Recent News

Friday, August 26, 2016

Portola Valley: Former mayor Kirke Comstock dies

A memorial service for former Portola Valley mayor Kirke Comstock is in the works, but not yet scheduled. Mr. Comstock was 86 when he died Tuesday, Aug. 23, in Saratoga, his son William Comstock said.

Friday, 11:55 AM | No comments yet
Schools: State releases results of new standardized testing

California has released the 2016 results of the state's new computerized standardized assessments that test whether students are meeting the Common Core curriculum standards.

Friday, 10:21 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Menlo Park: Two council members named to 'educational equity' subcommittee

Goals of starting a multi-city, county and district group that could help spread needed funds to the Ravenswood City School District are one step closer to reality after the Menlo Park City Council appointed two of its members to an "education equity" subcommittee on Aug. 23.

Thursday, 3:51 PM | 5 comments
Menlo Park: Construction worker lifted out of open basement after fall

A construction worker was lifted out of an open basement on a residential construction site in Menlo Park on Wednesday, Aug. 24, after he fell in and injured himself, fire officials said.

Thursday, 12:29 PM | 2 comments
Friday: Court hears county appeal on aircraft-noise issue

The county's appeal of a small claims court decision that it is responsible for controlling nuisance noise from Surf Air planes is scheduled to be heard Friday.

Thursday, 10:57 AM | 2 comments
Atherton: No council election in November

It's official: Atherton has reappointed incumbents Elizabeth Lewis and Cary Wiest, the only candidates who filed for their seats, and will not hold a City Council election in November.

Thursday, 10:50 AM | No comments yet
Portola Valley: Residents asked to imagine Town Center's future

The Portola Valley Town Center, a pastoral complex for sports and outdoor recreation, community get-togethers and civic activities of all kinds, is eight years old. What will it look like and who will be using it when it's 28?

Thursday, 9:00 AM | No comments yet
Back to school: What's up at local elementary schools

Gone are the days when summer lasted until Labor Day: This year local elementary school districts began classes as early as Aug. 18 and as late as Sept. 1.

Thursday, 8:42 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Grants available to replace wood-burning heating devices

Money will be available starting Friday morning for roughly 1,500 Bay Area homeowners and landlords to help them upgrade their wood-burning heating devices with cleaner ones to reduce winter air pollution, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said today.

Wednesday, 11:07 PM | No comments yet
New school vaccination rules now in effect

Children in California schools and daycare can no longer be exempted from vaccination requirements for personal belief or religious reasons under a new state law that went into effect in July.

Wednesday, 2:43 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park bans drones, remote-controlled aircraft from parks

The Menlo Park City Council held another marathon meeting the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 23, as it heard the public comments of a full house speak out on two controversial issues: whether drones and remote-controlled aircraft should be banned from city parks, and what traffic policies the city should implement for when the Upper Laurel elementary school campus opens Oct. 17.

Wednesday, 11:58 AM | No comments yet
Back to school: What's new at Woodside, M-A high schools

New courses, staff and facilities are greeting Woodside and Menlo-Atherton high school students, who returned to class Aug. 17.

Wednesday, 10:00 AM | No comments yet
How will drones be used in scientific research? Free Thursday talk in Menlo Park

Jeff Sloan, a geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey, will give a free public lecture Thursday night, Aug. 25, in Menlo Park on using drones for scientific research.

Wednesday, 9:05 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Recent home sales: Atherton, Menlo Park, Portola Valley

Home sales are provided by California REsource, a real estate information company that obtains home sale data from local county recorders' offices.

Tuesday, 7:00 PM | No comments yet
Thursday: How Menlo Park VA construction plans will impact neighbors

The Department of Veterans Affairs campus in Menlo Park is inviting the public to a community meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25, to discuss construction plans on the campus and their potential impact on nearby residents.

Tuesday, 6:51 PM | No comments yet
Tonight: Menlo Park council may examine 'education equity' proposal

The Menlo Park City Council will discuss tonight (Aug. 23) a proposal by Councilman Ray Mueller to help the Ravenswood City School District achieve education equity with other local school districts.

Tuesday, 3:52 PM | No comments yet
Peter deCourcy Hero, who transformed Silicon Valley philanthropy, has died

The man who was instrumental in helping tech tycoons channel their millions to charitable giving, Peter deCourcy Hero, has died, according to close sources.

Tuesday, 3:25 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: New high school will focus on technology, engineering, design

The disciplines of technology, engineering and design will be the focus of the new magnet high school set to open in the fall of 2018 on Jefferson Drive east of U.S. 101 in Menlo Park's industrial zone.

