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Community briefs: a new principal at Oak Knoll School, a Stop Asian Hate march, a talk on media literacy tips and more

Protesters condemning violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders listen to speakers during a rally outside Mountain View City Hall on April 11. Another rally is planned for Sunday, May 2, in Palo Alto. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Stop Asian Hate march and rally set for Sunday

A Stop Asian Hate march and rally led by Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Tanaka is set for Sunday, May 2.

The march is set to begin at 528 High St., or Garage R, in Palo Alto at 2 p.m. and the rally is set to begin at 250 Hamilton Ave., or Palo Alto City Hall.

Tanaka is launching an "8 by 8" campaign encouraging people to vote, in which individuals are challenged to invite eight friends, family members or acquaintances to register to vote within eight days. The campaign is in response to concerns that although people who are Asian make up 38% of Silicon Valley residents, they represent only 15% of registered voters, according to a press statement.

Participants who post with the hashtags #StopAsianHate #8by8 to social media will benefit from giveaways of milk tea and baked goods while supplies last. Attendees will also be provided with yellow whistles, part of a national campaign called "The Yellow Whistle" to support self-protection and solidarity against anti-Asian violence and discrimination.

Scheduled guest speakers for the rally include Tanaka, Palo Alto City Councilwoman Lydia Kou, former Congressman Mike Honda, former "Survivor" winner Yul Kwon, Old Navy co-founder Jenny Ming, state Treasurer Fiona Ma, Assemblyman Marc Berman, president of Ascend Foundation Anna Mok, and trustee of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District and former Cupertino mayor Gilbert Wong.

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After the remarks, booths will be set up by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, Palo Alto Chinese Parents' Club, and Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association Peninsula Chapter. There will also be exhibits showing the Chinese rail workers in North America and the Arboretum Chinese Labor Quarters projects at Stanford.

Participants are encouraged to register for the rally, which also helps organizers with contact tracing, here.

Funds sought to build memorial bench

Cafe Zoë, a coffee shop in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park, is working with the nonprofit group Get Human, Inc. to raise funds to build a bench in memory of longtime Willows resident and community volunteer Katherine Strehl to place in Willow Oaks Park. People may donate here or make checks payable to Get Human Inc.

Media literacy tips talk

Michelle Lipkin of the National Association for Media Literacy Education will host a talk on how to help children become critical thinkers called "Digital Media Literacy Tips and Tools" on Friday, April 30, from noon to 1 p.m. through the Parent Education Series. Sign up here.

Portola Valley annual Youth Photography Exhibit

The Portola Valley Cultural Arts Committee is calling for all youth photographers who reside or go to school in Portola Valley to submit their photos for the town's annual art show.

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Whether you use an old film camera, a digital camera, or your cellphone, selected images will be shown at an exhibit at Town Center. Photo entires are due May 14.

Go here for more information.

Sudden Oak Death event

Sudden oak death killed this oak in the Los Trancos Open Space Preserve in Palo Alto. Photo by Michelle Le.

The 2021 Sudden Oak Death (SOD) blitzes will soon come to Bay Area neighborhoods. Organizers need help to map the distribution of the disease that kills many oaks, tanoaks and since 2017 some of the California-unique manzanitas and the animals that depend on them, according to an April 22 town of Portola Valley newsletter. Portola Valley's blitz will take place from May 14 to 18.

This year, organizers need as many people as possible to complete the yearly statewide survey, given that a dangerous novel strain of the SOD pathogen was detected in California forests last year, according to SOD chairperson Debbie Mendelson. All plant material submitted will be tested for infection by the SOD pathogen and for presence of the EU1 variant, known to be more aggressive than the NA1 variant, currently present in the vast majority of California forests. Mendelson said it is imperative to detect this variant as soon as possible, as its spread could accelerate the demise of oaks and tanoaks.

Go here to find a local SOD Blitz, enroll in the program and find out where to collect and return testing materials. Most SOD blitzes run Saturday to Tuesday, from April to mid-June.

New Oak Knoll principal

Menlo Park City School District Superintendent Erik Burmeister will recommend Alicia Payton-Miyazaki as the next principal of Oak Knoll School in Menlo Park pending approval by the board of trustees on May 13.

