Briefs: Caltrain gets funds to go electric | July 11, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - July 11, 2012

Briefs: Caltrain gets funds to go electric

With $700 million in funding coming to Caltrain, the agency expects to see modern electric rail service by 2019, according to a press release. Theoretically that means trains that can carry more people for less money.

The agency will receive $600 million as a result of the state Legislature's approval of the high-speed rail project, and another $100 million from Proposition 1A. Supporters of electrification have touted its potential to reduce pollution, lower operational costs, and enable it to share tracks with high-speed rail.

"There is a generational responsibility to leave behind a world that is better than the one we found. This speaks to that responsibility," said Executive Director Mike Scanlon in the release.

Heritage tree law

changes proposed

It has often been heard at city hall that Menlo Park's heritage tree ordinance could use some tweaking. The Environmental Quality Commission took that to heart, and will now consider proposed changes to the regulations meant to protect the city's oldest trees.

The changes include incorporating the commission into the permit approval process when someone wants to remove a heritage tree; improving enforcement of tree replacement after a removal, with a fine of more than $500 if a new tree isn't planted within three months; and modifying the calculation of the value of a heritage tree.

Any agreed-upon changes will go to the City Council for final approval. The commission meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, in the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium at 600 Alma St.

Go to to review the agenda.

Churches organize blood drive

St. Raymond Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Menlo Park are co-sponsoring an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Saturday, July 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The drive is a part of an Interfaith Community Blood Drive, in which various groups are organizing about 80 blood drives across the Bay Area this month.

The local drive will be held at St. Raymond's Kennedy Center, next to the church, at 1211 Arbor Road in Menlo Park.

Author, builder

Keller's Books brings a Bay Area author and builder to local audiences this week. On Wednesday, July 11, architect David Stark Wilson presents "Houses + Origins," a book tour of Bay Area homes designed by his firm next to the images of nature that inspired the design. The free event will be held at the main Menlo Park public library at 800 Alma St. at 7:15 p.m.