Atherton OKs Little League tournament in Holbrook-Palmer Park

Sixteen all-star teams will compete over two weeks in July 2017

The Menlo-Atherton Little League has permission to host an all-star tournament in Atherton's Holbrook-Palmer Park over two weeks in July 2017, but was warned by City Council members Wednesday that the league needs to be careful not to rile up the park's neighbors if it wants to hold the event in the future.

The council voted unanimously at its Nov. 16 meeting to approve the event, which will involve 16 all-star teams from San Mateo County and Palo Alto competing from July 1 to 15, just after the regular Little League season ends.

The league also received permission to do some things during the tournament that it usually isn't allowed to do at the park's ballfield, which is known as Homer Field at Willie Mays Ballpark. These include holding games on at least one Sunday, cooking food and selling refreshments, and using a public address system to introduce players and play the national anthem.

Mike Haven, president of the Menlo-Atherton Little League, said there will be six games each day on the first weekend of the tournament. Games will be held between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., he said.

"We want you to be able to do this again, so good behavior is really important," Mayor Elizabeth Lewis said. "It may not be as impactful as we think it could be."

"We couldn't agree more," Mr. Haven said.

Councilman Bill Widmer said his only worry was about trash that might be generated and left out after the park's crew had left for the day. "You don't want to leave it there for rodents and things like that," he said.

Mayor Lewis added: "I am in such support of the Little League. I think you guys will do a good job."

The Little League will pay $30 an hour to use the field during the tournament, which Community Services Director Mike Kashiwagi estimates will add up to between $1,500 and $2,000.

Menlo Park's Burgess Park will also host games during the tournament, including on the second Sunday.

Car charging station

In other business at the Nov. 16 meeting, the council agreed to put an electric car charging station in Holbrook-Palmer Park.

The town had received a grant of $6,000 for each of two charging stations, but council members recommended starting with just one to try it out.

There will be a fee for using the station, which will accommodate two vehicles at a time and be located near the Main House in the park.

Total cost of the charging station will be about $15,000.

Civic center

The council decided to give up plans to move the aging 36-inch steel water pipeline that runs close to the footprint of the planned new civic center buildings.

The town had thought the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which owns the water pipeline, did not have an easement allowing it to use Atherton's property. After several years of research, however, the commission found an easement for at least half of the length of the pipe running through the site.

It would cost the town as much as $500,000 to move the length of pipe in the commission's easement, and with the town scrambling to find funding to pay for the civic center, council members said they did not want to take on such an expensive project if they did not have to.

Instead, the town will negotiate with the public utilities commission to make sure the pipe is safe and look for ways to safeguard the town's new buildings if it does spring a leak.

Green building code

The council adopted changes in town's regulations that are needed to comply with the state's new green building code, which goes into effect Jan. 1.

While the council unanimously adopted changes that mirror the revisions in the state code, council members asked the town's Environmental Programs Committee to look at changes being considered by Portola Valley that go further than the state's new rules, and to return to the council with a report.

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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Damn, one less law suit!!

1 person likes this
Posted by DC MCGlynn
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 18, 2016 at 4:55 pm

What a relief that Councilman Widmer had only one worry! Really .. how about placing adequate trash bins in place for the county property tax payers to use. How petty can you get? I think Atherton residents need to get a out a little more.

PS. Anyone ever notice the motor cycle cops hiding in the bushes on ECR Southbound into Atherton from RWC ? I guess they love ticketing visitors (not so much leavers .. and not I have not received a ticket from APD). APD ticket statistics on demographics/residency would sure be an interesting read.

1 person likes this
Posted by Atherton, Such A Funny Place
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2016 at 5:13 pm

@DC MCGlynn: You really can't expect much else from a town where a sign is posted in Holbrook-Palmer: "All animals must be on a leash and under the control of a *competent* person" (emphasis added).

Never mind, of course, that a good chunk of the residents of Atherton would be found lacking if the statute were actually enforced...

4 people like this
Posted by Clunge
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

Very kind gesture by the Town of Atherton. I'm sure the Nannies will appreciate having more children running around the park that the parents never visit.

5 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Can you imagine?! A series of ball games allowed in of all places... a ball park! Remarkable. Truly remarkable.

6 people like this
Posted by Jenson
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 20, 2016 at 7:04 am

So that means if a child hits a home run no one should clap or cheer. Wow. Thanks Atherton we don't want to bother those who bought houses next to a park thinking it was the library.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Mar 30, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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