2006

Year in pictures

This photo of high school rodeo champion Hollie Kucera of Atherton is among the photos in a "year in pictures" package in the January 3 issue of the Almanac. The picture was taken by Almanac staff photographer Marjan Sadoughi.

December 29, 2006 | No comments yet
Large tree branch crashes down on truck

Firefighters rescue man trapped in vehicle on Willow Road
A large redwood tree branch knocked loose by wind fell on a vehicle on Willow Road in Menlo Park today (Dec. 27), trapping a man in the crushed cab of his utility truck.

December 27, 2006 | No comments yet
Town halls set holiday hours;
MP relaxes parking restrictions

A number of town halls are closed for the holidays; parking restrictions in downtown Menlo Park are relaxed; Caltrain offers extra service on New Year's Eve.

December 27, 2006 | No comments yet
Happy New Year!

The online news staff is taking a short break. See you in the new year. Shown above are members of the Almanac newspaper staff.

December 27, 2006 | No comments yet
Town halls set holiday hours;
MP relaxes parking restrictions

A number of town halls are closed for the holidays; parking restrictions in downtown Menlo Park are relaxed; Caltrain offers extra service on New Year's Eve.

December 22, 2006 | No comments yet
Season's greetings!

Happy holidays. The online news staff is taking a short break. See you in the new year. In the picture, La Entrada seventh graders, who are part of the community service club, load toys they have collected on a Menlo Park fire engine Friday, Dec. 8, at the school's playground. The toys are for the Toys for Tots program, supported by the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Almanac staff photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

December 22, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park police seek victims in fraud case

A Menlo Park woman arrested on Dec. 16 has pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzlement and theft -- crimes that police say defrauded a number of victims of more than $250,000 through a series of schemes during the last three years, and possibly more than $1 million since 1999.

December 21, 2006 | No comments yet
MP utility tax set at maximum rate
without any public discussion

Tax will be at full amount for at least three months
Without any public input or discussion by the City Council, Menlo Park's utility tax has been set at the maximum rate, and residents and businesses will be hit with the tax starting April 1.

December 21, 2006 | No comments yet
MP gunshot victims may be linked to EPA killing

Police reported Thursday that two men found suffering from gunshot wounds in Menlo Park Wednesday night are believed to be connected with a homicide that took place at an East Palo Alto restaurant earlier Wednesday evening.

December 21, 2006 | No comments yet
A few of my favorite things

A glowing tree trimmed with a photo of firefighters set the scene at the Woodside Fire Protection District's new Station 19 on Jefferson Avenue in Emerald Hills. On Wednesday night, Dec. 13, neighbors showed up for an open house/station warming party at the recently built station. Kids got to climb into a fire engine, sip hot chocolate and visit with Santa Claus amid festive decorations. Photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

December 20, 2006 | No comments yet
Moving van stuck on Old La Honda Road

Old La Honda Road in Woodside was blocked overnight from about 5 p.m. yesterday by a 16-wheel, 50-foot moving van that got stuck on a curve on the 400 block, opening to one-way traffic only at about 10 a.m. today (Dec. 19)

December 19, 2006 | No comments yet
Belle Haven parents fight
to keep child care worker

City plans to transfer her from the Belle Haven to the Burgess programs
The removal of a beloved employee from Menlo Park's Belle Haven child care program has members of the immediate community furious with the city, and ready to flex their political muscle to keep the community's programs as is.

December 19, 2006 | No comments yet
M-A theater supporters beat up
Atherton council over lawsuit

They say lawsuit makes the town look
A group of Menlo-Atherton High School supporters, upset over the lawsuit Atherton filed last month against the school's performing arts center project, gave the Atherton City Council a tongue-lashing at its Dec. 13 meeting.

December 19, 2006 | No comments yet
Sequoia board poised to buy church site
to house Summit charter high school

Members of the Sequoia high school district board are poised this week to authorize spending $5.9 million in bond funds to buy a church in Redwood City that the district hopes to tear down to make room for Summit charter high school.

December 18, 2006 | No comments yet
Student who brings pellet gun to school is suspended

A Woodside High School student has been suspended and is in Hillcrest Juvenile Facility in Belmont after an unloaded pellet gun that resembled a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun was found in his backpack Dec. 6.

December 18, 2006 | No comments yet
Summit Prep, high school district square off over charter renewal

A tense relationship shows no sign of easing
The tension just won't go away between Summit Preparatory Charter High School, which is set to graduate its first class of seniors in June, and the school's new sponsor, the Sequoia Union High School District.

December 17, 2006 | No comments yet
MP city hall closes next week; downtown parking restrictions relaxed

The Menlo Park city business offices in the Civic Center and Onetta Harris Community Center will be closed Dec. 22 to Jan. 1.

December 17, 2006 | No comments yet
New MP drop-off spots for donations, recycling

Drop-off spots for Goodwill donations and recyclable bottles and cans outside the Safeway on El Camino Real in Menlo Park will close, as the grocery store is being remodeled.

December 17, 2006 | No comments yet
Atherton tackles code enforcement -- when wheel squeaks

The town of Atherton's experiment in code enforcement will continue through the end of the year, but only on a complaint basis.

December 16, 2006 | No comments yet
Around Town: holiday, other activities on tap

A number of holiday and other activites are planned for this weekend and beyond at churches and theaters.

December 15, 2006 | No comments yet
Jean and Bill Lane act to preserve scenic character of Portola Valley home

In a move that Portola Valley officials hope will become a trend for owners of large land holdings in town, longtime residents Bill and Jean Lane have guaranteed that their 10 acres in the Westridge neighborhood will continue to evolve at nature's pace into perpetuity. In a 4-0 vote Dec. 13, the Town Council agreed to adopt a conservation easement to ensure that the Lanes' property will not be subdivided, graded or developed in any substantial way beyond what is already there: a one-story main house, a guest house and a stable.

December 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Derry referendum: MP council withdraws legal challenge

The Menlo Park City Council decided Tuesday to drop a legal challenge to petitions calling for an election on the Derry condo-commercial project in downtown Menlo Park.

December 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Norovirus confirmed in some residents of The Sequoias in Portola Valley

No one seriously ill, spokeswoman says; 11 of 45 have recovered
An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness is continuing at The Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley, and one or two ill residents were tested and found to be positive for norovirus, according to a spokeswoman.

December 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Update: Norovirus restrictions lifted at San Mateo Medical Center

Health officials with the San Mateo Medical Center, one of four facilities in San Mateo County being monitored for a recent outbreak of norovirus, lifted all restrictions on the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

December 13, 2006 | No comments yet
Major traffic rerouting

A water main broke last night beneath Santa Cruz Avenue, a block north of the intersection with Sand Hill Road, causing major traffic rerouting in the vicinity. The intersection is expected to be re-opened by mid-afternoon today. Almanac photo by David Boyce.

December 13, 2006 | No comments yet
Norovirus outbreak at The Sequoias:
Group dining, gathering restricted

County health department studying cause of gastrointestinal upset
As county officials attempt to manage and warn the public about the spread of norovirus in several area health and residential care facilities, the management at The Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley has closed the dining room and curtailed opportunities for community gatherings because of an outbreak of what may be a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus.

