News

Community briefs: A new book club, Priory's spring play, helping animals during disasters and a pig named Elvis

A pig, dubbed Elvis, was found as a stray in Woodside on Feb. 25 is now available for adoption at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA). Courtesy PHS/SPCA.

Elvis the pig up for adoption

A stray male pig found in Woodside is available for adoption at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA).

A good Samaritan reported that the adult pig, dubbed Elvis, was wandering her property in Woodside and called PHS/SPCA. The shelter's rescue staff captured him and brought him to its shelter on Feb. 25.

"As an open admission shelter, we accept all kinds of animals, including pigs," said Buffy Martin Tarbox, the PHS/SPCA communications manager, in a press release. "This is the fourth pig in the last three years that we've had available for adoption at our shelter. We are committed to finding him a loving home where he will be kept as a pet, not a source of food."

No one came forward to claim Elvis, so PHS/SPCA made him available for adoption. Elvis is neutered, but his exact age is unknown. It is possible Elvis will continue to grow, so potential adopters should have ample space for him.

"Elvis is social and will make a wonderful pet for someone who has the space he'll need to thrive and live a happy life," Tarbox said. "Pigs can live, on average, 12 to 18 years. Their diet consists of pig pellets, fresh vegetables and alfalfa hay, although Elvis is very fond of apples."

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People interested in meeting Elvis can call PHS/SPCA at 650-340-7022. His adoption fee is $100.

Webinar on animal welfare during disasters

Learn from the experts about managing creatures both large and small in the event of a disaster during the webinar "Animal Welfare During Disasters" on Saturday, March 27, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Abigail Kaufman will host a talk on animal first aid; Dr. Jen Dalmasso will discuss sheltering animals during wildfires; and Stacey Claitor and Fawni Hill of the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group will discuss evacuating and sheltering large animals during large-scale crises.

The Woodside-Portola Valley chapter of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Woodside Portola Valley Ready, the evacuation group and the Humane Society of Silicon Valley are presenting the free event.

Organizers stand to gain $20 per attendee through a grant offered by the state to increase emergency preparedness. Money received from the grant will be used to fund emergency trailers and supplies.

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Menlo Park library launches book club for African American women

The Menlo Park Library has launched a book club for African American women called the Melanated Reads Book Group.

The group, moderated by city staff members Natalya Jones and Sarah Sandoval, launched in early February and is aimed at creating "a safe space for African American women to speak, vent and enjoy honest and open conversation," according to library staff.

The club meets monthly and selects books by African American authors.

"Our goal for this community-based group is to introduce a variety of African American writers who will help build a love of reading in a positive environment while meeting new people and gaining new perspectives," staff said.

This month's selection is "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett. The next monthly meeting is set to take place virtually on Monday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Access more information here.

The library is also considering other book group concepts, such as a Spanish-language literature and discussion group, according to staff.

Corte Madera named distinguished school

Corte Madera School has been chosen as a 2021 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. The California Department of Education recognized only 100 middle and high schools for 2021, including three from San Mateo County, according to the county Office of Education.

The Department of Education identifies and awards eligible schools based on performance and progress on state indicators on the California School Dashboard. Dashboard indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and school climate.

"We have been through so much together since the start of the pandemic, and this award is a reminder of the strength and resilience of our school community — staff, families and students — who have come together to overcome numerous challenges and maintain the outstanding learning environment we enjoy at Corte Madera," said Principal Kristen Shima in a press release.

The district's other school, Ormondale, received the same designation in 2010 and 2014.

The schools will be recognized at a future county Board of Education meeting, according to the Office of Education.

St. Raymond School students place second in academic decathlon

Students from St. Raymond School in Menlo Park placed second in the Archdiocese of San Francisco's California Catholic Schools Academic Junior High Decathlon competition. Left to right: Patrick Kane, Henry Dommer, Sarah Thieman, Sam Boyd, Luca Pinheiro, Sam Malek, Emma Kane, Ryan Karr, Bella Svanberg, JJ Palazzolo, Hailey Wells, Robert Cevasco and Grace Urban. Courtesy St. Raymond School.

Students from St. Raymond School in Menlo Park placed second overall in the Archdiocese of San Francisco California's Catholic Schools Academic Junior High Decathlon competition, according to a school press release.

