PUTTING IN THE WORK ... Caltrain has updated its schedule of planned street closures in Palo Alto for its electrification project work, which started Nov. 14 and ends Dec. 19. The closures may slow traffic at the Palo Alto Avenue/Alma Street crossing, according to the city. On Dec. 9-17, the crossing will be disabled for signal work and testing at certain days and times. Flaggers will be located at the Palo Alto Avenue (near the transition point to Alma Street) and Churchill Avenue crossings throughout this work, which is set to kick off during the day on Dec. 9. The flaggers will be present for safety and to ensure gates function properly during the test train runs. Vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be stopped for test trains until crews certify the crossing warning systems for safe operation. Overnight work is scheduled on Palo Alto Avenue starting at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 11 through 4 a.m. on Dec. 12. Day and night work also is scheduled on Palo Alto Avenue beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, through Monday, Dec. 19 at 4 a.m. The crossings will be open to motorists and pedestrians when no test train is approaching. Test trains might operate as frequently as every 30 minutes with stop pages of up to five minutes as the trains approach and cross. If testing is not completed during the weekend, some crossings in Palo Alto might be flagged during weekday nights. Testing on weeknights could take place between Dec. 12 and Friday, Dec. 16, from 9:30 p.m.-4 a.m.
HELPING THE 'MISSING MIDDLE' ... The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently approved a pilot program to expand mental health treatment for those in the so-called missing middle — residents who "earn a bit too much to qualify for government-funded health care like Medi-Cal, but cannot afford to pay for care out of pocket or the high-quality insurance that would cover such services," Supervisor Joe Simitian said in a statement. "The mental health needs of the missing middle in our health care system have been overlooked for far too long," Simitian, who proposed the program in May, said in the statement. "We have too many people who slip through the cracks. This new effort is designed for folks who need help accessing affordable mental health services. It's good for patients, good for families, and good for our community." The new pilot program adds mental health services to the county's existing Primary Care Access Program, the statement said, and expands eligibility to include residents making up to 650% of the federal poverty level. More information on the pilot and expanded eligibility is available at district5.sccgov.org.
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