Almanac

News - November 27, 2013

Briefs: Woman dies after Menlo Park crash

A 57-year-old Palo Alto woman died the day after sustaining injuries in a car crash on University Avenue at Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Police continue to investigate the collision.

Jenice Chou died at Stanford Hospital on Nov. 21, according to the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office.

A preliminary investigation indicated that a 2002 Toyota, driven eastbound on University Avenue by Ms. Chou, jumped the median into oncoming traffic in the westbound lane, according to police. The car then hit a 2013 Mercedes, driven by a 60-year-old Union City woman, head-on.

The drivers were both taken to the hospital, police said. The other woman sustained serious injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.

At this time, drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor, according to the report.

The collision snarled traffic for hours as investigators collected evidence. The Menlo Park Police Department asks that anyone with information about the accident call 330-6300.

New director for human services

Iliana Rodriguez, the current director of child support services in San Mateo County, will take over as director of the Human Services Agency in January.

Ms. Rodriguez resides in Redwood City and succeeds Beverly Beasley Johnson, who is retiring after 37 years in the public sector, County Manager John Maltbie said in an announcement.

The agency's 750 employees, with an annual budget of $180 million, assist residents in need of essential services, including help finding food, shelter, work, health insurance and child care. It is the primary resource for the homeless and foster youth.

Asked about her sources of inspiration on getting things done, she quoted former hockey great Wayne Gretzky: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."

As for managing people, she noted poet Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Galaxy clusters and what they do

The universe is immense and mysterious, but there are objects that astronomers can discuss, including X-ray beacons, black holes, galaxy clusters and gas clouds within those clusters that are heated to 1 million degrees.

Dr. Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo, a NASA Einstein Fellow at Stanford University, will give a talk, "Here Be Monsters: Tales of the Hot Universe," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Kavli Auditorium at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at 2575 Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park.

Dr. Hlavacek-Larrondo's talk will look into galaxy clusters and their role in creating some of the most powerful X-ray beacons in the universe from the interaction of the gas clouds, the galaxies and monstrous black holes.

Go to tinyurl.com/SLAC23 for more information.

TED event at the Priory

The TEDx club at Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley is inviting practitioners from technology, entertaining and design (TED) to talk about their life experiences at the club's first event, to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the school black-box theater at 302 Portola Road.

The event is open to invited Portola Valley residents.

Confirmed speakers, according to a TEDx website announcement, include Ray Rothrock, a Portola Valley resident and venture capitalist; Michealene Cristini Risley, a Woodside resident and an author, filmmaker, and blogger on Huffington Post; Jaimal Yogis, a journalist, surfer and author; Bob Zheng, a Priory freshman and developer of applications for digital devices; and Cy Khormaee, a former "technology evangelist" for Microsoft Corp.

TEDx is a program in which communities, organizations and individuals create events on their own so as to "spark deep conversation and connections" in the TED spirit of conversing about "ideas worth spreading," the TEDx website says.

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