Recent News

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 Election Central: Palo Alto City Council

Eleven candidates, including planning commissioners, past contenders and a few political newcomers, are vying for four seats on the Palo Alto City Council in this November's election.

Thursday, 11:02 AM | No comments yet
County voters to decide on Measure B half-cent sales tax

Voters will decide next month on a measure that would raise billions of dollars to help address many public transportation issues throughout Santa Clara County.

Thursday, 9:10 AM | 6 comments
Community Notebook: Local behavioral health organizations to merge

Two Bay Area nonprofits aimed at helping populations in need are joining forces to strengthen behavioral health care across the Bay Area.

Thursday, 8:57 AM | 1 comment
Santa Clara County board votes to suspend business with Wells Fargo

Santa Clara County will temporarily end business with Wells Fargo Bank in response to the revelation that the company created more than 2 million fake accounts.

Thursday, 7:56 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Huge political contributions spark outcry, suspicion in Palo Alto's council race

A large and unexpected injection of cash into Palo Alto's City Council race in recent weeks has lifted the campaigns of two candidates while prompting their competitors and former mayors to allege that someone is trying to "buy City Hall."

Wednesday, 3:46 PM | 53 comments
Police seek skateboarder in Crescent Park robbery attempt

Palo Alto police are looking for a man who they said tried to rob two dog-walking pedestrians as he was riding a small skateboard through the streets of Crescent Park on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, 10:26 AM | 6 comments
Hundreds beseech East Palo Alto council to end evictions

Facing a chamber overflowing with hundreds of residents Tuesday night, the East Palo Alto City Council addressed how the city could best turn the tide of recent evictions from red-tagged and illegal dwellings while responsibly keeping its residents safe and enforcing the city's laws.

Wednesday, 9:52 AM | 10 comments
Palo Alto parents, students urge district to report weighted grades

There was a stark difference in opinion at the Palo Alto Board of Education meeting Tuesday night on the value of reporting high school students' weighted grade point averages (GPAs), with parents, students and some board members defending students' right to scholarships and college admission, and school administrators arguing that the practice is antithetical to the district's efforts to change the tide on youth mental-health issues.

Wednesday, 9:34 AM | 33 comments

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Palo Alto police seek man accused of harassment

Police are asking for help tracking down a man who they said harassed a 10-year-old boy while he was walking on a sidewalk in the 900 block of Webster Street in Palo Alto on Monday.

Tuesday, 8:55 PM | 1 comment
Palo Alto school board gives feedback on budget cutbacks for next year

The Palo Alto school board mostly refrained from giving line-item feedback on a list of potential budget cutbacks for the next school year at a special meeting Tuesday morning, save in a few categories that board members characterized as being too close to the classroom.

Tuesday, 4:43 PM | 3 comments
Palo Alto council favors new rules for downtown retail

Retail in downtown Palo Alto isn't broken and doesn't need fixing. It could, however, use some protection, particularly when it comes to ensuring a diversity of uses and preventing conversions of shops to office use, the City Council agreed Monday as it considered a new law to address the issue.

Tuesday, 12:44 PM | 8 comments
Laurene Powell Jobs donates to school-board incumbent's campaign

With less than a month left until Election Day, Palo Alto school-board trustee Melissa Baten Caswell's campaign for re-election has received a large cash injection from Laurene Powell Jobs, Palo Alto resident, education-reform leader and widow of technology pioneer Steve Jobs.

Tuesday, 8:44 AM | 11 comments
Should Palo Alto's high schools report weighted grades?

Among the many differences, large and small, between Palo Alto and Gunn high schools is a discrepancy between how school counselors report students' grade point averages (GPAs) to colleges and universities.

Tuesday, 8:06 AM | 32 comments
Fire station prepares for migration to Baylands

After serving the neighborhoods around Rinconada Park for more than 50 years, Fire Station 3 is preparing for a brief migration, followed by a rebirth. The City Council agreed Monday night to build a temporary station in the Baylands, while the old station is getting replaced.

Tuesday, 1:20 AM | 14 comments

Monday, October 17, 2016

Community Services Agency takes its show on the road

The Community Services Agency of Mountain View and Los Altos has long been a bastion of support services for low-income and homeless residents of North County. But a limitation has been that some residents needing help can't make the trek to downtown Mountain View.

Monday, 10:52 AM | No comments yet
Burn permit suspension lifted in Santa Clara County

The burn permit suspension in Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa counties will be lifted at 8 a.m. Monday morning, Cal Fire officials said.

Monday, 10:52 AM | No comments yet
Deputies seeking armed men connected to Portola Valley home invasion

Three armed men invaded an occupied home on Valencia Court in Portola Valley late Thursday, Oct. 13, corralled the three residents and escaped with jewelry and electronic equipment, according to the county Sheriff's Office.

