Recent News

Friday, December 9, 2016

VIDEO: Harvard report on special education

On this week's news webcast, "Behind the Headlines," Palo Alto school district Superintendent Max McGee and Board of Education Trustee Ken Dauber join education reporter Elena Kadvany to discuss a review of special-education services conducted by a Harvard University research team, as well as a significant update on federal Office for Civil Rights' investigations at Paly and Gunn high schools.

Friday, 9:20 PM | No comments yet
Christmas Tree Lane turns on its lights Dec. 17

Wooden Smurfs caroling on a front lawn as the Seven Dwarfs playfully slide down a nearby roof under the careful watch of a pair of giant holiday teddy bears peering out from a living room window -- these sights may not be as synonymous with Christmas as snowball fights and sleigh rides, unless you're in Palo Alto.

Friday, 4:49 PM | No comments yet
Stanford fires back at student's sex-assault lawsuit

Stanford University has fired back at a student who alleged in a lawsuit filed earlier this week that the university failed to protect her and several other students from a "known sexual predator" on campus, calling her allegations "unfounded" and lacking "factual basis."

Friday, 3:47 PM | No comments yet
No easy fix to the affordability crisis

A coalition of elected leaders from all nine Bay Area counties agreed to an ambitious new vision for regional growth in the coming decades, calling for a more balanced mix of jobs and housing that curbs displacement, explosive cost-of-living increases and long hours stuck in traffic jams.

Friday, 3:31 PM | 1 comment
Creating happy holidays: where to give and volunteer

Opportunities to bring holiday joy to those in need abound along the Midpeninsula. Local nonprofits that are hosting special dinners and collecting tons of toys are seeking plenty of helpers and donations to make it all happen for thousands of people.

Friday, 2:10 PM | No comments yet
Raises on the way for Palo Alto's top staff

Palo Alto's four council-appointed officers are all set to get raises on Monday night, when the City Council convenes for its final meeting of the year. City Manager James Keene and Molly Stump are up for 4.75 percent increases, while City Auditor Harriet Richardson and City Clerk Beth Minor will get pay bumps of 4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

Friday, 9:41 AM | 12 comments
Editorial: A lost opportunity

Given Palo Alto's clear need for affordable housing, why is no one focusing on the most important relevant resource the city has: publicly owned surface parking lots in commercial districts close to public transportation?

Friday, 6:07 AM | 18 comments
Holiday Fund: Tennis coaches, tutors give kids a leg up

The East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT) program has long sought to show disadvantaged students new possibilities in life, whether a new sport, better academic skills or a local college. It's also aimed to empower kids to have a voice in their own futures.

Friday, 6:06 AM | 2 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: housing fees, special ed, retail conversion

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Dec. 12.

Friday, 6:05 AM | No comments yet
Parents urge deeper push to improve special ed

It was supposed to be the "golden ticket" for the Palo Alto Unified School District's special-education program: an in-depth, comprehensive review conducted by a well-known Harvard University researcher who, parents and administrators hoped, would help the district finally address longstanding issues with its special-education services.

Friday, 6:05 AM | 15 comments

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Palo Alto aims to boost East Palo Alto water supply

A proposal by four members of the Palo Alto City Council to transfer a share of the city's water allocations to its parched neighbor, East Palo Alto, gained momentum this week, when the rest of council enthusiastically backed the effort.

Thursday, 4:30 PM | 6 comments
East Palo Alto apartment fire displaces 21

A two-alarm fire left four apartment units uninhabitable at a building in East Palo Alto Thursday morning and displaced at least 11 people, the Menlo Park Fire Protection
District chief said.

Thursday, 2:22 PM | No comments yet
Residents' beefs get an airing at neighborhood 'town hall'

City officials launched the first 2016 neighborhood 'town hall' meeting on Wednesday night in College Terrace to give residents a chance to air their concerns about their neighborhood's issues.

Thursday, 10:03 AM | No comments yet
Student: Stanford offered settlement for sexual-assault case

A former Stanford University student whose 2014 sexual-assault case spurred campus protests and national media attention has said the university recently offered her $60,000 to cover her therapy expenses, on the condition that she withdraw a federal complaint she filed against Stanford.

