Recent News

Thursday, April 25, 2019

School district to lose chief business officer

Palo Alto Unified's Chief Business Officer Jim Novak, whose hiring was hailed by a school board member last year as "a real coup," is retiring at the end of the school year due to personal health issues, he said Thursday.

Thursday, 4:00 PM | 2 comments
Popular but expensive train-tunnel proposal splits Palo Alto council

As Palo Alto approaches a decision on the best way to separate the railroad tracks from local streets, city leaders remain divided over the most ambitious and expensive option on the table: an underground tunnel stretching from one end of the city to the other.

Thursday, 8:39 AM | 46 comments
Shop Talk: Pizza Chicago relocates; Mike's Cafe to reopen soon

In the latest Shop Talk retail column, read about the return of a longtime local favorite cafe, a pizzeria changing locations in Palo Alto, new businesses coming to California Avenue and an Indian restaurant's new casual concept.

Thursday, 8:25 AM | 8 comments

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Armed robber in bandana steals money from 7-Eleven store

A bandana-wearing man robbed the 7-Eleven store in Midtown Palo Alto of money at gunpoint early Wednesday morning, triggering a neighborhood search that turned out fruitless, police said.

Wednesday, 8:45 PM | 13 comments
VTA offers free transit on Thursday

On Thursday, April 25, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority wants to treat you to your commute.

Wednesday, 12:23 PM | No comments yet
Teachers push back against reorganization of arts department

For the second time in as many years, Palo Alto Unified art teachers, students and parents are protesting the consolidation of a district-level art position, a decision they said was made without consulting those who would be impacted by it.

Wednesday, 9:45 AM | 19 comments
Smash-and-grab car burglars caught minutes before their attempt to flee

Two men who were caught allegedly burglarizing two cars at a downtown Palo Alto parking garage were arrested late last week with help from a witness who notified authorities of the break-ins as they unfolded, police said Wednesday.

Wednesday, 8:57 AM | 25 comments

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Busted sprinkler head leaves Old Pro sports bar with significant water damage

A busted sprinkler head at Old Pro sports bar in Palo Alto gushed out enough water to force out customers and employees and close down the downtown business for repairs, a fire official said.

Tuesday, 6:33 PM | 11 comments
City budget proposes more transportation staff, continued defraying of pension costs

Palo Alto plans to freeze four Police Department positions, raise its stake in employee pensions and take a less central role in Project Safety Net, a community collaboration to promote youth well-being, under a budget that City Manager Ed Shikada presented Monday night.

Tuesday, 4:22 PM | 3 comments
Following reports of explosion, two sent to hospital with 'serious' burns

Two workers suffered serious burns Tuesday morning while they were repairing an elevator in the Park Plaza Apartments building at 2865 Park Blvd. in Palo Alto.

Tuesday, 1:03 PM | 2 comments
Holiday Fund drive raises record-breaking $411K for local nonprofits

The Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund campaign exceeded expectations this year by raising $411,000 for local nonprofits, the largest amount in its 26-year history.

Tuesday, 9:58 AM | 9 comments
District, teachers union reach tentative agreement on 2% raise

The Palo Alto Unified School District and its teachers union have reached a tentative three-year labor agreement that would provide an ongoing 2% raise and 2% one-time bonus this year.

Tuesday, 9:33 AM | 19 comments
Ravenswood appoints new principals for 2019-20 school year

The Ravenswood City School District Board of Education approved new leaders for two schools on Thursday, while other principals remain in interim district-level roles through the summer.

Tuesday, 8:38 AM | 12 comments
Palo Alto revives its interest in a business tax

After four years of false starts and sharp disagreements, Palo Alto kicked off on Monday a new effort to place a business tax on the November 2020 ballot.

Tuesday, 2:21 AM | 27 comments

Monday, April 22, 2019

Coroner identifies East Palo Alto motorcyclist killed in freeway crash

A motorcyclist who died in a Menlo Park crash on U.S. Highway 101 early Saturday morning has been identified as 34-year-old East Palo Alto resident Fredrick Mahoni, according to the San Mateo County Coroner's Office.

Monday, 8:39 AM | 1 comment

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Around Town: Standing the test of time; undercrossing reopened

In the latest Around Town column, a Palo Alto resident who has become a voice for sexual assault victims joins a list of influential people, the Adobe Creek underpassing reopens and the Palo Alto City Council will consider a measure to include in the 2020 general election ballot.

