In the latest column, news about a little league team emerging from the elimination bracket to win a title, a nearly $700,000 grant for a massive habitat restoration in East Palo Alto and a Stanford University student who was named a finalist in the Modern Love College Essay Contest.
BRINGING HOME THE TITLE ... The Palo Alto 13s All Stars have every reason to celebrate. The team won the District 52 All Stars Championship on June 23, overcoming Redwood City 6-5.
The competition "kept the crowd on the edge of their seats until the very end," Saxon Noh, president of Palo Alto Little League, wrote in a post-game recap.
They brought their A-game to Red Morton Park, where Isaac Fredericson's sacrifice fly helped Palo Alto secure a 2-1 lead early on in the contest. Both teams traded runs in the fifth inning, had "solid defensive play" in the sixth inning, found themselves tied 5-5 going into the seventh inning and eventually played extra innings, according to Noh.
The win was a real comeback for the Palo Alto players. "After losing its first game in the tournament and needing 4 wins in 4 days, Palo Alto did the unthinkable and ran the table of the elimination bracket to bring home the Championship!"
While they have the title in hand, the Palo Alto team can't relax just yet. The players have another challenge on their hands: the California Section 3 Intermediate All Star Tournament in Fremont this weekend.
MONEY FOR THE MARSHLANDS ... A grant of just over a half-million dollars will allow two nonprofits to undertake a massive habitat restoration in East Palo Alto, protecting local wildlife and engaging the community.
Through the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority's Measure AA grant program, local environment-based nonprofits Grassroots Ecology and Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) have received a grant of $688,016.
The organizations are working with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District to restore a marsh-upland transition zone habitat along 2,400 linear feet of the Bay Trail at Ravenswood Preserve in East Palo Alto.
According to a press release from Grassroots Ecology, the endangered Ridgway's rail and salt marsh harvest mouse reside in the marsh, as well as other vulnerable species that will benefit from the shelter and new native vegetation.
Violet Saena, founder and director of Climate Resilient Communities, said that the project responds to community leaders who have emphasized the importance of education and awareness on issues surrounding climate change.
As part of the project, Grassroots Ecology plans to hire interns from the community and work with other East Palo Alto-based organizations, such as Anamatangi Polynesian Voices and Nuestra Casa.
"This project will provide these opportunities, foster a sense of ownership for local open space and increase local knowledge of the many ecosystem benefits of marsh habitat," Saena said.
TRUE STORIES ... Navigating the complex world of relationships can be confusing, just ask Stanford University junior Kyleigh McPeek, a finalist in this year's Modern Love College Essay Contest by The New York Times. Her piece, "This Is How We Talk About Ending Things," was published June 24 online.
In her essay, McPeek walks the reader through conversations with men who she was involved with and said they weren't ready for a relationship. The piece starts off in a car parked outside of a 7-Eleven, where the guy initiates the talk while Radiohead's "Last Flowers" plays in the background. In a different flashback, McPeek recounts an encounter with another guy who gave her the "stomach-dropping announcement" while they were in his fraternity bedroom where he was packing for his flight: "I don't see this being more than what's going on now," he told her. McPeek then introduces the reader to a third guy, who let her down as they were cuddling. "The gut punch of him telling me that he's 'not really looking for anything right now, by the way,' was beginning to feel familiar by then, as were the reasons he gave — because everyone says the same things," she wrote.
She recalls encounters with two more guys before looking back at the "original version of this conversation" at age 12 during a meal with her mother at Moe's BBQ, where she learned her parents were getting divorced. Her parents later moved next door to each other and they continued to spend holidays and vacations together, never talking about how the marriage ended. "We pretended that nothing ended, nothing changed," she wrote.