December 12, 2006 | No comments yet
Count your blessings

Everett Notaro, 6, counts pennies at a donation facility at 1135 O'Brien Drive in Menlo Park. A Menlo Park nonprofit, GotCents.org, collected 2.7 million pennies, representing the number of people in Africa diagnosed with AIDS in 2005. The money will go to help fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa, including by such organizations as the Christian charity World Vision USA. This picture was taken Dec. 2, 2006, by Almanac staff photographer Marjan Sadoughi.

December 12, 2006 | No comments yet
Study: Planting trees not enough to combat global warming

A new study released Monday by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory claims that while planting trees in some regions can help reduce global warming, planting trees in other regions can actually cause temperatures to rise, according to the laboratory's public affairs office.

December 12, 2006 | No comments yet
Stanford Shopping Center plans 11 more two-story retail buildings; five-story hotel

Some PA council members want bigger hotel
A bigger Stanford Shopping Center promises to add 240,000-square-feet of shops and a 120-room hotel -- along with more traffic and housing demands. Some Palo Alto council members indicated Monday night they would like to see an even larger hotel -- up to 250 rooms.

December 12, 2006 | No comments yet
MP auto theft leads to chase, arrests

Four juveniles, one adult attempted to flee from police
A speeding car, stolen earlier that day in Menlo Park, was pulled over by Palo Alto police officers at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, with five people fleeing from the car before they were caught and arrested.

December 10, 2006 | No comments yet
Kepler's pilots in-store movies-by-mail venture

Test collaboration with video store to showcase eclectic movie collection
An experiment involving Kepler's bookstore and a nearby video store could create a new subscription model for mail-order movies: rent them from a network of mom-and-pop video stores. Almanac staff photo by David Boyce.

December 10, 2006 | No comments yet
Property tax payments due Monday

The first installment of local property taxes is due and payable by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, according to Lee Buffington, San Mateo County tax collector and treasurer.

December 9, 2006 | No comments yet
Gun threat: Student returns to school

The seventh-grader who threatened to bring a gun to Hillview Middle School on Oct. 12 and hurt students is back in school and on a "behavioral contract."

December 9, 2006 | No comments yet
Congress passes energy-efficiency bill

A bill authored by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Atherton, designed to make computer data centers more energy efficient was passed Thursday night by the Senate.

December 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Pardon their dust

Phase one of an 11-phase remodel of the Menlo Park Safeway store at the intersection of El Camino Real and Middle Avenue is under way. The parking lot, shown here, is the first portion of the site to be dug up. Safeway says the new store is expected to open by the fall of 2007. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

December 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Selby Lane School hosts book sale

Selby Lane School in Atherton is hosting Scholastic Books' end-of-the-year warehouse sale Dec. 8-10.

December 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Josetta Walsh, co-founder of Child and Family Institute, dies at 77

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 16, for Josetta Walsh, co-founder of the Child and Family Institute in Menlo Park, who died Nov. 10. A resident of Menlo Park for more than 20 years, she was 77.

December 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Atherton passes on pledge to fight global warming

Don't expect Atherton to join the ranks of towns such as Portola Valley in pledging to reduce greenhouse gases by signing the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement, at least not anytime soon.

December 8, 2006 | No comments yet
New fire station to be unveiled Wednesday

On Wednesday, December 13, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Woodside Fire Protection District is set to hold its annual holiday open house at all three fire stations, as usual. What's new is that the just-completed station 19 on Jefferson Avenue in Emerald Hills will be open, and the special guest is Chief Mike Fuge, who recently retired after a 42-year career as a Woodside firefighter.

December 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Santa opens new fire station Wednesday

Santa's coming to a new firehouse this year. On Wednesday, December 13, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Woodside Fire Protection District is set to hold its annual holiday open house at all three fire stations, as usual. What's new is that the just-completed station 19 on Jefferson Avenue in Emerald Hills will be open.

December 8, 2006 | No comments yet
120-room hotel, 17 percent more retail planned for Stanford Shopping Center

Monday PA council session will outline expansion plans
A hotel proposed for Stanford Shopping Center would have 120 rooms -- smaller than most nearby hotels -- according to a staff report for the Palo Alto City Council's Dec. 11 study session on the expansion of the center. Shopping center owner Simon Property Group, Inc. has proposed the hotel and 240,000 additional square feet of retail.

December 7, 2006 | No comments yet
New hotel at Stanford Shopping Center?

Hotel is part of 250,000-square-foot expansion plan
A 100-plus room hotel -- most likely situated along El Camino Real near Quarry Road -- is part of a major expansion plan for the Stanford Shopping Center.

December 6, 2006 | No comments yet
Fergusson named MP mayor

Brainstorming session set for Saturday
Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson was unanimously named the new mayor of Menlo Park on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

December 6, 2006 | No comments yet
Big changes ahead for Hillview school

Enrollment at middle school projected to grow 38 percent by 2014
Major changes are ahead for Hillview Middle School as the Menlo Park City School District confronts a projected 38 percent leap in enrollment by 2014. The school district board will hold the first of three meetings on Hillview's future at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the school library at 1100 Elder Ave. in Menlo Park.

December 5, 2006 | No comments yet
Fergusson: 'I'm optimistic we can come together'

MP council plans a 'One Menlo Park' reception tonight
The stage may be set for a contentious Menlo Park City Council meeting tonight, but Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson said she hopes two events -- a "One Menlo Park" reception tonight and a "brainstorming session" Saturday -- will help heal the city's political divisions.

December 5, 2006 | No comments yet
Will it be a fight to the bitter end?

Bickering over agenda may lead to run-in tonight
A new Menlo Park City Council is poised to take office on Dec. 5, but even as the new leaders promise a renewal of consensus and civility in the council chambers, current council members may have one last fight left in them.

December 5, 2006 | No comments yet
Fixing Dumbarton Bridge traffic jams

Public comment sought at meeting this week
Anyone who lives or works near the streets that feed cars onto the Dumbarton Bridge is probably painfully aware of the traffic that frequently jams the area. For those who'd like to do more than just complain, there's a meeting this Thursday to get citizen input on long-term traffic solutions. The first Menlo Park meeting of the "Dumbarton Dialogue Project" is scheduled for Dec. 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Onetta Harris Community Center at 100 Terminal Ave.

December 4, 2006 | No comments yet
State council adopts strategic plan for courts

A state council that sets policy for California's court system has launched a new strategic plan for the state's trial and appeal courts for the next six years.

December 4, 2006 | No comments yet
New president named at College of San Mateo

A former San Mateo County Community College District student has been named the ninth president of College of San Mateo, the school's board of trustees has announced.

December 4, 2006 | No comments yet
Post office prepares for 'Dear Santa' letters

While Santa is rumored to have elves helping him with the gifts he leaves for children under Christmas trees aplenty, postal workers at 325 S. Santa Claus Lane in North Pole, Alaska, also find themselves doing his bidding each year, postmarking and moving letters the white-haired gentleman neglected.

December 4, 2006 | No comments yet
Samaritan House seeks 200 bikes for kids

The Samaritan House, a San Mateo charity, is asking for donations of new or used bicycles to give as holiday gifts for low-income children and adults in San Mateo County.

