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Palo Alto


Recycling Center to close Feb. 1 Page 3

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Learning the language One-third of Palo Alto students speak a language at home that’s not English page 18



Spectrum 14

Eating Out 26

Movies 27

Puzzles 53

NArts Modern twist at Pan-Asian Music Festival

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NSports Soccer goal is to shed bridesmaid role

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NHome Time for a nice cuppa tea?

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Observes National Eating Disorders Awareness Week             Eating disorders can cause changes in the structure and function of the brain. Get the information you need about what happens to the brain when it’s malnourished, how it impacts cognitive processing and what can be done to help people with eating disorders adopt a healthier thinking style. The Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Invites You to: A Panel Discussion and Ask-the-Experts Session Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:00 – 8:30 pm

The Auditorium Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital 725 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304 Reserve your space for this free event. Register online at or call (650) 724-4601. Free parking available at 730 Welch Road (across from the hospital). Parking also available at 725 Welch Road for a fee.

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Local news, information and analysis

Proposed downtown ‘gateway’ building hit with setback Planning commissioners demand more ‘public benefits’ from developer of five-story building by Gennady Sheyner


looming tower made of glass and connected to a new fivestory building could soon become one of the most prominent features of downtown Palo Alto — if the development can muster up enough “public benefits� to justify

its size and density. If approved by the City Council, the new building would stand at the site formerly occupied by a Shell gas station, and the tower would be one of the first local landmarks to greet Caltrain commuters entering University

Avenue. Originally proposed a year ago, the project has since become bigger and more ambitious, growing from four floors to five, adding nine apartments and incorporating the new tower element at the prominent corner of Alma Street and Lytton Avenue. Under the proposal, the fifth floor of the 64-foot building would house 14 apartments, five of which would be affordable housing (though the applicants said they would be willing to make seven of the apartments af-

fordable housing). The project would also include 1,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor (up from 800 square feet in the prior version) and office space on the ground, second, third and fourth floors. The idea, from the developer’s perspective, is to attract cutting-edge startups and further enhance the city’s reputation for innovation. Another objective is to give Caltrain commuters a prominent “gateway� into the city — a goal that the 84-foot tower would help achieve.

“The main intent of the tower element is for aesthetic purposes and to help identify the mixed-use building as a landmark for downtown Palo Alto,� city Planner Jason Nortz wrote in a report on the project. “The mixeduse building is intended to serve as a promenade entry to downtown beginning with the crosswalk from the University Avenue.� The city’s Planning and Trans(continued on page 5)


Palo Alto advised to add ambulance Consultant study recommends scrapping non-urgent transports by Gennady Sheyner alo Alto’s emergency medical services are already among the best in the region, but the city’s program could benefit from a new leadership position, a second full-time ambulance service and elimination of the city’s non-urgent “basic life service,� according to a consultant study that was presented to the City Council Monday (Jan. 23). The report from Systems Planning Corporation/TriData provided a broad overview of the city-run emergency medical services and while it offered a glowing review of the existing operations, it also included 23 recommendations for improvement. These included big-picture suggestions such as maintaining the local operation (as opposed to joining Santa Clara County’s ambulance program) and increasing the Fire Department’s participation in “community health improvement.� They also included micro-level recommendations about staffing levels and organizational changes. Monday’s discussion gave the council its first look at a study that has been close to two years in the making. It is an addition to a broader Fire Utilization Study that TriData worked on last year, a broad analysis of the Fire Department that recommended consolidating some police and fire operations and merging two fire stations. While the earlier study was in many ways critical of the Fire Department, pointing to its “leadership malaise� and poor coordination, the EMS report was mostly positive in its tone. “The level of care delivered to the citizens and visitors of Palo Alto from the local fire-based system is quite good and exceeds national performance

P Veronica Weber

Aldo Ramirez, a manager of the Palo Alto Recycling Center for GreenWaste of Palo Alto, helps a customer recycle cardboard on Jan. 26, days before the center will close on Feb. 1. A sign lets customers know where they can take their recyclable materials.


Palo Alto Recycling Center to close Feb. 1 Most materials are now picked up at curbside, city says by Sue Dremann


ich Green hauled spools of electrical cable, old VCRs and boxes of paper from the back of his vehicle, carrying them to the appropriate metal bins at the Palo Alto Recycling Center, located at the baylands near Byxbee Park. The trip could be one of his last to the 40-year-old facility. The city will close the recycling center on Feb. 1. “I wish it wasn’t going to close. It’s incredibly handy,� said Green, who has an audio-visual installation business and offers to recycle

the boxes and other byproducts as part of the installation. He did not know where he would take his stuff now, he said. The Palo Alto Recycling Center, which opened in 1972, will shut down because it’s located on part of the city’s landfill, which closed last July. While visitors like Green said they lament the loss, use of the center has significantly dropped in recent years as curbside collection of recyclables has expanded, according to the city. Only 6 percent

of the city’s recyclable items are now being taken to the recycling center. The city decided to close the center as a cost-saving measure to reduce a $3.7 million deficit in the city’s Refuse Fund. Despite advertising and a notice on the city’s website, people coming to the center this week said they weren’t aware it would close until they saw a sign on the premises. “I’m sad,� Angel Avalos said, as he poured cans of oil and antifreeze into drums. He comes twice

a month and sometimes drops off oil filters, he said. The scrap metal bin is a popular drop-off spot; this week it was filled with spools of cable, old lawn mowers, an ironing board and utility shelves. A rusty brake drum and other odd pieces of metal clanged as a man tossed the parts into the bin. Aldo Ramirez, a recycling-center employee, waited in a forklift until the man drove away. He carefully lifted the large, blue metal bin and emptied its contents into an 8-foot-tall refuse container before returning it to its spot. There are bins for glass and bins for cardboard, and barrels for cooking oil and vehicle fluids. Stacks of old fluorescent tube bulbs, some 8 feet long, stood upright in boxes in (continued on page 7)

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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 Sue Dremann, Chris Kenrick, Gennady Sheyner, Staff Writers Eric Van Susteren, Editorial Assistant, Internship Coordinator Veronica Weber, Staff Photographer Kelsey Kienitz, Photo Intern Dale F. Bentson, Colin Becht, Peter Canavese, Kit Davey, Iris Harrell, Sheila Himmel, Chad Jones, Kevin Kirby, Jack McKinnon, Jeanie K. Smith, Susan Tavernetti, Contributors Cristina Wong, Editorial Intern DESIGN Shannon Corey, Design Director Raul Perez, Assistant Design Director Linda Atilano, Diane Haas, Scott Peterson, Paul Llewellyn, Senior Designers Lili Cao, Designer PRODUCTION Jennifer Lindberg, Production Manager Dorothy Hassett, Samantha Mejia, Blanca Yoc, Sales & Production Coordinators ADVERTISING Tom Zahiralis, Vice President Sales & Advertising Judie Block, Adam Carter, Janice Hoogner, Brent Triantos, Display Advertising Sales Neal Fine, Carolyn Oliver, Rosemary Lewkowitz, Real Estate Advertising Sales David Cirner, Irene Schwartz, Inside Advertising Sales Cathy Norfleet, Display Advertising Sales Asst. Diane Martin, Real Estate Advertising Asst. Alicia Santillan, Classified Administrative Asst. Wendy Suzuki, Advertising Sales Intern EXPRESS, ONLINE AND VIDEO SERVICES Rachel Palmer, Online Operations Coordinator Rachel Hatch, Multimedia Product Manager BUSINESS Susie Ochoa, Payroll & Benefits Elena Dineva, Mary McDonald, Claire McGibeny, Cathy Stringari, Business Associates ADMINISTRATION Janice Covolo, Doris Taylor, Receptionists Ruben Espinoza, Courier EMBARCADERO MEDIA William S. Johnson, President Michael I. Naar, Vice President & CFO Tom Zahiralis, Vice President Sales & Advertising Frank A. Bravo, Director, Information Technology & Webmaster Connie Jo Cotton, Major Accounts Sales Manager Bob Lampkin, Director, Circulation & Mailing Services Alicia Santillan, Circulation Assistant 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: Our email addresses are:,, Missed delivery or start/stop your paper? Call 650 326-8210, or email circulation@paweekly. com. You may also subscribe online at Subscriptions are $60/yr.


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Where scholarship and values matter.

450 CAMBRIDGE AVE, PALO ALTO, CA 94306 (650) 326-8210

They’re certainly not going to be put in an art museum.

— Councilman Larry Klein said of the antennas AT&T is installing throughout Palo Alto. See story on page 6.

Around Town PRIORITIES ... First the easy part: the City Council decided Saturday to keep all five of the city’s 2011 priorities — finances, environmental sustainability, emergency preparedness, land use and transportation, and youth well-being — in place for another year. Now comes the tricky part: figuring out exactly what that means. Though setting official priorities is a timehonored council tradition, members acknowledged at a strategic retreat on Saturday (Jan. 21) that they really need to clarify what a “priority� is. Councilman Larry Klein argued that five priorities are too many and implied to residents that any issue not labeled a priority would be ignored. He recommended adopting just two: infrastructure and Cubberley Community Center. Klein also suggested that it’s time to “rethink the whole process� of setting priorities and recommended sending the discussion to the city’s Policy and Services Commission. His colleagues agreed. Meanwhile, because city officials have been calling 2012 “the year of infrastructure investment and renewal,� Councilman Pat Burt voted against the council’s decision to keep the priorities in place and to not include “infrastructure� on the list. Others, including Mayor Yiaway Yeh and Councilman Sid Espinosa said the council’s existing priorities already encapsulate infrastructure. Burt disagreed. “We basically are saying that it (infrastructure) is such a priority that we won’t speak the word in our priorities,� Burt said. “I think that’s flawed.� I-BRICK ... And speaking of infrastructure: They’ve spent 13 months analyzing potholes, touring police facilities, surveying parks and comparing funding mechanisms and all they got for their efforts was a bunch of bricks. Not that members of the Palo Alto’s recently disbanded Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission were complaining on Saturday, when the City Council recognized the group’s efforts by handing each member a commemorative brick. Not the most visually striking award, perhaps, but certainly in keeping with both the panel’s mission (survey the city’s infrastructure) and its acronym, IBRC (pronounced “i-brik�). Each brick featured a golden plate with the commissioner’s name and a brief explanation: “This ‘Brick’ is presented in recognition of your time and thoughtful work in analyzing and making strategic recommendations for meeting the challenges of maintaining and improving Palo Alto’s extensive infrastructure inventory.� The council didn’t waste much time at Saturday’s strategic retreat before digging into the report and its analysis of the city’s publicsafety needs. Council members also recognized that a topic as broad

and complex as infrastructure would require many more strategic discussions in the coming months. Mayor Yiaway Yeh recommended meetings on at least three more Saturdays. His colleagues didn’t object, though some had mild reservations about the overtime work. “I’d like to have staff have their Saturday off, in addition to the council, unless we do it at a fivestar retreat,� Councilwoman Nancy Shepherd said. “Which I’m not recommending,� she quickly added. ALL THAT JAZZ ... Not everyone is happy about Palo Alto’s proposed ban on playing amplified music at Lytton Plaza. Namely, the very people making the music. Several musicians attended the Wednesday Planning and Transportation Commission meeting to complain about the ban, which was spurred by noise complaints from downtown businesses. Susan Webb, who runs weekly jam sessions at the prominent downtown plaza, said she was approached this week by a police officer who told her she has to get a permit to play, a permit that she said costs $300. “I encourage people to pick up some instruments and play — just make some music. That’s really what it’s all about.� Webb said she believes her jam sessions keep people out of trouble. “I don’t think there’s any reason why police should hassle us for that.� Other aspiring musicians concurred. Zack Sampson, who also plays at the plaza, shared her perspective. “It’s great fun. Please don’t end it.� The commission did not discuss the subject, which was beyond the purview of its meeting. MUSICAL CHAIRS ... Palo Alto exmayors stick together, particularly when it comes to political endorsements. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss announced her desire to return to the Palo Alto City Council, her former council colleague and current State Sen. Joe Simitian was among the early endorsers of her campaign. This week, Kniss returned the favor and announced her endorsement of Simitian, who is termed out of Sacramento this year and who hopes to take Kniss’ spot on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. In her endorsement statement, Kniss lauded Simitian’s previous experience on the board and said he will “hit the ground running� and will “represent the northern part of the county very well, having lived and served here for many years. ... Joe has interacted with Santa Clara County closely in the years I have served, understanding that the health and human services safety net provided by counties is essential for our well-being and depends on state dollars to provide those services.� N



Caltrain could try for tax increase to fund operations

High school graduation criteria debated

Coming year’s budget looks stable, officials say, but long-term picture murky by Gennady Sheyner


year after barely avoiding draconian service cuts, Caltrain officials have several reasons to feel optimistic even as they continue to scramble for new funding sources to keep the trains running. The agency, which draws funding from transit districts in Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties, withstood a financial crisis last year after San Mateo County Transit District (Samtrans) drastically cut back its contributions, prompting other agencies to follow suit. The result was a $30 million deficit on a budget of roughly $100 million. The good news for the cash-strapped agency is that its popularity continues to soar, thanks in large part to contributions from major employers such as the Stanford University Medical Center and Facebook, according to Yoriko Kishimoto, a former Palo Alto mayor who currently leads the group “Friends of Caltrain.� Kishimoto, who updated the City Council Rail Committee on Caltrain’s latest efforts Thursday morning, said that increased ridership has put a dent into the agency’s operating deficit. Stanford University Medical Center, for example, announced last month that it has offered Caltrain Go Passes to all of its employees. As of mid-December, about 2,000 employees had signed on for the monthly passes. Kishimoto estimated that the hospitals’ contribution brings Caltrain $1.4 million in annual revenues. Facebook, she said, has shuttles operating for each train. “The good thing, overall, is that every month since then (last year’s finan-

cial crisis), Caltrain ridership has been going up and revenues are going up,� Kishimoto said. But the recent uptick in revenue doesn’t erase the need for a dedicated funding source, which Caltrain still lacks. One idea on the table for addressing the agency’s long-term needs is a sales-tax increase for San Mateo County. Kishimoto said Caltrain will be conducting polls and surveys in the coming months to gauge the likelihood of such a measure passing. Another proposal, from state Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would raise the sales tax in all three counties to support Caltrain. Kishimoto said Hill will detail his proposal at the Feb. 2 meeting of Friends of Caltrain. Either tax proposal would require voter approval. Mark Simon, Caltrain’s executive officer of public affairs, told the Weekly that the agency is facing two problems: the structural funding deficit and the need to modernize Caltrain, an ambitious effort that includes electrifying the tracks. “Caltrain is one of the few transit agencies that don’t have a dedicated source of funding,� Simon said. “We can put a sales-tax measure on the ballot, but we’d like to know a little more about whether it would pass.� In addition to considering a possible tax measure, Simon said Caltrain is reviewing its entire business model and considering how it allocates costs to the three transit partners. (continued on page 7)

School officials ponder better ‘alignment’ with CSU/UC entrance requirements by Chris Kenrick lgebra 2 has become a focus for a debate over whether the Palo Alto Unified School District should boost its graduation requirements to meet entrance criteria for the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC). Though the subject is not currently required for high-school graduation here, it is a prerequisite for entrance to both of the state’s four-year public university systems. Next week, Palo Alto Superintendent Kevin Skelly will present new data on student performance in Algebra 2 and some “preliminary thoughts� on how graduation requirements could be reformed. Math is only one of several areas in which Palo Alto graduation criteria are not consistent with CSU/UC entrance requirements. Palo Alto also falls short of CSU/ UC entrance criteria in foreign language. On the other hand, the district exceeds the four-year public college requirements in social studies, career-technical education, physical education and living skills. A solid majority of Palo Alto students — 80 percent of the Class of 2011 — meet or surpass the CSU/ UC requirements by the time they graduate. But consistently, about 20 percent — disproportionately AfricanAmerican and Hispanic — fall short. Out of concern for those students, the Board of Education highlighted the issue in its 2008 strategic plan, setting a goal of higher completion rates of the CSU/UC criteria, the socalled “A-G requirements.� The Parent Network for Students



portation Commission held its third hearing on the project Wednesday night. After a wide-ranging discussion that lasted longer than four hours and stretched past midnight, the commission once again requested revisions from the applicant. The commission voted 6-1, with Vice Chair Susan Fineberg dissenting, to send the project back to the drawing board, despite recognition from several commissioners that the project is perfect for the site. The applicants had already acceded to prior suggestions from various commissioners to add height, include more affordable housing and increase the retail space. The earlier version of the project had four stories, three units of affordable housing and 800 square feet of retail. Commissioners said Wednesday that the project still doesn’t offer enough “public benefits� — an ambiguous requirement that developers must satisfy to get the city’s approval for a “planned community� (PC) zone. The zoning designation allows developers to exceed the city’s regulations in exchange for negotiated benefits. Commissioner Arthur Keller argued that the building

Courtesy of Korth Sunseri Hagey Architects

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Although mostly well-received by the Planning & Transportation Commission, the now five-story Gateway project was sent back to the developer to come back with more public benefits to justify its size and density. owners should offer Caltrain and VTA passes to all residents. Commissioner Samir Tuma advocated requiring the building to include below-market-rate commercial space (in addition to the affordable-housing units). Commissioner Greg Tanaka said the project should include more parking and suggested that the developers make the building’s parking spaces available to

the public. After hours of discussion and disagreement among commissioners about what types of benefits the developer should provide, Commissioner Daniel Garber appeared frustrated by the increasing demands of his colleagues. He and Planning and Community Environment Director Curtis Williams both said that the proposal

of Color and the Student Equity Action Network have advocated “A-G for all� as a way of boosting expectations for minority students. Last spring, Skelly asked the Board of Education to take steps toward aligning graduation requirements with CSU/UC criteria. By boosting math and language graduation requirements, Palo Alto could “formally acknowledge and strengthen its commitment toward eliminating the achievement gap,� the district’s Director of Secondary Education Debbra Lindo said at the time. The recommendation sparked an outcry from special-education parents, however, who worried their children could have difficulty graduating under the new requirements. The board tabled it pending further research on the reasons students fail to fulfill the A-G requirements. Lindo has since left Palo Alto to become superintendent of the Emery Unified School District. But the issue has not gone away. Skelly returned to the board last fall with information on the types of students who fail to meet the four-year college requirements. He is expected to present more data — on the Class of 2012 — at next Tuesday’s board meeting. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of school district headquarters (25 Churchill Ave.). In October Skelly’s research director, Diana Wilmot, reported that more than 60 percent of students failing to meet the CSU/UC requirements are white or Asian. However, a higher-than-expected proportion are African-American and Hispanic.

