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Community briefs: Food and toy drives, Hanukkah and more

Rabbi Mayer Brook of Chabad Portola Valley & Woodside and Portola Valley Mayor Maryann Derwin light the menorah on Nov. 28, 2021 at Portola Valley's Town Center. Courtesy Mellissa Katarina.

Portola Valley and Woodside Hanukkah Festival

On Nov. 28, the first night of Hanukkah, about 200 Portola Valley and Woodside residents gathered at the Portola Valley Town Center for a Hanukkah festival. The new organization, Chabad Portola Valley & Woodside, hosted the event, which included a "decorate your own doughnut" bar, all-you-can-eat latkes and applesauce, arts and crafts for kids, and a face painter.

Woodside Fire Protection District firefighters hosted a gelt chocolate drop from atop their truck. Ice carvers sculpted an ice menorah, which Mayor Maryann Derwin lit.

"There was a real sense of Jewish pride and community in Portola Valley and Woodside, and everyone felt it," according to organizers Rabbi Mayer Brook and Dassi Brook of Chabad Portola Valley & Woodside. "The menorah's power is especially felt when it is lit with joy and enthusiasm, as it was this year, with added appreciation for the blessing of being able to gather as a community and celebrate together for the first time."

Rabbi Mayer Brook of Chabad Portola Valley & Woodside speaks to the crowd at the Chanukah Festival on Nov. 28, 2021 at Portola Valley's Town Center. Courtesy Mellissa Katarina.

Adult School vaccine clinic

On Thursday (Dec. 2) there will be a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in school staff parking lot of the Sequoia Adult School, 3247 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The clinic is open to those age 12 and over (those under 18 will need parental consent).

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First and second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer shots will be available, along with boosters. There will also be single shot doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Registration will take place at the front door of the school. No appointments are necessary, but to register in advance, go to myturn.ca.gov. More information may be found here.

The Sequoia High School District will host another COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at the North Fair Oaks Clinic.

M-A's canned food drive

Menlo-Atherton High School needs help to reach its goal of gathering 300,000 pounds of food in its annual canned food drive. Donate non-perishable foods (such as canned tuna, peanut butter and vegetable oil) or checks made out to Second Harvest Food Bank that will be used to purchase fresh produce.

So far, the group has collected 135,000 pounds of food, about 10,000 pounds than it did two years ago, said M-A leadership teacher Mike Amoroso.

The food distribution is at M-A on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Find a drop-off location online at lship.org or email [email protected]

Ravenswood holiday toy drive

The Ravenswood Education Foundation is aiming to collect 1,800 new toys and gift cards by Friday, Dec. 10, for students in the Ravenswood City School District.

Donors may drop off gifts Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2120 Euclid Ave. in East Palo Alto. Ship gifts to the Ravenswood Education Foundation, Attn: Jazmin Sosa, 5778 Chesbro Ave., San Jose CA 95123.

For more information on the drive go to ravenswoodef.org/toydrive.html.

– Angela Swartz

Sanitary district gets federal grant to boost sea level rise resilience

The West Bay Sanitary District, which provides wastewater services to Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and parts of other neighboring communities, has received $3.9 million in federal funding for a project to raise the levee near Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park.

The project, aimed at protecting the sanitary district's facilities near Bedwell Bayfront Park, involves building about 1,200 feet of living shorelines and 3,400 feet of sheet pile walls, according to a district statement.

Ultimately, the project aims to create about 3.5 acres of habitat along the San Francisco Bay near Menlo Park and conserve about 0.8 acres of salt marsh, according to the statement. The $9.4 million project will be funded with about $3.9 million from the grant and about $5.5 million in matching funds from the district.

"It is necessary for the district to perform the levee work in order to protect the site, particularly as we explore building a second water reclamation facility in the Bayfront Area. This grant will also allow the district to continue to replace and rehabilitate old clay sewer pipe rather than tying up its resources completely on the levee," District Manager Sergio Ramirez told The Almanac in an email.

The grant comes from the National Coastal Resilience Fund, which includes as its partners the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency among other partners such as AT&T, Shell and TransRe. The grant is one of 49 grants nationwide totaling $39.5 million, according to an announcement from NFWF and NOAA.