December 4, 2006 | No comments yet
African children have
a friend in Portola Valley

Chris Bradshaw helps create new village libraries
Portola Valley resident Chris Bradshaw heads the African Library Project, a two-year-old effort to enlist volunteers to gather and ship boxes of children's books to impoverished and isolated African villages.

December 3, 2006 | No comments yet
County seeks public input on court improvements

San Mateo County Superior Court judges are working to enhance court services to county residents through an online survey now available to the public.

December 3, 2006 | No comments yet
Woodside jockey Baze sets record

Woodside's Russell Baze rode into history Friday as the all-time winningest jockey in thoroughbred horse racing, notching his 9,531st victory at Bay Meadows Racetrack in San Mateo. In the fourth race of the day, Baze rode 4-year-old filly Butterfly Belle triumphantly past the finish line at 2:19 p.m., officially surpassing Laffit Pincay Jr., whose mark of 9,530 career wins had lasted for the past seven years.

December 1, 2006 | No comments yet
Health care reform, including single-payer
system, focus of Saturday forum in Menlo Park

Health care reform, including proposals for a single-payer universal health care system, will be the topic of a program on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the meeting room of the Menlo Park Public Library, 800 Alma St.

November 30, 2006 | No comments yet
No more MP service cuts, fee increases?

Passage of utility tax may give council that option
With the passage of the Menlo Park utility tax, Measure K on the Nov. 7 ballot, Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson says she is "very hopeful" the council can avoid further service cuts and fee increases.

November 30, 2006 | No comments yet
What a way to start a day

Local residents enjoy a morning hike at Windy Hill open space preserve. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

November 30, 2006 | No comments yet
Trial date set for MP antique shop owner accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl

A trial date of April 30 was set Tuesday for an 87-year-old Menlo Park antique store owner accused of molesting a young girl in his store in July.

November 29, 2006 | No comments yet
New contract for 3,500 SM County workers

After more than three months of negotiations, San Mateo County and union officials confirmed Wednesday that they have reached an agreement for a new contract for about 3,500 county workers.

November 29, 2006 | No comments yet
M-A High Thespian Society stages 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' this week

The Menlo-Atherton High School's Thespian Society will stage "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," a play by Tennessee Williams, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in the Black Box Theatre (Room C-16) at M-A High in Atherton.

November 29, 2006 | No comments yet
Derry referendum: Parties keep talking

Council decides to check validity of referendum signatures
The developer of the proposed "Derry" condo-commercial project in downtown Menlo Park and the leader of the referendum drive against the project are still negotiating a compromise, and they aren't letting anyone -- including the City Council -- in on the details of their discussions.

November 29, 2006 | No comments yet
Key meetings set on expanding,
rebuilding Hillview Middle School

School board expects to make decision by March
The Menlo Park City School District has some big decisions to make about how to expand or rebuild the Hillview Middle School campus to accommodate an expected 40 percent enrollment growth by 2015. Three board meetings are planned, the first on Dec. 6.

November 29, 2006 | No comments yet
MP council OKs tax-sharing deal with GM

GM will decide by Jan. 15 whether to build auto mall
The Menlo Park City Council votes 5-0 to support a tax-sharing agreement with General Motors as part of a plan to build an auto mall on Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road.

November 29, 2006 | No comments yet
Meeting Dec. 6 on Hillview Middle School expansion plan

November 28, 2006 | No comments yet
YMCA Camp to hold meeting Sunday
on controversial logging proposal

Notices have sprouted on the post offices in La Honda and Loma Mar announcing that the San Francisco YMCA will be holding a public information meeting to explain and update its proposal to harvest timber on its Camp Jones Gulch property.

November 27, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park stabbing victims
released from hospital

Two people who were left lying on a sidewalk with critical stab wounds on Nov. 16 "have been released from the hospital and are recovering," said Sgt. Jim Simpson of the Menlo Park Police Department.

November 24, 2006 | No comments yet
UPDATE: Atherton sues high school
district, but wants to continue talking

School district needs to study environmental impacts, town insists
Although the town of Atherton has sued to stop the construction of a $26 million performing arts center at Menlo-Atherton High School, the town is still interested in talking with the high school district and with the city of Menlo Park, which plans to share use of the theater, Atherton's mayor says.

November 21, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park's Measure K utility tax passes

Final count shows tax supported by 50.3 percent of voters
Although early, incomplete election tallies had Menlo Park's utility tax measure losing, the measure has won by a narrow margin, according to final election results released by San Mateo County at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21.

November 21, 2006 | No comments yet
Stabbing victims expected to pull through

Two people who were left lying on a sidewalk with critical stab wounds on Thursday, Nov. 16, are "expected to pull through," said Sgt. Jim Simpson of the Menlo Park Police Department.

November 21, 2006 | No comments yet
Atherton sues high school district
over M-A's plans for theater

The town of Atherton has sued the local high school district in an attempt to stop the construction of a performing arts center on the campus of Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton.

November 21, 2006 | No comments yet
Stanford plans major changes in hospitals

A proposal to tear down most of Stanford Hospital and replace it with a new building will be discussed in a study session by the Palo Alto City Council at 6 p.m. tonight. A major expansion is also planned for the adjacent Lucile Packard Children's Hospital that would nearly double its number of beds.

November 20, 2006 | No comments yet
Man, woman critical after Menlo Park stabbing

A man and a woman were found stabbed in Menlo Park Thursday evening and remained in critical condition at an area hospital as of 3:22 a.m. Friday, Sgt. Sharon Kaufman said.

November 17, 2006 | No comments yet
MP declares impasse in labor negotiations

City calls for mediator; union calls city's action 'strange'
The city of Menlo Park declared an impasse Friday in contract negotiations with the union representing 145 non-safety employees.

November 17, 2006 | No comments yet
GM still set on auto mall in Menlo Park

Council will consider tax-sharing agreement Nov. 28
Although an auto mall proposed by General Motors for an east Menlo Park site may still be 18 to 24 months away from being built, the automaker is still set on moving forward with the project.

November 17, 2006 | No comments yet
MP utility tax measure now ahead in vote count

Measure K could generate $2.5 million a year
Measure K, the Menlo Park utility tax measure that looked all but defeated, is now ahead in the polls, according to election results updated by San Mateo County at 3 p.m., Thursday.

November 16, 2006 | No comments yet
School board seeks $115 parcel tax increase

Las Lomitas board puts tax measure on March ballot
A measure to increase the annual parcel tax by $115 will be on the March 2007 ballot in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District, located in western Menlo Park, Ladera and parts of Atherton.

November 16, 2006 | No comments yet
Three local teams host playoffs Saturday

Menlo-Atherton's defense tries to stop Woodside's Spencer Sarver during last Saturday's game at M-A. Woodside won, 42-20. (Photo by Norbert von der Groeben/Palo Alto Weekly)

November 16, 2006 | No comments yet
Caltrans opens bids on Devil's Slide tunnel

The California Department of Transportation opened the bidding process Tuesday for potential builders of a tunnel under Montara Mountain on the coast of San Mateo County that would serve as a bypass to the closure-plagued Devil's Slide area on state Highway 1.

