Recent News

Monday, November 12, 2018

Tuesday: Menlo Park City School District board discussing philosophy for paying teachers

As the Menlo Park City School District comes up with a philosophy for how to pay its teachers, there is concern that introducing teacher evaluations into a document about teacher pay could make instructors anxious, while other district employees feel left out of the conversation.

Monday, 5:05 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park Police Department names new commander

The Menlo Park Police Department has hired a new police commander, Rich Struckman, who was scheduled to start Tuesday, Nov. 13. He will be expected to oversee the Patrol Division, according to a city announcement.

Monday, 3:44 PM | 1 comment
Winter Spare the Air alert extended through Friday

As heavy smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County continues to choke Bay Area skies, a Winter Spare the Air alert has been extended through Friday, Nov. 16.

Monday, 11:18 AM | No comments yet
Woodside: Glens residents resist the 'nonconforming' label

For some people, being labeled a nonconformist is a badge of honor. Homeowners in the Glens in Woodside are tired of being labeled as not conforming to the town's spacious open-space requirements meant for much larger properties.

Monday, 9:31 AM | No comments yet

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Arson charges for Menlo Park man rescued at Compadres fire

Palo Alto police arrested a man Saturday night, Nov. 10, on suspicion of starting two fires that afternoon within 50 minutes of each other along El Camino Real.

Sunday, 1:22 PM | 2 comments

Saturday, November 10, 2018

One World: The new way of business

Helping companies to develop and increase their social impact is the mission of "One World," a Palo Alto-based company founded in 2015 by Scott Saslow.

Saturday, 9:36 PM | No comments yet
The perils of plastic

Plastics: It's hard to imagine modern life without them. But the word describes a modern development that has become both a blessing and a curse.

Saturday, 9:22 PM | No comments yet
Unhealthy air quality and fire risk trigger weekend closures of outdoor spaces

Due to poor air quality expected throughout much of the Bay Area and fire danger in some areas, several outdoor open spaces in the region will be closed Nov. 10 and 11.

Saturday, 10:39 AM | No comments yet

Friday, November 9, 2018

Red flag warning issued for this weekend

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the weekend that covers the western hills portion of the Woodside Fire Protection District.

Friday, 7:05 PM | No comments yet
Historical Association hosts celebration of Armistice Day centennial on Sunday

This Sunday, Nov. 11, will mark 100 years since the end of World War I, and 80 years of Fremont Park's existence in Menlo Park. To celebrate the centennial event, the Menlo Park Historical Association will host a celebration starting at 10:30 a.m. that day at Fremont Park.

Friday, 6:19 PM | 4 comments
Butte County fire impacts local schools

A Menlo-Atherton High School football playoff game and other local school activities were postponed or canceled Friday due to poor air quality from the wildfire burning in Butte County.

Friday, 4:44 PM | No comments yet
Winter Spare the Air alert extended through Monday due to wildfire smoke

In an unusual move, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Winter Spare the Air alert from today (Friday, Nov. 9) all the way through Monday because of heavy smoke and particulates drifting into the Bay Area from the Camp Fire, which continues to rage in Butte County.

Friday, 3:02 PM | No comments yet
Portola Valley: Residents protest appointment of acting attorney general

About 20 people protested President Donald Trump's recent appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general in Portola Valley on Thursday evening (Nov. 8).

Friday, 1:36 PM | 3 comments
Today: Old La Honda Road closed to through traffic

Officials are asking anyone who does not live along Old La Honda Road to use another route for travel between Portola Road and Skyline Boulevard today (Nov. 9) due to emergency tree work that has closed the roadway.

Friday, 12:37 PM | No comments yet
Portola Valley: Wife says missing man has contacted attorney

Portola Valley resident Marc Bajet, who was the subject of a search by the community and the Sheriff's Office last week when he was reported missing, has contacted his attorney and is "hiding out," his wife told The Almanac.

Friday, 11:53 AM | No comments yet
Update: Local firefighters sent to Butte County wildfire

Local firefighters have been sent to fight the Butte County wildfire, which started on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Friday, 11:11 AM | No comments yet
Winter Spare the Air alert issued due to Camp Fire

The Bay Area Quality Management District has issued a Winter Spare the Air alert for today (Nov. 9) due to heavy smoke blowing into the Bay Area from a fire in Butte County.