"NOAA is proud to support critical projects in coastal communities, helping them to adapt to coastal change and better prepare for climate-driven hazards," said Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator.

The grant program was started in 2018 and aims to address "growing risks from coastal storms, sea-level rise, flooding, erosion and extreme weather through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife," according to a press statement.

– Kate Bradshaw

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Community briefs: Food and toy drives, Hanukkah and more

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 2, 2021, 11:29 am

On Nov. 28, the first night of Hanukkah, about 200 Portola Valley and Woodside residents gathered at the Portola Valley Town Center for a Hanukkah festival. The new organization, Chabad Portola Valley & Woodside, hosted the event, which included a "decorate your own doughnut" bar, all-you-can-eat latkes and applesauce, arts and crafts for kids, and a face painter.

Woodside Fire Protection District firefighters hosted a gelt chocolate drop from atop their truck. Ice carvers sculpted an ice menorah, which Mayor Maryann Derwin lit.

"There was a real sense of Jewish pride and community in Portola Valley and Woodside, and everyone felt it," according to organizers Rabbi Mayer Brook and Dassi Brook of Chabad Portola Valley & Woodside. "The menorah's power is especially felt when it is lit with joy and enthusiasm, as it was this year, with added appreciation for the blessing of being able to gather as a community and celebrate together for the first time."

On Thursday (Dec. 2) there will be a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in school staff parking lot of the Sequoia Adult School, 3247 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The clinic is open to those age 12 and over (those under 18 will need parental consent).

First and second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer shots will be available, along with boosters. There will also be single shot doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Registration will take place at the front door of the school. No appointments are necessary, but to register in advance, go to myturn.ca.gov. More information may be found here.

The Sequoia High School District will host another COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at the North Fair Oaks Clinic.

Menlo-Atherton High School needs help to reach its goal of gathering 300,000 pounds of food in its annual canned food drive. Donate non-perishable foods (such as canned tuna, peanut butter and vegetable oil) or checks made out to Second Harvest Food Bank that will be used to purchase fresh produce.

So far, the group has collected 135,000 pounds of food, about 10,000 pounds than it did two years ago, said M-A leadership teacher Mike Amoroso.

The food distribution is at M-A on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Find a drop-off location online at lship.org or email [email protected]

The Ravenswood Education Foundation is aiming to collect 1,800 new toys and gift cards by Friday, Dec. 10, for students in the Ravenswood City School District.

Donors may drop off gifts Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2120 Euclid Ave. in East Palo Alto. Ship gifts to the Ravenswood Education Foundation, Attn: Jazmin Sosa, 5778 Chesbro Ave., San Jose CA 95123.

For more information on the drive go to ravenswoodef.org/toydrive.html.

– Angela Swartz

The West Bay Sanitary District, which provides wastewater services to Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and parts of other neighboring communities, has received $3.9 million in federal funding for a project to raise the levee near Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park.

The project, aimed at protecting the sanitary district's facilities near Bedwell Bayfront Park, involves building about 1,200 feet of living shorelines and 3,400 feet of sheet pile walls, according to a district statement.

Ultimately, the project aims to create about 3.5 acres of habitat along the San Francisco Bay near Menlo Park and conserve about 0.8 acres of salt marsh, according to the statement. The $9.4 million project will be funded with about $3.9 million from the grant and about $5.5 million in matching funds from the district.

"It is necessary for the district to perform the levee work in order to protect the site, particularly as we explore building a second water reclamation facility in the Bayfront Area. This grant will also allow the district to continue to replace and rehabilitate old clay sewer pipe rather than tying up its resources completely on the levee," District Manager Sergio Ramirez told The Almanac in an email.

The grant comes from the National Coastal Resilience Fund, which includes as its partners the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency among other partners such as AT&T, Shell and TransRe. The grant is one of 49 grants nationwide totaling $39.5 million, according to an announcement from NFWF and NOAA.

"NOAA is proud to support critical projects in coastal communities, helping them to adapt to coastal change and better prepare for climate-driven hazards," said Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator.

The grant program was started in 2018 and aims to address "growing risks from coastal storms, sea-level rise, flooding, erosion and extreme weather through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife," according to a press statement.

– Kate Bradshaw

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