Recent News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Palo Alto Airport runway set for overdue repairs

It didn't take long for Palo Alto to reap the benefits of taking over its namesake airport from Santa Clara County. The city has just received a federal grant that will allow it to repair the long neglected runway at Palo Alto Airport.

Wednesday, 2:28 PM | 7 comments
Bay Area residents to experience partial eclipse Thursday

On Thursday afternoon, Bay Area residents and visitors will be able to view a partial eclipse of the sun in the southwestern sky, but experts warn that looking at the sun for more than a glance without proper protection or a filter can damage eyes.

Wednesday, 10:19 AM | 4 comments
City to look at new uses for Municipal Services Center site

A proposal to relocate some of the services at the sprawling Municipal Services Center on East Bayshore Road will be the subject of a $250,000 study staff recommends undertaking next year. City officials are backing off, however, from a prior proposal to move the nearby Animal Services Center.

Wednesday, 9:47 AM | 6 comments
On youth collaborative, city looks for more from school district

Inconsistent leadership, organizational dysfunction and "paralysis" have plagued youth health coalition Project Safety Net in recent years, placing a heavy administrative burden on city staff and hampering the bold leadership needed to push the Palo Alto collaborative forward, staff told the City Council's Policy and Services Committee Tuesday night.

Wednesday, 9:40 AM | 4 comments
Q&A: Palo Alto School Board candidates talk about elementary school issues

What are the top three improvements the school board candidates can make to help Palo Alto's elementary schools? Read on for the five board hopefuls' answers to this and other questions on elementary schools, in lieu of a Palo Alto Council of PTAs debate on the topic that was canceled last week.

Wednesday, 7:38 AM | 9 comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Downtown Palo Alto residents seek relief from train noise

Living next to downtown Palo Alto's bustling train station has many benefits, but for residents of 101 Alma St., a good night's sleep isn't one of them. With train horns keeping them up at night, many are now urging the council to establish a "quiet zone" near their homes.

Tuesday, 3:52 PM | 44 comments
Palo Alto to seek public input on trenching train tracks

Digging a trench for Caltrain would be a colossal undertaking with a price tag that could be higher than $1 billion, but Palo Alto officials agreed on Monday that it's an option that the city can't afford not to explore.

Tuesday, 9:57 AM | 41 comments
Mortgage broker who scammed East Palo Alto residents goes to prison

A San Jose mortgage broker who defrauded East Palo Alto and South Bay residents out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and caused them to lose their homes will serve time in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney General's office.

Tuesday, 9:52 AM | 1 comment
Palo Alto rejects developers' proposals for new garage

New parking garages may be an urgent priority in Palo Alto, but city officials balked Monday at giving private developers a shot at building the new structures.

Tuesday, 2:16 AM | 22 comments

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another flashing incident reported in Palo Alto

With Palo Alto police on the lookout for a man involved in a string of flashing incidents earlier this month, a parent has reported that her 13-year-old daughter witnessed a similar case of indecent exposure in early August, police said.

Monday, 1:25 PM | 4 comments
Candidates pledge 'positive campaign' in heated race

With election season heading into its final stretch, the four City Council candidates endorsed by the group Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning are urging others in the race to join them in a pledge to keep campaigning positive.

Monday, 9:58 AM | 21 comments
Coroner releases identity of man killed on train tracks

A man who died on the train tracks in Palo Alto on Oct. 15 has been identified by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office.

Monday, 9:51 AM | 15 comments
Shop Talk: Bloomies goes high-tech, Common Ground closes

A brand new Bloomingdale's opens at the Stanford Shopping Center, Mac's Smoke Shop and Gryphon Stringed Instruments celebrate big birthdays, and Mandarin Gourmet and Common Ground both close.

Monday, 8:53 AM | 11 comments

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Man arrested for slashing roommate with a steak knife

A man who used a steak knife to slash his roommate during a fight in the kitchen of their Downtown North residence was arrested Thursday night, police said.

Sunday, 9:36 PM | 1 comment
Guest Opinion: Another 'Fiber to the Premise' resurrection for Palo Alto?

The long-discussed dream of getting true high-speed fiber-optic service for Palo Alto is looking like a real possibility. There are two reasons: Google is offering to bring fiber to 34 communities, one of which may be Palo Alto; and Palo Alto has a little-known "fiber fund" built on profits from leases of fibers in the city's "dark-fiber ring," created in the late 1990s.

