Recent News

Friday, June 24, 2016

Scott Delucchi departs for Monterey SPCA post

Scott Delucchi, a former Menlo Park resident, has left his post as vice president of community relations for the Peninsula Humane Society to become chief executive officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Monterey County.

Friday, 5:17 PM | No comments yet
Firefighters extinguish second homeless camp blaze since March

Firefighters on Friday morning (June 24) paid another emergency visit to the site of a grass fire at an undeveloped area in Menlo Park at the intersection of Willow Road, Bayfront Expressway and University Avenue. The area, known as the Kavanaugh Tract, is used as a campground by the homeless.

Friday, 2:54 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park's assessed property value up 12.5 percent

The assessed value of property in Menlo Park grew by 12.5 percent in 2105, a faster rate than that of any other city in San Mateo County, county assessor Mark Church announced on June 23. The assessed property value rose 8.2 percent in Atherton, 6.9 percent in Woodside and 4.5 percent in Portola Valley.

Friday, 11:59 AM | 2 comments
Menlo Park: Home burglary suspect nabbed

An attempt by Menlo Park police to talk to the driver of a vehicle whose occupants appeared to be scoping out homes to burglarize in the area of O'Connor Street led to a car and foot chase and the arrest of one of at least two burglary suspects on Thursday.

Friday, 11:46 AM | 7 comments
Facebook expansion could exacerbate housing issues, report says

Facebook's expansion – a project that would add two office buildings and a hotel, totaling more than a million square feet – is unlikely to have a direct impact on the housing crisis in East Palo Alto and Belle Haven, but it could yield an indirect impact, a new report says.

Friday, 11:18 AM | No comments yet
Firefighters extinguish homeless camp blaze; second since March

Firefighters put out a brush fire that broke out at a homeless encampment in Menlo Park this morning near Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road.

Friday, 8:26 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, June 23, 2016

FAA approves Surf Air route to take planes over Bay

Commuter airline Surf Air has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to start flying a new approach to the San Carlos Airport, sending its planes over the Bay from Moffett Field past the Dumbarton Bridge whenever conditions allow, starting on Tuesday, July 5.

Thursday, 11:53 AM | 6 comments
Menlo Park council raises staff salaries at cost of $430K

The Menlo Park City Council passed a $113 million budget Tuesday and agreed to a higher pay for city employees that will cost about $430,000 the first year.

Thursday, 11:37 AM | 1 comment

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

DA proposes mandatory prison sentence for sexual-assault crimes

In the wake of widespread outrage over the three months former Stanford University student-athlete Brock Turner will spend in jail after sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman on campus last year, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced Wednesday proposed legislation that would eliminate the possibility of probation and make years in prison mandatory for anyone convicted of the same crime.

Wednesday, 11:21 PM | 2 comments
Sacred Heart Schools hosts 118th commencement

Sacred Heart Preparatory graduated 144 students recently at the 118th commencement ceremony at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton.

Wednesday, 10:44 PM | No comments yet
Woodside: Ex-councilman sees himself as watchdog of architectural board

Woodside resident Dave Burow left the Town Council in December but he stays active in town affairs, showing up occasionally at council meetings and regularly at meetings of the Architectural and Site Review Board.

Wednesday, 10:35 PM | No comments yet
San Mateo County launches app for dads

San Mateo County has launched an app called "SMC Dads" designed to give dads information about local parenting resources.

Wednesday, 10:33 PM | No comments yet
County holds vigil for Orlando shooting victims

"Ellos solo querian bailar," said Jorge Bautista, a minister at the Congregational Church of San Mateo, speaking at a June 17 vigil held at the county center in Redwood City to mourn the 49 people who died in a shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. Translated, Mr. Bautista's statement says, "They only wanted to dance."

Wednesday, 10:23 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Residents skeptical Facebook expansion will have 'less than significant' housing impact

Residents question a draft environmental impact report that says adding about 6,550 employees and no housing will have a "less than significant" impact on the city's population and housing situation.

