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Transportation at Encinal & Laurel Schools Menlo Park City School District Transportation Dept. hosts a town hall meeting about traffic, student commutes, safety and parking at Encinal and Laurel schools. Topics relating to how students and community members get to and from school safely will be discussed. Jan. 23, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Encinal Elementary School Large Multipurpose Room, 195 Encinal Ave., Atherton. www.district.mpcsd.org
Ravenswood Family Health Center will break ground on Jan. 22, launching construction of a permanent health center to be completed in April 2015. 2-4 p.m. Free. Ravenswood Family Health Center, 1885 Bay Road, East Palo Alto. Call 650-330-7418. www.ravenswoodfhc.org
Sequoia 'Big Picture' High School Community Meeting The proposed Sequoia Big Picture High School is an alternative education model projected to open this fall. Learn about the school at this community meeting. Jan. 23, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park. www.eventbrite.com/e/community-meeting-sequoia-big-picture-high-school-tickets-10030795379
Tribute to Billie Holiday Jazz vocalist Cheryl Bennett-Scales and jazz pianist Bennett Roth-Newell will celebrate Billie Holiday with a performance sponsored by the Friends of the Menlo Park Library. Feb. 1, 11 a.m.-noon. Free. Menlo Park City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park. Call 650-330-2530. www.menloparklibrary.org
Care for Caregivers Lifetree Cafe Menlo Park hosts an hour-long conversation on the demands of caregiving and how to cope with being a caregiver. Jan. 22, 7-8 p.m. Free. Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park. Call 650-854-5897. www.facebook.com/LifetreeCafeMP
'Where Is God When Life Turns Tough?' Lifetree Cafe Menlo Park hosts an hour-long conversation exploring religious faith. Jan. 29, 7-8 p.m. Free. Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park. Call 650-854-5897. www.facebook.com/LifetreeCafeMP
Portola Valley Farmers' Market runs Thursdays, year-round. 2-5 p.m., 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. www.portolavalleyfarmersmarket.com
'She's Geeky' - Bay Area 2014 is a networking conference for women in science, technology, engineering and math. Jan. 24, 8:15 a.m.-6 p.m. $240 for all three days; or $90/day. Microsoft Silicon Valley, 1065 La Avenida St, Mountain View. www.eventbrite.com/e/shes-geeky-bay-area-2014-tickets-9193673525
Winter Garden Tips Ella Ancheta will speak about essential maintenance for a garden's health in winter. Feb. 1, 9:30-11:30 a.m. $25 members; $35 nonmembers. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Call 650-329-1356 ext. 201.
Benefit Concert at Eastside Prep "Let Freedom Ring: The Resounding Music of African American Composers" will feature jazz and classical music performed by the Bay Area musicians of the African American Composer Initiative and guest artists. For program and advance ticket info: http://aacinitiative.org/upcoming.php. Jan. 26, 3-5 p.m. $20 adults; $5 seniors and students. Eastside College Preparatory School Performing Arts Center, 1041 Myrtle St., East Palo Alto. www.aacinitiative.org/
Master Sinfonia Concert - Portola Valley Maestro David Ramadanoff conducts Chabrier's "Fetes Polonaise," Shostakovitch's Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major with cellist Amos Yang and Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C Major, "The Great." A free reception with artists will follow the concert. Jan. 25, 8-10 p.m. $15-$25. Free for youth under 18. Portola Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road , Portola Valley. Call 650-348-1270. www.mastersinfonia.org/season.aspx?c=Concert2
Thomas Schultz Piano Performance Thomas Schultz will perform "Piano Piece in E-flat" by Schubert, "Ballade in g & Fantasie in f" by Chopin, "North American Ballads" by Frederic Rzewski, and works by Hyo-shin Na. Jan. 26, 4-6 p.m. $22 general; $20 seniors; $10 students in advance; $27/$25/$15 at the door. St. Bede's Episcopal Church, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-854-6555. www.bedesblog.wordpress.com/performing-arts/