English and math are where students have the most difficulty, Wilmot said, adding that many don’t give up easily and still are trying as late as senior year to complete Algebra 2 or Geometry and make up English credits. In many cases there were early signs of struggle. About half of the 170 members of the Class of 2011 who failed to complete A-G had scored “below proficient� in standardized tests in elementary school, Wilmot said. In the end, 90 percent of the Paly and Gunn classes of 2011 went on to college, 80 percent to four-year colleges, Wilmot reported. She noted that many private four-year colleges have lower entrance criteria than CSU/UC. For graduation, Palo Alto currently requires 20 units of math, including “one year of algebra or its equivalent.� By contrast, CSU/UC wants 30 units of math, including “Algebra 1 or equivalent, Geometry and Algebra 2.� In foreign language, now called “world languages,� Palo Alto has no requirement while CSU/UC want 20 credits, or two years. Palo Alto exceeds CSU/UC criteria in social studies, demanding 40 credits — four years — in contrast to CSU/UC’s 20 credits. Palo Alto also requires 20 units of physical education, 10 units of career-technical education and 5 units of living skills. Those courses are not required for CSU/UC entrance but are mandated by state legislation for every student in California. N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly. com.

is consistent with the City Council’s push to encourage more dense developments near transit hubs. The council had previously directed staff to allow projects to exceed the city’s 50-foot height limit if they are located near Caltrain stations — a policy aimed at promoting walking and use of public transit to relieve traffic congestion. The building’s location across from the Caltrain station is also a leading reason for why the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club both submitted letters in support of the project. Neighboring property owners also attended Wednesday’s hearing to urge approval. “It is one of the prime sites for redevelopment — immediately adjacent to transit,� Williams told the commission. “If not here, then where would we do it?� Garber agreed and argued that the project is perfect for the proposed site at 355 Alma St. The building’s size, he said, is exactly what the city is trying to encourage around train stations. “I find it somehow astounding that we keep trying to find other things to add on to this,� Garber said. “We’re just piling on.� “I’m finding myself very frustrated with the fact that we have a project

that’s done everything we wanted it to do, and it doesn’t seem like there’s any consensus around it,� he added. “I’m astounded by it.� Chair Eduardo Martinez agreed with Garber that higher density should be encouraged near transit but argued that there is an imbalance between the benefits to the developer and to the public. Fineberg argued that the applicant didn’t follow the commission’s prior instructions to come back with more benefits. “We as a body asked you to come back with substantive public benefits, and it didn’t happen,� Fineberg said. “We’re making lots of additional suggestions tonight.� The commission agreed that the developer doesn’t need to make any more changes to the building’s design. When the application returns, the focus of the discussion will be solely on public benefits. If the city doesn’t approve the PC zone, the developer would have the option of building a standard two-story commercial building at the site under the existing zoning. N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@paweekly. com.



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Avenidas presents its 1st Annual

Money Matters: A Financial Conference Saturday, January 28 8:30 am - 2 pm Topics include: Š Investing in a volatile market Š Tax information for seniors Š Maximizing Social Security Š Making sense of Medicare Š Financial management

Register at or call (650) 289-5435.

Resources and programs for positive aging


News Digest Suspect arrested in Duveneck burglary Palo Alto police arrested a man Tuesday (Jan. 24) who they believe burglarized a home in the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood Sunday (Jan. 22). The suspect, 20-year-old Jose Rodriguez-Vasquez, was arrested early Monday morning after a resident in the 1600 block of Edgewood Drive called the police and reported hearing noises and seeing a flashlight outside. Police arrived and stopped Vasquez at Hamilton Avenue and Alester Drive, a block west of the Edgewood Drive home. According to Sgt. Kara Apple, police linked Rodriguez-Vasquez to both the prowling incident and to a burglary that the department had investigated on Sunday. Police said that burglary occurred in the 1600 block of Hamilton, about a block away from the home on Edgewood. Homeowners were away for a few days, and when they returned they noticed that multiple electronic items had been stolen. “The house had been rummaged through, and there were five items confirmed stolen,� Apple said. Officers served a search warrant Monday at Rodriguez-Vasquez’s house in East Palo Alto and found several items from the Hamilton Avenue home. He was arrested and booked in the San Jose Main Jail for burglary and possession of a fixed-blade knife. Apple said police used the serial numbers on some of the electronic items to confirm that they were stolen from the Hamilton Avenue home. N — Palo Alto Weekly staff

Man beaten, robbed at Stanford Shopping Center A man in his 60s was beaten and robbed by several men — including one armed with a handgun — near the Macy’s Men’s Store at Stanford Shopping Center Wednesday (Jan. 25) afternoon, Palo Alto police said. The victim was returning to his car shortly before 2:30 p.m. after visiting a jewelry store at the shopping center to get some jewelry appraised, police said. Several men then attacked and robbed the man as he was putting the jewelry in the trunk of his car. The assault occurred on the north side of the complex, police said. The men fled in a black Dodge minivan. The victim and witnesses described the suspects as three or four welldressed men, possibly Hispanic. The main aggressor, who was armed with a handgun, was described as being in his 30s with a goatee. He was wearing a hip-length black jacket, white slacks, black shoes and a black driving cap, according to witnesses. The victim sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital, police said. The Palo Alto Police Department is asking anyone with information about the crime or who may have witnessed the robbery to call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413 or email an anonymous tip to N — Palo Alto Weekly staff

Ten people escape East Palo Alto house fire SAVE THE DATE FOR THIS VERY SPECIAL SCREENING:

“MISS REPRESENTATIONâ€? THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9 7 pm at the Aquarius Theatre A documentary that explores women’s under-representation in positions of power and inuence in America, and challenges the limited portrayal of women in mainstream media. Purchase $10 tickets in advance at or buy $15 tickets at the door.

january highlights NEW FOR THIS MONTH: – Goal Setting Workshop

Ten people escaped from a house fire in East Palo Alto Monday (Jan. 23) afternoon, Menlo Park Fire District officials said. The fire was reported at 4:53 p.m. and started in a storage unit behind the single-family home at 2240 Cooley Ave., quickly spreading to the back bedrooms and eaves, Battalion Chief Jim Stevens said. Five engines and two battalion chiefs responded to the blaze. A large column of smoke was visible from the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. Stevens said firefighters from Engine 2 launched an aggressive attack at the front door. Firefighters then set up attack lines along each side of the structure. “They made the right decision and kept the fire from spreading to the rest of the building,� he said of the decision to push the fire back from front to back. No one was injured. “They were lucky this didn’t happen while they were sleeping,� he said. The cause is still under investigation. The home sustained heavy smoke damage to the back wall and bedrooms. Losses are estimated at about $10,000 to $15,000, Stevens said. N — Sue Dremann

– “Spark Groups�: Awareness Event – Free Lunchtime Speaker Series

Mountain View City Council passes smoking ban

– Parent’s Place Workshop on Stress

It just got a lot harder to smoke in Mountain View. On Tuesday night (Jan. 24) the City Council narrowly passed a ban on smoking near publicly accessible buildings and outdoor dining areas. The new rules mean a $50 citation for smokers who stand within 25 feet of windows, doors — even cracks and vents in the walls — of workplaces, restaurants and any publicly accessible building where smoking is already banned. The council also put the kibosh on smoking within 25 feet of outdoor dining areas, including those at restaurants and picnic areas in public parks, where smoking is already banned within 30 feet of a playground. N — Daniel DeBolt

– Women and Money Lecture Series – Job Search Support Group For further details, visit our website: 555 Lytton Avenue, Palo Alto 650/473-0664

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Palo Alto approves AT&T’s plan Antennas will be mounted on existing utility poles


T&T’s controversial plan to install 80 antennas on utility poles throughout Palo Alto surged forward Monday night (Jan. 23) when the City Council approved the first phase of the company’s proposal. The council voted 7-1, with Councilman Greg Schmid dissenting and Mayor Yiaway Yeh recusing himself, to uphold earlier approvals of the AT&T application by the city’s Architectural Review Board and by Planning and Community Environment Director Curtis Williams. The council hearing was prompted by four separate appeals. The council’s vote means that AT&T can proceed with installing antennas at 19 locations throughout the city. Each installation will include a vertical antenna over an existing pole, a battery box and a radio box. The vote also means that the company can proceed with the later phases of its “distributed antenna system� (DAS) without going through the public-hearing process. The system will ultimately feature 80 antennas. Proponents and opponents of the AT&T application spoke at the appeal hearing, with proponents stating that the antennas are desperately needed in a city that remains plagued by dead spots. Others argued that the antennas would be unsightly and that the city should create a “master plan� for wireless technology rather than approve applications one by one. One proposed location for an antenna did not receive the council’s approval Monday. Resident Stacey Bishop submitted an appeal, saying that 1880 Park Blvd. is less than 20 feet from her home and in direct line of sight from various rooms. “It’s simply too close to a residential home to have an antenna,� Bishop told the council. The council agreed and directed staff to consider other nearby locations in the area for the antenna. But the council also acknowledged that AT&T has legal rights to install its equipment and approved the other 19 antennas. Various state and federal laws, including the Telecommunications Act, restrict the city’s ability to deny applications to wireless-service providers. The council’s purview of Monday was limited largely to aesthetic issues, and members concluded that the visual and noise impacts of the antennas did not warrant denial. “They’re certainly not going to be put in an art museum, but they aren’t anything that’s going to detract from our community,� Councilman Larry Klein said of the antennas. The antennas will be installed at utility poles near the following locations: 179 and 595 Lincoln Ave., 1851 Bryant St., 1401 Emerson Ave., 134 Park Ave., 109 Coleridge Ave., 1345, 1720 and 2326 Webster St., 1248 and 2101 Waverley St., 968 Dennis Drive, 370 Lowell Ave., 105 Rinconada Ave., 2704 Louis Road, 464 Churchill Ave., 255 North California Ave., 1085 Arrowhead Way, and Oregon Expressway near Ross Road. N —Gennady Sheyner

Mercury thermometers/ thermostats **

Zanker Road Materials Processing Facility San Jose 408-263-2384


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t t

Anti-freeze* t

Tires t


t t

t t

Fluorescent tubes, bulbs* Ink and toner cartridges, DVDs/CDs




Cartons (milk, juice)

Cathode ray tubes (computer monitors, TVs)

UPS Store Palo Alto 650-326-5555 or 650-327-7147

Polystyrene (blocks, peanuts)

Staples Office Supply Menlo Park 650-329-9440

Stanford Recycling Center 650-723-0919

Stanford Electric Works 650-323-4139

SMaRT Station Sunnyvale 408-752-8530

Peninsula Hardware 650-325-3491

Palo Alto Ace Hardware 650-327-7222

Orchard Supply Hardware 650-691-2000

Newby Island Landfill and Recyclery Milpitas 408-945-2800

JiffyLube Palo Alto 650-494-8413

Guadalupe Landfill San Jose 408-268-1666

GreenCitizen Palo Alto 650-493-8700, ext. 101

Firestone Mountain View 650-948-0840

Costco Mountain View 650-988-1841

Where to recycle

Best Buy East Palo Alto or Mountain View 650-903-0591 650-321-1918






t t



t t


Large appliances Batteries (auto*)



Cooking oil/grease Construction materials (wood, concrete, metal, dirt, carpet, brick, drywall)





t t

Source: City of Palo Alto

Pharmaceuticals (no controlled/addictive substances) **

* Can also be dropped off at Regional Water Quality Control Plant, 2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto, on first Saturday of the month ** Can be dropped off at Regional Water Quality Control Plant, 2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto, Monday through Friday. Fee charged

“They were pure wrought iron — they were like a corn sheller,� he said, making hand-crank motions. “They were very old.� N Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at

Items accepted at curbside in Palo Alto Mixed paper, magazines, newspapers, cardboard, paperback and hardcover books, PET No. 1, HDPE No. 2 clear and color, HDPE plastic No. 3-7, plastic bags/film, rigid plastic items (limited size), glass bottles, aluminum cans, aluminum foil, tin cans, small pieces of scrap metal, small consumer electronics, household batteries, large appliances such as washers (for a fee), mattresses and box springs (for a fee), bulky items such as furniture (for a fee), residential motor oil and residential oil filters. More information about the city’s recycling program is available by calling 650-496-5910.



an open shelter. Anne Keller dumped boxes of books in an enclosed recycling bin. She isn’t happy about the closure, she said. “I use it for things that curbside won’t pick up, like fluorescent bulbs. I have no idea where I’m going to take things, besides throwing them in the trash,� she said. Although there are alternatives — and Ramirez handed out a chart to some people on Wednesday afternoon — Keller said she is concerned any alternative won’t be close by and won’t be in one spot. “I’m not inclined to make five stops,� she said. But Barron Park neighborhood’s Green Team leader Lisa Altieri said the closure is a good sign. “I think that it is fantastic that the Palo Alto curbside recycling program has expanded to the point where it’s possible to consider closing the recycling center. Nearly all of the materials accepted at the recycling center are now accepted curbside. This shows the city’s strong commitment to support recycling and environmental goals. “The most important thing is that the recycling program is supported and has sufficient staff to provide the outreach and education to residents about the new curbside program and other alternatives for remaining items,� she said. According to the city’s chart, residents won’t be left without alternatives, although they might have to travel a bit farther to recycle some items. Large consumer products, such as refrigerators, mattresses and tires can be taken to the SMaRT Station in Sunnyvale (and dropped for a fee), or residents can make an appoint-

Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road. Casey Cushman, an animal-control officer with Palo Alto Animal Services, dropped off several boxes of blankets and towels. Animal services makes donations to Goodwill when it receives textile items it cannot use. Cushman said he would just take them to the Goodwill store on East Meadow Drive. Scavengers won’t have the luxury of pilfering from the blue recycle center bins anymore. Ramirez said he has “regulars� who show up every day, although most people are dropping off items, not coming to turn trash into treasure. An older gentleman who arrived on Wednesday comes daily to seek out small items, such as screws. Ramirez said scavenging is not allowed and he has to remind people — particularly when they try to climb into the bins. Just about every kind of treasure has come through the center over the years, including some antiques, Ramirez said, and he recalled one pair of items in particular.