Friday, 8:43 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, November 8, 2018

New leader picked to head SVCF

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation announced Thursday it has chosen a new top executive following a monthslong search.

Thursday, 3:47 PM | No comments yet
Long, slow lines frustrate San Mateo County voters

A cumbersome voting process and technical glitches resulting in long lines frustrated voters in East Palo Alto Tuesday and caused at least one City Council member to question why problems repeatedly plague San Mateo County elections.

Thursday, 2:26 PM | No comments yet
Air quality advisory issued due to wildfire in Butte County

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory for Thursday and Friday because of a large wildfire in Butte County that is expected to send smoke into the region.

Thursday, 2:26 PM | No comments yet
Portola Valley: Farmers' market begins winter hours today

With the end of daylight saving time, winter hours -- 2 to 5 p.m. -- have begun for the Portola Valley farmers' market, starting with the market on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Thursday, 1:53 PM | No comments yet
New mail-in ballot system triggers delays in election results for San Mateo County

When the first, much anticipated vote counts were released by the San Mateo County Elections Office at 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, the numbers, while telling in some instances, were in many cases so low as to leave key races undetermined.

Thursday, 11:58 AM | 16 comments
Tonight: Residents to protest appointment of acting attorney general

In response to President Donald Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, protests have been scheduled around the country and abroad, including at 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Nov. 8) at the Town Center in Portola Valley.

Thursday, 11:42 AM | 9 comments
Portola Valley: Weeding is coming to Spring Down Open Space

If weeds in the Spring Down Open Space Preserve had ears and could pick up conversations, they would be whispering worriedly -- if they could whisper -- about how to survive the dreaded practice referred to as weeding.

Thursday, 9:00 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Zoo demands custody of Koko's partner, Ndume

The future is in question for Ndume, the 37-year-old male western lowland gorilla who lives at a preserve operated by The Gorilla Foundation off Skyline Boulevard in Woodside.

Wednesday, 8:17 PM | 4 comments
Portola Valley: Former restaurateur avoids bail revocation

A judge granted more time to the attorney representing Russell Howard Deutsch, a former Portola Valley restaurateur, but denied Deutsch the three months of rehabilitation time he asked for before standing trial on tax evasion, theft and fraud charges.

Wednesday, 5:55 PM | No comments yet
County transportation tax measure on the edge

By the narrowest of margins, preliminary results from the San Mateo County elections office show that voters may reject Measure W, the half-cent sales tax that would collect some $80 million in revenues annually for transportation projects in the county. But with the vote count far from complete, the outcome is anything but certain.

Wednesday, 10:33 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Holman leads by wide margin in race for open space district seat

Palo Alto Councilwoman Karen Holman prevailed Tuesday in an unusually expensive and competitive race for a seat on the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District board against her longtime political adversary, Councilman Greg Scharff, early Election Day results indicat.

Tuesday, 11:23 PM | No comments yet
Pulido, Fitch, Nunez ahead in Ravenswood school board race

Incumbent Ana Maria Pulido and newcomers Stephanie Fitch and Laura Nunez have taken the early lead in the race for three open seats on the Ravenswood City School District Board of Education.

Tuesday, 11:16 PM | No comments yet
Update: Portola Valley school bond measure closer to approval

Unofficial results updated by the county Nov. 8 show Measure Z, a $49.5 million bond to pay for repairs, renovations and new buildings on the Portola Valley School District's two campuses, inching toward approval.

Tuesday, 9:08 PM | 13 comments
Update: Fluet increases his lead in Woodside council race

Ned Fluet has improved his lead over his opponent, Frank Rosenblum, in the race for Woodside's District 7 Town Council seat. The unofficial count from the county Elections Office posted at 4:30 p.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 8) gives Fluet 54 percent of the vote.

Tuesday, 8:59 PM | No comments yet
Update: Jones, McLaughlin, Bernstein maintain strong lead in fire board race

Unofficial vote counts updated by the county at 4:30 p.m. today (Nov. 8) show that incumbents Robert Jones and Chuck Bernstein along with Jim McLaughlin are maintaining a strong lead in the contest for three open seats on the Menlo Park Fire Protection District governing board.