November 15, 2006 | No comments yet
Sentencing delayed for Woodside coach accused of molestation

The sentencing of a Woodside High School girls' basketball coach who pleaded no contest to charges of child molestation was postponed Wednesday in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City to allow time to review an additional psychiatric evaluation, according to a probation report received by the court.

November 15, 2006 | No comments yet
Bay Area home sales at five-year low

Home sales in the Bay Area were much slower this October than at the same time last year, part of a trend that has buyers and sellers waiting to see how the housing market turns, a national real estate information service reported.

November 15, 2006 | No comments yet
Derry referendum: Contending parties negotiate

MP council delays action in hope a deal can be struck
The developer of the proposed "Derry" condo-commercial project in downtown Menlo Park and the leader of a referendum drive against the project are in negotiations with the aim of hammering out a compromise, the Menlo Park City Council learned Tuesday night.

November 15, 2006 | No comments yet
MP council approves 33 Willow Road homes

Despite opposition from neighbors, a proposal to build 33 detached three- and four-bedroom homes in Menlo Park's Linfield Oaks neighborhood was approved 3-2 by the Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday night.

November 15, 2006 | No comments yet
Willow Road homes head to City Council tonight

A proposal to build 33 detached three- and four-bedroom homes in Menlo Park's Linfield Oaks neighborhood is scheduled to be heard by the City Council at its meeting tonight (Nov. 14).

November 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo girls reach CCS tennis finals

Knights will have opportunity to defend their title on Wednesday
The Menlo School girls' tennis team will have the opportunity to defend its Central Coast Section championship, thanks to a nail-biting 4-3 victory over Mitty on Tuesday at the Courtside Tennis Club in Los Gatos.
The second-seeded Knights (20-5) will face the winner of Tuesday's other semifinal that matched No. 1 Monta Vista against No. 5 Sacred Heart Prep.

November 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Retiree health coverage key issue
in SM County, union contract talks

San Mateo County and union officials will continue talks over the next two days in the hope of resolving negotiations on a new contract for some 3,500 county workers, county and union officials confirmed Monday. Both sides agreed the main sticking point in negotiations is retirement health coverage.

November 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Las Lomitas board may seek parcel tax boost

Board president says $200 hike needed to avoid program cuts
The Board of Trustees of the Las Lomitas Elementary School District will meet Wednesday, Nov. 15, to consider authorizing a ballot measure to increase the parcel tax in a March 2007 election.

November 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Election official: SM County e-voting a success

As San Mateo County elections officials continue to tally absentee and provisional ballots from the Nov. 7 election, early reports on the county's new electronic voting machines are favorable, according to Elections Manager David Tom.

November 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Football: Woodside, M-A, Menlo enter playoffs

They all host first-round CCS games Saturday
With visiting Woodside's 42-20 defeat of Menlo-Atherton in high school football Saturday, the teams finished tied for second place in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division, earning automatic berths into the Central Coast Section playoffs. The two teams, plus Menlo School, will host first-round playoff games this weekend.

November 13, 2006 | No comments yet
Hearing Thursday on Dumbarton rail project

People interested in future rail service across San Francisco Bay along the old Dumbarton tracks, between Redwood City and Union City, may learn about the project and submit comments at a public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 16, in Menlo Park.

November 11, 2006 | No comments yet
Enough signatures on Derry referendum petition; challenge may derail effort

Signatures on petitions calling for a public vote on the City Council-approved Derry condominium-commercial project on El Camino Real in Menlo Park are valid and sufficient in number, the city clerk announced yesterday, leading the way for the council to take up the issue at its Nov. 14 meeting.

November 10, 2006 | No comments yet
SM County would have elected Angelides

Also, cigarette and oil tax would have passed
If San Mateo County voters had their way, Phil Angelides would be the next governor of California, and there would be hefty new taxes on cigarettes and oil extraction.

November 10, 2006 | No comments yet
FOOTBALL: M-A and Menlo need to win finales

Both can wrap up division co-championships this week
It was a wacky weekend for local prep football teams in a variety of action that included a massive amounts of points and yardage, big plays, heartbreak and controversy. In the end, Menlo School was the big winner with its most important victory in years, while Menlo-Atherton and Sacred Heart Prep suffered setbacks that were simply painful.

November 9, 2006 | No comments yet
Rich, Child and Fitz easily win Menlo Park school board seats

Laura Rich, Jeffrey Child and Deborah Fitz easily won the three open seats on the five-member Menlo Park City School District Board.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Hickey stays, Oblak loses seat on health care district board

San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley was aiming to send Sequoia Healthcare District board member Jack Hickey packing when he decided to run for a seat on the board. Instead, he is likely to have nudged incumbent John Oblak off the board.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
State voters defeat eminent domain proposition

Proposition 90, an initiative to reform eminent domain law that opponents said would have had devastating impacts on local land-use authority, was defeated Tuesday by California voters.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Challengers celebrate

Menlo Park City Council candidates challenging the incumbent slate celebrate the election returns Tuesday night showing two of them -- Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline -- in the lead. From left, the candidates are Cline, Vincent Bressler and Robinson. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
SM County parks tax fails to get 2/3rds support

San Mateo County Measure A, which would have raised the sales tax by 1/8-cent, won the support of 55 percent of voters, but it wasn't enough. With all 199 precincts reporting, the yes vote fell short of the required two-thirds voter approval to pass.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
MP utility tax measure fails in close vote

Menlo Park voters have defeated Measure K, a proposal to allow the city to levy a utility tax.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
MP voters reject sports fields at Bayfront Park

Menlo Park voters have soundly defeated Measure J, which dealt with building sports fields at Bayfront Park.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Robinson, Cline, Boyle elected to MP council

Bad night for incumbents, who finished last
Heyward Robinson, Richard Cline and John Boyle have been elected to the Menlo Park City Council, according to the final unofficial election results reported at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, with all 30 precincts reporting.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Close race for health care district board;
Horsley holds his lead

San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley maintains a small lead in the race for three seats on the Sequoia Healthcare District board, with slightly more than half the precincts counted.

November 8, 2006 | No comments yet
Horsley leads in health care district race

San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley is leading in the race for three seats on the Sequoia Healthcare District board, early election returns show.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
PV, fire district measures pass

Voters heavily endorsing Portola Valley's utility tax, fire district measure
Portola Valley's Measure F and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District's Measure O won by wide margins of approval, the county reports.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
MP school board: three coasting to victory

Laura Rich, Jeffrey Child and Deborah Fitz appear to be coasting to victory for the three open seats on the five-member Menlo Park City School District Board.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
Prospects not good for county's Measure A
-- sales tax boost for parks

San Mateo County Measure A, which would raise the sales tax by 1/8-cent, is winning a majority of votes, early election returns show, but the support falls far short of the two-thirds voter approval it needs.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
Horsley leading in health care district race

San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley has taken the lead in the race for three seats on the Sequoia Healthcare District board, early election returns show. But the night is still young.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
Learning to vote at Encinal School

Woodside High school senior Beatriz Sandoval, right, explains the new voting process to Tracy Hass of Atherton at the Encinal School polling place today. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
MP utility tax still trails, but gain in latest count

