The university has applied for permission from the county to grow its campus by 2.275 million square feet of academic space, 550 units of housing and 2,600 student beds. Its application and the analysis of its potential impact on housing, traffic, the environment and more are now under review by the county. In addition, Simitian and Supervisor Cindy Chavez are in negotiations with Stanford over a possible development agreement that could address a range of community needs and the university's contributions to meet those needs.
Simitian — whose public service includes tenures as Palo Alto mayor, California state senator and California state assemblyman, and other roles — will be joined in a discussion by Palo Alto Weekly Editor Jocelyn Dong and city hall reporter Gennady Sheyner. Questions from the audience will also be taken.
The Town Hall will be held in the City Council chambers from 6:30-8 p.m.
—Palo Alto Weekly staff
Stanford removes Lagunita dam
Water is now flowing freely along a 480-foot stretch of San Francisquito Creek after Stanford University removed the aged Lagunita Diversion Dam.
The 120-year-old dam was located near Alpine Road and the Stanford Weekend Acres neighborhood. The latter is in unincorporated Menlo Park. Removing the 8-foot-high structure now allows water to flow freely downstream to support endangered-fish-species habitat in the creek. San Francisquito is home to a population of the Central California Coast Distinct Population Segment of steelhead.
Removal of the concrete structure began in June 2018 and took five months to complete, according to the university. This section of the creek has been restored to include large rock boulders, logs and crib walls to create pools and riffles (rocky shallows) similar to other parts of the creek favored by the steelhead.
The dam was part of a decades-old controversy regarding Searsville and Lagunita dams. Two environmental groups, Our Children's Earth Foundation and Ecological Rights Foundation, sued Stanford in 2014 claiming that the university had violated the Endangered Species and Clean Water acts by continuing to keep the Lagunita Dam in place.
The university and plaintiffs reached a temporary settlement to halt the lawsuit and a separate legal action regarding Searsville Dam until Stanford could obtain regulatory approvals to change water flow at the Jasper Ridge Road Crossing and remove Lagunita Dam. Stanford has completed the so-called low-flow crossing at Jasper Ridge Road.
Stanford employee denies charges in stabbing
A Stanford University employee arrested Sunday in San Francisco has been charged with attempted homicide for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend while under the influence of LSD, San Francisco prosecutors said.
During his arraignment Wednesday, James Shirvell, 26, pleaded not guilty to the attempted homicide charge, as well as charges of domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury.
According to court documents, Shirvell stabbed his girlfriend numerous times with a kitchen knife at a home in the 500 block of Kansas Street early Sunday morning around 12:25 a.m. Both had taken LSD, a hallucinogen, together at some point before the stabbing.
In court, while arguing for his release, Shirvell's attorney Eric Safire recognized that the victim's injuries were severe but called the stabbing an "isolated incident and really an anomaly."
Several of Shirvell's family and friends showed up to court and Judge Rita Lin allowed some of them to give statements on his behalf.
One statement was in a letter from the victim, Shirvell's girlfriend, who remains hospitalized for stab wounds and lacerations to her shoulder, arm, back, face and head. She also suffered a collapsed lung, according to court documents.
In the letter, which was read by the victim's mother, the victim said Shirvell had "pure intentions" but that night he was "possessed by another force." She also called the incident a "horrific accident."
Shirvell is employed as an assistant director of admission at Stanford, and has been placed on leave, university officials said.
Shirvell is set to appear in court again on March 13.
—Bay City News/Palo Alto Weekly
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