Tuesday, 8:54 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park City Council update: Taylor, Combs, Nash maintain significant leads

The latest round of election results from the San Mateo County Elections Office, released at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, show Menlo Park City Council candidates Cecilia Taylor, Drew Combs and Betsy Nash maintaining their significant leads in the race for council districts 1, 2 and 4, respectively. The first tally was released shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night and has not changed much in subsequent counts.

Tuesday, 8:38 PM | 40 comments
Dumbarton rail project to get full environmental, fiscal analysis

In a sharp acceleration of a project that has for decades lurched through planning processes that haven't gone anywhere, a proposal to reinstate passenger rail transit along the Dumbarton corridor is moving forward in earnest, due mainly to a new partnership formed by SamTrans, Facebook and the Plenary Group.

Tuesday, 11:55 AM | 4 comments
Tonight: Menlo Park City School District board to discuss ‘compensation philosophy’

About 34 percent of teachers and staff who left the Menlo Park City School District at the end of the 2017-18 school year did so because of long commutes and high cost of living. In an effort to counteract this trend, the district is developing a “compensation philosophy," which the school board will discuss tonight (Nov. 6).

Tuesday, 11:04 AM | No comments yet
Department of Justice monitoring polls in San Mateo County

San Mateo County is among 35 jurisdictions in 19 states that have personnel from the U.S. Department of Justice monitoring the polls on Election Day.

Tuesday, 9:05 AM | 6 comments

Monday, November 5, 2018

Portola Valley author Autumn Stanley dies

Autumn Joy Stanley, a scholar, author and Portola Valley resident for 60 years, wrote many books, including at least three about notable women and more than two dozen for children. Stanley died on Sept. 20 after a long illness.

Monday, 7:58 PM | 1 comment
Teacher pleads not guilty to engaging in sex acts with minor

A local teacher charged with engaging in sex acts with a minor pleaded not guilty to all charges during a court appearance on Monday, Nov. 5.

Monday, 3:40 PM | No comments yet
Ballot drop-off locations, voting centers open through Election Day

San Mateo County residents can drop off their ballots or vote in person - even if they haven't registered for Tuesday's election yet - in the Atherton area today (Nov. 5) and Tuesday.

Monday, 11:09 AM | No comments yet
Olive harvest underway at Sacred Heart Schools

Students at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton are getting a unique lesson in agriculture this fall by taking part in the process of making olive oil.

Monday, 9:37 AM | No comments yet

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Home sales

A complete list of home sales on the Midpeninsula.

Sunday, 5:34 PM | No comments yet
Search continues for missing Portola Valley man

The search continues for Portola Valley resident Marc Bajet, who's been missing since the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Sunday, 11:50 AM | 1 comment

Saturday, November 3, 2018

On the right track

Longtime Almanac readers may have a feeling of deja vu reading about 13-year-old car racing phenom Jesse Love of Menlo Park -- his dad, Jess Love, made headlines for his racing career in this very newspaper some 30 years ago.

Saturday, 8:31 AM | 1 comment

Friday, November 2, 2018

Improved bike lanes the result of long but diligent effort

There are new bike lanes across the overpasses where Sand Hill Road crosses Interstate 280. Cyclists have San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley and Joe Lo Coco of the county's Department of Public Works to thank for the work.

Friday, 5:59 PM | 10 comments
Tonight: Talk by artist Mitchell Johnson on how artists see

Artist Mitchell Johnson of Menlo Park will give a talk in Woodside tonight (Friday, Nov. 2) on how artists see, with a focus on colors and the evolution of modernism and its inspiration for Cezanne and Matisse.

Friday, 1:45 PM | No comments yet
County enables 911 text messages

You can now text 911 messages to San Mateo County Law Enforcement and fire agencies' emergency dispatch centers.

Friday, 11:47 AM | No comments yet
Safety changes made to temporary Willow Road/U.S. 101 interchange

A number of Menlo Park drivers say they have felt, over the last several weeks, that they've had to take their lives into their hands whenever they try to merge onto northbound U.S. 101 from eastbound Willow Road. To address concerns, Caltrans has now widened the merging area by about 5 feet.

