Recent News

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wednesday forecast: Cold front to bring rain, strong winds

The National Weather Service is reporting that a strong cold front will pass over the Bay Area Wednesday afternoon and evening, bringing rainfall, heavy at times, and strong winds.

Tuesday, 3:36 PM | No comments yet
Firefighters deserve high pay, chief says

Firefighters, says Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman, deserve to be well paid.

Tuesday, 11:38 AM | 8 comments
Cause for alarm? How the Menlo Park Fire Protection District pays its employees

The employees of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District had the highest average wages of any California government agency in 2014. That was before a new contract was approved that the district projected would increase the amount it paid in pay and benefits by 41 percent over the life of the contract.

Tuesday, 11:35 AM | 20 comments
Woodside: One-way traffic likely for months on storm-damaged section of Hwy. 84

Erosion from recent storms has weakened part of Highway 84 in the hills above Woodside. A 75-to-100-foot section located a few minutes north of Skylonda and just past Grandview Drive dropped by about 9 inches, according to a foreman directing a clean-up crew on Jan. 14.

Tuesday, 10:59 AM | 4 comments
Guest opinion: Small gains for cyclists; big losses for everyone else

Make a mental note: Dec. 6, 2016, will prove to be a more important date than most Menlo Park residents now realize. That day, three City Council members approved a one-year field trial of the soon-to-be-controversial Oak Grove-Crane-University Bike Project without understanding its true benefits and negative impacts, and with little input and feedback from residents.

Tuesday, 10:35 AM | 12 comments
Wednesday: Atherton to discuss how to pay for civic center

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Atherton City Council will discuss ways to pay for the new civic center and putting a measure on the June 6 ballot allowing town money to be used to build it.

Tuesday, 10:12 AM | 1 comment

Monday, January 16, 2017

Woodside Elementary principal explains her mid-year departure

A day after Woodside Elementary School District Superintendent Beth Polito announced Principal Pam Duarte's retirement, Ms. Duarte emailed a letter explaining why she is leaving.

Monday, 11:16 AM | 4 comments
Hartwig to head Portola Valley schools for two more years

Eric Hartwig, hired as interim superintendent of the Portola Valley School District when Superintendent Lisa Gonzales abruptly left the district in October 2015, has agreed to stay at the district through June 2019.

Monday, 11:11 AM | 1 comment
Menlo Park: Police nab 13-year-old boy driving stolen car

Menlo Park Police are investigating whether a 13-year-old driver and his three passengers, whom officers detained on Saturday, Jan. 14, for driving a car reported stolen, are connected to a string of recent burglaries in and around Menlo Park.

Monday, 7:45 AM | 3 comments

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Menlo Park meeting Wednesday on flood-control project

The agency charged with improving flood protection around San Francisquito Creek is preparing for its next ambitious project and the public is invited to weigh in.

Saturday, 2:26 PM | 2 comments

Friday, January 13, 2017

Menlo Park: E. Gary Smith sentencing postponed again

The sentencing and restitution hearing for Edwin Gary Smith has been postponed once more, at the request of Mr. Smith's defense attorney, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Friday, 12:51 PM | 1 comment
Menlo Park: Cops, residents meet to battle burglaries

Every chair and seat in a back bleacher section was occupied in the auditorium of Laurel School Upper Campus during the Jan. 11 meeting to talk about a rash of burglaries that occurred in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park between September and December.

Friday, 11:02 AM | No comments yet
Woodside elementary principal leaving district next month

Pam Duarte, hired in 2014 as a principal at Woodside Elementary School, will be leaving the district in mid-February, Superintendent Beth Polito announced on Jan. 12.

Friday, 10:47 AM | 2 comments
Martin Luther King Day commemorates 50th anniversary of call to action

The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University is one of numerous organizations holding celebrations and commemorations this weekend of the life of the Civil Rights leader.