Monday, 9:28 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto school board to discuss budget cutbacks for next year

Cutbacks at the Palo Alto school district office and "restructuring" of responsibilities for many support positions at school sites could be ahead in the 2017-18 school year, according to staff proposals for budget cuts the district could make next year to address a multi-million-dollar deficit.

Monday, 9:09 AM | 24 comments

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Shop Talk: Caffe Riace reinvents itself

This week's Shop Talk column features information on the revamp of established, authentic Italian restaurant Caffe Riace.

Sunday, 9:07 AM | 15 comments
New Americans program aspires to help newcomers

Last year, staff at Palo Alto's Mitchell Park Library began to notice that the city's demographics were changing -- and that a large number of visitors to the library were not being served.

Sunday, 7:57 AM | 1 comment

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Guest Opinion: An architect critiques the Avenidas addition, with dismay

For more than a year I have been following the process of review of the addition for Avenidas, the downtown Palo Alto nonprofit senior center. It began when I saw a newspaper illustration, the architect's rendering, announcing the project with a view from the parking lot on Ramona Street behind the existing and original Birge Clark historic building.

Saturday, 10:07 AM | 23 comments
New law would keep outdoor pot growth illegal in Palo Alto

If California voters approve Proposition 64 in November, they will make it legal for anyone over 21 to smoke marijuana and to harvest up to six plants in an indoor setting for personal use. But Palo Alto gardeners wishing to grow pot in the outdoors may be in for a major buzzkill.

Saturday, 10:04 AM | 26 comments

Friday, October 14, 2016

Large checks boost campaigns of Kou, Keller

A handful of hefty contributions over the past week have provided a financial boost to Palo Alto City Council candidates Arthur Keller and Lydia Kou, more than doubling their campaign chests and lifting them to the top tier of the 11-person field when it comes to cash raised.

Friday, 6:02 PM | 70 comments
VIDEO: Behind the Headlines -- Palo Alto City Council campaign finance, Airbnb conflicts

On this week's news webcast, "Behind the Headlines," Weekly Editor Jocelyn Dong and reporters Sue Dremann and Gennady Sheyner discuss the latest happenings in the City Council race and the brewing neighborhood controversies over Airbnb rentals.

Friday, 4:10 PM | No comments yet
PUBLIC AGENDA: Fire Station 3, school budget, Avenidas renovation

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Oct. 17.

Friday, 9:59 AM | 2 comments
Election 2016: Deciding Palo Alto's future

What kind of city should Palo Alto strive to become? This question looms over the Nov. 8 election, which is as much a contest between values as it is between the 11 City Council candidates vying for four seats.

Friday, 8:45 AM | 71 comments
Building unity at Foothill College

Foothill College's Umoja Scholars Program seeks to promote learning about African and African-American culture through a core set of pedagogies, curricula and practices, while also providing targeted support to students who might otherwise flounder at large community colleges.

Friday, 7:59 AM | No comments yet
Measure A backers hope to put dent in affordable-housing crisis

What some officials say is the most significant measure in Santa Clara County history to help low- and moderate-income residents find affordable housing will come before voters on Nov. 8.

Friday, 7:58 AM | 6 comments
Greg Tanaka

For Greg Tanaka, who has spent six years on the city's Planning and Transportation Commission and last year served as the commission's chair, community buy-in is key to any major decision.

Friday, 7:52 AM | 1 comment
Greer Stone

Council candidate Greer Stone believes the city can do a lot more to help those in need -- those who find themselves on the fringes of Palo Alto's upper crust.

Friday, 7:51 AM | 2 comments
Don McDougall

When Don McDougall talks about building a sustainable city -- which is quite often -- he's not just talking about Teslas and solar panels.

Friday, 7:50 AM | 3 comments
Danielle Martell

Danielle Martell doesn't do candidate forums, kick-off parties, endorsement interviews or election questionnaires.

Friday, 7:49 AM | 2 comments
Lydia Kou

Lydia Kou is always prepared for the next disaster, whether it's an earthquake or a new office building that she believes is threatening Palo Alto's quality of life.

Friday, 7:48 AM | 6 comments
Liz Kniss

For more than two decades, Liz Kniss has been the face and voice of Palo Alto outside the city's borders.

Friday, 7:47 AM | 4 comments
Arthur Keller

Arthur Keller, a data-crunching veteran of Palo Alto's land-use battles, officially announced his run for City Council on July 28.

Friday, 7:46 AM | 1 comment
John Fredrich

In a position paper, City Council candidate John Fredrich called for more affordable housing, new parks and improved mass transit to reduce reliance on cars. That was in 1975, and much has changed since then.

Friday, 7:46 AM | 1 comment
Adrian Fine

Adrian Fine, the chair of the city's Planning and Transportation Commission, isn't exactly a "Grow, baby, grow" kind of guy.

