Recent News | Palo Alto Online |

Recent News

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

School closures heighten low-income families' fears that their students will be left behind

For low-income families in East Palo Alto, Palo Alto and east Menlo Park, the coronavirus is exacerbating the economic, educational and technological inequities that already loom large without the threat of a public health crisis.

Wednesday, 8:37 PM | No comments yet
Santa Clara County schools will not reopen this academic year

All 32 of Santa Clara County's superintendents and the county superintendent of schools signed a letter Wednesday that confirms their campuses will be closed for the rest of the school year.

Wednesday, 6:05 PM | 5 comments

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Top state officials: Schools likely won't reopen this academic year

Top California officials, including the governor and state superintendent, signaled this week that public school students won't return to their campuses before the end of the school year.

Tuesday, 5:56 PM | 15 comments
Evictions put on hold: How city and county rules help out-of-work tenants behind on rent

Santa Clara County and several local cities passed emergency laws temporarily banning evictions last week, all of which are about to be put to the test.

Tuesday, 5:09 PM | 5 comments
Judge sends Atherton mom to prison for college admissions scandal

An Atherton woman who paid over $500,000 to help her children get into college through a national admissions scandal received a seven-month prison sentence on Tuesday, according to prosecutors.

Tuesday, 4:21 PM | 13 comments
Bay Area extends stay-at-home order to May 3, adds new business restrictions

With the number of coronavirus cases rising and hospitals bracing for a surge of patients, health officials extended on Tuesday the regional stay-at-home order until May 3.

Tuesday, 2:20 PM | 60 comments

Monday, March 30, 2020

Moments after armed robbery, witness springs into action by leading police to getaway car

Three people wanted for an armed robbery at a gas station on Sunday night were located by Palo Alto police with the help of a witness, who followed the trio's getaway car to the north side of town.

Monday, 9:13 PM | 6 comments
A pandemic on the rise: Charts reveal how virus has spread at different rates in two counties

Through a series of charts, track how the coronavirus has infected and killed people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which have a combined total of nearly 1,350 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, April 1.

Monday, 6:05 PM | 34 comments

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Around Town: Restaurants, nonprofits supply food at a critical time; Barron Park comes alive with the sound of music

In the latest Around Town column, news about restaurants and organizations making sure people in need are fed during the coronavirus pandemic, and how music is bringing people together while many are sheltering at home.

Sunday, 8:35 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavirus weekend update: Cases in Santa Clara, San Mateo counties rise by the dozens

Santa Clara County has 646 cases, 72 of which were reported on Saturday and Sunday. The county also reported five more deaths, bringing its total to 25. As of Monday, San Mateo County has 309 cases and six deaths.

Saturday, 9:40 AM | 11 comments
Caltrain to slash weekday service by more than half starting next week

Caltrain announced will reduce its weekday train service by more than half starting this Monday amid sharp ridership losses due to the novel coronavirus.

Saturday, 8:41 AM | No comments yet

Friday, March 27, 2020

Want to donate protective equipment to hospitals? A group of Stanford University medical students can help.

A group of Stanford University medical students quickly mobilized this past week to set up a drive for masks and other personal protective equipment at Stanford Shopping Center continuing this weekend.

Friday, 8:03 PM | 6 comments
Before the coronavirus, Bloom Energy was making fuel cells. Now it's rehabbing hospital equipment that will save lives.

When Gov. Gavin Newsom said state hospitals will face a massive shortage of life-saving ventilators for serious COVID-19 patients, San Jose-based company Bloom Energy knew they had to do act.

Friday, 6:42 PM | 9 comments
Can they do that? Construction hums along in Palo Alto

Even before the coronavirus crisis hit, some have questioned the need for the new garage near California Avenue. Now, it is deemed an "essential project," with work progressing despite the shutdown.