(continued from page 3)

ment once each year to have the items picked up on their garbage day. Paper and hardback books are collected through the curbside recycling program, but fluorescent bulbs and tubes can only be deposited at the SMaRT Station or on the first Saturday of each month during the Household Hazardous Waste Day at the Water Quality Control Plant at 2501 Embarcadero Way in Palo Alto. Hazardous waste includes motor oil and filters, antifreeze, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, paint, household chemicals, mercury thermometers and thermostats, sharps and pharmaceuticals. These items can also be dropped off by appointment during mid-month events, according to the city. Cooking oil can be recycled at the SMaRT station. Cars lined up on Wednesday afternoon at the Goodwill station located at the recycling center. Residents unloaded boxes of clothing, lamps and small working electronics. The Goodwill station will also close on Jan. 31 but a trailer site is located at


Recycling Center

But while its long-term finances remain a glaring problem, Caltrain’s budget for the coming year is unlikely to feature any service cuts. Simon said the agency plans to balance its books in fiscal year 2013 (which begins July 1) through the same one-time tactics that it used in the current year, including contributions from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and repayments from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) to Samtrans for rightof-way. These measures are expected to buy Caltrain another year to solve its structural woes. “We’re not in immediate crisis, but we haven’t solved the long-term crisis,� Simon said. “It buys us the time and the breathing room to have the kinds of conversations that we need to have with each other and with the community.� Though her group hasn’t taken a firm position on a particular funding measure, Kishimoto said a salestax increase and Hill’s three-county proposal so far seem to be the most promising solutions currently on the horizon. Councilman Pat Burt, who represents Palo Alto on the Peninsula Cities Consortium, a coalition that meets regularly to discuss rail-related issues, said it’s too early to decide which solution to support, given that the polling hasn’t been conducted yet. Burt said the measure that currently looks “most promising� would likely be a sales-tax measure. Kishimoto said Caltrain, as a regional service, is at a major disadvantage when it comes to competing for federal funds, which she said tend to go to urban projects such as subways or intercity services. While Caltrain stretches from San Francisco to San Jose, much of its ridership comes from the Peninsula. Palo Alto’s downtown station is Caltrain’s second busiest station after San Francisco. “We’re kind of in nowhere land,� Kishimoto said. “Maybe Palo Alto can help be an advocate in saying that we’re falling between the cracks — that there’s a new model for the United States, that we’re a metropolitan area and we need funding for regional rail.� N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@paweekly. com.




Public Agenda A preview of Palo Alto government meetings next week


CityView A round-up of

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CITY COUNCIL ... The council plans to hold a closed session to discuss the status of the city’s labor negotiations with the two police unions and the fire management union, and discuss the Retiree Actuarial Medical report. The closed session will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30. Regular meeting will follow in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). BOARD OF EDUCATION ... In a morning meeting, the board will hear reports from the principals of Gunn and Palo Alto high schools. In an evening meeting, the board will hear a report about student achievement in Algebra 2 and preliminary suggestions on reform of high school graduation requirements. The board also will hear an update on Cubberley Community Center. The morning meeting will be at 10 a.m. and the evening meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the board room of school district headquarters (25 Churchill Ave.). UTILITY ADVISORY COMMISSION ... The commission plans to elect a vice chair, discuss Water Utility Financial Projects for fiscal years 2013 to 2017 and the Wastewater Collection Utility Financial Projections for fiscal years 2013 to 2017. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.). ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD ... The board plans to discuss Edgewood Plaza, a proposal to renovate three existing stores, relocate one store and build 10 homes at 2080 Channing Ave. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, in the Council Chambers at City Hall (250 Hamilton Ave.).



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Priorities: The council voted to maintain all of its 2011 priorities in 2012. The priorities are: finances, environmental sustainability, emergency preparedness, land use and transportation, and youth wellbeing. The council also directed its Policy and Services Committee to review the city’s priority-setting process. Yes: Espinosa, Holman, Klein, Price, Scharff, Schmid, Shepherd, Yeh No: Burt

City Council (Jan. 23)

Medical: The council discussed a consultant study recommending changes to the city’s Emergency Medical Services program. Action: None Antennas: The council approved installation of 19 AT&T antennas on existing utility poles and directed staff to review the location of an antenna proposed for 1880 Park Blvd. Yes: Burt, Espinosa, Holman, Klein, Price, Scharff, Shepherd No: Schmid Recused: Yeh

Parks and Recreation Commission (Jan. 24) Officers: The commission nominated Ed Lauing and Daria Walsh as its chair and vice chair, respectively. Action: None Updates: The commission heard an update on the El Camino Park improvement project. Action: None

Planning and Transportation Commission (Jan. 25)

Traffic calming: The commission voted to make permanent the traffic-calming project at North California Avenue. Yes: Fineberg, Keller, Martinez, Michael, Tanaka, Tuma Abstained: Garber Lytton Gateway: The commission discussed a proposal to build a five-story mixeduse building at Alma Street and Lytton Avenue, site of the former Shell gas station. The commission directed applicants to return at a later date with more “public benefits.� Yes: Garber, Keller, Martinez, Michael, Tanaka, Tuma No: Fineberg

Council Rail Committee (Jan. 26)

Caltrain: The committee heard an update on efforts to close Caltrain’s operating deficit. Action: None Rail: The committee heard an update from its Sacramento lobbyist about the latest legislation regarding high-speed rail. Action: None

Online This Week

Menlo Park opts not to pay for Flood Park Menlo Park’s loss of millions in redevelopment money is San Mateo County’s gain, a fact which didn’t escape the notice of the City Council on Tuesday (Jan. 24) while it debated Flood Park’s future. (Posted Jan.

26 at 8:58 a.m.)

Palo Alto student among Intel contest finalists Three Bay Area high school seniors — including one from Palo Alto — found out Wednesday morning (Jan. 25) that they have been selected as finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search contest. (Posted Jan. 25 at 2:03 p.m.)

Eshoo finds few surprises in State of the Union U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, said President Obama threw down a “challenge to the Congress� in his State of the Union address Tuesday night (Jan. 24). “He said to the legislative bodies, ‘Send these bills to me and I’ll sign them,� Eshoo said of the President’s references to tax simplification and immigration reform. (Posted Jan. 25 at 9:46 a.m.) PG&E crews installing power poles Tuesday (Jan. 24) accidentally bored into a water main, causing a 40-foot-tall geyser to erupt on Old Page Mill Road and Gerth Lane south of Interstate 280 in Palo Alto and cutting power to 180 customers. (Posted Jan. 24 at 3:22 p.m.)

Rail authority slammed for lax contract oversight The agency charged with building a high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles violated state law when it awarded contracts for information-technology services without going through the mandatory bidding process, according to a report released Tuesday (Jan. 24) by State Auditor Elaine Howle. (Posted Jan. 24 at 2:36 p.m.)

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City Council (Jan. 21)

Broken water main causes 40-foot geyser

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Palo Alto government action this week

The online guide to Palo Alto businesses

Palo Alto faces tight deadlines for bond measure Palo Alto’s plan to pass a bond measure to fund a new public-safety building this year could be hampered by tight deadlines, uncertainty over location and the continuing transformation of the city’s police and fire services. (Posted Jan. 23 at 9:46 a.m.)

Alleged thief made hotel his home base A man and woman from Daly City were arrested in Palo Alto on theft-related charges Thursday (Jan. 19) after an alert Palo Alto resident called 911 and police consequently found stolen property in the motel room where the couple was staying. (Posted Jan. 21 at 2:38 p.m.)


New performing-arts center approved for Palo Alto High Project is one of several major new buildings remaking the campus

Courtesy of O’Connor Construction Management

by Chris Kenrick

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Our qualiďŹ ed caregivers help ease the burden of caring for loved ones. The new 26,000-square-foot performing arts center, which is scheduled for completion in 2015, will seat up to 583, and will include an orchestra pit, “green rooms,â€? a lobby and a performing-arts classroom and office.


roundbreaking for a state-ofthe-art “performing-arts center� at Palo Alto High School could take place as early as the summer of 2013. The $24.4 million project — one of several major new buildings that are remaking the Paly campus — was unanimously approved by the Board of Education on Jan. 17. School leaders said they envision the new center serving Paly students for the next 50 to 100 years. The upgrades at Paly — which include a new Media Arts Center and new two-story classroom building for math and social studies now under construction — are part of a districtwide $378 million facilities bond program approved by voters in June 2008. The 26,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center is scheduled for completion in 2015 — and won’t begin until summer 2013 because designs must first pass through the Division of the State Architect. The state approval process, which can take up to a year, is required for all school construction in California. Paly’s new performance center — planners insist it’s much more than a

simple “theater� — will have flexible seating accommodating up to 583. It will include an orchestra pit and trap room, full fly loft, green rooms with adjacent toilet and dressing rooms, control room and tech-equipment support rooms. It also will include a lobby, ticket sales, concession and display area as well as a performing-arts classroom and office. The center will be built on the Embarcadero Road side of campus across a plaza (now parking lot) from the existing Haymarket Theatre. The century-old Haymarket, which seats about 550, will be renovated at a later date. A school-based “facilities steering committee,� including teachers, parents and administrators, vetted the design process for the new center. Key faculty members, including choir director Michael Najar, had argued that a lower seating capacity — closer to 450 — would be more in tune with instructional needs. A house approaching 600 seats will feel empty on many occasions, the teachers warned. But school board members, anticipating enrollment growth and a need to accommodate a full grade-level on many occasions, pressed for a higher capacity.

“We probably won’t have another opportunity to do something like this for 50 to 100 years. So if we have a substantially larger student body, this is the facility we’re going to have,� board member Melissa Baten Caswell said. In December designers presented a compromise of sorts, adding upper side boxes to the house fitted with 95 removable seats. Seats can be loaded for maximum capacity, or removed and stored in storage space provided. Other major projects underway at Paly include a new, two-story classroom building to house the math and social studies department. It will have 27 classrooms and is slated for occupancy in the summer of 2013. A Media Arts Center to house Paly’s extensive journalism programs is also under construction, with a timetable similar to that of the new classroom building. More information on the Paly projects, as well as on bond construction projects on other campuses, can be found at under “bond program.� N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly. com.



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Upfront HEALTH

Group seeks to change smoking ordinance Neighborhoods can receive small grants to promote awareness, advocacy by Sue Dremann n the heels of a toughened smoking ordinance adopted in Mountain View Tuesday, Breathe California, a San Jose tobacco-prevention organization, is looking to Palo Alto as the next stage of its campaign to reduce second-hand smoke. The organization hopes neighborhood groups can help, and it’s willing to fund them to do so, CEO and President Margo Leathers Sidener said during a community meeting Tuesday (Jan. 24) night. A new ordinance could prohibit smoking in all public areas, including sidewalks, parking lots and garages, streets, private and public outdoor recreational areas and within the interior of apartments and condominiums and in the common areas of such dwellings. It could also require a 20-plusfoot no-smoking buffer around all areas where smoking is prohibited. The City of Palo Alto has already considered potential changes to toughen its smoking ordinance. Last June, the City Council’s Policy and Services

Committee directed city staff to explore a new program to require all tobacco retailers to be licensed annually to ensure compliance with not selling tobacco to minors. A police sting operation in spring 2010 found that half of retailers approached sold tobacco to minors. Ten percent of children in Santa Clara County are smokers, Sidener said, citing a survey. “We want a law to include a provision to take a license away from retailers that sell to minors. To us at Breathe California, the most important thing is we need something with teeth in it,� she said. Palo Alto was a leader in the 1970s in implementing a smoking ordinance but has lagged in recent years, Sidener said. It hasn’t taken action since the June meeting. Palo Alto would be eligible to receive more than $51,000 from the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department if it were to implement a tobacco-prevention initiative. But that funding ends March 18, she said. So Breathe California is trying to engage public awareness through


providing medical transportation. That allows the Fire Department to focus on its mission and that is emergency services.� The study was commissioned to assist the city with its broader effort to overhaul its public-safety services — an effort that also includes consolidating the administrative functions of police and fire departments and working with Mountain View and Los Altos to link the three cities’ respective dispatch services. The TriData report noted that 60 percent of 911 calls the Fire Department responded to in 2011 were requests for emergency medical services. Given the increasing prominence of the service, consultants recommended creating the position of an EMS Chief and promoting the present EMS coordinator to the new position. The department’s medical services are currently overseen by an acting deputy chief in the emergency operations division, a veteran employee who the report notes has “minimal EMS background.� Kimberly Roderick, the city’s EMS coordinator, said staff largely concurs with the report’s recommendations about organization changes. “The Fire Department recognizes that the calls for service on the EMS side are rising while the fire calls, while still important to train and prepare for, are decreasing,� Roderick said. Councilman Larry Klein wondered about ways to get more revenue from the ambulance service, but Cohen said he didn’t have any suggestions on this matter and said that the city “does pretty well� when it comes to collecting dues. The council did not vote on or dispute any of the recommendations, which will now be referred to its Policy and Services Committee. N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at


(continued from page 3)

standards for response to an emergency scene and level of care delivered,� the report states. “The benefit to the residents is they get multiple services from one public agency; in other words, the fire department provides fire/EMS/ public assistance from multi-role trained personnel and equipment, distributed across the City of Palo Alto.� For this reason, the report states, Palo Alto should remain the only city in the county to provide its own ambulance service. The city’s location in the northern part of the county and the county’s management plan “would make a largescale change unwise.� Harold Cohen, a consultant with TriData who presented the study to the council Monday, pointed to the department’s fast response time and its high percentages of “excellent results� for different clinical skills (including different types of injections) — percentages that in 2011 exceeded the national average. “When it comes to the patient care the citizens are receiving, it’s very good — it’s excellent,� Cohen said. “I believe that you’re setting a trend and setting an example for many things around the country.� But the city, he said, can also take steps to make things better. One such step is increasing the number of fulltime ambulances from one to two (the city also has one part-time ambulance). Another step is scrapping of the BLS ambulance, which Cohen said is no longer necessary because the area has other companies that can provide nonurgent transport service. “I believe the program is like banging your head against the wall — you feel so good when you stop,� Cohen said. “The community has other means of

neighborhoods to help spur the ordinance. Interested neighborhoods could receive $500 to $1,000 to host meetings, add messages to their websites, issue mailings and host talks. Some grants go as high as $6,000, she said. “We need to come up with a platform to tell the city what the community thinks,� Sidener said. But with so many pressing neighborhood issues, Sidener said the push would probably have to come from affected individuals rather than neighborhoods taking up the policy as an official stance. University South Neighborhood Association President Elaine Meyer said she took notice after a neighbor living in a condominium told Meyer she

would probably sell her unit because the people downstairs are smokers, and the ventilation system carried smoke into her condo. “She was terribly upset about the smoking,� Meyer said. “It opened my eyes to let people know what’s happening.� Smoke can have particularly adverse effects on people with chronic illnesses, the elderly and children, said Crescent Park resident Terry Trumbull, a longtime Breathe California volunteer and San Jose State University environmental studies lecturer. Trumbull said that at one seniorhousing facility where he lectured the residents organized to change the rules, and smoking within the units is


now banned. “The private-property argument doesn’t hold much water if there’s a common ventilation system,� he said. In most cases, apartment landlords aren’t likely to confront residents who smoke, but landlords who have smokefree buildings have found advantages. Units have lower cleaning costs, he said. Sidener said Santa Clara County has the lowest smoking rate in the state. Only 10 percent of the population smokes. “It doesn’t make sense on a fairness level to allow them to affect everyone else,� she said. N Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at

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Transitions Births, marriages and deaths

Deaths Mary Pat MacWilliams Mary Pat MacWilliams McLean died Jan. 20 in her Palo Alto home. She was born in Burlingame, attended Mercy High School and graduated from Burlingame High in June 1941. She then graduated from UC Berkeley in the wartime class of 1944, where she was a member of

the Prytanean Honor Society and Chi Omega sorority. Upon graduation during World War II, and while her husband was still in the Air Force, she taught high school in Visalia. During the years that her children were in college, she was a substitute teacher in the Palo Alto School District. She was a longtime member of the League of Women Voters, a volunteer with

Walter White

Marjorie E. Hans

Walter White, Channing House resident and long-time teacher in Palo Alto schools, died January 14, 2012 from complications of pneumonia. He was 86. Walter Lewis White was born on June 6, 1925 in Hong Kong, son of an American businessman. Walter and his mother moved to Long Beach, California in 1940. In 1943 Walter joined the Navy as a medical corpsman, and was soon attached to a U.S. Marine Corps unit. He was discharged in 1946. Walter studied at Eastern Washington College of Education, Cheney WA, receiving B.A. and M.A. degrees in Education. It was at the College that he met his future wife, also training to become a schoolteacher. Walter and Ramona Workes were married in June 1950 in Walla Walla, WA. After teaching in Eastern Washington schools, they moved to Palo Alto in 1954, taking jobs in Palo Alto schools. Walter loved teaching math, at Wilbur and Paly, retiring in 1985. Walter and Ramona shared a love of opera, the symphony, hiking, and worldwide travel. They enjoyed two round-the-world trips during sabbatical years. In addition to his wife of 61 years, survivors include two nieces, their families, and numerous cousins. No services are planned. Donations in Walter’s memory may be directed to the Channing House Endowment Fund.

