Around Town: Stanford renames main street; Proposal seeks to aid LGBTQ seniors

Also, find out who won this year's Kiwanis Angel Award

In the latest Around Town column, one of Stanford University's major roadways is preparing to go by a new name, a Santa Clara County proposal aims to boost services for LGBTQ seniors and the Kiwanis Club names the winner of its annual Angel Award.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS ... Come Monday, Stanford University's main thoroughfare Serra Mall will officially be known as Jane Stanford Way. The new street name, which honors the university's co-founder, will go into effect on Oct. 7, a date set by the Santa Clara County Surveyor's Office. "With this step, a prominent thoroughfare at the front door of our campus will now honor Jane Stanford, whose vision and strength played a central role in guiding and sustaining the university during its critical early years," Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement. The new name has been cleared by the U.S. Postal Service, Santa Clara County Communication and the county Surveyor's Office. Stanford announced plans to rename the street in February after the board of trustees voted in September 2018 to rename the street that carries the university's official address, which also will be changed. The board approved a recommendation made by a committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni to rename some, but not all, campus facilities that bore the name of Father Junipero Serra, who founded the California mission system. Along with new street signs, the university will install interpretive signage detailing Jane Stanford's legacy. The new Jane Stanford Way will span from Campus Drive West to Campus Drive East. A celebration for the new street name is being planned for sometime during the fall quarter.

A HELPING HAND ... Senior services nonprofit Avenidas could soon roll out new services for LGBTQ seniors under a proposed partnership with Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian. The former Palo Alto mayor is looking to add opportunities for this group to socialize, which would build on the nonprofit's current services, including case management, caregiver support and transportation. The plan also seeks to have staff and community partners undergo health and cultural competency workshops. "I think Avenidas is the perfect partner; their experience and compassion make for a winning combination. And their desire to do even more for LGBTQ seniors is very good news," Simitian said in a press release. LGBTQ seniors have double the chance of living alone and are four times less likely to have children in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts. "This increases the potential for isolation, and they may be more vulnerable to neglect and mistreatment in aging care facilities," according to Simitian's office. The board voted Sept. 24 to refer county staff to compile a report on how the new services would be delivered, with plans to present their findings for board approval in December. "We are now ready to step up and fill the gap in the area of LGBTQ services for older adults," Avenidas Executive Director Amy Andonian said in a press release.

TIPPING OFF OUR HATS ... From feeding animals to fundraising to making presentations, Alyssa Houk is a jack-of-all-trades as general manager of Jasper Ridge Farm, where her work has earned her the 2019 Kiwanis Angel Award. "Alyssa wears many hats for Jasper Ridge Farm, and we believe one of those hats should be a halo!" farm founder Wendy Mattes, who nominated Houk for the honor, said in a press release. The farm's programs have allowed 3,264 children and adults to interact with animals at no charge. The animal-assisted programs have helped adults; children suffering from life-threatening illnesses; children facing homelessness, domestic violence or other issues at home; children with special needs; and teenagers with mental and emotional hurdles. "(The program) allows the family to have some normalcy in their life away from what they're facing every day," Juan Hernandez, the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford's family care manager, said in a statement. Houk is the eighth recipient of the award by the Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto, which comes with a $1,500 donation to Jasper Ridge Farm. Houk will be formally recognized at a ceremony on Oct. 24. For more information on the event, visit


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Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2019 at 10:08 am

>> Come Monday, Stanford University's main thoroughfare Serra Mall will officially be known as Jane Stanford Way

Someone please tell Google, Apple, Tom Tom, etc.

16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Naming anything after a person is a bad idea. Who knows what present day hero will become a persona non gratis when the PC brigade get going on round 2.

14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2019 at 8:05 pm

Agree with Resident above. That was a different time, with different norms. If we are going to call spades spades and start re-writing history, then call them all out and be consistent, starting with the renaming of the University itself:

“To my mind it is clear, that the settlement among us of an inferior race is to be discouraged by every legitimate means. Asia, with her numberless millions, sends to our shores the dregs of her population. Large numbers of this class are already here; and, unless we do something early to check their immigration, the question, which of the two tides of immigration, meeting upon the shores of the Pacific, shall be turned back, will be forced upon our consideration, when far more difficult than now of disposal. There can be no doubt but that the presence among us of numbers of degraded and distinct people must exercise a deleterious influence upon the superior race, and to a certain extent, repel desirable immigration.”

- Leland Stanford, Gov California

2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2019 at 8:46 pm

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> starting with the renaming of the University itself

>> - Leland Stanford, Gov California

Except that, actually, Stanford was named after Leland Stanford, Jr. , who died of typhoid at age 15. Hence, "Leland Stanford Junior University".

4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 6, 2019 at 10:37 pm

^ Leland Stanford Senior was remarkably prescient in choosing names.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 7, 2019 at 2:32 pm

[Portion removed.]

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