Wednesday, 10:42 AM | 15 comments
How locals voted in presidential primary

In the 62 precincts in the Almanac area, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won 72 percent of the Democratic vote in the June 7 presidential primary, according to data provided by the San Mateo County Elections Office.

Wednesday, 10:24 AM | 6 comments
Police calls in Menlo Park, Woodside, West Menlo Park

A Menlo Park woman sent $10,000 in cash via Fed Ex to someone claiming to be her granddaughter and saying she needed the money to get out of jail. A conversation with her actual granddaughter a couple of weeks later proved the incident was a scam.

Wednesday, 10:14 AM | No comments yet
Atherton, Caltrain squabble over train horns

Atherton's quiet zone, where trains aren't to blow their horns near the Fair Oaks Lane crossing except in an emergency, went into effect on June 13. But Caltrain says a loophole allows sounding the horns through the adjacent station.

Wednesday, 10:07 AM | 9 comments

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Staff salaries, water conservation on tonight's Menlo Park City Council agenda

Staff salary range boosts and water conservation are two of the issues the Menlo Park City Council is scheduled to vote on today, Tuesday, June 21.

Tuesday, 7:25 PM | No comments yet
Lawyer explains when school district can exclude public

After promising to involve the public in future planning, the Menlo Park City School District invited a lawyer to a board meeting June 13 to explain why the public can legally be excluded from some of those discussions.

Tuesday, 8:30 AM | 13 comments

Monday, June 20, 2016

Jenna Carson: a force in helping at-risk students succeed

It's uncommon to encounter an advocate for narrowing one's choices, but fewer options can sometimes be what's called for, according to Menlo-Atherton High School's Jenna Carson.

Monday, 11:27 PM | 1 comment
Police arrest pair in connection with Atherton, Menlo Park mail theft

Palo Alto police arrested a man and a woman Tuesday, June 7, for allegedly stealing mail from several residential mailboxes in Atherton and Menlo Park.

Monday, 11:24 PM | 3 comments
'Spare the Air' alert issued for today

A Spare the Air alert has been issued for Tuesday, June 21, in the Bay Area, the fourth such alert issued this month for unhealthy air conditions, air district officials said.

Monday, 1:32 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Teacher arrested after physical altercations with students

George Karr, 42, a physical education teacher at Willow Oaks School in Menlo Park, was arrested June 10 after a physical altercation with two children, ages 10 and 11, during a baseball game, Menlo Park police reported.

Monday, 1:10 PM | 10 comments
Councilman Mueller: Menlo Park Planning Commission has too much on its plate tonight

Attempting to review two massive and important reports – one on Facebook's expansion plans and the other on the general plan update – in one meeting is not a good idea, says Menlo Park Council Ray Mueller. He is calling on the city manager to postpone tonight's Planning Commission review of an environmental impact report on the general plan update, so the commission can focus on the Facebook report.

Monday, 12:46 PM | No comments yet
PG&E to covert 229 Atherton street lights to LEDs

Pacific Gas & Electric will spend two or three weeks converting 229 utility-owned street lights in Atherton to LEDs this summer, allowing the town to save on its utility bills.

Monday, 10:46 AM | 9 comments
Beekeeping presentation keeps Woodside's Town Hall buzzing

Woodside's historic Town Hall was buzzing on Sunday, June 12, as the town's Open Space Committee sponsored a presentation on beekeeping.

Monday, 10:42 AM | No comments yet

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Foundation raises $900,000 for Woodside High School

Woodside High School will be participating in the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League in the 2016-17 school year, one of many new opportunities made possible by donors to the Woodside High School Foundation.

Sunday, 10:58 PM | 1 comment
Scholarship fund honors longtime college adviser Alice Kleeman

In a first for Menlo-Atherton High School's Senior Awards Night, held this year on May 31, scholarships were handed out in the name of Alice Kleeman, a college adviser for M-A students for 20 years before retiring in June 2015.

Sunday, 10:55 PM | 1 comment
Portola Valley event benefits abandoned exotic animals

Representatives from various corners of the animal kingdom -- reptiles, birds and mammals, including some 350 humans -- spent about four hours together for a good cause recently in Portola Valley's Westridge neighborhood.