Marjorie E. Hans, longtime resident of Palo Alto passed peacefully January 3, 2012. Born in Salt Lake City, June 1916, she lost her mother and infant brother in the great u epidemic of 1918. She met Wendel J. Hans at the University of Utah and they married in 1939. They moved to Portland, Oregon in 1941 where Wendel worked installing electrical systems in landing craft. They returned to Salt Lake City in 1943. They had four children, Lessel, Wendel Jr., Douglas and Elizabeth (Janie). The family moved to Palo Alto in 1952. Marjorie was active in the PTA’s, Cub Scouts and Bluebirds in Barron Park area schools. After the children left she joined Eastern Star and the Palo Alto Republican Women’s Club. The Hans family was also very active in the First Christian Church of Palo Alto. Wendel Sr. passed away in 1997. Marjorie is survived by children: Lessel Hans Mansour, Berkeley CA; Wendel Jr., Santa Barbara CA; Douglas, Tukwila WA; and Janie Thoreson, Lynchburg, VA. Grandchildren: Tarik and Tamir Mansour, Brian Hans, Tamara Thoreson Orozco, Tye Thoreson and Tiffany Thoreson Wallace. Great grandchildren: Gabriel Orozco, Jayden and Jacob Wallace. Memorial Service: 28 January 2012, 3 pm at First Christian Church, 2890 MiddleďŹ eld Rd, Palo Alto, CA.

Palo Alto Teacher

1916 to 2012



BIRTHS Jill Hockemeyer and Robert Prendergast II of Atherton, a son, Dec. 31.


Lasting Memories An online directory of obituaries and remembrances. Search obituaries, submit a memorial, share a photo. Go to: obituaries


William Gary Lipp

Robert Shepard

April 11, 1953-Jan. 10, 2012

October 7, 1919 – December 6, 2011 Robert E. (Bob) Shepard passed away in Lake Oswego, Ore., on Dec. 6, 2011. He was born in Pittsfield, Mass., on Oct. 7, 1919. He was a World War II and Korean War Naval Air Service veteran. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1950. Employed by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Hartford, Conn., he worked in Field Engineering and Marketing and was based in Los Angeles, Omaha, Seattle and Palm Beach Gardens, Flor., retiring in 1977. He was married for 50 years to his late wife, Margaret (Peggy) Calderwood Shepard, who grew up in Palo Alto, Calif. Moving to Palo Alto upon retirement, he worked there as a realtor for 27 years. After his wife’s death (2001) he moved to Mary’s Woods retirement community in Lake Oswego, Ore., in 2005 to be near his married daughters and his five grandchildren. He enjoyed sports, including skiing and swimming and was a longtime golfer. He is survived by his four daughters and their children, including Mary A. Shepard, M.D., her husband Steve Early of Vancouver, Wash., and their children, Sam, Joe and Martha who live, respectively, in Palo Alto, Seattle and Brooklyn, N.Y.; Ruth Given and her husband Jim of Long Beach, Calif.; Jeanne Shepard of Shoreline, Wash.; and Margaret McManigal, her husband Kevin and their children, Kelly and Daniel of Lake Oswego, Ore. He was also predeceased by his longtime cat Lucy and is survived by his cat Dexter. A funeral mass was held in the Mary’s Woods chapel on Dec. 15, followed by interment in the Shepard Family plot at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, Calif. PA I D



the student exchange program AFS, and she taught English in action partners through Stanford’s International Center. She is survived by her husband, Bob; her sons, Don of Oroville and Jim of Oakland; and her daughter, Ann of Kirkland, Wash. A pending memorial service will be held at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church. Memorial contributions may be sent to Elizabeth Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, where she and her friends spent satisfying gardening hours.


Bill Lipp passed away suddenly on Jan. 10, 2012, at the age of 58. He was a bright light and anyone close to him could feel the love and positive energy he could not help but share. His smile would light up a room. Bill was raised in Palo Alto, Calif., and graduated from Cubberley High School. For the last 20 years he lived in Discovery Bay. Bill worked his entire life shoulder to shoulder with his father at William Lipp Hydronics, Inc. He enjoyed boating, water skiing, cooking and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Kim; sons, William Jr., Scott and Michael; daughter, Heather

Anderson Carlin; father, William J. Lipp; stepmother, Soon; sisters, Julie Kohls and Leanne King; and many nephews and nieces. Predeceased by his mother, Carole Robertson; step-father, Earl Robertson; and sister, Barbara Smith. A memorial service will be held Friday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m. Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road, Portola Valley. A memorial trust has been set up to assist the family in lieu of owers. Chase Bank 3016835000 PA I D


Marie Catherine Whitacre Nov. 14, 1919-Dec. 27, 2011

Marie Catherine Whitacre, former resident of Los Altos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, passed away on Dec. 27, 2012, in Napa, Calif. She was 92. Marie was one of eight children born in Colby, Wis., Nov. 14, 1919, to the late William and Mary Brill. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert, and by her daughter, Gale. Marie and Robert were former owners of Mac’s Tea Room and The City Dump, both in Los Altos. They enjoyed living in Mexico and entertaining their family and friends. Marie is survived by sisters, Shirley Barnoli (Guido), Marguerite Thiel and Frances Hall; and brothers, William (Edna) and Matthew (Tomiko). She was preceded in death by brothers, Benjamin

and Anthony. Marie will forever be remembered and missed by her loving daughter, Kathy Bohn (Gary); and three beloved granddaughters, Susan Mazon (Lowell), Jennifer Boswell (Derek) and Anja Spears; and six treasured great-grandchildren, Amanda Bowles (Brian), Matthew Baldwin, Kaitlyn Mazon, Nathan Boswell, Josie Boswell and Wyatt Boswell; along with countless friends and family whom were blessed to have known her. She will forever be remembered in our hearts and will be dearly missed. PA I D



A weekly compendium of vital statistics

POLICE CALLS Palo Alto Jan. 17-24 Violence related Armed robbery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Domestic violence/battery . . . . . . . . . . .2 Theft related Grand theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Identity theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Residential burglaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Vehicle related Abandoned auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Abandoned bicycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Bicycle theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Driving w/suspended license . . . . . . . . .5 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Misc. traffic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Theft from auto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Vehicle accident/minor injury . . . . . . . . .2 Vehicle accident/property damage. . . . .7 Vehicle impound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vehicle tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Alcohol or drug related Drunk in public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Misc. drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Miscellaneous Casualty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Firearm disposal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Lost property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Misc. penal code violation . . . . . . . . . . .5 Other/misc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Psychiatric hold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Resisting arrest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .1 Unattended death. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Warrant/other agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Menlo Park Jan. 17-24 Violence related Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theft related Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Grand theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Residential burglaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Vehicle related Auto recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Driving w/suspended license . . . . . . . . .3 Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Suspicious vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Vehicle accident/minor injury . . . . . . . . .3 Vehicle accident/property damage. . . . .1 Vehicle tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Alcohol or drug related Drug activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Drunken driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Miscellaneous Disturbance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Found property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Information case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Lost property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Medical aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Misc. penal code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Receiving stolen property. . . . . . . . . . . .1 Threats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Vandalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Warrant arrest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Possession of drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Miscellaneous Animal call. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Be on the lookout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Citizen assist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Civil matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Disturbance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Fire call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Flooding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Hazard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Medical aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Meet citizen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Missing person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Outside assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Pedestrian check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Suspicious circumstances . . . . . . . . . . .7 Suspicious person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Tree down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Warrant arrest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Welfare check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Wires down. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

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VIOLENT CRIMES Palo Alto 400 block California Avenue, 1/17, 1:17 a.m.; armed robbery. Unlisted block Grove Avenue, 1/17, 7:52 p.m.; domestic violence/battery. Unlisted block Pasteur Drive, 1/18, 1:55 p.m.; domestic violence/battery. Unlisted block Stockton Place, 1/22, 10:50 p.m.; battery.

Menlo Park 1100 block Henderson Avenue, 1/23, 4:51 p.m.; battery.

Atherton Jan. 17-24 Theft related Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Grand theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Petty theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vehicle related Hit and run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Parking/driving violation . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Suspicious vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Vehicle accident/property damage. . . . .1 Vehicle code violation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Alcohol or drug related

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Top marks for paramedic system Report praises Palo Alto’s unique emergency medical services system


fter a year in 2011 when voters agreed to drop binding arbitration in fire and police employment contracts and the firefighters’ union finally accepted a deal that achieved cost reduction goals, the City Council is set to assess delivery of emergency medical services after receiving a consultant’s study this week. The city’s EMS gets high marks from the same consultants that about a year ago found significant other areas for improvement in the administration of the fire department, including eliminating the minimum staffing requirements and consolidating fire stations. This time, few faults were found with EMS, which performed well on benchmark tests when compared to other similar cities. Nevertheless, the consultants recommended numerous ways to improve the department, including elevating its coordinator to the new position of EMS chief to reflect the fact that 60 percent of all 911 calls to the department were requests for emergency medical service. Those 5,306 calls were mostly answered by fire department paramedics, the only service in the county that operates its own equipment staffed by firefighters. All other cities are part of a countywide EMS system that is provided by an outside contractor. The consultants endorsed Palo Alto’s unique status, which it inherited in 1980 when the county took over EMS service for most other cities. Those offering EMS at the time were permitted to continue if they wished, as long as they provided the same level of service. Palo Alto has not wavered in its commitment to operating its own ambulances, even though some county officials would like the city to join the county, which then would have 100 percent coverage. Of particular interest to the council’s Policy and Services Committee, which will take a first look at the consultant’s report, will be an analysis of the response times for first responder fire engines and paramedic ambulances. Fire engines are dispatched when a 911 call is received and staffed by one paramedic and one or more emergency medical technicians (EMTs), who on average arrive at an accident scene in 8 minutes, ranking them in the 90th percentile of response times. Palo Alto ambulances, with two paramedics aboard, can be expected to follow in 4 minutes or less. These benchmarks are in the top tier, although the consultants said they could improve and cited possible slow processing time for 911 calls as the reason. More interesting for the committee and the council will be whether to operate two ambulances, Medic 1 and Medic 2 on a 24/7 basis, which would upgrade Medic 2 from a half-day of service to full-time. Another sensible recommendation is to drop Medic 3 entirely, which was used to transport non-emergency patients, a service that is available from other local providers. Revenue generation for the department is a sore spot for some council members, who would like to see the city earn more on transporting patients to the hospital. But the consultants were not much help, saying that state and local laws, current contracts and the needs of the community would make it difficult to make major changes. The cost for 28 firefighter/paramedic positions and 7 firefighter/EMT positions are expected to be $5.3 million this year, the consultants said, and with other expenses will total nearly $6 million. Unfortunately, department revenues are expected to fall far short of the total expenditures, based on transporting only about 3,100 patients last year, despite making 5,300 calls. The revenue is further reduced by a less than a full price reimbursement of $790 per trip, which produces just $2.2 million, for a short-fall of nearly $4 million. And although the consultants say the city could save up to $300,000 by increasing collections and ending the service of Medic 3, a break-even year is not in sight. The EMS department traditionally has been one of the city’s top performers, delivering quality service from a highly motivated group of paramedics and EMTs. This is not a department that can recover its full costs, a factor recognized by the consultants, who we believe identified every area of potential savings. The biggest challenges in our judgment are aligning both staffing and equipment with the widening gap between medical calls and fire calls, and not over-responding with more equipment than is needed. Too many citizens have seen such over-response first hand, where multiple trucks and the paramedics all respond to minor injury accidents. After the controversies of the last two years relating to the firefighters union complete insensitivity to the budgetary needs of the city, it is good to have such a positive outside assessment of the emergency medical services role of the department. Page 14ĂŠUĂŠ>Â˜Ă•>ÀÞÊÓÇ]ÊÓä£ÓÊUĂŠ*>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?Ăž

Spectrum Editorials, letters and opinions

Major community effort Editor, The Jan. 13 article by Sue Dremann gave fantastic coverage to Winter Lodge and its morethan-50-year tradition of wonderfully unique outdoor ice skating. The front-page headline “Skating Through Time� with Veronica Weber’s photo of the skates of ice skaters momentarily paused gave the program high visibility just as the United States Figure Skating Championships in San Jose did. The article, however, closed with the possible impression that Winter Club was saved largely through the efforts of Marvin Lee, a longtime attendee, an impression that Mercedes Williams, widow of Winter Club’s founder, and Merre Jayne McFate, the rink’s former longterm director, have asked me to correct. When Marvin’s effort to get the city to give him a parcel on the edge of the Baylands so he could raise money to build a full-size indoor rink had come to naught, the YMCA’s Dave Thornton, attorney Ron Hershburger, land specialist Rick McMichael, banker Roger Smith and I undertook to persuade both Duncan Williams and Dick Peery, owner of the Winter Club site, to give us a chance to save the rustic outdoor rink itself. Both agreed, with some skepticism. Duncan wasn’t sure that we could raise the $50,000 that we needed to continue to operate and Dick thought the city had been inflexible in his attempt to have the city reverse the high-density housing zoning that had forced closure of both the Shell station and the rink. After forming The Trust for Community Skating, we convinced the city to authorize a $25,000 matching grant, and within two months had persuaded hundreds of donors to meet the city’s match. We opened on schedule under the auspices of the YMCA. Over the next year dozens of volunteers including Sheryl Keller, Marilyn Eaton, Lynn Winkle, Sue Kelso, Allan Bell, Bill Rosenberg, Roy Williams, Carol Kraiss and Mark Yost helped manage the program while also gathering enough signatures to qualify a ballot measure that allowed the rink to continue operations in the location it had been for 30 years in exchange for an office building site on Geng Road. The measure passed with overwhelming voter support. When the YMCA withdrew as sponsor for insurance reasons, Community Skating Inc. was formed to fulfill our commitment to continue the Winter Lodge operation at no cost to the city. For

our community-wide effort, the Weekly and the Chamber of Commerce jointly awarded the Trust for Community Skating the 1987 Tall Tree Award. While article length may not have permitted a detailed history of the events, no story about the Winter Club/Winter Lodge is really complete without acknowledging the community-wide effort that kept and continues to keep outdoor ice skating a Palo Alto treasure. Jack Morton, founding member Trust for Community Skating Community Skating, Inc.

Respect, understanding Editor, It may make sense that the house on Ramona Street is no longer “historic� and for the City Council to grant relief to the owner to do something else. It also makes sense that since the property is part of a larger area of period homes, in a National Register Historic District, that any development — remodel or new house — should respect that setting, that context.

New homes and development on the former Palo Alto Medical Foundation property followed simple design guidelines that make those buildings, which incorporate elements of traditional design and compatible materials, reflect and respect their historic neighbors. (The new homes adjacent to this house are good examples.) The next step for this owner is to select a design professional who understands and respects the context of this setting; designs the building exterior in light of that setting, looks at how other homes and their garages are sited and incorporates whatever other amenities sought by the owner. The worst thing to happen would be to select a “one-trick� architect to build a look-at-me-Iam-different “modern� facade — thumbing its nose at its neighbors. I would be glad to show anyone these “stand-out� buildings and how out of place and disrespectful they are. Ken Alsman Ramona Street

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

What do you think? Should the fire department add a second fulltime ambulance? Submit letters to the editor of up to 250 words to 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 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 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 Post your own comments, ask questions, read the Editor’s blog or just stay up on what people are talking about around town!

