In this week's Around Town column, learn about damage from landscaping work that cost the Palo Alto school district nearly $11,000, dozens of Korean-language books donated to the City Library and Tinder's recent property purchase downtown.
PRICEY LANDSCAPING ... In what might be one of the most expensive bills for a grass-trimming job, the Palo Alto school district paid close to $11,000 in two claims filed by people whose parked cars were damaged by rocks and debris kicked up by school landscapers. In one claim filed last month, $6,205 was requested to pay for damage caused by weedwackers at Jordan Middle School in 2016. Stones were "hurled at the car, shattering the front passenger window, damaging the windshield and chipping paint" on the front and hood of the car, the claim reads. The claim was increased to $9,621 for "loss of use" of the car. A second claim asked for $1,174 for damage also caused by rocks and debris from crews cutting the grass at Jordan. The district ultimately paid $10,795 in indemnity and $250 in expense payments, according a letter from an insurance broker provided by the district.
NEW ADDITIONS ... On Tuesday, the Palo Alto City Library celebrated a donation of 100 Korean language books from the Korean Language and Culture Foundation. The gift included a facsimile of "The Jikji," an ancient Buddhist text that was the first book printed using movable metal type. Published in 1377, 78 years prior to the printing of the Gutenberg Bible, it was "rediscovered" and honored as a valuable piece of international human heritage by the UNESCO's "Memory of the World" program in 2001. Though the first half of the original printing is now lost, the second half is currently held by the National Library of France in Paris. The original woodcut version, which maintains both volumes of the text, is kept, perhaps more fittingly, by the National Library of Korea and the Academy of Korean Studies. The copy the city received is a facsimile created to commemorate the book's status. Though it is a facsimile, it is apparently a very nice one. "It's actually bound with a sewn binding," said Library Director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, who added it was a very believable replica. She was joined by Consul General of Korea Sungdo Lee, who traveled in from San Francisco, and Foundation Director Eun-Hee Koo for the book transfer ceremony. "It is significant to create a close relationship with the City of Palo Alto since many famous IT companies started in Palo Alto," Lee said in a press release. The 99 other books donated to the city, which has about 1,500 Korean-speaking residents, were carefully selected and include many Korean translations of English books for adults and children. "These organizations chose to partner with the Palo Alto City Library to make the Korean books available because of Palo Alto's popularity among the Korean speaking community," le Conge Ziesenhenne said in a press release. The donated books, which will each have a special bookplate marking, will be divided between the Mitchell Park and Children's libraries. Patrons can find the books by searching "Korean language and Culture Foundation donation" in the library's online catalog. the facsimile of "The Jikji" will likely join one of the two locations. "We haven't figured out what to do with it yet," le Conge Ziesenhenne said. "It's a little tricky."
A PERFECT MATCH ... Tinder, the dating app where users swipe through profiles to find potential dates, is taking its relationship with Palo Alto to the next level by expanding its operations downtown. The Hollywood-based company is relocating from its 2,992-square-foot office on Emerson Street to the entire 9,000-square-foot second floor at 209 Hamilton Ave. to make room for its growing staff of engineers. The company is spending $1.5 million to retrofit the building, according to permit records. Tinder opened its first satellite office at 471 Emerson St. in October 2016 (at the site of Facebook's first office) so it could better recruit employees with tech skills, CEO Sean Rad said in a 2016 interview with Recode. The company, which started out with 20 engineers at the satellite office, planned to double its Silicon Valley staff to 40 within the first year of opening, Rad said. The company is currently looking to fill 10 engineering positions, according to job listings posted in late October.