Sunday, 10:49 PM | No comments yet

Friday, June 17, 2016

Menlo Park Kiwanis Club awards M-A students $41,000 in scholarships

The Menlo Park Kiwanis Club awarded $41,000 in eight scholarships to graduates of Menlo-Atherton High School at a recent lunchtime ceremony at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park.

Friday, 11:42 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: capital of commercial drones

Menlo Park has more registered commercial drones than any other U.S. city, according to a database released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on May 18, and initially reported by MarketWatch.

Friday, 11:34 AM | 2 comments
Menlo Rotary Club awards $125,000 in scholarships

More than 100 students from local high schools received scholarships and academic awards during the Rotary Club of Menlo Park's recent scholastic achievement awards ceremony at Menlo-Atherton High School's Performing Arts Center.

Friday, 11:24 AM | No comments yet
County aims to ease citizenship process for immigrants

To help San Mateo County residents seeking U.S. citizenship, the county has created the Office of Immigration Support and Coordination.

Friday, 11:23 AM | No comments yet
Feature: At 100, Menlo Park Library pivots to face 21st century

In its first century, the library has grown from a few books in a school building to two buildings, a $2.7 million annual budget and up to 15 full-time employees, circulating an estimated 423,000 books over the past 12 months.

Friday, 11:21 AM | No comments yet
Portola Valley talk: 'A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage'

Jeff Chu, a former Time magazine staffer and the author of "Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America," will speak at Valley Presbyterian Church five times over a period of eight days as part of the church's Spiritual Catalysts series, starting June 19.

Friday, 11:13 AM | No comments yet
Today: San Mateo County vigil for victims of Orlando shooting

In the wake of the June 11 shooting at an Orlando nightclub that left 49 dead and dozens injured, San Mateo County will hold a vigil to remember victims and show opposition to homophobia and gun violence.

Friday, 7:34 AM | 16 comments

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Today: Two huge reviews on general plan, Facebook for Menlo Park Planning Commission

Academic ambition is one thing. It is another thing to be assigned almost 10,000 pages of documents (in the form of two lengthy draft environmental impact reports) as a member of a volunteer civic commission to read through, ask clarifying questions about, and give recommendations for -- all in one sitting.

Thursday, 4:17 PM | 12 comments
Atherton council votes to impose full parcel tax rate in coming fiscal year

Even though Atherton has a healthy budget surplus, City Council members voted unanimously on Wednesday, June 15, not to reduce the amount of the parcel tax residents pay, saying they need the money to help pay for projects to improve and repair the town's road and drainage systems.

Thursday, 11:50 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park man faces prison term for burglary of occupied home

A 24-year-old Menlo Park man, nabbed by police inside a 74-year-old woman's Menlo Park home in February with $5,000 worth of her jewelry, pleaded no contest Wednesday to two counts of residential burglary.

Thursday, 11:32 AM | 3 comments
Atherton installing pedestrian-activated stoplight where man was killed

A pedestrian-activated stoplight should be operating on El Camino at Almendral Avenue by the end of the summer, Atherton officials say. A 32-year-old Atherton resident was killed at the crosswalk in 2014.

Thursday, 9:55 AM | 12 comments

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Atherton: Gas line break repaired, roads reopened

A gas line main break on Encinal Avenue near Laurel Street reported by the Atherton Police Department at about 1 p.m. was repaired and local roads reopened by a little after 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15.

Wednesday, 1:38 PM | 2 comments
Woodside: Man fined $212K for cutting down mature trees

A letter to a post office box is how Woodside Town Hall will initiate seeking payment of a $212,500 fine assessed on Rudolph Koppl for the premature felling of 22 large trees on a vacant 3.2-acre lot at 205 Mountain Wood Lane.

Wednesday, 11:53 AM | 19 comments
Menlo Park: How zoning changes could affect traffic, water

An environmental impact report says that if the proposed zoning changes are made, the city's M-2 area – located east of U.S. 101 – could get more housing and more traffic, all while edging closer to maxing out the city's water allocation.