On Deadline: Can Ping-Pong help bridge neighborhood cultural diversity? by Jay Thorwaldson alo Alto’s new mayor, Yiaway Yeh, is enthusiastically planning ways to bridge the culturaldiversity gap in Palo Alto neighborhoods, including sponsoring quarterly “athletic competitions� between neighborhood groups. Yeh is the first Chinese-ancestry mayor of Palo Alto, while former Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto was the first Asian and person of Japanese ancestry. Here are some details of what Yeh plans: Quarterly “challenge� events between neighborhood organizations that would be festive, family oriented and with an emphasis more on fun than competitiveness. And the first sport — details to come later — will be one that has worldwide appeal: Ping-Pong, also known as table tennis. It is particularly popular in Asia although it originated elsewhere. Ping-Pong is also well known in Palo Alto — there’s even a Ping-Pong Club Yeh plans to contact, along with neighborhood and community organizations. Other neighborhood challenges will feature different sports, he explained in a recent interview, noting that his father liked to play basketball and he liked tennis. As he has discussed the idea he has learned that “Everybody has a sport,� regardless of cultural background or even age, he said. There can also be a generational aspect to future competitions, even a possible “lawn bowls� event of some type. He’s wide open to


suggestions and involvement, he said. There are other cultural pockets that could be drawn into the mix, such as a strong Orthodox Jewish community in south Palo Alto, or African-American residents. Yeh said he chose Ping-Pong as a kickoff sport in part to commemorate the 40th anniversary last year of “Ping-Pong Diplomacy,� the term used for the 1970s exchange of tabletennis players between the United States and People’s Republic of China that helped thaw the way for President Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing. The primary diversity Yeh hopes to address is the Asian population generally, now about 28 percent of Palo Alto residents, and Chinese-ancestry families more specifically. When Yeh’s family moved to Palo Alto in 1990 — when he entered JLS Middle School and his older brother, Kingway, entered Gunn High School — Asians comprised about 10 percent of residents, Yeh recalls, citing U.S. Census figures. His parents chose Palo Alto “for the schools,� he said. While his parents focused hard on work he focused hard on homework, with some time for sports. “I wasn’t the best (athlete) at Gunn but I tried very hard,� and loved sports, he said. In the spring of 2010 a community meeting was held on the topic, “Growing Up Asian in Palo Alto,� attended by about 200 young persons and family members. The stories told at the event underscored a widely known but seldom discussed (publicly) fact: That there are real differences in one’s experiences based on one’s culture, race or country of origin. Pretending differences don’t exist just leaves existing gaps hidden and unaddressed. Yet there was a touch of irony: A raised-hand

poll revealed that most identified with their country of family ancestry more than with “being Asian.� Organizers of the event included Dana Tom and Barb Klausner of the Palo Alto Board of Education, among others. There were stories of feeling isolated or different, but a number mentioned the extra richness that sharing cultures brings to one’s life. That added richness is what Yeh hopes to promote as a personal priority of his mayorship — on top of the City Council’s priorities endorsed in a council retreat last Saturday, with a renewed emphasis on an infrastructure backlog. Yeh said when he decided to run for City Council some council members and former mayors said he would be a “bridge for the Asian community.� But Yeh said he “didn’t see any way for a single person to create a sense of community,� and began thinking about how to broaden the bridge-building challenge, or opportunity. The successful campaign to approve $76 million in library-construction bonds in 2008 moved that process along, while neighborhood groups were using “emergency preparation� efforts to engage residents. Yeh said he felt the e-prep push was too focused and too serious to be the model for a sustained community-building program, although there have been neighborhood block parties that drew people together. In the 2008 library campaign — a major comeback from a hairbreadth bond defeat in 2002 — Yeh said he was part of an outreach to other Asians. “A lot of times I’d get into discussions around the libraries. ... I believe it resonated: ‘Yes, libraries are important resources in Palo Alto.’� But the discussions were “very focused, al-

most a one-on-one focus� and didn’t become a broader-based effort. This year Yeh said he hopes to address the question, “How do you get people engaged in the long run?� In the early 1970s, Palo Alto-based psychiatrist Allan Seid was one of about a dozen persons who founded “Asian Americans for Community Involvement� (AACI, pronounced with a hard C) and Pathways, to help people find their way through addictions and emotional problems. Today San Jose-based AACI is the largest Asian organization in the county and has a staff of about 160 persons, most of them mentalhealth counselors who help Asian immigrants adjust to a massive cultural change and generational differences — helping some heal from domestic abuse or even torture in their home countries. Other communities have higher percentages of Asian residents than Palo Alto, according to Michele Lew, AACI’s current CEO. Like Yeh, Lew grew up in Palo Alto but predated him, graduating from Palo Alto High School in 1988. She too remembers “how high the pressure was back then� to perform well academically. She recalls being “the only Asian kid� in her class at Crescent Park Elementary School. For a time she attended a Chinese school, “but it didn’t stick.� She sees “a lot of opportunity� in Yeh’s community-building concepts, which will help to further the vision of AACI’s founders and enrich everyone involved with multi-cultural sharing and understanding — with or without Ping-Pong. N Former Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson can be emailed at jthorwaldson@paweekly. com with a cc: to


What do you think about the closure of the recycling center? Asked on Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Interviews and photographs by Cristina Wong.

Robert Jensen

CafĂŠ Worker/Graphic Artist Midtown “Not encouraging you to recycle, but throw away. ... Maybe it’s a good thing for the city to get money though.â€?

Greg Mann

Mortgage Broker Walter Hays Drive “It bothers me. I’ve lived in Palo Alto my whole life. I used to take stuff to the dump. ... Too bad it’s closing down.�

Haley Silsbee

Retail Middlefield Road “If they close that now, people are going to have less incentive to recycle ... not necessarily a good idea.�

Marco Maggi

Retired Middlefield Road “It would have been nice to have it still. Every time I’ve been there, there was always a lot of people, and now you have to go to Sunnyvale.�

Ellen Harris

Homemaker Green Gables “I think it’s a shame to do anything that discourages recycling.�


February 4, 2012

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Cover Story




Gabriela Balas, a tutor specializing in Spanish, helps Veronica Garcia with her homework during a tutoring hour in the English Language Learners program at Gunn High School in January. About the cover:

Instructional aide Ana Perez-Hood helps seventh graders Madoka Yamamoto, left, Yechan Peter Mun and Zhaoming Tony Chen with their classwork in their English Language World History class in January. Photo by Veronica Weber. Page 18ĂŠUĂŠ>Â˜Ă•>ÀÞÊÓÇ]ÊÓä£ÓÊUĂŠ*>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?Ăž

One-third of Palo Alto students speak a language at home that’s not English by Chris Kenrick | photos by Veronica Weber

he teens come from every corner of the globe and land in Rick Jacobs’ classroom at Gunn High School. One said he was a neighbor of Steve Jobs. Others go home to the trailer park off El Camino Real.


In elementary grades, English learners stay in mainstream classrooms and receive special in-class assistance from tutors who speak their primary language. But English learners who arrive in middle school or high school are placed in special classrooms — such as that of Mr. Jacobs — for English and social studies. In that setting, a full range of “primary-language tutors� are available to help them in any subject.

In Jacobs’ class, they bond over their status as newcomers and the fact that they’re all “English language learners.� Their families were attracted to Palo Alto by its reputation for great schools — a reputation that’s becoming global. Fully one-third of Palo Alto’s 12,300 public school students report that they speak a language other than English at home. Mandarin is predominant, followed by Spanish, Korean, Hebrew and Russian. Many of those students are fully bilingual in English as well. But a subset — about 1,400 — are considered “English-language learners,� a designation based on results of a language test they take upon arrival here. So-called “E.L.L. students� are singled out for special instruction until their English is deemed adequate for them to participate in regular classrooms. Among English-language learners, the top home language is Spanish, followed closely by Mandarin. Further down on the list are Korean, Japanese, Russian and Hebrew.


n the shadow of Stanford University, schools in Palo Alto historically have drawn a fair share of international students. More recently, the rise of Silicon Valley — and the Internet — have magnified the attraction. Close to half of Santa Clara County households — 49.6 percent — reported that they “sometimes or always spoke a language other than English at home,� according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The Los Altos School District says 30.4 percent of its current students report a primary home language other than English. The percentages appear to be up, at least slightly, from a decade ago. The Palo Alto school district’s “Home Language Survey� of 2000-01 indicated that about 25.6 percent of students spoke a primary language other than English. Like today, Mandarin was predominant, followed by Spanish, Korean, Russian and Hebrew. Students land in Palo Alto because of a parent’s job with a technology company or appointment at Stanford. Others — with means — have searched around and chosen to

move to Palo Alto because of its reputation. “They find out about Gunn through education consultants — especially in Asia — that put their finger on Palo Alto,� Jacobs said. “We also get special-needs students because parents identify Palo Alto as a district that takes really good care of students with special needs. “People are really good at using Google these days.� One student from Asia reported that his family first moved to New York but didn’t like the weather. “Then we searched and we asked friends. They all said Palo Alto is the best place — near Stanford — so we decided to live here,� the student said. Another student, injured by a truck while playing street soccer in Mexico, arrived here in a wheelchair some years ago and graduated from the program, Jacobs said. “If we’re so happy to have all these wealthy Asians and Europeans coming, then why shouldn’t we be happy to have the lower-income people who are washing dishes and cleaning houses?� he said. “Americans are irritated and bothered by it. They think they’re automatically illegals, but they aren’t, necessarily. Why shouldn’t they have the same opportunities as the rich folks that have come in and bought a $5 million home in Palo Alto?� Some students, who were born here but whose parents have moved to Mexico, return here for schooling and live with relatives. (continued on page 20)

Cover Story

At JLS Middle School, a global crossroads At first ‘it’s really, really quiet’ but, eventually, ‘a magical transformation’

*OUIFJSPXOXPSET English-language learners reflect on the differences between their native countries and the U.S.

by Chris Kenrick

“There are many things here we don’t have in my country. I do like it, but I miss my mom. The teachers are very nice here, and if you want to work hard you will. I don’t really speak English very well.�


ines of kids and parents stretched out the door last week when Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School celebrated the “Many Faces of JLS� with a potluck dinner and international singing and dancing in the school cafetorium. For the nearly 40 percent of JLS students who speak a foreign language at home, it was a chance to share favorite dishes from their native countries — maybe even show up in traditional outfits. Like many campuses in Palo Alto, JLS has become something of a global crossroads, with more than two dozen languages spoken among its 1,000 students. At some schools — including Barron Park, Hoover and Juana Briones — nearly half, or more, of the children specify their home language as something other than English. The trend is less pronounced at the northern end of town, where more than three-quarters of students on campuses like Addison and Duveneck report their home language as English. The top foreign languages spoken in the homes of 39 percent of JLS students, in order, are Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Russian and Hebrew. Other students speak Tagalog, Lao, Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, Turkish, Hungarian and Ton-

— Kloranne Kambou, Congo

“The school is really hard here, but you learn more.� — Arnie Calderon, Guadalajara, Mexico JLS seventh graders Asger Christensen, left, Artem Brodskiy, Gur Shmuelevitz and Michel-Ange Siaba work on a group exercise in their English Language World History class on Jan. 19. gan, among many other languages. “The fact that we have so many bilingual students — or students approaching bilingualism — is really something to be celebrated,� said Grant Althouse, a teacher who coordinates JLS’s program for English learners. “It’s an amazing opportunity to go into the world speaking more than one language.� Teachers at JLS are long accustomed to welcoming international students at any point during the academic year. In the past two weeks, new kids

have arrived from Asia, Europe and South America. “I just had a student from Brazil show up because they’re on summer break,� said Kelly Carnevale, who has taught English and social studies to English learners at JLS for the past four years. “The school years in different countries end at different times.� On his first day at JLS last week, a new English learner from Denmark joined Carnevale’s class, where 19 other English learners — (continued on page 21)

Percent of Palo Alto students who speak English at home

“There are lots of differences between China and the U.S. — the language and the habits, the way you learn. My friends in China, the same age as me, have to study hard to go to a good high school. Everyone wants to go to the great school, so they have to study hard and take many tests. But here it’s the first year of high school, so I don’t need to worry about it.� — Connie He, Guangzhou, China

“Students here are friendly. I cannot speak English, but they talk to me. I think in Japan that maybe cannot happen. If there’s a boy from some foreign country who can’t speak Japanese, I think not many people would talk to the person. Here it is more accepting. In Japan, the classes are fixed for everybody, but here we can choose.� — Yuta Okada, Tokyo

Walter Hays N/A

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Duveneck 77.5%





Addison 77.8%





Jordan 73.9%

Ohlone 78.3%








Barron Park 53.2%



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Source: Palo Alto Unified School District’s Home Language Survey, September 2011

“Gunn is really different from the school I had before. You focus on multiple things here, like sports. In China you study more. It’s advanced with a lot more homework. They don’t care very much about sports.�

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Terman 64.2%


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Hoover 46.3%


Juana Briones 56.8%

“I like it here — the weather, the friendly people. The school day is way longer but it’s like — I don’t know how to explain it — it’s different, it’s better. You learn more.� — David Stelzer, Eimeldingen, Germany

JLS 60.9% Rd


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Fairmeadow 65.5%


Nixon 65.2%

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Escondido 67%


El Carmelo 63.7%




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— Henry Matevosyan, Moscow

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Palo Alto 74.2%

“My mom won the lottery for a green card. She has a lot of friends here and decided to come to the U.S. and have a better life than there. Life in Russia is very different than here. Here you can get wherever you want; you just have to study for it.�

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— Yilei Yu, Wuhan, China ino




Cover Story




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Rich Jacobs, an English Language Learners teacher at Gunn High School, talks with ELL students Yilei Yu, middle, and David Selzer during a tutoring hour in January.


(continued from page 18)




   2011 2012


But Jacobs, who has taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for nearly 40 years, 20 of them at Gunn, said, “Every ESL program has some illegals.� Students sometimes will share that information once they’ve developed a trust with teachers that they won’t be turned in, he said. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1982 invalidated a Texas law denying education funding for illegal immigrant children and also struck down a school district’s attempt to charge tuition for undocumented students. The National School Boards Association relied on that case in a 2009 publication — sent to every school district in the United States — summarizing legal issues surrounding the education of undocumented students. In general, the publication favors providing those students an education. It advises school districts not to

question students about their immigration status and not to report such information, if known, to federal immigration authorities. The Palo Alto school district has no official policy on undocumented students but follows a circular from the U.S. Department of Education advising that districts may not adopt policies that discourage students from participation.


hough most teen English learners in Palo Alto live with their families, some are living largely on their own in apartments that have been rented by their parents. “Some kids live with very little supervision, and other kids live with parents who are controlling every minute of the day,� Jacobs said. In all cases, “I encourage parents to let them function as American students — let them go to school dances, football games, baseball games, homecoming activities, join clubs,� he said. “You want to expose them to as much as you can.�


Each year a handful of kids turn up at Gunn with no English at all and are placed with Jacobs’ assistant, Kira Levina, for small-group instruction. This year, Levina is working with a student from Spain and another from China. “We start with the alphabet,� Levina said. “When they come they sometimes miss their country, and their parents in some situations, so it’s sometimes very emotional for them,� she said. “This is when it’s challenging to teach them and to make them feel comfortable. It’s very important for them to feel comfortable because we want them to be happy. That helps them learn English better.� For students who aren’t rank beginners, Jacobs said he still starts with something basic: Gunn’s student handbook. He explains to them how to find a computer at school, how to sign up for a sports team or what to do if they feel sick in class. They talk about the American con-


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Cover Story cepts that may seem new and strange — sexual harassment and bullying. They learn about grade point averages, SAT tests and how to get help from Gunn’s College and Career Center. “They’re all here for the educational opportunities,� Jacobs said. “Either there’s very little opportunity where they came from, or the competition is so rough that their parents brought them here — that would be China, Japan and Korea. They don’t have a community college system for kids that don’t have top GPAs.� In other home countries, money is a barrier.


or students with hustle, the United States still looks very much like a land of opportunity. Moscow-born Henry Matevosyan, who speaks Ukrainian, Russian and Armenian, came here in 2009 after his mother, a software developer, won a green-card lottery.

JLS Middle School (continued from page 19)

grouped in tables of four — were reading about West Africa from a textbook. In that one class alone students represented Chile, China, Israel, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Sweden and Taiwan. They had been placed in the English-learners program based on their results on the California English Language Development Test, given to all Palo Alto students who report their home language as something other than English. Once deemed English-proficient, they will be moved into regular classrooms. “It’s his first day here, but they bring him right in,� Carnevale said of the Danish boy. “They’re very supportive of each other. It was just four or five months ago that they didn’t know anybody, didn’t speak English. They know how it feels.� Carnevale uses a world-history textbook designed for English learners that she describes as “not quite as dense and without as many graphics.� “I also pull in a lot of my own materials and use strategies I’ve learned at various conferences and workshops.

