Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 30, 2011

Palo Alto Online's most viewed stories of 2011

Palo Alto family dies in crash in British Columbia

A Palo Alto family of four was killed on a Canadian highway July 22 when their camper van collided head-on with a tractor trailer in Kootenay National Park in British Columbia. News of the crash quickly rippled through Palo Alto's community, with dozens of shocked residents offering their condolences and recollections on a website of Robert Howard, 49, Ana-Maria Dias, 50, and their daughters, Samantha, 11, and Veronica, 9. (Posted July 23 at 6:47 p.m.)

Train hits car in Palo Alto, kills out-of-town driver

A woman was killed on the Caltrain tracks April 15 when the car she was driving was struck by a train shortly after 5 p.m. at the Charleston Road crossing. Judith Goldblatt, of Indiana, was heading eastbound on Charleston when her Nissan Altima was struck by a northbound Express train. (Posted April 15 at 5:44 p.m.)

Steve Jobs, Apple's creative genius, dies at 56

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple and the creative force behind the company's transformation into one of the world's most iconic and pace-setting technology giants, died Oct. 5, the company announced. Jobs, who was perhaps Palo Alto's most influential resident, announced in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He resigned from his duties as the CEO of Apple on Aug. 24 but remained on the company's board of directors. He was 56. (Posted Oct. 5 at 5:07 p.m.)

Substantial traffic delays expected with Obama visit

President Obama's visit to Palo Alto April 20 was expected to cause traffic delays and limit access to homes and businesses, Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns said April 19. Obama was scheduled to take part in a "town hall" meeting entitled "Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity" from Facebook headquarters, 1050 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto. (Posted April 19 at 9:44 a.m.)

Man, 23, killed on train tracks in Palo Alto

A 23-year-old man was struck and killed by a train at about 8:30 p.m. July 7 near the Churchill Avenue crossing in Palo Alto, according to the San Mateo County Transit Police. He was identified by the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office as Clayton Carlson, a Palo Alto resident. Carlson graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2006. (Posted July 7 at 11:17 p.m.)

Palo Alto residents to see postal changes

With the U.S. Postal Service facing insolvency, Palo Alto and Menlo Park residents could soon see changes in their mail delivery and carriers, a postal service spokesman said. The postal service has lost $20 billion in revenues over the last four years — $8.5 billion in fiscal year 2010 alone. People aren't mailing letters like they used to, due to the economic crisis and use of the Internet, spokesman Augustine Ruiz said. Mail volume has dropped by 20 percent in four years. (Posted Sept. 23 at 8:09 a.m.)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg buys historic Palo Alto home

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has purchased a historic home in Palo Alto that was once owned by a Palo Alto pioneer. Zuckerberg, 26, previously lived in a rental home in Palo Alto's College Terrace neighborhood. His new home is on Edgewood Drive in Crescent Park, according to public documents. (Posted May 5 at 2:05 p.m.)

Man dies at El Camino Real bus stop in Palo Alto

A man died on El Camino Real, near California Avenue in Palo Alto, in a collision with a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus Nov. 8. The male pedestrian was discovered at about 1:30 p.m. by the driver of the VTA Rapid Transit 522 bus, which was in the process of pulling out from the stop between California and Cambridge avenues, said Brandi Childress, VTA spokeswoman. (Posted Nov. 8 at 2:03 p.m.)

Palo Alto Andronico's to close July 24

Andronico's market, a high-end grocery store that's been a fixture at Stanford Shopping Center since 1997, will close its doors July 24. The "rough decision" to close the Palo Alto location came as the family-owned business works through a recapitalization with an unnamed equity partner, a spokeswoman said. Employees said they were told of the closure July 15. (Posted July 18 at 9:53 a.m.)

Manager steals $70K from neighborhood group

The former manager of a south Palo Alto neighborhood association admitted to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the group before leaving his position in late January to found a new gym. Kimball Allen, who resigned as the administrative manager of the Greenmeadow Community Association on Dec. 30, 2010, allegedly used the association's credit card to make personal purchases and then made bogus entries into the association's accounting software to cover up his spending, according to an email the association sent to the community. (Posted March 21 at 6 p.m.)

Palo Alto teacher George Flath, 43, dies unexpectedly

George Flath, a fifth-grade teacher at Hoover Elementary School, died in a hospital Jan. 30 after flu-like symptoms developed into a severe infection. Citing the possibility of meningococcal disease, Santa Clara County health authorities offered prophylactic antibiotics to members of the school community but said it is "extremely unlikely" anyone else would get sick. "Mr. Flath was an uplifting, vibrant teacher who cherished his work here," Hoover School Principal Susanne Scott said in a letter to the Hoover community. (Posted Jan. 31 at 2:29 p.m.)

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