News

Community briefs: Petition to save Flood Park trees, local blood drives and a fundraiser for Ann's Coffee Shop owner

Also, Portola Valley hosts wildflower talks and community cleanup day

Flood Park, located off of Bay Road in Menlo Park, is set to undergo major changes in the coming years after the county Board of Supervisors approved a new landscaping plan that calls for new sports fields, a pump track, an adventure play area, a demonstration garden and more. Courtesy San Mateo County Parks Department.

Petition, Earth Day event for Flood Park trees

A petition from a group calling itself "Flood Park Tree Advocates 2021" has emerged in opposition to a proposal by the San Mateo County Parks Department to update Flood Park and remove a total of 72 trees. As of April 21, the online petition had 109 signatures.

The landscaping plan for Flood Park was approved last year and preserves all of its heritage trees and 92% of the trees on-site overall, according to county reports.

The petition urges the county to look for other areas for the planned sports fields, to put the planned amenities in other locations, and requests health reports of each tree planned for removal and an explanation of why each is slated to be removed. The group is also asking for a replacement tree plan to be made public and that a cost-benefit analysis be done before the project moves forward.

The group plans to host an Earth Day and Arbor Day ceremony and information session at Flood Park on Sunday, April 25, at 3 p.m. in the oak meadow near the group picnic area along Bay Road. People are asked to follow COVID-19 safety procedures. Email [email protected] for more information.

Ann's Coffee Shop co-owner Nicki Poulos at the register in the Menlo Park diner on April 7, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Ann's Coffee Shop launches GoFundMe

Ann's Coffee Shop celebrated its last day of a 75-year run on April 19, as mother-and-son owners Nicki Poulos and George Paplos recruited friends and family to keep their doors open long enough to say goodbye to the community.

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Poulos' son and daughter, Paplos and Elaine Poulos, have created a GoFundMe campaign to help their mother pay off her mortgage and support her retirement.

"This year, a combination of (COVID-19) and rent prices has put Ann's, and Nicki herself, in a precarious position," the campaign states. "The building sold prematurely before the lease's expiration due to rent spikes, though Nicki had planned to run it for a few more years to pay off her mortgage."

As of the morning of April 21, it had raised about $3,700 toward a $7,500 goal.

People can view the campaign here.

Local blood drives coming next week

Stanford Blood Center is planning local blood drives for next week.

On Monday, April 26, the Woodside Fire Protection District will host a community blood drive with the Stanford Blood Center from noon to 4 p.m. at 3111 Woodside Road in Woodside.

"The need for blood is constant," said Phillip Martin, Stanford Blood Center account manager, in a statement. "Even during a pandemic. Currently, there are more than 200 surgeries per day at our partner hospitals, and blood donations are used to save about 12,000 lives a day. ... All it takes is about an hour of your time, and you can help save the lives of multiple patients with a single donation."

Walk-in availability may be limited, so donors should make an appointment here or by calling 888-723-7831.

Novo Construction will host a community blood drive with Stanford Blood Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, at 1460 O'Brien Drive in Menlo Park.

Register here or call 888-723-7831.

Mehta Plastic Surgery is hosting a blood drive in the Bloodmobile at Atherton Square-Mehta Plastic Surgery, 3351 El Camino Real in Atherton on Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Donors at the Atherton event will be offered a voucher for a free sandwich at any Bay Area Jersey Mike's Subs location.

Register here.

Contact [email protected] or call 888-723-7831 with questions.

Donors are required to wear a mask and advised to eat well, stay hydrated and arrive with their donor ID or a valid state-issued photo identification. Donors with all blood types are welcome, but there's always a special need for type O blood. O-negative blood can be used in recipients of any blood type, and is often used for trauma and pediatric patients.

Michelle Le/The Almanac

Portola Valley wildflower series talk

Beginning on Monday, April 26, the Portola Valley Nature and Science Committee will host a six-part, monthly Zoom series on wildflowers. Longtime Portola Valley resident Dan Quinn will show pictures of flowers in bloom that month and provide information about each flower, such its uses for food or medicinal purposes, unique characteristics and how they contribute to the ecosystem.

The presentation will start at 7:30 p.m and will be followed by a Q&A period.

The series continues on May 27, June 24, July 29 and Aug. 26. Join the April 26 event can be found here.

Portola Valley neighborhood cleanup

The town of Portola Valley will host its first neighborhood cleanup day of 2021 on Saturday, April 24, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Town Center, 765 Portola Road.

This event is free for Portola Valley residents — a copy of a GreenWaste garbage bill or the mailer insert is required as proof of residency.

Town officials ask residents not to drop off medications or hazardous materials.

More information on the event is here.

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— Angela Swartz and Kate Bradshaw

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Community briefs: Petition to save Flood Park trees, local blood drives and a fundraiser for Ann's Coffee Shop owner

Also, Portola Valley hosts wildflower talks and community cleanup day

Uploaded: Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 10:31 am

A petition from a group calling itself "Flood Park Tree Advocates 2021" has emerged in opposition to a proposal by the San Mateo County Parks Department to update Flood Park and remove a total of 72 trees. As of April 21, the online petition had 109 signatures.

The landscaping plan for Flood Park was approved last year and preserves all of its heritage trees and 92% of the trees on-site overall, according to county reports.