In Russia, Matevosyan said, there are cost barriers that prevent students like him from pursuing their fields of choice. “Here, you can get wherever you want — you just have to study for it,� he said. Besides his coursework at Gunn, Matevosyan works 20 hours a week at McDonald’s, making burgers, staffing the register, sometimes even helping with the computers. “I’m going to be next month manager,� he said with pride. The Gunn junior — who also works at computer programming on the side — aspires to follow in his older brother’s footsteps by attending Foothill College and then transferring to the University of California. He likes biology and math, soccer and tennis, and hopes to pursue a career in computers. “I played last year tennis and soccer for Gunn, but this year I don’t have time — I’m very busy,� he said. N “I pull together vocabulary — a big component is getting them to talk. I call on them; we go around a lot. They read aloud. “I tell them at the beginning of the year that the point of this class is to become comfortable speaking in an academic context.� “In the first couple of weeks, it’s really, really quiet, but they get better. I write what I want them to say on the board, and we all say it together. We’ll read aloud, do simple plays.� Carnevale makes students laugh by trying to speak to them in their first languages, showing them she knows how difficult it is. “I tell them all the time, ‘If you dropped me in the middle of Korea, I’d have a lot of trouble.’ “I just tell them, ‘It’s OK. Keep trying.’ And pretty soon the ‘keep trying’ turns into, ‘OK, quiet down and get to work.’ “It’s kind of a magical transformation. Now they’re very talkative.� She asks students to keep their work in the classroom so it remains available as a record of what they’ve done. “When they go back and look at the first things they wrote in September, and what they’re doing now, they really do surprise themselves,� she said. N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at


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

new take on tradition

A by Rebecca Wallace

Jin Hi Kim and her komungo.

Pan-Asian Music Festival performers give centuries-old instruments a modern twist


in Hi Kim could make a fourthcentury Korean zither sound at home in a Grateful Dead jam session. She would also fit right in at a blues club, if no one noticed that her instrument was 5 feet long. Kim has made it her goal to bring traditional Korean instruments to the wider world, performing her compositions in venues as disparate as jazz festivals, Carnegie Hall and Korean national television. In her latest projects, she continues to bring the long stringed komungo into the present — and future. As a featured performer in the eighth annual Stanford Pan-Asian Festival, which runs Feb. 3 through Feb. 11, Kim plans to perform two of her pieces, “Digital Buddha� and “Eternal Rock.� Her work epitomizes this year’s festival theme, “Transforming Tradition.� To transform tradition in “Digital Buddha,� Kim brings in a video screen and her electric komungo. She can be seen on her website playing the work, her face impassive, her sounds alternately contemplative, bluesy, birdlike and intensely rhythmic. With the help of speakers, wires and other addenda, technology contributes texture to the electric ko-


Seitoku University professor Yoshihiko Tokumaru, a guest lecturer. mungo and sometimes an eerie timbre or dove-like sound. Occasionally the music resembles a human voice, like humming made deep in the throat. Abstract shapes swirl on the video screen. One resembles a sun shooting off feathers of smoke. The New York Times has described Kim’s work as “thoughtful, shimmering East-West amalgams in combinations that are both new and unlikely to be repeated.� Kim will be in good company in celebrating the new this month at Stanford. Musicians and speakers are bringing traditions from Korea, China, Japan and other parts of Asia and demonstrating the myriad ways they make these ages-old stringed instruments modern. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Zhou Long, for instance, contributes his “Pipa Concerto.� It features the pipa, a Chinese stringed instrument, combined with a contemporary symphonic orchestra. The concerto is part of the concert program “Reimagining the Musical Tradition,� which also includes Kim’s “Eternal Rock� and is scheduled for Feb. 11 at Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Auditorium. Kim will play “Digital Buddha� at a Feb. 10 concert in Dinkelspiel titled “Old Traditions, New Ap-

proaches, New Sounds.� The other guest artists are also known for their innovation on time-honored Asian instruments; they are Kojiro Umezaki on the Japanese shakuhachi, Faraz Minooei on the Persian santur and Yunxiang Gao on the pipa. Other performers scheduled during the festival include the Stanford Symphony Orchestra with visiting musicians Yuan Sha, Kazue Sawai and Ji Aeri; and various Asian youth ensembles from the Bay Area. Festival founder and artistic director Jindong Cai, a Stanford professor, conducts the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. Three free “Elegant Gatherings� will have traditional tea ceremonies and speakers, and a free Feb. 4 opera workshop will feature “Der Jasager,� a Japanese Noh drama setting by Weill, Brecht and other artists. Performers in the opera event will include the Stanford Opera Workshop and Chamber Orchestra, and Stanford Taiko. N Info: For a complete schedule of events at the Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival on campus, go to Concert tickets are $5-$10. Call the ticket office at 650-725-ARTS.

Tosiko Yonekawa plays the Japanese shamisen and koto.

A&E DIGEST LOOKING FOR LOGOS ... Along with its intensive facility renovations, the Palo Alto Art Center is also changing its image, and the public is being asked to help. A competition is now on to create a new logo for the center. All are invited to submit logo designs, which must reflect the institution’s central values. As described in a press release, they are: “Everyone is an artist� and “Friendly, inclusive and welcoming.� The winner gets a free annual membership in the center’s foundation, with his or her name featured on promotional materials. Submissions will be eyed by “a panel of design experts� and then exhibited when the center reopens in October. The deadline is March 5. For details, go to or call 650-329-2366.

Putting the fun in dysfunction Dragon finds the charm and humor in an odd comedy by Kevin Kirby


cott McPherson’s play “Marvin’s Room,� which opened last weekend at Dragon Productions, is a difficult work to describe. The show is a comedy about Mortality with a capital M; nearly half the characters are either terminally or chronically ill. The laughs, though, come not from the sort of gallows humor one might expect, but rather from a sitcom-y blend of over-thetop nuttiness and all-too-real family dysfunction. In most cases, “difficult to describe� also means “difficult to perform,� and that’s certainly true of McPherson’s play. The artists imust arrive at a coherent production style that helps the audience navigate this off-kilter world — letting us know that it’s OK to laugh at the absurd moments amid all the tragedy. Director Laura Jane Bailey can be proud that Dragon’s production is a success, with the script’s obtuse charms well displayed. The story focuses on Bessie, a woman who has devoted her life to caring for her bedridden father, Marvin — victim of a stroke and, subsequently, cancer — and her Aunt Ruth, who seems unable to handle routine tasks even though a brain implant has alleviated her chronic pain. (In one of the show’s typical gags, Ruth’s implant squawks violently and, we’re told, opens and closes the garage door.) Given the family’s medical history, it’s hardly surprising when Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia. This probable death sentence is delivered by Dr. Wally, a man so bumbling and distracted as to make one wonder how he ever earned an M.D. Jeff Swan, who plays Dr. Wally, lays it on particularly thick in the first scene. This may be a deliberate choice, designed to signal the audience that nothing in this show is to be taken too seriously. Bessie is played by Mary Lou Torre, a familiar face at Dragon. Over the years, she has appeared in many shows, generally as an earnest best friend or a befuddled neighbor, and has helped out behind the scenes for many more. Now she’s front and center. In many ways, Torre is an ideal Bessie: She may miss a few of the character’s darker notes, but she captures Bessie’s optimism, her devotion to family and her unassuming manner. An example: Late in the play, speaking to her sister Lee, Bessie expresses her gratitude for having had so much love in her life. Lee assumes that she’s referring to the love she’s received, but Bessie explains that it is the love she has given that is important. “I am so lucky to have been able to love so much,� she says. In the wrong hands, that line could come off as maudlin, but for Torre, it’s simply a statement of fact. Much of the play’s humor — and the majority of its “realest� moments — comes from the relationship between “good sister� Bessie and abrasive “bad sister� Lee. The two have been estranged for so long that Lee’s teenage boys, Hank and Charlie, have never met their Aunt Bessie. But the leukemia diagnosis changes all that, as Lee and her sons fly to Florida to

THEATER REVIEW be tested as potential bone-marrow donors. Dragon founder Meredith Hagedorn is Lee, and she seems to enjoy this opportunity to play against type as the short-tempered, none-toobright single mother. Her gradual warming to Bessie is wholly believable, as the sisters struggle to reclaim a family bond that has suffered from years of bitterness and neglect. And Hagedorn’s look of gleeful shock is priceless when straight-arrow Bessie reveals that the one great love of her young life was a carny. But perhaps the most touching relationship in McPherson’s script is the one that develops between Bessie and her nephew Hank, played by Ronald Feichtmeir. To make this trip, Hank has been temporarily released from the mental institution where he has lived ever since burning down the family’s house. Lee is at her wits’ end dealing with the boy, but Bessie seems to find a way inside his defenses. Torre’s scenes with Feichtmeir are the production’s best, possessing a clarity that the rest of the show never achieves. (Outside of these scenes, Feichtmeir is good but not exceptional. His Hank is quiet, aloof, possibly “slow.� This is fine as far as it goes, but misses the underlying current of anger that would make his relationship with Lee understandable.) Remaining cast members are Lynda Marcum as Aunt Ruth, Clifford M. Samoranos as young Charlie, Janine Evans in dual roles as a psychiatrist and a retirement home director, and Jim Johnson as Dr. Wally’s dimwitted assistant. Johnson also plays a costumed “gopher man� who comes to Bessie’s aid at Disney World, and he provides the offstage vocalizations for Marvin. (Neither Marvin nor his room ever appears on stage.) All four seem comfortable in their roles and contribute some nice comic bits. The show is well paced at just over two hours. This is crucial, as it keeps us from getting bogged down in the characters’ tragedy. The cast also assists with the numerous set changes. The script calls for eight locations, most seen only once. Scenic designer Neal Ormond has built three rolling wall panels hinged together in series. In the wellchoreographed and blessedly quiet scene changes (one of which got a smattering of applause on opening night), this tripartite wall is whipped into a L-, S-, and C-shaped formations indicating different locales. While the resulting visual variety is limited — one side of the bendy wall, painted green, represents Bessie’s home, while the other side, yellow, must serve as backdrop for all other locations — clarity is provided by furniture, wall hangings and signs. The show’s designers also deserve bonus points: lighting designer Steve Shumway for the subtle palm tree gobo projected on the walls of Bessie’s house; Ormond (with possible assist from Shumway) for providing a refrigerator, mounted to the wall of Bessie’s “kitchen,� that glows with an interior light when the door is opened; and costumer Kathleen

O’Brien for Ruth’s squeaky slippers that — rather than being annoying — are a quirky reminder of the character’s infirmity. “Marvin’s Room� is not a show that will appeal to everyone. But Dragon’s production is a strong one, and it will likely become funnier, more affecting and more polished as the run continues. N What: “Marvin’s Room,� a play presented by Dragon Productions Where: Dragon Theatre, 535 Alma St, Palo Alto When: Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 2 p.m., through Feb. 12 Cost: $25 general admission, with discounts for students and seniors Info: Go to or call 800-838-3006.

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Arts & Entertainment

Art for all Inspiring ‘Pitmen Painters’ plays like a plea for art education by Chad Jones


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ow do you teach an art-appreciation class to someone who’s never seen a painting? The answer, according to Lee Hall’s drama “The Pitmen Painters,� is that you don’t. You let your students paint their own pictures and build an appreciation from there. That’s how it actually happened for the members of the Ashington Group, a collective of coal miners in Northern England circa 1934 who, in embarking on an art class offered by their Workers Educational Association, ended up garnering a certain notoriety in the British art world up through the 1970s. The inspiring and transforming nature of art is a recurring theme in the work of British scribe Hall, who is most famous for his screenplay (and later Broadway musical adaptation of) “Billy Elliot,� about a boy in a depressed coal-mining town who defies local norms and becomes a dancer. “Pitmen Painters,� which had a warmly received run on Broadway in 2010 and is still running in London’s West End, is now at TheatreWorks, and it’s a noble theatrical undertaking. The fact that this is a true story is inspiring all by itself (with a nod to William Feaver’s book “Pitmen Painters, the Ashington Group 1934-1984�). And that the production, directed by Leslie Martinson, makes good use of the actual Pitmen paintings, seen in projections and reproductions made for the stage, serves as a wonderful introduction to a fascinating chapter of art history probably unknown to

THEATER REVIEW most Americans. When art teacher Robert Lyon (Paul Whitworth) arrives in Ashington, he’s not quite prepared for the sub-beginner level of his five students: three coal miners, a dental mechanic and an unemployed lad. Lyon puts a slide of a painting on the screen and says, “A Titian,� to which a student replies, “Bless you.� Lyon quickly realizes that these men need hands-on experience with composition and color and subject before they can even begin to think about the great masters. When the miners begin bringing in their work, it’s clear that they not only have a distinct point of view but also an astonishing measure of talent. With art serving as a common denominator for humanity — the British class system be damned — Hall spends most of his play’s nearly two-and-a-half hours delving into the meaning of art and what it means to be an artist, both inside and outside the professional art establishment. This is a static play, and to director Martinson’s credit, the only dull patches hover briefly in Act Two. It’s essentially words and paintings and words about paintings. There’s a danger that this mostly plotless docudrama will become its own sort of remedial art class, but Martinson and her appealing cast — featuring some of the Bay Area’s best actors — keep the pedantry to a minimum and turn up the dial on what Hall clearly finds to be an

inspiring story. “The point of a painting is how it makes you feel,� the art teacher says. “Does art have to have a message?� someone asks later on. The purpose of art, one inspired painter says, is to create a sense of awe and to grapple with “the mystery of being alive.� Another decides that art is “making things possible that weren’t there before.� And, feeding the pro-proletariat fervor of the play, Act One ends with the assertion that “Real art belongs to everyone.� Once that proclamation is made, there’s not really much farther for the play to go. So if Hall’s drama never builds up much steam, at least we continue to care about the painters themselves, but more as a group rather than individuals. (For dramatic purposes, Hall reduced a group of about 20 to five.) James Carpenter plays George, the stern leader of the group who is strictly by the book, especially when chiding his on-the-dole nephew (Nicolas Pelczar). Jackson Davis is the closest the play comes to comic relief as Jimmy, the miner who never hesitates to express his befuddlement with all this art stuff. Dan Hiatt gets some fiery moments as the Marx-quoting socialist who feels art should be radical and political, but the heart of the play belongs to Patrick Jones as Oliver Kilbourn, the miner with the soul of an artist. Kilbourn’s paintings (seen in the helpful projections created by Jim Gross) are extraordinary, especially when you consider he was completely self-taught. Jones is a soft-spoken but solid presence, believable as a proud miner and equally believable as a man capable of creating works of beauty. Jones’ character, and, indeed, his performance, is the only one shaded with real complexity. There’s not a lot of female energy in this miner-centric tale, but Marcia Pizzo makes an elegant impression as a wealthy art lover fond of taking artists under her well-upholstered wing. And Kathryn Zdan charms in the superfluous role of a life-study model. To Hall’s credit, he keeps the focus on the art teacher and the miner-artists and everything their success meant in terms of class, creativity and the artistic potential in every person if given the opportunity to express it. There’s no forced romance, no artificial drama, no Hollywood flourishes. But there’s still a lingering feeling that, despite the inspiring real-life story, what we have in “The Pitmen Painters� is less a play than it is a well-argued, well-intentioned plea for more arts and more arts education. N What: “The Pitmen Painters� by Lee Hall, presented by TheatreWorks Where: Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St. When: Through Feb. 12 with 7:30 p.m. shows Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 p.m. shows Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. shows Saturday and Sunday and 7 p.m. shows Sunday Cost: Tickets are $19-$69 with student, senior and educator discounts. Info: Go to or call 650-463-1960.

