Recent News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Medical examiner seeking help to ID man struck by train in Mountain View

Officials from the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office are asking for the public's help in identifying a man killed Friday evening on the Caltrain tracks between Mountain View and Sunnyvale, a medical examiner said Saturday.

Sunday, 9:39 AM | 2 comments
First Person: A conversation with Jane Shaw, dean of religious life and professor of religious studies at Stanford University

The Very Reverend Dr. Jane Shaw talks with Lisa Van Dusen having arrived on the Stanford campus this fall as the Dean for Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies after a four-year stint as Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She just might surprise you.

Sunday, 9:16 AM | No comments yet
Pure poetry: Resident Barbara Allen creates Palo Alto's first 'poetry post'

To share her love of verse with her neighbors, in August Barbara Allen created Palo Alto's first "poetry post," a wooden box with a clear plastic window that is mounted outside her gate.

Sunday, 9:16 AM | 2 comments
Kids in the kitchen: It's easy to include children in the holiday merrymaking with these activities

The holiday season is a time to build memories and reconnect with your family, and often during this wonderful but busy time of the year, parents may forget the wonder and magic of the season that kids feel. So, here's a list of five kid-friendly activities to do in the kitchen to create lasting holiday memories and to make the season brighter for both you and your little ones.

Sunday, 9:15 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Guest Opinion: A year in Brazil

Many teens wouldn't consider taking a year to go abroad, especially during high school. Maybe they're scared of starting in a new school and being the "new student." Maybe they're terrified of leaving all their friends and family. Or just maybe they're scared of being in a completely different country with a different language. Yes, it all does sound scary; however, it's all these new experiences that make it so amazing.

Saturday, 8:31 AM | 1 comment
Local preschools, elementary schools offer ideas for family fun activities

Happiness researchers consistently report that people find greater satisfaction from life experiences than from receiving material things. In search of ideas for memorable, family-friendly experiences over the holidays, the Palo Alto Weekly polled some local preschools and elementary schools.

Saturday, 8:30 AM | 1 comment

Friday, December 19, 2014

Former Palo Alto VA official indicted for bribery

An ex-VA Palo Alto Healthcare System official was indicted on Wednesday, Dec. 17, for allegedly taking thousands of dollars in bribes from contractors.

Friday, 8:30 PM | No comments yet
New website to predict Palo Alto flooding to debut in January

A new website to predict flooding from local creeks could be available to the public as soon as late January, Len Materman, executive director of the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, said Friday morning.

Friday, 3:04 PM | 3 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: No meetings schedule this week

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Dec. 22.

Friday, 10:06 AM | No comments yet
Man injured after argument leads to shooting in East Palo Alto

East Palo Alto police said an argument led to a shooting that injured a 29-year-old Livermore resident in East Palo Alto on Friday, Dec. 19, according to a police department press release.

Friday, 7:56 AM | 1 comment
Palo Alto: Community celebrations spread peace and joy, from many traditions

From a musical Advent procession to the civic lighting of the Hanukkah menorah, Palo Alto celebrates the holiday season this month through get-togethers featuring music, food and much good will.

Friday, 7:37 AM | 1 comment
Editorial: An elusive Palo Alto History Museum

The Palo Alto City Council once again provided a lifeline to a nascent Palo Alto History Museum group that has repeatedly been unable to demonstrate sufficient community support to propel the project forward. It is a painful approach that isn't fair to either museum advocates or Palo Alto residents and taxpayers.

Friday, 7:37 AM | 16 comments
Palo Alto: Downtown Streets Team helps homeless men, women rebuild their lives

Several years ago Norman Williams found himself released from a federal penitentiary with nowhere to turn. He lacked the means and the know-how to get himself back on his feet. And he didn't know anyone who could help him. Then he met the Downtown Streets Team.

Friday, 7:37 AM | 16 comments
Jury takes a bold stance on new Palo Alto bike bridge

Three different design teams came to Palo Alto City Hall on Wednesday afternoon, each with a bridge to sell to the city.

Friday, 7:37 AM | 54 comments

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Palo Alto: Ming's Restaurant to close Dec. 28

The absolute last serving of Ming's famous Chinese chicken salad will be Dec. 28. That's the day that Ming's Restaurant, Palo Alto's oldest and largest Chinese restaurant, will close its doors to make way for an extended stay hotel and a newer, smaller Chinese restaurant.

Thursday, 3:47 PM | 12 comments
Transportation chief's outside job raises concerns

Since he became Palo Alto's chief transportation official in 2009, Jaime Rodriguez has been an energetic, assertive and at times polarizing advocate of bike boulevards, amenities for pedestrians and lane reductions like the one about to take effect on California Avenue.