Alicia Payton-Miyazaki has been selected as Oak Knoll School's principal. She is set to begin the role in August. Courtesy Menlo Park City School District.

Payton-Miyazaki currently serves as Oak Knoll's assistant principal and would start her new role in August. Assuming the principal role at Oak Knoll is a "momentous" step, said Payton-Miyazaki, who began her tenure at Oak Knoll as a student in the 1980s and also attended Hillview Middle School, according to an April 28 press release. She began teaching science at Hillview in 2001.

"Alicia showed herself to be an able communicator, a passionate visionary, and an eager learner throughout the process," said Burmeister in a statement.

Payton-Miyazaki is also the first person of color, to the district's knowledge, to be selected as a district principal. She will bring the perspective of growing up with two backgrounds Japanese and American to her leadership role in MPCSD's increasingly diverse student community, according to the district.

She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Vassar College and conducted HIV research at Stanford Medical Center.

Payton-Miyazaki said increasing equity has always been a focus for her. At 14 years old, she started a small nonprofit making science kits for students in inner-city schools.

"Inequitable access and outcomes in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields have lifelong implications for students, and my depth of knowledge in both of these areas is what we need at this moment," she said.

Payton-Miyazaki said she looks forward to a full return to classrooms and hopes to spend next year "pod busting."

"The pods we have formed to keep ourselves safe during the pandemic have also tended to reinforce our existing relationships," she said. "I want us to have authentic conversations with people who have different experiences than ourselves. Our diversity really does make us stronger."

She would replace Kristen Gracia, who is leaving to take on a role at the district office. The district will conduct a search for the next assistant principal of Oak Knoll, according to the press release.

Earth Day cleanup

Kings Mountain Community members prepare for a trash cleanup on April 24 in honor of Earth Day. Courtesy Janie Dawes.

Two dozen Kings Mountain community members held a trash cleanup on April 24 for Earth Day, according to resident Janie Dawies. They collected more than 50 bags of garbage, which they then worked with Caltrans to pick up. The event was put on by friends and neighbors Aiden Zahedi and Niamh Dawes, two children who led a cleanup in Kings Mountain back in December after noticing a trash problem.

Senior tax exemption

There's a June 1 deadline for senior citizens who live in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District to apply for an exemption during the 2021-22 school year from the $311 parcel tax that was passed in 2007.

This year the district will automatically renew seniors' exemptions from the 2020-21 school year. Only new requests for exemptions are required.

View the application here.

M-A students are named National Merit scholars

Two Menlo-Atherton High School seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship Program awards, according to a press release.

About 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won awards financed by about 140 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations. Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Sathvik K. Nori of Atherton received a scholarship through the computing company NVIDIA, which creates the GPU, which acts as the artificial intelligence brain of computers, robots, and self-driving cars. Nori is interested in pursuing economics.

Alexander J. Waitz of Atherton received a scholarship through Siemens Corporation, which produces and markets electrical and electronic systems, instruments, and components for medicine, science and industry. He plans to pursue computer science.

County seeks candidates for districting commission

San Mateo County is seeking applicants for its 2021 Supervisorial Districting Commission, which will develop draft boundaries for the five county districts based on demographic information from the 2020 census.

Districting is done only once a decade and provides an opportunity to shape district boundaries in ways that reflect new population data and demographic changes. The county is seeking candidates that reflect the county's own demographic diversity. To be eligible, one must live in San Mateo County and not be an elected official. Applicants will be prioritized if they are associated with good government, civil rights or city leadership, or are part of active community groups or organizations that have values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

People may access the application in English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog, and applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 4.

Applications will be reviewed by a separate committee made up of local members of the League of Women Voters, and up to 11 residents are expected to be selected for the commission.

"Diversity and inclusion those are guiding principles here in San Mateo County and those qualities are what we are looking for on this extremely important commission," said David Canepa, president of the Board of Supervisors.

Commission members will be expected to participate in public meetings to study the possible district boundaries with the help of a demographer and county staff. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Menlo Park residents sought for housing policy project

The city of Menlo Park is embarking on a process to update its housing and safety elements and to create a new environmental justice element — all of which are part of the city's general plan, or guiding document. The city is looking for volunteers to serve on a new Housing Element Community Engagement and Outreach Committee. The committee will help the city conduct outreach and engage with the community on how best to reach various stakeholders throughout the city.

