Recent News

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Board of Supervisors approves funding for Ravenswood section of Bay Trail

At its Tuesday, Sept. 1, meeting, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors awarded $1 million in Measure A funds to Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) to close a gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail in East Palo Alto, according to a County of San Mateo Parks Department press release.

Tuesday, 3:40 PM | 4 comments
Little enthusiasm for El Camino bus plan

A proposal to create dedicated bus lanes along El Camino Real is facing a new round of skepticism. On Wednesday, representatives from cities along the corridor urged transit officials to give more thought to alternatives to its bus rapid transit plan.

Tuesday, 3:39 PM | 10 comments
Community Notebook: Palo Alto's library system expands hours

Palo Alto's library system will expand its hours of operation to provide more consistency across its five branches starting Tuesday, Sept. 8, according to a City of Palo Alto announcement.

Tuesday, 8:58 AM | 8 comments
Council adds south Palo Alto voices to Comprehensive Plan debate

A citizen panel charged with helping the city update its Comprehensive Plan acquired five new members on Monday night – and will soon get an unexpected sixth. The end result? More representation for those south of Oregon Expressway.

Tuesday, 3:27 AM | 33 comments
No quick fixes for Palo Alto's new 'parkland'

What was once a quarry that few in Palo Alto knew existed is now a quandary at the center of the city's debate about future recreation needs. On Monday night, the council agreed not to make any decisions about the city's newly dedicated parkland next to Foothills Park for at least another year, pending a hydrology study.

Tuesday, 2:05 AM | 8 comments

Monday, August 31, 2015

Buena Vista owner rejects nonprofit's offer to buy Palo Alto mobile-home park

The owner of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park has broken off negotiations with Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and the nonprofit Caritas Corporation over a potential sale -- and preservation -- of Palo Alto's sole mobile-home park.

Monday, 3:15 PM | 68 comments
Shop Talk: Bill's Cafe construction halts, Urban Style barbershop thrives

Construction on midtown Palo Alto's new Bill's Cafe suffers a setback, while Urban Style barbershop offers clients an old-school vibe.

Monday, 7:36 AM | 13 comments

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Police: Man follows, flashes woman in downtown Palo Alto

Palo Alto police are looking for a man who allegedly flashed a woman Friday evening, Aug. 28, in downtown, according to a police department press release.

Sunday, 3:22 PM | 5 comments
Pentagon to invest $75 million in local tech industry

In a bid to fortify United States security and manufacturing, the Pentagon and a consortium of partners are making a $171 million bet that Silicon Valley can emerge as the global leader in the nascent field of flexible hybrid electronics.

Sunday, 8:12 AM | 10 comments
What's happening here?

Birch Plaza, a 25,000-square-foot office and apartment development, at 305 Grant Ave., Palo Alto, is expected to open at the end of September.

Sunday, 8:02 AM | 10 comments

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Off Deadline: Training 'compassionate responders' for tense situations

Jacob Savage, a lifelong Palo Altan who signed up as a high school sophomore for the city's first police academy in 2006, now believes there can be a better way of responding to many delicate situations -- such as mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness -- than a direct police encounter.

Saturday, 9:19 AM | 3 comments

Friday, August 28, 2015

Menlo Park is next on PG&E tree removal plan

PG&E has begun examining 1,300 trees in Menlo Park that are growing in its gas transmission line easements and might have to be removed. Of those trees, 500 are in public right-of-ways and 800 are on private property, according to PG&E.

Friday, 12:01 PM | No comments yet
Police: Man in car accosts middle school students in Palo Alto

Palo Alto police are searching for a man who allegedly pulled up in a car next to two middle school students Thursday evening and made inappropriate comments while trying to get them to come closer to his car.

Friday, 11:12 AM | 5 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: Library Strategic Plan, fiber network, Comprehensive Plan committee

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Aug. 31.

Friday, 10:18 AM | No comments yet
Downtown Palo Alto post office to stay put — for now

U.S. Postal Service officials have nixed plans to move the downtown Palo Alto post office to a building on the corner of Addison Avenue and busy Alma Street, Tom Samra, facilities vice president, said in a letter to Mayor Karen Holman dated Aug. 19.

Friday, 9:53 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto residents adapt to new food-scrap collection program

Kitchen pails for food scraps made their way to Palo Alto residents in June, and the service collection began July 1. As residents move their compostable waste from black to green bins, they have experienced some foul moments, but have learned to adjust their habits.

