Almanac

News - February 6, 2013

Menlo briefs: Planning Commission reviews BevMo

It seems like only yesterday that some Menlo Park residents rose up against allowing a Beverages & More at 700 El Camino Real. A divided Planning Commission, followed by a split City Council, finally approved the use permit in 2010, and the new BevMo opened in February 2011.

The permit called for planning commissioners to review operations two years after the El Camino Real location opened. According to the staff report for the Feb. 4 meeting, fears of rampant crime have failed to materialize.

The police department reported three incidents at the BevMo — one armed robbery in May 2011; one public intoxication and trespassing in April 2012; and one bicycle theft from in front of the store in September 2012. Spot checks of the store found that employees kept the parking lot clear of shopping carts, and the miniature bottles of alcohol locked in display cases, as requested by city officials as a condition of approving the permit.

The staff report did not discuss whether the BevMo has taken business away from local proprietors, such as the Beltramos, who had contributed their share of protests against allowing a new competitor to open in town.

Woman pleads no contest

to computer misuse

Erin Umberg, 28, pleaded no contest Friday, Jan. 25, to charges of computer misuse, dating back to 2007, that led to harassment of a couple of Menlo Park residents.

Deputy District Attorney Al Serrato said Ms. Umberg installed spyware on an ex-boyfriend's computer while she was a student at Stanford University, using the program to capture passwords for her ex and several friends, also students at the university.

Passwords in hand, she then allegedly created fake Web pages and email accounts, and set about trying to wreck lives, according to prosecutors. "It went on for months," Mr. Serrato said.

At one point, posing as the victim, Ms. Umberg allegedly emailed "derogatory and obscene information" to medical residency programs, causing denial of admission.

Ms. Umberg has since graduated from Stanford with a master's degree. She pleaded no contest in San Mateo County Superior Court to one felony and two misdemeanors related to the misuse of computer data, in exchange for not serving more than six months in jail. The court has scheduled sentencing for March 22.

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