Friday, 5:33 PM | 35 comments
Guest Opinion: Navigating the storm of child care and school closures during the pandemic

COVID-19 is a stark reminder that crises affecting the large breadth of our population are never far away. Our children, parents and educators -- our future -- depend on the entire community to act now.

Friday, 6:57 AM | 2 comments
Guest Opinion: 5 ways to help our community right now

In these times of "social distancing," it can be tempting to turn inwards. We urge our friends and neighbors to look outward instead.

Friday, 6:57 AM | No comments yet
Guest Opinion: Message from the Mayor

As a community, we will persevere through this challenge. Everyone is depending on you to please stay home, to practice good hygiene and to support one another.

Friday, 6:57 AM | No comments yet
Message from our publisher: An appeal for your support of good journalism

Local newspapers all over the country face similar or worse challenges, and scores have had to shut down. We are determined to not let that happen here.

Friday, 6:56 AM | 29 comments
For low-income families, sheltering in place is taking a heavy toll

Though the shelter-in-place order, first implemented by six Bay Area counties and quickly followed by the statewide mandate, applies to all Californians, it has affected families unequally across the class spectrum.

Friday, 6:56 AM | 112 comments
10 things you can still do in Palo Alto (while keeping your social distance)

Despite the loss of routine because of the stay-at-home order, there are still options for things to do in Palo Alto other than binge-watching Netflix and taking the dog for another walk.

Friday, 6:55 AM | 14 comments

Thursday, March 26, 2020

PUBLIC AGENDA: Update on school district's COVID-19 response

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of March 30.

Thursday, 7:02 PM | No comments yet
In just two days, Santa Clara County's $11M financial assistance fund has run out

An $11 million financial assistance program announced on Monday to help low-income residents who have lost work as a result of the new coronavirus has already run out of money.

Thursday, 6:44 PM | No comments yet
As much of Palo Alto shutters, new fire station quietly opens

There were snipped ribbons, no congratulatory speeches and no rounds of applause at Rinconada Park last week, when Palo Alto's new fire station went live.

Thursday, 4:30 PM | 11 comments
Armed with breathing machines, respiratory therapists face coronavirus on the front line

Respiratory therapists throughout the Bay Area, who some call "unsung heroes," work with patients most in distress from COVID-19 -- the ones who have severe pneumonia.

Thursday, 4:01 PM | 2 comments
With schools closed until May, child care providers face new demands and dilemmas

With schools across the region shuttered until May, parents are facing an unprecedented child care crisis.

Thursday, 1:37 PM | No comments yet
County jails to begin releasing inmates to reduce spread of coronavirus

Santa Clara County will release inmates and place them in involuntary home detention in an effort to reduce the jail population and lower the risk of spreading the new coronavirus.

Thursday, 12:22 PM | No comments yet
To limit visitors, Palo Alto will close parking lots at nature preserves

Seeking to prevent crowds at popular recreation areas, Palo Alto announced Wednesday that it will close parking lots near Foothills Park, the Arastradero Preserve and the Baylands starting Friday.

Thursday, 9:42 AM | 57 comments

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New COVID-19 Relief Fund launches with $100K donation to vulnerable families

On Wednesday, the Palo Alto Community Fund announced its new COVID-19 Relief Fund to help vulnerable families of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 7:44 PM | No comments yet
Hospitals brace for equipment shortages as coronavirus cases surge

As Santa Clara County braces for a large wave of coronavirus patients, hospitals are also preparing for a shortage of masks, gowns, respirators and other critical protective equipment.

Wednesday, 5:14 PM | 10 comments
Emergency funds for local residents out of work: Where to go and how to apply

Millions of dollars in emergency funds are now available for residents who have lost wages due to the new coronavirus.

Wednesday, 3:41 PM | 2 comments
Palo Alto schools to remain closed through May 1

Hundreds of public schools in six Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara County, will remain closed through May 1, county health officers and superintendents of schools have decided.