Friday, 8:34 AM | 37 comments
Editorial: Eshoo's big challenge

It is rare for a member of Congress to become a lightning rod for complaints about the local impacts of a federal agency's policies, mostly because those impacts are usually diffuse and relatively invisible. But that's the position Rep. Anna Eshoo finds herself in, along with a handful of other members of Congress around the country who are dealing with constituents angry over the arrogance and heavy-handedness of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Friday, 7:38 AM | 130 comments
In city's new wage law, a modest proposal

The regional wave toward a higher minimum wage this week swept through Palo Alto, where city officials set aside their differences and happily united behind a law setting the local rate at $11 an hour.

Friday, 7:36 AM | 8 comments
Stanford University Title IX coordinator to step down

Catherine Criswell, Stanford University's Title IX coordinator and a former longtime U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights attorney, is leaving her post at the university after a little more than a year on the job, the university confirmed Thursday.

Friday, 7:32 AM | 10 comments

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Planning commission approves chain store limit on California Avenue

Palo Alto's effort to promote an eclectic and independent retail mix on California Avenue by limiting chain stores in the city's "second downtown" took a big step toward reality on Wednesday night when the Planning and Transportation Commission gave the proposal its unanimous blessing.

Thursday, 9:52 AM | 24 comments
Buena Vista residents sue Palo Alto over closure approval

Residents of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park have filed a lawsuit against Palo Alto, challenging the city's decision in May to allow the mobile-home park's closure and requesting that the Santa Clara County Superior Court bar the property owner from issuing eviction notices.

Thursday, 12:04 AM | 75 comments

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Man allegedly exposes himself to woman at Palo Alto park

Palo Alto police are seeking the public's assistance to identify a man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman who was walking her dog in a city park on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Wednesday, 4:16 PM | No comments yet
Palo Alto tech worker arrested on suspicion of stealing trade secrets

A tech worker suspected of stealing trade secrets was arrested Thursday at San Francisco International Airport as he prepared to board a flight for China, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

Wednesday, 2:48 PM | 13 comments
Police: Man arrested for threatening guard with knife

Palo Alto police arrested a man after he allegedly said he would cut a private security guard who had asked him to leave a private area of the Town & Country Shopping Center on El Camino Real on Sunday, Aug. 23.

Wednesday, 1:12 PM | No comments yet
Infant found with fractured skull, cocaine in system

An East Palo Alto woman faces child abuse charges after she brought her 11-month-old daughter to the hospital last weekend with a fractured skull and cocaine in her system, prosecutors said today.

Wednesday, 10:25 AM | 1 comment
Neighborhood-liaison program to begin this fall

The City of Palo Alto's planned Engagement with Neighborhoods initiative took a step forward on Tuesday night after the Policy and Services Committee voted unanimously to recommend two community meetings with neighborhoods this fall.

Wednesday, 9:57 AM | 11 comments
Study aims to bring data to Palo Alto's loud debate over airplane noise

With citizen complaints about airplane noise on the rise, Palo Alto officials on Monday agreed to commission a study focused on recent changes in air traffic.

Wednesday, 9:49 AM | 95 comments
School board eyes greater consistency at Palo Alto's high schools

Armed with a wealth of data on consistency – or lack thereof – across courses, subjects and teachers at Palo Alto's two high schools, the school board plans to tackle this year longstanding problems like inconsistent grading practices, test and project stacking and homework quality and quantity.

Wednesday, 9:36 AM | 69 comments

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Six-vehicle crash in Palo Alto sends three to hospital, closes road

A six-vehicle crash on Alma Street and Oregon Expressway in Palo Alto injured at least three people and snarled rush-hour traffic on Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, 6:30 PM | 74 comments
Edgewood Plaza developer could face penalties for vacant grocery store

The developer of Edgewood Plaza will face a fine of $500 per day if the vacant grocery store formerly occupied by Fresh Market isn't filled by the end of September, City Manager James Keene said Monday night.

Tuesday, 2:33 PM | 40 comments
Homework, grading, curriculum: Consistency at Palo Alto's high schools

In its first meeting of the 2015-16 school year, the Palo Alto school board will tackle a 200-plus page research report that sheds light on both similarities and disparities in curriculum, homework, grading practices and expectations at the district's two high schools.

Tuesday, 9:43 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto opts to retain, fix contentious zoning tool

Palo Alto's controversial "planned-community" process, which allows developers to barter with the city over zoning exceptions, will remain suspended for what could be years as officials continue to wrestle with ways to restore public trust in what they acknowledge is a "broken" system.

Tuesday, 9:40 AM | 20 comments
Palo Alto raises minimum wage

Palo Alto will have a minimum wage of $11 an hour starting next year thanks to a law that the City Council unanimously passed Monday night.

