Recent News

Friday, March 23, 2018

Sunday: Memorial service for Nancy Salmon, bookseller and reader for Kepler's

Bookseller and ardent reader Nancy Salmon spent 17 years at Kepler's independent bookstore, where she would talk books with people interested in reading and buying them. A memorial for Ms. Salmon, who died March 12, is set for 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Menlo Park.

Friday, 12:58 PM | No comments yet
Facebook users and shareholders file four lawsuits over data harvesting

Facebook Inc. has been hit with four lawsuits in federal court in San Francisco and San Jose thus far this week in the wake of revelations that a political data firm obtained information about 50 million Facebook users.

Friday, 11:58 AM | 1 comment
Saturday: Local marches, activities planned for 'March for our Lives'

More than 600 "March for our Lives" marches and rallies are planned for Saturday, March 24 around the U.S. The main event is in Washington, D.C., but a number of "sibling" march and rally events will be held in the region.

Friday, 10:09 AM | 1 comment
Monday: Proposal for 6-story office building to face review

A proposed six-story office building, which along with a five-story parking garage is slated to complete a trio of edifices owned by the Sobrato Organization in eastern Menlo Park, will face an early round of public review on Monday, March 26.

Friday, 9:59 AM | 1 comment
Weekend: Menlo Park book sale

The Menlo Park Friends of the Library group will host a book sale at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m.

Friday, 9:40 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Atherton council OKs further study of fire district options

Atherton will continue looking at the details of what would be involved if it were to leave the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and at what legislative options exist to reallocate property taxes among public agencies.

Thursday, 6:27 PM | 4 comments
Minor flooding in Atherton after Wednesday night storm

Atherton public works crews said they found only minor nuisance flooding after the storm that hit the Midpeninsula Wednesday night and early Thursday.

Thursday, 4:30 PM | No comments yet
Menlo fire board wants more info on employee housing proposal

Before a district employee's family is allowed to move into a home recently purchased by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District for $3.2 million, members of the district's board say they want a lot more information from Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

Thursday, 11:59 AM | 4 comments
Menlo Park: Council agrees to committee's district boundaries

At least for now, Menlo Park's governing body will stay a five-member council, but each council member will in the future have to come from the district he or she lives in, under new rules the City Council signed off on this week.

Thursday, 11:51 AM | No comments yet
High school district wary of Facebook's 'Willow Village'

"Dear Mr. Zuckerberg," starts a March 2 letter Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Mary Streshly wrote to the Facebook CEO, in which she raises some concerns she has with the company's proposed "Willow Village."

Thursday, 11:04 AM | 18 comments
Menlo Park: Cleaning product fumes lead to hazardous materials call

A potential hazmat situation in Menlo Park was deemed safe on Wednesday afternoon (March 21) after Menlo Park Fire Protection District crews
determined a strong odor that caused three workers to become sick was likely from a combination of cleaning products.

Thursday, 8:41 AM | No comments yet
Woodside Community Foundation offers $5,000 'seed funding' grants

The Woodside Community Foundation is giving money away. The charitable organization has announced a new Woodside Community Grant Project offering $5,000 to three Woodside area residents as "seed funding to grow your vision and cultivate our spirit of giving."

Thursday, 8:10 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Menlo Park: Emergency crews at site of possible hazardous materials incident

Emergency officials from Menlo Park are responding to a situation that may involve hazardous materials, San Mateo County emergency officials reported this afternoon.

Wednesday, 1:51 PM | No comments yet
Severe storm warning predicts heavy rain overnight; towns offer sandbags

Local officials are predicting heavy rain overnight, as much as 3 inches, according to an alert issued at 11 a.m. today by Fire Marshal Denise Enea of the Woodside Fire Protection District.

Wednesday, 12:16 PM | No comments yet
Reflections on the Parkland shooting and on working for change

The first time I heard about a school shooting and really understood it was in 2012, when I read news about Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Wednesday, 11:03 AM | No comments yet
Woodside and Portola Valley help in gun buy-back program

Fundraising for a gun-buyback program in San Mateo County got a financial boost recently from the towns of Woodside and Portola Valley.

Wednesday, 10:54 AM | 3 comments
Silicon Valley filmmakers share insights on what makes region tick

Menlo Park-based documentarian duo Michael Schwarz and Kiki Kapany of Kikim Media have traveled the world, conducting interviews and gathering footage to answer big questions related to food systems, public health, and religious pluralism, to name a few. For their latest project, they decided to do some digging closer to home.

Wednesday, 10:40 AM | No comments yet
Three contested races for county offices on June ballot

The primary election set for June 5 includes candidates for statewide offices and for seats in Congress, but also San Mateo County sheriff, superintendent of public schools, and supervisor of District 3.

Wednesday, 8:38 AM | 7 comments
Wednesday: Public workshop on FAA study of San Carlos Airport noise

A fourth public information workshop, designed to provide an update on the progress of a Federal Aviation Administration study of noise at the San Carlos Airport, will be held Wednesday evening, March 21, at the Hiller Aviation Museum near the airport.