To be eligible, people should live in Menlo Park, be 18 years or older and not currently serving on the City Council or planning or housing commissions. The deadline to apply is 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12. Access the application here.

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— Kate Bradshaw and Angela Swartz

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Community briefs: a new principal at Oak Knoll School, a Stop Asian Hate march, a talk on media literacy tips and more

Uploaded: Fri, Apr 30, 2021, 9:30 am

A Stop Asian Hate march and rally led by Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Tanaka is set for Sunday, May 2.

The march is set to begin at 528 High St., or Garage R, in Palo Alto at 2 p.m. and the rally is set to begin at 250 Hamilton Ave., or Palo Alto City Hall.

Tanaka is launching an "8 by 8" campaign encouraging people to vote, in which individuals are challenged to invite eight friends, family members or acquaintances to register to vote within eight days. The campaign is in response to concerns that although people who are Asian make up 38% of Silicon Valley residents, they represent only 15% of registered voters, according to a press statement.

Participants who post with the hashtags #StopAsianHate #8by8 to social media will benefit from giveaways of milk tea and baked goods while supplies last. Attendees will also be provided with yellow whistles, part of a national campaign called "The Yellow Whistle" to support self-protection and solidarity against anti-Asian violence and discrimination.

Scheduled guest speakers for the rally include Tanaka, Palo Alto City Councilwoman Lydia Kou, former Congressman Mike Honda, former "Survivor" winner Yul Kwon, Old Navy co-founder Jenny Ming, state Treasurer Fiona Ma, Assemblyman Marc Berman, president of Ascend Foundation Anna Mok, and trustee of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District and former Cupertino mayor Gilbert Wong.

After the remarks, booths will be set up by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, Palo Alto Chinese Parents' Club, and Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association Peninsula Chapter. There will also be exhibits showing the Chinese rail workers in North America and the Arboretum Chinese Labor Quarters projects at Stanford.

Participants are encouraged to register for the rally, which also helps organizers with contact tracing, here.

Cafe Zoë, a coffee shop in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park, is working with the nonprofit group Get Human, Inc. to raise funds to build a bench in memory of longtime Willows resident and community volunteer Katherine Strehl to place in Willow Oaks Park. People may donate here or make checks payable to Get Human Inc.

Michelle Lipkin of the National Association for Media Literacy Education will host a talk on how to help children become critical thinkers called "Digital Media Literacy Tips and Tools" on Friday, April 30, from noon to 1 p.m. through the Parent Education Series. Sign up here.

The Portola Valley Cultural Arts Committee is calling for all youth photographers who reside or go to school in Portola Valley to submit their photos for the town's annual art show.

Whether you use an old film camera, a digital camera, or your cellphone, selected images will be shown at an exhibit at Town Center. Photo entires are due May 14.

Go here for more information.

The 2021 Sudden Oak Death (SOD) blitzes will soon come to Bay Area neighborhoods. Organizers need help to map the distribution of the disease that kills many oaks, tanoaks and since 2017 some of the California-unique manzanitas and the animals that depend on them, according to an April 22 town of Portola Valley newsletter. Portola Valley's blitz will take place from May 14 to 18.

This year, organizers need as many people as possible to complete the yearly statewide survey, given that a dangerous novel strain of the SOD pathogen was detected in California forests last year, according to SOD chairperson Debbie Mendelson. All plant material submitted will be tested for infection by the SOD pathogen and for presence of the EU1 variant, known to be more aggressive than the NA1 variant, currently present in the vast majority of California forests. Mendelson said it is imperative to detect this variant as soon as possible, as its spread could accelerate the demise of oaks and tanoaks.

Go here to find a local SOD Blitz, enroll in the program and find out where to collect and return testing materials. Most SOD blitzes run Saturday to Tuesday, from April to mid-June.

Menlo Park City School District Superintendent Erik Burmeister will recommend Alicia Payton-Miyazaki as the next principal of Oak Knoll School in Menlo Park pending approval by the board of trustees on May 13.