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408 California Ave, Palo Alto

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Palo Alto Sol 328-8840

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


Voted MV Voice Best ‘01, ‘02, ‘03 & ‘04 Prices start at $4.75

115 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto Voted Best Pizza in Palo Alto

Dining Phone: 323–6852

To Go: 322–4631 Winner, Menlo Almanac “Best Of�

Green Elephant Gourmet Burmese & Chinese Cuisine

Spot A Pizza 324-3131

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4269 El Camino Real, Palo Alto Dinner Mon-Thurs 5-10pm; Fri-Sat 5-11pm;

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Sun 4:30 - 9:30pm

Dine-In, Take-Out, Local Delivery-Catering

129 Lytton, Downtown Palo Alto

Available for private luncheons

Lunch Buffet M-F; Open 7 days

Lounge open nightly


Janta Indian Restaurant

Happy Hour Mon-Fri 4-6 pm (650) 462-5903 Fax (650) 462-1433 1067 N. San Antonio Road

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Trader Vic’s 849-9800

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Fresh Fish Market and Restaurant


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La Cucina di Pizzeria Venti


254-1120 1390 Pear Ave, Mountain View

Sundance the Steakhouse


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1921 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:00pm Spalti Ristorante 327-9390

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Ming’s 856-7700

417 California Ave, Palo Alto

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1700 Embarcadero East, Palo Alto


Sun 5:00-9:00pm

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



Fast, fresh and tasty Chipotle Mexican Grill’s pared-down menu offers good-quality fare by Sheila Himmel


hy go to a Chipotle Mexican Grill when there are excellent taquerias all over the place? You can get crispier carnitas at La Bamba, for example, as well as pupusas and horchata. Chipotle has other virtues. My fear was that this national chain would be another World Wrapps, where burrito-like items often are soggy or dry. But while World Wrapps’ ambitious menu hopscotches the world to fill tortillas with Bombay Curry and Samurai Salmon, Chipotle focuses on four menu items and five proteins. The price depends on the protein, from $6.10 for vegetarian or chicken to $6.50 for barbacoa (braised beef), grilled steak or carnitas

(braised pork). Chicken is marinated in chipotle adobo, grilled and cubed for easy assembly. It is the spiciest of the meats. The barbacoa and carnitas melt in your mouth. Beans are black or pinto, which are very tasty and not mushy. Turns out the pintos are cooked with bacon. Chipotle offers brown rice, but the textural difference is slight. White rice has hints of cilantro and lime. Caloric and other nutritional facts abound. Do you need to know that roasted chili-corn salsa has four times the calories of freshtomato salsa, and that tomatillored is way higher than tomatillogreen? Maybe, if you plan to make

a meal of salsa. My other fear had to do with Chipotle’s being owned by McDonald’s. In fact, McDonald’s did invest in Chipotle in 1998, and divested in 2006. The stores are not franchised. Founder Steve Ells owns 1.25 percent of the publicly held chain, with 1,100 stores in 41 states. Ells got the idea watching the crowds at taquerias in San Francisco’s Mission District. He figured out how to speed it up, ensure freshness and offer a place to sit down amid stainless steel, warm wood and exposed ductwork. He brought the prep work out front for customers to see. And he provided detailed information about the food, including easy-to-spot calorie counts and grams of dietary fiber in each serving. Got special dietary needs? Check the website, which assures us that everything is gluten-free except flour tortillas and possibly the red tomatillo salsa. Also: “If


Pizzeria Venti

you are highly sensitive and would like us to change our gloves, we would be happy to do that at your request.� Got kids? Four children’s menu items include chips and a drink (juice or organic milk) for $2.95 for the cheese quesadilla; and $3.95 for the build-your-own taco kit (“Served on a tray for easy building�). The newest local Chipotle, in Mountain View on El Monte and El Camino, exemplifies a big change in consumer tastes. This store used to be a Boston Market, a chain that grew rapidly as the homey supplier of meals that Mom didn’t have time to make anymore. Chipotle exploded this niche, often called “home-meal replacement,� and put it back together in a very focused way. Among few missteps, Chipotle got embroiled in an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit filed by a customer in a wheelchair who was unable to see the food prepa-

ration, denying him the “Chipotle Experience.� New restaurants have changed the counter design. N Chipotle Mexican Grill 2675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto 650-462-9154 1039 A El Monte Ave., Mountain View 650-919-8448. 2400 Charleston Road, Mountain View 650-969-6528 Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily Reservations

Credit cards

 Lot Parking  Beer



 Takeout  Highchairs  Wheelchair access

Catering Outdoor seating Noise level: Fine Bathroom Cleanliness: Good

Ossobuco is a classic dish from Milan and features braised Veal shanks in a white wine and tomato sauce. Our simple, yet elegant recipe will be a family favorite for years to come. For your dining pleasure, we offer this recipe.

From our kitchen to yours, BUON APPETITO! Pizzeria Venti Recipe - Chef Carlo Maeda

ns rvatio e s e r g ceptin e! ailabl Now ac v a g n cateri



Preparation instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in foil pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes then drain the oil. 3. Meanwhile, heat the other 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a foil pan. Dredge the veal shanks in the our, coating on all sides and shake off the excess our. When the oil is hot, slip in the shanks and brown them on all sides. This should take about 6-7 minutes per side. Remove the veal shanks and place them in the ďŹ rst pan on top of the cooked vegetables. 4. Add the wine, butter, chicken broth, tomatoes, pepper and salt to the pot. The liquid should come at least two thirds of the way to the top of the shanks. If it does not, add more broth.

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


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

5. Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook for about 2 hours, turning and basting every 30 minutes, until the meat is very tender. 6. Transfer the Ossobuco to a warm plate and carefully remove the strings. To serve place Ossobuco on a plate with Risotto Milanese, or Pastina pasta in herbed olive oil and garlic.

MOVIE TIMES 3 Superstars in Berlin (Not Rated) (Not Reviewed)

Aquarius Theatre: Wed. at 7 p.m.

A Dangerous Method (R) (Not Reviewed) Guild Theatre: 3:45, 6:15 & 8:45 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. also at 1:15 p.m. The Adventures of Tintin (PG) (Not Reviewed) Century 16: 11 a.m.; 4:10 & 9:30 p.m.; In 3D at 1:35 & 6:50 p.m. Century 20: 11:25 a.m.; 4:35 & 10 p.m.; In 3D at 2 & 7:25 p.m. Albert Nobbs (R) (Not Reviewed) 4:30, 7:10 & 9:55 p.m.

Century 16: 11 a.m.; 1:40, 4:20, 7:15 & 9:55 p.m. Century 20: 11:10 a.m.; 1:50,

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G) (Not Reviewed)

Beauty and the Beast (G) (Not Reviewed) Century 16: In 3D at 11 a.m.; 1:20, 3:50 & 9:45 p.m. Century 20: 11:15 a.m.; In 3D at 1:35, 4:10 & 10:15 p.m.




Century 16: Wed. at 7:30 p.m.

Contraband (R) (Not Reviewed) Century 16: 11:25 a.m.; 2:05, 4:50, 7:50 & 10:30 p.m. Century 20: Noon, 2:45, 5:20, 8:05 & 10:45 p.m. Aquarius Theatre: 3:15, 6 & 8:45 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. also at 12:30 p.m. Century 20: 11:10 a.m.;

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (PG-13) (( 10:10 p.m.

Century 16: Noon, 3:20, 7 & 10:10 p.m. Century 20: 1, 4:05, 7:05 &

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) (R) ((( 11:55 a.m.; 3:20, 6:45 & 10:05 p.m.

Century 16: 11:20 a.m.; Fri.-Tue. & Thu. also at 6:20 p.m. Century 20:









Visit for a look at A Dangerous Method and other SPC films


Century 20: Thu. at 2 & 7 p.m.

Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think (Not Rated) (Not Reviewed)

The Descendants (R) ((1/2 1:50, 4:30, 7:15 & 9:55 p.m.


Century 20: 11:40 a.m.; 1:55, 4:20 & 6:50 p.m.

The Artist (PG-13) (((1/2 Century 20: 11:35 a.m. & 2:10 p.m.; Fri.-Wed. also at 4:40, 7:20 & 9:50 p.m.; Thu. also at 10:20 p.m. CinĂŠArts at Palo Alto Square: 2, 4:20 & 7:25 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. also at 9:45 p.m.

Ben-Hur (1959) (Not Rated) (Not Reviewed)






The Goat Rodeo Sessions Live (PG) (Not Reviewed) Century 20: Tue. at 8 p.m. Palo Alto Square: Tue. at 8 p.m. The Grey (R) ((( 10:30 p.m.

Century 16: 11:10 a.m.; 2, 4:50, 7:40 & 10:30 p.m. Century 20: 11:30 a.m.; 2:15, 4:55, 7:40 &

Haywire (R) ((1/2

Century 16: 11:40 a.m.; 2:10, 4:40, 7:30 & 10:25 p.m. Century 20: 12:40, 3:05, 5:30, 7:50 &

10:25 p.m. Hugo (PG) (((1/2 Century 16: 2:30 & 9:20 p.m.; In 3D at 11:30 a.m. & 6:10 p.m. Century 20: 11:15 a.m.; 5 & 10:35 p.m.; In 3D at 2:10 & 7:50 p.m. The Iron Lady (PG-13) (((1/2 Aquarius Theatre: 4:15 & 9:45 p.m.; Fri.-Tue. & Thu. also at 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sun. also at 1:30 p.m. Century 20: 11:45 a.m.; 2:20, 4:55, 7:30 & 10:05 p.m. Joyful Noise (PG-13) (Not Reviewed)

Century 20: 1:20 p.m.

Kevin Smith: Live from Behind (Not Rated) (Not Reviewed) p.m. Man on a Ledge (PG-13) (Not Reviewed) 5:25, 8 & 10:40 p.m.

Century 16: Thu. at 6:30 p.m. Century 20: Thu. at 6:30

One for the Money (PG-13) (Not Reviewed) a.m.; 2:30, 4:50, 7:20 & 9:40 p.m.

Century 16: 11:05 a.m.; 1:30, 4, 7:05 & 9:40 p.m. Century 20: 11:50

Palo Alto Square: 1:50 & 4:30 p.m.; Fri.-Mon., Wed. & Thu. also at 7:15 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. also at

Red Tails (PG-13) (Not Reviewed) 10:35 p.m.

– Marlow Stern

– Adam Markovitz
















            MOBILE USERS: For Showtimes - Text ALBERT With Your ZIP CODE to 43KIX (43549)

Century 16: 12:10, 3:30, 7:10 & 10:20 p.m. Century 20: 11:10 a.m.; 2, 4:50, 7:45 &


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13) (((1/2 Century 16: 3 p.m.; Fri.-Tue. & Thu. also at 9:50 p.m.; Wed. also at 10:05 p.m. Century 20: 4:25 & 10:30 p.m.; Fri.-Mon., Wed. & Thu. also at 7:35 p.m. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (R) (((1/2


Century 16: 11:05 a.m.; 1:50, 4:30, 7:20 & 10:05 p.m. Century 20: 12:05, 2:50,

Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol (PG-13) (Not Reviewed) Century 16: 12:20, 3:40, 7:25 & 10:30 p.m. Century 20: 12:45, 4, 7 & 10:15 p.m.

Pina 3D (PG) (Not Reviewed) 9:50 p.m.


Century 16: 12:20, 3:40, 7 & 9:55 p.m.

Underworld: Awakening (R) (Not Reviewed) Century 16: 11:50 a.m. & 10:25 p.m.; Fri.-Wed. also at 5 p.m.; Thu. also at 2:30 p.m.; In 3D at 11 a.m.; 1:40, 4, 7 & 9:35 p.m.; In 3D Fri.-Wed. also at 2:20 & 8 p.m. Century 20: 11:20 a.m. & 9:15 p.m.; In 3D Fri.-Wed. at 1:30, 3:45, 6, 8:20 & 10:40 p.m. War Horse (PG-13) (((1/2

Century 16: 6:30 p.m. Century 20: 7 p.m.

We Bought a Zoo (PG) (1/2

Century 20: 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 & 9:25 p.m.

( Skip it (( Some redeeming qualities ((( A good bet (((( Outstanding








“The best ‘Underworld’ yet� - EVAN DICKSON, BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM

To read Weekly critic Peter Canavese’s review of “The Grey,� go to movies, where readers can also find other reviews, theater addresses, photos and links to trailers. Canavese gave three out of four stars to “The Grey,� an action-horror hybrid that “pits man (Liam Neeson) versus wild (bloodthirsty wolves) in a subarctic death match.�



A 3-D film for PINA BAUSCH by Wim Wenders

Fri-Sat Pina in 3-D (Three Dimensional)-1:50, 4:30, 7:15, 9:50 1/27-1/28 The Artist - 2:30, 4:30, 7:25, 9:45 Sun-Mon Pina in 3-D (Three Dimensional)-1:50, 4:30, 7:15 1/29-1/30 The Artist - 2:00, 4:20, 7:25 Tues ONLY Pina in 3-D (Three Dimensional)-1:50, 4:30 1/31 The Artist - 2:00, 4:20, 7:25 Wed-Thurs Pina in 3-D (Three Dimensional)-1:50, 4:30, 7:15 2/1-2/2 The Artist - 2:00, 4:20, 7:25










Sports Shorts


Hoping to shed role of the bridesmaid

CLOSING IN . . . Two current and three former Stanford women’s soccer players are a victory away from spending time next summer at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. Current students Teresa Noyola and Alina Garciamendez and Cardinal grads Rachel Buehler, Kelly O’Hara and Nicole Barnhart remain in contention for that trip, which will be determined on Friday in the semifinals of the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada. Buehler had a pair of assists for the U.S. Women’s National Team in its 4-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday in the Group B final. Noyola and Garciamendez play for Mexico. The USA earned the full nine points to win the group stage, posting a plus-31 goal differential while earning the right to face Group A runner-up Costa Rica in the semifinal on Friday at 5 p.m. Despite the loss to the U.S., Mexico still will play host Canada in the other semifinal on Friday, based on points. The semifinal winners earn berths to the 2012 London Olympics.

COACHING CORNER . . . Palo Alto Knights Youth Football is seeking head and assistant coaches for the 2012 football season. Experienced in youth coaching and football knowledge is preferred. Contact: Mike Piha at

ON THE AIR Saturday Sunday Men’s basketball: Stanford at California, 5:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net; KNBR (1050 AM); KZSU (90.1 FM)

READ MORE ONLINE For expanded daily coverage of college and prep sports, please see our new site at

Menlo School sophomore Jaye Boissiere (white) scored two goals and added an assist in a 4-0 victory over King’s Academy to earn the Knights a share of first place on Monday.

(continued on page 30)

It’s a battle against the Bears in basketball Streaks are at stake as the Cardinal women host Cal on Saturday

Stanford men hope to overcome Cal on Sunday and some nagging injuries

by Rick Eymer ara VanDerveer has the Stanford women’s basketball team in good position to make another deep run into the NCAA tournament. Her fourth-ranked Cardinal (8-0, 17-1) is two games ahead of California in the Pac-12 standings and well on the way to yet another conference title. VanDerveer also knows there are pitfalls to watch along the way and one of those is Saturday’s visit by the Bears (6-2, 15-5) to Maples Pavilion for a 2 p.m. tipoff. Cal brings a six-game winning streak to town and the knowledge that it was the last school to hand Stanford a loss in conference play nearly five years ago. “Cal is having a great year,� VanDerveer said. “They are an athletic, talented team and it should be a great game.� The game marks the midway point of the conference season and the Bears have plenty of motivation as they hope to topple one of the country’s most successful programs. Lindsay Gottlieb, in her first year as the head coach at Cal, was an assistant when the Bears beat Stanford in Maples Pavilion, 7257, on Feb. 4, 2007. Two years later, in Berkeley, Cal beat the Cardinal again, the last time Stanford

by Rick Eymer osh Owens understands adversity and frustration better than most of his Stanford men’s basketball teammates. The fifth-year senior needed a year away from the game because of a medical condition that threatened his playing career. Andy Brown finally found the court after missing three years with three separate torn ACL injuries. This year it is sophomores Dwight Powell and Anthony Brown who are trying to overcome the adversity and frustration of bothersome injuries that have kept them from producing at a higher level. “They all bring great attitudes to practice,� Owens said as Stanford (5-3, 15-5) prepares for another road challenge Sunday at California, with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off. “No one is dwelling on the negatives, no one has checked out and no one is down on themselves.� A good thing considering the Cardinal enters the final game of the first half of Pac-12 play with plenty of motivation. A win would keep Stanford among the conference elite and would go a long way to convince itself that road games aren’t necessarily automatic losses. “We faced serious road adversity for the



(continued on page 31)


Bob Drebin/

Women’s basketball: California at Stanford, 2 p.m., KZSU (90.1 FM)

by Keith Peters lways a bridesmaid and never a bride. That pretty much describes the Menlo School girls’ soccer team during the past three years in the West Bay Athletic League. Not only did the Knights have to watch the Sacred Heart Prep girls march to the Foothill Division alter three consecutive years, but they didn’t even have an automatic invitation to postseason party as the thirdplace finisher. Thus, for the past three seasons, Menlo had to earn its Central Coast Section berth by winning a playoff with the WBAL Skyline Division champ. The Knights say those days are over. “We want to win it this year,� said Menlo senior Sophie Sheeline. “This year we’re that much better,� added senior Shannon Lacy. The Knights could be sitting all alone in the WBAL Foothill Division race today, depending on what happened Thursday. Menlo needed to beat Notre DameSan Jose while Sacred Heart Prep needed to upend Priory. If that were to happen, Menlo would be 6-1 with 18 points, Sacred Heart Prep would be 5-1-1 for 16 points and Priory would be 5-1 for 15. If the Knights did their job against NDSJ, the worstcase scenario would find them still tied with Priory for first place. Bottom line, Menlo has entered the second half of division play in a very enviable position. “If you guys go undefeated in the second half, you’re the champs,� Menlo coach Donoson FitzGerald told his players following a 4-0 victory over visiting King’s Academy on Monday.


