Almanac

News - June 15, 2011

Menlo Briefs: Get ready to groove at downtown block party

by Sandy Brundage

It's that time of year — Menlo Park's free summer concert series kicks off on Wednesday, June 22, with cover band Groove Kings. The music starts at 6:30 p.m. in Fremont Park, at University Drive and Santa Cruz Avenue.

The eight-concert series runs on Wednesday evenings through Aug. 10. This year, it also coincides with the city's first summer block party on downtown Santa Cruz Avenue. Call 330-2200 for more information.

Calling all commissioners

Menlo Park's searching high and low for residents to fill vacancies on the following commissions: Environmental Quality; Parks and Recreation; Housing; and Transportation.

Visit tinyurl.com/apply-201 to apply, or contact City Clerk Margaret Roberts at msroberts@menlopark.org or 330-6625.

Crime online

Can't get enough of police reports? Is reading Ann Rule one of your favorite guilty pleasures? Now Menlo Park residents can track crime happening in their own backyards, from the comfort of home. The police department introduced its new online reporting tool on June 7.

Go to menlopark.org and click "Crime Reports" in the QuickLinks box to play armchair detective. The tool lets browsers filter results by date, neighborhood, and type of crime, right down to traffic stops.

Rojas temporary contract approved

It's official: City Manager Glen Rojas will retire on July 15, then return to serve on a temporary contract until December or until Menlo Park hires a replacement.

The City Council approved the contract during its June 7 meeting. Mr. Rojas will earn $15,000 a month, while also collecting his pension. The council granted an extension on repaying a $1.2 million home loan from the city; he'll now have two years from his last day as interim manager to pay back the approximately $41,500 left.

Meanwhile, the council is searching nationwide for a new city manager.

Council: Downtown plan, Flood Park

As the Menlo Park City Council picks up its pace with the summer recess in sight, the agendas get longer. A few items on tap for the June 14 meeting: a status review of the downtown specific plan draft environmental impact report; whether to start negotiation for county-owned Flood Park; and regional appointments.

Vice Mayor Kirsten Keith has announced her desire to run for the seat on the SamTrans board left vacant by San Carlos Mayor Omar Ahmad's untimely death.

Great Frame Up replaces Book Rack

Decades after first spotting an ideal spot for a store, Marcy Magatelli, owner of the Great Frame Up in Menlo Park, finally got to move in.

On June 1, the store left its El Camino Real location behind to move into the spot left empty by the Book Rack at 865 Santa Cruz Ave. after a fire almost one year ago. A temporary vinyl banner in the window is already advertising the new tenant.

"That very spot was the spot I wanted to move into 20 years ago when I started my business," Ms. Magatelli said. "I just couldn't get it together to get the place then and have regretted it ever since."

She said she likes that the shop will be down the street from a furniture store, and easier for pedestrians to wander into — and more parking doesn't hurt, along with better rent.

The new site is about the same size as the old one, she said, but with a more open floor plan. Ms. Magatelli also plans to add eco-friendly interior decor.

Posh Bagel will join her as a neighbor in the near future, she said, once that shop — also shut down by the fire — finishes expanding into the space previously occupied by Cafe Silan.

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