Sunday, 8:54 AM | 2 comments
Finding a home for youth mental health clinic

An ambitious plan to open a North County youth mental health center is proving to be a challenge, beset by delays and escalating costs as Santa Clara County officials scour Palo Alto for a location.

Sunday, 8:53 AM | 1 comment

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Update: Missing Palo Alto woman who berated MAGA hat-wearing man found safe

A Palo Alto woman who made national headlines when she verbally assaulted a man wearing a Make America Great Again hat on April 1, has been located after having gone missing since Thursday, April 18.

Saturday, 12:05 PM | 3 comments
Midpeninsula mayors, tech company transportation leaders convene to talk traffic

In view of a hulking manzanita tree branch hung from the wall at the Unitarian Universalist Church in south Palo Alto, mayors and other elected officials from Redwood City to Sunnyvale met with transportation program leaders from the area's biggest employers on Thursday, April 18.

Saturday, 8:59 AM | 34 comments

Friday, April 19, 2019

Village Stationers to close Menlo Park and Los Altos locations

For 53 years, Village Stationers has helped Peninsula residents find gifts, cards, office supplies and more at its family-run stationery shops. But the owner of the business says Village's two remaining locations, in Menlo Park and Los Altos, will be shuttered before the end of the summer.

Friday, 4:03 PM | 18 comments
No webcast this week

The "Behind the Headlines" crew is on break this week and will return with a fresh episode next week.

Friday, 3:41 PM | No comments yet
PUBLIC AGENDA: Proposed 2020 ballot measure; park improvement ordinance

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of April 22.

Friday, 3:40 PM | No comments yet
Ravenswood school district, KIPP charter school reach facilities-rental agreement

In an eleventh-hour agreement, lawyers for the Ravenswood City School District and KIPP Valiant Community Prep Charter School reached a contract on Thursday night to expand the growing charter school at its current two school sites.

Friday, 9:51 AM | No comments yet
City: University Avenue will be partly closed Saturday, early next week

Motorists planning to travel through downtown Palo Alto in the coming days can expect detours as a result of roadwork, city staff announced Thursday.

Friday, 7:02 AM | No comments yet
Off Deadline: Bringing real-world humanity to the Great Immigration Debate

As the Great Immigration Debate rages in America and other countries, there's a modest bit of sanity -- and humanity -- happening in Palo Alto that brings people virtually face to face with real immigrants.

Friday, 6:53 AM | 29 comments
Editorial: Hoping for goodwill and leverage, Stanford may wind up with neither

The self-congratulatory press release issued late Monday by Stanford University and Palo Alto school Superintendent Don Austin brought the intended headlines, leading the public to believe that an actual deal had been reached to mitigate Stanford's future development impacts on the schools.

Friday, 6:52 AM | 46 comments

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Alarming data prompts East Palo Alto to consider smoking ban in apartments, condos

East Palo Alto is studying a possible ban on smoking in multiunit housing after a San Mateo County civil grand jury report called on the city and other jurisdictions to hold public hearings evaluating such restrictions.

Thursday, 9:43 AM | 9 comments

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Measles reported in Google employee at Mountain View campus

An employee working at Google in Mountain View may be among those diagnosed with measles.

Wednesday, 3:43 PM | 10 comments
Palo Alto aligns itself against 'one-size-fits-all' housing bills

Responding to a flurry of housing bills moving through Sacramento, Palo Alto's elected leaders took a stance on Monday night against any legislation that proposes a "one-size-fits-all" approach to land use decision-making.

Wednesday, 10:23 AM | 80 comments
Atherton to hold memorial, tree planting in honor of former town arborist

Kathy Hughes Anderson, Atherton's former town arborist who was stabbed to death in her Menlo Park home in December, will be honored by the town in conjunction with its Arbor Day celebration on Thursday, April 18.

Wednesday, 9:24 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Over Simitian objections, school board voices support for Stanford agreement

Palo Alto school district leaders on Tuesday lauded a proposed agreement between the district and Stanford University -- a deal that includes an estimated $140 million in benefits and a provision that threatens to upend the entire approval process for the university's expansion plan.

Tuesday, 10:12 PM | 65 comments
County abruptly halts development-agreement talks for Stanford's expansion

Citing significant concerns about Stanford University's newly announced deal with the Palo Alto Unified School District, Santa Clara County on Tuesday suspended indefinitely its negotiations with the university over a development agreement that would have governed Stanford's proposed expansion.

Tuesday, 2:03 PM | 34 comments
Scabies found in four Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus drivers

Four Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority drivers have been confirmed to have scabies, a skin rash caused by a tiny burrowing parasite.

