Online This Week
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These and other news stories were posted on Palo Alto Online throughout the week. For longer versions, go to www.PaloAltoOnline.com/news or click on “News” in the left, green column.
Community leaders to compete in spelling bee A ticket to the Reading Partners Silicon Valley Celebrity Spelling Bee will give the public a chance to watch local figures like retired San Francisco 49er Harris Barton and LinkedIn CFO Steve Sordello battle each other to be the literacy champion. (Posted May 30, 10:35 a.m.)
Palo Alto to weigh smaller City Council When the Palo Alto City Council meets for its regular meeting on Monday night, it will find itself grappling with a question with existential overtones: Is a nine-member council really necessary? (Posted Veronica Weber
HE NEXT CHAPTER — For Palo Alto libraries, what was supposed to be a “Golden Age” lost some of its sheen. Construction of the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, which was originally slated to be completed last year, has fallen way behind and is now scheduled to conclude at the end of this year. With change orders mounting and the price tag rising, the city and its contractors are bracing for a legal battle to determine who screwed up what. At the same time, the city has closed Main Library for expansion and renovation (temporary libraries are at Cubberley Community Center and the Palo Alto Art Center). But if all goes as planned, the city’s bookworms will have plenty of celebrating to do in fiscal year 2014. Of the three major projects that Palo Alto voters approved when they passed a $76 million bond in 2008, the first — Downtown Library — was renovated on time and below budget, reopening in the summer of 2011. Mitchell Park will have been completed this year, and Main will be in the works. Meanwhile, even though the Mitchell Park costs continue to rise, the city is saving some money — $151,713 in salaries — by decreasing its library operations during the construction. N Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@ paweekly.com.
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students who qualify for the federal free-and-reduced-price lunch program, Skelly said the district has had a “no questions asked” policy on summer-school scholarships. But with the new legal advice Skelly said: “We think we’ve got an issue here. “We believe offering summer school is something that’s valuable to our community, that people want to learn and that it’s really important for our goal in terms of getting kids well-educated. “But based on our conversations with legal advisers, we’re going to have to change our policy here,” he said. N Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly. com.
May 30, 12:15 a.m.)
Tunein Inc. raises $25 million TuneIn Inc., a Palo Alto-based online radio company, announced on Wednesday it had raised $25 million, drawing funds from International Venture Partners, Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital and General Catalyst Partners. (Posted May 29, 2:23 p.m.)
VA aims to curb deaths from sepsis A blue bus parked outside the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Miranda Avenue has been the center of a statewide program that aims to change the way hospitals approach treatment of sepsis. (Posted May 29, 10:30 a.m.)
School board wants to renew Cubberley lease Palo Alto school board members Tuesday indicated they want to begin discussions with the City of Palo Alto on renewal of the city’s lease of Cubberley Community Center, which expires in 2014. (Posted May 29, 9:53 a.m.)
Attorneys challenge Buena Vista report Residents who would be displaced by the conversion of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park into a complex of high-end apartments should receive a far greater compensation than what is being proposed by the project’s developer, attorneys for the tenants allege in a letter to the city. (Posted May 29, 9:49 a.m.)
Driver files suit against parents over child’s death An East Palo Alto driver who fatally hit a second-grader in 2011 filed a counter-lawsuit against the child’s parents on May 6, according to papers in San Mateo County Superior Court. (Posted May 28, 10:30 p.m.)
Pressure cooker causes scare at shopping center Police evacuated nearby residents and businesses after a pressure cooker was spotted in bushes outside a building at San Antonio Shopping Center Sunday evening, May 26. The evacuation was lifted at about 9 p.m. (Posted May 27, 10:43 a.m.)
Police locate missing Alzheimer’s patient Palo Alto police said they have located an 85-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia who had been missing since Saturday morning. (Posted May 25, 6:14 p.m.)