Thursday, 9:01 AM | 5 comments
Palo Alto set to move ahead with new garages

After years of planning, Palo Alto is preparing to take a significant step toward alleviating the worsening parking shortages in its two main commercial districts on Monday night, when the City Council votes to approve design contracts for new garages in downtown and near California Avenue.

Thursday, 8:30 AM | 25 comments

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Citing political upheaval, Oaxacan students cancel trip to Palo Alto

The election of Donald Trump to the White House has cast a shadow over Palo Alto's relationship with its sister city in Mexico, with a group of more than 30 student dancers from Oaxaca recently canceling their scheduled trip to Palo Alto because of the shifting political landscape.

Wednesday, 4:49 PM | 16 comments

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Palo Alto braces for budget deficit

Despite a thriving economy and growing revenues, Palo Alto is heading into the new year with a financial cloud on the horizon: a projected budget deficit that could be as high as $6 million.

Tuesday, 10:58 PM | 54 comments
Palo Alto police seek residential burglary suspects

A man and woman who were captured by surveillance cameras allegedly committing a daytime residential burglary last month are still at large and Palo Alto police are asking the public to help identify them.

Tuesday, 3:53 PM | 2 comments
Community Notebook: Palo Alto to hold 'town hall' neighborhood meetings

Building on its commitment for more transparency and community dialogue, the City of Palo Alto will convene two neighborhood "town hall" meetings in December; the first is on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Tuesday, 3:12 PM | No comments yet
Cold, wet weather in this week's forecast

Nature appears to finally be kicking open the storm door, with winter storms expected to begin on Wednesday and to continue over much of the next two weeks in the Bay Area.

Tuesday, 1:53 PM | 1 comment
Palo Alto moves toward 'carbon free' natural gas

Having already slashed carbon out of its electricity portfolio, Palo Alto is now looking to do the same to natural gas. Yet the program that the City Council endorsed Monday night has some green leaders arguing that the city isn't going far enough.

Tuesday, 11:31 AM | 6 comments
Lawsuit: Stanford acted with 'deliberate indifference' to reports of sexual assault

A female Stanford University student who says the same male student sexually assaulted her and several other women has filed a lawsuit against the university, alleging Stanford violated federal anti-discrimination law Title IX and acted negligently by failing to protect her and others from a "known sexual predator on campus."

Tuesday, 8:59 AM | 14 comments
Judge considering if Palo Alto held adequate hearings on Buena Vista closure

A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge is considering whether City of Palo Alto hearings surrounding an application approved last year to close the city's only mobile home park were adequate.

Tuesday, 8:48 AM | 8 comments
Palo Alto seeks to snuff out smoke in apartments

Palo Alto struck another blow against tobacco on Monday night, when the City Council decreed that every apartment building in the city will soon be no-smoke zones.

Tuesday, 2:12 AM | 17 comments

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bad-tasting water due to Hetch Hetchy water reductions

Palo Alto and other local cities' residents who have been complaining about nasty-tasting water coming from their taps can blame it on water reductions from the Hetch Hetchy supply and blending from other sources, according to City of Palo Alto Utilities spokeswoman Catherine Elvert.

Monday, 3:47 PM | No comments yet
East Palo Alto girl, 2, died of blunt-force trauma

A 2-year-old East Palo Alto girl died of blunt-force trauma and her mother's boyfriend now faces murder charges in her death, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve4 Wagstaffe said this week.

Monday, 2:41 PM | 3 comments
Breakthrough Prize honors local science pioneers at Moffett

It was a constellation of stars, science and Silicon Valley luminaries at the Nasa Ames Research Park on Sunday for the annual Breakthrough Prize. Now in its fifth year, the award ceremony honors scientific achievement with the glitz of a Hollywood gala, and it did not disappoint.

Monday, 2:17 PM | No comments yet

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Burglars smash vehicle into Apple Store in Palo Alto

A burglary ring crashed through the front glass windows of the downtown Palo Alto Apple Store early Sunday morning by driving a SUV into the building and stealing an unknown quantity of merchandise, Palo Alto police said.