UPDATE: 12:38 a.m.
Measure K, a proposal to allow the city of Menlo Park to levy a utility tax, is trailing with 19 of 30 precincts reporting, but the percentage of yes votes continues to climb. That percentage has grown from 44 percent when the first returns were announced at 8 p.m. Tuesday to 49 percent with the latest result at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
Voters rejecting MP's Measure J,
sports fields at Bayfront Park

UPDATE: 12:38 a.m.
Voters are rejecting Menlo Park's Measure J, dealing with sports fields at Bayfront Park. With 19 of 30 precincts reporting, the no vote is 61 percent. As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, the count is 3,445 no votes and 2,248 yes votes.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
MP council: Robinson, Cline, Boyle maintain lead

UPDATE: 12:37 a.m.
Heyward Robinson, Richard Cline and John Boyle lead in the Menlo Park City Council race, with 19 of 30 precincts reporting as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
Election returns: how results will be released

It may be a long wait for those following San Mateo County election results tonight, but the Almanac Online will keep you company with updated stories and tallies.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
Answers to frequently asked election questions

Secretary of State Bruce McPherson answers frequently asked questions about the Nov. 7 election.

November 7, 2006 | No comments yet
Measure A campaign raises almost $200,000

The campaign to pass Measure A, the 1/8 cent sales tax for parks in San Mateo County and its cities, had raised $191,736 as of Oct. 21, according to campaign finance reports filed by Parks for the Future.

November 6, 2006 | No comments yet
O’Brien Group spends big to fight referendum

The O'Brien Group, the Derry project developer, has raised a total of $84,147 and spent $41,728 to defeat a referendum against the project, according to the latest campaign finance statements.

November 6, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park election: More money reported from union, developers, real estate interests

Union spending hits $22,000; Boyle, Duboc,
Winkler collect another $3,000 each

A local union is spending big to oust Menlo Park City Council candidates Lee Duboc and Mickie Winkler, as the two candidates and their ally, John Boyle, cumulatively received another $9,000 from developers, real estate interests and a retired auto dealership president.

November 6, 2006 | No comments yet
Challenge to Derry referendum?

Developer may argue referendum signatures are invalid
In an effort to halt a referendum campaign against the Menlo Park "Derry" condo-commercial project, the developer behind the project may challenge the validity of the signature drive.

November 6, 2006 | No comments yet
Another mean weed is spreading along streets, roads and trails

Meet Dittrichia graviolens, a.k.a. stinkwort. This latest foreign weed, a European aster, is spreading like wildfire along streets and roads and trails and yards -- anywhere the ground has been disturbed, warns local weed wizard Paul Heiple of Ladera.

November 5, 2006 | No comments yet
Sudden Oak Death spreads along Skyline

‘We can’t stand there and let the trees die’
Sudden Oak Death (SOD) has killed more than a million oak and tanoak trees in Northern California and Oregon over the last decade, including hundreds of trees in preserves of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

November 5, 2006 | No comments yet
PV, Woodside may get $2 million from county

San Mateo County offers the money to settle a property tax dispute
Large checks from the San Mateo County treasury will be forthcoming to four towns -- including Portola Valley and Woodside -- if their respective town councils agree to settle a year-long dispute with the county over property tax revenues the towns say they are owed.

November 5, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo-Atherton's perfect football season ends

Bears fall into a two-way tie for first after 27-22 loss to Aragon
Menlo-Atherton's perfect football season came to an end on Saturday with a 27-22 loss to host Aragon in a key PAL Bay Division game. The Bears (5-1, 8-1) and Dons (6-1, 7-2) are now tied for the division lead. Aragon has finished its regular season, but Menlo-Atherton still must host Woodside next Saturday and win that game to earn a co-championship with Aragon.

November 5, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo School in wild 51-41 football victory

In a wild game that lasted over three hours and finished in the dark, the Menlo School football team kept its PAL Ocean Division co-title hopes alive and a possible postseason berth intact with a 51-41 victory over host Carlmont on Friday afternoon.

November 4, 2006 | No comments yet
Hundreds of high school students help out as poll workers

About 500 high school seniors and 2,000 other poll workers will be staffing precincts in San Mateo County on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

November 4, 2006 | No comments yet
MP man sentenced to four years in prison

Jordan Middle School teacher pleaded no contest to child molestation
Former Jordan Middle School teacher and coach Bill Giordano, a resident of Menlo Park, was sentenced to four years in prison this morning for having sexual relations with a young girl from 1991 to 1994.

November 3, 2006 | No comments yet
Get election night results, stories here

Check here for election night results and stories on races and measures in the Almanac's circulation area.

November 3, 2006 | No comments yet
Draggin' his tail

Music specialist Richard Vaughan, in an extremely large dragon costume, directs the Hillview Middle School band as it leads the Menlo Park Halloween parade down Santa Cruz Avenue last Saturday. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

November 2, 2006 | No comments yet
Humane society program offers 'urban wildlife' tips

The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA will present an informational program, "Living with Urban Wildlife," on Sunday, Nov. 5.

November 2, 2006 | No comments yet
Candidates defend contributions from developers, unions

Candidates in the Menlo Park City Council election say they see no problem with their receiving support and donations from developers with projects before the city and from city employee unions that negotiate contracts with the council.

November 2, 2006 | No comments yet
Portola Valley group stages ‘Laramie Project’

Celebrated play is about young victim of a hate crime
Actors in the Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory's production of "The Laramie Project" are, from left, Sheryl Abbott, Barbara Evans, Max Ball, Sally Pfleiderer, Diane Rezendes, and, center front, Ryan Pfleiderer.

November 1, 2006 | No comments yet
Around Town: Bellarmine fashion show Nov. 10

Susan Olson, left, and Sharon Winnike, both of Menlo Park, are members of the fashion show committee for Bellarmine College Preparatory's annual benefit on Nov. 10.

November 1, 2006 | No comments yet
Track your absentee ballot

San Mateo County voters mailing in absentee ballots before election day next Tuesday can determine whether their ballot has been received by the elections office through the office's Web site, shapethefuture.org.

November 1, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park-based Women Donors Network
promotes integrity in voting process

A full-page ad in the local and national editions of the Oct. 30 New York Times has taken the lid off a quiet Menlo Park phenomenon: women of means are putting their heads and their resources together to support progressive causes.

November 1, 2006 | No comments yet
Sweet time in Menlo Park

Amanda Foster, left, enjoys the sweet taste of candies she gathered with Sarah Foster at the Halloween party in Menlo Park last Saturday. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

October 31, 2006 | No comments yet
Woodside boosts pension benefits for town staff

The town of Woodside is jumping on the enriched-retirement bandwagon a bit late. At a time when many agencies in the state are wringing their hands about the high costs of employee pension benefits granted when the economy was booming, the Woodside Town Council just authorized an increase in the town's relatively modest retiree benefits.

October 31, 2006 | No comments yet
Woodside woman pleads guilty to bank fraud

Vivian Michelle Titus of Woodside, a former banking executive charged with bank fraud and embezzlement of $700,000, has pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud.