Thursday, 9:36 AM | 74 comments
Palo Alto: School district settles construction lawsuit

Less than a week before a scheduled case meeting at which Taisei Construction Company planned to seek a trial date in its lawsuit filed against Palo Alto Unified, the school district announced it will pay a $570,000 settlement to the construction firm that built two new Palo Alto High School facilities.

Thursday, 9:00 AM | No comments yet
Sean Parker pledges $24 million to launch Stanford allergy research center

Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker has gifted $24 million over the next two years to establish the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford University, the university announced on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Thursday, 7:46 AM | 1 comment

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rash of auto burglaries hits Palo Alto

Seven vehicles were broken into and items stolen in the span of a little more than an hour in Palo Alto on Monday, Dec. 15, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.

Wednesday, 2:34 PM | 17 comments
Land use tops Palo Alto council members' concerns for 2015

Names and faces will change but Palo Alto's official priorities should remain largely fixed when the new City Council convenes for its first meeting in January, with land-use and transportation leading the way.

Wednesday, 11:30 AM | 8 comments
Train strikes car in Atherton

A southbound Caltrain struck a car on the train tracks at Fair Oak Avenue in Atherton at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16. The driver was able to escape the car before the collision.

Wednesday, 10:24 AM | 7 comments
Minority students speak to challenges they face in Palo Alto school district

A group of Palo Alto middle and high school students of color spoke Tuesday night about the good, the bad and the ugly inherent to their academic and social experiences in the school district, from essential support programs to struggling with social and cultural stigmas.

Wednesday, 9:48 AM | 9 comments
Palo Alto bans smoking in shopping districts

Palo Alto continued its crusade against cigarette smoke this week by expanding its existing ban to commercial districts, though the City Council also decided that it needs more time to consider whether e-cigarettes should also be covered by the new law.

Wednesday, 9:47 AM | 23 comments
VIDEO: Superintendent Max McGee talks about plans for Palo Alto schools

Palo Alto school district Superintendent Glenn "Max" McGee was the featured speaker at the winter luncheon of the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto on Dec. 5, 2014.

Wednesday, 7:47 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

City ups contribution for Palo Alto History Museum

How much money should Palo Alto spend in the present and the future to establish a museum that would tell the story of the city's past? That's the question that the City Council agonized over Monday night, as it considered a request for public funds to make the new museum a reality.

Tuesday, 4:40 PM | 17 comments
Palo Alto: Miki Werness approved as new College Terrace grocer

Miki Werness, whose well acclaimed but financially troubled grocery store fizzled in Alma Village last year, will get another shot at success in College Terrace after the City Council agreed early Tuesday morning to approve him as the new grocer at the former site of the beloved JJ&F Market.

Tuesday, 12:50 AM | 47 comments

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gunn High School wellness center to consolidate all student services, except one

A plan to build a comprehensive wellness center at Gunn High School has evolved, with the most recent design moving the college and career center to a separate building, but consolidating guidance, counseling, Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) and the school nurse in one space.

Monday, 10:43 PM | 6 comments
Palo Alto ends legal feud with Mitchell Park Library contractor

Days after Palo Alto celebrated the grand opening of its new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, the city has reached a settlement with the contractor that officials blame for the years of delays and myriad of mistakes that plagued the high-profile project.

Monday, 7:55 PM | 31 comments
Shop Talk: Business openings, closings and more

Rejuvenation puts finishing touches to its general store before its grand opening in Palo Alto while David's Tea looks to shake things up with its tea and accessories.

Monday, 7:47 AM | No comments yet

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Deck the mantels: Set a festive mood with DIY decorating ideas

People often associate the fireplace and mantel with warmth, and during the holidays the fireplace is likely the focal point of the room that brings families together. So decking out the mantel for the holidays is just as important as dressing up the Christmas tree, but who has extra cash to splurge on holiday decor?

Sunday, 12:21 PM | No comments yet
Palo Alto's Catherine Debs offers ideas on practical, creative gifts for hosts

Palo Alto resident Catherine Debs knows a thing or two about finding the appropriate gift for a host. As San Francisco's former assistant chief of protocol under Mayor Willie Brown, she traveled the world with gifts for dignitaries: Tiffany crystal; cuff links; scarves woven with city landmarks; and polished redwood urns.

Sunday, 12:07 PM | No comments yet

Saturday, December 13, 2014

E-book details Palo Alto resident's North Korea ordeal

For more than a year, the details of Palo Alto resident Merrill Newman's 2013 detention in North Korea have been shrouded in mystery. Now, an e-book tells the tale of Newman's captivity and the harrowing behind-the-scenes efforts to free him.

Saturday, 11:01 PM | 1 comment
Simitian recommends exploration of police body cameras

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian on Dec. 12 recommended the county explore the feasibility of having sheriff's deputies wear body cameras to protect the public frpm officer misconduct and officers from unfounded allegations.