Payton-Miyazaki currently serves as Oak Knoll's assistant principal and would start her new role in August. Assuming the principal role at Oak Knoll is a "momentous" step, said Payton-Miyazaki, who began her tenure at Oak Knoll as a student in the 1980s and also attended Hillview Middle School, according to an April 28 press release. She began teaching science at Hillview in 2001.

"Alicia showed herself to be an able communicator, a passionate visionary, and an eager learner throughout the process," said Burmeister in a statement.

Payton-Miyazaki is also the first person of color, to the district's knowledge, to be selected as a district principal. She will bring the perspective of growing up with two backgrounds Japanese and American to her leadership role in MPCSD's increasingly diverse student community, according to the district.

She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Vassar College and conducted HIV research at Stanford Medical Center.

Payton-Miyazaki said increasing equity has always been a focus for her. At 14 years old, she started a small nonprofit making science kits for students in inner-city schools.

"Inequitable access and outcomes in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields have lifelong implications for students, and my depth of knowledge in both of these areas is what we need at this moment," she said.

Payton-Miyazaki said she looks forward to a full return to classrooms and hopes to spend next year "pod busting."

"The pods we have formed to keep ourselves safe during the pandemic have also tended to reinforce our existing relationships," she said. "I want us to have authentic conversations with people who have different experiences than ourselves. Our diversity really does make us stronger."

She would replace Kristen Gracia, who is leaving to take on a role at the district office. The district will conduct a search for the next assistant principal of Oak Knoll, according to the press release.

Two dozen Kings Mountain community members held a trash cleanup on April 24 for Earth Day, according to resident Janie Dawies. They collected more than 50 bags of garbage, which they then worked with Caltrans to pick up. The event was put on by friends and neighbors Aiden Zahedi and Niamh Dawes, two children who led a cleanup in Kings Mountain back in December after noticing a trash problem.

There's a June 1 deadline for senior citizens who live in the Las Lomitas Elementary School District to apply for an exemption during the 2021-22 school year from the $311 parcel tax that was passed in 2007.

This year the district will automatically renew seniors' exemptions from the 2020-21 school year. Only new requests for exemptions are required.

View the application here.

Two Menlo-Atherton High School seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship Program awards, according to a press release.

About 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won awards financed by about 140 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations. Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Sathvik K. Nori of Atherton received a scholarship through the computing company NVIDIA, which creates the GPU, which acts as the artificial intelligence brain of computers, robots, and self-driving cars. Nori is interested in pursuing economics.

Alexander J. Waitz of Atherton received a scholarship through Siemens Corporation, which produces and markets electrical and electronic systems, instruments, and components for medicine, science and industry. He plans to pursue computer science.

San Mateo County is seeking applicants for its 2021 Supervisorial Districting Commission, which will develop draft boundaries for the five county districts based on demographic information from the 2020 census.

Districting is done only once a decade and provides an opportunity to shape district boundaries in ways that reflect new population data and demographic changes. The county is seeking candidates that reflect the county's own demographic diversity. To be eligible, one must live in San Mateo County and not be an elected official. Applicants will be prioritized if they are associated with good government, civil rights or city leadership, or are part of active community groups or organizations that have values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

People may access the application in English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog, and applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 4.

Applications will be reviewed by a separate committee made up of local members of the League of Women Voters, and up to 11 residents are expected to be selected for the commission.

"Diversity and inclusion those are guiding principles here in San Mateo County and those qualities are what we are looking for on this extremely important commission," said David Canepa, president of the Board of Supervisors.

Commission members will be expected to participate in public meetings to study the possible district boundaries with the help of a demographer and county staff. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The city of Menlo Park is embarking on a process to update its housing and safety elements and to create a new environmental justice element — all of which are part of the city's general plan, or guiding document. The city is looking for volunteers to serve on a new Housing Element Community Engagement and Outreach Committee. The committee will help the city conduct outreach and engage with the community on how best to reach various stakeholders throughout the city.

To be eligible, people should live in Menlo Park, be 18 years or older and not currently serving on the City Council or planning or housing commissions. The deadline to apply is 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12. Access the application here.

— Kate Bradshaw and Angela Swartz

Comments

menlo parent
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 30, 2021 at 1:55 pm
menlo parent, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Apr 30, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Congratulations to Ms. Payton. She was a fabulous teacher, and she'll be a great principal.


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