Ravenswood hires new superintendent An administrator from a Sacramento-area school district will become the new superintendent of East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood City School District on July 1. Gloria Hernandez, assistant superintendent in the Twin Rivers Unified School district, replaces retiring Ravenswood Superintendent Maria De La Vega. (Posted May 25, 11:32 a.m.)
Fugitive escapes police manhunt in Palo Alto A man who is wanted by police for burglary escaped a manhunt in Palo Alto on Friday afternoon, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said. (Posted May 24, 8:04 p.m.)
City hopes to bring back school-resource officer With its financial picture brightening, Palo Alto is looking to bring back a school-resource officer position that was slashed several years ago as part of the City Council’s broad budget-balancing effort. (Posted May 24, 3:44 p.m.)
Stanford unveils plans for perimeter trail Stanford University officials won praise for plans to build a biking and pedestrian trail leading from El Camino Real to the Dish on Thursday night. But enthusiasm for the Stanford Perimeter Trail was tempered by a parking proposal residents and cyclists said will only increase a traffic nightmare along Stanford Avenue. (Posted May 24, 9:54 a.m.)
City of Palo Alto ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration has been prepared by the Palo Alto Department of Planning and Community Environment for the project listed below. In accordance with A.B. 886, this document will be available for review and comment during a minimum 30-day circulation period beginning May 31, 2013 through July 1, 2013 during the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. at the Development Center, 285 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, California. This item will be considered at a public hearing by the Planning and Transportation Commission, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM. in the Palo Alto City Council Chambers on the ﬁrst ﬂoor of the Civic Center, located at 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, California. Written comments on the Mitigated Negative Declaration will be accepted until 5:00 PM on July 1, 2013 in the Planning and Community Environment Department Civic Center ofﬁces on the ﬁfth ﬂoor of City Hall. 3159 El Camino Real [13PLN-000040]: Request by FGY Architects on behalf of Portage Avenue Portfolio, LLC for Site and Design Review of a new 69,503 square foot four story mixed use building with 43 residential apartment units. The proposal also includes Design Enhancement Exceptions for height, setback, and build to lines. Environmental Assessment: An initial study and a Mitigated Negative Declaration have been prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Zone District: Service Commercial (CS). *** Curtis Williams, Director of Planning and Community Environment In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, listening assistive devices are available in the Council Chambers and Council Conference Room. Sign language interpreters will be provided upon request with 72 hours advance notice.
City of Palo Alto ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Draft Negative Declaration has been prepared by the Palo Alto Department of Planning and Community Environment for the project listed below. In accordance with A.B. 886, this document will be available for review and comment during a minimum 20-day circulation period beginning May 31, 2013 through June 19, 2013 during the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. at the Development Center, 285 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, California. This item will be considered at a public hearing by the Historic Review Board, Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM in the Palo Alto City Council Chambers on the ﬁrst ﬂoor of the Civic Center, located at 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, California. Written comments on the Negative Declaration will be accepted until 5:00 PM on June 19, 2013 in the Planning and Community Environment Department Civic Center ofﬁces on the ﬁfth ﬂoor of City Hall. 456 University Avenue [13PLN-00078]: Request by Robinson Hill Architecture on behalf of Palo Alto Theater Corporation for Architectural Review Board review of exterior modiﬁcations to the existing building, including a new storefront window system at University Avenue, new storefront openings at the rear (parking lot), and a new retractable covered canopy over the courtyard, and installation of a bar and restaurant seating in the courtyard for an eating and drinking establishment. Environmental Assessment: an Initial Study and Negative Declaration have been prepared. Zone District: Downtown Community Commercial (CD-C)(P)(GF) with Pedestrian Shopping and Ground Floor combining districts. *** Curtis Williams, Director of Planning and Community Environment In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, listening assistive devices are available in the Council Chambers and Council Conference Room. Sign language interpreters will be provided upon request with 72 hours advance notice.
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Published on May 31, 2013