Saturday, 11:17 AM | 8 comments
Stanford fraternity housing suspended due to sexual harassment concerns

Stanford University is suspending the on-campus housing privileges of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity for two years after an investigation found the fraternity's members infringed upon the rights of female students "in a discriminatory manner," according to a university statement.

Saturday, 9:40 AM | 2 comments
Palo Alto to explore incentives for slashing natural-gas use

After cutting carbon out of the city's electric supply, Palo Alto officials are now fixing their sights on the next frontier in their battle against global warming: a reduction of natural gas.

Saturday, 9:04 AM | 38 comments
Stanford students create support group for those who take time off from school

Student group Bridging the Gap hopes to create for the first time at Stanford University a broader, established, more supportive social circle for students who have taken time off from school.

Saturday, 9:04 AM | 2 comments
Guest Opinion: Judy Kleinberg aims to restart Chamber of Commerce as a 'startup'

The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce must adopt the methods of a "startup" entrepreneurial company if it is going to reclaim an influential voice in the community and region.

Saturday, 9:03 AM | 4 comments

Friday, December 12, 2014

String of burglaries at Palo Alto construction site nets three arrests

Palo Alto police this week arrested three men in connection with two separate burglaries at a College Terrace construction site. A suspect in the third burglary at the same site remains at large, police said.

Friday, 4:18 PM | 1 comment
Mountain View Whisman taps Kevin Skelly as interim superintendent

The Mountain View Whisman school board is tapping Kevin Skelly as the district's interim superintendent. Skelly, the former superintendent of Palo Alto Unified School District, will lead the K-8 district from Jan. 1 through June 30.

Friday, 2:52 PM | 4 comments
Consultant hired to help Palo Alto with social-media updates

With Palo Alto's social-media efforts in full bloom, the City Council approved spending $160,000 on a consultant who will help manage the city's Twitter feeds, YouTube clips and Facebook updates as well as train workers in how to effectively use these tools.

Friday, 9:50 AM | 33 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: College Terrace grocer, Avenidas property, short-term rental regs

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Dec. 15.

Friday, 9:28 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto, East Palo Alto ride out storm: only minor damage

With no major damage, power outages or creek flooding, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto for the most part dodged a bullet with Thursday's storm.

Friday, 9:08 AM | 1 comment
Sensory room facilitates learning for students with severe disabilities

Three special-education specialists have converted a Terman Middle School office into a "sensory room," draped with jungle-themed decorations, string lights and interactive contraptions designed to stimulate and facilitate the learning of students with severe disabilities. Some are blind or deaf; others have motor or auditory impairments or seizure disorders.

Friday, 7:51 AM | 2 comments
Youth Community Service engages students in voluntarism

For high school students Rebecca Goldgof and Sandie Luo, community service is a way of life. The two are co-presidents of the service club at Gunn High School, which is organized by Youth Community Service (YCS), an organization that offers students ways to get involved in the community.

Friday, 7:47 AM | No comments yet
Editorial: Palo Alto School District scorecard of media coverage is another self-inflicted distraction

For the last four months, 108 media stories and editorials, most from the Weekly, have been monitored, scored and cataloged by Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley and reported to Superintendent Max McGee, principals and other administrators.
The practice became public this week when McGee gave the school board his first quarterly update on how staff is progressing on the board's annual goals, established in August.

Friday, 7:41 AM | 36 comments
Changing the conversation: Who, or what, is Palo Alto Forward?

Few local residents had heard of Palo Alto Forward before Sept. 30, when Cory Wolbach declared at a City Council candidates' forum that he was a member. Despite the group's sudden rise, confusion abounds about what exactly the group stands for.

Friday, 7:39 AM | 175 comments

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Palo Altans nervously watch San Francisquito Creek

Many north Palo Alto residents were carefully watching San Francisquito Creek flow with strength through the Pope-Chaucer Street Bridge late Thursday afternoon, as consistent rain continued to fall and was predicted to do so for the next several hours.

Thursday, 5:05 PM | 8 comments
Sunset campus sold to real estate investment firm

A little more than a month after employees were first told that the landmark Sunset campus was up for sale, the property has been sold to Embarcadero Capital Partners, a real estate investment and management firm based in Belmont, multiple sources told the Almanac.

Thursday, 12:35 PM | 1 comment
Palo Alto roads, underpasses flooding; roads closing

With the brunt of this week's storm hitting Thursday morning, bringing more than an inch of rain to the Palo Alto Foothills as of 9 a.m., a flooded Oregon Expressway underpass has been closed from El Camino Real to Bryant Street and reports are coming in of other flooded roadways.