Friday, 7:45 AM | 22 comments
Len Ely

Try it. If it doesn't work, try something else. It's the mantra of a thousand Silicon Valley startups. It's also the modus operandi of Leonard Ely III, a City Council candidate who doesn't pretend to have all the answers.

Friday, 7:44 AM | No comments yet
Stewart Carl

As a candidate for the City Council, Stewart Carl is back to surveying the city's development landscape and is troubled by what he sees: too many offices, too much congestion and suboptimal architecture.

Friday, 7:43 AM | 3 comments
In their own words: Where the candidates stand

Where the 10 City Council candidates stand on issues, including housing, parking, transportation, office and building design.

Friday, 7:40 AM | No comments yet
Editorial: Collins, DiBrienza for Palo Alto school board

We expect and need more than good intentions from our leaders, and we have the opportunity to put in place a board with better judgment. In short, we need new blood.

Friday, 7:40 AM | 41 comments

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Palo Alto looks to beef up retail requirements downtown

Yoga studios, barbershops and nail salons will not be allowed to open shop on the ground floor of buildings in Palo Alto's busiest commercial strip under a proposed “retail protection" ordinance that the City Council will discuss Monday night.

Thursday, 9:54 AM | 25 comments
Car crashes into Palo Alto home decor store

A car crashed through the front glass doors into the Hudson Grace store in Town & Country Village in Palo Alto Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 12, causing some damage inside the home decor shop but no injuries.

Thursday, 8:24 AM | 20 comments
First major storm of rainy season to start Thursday

A potent early season storm is expected to bring rain, wind and coastal flooding to the Bay Area starting Thursday and lasting through part of Saturday, officials with the National Weather Service said.

Thursday, 7:50 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mental health clinic for youth coming to Menlo Park

By the end of next summer, if all goes according to plan, Menlo Park will have a mental health clinic just for young people.

Wednesday, 10:34 AM | 12 comments
City looks to shift fire station to Geng Road

A new fire station would go up near the Palo Alto Baylands and remain there for about 18 months while the city rebuilds the existing station at Rinconada Park, under a plan the City Council is set to consider Monday night.

Wednesday, 9:48 AM | 8 comments
Feds close sex-discrimination investigation at Stanford University

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has "administratively closed" one of five investigations into violations of federal gender-equity law Title IX at Stanford University, an Education Department spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Wednesday, 7:47 AM | No comments yet

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DA: First-degree murder charges for Palo Alto woman

A Palo Alto mother of two will face first-degree murder charges in the July stabbing death of her sister-in-law, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office announced on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Tuesday, 5:59 PM | 21 comments
John Kerry discusses ethical, social challenges of internet age

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sat casually on the stage of the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel ballroom in Menlo Park on Monday discussing ethical and social challenges linked with technology and the internet.

Tuesday, 12:21 PM | 5 comments
Voting in Nov. 8 election starts today; voting centers open

While Election Day is a month away, voting starts today. Vote-by-mail ballots are being sent to voters starting Oct. 11, and voting centers in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties have opened for those who want to cast an early ballot.

Tuesday, 9:06 AM | 7 comments
Wong takes big lead in Foothill-De Anza fundraising

Cupertino City Councilman Gilbert Wong has raised the most cash out of the six candidates vying for a seat on Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees, according to recent campaign finance reports.

Tuesday, 7:32 AM | 3 comments

Monday, October 10, 2016

PUBLIC AGENDA: Avenidas expansion, update on Project Safety Net

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Oct. 10.

Monday, 4:51 PM | No comments yet
No charges filed against Stanford student arrested for rape

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will not file charges against a male Stanford University graduate student arrested for allegedly raping a 28-year-old woman on campus on Sept. 24, county officials confirmed.

Monday, 1:24 PM | 16 comments
Stanford to conduct test of campus emergency notification system

Stanford University will conduct a test of the campuswide AlertSU mass-notification and siren system on Thursday, Oct. 13, noon-12:30 p.m., according to a Stanford University Department of Public Safety official.

Monday, 10:13 AM | 3 comments
Tech, government leaders converge at internet confab

Top tech and political leaders are gathering in and Menlo Park on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 10-11, to discuss trends in the internet economy and how best to foster innovation.

Monday, 7:45 AM | No comments yet
Bay Area rain predicted for Thursday, Friday

Officials with the National Weather Service are predicting rain toward the end of the week in the Bay Area.

Monday, 7:32 AM | 4 comments

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Palo Alto support programs provide caregivers solidarity, relief

A support group in Palo Alto is helping local caregivers cope with the physical and emotional burdens that often come along with taking care of an ill spouse.

Sunday, 9:30 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Guest Opinion: Rethinking minimum wage -- One size does not fit all

There is a great irony in the new minimum-wage requirements that have swept across California, a point that ought to irk progressive-minded voters -- but it is often overlooked.

