Recent News

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Menlo Park: Observant neighbor helps police nab home burglary suspects

A man and a teenage boy suspected of a home burglary in Menlo Park were caught and jailed, after police responded to a call from a neighbor reporting suspicious activity.

Thursday, 6:21 PM | 1 comment
Portola Valley: Driver found dead in car down embankment

A man found dead in a Jeep Cherokee at the bottom of an embankment in Portola Valley on Thursday morning (Feb. 11) had likely been dead for more than 24 hours before he was found, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

Thursday, 1:56 PM | No comments yet
Obama in Atherton Thursday for fundraiser

With tickets costing up to $25,000 each, Atherton was an unsurprising choice as the location for a Democratic Party fundraiser, with President Obama as the special guest. Thursday's event was hosted by Steve Westly and Anita Yu.

Thursday, 1:02 PM | 8 comments
Menlo Park council picks priorities, talks sidewalk plans

The Menlo Park City Council voted Feb. 9 to approve a list of its priority projects for the 2016 calendar year and offered guidance to staff on at least two of those high priority projects: getting more sidewalks installed on Santa Cruz Avenue and completing the general plan update.

Thursday, 11:42 AM | No comments yet
Obama asks Congress for $125M for Caltrain electrification

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $125 million in the fiscal 2017 budget for the electrification of Caltrain, U.S. Department of Transportation officials announced Wednesday.

Thursday, 10:19 AM | 2 comments
Saturday: Memorial service for Mary Roberts Ripley, a life as a volunteer

A memorial service for Mary Roberts Ripley, a Portola Valley resident recognized repeatedly over her life for her service as a volunteer, is set for 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at The Sequoias at 501 Portola Road in Portola Valley.

Thursday, 8:53 AM | No comments yet
Obituary: Dr. George Hogle, 100, advocate for peace

In April 2015, the Woodside Town Council issued a proclamation to honor 50-year resident Dr. George Hollister Hogle, a psychiatrist, world traveler and advocate for peace, in celebration of his 100th birthday. Dr. Hogle died Nov. 28, 2015.

Thursday, 8:11 AM | No comments yet
M-A High enrollment appears to be growing as predicted

In an apparent confirmation of projections that the number of students at Menlo-Atherton High School would begin to rise significantly with the 2015-16 school year, enrollment is up about 6 percent from a year ago.

Thursday, 7:53 AM | 1 comment

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Caltrans: No broadcast spraying of herbicides along Highways 84 and 35 this year

Following up on recent promises, Caltrans has announced that it will forego broadcast spraying of herbicides along Highway 84 (Woodside/La Honda/San Gregorio Road) and Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) this year and use only spot spraying and manual removal of vegetation.

Wednesday, 10:23 PM | No comments yet
Editorial: Why is Caltrans still spraying toxics along roadside?

Opponents of roadside herbicide spraying in San Mateo County are watching closely as Caltrans reviews its weed-removal policies affecting the county's state highways, including Highway 84.

Wednesday, 2:49 PM | 3 comments
Sellman Pavilion is name for Woodside's new theater/gymnasium

Nearly 75 people packed into the board meeting room at Woodside Elementary School on Tuesday to tell the school board to keep Sellman as the name of the school's theater/gymnasium. The board listened, and then voted unanimously to name the new building Sellman Pavilion.

Wednesday, 10:39 AM | No comments yet
App aims to make friendly messages more personal

Your phone buzzes. You look down and see you have a new audio message. You hit play, but instead of a nagging "Hiiiii, call me baaack," you hear the voice of a long-lost friend telling you a story, or perhaps unloading some of the things he or she has been thinking about lately.

Wednesday, 8:17 AM | 4 comments
Portola Valley signs up for greener energy

The Portola Valley Town Council recently took action on two environmental fronts -- irrigation efficiency and options for greener sources of electricity.

Wednesday, 7:55 AM | No comments yet
Police calls: Crime reports from Menlo Park, Atherton

Reports made to the Menlo Park and Atherton police departments.

Wednesday, 7:54 AM | No comments yet
How to apply for Belle Haven mini grants

Assistance with applying for mini grants of $500 or $1,000 from the Belle Haven Community Development Fund will offered Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the Onetta Harris Community Center computer lab, 100 Terminal Ave. in Menlo Park.