Thursday, 8:22 AM | 12 comments
Palo Alto looks to regulate Airbnb rentals

With hotel-tax revenues on a happy upswing, Palo Alto officials are preparing to take aim at one source of competition for local hotels: Airbnb and other services that allow visitors to rent rooms directly from homeowners.

Thursday, 6:18 AM | 45 comments

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Office surge expected to continue in downtown Palo Alto

It's no secret that downtown Palo Alto is going through an office boom, a trend that has achieved a particular poignancy over the past year. A new study suggests that the growth isn't expected to abate any time soon.

Wednesday, 10:40 PM | 43 comments
East Palo Alto: flood-threat alert

The City of East Palo Alto is encouraging residents to be prepared for the upcoming storm, which is expected to peak on Thursday.

Wednesday, 3:02 PM | 3 comments
Palo Alto: Discussion of federal-information request questioned

Palo Alto schools Superintendent Max McGee admitted Tuesday night to a possible "inadvertent" violation of the Brown Act, a state law that governs local agencies' public meetings.

Wednesday, 12:50 PM | 10 comments
Palo Alto to hold summit to develop new growth vision

Palo Alto's frustrating eight-year climb toward adopting a new land-use vision is now heading for a summit -- a community meeting in May where residents and council members will go over reams of recently collected data about growth and try to hash out where the city should go from here.

Wednesday, 11:29 AM | 3 comments
New Palo Alto school district communication strategy meets concern

A new element of the Palo Alto school district's communication strategy – to each week gather and categorize all media coverage related to the district as positive, negative or neutral – came under fire from one board member last night, who called for the superintendent to cease the activity.

Wednesday, 9:48 AM | 26 comments
Fourteen plead not guilty to gang indictments

Fourteen defendants, indicted in March for crimes related to their alleged involvement with East Palo Alto gangs, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges including murder, assault, narcotics trafficking and robbery, prosecutors said.

Wednesday, 7:41 AM | 5 comments

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stanford's Ashton Carter nominated to be next Pentagon chief

President Barack Obama on Dec. 5 nominated Asthon Carter, a visiting scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, as the next secretary of defense, according to a Stanford news report.

Tuesday, 4:30 PM | 5 comments
Palo Alto managers get raises under new contract

More than 200 managers and professionals in Palo Alto received raises on Monday night under a plan that also sets a cap on the city's contribution for employee medical benefits.

Tuesday, 1:34 PM | 9 comments
County set to approve new trails around Stanford campus

A proposal by Stanford University and the City of Palo Alto to install new recreational trails along the major thoroughfares near the university's campus and to shift the parking alignment near the Dish will be reviewed Thursday morning by Santa Clara County's Architecture and Site Approval Committee.

Tuesday, 1:30 PM | 15 comments
East Palo Alto couple pleads no contest to theft of wallet at funeral

An East Palo Alto couple pleaded no contest Friday to identity theft charges tied to stealing a wallet while working as caterers at a Belmont funeral reception, prosecutors said.

Tuesday, 8:44 AM | 6 comments
Palo Alto: New school board to discuss student survey results, enrollment

Newly elected school board members Terry Godfrey and Ken Dauber will take their seats behind the dais for the first time Tuesday night to be sworn into office and then tackle a full agenda.

Tuesday, 8:16 AM | 3 comments
Palo Alto halts plan for a local compost plant

The long-running debate over the future of composting in Palo Alto reached a temporary truce Monday night, when the City Council agreed that now is not the time to build a local composting facility.

Tuesday, 1:37 AM | 47 comments

Monday, December 8, 2014

Palo Alto: Miki proposed as new grocer at former JJ&F market

Miki Werness, whose Alma Village market shuttered in April 2013 after less than six months of operation, may soon get another chance in College Terrace.

Monday, 9:19 PM | 39 comments
Strong storm expected to hit Wednesday

The Bay Area can expect heavy rain and strong winds that could uproot trees, down power lines and cause flooding and mudslides due to a strong weather system starting late Wednesday and continuing through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday, 4:07 PM | 44 comments
Menlo Park: Redwood City woman arrested in stabbing

Menlo Park police officers arrested a woman Sunday in the stabbing of a 62-year-old man with whom she was previously in a dating relationship.

Monday, 9:55 AM | No comments yet
From bread-baking in the morning to 'Taps' in the evening

The rituals of morning bread-baking, Shabbat dinners and the U.S. Army's nightly "Taps" were among the many traditions discussed as members of Palo Alto-based "Life Stories" classes gathered in late November to examine the "role of ritual" in their lives.

Monday, 8:22 AM | 1 comment

Early Decision Blues
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 2,258 views

One night only: ‘Occupy the Farm’ screening in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,145 views

First Interview
By Sally Torbey | 10 comments | 1,388 views

Death with Dignity
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,340 views

Guest Post #2 from HSSV: Labradoodle Back on His Feet
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 425 views