Friday, 8:34 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Update: Highway 84 closed for road, power line repairs

State Highway 84 (La Honda Road) between Grandview Drive to Skywood Way is closed and will be for two days, followed by one-lane access for "an extended time" due to downed power lines and a 100-foot section of roadway that is slipping, according to Denise Enea, fire marshal for the Woodside Fire Protection District.

Thursday, 4:55 PM | No comments yet
Atherton: Where do your property-tax payments go?

Atherton is trying to help its residents better understand where their property tax payments go by adding a feature to the town's website that allows residents to look up exactly how much of their taxes go to which local agencies.

Thursday, 2:08 PM | No comments yet
Federal circuit court rejects petition challenging FAA aircraft noise initiative

Efforts aimed at reducing aircraft noise in the skies above Portola Valley, Ladera and Woodside were dealt a setback recently by a three-judge panel, but related development may give cause for optimism.

Thursday, 10:07 AM | 2 comments
Menlo Park: Huge apartment complexes nearing finish

The 3600 block of Haven Avenue in eastern Menlo Park may look like a daunting mass of building frames, but it will soon become home for many.

Thursday, 9:31 AM | 15 comments
Pinkston named president of Menlo Park Kiwanis Club

The Menlo Park Kiwanis Club has a new president: John Pinkston, a former U.S. Geological Survey researcher.

Thursday, 8:57 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Menlo Park: Celebrity chef pulls out of Bradley's Fine Diner

About two years after taking over a large Menlo Park restaurant space to open Bradley's Fine Diner, renowned chef Bradley Ogden has pulled out of the concept, citing "philosophical" and business differences with the parent restaurant group's CEO. The restaurant has closed but may reopen in the spring with a new concept.

Wednesday, 10:13 PM | 13 comments
Menlo Park: Housing Commission revamped to tackle displacement problem

"The devil's in the details" seemed to be the most-repeated refrain of the Menlo Park City Council's study session on residential displacement held Tuesday with the Housing Commission and four local housing experts.

Wednesday, 11:50 AM | No comments yet
Woodside council OKs larger floor areas for main residences

The Woodside Town Council on Tuesday, Jan. 10, by a unanimous vote with two council members absent, took the first of two steps in approving an ordinance to expand the maximum allowable floor area of a main residence.

Wednesday, 11:46 AM | 6 comments
Photos of flooding at Menlo Park Caltrain station parking lot

Menlo Park resident Andrea Gemmet took these photos of flooding Wednesday morning, Jan. 11, at the Caltrain station parking lot in Menlo Park.

Wednesday, 9:08 AM | 5 comments
At SLAC, atoms, diamonds self-assemble into tiny wires

Scientists at Stanford University, the the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and other research centers have developed a method to create self-assembling insulated wires on an atomic scale.

Wednesday, 1:20 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Excavation underway for new El Camino hotel

Excavators work to dig out what will be a two-story underground parking garage beneath the half-acre site of a new hotel at 1400 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

Wednesday, 1:14 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Woodside: Trees fall, blocking local roads

Highway 84 west of Woodside was reported closed at 5:59 p.m. tonight due to a downed tree between Grandview Drive and Skywood Way, according to the the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Tuesday, 6:50 PM | No comments yet
Tonight: Woodside may increase house-size allowances

The Woodside Town Council tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 10) will hold a public hearing and may introduce an ordinance to increase the maximum allowable house sizes in town, with the increase based in part on the home's zoning area.

Tuesday, 2:37 PM | No comments yet
Bay Area storm to last through Wednesday

Storm conditions today throughout the Bay Area and Monterey Bay region are expected to peak later this afternoon and into the early evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Tuesday, 11:55 AM | No comments yet
Police calls: Thieves bust in front doors in four Menlo Park home burglaries

Crime reports from Menlo Park, Woodside, Portola Valley and West Menlo Park.

Tuesday, 11:37 AM | 2 comments
Menlo Park: 3-story, mixed-use building may arise downtown

The single-story building running from 706 to 716 Santa Cruz Ave., which currently houses the Japanese restaurant Juban Yakiniku and Union Bank, may be demolished and replaced with a three-story, mixed-use building.