Wednesday, 11:40 AM | 1 comment
Police calls: Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park

Unlocked doors figure in two residential burglaries, in Woodside and Portola Valley, and a house is ransacked in Menlo Park.

Wednesday, 8:24 AM | 1 comment
DA disqualifies Judge Persky from new sex-assault case

The embattled judge who presided over the trial of former Stanford University student-athlete Brock Turner was disqualified Tuesday from hearing an unrelated sexual-assault case.

Wednesday, 8:23 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Atherton now has a 'quiet zone' for Fair Oaks rail crossing

On Monday, June 13, Atherton became the first community on the Caltrain corridor to have a "quiet zone" where train operators can only blow their horns when they encounter a hazard, but an observer says Caltrain isn't honoring it much of the time.

Tuesday, 11:13 AM | 12 comments
Wednesday: Atherton council looks at budget, neighborhood traffic

Atherton's City Council is scheduled to vote on a budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, set the rate for the upcoming year's parcel tax, and look at a neighborhood traffic management plan when it meets Wednesday.

Tuesday, 10:38 AM | No comments yet
Tonight: Aircraft noise forum set for Redwood City

Those upset about commercial aircraft noise will have an opportunity on Wednesday, June 15, to sound off to the Federal Aviation Administration and hear about activities of a new committee of elected officials appointed to deal with the problem.

Tuesday, 8:49 AM | 14 comments
Menlo Park budget shows hotel tax will produce more revenue than sales tax

The city of Menlo Park's hotel tax is expected to produce more revenue than sales taxes for the first time.

Tuesday, 8:47 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park police use door hangers to notify residents of code violations

Since January, Menlo Park code-enforcement officers have used door hangers to notify Belle Haven residents that a property is in violation of city codes.

Tuesday, 8:42 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park Police Department releases data

The Menlo Park Police Department has released its 2015 data sets on traffic stops with dispositions, calls for service, and the police department's demographics, such as gender, race and education of its members.

Tuesday, 8:39 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Belle Haven child center gets grant for remodel

The Belle Haven Child Development Center has received a $40,000 grant to remodel its facilities. The money came from the San Mateo County Community Development block grant program.

Tuesday, 8:38 AM | No comments yet

Monday, June 13, 2016

Brock Turner juror to judge: 'Shame on you'

"Absolutely shocked and appalled" -- that's the reaction of a juror in the Brock Turner sexual-assault case to the sentence handed down by Judge Aaron Persky on June 2. The male juror, speaking publicly for the first time, delivered a cutting letter to Persky on Saturday stating, "This punishment does not fit the crime."

Monday, 5:09 PM | 4 comments
Tonight: After home-invasion robbery, Portola Valley holds community meeting

A meeting with the county sheriff and deputies is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, in the Portola Valley Community Hall in the wake of a home-invasion robbery by armed men in central Portola Valley on Sunday evening.

Monday, 11:37 AM | 6 comments
Memorial this Thursday for Dr. Orland 'Eli' Eliason

Dr. Orland "Eli" Eliason, a former Atherton and Menlo Park resident and Sequoia Hospital urologist until his 2006 retirement, died on May 24, shortly after his 82nd birthday. A memorial celebration of his life is set for Thursday, June 16, in Menlo Park.

Monday, 10:01 AM | No comments yet
Woodside man appeals $212K fine for cutting down 22 trees

The Woodside Town Council will hear an appeal from a resident on Tuesday, June 14, requesting relief from a fine of $212,500 for having cut down 22 mature oak, bay and madrone trees without havng first obtained a tree-removal permit.

Monday, 8:14 AM | 17 comments

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Police: East Palo Alto man dies from gunshot wounds

An East Palo Alto resident died Friday evening after police found him with apparent gunshot wounds, according to the East Palo Alto Police Department.

Sunday, 5:07 PM | No comments yet
Fire officials rescue woman from creek at Foothills Park

A woman who fell into a creek at Foothills Park was rescued on Saturday morning by Palo Alto and Woodside fire personnel and extracted with the help of two helicopters, according to the Palo Alto Fire Department.

Sunday, 5:07 PM | 1 comment

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