Wednesday, 7:44 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Menlo Park: Unlicensed contractor pleads no contest to fraud

A 60-year-old man from South San Francisco pleaded no contest Monday, Feb. 8, to falsely signing another contractor's name and license number without permission, alongside his own, on a contract to remodel a four-unit apartment building in Menlo Park.

Tuesday, 3:45 PM | No comments yet
Atherton sends civic center architects back to the drawing board, again

A public meeting scheduled to unveil the design for Atherton's new civic center has been postponed for a month, after the committee that has been working with architects sent them back to the drawing board for one more try.

Tuesday, 2:47 PM | 12 comments
Woodside's Kate Laubscher pockets $10,000 on 'Jeopardy'

Though Kate Laubscher, a sophomore at Northeastern University from Woodside, won't advance to the Jeopardy college championship finals, she will walk away from the competition with a $10,000 semifinalist prize.

Tuesday, 2:09 PM | No comments yet
A page from our history

The original Menlo Park Hardware Store was founded by J. William Ryan and opened in 1924. In 1928, younger brother Dominic Ryan joined the business. The brothers are shown in this 1929 photo. (Photo: Menlo Park Historical Association.)

Tuesday, 1:56 PM | No comments yet
Tonight: Woodside considers new membership rules for town committees

The Woodside Town Council will consider whether it should restrict volunteers from serving on more than one town advisory committee.

Tuesday, 11:44 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Renovation plans for Malaysian restaurant approved

Menlo Park is one step closer to getting a new Malaysian restaurant.

Tuesday, 11:36 AM | 7 comments
Tonight: City Council to discuss Santa Cruz Avenue sidewalks

Menlo Park's City Council will meet Tuesday, Feb. 9, to discuss what to do next about the Santa Cruz Avenue sidewalk project.

Tuesday, 11:33 AM | 3 comments
Tonight: Woodside council considers limits on basements

With a significant uptick in 2015 in the number of applications to build basements, and with designs that are increasingly sophisticated and massive, the Town Council will be considering an ordinance tonight (Feb. 9) that would set limits.

Tuesday, 11:13 AM | 2 comments
Atherton: Builders pay $10.5 million for one-acre lot with teardown

It's a sign of the times. A one-acre lot in Atherton recently sold for $10.5 million to builders who say they plan to replace the 1950s ranch-style home on the property with a "spec" house and list it for $27 million.

Tuesday, 8:52 AM | 16 comments

Monday, February 8, 2016

Despite high alert, Almanac area is incident-free on Super Bowl Sunday

Despite doubled patrol forces, Menlo Park's police department saw zero reported incidents or arrests related to the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7, reported Nicole Acker, spokesperson for the Menlo Park police department.

Monday, 5:11 PM | No comments yet
Atherton party raises $1 million for charity, organizers say

Nearly 500 people, including a number of sports stars and celebrities, attended the "Big Game Big Give" party in Atherton Saturday night, Feb. 6, raising what event organizers say was close to $1 million for charities.

Monday, 10:52 AM | 1 comment
Hillary Clinton will be in Atherton Feb. 21

February is proving to be a busy month for high-profile visitors to Atherton.

Monday, 10:40 AM | 3 comments

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Recent home sales: Menlo Park, Portola Valley

Home sales are provided by California REsource, a real estate information company that obtains the information from the county recorder's offices.

Sunday, 11:21 PM | No comments yet
Friends of Menlo Park Library seeks volunteers

The Friends of the Menlo Park Library is searching for volunteers who can commit three to four hours a week to support the organization's onsite bookstore and online sales.

Sunday, 11:16 PM | No comments yet

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tuesday: Will Woodside Elementary retain Sellman name for its new auditorium?

Whether Woodside Elementary School will continue to use the Sellman name for its new gymnasium/theater building may be decided Tuesday, Feb. 9, when the naming of the new building is on the school board's agenda.

Saturday, 12:09 PM | No comments yet
Caltrans says it will consider alternatives to spraying herbicides along highways

Opponents of using herbicides to kill weeds say they are "cautiously optimistic" about news from Caltrans that the state agency is considering alternatives to broadcast spraying herbicides in San Mateo County.

Saturday, 9:58 AM | No comments yet

Friday, February 5, 2016

Neuroscience pioneer tapped as Stanford's new president

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of The Rockefeller University in New York City, and a former resident of Atherton and Woodsdie, has been named the university's 11th president.

