Briefs: Green initiatives: Will Menlo Park join plastic bag ban? | March 14, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - March 14, 2012

Briefs: Green initiatives: Will Menlo Park join plastic bag ban?

The Menlo Park City Council hits the books for a study session on Tuesday, March 13, with a focus on green initiatives.

Topics include whether to set a community-wide greenhouse gas reduction target, and whether to join San Mateo County in an environmental impact report meant to evaluate a proposed ordinance prohibiting single-use plastic bags by retailers and charging a fee for using paper bags.

The Town Council in Woodside voted 5-2 in February to support the countywide initiative.

Finally, a potential ban on styrofoam takeout containers is also up for debate.

After the study session concludes, regular business on the council's agenda encompasses further efforts to restructure in the wake of the state's dissolution of the redevelopment agency, continuing examination of next year's budget, and comments on East Palo Alto's planned 835-unit Ravenswood/Four Corners housing development.

Menlo Park staff found the project's draft environmental impact report deficient in several areas such as traffic impact and using outdated data.

The study session begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Dogs die from eating poisonous mushrooms

All dog owners know that if a dog realizes something can fit inside its mouth, it's only a matter of seconds before the item goes down the gullet. If that item is a mushroom, the results can be tragic. According to Menlo Park residents, five local dogs have already died this year from eating poisonous fungi.

A local dog trainer, Donnasue Jacobi, reminds owners that mushrooms have an expansive underground system that dogs can dig up. "We haven't had much rain, but if you've got lots of oak trees, the compost that's made from falling leaves is a perfect place for these things to get growing," she wrote in an email after a client's miniature pinscher died. She recommends checking yards and other outdoor areas daily.

Go to for examples and photos of poisonous vegetation. You can also pick up a portable photo card of the plants at Holbrook- Palmer Park in Atherton on Monday nights from March 19 through May 7 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., or at the Pet Place (777 Santa Cruz Ave.) and Bow Wow Meow (654 Santa Cruz Ave.) in Menlo Park.

Chamber awards

At its annual breakfast meeting on March 2, the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce took a few moments to recognize two members with awards, much to the surprise of the recipients.

Oscar Baile, a chocolatier with a master's degree in civil engineering, accepted the award for Landru Chocolates. Although the company is based in Newark, it participates in Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce events such as block parties. Mr. Baile said the store is thinking about opening a Los Angeles location.

The second award went to Charles Chapman, the dining coordinator of Left Bank. Chamber representatives thanked him for always including the organization when planning the restaurant's annual budget, and participating in Chamber activities throughout the year.


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