Wednesday, 8:09 AM | 1 comment

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Finance tech startup Robinhood to take over former Sunset headquarters

After sitting vacant for more than two years, a new tenant has been announced at the site of the former Sunset Publishing headquarters: finance tech startup Robinhood.

Tuesday, 11:55 AM | 4 comments
Wednesday: Weigh in on election district lines

How Menlo Park and its residents will be split into districts in future elections may be decided Wednesday.

Tuesday, 11:25 AM | No comments yet
Wednesday: Atherton considers more study of fire district options

Atherton's City Council will decide on Wednesday, March 21, if it should spend $13,500 to find out exactly what separating from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District would entail, as well as what legislative options exist to reallocate property taxes among public agencies.

Tuesday, 11:17 AM | 20 comments
Supervisors approve placing measure to raise bridge tolls on ballot

The county Board of Supervisors has authorized placing a measure on the June 5 ballot asking voters in all nine Bay Area counties to approve toll increases on major Bay Area bridges to fund improvements for regional traffic problems.

Tuesday, 10:58 AM | 1 comment
Rain in the Bay Area expected this week

Most cities in the Bay Area will see up to 1.5 inches of rain this week, according to the National Weather Service.

Tuesday, 8:04 AM | No comments yet

Monday, March 19, 2018

Menlo Park: Activists urge Willow Road changes to keep kids safe

Members of Belle Haven Action, a nonprofit focused on addressing problems in Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood, are worried about kids' safety as they commute to and from school across U.S. 101 and along Willow Road.

Monday, 2:20 PM | 6 comments
Tuesday: Menlo fire board to consider housing for employees

Following the Menlo Park Fire Protection District's recent purchase of several residences, Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman will on Tuesday ask the fire board for permission to rent one to a district employee at a steep discount.

Monday, 11:45 AM | 13 comments
Police calls: Resident living alone complains of objects being moved

Crime reports from Portola Valley and Menlo Park.

Monday, 9:47 AM | No comments yet
School board member denies wanting to arm teachers

Las Lomitas Elementary School District board member Diane Honda says that reports that she advocated arming teachers during a March 14 school board discussion are not true.

Monday, 6:17 AM | 8 comments

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Locally produced documentary on Silicon Valley premieres

"Silicon Valley: The Untold Story," a documentary by Michael Schwarz and Kiki Kapany of Menlo Park, premieres on the Science Channel at 8 p.m. Monday, March 19.

Saturday, 4:55 PM | 2 comments

Friday, March 16, 2018

Menlo Park hires city clerk

There's quite a game of musical clerks happening on the Peninsula. Judi Herren, deputy city clerk for the town of Atherton, has been hired to be city clerk in Menlo Park, a position that has been vacant since last June, when Pam Aguilar left to take the same job in Redwood City.

Friday, 4:29 PM | No comments yet
Agencies seek public preferences for future in online survey

Residents have a chance to help shape the Bay Area's future by taking a survey from two regional agencies on such things as the economy, the environment and growth.

Friday, 4:07 PM | 1 comment
Challenger cites pension liabilities in run against incumbent supervisor

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, whose district includes Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley, is facing an electoral challenge from Dan Stegink, a planning commissioner for the city of Pacifica.

Friday, 11:45 AM | 9 comments
Man who shot assault rifle in Menlo Park backyard gets one year in jail

The Menlo Park man who last month triggered a manhunt after shooting an assault rifle in a Belle Haven backyard was sentenced to a year in county jail on March 14 after he pleaded no contest to the felony of possessing a gun as a convicted felon, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Friday, 11:21 AM | 3 comments
It takes a village

For nearly four years, Josh To was, by day, a Google employee, and by night, a residential counselor with his wife, Sara, at Eastside College Preparatory Academy in East Palo Alto.

Friday, 9:54 AM | 12 comments
An appreciation for The Almanac

While I retired in January as editor of The Almanac, I didn't want to head into the sunset without expressing my appreciation to everyone who has played a part in creating and sustaining this community resource for 53 years.

Friday, 8:45 AM | 1 comment

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Resident group files suit over water company's refusal to hold election

A call by a group of residents and shareholders for the Palo Alto Park Mutual Water Company, which serves a number of Menlo Park households, to hold an election for all five board members has morphed into a lawsuit after the directors last year refused the request.

Thursday, 11:55 AM | No comments yet
School district puts hold on new artificial turf studies

A proposal to spend $43,000 to further study the possible health hazards of artificial turf playing fields at Hillview Middle School and Kelly Park in Menlo Park was tabled by the Menlo Park City School District's governing board on March 13.

Thursday, 11:14 AM | 2 comments
Agnes Bierman Babcock, archaeologist and mother, dies at home in Portola Valley

A memorial service for Agnes Bierman Babcock of Portola Valley will be held Friday, March 16, at 11 a.m. at Saint Denis Catholic Church at 2250 Avy Ave. in Menlo Park. Ms. Babcock was an archaeologist, mother and namesake to a complex of caves in Southern California. She died at age 94.

