Palo Alto Weekly

News - April 18, 2014

Around Town

HUNGER CASE ... An apparently hungry burglar broke into the Barron Park Market at 3876 El Camino Real last weekend, leaving incriminating details in his wake: crumbs, half-consumed food packages and last, but not least, his wallet. On the evening of Saturday, April 12, 46-year-old transient Edward Vincent McDuffie broke a latch on a rear sliding door of the market to gain entry, Palo Alto police officer Sean Downey said. On a counter near the backdoor, police later found a partially eaten bag of oatmeal cookies, a consumed bag of pumpkin seeds on the ground and a Powerbar, among other food items. "And next to all of it was a wallet containing identifying information," Downey said. Two days later, McDuffie was arrested on a host of charges after a woman discovered him in her backyard. An investigation revealed he had also stolen a bike from an alleyway at Happy Donuts, just down the street from Barron Park Market, and stole numerous items from an emergency preparedness storage shed in the yard of the Crescent Park Child Development Center at 4161 Alma St. Police booked McDuffie into the Santa Clara County Main Jail Tuesday for four felonies — commercial burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of stolen property and a probation violation — and three misdemeanors — resisting arrest, under the influence of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CURRY AND BITCOINS .... Palo Alto now has a grand total of two eateries where diners can pay with notorious e-currency bitcoins, with Curry Up Now jumping on the bandwagon last week (joining Coupa Cafe, which has been accepting bitcoins since last year). "Hello awesome people. We now accept #bitcoin at our Palo Alto location," Curry Up Now tweeted on April 11. "Coming to other locations very soon. Everything is awesome." Darrel Oribello, general manager of the casual Indian street food restaurant at 321 Hamilton Ave., said they were encouraged by a Curry Up Now fan who wanted nothing more than to be able to pay for the eatery's Indian-style burritos with bitcoins. "It's fast, cheap, private and (we) believe it to be part of our paying future," Oribello added. Curry Up Now is currently using BitPay, a payment platform for the e-currency, to accept payments, but Oribello said he expects the restaurant's point of sale (POS) software to have an integrated bitcoin payment system "shortly." Curry Up Now was born as a food truck and morphed into three brick-and-mortar locations (Palo Alto, San Mateo and San Francisco). The trucks still operate, too, and Oribello said all outposts — mobile or otherwise — will soon accept bitcoins. "Palo Alto is the heart of the Silicon Valley. Why not start here first?" he said.

FACELIFT, PLEASE .... Two major Stanford University arts facilities are getting prepped for soon-to-commence facelifts: Memorial Auditorium and the Cantor Arts Center. Crews are now erecting scaffolding around three sides of Memorial Auditorium, constructed in 1938, with plans to restore its stucco, repair its wooden windows and install new copper gutters, the university said. The project is slated to be completed by the 2014-15 academic year. Graduates, don't fret about scaffolding ruining graduation photos: No scaffolding will be erected on the front of Memorial Auditorium until after Stanford's 123rd commencement ceremony, scheduled for June 14. Across campus, crews are also hard at work putting up scaffolding around Cantor in preparation for a summer project that will replace the roof on the front of the museum along Lomita Drive, as well as the roofs on its two rotundas. The roof replacements are the final phase of a multiyear, three-phase project, which began in 2010 with the restoration of the museum's main lobby skylight, the university said. Other repairs include restoring historic mosaic panels — commissioned by Jane Stanford in 1898 from a company in Venice, Italy — across the museum's front facade, exterior stucco on the Cantor wing from 1999 and the glass of the Cantor Auditorium windows. Both Memorial Auditorium and Cantor will remain open during construction.

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