Keith Peters

OF LOCAL NOTE . . . Sacred Heart Prep volleyball teammates Jesse Ebner and Sarah Daschbach will be on opposite sides of the net next fall when they continue their careers in the Ivy League. Ebner will play for Yale while Daschbach will become a member of the Princeton Tigers. Ebner and Daschbach were the leaders of a Sacred Heart Prep team that won back-to-back Central Coast Section Division IV championships in 2009 and 2010. They helped the Gators win the 2010 NorCal Division IV championship and advance to the CIF Division IV state championship match in their junior year. The Gators reached the 2011 CCS Division IV finals, only to lose to Soquel. In the NorCal playoffs, SHP lost in five games to eventual state champion Union Mine (El Dorado) in the semifinals . . . Palo Alto’s Vincent Zhou followed up his men’s novice short program title with a gold-medal effort in the free skate on Monday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Zhou, 11, is the youngest of the 250 skaters competing this week and was making his debut at the championships.

Menlo School girls take aim at WBAL title after finishing third the past three seasons

Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike (30) has been named one of 10 finalists for the Loweís Senior CLASS Award.

(continued on next page)

(continued from previous page)

first time this season,� Owens said. “I think a lot of maturing is happening. This week we will not be deterred.� The Cardinal has lost three of four conference road contests, with the sole victory being decided in the fourth overtime period at Oregon State. Stanford already has matched last year’s overall win total and will need at least five more wins to put itself in position for NCAA consideration. Powell has shown signs of returning to form following an awkward heel-ankle sprain he sustained a few days before the season opener. He reached double figures in scoring once through his first 13 games and twice in his past five games. Powell’s career high 20-point affair came against California, which currently shares first place in the Pac12 with Oregon. “Of course they are frustrated,� Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said of Powell and Brown. “They know what they can do and they know they can help us.� Brown was named to the All-Pac10 freshman team last year after earning his way into the starting lineup and then keeping his spot, recording 10 double-figure games in his final 14. Powell, who reached double figures in scoring eight times, was an honorable mention on the freshman team. “They both got knocked back,� Dawkins said. “You never know how they are going to respond.�

Brown, who suffered from tendinitis in both knees, remains a little inconsistent. Only Owens, Aaron Bright and freshman Chasson Randle have played more minutes than Brown. “He’s a little bit erratic,� Dawkins said of Brown. “He’s not as comfortable with his lower base. You can see him trying to adjust but his shots seem to just miss.� Powell, who recorded a doubledouble in the win at Oregon State, missed the first two games of the season with the foot problem. He averages about 15 minutes a game. He’s beginning to make the most of his time on the court. “It has been tough for him,� Dawkins said. “He kept re-injuring it. He would come back at go full strength and then hurt it. The ankle

has been heavily taped. He’s not out of the woods but at least they loosened the tape and that’s a good thing.� Powell started 21 of 26 games last year, averaging 24 minutes, 8.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. He’s started three times, including last Saturday’s game in Seattle, averaging 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. “It will be hard to get him completely healthy while he’s still playing on it,� Dawkins said. “He still has limited mobility but you can see him playing differently. You can see the progress. His athleticism is coming back and he’s playing better.� A week ago Stanford was tied with Cal for the conference lead. This weekend, the Cardinal is in fifth place, but only a game behind

the Bears and Oregon. Washington and Washington State are tied for third at 5-2. There’s still plenty of time to create an interesting race to the top but it would be wise to begin winning on the road a little more often. “It starts on the defensive end,� Dawkins said. “You’ve got to be a stingy defensive team on the road and the offense has to complement that. You have to value the ball and every possession. You can’t turn the ball over.� The eight-day break between games allowed Dawkins and his coaching staff time to work on individual skills and team weaknesses. “We’ve worked on ourselves the last couple of days,� he said. “We had a tough weekend and we have to get better in some areas.� N

Bob Drebin/

Stanford men

Dwight Powell

Palo Alto Recycling Center


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Paly boys have chance to avenge rare hoop loss to Mountain View and earn share of first place by Keith Peters t was only three weeks ago that the Palo Alto boys’ basketball team suffered its most humiliating defeat of the season, a 62-43 setback at Mountain View. To best put it into perspective, the Vikings rarely lose to the Spartans in boys’ basketball or even play them. Prior to this season, Mountain View competed in the SCVAL El Camino Division since the 200607 campaign. The Spartans and Vikings last met in league play in 2005-06, when Paly swept the season series on the way to winning the CIF Division II state title. Palo Alto did lose to Mountain View in 2008-09, but that team was from Utah. Thus, revenge will on Paly’s side when it plays host to the Spartans on Friday night in a showdown for first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division. Tip off is 7:45 p.m. on a quad night. Mountain View brings a 6-0 mark (15-3 overall) following Wednesday’s 53-41 win over winless Gunn while Palo Alto is 5-1 (15-2) after a 68-47 victory over host Milpitas the same night. Palo Alto tuned up for its big rematch as junior E.J. Floreal poured in a season-high 26 points and senior Israel Hakim added 15. The Trojans (2-4, 10-8) kept it close at halftime (28-22), but the Vikings pulled away


with a 25-point third quarter. In Mountain View, Gunn (0-6, 6-12) continued to struggle while dropping a 53-41 decision to the host Spartans. Senior guard Shang Yip made four 3-pointers to lead the Titans with 17 points. In the PAL Ocean Division, Menlo-Atherton took a step backward by dropping a 52-40 decision to lastplace Westmoor on Wednesday night. The host Rams had been winless in league prior to the game but held M-A scoring leader Ian Proulx to just two points. In the West Bay Athletic League, Pinewood had 12 players score while holding on to sole possession of first place with a 74-42 romp over visiting King’s Academy on Tuesday night. The Panthers improved to 6-0 (15-1) while winning their 11th straight. Pinewood got 20 points on 10of-11 shooting, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals from senior Cameron Helvey. In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep pulled away from an 11-point halftime lead and solidified its hold on a tie for second place in the WBAL with a dominating 70-38 victory over Harker. The Gators (5-2, 12-5) began the night in a three-way tie for second, but knocked Harker (4-3, 11-6) out of that deadlock. In Portola Valley, Menlo School had a solid defensive effort to stifle


(TENTATIVE) AGENDA – SPECIAL MEETING COUNCIL CHAMBERS JANUARY 30, 2012 - 5:30 PM CLOSED SESSION 1. CLOSED SESSION: Labor CONSENT CALENDAR 2. Finance Committee Recommendation to Adopt an Ordinance Authorizing the Closing of the Budget for the 2011 Fiscal Year; Approval of 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) 3. Final City Council Strategic Priorities Quarterly Report for Calendar Year 2011 4. Approval to Submit Application to the State Water Resources Control Board for Grant Funding from the Proposition 84 Storm Water Grant Program ACTION ITEMS 5. Retirement Medical Actuarial Report Discussion 6. Continued Public Hearing: Appeal of an Architectural Review Approval and a Record of Land Use Action Regarding the Director’s Architectural Review Approval of a Three Story Development on a 2.5 Acre Parcel at 195 Page Mill Road and 2865 Park Boulevard. Applicant is Requesting a Continuance.



host Priory, 55-37. The Knights, who held a 24-12 halftime lead, upped their WBAL record to 5-2 at the midpoint of league play and are 12-5 overall. In East Palo Alto, host Eastside Prep defeated last-place Crystal Springs, 33-27, to improve to 2-5 in league (12-5 overall). Girls’ basketball Menlo School nearly pulled off one of the biggest wins of the season before falling to unbeaten MercySan Francisco, 74-70, in overtime in a WBAL Foothill Division game on Tuesday night. In Atherton, visiting Eastside Prep got 15 points from Charmaine Bradford and an important cameo role from Hashima Carothers in a 47-31 victory over Sacred Heart Prep. In the WBAL Skyline Division, Castilleja took sole possession of first place with a 37-34 win over visiting King’s Academy. The Gators (4-1, 9-9) were led by junior Lauren Rantz, who scored 12 points to go along with 13 rebounds and five blocks. In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto maintained its hold on second place following a dominating 70-38 victory over host Milpitas. Seniors Lindsay Black and Emilee Osagiede plus junior Stephanie Allen all tallied 10 points for the Vikings (5-1, 12-3). In Mountain View, Gunn took over third place with a sloppy 4544 victory over the host Spartans. The Titans (4-2, 10-5) committed 31 turnovers in 32 minutes but outrebounded Mountain View, 30-12, to help prevent an upset loss. Gunn rallied behind Cat Perez, who scored the deciding layin and finished with a game-high 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. N

Prep soccer (continued from page 28)

The victory over the Gators was the Knights’ first ever in the WBAL and only the second time since SHP joined the league three years ago that it had been beaten. “It was great to play that way and get goals, because we’ve been struggling to score,� FitzGerald said. “They played like they’re capable of playing.� “It was huge for us,� said Sheeline. “It should really help our season.� The Priory girls, of course, will have a say in that. Their earlier win over Menlo was their first ever in WBAL play and they’re also driven after finishing second the past three seasons. The Panthers (5-0, 8-2-2) pulled into a tie for first place on Tuesday following a 2-1 victory over Castilleja at Mayfield Soccer Complex. Priory scored two in the first half on a cross in the 35th minute and a free kick two minutes later, both by senior Darrah Shields. She now has seven goals in league play. Eugenia Jernick assisted on the first goal. At Watson Park in San Jose, Sacred Heart Prep moved to within

Chandler Wickers

Ricky Galliani

Menlo School

Sacred Heart Prep

The sophomore scored four goals and added three assists as the Knights won three soccer matches, including a 2-0 upset of threetime defending champ SHP, to move into a tie for first in the WBAL Foothill Division.

The junior guard scored a season-high 25 points in a 71-63 win over Menlo and added 20 points in a basketball win over Priory to help the Gators bounce back from three straight losses the previous week.

Honorable mention Jaye Boissiere Menlo soccer

Hashima Carothers Eastside Prep basketball

Melissa Holland Sacred Heart Prep basketball

Lauren Rantz Castilleja basketball

Anisah Smith Eastside Prep basketball

Zoe Zwerling Gunn basketball

Eric Cramer* Gunn wrestling

Kalen Gans Palo Alto wrestling

Ryan Karle Menlo soccer

Cole McConnell Sacred Heart Prep basketball

Nick Ortiz Palo Alto wrestling

Gabor Somogyi Priory basketball * previous winner

To see video interviews of the Athletes of the Week, go to

two points of the co-leaders following a 4-0 victory over Notre DameSan Jose. The Gators are now 4-1-1 in league (6-3-5 overall). Junior Kendall Jager had a foot in each goal, starting with an unassisted goal in the 38th minute for a 1-0 halftime lead. In the second half, Jager scored on a penalty kick in the 57th minute, assisted on a goal by freshman Alex Bourdillion in the 65th minute and started an own goal in the 76th minute on a cross that was inadvertently knocked into the net by a NDSJ player. On Wednesday, senior Emily Mosbacher scored four goals and added two assists as Castilleja rolled to a 9-1 victory over MercyBurlingame at the Mayfield Soccer Complex. In the WBAL Skyline Division, first-place Pinewood rolled to a 10-0 victory over visiting Downtown College Prep. Etelle Stephan scored three goals and added an assist for the Panthers (8-1, 8-3-1). In the PAL Bay Division, MenloAtherton took over sole possession of third place with a 2-0 victory over host Woodside on Tuesday evening. The Bears improved to 4-2-1 in league (8-4-1 overall) and have 13 points. Aragon (6-1) leads with 18 points with Carlmont (5-0-2) sec-

ond with 17. In the SCVAL De Anza Division, it was a wild finish with five goals being scored in the final five minutes, but host Palo Alto still came out on the short end of a 3-2 decision against Monta Vista. Paly fell to 1-4-2 in league (3-6-4 overall) while the Matadors moved to 4-212 (8-4-3). Boys’ soccer Sacred Heart Prep lost an opportunity to widen its lead in the WBAL following a 1-1 deadlock with visiting King’s Academy on Wednesday. On a day that saw the top four teams in the league all play to a tie, SHP had a chance to open a sevenpoint lead over second-place Menlo had the Gators won. Instead, Sacred Heart Prep (6-0-1, 9-0-3) has 19 points and a five-point lead. The Knights also missed an opportunity to close the gap on firstplace Sacred Heart Prep after settling for a 1-1 deadlock with host Harker on Wednesday. In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton remained in the hunt for the division title by posting a 2-1 victory over host Carlmont on Wednesday. Edgardo Molina scored two first-half goals. N


Stanford women (continued from page 28)

dropped a game to a Pac-12 opponent. Gottlieb was the head coach at UC Santa Barbara then. She brings an overall mark of 71-44 into this weekend’s contest. Several streaks are on the line this weekend. Stanford looks for its 15th consecutive win, since its only loss of the year at Connecticut, its 74th straight home win and 66th straight over a conference foe. Sophomore forward Chiney Ogwumike is the two-time reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week. She averaged 17 points and 11.5 rebounds

in Stanford’s home sweep of Washington State (75-41) and Washington (65-47) while shooting 68.4 percent from the field. Ogwumike recorded her seventh and eighth double-doubles of the season, with 19 points and 12 rebounds against the Cougars on Thursday, and 15 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday’s game against the Huskies. Freshman point guard Amber Orrange earned her way into the starting lineup, giving the Cardinal its best speed in the backcourt in recent memory. She has displayed a dynamic defensive presence and shown the ability to direct the offense under pressure.

Orrange recorded nine assists in the win over Washington, without a turnover. She moved into first place in the Pac-12 with a 2.57 assist to turnover ratio, just ahead of teammate Toni Kokenis, who has a ratio of 2.42. “Amber can build on that,� VanDerveer said. “She did an excellent job. I have the utmost confidence in our offense.� The Bears come into the game with their longest winning streak since winning six in a row in the 2010 post season en route to their WNIT championship. Cal ranks third in scoring offense (70.4), behind Stanford (78.9) and Oregon (76.4) and fifth in scoring defense

(57.9). The Cardinal ranks third in scoring defense (56.4). “The constant message is do what you do well using the film that we show them,� Gottlieb said. “I tell them that is like having the answers before taking the exam. But the message is, we need to take control. So, at any point during games, we feel like we can just go back to that. What do we need to do here to win this game? I think they respond to that.� The game will feature the Pac12’s top three rebounders in Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike (11.2) and Chiney Ogwumike (10.2) and Cal’s Gennifer Brandon (11.0). Overall the Bears have a plus 16.1

margin over their opponents, which leads the conference. Stanford is second at a plus 13.1. Brandon has compiled seven double-doubles on the season. Cal’s leading scorer Layshia Clarendon needs one point to reach 1,000 for her career. Nneka Ogwumike needs six points to surpass Val Whiting (2,077) for fourth on Stanford’s all-time scoring list. These are two teams used to sharing to ball too. Stanford averages about 17 assists a game and has 11 different players who have reached double figures in scoring this year. Cal averages 14 assists a game and has 10 players who have recorded a double-figure scoring game. N

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Palo Alto Weekly 01.27.2012 - Section 1  
Palo Alto Weekly 01.27.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the January 27, 2012 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly