Briefs: Menlo council: VA campus best spot for homeless shelter | December 18, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - December 18, 2013

Briefs: Menlo council: VA campus best spot for homeless shelter

by Sandy Brundage

Homeless shelters and granny units. Menlo Park is deep into a housing plan update for the second time in as many years, this time to develop a framework for housing for 2014 through 2022 in compliance with state law.

As part of this update cycle, the city must provide zoning that allows homeless shelters that provide a total of 16 beds within Menlo Park. The city is also figuring out how to create an amnesty program for existing secondary, or "granny" units, which remains a work in progress.

Of the five sites under consideration for homeless shelter zoning, the council leaned toward the Veteran Affairs campus on Willow Road as the best option.

New logo a 'no go'

New city logo probably a "no go." A study session to evaluate four potential replacements for the city's logo, which was designed in the 1960s, ended with council (and public) opinion weighing heavily in favor of sticking with the old logo.

"The one that has the strength of these oak trees is the old one," said Ernst Meissner, resident and city beautification volunteer.

The new designs, all variations on a tree created at a cost of $30,000 to date, are part of a plan the council approved earlier this year to rebrand Menlo Park, staff said, although the council's comments indicated they weren't sure when reinventing the logo became part of the rebranding.

Holiday hours at Civic Center

Menlo Park City Hall will shut down Dec. 23 through Dec. 27, as will the Arrillaga Recreation Center. The Gymnastics Center will be open Dec. 24, then closed until Jan. 6.

The Onetta Harris Community Center and the Senior Center will both close from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.

Other facilities will operate with reduced hours: The gymnasium will be open for evening drop-in use on Dec. 22 and Dec. 29 from 6 to 10 p.m. Morning fitness classes will be held Dec. 23, 26-28, and Dec. 30 from 5 to 10:30 a.m. and for a half-day on Jan. 3.

Environmental quality award nominations

Menlo Park is now taking nominations for the 2014 Environmental Quality Awards.

Among last year's winners: Facebook, Menlo Business Park and resident Carolyn Dorsch. Categories include climate action, educational, heritage tree and sustainable building.

Go to to download the nomination form. Nominations are due Jan. 20, 2014.

Art contest

"SamTrans, See the County" is the theme for SamTrans' annual "Art Takes a Bus Ride" program, which gives students the opportunity to display their creative visions aboard transit vehicles. Deadline for entries is Monday, Feb. 14. Winners will be announced in May.

The winning entries will be on display on a SamTrans bus that will run through the service area for about one year.

The "See the County" motif encourages students to depict sights and landmarks throughout the Peninsula. On a typical weekday, nearly 10,000 young people ride SamTrans buses.

Teachers interested in more information and how to submit student entries may email Buena Dandan of the San Mateo County Office of Education at or call 802-5339.


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