October 31, 2006 | No comments yet
Trial delayed in Menlo Park crash that killed Tongan royal couple

The trial of Edith Delgado, an 18-year-old Redwood City woman accused of causing a highway car crash in Menlo Park that killed three people, including two members of the Tongan royal family, will be delayed until next year. A defense motion to postpone the trial was granted Monday by a San Mateo County Superior Court judge.

October 31, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park council race: Donors named

Below are the donations of $200 or more listed on the six Menlo Park City Council candidates' campaign finance report forms filed last week. The reports document contributions to candidates from Oct. 1 to Oct. 27. Donations already mentioned in this week's Almanac stories are not listed. The candidates are listed in ballot order.

October 31, 2006 | No comments yet
David Bohannon: MP City Council is 'bipolar'

He donates $2,000 to each candidate instead of backing one side
Rather than siding with one of the two political camps vying to win a majority of seats on the Menlo Park City Council, influential developer David Bohannon is writing checks across the board.

October 31, 2006 | No comments yet
Deadline to request absentee ballot by mail

Today -- Oct. 31 -- is the last day to request, by mail or fax, an absentee ballot to vote in the Nov. 7 election, says Warren Slocum, San Mateo County's chief elections officer.

October 31, 2006 | No comments yet
Union reports spending $7,400 on Menlo Park council election

City employees union backs Cline and Robinson
The San Mateo County Central Labor Council has spent about $7,400 campaigning for and against Menlo Park council candidates, according to finance reports filed with the California Secretary of State's office in Sacramento.

October 29, 2006 | No comments yet
MP council race: Developers write checks for 'incumbent' slate: Duboc, Winkler, Boyle

The second wave of campaign finance reports shows development and real estate interests -- including a developer with a project set to go before the council next year -- writing big checks to keep the current Menlo Park City Council majority in power.

October 29, 2006 | No comments yet
Vote early, not often

Elections offices open Saturday for voting
San Mateo County elections offices will be open Saturday, November 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for voting.

October 29, 2006 | No comments yet
CHP: Halloween is most dangerous night of the year for children to walk

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds parents and children to walk with awareness and be seen this Halloween. Because the daylight-saving time change occurs two days before Halloween, children will be trick-or-treating in the dark, when it's harder for drivers to see them.

October 29, 2006 | No comments yet
FOOTBALL: M-A Bears alone in first place

M-A beats Terra Nova; Woodside falls to Aragon
Facing the possibility of actually missing the Central Coast Section playoffs had they dropped their final three games, the Menlo-Atherton Bears (5-0, 8-0) clinched one of the three automatic CCS berths in the PAL Bay Division with a 19-9 triumph over Terra Nova at Sequoia High on Friday night.

October 28, 2006 | No comments yet
MP commission OKs Willow Road home building

The 33 detached houses will sell for $1 million to $2 million
A proposal to build 33 detached three- and four-bedroom homes in Menlo Park's Linfield Oaks neighborhood won the support of the Planning Commission on Oct. 23.

October 28, 2006 | No comments yet
Portola Valley sounds alarm on Proposition 90

All five members of the Portola Valley Town Council fear that Proposition 90, if it passes, threatens the ability of the Town Council to protect the community and carry out the wishes of its residents.

October 28, 2006 | No comments yet
M-A girls' tennis team may go undefeated

Key playoff match today against Hillsdale High
The girls varsity tennis team at Menlo-Atherton High School may cap its season with an undefeated record this year if it wins against Hillsdale High on Friday afternoon in Burlingame. The playoff match begins at 3:15 p.m.

October 27, 2006 | No comments yet
Mary Draeger, widow of grocery store founder, dies at 82

Mary Antonette Draeger of Hillsborough died Oct. 22 after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. She was 82. For 56 years Ms. Draeger was married to Frank Draeger, founder of Menlo Park's popular Draeger's market. Mr. Draeger died July 2, 2005.

October 26, 2006 | No comments yet
Flu bug cuts short school field trip

Of 83 students, about 25 percent get the flu
Corte Madera School's annual fourth-grade field trip to the Gold Country was cut short Wednesday because a stomach flu bug “marched" through the group of students, teachers and parents, causing students and adults to become sick.

October 26, 2006 | No comments yet
Preparing for disaster: search teams practice rescue operations

About 100 firefighters, structural engineers and crane riggers will be involved in rescue-training scenarios over the next three days at the Menlo Park Fire Protection District's Baylands Structural Collapse Training Center near the Dumbarton Bridge.

October 26, 2006 | No comments yet
MP board changes school grade levels

Changes will go into effect in the fall of 2008
Trustees of the Menlo Park City School District unanimously decided Wednesday night to change the grade configuration of two of its three elementary schools, beginning in the fall of 2008.

October 26, 2006 | No comments yet
WATER POLO: Menlo School
surprises with 18-1 record

Young Knights finish third in state-level North-South Challenge
Menlo goes 3-1 last weekend against some of the best teams in California. "It's a real testament to this group," said head coach Jack Bowen, who enjoyed his best finish ever in a state-level competition.

October 26, 2006 | No comments yet
Portola Valley man charged with bank fraud

Dennis Di Ricco of Portola Valley has been indicted on charges of bank fraud and money laundering in connection with a car business he helped to manage, federal prosecutors said.

October 26, 2006 | No comments yet
Do Menlo Park residents still want a new gym?

Residents asked to prioritize recreation spending
Parks and recreation commissioners set a tentative schedule of public workshops so residents can either confirm the need for a new gym, or tell commissioners that other recreation projects " such as building new playing fields or renovating the Burgess Recreation Center " are more pressing.

October 26, 2006 | No comments yet
Tip-a-Cop at Buck’s of Woodside Thursday

Members of the San Mateo Sheriff's Office will wait tables at Buck's restaurant in Woodside on Thursday morning, a benefit for Special Olympics.

October 25, 2006 | No comments yet
County workers rally for new contract

San Mateo County government employees will rally at the County Center in Redwood City Thursday afternoon in an effort to stave off a "looming labor crisis,'' union officials said Wednesday.

October 25, 2006 | No comments yet
Halloween hi-jinks start Saturday

Menlo Park's annual Halloween parade and carnival takes place this Saturday, Oct. 28, between 11:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. -- one of several Halloween events planned in our communities.

October 25, 2006 | No comments yet
‘Rain Forest’ book fair at Oak Knoll School

Come visit Oak Knoll Elementary School's annual Scholastic Book Fair now through Friday, Oct. 27. The multi-purpose room has been transformed into a magical “Reading Rain Forest" with exotic species of books for adventurers of all ages.

October 24, 2006 | No comments yet
Atherton OKs building department overhaul

The reconstruction of the troubled Atherton Building Department is under way, as the City Council authorized an array of actions, including staffing changes and new software.

October 24, 2006 | No comments yet
New suitor for Steve Jobs’ historic house

The 17,000-square-foot Woodside mansion was built in 1926
A new suitor is offering to take the massive, historic Jackling house in Woodside off of Steve Jobs' hands.

October 24, 2006 | No comments yet
Decision time nears for Menlo Park schools

Superintendent to make recommendations at key meeting Wednesday
Recommendations for changing grade configurations for the Menlo Park City School District's elementary schools are scheduled to be presented Wednesday, Oct. 25, at a 7 p.m. special meeting in the multi-purpose room at Encinal School, 195 Encinal Ave. in Atherton.

