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Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 28, 2012

Online this year

The top 12 stories of 2012 on Palo Alto Online

Ronald McDonald House eyes major expansion

To cope with rising demand, the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto is planning its most ambitious expansion yet — a three-story, 46,000-square-foot addition that would effectively double its space and add 68 guest rooms. Stanford University is providing land, currently a vacant, grassy plot, adjacent to the current one at 520 Sand Hill Road. (Posted Feb. 12 at 12:29 p.m.)

Group calls for more rail crossings, parks around Caltrain tracks

For Palo Alto residents who live near the Caltrain corridor, the tracks are both a blessing and a curse — a way to get around the Peninsula without cars and a barrier that restricts their ability to travel east and west. This dichotomy, and the opportunities and challenges it presents, is at the center of a new report from a specially appointed Palo Alto Rail Task Force, a 17-member group that has been meeting for more than a year with the goal of adopting an official community "vision" for the corridor. (Posted March 2 at 8:49 a.m.)

Palo Alto detectives find $34 million worth of meth

Three people believed to have ties to a Mexican drug-trafficking organization appeared in court Monday afternoon, March 5, to face charges in one of the largest methamphetamine seizures in U.S. history. Palo Alto police detectives discovered the drugs — 750 pounds of methamphetamine — worth $34 million on the street, while investigating stolen iPads at a San Jose apartment Thursday, March 1. (Posted March 2 at 10:35 p.m.)

Family: Caltrain victim lost battle against mental illness

The man struck by a train in Menlo Park Friday morning, March 9, was Eric Salvatierra, a 39-year-old Palo Alto resident, according to the San Mateo County Coroner's Office. His family released a statement March 11 characterizing his death as a lost battle against a mental illness. (Posted March 11 at 2:34 p.m.)

Teachers: Support needed for graduation proposal

High school teachers Tuesday, March 13, said a move to stiffen graduation requirements, by itself, will not boost the achievement of struggling students. Department heads met with the Board of Education to discuss a proposal to align graduation requirements with entrance criteria for California's public, four-year universities. (Posted March 13 at 9:48 a.m.)

$22M verdict against PAMF in malpractice lawsuit

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation was hit with one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Santa Clara County history Monday, March 19, after a Menlo Park woman suffered paralysis while undergoing treatment for migraines. Robyn Frankel, who was 43 years old in 2006, when the treatment paralyzed her, won a $22 million verdict from the jury of six men and six women. (Posted March 21 at 9:55 a.m.)

Classmates stunned by loss of vivacious Paly graduate

Hundreds gathered Saturday, May 12, to remember the life of Emily Benatar, a vivacious 2011 Palo Alto High School graduate who died May 9 in St. Louis, where she had been a first-year student at Washington University. Benatar's friends at colleges across the country were in the midst of final exams when they learned their cheerful and accomplished childhood friend had lost her battle against meningococcal disease after three weeks in the hospital. (Posted May 18 at 9:05 a.m.)

Palo Alto gymnastics teacher drowns in Yosemite

A popular children's gymnastics teacher drowned in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday, Aug. 1, his family has confirmed. Russell Wright, 57, has taught Palo Alto children for a decade at Gym Fit for Little Ones at the Lucie Stern Community Center. He was at a Merced River swimming hole with his daughter when currents carried him downstream. Wright's foot became caught between two boulders and he drowned, his sister, Moria Peters, said. (Posted Aug. 4 at 8:03 p.m.)

Palo Alto police arrest suspect following manhunt

Palo Alto police arrested Cameron Conley, 19, of Oakland after a nearly three-hour manhunt near downtown Palo Alto Thursday afternoon, Aug. 30. Conley led police on a wild chase through downtown and into the Downtown North neighborhood after a traffic stop on University Avenue, crashing into six cars and attempting to carjack a truck, police said. (Posted Aug. 30 at 1:09 p.m.)

Hobee's at Town & Country to close

Longtime Palo Alto icon Hobee's California Restaurant will close at Town & Country Village shopping center in January, property owner Ellis Partners announced on Thursday, Sept. 27. Hobee's Stanford has been at the corner of Embarcadero Road and El Camino Real since 1984, serving up its well-known blueberry coffee cake and other homey dishes. (Posted Sept. 27 at 3:58 p.m.)

Stanford grad's site nets Southwest 'cease and desist'

When Nikil Viswanathan created a website to automatically check himself in to his flights on Southwest Airlines in January, he did it so that his mother wouldn't have to remind him anymore. But the Stanford computer-science graduate's 45-minute project has now garnered a cease-and-desist demand from the airline's attorneys. (Posted Oct. 23 at 5:13 p.m.)

Former Mayor Gary Fazzino dies of cancer

Gary Fazzino, a longtime member of the Palo Alto City Council, a two-time mayor and one of the leading experts on local political history, died Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, at his Palo Alto home following a 2 1/2-year battle with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. Known for his intelligence, humor and wide-ranging interests, Fazzino, 60, had an unflagging love of Palo Alto and was recognized as the foremost expert on the city's political history. (Posted Oct. 31 at 9:15 a.m.)


Like this comment
Posted by randy albin
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

these seem to be thumbnail sketches of what has been going on. the bay area is so different now. only the wealthy can live comfortably. is it any wonder that these occurences happen in this day and age

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