Sunday, 4:31 PM | 16 comments
Asian-inspired aerobics brings old traditions to new audience

Paper fans, handkerchiefs and dance sticks are proving to be a popular alternative to traditional fitness equipment on exercise floors throughout Palo Alto where an Asian-inspired aerobics program has found success among all fitness levels and ages, including a growing number of seniors.

Sunday, 8:36 AM | No comments yet
Off Deadline: Where is 'Conan the Grammarian' in the battle with grammar barbarians?

I appreciate the evolution of language, in which rules change according to common usage by real people in the real world. And yet I still find myself caught by surprise by basic grammatical mistakes of professional newscasters on television and even National Public Radio, on top of frequent mistakes in newspapers and (less so) in magazines.

Sunday, 8:35 AM | 7 comments

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Captured Palo Alto inmate appears in court

The Palo Alto inmate who broke out from Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose the night before Thanksgiving and stayed on the loose until earlier this week appeared in court on Friday afternoon along with a second inmate who escaped with him.

Saturday, 9:03 AM | No comments yet
New mentoring nonprofit seeks to support high schoolers

Stanford University sophomore Akshay Dinakar recently launched Covalence, a budding nonprofit that pairs Asian college-student mentors across the country with Asian high school mentees. He hopes the group will help proliferate two messages he wishes he had received in high school -- one about being different and the other about academic pressure.

Saturday, 8:18 AM | No comments yet

Friday, December 2, 2016

Facebook donates $20M for East Palo Alto affordable housing

Facebook announced on Friday that it is committing $20 million to help create badly needed affordable housing in East Palo Alto.

Friday, 8:47 PM | 7 comments
Traffic mess gridlocks Palo Alto for hours

A big rig breakdown on the Dumbarton Bridge caused a traffic backup in Palo Alto and Menlo Park that lasted for hours on Thursday, Dec. 1, forcing some residents to abandon their cars to reach their destinations.

Friday, 5:25 PM | No comments yet
Edgewood Plaza developer: City fines are not 'warranted'

The developer for Edgewood Plaza in Palo Alto, who has faced steep daily fines for the vacant grocery-store space at the shopping center, has fired back at the city in a new letter that calls the penalties "excessive," unlawful and unwarranted.

Friday, 3:52 PM | 58 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: Carbon neutral plan, smoking ordinance, bullying policy

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Dec. 5.

Friday, 7:42 AM | No comments yet
Editorial: Give for the kids

Don't let the booming Silicon Valley technology-driven economy lull you into thinking that there isn't a continuing divide, even in the affluent Palo Alto area, between those riding high and the many families living on the edge or in need of social services.

Friday, 7:38 AM | 9 comments
Page Mill Road bike-safety fixes speed ahead

A highly dangerous section of Page Mill Road near Interstate 280 for bicyclists will hopefully become safer under a plan to add new striping, signage and flashing beacons.

Friday, 7:37 AM | 15 comments

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Court ruling invalidates Palo Alto's 2011 repeal of binding arbitration

A state appellate court has ruled that the City of Palo Alto violated the law when it did not confer with its unions before placing a measure repealing binding arbitration on the ballot in July, 2011.

Thursday, 4:06 PM | 9 comments
Palo Alto police seek man who exposed himself

A woman who reported a man exposed himself to her and her dog in Palo Alto on Wednesday was able to get a picture of his car with her cell phone as he fled, Palo Alto police said in a press release.

Thursday, 10:47 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto commission throws support behind granny units

For several years now, Palo Alto officials have been looking at one possible way to ease the city's affordable housing crisis: allowing homeowners to build small rental units on their properties.

Thursday, 9:56 AM | 54 comments

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Panel: Stepping off the college admissions treadmill

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, Harvard University educator Richard Weissbourd and Challenge Success founder Denise Pope recently shared some ideas about how to step off the college admissions treadmill -- for colleges, for families and for local schools.

Wednesday, 7:55 PM | 90 comments
Man crashes truck into wall during police chase

Police conducted a manhunt in the Crescent Park neighborhood in Palo Alto on Wednesday after a man fled an officer and crashed a utility truck into a residence brick wall.

Wednesday, 4:57 PM | 4 comments
Caltrain, Crisis Text Line announce partnership

Starting next week, the now-ubiquitous "There is Help" signs with suicide hotline numbers posted at local Caltrain stations and along the railroad tracks will be joined by a new resource for those in crisis: Crisis Text Line, a free, confidential, 24/7 support service accessible by simply texting the number 741741.