Tuesday, 2:21 PM | 1 comment
Tonight: Menlo Park could ban drone use in city parks

Tonight, the Menlo Park City Council will consider a proposal to ban drone use in city parks.

Tuesday, 11:56 AM | 18 comments
New program to help first-gen students prepare for and navigate college

Step by step, about 35 rising 10th-graders walked across the Golden Gate bridge on Aug. 4. For some, it was the first time they'd walked beneath the iconic beams connecting San Francisco to the North Bay.

Tuesday, 11:27 AM | No comments yet
Saturday: Memorial celebration for Rosemarie Luce of Portola Valley

A three-hour gathering and memorial celebration for friends and relatives of active and engaged Portola Valley resident Rosemarie Luce is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at a private home in town. (Call 650-888-8829 for information on the celebration.)

Tuesday, 11:07 AM | No comments yet
New bus route takes students from East Palo Alto to M-A High

New school year, new bus route. Effective Aug. 7, SamTrans will operate a new school bus route running from the intersection of Clarke Avenue and East Bayshore Road in East Palo Alto to Menlo-Atherton High School in the mornings and in the afternoons the reverse direction.

Tuesday, 10:59 AM | 1 comment
Civil rights group pushes school district to change method for electing board members

A civil rights group is pushing the board of the high school district to change its system for electing members and correct possible noncompliance with the Voting Rights Act, or face a lawsuit that would likely compel the change.

Tuesday, 10:50 AM | 1 comment
Today: Atherton council may appoint incumbents to four-year terms

Atherton's City Council will hold a one-subject special meeting to decide whether it should appoint incumbents Elizabeth Lewis and Cary Wiest to new four-year council terms on Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, 10:47 AM | No comments yet
Police calls: Five commercial burglaries in Menlo Park

Crime reports from Menlo Park.

Tuesday, 10:43 AM | 4 comments

Monday, August 22, 2016

State Supreme Court upholds California teacher tenure law

The California Supreme Court on Monday upheld the state's laws on public-school teacher tenure after a lower court found them to be unconstitutional.

Monday, 2:14 PM | 19 comments
Tuesday: Menlo Park workshop on contracting with High-Speed Rail Authority

To spread information about how small businesses can contract to work on the statewide high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority will host a free workshop for small businesses from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the Elm Room of the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 700 Alma St. in Menlo Park.

Monday, 11:57 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: SRI International spins off new business to automate fruit picking

In as soon as two years, robots, not people, could be picking apples in orchards.

Monday, 11:42 AM | 4 comments
Grand jury: Law library in crisis over inadequate funding

Financial problems stemming from an unreliable funding mechanism are threatening the viability of the 100-year-old San Mateo County Law Library in Redwood City, according to a recent report by the county's civil grand jury.

Monday, 9:30 AM | No comments yet

Friday, August 19, 2016

Menlo Park: City receives plans for 16-bed boarding house

A three-story, 16-bedroom boarding house on Willow Road could be in Menlo Park's future, according to a proposal recently submitted to the Menlo Park Planning department.

Friday, 10:36 AM | 2 comments
Air quality officials issue 18th summer Spare the Air alert

An unhealthy level of air pollution forecast for the Bay Area on Friday prompted the Bay Area Air Quality District to issue this summer's 18th Spare the Air Alert.

Friday, 10:21 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jury rejects negligence claim in I-280 accident involving car, horse

After a 14-day trial in San Mateo County Superior Court, a 12-person jury denied damages to a Menlo Park physician who had sued the county after she was seriously injured in a 2012 accident when her car struck a dead horse on Interstate 280 and became airborne.

Thursday, 3:36 PM | 8 comments
Menlo Park: Peter Olson new CEO for Peninsula Volunteers

Peter Olson, who has served as director of Little House Activity Center in Menlo Park since 2010, is the new chief executive officer for the Peninsula Volunteers Inc., which provides a number of services for seniors in this area.

Thursday, 3:31 PM | No comments yet
County organizes team to help people with serious mental illness

A new team has begun work to help San Mateo County residents with an untreated serious mental illness, county health officials have announced.

Thursday, 3:21 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: SLAC and Stanford scientists advance water purification technology

Scientists at SLAC and Stanford University have come up with a tiny device that uses ordinary sunlight to create reactions that, before dissipating, will chemically clean a bottle of contaminated water by killing bacteria.