Tuesday, 11:14 AM | 13 comments
Wednesday: Atherton, Menlo Park meet on shared transportation issues

No one would deny that what happens on the streets in Menlo Park affects Atherton, as well as the reverse. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, the transportation committees of the two jurisdictions will hold a joint meeting to discuss some shared issues.

Tuesday, 10:28 AM | No comments yet
Woodside council to get reports on bills paid, as code requires

When the town of Woodside pays a bill, a check is cut in Town Hall and the transaction is recorded. So such records do exist, but they have not been seen much by the Town Council, contrary to what is specified in the municipal code.

Tuesday, 10:26 AM | 7 comments
Hewlett Foundation gives $50 million for dam removal

Aiding the restoration of free flow to Western waterways by helping remove obsolete dams is the goal of a $50 million grant recently announced by the Menlo Park-based William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Tuesday, 10:25 AM | 1 comment
Obituary: Jean Long, volunteer, real estate agent

Jean Vontobel Long, a former Atherton resident, died Dec. 14 in Carmichael. She was 88.

Tuesday, 10:24 AM | No comments yet

Monday, January 9, 2017

Woodside: Caltrans responds to 'adopt a highway' question

A spokesperson for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has responded to an Almanac inquiry regarding a story that ran in the Jan. 4 issue about a local group's nine-year quest to adopt a stretch of Woodside Road in Woodside.

Monday, 6:08 PM | No comments yet
Storm downs trees, fills local streams

The storm this weekend caused flooding in some areas of the Midpeninsula, felled trees, blocked roads and filled streams with muddy water.

Monday, 11:45 AM | No comments yet
Obituary: Philip McDonnell, former Time ad executive

Longtime former Atherton resident Philip Adrian McDonnell died Nov. 26 in Union City at Acacia Creek Retirement Community. Mr. McDonnell, a retired Time magazine advertising executive, was 95.

Monday, 11:06 AM | No comments yet
Portola Valley attorney appointed to Superior Court bench

Elizabeth C. Peterson, a resident of Portola Valley and a partner in the Palo Alto law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, is starting the new year as a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge.

Monday, 8:32 AM | 1 comment
Tonight: Displacement policy talk kicks off Menlo Park council's 2017 agenda

The Menlo Park City Council will begin the new year with a long-awaited discussion about residential displacement.

Monday, 7:57 AM | 8 comments

Friday, January 6, 2017

Residents advised to prepare for strong storm system

Residents are urged to prepare for a strong storm system headed to the Bay Area this weekend, according to local advisories, including from the city of Menlo Park and the towns of Atherton, Portola Valley and Woodside.

Friday, 7:19 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Digital media, helping aging parents among topics of Kiwanis Club talks

An eclectic lineup of speakers is scheduled to appear at the Menlo Park Kiwanis Club's weekly meetings in January.

Friday, 10:01 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Eshoo introduces bill requiring presidents, candidates to release tax returns

Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, introduced a bill in Congress on Thursday that would require presidents and presidential candidates to publicly release their tax returns.

Thursday, 5:32 PM | 29 comments
Tonight: Home burglaries focus of Menlo Park public meeting

In response to a number of residential burglaries in Menlo Park's Willows neighborhood, the city will hold a public meeting to discuss the problem at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Laurel School Upper Campus (275 Elliott Drive.)

Thursday, 5:09 PM | 8 comments
Menlo Park: Trader Joe's wants to host wine and beer tastings

Trader Joe's wants to host wine and beer tastings at its Menlo Park store at 720 Menlo Ave. The company has applied for permits from the city and state.

Thursday, 2:00 PM | 10 comments
Update: Atherton home fire caused by fireplace ashes, district says

Menlo Park Fire Protection District officials say that a fire at a home on Selby Lane in Atherton early Thursday morning, Jan. 5, appears to have been caused by a cardboard box of fireplace ashes placed on a patio table next to the house days earlier.

