Patsons Press, 232 pp. h look, she’s got Grandma’s blue eyes.” “She’s as persnickety as Aunt Susie.” “It’s about time someone could run as fast as cousin Hal.” As an adopted daughter born in 1970, Katherine Chace never heard those comments. Hers was a classic, closed adoption where even her birth certificate denied her access to basic information, such as her birth parents’ names. Growing up in Palo Alto, Kate never knew why she didn’t quite fit, why she was short, sturdy and athletic, why school was a challenge. The question really wasn’t why, but rather who. She and her mother, JoAn Chace, have co-authored and

“O

An adopted daughter embarks on a challenging search for her birth mother

self-published a book that chronicles her journey — with a lot of help from her adopted mom — to discover who she is. JoAn wrote the majority of the book, with Kate’s voice interspersed. JoAn shares her personal story, beginning with how scarring from pelvic inflammatory disease rendered her unable to bear a child. She walks us through the labyrinth of adoption, recalling conversations with social workers, one of whom told her outright: “You and the doctors. The professors and the doctors. You all expect a healthy child. And you want a child that will be able to learn and

achieve.” She was even advised to give up working and change her babysitter (for her adopted son, who is two years older than Kate), if she expected to get a second child. Once they had adopted Kate, who spent her first 22 months in foster care because of legal issues, the Chaces took the social worker’s admonitions to heart. They soon moved to Palo Alto where Bill became a Stanford professor, dean and vice provost. JoAn lectured in freshman English at Stanford when the children were growing up. An avid athlete, Kate (continued on next page)

*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊU Page 35


Title Pages

Who am I?

(continued from previous page)

played soccer, studied violin and rode horses, even keeping a horse in the foothills. School was a challenge: She didn’t learn to read until third grade, when she got glasses. Later she was diagnosed with learning disabilities. And, by the time she was in middle school she began slipping out of the house at night. Fearing that she would not thrive at Palo Alto High School, she went to Mid-Peninsula High School. Although her parents knew the local police officers by name — and tried to set and enforce limits — Kate continued to sneak City of Palo Alto Recreation presents

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out. At 15 she ended up pregnant by her boyfriend (who JoAn described as “hostile, drank, rode a motorcycle” but welcomed into their home “as the devil they knew”) — and chose to give up the baby boy for adoption. Kate chose an “open adoption” for her son, and interviewed the prospective parents. They sent her photos for three years, then abruptly stopped. Although the adoption was “open,” there were no guarantees. She hasn’t heard from them since. She writes in the book: “I have so much to tell him. I want to tell him that I’ve always loved him and that I gave him up so that he’d have a better life than what I could have offered. ... I think you have to love a child tremendously in order to give him up.” Kate finished high school and started community college the year her father became president of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. That’s also the year she began her search for her birth parents. From the beginning, JoAn joined Kate in her research, filling out endless forms and waivers to obtain her files. Although Kate’s adoption was “closed” she had learned from her released file that she had two older half brothers and that her natural father was actually her legal father’s brother. (Her birth mother had an affair when her husband went to Vietnam as a civilian worker, broke off the connection and then disappeared.)

Page 36ÊUÊÕ}ÕÃÌÊ£Ó]ÊÓ䣣ÊUÊ*>œÊÌœÊ7iiŽÞ

Some of what Kate learned was disheartening: One grandfather died of cirrhosis of the liver and her natural father also had a drinking problem. But she also learned that her birth mother was caught up in legal matters, unable to fully give her up for adoption because her husband was missing — hence the long stay in foster care. “The earnestness of Kate’s mother was touching and inspiring to us all. Greater knowledge of her mother was a gift and a treasure for Kate,” JoAn wrote. But getting a little bit of information simply spurred them on to look for more. Although secrecy surrounding adoption historically was designed to protect the birth mother (think “The Scarlet Letter”), later thinking has eased the strict confidentiality demanded in the 1950s through the 1980s. Some states today have “mutual consent” registries — where adopted people and their birth parents can give up their anonymity — but California’s is passive, requiring consent from the over-age-18 adoptee, either adoptive parent and the birth mother or other birth family member. And the consent cannot be solicited by the adoption agency. The end of the book reads like an unraveling mystery: Someone failed to fully black out Kate’s birth mother’s marriage and divorce dates, so Kate and JoAn were able to check through public records in San Francisco, spending three days checking and cross-checking until

they came up with the first, middle and last name of her birth mother, as well as the last name of her birth father. Then the letter-writing began — but with no response. The book’s ending is a bit anticlimactic: Kate learned her mother was living in San Francisco, and she called her, only to be rebuffed. She followed with letters, even including a photo of her dog. Wanting to reassure her that she wasn’t looking to blame her or bring up bad memories, Kate wrote: “I turned out great. Thank you.” That was 1995. Fast forward to 2011. JoAnn sits in her University South home, offering Southern iced tea to the reporter who can’t resist asking a few things: Has Kate ever contacted her son? Did she ever connect with her mother? What about those half brothers? No, Kate hasn’t met her grown-up son, now 26 years old. Even with an “open” adoption, she never knew the last names of the adoptive parents. The information is out there on California’s passive registry, but because he’s a boy JoAn said he’s less likely to search, much like her own adopted son, Will. As JoAn put it when Will chose not to look further for his own birth parents, “He couldn’t see the gain, didn’t want her pain.” Will did go as far as requesting his file, where he learned that his mother could have kept him. At first he felt she just threw him away, JoAn said, but “after that he began

to pull himself together.” Today he’s married with two children of his own, living and working nearby in Scotts Valley. Kate stopped trying to contact her birth mother, but sought her brothers via Facebook. She learned via notes that their stepfather (Kate’s natural father) had been abusive and harsh. One called Kate “the lucky one.” Then one brother visited the Chaces in Palo Alto, and JoAn gave him a copy of the book. Three months later, he brought the book to his mother. “She was quite fascinated. She’d forgotten much of this history. ... It brought back a period of her life she hadn’t thought about in a long time,” JoAn said. Then she called Kate. So the story is ongoing: Kate hasn’t met her grown-up son. She’s married now and still hopes to have another child. And she lives in Atlanta, Ga., where she works with primates at Emory University. She still hasn’t met her mother face-toface, but they’ve talked. And for JoAn, writing this book with her daughter has fulfilled her desire to get to know her daughter better. “The book project brought us closer together,” she said. In Kate’s words, “Over time you showed me that you loved me unconditionally and your love, in part, has made me the strong adult I am today.” N Associate Editor Carol Blitzer can be emailed at cblitzer@ paweekly.com.


Palo Alto Weekly 08.12.2011 - Section 1