Recent News

Friday, December 6, 2019

Atherton celebrates holidays with first annual lighting ceremony

Atherton's Dec. 5 "tree lighting" ceremony was unique not only because the town hadn't hosted such an event before, but also because there was no tree to light up. But that didn't stop residents from gathering for the holiday fete.

Friday, 5:19 PM | No comments yet
Empty Amazon boxes addressed to Menlo Park residents found in San Jose

Dozens of empty Amazon shipping boxes, many of which were addressed to Menlo Park residents, have been found in a creek in East San Jose, according to San Jose Police Department spokeswoman Gina Tepoorten.

Friday, 2:24 PM | 1 comment
Spell of wet, windy weather expected through the weekend

More wet and windy weather is on its way to the Bay Area starting Friday and continuing into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Friday, 11:50 AM | No comments yet
How a Menlo Park baseball coach is teaching teens about tech-life balance

Menlo Park native David Klein has spent the last decade helping young athletes succeed in baseball. Now he's taking on a more complex challenge: helping teens disconnect from their devices and find tech-life balance.

Friday, 8:33 AM | No comments yet
Holiday cheer: Local traditions continue

Locals are in luck with so many popular holiday happenings back on the calendar this year.

Friday, 8:09 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Canada Road open again after hazardous materials incident

Canada Road was reopened between Edgewood Road and state Route 92 at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, after being closed from 3:30 p.m. because of a hazardous materials problem, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Thursday, 4:31 PM | No comments yet
Planning Commission looks at zoning compliance for Neely Wine tasting room

Portola Valley's Planning Commission discussed compliance with general plan and zoning law requirements of a conditional use permit application for wine tasting, onsite wine sales and an event space at Neely Wine, but took no action.

Thursday, 4:20 PM | No comments yet
New Menlo Park fire station receives design award

Menlo Park's Fire Station 6, which incorporates an innovative yet historically based design, has received a 2019 National Firehouse Fire Station Design Award sponsored by Firehouse magazine.

Thursday, 2:40 PM | 2 comments
Atherton: tree lighting ceremony tonight

The town of Atherton will celebrate the holidays with a tree and water tower lighting ceremony on Dec. 5 in Holbrook-Palmer Park.

Thursday, 12:35 PM | No comments yet
Holiday Fund: Upward Scholars offers support and hope

Upward Scholars, one of 10 local nonprofits supported by The Almanac's Holiday Fund this year, helps students achieve their dreams for a better future.

Thursday, 10:02 AM | No comments yet
Holiday tree lighting kicks off weekend of seasonal festivities

Across Menlo Park, the holiday season will kick into full gear with a busy schedule of seasonal festivities scheduled this weekend.

Thursday, 9:58 AM | 1 comment
Stanford law professor testifies to Trump's 'abuse of power' in House Judiciary Committee

Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan was one of three legal scholars who told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses.

Thursday, 9:37 AM | 18 comments
Menlo Park city attorney announces plans to retire early next year

After a career spanning 41 years with the city of Menlo Park, City Attorney Bill McClure has announced plans to retire sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

Thursday, 9:24 AM | 1 comment
Ravenswood leadership proposes closing Brentwood, Willow Oaks elementary schools

The Ravenswood City School District has proposed closing two of its schools next fall: Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto and Willow Oaks Elementary in Menlo Park. The plan calls for Willow Oaks students moving to Belle Haven School.

Thursday, 8:05 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Alleged serial killer pleads not guilty in 1973 murder case

A former Stanford hospital medical technician pleaded not guilty on Monday morning for the 1973 murder of a 21-year-old Stanford University graduate.

Wednesday, 4:59 PM | No comments yet
Earthquake safety retrofit planned for I-280 bridges at Sand Hill, Alpine

The California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, is planning to improve seismic safety at four key local highway bridges.

Wednesday, 11:54 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: New playground invites kids of all abilities to romp

After nearly five months of closure, the playground at Nealon Park is back and better than ever.

Wednesday, 11:33 AM | 7 comments
Atherton City Council to explore development tax

A possible construction and development tax will be discussed during the Atherton City Council's Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 4, meeting. Such a tax could have generated from about $800,000 to $2.5 million in past years, staff reports.