October 24, 2006 | No comments yet
M-A defeats Terra Nova 19-9

Woodside falls to Taragon, 24-14
The Menlo-Atherton Bears football team defeated Terra Nova Friday night, 19-9, at Sequoia High.
The Bears are now 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the PAL Bay Division.
In another contest Friday, Aragon defeated Woodside, 24-14.

October 23, 2006 | No comments yet
SETI opens new Mountain View center

The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Silicon Valley has opened the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe.

October 23, 2006 | No comments yet
Teen health van marks 10th anniversary

A mobile van that offers free examinations and medicine to homeless and uninsured youth observed its 10th anniversary recently, with organizers citing thousands of Bay Area kids helped.

October 22, 2006 | No comments yet
County names Human Services Agency director

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will make official the appointment of a new San Mateo County Human Services Agency director at its regular meeting Tuesday.

October 22, 2006 | No comments yet
Helicopter transports motorcycle-crash victim

An air ambulance was transporting the victim of a solo motorcycle crash in rural San Mateo County today, according to a California Highway Patrol officer.

October 22, 2006 | No comments yet
MP council candidates report campaign finances

The first campaign finance reports of the Menlo Park City Council election show certain organizations and residents lined up behind one or the other camp of candidates running for three open seats on the council.

October 22, 2006 | No comments yet
Vote by mail, election official urges

Ballot is long; voters need time to make choices, he says
San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum is urging voters to consider signing up to vote by mail because of the long Nov. 7 ballot.

October 22, 2006 | No comments yet
Surveillance cameras OK’d for high schools

Cameras are intended to detect and prevent violence
The Sequoia high school district's Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the installation of surveillance cameras in local public high schools, including Menlo-Atherton and Woodside.

October 21, 2006 | No comments yet
Deal close to expand Stanford Park Hotel

Hotel plans conference room, parking on former Chevrolet lot
Stanford Management Co. is close to a deal with Fort Lauderdale-based Auto Nation to buy out the remaining years of the auto conglomerate's lease of a Menlo Park site in order to expand the Stanford Park Hotel, a Stanford official said Friday.

October 21, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park pool rally turns into shouting match

Accusations fly between political camps in Menlo Park council race
A gathering Thursday that started as a rally in support of a private company's operation of Menlo Park's Burgess Aquatics Center quickly transformed into a scene more common among bickering third-graders than grown adults.

October 20, 2006 | No comments yet
Steep rise in residential foreclosure notices

Residential foreclosure activity in California reached the highest level in more than four years during the quarter ending in September, a real estate information service reported. In San Mateo County, lending institutions sent 288 foreclosure notices to homeowners, up 71 percent from the year-ago quarter, DataQuick Information Systems reported.

October 20, 2006 | No comments yet
Carly Fiorina at Kepler’s tonight

She tells about her sudden firing as CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will be at Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park at 7:30 p.m. tonight to talk about her new book, “Tough Choices."

October 20, 2006 | No comments yet
Black cats up for adoption in San Mateo County

The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA is actively seeking trustworthy feline-lovers to adopt black cats, bucking what they claim is many shelters' yearly October practice to prevent people from taking in the creatures often abused around Halloween.

October 19, 2006 | No comments yet
School district may seek $115 tax hike

Board president: 'It's substantially less than we need'
Voters in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District are likely to have an opportunity in March to decide whether to raise their annual $196 school parcel tax by $115.

October 19, 2006 | No comments yet
SPORTS: M-A hosts Half Moon Bay Friday

Bears, 6-0 overall, lead PAL Bay Division
With four weeks left in the regular season, the Menlo-Atherton high football team is 3-0 in the Pacific Athletic League Bay Division and 6-0 overall. Ranked No. 15 in the CCS, M-A will try to keep its winning streak intact by hosting Half Moon Bay on Friday at 3 p.m.

October 19, 2006 | No comments yet
Jackie Speier predicts big trouble if Proposition 90 passes

If voters approve state Proposition 90 on Nov. 7, Californians will see their local governments hamstrung, said state Sen. Jackie Speier in a talk Saturday in Portola Valley.
"You can see how this proposition has the potential to really bring government to a screeching halt," she said. "Proposition 13 is going to look like kids' play in terms of (Proposition 90's) impact on government."

October 19, 2006 | No comments yet
Stanford wins ruling in lawsuit over hiking trails

Key issue is placement of a trail along Alpine Road in Portola Valley
Stanford University has prevailed, for a now, in a legal challenge over the placement of two future hiking trails linking the flatlands to the foothills.

October 18, 2006 | No comments yet
Link to new seismic hazard map for our area

Maps include Menlo Park, Palo Alto areas
Maps showing regions considered high-risk if another major earthquake hits the Bay Area were released this week, 17 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake, California Geological Survey and U.S. Geological Survey researchers announced.

October 18, 2006 | No comments yet
Dry run

Harold Krakora of Menlo Park (seated at the left) takes a moment during his mid- day walk in Sharon Park on Oct. 9 to watch Mick Ynegas (driving the tractor at right) scoop up silt from the bottom of Sharon lake. Mr. Ynegas, who has been a park maintenance worker with the city of Menlo Park for 20 years, says it will take two more weeks of scraping and cleaning before the lake can be refilled. It's a procedure that's repeated every two or three years. In the meantime, the koi fish, who live in the lake, are enjoying a swim in the pond at City Hall. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

October 17, 2006 | No comments yet
Pros, cons Wednesday on state ballot measures

The pros and cons of the 13 state ballot propositions will be presented by the League of Women Voters at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, at The Sequoias, 501 Portola Road in Portola Valley (entrance off of Willowbrook).

October 17, 2006 | No comments yet
Talks under way to expand Stanford Park Hotel

Hotel plans a conference center, added parking
Stanford Management Co. has entered into negotiations with Fort Lauderdale-based Auto Nation to buy out the remaining years of the auto conglomerate's lease of a Menlo Park site in order to expand the Stanford Park Hotel, the city announced today.

October 17, 2006 | No comments yet
Voter's Guide 2006: Prop. 90 rewrites rules on eminent domain -- and much more

Does California need a constitutional amendment to protect property owners from eminent domain abuses? And if so, does Proposition 90 go too far, making any new land-use regulations subject to budget-busting lawsuits?

October 17, 2006 | No comments yet
Voting already under way for Nov. 7 election

Ballots are already beginning to trickle into the San Mateo County elections office as eager-beaver voters beat the rush to get their ballots in the mail.

October 17, 2006 | No comments yet
The Wells Fargo wagon is a-coming

Monette Clemons (right) and Oliver Weiss roll through Woodside at the Saturday, Oct. 14, Day of the Horse event. A steady stream of visitors ignored the cloudy skies and converged on Town Hall for puppet shows, pony-petting, Jamie MacDonald's horseshoeing demos and the popular stagecoach rides. Elsewhere in town, equestrians rode the trails on a progressive ride. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

October 16, 2006 | No comments yet
Great catch at Webb Ranch

What a Halloween this is going to be for Megan Givens, 6, who hauls away a heavy pumpkin at Webb Ranch on Oct. 11. Almanac photo by Marjan Sadoughi.