Students in grades six through eight from schools throughout the Archdiocese competed in the academic decathlon on March 6. The St. Raymond School team included eighth graders Bella Svanberg, Grace Urban, Hailey Wells and Patrick Kane and seventh graders Ryan Karr, Emma Kane, James Palazzolo, Sam Boyd, Sarah Thieman, Henry Dommer, Luca Pinheiro, Sam Malek and Robert Cevasco.

The competition took place on Zoom this year, making it more challenging than in past years, according to the school. The students could only practice together during the last two weeks leading up to the decathlon. In years past, students met many times before school and on weekends to study. Each team took the test at their own school.

Atherton recruiting for committees

The town of Atherton is recruiting people for several town committees.

Atherton's Bicycle and Pedestrian, Environmental Programs and Transportation committees each have a vacancy for a term that expires in June 2023, while the Parks and Recreation Committee has a vacancy for a term expiring this June. The Parks and Recreation Committee member must also be a member of the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation.

The town is not filling current vacancies on the Rail Committee because it may reduce the membership size in the near future, said Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Anthony Suber in an email Wednesday, March 24. The town has reduced the membership to "up to 9" and may reduce it even further, he said. Rail service to Atherton's station ended late last year.

Learn more about the committees and apply here. Contact Suber by email at [email protected], or by phone at 650-752-0529, with any questions.

Priory production offers 10 short comic plays

Alex Leblang, left, is the stage manager for Woodside Priory School's production of "A Very British Love Scene." Claire Suvari is Celia. Courtesy Woodside Priory.

If laughter is the best medicine, then Woodside Priory School is offering up a hefty dose of it to combat these trying times.

The school's spring production, "Laugh Till Your Pants Catch Fire," is a collection of 10 short comic plays written by professional playwrights. The virtual production, which is offered on demand through April 4, was filmed on the Priory's stage using COVID-safe practices and features the work of student actors, a student film crew and student editors.

The family-friendly show explores different types of relationships, including a first date during a zombie apocalypse; a marriage proposal with surprising saltiness simmering below its prim, Jane Austen-inspired surface; as well as the comically bizarre turns that marriage and parenting can occasionally take.

"Laugh Till Your Pants Catch Fire" is available on demand starting at 6 p.m. Friday, March 26, through midnight on Sunday, April 4. Tickets are at a pay-what-you-can cost. More information is at here.

Residents invited to complete survey on natural threats

San Mateo County is updating a plan looking at natural hazards and how to mitigate them.

People are invited to fill out a survey here.

The survey assesses people's attitudes and experiences with, as well as preparation for natural disasters.

Learn more about the project here.

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— Angela Swartz, Heather Zimmerman and Kate Bradshaw

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Community briefs: A new book club, Priory's spring play, helping animals during disasters and a pig named Elvis

Uploaded: Fri, Mar 26, 2021, 11:34 am

A stray male pig found in Woodside is available for adoption at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA).

A good Samaritan reported that the adult pig, dubbed Elvis, was wandering her property in Woodside and called PHS/SPCA. The shelter's rescue staff captured him and brought him to its shelter on Feb. 25.

"As an open admission shelter, we accept all kinds of animals, including pigs," said Buffy Martin Tarbox, the PHS/SPCA communications manager, in a press release. "This is the fourth pig in the last three years that we've had available for adoption at our shelter. We are committed to finding him a loving home where he will be kept as a pet, not a source of food."

No one came forward to claim Elvis, so PHS/SPCA made him available for adoption. Elvis is neutered, but his exact age is unknown. It is possible Elvis will continue to grow, so potential adopters should have ample space for him.

"Elvis is social and will make a wonderful pet for someone who has the space he'll need to thrive and live a happy life," Tarbox said. "Pigs can live, on average, 12 to 18 years. Their diet consists of pig pellets, fresh vegetables and alfalfa hay, although Elvis is very fond of apples."

People interested in meeting Elvis can call PHS/SPCA at 650-340-7022. His adoption fee is $100.

Learn from the experts about managing creatures both large and small in the event of a disaster during the webinar "Animal Welfare During Disasters" on Saturday, March 27, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Abigail Kaufman will host a talk on animal first aid; Dr. Jen Dalmasso will discuss sheltering animals during wildfires; and Stacey Claitor and Fawni Hill of the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group will discuss evacuating and sheltering large animals during large-scale crises.

