Recent News | Almanac Online |

Recent News

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Judge sends Atherton mom to prison for college admissions scandal

An Atherton woman who paid more than $500,000 to help her children get into college through a nationwide admissions scandal was sentenced on Tuesday to seven months in prison, according to prosecutors.

Tuesday, 5:14 PM | No comments yet
Bay Area extends stay-at-home order to May 3, adds new business restrictions

With the number of coronavirus cases rising and health systems bracing for a surge of patients, Bay Area health officials extended on Tuesday the regional stay-at-home order until May 3 and announced new restrictions on businesses.

Tuesday, 4:15 PM | No comments yet
Neighbors helping neighbors

Even as the dark shadow of COVID-19 sweeps across our communities, lights of local organizations are popping up as neighbors help neighbors in Menlo Park.

Tuesday, 2:30 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park district decides to place parcel tax on March 2021 ballot

Menlo Park City School District officials chose not to place a measure to renew or replace an existing parcel tax on the November ballot during a March 12 meeting.

Tuesday, 11:51 AM | 3 comments
A pandemic on the rise: Charts reveal how virus has spread at different rates in two counties

Through a series of charts, track how the coronavirus has infected and killed people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which have a combined total of over 1,150 confirmed cases as of Monday, March 30.

Tuesday, 8:28 AM | 7 comments
Portola Valley suspends construction due to virus

Construction projects in Portola Valley have been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, 8:24 AM | No comments yet

Monday, March 30, 2020

Coronavirus central: San Mateo County death toll now stands at 10

On Tuesday, San Mateo County health officials confirmed four more people died from coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 10. The county reported a total of 309 confirmed cases on Monday.

Monday, 10:54 AM | 2 comments
Atherton: TV-watching burglar sentenced to probation

Vallejo resident David Lee Jeffrey Magris, who was arrested for breaking into two garages at an Atherton home in December, has been sentenced to three years of probation. When he was arrested, police say, he was watching TV.

Monday, 9:00 AM | 1 comment

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Home sales: Woodside has week's top seller with $18.4M estate

A complete list of home sales on the Midpeninsula, where Woodside recorded the highest sale at $18.4 million for a five-bedroom farmhouse-style estate built in 2003. The property last sold in 2011 for $12.5 million.

Sunday, 8:37 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavirus weekend update: Number of Santa Clara County cases makes up over a quarter of the region's total

A roundup of news about the coronavirus in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Saturday, 9:46 AM | 2 comments
Magda Fischel Levy, artist and Holocaust survivor, dies at 97

Former Menlo Park resident Magda Fischel Levy, who drew on her experience as a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, artist and maxillofacial prosthetician to provide reconstructive facial prosthetics for cancer survivors, died on March 18.

Saturday, 8:39 AM | 1 comment

Friday, March 27, 2020

California Grocers Association urges people to stop hoarding goods

The California Grocers Association has a message for people flocking to the grocery stores to stock up on supplies amid the coronavirus crisis: Don't buy so much.

Friday, 1:46 PM | 4 comments
Menlo Park COVID-19 update: City officials announce closure of additional park facilities

Menlo Park city officials on Thursday, March 26, announced the immediate closure of additional recreation facilities in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Friday, 11:12 AM | 8 comments
The high cost of sheltering in place

Though the shelter-in-place order, first implemented by six Bay Area counties and quickly followed by the statewide mandate, applies to all Californians, it has affected families unequally across the class spectrum.

Friday, 8:51 AM | No comments yet

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Caltrain to slash weekday service by more than half starting next week

Caltrain announced on Thursday (March 26) that it will reduce its weekday train service by more than half starting next week amid sharp ridership losses due to the novel coronavirus.

Thursday, 4:51 PM | No comments yet
San Mateo County schools to remain closed through May 1

Hundreds of public schools in six Bay Area counties, including in San Mateo County, will remain closed through May 1, county health officers and school superintendents have decided.

Thursday, 9:03 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

San Mateo County supervisors launch relief fund with $3M in seed money

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors launched an emergency relief fund on Tuesday (March 24) to support those who are particularly affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday, 4:04 PM | 1 comment
Atherton suspends most construction amid coronavirus crisis

Atherton has cut non-essential construction in town, including much of the work on its $31.6 million civic center project, until a countywide shelter-in-place order is lifted. The town is also moving toward a garbage service change.

Wednesday, 10:14 AM | No comments yet
Coronavirus-testing tents pop up on Stanford campus and in Menlo Park

Stanford Health Care is gearing up for larger-scale testing of people with COVID-19 symptoms, erecting tents on the Stanford campus for use starting soon, a spokeswoman said. A site in Menlo Park is already functioning.

Wednesday, 9:01 AM | 1 comment

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Editorial: Atherton shows how not to be a good neighbor

The notion that Atherton taxpayers, who own some of the highest-valued property in the entire country, are somehow being abused by having to bear a higher proportion of the cost for emergency services in the wider community is absurd.

Tuesday, 4:10 PM | 2 comments
Menlo fire district creates new pandemic response unit

In the wake of placing six emergency workers off duty because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, the Menlo Park Fire Protection District now has a Pandemic Emergency Response Unit.

Tuesday, 11:52 AM | 8 comments
Construction halted in Menlo Park amid COVID-19 shelter-at-home order

Construction in Menlo Park must stop immediately due to the statewide shelter-at-home order, the city said in a statement. Exceptions will be made for construction projects deemed “essential" by City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson.