Wednesday, 1:41 PM | 14 comments
Escaped Palo Alto inmate found hiding in attic

Laron Campbell, the Palo Alto inmate who escaped from a San Jose jail nearly a week ago, was found Tuesday night when he fell through the attic at his sister's Antioch home, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said.

Wednesday, 12:40 PM | No comments yet
Cold weather homeless shelters open this week

Homeless residents of the County of Santa Clara have access to as many as 395 additional shelter beds starting this week, county officials said.

Wednesday, 9:03 AM | No comments yet
Escaped Palo Alto inmate found hiding in attic

Two inmates who escaped from the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose last week have now been arrested. One of them, a Palo Alto man, was found Tuesday night when he fell through the attic of his sister's Antioch home where he was hiding while deputies conducted a search, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said.

Wednesday, 7:15 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto commission to consider new form of affordable housing

Palo Alto's big housing crisis could be eased by a small, new form of affordable housing: a converted bedroom with a kitchenette in a resident's home, according to a new staff report from the city's planning department.

Wednesday, 7:09 AM | 31 comments

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Search continues for escaped inmates, including Palo Alto man

A woman suspected of helping one of two inmates, including a Palo Alto man, who escaped from the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose last week has been arrested as the search for the two men continues, a sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.

Tuesday, 8:37 PM | 1 comment
Federal grant aims to boost Valley's traffic-reduction efforts

An effort by Palo Alto and neighboring cities to get drivers to instead use trains, buses and other modes of transportation just got a lift from the federal government -- a $1 million grant aimed at accelerating the switch.

Tuesday, 4:48 PM | 25 comments
Community Notebook: Wellness class series for parents

The Palo Alto school district is hosting a free series of classes to help parents support their children's physical and mental wellness at home, taught by a Stanford University child and adolescent psychiatrist.

Tuesday, 12:57 PM | 3 comments
Palo Alto City Council focuses on more housing for land-use plan

It's time for Palo Alto to make affordable housing a cornerstone of its land-use plan, City Council members said on Monday night. The mixed-use offices-and-retail mindset that has dominated new-development approvals should be changed to mixed-use housing and retail, they agreed.

Tuesday, 9:58 AM | 11 comments

Monday, November 28, 2016

Community Notebook: Embarcadero Road underpass to close overnight for eight nights

Palo Alto police are advising drivers to build extra time into any nighttime travel that would take them on the Embarcadero Road underpass at Alma Street in Palo Alto. The road will be closed from Emerson Street to El Camino Real overnight for eight nights starting Monday, Nov. 28, for road maintenance and cleaning.

Monday, 3:59 PM | 5 comments
Menlo Park Kiwanis Club opens its Christmas tree lot in Palo Alto

Santa's elves, disguised as Menlo Park Kiwanis Club members, opened the club's Christmas Tree lot the day after Thanksgiving.

Monday, 3:22 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Locals seek to protect vulnerable groups before Trump takes office

Before President-elect Donald Trump takes office Jan. 20, some people in Menlo Park are trying to cement protections for populations that may face increased threat under Trump's proposed policies.

Monday, 2:03 PM | 22 comments
Palo Alto school board election to be recounted

The results of this month's Palo Alto Board of Education election will be automatically recounted by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters due to a narrow margin between two incumbents vying for the third open seat.

Monday, 8:39 AM | No comments yet
Shop Talk: Essentique opens; Watercourse Way redecorates

A look at Essentique, a new beauty store on Park Boulevard, and new, unconventional artwork at Watercourse Way in downtown Palo Alto.

Monday, 8:33 AM | 5 comments
Stanford eyes undergraduate enrollment increase

Stanford University's new General Use Permit application, submitted to the county on Nov. 21, maps out ambitious expansion plans, including not only to the physical campus but also its student body, with a placeholder to increase undergraduate student enrollment by 100 students per year through 2035.

Monday, 8:14 AM | 18 comments

Paris Baguette coming to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 14 comments | 4,854 views

Sing and celebrate
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,103 views

Surviving Family Holidays
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 350 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.