Thursday, 3:14 PM | No comments yet
Obituary: Kendall Stacey, M-A Class of 2008

Kendall Reid Stacey, a member of the Class of 2008 at Menlo-Atherton High School, died of natural causes on June 28. Mr. Stacey, a native of Berkeley and a resident of San Francisco, was 26.

Thursday, 3:08 PM | No comments yet
Obituary: Charles M. Packer of Woodside, aerospace pioneer

Services for Charles Maurice Packer of Emerald Hills, a pioneer in research at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, were held Saturday, Aug. 6, at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton. Mr. Packer died July 10 at the age of 86.

Thursday, 3:06 PM | No comments yet
From humble beginnings: Fire district reaches 100

On June 27, 2016, the Menlo Park Fire Protection District began the official journey into its 100th anniversary. On this date back in 1916, 100 residents voted in favor, and 58 against, to establish a "Fire Company" in Menlo Park.

Thursday, 3:00 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Local students complete Facebook internships

Eighteen high school students from low-income or underprivileged backgrounds completed a six-week internship at Facebook on Aug. 3.

Thursday, 2:53 PM | No comments yet
Obituary: Evelyn Stoops, real estate broker

Evelyn Stoops, a Woodside resident for more than 70 years who worked in real estate for more than 50 years, died June 20 at age 98 in Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City.

Thursday, 2:52 PM | No comments yet
Obituary: Nick Jenkins, 33, of Menlo Park loved baseball and animals

Nicholas "Nick" Jenkins, a lifelong Menlo Park resident, died Aug. 11 after battling a brain tumor for seven years. He was 33.

Thursday, 2:49 PM | No comments yet
Portola Valley: Overflow parking at Windy Hill; Town Council seeks solutions

Portola Valley's Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is a popular place, perhaps more popular than people had in mind when they laid out the preserve's parking lot at 500 Portola Road.

Thursday, 2:48 PM | 6 comments
Menlo Park: What's going on at Menloville?

Passersby on Valparaiso Avenue may wonder what's going on at Menloville, a country store located at 1902 Valparaiso Ave. in West Menlo Park, which is temporarily closed for business.

Thursday, 2:48 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Spark launches 'Green Challenge' online

Menlo Spark, a Menlo Park nonprofit seeking to make Menlo Park climate neutral by 2025, has launched an initiative called the "Menlo Green Challenge," which is an online platform that will track participants' energy usage, encourage competition to reduce energy consumption, and provide information on how to achieve those goals.

Thursday, 2:47 PM | No comments yet
Kaiser Health News names new editor

New York Times health journalist Elisabeth "Libby" Rosenthal, a doctor of medicine, has been appointed editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service of the Menlo Park-based Kaiser Family Foundation.

Thursday, 2:45 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Office-housing project approved

Plans to build 17,000-square-feet of offices and 17 for-rent housing units at 650 and 660 Live Oak Ave. in Menlo Park were approved unanimously by the Menlo Park Planning Commission on Aug. 15.

Thursday, 12:28 PM | 6 comments
Atherton: Crowd tells county they've had enough of Surf Air

San Mateo County got an earful from a standing-room only crowd of about 185 people who packed a meeting room in Atherton Tuesday night to talk about how Surf Air has affected their lives.

Thursday, 11:49 AM | 84 comments
Under threat of a lawsuit, Sequoia high school board opts for by-district elections

By a unanimous vote on Wednesday, the board of the Sequoia Union High School District authorized attorneys to prepare maps that would divide the high school district into separate but roughly equal sub-districts, each of which would elect a school board member.

Thursday, 11:25 AM | No comments yet
Police calls: West Menlo Park woman sends $9,800 to bogus NY police official

Crime and accident reports from West Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside and Menlo Park

Thursday, 11:02 AM | No comments yet
New stoplight is on in Atherton

A long-awaited pedestrian-activated stoplight on El Camino Real at Almendral Avenue in Atherton, where a pedestrian was fatally injured in 2014, was turned on Aug. 17.

Thursday, 9:49 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park City School District: Five candidates file for two open seats

A fifth school board candidate has filed to run for one of two open board seats in the Menlo Park City School District.

Thursday, 9:43 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Caltrain electrification project gets $20 million state grant

The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) announced Tuesday that it will give Caltrain one of 14 cap-and-trade grants focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the state's public-transportation infrastructure.

