LOOKING AHEAD ... Attention, Palo Alto residents. The Palo Alto City Council wants to know what you want it to focus on in 2013. The council is preparing to set its priorities for 2013 and it's asking the public for help. The city defines a priority as "a topic that will receive particular, unusual and significant attention during the year." Finances and the environment always make the cut, while the rest of the list varies from year to year. Past priorities ranged from the vague and idealistic (remember "civic engagement for the common good"?) while others focused on a concrete and pressing community need (as in 2007, when the council designated building support for a new public-safety building). This year, the council agreed to carry over last year's additional priorities of "land use and transportation planning," "emergency preparedness" and "community collaboration for youth well-being." Councilwoman Karen Holman, chair of the Policy and Services Committee, said the goal is to bring some order and formality to the process and also to give residents a "reasonable expectation" of what the priority-process now entails. Council members and residents are asked to submit their suggestions to the City Clerk by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, Nov. 30. The council will officially adopt the priorities at its January retreat.
PALO ALTO STOCKING STUFFER ... The City of Palo Alto has a gift for holiday shoppers: Parking restrictions in Palo Alto's downtown shopping district will be temporarily relaxed through Jan. 1 to allow shoppers and visitors more time for holiday shopping. Visitors can to park up to four hours for free during the holiday season in the following public city parking garages: Alma/High (Garage R), Bryant/Lytton (Garages S/L), Civic Center (Garage CC), Cowper/Webster (Garage WC) and Ramona/University (Garage B), except in designated permit spaces. All-day parking permits are available from the permit machines located in the Cowper/Webster and Bryant/Lytton garages if longer parking is needed.
AND THE HONOR GOES TO ... The Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits honored Palo Altan Edie Kirkwood on Oct. 5 with their Everybody Wins Award. Kirkwood is a founding member of the organization and a board member for 15 years. She was the vice president of the Silicon Valley Manufacturing (Leadership) Group and is retired from her career as executive director of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. She is actively involved in the nonprofit sector and has served on numerous community boards.
A BONE TO GNAW ON ... Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Nature Gallery in Los Altos (formerly in Palo Alto for 17 years at Town & Country Village) will display a 7-foot-long, 65-million-year-old dinosaur bone. The Edmontosaurus (Tyrannosaurus bataar) leg will be on display Dec. 7-9 in the gallery at 296 State St., Los Altos. Other events include a benefit for Peninsula HealthCare Connection, which helps clients at Palo Alto's Opportunity Center, a geology lecture, mineral and fossil art collage, mineral and stone feng shui lecture. More information is available at www.nature-gallery.com.