Tuesday, 2:11 AM | 29 comments

Monday, August 24, 2015

Driver wanted for 'acting strangely' near biking student

Palo Alto police are looking for a man who was observed acting suspiciously after repeatedly driving past an 11-year-old girl on Friday afternoon.

Monday, 5:06 PM | 1 comment
East Palo Alto man, girlfriend arrested on suspicion of fraud, conspiracy

Deputies arrested two people on suspicion of conspiracy and fraud Sunday morning, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Monday, 1:09 PM | 1 comment
Community Notebook: Palo Alto teens organize environmental event

Learn about Palo Alto's water sources (and restrictions), digitized carpooling and how to pack eco-friendly lunches at Green Fest, a free, environmentally focused festival to be held on Sunday, Aug. 30.

Monday, 7:48 AM | 2 comments

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Palo Alto residents to demand fines for Edgewood Plaza developer

Fed up with the lack of a grocery store at Palo Alto's Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center, residents are mobilizing to put pressure on the City Council to fine the developer for not finding an operator to replace The Fresh Market, which pulled out on March 31.

Sunday, 9:20 PM | 51 comments

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Guest Opinion: A groundling's lament — and call to action

Palo Alto is plagued by a disproportionate level of aircraft noise severely diminishing our quality of life.

Saturday, 9:07 AM | 248 comments
Council set to revive — and revise — contentious zoning tool

After more than a year of hibernation, Palo Alto's most controversial zoning process is preparing to roar back to life. The City Council will consider on Monday proposed reforms to the city's controversial "planned community" (PC) zoning process, which allows developers to barter with the city over zoning regulations.

Saturday, 9:07 AM | 37 comments

Friday, August 21, 2015

PUBLIC AGENDA: minimum wage, course alignment study, neighborhood engagement

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Aug. 24.

Friday, 11:15 AM | No comments yet
Residents sound off about leaf blowers

Enforcement of Palo Alto's 10-year-old leaf blower ordinance is at an all-time low. Despite 113 complaints in the first six months of this year, the police department has issued no citations or warnings.

Friday, 7:35 AM | 82 comments
More than hot air

Blasting air at up to 185 mph, leaf blowers can whip up hazardous particles and contaminants from the ground at speeds greater than a Category 5 hurricane, sending them long distances. Epidemiological studies have long recognized the harm these particles cause to people's respiratory systems, according to Bay Area Air Quality Management District reports.

Friday, 7:32 AM | 24 comments
What to know about 'mow and blow'

When it comes to the value of using a leaf blower, opinions blow in all directions. Gardeners, landscapers and maintenance professional see benefits and damages from using the mechanical tool on residential lawns and gardens.

Friday, 7:32 AM | 8 comments
Spanish immersion program marks 20th year

Palo Alto Unified School District's Spanish immersion program, which has been housed at Escondido Elementary School since the late 1990s, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend. Students and families from the earliest cohorts of the program are returning from elsewhere in the state and country to attend the celebration, a testament to the deep impact and close ties the immersion program produced.

Friday, 7:30 AM | 10 comments
Dauber seeks conflict-of-interest ruling from FPPC

Seeking to put to rest years of questions about his relationship with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the agency's involvement in the Palo Alto school district, school board member Ken Dauber wrote last week to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for formal written advice on whether he has a conflict of interest on school board matters related to the federal agency.

Friday, 7:29 AM | 45 comments
Editorial: Unworthy PC 'reforms'

A year and a half after putting a temporary halt to any further negotiated development projects that exceed the existing zoning, proposed revisions to be considered Monday by the Palo Alto City Council do virtually nothing to prevent the abuses and controversies that led to the moratorium in the first place.

Friday, 7:28 AM | 25 comments

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Palo Alto commission discusses local hate crimes

In the wake of last month's hate crime incident where a Latino teenager was stabbed downtown after being called racial slurs, the City of Palo Alto's Human Relations commission held a discussion on local hate crimes with a representative from the Palo Alto Police Department, who provided statistics and information about available resources.

Thursday, 2:59 PM | 12 comments
Palo Alto prepares to raise minimum wage

Palo Alto is a relative latecomer when it comes to establishing a minimum wage, but a new proposal that the City Council is set to discuss Monday, Aug. 24, looks to place the city ahead of the regional pack.

Thursday, 8:03 AM | 45 comments

La Boulange Palo Alto set to close Sept. 3
By Elena Kadvany | 17 comments | 3,662 views

Local Flavor
By Laura Stec | 17 comments | 1,981 views

Transitions
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 2 comments | 1,767 views

Transportation Element of the Comprehensive Plan: Big Questions
By Douglas Moran | 12 comments | 1,222 views

The U.S. Economy, China and the Stock Market
By Steve Levy | 7 comments | 949 views