DAY OF THE BIKE ... Handlebars will compete with steering wheels for road supremacy on May 9 as Palo Alto joins other cities and states throughout the nation for "Bike to Work Day." The event is part of a broader celebration of May as "National Bike Month," which the City Council will recognize with a special resolution on Monday night (this is not to be confused with 2011, Palo Alto's "Year of the Bike").
CHARGING AHEAD ... When Palo Alto officials meet behind closed doors Monday night to discuss lithium batteries, it won't be as part of a new green-energy initiative or technology pilot. The city is one of many agencies that is considering initiating a lawsuit against foreign companies that have been accused of price fixing in other lawsuits filed in California and in New Jersey. Samsung, Sony and Panasonic are among the companies named in these lawsuits. City Attorney Molly Stump said the pending lawsuits allege that lithium-battery manufacturers "illegally conspired to fix and inflate prices for those batteries between 2001 and 2011." The Palo Alto council, she said, will consider "whether to participate as a class representative seeking redress on behalf of cities, schools and individual consumers of products that contain lithium ion batteries manufactured by the defendants."
GIVING IT IN SPADES ... The groundbreaking for the new Stanford Hospital was a gala affair on Wednesday, May 1, with champagne, hand-rolled sushi and miniature hamburger sliders with caramelized onions and bleu cheese. But the gift bags included a more symbolic treat. Along with an embroidered cap with the hospital's name, several hundred celebrants received a miniature chocolate spade — a replica of the ones used by hospital and university officials and Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff to dig shovelfuls of dirt during the ceremony. The hospital expansion will be completed in 2017, and is expected to open to patients in early 2018, officials said.
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