The petition urges the county to look for other areas for the planned sports fields, to put the planned amenities in other locations, and requests health reports of each tree planned for removal and an explanation of why each is slated to be removed. The group is also asking for a replacement tree plan to be made public and that a cost-benefit analysis be done before the project moves forward.

The group plans to host an Earth Day and Arbor Day ceremony and information session at Flood Park on Sunday, April 25, at 3 p.m. in the oak meadow near the group picnic area along Bay Road. People are asked to follow COVID-19 safety procedures. Email [email protected] for more information.

Ann's Coffee Shop celebrated its last day of a 75-year run on April 19, as mother-and-son owners Nicki Poulos and George Paplos recruited friends and family to keep their doors open long enough to say goodbye to the community.

Poulos' son and daughter, Paplos and Elaine Poulos, have created a GoFundMe campaign to help their mother pay off her mortgage and support her retirement.

"This year, a combination of (COVID-19) and rent prices has put Ann's, and Nicki herself, in a precarious position," the campaign states. "The building sold prematurely before the lease's expiration due to rent spikes, though Nicki had planned to run it for a few more years to pay off her mortgage."

As of the morning of April 21, it had raised about $3,700 toward a $7,500 goal.

People can view the campaign here.

Stanford Blood Center is planning local blood drives for next week.

On Monday, April 26, the Woodside Fire Protection District will host a community blood drive with the Stanford Blood Center from noon to 4 p.m. at 3111 Woodside Road in Woodside.

"The need for blood is constant," said Phillip Martin, Stanford Blood Center account manager, in a statement. "Even during a pandemic. Currently, there are more than 200 surgeries per day at our partner hospitals, and blood donations are used to save about 12,000 lives a day. ... All it takes is about an hour of your time, and you can help save the lives of multiple patients with a single donation."

Walk-in availability may be limited, so donors should make an appointment here or by calling 888-723-7831.

Novo Construction will host a community blood drive with Stanford Blood Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, at 1460 O'Brien Drive in Menlo Park.

Register here or call 888-723-7831.

Mehta Plastic Surgery is hosting a blood drive in the Bloodmobile at Atherton Square-Mehta Plastic Surgery, 3351 El Camino Real in Atherton on Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Donors at the Atherton event will be offered a voucher for a free sandwich at any Bay Area Jersey Mike's Subs location.

Register here.

Contact [email protected] or call 888-723-7831 with questions.

Donors are required to wear a mask and advised to eat well, stay hydrated and arrive with their donor ID or a valid state-issued photo identification. Donors with all blood types are welcome, but there's always a special need for type O blood. O-negative blood can be used in recipients of any blood type, and is often used for trauma and pediatric patients.

Beginning on Monday, April 26, the Portola Valley Nature and Science Committee will host a six-part, monthly Zoom series on wildflowers. Longtime Portola Valley resident Dan Quinn will show pictures of flowers in bloom that month and provide information about each flower, such its uses for food or medicinal purposes, unique characteristics and how they contribute to the ecosystem.

The presentation will start at 7:30 p.m and will be followed by a Q&A period.

The series continues on May 27, June 24, July 29 and Aug. 26. Join the April 26 event can be found here.

The town of Portola Valley will host its first neighborhood cleanup day of 2021 on Saturday, April 24, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Town Center, 765 Portola Road.

This event is free for Portola Valley residents — a copy of a GreenWaste garbage bill or the mailer insert is required as proof of residency.

Town officials ask residents not to drop off medications or hazardous materials.

More information on the event is here.

— Angela Swartz and Kate Bradshaw

Comments

Alice Newton
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Apr 22, 2021 at 3:02 pm
Alice Newton, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Apr 22, 2021 at 3:02 pm

The article about our group, Flood Park Tree Advocates 2021, misstates what our "press release" said and misrepresents our goals. Please read our version on Nexdoor titled "FLOOD PARK TREES." We state in the article, "We want to be clear that our purpose is not to oppose any amenities, but to save as many large old native trees as possible." The many new amenities and improvements in the SMC Parks Dept.'s Landscape Plan 2020 that were requested in public input meetings in 2015 will be a boon to the surrounding communities. We realized from the Tree Report in the Final EIR for Plan 2020 that included in the 8% (72) of the park's trees to slated for removal were some of the largest old native trees in the oak meadow where people currently picnic, stroll, and play volleyball. The Parks Dept. uses a definition of "heritage trees" (over 48"dbh) that differs from the tree ordinances of Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City that were updated in recent years reflecting the public's desire to protect native trees with trunk diameters less than that. Most of the large oaks in our neighborhoods and in the park are less than 48" dbh, but are still huge trees that could be 150-200 years old. Our petition states, "The San Mateo County Parks Department's Landscape Plan 2020 preserves 92% of the trees in Flood Park. Among the remaining 8% (72 trees) planned for removal in Flood Park to build new amenities, over half are healthy native trees of varying sizes, many quite old and large. We, the undersigned, value these trees for their beauty, their importance in the ecosystem of the park, and their role in combatting global warming. We request that new amenities be built under and around native trees, and that the reason for each of the 72 trees slated for removal be published on the SMC Reimagine Flood Park website prior to the first public input meeting." Please come to our Earth Day/Arbor Day Event 4/25 at 3pm rain or shine at the Pine Group Picnic Site in the park.


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