Wednesday, 11:55 AM | 68 comments
County aims to take bite out of mosquito breeding on Thursday

Palo Alto Baylands trails will be closed for several hours on Thursday for aerial treatment of mosquitoes, the Santa Clara County Vector Control District said in a press release issued Tuesday.

Wednesday, 9:39 AM | 4 comments

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus-testing tents pop up on Stanford campus and in Menlo Park

Stanford Health Care is gearing up for larger-scale testing of patients with COVID-19 symptoms, erecting tents on the Stanford University campus for use starting in the next few days, a spokeswoman said.

Tuesday, 11:00 PM | 8 comments
Santa Clara County passes ban on evictions to protect renters hard hit by coronavirus

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to halt evictions that would displace families and businesses as a direct result of economic hardship due to the new coronavirus.

Tuesday, 4:35 PM | 2 comments
Will Palo Alto's open space preserves stay open? City hints at restrictions at scenic spots

With more people flocking to the Baylands and Foothills Park for fresh air and exercise, Palo Alto officials are preparing new restrictions to limit crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 3:07 PM | 53 comments
Hotels nearly empty as the new coronavirus 'recession' hits Palo Alto

Like other Bay Area cities, Palo Alto has seen its hotel industry screech to a halt, a development that is particularly ominous for a city that has tethered the funding of its infrastructure plan to hotel-tax revenues.

Tuesday, 9:30 AM | 20 comments
Council abandons plan for business tax as local economy plunges

It took years for Palo Alto to prepare a business tax that city leaders were planning to place on the November ballot. And just one surreal week to shut the effort down.

Tuesday, 9:08 AM | 5 comments

Monday, March 23, 2020

Palo Alto bans residential evictions during pandemic. Small business may be next.

Palo Alto landlords can't evict residential tenants whose ability to pay rent is being hindered by the coronavirus pandemic under a law that the City Council unanimously approved on Monday night.

Monday, 11:10 PM | 15 comments
With ventilators in short supply, companies retool for production

The state needs at least 10,000 ventilators to meet the expected respiratory-care needs of patients with severe COVID-19 cases. Now, some private businesses and colleges are gearing up to close the gap.

Monday, 10:56 PM | 1 comment
More than $11M in assistance planned for COVID-19 affected residents in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County legislators, nonprofits and tech corporations on Monday announced plans for an $11.25 million financial support package for homeless and housing insecure residents facing unemployment during the coronavirus crisis.

Monday, 3:59 PM | 3 comments

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coronavirus shutdown: What the shelter-at-home order means for Palo Alto residents

Many Weekly readers have asked us how the stay-at-home orders issued by local and state leaders will impact their daily lives. We're answering their questions and will take more over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 8:57 AM | 26 comments

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Senior living communities confirm 3 residents test positive for coronavirus

The new coronavirus has infected a man at Lytton Gardens downtown and two residents at Vi at Palo Alto, representatives for the senior living communities said.

Saturday, 12:53 PM | 20 comments
COVID-19 put her in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks. A clinical-trial drug was her 'saving grace.'

What was supposed to be an adventure-filled trip to Egypt for Palo Alto resident Monica Yeung-Arima and her husband took a turn when they contracted the COVID-19 virus.

Saturday, 11:03 AM | 42 comments
Coronavirus weekend update: Santa Clara County outlines plans to prepare hospitals for surge in patients

Santa Clara County is working with local hospitals to get ready for an expected surge in coronavirus patients, county officials said Sunday.

Saturday, 9:53 AM | 17 comments

Friday, March 20, 2020

Within 60 minutes, donation drive raises nearly $600K for emergency medical supplies

Silicon Valley Leadership Group is leading a major campaign to round up respirators, hazmat suits and other supplies for public health care workers in Santa Clara County to stay protected from the coronavirus.

Friday, 5:42 PM | No comments yet
As local economy reels, Palo Alto looks to nix planned business tax

With the business community in a rapid downspin because of the coronavirus pandemic, Palo Alto is preparing to drop its yearslong plan to place a business tax on the ballot this November.