The Woodside-Portola Valley chapter of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Woodside Portola Valley Ready, the evacuation group and the Humane Society of Silicon Valley are presenting the free event.

Organizers stand to gain $20 per attendee through a grant offered by the state to increase emergency preparedness. Money received from the grant will be used to fund emergency trailers and supplies.

Sign up here.

The Menlo Park Library has launched a book club for African American women called the Melanated Reads Book Group.

The group, moderated by city staff members Natalya Jones and Sarah Sandoval, launched in early February and is aimed at creating "a safe space for African American women to speak, vent and enjoy honest and open conversation," according to library staff.

The club meets monthly and selects books by African American authors.

"Our goal for this community-based group is to introduce a variety of African American writers who will help build a love of reading in a positive environment while meeting new people and gaining new perspectives," staff said.

This month's selection is "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett. The next monthly meeting is set to take place virtually on Monday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Access more information here.

The library is also considering other book group concepts, such as a Spanish-language literature and discussion group, according to staff.

Corte Madera School has been chosen as a 2021 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. The California Department of Education recognized only 100 middle and high schools for 2021, including three from San Mateo County, according to the county Office of Education.

The Department of Education identifies and awards eligible schools based on performance and progress on state indicators on the California School Dashboard. Dashboard indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and school climate.

"We have been through so much together since the start of the pandemic, and this award is a reminder of the strength and resilience of our school community — staff, families and students — who have come together to overcome numerous challenges and maintain the outstanding learning environment we enjoy at Corte Madera," said Principal Kristen Shima in a press release.

The district's other school, Ormondale, received the same designation in 2010 and 2014.

The schools will be recognized at a future county Board of Education meeting, according to the Office of Education.

Students from St. Raymond School in Menlo Park placed second overall in the Archdiocese of San Francisco California's Catholic Schools Academic Junior High Decathlon competition, according to a school press release.

Students in grades six through eight from schools throughout the Archdiocese competed in the academic decathlon on March 6. The St. Raymond School team included eighth graders Bella Svanberg, Grace Urban, Hailey Wells and Patrick Kane and seventh graders Ryan Karr, Emma Kane, James Palazzolo, Sam Boyd, Sarah Thieman, Henry Dommer, Luca Pinheiro, Sam Malek and Robert Cevasco.

The competition took place on Zoom this year, making it more challenging than in past years, according to the school. The students could only practice together during the last two weeks leading up to the decathlon. In years past, students met many times before school and on weekends to study. Each team took the test at their own school.

The town of Atherton is recruiting people for several town committees.

Atherton's Bicycle and Pedestrian, Environmental Programs and Transportation committees each have a vacancy for a term that expires in June 2023, while the Parks and Recreation Committee has a vacancy for a term expiring this June. The Parks and Recreation Committee member must also be a member of the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation.

The town is not filling current vacancies on the Rail Committee because it may reduce the membership size in the near future, said Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Anthony Suber in an email Wednesday, March 24. The town has reduced the membership to "up to 9" and may reduce it even further, he said. Rail service to Atherton's station ended late last year.

Learn more about the committees and apply here. Contact Suber by email at [email protected], or by phone at 650-752-0529, with any questions.

If laughter is the best medicine, then Woodside Priory School is offering up a hefty dose of it to combat these trying times.

The school's spring production, "Laugh Till Your Pants Catch Fire," is a collection of 10 short comic plays written by professional playwrights. The virtual production, which is offered on demand through April 4, was filmed on the Priory's stage using COVID-safe practices and features the work of student actors, a student film crew and student editors.

The family-friendly show explores different types of relationships, including a first date during a zombie apocalypse; a marriage proposal with surprising saltiness simmering below its prim, Jane Austen-inspired surface; as well as the comically bizarre turns that marriage and parenting can occasionally take.

"Laugh Till Your Pants Catch Fire" is available on demand starting at 6 p.m. Friday, March 26, through midnight on Sunday, April 4. Tickets are at a pay-what-you-can cost. More information is at here.

San Mateo County is updating a plan looking at natural hazards and how to mitigate them.

People are invited to fill out a survey here.

The survey assesses people's attitudes and experiences with, as well as preparation for natural disasters.

Learn more about the project here.

— Angela Swartz, Heather Zimmerman and Kate Bradshaw

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