Sequoia Yacht Club Exhibit Opening The San Mateo County History Museum will debut a new photographic exhibit titled "Salute to the Sequoia Yacht Club." Started in 1939, the Sequoia Yacht Club is celebrating its 75th year in 2014. The display will be mounted within the Museum's rotunda. Jan. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 for adults; $3 for students and seniors. San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. www.historysmc.org
Family & Kids
Chinese New Year Story Time Author Oliver Chin will read from "The Year of the Horse" to mark the Chinese New Year. Jan. 30, 10:30 a.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-856-0978. Cowgirl Tricks Performance Karen Quest will perform a comedy show with trick roping, music, magic and audience participation. Program funded by Friends of the Portola Valley Library. Jan. 22, 4-5 p.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl.org
Palo Alto Children's Theatre: 'The Cat in the Hat' opens at Palo Alto Children's Theatre Jan. 23 and will run for 15 performances through Feb. 9. Performance times vary by day. $12 child; $14 adult. Palo Alto Children's Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. www.cityofpaloalto.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=2012&TargetID=279
Toddler Creative Movement Class with dance movement specialist Patricia Bulitt. Primarily for ages 18 months to 3 years. Jan. 28, 10:30-11 a.m. Free. Portola Valley Library, 765 Portola Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-851-0560. www.smcl.org
'Rx' at the Dragon Theatre "Rx" is a play by Kate Fodor, directed by Jeanie Smith, about a pill that relieves all the stress and strains of life. Jan. 16-Feb. 9, Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. $30. Dragon Theatre, 2120 Broadway St., Redwood City. www.dragonproductions.net
Stanford Savoyards presents "The Mikado," a comic opera originally done by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert. Jan. 31-Feb. 15, Fridays and Saturdays. All shows are at 8 p.m. except for Saturday, Feb. 15, when it's at 2 p.m. $10-20. Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Drive, Stanford. www.savoyards.stanford.edu
Stanford TAPS: 'Goliath' Stanford University Theater and Performance Studies and Division of Dance is putting on a production of "Goliath." Returning home from a war without purpose, David searches for his remaining humanity while his family and friends try to reconcile this war-torn veteran with their son, brother, husband and friend. Jan. 27, 8-9:30 p.m. $5. Stanford University - Pigott Theater, 551 Serra Mall, Stanford. www.taps.stanford.edu/AY14/goliath.html
King Tides Walk As part of the California King Tides Initiative, the Environmental Volunteers, Acterra and Save the Bay are teaming up to have members of the public observe and document the highest seasonal tides, or "king tides," while learning about shoreline and marshland ecology. Bring a camera, binoculars and lunch. Jan. 30, noon-1 p.m. Free EcoCenter, 2560 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. www.eventbrite.com/e/king-tides-walk-tickets-10005698313
Palo Alto Baylands Bioblitz This is the first grassroots "bioblitz" in Palo Alto, co-sponsored by the City of Palo Alto Open Space Preserves, Nerds for Nature and iNaturalist. A bio-blitz is an intensive one-day study of biodiversity in a specific location. People of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Bring a smart phone. Jan. 25, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free. Palo Alto Baylands, 2775 Embarcadero Road , Palo Alto. www.inaturalist.org/projects/palo-alto-baylands-bioblitz
Talks & Authors
Vinton Cerf, who helped develop the Internet while at Stanford in the 1970s, will deliver the 2014 Drell Lecture at Stanford on Jan. 22. Now vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, Cerf will talk about safety and security in a transnational environment. Jan. 22, 4:30-6 p.m. Free. Stanford University - Oak Lounge at Tresidder Memorial Union, 2nd Floor, 459 Lagunita Drive, Stanford. Call 650-736-0414 .
Author Alex 'Sandy' Pentland discusses his new book, "Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread: The Lessons from a New Science." He is a professor at MIT. Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 6503244321.