Sunday, 8:17 AM | 18 comments
Palo Alto prepares to move forward with new El Camino Park fields

Four years after Palo Alto began to consider replacing the playing fields, upgrading the lights and sprucing up the pathways around El Camino Park, the city is at last preparing for the construction phase.

Sunday, 8:16 AM | 15 comments

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Editorial: Yes on Measure B to increase hotel tax

Palo Alto Measure B would increase the city's transient occupancy tax, the tax added to hotel bills for visitors, from 12 percent to 14 percent.

Saturday, 5:06 PM | No comments yet
Editorial: Yes on Measure C to update utility tax

Palo Alto currently generates about 7 percent of its general-fund revenue, or some $11 million, from the 5 percent utility tax that was approved by voters in 1987.

Saturday, 5:04 PM | No comments yet
Editorial: No on Measure D on reducing council size

Talk of reducing the size of the Palo Alto City Council from nine to seven has come and gone for decades, but has never generated enough traction to get on the ballot.

Saturday, 4:58 PM | No comments yet
Editorial: Re-elect Brian Schmidt to water district

With Palo Alto's water supply coming entirely from Hetch Hetchy through the San Francisco Water Department, the Santa Clara Valley Water District's importance to the city is primarily in the flood control and creek habitat work where Schmidt has been most active.

Saturday, 4:48 PM | 2 comments
Palo Alto school board candidates meet for last forum

The five candidates for Palo Alto Board of Education gathered Friday afternoon at senior center Avenidas for the last scheduled forum of the election season, discussing in a much more conversational setting topics from student stress to the state of the youth well-being coalition Project Safety Net.

Saturday, 4:10 PM | 9 comments
Children in YMCA adult locker rooms questioned

The YMCA of Silicon Valley has been allowing children 7 years old and younger to join their opposite-sex parents in the locker rooms. But some users of the Palo Alto Family YMCA on Ross Road say the policy opens the door for inappropriate exposure and is disturbing to adult members.

Saturday, 7:42 AM | 29 comments
Teen well-being collaborative seeks new model

Palo Alto's broad-reaching mental health coalition formed five years ago in response to teen suicides, Project Safety Net, today finds itself at a crossroads after losing its second director in two years.

Saturday, 7:41 AM | 23 comments

Friday, October 17, 2014

Guest Opinion: How to help those in crisis

The communities of Palo Alto and Woodside have lost two young people in the past few days to suicide. As we grieve, it is important that we come together to support our youth, their families and their broader social circle. We should also remember some basic information about suicide: what we know about its causes, how we can recognize those at risk, and where to get help.

Friday, 1:01 PM | 1 comment
PUBLIC AGENDA: Downtown parking garage, update on Mitchell Park Library project

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Oct. 20.

Friday, 10:19 AM | No comments yet
School district increases counseling support at Gunn

In the wake of an apparent suicide at the Charleston Road train crossing this week, the Palo Alto school district and its partners immediately brought in extra counseling support to Gunn High School due to its recent history with such tragedy, district staff said.

Friday, 9:41 AM | 19 comments
Editorials: No on Measure D; yes on Measures B and C; re-elect Schmidt

Talk of reducing the size of the Palo Alto City Council from nine to seven has come and gone for decades, but has never generated enough traction to get on the ballot. We don't rule out the possibility that in the future a reduction in size might become non-controversial and beneficial. But in the heat of today's political environment, it's bad timing.

Friday, 7:57 AM | 9 comments
Palo Alto school-district bond, dreams of students brought media center to life

What will the newsroom-classroom of the future look like? Backed with about $10 million in voter-approved funding, Paly journalism teachers and students set out five years ago to answer this question, creating a next-century Media Arts Center designed to serve the school and community for generations.

Friday, 7:53 AM | No comments yet
Journalism students hone their skills in state-of-the-art facility

Palo Alto High School's multi-million-dollar Media Arts Center houses 224 students, four advisers, one newspaper, five niche magazines, a news website, daily broadcast segment, yearbook and enough technology to propel student journalists into the next century.

Friday, 7:53 AM | 13 comments

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Verizon wins approval for cell antennas at Little League ballpark

Opponents of Verizon's plan to install a cell antenna at the Little League ballfield on Middlefield Road suffered a second blow in as many days Thursday morning, when the Architectural Review Board voted to approve the project.