Friday, 10:35 AM | 1 comment
Portola Valley attorney Vic Schachter teaches dispute resolution skills around the world

In 2005, the Indian court system had a backlog of 32 million cases, Portola Valley attorney Vic Schachter says. He moved to India with his wife Jan Schachter to help people resolve disputes without the costs, delays, formalities and wrenching experiences of litigation.

Friday, 10:29 AM | No comments yet
Tuesday: Services for Charlotte Jelich

A graveside service for Charlotte Jelich, wife of Ed Jelich, is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette, California. Ms. Jelich was 97.

Friday, 10:26 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Menlo Park police on alert for Super Bowl-related problems

While Menlo Park is not at the epicenter of Super Bowl activity, it's at least on the crossroads, and local police are stepping up vigilance to watch for everything from traffic problems to human trafficking.

Thursday, 2:49 PM | 7 comments
Atherton: 500 guests expected at Super Bowl-related fundraiser Saturday

There's a big party coming to Atherton on Saturday night, but the town is working to make sure the "Big Game Give," an annual fundraiser that often brings in as much as $1 million for charities, won't disturb the neighbors.

Thursday, 11:20 AM | 27 comments
'Changing the tide' on youth mental health

More than 300 local parents, educators, clinicians and community members gathered Tuesday morning to discuss ways to combat what one speaker called the "new norm" for teenagers in the area: alarmingly high rates of anxiety, stress, depression and death by suicide.

Thursday, 8:58 AM | 3 comments
Earthquake warning prototype discussed at White House summit

A White House summit on earthquake preparedness Tuesday included an extensive discussion of a new early warning system that reached a milestone in its development Monday.

Thursday, 8:57 AM | No comments yet
Community briefs: Calling all tick collectors

Collecting ticks for the mosquito district, Menlo Park Rotary Club grants, 'Day of Giving' at Nativity School and more.

Thursday, 8:36 AM | No comments yet
Stanford Blood Center in need of donations to avoid shortage

With an estimated two to three million people expected to visit the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50, the Stanford Blood Center is seeking donors to help them stock up on blood.

Thursday, 8:34 AM | No comments yet
AAA offering free tows to those who drink during Super Bowl

Bay Area Super Bowl fans who choose to drink Sunday at the Super Bowl and at Super Bowl parties can get a free tow home through AAA's Tipsy Tow program, AAA officials said Wednesday.

Thursday, 8:30 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No-fly zone for drones during and after Super Bowl

The Federal Aviation Administration is warning fans headed to the Super Bowl in Santa Clara on Sunday to leave their drones at home, but restrictions also apply to people, including Almanac readers, at home.

Wednesday, 3:23 PM | No comments yet
Woodside's Kate Laubscher may qualify for 'Jeopardy' semifinals

"What is grenadine?" answered Kate Laubscher of Woodside on the "Jeopary" TV game show Tuesday, Feb. 2, in response to the clue, "A Shirley Temple is traditionally made with ginger ale and a splash of this sweet pomegranate syrup."

Wednesday, 11:52 AM | 2 comments
Today: Atherton looks at ambitious climate action plan

Details about an ambitious climate action plan that could allow Atherton to cut back on its greenhouse gas emissions by much more than the state is requiring will be discussed in a City Council study session on Wednesday, Feb. 3, starting an hour earlier than usual, at 3 p.m.

Wednesday, 10:49 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park staff and City Council set 2016 priorities

Menlo Park's City Council and city staff department heads met on Friday, Jan. 29, to hash out the city's "work plan" and set city priorities for the new year.

Wednesday, 8:55 AM | No comments yet
Elected officials speak on local threat of sea level rise

State Sen. Jerry Hill, Assemblyman Rich Gordon and county supervisors Dave Pine and Don Horsley spoke of the importance of preparing San Mateo County for sea level rise at a public event on Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Genentech headquarters in South San Francisco.

Wednesday, 8:54 AM | 1 comment
Menlo Park adopts water-conserving landscape ordinance

Drinking water shortages across California, diminished water for farming, degraded fish habitats, increased wildfire risk, and potential saltwater contamination of freshwater supplies – all were threats caused by drought conditions that led Gov. Jerry Brown to issue an executive order April 2015 to curb unnecessary water use on landscaping – and fast.