Tuesday, 1:40 PM | 2 comments
Santa Clara County confirms its fourth case of measles

The United States is on pace to have the worst measles outbreak since 1994, with 555 cases across 20 states since Jan. 1 and four confirmed cases in Santa Clara County, public health officials said Tuesday.

Tuesday, 12:06 PM | 2 comments
Palo Alto looks to distance cell antennas from homes, schools

Seeking to strike a balance between federal requirements and resident concerns, Palo Alto approved on Monday night new rules for reviewing the flurry of applications that the city has been receiving from telecommunication companies seeking to install antennas on local streetlights and utility poles.

Tuesday, 1:09 AM | 20 comments

Monday, April 15, 2019

School board, Stanford close in on deal for university's expansion

After months of contentious negotiations, Stanford University and the Palo Alto Unified School District are on the verge of approving an agreement that requires the university to contribute more than $120 million in funding for new district students as part of its ambitious expansion plan.

Monday, 7:41 PM | 26 comments
Palatella, McGlashan plead not guilty in college bribery scam

Two Midpeninsula parents in the college-admissions bribery scandal pleaded not guilty to charges in the nationwide $25-million scandal while a Palo Alto couple has asked the federal court to dismiss the same charges against them in the case, according to court documents.

Monday, 7:30 PM | 10 comments

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Around Town: Keep calm and love goats; cost drivers

In this week's Around Town column, a Palo Alto Animal Control officer helps a herd of 80 goats find their way home, the city's traffic-fighting nonprofit seeks more funds and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's changes to its proposed New Transit Service Plan.

Saturday, 8:11 AM | 2 comments

Friday, April 12, 2019

Sutter Health to return $30 million to Medicare Advantage for alleged false claims

The health care provider that operates Palo Alto Medical Foundation has agreed to pay the federal government $30 million to settle a major lawsuit for allegedly submitting false information about the health status of Medicare Advantage Plan beneficiaries, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

Friday, 6:08 PM | 8 comments
Webcast: Recycling at the crossroads

Phil Bobel, Palo Alto's assistant director of Public Works, talks about the uncertainty facing the city's recycling operation since China has become unwilling to buy recycled items that are considered "contaminated."

Friday, 4:53 PM | 2 comments
City staff: Palo Alto needs residents to do better job of sorting, cleaning recyclables

Contamination restrictions for recyclables have become more strict in China, affecting sorting stations in the U.S. and pushing city waste haulers to ask for public assistance with separating their refuse, according to Phil Bobel, Palo Alto's assistant director of public works.

Friday, 2:38 PM | 25 comments
PUBLIC AGENDA: Proposed wireless antennas rules; fund for transportation nonprofit

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of April 15.

Friday, 12:50 PM | No comments yet
Palo Alto offers raises to largest labor union

Citing significant recruitment and retention challenges, Palo Alto is preparing to approve a new three-year contract with the city's largest labor union that would include an immediate 3.5% salary hike and raises as high as 20% for critical utilities positions that have been particularly difficult to fill.

Friday, 9:34 AM | 9 comments
A journey of 9,500 miles. Why recyclables are heading overseas to Asia.

As Palo Alto works to achieve zero waste, there are new environmental obstacles arising from changes in global recycling standards that the city must consider since it currently sends about 75% of its recyclables overseas.

Friday, 6:52 AM | 15 comments
With pressure rising, city eyes overhaul of cell-antenna rules

With Palo Alto facing a flood of applications from telecommunications companies wanting to install new wireless antennas throughout city, elected leaders find themselves caught between new federal rules and concerned residents.

Friday, 6:51 AM | 28 comments
Born in a garage, grassroots robotics team heads to world championships

Peninsula Robotics, a scrappy, student-run robotics group started in a garage, won a wild-card spot at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Houston, Texas next week.

Friday, 6:51 AM | 3 comments
Editorial: Not-so-free parking

Palo Alto has to be the only city that provides valet parking at no charge in a city parking garage -- at a cost of some $15 per car parked -- while at the same time saying that reducing car use is one of its top transportation priorities.

Friday, 6:50 AM | 26 comments
Guest Opinion: Recycling — a 'good deed' that punishes southeast Asia

Palo Alto's wastes should not impact any community in southeast Asia more adversely than locally acceptable environmental or social standard. A second principle is that when we do not know the social or environmental impact of our waste; we must presume that the impact is harmful rather than benign.

Friday, 6:50 AM | 15 comments

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