Thursday, 2:25 PM | 19 comments
First water from new Bay Tunnel reaches Crystal Springs

The first water to come through the newly completed Bay Tunnel reached the Crystal Springs Reservoir on Wednesday (Oct. 15) and was greeted with fanfare in a ceremony at the Pulgas Water Temple.

Thursday, 12:59 PM | No comments yet
Questions abound over anonymous campaign mailer

An anonymous mailer urging recipients to vote for the three female candidates for Palo Alto's school board went out to an unknown number of local homes this week, creating a stir due to its negative tone and apparent targeting of one candidate.

Thursday, 11:57 AM | 24 comments
Palo Alto: Developers offer to build downtown garage

With Palo Alto in the market for a new downtown garage, developers are stepping forward with offers to build the city a parking structure, provided they get permission to build something else in return.

Thursday, 9:11 AM | 57 comments

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Palo Alto: Caltrain reports fatality near Charleston

Caltrain confirmed on Wednesday evening at about 5:40 p.m. that a fatality had occurred near Charleston Road on the Caltrain right of way.

Wednesday, 6:20 PM | 3 comments
Board swats plan to give ballfield 'historic' status

Over six decades, the Palo Alto Little League field has become hub of big dreams and cherished memories for generations of local sluggers. That, however, is not enough to qualify the south Palo Alto field for the city's historic inventory, the Historic Resources Board agreed Wednesday.

Wednesday, 4:59 PM | 14 comments
Local medical facilities amp up Ebola preparedness training

Stanford Medical Center and Palo Alto Medical Foundation are among medical facilities nationwide increasing Ebola preparedness as federal health officials urge the nation's hospitals to "think Ebola."

Wednesday, 12:44 PM | 18 comments
'Broad action' encouraged to fix district's achievement gap

The Palo Alto school board and members of the public Tuesday night looked back at the district's history of attempts to improve minority achievement and lauded Superintendent Max McGee's creation of an advisory committee as a promising, fresh step forward in a more actionable direction.

Wednesday, 9:26 AM | 17 comments

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Buena Vista residents appeal closure decision

Seeking to stave off displacement, residents of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park are appealing a September decision by a hearing officer that paved the way for the park's closure.

Tuesday, 8:55 PM | 45 comments
Teen dies in incident on Interstate 280

The California Highway Patrol is reporting the death at about 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14, of a 17-year-old Woodside girl who, witnesses said, jumped from the Sand Hill Road overpass at Interstate 280 and was struck by a vehicle driving north on the highway.

Tuesday, 5:50 PM | No comments yet
Mitchell Park Library project nears finish line

Palo Alto's tortuous path toward rebuilding its largest library hit a significant milestone last week when the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center received its official certificate of occupancy, the last step in the permitting process for the beleaguered project.

Tuesday, 5:10 PM | 18 comments
Zuckerberg, Chan join fight against Ebola

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Dr. Priscilla Chan announced Tuesday that they have committed $25 million to help address the Ebola epidemic.

Tuesday, 2:43 PM | 24 comments
East Palo Alto housing complex gets facelift

After months of repairs and a temporary relocation, East Palo Alto residents will celebrate today the recently completed renovation of their housing complexes on Woodland Avenue.

Tuesday, 11:41 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto to ponder its lobbying priorities

Faced with pressure to build more housing, improve flood protection and plan for high-speed rail, Palo Alto officials will consider tonight their strategy for lobbying state and federal officials for help.

Tuesday, 9:52 AM | 11 comments
Palo Alto: Pedestrian killed in suspected DUI crash identified

A pedestrian killed on Monday morning in a collision with a suspected DUI driver on East Bayshore Road in Palo Alto has been identified as 67-year-old Louis Williams, of East Palo Alto, according to the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office.

Tuesday, 9:38 AM | 6 comments
Difficult conversation: when to give up the car keys

Louise Freedman recently carried her driver's license into the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and laid it on the counter.

Tuesday, 8:46 AM | 10 comments
Man posing as IT worker burglarizes Peninsula office buildings

Police are searching for a man suspected in a series of office burglaries in Palo Alto, Burlingame and San Mateo and who has been posing as an IT or construction worker.

Tuesday, 8:37 AM | 3 comments
Palo Alto school board to discuss achievement gap committee

Superintendent Max McGee's call for an achievement gap task force made up of students, teachers and community members will come before the school board Tuesday night for discussion.