Wednesday, 9:08 AM | 9 comments

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

New survey detects rapid growth in sudden oak tree death syndrome

A survey of the spread of sudden oak death (SOD) statewide found that oak trees surveyed in Peninsula towns between Redwood City and Los Altos Hills have a 21.6% infection rate, with significant new outbreaks reported.

Tuesday, 5:47 PM | 1 comment
Portola Valley: Neely tasting room on Dec. 4 Planning Commission agenda

The Portola Valley Planning Commission will hold a third hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 4, on a revised application from Neely Wine for a conditional use permit to allow a wine tasting room and event space on its 230-acre property.

Tuesday, 4:27 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park's office space growth exceeds that of similar small cities in state

A new report finds Menlo Park ranks fifth among small California cities for the amount of office space built in the last five years. A closer look reveals just how much space in the city is devoted to office space per capita.

Tuesday, 11:47 AM | 17 comments
Holiday Fund: Finding help, and giving it back

The Ecumenical Hunger Program, one of 10 local nonprofits that will benefit from The Almanac's Holiday Fund this year, does much more than satisfy the community's need for food, Executive Director Lesia Preston emphasizes.

Tuesday, 10:36 AM | No comments yet
Water billing vendor shutters, leaving city scrambling

FATHOM, the water billing contractor that Menlo Park Municipal Water has worked with for the past nine years to read water meters, bill customers and provide customer service, abruptly went out of business at the end of November.

Tuesday, 10:28 AM | No comments yet
In the age of 'fake news,' Stanford study finds high schoolers unskilled at assessing online information

Many high school students are unable to assess the credibility of online information, a new Stanford study has found. This poses a threat to "the vitality of American democracy," the researchers said.

Tuesday, 7:15 AM | 11 comments

Monday, December 2, 2019

Bill Gates to award $10 million to local Alzheimer's group

Part the Cloud founder Mikey Hoag of Atherton is "thrilled" and "energized" to announce a new partnership with philanthropist Bill Gates to help fight Alzheimer's disease.

Monday, 4:02 PM | No comments yet
Portola Valley school district shares new classroom designs

Parents, community members and administrators gathered at Ormondale School last month to view mock-ups of schematic design plans for changes to the Portola Valley School District's two schools.

Monday, 11:30 AM | 1 comment
High levels of probable carcinogen reported at Menlo Park restaurant

A building housing a Japanese restaurant and, formerly, a dry cleaning business in Menlo Park has been found to have elevated levels of a substance often used at dry cleaning facilities and a probable cancer-causing chemical.

Monday, 7:05 AM | 6 comments

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Home sales for the week of Nov. 25

A complete list of home sales on the Midpeninsula, where Atherton recorded the highest sale at $21,750,000 for a 6-bedroom house built in 2015 with a home theater, dining terrace and formal entry.

Sunday, 8:06 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Menlo Park man arrested in suspected DUI crash

A Menlo Park man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early Saturday (Nov. 30) after flipping a car on a ramp to U.S. Highway 101 in Redwood City, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Saturday, 9:42 AM | 7 comments
Esther Litton celebrates 100th birthday, enthusiastically

To celebrate a century of life, about 50 friends and relatives of former Portola Valley resident Esther Litton gathered at Parkside Grille last month for a birthday party.

Saturday, 9:16 AM | 1 comment

Friday, November 29, 2019

Willows toy drive effort in full gear; volunteers needed

Willows neighborhood residents have again organized a toy drive to benefit children in the Ravenswood City School District, which includes Belle Haven School in Menlo Park.

Friday, 1:56 PM | No comments yet
First Person: My mother's house

Menlo Park novelist Donia Bijan pays tribute to her mother, who "lived for giving."

Friday, 10:00 AM | No comments yet
'An uphill battle': How retailers in Menlo Park are preparing to attract holiday shoppers

Throughout downtown Menlo Park, retailers are bracing for the holiday shopping season. As they face increasing competition from online retailers, local businesses are coming up with ways to attract shoppers.

Friday, 9:27 AM | 10 comments

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Portola Valley School District parcel tax renewal on March ballot

The Portola Valley School District board passed a resolution on Nov. 20 to put renewal of the parcel tax on the March ballot, according to Superintendent Roberta Zarea.