Thursday, 10:07 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Taking a stand

In recognition of the 17 high school students who were gunned down in Parkland, Florida, a month ago by a teen with an assault rifle, students at Menlo-Atherton High School began what would be an eventful morning of activism on March 14 by gathering in the school quad to reverently form a circle.

Wednesday, 3:51 PM | No comments yet
'One child is worth more than all the guns'

Students from Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park took part in a student-planned but school-sanctioned protest march today (March 14) as part of the nationwide student protests sparked by the school shootings in Parkland, Florida.

Wednesday, 12:09 PM | No comments yet
Local students join nationwide school violence walkouts

In just one of many observances in local schools of the nationwide student protest against gun violence, many students from Woodside Elementary School walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, in a student-led but school-sanctioned gathering in the school's outdoor amphitheater.

Wednesday, 11:42 AM | 3 comments
Portola Valley: Second residential burglary in two weeks

Sheriff's deputies have reported another residential burglary in Portola Valley, this time of a home in the 4000 block of Alpine Road.

Wednesday, 11:26 AM | 1 comment
Menlo Park: Council OKs big increases in managers' maximum salaries

Next time a bigger city comes courting for talent, Menlo Park's management staff may have more reason to pass up the offer. At least that was the staff's goal in recommending the major boosts in the city's management salary schedule that were approved on a 2-1 vote by the Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 9:55 AM | 20 comments
Group urges Caltrain to consider high-density housing on its land

Caltrain is developing a new business plan this year, and one group is asking the agency to consider adopting affordable housing development as a priority for its excess land along the rail line.

Wednesday, 8:22 AM | 18 comments

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

International fly fishing film festival coming to Menlo Park

The Guild Theatre will host the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on Thursday, March 15, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 4:10 PM | No comments yet
Woodside loses a local hero with the death of Alden R. 'Dick' Tagg

A memorial service for Alden Richard "Dick" Tagg, who died on Feb. 2, three weeks after his 90th birthday, will be held on Saturday, March 31, at 3 p.m. at the Woodside Village Church, 3154 Woodside Road in Woodside.

Tuesday, 3:56 PM | 3 comments
Wednesday: Student walkouts may affect local traffic

The Atherton and Menlo Park police departments are warning that traffic could be affected on Wednesday, March 14, when students from several local schools take part in walk outs to protest gun violence.

Tuesday, 11:58 AM | 5 comments
Planning Commission OKs designs for building next to Draeger's

It looks as if Draeger's in Menlo Park may be getting a new neighbor, and the family of grocers is worried it may have to relocate the area in which wares are moved in and out of the grocery store.

Tuesday, 11:52 AM | 13 comments
Tonight: Menlo Park council could approve major staff raises

The Menlo Park City Council could approve major staff raises for city employees referred to as "unrepresented management" at its meeting Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 11:38 AM | 8 comments

Monday, March 12, 2018

Man convicted in 2011 fatal drive-by shooting

A 44-year-old transient has been convicted of murdering a man in a drive-by shooting in Menlo Park in 2011, San Mateo County prosecutors said Monday.

Monday, 3:56 PM | No comments yet
Peter Mason leaves the Town Council after 10 years

Longtime Woodside Town Council member and architect Peter Mason has resigned from his council seat, according to a March 9 letter to Mayor Chris Shaw, a copy of which was provided to The Almanac.

Monday, 12:46 PM | 5 comments
Tuesday: School board to consider further research of artificial turf fields

Parents asked the Menlo Park City School District to look more closely at whether the crumb rubber used in artificial turf fields is dangerous to children's health. Now the school board must decide if it's willing to authorize the district to spend $43,000 to do that.

Monday, 11:30 AM | 9 comments
Portola Valley: Burglar stole $90,000 in cash from home, deputies say

A detail has been made public in the case of a residential burglary on Zapata Way in Portola Valley (first reported in a March 6 email to the community from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office): the burglar got away with $90,000 in cash, according to a brief entry in a Sheriff's Office crime log.

Monday, 10:48 AM | 9 comments

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Women design bracelets with a message: End Alzheimer's

Three local women have joined forces with a man who founded a nonprofit, 4MOM, to raise money for Alzheimer's research and support

Sunday, 2:17 PM | No comments yet
Woodside: New ethics code may be both inspiring and enforceable

The ethics code for the city of Santa Ana attempts to inspire ethical behavior rather than punish falls from grace. A group of Woodside residents, some inspired by Santa Ana's code, is working toward a recommendation on revising the town's ethics code.

Sunday, 9:18 AM | No comments yet

Mountain View wine bar Le Plonc opens
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 2,420 views

Data and Compassion: Radical Tools in the Fight for Gun Control
By Aldis Petriceks | 8 comments | 1,083 views

How to make a new family's stay more comfortable
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 595 views

Spring Break college touring
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 550 views

Silicon Valley, welcome to Database Valley
By Stuart Soffer | 0 comments | 158 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 32nd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 6. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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