Tidbits collected by the Weekly staff on people, events and other happenings.
SNAIL MAIL ... President Donald Trump is known for exchanging harsh words over Twitter, but is he ready to express them in writing? Whether he's ready or not, more than 4,000 postcards from Palo Alto and a multitude more from around the country are heading to the White House as part of https://www.theidesoftrump.com/ "The Ides of Trump" campaign that took place on Wednesday, March 15. The national event coincided with "The Ides of March," the day Julius Caesar was assassinated. Organizers aimed to send a million postcards to Washington, D.C. Stephanie Grossman opened her doors for a postcard-writing party the previous day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. An estimated 500 people arrived for an opportunity to write greetings to the president. Word of her event passed through fliers and emails with local Democratic groups. Grossman has hosted other political parties at her Joseph Eichler-built home where she's resided since 1974, welcoming notable politicians including Howard Dean, Barbara Boxer and Anna Eshoo, but Tuesday's turnout was like nothing she's seen before. Visitors took up her kitchen table, side patio, couches and bar stools. She had to set up extra tables and chairs to accommodate everyone, including strangers, who waited in line for a spot. "I should've had a sign-in sheet. I never expected this," she said. Grossman started out with a bunch of pens and 300 prestamped cards from the Capitol because she couldn't find any in Palo Alto. As the day went on, her daughter traveled to San Carlos and a friend went to Belmont for a combined 1,100 preprinted postcards. Eventually the group resorted to 4x6 index cards to pen their messages, one of which said, "Stop creating CHAOS. Support all women's causes; especially Planned Parenthood." Grossman laid out cheese and crackers, fruits and pastries for her guests, but as the day went on she ran out of food. Once 6 p.m. rolled around she was ordering pizza to feed her visitors. What motivated the flock of people to come to her home? "I think that people are so upset with Trump, and there's tremendous frustration. People want to do something," Grossman said. "I'm finding people who have just taken politics for granted realize they can't do that." She was busy putting stamps on all the cards on Wednesday morning before handing them to the post office.
GLIDING TO FIRST PLACE... A Palo Alto teen has gained worldwide attention on the ice rink. Vincent Zhou took first place in the men's division of the International Skating Union World Junior Championships in Taipei, Taiwan that began Wednesday, March 15, and ends Sunday, March 19. For the short program he performed to "Writing's on the Wall," a song by Sam Smith written for 2015 James Bond film "Spectre" on the first day of competition and a track from the 1942 film "Casablanca" for his free skate a day later. The 5-foot-5 inch skater received 258.11 points, his personal best score.
YOUNG CONTENDER ... A fourth-grader at Palo Verde Elementary School will be putting his brain to the test as a semifinalist in this year's California National Geographic State Bee in Fresno on March 31. Abhivir Arvind Iyer is one of the youngest students entering the contest open to children in fourth through fifth grades. He's one of five people in fourth grade to qualify for the competition, which takes the top 100 students from each state who earn top scores in the qualifying test sent to the National Geographic Society. The state winner will earn $100, a copy of the book National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent California in the National Geographic Bee Championship in mid-May. The winner's prizes get even bigger for whoever comes out on top with a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership with the Society and all-expenses paid trip to the Galapagos Islands.