Wednesday, 8:35 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park joins community choice energy program

Menlo Park electric energy users may soon have an alternative to PG&E that will supply more energy from renewable sources at rates competitive with PG&E's.

Wednesday, 8:34 AM | No comments yet
Update: Menlo Park council OKs major funding increase for City Hall renovations

(Expanded version of story posted earlier.)
A controversial increase in budget allocations for renovations to City Hall was approved by the Menlo Park City Council on Jan. 26 on a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Ray Mueller opposed.

Wednesday, 8:34 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Those were the days

This private theater at a 50-acre estate on Kings Mountain Road was popular with the locals during the Prohibition era.

Tuesday, 2:51 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Feldman's Books, Gentry magazine buildings up for sale, redevelopment

Two of Menlo Park's oldest commercial buildings – the current locations of Feldman's Books (1170 El Camino Real) and Gentry magazine offices (1162 El Camino) – are up for sale and advertised for potential redevelopment.

Tuesday, 2:08 PM | 17 comments
Menlo Park school board places two tax measures on May ballot

It's official. Two parcel taxes will go to voters in the Menlo Park City School District in a special May 3 mail-in ballot. Measure A is identical to a current tax set to expire in 2017 and Measure B is tied directly to increases in student enrollment.

Tuesday, 11:02 AM | 140 comments
Menlo Park: Grant pays for safer routes to school

The city of Menlo Park has received a $498,783 grant from OneBayArea, a transportation fund of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, to pay most of the cost of a project to increase bike and pedestrian safety for Menlo Park and Atherton students.

Tuesday, 9:53 AM | 7 comments
BNY Mellon to buy Menlo Park investment firm

Menlo Park-based Atherton Lane Advisers LLC, an investment management firm, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by BNY Mellon and become part of BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

Tuesday, 9:50 AM | No comments yet
Police calls: Burglaries, thefts in Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley

Police calls include a number of residential burglaries and thefts in Menlo Park, and also reports from Atherton, West Menlo Park and Portola Valley.

Tuesday, 9:47 AM | No comments yet
Student enrollment at Woodside High not growing as predicted

A 2013 study anticipated enrollment growth of 19 percent at Woodside High School by 2020, with the first signs expected in the current school year. But enrollment has leveled out. A second study cites the high cost of living driving families away from Redwood City.

Tuesday, 8:21 AM | 38 comments

Monday, February 1, 2016

Train with 'suspicious' luggage in Menlo Park resumes service

Caltrain service has resumed with residual delays, after a southbound train was stopped at the Menlo Park station for nearly 50 minutes to investigate a suspicious piece of luggage left on the train.

Monday, 3:42 PM | No comments yet
Monday: Menlo Park City School District board to vote on parcel tax measures

The governing board of the Menlo Park City School District meets tonight, Feb. 1, to decide if it will put two parcel tax measures on the ballot for a special May election.

Monday, 11:51 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Menlo Park: Three arrested in connection with fight, shooting

Menlo Park police arrested three men Saturday night, Jan. 30, in connection with a fight and a shooting in the 1100 block of Henderson Avenue in Menlo Park.

Saturday, 7:59 PM | 1 comment
Woodside's Kate Laubscher to compete on 'Jeopardy' Tuesday

Kate Laubscher of Woodside, a 2014 graduate of Woodside Priory School and a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston, will be among 15 students (of 12,000 who tried out) competing in the college tournament of the nationally broadcast "Jeopardy" game show. She will appear on the show Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Saturday, 11:57 AM | 2 comments
Happy 102nd birthday, Lou Matas!

Living to be 102 is an accomplishment to be lauded; but living to be 102 in style, as Lou Matas of Atherton has done, is something to be celebrated.

Saturday, 9:55 AM | No comments yet
Eric Hartwig stays on as Portola Valley superintendent

Eric Hartwig, who became interim superintendent in the Portola Valley School District in October, has agreed to stay another school year, through June 2017, the district announced Friday afternoon.

Saturday, 9:13 AM | 2 comments

Ike's Place makes another go at Stanford; Palo Alto outpost stalls
By Elena Kadvany | 15 comments | 4,655 views

Relaxing the Height Limit for Housing with Conditions
By Steve Levy | 29 comments | 1,954 views

Foods of Love
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 1,834 views

A day for reading
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 594 views

Feelin’ the Bern … (or, A bad year for Party Establishments )
By Stuart Soffer | 2 comments | 200 views