Wednesday, 2:12 PM | No comments yet
Atherton: New El Camino stoplight is on

Atherton's pedestrian-activated stoplight on El Camino Real at Almendral Avenue was turned on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

Wednesday, 1:28 PM | 3 comments
Menlo Park: Medical emergency on Santa Cruz Avenue

Paramedics with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District respond to a call about an unconscious man behind the wheel of a PG&E truck stopped on Doyle Street at Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park on Wednesday morning, Aug. 17. No information was immediately available about his condition. (Photo by Natalia Nazarova/The Almanac.)

Wednesday, 12:14 PM | No comments yet
How new regional agency could help Ravenswood schools

Menlo Park's City Council will discuss Councilman Ray Mueller's idea for a new regional agency that could help get more public money to the Ravenswood City School District when it meets Aug. 23.

Wednesday, 11:39 AM | No comments yet
Narrowing education equity gap in local schools

This week's cover story is about a plan that might allow local government to share some much needed public money with the Ravenswood City School District, which has facilities that are literally falling apart, despite being located in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Wednesday, 11:38 AM | 23 comments
Menlo Park: Kepler's hosts forum Thursday on housing crisis

Kepler's Books in Menlo Park will host a forum Thursday, Aug. 18, on the housing crisis -- how high and rapidly rising housing costs are affecting people in the community.

Wednesday, 11:20 AM | 7 comments
Menlo Park woman describes Airbnb nightmare

Menlo Park homeowner Sharon Marzouk made headlines recently when she came home from extended travel to be greeted with what she calls her "Airbnb Nightmare Reality."

Wednesday, 10:54 AM | 16 comments
Menlo Park: The surprising culprit behind power outage

The flash of an explosion, the sounding of a fire alarm, and the darkness of a power outage all followed in quick succession around 6:33 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, near 1275 Crane St. in downtown Menlo Park.

Wednesday, 10:50 AM | 1 comment

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Recent home sales: Atherton, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside

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

Tuesday, 5:38 PM | No comments yet
Target to open 'flexible-format' store in East Palo Alto

Target will open a new "flexible format" store in the Ravenswood Shopping Center in East Palo Alto, the retail company announced Monday.

Tuesday, 5:31 PM | No comments yet
Deputies arrest East Palo Alto man found with multiple items stolen from vehicles

Deputies arrested an East Palo Alto man late Saturday night in San Carlos after finding him in possession of multiple stolen items, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Tuesday, 5:29 PM | No comments yet
Portola Valley: Troop 64 honors five Eagle Scouts

Five scouts from Portola Valley Troop 64 have earned the rank of Eagle Scout and were recognized in a recent Court of Honor at Portola Valley Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday, 11:35 AM | No comments yet
Today: Look for traffic conditions to change as students return to class

Morning and afternoon traffic conditions will be subject to seasonal change starting Wednesday, Aug. 17, as the school year gets underway at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, and Woodside High School in unincorporated Woodside.

Tuesday, 11:27 AM | 1 comment
Homeland Security partners with Silicon Valley in Menlo Park

"Government innovation. I don't think you've seen those two words paired together," Melissa Ho, managing director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Silicon Valley Innovation Program, told a crowd of eager listeners from the tech industry at a conference held at SRI International in Menlo Park on July 29.

Tuesday, 10:36 AM | No comments yet
How health systems in San Mateo County rank

Health systems in San Mateo County ranked third out of 306 regions nationwide, according to a 2016 report by the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation funding health research.

Tuesday, 10:35 AM | No comments yet

Monday, August 15, 2016

Five years, four months in state prison for Menlo Park, Atherton burglar

A 24-year-old Menlo Park resident, Porfirio Cruz Jimenez-Pimental, was sentenced on Aug. 12 to five years and fours months in state prison for two counts of residential burglary at homes in Atherton and Menlo Park.

Monday, 11:41 AM | 6 comments
Menlo Park: A dozen campaign yard signs go missing overnight

Twelve yard signs supporting Menlo Park City Councilman Ray Mueller's re-election were reported stolen within hours from the residences where they were posted, according to Mr. Mueller.

Monday, 10:42 AM | 4 comments

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Menlo Park: Masked men rob Trader Joe's at gunpoint

Trader Joe's employees were held at gunpoint by two men during an armed robbery of the Menlo Park store around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.

Sunday, 9:08 AM | 4 comments

Naked Men and Pineapple with Tomato
By Laura Stec | 15 comments | 15,843 views

French Laundry alums to open Palo Alto restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 18 comments | 12,497 views

Water, baking soda, vinegar and slime
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 825 views

Peace Walk and Father's Grief Retreat
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 796 views