Tuesday, 7:45 AM | 2 comments

Monday, October 13, 2014

With no rain in sight, Adobe Creek undercrossing to stay open

As California's drought persists, Palo Alto is preparing to leave open an undercrossing at Adobe Creek that normally gets shut down this time of the year because of flooding.

Monday, 8:18 AM | 17 comments
Palo Alto: Driver identified in suspected DUI crash that killed pedestrian

Palo Alto police arrested a Sunnyvale man on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs after he allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian on East Bayshore Road this morning, according to a police department press release.

Monday, 7:51 AM | 25 comments

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Paly to host three-day grand opening for Media Arts Center

Palo Alto High School is celebrating the opening of its state-of-the-art, multi-million-dollar Media Arts Center next weekend with three days of tours, guest speakers and an open house.

Sunday, 8:09 AM | 13 comments

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Water district candidates focus on drought, flooding

The winner in the race for a single seat at the Santa Clara Valley Water District will take on major challenges if elected to represent District 7 this November. He will face a deepening drought and lingering problems with downstream flooding when the rains do come.

Saturday, 9:34 AM | 6 comments

Friday, October 10, 2014

Our election endorsements

Read the recommendations of the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online for the November 4, 2014 election.

Friday, 4:44 PM | No comments yet
PUBLIC AGENDA: Achievement gap committee, emergency-preparedness plans

Friday, 3:31 PM | No comments yet
Study: Caltrain trench could cost $1 billion

Digging a trench for Caltrain in the southern half of Palo Alto could cost as much as $1 billion, according to a study that the city commissioned to evaluate the popular proposal.

Friday, 9:55 AM | 80 comments

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Suspect sought in third indecent exposure of the week

For the third time this week, a man in a car allegedly pulled up next to a female passerby and lewdly exposed himself on a Palo Alto street.

Thursday, 9:30 PM | 3 comments
The Battle for City Hall: The Incumbents

When Karen Holman, Greg Scharff and Nancy Shepherd took their oaths of office five years ago, budget deficits, the future of compost and high-speed rail were the issues dominating City Hall.

Thursday, 9:07 PM | 5 comments
The Battle for City Hall: The Residentialists

They say it's not a slate, and we'll take their word for it. The non-slate includes council hopefuls Eric Filseth, Tom DuBois and Lydia Kou. Together with incumbent Karen Holman, their campaign signs are lawn-mates all over the city; they lament the fast pace of local development; and they believe the majority of the City Council is out of touch.

Thursday, 9:07 PM | 2 comments
The Battle for City Hall: The Challengers

They are a concert producer, a civics teacher, an aerospace engineer, an advocate for the homeless, a legislative aide and a globe-trotting partner at a high-profile law firm.

Thursday, 9:07 PM | No comments yet
Editorial: Holman, Scharff, DuBois, Filseth, Wolbach for City Council

We recommend the re-election of two incumbents, Karen Holman and Greg Scharff, and three newcomers, Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth and Cory Wolbach. None of the candidates is without liabilities, but together we think this group would result in a better balance and be more representative of all of Palo Alto than any council in a long time.

Thursday, 8:46 PM | 37 comments
Candidate profile: The Protector — Wayne Douglass

Call him a single-issue candidate, if you want to. Wayne Douglass doesn't care. That's because he believes his issue -- homelessness -- is important enough to warrant a candidate.

Thursday, 8:21 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Diplomat — Cory Wolbach

It's hard to disagree with Cory Wolbach when he talks about the things he wants to achieve if elected to the City Council: restoring civility, encouraging diversity and making residents feel more included.

Thursday, 8:21 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Engineer — Seelam Reddy

Seelam Reddy is a retired aerospace engineer who believes Palo Alto is "heaven on earth" but who nevertheless hopes to make the city work 10 times better.

Thursday, 8:21 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Agitator — Mark Weiss

If you've ever heard Mark Weiss address the City Council, you will almost certainly know three things about him: He graduated from Gunn High School, he talks fast and he views new development with a mixture of fear and loathing.

Thursday, 8:21 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Teacher — John Fredrich

John Fredrich is a political idealist who also happens to be steeped in the gritty details of Palo Alto's zoning debate.