Thursday, 9:12 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Portola Valley faces quandary over potential affordable housing sites

An ad hoc committee formed to evaluate Portola Valley properties that could be used for building affordable housing has passed along its findings to the Town Council, according to the vice chairman of the committee.

Wednesday, 8:32 PM | 1 comment
Rainy-day exit for Guild marquee

The Guild Theatre marquee was removed, on this rainy morning, from its longtime perch, affixed to the old El Camino Real movie house that will soon be converted into a live music venue operated by the nonprofit Peninsula Arts Guild.

Wednesday, 2:00 PM | 3 comments
Portola Valley district approves teacher pay increases

Portola Valley School District teachers and other certificated staff are getting pay hikes, including the potential for a bonus and a boost to overtime pay, as part of a new three-year contract approved by the school board.

Wednesday, 11:46 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Council approves revised transportation fees for new buildings

In order to support new restaurants, retail spaces and child care facilities, the Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously on Nov. 19 to lower traffic impact fees for those uses, while raising fees on office space and other uses.

Wednesday, 11:35 AM | 2 comments
Atherton police provide update on crime, license plate readers

About 80 people gathered in Atherton's Holbrook-Palmer Park Pavilion on Nov. 18 to hear updates on crime and safety as what police call "burglary season" approaches.

Wednesday, 8:41 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Portola Valley: Town to buy back leaf blowers, add church to housing program

The Portola Valley Town Council created a buyback program for gas-powered leaf blowers on Nov. 13 and added Ladera Community Church to its core group of "affiliated housing" partners.

Tuesday, 4:22 PM | No comments yet
Barber retires his clippers after decades at Ladera Country Shopper

As he gathers up his scissors, clippers and combs for the last time at Diane's Salon, Steve Cervelli has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.

Tuesday, 12:54 PM | 3 comments
Council ratifies full array of new Glens development rules

The Woodside Town Council on Nov. 19 unanimously passed the remainder of a development plan for the Glens neighborhood that the Planning Commission and planning department had been working on for more than a year.

Tuesday, 11:18 AM | No comments yet
Event spotlights Menlo Park's troubled race-based housing history

The Sequoia room at Menlo Park's Arrillaga Family Recreation Center hummed as about a hundred people in small groups discussed the racial history of zoning and housing policy in Menlo Park and other communities on Nov. 17.

Tuesday, 9:33 AM | 4 comments
It's chestnut season

In the unincorporated Santa Cruz Mountains community of La Honda, high above Woodside in southern San Mateo County, there's a 20-acre farm that nurtures a rare crop for this area: chestnuts.

Tuesday, 7:41 AM | No comments yet
Registration open for Early Learning Center preschool

Registration is now open for the 2020-21 school year at the Early Learning Center (ELC) preschool in the Menlo Park City School District.

Tuesday, 7:31 AM | No comments yet

Monday, November 25, 2019

District stops weighing rule on 'lethal removal' of mountain lions, coyotes

Activists on Friday applauded a decision by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District that eliminates the possibility of "lethal removal" of mountain lions from its lands in the South Bay.

Monday, 4:13 PM | 2 comments
Wood burning bans now in effect year-round on Spare the Air days

Wood burning bans will now be in effect year-round on Spare the Air days in the Bay Area after a vote Wednesday by the region's air quality regulatory board.

Monday, 8:06 AM | 4 comments

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Fall storm set to arrive in the Bay Area on Tuesday

The Bay Area's first fall rainstorm of the year is expected to arrive just in time for the Thanksgiving Day holiday travel period and immediately after another dry wind event, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday, 7:55 AM | No comments yet
Home sales for the week of Nov. 18

A complete list of home sales on the Midpeninsula, where Los Altos recorded the highest sale at $5,988,000 for a four-bedroom, Mediterranean-inspired home with a large garden near downtown Los Altos.

Sunday, 7:55 AM | No comments yet

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Legends Pizza Co. replaces Palo Alto Pizza Co.
By Elena Kadvany | 10 comments | 2,673 views

What is a "ton" of carbon dioxide anyway?
By Sherry Listgarten | 13 comments | 2,295 views

By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,005 views

Living as Roommates? Not Having Much Sex?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 731 views


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Almanac readers and foundations contributed over $150,000.