Thursday, 11:47 AM | 2 comments
In the spotlight again, Stanford rebuts New York Times story on sexual assault

A New York Times story describing Stanford University's "struggles and pitfalls" in adjudicating sexual-assault cases -- explored through the case of a former female student who said she was raped by a current member of the football team -- was quickly condemned by the university as an inaccurate assessment of its efforts to "aggressively to address the scourge of sexual assault."

Thursday, 11:21 AM | No comments yet
Third suspect in smash-and-grab burglary of Bloomingdale's is arrested

A fugitive wanted in a brazen 2015 burglary of Bloomingdale's department store at Stanford Shopping Center has been captured after allegedly robbing a smoke shop in Grass Valley, according to police.

Thursday, 11:09 AM | 2 comments
Cold front arrives; heavy rains expected this weekend

Temperatures in Northern California will drop dramatically this week, according to the National Weather Service. And heavy rainfall will continue to pound the Bay Area this weekend.

Thursday, 10:37 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mission Hospice seeks $1.7 million for renovations, care

Mission Hospice & Home Care is seeking $1.7 million to complete its $6 million capital campaign to fund renovations and patient care at San Mateo County's only hospice house.

Wednesday, 8:10 PM | No comments yet
Service Friday for Carol Ann Turner, former Menlo Park day care provider

A memorial service for Carol Ann (Grenier) Turner will be held at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6. Ms. Turner died June 26 in Bellingham, Washington, where she lived since 2007.

Wednesday, 4:40 PM | No comments yet
Behind the scenes at LifeMoves: A homeless woman's success story

Gifts to the Almanac's Holiday Fund benefit LifeMoves and nine other community-service organizations.

Wednesday, 4:25 PM | No comments yet
Woodside: Adopting a highway is not so easy with Caltrans in charge

Who knew wanting to keep a stretch of Woodside's main road looking good could take so long and be so complicated?

Wednesday, 4:00 PM | 3 comments
New laws address beverages in barbershops, cameras in voting booths, and more

Under a new law, the drinks may be on the house when getting your hair trimmed. As of Jan. 1, beauty salon and barbershop owners in good standing with the state can serve up to 12 ounces of complimentary beer or 6 ounces of wine.

Wednesday, 3:48 PM | No comments yet
Surf Air no longer has Bayside route option

To the consternation of local residents and Surf Air alike, San Mateo County announced this week that the alternate route the commuter airline had been using to avoid the Midpeninsula on its way to the San Carlos Airport is no longer an option, starting Thursday, Jan. 5.

Wednesday, 11:22 AM | 44 comments
Correction: High school board has one potential conflict under new election system

The Almanac erred in reporting details of potential conflicts in future elections for members of the Sequoia Union High School District board.

Wednesday, 11:10 AM | No comments yet
Services held for Aisea Mataele, 14, M-A freshman

Services were held Dec. 28 for Aisea Mataele, 14, a freshman at Menlo-Atherton High School, who died Dec. 20 at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The community had responded to news of his sudden and mysterious illness last month by donating more than $76,000 in an online effort to help with his medical costs.

Wednesday, 9:43 AM | 1 comment
Passed over for years, Carrie DuBois elected president of high school board

Carrie DuBois, about to begin her sixth year on the board of the Sequoia Union High School District, assumed the role of board president on Dec. 14 after being passed over for the position during her first term and the first year of a second term.

Wednesday, 9:17 AM | No comments yet
Menlo Park: Groundbreaking Monday for fire station, museum

On the site where little more than a month ago the old fire station in downtown Menlo Park was demolished, construction will soon begin on a new fire station and museum.

Wednesday, 8:35 AM | 3 comments

You Dirty Little Thing
By Laura Stec | 10 comments | 12,439 views

Celebrity chef pulls out of BFD Menlo Park; to reopen as new concept
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 5,357 views

“Housewife” a Journey of Transgender Marriage
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,175 views

Holiday LEGO Show
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 1,001 views