Tuesday, 11:44 AM | 21 comments
Coronavirus central: San Mateo County reports new death, 44 additional cases

In San Mateo County, 239 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and six people have died from the disease as of Friday, March 27. That's an increase of 44 new confirmed cases since Thursday.

Tuesday, 11:36 AM | No comments yet
The jazz boys

Indygo Rhythm Section, a professional jazz band made up of Woodside High students, was on course to be crazy busy this month. But cancellations due to the coronavirus threat have slowed the pace.

Tuesday, 8:48 AM | No comments yet

Monday, March 23, 2020

County supervisors to vote on eviction ban, assistance fund

San Mateo County supervisors on Tuesday will consider a pair of actions to relieve financial stress caused by the novel coronavirus crisis.

Monday, 10:35 AM | No comments yet
Letter: Add spark to Menlo Park with Burning Man sculpture

Tim Johnston, a local "burner," states his case for installing the Burning Man sculpture "Talking Heads" to Fremont Park.

Monday, 7:34 AM | No comments yet

Sunday, March 22, 2020

A message from our publisher on the crisis we face

Today's public health emergency, and the economic devastation that threatens all small businesses, may very well be the final blow that ends local journalism as we know it.

Sunday, 10:04 AM | 6 comments
Home sales: Late Microsoft co-founder’s Atherton estate sells for $35.25M

A complete list of home sales on the Midpeninsula, where Atherton recorded the highest sale at $35.25 million for a seven-bedroom custom home tied to late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Sunday, 8:56 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coronavirus weekend update: Santa Clara County reports two more deaths, 39 new cases

A roundup of news about the coronavirus in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. As of March 22, Santa Clara County confirmed 302 positive cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths, and the number of cases in San Mateo County grew to 117.

Saturday, 9:54 AM | No comments yet
Facebook launches $10 million match fundraiser to support coronavirus efforts

Menlo Park-based tech company Facebook has initiated a $10 million match fundraiser to support efforts to fight the novel coronavirus, a move announced in a Facebook post by CEO Mark Zuckerberg March 13.

Saturday, 9:04 AM | 3 comments

Friday, March 20, 2020

Legislation to limit grocery store hoarding? San Mateo County Supervisor Canepa is considering it.

In a statement sent out last week, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa lamented the grocery store “hoarding" during the coronavirus crisis, saying he is considering legislation to limit the amount of items customers can buy.

Friday, 6:56 PM | 5 comments
COVID-19 to delay updates on Portola Valley schools parcel tax measure vote tally

Election results for Measure P, a parcel tax measure for the Portola Valley School District that is falling short of the votes needed to pass, will be delayed because of restrictions on the vote counting process due to COVID-19.

Friday, 11:52 AM | 1 comment
Gov. Gavin Newsom declares statewide shutdown

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide shelter-at-home order on Thursday evening, with all but essential functions to be shut down. The shelter order is open-ended, he said.

Friday, 8:52 AM | 2 comments
Almanac to suspend publishing print edition after next week

Faced with the mandated closure of virtually all local businesses and the resulting advertising cancellations, The Almanac will suspend publishing its print edition after the March 25 issue.

Friday, 8:35 AM | 13 comments

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Blood donations in high demand after shortages due to coronavirus

Canceled appointments at Midpeninsula blood banks are causing a critical shortage, said local blood center officials. They are calling on people to come out to drives now through the end of this month.

Thursday, 9:03 PM | No comments yet
Kepler's takes steps to operate during public health crisis

In an attempt to help prevent the wider spread of the coronavirus, Kepler's Books, a mainstay in Menlo Park, has decided to close its doors to the public, but is providing customers with a new curbside pick up service.

Thursday, 3:09 PM | No comments yet
Menlo Park's violent crime rate declines over 13 years

Menlo Park's violent crime rate has been showing a downward trend since 2007, according to Police Department crime statistics released recently that cover the last 16 years.

Thursday, 10:26 AM | 3 comments
When home becomes the classroom

Schools are shut down for at least three weeks, and likely for the rest of the school year. What will distance learning look like for local students in the weeks and months to come?

Thursday, 9:23 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rocketman at 100

David Altman just celebrated a monumental milestone in his life " his 100th birthday. An internationally renowned and respected scientist, he is also a quiet, dapper man with a twinkle in his eye and a sly sense of humor.

Wednesday, 4:49 PM | 1 comment
Schools are closed. That doesn't mean students in need will go hungry.

While schools are closed temporarily, students and families in Woodside, Menlo Park, Atherton and Portola Valley will still have access to free meals provided by the public school districts.

Wednesday, 11:56 AM | No comments yet
Coronavirus central: Two more deaths, 7 new cases reported in Santa Clara County

Also, San Mateo County health officials have reported 100 coronavirus cases and one death as of Friday morning, March 20.

Wednesday, 10:20 AM | 10 comments
Atherton City Council may OK first step to ditch Recology garbage collection service

During a uniquely formatted video meeting, the Atherton City Council will vote on whether to take the first step in replacing the town's longtime garbage and recycling pickup service provider, Recology.

Wednesday, 9:52 AM | 7 comments

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

The first few seconds after awakening; before I remember the virus
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,536 views

Can you stay healthy without making more trash?
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,828 views

Think about helping others in our coronavirus-affected area
By Diana Diamond | 3 comments | 1,716 views

'A devastating impact:' The coronavirus claims Clarke's Charcoal Broiler, Mountain View's oldest operating restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 1,036 views



The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

View Details