Thursday, 8:21 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Organizer — Lydia Kou

Palo Altans generally care about two things: staying alive and new developments (not necessarily in that order). Recent history suggests Lydia Kou cares about them more than most. A long-time fixture of Palo Alto's growing corps of disaster-preparedness volunteers, Kou has spent years on the front lines of getting the community ready for the next Big One.

Thursday, 8:20 PM | 5 comments
Candidate profile: The Data Guy — Eric Filseth

In December 2013, Downtown North resident Eric Filseth offered what may be the defining soliloquy in Palo Alto's current land-use debate. Voters had just emphatically defeated Measure D, rejecting a housing development that was supported by the entire City Council. Developer Jay Paul Co., seeing the political winds shift, dropped its plan to build a zone-busting office complex at 395 Page Mill Road. And the council had just scheduled a public meeting to discuss the future of the city.

Thursday, 8:20 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Critic — Tom DuBois

In mid-2013, Palo Alto's elected leaders stumbled upon the perfect formula for sparking civic engagement: approving an unpopular development in a neighborhood.

Thursday, 8:20 PM | 4 comments
Candidate profile: The Ambassador — Nancy Shepherd

When Nancy Shepherd became active in City Hall politics five years ago, her purpose was to unite the community against the looming specter of high-speed rail, a project that was threatening to wipe out homes along Alma Street and literally divide the community.

Thursday, 8:20 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Pragmatist — Greg Scharff

In February 2013, as he addressed a crowd of dignitaries assembled at Tesla Motors headquarters in the Stanford Research Park, newly elected Mayor Greg Scharff offered one of the boldest and most sweeping "State of the City" speeches in recent memory.

Thursday, 8:20 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Preservationist — Karen Holman

Many City Council members claim the "residentialist" label these days. Karen Holman pretty much owns it.

Thursday, 8:19 PM | No comments yet
Candidate profile: The Negotiator — A.C. Johnston

In the past decade, A.C. Johnston has lived in Tokyo, London, Washington, D.C., and -- for the past two years -- Palo Alto.

Thursday, 8:19 PM | 2 comments
2014 Election Central: Palo Alto City Council

All the latest news on the 2014 Palo Alto City Council race. With five seats open, 12 candidates are making their bids: Wayne Douglass, Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth, John Fredrich, Karen Holman, A.C. Johnston, Lydia Kou, Seelam Reddy, Greg Scharff, Nancy Shepherd, Mark Weiss and Cory Wolbach.

Thursday, 8:11 PM | No comments yet
Palo Alto's plan to raise hotel-tax rate nets little opposition

Tax hikes are normally a thorny subject during an election season, but Palo Alto's plan to increase the city's hotel-tax rate appears to be proceeding to the ballot with little community opposition.

Thursday, 9:57 AM | 30 comments
Silicon Valley tech execs: Surveillance threatens digital economy

Giving dire warnings that federal surveillance programs could cripple the U.S. digital economy and business opportunities around the globe, Silicon Valley technology leaders joined Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) in Palo Alto Wednesday to urge government reforms.

Thursday, 9:54 AM | 4 comments
Graffiti arrest of East Palo Alto men leads to drug bust

Menlo Park police officers conducting a graffiti sting Wednesday night arrested two East Palo Alto men after they were caught allegedly spray painting on the Ringwood pedestrian bridge.

Thursday, 9:38 AM | 1 comment
Palo Alto superintendent to convene achievement gap advisory committee

Superintendent Max McGee announced Wednesday the launch of a minority-achievement and talent-development advisory committee that will be charged with making strategic recommendations to help close the district's achievement gap.

Thursday, 9:10 AM | 25 comments
Board of Supervisors approve funding to expand North County homeless services

Unable to secure a new emergency cold-weather shelter to replace a longtime facility that closed earlier this year, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan that would provide up to $1.1 million in funding to give North County's homeless population a place to go on cold nights this winter.

Thursday, 9:10 AM | 3 comments
Local firefighters battle grueling working conditions at King Fire

Thousands of firefighters were sent to King Fire burning east of Sacramento in El Dorado County where the wildland fire has destroyed 12 homes and 68 other structures.

Thursday, 9:02 AM | 1 comment

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 3,383 views

Ode to Brussels Sprout
By Laura Stec | 20 comments | 2,584 views

Go Giants! Next Stop: World Series!
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,930 views

Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 9 comments | 1,285 views

It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 296 views