October 15, 2006 | No comments yet
Woodside town attorney says limits on bike events are unconstitutional

Woodside may have to scrap most of its rules that limit charity bike rides and other events, now that the town attorney has declared the restrictions legally indefensible and unconstitutional.

October 14, 2006 | No comments yet
Child molestation: Antique dealer found competent to stand trial

Two court-appointed doctors have concluded that Bela Joseph Demeter, the 87-year-old Menlo Park antique dealer, is mentally competent to stand trial on charges that include six felony counts of child molestation, according to a report from the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

October 13, 2006 | No comments yet
High schools may install surveillance cameras

Sequoia district school board may decide Wednesday
With the recent spate of violence on school campuses around the country, the trustees of the Sequoia Union High School District may decide Wednesday to approve a staff recommendation and spend up to $125,000 per school to install surveillance cameras, including at Woodside and Menlo-Atherton high schools.

October 13, 2006 | No comments yet
Historic Courthouse Square opens Sunday

Festivities celebrate new Redwood City downtown
Starting Sunday, Oct. 15, Courthouse Square in Redwood City will look much as it did 70 years ago, before a Depression-era concrete annex replaced the elegant facade of San Mateo County's historic domed courthouse.

October 13, 2006 | No comments yet
Sen. Jackie Speier in Portola Valley Saturday

Departing state senator to hold town hall meeting
State Sen. Jackie Speier is holding a town hall meeting in Portola Valley's Historic Schoolhouse on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

October 12, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park referendum backers:
We have enough signatures

Drive aims to stop Derry condo-commercial project in Menlo Park
A referendum drive against a recently approved condo-commercial project in downtown Menlo Park has gathered enough signatures to put the project to the voters, said a spokesperson for the referendum campaign this morning.

October 12, 2006 | No comments yet
Driver sentenced in death of Oak Knoll teacher

Michelle Mazzei, 34, was killed while cycling on Woodside Road
There will be jail time, a fine and probation for the driver whose car struck Michelle Mazzei, a 34-year-old fourth-grade teacher at Oak Knoll School, while she was cycling on Woodside Road on the morning of Oct. 2, 2005. She died that day in the emergency room at Stanford Hospital.

October 11, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park student arrested after gun threat

Hillview Middle School student is suspended
A seventh-grade student's threat to bring firearms onto the Hillview Middle School campus in Menlo Park and injure other students resulted in the student's arrest yesterday (Oct. 10) by Menlo Park police.

October 11, 2006 | No comments yet
Woodside adopts new permit-tracking software

Aim is to improve much-maligned building review process
The Woodside Town Council has approved a key piece of a plan to make the town's building review process more user-friendly.

October 11, 2006 | No comments yet
Woodside’s Chuck Huggins to be honored

Longtime See’s Candy CEO wins Californian Award
Candy man Chuck Huggins of Woodside, retired CEO of See's Candies, will be honored by the California Historical Society with a luncheon at the St. Francis Hotel on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

October 11, 2006 | No comments yet
SM County DA chief inspector sworn in

The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office new chief inspector, John Warren, was sworn in at a ceremony this morning in Redwood City.

October 10, 2006 | No comments yet
Menlo Park moves ahead with auto mall plans

Plan involves 50/50 tax-sharing with General Motors
The Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to direct staff to enter into negotiations with General Motors on a plan to build an auto mall and retail complex on Bayfront Expresway and Willow Road and to share the city's sales tax revenues on a 50/50 basis.

October 10, 2006 | No comments yet
Woodside woman, 59, dies in collision with tree

A 59-year-old Woodside woman was killed Sunday when her car crashed into a tree along Highway 84, according to the California Highway Patrol.

October 9, 2006 | No comments yet
Hundreds expected to ‘Walk for Ben’

Menlo Park event raises money for leukemia society
Once again Jim and Clara McGovern will joins hundreds of others in “Walking for Ben" Saturday, Oct. 14, at Burgess Park in Menlo Park in memory of their grandson, Ben McGovern, who died in 1999, three months before his third birthday, of a rare form of leukemia.

October 7, 2006 | No comments yet
GM plans auto mall in Menlo Park

Deal depends on 50/50 split of sales tax revenue
General Motors plans to buy about 22 acres of Tyco Electronics' campus in east Menlo Park to build an auto center, the city of Menlo Park announced Thursday night. The auto center would be located at Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road.

October 6, 2006 | No comments yet
Roger Kornberg of Atherton wins Nobel Prize

His father, a Portola Valley resident, won the prize in 1959
Roger Kornberg of Atherton, a Stanford professor of structural biology, has won the Nobel Prize for chemistry. His father, Arthur Kornberg of Portola Valley, won the prize in 1959.

October 4, 2006 | No comments yet
SPORTS: Prep water polo races are shaping up

Sacred Heart, Menlo girls look like class of their section
League titles are still to be won and division tournaments have yet to be held, but things already are shaping up for the 2006 Central Coast Section water polo tournaments.

October 4, 2006 | No comments yet
Kepler's celebrates rebirth with multiple events

'Day in the Park' family festival set for Saturday, Oct. 14
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of its rebirth, Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park will host many events in October, including a “Day in the Park" on Saturday, Oct. 14, a celebration of local authors, artists, musicians and storytellers.

October 3, 2006 | No comments yet
Interactive exhibit on AIDS crisis in Africa

Exhibit is in Menlo Park this week only
An interactive exhibit, designed to bring home the reality of the AIDS crisis in Africa, is on display this week only at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

October 3, 2006 | No comments yet
Birds get help from Audubon Canyon

Atlas helps evaluate effects of development on birds
As humans move in, egrets and herons often move out and Audubon Canyon Ranch announced today the creation of an atlas that will make it easier for planners to routinely evaluate the effects of development on bird populations.

October 2, 2006 | No comments yet
Governor signs bill to protect wireless privacy

Devices must advise consumers how to protect personal information
Recognizing that wireless devices often display personal information unbeknownst to their users, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed AB 2415, requiring wireless home networking equipment manufacturers to provide a warning label on such devices advising consumers how to protect their personal information.

October 2, 2006 | No comments yet
TechShop opens in Menlo

Menlo Park shop has industrial-grade tools for public use
A 15,000-square-foot workshop for public use has opened in Menlo Park. It has classrooms, teachers, materials and industrial-grade equipment for the use of hobbyists, inventors, artists and anyone with a creative curiosity and an urge to play around with mechanical, electrical or software engineering tools.

October 2, 2006 | No comments yet

October 2, 2006 | No comments yet
Atherton man unveils public TechShop

Menlo Park shop has industrial-grade tools for public use
A 15,000-square-foot workshop for public use has opened in Menlo Park. It has classrooms, teachers, materials and industrial-grade equipment for the use of hobbyists, inventors, artists and anyone with a creative curiosity and an urge to play around with mechanical, electrical or software engineering tools.

October 1, 2006 | No comments yet

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Page 7 of 7

Couples: Drop Your Keyboard!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 7,342 views

Coffeebar to expand to Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,813 views

A Concrete Joy: The Life and Love of Charlie Foley-Hughes
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