Friday, 7:50 AM | 20 comments

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hundreds walk out of Google's Mountain View HQ

More than 500 Google employees in Mountain View walked out of the company's headquarters this morning, joined by thousands across the globe in a protest to hold sexual harassers accountable in the workplace.

Thursday, 2:46 PM | No comments yet
Atherton: Watkins Avenue rail crossing closed part of weekend

The Watkins Avenue railroad crossing in Atherton will be closed starting the evening of Saturday, Nov. 3, for construction.

Thursday, 2:15 PM | No comments yet
Woodside: Hall of Fame San Francisco Giant Willie McCovey dies

Woodside resident and San Francisco Giants first baseman Willie McCovey, a Hall of Famer whose name graces a cove in San Francisco Bay, a bronze statue alongside the Bay, and a ball field in Woodside, died Wednesday (Oct. 31).

Thursday, 11:58 AM | 1 comment
NASA retires Kepler, the 'little spacecraft that could'

After nine years of scanning the stars and discovering thousands of new planets, the Kepler space observatory has run out of fuel and this week was officially shut down by NASA.

Thursday, 10:35 AM | 1 comment
Home sales

A complete list of home sales on the Midpeninsula.

Thursday, 8:21 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Candidates wage expensive contest for open-space district seat

The race between two Palo Alto City Council members for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has become the most expensive such contest in recent memory, with Greg Scharff injecting a $120,000 loan into his campaign and Councilwoman Karen Holman bringing in more than $20,000 in contributions from supporters.

Wednesday, 5:11 PM | No comments yet
Facebook plans new bus stop to meet growing transit needs

Facebook is proposing to build a new bus stop to better accommodate the significant number of buses and trams it uses to get its employees to and from work and around its campuses.

Wednesday, 2:32 PM | 2 comments
Menlo-Atherton holds grand opening for new STEAM wing

Menlo-Atherton High School celebrated its new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) wing on Oct. 30.

Wednesday, 11:55 AM | No comments yet
Judge rules in support of search warrant in Lopez case

A San Mateo County judge has determined that there was probable cause to issue a warrant to search the home of retired Sheriff's Office deputy Juan Pablo Lopez following Lopez's unsuccessful write-in bid in 2014 to be elected sheriff, and that the officers who executed the warrant did so in good faith.

Wednesday, 11:45 AM | 5 comments
Guest opinion: Restore power of municipalities to pass robust rent control

Voters should restore the ability of municipalities to implement robust rent control by voting yes on Proposition 10 this November.

Wednesday, 8:45 AM | 13 comments

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Woodside student wins national science award

Woodside middle schooler Georgia Hutchinson took home top honors and a $25,000 prize at a national science and engineering competition on Oct. 23.

Tuesday, 9:34 PM | No comments yet
More than 1,000 turn out for vigil against hate

About 1,000 people of different faiths gathered in solidarity at a Los Altos Hills synagogue on Sunday in response to the murderous Oct. 27 rampage at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, synagogue.

Tuesday, 2:35 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Red-light camera contract extended to allow in-depth evaluation

Red-light cameras in Menlo Park, and the vendor that supplies and operates them, Redflex, will be getting a closer look in the months to come.

Tuesday, 11:58 AM | 34 comments
Menlo Park man sentenced to 12 years in prison for pharmacy robberies

A Menlo Park man who pleaded no contest in June to charges of robbery, attempted robbery and robbery with a firearm was sentenced to 12 years in state prison on Oct. 26.

Tuesday, 11:20 AM | No comments yet
La Entrada Middle School floods after water main break

A water main break near La Entrada Middle School in Menlo Park on Thursday, Oct. 25, flooded classrooms, including a new building, prompting officials to close the school for two days.

Tuesday, 10:46 AM | 4 comments
Menlo Park council approves interim city manager contract

The Menlo Park City Council on Monday approved a contract with Starla Jerome-Robinson to serve as interim city manager.

Tuesday, 9:01 AM | 3 comments

Couples: Philosophy of Love
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,101 views

Trials of My Grandmother
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 223 views