Friday, 5:01 PM | 16 comments
To protect vulnerable renters, Palo Alto may ban residential evictions during pandemic

Palo Alto plans to adopt on Monday an emergency moratorium on residential evictions -- a move that city leaders hope will help residents who have been laid off and are struggling to pay rent as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Friday, 5:00 PM | 9 comments
Riding on VTA is now free, but please, board at the back of the bus

Most passengers will board buses through the rear door and fares will not be collected under changes announced Thursday by the Valley Transportation Authority to promote social distancing and lessen the spread of coronavirus.

Friday, 3:50 PM | No comments yet
The jury is out: County courts scale back, close facilities due to coronavirus

Court hearings are being delayed, entire courthouses are shut down and prospective jurors are being told to disregard orders to appear as Santa Clara County courts adjust to the spread of the coronavirus.

Friday, 3:23 PM | No comments yet
One Palo Alto landlord gave rent breaks to mom-and-pop tenants. Will others follow suit?

As local businesses struggle to survive the coronavirus pandemic, one Palo Alto developer has stepped up to assist his tenants by waiving their April rent. And he hopes others will do the same.

Friday, 1:12 PM | 7 comments
Finding normalcy in the unknown: How students, families are coping with school closures

With the campuses closed and families across Palo Alto under a shelter-at-home order for three weeks, school activities can no longer take place in person. Instead, they're moving online.

Friday, 9:52 AM | 5 comments
The new normal: Life during the coronavirus crisis

As residents adjust to the new normal over the next few weeks, the Weekly is sharing personal stories of how ordinary people are coping during these extraordinary times.

Friday, 9:46 AM | 9 comments
Weekly to continue news coverage, publishing during coronavirus crisis

With employees mostly working from their homes, the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online will continue providing local news coverage for the community.

Friday, 6:53 AM | No comments yet
A message from our publisher on the crisis we face

Today's public health emergency, and the economic devastation that threatens all small businesses, may very well be the final blow that ends local journalism as we know it.

Friday, 6:53 AM | No comments yet
Photo essay: Life under the coronavirus

Through a series of photos, Palo Alto Weekly visual journalists Magali Gauthier and Sammy Dallal have been chronicling the sudden changes in life on the Midpeninsula, from emptied out streets to people finding solace in a stroll.

Friday, 6:52 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom declares statewide shutdown

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide shelter-at-home order on Thursday evening, with all but essential functions to be shut down. The shelter order is open-ended, he said.

Thursday, 11:42 PM | 8 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: Update on COVID-19 response; vote on eviction ban

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of March 23.

Thursday, 8:30 PM | No comments yet
Medical clinics strip services to the 'essentials' during the COVID-19 pandemic

Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and Stanford Health Care are canceling routine and "nonessential" procedures, to protect workers and make them available to care for coronavirus patients as the need arises.

Thursday, 1:19 PM | 14 comments
Blood donations in high demand after shortages due to coronavirus

Canceled appointments at Midpeninsula blood banks are causing a critical shortage, said local blood center officials. They are calling on people to come out to drives now through the end of this month.

Thursday, 1:00 PM | No comments yet
Residents, nonprofits rally to support seniors during 'social isolation'

Life has changed in big ways and small for elderly residents in senior centers and living within the community since the spread of the coronavirus began to accelerate in recent weeks.

Thursday, 9:38 AM | 5 comments

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

'A devastating impact:' The coronavirus claims Clarke's Charcoal Broiler, Mountain View's oldest operating restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 20 comments | 6,132 views

The first few seconds after awakening; before I remember the virus
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,988 views

Can you stay healthy without making more trash?
By Sherry Listgarten | 4 comments | 2,395 views

Think about helping others in our coronavirus-affected area
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 2,203 views

How COVID-19 Affects Communities
By Jessica Zang | 19 comments | 2,178 views



The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details