Saturday, 7:44 AM | 13 comments

Friday, October 7, 2016

On anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, trees honor his life

It's been five years since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died on Oct. 5, 2011. This week, Old Palo Alto resident Catherine Debs has put the finishing touches on a pair of trees, decorated with ornaments celebrating milestones in the creative genius' life.

Friday, 7:18 PM | 9 comments
VIDEO: Behind the Headlines -- Remembering Miner Forty Niner

On this week's news webcast, "Behind the Headlines," donkey handler Inge Harding-Barlow joins Palo Alto Weekly Editor Jocelyn Dong and reporter Sue Dremann to talk about the history of the Barron Park donkeys in Bol Park, remembering Miner Forty Niner, who died last week and the community's affinity for the animals.

Friday, 7:15 PM | No comments yet
Neighbors resolve conflict over potential Airbnb rental

A Palo Alto property owner's idea to turn his Crescent Park home into an Airbnb rental set off a maelstrom of protest last week, becoming perhaps an object lesson on the forces of commerce that some say are harming single-family cohesion in the city's neighborhoods.

Friday, 6:04 PM | 18 comments
Five bid for three seats on Palo Alto Board of Education

Meet the two incumbents and three challengers who are vying for three open seats on the Palo Alto school board in this November's election.

Friday, 9:28 AM | 20 comments
Three candidates vie for two seats on Ravenswood school board

Two incumbents and one challenger, all with backgrounds in education, are competing for two open seats on the Ravenswood City School District Board of Trustees in this November's election.

Friday, 8:03 AM | 9 comments
In her own words: Where Melissa Baten Caswell stands

The Palo Alto Weekly asked the five school-board candidates to answer 10 questions about current and future issues facing the school district. Read Melissa Baten Caswell's answers.

Friday, 7:57 AM | No comments yet
In her own words: Where Heidi Emberling stands

The Palo Alto Weekly asked the five school-board candidates to answer 10 questions about current and future issues facing the school district. Read Heidi Emberling's answers.

Friday, 7:57 AM | No comments yet
In her own words: Where Jennifer DiBrienza stands

The Palo Alto Weekly asked the five school-board candidates to answer 10 questions about current and future issues facing the school district. Read Jennifer DiBrienza's answers.

Friday, 7:57 AM | No comments yet
In his own words: Where Todd Collins stands

The Palo Alto Weekly asked the five school-board candidates to answer 10 questions about current and future issues facing the school district. Read Todd Collins' answers.

Friday, 7:57 AM | No comments yet
In his own words: Where Jay Cabrera stands

The Palo Alto Weekly asked the five school-board candidates to answer 10 questions about current and future issues facing the school district. Read Jay Cabrera's answers.

Friday, 7:57 AM | No comments yet
Melissa Baten Caswell: software firm CEO

Melissa Baten Caswell has served on the board through one major economic downturn, two superintendents, a major shift in state academic standards and the roll-out of a $378 million bond, among many other big- and small-picture changes in the Palo Alto school district.

Friday, 7:57 AM | 3 comments
Jay Cabrera: social entrepreneur

It's not the nitty gritty of the issues facing the Palo Alto Board of Education that drives Jay Cabrera. It's the prospect of a reinvented election process, transformed by small-contribution campaigns and populist candidates, as he describes himself.

Friday, 7:57 AM | 1 comment
Todd Collins: investment manager

Ask Todd Collins for his thoughts on just about any issue facing the Palo Alto school district, and he'll bring you back to the budget.

Friday, 7:57 AM | 6 comments
Jennifer DiBrienza: education consultant

Jennifer DiBrienza touts her 25 years of experience in and around K-12 classrooms -- a combination of teaching and higher-level consulting work -- as reasons why she is a prime candidate for the Palo Alto school board.

Friday, 7:56 AM | 22 comments
Heidi Emberling: parent educator

Incumbent Heidi Emberling first ran for a seat on the school board four years ago, she said, to shift what she saw as an imbalance between the district's attention to students' academic achievement and their social and emotional well-being.

Friday, 7:56 AM | 12 comments

FREE Stanford Course Explores the Design, Development, and Use of Assistive Technology - Seniors Welcome
By Max Greenberg | 3 comments | 3,048 views

Local restaurants snag Michelin Bib Gourmand status
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 2,988 views

Council Candidate Forums
By Douglas Moran | 5 comments | 1,189 views

Response to Arguments Against Measure B
By Steve Levy | 6 comments | 602 views

Garden Zucchini Pancakes with Umami Tomato Meets Woodside Elementary
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 592 views


The 2016-17 Info Guide is here!

Info Palo Alto, a resource guide for the Midpeninsula, features local information on schools, outdoors and recreation, government and arts & entertainment