Author Deany Brady discusses her memoir, "An Appalachian Childhood," about growing up on a small farm in the mountains of Georgia. Dean Brady volunteers at Laurel Elementary School in Menlo Park and serves hot lunch to the students there. Jan. 25, 2 p.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321.
Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel, authors of "Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End-Of-Life Care and the Hospice Movement," discuss their new book. Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321.
Author Gretchen Rubin discusses her new book, "Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life." Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com/event/gretchen-rubin
Howard Steven Pines discusses his new science fiction novel, "The Whale Song Translation," about an acoustics professor's scientific expedition to decode the language of whale songs sparked by Navy sonar experiments that begin killing humpback whales in the Auau Channel near Maui. Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321.
Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection First in a series presented by the Asian Art Museum, this exhibit will focus on 80 works of Japanese art spanning 1,300 years from Larry Ellison's private collection. The program will be presented by docent Michelle Wilcox. Jan. 22, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Los Altos Library Program Room, 13 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos. Call 650-948-7683. www.sccl.org
Jerome Karabel: Lecture on societal structure Jerome Karabel, author and sociology professor at the University of California at Berkeley, will give a lecture called "The United States as Outlier Nation? Social Well-Being and Social Structure in Wealthy Democracies." Jan. 23, 5:30-7 p.m. Free. Stanford University - Cubberley Auditorium, 485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford. Call 650-736-2629. www.ethicsinsociety.stanford.edu/events/lectures/ethics-of-wealth-series/jerome-karabel-the-united-states-as-outlier-nation-social
Peninsula Railroad History Talk The San Mateo County History Museum will host Peter Hansen, editor of Railroad History, the magazine of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. He will talk about 150 years of San Francisco Peninsula railroad history. Jan. 25, 1-4 p.m. $5 for adults; $3 for students and seniors. San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. www.historysmc.org
Real Estate and Law Symposium The Third Annual Real Estate and Law REAL Symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Robert E. Hall, professor of economics at Stanford University, and Eli Khouri, executive vice president and chief investment officer at Kilroy Realty Corp. Jan. 29, 12:30-6:30 p.m. $95-225. Paul Brest Hall, Building 4, 555 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford. www.realsymposium.com
Stephanie Brown at Kepler's Stephanie Brown, a licensed psychologist and author of "Speed: Facing our Addiction to Fast and Faster - and Overcoming our Fear of Slowing Down," will discuss her book. Brown is also a teacher, researcher and consultant in the field of addiction. Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com/event/stephanie-brown
Talk: Safety and Security in a Transnational Environment Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google, will speak at this talk, hosted by the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. Jan. 22, 4:30-6 p.m. Free. Tresidder Memorial Union, 2nd Floor, 459 Lagunita Drive, Stanford. Call 650-736-0414.
USGS Public Lecture U.S. Geological Survey Scientist Jake Lowenstern will discuss the Yellowstone volcano's geologic history and how scientists are monitoring the area for future eruptions. Jan. 23, 7-8 p.m. Free. USGS Menlo Park Campus , 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park. Call 650-329-5136. www.online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar
Young Authors: Sophia Nesamoney and Megan White Two young authors, Sophia Nesamoney and Megan White, will share their novels, "The Other Side of Carroll," and "Together," respectively. Jan. 26, 2 p.m. Free. Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321. www.keplers.com/event/society-young-inklings-sophia-nesamoney-and-megan-white
Tai Chi at Woodside Library Woodside Library hosts a tai chi class in the library's native plant garden, weather permitting. Open to all ability levels. Jan. 3-31, Fridays, 10-11 a.m. Free. Woodside Library Native Plant Garden, 3140 Woodside Road, Woodside. www.smcl.org
National Puzzle Day Celebration & Competition A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the fastest team of four people to complete a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. The event will also feature other activities and puzzles for sale. Jan. 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $15 to register for the competition, otherwise free. Kainos, 2761 Fair Oaks Ave., Redwood City. Call 650-364-3634. www.jigsawjava.com