In the latest Around Town column, news about Palo Alto schools earning top scores in new state rankings, MayView clinic's expanded services and a heated exchange between a bicyclist and pedestrian that goes viral on Reddit.
TOP MARKS ... Some of the state's best high schools can be found in Palo Alto, where public and private institutions ranked high on Niche's 2022 Best Schools and Districts, which were released last month.
Gunn High School was named the best public high school, dethroning San Diego's Canyon Crest Academy, which was bumped to the No. 2 spot. Palo Alto High School came in a respectable fifth place, behind Saratoga High School and the California Academy of Mathematics and Science, located in near Los Angeles in the city of Carson.
Castilleja School also took fifth on the list of best private high schools, just behind Stanford Online High School. California's top private school resides just about 40 miles away from Palo Alto in Oakland. The College Preparatory School came first, followed by The Nueva School in San Mateo and Hillsborough and Harvard-Westlake School in the Los Angeles area.
Now in its eighth year, the rankings capture data from 94,491 public schools, 2,489 private schools and 11,846 school districts across the country. The rankings are based on input from school community members such as current students, alumni and parents, and quantitative data on teachers, resources and other factors from sources like the Department of Education.
WHEELIE POPPIN' ... A video of a man cursing out and calling the cops on a teenager who had been riding his bicycle on his back wheel along University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto is making the rounds on the internet.
Gerardo Maldonado, 18, posted his original video of the encounter to Instagram, which was then reposted on Sept. 27 on Reddit, a content aggregation platform and online forum. There it received about 24,000 "upvotes'' in two days. In the six-minute video, taken Aug. 21, an older man in a blue polo shirt blocks Maldonado's path and accuses the bicyclist of previously "running into" him. Maldonado is heard denying ever crashing into the man. The older man, who claims to be a local, also makes several threats against Maldonado and proceeds to call the police, accusing Maldonado of running into elderly people on multiple occasions.
One pedestrian tries to talk with the angry man and suggests Maldonado leave, but he seems unfazed. "I literally know the cops," Maldonado says in the video. A few others step in, evidently siding with Maldonado and telling the man to leave the teen alone.
Several give Maldonado their contact information in case the incident escalates. Toward the end of the video, others can be heard yelling at the older man, "Leave him alone!" A police investigation "determined that two adult men got into a verbal altercation downtown about perceived unsafe bicycle riding," Lt. Con Maloney told the Weekly via email. The case has been submitted to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
THE RIGHT REMEDY ... Visitors to MayView Palo Alto clinic will notice major renovations and expanded onsite services — many of which will help people follow COVID-19 safety protocols. The updates are evident once you step through the doors of the Grant Avenue facility, which is part of the Ravenswood Family Health Network.
The entrance includes an expanded waiting area, which allows for more social distancing, and a new modular front desk with longer plexiglass. The site has added three exam rooms, which each now have more electrical outlets on the walls (they were previously on the floor, which posed a danger to visitors and staff).
The additional outlets provide staff with enough power sources for equipment such as ultrasound machines, computers and HEPA air filtration systems. There are plans to dedicate two exam rooms for optometry services.
The clinic also has put in a handicap-accessible bathroom with a cabinet for patients to leave specimen samples for lab testing.
The changes extend to staff-only areas as well. Two large team rooms have been renovated to allow for more physical distancing and additional ergonomic equipment.
The health network was able to move forward with the transformation through funds from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and community members.